5 Psychological Experiments That Prove Humanity is Doomed.

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5 Psychological Experiments That Prove Humanity is Doomed.

5 Psychological Experiments That Prove Humanity is Doomed

Just food for thought for those of you still deluded that you are in any way moral, unselfish or compassionate.

 

 

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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EXC wrote:5 Psychological

EXC wrote:

5 Psychological Experiments That Prove Humanity is Doomed

Just food for thought for those of you still deluded that you are in any way moral, unselfish or compassionate.

 

 

None of those experiments concluded that there is no such thing as human compassion, EXC, so not everyone who believes they are compassionate can be deluded. Apparently some 5-10% of us actually can think past our own selfishness, so clearly compassion does exist.

On another note, almost all of them were compound tests revealing little precisely about the number of compassionate people but, rather, a lot about the number of people who are all of brave, knowledgeable and unselfish at once and ALL of them revealed at least a person who proved to be that.

 

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Chuckle

 

Great pic, captain. But where are his ears? Pinned back??

 


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Hey Eloise!

 

I've been meaning to ask for ages - what are you holding in your hand in your avatar photo? It looks like a mollusk crossed with a walkman...

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


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real data

EXC wrote:

5 Psychological Experiments That Prove Humanity is Doomed

Just food for thought for those of you still deluded that you are in any way moral, unselfish or compassionate.

Let's try some real data.  http://www.heartmath.org/research/rp-physiological-and-psychological-effects-of-compassion-and-anger.html

If you don't want to wade through the entire article, I will attempt to summarize.  Please remember that I am not a psychologist, nor a research scientist of any sort.  Two semesters of college level statistics do not an expert make.

This was a small study.  30 people, more female than male, a fairly wide age range.  They used standard psych tests to measure people's mood, measured heart rate  and salivary IgA.  The S-IgA is a portion of your spit that is directly associated with immune response.  More S-IgA, better immune response.  Less S-IgA, lousy immune response.

So, they tested people.  Then, they asked them to remember incidents or watch video that was either care and/or compassion or anger and/or frustration.  Then they tested them again.  Cutting to the chase: if people remembered incidents from their lives, they were more affected than if they watched videos.  People who remembered A&F incidents experienced briefly higher levels of S-IgA followed by five HOURS of abnormally reduced levels of S-IgA.  People who remembered C&C incidents experienced significantly higher levels of S-IgA for a brief period and then levels quickly returned to normal.  The C&C people also had vastly better moods and their heart rates returned to normal more quickly.  no duh.

My interpretation:  If you dwell on A&F incidents, you have a higher chance of being ill.  Deathly ill.  Including - from what I can tell in a very brief search on the 'net - autoimmune diseases which are strongly associated with depressed S-IgA levels.  People who dwell on C&C seem to have good immune responses and a decrease in risk.  Therefore, they are likely to live longer.  Therefore, their fitness is increased.  Therefore, we have a reasonable hypothesis that C&C is evolutionarily superior to A&F.  Which ties in with studies that have shown people who have strong social networks live longer and are healthier.

Is it important that people are C&C for self-gratification?  I don't see that it is.  The whole point is that C&C improves your mood and therefore, your immune system.  If your mood is improved because you care for someone else or because you are pleased with yourself for the act of caring, is unimportant.  "Do it because it feels good." 

Does this make them "selfish"?  <Shrugs>  Who cares?  Only you.  When discussing health care, there are valid economic reasons for improving the current system in the U.S.  Healthier people take fewer sick and vacation days, are more productive, and are more pleasant to work with.  A healthier work force means lower costs for everyone - business, people, society.  Yeah, I can argue the economics with you - and I can also feel care and compassion for other people.  I think it is sad that some people emphasize the economic concerns and ignore the human concerns of those who are doing the best they can with the hand they have been dealt.  Is their best as good as your best?  If you haven't been there, how would you know?

