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L6FR_BH_FKR
22-08-2005, 09:15
I have often asked people wether or not they would want to live in a perfect world, and every - single - time, people have answered: "no, it would get boring quick".

Am I the only one to see how damned sutpid this answer is?

(p.s: I'll post my reasons if you people don't find it)

Commander X
22-08-2005, 09:18
Not really, because if it's a perfect world, it would also be a world which wouldn't get boring.

But where would one get him/herself a perfect world to begin with?

L6FR_BH_FKR
22-08-2005, 09:32
Not really, because if it's a perfect world, it would also be a world which wouldn't get boring.

But where would one get him/herself a perfect world to begin with?

Exactly. However the question isn't how they would get this perfect world. The actual question is: do you have the slightest ounce of logic? Unfortunately many many people are found wanting.

Another thing: Today we were in Biology and had to dissect mice. One mouse was pregnent and we could see all the embryos. Many people were all: "aww...that's horrible, that's sad...". When I asked them why they all said: "because...it's wrong". Again I asked why it was wrong: "because...it is" was what I finally learnt.

So somethingis wrong because it is. Yep, great logic there! Of course this just proves that people are in too deep in their habits. They don't even know why so and so is wrong or disgusting to them. They have noa bility to rationalize.
I felt nothing apon seeing the pregnant mouse other than: interesting...
I simply told myself: we're disecting, mice why is it horrible that it was pregnant? Because the babies hadn't lived yet? Because they never lived? What do I care about mice? these are mice bred to be killed and diseceted, so what if they die now or later?

New logical question (a bit harder): I have a saying: "The happiness of others has value to me only if it contributes to mine". People who don't know me find this horrible. Can any of you see why it is absolutely logic and true not only to me but to everyone else?

Vaya
22-08-2005, 09:44
I see your point, but disagree with you. Being a sports fan, I often see athletes or teams perform well, win matches and be generally happy. And I can feel happy for them too, even though their wins contribute zero to my actual wellbeing.

You try to rationalize feelings too much. Even when you see 'a feeling' as a chemical reaction in the brain, you still cannot control that chemical reaction. Rationalizing doesn't do you much good in such cases.

Say you really love your parents (not knowing if you already do, so just to be sure) and they died. Would you feel horrible? I guess you would. But why? In your theory, you shouldn't. You'll receive a heritage, possibly a house... Those contribute to your happiness, right? Well, that's pure logic for ya. Still think your point stands?

Even better: happiness is a feeling, logic has nothing to do with feelings.

lord_blackfang
22-08-2005, 09:50
Being quite knowledgeable on the subject of evolutionary psychology, I find the statement


"The happiness of others has value to me only if it contributes to mine".

somewhat lacking.

While it's true that we're all nothing more than selfish sacks of even more selfish genes, our selfishness is far more subtle than you give it credit for. Making other people happy is not about contributing to our happyness. It's about contributing to our chances of passing on our genes. It's a roundabout way, certainly, but making others happy is one of the primary mechanisms for achieving that goal.

Firstly, it increases our popularity. Enough said about this one.
Secondly, it's a non-zero-sum game. We help them, and in turn, when we are in need, they will help us. Simple as that.

Of course all these selfish calculations are going on on the subconscious level and we are largely unaware of them, but they are there.

lord_blackfang
22-08-2005, 10:01
I see your point, but disagree with you. Being a sports fan, I often see athletes or teams perform well, win matches and be generally happy. And I can feel happy for them too, even though their wins contribute zero to my actual wellbeing.


Admiring those who are better than us is another basic human instinct. It helps us avoid confrontation with more powerful individuals, and we might even gain something if we're in that powerul individual's "pack". Your fondness for the athletes is nothing more than a mechanism your subconscious uses to make you do what's in your best interest. Unfortunately, this mechanism has evolved when human society was on a hunter-gatherer-like level, and those powerful people were the ones who brought home the largest wad of meat. In a world so far removed from the one we're adapted to, malfunctions are sure to arise, and your admiration of faraway people who will never benefit you in any way is just that - a malfunction of the purely selfish mechanism I've just described.



