• alcontali
    1.3k
    So how is a person to choose one out of this bewildering variety of options?EricH

    By choosing a religion, you are choosing a system of rules that specifies what behaviour is right and wrong. My own, main concern is the same as for any system of rules, i.e. Is such system actually a functioning formal system?

    Then the question becomes: How do you know that a system of rules is a legitimate formal system? Answer: Are theorems/conclusions in such system (conceivably) mechanically verifiable? If yes, then it is a legitimate formal system. If no, then it is not.

    One reason why a system is not a formal system, is because not all its rules have been documented. Then the question becomes: why not? What is it that these people can say but that they cannot write?

    Now in this respect there are several points of controversy between Catholics and every body of Protestants. Is all revealed truth consigned to Holy Scripture? or can it, must it, be admitted that Christ gave to His Apostles to be transmitted to His Church, that the Apostles received either from the very lips of Jesus or from inspiration or Revelation, Divine instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were not committed to the inspired writings? Must it be admitted that Christ instituted His Church as the official and authentic organ to transmit and explain in virtue of Divine authority the Revelation made to men? The Protestant principle is: The Bible and nothing but the Bible; the Bible, according to them, is the sole theological source; there are no revealed truths save the truths contained in the Bible; according to them the Bible is the sole rule of faith: by it and by it alone should all dogmatic questions be solved; it is the only binding authority. Catholics, on the other hand, hold that there may be, that there is in fact, and that there must of necessity be certain revealed truths apart from those contained in the Bible; they hold furthermore that Jesus Christ has established in fact, and that to adapt the means to the end He should have established, a living organ as much to transmit Scripture and written Revelation as to place revealed truth within reach of everyone always and everywhere. Such are in this respect the two main points of controversy between Catholics and so-called orthodox Protestants (as distinguished from liberal Protestants, who admit neither supernatural Revelation nor the authority of the Bible).Catholic Encyclopedia on Living magisterium

    I completely distrust such "living organ" that is apparently supposed to know secret, undocumented truths, i.e. "Divine instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were not committed to the inspired writings", which prevent the system of rules from being a formal system.

    I also totally distrust people who claim that they can only transmit information by improvising it in face to face contacts. That approach sounds too much like "I cannot give you the price for that product over the phone. Please, come to the shop." Seriously, what exactly is it that they can verbally say but that they cannot write? Their refusal to commit to something that is etched in stone, and their desire to invent information on the fly, are despicable to me. I despise that kind of people. They are born liars. I view that kind of people with utter contempt only.

    Someone who reserves for himself the right to lie, is obviously going to lie.

    Still, imagine that they are right? Imagine that they know a secret that is relevant? What kind of secret would that be? Well, in that case, they know that there are lies in the information that they have made publicly available. Without the knowledge of what exactly is true and what exactly is false in what they have published as scriptures, you will be led astray. The exchange between Martin Luther and the emissary of the Pope at his trial is telling in that regard:

    Martin Luther: If you can show me through scripture and reason that I would be wrong, I will retract what I have written.
    Papacy: But dear Martin, the Bible itself is the arsenal whence each heresiarch has drawn his deceptive arguments.


    In fact, the emissary of the Pope could be right, and only he knows why. If you do not know the full truth about the Bible -- which you cannot because that is exactly their secret -- any argument through scripture and reason will still be fundamentally wrong.

    As far as I am concerned, I am out of there. That is my own conclusion.

    Remember, only one can be completely correct - and if you choose wrong you could burn in hell for all eternity. That's a pretty serious penalty for guessing wrong.EricH

    That is one of the many reasons mentioned in the opinions, mentioned in my previous post, why you are not going to burn in hell merely for guessing it wrong.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    For example, North American society advocates taking out interest-carrying student loans. In Islamic morality, that amounts to encouraging bad behaviour.alcontali

    In what way is it counted as bad behavior? I don't see the bad part of getting an education by paying for it. In the islamic countries, do they pay for the people to get the education they want or do the people that have no money nor loans lose out on education?

    Muslim scholars have extended the example of coitus interruptus, by analogy, to declaring permissible other forms of contraception, subject to three conditions.[25]
    (1) As offspring are the right of both the husband and the wife, the birth control method should be used with both parties' consent.
    (2) The method should not cause permanent sterility.[25]
    (3) The method should not otherwise harm the body.
    Wikipedia on birth control in Islam

    The other religions are good at adapting, twisting or corrupting the holy words to suit their benefits. Does it not seem contradictory that these people are saying that children are the gifts of the god, but you are allowed to be impolite and reject the gift.

    The term "marriage" in Islam refers to a contractual arrangement with the terms and conditions as specified in Islamic law. Signing up to T&C that are materially different from the ones specified by Islamic law can rarely be justified. The believer would need very, very good reasons to do that.For the believer, sex can only take place within the framework of legitimacy specified by Islamic law.alcontali

    So why are there so many cases of sex out of wedlock. If, as you said, looking after the body is of prime importance to islam, how could something as basic as sex be considered bad?

    If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things. — Quran 4:34-35

    The same question applies here as with the other gods, if he is so great why cannot he fix the causes of the problems so that they do not happen. If he made women and they are dis-obedient, why did he just make them as servants that have no other use from the beginning.

