does it really matter?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
07-03-2013, 08:50 AM
RE: does it really matter?
(07-03-2013 06:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(06-03-2013 11:27 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  From a psychological standpoint, it is irrational thinking that ... has more power than religion and thus, is more dangerous to humanity.
Only if irrational thinkers make up the majority... and granted, I think they do. How would you go about changing this?
The OP makes a good point in saying "all that matters is how we treat each other". That's easier said than done, since it's nigh impossible to force adults to treat one another with kindness and empathy. In fact, the more force we apply, the more resistance we experience.

So how do we create rational thinking, kind adults? Well, how would you go about creating a fighting dog? Would you start with an adult dog or a puppy? Would you give the dog endless love and affection or would you tie it to a tree, starve it half the time and kick it? That's something of a rhetorical question, since I'm sure we all know how dog fighters treat their animals.

Well, humans are less developed as puppies than dogs are. Thus, we are far more susceptible to developing life long habits based on early training. So it only stands to reason that if we want rational thinking, kind adults, we should be rational and kind to children. Kids learn from how adults treat them, not from what adults tell them, so if you want your child to be able to negotiate fairly, then negotiate fairly with your child. If you want your child to respect the property of others, respect his property. If you want your child to think rationally, don't teach him conclusions, teach him to think. Actually, you don't have to teach children to think rationally, you just have to not teach them conclusions and they'll do the rest on their own.

Virtually all of use were taught as children that might makes right, because our parents demanded obedience from us even when their demands were unreasonable. What does that create in the adult? Unwavering respect for the rule of law... even when the rule of law is wrong. We were also taught to love and respect our parents regardless of whether or not they earn our respect. What does that create in the adult? My country, right or wrong... my team, win or lose... my god, exist or not. There's nothing rational about loving a country whose leaders throw us in jail for carrying a certain kind of vegetation in our pocket. There's nothing rational about loving a sports team simply because its in the same school, city or state that we're in. There's nothing rational about believing in an invisible man. And, there's nothing rational about loving and respecting two people simply because they fucked each other.

I have to earn your respect if I want to make you my friend or if I'm a salesman and I want you to buy my product. So why should my son owe me respect just because his mother gave in to my pleadings one night? He shouldn't and he doesn't. I work to keep his respect just like I work to keep his mother's respect. That's not to say that a parent, a sibling or some other family member doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt once in a while but on balance, we should all understand that our children are sovereign beings with wants, needs and desires of their own.

Luckily, parenting is much more benevolent today than it was just a few generations ago and then it was much better than a few generations before. And as we learn more and more about how the human brain functions, we will continue to produce kinder, more rational thinking adults.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes bbeljefe's post
07-03-2013, 10:48 AM
RE: does it really matter?
Depends on what kind of "god" it is.

Is it a god that will most certainly torture me for eternity because I say naughty words and fornicate with loose women? If so, as much as I think those are pety reasons for torturing someone, there comes a point when personal well-being trumps the desire to have such trivial freedoms. If this god exists, it's nice to say "I wouldn't worship him anyway", but if I think about it rationally: I'd rather be a bitch than burned alive forever.

Is it a god that allows eternal bliss to ALL of Mankind, regardless of what they've done? If so, I need to know how I can negotiate an alternate eternity for myself. Bliss is nice, but I have no desire to live forever - blissfully or not.

There's a reason why I endeavored to validate or invalidate my beliefs when I started down the path which eventually lead me to Atheism. It matters what's true; which is something that is said often, but it also matters what's not true. If the god of Christianity or Islam do not exist, then yes, it certainly does matter, because people are being killed for Allah and children are being traumatized for Yahweh. If the cunt god of Christianity realy would send us to Hell for making mistakes, then it matters whether or not He exists, because we would need to protect ourselves and our children from his sadistic wrath.

Fortunately, in my studies, I have concluded with full confidence that neither such god exists. I now live freely and without fear. So yeah, I'd say it matters.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-03-2013, 07:23 AM
RE: does it really matter?
(06-03-2013 06:06 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  does god exist? yes? no? i dont know and i really dont care. im pretty sure a theistic god doesnt exist. those ancient books are humans first attempt to explain shit and an attempt(one that is largely successful) to control others. a deistic god i can understand although i reject that idea as well. im sure anyone who is rational knows that explaining things with god doesnt explain anything. so god is pointless in science.
the thing for me is that if god is real and he really loves us then he would not care if we believe in him. wouldnt he be concerned only with how we treat each other. i find that athiests in general are good people and i find that alot of religious people are just assholes. if there is a heaven then id bet its full of atheists.that and other reasonably good people. and hell is full of religious people who justified horrible things in the name of their god. that and other shitty people. if god is real and none of what ive said is true than fuck him. he is an asshole and i dont want anything to do with him.
does god exist? it doesnt matter. all that matters is how we treat each other.
Again, it depends which god you're talking about. Assuming you mean the typical Christian god nowadays, let me just point out that if he did care whether or not we believed in him, then he's pretty much intentionally damning a lot of people to hell for refusing to give us any evidence of him. Doesn't sound like a very merciful god to me.

