1 of 2
1
The Science of Koran burning
Posted: 03 April 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2011-04-03

Pastor Terry Jones burns the Koran in Florida and people get killed by an angry mobs in Afghanistan. Now what is the science of this Koran burning? Let’s follow through on Harris’ suggestion in The Moral Landscape to take a consequentialist’s view on moral issues and let’s see if Koran burning improves human well being in any way. It certainly seems to improve the state of mind of pastor Terry Jones. I bet we could see oxytocin levels rising in the pastors skull if we had the technology to probe his mind during his frenzy of utter self realization and that good ol’ feeling of American patriotism. On the other hand the UN-officers that got killed by the mob would probably show much less happy brain signals while being slaughtered.


On his new blog, that marks a new era of free speech in an open society by annoyingly lacking the possibility of posting reactions, Harris argues that “anyone tempted to condemn them for provoking this violence has lost the plot”. Indeed, I freely admit I feel tempted, not to condemn the pastor for provoking, since I cannot probe the pastors mind for his intentions, but to condemn Harris for being a rather inconsequent consequentialist.


The question is not whether the pastor deliberately sought to provoke lynch mobs, but rather if, building on prior experiences ,  it is wise to pursue such symbolic acts that with high probability will trigger life threatening situations elsewhere. Could such consequences be anticipated and how probably are they? Certainly the pastor with the bushy moustache didn’t anticipate these consequences, he’s just blinded by faith. But what about Harris? Can he infer such consequences as a consequentialist? If so, than I guess that Harris would think it equally wise to send my 16 year old daughter at midnight to downtown Amsterdam on high heels and in mini skirt. Of course in this post I certainly seem to have lost the plot somewhere. So please enlighten me with some reason.

 Signature 

Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Dark Energy - 03 April 2011 02:47 PM

Pastor Terry Jones burns the Koran in Florida and people get killed by an angry mobs in Afghanistan. Now what is the science of this Koran burning? Let’s follow through on Harris’ suggestion in The Moral Landscape to take a consequentialist’s view on moral issues and let’s see if Koran burning improves human well being in any way. It certainly seems to improve the state of mind of pastor Terry Jones. I bet we could see oxytocin levels rising in the pastors skull if we had the technology to probe his mind during his frenzy of utter self realization and that good ol’ feeling of American patriotism. On the other hand the UN-officers that got killed by the mob would probably show much less happy brain signals while being slaughtered.


On his new blog, that marks a new era of free speech in an open society by annoyingly lacking the possibility of posting reactions, Harris argues that “anyone tempted to condemn them for provoking this violence has lost the plot”. Indeed, I freely admit I feel tempted, not to condemn the pastor for provoking, since I cannot probe the pastors mind for his intentions, but to condemn Harris for being a rather inconsequent consequentialist.


The question is not whether the pastor deliberately sought to provoke lynch mobs, but rather if, building on prior experiences ,  it is wise to pursue such symbolic acts that with high probability will trigger life threatening situations elsewhere. Could such consequences be anticipated and how probably are they? Certainly the pastor with the bushy moustache didn’t anticipate these consequences, he’s just blinded by faith. But what about Harris? Can he infer such consequences as a consequentialist? If so, than I guess that Harris would think it equally wise to send my 16 year old daughter at midnight to downtown Amsterdam on high heels and in mini skirt. Of course in this post I certainly seem to have lost the plot somewhere. So please enlighten me with some reason.

 


The attempt to find reason within magical thought is like herding bats in a wind storm…......while riding a blind, three legged donkey
............backwards…......three miles south of Barstow….....with your mother-in-law barking instructions…...........

[ Edited: 03 April 2011 11:14 AM by toombaru]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2011-04-03

The question is not whether the pastor deliberately sought to provoke lynch mobs, but rather if, building on prior experiences ,  it is wise to pursue such symbolic acts that with high probability will trigger life threatening situations elsewhere. Could such consequences be anticipated and how probably are they? Certainly the pastor with the bushy moustache didn’t anticipate these consequences, he’s just blinded by faith. But what about Harris? Can he infer such consequences as a consequentialist? If so, than I guess that Harris would think it equally wise to send my 16 year old daughter at midnight to downtown Amsterdam on high heels and in mini skirt. Of course in this post I certainly seem to have lost the plot somewhere. So please enlighten me with some reason.

I find it weird that you don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that there is a high probability for violent overreaction and retribution in the first place.  The irrational behavior of a husband who brutally beats his wife over anything isn’t excusable simply because his irrationality is predictable or expected.  And anyone who would try to blame Jones for what happened is essentially blaming the wife in this analogy.

I consider Jones to be an idiot for a number of reasons, but his assessment of Islam and the Muslim world at large isn’t necessarily incorrect.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Comatosis - 03 April 2011 08:07 PM

The question is not whether the pastor deliberately sought to provoke lynch mobs, but rather if, building on prior experiences ,  it is wise to pursue such symbolic acts that with high probability will trigger life threatening situations elsewhere. Could such consequences be anticipated and how probably are they? Certainly the pastor with the bushy moustache didn’t anticipate these consequences, he’s just blinded by faith. But what about Harris? Can he infer such consequences as a consequentialist? If so, than I guess that Harris would think it equally wise to send my 16 year old daughter at midnight to downtown Amsterdam on high heels and in mini skirt. Of course in this post I certainly seem to have lost the plot somewhere. So please enlighten me with some reason.

