Is It Irrational to Be Rational?

Argotitan
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Is It Irrational to Be Rational?

Let's say that people have finite attention spans.  That attention span can be committed towards consuming sensations, or investing in understanding.

A rational person, therefore, would understand as least as possible in order to sense as much as possible.

The more a person understands, the less a person senses.  The only reason a person would understand is when existing in a negative environment where understanding is necessary in order to compensate over time.

However, even in a social environment where some are content with the status quo, the sensational will deliberately prey on the understanding.  That way, the sensational can oppress the understanding into doing what it takes to understandably sustain the status quo.  The understanding will never compensate for negativity as long as they're serving the sensational.  

As far as I can tell, the only way understanding people can succeed in life is if they're born luckily physically distant from sensational people.  If they're born nearby, the sensational will prey on them without end.  

 


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Argotitan wrote:Let's say

Argotitan wrote:

Let's say that people have finite attention spans.  That attention span can be committed towards consuming sensations, or investing in understanding.

A rational person, therefore, would understand as least as possible in order to sense as much as possible.

The more a person understands, the less a person senses.  The only reason a person would understand is when existing in a negative environment where understanding is necessary in order to compensate over time.

However, even in a social environment where some are content with the status quo, the sensational will deliberately prey on the understanding.  That way, the sensational can oppress the understanding into doing what it takes to understandably sustain the status quo.  The understanding will never compensate for negativity as long as they're serving the sensational.  

As far as I can tell, the only way understanding people can succeed in life is if they're born luckily physically distant from sensational people.  If they're born nearby, the sensational will prey on them without end.  

 

All you have done is create a false dichotomy. There is no reason to believe that feeling sensations has any effect on a person's capacity to understand. We don't have to choose between sensations and understanding, most of us are capable of doing both quite easily.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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tl;dr 

tl;dr

 


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Argotitan wrote:

Let's say that people have finite attention spans.  That attention span can be committed towards consuming sensations, or investing in understanding.

A rational person, therefore, would understand as least as possible in order to sense as much as possible.

The more a person understands, the less a person senses.  The only reason a person would understand is when existing in a negative environment where understanding is necessary in order to compensate over time.

However, even in a social environment where some are content with the status quo, the sensational will deliberately prey on the understanding.  That way, the sensational can oppress the understanding into doing what it takes to understandably sustain the status quo.  The understanding will never compensate for negativity as long as they're serving the sensational.  

As far as I can tell, the only way understanding people can succeed in life is if they're born luckily physically distant from sensational people.  If they're born nearby, the sensational will prey on them without end.  

 

All you have done is create a false dichotomy. There is no reason to believe that feeling sensations has any effect on a person's capacity to understand. We don't have to choose between sensations and understanding, most of us are capable of doing both quite easily.  

 

I agree that people can do both, but rationally speaking, you shouldn't do both.  Rationally speaking, you want to sense as much as possible in order to enjoy your life as much as possible. 

Say we have a bar graph.  The more red a bar on the bar graph is, the less blue it is.  Yes, it can be red and blue, but if our goal is to get as much red as possible, that means we shouldn't have any blue.


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Argotitan wrote:I agree that

Argotitan wrote:

I agree that people can do both, but rationally speaking, you shouldn't do both.  Rationally speaking, you want to sense as much as possible in order to enjoy your life as much as possible. 

Say we have a bar graph.  The more red a bar on the bar graph is, the less blue it is.  Yes, it can be red and blue, but if our goal is to get as much red as possible, that means we shouldn't have any blue.

Only if we take your assumption that more understanding means less sensations, a premise that I find completely absurd on its face. There is no reason to believe that more of one means we have less of the other. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Argotitan wrote:

I agree that people can do both, but rationally speaking, you shouldn't do both.  Rationally speaking, you want to sense as much as possible in order to enjoy your life as much as possible. 

Say we have a bar graph.  The more red a bar on the bar graph is, the less blue it is.  Yes, it can be red and blue, but if our goal is to get as much red as possible, that means we shouldn't have any blue.

Only if we take your assumption that more understanding means less sensations, a premise that I find completely absurd on its face. There is no reason to believe that more of one means we have less of the other. 

Do you believe people are omniscient?

I started with the assumption that people have limited attention spans.  


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Argotitan wrote:The more a

Argotitan wrote:
The more a person understands, the less a person senses.  The only reason a person would understand is when existing in a negative environment where understanding is necessary in order to compensate over time.

However, even in a social environment where some are content with the status quo, the sensational will deliberately prey on the understanding.  That way, the sensational can oppress the understanding into doing what it takes to understandably sustain the status quo.  The understanding will never compensate for negativity as long as they're serving the sensational.  

What basis do you have for these claims? They don't make any sense to me, and I don't see any reason to simply accept them on their own.

Do you have any evidence to back this?


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RobbyPants wrote:Argotitan

RobbyPants wrote:

Argotitan wrote:
The more a person understands, the less a person senses.  The only reason a person would understand is when existing in a negative environment where understanding is necessary in order to compensate over time.

However, even in a social environment where some are content with the status quo, the sensational will deliberately prey on the understanding.  That way, the sensational can oppress the understanding into doing what it takes to understandably sustain the status quo.  The understanding will never compensate for negativity as long as they're serving the sensational.  

What basis do you have for these claims? They don't make any sense to me, and I don't see any reason to simply accept them on their own.

Do you have any evidence to back this?

I thought this was a rational forum, not an empirical forum.

The first claim is justified because people aren't omniscient.  Each ounce of attention span has to be dedicated one way or another by law of excluded middle.

The second claim is justified because rational people will operate on a cost-benefit basis.  If they can get others to solve problems for them, they will.  People want to live their lives, they don't want to work to live.


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Argotitan wrote:Do you

Argotitan wrote:

Do you believe people are omniscient?

I started with the assumption that people have limited attention spans.  

An assumption that is only accurate if you assume there is some singular entity that makes up the "attention span" and both understanding and sensations use the same finite resource. Which in reality, is not at all how our brains actually work so your whole point is just made up gibberish.

 

Argotitan wrote:

I thought this was a rational forum, not an empirical forum.

Part of being rational is having evidence for your claims. When you make naked assertions you can expect them to be challenged around here. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Argotitan wrote:I thought

Argotitan wrote:

I thought this was a rational forum, not an empirical forum.

 

Rational because we look for empirical evidence when making our decisions.

 

Argotitan wrote:
The first claim is justified because people aren't omniscient.  Each ounce of attention span has to be dedicated one way or another by law of excluded middle.
 

I wasn't refuting this point, which is why I excluded it from my quote.

 

Argotitan wrote:
The second claim is justified because rational people will operate on a cost-benefit basis.  If they can get others to solve problems for them, they will.  People want to live their lives, they don't want to work to live.
This is solved with the prisoner's dilemma. We can accomplish more if we work together and don't try to take advantage of people. If we undermine other people for our own gain, it undermines the integrity of the system, and people lose faith in working together. If that system crumbles, what did I gain?

It seems entirely rational to me.


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Argotitan wrote:

Do you believe people are omniscient?

I started with the assumption that people have limited attention spans.  

An assumption that is only accurate if you assume there is some singular entity that makes up the "attention span" and both understanding and sensations use the same finite resource. Which in reality, is not at all how our brains actually work so your whole point is just made up gibberish.

 

Argotitan wrote:

I thought this was a rational forum, not an empirical forum.

Part of being rational is having evidence for your claims. When you make naked assertions you can expect them to be challenged around here. 

 

 

I'm really confused here.  The brain isn't infinite, and people don't have collective consciousness.  What are you talking about regarding "some singular entity"?


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RobbyPants wrote:Argotitan

RobbyPants wrote:

Argotitan wrote:

I thought this was a rational forum, not an empirical forum.

 

Rational because we look for empirical evidence when making our decisions.

 

Argotitan wrote:
The first claim is justified because people aren't omniscient.  Each ounce of attention span has to be dedicated one way or another by law of excluded middle.
 

I wasn't refuting this point, which is why I excluded it from my quote.

 

Argotitan wrote:
The second claim is justified because rational people will operate on a cost-benefit basis.  If they can get others to solve problems for them, they will.  People want to live their lives, they don't want to work to live.
This is solved with the prisoner's dilemma. We can accomplish more if we work together and don't try to take advantage of people. If we undermine other people for our own gain, it undermines the integrity of the system, and people lose faith in working together. If that system crumbles, what did I gain?

