Thursday, June 6, 2019

Rediscovering Faith: My Journey Back To Christianity - YouTube


I wrote:

Religion serves a purpose in that it curtails people's base instincts, but major stories in the Bible are recycled from previous religions predating Judaism by thousands of years that nobody believes in anymore.  In addition, the old testament is one of the evilest books ever written.

I believe in God in a generic way, but the Bible is absurd to the extreme.  You can do far better.

Congrats on drinking the Koolaid.  If it gives your life meaning then I say more power to you.  Many people go through life without meaning.  However, this is not a path to truth.

The evilness of the left does not make Christianity true, no more than it makes Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Mormonism true.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The future of humanity

I see a danger to the future existence of the human race, and it is the kind of thing that people should think about and prepare for now. Sometime in the next 50 years machines will be smarter than people. There are major technical hurdles to overcome, such as the inevitable end of Moore's Law, which probably mean that it is not right around the corner or even within the next couple of decades, but it will happen, and easily within this century. And if for some reason it does happen within the next couple of decades then that means the results will be upon us that much sooner.

We can predict what will happen next and follow it to its logical conclusion, which is a future without people.

As machines become smarter, people will become increasingly reliant on technology. We can see that already with smartphones, which only have been with us for barely over a decade. Eventually machines will do all the heavy mental work, which will make our lives easier, but also make us more dependent.

And since we will be so dependent on the machines, we will start incorporating them into us. This will evolve over time until we are no longer purely human, but human machine hybrids. Perhaps when your biological brain dies, the machine part of you will be able to continue with all your memories intact. Maybe it would have an artificial body or maybe it will exist in a virtual world. It is likely that some would prefer to live in a virtual world where they can do more things than they could in the real world. Taken to the eventual extreme, our descendants would no longer bother with biological bodies and prefer to exist as machine intelligences either in the real world or in virtual ones.

The evolutionary pressure will be against purely biological people. Having machines incorporated into you will make you more productive, competitive, and increase your quality of life.

The future I describe might be long distant, but if it is not the future we want for the human race then we should start thinking about it now. Maybe we could have a Pure Human movement that would prohibit the merging of machine intelligence with human intelligence? This could be roughly analogous to the current legal ban on human cloning, because we very likely have the technology right now to clone humans, but countries ban it because they are uneasy about the implications of where that might take us.

However, we might not be able to prevent it. Linking machines with human intelligence is likely to happen in such small steps that we will easily adjust to it. It is sort of happening already with our dependence on computers. It could also start as a series of military applications where having the most effective soldiers determines who wins the wars. And once the genie is out of the bottle, we will never get it back in.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, November 9, 2018

Jordan Peterson.

Jordan Peterson is a lot to take in.  He appears to ramble, but that is because he has much to say.  He looks at humanity on a kind of systems level, which is how do people function together and what values do they have?  He ties this to how mythology reflects the values that make society work.

It takes effort to understand Jordan Peterson, but he is fascinating to listen to.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Truth About Untruth | Postmodernism Exposed


I thought that this long video is a very good critique of Postmodernism, until the end when he brought up race and IQ, which is one of his favorite topics.   I think that the following video is a very good counter to this prejudice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE9jiPyLYZA

In response to Stefan Molyneux's video I wrote the following:

I would love to share this extremely good presentation, but the moment you bring up race and IQ you make it unpresentable, because others will dismiss you as a racist.  In fact, claiming that one ethnic group on average is significantly smarter than another is still racism.  David Duke said the same thing.  Like you, David Duke said that he was for European culture.  Where is the difference between the two of you?

You may think that this is based on sound science, but there are many reasons to think that this is questionable.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE9jiPyLYZA   Even if you could refute some of the things in this video, I think that we can't adequately test for culture and environment.   It may never be clear, or maybe it will more clear in 50 years, because as people rise out of poverty some or even all of the discrepancies will disappear, which is shown by the Flynn Effect.

Because of this, we put too much faith in IQ scores.  It is true that IQ scores are a great predictor of success, but we have a chicken and egg problem.  Successful people produce environments for their children that lead to financial and academic success.  They instill ambition and work ethic in their children, which by itself might account for the higher scores by Asians and Jews.  Environment and values will affect IQ scores.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Discussion: Sam Harris, the IDW and the left

The last minute and a half of this video makes Jordan Peterson sound bat shit crazy.  At least he does not clarify what he means in a way that people can understand and relate to.

He was pretty interesting up to that point, although he has a certain vagueness about his core beliefs that seem less rooted in concrete reality and more rooted in mythology.

He does his best work when he sticks to science, which in his field he is a very interesting speaker.  He became famous by trying to defend free speech against certain laws in his country of Canada.



Sunday, July 29, 2018

If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong

In response to:


I wrote:

Religious morality is also an opinion.  People accept one faith over another.  The morality of certain religions, if not most religions, justify murder on a mass scale.  How is it that the Bible has "Do no kill" and then the supposed God commands people to commit genocide multiple times, and even describes the supposed God as a mass murderer himself?  Hypocrisy is not a sound moral system.

I prefer morality based upon the reason that says that we respect of the rights of others because we want our own rights respected.  This is a morality that is inherent to human nature because we understand it naturally.  There are going to be those who violate it, because that is also human nature, so we need institutions that protect rights.

Friday, July 27, 2018

​Nietzsche on Democracy, Christianity and Decay (Prof. Stanley Rosen)

Some regard
Nietzsche as kind of crazy.  For others he has
an intellectual appeal. 
I think that Nietzsche wanted to tear down all the old institutions and morals.  He is kind of the opposite of Jordan Peterson who says that we need some sort of moral base to function as a society.  Jordan Peterson seems less concerned about whether or not religion is actually true than he is about what religion means to us as a society.

One thing I found interesting in the video is the notion that all structures are eventually replaced by something completely different.  This is kind of scary thought.  This is what the Marxists want.  We don't know what will eventually replace Western values, but it seems likely whatever it ends up being could be much more authoritarian.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism


Interesting.   

The argument that I have heard is that people who don't know the difference between right and wrong aren't lacking religion, but empathy.  Although correct, there are always going to be some who do lack empathy.  This also assumes that your society values empathy, which I suspect was deficient in the Nazis, the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union.  Therefore, I see no guarantee that a society would value anything beyond individual or national self interest.  Many would, but some would not.  You can make a convoluted argument for morality, but some would find these arguments too deep and discard them.

Of course, the atrocities committed under slavery in this country, and others, showed a complete lack of empathy, and religion was often used as the justification.  Sam Harris claims that good people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things, but if you want a good person to do bad things then you need religion.

I am not taking sides here.  I just think that the ideas are interesting.

The World Is Better Than Ever. Why Are We Miserable?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Youtube censorship

Re: Learned a new word

Larry,

Seems to me that there is a continuum, from a very oppressive society that tries to regiment all behavior, to an anarchist or nihilistic one where people lack any sense of purpose.

In my view, society should regulate and encourage behavior that is respectful to the rights of others.   By this, I mean we should teach children about civil liberties and respecting freedom.

As a logical extension of this, I also believe in courtesy.  

Since we do not share the same religious beliefs, I assume that we would disagree on what is moral and what is not.  I draw the line at respecting the rights of others.

​One of the many reasons I do not believe in anarchy is that there has to be some standard way of defining, for example, what is property ownership and what rights are.​

-- 


On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 9:36 AM, utahtrout  wrote:

Anomie



From this article describing social anomie...