You try to rationalize feelings too much. Even when you see 'a feeling' as a chemical reaction in the brain, you still cannot control that chemical reaction. Rationalizing doesn't do you much good in such cases.

Say you really love your parents (not knowing if you already do, so just to be sure) and they died. Would you feel horrible? I guess you would. But why? In your theory, you shouldn't. You'll receive a heritage, possibly a house... Those contribute to your happiness, right? Well, that's pure logic for ya. Still think your point stands?


Kin selection. The damned thing makes us love our relatives. Why? Because they share some of our genes. You're not mourning your dead parents. You're mourning the siblings you will never have. (Yousay your parents were too old to have more children, so I'm obviously wrong? Well, the mechanism evolved when most people died while still fertile.)



Even better: happiness is a feeling, logic has nothing to do with feelings.

Wrong again. Happyness is a tool which our selfish, purely logical subconscious uses to make us do what is best for us.

Vaya
22-08-2005, 10:09
Blackfang, that's all too rational for me... ;)

lord_blackfang
22-08-2005, 10:23
Not my fault. I just tell it like it is (well, like modern science believes it is) ;)

Vaya
22-08-2005, 10:43
Aha! Science again. That explains...

There really are two kinds of scientists these days. The majority group is comprised of the ones who believe in what they see, what they can measure and what they can explain. To them, truth is an objective thing. There is such a thing as 'the truth', regardless of what people themselves consider to be the truth.

Then you have the scientists that belive different. Mostly found in social sciences and philosophy, they belive that people tend to make their own truth, that everything is subjective and that truth is merely established by consensus of the largest group of people.

I'm inclined to follow the second school. :D

Shadowheart
22-08-2005, 10:48
So somethingis wrong because it is. Yep, great logic there!

Well, it's hardly any worse than your sarcasm.
Finding fault with other people (especially when measuring them by your own standards of choice) is very easy and doesn't tend to achieve much of anything. I'm not saying you ought not to do it, but in and of itself it's no accomplishment. You should also try to see other people's strengths, and to understand how they manage to make their mistakes. Which should ultimately help you to look at yourself as well, of course.

Personally I don't believe in simple answers to complex issues. I don't trust any one mechanic to be able to explain everything, and I'm sceptical of anyone demonstrating how versatile his or her mechanic of choice is.


As for living in a perfect world, you'd have to figure out what that means, exactly. Is it a world perfectly suited to you (your needs, desires, abilities and so on)? Or is it a world that is objectively speaking perfect, one where everything is there in exactly the right amounts and forms? In the first case I agree it couldn't get boring because the world would perfectly complement your personal imperfections, but in the second case, I think most of us would end up rather unhappy. Not through any fault of the world's, but as a result of our own imperfections.

I also don't agree that something can only have value to me if it improves my happiness. For instance, what about the happiness of someone whom you don't like, even hate? Someone you envy? Knowing that they're happy might have an adverse effect on your happiness, but that wouldn't mean it lacks value to you.

Slappy
23-08-2005, 02:19
So somethingis wrong because it is. Yep, great logic there!

It's actually perfect logic. There is no absolute truth in this world that defines what is right or wrong. The only that defines it is each individual's gut feeling on what is right or wrong. Hence, to her, what you did was wrong because that was her gut instinct. She doesn't need good reasons.

And that's how the world works!

Adept
23-08-2005, 03:22
Then you have the scientists that belive different. Mostly found in social sciences and philosophy, they belive that people tend to make their own truth, that everything is subjective and that truth is merely established by consensus of the largest group of people.

Well, depending on your definition of the truth, that's just silly. If 90% of people insist that 2+2=5, then that does not make it the truth. It just makes them wrong.