    There is no Church in Islam. Advice on matters of morality is best obtained from independent religious scholars ("mufti") in written form. It is perfectly ok and even recommended to go "mufti shopping" and compare advice from different scholars prior to reaching a conclusion on a jurisprudential matter.alcontali

    Lots of other people do that as well, shop around until they find a church, priest, pastor that suits their taste. But this also begs the same question as for the other religions; if the priest, pastor and mufti are all guided by allah or god, how could they possible give different advise?
    And the whole world has seem how the people are treated by these people, people being beaten, flogged, and stoned to death.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    Nurture is a factor, but probably not as great of one as people like to think. Twin studies have shown that even adopted into different families, people with the exact same genes have similar life outcomes and life satisfaction rates:Artemis

    Yes the twin studies are fascinating I have read quite a few over the years. But is it really possible for a person to be genetically programmed to wear the same sweaters, have the same type of dog, marry a person with the same name or looks? There are lots of examples of twins being so alike even after being brought up in different countries, but no real explanation of why.

    One of the articles I read years ago looked at the tastes in food of the twins. It was found that those that lived in different parts of the world from each other often had favorite dishes that while not containing the same ingredients the chemical content was very similar in a lot of the cases. They came to the conclusion that there was a strong possibility that the bodies being Identical had the same needs and that was probably the reason why they like the same food. The report mentioned a case were two older brothers went to visit each other and found a new favorite food, that of their brother. I never looked for the second part of that report, after they had done the experiments and research they had planned, it should be interesting.

    A 1986 study that was part of the larger Minnesota study found that genetics plays a larger role on personality than previously thought. Environment affected personality when twins were raised apart, but not when they were raised together, the study suggested.

    Other studies found a strong genetic influence on dental or gum health. That research helped to show that gum disease isn't just caused by bacteria, it also has a genetic component, Segal said.

    Another study found that happiness and well-being had a 50 percent genetic influence.

    Gum health is easier to understand, identical bodies would have the same resistance or propensity to germs and viruses.

    Happiness and well being are not that easy. It seems silly to think of people having or not having happiness genes, or more or less of them. It would make more sense to say that because they are healthier, they live a happier life. But life is not just about health is it? Would it be possible to have a gene that makes you less worried about everyday problems such as bills and work? Or do you just learn to live with it. :chin:
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    I agree for organized clergy. They are as much under control of the corporate oligarchy as for example doctors. So, yes, beware of mouthpieces of the powers that be.alcontali

    The role of an imam, who leads the congregation in worship at a mosque, is very public and very visible, and therefore often under quite a bit of political pressure. He can often not speak freely without risking reprisals from secular authorities. Therefore, it is preferable not to burden an imam at the mosque with jurisprudential questions but to direct such questions to independent scholars ("mufti"), who are much less visible, and who can syntactically derive written advisories from scripture much more freely.alcontali

    So the imans are mouthpieces of the powers that be? He can only say what the government lets him.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    There are lots of examples of twins being so alike even after being brought up in different countries, but no real explanation of why.Sir2u

    It's not self-evident to you?
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    Happiness and well being are not that easy. It seems silly to think of people having or not having happiness genes, or more or less of them. It would make more sense to say that because they are healthier, they live a happier life. But life is not just about health is it? Would it be possible to have a gene that makes you less worried about everyday problems such as bills and work? Or do you just learn to live with it. :chin:Sir2u

    Your brain structure is determined by your genes, your brain structure determines your personality, your personality is the key to everything that is in your power to find happiness.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    It's not self-evident to you?Artemis

    No.

    Your brain structure is determined by your genes, your brain structure determines your personality, your personality is the key to everything that is in your power to find happiness.Artemis

    I am a teacher, and have had the luck to have taught seven different pairs of identical twins and several fraternal twins that have never been separated. Only one of the sets had similar, not identical personalities. How do you explain that?

    If you knew anything about brain structure you would know that it changes during your life. The changes are based on many things that happen to you, your diet and the amount of exercise you do can influence the development of the brain. So no, it is not all genetic. If that were so then they would always look identical as well.
    https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/bioscience/10-things-that-change-your-brain/
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    Only one of the sets had similar, not identical personalities. How do you explain that?Sir2u

    I explain that by it not being a controlled study and just your observational anecdote.

    If you knew anything about brain structure you would know that it changes during your lifeSir2u

    Leave the snark.

    structure you would know that it changes during your life. The changes are based on many things that happen to you, your diet and the amount of exercise you do can influence the development of the brain. So no, it is not all genetic. If that were so then they would always look identical as well.Sir2u

    As I've repeatedly said, nurture is a factor. It's just not as great of one as you seem to assume.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    So the imans are mouthpieces of the powers that be? He can only say what the government lets him.Sir2u

    That is context dependent. It certainly happens.

    By leading a congregation of believers in prayer, the imam is simply too visible and too much of a public figure. That is why you could get him into serious trouble by asking him to honestly answer sensitive questions. In fact, many will simply try to avoid giving an answer. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of ulema (=scholars) are not public figures. They are not an easy target for intimidation attempts and therefore it is much easier for them to say what they want.
  • EricH
    255

    This discussion is going in many different directions simultaneously. That's not a criticism at all - you are giving some fascinating historical details. So I'm going to first address two of the items that I consider secondary to the main line of (what I consider to be) the central topic of this discussion.

    Catholic Church is Somehow Hiding the Rules
    I have been good friends with Catholics both growing up and as an adult - and that is not my perception. As far as I can tell, there are no secret rules for Catholics. For centuries they were not supposed to eat meat on Friday. Then, in 1966 the rules changed - but they were publicly announced by National Conference of Catholic Bishops (I'm over-simplifying this for brevity) . Now it may be that the process of deciding the rules was hidden, but to the best of my knowledge no practicing Catholic has ever been punished or criticized for violating a hidden rule.

    you are not going to burn in hell merely for guessing it wrong.alcontali
    We seem to be looping around in this particular thread of the discussion. Even tho I have zero belief in an afterlife, it pleases me to hear religious people say this. It tells me that I am dealing with a reasonable person - albeit one who has some beliefs that I find very strange :smile: But I'll try one more time. IF the statement I quoted above is correct then I should have a very pleasant afterlife.

