Friends of the Secular Café: Forums
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Talk Freethought
Rational Skepticism Forum
EvC Forum: Evolution vs. Creation
Living Nonreligion Discussion Forum
The Round Table (RatPags)
Talk Rational!
Blogs
Blue Collar Atheist
Camels With Hammers
Ebonmuse: Daylight Atheism
Nontheist Nexus
The Re-Enlightenment
Rosa Rubicondior
The Skeptical Zone
Watching the Deniers
Others
Christianity Disproved
Count Me Out
Ebon Musings
Freethinker.co.uk
 
       

Go Back   Secular Café > Science and Stuff > Creation & Alternative Science

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05 Dec 2017, 01:32 PM   #681793 / #76
DrZoidberg
Senior Member
 
DrZoidberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
He he... well.. I'm not a humanist. To me humanism is the first wave of post Christian secularists.
okay... thank you for the link, talking about both Nietzsche and Marx, two people I try to understand. But then, it was a friend who called me first, a humanist. Since he is a French doctor in medicine, I thought he knew what he was talking about. I am only an old senile grand-father. I "think" I am humanist but ... I am no longer sure.

Here is my story: born from a middle-class Belgian bourgeoisie, I became a typical hippie, complaining about everything, disliking everything, without having to worry about a thing because I could do what I wanted, I had a loving mother who gave me money when I needed it.
Then, in 1971, I was in Marrakesh, Morocco when I saw a boy of my age, begging in the street. He had no legs, was in a box with four wheels and moved by pushing with his hands. He had a big smile! He smiled all the time. I gave him some money and the day after, he was there, again, with the same smile. And I was bitter, I did't smile. I felt everything was wrong. People were stupid. then ... I understood!

I understood what happiness is: to have an occupation and be appreciated for it. Then I became interested to find out how we, humans, work. My wife is a retired social worker and we have had interesting discussions about the society and what can be done.

You focus on President Trump and Brexit. I have a photo that I can share (if I knew how to attach it to this message) but you have seen it before: It is President Obama who congratulates Trump at the inauguration. The photo is a symbol of democracy: the peaceful passage of power from one to the other. Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it ... incredible?

And my bottom line will be this: When I am on the ground, my aircraft tank is half full. Once in the air, it is half empty. But it is only in my head and I can (and try) to control that.
You can love other humans in spite of not being a humanist. I do. The problem with humanism is that they uphold it to a duty. Something you should do. Ok, fine. But based on what? I need more than just assertions.

When I was in Cambodia next to me a poor farmer skidded off the road on his motorbike. I scraped him out of the ditch, took him in my car to the nearest hospital. They said they wouldn't treat him because he didn't have insurance. So I paid the bill. My plane left the next day so I never knew what happened to him.

I did all that, in spite of not being a humanists. I did't do it out of duty. I did it because it made me feel good. I didn't do it for his sake. I did it for my sake. I didn't do it to score points. Or to raise my status in the community. I only did it because it made me feel good about it.

I recommend both Nietzsche and Marx. Both brilliant philosophers. Marx gets a lot of shit for how communist dictatorships turned out. But his philosophy is more than that.

To sum up Nietzsche's morality in short (this is extremely short) you could say that if you are vulnerable, you think murder is wrong. If you have stuff that can be stolen, you think stealing is wrong. If you have nothing and you are desperate those morals are out the window. Upholding life as sacred is just you wanting other people to see your life as sacred, so they wont kill you and take your stuff.

Marx is similar. He says we respond to incentives. If we live in a society that punishes murder, we think murder is wrong. If we don't, then we won't. But it's not that we'd murder if we could get away with it. But that this social structure warps out mental state and means we can't think of it in other ways. That's why he claims that being poor means that your mind is similarly likely to be warped by those you are dependent on for your subsistence. The insidious nature of capitalism. Something like that.

Disclaimer: I'm NOT claiming that I've captured both these philosophers entire body of work. Just the main gist of it IMHO. Marx was an extremely prolific writer. His thought is hard to pin down in just a couple of lines.
__________________
"Sorry, you must have been boring"
/Dr Zoidberg
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 05 Dec 2017, 06:45 PM   #681801 / #77
Michel
Member
 
Michel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Třnsberg, Norway
Posts: 41
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
I did all that, in spite of not being a humanists. I did't do it out of duty.
Oh, but if you had the impression that I meant, only self-proclaimed humanists can show empathy, sympathy and altruism, then I beg your pardon, I was far from thinking that!

Actually, I thrive best with no labels at all! Forget, "humanism!" I only wanted to say that ... I am optimist and believe that we will solve our problems without the need of a god or any other imaginary friend.

I became interested in Nietzsche after reading about his Eternal Recurrence. It seems to make sense. What do you think?

As for Marx, I am socialist because I believe that we will only have peace in the world when all the resources are more or less evenly distributed. Otherwise, there will be envy, migration and conflicts.

Basically, what I like is what is described in John Lennon's "Imagine." ... yes, I know, I am a stupid, naive hippie but ... it makes me feel warm and cozy! ;-)
Michel is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 06 Dec 2017, 10:14 AM   #681824 / #78
DrZoidberg
Senior Member
 
DrZoidberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
I became interested in Nietzsche after reading about his Eternal Recurrence. It seems to make sense. What do you think?
I think it's a metaphor. In Thus So Zarathustra Nietzsche uses Zoroaster as a juxtaposition to western thought. Nietzsche gets lots of the details of Zoroastrianism and Hindu thought wrong. Because he's not trying to talk about them. He's just trying to talk about the failings of Western thought. So Zoroaster doesn't think we go to heaven after death, he thinks we just comes back. But Nietzsche was an atheist and a materialist. So we know that he didn't believe in either heaven or the eternal return.

Nietzsche was an "affirmative nihilist". Yes, life is inherently meaningless. But we can't operate that way. We need meaning to function. So we have to give life meaning. I think that's what he means.

It's also connected with Amor Fati. No matter what happens to you in your life, you have to accept it, embrace it and LOVE IT. Because why not? There's no point being bitter about stuff you can't do anything about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
As for Marx, I am socialist because I believe that we will only have peace in the world when all the resources are more or less evenly distributed. Otherwise, there will be envy, migration and conflicts.

Basically, what I like is what is described in John Lennon's "Imagine." ... yes, I know, I am a stupid, naive hippie but ... it makes me feel warm and cozy! ;-)
Well... I'm a big fan of Marx. But I'm not a socialist. I am. But not in that regard. I don't think we'll ever have peace in the world. Even if everything was perfect for everyone, we'll still find something to go to war over. There will always ben envy, migration and conflicts. The good thing about capitalism is that it harnesses that drive for conflict into something positive. But it only works in a dynamic market. People need hope. So I believe governments are great at breaking up cartels, and busting up crime syndicates and reducing corruption. But unfairness and conflict... we'll always have them. I think it's inbuilt in our genetic makeup.

The only way to avoid it would be something like Huxley's Brave New World, where literally everybody was on drugs all the time. I personally prefer the conflicts.
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 06 Dec 2017, 12:11 PM   #681826 / #79
Michel
Member
 
Michel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Třnsberg, Norway
Posts: 41
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
But Nietzsche was an atheist and a materialist. So we know that he didn't believe in either heaven or the eternal return.
I never read the book, DrZoidberg, but, from what I understand, Nietzsche thought that, if God doesn't exist, the universe was not created and what can happen, will happen and not only once but an infinite number of times. Isn't that what his Eternal Return is about? In a sense, I tend to agree with him. Of course, it opens the ghosts of Quantum Uncertainty and Many Words Interpretation. What is your opinion about that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Well... I'm a big fan of Marx. But I'm not a socialist.
Oh, I think that capitalism if wonderful! It is the lube oil of our society! It makes us to come there much faster! ... the question is ... where? How many cars, airplanes and houses do we have to own to say that we are happy and have enough? Capitalism is based on growth.
Personally, I prefer the idea of sharing. Of course, democratic communism is not around the corner. Of course, imposed communism (one party regime) will never work at long-term. As you write, Marx's ideas have been used in a negative way. But I like e.g. his idea that workers shouldn't work much more than 8 hours a day so that they have enough time to enjoy hobbies.
Michel is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 06 Dec 2017, 12:23 PM   #681829 / #80
DrZoidberg
Senior Member
 
DrZoidberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
But Nietzsche was an atheist and a materialist. So we know that he didn't believe in either heaven or the eternal return.
I never read the book, DrZoidberg, but, from what I understand, Nietzsche thought that, if God doesn't exist, the universe was not created and what can happen, will happen and not only once but an infinite number of times. Isn't that what his Eternal Return is about? In a sense, I tend to agree with him. Of course, it opens the ghosts of Quantum Uncertainty and Many Words Interpretation. What is your opinion about that?
I think you're making a mystical argument from quantum mechanics, that's suspiciously difficult to separate from an argument from ignorance.

Nietzsche predates the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. So his outlook would have been a hell of a lot more mundane. Nietzsche's entire life's works is easier to grasp if you look at his sources of inspiration. Nietzsche is basically just an amalgamation of Shoppenhaur and the theory of evolution. Shoppenhaur in turn is just a project to work in Eastern philosophy into western philosophy, and create one unified philosophical theory.

To sum up. I think Nietzsche didn't believe in progress. I think that's all that means. Whatever progress is illusory. No matter what side wins in a conflict, it doesn't really matter in the long run. You can't change the world. The only thing you can change is the way you see it, ie your attitude to it. You can chose a rich and varied life, above a boring and spiritually impoverished one. And we can all do that.

I think it's something like that he means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Well... I'm a big fan of Marx. But I'm not a socialist.
Oh, I think that capitalism if wonderful! It is the lube oil of our society! It makes us to come there much faster! ... the question is ... where? How many cars, airplanes and houses do we have to own to say that we are happy and have enough? Capitalism is based on growth.
Personally, I prefer the idea of sharing. Of course, democratic communism is not around the corner. Of course, imposed communism (one party regime) will never work at long-term. As you write, Marx's ideas have been used in a negative way. But I like e.g. his idea that workers shouldn't work much more than 8 hours a day so that they have enough time to enjoy hobbies.
Ok, then I get you. Then we're on the same page. I agree completely. We have the same view on it.
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 06 Dec 2017, 06:33 PM   #681835 / #81
Michel
Member
 
Michel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Třnsberg, Norway
Posts: 41
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Nietzsche predates the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
Yes but ... what do you think about the idea that, if the universe is not created, it must be eternal and, therefore, what can happen, will happen?

Of course, we ate talking about billions, or rather, a googolplex number of years. But ... what is time when you are dead? ;-)

I don't see how an atheist view of the universe cannot involve an eternal return. What do you think?
Michel is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 06 Dec 2017, 08:23 PM   #681841 / #82
DrZoidberg
Senior Member
 
DrZoidberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Nietzsche predates the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
Yes but ... what do you think about the idea that, if the universe is not created, it must be eternal and, therefore, what can happen, will happen?

Of course, we ate talking about billions, or rather, a googolplex number of years. But ... what is time when you are dead? ;-)
If the many worlds theory is true, then that's a distinct possibility.

I've always pictured the universe as a bit like a pot of boiling porridge. The bubbles expand and rise, to the surface and collapse. Each bubble is a Big Bang. And it just goes on and on, in a closed system. What prevents entropy is that the world is on the quantum level inherently unstable. So there's always a small chance that nothing can rupture and rip apart into matter and anti-matter, which is what the Big Bang is.

I have no idea if there's scientific support for this hypothesis. I haven't explored it much. I most like the poetry of it. And in the sted of knowing with certainty what happens, this will do nicely

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
I don't see how an atheist view of the universe cannot involve an eternal return. What do you think?
Doesn't eternal return involve the soul somehow? I don't believe the soul survives death. It's a part of the mind. When the mind goes, the soul goes. But the energy remains. The energy is recycled. So I guess that's something along those lines. But that energy has no consciousness. It's just pure energy.
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 06 Dec 2017, 10:45 PM   #681845 / #83
Michel
Member
 
Michel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Třnsberg, Norway
Posts: 41
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Doesn't eternal return involve the soul somehow?
Ah, I see what you mean, my friend! ;-) Well, I use the Cartesian "table rase" of forgetting everything I know. Then I ask myself: The universe? I imagine a googolplex of Planck's units of space and a googolplex of Planck's unit of time, forming a ... Graham number of possible configurations.

Then I say: I observe the universe from this event or configuration. Period. Can it happen again? In a time so big that there isn't enough paper on earth, or even in the entire universe, to write it down?

I mean, the universe must be finite or infinite. If it is infinite, there isn't a smallest and biggest part: going into the microcosme and macrocosme for ever ... strange! In my humble opinion, only a finite yet unbound universe makes sense, doesn't it?

And if that is the case, when everything is exactly like now, every molecule, atom, particle, quark, everywhere in the universe, then wouldn't my consciousness of it also be a fact? If not, then why am I conscious now?

To be honest, I am very stupid (and old!) I don't understand a thing about Quantum and Relativity. But, trying to keep things simple, ... What do you think?
Michel is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 07 Dec 2017, 09:35 AM   #681856 / #84
DrZoidberg
Senior Member
 
DrZoidberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
I mean, the universe must be finite or infinite. If it is infinite, there isn't a smallest and biggest part: going into the microcosme and macrocosme for ever ... strange! In my humble opinion, only a finite yet unbound universe makes sense, doesn't it?
With the current theories both a finite and infinite universe violates the second law of thermodynamics. So clearly there's something else the universe can be.

There's not many conclusions we can draw based upon the limitations of human imagination. The only thing we can be sure about (based on history) is that anything anybody religious says on this matter will be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
And if that is the case, when everything is exactly like now, every molecule, atom, particle, quark, everywhere in the universe, then wouldn't my consciousness of it also be a fact? If not, then why am I conscious now?
This is a chain of reasoning that is dependent on quite a few dodgy assumptions. So I'm going with... probably not? We don't even understand what consciousness is for, in this species. Perhaps that's a start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
To be honest, I am very stupid (and old!) I don't understand a thing about Quantum and Relativity. But, trying to keep things simple, ... What do you think?
I prefer the term "wise".

There's a famous quote on quantum mechanics by Richard Feynman.

"If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics"

What he means is that there's no way to intuitively understand it. Everything humans understand; we, on some level, can only understand through metaphor. But we have nothing to map the idea of quantum mechanics onto. So it only becomes a set of mathematical scriblings equations on a sheet of paper.

Here's a talk on string theory. But it's the best, most informative talk I've found on the frontiers of physics in general.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtdE662eY_M
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 07 Dec 2017, 12:58 PM   #681859 / #85
Michel
Member
 
Michel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Třnsberg, Norway
Posts: 41
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
With the current theories both a finite and infinite universe violates the second law of thermodynamics. So clearly there's something else the universe can be.
Oh but I agree, DrZoidberg! I often irritate my friends by telling them that the answer to the universe is ... 42. Of course, I am referring to that very funny British play, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but also, for me, it has the following meaning: The answer is simple and yet, we are not made to understand it ... yet, and perhaps, never.

You see, I have no answer, no clue! I only like to ask questions. For example, if I had a tool that could, in a fraction of a second, reproduce each and every atom and particle of my body as a new one, would that "new me" be conscious? Would me consciousness be both in this and that new body?

Of course, we don't know what consciousness is. But, unless you believe in a divine creation, it must have come slowly as a step in evolution. right? For example, when I mow the lawn, first time, each spring, I cut the dandelions but, two weeks later, the have learned exactly how high is my lawn mower's cutting blade and will grow just under! Are they "intelligent?" Do they have memory? Are they conscious?

I don't know. But, to me, it makes sense that, if the universe doesn't have an end, the everything must repeat itself ... eventually, right? Okay, there might be 10 super string dimensions. But ... if anything that can happen, does happen ... even not knowing what consciousness is, it should repeat too, right?


Thanks for the Super String TED Talks from Mr. Green. I love TED Talks. Here is another one of Mr. Green talks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf7BXwVeyWw&t=559s

Let me know what you think of it. (PS: I kept the link because I was thinking to show it to the Humanist Confirmation kids then I thought; hum, too much for them! ;-)
Michel is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Old 07 Dec 2017, 01:47 PM   #681860 / #86
DrZoidberg
Senior Member
 
DrZoidberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Of course, we don't know what consciousness is. But, unless you believe in a divine creation, it must have come slowly as a step in evolution. right? For example, when I mow the lawn, first time, each spring, I cut the dandelions but, two weeks later, the have learned exactly how high is my lawn mower's cutting blade and will grow just under! Are they "intelligent?" Do they have memory? Are they conscious?
If we're missing such a crucial part of the puzzle, I'd say we don't have enough information from which to make such inferences.

I'm pretty sure it's not a divine creator. For the very same reason as I question your inference. When we speculate on the big questions we often take something advanced from out own time and culture and just project into the stars. Ancient humans would imagine a human forming the world out of clay like a potter. This is literally what it says in the Bible. The lack of imagination of that idea makes me think it's bullshit.

The most advanced mechanic from which to create stuff we know of is the theory of evolution. Aren't you just projecting that into the universe? Why couldn't it be something else entirely? Maybe there's a worm hole of sorts at the end of the universe, and the last terrestrial life form travels back in time and becomes it's own ancestor. Not particularly likely. But it's a possibility.

To crack this riddle we need to think very far out of the the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Thanks for the Super String TED Talks from Mr. Green. I love TED Talks. Here is another one of Mr. Green talks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf7BXwVeyWw&t=559s
Yeah, it's cool. But it's important to remember that the universe doesn't exist for our benefit. We're more like the mold at the back of the refrigerator. It's just there. For no reason. There's rare events happening all the time. It only becomes amazing if you make the mistake of assuming the the actual outcome was the end goal. No, it wasn't. The universe might have had a configuration where we didn't have life (as we know it). So it's not amazing.
DrZoidberg is offline   Reply With Quote top bottom
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Secular Café > Science and Stuff > Creation & Alternative Science

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
 
Ocean Zero by vBSkins.com | Customised by Antechinus