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RSS WinstonC

Reward Points:667
Efficiency: Efficiency is a measure of the effectiveness of your arguments. It is the number of up votes divided by the total number of votes you have (percentage of votes that are positive).

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Arguments:599
Debates:29
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10 most recent arguments.
1 point

Personally I find that working out or going for a run burns off my negative emotions. Research supports this notion that exercise reduces stress (Source 1).

Sources:

(1) http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/exercise.aspx

1 point

There are a few overactive trolls and idiots but most of the users are reasonably intelligent and capable of debate.

1 point

If national borders were not enforced in developed countries, mass immigration would inevitably result. This is because people in undeveloped countries have an abysmal quality of life and naturally this makes them want to escape to greener pastures. Also, people can move to work in developed countries and send money back home. This allows their family to live like royalty because goods and services are far cheaper in undeveloped countries.

This massive population growth would lead to a number of problems. First of all, social programs such as healthcare, welfare, public education etc. would collapse under the strain caused by the massive increase in recipients. Secondly, resources that are already finite, such as housing and employment opportunities will become even more scarce. Thirdly, the citizens of undeveloped countries hold different views, some of which are clearly wrong, such as support for female genital mutilation. In a democracy, the more that the populace strays away from libertarian liberal democratic values, the more authoritarian our elected representatives will become.

1 point

In a perfect world, yes. In the modern world, no. The vacuum of power is too quickly filled by those who hunger for dominance. This could be prevented by a powerful, intelligent and conscientious populace but we don't yet have that. Interestingly, "Bitcoin Jesus" is currently negotiating with several countries to buy $100Mn+ worth of land to start an anarchist state (Source 1). If he is successful, given the type of person that will be attracted to purchase land there, there is a chance that it could work out favorably.

Sources:

(1) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-22/bitcoin-jesus-trying-create-sovereign-libertarian-utopia

2 points

I agree with everything you are saying about the world we perceive merely being the best that our senses can represent relative to the actual world. The problem is that the debate is titled "The world is a representation" which, while possible, seems unlikely. Some people will take the question literally, others, like yourself, will take the question as the OP intended (that our perception is not in line with the actual world). Both sides are correct and are talking past each other, despite the fact that everybody seems in agreement that an actual world exists and that our perception is merely our best representation of it.

1 point

"The Ultimate Reality is by definition bigger than the universe, and the universe is contingent on The Ultimate Reality."

OK good, so that means the existence of something isn't 100% proof that God exists. I can respect your point of view as long as there is the possibility that reality exists without God.

1 point

"Several have challenged this position as making up an undeniable version of god for rhetorical purposes."

It does seem that way when presented by TzarPepe, after all, he makes no room for reality existing without reality being God.

"But if this view of god has historical relevance, then it can’t be said to be strictly rhetorical word play. Indeed, there is some element of this worldview in many eastern religions as well as some sects of more western religions."

I do get what you mean, but I'm confused by the need to term reality God. What's the difference between reality as reality and reality as God? Why does it matter if reality is God?

"The error with this debate topic is that the OP insists others refer to ultimate reality as God. If you were to have a conversation wherein you simply discuss your beliefs about ultimate reality, while the OP discusses his beliefs of God, and neither insists the other change their language, then the conversation could proceed."

I completely agree, which is why I've spoken with him and yourself differently. Yet it still remains that there is no reason to call the sea Poseidon, except perhaps as a theatrical synonym.

"If it could be said that the universe is conscious, it would necessarily be a kind of objective consciousness. Since our entire understanding of consciousness is inextricably tied to subjectivity, even a conscious universe could not be said to be conscious in a way we could conceive."

Why would the universe's consciousness be objective? In my estimation the universe or everything that makes it up needs to be conscious in order for the omniscient criterion to be met. In addition, this consciousness needs to somehow be linked, making the universe a coherent entity. I do agree that consciousness for inanimate objects would likely be completely different to our consciousness though.

"It is only necessary insofar as it assists one in understanding the universe. If it is of no benefit to you, then it is certainly not necessary."

Is pantheism functionally the same as atheism for you? Or is it a compromise that appears to encompass all the facts?

"The universe, and its matter, has either always existed without a beginning, or it somehow began."

In my estimation, if matter began then it needs a cause outside of matter. I also have issues with infinite regression.

"The currently popular theory of the Big Bang is back and forth between the two alternatives. The universe always existed, but was in a hot dense state, then it expanded for unknown reasons. They aren’t using the word “god” but they haven’t been able to exclude his miracles."

I don't believe the Big Bang theory includes infinite regression, rather it simply states ~13.5Bn years ago all matter was compressed at one point. When you speak of miracles what do you mean? Do you mean things that our current understanding can't explain or things that break the laws of the universe?

"A person is a discrete entity and a personality is unique to that entity. If the nature of God is infinite and permeates the universe in all ways both physically and conceptually, then any individual traits that one might use to distinguish God from any other entity would necessarily preclude those other traits from existence. An infinite omni-god cannot be distinguished. God cannot be said to have some type of personality as opposed to some other type, because God would manifest all possible types."

I don't think I understand. Are you saying that if God had a personality then everyone would be like God? Or are you saying that God cannot be distinguished from his creation because he is infinite? Because he left his mark on creation?

"Perspective I guess. If two people look at the color red and one says they experience the color red, while the other says they experience an absence of all other colors, is there a difference? Only perspective."

I'd say they are both describing the same truth with different words.

"If referring to the universe as God is utterly useless to you, then it wouldn’t be a very good perspective. However, I believe that this reference carries with it a kind of attachment which can be very useful. I suppose I would say that the difference between Atheism and Pantheism is the outlook it brings to ones life."