Please note that in this experiment, there is no peer pressure as people were not encouraged to share their experiences.  There were no expectations of caring or not caring or of someone else doing something.  Having been involved in car accidents, and drunk old ladies sleeping it off in the Phoenix afternoon sun, and dog rescue, and general life, what I know is that people are good, bad and indifferent - sometimes it is the same person all on the same day.  Saints don't exist, but neither do devils.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Atheistextremist

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I've been meaning to ask for ages - what are you holding in your hand in your avatar photo? It looks like a mollusk crossed with a walkman...

 

LOL. It's a football trophy.

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cj wrote:Is it important

cj wrote:

Is it important that people are C&C for self-gratification?

 

I think the point that he (for it is a he, right?) is trying to make - constantly - is that selfishness is at the bottom of all motivational energies of all organic compounds, humans included. There are no extraterrestrial dimensions of angelic love and goodness; there is only the feverish daydream of beliefs and imaginations that so many humans prefer instead of confronting reality in its raw and naked essence.

Whereas I agree that it doesn't much matter why people do the right thing, I can also see the point of educating at least the future generations about the evil consequences that have a tendency to follow in the footsteps of ideologies which are based only in vague emotions and imaginary "spirituality". We are not gods, we are monkeys. The mind can be a wonderful tool, but it can also be a terrible thing. How to tell the difference before shit happens?


 

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Eloise wrote:None of those

Eloise wrote:

None of those experiments concluded that there is no such thing as human compassion, EXC, so not everyone who believes they are compassionate can be deluded.

I think they are pretty strong indicators that feelings of compassion are delusions or at least way down the list of motivators. It's like theism and spirituality, you can't prove for 100% it false(proving a negative), but their is pleanty of evidence they are probably delusions. Kind of like how free will is a delusion. If free will does not exist how could compassion?

Eloise wrote:

Apparently some 5-10% of us actually can think past our own selfishness, so clearly compassion does exist.

But people of your political persuasion don't go out and start charities to show compassion, they mostly show their 'compassion' by demanding it cost someone else. Compassion without any real sacrifice. Convenience is the prime motivator.

Eloise wrote:

On another note, almost all of them were compound tests revealing little precisely about the number of compassionate people but, rather, a lot about the number of people who are all of brave, knowledgeable and unselfish at once and ALL of them revealed at least a person who proved to be that. 

But terms like 'brave, compassionate and unselfish' are used as rewards from other members of society. Evolution has created us so we want social approval, we behave in ways to get this approval. By using these terms the elightened socialists and condemning my lack of 'compassion', you pretty much show it's really all about social approval.

Let's suppose the Milikan experiment was performed on dogs, cats, cockroaches and rats. Wouldn't some people show 'compassion' for the dogs and cats. Would you show compassion for the cockroaches and rats? Do you show any compassion for them when they come in your home? Why?

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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Marquis wrote:  I think

Marquis wrote:
  

I think the point that he (for it is a he, right?) is trying to make - constantly - is that selfishness is at the bottom of all motivational energies of all organic compounds, humans included. There are no extraterrestrial dimensions of angelic love and goodness; there is only the feverish daydream of beliefs and imaginations that so many humans prefer instead of confronting reality in its raw and naked essence.

Exactly, thank you. It amazes me how atheists that ridicule theists for their beliefs about 'holy' and 'righteous' behaviors do exactly the same thing. At what point in our evolutionary history did our cells and genes stop behaving in ways that favor others instead of ourselves? All we've evolved is a capacity to cooperate at times with other when it's mutally beneficial. But at the same time this desire to cooperate is something that is often taken advantage of. The people that preach compassion, morality and unselfishness instead of rational cooperation are just trying to gain something for nothing.

 

Marquis wrote:
  Whereas I agree that it doesn't much matter why people do the right thing,

I don't understand that kind of thinking. When you fly on an airplane, don't you want the pilot and the designers to understand why the plane does "the right thing"? So if one want to be part of making society better and be taken seriously, shouldn't we understand why humans do what they do?

Marquis wrote:
 

I can also see the point of educating at least the future generations about the evil consequences that have a tendency to follow in the footsteps of ideologies which are based only in vague emotions and imaginary "spirituality". We are not gods, we are monkeys. The mind can be a wonderful tool, but it can also be a terrible thing. How to tell the difference before shit happens? 

The greatest gift a parent can give to his/her child is to not pass along their insanities. I think the best thing people can do for society is not pass along their delusions about being 'compassionate'.

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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cj wrote:Does this make them

cj wrote:

Does this make them "selfish"?  <Shrugs>  Who cares?  Only you.  When discussing health care, there are valid economic reasons for improving the current system in the U.S.  Healthier people take fewer sick and vacation days, are more productive, and are more pleasant to work with.  A healthier work force means lower costs for everyone - business, people, society.  Yeah, I can argue the economics with you - and I can also feel care and compassion for other people.  I think it is sad that some people emphasize the economic concerns and ignore the human concerns of those who are doing the best they can with the hand they have been dealt.  Is their best as good as your best?  If you haven't been there, how would you know?

It is important because what has the current health care debate turned into? It's a kind of competition to see who can be more 'compassionate'? So the rationality about will it work, is it sustainable, what are the secondary and terciary effects are crowded out. The question is not asked does this reduce overall human suffering is not discussed in a rational manner nor are any solutions experimentally verified for their long term effectiveness. It's just "you're mean and selfish if you don't agree with me".

Same with relief for Haiti, they have to use music that creates strong emotions to get the donor into a mood where he'll feel better for giving. No rational thought to it's actual long term effects, they music and pictures created so much emotion. I just don't see how political debates and a better society can occur unless we dump the false notions about human motivations. I you want to design something that works, you must understand and accept how the various components all work.

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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EXC wrote:Kind of like how

EXC wrote:

Kind of like how free will is a delusion.

 

Just because you have a unique combination of nurture and nature has an effect on the choices that you make don't actually preclude the freedom to make one choice or another.   I suppose freewill might be delusional thinking but how would we quantifiably test whether or not we can truly make any choice we want or if we're landlocked by our past experiences and biology.

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Sterculius wrote:EXC

Sterculius wrote:

EXC wrote:

Kind of like how free will is a delusion.

 

Just because you have a unique combination of nurture and nature has an effect on the choices that you make don't actually preclude the freedom to make one choice or another.   I suppose freewill might be delusional thinking but how would we quantifiably test whether or not we can truly make any choice we want or if we're landlocked by our past experiences and biology.

We had this debate before. The overwhelming conclusion of scientific studies is that we don't have free will. The studies that claim we do just misinterpret random behavior as 'free will'. It's like other false concepts (i.e. God), you can't design an experiment to prove that something does not exist, only experiments that show it's inconsistency.

So you can believe in flying spaghetti monsters but we can't "quantifiable test" for it's existence or non-existence. But you can say it's existence is highly unlikely based on our understanding of the universe. Same thing with 'free will'.

 

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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EXC wrote:Sterculius

EXC wrote:

Sterculius wrote:

EXC wrote:

Kind of like how free will is a delusion.

 

Just because you have a unique combination of nurture and nature has an effect on the choices that you make don't actually preclude the freedom to make one choice or another.   I suppose freewill might be delusional thinking but how would we quantifiably test whether or not we can truly make any choice we want or if we're landlocked by our past experiences and biology.

We had this debate before. The overwhelming conclusion of scientific studies is that we don't have free will. The studies that claim we do just misinterpret random behavior as 'free will'. It's like other false concepts (i.e. God), you can't design an experiment to prove that something does not exist, only experiments that show it's inconsistency.

So you can believe in flying spaghetti monsters but we can't "quantifiable test" for it's existence or non-existence. But you can say it's existence is highly unlikely based on our understanding of the universe. Same thing with 'free will'.

 

Who is this "We"?  I don't recall having this argument.

Can you post a link to these 'overwhelming studies'  sounds like an appeal to authority or the masses.

I made a decision to post this and acted on that decision.  Was that a random behavior as you posit?   I don't think so.   In fact a deterministic model would say that it wasn't random at all because everything that led me to this point (nature and nurture) forced me to come to that decision.


I might agree that the default position of the non-existence of freewill without conclusive proof is true but to say that the proof is irrevocable by calling it delusional is going into a territory which I would regard as you making a claim.

