So you think you're smart ey?

Discussion in 'Spam....' started by Turambar, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    I had hair until I tried explaining that to a five-point Calvinist.
     
  2. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    heheheh anon informed me there was this discussion going on about stuff i would find interesting...and so it seems..thanks anon :D.

    It's quite funny SJ, you're describing precisely the thing i studied previous year. you seem to follow philosophers like Buber. He says that you cannot say something about one thing..if you know nothing about the other. Everything has an opposite and it's best when people use a particular side in its proper place. Sounds logical, but i still think that the opposite of science really doesn't exist, or at least the other side only exists in our minds and not in the real world (wittgenstein wrote a lot about the distinction between the world that exists besides what we humans make of it and the world that only exists because we make it. things such as money cannot exist without us humans making it and give it its own "universal laws", whereas a rock, will still be a rock, humans or no humans). I tend to think the metaphysical just exists because we humans make it exist. My theory is that our metaphysical world is a product of our instinctive nature to survive. It's generally based on our empirical findings through experience in life. humans need answers, if they don't get them by science, their imaginations will make up a beautiful story or theory to give them the answer. That way humans can survive. When you have to survive there isn't time to think about what you should or shouldn't do, so you'll make up a lot of universal laws (lol :p edit: by which i mean laws that most people think are universal, but are actually based on logical fallasies (which i think i misspelled, did i??:p) by which you generally can live in a good way.

    well of course i know i have to come up with a lot more arguments to defend my position :D, but hey, i just wanted to join in, and i expect a lot of interesting answers hehehe :p. good to be back and see this forum still has good and interesting discussions :D. aaand sorry if someone else already brought this up, i haven't read everything yet :D

    edit 2: hoooowwww it's so frustrating to read what i just typed and think "oohh it doesn't exactly say what i mean". well, i guess i have to see this as a good practice, always good to practice your english and skills in arguing :p.
     
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  3. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    That is what most of the non-english speakers think :p
     
  4. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    haha so frustrating right :p?
     
  5. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    It is, it sound so smart in the head, but when you start reading its like OMG, I hope they understand the sh~t i wrote :D
     
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    That's how I think humans operate, we fill in the blank spaces with our own reality.
    Really, most times it's harmless... where I get frustrated and angry is when these 'blank space realities' others have encroach into government, laws, education, etc. Then it effects me.

    It comes in the form of "Intelligent Design" being introduced in school science classes and taught alongside Darwin & Evolution, and "In God We Trust" on our money, and the multitude of other things that I'm forced to put up with. I won't ever force atheism on anyone or even pressure a soul to believe what I believe, I just want the same respect from religious folks.
     
  7. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    hehe we cannot use it as an excuse though ;)

    yes precisely, the only thing that is very frustrating is that those people don't always understand that it's best to only teach evidence-based stuff and also teach stuff that could be true, but hasn't been proved to be true. for all i know god truly exists, but as long as his existence isn't proved, why would i "believe" in him? just because the theory "works"? i can't put up with that. who's fooling who (is this a correct english proverb :p?? i don't know..it is in dutch and i guess you guys will get the gist of it :p)?
    Besides that..(i think i already read this in this discussion) there are so many different religions..which person has the "real" religion?
    I once read a statement an author made in a book (can't remember who it was, i could look it up) and it was something like this: "there are a lot of people who aren't religious, but agnostic, and still pray and follow other religious rules, just in case god does exist and they won't be punished for not believing in god. but, there are literally hundreds of gods created by humans in the world, or said to exist by different people. Which god's religious rules will you follow "just in case"? if you would choose the christian god, but in the end the hindu gods exist, those hindu gods will be angry for you believing in the christian god and not in them. and there would be lots of wrong choices. a lot of people respond to this by saying it doesn't matter what you call god, that eventually it's all the same. seriously...what is that supposed to mean and where does this come from? it doesn't say anything that "it's all the same". what exactly is all the same? every religious interpretation, which, as we can see clearly can differ in extremes in only one religion, not mentioning all the other existing religions... or do those people mean to say that the divine actually don't have a distinctive set of rules which apply to all, but that we can figure out what the rules are by themselves and the divine is okay with that? what i try to say is this: religion is such an extremely vague thing in itself..that it is impossible to say something valid about it. we can try to say stuff about it by trying to make some scientific statements..but i think that's useless. we can only say about religion in scientific terms that it is impossible to say something about it.

