Why you choose to not believe?
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29-10-2014, 05:46 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 05:43 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 05:36 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  The so what is that one is more probable then the other, and I don't think that its evolution. This is why probability as a way of reasoning is a double-edged sword

Your personal incredulity means fuck all. There is tons of evidence for evolution and none for magical space wizards thus making evolution infinitely more likely.

Which is more probable? whatever my man you created a strawman
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29-10-2014, 05:50 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 05:29 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 05:20 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Alrighty, let's have a bit of fun shall we?


We cannot prove that there is no life after death, nor can we prove that there is no god, but that is not our job. It is the proponents of such beliefs which have to answer the burden.
This burden has not been remotely met, as such the default is to remain sceptical of the existence of an afterlife until it is proven.

However, I would argue that we can discern the likelihood of one of the other, based on the balance of probabilities; which is more probable: a continuation of life post-mortem, for which there are no viable models or mechanisms known, or a total cessation of life upon the time of death?
I wager the latter is more probable; it fits all current evidence and does not require unevidenced assumptions.


Ones feels are totally irrelevant when it comes to reasoning.


No.
If you lack the ability to judge the probability of two opposing views, perhaps you should not be doing such thinking; leave it to the people who are capable of performing simple mental tasks.

Fact of the matter is: happiness is totally irrelevant to truth. I can't just decide that Huldufólk exist simply because I can't absolutely disprove them and it would make me happy.


I dare-say you have failed.

Failed what might I ask? Do you feel superior because you have somehow uncovered some agenda that I'm pushing?

Burden of proof has nothing to do with it, and I think the concept flew right over your head to be honest. I'm not saying => God exists, and if you think otherwise please show me.

Please my friend, if your intentions do be good, provide me a means to mathematically find this probability

When I said that you failed, I did not mean to say you had an agenda, I simply meant that you did not succeed in your stated goal of making the case that believing in the stipulated afterlife is rational.

I do think the burden of proof has its role in this; you asked in your thread title "Why you choose to not believe?"; it covers why I do not believe in an afterlife; the burden has not been met.
Admittedly that section was misplaced.

As for the probability; the Balance o' probability to which I referred is not typically actually associated with maths; it is a legal standard of evidence associated with civil proceedings, wherein those presiding must determine from available evidence which set of events is more likely.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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29-10-2014, 05:54 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 05:23 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 04:51 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  Are you saying that you chose to believe in a god and an afterlife because you wanted it to be true rather than because you thought it actually was?

So really you are admitting that you are deliberately fooling yourself?

No what I'm saying is that since I can't gain the insight to form a solid belief based on evidence I choose to believe in afterlife/god/unicorn. If I were to know better through evidence, and then choose to believe despite that evidence I would be deliberately fooling myself.

Switz, I read this multiple times and it just doesn't make rational sense to me. I arrive at the same conclusion Mathilda does, that you are deliberately fooling yourself.

As far as evidence is concerened there isn't any for the supernatural, none, zip, zilch.

So I could say exactly the same thing you just did "If I were to know better through evidence, and then choose to believe despite that evidence I would be deliberately fooling myself" if tomorrow conclusive, scientific evidence showed that something outside the natural universe exists and I ignored it.

You're thinking is bass ackward in my humble opinion.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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29-10-2014, 05:56 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
This would seem to come down to the idea that you want to enjoy a delusion.
You want to believe that aliens are disguised as humans, that the nazi's had a military base on the moon that is also made out of cheese. You enjoy the idea that Bigfoot takes a shower in your bathroom each night as a way to explain all the hair in the sink.

Your enjoyment of the idea of heaven & a god and the torture of people in hell is at the very least IMMORAL.
Walking around with a full on delusion is not something I prefer when compared to the wonder of REALITY.

Wake the fuck up and join the real world

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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29-10-2014, 05:57 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
"If you understand the obvious flaws, then I'm not sure how exactly you could take any religion seriously. That's part of the point. We didn't choose to stop believing. I believe in trees because I see them. I believe in wind because I see the physical ramifications of wind and storms. What I don't believe in is deities because I don't see them. Anything attributed to them can be explained or at least be seen by another point of view.

Seeing the world with its finite life-death cycle is opposition to unfounded beliefs in religions. We see many things born, live, and die. An afterlife does not click with what we've seen. However, other life going on after we die does. One day I'll be worm food. When an animal or plant dies, its constituent parts go on to feed other life. Does consciousness live on? Don't know 100%, but until we die, we won't know."

-I don't take any religion seriously. This isn't about pushing an agenda, its about testing my reasoning by fire


"Going by that thinking, why not believe in all religions? After all, one is just as likely as the other. But good luck trying to get them all to fit together."

No they are not.. I think you are putting me in a shoe-box in which I don't belong.

"What we want and wish for do not matter. I would like to know that tomorrow I will wake up, but I cannot say for certain. It doesn't matter that we would like another century or two to live on. Death is a necessary part of life. Otherwise, the world would have been overrun by humans long ago. You didn't exist a century ago, so why is the other side of not existing any different? The world was fine without me and you, and it will be fine again when we're long gone."

Being preferable wasn't used as a way to make it true/more true

"But how is trying to believe in something making anyone happy? I can't go back to being a Catholic or a Kabbalist. I can't become a Satanist. I can't become a Hindu. I can't become part of the Bahá'í Faith. Why? I can't just say, hey, a certain number of people believe, so why shouldn't I? I may as well believe in the probability of growing wings and becoming a superhero."

Those things can be attacked by evidence to the contrary.
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29-10-2014, 06:06 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 05:54 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Switz, I read this multiple times and it just doesn't make rational sense to me. I arrive at the same conclusion Mathilda does, that you are deliberately fooling yourself.

As far as evidence is concerened there isn't any for the supernatural, none, zip, zilch.

So I could say exactly the same thing you just did "If I were to know better through evidence, and then choose to believe despite that evidence I would be deliberately fooling myself" if tomorrow conclusive, scientific evidence showed that something outside the natural universe exists and I ignored it.

You're thinking is bass ackward in my humble opinion.


Okay then that's my fault.

I guess in a way it's my deliberate choice to believe in a scenario. I feel that its rational to do so because I don't feel like we can come up with a probability for/against, and by this choice of belief it makes me happier.

You think that I don't wrestle the logic in my head? the reason I brought it here to this forum is because I would get a strong attack on the reasoning from numerous intelligent individuals. I'm not trying to prove anything to you guys.. I'm trying to test myself
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29-10-2014, 06:08 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 06:06 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 05:54 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Switz, I read this multiple times and it just doesn't make rational sense to me. I arrive at the same conclusion Mathilda does, that you are deliberately fooling yourself.

As far as evidence is concerened there isn't any for the supernatural, none, zip, zilch.

So I could say exactly the same thing you just did "If I were to know better through evidence, and then choose to believe despite that evidence I would be deliberately fooling myself" if tomorrow conclusive, scientific evidence showed that something outside the natural universe exists and I ignored it.

You're thinking is bass ackward in my humble opinion.


Okay then that's my fault.

I guess in a way it's my deliberate choice to believe in a scenario. I feel that its rational to do so because I don't feel like we can come up with a probability for/against, and by this choice of belief it makes me happier.

You think that I don't wrestle the logic in my head? the reason I brought it here to this forum is because I would get a strong attack on the reasoning from numerous intelligent individuals. I'm not trying to prove anything to you guys.. I'm trying to test myself

Testing yourself always a good plan.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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29-10-2014, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2014 06:13 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
Saying that we "choose" to believe or not believe is not entirely accurate. Certain hypotheses become so at odds with our experience, senses, and conception of how the universe works that they become literally incredible (ie, impossible to grant credence to). For example, I challenge you to believe that your brain is hooked up to a bunch of electrodes, and that you are being fed comfortingly false sensory inputs to keep you in ignorance of the fact that a unicorn is currently goring you in several painful and undignified bodily locations. You might be able to wrap your mind around the concept, but you'd have a very hard time just CHOOSING to believe it. Your senses would rebel at being ignored in such a manner.

That said, we do have a degree of freedom. Much of this comes down to standards of evidence, and what our motivations are. For example, do we give special treatment to beliefs that are more likely to be comforting, or do we focus instead on beliefs that are more likely to be true? If we choose comfort over truth, that isn't really a search for truth any more. It's denial. It's also unreliable. Ask yourself which "authority" you're more likely to believe: One who picks conclusions based primarily on how attractive they are, or one who picks them based primarily on evidence. Rationality isn't a fixed set of behaviors. Rather, it is a logically coherent approach to advancing whatever preexisting priorities one has. Change those priorities, and you change what constitutes rational behavior. If you prioritize comfort over knowledge, then "In the absence of the ability to discern possibility/probability you should choose what makes you most happy" is a rational statement. If you prioritize knowledge over comfort, then the rational choice becomes refraining from judging one or the other true until more evidence (or, you know, ANY evidence) can be amassed.

Also, for the record, as you point out, it IS possible to believe in an afterlife without believing in a god. When you get past the happy-feely notions of gods embraced by lots of religions and get down into the ugly nitty-gritty of what the texts actually promise, I'd say that MOST afterlives with gods would be greatly improved by the removal of those gods. If we are prioritizing comfort or happiness over knowledge and truth, would your argument not lead us to "choose" to believe in an afterlife with no god?

Here's the logic path for someone who seeks to examine these things from a perspective of truth. Some sort of afterlife would either be entirely outside our experiential reference, or not. If not... if, for example, ghostly manifestations or dreams present us with some experience pointing to an afterlife... then these experiential references can be studied scientifically to determine their reliability. Whether it's a big, coherent falsehood or a big, coherent truth might be impossible to discern, but we would be able to identify a big, incoherent falsehood... which is what scientific study of things like ghosts and dreams and near-death-experiences point to.

So any experiential reference here would be unreliable, and we are best off proceeding as if we don't have any. But if we don't have any reference, we have no basis for saying such an afterlife exists. There is no measured, known phenomenon that extrapolates to the existence of any sort of afterlife. Furthermore, we have the plethora of proposed afterlifes, most of which cannot be simultaneously true and some of which are actually disprovable, to warn us that if we simply pick one to believe, we will probably be in error. And we would know that we are probably in error, and thus lose most of the placebo-esque comfort of the "choice".

Generalizing from other contexts, we know that believing in something because it is emotionally preferable, in face of a paucity of evidence that it's real, leads us into error quite often, and we can conclude that it is likely to do so here as well. We can review psychological studies showing that it is much harder to abandon an adopted belief that is later shown false, than it is to defer belief until conclusive evidence is arived at, and so the best method for arriving at truth is to defer judgement until evidence strongly favors one proposition over the others. And finally, we can realize that a firm grasp on reality, rather than comforting illusion, carries with it a multitude of actual benefits. For example, carefully examing all the ugly deadliness of a disease can lead to a cure to the disease, when denying the disease's existence would not. This leads one to adopt a general policy of pursuing truth and knowledge over comfort and happiness, when the two come into conflict. (EDIT-ADDITION: This is part of the degree of freedom that we have in what we believe. While we can't choose beliefs on a case-by-case basis, we CAN consciously or unconsciously develop habits in how we accept, deny, or defer propositions. Broadly speaking, a habit of denying or accepting belief only on the basis of good evidence, and deferring it otherwise, tends to lead to good results, and doing otherwise tends to lead to serious problems. As with most habits, it's difficult to modify this one on a case-by-case basis.)

So do I believe there's an afterlife? I do not. I am open to good evidence that one exists, including direct experience... though I'm in no particular hurry to find out. But in absense of any evidence for an afterlife, I have no reason to believe. My existence without believing in one is reasonably happy, thank you very much, and that happiness is not greatly diminished by the knowledge that I will likely eventually cease to be. Whatever the truth is on whether there's an afterlife, I will arrive at the reality of it eventually, no matter what my beliefs of the present are, and speculation in the present will not change that one iota. So why bother? I've got other things to focus on.
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29-10-2014, 06:08 PM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 05:56 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  This would seem to come down to the idea that you want to enjoy a delusion.
You want to believe that aliens are disguised as humans, that the nazi's had a military base on the moon that is also made out of cheese. You enjoy the idea that Bigfoot takes a shower in your bathroom each night as a way to explain all the hair in the sink.

Your enjoyment of the idea of heaven & a god and the torture of people in hell is at the very least IMMORAL.
Walking around with a full on delusion is not something I prefer when compared to the wonder of REALITY.

Wake the fuck up and join the real world

You make too many assumptions.. I don't think anyone goes to hell or heaven.
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29-10-2014, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2014 06:16 PM by Switz5678.)
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
My friends, I must step-away for a moment. My anxiety is getting bad

I don't believe in the bible(insert religious text)
I do believe in evolution

My argument could be also written as

You prefer heads
You flip a coin, but do/can not look at it
you prefer to entertain the idea that its heads

I'll be back to answer responses that didn't include strawmen or personal attacks.
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