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Folks with Delusions or Delusional Folks- What is the Best Strategy?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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14 December 2018 14:27
 

This is not intended as a scold but rather as an examination of a dilemma. What do delusions look like? Why would anyone want to be deluded? If one were convinced that they were deluded, they would go to the hospital and not to a discussion forum. Forum folk are here to share their non-deluded-ness. But does anyone, aside from possibly Mr. GAD, truly qualify as delusion free?

Once a fellow poster has been determined to be deluded, what is the cost of this condition to their humanity? It is often suggested that delusion comes at a cost to humanity in that it makes the deluded complicit in terrible injustices or entrenched barbarisms. Or, led by the nose by voices that play to the delusions. Once one of these conclusions has been drawn about somebody, what do they deserve?

Why can’t our noses be led by facts that are plain and simple? Then all our conclusions would be the same and there would be no need for discussion forums. Can you imagine it? A forum full of “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” would die in a week.

There is a life that could be led that is delusion-free. There are examples of this life, aside from Mr. GAD, all around us. There are role models and mentors for a delusion-free life that is stable and predictable if unforgiving. They are often barely noticed but they all can show us the way. Any of us with no delusions stand in good company with dogs, cats, squirrels, beavers, horses, goats, zebras and birds to name a few. What is it they are avoiding and how?

It is a matter of scale and not letting things get out of sight. Consider the Basic Lusion (why isn’t that a word?). It can be defined as anything you can see all at once. If the thermometer in the pot of water reads 200 degrees and is rising, the water will boil soon. There is no delusion to see and nothing to discuss. The conclusion that the water will boil soon is based a few observable details in plain sight.

That we can do this is remarkable already. Not only have we seen something, we’ve seen separate things within what we’re seeing and made a further knowable thing out of them. We use this capacity all the time including putting together short blurts of words and getting into a groove or rhythm. Most importantly, we use it to see the truth in front of us like whether the water will boil.

The problem here is that there may be more truth in front of us then we can handle. That is not due to a limit in wisdom but in perception (the Chunk-Limit). Any example of super-human wisdom like Sherlock Holmes is demonstrated by a capacity to build a conclusion from a multitude of things (chunks) that are in plain sight but not noticed by mortals until pointed out by the great detective. We aspire to be able to see the greater truth of all the components of the world in front us as an all-at-once experience.

Since that is not happening already and remains an aspiration, it can be concluded that there is a limit of some kind beyond which any knowable or harvestable truth is effectively invisible. This acts as a shroud that keeps squirrels living the lives of squirrels free from aspirations of intergalactic travel. It regulates the capacity for invention. To know a greater wisdom, one needs a guide to lead the way from point to point and show us the greater truth in what we are looking at. We refer to a path to truth or a course of education.

So, what we can see of reality is not everything we can know about it even if we can glean the truth out of what we’re looking at or have looked at. Such truths must be guided to be perceived. Someone must be a detective. In doing that, we go where no squirrel, goat or zebra has ever gone. In using our guiding perception, we step out of the Animal Kingdom into civilization. We still have a limit and how much we can see at once but now we can connect a train of limited perceptions together and know much more than we can see. Or not. This is how humans and not squirrels can see and create delusions.

In guiding our perceptions, we are also guiding our own inner workings like our emotions and tastes and preferences. Now we need a discussion forum because this creates a myriad of ways to look at the world and what is going on in it. Over time, we each create our own recipes for reality as if the world is a raw, uncooked substance that need preparation before consumption. These recipes can work out fine for the way we live our lives without being entirely correct. We are usually satisfied with operational and efficient. Is it delusional? Of course it is in some way or other. The only issue is whether it is effectively serves the deluded. It is possible to advance the course of actual knowledge from within a partially make-believe reality. For us, that has been a slow and nasty slog that includes a lot to forgive.

We humans are novice detectives who developed guiding ability first. There are no role models or mentors to show ua the way. We can create them from our inner workings as delusions of grandeur or a spiritual realm or feeling of destiny or a simple sense of rightness. Can we forgive each other for possessing this machinery in the first place?