I see, so it seems to be a way to combine some of the best parts of atheism and Theism.

"I believe it may be the case that the Universe is “conscious” on some level or in some way. The only specific reason I have to believe this is the fact that consciousness is an undeniable reality in this universe and since nothing in this universe goes out of existence but merely changes, I have to believe that consciousness is itself inherent in the universe. But again, if it could be said that the universe is conscious, it would be conscious of objective reality, which would be entirely unlike consciousness as we know it, which is subjective. "

I also think that consciousness is fundamental to the universe because nothing matters without it (and I don't just mean subjectively, there is no point to anything without consciousness or the potential for future consciousness). I'm not sure that all matter is conscious but I agree it could well be. Interestingly, the fact that consciousness is so fundamental to reality is why I consider myself a Deist.

"I have my own ideas concerning God and how the principles of God manifest in the cosmos, in the quanta, in biology, and in social/animalistic interactions. I don’t commonly discuss these ideas and suppositions because they are basically just that, suppositions."

I am like this, it somehow doesn't feel right to attempt to persuade people of things that wouldn't bear my own burden of proof.

1 point

"Sorry for late response. I think we've hit a stalemate about most points"

No problem, it was fun and I gained something from it. I'm not great at explaining my perspectives which is part of why I'm on this site.

1 point

"Do you realize you're just dismissing everything I say without making an argument?"

Actually, I'm simply stating, as you also do later in this very post, that with our current scientific capability we cannot empirically test free will or determinism.

"There is a difference between being conscious of your actions and actually controlling them you incoherent sack of monkey bollocks. You are more conscious of the processes that require more activity in the frontal cortex such as learning a dance. "Just because you are conscious doesn't mean you are in control" "Yet there is a palpable difference between consciously controlled behavior and unconscious automatic behavior. How do you explain this difference?" Why don't you explain the f$%&$ difference you &^$%[email protected]#, you think your "assertions" are more valid than mine?"

Automatic action is performed as a result of unconscious brain processes and could be said to be deterministic, whereas conscious action "feels" as if it requires conscious control. It is interesting that this feeling exists for consciously controlled action when it doesn't for automatic action, which may suggest free will. After all, why would we feel that some behavior was outside our control while other behavior was within it?

"There is no study which irrefutably proves or disproves the existence of free will, just like there is no study which can disprove or prove the existence of God"

The same goes for determinism, which is the view point you arrogantly tout as unquestionable truth while calling anybody who disagrees "flea brained".

"but what I can tell you is that the studies that have been done prove that most of the decision making process happens before you are aware that it is even happening, and that when you are "consciously controlling" yourself it's technically just one part of the brain sending feedback to the other to alter the out come"

Luckily for both of us, I actually know what study you are referring to: Libert et al. I, and other psychologists, have criticisms of the conclusions some draw from the study. First of all, for simple actions free will may not be necessary and some behaviors certainly are determined by environment and biology, such as the automatic recoil of one's hand after touching a hot stove. Further, there is no information available to shape our choice of one eye over the other and thus the eye is chosen at random. I find that when I choose an eye to wink, since it doesn't matter which eye is winked, I simply wink the eye that "feels" like it wants to wink. I don't sit and deliberate which eye to wink, the choice feels very automatic. Finally, evolutionarily it makes sense for feeling to come after action because acting fast has greater evolutionary advantage in life threatening situations than experience/feeling. This is why people automatically jump back when surprised by a spider or snake, because the avoidance of evolutionary threats is more adaptive than whatever the person was doing before the spider or snake appeared.

"that's where things get tricky though because there is still no way of quantifying the degree to which the actual consciousness aspect affects that process if at all. And even if it does, that does not mean that affect is "self determined" and the brain is still nothing but organic chemistry and electricity which is causally linked just like everything else in the universe."

It's possible, as I say I acknowledge that I have no clue if we have free will or not, since we have no real means of testing it.

"In the end it's just like the theory of evolution, it's technically a theory and technically a fact at the same time, because all the evidence points to it and anyone with the deductive faculties of a lobotomized carrot can figure out that evolution is correct, yet at the same time it cannot be directly and irrefutably proven because it's beyond our ability to carry out irrefutably conclusive experiments at the present time."

There is extensive evidence for evolution across many fields, the same does not hold true for determinism. The best evidence that exists for pure determinism is Libert et al. which is a completely random choice, there is simply no reason to choose one eye over the other and hence no internal deliberation is necessary.

2 points

"It was the only time that "tens of millions starved" simultaneously under Soviet Communism, which is the claim you used to attack Communism with. Please stop changing what you said after the fact you dishonest little scuzzbucket."

Where exactly did I suggest that they died simultaneously?

"Yeah cool, you silly little bigot. I notice you seem to have missed this one out:- RESEARCHER: FAMINE KILLED 7 MILLION IN U.S. DURING “GREAT DEPRESSION" Famine killed 7 million people in USA"

Actually, that study merely suggests a 8.5Mn population deficit in expected population growth between 1931-1940 (controlling for net emigration is why 7Mn is cited), with no cause empirically supported or investigated. The U.S. population actually grew by more than 10Mn between 1930-1940 (Source 1). Interestingly enough, mortality didn't increase during the great depression (Source 2,3), contrary to what would be expected if a mass starvation were occurring.

Sources:

(1) http://www.multpl.com/united-states-population/table

(2) http://users.ox.ac.uk/~chri3110/Details/ P514%20Banking%20crises%20JECH.pdf

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2765209/

About Me


"I'm not here to be belligerent. I prefer the dialectic style to classical debate."

Biographical Information
Name: Winston 
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single
Political Party: Other
Country: United Kingdom

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