Science, logic and how they destroy religious arguments @ http://scepticalprophet.wordpress.com/

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
- Isaac Asimov.
Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-03-2013, 10:32 PM
RE: does it really matter?
(07-03-2013 08:50 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Luckily, parenting is much more benevolent today than it was just a few generations ago and then it was much better than a few generations before. And as we learn more and more about how the human brain functions, we will continue to produce kinder, more rational thinking adults.
Maybe you're right, but there are a few problems with this. For one thing, kids don't necessarily follow a parents' example. Both of my parents are Christians. I'm not. Let me give you an anecdote...

There was a father that was raising two sons on his own. The father spent all of his paycheck at the bar every week, chased every skirt within grabbing distance, and repeatedly beat his sons. The sons grew up. One of them became a doctor, never touched alcohol, got married and never cheated on his wife, and treated his children with respect. The other son grew up to be just like his dad. When asked why they chose their life paths, they ironically gave the same answer: "With a father like mind, what did you expect?"

My point is just that being an example is a learning experience, but it can teach a child to imitate you as likely as it can teach them to rebel against you.

I have a daughter, and I will certainly teach her to be rational. I agree with Dawkins when he stated in The God Delusion that children ought to be taught to think independently and willing to disagree with even their parents. I don't get angry at my daughter or force my hand when she disagrees with me, because I know that she can be right and I can be wrong, and that's typically the case if I can't defend myself rationally. But this means that she has the freedom to take my lessons with a grain of salt. As much as I'd love for her to follow in my footsteps, it would be hypocritical of me to force that on her when that's something I detested (and still resent) from my Christian parents.

I asked how to spread rational thought because I'm genuinely baffled about how this works. I don't even understand why I accepted the lessons I got on cognitive dissonance rather than rationalize with "I'm sure that's true about most people, but I'm the exception" that is the standard response of test subjects in cognitive dissonance studies after they find out why they made the choices that they made. In all fairness and probability, I should have responded just like they did. Why didn't I? Why don't you? What makes us different?

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-03-2013, 10:02 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2013 10:08 AM by bbeljefe.)
RE: does it really matter?
(08-03-2013 10:32 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Maybe you're right, but there are a few problems with this. For one thing, kids don't necessarily follow a parents' example. Both of my parents are Christians. I'm not. Let me give you an anecdote...
Right, we're the exception to the rule when the rule is superstitious, violent parenting. And, there will be exceptions to the rule when the rule is rational, peaceful parenting. Thus, rational people are three or four percent of the population today and in 150 years irrational people will be three or four percent of the population.

Our personalities are formed by the time we're seven years old. That's been accepted as fact for a lot longer than we've been studying psychology. To wit: "Give me the boy until he is seven and I'll give you the man", as the Jesuit priests used to say. And science is steadily learning more and more about how early we actually start developing our personality traits. Of course, life experiences don't stop informing our adult selves at seven. We continue to learn and develop all the way up to about age twenty five, which is when the human brain stops developing. Obviously, since there are quite literally billions of personal interactions, stressful events and other ingredients in the making of the human personality, it's impossible to know just exactly how any one person will turn out. But that doesn't mean we can't make some accurate predictions and it certainly doesn't mean that the science doesn't exist.

A few examples:

Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer, was said to have had a pretty normal childhood. The reality is that his mother was quite disturbed. So much so that she never touched him other than to change his diapers, wash him, etc. He received almost zero affection and human touch as a baby. Later in life, about the only thing his father ever taught him to do was clean fish and butcher animals. And at one point in his childhood, his mother just up and left. She packed her things one night and he woke up the next morning to her absence, with no way to contact her and no reason for why she left. The result was an adult with reactive attachment disorder. In his mind, the only way he could gain human contact was through force and the only intimacy he'd ever had with a parental role model was in the dissection of a body.

Adolf Hitler's father used to beat him almost to the point of coma, multiple times a day. His father was in a perpetual rage over the fact the he was the bastard child of a Jewish businessman whom he'd never known. At that time in Austria, Jews were already despised and normal parenting practices were such that, by today's standards, not one Austrian or German parent would get by without being sent to prison for severe child abuse. Is it any surprise that Hitler's lifelong passion was to eliminate the very people who, in his mind, caused his father to hate him?