It seems entirely rational to me.

That's not how the prisoners' dilemma works though.  The prisoners' dilemma is premised on how people don't know each other's strategies in advance, and the average best outcome is from defection, so it's rational to defect, not cooperate.


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Argotitan wrote:I'm really

Argotitan wrote:

I'm really confused here.  The brain isn't infinite, and people don't have collective consciousness.  What are you talking about regarding "some singular entity"?

You talk as if sensory perception and understanding take place in one part of our brain and if our brain is doing one it excludes the other. It is as nonsensical as claiming that by breathing you are slowing down your digestion. Our brains are more than capable of performing both actions (and indeed hundreds of others that you don't even think about) at the same time and reducing one does not "make more room" for the other because our brains process physical sensations and thought differently. There is no singular "attention span" or whatever made up phrase you want to use and call limited to be used up. Our brain has more than one working part.    

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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But if you understand how to

But if you understand how to kill the sensational people, they'll leave you alone. The understanding ones survive better. That's why humans are so good at waging war but not so good at being happy very often.

Sounds like your argument is that 'ignorance is bliss'. True?

I think you can make the argument that ignorance is often more pleasurable than knowledge. Humans evovled to be able to understand our own mortality, but this was depressing thought. So religion severs as an opiate to this knowlegde because you try to live in a state of believing you'll live forever in paradise.

To me religion is just like any other drug. You may feel better short term. But it's bad for long term health of the individual and society.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Argotitan wrote: The second

Argotitan wrote:
The second claim is justified because rational people will operate on a cost-benefit basis.  If they can get others to solve problems for them, they will.  People want to live their lives, they don't want to work to live.
RobbyPants wrote:
This is solved with the prisoner's dilemma. We can accomplish more if we work together and don't try to take advantage of people. If we undermine other people for our own gain, it undermines the integrity of the system, and people lose faith in working together. If that system crumbles, what did I gain?

It seems entirely rational to me.

That's not how the prisoners' dilemma works though.  The prisoners' dilemma is premised on how people don't know each other's strategies in advance, and the average best outcome is from defection, so it's rational to defect, not cooperate.

That's one way to look at it. Still, if you're interested in the total amount of time served, vs the gains of one over the other, the way to minimize total time served is to always cooperate.

And that's the whole point. Usually, any time people approach morality from the standpoint of it being mandated from a higher power, they always get this myopic view that if there were no higher power, we'd all have to be sociopathic a-holes. They completely overlook basic empathy, and the secular reasons for it. 


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 Just a quick comment on

 Just a quick comment on the prisoner's dilemma, the whole premise of the prisoner's dilemma relies on one and only one interaction. The reason why there is always a bias towards cooperation when you have people play games based on the prisoner's dilemma is that humans are rarely in a position where they will only interact with humans once. If you decide to betray now, there will inevitably be negative consequences the next time you interact with that person, or any other person who knows you betrayed that person. If you have ever known someone who is dishonest throughout their lives, you know what I am talking about. They have no long term friendships, often move around a lot and are generally unhappy people because they have to continually find new people to betray. There is (usually) far more to be gained in the long run by developing cooperative relationships based on trust.

Is it more rational to make your decisions based on short term gain or by calculating total gain/loss over the long run?    

 

Robert Axelrod and William Hamilton did a study back in the 80's involving a variety of different strategies playing the Prisoner's Dilemma 200 times. Over the long run, "nice" strategies (those who never betrayed first) always got more points. 

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~axe/research/Axelrod%20and%20Hamilton%20EC%201981.pdf

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Argotitan wrote:

I'm really confused here.  The brain isn't infinite, and people don't have collective consciousness.  What are you talking about regarding "some singular entity"?

You talk as if sensory perception and understanding take place in one part of our brain and if our brain is doing one it excludes the other. It is as nonsensical as claiming that by breathing you are slowing down your digestion. Our brains are more than capable of performing both actions (and indeed hundreds of others that you don't even think about) at the same time and reducing one does not "make more room" for the other because our brains process physical sensations and thought differently. There is no singular "attention span" or whatever made up phrase you want to use and call limited to be used up. Our brain has more than one working part.    

 

People have a finite span of attention they can use to decide whether they want to consciously sense or understand.  Furthermore, the more sensation bombarded on them, the less attention they can use to understand.  It's like how you can't study when loud music is being played.  Your attention span is distracted.

I really don't know what else you're talking about here.  You need to be explicit about how the brain works.


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EXC wrote:But if you

EXC wrote:

But if you understand how to kill the sensational people, they'll leave you alone. The understanding ones survive better. That's why humans are so good at waging war but not so good at being happy very often.

Sounds like your argument is that 'ignorance is bliss'. True?

I think you can make the argument that ignorance is often more pleasurable than knowledge. Humans evovled to be able to understand our own mortality, but this was depressing thought. So religion severs as an opiate to this knowlegde because you try to live in a state of believing you'll live forever in paradise.

To me religion is just like any other drug. You may feel better short term. But it's bad for long term health of the individual and society.

Understanding how to disable the sensation is a possibility, not a necessity.  If you're born among sensational personalities while weaker than them, you're ruined.  Likewise, you're expecting understanding people to luckily encounter the solution, assuming they choose to pursue that information aside from living their lives.

I'm not sure what you're saying about religion there.  It seems off topic.


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RobbyPants wrote:Argotitan

RobbyPants wrote:

Argotitan wrote:
The second claim is justified because rational people will operate on a cost-benefit basis.  If they can get others to solve problems for them, they will.  People want to live their lives, they don't want to work to live.
RobbyPants wrote:
This is solved with the prisoner's dilemma. We can accomplish more if we work together and don't try to take advantage of people. If we undermine other people for our own gain, it undermines the integrity of the system, and people lose faith in working together. If that system crumbles, what did I gain?

It seems entirely rational to me.

That's not how the prisoners' dilemma works though.  The prisoners' dilemma is premised on how people don't know each other's strategies in advance, and the average best outcome is from defection, so it's rational to defect, not cooperate.

That's one way to look at it. Still, if you're interested in the total amount of time served, vs the gains of one over the other, the way to minimize total time served is to always cooperate.

And that's the whole point. Usually, any time people approach morality from the standpoint of it being mandated from a higher power, they always get this myopic view that if there were no higher power, we'd all have to be sociopathic a-holes. They completely overlook basic empathy, and the secular reasons for it. 

I agree that they're sociopaths, but they usually accuse their victims of overlooking empathy.  Literally, their victims are the ones that are understanding.  Similarly, yes, they are myopic.  They insist on perpetually living in the moment rather than caring over time.  They want to do battle.  They enjoy seeing their victims' heads spin.  They're content with enslaving their victims to do what they want.


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Argotitan wrote:People have

Argotitan wrote:

People have a finite span of attention they can use to decide whether they want to consciously sense or understand.  Furthermore, the more sensation bombarded on them, the less attention they can use to understand.  It's like how you can't study when loud music is being played.  Your attention span is distracted.

I really don't know what else you're talking about here.  You need to be explicit about how the brain works.

Do I look like a neuroscience professor to you? 

Wiki has a decent basic layman's explanation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_brain

But if you are really interested I would suggest reading some articles from the Journal of Neuroscience. There are dozens of articles on how we feel, how we think and the different processes our brain goes through. Even in the case of what you label broadly as "understanding" we learn different things differently. Our brains do lot learn music for example the same way it learns history. 

http://www.jneurosci.org/

Or if you really want to know what you are talking about, take a couple classes at a decent university. You will quickly discover that philosophy bullshit doesn't survive contact with reality. 

http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/application.html

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote: Just a

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Just a quick comment on the prisoner's dilemma, the whole premise of the prisoner's dilemma relies on one and only one interaction. The reason why there is always a bias towards cooperation when you have people play games based on the prisoner's dilemma is that humans are rarely in a position where they will only interact with humans once.

That is true. If the rules are set up that there is one interaction, and you don't care about the other guy, then you always defect. If you and the other guy are on a team, then you always cooperate. As you already mentioned, if you can have more than one interaction, then a defect is a short-sighted gain.

I probably could have clarified that more when I expanded on it.

 

 

Argotitan wrote:

RobbyPants wrote:

Argotitan wrote:
The second claim is justified because rational people will operate on a cost-benefit basis.  If they can get others to solve problems for them, they will.  People want to live their lives, they don't want to work to live.
RobbyPants wrote:
This is solved with the prisoner's dilemma. We can accomplish more if we work together and don't try to take advantage of people. If we undermine other people for our own gain, it undermines the integrity of the system, and people lose faith in working together. If that system crumbles, what did I gain?

It seems entirely rational to me.

That's not how the prisoners' dilemma works though.  The prisoners' dilemma is premised on how people don't know each other's strategies in advance, and the average best outcome is from defection, so it's rational to defect, not cooperate.

That's one way to look at it. Still, if you're interested in the total amount of time served, vs the gains of one over the other, the way to minimize total time served is to always cooperate.

And that's the whole point. Usually, any time people approach morality from the standpoint of it being mandated from a higher power, they always get this myopic view that if there were no higher power, we'd all have to be sociopathic a-holes. They completely overlook basic empathy, and the secular reasons for it. 

I agree that they're sociopaths, but they usually accuse their victims of overlooking empathy.  Literally, their victims are the ones that are understanding.  Similarly, yes, they are myopic.  They insist on perpetually living in the moment rather than caring over time.  They want to do battle.  They enjoy seeing their victims' heads spin.  They're content with enslaving their victims to do what they want.

I'm missing what you're getting at. I'm confused with the "they" and "their" pronouns. Who are you talking about? People who insist that you need a higher power to have morality? 


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Hey Arg

Arg,

While this is extremely amusing for the empirical atheist, this is definitely a weak argument objectively. Your entire argument begs the question and is based on a logical fallacy. Presuppositionally you are saying that empiricism is rational. You have also failed to define many ambiguous terms. In another post you spoke of subjective spirituality so who knows what you mean by reason.

The experience through the senses as a means of understanding is absolutely absurd and it itself begs another questions, the infalliablity of the senses themselves. Are you saying that your sense have been right at all times?

I have posted dozens of times refuting empiricism inside and out. Your entire post is full of logical fallices, ambiguity, contradictions with your other posts, and is completely invalid and unsound. Empiricism is the dog that's been fed to the Chinese.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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  No one acts in a purely

 

 

No one acts in a purely rational way. And most of us are very far from it.

It is impossible to be completely rational at all times because we are humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictably_Irrational

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/your-brain-flawed-12-scientific-reasons-human-beings-are-wildly-irrational

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=13556

Feelings and senses are often enemies of rationality. Furthermore we live in a culture that praises physical pleasure and individualism enhancing irrationality in the masses of people.

 

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"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Hey guys look! Jean actually

Hey guys look! Jean actually said something that wasn't 100% bullshit!
There's still a bunch of bs there, but it's a non-zero amount of intelligence. We should throw a party.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Crikey

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Arg,

While this is extremely amusing for the empirical atheist, this is definitely a weak argument objectively. Your entire argument begs the question and is based on a logical fallacy. Presuppositionally you are saying that empiricism is rational. You have also failed to define many ambiguous terms. In another post you spoke of subjective spirituality so who knows what you mean by reason.

The experience through the senses as a means of understanding is absolutely absurd and it itself begs another questions, the infalliablity of the senses themselves. Are you saying that your sense have been right at all times?

I have posted dozens of times refuting empiricism inside and out. Your entire post is full of logical fallices, ambiguity, contradictions with your other posts, and is completely invalid and unsound. Empiricism is the dog that's been fed to the Chinese.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

Could we have a discussion with this person, please? The most intelligent-sounding theist of the past 6 months. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Vastet wrote:Hey guys look!

Vastet wrote:
Hey guys look! Jean actually said something that wasn't 100% bullshit! There's still a bunch of bs there, but it's a non-zero amount of intelligence. We should throw a party.

I can't believe that I found myself actually agreeing with some of Jean's points at Arg.

I can't believe that I just said that I agreed with Jean about something.

I can't believe that I found the opening salutation "Hey Arg" comical and almost laughed.

Surely this is some sort of  strange dream and I will wake up pretty soon.

Either that or someone put some LSD in my coffee this morning.

Laughing out loud

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
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