Scientists create artificial life

This is a discussion on Scientists create artificial life within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I always wanted to ask atheists, what do they think about exorcism? You got one right here! I think it ...

  1. #76
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    I always wanted to ask atheists, what do they think about exorcism?
    You got one right here!

    I think it makes sense. If you believe it and doing it calms you, it works as a therapy.

  2. #77
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Indeed. I guess it was just exaggeration, and what they meant is, what is it that keeps me "good"?
    Not sure if that question make much sense. If God exists, then the answer is God, whether you believe in him or not. If God does not exist, then there is nothing special about religious types, so whatever makes them "good" (it can't be God, he doesn't exist) makes you "good" too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I can guarantee you I would find moments in my life of great comfort. And there was a feeling of comfort knowing that someone higher was looking for me, excusing my faults and looking out for the bad guys.
    Gee Mario, who could it be that does that for you? Maybe the superego...
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  3. #78
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dotunix View Post
    I always wanted to ask atheists, what do they think about exorcism?
    Why? Is this a trick question?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  4. #79
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    Not sure if that question make much sense. If God exists, then the answer is God, whether you believe in him or not. If God does not exist, then there is nothing special about religious types, so whatever makes them "good" (it can't be God, he doesn't exist) makes you "good" too.
    I don't think the question is whether God exists (that doesn't really matter, since no one would be doing anything different whether he really exists or not), but whether the person in question believes he exists. I know some religious people do good just because they don't want to go to hell (ie. going to heaven is the reward, promised by the God they believe exists). The question is, what makes non-believers "good"?

  5. #80
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I know some religious people do good just because they don't want to go to hell
    You mean, you know people who claim this. I honestly doubt there are many normal human adults who actually believe this.

    Probably the non-conscious motives for us to do "good" (in the sense of altruistic) things are a combination of social conditioning and biological imperatives, which can go hand in hand.

    The conscious ones for me have to do with self-respect/avoiding hypocrisy, and curiosity (doing nothing gets boring, doing something can be interesting). Also strengthening "the will". I'm no Mother Teresa but I do have a fairly elaborate, thought out set of principles I live by, I contemplate ethics all the time, and try to apply that contemplation as much as possible. However, I have a real tendency to fall into regressive patterns when stressed. Not that I turn sociopathic or something (tho I've been there), but my priorities become displaced by atavistic and basically selfish concerns.

    Right now one of my biggest "guilts" is not having gone back to vegetarianism. I really don't want to eat other animals, but I enjoy it anyway. I'm not totally convinced that it's wrong, but it certainly isn't necessary and is definitely environmentally destructive.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-22-2010 at 08:02 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    I just don't want to eat cute animals.

    Ugly animals I'm totally fine with.

  7. #82
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I know some religious people do good just because they don't want to go to hell (ie. going to heaven is the reward, promised by the God they believe exists). The question is, what makes non-believers "good"?
    Well, that's part of the problem, isn't it? Doing good fueled by fear or the promise of some reward doesn't really rank high on my list of qualities. It seems to me more like one clear case of mass-induced hypocrisy. Which is essentially what any church in the world is about.

    And to get around making the whole thing more appealing they throw in God's Design, meaning everything is god's desire. So, you eventually only need to feel very sorry for all the crap you do in order to be saved. Everything else is governed either by god's desire or the devil's plans.

    Atheists like myself however feel no special need to be good other than the desire to be so or by some imposition of the social circle around us. We are only fueled by ethical or moral values our societies implanted on us since birth and by our own level of empathy towards another human being.

    Atheits can be utter creeps. Others are really great men and women. The majority just sits in the middle. Just like with religious men and women. There are creeps, great and so-so people.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  8. #83
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I just don't want to eat cute animals.

    Ugly animals I'm totally fine with.
    I see. I'm afraid to ask... what kind of selection is that? And, just out of curiosity, do you extend that to other things? Like, are ugly people less less worthy of your attention? Fat people? Black people? White? From another country? Old?

    Or is it just animals you don't find attractive that you see as disposable?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  9. #84
    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I see. I'm afraid to ask... what kind of selection is that? And, just out of curiosity, do you extend that to other things? Like, are ugly people less less worthy of your attention? Fat people? Black people? White? From another country? Old?

    Or is it just animals you don't find attractive that you see as disposable?
    No. If he were forced to cannabalism, I.E- trapped on an icy mountain top with a female soccer team, he would eat the fat chick, and share her with the hot blond.

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    I see. I'm afraid to ask... what kind of selection is that? And, just out of curiosity, do you extend that to other things? Like, are ugly people less less worthy of your attention? Fat people? Black people? White? From another country? Old?

    Or is it just animals you don't find attractive that you see as disposable?
    That was meant to be a joke . I eat all animals indiscriminately. The real selection criteria is how delicious they are.

    In some places, eating dogs is illegal while eating cows and pigs are fine, because somehow, eating dogs is more cruel than eating other things. I find it ridiculous.

    No. If he were forced to cannabalism, I.E- trapped on an icy mountain top with a female soccer team, he would eat the fat chick, and share her with the hot blond.
    That makes a lot of sense. Although if it's a soccer team, I will probably be the one getting eaten.

  11. #86
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    In some places, eating dogs is illegal while eating cows and pigs are fine, because somehow, eating dogs is more cruel than eating other things. I find it ridiculous.
    Great cyberfish, thanks for twisting that knife in my soul. Sometimes I feel it's better to eat cows than fish, because I can eat a whole fish in one meal whereas a single cow would probably last me a while. Most of the time I think it's better to eat fish because fish are cold-blooded, and they taste better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Human beings are very prone to spirituality. Whatever the reasons for this are, it serves as a zone of comfort from the harshness of the world "outside". You could argue so does alcohol and drugs. [...] My problem with the whole thing however is that because it makes me feel good, makes me feel more secure, doesn't mean it's more true. Like drugs and alcohol.
    Not to sound defensive -- I think drugs and alcohol are basically harmless*, and I've done tons of both of them, altho this does not address the more philosophical issue you are referencing/regurgitating -- but I'm pretty sure that talk show wisdom derives from the twelve step movement, which demands participants place their faith in a high power. The 12 step thing is pretty successful, or at least extremely popular, for people who cannot control themselves and have gotten themselves into difficult situations and must completely change. As a consequence you have all these happy, non-addicted people running around afterward going, "Oh, I realized I was using drugs and alcohol to fill a void in my life that is now occupied by the Holy Spirit" -- bulls**t. You're just talking about a program you completed and that's all. If you were a liar before, it probably won't be that much harder for you now Anyway, I don't have a big problem with that except it fosters this idea that people use drugs and alcohol to "fill a void". I "filled a void" for 45 minutes today doing push-ups, hooray. I filled a longer one reading. What "fill a void" means in the context of drinking and getting high is very much different than what it would mean in a spiritual context. Lot of uncritical crap in public discourse.

    Also I guess if you get into big doses of psychedelics that can be profound on a level I'd equate with spirituality, but I'm an athiest, so I believe the "spiritual" experiences of the religious are experiences we all have anyway. That doesn't means LSD will help you understand spirituality, more like if you have a spiritual dimension (we all do, obviously, you can develop that how you like) then it will be hard to ignore on 5 or 6 hits of acid. Actually even stimulants have a spiritual significance IMO, but it is easier to dismiss.

    Also, logically Mario, from a secular, rational, EMPIRICAL scientific perspective, saying drugs and alcohol are not the truth -- that there is something fake about them -- is totally absurd. Not saying they are bad or good, but they are real.

    *nb, you can kill yourself with relatively harmless things if you want to make the effort
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  12. #87
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    You guys scare me. MK27 in particular.

    Very interesting discussion. You do realize we have debated about God in this thread and have yet to start a flame war. I'd call that positive cboard progress.

  13. #88
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    Personally, I think circumcision is a good thing. I was
    circumcised and it's the best thing that ever happened
    to me.

    +1 for circumcision.
    Last edited by Cheeze-It; 05-22-2010 at 11:25 PM.
    Staying away from General.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I don't think the question is whether God exists (that doesn't really matter, since no one would be doing anything different whether he really exists or not), but whether the person in question believes he exists. I know some religious people do good just because they don't want to go to hell (ie. going to heaven is the reward, promised by the God they believe exists). The question is, what makes non-believers "good"?
    I don't think there is a good. I do "good" things because that's what my momma taught me. I really don't think it goes any further than that.

    The universe laughs at us for worrying about such silly crap.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Well, if you think about it a little you'll have to agree that something is already seriously wrong with us if our measure of good and evil is defined by our ability to kill people and burn their houses.

    We seem to be distancing from good when what separates us from evil is some of the worst actions one can take.

    Since you do sound to me like a real nice guy, I think it's best if you define your actions on more mundane (and a lot more relevant) aspects of goodness. Like, do you help the needy? Are you friendly? Do you listen to people? Do you suffer through a stranger suffering? Does injustice angry you? et cetera... Essentially "measure" your capacity for love and empathy.
    A more interesting question for me, rather than the definition of good/evil, is "why be good?"

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