Those are extreme examples but they illustrate quite well how children become the adults they are. Much more subtle affects of stressed infanthoods and early traumas are addictions such as smoking, drug use, workaholism, bipolar disorder, ADHD, sociopathy, nail biting, procrastination & superstition and all and be traced to early childhood traumas. By trauma, I don't mean only serious physical violence verbal abuse.


"Why didn't I? Why don't you? What makes us different?"

I have no idea about you. As for me, my mother was highly stressed during pregnancy and throughout my early years. Partly because my parents lost their first child and partly because she was suffering from a dysfunctional childhood and unprocessed memories of sexual molestation. That said, she was incredibly affectionate toward me, as was my father. But, for all their love and good intentions, they were horribly strict with me. They weren't violent with their discipline but they were rigid and I was never allowed to argue my case. When I was about six I was molested by a baby sitter and after that point, I pretty much became an introvert. I was scared to share my feelings for fear I wouldn't be understood and for fear that it would be my fault and thus, I'd be punished. As an adult, I'm very empathetic and non violent thanks to the love and non violent parenting my parents practiced. But, I'm incredibly defiant in the face of arbitrary rules/authority. I'll take the blame for any wrong I do but I will fight to the bitter end over being wrongly accused or over irrational dictates. Of course, I suffered for years as an adult because I didn't know why I was the way I was. When I finally figured out that I wasn't a bad person simply because I didn't agree with everyone else on the planet, I was able to start learning more. That lead me down the path of self knowledge and today I'm perfectly happy with who I am, even though I do still have problems with anxiety and nicotine addiction. I was even an alcoholic for a long time but fortunately, I was never violent and never dangerous.... owing, most likely, to my empathetic nature.

I could write you a book about why I'm different but I think you get the point. But one last thing about why people won't admit their problems when those problems are described to them. For one... cognitive dissonance is a seriously powerful psychological defense mechanism that can't simply be erased by telling people they have it. You have to understand that when you tell people their parents did them harm, you're basically shaking the very foundations upon which their world view is built. It's a vicious circle really, given that most people are taught to hate those who harm others, because to admit your parents erred is to hate them. To admit that homosexuality isn't a sin is to admit that your parents lied to you. Same for god. Same for immigrants. Same for any other irrational belief you point out to a person.

I see it almost every time I mention anarchism or peaceful parenting. It causes people to react in such a vitriolic way that you'd think I told them they should kill their parents. And once you've invoked that reaction in a person, reason and logic go out the window. Well, not really. Reason and logic never make a showing in the development of irrational beliefs. Indoctrination is the rule of the day when teaching irrational conclusions, which is why I'm so vehemently against it in all its forms.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-03-2013, 10:14 PM
RE: does it really matter?
(09-03-2013 10:02 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Right, we're the exception to the rule when the rule is superstitious, violent parenting.

There's no doubt that parenting matters and has a psychological effect. I'm glad that you cited examples, but it's still not convincing enough because of those unexplained exceptions. I told the story about the father whose sons turned out completely different, and though it's only an anecdote I've seen real-life examples. I have a little brother who is a Christian. He's completely irrational and I can't even discuss matters with him because of how unfairly he argues. He thinks nothing of name-calling or mud-slinging, which is something I can't even imagine doing. When I make arguments that he can't debate against, he skips over them and changes topic like those questions never mattered. He and I are very dis-similar. And so are a lot of siblings, raised in the same environment and with the same parents. Because my little brother and I are only 1.5 years apart in age, there's almost literally nothing different in the way that we were raised.

I have my daughter at my house this weekend, and I'm constantly reminded of what an influence I am on her life. But she still surprises me, and despite being 6 I think her personality still isn't very "set". But I don't suppose there's any way to know for certain until many years from now.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-03-2013, 10:21 PM
RE: does it really matter?
(06-03-2013 06:06 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  does god exist? yes? no? i dont know and i really dont care. im pretty sure a theistic god doesnt exist. those ancient books are humans first attempt to explain shit and an attempt(one that is largely successful) to control others. a deistic god i can understand although i reject that idea as well. im sure anyone who is rational knows that explaining things with god doesnt explain anything. so god is pointless in science.
the thing for me is that if god is real and he really loves us then he would not care if we believe in him. wouldnt he be concerned only with how we treat each other. i find that athiests in general are good people and i find that alot of religious people are just assholes. if there is a heaven then id bet its full of atheists.that and other reasonably good people. and hell is full of religious people who justified horrible things in the name of their god. that and other shitty people. if god is real and none of what ive said is true than fuck him. he is an asshole and i dont want anything to do with him.
does god exist? it doesnt matter. all that matters is how we treat each other.

