The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

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Freakzilla
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Sep 2014 10:08

The only belief or faith that is required in science, IMO, is that since I have actually reproduced the experiments myself, other people actually have. This isn't difficult to believe, though.

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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby lotek » 26 Sep 2014 10:21

Georgie, you have some weird conception of science, beliefs and religion, I'll grant you that.

EDIT TO ADD
And the Atreides have a code of honour, not religious beliefs. That's for the masses. The Atreides play dirty too, they are not the heroes you're looking for.
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby Serkanner » 26 Sep 2014 11:24

georgiedenbro wrote: How could "studies show" and "7 out of 10 XYZ recommend..." ever work in advertisements otherwise?


7 out of 10 is science ... a make believe god isn't. You do understand the difference, no?

georgiedenbro wrote:Science can provide “is” statements, but not “ought” statements. The former is information, the latter is a decision.


And that is why science isn't a "religion". Which was your statement, not mine. Show some empirical proof that Atheists believe science to be some form of religion and I will believe you.
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Sep 2014 12:52

I agree that a religion, in most cases, requires some sort of faith. With morals and ethics you merely have to imagine how the affected parties would be made to feel by your actions. I know it's more complicated than that but there are, like mentioned about, lifetimes worth of philosophical writings on that, that don't require faith.
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby D Pope » 26 Sep 2014 13:00

georgiedenbro wrote: How could "studies show" and "7 out of 10 XYZ recommend..." ever work in advertisements otherwise?

I heard the fifth dentist finally caved, now they all recommend Crest. :P
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Sep 2014 14:03

Freakzilla wrote:I agree that a religion, in most cases, requires some sort of faith. With morals and ethics you merely have to imagine how the affected parties would be made to feel by your actions. I know it's more complicated than that but there are, like mentioned about, lifetimes worth of philosophical writings on that, that don't require faith.


I'm not really disagreeing with some of the things you may believe, such as this. But what if I asked an elementary question like, why should you care what other people feel when deciding how to treat them? Or I could ask why the well-being of others should take precedence over your desires, even if you do care something for them? This is a bit rhetorical, but I think the answer would be: no reason, we just take it on faith that we want to live with that valuation. How can you "prove" that others should be treated well? If someone came to me and said "I believe in trying to enslave others" I wouldn't be able to refute him, but could merely say that I oppose his values and what must be his first principles. I'd oppose them on the grounds that I just don't want the world to be like that, but that's my personal view; I have no facts that can challenge his other than the threat of his having me as an opponent should be try to become a slave-master.

It's so hard to disentangle our current 'common sense' from the Judeo-Christian[/Greek?] values that have been bred into us that it's hard to know what sorts of 'common sense' might exist in an environment with a different background. I definitely take it on faith that I prefer all men to think for themselves and to consider others when making decisions. I take it on pure faith that creativity and freedom should be considered as higher than efficiency and expediency. There's no evidence that these things are true...they're just my values. I think the same was true of the Atreides. There was no advantage to them being honorable and treating their lieutenants as family and safeguarding the lives of their men. The scary thing about the Baron is that he may not be wrong in his assessments in how to efficiently use people and discard them. The Atreides would have been wiped out, after all, values notwithstanding, except for the wild factor of Paul being the KH. I think the question isn't whether the Baron was right, but whether we care whether he was right; the kind of world we want to create should trump considerations of pure efficiency, I think, and this too I take on pure faith. It's not faith in god or in spirits, but it is faith in something, hard to say what; the Platonic forms? Maybe it's to do with my biological nature.
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby Naïve mind » 28 Sep 2014 02:53

georgiedenbro wrote:I think there's a continuum of how strong a person's belief will be, or what path they'll take given their beliefs. Some Catholics, for example, choose to become priets and others parents, but it isn't the case the 'the best Catholics become priests'; they believe strongly in different vocations depending on the person. In this sense it becomes very very hard to parse who is a true believer but living a low key life, versus living a similar life while being a 'weak' believer. But that doesn't mean the minutiae of these two different lives will be identical - it just means that grand sweeping surveys won't be effective in seeing the differences.


Again, you're arguing about some kind of Platonic ideal of a Catholic, I'm arguing about the average population.

georgiedenbro wrote:And how do you differentiate between 'atheist believers (in something other than god)' versus 'atheist amoralists' versus 'atheists who believes things but deny first principles'?


Not even atheists themselves seem to care about the distinction.


Yes, and this is a major problem in American thought at the moment.


I think everybody else has responded to this better than I would've.

georgiedenbro wrote:
The idea that important change can only come through our political system is one of the great lies of our age. One that will hopefully seem ridiculous to future historians.

But notice how conventional religion has very little to say about these things. Live your life as your father and mother did. Get a job, a wife, have kids, consume. This is the way it has always been, this is the way it shall always be, amen.


