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About knownothing

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  1. The kind of Determinism I am talking about is adequate determinism, which does not say that all microscopic events are predictable. Rather, adequate determinism is about things larger than mere particles. There is not much random about a cell or an animal composed of cells. This probably doesn't need to be pointed out, but I want to remind you that quantum indeterminacy, even if it did affect things on a macroscopic level, would still be beyond a person's control and therefore irrelevant to whether or not a person has free will. Freedom of choice should not be confused with unpredictabilit
  2. I don't think we need to over-think this. I think that you should just ask yourself this: What problem did you solve for a person by bringing them into existence? There was no problem at all, and a little introspection will certainly reveal that parents have children to satisfy their own desires. Is it possible to suffer deprivation in a state of pre-birth? Certainly not. You are deprived by not existing, but there is no suffering because of it. Pleasure becomes obsolete when consciousness ceases. We speak of the wonders that life can bring us, but all of these things are worthless
  3. I don't know if you mean "cease to reply" or "cease to reply until tomorrow." I will reply anyway, just because I agree that many of my posts have been sloppy and assumptive. I don't want to end the discussion with you thinking I am just pulling stuff from behind. We are both guilty of giving no sources and making statements without really backing them up. This was because I thought some of these things were self-evident, but I can see that it was wrong to think you would share my perception of the world. If you are letting me have the last word, at least let it be said that I backed u
  4. I'll try and address your post systematically. First, let me elaborate about why I included the physical deprivation of others along with the social pain. I was only showing that the social harm that we cause to others, while not negligible, is far from the only harm. The reason that I think that bullies often have higher reproductive fitness than victims of bullying is because bullying is a habitual abuse of social, physical or mental power. A bully could very well also be a victim of bullying, but this only shows that public schools, prisons and work places have a pecking order. Ther
  5. I was just thinking along general lines. If you are curious, you might want to check out the work of psychologist Thomas Joiner relating relating to suicide. I am just saying that hurting people is inevitable. It is a pill that every utopianist and optimist should have to swallow. Just by existing, you are indirectly causing others to starve and be out of work. You, living in a first world country, are also causing damage to the environment and causing workers in the third world to be exploited. And we also factor in the aforementioned social pain. Everyone who thinks that the worl
  6. Unwittingly, yes. But I still believe that I am correct in saying that it pleases the strong. It is our obsession with a culture of life and equality that has made the accommodation of the weak necessary. If we did not accommodate the weak, it would cause mental turmoil and so we would be unhappy because of it. Because we do not help the weak for their own sake but for ours, the weak still often meet a grim fate. Who hasn't thought to themselves "well, somebody has to be a janitor!"? And even now, we underestimate the low quality of life that the impoverished suffer from. For "social" a
  7. To be honest, I think that life is worth nothing even if you are educated. Knowledge, when it is pursued for its own sake, will almost always make you unhappy. We start out intellectually dead, as children. We believe that the world is basically good and that there are good things in store for us. As we grow older, we must admit that certain comforting stories are false, and this is as far as most people are willing to go. To the average person, life is a story that revolves around them: struggle and pain is meaningful, true love exists, there is such a thing as good and evil, good is bou
  8. Hah, don't flatter me! I will inflate like a balloon. It's hard for me to understand you, but are you talking about mediums and TV preachers who profit off of lies? If I am not misunderstanding this, you are saying that a belief in a personal God and the belief that a human is a white butterfly are similarly unbelievable. I think that there are a few important factors that distinguish the two: 1. Widespread belief in God is a social proof of the existence of God. If millions of people believe something silly, it is quite easy to do and requires no mental gymnastics as there
  9. I was reading Bertrand Russel's "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish" today. I love this part in particular: I like this "Sunday truth" phrase. It seems that you are right, Iggy. Christians do not trust their whole being to Yahweh. The power of God is a "Sunday truth" for most who profess to be Christians. They take antibiotics and provide for themselves, thanking God afterwards for some reason. By thanking God for their own actions, they are conveniently allowed to take any responsibility off of God. Even worse, most Christians refuse to follow the Great Commission by becoming
  10. I think that you would not be "you" if you got taken apart and reassembled somewhere else. Is there really any way to tell if we are the same conscious beings that we were a year ago? I guess that is for another topic. We can't imagine not existing because nonexistence isn't a real thing, it's not that it is a unknown to us. If the consciousness survives death, that is one thing. But the questions of the topic are regarding nonexistence and there can be no speculation about what "nonexistence" is. Nonexistence is defined to mean something specific, so we can very well comprehend it,
  11. I think that the only way to truly "override our programming" would be to implement a very complex authoritarian system that basically ensured that you would be happy from day one. Since most people would rather have "the choice to suffer" as Huxley puts it, then I don't think our society is going anywhere very fast. You mention purpose, but there is some reason to suspect that the desire to feel purpose is merely a response that we have to suffering (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-03/afps-prt030211.php). People are terrified by the idea of their lives not having purpose, and m
  12. 1. I think that very few people actually address the question of life's worth at all, to be honest. People who kill themselves or decide to find the best in life often do not do so for philosophical reasons. Many who kill themselves are unthinking and only concerned with ending painful self awareness, and many who are optimistic believe in the pseduo philosophy of glass half full thinking. I do not want to be down on optimists, but I do think that they should justify being optimistic. If they are optimistic in spite of the world, then I can better understand their position. It is the peo
  13. I think that there is a distinction between the kind of pessimism that is born from ignorance of the world or crushed idealism (the kind of teenage angst that older people sneer at contemptuously) and the kind of pessimism that is brought about by a sober analysis of human existence. As you said, I have experienced a lot of discouragement. I have been at such a low point that I greatly wished to be dead. I am sure that this must be obvious since cheery people generally don't come to the conclusion that life is bad. Some antinatalists believe that any suffering is unacceptable but I w
  14. I noticed that this has been going on for a very long time, so I guess I'll throw my opinion out there. It might be similar to something that has already been said, but I am not going to read seventy pages of comments. Go to the bottom for TL;DR. Religion does not break a person, it satisfies several needs they have without actually having to provide anything. God is the ultimate placebo. God is the most efficient lie ever told to the human race. Without God, people need true reasons to be satisfied, and in many cases they will never find them without just making up their own secular
  15. If the definition of omnipotence is "the ability to do anything" than it is just begging to be a paradox. Statements with absolutes are often unsound. If there is such a thing as an omnipotent being, it would be impossible for any entity to possess the ability to do "anything" because "anything" involves being more than omnipotent, which is illogical. For that matter, it is just impossible to be able to "do anything" period. I'm going to be the devil's advocate here (or God's advocate, ha ha). I do not think that omnipotence is usually thought of as "the ability to do anything." Does
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