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Old 14th February 2019, 06:09 PM   #41
Emre_1974tr
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You must translate my Turkish article:

http://emre1974tr.blogspot.com/2011/...urdukleri.html
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Old 14th February 2019, 06:55 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
You wouldn't accept any reason they'd be capable of giving.
I would accept any reason given as being their reason, I've never been able to accept any reason given as a reason I accept for myself however.
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Old 14th February 2019, 06:57 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I would accept any reason given as being their reason, I've never been able to accept any reason given as a reason I accept for myself however.
I predict that you never will. So why did you ask?
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:06 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I predict that you never will. So why did you ask?
Perhaps because I want to learn more about why so many people do? Perhaps I'm trying to highlight to those that do that perhaps they shouldn't? Perhaps I'm praying for a miracle?

I know what your pick would be . . .
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Last edited by ynot; 14th February 2019 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 14th February 2019, 07:11 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
You must translate my Turkish article:

http://emre1974tr.blogspot.com/2011/...urdukleri.html
No I mustn't. But I did, and didn't find it translated very well and the content I could decipher didn't make any coherent sense.

Perhaps you might like to offer a (short) English version here? If you do, a bit of friendly advice - Infinity isn't a number so having an infinite number of lottery tickets isn't possible, and random is merely "too complicated to fully observe, understand and predict".

ETA - I tried reading it again and here's my brief understanding of it (please explain if and where I got it wrong) . . .
"If you win a lottery with odds of 1 trillion to one you have been extremely lucky. I you win the same lottery every draw with the same ticket however, there must be a god controlling things".

A far more credible and obvious explanation would be that the lottery is fixed and the winning is the result of a cheat controlling things (no god required).
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 14th February 2019, 07:59 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Perhaps because I want to learn more about why so many people do? Perhaps I'm trying to highlight to those that do that perhaps they shouldn't? Perhaps I'm praying for a miracle?

I know what your pick would be . . .
For your first, when theprestige offered you an explanation, you immediately found a reason to dismiss it. That's not a genuine inquiry. If you are genuinely curious, and that is a perfectly reasonable reason to enquire, then the appropriate response is "Hmm, that's interesting", not "that's invalid because reasons".

For your second, what gives you the authority to decide what someone should or shouldn't believe?

For your third, well, I have an inkling that's not a serious reason.

And you know what my pick of what should be? I don't understand that bit of your post.
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:04 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
No I mustn't. But I did, and didn't find it translated very well and the content I could decipher didn't make any coherent sense.

Perhaps you might like to offer a (short) English version here? If you do, a bit of friendly advice - Infinity isn't a number so having an infinite number of lottery tickets isn't possible, and random is merely "too complicated to fully observe, understand and predict".

ETA - I tried reading it again and here's my brief understanding of it (please explain if and where I got it wrong) . . .
"If you win a lottery with odds of 1 trillion to one you have been extremely lucky. I you win the same lottery every draw with the same ticket however, there must be a god controlling things".

A far more credible and obvious explanation would be that the lottery is fixed and the winning is the result of a cheat controlling things (no god required).
You must translate...

Good luck...
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:11 PM   #48
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This ticket consists of six numbers:

111111
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:16 PM   #49
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But in my example, the lottery ticket has a trillion digits.

13857543356654433445433245453454534656778808897868 33727327.......................................... ............................
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:19 PM   #50
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To determine the winning ticket, a full trillion times the ball draw will be made.
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:21 PM   #51
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So the numbers of on the lucky ticket that are going to win must come out of a trillion times in a row.
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:23 PM   #52
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If the draw of each ball lasts for a second, a trillion draws will last for centuries.
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:25 PM   #53
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And every second of the centuries, that lucky ticket will always win. Without a hitch even once...
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:30 PM   #54
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If you try to run a machine a trillion times, it breaks.
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:31 PM   #55
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But this ticket wins a trillion times without a hitch.
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Old 14th February 2019, 08:35 PM   #56
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It's an impossible event with luck. It can't be spontaneous.

There's no such thing as luck.

Even in games of chance...
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:11 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I donít believe in a god because I canít think of a single reason why I should (and many reasons why I shouldnít).

Some kind of evidence would be a good reason to believe, but that doesnít seem to be possible, so what other reason(s) is their to believe in a god (serious question)?
I think the propensity to believe may have a genetic component.

Beyond that, God belief is not necessarily linked to Bronze Age goat herders. If I say I believe in God and you start talking about Noah's ark, we are talking past each other.

I don't know if there's a rational reason for believing God exists, but I believe there may be advantages to acting as if God exists. I've had some personal experience with this. At times in my life I have prayed, only to have some aspect of that prayer realized. Is there a magical being listening to me? I seriously doubt it. But if I ask for insight resolving a dilemma, it's not unusual that I will later find the dilemma sorting itself out, seemingly without conscious effort on my part.

> Snipped long example<

So, tl/dr: Acting as if I believed in prayer improved my ability to cope with tough situations. It's one reason (for me) to at least give it a shot when all else fails, IMO.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:14 PM   #58
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If there is a probability at all, then it is possible. If it were impossible, the chances of it happening would be zero.

E.g., your dad ejaculated anywhere between 100,000,000 and 500,000,000 sperm cells on the occasion you were conceived. The chances of YOU happening are beyond improbable. Yet we apparently drew the short bus... err... straw anyway.

Additionally, if you make an argument from probabilities, you must first show what the probabilities are. What we usually get is various versions of "I'm too stonking stupid to understand probabilities, therefore God", which is not entirely making the case.

And I mean, not just for the probabilities. But can't even an omnipotent God that wants us to receive the Word find some 'apostle' who is smart enough to actually make the case for that Word?
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:22 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
You must translate...
Good luck...
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
This ticket consists of six numbers:
111111
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
But in my example, the lottery ticket has a trillion digits.
13857543356654433445433245453454534656778808897868 33727327.......................................... ............................
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
To determine the winning ticket, a full trillion times the ball draw will be made.
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
So the numbers of on the lucky ticket that are going to win must come out of a trillion times in a row.
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
And every second of the centuries, that lucky ticket will always win. Without a hitch even once...
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
If you try to run a machine a trillion times, it breaks.
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
But this ticket wins a trillion times without a hitch.
Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
It's an impossible event with luck. It can't be spontaneous.
There's no such thing as luck.
Even in games of chance...
Seriously - What a total load of incoherent babble, unnecessary posted over nine posts. I'm not going to waste my time trying explain to you why it's incoherent babble.

But hey, let me/us know if you ever find an actual, regular lottery (merely millions to one odds) that has been won merely ten times in consecutive draws, and it has been conclusively proven that no cheating was involved, then we can discuss what other possible normal/natural reason the cause was rather than jumping to the conclusion it was something paranormal/supernatural like a god.

You can't credibly reverse-engineer an actual god out of philosophical arguments and ancient texts, and you can't do so using incoherent babble either.
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 14th February 2019 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:38 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I think the propensity to believe may have a genetic component.
Not a gene I have then.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Beyond that, God belief is not necessarily linked to Bronze Age goat herders. If I say I believe in God and you start talking about Noah's ark, we are talking past each other.
It's not possible to post to simultaneously suit the over 40,000 versions of Christianity, let alone all the other god belief versions.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I don't know if there's a rational reason for believing God exists, but I believe there may be advantages to acting as if God exists. I've had some personal experience with this. At times in my life I have prayed, only to have some aspect of that prayer realized. Is there a magical being listening to me? I seriously doubt it. But if I ask for insight resolving a dilemma, it's not unusual that I will later find the dilemma sorting itself out, seemingly without conscious effort on my part.

> Snipped long example<

So, tl/dr: Acting as if I believed in prayer improved my ability to cope with tough situations. It's one reason (for me) to at least give it a shot when all else fails, IMO.
That only explains why you act as if a god exists, not why you believe one does (if you do).If you only act as if a god exists do you consider yourself to be a theist? I can't see any evidence that theists enjoy any practical advantages over atheists, unless you want to define gaining emotional comfort by way of delusion as an advantage. I'm sure you're aware people also take mind-altering drugs to "improve" their ability to cope with tough situations. Are drugs an advantage for them?
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 14th February 2019 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:42 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
For your first, when theprestige offered you an explanation, you immediately found a reason to dismiss it. That's not a genuine inquiry. If you are genuinely curious, and that is a perfectly reasonable reason to enquire, then the appropriate response is "Hmm, that's interesting", not "that's invalid because reasons".

For your second, what gives you the authority to decide what someone should or shouldn't believe?

For your third, well, I have an inkling that's not a serious reason.

And you know what my pick of what should be? I don't understand that bit of your post.
Theprestige didn't offer anything I didn't already know about and hadn't already considered and rejected many times.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:42 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
E.g., your dad ejaculated anywhere between 100,000,000 and 500,000,000 sperm cells on the occasion you were conceived. The chances of YOU happening are beyond improbable. Yet we apparently drew the short bus... err... straw anyway.
The chances of any particular sperm cell from encountering the egg are pretty small, but the chances of ANY sperm cell reaching the egg are pretty good, actually, and most of them would have produced a human.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:47 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The chances of any particular sperm cell from encountering the egg are pretty small, but the chances of ANY sperm cell reaching the egg are pretty good, actually, and most of them would have produced a human.
Same thing applies to lottery tickets in which millions of tickets have been sold.

I believe the odds of any particular egg being "the winner" is something like 400 to 1.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:48 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Same thing applies lottery tickets.
Yes, pretty much. It's not guaranteed that someone will win the lottery (that's why jackpots happen) but it's not guaranteed that every instance of copulation will result in conception either.
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Old 14th February 2019, 09:56 PM   #65
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"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Voltaire

May Akarat bless you!
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"Humans aren't rational creatures but rationalizing creatures."
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:03 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The chances of any particular sperm cell from encountering the egg are pretty small, but the chances of ANY sperm cell reaching the egg are pretty good, actually, and most of them would have produced a human.
Kind of my point, though. Which incidentally applies to his lottery argument too. The chances of one particular person winning the lottery are tiny, but SOMEONE wins the lottery every year.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:07 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
That only explains why you act as if a god exists, not why you believe one does (if you do).If you only act as if a god exists do you consider yourself to be a theist? I can't see any evidence that theists enjoy any practical advantages over atheists, unless you want to define gaining emotional comfort by way of delusion as an advantage. I'm sure you're aware people also take mind-altering drugs to "improve" their ability to cope with tough situations. Are drugs an advantage for them?
Well, is it actually even comfort?

Because it seems to me like, yeah, the comparison to drugs is actually apt. I'm a smoker myself, and I can tell you that while I could say that puffing on a cig makes me feel better, in reality by now it just removes the discomfort of the nicotine withdrawal. I.e., the only comfort it offers is from the problem that it created in the first place.

And it seems to me like the same can be said about religion. Even the angst alone I see among many believers about how everyone who doesn't get their morals from the same religion is a potential threat, is itself not exactly something comforting. Then they go pray to feel safe from the problem that religion put in their head in the first place.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:13 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Anyway, the best I can come up with is that you've had a personal experience of the theos, and it's left you with no other rational option but to believe.

I really don't think there's any other reason that makes any sense at all.

Agreed. The only rational reason to go theistic is if you're a mystic.

On the other hand, mystics are (probably) crazy.


I suppose another rational enough reason to go theistic would be if you yourself believed the claims of some mystic, about their visions and revelations, without yourself having experienced those visions. (Whether that -- your belief itself -- is rational, is a separate discussion.)
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:21 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If you only act as if a god exists do you consider yourself to be a theist?
I don't consider myself anything. I think it was you who responded to me once saying agnostics were actually atheists. That's not exactly what you said. But something along those lines.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I can't see any evidence that theists enjoy any practical advantages over atheists, unless you want to define gaining emotional comfort by way of delusion as an advantage.
I think it may have, or maybe once had, practical advantages, from an evolutionary standpoint. Otherwise I don't see why it would have become so prevalent.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I'm sure you're aware people also take mind-altering drugs to "improve" their ability to cope with tough situations. Are drugs an advantage for them?
Probably, at least temporarily.

Just about every culture that has ever existed has had relationships with mind-altering drugs, so there's a good chance we have an inborn drive to experience altered states. There must be positive aspects or the drive would not have taken hold. Similar to the phenomenon of religion.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:31 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, is it actually even comfort?

Because it seems to me like, yeah, the comparison to drugs is actually apt. I'm a smoker myself, and I can tell you that while I could say that puffing on a cig makes me feel better, in reality by now it just removes the discomfort of the nicotine withdrawal. I.e., the only comfort it offers is from the problem that it created in the first place.

And it seems to me like the same can be said about religion. Even the angst alone I see among many believers about how everyone who doesn't get their morals from the same religion is a potential threat, is itself not exactly something comforting. Then they go pray to feel safe from the problem that religion put in their head in the first place.
I was relating comfort specifically to theism. I think that being discomforted by others being threatened is more than adequately compensated for by the comfort of themselves being saved.
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 14th February 2019 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:37 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Because it seems to me like, yeah, the comparison to drugs is actually apt. I'm a smoker myself, and I can tell you that while I could say that puffing on a cig makes me feel better, in reality by now it just removes the discomfort of the nicotine withdrawal. I.e., the only comfort it offers is from the problem that it created in the first place.
I looked into Scientology a few years back, and I saw a parallel between it and Christianity. Each of them tells you that you have a problem. Scientology has engrams. Christianity has sin. Both are concepts that are unique to the religion. You could say that they were made up by the religion. The religion pulls you in by telling you that you have these problems, and that they have the only solution. Scientology has auditing. Christianity has prayer. Religion only solves problems of its own making. If engrams aren't real, there's no need for Scientology. And if sin isn't real, there's no need for Christianity.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:39 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I looked into Scientology a few years back, and I saw a parallel between it and Christianity. Each of them tells you that you have a problem. Scientology has engrams. Christianity has sin. Both are concepts that are unique to the religion. You could say that they were made up by the religion. The religion pulls you in by telling you that you have these problems, and that they have the only solution. Scientology has auditing. Christianity has prayer. Religion only solves problems of its own making. If engrams aren't real, there's no need for Scientology. And if sin isn't real, there's no need for Christianity.
And if god isn't real there's no need for either or any.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:40 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I think it may have, or maybe once had, practical advantages, from an evolutionary standpoint. Otherwise I don't see why it would have become so prevalent.
Did it? There are plenty of things in you that didn't as much evolve as any particular advantage, as really there was no pressure the other way. E.g., the fact that humans can't produce their own vitamin C, while most other mammals can. It's not that said broken gene was an evolutionary advantage, it's that it could be mitigated by eating lots of fruits, which primates did anyway.

Additionally, a lot of things didn't evolve for THAT purpose. E.g., there's nothing in human evolution that specifically made us like icecream or a chocolate bar. What evolution actually primed us for was fat from seeds and lean meat, and sugar from fruits and again meat. Then someone discovered that they can freeze a bunch of fat and sugar, and it will appeal to those preferences that evolution tuned for entirely different stuff. In fact, it will taste better than the actual things that evolution built you for.

And really the same seems to be the case with religion. There is mental wiring like the Hyperactive Agency Detection or the way the brain deals with, and in fact prefers, Minimally Counter-Intuitive stuff to organize information. But none of that was evolved for religion. For example, our preference to assume agency behind random stuff is more like because the guys who assumed there's a tiger in the bushes when the wind rustled the leaves, well, they only got a scare; the guys who made the opposite assumption got to be lunch.

Then some shysters discovered that they can use that for something entirely differen, just like people use your evolutionary tuning for fat and sugar to sell you chocolate instead of seeds and fruit. The tendency to assume agency, for example, was turned from the "if the leaves rustle, there's probably a tiger in the bush" that it evolved for, to some version of "if X, Y and Z happened to you, it's because gods/spirits/magic/whatever." (And, oh, btw, you must give me stuff or it'll happen again)
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Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 14th February 2019 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 14th February 2019, 10:44 PM   #74
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I was relating comfort specifically to theism. I think that being discomforted by others being threatened is more than adequately compensated for by the comfort of themselves being saved.
Yes, but what I'm saying is: are you more comforted than if you weren't into religion, or does it really just offer comfort from the bogeymen that it created itself?

The comparison to nicotine wasn't supposed to be just a random example of other discomfort, but a (possible) analogy. Every single smoker can tell you that they feel a lot happier, less stressed, etc, after they smoke a cigarette. But does that mean they're happier than someone who doesn't smoke at all? Well, no. The addiction lowered their mood baseline, so when when they smoke, it's just getting them to where a non-smoker was in the first place.

Is that an analogy for religion? Well, I'm very strongly inclined to say it is.
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Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Old 14th February 2019, 10:51 PM   #75
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
And if god isn't real there's no need for either or any.
Well, yeah. But I was specifically referring to the invented problem - invented solution relationship.
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Old 14th February 2019, 11:52 PM   #76
Aridas
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Not a gene I have then.
I may just be passing through, but... I figured that this might be worth comment. At last check, the biological aspect is based on the tendency of humans to seek agency in events. It would actually be quite abnormal for you *not* to have that "gene." "Propensity to believe" is a reasonably accurate way to have said it, bearing in mind that propensity means a natural inclination, not something notably further, like your answer suggested that you assumed. With that said, that deals with the reality and origins of why a number of people actually believe, rather than whether the justifications are viable and valid. You seem to be asking for viable justifications, though, which... there really aren't any of, in my opinion.

There are half-hearted excuses, though, like "it's easy and comforting to just accept this set of relatively simple and understandable self-fulfilling/bias confirming answers to my questions, and it will help me fit in with people that I want to fit in with."


Oh, and for the fun of it...

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yes, but what I'm saying is: are you more comforted than if you weren't into religion, or does it really just offer comfort from the bogeymen that it created itself?

The comparison to nicotine wasn't supposed to be just a random example of other discomfort, but a (possible) analogy. Every single smoker can tell you that they feel a lot happier, less stressed, etc, after they smoke a cigarette. But does that mean they're happier than someone who doesn't smoke at all? Well, no. The addiction lowered their mood baseline, so when when they smoke, it's just getting them to where a non-smoker was in the first place.

Is that an analogy for religion? Well, I'm very strongly inclined to say it is.
Makes me think of...

Quote:
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
It wasn't until a while after I stopped being a Christian that this started striking me as a perfect description of a con job.
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Old 15th February 2019, 12:19 AM   #77
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Additionally, a lot of things didn't evolve for THAT purpose. E.g., there's nothing in human evolution that specifically made us like icecream or a chocolate bar. What evolution actually primed us for was fat from seeds and lean meat, and sugar from fruits and again meat. Then someone discovered that they can freeze a bunch of fat and sugar, and it will appeal to those preferences that evolution tuned for entirely different stuff. In fact, it will taste better than the actual things that evolution built you for.
But there was still an original evolutionary drive to consume grease, salt and carbs - high-energy foods that helped people stay alive to reproduce. It just became a problem when an abundance of food and lack of activity turned out to have serious health consequences in the long term.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And really the same seems to be the case with religion. There is mental wiring like the Hyperactive Agency Detection or the way the brain deals with, and in fact prefers, Minimally Counter-Intuitive stuff to organize information. But none of that was evolved for religion. For example, our preference to assume agency behind random stuff is more like because the guys who assumed there's a tiger in the bushes when the wind rustled the leaves, well, they only got a scare; the guys who made the opposite assumption got to be lunch.
I don't know the earliest manifestation of religion, but I don't think it started out as a power grab. I wonder, who were the first humans to bury their dead, and why? Why did we begin to fear death and bereavement, to the point that we invented immortal souls and an afterlife? We generally assume that animals do not share these views - that humans invented dualism. And I wonder why. As civilization developed and division of labor took hold, then perhaps a priestly class developed to exploit god beliefs and consolidate power, but what was the original impulse? The example you give of "our preference to assume agency behind random stuff" probably does indeed have the evolutionary underpinnings you mention. So, too, may the drive people have to follow leaders, which we do have in common with animals.

But who came up with the idea that people go somewhere when they die?
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Old 15th February 2019, 12:27 AM   #78
HansMustermann
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You don't need a whole organized institution for it to be a power grab. One individual guy getting fed for playing shaman for a tribe of 150 people or so (which is what Dunbar's number allows without ANY further form of organization) is just as much a power grab.

And I should know, I've done it myself. I may have mentioned it before, but when I was fourth grade or so, my parents sent me to a summer camp. Well, before the train even started in that direction, I got mistaken for some kind of wizard or such, for prophecizing that the train will start moving. Well, it was a bit more complicated, actually. The train had a bit of a delay, and I think I made the other kids drink water to make the train start, just so they'd shut up about it. But, hey, the ritual worked and the train started, so here I am, a proper prophet even by the OT rules. Lemme tell you, I abused that... well, about as much as you'd expect a 10 year old to
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Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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Old 15th February 2019, 01:02 AM   #79
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post

Oh, and for the fun of it...



Makes me think of...



It wasn't until a while after I stopped being a Christian that this started striking me as a perfect description of a con job.
I was never a Christian, as far as I can remember. But emotionally I understand that verse of "Amazing Grace." I went through a lot of trials 20 years ago that left me understanding the feeling of redemption. I felt cleansed, like my soul had been taken apart, steam-cleaned and rebuilt, and not through my own efforts. I don't need to attribute this to any supernatural entity but I understood what people meant when they talked about grace.

I can't give anyone a reason to believe, but I do understand how someone - how I - could become a believer, and it's not something I can communicate well with words. However, I've never come across a religion that I can completely buy into, and really can't imagine what that feels like.
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Old 15th February 2019, 01:09 AM   #80
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You don't need a whole organized institution for it to be a power grab. One individual guy getting fed for playing shaman for a tribe of 150 people or so (which is what Dunbar's number allows without ANY further form of organization) is just as much a power grab.

And I should know, I've done it myself. I may have mentioned it before, but when I was fourth grade or so, my parents sent me to a summer camp. Well, before the train even started in that direction, I got mistaken for some kind of wizard or such, for prophecizing that the train will start moving. Well, it was a bit more complicated, actually. The train had a bit of a delay, and I think I made the other kids drink water to make the train start, just so they'd shut up about it. But, hey, the ritual worked and the train started, so here I am, a proper prophet even by the OT rules. Lemme tell you, I abused that... well, about as much as you'd expect a 10 year old to
I kind of envy people who are good at manipulating others because I lack that gift entirely. I certainly see how it could come in handy.
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