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Old 03-11-2007, 12:14 AM   #1
SilentScope001
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Help me Prove the Irrational is Wrong...

A note: I know there are a lot of people that pride rationality, like Achilles, ED, Jae, etc. I'm one of them. So, I think you can help me out on this project.

I am writing my philosphy book upon Ideas, and I have made a (hopefully) stable proof that shows that all Ideas are actually based on the irrational feelings and biases that each person holds. If you question someone about their belief, asking them for evidence for that belief, a standard to evaluate that evidence, and then evidence to back up that standard to make sure that it is valid, etc. the person will end up telling that the idea is 'self-evident' and that he will refuse to answer. This does not discount his Idea, but it says that he irrationaly clings to it, when rationally, if he has no proof of his Idea, he should not listen to it.

Alright. I got stuck with a problem, a big problem...I want to prove that the Irrational is wrong. I can't do that.

Many of you support logical discourse, but I cannot find any way to actually back up proof for using logic and abandonig the irrational. Some people state that it is the irrational that allows us to commune with an Objective Truth that we cannot truly understand (that is, the Idea of God), and that by turning away from the irrational, we are actually turning away from truth. Other people state that you should accept things based on faith anyway, since you cannot operate in the world without taking faith in something (like say, in observations).

The reason I want to prove that Rationality is a good thing and that Irrationality is a bad thing is that I could then, using that, attempt to push an agenda to have people remove this "irrational" feelings that they have. I don't know how, but if people can find a way to squash these feelings and become truly rational beings, this world could be a much better place. But I need to make sure that I want total rationality, and no "irrational" feelings, biass, and unjustified opinons.

The only things I got:
1. The irrational is in contorl of our thoughts. If one human can modify the irrational (via education, properganda, debate, etc.), that human can contorl our thoughts. We do not want our thoughts to be contorlled by an external force thereby robbing us of our ability to choose what we want to believe, hence we must plug the irrational.
2. All Ideas are based on irrational beliefs. If you can trace it to that, then it leads to a question of why you should adhere to one Idea when another Idea is also equally valid. The irrational beliefs can also change, randomly, or by an external force, and if they change and flip-flop reguraly, then they should not be trusted, as they are constantly shifiting and never remain stable.

This knocks the irrational somewhat (though more proof may be needed), but then why should one rely on the rational? What is in the rational that can counterbalance the flaws of the irrational.

Thank you for all that respond.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:11 AM   #2
Samuel Dravis
 
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Choices only matter in an unchanging, external environment. Obviously if you're saying you make "choices" then you assume the objective world, because if it were not objective then "choice" could not exist.

Rational application of the objective (i.e., use of the predictability of natural phenomena) works extremely well in context with our assumption that there is a world to make choices in. We therefore use this to base communcation on. We find through our senses others who seem/are "like to me" in nature. They also appear to experience the world as we know it, and therefore the world's phenomena is common ground, regardless of we might call a particular effect. I might say that "John is dead" in english and people who speak a different language would not understand me. However, they would understand what I was talking about, given proper translation - people learn what "death" means through personal experience.

Given that we have established common ideas about the objective world, we can then talk about them meaningfully. In our case, this kind of shared knowledge/experience results in a society able to work together to achieve common goals. This is a very valuable feature, in my opinion.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:01 AM   #3
SilentScope001
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Choices only matter in an unchanging, external environment. Obviously if you're saying you make "choices" then you assume the objective world, because if it were not objective then "choice" could not exist.
I did make choices when I sleep and have many dreams. I do make some choices, but the enviroment is internal, and changing.
---
Hm...I also need to define rational. This is the use of logic to come to conclusions. You have a Claim, an Evidence to back up that Claim, and a Warrant that explains your assumptions that relates the Evidence to the Claim. If the Warrant and the Evidence is correct, logically, your Claim should be correct.

The problem is that the Warrant and the Evidence can be questioned, and can be questioned if they are valid and correct? A person needs to offer a standard to evaluate the claim and warrant. Once that is done, a person then needs to offer another argument, to prove that this Standard is valid. Then, a person needs to evaluate that argument, via a standard. Etc.

One either has to go on forever, which I believe, is impossible for us humans...or one has to stop, and tell me that it is self-evident. By refusing to answering the question, by refusing to continue into this logical framework of answering questions, I declare that to be entering into "irrational".

And, as for everyone sharing the same basic common Ideas, this is good for society, but just because everyone believes in those Ideas doesn't mean that it is any more correct or incorrect. They believe in these Ideas...why? Question their basic beliefs, and I guess they'll get mad. I'll define that as being "irrational" too, but in a good way: Since everyone agrees with these same basic common Ideas, we don't have to worry if those Ideas are right or wrong, we can operate within a framework.

This book isn't really about wheter an extenral world really exist or not...but rather about Ideas hating each other. Think of it like the Liberals and the Conservatives duking it out. Which one is correct? And why does two different ideologies (say, communsim and capitalism) would wage wars. Since all Ideas are based on the irrational, I wonder if it is possible to find a way to debunk the Irrational, to hopefully create a society that is totally Rational.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
I did make choices when I sleep and have many dreams. I do make some choices, but the enviroment is internal, and changing.
And those choices don't mean anything. I guess I meant by choice is the real effect the decision has. If the environment changes to your will, then the "choice" had no actual meaning, denying free will. And if you don't have free will, then it makes this discussion kinda pointless, doesn't it?

Quote:
And, as for everyone sharing the same basic common Ideas, this is good for society, but just because everyone believes in those Ideas doesn't mean that it is any more correct or incorrect. They believe in these Ideas...why? Question their basic beliefs, and I guess they'll get mad. I'll define that as being "irrational" too, but in a good way: Since everyone agrees with these same basic common Ideas, we don't have to worry if those Ideas are right or wrong, we can operate within a framework.
Isn't that in itself a distinct advantage over irrationality?

Quote:
This book isn't really about wheter an extenral world really exist or not...but rather about Ideas hating each other. Think of it like the Liberals and the Conservatives duking it out. Which one is correct? And why does two different ideologies (say, communsim and capitalism) would wage wars. Since all Ideas are based on the irrational, I wonder if it is possible to find a way to debunk the Irrational, to hopefully create a society that is totally Rational.
Like I told you in the other thread, constructs made for the objective world can be measured by their ability to achieve the aims set for them. Communism has not been shown to be truly effective at maintaining an industrialized economy, while capitalism has (to date). It's also true that communism is better at some things than capitalism. You just have to define exactly what you want out of your economic system. People, given their different needs, will want different things. Therefore, they argue about communism vs. capitalism. Both are "correct" in the sense that they do what the people who support them want them to do, but neither can claim to be the "best" way because they were made with different objectives in mind. The same goes for Conservatives vs. Liberals, etc.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:28 PM   #5
SilentScope001
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And those choices don't mean anything. I guess I meant by choice is the real effect the decision has. If the environment changes to your will, then the "choice" had no actual meaning, denying free will. And if you don't have free will, then it makes this discussion kinda pointless, doesn't it?
Well, I didn't know the enviroment changed to my will when I was sleeping. Only when I was awake could I decude that prehaps it might have been occuring to my subconsisus, but I do not know.

I know trying to disprove the external world would just get me into hot trouble, so I probraly won't do that, and just leave it at "you have choices". But what do you do with those choices? This is where the irrational comes in, and gives you the framework by which you follow and tell you what choices to do.

Speaking of which, prehaps I can use that as an argument against the irrational. It robs us of our ability to choose, since it is not us that is choosing, but our feelings, by which we have no contorl over. We need to gain indepedence, and free ourselves.

Quote:
Isn't that in itself a distinct advantage over irrationality?
Problem is...that is irrationality. Accepting something without proof, having a common framework, that is, to me, irrational. If a person is reasonable, he would always evaulate everything, making sure it is correct, and questioning everything. If he refuses to question even the basic frameworks, he accepts some form of irrationality.

In its stead, having a common framework is an argument for irrationality and against rationality, not exactly what I desire.

Quote:
Like I told you in the other thread, constructs made for the objective world can be measured by their ability to achieve the aims set for them. Communism has not been shown to be truly effective at maintaining an industrialized economy, while capitalism has (to date). It's also true that communism is better at some things than capitalism. You just have to define exactly what you want out of your economic system. People, given their different needs, will want different things. Therefore, they argue about communism vs. capitalism. Both are "correct" in the sense that they do what the people who support them want them to do, but neither can claim to be the "best" way because they were made with different objectives in mind. The same goes for Conservatives vs. Liberals, etc.
It then goes to "Why do you prefer these different objecitves?" Again, that seems to me irrational...

Speaking of which, I might as well reintroduce a link.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/sc...rssnyt&emc=rss

This basically is a newspaper article that talks about scientisits finally postulating out that we don't have free will. I wonder what you feel about it, does our life have meaning if we have no free will?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Well, I didn't know the enviroment changed to my will when I was sleeping. Only when I was awake could I decude that prehaps it might have been occuring to my subconsisus, but I do not know.
Yet it did. "Choices" made in a dream have no (lasting) consequences, and what consequences they do have are determined entirely by your mind. In the real world, other people would be affected by it as well. I'm sure they'd tell you if it were getting them angry. Yeah yeah, how do you know they're not constructs too? I can't answer that and I don't think that people's present abilities will provide any.

Quote:
Problem is...that is irrationality. Accepting something without proof, having a common framework, that is, to me, irrational. If a person is reasonable, he would always evaulate everything, making sure it is correct, and questioning everything. If he refuses to question even the basic frameworks, he accepts some form of irrationality.

In its stead, having a common framework is an argument for irrationality and against rationality, not exactly what I desire.
And if that questioning is found to be completely useless, then creating a framework seems quite reasonable to me. You can be rational even if you have incomplete information, though your conclusions may not produce the results you'd get from having all knowledge, but that's to be expected.

Quote:
It then goes to "Why do you prefer these different objecitves?" Again, that seems to me irrational...
Um, why should they not prefer objectives that produce favorable results for themselves? Whether or not those results are good in a sense they cannot determine at the moment is irrelevant to their choices now.

Quote:
Speaking of which, I might as well reintroduce a link.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/sc...rssnyt&emc=rss

This basically is a newspaper article that talks about scientisits finally postulating out that we don't have free will. I wonder what you feel about it, does our life have meaning if we have no free will?
I've read that one before. As for your question, I've never claimed that life had any meaning other than what we give it, and that only insofar as we have the ability to do so. If living I am confined to the possibilities opened to me by virtue of the current state of the universe, then I can hardly be upset about it. Meaning? It has meaning to me now. I don't see the enjoyment I get out of being with my friends becoming any less because of such a revelation. I can see some ways that it being deterministic in this way would almost be better, because then I could methodically plan out how to woo ALL the (hawt) ladies with maths formulas. Resistance is futile!


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

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Old 03-12-2007, 01:44 AM   #7
SilentScope001
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Yet it did. "Choices" made in a dream have no (lasting) consequences, and what consequences they do have are determined entirely by your mind. In the real world, other people would be affected by it as well. I'm sure they'd tell you if it were getting them angry. Yeah yeah, how do you know they're not constructs too? I can't answer that and I don't think that people's present abilities will provide any.
Okay.

Quote:
And if that questioning is found to be completely useless, then creating a framework seems quite reasonable to me. You can be rational even if you have incomplete information, though your conclusions may not produce the results you'd get from having all knowledge, but that's to be expected.
Ah. I guess I want complete rationality (with no irrationality) so that the questioning can be seen to have USE, as well as prehaps having said future man with all the information, but that is not to be expected. Prehaps in the future, with genetic engerring, prehaps. *sigh*. Or, maybe I am looking for infinite beings who can gain complete information, to find out the truth. Both seem impossible, but I do think I desire it.

Quote:
Um, why should they not prefer objectives that produce favorable results for themselves? Whether or not those results are good in a sense they cannot determine at the moment is irrelevant to their choices now.
I mean, why do they think that the results are favourable to them? Like, suppose a person is given money. Why is the person happy he is given money? Because he can buy stuff? Why does he want to buy stuff? He wants to be happy. Why does he want to be happy? Etc.

The thing is, somehow, there is something we cannot explain. I don't know why I want to be happy...I just want to be happy. It gives me a eurohpia feeling, but why should I prefer happiness? It is this sort of thing that I term as "irrational".

Quote:
I can see some ways that it being deterministic in this way would almost be better, because then I could methodically plan out how to woo ALL the (hawt) ladies with maths formulas. Resistance is futile!
I can understand the joke, but to me, that is the most horrible thing yet (convicing one person by using the mathmatical formula to follow you). If it can be concluded that everything is deterministic, then it can leads to very icky ethical questions. One common one is: If you can explain evil...is it really evil, or just normal? The more subtle one is: Why do you EVEN think about judging if an act is evil or not? Since you are human, you too are determined by factors...and if so, your judgement of good and evil is not to be trusted, since they can be swayed by factors.

To put it simply, what if one use this technology to do a form of Mind Contorl, like you suggest? Not the subtle one as education, but actual direct use of math formulas? Being swayed by my own irrational thoughts is one thing...being swayed by an irrational thought of ANOTHER PERSON is totally another. At least, in the former, at least a part of you contorlled you. In the latter, you have lost total contorl over your actions as someone else ursups your autonomy, and takes your whole body over. This is done to a lesser extent via debate, argument, and properganda...but to have Science come in to do such a thing...that would be quite deveasting.

Not that you would actually do such a thing to girls.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
I mean, why do they think that the results are favourable to them? Like, suppose a person is given money. Why is the person happy he is given money? Because he can buy stuff? Why does he want to buy stuff? He wants to be happy. Why does he want to be happy? Etc.
I want to be happy because it's more pleasing to me than any other condition I've experienced. Why do I consider it pleasant? I don't know, that's just the way I am.

Quote:
I can understand the joke, but to me, that is the most horrible thing yet (convicing one person by using the mathmatical formula to follow you). If it can be concluded that everything is deterministic, then it can leads to very icky ethical questions. One common one is: If you can explain evil...is it really evil, or just normal? The more subtle one is: Why do you EVEN think about judging if an act is evil or not? Since you are human, you too are determined by factors...and if so, your judgement of good and evil is not to be trusted, since they can be swayed by factors.

To put it simply, what if one use this technology to do a form of Mind Contorl, like you suggest? Not the subtle one as education, but actual direct use of math formulas? Being swayed by my own irrational thoughts is one thing...being swayed by an irrational thought of ANOTHER PERSON is totally another. At least, in the former, at least a part of you contorlled you. In the latter, you have lost total contorl over your actions as someone else ursups your autonomy, and takes your whole body over. This is done to a lesser extent via debate, argument, and properganda...but to have Science come in to do such a thing...that would be quite deveasting.
If the universe is deterministic then there is no good or evil. Those terms would be undefined. My influence on whomever would be no less natural than the effects of gravity. I could say that some actions are "evil" because they cause suffering, but people who were predisposed to do evil acts would do them if they had the opportunity. They have no choice in the matter. This is part of the reason I am against vengeance punishments for crimes. If the people are dangerous then I am for making them not dangerous (through taking them off the street, etc); but punishment? I don't have a good reason to punish. My objective is to end suffering, not cause it.

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Not that you would actually do such a thing to girls.
Um, well...


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Old 03-12-2007, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
I don't know how, but if people can find a way to squash these feelings and become truly rational beings, this world could be a much better place.
Thus the robots turned on their masters...

Sorry, I'll fight for humanity instead.
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:44 PM   #10
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Are you saying that being rational would somehow cause us to forgo our humanity? If so, I guess I'm not seeing the correlation. Would you mind expanding on this a little more?
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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I was responding to SS001's desire to become fully rational with no irrationality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Ah. I guess I want complete rationality (with no irrationality) so that the questioning can be seen to have USE, as well as prehaps having said future man with all the information, but that is not to be expected. Prehaps in the future, with genetic engerring, prehaps. *sigh*. Or, maybe I am looking for infinite beings who can gain complete information, to find out the truth. Both seem impossible, but I do think I desire it.
Yes, this would make us more like robots or Vulcans, if you like.

Doesn't do much for art, does it?
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:04 PM   #12
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Is there no rational basis for art, beauty, love, etc? I guess I'm still not seeing the steps to your conclusion.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:30 PM   #13
SilentScope001
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I want to be happy because it's more pleasing to me than any other condition I've experienced. Why do I consider it pleasant? I don't know, that's just the way I am.
Ah, okay. I know there are limits, but we should always try to exceed them, I guess.

Quote:
My influence on whomever would be no less natural than the effects of gravity.
Well, you destroyed my objection then. All forms of mind contorl would truly be natural, if everything is determinstic. I just find it quite scary, but that's just from an irrational point of view.

Quote:
This is part of the reason I am against vengeance punishments for crimes. If the people are dangerous then I am for making them not dangerous (through taking them off the street, etc); but punishment? I don't have a good reason to punish
1) Would you be for "rehabiliative" punishments that would change the prisonser's composition to fit what we want 'normal' humans to be?

2) People are sort of vengeful, and want to inflict pain on those who inflicted pain on them. People basically gain pleasure from tortuting and imprisoning others. So, we could punish one person so that everyone else gets the beniefts of happiness, no?

Quote:
Yes, this would make us more like robots or Vulcans, if you like.

Doesn't do much for art, does it?
Well, you see, I see Humans being different from animals due to our "rationality", or our use of reason. Animals just have insticit, but we also have reason, in addition to instict, a byproduct of evolution. (Take "reason" out of the equation and we lose the last boundary between animals and humans...and I wouldn't be suprised if science in the future proves that we have no reason.)

If we remove the insticts, the feelings, the emotions, all the "irrationality" of society, and in the process, boost how "rational" we are, I feel we become more Human.

...Er, the question of art? Well, note that none of us are truly rational beings, as of yet. Prehaps, if there is a truly rational being, he may be able to find a rational basis for art, music, prehaps event beauty, using reason to find out everything. Think of the Golden Ratio, but take it to the extreme, with laws governing everything. Maybe the trul rational being may be able to find arts, and then such arts would be so pleasing to other rational beings.

An example of how art and rationality can co-exist if the idea of a truly rational (and infinite) being, "God", or some religions' conceptions of God as being so powerful. He created Earth, the galaxy, and the Human Race...which is artwork, no?

But I don't see art as really key...to me, figuring out what is true is far more important. One person's art is another person's trash, thanks to the irrationality that governs us all (so irrationality really doesn't help create beautiful works of arts, since another person just sees it as something stupid). If everyone is "truly rational", then there would be an art that everyone would enjoy, which would be "true art". That, or if everyone shares the same assuptions and irrational desires, but that is something that I feel is pretty unrealisitc...as well as sort of robbing us of choices. (Not to mention that these desires and assumptions could not be true at all. I feel that truth should be preferred over any possible delusion, even when the delusion would be far better for humanity to submit to.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:35 PM   #14
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My assertions are: Emotions are irrational. Reason is rational.

