science vs. religion / search for fact vs. search for comfort? [Kill Em With Kindness]

bodhi smith
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science vs. religion / search for fact vs. search for comfort? [Kill Em With Kindness]

Do religions have a purpose? What do you get for "believing"? 

Think before you respond (if that's possible) it's more complex than you may realize.

 

 


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Quote:What do you get for

Quote:

What do you get for "believing"? 

 

Religion isn't a raffle. I don't believe because I think I get some prize at the end.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

What do you get for "believing"? 

 

Religion isn't a raffle. I don't believe because I think I get some prize at the end.

 

 

 

So what do you get then ?


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Science anyone

 

 

    Science isn't here to make us feel all warm and cozy.  It's just the truth, whether that makes you uncomfortable or not.  I don't think of science as scary shit I just think of it as the truth.

 

                                                     


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Quote: So what do you get

Quote:

 

So what do you get then ?

 

I do realize this is a loaded question you know.

 

It implies that the only reason I believe is because I want to get something out of it.

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

 

So what do you get then ?

 

I do realize this is a loaded question you know.

 

It implies that the only reason I believe is because I want to get something out of it.

 

 

You don't want to get something out of it ? You know, I kinda like all you theist regulars here. You have absolutely nothing in common with the theists that I hang out with.

Okay, let's try his first question then : Does your religion have a purpose ?


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As in is their a point to

As in is their a point to it? Not really.

 


RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:So what do you get

Quote:
So what do you get then ?

Satisfaction.

Kind of like the satisfaction I get when getting a hold of some really good strawberry ice cream, especially Ben and Jerry's organic strawberry. yumm... (paraphrase of bodhi's quote in another thread).

Smiling

And if there is even one response like "Oh, "Satisfaction"? So then you must hate science."  I will cry fowl.. as in the bird. Sticking out tongue


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Then why not just eat ice

Then why not just eat ice cream?  At least a brain freeze is based in reality.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.


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Quote:Then why not just eat

Quote:
Then why not just eat ice cream?  At least a brain freeze is based in reality.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

That's why I said "kind of" and not "exactly like."  And.. the "satisfaction gotten" from my belief is definitely based in reality.  Where else could it be based in?


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Quote:It implies that the

Quote:
It implies that the only reason I believe is because I want to get something out of it.

Not sure I understand what you're getting at Cpt.  Aren't all things we do, in some sense, done to "get something out of it"?  It's definitely a loaded question.. but, I can't think of any way else the question could be phrased.

*I guess the "what is the purpose?" is another way to phrase the question.... maybe.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:As in is

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

As in is their a point to it? Not really.

 

Then why have any ? Religion, I mean.

(Thank you for the honest answer, btw. Or are you just yoshing ?)


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:Quote:It

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
It implies that the only reason I believe is because I want to get something out of it.

Not sure I understand what you're getting at Cpt.  Aren't all things we do, in some sense, done to "get something out of it"?  It's definitely a loaded question.. but, I can't think of any way else the question could be phrased.

*I guess the "what is the purpose?" is another way to phrase the question.... maybe.

 

It is a loaded question and no matter what answer you give, I pretty much know where this is going


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Quote:It is a loaded

Quote:
It is a loaded question and no matter what answer you give, I pretty much know where this is going.

I reject your reality and substitute my own.

 


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Then why not just eat ice cream?  At least a brain freeze is based in reality.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

That's why I said "kind of" and not "exactly like."  And.. the "satisfaction gotten" from my belief is definitely based in reality. 

Right. So, uhm...who's to say that I can't experience the same kind of icecreamy goodness without religion ? I mean, if it's not unique, that satisfying feeling you get, then why do you want the religious brand ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Where else could it be based in?

Well, obviously you could just be kidding yourself. The power of suggestion and all that.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:Quote:It

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
It is a loaded question and no matter what answer you give, I pretty much know where this is going.

I reject your reality and substitute my own.

 

 

I reject what you have rejected and substitute my substitution for the reality that you rejected in the first place.


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Anonymouse

Anonymouse wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

As in is their a point to it? Not really.

 

Then why have any ? Religion, I mean. (Thank you for the honest answer, btw. Or are you just yoshing ?)

 

 

 

Will you look at that? It went exactly where I thought it was going a minute before I even posted!

 

 

Quote:

Right. So, uhm...who's to say that I can't experience the same kind of icecreamy goodness without religion ? I mean, if it's not unique, that satisfying feeling you get, then why do you want the religious brand ?

 

Five minutes after....

 

 

Can I play the atheist for a while?

 

"I am extremely offended that you think that feeling is unique to religion and hence think that atheists have no meaning blah blah blah"

 

 

 

 

 

Oh and for the record, no I'm not 'yoshing' I would probably be the same person if I were atheist.


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Quote:It is a loaded

Quote:
It is a loaded question and no matter what answer you give, I pretty much know where this is going

Um... of course, it could be a loaded answer, couldn't it?  Haven't you considered this possibility?  If all possible iterations of a well formed question lead to absurd answers, then shouldn't we start suspecting the answers instead of the question?

(If you want to argue that this is not a well formed question, you need to do that... not just say, "It isn't a well formed question.&quotEye-wink

"What do you get from believing in theism/god/religion/etc...?"

This is a very reasonable question, and I'm sure the OP would be happy to rephrase it in many different iterations.  In fact, I'll save him the trouble...

What mental state do you achieve from believing?

What physical benefits do you achieve from believing?

What tangible benefits (money/property/etc) do you achieve from believing?

What intangible societal benefits (acceptance in the group/social status/etc) do you achieve from believing?

What benefits do you achieve after this life, in any form or fashion?

Once you've answered each of these questions, you can then explain how you know that the benefit you receive in any instance is only available through religion.  If you don't know this, you can explain why you believe it is better to believe in god than not, when there are clearly lots of people who don't believe in god who achieve benefits in all but the afterlife category.

This isn't hard, Pineapple.  You're just being evasive.  Why don't you just answer the question, and let the thing play out.  It might well be that your subconscious really just doesn't want to go down these paths for fear of having to give up your beliefs.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:Right. So, uhm...who's

Quote:
Right. So, uhm...who's to say that I can't experience the same kind of icecreamy goodness without religion?

You right, whose to say you can't?

Quote:
I mean, if it's not unique, that satisfying feeling you get, then why do you want the religious brand ?

Who said it is not unique for me?  "Kind of like" and "exactly like" do not mean the same thing.  The first does not negate the possibility that the satisfying feeling I get from my belief is not unique to the belief in my belief.  Even so, unless one belief can only be had at the exclusion of others, can the argument be made "if its not unique . . . then why do you want?"

If the "satisfaction" is not unique and yet, still, can be had at the non-exclusion of other things that are satisfying . . . why can't I have them both?

I had an argument with Vessel awhile back, and I'm trying to word my statements in a non-overly-technical way.  If I wanted to, I could say, "If the belief in a belief creates an increase in satisfaction, even in consideration of all other possible beliefs or ways of thinking that must be given in up in order to hold the prior belief, then that increase in satisfaction is 'unique.'"

That is not to say that similar types of satisfaction cannot be gained in other ways.. although.. might be difficult for me to discern.

Quote:
Well, obviously you could just be kidding yourself. The power of suggestion and all that.

Kidding myself that I get a feeling of satisfaction? Hm.. whether you kid yourself or not, the feeling is completely internal, so what does it matter if you kid yourself or not? Substantively.. they are the same.

Is it possible that what the feeling bases itself off of is untrue? Possibly.  That does not mean that the feeling itself is based in any place other than reality.

Show me that strawberry is not better than vanilla.. and I will give up strawberry.  I have not been shown that my belief is any less rational than other beliefs concerning the same subject matter.. nor does it hinder my search for knowledge and the truth of how things work, e.g., through science.. nor does it injure anyone.


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Quote:"I am extremely

Quote:
"I am extremely offended that you think that feeling is unique to religion and hence think that atheists have no meaning blah blah blah"

I don't know how they would get offended if the answers are given as only suggesting relevance to oneself, and not necessarily to any one else.

I just had a conversation like this with someone the other day.. I won't presume that someone else cannot "get" what I "get" through some other means.  That is not to say that I won't share my understanding.. how I perceive the world.. because, if they are similar to me, perhaps they will get a similar benefit.


 


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Quote:Once you've answered

Quote:
Once you've answered each of these questions, you can then explain how you know that the benefit you receive in any instance is only available through religion.

Why would this need to be "known"? What is the "purpose" of knowing this? I mean, if we are speaking about "the benefit to me".. and I am only speaking of it as a benefit to me.. then there really isn't any urgency in "knowing" whether this benefit is unique to this belief or not.

Right?  That is not to say that I will not keep an open mind.. just no urgency in the matter.  So.. in answer to your question.  I don't.

Quote:
If you don't know this, you can explain why you believe it is better to believe in god than not,

I certainly can't.  I can only speak of my personal experience... which is predicated upon my personality.

Quote:
when there are clearly lots of people who don't believe in god who achieve benefits in all but the afterlife category.

Possibly.

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

As in is their a point to it? Not really.

 

Then why have any ? Religion, I mean. (Thank you for the honest answer, btw. Or are you just yoshing ?)

 

 

 

Will you look at that? It went exactly where I thought it was going a minute before I even posted!

*sigh*

Quote:

Right. So, uhm...who's to say that I can't experience the same kind of icecreamy goodness without religion ? I mean, if it's not unique, that satisfying feeling you get, then why do you want the religious brand ?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

Five minutes after....

 

 

Can I play the atheist for a while?

Sure, go ahead.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

"I am extremely offended that you think that feeling is unique to religion and hence think that atheists have no meaning blah blah blah&quot

Okay, fine. So you don't think it's unique to religion. So if what you get from it isn't unique, then why do you want religion ?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Oh and for the record, no I'm not 'yoshing' I would probably be the same person if I were atheist.

So it makes no difference whatsoever ?


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Hambydammit wrote:Once

Hambydammit wrote:

Once you've answered each of these questions, you can then explain how you know that the benefit you receive in any instance is only available through religion.  If you don't know this, you can explain why you believe it is better to believe in god than not, when there are clearly lots of people who don't believe in god who achieve benefits in all but the afterlife category.

This isn't hard, Pineapple.  You're just being evasive.  Why don't you just answer the question, and let the thing play out.  It might well be that your subconscious really just doesn't want to go down these paths for fear of having to give up your beliefs.

 

 

 

What feelings I do or don't get out of it is irrelevant.

 

I don't believe to get some feeling, I believe because I think there is a God.

 

 

 

Using this logic, we shouldn't have relationships since feelings we feel towards the partner we could get from another person.


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Quote:What feelings I do or

Quote:
What feelings I do or don't get out of it is irrelevant.

No, they're not irrelevant, unless you believe you are superhuman.  Notice that you're being evasive again?  Are you afraid that admitting to feelings about god will make your position look less sound?  If so, then you've got some more thinking to do.  If not, then answer the question, for crying out loud.  Why do you want to take up so much time arguing about relevance when you could just answer the question?  The relevance is that the OP wants to know.

Quote:
I don't believe to get some feeling, I believe because I think there is a God.

Naturally.  You think there is a god for a reason.  If your reason is 100% intellectual, then you need to get yourself to a psychologist immediately.  You probably need some strong meds.  If your reason is not 100% intellectual, then why not admit to the feelings you get?  If your belief is rational, feelings that reinforce it don't take away from its rationality.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:Using this logic, we

Quote:
Using this logic, we shouldn't have relationships since feelings we feel towards the partner we could get from another person.

Pineapple, I defy you to find any logic in that post that necessitates this conclusion. 

First, you're betraying your own faulty logic here.  If you think that admitting to feelings about god amounts to an admission that the belief is irrational, you obviously have some work to do on your logic skills.  Second, the difference between finding love with one person or another is categorically different than deriving emotional benefits from belief in god vs non-belief in god.  Two people are both verifiably real, and are experienced in the same physical and emotional ways.  Finding love with a person is one way of finding love.  Finding love with a tortoise would be different in kind, and more analogous to the difference between god/no god.

Second, your conclusion indicates that a relationship with one person or another is entirely arbitrary, and clearly it isn't.  Would you rather marry a man with all the traits you find attractive in a man, or a man who is repulsive to you in every conceivable way?  Of course you'd rather have things you like.  Duh.  The reasons we pick one person over another are subjective, but not even remotely arbitrary.

Third, your conclusion indicates that because love is subjective (or arbitrary) that we shouldn't experience it.  What an incredible non-sequitur!

Finally, you jumped straight into love.  Why?  Do you love god?  If you don't love god, why bring up love?  Yes, it is an emotion, but if it's not the one you feel when you think about your belief in god, why bother with it?  Why not address the emotion you actually feel, since emotions act as motivators in different ways and to different degrees.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:What

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
What feelings I do or don't get out of it is irrelevant.

No, they're not irrelevant, unless you believe you are superhuman.  Notice that you're being evasive again?  Are you afraid that admitting to feelings about god will make your position look less sound?  If so, then you've got some more thinking to do.  If not, then answer the question, for crying out loud.  Why do you want to take up so much time arguing about relevance when you could just answer the question?  The relevance is that the OP wants to know.

Quote:
I don't believe to get some feeling, I believe because I think there is a God.

Naturally.  You think there is a god for a reason.  If your reason is 100% intellectual, then you need to get yourself to a psychologist immediately.  You probably need some strong meds.  If your reason is not 100% intellectual, then why not admit to the feelings you get?  If your belief is rational, feelings that reinforce it don't take away from its rationality.

 

 

I already answered it several times in the past. What got me thinking about was wonder and curiosity.

 

Maybe it's like Rhad where I get satisfaction, but just because I can also get it from atheism doesn't mean God doesn't exist.

 

 

Quote:

Finally, you jumped straight into love.  Why?  Do you love god?  If you don't love god, why bring up love?  Yes, it is an emotion, but if it's not the one you feel when you think about your belief in god, why bother with it?  Why not address the emotion you actually feel, since emotions act as motivators in different ways and to different degrees.

 

You know why I think people are reading too much into my posts? Because they do.

 

I'm not the 'I luv jebus' type of person. The analogy of a relationship is the first thing I can think of where you can get the same thing from something else.

 

If I wanted to over anaylize your post I would ask what made you think of making love with a Tortoise?


 


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Quote:If I wanted to over

Quote:
If I wanted to over anaylize your post I would ask what made you think of making love with a Tortoise?

And if I wanted to analyze yours, I'd point out that I didn't say "making love."  I said, "experiencing love," or something similar.  But since I don't like being evasive, I'll answer your misplaced question anyway.  I didn't think too much about the inspiration for the analogy, but earlier today, I was watching a TV show about the Galapagos Islands, and I suspect that tortoises were already towards the front of my brain.  Once I had written it, I thought about it for a second, and thought it was an appropriate analogy for the following reasons:

* Tortoises are incapable of meaningful interaction with human beings, except for maybe eating out of our hands or something... it's not perfect, but for all intents and purposes, any interaction is one sided from a human point of view.

* Tortoises have no anatomical compatibility with humans, so sex is right out.

* Any "love" that a human feels for a tortoise is certainly a misfiring of nuture instincts, or worse, an expression of deep seated loneliness and separation from other humans.

* Like a "relationship" with "God," any "relationship" with a tortoise is entirely in the mind of the human.

Quote:
Maybe it's like Rhad where I get satisfaction, but just because I can also get it from atheism doesn't mean God doesn't exist.

I made that very point.  Emotion often emphasizes valid beliefs.  Why didn't you just say that you get satisfaction?

Quote:
You know why I think people are reading too much into my posts? Because they do.

For my part, when I sometimes go off the deep end with you, it's because I know the only way to pull you out into the open is to goad you into it.  (Reference the topic about your gender.)  In general, however, I think you're not giving yourself enough of the blame here.  You are incredibly vague most of the time.  Not only does this leave room for inference, it also leaves the reader with no choice but to guess what you mean.  If they guess wrong sometimes, it's because of your lack of communication, not their bad intentions towards you.

Quote:
I'm not the 'I luv jebus' type of person. The analogy of a relationship is the first thing I can think of where you can get the same thing from something else.

As I mentioned earlier, the first thing I thought of was a tortoise.  I have no idea why I thought of it, but I spent more time thinking about whether it would be appropriate before I pressed "Post Comment."

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:For my

Hambydammit wrote:

For my part, when I sometimes go off the deep end with you, it's because I know the only way to pull you out into the open is to goad you into it.  (Reference the topic about your gender.)  In general, however, I think you're not giving yourself enough of the blame here.  You are incredibly vague most of the time.  Not only does this leave room for inference, it also leaves the reader with no choice but to guess what you mean.  If they guess wrong sometimes, it's because of your lack of communication, not their bad intentions towards you.

 

This may come as a surprise Hamby, but while I sometimes do give vague answers on purpose, sometimes I don't intend to.

 

You know how I sometimes say 'My point was obvious!' I'm not joking. I actually thought it was that obvious which is why I get so pissed off when you don't get it.

 

 

 


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(1) I'm coming across many

(1) I'm coming across many threads where people are hounding Cpt.  I really don't understand it at all..

(2) This hounding is leading people away from responding to my response.

Ergo, please stop hounding Cpt and pay attention to me.

Sticking out tongue

(This was partially a joke.  I find that my humor isn't really understood a lot of times.. so, I'm going to start qualifying statements, even though it takes away from the humor, IMO.  Q: How do you fit an elephant into a refrigerator? A: Dummy, you open up the refrigerator and push the elephant in.  j/k.) Sticking out tongue

Um.. but ya.  To clarify. Merely because I say the "reason" I believe is because I get satisfaction from the belief, is not to say that my belief is not "rational" (as the word is used here).  Part of why I gain satisfaction is because I can believe without having to turn of my "rationality."


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Quote:Pineapple, I defy you

Quote:
Pineapple, I defy you to find any logic in that post that necessitates this conclusion. 

I'll take a stab at it.. but I may have to reach outside of "the post."

(1) The stated purpose of RRS is to "rid the world of the mental disease which is theism (para.)." (edit: at least, that's what it use to be. I guess now it's "believe in God? we can fix that.)

(2) If a RRS member asks a question, is it "logical" to infer that the aforementioned purpose is the motive in asking the question? Sure.

(3) When asking "Why do you believe in God? Is that benefit unique to the belief in God? Can you prove it (i.e., how do you know)?" Is it "logical" to infer that the implication of these questions of RRS is "If the benefit from a belief in God is not unique, or you cannot prove that it is, then you should not believe it."

(4) If this is the implication, then the statement "Using this logic, we shouldn't have relationships since feelings we feel towards the partner we could get from another person" would be on point because:
(I) "Feelings we feel towards the partner" are analogous to a "emotional benefit from a belief in God" in that in both cases (a) involve feelings that are (b) individually perceived, (c) created in reaction to an external perception (i.e., "God's existence" or "love of a person," and (d) whose value is individually measured.
(II) In neither case can it be "proven" that the feelings are (a) unique or (b) explained how "one knows" that "benefit" is "only available" through the "external perception" without referring back to (c) individual perceived feelings (e.g., "i just feel that way).

Therefore, if the "belief in God" should be given up, so should the "feelings for another."

Hmm.. I wonder if that worked?


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Quote:Hmm.. I wonder if that

Quote:
Hmm.. I wonder if that worked?

No, but you should consider a career in politics.  They can use doublespeak like that.

 

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Quote:No, but you should

Quote:
No, but you should consider a career in politics.  They can use doublespeak like that.

Where did it fall apart?

Heh.. no career in politics.. just law.  Many times technical arguments (or attempts at them) are labeled doublespeak.. which is why so many people think lawyers are shifty (IMO).  Smiling


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Right. So, uhm...who's to say that I can't experience the same kind of icecreamy goodness without religion?

You right, whose to say you can't?

Well, so far every religious person I ever met tells me I can't. No religion, no satisfaction, they say. I think they're wrong. No offense meant.

Quote:
I mean, if it's not unique, that satisfying feeling you get, then why do you want the religious brand ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Who said it is not unique for me?

Of course there's no way for me to know exactly what kind of satisfaction you're getting, but that's more or less the point. Nobody can know that, so you're free to make up what you like. I'd just like some proof before I accept that you religious folk have something special going on.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
  "Kind of like" and "exactly like" do not mean the same thing.  The first does not negate the possibility that the satisfying feeling I get from my belief is not unique to the belief in my belief.

Okay.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
  Even so, unless one belief can only be had at the exclusion of others, can the argument be made "if its not unique . . . then why do you want?"

If the "satisfaction" is not unique and yet, still, can be had at the non-exclusion of other things that are satisfying . . . why can't I have them both?

I had an argument with Vessel awhile back, and I'm trying to word my statements in a non-overly-technical way. 

Thanks. In which thread can I find that conversation ? I don't want to get on your nerves by misunderstanding what you're trying to say here, so I'd better read that first.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
If I wanted to, I could say, "If the belief in a belief creates an increase in satisfaction, even in consideration of all other possible beliefs or ways of thinking that must be given in up in order to hold the prior belief, then that increase in satisfaction is 'unique.'"

You could say that, but I don't see it. Doesn't that work for every belief you can think of ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
That is not to say that similar types of satisfaction cannot be gained in other ways.

Kewl.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
. although..

Here it comes...

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
might be difficult for me to discern.

Might be worth the effort.

Quote:
Well, obviously you could just be kidding yourself. The power of suggestion and all that.


RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Kidding myself that I get a feeling of satisfaction? Hm.. whether you kid yourself or not, the feeling is completely internal, so what does it matter if you kid yourself or not? Substantively.. they are the same.

It doesn't matter ??

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Is it possible that what the feeling bases itself off of is untrue? Possibly.  That does not mean that the feeling itself is based in any place other than reality.

Fine. The feeling is real. But you're still kidding yourself. Why doesn't that matter ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Show me that strawberry is not better than vanilla.. and I will give up strawberry.

But my point was, what if it's not strawberry at all ? What if you're just convincing yourself that's what it is ? Does that really not matter ? People keep saying they're handing out free strawberry icecream, but all they've got is empty bowls.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
  I have not been shown that my belief is any less rational than other beliefs concerning the same subject matter.

I don't know exactly what you believe, so I don't have much to say to that.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
. nor does it hinder my search for knowledge and the truth of how things work, e.g., through science.. nor does it injure anyone.

If that's true, then your belief really is unique.

ps: please excuse me if I totally missed your point. So far the only theist arguments I've encountered boil down to "fuck you", "leave me alone", and "burn in hell !!", so this is taking some getting used to.


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Yes - that "satisfaction"

Yes - that "satisfaction" thing is bugging me too after reading the thread.

 

The Pineapple person evades the answer, the Gizmo person likens it to sensual satisfaction from eating some favourite food. So I suppose it must be to the latter that the question can be asked directly:

 

Can you please define what exactly is being satisfied by your theistic belief?

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Quote:Well, so far every

Quote:
Well, so far every religious person I ever met tells me I can't. No religion, no satisfaction, they say. I think they're wrong. No offense meant.

Well.. I didn't say that.  Smiling

Quote:
Of course there's no way for me to know exactly what kind of satisfaction you're getting, but that's more or less the point. Nobody can know that, so you're free to make up what you like.

Exactly.. this is why I can't "prove" a feeling of satisfaction is unique to this particular belief.  I don't know exactly what kind of satisfaction other people are getting.

Quote:
I'd just like some proof before I accept that you religious folk have something special going on.

I can't give "proof" that it is special (in the objective sense that I think is being called for). All I can do is share my experience, my thoughts on how I perceive it as special for me (but that implies nothing as to whether it will be "special" for other people).. if it works for you, you take it, if it doesn't, you don't.

Quote:
Thanks. In which thread can I find that conversation ? I don't want to get on your nerves by misunderstanding what you're trying to say here, so I'd better read that first.

Pfft. I tried finding.. can't remember which one it was.

Quote:
You could say that, but I don't see it. Doesn't that work for every belief you can think of ?

Not every belief I can think of... perhaps every belief that I hold--and I suspect that others do the same.

I suppose in certain cases, people might believe something that they wish they didn't.. in which case the quote wouldn't apply.

Quote:
Might be worth the effort.

Why?

Quote:
Fine. The feeling is real. But you're still kidding yourself. Why doesn't that matter ?

Ah.. that's right. Smiling

Quote:
But my point was, what if it's not strawberry at all ? What if you're just convincing yourself that's what it is ? Does that really not matter ? People keep saying they're handing out free strawberry icecream, but all they've got is empty bowls.

The problem is.. after all my conversations.. no one has shown me that they are empty bowls.  So, even assuming on some absolute level they are, why would I stop eating the perceived-full bowls when I still get a certain benefit from it?

That is what in essence, is asked a lot:
"Can't prove it's unique benefit-deriving belief? I can't prove it's not, and I can't prove to you that what it's based on is not real, or that the belief itself is detrimental to yours or other peoples' lives, but still.. give it up, for this other, non-unique benefit-deriving stance."

Quote:
If that's true, then your belief really is unique.

I don't know about that.. I don't think many people's god belief really gets in the way of progress.. at least not what I've experienced.

Whether one believes in God or not.. many times they are still driven by curiosity to ask "how did he do it?"

i.e., to test the limits of human knowledge.




 


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Quote:Yes - that

Quote:
Yes - that "satisfaction" thing is bugging me too after reading the thread.

Sticking out tongue

Quote:
The Pineapple person evades the answer, the Gizmo person likens it to sensual satisfaction from eating some favourite food. So I suppose it must be to the latter that the question can be asked directly:

Can you please define what exactly is being satisfied by your theistic belief?

Um... well that's easy.. my want to have a theistic belief is satisfied. Smiling

Or.. did you mean why do I have the want to believe have a theistic belief? (which of course, whose want may change).

(1) I'd like to believe that there will come a point where at least one day will occur where there is no [insert most horrible things you can think of that people do to one another].  These things have been around for quite some time, and I just don't see it as reasonable to believe that they will disappear by the willpower of man.

(2) I'd like to believe that our actions and accomplishments (as a species) are more "meaningful" than the actions and accomplishments of other species.  I used this example before, but here it goes again:  If we are nothing more than a particular species on the evolutionary line, than our ability to transplant hearts is no more meaningful than the dodo bird's ability to crack nuts.

If we fail at continuing our species indefinitely, then we fail at our one "purpose" and all our accomplishments are meaningless.

Does that mean I would stop trying to help people if I didn't believe in God? Of course not.  I can't help but empathize with the pain of others, and I will aid because I wish to lessen that suffering.  That does not mean, however, that in the back of my mind this certain concept of "large picture" meaningless wouldn't be hovering around.

(3) [Insert other reasons here]


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It's all very weak, isn't

It's all very weak, isn't it?

 

You give two reasons why you have a "want" to believe in god. The first is a vague wish that everyone stop behaving badly towards one another. Don't we all believe that, at least to a point? And that it does not seem likely to you to be achievable does not, by the way, justify the further wish that a "god" should do it. It could (and probably should) instead give rise to a wish that you do everything in your power to steer humanity in that direction and not wait around for an invisible pal to do it for you. Wouldn't that be a more reasonable desire? It would certainly be more noble.

 

The second reason is even more vague. You apply a qualitative distinction to the technical capabilities of our species compared to other species which you claim is necessary since otherwise the ability to perform a heart transplant might in fact be as irrelevant as one ability an extinct species once had to feed itself. Even should that highly subjective reasoning have validity, it still does not infer that this distinction is due in any way to divine intervention or purpose. I too can ascribe a "meaning" to our technical and cognitive functions and how they compare to other species, and I even share some of your conviction that this makes us "better" than them (but in a much more qualified way than you do). But that does not feed a desire on my part for an invisible pal either.

 

So thanks for your effort in explaining what is being satisfied on your part, but I'm none the wiser.

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Quote:You apply a

Quote:
You apply a qualitative distinction to the technical capabilities of our species compared to other species which you claim is necessary since otherwise the ability to perform a heart transplant might in fact be as irrelevant as one ability an extinct species once had to feed itself.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me this question:  After humanity is gone, what do you think will be our greatest achievement?

