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Messages - Imposition

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76
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:22:02 AM »
2. Naturalism (which you define somewhat like the scientific method ["looking for causes, laws, and operating with reductive methodology"]) is lacking because it limits our observations to what we can observe empirically.

Why do you suppose the scientific methodology is 'lacking' for this reason? Some would say that this is what propels it.

You are not using a computer to engage in this discussion because a commitment to naturalism (plus some logic) has proven itself insufficient!

Hopefully, at this point, we can admit that there is more to the universe's basic functions than can be observed by the naked eye, or the telescope, or the microscope, or the computer.

Yes, mathematical concepts (number, shape etc), and subjective experience. Is there anything else i've missed?

EDIT: also, the initial constants.

77
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:28:55 AM »
Two can play the ad-hoc pictures game. Let's bring an actual Ubermench into the ring to represent the 'atheists'

lol for fucks sake.

Its a request, not a suggestion, a very humble one at that, but pleeeeease can we let this thread die? You dont come in after a trainwreck to rape the survivors, its just not... nice.

I'm trying to save the survivors from the rapists.

78
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:27:50 AM »
Vigilance, despite what you may think. I don't get your point at all. I think Wild is also unclear on it too.

More specifically, I don't see the point IN your point.

Your point is just that naturalism (looking for causes, laws, and operating with reductive methodology) emerged from deism?

If so, this does not make the former 'boring'.

If so, this does not mean the former is stuck with the same ontology as the latter, now, 400 years later.

Do you not believe that naturalism has a more complete, deep, and systematic understanding of how the cosmos works than theism/deism?

79
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 22, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »
Two can play the ad-hoc pictures game. Let's bring an actual Ubermench into the ring to represent the 'atheists' - not the embarrassing specimens hitherto exhibited.


80
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:10:32 AM »
I don't follow...

(As a side note, I wasn't meaning to imply I know all of the connections between the different layers of reality studied by different sciences - just that its implications are in many ways far more profound than Theistic ontological study.)

It's the pursuit of natural laws, deterministic causality and the like that is a carry over from Christian ontology. Sure, the quantum world appears to be nondeterministic in areas, but there's a small problem, we aren't observing nature when left to operate on its own.

While the death of God has us running around frantically trying to justify the meta-Christian ethical system, this event also has us frantically trying to find an explanation of the mechanical cosmos without the involvement of a creator

What is your damn point? "Frantically trying to find explanations...". Yeah, and I frantically run around looking for water when I'm thirsty. You know why? Because it works. It quenches my thirst.

Try looking for an explanation of some natural phenomena by appealing to 'vital spirits' or something. See how far that gets you. 'Frantically' trying to find explanations indeed... You make it sound as though a commitment to naturalism is desperate, marginal, and defensive.

Why should we not look to find an explanation of the cosmos, as a whole, that does not involve a creator? Nearly every event within the cosmos, that used to depend on explanation in terms of a creator, is being explained better by mechanistic processes. We might look for a 'first cause' in the form of an agent for moral, artistic, emotional, political, or other reasons. But when we're looking for a cause for the purposes of serious ontological study (in this case of the totality of things) we need to approach issues with an eye to what-the-fuck-has-proven-itself-to-work.

Why even suppose that the natural world, or the world of causal events, itself, requires a first cause? Kant believed that causation is something our understanding constructs ('makes up') in order to make sense of the flux of perceptions. It does not exist in the world beyond sense impressions. He believed that the search for God, or a first cause, is simply a by-product of this category of the understanding turning back in on itself and 'desperately' (perhaps you are right after all) applying its logic to the world of sense impressions itself - when its proper function is to process events within the world of sense impression (and not that world itself).

A society needs more than just hierarchy, transcendence, and art (file each under 'culture'). It needs technology (esp if we are to get out of our current environmental problems, or reach space). It needs defense. It needs industry - lest it be crushed by some new mega-power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China#Demographics). And for these endeavors, a commitment to naturalism is the only contender.

Are you saying stop with this methodology when we reach the universe itself? Why? Certainly not because it doesn't have a good track record (re: questions of ontology). As I said above, I think it has an exemplary track record. For cultural reasons then (related to preserving the 'noble by-products of religion')? I am saddened that culture and science are antagonistic. This cannot remain so. Something needs to be done, lest the defenders of higher culture become increasingly relegated into the 'too hard to deal with with their strange metaphysical views' basket. Some new philosopher kings need to fashion some spirit out of the hodgepodge of 'atheism'.

And also, what is your point about origins? So what if it arose from Christianity. Wherever it arose from, the methodology of naturalism is producing vigorous insights into the cosmos that surpass any other methodology, and, if you are right about its origins, it has even bitten off the hand that originally fed it, for better or for worse.

81
Metal / Re: Vaughan Williams
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:35:35 PM »
Cheers!

82
Interzone / Re: Obama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:30:21 PM »
And by the way my modern history books would indicate that Hitler was an IV methamphetamine user which makes him even worse in the mob's humble opinion. Obama just used a little bit of pot to help chill out not wage a fuckin' BLITZKRIEG on people so I don't see what the problem is.   ???

I've read that too!

Bit of speed never hurts when your commanding a Reich, I'm sure.

83
Interzone / Re: "The poor": kill them
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:29:15 PM »
Quote
Are you suggesting, as I think you are, that each of these two scenarios differ only in factors INSIDE the control of the individual?

No. That's your straw man.

The central part was this: no-one should be obligated to ensure that fairness is absolute. Life is unfair. Deal with it.

Thank you, Hemmingway. Perhaps I will go and cut some wood, so that I feel more manly, rough and ready in the face of rugged reality. It's the last I can do after all my denial of the Word ("life is unfair"), right?

I would think a society geared towards absolute fairness, or equality, would be hideous. I'm talking about a bit more sensitivity to equality of opportunity. Not equality of outcome.

Even the former is not absolute. I was simply trying to bring some balance to your views.

A society that allows its best to rise, and provides the conditions under which this can occur, is going to prosper over one that doesn't more often than not, I would have thought.

84
Metal / Re: Vaughan Williams
« on: January 21, 2014, 08:20:37 AM »
The Lark Ascending is truly beautiful! The opening always reminds me a bit of Sibelius' Violin Concerto.

Which one? I will have to check it out.

85
Interzone / Re: Obama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol
« on: January 21, 2014, 06:06:08 AM »
Good thing he isn't a medical scientist.

Pot is increasingly being correlated with mental illness.

86
Interzone / Re: "The poor": kill them
« on: January 21, 2014, 06:01:42 AM »
The real problem is the tendency to excuse an individual's inability to earn an income as being a problem outside of the individual's control that can (or should) be corrected by others.

Another incredulous stare.

Are you suggesting, as I think you are, that each of these two scenarios differ only in factors INSIDE the control of the individual?

FIRST SCENARIO

a) Child born of poor parents, in poor neighborhood, access to lesser quality schools, surrounded by peers who are into rap music, smoking weed, less high school achievement, lack of university education, less income

b) Child born of wealthy parents, in a neighborhood of high fences, pools, tennis courts, access to elite private schools, surrounded by peers who come from like minded families who value education, peer competitiveness at school - on the bus, in study groups, after school, higher high school achievement, access to ivy league university education, MORE INCOME. 

SECOND SCENARIO

a) Child born inherits genes for -90 IQ

b) Child born inherits genes for +130 IQ

Formidable!

Intervene to change the situation - for a single hypothetical child (imagine this could be done, do a 'thought experiment') - from a) in either scenario to b), and you would raise that child's income, holding other factors constant. In other words the move from a) to b), all else being equal, CAUSES income level.

The point: Well, since whether a) and b) pertains isn't (for the most part) under the child's control, and since whether a) or b) pertains causes income level for some particular individual child, the income level that some particular person ends up earning is in large part not under their control!

This isn't to jettison personal responsibility. This is to suggest that it's pretty fucking obvious that personal responsibility operates within certain strong limits.

It's also to suggest that the causal factors are significant on a population level. Some individual born in sub human conditions might be wired such that he rises up and becomes the president. But on a statistical/population level, your chances of earning a high wage if you are born in, say, Africa, are greatly reduced than if you are born in Oxford; through no fault of your own (unless, that is, you hold people responsible for where they are born, which is absurd!).

So, if you want to 'kill to poor', then in many many instances you will be holding people responsible for elements outside their control, which is a strange sense of justice, in my opinion. (Then again, maybe you just don't value justice - which is as it is, but in this case we will simply be talking past each other).

87
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 21, 2014, 05:53:50 AM »
I don't follow...

(As a side note, I wasn't meaning to imply I know all of the connections between the different layers of reality studied by different sciences - just that its implications are in many ways far more profound than Theistic ontological study.)

88
Interzone / Re: deductive or prescriptive
« on: January 21, 2014, 02:57:06 AM »
I see the confusion. The aim all along isn't creating value judgments but instead causing results.

In the original article, collective value judgment replaces creating results as an overarching goal. Strangely, results no longer matter much because maintaining ideology is paramount. This is because we ended up best rewarded socially and economically in consistently upholding the ideology regardless of outcome.

Discarding value judgments in the pursuit of an outcome that may or may not fail to fit the ideal narrative or its methods would fit a nihilistic mind.

What I was getting at is that the optimal result is always going to be determined by a value judgment.

It's worth mentioning that the Rationalist Religion of Progress did provide results for over 300 years of industry. The delusion of infinite growth remains despite the depletion of the resource base that made the ideology viable in the first place is the reason results are no longer happening.

Of course, the partisans of this brand of rationalist ideology will retreat into the comfort of increasingly desperate fantasy. Commonplace behavior for people who's conception of the world is about to shatter.

Right.

Diverging, people can have fantastical views about reality. But as soon as you attach a value judgement 'bad'/'wrong'/'sub-optimal' etc to these fantasies (like 'resources are unlimited'), you are entering the realm of the subjective.

All politics/ideology/results/optimality/values is just a clash of wills, when you get down to it.

89
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 21, 2014, 02:54:02 AM »
Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.

Agree with your assertion about secular ethics, for the most part (first premises: individualism, equality).

But cosmology?!

 ???

Theists thought the sun revolved around the earth.

If you think modern cosmology is boring, i suggest you read a Paul Davies book, or something.

If you think the amazing, and multi-layered view of reality of science is boring, then i suggest your read some philosophy of science. Learn how physics gives rise to chemistry, how chemistry gives rise to biology, how biology gives rise to pyschology, how psychology gives rise to economics and culture - and you have an amazing mosaic of knowledge that simply dwarfs christian ontology in its scope, unification and ultimately its success (at least pragmatic success - religion can still have psychological, 'subjective' success when measured by standards like transcendence, or alternatively fulfillment, or maybe even happiness - but then again I could believe everyone is equal and be 'happy' about this)


90
Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 21, 2014, 02:48:17 AM »
The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.  Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.  The unknown is not the same as unreal.

I largely agree with your post. I particularly agree with the general point that belief ('faith') is an essential part of being human. It is a source of energy. Despite welcoming the collapse of Xtianity, Nietzsche, for instance, wrote of the utility of belief for driving human mind to higher endeavors.

However, keep in mind that Atheists, on an underlying level, have their own faith and their own mission. They are driven by belief. You cannot 'know' (in sense of having a 100 per cent certain true belief) that the supernatural does not exist. You are simply driven, if an atheist, by the conviction that physicalism captures the stuff the cosmos.

This is not to say that most of the objective evidence does not point towards a physicalist ontology... but just that it does so probabilistically, and not with 100 per cent certainty.

The premise is simple:  the unknown is not a lesser aspect or lesser part of reality, if anything it is primary.  For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown.  What you don't know could fill a library.

Yes, the unknown is like an open ocean to an explorer, or a christian village to a Viking.

However, do not conflate the unknown with the known-probably-not-to-exist.

It is one thing, from the point of view of knowledge, to not be 'captured by human minds' because you are yet to be reached - another not to be 'captured by human minds' because you don't exist.

Something that is beyond your grasp you cannot put in a basket, alternatively you can't put what doesn't exist in your basket either.

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