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How many people set their clock ahead five minutes so they believe they have more time before they have to do something?
no 7
yes 3
Total Votes: 10
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Is it easy to make yourself believe false perceptions?
Posted: 06 March 2007 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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My take on the free will issue is that whether or not the precise state of my brain, and my subsequent desires/perceptions/etc, is exactly determined by “mechanical” factors such as the underlying physics and chemistry is irrelevant. I subjectively feel as if I deliberate and choose, and I’m not going to feel that any less even if I accept that it was an illusion. And I think the subjective experience is functional in terms of making moral choices, organizing my life, etc. So I don’t get too worked up about the philosophical accuracy of saying “I choose” to do or not do something.

My point, in terms of beliefs, is that I think the mind is a remarkably plastic thing, and our beliefs, desires, etc can change, both as a consequence of outside factors (e.g. classical conditioning) and as a result of deliberate efforts we make to change our own responses and perspectives. Occam, you changed your own sexist beliefs by virtue of deliberations stimulated by someone else, and I don’t really care if that means you have free will or not, it sure seems like you made a choice to investigate an idea and your own internal deliberations changed your point of view, which is free enough for me. If we can condition complex physical actions mediated by our nervous system (e.g. learned skills), we can probably condition our own thoughts and desires with deliberate effort (and there is a lot of evidence that we can), and again that’s close enough to free will to me.

Then again, I thought I would choose not to continue debating free will, and I’m doing it again, so I must be wrong.  :wink:

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Posted: 06 March 2007 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]We don’t change unless there’s an outside pressure

Exactly right. If you lived twenty thousand years ago (when women were probably considered inferior in every possible way) you would never question any of this because the outside pressure wouldn’t simply be there.

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Posted: 06 March 2007 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Exactly right. If you lived twenty thousand years ago (when women were probably considered inferior in every possible way) you would never question any of this because the outside pressure wouldn’t simply be there.

So where do new beliefs come from? Where is the first “outside pressure?” I have to question the notion that changes in belief are impossible without external reasons for change. Doesn’t introspection count? How about the internal changes of aging, can these give rise to changes in belief?

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Posted: 06 March 2007 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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[quote author=“mckenzievmd”]So where do new beliefs come from?

I don’t know. Why did the “first” beaver believe it might be a good idea to build a dam? Or even a worse analogy: why did the universe decide to make something out of nothing? :D

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Posted: 07 March 2007 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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[quote author=“mckenzievmd”]After several exhausting weeks of following the various free will threads and related reading, I’ve decided to believe ( :wink: ) in a roughly compatibilist version of free will, and I’ve given up debating the subject since those who don’t believe in any sort of free will don’t have any control over their beliefs and so can’t change their minds anyway!

Why didn’t I think of that?  It would have saved me so much bother debating with Stephen!  smile

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Posted: 15 March 2007 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Clock analogy for religion

I do the simplest thing. I just set my wake up alarm to 5 minutes earlier.

In regards superstitious belief I have a hypothesis. In our evolution, our enlarging and complex thinking brain was not satisfied in just knowing where the water hole is, but wanted to know how it came to be there. We wanted to know why wind blows, rain falls, volcanoes belch fire, and earthquakes shake us up. But our brains had developed to the stage of intensive inquiry and the seeking of knowledge. But our ability to study physical phenomena was in its embryonic stage. Technology consisted of chipping stones.

We had such a strong need for explanations that we made what I consider to be rational speculations. Something moved the river. Something pushed water from the ground into springs. Something made the wind blow, rain fall, and volcanoes belch. That something was invisible to them. Some invisible things did everything we saw. Perhaps some invisible think works us as well. Perhaps some huge invisible thing made the world happen. So far they were not wrong.

But in their thinking to know more about these invisible movers we personified them as spirits and a big spirit made the world. All mythologies began with the use of imagination to back our speculations about the world. As most humans today, they were lumpers. Soon they merged spirits into larger spirits or gods. These spirits seemed intelligent so they must be like us. This led to the personification of gods in the human personality mode. Now this meant that the imaginative speculation exceeded rational speculation. Myth developed faster than early science.

While now, it is apparent to most rational thinkers that Gods are not real but imaginary. It is apparent to many of us that gods were to explain the gaps in our knowledge. This is the God of the gaps. In the last century we have explained most phenomena in the cosmos (not completely of course) but we no longer needed a spirit hypothesis or an anthropomorphic god.

Belief in magic, spirits, and gods was rational to Stone Age humans lacking the technology to intensively study phenomena. This was rational speculation. Today a person with a college education really has no reason for believing in magical things, spirits, and gods. Thus religion which evolved because of mankind’s inquiry has today become an obsolete superstition. Written scriptures can all be soundly debunked. And as for God, there simply is no need for a God hypothesis.

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When I don’t know because of lack of evidence, I admit that. I refuse to fabricate an answer.

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Posted: 20 March 2007 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Re: Clock analogy for religion

[quote author=“Neurocircuit”]I do the simplest thing. I just set my wake up alarm to 5 minutes earlier.

I thought about doing that too but the problem is I always remember I did it.

In regards superstitious belief I have a hypothesis. In our evolution, our enlarging and complex thinking brain was not satisfied in just knowing where the water hole is, but wanted to know how it came to be there. We wanted to know why wind blows, rain falls, volcanoes belch fire, and earthquakes shake us up. But our brains had developed to the stage of intensive inquiry and the seeking of knowledge. But our ability to study physical phenomena was in its embryonic stage. Technology consisted of chipping stones.

In that era of our evolution our credulity served us well. We listened to and believed the elders because they were right. Right enough…...about hunting, falling off cliffs, where the prey and predators were etc… It would’ve had definite survival skill at its most base level.

We had such a strong need for explanations that we made what I consider to be rational speculations. Something moved the river. Something pushed water from the ground into springs. Something made the wind blow, rain fall, and volcanoes belch. That something was invisible to them. Some invisible things did everything we saw. Perhaps some invisible think works us as well. Perhaps some huge invisible thing made the world happen. So far they were not wrong.

But in their thinking to know more about these invisible movers we personified them as spirits and a big spirit made the world. All mythologies began with the use of imagination to back our speculations about the world. As most humans today, they were lumpers. Soon they merged spirits into larger spirits or gods. These spirits seemed intelligent so they must be like us. This led to the personification of gods in the human personality mode. Now this meant that the imaginative speculation exceeded rational speculation. Myth developed faster than early science.

While now, it is apparent to most rational thinkers that Gods are not real but imaginary. It is apparent to many of us that gods were to explain the gaps in our knowledge. This is the God of the gaps. In the last century we have explained most phenomena in the cosmos (not completely of course) but we no longer needed a spirit hypothesis or an anthropomorphic god.

Belief in magic, spirits, and gods was rational to Stone Age humans lacking the technology to intensively study phenomena. This was rational speculation. Today a person with a college education really has no reason for believing in magical things, spirits, and gods. Thus religion which evolved because of mankind’s inquiry has today become an obsolete superstition. Written scriptures can all be soundly debunked. And as for God, there simply is no need for a God hypothesis.

Neurocircuit

Animism to polytheism then monotheism. It’s been an evolution of belief in and of itself.

Don’t forget the Venus of Willendorf idol estimated to be 22 to 24,000 yrs old. It appears to be an idol of worship of a definite female figure. Possibly an act or interpretation at worshipping “our origins” by paleolithic people.

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