    But "IF" The Southern Baptists of from the southern part of the USA are correct, then both of us will spend a long time suffering together. If anything, they would likely rate this as a very suitable punishment for our sins. . . .

    By choosing a religion, you are choosing a system of rules that specifies what behaviour is right and wrong.alcontali
    This is one of the reasons I responded to you in the first place. Religions are far more that simply a system of rules. Our legal system - while not perfect - provides an excellent road map on how to live a good decent life. If I obey the laws of the USA & my state & municipality, I'm pretty much there.

    I wish I were a more eloquent person - I'm sure there are better ways of expressing this next thought:

    There are "features" unique to each religion which drives their particular set of rules - and there are major areas on the metaphorical Venn Diagram of the set of all features of all religions where there is no overlap between 2 or more religions. This lack of overlap is the source of a significant portion of conflict in our world today.

    BTW - I admire your knowledge of math theory, I wish I could understand it at your level. Please treat this as a metaphor. :smile:
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Catholic Church is Somehow Hiding the RulesEricH

    The problem is what the Catholic encyclopedia says on the living magisterium:

    Is all revealed truth consigned to Holy Scripture? or can it, must it, be admitted that Christ gave to His Apostles to be transmitted to His Church, that the Apostles received either from the very lips of Jesus or from inspiration or Revelation, Divine instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were not committed to the inspired writings?

    Catholics, on the other hand, hold that there may be, that there is in fact, and that there must of necessity be certain revealed truths apart from those contained in the Bible; they hold furthermore that Jesus Christ has established in fact, and that to adapt the means to the end He should have established, a living organ as much to transmit Scripture and written Revelation as to place revealed truth within reach of everyone always and everywhere.
    Catholic Encyclopedia on the Living Magisterium

    So, if I understand it right, the Church has access to "Divine instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were not committed to the inspired writings" without which the Biblical scripture is not complete and without which it cannot be interpreted correctly.

    Based on these orally-transmitted secrets, only the Church can teach doctrine:

    The existence of Divine traditions not contained in Holy Scripture, and the Divine institution of the living magisterium to defend and transmit revealed truth and the prerogative of this magisterium.Catholic Encyclopedia on why the Living Magisterium is needed

    The Bible cannot be treated as the axiomatic foundation of a formal system for morality because the Church has important and very relevant secrets that it withholds from the public and on which it bases its power to direct the morality of its members.

    Our legal system - while not perfect - provides an excellent road map on how to live a good decent life. If I obey the laws of the USA & my state & municipality, I'm pretty much there.EricH

    This view turns you into a slave of the corporate oligarchy:

    Regulatory capture (also client politics) is a corruption of authority that occurs when a political entity, policymaker, or regulatory agency is co-opted to serve the commercial, ideological, or political interests of a minor constituency, such as a particular geographic area, industry, profession, or ideological group[1].[2] When regulatory capture occurs, a special interest is prioritized over the general interests of the public, leading to a net loss for society. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture are called "captured agencies."Wikipedia on regulatory capture

    Secular law is never meant to bring justice. It only exists to justify injustices. In secular law, there is always someone in the corporate oligarchy who benefits to the detriment of others. If you hand over control over your morality to the corporate oligarchy, the oligarchs will keep using you, until you will be used up, and then they will unceremoniously get rid of you. You may be loyal to the corporate oligarchs by keeping the laws that they invent, but the corporate oligarchs are not loyal to you. The corporate oligarchs are loyal only to themselves.

    The entire economy around you is filled with accomplices of the corporate oligarchs who use deception, manipulation, and outright lies to deprave you. In their control, secular law is just a tool to hijack your money and especially your soul. It is truly a Faustian pact. If you turn yourself into the instrument of the devil by keeping his law, you are inevitably doomed.
  • EricH
    255
    I can't comment any more on the Catholic thing. To my ears what you're saying sounds a bit conspiracy minded. But what do I know? I can't dismiss your arguments.

    Other than that it sounds like you've been reading Chomsky. Much of what you say about corporate control of the legal system is - if not totally accurate - then at least in the right ballpark. The problem is that if you are living in the USA? Unless you are living off the grid on a commune somewhere, you are inside the system. You have no choice in the matter. Each of us has to figure out how (s)he can best live inside this system and still be a good, decent person. It isn't that hard - at least in principal.

    I could be wrong (it happens on a regular basis) but I believe that - according to the rules you follow - my conduct towards my fellow human beings permits me to enter your Paradise.

    Meanwhile, I don't feel like you have addressed my major point. Here's what you said:
    By choosing a religion, you are choosing a system of rules that specifies what behaviour is right and wrong.alcontali

    And here's my response - I've bold-faced the key points:
    This is one of the reasons I responded to you in the first place. Religions are far more that simply a system of rules. I wish I were a more eloquent person - I'm sure there are better ways of expressing this next thought:

    There are "features" unique to each religion which drives their particular set of rules - and there are major areas on the metaphorical Venn Diagram of the set of all features of all religions where there is no overlap between 2 or more religions.

    This lack of overlap is the source of a significant portion of conflict in our world today.

    BTW - I admire your knowledge of math theory, I wish I could understand it at your level. Please treat this as a metaphor. :smile:
    EricH
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    I explain that by it not being a controlled study and just your observational anecdote.Artemis

    Reasonable, but spending 5 years teaching them gave me a lot of insight. I probably knew them better than any of the researchers knew their subjects.

    Leave the snark.Artemis

    Not being snarky, that is your perception of what I said.

    As I've repeatedly said, nurture is a factor. It's just not as great of one as you seem to assume.Artemis

    So you have read a few articles that say something like that and you are suddenly an expert. Tell me sir, what are your personal qualifications in the area of genetics? How many years have you been studying the topic.

    And where exactly did I state how much of a factor I think nurture is?
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    By leading a congregation of believers in prayer, the imam is simply too visible and too much of a public figure. That is why you could get him into serious trouble by asking him to honestly answer sensitive questions. In fact, many will simply try to avoid giving an answer. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of ulema (=scholars) are not public figures. They are not an easy target for intimidation attempts and therefore it is much easier for them to say what they want.alcontali

    Is this what the perfect society looks like?

    The god of these people lets their servants, the rulers of their nations, be tyrants over their brother believers. Sounds just like the other religions to me.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    So you have read a few articles that say something like that and you are suddenly an expert. Tell me sir, what are your personal qualifications in the area of genetics? How many years have you been studying the topic.

    And where exactly did I state how much of a factor I think nurture is?
    Sir2u

    That's Ma'am2U, thank you very much.

    Seems to me odd to insist your five years of observing a couple of twins are worth more in information than the research I've presented. Seems more like you just don't like the results because they don't jive with your position.

    Critique the argument as is, or don't. But don't start these juvenile snarks about my qualifications or expertise. That's not just bad philosophy, it's bad interpersonal skills.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Is this what the perfect society looks like? The god of these people lets their servants, the rulers of their nations, be tyrants over their brother believers. Sounds just like the other religions to me.Sir2u

    I very libertarian myself. If you think away Islam, you may even think that I am libertarian. However, Islam encapsulates and constrains my libertarianism.

    In my belief strategy, I need to fit concepts, foreign or new to Islam, into the Islamic framework, simply because I reject system-less thinking. Either one thinks within a system, or else one is thinking about a system, because in all other cases, one is simply doing system-less bullshit.

    Why?

    Even core (propositional) logic itself is a formal system with 14 axioms. Therefore, you can never start from an empty page. There is a lot already written in that page, and now you have to fit into that existing legacy, whatever you want to deal with. This does not mean that there is just one formal system of logic. David Hilbert did some really nice work in that regard with his Hilbert calculi. Therefore, even questioning logic and proposing alternative formal systems of logic is possible. However, you will need to keep in mind that there will be two systems: the metalogic system and the object logic system. Your metatheoretical results will then be expressed in your choice of metalogic about your choice of object logic.

    When reasoning from first principles there are no blank slates. Empty deductive systems simply do not exist. Model-theoretically, empty deductive systems simply have no legitimate model.

    Still, libertarianism is a concern, and according to me, a very legitimate one. Libertarianism is, however, not a legitimate formal system. Therefore, I am willing to address its concerns but only within the framework of a legitimate formal system.

    According to Islam, anarchy, i.e. ruler-lessness, is not permitted. If you want a practical example of what anarchy means, just look at the situation in Libya: two thousand militia combating each other and vying for power. Unlike what some people seem to believer, anarchy does not even mean that we will have no ruler. It always means that we will have (lots of) wannabe rulers fighting with each other over who will be the only ruler.

    Therefore my libertarian-like strategy consists of accepting a ruler. I will, however, not hesitate to implement counter-veiling measures to rein in his power. Islam is in itself already one such powerful counter-veiling strategy: the ruler cannot invent the laws because Allah has invented all the laws already. A second important and relatively modern strategy consists in preventing the ruler from issuing the currency by promoting the use of decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. There are obviously many more counter-veiling measures possible to rein in the ruler's power. Unless strictly forbidden by Islam, I will not hesitate to use all of them.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    That's Ma'am2U, thank you very much.Artemis

    My apologizes madame. Not everyone here uses there real gender in their name and avatar.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/jun/02/twins-identical-genes-different-health-study

    The study you provided a link to was about separated at birth identical twins. Here is one about identical twins that grew up together and have very different personalities. Which according to your "It's not self-evident to you theory" should be impossible. Here is a relevant quote from it.

    Such a divergence might seem odd. After all, as identical twins, the pair have exactly the same genes. They are clones of each other. They also had an upbringing that accentuated their similarities. Nature and nurture would appear to have dealt them identical hands. Yet Barbara and Christine have ended up as dissimilar individuals.

    Nor are they unusual, says Professor Tim Spector, head of twin research at King's College, London. Barbara and Christine, who enlisted with the college's twin studies unit several years ago, are like many identical twins. In some ways, they are very, very alike, in looks, for example. But in other ways, they are noticeably dissimilar – and that is far harder to explain. "We see it in so many different ways," says Spector. "For example, our research has shown that twins rarely die of the same disease. Yet they share many other features, such as height. It is not a straightforward business."
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    Read more

    It sounds baffling. After all, identical twins have the same genes, share the same womb and usually experience the same childhoods. "Most of the twins recruited to our study went to the same school and lived together, eating the same food for the first 18 or so years of their lives," says Spector, whose pioneering study celebrates its 21st birthday next month. "But the outcomes of their lives are often very different indeed."

    I usually make it a habit to try and read various points of view, hence my "but no real explanation of why" comment.

    Critique the argument as is, or don't. But don't start these juvenile snarks about my qualifications or expertise.Artemis

    That seems to imply that there is a double standard of some sort operating in your thinking process. You are allowed to mock my qualifications, but I am not allowed to even ask about yours. Why is that?

