Delusions [split from: What are you currently reading? (part 2)]

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Delusions [split from: What are you currently reading? (part 2)]

Postby Yasna » 2015-07-14, 19:40

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Recently I've started to think that by rejecting religion we've thrown away the baby together with the bathwater. With that in mind, a more mystical worldview would probably make life a bit brighter and alleviate our dark thoughts. As he says, the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun doesn't mean that we can't think of every sunrise as a miracle, or a God who sits 'behind' the world and joyfully recreates this phenomenon for us and for himself each day.

Religious delusions will always be available for people who feel that the delusions improve their life. It's not like ideas can be destroyed.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-07-15, 5:11

Yasna wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:Recently I've started to think that by rejecting religion we've thrown away the baby together with the bathwater. With that in mind, a more mystical worldview would probably make life a bit brighter and alleviate our dark thoughts. As he says, the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun doesn't mean that we can't think of every sunrise as a miracle, or a God who sits 'behind' the world and joyfully recreates this phenomenon for us and for himself each day.

Religious delusions will always be available for people who feel that the delusions improve their life. It's not like ideas can be destroyed.

Hehe I'm pretty sure you have delusions that improve your life as well. We all do.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Varislintu » 2015-07-15, 6:50

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Recently I've started to think that by rejecting religion we've thrown away the baby together with the bathwater. With that in mind, a more mystical worldview would probably make life a bit brighter and alleviate our dark thoughts. As he says, the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun doesn't mean that we can't think of every sunrise as a miracle, or a God who sits 'behind' the world and joyfully recreates this phenomenon for us and for himself each day.


But on the other hand, belief in such things is not a choice (or not in the sense that we imagine we choose other things). I have a good imagination, I can imagine magical things that could happen here and there, but I can't make myself believe in them. I think that's why I like fantasy fiction -- it gives my mind a playground where I can explore the mystical and miraculous (or have an imaginative author do it for me) without any of the social pressure to think it has anything to do with reality. Because I don't believe it has. Fencing off the mystical into the realm of the imagination in a way sets me free. If I'd explore the mystical in real life, there'd always be true believers around who actually believe in their own tales of magic, auras, destinies, gods, spirits, and they'd ultimately want me to be convinced it's real as well. Just the thought of it makes me bored. :P
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-07-15, 16:52

Varislintu wrote:
But on the other hand, belief in such things is not a choice (or not in the sense that we imagine we choose other things). I have a good imagination, I can imagine magical things that could happen here and there, but I can't make myself believe in them. I think that's why I like fantasy fiction -- it gives my mind a playground where I can explore the mystical and miraculous (or have an imaginative author do it for me) without any of the social pressure to think it has anything to do with reality. Because I don't believe it has. Fencing off the mystical into the realm of the imagination in a way sets me free. If I'd explore the mystical in real life, there'd always be true believers around who actually believe in their own tales of magic, auras, destinies, gods, spirits, and they'd ultimately want me to be convinced it's real as well. Just the thought of it makes me bored. :P

To each their own I guess. What I'm satisfied with is harboring the feeling of awe and confusion when confronted with technology. From the 'simple' such as the record player that uses a needle that's scratching on a surface of a record to produce sounds that someone else has made, maybe even decades ago! To the 'complex' like a USB stick that's 5 cm long and able to hold 100 GBs of data.

And no matter how much people try to explain to me that it's normal and that there are well known and documented physical laws that allow for record players and USB sticks, to me that simply has to be magic. You can't record music on a fucking plate. You can't put a 100 hours long video in your pocket.

It's also a good mindset when you start taking things for granted, which has now reminded me of Louis CK whose comedy often touches this issue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFsOUbZ0Lr0

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Yasna » 2015-07-15, 19:02

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Hehe I'm pretty sure you have delusions that improve your life as well. We all do.

That's quite presumptuous of you to say. Got anything to back it up? I'd love to know what delusions I suffer from.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-07-15, 19:12

Ludwig Whitby wrote:It's also a good mindset when you start taking things for granted

I'm not so sure about that. Doesn't taking things for granted make you less likely to accept alternative points of view?
Yasna wrote:
Hehe I'm pretty sure you have delusions that improve your life as well. We all do.

That's quite presumptuous of you to say. Got anything to back it up? I'd love to know what delusions I suffer from.

I don't think he intended to be offensive by saying that. He did say we all have such delusions.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Johanna » 2015-07-16, 1:29

Ludwig Whitby wrote:To each their own I guess. What I'm satisfied with is harboring the feeling of awe and confusion when confronted with technology. From the 'simple' such as the record player that uses a needle that's scratching on a surface of a record to produce sounds that someone else has made, maybe even decades ago! To the 'complex' like a USB stick that's 5 cm long and able to hold 100 GBs of data.

And no matter how much people try to explain to me that it's normal and that there are well known and documented physical laws that allow for record players and USB sticks, to me that simply has to be magic. You can't record music on a fucking plate. You can't put a 100 hours long video in your pocket.

It's also a good mindset when you start taking things for granted, which has now reminded me of Louis CK whose comedy often touches this issue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFsOUbZ0Lr0

For me, the fact that I know that these things have a natural explanation doesn't take away the awe of things, it's just that it's directed towards the laws of physics, how our natural world works, and how they cause very diverse phenomena :) I don't need the notion of a god or any supernatural power to feel that.

Edit: those things sure feel like magic, but if it really was, there should have been an unexplained gap somewhere in the middle, not a continuous (albeit fast) evolution from very small flash drives to modern large ones.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-07-16, 7:30

Johanna wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:To each their own I guess. What I'm satisfied with is harboring the feeling of awe and confusion when confronted with technology. From the 'simple' such as the record player that uses a needle that's scratching on a surface of a record to produce sounds that someone else has made, maybe even decades ago! To the 'complex' like a USB stick that's 5 cm long and able to hold 100 GBs of data.

And no matter how much people try to explain to me that it's normal and that there are well known and documented physical laws that allow for record players and USB sticks, to me that simply has to be magic. You can't record music on a fucking plate. You can't put a 100 hours long video in your pocket.

It's also a good mindset when you start taking things for granted, which has now reminded me of Louis CK whose comedy often touches this issue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFsOUbZ0Lr0

For me, the fact that I know that these things have a natural explanation doesn't take away the awe of things, it's just that it's directed towards the laws of physics, how our natural world works, and how they cause very diverse phenomena :) I don't need the notion of a god or any supernatural power to feel that.

Edit: those things sure feel like magic, but if it really was, there should have been an unexplained gap somewhere in the middle, not a continuous (albeit fast) evolution from very small flash drives to modern large ones.

The laws of physics as we know them don't exist in the world, they were thought up by humans to explain the natural phenomena. Believing that they are is a delusion.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Varislintu » 2015-07-16, 9:40

Ludwig Whitby wrote:The laws of physics as we know them don't exist in the world, they were thought up by humans to explain the natural phenomena. Believing that they are is a delusion.


I feel like this path is leading to the type of philosophical semantics that I don't care for very much. (But I'm glad others do.)

Personally, I'm glad there is no real magic (philosophers may now quibble over the concepts "real" and "magic") in the world. Everything that's been imagined about magic, and the paranormal, also gods, would be absolutely devastating if it actually existed. If we couldn't trust the laws of physics (or our changing models of them), if words could have magical powers, if beings existed that had paranormal powers, if people had destinies... it's a horrible thought.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Yasna » 2015-07-16, 14:36

Varislintu wrote:I feel like this path is leading to the type of philosophical semantics that I don't care for very much.

Thanks for saying this so much more diplomatically than I would have.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-07-16, 15:41

Yasna wrote:
Varislintu wrote:I feel like this path is leading to the type of philosophical semantics that I don't care for very much.

Thanks for saying this so much more diplomatically than I would have.

I mentioned that I'm reading a philosophical book, you replied to my post and I continued the discussion and now you make it seem like I have annoyed you somehow with this talk about philosophy. You could've simply ignored my post if you're annoyed with such discussions.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Yasna » 2015-07-16, 16:52

Ludwig Whitby wrote:I mentioned that I'm reading a philosophical book, you replied to my post and I continued the discussion and now you make it seem like I have annoyed you somehow with this talk about philosophy. You could've simply ignored my post if you're annoyed with such discussions.

I plan to exit the discussion as soon as you tell me which delusions I suffer from. After all, it was you who suggested that even if I don't suffer from religious delusions, I must suffer from delusions of some other kind.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-07-16, 17:15

Yasna wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:I mentioned that I'm reading a philosophical book, you replied to my post and I continued the discussion and now you make it seem like I have annoyed you somehow with this talk about philosophy. You could've simply ignored my post if you're annoyed with such discussions.

I plan to exit the discussion as soon as you tell me which delusions I suffer from. After all, it was you who suggested that even if I don't suffer from religious delusions, I must suffer from delusions of some other kind.

Why suffer? It's not an illness. I don't know which delusions you personally hold and I can't know unless you tell me all about your worldviews. If you're already annoyed with my comment on the natural laws of physics, I can assume that there's one.

Leaving the realms of philosophy and entering into psychology, I claim that every person has used rationalizations (sour grapes) to justify their actions. This is a self-delusion that is sometimes conscious, and sometimes not. Then there are loads of cognitive biases, the illusion of introspection and so on. We simply need delusions to function properly, otherwise we'd all go insane from the truth.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Yasna » 2015-07-16, 18:08

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Why suffer? It's not an illness.

As someone who holds the truth in high regard, delusions are akin to illness from my point of view.

If you're already annoyed with my comment on the natural laws of physics, I can assume that there's one.

You'd be wrong. I'm well aware of the relationship between reality and the laws of physics.

Leaving the realms of philosophy and entering into psychology, I claim that every person has used rationalizations (sour grapes) to justify their actions. This is a self-delusion that is sometimes conscious, and sometimes not. Then there are loads of cognitive biases, the illusion of introspection and so on. We simply need delusions to function properly, otherwise we'd all go insane from the truth.

It seems like you're willing to call any little misunderstanding or cognitive bias a delusion. And that's stretching the word far beyond its normal boundaries. Perhaps the word you were looking for was "illusion", or "bias".
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-07-16, 18:37

Yasna wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:Why suffer? It's not an illness.

As someone who holds the truth in high regard, delusions are akin to illness from my point of view.

I'm sorry to hear that.
Yasna wrote:
If you're already annoyed with my comment on the natural laws of physics, I can assume that there's one.

You'd be wrong. I'm well aware of the relationship between reality and the laws of physics.

That's good.
Yasna wrote:
Leaving the realms of philosophy and entering into psychology, I claim that every person has used rationalizations (sour grapes) to justify their actions. This is a self-delusion that is sometimes conscious, and sometimes not. Then there are loads of cognitive biases, the illusion of introspection and so on. We simply need delusions to function properly, otherwise we'd all go insane from the truth.

It seems like you're willing to call any little misunderstanding or cognitive bias a delusion. And that's stretching the word far beyond its normal boundaries. Perhaps the word you were looking for was "illusion", or "bias".

But in that case you did the same in the first comment you made. When I reported that Chesterton believed that we could imagine a God making the Sun appear for us every morning, you said that religious delusions are always an option. Doing what Chesterton wrote about wouldn't be a delusion, since you'd be fully conscious of the fact that you can never know if that God actually exists or not. Similarly you can never know if the natural laws of physics are real or not. (I hate to start a boring meta-discussion...)

Although I must admit I was ignorant of the differences in the meanings of the words 'illusion' and 'delusion', thanks for pointing it out for me.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2015-07-17, 3:39

Yasna wrote:As someone who holds the truth in high regard, delusions are akin to illness from my point of view.
For what it's worth, the APA thinks that delusions are only clinically significant when they don't arise from a cultural or societal norm (so therefore they must be caused by some kind of internal pathology). Another one of the criteria used to distinguish "real" delusions from merely strong beliefs is the level of distress one feels because of them, and presumably most religious people aren't distressed by their beliefs. Then again, neither are some schizophrenics.

That's all well and good, but clearly there is a slippery slope here. One commonly quoted adage is "If you talk to God, you're religious; if God talks to you, you're psychotic".

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Re: Delusions [split from: What are you currently reading? (part 2)]

Postby Car » 2015-07-18, 19:24

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