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Old 01-31-2012, 09:51 AM   #1201 (permalink)
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I'm seeing Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss at ASU this weekend for a seminar, following by anal sex and blowjobs.

I might die.

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You often seem to think that the lowest-hanging-fruit makes you some sort of comedy genius. You're just not a good person. You're spiteful, constantly negative, and bring others down to make yourself feel better. I just don't have room for that.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:04 PM   #1202 (permalink)
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One eventually outgrows Dawkins and realizes the errors in his thinking.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:58 AM   #1203 (permalink)
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Dawkin's?

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Waiting until kremlin moves to Phucket in a few years.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:51 AM   #1204 (permalink)
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One eventually outgrows Dawkin's and realizes the errors in his thinking.
Like?


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Old 02-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #1205 (permalink)
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I'm on my lunch, so I can't go into this as much as I'd like, but in the interest of starting a dialogue I'll open with this...

The empirical world view - that is, forming your world view based solely on observable, natural science - is incomplete.

Naturalistic science is wonderful in that it can tell us how life came to be, but not the meaning of life. It can tell us what the laws of nature are, but not why there are laws of nature in the first place. It cannot account for a priori - knowledge independent of experience, such as language.

So my premise is this: Dawkin's empiricist approach is fantastic for uncovering the mysteries of the natural world, but it becomes flawed when applied to all aspects of life. In that regard, rationalism must always consider empiricism in dealing with the natural world, but not be restrained by it when dealing with the meaning of it.

Finally, the belief in God can be rational, in the epistemological sense of the word.

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Old 02-01-2012, 05:28 PM   #1206 (permalink)
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I'm on my lunch, so I can't go into this as much as I'd like, but in the interest of starting a dialogue I'll open with this...

The empirical world view - that is, forming your world view based solely on observable, natural science - is incomplete.

Naturalistic science is wonderful in that it can tell us how life came to be, but not the meaning of life. It can tell us what the laws of nature are, but not why there are laws of nature in the first place. It cannot account for a priori - knowledge independent of experience, such as language.

So my premise is this: Dawkin's empiricist approach is fantastic for uncovering the mysteries of the natural world, but it becomes flawed when applied to all aspects of life. In that regard, rationalism must always consider empiricism in dealing with the natural world, but not be restrained by it when dealing with the meaning of it.

Finally, the belief in God can be rational, in the epistemological sense of the word.
It seems that you are assuming that there "must" be a meaning of life because that's the way that you "feel". You find that science does not satisfy your feelings in this regard and so you are turning to vague and quite intangible philosophical constructs of the Enlightenment such as rationalism in an attempt to quell the discordance you feel inside you, no?

Granted, I am not as familiar with the philosophy behind rationalism as you apparently are, and I'm willing to guess other Nubblites aren't either, so you may have to enlighten us.


But the central tenet of what you are saying seems to be much more an emotional one, trying to justify how you "feel" (and remember, what you feel is not anything transcendent in reality; it only feels that way because of the drug-like biochemical reactions going on in your body).

You're using the age old concept of "science doesn't have all the answers and _________ fills a human need by claiming they have all the answers, or at least answers that you proclaim science will never solve (simply because science has not solved them yet). What if, like cancer, science finds a way to quell these questions from burning up inside you? If we can make such a thing go away, does it continue to be an object of importance?


If you are saying that Dawkins has flaws in his arguments because he is not extremely well versed in the various philosophies surrounding and including Rationalism, then you are probably correct. Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist by trade and Sam Harris is a Neuroscientist by trade. There are bound to be gaps in their knowledge that they haven't included for readers like you.

That being said, without specifically pointing out all the areas they have mentioned in their respective prolific writings, things that in the science world, point to the very small probability of anything more than "science" existing, then you are simply ignoring what they (and the majority of the scientific consensus) have to say.

But when you read a book like the one you recently did about the Indian fellow who, may be a genius, ties the case for god to Hinduism, I would need to read a lot more respected scientists echoing his conclusions before I am able to accept what he has to say as "the most probable answer we have thus far".

On top of that, your rationalist sources, most of them anyways, weren't around to see Darwin, let alone the vast scientific knowledge we have discovered since their time, that point to a fairly Materialistic, existential existence.

Science realizes humans aren't at the center of everything, and doesn't believe that there "must be a purpose simply because we rule the planet". Does Rationalism?

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #1207 (permalink)
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It cannot account for a priori - knowledge independent of experience, such as language.
I think it's a big stretch to call language a priori.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:59 PM   #1208 (permalink)
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Naturalistic science is wonderful in that it can tell us how life came to be, but not the meaning of life. It can tell us what the laws of nature are, but not why there are laws of nature in the first place. It cannot account for a priori - knowledge independent of experience, such as language.
Evolutionary linguistics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

lol?

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:05 PM   #1209 (permalink)
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It seems that you are assuming that there "must" be a meaning of life because that's the way that you "feel". You find that science does not satisfy your feelings in this regard and so you are turning to vague and quite intangible philosophical constructs of the Enlightenment such as rationalism in an attempt to quell the discordance you feel inside you, no?
Let's slow down. So far I have not said that there is a meaning to life, or what it might be, all I've said is that, if there is one, science is not equipped to answer it.

I would also like to direct your attention to what you call "vague and intangible philosophical constructs". This is a wordy way of saying "an un-empirical approach", which is exactly my point. There are things beyond the reach of sensory truth.

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Granted, I am not as familiar with the philosophy behind rationalism as you apparently are, and I'm willing to guess other Nubblites aren't either, so you may have to enlighten us.
Rationalism is defined as: "A method in which the criterion of truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive."

For example, mathematics is rational.

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But the central tenet of what you are saying seems to be much more an emotional one, trying to justify how you "feel" (and remember, what you feel is not anything transcendent in reality; it only feels that way because of the drug-like biochemical reactions going on in your body).
I'm not talking about feelings or emotions at all. You're so eager to pounce that you're projecting things onto me, which I may or may not bring up in the future, and glossing over what I've actually said thus far. I bring this up because I want to keep this orderly, and go point by point. Once we establish some foundations we can continue on to their implications.


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You're using the age old concept of "science doesn't have all the answers and _________ fills a human need by claiming they have all the answers, or at least answers that you proclaim science will never solve (simply because science has not solved them yet). What if, like cancer, science finds a way to quell these questions from burning up inside you? If we can make such a thing go away, does it continue to be an object of importance?
No. What I'm saying is that science may eventually answer all naturalistic questions, but it cannot ever answer philosophical ones. To put it more simply, it would be like trying to hammer a nail in using a piece of paper, when what you really need is a hammer; it's simply not the right tool for the job.

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If you are saying that Dawkins has flaws in his arguments because he is not extremely well versed in the various philosophies surrounding and including Rationalism, then you are probably correct. Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist by trade and Sam Harris is a Neuroscientist by trade. There are bound to be gaps in their knowledge that they haven't included for readers like you.


That being said, without specifically pointing out all the areas they have mentioned in their respective prolific writings, things that in the science world, point to the very small probability of anything more than "science" existing, then you are simply ignoring what they (and the majority of the scientific consensus) have to say.
Again, you're approaching this from a purely empirical point of view, which is exactly what I use to do too. Surely you don't believe there is nothing outside of science? Think about it for a minute. I'm not even talking in the metaphysical sense.

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On top of that, your rationalist sources, most of them anyways, weren't around to see Darwin, let alone the vast scientific knowledge we have discovered since their time, that point to a fairly Materialistic, existential existence.

Science realizes humans aren't at the center of everything, and doesn't believe that there "must be a purpose simply because we rule the planet". Does Rationalism?
There are plenty of brilliant people who have been around long after Darwin and and who aren't Materialists. Rationalism does not say there must be a purpose simply because we rule the planet, not.


Now, before I move on to things like meaning and purpose, I'm going to stop here so you can respond to what I've said, because if we can't first hash out this issue of pure empiricism, or at least come to a mutual understanding of what it is and means, then there's no use going forward. The same goes for Rationalism.

As to a priori knowledge, it has its proponents and critics.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:25 PM   #1210 (permalink)
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Let's slow down. So far I have not said that there is a meaning to life, or what it might be, all I've said is that, if there is one, science is not equipped to answer it.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."

~Charles Darwin


"Jesus, ____________ get on my nerves, with the old 'Well, science doesn't know everything'! Well, science knows it doesn't know everything, otherwise it would STOP! Just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean that you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you."

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Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:31 PM   #1211 (permalink)
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No. What I'm saying is that science may eventually answer all naturalistic questions, but it cannot ever answer philosophical ones. To put it more simply, it would be like trying to hammer a nail in using a piece of paper, when what you really need is a hammer; it's simply not the right tool for the job.
Alternatively...philosophy only exists because of the evolution of the human brain, which is very much under the realm of science. As I said before, I know it may feel ethereal and transcendent to you...that doesn't mean that it actually is.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:38 PM   #1212 (permalink)
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I was going to post something about being really disappointed in your lack of thoughtful response to what I thought was my own very civil and thoughtful reply...But it's actually just kind of sad and interesting, because it's like talking to a mirror image of my former self. And I in no way mean for that to be patronizing, or for it to imply I'm better than you in some way. It's just now I know how everyone else must have felt when dealing with me.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #1213 (permalink)
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But it's actually just kind of sad and interesting, because it's like talking to a mirror image of my former self.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:55 PM   #1214 (permalink)
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Exactly.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #1215 (permalink)
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But which side of the mirror are you on? Are you trapped on the inside and looking out, or free on the outside and looking in? And when is the creepy old man with the hat on gonna come and get you?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:05 AM   #1216 (permalink)
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And I in no way mean for that to be patronizing, or for it to imply I'm better than you in some way. It's just now I know how everyone else must have felt when dealing with me.
Except it's exactly how you sound. Which is fine, because you aren't making much sense in any case -- a much more fitting analogy is that you are like a child who thinks he learned a new trick that no one else knows.

