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Greetings, my name is Mitchell McKain
Posted: 11 January 2016 02:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am a physics teacher and science fiction author.  I am also interested in philosophy and religion. 

I judge beliefs by the following criterion:
1. logical coherence is the requirement for a belief to be meaningful.
2. Consistent with the objective (scientific) evidence is the requirement for a belief to be reasonable.
3. Compatibility with the ideals of a free society is required for a belief to be moral in the kind of society I want to live in.
Together these are the conditions for rational belief and they are far from determinate.  In other words I defend a great diversity of human beliefs as rational, and I consider that diversity to be both healthy and an asset for human civilization. Indeed, I would compare it to the genetic diversity of the human species, which makes us more adaptable.

I would divide evidence into two categories.
1. objective evidence provides a reasonable expectation that others should agree.
2. subjective evidence provides compelling reasons for your own personal beliefs only.

With regard to the first I am a scientist and a secularist, which means I think the force of law must be restricted to what can be objectively established. Of course I have my own conclusions with regards to issues where there is no objective evidence either way, for my own subjective reasons. Where these regard moral behavior I would consider these to apply to my own behavior and choices only.  For example, I am bothered by the idea of organ transplants, because I see the potential for turning human beings into commodities.  But I would not consider this a basis of judgement for anyone who does not agree.  At most I would only refuse organ transplants for myself much in the way a pacifist would abstain from participation in combat as a conscientious objector.

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Author of “Out of Skull for the Stars” available as an ebook on Amazon

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Posted: 11 January 2016 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Greetings to you, Mitch.  I hope you participate in discussions.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 11 January 2016 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome, Mitchell. Sounds like you’ll be a good addition to the forums.

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You cannot have a rational discussion with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

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Posted: 14 January 2016 02:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Welcome Mitchell,

I enjoyed your introductory post and am looking forward to your participation in the discussions.

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

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Posted: 14 January 2016 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Welcome. You’ll fit right in.

I’m curious to know how you found CFI Forums. In fact I’d like to know how everyone here found it. I was introduced to it by the late Occam.

Lois

[ Edited: 14 January 2016 11:51 AM by LoisL ]
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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 14 January 2016 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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LoisL - 14 January 2016 11:49 AM

Welcome. You’ll fit right in.

I’m curious to know how you found CFI Forums. In fact I’d like to know how everyone here found it. I was introduced to it by the late Occam.

Lois

I was doing a web search on verbal behavior.  It just happened to be a topic, at the time, that a psychologist who was briefly involved in the forum (back in 2011, I guess) had mentioned in a post.  I had not heard of CFI prior to that, and possibly, never would have, otherwise.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 14 January 2016 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Google search…  can’t remember what exactly I searched for though.

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Author of “Out of Skull for the Stars” available as an ebook on Amazon

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Posted: 15 January 2016 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TimB - 14 January 2016 04:24 PM
LoisL - 14 January 2016 11:49 AM

Welcome. You’ll fit right in.

I’m curious to know how you found CFI Forums. In fact I’d like to know how everyone here found it. I was introduced to it by the late Occam.

Lois

I was doing a web search on verbal behavior.  It just happened to be a topic, at the time, that a psychologist who was briefly involved in the forum (back in 2011, I guess) had mentioned in a post.  I had not heard of CFI prior to that, and possibly, never would have, otherwise.

Serendipity, then. Glad you found us.

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 15 January 2016 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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mitchellmckain - 14 January 2016 04:55 PM

Google search…  can’t remember what exactly I searched for though.

More serendipity. Welcome.

Lois

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Posted: 21 January 2016 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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mitchellmckain - 11 January 2016 02:39 AM

I am a physics teacher and science fiction author.  I am also interested in philosophy and religion. 

I judge beliefs by the following criterion:
1. logical coherence is the requirement for a belief to be meaningful.
2. Consistent with the objective (scientific) evidence is the requirement for a belief to be reasonable.
3. Compatibility with the ideals of a free society is required for a belief to be moral in the kind of society I want to live in.
Together these are the conditions for rational belief and they are far from determinate.  In other words I defend a great diversity of human beliefs as rational, and I consider that diversity to be both healthy and an asset for human civilization. Indeed, I would compare it to the genetic diversity of the human species, which makes us more adaptable.

I would divide evidence into two categories.
1. objective evidence provides a reasonable expectation that others should agree.
2. subjective evidence provides compelling reasons for your own personal beliefs only.

With regard to the first I am a scientist and a secularist, which means I think the force of law must be restricted to what can be objectively established. Of course I have my own conclusions with regards to issues where there is no objective evidence either way, for my own subjective reasons. Where these regard moral behavior I would consider these to apply to my own behavior and choices only.  For example, I am bothered by the idea of organ transplants, because I see the potential for turning human beings into commodities.  But I would not consider this a basis of judgement for anyone who does not agree.  At most I would only refuse organ transplants for myself much in the way a pacifist would abstain from participation in combat as a conscientious objector.

