Showing posts with label rationality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rationality. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What is Reality

beliefnet et al
I find it useful to distinguish between

  1. Mythical reality (including religions) which is a widely recognized group of mythical characters and situations that are generally accepted as being real and useful by a culture.  It is not necessary to have read the Brothers Grimm to know about Little Red Riding hood.
  2. Fictional reality which is a group of fictional characters and situations which those wishing to suspend disbelief for the duration of the fictional events, or the discussion of them are treated as real. 
  3. Observable reality which are characters and situations that can be shown to be real to all rational observers.  Note that truth values are not a given in observable reality.  

Feb 9, 2015 -- 7:09AM, Blü wrote:

That Christianity's propositions accord with reality.

Ah. So when you say Christianity is 'true', you mean it accords with imaginary reality, not objective reality.

Further thanks for clearing that up.

I think a better word per Shermer would be accord with belief reality. 

The brain has objectively observable belief centers that interpret reality in ways that enhance survivability.  On the savannah interpreting certain patterns in the windblown grass as a tiger, may have survival benefits even though the reality is that they are only wind effects. 

In a society controlled by vuvuzelas mediating for a vicious, vengeful God it may be a survival benefit to believe in a vicious, vengeful God even though reality is that it is vicious, vengeful vuvuzelas that should be feared. 
Feb 9, 2015 -- 8:09PM, Blü wrote:
As for all other "realities", while the brain and its functions are part of objective reality, the contents of its concepts do not necessarily have objective counterparts ie don't refer to things with objective reality. Examples are 'unicorn', 'two', 'supernatural being', 'justice', 'Donald Duck', 'some chairs' and so on.

Rationaist BS is no different from other BSNo matter how many times you explain that 'Donald Duck' is a real fictional character, the realities of which can be discussed by anyone familiar with Disney™ movies, tv shows, comic books, etc. a rationalist will insist that 'Donald Duck' is imaginary with no objective reality. 

As Blü himself has discussed 'Donald Duck' has three fingers and a thumb on each 'wing,' is anthropomorphic, talks English in English speaking countries but is multilingual, generally wears a blue sailor hat, a blue man's shirt, and a red bow tie.  This is factual information that exists independently of any person's mind and can in fact be verified by a search of Donald Duck images.

I might suggest that 'Donald Duck" is real for a majority of the people in the world, whereas something like a benzene ring exists only in the imagination of a few chemists SEMs are fakes, and frequently involves a snake biting its own tail even for chemists. 

'Donald Duck©' is so real that if someone imagines a similar anthropomorphic duck and tries to publish a comic book based on the character hesh would have a major legal battle on herm hands to establish that the imagined duck was sufficiently different in reality to not infringe on the Disney Copyright. 

Feb 11, 2015 -- 9:53AM, Blü wrote:


a rationalist will insist that 'Donald Duck' is imaginary with no objective reality.

We have descriptions and images and impersonations of Donald Duck. However, no real Donald Duck exists outside of imagination. He's a fictitious being.

No one has ever maintained that Donald Duck is a being.  Just that he is a fictitious reality.  A reality that exists and is independently verifiable by any rational person independent of anyone's imagination. 

Please note the working of the conceptual block which changes "reality" into "being."  It doesn't really change anything but provides a mental fig leaf to cover the "reality" of the fictional "being" as "being" can be interpreted as a once or presently living touchable, interacting entity.  All of which is critically important to denying God as a Mythical (religious) reality.   

Friday, December 19, 2014

Are Irrational Emotional Coping Mechanisms Necessary?

That is just an admission that god is an irrational emotional coping mechanism.

Yep.  That is exactly what God is.  Nonetheless, humans are hard wired to employ irrational emotional coping mechanisms for irrational situations.  Rationality does not always have solutions to all problems, especially human emotional issues.  

Please explain the rational steps to deal with the following:  A long term apparently devoted partner and parent of one's children, finds it necessary to go live with herm same sex lover in a different community.  No emotional reactions permitted.  Simply provide rational steps to resolve the issue. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

TRUTH™ Means that Others are Wrong.

The theist concern for the TRUTHTM is a critical difference that causes many problems.  If you have the TRUTHTM then by definition anything that does not comply with that TRUTHTM is necessarily inferior and/or wrong.  You are still under the delusion that an atheist or even a rational theist that thinks differently from you has a wrong belief, and that therefore considers their belief to be the TRUTHTM and all other beliefs inferior and/or wrong.
For most atheists and some rational theists this is simply not the case.  A rational approach to living merely says this paradigm works for me, and I will therefore follow this path.  Others are not necessarily wrong or inferior, they are just on a different path to a common goal, that is getting along with all people and things in a responsible way. 
As long as belief in God is subservient to getting along with others in a responsible way, I have no issue with that belief.  But if that belief is that God takes precedence over others and that those others are wrong and/or inferior, then we have a major problem.  It is those and only those theists that don't give the benefit of the doubt that are a problem for their fellows, theist or not.  Unfortunately, those theists are all too common and pose a real threat to atheists, and rational theists, and non-theistic believers in other truths.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Teach Your Children Well

Harris Determinism - Beliefnet

Far better than giving a child a cheeseburger or teaching them a skill is to teach the child rational and critical thinking. That way hesh will choose to pass on the cheeseburger, and choose skills that are rewarding and interesting. Therein, not determinism or God, lies success.

It seems that teaching skills even quite advanced skills is compatible with religious beliefs. It is no longer surprising that scientists, engineers, and even hack lawyers, can be believers. If they can avoid the critical thinking courses at the University or get past them by using the skill of regurgitating the thinking of the professor (or buying a creative paper on the net)it seems they can do quite well for the Church.

This does change the ring speciation outlook a bit, but skill education only for the men seems like an evolutionary dead end to me. I will still bet on critical thinking education especially for K-12 women to tip the balance, even though believers will out breed the rationalists by a large margin. I don't think they will retain control over their women.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Governing without Religion

Religion and morality - Beliefnet

I haven't read Proud Tower, but from your description it is a polemical view of the reality of dealing with a situation where religion has destroyed the effectiveness of government functions. As they say, it is a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

A more benign view of the same type of solution to the dissolution of a functioning government can be found in Oath of Fealty the Niven-Pournelle description of a corporate archology which has taken over all government functions in the heart of a basically dysfunctional Los Angeles. It is the book which described the difference between their locally functioning society with the surrounding world as "Think of it as evolution in action."

This is basically the genesis of my idea of the ring speciation of humans into believers Homo Religiosis, and rationalists, Homo Intelligentsia, or, to use a less political correct term the intellectual elitists. Looking at the corporate/university enclaves around the country: Silicon Valley; Tri-Cities, NC; Cambridge, MA; Manhattan; Boulder, CO; among many others, there are good local school systems, that feed the universities, and jobs for the graduates of those universities. The rationalists in the rest of the country are either going to have to move, if they have kids that need good K-12 schooling, or tap into the enclaves via the internet if childless, although they will probably move for social reasons.

The reason for the ring speciation hypothesis is that the mating rituals if nothing else will make interbreeding unlikely. In the U/C community mate selection criteria is almost purely on demonstrated intellectual ability. Marriage is late, and children planned usually for near the end of the female's academic tenure. The third year of med school is the breeding season for female med students. A non-breeder by choice complained about the social pressure to get pregnant at that time. (I wonder if that choice will survive in the face of an intellectual equal male determined to improve H. Intelligentsia.) In general I have observed that it is definitely a female choice of breeding partner in the U/C community, although not necessarily but frequently sex partner as well. But the male is going to have to employ powerful intellectual persuasion to get her to lose the contraceptive.

In the religious world male dominance and early marriage is the norm. Think traditional sport star-cheerleader paradigm here. If she isn't pregnant at graduation she failed high school.

It isn't a clean division geographically, but socially the believers are insular, and gravitate to the bad school districts for the lower property values. If the deterioration of the government infrastructure continues outside the U/C enclaves even social contact between the two groups will be limited.

It is interesting to speculate on the political religious right support. Can it be a conspiracy or informal collusion of the U/C elite to restrict the religious poor to the resources of their churches, including the psychological resource of salvation. Are the bankers and the entertainment industries consciously destroying the effectiveness of the popular government so the poor will have no choice but obesity deaths without proper medical care.

The rise of the apocalyptic churches is for me an indication of this trend. Obviously the U/C elite will definitely not be among the saved chosen.

The U/C enclaves have their own private HMO medical systems, good public schools and private internet access to the powerful resources of the community. They have back door entrances for those who can somehow transcend their religion facilitated intellectual disabilities. Open need blind enrollment in the University with its access to the powerful intranet.

The door to breaking the religious social control of learning is of course the internet. The wikis, and the few public access science resources like SciAm on line give those with the interest and ability the key to that back door, but they will have to resist the religious and popular entertainment pressures for couch-potatoism.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Properties of Thought

Spirituality and humanity - Beliefnet:

"The one thing I can be sure of is that bio-chemical reactions exist in the body and brain that allow me to exist as a living animal, and think as a rational being. Everything else even my thoughts as a rational being are the constructs of the one rational being I am sure of, myself.

These thoughts have properties, such as being based on observations, or second level observations of others, products of fictions and myth, and self generated thinking on all of the above. These properties can be evaluated as to reliability, and a level of trust can be assigned to all in theory.

Myth and fiction are of course the least trustworthy, at least as raw data, but when combined with observation and self generated correlation and evaluation may be assigned a high level of trust or truth if you will."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Religious v. Rational worldviews

Religious v. Rational - Beliefnet Forums: "High intelligence and the ability to use it effectively is quite compatible with the religious worldview, and indeed some have applied that intelligence to understanding their worldview, that is explaining why having faith is beneficial to their lives. But the faith is not questioned, nor is their worldview about the purpose and meaning of their lives (and their science.)"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Religious v. Rational worldviews

Religious v. Rational - Beliefnet Forums: "But unlike Catholics I understand much more about what the Mass is teaching because I don't believe. I can look at the myths and imagery from a rational worldview and integrate the useful lessons and images from them into my rational understanding of my relationships with other people and my own understanding of what it means to "be alive and have to die." Forrest Church.

Religious v. Rational worldviews

Religious v. Rational - Beliefnet Forums: "The rational worldview has no understanding of faith, or belief. When I say no understanding I mean there is no referent in the worldview for either word. I know what both words mean but can't come up with a mental state that corresponds to either."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Abner1 Questioning prejudices

Prejudice v Evidence - Beliefnet Forums: "You don't seem to realize that you need to be able to question to figure out which things don't need further questioning ... You can't reasonably just put up a wall around your own prejudices and say 'My prejudices should not be questioned, only those that need questioning should be questioned' because the way you find out which prejudices didn't need questioning is to question them all and see which ones survive the light of rational thought!"

Monday, May 19, 2008

Intuitive vs. Rational moral responses

Intuitive vs. Rational thinking - Beliefnet Forums: "The intuitive response to any moral situation is the integration of all we have learned about that type of moral situation, whether the learning was intuitive 'mama spank' or rational, 'that comment caused emotional injury, I shouldn't say that again.'"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reason and Cultural Heratage

Most strike a good balance between rationality and intuition, distributed along the continuum, if these are indeed a continuum, in the normal bell curve distribution. Some on the intuitive side with some application of reason, others on the reasoning side with some reliance on the collective wisdom of their childhood.
Cerebral and/or Visceral: Talking Past Each Other - Beliefnet Forums