The fact is, you're scared to death of death and are climbing Mount Apologist due to your emotions, scrambling at any foothold you can grasp that supports your newly-adopted, self-congratulatory worldview -- which isn't many. That is what is going on.

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:36 AM   #1217 (permalink)
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What if we swap the word "science" for "human knowledge"?

I just don't understand if you are talking about a lack of answers because things like ethics could be considered up for discussion, which still puts it in the court of philosophy (and biology).

Or are we talking about the paranormal? Things that just aren't real?
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:30 AM   #1218 (permalink)
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What if we swap the word "science" for "human knowledge"?

I just don't understand if you are talking about a lack of answers because things like ethics could be considered up for discussion, which still puts it in the court of philosophy (and biology).

Or are we talking about the paranormal? Things that just aren't real?
I assume you're speaking to Repug, but that is a very interesting question; that being said, how is "human knowledge" acquired? Ultimately, it always comes back to biology or physical science. Just because words are a construct created in the mind, and crystallized in speech, writing, etc, doesn't mean they don't have a scientific background.

I reckon Repug probably views science as something cold and calculating, like a speculum. Gets the job done but certainly doesn't leave you fulfilled.

That being said, I don't think Repug is interested in learning hard science, or the "magic" that can go along with it, if it's not written with some kind of philosophical swing behind it.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:33 AM   #1219 (permalink)
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Except it's exactly how you sound. Which is fine, because you aren't making much sense in any case -- a much more fitting analogy is that you are like a child who thinks he learned a new trick that no one else knows.

The fact is, you're scared to death of death and are climbing Mount Apologist due to your emotions, scrambling at any foothold you can grasp that supports your newly-adopted, self-congratulatory worldview -- which isn't many. That is what is going on.
No dude, what's patronizing is you completely dismissing an entire school of philosophy supported by a number of great thinkers such as Kant and Descartes, and acting as though your strict empiricism not only is the only way to think about and understand the world, but that it's obvious, and anyone who disagrees is stupid or just being emotional. And it's ironic, because you're being just as closed minded as the people you accuse of being so.

It's no surprise your world view has lead you to nihilism, but don't for a second think you're being brave because of it.


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What if we swap the word "science" for "human knowledge"?
Sure. Okay. Human knowledge. The question then is can there be human knowledge outside of sense experience? I say yes.
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I just don't understand if you are talking about a lack of answers because things like ethics could be considered up for discussion, which still puts it in the court of philosophy (and biology).
Or are we talking about the paranormal? Things that just aren't real?
I'm talking about things like ethics, sure. Morality. Subjectivism versus objectivism. Philosophy. Things that can't be measured in a test tube. You can point to biology perhaps to explain why man looks for meaning, but you can't use biology to determine what, if any, meaning there is.

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:40 AM   #1220 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Repugnant Abomination View Post
Sure. Okay. Human knowledge. The question then is can there be human knowledge outside of sense experience? I say yes.
What kind of human knowledge are you referring to, and how can you describe it without using the sense experience?


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You can point to biology perhaps to explain why man looks for meaning, but you can't use biology to determine what, if any, meaning there is.
What tools would we use that don't have a basis in science to determine these things?

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Old 02-02-2012, 02:23 AM   #1221 (permalink)
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One of my favorite videos of all time.


Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-02-2012, 02:23 AM   #1222 (permalink)
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Rats show empathy, will come to the aid of other rats

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 02-02-2012, 02:23 AM   #1223 (permalink)
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Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #1224 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Repugnant Abomination View Post
I'm talking about things like ethics, sure. Morality. Subjectivism versus objectivism. Philosophy. Things that can't be measured in a test tube. You can point to biology perhaps to explain why man looks for meaning, but you can't use biology to determine what, if any, meaning there is.
That's fair enough, but you can use philosophy, which doesn't require anything paranormal.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:48 PM   #1225 (permalink)
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That's fair enough, but you can use philosophy, which doesn't require anything paranormal.
I'm at a loss why it has been so difficult to establish this point thus far. I haven't appealed to anything paranormal, nor have I deviated in my assertion that knowledge can be gained through philosophy using Rationalism as its vehicle.

I think it has been an issue, because when you take a purely empirical stance things such as morality and/or meaning don't exist. They become a human construct. This does not mean that someone who doesn't believe in morality can't or is not moral, that's not what I'm saying. Now, this may or may not be the case - my point isn't to debate that just yet - but to show why an empiricist would have an issue accepting any kind of knowledge outside of sense experience. If one follows this line of thinking to its logical conclusion, it inevitably leads one to what's called the Existential Vacuum. Again, I'm not passing judgement as to whether this is right or wrong, I'm merely pointing out where it leads.

I have to head back to work for now.

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