Delusion:
1 : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
2 a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated b : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

 

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feeling groovey

EXC wrote:

I just don't see how political debates and a better society can occur unless we dump the false notions about human motivations. I you want to design something that works, you must understand and accept how the various components all work.

Humans are motivated by what feels good.  It is a cliche from my misspent youth but still true.  We are programmed by our DNA to seek out and maintain situations that feel good.  Why?  Because feeling good means we are healthier, and therefore more likely to reproduce and raise those offspring to adulthood.  As one of my professors once said, never forget survival of the fittest is about having grandchildren.  It is not about any one individual. 

I'll say it again, feeling good is the goal for all organisms.  And "feeling good" does not need to be quantifiable or logical or available for analysis.  It so happens that we can quantify and analyze "feeling good" in some instances and that is very helpful when deciding why people do what they do.  It is never the complete answer because of that "internal reality" we all carry around inside ourselves which is unquantifiable and unobservable.  I am not being a mystic here, I am attempting to explain why labeling people's motivations is a total waste of time.

Feeling good is subjective.  What is good for me may be torture for you.  All political decisions will piss off some, make others feel good, have some good effects and some bad effects.  Even NO political decisions will have bad and good effects.  This is always true, it will never change, you can not please everyone all of the time, and you can not do what is right for everyone all of the time.  Truly, attempting to find that perfection is a waste of time and energy for everyone - you, me, politicians.  Just do something, anything, and then do something else - maybe it will work better, maybe it won't.

I view politics as balancing on a ball - tilt one way, then back, roll forward a little, tilt, roll, tilt, ...... One group is favored for awhile, then another.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Will society ever be where I want it to be?  Where you want it to be?  Probably not.  Our best bet is to roll with the punches since if you move, you just get a punched from a different angle.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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choices

EXC wrote:

Sterculius wrote:

EXC wrote:

Kind of like how free will is a delusion.

Just because you have a unique combination of nurture and nature has an effect on the choices that you make don't actually preclude the freedom to make one choice or another.   I suppose freewill might be delusional thinking but how would we quantifiably test whether or not we can truly make any choice we want or if we're landlocked by our past experiences and biology.

We had this debate before. The overwhelming conclusion of scientific studies is that we don't have free will. The studies that claim we do just misinterpret random behavior as 'free will'. It's like other false concepts (i.e. God), you can't design an experiment to prove that something does not exist, only experiments that show it's inconsistency.

So you can believe in flying spaghetti monsters but we can't "quantifiable test" for it's existence or non-existence. But you can say it's existence is highly unlikely based on our understanding of the universe. Same thing with 'free will'.

We always have a choice.  I don't have to behave like my parents or my peers.  I can choose to do something else.  Always.  I can choose to murder the people on my block, but I choose not to.  I am not forced by society or the law or my early toilet training to not murder everyone on my block.  It is my conscious choice.  Some days, I make that choice more than once.  Most days it never crosses my radar.  Many of us on these forums have made the choice to be atheists regardless of our family and peer pressures.  I honor their courage to make that free will choice.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Sterculius wrote:Who is this

Sterculius wrote:

Who is this "We"?  I don't recall having this argument.

Can you post a link to these 'overwhelming studies'  sounds like an appeal to authority or the masses.

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/free_will_why_we_don039t_have_it_and_why_that039s_good_thing

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/science/02free.html?pagewanted=all

Here's a couple for starters.

 

Sterculius wrote:

I made a decision to post this and acted on that decision.  Was that a random behavior as you posit?   I don't think so.   In fact a deterministic model would say that it wasn't random at all because everything that led me to this point (nature and nurture) forced me to come to that decision.

 

I a chess playing computer 'decides' not to let me take it's Queen. Is that free will? Programmers also use psudo-random number generators in the chess computers code so that it does not responds the same way ever game. Does that give it free will?


 

Sterculius wrote:

I might agree that the default position of the non-existence of freewill without conclusive proof is true but to say that the proof is irrevocable by calling it delusional is going into a territory which I would regard as you making a claim.

Delusion:
1 : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
2 a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated b : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

 

Free will is something that no one can even give a meaningful definition about.