    edit: okay i'm tired and this whole story i've just posted is a mess :D. well i won't delete it anyway :D
     
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  8. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    i think that it serious debate it is a good excuse, because, I can make my argumets a lot better in Latvian :D
     
  9. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    same here :p (although in dutch haha)
     
  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    As for morality... yes, certainly it's a social construct and fashioned by culture, and as we know it comes and goes with the tide. I'll add though, that it is indeed part of our biological makeup... morality, empathy, shame, remorse, etc, reside in normal brains. That is, a part of our brain makes us feel those things. If you want a serious case of the 'creeps' than pick up a book covering sociopathy, those people who can be clinically defined as sociopaths are lacking those better functions of the brain that we associate with morality. The last book I read on the subject, 'The Sociopath Next Door' by Martha Stout gave me the chills. She claims that 1 in 25 people is a sociopath and has no conscience whatsoever. It's a birth defect. Which tells me no God has anything to do with morality, it's a function of the brain that evolution deems necessary for our survival.
     
  11. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I think my biggest problem with religion is how most believers 'cherry-pick' what suits them, and then discard the rest. I mean do you really think a God would condone the institution of Slavery?.. but the God of the three major western religions not only condones it, he set about rules to govern the treatment of slaves. And btw, why am I referring to God as "he"?.. that always troubled me.:)
     
  12. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Yes, yes, and definitely yes. It's always so easy to pick on others for doing or being something that is against someone's religious rules while not even obeying all the rules themselves.

    Probably one of the reasons why I can't bother to follow a religion (apart from the believing thing... and... well, basically everything else...). So many rules, ugh! :D:D
     
  13. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    Everyone cherry picks though. Not just the religious.
     
  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Thinking in the abstract and having the capacity to conceptualize outside the realm of personal experience, or simply put, to have imagination is purely human (I think), among other things of course, physical attributes, things like brain size and weight. In fairness to a belief in God and Religion; as a species we don't ever get science, invention and rational thought without first believing in a God or Gods and developing rituals that became refined into religions. Rituals and primitive religious activity by early homo sapiens could have spurred spoken language, symbolism, artistic expression, developing specialized hierarchies, sophisticated pattern recognition, etc.

    Obviously we don't know how early the spoken word, development of a set of words into a crude language, goes back in human history because it leaves no trace. Anthropologists can only speculate at what point we humans acquired language and Scientists speculate whether it was a result of a genetic mutation or series of mutations, or that a linguistic capacity was there all along and language was a natural progression of some other evolutionary process (as I recall "spandrel adaption"). One thing is for certain, it's only us homo sapiens that have a unique awareness of death and perhaps in an evolutionary sense that had to be dealt with, was dealt with genetically, and it proved out over other options. We take the road that first passes through God belief and organized religion... and if not, we never get to Science and Rational Thought.

    It's interesting that writing doesn't go back all that far... cuneiform markings representing words go back to about 3100 B.C., and the earliest instances of hieroglyphic writing in Egypt at 3000 B.C.
    We think and visualize in the language we speak and are limited by our vocabulary, it's how we orientate ourselves and perceive the world. It's odd that once the written word comes about that we humans finally hop into gear.
    While we can think without language, it's also the case that there are certain kinds of thinking that are made possible only with language... personally, I believe that it's our imagination and linguistic talents that created God, and that it was a byproduct of some evolutionary improvisation that occurred very early on and developed slowly.

    What language do you think in, Firi?

    So Oddy, since you speak multiple languages (four as I remember) what language do you think in?.. does it all get muddled together or at least are there times when you consciously feel yourself switching between languages in your mind? Does expanded language capabilities result in better understanding of the world around you, or no difference? When my niece was visiting and we were scouting out universities in the area I asked her, because she speaks fluent French, and she said she can still feel herself translating in her mind and after a few hours she gets fatigued because it still requires a bit of effort.
     
  15. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Klingon, and Klingon only!
    :p

    I would say the language(s) I think in is/are the language(s) I speak, but maybe I only think so because I phrased this answer in my mind, therefore actively thinking in English. But how could I know in what language I think when I let my thoughts wander, or whether I think in a language at all in those situations? :O Maybe it's images instead, or maybe even something incommunicable!
     
  16. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    In honor of this thread I've changed my avatar to the King of Beasts!.. though he looks a tad dopey to me.:)
     
  17. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Awwww....
    but... but... wasn't there some kind of incident involving a diving board and "Stairway to Heaven", or has my memory failed me?

    Please tell me that I don't have to take one for the team... lol
    *looks worried*

    lmao :D

    It's so great to have your opinion on this stuff too Bel especially since I know you've done a lot of study in philosophy. :) I wonder in this thread if we don't have a disparity in our definitions of the word "existence" though. Since I approach "reality" from a position of there being no, one, absolute viewpoint, I happen to think that if something exists in someone's mind and it affects their behaviour, then it is "real" because it has observable effects in the world for other people. If something that was only in the mind wasn't "real", then the following things aren't "real" for me: independent thought (no comments from the peanut gallery on that one please!!! lol), emotions, creativity, and basically: consciousness in general. If these things aren't "real" then how am I even having this discussion?

    I think everyone has a right to expect others to respect their beliefs, regardless of whether they are atheist, agnostic, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hellenist or any number of other possibilities. Personally, I'm of the opinion that there is no right way, there's only the way that is right for you.

    ooooo... more info required! Do we know it's a birth defect? Is there a pattern of inheritance for sociopathic traits or have they isolated a gene for it? Are there structural brain abnormalities associated with it?
    From a non-absolute perspective, they live in a reality where those emotions don't exist. That reality doesn't intersect with that of most people, making it socially pathological.

    nice!

    :)

    Oh I agree. I think we are small indeed in the vastness of the universe and it makes sense to me that life could very well exist elsewhere and in other forms. Oddy paraphrased Carl Sagan’s speculations and they seem eminently reasonable to me.

    I'm not sure we're even questioning the same observations Anon and Oddy. I'm questioning the probability of our particular complex biological system developing at all as a function of random chance when using an absolute model for constructing a working theory of reality. How quantum mechanical theory relates to biological systems and how it may or may not have shaped our biology is an entirely separate question. In other words, how is it possible the laws of the universe that led to our development came into existence by random chance in the first place? To paraphrase it another way: picture yourself on a road, walking. You come to a fork, flip a coin to decide which way to go, and then turn left. You come to another fork, flip a coin and go left again. Each time you come to a fork in the road you take a random path. Maybe some forks have three choices, maybe some have even more but for each of the next 1000 forks, you make a random choice and follow it. Finally, you get to the end of your road and you look back on the tortuous path you followed to get here. Out of all the possible paths you might have taken and places you might have ended up, what were the odds that you would have ended up here? Now that example doesn’t even make sense to describe what I'm talking about, but I thought it would convey the basic concept of probability a little easier. If I consider how random chance might have produced us (“us” being the “destination”), the first fork should have been one with an infinite number of possibilities and then each subsequent fork should have had fewer and fewer until the end of the road was reached. I have no idea how to actually crunch the numbers for that though I suspect that somebody, somewhere, has tried to do it. From what I do know of math theory (and somebody please correct me if I’m interpreting it incorrectly here!): the probability that the first choice is the right one to lead to “us” is really, really, really small if the choice is random.

    I'm quite sure that I can't rely exactly on the statistics. In the end, the exact numbers don’t actually matter to make my point though. If I have one person who believes and one who doesn't (and here we are, you and I ), I still face the same dilemma if I look at my observations from an absolute point of view. I still need to account for my observation that there are at least two people with different perceptions. Either way though the actual numbers of both “believers” and “non-believers” are huge and each of them has their own perspective on the matter.

    Agreed: the phenomenon reminds me of my example of a herd of stampeding cattle.

    I want to centre out a few things you said here:
    1. “I am of the opinion that it wasn't God who made people, but the people who made God.”
    but...but... I thought you said that God didn’t exist in your reality? My brain hurts :( I am now horribly confused and struggling to understand your perspective, Oddy. Is it the existence of God that you doubt or is it the nature of God (perhaps as depicted by religion?) that you question? The nature of God is a related, but separate question from the one of God’s existence.
    2. “I would maybe compare God to the sense of morality.”
    I would too. I’ve come to the conclusion that God is a proactive force for social harmony in the universe. This makes sense to me in the context of God protecting creation.
    It may (or may not) interest you to know that I was raised in a basically atheist household. My Dad had no religious beliefs as far as I knew. If he did, he never, ever spoke of them in my hearing. My Mom was apparently Catholic in her youth but she never spoke of her beliefs in my hearing either. Certainly, we never went to church and I never even realized that Christmas was a birthday celebration until somewhere around my middle-childhood years. My first exposures to religion of any kind were finding a children’s storybook bible in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and watching my mother have an epic argument with some Jehovah’s witnesses that had come to our door. They never came back again. I suspect because they thought we were beyond any hope of salvation. :D
    Ironically, I am now thankful that I was raised in the absence of religion. It gave me the chance to form my own conclusions about God in the absence of religious doctrine. I suspect that’s why I perceive a distinct difference between faith and religion. I can find them coexisting together (and I frequently do), but they don’t always.

    Hahahaha, thanks! I agree with Sparrow: we’re all delusional....lol. It’s only when our reality doesn’t intersect with those of other people very often that the state of human delusion becomes pathological. Whatever my reality is, I’m just so thankful that you are a part of it Oddy. *hugs*

    Well, what other choice do people have? I dunno about anyone else, but I don’t feel that I have the time to wait for any kind of common human consensus, when or if that ever comes. I want to function in my existence so I need to make some kind of sense of it now.

    I find it interesting to assume that everyone’s perception is valid. That leaves an infinite number of possible realities and I find that fascinating to think about. I also think it promotes social harmony because it respects everyone’s individualism and unique point of view.
    In contrast, it seems to me that absolutism is a destructive force that destroys social harmony. I observe that the behaviour resulting from absolute belief systems damages the world in which we live, producing wars and intolerance. Not only that but (correct me if I'm wrong) the concept of absolutes has to be finite: predicting the end of all things eventually.
     
  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    They aren't in complete agreement of what exactly goes wrong, but yeah, sociopaths are usually born and/or abnormal development of the brain during the first years of life, or become sociopaths due to injury. Oh yeah, and there is no cure or even treatment that could be considered even mildly successful. You can rest easy though because the vast majority of sociopaths don't murder people. It's not that they have any moral qualms with doing harm to others, it's just like most everyone else they don't want to get caught.

    The eye-opener for me was that sociopathy isn't all that rare, more common than autism in fact. It's 1 out of 25 or near enough, so think about that... odds are that you know someone in your life who is a sociopath.


     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  19. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    Most of the time I think in Polish, but there are things about which I only think in Spanish or English (not so much in Norwegian lately). For example if it's something strongly connected with Latin-America, the people I know here and with whom I speak Spanish, I will probably think in Spanish. Same goes for my dreams. And yes, I do switch between languages but often I don't even notice it because it doesn't bother me.
    I would say that yes, expanded language capabilities do result in better understanding of the world, but the human world, or the human perception of it. You learn a lot about a culture and its people through observation of how they use their language. It also turns out that the same words/frases/expressions are understood very differently in different countries.
    It's interesting how your niece translates in her mind. I don't do that (apart from when I was taking a course in intepreting - after those classes I automatically translated movie dialogues in my head), I mean I would be perfectly able to, but I think if you're really fluent in a language you don't need to. You form your thoughts in the language you want to express them in, and you understand what the others say without the need of translating every word. It's when your language skills are not quite that good, that you need to be constantly conscious about what you are saying.


    Going back to my example of "morality" - yes, the concept of morality (just like the feeling of fear or the value of money) is a real thing in the sense that it exists in the human mind (fear also applies to animals). It can influence us and you can observe it's concequences. But it does not mean that those things exist also outside the human (or animal) mind. As I said before, they are not autonomous beings or forces. Just like, in my opinion, the concept of God. The idea of God certainly exists and is very real. But it doesn't mean that God as a being/force exists. No offence, but the idea of Reptilians or Spiderman is real as well! It can even influence people :p But I'm still pretty sure that nor Reptilians nor Spiderman really exist.


    I definitely agree. There are innumerable ways to live one's life and each person should choose their own path. I also respect the beliefs of others as long as they are not imposed on me or on other people (I'm ok with people being Christian but I'm not ok with teaching creationism at school in scientific context). And I certainly don't think that you go to hell for believing in "the wrong God" which seems to be a popular idea in many religions ;)


    I like to look at this problem from the other end. We are here because the laws of physics are such and such, we are the RESULT of how they work. Not the other way around. We are not the CAUSE of them being such and such in the first place (we are not THE destination, we are just A destination, one of many). They were not MADE in order for us to be able to appear. If the laws of universe were different we would most probably not be here, but maybe there would be some other form of life, quite different, whose existence would be "permitted" by those alternative laws of physics. There is also a theory in physics that suggests that our universe is only one of many, and in each of them the laws of physics might be different. Our species will obviously be able to evolve only in a universe with this set of laws, and that's why we are here, in this one. There is also another option - what if those are the only laws of physics that a universe can have?


    I mean the idea of God - and no one is questioning the existence of that. So by saying "people made God" I meant: people came up with the idea of God / imagined him :)


    What I don't like about religious systems is that each of them is claiming to know what you cannot know. There is no way (and I doubt there will ever be) to determine which - if any - religion is right. It creates lots of conflicts that no one can win. What I like about science is that even if you have many interpretations and theories, they can be tested and one of them can actually turn out to be true.
    I'm not exactly sure about the "everyone’s perception is valid" part. It makes sense to me in connection with the spiritual side of our lifes etc. and I'm all for the liberty of belief. But if people start to claim that evolution didn't happen, I don't really think that their perception is valid at all ;)
     
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  20. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I never even thought of dreaming in another language.
    I don't think I'd like that if the next dream I have where I'm waiting in a long line at the bank and someone turns to me and says, "señor, usted no está usando los pantalones".:)



    It's called the "watchmaker" argument. The premise is that the universe, life, and everything, could not arise out of utter chaos. It says that design implies a designer. William Paley was the man we have to thank for the analogy as it appears in his, Natural Theology: Evidences of the Existence & Attributes of the Deity... Charles Darwin read it in school and was inspired by it, btw. So it's a weird piece of synchronicity that Darwin would go on to upend the notion that Complex Mechanisms = God. The other argument is that you couldn't possibly have something so complex as an eye without a Creator intervening. But yet creatures with compound eyes show up very early in the fossil record, like 500 million years ago. Indeed the most recent finds in Australia hint at some of these creatures having better vision than modern horseshoe crabs! One of the biggest misconceptions about Evolution, a misconception I had for a long time, is that it has endless possibilities. It really doesn't, it has a remarkably narrow range of options for any given environmental circumstance.

    If you place two columns side by side, the one on the left is a list of all the creatures that have ever come and gone on Earth, and the other column is a list of all options that Evolution has at its disposal... you end up with thousands upon thousands of wildly different creatures on the left, and a list of a scary few Evolutionary eventualities. Whales and dolphins are related to camels and hippos, among other creatures we are related to sea squirts.:) The blueprints for life don't vary as much as we might think, nor does the processes of evolution.

    This might also mean that if organic life exists elsewhere in our universe, say the Andromeda Galaxy which is headed our way, and given similar circumstances, that Life & Evolution would be consistent with our own. To me that would be amazing!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014