I Like the Atheist Life (OT)

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Messages 821 - 840 of total 1107 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 8, 2012 - 07:55pm PT
^^^^^^
This is what being butt-hurt looks like.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 8, 2012 - 09:54pm PT
Great. Just which research (on rewards neurobiologically) are you referring to? If it's work like Kahneman & Tversky's (and behavioral psychologists like Slovac and Thaler), it's good research.

But because people appear to make decisions based upon heuristics, biases, or rewards does not mean that they should or that they cannot help but do so.

So which is your argument? That people do and they should? That people do and cannot help but do so? That people do and should not?

If you say that they do and cannot help themselves, then you have a problem with accountability and free will. If they do and should, then you need to go further in a statement about why they should (beyond the typical, "it's evolution"). If they do and should not, then you need to be clearer about what's important and why it's important.

Your turn.

EDIT: I'm assuming that reality transcends any culture.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Oct 8, 2012 - 10:01pm PT
splitter-cool gotcha

For me I suppose the point in all this (whichever thread one chooses along these lines) is not whether one set of beliefs is right or wrong. The point is what you believe in, because your beliefs, whether right or wrong, change your world...


MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 8, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
The point is what you believe in, because your beliefs, whether right or wrong, change your world...

Well, I guess that is surely true, but it seems to me that what's going on here is not that people have different beliefs but that certain beliefs ARE wrong, incorrect, biased, ignorant. . . .

What gets highlighted for me is not which beliefs are X, but the persistent and unyielding need criticize and prioritize beliefs. Put another way, what's interesting is not the flavor of beliefs but their apparent over-arching importance. Why don't we feel so strongly about colors, hobbies, jobs, fields of study, height, etc.? The War of Beliefs is a War of Ideologies. Really? We are willing to spew venom and bile over ideologies? Capitalism vs. Socialism? Islam vs Christianity? Democracy versus Monarchy? These are Just Ideas, and as such are really nothing at all. It's not like some large, slimy, ugly cockroach-looking vermin, called socialized medical care, is pounding through my front door in order to feast on me and my wife tonight. (A good story though for a Swim cartoon or a Monty Python episode.)

Come on. It's really a little nuts, isn't it?

It's not that we have beliefs but that we love them so. We need them. Without them, we'd be . . . .
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Oct 9, 2012 - 12:02am PT
Delhi Dog - The point is what you believe in, because your beliefs, whether right or wrong, change your world...
So true!

edit: BTW, you may recall the time you checked me (thadood) on my over exuberance in hearing of OBL death. It caused me to pause, ponder and consider all the negative things I had said and felt. And you were right, I was out of line to some degree. You sent me a PM apologizing, and I believe I sent you one back saying something to the effect that there was no rejoicing in heaven over his death, and I was wrong to be doing exactly the opposite here on earth. In fact, I believe it was a very sad moment in heaven, because he was once a little boy, just like us at one time. God loved him then, and he never stopped loving him, even though something went terribly wrong, imo! So, my "point" is, communication is what this is all about. It may not seem like it by reading some of these posts, but every once in a while something clicks, eh? Thanks again DD!!
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:31am PT
Gdavis, the only thing my butt hurts from is too much hiking this weekend.

Great. Just which research (on rewards neurobiologically) are you referring to? If it's work like Kahneman & Tversky's (and behavioral psychologists like Slovac and Thaler), it's good research.

One example: http://m.voices.yahoo.com/the-science-altruism-researchers-discover-brain-179380.html

...In the study, which was published in the January 21 online issue of Nature Neuroscience, the scientists say that a piece of the brain linked to perceiving others' intentions shows more activity in people with unselfish motives and personalities than in those who behave more selfishly. ...

But because people appear to make decisions based upon heuristics, biases, or rewards does not mean that they should or that they cannot help but do so.

And just because they make decisions based upon heuristics, biases or rewards does not mean that they are not driven by biochemistry.

So which is your argument? That people do and they should? That people do and cannot help but do so? That people do and should not?

If you say that they do and cannot help themselves, then you have a problem with accountability and free will. If they do and should, then you need to go further in a statement about why they should (beyond the typical, "it's evolution"). If they do and should not, then you need to be clearer about what's important and why it's important.

Neither. My argument is that they they choose to do so because they want what comes from it. Whether the reward is dopamine, oxytocin, or a satisfaction that they're treating the other as they would like to be treated, they are doing it because they get something from it.

As far as I can tell, the argument about "appropriateness" and inherent should-ness was yours. But, if you insist, the why comes from the social norms by which they are surrounded -- or the projection that because they would want to be treated in a certain way, perhaps the other person does, too.

They why does not necessarily come from a universal cross-cultural standard of The Way It Should Be.

EDIT: I'm assuming that reality transcends any culture.

Which reality? A backhand two-fingered V means "f*#k you" in one culture and a clumsy peace sign in another culture. Marijuana use a non-issue in one culture but a moral digression in another. Cannibalism is acceptable in one culture but disgusting in another. And so on...

Any assumption that "reality" is universal is incorrect...

Beyond such things as the natural laws of physics, reality is defined by belief systems. Belief systems are defined by cultures.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:12am PT
I think all of us inherit belief systems that we remain unaware of most of our life, particularly if they were tolerant and abstract. I would hope however, that we would be willing to alter these beliefs and those we formed on our own in the face of new experiences and evidence. I certainly strive to do that.

One of the best ways to come to understand what one's basic belief structure, and a fun way too, is to live in a very different culture and learn a language that is totally unrelated to one's mother tongue. We used to be told as graduate students that it was not a bad idea to have some psychoanalysis under one's belt before doing fieldwork in another culture. Otherwise, our research subjects would bring about self analysis anyway.

For the very early childhood programming, I know of no other method as effective as meditation.

Religion is adopting a particular structure for one's understanding of the world. Science is similar in most ways, although it can be subject to testing by anyone. Spirituality, is a form of internal travel whereby the outcome is unknown ahead of time.

slayton

Trad climber
Here and There
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:26am PT
As the conversation wandered into issues of what is right and wrong, etc., evaluations and ethics arose. This is good, that is bad, this is correct, that is incorrect, Obama is right, Romney is wrong, helping old women across the streets is good, murdering 7 million Jews is bad, yada yada. The evaluations are meaningful as speech acts, but they stand for nothing . . . . just like particles, gravity, and centrifugal force. They are terms that purportedly reference reality as speech acts, but the objects referenced do not independently exist. They are in the universe but they refer to nothing if they refer to objects in the universe.

I don't agree that these "evaluations are meaningful as speech acts, but they stand for nothing. .. " The universe is ONE and we and everything in it are a part of that ONE. But we are still parts, living, breathing, thinking, feeling parts. We all together, with everything else in this cosmic soup, make up the ONE. But we are still individuals. The fact that we are part of something bigger than ourselves doesn't negate the fact that if you throw a rock and it hits me in the head (an analogy I've made before)I know that it's going to hurt before it happens, as it happens, and after it's still going to hurt and it will only reinforce the reality, my reality, that if I get hit in the head with a rock in the future it will hurt. That is reality.

It seems like some take thoughts, ideas, and words especially, and parse them in an attempt to understand the big picture and make sense of what "reality" is and in that attempt walk toward a cliff and fall off claiming that there is no "reality". I assure you, it really does hurt if a rock hits me in the head.

Why don't we feel so strongly about colors, hobbies, jobs, fields of study, height, etc.? The War of Beliefs is a War of Ideologies. Really? We are willing to spew venom and bile over ideologies? Capitalism vs. Socialism? Islam vs Christianity? Democracy versus Monarchy? These are Just Ideas, and as such are really nothing at all. It's not like some large, slimy, ugly cockroach-looking vermin, called socialized medical care, is pounding through my front door in order to feast on me and my wife tonight. (A good story though for a Swim cartoon or a Monty Python episode.)

These are all just ideas, I agree. But unlike colors, heights or hobbies (jobs and fields of study do engender some strong reaction as evidenced by posts on this forum), much of the examples you gave above DO have direct implications on individuals living with or under them. They are just "ideas" on the surface but they have far reaching consequences in their implementation. That, I think, is why there is a reaction to those vs. color etc.

As for your example of socialized medical care (or whatever else might serve) if it became more than an "idea" and was implemented and in that implementation caused you and your wife to fork over say 90% of your income would it then become more than an "idea". Would it cause a reaction of "good" or "bad" in you or for you?

Sean
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Oct 9, 2012 - 04:53am PT
I've enjoyed reading and digesting the last 5 or so post, thanks...gives me food for thought.
Cheers
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 9, 2012 - 11:22am PT
Spirituality, is a form of internal travel whereby the outcome is unknown ahead of time.

spirituality: state or condition of spirit

spirit: the net total functionality of the living organism

Only religions and their nonsense makes a mess of these terms. "Ghostly" spirit is misconception if not superstition. There is no "ghost in the machine." Which is the implication (even the claim) of modern science.

When you write like this, you fail to distinguish yourself from the blues or splitters or other illusiondwellers. Or MikeL or even this guy...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/charlie-fuqua-arkansas-candidate-death-penalty-rebellious-children_n_1948490.html

At the end of our lives, we die. Our carnate spirit dies. Our being dies. Our conscious spirit (or consciousness) dies. Just deal with it. Why not just deal with it. For reality sake.

.....

In this recent Sam Harris piece, he addresses death, the power of now, aspects of "consciousness," also the importance of a change of attitude (not just of knowledge) in one's practice of living.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTxTCz4Ums

He is spot on.

.....

Now one mental faculty we have of course is our imagination if not our train of thought (power of thinking). One could certainly employ this power as "a form of internal travel" - no woo-woo required either. Indeed, we climbers often do just this before embarking on a climbing trip, envisioning and tracing out in our minds approaches, pitches, various options, strategies, etc. And some times "the outcome" is accurately predicted, other not.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:20pm PT
Fructose
I truly hope one day you will experience the Holy Ghost. It is supernaturally life changing
It is definitive proof for me that God hears prayers.
I think being spiritual is being conscience of your spirit. And living your life being aware of the spirits around you. All of our interactions with each other are very important so much that they're being recorded. Do you think an ominous God creator of the universe would be interested in our talk of climbing or the stock exchange? His concern is the welfare of our spirit
I live with a wonderful peace of mind knowing that I am guaranteed everlasting life. For I have great respect for everyone and everything around me. because there's many I will know forever. So I till, plant seeds, fertilize and waterTo provide for an everlasting future.

Jus Water'in
BB
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:40pm PT
First fructose invents his own definitions and then feels the need to compare people who have a different interpretation to fanatics of various sorts, portraying many different views as equivalent. There must be a special vocabulary term for someone who can never see subtleties or shades of gray and feels the need to personally attack those who don't agree. To me this seems the essence of fundamentalism which he says he abhors. A perfect example in my view of someone who hasn't yet overcome childhood programming.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
Blue,

It would be futile to ask you to post to the Christian or religious thread, huh? and to leave this one to the irreligious, post-religious?

.....

Jan, the paranormalist,

Your post is laughable.

So I would ask you the same question. There are paranormalist / supernaturalist threads at the taco, why not post to those?
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:44pm PT
Hey Friuty

to get a line across the post use 3 slashes (-)

like so



if you put more than 3, you get this



the same
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
One thing that really pisses me off
It's the religious apologists calling us atheists too black and white
unable to see the subtle differences
unable to see the grey in between

It's total BS
We see everything more clearly, you just accuse of these charges because you think if we were more open minded we would see your side of the coin.

But it's the exact opposite, it's that we are so open minded, and so able to see the grey, and everything in between that we have come to our conclusions that religions are wrong, there is no God.

We have evolved to our current ideas about religions by studying religions, and understanding science. Following your parents religion or the establishment is the default, you have to become an atheist through the school of hard knocks and intelligent debate, you have to evolve as a human to accept reality as it is.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:56pm PT
Word, Dr. F.


"We have barely emerged from centuries of barbarism. It is not a surprise that there are shocking inequities in this world. It is hard work to climb down out of the trees, walk upright, and build a viable global civilization when you start with technology that's made of rocks and sticks and fur. This is a project and progress is difficult."

-Sam Harris



There must be a special vocabulary term for someone who...

...who declares far and wide she's looked "under the hood" of "the machinery of life" from all angles again and again and again - and yet still after all that just doesn't get it - not in the fundamentals nor the subtleties.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:16pm PT
if you guys go back and read the contributions on this page, most of us were talking about conditioning and biases in all aspects of life. Religion was not the focus. Yet because you have preconceived ideas of other's positions, you then jump to the attack. You're tilting at windmills. A good case in point is assuming that meditation and internal journeys have to involve the supernatural.



BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:26pm PT
Yeah well I was an atheist for almost 40 years!
I've been around the block a few times
Probably on the lower side of town from where you live
Hard knocks, we all get them
It just became blatant to me that there had to be more to life
So I went seeking. Maybe you're the one still living under your parents wings.
A product of society.
Maybe sitting there in your La-Z-Boy. In your fancy house. And your pimp Mobile
And your 9 to 5 with pension. You're comfortable and feel like you have life by the tail.
But let me tell you sir. YER GONNA DIE!!
We'll see how comfortable you are then

Jus Recline'in
BB
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
That's the saddest propaganda I've ever witnessed
I am praying for you

Jus Pray'in
BB
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Oct 9, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
Stzzo

I read the short summary you pointed to in Forbes. Thanks. (I tried to get access to the actual article in Nature Neuroscience, but I can't find it in the university's library. Forbes must have flubbed the citation.)

About research studies. One, when people use words like maybe, perhaps, could be, and make reference to correlations or associations, they are--as Werner would say--mentally speculating. That's ok by me, but let's be careful about saying what we know. Two, with only associations (i) causality is confounded, and (ii) it is doubtful that any model can be drawn. We simply don't know which variables to use or how to arrange them or what weights to assign.

My argument is that they they choose [an action] because they want what comes from it. Whether the reward is dopamine, oxytocin, or a satisfaction that they're treating the other as they would like to be treated, they are doing it because they get something from it.

Ok. Where does "the event" happen? In the physics of transferred charges among neurons? Chemically, when dopamine is produced or found? When a confabulation of neurons in a neural net reach critical mass and generates a pattern that is recognized or portrays an interpretation of "satisfaction?" When the ego-self chooses to reach for an altruistic goal rather than forego it self-interestedly? When the result is achieved (many of the same processes)? When the situation was formed (by God, for all I know) and the individual found him or herself in the situation? I mean, it's potentially a very long line of events, scenarios, variables, and processes.

(We can disagree about reality and culture. People around me who make physical scientific (e.g., biochemical) claims about the world think there is only one to talk about.)
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