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Am I Deluded? (Chaosism AMA)

Chaosism
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11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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11/28/2016 7:36:42 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What does no intrinsic value regarding morality actually mean? Why are theses labels (moral nihilist/existential nihilist) necessary?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Chaosism
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11/28/2016 8:19:13 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 7:36:42 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What does no intrinsic value regarding morality actually mean?

It means I suck and failed to express clear meaning (I changed it and forgot to fix). Life has no intrinsic value but basically, morality reflects a capacity for judgement that resides entirely in the mind of humans (and some other beings) and stems from personal values and opinions of individuals. As such, human morality is ultimately arbitrary and has no true relation to reality, so nothing is actually intrinsically "right" or "wrong" in the universe.

This doesn't mean we can't treat common human values as if they were actually so, though. After all, what's the functional difference between if a group of people were merely of the opinion that a painting is beautiful and if the group were observing a painting that was actually (objectively) beautiful?

Why are theses labels (moral nihilist/existential nihilist) necessary?

They're not. They're just labels that attempt to briefly describe an individual's position on their respective matters, and using these labels is better for eliciting reactions and responses from others. ;)
janesix
Posts: 3,478
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11/28/2016 8:55:19 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

Why don't you think you have free will?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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11/28/2016 8:59:44 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 8:19:13 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/28/2016 7:36:42 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What does no intrinsic value regarding morality actually mean?

It means I suck and failed to express clear meaning (I changed it and forgot to fix). Life has no intrinsic value but basically, morality reflects a capacity for judgement that resides entirely in the mind of humans (and some other beings) and stems from personal values and opinions of individuals. As such, human morality is ultimately arbitrary and has no true relation to reality, so nothing is actually intrinsically "right" or "wrong" in the universe.

I have trouble wrapping my head around what this means. I'm not sure I agree that life has no value - I mean I don't think there is any 'god given' value, but we do (generally) have a built in desire to live. Would this not make living more valuable than not living (to self aware beings) and actions which respect life valuable as well?

This doesn't mean we can't treat common human values as if they were actually so, though. After all, what's the functional difference between if a group of people were merely of the opinion that a painting is beautiful and if the group were observing a painting that was actually (objectively) beautiful?

I'm not sure beauty is a good analogy for morality. I mean, I think we can objectively know actions are wrong if they (on balance) attack life rather than preserve it. I prefer beauty, but I don't think it matters overall if something is aesthetically pleasing or not.


Why are theses labels (moral nihilist/existential nihilist) necessary?

They're not. They're just labels that attempt to briefly describe an individual's position on their respective matters, and using these labels is better for eliciting reactions and responses from others. ;)
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Geogeer
Posts: 4,285
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11/28/2016 9:10:53 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

You are at least consistent between atheism and moral nihilism. I think the nihilistic position on personal identity is kinda looney as it is obvious that we are all separate organisms.

My only critique is that you probably don't actually live according to the principles that you laid out (which is a very good thing).
Chaosism
Posts: 2,673
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11/28/2016 9:16:44 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 8:55:19 PM, janesix wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

Why don't you think you have free will?

I find it to be an absurd notion. Although one's will exists and determines one's actions, said will is in turn determined by factors outside of one's willful control. The nature of an individual's will is determined by one's nature (e.g. the configuration and processes of your brain) whether the individual emerged through evolution or was created by some god. In either case, the parameters of one's will is beyond one's willful control whether those parameters are determined through causation or are derived from some true randomness. In short, you can't have willful control over your will.

Ultimately, though, the experience of free will is pretty much inescapable to us. Whether we live in a world with or without free will, our limited experience and knowledge will yield the same experience of choice. The problem only really arises when a future-knowing being is introduced (e.g. an omniscient god).
Chaosism
Posts: 2,673
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11/28/2016 9:46:08 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 8:59:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 8:19:13 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/28/2016 7:36:42 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What does no intrinsic value regarding morality actually mean?

It means I suck and failed to express clear meaning (I changed it and forgot to fix). Life has no intrinsic value but basically, morality reflects a capacity for judgement that resides entirely in the mind of humans (and some other beings) and stems from personal values and opinions of individuals. As such, human morality is ultimately arbitrary and has no true relation to reality, so nothing is actually intrinsically "right" or "wrong" in the universe.

I have trouble wrapping my head around what this means. I'm not sure I agree that life has no value - I mean I don't think there is any 'god given' value, but we do (generally) have a built in desire to live. Would this not make living more valuable than not living (to self aware beings) and actions which respect life valuable as well?

Right; we have a natural inclination to hold life as valuable. Life is held valuable to us, it isn't valuable on its own. To observers that are inclined to value life, a human is more valuable than a rock. However, outside of judgements made by an inclined observer, does either actually hold any actual value? So, while the valuing of living beings may be intrinsic to humans, life is not intrinsically valuable, in of and itself.

This doesn't mean we can't treat common human values as if they were actually so, though. After all, what's the functional difference between if a group of people were merely of the opinion that a painting is beautiful and if the group were observing a painting that was actually (objectively) beautiful?

I'm not sure beauty is a good analogy for morality. I mean, I think we can objectively know actions are wrong if they (on balance) attack life rather than preserve it. I prefer beauty, but I don't think it matters overall if something is aesthetically pleasing or not.

Based on the assumption that preserving life is better that not preserving it (nuance aside), yes, one can evaluate the anticipated or observed outcome of actions and deem them morally right or wrong, objectively. This is what I mean by treating it as if it were objective. However, how can the base assumption be justified in any way except through personal value/opinion?

The innate values we have as a species provide a common basis that we can utilize in order to better the lives of everyone (which is a personal valuation/opinion). This basis is entirely dependent on the biological imperatives humans emerged with and morality, being directly derived from them, would be shaped in accordance to them. For example, if humans were inclined to hold no value or empathy for people with green eyes, then enslaving them to improve the lives of other people would likely be deemed moral.

Analogously, the way we perceive moral values can be measured along a yardstick (relative to its zero marker), but the location of that yardstick, in of and itself, in the universe is ultimately arbitrary.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,673
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11/28/2016 10:06:26 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 9:10:53 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

You are at least consistent between atheism and moral nihilism.

I'd hold this same stance on morality even if I wasn't an atheist.

I think the nihilistic position on personal identity is kinda looney as it is obvious that we are all separate organisms.

Yeah, I'll briefly elaborate on my thought; I was hoping it would come off as kinda strange so someone would comment on it.

How do you "know" a given person? Have you ever seen someone act far out of character and follow with the remark, "they're just not themselves"? If the notion of identity that you have about that person is based on the specific physical entity that's committing the actions (the person), this statement doesn't make sense. The notion of identity that's form about a person is based on a collection of associated, consistent behaviors that are attributed to a label (for a person or being capable of significant volition). Essentially, the identities we recognize as other people are just complex concepts constructed in our minds based on the experience of consistency.

As a thought experiment imagine an identical clone of someone you know, or even a perfectly identical cybernetic replica, that acts and expresses itself in the exact same way as the person would. By what basis would you determine that these entities are separate identities? Why would the clone/cyborg not be considered the same person that it's intended to mimic?

(FTR, I'm just thinking out loud, here, rather than asserting that I'm right.)

My only critique is that you probably don't actually live according to the principles that you laid out (which is a very good thing).

I'm a human being and, as such, am largely bound to the experiences and natural inclinations I have despite my beliefs about their relation to reality. So, while I cognitively recognize that life doesn't have any value, I can't help but to find it valuable despite this. It's like knowing that there's no reason to be fearful watching a horror movie but feeling fear, despite that knowledge. My assessments are merely attempts to deduce the truth of reality beyond my personal inclinations.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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11/28/2016 10:14:40 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 9:46:08 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/28/2016 8:59:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 8:19:13 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/28/2016 7:36:42 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What does no intrinsic value regarding morality actually mean?

It means I suck and failed to express clear meaning (I changed it and forgot to fix). Life has no intrinsic value but basically, morality reflects a capacity for judgement that resides entirely in the mind of humans (and some other beings) and stems from personal values and opinions of individuals. As such, human morality is ultimately arbitrary and has no true relation to reality, so nothing is actually intrinsically "right" or "wrong" in the universe.

I have trouble wrapping my head around what this means. I'm not sure I agree that life has no value - I mean I don't think there is any 'god given' value, but we do (generally) have a built in desire to live. Would this not make living more valuable than not living (to self aware beings) and actions which respect life valuable as well?

Right; we have a natural inclination to hold life as valuable. Life is held valuable to us, it isn't valuable on its own. To observers that are inclined to value life, a human is more valuable than a rock. However, outside of judgements made by an inclined observer, does either actually hold any actual value? So, while the valuing of living beings may be intrinsic to humans, life is not intrinsically valuable, in of and itself.

...and existence is without value as well?

This doesn't mean we can't treat common human values as if they were actually so, though. After all, what's the functional difference between if a group of people were merely of the opinion that a painting is beautiful and if the group were observing a painting that was actually (objectively) beautiful?

I'm not sure beauty is a good analogy for morality. I mean, I think we can objectively know actions are wrong if they (on balance) attack life rather than preserve it. I prefer beauty, but I don't think it matters overall if something is aesthetically pleasing or not.

Based on the assumption that preserving life is better that not preserving it (nuance aside), yes, one can evaluate the anticipated or observed outcome of actions and deem them morally right or wrong, objectively. This is what I mean by treating it as if it were objective. However, how can the base assumption be justified in any way except through personal value/opinion?

I cant imagine that the concept of 'value' could have any meaning without conscious beings, and if conscious beings have no value then neither does anything they assign value to. 'Value' is without value (if I am understanding you correctly).

The innate values we have as a species provide a common basis that we can utilize in order to better the lives of everyone (which is a personal valuation/opinion). This basis is entirely dependent on the biological imperatives humans emerged with and morality, being directly derived from them, would be shaped in accordance to them. For example, if humans were inclined to hold no value or empathy for people with green eyes, then enslaving them to improve the lives of other people would likely be deemed moral.

This is an interesting point. I'll need to consider it.

Analogously, the way we perceive moral values can be measured along a yardstick (relative to its zero marker), but the location of that yardstick, in of and itself, in the universe is ultimately arbitrary.

I like this analogy.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Bennett91
Posts: 4,237
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11/29/2016 6:58:42 AM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Do you have an argument against the Deist God? That one that is simply creative and lets the world/universe wind down.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What do you think of secular humanism and progressivism as a contrast to nihilism?

In terms of objective existence, what do you think about the phrase: "You are not me"
keithprosser
Posts: 2,053
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11/29/2016 7:34:11 AM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 10:06:26 PM, Chaosism wrote:
As a thought experiment imagine an identical clone of someone you know, or even a perfectly identical cybernetic replica, that acts and expresses itself in the exact same way as the person would. By what basis would you determine that these entities are separate identities? Why would the clone/cyborg not be considered the same person that it's intended to mimic?

