#6161
Derren Brown is a sceptic, he was being funny. I think you just have a rigid understanding of the word and need to realise that people use it all sorts of ways regardless of what it truly "means". Like I said, when people say supernatural they usually just mean either: 1) ghosts and shit; or 2) God shit.

EDIT: And to your question whether the ghost would be supernatural, the only answer one could give is "it depends on what you mean by supernatural". Some people would say of course because its a ****ing ghost, others would say nah because everyone knows about it or whatever.

EDIT2: But then again, what do even mean by "ghost"? See what I'm getting at?
Last edited by WhiskeyFace at Apr 19, 2014,
#6162
i'm starting to realise the reason i hate semantics. the fucker causes all my problems.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
#6164
my problem with the concept of being supernatural is that it's a misnomer.. if it exists, it has to be natural, because everything that exists is natural. and it DOES follow some laws, apart from some conceptions of god, but they're simply laws we're unaware of.

as whiskeyface said, the supernatural being completely unexplainable is kinda incoherent. we might not have the capacity to, but that doesn't mean a nearby possible world wouldn't be able to, so the "supernatural" can't be necessarily unexplainable. not to mention that there's typically some consistency in the behaviors of ghosts. that means that there are factors that cause their behavior and/or function. which means there is some explanation that can be made. the only way we wouldn't be able to have an explanation is if every supernatural event was completely unique and unpredictable because it wasn't caused by something.

which violates our notions of causality and is therefore pretty incoherent for us.
#6165
yeah, that's the kind of thing i would 100% agree with. it really is just the idea of something having no explanation that is incoherent. the idea that something hasn't yet been explained is elementary, but like you said, something having no explanation violates our notions of causality. yet many people hold the idea that some things can't be explained or 'have no explanation' which is without merit.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
#6166
well, the idea that some things can't be explained isn't an invalid one, it's just usually poorly applied.

any cosmological account violates our notions of causality. i don't think there is a coherent explanation for the emergence of the world.

however, i'd argue that's because there are some questions that are incoherent. the question of "where did everything come from" is a bad question, because it assumes that everything came from somewhere. and yet that assumption is at the root of our views on causality. if someone asks a question that is impossible for any human to give a coherent answer to, it's a bad question.
#6167
I agree that the concept "supernatural" does seem to make no sense, JUST when taken as "beyond the laws of nature". But it has other connotations, which DO relate to the "ghosts and shit" stuff, or stem from it.

Here's what I believe supernatural means:

1)An aspect of our universe nobody can explain, nor come close to explain with the current scientific models of the universe (it does belong to "the laws of nature" though).
2)This aspect needs to be able to be observed on Earth by humans, or be affected by it somehow, while still following rule (1)

(2) seems the more arbitrary notion to me, in the sense that it makes the least "sense". But basically, (2) is what I think defines stuff as "supernatural" and not just "theoretical science stuff nobody cares about".

For example, you could ask someone at the street "Is dark matter supernatural?". He'd say "No" (or would ask wtf dark matter is in the first place). Yet (I think), dark matter follows rule (1).
Would people tell you "The theory of everything is supernatural"? Again, they wouldn't, and no one of us would consider it that way.

For it to be supernatural, it needs to have some impact on people's lives in a more direct way, but still not be able to be explained (and most of if not all the time not even reproduced) by the current scientific models (Newton's laws, etc).
Seeing a ghost, believing a medium can talk to the dead, seeing a person fly up into the air, believing in the soul, spirits, fairies, deities, etc, fall into this category.
So yeah, you need ghosts and shit. If not, nobody that is the kind of person to call something "supernatural", would call it so.
Last edited by gonzaw at Apr 20, 2014,
#6168
Quote by progdude93
well, the idea that some things can't be explained isn't an invalid one, it's just usually poorly applied.

any cosmological account violates our notions of causality. i don't think there is a coherent explanation for the emergence of the world.

however, i'd argue that's because there are some questions that are incoherent. the question of "where did everything come from" is a bad question, because it assumes that everything came from somewhere. and yet that assumption is at the root of our views on causality. if someone asks a question that is impossible for any human to give a coherent answer to, it's a bad question.

yeah, i 100% agree. thanks for the correction. i very often find myself stumped by a question that i've either asked myself or somebody has asked, and i realize that i'm trying to look for a mystery. if i break it down to more specific questions and more sensible questions, the task of answering isn't so tough anymore.
Quote by gonzaw
I agree that the concept "supernatural" does seem to make no sense, JUST when taken as "beyond the laws of nature". But it has other connotations, which DO relate to the "ghosts and shit" stuff, or stem from it.

