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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:17 pm
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
eric_marsh wrote:
ROU Killing Time wrote:Pragmatism says, naturally, as a nation we must defend ourselves, but we should do so with sorrow at the necessitty, not with joyful glee that we're gonna go show those damn rag-heads God's vengeance, with a hateful heart.
Well said.
I call strawman. Who said this? Names and dates?
You will find that our soldiers are better about this than any known army in history. You will always have a little "Guts and Glory" attitude -- that's why the Army likes 'em young and inexperienced. And it's natural for some to hate an unlawful and immoral enemy whose actions are covered under the "spy" portions of the Geneva conventions.

Still, few (if ANY) of our boys want to "go show those damn rag-heads God's vengeance, with a hateful heart." And they certainly aren't anybody leading troops via that attitude (even if the leader thinks it).

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:19 pm
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
eric_marsh wrote:
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:As for the rest, I think it boils down to the notion of whether there is an objective truth, outside of human wishes. There is.
Wow! That is quite a bold statement.
It's sad that you think so. It's clearly a bold, underlined statement. :wink:

My, how Western education has fallen. (Never have so many, paid so much, for so little.)


Edit: You appended your statement after I quoted it. So...
I think it's a pretty good guess that there is an objective reality, though some forms of Buddhism would deny that. But an objective truth?
Even if you distinguish between truth and reality (!!!), if there is an objective reality (there is), then how can there not also be an objective truth? There is true, false, and indeterminable. What else is there without resorting to faulty logic?

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:21 pm
by eric_marsh
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:
eric_marsh wrote:
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:As for the rest, I think it boils down to the notion of whether there is an objective truth, outside of human wishes. There is.
Wow! That is quite a bold statement.
It's sad that you think so. It's clearly a bold, underlined statement.
OK, I walked right into that one. 100 points
My, how Western education has fallen. (Never have so many, paid so much, for so little.)

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:26 pm
by ROU Killing Time
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote: Statistics do apply quite lucratively in commercial settings, like insurance -- to a point.)
There is much more to say here, but small doses, for now.
And in Vegas, where the bell-curve is worshipped as a God.

Oh wait, that example is redudant, isn't it? Nevermind.

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:46 pm
by eric_marsh
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote: Even if you distinguish between truth and reality (!!!), if there is an objective reality (there is), then how can there not also be an objective truth? There is true, false, and indeterminable. What else is there without resorting to faulty logic?
Well, because truth is simply a word which we have invented. We can't even agree on exactly what it means.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

"Truth can have a variety of meanings, from the state of being the case, being in accord with a particular fact or reality, being in accord with the body of real things, events, actuality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard. In archaic usage it could be fidelity, constancy or sincerity in action, character, and utterance.[1] The term has no single definition about which a majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree, and various theories and views of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute. This article introduces the various perspectives and claims, both today and throughout history."

I used to think that truth had some sort of an objective existence but the more I drilled down the more I realized that what I had though was truth (an abstraction) was in reality just fact.

As for the objective existence of reality, I think that it's a good working hypothesis but when you really get down to it all that we have to go on is our notoriously fallible senses. One must admit for example that there is a chance, no matter how small, that what we experience is not the real world but just a virtual world. I think that's what those Buddhists were saying, though in different terms.

On another subject, why does the little icon one level up for this thread seem to have a little flame on it?

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:08 pm
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
¬°Ay Chihuahua!

Ok, for now, when I say "truth", I intend in the classical and proper meaning: "objective reality". One is just a lot less hunting and pecking (unless we get into "narrative truth", Heaven forbid).

As for the objective existence of reality, I think that it's a good working hypothesis but when you really get down to it all that we have to go on is our notoriously fallible senses. One must admit for example that there is a chance, no matter how small, that what we experience is not the real world but just a virtual world. I think that's what those Buddhists were saying, though in different terms.
Well, I'd say that Ayn Rand demonstrated the lie to part of this, but that triggers reflexive mouth-foaming in a few people. :wink:

But the sense question has been answered, and it has also been shown that we would not be fooled by virtual worlds (the "brain in a bottle" problem). For a good explanation, and an excellent read, pick up any of the books by Daniel C. Dennett. Read Consciousness Explained and then we can continue that part of this discussion.

On another subject, why does the little icon one level up for this thread seem to have a little flame on it?
Uh, 'cause the brilliance of my rhetoric will burn the muck from thine eyes? :D

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:29 pm
by ROU Killing Time
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:Well, I'd say that Ayn Rand demonstrated the lie to part of this, but that triggers reflexive mouth-foaming in a few people. :wink:
Another person sucked in by deCartes evil genius... I'm on to you, and your diabolical lies, Rand...

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:32 pm
by eric_marsh
I think I have Consciousness Explained somewhere on my bookshelf. If I remember I didn't agree with it much but I'll take another look at it.

-------

I looked around and I'm not seeing Consciousness Explained. It may have gone on the books table at the last Dale Volunteer Fire Department garage sale. So can you give me the Cliff's Notes version of the proof that we can't be living in an X-Box 3000 virtual reality? Hell, I'd even take the Ayn Rand version.

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:37 pm
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
ROU Killing Time wrote:Another person sucked in by deCartes evil genius... I'm on to you, and your diabolical lies, Rand...
That's almost a twabble. Might be slightly obscure to some, but, hey, we're nerds; we can handle it. Go for it.

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:23 pm
by ROU Killing Time
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:
ROU Killing Time wrote:Another person sucked in by deCartes evil genius... I'm on to you, and your diabolical lies, Rand...
That's almost a twabble. Might be slightly obscure to some, but, hey, we're nerds; we can handle it. Go for it.
Hmm, your'e right, that's not half bad. Now I have to do the character count, and subtract the spaces (I don't have MS-word, which gives characters with and without spaces. One of the reasons I don't twabble much. Such a pain in the ass to figure out if I've hit 100.

What do you use, Twabmaster ASID?

(This also highlights one of my major frustrations as an author. My personal opinion is that I am MUCH better when I'm just writing off the cuff than when I'm doing fiction.)

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:10 pm
by strawman
eric_marsh wrote: I think it's a pretty good guess that there is an objective reality, though some forms of Buddhism would deny that. But an objective truth? I've thought about it a bit myself and it appears to me that truth itself is an abstraction, as is, for example, mathematics.
Two ways to look at that: Pontius Pilate's way is the way that looks at absolute truth as an abstraction [Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" (Jn 18:38)]

Then there is Jesus' way, which strikes me as very Drabblecastian. The Truth is not a 'What'. The Truth is a Who. ['Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.' (Jn 14:6) and 'For this purpose was I given birth, and for this purpose I came into the world, that I might give witness to what is true. Every lover of what is true gives ear to my voice.' (Joh 18:37)]

Now, why should anyone believe or not believe? The only reason I can come up with is by asking "What works?" i.e. does believing X to be true produce a better, happier life, or not?

You get different answers to that question depending on if X is the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount than you do if X is the Jesus of some political party. But that goes back to why God would hate someone to take his name in vain, right?

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:54 am
by eric_marsh
strawman wrote: Now, why should anyone believe or not believe? The only reason I can come up with is by asking "What works?" i.e. does believing X to be true produce a better, happier life, or not?

You get different answers to that question depending on if X is the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount than you do if X is the Jesus of some political party. But that goes back to why God would hate someone to take his name in vain, right?
I guess my take is that as an observer in general I don't really feel that I've seen a really significant difference in people's lives or personality regardless of religion or philosophy. There seems to be about the same percentage of nice folk regardless of whether they are Christian, Muslim, Wiccan, Athiest or whatever and the same seems to apply to the percentage of jerks. So I don't really know if anything in particular is working better or worse in that regard. I personally lean very strongly towards empiricism as a tool to search for such answers because the alternative is subjectivism. If one is using subjectivism as a mechanism to determine reality (have you noticed that I'm working really hard here to avoid using the word truth?) then I can see no yardstick by which one's claims could be judged more valid than any one else's claims.

As for God's name being taken in vain, even though I'm not religious it always turns my stomach a little when a group uses God's name to justify the harm that they do to others.

Well, with that I think I'll work on a long overdue Building a Flowbench at Home blog entry on my dragster project web site. http://www.ericmarsh.info/Nostalgia_Dragster_Site" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:03 am
by strawman
Awesome. What's a flowbench?

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:15 am
by eric_marsh
strawman wrote:Awesome. What's a flowbench?
Well, essentially it is used to measure airflow, most commonly through a cylinder head. There's a decent article on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_flow_bench" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false.

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:29 am
by ROU Killing Time
strawman wrote: Now, why should anyone believe or not believe? The only reason I can come up with is by asking "What works?" i.e. does believing X to be true produce a better, happier life, or not?
Hmm, this strikes me as an example of Pascal's wager. And certainly it is fair to note that belief may well cause much suffering (although said suffering may not be diametrically opposed, the martyr being stoned to death may well be happy and consider this better, if he's really taking the "rejoice when persecuted in my name" doctrine seriously.)

However, personally, (and I don't blame anyone for taking Pascal's wager, should that be how they frame things) since God doesn't play dice with the universe, it was my path not to choose to gamble either.

But then again, I've already copped to sitting next to doubting Thomas, in the "Jesus Christ, what does it takes to convince some of you" section.

I did go through a period of railing and saying "Well, then why don't you just show yourself and let's hash this issue out" prior to be knocked into the dirt. I will testiry that it was my personal experience that following that divine shit-kicking, I was picked up and invited to discuss it all, Father to son. God's pretty much merits that whole forgiving graceful entity reputation, I found. Plus, GREAT sense of humor. (Just look at humanity as a whole, if you want proof of that...)

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:30 am
by ROU Killing Time
Oh ya, I suppose its time to note the old quote that "When you talk to God, they call it praying, when He talks back, they call it schizophrenia, or in my case, schizoaffective disorder..."

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:01 am
by strawman
Yeah, I was Thomas too, so I don't criticize others for wanting to see for themselves. People really only know things by experience. And the experience of God is in His hands, not ours. But it is meaningful to me that those experiences so often are like ROU's, alongside the experience of powerlessness and surrender. Blessed are the poor and the persecuted and those who mourn...

What I meant by 'what works' is best observed at an AA or NA meeting. After seeing that, there's no more question about seeing radically changed lives, or being reborn. The spiritual principles are Christian, but work just as well for agnostics as for "believers".

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:06 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
ROU Killing Time wrote:Now I have to do the character count, and subtract the spaces (I don't have MS-word, which gives characters with and without spaces. One of the reasons I don't twabble much. Such a pain in the ass to figure out if I've hit 100.

What do you use, Twabmaster ASID?
I use a program called Textpad, which is an excellent general-purpose, text editor. It's trial-ware but I believe the worst it does to freeloaders is give occasional nags to buy.

I pretty much always have Textpad and Slickedit windows open as part of my work.

I could probably gin up a handy web tool, if enough people were interested.

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:01 am
by ROU Killing Time
strawman wrote:Yeah, I was Thomas too, so I don't criticize others for wanting to see for themselves. People really only know things by experience. And the experience of God is in His hands, not ours. But it is meaningful to me that those experiences so often are like ROU's, alongside the experience of powerlessness and surrender. Blessed are the poor and the persecuted and those who mourn...

What I meant by 'what works' is best observed at an AA or NA meeting. After seeing that, there's no more question about seeing radically changed lives, or being reborn. The spiritual principles are Christian, but work just as well for agnostics as for "believers".
Ya, it's always more effective just to cite your own experiences, rather than try and win an argument. "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still" and all that rot.

And hey, where but on the drabblecast forums can you casually drop a comment about thinking you were Jesus Christ or Satan (depending of whether it is Tuesday or Saturday) and have no one blinking, or even considering it particularly unusual...

Yup, that's me, just another Jesus-clone... (someone should write a song about that...)

Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:04 pm
by strawman
ROU Killing Time wrote: Yup, that's me, just another Jesus-clone... (someone should write a song about that...)
:)
Now that I think about it, isn't that the common problem with cloning? You get some weird-ass genetic flaw that makes you an imperfect copy.

So if you actually had been able to clone Jesus, you really might end up with Jesus on Tuesday and Satan on Thursday. In other words, it's entirely possible, ROU, that this was not the result of a psychiatric disorder. You may actually BE a Jesus Clone.

Here I go practicing medicine without a license again. Perhaps I should consult with my learned colleague, Dr. Grimsley, MD, AARP