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The Religion and Philosophy Thread

SystemSystem Administrator Posts: 100
edited December 2018 in Off-Topic

Welcome to the Religion and Philosophy Thread!

This thread is here for all discussions relating to religion, theology, philosophy, and metaphysical subjects. This thread is open to anyone who is interested in theology or philosophy and wants to contribute their thoughts and ideas about the metaphysical or the divine.

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JuliusBorisovThacoBellZaghoulGrammarsalad
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Comments

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,710
    To post, or not to post, that is the question. *raises imaginary wine glass*

    JLeesmeagolheart
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    Anything I posted, I would proudly say in real life. Even though a lot of it was from talking to friends that happen to be Jewish. Even though, as they themselves say, "Ask 4 Jews, get 5 opinions."

  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,864
    I can't help thinking that the previous discussion about how God (and his potential wife) is referred to in the Bible all depends on the question of faith.

    If you start from the presumption that any writings will reflect the cultural context of the times they were written in then your argument makes sense @LadyRhian. However, if you start from the presumption that the writings were divinely inspired, then there's no need to require any links with existing religions - apparent links can then just be random or the result of people making interpretations based on their own preconceptions rather than actual causal links. Similarly any apparent inconsistencies in texts can be explained by translation errors or the fallibility of the humans doing the writing.

    As I suggested previously when talking about faith, you can't demonstrate the existence of God using logic - and you can't disprove that either. Personally I don't have faith in God and do base my world view on logic, but not everyone does the same. I was just watching this evening "The man who knew infinity", about an untrained mathematical genius - he felt equations were only meaningful to the extent they reflected his god and that helped inspire him to do work which he probably couldn't have done using a more formal approach.

    mlnevese
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,682
    Grond0 said:


    If you start from the presumption that any writings will reflect the cultural context of the times they were written in then your argument makes sense @LadyRhian. However, if you start from the presumption that the writings were divinely inspired, then there's no need to require any links with existing religions - apparent links can then just be random or the result of people making interpretations based on their own preconceptions rather than actual causal links. Similarly any apparent inconsistencies in texts can be explained by translation errors or the fallibility of the humans doing the writing.

    That's much of the problem in a nutshell. Many of our beliefs, religious or otherwise, ultimately depend on our underlying assumptions, and the reality is that nothing can be absolutely confirmed beyond any doubt. It's okay to have assumptions, in the sense that a certain number of assumptions are unavoidable, but it's important to keep them in mind, and to remember that our judgments need to change when we see indications that our assumptions our flawed.

    That doesn't mean there's no point to these debates, of course. It's possible for assumptions to be true, and if they are, any conclusions that logically follow from those assumptions should also be true.

    ThacoBellJLeemlnevese
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    Grond0 said:

    I can't help thinking that the previous discussion about how God (and his potential wife) is referred to in the Bible all depends on the question of faith.

    If you start from the presumption that any writings will reflect the cultural context of the times they were written in then your argument makes sense @LadyRhian. However, if you start from the presumption that the writings were divinely inspired, then there's no need to require any links with existing religions - apparent links can then just be random or the result of people making interpretations based on their own preconceptions rather than actual causal links. Similarly any apparent inconsistencies in texts can be explained by translation errors or the fallibility of the humans doing the writing.

    As I suggested previously when talking about faith, you can't demonstrate the existence of God using logic - and you can't disprove that either. Personally I don't have faith in God and do base my world view on logic, but not everyone does the same. I was just watching this evening "The man who knew infinity", about an untrained mathematical genius - he felt equations were only meaningful to the extent they reflected his god and that helped inspire him to do work which he probably couldn't have done using a more formal approach.

    And what is "Divinely inspired"? It can't mean "Without mistake" since you've already discussed "Human mistake" and "translation errors"? Have you read the Bible in Hebrew? No? Then how can you say that Elohim (how God is referred to in Genesis 1) has no relation to El?

    https://www.lwf.org/discover-jesus/names-of-god?mwm_id=295209945839&gclid=CjwKCAiA9efgBRAYEiwAUT-jtGxmGnGPAYxcnA9nDa073J0zPUiXL0Ex9KACSnDIBR0PYi6v78Gw5BoC6MsQAvD_BwE

    And since El had a wife. Then, the God of the Bible had a wife. I know Christians don't believe it, but the evidence is there. :) If you think about it this way: El means "Power" Several of the names of God in the Bible, including "El Shaddai" call back to El. El, who as we know, had a Wife. I know Christians usually read the Bible in English. That doesn't mean that I am wrong, only that Christians don't accept it because they generally only read the Bible in English and don't know the words in Hebrew.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Why would you assume anything is divinely inspired? In order to be rational you must not begin with baseless assumptions.

  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    Discovering one's assumptions is a lifetime's work. Understanding how conditionings, identifications, and projections operate is a very beneficial process, but extremely difficult.

    Consciousness is so malleable and the mind is so slippery!

    It is so much easier to observe another's assumptions than one's own.

    Regarding the "divinely inspired" phrase, a Christian I debated with many years ago described the transmission of God's word in the bible as a miracle. It is therefore actually impossible to distort the message through all the translations, councils, etc. Despite sources that predate the bible and their similarities, he would not accept them as having any bearing on the matter and would find them entirely fictitious, or outright lies.

    Anyway, that is how I remember the conversation.

    mlneveseBelgarathMTH
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 895
    One use of the Divine is to provide a basis for other assumptions (e.g. Descartes starts with a proof of God's existence.) Hume argues that statements about truth - 'is' and statements about values -'ought'- are fundamentally different

    In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remark'd, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surpriz'd to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it shou'd be observ'd and explain'd; and at the same time that a reason should be given; for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it.


    If this kind of distinction is accepted then all kinds of statements about rights & morals can't be justified by notions of human dignity etc. either. Bentham was scornful of the whole idea of natural rights (as expressed in many constitutions)

    Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonscnse, -- nonsense upon stilts. But this rhetorical nonsense ends in the old strain of mischievous nonsense for immediately a list of these pretended natural rights is given, and those are so expressed as to present to view legal rights.


    What do we use as a basis for our social and ethical decisions then... common agreement about ethics? Conservatives have often expressed the fear that as religious faith declines social problems will increase. Regardless of whether there is any correlation or causition between the two, part of the present political instability in many countries seems to be connected to the political divisions which are slowly developing along various fault lines- generational, geographical (urban / rural), educational etc. Some of these shifts are long overdue, but it is noticeable that social norms seem to buckle when the value systems of competing groups contain fewer overlapping assumptions about acceptable ends as well as means.

    JLeeBalrog99
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,864
    LadyRhian said:

    Have you read the Bible in Hebrew? No? Then how can you say that Elohim (how God is referred to in Genesis 1) has no relation to El?

    https://www.lwf.org/discover-jesus/names-of-god?mwm_id=295209945839&gclid=CjwKCAiA9efgBRAYEiwAUT-jtGxmGnGPAYxcnA9nDa073J0zPUiXL0Ex9KACSnDIBR0PYi6v78Gw5BoC6MsQAvD_BwE

    And since El had a wife. Then, the God of the Bible had a wife. I know Christians don't believe it, but the evidence is there. :) If you think about it this way: El means "Power" Several of the names of God in the Bible, including "El Shaddai" call back to El. El, who as we know, had a Wife. I know Christians usually read the Bible in English. That doesn't mean that I am wrong, only that Christians don't accept it because they generally only read the Bible in English and don't know the words in Hebrew.

    Why would you assume anything is divinely inspired? In order to be rational you must not begin with baseless assumptions.

    I'm not saying that Elohim has no relation to El. As I said previously I do have a logical mind-set - and I agree that the logical answer to how the Bible is written is to place it in the cultural context of the time and place it was written. My point though is that, whether I personally think it's a good idea or not, logic and rationality is not the only way in which you can approach understanding the world around you.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Perhaps it isn't, but is there any advantage to using any other approach?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,864
    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    Balrog99
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.

    mlnevesesemiticgod
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648

    Perhaps it isn't, but is there any advantage to using any other approach?

    I would say absolutely yes, but I don't view it as an either/or situation. Existence is beyond logic and reason although they are part of it. Where logic and reason are appropriate, use them. But also see how they are a projection. Just like any point of view, they slant your interpretation of reality.

    Logic and reason are so internally consistent that I can completely understand approaching the world that way. For me it took a relatively awful event to expose the cracks in that approach. Logic and reason are tools, but are no substitute for experiencing reality as directly as possible.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,140
    edited December 2018

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...

    mlnevese
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,864
    The size of the stakes makes a difference. As an illustration of that consider the following examples:

    1) You consider whether to gamble $1 a week on a lottery over a 20 year period. Your stakes are roughly $1,000 in total and your expected return is, say, $400. Despite the expected loss there is an arguable logical case for making the gamble based on the possibility that a big win could transform your life, i.e. you actually attach a higher value to money in big chunks than small chunks. A lot of people do in fact take this kind of gamble, though the extent to which that's the result of logical thinking may of course be questionable.