    That's not just bad philosophy, it's bad interpersonal skills.Artemis

    Practice what you preach.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    I can't comment any more on the Catholic thing. To my ears what you're saying sounds a bit conspiracy minded. But what do I know? I can't dismiss your arguments.EricH

    I have literally lifted and distilled from their own publications the desire of the Holy Apostolic Church to control our morality by using occult secrets.

    It is also exactly what they told Martin Luther at his trial in Worms, Germany, in April 1521, in front of emperor Charles V, then ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. The emissary of the Church rebuked Luther's defence "through scripture and reason" by invoking the necessity to be in the known of their occult secrets in order to navigate around and avoid dangerous landmines in the Bible: "The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each evil heresiarch has drawn his deceptive arguments."

    Therefore, I will be forgiven if I refuse to use the Bible as the foundation for a formal system of morality. It is the accredited publisher himself, the Holy Apostolic Church, which strictly forbids such usage of their "copyrighted" work. Anybody who tries to do that anyway, is acting in violation of the intellectual property of the successors of Saint Peter. That is why I do not endorse the Protestant view either.

    Martin Luther may have been epistemically entirely right, but his behaviour was still in violation of the intellectual property of the Church. Furthermore, to anybody not in possession of the occult secrets, the editor and publisher of the aforementioned intellectual property does not even allow the use of their publication as first principles for the purpose of syntactically deriving doctrine.

    So, no, I am not interested in violating the Church's intellectual property by abusing it for unlicensed purposes.

    Religions are far more that simply a system of rulesEricH

    Yes, agreed.

    Religion also proclaims the transcendental origin of this system of rules, necessarily from outside its formal system of rules.

    A formal system is not in a position to justify its own construction logic. That is why first principles are what they are. In that sense, the origin of the formal system of religious law is proclaimed in natural language, outside of any formalism.

    This is actually a generality.

    From some meta-level on, we abandon the lower-level formalisms that govern the system and start reasoning about the system in natural language. The core of epistemology and the core of ontology are themselves simply not formal systems.

    In Islam, the idea is that we proclaim our religiosity on grounds of our fitrah, i.e. our natural predisposition.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    In Islam, the idea is that we proclaim our religiosity on grounds of our fitrah, i.e. our natural predisposition.alcontali

    And if the people are not naturally predisposed they beat the hell out of them until they are.
    How can a human being be naturally predisposed to be wrapped up in a hot bag in a place known for its high temperatures? How can a human being be naturally predisposed to be sub-servant to another just because of their gender. How can human beings be naturally predisposed to never want an education. How can a human being be naturally predisposed to be poor all of their lives.

    Has anyone asked the people what they want? Of course not, because they know that some people that are not scared of being beaten for disobedience will tell the truth. The rest will say what they are supposed to because of the fear of the powers that be. And no really believes that it is the politicians forcing the religion to do these, it is the religions that rule the governments.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    That seems to imply that there is a double standard of some sort operating in your thinking process. You are allowed to mock my qualifications, but I am not allowed to even ask about yours. Why is that?Sir2u

    When did I ever mock your qualifications???

    Which according to your "It's not self-evident to you theory" should be impossibleSir2u

    The self-evident part was in reference to the mechanism twin studies are supposed to to suggest similarities arise. It seemed/still seems odd to me that you wouldn't realize the mechanism is genetic makeup.

    I usually make it a habit to try and read various points of view, hence my "but no real explanation of why" commentSir2u

    The article you quote doesn't really contradict my position. It just suggests that nurture is also a factor (remember that under "nurture" falls all environmental influences an individual encounters).

    Consider this part of the article:
    ""In the case of osteoporosis, which we once thought was caused by a single mutant gene, we now believe that there may be 500 genes involved – interacting to trigger the disease in people at different ages," says Spector."

    500 genes influence osteoporosis alone. That's 500 points that may or may not be environmentally triggered to some extent or another. And yet, no environment can trigger that for which there is no gene.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    When did I ever mock your qualifications???Artemis

    I explain that by it not being a controlled study and just your observational anecdote.Artemis

    Reasonable, but spending 5 years teaching them gave me a lot of insight. I probably knew them better than any of the researchers knew their subjects.Sir2u

    Seems to me odd to insist your five years of observing a couple of twins are worth more in information than the research I've presented. Seems more like you just don't like the results because they don't jive with your position.Artemis

    Apart from your name, "Artemis", exactly what contact have you had with twins? That is why I asked if you have any professional qualifications. It seems odd to me that some should be so insistent that they are right without being able to do more that point to an article(that has lots of counter opinions) as qualification of their point of view.

    The self-evident part was in reference to the mechanism twin studies are supposed to to suggest similarities arise. It seemed/still seems odd to me that you wouldn't realize the mechanism is genetic makeup.Artemis

    Just because something is "supposed to " do something does not make it "self-evident" that it actually does.

    The article you quote doesn't really contradict my position. It just suggests that nurture is also a factor (remember that under "nurture" falls all environmental influences an individual encounters).Artemis

    I have never contradicted your point of view either, all I said was that I was not sure how much of one or the other actually makes you what you are. The article I linked explained quite clearly that the difference between the twins were likely caused by difference in the environment causing changed to the DNA. Which would mean that while genetics plays a big part, genetics is affected by the environments in which the people live.

    Twin studies have shown that even adopted into different families, people with the exact same genes have similar life outcomes and life satisfaction rates:Artemis

    It's why you can have on one hand people with all sorts of problems and issues pull off amazing feats overcoming their circumstances, and then other really objectively fortunate people just fall into despair and throw their lives away. There's some kind of internal drive that some people have and others lack that makes the difference.

