Why do you desire truth?
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16-05-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(12-05-2017 07:57 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Calculus is not of any real personal consequence to a social worker. Should social workers decide not to accept calculus?

That’s the point right, regardless of whether or not the social worker understands calculus, it’s of no real consequence to her job. This might not be the case for an actuary, but the social worker would be just fine.

Quote:I don't think we will ever know in advance which facts, if any, are of no real consequence. It seems to me that it would be a real shame to never discover something valuable by accident ever again.

Sure we can, you and I seem to both be able to acknowledge that knowledge about calculus is of no real consequence to a social worker. And i’m sure plenty of us know many individuals who don’t accept the ToE, but are quite health conscious, being mindful of what they eat, and exercise routinely, pinnacles of good physical health.

Quote:I don't think reality is aimless, meaningless, or has no value. Life is valuable and meaningful to me. Like you, I have a variety of aims and goals. The quality of my experiences always remind me life is worth living. I hope yours do to.

And hence the reason I qualified it as “intrinsically” meaningless. You can ascribe whatever subjective value or aim, but that doesn’t change my contention. But the value and aim, is one you subjectively give to something here, and not something which the object itself possess. A point to remember when attempting to make absolute value statements about reality, and truth.

Quote:I don't agree. I think Theism is harmful and immoral. I believe that happiness and health, especially of the mind and emotions, is under a significant threat from Theism.

For who? It hasn’t been harmful, or immoral for me, or my community. I don’t doubt that perhaps it’s been harmful for others, that someones own personal experiences were negatively affected by their religious beliefs, or former religious beliefs, or by others who were religious. But this is not a universal, peoples lives are different, and the impact of religion on certain peoples lives can often be unique from other people. The experience with Christianity among the Chinese, quite different from that of a white male growing up in the bible belt. The impact more positive for some than negative.

Quote:I strongly disagree. I think you would have two major improvements in your life upon giving up your belief in God and religion. You would become more mentally and emotionally healthy, and more moral.

And that would be entirely false. There’s nothing about disbelief, that would make me more mentally healthy, or more moral. It might have made some other people you know improve in such a way, but we’re not all them.

Quote:If it turns out Atheists are right, you will have wasted priceless days of your one life engaged in meaningless and immoral rituals.

Not at all, I enjoyed these rituals, I enjoyed church, etc… If tomorrow I woke up a disbeliever, I wouldn’t feel that I wasted my life, because none of it was a waste. There wasn’t nothing I would have wished I traded that time for. It would be more like a relationship that ended because it’s ran it’s course, but not one that I’d regret for having.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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16-05-2017, 11:09 PM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(16-05-2017 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  That’s the point right, regardless of whether or not the social worker understands calculus, it’s of no real consequence to her job. This might not be the case for an actuary, but the social worker would be just fine.

No. My point was that calculus is legitimate, even though not every occupation requires calculus. I don't invent, design, manufacture, or even sell light bulbs. Why should I believe they run on electricity? As a student of philosophy, technically I would also be "just fine" deciding they run because of fairies. Having been under their light all my life, could we really say how light bulbs work is of no consequence? I don't think being "just fine" is enough justification.

This is an interesting type of societal dysfunction you are arguing for. It seems like a lot of trouble to go to. Wouldn't it be better if you learned how to emotionally manage facts instead of avoiding them? Isn't it a sham when you have to know the facts in order to ignore them?

(16-05-2017 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And hence the reason I qualified it as “intrinsically” meaningless. You can ascribe whatever subjective value or aim, but that doesn’t change my contention. But the value and aim, is one you subjectively give to something here, and not something which the object itself possess. A point to remember when attempting to make absolute value statements about reality, and truth.

I understand the distinction. I just think intrinsic meaning isn't important. I don't know why anyone would care. The core of your argument is that we shouldn't let facts get in the way of our health and happiness. Believing in intrinsic meaning is an interesting exception.

(16-05-2017 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  For who? It hasn’t been harmful, or immoral for me, or my community. I don’t doubt that perhaps it’s been harmful for others, that someones own personal experiences were negatively affected by their religious beliefs, or former religious beliefs, or by others who were religious. But this is not a universal, peoples lives are different, and the impact of religion on certain peoples lives can often be unique from other people. The experience with Christianity among the Chinese, quite different from that of a white male growing up in the bible belt. The impact more positive for some than negative.

I have observed that many central religious principles are immoral. Their harm is varied, as you mentioned. I don't just mean that I got my feelings hurt by a Christian once. I mean Christianity was manufactured with innately immoral parts.

The God character holds human rights in contempt, just to put it mildly. The central doctrine is the cosmic scapegoating of a human sacrifice, torturing him by pretending it's possible to throw all of humanity's responsibilities for humanity's actions on his shoulders. Having gifted us to tenderly with original sin, God puts on offer the "gift" or "good news" that we can either inflict our "deserved" punishment on Jesus, or suffer in hell forever.

Of course, you can live as a decent and kind person and believe that, but in my view, it will be in spite of those beliefs, and definitely not because of them.

(16-05-2017 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And that would be entirely false. There’s nothing about disbelief, that would make me more mentally healthy, or more moral. It might have made some other people you know improve in such a way, but we’re not all them.

I cannot disagree more strongly. Just to take the very smallest of examples, just knowing you are not under a constant surveillance would be a relief. I don't know you, so you may have convinced yourself the surveillance is benign, but even a benign surveillance is stressful. I have seen the stressful effects of God beliefs in too many people for you to convince me you happen to be some kind of outlier. I don't believe you.

(16-05-2017 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Not at all, I enjoyed these rituals, I enjoyed church, etc… If tomorrow I woke up a disbeliever, I wouldn’t feel that I wasted my life, because none of it was a waste. There wasn’t nothing I would have wished I traded that time for. It would be more like a relationship that ended because it’s ran it’s course, but not one that I’d regret for having.

I cannot imagine what it is like to enjoy a church, or a religious ritual. I find Christianity so incredibly dull and dreary. The singing alone is a torture. If you can find pleasure in all that, we are truly opposite in our experience.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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16-05-2017, 11:46 PM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(16-05-2017 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 07:57 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Calculus is not of any real personal consequence to a social worker. Should social workers decide not to accept calculus?

That’s the point right, regardless of whether or not the social worker understands calculus, it’s of no real consequence to her job. This might not be the case for an actuary, but the social worker would be just fine.

But it might be of consequence in life, and how do you know that calculus is not of use to a social worker anyway? Almost all disciplines of life are becoming more mathematical. Suppose a mathematician were to pick and choose what they believed about mathematics? The point of this thread has always been lost on me, I think you made it just to troll.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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16-05-2017, 11:46 PM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(09-05-2017 08:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Why do you desire truth?

Many atheists seem to draw a distinction between their own desire for truth, and the desires of theists. They’ll likely add a serious of qualifiers, such as scientific, evidence based, objective, etc….. But one answer that I always have trouble getting an honest response about, is this:

Being that we are all biological creatures, and all desires and their appeasement are biological in nature, what biological desire is appeased by your desire for truth? And if you grant the premise here, that desires are biological, as well as the satisfaction of them, then truth is a means to an end. If truth makes you feel secure, secure in your marriage, than it’s a sense of security that you desire, and truth in this particular instance is a means of acquiring that. If it’s because truth offers survival advantages, it’s survival you desire, and truth is a means for that, etc..

So how would you explain your desire for truth, in relationship to you being a biological creature, and in particular, in regards to how you might distinguish your desire for truth, from theists, and religious folks in general?

Why do you personally desire scientific truths, what is this biologically appeasing for you?
Truth = accurate data. Inaccurate data = you die.

Intelligence = better ability to acquire accurate data.

Science = most efficient use of intelligence yet developed.

Scientific data = greater probability of accurate data than theist/religious data.

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17-05-2017, 06:01 AM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(16-05-2017 11:09 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I cannot imagine what it is like to enjoy a church, or a religious ritual. I find Christianity so incredibly dull and dreary. The singing alone is a torture. If you can find pleasure in all that, we are truly opposite in our experience.

I was raised Catholic before Vatican II. I was a (virginal) altar boy that did the weddings, funerals, etc. I can still remember chunks of the Latin Mass, as well as some hymns in Latin. They're fond memories, as I loved the mystery of it all, as well as the choreographed performance I had to do. As ridiculous as I now see they are, they're still good memories, and I still go to Midnight Mass on Xmas eve when I get the chance.
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17-05-2017, 06:35 AM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(16-05-2017 11:46 PM)f stop Wrote:  Truth = accurate data. Inaccurate data = you die.

No, fitness, in particular behaviors and actions, conducive to fitness determines whether you live or die. If you have accurate data, but don't behave accordingly you die. If you have inaccurate data but behave accordingly you live. Inaccurate, or accurate data is only as good as it's ability to motivate the necessary behavior.

Accurate data does not equal fitness. The video BMG posted might help to clarify why that is.

In fact if acquiring accurate data equalled fitness, perhaps creatures like ourselves, who are best attuned to acquiring accurate data, wouldn't be one off, or so very rare in our planet's evolutionary history. In fact there's a good chance that it's creatures less able to accurately perceive reality, that will outlive us in the long run.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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17-05-2017, 06:44 PM (This post was last modified: 17-05-2017 06:48 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(16-05-2017 11:09 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I understand the distinction. I just think intrinsic meaning isn't important.

I think it’s an important thing to remember, that truth has no intrinsic value, when forming arguments in favor of truth. While at some level most people here would acknowledge that truth has no intrinsic value, but it does seem to me that many of their own arguments in favor of truth forget that.

Quote:No. My point was that calculus is legitimate, even though not every occupation requires calculus. I don't invent, design, manufacture, or even sell light bulbs. Why should I believe they run on electricity? As a student of philosophy, technically I would also be "just fine" deciding they run because of fairies. Having been under their light all my life, could we really say how light bulbs work is of no consequence? I don't think being "just fine" is enough justification.

I think we might be arguing two different points. I’m not arguing that knowledge of any particular truth, knowledge of calculus, is inconsequential to everyone, just that it can be inconsequential to someone/s. I’m also not arguing that in no way shape or form the individual for whom this knowledge is inconsequential, might possibly have benefited from someone who does understand calculus. Knowing the engineering behind how electricity and light bulbs work might be important for those designing light bulbs, but such knowledge is of less consequence for many of the beneficiaries, and consumers.

I enjoy a low car insurance premium, which was derived by a variety of actuarial calculations that involved calculus. Reaping the benefits of these calculations doesn’t require me have knowledge of how they were calculated, or of calculus.

Just like the millions of consumers of iPhones, don’t need to understand the engineering that went into developing their devices, to reap all the benefits of using their devices.

Quote:It seems like a lot of trouble to go to. Wouldn't it be better if you learned how to emotionally manage facts instead of avoiding them? Isn't it a sham when you have to know the facts in order to ignore them?

Why would it be better?

If emotional management is the aim. And we keep in mind that truth has no intrinsic value. The effect of true belief (x) can be negative, positive, or neutral, as well as the effect of false belief (y).

If the effect of true belief (x) in this scenario is neutral, or negative in regards to emotional stability, and the effect of false belief (y) is positive. False belief (y) would be the economic choice.

Let’s try an example here. Suppose a man is on his death bed and has a few days to live. He’s in good spirits given his circumstances, at peace with his approaching death. He felt he had a good life, good wife, friends, etc… all of which contributed to his good spirits

The man’s wife had cheated on him in the past, but he does not know it. He holds a false belief, that she’s always been faithful, and the true belief that she’s been unfaithful, would be emotionally devastating. In this scenario it’s rather easy to see why the false belief is better for emotional stability, than the true one.

In another scenario this might not be the case, let’s say for a young man who married in his mid 20s, and whose wife have has been cheating on him. Believing his wife is faithful contributes to his overall happiness and emotional stability at the time. And finding out his wife has been unfaithful may be devastating. But the risk of him finding out at some point is very likely. And the more time he puts into the relationship until he finds out, the greater the negative consequences. In this scenario finding out his wife has been unfaithful as early as possible might be the best option, over continuing to hold on to a false belief in her faithfulness.

Here’s the thing, once we concede that truth has no intrinsic value. The subjective values we attribute to it, is functional, in service to some subjective aim of ours, such as survival, emotional stability, etc…When you understand this we can start to apply a cost/benefit analysis to any true belief vs false belief that can contribute to this aim. We can consider factors like efficiency, risk of discovering the falsehood, the consequences of discovering the falsehood, whether it’s negative, or neutral, etc... Millions of children believe Santa and his reindeers bring them gifts during Christmas. Discovering that this wasn’t true later in life, for most of them is inconsequential, that millions of parents continue with this tradition.

