39
   

Destroy My Belief System, Please!

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2014 05:45 pm
@carnaticmystery,
Quote:
non duality INCLUDES a stance which does not believe in it. 

Obviously, minds and bodies are part of the same world, and thus made of the same "stuff". It does NOT follow that minds do not exist. Minds obviously DO exists, and for them the duality between mind and matter remains and will probably always remain an existential reality.
carnaticmystery
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 05:48 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Obviously, minds and bodies are part of the same world, and thus made of the same "stuff". It does NOT follow that minds do not exist.

dunno where you got this from. i never said any of that. never said minds don't exist, although yes at the ultimate level only 'nothing' or 'everything' exists. so individual things do not ultimately exist.
Quote:
Minds obviously DO exists, and for them the duality between mind and matter remains and will probably always remain an existential reality.

non duality does not mean that duality does not appear. yes, minds and matter may appear separate, but so much basic science even clearly shows us the connection. for example, i want to raise my hand. the idea originates in the mind, then somehow, through a connection between mind and body, certain neurons fire in the brain and allow me to move my hand.

trying to argue that anything exists separately is a fool's errand, and this is why i said it is impossible to 'disbelieve' nonduality, you can say you do, but if you use your brain just a little bit, it will always prove non duality.



carnaticmystery
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 05:57 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Saying "I do not know" actually does what CM claims for non-duality...and non-duality does not do it, JL.

wrong, because you do know.

Quote:
You guys are in love with your blind guess about the true nature of REALITY.

this is not a guess about reality, it is a description of the experience which happens once you stop identifying with individuality. i don't care about any reality, i know everything and nothing.

Quote:
I KNOW I do not know...and I strongly suspect neither do either of you two.

wrong, if you investigate knowledge properly, you will see it is impossible to know anything, and therefore it is also impossible to know that you do not know something.

Quote:
But what IS...whatever it actually is...is what IS.

wrong. 'what is' is a nice question, but you are just assuming an answer must exist.

Quote:
And if it happens to be that non-duality does not prevail...

...that is the REALITY...not your guesses.

non duality cannot 'not prevail'. try to describe any scenario of any existence or anything, in which non duality 'does not prevail' as you say.

Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 06:25 am
@carnaticmystery,
Quote:
trying to argue that anything exists separately is a fool's errand,

and that's not what I am saying. I am saying that duality is unavoidable from our perspective.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2014 08:00 am
@carnaticmystery,
carnaticmystery wrote:

Quote:
Saying "I do not know" actually does what CM claims for non-duality...and non-duality does not do it, JL.

wrong, because you do know.


I do not know it, CM. And the claim that you can know what I know or do not know is an absurdity.

Quote:
Quote:
You guys are in love with your blind guess about the true nature of REALITY.

this is not a guess about reality, it is a description of the experience which happens once you stop identifying with individuality.


Then stop "stop identifying with individuality"...because it is only a blind guess that there is no individuality.



Quote:
i don't care about any reality, i know everything and nothing.


I'm beginning to think I ought to agree with half that statement.


Quote:
Quote:
I KNOW I do not know...and I strongly suspect neither do either of you two.

wrong, if you investigate knowledge properly, you will see it is impossible to know anything, and therefore it is also impossible to know that you do not know something.


Yes...you have convinced yourself that your guess in that direction is correct.

Too bad that.


Quote:
Quote:
But what IS...whatever it actually is...is what IS.

wrong. 'what is' is a nice question, but you are just assuming an answer must exist.


I have not stated it as a question, CM. I state it as a tautology.

Whatever the REALITY of existence IS...that is what it IS.



Quote:
Quote:
And if it happens to be that non-duality does not prevail...

...that is the REALITY...not your guesses.

non duality cannot 'not prevail'. try to describe any scenario of any existence or anything, in which non duality 'does not prevail' as you say.


Okay.

Non-duality does not exist...if non-duality does not exist.

That was easy enough!



greathenate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2014 11:44 am
@Thomas,
Hi. I think that one confusion in what you say is that you don't distinguish between two notions of belief. When we talk about religious belief, we usually think loosely about some principled deeply personal belief. Since you call what you subscribe to a religion, some people have commented along these lines, bringing up personal criteria for belief. Another notion of belief is the philosophical one. Both of the two tenets you give seem to be normative epistemic principles, so I think that this is really the one that you have in mind. I think that most epistemologists would feel uncomfortable with calling either of these points of religion.

