There is no right or wrong, good or bad, only experience

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by ForrestDean, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    The mindset I have is that I believe in all things but I have no interest in being bound by any of them.

    I just don't see the facts we have here as something that is written in stone given that they are derived from a subjective reality within an infinite Universe. Again, I only use them as I see fit as guides to a much larger truth.

    What I mean is that as of today we live in a self-servinig global society in which all aspects of this System is designed or programmed to serve only it's own self interests at the expense of everyone and everything else. This self-serving mindset permeates all aspects of the global society which includes all our institutions such as religions, government, corporations, etc., as well as most all individuals throughout the world. So the motives of those who gather and present information to the world are questionable. So, I take whatever information or "facts" that I resonate with or that I feel could be useful, and I discard that which I have no interest in at the time. I never see ANY information as right or wrong, good or bad, for after all it is only information. Again, I believe in all things. I just use whatever suits me at the time.
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  3. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Moderator note: This thread was split from the following thread:—at-least-as-far-back-as-220-000-y.161581

    As opposed to a non-real world? Which world would you consider real? All experiential realities are just that, experiences, and ALL experiences are just as real as any other. The word "delusion" is just a term reserved for those who are unable or unwilling to accept realities outside the one they experience now within their little bubble. The exact same applies to the word "hallucinations" as well. There is no such thing as hallucinations regardless of any scientifice evidence claiming that it's nothing more than neurons firing abnormally in the brain. It's the neurons firing "abnormally" that are actually allowing your brain to perceive other realities.

    Again, they don't.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2019
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  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    No such animal

    Forrest Dean - seems like a prime candidate for the Conspiracy Theory Factory

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    Not in the psychiatric ward

    Wow that's a relief

    OK doctors nurses listen up. It has just been decreed that there are no hallucinations. All those with such a diagnosis are to be released forthwith

    And make sure they don't take any medication with them. We do not prescribe medications for conditions which don't exist

    Wait wait incoming update

    OK OK we're good

    Keep taking the medications off those leaving I have been notified the ex patients will get perceived meds in their own perceived reality

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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I don't believe you when you say you believe in all things. I'm sure there are lots of things you don't believe in.

    You can choose your opinions, but you don't get to choose your facts. There are no "alternative facts", contrary to what the Trump administration might tell you.

    Worthwhile facts are objective, not subjective. When it comes to science, established facts are ones that are agreed upon by many qualified people, not just by one person or a couple of people.

    It's irrelevant that the universe is infinite (if it is). We can still determine lots of facts about things that are accessible to us from our little corner of the big universe.

    Societies exist to serve their own interests, or more specifically the interests of the individuals who make them up.

    Perhaps you're complaining about certain elements in society taking unfair advantage of other people in the society. There is certainly inequality in the world, in many forms and it's not wrong to be upset about that.

    I guess you have human nature to blame for that.

    That's a very wide class of people you're talking about there. There's no intrinsic problem in questioning motives, however.

    You ignore what is inconvenient for you. I see. Doesn't that make you self-serving, as well?

    I don't believe you.

    Is 2+2=5 right or wrong? You can't tell? You don't care? It doesn't matter to you? Maths doesn't resonate with you, so it doesn't matter?

    Murdering innocent children - right or wrong? You can't tell? You don't care? It doesn't matter to you? It doesn't resonate with you, so it doesn't matter?

  8. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Hehe, I like your sense of humor. It kind of reminds me of me.

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  9. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    I'm not really sure what the Trump administration is saying other than what I hear from other people. I don't watch the news or very much T.V. for that matter, and I have absolutely no interest in politics. So far all I keep hearing about is this wall thing.

    Yes, it is irrelevant that the Universe is infinite.

    I can also determine lots of facts about the things in my dreams I have at night.

    Nah, no complaints. Just basic observation. There is no right or wrong with the conditions of our world today. Everything is exactly as it should be. Everything is working exactly as intended. I am however fascinated by observing the actions of the global society today.

    Human nature versus human conditioning. Yeah, that's a topic for another discussion.

    Well of course it does, but it has nothing to do with ignoring. It's just a personal preference. I have no interest in broccoli either, but I don't ignore it, I just focus only on the foods I'm interested in. I have no interest in basket weaving, but I don't ignore it either. I like hiking, kayaking, jet skiing, sky diving, and many other outdoor activities. Well, the same goes for information, which may include facts about certain things. There's some information I'm interested in and others I'm not. There's nothing there to ignore so ignoring is not even a thought.

    As I said, the self-serving mindset permeates all of the global society. It is how the System was designed. I wouldn't be here typing at my computer if I were completely selfless. I wouldn't be participating in society if I were completely selfless. I'm here playing the game like most everyone else. If I don't play by the rules then I'll have to leave the game. But having said that I'm not entirely interested in many aspects of this game, but that is something I have to change within myself. I'm just here to learn. I'm just here for the ride gaining experience along the way.


    Yes, I care for all life, but not because I feel it is the "right" thing to do or because society perceives that it is the right thing to do, nor do I care for others to feel good about myself. I care for others for no other reason than I just want to.

    Again, there is no right or wrong. There is only experience. "Right" and "wrong" are purely human concepts derived from the human ego. However, I can certainly see how the concept of right and wrong are necessary given the mindset and lifestyle of society today.
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    You might find:
    Willi Dansgaard's Frozen Annals an interesting read.
    The book is basically an adventure story of scientific discovery.
    Given that science can only measure that for which it has the instrumentation, the story is about how knowledge leads to development of the instrumentation which then leads to more knowledge and via a thirst for more knowledge, a further development of the instrumentation.

    Here's the link to the thread I started in here about his book---which does not claim to be primarily a scientific treatise---but includes a fair bit of science in the "telling"

  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Eventually, and it has probably already happened, you will have an experience that conflicts with your perceptions of something you care about. At that point, questions of learning and growing will arise - change.
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  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I kind of agree. I'm inclined to think that (all?) propositions have some non-zero possibility. I'm not using 'possibility' in a strict logical sense there, more of an ontological sense. I accept at least the possibility of dialetheism. We seem to exist in a foggy possibility-space of unknown boundaries and extent. And we are wandering through that fog with a dim little flashlight, trying to lift ourselves out of ignorance by our own bootstraps, so to speak.

    In my opinion absolute truth and absolute falsity are more intellectual goals and ideals than something that human beings can actually know. We just take our best shot at getting things right.

    But having said that, I don't assign all propositions the same likelihood. Some are far more likely than others to be true.

    I'm inclined (Gettier or no Gettier) to accept the 'Justified True Belief' account of knowledge. But... if we can't really be 100% certain that any of our beliefs are actually true, then we would seem to have a problem. We would seem to be in a situation where we can't be 100% sure that what we take to be knowledge really is knowledge and not just false belief. That's what the philosophical talk about "Gods-eye" points of view is about. In order to have knowledge, or at least to know that we have knowledge, we would arguably have to have a 'God's-eye' point of view, the ability to directly intuit truth, that isn't available to mortals.

    So the emphasis shifts from truth to justification. While we can't be totally certain that any of our beliefs is really true, and hence we can't be certain that we really know anything, we can make judgements about how well our beliefs seem to be justified. Some beliefs are obviously going to be better justified than others. So that's where I part ways with you. The idea that anatomically modern human beings lived and possessed civilization hundreds of millions of years ago lacks the level of justification that I want to see.

    An additional problem is that our judgements about levels of justification are all historically contextual. They are arrived at in the context of what we take to be current knowledge. The ancients and medievals lived in very different intellectual contexts and they reached very different conclusions than our own today. But those conclusions seemed well justified to the ancients and medievals, by their lights.

    I'm inclined to identify 'facts' as objective states of affairs with their own ontological reality. They exist whatever we (or other sentient beings) think about them. Even if the Sun goes nova and the human race becomes extinct tomorrow, the rest of the universe will still exist out there. The billions of stars will continue to shine. (Things are what they are, and in most cases that doesn't depend on us.)

    There's no guarantee that what what we take to be the facts really are. We can always be wrong about anything we believe. I'm very much a fallibilist.

    Right. We are always trying to make our current historically-contextual beliefs about the nature of reality more consistent with incoming evidence. I guess that the ideal goal is to get complete information about everything and to generate a logically consistent "theory of everything" belief system that incorporates it all. (Never gonna happen in my opinion.)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  13. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Well, there is always something to learn. Every single moment of our lives is a learning opportunity.
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  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You say:
    And then a little further down:
    I'm wondering where you get your information about this global society from. If you don't follow the news or politics, what do you base your opinions about the global society on, exactly? Your dreams about it?

    See I'm wondering if your opinions on global society are as bereft of facts as your opinions on human civilisation.

    I wouldn't call those things facts. You might be able to determine some things about your own mind, but as far as determining stuff about the global society - or indeed anything outside yourself - from your dreams, I don't think that's possible. What comes out depends on what goes in, and you're telling us all that you basically don't put much in.

    So there's nothing you would like to see changed?

    This sounds a bit muddled to me.

    You say you care for all life. Let's assume you care about bunny rabbits. Now for a scenario. Warning: some readers might find the following example distressing. Viewer discretion is advised.
    Suppose you had some pet bunnies and I were to come to your house and start killing them with a club.* It sounds like you're telling me you might be a little upset about it, because you care for the bunnies. But at the same time, you're telling me that it wouldn't be wrong for me to club the bunnies to death: that the "wrongness" of such an action is a "purely human concept" derived from "the human ego".

    Again, I don't believe you. I think that you'd want me locked up or punished in some way by "the system" if I were to start clubbing your bunnies to death. If you really thought there was nothing "wrong" with it, there'd be no reason for you not to fetch your own club and join in.

    * Again, apologies to readers for the violent example. I would never actually club bunnies to death because, unlike ForrestDean, if he is to be believed, I hold that to do so would be wrong.
  15. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Based on this statement it would appear that you may not be aware of this, but you don't have to watch the mainstream news to know the mindset of the global society or to even know what is going on in the world. As a matter of fact, the mainstream news is the worst place to get reliable, factual "evidence" on what's going on in the world. I used to watch the news. I used to watch it a lot. But there is only so much misinformation I can ingest before throwing up. The information gathered and presented to the public by CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, and Fox News are extremely biased and unreliable. They work only for their own self-interest and the self-interest of their corporate masters. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is an actual conspiracy. I mean it's so plainly obvious now. They don't even try to hide it anymore. They no longer care that the people are now becoming aware of their dishonesty because they know there is nothing the people will do about it.

    Really? What's the difference? Your brain doesn't know the difference. They are all experiences. So what's the difference about gathering facts you see in this world and the facts you gather you in the world of your dreams?

    Well of course I would. Absolutely! I love change. The world would be boring without there ever being change. Change is the one thing that is constant. There is always change.

    Yes, because I care for all life I am saddened to see those get hurt or killed, but it doesn't change the fact that the morality of it is nothing more than a concept. Let me ask you this. Do you believe that right and wrong or good and evil are fabrics of the Universe? Do you view the concept of "good" versus "evil" being exclusively limited to people versus people or do you believe these are inherent qualities in all life? Whenever a virus or plague infects and kills a large portion of the human population do you feel the virus is mean and evil and deserves to be locked up and punished in some way by the system? The Universe doesn't recognize right or wrong, good or bad, evil or holy. When galaxies crash into each other destroying stars and planets in the process, or whenever a supernova explosion occurs and destroys the surrounding planets, the Universe doesn't try to stop it because it thinks it's wrong or bad. These are purely human concepts.

    Yes, it can be frustrating to see certain elements in society taking unfair advantage of other people in society. It's also disturbing to see lives all around the world being destroyed because of war, poverty, and famine due to greed and selfishness. Yes, I agree there is certainly inequality in the world, in many forms and it's not wrong to be upset about that. But did you think you were not responsible for the genocide that takes place in other countries? This is how the System was designed, and we are the designers. The conditions we see in our world today was our creation. It was our choice. "The world is what we make of it." is more than just some bumper sticker slogan. Truer words could not be spoken. As I said, everything is working exactly as it is intended to. Garbage in garbage out as they say.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The direction of the bias is not given by that observation.
    It's easy to say something is biased - a truism. But that tells you nothing about the underlying reality.
    The guy driving the bus over the cliff, the guy watching it happen, and the guy trying to bring it to a stop in safety, are not equivalently responsible for the bus going over the cliff. They are all part of "the system", sure - but not the same parts.
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Well, it looks like Geek's thread about early modern humans has been well and truly hijacked.

    Perhaps this thread should be removed from biology and genetics and moved to philosophy or even the ethics forum that I avoid reading like the plague.
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Noooooooo I don't believe the virus has any brain to comprehend such concepts as good / evil

    But I do believe we should wipe out the little barstard's if they try to kill us, even if they have no comprehension they are doing so


    They are human constructs. So as human constructs we follow them (or not) as human constructs

    Not valid in the physics world??? Correct but as far as I know we are not asking physics to follow OUR rules

    Arrrh so we design a system (not sure design is the best word - but go with it for the moment) which is far from perfect and people take advantage of the syasys. Who would have thought???


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    PS I t was just getting interesting

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  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What is required is the ability to distinguish reliable news sources from unreliable ones. Simply throwing the whole lot away amounts to tossing the good out with the bad.

    You might think that social media is good for news, perhaps, but news stories propagated by social media almost always have a mainstream journalistic source. There's only so much news gathering you can do by sitting at a computer. Real journalists are out in the world, observing, interviewing, talking to people etc.

    It's also important to be able to distinguish fact from opinion. So much of what passes as news today is actually opinion.

    Dreams aren't connected with the outside universe. They are generated within your brain. Why do you think that anything you dream would have a necessary connection to something in reality that you didn't already know?

    But you're telling me that there is no change for the better or worse, because good and bad are just egotistical constructs. I assume that you only love change as boredom-reliever, then. Is that correct?

    But according to you, getting killed or hurt is not a "bad" thing, because there is no good and bad. That's what you're been saying. Why would you be sad, if nothing bad has happened? I don't understand.

    I think that "good" and "evil" are perceptions that human beings have about things, or conclusions they come to. I don't think they are part of the "fabric of the universe" in some impersonal sense; that's a religious idea and I'm not religious. I also think that morality is a human construct. It is meaningless to talk about morality without talking about what people do.

    I do not believe that viruses are inherently evil or immoral, for the simple reason that viruses are not persons. They have no concept of good or bad, right or wrong. When we say that measles epidemics are bad, we mean they are bad for human beings - bad by our judgment of their effects on human beings. If the measles virus had a point of view - which it doesn't - then a measles epidemic would no doubt be "good" for the virus.

    It's one thing to say that moral ideas are human constructs, but it's quite another to say that therefore moral ideas don't exist, or aren't real, or don't matter. And that seems to be what you're saying.

    Explain to me why you think I am responsible for genocides in other countries.

    Collectively, yes. Individually, very seldom. Moreover, lots of individuals have no effective say in lots of aspects of "the System".
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    The possibility that some statements are both true and false at the same time? Got an example?

    One view of "truth" is that posited truths should be consistent with everything else that is known. One justification for something, therefore, is that it is not inconsistent with anything else that is known. A stronger justification, of course, is that it is implied by or inferred from what else is known.

    That is correct. It's also why it can be unfair to judge outdated ideas by the standards of today. We have access to more knowledge today than the ancients or the medievals did, so while their ideas might have been consistent with what they knew at the time, they might well be inconsistent with what is known now. They might well have been doing the best they could, given their state of knowledge.

    Similarly, here and now we are doing the best we can in the light of what we know now. It is inevitable that some of our current ideas will turn out to be wrong in the light of future knowledge, but we're doing the best with what we've got. It's unrealistic to expect more than that.

    That makes you a realist, and I am too.

    Personally, I am very wary of claims that certain people have some kind of direct access to special knowledge that is innate in them, for example by virtue of a claimed connection to a God. I'm wary because I've seen so many examples of how this kind of thinking can lead people astray, to the point where they preference their own subjective notions over that "objective state of affairs" that you mention.

    I think a fact is basically a piece of information that reasonable people agree on. The most valuable facts seem to have a very close connection to the material world. As we move away from what is directly and easily perceivable by an average observer, the status of "facts" becomes more debatable.

    I also think that we should recognise, though, that useful knowledge does not, by and large, consist of collections of facts. On the contrary, the most useful knowledge seems to lie in well-supported theories that make sense of large collections of facts. A good-enough theory actually has the power to trump certain "facts". By that, I mean that if a theory is supported by a million observations, and then a new observation comes to light that appears to be inconsistent, then it can be reasonable to assume, as a working hypothesis, that it is the new observation that is likely at fault, rather than the theory. This is not to say that we shouldn't carefully check the facts, of course.
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  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    That is the GREAT thing about gravity, it is a non sentient force

    Being non sentient it, obviously, has no idea about anything

    Here is the kicker, you can believe, or not, believe in gravity, it acts on your mass regardless

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  22. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes conversations can morph into totally different topics. Normally I have no interest in debating, but I was actually having fun with this one, and I just wanted to see how far James R would go with it. It's an endless debate that could run in circles forever.
  23. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member


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