One can choose to stay free of delusions by avoiding all guiding or detective work and sticking to making conclusions based on things in plain sight or, single lusions.  It is a strategy to think like a squirrel. I’m not knocking the choice. Folks should try different approaches but this one has a clear drawback. It is only effective on other squirrels. This approach can no more describe one who does guide their perceptions into nuance than a squirrel can discern a human’s politics by watching their TV through the window.

It is easy to imagine a squirrel discussion forum…

“Nuts.”

“Exactly!”

Somehow, all this must be forgiven if we want to avoid the Big Fight.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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14 December 2018 17:41
 

The non human animals are lacking an ego.  That is what makes them so much more likeable.  The ego insists on delusions to survive a reality the sensitive little human lifeform is unable to handle alone.  We’re squirrely like that.

The key is knowing we are delusional and accepting that others are delusional too.  We all may view the same individual in different ways while taking for granted we’re all seeing them the same way.  What are we basing it on?  Do we ask?  Do we confirm our suspicions?  Do we listen to responses to the questions that we ask?  Do we run full tilt from assumption to conclusion?  Do we answer our own questions and have conversations with ourselves?  Are people seeing others the way we think they are?  The same way we are?  Is the way we are seen by others the way we see ourselves?  Do we afford the same courtesy we expect when it’s us?  Does our compassion extend to strangers?  When we feed the egos of those we favour are we not merely feeding their delusions?  Is that really fair?

There is reality.  There is our perception of reality.  And there is the story we tell ourselves about reality in order to make it halfway bearable.  Avoiding the Big Fight takes patience and time.  The strategy is knowing how to amicably disagree.

A boiling pot of water looks exactly the same right before it boils and right before it begins to cool.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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14 December 2018 20:03
 

The delusions that are alleged on this forum are not simple things like whether a pot of water is getting close to boiling temperature.  They are big ideas.  Like evolution.  Takes a heap of ‘splainin’.  Takes discernment of who is actually an expert.  Takes some firsthand experience that few people have had.  Or matters of opinion, like culture change—a good thing or a bad thing?  Controllable or unpredictable?  Based on personal anecdote or statistical data?

If we can keep the conversation going, the listening as well as the talking, we can at least inch closer to understanding the salient facets of an issue.

[ Edited: 14 December 2018 20:08 by hannahtoo]
 
burt
 
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burt
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14 December 2018 22:50
 

Perhaps the original sin was when we learned to separate qualities from objects; adjectives from nouns; colors from colored things, and so on. Because there is the big question of qualia that rears its head when this separation is made (actually, well before that); namely, how is it that the neural patterns of sensation result in… sensation? When we see red, why is it that we see red rather than just experience certain neural firings? Is the entire sensory world we experience just a delusion, constructed in our mind? We see the thermometer in the water about to boil? The content of that statement is already loaded with all sorts of assumptions and presumptions. Certainly that is not what an ancient Roman would see. And going further, being able to abstract qualities from objects, and even conceive of patching together pieces of objects to make, for example, a creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, there are different patterns that we can play with in the sensory world of qualia, which is the lowest level of what’s known in certain circles as the Imaginal World. The entire question of science is how we can make our thought, as it meanders through this world, coherent with the reality that we assume is out there.

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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15 December 2018 06:23
 

Never underestimate squirrels.

LadyJane - 17 November 2017 08:40 AM

Squirrel#1 You’re blocking my light.
Squirrel#2 Oh sorry. Hey, I didn’t know you read the newspaper.
Squirrel#1 Yessir.  Once a week a series of boxes line the streets filled with them. 
Squirrel#2 You suppose they leave them out there for us?
Squirrel#1 What else?
Squirrel#2 Anything interesting?
Squirrel#1 They found a grasshopper imbedded into one of Van Gogh’s paintings.
Squirrel#2 No way!  Who’s Van Gogh?
Squirrel#1 They figure it must’ve landed on the brush without him noticing.
Squirrel#2 That’s nutty.  What if it…you know…
Squirrel#1 Suicide?  The hell you say!  Insects don’t commit suicide.  That’s mainly a human thing.
Squirrel#2 All those graveyard windshields were accidents?  Wow.
Squirrel#1 Yes, well, humans have to deal with more complicated thinking than the rest of us.
Squirrel#2 Is that why they’re so often at odds with each other?
Squirrel#1 Probably.  They exhibit some very uncivilized and selfish behaviour.
Squirrel#2 They seem to cycle an endless loop starting war after war after war.
Squirrel#1 And no longer on the battlefield.  They rape and pillage suburbia now. 
Squirrel#2 What’s rape?
Squirrel#1 One of the ugliest human aspects there is.  It’s forced sex against someone’s will.
Squirrel#2 We do that all the time!
Squirrel#1 What we do is not the same thing at all.  We instinctively have sex to propagate our species for survival.
Squirrel#2 I’m with you.
Squirrel#1 They do it for power and control.  As an exertion of dominance over another.
Squirrel#2 That is deeply disturbing.
Squirrel#1 Yes, yes it is.
Squirrel#2 Aren’t there rules against that?
Squirrel#1 Their laws are becoming more and more meaningless as time runs on.
Squirrel#2 What about answering to ze Gods?  Ha ha!  It sounds so stupid when I say it out loud.
Squirrel#1 Maybe that’s the problem.  They put too much emphasis on what happens after life on Earth.
Squirrel#2 Instead of treating each other more respectively in the here and now.
Squirrel#1 They take some of those biblical stories too literally.
Squirrel#2 You think that’s cause for some of the confusion?
Squirrel#1 Perhaps.  One thing still rings hollow to me.
Squirrel#2 What’s that, sir?
Squirrel#1 God threatened to put Adam and Eve to death if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden.
Squirrel#2 That’s how I heard it.
Squirrel#1 Except, they were immortal beings with no concept of death.
Squirrel#2 Yeah.
Squirrel#1 Lacking the concept of death makes it a fairly idle threat, wouldn’t you say? 
Squirrel#2 What about Good and Evil?
Squirrel#1 Same thing.  They would’ve needed to eat from the tree to gain the knowledge to understand what it meant.
Squirrel#2 Good point.
Squirrel#1 Without allowing them to eat the fruit they’d never fathom why he forbade them to eat it in the first place.
Squirrel#2 God sort of buggered himself there it seems.
Squirrel#1 You can’t answer a question you can’t comprehend.  Imagine the conversation.
Squirrel#2 Really, eh?
Squirrel#1 I don’t understand.  You have to eat the apple.  Okay, I’ll eat the apple.  No, don’t eat the apple!  I don’t understand.
Squirrel#2 Man, there really are a lot of holes in that story.
Squirrel#1 Yep.  Hence the snake.  Which, incidentally, is where I heard the story in the first place.
Squirrel#2 I know that snake!  It’s a real point of contention with that critter.
Squirrel#1 He’s a rather charming bloke actually.  Although, I don’t often bring it up.  He gets pretty hissy.
Squirrel#2 Can’t say I blame him.  They’re marred for life on account’a that story.
Squirrel#1 I’ve never understood why one variety of species should be tarnished over any other.
Squirrel#2 I guess even gods need a scapegoat.

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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15 December 2018 07:15
 

We all have our varied perceptions of reality because our senses are imperfect. That’s not what gets us into trouble. It’s our capacity to self-delude, to seek confirmation bias, and our familial and societal indoctrination in nonsense from a young age.

How do you tell someone their belief or belief system is delusional without offending them? Not an easy task. That their beliefs are unsubstantiated by the evidence matters not to them. They are too invested in their self delusion because it comforts them and supports their ideological views of reality. They will ignore or rationalize-away any un-supporting evidence. And they will continue to seek ‘supporting’ evidence which includes personal revelations, miracles,  pseudoscience, woo, and talking heads who agree with their rank biases. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

The only way out of this pattern is first to acknowledge that we are vulnerable to self-deception, then a willingness to be self-skeptical of our own beliefs and preconceived notions, and the self-discipline to maintain an open mind to other explanations. Again, not an easy task.

 

 

 

 

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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15 December 2018 08:25
 
Nhoj Morley - 14 December 2018 02:27 PM


. . .

So, what we can see of reality is not everything we can know about it even if we can glean the truth out of what we’re looking at or have looked at. Such truths must be guided to be perceived. Someone must be a detective. In doing that, we go where no squirrel, goat or zebra has ever gone. In using our guiding perception, we step out of the Animal Kingdom into civilization. We still have a limit and how much we can see at once but now we can connect a train of limited perceptions together and know much more than we can see. Or not. This is how humans and not squirrels can see and create delusions.

. . .

You’re no doubt correct overall, but what if each animal species contains individuals who fall somewhere on a spectrum of ability, both athletic and intellectual? Most are approximately average in such abilities, but could it be that the occasional squirrel, goat or zebra is in effect a genius? After all, it seems to work that way for humans, right?

Unusually gifted elephants occasional are born, perhaps. Over the past few millennia, isn’t it possible that a hundred or more exceptional elephants have roamed the land? Just guessing, it seems likely that those unusually smart elephants were able to teach their peers and babies in clever ways, perhaps allowing such teachings to pass uninterrupted from generation to generation, all the way to the present.

If such a process does in fact take place, I can’t imagine it being as intensely educational as what we as humans have access to, due entirely to the collectability of our language components. Words alone took us to where we now are, able to contemplate just about anything, even taking a rocket ship on a joy ride with friends (though extremely wealthy friends) into outer space.

What on earth am I getting at? Nhoj, you’ve probably read enough of my words to know already. But in case not, my strong opinion is that humanity is the stupidest species on the planet, simply because human individuals would be incompetent at survival if not for the exceptionally gifted among us to educate us. Their legacy is our ability to thrive and even be thrilled by living in an otherwise inhospitable place. I wouldn’t have lasted a week if not for this collective legacy.

If any of the above sounds remotely Randian, my apologies. It is absolutely not my intention. I am, however, guilty of riffing slightly off-topic for a few minutes, just for the fun of it.

 
 
Jefe
 
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15 December 2018 09:24
 
hannahtoo - 14 December 2018 08:03 PM

The delusions that are alleged on this forum are not simple things like whether a pot of water is getting close to boiling temperature.  They are big ideas.  Like evolution.

Are you suggesting that evolution is a delusional structure?

 
 
Jefe
 
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15 December 2018 09:32
 
Nhoj Morley - 14 December 2018 02:27 PM

Forum folk are here to share their non-deluded-ness.

Home Run!

(although, over time, there may be socio-tribal bonds formed between the acolytes…)


Is knowledge the opposite of delusion?  Historically, all of the knowledge we’ve accumulated has come on the tails of abandoning one delusion or another - often accompanied by social/tribal disapproval. 

Heliocentrism?  Pshaw!
Washing hands? Sacrilege!
Small wiggling things affecting our health?  Bullsh!t!

To name a very few….

 

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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15 December 2018 09:59
 
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 07:15 AM

We all have our varied perceptions of reality because our senses are imperfect. That’s not what gets us into trouble. It’s our capacity to self-delude, to seek confirmation bias, and our familial and societal indoctrination in nonsense from a young age.

How do you tell someone their belief or belief system is delusional without offending them? Not an easy task. That their beliefs are unsubstantiated by the evidence matters not to them. They are too invested in their self delusion because it comforts them and supports their ideological views of reality. They will ignore or rationalize-away any un-supporting evidence. And they will continue to seek ‘supporting’ evidence which includes personal revelations, miracles,  pseudoscience, woo, and talking heads who agree with their rank biases. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

The only way out of this pattern is first to acknowledge that we are vulnerable to self-deception, then a willingness to be self-skeptical of our own beliefs and preconceived notions, and the self-discipline to maintain an open mind to other explanations. Again, not an easy task.

And there seems to be a hidden assumption here, namely that if we were all self-skeptical and maintained an open mind then we would all agree on the nature of reality?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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15 December 2018 11:41
 

What a chewy and fun subject, well it should be anyways but I can already see people killing it with their deluded PC bullshit.

Let me just begin with an example of delusion as I see it.

Lets start here with this great (non-deluded) observation.

Nhoj Morley - 14 December 2018 02:27 PM


Why can’t our noses be led by facts that are plain and simple? Then all our conclusions would be the same and there would be no need for discussion forums. Can you imagine it? A forum full of “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” would die in a week.

Exactly!

I went online all those years ago to win hearts and minds and found out quickly that people couldn’t care less about facts let alone what I had to say. But being stubborn I kept pushing and fighting and became one of those people that the PC and kumbaya choir needed to put down. It pretty much became that anything I said became an opportunity for everyone to bond through their opposition to me and get their “I love you” and “good to see good people” etc etc daily affirmations. I didn’t have that but I wanted some of that to, so I kept coming at it from all kinds of angles to no avail, but somewhere along the line I changed, it’s like when you know you are different then you were 10, 20 years ago etc but you can’t really put you finger on what or when. When I thought about it and looked at other posters they didn’t seem to have changed very much, PC, kumbaya and affirmations stilled reigned supreme. And that’s when it hit me, I had changed out of necessity they hadn’t (at least as much) because they didn’t need to because they were getting the hugs and kisses they needed.

Now here’s the delusion I see it. This site means nothing and will do nothing for the world, no one cares and no one will be save, the posters will fade away one by one and one day the site will to. The only thing that can come from being here is your personal experience, and if all you ever do is do the same things over and over and look for “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” and affirmations then you will never change. Stop deluding yourselves that anything you do here means anything or will change anything more then you.

That’s how I see it and I use the forum to talk shit, push buttons and test out thoughts that I can’t really do otherwise. I only have one friend in the real world I can even come close to doing this with and that is after many years of developing a friendship that can go there and handle it. When I talk about stuff from here with him he says why do you talk to people like that (I’m sure people ask you why you talk to people like me), but it’s because I talk to people like you that I have found ways to talk to him about taboo subjects, ideas etc and things that we have very different views on and still be friends.

That’s what I get out of being here, no delusion of saving the world or having people say how good I am etc, just the personal experience. And contrary to popular belief that I must be angry etc, that is not even close, if it wasn’t fun and interesting for me I wounldn’t be here. So lighten up and stop deluding yourselves that you are doing anything for the world or that matters other then for yourself and have some fun and try shit out.       

 

 

 
 
nonverbal
 
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15 December 2018 12:25
 
GAD - 15 December 2018 11:41 AM

What a chewy and fun subject, well it should be anyways but I can already see people killing it with their deluded PC bullshit.

Let me just begin with an example of delusion as I see it.

Lets start here with this great (non-deluded) observation.

Nhoj Morley - 14 December 2018 02:27 PM


Why can’t our noses be led by facts that are plain and simple? Then all our conclusions would be the same and there would be no need for discussion forums. Can you imagine it? A forum full of “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” would die in a week.

Exactly!

I went online all those years ago to win hearts and minds and found out quickly that people couldn’t care less about facts let alone what I had to say. But being stubborn I kept pushing and fighting and became one of those people that the PC and kumbaya choir needed to put down. It pretty much became that anything I said became an opportunity for everyone to bond through their opposition to me and get their “I love you” and “good to see good people” etc etc daily affirmations. I didn’t have that but I wanted some of that to, so I kept coming at it from all kinds of angles to no avail, but somewhere along the line I changed, it’s like when you know you are different then you were 10, 20 years ago etc but you can’t really put you finger on what or when. When I thought about it and looked at other posters they didn’t seem to have changed very much, PC, kumbaya and affirmations stilled reigned supreme. And that’s when it hit me, I had changed out of necessity they hadn’t (at least as much) because they didn’t need to because they were getting the hugs and kisses they needed.

Now here’s the delusion I see it. This site means nothing and will do nothing for the world, no one cares and no one will be save, the posters will fade away one by one and one day the site will to. The only thing that can come from being here is your personal experience, and if all you ever do is do the same things over and over and look for “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” and affirmations then you will never change. Stop deluding yourselves that anything you do here means anything or will change anything more then you.

That’s how I see it and I use the forum to talk shit, push buttons and test out thoughts that I can’t really do otherwise. I only have one friend in the real world I can even come close to doing this with and that is after many years of developing a friendship that can go there and handle it. When I talk about stuff from here with him he says why do you talk to people like that (I’m sure people ask you why you talk to people like me), but it’s because I talk to people like you that I have found ways to talk to him about taboo subjects, ideas etc and things that we have very different views on and still be friends.

That’s what I get out of being here, no delusion of saving the world or having people say how good I am etc, just the personal experience. And contrary to popular belief that I must be angry etc, that is not even close, if it wasn’t fun and interesting for me I wounldn’t be here. So lighten up and stop deluding yourselves that you are doing anything for the world or that matters other then for yourself and have some fun and try shit out.

We’re all gonna die? You must be mistaken!

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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15 December 2018 12:39
 
GAD - 15 December 2018 11:41 AM

What a chewy and fun subject, well it should be anyways but I can already see people killing it with their deluded PC bullshit.

Let me just begin with an example of delusion as I see it.

Lets start here with this great (non-deluded) observation.

Nhoj Morley - 14 December 2018 02:27 PM


Why can’t our noses be led by facts that are plain and simple? Then all our conclusions would be the same and there would be no need for discussion forums. Can you imagine it? A forum full of “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” would die in a week.

Exactly!

I went online all those years ago to win hearts and minds and found out quickly that people couldn’t care less about facts let alone what I had to say. But being stubborn I kept pushing and fighting and became one of those people that the PC and kumbaya choir needed to put down. It pretty much became that anything I said became an opportunity for everyone to bond through their opposition to me and get their “I love you” and “good to see good people” etc etc daily affirmations. I didn’t have that but I wanted some of that to, so I kept coming at it from all kinds of angles to no avail, but somewhere along the line I changed, it’s like when you know you are different then you were 10, 20 years ago etc but you can’t really put you finger on what or when. When I thought about it and looked at other posters they didn’t seem to have changed very much, PC, kumbaya and affirmations stilled reigned supreme. And that’s when it hit me, I had changed out of necessity they hadn’t (at least as much) because they didn’t need to because they were getting the hugs and kisses they needed.

Now here’s the delusion I see it. This site means nothing and will do nothing for the world, no one cares and no one will be save, the posters will fade away one by one and one day the site will to. The only thing that can come from being here is your personal experience, and if all you ever do is do the same things over and over and look for “no argument from me” and “gotta agree with that” and affirmations then you will never change. Stop deluding yourselves that anything you do here means anything or will change anything more then you.

That’s how I see it and I use the forum to talk shit, push buttons and test out thoughts that I can’t really do otherwise. I only have one friend in the real world I can even come close to doing this with and that is after many years of developing a friendship that can go there and handle it. When I talk about stuff from here with him he says why do you talk to people like that (I’m sure people ask you why you talk to people like me), but it’s because I talk to people like you that I have found ways to talk to him about taboo subjects, ideas etc and things that we have very different views on and still be friends.

That’s what I get out of being here, no delusion of saving the world or having people say how good I am etc, just the personal experience. And contrary to popular belief that I must be angry etc, that is not even close, if it wasn’t fun and interesting for me I wounldn’t be here. So lighten up and stop deluding yourselves that you are doing anything for the world or that matters other then for yourself and have some fun and try shit out.       

 

 

+ 0.97

Lots to agree with here….

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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15 December 2018 13:20
 
burt - 15 December 2018 09:59 AM
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 07:15 AM

We all have our varied perceptions of reality because our senses are imperfect. That’s not what gets us into trouble. It’s our capacity to self-delude, to seek confirmation bias, and our familial and societal indoctrination in nonsense from a young age.

How do you tell someone their belief or belief system is delusional without offending them? Not an easy task. That their beliefs are unsubstantiated by the evidence matters not to them. They are too invested in their self delusion because it comforts them and supports their ideological views of reality. They will ignore or rationalize-away any un-supporting evidence. And they will continue to seek ‘supporting’ evidence which includes personal revelations, miracles,  pseudoscience, woo, and talking heads who agree with their rank biases. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

The only way out of this pattern is first to acknowledge that we are vulnerable to self-deception, then a willingness to be self-skeptical of our own beliefs and preconceived notions, and the self-discipline to maintain an open mind to other explanations. Again, not an easy task.

And there seems to be a hidden assumption here, namely that if we were all self-skeptical and maintained an open mind then we would all agree on the nature of reality?

No, but our chances of finding common ground should improve. We have no chance with certainty and closemindedness, which underpins religious belief and then often extends to politics, science, etc.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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15 December 2018 14:37
 
Jefe - 15 December 2018 09:24 AM
hannahtoo - 14 December 2018 08:03 PM

The delusions that are alleged on this forum are not simple things like whether a pot of water is getting close to boiling temperature.  They are big ideas.  Like evolution.

Are you suggesting that evolution is a delusional structure?

No.  I didn’t state that right.  I should have said that people have delusions about big ideas, like the origin of life.  The slow evolution of lifeforms is reality, as far as most scientific minds can tell from the evidence.  But the origin of life has had all sorts of other stories to explain it.  And people who want to attack natural selection mostly pick at its details in ways that would take too much ‘splainin’ to correct. 

This is a type of abstract thinking that other animals do not have.  I recently heard an interesting story about the link between language and thought.  The story was about deaf people who primarily use sign language.  Seems that when American Sign Language first was codified, there were signs for fewer words, but as a couple of generations passed, many more were added.  Some researchers tested older signers and found that their interpretation of a test situation was not as good as for younger signers, who grew up learning more signs, and particularly more specific, nuanced signs.  Turns out that when the participants were retested a few years later, some of the older signers improved in their understanding.  These were seniors who had been hanging out with the younger crowd and learning better signing.  The implication was that having more vocabulary enabled people to understand the world better.  Having words crystallizes concepts in the brain.

So, for the example of evolution, people who understand concepts like radiometric dating, stratigraphy, genetics, the fossil record, etc., can comprehend the proofs for evolution more easily.  But that’s a tall order.  Most people accept or reject evolution based on general ideas they were taught before adulthood.  We learn most of our delusions from people we trust.  Most of our true ideas as well.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
Total Posts:  6362
Joined  22-02-2005
 
 
 
15 December 2018 15:36
 

This was inspired by Mr. GAD’s post and I’m glad he has fleshed out his view. His concerns for us seem a bit over the top. Why would anyone believe that they will change the world by posting at the Harris Forum? I don’t think that motivation could endure for the years that many stick around. I suspect most motivations approximate Mr. GAD’s. Short of changing the world, we are getting something we want out of it. Those of us with world-changing ambitions consider this forum as a lab or playground far, far away from The World’s Decisive Crucibles. My concern is with how un-nuanced a view would have to be to think we need such a reprimand. Or more than once.

Mr. GAD conjures more amusement than team hatred with his comments. Never mind the position, it the short scale of his view that puts patrons off, especially when they are personally short-scaled. It is a dark view that reads with an angry voice.

It is a viable option for a socio-political stance and Mr. GAD is its best practitioner. I’m sure we can all find plenty of kumbayaity with him in many ways except when he gets to insulting someone for his own cartoonish un-nuanced take.

None of that was my point, which more mechanical. We can choose, as a discussion strategy, to thoroughly avoid delusions by avoiding the type of thinking that is vulnerable to them. If one stays in the shallows, where things are plain, all the answers will be too.

I am suggesting that we discover the threshold where debate begins.

The evidence is that our perception does not differ all that much for things that are in front of us or answers that are in plain sight. When there is a difference, we get glasses. There isn’t much fight over things at this level because things look the same to all of us.

It is only when we engage in internally guiding our perception that we diverge spectacularly. That is because, beyond a certain threshold of scale, all perception is internalized, unchecked and not in plain sight. It is the story, the philosophy, the point, the moral lesson and the accumulated expertise. These are all unsupervised by matter space or time. They have no common reference point or circuit ground. This allows creativity and invention on a cosmic scale. Cosmic because, when guided responsibly, the physical world can be finely manipulated and forces can harvested that are not plain to see.

We accept that our perception is limited in many ways we call resolution. Fine-ness of detail is limited. Color differentiation is limited. Low-light ability is limited. There is also a resolution defined by duration that can categorize our perceptual operations and find the threshold of debate.

The perception of the pot of water had a duration that allowed seeing the reading climb. Only snapshots are instantaneous. Our brains see them as a distortion of time. The shutter’s open duration is pancaked onto the film. Just sayin’.

We call them Big Ideas because we cannot see them all at once. We see them via a guided or narrated or shepherded sequence of smaller things that we can see all at once. If the story isn’t told fully, there is no big idea to know. Likewise, if the trail is not followed fully, the resulting little idea the partial trail conjures is likely to be farce that falls short of the author’s intentions.

 
 
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