Any fan of Star Trek knows that clones are considered the same person - otherwise teleporting wouldn't be viable because it works by destroying(*) the teleportee and reconstituting them somewhere else.
(* I say destroying because if the reconstitution fails for any reason the original is gone forever).

The problem here is to define what is meant by 'same person'. What criteria are being used to determine the answer? If the criterion is 'Does the clone look, act and think like the original?' then it is the same person. If the criterion is 'Is it made of the same atoms?' then it plainly isn't the same person.

The facts are simple - there is an original and a clone. The apparent problem is purely verbal - we have never had to worry too much about what 'same person' means because our everyday language has never had to deal with perfect clones.

The point is that if one person say 'It is the same person' and another person says 'No, it isn't the same person' they are not disagreeing on any fact - they agree 100% that there is an original and a clone involved. It is only the form of words that best describes that fact that is being disputed. If you just think about what there is rather than how to put it into words there is no actual problem or paradox at all.
Benshapiro
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11/29/2016 12:18:30 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What evidence is there that God doesn't exist? How are you defining God?

What evidence is there that moral nihilism is true?

What evidence is there that we have no free will?
bulproof
Posts: 25,295
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11/29/2016 1:08:26 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 12:18:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What evidence is there that God doesn't exist? How are you defining God?
The evidence that godists present in support of their claim that gods exist. NONE
Chaosism
Posts: 2,673
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11/29/2016 3:21:06 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 10:14:40 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/28/2016 9:46:08 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/28/2016 8:59:44 PM, Skepticalone wrote:

Right; we have a natural inclination to hold life as valuable. Life is held valuable to us, it isn't valuable on its own. To observers that are inclined to value life, a human is more valuable than a rock. However, outside of judgements made by an inclined observer, does either actually hold any actual value? So, while the valuing of living beings may be intrinsic to humans, life is not intrinsically valuable, in of and itself.

...and existence is without value as well?

Yes, in the same way. I don't see existence as terribly different from life in our view.

I'm not sure beauty is a good analogy for morality. I mean, I think we can objectively know actions are wrong if they (on balance) attack life rather than preserve it. I prefer beauty, but I don't think it matters overall if something is aesthetically pleasing or not.

Based on the assumption that preserving life is better that not preserving it (nuance aside), yes, one can evaluate the anticipated or observed outcome of actions and deem them morally right or wrong, objectively. This is what I mean by treating it as if it were objective. However, how can the base assumption be justified in any way except through personal value/opinion?

I cant imagine that the concept of 'value' could have any meaning without conscious beings, and if conscious beings have no value then neither does anything they assign value to. 'Value' is without value (if I am understanding you correctly).

Pretty much, yes. The cognitive capacity of valuation is a method of evaluation that is possessed by sufficiently developed beings and serves as a mechanism by which an entity acts upon the world, which was shaped by evolution and natural selection. I know that you know this, but as a simple example, a being that perceives its own offspring as valuable (even if they aren't in reality) would dictate it's actions and obviously significantly increase the likelihood of the offspring's survival. In turn, those beings are more likely to inherit the genetic trait that makes them similarly inclined. Ultimately, this is a distortion of reality, which is a necessary aspect of any being that acts upon the world.

The innate values we have as a species provide a common basis that we can utilize in order to better the lives of everyone (which is a personal valuation/opinion). This basis is entirely dependent on the biological imperatives humans emerged with and morality, being directly derived from them, would be shaped in accordance to them. For example, if humans were inclined to hold no value or empathy for people with green eyes, then enslaving them to improve the lives of other people would likely be deemed moral.

This is an interesting point. I'll need to consider it.

I was having a conversation with Ruv about this in the past but to my dismay, he abandoned or forgot about it after I broached this point, so we never got anywhere. :(

Analogously, the way we perceive moral values can be measured along a yardstick (relative to its zero marker), but the location of that yardstick, in of and itself, in the universe is ultimately arbitrary.

I like this analogy.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 3:23:02 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 6:58:42 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Do you have an argument against the Deist God? That one that is simply creative and lets the world/universe wind down.

Yep. *Very* briefly, psychology has revealed that humans are terrible at forming accurate beliefs about the world in which we live, which is why the scientific method is one of our greatest achievements. This is successful mostly because the aim of the method is to remove as much as the human element from the process as possible. This also explains why much of science knowledge is counter-intuitive to us.

It's demonstrable that humans tend to be strongly pattern-seeking (e.g. pareidolia), are inclined to assume agency in unexplained events we observe (e.g. anthropomorphism), are biased towards beliefs and thoughts that promote social cohesion (e.g. conformity, group-think), are psychologically uncomfortable without explanations for what we observe and would rather make something up (e.g. need for cognitive closure, rationalization, magical thinking), tend to be highly resistant to changing or altering beliefs often with disregard to evidence (e.g. belief perseverance), are prone to perceiving authorities and accepting their world over our own rationale, and are plagued with innumerable forms of cognitive biases (e.g. confirmation bias, blind-spot bias, just-world hypothesis, selective perception).

Consideration of all of the above psychological tendencies (and more) yield the conclusion that our very nature makes us very likely to fall into and succumb to religious belief, which is why most of humanity is religious to at least some degree. Our history is littered with evidence that humans tend to invent explanations (e.g. Zeus and lightening) for natural phenomena. Given that no valid empirical evidence has been found to support the existence of a god and that human reason alone is unquestionably prone to error, it is reasonable to utilize Occam's Razor to reduce reliance on assumptions.

