What kind of god would you LIKE?
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18-11-2011, 06:36 PM
 
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 06:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  First let's agree not to eat each other.

...and how do you propose to do that, GirlyMan? Huh
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18-11-2011, 06:39 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 06:36 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(18-11-2011 06:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  First let's agree not to eat each other.

...and how do you propose to do that, GirlyMan? Huh

We point out that eating each other is not in our mutual best interests?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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18-11-2011, 06:49 PM
 
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 06:39 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  We point out that eating each other is not in our mutual best interests?

Philosophers, artists, writers, thinkers, science-fiction writers have been doing that for centuries.

We nod, we agree, we even tinker, but when the pain, hunger, hate and fear reaches a certain threshold, then the caveman-brain takes over: KILL!, PLUNDER!, RAPE!

History is the best teacher of human reality.
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18-11-2011, 09:10 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 06:49 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  We nod, we agree, we even tinker, but when the pain, hunger, hate and fear reaches a certain threshold, then the caveman-brain takes over: KILL!, PLUNDER!, RAPE!

And still, I can only imagine myself as the object and not the subject. One mind at a time. Baby steps.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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18-11-2011, 09:30 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 09:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(18-11-2011 06:49 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  We nod, we agree, we even tinker, but when the pain, hunger, hate and fear reaches a certain threshold, then the caveman-brain takes over: KILL!, PLUNDER!, RAPE!

And still, I can only imagine myself as the object and not the subject. One mind at a time. Baby steps.

Reminds me of the line from Marathon Man... is it safe? Big Grin

I was thinking I might wanna deprogram the I from I... that might be too much mad science. Wink

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18-11-2011, 10:04 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2011 10:25 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 09:30 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I was thinking I might wanna deprogram the I from I... that might be too much mad science. Wink
You are not the first to think of that. Wink

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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18-11-2011, 11:23 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 10:04 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(18-11-2011 09:30 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I was thinking I might wanna deprogram the I from I... that might be too much mad science. Wink
You are not the first to think of that. Wink

Are there survivors? I mean, always good to access extant research...

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19-11-2011, 01:55 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
I'm new here, and I gotta say, you people are all pretty amazing. I wish some religious folks would peek in on this post. It really shows the incredible depth, thought and mental energy you all put forth when thinking about life. And for some believer to think that atheists don't believe just so they can sin or not be held accountable for all their evil is just silly when you read some of the comments here. I can't imagine a Christian post going in so many directions, and so intelligently. But I could be wrong…

"Religion is the binky of a teen-age humanity."
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19-11-2011, 08:51 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Hey, GirlyMan.

Quote:Nah, I was just trying to tease you back into the fray.

Why I aughta...

Quote:I'm pretty sure we have evolved past the point of relying on evolution.

I just want to point out that evolution doesn't do anything, it only records change. Selection does all the work. And we'll never, ever, escape selection. Whether it's natural selection or engineered selection or cultural selection (and I'm not convinced that we need a new category for each, I think we can simply say selection) we will never be beyond its influence.

Hey, Zatamon.

Quote:Translating it into our reality: we, as a species, are so fucked up that our current reality will inevitably carry us, on a straight line, to self-destruction. Most probably during this century.

I agree that we are up to our tits in shit at the moment and that there’s a good chance it will come to a head this century, but I believe that it is Our culture, not our species, that is fucked up. The difference is significant. Our species will not likely change. Our culture can be altered. But that is an endeavour that we'll either succeed at or fail at. My hope is for success.

Quote:I tried to explain, in several threads, how biological evolution is going at a snail's pace, while our technology, with its related destructive power, has been shooting up exponentially. Sooner, rather than later, it will overwhelm our defenses because basic, fundamental human psychology (under the thin veneer of civilization) is no different from the caveman's, except now we have nuclear weapons and man-made climate change.

This is why the study of cultural evolution is so important. Memes and Genes co-exist, co-evolve and compete with one another. Technology, both in terms of the information and in terms of the "thingness" of technology, is a product of culture.

But the question, are humans flawed, is an important one. Salvationists believe so, which is why they perceive a need for salvation. I do not. I don't think that humans are flawed any more than sharks, ants, or mongooses are flawed. So I don't see fundamental human psychology as a problem, but as something to understand.

I will say this. We have almost nothing in common, culturally, with our Cro-Magnon ancestors. And thank God for that! Because that tells us that it's possible for human beings to live differently than we are right now (and have been for the last 5 000 years). That means we have a shot. Doesn't mean we'll pull it off, but we have a shot.

Quote:So, you see, I don't think that a god doing the same thing he has been doing will save us, neither could he protect us from destroying ourselves, regardless how benevolent and competent he was, without major redesign of his creation.

I believe we have a shot... but I'm not naive or romantic about it. We may have already lost the war. So yeah, if God stepped in and changed everything, it sure would be helpful. But we still have a shot without him.

Quote:Problem with that, GirlyMan, is that we have to use our caveman-brains (psychologically speaking) before we can move in any direction, and our caveman-brains tell us:

KILL! PLUNDER! RAPE!

I would argue, vigorously, that our cave man brains say no such thing. The Homo genus has been around for 2 million years, give or take, and it's only in the last 5 000 that we've had a serious and sustained negative impact on the biosphere; that we've been killing, plundering and raping as a way of life. But for the lion's share of 2 million years, we were as harmless as bats and snakes and fish. Even if you narrow it to Homo sapiens (maybe 100 000 years) or even Cro-Magnon (about 60 000), we have still spent, by far, most of our time as a species living in harmony with our environment.

So I say, yes, let's use our caveman, not brains, because they're exactly the same as ours, but caveman culture. Because it says KILL WHEN YOU NEED TO! TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED! AND RESPECT!

Quote:Once that very thin veneer of civilization is gone (under pressure of hunger, fear and hate), then there is no stopping human brutality.

That's just Hobbes talking.

Quote:Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes, "Leviathan"

Quote:Every war fought is an example. Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Middle and Far East -- almost an endless list of what humans are capable of when the pressure reaches boiling point.

Try to tell it to a god to fix this without removing predation from the design.

Predation, in my estimation, has nothing to do with war. How we, as a culture, approach and resolve competition does. How we as a culture approach competition is vastly different than how we as a species approach it.

Anyhoo, I could write a graduate thesis about the role of culture in all of this, so I'll cut it short right here. At any rate, everything I would say on the subject would just support a simple thesis: Man as a species is not flawed; however, Our culture hosts maladaptive memes and it is those memes that we should concern ourselves with.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-11-2011, 09:10 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Quote: Ghost:
Whether it's natural selection or engineered selection or cultural selection (and I'm not convinced that we need a new category for each, I think we can simply say selection)

Quote: .... but I believe that it is Our culture, not our species, that is fucked up. The difference is significant. Our species will not likely change. Our culture can be altered.

Huh? If it's all the same selection process, and if it's all based on acceptance of the reality of predation, pain and privation, how can culture be altered?

It seems to me that progress begins when we reject reality as we find it. When we strive to change the world and even our own nature. When we decide to escape the inescapable. On purpose, with an unrealistic, perhaps unattainable aim, in spite of the odds.
Self-improvement begins with a good hard look at the portrait in the attic.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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