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Old 26th February 2019, 12:08 PM   #521
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Something outside the physical World yet undoubtedly has an effect on and reaction with the physical World.
Outside the physical realm?

Duality? Pray tell, what is outside the physical realm?
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Old 26th February 2019, 12:24 PM   #522
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More importantly, what exactly does it even do, and how does it square with what we do know about the brain?

The only half-way coherent hypothesis I've ever heard makes the brain some kind of radio that just receives stuff from that out-of-this-world consciousness.

The problem there is that the analogy breaks down completely when you notice that if you have a radio, and only one station it can receive (unless you have multiple souls, like the ancient Pharaohs, that is), messing with the radio can't make the guy on the radio say something else. Punching the radio enough times won't make the anchor guy suddenly be dumber than before. Giving... well, whatever would be the electronics equivalent of antidepressants to the radio, won't make the guy on the radio more self-assured or assertive. Etc.

And any repairable damage to the radio doesn't make the anchor schizophrenic.

At some point one has to admit that there's a LOT of processing done by that radio. At which point, another entity from which it receives anything becomes just an extra entity that doesn't really add anything to the understanding. There's exactly zero extra stuff one can explain by postulating that extra entity. Even if we don't understand everything without that entity, we're no closer to understanding anything more by adding such an entity.

As such, you know, the razor and all that...
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Old 26th February 2019, 12:32 PM   #523
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
...
Thus, I chose to stop believing in god.

Could I switch back? Of course. Given convincing evidence of god's existence, I would presumably believe again.

Obviously I can't say: "Oh, tomorrow is Sunday, so I'll believe and go to church, and come Monday, I'll be atheist again." THAT would be ridiculous.

Hans
[portion only quoted, emphasis added]

Again, we seem to be using language differently.

You say you chose not to believe - does that mean you could have chosen to continue believing, and in fact could choose to return to belief? Because if not, and I don't think that's what you mean, what do you mean by something being a choice? If there's no free selection, there's no choice.

As for switching to belief, you're saying that if you were given convincing evidence, you could choose to switch back to belief. But if something is truly a choice that means, to me, that you could also choose NOT to switch back, despite convincing evidence. You could choose not to believe the earth was round, despite convincing evidence. Could choose not to believe gravity exists, despite convincing evidence. Etc.

If, however, you mean that given convincing evidence you would switch back - no element of choice but dictated by your perception of reality - then you're agreeing that it's not a choice, are you not?

So which is it? Could you, despite convincing evidence, choose to believe or not? Or would your belief be compelled, with no volitional element, because that's how your mind works?

Other posters, I don't think I missed anything substantive, remaining replies were mostly in disagreement over religious belief or asking for explanations of Catholic thought. Which there's definitely a limit to in forum posts - if truly interested, one could refer to a book (and no, not just the Bible! ).
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Old 26th February 2019, 12:50 PM   #524
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
[portion only quoted, emphasis added]

Again, we seem to be using language differently.

You say you chose not to believe - does that mean you could have chosen to continue believing, and in fact could choose to return to belief? Because if not, and I don't think that's what you mean, what do you mean by something being a choice? If there's no free selection, there's no choice.

As for switching to belief, you're saying that if you were given convincing evidence, you could choose to switch back to belief. But if something is truly a choice that means, to me, that you could also choose NOT to switch back, despite convincing evidence. You could choose not to believe the earth was round, despite convincing evidence. Could choose not to believe gravity exists, despite convincing evidence. Etc.

If, however, you mean that given convincing evidence you would switch back - no element of choice but dictated by your perception of reality - then you're agreeing that it's not a choice, are you not?

So which is it? Could you, despite convincing evidence, choose to believe or not? Or would your belief be compelled, with no volitional element, because that's how your mind works?

Other posters, I don't think I missed anything substantive, remaining replies were mostly in disagreement over religious belief or asking for explanations of Catholic thought. Which there's definitely a limit to in forum posts - if truly interested, one could refer to a book (and no, not just the Bible! ).
The world is rarely as convincing and simple as all that. I have been in enough semantic nitpicks here already. So, except from the exceedingly rare incidence of absolutely overwhelming evidence, I posit that belief or non-belief is a rational choice.

hans
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Old 26th February 2019, 01:38 PM   #525
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Evidence is only convincing if you choose to accept it is.
If you choose to accept particular evidence is convincing you have chosen to be convinced by it.
If you choose not to accept particular evidence is convincing you have chosen not to be convinced by it.
Evidence that’s absolutely overwhelming and convincing to a rational mind can be chosen to be rejected by an irrational mind.
What convinces one person doesn’t necessarily convince another.
I’ve yet to see anything that theists accept as being convincing evidence for the actual existence of a god that I can accept is either convincing or valid.
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Old 26th February 2019, 02:05 PM   #526
MRC_Hans
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Evidence is only convincing if you choose to accept it is.
If you choose to accept particular evidence is convincing you have chosen to be convinced by it.
If you choose not to accept particular evidence is convincing you have chosen not to be convinced by it.
Evidence that’s absolutely overwhelming and convincing to a rational mind can be chosen to be rejected by an irrational mind.
What convinces one person doesn’t necessarily convince another.
I’ve yet to see anything that theists accept as being convincing evidence for the actual existence of a god that I can accept is either convincing or valid.
So you agree that belief (and hence, non belief) can be a matter of choice? Thank you. That was all I claimed.