    2) You consider whether to take a one-off gamble - let's say for instance to attempt to smuggle some high value drugs into a country. If you succeed you gain, say, 10 million dollars. If you fail you will go to prison for life. Many people do of course take this kind of gamble, but their willingness to do so is very dependent on the perceived chances of being caught (more so than the size of the prize on offer). If you know for instance that you will be caught 999 times out of 1,000 I think you will get few takers - even by those who don't value their lives highly.

    Balrog99mlnevese
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 895
    Well if movies and Terry Pratchett have taught me anything then I know that odds of 1,000,000 to 1 come up about 9 times out of 10. The tricky part is getting the odds to *exactly* one million to one ;).

    ArtonamlneveseGrond0
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    JLee said:

    Perhaps it isn't, but is there any advantage to using any other approach?

    I would say absolutely yes, but I don't view it as an either/or situation. Existence is beyond logic and reason although they are part of it. Where logic and reason are appropriate, use them. But also see how they are a projection. Just like any point of view, they slant your interpretation of reality.

    Logic and reason are so internally consistent that I can completely understand approaching the world that way. For me it took a relatively awful event to expose the cracks in that approach. Logic and reason are tools, but are no substitute for experiencing reality as directly as possible.
    Perhaps you could give an example.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited December 2018
    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,682
    It's also a question of the cost of the attempt. Having a small chance of getting a small success can be worth it if the cost of failure is also small enough.

    FinneousPJ
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648

    JLee said:

    Perhaps it isn't, but is there any advantage to using any other approach?

    I would say absolutely yes, but I don't view it as an either/or situation. Existence is beyond logic and reason although they are part of it. Where logic and reason are appropriate, use them. But also see how they are a projection. Just like any point of view, they slant your interpretation of reality.

    Logic and reason are so internally consistent that I can completely understand approaching the world that way. For me it took a relatively awful event to expose the cracks in that approach. Logic and reason are tools, but are no substitute for experiencing reality as directly as possible.
    Perhaps you could give an example.
    I hope I'm on the right track as to what you would like me to give an example of.

    Words and symbols are the tools of logic. The trick of language is that it is easy to confuse symbols for reality. This translation occurs with no effort on our part. The words become what they are pointing to.

    "Once you teach a child the word 'bird', they will never see a bird again."

    Have you read Sartre's Nausea? There is a scene when he is sitting in front of a tree and he is confronted with reality:

    All at once the veil is torn away, I have understood, I have seen.... The roots of the chestnut tree sank into the ground just beneath my bench. I couldn't remember it was a root anymore. Words had vanished and with them the meaning of things, the ways things are to be used, the feeble points of reference which men have traced on their surface. I was sitting, stooping over, head bowed, alone in front of this black, knotty lump, entirely raw, frightening me. Then I had this vision.

    It took my breath away. Never, up until these last few days, had I suspected the meaning of "existence." I was like the others, like the ones walking along the seashore, wearing their spring clothes. I said, like them, "The sea is green; that white speck up there is a seagull," but I didn't feel that it existed or that the seagull was an "existing seagull"; usually existence conceals itself. It is there, around us, in us, it is us, you can't say two words without mentioning it, but you can never touch it. When I believed I was thinking about it, I was thinking nothing, my head was empty, or there was just one word in my head, the word "being." Or else I was thinking — how can I put it? I was thinking of properties. I was telling myself that the sea belonged to the class of green objects, or that green was one of the qualities of the sea. Even when I looked at things, I was miles from dreaming that they existed: they looked like scenery to me. I picked them up in my hands, they served me as tools, I foresaw their resistance. But that all happened on the surface. If anyone had asked me what existence was, I would have answered in good faith, that it was nothing, simply an empty form added to things from the outside, without changing any thing in their nature. And then all at once, there it was, clear as day: existence had suddenly unveiled itself. It had lost harmless look of an abstract category: it was the dough out of which things were made, this root was kneaded into existence. Or rather the root, the park gates, the bench, the patches of grass, all that had vanished: the diversity of things, their individuality, were only an appearance, a veneer. This veneer had melted, leaving soft, monstrous lumps, in disorder — naked, with a frightful and obscene nakedness.