In conclusion, it's much more likely to conclude that humans are psychologically inclined to formulate beliefs about a god (it's demonstrable) and leave it at that than it is to also add in the assumption that some god actually exists, as well.

Here's a debate where I presented some of my reasoning and sources: http://www.debate.org... (Round 2)

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What do you think of secular humanism and progressivism as a contrast to nihilism?

I don't see how they're in conflict or incompatible. Nihilism is not a creed and doesn't dictate that one find no value in life, it's just the notion that life is not intrinsically valuable. The others you mentioned are methods of improving the human condition rather than a declaration that life is valuable outside the human perspective. This is assuming that the Wiki info I based this assessment on is accurate enough. ;P

In terms of objective existence, what do you think about the phrase: "You are not me"

That's a good question; thanks for that. The difference would be that "me" would be comprised of the collection of thoughts and feelings that I experience, consider alongside memories that I experience of past thoughts, and associate together to form my concept of self-identity. So, the means by which I find meaning in your statement is twofold: (a) I can differentiate me from you because I don't experience your thoughts (assuming you actually experience them), and (b) I can spatially differentiate between us which separates us as independent entities.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 3:23:42 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 7:34:11 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 11/28/2016 10:06:26 PM, Chaosism wrote:
As a thought experiment imagine an identical clone of someone you know, or even a perfectly identical cybernetic replica, that acts and expresses itself in the exact same way as the person would. By what basis would you determine that these entities are separate identities? Why would the clone/cyborg not be considered the same person that it's intended to mimic?

Any fan of Star Trek knows that clones are considered the same person - otherwise teleporting wouldn't be viable because it works by destroying(*) the teleportee and reconstituting them somewhere else.
(* I say destroying because if the reconstitution fails for any reason the original is gone forever).

The problem here is to define what is meant by 'same person'. What criteria are being used to determine the answer? If the criterion is 'Does the clone look, act and think like the original?' then it is the same person. If the criterion is 'Is it made of the same atoms?' then it plainly isn't the same person.

The facts are simple - there is an original and a clone. The apparent problem is purely verbal - we have never had to worry too much about what 'same person' means because our everyday language has never had to deal with perfect clones.

The point is that if one person say 'It is the same person' and another person says 'No, it isn't the same person' they are not disagreeing on any fact - they agree 100% that there is an original and a clone involved. It is only the form of words that best describes that fact that is being disputed. If you just think about what there is rather than how to put it into words there is no actual problem or paradox at all.

Thank you for the input! So, the primary differentiating factor would be temporal (which existed first). What if the original person underwent permanent changes to their personality via brain alternation (e.g. medication, damage, trauma) - would the original entity effectively redefine this shared identity or be prescribed a new one? In other words, would the unchanged clone effectively become the original or would the clone be deemed a different identity, despite it not having changed?

I did see that you once had a thread about a similar topic in the philosophy forum, but I wasn't able to participate at the time... :(
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 3:25:34 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 12:18:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What evidence is there that God doesn't exist? How are you defining God?

See my above reply to Bennett91. Essentially, humans are very psychologically geared that way, human reasoning is unreliable, and human history contains a plethora of mutually exclusive and unevidenced beliefs. Utilize Occam's Razor and it's more likely that these beliefs are a product of human psychology than it is that this is case AND to add to it the assumption that some god actually exists.

What evidence is there that moral nihilism is true?

See my above reply(ies) to Skepticalone. Essentially, valuation is a cognitive capability and values reflect judgements made by an observing mind based on the personal inclinations of said mind. It can't be shown that life has value, in of and itself, outside the observations of an evaluating mind.

What evidence is there that we have no free will?

See my above reply to Janesix. Essentially, for one's will to be free, it must be unbound. An entity's nature (and will) is defined by factors outside of said entity's willful control thereby defining it and, thus, binding it. In order for one to have free will, one would have to have willful control over their will. I know that there's a notion of free will that means to 'act without coercion' (e.g. compatibilism, law), but I reject that alternate definition as "free will".
Benshapiro
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11/29/2016 4:30:14 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 3:25:34 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/29/2016 12:18:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

What evidence is there that God doesn't exist? How are you defining God?

See my above reply to Bennett91. Essentially, humans are very psychologically geared that way, human reasoning is unreliable, and human history contains a plethora of mutually exclusive and unevidenced beliefs. Utilize Occam's Razor and it's more likely that these beliefs are a product of human psychology than it is that this is case AND to add to it the assumption that some god actually exists.

How isn't this a genetic fallacy?

What evidence is there that moral nihilism is true?

See my above reply(ies) to Skepticalone. Essentially, valuation is a cognitive capability and values reflect judgements made by an observing mind based on the personal inclinations of said mind. It can't be shown that life has value, in of and itself, outside the observations of an evaluating mind.

How do we test the hypothesis that things exists apart from mind?

What evidence is there that we have no free will?

See my above reply to Janesix. Essentially, for one's will to be free, it must be unbound. An entity's nature (and will) is defined by factors outside of said entity's willful control thereby defining it and, thus, binding it. In order for one to have free will, one would have to have willful control over their will. I know that there's a notion of free will that means to 'act without coercion' (e.g. compatibilism, law), but I reject that alternate definition as "free will".

I don't agree that free will must mean uninfluenced by factors outside of us. It just means we have the reigns to direct our intentionality.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 5:28:02 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 4:30:14 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/29/2016 3:25:34 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/29/2016 12:18:30 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

What evidence is there that God doesn't exist? How are you defining God?

See my above reply to Bennett91. Essentially, humans are very psychologically geared that way, human reasoning is unreliable, and human history contains a plethora of mutually exclusive and unevidenced beliefs. Utilize Occam's Razor and it's more likely that these beliefs are a product of human psychology than it is that this is case AND to add to it the assumption that some god actually exists.

How isn't this a genetic fallacy?

Because it's not based solely on history; it's based on demonstrable, testable behavioral tendencies (properties) that humans possess, and basing conclusions on such is not always fallacious, and such a conclusion is of greater likelihood without empirical evidence to the contrary. The history is being used as support, not the basis.

Example: Bob is terrible at jumping hurdles. He was and is in the same terrible physical shape and had failed every hurdle jump in the past. It's reasonable to conclude that it's much more likely that he'll fail to jump the next hurdle. If I were basing this conclusion exclusively on his history or origin (e.g. Bob is American and Americans suck at hurdles, therefore...), then it would be a genetic fallacy. But I'm not, because I'm basing the conclusion on his properties (physical condition) and just supporting it with history.

What evidence is there that moral nihilism is true?

See my above reply(ies) to Skepticalone. Essentially, valuation is a cognitive capability and values reflect judgements made by an observing mind based on the personal inclinations of said mind. It can't be shown that life has value, in of and itself, outside the observations of an evaluating mind.

How do we test the hypothesis that things exists apart from mind?

Primarily, measurability and verifiability from independent agents. Besides, the idea of 'value' entails an observing mind holding such a value, so it's incoherent to speak of value apart from the mind. Value is assigned by an observing mind relative to inclinations and goals (as a means to an ends).

Value : "The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something." [Oxford]

What evidence is there that we have no free will?

See my above reply to Janesix. Essentially, for one's will to be free, it must be unbound. An entity's nature (and will) is defined by factors outside of said entity's willful control thereby defining it and, thus, binding it. In order for one to have free will, one would have to have willful control over their will. I know that there's a notion of free will that means to 'act without coercion' (e.g. compatibilism, law), but I reject that alternate definition as "free will".

I don't agree that free will must mean uninfluenced by factors outside of us. It just means we have the reigns to direct our intentionality.

That's fine; it's more of a definitional issue, then. What determines your intentionality, though, if you only have the reigns to direct it? There's only a problem if a god is introduced that's judging you (e.g. heaven/hell) based ultimately on factors beyond your control, especially if those factors were established by said creator god.

But, I don't believe we have as much control over our decision-making processes as we perceive. Much of our cognitive processing occurs outside of conscious choice or will, and are dictated by conflicting desires and urges. This isn't being presented as conclusive evidence, but: http://www.nature.com...

Imagine a man locked in an office for a long weekend with a sandwich, belonging to a coworker, sitting on a nearby desk. Assuming that the man views stealing as wrong, what determines if the man will or will not steal the sandwich? As time goes by, hunger will increase, thus, increase the desire to steal the sandwich. Eventually, the desire to eat will overcomes the desire to not steal, with the duration being determined by the man's level of willpower/self-control.

The man doesn't control his hunger, his level of self-control, or his disdain towards theft (avoidance of negative consequences), so, what part of this decision-making process is under the willful control of the man? Certainly, he had physical control over his actions, but did he really have mental control?
Quadrunner
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11/29/2016 6:07:25 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
Chaosism wrote:

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

I'm curious to see your approach to this and I'm sure it'll be similar to something you've already considered, but lets find out. I'm going to attempt to test your probability based reasoning that all deities are likely a man-made construct. Hopefully it turns out to be constructive, in reconfirming, or refining the construction of your belief.

First I'm going to say, that if a deity is uncontradictory with natural observation (certain enough for the girls I go out with), and with its own definition, your image of it, then it is a rational possibility, however unlikely. Before going further, are we on the same page?


Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I like this one, not that that matters lol.
Wisdom is found where the wise seek it.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 6:18:33 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 6:07:25 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
Chaosism wrote:

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

I'm curious to see your approach to this and I'm sure it'll be similar to something you've already considered, but lets find out. I'm going to attempt to test your probability based reasoning that all deities are likely a man-made construct. Hopefully it turns out to be constructive, in reconfirming, or refining the construction of your belief.

Cool. :)

First I'm going to say, that if a deity is uncontradictory with natural observation (certain enough for the girls I go out with), and with its own definition, your image of it, then it is a rational possibility, however unlikely. Before going further, are we on the same page?

Sure.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I like this one, not that that matters lol.
PureX
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11/29/2016 7:36:17 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I think it's sad that you are working so hard at negating value. I don't see where this can go that isn't gong to result in your own meaningless suffering. As an older human who has been down this road I would advise you to let go of this nonsense as soon as you can. Seek out an understanding and appreciation of value, pursue it, nurture it, share it, and let it be your raison d'"tre. It's the only cure I know of for this kind of pointless nihilism.

Pointless nihilism is easy to play at in the abstract, when you're young. But it's a mean bitch when it becomes a reality as you get older. No one wants to be around a spiritual 'black hole'.
Outplayz
Posts: 1,274
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11/29/2016 7:38:16 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

So, if there is no god, which i can go with, how about some other form of life? Or, life after death? Is there absolutely no way consciousness can surpass death in your opinion?

In regards to free will, am i not free to do whatever i want right now? Sociological factors do matter, things like money, for what i am free to do... but, i can do whatever really.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I believe in existentialism, but i am not sure of the nihilist part. I am the one that gives value to my life. Although there is no intrinsic value, i created this value so it is there now. This goes back to free will, i am free to paint whatever picture i want. Some may not have this luxury, but they are still painting some sort of picture.