L6FR_BH_FKR
23-08-2005, 07:44
It's actually perfect logic. There is no absolute truth in this world that defines what is right or wrong. The only that defines it is each individual's gut feeling on what is right or wrong. Hence, to her, what you did was wrong because that was her gut instinct. She doesn't need good reasons.

And that's how the world works!

Actually (even though my wording was a bit off, english isn't my first language) I said that to say: People believe having a gut-feeling makes something true or false. In this example, the person 'felt' it was wrong and thus came to the conclusion it was wrong. Anyone here can see the mistake.

@(the person who talked about psychology): I have not studied Psychology, so I can't discount the importance of gene-spreading in human psychology (of course, I won't talk about something I don't understand), however I have studied Philosophy. Thus I'll speak using philosophy:

When I said: "the happiness of others is imortant only if it contributes to mine" It's very simple to understant: I have accepted the fact that every one is egoistical (sp?). (in this case, Egoistical=always doing something for one's personal gain be it material or spiritual).
A quick analysis will show what I mean: When you act, you do so for something, otherwise you would not act at all. If your act helps others then why did you act? It is necessarily in order to gain something yourself, be it a future recognition or even the fullfilling of your sense of justice.

Ex: If I help someone on a maths test, I expect (or hope) for them to help me on (for example) the Biology test.

Ex (2): If I jump in front of a bullet to save someone, I did it to answer some call of justice I felt, thinking (or believing) that the loss or pain of this person would hurt me more than taking the bullet.

Thus, when I said: "the happiness of others is important only if it contributes to mine" it was true: one cares for others only if it brings him satisfaction.

notdakuningist
23-08-2005, 07:50
Objectivity isn't as bad as you think it is. I believe that it allows you to transcend what mere instinct and genetics tell you to do. Then again it's all a question of what "free will" is and how much we really have vs mere experience programming.
Don't listen to lord Blackfang..He/she/it works for the Technocracy :-P

As far as a perfect world goes....it's paradoxical and as humans in our current state of thinking we cannot rationalize something that is paradoxical because it contains simultaneously occuring things that exclude each other by the definition of their nature.

Then again, that's just my ramblings. It is late and bedtime is soon.

Thanks
-Vasilios

L6FR_BH_FKR
23-08-2005, 07:59
Objectivity isn't as bad as you think it is. I believe that it allows you to transcend what mere instinct and genetics tell you to do. Then again it's all a question of what "free will" is and how much we really have vs mere experience programming.
Don't listen to lord Blackfang..He/she/it works for the Technocracy :-P


-Vasilios

Someone here has been playing mage: the ascension ;)

One thing I am certain of though is that humans do NOT have insticts. THey have pulsions (impulsions/Impulse? not sure which term is more correct). Instinct indicates an inescapable need whereas pulsions show a sudden need that is however resistable. (this is one thing that makes us different from animals). Example: we feel the puslsion to get laid NOW, but can do it later...

Vaya
23-08-2005, 08:00
Well, depending on your definition of the truth, that's just silly. If 90% of people insist that 2+2=5, then that does not make it the truth. It just makes them wrong.

No, it doesn't. When math was 'invented', people agreed on calling numbers by their names: it's all based on universal agreement. If 5 had taken the place of 4 in those days, everything would be different.

Take Galilei for example. He claimed the earth moved around the sun and not the other way around, or something likewise (I can never remember) People in those days didn't like him and thought he was crazy, because they believed in a different truth.

You are claiming that there is an objective truth out there. In almost every science, there isn't. That's the confusing part of it all.

Vaya
23-08-2005, 08:07
Instinct indicates an inescapable need whereas pulsions show a sudden need that is however resistable. (this is one thing that makes us different from animals). Example: we feel the puslsion to get laid NOW, but can do it later...

Explain then why people cheat on their partners, even when they're perfectly happy? Or why alcohol strengthens your impulses?

Or what the difference is between impulse and instinct, other than the sentient part we humans bring to the table?

L6FR_BH_FKR
23-08-2005, 08:08
It's actually perfect logic. There is no absolute truth in this world that defines what is right or wrong. The only that defines it is each individual's gut feeling on what is right or wrong. Hence, to her, what you did was wrong because that was her gut instinct. She doesn't need good reasons.

And that's how the world works!

I just realised I completely misread you: I've just realised you have made a very serious mistake.

you said: "there is no absolute truth in this world". Therefor what you just said cannot be true and has no value. The very definition of truth requires that it exists. Opinion is not truth, it is most often prejudice and mistake. Racism is an opinion of right and wrong. Anyone can see that is a mistake. There ARE absolute rights and wrongs in life (however it is a very long demonstration, and I don't have quite enough time tonight. Maybe later).

Sgt John Keel
23-08-2005, 08:11
No, it doesn't. When math was 'invented', people agreed on calling numbers by their names: it's all based on universal agreement. If 5 had taken the place of 4 in those days, everything would be different.


That depends on wheter you mean that the expression 2+2=4 is false or not. However claiming that two I's plus two I's becomes five I's (II+II=IIIII)just because you say it is ignorant.

/Adrian

Vaya
23-08-2005, 08:13
Opinion is not truth, it is most often prejudice and mistake.

Wrong. In most cases, opinion IS truth. Simply because it's humans that define what is truth and what is not. How this defining is done doesn't matter: the general opinion is said to be truth.

Vaya
23-08-2005, 08:15
That depends on wheter you mean that the expression 2+2=4 is false or not. However claiming that two I's plus two I's becomes five I's (II+II=IIIII)just because you say it is ignorant.

In the current belief system: yes. And I have to admit that pure math is the only science around that can actually claim to act upon universally shared truth. The rest is just perception however.

L6FR_BH_FKR
23-08-2005, 08:34
No, it doesn't. When math was 'invented', people agreed on calling numbers by their names: it's all based on universal agreement. If 5 had taken the place of 4 in those days, everything would be different.

Take Galilei for example. He claimed the earth moved around the sun and not the other way around, or something likewise (I can never remember) People in those days didn't like him and thought he was crazy, because they believed in a different truth.

You are claiming that there is an objective truth out there. In almost every science, there isn't. That's the confusing part of it all.

Yep you're right there is no truth in science(shock! Gasp :wtf: !!!!!! OMFG!!!). It is mearly a very good guess at it. An important thing about science is Method.

Here is how it goes:

1) Observation: we see the phenomena and we observe a "problem fact" (i.e, something that our previous theories didn't encompass)

2) Hypothethis: we Make a 'guess' as to how to apprehend this "problem fact" (I use guess very liberally, most often it is an educated guess, meaning that it seems logically sound).

3) Experimente: This is the most important step: one experiments to find out if our hypothethis was right or not. If our experiment does not bring the same results as those expected by our hypothethis then the hypothethis was wrong. If however the experiment confirms our hypothethis this DOES NOT PROVE IT WAS RIGHT!. It proves that you might have had a bit of luck. More experiments. However there are never enough experiments only many (you'd need to experiment infinitely). This is why Science is merly an "educated guess" at truth (a HIGHLY educated guess)

Vaya
23-08-2005, 08:50
This is why Science is merly an "educated guess" at truth (a HIGHLY educated guess)

Yep. Although in social science, you can never conduct research with exactly the same factors that were present in the previous experiment. All because people change by the minute, and everybody is different.

Adept
23-08-2005, 12:49
No, it doesn't. When math was 'invented', people agreed on calling numbers by their names: it's all based on universal agreement. If 5 had taken the place of 4 in those days, everything would be different.

We use numbers because it's quicker and easier than typing it out. To avoid further confusion, I will re-write my initial post.

If I take two apples, and then add another two apples to that pile, I will only have four apples. If 90% of people believe and insist that it would make five apples, then they are wrong.


You are claiming that there is an objective truth out there. In almost every science, there isn't. That's the confusing part of it all.

Oh, but there is! Take fifty kids under seven. If 49 of them believe in Santa, and one doesn't, which of them knows the truth?

The way I look at it, truth should be interchangeable with the word 'fact'. People can be mis-informed (and often are) about what the facts are, but those facts still exist.

Adept
23-08-2005, 12:54
One thing I am certain of though is that humans do NOT have insticts. THey have pulsions (impulsions/Impulse? not sure which term is more correct). Instinct indicates an inescapable need whereas pulsions show a sudden need that is however resistable. (this is one thing that makes us different from animals). Example: we feel the puslsion to get laid NOW, but can do it later...

I disagree with your definitions, and thus with your position.

Instinct has three common definitions:

1 - An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli: the spawning instinct in salmon; altruistic instincts in social animals.

2 - A powerful motivation or impulse.

3 - An innate capability or aptitude

We do not have instincts as defined in (1). But we certainly have them as defined by (2) and (3). Now, I know you oulined that we have impulses in your post, but I would disagree that all impulses be measured and defined equally.

Sgt John Keel
23-08-2005, 13:23
Wrong. In most cases, opinion IS truth. Simply because it's humans that define what is truth and what is not. How this defining is done doesn't matter: the general opinion is said to be truth.

If we're going to take it that far: You shape your own truth, or it is shaped by others. There can not be any other truth than what you believe.

Say, if I like cheese and the rest of the world do not, does that mean that I really don't like cheese just because no one else does?

My truth is that cheese tastes good.

/Adrian

Vaya
23-08-2005, 13:51
Yeah, taking it 'that far' was my intention here, because I think it makes things a lot more complex, interesting and maybe more fun too. :)

@ Adept: How do you know for a 'fact' that Santa doesn't exist? ;)

Gres
23-08-2005, 15:33
"There is no truth, only human opinion"

The easy answer.

Sgt John Keel
23-08-2005, 15:56
"There is no truth, only human opinion"

The easy answer.

Well, there's some truths.

For example, there's no way you're getting out of Earth's gravity well without aid, technological or divine.

There's also the truth that I wrote this message.

Obviously all this depends on that we live in a shared 'reality'.

/Adrian

Sojourner
23-08-2005, 16:14
For example, there's no way you're getting out of Earth's gravity well without aid, technological or divine.


Gravity is most probably governed by quantum mechanical rules - quite how, we don't know yet, but that implies that there can be exceptions to this 'truth'.

I maintain that the only objective, universal truth is pure mathematics.

Gres
23-08-2005, 16:30
For example, there's no way you're getting out of Earth's gravity well without aid, technological or divine.
Some of my body consists of hydrogen, which due to the distribution of energies is capable of escaping into free space once separated from my body. Therefore at least some of me can escape the Earth's gravity well with absolutley no 'aid' (The definition of which I feel isn't defined tightly enough in the statement /[picky scientist]). Therefore I feel that the first statement is not an absolute truth.

The second statement is more difficult to prove 'false' as I don't know who you are.

You can pick holes in thing until infinity. This is a silly thread :D .

Adept
23-08-2005, 16:33
I maintain that the only objective, universal truth is pure mathematics.

It depends on how you want to define truth. As I said earlier, I see it as being completely interchangeable with the word 'fact'.

Things I would call facts:

People get old.

Water, in it's liquid form, is wet.

I just had a cigarette.

Concrete is more dense and rigid than marshmallow.

And so on. There are loads of truths and facts out there. We just don't know them all yet, and take most of the obvious ones for granted.

Sgt John Keel
23-08-2005, 16:38
Some of my body consists of hydrogen, which due to the distribution of energies is capable of escaping into free space once separated from my body. Therefore at least some of me can escape the Earth's gravity well with absolutley no 'aid' (The definition of which I feel isn't defined tightly enough in the statement /[picky scientist]). Therefore I feel that the first statement is not an absolute truth.


I'd argue that once the hydrogen leaves you it isn't you anymore. You, in my opinion, is a coherent entity and once something leaves that coherency it ceases to be a part of you. But that's debatable.;)

I'll guess I'll stand by Sojourner's 'only maths are absolute truth.' Every fact that consists of 'I did' (as my example of a truth above) cannot be proved, as long as we can't travel back in time, and peoples perception can be wrong.

/Adrian

Freak Ona Leash
23-08-2005, 16:44
Gravity is most probably governed by quantum mechanical rules - quite how, we don't know yet, but that implies that there can be exceptions to this 'truth'.

I maintain that the only objective, universal truth is pure mathematics.
Note to self: Find way to make mathematics not universally true. Then write book about it. Just like Steven Hawkings.

Sojourner
23-08-2005, 16:56
Adept - it's impossible to define those things in a truly objective manner. It's a question of perception.

Vaya
23-08-2005, 17:19
And even if some things are percepted by a very large group of people, it is indeed still only perception.

Wraith
23-08-2005, 17:47
You, in my opinion, is a coherent entity and once something leaves that coherency it ceases to be a part of you.

Define 'you'...

:D Seriously I personal opinion is us existing as a seperate beings is an illusion which is generated by the mind because it's beneficial from a evolutionary stand point.

Slappy
23-08-2005, 18:36
I just realised I completely misread you: I've just realised you have made a very serious mistake.

you said: "there is no absolute truth in this world". Therefor what you just said cannot be true and has no value. The very definition of truth requires that it exists. Opinion is not truth, it is most often prejudice and mistake. Racism is an opinion of right and wrong. Anyone can see that is a mistake. There ARE absolute rights and wrongs in life (however it is a very long demonstration, and I don't have quite enough time tonight. Maybe later).


All I can say is, good luck.

Wraith
23-08-2005, 18:39
There ARE absolute rights and wrongs in life...

Moral rights and wrongs? If so I second Slappy's comment...

Slappy
23-08-2005, 19:32
Well, let me stray a bit.

I do believe in moral absolutes but only from a religious standpoint.

Outside of God, there is none. There is no right or wrong in the natural world.

CELS
23-08-2005, 19:54
So somethingis wrong because it is. Yep, great logic there!

Well, it's hardly any worse than your sarcasm.

LMAO! Now that's a good point.

This thread could have been really interesting, but unfortunately there is so much sarcasm and people telling other people that they're "wrong again", that the interesting questions tend to disappear.

Was this thread ever about a perfect world, or was it just a thread dedicated to poking holes in other people's logic? If it was only the latter, then I think L6FR_BH_FKR should be wary of the limitations of philosophy. I'm going to be extremely pedantic (based on very little at all), and say that I did the same thing when I was your age. I thought philosophy and pure hard logic could prove me right about a lot of things. Philosophy helps, but I've come to think that the type of questions you're discussing has more to do with faith and subjective beliefs than anything else.

Anyway, if you really want to talk about a perfect world, then you can start by doing what you probably didn't with the people you were asking: Define 'perfect world'. They obviously weren't talking about the same thing you were. If you're interested in philosophy, then you must know that definitions are kind of important in philosophical discussions ;)

Wraith
23-08-2005, 21:04
Does this proposed 'perfect world' require an absence of suffering (both physical and mental) or an absence of 'unnecessary suffering' (which I've heard some used to define evil)?

Perhaps the term 'perfect' should be replaced with 'most agreeable world possible for human inhabitants'?

I propose (without quantative evidence) modern technology, and as such the modern world ('civilisation') caused more suffering than it has alleviated and that the trend will continue. I do not deny however human life before civilisation was harsh, short, and brutal.

The pestilent 1
23-08-2005, 23:46
Perfection is defined by the observer.
im quite certain that many people would define perfect as having no worries, and everyone being happy yadda yadda.
but others would say perfection would be absolute power over humanity, or over death.
happiness and equality, or total power without the chance of ever being overthrown.
unlike most humans, i am willing to admit that i want Absolute power, and that i dont care who has to die for me to get it.
but hey, thats my perception of perfection ;)