Allegro.cc - Online Community

Allegro.cc Forums » Off-Topic Ordeals » Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study

This thread is locked; no one can reply to it. rss feed Print
Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
Dizzy Egg
Member #10,824
March 2009
avatar

With such rules, there's really no way you would ever have to admit being wrong even if you are entirely incorrect.

...and therein the maester suggests a perfect sig for Stas.B., reflecting immaculately on his posts in general, and altogether hitting the said nail on the said head.

You're never wrong Stas.B., and any Allegroids who post to differ are, in your words, an idiot.

Joint anyone?

----------------------------------------------------
Please check out my songs:
https://soundcloud.com/dont-rob-the-machina

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

It seems like what you really do is make simple logical statements that are either a) so basic that nobody would actually disagree with what they say at surface value or b) based on some opinion that is impossible to verify.

I made statements based on some opinion that is impossible to verify? Show me any statement that I made that is not accompanied by a falsifiable logical premise and I will retract it. If I actually did that, it was accidental.

Quote:

When asked to defend your conclusions, you just rant about how illogical people are and dare them to poke holes at your logic. You don't allow people to reject your conclusions, because after all, you based them on logic.

When asked to defend my conclusions against what? Against people simply asserting that I'm wrong? I don't need to defend them against that. I need to defend them against people poking holes at my logic. Can't we even agree on this?

Quote:

For example, "Failing to apply Occam's razor leads to beliefs that can only be classified as irrational."

Perhaps true. I surely cannot conclusively reject it, especially because you can supply definitions to suit yourself, yet keeping your conclusions intact.

I thought it was clear to both of us what we mean by "irrational". You could have asked me to be more specific. It's not my fault that you did not bother.

Quote:

In retrospect, people have looked back at data and realized that by applying Occam's razor, they went down the wrong path. So I guess those people were rational at the time but at the expense of being right. Had those people went down the more complex path, they would have been irrational (per your logic and terminology), yet correct.

Yes. That's exactly what I said. So let's get this clear. Per your logic and terminology, as opposed to mine, it's rational to sometimes go down the complex path. If it's rational, mustn't there be a valid rationale behind it?

Quote:

Now that we agree that it is irrational using a very mild meaning of the word, you want to then in your conclusions use a very strong meaning of the word.

How exactly does the term "mild" apply to irrationality? What's a mild irrationality and how is it opposed to a "severe" one? Is there a principal difference between the irrationality of a person who believes that little demons move stuff around his house every time he can't find something and the irrationality of person who believes that god created the universe? If so, explain it to me.

Quote:

So what? That doesn't imply that religion must be dismissed. I think love is irrational. That doesn't mean I think everybody who says they are in love should be sent to the loony bin.

I never listed that as a reason why religion should be dismissed. It should be dismissed for entirely different reasons. I don't understand your love analogy either. Finally, I don't actually think that religious people should all be sent to the loony bin. I said that once but only jokingly. I did say that they are delusional but then again, I did not base that claim solely on the premise that they hold an irrational belief. Many people hold some irrational beliefs for many different reasons.

Quote:

And I wouldn't grant you: "Theists fail to apply Occam's razor when dealing with the question of the origin of the universe."

They do apply it.

Can you apply it in such way that leaves the god hypothesis for the origin of the universe as the one that gives you the most insight about the universe with the least number of assumptions?

Quote:

I'm not trying to be thorough, as I do not care enough to be. My greater point is simply that you present these claims with hardly any proof, but yet demand they be disqualified only by the surest of axioms. With such rules, there's really no way you would ever have to admit being wrong even if you are entirely incorrect.

