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Old 2009-02-13, 08:13   Link #1621
Kylaran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
Morality, I hope we can all agree, has progressed. Even if not so in practice (if you wish to argue), it has so in understanding. And morality entails "guiding one's actions by reason", at the very least. It it reason-able for Hegel to believe that today's morality is the product of historical events which took place following the "denial" of reality which was untrue, or immoral, or wrong according to reason at the time. In science, when new difficulties present itself because no theory can possibly explain phenomena it is supposed to, a synthesis will occur sooner or later to include those in a new theory. So within what reason is capable of, progress is made, whether that's objectively genuine or not.
Ah, but here is where I see the same faith that is so often criticized with religion.

How do we know that these improvements are progressive in understanding when we are unsure of whether or not our reasoning is flawed?

You can hold to Hegel's interpretation of synthesis, progression, and refinement through logic, but until someone gives me a definite proof that logic is what we should define progress with, then I still find the theory to be flawed.

If I argued that morality has not progressed, then such ideas of using reason to determine how to fix it do not become progressive; they simply bring about change.

Perhaps it would be better to word it this way:

Imagine we take Hegel's system of thought and insert some sort of time line of events (with no analysis). At the moment, conceptually, it is a linear time line. However, if we contrast this a time line of simple events that shows moments in history to a time line that depicts changes in human thought during which human reasoning has helped us "progress" we can perhaps see a linear progression similar to that fits nicely along with historical events.

But if we look at the time line of progress, we can soon see that a multitude of problems continue to grow as a result of reasoning's guidance. But is this truly progress? According to Hegel's definition, as long as previous imperfections are "fixed" by actions "guided by reasoning", then this is progression. However, I challenge that these changes are not progressive because we simply think that we have done is a step in the right direction, when we actually have no idea if we did or not, because we have no idea whether empirical reasoning is valid or not.

Thus, this time line representing progress in humanity no longer remains linear. Instead, it becomes a bunch of floating points that symbolize changes in how we view the world.

At the moment, I feel like you are assuming that I think reason is the best means by which to attach a value to changes throughout history. Be it science or morals, I do not think that human reasoning can truly determine whether progress can be made, which is why I bring up this notion.

History changes, I'm not arguing about this, but I am arguing from a metaphysical standpoint on the nature and sanctity of human reasoning, while you're giving me a system of thought that has already predetermined human reasoning to be a valid method of determining if what has occurred is truly an improvement from the past or not. I believe that even Hegel held a certain amount of faith in Kant's idea of a priori reasoning. But that still doesn't make reasoning the correct measure of progress.

My concern here is that those who place value on empirical data and human reasoning may become too enamored with their very idea of what reasoning is, and, in doing so, they begin to alienate religion as something that cannot change, even though they themselves are so firm in their epistomology that they never question themselves.
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Old 2009-02-13, 08:18   Link #1622
Kylaran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
Hey, on a side note (actually the main topic), has anyone noticed this?

Looks like the ex-nazis have finally accepted evolution.
Whoops. Getting back on topic...

I'm a believer in my own self-formulated justification of why this world exists, with a blend of animism, spiritual dependence on divine forces, and a belief in the limits of any form of human reasoning. I also believe that science is capable of improving upon itself, but it cannot yet tell us what the nature of the world is past what we imagine, or believe, it to be.

That being said, I find it hard to classify myself as anything, so I usually go with agnostic to make it simple. Simplicity is good in a world filled with complexity.
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Old 2009-02-13, 08:52   Link #1623
Xrayz0r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylaran View Post
Ah, but here is where I see the same faith that is so often criticized with religion.

How do we know that these improvements are progressive in understanding when we are unsure of whether or not our reasoning is flawed?

You can hold to Hegel's interpretation of synthesis, progression, and refinement through logic, but until someone gives me a definite proof that logic is what we should define progress with, then I still find the theory to be flawed.

If I argued that morality has not progressed, then such ideas of using reason to determine how to fix it do not become progressive; they simply bring about change.

Perhaps it would be better to word it this way:

Imagine we take Hegel's system of thought and insert some sort of time line of events (with no analysis). At the moment, conceptually, it is a linear time line. However, if we contrast this a time line of simple events that shows moments in history to a time line that depicts changes in human thought during which human reasoning has helped us "progress" we can perhaps see a linear progression similar to that fits nicely along with historical events.

But if we look at the time line of progress, we can soon see that a multitude of problems continue to grow as a result of reasoning's guidance. But is this truly progress? According to Hegel's definition, as long as previous imperfections are "fixed" by actions "guided by reasoning", then this is progression. However, I challenge that these changes are not progressive because we simply think that we have done is a step in the right direction, when we actually have no idea if we did or not, because we have no idea whether empirical reasoning is valid or not.

Thus, this time line representing progress in humanity no longer remains linear. Instead, it becomes a bunch of floating points that symbolize changes in how we view the world.

At the moment, I feel like you are assuming that I think reason is the best means by which to attach a value to changes throughout history. Be it science or morals, I do not think that human reasoning can truly determine whether progress can be made, which is why I bring up this notion.

History changes, I'm not arguing about this, but I am arguing from a metaphysical standpoint on the nature and sanctity of human reasoning, while you're giving me a system of thought that has already predetermined human reasoning to be a valid method of determining if what has occurred is truly an improvement from the past or not. I believe that even Hegel held a certain amount of faith in Kant's idea of a priori reasoning. But that still doesn't make reasoning the correct measure of progress.

My concern here is that those who place value on empirical data and human reasoning may become too enamored with their very idea of what reasoning is, and, in doing so, they begin to alienate religion as something that cannot change, even though they themselves are so firm in their epistomology that they never question themselves.
Seems to me what you're arguing is whether reason is "the way to go" in the first place. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I have been arguing from the start that progress is defined by, a utopian/ideological track of history towards a reality of reason in its purest form, where no more denial will take place by reason because the current state reflects exactly what reason dictates.

And your response is: "is this genuine progress?", I suppose.

Hegel came upon his theory when he criticized Kant for not realizing that when Kant was criticizing reason, it was reason itself he was using to do so, which seemed to him flawed, and therefore it was impossible (so we are forever limited to that narrow ability, and that is my response to you, and why I'm willing to accept that reason is the only way to go for humans). He stumbled upon the conclusion that pure truth is attained through synthesis after synthesis, guided by something all humans have in common, the ability to reason, but he didn't use the word reason. I'm just doing that because I still admit some credibility to Kant, it is good to question even that which makes us question. But I won't deny that reason is the engine for progress. However in the greater scheme of things, the same progress may have side effects which will bring us down again in the long run. I'm not sure if that was your point to begin with.




edit: basically the point was, it is impossible for humans to verify the validity of reason because while trying, you'll be trying to reason about reason. It's a paradox, it won't lead you anywhere than coming up with a few a priori which don't prove very much. It proves that time and space are human concepts which we shouldn't take for granted.

Last edited by Xrayz0r; 2009-02-13 at 09:07.
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Old 2009-02-13, 08:57   Link #1624
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
I have been arguing from the start that progress is defined by, a utopian/ideological track of history towards a reality of reason in its purest form, where no more denial will take place by reason because the current state reflects exactly what reason dictates.
All that is but one — and only one — out of an infinite number of ways to face an existence without inherent meaning.

Frankly, I think we've gone way off-topic by now. Interesting though this diversion has been, shouldn't the two of you take it to PM by now?
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Old 2009-02-13, 09:03   Link #1625
Kylaran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
I'm not sure if that was your point to begin with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
edit: basically the point was, it is impossible for humans to verify the validity of reason because while trying, you'll be trying to reason about reason. It's a paradox, it won't lead you anywhere than coming up with a few a priori which don't prove very much. It proves that time and space are human concepts which we shouldn't take for granted.
I agree.

Actually, that is my point. I just find it a bit curious that some people consider one form of reasoning to be more valid than another, when it's arguable that there is no absolute standard to judge it from.

You're right about Hegel, and I think that there's nothing wrong with his way of thinking. I'm just offering my view on why I find calling religion as having "fallen behind" to be a bit unfair, particularly if we use a standard such as "progress" to define it.

I suppose if you take what I said to the extreme, it's an impractical method of analysis that merely doubts the nature of everything. I think that prescribing to a system such as empirical reasoning or religious reasoning is a good thing when it's not used to breed such things as hatred, suffering, ignorance, etc., since it means we can follow general rules as we live our lives. But it also means that we might mistakenly exclude the possibility of other things because we have assigned ourselves to one system of reasoning.

Like in the video that was linked, the girl's father did not believe in a divine being because he could not see it for himself.

As we all know, A therefore B, but not A does not necessarily mean not B.

It's such things that both sides need to be aware of when discussing such subjects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
All that is but one — and only one — out of an infinite number of ways to face an existence without inherent meaning.

Frankly, I think we've gone way off-topic by now. Interesting though this diversion has been, shouldn't the two of you take it to PM by now?
You're right. I apologize for taking this in a wrong direction, but I feel like it was somewhat relevant to the topic that it was meant as a reply to. This will end here. :P
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Old 2009-02-13, 09:17   Link #1626
Xrayz0r
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Originally Posted by Kylaran View Post
You're right about Hegel, and I think that there's nothing wrong with his way of thinking. I'm just offering my view on why I find calling religion as having "fallen behind" to be a bit unfair, particularly if we use a standard such as "progress" to define it.
Getting back to religion then (I felt like not caring about going offtopic because most ontopic comments don't really seem to generate much debate here), when I addressed religion, I meant today's dominating monotheisms (I can live with most forms of deism). They have fallen behind in the sense that they represent a consensus reality from medieval times, and are still successful only because they answer to a few uncertainties inherent to our nature which we don't wish were there. It is not a kind of genuine truth seeking, someone who seeks truth is willing to accept anything, and I feel a strongly religious person has a bias towards a comfortable belief rather than a true one. In that instance I think it's safe to say that emotions cloud reason.

Last edited by Xrayz0r; 2009-02-13 at 09:46.
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Old 2009-02-13, 10:15   Link #1627
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
I felt like not caring about going offtopic because most ontopic comments don't really seem to generate much debate here.
No, but then, this thread is not meant for debate:

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I mean like me - I have a strong faith toward science. I think the universe was created through big bangs and eons of dust gathering and comet impact. But at the same time, I believe that there are many things about the universe that we do not understand nor will I ever be able to understand in the 77 years I have left on this Earth. The world, in my point of view, was created according to complex yet natural laws. But I don't deny the possibility that there are deities out there who may or may not have contributed to the forming of the cosmos. Star Trek has taught me this and to keep an open mind.
And I would like to point out that your second paragraph is effectively off-topic to the purpose of this thread. Please remember that the topic is if you are religious or not (and stating you are an atheist would therefore be considered on-topic I believe).

It might be a good time to remind posters of some of the general etiquette for posting here at AnimeSuki
  • Do not insult or harass other members for their comments.
    Please remember: Do not take it so seriously that you end up in an argument with another forum member because they express a different viewpoint from yours. Discussion and good spirited banter is always welcome, but harassing people won’t be tolerated.
If you can't follow this simple rule then please don't post.
Be glad that the mods have been lax in their enforcement. They've been tolerant, I guess, because the discourse has been civil — so far.

To echo Vexx, it's fair to add explanation for why you believe what you do, but please refrain from pouring criticism on other people's beliefs. Because, by doing so, the discussion will tend to turn ugly. Quite simply, if you have nothing constructive to add, don't.

If you must debate, take it to PM, and let others have their say. You don't have to win every battle to be a man.
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Old 2009-02-13, 12:44   Link #1628
Clarste
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Considering how easily this topic seems to get derailed (I note that its tagged "debate" and "philosophy"), would it be possible to split it into two threads, one which keeps this topic and another which is specifically for debate? Or would that just be a flame war waiting to happen?
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Old 2009-02-13, 12:45   Link #1629
Xrayz0r
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Considering how easily this topic seems to get derailed (I note that its tagged "debate" and "philosophy"), would it be possible to split it into two threads, one which keeps this topic and another which is specifically for debate?
In my opinion, unless for statistic, it's pretty useless for everyone to just say what their religion is and get out.
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Old 2009-02-13, 14:33   Link #1630
TinyRedLeaf
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Is that so? Well, in the end, it's pointless to argue over matters of religion and philosophy anyway. People will believe what they need to believe. Every such debate I've seen either ends in flames, or the grudging agreement to disagree.

So, why bother? If you don't agree with someone's religion, then so be it. There's no need to kick a fuss over it, unless they are seriously misrepresenting facts that need to be clarified. Ironically, in your earnestness to rubbish religion, you're coming across just as bad as a religious fanatic badmouthing atheists as evil personified.

It's not that I don't understand where you're coming from, either. I happened to think the way you do up until very recently, until one particular AnimeSuki member said (quite correctly): "Don't be so proud of your logic, human."