There is no objective you or me? I don't know about this. It's hard to say. I understand that my identity is changing as i go forward. Yet, how do you define that sense of "me-ness" that has always been consistent? For instance, the reasons to why my favorite color is black. Not just that i like the color, but all the reasoning behind why which have stayed consistent throughout my years.
Quadrunner
Posts: 1,154
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11/29/2016 7:44:47 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 6:18:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/29/2016 6:07:25 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
Chaosism wrote:

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

I'm curious to see your approach to this and I'm sure it'll be similar to something you've already considered, but lets find out. I'm going to attempt to test your probability based reasoning that all deities are likely a man-made construct. Hopefully it turns out to be constructive, in reconfirming, or refining the construction of your belief.

Cool. :)

First I'm going to say, that if a deity is uncontradictory with natural observation (certain enough for the girls I go out with), and with its own definition, your image of it, then it is a rational possibility, however unlikely. Before going further, are we on the same page?

Sure.

I'll just take a stab at this and try and make a quick uncontradictory deity. Assuming an essentially 'omniscient', 'omnipotent' god construct independent of motive all from the perspective of humanity, do you have definitive reason beyond the shadow of a doubt to believe a supreme being didn't control or put forth with knowledge of all of human existence while you observe and react to it in inevitable fate?

I hope that works. I prefer to have at least one good construct for multiple defined possibilities, so let me know if it doesn't.
Wisdom is found where the wise seek it.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 8:47:41 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 6:18:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I think it's sad that you are working so hard at negating value. I don't see where this can go that isn't gong to result in your own meaningless suffering. As an older human who has been down this road I would advise you to let go of this nonsense as soon as you can. Seek out an understanding and appreciation of value, pursue it, nurture it, share it, and let it be your raison d'"tre. It's the only cure I know of for this kind of pointless nihilism.

Pointless nihilism is easy to play at in the abstract, when you're young. But it's a mean bitch when it becomes a reality as you get older. No one wants to be around a spiritual 'black hole'.

I do appreciate the concern, here, and understand where you're coming from. While I do hold that such nihilistic positions more likely reflect the reality in which we reside, I'm bound to the human experience. In other words, while I recognize that life and existence may not have any actual worth or value, I can't help but to find worth and value in them. Sure, this acknowledgement might be a small negative influence on myself, but I'm simply not capable of dictating my beliefs based on that. For instance, when a friend dies, I'm incapable of believing that they actually still exist in some abstract, spiritual form without a lot of solid evidence to suggest it. Sure, it might be comforting and emotionally beneficial, but my brain just doesn't work like that.

You can see it as sad, but I don't. I actually find it fascinating to try to identify exactly how much of what we perceive of the world is just in our minds and what's actually there. My views are somewhat contrary to human nature and they are isolating, but I don't change my behaviors in the world or try to convince others to abandon their beneficial beliefs. I only bring it up here because I assume people are here specifically to discuss such topics.

To conclude, just because I hold nihilistic beliefs doesn't mean I don't see value and meaning in the world around me. I strongly value the well-being of others and work for that with great fervor, and at the cost of my own well-being. I believe I've been well introduced to the pitfalls of reality in surrounding myself almost exclusively with the suffering of others. My beliefs of truth about the world don't change anything about how I live my life.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 8:48:36 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 7:36:17 PM, PureX wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I think it's sad that you are working so hard at negating value. I don't see where this can go that isn't gong to result in your own meaningless suffering. As an older human who has been down this road I would advise you to let go of this nonsense as soon as you can. Seek out an understanding and appreciation of value, pursue it, nurture it, share it, and let it be your raison d'"tre. It's the only cure I know of for this kind of pointless nihilism.

Pointless nihilism is easy to play at in the abstract, when you're young. But it's a mean bitch when it becomes a reality as you get older. No one wants to be around a spiritual 'black hole'.

I do appreciate the concern, here, and understand where you're coming from. While I do hold that such nihilistic positions more likely reflect the reality in which we reside, I'm bound to the human experience. In other words, while I recognize that life and existence may not have any actual worth or value, I can't help but to find worth and value in them. Sure, this acknowledgement might be a small negative influence on myself, but I'm simply not capable of dictating my beliefs based on that. For instance, when a friend dies, I'm incapable of believing that they actually still exist in some abstract, spiritual form without a lot of solid evidence to suggest it. Sure, it might be comforting and emotionally beneficial, but my brain just doesn't work like that.

You can see it as sad, but I don't. I actually find it fascinating to try to identify exactly how much of what we perceive of the world is just in our minds and what's actually there. My views are somewhat contrary to human nature and they are isolating, but I don't change my behaviors in the world or try to convince others to abandon their beneficial beliefs. I only bring it up here because I assume people are here specifically to discuss such topics.

To conclude, just because I hold nihilistic beliefs doesn't mean I don't see value and meaning in the world around me. I strongly value the well-being of others and work for that with great fervor, and at the cost of my own well-being. I believe I've been well introduced to the pitfalls of reality in surrounding myself almost exclusively with the suffering of others. My beliefs of truth about the world don't change anything about how I live my life.
Chaosism
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11/29/2016 8:49:20 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 7:38:16 PM, Outplayz wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:
This thread is intended to provoke discussion or questions about my personal stances on issues and to function as a general AMA thread as well (although from a more uninteresting member of these forums ;P ). I welcome any civil, reasonable discourse. I'm receptive to other opinions and feel free to try to make me contradict myself with the Socratic method of debate that I often employ. :)

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

So, if there is no god, which i can go with, how about some other form of life? Or, life after death? Is there absolutely no way consciousness can surpass death in your opinion?

Based on what we observe (and can verify) about consciousness, it appears to be a result of the processes of the brain. We can readily predict what changes in consciousness and thought will result in a person when their brain is altered (e.g. damaged, medicated), and there's no evidence to suggest that consciousness is something apart from the biological body. This doesn't mean that it's certainly not the case, though, as that would be impossible to verify.

In regards to free will, am i not free to do whatever i want right now? Sociological factors do matter, things like money, for what i am free to do... but, i can do whatever really.

Imagine that you got angry at someone and punched them out. Could you have chosen to do otherwise? Right now, you'd have different experiences, knowledge, and psychological state (e.g. not as angry anymore), so it's easy to say "yes". The problem is Hindsight Bias, which entails a distortion of our judgement about past events because of new information that has been acquired since the event. Imagine telling a friend that "you probably should open that closet...", but they open it anyway and a ton of stuff falls on them. You say, "See! I told you - I knew that would happen!" But if you actually were that certain, you'd have stopped them. It's also known as the 'I told you so' bias. Anyway...

Let's say that you were magically transported back in time into that same exact situation in which you punched that person. Your state of knowledge and psychological state are made identical to what they were at the time of the original event. Given that those factors (e.g. anger) are the reason you acted in the first place, do you really think that a different outcome could have arisen given identical variables?

Secondarily are likely my positions of moral and existential nihilism (no intrinsic value regarding morality and life) and a general nihilistic position on personal identities: there is no objectively existent "you" or "me" (which I believe would undermine most concepts of a meaningful afterlife).

I believe in existentialism, but i am not sure of the nihilist part. I am the one that gives value to my life. Although there is no intrinsic value, i created this value so it is there now. This goes back to free will, i am free to paint whatever picture i want. Some may not have this luxury, but they are still painting some sort of picture.

There is no objective you or me? I don't know about this. It's hard to say. I understand that my identity is changing as i go forward. Yet, how do you define that sense of "me-ness" that has always been consistent? For instance, the reasons to why my favorite color is black. Not just that i like the color, but all the reasoning behind why which have stayed consistent throughout my years.

I know - this one is a little weird. From a materialistic sense, you're comprised of matter in a particular configuration. This configuration entails consistent reactions which can be identified. You can conceptually bundle these consistencies together and associate them to form a recognizable identity. This is based on your memories of past, as well. If you were to experience amnesia, would you be able to maintain your self-identity as a "bowler", for example?

That "me-ness" is a collection of associated consistencies regarding the thoughts and memories you experience, and "bundle" under the label of "me". This "me" is generally defined by your current definition, which is why you might say, "I was a different person back then", in regard to something you wouldn't do or something that doesn't interest you, now. Basically, self-identify is an ever changing collection of subjectively recognized patterns in many separate lines of behaviors and thoughts.

In your example, liking black is one aspect of your identity, but does disregarding it nullify it? No, and altering/removing/adding to it wouldn't, either. It isn't some objectively existent, set in stone notion; it's a complex arrangement of component concepts. I'm just thinking out loud rather then being assertive, here, though.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,673
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11/29/2016 8:50:35 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 7:44:47 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
At 11/29/2016 6:18:33 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/29/2016 6:07:25 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
Chaosism wrote:

My most notable position is probably strong/positive/assertive atheism ("there is no god"), which applies to any notion of "god" that is not simply identical to observations of the natural world or that there's ultimately no such thing as free will.

I'm curious to see your approach to this and I'm sure it'll be similar to something you've already considered, but lets find out. I'm going to attempt to test your probability based reasoning that all deities are likely a man-made construct. Hopefully it turns out to be constructive, in reconfirming, or refining the construction of your belief.

Cool. :)

First I'm going to say, that if a deity is uncontradictory with natural observation (certain enough for the girls I go out with), and with its own definition, your image of it, then it is a rational possibility, however unlikely. Before going further, are we on the same page?

Sure.

I'll just take a stab at this and try and make a quick uncontradictory deity. Assuming an essentially 'omniscient', 'omnipotent' god construct independent of motive all from the perspective of humanity, do you have definitive reason beyond the shadow of a doubt to believe a supreme being didn't control or put forth with knowledge of all of human existence while you observe and react to it in inevitable fate?

I hope that works. I prefer to have at least one good construct for multiple defined possibilities, so let me know if it doesn't.

That'll probably work for this. And sure, such a being would definitely be in control of and aware of all human knowledge and reasoning. Such a being could even exist in defiance of logic and we humans are just incapable of understanding that due to our restricted reasoning capacity. That would effectively invalidate all conclusions we've ever drawn about such a being.
Outplayz
Posts: 1,274
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11/29/2016 9:32:45 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 11/29/2016 8:49:20 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 11/29/2016 7:38:16 PM, Outplayz wrote:
At 11/28/2016 3:52:28 PM, Chaosism wrote:

Based on what we observe (and can verify) about consciousness, it appears to be a result of the processes of the brain. We can readily predict what changes in consciousness and thought will result in a person when their brain is altered (e.g. damaged, medicated), and there's no evidence to suggest that consciousness is something apart from the biological body. This doesn't mean that it's certainly not the case, though, as that would be impossible to verify.

Can it be said, however, that consciousness is the water filling the cup and not the cup itself? We know a lot about the brain and how the processes give the vessel its life, but how do we explain the subjective experience we each have due to subjective firing of the neurons to make us each who we are?

I once was hospitalized and had to take pills every few hours. The lady told me she will come in my room and wake me up to give me the medication at night. I couldn't really sleep well due to the condition, but as i drifted into a light sleep, i dreamed of the room. Then i saw the door open to the room and the nurse walking in with a plate in her right hand with water and the medicine. The second she was about to touch my chest to wake me up, i woke up by myself and quickly said, "hey." She got startled and we laughed. Asked me how i knew and i told her about the dream. Everything was consistent... how she looked, the plate in her right hand, placement of the water and medicine, and of course her walking in and about to touch me to wake me up.

Now, of course this can all be coincidence. I am not asserting anything supernatural bc i don't have to jump to that. However, i have had many experiences like this... some much more profound. It seems to me, maybe bc how i believe, that there is a dualistic nature to consciousness. I only have anecdotal experience to go off, but it is enough to convince me that there is a little something more to this consciousness thing.

Imagine that you got angry at someone and punched them out. Could you have chosen to do otherwise? Right now, you'd have different experiences, knowledge, and psychological state (e.g. not as angry anymore), so it's easy to say "yes".

Actually, knowing who i was back in the day... it is harder for me to say "yes."

The problem is Hindsight Bias, which entails a distortion of our judgement about past events because of new information that has been acquired since the event. Imagine telling a friend that "you probably should open that closet...", but they open it anyway and a ton of stuff falls on them. You say, "See! I told you - I knew that would happen!" But if you actually were that certain, you'd have stopped them. It's also known as the 'I told you so' bias. Anyway...

That just seems like intuition to me. I act on my intuition sometimes. For instance the elections. I knew Trump would win... not certain, but confident. This had to do with my time on news sites and reading comments. I noticed a certain trend and my intuition told me that a lot will agree with me on this trend... that there is a silent majority that sees the same way i do. So, i made bets with all my friends and won ;p. I don't like betting, but i was quite certain this time around. "i told you so" was there, but calculated.

Anything else would be a guess from experience, intuition, feeling etc. Like seeing dark clouds and telling someone it will rain so take a jacket. Or, feeling the closet door being hard to open and thinking something may fall out.

Let's say that you were magically transported back in time into that same exact situation in which you punched that person. Your state of knowledge and psychological state are made identical to what they were at the time of the original event. Given that those factors (e.g. anger) are the reason you acted in the first place, do you really think that a different outcome could have arisen given identical variables?

Yes. It depends on the situation. I am smarter now than i was then. However, if the person i punched deserved it.. then i would still punch them. I had a person i hit awhile back bc they were about to take advantage of a girl in a party i hosted at my house. I hit him hard. That won't change now or then... i wold still hit him. However, there was another party i went to where my jealousy took over and i accidentally punched a hole in the wall. The house was a friends, so i felt bad. If i go back now, i wouldn't do it... i wouldn't even be jealous bc that is an emotion i have worked on and am in better control of. It is really situational... but, i would make better decisions now than i would back then bc i am simply smarter and more mature.

I know - this one is a little weird. From a materialistic sense, you're comprised of matter in a particular configuration. This configuration entails consistent reactions which can be identified. You can conceptually bundle these consistencies together and associate them to form a recognizable identity. This is based on your memories of past, as well. If you were to experience amnesia, would you be able to maintain your self-identity as a "bowler", for example?

You can't bc the parts are broken. In this case, you would just have two human experiences. One of the past, and one of the new future as a person with amnesia. Can you say that i am a different person? Lets say i was a bowler in the past and after my amnesia, i learn chess. I am still the same person, i just happened to forget the past... i agree it makes you different, but how different? It is still the person, but the person just has two roles its played in this life. Can everything come back after death when the person isn't restricted by the brain? I personally think it can.

That "me-ness" is a collection of associated consistencies regarding the thoughts and memories you experience, and "bundle" under the label of "me". This "me" is generally defined by your current definition, which is why you might say, "I was a different person back then", in regard to something you wouldn't do or something that doesn't interest you, now. Basically, self-identify is an ever changing collection of subjectively recognized patterns in many separate lines of behaviors and thoughts.

I agree.

In your example, liking black is one aspect of your identity, but does disregarding it nullify it? No, and altering/removing/adding to it wouldn't, either. It isn't some objectively existent, set in stone notion; it's a complex arrangement of component concepts. I'm just thinking out loud rather then being assertive, here, though.

Why is my arrangement the way it is? Is it just an accident? Why do i have so many spiritual thoughts? Why is it that i have had these thoughts ever since i can remember? As a kid, 3 years and up bc that is what i can remember, i have had a consistent world view. It has added, altered and had some removals, but it has been how i've always thought. I am not saying this proudly bc in most cases, thinking like i do, is a detriment. It is hard for me to pin point to bc i agree with most of your thoughts. I am a different person every second, but my subjective experience is mine. The way i experience is mine. I don't know how to exactly define it, but who i have been as the 'experiencer' has been quite consistent. Another interesting thing is that my vision of what i would consider "paradise" hasn't changed either... and i made it up in my head as a child.

I used the color example bc it is kinda the best i think. Black reminds me of Gothic art, dark music, romance and so on... will i ever not be reminded of these things, i don't know. Yet, the feeling and thoughts it gives me specifically have been consistent. I don't know... is there a definition for what i am trying to say... this "me-ness" factor?