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Author Topic:   What Benefits Are Only Available Through God?
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 121 of 166 (800415)
02-23-2017 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 120 by Stile
02-23-2017 10:02 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
Stile writes:

What if I don't get a long-term twinge of conscience?


What if your furnace doesn't come on when it's minus 40? It's a sign that it isn't working properly.

I get twinges of conscience about things that probably weren't "bad' at all. The "purpose" of conscience is to prevent bad behaviour. If mine wasn't working I'd be worried.

Stile writes:

Am I the best person to understand why I fully consciously choose to do things? Why wouldn't I be? How could someone else have a better angle at it?


I'll call the University and tell them they can shut down the Psychology Department.

Stile writes:

I can use my fully conscious decision-making skills to hold my breath for a few seconds whenever I choose to.


Again... short-term versus long-term. You can't consciously decide to hold your breath for three years. Your body will send you little hints that it needs oxygen, just like your conscious should send you little hints about good behaviour.

Conscious decisions don't happen in a vacuum. They have to operate on inputs and many of those inputs are unconscious. So claiming that you just do something because of a conscious decision doesn't explain anything. You might as well say, "God did it."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by Stile, posted 02-23-2017 10:02 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Stile, posted 02-23-2017 11:42 AM ringo has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 122 of 166 (800425)
02-23-2017 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by ringo
02-23-2017 11:04 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
ringo writes:

I get twinges of conscience about things that probably weren't "bad' at all. The "purpose" of conscience is to prevent bad behaviour. If mine wasn't working I'd be worried.

Who says I'm not worried?

The idea we're talking about is why I do good things.

Being worried about my conscience "working as ringo wants it to" is a concern... but really has nothing to do with why I do good things.
Since I do not do good things because of my conscience.
I do good things because I choose to try and help people instead of hurt people when I interact with them.

Maybe I choose to do it this way because my conscience doesn't work as you would like. Maybe not. But it still seems irrelevant.

I'll call the University and tell them they can shut down the Psychology Department.

So, no answer. As I expected.

Again... short-term versus long-term. You can't consciously decide to hold your breath for three years. Your body will send you little hints that it needs oxygen, just like your conscious should send you little hints about good behaviour.

And again... regardless of how much my body wants to breathe in the long term, why I choose to hold my breath when I fully consciously choose to do so is of my own reasoning, and I am the best person to say why that happens.

You seem to be running off down rabbit holes that have no effect on the topic we're discussing.

I agree that I can't hold my breath for 3 years.
And this is totally irrelevant as to why I decide to fully consciously hold my breath for a few seconds.

I agree that I can sometimes get a long term twang in my conscience.
And this is totally irrelevant as to why I decide to fully consciously do good things because I want to help others instead of hurt them.

Conscious decisions don't happen in a vacuum. They have to operate on inputs and many of those inputs are unconscious. So claiming that you just do something because of a conscious decision doesn't explain anything. You might as well say, "God did it."

Just because unconscious inputs are a part of the equation does not mean they are the most significant factor, or even a significant factor. If you want to argue such a thing, you'll have to provide some support for it. Academics has been trying to determine such a thing for years now... their efforts are still inconclusive. If you have insight, please bring it forward.

All such studies have concluded into the same general vagueness... that such things do not seem to be describable (yet) as well, what small insights we are able to describe seems to vary significantly from person to person. Some people rely more on unconscious behavior... others rely more on conscious behavior. Everyone seems to have their own varying levels.

You can sit here and say otherwise all you want. Without showing something to support your statements... in the face of all the support I keep throwing at you that says otherwise... your statements continue to carry no weight.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by ringo, posted 02-23-2017 11:04 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by ringo, posted 02-23-2017 11:58 AM Stile has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 123 of 166 (800427)
02-23-2017 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by Stile
02-23-2017 11:42 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
Stile writes:

I do good things because I choose to try and help people instead of hurt people when I interact with them.


How do you decide what is "help" and what is "hurt"?

