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 Author Thread: You ought learn about Moral Nihilism - Morals do not Exist
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 103 (view)
 
You ought learn about Moral Nihilism - Morals do not Exist
Posted: 1/9/2013 12:54:28 PM
And goddamn. I was a god-awful communicator some years ago.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 102 (view)
 
You ought learn about Moral Nihilism - Morals do not Exist
Posted: 1/9/2013 12:53:20 PM
Slavery wasn't abolished. It was perfected.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 19 (view)
 
Being fair vs being right ?
Posted: 11/20/2012 7:14:19 PM
"between those who want the government to be tweaked to allow might to make right"

Is state control not the ultimate expression of "might makes right"?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Pictures
Posted: 11/15/2012 12:32:36 AM
Saying people shouldn't use this website simply so you have a competitive edge isn't exactly charming, in my opinion.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 9 (view)
 
logic puzzle
Posted: 9/24/2012 2:23:35 AM

"The guy is talking about himself, he's the man."


Uhh, pretty sure the answer is his son.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 79 (view)
 
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 5/30/2012 1:45:51 PM

So, pray tell, how does one ensure reproducing these traits with genetic certainty? This is some creepy thought process, sounds like Aryan Nation indoctrination.

What are you going on about? Aryan Nation indoctrination???? What???? I said that "inequality" exists in our very genetic structure, humans are not "equal" at birth. Some are born with more favorable genes than others. It shouldn't be a surprise when inequality arises elsewhere.




How is that common sense theory holding up numerically?

Just fine.

http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/visual/visual.php?shortname=population_growth_rate




Have you observed that world population is declining?

This is the kind of uninformed argument I'm talking about. A casual person will watch one scare-tactic video graphing population growth in recent centuries and see that global population is still increasing.. but a more informed, sensible person would look more thoroughly into the data and see that total population doesn't have to decline for the population growth *rate* to decline, as it *has* been. Population growth rates tend toward stagnation and even going negative as average wealth increases.


http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/visual/visual.php?shortname=population_growth_rate

According to the UN population studies:
"Many people interpret forecasts like this to mean that population growth is out of control. In fact, as noted above, world population growth rates peaked in the late 1960s and have declined sharply in the past four decades"




ou should instead watch videos of REAL mathmaticians.....there is a video on the side bar of the one you linked, it's called "The most important video you'll ever watch"

I've seen that. All 7 or so videos. I'd respond to it, but I don't think you would be able to follow. I mean... you cite the fact that population is still growing as evidence that the human population is growing out of control and is a serious problem for the planet.... haha
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 78 (view)
 
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 5/30/2012 12:53:48 PM
Earthpuppy

Not sure what's with the attitude, but I never claimed otherwise. Of course there are fewer forests in the world today than in history. But this is *not* the fault of consumption, for the most part. Its a problem of sprawl. Of people moving outward.

If you didn't notice, I was specifically addressing resources "like wood, water, metal". As in, raw materials for consumption, not thinks like parks and forests.




As for red...


Any reduction of birthrate in high paying / high education areas is more than offset by the burgeoning growth from India, Africa, and Latin America. Coincidentally high paying /high education areas are becoming more concentrated and fewer overall.


You're dead wrong. Dead. Wrong. Look at what the UN itself shows:
http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/visual/visual.php?shortname=population_growth_rate

"The world's population growth rate peaked in the late 1960s at just over 2 percent per year..."

"Many people interpret forecasts like this to mean that population growth is out of control. In fact, as noted above, world population growth rates peaked in the late 1960s and have declined sharply in the past four decades"

"fertility rates are falling as many developing countries pass through the demographic transition"



....hopefully older, more impressionable folks like yourself, who watched one scare-tactic video graphing human population explosion and felt like an informed citizen, can sleep at night now because they learned something from a "youth" who is still open to learning new things by, you know, actually doing some research ;)
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 74 (view)
 
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 5/30/2012 3:53:49 AM

"no, you can't say the same thing. Assuming "undesirable" means somehow disfunction"

I was simply referring to the overwhelming, commonly-held notion that some genetic traits are perceived to be much more desirous than others. People, generally, prefer genes that lead to: higher intelligence rather than lower intelligence, more extroverted behavior rather than shy, introverted behavior, self-controlled/independent personalities rather than dependent, prone-to-addiction, personalities, and so on. Just to return your cavalier attitude, "I'm surprised any adult observing the world around them has not realized this" And that's not including genes concerning "looks", which play an enormous role in how people feel they compare to one another. I was, after all, addressing the criticism that economic liberty leads to inequality.




I didn't look at the video so I'll do that to find out what his magic "theory" maybe

It's not a "magic" ****ing theory. It's observable fact. You know, reality. As populations become more wealthy, birthrates plummet. This is not opinion. This is not "thoery". Its common sense. Why spend 5 minutes piecing together an ill-informed response when you can just take that time to brush up on your facts?

Among the people of the developed world (which is rapidly taking up a greater portion of the world population), total population *decline* is a greater problem than population growth. The birthrates of multi-generation Europeans and Americans, as well as the Japanese and many others have anywhere from negative to negligible population growth. Many of these nations show "increasing" population numbers, but this is strictly due to mass immigration. Actual birthrates are very low.

Why else do you think the doubling period of the human population has been getting longer and longer each decade? Why else do you think the projected years the human population would reach 12bn, 20bn, 50bn has been pushed further and further away. The latter one there, I believe is widely disregarded now. The numbers just don't support the conclusion that the human population will ever reach 50bn. If current economic trends continue (ie, a dramatic increase in the standard of living of most of the world), then population growth will be a scare of the past.





if you keep consuming that tree at shorter intervals, you will need more to fill the same demand, and eventually you will exhaust it down to extinction...

What are you talking about? We use more potatoes today than we ever have in history. They're not going extinct anytime soon. We have potatoe farms, where we grow potatoes en masse.

We do the *same* thing with trees. We have tree farms where we grow billions of trees on millions of acres of land. This is where there are more trees in North America today than there were 100 years ago.

So, again I pose the question. Other than fossil fuels, what resources are mankind rapidly depriving themselves of due to over-consumption? I'm dying to know.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 71 (view)
 
What would a perfect world look like?
Posted: 5/29/2012 5:14:15 PM
"huge disparities in wealth as well as in health."

You could say the same thing about genetics. Some people are born with more far "desirable" genes than others. Some are born far more healthy than others. Is that a evil? Is nature evil?



"We need growth to keep the money flowing"
Depends on what you mean by growth. If you mean the economy needs to expand and incorporate more and newer products/services indefinitely, that is not true. In recent centuries, humans have certainly *wanted* growth, but there is no *need* for it. For the vast majority of history, technology and even trade remained nearly stagnant.





"The human population is growing at exponential rates never been seen in history"
...this is absolutely not true. Hans Rosling is one of the most noted academics on the topic. He has a TedTalks presentation you can watch here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTznEIZRkLg



"stripping the earth of its resources"
With the exception of energy, which resources are we "stripping" exactly? Resources like wood, water, and metals all exist within a renewable cycle and aren't going anywhere. They're simply changing form.