    Once this veneer is seen it is difficult to unsee. I find it interesting that Sartre has such a negative experience of this realization. I find it exhilarating and liberating. I do not mean to imply I am enlightened or anything, but simply had a similar realization.

    Consciousness is a mirror and words are dust. There is an expression, polishing the mirror. Huxley described it, "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."

    I sure hope I was on the right track with your request! lmk, and I will readdress.

    BelgarathMTHmlnevese
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited December 2018
    I asked what is the advantage to not using logic and rationality to approach the world. Unfortunately, I don't understand how that clarifies your position of "absolutely yes", @JLee . What is the advantage of not using logic and rationality and why is it an advantage?

  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    @FinneousPJ

    First off, logic is wholly appropriate for practical considerations and need not be discarded at all. You don't have to choose to be rational or irrational, just understand it. My point was that apart from those situations, logic can distort reality just as much as any belief.

    Another example is being vs thinking. You can either think or you can be. There are times when thinking is necessary, but existing without thoughts or words is so pure and simple.

    The advantage, plain and simple, of setting aside the logical thought process when it is not useful is freedom, clarity, love, bliss, and all those other words people use to describe the transcendent.

    BelgarathMTH
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    JLee said:

    @FinneousPJ

    First off, logic is wholly appropriate for practical considerations and need not be discarded at all. You don't have to choose to be rational or irrational, just understand it. My point was that apart from those situations, logic can distort reality just as much as any belief.

    Another example is being vs thinking. You can either think or you can be. There are times when thinking is necessary, but existing without thoughts or words is so pure and simple.

    The advantage, plain and simple, of setting aside the logical thought process when it is not useful is freedom, clarity, love, bliss, and all those other words people use to describe the transcendent.

    @JLee I see. But what if I were to tell you, I need not set aside logic or rationality to experience freedom, clarity, love, or bliss.

    JLeeBelgarathMTHmlnevese
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    @FinneousPJ Then consider yourself fortunate! My mind was such that these things were impossible within my logical framework.

    BelgarathMTHFinneousPJ
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,140

    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.
    It means exactly that! Purely rational ideas and risk-taking do not account for luck. Many inventions and innovations were due to luck. If mankind never takes chances, we'll stifle ourselves and settle for 'safe'. I'm actually very logical and rational but I'm certainly glad that not everybody is, nor would I want everybody else to be like me.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.
    It means exactly that! Purely rational ideas and risk-taking do not account for luck. Many inventions and innovations were due to luck. If mankind never takes chances, we'll stifle ourselves and settle for 'safe'. I'm actually very logical and rational but I'm certainly glad that not everybody is, nor would I want everybody else to be like me.
    As I said before, I never said people shouldn't take chances.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,140
    edited December 2018

    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.
    It means exactly that! Purely rational ideas and risk-taking do not account for luck. Many inventions and innovations were due to luck. If mankind never takes chances, we'll stifle ourselves and settle for 'safe'. I'm actually very logical and rational but I'm certainly glad that not everybody is, nor would I want everybody else to be like me.
    As I said before, I never said people shouldn't take chances.
    I gather from your general statements that you would remove one of the main reasons that people take chances, though, if you could. That reason specifically would be religion. People do stupid things due to religious beliefs, but some of those things have paid off in the long run. It can be a double-edged sword, to be sure, but I'd rather have religion around until that time in the distant future when all of humanity can be educated. It does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.
    It means exactly that! Purely rational ideas and risk-taking do not account for luck. Many inventions and innovations were due to luck. If mankind never takes chances, we'll stifle ourselves and settle for 'safe'. I'm actually very logical and rational but I'm certainly glad that not everybody is, nor would I want everybody else to be like me.
    As I said before, I never said people shouldn't take chances.
    I gather from your general statements that you would remove one of the main reasons that people take chances, though, if you could. That reason specifically would be religion. People do stupid things due to religious beliefs, but some of those things have paid off in the long run. It can be a double-edged sword, to be sure, but I'd rather have religion around until that time in the distant future when all of humanity can be educated. It does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses.
    Well, I wouldn't be against a religion which was based on demonstrable facts. People do stupid things in the name of religion, indeed, like fly planes into buildings, and bomb themselves and abortion clinics, and so on. Is there any benefit religion adds which cannot be achieved without? Is there any evidence "it does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses"? I think all the data I've seen suggests that as society becomes less religions, people on are better off on average.

    BelgarathMTHmlnevese
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,140

    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.
    It means exactly that! Purely rational ideas and risk-taking do not account for luck. Many inventions and innovations were due to luck. If mankind never takes chances, we'll stifle ourselves and settle for 'safe'. I'm actually very logical and rational but I'm certainly glad that not everybody is, nor would I want everybody else to be like me.
    As I said before, I never said people shouldn't take chances.
    I gather from your general statements that you would remove one of the main reasons that people take chances, though, if you could. That reason specifically would be religion. People do stupid things due to religious beliefs, but some of those things have paid off in the long run. It can be a double-edged sword, to be sure, but I'd rather have religion around until that time in the distant future when all of humanity can be educated. It does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses.
    Well, I wouldn't be against a religion which was based on demonstrable facts. People do stupid things in the name of religion, indeed, like fly planes into buildings, and bomb themselves and abortion clinics, and so on. Is there any benefit religion adds which cannot be achieved without? Is there any evidence "it does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses"? I think all the data I've seen suggests that as society becomes less religions, people on are better off on average.
    I would argue that is a result of education rather than a lack of religion. I don't think you're going to find an example of a country that has low education rates and low religiosity (is that a word?). I also would argue you'll find a few fruitcakes among atheists and even highly educated people so attributing a few horrific acts solely to religion is a bit simplistic.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Grond0 said:

    That's why I posted the comment about Ramanujan. I think it's almost certain that if he'd had a different upbringing he would have taken a different, and more rational, approach to his maths. It's possible that he would have still equalled or bettered his achievements (here's a quick summary from Wikipedia), but I'm much less certain about that.

    Being logical and rational can tend to limit your horizons. If you know that the chance of succeeding at something is almost nil, then the logical thing for an individual is to not try but instead put your efforts into something more achievable. However, if you take a wider view based on a species as a whole then something that is highly unlikely to benefit an individual becomes worthwhile for the potential wider benefits - that provides an evolutionary basis for the fact that decision making is not entirely rational.

    No, I don't agree with that at all. If the chance of succeeding is very low BUT the payoff is very high then it Makes sense.
    What if the payoff isn't obvious? Irrational people do irrational things, sometimes contributing greatly to humanity. If you've never read the Dune series of books (the Frank Herbert ones) I highly recommend them. Herbert has an interesting perspective on how religion, politics, education and commerce contribute to human society. It even delves into law vs. chaos and mysticism. Very entertaining too...
    Yes, what if it isn't? You mean, if you do something stupid and you get a lucky outcome? Then you got lucky, that doesn't mean doing stupid things is good. @Grond0 brought up the lottery. The fact that some people win an amazing amount of money does not mean it's a good investment.
    It means exactly that! Purely rational ideas and risk-taking do not account for luck. Many inventions and innovations were due to luck. If mankind never takes chances, we'll stifle ourselves and settle for 'safe'. I'm actually very logical and rational but I'm certainly glad that not everybody is, nor would I want everybody else to be like me.
    As I said before, I never said people shouldn't take chances.
    I gather from your general statements that you would remove one of the main reasons that people take chances, though, if you could. That reason specifically would be religion. People do stupid things due to religious beliefs, but some of those things have paid off in the long run. It can be a double-edged sword, to be sure, but I'd rather have religion around until that time in the distant future when all of humanity can be educated. It does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses.
    Well, I wouldn't be against a religion which was based on demonstrable facts. People do stupid things in the name of religion, indeed, like fly planes into buildings, and bomb themselves and abortion clinics, and so on. Is there any benefit religion adds which cannot be achieved without? Is there any evidence "it does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses"? I think all the data I've seen suggests that as society becomes less religions, people on are better off on average.
    I would argue that is a result of education rather than a lack of religion. I don't think you're going to find an example of a country that has low education rates and low religiosity (is that a word?). I also would argue you'll find a few fruitcakes among atheists and even highly educated people so attributing a few horrific acts solely to religion is a bit simplistic.
    You are correct both religiosity and education rate should accounted for. What's the basis for your argument that religion hasn't an effect, though? And again, is there any benefit religion adds which cannot be achieved without? Is there any evidence "it does serve as a check on some of humankinds' less savory impulses"?

    I didn't attribute horrific acts solely to religion, though.

    Balrog99
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