By simply asserting that the opponent's proof is "hardly any proof at all" and therefore doesn't require any proper debunking and by implying that you could probably debunk it if only you cared enough to do so, there's really no way you would ever have to admit being wrong even if you are entirely incorrect. I bet all the people here who claim that I'm simply unwilling to change my position no matter what are going through the thousandth reiteration of this stupid thread not having changed their own position one bit since the first, but that's obviously because you were right all along! You are fucking ridiculous.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
avatar

F*cking christ Stas B. people don't have to prove anything contrary to what you say. You could say elephants fly and I could say they don't. Those are our opinions whether they are wrong or right. If someone thinks you are wrong in what you say, they don't have to prove to you that fact because even if they prove you right they will still think you are wrong in some way. Ranting about it for multiple posts is starting to make you look childish for basically saying over and over "Prove me wrong, show your logic/evidence." Same with people saying Obama is doing a great job as President, they don't have to prove that he is, they just think he is according to their point of view. 23yrold3yrold thinks you are a little wrong in your remark, he doesn't have to give you chapter and verse as to why he thinks that as you have shown in post after post you wouldn't believe him if he did post exactly where you were wrong. You have two different opinions on the subject, leave it at that and drop it already.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

In retrospect, people have looked back at data and realized that by applying Occam's razor, they went down the wrong path. So I guess those people were rational at the time but at the expense of being right. Had those people went down the more complex path, they would have been irrational (per your logic and terminology), yet correct.

Sure, people play the lottery and occasionally win, but would you say that playing the lottery was the right thing to do just because they won? It's nice to look at the winners in the news, but nobody mentions the thousands that lost. It's nice to say "they applied the Occam's razor and lost" but on average that does not happen, because on average given some fundamental properties about our world, Occam's razor (specifically the probabilistic treatment I outlined) actually describes how the world works.

We consciously and unconsciously use Occam's razor in every aspect of our life, and yet we are asked to make a singular exception for one thing, religion. What's so special about it? Why does it deserve this exceptional treatment? We make fun of the UFO believers, conspiracy theorists, cryptozoologists. Why shouldn't we make fun of the religious either for the same exact reasons?

It's the doublethink that bothers me the most, which is why I can't stand religious scientists.

Quote:

So let's say the concept god is irrational. So what?

I'd be very much satisfied if the religious admitted this much. Most don't even go far enough to this first step.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

SiegeLord said:

We consciously and unconsciously use Occam's razor in every aspect of our life, and yet we are asked to make a singular exception for one thing, religion.

I still don't get this. Besides the fact no one asked you for anything, am I officially alone in thinking that assuming other people's reasons and thought processes is insanely presumptuous? Stas seems to have elevated it to an art form, but SiegeLord, you're pretty good at it too ... if you all weren't atheists I'd swear this was some fundie defense mechanism.

If you're assured of your position, maybe you ahould answer your own question: what's so special about it? I don't think there's anything special about it personally, but to anyone who doesn't assume people selectively choose not to apply Occam's Razor to religion, this isn't an issue ... so maybe they are applying it? Maybe you just don't like their conclusions? Is people having different opinions that much of a problem that we have to keep creating excuses for it?

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Those Rube Goldberg gadgets are amusing simply because they don't take an Occam's Razor viewpoint into design. Elegant arguments don't have any unnecessary detours. Old folk remedies such as putting foxglove into stumpwater by the light of the full moon could ease chest pains, but it was only the foxglove that did it.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

I still don't get this. Besides the fact no one asked you for anything, am I officially alone in thinking that assuming other people's reasons and thought processes is insanely presumptuous?

Umm, the fact that you are alive and typing this means that you are a functioning member of society and are not insane. Those things need rationality and rationality implies Occam's razor (the precise definition I use).

I've already spoke of this in my previous posts, but let me summarize it again.

1. The real world is a predictable system where we can use past events to reasonably predict the future. This is a fact that explains why scientific method works so amazingly well. You are insane if you don't agree with this point.

2. Now, given that the real world is predictable it is a mathematical fact that the optimal way of making decisions in this world is to use probabilistic reasoning: choosing hypotheses with the highest probability as computed by the math I showed in my math post. People who are rational survive longer, pass on their genes, make more money... etc etc because they make decisions that are most likely to turn out good for them. Decisions that turn out good more of than not are rational by the very definition of probability. You might be able to say people are not perfectly rational, but the more rational you are the more successful you are.

Feel free to argue those points but they have so much mathematical and empirical backing, it's futile. The second point specifically allows me to make this statement:

SiegeLord said:

We consciously and unconsciously use Occam's razor in every aspect of our life

Now, moving on:

maybe you ahould answer your own question: what's so special about it?

Because it works. Because using this position our understanding of the universe increased exponentially since the development of the modern scientific method. Occam's razor is a commonly accepted creed of scientists and they definitely use it in some form or another. I'd like to see someone argue that scientists don't use Occam's razor. The alternative, on the other hand, doesn't work (the alternative being what I think ML described: "sometimes Occam's razor is wrong, so there's no good reason to use it or not use it").

Quote:

anyone who doesn't assume people selectively choose not to apply Occam's Razor to religion, this isn't an issue

I hope you're not including yourself amongst those people, after saying things like:

lack of evidence is not evidence

Quote:

You also can't argue "no evidence" because you can't be aware of all evidence.

Those statements are inconsistent with Occam's razor. I kind of hinted at it in my math post, but I can prove it explicitly true in a new math post if this thread isn't closed by tomorrow noon.

If people used Occam's razor with religion they'd be really worried how there's no modern evidence for it (with the sole exception of some historical bits in the Bible). Nothing in the Bible seems to describe how the world works (I'm specifically referring to the creation story(ies) and how they mesh with human evolution and cosmic evolution).

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

F*cking christ Stas B. people don't have to prove anything contrary to what you say. You could say elephants fly and I could say they don't. Those are our opinions whether they are wrong or right.

I really can't comprehend this point of view. Of couse they don't have to prove anything. They don't owe me anything. But what's the point of a discussion involving a bunch of people plugging their ears and shouting out their opinions? What could anybody possibly gain from that? When you have a real discussion, at best you may learn something and reconsider your own point of view. At worst, you may just have some intellectual excersice analyzing other people's logic. What's going on here is group masturbation and you seem to be mad at me for interrupting.

Quote:

If someone thinks you are wrong in what you say, they don't have to prove to you that fact because even if they prove you right they will still think you are wrong in some way.

If they try to prove me wrong, they may prove me right instead but still think I'm wrong in some way? That's crazy. :P

Quote:

Ranting about it for multiple posts is starting to make you look childish for basically saying over and over "Prove me wrong, show your logic/evidence."

I'm childish for telling people over and over that asserting things is pointless and to provide logic/evidence? You know what, maybe you're right. It's clearly not working with you people. I guess it is kind of pointless.

Quote:

23yrold3yrold thinks you are a little wrong in your remark, he doesn't have to give you chapter and verse as to why he thinks that as you have shown in post after post you wouldn't believe him if he did post exactly where you were wrong.

You guys are hillarious. Since you can't easily prove me wrong, you just go ahead and assume that I'm wrong anyway and that I either never admit being wrong or that this time it's something very special and personal for me so I'll just keep denying it. Do you realize how asinine this is? I couldn't care less if it turns out religious people can't be classified as delusional. I couldn't care less if it turns out that I'm wrong in front of some crowd of random people on the internet that I don't even know. What motivation could I possibly have to fiercely deny that I'm wrong? 23yrold3yrold has some motivation to fiercely deny that he's delusional. Matthew has some motivation to fiercely deny that his religious fiends and family members are delusional. I don't have any motivation to fiercely deny that they're not. ::)

[EDIT]

A person is considered delusional when they hold an irrational belief despite being presented with strong evidence against it.
An irrational belief is any belief that is not based on a valid logical rationale.
Strong evidence is evidence that is scientifically valid and is convincing on its own to a rational, unbiased person.

The belief in the god hypothesis of the origin of the universe is irrational because:

1. There are alternatives that make less assumptions and give more insight about the nature of the universe.
2. Given #1, there is no valid logical rationale for choosing the god hypothesis.

These two points do not require further proof here because they are self-evident for most people and have been proven a countless number of times elsewhere. If you reject #1, try making a comparison between any religious hypothesis and any generally accepted scientific hypothesis about the origin of the universe. If you reject #2, go read about Occam's razor as many times as you need untill you understand it and see why #2 is true. If you still reject these points, you are in denial and it's impossible in principle to prove them to you.

There is strong scientific evidence against the god hypothesis:

1. God does not have scientifically measurable effects on the universe.
2. Logic and everyday experience prove that theories that can be eliminated by Occam's razor are much less likely to be true.

Evidence of this type is used in science routinely, therefore it is scientific. Evidence of this type must also apply to the god hypothesis since claiming otherwise is a logical fallacy called special pleading. To see why it is strong, let's suppose it's not and then apply reductio ad absurdum:

Ex. 1: I claim there's an immaterial, invisible pony sitting on my head. If evidence of type #1 isn't strong, it is not enough on its own to convince a rational, unbiased person of the absence of said pony. That's absurd. If you accepted the initial definitions, you must accept that #1 is strong evidence.

Ex. 2: I claim that government agents broke into my house on sole basis of the door not being locked when I came back. If evidence of type #2 isn't strong, it is not enough on its own to convince a rational, unbiased person that government agents did not, in fact, broke into my house. That's absurd. If you accepted the initial definitions, you must accept that #2 is strong evidence.

To conclude, I have proven that theists hold an irrational belief despite being presented with strong evidence against it. They are delusional per definition. You can claim that being delusional is not so bad and not grounds for sending someone to the loony bin, but this is irrelevant. I do not like living in a society where people's delusions have very direct effects on my life. In the country I live in, I can't get married without accepting the local religion and I can't go out on saturday because I don't have a car and there's no public transportation, to give a few examples. These laws were passed due to delusional theists having the right to vote. If you think that's all right because you have theist friends and they're cool, fuck you and fuck your delusional theist friends. Delusional people in general and theists in particular should not be allowed anywhere near the steering wheel of a fucking country. I'm not saying theists should be denied the right to vote. Theists just shouldn't have representatives of their delusional interests in the government. They should not be allowed in parliament on the grouds that they are simply delusional.

Evert
Member #794
November 2000
avatar

How does one practice any religion? Adhere to its tenants.

I know it's hard for you reli-types to fully appreciate this, but I'll just spell it out again: at a stretch, atheism is a belief. It is not a religion.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.
H L Mencken

[EDIT]

Maybe religion substitutes for some sort of parental figure, since the original parents were seen to be fallible and putting their pants on one leg at a time etc. If they'd just accept that some people want to run their own lives instead of some pope or something it'd work much better.

video

[EDIT2]

Upon further reflection, that song is hopelessly idealistic in other ways...

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

SiegeLord said:

the alternative being what I think ML described: "sometimes Occam's razor is wrong, so there's no good reason to use it or not use it"

That's not my perspective.

Put simply, I think the usage of Occam's razor in this thread is no more powerful than the usage of the KISS theory. Yes it sounds more authoritative to invoke some cute phrase every few sentences, but it doesn't actually make an argument any more impressive.

Because we have different interpretations of precisely what Occam's razor is, arguing whether or not there's a good reason to use it would be pointless.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

What motivation could I possibly have to fiercely deny that I'm wrong? 23yrold3yrold has some motivation to fiercely deny that he's delusional. Matthew has some motivation to fiercely deny that his religious fiends and family members are delusional. I don't have any motivation to fiercely deny that they're not. ::)

You have the same motivation as everyone else; your comfortable beliefs are threatened and you go on the defensive. Atheists do this as much as anyone else, and everyone does it in various areas of their lives. I've said it before, I'll say it again; this behavior is particular to humans, not theists. This is that arrogance again; you seem to honestly believe that you are somehow special in this regard. I'm pretty sure you're the delusional one at this point, and the bold type and swearing isn't making you look any smarter. Remember that little experiment I proposed a while back? :)

Evert said:

I know it's hard for you reli-types to fully appreciate this, but I'll just spell it out again: at a stretch, atheism is a belief. It is not a religion.

