Page 7 of 9 [ 133 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

LeMesurier
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 26

14 Nov 2009, 5:11 am

ruveyn wrote:
MussoliniBismarck wrote:
I love it when it when religious people have arguments with each other over an aspect of something. They never seem to realize that they, along with everyone else just wasted a large portion of their life on something that boils down to 'My god has a bigger *&%# then your god'.


Unless their deity happens to be female.

ruveyn


Then their god has two bigger &*%#



leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

14 Nov 2009, 11:12 am

LeMesurier wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
MussoliniBismarck wrote:
I love it when it when religious people have arguments with each other over an aspect of something. They never seem to realize that they, along with everyone else just wasted a large portion of their life on something that boils down to 'My god has a bigger *&%# then your god'.


Unless their deity happens to be female.

ruveyn


Then their god has two bigger &*%#


Actually, however, I believe a big part of this is more the matter of each of us not wanting to be wrong. The folks who say there is *no* Sovereign Creator would not really have a need for saying anything if they were truly convinced they were right, and the folks who say there *is* a Sovereign Creator would have no need to say anything if they did not care about being called fools. I fall into the second category, but not just because I care about what somebody might think about me for being there. Rather, I have enjoyed hearing about Elijah and Moses having helped to expose the truth of the matter even if at the expense of impotent bullies.


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,515
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

15 Nov 2009, 12:00 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
The take I have is less that he can't do miracles but more that he's clearly not a fan of them (if he exists). The genetic frailties are what cause the human condition though, yes, not just that but the state of pretty much anything living in this world that isn't vegetation.

Most of our moral failings likely have very little to do with predators, as a lot of them are matters of internal stability in human societies and exploitation within these societies.


I have to disagree. Societal problems are the broadening of individual issues. Predators have little to do with our desires to be the most alpha, the top of the heap, nor many of the other urges actually derivative in nature of either being the leader - showing to have the best genes, many of these also seem derivative of the urge to show potency for showing mates that your the most genetically suitable. I think the only thing I haven't figured out is the urge that many people have to sit on their arses and have nothing - though my sense is that its a perversion of false ego/self-esteem through senses of entitlement.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
I'm not saying my way is better, you could intersect the same final point I do, I think that just being different people means that we'll have different resources and methods to bring to the table. I think the only time it becomes a challenge in the here and now is if really good posts bounce off of you, or me for that matter.

Yeah... everyone has different thinking styles, and it is hard to get them all to mesh together. Some people are very analytical, others are very mystical, a third party is very pragmatic, a fourth may be empirical, another is very skeptical, etc.


I tend to choose analytical/pragmatic heavily, its actually been a broader life adaption to having a very mystical emotional core which can be detrimental unless its tempered and counter-weighted correctly.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
We may well be on a journey to do that ourselves. Regardless of what we think of the 20th century our world has been becoming drastically more humane - outside of the larger mass atrocities. That much seems like its constantly propelling itself forward. I would think that, unless the United States, Britain, and Australia were utterly swallowed by political absurdity that other currently third world countries will be there soon enough and eventually would be able to hold the torch on their own. A thousand years from now I'd imagine we'll still have evil but, as long as progress remains uninterrupted, it would be a much diminished force.

Well, I am not surprised if the amount of wrongdoing in the world will decrease. I doubt it is just a matter of virtue or any some such though.


I tend to find myself looking at it like this as well - if we truly are soulless collections of atoms, we have far more of a problem in this world explaining gratuitous goodness. Unless its mistreatment of alphas, lining the weak up for gas chambers of furnaces technically shouldn't matter. We're of course reviled by that, it could be for other evolutionary reasons, though I think our very sense that its extremely unfair to punish or destroy people for what they can't help is strange when seen in that light.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I don't think I tend to use "straight-jacket literal interpretations" of holy books, but rather try to handle them relatively well. Even in the earlier argument, I was just endorsing a position held to by one of the major existing Christian theological groups.


I think its because you see enough evidence on both sides as well as the limitations of human cognition or evidence not to desire to devoting yourself fully to one side or another. Strong theists and strong atheists can say whatever they want about that platform, I think its far more intellectually honest because of what we've discussed so far. To dedicate and throw yourself at something just to wear the whole hat, IMO, is stupid. If someone feels it in their heart that strongly that's one thing but they really should keep their mouths shut about those who want to think their way through it.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Honestly, I don't care so much. I find good reason to be cynical to the existence of such a being, as I don't see the world as particularly designed, I see an abundance of evil, I don't think such a being answers any questions and generally brings up more problems, and I generally don't see much reason to search for a being who doesn't seem to care. Not only that, but I am distrusting of religious intuition that people are drawn to anyway.


I think the real reason we ponder these things has a lot more to do with the here and now. It is unknowable based on the evidence, at least unless one is willing to go for either full theism or full atheism which either way is a leap of faith. Overall though, when we choose these schemas, its far more about us - choosing what to do in life, choosing what to be empowered by, choosing how to reflect upon ourselves. It seems to take either the bolstering of the right kind of spirituality or an adamant disapproval of all forms thereof on occasion for people to really see themselves the way they want to and to go forward in what they feel is the most positive direction in terms of building themselves, growing, gaining maturity, etc.. People want to like themselves, live happily (happiness isn't a mood of course - its a self-designed state that most people have to work hard to achieve), and to really feel comfortable in your own skin it takes feeling like you've satisfied your need for answers on the absolute nature of reality to the best of your ability - or at least if your not wired that way then answering these questions to your own level of satisfaction.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

15 Nov 2009, 2:05 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I have to disagree. Societal problems are the broadening of individual issues. Predators have little to do with our desires to be the most alpha, the top of the heap, nor many of the other urges actually derivative in nature of either being the leader - showing to have the best genes, many of these also seem derivative of the urge to show potency for showing mates that your the most genetically suitable. I think the only thing I haven't figured out is the urge that many people have to sit on their arses and have nothing - though my sense is that its a perversion of false ego/self-esteem through senses of entitlement.

