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-   -   A new religion... (https://forums.utopiatemple.com/showthread.php?t=78762)

Black Oranje 02-Dec-2011 23:42

A new religion...
 
in this topic I'm going to make a major assumption. For the purposes of the discussion, I'm going to assume the following: Religions were born back in the days mainly as a way to explain the world with the knowledge and beliefs at hand.

There. That's the assumption. It's not what I wanna discuss here. Just roll with it for the remainder of this topic.

Here's what I wanna discuss:

If a religion was born today in the sense of the assumption, so taking all scientific knowledge at hand in consideration and ignoring scientology crap and suicidal sects, what would it be like?

DHoffryn 03-Dec-2011 08:31

Why would you ignore Scientology? You may not like it but Scientology, the Moonies and whatver else are still legitimate religions(well where they are not banned). Yes they are crazy but objectively speaking they are only crazier then others because they are new and don't have the authority of the old ones

Unreal21 03-Dec-2011 09:01

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DHoffryn (Post 1698697)
Why would you ignore Scientology? You may not like it but Scientology, the Moonies and whatver else are still legitimate religions(well where they are not banned). Yes they are crazy but objectively speaking they are only crazier then others because they are new and don't have the authority of the old ones

So basically what you're saying is religion would be more like scientology with science fiction of its sects being replaced by science fact to make a modern religion?

A new religion would be recognizing science as an official religion. But I think the name Atheism and Agnostic are already taken.

DHoffryn 03-Dec-2011 16:38

Quote:

So basically what you're saying is religion would be more like scientology with science fiction of its sects being replaced by science fact to make a modern religion?
What I am saying is that Scientology and the Moonies ARE new religions born in time of science. And they are just as crazy as the old ones. Science doesn't make much difference

Black Oranje 03-Dec-2011 21:05

Well why don't we use this topic to create one that is... less crazy? just for fun, ofcourse.

Unreal21 04-Dec-2011 00:31

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DHoffryn (Post 1698702)
What I am saying is that Scientology and the Moonies ARE new religions born in time of science. And they are just as crazy as the old ones. Science doesn't make much difference

We're saying the same thing, just with different words :p.

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Well why don't we use this topic to create one that is... less crazy? just for fun, ofcourse.
Effin eh! Although that sounds like something that belongs in the loon bin doesnt it?

Gotterdammerung 04-Dec-2011 04:09

Transhumanism and Industrial Society as decribed by Theodore Kaczynski.

Unreal21 04-Dec-2011 06:26

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung (Post 1698710)
Transhumanism and Industrial Society as decribed by Theodore Kaczynski.

I dont have time to interpret that. Care to elaborate?

Gotterdammerung 04-Dec-2011 08:43

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unreal21 (Post 1698712)
I dont have time to interpret that. Care to elaborate?

The question was what a new modern day religion would look like. The answer: Transhumanism.

For context I mentioned the writings of Kaczynski. You will find a lot in common with behaviour of mass religion and the emergence of Industrial Society as he puts it.

I think when people start putting faith and the promise of salvation in machines, it classifies as religion.

-> Would you like to know more?

Black Oranje 04-Dec-2011 10:39

Yeh I would like to know more :)

(was that a startship troopers reference?)

Gotterdammerung 05-Dec-2011 06:20

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by B1ackAurora (Post 1698714)
Yeh I would like to know more :)

(was that a startship troopers reference?)

Haha! Indeed it was!

Gotterdammerung 06-Dec-2011 08:07

But you may dislike that I view Starship Troopers like an Orwellian dystopia - a parody even - dispute what the original author never intended it to be. The movies' hyperbole confirmed this perception to me.

Voice of Reason 06-Dec-2011 13:50

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung (Post 1698734)
But you may dislike that I view Starship Troopers like an Orwellian dystopia - a parody even - dispute what the original author never intended it to be. The movies' hyperbole confirmed this perception to me.

Don't worry about that. What the author intended is irrelevant. Intentional Fallacy, Reader Response Theory, Death of the Author, all that stuff. All that matters is how you react to the text.


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I think when people start putting faith and the promise of salvation in machines, it classifies as religion.
I think you are wrong. *Blind* faith classifies religion. Justified faith does not. If I owned a car, and it was a well-maintained reasonably new car, I would have faith that it would start when I turned the key. That is not 'religion' because I have good reason for that faith. Religions, in contrast, have faith in the existence of various deities despite a complete absence of any reason to believe in them.