Here's what I believe supernatural means:

1)An aspect of our universe nobody can explain, nor come close to explain with the current scientific models of the universe (it does belong to "the laws of nature" though).
2)This aspect needs to be able to be observed on Earth by humans, or be affected by it somehow, while still following rule (1)

(2) seems the more arbitrary notion to me, in the sense that it makes the least "sense". But basically, (2) is what I think defines stuff as "supernatural" and not just "theoretical science stuff nobody cares about".

For example, you could ask someone at the street "Is dark matter supernatural?". He'd say "No" (or would ask wtf dark matter is in the first place). Yet (I think), dark matter follows rule (1).
Would people tell you "The theory of everything is supernatural"? Again, they wouldn't, and no one of us would consider it that way.

For it to be supernatural, it needs to have some impact on people's lives in a more direct way, but still not be able to be explained (and most of if not all the time not even reproduced) by the current scientific models (Newton's laws, etc).
Seeing a ghost, believing a medium can talk to the dead, seeing a person fly up into the air, believing in the soul, spirits, fairies, deities, etc, fall into this category.
So yeah, you need ghosts and shit. If not, nobody that is the kind of person to call something "supernatural", would call it so.
interesting take on it. i completely agree; if something is labelled as supernatural it's usually a very emotionally-weighted, subjective experience.
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#6169
i was gonna ask you guys if a selfless act can occur, but then i realized it depends on how i define selfless.

"concerned more with the needs of others than their own"

so?
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#6171
why would the meaning of the word confirm that selfless acts can occur?
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#6172
Quote by laid-to-waste
i was gonna ask you guys if a selfless act can occur, but then i realized it depends on how i define selfless.

"concerned more with the needs of others than their own"

so?

...obviously...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Kolbe#Death_at_Auschwitz
Populus vult decipi. Decipiatur.

Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
It's can be a contraction and genitive case.

Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
If you cut down on these costs students won't learn so well, effecting the "quality"...
#6175
Quick question - do you guys know of any texts that argue to what extent religious texts are authoritative? Generic searches on the internet aren't turning up the results that I need.
#6176
Quote by laid-to-waste
i was gonna ask you guys if a selfless act can occur, but then i realized it depends on how i define selfless.

"concerned more with the needs of others than their own"

so?


Yes, practicaly any parent will tell you that they are much more concerned with the needs of their children than their own, infact, most parents would gladly take a bullet for their children.

Quote by Gu1tar K1d
Quick question - do you guys know of any texts that argue to what extent religious texts are authoritative? Generic searches on the internet aren't turning up the results that I need.


Ancient or modern?
For example the 'Canon of Trent' which is a list of biblical books, otherwise known as the 'De Canonicis Scripturis', which resulted from the Council's fourth session on the 4th April 1546, which passed by vote (24 yea, 15 nay, 16 abstain) resulting in the list that was from then on to be considered canonical. This was essentialy a decree that stated that the books in the list were authoritative.

Or are you looking for something by a modern author in which he/she argues the authorotiveness of certain religious texts?
Try 'Contradict' by Andy Wrasman.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Apr 27, 2014,
#6177
As Slacker says, deciding what's "authoritative" will be in the eyes of the particular sect. In Christianity alone, the various sects differ among themselves as to which bible books are "apocryphal" or not. Some accept some, others reject the very same ones.

Scholars know of around 100 "gospels", for instance. But only four made it into the "Canon", with The Gospel Of Thomas just missing in the voting back then.

As to whether any of these various writings are in fact accurate or authoritative.... Well, that's a question for historians, and the general consensus is pretty poor in that regard.
Bart Ehrman has written a great deal on the inaccuracies and errors in the New Testament, for instance.
#6178
c'mon guys, the debate between psychological egoism and altruism is not (at least currently) an empirical question. you can reformulate any "selfless" act in terms of psychological egoism.

vicarious pleasure is definitely a real thing.

and for people who raise cases like taking a bullet, where the person will die, and therefore won't be around to reap the benefits, self-satisfaction is a big deal. plus, there exist moments that are so poignant, and so intensely pleasurable (or painful), that a lifetime's worth of feeling could be crammed into a single moment.

ask any (good) parent how they felt the moment their child was born into the world. talk to someone tripping ballsack on LSD. these moments don't occur often, but they can and do occur.

and since they do, the moment in which a person decides to step in front of someone else and take a bullet for them can be filled with so much pleasure that it's completely worth death.

i think the point of psychological egoism is that we need to re-evaluate our understanding of "selfishness." is vicarious selfishness really a bad thing? i don't think so. is wanting our children to succeed because we get pleasure from their success a bad thing? NO! the very fact that we get pleasure from someone else's pleasure is ****ING INCREDIBLE! the fact that we experience pain when those we care about experience pain is ****ING INCREDIBLE!

the fact that someone could feel so good about saving someone's life that they would rather die than not do it is AWESOME and we should embrace that rather than deny it
#6179
on a completely different note, i was thinking about consciousness and immortality recently.

here are some fairly random thoughts i've been juggling:

-consciousness requires stimulation
-consciousness without stimulation leads to insanity (the world's quietest room will make you hallucinate within 45 minutes guaranteed or your money back. and just imagine being in a pitch black room 24 hours a day, unable to move. don't you think you'd go insane?)
-we become desensitized to that which stimulates our consciousness, and eventually grow bored of it, and so we switch to something else, or intensify the stimulus (or seek to escape consciousness)
-therefore, if a conscious immortal being existed, it would likely be insane.

this totes explains god's horrific experiments he's just getting off on our pain cos he got super bored with everything else, and he keeps stepping it up by releasing newer, more deadly viruses, diseases, etc.
#6180
Quote by progdude93


ask any (good) parent how they felt the moment their child was born into the world.

It was an absolutely incredible feeling, a mixture of shock (because something so large coming from a hole so small is shocking to see in real life, especialy when that hole belongs to someone you dearly love) elation, euphoria and the sudden appearence of an overwhelming instinct to be VERY protective.

Quote by progdude93

talk to someone tripping ballsack on LSD. these moments don't occur often, but they can and do occur.

and since they do, the moment in which a person decides to step in front of someone else and take a bullet for them can be filled with so much pleasure that it's completely worth death.

i think the point of psychological egoism is that we need to re-evaluate our understanding of "selfishness." is vicarious selfishness really a bad thing? i don't think so. is wanting our children to succeed because we get pleasure from their success a bad thing? NO! the very fact that we get pleasure from someone else's pleasure is ****ING INCREDIBLE! the fact that we experience pain when those we care about experience pain is ****ING INCREDIBLE!

the fact that someone could feel so good about saving someone's life that they would rather die than not do it is AWESOME and we should embrace that rather than deny it


I absolutely agree 100% with all of this.
#6181
Quote by progdude93
on a completely different note, i was thinking about consciousness and immortality recently.

here are some fairly random thoughts i've been juggling:

-consciousness requires stimulation
-consciousness without stimulation leads to insanity (the world's quietest room will make you hallucinate within 45 minutes guaranteed or your money back. and just imagine being in a pitch black room 24 hours a day, unable to move. don't you think you'd go insane?)
-we become desensitized to that which stimulates our consciousness, and eventually grow bored of it, and so we switch to something else, or intensify the stimulus (or seek to escape consciousness)
-therefore, if a conscious immortal being existed, it would likely be insane.

this totes explains god's horrific experiments he's just getting off on our pain cos he got super bored with everything else, and he keeps stepping it up by releasing newer, more deadly viruses, diseases, etc.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXVGIb3bzHI

I don't think it would be fair to attribute human "consciousness" problems to God. How do you know all consciousness is the same?
The fact that there are humans who differ so much in their "mental" state (for instance, some are insane from the get go), tells you that you can't just attribute the same stuff you feel and think to others, specially not to an omni-everything being who controls the whole universe.
#6182
If believers can invent a way for consciousness to exist without any physical support system, then it's no great stretch to invent sensory input without any as well.
"God saw that it was good".....

This is a major problem with the idea of a "soul".... How does something "non physical" work? How does it store memories? Receive sensory input? Most "explanations" of such things are airy-fairy handwaves...."Oh, it's spiritual" "It exists on another plane". That sort of thing. No explanation, no model, not even a hypothesis.
#6183
I think the way to go about it, is to think consciousness "runs" on different physical structures.
Your consciousness right now "runs" on your brain. Based on neuros firing and shit, your consciousness "arises". But in heaven, maybe they have a different infrastructure. Maybe they can take that mapping from neurons and those sparks they fire between each other, and model it in the Heaven Neural Network.
Whether this network is based on physical things, or based on mystical aether, or fairies or whatever. That's up to God and his heaven engineers to figure out.