The conclusions I draw from this:

- On beauty: If beauty is defined as mathematical elegance, then there is room for beauty in a purely rational society. edit: same as what you said above, SS001

- On art: If art is done in an attempt to be "beautiful" as defined above (fractal geometry?), then I suppose there could be some form of art in a purely rational society. The purpose of the art would be to express rational beauty. It's questionable, however whether there would be any artists who would desire to express beauty, since that desires are often irrational.

- On love: Love is completely irrational and would have no place in such a society.

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Old 03-12-2007, 02:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
My assertions are: Emotions are irrational. Reason is rational.
I concur. Very good definitions.

Quote:
- On beauty: If beauty is defined as mathematical elegance, then there is room for beauty in a purely rational society.
Okay.

Quote:
- On art: If art is done in an attempt to be "beautiful" as defined above (fractal geometry?), then I suppose there could be some form of art in a purely rational society. The purpose of the art would be to express rational beauty. It's questionable, however whether there would be any artists who would desire to express beauty, since that desires are often irrational.
Hm...true. But I do think that prehaps these rational beings would use it to document beauty, prehaps because it would fufil some rational desire. Prehaps, as a way to increase hapiness, or to gain power and money within society (so that the person can live), or to sway people who are irrational, communicating their ideas in a message (that is, of beauty) so that the irrational people can understand. Or, maybe, it is the same way as a historian would document a War. The historian and the Rational Being can do it because it is there, and it is meant to be documented.

Quote:
- On love: Love is completely irrational and would have no place in such a society.
I concur. Love is an emotion. But there can be prehaps some sort of "rational bonds" can suffice...A rational person may not love God, but he worships him because God gave him the ability to live and to think. A rational person may not love his wife, but he sees his wife as a valuable person who he respects, who gives him economic aid, good advice, and a way to help him progress in rationality.
--
I know it probraly doesn't sound appealing what I say, but if there is a society of truly rational people, then the benieft I see is that we will be able to find out what is the truth. If one desires something other than the truth, then rationality really wouldn't help.

EDIT: Is it even possible that there can be a society of truly rational beings? What I really desire is at least one person who would be truly rational, and this one person would then figure out the Truth. In fact, what I fear is that if there are more than one rational person, what if the rational beings get into an argument? Both people, being rational, would have good reasons, and may be able to justify everything they say, using evidence. Then if this occurs, we return back to before.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:47 PM   #16
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If art is used as documentation of beauty, it should be called "documentation".

Irrationality is what allows us to express individualism. If we eliminate irrationality we become a Hive. There is irrational beauty in being able to choose to give up individualism for that sake of community. But if you're born rational, you haven't given anything up because you had no individuality to begin with. You're just a cog in the machine.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:52 PM   #17
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If art is used as documentation of beauty, it should be called "documentation".
Hm...wonder if that would be the first thing the rational person would say?

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Irrationality is what allows us to express individualism. If we eliminate irrationality we become a Hive. There is irrational beauty in being able to choose to give up individualism for that sake of community. But if you're born rational, you haven't given anything up because you had no individuality to begin with. You're just a cog in the machine.
So irrationality, our feelings, that is what make us indivudals? I can understand that, but prehaps one can be an indivudal if he is indeed the only one who is indeed Truly Rational, while everyone else is not. He would be an indivudal too, in fact, a very unique individual...some people might share similar interests and similar irrationality...but this one person has no irrationality.

With this one person who is unique and have no irrationality, the problem arises...how can he communicate his findings? Should he communicacte his findings to us irrational beings, who probraly won't understand them, unless he finds some way of appealing to our irrational? Prehaps he might even die without sharing the Truth, but at least we get the knowledge that at least one human understands what is true.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:52 PM   #18
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My assertions are: Emotions are irrational. Reason is rational.

The conclusions I draw from this:

- On beauty: If beauty is defined as mathematical elegance, then there is room for beauty in a purely rational society. edit: same as what you said above, SS001

- On art: If art is done in an attempt to be "beautiful" as defined above (fractal geometry?), then I suppose there could be some form of art in a purely rational society. The purpose of the art would be to express rational beauty. It's questionable, however whether there would be any artists who would desire to express beauty, since that desires are often irrational.

- On love: Love is completely irrational and would have no place in such a society.
The way you define it, I would also be against it. Fortunately for me, I don't share your definition

At the risk of sounding like a flame, I think you've seen Equilibrium too many times

I think it's absolutely rational to value art, artistic expression, etc. I think it's absolutely irrational to attribute the nature of these things to a supernatural source.

Let me give you an example for how I view the distinction:

My kids, while playing in the house, break a lamp. Of course I am going to be upset because I am a human being and I have emotions. I can opt to respond rationally by asking them to help clean up the mess and replace the lamp out of their allowance. Alternatively, I could respond irrationally by berating them, threatening to ground them until they are 50, etc.

Now of course, they shouldn't have been playing in the house anyways; it's irrational. But the fact of the matter is that they're human (e.g. they make mistakes) and they're kids (e.g. they are still learning). I think there's a huge difference between situational irrationality (like the example above) and systemic irrationality such as religious doctrine. One we learn from (hopefully) and the other limits our learning.

I think it's a little bit of slippery-slope fallacy to assume that societal emphasis on rationality precludes any need for love, beauty, or art. If you think about it, which group tends to do more for the artistic community: the liberal, atheistic left or the conservative, theistic right? I know this is gross generalization, but I think you get my point.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:03 PM   #19
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My kids, while playing in the house, break a lamp. Of course I am going to be upset because I am a human being and I have emotions. I can opt to respond rationally by asking them to help clean up the mess and replace the lamp out of their allowance. Alternatively, I could respond irrationally by berating them, threatening to ground them until they are 50, etc.

Now of course, they shouldn't have been playing in the house anyways; it's irrational. But the fact of the matter is that they're human (e.g. they make mistakes) and they're kids (e.g. they are still learning). I think there's a huge difference between situational irrationality (like the example above) and systemic irrationality such as religious doctrine. One we learn from (hopefully) and the other limits our learning.
But why are you upset about the kids breaking your lamp? That's some emotion right there.

Also, how do you know that having the kids pay for the allowance would be effective? You take it on faith? There's another emotion.

How do you know they're just kids? How do you know they are just learning? Why do you excuse them?

Eh, we have different definitions of rationality...but emotions are bad in my definition. You can indeed be rational and have emotions, but the emotions trumpt rationality.

Quote:
Now of course, they shouldn't have been playing in the house anyways; it's irrational. But the fact of the matter is that they're human (e.g. they make mistakes) and they're kids (e.g. they are still learning). I think there's a huge difference between situational irrationality (like the example above) and systemic irrationality such as religious doctrine. One we learn from (hopefully) and the other limits our learning.
But situational irrationality leads to systemic irrationality. By systemic irrationality, I mean the Left, the Right, the religions, the non-religions, the philopshies, basically everything that is based on "belief".

You believe that, in this situation, you will teach the kids a listen by fining them. You believe they are just kids, and such. This is a form of Idea, that is, that you teach kids via this method. It's a system, but to be fair...what makes you prefer this system over other systems. You say it works, why? Because of this data, why you trust it? Sooner or later, you will say that that this is because you feel it to be true.

Quote:
I think it's a little bit of slippery-slope fallacy to assume that societal emphasis on rationality precludes any need for love, beauty, or art. If you think about it, which group tends to do more for the artistic community: the liberal, atheistic left or the conservative, theistic right? I know this is gross generalization, but I think you get my point.
Well, none of us are truly rational. After all, even you said that you are okay with feelings, which I feel is irrational, and therefore limits our rationality. You are fine with that, but...well...I guess I'm unconformtable with it. None of us can find out if a truly rational person loves beauty, art, or love...we can only guess and specualte. What I want to do is encourge some sort of effort to create a "truly rational" person, so that we can indeed find out.

Oh, and the Conservative, theistic right makes much better pictures than the liberal atheistic left. That's just my preception (and irrational) view of art though.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:07 PM   #20
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At the risk of sounding like a flame, I think you've seen Equilibrium too many times
Never even heard of it, much less seen it. *views wiki*

It's true, I like to take an argument to the extreme to see where to draw the line and to bring competing values into relief. After reaching whatever realization that I reach, the second step is, of course, to walk back towards practicality. You beat me there.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #21
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Never even heard of it, much less seen it. *views wiki*
You aren't missing much except some pretty gunfights.

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It's true, I like to take an argument to the extreme to see where to draw the line and to bring competing values into relief. After reaching whatever realization that I reach, the second step is, of course, to walk back towards practicality. You beat me there.
Fair enough. So we're in agreement that promoting rationality isn't going to turn us into The Borg? We still get to see the value in healthy, loving relationships and stuff like that?
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:22 PM   #22
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So we're in agreement that promoting rationality isn't going to turn us into The Borg? We still get to see the value in healthy, loving relationships and stuff like that?
Yes, I agree. Both rationality and irrationality have their place in human nature and there's a time and place for each.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:26 PM   #23
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Yes, I agree. Both rationality and irrationality have their place in human nature and there's a time and place for each.
Guess that sort-of stops my crusade to destroy the irrational once and for all. Oh well...hopefully others will listen. Guess it's just my personal viewpoint, with no proof whatsoever that it is bad.

EDIT: Still, a wonder: wouldn't the rational basically serve to justify whatever the irrational says. You eat a chip, and the irrational tells you "Chip tastes yucky!"

And now what you rationally say about the chip? It has bad texture, the chip has a not so appealing look, it has too much sugar, etc. You wouldn't say "I don't like the chip because I personally believe this chip is bad."

Take the example of the Chip, and then expand it to everything, from beliefs, to ideologies, etc. Could the rational be a slave to the irrational?


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:28 PM   #24
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Yes, I agree. Both rationality and irrationality have their place in human nature and there's a time and place for each.
I guess the next question would be are you referring to situational irrationality (whoops, I made a mistake) or systemic irrationality (my life is better for believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster)?

If it's the latter, could you please help me understand how we benefit from systemic irrationality and show me how that benefit is exclusive to systemic irrationality?
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:35 PM   #25
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I'm sorry for the subjective response, but the society you describe, TK, quoted in the above post by Achilles, sounds utterly hollow to me. Everything would seem to be created to generate the illusion of creative, (in my experience) chaotic force existing where it did not...Art would be there to simulate the existence of art, to satisfy a lack-of-emotion.

Such a society would be stable, true, but would lack inspiration, IMO, and stagnate. It would also be immensely boring, IMO. Emotions make things interesting, whether they are pleasing or otherwise.. Without them, I think life would be very dull.

I don't care particularly regarding what would allow us to advance our technology, or reach the stars, myself. I'm quite happy with our tech as it is, for the most part.

I've tried many times, and when you attempt to rationalise creativity, without letting the creativity come first, you get nowhere. Ideas are like a torrent of water, in my experience, anyway, overriding everything else, blotting everything out, not making sense frequently, being a jumbled mess, but unless you let them come, what you create will be bland.

On a side-note, has anyone here read either Arthur C. Clarke's The City And The Stars or Michael Frayn's A Very Private Life?

I'd recommend them both first as books, and secondly in relation to this kind of subject...



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Old 03-12-2007, 04:48 PM   #26
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If I could, I'd like to voice my growing concern with the strawman argument that rationality is somehow the antithesis of emotion.

I think anyone that advocates the elimination of emotion is putting themselves in a very difficult position indeed. Rather than view emotion as the opponent of rationality, I would submit that emotion can act as a catalyst for either rational or irrational behavior.

The argument that either I can either love or be rational rings just as hollow (and terrifying) as the argument that I can either kill people or be rational. It's a false dichotomy.

If I am angry, I have a myriad of ways in which I can respond. Similarly, if I am happy I have a myriad of ways I can respond. Getting married seems like a perfectly rational way to express love for another person. By the same token, I think that we can all agree that Tom Cruise's couch-jumping on Oprah was not rational.

So it's not a matter of being emotional creatures or automatons. This is an apples and radial tires comparison.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:04 PM   #27
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could you please help me understand how we benefit from systemic irrationality and show me how that benefit is exclusive to systemic irrationality?
Would string theory be considered a systemic irrationality? (I guess we'll wait for the results Large Hadron Collider this November before weighing in on that.)

But I know where you're going...Benefits from systemic irrationality include generally:

1. Belief that we have a purpose in living. (a priori)
2. Belief that we are more than the sum of our molecules.
3. A means to handle grief and fear associated with death.
4. A relationship between ourselves and the cosmos.

I think 1 and 2 would be rejected outright by rationality and so rationality would have to address the irrational desire for purpose and self-realization. 3 isn't trivial... the fact that we die may be biggest reason there is religion at all. Rationality ascribes little comfort in this area. When you take all these into account and try to address 4, well, it's a big, cold universe isn't it?
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:04 PM   #28
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I think anyone that advocates the elimination of emotion is putting themselves in a very difficult position indeed. Rather than view emotion as the opponent of rationality, I would submit that emotion can act as a catalyst for either rational or irrational behavior.
Prove it.

It is emotions after all that leads us to do behavior to begin with. It hampers our ability to choose. I submit that anything dealing with emotion, that you cannot explain, to be irrational. It's how I see it.

After all, a person feels angry at a certain ethnic group. He believes that ethnic group is harming him, taking away his liberties. Rationally, he should wage war against this ethnic group, no, and what he does in the process of that war is not "genocide" because he really is fighting for freedom? Of course, that is a person we will hate, and we will question: "Well why do you hate this ethnic group? I think they are actually helping you out, not harming you!" That hatred is an irrational emotion, and it is that emotion that motivates the rest of his behaviors, so his "rational" belief in murdering off an ethnic group...isn't really rational.

But if you cannot prove the above statement sastiofactorily (emotion leads to rational behavior) , if you cannot prove it by using logic...I would have to dismiss it as being irrational.

Quote:
The argument that either I can either love or be rational rings just as hollow (and terrifying) as the argument that I can either kill people or be rational. It's a false dichotomy.
I'm talking only about a truly rational person.

Only I in this disccuion am advocating for the destruction of emotions, but that's a failure. But we are rational creatures, of course. We are a combination of rational (able to think) and irrational (able to feel) traits. I see the irrational as dominating the rational however. You can love, and still be a rational person. But the love is an irrational emotion. You use your rationality to justify your love...but it is your love that act as the basis for the rationality.

Quote:
If I am angry, I have a myriad of ways in which I can respond. Similarly, if I am happy I have a myriad of ways I can respond. Getting married seems like a perfectly rational way to express love for another person. By the same token, I think that we can all agree that Tom Cruise's couch-jumping on Oprah was not rational.
But that's an appeal to "We all believe the same things!"

That does not make it true...or rational at all. What really happens is that we all share the same irrational beliefs concering society (marriage is okay, couch-jumping is not).

But just because everyone believe in something, does that make it true or is that a mere delusion?

To put it in prespective, once, everyone believed there was Intelligent Designers. To you, that's an unjustified belief. But everyone believed it at the time. By your logic, God must exist, since everyone "reasonably" believes God exist. That's pretty fallacious logic right there.

And I could also question...maybe couch-jumping is better than marriage as a way of expressing love?

Quote:
So it's not a matter of being emotional creatures or automatons. This is an apples and radial tires comparison.
Again, prove it.


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Old 03-12-2007, 05:31 PM   #29
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If I could, I'd like to voice my growing concern with the strawman argument that rationality is somehow the antithesis of emotion.
Of course
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I think anyone that advocates the elimination of emotion is putting themselves in a very difficult position indeed. Rather than view emotion as the opponent of rationality, I would submit that emotion can act as a catalyst for either rational or irrational behavior.
From experience, being angry, in love, happy, sad, depressed etc rarely is a rational thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
The argument that either I can either love or be rational rings just as hollow (and terrifying) as the argument that I can either kill people or be rational. It's a false dichotomy.
Quite. I believe that it is impossible to be totally rational and remain emotional. Emotion is to be driven by an intense mental state brought about by the nervous system autonomically, and as such is independant of reason. By the same gesture I submit that to be totally emotional is to be completely irrational.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
If I am angry, I have a myriad of ways in which I can respond. Similarly, if I am happy I have a myriad of ways I can respond. Getting married seems like a perfectly rational way to express love for another person. By the same token, I think that we can all agree that Tom Cruise's couch-jumping on Oprah was not rational.
I submit that getting married is not rational. It ties you to one sexual partner, reducing the likelihood of the continuation of your genetic code into the next generation, which would seem to be the purpose of life if one does not take into account supernatural explanations. You also shackle yourself to one person whom you may argue with, share few interests after 20 years, and will eventually grow old and less attractive to you.

I don't argue that couch-jumping is particularly rational either or indeed the mark of a sane man - quite clearly it isn't either of these...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So it's not a matter of being emotional creatures or automatons. This is an apples and radial tires comparison.
It is, perhaps, about striking a balance?



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Old 03-12-2007, 05:41 PM   #30
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We are emotional creatures, and I don't think we could ever be devoid of emotion. We all are wired so differently there's no way we could all agree 100% on every single rational activity. In fact, people who have extreme trouble expressing emotions are sometimes diagnosed with schizoid affective disorder. I agree with Achilles that it's not the emotion itself that's the issue, but how you deal with the emotion that's important.


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Old 03-12-2007, 05:45 PM   #31
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Would string theory be considered a systemic irrationality? (I guess we'll wait for the results Large Hadron Collider this November before weighing in on that.)
Yes, we'll have to withhold judgment until all the facts are in

In all seriousness, I don't know that you could presume to categorize a scientific hypothesis as "irrational" unless it's completely bereft of any reason. Or if the scientist trying to advance the hypothesis fails to abandon or modify it when shown to be false. I suspect that you know this already

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But I know where you're going...Benefits from systemic irrationality include generally:
Ok, let's take them one at a time.

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Originally Posted by tk102
1. Belief that we have a purpose in living. (a priori)
Benefit from systemic irrationality: No.
Benefit exclusive to systemic irrationality: No.

First off, delusion that purpose comes from a higher power is not a benefit. This would be like stating that the people plugged into The Matrix are benefiting from the experience. While some might argue that they do, you presume that a rational person would favor that existence if they had all the facts.

Secondly, purpose is not exclusive to systemic irrationality. If that were true, then athiests, Buddhists, and any other non-theists would be completely devoid of purpose. One example of an atheist with a sense of purpose would sink the hypothesis. I will volunteer if need be

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Originally Posted by tk102
2. Belief that we are more than the sum of our molecules.
Benefit from systemic irrationality: Yes.
Benefit exclusive to systemic irrationality: No.

I think I could use the same argument as above without the element of delusion. Unless of course, this is a veiled reference to a soul or an argument for dualism.

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Originally Posted by tk102
3. A means to handle grief and fear associated with death.
Benefit from systemic irrationality: Yes.
Benefit exclusive to systemic irrationality: Probably.

Do you find it odd that, as a rule, atheists, Buddhist, and other non-theists don't fear death, but theists do? If the afterlife is such a wonderful place, why don't Christians congratulate each other when one finds out the other is dying?

"The doctor just told me that I have 3 months to live."
"That's awesome! I'm so excited for you! You're going to *LOVE* Heaven."

I think fear of death is a byproduct systemic irrationality. The rational view of death is that it's an unavoidable part of life. Make the most if the time you have. No need for consolation.

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4. A relationship between ourselves and the cosmos.
Benefit from systemic irrationality: No.
Benefit exclusive to systemic irrationality: No.

There are billion galaxies with a billion stars in each one. Assume that each star has an average of 10 planets orbiting it. That's roughly 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets. Yet, most devout theists believe that intelligent life only exists here.
10,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

No, I don't agree that systemic irrationality helps to highten our awareness of the cosmos. Systemic irrationality tells us that there's only intelligent life here and that we're here because God loves us.

Similar to the examples above, I think non-theists do have a very strong relationship with the cosmos. For some the relationship is so powerful that they devote their lives to studying it.

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I think 1 and 2 would be rejected outright by rationality and so rationality would have to address the irrational desire for purpose and self-realization.
Why are those things patently irrational? Maslow's needs hieracrhy is not the product of religious doctrine. Self-realization is the pinnacle of that model. Same goes for Buddhism which is definitely non-theistic. I think it's incorrect to assume that purpose and self-realization are irrational.

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3 isn't trivial... the fact that we die may be biggest reason there is religion at all.
I think you hit the nail right on the head. Personally, I subscribe to the "ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" school of thought

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Rationality ascribes little comfort in this area.
I respectfully disagree based on the argument that I presented in that section.

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When you take all these into account and try to address 4, well, it's a big, cold universe isn't it?
Parts of it are, but some parts have hydrogen suns like our own
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:08 PM   #32
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From experience, being angry, in love, happy, sad, depressed etc rarely is a rational thing.
Is being angry a rational response if the guy behind you rear-ends your car?
Is being in love a rational response when you have an attractive partner that you have a lot in common with?
Is being happy a rational response when you get a promotion at work?
Is being sad a rational response when your beloved pet dies?
Is being depressed a rational response when tradegy hits you?

These are all very rational responses. Now we can either compound our rationality with our response or we choose to be irrational.

It's rational to grit your teeth and check for injuries in the other car before giving this bum the evil eye. It's not rational to grab the baseball bat from your back seat and proceed to beat his windsheild in.
It's rational to court your significant other but it's not rational to stalk them.
It's rational to celebrate that new promotion, but probably not rational to run around the office screaming, "y'all gonna be my biotches now!".
It's rational to remove your pets feeding dish from your home because it accentuates your saddness, however it's probably not rational to slit your wrists because Fluffy's gone.
It's rational to recognize that you're in a funk because of some major life change, but it's probably not rational to drown your sorrows in alcohol.

Therefore I maintain that emotion and rational behavior are not opponents. As Jae pointed out, people that have difficulting distinguishing the two are often diagnosed with behaviorial disorders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Quite. I believe that it is impossible to be totally rational and remain emotional. Emotion is to be driven by an intense mental state brought about by the nervous system autonomically, and as such is independant of reason. By the same gesture I submit that to be totally emotional is to be completely irrational.
I respectfully acknowledge that this your belief, however I still disagree with it. Perhaps a sounder argument will persuade me. As it stands, your argument seems to be that we are complete slaves to our emotions and have no ability to control our responses to them whatsoever. Again, I feel this is a false dichotomy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
I submit that getting married is not rational.
I think my father and half my friends would agree with you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
It ties you to one sexual partner, reducing the likelihood of the continuation of your genetic code into the next generation, which would seem to be the purpose of life if one does not take into account supernatural explanations. You also shackle yourself to one person whom you may argue with, share few interests after 20 years, and will eventually grow old and less attractive to you.
I think you're branching off into natural selection's impact on sexual behavior and the social theory of serial-monogamy. I'd be happy to pick this up in another thread, but I think it would take this one off-topic.

Suffice it to say, I disagree with your conclusions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
It is, perhaps, about striking a balance?
I agree, however I think the specific dialog needs to address the location of the fulcrum
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:52 PM   #33
SilentScope001
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Quote:
Is being angry a rational response if the guy behind you rear-ends your car?
Is reacting to the guy hitting your car a rational response?

Quote:
Is being in love a rational response when you have an attractive partner that you have a lot in common with?
Is defining one partner as "attractive" a rational response?

Quote:
Is being happy a rational response when you get a promotion at work?
Is you desiring promotion a rational response?

Quote:
Is being sad a rational response when your beloved pet dies?
Is having a pet a rational response?

Quote:
Is being depressed a rational response when tradegy hits you?
Is calling something a tradgey a rational response?

Quote:
These are all very rational responses. Now we can either compound our rationality with our response or we choose to be irrational.
But they AREN'T rational at all. You tell me you prerfer one thing, but the why, you fail to tell me. Why do you see someone as attractive? Why do you desire that your car goes unharmed? Why did you enslave an animal by having it be a pet?

You can argue that it is impossible to get rid of the irrationality. You can argue that the irrationality is what makes us human. You cannot argue that rationality co-exist peacefully with irrationality, since you start off with an irrational premise in all of those arguments (calling something a tradgey, desiring a promotion). You do not justify them, and I call things you cannot justify as being irrational.

Give me a reason why you prefer, say, not having your car gets hit. Is it due to the fact you have to pay money to repair it? But why you want to repair it? You want to repair it so that the car looks good, but why you want the car to look good. But why must the car look good? So that everyone would like your car, and by extension you. But why do you want people to like your car...and you?

The questioning has to stop sooner or later, and you are going to tell me that is self-evident. This is irrational, and the inablity to explain your predjuices, your desires, and your wants is not very comforting at all.

EDIT: I would at least like someone to address what I say, somehow. Just a question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:42 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
But they AREN'T rational at all. You tell me you prerfer one thing, but the why, you fail to tell me. Why do you see someone as attractive? Why do you desire that your car goes unharmed? Why did you enslave an animal by having it be a pet?
With questions like this you might as well challenge the need for individuality itself. You seem to be saying that the various preferences and thoughts people have are irrational, but you've run into a bit of a conundrum there. For those things to be irrational, there obviously has to be something rational to make it so - otherwise, it simply is.

What you seem to be getting at is why people have irrational thoughts when there is some sort of grand rational answer to everything - but how exactly do you determine what it is? That is what's open to individual interpretation, and why people think the way they do - have you ever heard of someone who freely said "What I think is irrational"? I would think not. People are either of the assumption that what they think is the one, great, correct answer to everything, or a matter which doesn't have one at all - such as whether chocolate ice cream tastes better than vanilla.

The idea that someone could believe in something they consider irrational is contradictory - obviously something irrational is incorrect, and you believe is not. To say you believe in the irrational is saying "The incorrect is correct." Obviously such a thing is impossible.

Everyone believes they are correct - but the question is, are they? However, that's one thing that neither of us is capable of answering. We have just as much personal bias as they do - to us, the grand truth to everything is what we believe in. But by acknowledging our own personal bias, the question of 'is what I think really correct?' arises - but it's unanswerable. We have only our own minds and opinions to work with, and their interpretations of the rational or not are nothing but interpretations. If there is a grand answer to everything, how do we know that it is real? You may think so, but others might not - and they do not believe themselves to be incorrect, and you have just as much personal bias as they do to what's true and what isn't, yet both of you think you're right. This makes on one wonder "What if everything is just a delusion?" but it's a question without any meaning. You are as incapable of holding no opinion as you are of having no thoughts.

Again - to us the truth is the truth, but not to others. Neither of us can prove it - if there really is a grand answer to everything, the fact that we could believe it could be personal bias. But we can still believe in things that are entirely correct (but that something is incorrect is a personal bias of mine). So how is what we believe correct? But it is correct; that's why we believe it is. What a contradiction! Yet the fact that we still hold opinions remains, despite whether they are correct or not - and then that goes back to your original question, and repeats itself all over again. Discussions about topics like this just go in circles.

So in essence, when you ask "Why do people believe in the irrational?" you might as well be asking "Why doesn't everyone agree with me?"


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We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:12 PM   #35
SilentScope001
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The idea that someone could believe in something they consider irrational is contradictory - obviously something irrational is incorrect, and you believe is not. To say you believe in the irrational is saying "The incorrect is correct." Obviously such a thing is impossible.
A note: The irrational is just feeelings and emotions. The irrational does not have to be wrong. For example, a person may irrationally believe that there is a Flying Spagettia Monster, and everyone laughs at that person's belief...'til the dady the FSM arrives and proves himself to be true. Or a person may irrationally believe there is no God, and the person is actually correct.

The problem is that these people believed in what they see to be the truth becuase of the irrational. What they believe has nothing to do WITH what is actually the truth. It is a person's irrational feelings that cause him to "concidentlcally" choose the right observation, but it is all a concidence that his irrational guided him the right direction, and if the irrational is modified, he may very well go in the wrong direction. I don't want to believe in something just because I irrationally believe in it, because I am at the mercy of the irrational.

Quote:
So in essence, when you ask "Why do people believe in the irrational?" you might as well be asking "Why doesn't everyone agree with me?"
Actually, I am merely asking "Why do people beleive in the irrational?" I admit that I think irrationally, and I am not asking for people to agree with me. I have feelings, thoughts, and desires, all that is illogical. I know that I am irrational. I just hate being irrational.

For example, I believe in God. I have an irrational feeling that God exists (faith). It is this irrational belief that causes me to worship God. We glorify this irrational feeling, because it is by this feeling that God communicates to us and gets us to worship him. I love my faith. I also know it is irrational.

As for if something really is true, I am indeed an ethical relativist. However, I see that many people object to this theory, so instead, I state that there may indeed be an Objective Truth that actaully states what is really true (this is different from the Subjective Truths that each one of helds to be true). However, we will be unable to find an Objective Truth.

There is one way that an Objective Truth may be created: One infinte being. A thing that has access to everything and all data and has access to rationality. It is this being that dictates Objecitve Truth, since he indeed knows everything, and therefore, be able to justify his arguments, provide standards for those arguments, provide proofs to prove his standards are correct, etc. .

This Infinte Being does not have to be God. It may be the ones who contorl the Brain in the Vat. It could be your subconcisous. It could be aliens. Maybe its this hypotheical Truly Rational Man that I desire. It does not matter...for whomever that is an infinite being will be able to find the Objective Truth, if it exist.

If, however, there is no Infinite Being, and if there never will be an infinite being, then there is indeed no such thing as an Objective Truth. There must also be only one infinte being, because if there are other infinite beings then the infinite beings might get in an argument and a fight, causing for two or more different Objective Truths to be created (and thereby defeating the purpose of finding an Objective Truth...since there are different Objecitve Truths, this is just the same as two people having different beliefs).

Judging from the fact that many people don't see the need to postulate for the existence of an infinite being, then this excierse in commenting on "Objective Truth" is sort of silly, except prehaps as a proof for ethical realtivism (without an infinite being, there is no real verison of Truth...for example, if God exist, and his power is limited, he is not an infinte being and therefore has limits, and due to his limits, his judgement is basically just as good as ours...).

In which case, if it is true, the irrational is supreme...and you cannot prove that the irrational is wrong. There is no real reason to trust rationality anymore.

As for the answer: Why do people not agree with me? Because they got different irrational beliefs than I do. (which will probraly reminds me to go and write about warfare between the Ideas, and how the wars ends)

Quote:
You are as incapable of holding no opinion as you are of having no thoughts.
The Skeptics of Anicent Greece did try this. They wanted to suspend judgement in everything, because they cannot have any proof. They acted upon the apperances, what appear to be true, but they never actually trusted it to be true. They lived life as normal, but a little smug that they don't have to worry about finding the truth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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