How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

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Lurker
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Lurker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:17 pm

You didn't really answer my question.

Do you think it's unreasonable for someone to get offended or defensive when called "delusional"? If you do think that reaction is unreasonable, do you also think it's unexpected? Give it some thought.

And a follow up question. Do you ever take the high road? Because you don't seem to in these exchanges.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:40 pm

Do you think it's unreasonable for someone to get offended or defensive when called "delusional"? If you do think that reaction is unreasonable, do you also think it's unexpected? Give it some thought.
I do not think that telling someone that they hold a delusion or a delusional position in a theological debate is offensive in any way. It is an honest assessment of that theological position. This is the Philosophy and Religion forum after all. When you enter any theological or philosophical debate you can expect your positions to be challenged and if you hold a position that you can in no way substantiate or credit you can expect it to be called into question.

If i walked up to a person on the street and declared them delusional with no context, then that would be rude and offensive. I hope this clarifies.
And a follow up question. Do you ever take the high road? Because you don't seem to in these exchanges.
I do not view this question as relevant to the discussion at hand. Why do you ask? Were you going to attempt the "high road" for a change yourself?
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Lurker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:46 pm

MeGusta wrote:I do not think that telling someone that they hold a delusion or a delusional position in a theological debate is offensive in any way. It is an honest assessment of that theological position. This is the Philosophy and Religion forum after all. When you enter any theological or philosophical debate you can expect your positions to be challenged and if you hold a position that you can in no way substantiate or credit you can expect it to be called into question.
How does your Rabbi colleague respond when you tell him he's delusional?

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:51 pm

Lurker wrote:How does your Rabbi colleague respond when you tell him he's delusional?
Firstly, I do not say he is "delusional", I say he holds a self delusion as to the existence of a deity. This distinction is not lost on him as it seems to be on the rest of you.

Secondly, he tells me that there is only one way to know for sure who is right and that I should go first. He is incredibly witty.

Thirdly, our discussions are well beyond the existence/non existence of God now. We have been at this for 14 years.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Lurker » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:04 pm

Is there a reason you took this discussion to a level (existence/nonexistence) - and in such a childish way - that you claim to have moved beyond?

Anyone who's spent any time discussing religion knows existence arguments are pointless. People have either felt something outside themselves and they believe, or they haven't and they don't. There's no proof to be had.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:22 pm

Lurker wrote:Is there a reason you took this discussion to a level (existence/nonexistence) - and in such a childish way - that you claim to have moved beyond?

Anyone who's spent any time discussing religion knows existence arguments are pointless. People have either felt something outside themselves and they believe, or they haven't and they don't. There's no proof to be had.
Is there a reason you feel the need to question my motivations and what do you feel is the relevance to the discussion at hand?

I will assume you were satisfied by my previous answers as you are steering the discussion in another direction.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:32 pm

I've thought about arguing what I think would be someone like Klast's responses on his behalf. It's not delusionary to have a discussion with myself, is it?

[klastbot]
That mystical connection you feel is simply endorphins, stimulating the reward center of your brain whenever you do something conducive to the evolution of the species. In a completely Darwinian sense, of course. And those who refuse to follow the typical social conventions are rejected by the collective masses and are thus selected out. That's why it "feels good" to do something "spiritual". Because evolution has wired the reward center of your brain so you'll have a better chance of surviving in order to propagate your genetic material. That explains your "spiritual connection."
[/klastbot]

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:47 pm

I appreciate you putting us back on topic, Freecare.
That mystical connection you feel is simply endorphins, stimulating the reward center of your brain whenever you do something conducive to the evolution of the species. In a completely Darwinian sense, of course. And those who refuse to follow the typical social conventions are rejected by the collective masses and are thus selected out. That's why it "feels good" to do something "spiritual". Because evolution has wired the reward center of your brain so you'll have a better chance of surviving in order to propagate your genetic material. That explains your "spiritual connection."
I think that this is true but it is deeper than that as well. All human beings have a natural curiosity or are driven to know what may occur after death. Buddha's First Noble Truth is that Life is Suffering. I tend to agree with that basic principle. Because we suffer we tend to look for alternatives which are manifested by explanations of a spiritual or paranormal, unscientific nature.

