3 of 3
3
Daniel Dennett - The Scientific Study of Religion
Posted: 23 December 2011 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  98
Joined  2011-04-11
DEareckson - 22 December 2011 05:49 PM
ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

one of the framings that need to be fought is that everyone who is smarter than you is a nasty elitist

Straw man. Faux news allows you to be smarter as long as you’re on His side. That’s how all their crooks get into the tent. Worshiping the smart not on His side is not the remedy to this corruption.

 

Nope, you have to at least pretend to be no brighter than the proverbial bag of hair.  Look at O’Reilly.  It is hard to believe anyone who spouts his crap has enough brains to figure out which end of the microphone to address, but he obviously manages that feat.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

So far no one has figured out a way to thwart [psychopaths].

The neocon dilemma: the source of evil is the source of progress. Another neocon sanctimony: one must do evil to defeat evil. It seems obvious that a way to thwart psychopaths is to not adopt their belief system.

Not obvious to me that they have a coherent belief system beyond. “Mine!  Mine! Mine!”.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

[...] the core idea of a free market and free competition clearly does work until it is subverted by the mechanisms Marx explained

Is that from the Skull and Bones pocket guide to Marx?

Yep.  Marx is far to tedious to read directly smile  Everything I learned about him is from “The Compleat Moron’s Guide to Karl Marx”.  smile

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

Reagan and his devotees managed to push through the agenda of deregulation, things started to go downhill again

That’s the partisan line. However, the pushback began before Reagan, and Carter had to play some of their tune. The capitalist counter-attack really got rolling with Reagan, but Reagan was not the cause, he was a symptom.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

I suspect that [la lucha] will never be won by just railing against capitalism.

It certainly won’t be while it’s praises are being sung.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

the struggle will only really get going once the Teabagger idiots realize that their material interests are diametrically opposed to the ideology they espouse.

You realize the Teabaggers are heavily populated by upper-middle class white males who short the market and profit from the great American collapse, no? It’s part of the con, my friend. 
The capitalist cynics are having idealists for dinner.

Of course it is a con, but so far, it is working and most of the ideological support outside the infamous 1% for the current level of corruption lies with the idiots who say things like “I have a chance to become a billionaire so I’m not going to push for more taxes on the rich because I know that if I wish hard enough I can become a billionaire too.”  The teabaggers are certainly being led around by the proverbial nose by the paid representatives of the 1% but the majority of them seem to be like that pathetic Joe the Plumber character… at least that’s who they trot out to make the noises at things like Beck’s famous million moron march.

Anyway, just railing against capitalism as you seem to be doing here is not helpful.  It begs the question of how you propose to change the situation and what kind of system of economic activity do you propose to replace it.  The slightly more obvious kleptocracies which the former communist states have evolved into don’t really provide a very promising example to look to.  Sweden, Iceland and Norway probably have the best balance of capitalism within a welfare state, but they can be dragged into the global morass fairly easily.  Iceland is already teetering.  It is no accident that these countries are the least religion infested places in the world.

Religion is now as it has always been, providing a mass of ignoramuses who can be conned into taking their collective eyes off the ball while the kleptocrats rob us all blind.  As long as you’re looking at this life as just the waiting room for a better life on the astral plane, you don’t have much incentive to really figure out how to improve this one.  It also provides justification for racism.  Most of your “middle class white males” in the Teabaggers movement are willing to go along with anything to get rid of the horror of a not quite white enough president even while they are being fired and driven into the underclass to join the huge fraction of the non-white community which is already there.

 Signature 

Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 December 2011 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2011-12-13
ullrich - 23 December 2011 01:43 AM

Not obvious to me that they have a coherent belief system beyond. “Mine!  Mine! Mine!”.

That was the American Way. Now it’s the psychopath’s belief system.

All too convenient.

ullrich - 23 December 2011 01:43 AM

most of the ideological support outside the infamous 1% for the current level of corruption lies with the idiots who say things like “I have a chance to become a billionaire so I’m not going to push for more taxes on the rich because I know that if I wish hard enough I can become a billionaire too.”

No longer. It’s grab for your life, now.

ullrich - 23 December 2011 01:43 AM

The teabaggers are certainly being led around by the proverbial nose by the paid representatives of the 1% but the majority of them seem to be like that pathetic Joe the Plumber character

Tea Party tools wealthier, more educated, and dumber? - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html:

But while most Americans blame the Bush administration or Wall Street for the current state of the American economy, the greatest number of Tea Party supporters blame Congress.

...

But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”

Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

Others could not explain the contradiction.

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

Uh huh. Tea Partiers are profiting from the anti-government, pro-market shtick. They’ve many droids, as painted by the NYT above, but there’s a core which is not driven by wealth envy but by a furious entitlement; they’ll pillage with a clear conscience. That’s how you keep a collapsing economy in political check. From “Crisis as Capitalist Opportunity” - http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/581.php:

Ursula Huws - 22 December 2011 12:00 AM

The commodification of public services isn’t a primitive accumulation in the sense that we know it, of generating new commodities out of areas of life that were previously outside the money economy, like domestic labour or the body, it is actually a commodification of the collective assets of the working-class.

In the early stages of the atheist offensive, mainline Christians were excoriated for their tolerance of their idiot relatives. As I see it, the politico/economic middle is responsible for the lunatics who brought this crisis. If they didn’t cheerlead, they sat immobilized through the obviously unsustainable transition to financial anarchy. TINA was their primary excuse.

ullrich - 23 December 2011 01:43 AM

It begs the question of how you propose to change the situation and what kind of system of economic activity do you propose to replace it.

Of course. And it begs that question of you too. The delusion prior is not adequate.

ullrich - 23 December 2011 01:43 AM

Religion is now as it has always been, providing a mass of ignoramuses who can be conned into taking their collective eyes off the ball while the kleptocrats rob us all blind.

Including the religion of capitalism.

[ Edited: 23 December 2011 09:36 AM by DEareckson ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 December 2011 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2008-04-05

While Dennett has made a solid contribution to the free will discussion with his work on the intentional stance (and his “reasons” argument presented here), I am disappointed that he would take aim at the science that has only bolstered the arguments of the incompatibilists, with nothing more than the same kind of pragmatic ‘bogeyman’ arguments that religious apologists make against both determinism and atheism (just believing it is bad for you!). Apparently there are free thinkers… and then there’s Dennett. I’d like to think that his charge that people citing the science documenting the biases, neglects, heuristics, etc- all inclinations that circumvent his 25 year old compatibilism argument concerning control would be *acceptable as discussion* and not considered “irresponsible” by a philosopher who surely knows that there are plenty of deterministic incompatibilist philosophers with positions at least as tenable as his.

The Reasonable Doubts podcasters (RD87 The Unintelligent Design of Sex) have done a great job of dismantling the Vohs and Schooler studies, Baumeister studies, etc, and there are other good critiques on those in the free will discussion circles as well, belied (or unknown) by Dennett. The irony that the same biases Chris Mooney has been discussing here over the last year may be the same ones that keep Dennett from actually addressing the new challenges that the science is making: that the whole debate over control should be framed in terms of predispositions and inclinations that circumvent the ability to recognize reason, as well as circumvent arguments for emergent phenomena and quantum stochasticity (e.g. in 2 stage systems like the Cogito model). The ‘kind of free will worth wanting’ is not free in any libertarian sense of the word, nor does that way of framing it seem to be untainted by the fallacy of desired consequence.

Speaking of Chris Mooney, while he gets a lot of flack for his accommodationalist position, at least he carries on the POI tradition of DJ Grothe that actually made the show great: challenging questions with a strong ‘host’ personality (lacking in this episode with Shook and Isaak, neither of whom are good radio personalities). Perhaps Shook’s interview wasn’t in the kind of setting to be challenging, but that’s too bad, because otherwise, the show gets pretty stale. I wish Price and Stollznow would come off as less scripted in their interviews too- I know Dr. Price has it in him to be more improvisational, the Bible Geek is great!

[ Edited: 23 December 2011 11:58 AM by Gatogreensleeves ]
 Signature 

“Mary is the Yoko Ono of the Holy Family… and Satan is the Ringo.  It wouldn’t be the same without him- sometimes they even let him sing”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 December 2011 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2011-12-13
Gatogreensleeves - 23 December 2011 11:13 AM

I am disappointed that he would take aim at the science that has only bolstered the arguments of the incompatibilists [...] I’d like to think that his charge that people citing the science documenting the biases, neglects, heuristics, etc- all inclinations that circumvent his 25 year old compatibilism argument concerning control [...]

Circumvent? In the sense that this evidence proves that free will does not control? Um, has that ever been in doubt?

Dennett disclaims metaphysical free-will; do incompatibilists disclaim agency?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 December 2011 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2008-04-05

It’s funny, I got in my car and realized I hadn’t finished listening to the whole episode yet… I thought he had turned away from his deterministic position, but Shook brought up manipulation and he agreed, so I retract some of my frustration… Although… I still think he goes overboard to characterize an “irresponsible” abuse of the science. I also think awareness of reasons doesn’t really do as much for free will as he claims, considering the inescapable influence from all sides and inside (the conscious mind is only aware of 2% of what the brain does). Also, his characterization of animals as not having reasons has recently been shown to be wrong in dogs (who show jealousy) and primates. Don’t get me wrong, Dennett is an amazing guy and you gotta give him props, but these are things I have a little tif about.

 Signature 

“Mary is the Yoko Ono of the Holy Family… and Satan is the Ringo.  It wouldn’t be the same without him- sometimes they even let him sing”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 December 2011 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  189
Joined  2009-01-01

Recalling other good CFI podcasts including those with Jennifer Michael Hecht and D.M. Murdock, historical studies of religion and the evolution of same are somewhat scientific although more in a humanities vein.  Include therewith our podcast studies in actual brain science with Dr. Ginger Campbell, yet another CFI interview concerning relatively recent discoveries of how the human brain functions as well as the evolution thereof and still more podcasts on cognative studies of cultural and personal biases and we begin to see things more clearly, or do we… 

Regardless, the question need be asked, “How else would a real, all powerful God communicate some basic guidelines and interject some stress for our continuing development and evolution?”  If we presuppose an active “invisible hand” which nevertheless wants us to have at least a continuing illusion of free will, is this “history” and are these “discoveries” including a healthy level of skepticism/doubt not equally valid as agents of same?  Subjective “truth defining” material all?  Oh, I think so - any way you look at it.  As long as we continue to evolve such matters little in the macroscopic “God’s eye” view.

 Signature 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2012 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2012-01-04

Who are the irresponsible neuroscientists who are making us into nihilists?
Damn the evidence, there is free will?  If not we will all become pessimists because?
You can’t be good without god is analogous to you can’t be good without freewill.
Darwin knew that our emotions evolved from our mammalian ancestors.  That is where our so called free will comes from.
Even lab rats have now been shown to exhibit levels of empathy (goodness) once thought to be reserved for the only beasts with free will.  I am very skeptical of the views of many white male philosophers and psychologists.  They are very good at explaining why they are the fittest in society.  I wonder when scientists will have enough free will to welcome and promote women and non whites into the upper levels of science and technology in representative numbers?

http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201112091
http://video.sciencemag.org/VideoLab/1310979895001/1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdyc3rUOaLk

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2012 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6130
Joined  2009-02-26

moved to “seperation of church and state thread.

[ Edited: 05 January 2012 04:06 PM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2012 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2012-02-02

Isn’t the point that there is no fact that sets the context for how you think about what scientists discover about the brain. If we assume we have freedom, all the discoveries of cognitive bias, brains and everything else just go into helping us better use our freedom. If we assume we are not free, then everything we find is evidence of how we do not have free will.

The “proof of free will” does not exist except as a grammatical note - that words like “do” “use” “try” “think” and all the rest cannot be coherently used by the person who thinks we cannot be free, and that means they literally should not speak.

It simply makes no sense to say - “if the facts mean we should embrace fatalism, then so be it.” Fatalism changes how you act. Whatever you call that relationship, between ideas and actions, that is what we should be talking about when we talk about freedom.

http://bit.ly/thoughtknot

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2012 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4545
Joined  2007-08-31

Very well put, ThoughtKnot.

This is what the German philosopher Karl-Otto Apel calls a performative self-contradiction. What somebody says can be said, but it does not fit the act of saying it. The act and the fact are not consistent.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 3
3