Learn correct Capitalization and Punctuation, and then maybe
I will take you seriously.
Seriously, I only want to answer questions for those who are able to understand the answers. And...I 'm not so sure about you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-03-2013, 10:33 PM
RE: does it really matter?
(09-03-2013 10:21 PM)Julius Wrote:  Learn correct Capitalization and Punctuation, and then maybe
I will take you seriously.
Seriously, I only want to answer questions for those who are able to understand the answers. And...I 'm not so sure about you.

A fellow grammar nazi? Excellent. Let's haul him away to the punctuation camps.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-03-2013, 10:41 PM
RE: does it really matter?
(09-03-2013 10:33 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 10:21 PM)Julius Wrote:  Learn correct Capitalization and Punctuation, and then maybe
I will take you seriously.
Seriously, I only want to answer questions for those who are able to understand the answers. And...I 'm not so sure about you.

A fellow grammar nazi? Excellent. Let's haul him away to the punctuation camps.
Better yet, let's ignore him. If he can't prove via his question that he's no more than a half-assed 7th grader, then why even try to answer?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-03-2013, 10:59 PM
RE: does it really matter?
(09-03-2013 10:14 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 10:02 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Right, we're the exception to the rule when the rule is superstitious, violent parenting.

There's no doubt that parenting matters and has a psychological effect. I'm glad that you cited examples, but it's still not convincing enough because of those unexplained exceptions. I told the story about the father whose sons turned out completely different, and though it's only an anecdote I've seen real-life examples. I have a little brother who is a Christian. He's completely irrational and I can't even discuss matters with him because of how unfairly he argues. He thinks nothing of name-calling or mud-slinging, which is something I can't even imagine doing. When I make arguments that he can't debate against, he skips over them and changes topic like those questions never mattered. He and I are very dis-similar. And so are a lot of siblings, raised in the same environment and with the same parents. Because my little brother and I are only 1.5 years apart in age, there's almost literally nothing different in the way that we were raised.

I have my daughter at my house this weekend, and I'm constantly reminded of what an influence I am on her life. But she still surprises me, and despite being 6 I think her personality still isn't very "set". But I don't suppose there's any way to know for certain until many years from now.
Everything we experience affects our psychological health, not just parents. But I understand what you're saying, as there do seem to be a lot of unanswered questions. But I'm sure you'd agree that just because one two different people think they saw a ghost.... that doesn't prove the supernatural. Why? Because there is an explanation, even if we haven't figured it out yet. As exceptions go, I have another example to share with you. My father has a younger brother who is just about as different than him as you and your brother... if not a lot more so. My dad is a non violent man who doesn't yell and scream and who treats people with respect almost all the time. His brother is a brutal, sadistic son of a bitch who beat his kids and his first wife (maybe the later one's as well) often. He's the kind of man who will reduce a waitress to tears because his steak was delivered rare rather than medium rare. Not long after I read that in utero and early infant stress was a major determining factor in empathy, I set out to test that claim. Through separate conversations with both my mother and father, I found out as much as possible about the two men's early environments. As it turns out, Dad was born when his mother was first married and she was able to stay home and tend to him as an infant. Since it was early in her marriage, I can only assume that the honeymoon phase was still, at least to some degree, going on. However, by the time Dad was about a year old, she was pregnant again and his father had become violent with his mother. During her pregnancy with his brother, she set off looking for a job and making plans to leave this violent man. As you can imagine, a pregnant woman looking for work so she could leave her husband wasn't a common thing circa 1948 and to be sure it wasn't looked upon with high regard. So I think it's safe to say that my grandmother was under considerable stress while pregnant with my uncle. Once he was born, she was at a new job and had left her husband, so my uncle was left with a sitter five days a week which isn't a good thing for the infant mother bond. After my uncle was born, you'd think it would be safe to assume that their environments were identical. However, because one sibling demonstrated calmer behavior and higher intelligence, that's not the case. People treat kids differently just like they treat adults differently... so even though they lived in the same house, they weren't treated the same by their parents or anyone else who frequented their company. The results are two remarkably different men from the same mother and father, who were raised in the same house(s).

I've also read of another such instance where one sibling was sent to a very caring and empathetic nanny for the first four or five months of his life while the brother had been raised full time by their dysfunctional mother. The results are quite similar.

As for more convincing, I would recommend you read as much as you can about childhood development. After all, there isn't anything else you'll do in your life that's as important as creating another human being. Your daughter didn't choose you so it's your responsibility to make sure that what you do to foster her development is beneficial to her.

Also, ages five to eight are called the formative years because that's exactly what's happening in their little heads. Her personality is pretty much formed at age six.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: