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Dissily Mordentroge

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Everything posted by Dissily Mordentroge

  1. Even though I agree with your analysis of the previous post I’m astonished at your approach to moderation. At times it feels as if one is sitting in on a tutorial where participants are constantly slapped on the wrist for errors in logic &/or unjustified claims. Such an regime of detailed criticism may be justified, however, I find the tone of many critical remarks so coldly judgmental as to discourage participation. I’m in no position to be diagnosing anything like aspergers syndrome however so depart leaving you to your ‘objective’ moderation.
  2. At the risk if triggering a discussion that may not belong anywhere on SCIENCEFORUMS.NET I’m hoping to understand the anti-science direction taken by so many conservative political groups over the last several decades. At times I feel it’s as if The Enlightenment never happened. My post was triggered by an article today in The Melbourne Age newspaper describing an organised, well financed program to promulgate within primary and secondary schools in Australia the idea climate change/global warming is no more than an alarmist falsehood. The ostensible justification given is children shouldn’t be scared out of their minds by false prophecies. It will be interesting when this program unfolds this year to see if any focus is given to the nature of scientific method. Bacon is rolling in his grave.
  3. May I suggest a reading of Arthur Koestler’s ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ could be of value in this context? I’m wary of attempting to precis his thesis and misrepresenting his tentative conclusions. Put as simply as I can he suggests the human forebrain developed ( in evolutionary terms) overnight and is out of sync with primitive tribal and aggressive instincts stretching back far further than our emergence as anything like homo-sapiens. To simplify his argument almost to the point of charictature: we are worse than apes equiped with nuclear weapons amongst numerous other means of achieving our own extinction, either through tribal aggression or blind group think.
  4. Somehow discussions of this nature remind me we’re all in some way only dancing around the deck of the Titanic just before - - - - - - -
  5. And you’re not playing word games? You’ve given yourself a narrow definition of ‘ voluntarily stop breathing’ without bothering to elucidate it’s characteristic/ limits . If consuming a toxic overdose with the intention of ceasing breathing is outside your definition such should have been delineated prior to availing yourself of the phrase. But you can always hide behind the claim consuming a toxic overdose can never be an act of free will and continue to go around and around in circles. I choose not to.
  6. It appears a number of ‘philosophers’ who argue strict determinsm imagine we’re all ‘off the hook’.
  7. Why does that reduce me to a fit of the giggles?
  8. Putting aside for now the fact ‘philosophical reading’ has yet to be defined here - - Arthur Koestler’s ‘The Ghost in The Machine’ whose central thesis, as far as I know, has yet to be disproven.
  9. Anyone claiming there’s no such thing as free will is is ‘forced’ to hold that view given the nature if such a claim. Therefore those of us who imagine we have some choice in our thoughts and actions have absolutely no need to accept totally determinist assertions given those making them didn’t either. Simple really. Then there are the moral implications of such claims. They can be used as a universal ‘get out of jail free’ card. No matter how horrifying an action none of us has choice in our actions. Therefore if the criminal justice system and/or anything like a generally accepted moral code is to survive the ‘delusion’ of free will has to be accepted. As to your question "Does anyone here believe in free will?” those who claim there’s no such thing as free will need to reflect upon even bothering to post here. Why bother if you had no choice?
  10. Fair enough and simple enough. My question I suppose derived from often having the feeling when ‘taken’ is used as reference to a path the writer appears to be implying something like ‘chosen’. But let’s not go there or we’ll be wollowing in a discussion of the quantum and consciousness.
  11. I often find myself wondering if there’s an accepted definition for the term ‘taken’ in these contexts. Do we mean something as simple as ‘measured’ ?
  12. I agree the will to power is a human trait but I'm not too worried about alienating our religious brethren considering they're none to worried about alienating my kind. http://tinyurl.com/z2jt5p5 http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/11/2/2.html http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/Richerson/Tribal%20social%20instincts%20cliodynamics.pdf Far from a complete bibliography ( my library is packed prior to moving house next week) I do however recommend an unfashionable tome ( yet to have it’s central thesis disproven) in relation to this issue, if not fully focused on it. Arthur Koestler’s “The Ghost in The Machine"
  13. Which has me wondering if I'll live long enough to see the Bell Telephone able to communicate over infinite distance at infinite speeds. The Quantaphone?
  14. I'll view that this evening. Always enjoy a Cambridge or Oxford debate. Maybe if I'd expressed myself more clearly by asserting "Why can't we admit that religion, violence and oppression are often the result of the dark side of our species evolution and admit religion can be both cause and effect?" I hope you're not going to claim there's nothing dark about our species religious urges? Anyhow, more after I've digested the erudite Cambridge approach. A cursory viewing of the first speaker impresses apart from his confused approach to the origins of, and need for morality. The problem I see with 'God can't be real' is in order to convince others something doesn't exist one requires an agreed definition of that something. (Aquinas, if he was with us, might assert the All Being must exist, that is 'God', otherwise nothing can exist) As the religious keep telling us 'God' is beyond definition and atheists tell us 'God' is a meaningless concept upon what basis can the discussion continue? On the surface a cogent argument until you consider the evidence of evolutionary psychology which appears to tell us the urge to tribalism and to organised religion come from identical aspects of our species nature. Religion though adds a layer of 'God's on our side' as the central justification for more slaughter and cruelty than I care to think about. Granted secular ideologies can unleash similar forces but they mostly fade as entities far faster than organised religion which holds onto power with a demonstrated ruthlessness over many centuries. The highbred of religious authority with the power to govern, as in medieval christianity and today's Saudi Arabia and Iran tells us something of the dangers of unleashing that ruthlessness 'in the name of God". Having now viewed all of the Cambridge debate previously recommended I find one aspect of religion not given enough attention, the urge to political power at the core of so many religious movements. Any priesthood that claims it's role to be a necessary intermediary between the divine ( substitute whatever term you want) and this realm grants itself unjustified power to rule our lives. Any acceptance by the general community to such cosmic elitism is to put our heads on the chopping block of whatever arbitrary whim said priesthood wishes to pursue from burning at the stake, stoning to death, amputation of limbs, all the way up to genocide. "The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall be thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his annointed." 1St Samuel.Ch:2.V:10.
  15. Indeed we disagree. Infinity from my perspective can never be a number and cannot be defined other than negatively - that is for instance - a distance, quantity etc without end. And yes, we do know some things about the Universe yet comparing what we know with any infinitude we necessariy know nothing. For me that's as close to a definition of the infinite as we can get. Off topic but I often wonder why we have any need to even think about such things.
  16. Why can't we admit that religion, violence and appression are all the result of the dark side of our species evolution and admit religion is both cause and effect?
  17. A case can be made that number cannot be applied to the infinite. We may have a symbol that signifies the concept and theoretical mathematicians may believe themselves able to manipulate infinite numbers. I suggest any such claim is a delusion. ( itself of infinite proportions?)
  18. Subjective reactions to so called holy books can take you anywhere. You might be reduced to obsequious eternal gratitude overlaid with intense feelings of guilt contemplating Christ suffering on the cross for our sins. On the other hand, taking a more objective approach,you might come to the conclusion the God of the bible is a twisted sado-masochist having tortured his own son who, if you swallow the absurdities of trinitarian theology, is actually himself. From my perspective seeing only good in the bible isn't liberating, it's delusional.
  19. Can I suggest this tells us something about our attitude to some members of our own species.
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