There, I have to disagree. Man on an island does not screw himself over or other men over very much, although he may go crazy. Societal issues are issues that only exist with other people, and they include lying, cheating(both on a mate and in a game), stealing, raping, murdering, betraying, etc. None of which have to do with predators. As for the desire to be alpha, what alpha means and what is acceptable to get there depends upon a lot of social situations that were considered acceptable. Frankly, I don't see much of an issue to say that a lot of possible social arrangements are evolutionarily impossible, only that they were the path unchosen.

Quote:
I tend to choose analytical/pragmatic heavily, its actually been a broader life adaption to having a very mystical emotional core which can be detrimental unless its tempered and counter-weighted correctly.

I tend to be analytic and skeptical, perhaps even with some dash of pragmatism. I don't have a mystical side so much.

Quote:
I tend to find myself looking at it like this as well - if we truly are soulless collections of atoms, we have far more of a problem in this world explaining gratuitous goodness. Unless its mistreatment of alphas, lining the weak up for gas chambers of furnaces technically shouldn't matter. We're of course reviled by that, it could be for other evolutionary reasons, though I think our very sense that its extremely unfair to punish or destroy people for what they can't help is strange when seen in that light.

I don't see that at all to be honest. Frankly, given how much of our kindness is a cultural adaptation partially to the idea of a broader in-group, it does not seem odd to me that we would be against great evils. In any case, the kindness we really do see is often a matter of appearance, as it rarely actualizes into many great deeds.

Quote:
I think its because you see enough evidence on both sides as well as the limitations of human cognition or evidence not to desire to devoting yourself fully to one side or another. Strong theists and strong atheists can say whatever they want about that platform, I think its far more intellectually honest because of what we've discussed so far. To dedicate and throw yourself at something just to wear the whole hat, IMO, is stupid. If someone feels it in their heart that strongly that's one thing but they really should keep their mouths shut about those who want to think their way through it.

I am a strong atheist. I will probably not consider God at any point in the future. Do I see evidence on the theist side? Well, no, I don't think of it this way, I just see weak atheist arguments. Do I see discussing God as sort of silly? Sure. I am far past done with the idea at this point. Would I defend a theist's arguments if their back was to the corner and the atheists had terrible arguments? Sure. I hate the expressions of foolish power.

Quote:
I think the real reason we ponder these things has a lot more to do with the here and now. It is unknowable based on the evidence, at least unless one is willing to go for either full theism or full atheism which either way is a leap of faith. Overall though, when we choose these schemas, its far more about us - choosing what to do in life, choosing what to be empowered by, choosing how to reflect upon ourselves. It seems to take either the bolstering of the right kind of spirituality or an adamant disapproval of all forms thereof on occasion for people to really see themselves the way they want to and to go forward in what they feel is the most positive direction in terms of building themselves, growing, gaining maturity, etc.. People want to like themselves, live happily (happiness isn't a mood of course - its a self-designed state that most people have to work hard to achieve), and to really feel comfortable in your own skin it takes feeling like you've satisfied your need for answers on the absolute nature of reality to the best of your ability - or at least if your not wired that way then answering these questions to your own level of satisfaction.

Deciding that my brain isn't in a vat could also be a leap of faith. I do not see a God. I do not see evidence for a God. I see presumable evidence against a God. Therefore, there is no reason to believe in God. So, no. I am not an agnostic, and I deny that this is a leap of faith. I think trying to make this a question we must all be undecided about is a bit of a leap. Do I have to feel undecided about whether a unicorn could be in one of the forests of the world? I think not. Then why should I be so agnostic to God hiding in some metaphysical nook or cranny. Could this just be a personal assertion rather than a matter of reason? Well, reductionism seems to be a fine reason, but I cannot deny the possibility of my intellectual dishonesty.

As for ultimate reality... man cannot actually truly understand his own reality. What do I think? I think man is just a character in his own narrative, and that neither man nor the narrative would make sense to an external observer. What this means is that I think that to live as a man requires rejecting the perspective of ultimate reality in living actions, but I also think that honest living actions require accepting the perspective of ultimate reality. And so, I believe that man himself is caught in paradox, by his nature and that there is no escape, only the effort to push forward.



techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,515
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

15 Nov 2009, 3:50 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
There, I have to disagree. Man on an island does not screw himself over or other men over very much, although he may go crazy. Societal issues are issues that only exist with other people, and they include lying, cheating(both on a mate and in a game), stealing, raping, murdering, betraying, etc. None of which have to do with predators. As for the desire to be alpha, what alpha means and what is acceptable to get there depends upon a lot of social situations that were considered acceptable. Frankly, I don't see much of an issue to say that a lot of possible social arrangements are evolutionarily impossible, only that they were the path unchosen.


It really needs no outside predation per say. The dynamic developed that certain animals had to be robust to survive, certain instinctive premises arose that caused a pecking order inside races. Because we're at the top of the food chain doesn't mean it just disappears. Genes still degenerate, pair the wrong way, give less perpetually less healthy offspring if the wrong people mate - thus for the public weel society still needs it. In a sense also we become predators of ourselves but that left to the side as its own dynamic - where else would pettiness come from? To say that pettiness, superficiality, the concept that a person is worth nothing more than their accomplishments or how much money they have - extremely Darwinian.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I don't see that at all to be honest. Frankly, given how much of our kindness is a cultural adaptation partially to the idea of a broader in-group,it does not seem odd to me that we would be against great evils. In any case, the kindness we really do see is often a matter of appearance, as it rarely actualizes into many great deeds.