    For those people, I think there needs to be something, somewhere they can turn to.
    Artemis

    First you say that genes are the principal controller of behavior but you think that they might need guidance when their behavior changes. Are there not genes that make people predisposed to those changes? Or are the changes caused by environment overriding the genes? So would joining a church group be make it possible to change what is genetic?

    Science still does not know it all, so how can you say that it is obvious?
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    How can human beings be naturally predisposed to never want an education.Sir2u

    I have picked just one of your simplistic and alarming phrases.

    Maybe we should first discuss something like Aaron Clarey's book, "Worthless":

    "Worthless" is the single most important book young men and women can read before they attend college. While teachers, guidance counselors and even parents are afraid to tell you the truth in an effort to spare your feelings, “Worthless” delivers a blunt and real-world assessment about the economic realities and consequences of choosing various degrees with a necessary and tough fatherly love. Don’t lie to yourself. And certainly don’t waste four years of your youth and thousands of dollars in tuition on a worthless degree. Buy this book and understand why it is important you choose the right major. The book itself could be the wisest investment you ever make.Amazon's description of 'Worthless'

    You may have been manipulated by the corporate oligarchy into believing in fairy tales; more specifically, by the fiat bankstering cartel that writes out the student loans, and also by the academic profiteering industry that charges gigantic amounts of cash for a very dumb exercise in useless credentialism which will only lead to a part-time job of slinging coffees at Starbucks.

    Welcome to the student loan crisis, i.e. an impressive den of false, pagan beliefs. If you do not believe that these pagans believe the lies, then let me confirm with you that they do believe them.

    So, yes, these people are several orders of magnitude more stupid and more gullible than anything you could have imagined.

    Someone with a worthless degree is not just an idiot. That person is even a certifiable and certified idiot, and has his/her worthless degree, along with the balance statement on outstanding student loan debt, to prove that very fact. Look. There it is: The official certificates of stupidity testifying to the retardedness of their holder, the king or queen of idiots.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    Apart from your name, "Artemis", exactly what contact have you had with twins? That is why I asked if you have any professional qualifications. It seems odd to me that some should be so insistent that they are right without being able to do more that point to an article(that has lots of counter opinions) as qualification of their point of view.Sir2u

    Contact with twins? Are you suggesting we rely on arguments from anecdote now?

    Once and for all, stick to any objectively verifiable data you can present and argue with me on those same grounds. I'm not going to discuss my own person with you. Take it or leave it.

    Which would mean that while genetics plays a big part, genetics is affected by the environments in which the people liveSir2u

    Yes. I've said that pretty much from the start.

    First you say that genes are the principal controller of behavior but you think that they might need guidance when their behavior changes. Are there not genes that make people predisposed to those changes? Or are the changes caused by environment overriding the genes? So would joining a church group be make it possible to change what is genetic?Sir2u

    I never suggested churches change genetics. I said church and other cultural mechanisms which help give external meaning to people's lives fill a gap when the genetics for self-fulfillment are lacking in some way or another. Think of it as akin to insulin for T1D patients.
  • EricH
    255
    I am not interested in violating the Church's intellectual property by abusing it for unlicensed purposes.alcontali
    I was going to continue along the main line of this discussion, bu your take on this is fascinating - I've never heard this line of reasoning before. I know there's no chance of dissuading you, but let me point out a few problems with this position. I hope you will at least consider them before rejecting them.

    Copyright Illegally Obtained.
    There was no notion of copyright back then, the Gospels were in the public domain. Peter had no authority to claim them - basically he took them by force.
    Copyright Is Long Since Expired.
    I think this speaks for itself.
    Copyright Only Applies to New Testament
    Even if we accept the notion that the Roman Catholic Church somehow "owns" the bible, it is clear that such ownership only applies to the New Testament. If anyone owns the Old Testament it's the Jews - and to the best of my knowledge they never transferred ownership over to the Roman Catholic Church.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    I will be forgiven if I refuse to use the Bible as the foundation for a formal system of morality.alcontali
    Now back to the main line of this thread. I am on your side with this one but for very different reasons. I will not use any religious text as the foundation for a system of morality, since - as you eloquently put it
    Religion also proclaims the transcendental origin of this system of rules, necessarily from outside its formal system of rules.alcontali
    Now we only know each other through our writings, so I hope this does not come across as critical - I'm going to ask you to do something that may be hard for you. I would like you to put yourself in the position of a person who has no religion - but is sincerely trying to evaluate them as objectively as possible. . .
    There are countless religions on this planet - new ones keep popping into existence as we speak. They all claim to have transcendental origins - but they all make differing claims. Even if you accept the possibility of a transcendent origin there is no way to evaluate the correctness of such claims. And on top of that - each religion has it's own system of moral rules and these rules differ wildly among religions. Things which are permitted in one religion are forbidden in another. And on top of that, many (not all) religions have a long and well documented history of trying to force their beliefs on other people under penalty of death.

    Now if the leaders of all the religions of the world could get together and come up with a set of rules of morality that they could agree upon? I would give this serious consideration. But until that time, I reject religion as a source of morality.

    So the obvious next question is how can we construct a system of morality in the absence of transcendental authority. I confess - I do not have a definitive answer to this question. The best I can say is that It is up to us frail, flawed human beings to muddle through - to continue to talk to each other and try to figure out a path.

