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Evolution and baseball caps 
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Removed. I believe I was wrong.


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Fri May 29, 2015 1:34 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:
Quote:
It's interesting how you so quickly twist my words into us vs. them.


"We" is not a word that signifies a separate category?
Of course it is and you know it. If you don't it's a strong subconscious bias in play.

Quote:
Have not religious regimes also rationalized acts that many would consider evil? This is a strawman in the making.


Of course. and no one here has denied that, have they?

Two things about that specific comment:

1) Despite the truth of your statement, it does not quite defeat my argument, does it?

2) It's actually a strawman of your creation if you dismiss what's been said in order to rail against evil acts committed because of religious motivations.


I'm lost. I'm not sure what you're saying or where our opinions differ..

Here's a recap of what I said. In response to Interbane's excellent post, I was saying that materialists like me—we— who seek naturalistic explanations for our beliefs/behavior would do well to think is such non-judgmental terms. I offered three examples in which a less judgmental attitude would be more appropriate than a judgmental one. 1) My father's political views; 2) a pregnant teenage girl; and 3) the attitude by materialists towards religious belief (which admittedly gets judgmental at times).

I would think this message of tolerance and humility would be something with which we (all humans) can agree.

Edit: to further clarify, I used 'we'—meaning materialists—because those of a religious persuasion do NOT typically accept naturalistic explanation for those human characteristics I outlined, which is that "humans are easily led astray by our own biology and a brain that has evolved to be easily manipulated by biases and emotions." etc.

Phew.

Edit Edit.

Interbane wrote:
Removed. I believe I was wrong.


My first post was confusing and for that I apologize.


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Fri May 29, 2015 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Quote:
Here's a recap of what I said. In response to Interbane's excellent post, I was saying that materialists like me—we—


LOL

I never refer to "me" as "we"
Is your name Sybil? :P

Materialists (which signifies yet another set) are not a more rational people, nor are they less prone to irrationality, or likely to experience a rise in consciousness because they semantically change words like "evil" to "flawed"

As I tried to explain, language and emotion are inextricably linked. If you dull your language you are likely to constipate ACTION, dull your world, or justify heinous behavior.

Here's an example (I think):

In PKD's "Electric Sheep", a specialized (human) police squad were tasked with "retiring" androids that were exhibiting human characteristics. The line between human and machine became so blurred, it was questionable that "retiring" actually really meant murder.
Their actions were justified entirely by how their words rationalized their behavior.
When an android was retired, it was done zero feeling for its human characteristics.

What also was interesting about the zeitgeist in Electric Sheep was that there was no religion in the world.
In its place was a "feel-good" network people would tune in to in order to raise their emotional well-being.
The real world was dull. There were no more words like "good" and "evil" or "religion"



We're the Nazis flawed or evil?



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Fri May 29, 2015 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:

Materialists (which signifies yet another set) are not a more rational people, nor are they less prone to irrationality, or likely to experience a rise in consciousness because they semantically change words like "evil" to "flawed"


I think you're taking Interbane's words out of context. I'll let him respond.

ant wrote:
We're the Nazis flawed or evil?


Since "we're" is a contraction for 'we are,' you're saying "we are Nazis." Who's the "we" here?

:o


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Fri May 29, 2015 2:16 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Quote:
Since "we're" is a contraction for 'we are,' you're saying "we are Nazis." Who's the "we" here?


:clap2: :)

Were the Nazis flawed or evil, Geo?



Fri May 29, 2015 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Interbane wrote:

Quote:
Shame will always exist as long as we are human. Should we elicit shame at merely being human? No, I don't think so. Yet there are family members and relatives who I know that expressed a sentiment close to what I'm getting at. They feel shame or guilt or whatever at humanity being "fallen". I don't remember what denomination they were. I don't know how widespread across Christianity this particular belief is.

I dont' think we should feel shame at being who we are. Instead, we should feel shame about harmful actions.


What your saying is more Nietzsche than anything else. Some of his philosophy about the origins of Christianity I find interesting. Other aspects of it I disagree with.

