in the shell Forum Index in the shell
Discussions about the many incarnations of Ghost in the Shell, philosophy and more!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Faith
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    in the shell Forum Index -> The Philosophy
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Animae



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:54 pm    Post subject: Faith Reply with quote

Every now and then while reading treads on various forums I come across either in some users signature or in a post a typical “religion bashing”. At first I did not put much mind to it but as it became a more and more common occurrence I started to put some thought to it (hence this tread). Now I am not in any way expecting intelligent behavior for an average poster but somehow I am surprised that none saw the irony in their own words.

Funny isn’t it?
Or perhaps not, this is after all a serious matter. They claim to see when they blindfold themselves willingly. In wanting to have something to oppose they blind themselves of its greatness. Irony

Somehow they fail to understand a concept greater than anything they could ever conceive. God is something beyond their lives yet they fail to understand. They are the ones who are truly arrogant, not the ones they want to oppose.

They want to destroy what gives meaning to humanity and replace it with what? Nothingness? And then they claim their world devoid of value to be something superior. If that is not arrogance than I truly don’t know what is. I still would like to hear a single argument of reason to why there way would be superior but they know none.
In which we come to the very reason why I am here. I am curious of the opinions of those who claim to know something.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 219
Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see why you think a world without gods is devoid of value. What could be of more value than a world we make for ourselves, with our own values and our own aims? If our world is created and controlled by gods then all we do is wait for death, earning salvation-points until the big boss comes along, after we've slid off the mortal coil, and gives us a better deal. If there are no gods/demons/angels/woodelves then all that comes after the life & death of an individual is the progression of ever more generations of new individuals. Some of the people enamoured with myth would say that this atheistic world would be worthless because we have no big payoff after death(so why bother? Razz ). But I say there is more value in this world than one controlled by myth because we can work as individuals or as the whole system to make real progression towards a better enlightened world, rather than waiting to die so we can get our better deal...

Why is being controlled by some intangible and absent superbeing dictator the key to finding value in the beauty and worth in human existence and the amazing world around us?

Animae wrote:
And then they claim their world devoid of value to be something superior. If that is not arrogance than I truly don’t know what is. I still would like to hear a single argument of reason to why there way would be superior but they know none.


I very much doubt that it's that their worldview is superior, more that they are saying theirs is true and yours is not. When it comes to truth there are no half-measures, there isn't one world for religion and one world for reason; so niether can be superior or inferior to the other, only one is true the other is false and all we know about the world points to the world of reason as being the true one.
_________________
Joseph Cambell wrote:
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jeni Nielsen



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elmo wrote:

I very much doubt that it's that their worldview is superior, more that they are saying theirs is true and yours is not. When it comes to truth there are no half-measures, there isn't one world for religion and one world for reason; so niether can be superior or inferior to the other, only one is true the other is false and all we know about the world points to the world of reason as being the true one.


Though there have been those who have argued philosophically for the existence of God. I do believe that for the most part, religion and reason are separate entities, but the ethics that may be contained within a religion can often be reasoned for very persuasively. It's when the idea of an allmighty powerful being gets added to a perfectly good set of morals, that I tend to shy away from the idea of institutionalized religion. I am a very spiritual, sometimes even superstitious person, but I don't believe in God.

This I feel is my perrogative. I won't put my atheist views on to your way of life, and don't put your God into mine. Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Faith Reply with quote

Animae wrote:

Somehow they fail to understand a concept greater than anything they could ever conceive. God is something beyond their lives yet they fail to understand. They are the ones who are truly arrogant, not the ones they want to oppose.

They want to destroy what gives meaning to humanity and replace it with what? Nothingness? And then they claim their world devoid of value to be something superior. If that is not arrogance than I truly don’t know what is. I still would like to hear a single argument of reason to why there way would be superior but they know none.
In which we come to the very reason why I am here. I am curious of the opinions of those who claim to know something.


Claiming to know something when you know nothing is arrogance. That's what you do, isn't it? You claim to possess knowledge of something too great to conceive. Isn't that a contradictory statement? What exactly is God? Save for very, very few, to most people God is just the biggest alpha male of the pack, ready to hit you if you don't submit. Pack-forming primates as we are, it is difficult for us to understand how anything can work without an alpha male to keep order. Thus, the we have the God to keep order in the Universe. It's quite unlikely that a product of our mammalian minds would actually be revealed as the ultimate reason behind everything.

You see, I don't disagree that there are things beyond our ability to understand, at least as we are now. But the thing is, that we can't understand them. So giving them names and anthropomorphic attributes feels quite pointless. I have no idea if this universe has any purpose or not, or if we humans serve any meaningful role in it. But nor do you. One of us claims to understand the inconceivable. That's not me. Remember that when you go talking about arrogance.
_________________
Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Animae



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t recall actually claiming to believe in any God in my first post and what I believe (or don’t believe) in is of no relevance to this discussion. I see it as a necessity in any attempted discussion to entirely disregard all my subjective values and believe which are better suited for a different medium such as personal messages.

Did you know that God exist?
I am sure you all ha plenty of counterarguments against that but what about if I could show it to you with mere words, would you be afraid to read? If you follow my train of thought I am convinced that you will understand your mistake, because the flaw lies not in what you see but in the thing that you don’t.
But before I spoil the revelation for you lets see if you can figure it out with some leads.
How can you believe that Christianity exist, yet not believe in it? Does that not seem contradictory to you? Try to apply that same logic on God, and you (should) believe in his existence.
Wonderful isn’t it?
If you did not understand I will explain it to you.
There are concepts that contradict others. In any realist world the only possible outcome is that some of these concepts are false as a realist world must be consistent. Does this however mean that the false concepts don’t exist? What if they have affected people in one way or another, then as a realist would assume they must exist. The question is not whenever God is, but rather what he is. Is God an entity complying to the specific criteria of a certain religion or is God just an concept that exist only in our minds? No matter which answer is the right one it can be concluded that God exist.
So I just proved the existence of God right? I’m sure some of you are confused, but this is the price of rushing to conclusions.

Lets explore the concept of God some more.
Now the next logical step to explore would be if the concept of God is true or false. However tempting such a steep might seem, not to mention the potential of such a search I would like, before we drown in a sea of argument, to declare this TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.
What leads me to declare this irrelevant, despite that some philosophers have dedicated their lives to that very question?
To ask if the concept of God is true or false is like asking if a car can fly or not, because as in both cases it is not the original intention. Just like cars are not built to fly the concept of God was never intended to be true.

As I assume most people here believe in that we humans are here because we evolved, you will all have to consider this: Religion gives a natural advantage its believers otherwise it would not have survived. Hence what I mentioned in the first post, the greatness of God. It is a concept that has stood intact for almost 2000 years! Now you might think that that is not very impressive considering some scientific and philosophical ideas have stood a longer test of time. But then consider their natural advantages, and still none have affected the world to the same extent as Christianity and that is just one religion. Pretty good for a “flawed” concept.
The reason why I claim atheism to be “weaker” is quite obvious. A mind in doubt is a broken mind and atheism does not provide direct support to other ideas, and just like people, ideas are weaker alone. There is nothing human that provide more strength that zeal and conviction, two things provided by faith. That together with the “solid” ideas makes a perfect combination. Then you could always claim that there are other ideas that can provide with necessary support for the mind to thrive, but then these must be dogmatic otherwise uncertainty becomes an issue. And as any dogmatic believe does not try to approach truth any more that common religious faith does, you end up in the same result. There is however another approach, freethinking. Nonetheless such a mind is always in doubt as nothing is ever certain thus always broken. So what is the true approach?

As a reply to Elmo's post
Have you witnessed millions of years pass in single moment? Have you seen the birth of stars and the passing and coming of species? The epic destruction caused by supernovas ripping apart space-time destroying life millions of years old? And yet you claim to know about meaning and significance…
Evolution as a changing state is often mistaken as progression. This is a quite common misconception as life has gradually become more complex on earth (if you believe in evolution that is). Evolution has no goal, it does not lead anywhere it simply continues ad infinitum which is what makes it lose meaning, only creation can have a purpose (as purpose requires mind to be created).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animae wrote:
I don’t recall actually claiming to believe in any God in my first post and what I believe (or don’t believe) in is of no relevance to this discussion. I see it as a necessity in any attempted discussion to entirely disregard all my subjective values and believe which are better suited for a different medium such as personal messages.


I'm sorry, but you made it rather clear that you. as an individual, possess faith to a deity and thus are advertising it for the rest of us. Personally, I hold rather dim view for pushers of a religion, or even faith in general. .

Quote:
How can you believe that Christianity exist, yet not believe in it? Does that not seem contradictory to you? Try to apply that same logic on God, and you (should) believe in his existence.
Wonderful isn’t it?


No, it's silly play on words, which anyone with slightest understanding of logic in conversation can contradict. There is nothing contradictory in believing that Christianity exists, which is as obvious as the existance of any other widespread idea and not believing in what the said religion believes. There is nothing in the concept God that proves actuality of such entity. I believe that the concept of a unicorn exists. I am able to imagine plenty of unicorns in the glades of Arcadia, but that doesn't mean that either the creatures or the place exist outside my mind.

Quote:
Does this however mean that the false concepts don’t exist?


False concepts exist in our minds as false concepts, that is, as misunderstandings, illusions, hallucinations and lies. Good luck on defending those.

Quote:
What if they have affected people in one way or another, then as a realist would assume they must exist. The question is not whenever God is, but rather what he is. Is God an entity complying to the specific criteria of a certain religion or is God just an concept that exist only in our minds? No matter which answer is the right one it can be concluded that God exist.
So I just proved the existence of God right?


You still proved nothing, except that people can believe in things that aren't true. Memes, whether they are based on existing things, abstract concepts or plain lies, do have power over people. Few doubt that. Does that mean that we should all pick up the meme of God and follow it? I fail to see a reason why.

Quote:
To ask if the concept of God is true or false is like asking if a car can fly or not, because as in both cases it is not the original intention. Just like cars are not built to fly the concept of God was never intended to be true.