    I would add (and yes, this likely sounds like a random thought coming out of nowhere) it is vitally important that we can laugh at ourselves.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    Contact with twins? Are you suggesting we rely on arguments from anecdote now?Artemis

    No, I am asking you to clarify why you think that you are right and that I am wrong just because of one article that you read. On what do you base your certainty? The article was not even a scientific report, but one of many news articles that contain parts of a report. And there are other reports that show that environment does make quite a bit of difference.

    Once and for all, stick to any objectively verifiable data you can present and argue with me on those same grounds. I'm not going to discuss my own person with you. Take it or leave it.Artemis

    So let's look at all of the object verifiable data then. I think that if you read more you will find that science does not have enough verifiable data to be able to say exactly why people are like they are. If they did there would be lots of things in the news about it, the biggest discovery of the century type of stuff.

    I don't want to discuss your person with you, I just would like to know if you are qualified to state what your are stating. Which is quite apparent you are not as the only thing that I can imagine about you is that you have some sort of infatuation about twins. How is Apollo by the way?

    So if you do not want to explain how you are able to assert the "facts" you give I have no reason to believe you, I would like to see the evidence about your knowledge. Take it or leave it.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    Which is quite apparent you are not as the only thing that I can imagine about you is that you have some sort of infatuation about twins. How is Apollo by the way?Sir2u

    I have repeatedly told you I'm not interested in that tone or vein of interaction. Please excuse me, but I have better things to do with my life than let a perfect stranger be rude to me.

    Buh-bye.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Even if we accept the notion that the Roman Catholic Church somehow "owns" the bible, it is clear that such ownership only applies to the New Testament.EricH

    In fact, I have just translated their position at Martin Luther's trial into more modern terminology, in conjunction with Church's position in the article on the living magisterium, more specifically, Divine traditions not contained in Holy Scripture. There is clearly no way to use that as the foundation for a formal system of morality. Martin Luther would have loved it, but unfortunately, our beloved Augustinian friar was excommunicated in Decet Romanum Pontificem:

    Nevertheless Martin himself—and it gives us grievous sorrow and perplexity to say this—the slave of a depraved mind, has scorned to revoke his errors within the prescribed interval and to send us word of such revocation ... he has feared not to write and preach worse things than before against us and this Holy See and the Catholic faith, and to lead others on to do the same. He has now been declared a heretic ...Decet Romanum Pontificem, excerpt

    Actually, there wasn't only the "intellectual property" issue at stake in Luther's trial. He was also a staff member on the payroll of a Catholic institution of higher learning, and was apparently also facing accusations of insubordination and possibly violations of his non-compete clause.

    Copyright Only Applies to New Testament
    Even if we accept the notion that the Roman Catholic Church somehow "owns" the bible, it is clear that such ownership only applies to the New Testament.
    EricH

    Yes, but the Papal authorities of the Holy See also insist that they can successfully enforce their intellectual property by means of their trade secrets. Without the secret key, you cannot derive meaningful conclusions from the text.

    Even if you accept the possibility of a transcendent origin there is no way to evaluate the correctness of such claims.EricH

    Well, the origin of the axioms that form the construction logic of any formal system is always a non-issue and a non-problem. Where do the axioms of logic come from? Where the ones of number theory or set theory?

    The only rule about that is that we are not allowed to justify the first principles of a formal system from within the formal system. As I mentioned before, the formal system of religious law does not mention any justification for its own axioms, because that is something mentioned in natural language outside the system. Problem solved.

    Now if the leaders of all the religions of the world could get together and come up with a set of rules of morality that they could agree upon?EricH

    That sounds too much like an attempt to do design by committee.

    Design by committee is a disparaging term for a project that has many designers involved but no unifying plan or vision. The term is used to refer to suboptimal traits that such a process may produce as a result of having to compromise between the requirements and viewpoints of the participants, particularly in the presence of poor leadership or poor technical knowledge, such as needless complexity, internal inconsistency, logical flaws, banality, and the lack of a unifying vision.Wikipedia on 'design by committee'

    Successful formal systems are built by benevolent dictators for life. For example, Linus Torvalds is the mafia boss of the linux kernel. He is the final autocrator and he does not debate his decisions. He just imposes them. Seriously, that is why it works. If you don't like Linus, because you think that he is an incompetent arsehole, you can always use or join another competing project, such as FreeBSD. So, the problem is solved by letting the alternatives compete with each other, and not by merging them. That is exactly the existing situation with competing religions. Hence, there is no problem and also no need to solve it.

    And on top of that - each religion has it's own system of moral rules and these rules differ wildly among religions. Things which are permitted in one religion are forbidden in another.EricH

    Well, not really. You may be exaggerating that problem. Religions all have the same function and therefore are more similar than different. It's like with competing brands of cars. No matter who builds the car, it still has to do approximately the same things as any other car. So, the similarities will always be more striking than the differences.

    So the obvious next question is how can we construct a system of morality in the absence of transcendental authority. I confess - I do not have a definitive answer to this question.EricH

    Well, yeah, that brings us back to the fundamental problem of the atheists: they do not propose any alternative system for morality, and certainly not a formalizable one. Apparently, they must somehow lack "inspiration".

    I would just want to fire up the Coq proof assistant and encode the axioms of the formal system for morality with a view on achieving mechanical verifiability from scripture of religious advisories.

    If I have to wait for the atheists to come up with a proposal, I can simply forget about the project, because that amounts to waiting for Godot.

