Question my beliefs.
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23-12-2013, 01:11 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 12:48 PM)Chas Wrote:  I will quibble with right and wrong being social constructs. I say not entirely.

I agree that most of the specifics are, but that there is a genetic basis for the feelings of right and wrong, and even some of the specifics.

Experiments have shown that the basic moral sense is pretty consistent among people across cultures and religions. This refers to what people actually say, not what their culture/religion say.

I will quibble with the quibble.

"consistent among people" ... i.e. a construct consistent with social entities.

The universe does not give a shit about our version of right or wrong.

There are whole threads here dedicated to the thinking behind subjective vs. objective morality.

Here's a summary:
Scale of Morality / Immorality:
v------------------------------------------0----------------------------------------v
absolute evil .............. -moral ....................+ moral .................. absolute good

Only two ways of knowing what are the absolutes:
1. Divine command
2. Hindsight

Therefore morality is subjective until we (sentient, social entities) decide (subjectively) upon the values of the scale (or landscape, if you go with Sam Harris' 'well-being').

The next TTA Skypecast (ask Dark Light for details) is going to be about Morality....
be there or be indifferent!

Back to the OP:

I get nihilism... no prob with that. Therefore...

1. The Values question:
What scale (landscape / axioms / values) do you personally use to determine what (right/wrong) course of action to take?

2. The Governance question:
What (risk assessment / harm avoidance) process do you use?

3. The Policy question:
What methods (if any) do you deploy to persuade others that they should follow the same system as you?


And once we get know each other better, we can dispense with this small-talk and probe deeper.... baby!

Unsure

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23-12-2013, 01:14 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 12:31 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  
(23-12-2013 12:23 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I agree that right and wrong are socially constructed (and vary from time period to time period, from culture to culture). Thumbsup

*pinches your cheek* Finally, I got to do it. Big Grin

Total social construct. Murder is bad, but if the government hires someone to clean up someone (brains on wall) it's okay.

Religious construct of right and wrong is considered under the same roof as social construct? Just yesterday the subject of the morality question of a brother sleeping with his biological sister and how people reacted to the question and their reasoning behind it at first usually was based upon religious indoctrination, and when you cut that out of the picture, the most common answer was "Because it's just wrong!".
Did you enjoy that pinch? Tongue

Incest is interesting because really there isn't anything "wrong" about it. It has been drilled into us our entire lives that it is wrong, disgusting, immoral. But honestly, if we were raised on an island with just our family members, and never "knew" that incest is "wrong". Then would we have anything holding us back from doing it? Animals practice incest all of the time.

Still we have a strong feeling that it is wrong because of (IMO) the heavy stigma placed on it. I believe I've heard that the main reason for incest being taboo has to do with genetic defects being much more common when inbreeding?

A side note, it's perfectly legal to marry your cousin in Japan Thumbsup.

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23-12-2013, 01:17 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 01:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(23-12-2013 12:48 PM)Chas Wrote:  I will quibble with right and wrong being social constructs. I say not entirely.

I agree that most of the specifics are, but that there is a genetic basis for the feelings of right and wrong, and even some of the specifics.

Experiments have shown that the basic moral sense is pretty consistent among people across cultures and religions. This refers to what people actually say, not what their culture/religion say.

I will quibble with the quibble.

"consistent among people" ... i.e. a construct consistent with social entities.

The universe does not give a shit about our version of right or wrong.

There are whole threads here dedicated to the thinking behind subjective vs. objective morality.

Here's a summary:
Scale of Morality / Immorality:
v------------------------------------------0----------------------------------------v
absolute evil .............. -moral ....................+ moral .................. absolute good

Only two ways of knowing what are the absolutes:
1. Divine command
2. Hindsight

Therefore morality is subjective until we (sentient, social entities) decide (subjectively) upon the values of the scale (or landscape, if you go with Sam Harris' 'well-being').

The next TTA Skypecast (ask Dark Light for details) is going to be about Morality....
be there or be indifferent!

Back to the OP:

I get nihilism... no prob with that. Therefore...

1. The Values question:
What scale (landscape / axioms / values) do you personally use to determine what (right/wrong) course of action to take?

2. The Governance question:
What (risk assessment / harm avoidance) process do you use?

3. The Policy question:
What methods (if any) do you deploy to persuade others that they should follow the same system as you?


And once we get know each other better, we can dispense with this small-talk and probe deeper.... baby!

Unsure

I think you misunderstood. It has nothing to do with value or a subjective/objective determination.

It's about the wiring. We are wired to feel and react to things with emotional pleasure or pain.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-12-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 01:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  I think you misunderstood. It has nothing to do with value or a subjective/objective determination.

It's about the wiring. We are wired to feel and react to things with emotional pleasure or pain.
I agree that "wiring" or "human nature" or maybe even "animal nature" play a huge role in the trends of right and wrong. I don't think most creatures are wired for physical cruelty for instance. That is, they won't cause harm for the sake of causing harm. They might do it for defense, territory preservation, or food.

But I could be wrong.

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23-12-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 01:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-12-2013 01:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I will quibble with the quibble.

"consistent among people" ... i.e. a construct consistent with social entities.

The universe does not give a shit about our version of right or wrong.

There are whole threads here dedicated to the thinking behind subjective vs. objective morality.

Here's a summary:
Scale of Morality / Immorality:
v------------------------------------------0----------------------------------------v
absolute evil .............. -moral ....................+ moral .................. absolute good

Only two ways of knowing what are the absolutes:
1. Divine command
2. Hindsight

Therefore morality is subjective until we (sentient, social entities) decide (subjectively) upon the values of the scale (or landscape, if you go with Sam Harris' 'well-being').

The next TTA Skypecast (ask Dark Light for details) is going to be about Morality....
be there or be indifferent!

Back to the OP:

I get nihilism... no prob with that. Therefore...

1. The Values question:
What scale (landscape / axioms / values) do you personally use to determine what (right/wrong) course of action to take?

2. The Governance question:
What (risk assessment / harm avoidance) process do you use?

3. The Policy question:
What methods (if any) do you deploy to persuade others that they should follow the same system as you?


And once we get know each other better, we can dispense with this small-talk and probe deeper.... baby!

Unsure

I think you misunderstood. It has nothing to do with value or a subjective/objective determination.

It's about the wiring. We are wired to feel and react to things with emotional pleasure or pain.

I understood.

It's for that reason that applying an fMRI based scale/landscape seems quite plausible.

Yet, this is still only relevant to some life on this planet i.e. we are selecting some metrics to form our version of objectivity.

Ask a cockroach or bacteria if they want to use the same points of reference.

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23-12-2013, 01:35 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 01:23 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(23-12-2013 01:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  I think you misunderstood. It has nothing to do with value or a subjective/objective determination.

It's about the wiring. We are wired to feel and react to things with emotional pleasure or pain.

I understood.

It's for that reason that applying an fMRI based scale/landscape seems quite plausible.

Yet, this is still only relevant to some life on this planet i.e. we are selecting some metrics to form our version of objectivity.

Ask a cockroach or bacteria if they want to use the same points of reference.

I think we're talking past each other. Dodgy

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-12-2013, 03:03 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 12:08 PM)bemore Wrote:  I am going to use this thread to explain some of my core beliefs and to attempt to explain why I think I have them. I welcome people to question my beliefs.

Nihlism.

I give myself the label as a "nihilist". Nihlism has many many different meanings however to sum mine up is I do not believe that there is a meaning to life. I think duality (right and wrong) are social constructs that cannot exist independently from us.

Why?

To keep a complicated answer as short as possible you have to think objectively and you have to look at the past, the present and the future. If you took somebody from 35 AD, 245 AD, 900 AD, 1200, 1800, 1900, and today and examined what is was that they believed about life and their very own existence their answers would be completely different. Now include yourself in that train of thought and future generations. The relatively short story of our existence is dwarfed by the universe "beginning" and getting on with its shit well before we arrived and will continue to carry on with its shit if we were here to witness it or not. I even think that as we evolve and break down our understanding of the universe more and more it will not lead any closer to an "answer"

The universe existed before "why?"


Good post. And I agree with your ideas. I, personally, do romanticize things so yes I **believe**[1] my life has meaning. Note --- I do not give this **rational** credit. It's just how I think and there's reasons I operate better that way. But everything you say makes a lot of sense. Thanks for making the thread. I'm hoping you get a lot of input.


[1] Belief in my opinion IS personal and does not/should not apply to anyone else.

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23-12-2013, 03:51 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 01:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  1. The Values question:
What scale (landscape / axioms / values) do you personally use to determine what (right/wrong) course of action to take?

The strongest moral I have ingrained in me is to "treat others how you yourself would wish to be treated" So I think most of my right/wrong is driven through empathy. I may act in accordance with circumstances that I see as apt in a right/wrong situation, however my Nihilism comes in afterwards, in summing up and resolving the situation. However I think the more summations I make this way may potentially affect the things that I see as "apt" in the future?

(23-12-2013 01:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  2. The Governance question:
What (risk assessment / harm avoidance) process do you use?

Not sure how to answer this, elaborate please.

(23-12-2013 01:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  3. The Policy question:
What methods (if any) do you deploy to persuade others that they should follow the same system as you?

I've never given this any thought until now but I would say that it is a personal held belief and that it does not need others.

(23-12-2013 01:11 PM)DLJ Wrote:  And once we get know each other better, we can dispense with this small-talk and probe deeper.... baby!

Laughat

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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23-12-2013, 04:38 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
I can not be a nihilist - there are too great known gaps in our knowledge to give nihilism any attention.
When we know the universe of dark matter, when we see the sky of unseen EM frequencies, and when we look with the knowledge of both at the human being, then we will have some idea what the life & universe are about. What we see now is just a 3D point model. We don't see the polygons and textures yet.

There definitely seems to be a meaning of life, only this meaning is developing. From what I saw in my historical studies, people were primordially caught in the meaning of short natural cycles - Sun, Moon, season, Earth... From this short cycle they were liberated by the invention of writing and history and came to see the world history as linear. The thinkers of East invented the idea of reincarnation, they caught the life again into cycles, albeit longer. Which is better than what Western thinkers did originally - the short history from Creation to Last judgement. However, with Enlightenment these views fused for a great deal - the thinkers saw history as developing, evolving in cycles towards a goal, this goal being God's kingdom of Christians, Utopia of philosophers, Socialism of marxists, Singularity of scientists... What we see in history is always evolution and broadening of ideas, all the previous can be seen as narrow and particular versions of the latter ones. I just want to say, if people are pulling philosophy out of their ass, there's inherently nothing wrong with that, it is a fundamental part of human condition and this is our broadening consciousness understanding the world.

I consider nihilism an exaggeration of the current brand of empiricism, unleashed by post-modernism of the contemporary general breakdown and expansion of society. Basically, it is philosophically bankrupt but very convincing for those who are not philosophers, who give up in their own ability to understand the basic properties of reality, yet still pass judgement on it.

Empirical science does not make our philosophy any simplier, because even though it weeds out some ideas about the universe, it sows many new ones. And I don't mean just the quantum mysticism crap. There are scientific theories about some genuine quantum effects going on in our neurology. There is the idea of holographic universe, also this idea of interconnected network panpsychism.

I mean, it doesn't really seem to me that science should by any means lead to nihilism. You guys look more like stuck in early 19th century Cartesian Newtonian thinking, where your secularized American Protestant anti-enlightenment distrust of human nature left you and locked the TARDIS door.

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23-12-2013, 05:08 PM
RE: Question my beliefs.
(23-12-2013 04:38 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I can not be a nihilist - there are too great known gaps in our knowledge to give nihilism any attention.
When we know the universe of dark matter, when we see the sky of unseen EM frequencies, and when we look with the knowledge of both at the human being, then we will have some idea what the life & universe are about. What we see now is just a 3D point model. We don't see the polygons and textures yet.

There definitely seems to be a meaning of life, only this meaning is developing. From what I saw in my historical studies, people were primordially caught in the meaning of short natural cycles - Sun, Moon, season, Earth... From this short cycle they were liberated by the invention of writing and history and came to see the world history as linear. The thinkers of East invented the idea of reincarnation, they caught the life again into cycles, albeit longer. Which is better than what Western thinkers did originally - the short history from Creation to Last judgement. However, with Enlightenment these views fused for a great deal - the thinkers saw history as developing, evolving in cycles towards a goal, this goal being God's kingdom of Christians, Utopia of philosophers, Socialism of marxists, Singularity of scientists... What we see in history is always evolution and broadening of ideas, all the previous can be seen as narrow and particular versions of the latter ones. I just want to say, if people are pulling philosophy out of their ass, there's inherently nothing wrong with that, it is a fundamental part of human condition and this is our broadening consciousness understanding the world.

I consider nihilism an exaggeration of the current brand of empiricism, unleashed by post-modernism of the contemporary general breakdown and expansion of society. Basically, it is philosophically bankrupt but very convincing for those who are not philosophers, who give up in their own ability to understand the basic properties of reality, yet still pass judgement on it.

Empirical science does not make our philosophy any simplier, because even though it weeds out some ideas about the universe, it sows many new ones. And I don't mean just the quantum mysticism crap. There are scientific theories about some genuine quantum effects going on in our neurology. There is the idea of holographic universe, also this idea of interconnected network panpsychism.

I mean, it doesn't really seem to me that science should by any means lead to nihilism. You guys look more like stuck in early 19th century Cartesian Newtonian thinking, where your secularized American Protestant anti-enlightenment distrust of human nature left you and locked the TARDIS door.

Your studies are a serious mistake - they are just making you less and less rational, less and less likely to find any evidence.

Why did you choose not to study actual science? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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