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ChainLegacy ChainLegacy is offline

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Showing Visitor Messages 21 to 30 of 61
  1. TinyRedLeaf
    2012-07-26 18:27
    TinyRedLeaf
    Happy birthday, by the way. Hope I wasn't too late with the well wishes.
  2. Ledgem
    2012-07-25 23:24
    Ledgem
    It's somebody's birthday today... Make it a good one!
  3. TinyRedLeaf
    2012-07-23 22:43
    TinyRedLeaf
    Sorry for eavesdropping. Quick note before I disappear under a deluge of paperwork.

    Journalists are very familiar with "learned helplessness": The idea that if we were good with numbers, we would have become accountants or scientists instead.

    To which a particularly acerbic crone (a senior copyeditor) said: "Yeah, right. Let me dock your pay and bonus, and let's see how good you really are with numbers."
  4. Ledgem
    2012-07-21 22:46
    Ledgem
    I suppose the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" also applies to its title I do have an interest in reading over his ideas (if for nothing else than to be able to correct people and/or properly shoot them down when they cite his works), just no time in the foreseeable future...

    The idea about a person's "programming" (whether genetic or otherwise) leading them to commit crimes is an interesting one. It's not so different from blaming violent video games as the cause of violent crimes in that it's an effort to try and explain why people commit atrocities seemingly on a whim, at random, or with no understandable reason (if there's any reason at all). In trying to find a cause like this, it also assumes that humanity is good overall; that to commit a horrible act, there must be something else that forces a person's hand.

    If we assume that everyone is good, and that those who commit "bad acts" have some sort of corruption, then what he says makes sense. Fix the biological imbalance, correct the psychology, and even the worst criminal can be restored to one of society's most upstanding members.

    I don't particularly buy into that.

    Try a little experiment. Think of a very sad thought, one of the worst experiences in your life. Now think of a very happy thought, one of the best, the type that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

    Congratulations - you just willfully adjusted your brain chemistry with each of those thoughts. Granted, you thought of what you did because I prompted you to (assuming you were following along with my text), but in a day-to-day occurrence, why do we think the things that we do? True, much of it is reactionary, and we're all working with different baseline chemistries that are partly based on our genetics. Yet we do think and perceive, and this is not simply knee-jerk reactions to what happens around us. Even when we're in an environment devoid of stimuli, we're thinking (some more than others...).

    The underlying biology can explain why some people are more prone to a condition, such as depression. It can't explain why some depressed people will wallow in their condition, while others will fight it as hard as they can. In my opinion, the difference is "spirit" - the culmination of all experiences and thoughts that are held by an individual. That involves but goes beyond genetics or physiology.

    But now I'm rambling...
  5. Ledgem
    2012-07-21 09:12
    Ledgem
    I haven't read any of his works. I really have no room to critique him as a result, but during discussions with others I've heard some of his arguments. It could be that the people re-using them were oversimplifying them. Although I must admit that even the title, "the selfish gene," was rather off-putting to me.

    I'm not overly familiar with his arguments against religion. However, I don't see that evolution and the existence of God are in opposition.

    Similarly, I'm not familiar with the "dangerous idea." If it's something that TinyRedLeaf mentioned, is it the idea that we're carrying out a complex set of instructions based around our genes? Did Dawkins take that to say that people committing crimes can't help themselves? I'd strongly disagree with that.
  6. Ledgem
    2012-07-20 21:05
    Ledgem
    I can't say that I'm a fan of Dawkins, either. I suspect that he greatly oversimplified his views in his books in order to make them more approachable, understandable, and acceptable to most people. Yet I've encountered some people who had incorrect (in my opinion) views, and then they backed them up with things that Dawkins wrote.

    Who knows - maybe Dawkins didn't oversimplify his views, and it's what he really believes. I don't know exactly what an evolutionary biologist studies, but I was always under the impression that they're specialized ecologists. If so, his take on biology would be very different from mine. He sees how populations are altered over time and in response to environmental changes; I see how cells work through complex signaling networks that interact with the genetics, how those cells interact with other cells, and how all of that affects the host organism.

    I still think his views are too simple.
  7. TinyRedLeaf
    2012-07-20 01:05
    TinyRedLeaf
    No, I'm not fond of Richard Dawkins, though I respect his expertise as a biologist.

    As for his stand on determinism, it has been echoed by philosopher Sam Harris, whose arguments (Science can answer moral questions) I find far more persuasive and compelling.

    I am indeed fundamentally opposed to the idea that everything we do is determined solely by our biology. If we were to take that to a logical conclusion, nothing we do is truly meaningful, since we are no more than sophisticated machines carrying out programmed instructions that we can take no credit for. Indeed, to me, it makes mockery of any attempt to even discuss morality. What would be the point, since nothing we "decide" is truly an expression of free will?

    P/S: Don't worry, I wasn't bristling against any alleged hostility. Was just laying out some ground rules for discussion as I don't have the energy to argue against people who aren't interested in exploring key ideas more broadly. Hence my preference to keep this out of the public thread, as I'm pretty sure most would misunderstand what I'm working towards.
  8. TinyRedLeaf
    2012-07-18 18:08
    TinyRedLeaf
    I refuse to comment further in the Gay Issues thread because I've long since gone past the "rights" and "wrongs" of the argument and have no wish to derail the thread with a discussion that is essentially about ethics, not homosexual issues. You are welcome to read the current exchange of visitor messages between Ledgem and myself. I say again that I'm not up for debate over this matter. I've stated my views and am willing to answer requests for clarification, but would kindly ask that you keep your peace if you disagree with my views. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. I'm merely speaking my mind.
  9. Tom Bombadil
    2011-11-18 08:04
    Tom Bombadil
    Hi, about the post wrote in the US election thread, John Huntsman was criticized unfairly and what he said is legitimate Chinese. But I over simplified my rebuttal and that kind of weakened my own argument. I wasn't plan to rewrite the post and make a technical dissertation on Chinese grammar and word usage out of it, that's why I take the easy way out. Sorry about that. :P
  10. Knightrunner
    2011-08-23 02:44
    Knightrunner
    Yep, that sure can be handy especially since your a personal trainer.

About Me

  • About ChainLegacy
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Massachusetts, US
    Interests
    Nutrition, powerlifting, playing bass guitar, good music, anime, old video games, history, science
    PC Configuration
    HP Pavilion
    Avatar & Signature
    Lian Po from Kingdom
    Favourites
    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    Dragonball series
    Mushishi
    Maison Ikkoku
    Full Moon wo Sagashite
    GunGRAVE
    Hajime no Ippo
    Natsume Yuujinchou
    Fullmetal Alchemist
    Berserk

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  • Last Activity: 2014-07-10 22:05
  • Join Date: 2004-02-29

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