On modern religions, I think the definition needs to be extended to any broadly accepted idea that lacks any rational support. This would then take in such notions as tax cuts creating jobs, spending cuts helping economies to grow, denial of global warming, the existence of flying saucers, or whales/monkeys/birds/whatever having language.

Gotterdammerung 07-Dec-2011 06:45

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698740)
I think you are wrong. *Blind* faith classifies religion. Justified faith does not. If I owned a car, and it was a well-maintained reasonably new car, I would have faith that it would start when I turned the key. That is not 'religion' because I have good reason for that faith. Religions, in contrast, have faith in the existence of various deities despite a complete absence of any reason to believe in them.

Okay, let me take a step back here and mention Kaczynski again.

Technology is viewed as forcing mankind into surrogate activities, i.e. passive actions which involve the agent of another or a machine to do all the work for them, thus reducing the inherent power of said indiviual.

To use your example, you may drive a car, but since the car is doing the work for you, then the less work You have done to achieve set result. Normally, this is seen as a good thing, but as the process continues, technology slowly makes you less relevant and less powerful.

So then, I agree completely with your idea of religion being linked with irrationally. This aspect I mention, of willingly reducing your own power, seems irrational to me.

Quote:

On modern religions, I think the definition needs to be extended to any broadly accepted idea that lacks any rational support. This would then take in such notions as tax cuts creating jobs, spending cuts helping economies to grow, denial of global warming, the existence of flying saucers, or whales/monkeys/birds/whatever having language.
I second this, though I think all of these things mentioned can simply be labelled as superstitious, communially known as cults, and then only religion when like superstition are held on a mass scale.

Black Oranje 07-Dec-2011 07:10

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung (Post 1698751)
Okay, let me take a step back here and mention Kaczynski again.

Technology is viewed as forcing mankind into surrogate activities, i.e. passive actions which involve the agent of another or a machine to do all the work for them, thus reducing the inherent power of said indiviual.

To use your example, you may drive a car, but since the car is doing the work for you, then the less work You have done to achieve set result. Normally, this is seen as a good thing, but as the process continues, technology slowly makes you less relevant and less powerful.

So then, I agree completely with your idea of religion being linked with irrationally. This aspect I mention, of willingly reducing your own power, seems irrational to me.

It seems to me it's less being dependant on them and more utilizing them to extend our capibilities. My car might break down, so yeh it has the power to make me late for work. It wasn't a consious malignent decision. It doesnt mean I shouldnt own a car to get to work.
And yeh when society breaks down (see new orleans) people get hurt and die. But once again only because we used technology to extend our capibilities. In this case, the level of population we can sustain within a certain area. We could take away all technology, and our world population would drop like a stone. But we wouldnt become extinct. So it's really not -total- dependence, thus the machines don't wield -total- power.



Quote:

I second this, though I think all of these things mentioned can simply be labelled as superstitious, communially known as cults, and then only religion when like superstition are held on a mass scale.
So then the belief that a broken mirror causes 7 years of bad luck classifies as a religion?
I have another thing a religion needs: an answer to life's big questions: How did we get here, what happens when we die, why is the world the way it is.

Voice of Reason 07-Dec-2011 07:23

Yes, I know that you are appealing to the Unabomber as an authority, but leaving aside the credibility of a guy who thought blowing people up was cool, and leaving aside that he had some obsession with becoming some kind of noble savage at one with nature, he is plain and simply wrong.

His first mistake is equating 'not natural' with having less autonomy. This doesn't stand up: choosing not to scrape a living as a subsistence farmer does not mean that I am a) incapable of it or b) that my choices and hence autonomy are reduced.

His second is then to equate this imagined loss of autonomy with a loss of power, which is so wrong it is almost a joke.

To take your car example - how exactly does the ability to drive *reduce* my power and relevance? If anything, it extends it by making it practical for me to travel to places, and meet people, that would otherwise not be worth the effort. Without Unabomers evil machines, we would not be having this conversation.

Voice of Reason 07-Dec-2011 07:34

Quote:

So then the belief that a broken mirror causes 7 years of bad luck classifies as a religion?
If you genuinely believe it to be true, yes it does. Especially as the origin of that belief lies in religion. You know the story of people who believe that when there photograph is taken it captures a part of their soul? The same thing is true in many primitive religions for reflections - they contain part of the soul. Shatter the reflection, and you shatter the persons soul.