It seems like there's a detachment between human will/desire vs. what we physically can do and what our vulnerabilities are in terms of being able to exert our will. Strangely though, you have people who are instinctively wired for it just like you have instinctive bullies - some if given absolute power would choose to be benevolent and I'm not sure how much of that I'd really attribute to socialization, especially where socialization runs to the contrary.

My argument about furnaces or Spartan cliffs though is this - with both God and evolution existing, what we have as a result in terms of our desires and will is at a balance to where the amount of good is appropriate, the evil can be pondered as somewhat excessive and we end up asking ourselves why he's bring it to us. On the other hand, with evolution and no God there is no good reason why we owe each other anything more than the bare minimum to make society work - killing/castrating the infirmed and implementing eugenics on a broad scale would just be good logistical policy, the emotive recoil of that being evil or unfair - with no God present - is technically the absurdity.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Do I have to feel undecided about whether a unicorn could be in one of the forests of the world? I think not. Then why should I be so agnostic to God hiding in some metaphysical nook or cranny. Could this just be a personal assertion rather than a matter of reason? Well, reductionism seems to be a fine reason, but I cannot deny the possibility of my intellectual dishonesty.


I've heard examples with unicorns and/or big foot before, the ironic thing of course is that these are all confined to and of terrestrial territory. They exist on something we can consider a very tangible and well known plane. Thus to say that someone who claims, say, to have a dragon in their garage (to use another example someone brought up) - we know the earth pretty well, perhaps not completely when considering deeper parts of the crust or some stretches of oceanic trench, but well enough to rule out an internal hoax. However unicorns, big foot, nor dragons are concepts confined to our world and our rules which is why they're easily passed off as ridiculous. As for the concept of God, people can perhaps feel comfortable shooting down concepts that were built here, most dogmas are game for that. On a larger level though - the idea of multiverses constantly churning and creating new universes in a perpetual cycle that never began and will never end; I guess I really lack whatever neural wiring it is that aids people in seeing that as far more 'real' and less fantastic than the concept of there being an exterior sentience behind its existence.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
As for ultimate reality... man cannot actually truly understand his own reality. What do I think? I think man is just a character in his own narrative, and that neither man nor the narrative would make sense to an external observer. What this means is that I think that to live as a man requires rejecting the perspective of ultimate reality in living actions, but I also think that honest living actions require accepting the perspective of ultimate reality. And so, I believe that man himself is caught in paradox, by his nature and that there is no escape, only the effort to push forward.


Its a battle to push forward and exist that either has ultimate meaning or is devoid of any value that our very existence would be the principle evil, all other evils we'd contemplate of course would be secondary or tertiary in comparison. My biggest internal challenge with atheism - if its true that there's no God and no hereafter or broader existence to the human spirit, it would be far better if we were able to make our planet look more like Mars or Mercury - completely sanitize earth of all life, including our own, and erase all signs that we were ever here. No survivors.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

15 Nov 2009, 12:43 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
It really needs no outside predation per say. The dynamic developed that certain animals had to be robust to survive, certain instinctive premises arose that caused a pecking order inside races. Because we're at the top of the food chain doesn't mean it just disappears. Genes still degenerate, pair the wrong way, give less perpetually less healthy offspring if the wrong people mate - thus for the public weel society still needs it. In a sense also we become predators of ourselves but that left to the side as its own dynamic - where else would pettiness come from? To say that pettiness, superficiality, the concept that a person is worth nothing more than their accomplishments or how much money they have - extremely Darwinian.

Well, um... yes, I am not denying that our psychology is derived from evolution, the issue is that even though one may argue that some aspects of our society are negative due to how evolution works, one cannot necessarily say that evolution could have only picked one path and one set of flaws. There could be all sorts of possibilities.

Quote:
My argument about furnaces or Spartan cliffs though is this - with both God and evolution existing, what we have as a result in terms of our desires and will is at a balance to where the amount of good is appropriate, the evil can be pondered as somewhat excessive and we end up asking ourselves why he's bring it to us. On the other hand, with evolution and no God there is no good reason why we owe each other anything more than the bare minimum to make society work - killing/castrating the infirmed and implementing eugenics on a broad scale would just be good logistical policy, the emotive recoil of that being evil or unfair - with no God present - is technically the absurdity.

Umm... I don't see the problem. Eugenics reduces population and is costly to implement within a society(requires a significant cultural power or central control) and humans are social beings where these behaviors can cause in-group dissent. In any case, given that many animals also have altruistic instincts of some form, it is hard to say that evolution is just confused. It is likely that we developed a broad set of instincts, and the selection pressures were willing to accept certain heuristics that went too far.

Quote:
I've heard examples with unicorns and/or big foot before, the ironic thing of course is that these are all confined to and of terrestrial territory. They exist on something we can consider a very tangible and well known plane. Thus to say that someone who claims, say, to have a dragon in their garage (to use another example someone brought up) - we know the earth pretty well, perhaps not completely when considering deeper parts of the crust or some stretches of oceanic trench, but well enough to rule out an internal hoax. However unicorns, big foot, nor dragons are concepts confined to our world and our rules which is why they're easily passed off as ridiculous. As for the concept of God, people can perhaps feel comfortable shooting down concepts that were built here, most dogmas are game for that. On a larger level though - the idea of multiverses constantly churning and creating new universes in a perpetual cycle that never began and will never end; I guess I really lack whatever neural wiring it is that aids people in seeing that as far more 'real' and less fantastic than the concept of there being an exterior sentience behind its existence.

We know the earth well enough to rule out all possibility of unicorns? That seems odd, as don't we still find new species in some parts of the world? Also, unicorns and bigfoot don't violate any laws, only dragons do by their weight and wings and the breathing fire issue.

I don't believe that sentience is the primitive attribute that you think it is. Have you read the original post of my thread "people do not exist"? I was not entirely joking when I wrote that. The issue is that most notions of God rely upon the notion of personhood that I attacked in that thread, meaning that you are saying that the notion of God relies upon a view of personhood that we have never seen, and yet you want us to take the idea seriously? I mean, how would you even figure to construct a "God" sentience? The notion of all sorts of universes at least doesn't require anything so teleologically complex, and certainly not a qualitative difference that is otherwise unobserved.

Quote:
Its a battle to push forward and exist that either has ultimate meaning or is devoid of any value that our very existence would be the principle evil, all other evils we'd contemplate of course would be secondary or tertiary in comparison. My biggest internal challenge with atheism - if its true that there's no God and no hereafter or broader existence to the human spirit, it would be far better if we were able to make our planet look more like Mars or Mercury - completely sanitize earth of all life, including our own, and erase all signs that we were ever here. No survivors.

A battle? No, it is what is done. There isn't any battle to this.

Secondly, I've actually thought that on some level. I don't see this as a challenge though. I would imagine that part of the issue depends on how you view the value of the person, however, I do have sympathies to human extinctionism, simply because I am unsure about the choice to ever create life.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

15 Nov 2009, 1:53 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Actually, however, I believe a big part of this is more the matter of each of us not wanting to be wrong. The folks who say there is *no* Sovereign Creator would not really have a need for saying anything if they were truly convinced they were right, and the folks who say there *is* a Sovereign Creator would have no need to say anything if they did not care about being called fools. I fall into the second category, but not just because I care about what somebody might think about me for being there. Rather, I have enjoyed hearing about Elijah and Moses having helped to expose the truth of the matter even if at the expense of impotent bullies.

Actually, I think your own model is too much of a simplification. People argue because they like to argue and want to push other people to agree with them. I don't think one must be worried about being shown wrong to argue something though, and I think that such a model completely misunderstands arguing.



techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,515
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

15 Nov 2009, 4:29 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
It really needs no outside predation per say. The dynamic developed that certain animals had to be robust to survive, certain instinctive premises arose that caused a pecking order inside races. Because we're at the top of the food chain doesn't mean it just disappears. Genes still degenerate, pair the wrong way, give less perpetually less healthy offspring if the wrong people mate - thus for the public weel society still needs it. In a sense also we become predators of ourselves but that left to the side as its own dynamic - where else would pettiness come from? To say that pettiness, superficiality, the concept that a person is worth nothing more than their accomplishments or how much money they have - extremely Darwinian.

Well, um... yes, I am not denying that our psychology is derived from evolution, the issue is that even though one may argue that some aspects of our society are negative due to how evolution works, one cannot necessarily say that evolution could have only picked one path and one set of flaws. There could be all sorts of possibilities.


Evolution though, being a mindless process, hugs the turns of the environment much like physics though. There could be an achtung mutation that takes things a couple steps over and above - I don't know how well a mutation like that would be bred in though as, unless it aids the immediate next step it may be easily seen as inferior and weeded out. Overall though, I'm not arguing that it couldn't be different, just that given the same world with the same genetic problems its unlikely to be *too* much different.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Umm... I don't see the problem. Eugenics reduces population and is costly to implement within a society(requires a significant cultural power or central control) and humans are social beings where these behaviors can cause in-group dissent. In any case, given that many animals also have altruistic instincts of some form, it is hard to say that evolution is just confused. It is likely that we developed a broad set of instincts, and the selection pressures were willing to accept certain heuristics that went too far.


Perhaps that is a good point, although I think the pendulum in our current culture is already starting to swing back the other way some. Should be interesting to see what happens in the next forty of fifty years with societal engineering and how many eugenic choices may be implemented.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
We know the earth well enough to rule out all possibility of unicorns? That seems odd, as don't we still find new species in some parts of the world? Also, unicorns and bigfoot don't violate any laws, only dragons do by their weight and wings and the breathing fire issue.


In the case of unicorns or yeti, neither is exactly a variety of flowering bush. They're large, bi-pedal or equestrian, to exist for any given length of time they'd need to have a large enough pool to breed within, and while its true that man isn't everywhere all the time or hasn't combed perhaps every square inch of the earth we still have yet to see a creature with a population of one or two - unless they're very much on their way out. As for the concept that unicorns or yeti may have existed and went extinct several thousand years ago where our memory of them is residual, we haven't found any of either frozen in arctic snow or found bones like in the case of woolly mammoths but I could see that more readily than I could the concept that either are with us here and now.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I don't believe that sentience is the primitive attribute that you think it is. Have you read the original post of my thread "people do not exist"? I was not entirely joking when I wrote that. The issue is that most notions of God rely upon the notion of personhood that I attacked in that thread, meaning that you are saying that the notion of God relies upon a view of personhood that we have never seen, and yet you want us to take the idea seriously? I mean, how would you even figure to construct a "God" sentience? The notion of all sorts of universes at least doesn't require anything so teleologically complex, and certainly not a qualitative difference that is otherwise unobserved.


I'm a bit confused on the first part here but, if you want to argue that personhood doesn't exist then I'm simply using sentience to refer to whatever false-artifact that you would consider consciousness or identity. If individuals don't exist, if identity falls apart on examination - that's fine, just that I do find enough evidence that if I decide to walk over and pick up a pencil - it happens, whether I'm a person or just an automaton that thinks its self aware. Lets just say that, in keeping with the spirit of the idea, God is whatever we are or something similar in terms of 'self'; artifact or not.