Hans
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Old 26th February 2019, 02:12 PM   #527
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
So you agree that belief (and hence, non belief) can be a matter of choice? Thank you. That was all I claimed.

Hans
Yes.

I was more responding to epeeist than you.
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Old 26th February 2019, 03:04 PM   #528
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Yes.

I was more responding to epeeist than you.
OK.
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Old 27th February 2019, 12:03 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is what is left of your comment apart from personal opinions and disqualifications.

Improve the content next time, please.
Why would I go more in depth? Given the consistent pattern of your responses to me, you wouldn't address what I said, anyways, but rather address a nonsensical caricature of what I said, if you even responded to the points in the first place.
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Old 27th February 2019, 12:36 AM   #530
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Since Hans asked me for it, this is my opinion:

We have to start from a fact: moral norms do not come from God, nor from human nature, nor from social norms. They are not like things to be discovered. They are not like planets or dinosaurs. The most we can discover are social or natural regularities, but regularities are what there is, not what has to be done. Therefore, there is no contradiction in saying that a moral norm goes against existing society or against a natural instinct.

Therefore, man is a being thrown into a world that makes no sense. Meaning, the norm to exist, must be given by him himself and he cannot justify himself in anything other than his own freedom to give himself his own norms.

This is the first premise: lucidity. Any man who refuses to accept this is deceiving himself, whether in the name of God, science or society. Because when he denies his freedom in the name of God, science or society, he is denying the fact that he has chosen to submit to those standards, not that those standards have been imposed upon him as a slab.

Lucidity is the first point. The second condition that lucidity imposes is that I exercise my freedom in a situation that includes my world and other freedoms. Both are a necessary limitation on my freedom. The second is also a possibility of extending it through common action to extend the freedoms of all. This is the basis of morality. If you are interested I can broaden the idea.
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Old 27th February 2019, 01:31 AM   #531
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Since Hans asked me for it, this is my opinion:

We have to start from a fact: moral norms do not come from God, nor from human nature, nor from social norms. They are not like things to be discovered. They are not like planets or dinosaurs. The most we can discover are social or natural regularities, but regularities are what there is, not what has to be done. Therefore, there is no contradiction in saying that a moral norm goes against existing society or against a natural instinct.

Therefore, man is a being thrown into a world that makes no sense. Meaning, the norm to exist, must be given by him himself and he cannot justify himself in anything other than his own freedom to give himself his own norms.

This is the first premise: lucidity. Any man who refuses to accept this is deceiving himself, whether in the name of God, science or society. Because when he denies his freedom in the name of God, science or society, he is denying the fact that he has chosen to submit to those standards, not that those standards have been imposed upon him as a slab.

Lucidity is the first point. The second condition that lucidity imposes is that I exercise my freedom in a situation that includes my world and other freedoms. Both are a necessary limitation on my freedom. The second is also a possibility of extending it through common action to extend the freedoms of all. This is the basis of morality. If you are interested I can broaden the idea.
Or we could simply agree we won’t kill each other. Let’s agree we call that a moral agreement. Let’s make and agree on some more moral agreements that might also be beneficial to both of us. Let’s see if others want to also agree and subscribe to our moral agreements to also gain from their benefits. Let’s call our collective moral agreements a moral system.

Or let’s stop derailing this thread with your incessant off-topic philosobabble.
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Old 27th February 2019, 02:08 AM   #532
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@David Mo

While that is good and fine, that's a bit like if I were to go on about how the tooth fairy didn't grow from a flower, nor from the ground by magic, nor was she created by a sorcerer. Oh, and we must be lucid and admit that you choose to leave teeth under your pillow; you aren't forced by the tooth fairy to do that. Well, sure, but as long as I haven't shown evidence that she actually exists, it's literal tooth fairy science.

Same for your absolute morality.

But it's worse, because you don't even say what that absolute morality IS or how it works. Just saying how it's not created, uh, ok, I'll take that, but that still doesn't even touch what it's supposed to BE.

It's also still not evidence that it exists. I mean, I can go on about how the tooth fairy didn't grow from a flower, but that doesn't say any other origin story actually happened instead.

But it gets worse. There are a couple of fundamental problems with your position by now:

1. If, as you wrote above, morality is not something you can discover, then how did you discover that absolute morality? Or any of its precepts?

2. If, as you went on for the last couple of pages, there is no valid way to rate one set of rules as better than another, then how do you know that your absolute morality is the best?

Or let's not even go for "best". You say you can oppose the set of rules of a society in the name of the set of rules of your absolute morality. Well, how do you know your set of rules is better? And if, as you stated, there is no valid way to rate one as better than the other, then on what basis do you think you can oppose one based on the other?

If the only reason you can argue for why your absolute-morality set of rules should take precedence over any other is "because it's the absolute morality", that's just special pleading.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:14 AM   #533
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I will finish the presentation of my idea and then try to respond briefly to your objections:

There are two contradictory impulses in man: aggressiveness and empathy. The first leads to struggle, the second to cooperation. If taken to the extreme, both can be destructive. The first destroys the others. The second destroys the individual himself. They have to be combined. Together with the principle of freedom and lucidity, they become the moral norm of the struggle to expand my own freedom and that of others. It is in this joint struggle that the values of solidarity and those related to moral emotions are shaped: feelings of guilt, shame, pride, compassion, self-satisfaction, etc.

This is the basis of morality. It is neither objective nor subjective; it is intersubjective.

The slogan is: Neither God, nor master!
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:18 AM   #534
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Well, that's all a bit vague, innit? You still haven't shown that everyone arrives at the same thing that way, nor that it's any better from what people have arrived at in an other way. In fact, again, you have specifically argued that there is no valid way to rate yours as better or worse than any other set of rules, including, but not limited to, those of Critias.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:19 AM   #535
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@David Mo

While that is good and fine, that's a bit like if I were to go on about how the tooth fairy didn't grow from a flower, nor from the ground by magic, nor was she created by a sorcerer.(...)

(...)
.
I believe that my previous comment responds to your objection: I do not defend an "absolute" morality.

I do not believe that magic makes men freer or more lucid. Magic and religion are illusory and make men slaves to these illusory beliefs.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:26 AM   #536
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Or we could simply agree we won’t kill each other. Let’s agree we call that a moral agreement. Let’s make and agree on some more moral agreements that might also be beneficial to both of us. Let’s see if others want to also agree and subscribe to our moral agreements to also gain from their benefits. Let’s call our collective moral agreements a moral system.
Only a strictly pacifist morality forbids killing at all. In this sense, killing is a morally neutral act.
In my proposal it depends on whether the act of killing makes men freer (including me) or not.
However, since killing is the act of annihilating a freedom, I would say my morality admits it as a last resort.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:31 AM   #537
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But ok, let's take a few examples and see what you arrive at from those principles, and how do you know it's any better than what anyone else came up with. You know, just to see how it works when it's more than banal generalities:


1. Women getting attractive haircuts. Good? Evil? Not a moral issue?

Well, it may seem like only one answer is the obviously correct one, but so it seemed to other people and it was a different one. Early Xians for example even wrote epistles condemning women for even braiding their hair, because apparently that induces good Xian men into temptation and sin. 'Cause I guess seeing a braid gives us men a raging boner and we can't control ourselves. Well, or at least apparently it gives us all sorts of lewd thoughts, and as Jesus said, then you're already guilty of adultery.

I'm serious, btw. There's an early epistle where they even fantasize that such temptresses will be hung by their braids over the fire in Hell.

So, how do you discover a better answer there, if you've just argued that morality isn't discoverable? And how do you know if yours is better, if you've just argued that there's no valid way to compare them?

Specific details, not generalities, please.


2. He may not be very famous, but he's a dead philosopher, so maybe that will get you to take him more seriously: Carneades. Specifically, the problem knowns as Carneades's Plank.

I'll rephrase it a bit in terms of Titanic, so everyone can know what I'm talking about: ship sinks, two people, one wooden door that can only hold one of them out of the freezing water. In our alternate universe, Jack actively pushes Rose off it, and she drowns. Later someone calls Jack a murderer. Jack answers that it was self defense: she wouldn't let him on the plank, and he would have died if he hadn't fought for his own self preservation.

Now I'm not going to ask what you think is moral there, but how do you get to whatever answer you think is right, and how do you know it's the best?
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Last edited by HansMustermann; 27th February 2019 at 04:13 AM. Reason: typos, bloody typos
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:32 AM   #538
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, that's all a bit vague, innit? You still haven't shown that everyone arrives at the same thing that way, nor that it's any better from what people have arrived at in an other way. In fact, again, you have specifically argued that there is no valid way to rate yours as better or worse than any other set of rules, including, but not limited to, those of Critias.
I said elsewhere that convincing tyrants like Critias is impossible. They have totally renounced their own freedom and that of others, or they are governed by a concept of absolute freedom that is illusory.
I can appeal to two sources: the consciousness of my freedom and the conditions in which it is really exercised. If someone wants to deceive himself, my ethics cannot respond to this. It is rather a matter of political struggle.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:33 AM   #539
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I believe that my previous comment responds to your objection: I do not defend an "absolute" morality.

I do not believe that magic makes men freer or more lucid. Magic and religion are illusory and make men slaves to these illusory beliefs.
I do believe though that then that's no different than what Critias would realistically argue.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:36 AM   #540
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
More importantly, what exactly does it even do, and how does it square with what we do know about the brain?

The only half-way coherent hypothesis I've ever heard makes the brain some kind of radio that just receives stuff from that out-of-this-world consciousness.

The problem there is that the analogy breaks down completely when you notice that if you have a radio, and only one station it can receive (unless you have multiple souls, like the ancient Pharaohs, that is), messing with the radio can't make the guy on the radio say something else. Punching the radio enough times won't make the anchor guy suddenly be dumber than before. Giving... well, whatever would be the electronics equivalent of antidepressants to the radio, won't make the guy on the radio more self-assured or assertive. Etc.

And any repairable damage to the radio doesn't make the anchor schizophrenic.

At some point one has to admit that there's a LOT of processing done by that radio. At which point, another entity from which it receives anything becomes just an extra entity that doesn't really add anything to the understanding. There's exactly zero extra stuff one can explain by postulating that extra entity. Even if we don't understand everything without that entity, we're no closer to understanding anything more by adding such an entity.

As such, you know, the razor and all that...
You've been reading Dennett. Poor choice.

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Old 27th February 2019, 03:38 AM   #541
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Outside the physical realm?

Duality? Pray tell, what is outside the physical realm?
Thoughts, feelings, ideas........

Chris B.
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:41 AM   #542
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I said elsewhere that convincing tyrants like Critias is impossible. They have totally renounced their own freedom and that of others, or they are governed by a concept of absolute freedom that is illusory.
I can appeal to two sources: the consciousness of my freedom and the conditions in which it is really exercised. If someone wants to deceive himself, my ethics cannot respond to this. It is rather a matter of political struggle.
Well, the question isn't as much whether you could convince Critias, but what makes your version even different from that of Critias in the first place, how do you arrive at it, and how would you support that it's better than the one of Critias?

Because, see, framing it in terms of lucidity and freedom is also what some of the most abhorrent systems or philosophical models do. Nobody says, "the rich should be richer, the rest of you should be slaves, so suck it." They all phrase it in terms like that any kind of preventing slavery is in fact limiting the freedom of the slave owners.

And if you explicitly rejected utilitarianism as a way to evaluate that, how would you say that that's wrong? On what basis would you say that it's more right to free a thousand slaves than to not restrict the freedom of a couple of slavers to buy more slaves?

Again, we don't know what the historical Critias thought, but if he were to live nowadays, he'd probably phrase his argument in favour of having an oligarchy of 3000 people having all the rights, precisely in terms of preserving their freedom. He'd say stuff like that allowing every Atenian an equal vote is a case of ten wolves and one sheep voting on what's for dinner. With the implication that those rich 3000 are the sheep in that analogy.

So how do you know that your solution for preserving freedom is any better than his?
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Old 27th February 2019, 03:53 AM   #543
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But ok, let's take a few examples and see what you arrive at from those principles, and how do you know it's any better than what anyone else came up with. You know, just to see how it works when it's more than banal generalities:


1. Women getting attractive haircuts. Good? Evil? Not a moral issue?

(...)


2. He may not be very famous, but he's a dead philosophere, so maybe that will get you to take him more seriously: Carneades. Specifically, the problem knowns as Carneades's Plank.

I'll rephrase it a bit in terms of Titanic, so everyone can know what I'm talking about: ship sinks, two people, one wooden door that can only hold one of them out of the freezing water. In our universe, Jack actively pushes Rose off it, and she drowns. Later someone calls Jack a murderer. Jack answers that it was self defense: she wouldn't let him on the plank, and he would have died if he hadn't fought for his own self preservation.

1 is not a moral problem. The concept of sin comes from that of God, which as I said is an illusory concept. It is aimed at subjecting people to others (priests, generally). It is these who create the problem.


2 is a terribly extreme situation. I don' believe that any moral, other than total altruism —which is very rare to find—, can provide a seamless solution. What works here are the moral emotions and the bonds they establish. It also depends on the degree of certainty about the real situation, etc.

If a morality says it has solutions for everything, it lies. I will tell you a case:

A student goes to his moral teacher with a dilemma. His patriotic duty calls him to participate in the French Resistance, but he thinks that his duty as a son tells him to stay with his mother. The teacher tells him: "You decide for yourself. Neither I nor anyone else can decide for you. And whoever says so, lies.
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Old 27th February 2019, 04:09 AM   #544
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
1 is not a moral problem. The concept of sin comes from that of God, which as I said is an illusory concept. It is aimed at subjecting people to others (priests, generally). It is these who create the problem.
While they did frame it in terms of sin, the underlying issue is not necessarily religious. If you actually believe that a single woman with braided hair will cause a dozen otherwise good moral men to start doing immoral stuff -- 'cause you just know we'll be going, "ooooh, I could have resisted seeing tits and ass, but braids... oh god, braids... now I have to do something with this raging boner RIGHT NAO!" -- then why wouldn't stopping her be a moral issue? Even if you don't believe in god or sin, someone causing people to cheat and rape left right and centre seems to me like exactly the kind of things that morals should be concerned with.

