No Profit in Belief
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31-08-2015, 09:29 PM
No Profit in Belief
Suppose for a moment there really is a supernatural "god like" force that tampers with the universe in supernatural ways. Is there any profit in believing in it, particularly since it's real?

No. Believing in it, even if it's real, produces a net loss. That is, if your belief in it causes you at some point to ascribe causation to it.

The moment you ascribe causation to it, you've shut yourself out of acquiring useful knowledge of a phenomenon. Ascribing causation to this force, even if it's correct, bars dissection of mechanism, bars ascertainment of effect, and "knowing" "goddiddit" leaves you helpless to apply the knowledge usefully.

The most useful assumption is always to assume there is no supernatural force. Assuming there isn't one eliminates any possibility of halting an investigation too early. Assuming there is no supernatural force drives the production of useful answers, answers that define mechanism of action, answers that chart correlations of effects while the search for mechanism continues, answers that can be usefully applied to doing what we do best: making our lives better, and richer.

Even if wrong, incorrectly assuming there's no supernatural force when there is one, results in no net loss. The search for explanation always produces ancillary explanations to other questions, so that even if the answer sought is not yet attained, other questions are resolved.

But any assumption that a supernatural force IS an answer is NOT an answer, and whatever answer might be found is permanently left out of reach.

So some god might be out there, diddling with our molecules. But we can't assume that because to do so closes the book of discovery. And then we've lost.
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01-09-2015, 02:17 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
(31-08-2015 09:29 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Suppose for a moment there really is a supernatural "god like" force that tampers with the universe in supernatural ways. Is there any profit in believing in it, particularly since it's real?

No. Believing in it, even if it's real, produces a net loss. That is, if your belief in it causes you at some point to ascribe causation to it.

The moment you ascribe causation to it, you've shut yourself out of acquiring useful knowledge of a phenomenon. Ascribing causation to this force, even if it's correct, bars dissection of mechanism, bars ascertainment of effect, and "knowing" "goddiddit" leaves you helpless to apply the knowledge usefully.

The most useful assumption is always to assume there is no supernatural force. Assuming there isn't one eliminates any possibility of halting an investigation too early. Assuming there is no supernatural force drives the production of useful answers, answers that define mechanism of action, answers that chart correlations of effects while the search for mechanism continues, answers that can be usefully applied to doing what we do best: making our lives better, and richer.

Even if wrong, incorrectly assuming there's no supernatural force when there is one, results in no net loss. The search for explanation always produces ancillary explanations to other questions, so that even if the answer sought is not yet attained, other questions are resolved.

But any assumption that a supernatural force IS an answer is NOT an answer, and whatever answer might be found is permanently left out of reach.

So some god might be out there, diddling with our molecules. But we can't assume that because to do so closes the book of discovery. And then we've lost.

In a polytheistic setting, sure. To try and work out why anything happens you need a detailed accounting of the personal lives of the gods (ancient tabloid sheets).

In a monotheistic setting you might just be able to squeeze out a reason to look into it. It wouldn't be to search for a non-god explanation, but rather to understand what god does and how he does it, perhaps as understanding what god has set in motion.
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01-09-2015, 02:50 AM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2015 02:58 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: No Profit in Belief
I don't think Nick Bostroms simulation hypothesis is a good argument for reasons I outlined in another thread. That being said, I don't rule out that we are living in a simulation and I do think there is evidence to suggest we are living in a simulation. If this is true, I would consider the being running the simulation to be a God.

Now, all that being said, sometimes I ask myself this question, "If we are living in a simulation, how can I take advantage of that?"

You are not going to be hurt by looking for God and looking for ways to take advantage of God's existence provided you make it a hobby and not an obsession. While engaged in your hobby, you occupy yourself and who knows.....maybe by some long shot you come a to realization about the world that gives you an advantage.

I have other hobbies where I look for and find edges which benefit me that have nothing to do with God. I think I have discovered....really applied what others have discovered in a new way....things about the world which seem to be making me a fair amount of money. I won't talk about them though. Not until I have long term results and am I sure talking about them is in my best interest.
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01-09-2015, 06:37 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
I disagree with the thread title.

Religions are tax free - and profit mightily.

Atheists on the other hand are non prophet organizations.


Big Grin

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The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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01-09-2015, 06:39 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
(01-09-2015 06:37 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I disagree with the thread title.

Religions are tax free - and profit mightily.

Atheists on the other hand are non prophet organizations.


Big Grin

Profit from belief

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"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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01-09-2015, 06:41 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
Why isn't the pool cross shaped???

It'd be appropriate....

(It's hard to make one "charlatan shaped"..)

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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01-09-2015, 08:14 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
(01-09-2015 06:39 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(01-09-2015 06:37 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I disagree with the thread title.

Religions are tax free - and profit mightily.

Atheists on the other hand are non prophet organizations.


Big Grin

Profit from belief

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Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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01-09-2015, 08:23 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
(31-08-2015 09:29 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Suppose for a moment there really is a supernatural "god like" force that tampers with the universe in supernatural ways. Is there any profit in believing in it, particularly since it's real?

No. Believing in it, even if it's real, produces a net loss. That is, if your belief in it causes you at some point to ascribe causation to it.

The moment you ascribe causation to it, you've shut yourself out of acquiring useful knowledge of a phenomenon. Ascribing causation to this force, even if it's correct, bars dissection of mechanism, bars ascertainment of effect, and "knowing" "goddiddit" leaves you helpless to apply the knowledge usefully.

The most useful assumption is always to assume there is no supernatural force. Assuming there isn't one eliminates any possibility of halting an investigation too early. Assuming there is no supernatural force drives the production of useful answers, answers that define mechanism of action, answers that chart correlations of effects while the search for mechanism continues, answers that can be usefully applied to doing what we do best: making our lives better, and richer.

Even if wrong, incorrectly assuming there's no supernatural force when there is one, results in no net loss. The search for explanation always produces ancillary explanations to other questions, so that even if the answer sought is not yet attained, other questions are resolved.

But any assumption that a supernatural force IS an answer is NOT an answer, and whatever answer might be found is permanently left out of reach.

So some god might be out there, diddling with our molecules. But we can't assume that because to do so closes the book of discovery. And then we've lost.

Cold you imagine how pharmaceutical companies could operate if The Mystical Molecule Manipulator asserted by the troll Godexists actually existed?

Some protein-based pharmaceuticals wouldn't be able to be made because it requires god to mash the proteins together, like there's some ill-defined complexity barrier that's the purview of only god.

Hell, I guess even beer would be impossible to make, it requires complex chemistry and I don't think god would go along with mashing molecules together so we could imbibe alcohol. Laughat

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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01-09-2015, 10:32 AM
RE: No Profit in Belief
(01-09-2015 02:50 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  You are not going to be hurt by looking for God...

Not a prophet.

(01-09-2015 06:37 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Atheists on the other hand are non prophet organizations.

I object! There is no organization. Tongue

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01-09-2015, 04:26 PM
RE: No Profit in Belief
If we're talking about profit, there's always this which also has in it the formation of a new tax exempt religious organization.





The new organization? Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption. And they appear to be official.
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