In considerations of an economical analysis, in some scenarios true belief might be the preferable option, in others a false belief might be the preferable. And I think the tendency among many here is trying to manipulate the data to correspond to their preferred conclusion (true belief), rather then letting the data determine the conclusion (true or false belief).

Quote:I have observed that many central religious principles are immoral. Their harm is varied, as you mentioned. I don't just mean that I got my feelings hurt by a Christian once. I mean Christianity was manufactured with innately immoral parts.

There’s over 2 billions Christians spread out across pretty much every demographic group imaginable, with a wide variety of beliefs and principles, often in contrast to other groups. They also have a wide variety of interpretation of their religious writings.

And even when those beliefs might be superficially similar, the effect on any individual beliefs holding them can vary considerably.

(I had started to write more extensively about the religious criticism in your post, but it started getting too long, so I left most of what I had to say about it out. Perhaps I'll return to it later.)

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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17-05-2017, 07:19 PM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
(17-05-2017 06:35 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-05-2017 11:46 PM)f stop Wrote:  Truth = accurate data. Inaccurate data = you die.

No, fitness, in particular behaviors and actions, conducive to fitness determines whether you live or die. If you have accurate data, but don't behave accordingly you die. If you have inaccurate data but behave accordingly you live. Inaccurate, or accurate data is only as good as it's ability to motivate the necessary behavior.

Accurate data does not equal fitness. The video BMG posted might help to clarify why that is.

In fact if acquiring accurate data equalled fitness, perhaps creatures like ourselves, who are best attuned to acquiring accurate data, wouldn't be one off, or so very rare in our planet's evolutionary history. In fact there's a good chance that it's creatures less able to accurately perceive reality, that will outlive us in the long run.

LMAO.
The fittest person on Earth, without the accurate data that there is a shooter in the next room, who is about to fire, is a dead man.
The degree of fitness has no bearing on the outcome.

Got any other brilliant ideas ? Weeping

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-05-2017, 08:26 PM (This post was last modified: 17-05-2017 08:31 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why do you desire truth?
This thread is an astonishing read. It's quite an insight into how strongly the brain can fight to rationalize irrational ideas.

Remember that we're not just talking about survival anymore, when it comes to humans. And even if we were, we've come to the point (in many countries) where we have such a safety net for our societies that you can get away with believing a certain amount of total bullshit and acting in ways that would have endangered you, but you get looked after and so don't suffer so directly from it.

It seems clear to me that in any particular situation, without any specifics, having an accurate understanding of what is happening in that situation (and of the world in general) is going to put you in the best position, the vast majority of the time. This is based on my experience, watching the experiences of others, simple logic, and everything I've come to understand about the world. Whatever your goal is, you will generally achieve it better if your knowledge is more complete. It is often irresponsible to have incomplete knowledge in cases where such knowledge is readily available to you, as you leave others to mop up after you and keep you safe; or perhaps you even put others in danger. Being proud of ignorance, or even seeking out misinformation, is a bizarre mindset to me.

Of course one can always argue that you're better off just sitting in the corner and getting drunk because life is shit. (Religion is a step towards this, in my estimation.) Sure. But unless you have a plan to keep yourself alive in the meantime, you're relying on others to do it for you, and you're banking on people not taking advantage of your vulnerable situation. Taken to the extremes you can argue that you don't care because you want to die; but this makes the whole conversation about truth pointless.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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17-05-2017, 09:09 PM
RE: Why do you desire truth?
Edited for (sp)

Hey Tom,

So I bowed out of this conversation 'cus the goalposts seemed kinda shifty, but here's a video of Neil Degrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins, two highly intelligent and accredited individuals, discussing this exact thing. A large portion of the beginning of the video is them discussing the nature and value of logic and reason. I didn't know that was gonna be the subject matter of the video, but once I started listening I thought of this thread. Ended up getting some insights of my own though. Maybe you will too.




~ The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you ~
-Neil Degrasse Tyson
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