Spiritual search is an unscientific way to attempt to know the unknown. One is very much like another and the only thing that separates Freecare's spirituality from an established religion is antiquity and popular acceptance.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:52 pm

MeGusta wrote:If your skin is so soft that a word, properly used in definition and context and not designed to hurt, causes you to be offended then a theological or philosophical debate is the wrong place for you.
Here's the problem - the word wasn't properly used in definition. A delusion is a false belief held despite contradictory evidence. Faith is unfalsifiable and as such cannot qualify as a delusion.
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:00 pm

Jarochai wrote:A delusion is a false belief held despite contradictory evidence. Faith is unfalsifiable and as such cannot qualify as a delusion.
I thought we were back on topic.

If I opine that his belief in God is a delusion, then I am correct in using the definition as I stated. The first instance of the definition has no evidentiary requirement. My opinion about his faith is as just as unfalsifiable. We are not discussing physics.

Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.
Sigmund Freud
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Ddrak » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:30 pm

Been reading a bunch. Finished "The God Delusion" (Dawkins) which is a fascinating book that everyone should read whether you agree with the conclusions or not. Now reading "Why There Almost Certainly Is A God" (Ward) which is much tougher going and very philosophical (and nowhere near as theological as I thought it would be), though raises some excellent counterpoints to Dawkins' premises.

The fundamental argument Dawkins has is God simply isn't necessary for anything so why bother asserting him. He then cherrypicks a bunch of scripture to show why any Judeo-Christian God is probably not the one you'd like to hang around anyway and kills most anti-evolution arguments stone dead.

Ward has some pretty shaky (in my opinion) philosophical arguments about why God probably does exist, but also has this excellent nugget (paraphrased): Is consciousness a direct result of the physical state of the brain, or is it more? If it's a direct result then free will is a complete illusion because every process is derived from a previous state or quantum-mechanical random. If it's not a direct result then consciousness exists outside matter while being able to influence it, and you can fairly trivially derive the concept of God being something of pure consciousness that can influence matter.

One of my favorite parts of Dawkins book was his complaint that religion is unreasonably set on a pedestal. It's fine to call someone delusional if their economic theories don't match yours, but if you suggest their religion is delusional then you are somehow causing a much greater offense. I agree with him that religion needs to be set at the same level as every other human activity and people shouldn't be prevented from taking an honest view of another's beliefs without causing any more offense than an honest view of their favorite Presidential candidate.

Do I think MeGusta was being insulting calling religion a "delusion"? Yeah, a little, but nowhere near as insulting as I am to Embar about what I think of supply side economics in a recession.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:59 am

Ddrak wrote:nowhere near as insulting as I am to Embar about what I think of supply side economics in a recession.
If that is what you value in a conversation then more power to you. I look at it like for me, I've reached the point in my life where honestly I don't have to take insults from anyone. And I have enough stimulating people and conversation in my life where I don't see that as an interesting way to spend what little free time I have. I very much value this experience here with the folks who are respectful and kind (and smart, and funny, etc.) But the ones that aren't are pretty much just background noise to me: something to be filtered out. It's not that any of that stuff offends me. It's more like life is too precious to spend it on something that's not positive or at least funny. If I'm gonna burn up the minute it would take to say something witty to someone being a dick to me, I might as well go to my smoking room and literally burn up a minute and get the maximum enjoyment from that time. And my wife is practically disabled, so with an extra minute I can empty the dishwasher or give one of my 7 little dogs (!!!) a bath. Too many things to do and not enough minutes, though I do make sure to allocate some "me time."

So It's not like I'm morally against people insulting each other or something silly like that, or expecting something unrealistic from that sort of bantering on the Interwebs. It just doesn't happen to be my thing. I may fail miserably at any given time, but I do try to exercise humility, courtesy, respect and empathy towards those I deal with, wherever that may be. Now, those are qualities that I personally value, and I understand that each person interacts with one another in the manner that each finds suitable to them. People are what they are. And everyone gets to choose how to use their time. I find free will to be a marvelous and wonderful thing, but that's apparently another discussion lol.

Maybe it's that I don't have some magical dividing line between dealing with people on the interwebs and RL. I don't talk to people here any differently than if this were the grocery store or water cooler. And the people I am fond of are no less so because we've never met. One of my childhood friends used to play the original EQ with me and once he said "sometimes I forget that the characters in my guild aren't real people." and I said "you mean the opposite?" and he said "no, I mean that these people only exist in my reality to provide me amusement. They are not in my real life so they don't exist to me." I am pretty sure he is not the only person who thinks that way. Me, I wouldn't insult you here any differently than if I was looking you in the eyeballs, and if I give you *hugs* on the internet then I would damnwell hug your ass in person!

So yeah, apologies for being long winded. As far as the original topic, the thought of trying to argue both sides wasn't as interesting as I thought. Let what's his face talk to himself as far as I am concerned. I think I'll fade back into self-reflection for a while on this subject. Martin Luther (the heretic not the doctor) once said something like "in two things a man is alone: his spritual beliefs and his death." I think for a while at least I will follow his lead.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Ddrak » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:19 am

Maybe it's an Aussie thing, but I don't insult people to cause offense. If people genuinely get upset then I back the hell off. So, while I don't "value" insults, they're just part of expression.

I certainly wouldn't say anything on the internet that I wouldn't say in person, in fact, I'm usually more reserved on the net because I get the added reflection of reading what I've written before I hit "Submit".

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:09 am

I have also read "The God Delusion" and I agree with your summary.

Ward has some very fundamental flaws in his philosophical arguments which he attempts to disguise with some voodoo physics in my opinion.

Ddrak wrote:One of my favorite parts of Dawkins book was his complaint that religion is unreasonably set on a pedestal. It's fine to call someone delusional if their economic theories don't match yours, but if you suggest their religion is delusional then you are somehow causing a much greater offense. I agree with him that religion needs to be set at the same level as every other human activity and people shouldn't be prevented from taking an honest view of another's beliefs without causing any more offense than an honest view of their favorite Presidential candidate.
You are exactly correct. I would expand upon this further by reiterating that this is a place where such challenges are intended to be instigated and discussed. If you lay out your beliefs you should expect them to be challenged.
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Ddrak » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:00 am

I think Ward tried too hard. He started well, but when he went into voodoo physics he lost me. The "what is consciousness" argument was by far the best one, in my opinion.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:59 am

Ward takes even bigger leaps to draw science and religion together in his book God, Chance and Necessity. It is an entertaining read but not very sound if you ask me. In it, Ward tries to prove, to the best of his ability, the concept of theistic evolution.
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Alluveal » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:03 pm

MeGusta wrote:
I'm offended by the word delusion or someone saying you "hold a delusion." How can it not be considered offensive? It's the same thing as patting someone on the head and saying, "aww, you believe in something spiritual. Aren't you so cute?" (wink/wink)

The fact that you'd try to wrap it up in semantics is bullshit and you know it. Own your crap or don't.
Everyone holds delusions of one sort or another. It is nothing to be offended over. I have several myself, most likely. Self delusion is as human as it gets.

In light of that, the semantic part makes a critical distinction between calling him completely crazy and saying he is self deluded as it relates to the existence of God. To your point, making this distinction clear is "owning my crap".
I forgot this thread existed. Sorry. I still think it's rude and shitty, but hey, keep trying to wrap it up in pretty, shiny paper, dude. It still smells like wet, Klingon ass and it's a passive-aggressive way to hide your snarkiness in semantic-bullshit. Yay for you.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:48 pm

I am glad you approve, though your acceptance is likely a self delusion.

I will reiterate what I said before: This is a place where such challenges are intended to be instigated and discussed. If you lay out your beliefs you should expect them to be challenged.

You teeter towards the precipice of hypocrisy when you call the word "delusion" out as rude and, to use your vulgar adjective, "shitty" but refrain from voicing an opinion on the blatant rudeness demonstrated by others in various corners of this forum.
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:11 pm

I would like to correct that I should have said "selectivity" rather than "hypocrisy" which would be contextually inaccurate.

If you would read back through this thread you will see that at no time was my use of the word intended to be offensive. If you find it so after this reasoned and frankly quite unnecessary explanation then further exchange on the subject would be inherently futile.
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Garrdor » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:11 pm

I'm 27 now.

I've learned that nothing you or I think or do actually matters. At all. Especially opinions, convictions, morality. Everyone is secretly going for the high-score of their own video-game. Wither it benefits them or not. Take a dollar and buy a burger - you're fat and greedy. Give that dollar to the homeless guy - you're an angel of mercy (worthy of praise!).
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