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Old 2010-09-18, 12:06   Link #2801
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Actually I don't think this is off tangent. It is still within the curve, considering the topic we are discussing.

The war of words between them look very similar to those who believe that "religious tolerance = religious harmony" versus "tolerating religion will let them f*** us one day".

In short, it is play-nice versus being-evilly-direct.



One thing - the sarcasm comes naturally with the heavy load of facts in conversational ways. It's original use is to piss off "factose intolerant" people (people who refuse to take facts in their face), but apparently well-meaning nice people get dissed off too.

It is just like the ID argument years ago. The "factose intolerant" people at the top of the religious organisations use the sarcasm, filter away heavy load of the facts, and presented it as a direct offense to their beliefs to their followers. Dirty way, however it is practically found in every political argument.

The real disrespect is not presenting your argument in full with details. "Gentlemen" trading insults in a "professional" way is double the insult; politically correct or culturally sensitive*, it is still rude not to acknowledge your opponent's ability to take the stress of being hammered in-the-face.

Besides, once one enters an argument, he/she is already not showing respect for the other person's beliefs, nor is he/she showing respect for the peace of the environment. Then again, if we all show respect with that rainbow-unicorn view of each other , society will never improve because ideas are never challenged.

Finally, in any argument, it is always wise to expect anything - you are not the only one trying to bring your beliefs across, the other party is too. And everyone has their own pride to maintain and nobody likes to question their own handmade beliefs, nor be forced to accept someone else's.
1. Well I'm not too sure of how it is you guys talk to each other but here, sarcasm is best reserved for dense people. That said I think the prudent speaker knows that sarcasm has its place and time of use, and clearly not everyone deserves such a manner of speech. As such, nothing of the original exchange in question warranted such sarcasm.

2. I'd say it's much, much more insulting to presume to know the person's limits in tolerating straight and low blows in discussion. In the first place, if both sides stayed civil and properly informed, you wouldn't even need to resort to such tactics.

Think about it this way: I disagree with a lot of what you're saying, but I'm not on the midnight flight over there to come to your house and asphyxiate you.

3. I was speaking about civil discourse and not an actual argument. If by argument we're talking about hostilities then it doesn't really get anyone anywhere. Respect suggests tolerance than outright acceptance. You can still discuss and challenge issues without fisticuffs, at least the ones I had in college with atheists anyway.

4. Pride... bleh. Pride is often blinding. I prefer to learn how to throw away my pride, even temporarily, because there are things in life that Pride just gets in the way of

Quote:
The penultimate cause of all the crapsack stuff in this world is the lack of control over personal fears. There is nothing more painful than suffering, and the pain generates a "fear of suffering", thus the cycle. Selfishness is bred out of such.

Only if the second parameter of "if you are willing to share a little of yours, I will share a little of mine, then we can all ride the unicorn over the rainbow" doesn't exist within the philosophy. Soliphism is something as you have said, but it includes the second parameter.

The real path towards enlightenment is balance in everything we do.
A very Aristotelian view I suppose, which makes me want to point out how such views again share a lot in common with Jesus and Buddha.
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Old 2010-09-18, 12:36   Link #2802
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Man, I used to be able to follow and even set the pace of this thread. Nowadays the discussion in here keeps running away from me; people keep posting replies before I even set finger to keyboard these days. I hypothesize that the act of getting a girlfriend is the best evidence of the existence of metaphysics; from my observations, such an event seems to directly lead to a significant fast-forward effect in the perception of time. I'm sure this hypothesis can be scientifically tested; anyone wants to try it?

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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I don't understand. Are you saying that you choose not to believe that the diety is omnipotent, infallable, omniscient ect? If you don't believe that then what you believe of the diety and what the supposed 'infantile' person believes are two different things. Calling the person infantile for believing in something he doesn't even believe in seems a little off to me.
Erm lolwut.

I never said I chose to believe that the "deity" has any of these ascribed characteristics. What I was getting at, is that just because someone believes in such a deity with these characteristics, doesn't mean I have to respect that idea any more than I would respect any other unproven concept.

Additionally, you're trying to lure me away from my point with a red herring; notwithstanding whatever characteristics one may wish to ascribe to the concept of the deity in question, Dawkins was making the point that it is "infantile" for a person to assume that somebody else (omnipotent deity or otherwise) to take responsibility for giving meaning to his/her life, instead of taking responsibility for him/herself.

In short, your argument has been one big ignoratio elenchi. Therefore, we need not pursue this line of discussion any further.
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Old 2010-09-18, 13:29   Link #2803
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
1. Well I'm not too sure of how it is you guys talk to each other but here, sarcasm is best reserved for dense people. That said I think the prudent speaker knows that sarcasm has its place and time of use, and clearly not everyone deserves such a manner of speech. As such, nothing of the original exchange in question warranted such sarcasm.
The sarcasm is a byproduct of that way of presenting something, not the main product. The sentence and content structure is concise and straight-to-the-point.

The straight-to-the-point part is the one that is often viewed as sarcastic - short and sharp. If the content emphasises on small details, it would be like shooting the person with an automatic needlegun - it stings to the point of irritating.

People prefer to see it coming with the big details. Though it beats me why, a brick in the face hurts more than a set of needles, and yet people still prefer the brick.

BDSM fetishism perhaps?

Quote:
4. Pride... bleh. Pride is often blinding. I prefer to learn how to throw away my pride, even temporarily, because there are things in life that Pride just gets in the way of
Pride is not synonymous with ego. Pride is confidence from a personal belief. Ego is an oversized dried mango (pun unintended) that serves to belittle others to make oneself feel better.

I think you mean ego. If you throw away your pride, you wouldn't have a passion, nor an aim in life, nor have anything to keep you from living life to its best.

Quote:
A very Aristotelian view I suppose, which makes me want to point out how such views again share a lot in common with Jesus and Buddha.
I call it the "rainbow-unicorn" view. Super-idealism.

A pragmatic version would be to shift left and right as the tides turn, but maintaining balance at all times. People would call it two-headed snake, but I say if the snake has compassion for everyone, it's fine. At least it is better than being a total carebear or big brown carnivore.
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Old 2010-09-18, 14:01   Link #2804
Haak
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Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
Erm lolwut.

I never said I chose to believe that the "deity" has any of these ascribed characteristics. What I was getting at, is that just because someone believes in such a deity with these characteristics, doesn't mean I have to respect that idea any more than I would respect any other unproven concept.
So what you're saying is that even if I believe that these characteristics make a difference, you don't have to respect that idea to choose to believe that the person is infantile anyway. Fair enough. I was mistaken in thinking that you were making an objective point when you were merely expressing your opinion. My bad. Additonally, I never made the point that you had to respect it.

Quote:
Additionally, you're trying to lure me away from my point with a red herring; notwithstanding whatever characteristics one may wish to ascribe to the concept of the deity in question, Dawkins was making the point that it is "infantile" for a person to assume that somebody else (omnipotent deity or otherwise) to take responsibility for giving meaning to his/her life, instead of taking responsibility for him/herself.

In short, your argument has been one big ignoratio elenchi. Therefore, we need not pursue this line of discussion any further.
And I made the point that the characteristics of the deity do make a difference. But it seems you disagree and there's nothing that can be done about that. Also, just so you know, I do not ever wish to talk to you ever again.

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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I think his point is that the person is infantile for believing AND ESPOUSING such a belief as well as blatantly refusing to address its loopholes.

Besides, believing in something wholly perfect as an absolution is stupid. At least give some room for "benefit of doubt"!

P.S *Grammar Nazi Mode* - I have been noting spelling errors in the word "deity", which is often misspelled as "diety". Not all idols/entities are fat and need slimming sessions.

The "i" is after the "e". Keep that in mind. Heil!
Duly noted.
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Old 2010-09-18, 14:14   Link #2805
MeoTwister5
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Pride is not synonymous with ego. Pride is confidence from a personal belief. Ego is an oversized dried mango (pun unintended) that serves to belittle others to make oneself feel better.

I think you mean ego. If you throw away your pride, you wouldn't have a passion, nor an aim in life, nor have anything to keep you from living life to its best.



I call it the "rainbow-unicorn" view. Super-idealism.

A pragmatic version would be to shift left and right as the tides turn, but maintaining balance at all times. People would call it two-headed snake, but I say if the snake has compassion for everyone, it's fine. At least it is better than being a total carebear or big brown carnivore.
Well I guess we differ on definitions. My definition of pride is unwavering confidence that roots you so much into something that you are unwilling to admit a differing viewpoint or admit that you were wrong. I use the psychoanalytic definition of ego more than an artificially inflated concept of personal worth.

Also I was making a comparison to Nicomachean Ethics with the concept of a balanced existence on everything we do in life so I'm not sure if we're even disagreeing on anything.
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Old 2010-09-18, 15:37   Link #2806
monster
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
That's what terrifies me the most about people who think you need God to have meaning, morals, and so on. So let's say their faith is shaken. Do they suddenly become raving psychopaths?
Believing in God is a matter of acknowledging his existence, status, and work.

If you once believed that God created the universe, the fact that you no longer believe doesn't necessarily mean you think the universe no longer exists.

But if a person becomes a raving psycopath after having his/her faith shaken, I'd say the problem lies with the person, not in his/her original faith in God.

It should not be used as a mark against people who do believe that God is the sole rightful judge of what is good and what is evil, for example.
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Old 2010-09-18, 16:25   Link #2807
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
Believing in God is a matter of acknowledging his existence, status, and work.

If you once believed that God created the universe, the fact that you no longer believe doesn't necessarily mean you think the universe no longer exists.

But if a person becomes a raving psycopath after having his/her faith shaken, I'd say the problem lies with the person, not in his/her original faith in God.

It should not be used as a mark against people who do believe that God is the sole rightful judge of what is good and what is evil, for example.
True enough, though it might be worth exploring the fact that humans are altruistic as an evolved tendency. That way, if you believe in god (or gods), you can say they indirectly caused the process of evolution and are thus still responsible. Then, if your faith does happen to be shaken, you can still understand it the same way, and not lose all your morality.
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Old 2010-09-18, 16:32   Link #2808
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
Believing in God is a matter of acknowledging his existence, status, and work.

If you once believed that God created the universe, the fact that you no longer believe doesn't necessarily mean you think the universe no longer exists.
Well, yes. But we're talking about something more intangible than the universe.

Quote:
But if a person becomes a raving psycopath after having his/her faith shaken, I'd say the problem lies with the person, not in his/her original faith in God.
Indeed. There is something wrong about those people, and their faith is actually a mitigating factor. Whether God exists or not, it at least gives them a reason not to be complete psychos.

Quote:
It should not be used as a mark against people who do believe that God is the sole rightful judge of what is good and what is evil, for example.
Let me clarify the kind of persons I was talking about. I was talking about people who think that unbelievers have no morals whatsoever. Why? Because the only good and right thing is to believe in (their version of) God and follow his teachings. Therefore, no God, no morals.

And, really, what kind of person do you have to be to have such a worldview? And what happens when you lose your faith, which, by your own admission, is the only reason you aren't eating babies?
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Old 2010-09-18, 17:20   Link #2809
monster
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Let me clarify the kind of persons I was talking about. I was talking about people who think that unbelievers have no morals whatsoever. Why? Because the only good and right thing is to believe in (their version of) God and follow his teachings. Therefore, no God, no morals.
It's not necessarily that no God means no morals. But if what's good for one person can be evil for another person, and you believe that God exists (according to whatever religion you subscribe to), wouldn't you think that this God has more right to judge what is good and what is evil?

I guess another way to say it is that, in a world where morality is subjective, God's subjectivity triumphs over all.

Of course, it also depends on the religion and the role that a deity (or deities) has in it.
Quote:
And, really, what kind of person do you have to be to have such a worldview? And what happens when you lose your faith, which, by your own admission, is the only reason you aren't eating babies?
Well, if you're attributing morality to God, then I would think losing your faith simply means you're no longer attributing morality to God. Not that you would necessarily lose all sense of morality. Under normal circumstances, it shouldn't translate to eating babies, for example.
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Old 2010-09-18, 17:35   Link #2810
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by monstert View Post
It's not necessarily that no God means no morals.
To them, it is. I'm not trying to claim that every religious person is like that, but I am talking about a specific subset. Which you're no doubt going to claim aren't truly religious.

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But if what's good for one person can be evil for another person, and you believe that God exists (according to whatever religion you subscribe to), wouldn't you think that this God has more right to judge what is good and what is evil?
Only in the might makes right sense.

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I guess another way to say it is that, in a world where morality is subjective, God's subjectivity triumphs over all.
No, his ability to kill us all on a whim triumphs over all.

Quote:
Of course, it also depends on the religion and the role that a deity (or deities) has in it. Well, if you're attributing morality to God, then I would think losing your faith simply means you're no longer attributing morality to God. Not that you would necessarily lose all sense of morality. Under normal circumstances, it shouldn't translate to eating babies, for example.
Reminder: I'm talking about people who can't conceive of a reasons not to eat babies except fear of divine retribution. No God, no fear. What then?

(OK, there is the fear of earthly retribution. But the eye of Man (or its justice department, anyway) doesn't precisely reach everywhere, does it?)
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Old 2010-09-18, 17:42   Link #2811
monster
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
To them, it is. I'm not trying to claim that every religious person is like that, but I am talking about a specific subset. Which you're no doubt going to claim aren't truly religious.
No, I wouldn't say that. The term religious is too generic.
Quote:
Reminder: I'm talking about people who can't conceive of a reasons not to eat babies except fear of divine retribution. No God, no fear. What then?

(OK, there is the fear of earthly retribution. But the eye of Man (or its justice department, anyway) doesn't precisely reach everywhere, does it?)
Well, I see what you mean. But it really has nothing to do with religion anymore since that person has lost faith.

Whether it's a matter for the justice department or the hospital, I wouldn't know.
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Old 2010-09-18, 18:11   Link #2812
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That is the great flaw in the "you need religion to be good" assertion. Many species, including humanity, that are inherently social creatures practice empathy, altruism, charity, support, etc. simply because evolution selects for those traits -- they are conducive to the survival of the species. Social species behavior is intrinsically different than the "me me me" mode of behavior.

I could assert at this point that the "I am an island" philosophies that blunder around are, in effect, dysfunctional behaviors in terms of species survival
First of all, as I am sure you already know, I'm not religious... I'm an agnostic.

Now then...

I find morals themselves to be meaningless. God or no God, what is the meaning? People tell us that this is "good" and this is "bad." But what does it all mean? Does good mean preserving life, and the emotion we call "happiness?" But do those two concepts by themselves have any meaning? Are emotions even important at all, at the very end?

Lets say there really was some sort of God like in the Judo/Christian religions who really did lay out the rules of the Ten Commandments. Does it really matter if we follow them? Oh, there are punishments, like eternal suffering and damnation or whatever is told to us. But isn't this just like our society today where there are rewards and punishments for our actions based on what is considered "good" or "bad?"

In the end, most of these morals seek to preserve life and certain emotions, that even with an eternal force in the universe, still doesn't matter. Are these two concepts themselves anything special? No, probably not.

Then again what is meaning? Is meaning simply knowledge? It's unfathomable to me so see what could ever truly qualify as fulfillment in any human being.

We seek to drown ourselves in certain kinds of emotions, and our set of rules or "morals" just aid that cause. If God exists like said above, then the creator of everything also seeks to drown us in these emotions for whatever reason. But why are these emotions even worth anything?

Do we as humans just simply struggle with the fact that there is no ultimate goal to strive for? Because even if we were to reach the ultimate truth and meaning of the universe, does that bring us anything of worth? Are we all doomed to strive for such simple emotions that pleasure us?
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Old 2010-09-18, 18:12   Link #2813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post

That's what terrifies me the most about people who think you need God to have meaning, morals, and so on. So let's say their faith is shaken. Do they suddenly become raving psychopaths?
That's a very scary thought. It someone were to turn to a psychopath because of that, it almost seems like they only do good because of fear of God.

Which is a problem if one insists on a static and rigid interpretation of their faith.
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Old 2010-09-18, 18:27   Link #2814
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I find morals themselves to be meaningless. God or no God, what is the meaning? People tell us that this is "good" and this is "bad." But what does it all mean? Does good mean preserving life, and the emotion we call "happiness?" But do those two concepts by themselves have any meaning? Are emotions even important at all, at the very end?
Good, and Bad basically set the laws of all society either it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. It basically tells us that if we do this certain "bad" action, we are going to get in deep trouble either way. But if we do this "good" action, we are going to be expected either a praise, or some small reward. But you basically already know this, but "Good" can mean all sorts of things, so its really not easy to tell what is Good or Bad based on any situation presented to you. Emotions are indeed important, if we are emotionless beings that exist on Earth. We will not know whats good or bad, and end up just killing each other without even caring what we just committed. Leading to a murderous society.

Quote:
Lets say there really was some sort of God like in the Judo/Christian religions who really did lay out the rules of the Ten Commandments. Does it really matter if we follow them? Oh, there are punishments, like eternal suffering and damnation or whatever is told to us. But isn't this just like our society today where there are rewards and punishments for our actions based on what is considered "good" or "bad."
The Ten Commandments that are from the Judo/Christian religions are barely even followed to this day. If a God truly did exist, and solely expected that everyone follow these Commandments, then we would all be in damnation right now. Unless those who follow the Judo/Christian, so there is no telling what happens with this talk of "eternal suffering" and "damnation". Our society/law is basically what keeps us in check on our "good" and "bad" actions that we commit.

Quote:
Do we as humans just simply struggle with the fact that there is no ultimate goal to strive for? Because even if we were to reach the ultimate truth and meaning of the universe, does that bring us anything of worth? Are we all doomed to strive for such simple emotions that pleasure us?
There is no ultimate goal that we are supposed to strive for, all we do with the life given to us is just live our daily lives, and let the events that occur roll on and become history, that is to be taught to those that will follow up on our actions in the future. Entirely, it does not bring us anything of worth either way. Sorry if this sounds kind of disappointing in a way..

Well.... That is generally my opinion on everything you said Reckoner. Of course there are several other opinions that are gonna be posted later
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Last edited by Hooves; 2010-09-19 at 00:55.
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Old 2010-09-18, 19:34   Link #2815
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That is the great flaw in the "you need religion to be good" assertion. Many species, including humanity, that are inherently social creatures practice empathy, altruism, charity, support, etc. simply because evolution selects for those traits -- they are conducive to the survival of the species. Social species behavior is intrinsically different than the "me me me" mode of behavior.
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
True enough, though it might be worth exploring the fact that humans are altruistic as an evolved tendency. That way, if you believe in god (or gods), you can say they indirectly caused the process of evolution and are thus still responsible. Then, if your faith does happen to be shaken, you can still understand it the same way, and not lose all your morality.
I used to entertain the idea that "morality" in humanity is an evolved trait, but have since largely abandoned that view. In essence, it makes a mockery of free will. If we were "programmed" by our genes to be "moral" then, in effect, it means that we are not directly responsible for our own deliberate actions. That being the case, it is meaningless to talk about morality, since we are simply carrying out actions that we cannot help but carry out. A person's actions would thus be no more praiseworthy than they are something we can blame on the actor, since he is simply born to behave that way.

===================

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I find morals themselves to be meaningless. God or no God, what is the meaning? People tell us that this is "good" and this is "bad." But what does it all mean? Does good mean preserving life, and the emotion we call "happiness?" But do those two concepts by themselves have any meaning? Are emotions even important at all, at the very end?

...In the end, most of these morals seek to preserve life and certain emotions, that even with an eternal force in the universe, still doesn't matter. Are these two concepts themselves anything special? No, probably not.
To me, morality is akin to aesthetic judgment. It is as difficult to describe what is "good" as it is to describe what is "beautiful". But that doesn't necessarily imply that "good" and "beauty" are meaningless. To answer one of your questions, yes, I believe that emotions are, in fact, very important when it comes to considering what is "right" and "moral", as we are thinking about ideas that have subjective meaning.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Then again what is meaning? Is meaning simply knowledge? It's unfathomable to me so see what could ever truly qualify as fulfillment in any human being.
That sounds like an unnecessarily depressing line of reasoning. "Meaning" would, of course, imply some kind of knowledge, but it also involves more than just knowledge. It also includes how we feel about that knowledge.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
We seek to drown ourselves in certain kinds of emotions, and our set of rules or "morals" just aid that cause. If God exists like said above, then the creator of everything also seeks to drown us in these emotions for whatever reason. But why are these emotions even worth anything?
God, if he does exist, is not responsible for your actions. You are. If you choose to drown yourself in emotions, then that is your choice for which you are directly responsible. Why blame God?

It is also a bit pointless to ask whether emotions are worth anything since we are, by nature, born with said emotions. That is not something we can do anything about. They are simply a major part of our human nature. Now, we can learn to live with our emotions, or choose to let them control our every action. That is an individual choice. In the end then, you will be judged not so much by your emotions, but by the choices you make in spite of or according to your emotions.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Do we as humans just simply struggle with the fact that there is no ultimate goal to strive for? Because even if we were to reach the ultimate truth and meaning of the universe, does that bring us anything of worth? Are we all doomed to strive for such simple emotions that pleasure us?
I would argue that the struggle to find meaning is in fact part of the meaning of life, as elaborated in Albert Camus' Myth of Sisyphus.
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Old 2010-09-18, 20:36   Link #2816
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I used to entertain the idea that "morality" in humanity is an evolved trait, but have since largely abandoned that view. In essence, it makes a mockery of free will. If we were "programmed" by our genes to be "moral" then, in effect, it means that we are not directly responsible for our own deliberate actions. That being the case, it is meaningless to talk about morality, since we are simply carrying out actions that we cannot help but carry out. A person's actions would thus be no more praiseworthy than they are something we can blame on the actor, since he is simply born to behave that way.
Though even if you feel it serves as a mockery, that doesn't make it any less true. I think these traits are evolved - but I think it is at such a level of complexity that words like 'programmed' are irrelevant. It is a bit like those movies/tv shows that explore the concept of AI - if artificial intelligence through robots comes into existence, are they just as worthy as humans? I say yes, because the level of complexity present in biological organisms and that would be required for AI is akin to the level of complexity of the universe - it is governed by laws but cannot be reduced to a set of rules or anything like a computer (it reaches a level of complexity where decisions are independently made. Decisions influenced by our evolved traits or AI's programming, but ultimately at the choice of the agent). Yes, we are governed by evolved tendencies, but I think it is too quick to judge it as if this makes us akin to modern computers.
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Old 2010-09-18, 21:29   Link #2817
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Originally Posted by Hooves View Post
There is no ultimate goal that we are supposed to strive for, all we do with the life given to us is just live our daily lives, and let the events that occur roll on and become history, that is to be taught to those that will follow up on our actions in the future. Entirely, it does not bring us anything of worth either way. Sorry if this sounds kind of disappointing in a way..

The spoiler is my response to Reckoner, I spoil-tagged it because I felt bad posting about it
Which is exactly my conclusion thus far to everything, but like you, I am not very happy with it.


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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That sounds like an unnecessarily depressing line of reasoning. "Meaning" would, of course, imply some kind of knowledge, but it also involves more than just knowledge. It also includes how we feel about that knowledge.
But you see, I cannot see an emotion any greater than the emotion I would experience in a romantic relationship, or even simply eating a delicious dinner with my family on New Years. That is why I find the emotion part irrelevant. Emotions are fleeting, and once you reach this ultimate knowledge, you also have nothing left to search for. Isn't this fact boring and depressing in itself?


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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
God, if he does exist, is not responsible for your actions. You are. If you choose to drown yourself in emotions, then that is your choice for which you are directly responsible. Why blame God?
Oh first of all I was just going under the premise that God really did write the Ten Commandments, and was just using those commandments as God's moral compass. I have no desire myself to blame an outside force for anything I do or feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It is also a bit pointless to ask whether emotions are worth anything since we are, by nature, born with said emotions. That is not something we can do anything about. They are simply a major part of our human nature. Now, we can learn to live with our emotions, or choose to let them control our every action. That is an individual choice. In the end then, you will be judged not so much by your emotions, but by the choices you make in spite of or according to your emotions.
I was just asking if emotions could really be a part of true fulfillment, achieving the truth. I understand that we are emotional creatures, and thus we seek to stimulate these emotions in different ways, but if our end goal is to do this, doesn't this render the truth itself meaningless as many human beings do not need it to live happily?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I would argue that the struggle to find meaning is in fact part of the meaning of life, as elaborated in Albert Camus' Myth of Sisyphus.
I should probably clarify, but I find this world, this universe itself meaningless. Meaning is attached to anything that humans see fit. With that fact in mind, I just see existence as itself. It just exists for the sole purpose of existing. Anything else we attach to it is subjective interpretation of reason of being.
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Old 2010-09-18, 21:35   Link #2818
Kaijo
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Morality is simply the end result of social evolution. Morals essentially allowed certain groups to survive, while the less-moralistic was naturally selected out. Just like genetic factors, social factors are the result of our evolution, too. They represent the best way to maintain a cohesive society which has the best chance of surviving and thriving.

The only problem is that a society only requires most people to be moral, not all of them. Thus, a society of 100 people can survive if 7 of them are moral, and the remaining 3 are a-hole douchebags.

Religion evolved as a means to make people act moralistic when societies evolved into larger groups. You couldn't directly control groups farther away, so you literally put the fear of God into them so they'd stay in line. Tack some morals onto it, and whammo! You have religion.
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Old 2010-09-18, 21:42   Link #2819
Reckoner
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Morality is simply the end result of social evolution. Morals essentially allowed certain groups to survive, while the less-moralistic was naturally selected out. Just like genetic factors, social factors are the result of our evolution, too. They represent the best way to maintain a cohesive society which has the best chance of surviving and thriving.

The only problem is that a society only requires most people to be moral, not all of them. Thus, a society of 100 people can survive if 7 of them are moral, and the remaining 3 are a-hole douchebags.

Religion evolved as a means to make people act moralistic when societies evolved into larger groups. You couldn't directly control groups farther away, so you literally put the fear of God into them so they'd stay in line. Tack some morals onto it, and whammo! You have religion.
So like I was mentioning earlier, morals themselves have no meaning except trying to preserve life and happiness?
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Old 2010-09-18, 21:49   Link #2820
Proto
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: U. of Pittsburgh, Previously in Mexico City.
Age: 29
If you are a materialist, there's no intrinsic value to anything. It's all in the eye of the beholder/observer.

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I used to entertain the idea that "morality" in humanity is an evolved trait, but have since largely abandoned that view. In essence, it makes a mockery of free will. If we were "programmed" by our genes to be "moral" then, in effect, it means that we are not directly responsible for our own deliberate actions. That being the case, it is meaningless to talk about morality, since we are simply carrying out actions that we cannot help but carry out. A person's actions would thus be no more praiseworthy than they are something we can blame on the actor, since he is simply born to behave that way.
Is there any concrete proof/experiment/notion that free will is anything more than a phylosophical construct made to make us feel better?
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