On the teleology though, if we want to look at the multiverse idea, then space-time is so broad and vast that we have to assume anything is possible. At that rate, what stops God from being the greatest Boltzmann brain created to date by the ebb and flow of random chance? I might find it distasteful to suggest that God is a Boltzmann brain but I think you get the idea - teleology gets to be a circular problem at that level. Our own existence is teleological absurd, its not like we're needed as a ballast to keep the Milky Way from wobbling or to join two thermodynamic laws coherently; we're incredibly complex, think we're cogniscient, and I think its safe to say that we've accepted our existence due to the fact that our sensing 'something' in common is self-evident, whether we are really living on earth together or brains floating in space with a common hallucination as such.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
Its a battle to push forward and exist that either has ultimate meaning or is devoid of any value that our very existence would be the principle evil, all other evils we'd contemplate of course would be secondary or tertiary in comparison. My biggest internal challenge with atheism - if its true that there's no God and no hereafter or broader existence to the human spirit, it would be far better if we were able to make our planet look more like Mars or Mercury - completely sanitize earth of all life, including our own, and erase all signs that we were ever here. No survivors.

A battle? No, it is what is done. There isn't any battle to this.


It is what's done then and its a battle. I can take the premise that we do what we do because we do it, I don't see any point in denying that its not even remotely easy unless by some fluke of dumb luck you end up with perfect parents, end up the popular kid through highschool and college, ace college because you get A's without trying, and have a storybook life in front of you. Even in that picture things aren't without effort or conflict. For the rest of us, conflict and sunk effort seems to outweigh the value of existence itself.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Secondly, I've actually thought that on some level. I don't see this as a challenge though. I would imagine that part of the issue depends on how you view the value of the person, however, I do have sympathies to human extinctionism, simply because I am unsure about the choice to ever create life.


You could perhaps call this illogical/unobjective but my own sense is that dilemma indicates a hole in the premise. People have put in unfathomable amounts of blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice to even bring culture forward to where it is today - it could all be a complicated show for nothing but, something intuitively seems horrifically awry about that image.



leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

15 Nov 2009, 5:27 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Actually, I think your own model is too much of a simplification. People argue because they like to argue and want to push other people to agree with them.


Ah yes, the ego is factor #2!


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================


Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

15 Nov 2009, 5:48 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Evolution though, being a mindless process, hugs the turns of the environment much like physics though. There could be an achtung mutation that takes things a couple steps over and above - I don't know how well a mutation like that would be bred in though as, unless it aids the immediate next step it may be easily seen as inferior and weeded out. Overall though, I'm not arguing that it couldn't be different, just that given the same world with the same genetic problems its unlikely to be *too* much different.

Evolution is also a random process. Physics doesn't have the same level of randomness at all. So, with evolution, the paths can be diverted by mere acts of luck, like think about all of the descendants out there of Genghis Khan, however f=ma. Even if we accept minor evolutionary changes in path, over time, we can find major differences, and not all changes are going to be minor, what if two species competes and one wins? Is this always a matter of pure ability? No, luck is involved, so if a mutation to deal with a new disease pops up sooner in one species over another, it could very well win just because of that.

Quote:
In the case of unicorns or yeti, neither is exactly a variety of flowering bush. They're large, bi-pedal or equestrian, to exist for any given length of time they'd need to have a large enough pool to breed within, and while its true that man isn't everywhere all the time or hasn't combed perhaps every square inch of the earth we still have yet to see a creature with a population of one or two - unless they're very much on their way out. As for the concept that unicorns or yeti may have existed and went extinct several thousand years ago where our memory of them is residual, we haven't found any of either frozen in arctic snow or found bones like in the case of woolly mammoths but I could see that more readily than I could the concept that either are with us here and now.

Well, fine, it could be the latter anyway. I tend to reject the existence of past unicorns as well and see no real reason to be agnostic towards that either.

Quote:
I'm a bit confused on the first part here but, if you want to argue that personhood doesn't exist then I'm simply using sentience to refer to whatever false-artifact that you would consider consciousness or identity. If individuals don't exist, if identity falls apart on examination - that's fine, just that I do find enough evidence that if I decide to walk over and pick up a pencil - it happens, whether I'm a person or just an automaton that thinks its self aware. Lets just say that, in keeping with the spirit of the idea, God is whatever we are or something similar in terms of 'self'; artifact or not.

Well... the issue is that if our selves are artifacts of our development, then expecting an external being to exist that has similarities to our selves seems sort of silly. The idea that the universe will carry an anthropocentric entity other than our species, when the universe isn't anthropocentric is hard to believe.

Quote:
On the teleology though, if we want to look at the multiverse idea, then space-time is so broad and vast that we have to assume anything is possible. At that rate, what stops God from being the greatest Boltzmann brain created to date by the ebb and flow of random chance? I might find it distasteful to suggest that God is a Boltzmann brain but I think you get the idea - teleology gets to be a circular problem at that level. Our own existence is teleological absurd, its not like we're needed as a ballast to keep the Milky Way from wobbling or to join two thermodynamic laws coherently; we're incredibly complex, think we're cogniscient, and I think its safe to say that we've accepted our existence due to the fact that our sensing 'something' in common is self-evident, whether we are really living on earth together or brains floating in space with a common hallucination as such.

HA HA HA!

I tend to doubt that our brains are good enough to create a good illusion like this, and positing a mind that is self-contained like that also seems like a hypothesis not worth considering. Why not a giant foot? I mean, one has to claim that a cognitive process bigger than all of our super-computers, and persons combined is a possibility, and that it can do this with a quality higher than even is similar to our own minds, without the dirty hacks that seem apparent in our minds so much. It is logically possible, but the razor removes it far away from our set of good possibilities.

Quote:
It is what's done then and its a battle. I can take the premise that we do what we do because we do it, I don't see any point in denying that its not even remotely easy unless by some fluke of dumb luck you end up with perfect parents, end up the popular kid through highschool and college, ace college because you get A's without trying, and have a storybook life in front of you. Even in that picture things aren't without effort or conflict. For the rest of us, conflict and sunk effort seems to outweigh the value of existence itself.