"What are some answers that provide a political and economic system that fosters equality, spreads health and wealth, preserves the earth and keeps population growth in check?"
As far as I've researched, liberty-oriented political systems, that inhibit human freedom the least, foster the above the most. And as research shows, as populations become wealthier and more educated, they have fewer offspring. So much so that population *decline* can actually become a problem.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 45 (view)
 
How does science account for miracles?
Posted: 3/7/2012 12:17:59 AM
""Ethics are the law of tomorrow; Law is the ethics of yesterday." Similarly, one could say that science is the miracles of yesterday; miracles are the science of tomorrow"

Very well put.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 161 (view)
 
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/28/2011 11:26:02 PM
dukky
Definition: immoral - Contrary to established moral principles.
Definition: moral principle - the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group.


So you'd accept racial lynching in 17th century America as moral? Or at the very least, not immoral? Or the forceful removal of daughters clitoris' by their parents in 13th century Europe and Asia? Both were considered "right" by the majority of the respected social groups.

...Interesting.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 74 (view)
 
What Human Achievement is Worth All the Misery We Create?
Posted: 12/28/2011 11:12:14 PM
As it stands, Earth is the only location in the entire known universe to harbor life. So it follows that the only chance life has to continue existing in this universe -- past the "lifespan" of Earth's nearest star -- is for intelligence to flourish and develop.

So, that. To give life a fighting chance in the cosmological timeline.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 57 (view)
 
No such thing as a selfless good deed?
Posted: 12/27/2011 1:27:04 AM
Yea. It's called Psychological Egoism.

I remember a conversation Dukky and I had on this a year back or so as it related to charity.

Here's a syllogism:


Premise 1) What one does is what one values.
Premise 2) What one values is in one's subjective interest.
Premise 3) A person's subjective interest as their "self interest".
Premise 4) Altruism describes actions that do not correspond to the self-interest of the actor.

Conclusion 1) Therefore, every voluntary action one takes is necessarily in his/her self interest.
Conclusion 2) A truly altruistic act is impossible. A myth.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 17 (view)
 
Comprimising my Morals due to societal standards.
Posted: 12/20/2011 7:08:18 PM
I wear a suit to work.

I'm an insecure pushover.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 34 (view)
 
Organ Donation from Prisoners - Ethical, or Manipulative of Prisoners?
Posted: 12/20/2011 7:03:51 PM
Humph!


Should a death-row prisoner be allowed to donate his/her financial assets (savings, stocks, bonds) to an uninsured patient suffering from chronic illness immediately after their execution?

1) In what ways is a financial donation functionally different than an organ donation? Are they both not valuable assets that can be transferred in order to save a person's life?

If the answer involves exploitation, is the medical industry more corrupt than the financial industry? please explain the ways organ donations are substantially more vulnerable to exploitation than financial donations.




2) If your child needed a liver transplant imminently in order to survive, under what moral grounds would you reject a medically perfect liver donation from a matching donor who happens to be a prisoner about to be executed and wants to do one final act of good in his/her last hour?



If your child needed an expensive operation in order to survive a tragic accident, under what moral grounds would you reject a monetary donation from a person who happens to be a prisoner about to be executed and wants to do one final act of good in his/her last hour?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 28 (view)
 
Organ Donation from Prisoners - Ethical, or Manipulative of Prisoners?
Posted: 12/17/2011 12:05:10 PM
Financial Donation from Prisoners - Ethical, or Manipulative of Prisoners?


Should a death-row prisoner be allowed to donate his/her financial assets (savings, stocks, bonds) to an uninsured patient suffering from chronic illness immediately after their execution?

1) In what ways is a financial donation functionally different than an organ donation? Are they both not valuable assets that can be transferred in order to save a person's life?

If the answer involves exploitation, is the medical industry more corrupt than the financial industry? please explain the ways organ donations are substantially more vulnerable to exploitation than financial donations.




2) If your child needed a liver transplant imminently in order to survive, under what moral grounds would you reject a medically perfect liver donation from a matching donor who happens to be a prisoner about to be executed and wants to do one final act of good in his/her last hour?



If your child needed an expensive operation in order to survive a tragic accident, under what moral grounds would you reject a monetary donation from a person who happens to be a prisoner about to be executed and wants to do one final act of good in his/her last hour?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 42 (view)
 
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/16/2011 11:12:10 PM
Rosa Parks sure was immoral
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 8 (view)
 
Raindrops and quantum tunneling?
Posted: 12/16/2011 11:06:53 PM
I think the answer to this question has more to do with psychology than physics.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 252 (view)
 
Very High IQ
Posted: 10/27/2010 1:46:53 AM
I... can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. I'm thinking yes.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 250 (view)
 
Very High IQ
Posted: 10/26/2010 4:20:10 PM
Just popping in to say that manipulative, arrogant, presumptuous folks like the OP make institutions like public schooling so freaking awful sometimes.

Efforts to force children to conform to your values is both corrupt and morally bankrupt. Especially when such values are as arbitrary as "homework" and "getting into college".

If these kids don't value wasting time doing busywork at home that does absolutely nothing to stimulate them or expand their minds, then they aren't going to do it. If you want them to do things that you think are more intellectually beneficial, you are going to have to do two things: Respect them and their desire to act upon their values and get creative by finding things that interest them and are mind-expanding. Perhaps after-school projects or assignments specifically tailored to them/their abilities.

Those always worked for me.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2841 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/19/2010 6:31:21 PM
naked_lunch



you just used logic and reason to argue against the aspect that logic and reason are not good enough to deal with the god question...


...and you're using logic/reason right here. Trying to point out a non-sequitur. You're using logic and reason to defend the idea that logic and reason aren't adequate.

Yey performative contradictions!

If you don't think logic and evidence are reliable for argumentation, then don't use it against logical arguments used against you. That makes about as much sense as the claim, "Language is meaningless!"

Actually, that brings up another good point. Your argument can also be compared to the position, "Language is not a useful form of communication!" Then, someone says "Nope, you're wrong", and you reply "No! You're using language to argue against language!"

Your argument is the same. See the self refutation?

If your position is that logic/evidence aren't reliable, then don't make logical, evidence-based arguments. Or in other words, go back to the pre-enlightenment. Argue using rhetoric and emotion. See how far that gets ya.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 5 (view)
 
Quick question about current in a superconductor
Posted: 9/16/2010 6:30:44 PM
I guess the question really is, would there be an orbiting magnetic field induced by the electrons or would the magnetic field be static?

Is there any way to get the electrons in a superconductor to produce an "orbiting" magnetic field?

We all know what a picture's worth, so here's an illustration:

(Replace "force" with "field")

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g176/ijust1/POF.png
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Quick question about current in a superconductor
Posted: 9/16/2010 2:37:06 PM
Simple question.

Say I have a large, super conductive ring in which I induce a current. Does the current spread throughout the whole ring evenly as it travels (like paint in a spinning can)? Or does it travel around the ring, mostly grouped together (like a train around a track)?

I'm thinking the former, but hoping for the latter. If it is the latter, then I might have stumbled upon something veddddy interesting.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 22 (view)
 
Religion and literacy on dating sites
Posted: 9/16/2010 1:23:24 PM
ParadoxicalPrincess


the liberal agenda of pursuing greater understanding

Would you mind going into some detail on what you mean by this?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2830 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/16/2010 12:42:10 AM
Appreciative



Do you think that means that the subjective you is identical with the brain, its states, configurations or processes?


Lord almighty, you're still missing the point.

I'm pretty sure I can speak for all of us here. We're not saying "the 'subjective you' is identical with the brain". We're saying there is no reason to believe it isn't.

This is a categorically different claim.

How long is this going to take to get through to you?

Those who believe in dualism or any other form of mysticism are the ones making the positive claims. They're the ones who positively maintain that a mind/consciousness exists outside of material form. Naturally, as rational people, we ask for your reasons for making these positive claims. But since you have no detection, measurement, or proof of this "metamind" or "supernatural existence", your "reasons" become abundantly clear. You have none.You have no basis in reason.. only conjecture. Your belief is, literally, irrational. And rational people want nothing to do with an irrational belief-system.

The word "irrational" actually mean something specific. It's not just an incoherent pejorative.

Again, there's nothing stopping you from believing as you wish and trying to argue that your belief-system is more aesthetically pleasing than ours. But don't fret over us correctly labeling your world-view as "irrational" in a philosophy forum. Its retarded and nothing less than a mindless crusade against reason and against the discipline of philosophy as a whole. You won't have any problem -- at least with me -- if you 1) carry on with the understanding that your belief system is irrational and 2) quit trying to pimp your world-view as a position more reasonable than ours. It 'aint. More aesthetically pleasing? Perhaps. But that is a purely personal, subjective conclusion.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2821 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/15/2010 4:43:08 PM
To all those in this thread that Appreciation has labeled physcialists

Is your position the following?:


1) I understand only that which is detectable, measurable, and/or mathematically provable is knowable and rational.
2) I only believe in that which is knowable and rational.
3) I understand that which is undetectable, unmeasurable, and/or mathematically unproveable is unknowable and irrational.
4) I do not believe in that which is unknowable and irrational.
5) I do not believe something to be true unless I have a (epistemic) reason to believe it to be true.


If that's is your position on metaphysics -- if you adhere to a purely descriptive form of "physicalism" -- then Appreciation's attempt to undermine your beliefs by desperately clinging onto the concept of "the subjective you" has been retarded and logically bankrupt. He has failed to openly put-forth his definition of the term and explain how its properties are indistinguishable from nonexistence: immeasurability, undetectability, and mathematic unprovability.

The claim that something can "exist" without being detectable, measurable, or provable has no[b/] basis in reason. As such, if Appreciation were philosophically literate and intellectually honest, he would take no issue with us labeling his metaphysics as irrational.

Yey epistemology! Mysticism can't touch it.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 18 (view)
 
Religion and literacy on dating sites
Posted: 9/15/2010 4:01:26 PM
Kardinal Offishall

I would love to see the same kind of study, only this time on libertarianism. I'd be willing to bet the farm it would show similar, but even more dramatic results.

In my experience, the hierarchy of political philosophy relative to intelligence of its adherents is as follows (least to greatest):

Tribalism
Nationalism
Conservatism
Liberalism
Libertarianism
Voluntarism/Agorism


There's no doubt that my experience has been that the average liberal is more "with it" than the average conservative. That they can form more coherent arguments and are generally less tribal. But that doesn't mean there isn't much left to be desired. The average liberal, in my experience, knows next to nothing about praxeology and how it applies to economics. Libertarians, in my experience, are liberals who operate with a sound understanding of economics and, more importantly, a knowledge of economic data and history.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2816 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/14/2010 10:31:51 PM
Appreciative



[Physicalism] can simply manifest itself as "I only believe in that which is knowable and rational. All that is knowable and rational is ______." and leave it at that.

A fine-sounding principle, but it isn't Physicalism.

And????

Have you really reduced your argument to mere semantics? I never once proposed anything inconsistent with the above statement. I said the belief that the mind exists outside the body is irrational (which it is) and then you started this crusade against me and against reason.

You're calling my proper use of philosophy's vocabulary "spewing dogma".

Ha.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2809 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/14/2010 1:13:12 PM
Appreciative


You're missing the point entirely.

The point is, nothing that is undetectable, unmeasurable, and/or unprovable mathematically is knowable. And if something is, literally, unknowable, then the belief in said "thing" is, by definition, irrational. It has no basis in reason.

Physicalism does not have to be prescriptive about reality, as you keep implying. It can be purely descriptive. It's can simply manifest itself as "I only believe in that which is knowable and rational. All that is knowable and rational is ______." and leave it at that.

You can go on believing in sky ghosts and "other worlds" all you want. But don't mock philosophy by labeling such a belief as "rational". You're making a fool of yourself to anyone who knows what they're talking about.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2804 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/13/2010 5:20:01 PM
Appreciative

This one's for you, appreciative....


Many people in these forums -- particularly in this thread -- throw the words "know", "reasonable", and "rational" around with apparently no regard for the philosophical meanings of these terms. They "philosophize" as if thousands of years of epistemology mean nothing. That they can "know" something irrespective of the fact it is impossible for them to apply any epistemic verification to justify that belief.

It's saddening to see so many people treat philosophy like a 5 dollar tramp, worthy of only the smallest of efforts and no real concern.

Knowledge is just a word. It can mean whatever you want it to. But that doesn't make it philosophy. In philosophy, knowledge is justified, true belief. Period. There are only a few epistemic justifications capable of converting a belief into knowledge. We use these epistemic standards to rationalize the vast catalogue of belief-systems and world-views available to us humans and to differentiate bewtween those that pass rigorous standards of verification and those that fail those standards. But apparently, people in these forums don't give a damn. They "know" their stuff, regardless of having no backing.


I have all the respect in the world for theologians who are honest enough to admit that their beliefs are based on faith. That there is no rational standard by which they can use to claim to "know" god exists (much less their particular tradition's "god") or that other planes of existence exist, therefore rendering their belief -- literally -- irrational. Any theologian who admits this wins my heart. I have zero problem with people believing in god or that other realms of "existence" exist.

The problem comes from when they claim to "know" these things exist or that the belief in them is "rational". These people use the lexicon of philosophy ("rational", "knowledge", "true", "logical", "evidence") with zero understanding -- let alone zero appreciation -- of what these terms actually mean in philosophy. They treat philosophy as "anything I want it to be".

That's not what philosophy is. It's actually a real, academic discipline. And it requires study.

Using an esteemed field of study's vocabulary to bolster a belief-system, regardless of the fact that vocabulary doesn't apply to said belief system is one of the most commonly practiced propaganda techniques. The sad thing is, this technique used far more horizontally than it is vertically. We use it against one another far more often than "they" use it against "us", even if "they" are the ones who inflict the belief system on us in the first place. It is common folk who perform most of the propaganda.

Isn't it time we average human beings quit inflicting propaganda on one another?

Philosophy can show us how.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2794 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/13/2010 6:40:10 AM
60to70

But what delineates the core of Science? What proves anything?

Philosophy. Philosophy is a superset of all sciences.

And contrary to what it appears many people in these forums think, philosophy isn't some wishy-washy "it is whatever I want it to be" discipline. It has foundational conceptions, postulated by absolutely brilliant men and women. One such foundational concept is in Epistemology -- the study and theory of knowledge.

What is knowledge and what is the difference between something that is believed and something that is known? By what standard are we justified in saying we "know" something as opposed to merely believing in it?

Many people in these forums -- particularly in this thread -- throw the word "know" around with absolutely no epistemic justification. They "philosophize" as if thousands of years of epistemology mean nothing.

It's saddening to see so many people treat philosophy like a 5 dollar wh0re. Worthy of only the smallest of efforts and no real concern.

Knowledge is just a word. It can mean whatever you want it to. But that doesn't make it philosophy. In philosophy, knowledge is justified, true belief. There are only a few epistemic justifications capable of converting a belief into knowledge. We use these epistemic standards to rationalize the catelogue of belief-systems and world-views available to us and to differentiate bewtween those that pass rigorous standards of verification and those that don't. But apparently, people in these forums don't give a damn. They "know" their stuff, regardless of having no justification.


I have all the respect in the world for theologians who are honest enough to admit that their beliefs are based on faith. That there is no rational standard by which they use to claim to "know" god exists (much less their particular tradition's "god") and therefore renders their belief -- literally -- irrational. Any theologian who admits this wins my heart. I have zero problem with people believing in god or that other realms of "existence" exist. I only have a problem when they claim to "know" these things exist. These people use the lexicon of philosophy ("rational", "knowledge", "true", "logical", "evidence", and so on) with zero understanding -- let alone zero appreciation -- of what these terms actually mean in philosophy. They treat philosophy as "anything I want it to be". That's not what philosophy is. It's actually a real, academic discipline.

Using a respected field of study's vocabulary to bolster a belief-system, regardless of the fact it doesn't apply to that belief system is one of the most commonly practiced propaganda techniques. The sad thing is, this technique used far more horizontally than it is vertically. We use it against one another far more often than "they" use it against us, even if "they" are the ones who inflict the belief system on us in the first place.

Isn't it time average human beings quit inflicting propaganda on one another? Philosophy can show us how.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 7 (view)
 
Will Science soon overshadow religion in political speeches
Posted: 9/11/2010 9:24:51 PM
Look at the evidence.

The church used to be the state. It still is in parts of the Muslim world. The entire justification of violent authority used to come from a priestly class indoctrinating entire populations of people.

Today, any politician worth their salt can't touch religion except in, at most, brief, weak references to "faith" and "spirit" and the occasional visiting of a church. Just about everything else is secular*.


Religion is being purged from the species. Give it a few hundred years and the belief in sky ghosts will be regulated to conspiracy.


I see no "need" to believe in a god. Only indoctrination. Children are born secular. We know this conclusively. They only become superstitious after their morally corrupt "parents" delude them into believing there's a man in the sky watching their every move and who will punish them if they disobey his rules. Isn't it strange that this "god's" rules just so happen to coincide with what parents want from their children: "honor your mother and father", "be faithful", "suffering is virtuous", "sacrifice is virtuous", "do not disobey", "do not lie".

Hell, almost all major religions religions refer to their god as "the father". How more obvious could it be???



You guys will keep knocking on me for saying it, but it all starts with the family. That's where the evidence points. Our foundational exposure to authority comes from our parents. Social organizations -- of which religion is one -- are simply projections of the family. And since the modern family is based on coercion, manipulation, and often violence, so too is the organization of authority in our society. It is based on violence, coercion, and manipulation.

Be honest with your children. Do not spank them or raise your voice at them. Do not tell them what to do, but reason with them. Encourage them. Do not demand and do not threaten. Ask them real questions. Live with integrity.







*In what are called "developed" nations.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 38 (view)
 
does it leave you in awe
Posted: 9/11/2010 9:24:28 AM
That's a beautiful way to put it.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 13 (view)
 
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 1:35:18 PM
I know that's your point.

But my point is that it is a performative contradiction to use reason to argue that reality isn't reasonable. It's similar to "Words have no meaning" or "I always lie"
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 8:26:29 AM
"There is no reason to expect reality to be rationally apprehendable."
How ironic is it to use reason to argue that reality isn't reasonable?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 57 (view)
 
Racial Realism or ... Racism?
Posted: 9/8/2010 7:48:24 PM
I've learned that it's next to impossible to have an intelligent, rational discussion about this topic. Especially with older folks.

There are significant differences between the what are called human "races". This is a very well documented fact. Acknowledging this reality does not necessarily make one a racist, but it does make them informed.

Race = Breed

We know, conclusively, that there are differences between breeds of dogs, cats, and other mammals. Why then do many people get so bent out of shape when anyone speaks about physiological differences between human breeds?

Insecurity I think. Most likely with the truth.





The Flynn Effect I think is even more interesting than racial IQ differences.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2754 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/3/2010 4:32:35 PM
appreciative


Of course. Ubiquitous knows what he means. He just doesn't want to tell us :-)

Ubiquitous, if you have a difficult time telling us what you mean, then you should realize that you probably don't really know what you mean.

It isn't possible to talk to someone who doesn't know what he means, or won't tell what he means.

What makes you think I have a difficult time telling you all what I mean or that I don't want to.

Just because I didn't directly address one of your questions?

"Separate from the body" is simple to understand. It means measurable/detectable in any way other than by observing the atoms that comprise the flesh/organs/bone of a being or the products/forces that those atoms generate.

When I say no "mind" can be detected separate from the body, I mean it in that way.







Existence is a matter of opinion, not a matter of knowledge.

That's like saying "truth" is subjective. The ideas of "subjective truth" and "subjective existence" utterly undermine the meaning of the respective words. The words "truth" and "exist" lose all meaning if they are taken to be subjective. Not only that, but actively trying to convince someone that, "existence is subjective" is a performative contradiction. Why? Because the act of debating is predicated on a necessary assumption of the objective existence of the opposing party and the objectivity of what is being argued. There is no reason to argue something subjective: "You're wrong, the Beetles weren't the best band ever. Led Zeppelin was!"

"What's truth for you isn't truth for me" is kindergarten philosophy. But whatever. It's evident you don't care about epistemology.







But now we don't disagree on that, because you're no longet saying that your mind doesn't exist.

I'm saying that, as far as I know, my "mind" -- and yours along with everyone elses' -- is the byproduct of chemical reactions. That my ability to perform cognition and to act autonomously -- the evidence of a "mind" -- is dependent on the "proper" physical arrangement of the atoms that comprise my brain. If these are disfigured, any evidence of a "mind" vanishes.

This is an epistemic fact. And it is consistent with the thesis that the "mind" is not separate from the body.



If you believe that only the physical world exists, then you must believe that your mind is physical.

The physical world is all that can be known to exist.




Your mind is your subjective point of view.

Mind = POV. I like this definition a lot actually. But... this doesn't make the argument for dualism any stronger.

A "point of view" is the information channel of a being's senses.

Thus, according to your definition, mind = sensory information/information channel

We know, conclusively, that senses are dependent on physical atomic arrangements. Disorganize these atomic patterns and voila, there goes sight, touch, hearing, etc.

Lose all of your senses and your point of view is gone. And thus, your mind is gone.





Thinking/cognition we also know is dependent on the atomic structure of the brain, as stated before. So, it doesn't strengthen your argument at all to redefine "mind" to include thinking.




Literally, nothing beyond the physical world is knowable. Thus, the belief in anything not manifested in the physical world is, by definition, irrational by virtue of the fact that the belief is not rooted in reason.

You can redefine your definition of "knowledge" to counter everything put forth by modern epistemology. And that would be fine. But it just means you are rejecting established philosophy built upon thousands of years of collective work of millions of people in favor of personalized, ad hoc "reasoning".

I might suggest a little more humility.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2745 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/1/2010 5:52:05 PM
stargazer


Purposely misrepresenting a quote in order to bolster your own position hardly does anything for your own credibility. Quite the opposite, really.

What more can we expect? It's thorb.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2744 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 9/1/2010 5:43:04 PM
Appreciative9809


Certainly if someone accepts or adopts your definition of "existence", which says that "existence" means physicalness, then, for that person to express belief in the existence of something that is nonphysical would indeed be irrational, because that person has accepted your definition of "existence".


*sigh*

My definition of existence has nothing to do with it. Even if someone holds the view that, "undetectable, unmeasurable entities exist" the belief in mind/body dualism would still be, by definition, irrational. Rationality includes logic and epistemology and is therefore dependent on premises and evidence (respectively).

When I say mind/body dualism is irrational, by definition, I'm stating a fact. Irrational = not of or pertaining to reason. Something is unreasonable (and therefore, irrational), by definition, when it cannot be verified epistemologically but when its negation can be.

Dualism thus far has is absent any epistemological justification while its negation (the mind is the product of the body) enjoys multitudes of epistemological verification. Thus, so far, the belief in dualism is, by definition, irrational. It's the same reason why the belief in god is irrational even if we accept your loose definition of existence.





Aside from the fact that no metaphysics can be proven, including yours,
do you know what you mean by "separate from the body"?

Of course. But some metaphysical propositions are consistent with reason. Reason encapsulates logic and epistemology. Thus, a proposition that is logically valid and is consistent with epistemological verifications is, by definition, a reasonable proposition.

This is how we decide reasonable/unreasonable between equally valid, opposing propositions.






This from someone... who wants everyone to accept his arbitrary definition of "existence"

No I don't.




and who believes in the nonexistence of himself (by which I refer to the subjective you).

Well that's a strawman if I've seen any.

I may or may not believe the subjective "me" exists. But I sure as hell can't know it does.

Epistemology is cool.





When I say "you", I refer to the subjective you. When you say that you don't exist, you're giving a whole new meaning to "self-denial".

Still strawmanning. I never once said I don't exist. I said mind/body dualism is irrational.. which it is.





The unexamined assumption that everyone should believe as you do, or else they're "irrational", etc., is the hallmark of dogmatism.

First of all, I never said anyone "should believe as I do".

Secondly. If operating with a firm application of logic and epistemology (reason) is "dogmatism" then sure. I'm dogmatic.

...but we both know that's not what that term means. You're stretching your definition because I disagree with you and you want me to look bad.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 88 (view)
 
You ought learn about Moral Nihilism - Morals do not Exist
Posted: 9/1/2010 10:37:06 AM
Jan Sobieski


Put simply, according to UB's statement, I could never be rationally justified in asserting the proposition "It will rain today", and this is utterly ludicrous.

Everything you said until this point is true.

"Reason" incorporates epistemology. Thus, the claims "it will rain today" and "it will not rain today" may be equally valid/invalid but they are not equally rational, epistemologically. Thus, one can be shown to be more rational than the other.

Epistemology can only be applied to truth statements. It cannot be applied to "oughts".

This is why oughts are "irrational". A reason can never be given to believe an ought is true.







"You ought not do this," is equivalent to "I would not like it if you did this"

I disagree with this completely.

For example, I -- and in my experience most other people -- feel utter dissatisfaction in the following situation:

Moralist: You ought not ______.
Me: Why?
Moralist: Because I don't want you to _______.


We treat prescriptive "ought" statements differently than we do descriptive "I don't want" statements.




"x is bad/wrong" is a descriptive claim (notice the is) and is fully consistent with moral nihilism, assuming that "bad/wrong" are defined descriptively. If "bad/good" are defined as "what you ought/ought not do" then these claims are actually prescriptive and thus inconsistent with moral nihilism.

My point is, words like "good/bad" must describe a rational consequence of value if we want statements like "Lying is bad" to have meaning.

Example:

Prescriptively:

"Lying is bad."
"Why is it bad?"
"Because it is something you ought not do."




Descriptively:

"Lying is bad."
"Why is it bad?"
"Because if you lie, you will not be trusted by your peers."
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 85 (view)
 
You ought learn about Moral Nihilism - Morals do not Exist
Posted: 9/1/2010 1:33:45 AM
stargazer



Moral nihilism posits that nothing is either moral or immoral. It's no more moral to give a kid a free icecream than it is immoral to pull out a gun and shoot someone standing in the street.

That's right. But only because morals don't exist. That is to say, the above statement has as much truth value as the statement, "A clock is no more divine than a stone is divine". Well... yeah. Divinity doesn't exist.




Both acts, in and of themselves, have little to no overall effect on the course of the universe.

I don't understand how you derived this. Moral nihilism doesn't say this at all.





But, as in the case of numbers where you can count things to five or 10, so can you also demonstrate that the act of giving a kid an icecream or shooting someone randomly in the street does have effects on the society in general. And, indeed, can effect the future evolution of the species, if one is willing to take the example to its furthest extreme.

Precisely. This is where I think you start to put fourth my argument. The prescription "I ought to give ice cream to this child" is made valid by describing its relationship to a consequence of value: "I ought to give ice cream to this child because.... ("[doing so] can effect the future... of the species [in ways a way I prefer]"

Ex. "I ought to give ice cream to this child because I want to see her smile."

Ethics based on this line of reasoning are descriptive. Descriptive ethics are consistent with moral nihilism.






So then, from that standpoint, "morality" might actually be programmed into our genes from eons of forebears learning that its better to cooperate than to behave selfishly.

That's definitely not a might. What most people in my experience call morality (cooperative behavior, helping others, "giving", etc) is the product of evolution as it often is beneficial for the survival of the species. (I know you know this.. just confused why you said "might".)





So, in that sense, "morality" is as real as cytosine, guanine, thymine and adenine.

What you describe here is a form of strong moral relativism. Moral relativism is pseudo moral-nihilism in my opinion. I'd say "baby moral nihilism" (like some people say -- incorrectly -- that agnosticism is "baby atheism") but I don't want to come across as condescending

What I describe in this thread (a pragmatic approach to acting with the knowledge that morals do not exist) is an expression of moral relativism.

If that's the case, then our disagreement over morality is essentially semantic.





Moral nihilism is very simple. Here's a syllogism anyone can understand:

Definitions:
Law on Non-Contradiction: A proposition cannot be true and false simultaneously.

Law of Excluded Middle: A proposition must be true or its negation must be true. ("The sky is green" or "The sky is not green" - One of the two must be true).

Moral Proposition: A prescriptive claim. ("You should not talk to strangers")

Syllogism:
Prescriptive statements such as, "You should not talk to strangers" cannot in any way be shown to be any more or less valid than their negations (see "Is-Ought Problem"). In this case, "You should talk to strangers". That being the case, prescriptive statements cannot be shown to pass the law of non-contradiction or the law of excluded middle and therefore are incoherent, logically incomplete, and irrational. Therefore, if morals are prescriptions, and prescriptions are incoherent, incomplete, irrational, then morals either do not exist or cannot be known to exist.



Since using prescriptive language is extremely convenient for a number of reasons, we can structure our prescriptive statements with descriptions of value (moral relativism) in order to communicate ideas with other people without appealing to an imaginary "moral truth".


Moral nihilism just goes one step further than relativism by logically demonstrating that prescriptions are either false or do not have truth value. Moral relativism is the pragmatic approach to acting as a moral nihilist. We have subjective preferences. We, by definition, want to act according to those preferences. Therefore, we ought to act according to them if we want to achieve our preferences (values).

Since humans have evolved to possess fairly standard values, we exhibit what we call "moral behavior". We share. We do not steal. We ask for permission. We make others smile.

But... in my opinion, it is important not to make the primitive, caveman-like mistake of projecting our own inner -- and by definition -- selfish desires onto something external like "moral truth" (often said to have been prescribed by some sky ghost). We want to be helpful and kind to each other because we derive utility out of being so.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 88 (view)
 
Economics & Philosophy: The Value System - Wealth, Money, Profit
Posted: 8/31/2010 7:27:54 AM
lol @ "wealth nihilist"

You're really reaching there.

But, yeah, of course I hold that position. I did say, explicitly, that there is no such thing as a characteristic called "value" contained within any commodity, didn't I? That value is purely in the mind, measured by one's willingness to exert effort to obtain/maintain the possession of something.

Value is a term we use to describe preference. People prefer some things more than others. Those preferences exist, as neural clusters in brains (which have the real-world effect of influencing behavior) but that's as far as it goes. There is nothing objectively existent about value.



Now, if you don't mind... could you detail your many problems with the OP?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2734 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 8/30/2010 11:04:15 PM
naked lunch
You again. Thorb.

You know you're in for a good time when Thorb gets in a bad mood and starts posting again.






your simple arrogant false authoratarian statment is wrong.

Let's play, "How many irrelevant, negatively connotative words that don't apply to you I can pack into a sentence about you?".

Did pretty well, actually. Impressive.






actually in latest conceptualization of mind/brain research

No research so far performed has shown that the mind -- call it consciousness or whatever you want -- can be affected by non-physical stimuli. No research what so ever. Yet we know, conclusively, that the mind/consciousness/whatever is hugely affected by physical stimuli.


If anything, a discovery demonstrating that the "mind" exists as "electro-magnetic" would prove my point: that the mind is a "result" of atomic behavior, since that's exactly what electromagnetism is.

You would've known this were it not for the fact you decided to open your mouth without so much as reading the wikipedia article on the topic you're blabbering on about. The first lines of the article on electromagnetism detail, explicitly, that EM is an atomic force.






the neuro workings are no different than the neuro workings in the rest of the nervous system

...and? That's basically my point.







now your mind may only be chemical actions ... by mine and most others I know is not won't fall for that dogmatic b.s.


"I'm right because I don't understand what I'm talking about and think "electro-magnetic" is non-physical/non-atomic and can't accept the fact that consciousness is only affected by physical stimuli and has never been shown to be able to be affected by non-physical stimuli. You [me] are wrong because what you know to be true is dogmatic even though I can't explain why or how, but I still say anyway because I think it makes me sound more right."

Yet another great philosophical argument from Thorb!
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2732 (view)
 
Does God exist?
Posted: 8/30/2010 8:20:50 PM
appreciativep

I said the belief in the existence of that which cannot be detected or measured is irrational. And it is, by definition.

Philosophy is divided into 5 categories

Metaphysics - The Study of Existence - (What's out there?)
Epistemology - Study of Knowledge - (How do I know about it?)
Ethics - The Study of Reason - (What should I do?)
Politics - The Study of Force - (When is it right to use violence)
Esthetics - Study of Art - (What can life be like?)

Rational deals only with logic and epistemology. The proposition of the existence of the mind in the first place deals in metaphysics, and the conclusion that the mind exists separate from the body is irrational, considering this proposition has not been epistemologically shown to be true.


That's all I was saying. It is an irrational belief. And if we want the words, 'rational' and 'irrational' to maintain their meaning, we ought to use them properly. Mind/Body dualism is a legitimate proposition of metaphysics, but it is an irrational idea. Saying otherwise is intellectually dishonest. Period.


The point is... even if the mind does exist in a separate dimension unknowable from ours, the fact is we only have senses in these four dimensions. No "sense" thus far discovered has had any predictive or proven communicative power. Thus, all we can know, literally, is what we can sense from our senses. Thus, since the mind exists in dimensions beyond ours, we cannot know about it and therefore we are justified in rendering the belief in its existence irrational.

This is where faith comes in. Accepting an idea despite its irrationality.

Given the evidence, we know that thus far there is no epistemologically knowable reason discovered to believe the mind exists separate from the atoms that comprise the brain. That the belief is just as valid/invalid as the belief in a god.

It requires faith. Faith in metaphysical abstractions with agency is mystical. Thus, it still follows that mind/body dualism is irrational and mystical.

This is a valid syllogism. And that is my point.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 23 (view)
 
Economics and Philosophy - The Value System: Assessing the Income Tax
Posted: 8/30/2010 5:44:03 PM
"If you think that if an national sales tax is implemented and that the income tax that we currently have will be done away with, you really are a day dreamer."

That is the sad reality of our system. And I do acknowledge it.

Part of what I'm doing here is to show people the fact that statism is utopian. That the belief that we can "elect" men with guns to violently enforce a political agenda and who will be immune from natural laws of economics and praxeology that tells us these people would be as self-interested as the parties they are elected to control and thereby would ally with those who promote their personal agenda before they benevolently promote the agenda of the people AND will reject the natural tendency for democracies to resort to class warfare.

That in the past, in Greece, democracy fell to violent mob warfare between classes. And that today, this violence is institutionalized through the police. The wealthy promote inflation, limited liability, and immense regulation that has the effect of keeping lower and middle classes from competing. And lower classes promote income taxes and controls such as labor union mandates in order to take wealth from the upper and middle classes. All of this is enforced by police guns and court prison cells. And that just because you can get a bunch of people to agree with your position does not make it practical. And it certainly does not make it ethical.

I was hoping to convince people here of the basic reasons why a sales tax is better than a national income tax -- so that I could then show them how long this argument has been presented to Federal politicians and ignored by them. That facts and reason do not win in Washington as they do in business. That the root of the system is what needs to be changed if we want to expect better outcomes. Electing human beings into serving political positions that have the same incentive structures will, by and large, produce the same outcomes.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 90 (view)
 
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 5:04:34 PM
It's also worth pointing out that many children spend more of their developing time with the state than they do with their own parents. Children are escorted to school, stay there for 6-7 hours a day, 5 days a week and come home to do several hours of homework. Parents are busy working, cooking, or, tragically, watching television. Parents generally do not spend 6 hours a day with their children.

So... in a very real way, the state raises children today.



And we wonder why we praise our political masters who, literally, use violence against us? The people who sell to foreign dictators promises to extract money from us at gunpoint, affectionately called national debt backed by taxation. We wonder why we are served a biased view of war, history, and economics? We wonder why people think "crimes agaisnt the state" are legitimate? And are so blind to the fact that voting does nothing to get government to serve our desires. That a man like Bush can say "no nation-building" and Obama can tell us he will immediately remove troops from Iraq, and no one cares enough to call these people evil -- and the system they are a part of -- evil.

A state can only exist to the extent its "citizens" are inflicted with stockholm syndrome.

Remember what I said about the king? That the kings of the past did not have the resources necessary to maintain their kingdoms by force. It wasn't the king's agents who stopped dissident serfs. It was the dissident serf who spoke out against the king's own fellow serfs who attacked him and sold him for demanding real freedom.

Is it really so different today?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 89 (view)
 
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 4:10:05 PM
scorpiomover

Understood. Although, I'm a bit perplexed why you're scared that I wanted to converse with you? : /

I know you were disagreeing with me. But that doesn't matter. I have a sense of people who are analytical and reductionists and are honest enough to be willing to subject their deepest, most axiomatic positions to rational thinking in a friendly debate. I value these people. And I think you are one of them.

I think you're the kind of person I could learn from and the kind of person who would consider learning from people like me... without resorting to, essentially, "you aren't a parent, so shut up on the topic" arguments.

Some people take out their abused childhoods on others. You can't blame these individuals for being the way they are any more than you can blame a dog for being a dog.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 21 (view)
 
Economics and Philosophy - The Value System: Assessing the Income Tax
Posted: 8/30/2010 3:53:59 PM
"The problem is that we already have the income tax portion of their misery, and now you want to give us the sales tax portion of it too"

How many times do I have to point out this strawman to you. I am not proposing we add a sales tax. I am proposing we switch from an income tax to a sales tax.

You have presented virtually no argument against the points I brought up to justify my position. All you've done is attacked a strawman and, essentially pointed to Europe.

Do you actually think pointing to places with income and sales taxes is a valid argument against the proposition, "switching from an income tax to a consumption tax is good".

You do realize the propositions, "switching from an income tax to a sales tax is good economics" and , "introducing a sales tax is good economics" are entirely different, and require different arguments to prove/disprove, don't you?

You can't even maintain a coherent debate with me. And I'm the one who needs to grow up?

What did a man say about pointing out the speck of dust in your neighbors eye when there's a plank in your own?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 87 (view)
 
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 3:39:42 PM
1) "So then you admit your position might be flawed based on personal bias from singular experience and projected onto the greater whole with little or no data to support it? How hopeful for you."

It was sarcasm. That that I was abused or had perfect parents has absolutely no bearing on the argument I'm presenting.






2) I never stated all parents practice parenting in the same way. I cited common trends in moden parenting.






3) You say "violence is bad". Alright. What do you find inadequate with the definition, "the initiation of the use of force"?

Do you think if 51% of a mob "votes" then the initiation of the use of force no longer becomes violence.









4) I am very familiar with evolutionary science. Parents evolved to treat their children in the best way suited for survival in a brutal environment. They did not evolve to treat their children in ways that are conducive to raising a confident, aware, rational child.

That is my point.

As human beings reach the age of parenthood, biological changes take place in their brain. These changes, again, are geared towards survival in a harsh enviornment, not on any objective principle of virtue or fairness.




5) "In the meantime, what do you think? We just have to "reason" with children..."
You don't have to do anything. You don't have to reason with your child.

My point is, if you want to have a child who is confident and has a healthy relationship with authority rather than a submissive one, then you do.

The argument, "Children are inherently irrational, therefore we must manipulate them irrationally in order to make them act rationally in the future" is absurd! Children are naturally rational. They are just ignorant to most consequences! If they are made aware of these consequences, through reasoning, they will avoid actions that lead to those consequences. If you train them to obey you out of fear of disobeying you, you are not promoting rational thinking!

You do NOT raise rational children by manipulating them!









6) "...and they'll do what we want them to?"
If you don't you are manipulating them. Getting someone to do what you want them to through the use of fear, guilt, or violence is manipulation.

How can this be more blatant? You have said, outright, "If we don't reason with our children, you expect they'll do what we want them to?" And then you think you don't manipulate your child and that you weren't manipulated by your own parents when you were a child.

Of course there are rare exceptions where force is necessary. Pulling a child off a road if they try to chase a ball kicked into a busy intersection. But that's not what we're addressing. We're addressing the day-to-day interaction between parents and their children.

Parents, by and large, manipulate their children. They do not have to manipulate them. They do not have to raise their voice. They do not have to spank. They do not have to scold their children. But they choose to. They choose not to reason with them.

Children by and large do not use force with one another. Yes, there are bullies in the classroom. But the majority of these are products from even more abusive households. And even then, most children do not befriend bullies. Most children only befriend those they interact with voluntarily. They do not use fear or guilt or other manipulative tactics with their friends when deciding what to do, what toys to play with, where to dig that next hole. They do not spank them. The rely on reasoning and voluntarism.

Parents don't. Parents rely on medieval parenting practices of manipulation through the use of fear, guilt, and often abject violence despite their child's natural ability to reason and the child's natural desire to make their parents happy.









7) "trying to define us parents as abusive, controlling, manipulative, unconcerned-about-the-welfare-of-our-children sociopaths? Three words: You can guess what they are."

You can guess what three words I have to say about someone who defends the manipulation of a child in the most important relationship of their life. This is abuse, by any rational standard of ethics.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 85 (view)
 
taxes as mutual exchange-the logical conclusion of Ayn Rand
Posted: 8/30/2010 2:31:34 PM
stargazer


Wow...just...wow! You clearly do NOT have children.

Do you actually believe this is a valid argument? I suppose then you don't want to be treated for cancer by a doctor unless he himself has had cancer?

Thus far, I have seen no ability from you to reason from first principles.

Nonetheless, I know very well what it is like to be a child. And I've not undergone the biological (ahem, irrational) changes that distort my perception.

As an adult reaches child-bearing age, biological changes take place that alter the mental state of the adult. These changes are a result of evolution and are geared towards survival in a brutal environment. They are not geared towards raising confident, aware, rational children.

This is a fact.





you would realize that children aren't just mini versions of adults

Strawman. I never once said they are. I said children are not treated with the same respect as adults. They are routinely not reasoned with. Most parents raise their voice at their children and/or use violent corporal punishment against them. Their most sincere preferences outside the superficial ("what would you like for dinner?") are almost never consulted. Parents do not ask their children how their parenting could be better or if the child disagrees with/hates/resents/dislikes etc anything about the parent or what the parent does. Almost all children are ordered to do chores ("Would you take out the garbage, please?") and are punished if they do not comply rather than reasoned with later on if they do not "Did you resent me when I asked if you could take out the garbage? Do you understand why I asked if you could or did you just kinda do it because I told you to? Do you feel it was unfair for me to ask you to or do you think it was reasonable? Why? Is there any way I could make your experience as my child better?"


In my experience -- from what I've seen -- almost all parents raise their voice at their children, banish them to their bedroom, "ground" them, or violently spank/drag by the arm their children when the child does not comply with the parent's wishes. These, literally, are parenting techniques designed to force compliance by inflicting fear into the child.

They are manipulative tactics in order to force a child to obey the parent's values.

Not only is the evidence 100% to the contrary -- that the evidence clearly shows that spanking and raising your voice at a child is ineffective for determining the actions of a child when compared to parenting techniques that rely on reasoning -- but also that the evidence clearly shows that spanking and raising your voice at a child is detrimental for the long-term emotional and social well-being of the child. That they have long-term negative impacts on a child's self-esteem.

Do you honestly believe routinely inflicting fear is a virtuous parenting technique?

Even if you do not yell/punish your child often, it is extremely likely that your child obeys you when you ask them to do things because they are afraid of the punishment (scolding, a look of disappointment, grounding) and not because they want to contribute to the family.

Of course, if your child is about to run into the middle of a busy intersection, you need to grab their arm and rip them back. But you would do this with anyone. Likely even with a complete stranger. But you wouldn't yell at a stranger if you asked him to give you a hand changing the oil on your car. You wouldn't spank a stranger if he didn't stop talking while you were on the phone.

If you wouldn't to a stranger, why would you to your own child? Ignore all the evidence that spanking/yelling is detrimental for a moment. Just consider the ethics of the thing. Why do parents consider it wrong to use fear in their personal relationships but virtuous to use fear in their relationship with their child?





Indeed, teenagers are demonstrably less equipped to understand consequences due to the fact that much of their brain activity is still heavily influenced by the amygdala and limbic systems.

Again, strawman. I never once said "children = adults".

I said children can be reasoned with. You really think because "children != adults, therefore we must spank/yell/scold/ our children?

The evidence clearly shows these are less effective than techniques that rely on treating the child as an equal and relying on reasoning.

Of course, parents are not equal to their children. Even with parents who rely on reasoning, a natural hierarchal structure will form. The difference is, the hierarchy will not be rooted in violence and manipulation through the direct or indirect use of fear and guilt.





Do you think a child is cognitively able to comprehend the subtleties of adult interaction and issues affecting the family both internally and in its relationship to society in general?


You keep bringing up the same strawman. Just because children are not the same as adults is not an argument that they ought to be manipulated.



Let me give you a clear example I see all the time. Finances.

When shopping, a parent's child picks up an expensive toy and brings it to them. The parent, "Put that back"/"You can't have that" / "We're not buying that" / "I told you no toys."

The child can easily be reasoned with. "Do you want that Andy? Do you see how much it costs? A hundred fifty dollars is very expensive. Do you remember that conversation we had about the family budget? If we get this RC car, the family will have to sacrifice something else. A hundred fifty dollars is about a month's worth of dinners. Which do you think is more fair? For you to have the RC car or for you, your sister, Daddy, and me to have dinner for the next month?

Another example. A child stuffs his face with two cupcakes and grabs a third. Parent: "You've had enough." "Put that down." "No more. "You can have that tomorrow." The child can easily be reasoned with. "Andy, remember when we talked about health? That to be healthy, we have to have keep things in moderation? That even though sometimes something tastes good and we want more, really it is bad for us? That we get big bellys, cavitys, and can even have problems with our heart? And later on... "Do you understand why I didn't want you to eat that third cupcake? Or were you just obeying me because I'm your parent? I understand if you felt angry at the moment, but later on, did you understand what I meant and agree with me?


Of course, this is less convenient than simply telling your child "no" and relying on their habit of obeying your demands. But the evidence clearly shows that engaging in reasoning, from the very beginning of a child's ability to make decisions results in better outcomes. Not only that, but it doesn't take long for the child to think the rational over themselves and not do things like avoid chores, throw tantrums, etc.

Children are far more capable than they are given credit for. Child prodigy -- for example, finishing all high school related material at an age of 12-13 -- does not have to be as uncommon as it is today. Almost all children are capable of it. That in most cases, there is no genetic component to why some young children are able to learn and achieve so much ahead of the curve. It almost all has to do with parenting (which includes schooling).





as they've got older, I've been able to be more frank about some things, but there is such a thing as "age appropriate information."

If there is information that isn't relevant to the child's decisions (like details on what mommy and daddy do in the bedroom) then, of course, there is no reason to rub it in the child's face. But if it is relevant (family is struggling financially, daddy is sad, mommy is sick) then I what is the reason it should be hidden from the child?

To protect her?

You really think integrity is inappropriate for children? Do you really think it is possible for a your child to live with integrity if their parents don't treat them with it? Do you even want your children to live with integrity?

Do you really think it is possible for a child who is treated without integrity by his/her parents to grow up and to naturally seek out integrity in relationships? Do you understand mental imprinting, and how children pick up on even the most subtle aspects of their relationship with their parents? And that children grow up feeling anxiety when any relationship they experience deviates from that? On an extreme scale, so you can visualize, this is why abused sons are far more likely to abuse their wife than non-abused children. It is why an abused daughter is more likely to fall in love with an abusive boyfriend/husband.

It doesn't stop there. If a child doesn't receive constructive criticism often (but rather, has things done for them or is told/punished to get them to change their behavior) that they react negatively to criticism as they grow up. That if your child obeys you not because he wants to contribute to the family and understands his/her role in the workings of the family, but rather because he doesn't want to disappoint you or be punished by you (even if you never do it), then your child will grow up markedly more submissive, less assertive, and more complacent compared to their less-abused peers with respect to their future relationships... and especially with their relationship with authority.






Clearly you have some unresolved childhood issues. Or you've spent so much time in "thoughtful introspection" about the nature of how things should be, you've lost complete and total connection with common sense.

Of course, the reason I hold this positions is because of my relationship with my parents. It has nothing to do with the merit, truth, or validity of what I say.

How brilliant of you.






Actually, I would argue that the "state" as has been very loosely defined is far more attributable to the evolution of the human species. We are naturally predisposed toward hierarchical structures.

I never denied this. In fact, I went as far as to say that states are as emergent.

But that's not the point. The point is, we can do without the violence.

Hierarchy still exists in a market. But markets are not rooted in violence. They are rooted in voluntary exchange. Hence why they are immensely productive and deliver the vast majority of what you use every day.



Slowly, over the millenia, humans have steadily become aware of the violence imposed on them by agents of the state and have thereby rejected it.

Do you understand the overall point I'm making? People a thousand years ago honestly believed that torture was a legitimate and virtuous tactic for the monarch (or church) to use in order to extract confessions. There was no state indoctrination of "public schooling" or large police forces enforcing this belief. It was acheived through ideas. The people truly believed it was virtious for authority to use torture.

I argue these ideas were implanted at childhood. At the time -- and you can verify this yourself -- children were routinely raped, whipped, thrashed, by their parents. Daughters had clitorouses removed and young boys were sodomized by family members. And when these children grew up, if they survived, they did the same to their own children.

In short, society was full of psychopaths. These people were brutally abused and thereby were so psychologically damaged that they believed it to be virtuious for abuse to be used against them by a figure of authority. In short, they believed abject torture was legitimate means to extract compliance.

Today, it is much less harsh. Today, parents do not rape their children. But they do not treat them with integrity. They yell at them, spank them, and enforce decisions without consulting the meaningful preferences of the child (by meaningful, I mean "How do you feel about my parenting", not "What do you want for dinner?"). They are either to lazy to reason with a child, to pursuade them not to eat that last cupcake or why it isn't a good idea to have that toy... or they flat-out assume the child is incapable of that level of reasoning (which is entirely untrue).

I argue that this has filled civilization with people who honestly believe their "vote" can overpower natural laws of economics and praxeology. That even though natural laws tell us that if it is profitable for someone to influence an agency of violence to enforce rules that favor him/her (the special interest, be it political, commercial, or religious), it will happen. The idea that people really think they can curtail the military industrial complex because they're going to vote. People who think the US is going to pull armed forces out of Iraq when we are still in Japan over 60 years later. People who think self-interested politicians -- who spout kindly speeches but rely on the violent extraction of money at gunpoint -- are more interested in your preferences than members of private industry who rely on your voluntary cooperation and routinely offer surveys and consult with consumers so they can adjust their products/services to even further satisfy your desires. A people who are largely unable to reason from first principles and incapable of treating mystical ideas of sky ghosts and spirits and the texts attributed to them as irrational rather than core values in their life.

Your local pizza parlor consults you on how you think they can improve their service. A politician won't. He'll poll what's popular, deal with special interests (this is natural, not something decided upon), and will talk about popular things in front of a camera, and then will

Violence is not virtue.
 
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