I'm afraid it is. Because if it's not, then it's a misconception or a lie. The importance of the concept of God hinges on whether it is true or not.

Quote:
Religion gives a natural advantage its believers otherwise it would not have survived.


Religion was born out of need to explain the world, before the means were at hand. People thirst for explanations and goals. Religion has given plenty of both. Now we have plenty of means and we're constantly getting more. The people whose life's goals are still primarily religions are rather few and far between. One could argue that the importance of religion is waning.

Quote:
But then consider their natural advantages, and still none have affected the world to the same extent as Christianity and that is just one religion. Pretty good for a “flawed” concept.


An idea's value then is based on the impact it has, rather than its trueness? And in other words, the strongest kid in the playground is always right? And what exactly are those "natural advantages"?

Quote:
The reason why I claim atheism to be “weaker” is quite obvious. A mind in doubt is a broken mind and atheism does not provide direct support to other ideas, and just like people, ideas are weaker alone.


Yet strangely it's doubt, not faith that has brought scientific, sociological and technological advancement in our lives. People who doubt the current system create new things. The founders of all religions have based their beliefs on doubt towards their current system of faith. It wouldn't be too much to say that everything in this world is based on doubt. And thinking of your comparsion how people are weaker alone, I would suggest you to remember that greater number of people always means a greater number of doubt and questions, which in turn open new paths of philosophy and science.

Quote:
There is however another approach, freethinking. Nonetheless such a mind is always in doubt as nothing is ever certain thus always broken. So what is the true approach?


You keep claiming that mind in doubt is "broken". Just how is this the case? Like I've already pointed out, the minds in doubt have invented everything in this world, including your precious faith. The mind questioning and doubting is always more inventive and creative than one content with simple faith.
"Better uncontent Socrates than a content pig", don't you think? Doubting is one of the greatest powers of the human mind. Without it we wouldn't have anything, not even faith.

You are essentially saying that it's better to spread lies that make people happy, believing them, than truths that make people uncomfortable. I will test your theory:

"You have just won a million bucks! You'll get them as soon as you believe that you won them, hard enough!"

Did that make you feel better? Do you believe in the million bucks in your hand? Should we go around telling this to people?

Quote:
Evolution as a changing state is often mistaken as progression. This is a quite common misconception as life has gradually become more complex on earth (if you believe in evolution that is). Evolution has no goal, it does not lead anywhere it simply continues ad infinitum which is what makes it lose meaning, only creation can have a purpose (as purpose requires mind to be created).


I believe we all know the modern theory of evolution well enough.
All the meanings you think of come from your mind. They don't neccesarily have to be faith-based. They can be as simple as to thrive for happiness. My personal goals are to thrive for knowledge and understanding, though I don't say no to happiness, either. Still, it's quite impossible for me to get any level of happiness or content from faith of any kind, save perhaps faith to my own freedom, which I have in abundance. You see, you imagine that having faith means some kind of religious thinking. That's very much not the case. To many it's quite enough to have faith in ourselves and that we have, because in that matter we don't have a choice - to be consious and sentient is to have faith, if such word is appropriate in this context, to your self.

Sorry, but you aren't very convincing. Did you just get some kind of religous awakening or enlightenment and are now eager to spread it? That's the impression I'm getting from you.
_________________
Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
douyang



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone's interested, they should take a good look at just how evil and destructive of human freedom, life, and happiness blind faith can be. Read "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris.

Also, check out www.infidels.org.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Animae



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm sorry, but you made it rather clear that you. as an individual, possess faith to a deity and thus are advertising it for the rest of us. Personally, I hold rather dim view for pushers of a religion, or even faith in general. .


Well you seem to have made up your mind quite clearly about that so I don’t intend to argue about that, but you should remember that thing are often not what they seem to be.

Quote:
No, it's silly play on words, which anyone with slightest understanding of logic in conversation can contradict. There is nothing contradictory in believing that Christianity exists, which is as obvious as the existance of any other widespread idea and not believing in what the said religion believes. There is nothing in the concept God that proves actuality of such entity. I believe that the concept of a unicorn exists. I am able to imagine plenty of unicorns in the glades of Arcadia, but that doesn't mean that either the creatures or the place exist outside my mind.


I never actually claimed God to be an actual thing in itself, I simply point out that God exists as a concept. It does naturally not prove that God is an entity that exists in independently of our minds (assumed to be a realist universe that is). To try to explore things in themselves is rather meaningless but could potentially make an interesting discussion, but in my opinion that deserves a discrete thread.

Quote:
False concepts exist in our minds as false concepts, that is, as misunderstandings, illusions, hallucinations and lies. Good luck on defending those.


Yes they exist, just as a way God exist and I am I no way trying to defend those ideas but I think it would be foolish to disregard of their values, simply because while the ideas in themselves might be false (something we can never know) but they can still affect us.

Quote:
You still proved nothing, except that people can believe in things that aren't true. Memes, whether they are based on existing things, abstract concepts or plain lies, do have power over people. Few doubt that. Does that mean that we should all pick up the meme of God and follow it? I fail to see a reason why.


To choose to follow God or not is a subjective decision so its up to us as individuals to choose what to make of it. My point is that lies are as powerful (and valuable) as truth as both are human concept of which ultimately all are false.

Quote:
I'm afraid it is. Because if it's not, then it's a misconception or a lie. The importance of the concept of God hinges on whether it is true or not.


Have you ever set you mind to understand God instead of casting it aside as a useless lie? There is an evolutionary reason for God, have you thought about that? While you all seem to think religion is some kind of plague it was actually a crucial step it the evolution of our society. A group of people can in most cases outperform a single person, but that is only true when they work together. If they don’t work united for a common goal, chances are that they will be less efficient that a single individual. In the transition from small groups of well acquainted individuals to the cities and countries we have today, you need something to keep the group together. Before politics, social sciences and mediums of spreading information, to keep a larger group regulated was something impossible. You could not use force either as it was impossible to control it.
Think about this a bit and you will realize that the very tools you need can only be acquired AFTER society is created. This is indeed a n interesting problem which also has an interesting solution. You create something that keep people together.

Religion became an unity which lasted many decades, but unfortunately the concept was not perfect as it was only adapted to the world that saw its birth. The thing that was its very strength, its inability to change became its doom as it was chattered in pieces.

Where we are now we are seeing its own demise. The question is whenever our society is self sustainable and can live in its present form outside of its original purpose. For a chaotic regulation allowing for individual to have an “individual level” I consider capitalism fully embracing the virtue of greed to be a potential candidate, but this is once again better suited for another thread.

Quote:
Religion was born out of need to explain the world, before the means were at hand. People thirst for explanations and goals. Religion has given plenty of both. Now we have plenty of means and we're constantly getting more. The people whose life's goals are still primarily religions are rather few and far between. One could argue that the importance of religion is waning.


If you are right can you explain to me why Christianity was the most successful “explanation”. It’s not like there was a lack of choice, there where plenty of non spiritual philosophic ideas that tried to explain this world. Your theory does not really explain the homogeneity either.

Quote:
An idea's value then is based on the impact it has, rather than its trueness? And in other words, the strongest kid in the playground is always right? And what exactly are those "natural advantages"?


For an idea to be widespread does not require it to be a good idea (or true for that matter). There are plenty of historical examples of this. Their natural advantages are that they are in themselves always correct, but then you could argue that the same applies to Christianity, that as long as you assume god to be real to whole idea sustains itself just like a bridge. If you remove a single piece it fall, so the only way it can exist is if all independent pieces are at the right place. Another example of such a concept is Freud’s psychological theories.

Quote:
Yet strangely it's doubt, not faith that has brought scientific, sociological and technological advancement in our lives. People who doubt the current system create new things. The founders of all religions have based their beliefs on doubt towards their current system of faith. It wouldn't be too much to say that everything in this world is based on doubt. And thinking of your comparsion how people are weaker alone, I would suggest you to remember that greater number of people always means a greater number of doubt and questions, which in turn open new paths of philosophy and science.


That religion has lead to no advancement is not true as it created the very platform for these advancement to be possible, thus indirectly religion can take credit for all of those indirectly.

Quote:
You keep claiming that mind in doubt is "broken". Just how is this the case? Like I've already pointed out, the minds in doubt have invented everything in this world, including your precious faith. The mind questioning and doubting is always more inventive and creative than one content with simple faith.
"Better uncontent Socrates than a content pig", don't you think? Doubting is one of the greatest powers of the human mind. Without it we wouldn't have anything, not even faith.

You are essentially saying that it's better to spread lies that make people happy, believing them, than truths that make people uncomfortable. I will test your theory:

"You have just won a million bucks! You'll get them as soon as you believe that you won them, hard enough!"

Did that make you feel better? Do you believe in the million bucks in your hand? Should we go around telling this to people?


That entirely depends on what it is that you want to strive against. If you want to create a society whose goal is ultimately to bring happiness to people then truth is of no importance. However if you want to explore this world then a different approach would be required. However to survive we need a functioning society, this should be the main concern, not truth.

Quote:
I believe we all know the modern theory of evolution well enough.
All the meanings you think of come from your mind. They don't neccesarily have to be faith-based. They can be as simple as to thrive for happiness. My personal goals are to thrive for knowledge and understanding, though I don't say no to happiness, either. Still, it's quite impossible for me to get any level of happiness or content from faith of any kind, save perhaps faith to my own freedom, which I have in abundance. You see, you imagine that having faith means some kind of religious thinking. That's very much not the case. To many it's quite enough to have faith in ourselves and that we have, because in that matter we don't have a choice - to be consious and sentient is to have faith, if such word is appropriate in this context, to your self.


That is exactly my point, creation is not monopolized by religion, but evolution will never create purpose, values or meaning as those need a mind to be created. That means that we need a plan, a grand design something that is not inherently given by atheism, it must be found elsewhere. This might be one of the great challenges of humanity, now that our great leader God is dead, what should we do?

Quote:
Sorry, but you aren't very convincing. Did you just get some kind of religous awakening or enlightenment and are now eager to spread it? That's the impression I'm getting from you.

Well you seem to have made up your mind quite clearly about that so I don’t intend to argue about that, but you should remember that thing are often not what they seem to be.


Why call yourself a seeker when you have already chosen what to find? A seeker that finds something is no longer a seeker right?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animae wrote:

Well you seem to have made up your mind quite clearly about that so I don’t intend to argue about that, but you should remember that thing are often not what they seem to be.


An ambigious statement which can be interpreted in numerous ways, yet holds no meaning in itself. Not always what they seem to be? As far as I can tell, I would have more reason to use those words. Ironically enough, it seems that I have the less bleak worldview, of the two of us.

Quote:

I never actually claimed God to be an actual thing in itself, I simply point out that God exists as a concept. It does naturally not prove that God is an entity that exists in independently of our minds (assumed to be a realist universe that is).


I have to wonder, why the need to prove what we already know - taughts exist. Taught of a God exists just as much as the taught of a cheese sandwich. Next the big question: what about it?

Quote:
Yes they exist, just as a way God exist and I am I no way trying to defend those ideas but I think it would be foolish to disregard of their values, simply because while the ideas in themselves might be false (something we can never know) but they can still affect us.


If you defend an idea which you know or presume to be false, you are a liar, or possibly a salesman. In either case, I have a little reason to trust you in matters of importance. Ideas have power, yes. Because of that you should be careful of who you get your ideas from and what is their agenda. After your explanations, I wouldn't trust a single idea coming from your way. After all, you've chosen misleading as your agenda.

Quote:

My point is that lies are as powerful (and valuable) as truth as both are human concept of which ultimately all are false.


All false? Getting a bit nihilistic, are we? Say "artifical" and you're closer to the truth. A chair is really a chair, even though the concept and object are manufactured by us for a specific purpose.
Many human concepts describe true things, more or less accurately and people seek to describe the reality of their life with them.

Quote:
Have you ever set you mind to understand God instead of casting it aside as a useless lie?


I have pondered philosophy quite a bit and the concept of God has crossed paths with me more than once. On logical grounds the concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are contradictory and seriously flawed and thus must, with as much certainity as can be achieved in this world, be false. Ofcourse this doesn't destroy the possibility of a slightly lesser Creator, but such an entity is simply a complicator in the already complex mess that is the Universe and doesn't serve a meaningful purpose. Thus, while not impossible, such an entity is impropable and quite irrelevant, as far as the most difficult questions of existance are concerned.

Is it useful to believe in God? To some, without doubt. Faith certainly has been used as a tool for money and power throughout the history. But not only it's not possible for me to have faith, because of who I am and how my mind functions, I find the implications of truthfulness in organized religions highly distasteful and quite often also rather unethical.

Quote:
There is an evolutionary reason for God, have you thought about that? While you all seem to think religion is some kind of plague it was actually a crucial step it the evolution of our society.


A plague? Hardly. Just not neccesary. Yes, religion has been an important part of our cultural evolution. I wouldn't dream of denying that. Did it neccesarily have to be religion? Propably. Does it still have to be religion? I don't think so. Certainly not for secular freethinkers like myself.

Quote:
Religion became an unity which lasted many decades, but unfortunately the concept was not perfect as it was only adapted to the world that saw its birth. The thing that was its very strength, its inability to change became its doom as it was chattered in pieces.


Very good, though it has been millenia, not decades and it still hasn't shattered to pieces. Still, a fairly accurate description. Religion indeed was propably the first keeper of organized society. But it was quickly pushed to a lower pedestal and has mostly remained there, trying to keep up with the changes of the world. Its certainly no longer a neccesity for an organized society and hasn't been, for ages.

Quote:
Where we are now we are seeing its own demise. The question is whenever our society is self sustainable and can live in its present form outside of its original purpose.


Short answer: yep. It has been inventing new purposes for millenia, too. These days we have enough purposes for everybody to grab a unique one for themselves and still get along with others. We haven't been governed by religion for ages.

Quote:
If you are right can you explain to me why Christianity was the most successful “explanation”. It’s not like there was a lack of choice, there where plenty of non spiritual philosophic ideas that tried to explain this world. Your theory does not really explain the homogeneity either.


Christianity won because it fit the smallest common deominator, offering everybody something and being easy enough to understand by all. As a plus, the restless times in the collapse of the Roman empire were perfect breeding ground for a mass religion, like it. And more it grew and gained influence, harder it was to compete with it.
The non-religous philosophies that were around could only be understood by a small minority of thinkers and had no means of spreading, apart from written word that could only be read by those few.

Quote:
For an idea to be widespread does not require it to be a good idea (or true for that matter). There are plenty of historical examples of this.


I haven't denied this. Once again, what of it? Does it prove that it's pointless to seek truths since falseness is just as easy or easier to spread out.

Quote:
Their natural advantages are that they are in themselves always correct, but then you could argue that the same applies to Christianity, that as long as you assume god to be real to whole idea sustains itself just like a bridge.


I fail to see how that is an advantage. It's simply a fact. And besides, Christianity is ridden with contradictions and conflicting interpretations. It manages to stand, despite of it.

Quote:
That religion has lead to no advancement is not true as it created the very platform for these advancement to be possible, thus indirectly religion can take credit for all of those indirectly.


Only if you go back to the earliest formations of culture, but in that case we can go farther back and give all credit of science and advancement to primate pack behaviour. And like I pointed out, faith and religion are completely dependent on doubt, as well.

Quote:

That entirely depends on what it is that you want to strive against. If you want to create a society whose goal is ultimately to bring happiness to people then truth is of no importance. However if you want to explore this world then a different approach would be required. However to survive we need a functioning society, this should be the main concern, not truth.


Only because people seek truths we have advanced to this point and can advance further. We wouldn't be having this conversation through the 'net , if it wasn't for that. Convenient lies can keep people content for some time, but eventually someone notices that something doesn't fit in the picture, that there is mistake or a lie in there and the whole thing starts to break down. You also seem to believe that truth and happiness are mutually exclusive. I see no evidence of this, nor I still see an explanation for why a doubting mind is "broken".

Quote:

That is exactly my point, creation is not monopolized by religion, but evolution will never create purpose, values or meaning as those need a mind to be created. That means that we need a plan, a grand design something that is not inherently given by atheism, it must be found elsewhere. This might be one of the great challenges of humanity, now that our great leader God is dead, what should we do?


Atheism or agnosticism have never been meant to explain anything. That's not their function. They just points out that you don't need a religion to lead your life. You don't need a higher purpose to have a personal or societal purpose. You don't need an excuse of having found your reasons from "above". You can come up with perfectly good reasons, yourself.

Quote:

Why call yourself a seeker when you have already chosen what to find? A seeker that finds something is no longer a seeker right?


Most of what I've found have been sidetracks. Your way of thinking is one of those. I certainly don't claim to possess the knowledge of Life, Universe and Everything. Like I said in my first post, there is plenty about the Universe I don't know or understand, but I don't pretend otherwise, to myself or to others. I'm not satisfied by a convinient lie, when I have a reason to doubt it's truthfulness. It sounds like you haven't even tried to find anything. You've just come up with the most pleasant alternative for yourself.

"Metaphysics is like seeking a black cat from a dark room, when it isn't there. Religion is like seeking a black cat from a dark room, when it isn't there and yelling 'I found it!'"

Sound familiar?
_________________
Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Animae



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you defend an idea which you know or presume to be false, you are a liar, or possibly a salesman. In either case, I have a little reason to trust you in matters of importance. Ideas have power, yes. Because of that you should be careful of who you get your ideas from and what is their agenda. After your explanations, I wouldn't trust a single idea coming from your way. After all, you've chosen misleading as your agenda.


All the words I have expressed so far have been true to my own view of thing, but just because I believe in an idea does not mean that I automatically defend it or argue for it. A coin has two sides, and if you want to master an idea you have to know both sides of it. How can a mind be free if it is not allowed to wander? Personally I really don’t understand why people tend to take any kind of critique so personally, it only prevents people from being honest. It does have an evolutionary reason (self preservation of mind) but to not discard the reaction consciously is unbeneficial in my opinion.

Quote:
All false? Getting a bit nihilistic, are we? Say "artifical" and you're closer to the truth. A chair is really a chair, even though the concept and object are manufactured by us for a specific purpose.
Many human concepts describe true things, more or less accurately and people seek to describe the reality of their life with them.


All false in the sense that the thing we speak of only exist as part of systems that we had come to create. You could call the human truths if you so wish. And about the chair really being a chair, I was truly hoping that this discussion would not be degraded to that level but I guess all discussion sooner or later can end up there.

The word chair does not represent a thing in itself; the word chair is only a metaphor for a (human) perception. A definition for a thing that is highly inexact, if it is so simple could you tell me what a chair actually is?
If you meant that the chair is big lump of particles we like to call chair, yes you are most likely right (in a realist or materialist worldview). However if we saw the world as it was (in a realist or materialist worldview based on science) the chair would be an indistinguishable part in a sea of particles, who don’t even have specific location (in accordance to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics).
While I could go on for pages and pages about us not knowing anything about the actual world I would recommend you to read: On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense by Friedrich Nietzsche or if you are really ambitious Kant’s three critiques.
While there are arguably mathematical and scientific truths, they are limited to be true only in there own context, that is something that is true in math is only a mathematical truth and not applicable directly on reality. Physics is a very cleaver thing because it does not try to explain anything; it is only analyzing and documenting the course of cause and effect.
Which can might create a bit of a problem when it comes to consciousness (Assuming that consciousness has a free will), how do you want to explain it if it does not follow cause and effect.

Quote:
I have pondered philosophy quite a bit and the concept of God has crossed paths with me more than once. On logical grounds the concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are contradictory and seriously flawed and thus must, with as much certainity as can be achieved in this world, be false. Ofcourse this doesn't destroy the possibility of a slightly lesser Creator, but such an entity is simply a complicator in the already complex mess that is the Universe and doesn't serve a meaningful purpose. Thus, while not impossible, such an entity is impropable and quite irrelevant, as far as the most difficult questions of existance are concerned.


The whole argument of god being logically flawed is a bad and not very effective argument, simply because first of all you have to assume that the universe is logically consistent, something that is actually exactly as difficult (impossible?) as to prove that God exist as an entity. The second flaw of that argument is; even if this universe is logically consistent it does not take much imagination to make the concept of a Christian God to work. God just needs to be on an “outside level” of this reality.
I will try to make this as conceivable as possible by using a metaphor you may be familiar with. Think of reality as a program (a game if you so wish). All programs MUST follow the logical rules of the computer as they are purely logical (in fact normal computers aren’t event capable of creating anything random). What prevent someone outside the program to control it and play outside its rules? If you are playing a game, the actual limitations of the game don’t apply to you now do they? So what prevent God from existing independently from the limitation of this reality?

Quote:
Is it useful to believe in God? To some, without doubt. Faith certainly has been used as a tool for money and power throughout the history. But not only it's not possible for me to have faith, because of who I am and how my mind functions, I find the implications of truthfulness in organized religions highly distasteful and quite often also rather unethical.


The question of whenever God useful for you and me is not really what interests me, I am rather interested in the usefulness of dogmatic faith in today’s society. As memes follow the ideas of evolution in a very similar way that it does applied on species, the conclusion must be that religious ideas are better adapted to the world then atheistic ones are (otherwise they would be extinct by now wouldn’t they?). Directly compared to genetics, superfluous aspects always disappear under the course of evolution. Shouldn’t this be the case with religion? My direct interpretation of this is that religion still has plenty of mileage left however the great days of unification are over and religion is evolving to become a more individual aspect. I don’t know how many of you have studied genetics, but this feels like a huge déjà vu. Just like genetic aspects evolve sometimes you will end up with properties entirely different of the initial usage. Just think legs, eyes and just about any other thing that could not have evolved directly.

Question is; what happens to a man that has been created for a purpose, and shaped his world for it, what happens when he loses his purpose?
As much as we like to call ourselves masters of our own fates, its all in the hands of evolution now isn’t it?

Quote:
Christianity won because it fit the smallest common denominator, offering everybody something and being easy enough to understand by all. As a plus, the restless times in the collapse of the Roman empire were perfect breeding ground for a mass religion, like it. And more it grew and gained influence, harder it was to compete with it.
The non-religous philosophies that were around could only be understood by a small minority of thinkers and had no means of spreading, apart from written word that could only be read by those few.


You are quite right, but it was not due to the fact that it explained things in the most successful way but rather that it was best adapted to the environment it faced at the time. In the same way that there is a reason behind the western part of the world being best suited for the development of science. This is the same cause for the US to have 40% of the world economy today.

Quote:
I haven't denied this. Once again, what of it? Does it prove that it's pointless to seek truths since falseness is just as easy or easier to spread out.


It does in no way mean that its pointless explore reality, it only means that for an idea does not need to be true to be a good and successful idea. You are of course free too search for truth if you so wish.

Quote:
I fail to see how that is an advantage. It's simply a fact. And besides, Christianity is ridden with contradictions and conflicting interpretations. It manages to stand, despite of it.


It is an evolutionary advantage because such an idea is always correct within itself making it self sustainable and independent of other ideas. The reason Christianity still stands is because it is a good idea (really successful). It provides something of usefulness in society.

Quote:
Only if you go back to the earliest formations of culture, but in that case we can go farther back and give all credit of science and advancement to primate pack behaviour. And like I pointed out, faith and religion are completely dependent on doubt, as well.


Science did not exist until much later; religion has been around since the dawn of man. However if you mean Christianity in specific, then science predates it by quite some time. The purpose of the first religions where more to explain things, but once religion evolved to the level of the “modern” religions it served primary as way to maintain order in my opinion. The core element of defining the world where still there, but they where not the cause of its success. If such was the case we would probably still see the incredible amount of local religions.

Quote:
Only because people seek truths we have advanced to this point and can advance further. We wouldn't be having this conversation through the 'net , if it wasn't for that. Convenient lies can keep people content for some time, but eventually someone notices that something doesn't fit in the picture, that there is mistake or a lie in there and the whole thing starts to break down. You also seem to believe that truth and happiness are mutually exclusive. I see no evidence of this, nor I still see an explanation for why a doubting mind is "broken".


I did not say that they are mutually exclusive only that truth is no requirement for happiness. The knowledge necessary for the next step in our development is something we don’t know of yet. One thing I do know is that the next step does in no way require all to know. We simply need a functioning society as basis, without limiting its abilities to evolve too much. There is a difference between lying and not telling the truth. If you knew someone who had spent 3 years writing a book and that person asked for you opinion, if you happened to think it was really bad would you say so? In most cases (somewhat depending on the personality of the writer) it would be in your best interest to not say that it sucked. But you would not have to lie about it either. While I think the right thing to do would be to tell what I thing about it, such situation requires of one to be pragmatic and flexible.

A doubting mind is broken because it does not have the same power of conviction that a person of strong faith would have. As a historical example you can take the concentration camps in Germany during the Second World War. Those who lasted the longest where theists and communists.

Quote:
Atheism or agnosticism have never been meant to explain anything. That's not their function. They just points out that you don't need a religion to lead your life. You don't need a higher purpose to have a personal or societal purpose. You don't need an excuse of having found your reasons from "above". You can come up with perfectly good reasons, yourself.


If finding a higher purpose was so easy don’t you think the world we live in today would have goals? I can’t even recall the last time I heard any politician or leader have any ambition powerful enough to create a purpose. Such things are easier acquired with faith.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animae wrote:

All the words I have expressed so far have been true to my own view of thing, but just because I believe in an idea does not mean that I automatically defend it or argue for it.


So which are you doing? Defending your idea or not? It's a bit difficult to make sense of you, when your first sentence says one thing and second the complete opposite. And you've so far defended the idea that it's OK to spread a lie, if it makes the people feel good - contributes the "unity" of the society. Lots of tyrants of the past have used that idea as a reason for information-control and almost all eventually fell, despite or because of it. And I wouldn't call those who didn't exactly nice people, either.

Quote:
A coin has two sides, and if you want to master an idea you have to know both sides of it. How can a mind be free if it is not allowed to wander?


Once again cool-sounding rethorics without any actual meaning. Mind should be allowed to wander, you say. So what was that previous talk about taught-control for society's benefit? Yes, you didn't use those words, but that was their content and logical conclusion.

Quote:
Personally I really don’t understand why people tend to take any kind of critique so personally, it only prevents people from being honest.


I'm taking your words, which I wouldn't call a critique, though, personally, because their implications throughly disgust me. Because I know what I would be if the ideas behind them were truly allowed to rule the world - in the best case an obstacle, in the worst, an enemy.


Quote:
All false in the sense that the thing we speak of only exist as part of systems that we had come to create.


Everything created is false? That doesn't sound right to me. I repeat, the right word is "artifical", or simply "created". Chair isn't any less true concept than an atom. Both are concepts created by our minds to represent something in the physical world.

Quote:
However if we saw the world as it was (in a realist or materialist worldview based on science) the chair would be an indistinguishable part in a sea of particles, who don’t even have specific location (in accordance to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics).


That only matters if you happen to be an entity that sees all particles as alike. But in that case you won't see forest from the trees. On the same logic, we humans and our minds are pure fantasy, since they're just clumps of particles in middle of other particles. But if you do that, you've strayed far beyond sense and reason.
And Copenhagen interpretation doesn't claim that the position of macroscopic objects is uncertain. For one thing, that would be quite foolish, considering that we can all see with our senses that the position of the chair isn't changing unless another macroscopic object moves it.

Quote:
Physics is a very cleaver thing because it does not try to explain anything; it is only analyzing and documenting the course of cause and effect.


So you are using it to make arguments, because...?

Quote:
The whole argument of god being logically flawed is a bad and not very effective argument, simply because first of all you have to assume that the universe is logically consistent, something that is actually exactly as difficult (impossible?) as to prove that God exist as an entity.


If the universe is not logically consistent, then I'm not writing this statement my fingers are currently pounding on the keyboard and my brain has been magically transported to the land of Oz. Throw away logic and I respond you in Dada. You seem to fail to comprehend the implications of ceasing to treat the universe as a logically consistent structure.

Quote:
The second flaw of that argument is; even if this universe is logically consistent it does not take much imagination to make the concept of a Christian God to work. God just needs to be on an “outside level” of this reality.
I will try to make this as conceivable as possible by using a metaphor you may be familiar with. Think of reality as a program (a game if you so wish). All programs MUST follow the logical rules of the computer as they are purely logical (in fact normal computers aren’t event capable of creating anything random). What prevent someone outside the program to control it and play outside its rules? If you are playing a game, the actual limitations of the game don’t apply to you now do they? So what prevent God from existing independently from the limitation of this reality?


It's easy to create countless of metalevels where none of that annoying "evidence" and "logic" stuff comes pestering you, but trying to prove that they have any relation to reality outside your brain is a more difficult matter. If there is something outside the universe unbound by the most basest concepts of logic in this universe, then it's quite impossible to think of anything remotely reasonable about it, within this world. The propability of it being the Christian God, or any human God, at all, are infinitely minuscule. And if there is actually something, it's impossible to find out anything about it, as we are now. An interesting concept for a mindgame, but quite pointless, otherwise.

Quote:
The question of whenever God useful for you and me is not really what interests me, I am rather interested in the usefulness of dogmatic faith in today’s society. As memes follow the ideas of evolution in a very similar way that it does applied on species, the conclusion must be that religious ideas are better adapted to the world then atheistic ones are (otherwise they would be extinct by now wouldn’t they?).


Your knowledge of evolution is obviously limited to what Darwin had to say - the theory has advanced quite a bit, since then. A thing doesn't have to be great benefit to evolve - it just can't be harmful in its current enviroment. When enviroment changes, even formerly benefical property can quickly turn harmful. Is this the case with religion? Propably not, since as you say, it still exists, but it's far less signifigant than it used to be and this process hasn't stopped. A property can lose its purpose long before it actually dissapears, in physical evolution.

Ofcourse cultural evolution isn't entirely analogous to physical evolution, though like physical evolution, it can take several different paths at once. In any case, your concepts are oversimplified and in some points, simply wrong.

Quote:
Question is; what happens to a man that has been created for a purpose, and shaped his world for it, what happens when he loses his purpose?


Religion has never given a purpose to more than a small handful of people. It has given order to the masses, but few actually give any major taught to currently dominating deities, except that they propably are there and you should propably follow their code of conduct, since otherwise you're likely to face bad consequences, long before you actually have a chance to see if there is an afterlife, or not.

Quote:
You are quite right, but it was not due to the fact that it explained things in the most successful way but rather that it was best adapted to the environment it faced at the time. In the same way that there is a reason behind the western part of the world being best suited for the development of science. This is the same cause for the US to have 40% of the world economy today.


*sigh*
You don't have to be best adapted to the enviroment. You only need to be the best available at the moment. And even then, quite a bit depends on chance - quite small factors may cause rise or downfall of a religion or other social movement long before it's actual qualifications are tested.
I might add that your analogies make precious little sense to me.

Quote:
It does in no way mean that its pointless explore reality, it only means that for an idea does not need to be true to be a good and successful idea.


Well, as I said, what of it? I think that is no news. Though I might remind you that "good" is a very subjective value.

Quote:
It is an evolutionary advantage because such an idea is always correct within itself making it self sustainable and independent of other ideas. The reason Christianity still stands is because it is a good idea (really successful). It provides something of usefulness in society.


An idea doesn't have to provide anything useful to stick on. It only needs to survive long enough to be taken for granted by some. After that it can stay almost indefinately without doing anything revolutionary or useful.
Or do you think that unicorns have contributed something signifigant to this world, with their over two millenia of stay in our collective subconsious?

Quote:
Science did not exist until much later; religion has been around since the dawn of man.


Hardly since the dawn. The dawn of man happened billions of years ago, when the first bacteria was formed. Everything is indebted to everything else that came along in the process. Be assured that religion has no special position in the big picture. As I said, you can just as well see the dawn of science in primate pack behaviour. It doesn't matter that it came much later - it was all the part of the same path that led us to this point and it would have been just as impossible to create science without prehistoric dung-throwing than it would have been, without religion.

Quote:
One thing I do know is that the next step does in no way require all to know. We simply need a functioning society as basis, without limiting its abilities to evolve too much. There is a difference between lying and not telling the truth.


Once again we get to the point of intellectually superior elite and ignorant masses. That model has been around for millenia and the scientific development during it has been painfully slow. Now the ideal is to spread knowledge to everybody who wants to listen and science and technology are booming. There is no benefit in the previous model, as far as I can see and I certainly don't see reason to return to it. Platon's State is a failure. You can't turn it succesful by changing the names of the concepts.

Quote:
If you knew someone who had spent 3 years writing a book and that person asked for you opinion, if you happened to think it was really bad would you say so?


Yes, although in a polite manner. But nevertheless, little white lies in standard social interaction are quite different story from lying to the entire population because "they don't need to know".

Quote:
A doubting mind is broken because it does not have the same power of conviction that a person of strong faith would have. As a historical example you can take the concentration camps in Germany during the Second World War. Those who lasted the longest where theists and communists.


And in just what are you basing this little tidbit of information? And how you fit it along the lines that Jesus, Buddha, Newton, Einstein and all religous and scientific thinkers who are remembered in this world, have been doubters? Doubt can create greater conviction than any pre-packaged piece of faith. Every great person in the history of this world is a proof of this. You say it's because of faith. But faith can only be created by doubt. Everything new in human thinking comes from doubt, from questioning. You can say with full reason that to be human is to doubt, that doubt is the greatest achievement of human species.

Quote:

If finding a higher purpose was so easy don’t you think the world we live in today would have goals? I can’t even recall the last time I heard any politician or leader have any ambition powerful enough to create a purpose. Such things are easier acquired with faith.


We all have a purpose we make for ourselves. Usually it's nothing grand and tends to be rather self-centered. Still, it works. Despite of religous conflicts and crisis, the society keeps on going. Indeed, the most secular countries seem to be at advantage. Coming from Nordic countries, I know what I'm speaking of. And looking in the Middle-East, I can see an alternative. Aren't things prosperous there, in the holy land of three religions where everybody remembers the word of God?
_________________
Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Animae



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So which are you doing? Defending your idea or not? It's a bit difficult to make sense of you, when your first sentence says one thing and second the complete opposite. And you've so far defended the idea that it's OK to spread a lie, if it makes the people feel good - contributes the "unity" of the society.


I thing you are putting a lot of interpretation on my words, if there is anything that seems incomplete to you why not ask me what I mean before counter arguing your interpretation of my views? I do however know that many of my previous statements are pretty ambiguous, often deliberately, but I think you should try to see the direct meanings instead of trying to interpret what you believe to be my intensions. Mind telling where I have defended deception? As I said there is a difference between lying and not telling the truth.

Quote:
Lots of tyrants of the past have used that idea as a reason for information-control and almost all eventually fell, despite or because of it. And I wouldn't call those who didn't exactly nice people, either.


That’s a classical example of an invalid argument; just because someone you regard as “bad” did something does not necessary mean that that thing is wrong.
And that was a typical implications of what I told you in the previous post. I dont think that information control is an efficient way to handle society yet as you interpret as defending, I countered that argument because it is invalid. If you have already defined truth and reality as something you find to your liking, why argue in the first place?

Quote:
Once again cool-sounding rethorics without any actual meaning. Mind should be allowed to wander, you say. So what was that previous talk about taught-control for society's benefit? Yes, you didn't use those words, but that was their content and logical conclusion.


Once again, that is your interpretation of what I said, not what I actually said.

Quote:
I'm taking your words, which I wouldn't call a critique, though, personally, because their implications throughly disgust me. Because I know what I would be if the ideas behind them were truly allowed to rule the world - in the best case an obstacle, in the worst, an enemy.


Is something less true because you don’t like its implication? That would be wishful thinking.

Quote:
Everything created is false? That doesn't sound right to me. I repeat, the right word is "artifical", or simply "created". Chair isn't any less true concept than an atom. Both are concepts created by our minds to represent something in the physical world.


Perhaps you should look at what you have quoted. “All false in the sense that the thing we speak of only exist as part of systems that we had come to create.” Nowhere do I say “everything created is false”, in neither did I say anything about concepts being untrue.

Quote:
That only matters if you happen to be an entity that sees all particles as alike. But in that case you won't see forest from the trees. On the same logic, we humans and our minds are pure fantasy, since they're just clumps of particles in middle of other particles. But if you do that, you've strayed far beyond sense and reason.


You’re absolutely right about, that’s my interpretation of reality for modern physics. From a “gods eye view” in a modern physics world thing could probably not be distinguished unless you look for different properties of particle on a human or larger scale. As I see it, it is one of the prime functions of the mind to created distinguishable objects from raw input. Think about it, what reaches our eyes is an enormous flow of photons with different energy states. Yet we see depth (can estimate distance to “objects”) and we see “thing”. Just think about our ability to hear, shockwaves in particle causes us to hear. Do you believe that we see and hear raw input? Reality that we fell is something so concrete suddenly seems a lot more “artificial” don’t you think?
A great analogy would be a computer program, we don’t see the actually binary code we see the output.

Quote:
And Copenhagen interpretation doesn't claim that the position of macroscopic objects is uncertain. For one thing, that would be quite foolish, considering that we can all see with our senses that the position of the chair isn't changing unless another macroscopic object moves it.


How can an object that consists of particles that have uncertain places be in a certain place? Again I don’t disagree with you on that objects have a specific location as we perceive them. But I don’t think it’s the right solution to a problem to simply “explain it away”.
Quote:
Quote:
Physics is a very cleaver thing because it does not try to explain anything; it is only analyzing and documenting the course of cause and effect.
So you are using it to make arguments, because...?

Because I see it as reality nonetheless, it suddenly becomes very relevant. I thought you would understand, because of the context. See what I wrote above. Do you understand what I mean now?
My point is that making philosophical interpretation of physics is a bit risky, because we might make the same mistake that Newton made when he believed in the “clockwork universe”. Modern physics does definitely not encompass all aspects of reality. I usually call those who think it is "dogmatic materialist". I guess the lesson is; sometimes knowing can make you blind for the things you don’t know.


Quote:
If the universe is not logically consistent, then I'm not writing this statement my fingers are currently pounding on the keyboard and my brain has been magically transported to the land of Oz. Throw away logic and I respond you in Dada. You seem to fail to comprehend the implications of ceasing to treat the universe as a logically consistent structure.

Again, a point that I agree with you on (the consistency of reality that is). I do however think that that point of view is a bit naïve.
Let me be absolutely subjective for a moment.
I assume that reality is logically consistent, not because I believe it but out of purely practical reasons. Just like I would not say claim in a discussion that the entity God did not exist, I would simply say that I assume God (the entity not the concept) to be inexistent. The most obvious advantage is that you can never be wrong with such a standpoint, and leaves you with the awareness that your assumption could be wrong, never allowing yourself to be dogmatic (if used ideally). Like I mentioned before I do so out of practical reason.
Now back to the argument.
I am a bit curious that you can conceive the implications of reality not being logically consistent. Logic as we call it may very well be artificial just like the other things that we claim to be so real. That would mean that the only reason behind our perception of reality as being logical is because reality is created in such a fashion in our minds. In such a sense we would see things as following cause and effect only because it’s the rules that our minds abide by. But reality would have to follow rules even if they differ from ours right? If you redefine logic to fit the actual rules of the outside world logic would no longer be logic as we know it. You might think that I am only playing with words again but consider this. If the external world (the true reality as we don’t see it) could be inconceivable, could not other “inconceivable” thing be possible, such as a logically inconsistent world?

Quote:
It's easy to create countless of metalevels where none of that annoying "evidence" and "logic" stuff comes pestering you, but trying to prove that they have any relation to reality outside your brain is a more difficult matter. If there is something outside the universe unbound by the most basest concepts of logic in this universe, then it's quite impossible to think of anything remotely reasonable about it, within this world. The propability of it being the Christian God, or any human God, at all, are infinitely minuscule. And if there is actually something, it's impossible to find out anything about it, as we are now. An interesting concept for a mindgame, but quite pointless, otherwise.


Just because something is improbable does not mean that it cannot be. I just proved that God existance could be possible in various scenarios, and now you discard my argument as improbable?
Do you understand now why I said that the search for the entity God was irrelevant to this discussion?

Quote:
Your knowledge of evolution is obviously limited to what Darwin had to say - the theory has advanced quite a bit, since then. A thing doesn't have to be great benefit to evolve - it just can't be harmful in its current enviroment. When enviroment changes, even formerly benefical property can quickly turn harmful. Is this the case with religion? Propably not, since as you say, it still exists, but it's far less signifigant than it used to be and this process hasn't stopped. A property can lose its purpose long before it actually dissapears, in physical evolution.


Yet if I recall correctly you where the one to argue that religion was something harmful, claiming that secular ways where better. As the ideas of theism and atheism are in no way compatible, there should be a constant competition between the two ideas. If religion is no longer beneficial, and atheism is why is not the obsolete design replaced? And if it had lost its use why would it still evolve?

Quote:
Ofcourse cultural evolution isn't entirely analogous to physical evolution, though like physical evolution, it can take several different paths at once. In any case, your concepts are oversimplified and in some points, simply wrong.


I did not claim that they followed the exact same rules; to quote myself:
“As memes follow the ideas of evolution in a very similar way that it does applied on species”
If they are oversimplified and wrong why don’t you disprove them? They are simply theories I came up to prove a point and as with everything else I am open to any suggestions.

Quote:
Religion has never given a purpose to more than a small handful of people. It has given order to the masses, but few actually give any major taught to currently dominating deities, except that they propably are there and you should propably follow their code of conduct, since otherwise you're likely to face bad consequences, long before you actually have a chance to see if there is an afterlife, or not.


Are you certain? I am somewhat skeptical.

Quote:
You don't have to be best adapted to the environment. You only need to be the best available at the moment.

Is that not the same thing? Wouldn’t that make you the best adapted?
Quote:
And even then, quite a bit depends on chance - quite small factors may cause rise or downfall of a religion or other social movement long before it's actual qualifications are tested.


Chance is a part evolution as far as I know.

Quote:
I might add that your analogies make precious little sense to me.


Evolutionary causes can explain the state of the world.

Quote:
Well, as I said, what of it? I think that is no news. Though I might remind you that "good" is a very subjective value.


Right, my mistake.

Quote:
An idea doesn't have to provide anything useful to stick on. It only needs to survive long enough to be taken for granted by some. After that it can stay almost indefinately without doing anything revolutionary or useful.
Or do you think that unicorns have contributed something signifigant to this world, with their over two millenia of stay in our collective subconsious?

I was thinking about believing an idea and not merely the existence about the concept.

Quote:
Once again we get to the point of intellectually superior elite and ignorant masses. That model has been around for millenia and the scientific development during it has been painfully slow. Now the ideal is to spread knowledge to everybody who wants to listen and science and technology are booming. There is no benefit in the previous model, as far as I can see and I certainly don't see reason to return to it. Platon's State is a failure. You can't turn it succesful by changing the names of the concepts.

When did I say that evolution somehow needed my intervention? I am way past the naïve time when I thought the world could be changed to our whim. I am quite comfortable to observe the past and present, perhaps to get a glimpse of the future. Speaking of benefit, did you forget what I pointed out some post ago? It entirely depends on what kind of society you want. Whenever Plato’s Republic is a failure or not depends entirely of what you expect a success to be. Just like every utopia is an evolutionary catastrophe, might not mean it is an actual failure it entirely depends on your expectations and ambitions. It all comes down to: what is it that we really want?
Evolution in itself is not a purpose nor a goal; there must be something you hope to acquire in the process.

Quote:
And in just what are you basing this little tidbit of information? And how you fit it along the lines that Jesus, Buddha, Newton, Einstein and all religous and scientific thinkers who are remembered in this world, have been doubters? Doubt can create greater conviction than any pre-packaged piece of faith. Every great person in the history of this world is a proof of this. You say it's because of faith. But faith can only be created by doubt. Everything new in human thinking comes from doubt, from questioning. You can say with full reason that to be human is to doubt, that doubt is the greatest achievement of human species.


I never said that a broken mind was something unbeneficial (towards what?). I think you are seeing this out of context. And those people, do you really think it’s their doubt that gave them strength? Doubt is very likely their source of creativity (how would you solve problems that you are not aware of?) but that’s something entirely different from conviction.

Quote:
We all have a purpose we make for ourselves. Usually it's nothing grand and tends to be rather self-centered. Still, it works. Despite of religous conflicts and crisis, the society keeps on going. Indeed, the most secular countries seem to be at advantage. Coming from Nordic countries, I know what I'm speaking of. And looking in the Middle-East, I can see an alternative. Aren't things prosperous there, in the holy land of three religions where everybody remembers the word of God?


You seem to like to misinterpret my points; nowhere did I say that faith brought prosperity. I don’t know really how to interpret the last part. If you believe that the sole reason behind the state that the Middle East is is because of its fundamentalism, then I urge you to reconsider.
Only looking at the current state of world without taking a single consideration is careless at best.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
douyang



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animae wrote:
Quote:
So which are you doing? Defending your idea or not? It's a bit difficult to make sense of you, when your first sentence says one thing and second the complete opposite. And you've so far defended the idea that it's OK to spread a lie, if it makes the people feel good - contributes the "unity" of the society.


I thing you are putting a lot of interpretation on my words, if there is anything that seems incomplete to you why not ask me what I mean before counter arguing your interpretation of my views? I do however know that many of my previous statements are pretty ambiguous, often deliberately, but I think you should try to see the direct meanings instead of trying to interpret what you believe to be my intensions. Mind telling where I have defended deception? As I said there is a difference between lying and not telling the truth.

Quote:
Lots of tyrants of the past have used that idea as a reason for information-control and almost all eventually fell, despite or because of it. And I wouldn't call those who didn't exactly nice people, either.


That’s a classical example of an invalid argument; just because someone you regard as “bad” did something does not necessary mean that that thing is wrong.
And that was a typical implications of what I told you in the previous post. I dont think that information control is an efficient way to handle society yet as you interpret as defending, I countered that argument because it is invalid. If you have already defined truth and reality as something you find to your liking, why argue in the first place?

Quote:
Once again cool-sounding rethorics without any actual meaning. Mind should be allowed to wander, you say. So what was that previous talk about taught-control for society's benefit? Yes, you didn't use those words, but that was their content and logical conclusion.


Once again, that is your interpretation of what I said, not what I actually said.



This is pretty much what you're saying. You claim that it doesn't matter whether Christianity (I assume that's the religion you're pushing from your using it as an example of the positive things religion can do earlier) is true or not, so long as it holds society together, leads to cooperation, etc. That we ought to go and con people into believing it for "the greater good". What does this entail but information and thought control, censorship and brainwashing? Coercion, possibly even violence, in the name of your religion?

animae wrote:
Quote:
That only matters if you happen to be an entity that sees all particles as alike. But in that case you won't see forest from the trees. On the same logic, we humans and our minds are pure fantasy, since they're just clumps of particles in middle of other particles. But if you do that, you've strayed far beyond sense and reason.


You’re absolutely right about, that’s my interpretation of reality for modern physics. From a “gods eye view” in a modern physics world thing could probably not be distinguished unless you look for different properties of particle on a human or larger scale. As I see it, it is one of the prime functions of the mind to created distinguishable objects from raw input. Think about it, what reaches our eyes is an enormous flow of photons with different energy states. Yet we see depth (can estimate distance to “objects”) and we see “thing”. Just think about our ability to hear, shockwaves in particle causes us to hear. Do you believe that we see and hear raw input? Reality that we fell is something so concrete suddenly seems a lot more “artificial” don’t you think?
A great analogy would be a computer program, we don’t see the actually binary code we see the output.

Quote:
And Copenhagen interpretation doesn't claim that the position of macroscopic objects is uncertain. For one thing, that would be quite foolish, considering that we can all see with our senses that the position of the chair isn't changing unless another macroscopic object moves it.


How can an object that consists of particles that have uncertain places be in a certain place? Again I don’t disagree with you on that objects have a specific location as we perceive them. But I don’t think it’s the right solution to a problem to simply “explain it away”.
Quote:
Quote:
Physics is a very cleaver thing because it does not try to explain anything; it is only analyzing and documenting the course of cause and effect.
So you are using it to make arguments, because...?

Because I see it as reality nonetheless, it suddenly becomes very relevant. I thought you would understand, because of the context. See what I wrote above. Do you understand what I mean now?
My point is that making philosophical interpretation of physics is a bit risky, because we might make the same mistake that Newton made when he believed in the “clockwork universe”. Modern physics does definitely not encompass all aspects of reality. I usually call those who think it is "dogmatic materialist". I guess the lesson is; sometimes knowing can make you blind for the things you don’t know.


Quote:
If the universe is not logically consistent, then I'm not writing this statement my fingers are currently pounding on the keyboard and my brain has been magically transported to the land of Oz. Throw away logic and I respond you in Dada. You seem to fail to comprehend the implications of ceasing to treat the universe as a logically consistent structure.

Again, a point that I agree with you on (the consistency of reality that is). I do however think that that point of view is a bit naïve.
Let me be absolutely subjective for a moment.
I assume that reality is logically consistent, not because I believe it but out of purely practical reasons. Just like I would not say claim in a discussion that the entity God did not exist, I would simply say that I assume God (the entity not the concept) to be inexistent. The most obvious advantage is that you can never be wrong with such a standpoint, and leaves you with the awareness that your assumption could be wrong, never allowing yourself to be dogmatic (if used ideally). Like I mentioned before I do so out of practical reason.
Now back to the argument.
I am a bit curious that you can conceive the implications of reality not being logically consistent. Logic as we call it may very well be artificial just like the other things that we claim to be so real. That would mean that the only reason behind our perception of reality as being logical is because reality is created in such a fashion in our minds. In such a sense we would see things as following cause and effect only because it’s the rules that our minds abide by. But reality would have to follow rules even if they differ from ours right? If you redefine logic to fit the actual rules of the outside world logic would no longer be logic as we know it. You might think that I am only playing with words again but consider this. If the external world (the true reality as we don’t see it) could be inconceivable, could not other “inconceivable” thing be possible, such as a logically inconsistent world?

Quote:
It's easy to create countless of metalevels where none of that annoying "evidence" and "logic" stuff comes pestering you, but trying to prove that they have any relation to reality outside your brain is a more difficult matter. If there is something outside the universe unbound by the most basest concepts of logic in this universe, then it's quite impossible to think of anything remotely reasonable about it, within this world. The propability of it being the Christian God, or any human God, at all, are infinitely minuscule. And if there is actually something, it's impossible to find out anything about it, as we are now. An interesting concept for a mindgame, but quite pointless, otherwise.


Just because something is improbable does not mean that it cannot be. I just proved that God existance could be possible in various scenarios, and now you discard my argument as improbable?
Do you understand now why I said that the search for the entity God was irrelevant to this discussion?

Quote:
Your knowledge of evolution is obviously limited to what Darwin had to say - the theory has advanced quite a bit, since then. A thing doesn't have to be great benefit to evolve - it just can't be harmful in its current enviroment. When enviroment changes, even formerly benefical property can quickly turn harmful. Is this the case with religion? Propably not, since as you say, it still exists, but it's far less signifigant than it used to be and this process hasn't stopped. A property can lose its purpose long before it actually dissapears, in physical evolution.


Yet if I recall correctly you where the one to argue that religion was something harmful, claiming that secular ways where better. As the ideas of theism and atheism are in no way compatible, there should be a constant competition between the two ideas. If religion is no longer beneficial, and atheism is why is not the obsolete design replaced? And if it had lost its use why would it still evolve?


This is ludicrous. It's nothing more than the argument from ignorance, or arguing that god must exist because of things we don't know or because we can't prove the data about the physical universe obtained through our senses isn't some kind of illusion created by unseen supernatural forces or faults within human brains. To use an analogy, it's like arguing that god must exist because we are just brains in vats god is feeding some kind of program or inputs into to create the world we see, even though we have absolutely no way of testing such an outrageous proposition, anymore than we have any way of testing your suggestion that god controls the physical universe from some other realm outside of it, as this universe is the only one we can inhabit and observe. As Lightice said, this is just an excuse to throw reason and evidence out the window, and without that, you have no way of learning or knowing anything.

If you cannot test the proposition, than why waste time with it? If you can't prove god can exist, anymore than you can prove the tooth fairy or boogeyman can exist (since, afterall, checking your closet or video taping your kid's pillow that night and finding nothing would not prove the existence of such things to be 'impossible'), you have no more justification for believing in god than in those fairy tales.

And don't try to lie to me saying that whether god exists or not is irrelevant. If you really believed that you would never have devoted so much time to this discussion, and you certainly wouldn't be trying to proselytize us.

animae wrote:
Yet if I recall correctly you where the one to argue that religion was something harmful, claiming that secular ways where better. As the ideas of theism and atheism are in no way compatible, there should be a constant competition between the two ideas. If religion is no longer beneficial, and atheism is why is not the obsolete design replaced? And if it had lost its use why would it still evolve?


You're missing the point or deliberately conflating a meme's survival value and its beneficience. I'll give you the benefit of a doubt and say the former. Whether religion can survive for long periods of time as a meme complex within the meme pool has absolutely nothing to do with whether it is a meme worth keeping. Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. are all harmful memes and they have survived to this day, and enjoyed considerable prosperity in the past. Even slavery still exists to a frightening degree. To use a biological analogy, the rabies and AIDS have considerable survivability as a species. Does this mean we shouldn't wipe them out?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Animae



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This is pretty much what you're saying. You claim that it doesn't matter whether Christianity (I assume that's the religion you're pushing from your using it as an example of the positive things religion can do earlier) is true or not, so long as it holds society together, leads to cooperation, etc. That we ought to go and con people into believing it for "the greater good". What does this entail but information and thought control, censorship and brainwashing? Coercion, possibly even violence, in the name of your religion?

I believe that everybody has the right to make up their mind about their own lives, as much as I am against forcing people to believe, I think it is as wrong to persuade them that their believes are false. It is a double standard to say that people should have the right of choice but then say that religion is something they should stay away from as it is something harmful. I am definitely not an advocate of thought control (did I not make that clear in my previous post?). My view is far more radical, I believe that evolution should have its way (does it not always?) and that I should avoid to influence the system. Why? Simply because cannot accurately estimate the effects of any kind of interaction and as all motivation behind that interactions are based on human values (subjective), how can you ever claim to do what is “right”.
I would like to know your definition of a “good” society is, because you must have a very clear picture of it if you can objectively know what is right or wrong for this world.

Quote:
This is ludicrous. It's nothing more than the argument from ignorance, or arguing that god must exist because of things we don't know or because we can't prove the data about the physical universe obtained through our senses isn't some kind of illusion created by unseen supernatural forces or faults within human brains. To use an analogy, it's like arguing that god must exist because we are just brains in vats god is feeding some kind of program or inputs into to create the world we see, even though we have absolutely no way of testing such an outrageous proposition, anymore than we have any way of testing your suggestion that god controls the physical universe from some other realm outside of it, as this universe is the only one we can inhabit and observe. As Lightice said, this is just an excuse to throw reason and evidence out the window, and without that, you have no way of learning or knowing anything.

Did you even read what you quoted? Please point out where I have claimed the existence of God as an entity. I just showed that it is a possible in a logical realm, in an illogical, and even that it can’t EVER be known (unless we somehow could be omnipresent). I thought I made that clear a number of times by now, but it seems like that is not the case. I did say it was irrelevant to any kind of discussions as well and demonstrated twice why it was the case. If you had actually read through my previous post you should also know that I distinguish arguments, believes, and knowing from each other.
Quote:
If you cannot test the proposition, than why waste time with it? If you can't prove god can exist, anymore than you can prove the tooth fairy or boogeyman can exist (since, afterall, checking your closet or video taping your kid's pillow that night and finding nothing would not prove the existence of such things to be 'impossible'), you have no more justification for believing in god than in those fairy tales.

Like that was not obvious enough (perhaps you should read my second post again).
Quote:
And don't try to lie to me saying that whether god exists or not is irrelevant. If you really believed that you would never have devoted so much time to this discussion, and you certainly wouldn't be trying to proselytize us.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why I started this discussion, as it should not be that difficult to figure out.
Quote:
You're missing the point or deliberately conflating a meme's survival value and its beneficience. I'll give you the benefit of a doubt and say the former. Whether religion can survive for long periods of time as a meme complex within the meme pool has absolutely nothing to do with whether it is a meme worth keeping. Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. are all harmful memes and they have survived to this day, and enjoyed considerable prosperity in the past. Even slavery still exists to a frightening degree.

Harmful? Are you seriously suggesting that racism, sexism and homophobia would be “harmful” to our evolution? Have you even spent a second of thought on this?
Ill guess I have to give you a short lesson on evolution.
First of all those are not really memes (at least not originally) but rather a product of our self preservation. Self preservation is necessary for adaptation to be successful (for things to evolve) because without it there would be no force (it’s not literally a force but it’s a great metaphor for understanding it) changes that would ultimately be unbeneficial would happen far too often. This can be directly compared to the “copy protection” of our genes. We are naturally afraid of change as a protection from unbeneficial change (less adapted to the environment). As the “goals” of ideas (just like genes) is to be as widespread as possible, self preservation is very useful to ensure greater adaptation.
What better way is there to protect ones gene pool than having a little genocide? Those things you mention have a superb evolutionary support.
In a humanistic perspective you could of course argue that that our nature of self preservation is a harmful (you will naturally have to define what you mean by harmful and beneficial).
Quote:
To use a biological analogy, the rabies and AIDS have considerable survivability as a species. Does this mean we shouldn't wipe them out?


I’m sure they (the viruses) would like to keep living if we could ask them. We are after all a different species that AIDS and rabies which makes you analogy flawed, and therefore your argument flawed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animae wrote:

I thing you are putting a lot of interpretation on my words, if there is anything that seems incomplete to you why not ask me what I mean before counter arguing your interpretation of my views?


I am forced to interpret what you are saying. If you don't want that, make your statements less open for interpretation. And also, if you feel that I've misunderstood you, explain what you really meant. What exactly would you want the society to be? So far everything you've said has held the implication that you don't care what truth may be and you accept even deliberate misleading for stability. Those are opinions I can't accept, either from practical or ethical point of view. If that isn't what you mean, tell just what is, then.

Quote:
Mind telling where I have defended deception? As I said there is a difference between lying and not telling the truth.


Here and now you are defending deception. If you decide to tell the truth to a certain group of people and keep it away from another, you are doing a deceptive, elitistic act. Not all may be able to understand or accept all the truths, but they certainly have the benefit of doubt.

Quote:
That’s a classical example of an invalid argument; just because someone you regard as “bad” did something does not necessary mean that that thing is wrong.


It can be fairly objectively stated, that the actions of the various tyrants in question didn't increase the general happiness of their subjects. Also, more often than not, they ended up harming themselves, as truths have a habit of emerging, even when covered up.

Quote:
I dont think that information control is an efficient way to handle society yet as you interpret as defending, I countered that argument because it is invalid. If you have already defined truth and reality as something you find to your liking, why argue in the first place?


First you defend people I call tyrants, and their information control tactics and in the very next sentence you deny ever having done such a thing. Are you starting to understand why I have troubles keeping up with your opinions? And continuously you accuse me of having defined truth for my liking, when I'm questioning you for your opinions in the matter. And besides, if truth and reality were completely ambigious, this debate would be pointless. Does having solid view of reality a bad thing, when backed by logic and evidence - or lack thereof? You are defending another solid view, backed up by neither. And with that, you are pretending to be the more open-minded of the two of us. I'm perfectly willing to change my opinions, if new evidence emerges. What about you?

Quote:
Once again, that is your interpretation of what I said, not what I actually said.


What you imply in your speech is no less important than what you actually say. You should be careful with your words. I repeat: if that isn't what you mean, say what is.

Quote:
Is something less true because you don’t like its implication? That would be wishful thinking.


I was speaking of a social model, which is no solid truth. Ethically I cannot accept the implications of your suggestions - not because of their truthfulness, which is completely subjective, but because of what they would do to the society - namely, nothing good, within my set of values.

Quote:
Perhaps you should look at what you have quoted. “All false in the sense that the thing we speak of only exist as part of systems that we had come to create.” Nowhere do I say “everything created is false”, in neither did I say anything about concepts being untrue.


Indeed? Let me refresh your memory. This is a direct quote from you:
Quote:
My point is that lies are as powerful (and valuable) as truth as both are human concept of which ultimately all are false.

You said exactly and directly, that all human concepts are false, as you can see for yourself. Again, if you didn't mean it, you shouldn't have said it.

Quote:
Do you believe that we see and hear raw input? Reality that we fell is something so concrete suddenly seems a lot more “artificial” don’t you think?


You tell nothing I don't know. But its implications to our debate are negliable. We can't trust our senses absolutely, but we can trust that they describe us reality, albeit incompletely. Otherwise we stray into soplisism and that's a dead end.

Quote:
How can an object that consists of particles that have uncertain places be in a certain place?


Ask that of a theoretical physicist. They all propably give slightly different answers, though. In any case, just as their calculations show that subatomic particles have uncertain positions, they show that the same doesn't apply in macroscopic level. You can't accept only half of a mathematical explanation.

Quote:
Again I don’t disagree with you on that objects have a specific location as we perceive them.


And if we couldn't perceive objects with certain reliability, we'd end up stumbling all over the place and our senses would be no use, whatsoever. Unless you live in subatomic level, the uncertainity of particles is not an issue. It's also derailing the thread.

Quote:
But I don’t think it’s the right solution to a problem to simply “explain it away”.


And yet you are doing it yourself. Double standards, anyone? I'm not explaining a problem away - I'm merely removing an unneccesary element. You don't need particle physics in a matter of social science.

Quote:
My point is that making philosophical interpretation of physics is a bit risky, because we might make the same mistake that Newton made when he believed in the “clockwork universe”. Modern physics does definitely not encompass all aspects of reality. I usually call those who think it is "dogmatic materialist". I guess the lesson is; sometimes knowing can make you blind for the things you don’t know.


Again, I'm well aware that the modern physics doesn't possess all knowledge of the nature of reality. But no other method provides us as much information as physics. The things that physics doesn't understand are completely unknown and cannot be used to prove or disprove anything - if something is unknown it doesn't mean that exactly that thing could prove you correct.

Quote:
I am a bit curious that you can conceive the implications of reality not being logically consistent. Logic as we call it may very well be artificial just like the other things that we claim to be so real. That would mean that the only reason behind our perception of reality as being logical is because reality is created in such a fashion in our minds. In such a sense we would see things as following cause and effect only because it’s the rules that our minds abide by. But reality would have to follow rules even if they differ from ours right? If you redefine logic to fit the actual rules of the outside world logic would no longer be logic as we know it.


Logic is known as logic, because its universal. No subjectivity is allowed within its realm. 2+2=4, no matter who or what you are. Logic is not dependent on senses and unless our brains and enviroments are deliberately designed to deceive us, we can expect logic to be free of our minds, as well. Because if it's not, if there is no need for logical consistency, everything can be anything and nothing needs to make sense. Or as my philosophy teacher once put it: "If cow is an animal and cow is not an animal, the moon is made of cheese". If logical consistency breaks, any conclusion can be the right one.

Quote:
If the external world (the true reality as we don’t see it) could be inconceivable, could not other “inconceivable” thing be possible, such as a logically inconsistent world?


If that is correct and our senses exist only to mislead us, anything, whatsoever can be true and nothing we can think of can possibly express any of it. In that case no explanation is worth anything, at all. What you are doing here is exactly what you accused me of doing, explaining things away. If you choose to believe in logically inconsistent universe, no logical conclusion I make can affect you in any way and there is no need for you to offer logical explanations for your claims or actions. And in that case this debate is pointless and so is every point either of us has made, until now.

Quote:
Just because something is improbable does not mean that it cannot be. I just proved that God existance could be possible in various scenarios, and now you discard my argument as improbable?


I never said that existance of a God-like entity is a complete impossibility, though the existance of absolute omnipotence is. But it is so highly impropable that an entity just like described by a faith-founded religion exists, that for practical purposes presuming its existance is pointless, especially since no evidence available points its way. A sentient creator of any kind at all is somewhat closer to possibility, but since existance of such an entity would explain no major philosophical question, its largely irrelevant whether it exists, or not, from a philosophical standpoint, at least. I believe I've already explained this.

Quote:
Do you understand now why I said that the search for the entity God was irrelevant to this discussion?


You certainly have given no reason, whatsoever to gain such an understanding. Giving an explanation next time might help, a bit.

Quote:
Yet if I recall correctly you where the one to argue that religion was something harmful, claiming that secular ways where better.


I have not claimed that religion is inheritly harmful - just that its not inheritly benefical and can be harmful in a number of situations. In times when it attempts to step in the way of science or even ursup its place, it can only be harmful.

Quote:
As the ideas of theism and atheism are in no way compatible, there should be a constant competition between the two ideas.


No. Since you forget the differences between different individuals and groups of people, as well as the various degrees of agnosticism from between the two worldviews.

Quote:
If religion is no longer beneficial, and atheism is why is not the obsolete design replaced? And if it had lost its use why would it still evolve?


If the creatures moved on land, why there are still fish in the sea? Because the ecological niché hasn't gone anywhere. There are still billions of people whose minds are ready to accept religious explanations and as long as there is one, the religion isn't going to go anywhere.
And I don't argue to defend atheism, but science. Atheism requires faith, as well and thus is a religion, in itself. In your mind atheism and religion oppose each other, but in fact they are two parts of one and same thing.

Quote:
If they are oversimplified and wrong why don’t you disprove them?


That's what I've been doing here, isn't it? Read for yourself.

Quote:

Are you certain? I am somewhat skeptical.


Ofcourse I'm only limited to observations, but the evidence points that way. Ask yourself, how can different religions co-exist peacefully? No matter how you look at it, their teachings are inconsistent - if one is right, then the others are wrong. Yet despite of this, conflicts for religous reasons alone are incredibly rare. Even the most well-known example, the Chrusades had very political reasons and almost all the time, the religion was only the reason in name.
How can you be the servant of a one true God if you don't try to convert everybody in danger of going to Hell? And if you are certain that all unbelievers are in danger of going to Hell, why aren't you more concerned over yourself, if you're actually a true believer or not? Very few people have this kind of taughts, as far as I've been able to confirm. Their faith is empowered simply by habit and peer-pressure.

Quote:
Is that not the same thing? Wouldn’t that make you the best adapted?


No. The best adapted in one time-period may be the worst in another. Just because the religion was the best bet in the early times of civilization doesn't mean that's the case, any more. It's not completely unbenefical and it still can have social merit in many societies, so it's not going to dissapear any time soon, but it's no longer the best choice available.

Quote:
Chance is a part evolution as far as I know.


Indeed it is, but chance for benefit can quickly turn into chance for disadvantage.

Quote:
I was thinking about believing an idea and not merely the existence about the concept.


Please elaborate. I have trouble understanding this sentence.

Quote:
When did I say that evolution somehow needed my intervention? I am way past the naïve time when I thought the world could be changed to our whim. I am quite comfortable to observe the past and present, perhaps to get a glimpse of the future.


As you were naive to believe that the world is easily changed, you are now naive to believe that you can avoid affecting the world. Objective observation isn't possible. You will affect the world by your existance, whatever you would want.
And I wasn't saying that it's your intention to physically change the world into your liking, but to present a conclusion what would happen, if your ideas did become dominating.

Quote:
Speaking of benefit, did you forget what I pointed out some post ago? It entirely depends on what kind of society you want.


No. Some societies are more stable, more capable of functioning in reality. A society based on false beliefs collapses as soon as the inconsistency between the belief and reality becomes widely known.

Quote:
Whenever Plato’s Republic is a failure or not depends entirely of what you expect a success to be.


State, not Republic. Plato was one of the greatest opponents of republic, in his time. And his model is dysfunctional. He tried it in practice twice and both times it utterly failed. The idea simply fails to function in reality because it begins from false premises and sets impossible demands for the people in it.

Quote:
I never said that a broken mind was something unbeneficial (towards what?). I think you are seeing this out of context.


"Broken" generally means bad. If it isn't a bad thing, then why are you speaking against it? You are starting to talk against yourself, as the debate progresses.

Quote:
And those people, do you really think it’s their doubt that gave them strength? Doubt is very likely their source of creativity (how would you solve problems that you are not aware of?) but that’s something entirely different from conviction.


If they didn't have doubt, they wouldn't had conviction to learn or find something. Thus, it's not untrue to say that their doubt was their strength.

Quote:
You seem to like to misinterpret my points; nowhere did I say that faith brought prosperity. I don’t know really how to interpret the last part. If you believe that the sole reason behind the state that the Middle East is is because of its fundamentalism, then I urge you to reconsider.


If you don't think that faith brings prosperity, then why are you defending it, in the first place? Your reasoning becomes harder and harder to understand.
And the religous fundamentalism plays an important part in the situation of the Middle-East. It prevents the area's leaders from thinking clearly, urges violence against people with different beliefs and effectively stands in the way of numerous advances in their society. For example, they lose a huge amount of intellectual resources by keeping women as second-class citizens.

This is enough for now. I'll get to your second post later.
_________________
Hei! Aa-Shanta 'Nygh!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    in the shell Forum Index -> The Philosophy All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group