Comments

  • Enlightenment Through Pain


    Even if the mind is indeed deterministic, there is no reason to think that our decisions are solely governed by the pursuit of predicted pleasures, unless every decision we make fits into a calculus - the outcome of which is to designate which pleasures to pursue. That sounds ridiculous to me; people consciously trade greater pleasures for smaller, and also make decisions impulsively; no single calculus governs every decision.

    If the mind is deterministic because we are programmed to seek predicted pleasures exclusively, then how is it that people can make erroneous decisions that cause things to end horribly even when enough factors are known to make a decision that will result in a predicted pleasure? If the calculus is wrong even with enough information, then the deterministic nature of said calculus can be disputed. In fact, I would say that it cannot be deterministic - or maybe just not all of the time.
  • Enlightenment Through Pain


    Is the mind deterministic because it moves towards its predictions of pleasure or does it move towards its predictions of pleasure because it is deterministic? Those two things sound different to me.
  • Enlightenment Through Pain
    free will is an illusion. the mind is deterministic and moves towards its predictions of pleasureMiller

    You can't just lay that on someone. What is your reasoning? Do you believe that the mind is housed in the brain?
  • Enlightenment Through Pain


    Damn dude, did you even think about your response?

    useless and impossible. you are simply expanding your mindMiller

    What do you mean "impossible"? I'm not saying something about merging with some higher supernatural power or something, but rather just realizing that sometimes you need to accept the bad and the even worse, and that pain and application can make you better.

    no it doesnt. it requires you predict a greater pleasure on the other side. you go to work all week then you get a paycheck. if you dont know about the paycheck you wont do the workMiller

    The paycheck, to me, is the heightened insight, which can only be achieved through acceptance of pain and hard work. Predicting the reward does not circumvent the difficulties in achieving said insight.

    What if you worked for a vet school and had to kill fifty chickens for dissection. You will be rewarded with one thousand dollars for completing the job. Being an intelligent person such as yourself, Miller, you decide to stuff them into bags and gas them. You dump them out and they appear to be dead.

    They aren't.

    Soon they all wake up and start clucking and strutting around. Do you proceed to break the necks of all fifty chickens, or do you give up? I would hazard to guess that you would give up, despite the sizeable reward. Mostly because to those who aren't starving, in serious debt, etc. it wouldn't be worth it.
  • Enlightenment Through Pain
    you can go through pain if you are predicting a greater pleasure on the other side

    therefore its still hedonism
    Miller

    I'm not saying you achieve a greater pleasure out the other side of self-reflection, but rather that you gain a heightened insight into existence and, more specifically, the application of pain as involved in achieving said insight. But even if one did look at it so cynically, trading pain for greater pleasures necessitates a certain self-discipline that could only be achieved through accepting pain and rigor, like I said in the OP. Either way, it seems to be enlightenment to me.
  • Enlightenment Through Pain
    How do you define "enlightenment"? How would you know that you were "enlightened"? Would anyone else recognize your "enlightenment"?Bitter Crank

    I define it vaguely as a sort of heightened insight achieved through rigorous self-reflection.

    As for knowing when it has been reached: idk, I myself just started thinking about this whole enlightenment thing a day ago.

    Question: Is knowing how many kicks, miles, pounds, laps, etc. one can perform. It's certainly useful information. The first 100 mile a day bike ride I did was tiring (I had worked up to it) but it wasn't enlightening. It was just nice to know I could do it. Would I have been enlightened if I had gone 200 miles in 1 day?Bitter Crank

    I'm trying to say that the attitude fostered by the type of enlightenment I'm talking about is the type of attitude that gets things done - even if it's hard. Being ready to push the limits of one's own abilities regularly is not typical among most of the people I have met outside of martial arts. Not that they are unenlightened or anything, but rather they just don't have that kind of drive necessary for what I'm talking about. And I'm not just referring to the application involved in martial arts.

    There are probably numerous routes to enlightenment (whatever that is) and none of them are probably reliable.Bitter Crank

    I agree. One's person's path to enlightenment will almost certainly be different from another's.

    It's probably useful to discover one's actual performance limits, provided one is healthy enough to test the limit. Most of the time we aren't asked to do anything like that in a situation where much is at stake.Bitter Crank

    Another good point. I haven't had to actually defend myself against anything with my limited martial arts abilities, whereas someone like Jocko has actually been shot before (I think).
  • Enlightenment Through Pain


    Great responses!

