[split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
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04-01-2014, 09:06 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(04-01-2014 08:31 PM)maklelan Wrote:  
(04-01-2014 08:25 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Ok. Would you agree that our cognitive predisposition to assume agency plays a significant role in the conception and evolution of religion.

Let me refraze that.

Without mentioned predispositions , how likely is that we wouldn't have religion?

Well, those predisposition evolved from our experience in our environment, so what would be different about our environment?

Nothing about the the environment needs to be different. Rather our experience (or our understanding ) of it it.

It is evident that our experience and understanding of our environment is changing. We know and understand more and more, there is less and less room for said predispositions to come in effect. Will that lead to the change in our brains to the point when they are no longer hardwired to assume agency?

Will that be the end of religion?

Is it possible that humans with brains not hardwired to assume agency are slightly more evolved than the ones whose brains still are?

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04-01-2014, 09:20 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2014 09:26 PM by maklelan.)
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Nothing about the the environment needs to be different. Rather our experience (or our understanding ) of it it.

As long as there are threats of harm coming from the environment, things like the presupposition of an agent with a mind associated with the things that go bump in the night and sound like footsteps in the brush will be necessary for survival.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  It is evident that our experience and understanding of our environment is changing. We know and understand more and more, there is less and less room for those predispositions to come in effect.

And yet, they are still very much there. The difference between reflective and intuitive beliefs is relevant to how much our education influences our mind's reaction to stimuli.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Will that lead to the change in those predispositions to the point when our brains are not hardwired to assume agency?

Not as long as there is the risk of danger from anywhere in the environment. When you hear a bump at night in your house, your first thought is to an agent, no matter how fleeting. Until we never have to worry about something surprising us, that will be the case. Our anthropomorphic bias is related, and that's also a function of our humanity that's not going to go anywhere.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Will that be the end of religion?

Don't know. Don't think that will ever go away.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Is it possible that humans with brains not hardwired to assume agency are slightly more evolved than the ones whose brains still are?

That's a bit reductive a view of the situation, but no, I would say that would be devolution, since it actually reduces our ability to respond to potential threats.

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04-01-2014, 09:29 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(04-01-2014 09:20 PM)maklelan Wrote:  
(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Nothing about the the environment needs to be different. Rather our experience (or our understanding ) of it it.

As long as there are threats of harm coming from the environment, things like the presupposition of an agent with a mind associated with the things that go bump in the night and sound like footsteps in the brush will be necessary to survival.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  It is evident that our experience and understanding of our environment is changing. We know and understand more and more, there is less and less room for those predispositions to come in effect.

And yet, they are still very much there. The difference between reflective and intuitive beliefs is relevant to how much our education influences our mind's reaction to stimuli.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Will that lead to the change in those predispositions to the point when our brains are not hardwired to assume agency?

Not as long as there is the risk of danger from anywhere in the environment. When you hear a bump at night in your house, your first thought is to an agent, no matter how fleeting. Until we never have to worry about something surprising us, that will be the case. Our anthropomorphic bias is related, and that's also a function of our humanity that's not going to go anywhere.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Will that be the end of religion?

Don't know. Don't think that will ever go away.

(04-01-2014 09:06 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Is it possible that humans with brains not hardwired to assume agency are slightly more evolved than the ones whose brains still are?

That's a bit reductive a view of the situation, but no, I would say that would be devolution, since it actually reduces our ability to respond to potential threats.

I dunno I think the religion programming has outlived its usefulness for most of the human species. I mean most of us go through life without really needing the fight or flight response. Very few people still live a hunter gatherer lifestyle on the african savannah these days. Plus in the current situation being overly credulous is a net negative rather than a positive trait.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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04-01-2014, 09:38 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(04-01-2014 09:29 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  I dunno I think the religion programming has outlived its usefulness for most of the human species. I mean most of us go through life without really needing the fight or flight response. Very few people still live a hunter gatherer lifestyle on the african savannah these days. Plus in the current situation being overly credulous is a net negative rather than a positive trait.

Barrett's Why Would Anyone Believe in God? addresses lots of these questions from a cognitive framework. Humans will always have to pay attention to their surroundings, no matter what their lifestyle. Sociologists have also been in the news recently discussing how valuable religion is to broader social cohesion and individual happiness. There are a lot of factors that come into play here, and I think too much of the assumptions about what a utopia it would be to not have religion come from Dawkins and Hitchens-like rhetoric, not real measured and informed considerations of what religion is and is not.

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05-01-2014, 12:38 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(02-01-2014 01:00 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  Maklelan,
You appear to be quite knowledgable, but that is just it, I get the "appearance" from a quick read of your posts. You however do not offer up much of this understanding that you wish to provide in these forums. The elloquent use of intellectual word salad tossed about at other posters do nothing for my understanding behind the "what" and "why" of your views.

IMO - you do come across as a bit pompus and seem to think everyone else should be a schooled theologin or shut up. It does not take a scholar to desire some evidence or valid explanations supporting any supernatural ideology.

Please give this community something to help us understand, rather than responding to posts with your sophisticated dialouge. And please avoid the word "rhetoric" as you seem to be obsessed with this word, and like to here yourself talk - this coming from the King of rehtoric.

"[S]ophisticated dialogue"? What exactly is that to you? Spelling "eloquent" and "theologian" correctly? The phrase "word salad" refers to meaningless arrangements of words. Where is the "word salad" in Maklelan's posts? When was the last time you read a non-fiction book?
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05-01-2014, 12:40 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(02-01-2014 01:18 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Mak, just read the quoted post twice. That is, if you want my two cents.

Your opinions are worth much less than two cents.
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05-01-2014, 01:09 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(03-01-2014 08:38 AM)Timber1025 Wrote:  Please stop finding a problem with everyone's testimony, and stop dancing around any challenge for the primary purpose of making others looks like idiots.

You are doing that on your own you silly inbred hick. Just shut the fuck up and read. You might learn something.
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05-01-2014, 02:07 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(04-01-2014 07:38 AM)maklelan Wrote:  If you misunderstand the meaning, where does the inaccurate meaning come from? Did you create it, or are all possible wrong meanings also emanating from the text for your eyes to passively receive? It comes from you, because the meaning is something you produce. This is undergrad level linguistics, Chas.

Yes, that is fundamental linguistics but the point here is that we can expect a competent speaker of a language in a given era that is reading a text authored in that era to arrive at a particular meaning. Were this not the case then communication would be impossible. Clearly, communication is possible--we are engaging in it now--so the absence of intrinsic meaning in a text is irrelevant.

Quote:Because you're not perceiving, but creating. Any meaning apart from the specific and exact intended meaning must be created somewhere. The text is not simultaneously endowed with and radiating all possible meaning, is it?

No it isn't but that does not entail that there is no such thing as more or less legitimate readings of a text. The legitimacy being determined not only by referencing authorial intent but also by referencing the lexicons of the period in which the text was authored.

What I believe Chas is objecting to is your revisionist reading of the BoM such that its anachronisms become insignificant or irrelevant. There is nothing in the BoM or in the narrative associated with its creation that indicates that it was not intended to be a historically accurate document.

I can appreciate the fictionalist approach to religious texts--I have read bits and pieces of Vaihinger's The Philosophy of 'As If'--and this at least appears to be your position in relation to the BoM and the LDS. If that is indeed your position perhaps you should state it explicitly. But I am having difficulty reconciling your apparent fictionalism with your theism. How deep does your fictionalist epistemology run?
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05-01-2014, 06:59 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(04-01-2014 09:20 PM)maklelan Wrote:  As long as there are threats of harm coming from the environment, things like the presupposition of an agent with a mind associated with the things that go bump in the night and sound like footsteps in the brush will be necessary for survival.

Ok, threats from environment will always be present, but the necessary shift is only from assuming a supernatural agent to a natural one.

Quote:And yet, they are still very much there. The difference between reflective and intuitive beliefs is relevant to how much our education influences our mind's reaction to stimuli.

Well, it does take time.

Quote:Not as long as there is the risk of danger from anywhere in the environment. When you hear a bump at night in your house, your first thought is to an agent, no matter how fleeting. Until we never have to worry about something surprising us, that will be the case. Our anthropomorphic bias is related, and that's also a function of our humanity that's not going to go anywhere.

Honestly , I don't . But again, even if I suspect agency in whatever situation it is never a supernatural one.

Quote:Don't know. Don't think that will ever go away.

Sadly, you are probably right. At least not entirely.

Quote:That's a bit reductive a view of the situation, but no, I would say that would be devolution, since it actually reduces our ability to respond to potential threats.

I disagree , assuming a natural agency opposed to a supernatural one actually increases our abilities to respond. That is evident enough throughout human history, is it not?

Let's see where we are now.

You hear suspicious sounds at night, you assume agency , but obviously you don't assume a supernatural one. So far that is beneficial to the survival of our species.

But when you are faced with events in the environment who are beyond human capabilities , you assume a supernatural agent behind it. I would argue that this is not at all beneficial to our species. On the contrary.

Correct?

Would this be a fair conclusion then ?

Belief in gods/deities ( or supernatural agents if you want ) is to a large extent caused by our brains being predisposed to assume (supernatural) agency, which is in turn caused by our (poor) understanding of our environment .

Would you agree that this conclusion is supported by the fact that the more educated (especially in natural sciences ) a person is, the less likely he is to believe in god?

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05-01-2014, 07:57 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 02:07 AM)Chippy Wrote:  No it isn't but that does not entail that there is no such thing as more or less legitimate readings of a text.

I agree. There are usually demonstrably correct and incorrect readings, but most frequently when the languages, cultures, and time periods of the author and reader are in close proximity, if not the same.

(05-01-2014 02:07 AM)Chippy Wrote:  The legitimacy being determined not only by referencing authorial intent but also by referencing the lexicons of the period in which the text was authored.

What I believe Chas is objecting to is your revisionist reading of the BoM such that its anachronisms become insignificant or irrelevant.

Insignificant or irrelevant to what? To me? That's not Chas place to determine. To it's veracity? I've already said I'm not here to defend that.

(05-01-2014 02:07 AM)Chippy Wrote:  There is nothing in the BoM or in the narrative associated with its creation that indicates that it was not intended to be a historically accurate document.

This doesn't bear on my own personal conceptualization of the text and its provenance and value.

(05-01-2014 02:07 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I can appreciate the fictionalist approach to religious texts--I have read bits and pieces of Vaihinger's The Philosophy of 'As If'--and this at least appears to be your position in relation to the BoM and the LDS. If that is indeed your position perhaps you should state it explicitly. But I am having difficulty reconciling your apparent fictionalism with your theism. How deep does your fictionalist epistemology run?

I don't insist that "inspired" must mean "historical." Neither do I insist that anyone else should accept my point of view, except insofar as it relates to its validity to my worldview, which is something I'm always working on.

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