So you think you're smart ey?

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

  1. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    Yes, I'm familiar with the watchmaker and the "half an eye" argument ;) You say that design implies designer, yet the "design" might actually only be an illusion. Evolution of species gives an impression of design, yet it is based on natural selection, an unconscious and automatic process (if there is a watchmaker behind this, he must be a blind one). How are random mutations a design? If the design was true, it wouldn't be a very good one either. Why do we breathe and eat through the same hole if it makes choking to death possible? Why do our "fun parts" are so close to the "nasty parts"? :p Why do we have all those useless organs like the appendix, wisdom teeth, tailbone, etc.? When it comes to evolution the watchmaker is not necessary because the watches can make themselves.
    "The other argument is that you couldn't possibly have something so complex as an eye without a Creator intervening." - people who make this argument point out that you cannot have just half an eye, because it would be useless. All the parts need to be there, arranged in precise order. It is true, you cannot have half an eye, but you can have an eye half as good at seeing. In the animal kingdom you get all sorts of eyes, from simple ones - patches of cells that react to light, to complex ones, like our own. The evolution of the eye was a progression, a development and not a quantum leap. Also, the proteins that make the eye had some different function in the beginning. Only when "seeing" turned out to be an advantage they were modified to be better at it.

    You said it - environmental circumstance. The chances are that the environmental circumstances in the Andromeda Galaxy are quite different than on Earth, thus producing (hopefully) quite different forms of life. Obviously the possibilities are not endless, most of the mutations have quite fatal consequences. There are also some options that are incredibly usefull - like eyes or ears - and were developed independently quite a few times in the history of evolution. So I guess we could probably expect some eyes and ears from the Andromedans :) It would be a disappointment, though, if they too were based on DNA. The biologists would be inconsolable.
     
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Oh believe me, I know that the design is an illusion. But you have to admit, it's a pretty dang good one.:) You were indoctrinated into the Catholic Religion, and me as a Protestant, and the universe seemed so damn uncomplicated.:) But then we're given science and irrefutable evidence, it either changes everything about how you perceive reality, or you spend a lifetime fitting square pegs in round holes. Intelligent Design is a square peg.

    Here we are circling a star on the arm of a galaxy in a universe that doesn't care. In a spiritual sense that's enough for me, it's all I need. We've already won the most ridiculous lottery anyone can imagine by just being alive, even for a short while. I mean how much more amazing could it be?
    And for those of you who believe in God, that's totally cool... don't mind Oddy and I, we're just going off the deep end a bit.:D

    I can't recall which book it was that remarked just how many remnants from our past still reside in our DNA, but we have dozens of bits and pieces we've sort of outgrown. And Oddy, you're still very young... they're all fun parts.:D It's interesting you mention wisdom teeth and the appendix as I've had my wisdom teeth removed ages ago and my appendix lost a valiant battle two years ago to remain in my body. So some of these extras evolution has yet to completely dispense of can kill you. 150 years ago a ruptured appendix was a death sentence. But they've done research on rats and removed remnant material and were surprised that when these rats reproduced there was an extraordinary rate of birth defects. So I suspect in some way we still need 'unoptimized' DNA. I think you're right in saying that it's a very imperfect process. It sometimes seems like it's evolution by committee. What seals the deal for me concerning Evolution is that when catastrophe strikes and you have mass extinctions, aside from the vacated niches that are filled by the survivors, you have an uptick in origination events followed by a leveling off where diversification sort of returns to normal... and it doesn't matter what shape the environment is in. More tropical or ice age, it doesn't matter. That tells me wherever you have the proper conditions it's a common process.

    I must say in the wasteland that is the internet, this is easily the most interesting conversation I've had on a forum.;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  3. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    But when you think about a god as a potential designer of life and the universe, concepts so great and difficult to understand (in my opinion!), God becomes so much more complicated. A design so great has to have an even greater designer, so when I think about how much learning about the universe blows my mind, how incredible would God have to be? Of course, for religious people it's easy to say "well, he just is so great", because this is simply an indoctrinated fact. But claiming something like this is always so easy until you contemplate it. :p

    Sorry if I'm repeating something that has been said before. I've done some speed readings of some of your posts, so I haven't read everything that was said here. Shame on me, I know, and I wish I had read everything, but I know if I started now I'd try to answer every single post and then notice that all of my arguments have been mentioned already. D:
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    But when you really begin to contemplate religions you find common threads running through all of them; a sense of belonging, a grander plan, submitting yourself to a higher power, etc... to me it all boils down to the same thing, people having influence and power over other people and maintaining the status quo. Some folks refuse to accept that we're just animals with a vivid imagination.:)
     
  5. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    That's the problem with God/Watchmaker, Firi - it's not really an explanation at all. It's just another complication that needs explaining (and that can't be explained). That's why we usually explain complex things with simpler things, not the other way around.
     
  6. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    Yall, should read Dawkins books :p
     
  7. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    I read "The God Delusion" a couple of months ago and it was amazing. A real eye-opener :)
     
  8. Taliesyn

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

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    I'd sooner dunk my head in a bucket of whale sick. :D
     
  9. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    dude, Dawkins has HUGE and MASSIVE points in religion matters, and he is amazing biologist, that makes his points kind of interesting in these matters.

    And dude. PLS. there is no book NOT worth reading :p

    my favorite is The Selfish Gene
     
  10. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    Lol, Eph xD I know that Dawkins is not very subtle, but he is quite often right :p I've seen many debates featuring him, still haven't read the books - they are on my to-read list though.
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I do indeed. :)
    Your numbers suggest that sociopaths can certainly choose to live in social harmony with everyone else. 1 in 25 is a pretty high percentage of the population. Worldwide, that would be 280 million people. I don't know the stats, but I doubt that there could possibly be that many people in prison because they’re a danger to the rest of us. I have to conclude that “morality” is a choice. Whether a person is motivated to choose it by emotions like compassion or by the consequences of ignoring it probably reflects the reality they live in.

    LOL Oddy :p If we’re not talking about turtles and snakes, I have no idea what “Reptilians” are and something tells me that I probably don’t want to know either...lol. I think you've answered my question though. If I've read your response correctly, it's the nature of God as depicted by religion that doesn’t fit with your observations of reality.
    BTW, did you know that the 4 Spiderman films collectively grossed over 3 billion dollars worldwide? I've seen Spiderman images plastered on pyjamas, lunchboxes, posters, t-shirts, pencils, backpacks... and the list goes on. I've seen kids (and adults) dress up as Spiderman for halloween. I can buy Spiderman comics, action figures and web-shooter toys and then spend all day going on an adventure with Spiderman with my kids if I want to. I totally agree with you: Spiderman (and other pop-culture icons) have had a remarkably profound influence on human behaviour. Before Spiderman, lunch boxes were much less exciting! :p
    What matters to me however, is where I put my faith (or “belief” if you’d rather call it that). Does it matter whether one individual perceives God as an idea/concept of morality and another perceives God as an autonomous being or force? It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest, especially if the end result of how God affects human behaviour is the same. Faith is a choice and I’ve observed that our beliefs impact the world around us through our behaviour. Even a person who sees demons could miss one and shoot me dead in the street by accident in the process of trying to kill one. Does it matter to me that I can’t see those demons personally? Nope, ‘cause I’m still bleeding and that makes those demons about as “real” for me as it gets...lol.
    I’ve observed that humanity has a habit of worrying about the messenger; forgetting all about the message in the process. If I thought it was a rational idea to believe in the messenger at the expense of the message, I’d choose to put my faith in Spiderman. (Sorry God, but he has a much flashier image. ;) )
    If I thought it was a rational idea to believe in the messenger at the expense of the message, I’d choose to put my faith in some other person’s perception of reality:
    I choose to put my faith in things that make sense to me and it strikes me that putting my faith in social harmony makes one heck of a lot of sense. It’s an adaptive strategy for survival after all. I use the same reasoning of only believing in what makes sense to put my faith in science, even though it doesn’t give me a 100% probability of certainty. I don’t ever think that “blind faith” (ie: believing in something without thought for the consequences of holding that belief) is a good idea. Faith should involve careful consideration of all the evidence.


    I need clarification to understand your perceptions again. Up until this point I thought you were saying that only one reality is possible. Am I wrong about that?
    Also recall that my example of probability was applied to my original absolute model of reality (“A” theory) which has only one possible outcome: “the truth”. I don’t currently hold that as a valid working model of reality, having found it inconsistent with my observations of the one I seem to live in.

    Pure speculation on my part:
    Our bodies certainly seem to. I’m not convinced about our consciousness though. It’s my observation that most disagreements about reality between individuals seem to be about abstract things that aren’t directly observable. Physics has GOT to get working on researching consciousness in a serious way!!!!

    Now this sounds like an accurate working model of absolute reality to me. There’s just one straight, linear path to follow, producing a universe in which it is not possible to have any disagreements between observers at all. I theorize that it is a place of cold numbers grinding their way through time and space according to the rules and without regard for the consequences. Thus, it is a place where God is truly absent. If life exists here at all, I’d guess it is either a universe filled with mindless robots (without free will or individuality: since disagreements don’t exist, they must all have exactly the same perception). Or maybe there’s just one, powerless (as in powerless to change the world around them), lonely being sitting around in total social isolation. I know with 100% certainty that I don’t want to live here. I think some religions even have a name for it: hell...lol.

    100% agreement with you here.
    For me, religion is only a problem when it is interpreted from an absolute (ie: literal) perspective however. If I regard it from a non-absolute perspective (ie: that it is merely someone else’s vision of reality), I can find many places where that reality intersects with mine. Seriously, if I had the time, I’d interview everybody on the planet, devour every scientific paper and study every religion there is, updating my working model of reality with what makes sense with my observations as I go along.
    :)
    No no....I for one wanna hear all about it! :)


    YES!!!!
    I am spending my week in a wasteland of exhaustion and this thread is the only bright spot in it...lol.

    A vivid imagination that has the power to change the world. :) Our world looks nothing like it did even as recently as 100 years ago. Besides, lunch-boxes will never be the same since the creation of Spiderman. (Sorry, I couldn't resist :D)

    ooo... I'm going to have to check those out!
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    The best that can be said about sociopaths is they blend in with society, and seldom is it harmonious.

    They might be a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, or working at the Burger King, but whichever it is and no matter what their relationship is with the people around them, it's all about them. They care nothing about other people beyond using them as stepping stones. They are quite without conscience and morals.
     
  13. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Are you saying that they can't learn to integrate from consequences? Some of the research suggests they manage better with positive reinforcement and secure parental attachments in childhood.
    I wonder if the percentage of sociopaths (ie: individuals born that way) in the population is stable, increasing, or decreasing over time?
     
  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Most sociopaths fly under the radar their entire life, they know what they are and believe themselves to be better than others. Whatever behavioral changes they make due to treatment is usually forced, they fake it. It's one of the more difficult mental disorders to pin down because most sociopaths become experts at fooling people.

    The really disturbing thing is they often believe it's the rest of us who are sick.
     
  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    As good as Dawkins is, Christopher Hitchens is even better... read god is not Great.


    When I was a young guy I read an interview of Isaac Asimov, and read an essay by Hitchens, and those were my introductions to Atheism.
     
  16. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I can't imagine how hard it would be to fit into society without experiencing certain emotions. I imagine that a lot of what everyone around you was doing just wouldn't make any sense.

    ^^Is that an essay or a book?^^
     
  17. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    It's a book... reads quite fast though.

    If you're not acquainted with Hitchens' style, well, he wields the English Language the way a Musketeer wields a rapier.:) It's sometimes so over-the-top that I can't imagine that it actually changes too many minds. If I had to boil the book down to a single argument it'd be that false comfort is no comfort at all. Though he oversteps the argument in several places and attributes all kinds of nasty stuff, wrongly I think, to religion.
     
  18. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    hmmmm... I wonder what he sees as false?
    Regardless, if his writing style is good and his arguments are based on logic rather than just having a hate on for religion, it could be an interesting read.
     
  19. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    I have read both, Hitchens is more easy to read, yes. But if you have scientific background and interest in biology I find Dawkins work more interesting.

    edit: I have read more Dawkins books.Only one by Hitchens.
     
  20. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    It doesn´t make a practical difference to me either if people think of God as a concept of morality or as an actual being, as long as they are sensible about it. What I'm trying to say is that I care much more about how people are as people and what they do (= their actions). If they are good people, it doesn't matter what they believe in - it's their personal choice :)
    I find it extremely interesting how you see the "demon" thing. I mean, for me, the fact that I was shot would not really be a proof of the demons' existence (and that's how I would understand them being "real", by actually existing somewhere). It would only be a proof of the person's belief in them and the influence this belief has on him ;)

    Agreed!



    Well, I can't claim that I know it for certain but I do hope that there is an objective reality out there :D Do you ask me that because of the multiverse theory? I don't think that a reality with many universes cannot be objective. If many universes exist then that's the reality and it can (hopefully) be discovered.

    Consciousness is a very complex and interesting problem and I would love science to be able to explain it someday. Although I can't say that I, personally, believe it to be something "given" to us by God or something similar. I think it was also developed in the process of evolution. It would be very strange to me to think that God (or something else) just suddenly jumped into the evolution process and gave someone their already fully developed consciousness. I know that you didn't suggest anything like that, SJ, but I know that there are people who actually believe that.


    Oh, wow, that's very different from how I see it :D To me, if only a certain set of laws of physics was possible (because otherwise the universe would collapse or explode or never even appear at all), that wouldn't affect human subjectivity and what we call "free will" at all. And it wouldn't mean that everything was determined and that "chance" wasn't possible. It's just the laws of physics that would be set, not the destiny of the universe or the course of evolution (of stars, planets, life).