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Chavez

"I don't trust nobody who don't love Jesus"

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Lewis was a theologian, did he dabble in psychology too?  I don't know too much about the guy outside of Narnia.

 

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I'm not sure how closely Lewis studied psychology, but he certainly understood the human condition. The Screwtape Letters was fantastically insightful - far better than any psychology book I have read.

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Yeah, normally religion is the one topic you can get a broad consensus on.

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the offseason is horrible times..

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No--I want a answer that explains why a rational, free-willed individual would voluntarily constrain his choice set so as to preclude himself from making use of strategies that would make him better off.

 

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But you say "better off" means "happier," right?

 

Again, you are assuming "happier" means "better of financially," right?

 

And you are assuming that people who do not believe in an afterlife have no conscience, right?

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The human being is a herd animal. We just hate to not be part of the herd. So if the dominant social structure contains a belief system, no matter how preposterous, new humans entering that social structure will do their best to adhere to those tenents. Especially, when they are taught from day one that the preposterous belief system is the only truth that matters.

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But you say "better off" means "happier," right? 

 

Again, you are assuming "happier" means "better of financially," right? 

 

And you are assuming that people who do not believe in an afterlife have no conscience, right?

 

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1) basically

2) not necessarily--you can define better off however you want (I am only making the assumption that it is possible for people to make themselves better off by acting unethically)

3) well, that is the whole point at what I am trying to figure out--why would an atheist have a conscience (and listen to it)

Edited by wiegie

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3) well, that is the whole point at what I am trying to figure out--why would an atheist have a conscience (and listen to it)

 

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Why would you think not?

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Why would you think not?

 

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Because it doesn't make sense that people would willingly impose an extra set of behavioral constraints on themselves if they didn't have to for some reason. Why would you think they would?

Edited by wiegie

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Because it doesn't make sense that people would willingly impose an extra set of behavioral constraints on themself if they didn't have to for some reason.  Why would you think they would?

 

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Why doesn't it make sense that people would willingly impose an extra set of behavioral constraints on themself if they didn't have to for some reason?

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Why doesn't it make sense that people would willingly impose an extra set of behavioral constraints on themself if they didn't have to for some reason?

 

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I'll explain why with an example. Suppose that you like to eat two grapefruits per week. They are healthy food and you think they taste good.

 

Then for some unknown reason you decide to constrain your behavior such that you can never eat grapefruits again.

 

You have obviously made yourself worse off.

 

It makes no sense for people to make themselves worse off for no reason.

Edited by wiegie

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Especially, when they are taught from day one that the preposterous belief system is the only truth that matters.

 

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This is the fundamental reason that North Korea is the biggest lunatic asylum in the world.

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Because it doesn't make sense that people would willingly impose an extra set of behavioral constraints on themselves if they didn't have to for some reason.  Why would you think they would?

 

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You mean - why have a concsience without a God to make you have one?

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I'll explain why with an example.  Suppose that you like to eat two grapefruits per week.  They are healthy food and you think they taste good.

 

Then for some unknown reason you decide to constrain your behavior such that you can never eat grapefruits again.

 

You have obviously made yourself worse off.

 

It makes no sense for people to make themselves worse off for no reason.

 

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How do you know they have no reason?

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I'll explain why with an example.  Suppose that you like to eat two grapefruits per week.  They are healthy food and you think they taste good.

 

Then for some unknown reason you decide to constrain your behavior such that you can never eat grapefruits again.

 

You have obviously made yourself worse off.

 

It makes no sense for people to make themselves worse off for no reason.

 

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There are options to the grapefruits. Also, man has the ability to think forward and realizes long term goals.

 

I am more of an agnostic leaning towards not believing in the Great Baboon. I think we are nature's creatures, but I live by the golden rule. It is just in my nature not to try and screw anyone over...there is always a win-win out there. Why is that so hard to understand?

 

Like I posted earlier, I brought the "religion is used to help keep a society playing nice" and my Czech girlfriend at the time was like :D

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How do you know they have no reason?

 

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in the grapefruit example I assumed they had no reason

 

in the atheist example I am still waiting for you to give me a reason

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wiegie,

 

it comes down to a combination of things. First, self awareness. We can make decisions based not only on the here and now, but also on the projected outcome fo that decision. We are also aware of other data that may impact the original choice or decision. Second, we are not as smart as we think we are. Taking the two together, humans will make decisions based on the first assumption above, but because of the second assumption, put themselves in a position worse off than before. Or worse, make the correct decision and then change it to an incorrect one.

 

It has nothing to do with Darwinism or gods. It has to do with us not being able to manipulate deterministic theory at the basest level in order to arrive at the absolute best course of action every time.

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The human being is a herd animal. We just hate to not be part of the herd. So if the dominant social structure contains a belief system, no matter how preposterous, new humans entering that social structure will do their best to adhere to those tenents. Especially, when they are taught from day one that the preposterous belief system is the only truth that matters.

 

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so you seem to be saying that a residual "preposterous belief system", perpetuated over generations via the herd instinct, is responsible for ethically contraining human behavior?

 

you seem to be saying ultimately the same thing wedgie is then. i mean, you're essentially saying that once human beings correctly perceive their real self-interest, they will act with fewer contraints upon their ethical behavior. again, this is pretty much wiegie's point. it's also dostoevsky's point in "notes from underground", for any of you who have read it.