    At the same time, the Islamic system of religious law is clearly the closest to formalization. Hence, in terms of "time to market" considerations, it is trivially obvious what to choose. If you want to defeat the competition with a sizable first-mover advantage, Islam is clearly the way to go. Only Jewish law could possibly catch up, but only if Rabbinic competition quickly decide to hit the ground running with their competing project, because otherwise, they can also forget about it. Nice guys always finish last!
  • Sir2u
    2.3k
    I have picked just one of your simplistic alarming phrases.alcontali

    You can pick all of the phrases you want, but answer the question I asked. So far you have not answered a single question of mine, you always sidestep them.

    I have no interest in what the corporate, religious or even ethnic teachings and preachings are trying to do to the masses.
    I asked about the predisposition of people against getting an education, are they or are they not predisposed to avoid getting an education. And to make sure it is clear what I am asking let us define education as any form of gaining knowledge.

    If people are not predisposed towards avoiding an education, why should they not be asked to pay for it?

    I am not interested in how they pay for it, that is their personal choice. If they are willing to accept a loan and get a worthless degree because they are too lazy to do the math beforehand or to find something better, that is their problem.
    Comparing government loans to loan sharks might be correct, but no one forces anyone to take the money. They are free to do as many of us did and get a job to pay for their education. I worked for several years in the municipal garbage collection department to pay for mine.

    How many islamic countries have free educational systems for their inhabitants?

    Maybe we should discuss something like Aaron Clarey's book, "Worthless" first:alcontali

    Maybe I would discuss it with you if you have read it, but because you posted an Amazon review instead of your own thoughts on the book I doubt that you have much to say. I read the book several years ago and was not all that impressed with it. "The curse of a high IQ" was better.

    Someone with a worthless degree is not just an idiot. That person is even a certifiable and certified idiot, and has his/her worthless degree, along with the balance statement on outstanding student loan debt, to prove that very fact. Look. There it is: The official certificates of stupidity testifying to the retardedness of their holder, the king or queen of idiots.alcontali

    I agree, there are a lot of people with useless degrees out there and no job. But who's fault is it? As you say, they were stupid enough to fall for the lies.
    OK, so how many companies can you name that are hiring personnel in management and upward level jobs that are not asking for college degrees? Note that I am not asking for the jobs and companies that people invent for themselves, but for the jobs that people look for to pay their bills, buy a house, improve their level of living, and maybe have a health/retirement fund attached to it.
  • Sir2u
    2.3k

    I almost forgot to mention this, here is the website of the author you mentioned.

    http://assholeconsulting.com/bio/

    Very convincing isn't it. :chin: :worry:

    Edit: Sorry EricH this was sent as a reply to the wrong person.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    You can pick all of the phrases you want, but answer the question I asked. So far you have not answered a single question of mine, you always sidestep them.Sir2u

    I only addressed the question of education. It is not hard to become a worthless idiot of whom the stupidity is certified by a worthless degree along with spectacular student-loan debt. So, the question of education is not necessarily simple. Should children spend their childhood in public-school indoctrination camp and then acquire a worthless degree in a dumb liberal-art subject? Maybe or maybe not. That is certainly debatable. I do not send my children to public-school indoctrination camp. I do not believe that they could ever benefit from that. When I look at that kind of large-scale imbecilization factories, I even wonder why they exist in the first place?

    I asked about the predisposition of people against getting an education, are they or are they not predisposed to avoid getting an education. And to make sure it is clear what I am asking let us define education as any form of gaining knowledge.Sir2u

    But what exactly is knowledge? Do we even agree on that matter? Memorizing phone books replete with trivia does not amount to acquiring knowledge. On the contrary, that is utmost worthless. Furthermore, not even one of the culturally-Marxist beliefs that children learn in public-school indoctrination camps can be considered justified in epistemological terms. Again, all of that is worthless, and often even dangerous.

    So, what the indoctrination camps teach, is usually not even knowledge. Still, even when the subject matter really is knowledge, I still do not support the practice of memorizing such knowledge databases. As far as I am concerned, either you use the machine, or else you build the machine, because in all other cases, it is you the machine.

    If people are not predisposed towards avoiding an education, why should they not be asked to pay for it?Sir2u

    I pay for the education of my children, but under my terms.

    I do not want freebies. I do not want "free" education. It only means that you have no say over what the school will be doing. Just like I do not want a state department for providing shoes to the populace, I do not want one for education either. So, of course, I pay, if only, because that is how it is me who gets to decide what exactly I buy. Most services that masquerade as education are not only worthless but also ideological mouthpieces for cultural Marxism. The core ideology in my house is Islam and not cultural Marxism.

    How many islamic countries have free educational systems for their inhabitants?Sir2u

    I am completely opposed to freebies. As I have said already, I do not want a ministry for the provision of gratis clothes to the populace. For a long list of reasons, too long to enumerate here, clothing should not be free of charge. The same is true for education and healthcare. I simply do not share that kind of culturally Marxist beliefs.

    I agree, there are a lot of people with useless degrees out there and no job. But who's fault is it? As you say, they were stupid enough to fall for the lies.Sir2u

    It is Allah's punishment for adopting false, pagan beliefs. If these people refuse to accept the truth, then they will still have to accept all consequences of doing so. Unfortunately, it is the very same people who engage in irresponsible behaviour who will later on demand that other, more responsible people bail them out. I can almost guarantee that these born idiots will not even pay off their student loans. They will again want freebies instead. I utterly despise these irresponsible freebie retards.

    You see, their views are totally contrary to mine. As a man, I do not just pay for myself. I also pay for wife, children, subsidies and allowances to extended family, and charity to neighbours in the wider community. I cannot imagine seeking to ask for freebies from other men. The idea alone is horrifying to me. Other men don't owe me anything. I simply do not want to live in a country with that kind of freebie mentality.
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