Since you are bothered by the idea of humans being turned into commodities, let me ask:“Where do you see this in your community firstly, the wider nation secondly, and the world thirdly? Who is turning humans into commodities and how?

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Posted: 21 January 2016 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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JSmith - 21 January 2016 11:37 AM
mitchellmckain - 11 January 2016 02:39 AM

I am a physics teacher and science fiction author.  I am also interested in philosophy and religion. 

I judge beliefs by the following criterion:
1. logical coherence is the requirement for a belief to be meaningful.
2. Consistent with the objective (scientific) evidence is the requirement for a belief to be reasonable.
3. Compatibility with the ideals of a free society is required for a belief to be moral in the kind of society I want to live in.
Together these are the conditions for rational belief and they are far from determinate.  In other words I defend a great diversity of human beliefs as rational, and I consider that diversity to be both healthy and an asset for human civilization. Indeed, I would compare it to the genetic diversity of the human species, which makes us more adaptable.

I would divide evidence into two categories.
1. objective evidence provides a reasonable expectation that others should agree.
2. subjective evidence provides compelling reasons for your own personal beliefs only.

With regard to the first I am a scientist and a secularist, which means I think the force of law must be restricted to what can be objectively established. Of course I have my own conclusions with regards to issues where there is no objective evidence either way, for my own subjective reasons. Where these regard moral behavior I would consider these to apply to my own behavior and choices only.  For example, I am bothered by the idea of organ transplants, because I see the potential for turning human beings into commodities.  But I would not consider this a basis of judgement for anyone who does not agree.  At most I would only refuse organ transplants for myself much in the way a pacifist would abstain from participation in combat as a conscientious objector.

Since you are bothered by the idea of humans being turned into commodities, let me ask:“Where do you see this in your community firstly, the wider nation secondly, and the world thirdly? Who is turning humans into commodities and how?

Pardon me for butting in, but my answer to where, is everywhere.  My answer to who and how, is all of us, to the extent that we accept unbridled capitalism.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 21 January 2016 09:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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TimB - 21 January 2016 01:57 PM
JSmith - 21 January 2016 11:37 AM
TimB - 11 January 2016 02:39 AM

Pardon me for butting in, but my answer to where, is everywhere.  My answer to who and how, is all of us, to the extent that we accept unbridled capitalism.

Such a fine point to make on captalism. By the way, buttons that say “Unbridled capitalism makes commodities of us all” are available. Some have been worn by proponents of that ilk too: Caesar, the Popes of the inquisition and beyond, Robespierre, Pol Pot, Marx, King George III, Ceausescu, FDR, Woodrow Wilson, Stalin, Kim Jong Il, Lenin, Hugo Chavez, Putin, and so many other kind and gentle souls. Thank you for bringing such an important point to bear. By all means butttttttt in. This unbridled capitalism is so well bridled by the high and mighty. Good to remember. Thank you. Oh yes, and the king Moa zeDong. Now the followers of Moa do use people as commodities specifically for body parts: members of the Falun Gong. Just a bit of ridiculous evidence any true scientist can explain away with some person starving in antartica who needs unbridled capitalism removed even if it soon leads to removal of so much more under the flag of love of Utopian dreams. Bring on the know it alls to lead us.

[ Edited: 22 January 2016 09:57 AM by JSmith ]
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Posted: 22 January 2016 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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JSmith - 21 January 2016 09:31 PM
TimB - 21 January 2016 01:57 PM

Pardon me for butting in, but my answer to where, is everywhere.  My answer to who and how, is all of us, to the extent that we accept unbridled capitalism.

Such a fine point to make on captalism. By the way, buttons that say “Unbridled capitalism makes commodities of us all” are available. Some have been worn by proponents of that ilk too: Caesar, the Popes of the inquisition and beyond, Robespierre, Pol Pot, Marx, King George III, Ceausescu, FDR, Woodrow Wilson, Stalin, Kim Jong Il, Lenin, Hugo Chavez, Putin, and so many other kind and gentle souls. Thank you for bringing such an important point to bear. By all means butttttttt in. This unbridled capitalism is so well bridled by the high and mighty. Good to remember. Thank you. Oh yes, and the king Moa zeDong. Now the followers of Moa do use people as commodities specifically for body parts: members of the Falun Gong. Just a bit of ridiculous evidence any true scientist can explain away with some person starving in antartica who needs unbridled capitalism removed even if it soon leads to removal of so much more under the flag of love of Utopian dreams. Bring on the know it alls to lead us.

JS, Please correct your last post to attribute the quote that you are responding to, to me (as it was mine, not Mitchell’s).  Also, take your meds.

[ Edited: 22 January 2016 09:26 AM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 22 January 2016 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Tim, you are such a sr. Comments like “take your meds” is so keen, cutting, and insightful. It actually can sound kind of rational if one asks how does TimB know about so much about meds? Regardless, TimB certainly knows how a slow or discontinued rational mind process sounds. The slow or discontinued rational mind uses little quips to stave off any possibility of dialogue that threatens a snake oiled opinion. Such comments and processes are opposed to inquiry on any level.

So, two suggestions for those who use quips like “take your meds.”
First, the url http://www.centerforignorance.org is open. Name it CFi.  While in theory this is the forum of the center for inquiry, in practice quips like “take your meds” fits better at the other CFi

Second consider this definition of arrogance: An opinion stated as a fact making one person’s point of view far superior to any opposing or alternative view.

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Posted: 22 January 2016 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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JS, I didn’t care to engage in dialogue about controlled capitalism vs. laissez faire capitalism, because your post was raving. (You asserted a long list of historical figures that wore a button that said “Unbridled capitalism makes commodities of us all”.  I don’t think so.  Somebody starving in Antarctica due to not having unbridled capitalism?  That is cuckoo. And your raving about the “flag of love of Utopian dreams”?  That is some kind of distorted interpretation.)

Then in your last post you give a definition of arrogance, that seems to apply to you, but seemingly meant as an accusation to me. 

Also, you seem to hold rationality in high regard, but your posts in this thread, do not indicate that you have a firm grasp on rationality, IMO.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 22 January 2016 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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A recap and Tim’s behavior.
Tim starts by introducing those who accept unbridled capitalism as people who turn other people into commodities. He asserts that this ” is all of us, to the extent that we accept unbridled capitalism.”
Tim is so adamant about his opinion he admittedly “butts in”.

So there is one litmus Tim lists: “acceptance of unbridled captialism.”
Jim finds this vague, undefined, and therefore, a reference without rational value.
I respond by a list of many people who are infamous that fit Tim’s definition “to the extent”. These totally fit his definition because not one of them accepted unbridled capitalism. Tim looks at the list of these arch communists, socialists, and transformers of America and says, ” I don’t think so.” By his words, Tim implies that Marx accepted unbridled capitalism.
You look at the list and tell me they accepted unbridled capitalism. This list includes Marx.

Perhaps Tim just doesn’t get the implications of his broad sweeping statements. Do you get it?

I call Tim’s statement to task by noting what arrogant statement look like. Tim’s statement, not Tim himself, does seem to fit the height of arrogance given my definition.

Tim, after butting in, making sweeping statements indicting others by his vague definition, says, “I didn’t care to engage in dialogue about controlled capitalism vs. laissez faire capitalism”.
Butts in, backs out, blames me for"ranting”. My rant simply and clearly listed specific people who fit his definition of those who do not treat others like commodities, to a tee. Note that the list is full of people who treated other like commodities yet do not accept unbridled capitalism. I contend Tim’s statement is wrong. Those who accept unbridled capitalism may or may not treat others as commodities. There is insufficient evidence to support Tim’s statement. 

Now Tim adds to the vague hit and run statements on capitalism personal attacks on rationality that show further ignorance of words. First is the unbridled captialism post above.

Second is the opinion my statements were raving. Raving: “to show signs of madness or delirium,” Delirium means “Delirium is a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of your environment.” Mayo Clinic.

As a teacher of rationality, Tim’s behavior is an example of avoidance, manipulation, and full of errant logic, reasoning, and interpretation. It is possible such was not Tim’s intent but a symptom of education in America.

Those who tend to denigrate capitalism tend to look for every data point or excuse to take freedom away from individuals and put a bridle on them. I’ve often told the new left professors that if there was one person starving in antartica, they would advocate to dismantle the who free world and install authoritarian leaders to straighten out the world…which is really one starving person in antartica. These professors tend to be adamant regardless of evidence. Tim says this is “cuckoo”. How does Tim know?

I maintain the opinion that the cure advocated by those who resist the intent of our framers of the constitution, which was mostly unbridled capitalism, is worse than the solution many times over. I am willing not to run like Tim but engage any and all in this conversation without blame or litmus tests provided by Tim in his original post. It is not them as persons, it is their ideas that lack evidence of anything remotely linked to their utopian dreams. After all, most of us wish the problems faced by many poor people was just gone. Few want to make a local difference.

Tim is playing fast and loose with words “unbridled capitalism” and “raving”. Tim hits and runs by introducing his butt in and then saying he will not engage in any dialogue about definition. Tim judges people based on their acceptance of unbridled captialism and then…what’s next Tim?

[ Edited: 22 January 2016 09:16 PM by JSmith ]
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