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I would also add...

 

You know in the animal kingdom if a lioness were up against a couple of hyenas, and knows she can beat them, but doesn't. Why? They don't want to get injured. Humans don't think that way. No matter the odds, emotions can tip the scales in a hell bent attack on someone/something they know they won't survive. So, that is another marked departure from the "natural order of things".

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Buddhism has similar tenets and predates Christ by 500 years.

 

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why do u hate america :D

The human being is a herd animal. We just hate to not be part of the herd. So if the dominant social structure contains a belief system, no matter how preposterous, new humans entering that social structure will do their best to adhere to those tenents. Especially, when they are taught from day one that the preposterous belief system is the only truth that matters.

 

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:D right on

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Weigie most of the time we do the "right" thing because it benifits us. Whether that benifit be immediate or eternal. I choose to run an ethical business, at times that has harmed me in the short term, but I believe that it has benifited me in the long term. The reason I do this is not because of some fear of hell fire and darnation, but because when you treat your clients right, they usually come back to you again and say good things about you to other possible clients. The same can be said for the subs I work with. It is in both of our long-term best interests to be fair with one another.

 

The same thing could be said for dating. If you treat a woman right and the softly let her go, you can pretty easily move on to someone else, but if you treat her badly she will be cursing you to all of her female friends thus eliminating any possiblility of tapping one of her friends at a later date.

 

In most cases if you treat others with respect then usually you are respected by them. If you do not treat them with respect then you are not respected by them. It is a lot easier to get what you want out of a relationship if there is mutual respect in that relationship.

 

While for some it might indeed be a matter of moral living in the hope of eternal life, in others it is just a way to grease the wheel, so everything runs smoothly. For personally in is a little bit of both.

Edited by Perchoutofwater

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Weigie most of the time we do the "right" thing because it benifits us.  Whether that benifit be immediate or eternal.  I choose to run an ethical business, at times that has harmed me in the short term, but I believe that it has benifited me in the long term.  The reason I do this is not because of some fear of hell fire and darnation, but because when you treat your clients right, they usually come back to you again and say good things about you to other possible clients.  The same can be said for the subs I work with.  It is in both of our long-term best interests to be fair with one another.

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well, what if it's something you know with 100% certainty that no one else will see you or ever know what you did...thus there's no chance of your actions (or thoughts) ever affecting you negatively down the road. what, if anything, contrains your actions then, when no one could possibly be looking?

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well, what if it's something you know with 100% certainty that no one else will see you or ever know what you did...thus there's no chance of your actions (or thoughts) ever affecting you negatively down the road.  what, if anything, contrains your actions then, when no one could possibly be looking?

 

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Someone DOES know.

 

You do. Your own inner integrity. Why you people continually insist that the only valid pressure is external, I have no idea.

 

You stop you. You choose not to. That is the only answer. Free choice.

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Someone DOES know.

 

You do. Your own inner integrity. Why you people continually insist that the only valid pressure is external, I have no idea.

 

You stop you. You choose not to. That is the only answer. Free choice.

 

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so what's the evolutionary purpose of that inner guilt, and why should anyone listen to it? is it just that "herd mentality" kid cid is talking about, and if so why shouldn't enlightened individualists feel completely free to override and disregard it?

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well, what if it's something you know with 100% certainty that no one else will see you or ever know what you did...thus there's no chance of your actions (or thoughts) ever affecting you negatively down the road.  what, if anything, contrains your actions then, when no one could possibly be looking?

 

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Az I'm actually on what I assume to be your side, as I know it is the morals that have been instilled in me due being brought up in a semi-religious house that guide me in much of what I do. That being said you argument above is theoretical BS. You can never be 100% sure that no one is going to catch you, thus the fear of the reprocutions of getting caught however minute that chance may be is what will stop 99% of us from doing it. The other 1% may or may not be religious to an extent, but they do have something in thier make-up that allows them to convence themselves that they won't get caught. The prisons are full of people that were 100% sure they wouldn't get caught. So, I guess the questionis why do these people convence themselves that they will not get caught, or do something knowing there is a good chance that they will get caught? Is is has to be something within their mental make up, and I would submit that it has nothing to do with religion as the prisions are full of religious people as well.

 

Religion didn't stop Jerry Falwell or Jim Baker, etc... from going against the teachings of their religion and the acceptable standards within society. So what caused it?

 

Are religious people more likely to be happy? Most polls indicate that they are. Are religious people less likely to commit a crime? If I had to guess I'd say yes, but the fact that they are religious does not mean that they will not commmit a crime. All I'm saying is that even without religion the majority will operate within the realm of the socially acceptable, simply because it benifts them to do so. I think if anything this just helps to prove that religion is good in that it makes people more likely to be happy and shows that God wants us to be happy and has told us how to be happy, however that is not the unique right of the religious, it is just that the religous get it pounded into their heads once a week.

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in the grapefruit example I assumed they had no reason

 

in the atheist example I am still waiting for you to give me a reason

 

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I cannot believe I am responding to this post.

 

But, I am a decent person because it makes me, and the people I love, happy.

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Guest Cherni
the offseason is horrible times..

 

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So very true.

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