Same with sensory input. They could simulate the way your brain processes things, based on this heaven network stuff. Then they can put fairies and shit into your heaven receptors so you can "sensor" stuff, even if it's not physical
#6184
Quote by gonzaw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXVGIb3bzHI

I don't think it would be fair to attribute human "consciousness" problems to God. How do you know all consciousness is the same?
The fact that there are humans who differ so much in their "mental" state (for instance, some are insane from the get go), tells you that you can't just attribute the same stuff you feel and think to others, specially not to an omni-everything being who controls the whole universe.


i was joking about the god part

edit: also, that anechoic chamber isn't even CLOSE to the one in Minneapolis
Last edited by progdude93 at Apr 28, 2014,
#6186
There would probably be world peace if everyone shared the same belief system, the exact nature of that belief system isn't important. It's when you get cunts disagreeing with you that you have to fuck their shit up and maybe cut off a few heads.
.
#6188
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Yes, practicaly any parent will tell you that they are much more concerned with the needs of their children than their own, infact, most parents would gladly take a bullet for their children.

what if i told you that i consider the need to look after your children classifies as a need? i may have made a loop for myself wherin nothing can possibly be 'selfless', but whenever someone describes an act as selfless, i can't help but think back to how the hero in question was feeling during the act, and how he was also satisfying his own needs. it doesn't change how good the act is of course, but i do want to know how most people classify 'selfless'.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
#6189
Quote by laid-to-waste
what if i told you that i consider the need to look after your children classifies as a need?

A 'need' is surely something that is either advantagious to us or is percieved to be advantagious to us. (as in the case of addiction)
I mentioned parents glady dying for their kids, in what way would this be advantagious to, or even percieved to be advantagious to the parent?
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at May 1, 2014,
#6190
Ok, so I could use some help if anyone has any advice on this one.

Basically, I have a debate for philosophy class on Monday and I'm a bit confused about it. The topic is egoism vs cultural relativism, which is actually not too complicated, but what's getting me is that the teacher insisted that we use an issue to illustrate our points, and that we be on opposing sides of the issue. I'm arguing for egoism, and I'm supposed to use egoism and ethical egoism to explain why the death penalty is wrong. The problem is I always come to conclusion that the death penalty is right when it comes to ethical egoism.

I'm at a disadvantage here because the debate is 2v2, but my partner dropped the class weeks ago and the professor said I'll have to go at it alone. And this is my first debate ever .

So I'm just going to throw some ideas out there(note, this isn't my debate, it's just some brainstorming):

Egoism is putting the happiness of the person above the happiness of others, and that all acts are done for selfish reasons. Ethical egoism is an "agreement" between egoists, which either doesn't impede upon the happiness of the involved parties, or requires the compromise of short-term goals in order to achieve long-term goals.

With regard to the death penalty, the egoist would not necessarily be on-board with the morals and beliefs of the culture, they would do what needs to be done in order to achieve their goals. While the needs of the egoist may vary, ultimately the one consistency is self-interest. The situation could call for the support of the death penalty, or it could call for an opposition to it. The person on death row might not wish to die, while the family of the person they killed may want them to pay the ultimate price for their acts. There is no way to universalize the death penalty to make it support the needs of every egoist.

Ultimately in ethical egoism, the death penalty could be the most fitting price for taking the life of someone who was not in violation of this societal construct. The ethical egoist agrees to compromise their short-term goals in order to work toward their long-term goals, and one of those compromises would be to not kill others within that society. This is, of course, is the most basic of understandings between individuals: the understanding that others do not wish to die just as we do not wish to die, therefore an agreement is made because no one wants to die. There are exceptions to that, but to the vast majority of people, their life, and the need to continue living, is at the top of their list of needs.

So how is a society to deal with someone that wishes to ignore the agreement to not kill others within that society? There are only 3 options: To exile that person so that they might find a society that is willing to make similar compromises to their own, to kill them so that they cannot kill someone else, or to lock them away so that they are no longer a threat. The first one is not realistic, since there is probably no where for them to go in today's world, the second is a quick(ideally) and permanent solution, and the 3rd is the most burdening on everyone in the society since it involves a continuous investment from the members of that society; from the ones that did not violate one of the most basic of rules.


So that's just what I came up with after reading some stuff on egoism and thinking about it for a bit. As you can see, it's very pro-death penalty. I'm obviously going to criticize cultural relativism, but I think I need a strong anti-death penalty stance to go along with it. If I had my way, the argument would just be egoism vs cultural relativism, and I wouldn't have to manipulate my stance to make it fit the topic.
Last edited by W4RP1G at May 3, 2014,
#6191
Don't aim to win the debate, aim to get a good grade for your performance here. Egoists are generally cool with the death penalty. so your goal isn't to convince anyone, but just to present the available arguments as clearly as you can.


So an egoist could argue that individuals acting alone is better than a state imposing its will and judgment (capitol punishment), and that the state doesn't have the authority to make the decision to end a life. this would be more like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_anarchism

basically a state should never be so big as to have the death penalty


you could also argue that egoism makes government a system of buyers (citizens) and a market of ideas in which the popular idea should be followed through on. So some citizens will want the death penalty and some won't.

In every debate there is an affirmative side and a negative side. Sounds like you're on the negative side, which means you only have to prove your opponents wrong, you don't have to prove yourself right. So I suggest you use a "third way" argument in which you say that it isn't ethically relevant at all and it's simply a matter of what the "buyers" want.
Last edited by captaincrunk at May 3, 2014,
#6192
Quote by captaincrunk
Don't aim to win the debate, aim to get a good grade for your performance.


W4RP1G, that's probably the best advice anyone could ever give you on this.
#6193
Quote by captaincrunk
Don't aim to win the debate, aim to get a good grade for your performance here. Egoists are generally cool with the death penalty. so your goal isn't to convince anyone, but just to present the available arguments as clearly as you can.


So an egoist could argue that individuals acting alone is better than a state imposing its will and judgment (capitol punishment), and that the state doesn't have the authority to make the decision to end a life. this would be more like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualist_anarchism

basically a state should never be so big as to have the death penalty


you could also argue that egoism makes government a system of buyers (citizens) and a market of ideas in which the popular idea should be followed through on. So some citizens will want the death penalty and some won't.

In every debate there is an affirmative side and a negative side. Sounds like you're on the negative side, which means you only have to prove your opponents wrong, you don't have to prove yourself right. So I suggest you use a "third way" argument in which you say that it isn't ethically relevant at all and it's simply a matter of what the "buyers" want.

Thanks, that sounds like a pretty good approach. Thanks for the link too, it looks like I have a lot to work with just from that.

Quote by SlackerBabbath
W4RP1G, that's probably the best advice anyone could ever give you on this.


Yeah I figured as much. I'm not really interested in debating anyway, I'm just there to learn about philosophy.
#6194
Hey guys, I want to read the Critique of Pure Reason as recommended by one of my History profs, but I've heard Kant is really difficult to understand sometimes. Are there some works of his I should read beforehand to develop a Kantian mindset, or would I not have any trouble just taking the Critique at a slow pace. I'm coming from a few months of reading Kierkegaard if that makes any difference.
#6195
Quote by Skullivan
Hey guys, I want to read the Critique of Pure Reason as recommended by one of my History profs, but I've heard Kant is really difficult to understand sometimes. Are there some works of his I should read beforehand to develop a Kantian mindset, or would I not have any trouble just taking the Critique at a slow pace. I'm coming from a few months of reading Kierkegaard if that makes any difference.

uh there really isn't any easy Kant, just try it. it's cheap anyway
#6196
Quote by captaincrunk
uh there really isn't any easy Kant, just try it. it's cheap anyway

koo thx
#6199
Quote by Bikewer
This is a major problem with the idea of a "soul".... How does something "non physical" work? How does it store memories? Receive sensory input? Most "explanations" of such things are airy-fairy handwaves...."Oh, it's spiritual" "It exists on another plane". That sort of thing. No explanation, no model, not even a hypothesis.

Non physical? Like concepts and ideas, abstract thoughts, numbers, and stuff like that?

Also, why would the soul need to store memories or have feelings? What would be the point and why would your nonphysical self take physical things with it to the after life?
As a reason for why people do that. If I was an animator or an author and I wanted to show my character going to Heaven or Hell. I wouldn't draw or write something like a ball of light floating with other balls of light. I would take my character, as they are, and put them in Heaven or Hell to distinguish the differences between my character and others. It helps to give people something they can relate to when explaining a concept like this.

Personally, I don't know what happens when a person dies and goes to Heaven or Hell. I'm not going to pretend to know. So, sorry I can't answer your soul question. I have no clue what our soul truly consists of. If you wanted me to pull a guess straight out of my ass all I have is:
Strip away your physical body and all physical restraints. Get rid of those memories. Lose the personality. Throw out the emotions. Now, whatever is left is... is something. And whatever the f-bomb that is lost all ties to your individual self. But, your individual self directly impacted whatever the hell that thing is. It's kind of a one way street. It's like a painting. The soul is the canvas and the paint are your actions. No one gives a shit what the artist looks like. It's the painting people are interested in. I know, it sounds laughably stupid. But, for now, it's all I got to work with.
Quote by bizkitday4eva
You know suicide is just as bad as killing yourself



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#6200
Quote by gonzaw
hi guyz, so laik if god is real, why arnt we stoning peopel to death?


Because we moraly object to his barbaric methods of punishment.

Even if God were real, we still wouldn't have to agree with him.