    I am and never have been anywhere near an athlete, but I did play football and wrestled in high school. If you play sports, there is a phrase you will hear all the time, at least you would have when I was a kid. I have always liked it a lot - Suck it up. Don't cry. Don't complain. Get off your ass. Get back to work. It's a very male thing to say, which is one of the reasons I like it. I think it highlights better than almost anything else the good and bad things about being a man. It makes me laugh.T Clark

    Couldn't agree more; I have also heard from one of my coaches that pain is illusory, which is equally funny - because it obviously isn't - but it can often times be compartmentalized, which is what I think he was trying to say. One time when I couldn't finish my body-kick reps at the end of the class I said I couldn't do it, which prompted one of the other students to say: "you shouldn't be able to breathe right now."

    I mean, what the fuck, I was trying my hardest, literally couldn't do another kick, and I get told that I should kick until I am so out of breath I can't talk. But that kind of mentality is what gets the job done, I guess, because I ended up finishing the reps and felt like I was going to pass out.

    Call it what you will - and maybe it's a little toxic, but I think it is not such a bad thing if tempered with the kind of thoughtfulness displayed by you and Jack.

    I wouldn't necessarily trust a Navy seal to be able to understand the significance of that.T Clark

    Yeah, he probably doesn't, but I still like what the guy has to say with regards to how to conduct oneself.

    many people have difficult life experiences and trauma. It can be damaging and even lead to mental health problems, stress and PTSD among other difficulties. On the other hand, it may be that suffering does lead to some increased awareness, whether it is strictly called 'enlightenment' as such. Most of us try to avoid too much suffering, but may be it ushers in some kind of wisdom through the back door, it is possible not to be broken by it too greatly. But it may be more about psychological kicks rather than necessarily in the form of physical kicks.Jack Cummins

    Yeah, I'm not saying all, or even most, pain is good, but rather that pain that makes us tougher or better in some way is good. Sparring, although potentially painful, will make you a better fighter, whereas whipping yourself with a leather belt, which is also potentially painful, will not. So it is that it is worth incurring some pain to better oneself by sparring, and desirable to avoid the whipping.

    And yeah, pain that breaks someone or causes maladaptation is really not so good.
  • The Problem of Injustice
    what if human injustices are not seen as injustices by God because God knows things we do not? Etc.Tom Storm

    The existence of unknown reasons or facts does not imply that even if one knows the relevant facts or reasons, the relevant facts or reasons do not determine if some course of action or conclusion is justified or not justified. Just because Bill has not told me he is a hockey player doesn't mean I cannot draw the conclusion that if he ice skates there is a good chance he plays hockey. The same goes for a sense of justice.
  • The Problem of Injustice
    Would it not be better stated as "If god is just and omnipotent they would not allow injustices to occur." (using gender neutral pronouns)Tom Storm

    I was assuming that god is omnipotent; I'm carrying this argument over from Bartricks' problem of evil thread. Might want to give that a read first if you want to understand exactly why I formed this argument.

    My other reservation with this point is that it presumes to know how God would view human injustice. There are assumptions baked into the premise and frankly there are too many unknowns to justify the claim. For one, what if human injustices are not seen as injustices by God because God knows things we do not? Etc.Tom Storm

    This matters little for my argument. Even if we are indeed living out god's idea of justice, that's an idea of justice that is absolutely repulsive. A child murderer can walk free and healthy while a devoted humanist slowly loses his cognitive functions from developing Huntington's. That fact is, to me, unacceptable, and requires no more knowledge than that gained from glancing at a newspaper.

    As I see it, your syllogism is willingly accepting claims that have not been sufficiently justified.Tom Storm

    Then, once again, check out the argument I had with Bartricks. If you can find an issue with their solution to the problem of evil my argument is not necessary.
  • The Problem of Injustice
    That does not seem true to me. Rather, it seems that people believe that a human-benevolent god exists.

    If we are to assume an omnibenevolent god and we are to assume that god is the creator of all, then god must show unlimited good will to all creation, not just humanity. The very idea of injustice is entirely human. It is not a moral dilemma (for most) to eat an animal - but to feed a human to an animal is considered evil. To god, kind to all, both must be of equal magnitude.
    Hermeticus

    It seems to me you are conflating justice, which I agree is a decidedly human idea, with benevolence. And I think people do believe god is omnibenevolent, or at least approaching omnibenevolent. Someone can hold the concept of god's omnibenevolence and the fact that other creatures they believe to be created by god in one way or another are expendable: it is just part of god's omnibenevolence, as the creatures we slaughter serve a purpose in god's all encompassing goodness, and it is a good for humans to be front and center. It's bordering on fallacious to stuff all of those things into the idea of "omnibenevolence", but people seem to do it.

    I have heard no reason to hold a belief in any kind of deity, so arguably this entire argument can be swept away. But I like arguments and I don't see how the first premise is justifiedTom Storm

    I will make a new, more direct argument - since you aren't the only one getting hung up on that:

    (1) If god is just he does not allow injustices to occur.
    (2) God allows injustices to occur.
    (3) Therefore, god is not just.

    Even as an atheist I ask myself, theoretically, who are we to know what a god would want? All we have are claims and a few dubious old books that are written by humans. Gods remains silent on all matters and leaves all communication to human spokespeople. (How could this possibly go wrong?) For all we know any hypothetical god is a cunt and why would it not be? Just pinning some 'omni' words onto some image of any kind of deity accomplishes nothing.Tom Storm

    But people do believe god is all of those things you say he likely is not. Thus I'm making the argument I'm making: I'm trying to use the contradictions inherent in people's idea of god to show that he cannot be what they think he is, that he must be a "cunt". And yeah, I agree with everything you are saying, but I think you are missing the point.

    Justice itself requires a choice between good and evil. You cannot punish someone who has no faculty of choice/ decision making. That’s why one can be “not guilty by insanity”.Benj96

    I know. Thus I would expect a just god to take that into account when meting out punishments - and it appears as if he doesn't. All the more reason to think he isn't just.

    Even the concept of “good” itself necessitates the existence of evil. Otherwise goodness would be meaningless.Benj96

    I disagree; I think goodness only necessitates a choice between good and evil, not actual evil. Does not breaking a law require that criminals exist? I think not.

    So in the case of an omnibenevolent god an antithesis is required - an omnimalevolence. Otherwise how would such benevolence be practised and how could we ever “right” the injustices if said injustices never existed.Benj96

    I don't understand this at all. Could you explain why an omnimalevolence is required? I agree that justice necessitates evil, but why does omnibenevolence require omnimalevolence? Just so that it has meaning?

    It’s just like saying can something be completely white? But is white white without black? Without any semblance of contrast to give it its unique definition it cannot exist in that way.Benj96

    That seems like a specious analogy; we have gradations of good and evil without omnimalevolence. People do evil things all the time and good things all the time and, thus, we know what bad is and what good is without a purely evil being. Furthermore, we have an objective criterion for what omnibenevolence is under DCT: an adherence to all of the laws god creates. You might make the argument that DCT doesn't allow for a truly omnibenevolent god because morality's content could change according to god's whims, but that is not really relevant atm as you can just take the other horn of the dilemma.
  • The Problem of Injustice


    Furthermore, there may be no scientific way of proving that god doesn't exist, so if one can find an argument that operates from within people's beliefs that can leverage some sort of conclusion that is ideal - and perhaps the only way to prove them wrong definitively. Otherwise the god question is open.
  • The Problem of Injustice
    Existence or not of God says nothing about good on evil. Good and evil are just what religions added to "God's concept".dimosthenis9

    I agree. But I'm not really arguing about god's existence or non-existence, but rather about his characteristics given the problem of his potential unjustness.

    People who believe in God in all these arguments against them, just say "it's God plan" and end of story.
    So if your goal is to prove them wrong you won't achieve much.
    dimosthenis9

    Yeah, maybe, but I can at least make an argument that makes people like Bartricks think a little. I mean, do you really think it is that futile?

    false premisedimosthenis9

    You really love writing that.
  • The Problem of Injustice


    Oh I understand now, my bad.
  • The Problem of Injustice


    I don't understand what you are agreeing with. I thought you were agreeing with @dimosthenis9
  • The Problem of Injustice
    Same it is a true premise if only you can verify it's true. And you can't. So it is unknown what God would be ("good" or "bad") if he exists.dimosthenis9

    Yes, but people believe that an omnibenevolent god exists - most people in fact, or so it would seem. The purpose of the argument contained in the problem of evil and my argument is to show that god cannot be what they think he is; their very idea of god is contradictory. If no one believed in an omnibenevolent/omniscient/omnipresent/omnipotent being with free will I wouldn't make this argument.

    You are really missing the point of this.
  • The Problem of Injustice


    I get what you are doing, but you are not engaging with the OP. I'm assuming certain premises to make a counterargument against the viable solution to the problem of evil that Bartricks provided.
  • The Problem of Injustice
    Says who? If there is God why he should be a "good" one? It's a false premise where you built your argument on. Same Bartricks did at his own thread.dimosthenis9

    It is only a false premise if you can verify that it is not true. I think that you mean that it is unsupported, and it definitely is, and, thus, my argument applies in very specific (but possible) conditions. You wouldn't claim that every thought experiment or counterargument is false merely because it assumes certain premises - which are often derived from another's arguments - would you?
  • Solving the problem of evil


    Honestly, it seems to me you have no understanding of what compels people to believe what they believe, or any connection to humanity at all. It's a little sad, whoever you are right now, Bartricks.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    So not only is god omnibenevolent, he doesn't allow injustices. So you actually think these people deserved what they got. Good on you, Batricks, you fucking psycho. I'll be sure to tell someone who got their legs blown off by an IED that god just exposed them to equal risk of harm as the child-murderer and that he computed the outcome with a god-computer but still allowed him to get his legs blown off and the child-murderer to walk free.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    I still think that your view is the counterintuitive one. What about the preacher who develops Huntington's and the child-murderer that walks free and healthy? What about the injured veterans who fought in wars ostensibly out of a selfless desire to protect their country that get little more than a percentage? How are these people getting their just deserts?
  • Solving the problem of evil
    If I am told to be kind, generous, and so on, I can infer - fairly safely, though not infallibly - that the person issuing such instructions really likes kindness and generosity.Bartricks

    Who is telling us and how?

    And from that I can infer - again, not entirely reliably - that this person is therefore probably kind and generous themselves.Bartricks

    I mean, psychopaths can come off as charming and relatable - even compassionate - if they are more competent at deception than the average person. Someone who is making that much effort to come off as benevolent might not actually be so benevolent.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    You quite literally said that we can infer god's characteristics from our own. How is that not believing that we are created in god's image?
  • Solving the problem of evil
    If a child comes to some great harm, doesn't the badness of that reside in the fact the child is innocent?Bartricks

    I would think that it is worse for a harm to befall a child because they are developing and trauma could cause them to become maladjusted. Or so I think, at least - I'm no psychologist.
  • Solving the problem of evil
    We use our reason. Our faculty of reason is our source of insight into what is right and good. And from such intuitions we can infer something about God's character. So, God hates it when people are unkind. I infer that from the fact that we all seem bid - and bid in no uncertain terms - be kind. God is clearly pro kindness, then. And God seems to hate unkindness so much that he wants those who are unkind to come to harm. I infer that from the fact my reason tells me that if someone is unkind, they deserve to come to harm.Bartricks

    You are assuming that god created us in his image, a decidedly Theistic thing to believe. How can we know that? What about evolutionary biology? Does that not do a better job of explaining human nature than a sermon (no matter how good of a sermon it is)?
  • Solving the problem of evil
    And where do I say otherwise? You don't seem to understand my position. If God exists, he does not allow injustices to occur. He's good and omnipotent, for goodness sake!Bartricks

    I don't believe justice is necessarily a permutation of omnibenevolence unless god makes justice an objective, moral necessity.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    According to what criterion can we determine if God is unjust? What set of rules do we have that give us an idea of whether or not we are each being punished justly? Is it not counter-intuitive to believe that god would allow a child-murderer to live in better health than a pious, god-fearing preacher that develops Huntington's?
  • Solving the problem of evil
    That's just question begging. As I keep pointing out, being good doesn't involve indiscriminately preventing harms - it matters who is coming to harm. Good people among us do not campaign to release prisoners from jails, do we? We're not less good for that. They deserve to be there and releasing them would pose a great danger to others.Bartricks

    I would campaign to release all non-violent drug offenders, like any other good person would. And no, I'm not committing your favorite fallacy. I'm saying if god allows people to come to disproportionate harm then he is unjust - not unjust for not preventing all harm.
  • Solving the problem of evil
    So you accept that this is a world full of wrongdoers - full of people who deserve to come to harm of one sort or another. And it is a world in which they do!Bartricks

    Never said I think people deserve to come to harm; even despicable people need to be loved and rehabilitated. If harm befalls them during this process then so be it, but other than that I don't think anyone deserves harm.
  • Solving the problem of evil
    Yes, he could - that's one option, one possibility. But it seems more efficient and consistent with being good to expose people to a risk of harm, rather than actually to mete the harm out oneself. I also think God would be ignorant of much of what goes on here, for why would God trouble himself to find out what people he hates are getting up to?Bartricks

    Is god aware of what is going to happen to people or not? If so he is unjust if the harm incurred by different people is disproportionate to their guilt. If not he is not omniscient*.

    Yes, he could - that's one option, one possibility. But it seems more efficient and consistent with being good to expose people to a risk of harm, rather than actually to mete the harm out oneself. I also think God would be ignorant of much of what goes on here, for why would God trouble himself to find out what people he hates are getting up to?Bartricks

    But he is omniscient. How could he be ignorant of anything? And what is the difference between meting out the punishment and allowing a horrible fate to befall one that could be easily prevented? And even if everyone is merely exposed to the same risk of harm then that too is disproportionate to people's guilt, because we are not all equally guilty (presumably).

    And why the everlasting fuck would god be concerned with efficiency? He can do anything he wants whenever he wants and can exist for as long as he wants. Do you think he conjures up computers and simulates different eventualities? Oh, that's right, he wouldn't - because he's god.
  • Solving the problem of evil
    There's a gap between what god commands and what we do, a point at which we make a decision to do as commanded or not.Banno

    I think I see what you are getting at, and I definitely like it. But how does one's decision determine anything? If god commands something is right, isn't it right independent of what we do or think?

    I mean I appreciate the weight you are giving us as choice-makers, but how does that mean anything in the face of omnipotence?

    And I'm sure some, including myself, will always be rebels, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be honest about what we're rebelling against.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    But we would need to know the commands are definitely infallible, and I see no way of confirming that. So DCT still sucks.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    If god determines with his power that an act is good one ought to do it then - which is different from having a disembodied command to do something. If he issued a mere command to do something your argument would make sense: one could justifiably refuse to follow his commands and remain moral; our own faculties and agency would indeed be paramount.

    This isn't deriving an ought from an is but rather following an infallible command, the very content of which instructs an ought.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    One ought to do what is good, right?
  • Solving the problem of evil


    What a pity? What is a pity? That I'm trying to be honest here?
  • Solving the problem of evil
    That's what I'm questioning. It's the naturalistic fallacy as much as the Euthyphro. Consider the open question: is it right to eat babies? You know that it isn't. If you claim that it is because god commands it, you are simply acquiescing to a tyrant.Banno

    Look, it is undeniable: if god is omnipotent then anything can be moral. Unless there is a law that god cannot change that says that it is wrong to eat and torture babies, god overrules our own intuitive moral faculties.

    All of this being said, yes, fuck what any god has to say about morality. I would rather be wrong than acquiesce to a tyrant too. We are better off exploring these questions on our own, especially considering there is no way of knowing if we have actually encountered the revelation of an actual god or some sort of super-powerful being that just seems omnipotent and omniscient.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    And I actually think that the people pretending to be Bartricks come up with some pretty brilliant arguments.
  • Solving the problem of evil


    It might be disgusting and horrible and no one would actually do it, but you have to admit that if god is omnipotent he can make anything moral, no matter how ostensibly despicable.

    You have linked Euthyphro's dilemma in other threads. You aren't ignorant. Why play dumb?
  • Solving the problem of evil
    Isn't it open to you here to say that god is wrong? Wouldn't this be a situation in which the moral thing to do would be to condemn god?Banno

    What I meant is that if god deems such an act to be moral it is moral. My bad. Btw, I think Bartricks is taking the more repugnant horn of the dilemma.
  • Solving the problem of evil
    This is exactly it. Omnibenevolence is a restraint on what we do, because there is some greater purpose than our own personal whims. An omnipotent God could decide that we should torture and eat all of our babies, but an omnibenevolent God would not.Philosophim

    I disagree: if god commands us to eat and torture babies it could be moral, although it is so intuitively heinous that hardly anyone would do it. My point is more that omnibenevolence loses all meaning when god can arbitrarily decide what is moral and simultaneously create rules that only apply to himself or change what is moral to suit his own aims at any time.