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Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:06
by deschainXIX
Although, then again, the labeling of schools of thought will always be a dangerous territory. You provided the example of feminism. I obviously hold feminism with the utmost disdain--although I am a gender egalitarian. This is where we have to be careful with our words. For while modern feminism has great intellectual depravity associated with it, gender egalitarianism is undeniably a wholly righteous cause.
But, yes, I think I'll tell people I'm a materialist or a rationalist when I'm asked me about my beliefs.

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:29
Let's examine the root of it all and why we humans even have a desire to label and polarize everything.

We do the same within ourselves. I am conscious and there is a subconscious. I have a Left and Right Brain. I am either happy or sad, hot or cold, black or white. This is the way we think.

We are projecting ourselves into the larger social system we are inadvertently creating and society is just a macrochasm of the individuals that are a part of it. Left and right brain, might as well be left and right wing. Republican/Democrat, Red/Blue, Mac/PC, Beta/VHS, Blue Ray/DVD. Coke or Pepsi!

I'll have's me some Dr. Pepper! 8-)

(But think about why we do that and always find opposites all the time. It's human nature, but I feel that is the main problem to address. Too many labels! It turns the world of ideas into a venne-diagram of personal bubbles and sometimes they bounce off each other, and sometimes they overlap, but where do they ALL intersect?)

I don't know. That's why it's a good question!

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 02:22
by deschainXIX
I think it stems from our mind’s love of order and precision. We like things making sense to us, and an easy way to do that is to categorize things. Another example (in addition to our tendency to readily smack labels on things) is our tendency to always detect patterns. If anything even remotely coincidental or remarkable happens, well then it must mean something! Same reason that there are so many conspiracy theorists out there--in addition to just plain old paranoia, we love seeing patterns and meaning in things.

This has recently been trending the highly refined and intellectually-stimulating foremind of the popular net:

My class professor had it hanging from his class wall. I was a little disconcerted.
Maybe they weren’t being serious, but yes. Yes, of course it is a coincidence. Are they seriously suggesting that the english language has some great numerical meaning behind it that can lead to unlocking these great pools of profound wisdom of humanity and the universe? (And I also felt like adding that it is an absolutely ill-founded supposition to readily cast aside knowledge in favor of “attitude.” *sigh* I hate modern education systems.)

So many strange coincidences. For example, if you rearrange the letters of the phrase

“the meaning of life”

you get

“the find game of nil”

:lol: I like that one. But ultimately these coincidences of the world only seem so abundant because our minds are wired to search for meaning. We easily pick up on unlikely patterns. It's why people spend their whole lives in search of the meaning of life ... when it really is only 42.

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 02:57
by Summerlander
LoL! Douglas Adams is God. :-D

[ Post made via Android ] Image

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 03:14
by deschainXIX
:D He's one of my favorite atheists.

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 03:32
Is it possible to think without language?

I get periods of that when I'm sleeping in the night and I'm pretty sure it's the hypnopompic state. You hear so much about Hypnagogia on a lucid dream website as a way to get into a lucid dream, but most fail to understand the other side. And it's a big difference. (But then again that is just a word too. A rose by any other name will smell just as sweet).

But you find yourself in a state of no language and pure emotion and I have noticed in myself that my mind is divided between two perspectives always. Call it what you will, but I think I am on to something.

(It was an interesting poster though, but language and math don't come close to the very essence of all our beings which is emotion.)

Try and quantify and rationalize emotion. (That's a whole new topic and probably something left to be discussed long after I have them and die.... but I'm looking at a big picture and maybe I'm not wording it right.)

It's also off-topic and has nothing to do with science and religion.... or does it?

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 15:53
by deschainXIX
Yeah, I've noticed that too. I'm always having deeper thoughts--thoughts that occur in darker, queerer brainwave states--that cannot be related in words. Words fall so short, because they try to capture something so much larger than they are. A single word means only one thing, or maybe sometimes two things, while a thought or an emotion has no quantitative relativity by which we can measure it. Words diminish our thoughts almost beyond recognition.

But I think this is connected to something else we were thinking about: the illusion of the self. While introspection is a vital process for an effective mind, it is largely just as important and real as communicating with other minds. We communicate with each other and relate our ideas and thoughts via words--so having an expansive vocabulary and easily bending the English language to your will is one of the most important skills for someone, especially people like us who enjoy getting on forums and discussing all sorts of things.

Maybe one day we'll accomplish telepathy and be able to speechlessly, wordlessly share a thought with someone else. Hmm--perhaps a neural chip that is implanted in a person's brain at birth which is connected to a network of information and human minds. That'd be one strange science fiction world. 8-)

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 01:26
by Worldenterer1
HAGART wrote:I came back and edited, due to my disease (inside joke), but I found the clip that explains the feud very well:
(It was shared by Worldenterer1 in another thread, but relates to this as well)


Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 01:39
by Worldenterer1
I saw a lot of people in this thread talking about death and the concept of non-existence earlier on. I've been thinking a lot about this recently, and as superfly9 said, sometimes feel a sense of panic at the thought of non-existence.
It's not like I've never thought of this concept before, and as a matter of fact, I thought I'd completely come to terms with death and gotten over the fear of it. However, a certain experience I had caused me rethink my lack of fear.

Every day when I was finished with work, and walking back to my car waiting in the parking lot, I would reflect on the time I spent at my job. In those few seconds of me walking to my car, the ten hours I spent in the building behind me seemed like no time at all, because that time was all over. As days passed, I began thinking about applying that same feeling, but to a lifetime instead of a work shift.
The thought of the end of my existence, and looking back on my life took on a new form of discomfort to me, because of this new way I had of looking at it. I even wrote down a quote I invented that sums up the idea. "It took a decade to happen, but a second to remember."

So I suppose that I'm not necessarily afraid of death, or the infinite unconsciousness that comes with it. I just get scared knowing that there will be a time in the future when I have no recollection of my life and never will, for I will never return. Like it never even happened. :?

However, an interesting thought came to mind.
What is it like to go to sleep, and never wake up? Also, what is it like to wake up, after never having gone to sleep? The process of being born and dying.
If you cannot experience the passing of time when you are dead, then the only possible thing that could ever happen, is the same thing that happened when you were born. You wouldn't even need to wait for it, as nature abhors an experience of nothing.
That's probably not going to happen though.

Great video for anyone interested in the subject:

Re: The Atheist and Anti-Pseudoscience Thread

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 02:02
by deschainXIX

I empathize with your sentiments. I recommend reading literature by Sam Harris, particularly his book “Waking Up.” Or watch this video:
He purports the ideas of mindfulness and total consciousness and living in the present moment. This is the only way we can truly enjoy our lives in light of the fact that after death, there is simply nothing but subconsciousness. It is the recognition that such concepts as the “future” or the “past” are nothing more than thoughts. They are nonexistent.

The only thing we can know for certain is the present moment. And that is where we must live. We must learn to be content with mere existence and sensation. We can enjoy no aspect of our lives if we are constantly cluttering our minds with thoughts that it will all one day end. When eating a delicious, perfect meal, you probably aren’t thinking to yourself that it will be over soon, and that perfect taste nothing more than a memory. Probably you only sit there, thinking not much at all, simply enjoying the sensations and pleasures of that meal. That’s the sort of attitude we must exercise throughout our lives with if we want happiness.

I, for one, like the idea of falling into a depthless sleep of oblivion forever.

In response to your second paragraph:
I think it wouldn’t be like anything. When you fall asleep at night, you never really feel or can remember what it is like to slip off into subconsciousness. It just happens. No one really knows or can relate what it’s like. Dying is probably like that. It just … happens.

Dark thoughts. The notion of something becoming nothing…
(Although, the “ego” is not “something,” so that’s probably a bad colloquialism.)