Oh, I can understand that on some level. I don't see the reason for a battle though. Battles suppose two different sides. There aren't two different sides. What we have is that people do what they seek to do. In any case, I think the desire not to commit suicide is likely too strong anyway, as even without divine purpose, a lot of people are going to still make up excuses.(like shame to family, disappointment to friends, pain of death, possibility of a great future payout, etc)

Quote:
You could perhaps call this illogical/unobjective but my own sense is that dilemma indicates a hole in the premise. People have put in unfathomable amounts of blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice to even bring culture forward to where it is today - it could all be a complicated show for nothing but, something intuitively seems horrifically awry about that image.

What don't people put unfathomable amounts of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice into? People put unfathomable amounts of blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice into Star Trek. People do a lot of weird things.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

15 Nov 2009, 5:53 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Actually, I think your own model is too much of a simplification. People argue because they like to argue and want to push other people to agree with them.


Ah yes, the ego is factor #2!

I suppose you could call it that. I enjoy arguments somewhat, they allow me to hash out ideas more.



techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,515
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

15 Nov 2009, 6:28 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Evolution is also a random process. Physics doesn't have the same level of randomness at all. So, with evolution, the paths can be diverted by mere acts of luck, like think about all of the descendants out there of Genghis Khan, however f=ma. Even if we accept minor evolutionary changes in path, over time, we can find major differences, and not all changes are going to be minor, what if two species competes and one wins? Is this always a matter of pure ability? No, luck is involved, so if a mutation to deal with a new disease pops up sooner in one species over another, it could very well win just because of that.


My argument is that evolution still follows the path of least resistance, if someone had a superior set of genes to live 3,000 years from not but were surrounded by cavemen and had to hunt Bison while doing little else than fight in territorial wars or overshadow the next guy to have kids - it would work well if he were with enough people for his 5,000 AD mind to have something to kick off of, in a hunter gather situation unless he could turn that into some advantage right then and there (ie. founded his own hunting martial art and gained both superior skills as a warrior and a hunter) its materially useless at that time, and especially if it came at the cost of coordination (built like an intellectual) - he'd be lucky if his clan didn't resolve his existence long before age had to take its course.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
I'm a bit confused on the first part here but, if you want to argue that personhood doesn't exist then I'm simply using sentience to refer to whatever false-artifact that you would consider consciousness or identity. If individuals don't exist, if identity falls apart on examination - that's fine, just that I do find enough evidence that if I decide to walk over and pick up a pencil - it happens, whether I'm a person or just an automaton that thinks its self aware. Lets just say that, in keeping with the spirit of the idea, God is whatever we are or something similar in terms of 'self'; artifact or not.

Well... the issue is that if our selves are artifacts of our development, then expecting an external being to exist that has similarities to our selves seems sort of silly. The idea that the universe will carry an anthropocentric entity other than our species, when the universe isn't anthropocentric is hard to believe.


I'd argue no more similarity than self-awareness.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I tend to doubt that our brains are good enough to create a good illusion like this, and positing a mind that is self-contained like that also seems like a hypothesis not worth considering. Why not a giant foot?


Under that hypothesis there's just as many of those out there as well. I doubt we'll hear much from them though as I'm sure they're happily doing what giant disembodied feet do best.


Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I mean, one has to claim that a cognitive process bigger than all of our super-computers, and persons combined is a possibility, and that it can do this with a quality higher than even is similar to our own minds, without the dirty hacks that seem apparent in our minds so much.


There's also a pretty good chance that its a mind not made of gray matter at all. Could easily be something like Que from Star Trek on super steroids, I just have to cross my fingers that he's not quite that flippant or cavalier about or existence.


Awesomelyglorious wrote:
It is logically possible, but the razor removes it far away from our set of good possibilities.


The problem with thinking of it like that though, the multiverse theory was proposed to deal with origin of life. The going estimate for what the universe can provide for chemical reactions - never mind the ingredients, in the time since its inception, is 10^139. Random self-construction of the smallest cell we can make work has been estimated at 10^41000. For that to have been created by random chance the multiverse is absolutely necessary. On the other hand the multiverse theory doesn't just kind of ease the lid off of statistical odds - it utterly deletes them. With infinite odds Occam's Razor evaporates in a puff of smoke when we talk about the ultra-macro level of things. Its pretty much saying that if you think something can exist then it does exist somewhere, not only that but an infinite amount of them!


Awesomelyglorious wrote:
In any case, I think the desire not to commit suicide is likely too strong anyway, as even without divine purpose, a lot of people are going to still make up excuses.(like shame to family, disappointment to friends, pain of death, possibility of a great future payout, etc)


I think about the only thing I can come up with as to how it would work out differently is if we were to medically find a means for immortality that has no snags (no internal organs aging or major immune cells ceasing to be built). If that were the case, we'd still have problems with cranial storage of experience, we'd need some pretty extensive diaries to have much recollection of what we did 1,000 years ago, but in the chance that we could supposedly end the cycle and take full control of our mortality and then our need for resources, we may be able to neutralize the grime and dirt of what our genes do to us, being something more like fleshy versions of the future robots at the end of AI. Things may go in that direction, don't know, though how many existential problems that will actually solve it will be hard to really tell until/unless we get there.



Awesomelyglorious
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,157
Location: Omnipresent

15 Nov 2009, 7:06 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
My argument is that evolution still follows the path of least resistance, if someone had a superior set of genes to live 3,000 years from not but were surrounded by cavemen and had to hunt Bison while doing little else than fight in territorial wars or overshadow the next guy to have kids - it would work well if he were with enough people for his 5,000 AD mind to have something to kick off of, in a hunter gather situation unless he could turn that into some advantage right then and there (ie. founded his own hunting martial art and gained both superior skills as a warrior and a hunter) its materially useless at that time, and especially if it came at the cost of coordination (built like an intellectual) - he'd be lucky if his clan didn't resolve his existence long before age had to take its course.

No, your argument isn't that. We both accept this as a feature of evolution. What the argument is about is evolutionary determinism. Evolution following the path of least resistance isn't a matter of willfully determining this path and following it, rather it is a matter of a lot of variables, and your own logic seems to lead you to the non-evolutionary conclusion that only very very limited sorts of creatures can exist in any given ecosystem. This is obviously untrue, but it does seem to follow if evolution can only pick an absolute best idea.

Yeah.... I know, but bad patterns can persist over time until they become beneficial so long as they don't impose high enough costs upon the creatures so that they cannot continue.

Quote:
I'd argue no more similarity than self-awareness.

What does "self-awareness" mean and why would this being have it? Look, I'll cut this short. Intelligence is *incredibly* complicated, and so I just take the idea of an intelligence that randomly exists as just being silly.

Quote:
Under that hypothesis there's just as many of those out there as well. I doubt we'll hear much from them though as I'm sure they're happily doing what giant disembodied feet do best.

Not existing? That's what I expected of the brains too.

[quote=]
There's also a pretty good chance that its a mind not made of gray matter at all. Could easily be something like Que from Star Trek on super steroids, I just have to cross my fingers that he's not quite that flippant or cavalier about or existence. [/quote]
Or it could just not exist. I mean, yeah, I would assume God would have a brain not made out of grey matter, but.... at this point aren't we basically assuming a powerful ghost computer that randomly exists for no real reason?

Quote:
The problem with thinking of it like that though, the multiverse theory was proposed to deal with origin of life. The going estimate for what the universe can provide for chemical reactions - never mind the ingredients, in the time since its inception, is 10^139. Random self-construction of the smallest cell we can make work has been estimated at 10^41000. For that to have been created by random chance the multiverse is absolutely necessary. On the other hand the multiverse theory doesn't just kind of ease the lid off of statistical odds - it utterly deletes them. With infinite odds Occam's Razor evaporates in a puff of smoke when we talk about the ultra-macro level of things. Its pretty much saying that if you think something can exist then it does exist somewhere, not only that but an infinite amount of them!

Where are you pulling your numbers?

The multiverse theory does allow for any sort of statistical improbability to happen, but it does not make all statistical improbabilities equally likely. Not only that, but are you going to posit a spiritual intelligence as more likely? I mean, you can't say that this also doesn't kill Occam's razor as well, as you just invoked magic into the system. Certainly though, a multiverse theory does not involve any qualitative differences so much as the idea of God.

(In any case, did you or I invoke the multiverse idea? I am just curious, as I have a bad memory, but I don't like having an idea I didn't put forward thrust upon me.)

Quote:
I think about the only thing I can come up with as to how it would work out differently is if we were to medically find a means for immortality that has no snags (no internal organs aging or major immune cells ceasing to be built). If that were the case, we'd still have problems with cranial storage of experience, we'd need some pretty extensive diaries to have much recollection of what we did 1,000 years ago, but in the chance that we could supposedly end the cycle and take full control of our mortality and then our need for resources, we may be able to neutralize the grime and dirt of what our genes do to us, being something more like fleshy versions of the future robots at the end of AI. Things may go in that direction, don't know, though how many existential problems that will actually solve it will be hard to really tell until/unless we get there.

I don't think that snag-free immortality will be possible.



RockDrummer616
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 910
Location: Steel City (Golden State no more)

15 Nov 2009, 8:26 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Only one problem caused by religion?

I see several. Divisiveness, disrespect, discrimination, fear, hostility, violence, bigotry, war, death.

ruveyn


In my opinion, none of these problems are caused by religion. They would happen anyway. People just try to use religion as a justification.



techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,515
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

15 Nov 2009, 9:12 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
No, your argument isn't that. We both accept this as a feature of evolution. What the argument is about is evolutionary determinism. Evolution following the path of least resistance isn't a matter of willfully determining this path and following it, rather it is a matter of a lot of variables, and your own logic seems to lead you to the non-evolutionary conclusion that only very very limited sorts of creatures can exist in any given ecosystem. This is obviously untrue, but it does seem to follow if evolution can only pick an absolute best idea.

Yeah.... I know, but bad patterns can persist over time until they become beneficial so long as they don't impose high enough costs upon the creatures so that they cannot continue.


No, it looks like we are agreeing - the way you were saying it though made it sound like evolution could have gone in any which direction. My claim is that I have a hard time seeing how they wouldn't be pretty close in form based on the realities of how an unguided system works and particularly where we as animals, especially in earlier days, would kill something that looked different let alone scoff at it.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
I'd argue no more similarity than self-awareness.

What does "self-awareness" mean and why would this being have it? Look, I'll cut this short. Intelligence is *incredibly* complicated, and so I just take the idea of an intelligence that randomly exists as just being silly.


Its as far out as the first accidentally created cell, perhaps add a few hundred exponents.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
Under that hypothesis there's just as many of those out there as well. I doubt we'll hear much from them though as I'm sure they're happily doing what giant disembodied feet do best.

Not existing? That's what I expected of the brains too.


Again, when we take the lid off the odds to make the first self-created cell work we're not only taking the lid off for most of anything else but if we should see alien life in our universe it would be extremely suspect that we were seeded here as two races in the same universe would be probabilistic zero by probabilistic zero.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
There's also a pretty good chance that its a mind not made of gray matter at all. Could easily be something like Que from Star Trek on super steroids, I just have to cross my fingers that he's not quite that flippant or cavalier about or existence.

Or it could just not exist. I mean, yeah, I would assume God would have a brain not made out of grey matter, but.... at this point aren't we basically assuming a powerful ghost computer that randomly exists for no real reason?


It looks like your resolving this one by saying "No...it just doesn't feel right in my books", perhaps similar to my take that environmental exterminism doesn't feel right - this is I think where we each take a detour from objectivity, perhaps necessarily but its important that you're aware of that.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Quote:
The problem with thinking of it like that though, the multiverse theory was proposed to deal with origin of life. The going estimate for what the universe can provide for chemical reactions - never mind the ingredients, in the time since its inception, is 10^139. Random self-construction of the smallest cell we can make work has been estimated at 10^41000. For that to have been created by random chance the multiverse is absolutely necessary. On the other hand the multiverse theory doesn't just kind of ease the lid off of statistical odds - it utterly deletes them. With infinite odds Occam's Razor evaporates in a puff of smoke when we talk about the ultra-macro level of things. Its pretty much saying that if you think something can exist then it does exist somewhere, not only that but an infinite amount of them!

Where are you pulling your numbers?


The source itself may be problematic, Signature in the Cell, but when I see other scientists attack ID they don't attack these numbers, they almost always attack rather the idea that our origin is unknowable because 'God put it here' isn't a suitable answer. I won't deny that they have every right to pursue a scientific reason, at the same time though when this is debated, the parts of the Neo-Darwinian camp who insist that ID is garbage come up with the multiverse theory - the multiverse theory is their agreement to these numbers. These numbers of course were not just calculated by Steven Meyer. I could look around and try to find this in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

The probablistic odds of the universe are as explained. These are capped, as in they deliberately played it conservative with the numbers, overstated the threshold to make sure no one would argue that they were arguing a lower number than what was there. 10 ^80 atoms in the universe would technically be something like x.x * 10^ 56 or 57 moles of atoms in the universe. A mole doesn't seem like a lot, add a bit more...ok, a more substantial amount, get somewhere between 7 and 9 and you have the mass of the earth, I can see where the estimate is within reasonable range to call it there so my bs trigger isn't tripped for now. Pkank's constant is the most reactions that can happen per second (10^43), 10^16 is the number of seconds estimated since the big bang.

The problem with even creating a 150 length amino acid of a particular character (ie. set protein arangement, in the case of life all are peptide bonds and all are left rather than right handed aminos): 1/20^150 (number of working amino bases) * 1/2^149 (all peptide bond) *1/2^149 (all left-handed amino acids). The end result for even that amino acid is 1 in 10^164, the number of variations that could actually work as functioning proteins could potentially chop those odds down to 1 in 10^87. When you do look at the possibility of DNA arriving with RNA, all the transcription enzymes, and the lipid shell to create the first cell - that's where the number 10^41000 comes into play. This conservative model ignores a few things of course: the whole molar mass of the universe isn't amino acids, cytosine has a 19 day half life, the stretch of space that isn't inclement to formation of aminos is incredibly small (perhaps here and a few other places), also it doesn't take into account aminos that don't work, forms of radiation or temperature changes that are caustic to the process - you get the idea, they didn't throw everything and the kitchen sink in their favor but painstakingly avoided it.

The two currently pursued ideas on the origin of life are either chance or necessity. The problem with chemical necessity - it creates crystals, nothing that can hold any worthwhile degree of Shannon information as everything repeats in small chunks, no novelty to the patterns. Chance - needs 10^41000 to make a cell. Many different theories have come about trying to explain how one thing such as RNA may have originated the rest of the cell but - nothing so far has worked as an explanation, the scientific community has a handful of different ideas that its dissatisfied with because none resolve the circular conundruum that exists when taking a look at even the most simple microorganism. DNA needs RNA, 30 some enzymes (some thousands of proteins in size such as ribosomes), RNA needs tRNA to transcribe RNA information into proteins, a process that needs RNA polymerase to decouple the proteins from the tRNA. None of this happens without DNA nor does DNA get replicated without this process.

That's why the multiverse theory comes up as its the only thing that allows for statistical odds to say that this is one of billions of universes, therefor there are perhaps billions or trillions of universes that never had life - this universe however is where it happened. When people do try to suggest an organized process on how this universe would have created life without other universes, its like they're trying to come up with something but all that ends up happening is them pushing numbers around with a stick, six half a dozen or 1/24th of a gross, and they just end up pulling their hair out on the issue more.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
The multiverse theory does allow for any sort of statistical improbability to happen, but it does not make all statistical improbabilities equally likely. Not only that, but are you going to posit a spiritual intelligence as more likely? I mean, you can't say that this also doesn't kill Occam's razor as well, as you just invoked magic into the system. Certainly though, a multiverse theory does not involve any qualitative differences so much as the idea of God.


The multiverse idea and the idea of time space voids between what are essentially blisters (the universes) within the inflationary field - the result is the magic your talking about.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
(In any case, did you or I invoke the multiverse idea? I am just curious, as I have a bad memory, but I don't like having an idea I didn't put forward thrust upon me.)


I did, I'll be fair - that may not have been where you were going with this but, there really haven't been other explanations to origin of life by random chance that resolve the statistical improbability of it aside from that. If you do have a different idea though please feel free to correct me as I don't really mean to build an effigy, I'm just going with the known confines of the argument.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I don't think that snag-free immortality will be possible.

At the very least experiments in creating it would have many gruesome results, many of which I'm in doubt that our society really has the stomach for.



Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 15 Nov 2009, 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

leejosepho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,011
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

15 Nov 2009, 10:11 pm

RockDrummer616 wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
Only one problem caused by religion?

I see several. Divisiveness, disrespect, discrimination, fear, hostility, violence, bigotry, war, death.

ruveyn


In my opinion, none of these problems are caused by religion. They would happen anyway. People just try to use religion as a justification.


Yes, such things do come from human nature even apart from religion, yet religion is a very convenient fortress as well as seeming justification for same.


_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
==================================