I find it weird that you don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that there is a high probability for violent overreaction and retribution in the first place.  The irrational behavior of a husband who brutally beats his wife over anything isn’t excusable simply because his irrationality is predictable or expected.  And anyone who would try to blame Jones for what happened is essentially blaming the wife in this analogy.

I consider Jones to be an idiot for a number of reasons, but his assessment of Islam and the Muslim world at large isn’t necessarily incorrect.

 


Does he stand on firmer ground?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2011-04-03

While his views on a variety of subjects may be moronic (and often conceptually identical to those of other religious extremists), to my knowledge he doesn’t advocate violence against others in the name of his religion.  It may be an entirely subjective distinction to you, but I think there’s a considerable difference between pushing an agenda through “conversation” versus doing it through violence.

Something is wrong in the equation if we should be afraid to speak for fear of violent reprisal.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Comatosis - 03 April 2011 10:21 PM

While his views on a variety of subjects may be moronic (and often conceptually identical to those of other religious extremists), to my knowledge he doesn’t advocate violence against others in the name of his religion.  It may be an entirely subjective distinction to you, but I think there’s a considerable difference between pushing an agenda through “conversation” versus doing it through violence.

Something is wrong in the equation if we should be afraid to speak for fear of violent reprisal.


Have you read the “Good Book” from cover to cover?
If he thinks that the Bible comes directly from the creator of the universe, he advocates violence against non-believers.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3255
Joined  2004-12-24
Comatosis - 03 April 2011 08:07 PM

I find it weird that you don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that there is a high probability for violent overreaction and retribution in the first place.  The irrational behavior of a husband who brutally beats his wife over anything isn’t excusable simply because his irrationality is predictable or expected.  And anyone who would try to blame Jones for what happened is essentially blaming the wife in this analogy.

Close, anyway. It’s more like blaming the wife/girlfriend who repeatedly returns to the abusive husband/boyfriend (no matter how well this one’s tweaked, though, it’s still not going to be a great analogy, quite frankly). Still not cool, but there is some complicity. It’s at least not just fabricated out of socialization/prejudice.

 Signature 

“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2011 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2011-04-03
toombaru - 03 April 2011 10:30 PM
Comatosis - 03 April 2011 10:21 PM

While his views on a variety of subjects may be moronic (and often conceptually identical to those of other religious extremists), to my knowledge he doesn’t advocate violence against others in the name of his religion.  It may be an entirely subjective distinction to you, but I think there’s a considerable difference between pushing an agenda through “conversation” versus doing it through violence.

Something is wrong in the equation if we should be afraid to speak for fear of violent reprisal.


Have you read the “Good Book” from cover to cover?
If he thinks that the Bible comes directly from the creator of the universe, he advocates violence against non-believers.

Few people these days promote the Bible as a book to be taken literally and in its entirety, otherwise we might as well consider the finer points of Leviticus and Deuteronomy legitimate topics of discussion (well, gay marriage apparently still is).  Regardless of the fact that it may be a fundamentally flawed belief system as a whole, Christianity has made a more sincere attempt to massage its practices and teachings into something that is loosely consistent with “civilized” society, even if that effort consists of turning a blind eye to the majority of the Old Testament minus a couple of cherry-picked passages.

Islam, on the other hand, has made no such effort.  The book is perfect, it’s written exactly as Allah intended it to be written, and it’s meant to be followed to a T with no exceptions.  You have entire countries with millions of people essentially still living in the past; that’s not so much the case with Christianity.

[ Edited: 03 April 2011 08:22 PM by Comatosis]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2011-04-03

This is not about the content of any religious book whatsoever but simply about being aware of probable consequences. That’s what my post is about. Relevant here is not if you have read some holy book but if you have read The Moral Landscape cover to cover. So please address the issue raised here by me, which is that a rational assessment of consequences, as suggested by Harris in The Moral Landscape, seems to lead to a condemnation of the act of the pastor, which contradicts the assessment made by Harris on his blog. 
 

Of course you may think it weird that here is a high probability for violent overreaction and retribution in the first place. Given the clash of religious cohorts in the past and the inability of religions to settle matters of belief through reason and evidence, it is pretty obvious to me that violence will emerge. But whatever you or I may think about the moral validity of these circumstances, they simply are given context.  Because the question I ask is whether the acts of the pastor attribute to human well being given this context of deeply rooted religious disagreement.

 
And please observe that I haven’t suggested that we should be afraid to speak for fear of violent reprisal. We should be aware of the probability of such consequences. Fear does not come into play when we make a rational assessment of probable consequences as suggested by Harris. And whose fear are you talking about anyway? That of the pastor safely residing in Florida or that of UN-officers in Afghanistan facing the gathering crowd? I think the pastor should better feel fear if he was to burn the Koran in front of an easily agitated lynch mob, don’t you? So the feeling of fear is not something that should be prevented under all circumstances and it is in itself not some kind of criterion for moral justice. 

