do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

politics, religion, science, art, barack obama, belgium, etc.

do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Poll ended at Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:31 pm

simple
11
23%
complex
36
77%
 
Total votes: 47
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Dr Lecter
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Dr Lecter » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:21 pm

With regards to Gr¦m's post regarding why nonbelievers would refrain from sinning, being a nonbeliever, there is no meaning to life; life only has meaning through what you put into it. Also, generally speaking, it is beneficial to society as a whole to not be mean or do bad things to each other I don't need a book or anyone else to tell me that and then have my life indebited to them.
Because, since you don't know me, there is a great possibility that I'm on an higher intellectuel level then you are on.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Reece » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:41 pm

I say complex, as complex people are always more interesting.

On a side note, I really don't know why you guys are argueing about believers vs nonbelievers.
That was not really what this post was about.

Furthermore, Joe, your stereotypical statement of "Religous people are always stupid" is ignorant and just asking for trolling. I hope you realise this and delete that part of your post.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Bogey » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:36 pm

Doctor Hannibal Lecter wrote:If there was no religion there wouldn't be mass followings of "rogue" believers. You do not need someone to tell you what is right and wrong. But when you have an undeniable, unquestionable source of knowledge that is being transmitted to one crazy who in turn makes a giant following of crazies; why would you justify the suffering these people cause in the name of religion so the others can benefit from whatever good they get out of religion?
Thank you for expertly putting into words what I think both Joe and I have been trying to say.
Gr¦m wrote:1. Sure, that may be true, but take note of the society that they lived in. Like it or not, they were using Biblical foundations and principles, even if they were doing it subconsciously. Locke secularized Christian teaching.
But those principles are not exclusive to Christianity, so it's unfair to give credit to Christianity.

Gr¦m wrote:If these unalienable rights came from experience then it would seem contradictory for them to be "natural rights"
Just because they called them "natural rights" doesn't mean that they are.
If you want "natural rights", go watch a nature documentary. It's not pretty.
Gr¦m wrote:Otherwise one person's idea of what our rights are could be totally different from another person's.
They have and do.
A large portion of this country would like the right to carry firearms in public, and the rest think this is extremely reckless and dangerous to society.
A larger portion of this country wants the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the rest still think it's addictive (or something else equally as absurd).
A large portion of this country thinks that corporations deserve the same rights as people, while the rest think that this would give the real people who run the corporations way too much political power.
How is the bible going to show us who has the right stances on these rights issues?
It's not. People are going to decide, just as they always have.

A large portion of this country believes that those born homosexual should have the right to marry the person that they love.
Let's hope, for the sake of human intellect and the love it currently strives to accept, that the bible doesn't have the final say in this matter of human rights.
Gr¦m wrote:So these rights are either something innate to our nature (not based on experiences) or they are largely from another source.
That other source being our ability to reason.
Gr¦m wrote:For Christians, the source is the bible... I think Locke's was too (indirectly).
And for the bible, the source was people.
Gr¦m wrote:2. Also a very true point. But that's expected with anything. I look at a painting and may describe it completely different than you, but it's still there. I believe there is objective morality... some of us see it clearer than others- and I don't claim to have "it" completely by any means. But the fact that is is there leaves something that I am striving to live by and find. While everyone's morality is subjective, I believe that mine is based off of something objective.
I also believe that mine is based off of something objective: reality.
There may be an "objective morality" in the sense that it may be possible to develop a moral structure that would better benefit humanity more than any conceivable moral structure, but if that is the case then it will surely not be any religion who delivers.
Just as we use science to shed light on all the dark spots of human knowledge about the physical world and our origins in it, we must use reason and philosophy to gradually discover the proper way to behave in it.
In the same way I don't believe that religion can show us how the universe fundamentally works, I don't believe that religion can show us the right way to live in it. Just like the majority of scientific pursuits, it will be difficult to discover the right answers, and we certainly won't get them all in our lifetimes.

Gr¦m wrote:So what objective reality do you suggest or think we should base our morals on? I'm not sure I understand what that would mean
I mean that when we make arguments for moral judgment calls, we should base those arguments on objective fact.
An example would be the subject of gay marriage.
I believe that we should weigh all the factual pros and cons of legalizing gay marriage as opposed to merely consulting an ancient and outdated scripture.

Gr¦m wrote:We don't help the poor because it benefits our society... that would be sickening. We help the poor because they are HUMAN BEINGS just like us, and we, for some strange reason, know that we should be caring for them.
We've already discussed the biological causes for feelings of empathy towards other human beings who are in bad situations.
Gr¦m wrote:We have come closer to the objective moral realization that we should value EVERY human life, whether they are young, old, handicapped, poor, rich, etc. The Romans would leave weak children out to die... that benefited society, so why don't we still do that? Has our societies moral structure evolved into something weak?
No, but it has evolved.
It is no longer as large a burden to take care of the weak as it was over a thousand years ago, and with medical advances we've reached the point where many illnesses aren't permanent or are at least far less a burden. We live in a society where someone like Stephen Hawking can still produce great works despite his condition.
If we reached the point were taking care of someone like Hawking meant life or death for a community, I think you'd begin to see a pretty ugly shift in moral values.
I think most of us take for granted the moral luxuries our society affords us.

Gr¦m wrote:What moral convictions does an atheist have to abstain from cursing someone out who does them dirty? What moral convictions does an atheist have to donate to Haiti? I'd love to hear your responses to those questions, or a more general response towards moral convictions in general.
As an atheist, when someone does wrong by me I have no problem cursing at them. I wouldn't ever become violent except as a last resort. When someone does something wrong they should be held accountable, and when nothing can be legally done they should at least feel shame. If I do something wrong to someone that results in me being called a dirty name, chances are I won't do that sort of thing anymore. Though, I do think a person should use a bit of restraint to prevent some situations from escalating.

As for donating to Haiti, I've said it in other threads and I mentioned it earlier in this post, we have evolved feelings of compassion for those less fortunate than us.
In the ancient world, those who felt compassion for each other worked together and survived, and those that did not work together failed to survive (this is a simplification, but I've already explained this in several other threads).
You see many of the same kind of behaviors in animals that live in groups, though due to our success we are a bit more "advanced" in this regard.
Of course, the biological aspect only accounts for our base feelings and behaviors towards other humans in peril. Our more complex feelings and behaviors are the result of thousands of years of philosophical and moral fine tuning.

There is no single answer for why we act morally in society without relying on religious "guidance", but rather a HUGE myriad of reasons ranging from ancient evolutionary necessities still present in our DNA to philosophical reasons and even some selfish reasons which are tied into our places in society and how we see and function with others. I know this isn't nearly enough to sway anyone, but hopefully it at least gives you some idea of how so many atheists and agnostics lead happy and moral lives. And don't think that just because we have a scientific explanation to understand our emotions and impulses that we don't feel those emotions and impulses just as strongly. We just think that they came from a natural progression rather than a deity.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by stickbeast » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:50 am

"Do unto others as others do unto you" is not a christian moral code, Jesus did not invent it. It has been around before the times of Jesus and across the world. Empathy is naturally human. Make a kid watch and Pixar movie and they feel sad when they see people die, and they know who the bad guys are. You don't need Jesus or Buddha or His Noodly Appendage to know right from wrong. Even some people with these religions can't tell their right from wrong (Mormons and other Christians promoting Prop 8 etc.)
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:30 pm

joe wrote:...given atheists and religious people, both groups are going to have a similar percent of immoral people, because humans are humans.
I completely agree with that.
joe wrote:...but religious people then have "moral" people doing immoral things in the name of god, and atheists don't do that. so religious people, per capita, are less moral than atheists.
I don't know. Atheism is a relatively new religion... there was a time when atheist were just not thought to be sane. I suppose the worm is turning. There are those who commit immorality and try to lessen societal repercussions by claiming mental incompetency -- which is aided by claims that "God told me to do it". Or, "I interpret these holy scriptures as totally justifying my actions". So yes, that could possibly lend weight to said statement.
joe wrote:"I have no idea what religion you might be referring to here" you're kidding right? you're not familiar with the thousands of major historic events of people fucking other people over in the name of religion? or the million small indignities that take place every day in the name of religion?
OK. If we look at overall world history with all its religions... during a time when atheism was an aberration... Then possibly one could say that all mankind's actions for good or evil were motivated by some type of religion.

Also there are some types of "satanic" religions, if you will; who promote the individual's good at the expense of the mass's (do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law).

But religions that have done the most to promote human equality and well... peace... do not have doctrines which specifically relate or direct one to anarchy, immorality, or crimes against humanity. So... those who follow a true religion (i.e., Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, etc.) do not seek about the destruction of their fellow man - it is exactly the opposite. So... what constitutes true and false docrine? - for that matter, what constitutes a religion? Can atheism, nihilism, or science with a sole dependence upon scientific reasoning taken to an imbalanced extreme be thought of as a religion?

How much inhumanity has been proliferated by science run amok of morality (i.e., Josef Mengele, et. al.)? I would consider Nazi Germany more following scientific principles of creating a pure "uber" race (gotta pull some weeds, and cross-pollinate the best plants in the garden for the best results) ...not some fanatical religious path of dubious enlightenment and human destruction.
Last edited by Charlie on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:39 pm

joe wrote:not sure if that's directed at me but if so you don't get the point. i don't know how i can explain it in simpler terms than i already have but i'll give it one more shot

some people are immoral - they will be immoral whether religious or not

some people are moral - they will be moral whether religious or not

atheism doesn't force moral people to be immoral.

religion sometimes does.


therefore religious people on average are less moral than atheists.

if you still don't get it then that's your fault for being stupid.
Color me stupid.

I believe atheists have as much freewill as religious to do evil or good. I believe that not all people who lay claim to doing evil based on some obscure, malicious, religious direction are truly religious. There are immoral people who will say whatever they may deem most acceptable to the masses as a mode of justifying their actions; and there are stupid people who completely confound religion and merely make it a foundation of justification for any immoral act that works for their own perceived greater good (is this the fault of the individual or the religion?) -- but science and cold hard logic can provide a similar foundation. Was Josef Mengele following a scientific or religious path -- using controlled human experiments to create a master race?
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by scobywhru » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:04 pm

Charlie wrote:
joe wrote:...but religious people then have "moral" people doing immoral things in the name of god, and atheists don't do that. so religious people, per capita, are less moral than atheists.
I don't know. Atheism is a relatively new religion... there was a time when atheist were just not thought to be sane. I suppose the worm is turning. There are those who commit immorality and try to lessen societal repercussions by claiming mental incompetency -- which is aided by claims that "God told me to do it". Or, "I interpret these holy scriptures as totally justifying my actions". So yes, that could possibly lend weight to said statement.
...
Atheism is not new it was only semi-recently been given that name but is not a new standpoint maybe if you narrow your focus to a few areas would it not be true, there were Atheist thoughts and writings from 5th and 6th century BCE in Europe and Asia. Atheist were only ostracized from western religions, Catholicism, Christian, Judaism, Muslim but not Eastern Religion, Buddhism, Shinto, and even some sects of Hindu etc, and even some Tribal religions that resemble Shinto where there are spirits but not gods. Atheism though doesn't often come about in the absence of a strong city or state which can allow for education and specialization but there are some tribes in Africa that seem to worship no god or have such services for there dead beyond burial.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:45 pm

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I had thought that the term had not been coined until the 16th century.

I do realize that there like-minded ideas from the Vedic period and classical antiquity though in human history -- I'm not really sure how developed and organized atheism as a culture became. I would not really consider the golden age of Athens to be atheistic though.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by King_Fluffy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:23 pm

Charlie wrote:Perhaps I am mistaken, but I had thought that the term had not been coined until the 16th century.
You're right, the term came from 16th century France
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Bogey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:38 pm

Who cares how long the term as been around?
Atheism isn't a religion or a culture.
Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god.
It is the default mode.
I forget who first said it, but calling atheism a religion is like calling "off" a TV channel.
The only thing all atheists have in common is that none of them believe in the existence of a deity.
It doesn't matter when the term we use today came into use; people have been not believing in God since there were people.
Charlie wrote:How much inhumanity has been proliferated by science run amok of morality (i.e., Josef Mengele, et. al.)? I would consider Nazi Germany more following scientific principles of creating a pure "uber" race.
The racial beliefs of the Nazis were never more than biased pseudoscience, and were mostly fueled by xenophobia.
There is no scientific basis that any one race of people is better than the other, and the subject is almost entirely subjective.
Plus, real scientific subjects such as genetic drift and adaptation make the Nazi concept of a super race seem pretty absurd from a scientific standpoint.
Besides, even if their pursuits were scientific, modern societies have strict ethical guidelines that scientists must follow.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Django » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:14 pm

Bogey wrote:There is no scientific basis that any one race of people is better than the other, and the subject is almost entirely subjective.
I'm pretty sure Jason is genetically superior than everyone else...
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Bogey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:20 pm

Django wrote:
Bogey wrote:There is no scientific basis that any one race of people is better than the other, and the subject is almost entirely subjective.
I'm pretty sure Jason is genetically superior than everyone else...
He comes close, but there is nothing superior about a neck beard.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Django » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:28 pm

Bogey wrote:He comes close, but there is nothing superior about a neck beard.
Son, you are so wrong on this that your legitimacy on all other post has been put into question.
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Bogey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:48 pm

YOU THINK I'M GONNA TAKE THIS SORT OF THING FROM A FOREIGNER?
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Re: do you prefer people in your life to be simple or complex?

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:53 pm

Bogey wrote:Atheism isn't a religion or a culture.
Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god.
I disagree with that view... mine would be that it is a "belief system" ...it is a faith. It is a religion.

To view atheism as more fact based than Christianity is untenable in my estimation -- as the absolute proof or disproof of God is in no ways definitive to human reason.


Atheism as a religion:
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=31895
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/5E126VDR.pdf


There are some atheists who would keep away from the term religion and that is completely understandable. It is as if to say that because you do not label it a belief system... it somehow becomes more credible and factual.
Last edited by Charlie on Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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