I'm not well versed on Christian doctrine but I'd say that shame and humility in relation to a Christian perspective are not mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary. You are stopping at "shame" and not including what immediately follows: altruistic deeds motivated by a healthy state of humility.
I think Flann would know much more about this, though.



Fri May 29, 2015 2:52 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:
Quote:
Since "we're" is a contraction for 'we are,' you're saying "we are Nazis." Who's the "we" here?


:clap2: :)

Were the Nazis flawed or evil, Geo?


Do you really have to ask?

The Nazis were evil. The ideology was 'flawed' too, but that word doesn't convey the moral repugnance I feel.

My two cents on shame and humility, those are emotions that fall more along a political axis than a religious one. It just so happens that mainstream Christianity frequently overlaps with conservative ideology, which may be why we conflate the two.


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Fri May 29, 2015 3:00 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Geo wrote

Quote:
Here's a recap of what I said. In response to Interbane's excellent post, I was saying that materialists like me—we— who seek naturalistic explanations for our beliefs/behavior would do well to think is such non-judgmental terms




So what' up with this doctrine right here...,

Quote:
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:1

Is it biased or irrational because it doesn't have a naturalistic explanation attached to it?

Are we going to take it at face value or start to complain about how the god of the old testament was a meany?


You see, what we have here is naturalism attempting to claim some moral/rational advantage over, umm.., UNnaturalists (aka "THEM PEOPLE") simply because they seek (or should) natural explanations for behavior.
And yet history tells us a different story.



Fri May 29, 2015 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:
As I tried to explain, language and emotion are inextricably linked. If you dull your language you are likely to constipate ACTION, dull your world, or justify heinous behavior.


With respect to language being inextricably linked to emotion, I agree with you. The choice of words we use matters. When the definition is precisely the same and no meaning is lost between competing words, word selection should then depend on its effect on our emotion. Is that what you're saying?

Would I be using duller language to refer to the glass as half full rather than half empty? I don't think so, and I'm sure many would agree the former is a better reference, at the same time that both references are true. Yet there is a difference between them, in their positivity.

ant wrote:
Were the Nazis flawed or evil, Geo?


If you read closely in my posts, I'm not saying we aren't flawed. The word "flawed" is accurate. I'm saying that the choice of language represents something about the worldview. The Nazis were both flawed and evil, if I had to judge. Perhaps not all of them were evil, but that's an impossible call to make.

ant wrote:
What your saying is more Nietzsche than anything else. Some of his philosophy about the origins of Christianity I find interesting. Other aspects of it I disagree with.


I'm sure I'm echoing the words of many philosophers, who knows. But I would rather not appeal to them as a tactic. My words have merit on their own.

Quote:
I'm not well versed on Christian doctrine but I'd say that shame and humility in relation to a Christian perspective are not mutually exclusive.


What I implied earlier is that they are causally related. Shame leads to a degree of humility. But shame is not the only path to humility, nor is it the only path to altruistic deeds. Even then, shame for specific harmful acts is healthy, due in part to the resulting humility a person experiences.

But there's another approach that bears mentioning here. The difference between shame and humiliation is that shame is warranted and agreed with, but humiliation is unwarranted(such as coming from a harmful insult). There may be grey area between the two. I see the aspect of being "flawed" in the Christian view to be as much humiliating than shameful. Both shame and humiliation lead to humility(amongst other things), but one is healthy and the other is not.


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Fri May 29, 2015 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Geo wrote:

Quote:
My two cents on shame and humility, those are emotions that fall more along a political axis than a religious one.


Actually, those were "religious" concepts that came well before and laid the foundation for political/secular bodies.

But, okay.., fine.



Fri May 29, 2015 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:
Is it biased or irrational because it doesn't have a naturalistic explanation attached to it?


The verse has a naturalistic explanation. Tit for tat, game theory. It's not "attached" in the bible, but I think the biblical authors had a great deal of wisdom without a more truthful understanding of why it was wise. Lacking modern knowledge, they attribute it to some supreme intelligence rather than the much more difficult to understand naturalistic version.