 
Also, I didn’t assert that your dear pastor advocates violence, just that his actions, assessed by informed rational reasoning, predictably lead to life threatening situations. And furthermore that by Harris’ own standard - as thoroughly advocated by him in The Moral Landscape - knowledge of these probable consequences lead to a negative moral judgement of these acts.

 Signature 

Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 04:47 AM

This is not about the content of any religious book whatsoever but simply about being aware of probable consequences. That’s what my post is about. Relevant here is not if you have read some holy book but if you have read The Moral Landscape cover to cover. So please address the issue raised here by me, which is that a rational assessment of consequences, as suggested by Harris in The Moral Landscape, seems to lead to a condemnation of the act of the pastor, which contradicts the assessment made by Harris on his blog. 
 

Of course you may think it weird that here is a high probability for violent overreaction and retribution in the first place. Given the clash of religious cohorts in the past and the inability of religions to settle matters of belief through reason and evidence, it is pretty obvious to me that violence will emerge. But whatever you or I may think about the moral validity of these circumstances, they simply are given context.  Because the question I ask is whether the acts of the pastor attribute to human well being given this context of deeply rooted religious disagreement.

 
And please observe that I haven’t suggested that we should be afraid to speak for fear of violent reprisal. We should be aware of the probability of such consequences. Fear does not come into play when we make a rational assessment of probable consequences as suggested by Harris. And whose fear are you talking about anyway? That of the pastor safely residing in Florida or that of UN-officers in Afghanistan facing the gathering crowd? I think the pastor should better feel fear if he was to burn the Koran in front of an easily agitated lynch mob, don’t you? So the feeling of fear is not something that should be prevented under all circumstances and it is in itself not some kind of criterion for moral justice. 

 
Also, I didn’t assert that your dear pastor advocates violence, just that his actions, assessed by informed rational reasoning, predictably lead to life threatening situations. And furthermore that by Harris’ own standard - as thoroughly advocated by him in The Moral Landscape - knowledge of these probable consequences lead to a negative moral judgement of these acts.

 

 

One cannot apply reason to a delusional belief structure.
Those saturated in what is perceived as the ultimate truth channeled through the almighty god of the universe cannot imagine that their actions are harmful.
And even if they are, that is their god’s will.
Who cares if a few non-believers lose their life?
Even God detests their miserable existence.
Look at the history of the entire Islam-Judeo-Christian religions.
It is not logic and reason that tempers their bloody course.
It is fear and fear alone that drives the machinery of faith.

[ Edited: 04 April 2011 08:45 AM by toombaru]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2011-04-03

You don’t seem to register that the act-consequence relation I’m talking about does not require the application of logic to religious belief at all. It is just about the predictability of human behaviour when certain sensitivities are triggered, based on prior experiences or similar experiences. No religion required. If I today in public would announce that I tomorrow will march through the streets with a swastika banner, it ain’t rocket science that this will instigate some reaction, possibly violent ones. At least that’s what I can expect here.

 Signature 

Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 12:51 PM

You don’t seem to register that the act-consequence relation I’m talking about does not require the application of logic to religious belief at all. It is just about the predictability of human behaviour when certain sensitivities are triggered, based on prior experiences or similar experiences. No religion required. If I today in public would announce that I tomorrow will march through the streets with a swastika banner, it ain’t rocket science that this will instigate some reaction, possibly violent ones. At least that’s what I can expect here.

 

Are you suggesting that human behavior can be understood by the very mechanism in which the behavior occurs?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2011-04-03

And precisely what mechanism are you referring to in ” the very mechanism in which the behavior occurs”?

 Signature 

Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 02:08 PM

And precisely what mechanism are you referring to in ” the very mechanism in which the behavior occurs”?


The human mind.
Can the human mind understand the human mind?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  21
Joined  2011-04-03
toombaru - 04 April 2011 02:10 PM
Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 02:08 PM

And precisely what mechanism are you referring to in ” the very mechanism in which the behavior occurs”?


The human mind.
Can the human mind understand the human mind?

This is not about the the human mind. This is about inference from known behaviour.

 Signature 

Causality is nothing but an assumption about the non-reducibility of a model that correlates two or more events of physical reality.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2011 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  802
Joined  2010-11-12
Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 02:17 PM
toombaru - 04 April 2011 02:10 PM
Dark Energy - 04 April 2011 02:08 PM

And precisely what mechanism are you referring to in ” the very mechanism in which the behavior occurs”?


The human mind.
Can the human mind understand the human mind?

This is not about the the human mind. This is about inference from known behavior.

 

 

The human mind creates a conceptual overlay that it mistakes for reality.
Its perceptual input is filtered through a web of self-referential mnemonic debris.
Essentially it is nothing but survival-reproductive machinery.
It cannot objectively observe its behavior simply because it emerges within that very actions that it is trying to study.

The fundamental question is:
Can consciousness understand consciousness?

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
‹‹ Conumdrum      "Morality" ››
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed