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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
the boundaries of scepticism
    #2166052 - 12/07/03 09:32 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

scepticism is a useful tool but at what point does it break down?
is it not a belief that it is wrong to kill, to lie, to steal?

is there a scientific basis for these beliefs?
should we disregard them as illogical and disembowel others as we see fit, or should we accept that belief has an important place in our minds and society?


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OfflinePositronius
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Registered: 11/27/03
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Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: mr crisper]
    #2166072 - 12/07/03 09:54 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

well, I see scepticism as a tool to de-bunk false assumptions and theories, not as an all inclusive philosophy.


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and you know it like a poet, like....babydoll


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Invisiblemuhurgle
Turtles all theway down

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 299
Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: mr crisper]
    #2166088 - 12/07/03 10:17 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

You're right. I think that to a true skeptic, there is no basis for morality, except maybe egoism.

My views on this are:

- All morality is deep down just based on egoism
- Since egoism is the basis, there will always be conflicting interests
- .. so, there is no inherent right or wrong

For example, I don't think that life is "holy" or that there is some universal law that says that killing is wrong. The reason I still condemn killing is that I don't want to get killed.

Why should we take care of cripples? Because I might get crippled once.

Mind you, these are the conclusion I come to with rational thinking. I don't like them, since I am conditioned to believe in "good". I don't go around conciously judging every situation after how much I can gain. But I do believe this is how it works deep down. For everybody.

I am interested in what others have to say about their basis for morality. Do you really believe that you are altruistic or that altruism is even possible? I see a belief in altruism as self-deceit. Be honest with yourself.


--------------------
"To make this mundane world sublime
Take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Aldous Huxley


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: Positronius]
    #2166153 - 12/07/03 11:18 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

well, I see scepticism as a tool to de-bunk false assumptions and theories, not as an all inclusive philosophy.



hence i ask, where is the boundary?
our ideas about killing each other are based upon beliefs.
muhurgle doesn't kill because muhurgle doesn't want to get killed, but it's not guaranteed.
where is the point scepticism is inapplicable and we must use our beliefs to function as/in a society?


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: mr crisper]
    #2166161 - 12/07/03 11:25 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

That is an opinion, not a belief. Empathy is an instinctive emotion, we automatically cringe at the idea of harming others, skeptic or not.

We also understand the pain that others would experience if we harmed them, and wish to prevent exposing them to that.

I don't see any need to stretch the limits of belief for that. It has nothing to do with skepticism.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Anonymous

Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: Phluck]
    #2166171 - 12/07/03 11:30 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

Good point Phluck.

MrCrisper: A real skeptic, defined philosophically a la David Hume, doubts that we can even know anything, even the universe outside our minds.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: mr crisper]
    #2166184 - 12/07/03 11:39 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

Everyone uses cultivated reflexes and instincts to survive on the planet.

When I take a step on solid ground, am I assuming my foot will be stopped by it, and not pass right through? Yes, but I have an intellectual understanding that it is possible my foot will pass through.

"where is the point scepticism is inapplicable and we must use our beliefs to function as/in a society? "

There isn't a time when you need to abandon an analytical approach to making decisions. But sometimes the most logical choice is to do what's socially acceptable.

For instance, on an extremely hot day, I might feel the desire to go for a walk naked. Society's belief is that this is wrong. I don't see anything wrong with it at all, but I still won't choose to do so, because people will think I'm crazy. Nobody would let their kids near me again, they'd treat me funny, and I'd likely even get arrested. All perfectly logical reasons for not going out naked.

Murder is a bit different though, because I can see perfectly logical reasons for not allowing it. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a world where I constantly risked being murdered. I wouldn't want to see my friends and family murdered, and I don't want to be murdered. A perfectly logical way to combat this is by not murdering anyone, and having a special group of people who seek out murderers and lock them up.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: Phluck]
    #2166189 - 12/07/03 11:42 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

Empathy is an instinctive emotion, we automatically cringe at the idea of harming others, skeptic or not.

We also understand the pain that others would experience if we harmed them, and wish to prevent exposing them to that.




its a rather royal 'we' you use there. a lot of people have no qualms about using violence to meet their desires.


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: ]
    #2166193 - 12/07/03 11:47 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

A real skeptic, defined philosophically a la David Hume, doubts that we can even know anything, even the universe outside our minds.





would this be considered a healthy state of mind?
or would it be better for an individual to exercise moderation and walk a line between belief and scepticism?


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: Phluck]
    #2166200 - 12/07/03 11:54 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

There isn't a time when you need to abandon an analytical approach to making decisions. But sometimes the most logical choice is to do what's socially acceptable.

For instance, on an extremely hot day, I might feel the desire to go for a walk naked. Society's belief is that this is wrong.



so i use logic to make the decision to follow the beliefs of society.
i'm still adhering to a belief, no matter how much i try to justify it with logic.
we need beliefs.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: mr crisper]
    #2166204 - 12/07/03 11:56 AM (13 years, 6 days ago)

The majority of people experience empathy, even those who use violence at times.

It can be rationalized that violence is okay, it all depends on how you define your goals.

If it is your primary goal in life to derive pleasure from murder, you'll probably become a serial killer and have a blast. Is that wrong just because it frightens us?


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: Phluck]
    #2168375 - 12/08/03 08:14 AM (13 years, 5 days ago)

wonder why those that make scepticism their agenda on this board failed to contribute to this thread...?


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: the boundaries of scepticism [Re: mr crisper]
    #2168497 - 12/08/03 10:03 AM (13 years, 5 days ago)

Quote:

mr crisper said:
would this be considered a healthy state of mind?
or would it be better for an individual to exercise moderation and walk a line between belief and scepticism?




It's all personal flavour. I personally think the function of radical scepticism is to make sure you never hold beliefs that are too strong, just in case consensus reality totally changes one day. It's also a good tool to indicate that what we naturally assume to be true might very well not be.


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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