For someone who's so proud of having read Kant, I don't think you've fully appreciated one important implication of his "transcendental" philosophy: humans will never know the entirety of existence. There are "things in themselves" that are forever beyond our ability to experience, not even with our much-vaunted faculties of reason.

With that thought in mind, how then can it hurt to shut up sometimes and simply listen? You'll never know what you may learn.
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Old 2009-02-13, 14:37   Link #1631
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
In my opinion, unless for statistic, it's pretty useless for everyone to just say what their religion is and get out.
Aye.. but that's been the constraint of the thread so far... in a sense, its just a strange sort of list thread (also forbidden by the rules). In a submarine way, you can discuss by explaining how you yourself came to the beliefs you have.

I've thought about droning about my "35 year exploration" of spirituality, reason, and meaning which led me to where I am about "Life, the Universe, and Everything" but then I'd probably put most of the audience to sleep (at least the ones who freak out at a post longer than 3 or 4 lines).

Sometimes its pretty clear that someone hasn't really explored their own religion/beliefs much less another kind and I'll point out resources or explain why they may be a bit confused. Information is only dangerous to those not actually seeking their path to truth.
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Old 2009-02-13, 17:35   Link #1632
Kylaran
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It's not that I don't understand where you're coming from, either. I happened to think the way you do up until very recently, until one particular AnimeSuki member said (quite correctly): "Don't be so proud of your logic, human."
Although the question of whether religious debate is valuable and not (be it valuable or worthless for teleological reasons or deontological reasons, or whatever ethical background you choose to believe in) is debatable, I think the experience you have just shared with us is a valuable one we should all keep in mind.

Quote:
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For someone who's so proud of having read Kant, I don't think you've fully appreciated one important implication of his "transcendental" philosophy: humans will never know the entirety of existence. There are "things in themselves" that are forever beyond our ability to experience, not even with our much-vaunted faculties of reason.

With that thought in mind, how then can it hurt to shut up sometimes and simply listen? You'll never know what you may learn.
An excellent summation of my reason for posting in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
In my opinion, unless for statistic, it's pretty useless for everyone to just say what their religion is and get out.
I do believe there is intrinsic value of analyzing the statistics behind the demographics of religion, because it gives us an important idea of how certain thought systems are working in which areas of the world. Knowing that there's such a number of people from different religious backgrounds contributing to this community is something that's wonderful - we can all relate on topics were interested in, such as anime.

It provides us with just another bit of knowledge about ourselves and our world, and we don't necessarily have to add a judgment call to whether the people of different religious backgrounds are right or wrong. It simply -is-.
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Old 2009-02-14, 08:57   Link #1633
deadsnake
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thought I'd share what I believed in....
I'm a moslem.....
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Old 2009-02-14, 11:17   Link #1634
Xrayz0r
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
For someone who's so proud of having read Kant, I don't think you've fully appreciated one important implication of his "transcendental" philosophy: humans will never know the entirety of existence. There are "things in themselves" that are forever beyond our ability to experience, not even with our much-vaunted faculties of reason.

With that thought in mind, how then can it hurt to shut up sometimes and simply listen? You'll never know what you may learn.


I'm not sure, but maybe you should grasp the atmosphere. Nothing out of scene is going on here, it looked pretty odd when you quoted the forum rules in the middle of a conversation.

Anyway, the point you bring up really isn't any relevant to the discussion me and Kylaran were having. Nor does your strange attitude at the end of your post. Maybe you could elaborate.

Last edited by Xrayz0r; 2009-02-14 at 19:54.
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Old 2009-02-14, 18:05   Link #1635
Niv
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I'm a casual christian, far from 'fundamentalist'.
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Old 2009-02-14, 18:41   Link #1636
_eternal
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I'm about as atheist as an atheist can be.
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Old 2009-02-14, 19:02   Link #1637
AceD
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Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
I am just curious what are some of the Animesuki's member's religion are. I think there was a topic like this but I am not too sure and I can't find one. I am a Buddhist and I am not that serious, I do go to temple sometime but ever since our family moved we can't go there anymore.
relgion exists? i thought it was just scare storys from the ages gone, where people where abit deluded...

guess am atheist also
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Old 2009-02-14, 19:40   Link #1638
TubZzz
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i'm Muslim... Sunni-Muslim if that makes a difference ^_^
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Old 2009-02-26, 12:08   Link #1639
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Old 2009-02-27, 18:15   Link #1640
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Im Athiest!

Technically.... that doesnt count as a religion. Since its not religious. o3o
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