But at any rate, your disagreeing with them is actually the optimal setup for what I've asked: how do you know that yours is the right moral evaluation of it, and more specifically, how do you know it's better than theirs?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
2 is a terribly extreme situation.
Indeed, but that was the whole point.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don' believe that any moral, other than total altruism —which is very rare to find—, can provide a seamless solution. What works here are the moral emotions and the bonds they establish. It also depends on the degree of certainty about the real situation, etc.
Yes, but that's dodging the problem. If you're a member of a jury -- or the group of judges as they called it in ancient Greece in the time that dude came up with that problem -- you have to vote guilty or not guilty. Is it really self defense? Is it even something you want to legally allow? Is it a precedent you want to set?

At the end of the day, you must pass a verdict.

Better yet, you must convince the rest of the jurrors to vote your way. Because it's only guilty if all 12 vote guilty, it's only innocent if all 12 vote innocent. If even one guy votes different than the others, it's a hung jury, and you have neither caused the guy to be ruled guilty, not innocent. Jack can theoretically be tried again and again for the rest of his life, if no jurry agree on one or the other.

So, again, you don't even have to decide one or the other, you may have to present a reasonable argument to your fellow jurrors for why that's the right decision.
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Old 27th February 2019, 04:19 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You are attempting to repeat the arguments of a young earth creationist.

You must know (at least you ought to know) that "faith" is entirely the wrong word to use when talking about published discoveries, explanations, and Theories established by genuine science research.

"Faith" is a word most particularly used to describe religious belief ... a belief without actual genuine objective evidence.

Whereas what we accept from science as likely to be true, is based upon what is almost always an absolutely vast amount of very convincing evidence. So convincing that nobody has been able to show why or how it could actually be seriously in error. That's what happens when scientists publish research papers. That's why science has that system of publishing research via an expert editorial board with peer review ... at which point it's made available for every other expert group around the world to check and test in every way possible (and they absolutely do check!).

That does not exclude the possibility that some of the more tentative or speculative explanations in science could be completely wrong ... in individual isolated papers the authors often give a range of tentative explanations for unusual or unexpected results, and some of those are quite often wrong (we had that recently with a very thoroughly researched paper reporting what the authors believed to be direct detection of gravity waves ... the observed effect was actually caused by something else. Also a report from research at the LHC where it appeared that certain Particles were moving faster than the speed of light ... which turned out to be a particularly obscure type of instrumental error). Nor does it exclude some scientists publishing false data ... that is however an extremely rare occurrence).

But what the scientific community as a whole take to be "most likely correct" does not come from one isolated paper like that. That sort of consensus on what's likely to be correct comes only after hundreds (or thousands) of papers have been published where scientists all around the world have tried to repeat the published experiments and/or where they have often used very different techniques to examine the same phenomena and obtained the same results.

That's not "faith". That is objective reasoned educated conclusion drawn from a vast amount of tried tested and confirmed evidence.
I'm not affiliated with any creationists groups as I disagree with most of the young Earth speculations. There are a few things I've pointed out that gave me reason to consider there may be something unknown at work. I've not seen anything yet that would sway my curiosity away from such a thought. Pondering these mysteries is in no way a declaration of faith. It's merely food for thought.

Regarding "faith", I was referring to a statement by another member that science would eventually explain certain things. This reference to future findings that may be made by science is nothing more than an example of faith.

Since nobody can know the future with certainty........entertaining a hopeful outlook on the future findings of science would mean science is no different than religion. Hope equals faith and to be fair you can't rule out one without ruling out the other. So instead of hoping for what we may discover in the future, I think it's best to refer to the here and now of what we know and what we don't.

Chris B.
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Old 27th February 2019, 07:38 AM   #546
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
I'm not affiliated with any creationists groups as I disagree with most of the young Earth speculations. There are a few things I've pointed out that gave me reason to consider there may be something unknown at work. I've not seen anything yet that would sway my curiosity away from such a thought. Pondering these mysteries is in no way a declaration of faith. It's merely food for thought. .

I think we covered this before (e.g., re the highlight) – you are really presenting a God-in-the- Gaps argument. You are failing to mention the fact that science has long since provided extremely convincing and fully supported answers to almost every conceivable question than mankind once asked about the nature of the universe outside of the Earth & the nature of everything found on planet Earth (inc. questions about all the people & animals etc.). At one time all of that was unknown (in fact most of it was unknown right up to just 100-200 years ago).

Now all that theists have left are a few remaining questions (usually expressed as accusations against science or against atheists) such as how was the Big Bang produced, how did the first living thing appear on Earth, and what exactly is consciousness, and they are now reduced to claiming that God must still be the answer hiding in those few remaining gaps.


Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Regarding "faith", I was referring to a statement by another member that science would eventually explain certain things. This reference to future findings that may be made by science is nothing more than an example of faith.

Since nobody can know the future with certainty........entertaining a hopeful outlook on the future findings of science would mean science is no different than religion. Hope equals faith and to be fair you can't rule out one without ruling out the other. So instead of hoping for what we may discover in the future, I think it's best to refer to the here and now of what we know and what we don't. Chris B.


The success rate of science over the last 100-200 years shows that we can be reasonably confident that we will discover more answers to those last few questions about the “gaps” where God is still claimed to be hiding.

Against that it has now been discovered that all the claims once made for God have turned out to be wrong. That's clear and unarguable from all the explanations we now have from science.

So those two situations are not equal. They are in fact not remotely comparable at all. On one hand you have a huge number of claims that were originally made for God (and for Jesus incidentally, as well as for other OT and NT biblical "facts"), all of which have turned out to be totally untrue (wherever they could possibly be checked) vs. science which has produced literally billions of extremely accurate and quite unarguable explanations for virtually every question mankind ever thought of.

So far, if you put your trust in religious faith and the bible, your success rate would be precisely zero out of many thousands of claims vs a trust in science which so far has a success rate of literally billions of explanations so astounding and so accurate that it's probably beyond the comprehension of most people who are not working directly within core science research.

Science has proved reliable & correct to a degree far beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Religious faith in God (and Jesus & the bible) has proved completely unreliable an incorrect to a degree beyond even anyones lowest and most meagre expectations.
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Old 27th February 2019, 08:03 AM   #547
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
... Regarding "faith", I was referring to a statement by another member that science would eventually explain certain things. This reference to future findings that may be made by science is nothing more than an example of faith.

Since nobody can know the future with certainty........entertaining a hopeful outlook on the future findings of science would mean science is no different than religion. Hope equals faith and to be fair you can't rule out one without ruling out the other. So instead of hoping for what we may discover in the future, I think it's best to refer to the here and now of what we know and what we don't.

Chris B.
1. History of science is a discipline for a reason. Generally, Western religion assumes a closed box about which all is known, while observable reality is a demonstrably explorable, open measure space, of which science creates models. As that space is explored, history is made.

2. One should not take a mistaken paradigm, religion, as the proper model for what reliable and valid knowledge should be, instead of what it actually is in real practice; viz, empirically veridical description.

3. Given 1+2, then 3: It is logical and reasonable, given past experience, that humans will continue to refine and expand the reliable knowledge base that is science.
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Old 27th February 2019, 08:17 AM   #548
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If a totally inexplicable event occurred, a miracle of sorts, it would make any if of us accept the possibility of a god.

In the face of total disaster that will lead to your near immediate death a figure steps in and assured you there is still a need for you to live. Then does something that allows you to escape unharmed.

You couldn't prove it to others but it would be your reality forever. Others would know you had amazing luck or something else out of the ordinary that one time but couldn't explain it as you would.

The evidence opened you to a belief. What you do from there no one else could guess. Double down in the denial or start a cult of sorts it's wide open.

That major event has never been mine but a series of smaller events that -could- have killed a younger and stupider me didn't.
A guardian angel? Simple luck or the hand of a god preventing disaster?
Hell I don't know.

But there is no reason to complain when life goes on where others didn't get a break.
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Old 27th February 2019, 09:14 AM   #549
epeeist
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Evidence is only convincing if you choose to accept it is.
If you choose to accept particular evidence is convincing you have chosen to be convinced by it.
If you choose not to accept particular evidence is convincing you have chosen not to be convinced by it.
Evidence that’s absolutely overwhelming and convincing to a rational mind can be chosen to be rejected by an irrational mind.
What convinces one person doesn’t necessarily convince another.
I’ve yet to see anything that theists accept as being convincing evidence for the actual existence of a god that I can accept is either convincing or valid.
You said later this was addressed to me.

Take, oh, I don't know, the Monty Hall math problem (you know, the one about there are three choices with only one a good prize, you pick one, the game show host shows you one of the ones you didn't pick, if you do - or don't - change your pick, what are your chances, 1/2, or 1/3?).

Don't worry, I'm not going to discuss the answer!

The point is, there is a provable answer. If someone doesn't accept the logic, they can do an experiment with repeated choices, even a simple computer program, to model the situation.

But, regardless of what the truth is, people will believe, or not believe, the correct answer. It's not a matter of choice whether or not to believe, as I see choice. There may be an element of choice if someone refuses to think, or refuses to pay attention to arguments, but if they pay attention and are still unpersuaded, that doesn't seem like choice to me. Just like if someone says they're a religious believer or unbeliever, but don't pay attention to any arguments to the contrary (or, cherry-pick weak arguments to support their choice) that's a form of wilful blindness. But if they pay attention and are unpersuaded by theistic or atheistic arguments, they're not choosing to be unpersuaded, they simply are unpersuaded.

They might be persuaded in future, but that is not the same as saying they have a choice whether or not to believe the correct answer is true (you and I, of course, disagreeing on what the correct answer is ).

EDIT: and of course, most religious beliefs aren't provable or disprovable in a mathematical or scientific or historical way, at least not during one's own life (I'm thinking of an analogy to the quantum suicide many-worlds experiment...).

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Old 27th February 2019, 09:14 AM   #550
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
You've been reading Dennett. Poor choice.

Chris B.
Actually, the name doesn't ring a bell off the top of my head. But that's ok, because I asked what would that out-of-this-world entity DO, not what would Dennett believe it would do.

If you think that you have a better model, please explain it.
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Old 27th February 2019, 09:53 AM   #551
Hlafordlaes
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
If a totally inexplicable event occurred, a miracle...
Every spin of the roulette wheel has a slightly improbable winner. Reality is far, far more complex than roulette, and improbabilities happen all the time.
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Old 27th February 2019, 10:21 AM   #552
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Thoughts, feelings, ideas........

Chris B.
And how does that work?
Where are they exactly?

And then how do they effect your body?
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Old 27th February 2019, 10:25 AM   #553
IanS
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
If a totally inexplicable event occurred, a miracle of sorts, it would make any if of us accept the possibility of a god.

In the face of total disaster that will lead to your near immediate death a figure steps in and assured you there is still a need for you to live. Then does something that allows you to escape unharmed.

You couldn't prove it to others but it would be your reality forever. Others would know you had amazing luck or something else out of the ordinary that one time but couldn't explain it as you would.

The evidence opened you to a belief. What you do from there no one else could guess. Double down in the denial or start a cult of sorts it's wide open.

That major event has never been mine but a series of smaller events that -could- have killed a younger and stupider me didn't.
A guardian angel? Simple luck or the hand of a god preventing disaster?
Hell I don't know.

But there is no reason to complain when life goes on where others didn't get a break.

Well there's a very simple answer to that - the person who claims an experience like that, just needs to produce genuine evidence that can be checked in a reliable way.

However, if you listen any the many tens of thousands of such religious claims of having some sort of "inexplicable amazing experience" (such that they claim "only God could be the answer"), it always turns out that there is a very obvious and perfectly normal natural explanation for whatever happened. There are literally hundreds of theist calls with claims like that on Atheist Experience (YouTube) for example.
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Old 27th February 2019, 10:55 AM   #554
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Thoughts, feelings, ideas........

Chris B.

Well that's not really outside of the physical realm. Your thoughts, feelings and ideas are conceptualized impressions that you form in what we call your "mind", and what occurs in your "mind" is being produced by your brain ... but you and your brain are certainly inside/within the physical world (they are not occurring in some other imagined spatial location that you might want to term "outside of a physical world").

You seem to be constantly fishing around for a world or a reality which is not the world or reality that all of us actually detect and react to. As if it was some sort of heaven or spirit-world where God lives with the consciousness/souls of deceased people. But afaik there is zero evidence of any other reality or other world of that sort ...

... do you have evidence of any such undetected unobserved unexplained world or alternative reality?
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Old 27th February 2019, 11:17 AM   #555
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
[portion only quoted, emphasis added]

Again, we seem to be using language differently.

You say you chose not to believe - does that mean you could have chosen to continue believing, and in fact could choose to return to belief? Because if not, and I don't think that's what you mean, what do you mean by something being a choice? If there's no free selection, there's no choice.
Barring very scientific protocol evidence, most evidence is at least somewhat ambiguous. Religion in particular generally consists of unfalsifiable claims. Therefore, how you treat them is based on some level of arbitration. In other words, you basically choose what you will accept.

Quote:
As for switching to belief, you're saying that if you were given convincing evidence, you could choose to switch back to belief. But if something is truly a choice that means, to me, that you could also choose NOT to switch back, despite convincing evidence.
"Convincing evidence" is, if not under rigorous scientific protocol, personal.

Quote:
You could choose not to believe the earth was round, despite convincing evidence. Could choose not to believe gravity exists, despite convincing evidence. Etc.
Thank you for confirming my point. As we know, some people opt to believe Earth is flat, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Same with gravity (although this a bit of a corollary: It is virtually impossible to craft a model of a flat Earth and at the same time accept the law of gravity).

Quote:
If, however, you mean that given convincing evidence you would switch back - no element of choice but dictated by your perception of reality - then you're agreeing that it's not a choice, are you not?
Perception is the keyword. Perception is subjective.

Quote:
So which is it? Could you, despite convincing evidence, choose to believe or not? Or would your belief be compelled, with no volitional element, because that's how your mind works?
For good reasons, I don't know how I personally would react to compelling evidence of God, but as we already agreed, we can see that people adopt beliefs independently of available evidence. (E.g. Flat Earth, Moon hoax, 911 conspiracy ... etc.)

Hans
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Old 27th February 2019, 01:07 PM   #556
epeeist
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
... As we know, some people opt to believe Earth is flat, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Same with gravity (although this a bit of a corollary: It is virtually impossible to craft a model of a flat Earth and at the same time accept the law of gravity).



Perception is the keyword. Perception is subjective....
[portion only quoted, emphasis added]

What does the word "opt" mean to you? To me, it means to make a choice. So if you're saying some people choose to believe the Earth is flat, I disagree. Some people believe the Earth is flat, they don't choose to believe that, they just do believe that.
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Old 27th February 2019, 02:09 PM   #557
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
Every spin of the roulette wheel has a slightly improbable winner. Reality is far, far more complex than roulette, and improbabilities happen all the time.
Having enjoyed more than my fair share of casino games I have to agree. In life as in video poker even taking the long shot at a better outcome might just pay off.

But not if you always play the tough odds.
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Old 27th February 2019, 02:19 PM   #558
IanS
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
[portion only quoted, emphasis added]

What does the word "opt" mean to you? To me, it means to make a choice. So if you're saying some people choose to believe the Earth is flat, I disagree. Some people believe the Earth is flat, they don't choose to believe that, they just do believe that.


On what basis did they arrive at that belief?

People do not just automatically "believe" things with no prior influencing factors ... for example if we are talking about adults then they already have literally trillions of experiences that form the input to whatever they decide to believe as "true" at any moment of time in their adult lives.
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Old 28th February 2019, 12:47 AM   #559
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
While they did frame it in terms of sin, the underlying issue is not necessarily religious. If you actually believe that a single woman with braided hair will cause a dozen otherwise good moral men to start doing immoral stuff(...)then why wouldn't stopping her be a moral issue? Even if you don't believe in god or sin, someone causing people to cheat and rape left right and centre seems to me like exactly the kind of things that morals should be concerned with.

But at any rate, your disagreeing with them is actually the optimal setup for what I've asked: how do you know that yours is the right moral evaluation of it, and more specifically, how do you know it's better than theirs?





Yes, but that's dodging the problem. If you're a member of a jury (...)
“...someone causing people to cheat and rape left right and centre...”
Sorry, I don’t understand this. I don’t see any relation with “brainded hair”.

I think the freedom principle that I propose is better because it is not illusory and fits basic moral feelings. Obviously, sometimes I can draw wrong conclusions from it. But this happens in any moral system.

I don't think a woman's haircut or a man's haircut harms anyone's freedom. I suppose those who want to ban it in the name of morality are the ones who harm the freedom of that woman and others. If it's not religion, I don't know what it might be based on. Good customs? That is another screen for repressing freedom and not taking responsibility for one's own moral decisions.

As for the other example, I'm afraid you've gone from morality to law. They are two different things. As far as penal court is concerned, it will have to be decided whether the resolution of the case is deduced from some law or not. It will also be necessary to analyse particular and exonerating circumstances. With regard to morality, I reiterate what I said in another comment: I would reserve my opinion.

That a moral judgment is impossible in some extreme cases is not extraordinary. Even in science a definitive answer is not always possible. In an extreme circumstance such as the one you have designed, the individual would probably make a decision strongly conditioned by his emotions and not by rational deliberation. This tarnishes any moral consideration.

Anyway, I wouldn't want to live a similar situation.
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Old 28th February 2019, 01:05 AM   #560
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
“...someone causing people to cheat and rape left right and centre...”
Sorry, I don’t understand this. I don’t see any relation with “brainded hair”.
Well, obviously they did.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I think the freedom principle that I propose is better because it is not illusory and fits basic moral feelings. Obviously, sometimes I can draw wrong conclusions from it. But this happens in any moral system.
Yes, but it's not just that you sometimes draw wrong conclusions from it, it's that it covers the whole spectrum from extreme altruism to fascism. A REAL Critias, as opposed to a strawman sockpuppet like the one in Plato, would NOT argue that might is right. Because that's a recipe for not getting any power. He'd in fact argue that he protects freedom with his police state. He might even believe it, actually.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't think a woman's haircut or a man's haircut harms anyone's freedom. I suppose those who want to ban it in the name of morality are the ones who harm the freedom of that woman and others. If it's not religion, I don't know what it might be based on. Good customs? That is another screen for repressing freedom and not taking responsibility for one's own moral decisions.
No, the idea was quite plainly about morals. They thought that if a woman makes herself prettier, it's to sexually tempt men, and that men basically are that easy to tempt into immoral behaviour. Thinking with your dick wasn't as much your failure, it was an established excuse. The woman who tempted you was to blame.

Hell, she may even be a witch. The later Malleus Maleficarum explicitly blames it on women doing witchcraft if a man starts doing adultery, or even fancying another woman than his wife. He wasn't an ass hole for cheating on his wife, see, he was the victim there.

We men didn't use to take much responsibility for our actions, basically.

And why that matters is to illustrate that, like in any logic, what you get out of some reasoning depends on the premises you put into it.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
As for the other example, I'm afraid you've gone from morality to law. They are two different things.
The laws are just there to enforce a certain morality, and hopefully one we all agreed on. Or at least those with any power agreed on. Nobody in history went, "let's give some immoral laws for giggles."

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
As far as penal court is concerned, it will have to be decided whether the resolution of the case is deduced from some law or not.
Someone ending up dead as a direct and 100% foreseeable result of your actions is and was homicide in every legal system ever. I'm not sure why you imagine there is some legal complexity there.

The affirmative defense of it being self defense is also nothing specific to just one legal system and nothing new. It was in fact established enough in ancient Greece to have the plank problem I just wrote as an illustration of its complexity.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It will also be necessary to analyse particular and exonerating circumstances.
I just told you all the circumstances in that case.
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Last edited by HansMustermann; 28th February 2019 at 01:13 AM.
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