The seven years part comes from the problems faced by servants who broke their masters mirror. Glass, until relatively recently, was very expensive and mirrors where backed with silver. Breaking one would take a servant years - maybe seven of them - to pay off.

Gotterdammerung 07-Dec-2011 08:03

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by B1ackAurora (Post 1698752)
So it's really not -total- dependence, thus the machines don't wield -total- power.

Not totally, no, not yet. But there is a positive relationship, yes?

Quote:

So then the belief that a broken mirror causes 7 years of bad luck classifies as a religion?
I have another thing a religion needs: an answer to life's big questions: How did we get here, what happens when we die, why is the world the way it is.
Yes, I just gave you the chain of being: Superstition -> Cult -> Religion.

[...]

Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698753)
Yes, I know that you are appealing to the Unabomber as an authority, but leaving aside the credibility of a guy who thought blowing people up was cool, and leaving aside that he had some obsession with becoming some kind of noble savage at one with nature

The snake show doesn't start until 5. Put that viper away.

Quote:

His first mistake is equating 'not natural' with having less autonomy. This doesn't stand up: choosing not to scrape a living as a subsistence farmer does not mean that I am a) incapable of it or b) that my choices and hence autonomy are reduced.
Yes, it exactly does. Aristotle: "We are what we repeatly do".

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To take your car example
The car was originally your example.

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- how exactly does the ability to drive *reduce* my power and relevance?
Because that job or action has been deligated to a machine. Your mechanical input is no longer required to complete this journey. You are literally powerless therefore largely irrelevant (besides the relatively miniscule effort required to steer) to completion of this journey.

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If anything, it extends it by making it practical for me to travel to places, and meet people, that would otherwise not be worth the effort.
Distance is relative. What you mean by 'practical' is therefore relative.

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Without Unabomers evil machines, we would not be having this conversation
That's the nature of assymetric warfare; using the box within the box to destroy the boxes.

Voice of Reason 07-Dec-2011 09:08

Quote:

The snake show doesn't start until 5. Put that viper away.
What viper? I am stating facts. In case you are unaware, Kacynski really did live in a log cabin in the wilderness, with neither electricity nor running water, honing his survival skills in an attempt to become totally self-sufficient. When development started damaging 'his' wilderness, he was so pissed off that he started killing people with his bombing campaign. Not the most stable of individuals...


Quote:

Yes, it exactly does. Aristotle: "We are what we repeatly do".
Let me give you the whole quote:

"Virtue is a quality won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Virtue, then, is not an act but a habit."

In common use, they often use 'excellence' instead of 'virtue'. I guess 'excellence' fits in with the marketing/business/self-improvement/motivational types who like this quote

Now, where in there do you get the idea that Aristotle thought that technology reduced autonomy? Quite the opposite - he is saying that that virtue (or excellence) is something achieved *through autonomous human actions*.


Quote:

Because that job or action has been deligated to a machine. Your mechanical input is no longer required to complete this journey. You are literally powerless therefore largely irrelevant (besides the relatively miniscule effort required to steer) to completion of this journey.
The car is not going to make that journey by itself. It is not going to attend a function or a meeting in my place. It is me that chooses where to go, when to go, what route to take. The car is a tool controlled by me. How does that make me powerless or irrelevant to the journey?


Quote:

Distance is relative. What you mean by 'practical' is therefore relative.
Exactly. What is a long, impractical journey on foot is quite easy and practical in a car, and a quick lunch-time visit in a helicopter. So how do the car and the helicopter make us less powerful?

Gotterdammerung 08-Dec-2011 04:24

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698761)
What viper? I am stating facts. In case you are unaware, Kacynski really did live in a log cabin in the wilderness, with neither electricity nor running water, honing his survival skills in an attempt to become totally self-sufficient. When development started damaging 'his' wilderness, he was so pissed off that he started killing people with his bombing campaign. Not the most stable of individuals...

Not the most docile of individuals.

But what does all this have to do with the substance of what someone says? That's Ad Hominem. You well know this Mr. Linguist.

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Now, where in there do you get the idea that Aristotle thought that technology reduced autonomy?
I didn't. I merely used the wisdom of Aristotle to riposte your assumption that just because you arn't a farmer doesn't mean you can't be one. The fact is that you ARN'T one, you simply don't live this way, therefore there is no way that you could possibily know that self-sufficiency brings a lot of virtues which surburia lacks. Namely, being empowered.

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Quite the opposite - he is saying that that virtue (or excellence) is something achieved *through autonomous human actions*
Well, I know that Aristotle bumped heads on this particular point, seen through his dislike for Diogenes of Sinope. I think Diogenes has a better understanding of Freedom than Aristotle did.

None the less, the above point still holds. I don't think Diogenes would dispute that habit is truer that action.

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The car is not going to make that journey by itself. It is not going to attend a function or a meeting in my place. It is me that chooses where to go, when to go, what route to take. The car is a tool controlled by me. How does that make me powerless or irrelevant to the journey?
You have other 'tools' that you use to organize functions and meetings for you, and to choose which route for you should take. You see?

Anyway, you're right, the car is not going to make the journey by itself, but 99.99% of the work is done by the car. That's all I wanted tot say. Bit by bit you can apply this pattern to other machines in your life, and the increasing turnover of power of the individual - you - to 'them'.

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Exactly. What is a long, impractical journey on foot is quite easy and practical in a car, and a quick lunch-time visit in a helicopter. So how do the car and the helicopter make us less powerful?
You seem to think that the distance travelled matters. It's beside the point. In the end, all you do is sit down and wait for a machine to do the work for you. That's the principal I'm setting here.

Voice of Reason 08-Dec-2011 10:17

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Not the most docile of individuals.
Not docile. Care to explain exactly what is so reasoned and stable about killing three people and injuring 23 others?


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But what does all this have to do with the substance of what someone says? That's Ad Hominem. You well know this Mr. Linguist.
Mr Linguist also knows that your appeal to authority is itself an ad hominem argument, though to be accurate that is a matter of rhetorical logic and hence in the field of literature rather than linguistics. No problem though, my BA is English Lit. so I can do both. :D

All I am pointing out is that if you are going to go with "it is right because [insert name] said it" (the obverse of "it is wrong because [insert name] said it") then appealing to the authority of a crank philosophy, dreamt up by a serial killer, who was trying to make his murders appear noble, is not the most convincing of arguments.


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I merely used the wisdom of Aristotle to riposte your assumption that just because you arn't a farmer doesn't mean you can't be one. The fact is that you ARN'T one, you simply don't live this way, therefore there is no way that you could possibily know that self-sufficiency brings a lot of virtues which surburia lacks.
The wisdom of Aristotle doesn't refute my assumption. I chose not to be a farmer because i have the autonomy to that. If I chose to be a farmer, I could. Give me one good reason why I can't.

I don't need to hack off my arm with a chainsaw to know that it would hurt like hell. I don't need to go back to primitive subsistence farming to know I wouldn't enjoy it. If Unabomber likes that sort of thing, good for him. What I don't believe is his nonsense about machines reducing autonomy. How is using a car to get from A to B less 'autonomous' than riding a 100% natural horse?


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Bit by bit you can apply this pattern to other machines in your life, and the increasing turnover of power of the individual - you - to 'them'.
You keep repeating this, but - just like Mr Unabomber - you don't explain *how* me using the tools available to me reduces my power, or in fact why they don't increase my power by allowing me to do things that would otherwise be impossible for humans. The whole position is built on an unproven premise.


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You seem to think that the distance travelled matters.
It does matter. You are saying machines reduce my power. I am saying that as machines allow me to travel, in any given time, further than I could on foot, they are increasing my power.

How is the power to travel 100 miles in an hour *less* than the power to travel 5 miles in an hour?


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In the end, all you do is sit down and wait for a machine to do the work for you. That's the principal I'm setting here.
Yes, the machine does the work. So what? As I control the machine my autonomy is unaffected, and as I can do useful things like traveling very fast, flying in the air, crossing oceans and continents while I sleep, talking in real to time to anywhere in the world, etc, these machines increase my power. What is bad about that?

Gotterdammerung 09-Dec-2011 06:27

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698768)
Not docile. Care to explain exactly what is so reasoned and stable about killing three people and injuring 23 others?

Mr Linguist also knows that your appeal to authority is itself an ad hominem argument, though to be accurate that is a matter of rhetorical logic and hence in the field of literature rather than linguistics. No problem though, my BA is English Lit. so I can do both. :D

All I am pointing out is that if you are going to go with "it is right because [insert name] said it" (the obverse of "it is wrong because [insert name] said it") then appealing to the authority of a crank philosophy, dreamt up by a serial killer, who was trying to make his murders appear noble, is not the most convincing of arguments.