I think that most behaviors will be dictated by a system, and most individuals will fall into patterns set by the system. This is just like particles in a magnetic field; most will behave as expected, some few won't and will do unpredictable things. Deciding how to change the system may be the best function of a thinker or believer, since it will change average behavior across the board. In this sense I disagree with you about minimizing the importance of politics. I don't think being vegetarian or not is very important in the grand scheme, but I do think the issue of individual freedoms vs government mandate is of huge importance to everyone. You won't be wondering about whether to eat tofu versus beef when the local Soviet governor tells you what you can buy. Religious or philosophical belief is exactly what will make people back one type of society versus another; that is, assuming the system of representation works.


I have to disagree again; practice always precedes politics. Marijuana isn't becoming an acceptable recreational drug now that politicians are slowly decreeing it to be so. It has always been an acceptable recreational drug, and people kept smoking it no matter what the law said. If Saudi Arabia is going to legalize driving for women, it won't be because those women stayed at home and shut up about it. The black market for western jeans preceded the Perestroika. I won't bring up Rosa Parks, except I just did.

georgiedenbro wrote:Think about the Duniverse, though, for a moment. Do you really think that the citizens in the Duniverse more or less all have the same kind of life no matter the particular belief systems? Do people on Giedi Prime enjoy the same kind of life as those on Caladan? We don't know in detail, but I'd suspect that life on Caladan in a lot better. The reason is purely because of the belief system of the rulers. Most great powers in Dune seem to be 'godless' in most senses, believing in absolutely nothing except for pure power. The BG may be an exception, as we don't know quite for certain what their inner teachings are. The Imperium and the Great Houses seem to care for nothing except for power, and some notion of 'nobility', the latter of which is no doubt just to maintain the faufreluch system and prevent the lower classes thinking they can usurp the rulers. The Guild apparently has no beliefs on anything whatever that we ever see. The only people we see with deep beliefs unrelated to pure power are the Atreides. We might describe them as the only 'god-fearing' House around, in that they believe in some first principles a priori, regardless of whether or not they're convenient to follow. The Atreides are in some contemporary sense 'good people', as far as it goes. Surely you wouldn't suggest that Duke Leto is any kind of similar person as mercenaries like Shaddam or the Baron or a Guildsman?


Well, you certainly took away something else from that novel than I did.

Notice how Paul's beliefs in something other than pure power didn't stop him from declaring himself Emperor, forming a religion around himself in which he was worshipped as a god, and imposing direct rule—no Landsraad to bind him—upon an unwilling universe, and then killing billions when that universe rebelled.

The good government in Dune, if there is any, is the Spacing Guild, because they've used their power to keep the universe peaceful and prosperous, and confine maladjusted conquerors like the Atreides to a single planet. Sure, there's a lot to criticise about the status quo, and the book doesn't pull any punches there, but it's a hell of a lot better than the mess Paul creates.

Yes, and then Leto II cleans it up. His belief systems matter. But then, for all intents and purposes, he is a god.

georgiedenbro wrote:You may choose to disbelieve in the efficacy of a religious or philosophic upbringing, but I'd suggest that Frank would be against you on this one.


He may well be. That's the advantage of being an author; between the covers of your book, you can make up whatever rules you like and everyone has to play by them.

georgiedenbro wrote:I'd suggest that this is a result of the system which acts to homogenize and minimize human thinking, and to subtly enslave men's minds. I think Frank was writing about contemporary government and men just as much as future ones, and was suggesting that we already have the trappings of giving our minds over to bureaucracy and machine-logic. In a system like this, no kidding that belief systems lose out to the system's effects.


Now that's an interesting thought, but I can't think of a time in history when "the system" hasn't dominated human thinking.

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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby lotek » 29 Sep 2014 07:16

And I can't think of a time where religion hasn't become part of the system.

The only people we see with deep beliefs unrelated to pure power are the Atreides. We might describe them as the only 'god-fearing' House around,


What?
Seriously?

You make some good points sometimes but here, you are too far gone for me man.
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby georgiedenbro » 29 Sep 2014 09:13

lotek wrote:And I can't think of a time where religion hasn't become part of the system.

The only people we see with deep beliefs unrelated to pure power are the Atreides. We might describe them as the only 'god-fearing' House around,


What?
Seriously?

You make some good points sometimes but here, you are too far gone for me man.


Just note that I'm using the terms 'religious' and 'god-fearing' in an ironic way. The Atreides obviously do not believe in god or in some religion that exists, I'm trying to show a similarity between religion and between having deep beliefs that are suggested by nothing other than in faith that they are the right way to live. Freak mentioned a few times "right and wrong"; how can you demonstrate that right is right? You can't, it's a conviction based on an axiom that we make up, just like mathematics.
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Re: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators

Postby lotek » 29 Sep 2014 09:20

I didn't feel the irony.
"I'm trying to show a similarity between religion and between having deep beliefs that are suggested by nothing other than in faith that they are the right way to live"

Well of course there is, religion helps people too dumb to figure it out for themselves.


And if for you, right and wrong are like a mathematical axiom, then religion only mimics science, with virgin births and flaming bushes on top.
Spice is the worm's gonads.


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