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Old 2009-10-01, 13:06   Link #2281
Kakashi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Also, (and this seems to be a larger and larger problem) - remember that EVANGELICALS do not speak for the entirety of Christianity, they only assert they do (much like the radical muslim groups claiming to speak for all who follow Islam when they do not). Personally, I often find it fascinatingly odd when evangelical christians quote the Old Testament much more often than the New Testament...
A lot of the Christians who do know their stuff will tell you that religion is nothing to get excited about, but a relationship with the God is. So there's a difference between religion and God, and they don't equate the two.
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Old 2009-10-01, 13:16   Link #2282
Cipher
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
One may be surprised that elephants also show a level of respect and interest in death.

Some people say that the study of nature and the so-called 'marvels' of the universe only reinforce their faith. For me sometimes it only works to reassure myself in how self centred humanity is to believe all of that.
I believe that humans are meant to be self-centered. This "altruism" are only based on hidden self-interest which may include the self-interest of helping others and other monetary motives. It is natural for humans to care about their own existence first and not animals. We eat animals and plants and other possible lifeforms for our own selfish needs----but is there really something wrong with selfishness? After all, it creates this so-called "selflessness".
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Old 2009-10-01, 13:26   Link #2283
Kakashi
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
I believe that humans are meant to be self-centered. This "altruism" are only based on hidden self-interest which may include the self-interest of helping others and other monetary motives. It is natural for humans to care about their own existence first and not animals. We eat animals and plants and other possible lifeforms for our own selfish needs----but is there really something wrong with selfishness? After all, it creates this so-called "selflessness".
There was a study which revealed that kindness actually upped life expectancy a fair bit. I can't for the life of me remember where I read it, but it was basically a study of older couples. And those who helped others as little as once a year were meant to be around 60% more likely to outlive self-centered people.

I think it actually varies with every person. Self-interest is a part of everyone for sure, but it's also balanced to a greater or less degree by altruism (dependent on the individual, the personality).
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Old 2009-10-01, 13:32   Link #2284
Proto
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I believe that humans are meant to be self-centered. This "altruism" are only based on hidden self-interest which may include the self-interest of helping others and other monetary motives. It is natural for humans to care about their own existence first and not animals. We eat animals and plants and other possible lifeforms for our own selfish needs----but is there really something wrong with selfishness? After all, it creates this so-called "selflessness".
I was not referring to being self centered as a personality trait, but being self centred in our view of religion and the universe. (This is mainly directed against those anthropomorphic religions, and religions which depict a God specially caring for humanity).
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Old 2009-10-01, 13:47   Link #2285
Cipher
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I was not referring to being self centered as a personality trait, but being self centred in our view of religion and the universe. (This is mainly directed against those anthropomorphic religions, and religions which depict a God specially caring for humanity).
I'm not sure if I understand you well enough but I'll answer.

Isn't this human nature? After all, we are the only "smart-enough" ones who even think about religion.
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Old 2009-10-01, 14:21   Link #2286
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Since when saying something is in our nature was an all encompassing excuse that suddenly justified any trait someone or something might have. If nature has made us a certain way, and we have acknowledged that that certain way is more limiting than otherwise, then we can go against it and that is it. Saying something is 'only natural' is not the equivalent of saying it is inevitable or consequently good you know.

Which is the case in the topic at hand. True, it is only natural that humans would develop anthropomorphic religions. But this does not means that just because it's natural it's something laudable or the limit of what our philosophical abilities can strive for.
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Old 2009-10-01, 14:24   Link #2287
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
Since when saying something is in our nature was an all encompassing excuse that suddenly justified any trait someone or something might have.

If nature has made us a certain way, and we have acknowledged that that certain way is more limiting than otherwise, then we can go against it and that is it. Saying something is 'only natural' is not the equivalent of saying it is inevitable or consequently good you know.
So you don't want to accept this "nature" because you feel its important to not accept it and thus, we have to change? This seems a bit less realistic. You want to change approximately 6.9 billion people? Does that view hold THAT much importance?