I'm not making a moral judgement about the perception that we have free will. If free will does not exist, but we perceive that we do have it, then is it a delusion. If we don't have free will yet the idea of it persists, then what do we call this persistent belief?

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cj wrote:We always have a

cj wrote:

We always have a choice.  I don't have to behave like my parents or my peers.  I can choose to do something else.  Always.  I can choose to murder the people on my block, but I choose not to.  I am not forced by society or the law or my early toilet training to not murder everyone on my block.  It is my conscious choice.  Some days, I make that choice more than once.  Most days it never crosses my radar.  Many of us on these forums have made the choice to be atheists regardless of our family and peer pressures.  I honor their courage to make that free will choice.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

And then we read your quote "I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe." So your non-belief is based on how it makes you feel.

You choose not to murder because you believe this will make you feel better.

So at the end of the day, you're an atheist because it feels better to be this way. This overcomes any social penalty you might pay from friends and family. Your theist family and friends feel better staying with this belief.

So you always do what feels right at the moment, you have no free will to do anything else. You can claim you can do something else but you can't.

cj wrote:

We always have a choice. 

Not really. If your house was burning up with your child inside, you may not be able to force yourself to touch something extremely hot to save them. Your nervous system puts your own self preservation first. It's not a moral failing or lack of compassion if you can't.

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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EXC wrote:Marquis

EXC wrote:

Marquis wrote:
  Whereas I agree that it doesn't much matter why people do the right thing,

I don't understand that kind of thinking. When you fly on an airplane, don't you want the pilot and the designers to understand why the plane does "the right thing"? So if one want to be part of making society better and be taken seriously, shouldn't we understand why humans do what they do?

 

Er... well, I was referring to whatever impulses of an emotional character that leads people to do the right thing in the moral sense. (And please no sophisms about that; we all know what is morally right and wrong - insofar we are thinking, feeling adults at all, that is.) Your example seems to be about operating machinery, which is simply a question of correct procedure, meaning it requires no moral judgments of right and wrong at all.

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Marquis wrote:Er... well, I

Marquis wrote:

Er... well, I was referring to whatever impulses of an emotional character that leads people to do the right thing in the moral sense. (And please no sophisms about that; we all know what is morally right and wrong - insofar we are thinking, feeling adults at all, that is.)

That's news to me. Then why do we all have a different moral standard and so many moral dilemmas? So many disagreements in politics, religion, teaching children ect.. if we all know the same moral standard for right and wrong.

Marquis wrote:

Your example seems to be about operating machinery, which is simply a question of correct procedure, meaning it requires no moral judgments of right and wrong at all.

Because everyone judges right and wrong by the neural firings in their own brain producing pleasure or pain. Sometimes this means conformity to some social standard for behavior, sometimes not. This requires no moral judgement because morality is really just a force for bringing pleasure or pain via social approval or disapproval.

 

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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Hah!  I like Cracked.com

Hah!  I like Cracked.com but you really have to take all their articles with a grain of salt.  We covered all those experiments in almost every single psych class I've taken so far, and the results were:

 

Milgram -- People tend to do what someone in a position of authority tells them to do, even if it makes them uncomfortable. 

 

Stanford Prison -- People form their personal identities based on their situation.

 

Bystander Apathy & Good Samaritan -- These were conducted (as far as I know) in order to determine when people help other people, and there are a lot of factors that come into play, such as: risk to helper/potential benefit, noticing that someone needs help, knowing how to help, and the number of other people who witness the person who needs help.

 

Asch Conformity -- People feel the need to be accepted over the need to be correct.  There was another similar experiment where one of the confederates would always put the correct answer and the subjects were MUCH more likely to put the correct answer when they had someone "on their side".

 

Besides, the purpose of Psychology is to learn what people do, why people do what they do, and then use that knowledge to change things for the better.  The more aware we are of what our brains are doing the more power we have to use them.

 

*sigh*  I wish I could afford to stay in school...

 


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ethics 101

EXC wrote:

cj wrote:

We always have a choice.  I don't have to behave like my parents or my peers.  I can choose to do something else.  Always.  I can choose to murder the people on my block, but I choose not to.  I am not forced by society or the law or my early toilet training to not murder everyone on my block.  It is my conscious choice.  Some days, I make that choice more than once.  Most days it never crosses my radar.  Many of us on these forums have made the choice to be atheists regardless of our family and peer pressures.  I honor their courage to make that free will choice.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

And then we read your quote "I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe." So your non-belief is based on how it makes you feel.

You choose not to murder because you believe this will make you feel better.

No, my non-belief was based on reason.  The better feeling was a pleasant side effect of giving up the nonsense.  P.S. That was over 30 years ago that I gave it up.  Ancient history.

And I don't murder my neighbors because 1) it is a lot of effort and I am basically lazy and 2) I don't want to deal with the consequences - especially since I faint at the sight of blood.  And less facetiously, because it is not the right thing to do.  It is against my morals.  MY morals, not society's and not religion's and not the law.  MY personally chosen morals about what is right and wrong for ME.

EXC wrote:

So at the end of the day, you're an atheist because it feels better to be this way. This overcomes any social penalty you might pay from friends and family. Your theist family and friends feel better staying with this belief.

So you always do what feels right at the moment, you have no free will to do anything else. You can claim you can do something else but you can't.

I am an atheist because religion is bullshit.  Feeling better is just icing on the cake, not the raison d'etre.  My social penalties with my family are few at this point in my life.  They have largely given up on me.  My friends like me the way I am or they aren't my friends.

I don't always do what "feels right".  What I do might feel very uncomfortable, or it might hurt, or it might be pleasant but not "right".   If I have chocolate ice cream, it is very pleasant, but it may not be "right".  I don't have to have the ice cream and I don't have to refuse it, either.  My choice.  Mine to make every day and I spend about 30 seconds making the choice. 

EXC wrote:

cj wrote:

We always have a choice. 

Not really. If your house was burning up with your child inside, you may not be able to force yourself to touch something extremely hot to save them. Your nervous system puts your own self preservation first. It's not a moral failing or lack of compassion if you can't.

Explain to me the firemen who risk life and limb for that child.  The parent who does go into a burning building to try to save that child and is severely burned.  Or the parent who is drowned trying to save a child from drowning.  A thousand or more times a day, we make choices.  Often, they are not life threatening or even painful or mildly uncomfortable.  But we make choices all day long.  We are often not aware of the choices being made, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen.  We can work at becoming conscious of the choice and then they become our expression of our will, instead of the mindless float through the day many people do. 

It is up to each person to make the choice to look at what they are choosing to do and then to make up their minds as to whether they wish to continue with the same choices or to make new choices.  You don't have to accept the mindless choices of yourself or others.  You can choose to be aware - to attain the state of mindfulness - and to exercise your free will.  Or not.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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EXC wrote:That's news to me.

EXC wrote:

That's news to me. Then why do we all have a different moral standard and so many moral dilemmas?

 

We don't. They are illusory. It's our insanity that is the variable factor in this picture. Or "assembly of delusions" if you like.

At the end of the day, we all want what feels good and we don't want what feels bad. Really very simple.

Anyway, in your crusade against the concepts of selfish-unselfish, I find myself agreeing in principle, from a biological point of view, but I also run into a couple of severe obstacles. Like for instance how I would take a lot of shit - without even telling anyone about it - just to make the day better for my loved ones. A sort of protective thing if you like. You can argue that in the case of my children it is a question of surviving genes and all that, but what about my girlfriend? Or my grandparents? Or just anybody whom I think of as my friend?

Whereas you might argue it all into a prima causa kind of Aristotelian unmovable mover principle; where I am, ultimately, the instigator of all thougts and decisions that I make; that is not how this works on the pragmatic level. Rather than moral and selfishness (or lack thereof), I prefer to speak in the slightly unhip and somewhat anachronistic term of honour. Some things are honourable and other things are not. And it is dishonourable in the extreme to behave like a prick.

 

 

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cj wrote:Explain to me the

cj wrote:

Explain to me the firemen who risk life and limb for that child. 

The brave heros that do this that are to be admired ulike the lowly cowards that won't. Isn't a big part of it social reward, the generous pensions and benefits help. Also social preassure from other firefighter. A genetic compenent in play as well, people that are 'brave' may be more popular and attractive to women.

cj wrote:

The parent who does go into a burning building to try to save that child and is severely burned.  Or the parent who is drowned trying to save a child from drowning. 

It's the feeling this must be done. They would feel horrible if they did not.

cj wrote:

A thousand or more times a day, we make choices.  Often, they are not life threatening or even painful or mildly uncomfortable.  But we make choices all day long.  We are often not aware of the choices being made, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen.  We can work at becoming conscious of the choice and then they become our expression of our will, instead of the mindless float through the day many people do. 

And the choice is always to do what feel right at the momement.

cj wrote:

It is up to each person to make the choice to look at what they are choosing to do and then to make up their minds as to whether they wish to continue with the same choices or to make new choices.  You don't have to accept the mindless choices of yourself or others.  You can choose to be aware - to attain the state of mindfulness - and to exercise your free will.  Or not.

But I can only do what feels right. We have no free will for anything else? Are you free to shut your mind down and have no thoughts at all?

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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 Marquis wrote:Anyway, in

 

Marquis wrote:

Anyway, in your crusade against the concepts of selfish-unselfish, I find myself agreeing in principle, from a biological point of view, but I also run into a couple of severe obstacles.

It's actually a crusade against all concepts of morality. I'm against this humanism/socialism that so many atheists seem to embrace.

The problem we have is that the religious have this monopoly on morality. Most people just assume we need morality, that we have free will to care about others, so the atheists embrace humanism and socialism to try demonstrate they are moral, unselfish and compassionate. I believe it is best to embrace our true self-serving, hedonistic nature.

Marquis wrote:

I prefer to speak in the slightly unhip and somewhat anachronistic term of honour. Some things are honourable and other things are not. And it is dishonourable in the extreme to behave like a prick. 

Unless of course it's toward a person who is your enemy, a person who behaved like a prick toward you. So then you are a prick toward them. There is no honor, it just a social contract that you will behave if others behave toward you. When you believe the contract is broken, all bets are off and you punish the 'prick'.

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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EXC wrote: Marquis

EXC wrote:

 

Marquis wrote:

Anyway, in your crusade against the concepts of selfish-unselfish, I find myself agreeing in principle, from a biological point of view, but I also run into a couple of severe obstacles.

It's actually a crusade against all concepts of morality. I'm against this humanism/socialism that so many atheists seem to embrace.

The problem we have is that the religious have this monopoly on morality. Most people just assume we need morality, that we have free will to care about others, so the atheists embrace humanism and socialism to try demonstrate they are moral, unselfish and compassionate. I believe it is best to embrace our true self-serving, hedonistic nature.

Marquis wrote:

I prefer to speak in the slightly unhip and somewhat anachronistic term of honour. Some things are honourable and other things are not. And it is dishonourable in the extreme to behave like a prick. 

Unless of course it's toward a person who is your enemy, a person who behaved like a prick toward you. So then you are a prick toward them. There is no honor, it just a social contract that you will behave if others behave toward you. When you believe the contract is broken, all bets are off and you punish the 'prick'.

 

 

Personally, I like to think I follow some form of ethical egoism.    I'm not a strict egoist because I've learned in life that the most expedient self-serving thing of the moment for this situation is not necessarily the best way to maximize my gains long term.     So, yeah I could have pleasure from  XXXX frowned upon activity in the moment but long term being in jail is not going to maximize my pleasure seeking nature.

I also find that cooperative strategies tend to be best for long term maximization of my happiness.   I also find happiness in helping other people (believe me giving to charity is a selfish motivation for me).   So for me concepts like 'isms' can work toward my happiness seeking behaviors because by helping others sometimes I help myself through reciprocity or by just the pleasure of doing something 'nice'.)    I don't mind punishing or letting society punish other people though for fucking with me or society.  That's a way to disuade douchebag behaviors.

But in the end my only morality is selfishness though sometimes I've found that doing good deeds and not the immediately gratifying thing is the best long term strategy.

 

 

"Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such."
Homer Simpson