If somebody asks me for spare change, I feel better if I give it to him than if I don't. Short-term I might think I'd rather spend it at Tim Hortons but long-term I feel better for giving it away.

I've been told by people on this very forum that I'm not "helping" the person at all. So, if my conscious mind was working "as Stile wants it to", how should I decide what is help and what is hurt?

Stile writes:

So, no answer.


The answer that you missed was, "Every psychologist on earth is better equipped than you to figure out how your mind works."

Stile writes:

... regardless of how much my body wants to breathe in the long term, why I choose to hold my breath when I fully consciously choose to do so is of my own reasoning...


And that statement is still just as empty as it always has been. "God did it."

Stile writes:

I agree that I can sometimes get a long term twang in my conscience.
And this is totally irrelevant as to why I decide to fully consciously do good things....


How can you know it's irrelevant?

Stile writes:

Just because unconscious inputs are a part of the equation does not mean they are the most significant factor, or even a significant factor.


I'm just saying they're not "totally irrelevant".
This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Stile, posted 02-23-2017 11:42 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Stile, posted 02-23-2017 2:49 PM ringo has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 124 of 166 (800441)
02-23-2017 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by ringo
02-23-2017 11:58 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
ringo writes:

How do you decide what is "help" and what is "hurt"?

I don't.

I let the person-being-affected-by-my-actions decide.

If somebody asks me for spare change, I feel better if I give it to him than if I don't. Short-term I might think I'd rather spend it at Tim Hortons but long-term I feel better for giving it away.

...

So, if my conscious mind was working "as Stile wants it to", how should I decide what is help and what is hurt?

The person asked for spare change. I would find it safe to assume they'll be happy if you give them spare change.
Thus, giving them spare change is a good thing.

"Every psychologist on earth is better equipped than you to figure out how your mind works."

Then why is there no answer to the questions we've put forth here yet?
Until we get some actual answers, I'm going to go with the best-theory-I-can for the way my body/mind seems to function.
Who knows... maybe the psychologists on earth will end up agreeing with me. If not, then I'll adapt to the new information.

And that statement is still just as empty as it always has been. "God did it."

Ha ha. If "because I want to help people instead of hurt people" is the same as "God did it" to you... then I don't think I can convince you otherwise. I can't even imagine the thought process that would lead to such a strange conclusion.

How can you know it's irrelevant?

Like I said, I can't. I don't know everything, and no studies in this area seem to come to any conclusions.

Maybe the unconscious ways are controlling my every move, thought and "choice" and I just don't know it.
But I doubt it.

And unless something starts to point in the direction of it becoming relevant... I think it's fairly safe to assume it isn't.
Especially since there's other more-likely explanations. Such as the reasoning I've put forth.

I'm not trying to give an explanation for "everyone." I'm just giving an explanation for me.
I absolutely have no idea how such things work in anyone else... but since I am me, it gives me a distinct advantage for monitoring and checking at least a few things.

I'm just saying they're not "totally irrelevant".

I would agree with such a statement.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by ringo, posted 02-23-2017 11:58 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by ringo, posted 02-24-2017 11:01 AM Stile has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 125 of 166 (800500)
02-24-2017 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 124 by Stile
02-23-2017 2:49 PM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
Stile writes:

ringo writes:

How do you decide what is "help" and what is "hurt"?


I don't.

I let the person-being-affected-by-my-actions decide.


Huh? How is that you making a conscious decision?

Stile writes:

ringo writes:

So, if my conscious mind was working "as Stile wants it to", how should I decide what is help and what is hurt?


The person asked for spare change. I would find it safe to assume they'll be happy if you give them spare change.

Again, how is that me making a conscious decision? It's just, "Yes sir, sure sir, three bags full sir."

Thus, giving them spare change is a good thing.

Tell that to the people on this forum who think I'm just fueling the panhandler's drug habit.

In the short term I give them spare change because I know I will feel bad if I don't. In the long term, I rationalize that I'm giving them their dignity by not assuming they're liars.

Stile writes:

If "because I want to help people instead of hurt people" is the same as "God did it" to you... then I don't think I can convince you otherwise. I can't even imagine the thought process that would lead to such a strange conclusion.


It's a pretty simple thought process. You say yourself that sometimes the answer is, "Because." You're leaving a big empty space in the middle of the equation with, "Insert conscious decision here," but you're not explaining how that conscious decision is made. Hence, you're not explaining at all.

We have the same problem with creationists all the time. They say, "That's just an assumption," but they don't understand that assumptions are based on something. You can't make conscious decisions in a vacuum. They have to be based on something. You're trying to tell us that it's just conscious decisions all the way down.

You remind me of the Christians I know who are always saying, "God is leading me to...."

God did it. Insert conscious decision here.

You seem to be rationalizing about "helping" but you can't explain what helping is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Stile, posted 02-23-2017 2:49 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by Stile, posted 02-26-2017 10:19 AM ringo has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 126 of 166 (800596)
02-26-2017 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 125 by ringo
02-24-2017 11:01 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
ringo writes:

Again, how is that me making a conscious decision? It's just, "Yes sir, sure sir, three bags full sir."

I don't think you understand.

Situation: A beggar asks me for extra money.

Conscious decision: I want to help the beggar instead of hurt him. In this situation, "help" and "hurt" are defined by the beggar. Since the beggar is asking me for money, it's highly likely that the beggar will be happy if I give him some money. Therefore, I try to help the beggar by giving him money.

Possible Result #1 - Beggar takes money, smiles, buys a sandwich and has a nice meal. He is thankful for me giving him money.
Conclusion based on Result #1 - I did a good thing.

Possible Result #2 - Beggar takes money, smiles, buys drugs, does drugs, wishes he didn't do the drugs, hates me for giving him the money.
Conclusion based on Result #2 - I did a bad thing.

Possible Result #3 - Beggar takes money, smiles, buys drugs, does drugs, was happy he did the drugs, likes me for giving him the money.
Conclusion based on Result #3 - I did a good thing.

I think about these ideas in my head, consider them... consider the situation, take a look around, use whatever information is available to me at the time to make a fully conscious decision.

Just because I do what someone wants doesn't mean I didn't make a fully conscious decision to do so. Perhaps if I got a bad feeling, or saw some previous results with the same beggar... I decide not to give the beggar any money. Again, depending on if this hurts or helps the beggar (as defined by the beggar) it could result in being a good or a bad thing.

You seem to have an issue where if something can be explained in a way you perceive... then you assume that's the only way it can be explained.

Taking 3 lefts gives the same result as taking one right.
But 3 lefts is not the same thing as one right.

Just because a result is the same does not mean the path to getting there is also the same.

Or are you trying to say it's impossible for anyone to ever make a conscious decision to give a beggar money?
That anyone, everywhere, who ever gives a beggar money is simply following the beggar's orders?

I think such a position is deeply flawed.

Tell that to the people on this forum who think I'm just fueling the panhandler's drug habit.

Tell them to come here, or one of my other morality threads. I'll tell them.

You say yourself that sometimes the answer is, "Because." You're leaving a big empty space in the middle of the equation with, "Insert conscious decision here," but you're not explaining how that conscious decision is made.

Wow. We really do have a huge disconnect on what's going on.

I said sometimes the answer is "Because" when you get down to questions like "Why do we have feelings at all?" and "Why do we have consciousness at all?" These are epistemological questions that simply do not have answer right now. No one has answers here... we must use the answer of "because" here. Even you do.

However, I absolutely do not use the answer of "Because" when I make a fully conscious decision. To conflate the two only goes to show just how far away your understanding of my explanation seems to be.

Hence, you're not explaining at all.

I've explained it to you every single time you've asked.
You seem to just toss my explanation aside and say "same as God did it." When it's clearly not.
I show you how I have possible options, how I think about the possible results of those options... and why I choose my decision over the others.

If that's not a "conscious decision" and that's what you're calling "God did it" or "Because"... then every decision anyone ever makes is "God did it." It simply doesn't make any sense.

You can't make conscious decisions in a vacuum. They have to be based on something. You're trying to tell us that it's just conscious decisions all the way down.

Again, not true.
I do base my conscious decisions on the explanations I'm providing you.
And my conscious decisions do not go "all the way down." They only go down as far as they can. There are epistemological barriers that prevent all explanations from going further. Mine are prevented by the very same things. I've told you this over and over again... yet you still seem to simply insist otherwise.

You remind me of the Christians I know who are always saying, "God is leading me to...."

I don't care what I remind you of. Such things are common.
I care what you can specifically describe what I'm like. So far, you seem incapable of detailing any of your concerns. You simply make flat statements and insist that my ideas are similar to "God did it." But after that insistence.. you never provide anything. You don't have an analogy that stands up at all. You don't have a description that actually applies to me. All you have is this formulation in your mind that you keep insisting on... despite me showing you over and over again how it does not apply to me at all.

You seem to be rationalizing about "helping" but you can't explain what helping is.

"Helping" is subjective. It's defined by each and every one of us differently.
Understanding this, I allow each individual-I-have-an-effect-on define it for themselves.
It's best understood through example, like the beggar one above. If you'd like more specifics, just ask about what's still eluding you.

Anything less would be declaring that my own personal subjective judgments are better than others' where others are concerned. Such a thing feeds back to my initial observation... that we are all "the highest authority" on our own feelings, where we are concerned.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by ringo, posted 02-24-2017 11:01 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by ringo, posted 02-26-2017 1:19 PM Stile has responded
 Message 128 by Phat, posted 02-28-2017 6:07 AM Stile has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 127 of 166 (800619)
02-26-2017 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Stile
02-26-2017 10:19 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
Stile writes:

Or are you trying to say it's impossible for anyone to ever make a conscious decision to give a beggar money?


I don't think it's impossible. I just think it's unlikely that it's as Spock-like as you describe. There's a lot of unconscious baggage on every "conscious" decision.

Stile writes:

However, I absolutely do not use the answer of "Because" when I make a fully conscious decision.


There's no such thing as a fully conscious decision.

Stile writes:

If that's not a "conscious decision" and that's what you're calling "God did it" or "Because"... then every decision anyone ever makes is "God did it."


No. Every decision anyone ever makes is partly conscious and partly unconscious. The God-did-it miracle is the omniscient consciousness that you claim.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Stile, posted 02-26-2017 10:19 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by Stile, posted 02-28-2017 9:05 AM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9500
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 128 of 166 (800783)
02-28-2017 6:07 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by Stile
02-26-2017 10:19 AM


Soulja Boy Tellem
ringo writes:

Tell that to the people on this forum who think I'm just fueling the panhandler's drug habit.

*Ahem* That would be me....
Stile writes:

Tell them to come here, or one of my other morality threads. I'll tell them.

You did a good job with your three possibilities scenarios.

The marines have a saying: Kill em all and let God sort em out.

We could argue that if we help em all with spare change, God can still sort them out....

My only argument is what constitutes "spare" change. I don't have enough money to feed the streets forever.

And that is a fully conscious decision on my part.

Edited by Phat, : added point


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Stile, posted 02-26-2017 10:19 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by Stile, posted 02-28-2017 9:33 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 132 by ringo, posted 02-28-2017 11:17 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 129 of 166 (800801)
02-28-2017 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by ringo
02-26-2017 1:19 PM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
ringo writes:

There's no such thing as a fully conscious decision.

I think this is where we disagree.

I think there is such a thing as a fully conscious decision.
You think there is not.

It is no wonder that we are so far apart when we have a difference of opinion at such a basic level.

From what I can tell, psychology hasn't been able to determine such a thing yet.

In fact, psychology doesn't tend to use the term "decision" or "choice" at all. They seem to prefer the term "motivation." Although they seem to be discussing the same idea.

There are many studies that show that most of the time we do not make use of conscious motivation.

For a simple example, in Europe there are many countries with a large majority opting for organ donation upon death.
There are also many countries with a large majority opting against organ donation upon death.

What's the big difference? The way the option is presented on the card.
The countries that default to "your organs will not be donated... check this box if you want to donate them" have a large majority of non-donators.
The countries that default to "your organs will be donated... check this box if you do not want to donate them" have a large majority of donators.

This seems to heavily imply that the majority of people (and, perhaps, the majority of our decisions) are simply "go with the flow"-ish type default, unconscious behavior.

But, of course, the "majority" is never 100%.

So what of the few who do think about it and make their choice?
What of the few who think about it and choose to go against the majority who seem to not-think about it?
What of the few who think about it and choose to do the same thing as the majority who seem to not-think about it?

Is it possible to ad-hoc some unconscious behavior reasoning to say that everyone has made an unconscious decision? I'm sure it is.
Is it possible that some people are, simply, actually making a fully conscious decision?

I think so.

I would define a fully conscious decision as this:

A decision where the decision-maker has multiple options. They review and consider the possible futures depending on the options they have available to them. Out of those options, they pick the one they want.
...and that's the end of "why" the conscious decision is made.
Simply because "out of the possible options, this is the one I consciously want."

I think this can happen.
I think this is what's happening to me when I explain to you why I choose to do good things.

Perhaps I am wrong.
But no psychologist has ever stood up to scrutiny saying "conscious motivations do not exist."
Until that day comes, I will continue to think that such a description of conscious decision making is possible.
It's also quite possible that psychologists will one day uncover that conscious motivations definitely do exist. They may not be as "popular" as unconscious motivations... but they definitely do exist.

You are unable to show one way or the other, just as I am unable to.
The science in this area simply isn't there yet.

So, if your entire opinion on why my ideas are false simply falls back to the opinion that you think fully conscious decisions do not exist.
I will point you towards the science that shows that you cannot possibly know such a thing yet.

No. Every decision anyone ever makes is partly conscious and partly unconscious. The God-did-it miracle is the omniscient consciousness that you claim.

According to the same current science, you can't possibly know this either.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by ringo, posted 02-26-2017 1:19 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by ringo, posted 02-28-2017 11:04 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 130 of 166 (800802)
02-28-2017 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 128 by Phat
02-28-2017 6:07 AM


Re: Soulja Boy Tellem
Phat writes:

My only argument is what constitutes "spare" change. I don't have enough money to feed the streets forever.

To me, this is a separation of priorities.

And I sometimes personally make the same separation.

As I described above... giving spare change to the beggar (if the beggar decides they're helped by the spare change) would be a good thing.
Conversely, not giving change to the beggar would be a bad thing.

However, I (like you) have limited resources.
Limited monetary resources.
Limited time resources.
Even limited "empathetic/psychological" resources.
Maybe even other limited resources I can't think of right now.

This is where the word "justification" comes in.

The way I see it... if not giving change to the beggar (as decided by the beggar) is a bad thing... then it's a bad thing. The beggar is the be-all and end-all decider on this issue.

However, I may justify to myself, that it's okay for me to do this bad thing (not give the beggar money) if my limited resources do not allow me to.

This is prioritizing.
I am prioritizing the use of my limited resources for other things. Perhaps to help my family and my wife. Perhaps to help myself. Perhaps for some other reason.

This doesn't make "not giving money to the beggar" a good thing. Nothing can change that other than the beggar's own resulting attitude.

It just means that I do a bad thing, but justify for whatever-reason.

Which then leads us to the next question:
Is that justification "acceptable?"

I leave such a judgment up to whoever wants to comment on the situation.

I'm sure some will find it acceptable, and some will not.
I have my own judgment on which justifications are acceptable, and which are not.

But such subjective things will always be different from person to person. We need to accept that such differences exist... not ignore them and call them something they're not.

The entire point to "getting together as a society and working together" is to see what limits we each have and live by and see if they're compatible or not. Getting to the bottom of questions like this is much easier if we actually talk about things in the same way.. rather than brushing over complex issues and making broad, unhelpful claims like "oh... that's just wrong. Right? Am I right? Who agrees with me? 2 people! Okay! That's good enough for me!!"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Phat, posted 02-28-2017 6:07 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 131 of 166 (800807)
02-28-2017 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by Stile
02-28-2017 9:05 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
Stile writes:

I would define a fully conscious decision as this:

A decision where the decision-maker has multiple options. They review and consider the possible futures depending on the options they have available to them. Out of those options, they pick the one they want.
...and that's the end of "why" the conscious decision is made.
Simply because "out of the possible options, this is the one I consciously want."


I would call that a "typical" decision - i.e. one that is not fully conscious. I can "consciously" choose chocolate ice cream over forty other flavours without having any conscious knowledge of why I prefer chocolate. I don't call that "fully conscious".

Of course conscious motivations exist - but they're not the whole story.

Stile writes:

It's also quite possible that psychologists will one day uncover that conscious motivations definitely do exist.


I said that FULLY conscious decisions don't exist.

Stile writes:

I will point you towards the science that shows that you cannot possibly know such a thing yet.


As far as I know, science and logic can not prove a negative - i.e. they can not prove that there is NO unconscious component.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Stile, posted 02-28-2017 9:05 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by Stile, posted 02-28-2017 11:59 AM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 132 of 166 (800809)
02-28-2017 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 128 by Phat
02-28-2017 6:07 AM


Re: Soulja Boy Tellem
Phat writes:

My only argument is what constitutes "spare" change. I don't have enough money to feed the streets forever.


All of the change in my pocket is spare. The twenty-dollar bills are not. And I don't write cheques to panhandlers. If they start asking for twenties or cheques, I'll be in a quandary. Otherwise, I'm not.

Phat writes:

And that is a fully conscious decision on my part.


It's more of a rationalization - convincing yourself that the wrong thing was the right thing.

I do make a "conscious" decision NOT to be selfish. Unconsciously I'm selfish in the short-term but I know that in the long term I'll have a guilty conscience if I don't help somebody. Short-term biology versus long-term socialization.

A large part of consciousness is being conscious (to some extent) of your unconscious. Ironically, the less conscious you are, the more conscious you think you are. The less you know, the more you think you know.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Phat, posted 02-28-2017 6:07 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 133 of 166 (800812)
02-28-2017 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by ringo
02-28-2017 11:04 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
ringo writes:

I can "consciously" choose chocolate ice cream over forty other flavours without having any conscious knowledge of why I prefer chocolate.

Why do you think "why I prefer chocolate" is required to be a fully conscious decision?

Isn't the only data you require, in order to make a conscious decision, that you do indeed "prefer chocolate?"

I mean, let's take the following possibilities:

-God made you that way
-Evolution made you that way
-Your past experiences made you that way
-The universe made you that way.
-You made you that way.

...regardless of why you are that way... the data you have at your disposal is that you do "prefer chocolate."

So why can you not have a fully conscious decision to choose chocolate based on the fact that you prefer chocolate?
What, specifically, is preventing such a thing?

This is what I mean when I use the term "fully conscious."
...it is a considered, reviewed, thoughtful decision made on the information available.

Do we have all the information? Of course not. But it's not needed.

Let's say God made you to prefer chocolate.
Let's say you know this.

Now, you can choose to have chocolate, or vanilla.

I would say that if you don't think about it... and choose chocolate, then you're not doing so "fully consciously."

However, if you do think about it, and think about the fact that God made you to prefer chocolate, and you accept this sort of thing... and you understand that you certainly could choose vanilla in order to "spite God" (or any other reason, and perhaps you've done this a few times in the past...). ...incorporating all this information... if you still choose chocolate... you do not think this is a "fully conscious" decision?
If not, why not? What else could it possibly be?

Is it impossible to consciously agree with a non-conscious urge?
Is it possible to use your consciousness to agree with a non-conscious urge?

Again, these are questions that are not answered either way by the science.

You can have the opinion that you cannot.
And I can have the opinion that I can.

But you cannot say that I cannot... just as I cannot say that you must.

I said that FULLY conscious decisions don't exist.

And the science is still not up to the point where you can say this. This can only be your opinion. Unless you have something to back it up with that has escaped current psychology to this point?

ringo writes:

Stile writes:

I will point you towards the science that shows that you cannot possibly know such a thing yet.

As far as I know, science and logic can not prove a negative - i.e. they can not prove that there is NO unconscious component.

But the science openly says that they are unable to show if conscious (fully or otherwise) decisions exist or not.
The science openly says that they are unable to show if unconscious (fully or otherwise) is all there is or not.
The science openly says that they are unable to show if everything "must be" a combination of the two or not.

You saying you can know such a thing is a baseless claim. Unless you can provide your own science or data to the contrary?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by ringo, posted 02-28-2017 11:04 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by ringo, posted 02-28-2017 12:29 PM Stile has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13326
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 134 of 166 (800813)
02-28-2017 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Stile
02-28-2017 11:59 AM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
Stile writes:

Isn't the only data you require, in order to make a conscious decision, that you do indeed "prefer chocolate?"


That's like saying the only data I need to decide who to vote for is, "I like his tie."

Stile writes:

Is it impossible to consciously agree with a non-conscious urge?


I didn't say it was impossible. The fact that we all do things that are bad for us is an indication that it doesn't happen very often.

Stile writes:

Is it possible to use your consciousness to agree with a non-conscious urge?


If you follow a non-conscious urge, what difference does it make if you rationalize it later as a "conscious decision"?

Stile writes:

But the science openly says that they are unable to show if conscious (fully or otherwise) decisions exist or not.


Can science ever prove that there is no unconscious component?

Stile writes:

You saying you can know such a thing is a baseless claim.


I'm saying that as far as I know science can not prove that there is no unconscious component in decision-making. Are you claiming that it can?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Stile, posted 02-28-2017 11:59 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by Stile, posted 03-01-2017 1:07 PM ringo has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 135 of 166 (800865)
03-01-2017 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by ringo
02-28-2017 12:29 PM


Re: Why I try to Help Others
ringo writes:

That's like saying the only data I need to decide who to vote for is, "I like his tie."

Exactly.
And if "I like his tie" is your reason for voting for him.. then that's a conscious reason.

Just as I'm saying "because I want to help people instead of hurt people" is my conscious reason.

You can think helping people instead of hurting them is not an "acceptable reason" for ringo. Just as you can think that liking a tie is not an "acceptable reason" for ringo.
I don't care whether or not you think my conscious reason is "acceptable."
But this doesn't change the fact that they are conscious reasons.

I would agree with you about the tie being unacceptable.
However, I think "trying to help people instead of hurt people" is a very acceptable reason for "why I do good things."

I didn't say it was impossible. The fact that we all do things that are bad for us is an indication that it doesn't happen very often.

I fully agree with you here.
I've only ever talked about when I have time to reflect, and make a conscious decision.

If you follow a non-conscious urge, what difference does it make if you rationalize it later as a "conscious decision"?

Not much difference at all.
But, "not much of a difference" doesn't mean "no difference."
And "rationalize" is different from "conscious decision."

I'm saying that I make a conscious decision, that's all.

Can science ever prove that there is no unconscious component?

As of yet, it's unknown (becase the science isn't there).

However, theoretically, of course this is possible.

It is quite possible for science to prove that there is no unconscious component required in order to make a conscious decision.
Just as it's quite possible for science to prove that there is no toothpaste component required in order to run a basic combustible engine.

That's what I've been talking about.

I'm not trying to say anything in some absolute knowledge sense. Proving a negative is not the only thing impossible for us in an absolute knowledge sense.
Thinking of anything in terms of an absolute knowledge sense is rather silly.

I'm saying that as far as I know science can not prove that there is no unconscious component in decision-making. Are you claiming that it can?

Not at all.

I'm claiming what I've been telling you all along... that the reason I do good things is because I make a conscious decision to try and help people instead of hurt people.
And the science (currently) supports that this position is fully possible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by ringo, posted 02-28-2017 12:29 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by ringo, posted 03-01-2017 2:14 PM Stile has responded

    
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