So.. I'll just address tenet 1 as a philosophical principle. There is a whole school of contemporary epistemology called coherentism that challenges this principle. If you look at its literature, you'll see a plethora of objections. The basic coherentist principle is that if you acquire some evidence for a new belief, you should change your belief in the way that makes the highest number of your broader subset of beliefs coherent. This, for instance, applies a normative criterion for how people should change their beliefs based on inconclusive evidence (where a number of different possible hypotheses are supported by the same evidence). Bracketing coherentism though, something else to notice about principle 1 is that depending on what you consider to be evidence, it can be read in pretty different ways. For instance, must evidence be personal experience, can it be transmitted through testimony, if a hypothesis in question would make the whole system more simple does that count as positive evidence for the hypothesis..

As for tenet 2.. its a little hard to know what you are saying, partly because its hard to formulate utilitarianism generally. First, there is a disconnect between values and action. Your principle seems to be committed to the idea that one value dictates one course of action, and then that this action can be measured for its consequences. But if some values dictate multiple courses of action, each with different consequences, then it seems like you decide to act based on which action creates the most happiness. But if you can just decide based on calculating the consequences of actions, then why do you even need to include a theory of value to make your utilitarianism work? Second, if I grant you that one value always leads to one action, then its still hard to formulate the greatest happiness principle. A classical example is of the evil surgeon. The evil surgeon finds a single person to kill, in order to use that person's organs to save 20 people who would die without them. It seems like the happiness that creates is greater than the happiness that would occur if the one person lived and the 20 died. But most of us think that what the surgeon did is wrong. One way around that position is to say that we actually want a utilitarianism of general rules. For instance, maybe the rule that no one can kill people for their body parts creates more happiness in our society than in a society that is identical to ours, with the exception that they don't have such a rule. But if you adopt that, then its hard to see how you can get from actions to rules to values on a person level as opposed to a societal level. There are a ton more problems with tenet 2 that you can find in any general survey of utilitarianism.

One final point. One reason why I don't accept either tenet is because I think both tenets presuppose a false view of beliefs. Namely, they presuppose that most beliefs are the products of conscious decisions based on high level thinking. I think that this is false. I think that in general we find ourselves believing things without any conscious reflection, and that in general when we do consciously reflect on them, we are unable to change them at will. Consider common perceptual beliefs as an example. Like the belief that my bed is made as I stare at it, or the belief that my dog is still in the yard. Or the belief that my dog is valuable and should stay safe. It seems like its just a mistake to me that I could reflect on any of these beliefs and values and change them based on higher order thinking. I just accept them. One explanation for this is that belief is primarily a low level cognitive process. We get from evidence to belief through brain processes, and we can then access those beliefs consciously, but we can't necessarily access the basis for those beliefs or change them consciously. You might think that some very abstract beliefs aren't like this, but I'd like to suggest that they also are. For instance, take an abstract belief in the rightness of your first tenet. I think that it is wrong, at other points in my life I thought that it was right. If all it is to believe something is to think that it is right, then it might seem like the fact that my belief changed is evidence that I could change it. But at no point did I feel myself deciding to believe it. Even when I rejected it, I was made aware of theoretical difficulties, and then my belief just changed as I became aware of them. I never consciously reasoned.." therefore I should no longer accept this proposition, therefore I decide I accept the negation". But thats just my view, the general coherentist and anti-utilitarian objections stand regardless of whether you agree with my general position on beliefs.
IanRust
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 May, 2014 01:01 pm
@Olivier5,
@all
Monkies throwing ****.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2014 10:20 am
@greathenate,
greathenate wrote:
Bracketing coherentism though, something else to notice about principle 1 is that depending on what you consider to be evidence, it can be read in pretty different ways. For instance, must evidence be personal experience, can it be transmitted through testimony, if a hypothesis in question would make the whole system more simple does that count as positive evidence for the hypothesis..

I don't think there's a deep problem here. The legal rules of evidence for example, as outlined in the laws of criminal and civil procedure, do a satisfactory job at determining when testimony is good evidence. As for a hypothesis that makes the whole system simpler, no that's not positive evidence for its truth, but it does make the system easier to test, refute, and improve. That is reason enough to prefer simple systems.

greathenate wrote:
But if you can just decide based on calculating the consequences of actions, then why do you even need to include a theory of value to make your utilitarianism work?

Because consequences are mere facts. To get from factual findings to moral findings, you need to evaluate these facts. Without a theory of value by which to evaluate the facts, how are you going to do that?

greathenate wrote:
Second, if I grant you that one value always leads to one action, then its still hard to formulate the greatest happiness principle.

True. But it would be similarly hard for a doctor to formulate the concept of "health", and the "greatest-health" principle by which he practices medicine. I agree that our understandin g of happiness and misery is imperfect. But I think it's good enough for competent balancing tests and practical decisions.

greathenate wrote:
A classical example is of the evil surgeon. The evil surgeon finds a single person to kill, in order to use that person's organs to save 20 people who would die without them. It seems like the happiness that creates is greater than the happiness that would occur if the one person lived and the 20 died. But most of us think that what the surgeon did is wrong.

I think we had this discussion earlier in the thread. My response is that the evil surgeon case bashes a strawman. The utilitarian process demands that we consider all the consequences of an action. As a consequence of evil surgeons like this, millions of people would quit going to hospitals when they need to, leading to a far greater loss of lives than the 19 lives saved in this particular case. So yes, I agree that the surgeon's action is bad --- but I disagree that competently-administered utilitarianism would disagree that it's bad.

greathenate wrote:
One final point. One reason why I don't accept either tenet is because I think both tenets presuppose a false view of beliefs. Namely, they presuppose that most beliefs are the products of conscious decisions based on high level thinking.

I think that's absurd. It's equivalent to saying: "One reason I don't accept Newton's laws of motion is because I think they presuppose a false view of physics. Namely, they presuppose that most physical objects consciously compute the math in Newton's formulae based on high-level thinking." Nonsense! To describe the behavior of physical objects in terms of math, you don't have to assume that they literally are conscious mathematicians. By the same token, you can describe beliefs in terms of conscious, rational decision-making without assuming that the believers who hold them are actually conscious and rational decision-makers. I think your premises are wrong on this one.
JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2014 03:48 pm
@Thomas,
I say your OP was provacative, and we are in your debt.
0 Replies
 
greathenate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jun, 2014 08:34 pm
@Thomas,
Hi Thomas. Thanks for your response. I can't figure out how to do the quote thing so I'm just going to respond in order.

1. My point is that the principle isn't complete unless you also have a theory of evidence. Maybe it is clear in legal cases, where there is a socially accepted body of evidence. It's less clear in scientific cases where there is technically equal evidence for different conclusions. It is easy to make ad hoc theories that explain data equally but that make absurd outside assumptions to do so (God manipulates every subatomic particle individually to give the appearance that quantum physics is right about probabilities..) . But if your only reason to prefer simpler theories to absurd ones is the instrumental ability to allow people to engage with the system, then I guess you wouldn't believe in the simpler theory. Because that would be appealing to something other than evidence, contradicting principle 1.

2. I don't see how your response here is connected to your second principle. Whether an action will lead to more happiness than another action is clearly a fact, and there is no need to bring in moral judgments. Also, the second principle doesn't say anything about facts anyway.

3. Its one thing for something to be hard to formulate but another thing for something to be hard to formulate in any coherent way . The evil surgeon/rule utilitarian criticisms are meant to be these kinds of examples.

4. I feel as though you are conflating utilitarianism with rule utilitarianism here, and hence I think that my criticism of that applies. If I am a potentially evil surgeon, why should I assume that any other surgeons would follow my lead? Even if I bracket that point though and take your point to be that my behavior by itself might prevent people from going to the hospital, wouldn't that just be an argument for making sure to completely cover up my tracks. So if I am an evil surgeon who is clever enough to be confident that no one will ever figure out what I did, then I should still be an evil surgeon? But then the problem isn't solved.

5. I'm all for the theories only working as descriptions of what goes on. But I have a hard time reading your principles in a way that isn't normative and that doesn't presuppose some conscious calculating. I also have a hard time seeing how you would motivate the principles without appealing to some conscious calculating. If something is supposed to be a religion, then it aught to be something that one can decide to do or not to do, right?
0 Replies
 
Tenton
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 05:01 pm
@Thomas,
Great belief system, Thomas. Virtually indestructible I would say !!

Truth ever stands on its own merits and does not require the threat of punishment nor promise of reward for acceptance.
0 Replies
 
Tenton
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 05:09 pm
@BeHereNow,
"It is possible to know everything"....Leonardo Da Vinci
So, Thomas is batting 1000 with his two tenets !!!!
0 Replies
 
carnaticmystery
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 01:01 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
and that's not what I am saying. I am saying that duality is unavoidable from our perspective.

wrong, duality always appears but can be transcended, ie 'our perspective' becomes deeper and includes the non duality behind all appearing duality.
0 Replies
 
carnaticmystery
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2014 01:22 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
I do not know it, CM. And the claim that you can know what I know or do not know is an absurdity.

if you believe knowledge is possible, then of course you will believe that you know certain things, you don't know other things, and i can never know anything about your knowledge.

if you have stopped believing in knowledge, realizing all knowledge to be belief only, then you have no knowledge, everything is seen as a belief only. you can also see that all other humans are presumably in the same boat as you. this is why i say nobody knows anything. because i don't know anything. you will likely quote me here and make some pointless remark about how you agree, i don't know anything, if so congrats on the sophisticated joke.

but otherwise, look at our stances. you claim that you know many things, knowledge exists, and the only thing you don't know is about god or ultimate truth.

i am simply saying if you question all the apparent 'knowledge', realise it is all unverified, then the question of god or ultimate truth can't arise anymore. because everything is questionable. once everything is unified as one 'thing', which itself is questionable, there is no question of what is ultimate or not anymore. there is only one thing, it is ultimate, or it is nothing, but there is no doubt about other things.

Quote:
Then stop "stop identifying with individuality"...because it is only a blind guess that there is no individuality.

so is your guess that you are limited to individuality. your guess has some limited supporting evidence, because obviously our minds are connected to this physical body for some limited time span. but there is also plenty of evidence available to see that our minds or consciousness is linked to the entire universe as one unitary thing. so it is your choice what to identify with.

i don't disagree that everything is just blind guesses. you are the one that decides that some of your treasured scientific knowledge is much more than a blind guess, that is 'true reality'.

Quote:
Yes...you have convinced yourself that your guess in that direction is correct.

Too bad that.

and you have convinced yourself that all your guesses are correct. this isn't really 'too bad', it is obvious that if you have a mind which makes guesses, it makes them for the reason that it believes they are correct. i just don't identify with any such beliefs, you do.

you identify with whether things are correct or incorrect, again believing in some ultimate authority or knowledge.

Quote:
Whatever the REALITY of existence IS...that is what it IS.

whatever you state it as, tautology or not, you believe in the absolute truth of that statement. but any fool can easily show it to be only relatively true, depending on definitions of all words in the sentence, which are all subjective.

Quote:
try to describe any scenario of any existence or anything, in which non duality 'does not prevail' as you say.

Quote:
Non-duality does not exist...if non-duality does not exist.

That was easy enough!

you obviously just don't understand what non duality is, to make such a pathetic response. non duality isn't something which exists or doesn't exist. it is an explanation for the question of existence. if you say non duality does not exist, you are saying it from the point of view of believing yourself to be something which exists, in some universal existence. and you believe non duality to be some other possible 'existence', which you are denying. this is just a complete misunderstanding of the issue. you may be very aged sir, but your understanding of non duality and existential questioning is very childish.
0 Replies
 
room109
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 02:04 pm
@Thomas,
om namah shivaya

1 billion times

say it for atleast 7 days constantly

hahaha
0 Replies
 
James bond007
 
  0  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2014 07:57 am
@Thomas,
1:Why should I ever believe in facts that the balance of the evidence does not support?

->What is evidence?your current knowledge.If you don't know something about that belief then the balance of evidence does not support that belief , but it is due to your lack of knowledge not the weakness of belief.
2:Why should I ever believe in values that, when acted on, increase suffering or diminish happiness overall?

->A man feels happy by doing something by which someone else becomes frustrated.Then what would you say about that thing(value)?. If a terrorist feels happy by killing innocent people then should he continue this, just because he doesn't feel guilty?


0 Replies
 
think rethink
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Oct, 2015 08:25 pm
@Frank Apisa,
treat it as fact
0 Replies
 
Briancrc
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Oct, 2015 05:12 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Calamity Dal: "What is the most difficult argument against your belief system, and how do you resolve it?"


Calamity Dal's response was expressing the struggle with not being able to make a decision (I.e., sitting on the fence).

Would you be comfortable changing #1 to " there is some evidence that you will accept as fact"
And #2 to "will do things that you think will increase well-being"?

No beliefs; just actions. Then #1 would be a question of what level of certainty there is that the evidence led to the truth. #2 would be a question of how you know that well-being was increased and that what you did was responsible.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Oct, 2015 05:18 pm
Thomas has not posted in any thread since August. Even then, he had only about a half dozen or so posts in August and in July. He is largely no longer a participant here, although it's not impossible that he'll show up again. I think those posting in response to him are wasting their time, at least as far as concerns a conversation with Thomas. Of course, one can consider that the topic has merit on its own whether or not Thomas is any longer a participant in the conversation.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 09:11 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

I try, and sometimes manage, to live my life by a minimalistic, two-tenet religion.
  1. Believe in facts if the balance of the evidence supports them, and for no other reason.
  2. Believe in values if acting on them will tend to increase the overall surplus of happiness over suffering, and for no other reason.
Today, I drew a blank when trying to answer a question by correspondent Calamity Dal: "What is the most difficult argument against your belief system, and how do you resolve it?" You see, I am not aware there are any arguments against tenet #1. So can you help me out and pitch me some? And while you're at it, why don't you give me some against #2, too? Although I am aware of some arguments against it (Calamity Dal's thread did not touch on it), I figure it can't hurt to have all the
arguments against my belief system in one spot. That way, I have them handy when I need to address them.

So without further ado: Why should I ever believe in facts that the balance of the evidence does not support? Why should I ever believe in values that, when acted on, increase suffering or diminish happiness overall? Or as I said in the first place: Destroy my belief system, please!


Without further ado ; who is it that supplies these " facts " ?

What values ; specifically?
0 Replies
 
 

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