If we're evidently the only ones who think about religion, isn't that enough proof that it is(absolutely) only for us?
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Old 2009-10-01, 14:48   Link #2288
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If we're evidently the only ones who think about religion, isn't that enough proof that it is(absolutely) only for us?
No, and your sense of logic spooks me to no end. Just because if there was a God that cares about humans then a human religion that speaks about him would exist, does not mean that because there is a human religion that speaks about him then a God that cares about humans exists. Check your logic class notebooks, please.


Quote:
So you don't want to accept this "nature" because you feel its important to not accept it and thus, we have to change? This seems a bit less realistic. You want to change approximately 6.9 billion people? Does that view hold THAT much importance?
I'm not saying that humanity should change because of my individual preferences. What i'm implying is that humanity is a race that historically has gone against what nature has disposed for us as out species. (diseases, genetic syndromes, against medicine, to put the most common example in). Then, justifying something just by saying is the natural order of things (beyond indicating some predisposition we might have toward certain behaviors, or explaining the rationale for some conducts) is nothing short of hypocrisy, from my POV.

Last edited by Proto; 2009-10-01 at 15:02.
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Old 2009-10-01, 15:20   Link #2289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
I believe that humans are meant to be self-centered. This "altruism" are only based on hidden self-interest which may include the self-interest of helping others and other monetary motives. It is natural for humans to care about their own existence first and not animals. We eat animals and plants and other possible lifeforms for our own selfish needs----but is there really something wrong with selfishness? After all, it creates this so-called "selflessness".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakashi View Post
There was a study which revealed that kindness actually upped life expectancy a fair bit. I can't for the life of me remember where I read it, but it was basically a study of older couples. And those who helped others as little as once a year were meant to be around 60% more likely to outlive self-centered people.

I think it actually varies with every person. Self-interest is a part of everyone for sure, but it's also balanced to a greater or less degree by altruism (dependent on the individual, the personality).
Richard Dawkins book, The Selfish Gene, talks a little bit about this issue. I wrote a bit about it here, so I'll just use a short blurb to illustrate my point. Essentially humans are, in a genetic sense, completely selfish individuals. Our genes are 100% selfish, in that they fight for their own survival, by attempting to enhance strengths and limit weaknesses. Basically survival of the fittest on a genetic level.

As to how this is relative, Dawkins postulates that altruism spawned from something else, and that even altruism has a bit of selfishness inherent within it. However, if we lived according only to our genes, then we would be completely selfish, and so altruism must emerge from our relations with the world and the other people in it. I personally extrapolate on that to suggest that we must, as humans in this world, be altruistic in some fashion. To not be, is to have a weakened foothold within our current situation.

@ everyone involved: I'm officially abandoning the mathematical comparison I created to attempt to show that two things can be positive, while one is a greater positive than the other. Over time, it seems to have caused more confusion, or random offshoot, and so was probably an ill-conceived metaphor. I, again, simply wanted to try and show that two things can be positive, with one being a greater positive than the other. Remember that all of this is relative; if you look from the viewpoint of the greater positive, you will see only negative numbers behind you. That does not mean those numbers are negative, just that they are negative from where you are.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Apatheism, then. Now, explain to me what's so bad about it that atheism or religion are unquestionably better. That it is, in fact, the worst possible position (Since from what I gathered, your scale doesn't go into the negatives).


As Vexx pointed out, just because you're a hunter-gatherer doesn't mean you're without beliefs. Any more than being a farmer or an engineer. Jury's still out on politicians. IIRC, funeral rites - indicative of some kind of belief - are older than homo sapiens.


Fortunately or unfortunately, we've come up with labels for practically everything in that area.
It wasn't my intention to suggest that Apatheism is on the very lowest point of the scale in this instance. Also, I recognize that being a hunter-gatherer does not mean you are without beliefs. In the context of this metaphor, I was attempting to use labels to describe what lies on both ends of the spectrum. This is a philosophical example; using boundaries of my own definition is quite okay in that regard. I only tried to suggest that 0 would be the absence of any beliefs, while 100 would be the complete harmony of all beliefs. Perhaps it would have gone better had I just said that outright.

And again, as I've stated so many times, everything in this metaphor is a matter of relative perspective. If you stand on the 8 (or whatever number), and look to your left, you will see only negative numbers. If you stand on the 3 (or whatever number), and look to your right, you will see only positive numbers. However, if you stand back from it all, and look at the picture as a whole, you will see all of the numbers. While it is certainly true that 3 is less than 8, and so 3 does not have as dramatic effect as 8, that does not make 3 a negative number from the point of view of a person on the outside of the system. It only makes 3 a negative number from the point of view of the 8.

That's about all I'll say about all of this, as I've chosen to abandon this metaphor. It seems that it was ill-conceived, or ill-received, or whatever, as it's been nothing but a dredge since its inclusion on this thread. Please consider the matter dissolved.
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Last edited by Quzor; 2009-10-01 at 17:40.
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Old 2009-10-01, 22:09   Link #2290
Cipher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proto View Post
No, and your sense of logic spooks me to no end. Just because if there was a God that cares about humans then a human religion that speaks about him would exist, does not mean that because there is a human religion that speaks about him then a God that cares about humans exists. Check your logic class notebooks, please.
I believe that was a valid question. Do you believe that we're given "smart" brains for a reason?


Quote:
I'm not saying that humanity should change because of my individual preferences. What i'm implying is that humanity is a race that historically has gone against what nature has disposed for us as out species. (diseases, genetic syndromes, against medicine, to put the most common example in). Then, justifying something just by saying is the natural order of things (beyond indicating some predisposition we might have toward certain behaviors, or explaining the rationale for some conducts) is nothing short of hypocrisy, from my POV.
But isn't our survival also natural? Aren't our medicines and solutions natural as well?
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Old 2009-10-01, 22:26   Link #2291
Ascaloth
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
I believe that was a valid question. Do you believe that we're given "smart" brains for a reason?
It has already been pointed out as a logical fallacy, so by definition, it isn't valid. And if all you can do is follow it up with a plurium interrogationum here, please do us a favour and shove off.

Quote:
But isn't our survival also natural? Aren't our medicines and solutions natural as well?
The survival trait is. Our medicines and solutions are man-made and thus by definition, not "natural". What are you trying to imply?
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Old 2009-10-01, 22:28   Link #2292
Cipher
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
It has already been pointed out as a logical fallacy, so by definition, it isn't valid. And if all you can do is follow it up with a plurium interrogationum here, please do us a favour and shove off.
Is it so wrong to ask?


Quote:
The survival trait is. Our medicines and solutions are man-made and thus by definition, not "natural". What are you trying to imply?
Isn't its tendency natural, just like "goodness of man", thereby, from the natural tendency, creating it natural?
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Old 2009-10-01, 22:40   Link #2293
Ascaloth
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
Is it so wrong to ask?
You are structuring your questions such that any possible answer that can be given to that question serves your purposes. Therefore, it is a logical fallacy, and disingenious sophism on your part. So yes, it is wrong. Shove off.

Quote:
Isn't its tendency natural, just like "goodness of man", thereby, from the natural tendency, creating it natural?

Petitio principii
. Where does this "natural tendency" come from?

I have lessons coming up, so I can't continue this for now.
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Old 2009-10-01, 23:07   Link #2294
Cipher
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
You are structuring your questions such that any possible answer that can be given to that question serves your purposes. Therefore, it is a logical fallacy, and disingenious sophism on your part. So yes, it is wrong. Shove off.
Its purpose was only for my own clarification and understanding----including understanding of other opinions.



Quote:

Petitio principii
. Where does this "natural tendency" come from?

The natural tendency of behavior of humanity. In a sense, planes are natural, houses are natural, and computers are natural.
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Old 2009-10-01, 23:41   Link #2295
Ascaloth
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
Its purpose was only for my own clarification and understanding----including understanding of other opinions.
Yet my point stands. It's a plurium interrogationum used as part of your disingenious sophistry. Your intentions, whatever they may be, has no relevance on what you just did here.

Quote:
The natural tendency of behavior of humanity. In a sense, planes are natural, houses are natural, and computers are natural.
Petitio principii. How does the "natural tendency of behavior of humanity", which is a vague term in itself, make all these man-made objects "natural", which is another vague term the way you used it?
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Old 2009-10-02, 00:01   Link #2296
Cipher
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
Yet my point stands. It's a plurium interrogationum used as part of your disingenious sophistry. Your intentions, whatever they may be, has no relevance on what you just did here.
Relevance? It has great relevance to me, its a simple question of curiosity and want of knowledge---That is enough relevance (IMO).


Quote:
Petitio principii. How does the "natural tendency of behavior of humanity", which is a vague term in itself, make all these man-made objects "natural", which is another vague term the way you used it?
How does it? Tendencies are natural.
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Old 2009-10-02, 01:20   Link #2297
Ascaloth
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
Relevance? It has great relevance to me, its a simple question of curiosity and want of knowledge---That is enough relevance (IMO).
Bare assertion, wishful thinking. Just simply stating that it is relevant doesn't make it so. Just because you want it to be relevant, doesn't make it so.

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How does it? Tendencies are natural.
Ipse-dixit. Define "tendency" and "natural". Why is a tendency natural?
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Old 2009-10-02, 01:30   Link #2298
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
Bare assertion, wishful thinking. Just simply stating that it is relevant doesn't make it so. Just because you want it to be relevant, doesn't make it so.
Subjectivity. Do you consider your opinions and questions irrelevant as well?


Quote:
Ipse-dixit. Define "tendency" and "natural". Why is a tendency natural?
Tendency - a likelihood of behaving in a particular way or going in a particular direction; a tending toward.

Natural - in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning to nature.


Why is tendency natural?

I have to say, its quite hard to logically explain that. Tendencies are natural because they are. Its similar to questions such as, "Why are we created with faces?", "Why are we on Earth instead of other possible planets that supports our type of life form?" Of course, you could answer this with "tendency" or "faith". But to explain how tendency is natural, I don't know.
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Old 2009-10-02, 01:38   Link #2299
Ascaloth
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
Subjectivity. Do you consider your opinions and questions irrelevant as well?
Straw man, red herring. Since when have I claimed that I consider my opinions and questions and irrelevant? You're trying to distract me from picking apart the "logic" of your statements by shifting the questions onto me.

Are you sure you want to play my game on my home ground?

Quote:
Tendency - a likelihood of behaving in a particular way or going in a particular direction; a tending toward.

Natural - in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning to nature.


Why is tendency natural?

I have to say, its quite hard to logically explain that. Tendencies are natural because they are. Its similar to questions such as, "Why are we created with faces?", "Why are we on Earth instead of other possible planets that supports our type of life form?" Of course, you could answer this with "tendency" or "faith". But to explain how tendency is natural, I don't know.
Now we might be getting somewhere. Back to the original premise; that the "natural tendency of man makes man-made objects 'natural'". What is the natural tendency of man? How does this tendency make man-made objects 'natural'?
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Old 2009-10-02, 01:53   Link #2300
Cipher
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
Straw man, red herring. Since when have I claimed that I consider my opinions and questions and irrelevant? You're trying to distract me from picking apart the "logic" of your statements by shifting the questions onto me.

Are you sure you want to play my game on my home ground?
I'm not trying to play a game. To me, this is a serious discussion. But if you wish to "play a game", then I'll let you "play" alone.
Quote:
Now we might be getting somewhere. Back to the original premise; that the "natural tendency of man makes man-made objects 'natural'". What is the natural tendency of man? How does this tendency make man-made objects 'natural'?
We're running in circles. Please look for the answers to these questions on your own. I'm tired of playing this "game". Thank you for understanding---that is, if you did.
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