Comments

  • The source of morals
    That would be this world. I would do that because it matters to me.S

    I appreciate the thought. I guess it makes sense to be good to yourself. This doesn't make complete sense to me though. Can you explain to me how a world populated by one single sentient being can have any moral dimension?
  • The source of morals
    I'd (unfortunately) guess that most families wouldn't actually agree with that.
    2h
    Terrapin Station

    How right you are but that doesn't negate what I said about morality being essentially a social phenomenon explicable with recognizing some form of unity among peoples. In essence we recognize the other as just another token of ourselves and that makes us moral.
  • The source of morals
    I am one person. What I'd do with morality is seek to improve my characterS

    Whywould you do that? In which world does character have any moral value except in a social setting?
  • The source of morals
    Are you really saying anything other than, "altruism is good", and, "morality should be about altruism"? I doubt it, and I don't think that that sort of thing is a good example of critical thinking skills at work.S

    What is morality about then? It's a social thing isn't it? What would one person do with morality?
  • Should A Men's Rights Movement Exist?
    I think a ''rights movement'' needs the sound basis of discriminatory practices. Are men discriminated against?

    The examples you cite don't seem to show any unfair treatment. There is a disproportionate number of men dying/suffering but, if we dig a little deeper, I think we can find the cause in discrimination by men AND women against something else.
  • Are songs spatiotemporal?
    A performance has a clear location. It's the song that was performed that I was asking about (as a metaphor for the self). Do you think a song has a location?frank

    Works of art seem to be inspired by emotion which are, in turn, caused by something - a picturesque landscape, a beautiful maiden, etc. Don't these have locations.

    I'm no music expert but I guess there is abstract music like there's abstract art. These probably don't have a spatial correlate.
  • The source of morals
    Morality, I believe, had an origin. We now consider it distinct from its source i.e. it has become a subject in itself. The problem is (at least for me) we haven't taken the trouble to trace morality back to its origins.

    What could be the beginnings of morality?

    As I see it morality is ''simply'' about how you treat others. From what I've observed there is no need for morality within a family or community and so on. We ''automatically'' treat family, friends and anybody we bond with in a good way.

    There are two ways of viewing this state of affairs:

    1. You subdue your ego and put others before yourself. In effect you work by the principle ''others before me''.

    2. You expand what you identify as self. The family is basically the self, dilated. Likewise a group of friends, a community, etc. are extensions of the self/your ego. I am ''we''.

    Morality, it seems, has its origins in knowledge of the unity of humanity and by extrapolation, if you factor animal rights and environmental awareness, the unity of all life itself.
  • Are songs spatiotemporal?
    I think timing is important in music. Space can be translated into time.
  • What Are The Chances of Life After Death?
    Are you willing to commit suicide with a 28% chance? I'm not going to hold my breath...
  • A behavior that does not exist is not good.
    Why do they execute bad people?

    Existence itself is probably not enough.
  • Master Slave
    It's not as bad as you suggest. While there's white collar crime, the educated are, on the whole, more reasonable. The uneducated seem susceptible to mind manipulation and thereof become weaponized in the hands of the unscrupulous. The unscrupulous are uneducated most of the time. I don't think there's any sane person who can resist the moral lessons of philosophy specifically and education on the whole.
  • Is the Mind Informed by the Infinite?
    There is no mystery. There is only curiosity and curiosity killed the cat.

    What is a mystery anyway? It's simply the need to answer the 7 basic questions: who? what? when? where? which? how? why?

    What is interesting is questions don't stop. Infinite regress. The mystery never ends.
  • Are you happy to know you will die?
    I read on a person's T-shirt ''Nobody wants to die but everybody wants to go to heaven''. This, I think, sums up our pathetic situation - the chasm that separates hope from fact.
  • Space Is Expanding So It Can’t Be Infinite?
    I don't know. You haven't proven that infinity can't grow. I remember mentioning to you about how, once upon a time, we couldn't count more than 2. 3 was simply ''many''. Any number greater than 2 was also referred to as ''many''. That however didn't mean the ''many'' couldn't grow/increase right? We could have 4 or 5 or n+1 which is growing as you can see but all are simply called ''many''. I think infinity too can be viewed in this way.

    Read this: One, two, many
  • Space Is Expanding So It Can’t Be Infinite?
    There is no mathematical or, for that matter, any other law that prevents infinity from growing.

    You can still add to infinity. Yes the answer will still be infinity but growing, as you describe it, is the possibility for addition, an operation you can apply to infinity.
  • Killing a Billion
    It’s just the same. Putting a nice suit on a corpse doesn’t make it breath or smell better. I completely understand the instinct to shy away from the horror and the “silverlining” attitude. Maybe in reality that is the better coping mechanism, but I wonder if it’s the better from a moralistic perspective?I like sushi

    You're right but what choice do you have? The scenario is like suicide and I suppose if we have to go why not in our best suit?
  • Space Is Expanding So It Can’t Be Infinite?
    Good argument. But you'd have to prove that infinity can't grow/expand. That is something you haven't done yet.

    Infinity can grow can it not?

    I hear that there are infinite infinities each larger than the other.
  • An Alternative Trolley Problem
    The trolley problem is NOT a moral issue. Where we can't choose i.e. we're constrained there can be neither good nor bad. Either option is acceptable.
  • Killing a Billion
    We'd need some criteria to select the chosen ones. What could that be I wonder?

    How about this...

    We don't choose those who must die but, rather, choose those who must live. Good people, women, children, men to carry on the species, etc. may be selected to live. Let the rest die.

    Perhaps if we take this as an ''opportunity'' to create utopia instead of a moral ''burden'' we can make some headway.
  • Semper Fi
    I'd like some Western and Eastern perspective on this. There probably is some difference between the two hemispheres and before I forget what about Africa?

    Edit: I completely misread your OP. Sorry.

    Are women better than men?

    Yes, in some ways and no, in others.

    You'd probably get the same answer if you had asked about men.

    To gve you some context. It's the same question and the answer which was in favor of men that got feminism going right? We're in search of equilibrium, balance, equality I believe and not trying to swing the scales of social justice the other way.

    What do you think?
  • All A are B vs A are B. Is there a difference?
    You two are in disagreement here. Why is he wrong? Can you deduce it? Can you source it?
    6d
    Jimmy1
  • Technology, Complexity, Science- No Bastion for Meaning Either
    Scientists are fully aware of what they do. Of course many, perhaps most, will not choose their field with the overarching lofty goal of a purpose/meaning.

    Yet, it won't take long for scientists and non-scientists to realize, in complete understanding of their choices, that science is the one true activity that separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.

    Yes, there's art and music but these are non-rational as far as I can see and so must be on a lower rung of the hierarchy of natures that define a human being.

    Some might say that science is incomplete and there are other rational fields like philosophy that are non-scientific as it were. Nevertheless science is surely (I'm being optimistic here) going to make inroads into such issues as consciousness and thereof all other fields will be absorbed into science.
  • Technology, Complexity, Science- No Bastion for Meaning Either
    I'm not claiming science is perfect and it might have some dubious (materalistic) assumptions. However, no one can deny that it is a rational enterprise. In fact it boasts the most rational methodology of all human endeavors. Am I wrong?

    I find it hard to swallow criticism directed at science using tools that are only possible because of science.
  • God exists, I'll tell you why.
    To be absolutely fair we can't really comment on the God issue can we?

    Also, if you believe in God then great. I secretly hope for a God too as I especially like omnibenevolence. Why the need to make such a profound truth public? I don't see such motivation in other truths. According to the Tao Te Ching, those who speak don't know and those who know don't speak. What do you think?
  • Quantum experiment undermines the notion of objective reality
    QM is about the atomic world and objective reality is about the macroscopic world. I don't think we can carry over the results in one to the other.

    If all this is true then there's as much difference between classical physics and QM as there is between religion and science.

    Also, to declare there's no objective reality from such an experiment seems to let logic off the hook. As if to say logic, as it is, can't fail. We probably need to work on our logic too before we reject objective reality so soon.
  • Technology, Complexity, Science- No Bastion for Meaning Either
    I remember starting a thread about this question. I believe purpose/meaning has to be unique to the individual and, by corollary, to a particular species or genus or whatever category pops in one's mind.

    I mean the meaning/purpose of a fish is to swim and swim well. A tiger must predate well and so on. What of humans? That which sets us apart from the rest of the living world is our mind, its higher faculties of logic and creativity. I believe, ergo, that cultivation and employment of these higher faculties define us.

    As for science, it looks like it's at the top of the list of mankind's creative and logical achievements. It helps us understand, therefore manipulate, our world to our advantage. Scientists and mathematicians have to be rational AND creative, sometimes, I believe, at the very frontiers of these abilities.

    So, according to me, yes, there is a greater meaning/purpose in immersing oneself in math and science.

    What I'll not agree on is that scientists/mathematicians are morally good people. Like every other professional category there'll always be some rotten apples.
  • Are prison populations an argument for why women are better than males?
    I agree but with the proviso that women are better than men only in the narrow sense of legal behavior. I mean women tend to be more law abiding than men.

    Does this ''docile'' nature influence other aspects of a person, like intelligence, creativity, etc.? I don't know. I wish it did because the world would be a much better place.
  • Why isn't rationality everything? (in relation to using rationality as a means to refute religion)
    I'm a bit confused. What do you mean by ''rationality''? If you mean the traditional notion of disallowing contradictions then it's my hunch that one only has to do a cursory reading of quantum weirdness to dispel the belief that everything is rational.

    I may be wrong but I read somewhere that there was a conversation between Niels Bohr and Einstein and the former replied to the latter's ''our theories are too poor for reality'' with ''no, reality is too rich for our theories''.

    Just saying...
  • Anecdotal evidence and probability theory
    Here's what I remember from my logic studies:

    To assess the credibility of a claim made by a person the following conditions need to be satisfied:

    1. Appropriate credentials: the person claiming something must have an established reputation in the area the claim is about.

    2. Appropriate area of expertise: a physicist must make claims only about physics for example

    3. Lack of bias: no ideological, monetary, etc. reasons for making a claim

    4. Expert consensus: experts in the area the claim is about must agree on it. I think this is where your question comes in.
  • The human brain is unable to comprehend nothing
    I don't know. Nothing does have physical references e.g. empty space. It also has a mathematical interpretation viz. zero. Nothingness can also be "experienced" when we're asleep or unconscious.

    So, I wouldn't say we cannot comprehend nothing.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    No it doesn't. This is not how assessments work. We take into account all external as well as internal factors that could contribute to a persons dysfunction. I'm seeing a lot of you guys make assumptions here without any real support. When I evaluate my clients I take into account all factors.Anaxagoras

    You're a professional psychiatrist so I can't completely reject your claims but it is quite odd to blame and treat a person who's depressed with medication because people treat him/her badly. You see the problem is not with him. It's the people who mistreat him. The pills don't treat that significant part of the problem do they?
  • Can we calculate whether any gods exist?
    Well, in my humble opinion you should reconsider the matter. In the theism-atheism debate we have arguments from both sides. Yes, none of these arguments are perfectly sound and so the problem. But people believe what they believe only based on a logical argument they connect with. For example problem of evil is quite convincing atheistic argument and the ontological argument is a ''sound'' theistic argument.

    All I'm saying is people believe based on logic and it's not just guesswork.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris


    I think this thread matches with an issue raised in this thread: Complexities of suicide

    Psychiatry seems to exclude an important aspect, the external reality like socio-economic factors and other things you guys mentioned, which have causal import to mental health and focuses, unduly, on the inner world/self of a person.

    However, a thing to note is that given any set of situations no two people will react in the sameway. Look at the holocaust. Some went into severe depression but many pulled out of it sanity intact. Doesn't this mean that psychiatrists many not be completely wrong in their outlook that mental illness is a personal issue?
  • Reincarnation and the preservation of personal identity
    Often cited evidence for reincarnation is memory of past lives. Personality isn't used as evidence for reincarnation although I believe that in Tibetan Buddhism an inclination for religion is considered as evidence for reincarnate lamas.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    :up: :ok:

    What is interesting about the OP's claim is that it rejects a paradigm (neurochemistry-based pscyhology) without offering an alternative. What do you think we should do then?

    If you ask me the criticism reveals to us that the picture psychiatrists have is incomplete. A person getting tortured everyday will soon be depressed. A psychiatrist would do nothing more than prescribe some antidepressants to the poor fellow. Is this what's wrong with psychiatry? I know mine is a caricature of the discipline of psychiatry but it gets to the point doesn't it?
  • What actually unites mankind?
    Didn't Gandhi once say "There are enough religions to divide us but not enough to unite us"? I think this points to only one thing - that we haven't found unity even in our best form - morality, to speak nothing of other areas where division, rather than unity, is the norm.

    If you want my opinion though, the one thing that unites us all is our mind - the capacity for abstract thought. Didn't the "great" Aristotle define man as the rational animal?
  • Can we calculate whether any gods exist?
    But both ARE JUST GUESSES. They are not "conclusions"...they are guesses.Frank Apisa

    Not really. I do agree that evidence doesn't point either way of the issue. Not enough to say God exists and not enough to say God doesn't exist. Given so, any claim on either of the two positions appears like guesses but it isn't.

    We, depending on our worldview, choose one option based on the arguments that most convince us. Theism/atheism is based on some form of logic and so aren't simply guesses.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    Then you must be psychologically damaged, because you obviously didn't read the article linked in the OP (or subsequent posts), and that kind of thing isn't done here without incurring the disapproval of others. Take your medication, please!

    Could there be other explanations for that kind of behaviour?
    Galuchat

    Well, you're right. I didn't read the article. My sincere apologies. However I did get the main point that psychiatric theories based on neurochemistry may be inadequate or wrong.

    To that I respond with the simple observation that pscyhotropic medications work and their pharmacology is understood even if it's only basic.

    What is the alternative to pscyhopharmacology? Do you have any ideas?
  • Faith- It's not what you think


    Well, I define ''faith'' as belief sans evidence. This is probably the conventional meaning of ''faith''.

    If so then you violate the fundamental principle of rationality which is to believe only on evidence. Basically, you're irrational if faith is your way to truth. In fact the path of faith will probably take you away from the truth.

    When you cite examples of faith-based behavior in our lives you forget that they actually aren't so. For instance I believe my car will take me to my destination because it always has and there's no reason why it should fail. No faith involved here. Simple reasoning with justifications for your belief.

    Religious faith is an extreme sort of attitude wherein you don't provide evidence for theism and also refuse to acknowledge counterevidence. This, I think, is being dangerously irrational.
  • Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
    Interesting. I would like to think that psychiatry has the cure for all mental afflictions. I'm sympathetic to the notion that mental states can be reduced, at least to the extent where we may modify them, to neurochemical states.

    You seem to be stating that that's not the complete picture and the gaps are big enough to discredit the profession. You may be right you know.

    What alternative do you have to psychiatry?