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Fri May 29, 2015 3:09 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Quote:
The verse has a naturalistic explanation. Tit for tat, game theory. It's not "attached" in the bible, but I think the biblical authors had a great deal of wisdom without a more truthful understanding of why it was wise.


I didn't actually claim the verse is entirely supernatural, did I?

I think it's arrogantly presumptuous of you to claim the authors didn't know why it was wise because game theory would later tell us why it's really wise.

So the authors of the Bible weren't really wise because they had faith that a metaphysical being exists. so their logic "judge not least ye be judged" is rooted in a flawed concept?
And now game theory makes us all the more wiser - tit for tat is eventually bad.


Suppose the Nazis had been victorious.
Suppose the Ubermensch philosophy won out and an Aryan race began to flourish and surpass the number of inferiors murdered.

Here are the numbers:

Earth, pre-Ubermensch - population 30 million

Earth, post Ubermensch (some years after) - population 35 million (and rising)

What does the wisdom of game theory tell us about the judgements made by the Ubermensch race?
The "you kill me - I'll kill you" game didn't cause any long term harm to the survival of homo sapeins.
In fact, the numbers say in the long term there was a net profit.



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Fri May 29, 2015 3:48 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:
So what' up with this doctrine right here...,

Quote:
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:1

Is it biased or irrational because it doesn't have a naturalistic explanation attached to it?


Some of these ancient Biblical verses are quite compatible with a modern secular vision of critical thinking. We don't need religion to understand that these are words of wisdom, although obviously some people would prefer the Biblical verses.

Here's my favorite (from Matthew 7:5):

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

ant wrote:
Geo wrote:

Quote:
My two cents on shame and humility, those are emotions that fall more along a political axis than a religious one.


Actually, those were "religious" concepts that came well before and laid the foundation for political/secular bodies.

But, okay.., fine.


These emotions have been with us before we were even "human." The words are used in many different contexts, religious and otherwise. Christianity's conception is perhaps one of the more negative. The Buddhists consider shame as a spiritually useful emotion.


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Fri May 29, 2015 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
ant wrote:
I think it's arrogantly presumptuous of you to claim the authors didn't know why it was wise because game theory would later tell us why it's really wise.


Why is it arrogantly presumptuous? The wisdom is good because it leads to good outcomes. But the model for it, the reason that it leads to good outcomes, is what I'm contesting. They appeal to a divine god, where the wisdom is simply good because god says so. There is a name to this fallacy, if you can spot it. This isn't arrogantly presumptuous, I think my point is valid.

ant wrote:
So the authors of the Bible weren't really wise because they had faith that a metaphysical being exists.


Says who?

ant wrote:
And now game theory makes us all the more wiser - tit for tat is eventually bad.


I don't understand this, and it looks nothing like what I intended to say. I think you'll have to elaborate.

ant wrote:
What does the wisdom of game theory tell us about the judgements made by the Ubermensch race?


The wisdom of game theory? Can you be more specific?

geo wrote:
The Buddhists consider shame as a spiritually useful emotion.


And we modern materialists would agree with them, using different language. Shame is useful to good moral behavior.


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Fri May 29, 2015 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Evolution and baseball caps
Interbane wrote:

geo wrote:
The Buddhists consider shame as a spiritually useful emotion.


And we modern materialists would agree with them, using different language. Shame is useful to good moral behavior.


What a great way to look at the emotion of shame. Here's an interesting blog I found just now.

Excerpt:
"Shame is considered to be a spiritually useful emotion — an emotion that leads to our happiness and well-being — because it realigns us with our ideals. It’s uncomfortable, but good for us. When we’ve not acted at our best, or way below our best — when we’ve hurt someone, or been untruthful, or let someone down, for example — and we then become aware that this is not how we want to behave, a painful feeling can arise. This is shame. This is us reconnecting with our deeper values."

http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practi ... -and-shame


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Fri May 29, 2015 4:04 pm
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