And since religion is just beliefs ... yeah.

SiegeLord: You apparently completely misread my post, so never mind. ::)

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

And since religion is just beliefs ... yeah.

I believe that's vastly oversimplified.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

I believe that's vastly oversimplified.

Well keep up the good work then.

EDIT: I've equated religion to mere opinion in past threads ...

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

{"name":"uS0sG.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/3\/0\/3068bdd484bb54e0752dc7bdc01cf5f1.jpg","w":500,"h":536,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/3\/0\/3068bdd484bb54e0752dc7bdc01cf5f1"}uS0sG.jpg

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

And I tend to chew out Christians for doing exactly that. Does that image mean that Dan Barker assumes all theists do this?

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

SiegeLord: You apparently completely misread my post, so never mind. ::)

Umm, how did I do that? I think I read it correctly and provided such a strong refutation that you are just at a loss of words 8-). Now... I know the entire post was an ad hominem attack at me, but I ignored that bit... perhaps that's my misreading of it? The fact that I tried to extract some coherent argument out of it?

Seriously, help me out, of the quotes that I quoted, which quote did I misread?

Because we have different interpretations of precisely what Occam's razor is, arguing whether or not there's a good reason to use it would be pointless.

Well, my definition is pretty precise and I have argued for the method following that exact definition to be selectively ignored when people examine religious beliefs.

I mean, I start using precise definitions using math, and everybody's eyes glaze over. I start using imprecise words like "Occam's razor" and everybody throws a hissy fit over exactly what that means.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

SiegeLord said:

Umm, how did I do that?

Well, you apparently thought my question "what's so special about it?" was in regards to Occam's Razor. Is that what the question was referring to in your own post?

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

Well, you apparently thought my question "what's so special about it?" was in regards to Occam's Razor. Is that what the question was referring to in your own post?

In my post it referred to religion. What does it refer to in your post?

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Religion. Same question back at'cha, like I said.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

Oh. I don't know the answer to that question, otherwise I wouldn't ask it :P.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

But you said you're asked to make an exception for it. I have no idea what you mean by that. I don't believe religion is special in this regard at all, or that it's held to any special exception, but apparently you do. So I'm curious why. Maybe if I were caught up on yours and Matthew's posts I'd have more context, in which case my bad.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

But you said you're asked to make an exception for it. I have no idea what you mean by that. I don't believe religion is special in this regard at all, or that it's held to any special exception, but apparently you do.

SiegeLord said:

it is an exception because it's presumed effects are tiny (falling into placebo effect territory or mis-interpreted random noise). Any religion which predicts obviously measurable events (e.g. apocalypse) will be discredited immediately because it just wouldn't work and it'll be obvious that it doesn't work.

I became an atheist when prayer didn't work.

And to those who'd say "You didn't have enough faith" or "God works in mysterious ways" I say BULLSHIT!

[EDIT]

I just tried this experiment again just now

{"name":"606136","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/4\/4\/44676acc3a702d1e36be5d738534bb46.png","w":674,"h":189,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/4\/4\/44676acc3a702d1e36be5d738534bb46"}606136

{"name":"606137","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/3\/a305111ace29859d2ab90e962fdd6c5a.png","w":640,"h":217,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/3\/a305111ace29859d2ab90e962fdd6c5a"}606137

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Evert
Member #794
November 2000
avatar

And since religion is just beliefs ... yeah.

Unfortunately for you you don't get to define words to mean what you want them to mean. Religion is not just belief.

Maybe religion substitutes for some sort of parental figure, since the original parents were seen to be fallible and putting their pants on one leg at a time etc.

I'm sure it does that for at least some people.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Evert said:

Unfortunately for you you don't get to define words to mean what you want them to mean. Religion is not just belief.

So I guess I'm not religious ...

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.



Go to: