Are some truths fundamentally harmful to the human condition? - Page 3

Are some truths fundamentally harmful to the human condition?

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This is a discussion on Are some truths fundamentally harmful to the human condition? within the Critical Thinking & Philosophy forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Originally Posted by Stoneburg Well from one perspective there are no "truths" that can be put into words, but determinism ...

  1. #21

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneburg View Post
    Well from one perspective there are no "truths" that can be put into words, but determinism seems to put into a reasonably easy to understand concept the fact that there is no separate "agent" with "free will" controlling or deciding anything.
    I don't exactly mean determinism in that sense "as opposed to free will". I mean determinism as in the idea, that given certain conditions, things will happen one way. In other words, if you went back in time and watched yourself, you would be doing the same exact thing as you did before you went back in time. I don't really take that as a certainty because you can't really go back and see that, as of now at least. For now, the idea to me seems without much base.
    Free will is a different story, well I guess it is the other end of the spectrum now that I really think of it as it is defined. The same thing, you can't really go back and figure that out. At least free will meaning indeterminism, where you could have made a different choice. I don't really see how people reach their answers on this outside of religion books or misplaced certainty in the concept of causality.

  2. #22

    Wouldn't our ability, should we have it, to go back in time and witness events, alter what we were witnessing simply by virtue of us being there? It would kinda' be like the observer effect in physics, something Bill Murray should have thought of in Groundhog Day.

  3. #23

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    Wouldn't our ability, should we have it, to go back in time and witness events, alter what we were witnessing simply by virtue of us being there? It would kinda' be like the observer effect in physics, something Bill Murray should have thought of in Groundhog Day.
    You what's funny, how they say if we see ourselves in the past the whole universe collapses. If you think of the universe as one giant soccer ball, and there are cellular organisms in it. If we go back in time and see ourselves, why wouldn't the universe just see us as clones and not care?

  4. #24

    I have to believe if the universe has any kind of will at all, (and I don't think it does), that it is neither malevolent nor kind, but completely indifferent to our plight. See us as clones and not care indeed.

  5. #25

    Yes, although I would not call them truths but ideas. Ideas have an extra dimension of validity besides being true or false. This extra dimension is vitality: whether an idea helps your living and survival or impairs your ability to live and survive. In that respect there are certainly ideas that are true, but not vital - in fact, they could make you depressed for years. Likewise, there are ideas that are untrue but help your survival, make you thrive. This essay has great explanations about the topic - Borg, On validity. Short excerpt:

    An idea is valid if it helps to improve the believer’s chances of survival.
    An idea is valid if it helps to improve the believer´s chances of survival without having destructive influence on the believer´s coexistence with others.
    An idea is valid if it increases the mental health of the believer.


  6. #26

    Idea that is harmful but true:

    - The people in power want to control almost every aspect of your life. Their job is human farming.

    Vital, but not true:

    - If I work hard, I will achieve X.

  7. #27

    I think it may be naive to believe there is no such thing as a dangerous idea. The universe is a big, wild, unknown place, and so is the mind. There may quite literally be something you could whisper into anyone's ear and make them go insane, if you just knew what it was. I'm actually thinking, here, of AI. The notion of a superintelligence could really open a Pandora's box of shit. The classic example is known as Roko's Basilisk, and you can look it up if you want, but be forewarned that some people have found it literally destabilizing, and you might just be one of them. It scared me, but not to the point of psychosis. I consider myself somewhat lucky for that.

    There was another interesting one, I think it was called "The AI in a box boxes you". This one wasn't as immediately threatening but again it goes to show in principle the kind of mind-fuck that may be possible, and if it were to increase in degree, well, that could be really bad. As for Roko's Basilisk, I think the right thing to do is to be open about it and take a lesson from it. Luckily, its coming to fruition is extremely unlikely if not impossible, so it's perhaps a good case study. It's something we need to be grown-ups about, and once we are, we see it for what it is: something under our control if we don't give into fear.


     
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