I answered, "nothing."

After several rounds of him accusing me of being evasive, I finally figured out why he didn't understand my answer.  "Greatness" is a measure of value, which is mind dependent.  A recording of Beethoven's Seventh is only great if there's a listener.  Otherwise, it's just some silicon with patterns -- patterns that nobody will recognize because nobody's there to view them.  When humanity is gone, there will be nobody left to measure worth, and so no worth will exist.  Human accomplishments only have value when there are humans around.

Of course, we can qualify the question further -- from the perspective of survival of x species, what will be humanity's contribution?

In many cases, the answer will be highly negative.  We've caused the extinction of more species than any other species ever.  We're getting up there close to the meteor that killed the dinosaurs in terms of effective eradication of life.

It puzzles me why this kind of thinking is so disturbing to so many people.  It doesn't change the fact that you're alive right now and there are still tuna in the sea, so you can still eat sushi if you want.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:It's all very weak,

Quote:


It's all very weak, isn't it?

In what sense? As a reason for everyone? Or as a reason for me?

I was only speaking of it as a reason for me.  So if you were referring to "weak" in that sense, you are awfully presumptuous.

If you were speaking of "weak" in some objective sense, then that was a bit off point.

Quote:
You give two reasons why you have a "want" to believe in god. The first is a vague wish that everyone stop behaving badly towards one another. Don't we all believe that, at least to a point?

I'm not sure.. I'd have to ask a child-rapist what he thinks on the matter.

Quote:
And that it does not seem likely to you to be achievable does not, by the way, justify the further wish that a "god" should do it. It could (and probably should) instead give rise to a wish that you do everything in your power to steer humanity in that direction and not wait around for an invisible pal to do it for you. Wouldn't that be a more reasonable desire? It would certainly be more noble.

You're assuming I think the two ideas cannot coexist.

I will do all in my power.  I just don't believe I have the power to stop it.

I have [insert length of human history] backing my belief that humanity (or an individual) does not have the power to stop it. 

Quote:
The second reason is even more vague. You apply a qualitative distinction to the technical capabilities of our species compared to other species which you claim is necessary since otherwise the ability to perform a heart transplant might in fact be as irrelevant as one ability an extinct species once had to feed itself. Even should that highly subjective reasoning have validity, it still does not infer that this distinction is due in any way to divine intervention or purpose.

Did I say it was?  I merely said, my "highly subjective reasoning" leads me to want to believe that there is something that will sustain humanity as a species indefinitely.  Indefinite existence, makes accomplishments more meaningful (to me) in the "big picture" sense, because I believe that our species will not become extinct as the majority of species have done so before.

Quote:
I too can ascribe a "meaning" to our technical and cognitive functions and how they compare to other species, and I even share some of your conviction that this makes us "better" than them (but in a much more qualified way than you do). But that does not feed a desire on my part for an invisible pal either.

Good for you.  I never said that it should.

Quote:
So thanks for your effort in explaining what is being satisfied on your part, but I'm none the wiser.

Okay.

 


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Quote:It puzzles me why this

Quote:
It puzzles me why this kind of thinking is so disturbing to so many people.  It doesn't change the fact that you're alive right now and there are still tuna in the sea, so you can still eat sushi if you want.

True.  Which is why I said, even if I didn't believe in God I'd still eat tuna.  (Well.. I didn't actually say that.. but metaphorically.. ya know?)

Glad to hear you see things like I do though.. at least with regard to the "greatest achievement of man once we are extinct."  It's nice to agree on the same reasoning.. we don't do it often.


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Still very weak, and of

Still very weak, and of course I'm being presumptuous. You are not offering anything by way of explanation that merits much else. But it is the logic I am referring to as weak in any case, and still maintain it.

 

The "child rapist" reference is immaterial. A person who rapes a child has done something bad, that is true. But that does not preclude him from the company of those who would wish that all bad things stop. As a wish, you see, it is rather a vague entity.

 

You then say that this wish can in fact lead to a desire to do your bit to change things, and simultaneously the desire for an invisible pal who will (well, I'm not sure exactly what this pal does in that respect - it's not very obvious). But just because these two desires co-exist in you does not in any way then explain where the latter one came from. Which is what I asked. And you failed to answer.

 

How much impact an individual can make on changing general human behaviour is a moot point. General behaviour trends have an evolution almost of their own but one thing is certain - individuals affect the trend, at least as part of a collective. So what if your individual input in one sense is tiny? Again, this is completely irrelevant to what I asked you. It does not automatically encourage a desire for an invisible pal.

 

You say that you believe the human species will not become extinct. Well, we could quibble about definitions of extinction and even the likelihood involved that the species self-destruct etc etc. But still, does any of it logically lead one to conclude that an invisible pal watching over everything is desirable to have, let alone likely?

 

You are failing woefully to answer what was a very simple inquiry.

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Hell, I don't really even

Hell, I don't really even see one single achievement as the greatest thing man has done.  For value, you need a scale.  When you ask which is the greatest thing man has accomplished, you must also specify a scale.  Greatest medical advance?  Penicillin.

Greatest music?  Beethoven.

etc...

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Well, so far every religious person I ever met tells me I can't. No religion, no satisfaction, they say. I think they're wrong. No offense meant.

Well.. I didn't say that.  Smiling

I know you didn't. Look, I apologise for making assumptions, but like I said, I have no experience with non-specific theists. The "believers" I deal with on a daily basis would see no difference between you and an atheist, which makes understanding where you're coming from extremely difficult for me.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Exactly.. this is why I can't "prove" a feeling of satisfaction is unique to this particular belief.  I don't know exactly what kind of satisfaction other people are getting.

Right.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I can't give "proof" that it is special (in the objective sense that I think is being called for). All I can do is share my experience, my thoughts on how I perceive it as special for me (but that implies nothing as to whether it will be "special" for other people).. if it works for you, you take it, if it doesn't, you don't.

Kay, so if I don't buy it, does your non-specific deity send me to hell or some such place ? Just exploring this belief of yours...

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Pfft. I tried finding.. can't remember which one it was.

'S okay. I'd probably be too lazy to read it anyway.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Not every belief I can think of...

?? Really ? Then I totally misunderstood what that was all about. *sigh*

Quote:
Fine. The feeling is real. But you're still kidding yourself. Why doesn't that matter ?
RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Ah.. that's right. Smiling

Uhm...what exactly am I missing here ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
The problem is.. after all my conversations.. no one has shown me that they are empty bowls.

I'm not talking about the people, I'm talking about their beliefs.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
So, even assuming on some absolute level they are, why would I stop eating the perceived-full bowls when I still get a certain benefit from it?

Because you can get that "certain benefit" from ANY belief. Someone believing the exact opposite from what you believe could be getting a faith buzz too, right ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
That is what in essence, is asked a lot:
"Can't prove it's unique benefit-deriving belief? I can't prove it's not, and I can't prove to you that what it's based on is not real, or that the belief itself is detrimental to yours or other peoples' lives, but still.. give it up, for this other, non-unique benefit-deriving stance.

What if it was detrimental to other people's lives ? Would you give it up ? (I am SO sorry if this is a leading question)

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I don't know about that.. I don't think many people's god belief really gets in the way of progress.. at least not what I've experienced.

What about those ID people then ? I suppose it depends on how you define progress... Am I being unfair to the fundies when I suspect them of wanting to turn back the clock a few hundred years ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Whether one believes in God or not.. many times they are still driven by curiosity to ask "how did he do it?"

i.e., to test the limits of human knowledge.

Why would I need Him in that sentence ? *sigh* This is going to end up going in circles, isn't it ? Still, never mind, thanks for trying, I guess.


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Quote:Still very weak, and

Quote:
Still very weak, and of course I'm being presumptuous. You are not offering anything by way of explanation that merits much else.

I offered you an explanation about what I think about my own personal beliefs and what colors them.  If they did not clearly explain that, then ask for clarification.  But not all the cheese in Georgia will justify being presumptuous regarding the reasons I perceive as being the basis for my feelings.

Quote:
But it is the logic I am referring to as weak in any case, and still maintain it.

How I perceive my feelings is based upon "weak logic"? That's fine that you think that.. I think you think its "weak logic" is based upon "weak logic."

Quote:
The "child rapist" reference is immaterial. A person who rapes a child has done something bad, that is true. But that does not preclude him from the company of those who would wish that all bad things stop. As a wish, you see, it is rather a vague entity.

Did I say it did? I merely said I would ask one if ever I met one.

Quote:
You then say that this wish can in fact lead to a desire to do your bit to change things, and simultaneously the desire for an invisible pal who will (well, I'm not sure exactly what this pal does in that respect - it's not very obvious). But just because these two desires co-exist in you does not in any way then explain where the latter one came from. Which is what I asked. And you failed to answer.

I did not fail to answer.  I answered.  I believe because I want to believe.  And I want to believe because of X reasons.  Whatever my reasons for "wanting to believe," does not change the reasons for "wanting to make things better"--which is what you suggested before.

Quote:
How much impact an individual can make on changing general human behaviour is a moot point. General behaviour trends have an evolution almost of their own but one thing is certain - individuals affect the trend, at least as part of a collective. So what if your individual input in one sense is tiny? Again, this is completely irrelevant to what I asked you. It does not automatically encourage a desire for an invisible pal.

Does not automatically encourage a desire for you? or for me? Because if you are speaking for me.. then you are be incredibly presumptuous again.  It's becoming a pattern.

(1) I never said individuals don't affect a trend.

(2) Never implied that an individual's input, even if tiny, doesn't matter.

What I did say is that (1) the trend has been a particular way, but that this would not stop me from (2) trying to change that trend.

All of which are "irrelevant to what you asked me"--indeed.  Yet you brought it up anyways, why?  You asked me what satisfaction I gain.  I explained.  You assumed that this explanation could not co-exist with actions you perceive as good as well as the explanation itself was based upon "weak logic."  I responded to both.  One of those responses, involved me saying "that they can co-exist."  You responded with what I quote, mainly, "it is irrelevant to what you originally asked." 

It may be irrelevant to what you originally asked (I agree), but you made follow up statements that were based upon "weak logic," and I so I was prompted to respond.

Keep up.

Quote:
You say that you believe the human species will not become extinct. Well, we could quibble about definitions of extinction and even the likelihood involved that the species self-destruct etc etc. But still, does any of it logically lead one to conclude that an invisible pal watching over everything is desirable to have, let alone likely?

You keep on bring up this statement "logically lead one" or "automatically suggest to a person" that "sky daddy exists."  Did I ever say it did? Did I say it made it more likely? No.  I merely said the belief satisfies a perceived want for myself.  Which is what you originally asked, wasn't it?


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Quote:Kay, so if I don't buy

Quote:
Kay, so if I don't buy it, does your non-specific deity send me to hell or some such place ? Just exploring this belief of yours...

On the basis of not accepting my belief alone? No, I would hope not.

Quote:
I'm not talking about the people, I'm talking about their beliefs.

Hm.. I must be missing something on this point too.

Quote:
vBecause you can get that "certain benefit" from ANY belief. Someone believing the exact opposite from what you believe could be getting a faith buzz too, right?

Correct, I suppose it's possible..

Quote:
What if it was detrimental to other people's lives ? Would you give it up ? (I am SO sorry if this is a leading question)

I would try to change that part which is detrimental to other people's lives.  If that were not possible, I would hope I was "strong enough" to give it up.

Quote:
What about those ID people then ? I suppose it depends on how you define progress... Am I being unfair to the fundies when I suspect them of wanting to turn back the clock a few hundred years ?

The "fundies"? I suppose not.. based upon what I know about what is defined as a "fundie."

I just think.. there are a lot more theist out there who are not ID people.. or do not concern themselves with those issues.  Instead, they concern themselves with presently practical sciences such as physics, medicine, etc. etc.

That is not to say that some do not interest themselves in how exactly the world began.. I'm merely suggesting the many of them do not.

Quote:
Why would I need Him in that sentence ? *sigh* This is going to end up going in circles, isn't it ? Still, never mind, thanks for trying, I guess.

You don't.. I was just making clear that theistic belief and scientific progress (prompted by curiosity) can co-exist.


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If your answer does not

If your answer does not answer the question put then one must at least presume to ask more.

 

So, at the risk of more circular reasoning from you I'll try again with reference to what you've just posted.

 

Quote:

How I perceive my feelings is based upon "weak logic"? That's fine that you think that.. I think you think its "weak logic" is based upon "weak logic."

 

How you perceive your feelings is an unknown to me, since you have yet to explain it. When you have tried to explain it you have employed weak logic, yes. If not weak, it is most certainly ambiguous.

 

Quote:

Did I say it did? I merely said I would ask one if ever I met one.

 

Why did you introduce the concept of a child rapist? Was it not to indicate how some people are apparently not pursuing a desire for universal goodness amongst humanity? I must have misunderstood, though in my defence again it was because you didn't explain yourself clearly. Why did you introduce the concept?

 

Quote:

I did not fail to answer.  I answered.  I believe because I want to believe.  And I want to believe because of X reasons.  Whatever my reasons for "wanting to believe," does not change the reasons for "wanting to make things better"--which is what you suggested before.

 

This is it? This is the logic that I am not supposed to refer to as weak? Sorry, but when I ask you why you want to do something, the answer "it's because I want to" does not suffice as a logical construct.

 

Quote:

Does not automatically encourage a desire for you? or for me? Because if you are speaking for me.. then you are be incredibly presumptuous again.  It's becoming a pattern.

(1) I never said individuals don't affect a trend.

(2) Never implied that an individual's input, even if tiny, doesn't matter.

What I did say is that (1) the trend has been a particular way, but that this would not stop me from (2) trying to change that trend.

All of which are "irrelevant to what you asked me"--indeed.  Yet you brought it up anyways, why?  You asked me what satisfaction I gain.  I explained.  You assumed that this explanation could not co-exist with actions you perceive as good as well as the explanation itself was based upon "weak logic."  I responded to both.  One of those responses, involved me saying "that they can co-exist."  You responded with what I quote, mainly, "it is irrelevant to what you originally asked." 

It may be irrelevant to what you originally asked (I agree), but you made follow up statements that were based upon "weak logic," and I so I was prompted to respond.

 

I "brought it up" because the desire to make an impact for change is, to me, a more logical conclusion to reach - if one's motivation is a wish that things be better - than a desire for there to be a "sky daddy", as you say. I did not say that they cannot co-exist, but at least one conclusion is grounded in reality whereas the other has no logical connection that I can see with the original motivation. This however was in fact the bit that you "brought up" first, and are yet to account for.

 

Quote:

Keep up.

 

With what?

 

Your last comment brings the circle round to the start again, which is probably just as well since you got nowhere on your last tour. So, let's start again and this time I'll phrase the inquiry in a way more likely to elicit a non-circular response.

 

You compared the satisfaction you get from believing in god to that which you obtain from eating a particular ice cream which you like. The latter is a sensual gratification of sorts. Can you explain to me in what way belief in a deity conforms to the experience of a sensual gratification and why?

 

 

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Quote:Your last comment

Quote:
Your last comment brings the circle round to the start again, which is probably just as well since you got nowhere on your last tour. So, let's start again and this time I'll phrase the inquiry in a way more likely to elicit a non-circular response.

Just a question, quickly, and then I will get back to the rest in due time. 

When you are asked "Why does X satisfy you?" what sort of explanation is there but one that is circular, that comes right back to "because I want to"--or some equally, self-reflexive, circular, answer?

I mean.. I may be wrong on this assumption.. so I suppose we can put it to the test.  Think of something that satisfies you.. and then, when you can think of an explanation of "why exactly does it satisfy you?," then place the world "why exactly does [insert explanation] satisfy you?"

When it gets to a point that you can't ask "why?" anymore.. and if this point isn't "because it does".. then I would have been shown to be wrong in my assumption.. and therefore, perhaps a little tired in my response, "Um... well that's easy.. my want to have a theistic belief is satisfied. Smiling", to your original question, "Can you please define what exactly is being satisfied by your theistic belief?" 


Nordmann
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Fair question, if a side

Fair question, if a side issue.

But if you need clarification I'll gladly give it.

 

I can employ the term "satisfy" with regard to myself probably in two ways. My senses can be satisified and my intellectual curiosity can be satisfied.

 

With regard to the senses the answer to "why are you satisfied when you eat an ice cream that you particularly like" is easy to explain. The response is nothing like "just because I just am" but would instead take into account how, in the case of sensory input received through the chemoreceptors in my tongue, the resultant impulses are distributed through my primary olfactory neurons (the bit that is common to all of us) and then on to other parts of my brain, a pattern which is unique to each person. How exactly my hippocampus and hypothalamus react has been conditioned genetically by exposure to potentially harmful food but also by associative incremental experience. Memory, in fact, plays a significant role in deciding whether or not the neurological impulses then reach the part that excites pleasure. We as a species are generally uniform in defining therefore what is bitter and sweet, but remarkably unique individually in deciding which particular taste evokes the most pleasure. See what I mean - no "sky daddy" association in the slightest is logically analagous to what is a perfectly understandable function in physiological terms.

 

When it comes to curiosity being satisfied, this is however analagous to sensory gratification. But it is a semantic shorthand. In fact in some languages the word used for both is different (in Norwegian for example satisfaction of curiosity uses a word that implies pleasure whereas satisfaction derived from eating something good uses a word which implies a demand being met with a pleasurable side effect, not quite the same thing).

 

However the analogy works in that the brain has a desire for an answer - itself analogous with appetite - and the data inputted "satisfies" this desire. There is a proviso - in order to achieve this the data must conform to expectation. If it doesn't then it simply raises another question, and so on. This is called education and is not a bad thing - the bulk of our education consists of data inputted to answer a question which exceeds expectation and therefore results in even more curiosity demanding even more answers. Keeping the whole thing from becoming overwhelming and leading to sensory input overload are "rules" that we employ to qualitatively decide which bits we'll allow in uninvited and which bits we can "forget" or leave to later. This judgement is essential and represents a compromise between our rationale and our desire to learn. You can think of it almost as a pacemaker.

 

When this pacemaker goes out of kilter it can have several different effects on our ability to take information in, and also our ability to judge the value of what we have just inputted into our brains. Information can apparently "satisfy" our curiosity even though we "know" it really shouldn't. But we allow ourselves that liberty because another thing we've been hardwired to do is make snap judgements and trust our instincts when the situation demands it.

 

Which brings me back to the god thing. Religion is not a strange phenomenon in my book. It is simply an organised attempt, for reasons that are totally understandable, to exploit that particular form of "short circuit" in order to impose social standards. But religion by its nature will always play catch-up with science and, as long as the quality of the information available for input improves (as it has consistently done), it will keep having to re-adjust its definition in order to remain even halfway credible (credibility is even more important to the religious mind than the scientific one since it attempts to establish it without empirical evidence and fails to function without it, whereas science allows for credibility lapses as long as the logic makes sense).

 

And THAT brings me back to satisfying my curiosity, and in fact the reason why I asked you to define how you derive satisfaction in any sense from a belief in a deity. I recognise that as long as my brain functions reasonably normally I am on a learning curve, and that the questions being asked of it - which demand satisfaction - cannot be met with religious assertion unsubstantiated by empirical evidence. That which is coming in to my my brain which is based on evidence is doing the job nicely, thank you, and allows me to cognitively explore my reality wthout recourse to "short circuitry" which provides ready answers but which doesn't hold up to further scrutiny when the pacemaker kicks in, and therefore simply impedes the process.

 

Apologies for the length of the reply, but it is an honest attempt to explain something fundamental which I don't think (call me presumptuous) you share, but which I think represents a more intelligent approach to understanding life, the universe and everything than yours apparently does - at least to me.

 

And I am genuinely interested in learning how you derive the satisfaction you claim, and how it can be described in any way as intelligent.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


RhadTheGizmo
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Last response for the day..

Last response for the day.. really need to get to work:

Quote:
With regard to the senses the answer to "why are you satisfied when you eat an ice cream that you particularly like" is easy to explain. The response is nothing like "just because I just am" but would instead take into account how, in the case of sensory input received through the chemoreceptors in my tongue, the resultant impulses are distributed through my primary olfactory neurons (the bit that is common to all of us) and then on to other parts of my brain, a pattern which is unique to each person.

Okay.

Quote:
How exactly my hippocampus and hypothalamus react has been conditioned genetically by exposure to potentially harmful food but also by associative incremental experience.

Okay.

Quote:
Memory, in fact, plays a significant role in deciding whether or not the neurological impulses then reach the part that excites pleasure. We as a species are generally uniform in defining therefore what is bitter and sweet, but remarkably unique individually in deciding which particular taste evokes the most pleasure.

Okay.

Quote:
See what I mean - no "sky daddy" association in the slightest is logically analagous to what is a perfectly understandable function in physiological terms.

The question was "why does X satisfy you?"  You gave a physiological and evolutionary explanation.  While the physiological explanation does answer the question of "how does this feeling of "satisfaction" come about," it does not answer "why it satisfies you?"

Your physiological explanation to my question is analogous to this: "Why do you ride a bike?" A: "Because my legs are applying pressure to pedals which move gears which in turn move wheels."

The "evolutionary explanation," which suggests predisposition is the reason for why certain people have tastes and others do not, once again does not answer the question "Why you get X satisfaction from X thing?," instead, it merely states that there is a predisposition.

If you are suggesting that you can't go against this disposition, then the question "Why does it satisfy you?" Is pointless to begin with; "It does because I'm predisposed to."

If you can go against your predisposition, then the fact that you have a predisposition is immaterial to the question, "Why does X satisfy you?"

I am going to simplify your response.. tell me if I'm right.

"Why do you like cherry ice cream?" (Assuming you do).

Your response: "Because of certain happenings in my body that illicit that sense of satisfaction from cherry ice cream.  Those illicit-ed responses were created because of many "evolutionary pressures" that were exerted on the generations that came before me that predisposed me to respond to eating cherry ice-cream with the sense of satisfaction."

 
Quote:
When it comes to curiosity being satisfied, this is however analagous to sensory gratification. But it is a semantic shorthand. In fact in some languages the word used for both is different (in Norwegian for example satisfaction of curiosity uses a word that implies pleasure whereas satisfaction derived from eating something good uses a word which implies a demand being met with a pleasurable side effect, not quite the same thing).

Okay.

Quote:
However the analogy works in that the brain has a desire for an answer - itself analogous with appetite - and the data inputted "satisfies" this desire.

So.. "Why does an answer satisfy curiosity?" A: "Because data inputted "satisfies" the desire."

Did I interpret that right?

Quote:
There is a proviso - in order to achieve this the data must conform to expectation. If it doesn't then it simply raises another question, and so on. This is called education and is not a bad thing - the bulk of our education consists of data inputted to answer a question which exceeds expectation and therefore results in even more curiosity demanding even more answers. Keeping the whole thing from becoming overwhelming and leading to sensory input overload are "rules" that we employ to qualitatively decide which bits we'll allow in uninvited and which bits we can "forget" or leave to later. This judgement is essential and represents a compromise between our rationale and our desire to learn. You can think of it almost as a pacemaker.

Okay.

 
Quote:
When this pacemaker goes out of kilter it can have several different effects on our ability to take information in, and also our ability to judge the value of what we have just inputted into our brains. Information can apparently "satisfy" our curiosity even though we "know" it really shouldn't. But we allow ourselves that liberty because another thing we've been hardwired to do is make snap judgements and trust our instincts when the situation demands it.

Okay.

 
Quote:
Which brings me back to the god thing. Religion is not a strange phenomenon in my book. It is simply an organised attempt, for reasons that are totally understandable, to exploit that particular form of "short circuit" in order to impose social standards. But religion by its nature will always play catch-up with science and, as long as the quality of the information available for input improves (as it has consistently done), it will keep having to re-adjust its definition in order to remain even halfway credible (credibility is even more important to the religious mind than the scientific one since it attempts to establish it without empirical evidence and fails to function without it, whereas science allows for credibility lapses as long as the logic makes sense).

Okay.

 
Quote:
And THAT brings me back to satisfying my curiosity, and in fact the reason why I asked you to define how you derive satisfaction in any sense from a belief in a deity. I recognise that as long as my brain functions reasonably normally I am on a learning curve, and that the questions being asked of it - which demand satisfaction - cannot be met with religious assertion unsubstantiated by empirical evidence. That which is coming in to my my brain which is based on evidence is doing the job nicely, thank you, and allows me to cognitively explore my reality wthout recourse to "short circuitry" which provides ready answers but which doesn't hold up to further scrutiny when the pacemaker kicks in, and therefore simply impedes the process.

Okay.

 
Quote:
Apologies for the length of the reply, but it is an honest attempt to explain something fundamental which I don't think (call me presumptuous) you share, but which I think represents a more intelligent approach to understanding life, the universe and everything than yours apparently does - at least to me.

I agree with all that you say, except for the notion that "religion" is necessarily a "short circuit."

Quote:
And I am genuinely interested in learning how you derive the satisfaction you claim, and how it can be described in any way as intelligent.

I'll get back to this.. I'd rather not at until some other issues are dealt with.


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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:You

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
You apply a qualitative distinction to the technical capabilities of our species compared to other species which you claim is necessary since otherwise the ability to perform a heart transplant might in fact be as irrelevant as one ability an extinct species once had to feed itself.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me this question:  After humanity is gone, what do you think will be our greatest achievement?

I answered, "nothing."

After several rounds of him accusing me of being evasive, I finally figured out why he didn't understand my answer.  "Greatness" is a measure of value, which is mind dependent.  A recording of Beethoven's Seventh is only great if there's a listener.  Otherwise, it's just some silicon with patterns -- patterns that nobody will recognize because nobody's there to view them.  When humanity is gone, there will be nobody left to measure worth, and so no worth will exist.  Human accomplishments only have value when there are humans around.

Of course, we can qualify the question further -- from the perspective of survival of x species, what will be humanity's contribution?

In many cases, the answer will be highly negative.  We've caused the extinction of more species than any other species ever.  We're getting up there close to the meteor that killed the dinosaurs in terms of effective eradication of life.

It puzzles me why this kind of thinking is so disturbing to so many people.  It doesn't change the fact that you're alive right now and there are still tuna in the sea, so you can still eat sushi if you want.

 

 

 

this makes me wonder what people think humanity is; do they mean humankind or humanity in the meaning of humanitas? If it is the latter, I would agree with your assessment, and if it is the former, I'd emphatically agree.

Vote for McCain... www.therealmccain.com ...and he'll bring Jesus back


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Kay, so if I don't buy it, does your non-specific deity send me to hell or some such place ? Just exploring this belief of yours...

On the basis of not accepting my belief alone? No, I would hope not.

You'd hope ? You're not sure ? But it's your belief. Surely you decide what happens. (Seriously, as far as I know, that's how it works)

Quote:
vBecause you can get that "certain benefit" from ANY belief. Someone believing the exact opposite from what you believe could be getting a faith buzz too, right?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Correct, I suppose it's possible..

That doesn't bother you ? Doesn't that devalue your satisfaction just a little bit ?

Quote:
What if it was detrimental to other people's lives ? Would you give it up ? (I am SO sorry if this is a leading question)

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I would try to change that part which is detrimental to other people's lives.  If that were not possible, I would hope I was "strong enough" to give it up.

Did you really just say that ? You can't possibly be a theist. Isn't the point of religious faith that you stick with it even if , and especially when, it gets detrimental to other people's lives ?
And anyway, what would motivate you to try and give it up ? Do you have morals independent of your beliefs ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
The "fundies"? I suppose not.. based upon what I know about what is defined as a "fundie.&quot

Heh, yeah, they're such shy and elusive creatures, these "fundies". So rare too.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I just think.. there are a lot more theist out there who are not ID people.. or do not concern themselves with those issues.

Could be. Would those people be okay with ID being taught in schools ?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Instead, they concern themselves with presently practical sciences such as physics, medicine, etc. etc.

Sure. Fine. Just as long as you're not suggesting that their religion makes them better at it.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I was just making clear that theistic belief and scientific progress (prompted by curiosity) can co-exist.

Sure, it can co-exist, but that doesn't mean there's a connection.