Whoever said it is irrelevant. I am just refering to the idea and crediting who said it.

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The wisdom of Aristotle doesn't refute my assumption. I chose not to be a farmer because i have the autonomy to that. If I chose to be a farmer, I could. Give me one good reason why I can't.
I don't need to. You're not a farmer. This thing you call autonomy is an abstract pipedream until you utilize it.

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I don't need to hack off my arm with a chainsaw to know that it would hurt like hell. I don't need to go back to primitive subsistence farming to know I wouldn't enjoy it. If Unabomber likes that sort of thing, good for him. What I don't believe is his nonsense about machines reducing autonomy. How is using a car to get from A to B less 'autonomous' than riding a 100% natural horse?
Yes, well, a horse is much more responsive and engaging than a cold machine like a car. It takes more skill and work to ride a horse, thus it gives you more personal power.

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You keep repeating this, but - just like Mr Unabomber - you don't explain *how* me using the tools available to me reduces my power, or in fact why they don't increase my power by allowing me to do things that would otherwise be impossible for humans. The whole position is built on an unproven premise.

It does matter. You are saying machines reduce my power. I am saying that as machines allow me to travel, in any given time, further than I could on foot, they are increasing my power.

How is the power to travel 100 miles in an hour *less* than the power to travel 5 miles in an hour?

Yes, the machine does the work. So what? As I control the machine my autonomy is unaffected, and as I can do useful things like traveling very fast, flying in the air, crossing oceans and continents while I sleep, talking in real to time to anywhere in the world, etc, these machines increase my power. What is bad about that?
I've explained it a few times already in how you do less work. Giving out orders from afar like a manager, or general, or a car-driver would, seems empowering, but really all you are doing is pointing fingers. I'm talking about power as in personal engagement in an activity. I'm talking about power in relation to input, not output. Since you need to have power to make any input, the output is really inconsequencual to instrinsic power.

Voice of Reason 09-Dec-2011 10:31

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Whoever said it is irrelevant. I am just refering to the idea and crediting who said it.
Yet you saw fit to mention the name, twice. But forgot to mention the Unabomber bit...

If you really thought it irrelevant, why credit it? If the idea was the main argument you would simply state the argument - then it wouldn't be an ad hominem appeal to authority.


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I don't need to.
You can't.


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This thing you call autonomy is an abstract pipedream until you utilize it.
I use my autonomy every time I choose to do something, and choose the tools I will use to do it. Whether I cut a piece of wood by using a power saw or gnaw through it with my teeth is irrelevant in terms of autonomy - it is still my choice.

The only difference is that by using a power saw I can chop through a lot more pieces of wood, and more accurately. That still looks like an increase in my power...


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It takes more skill and work to ride a horse, thus it gives you more personal power.
No it doesn't. It just means you are putting in a lot more effort for less result, which is a decrease in power.


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I've explained it a few times already in how you do less work
You haven't explained how less work for more result = less power.


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I'm talking about power as in personal engagement in an activity. I'm talking about power in relation to input, not output. Since you need to have power to make any input, the output is really inconsequencual to instrinsic power.
Redefining power as "effort" or "labour" doesn't work. Digging a tunnel with a teaspoon is probably very hard work and will take a long time, but it is measurably less powerful than the guy who wheels up a high tech machine and bores the tunnel in a few days with little effort on his part.

Gotterdammerung 09-Dec-2011 22:19

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698772)
Yet you saw fit to mention the name, twice. But forgot to mention the Unabomber bit...

If you really thought it irrelevant, why credit it? If the idea was the main argument you would simply state the argument - then it wouldn't be an ad hominem appeal to authority.

My inital post was actually fairly concise but it was asked that I elaborate. I didn't expect that I would have to explain it myself, but now that I am, I am happy to ignore the person and focus on the idea.

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Digging a tunnel with a teaspoon is probably very hard work and will take a long time, but it is measurably less powerful than the guy who wheels up a high tech machine and bores the tunnel in a few days with little effort on his part.
Here's where we disagree.

You are correct in saying that when technology is involved the result is greater than the sum of the parts. The thing is that it's not Your power that is being augmented. It is the combination of Your power and the machine's power. You are simply claiming the machine's power to be your own, which is a false impression.

It's simple - if you are working less and achieve a greater result, then some other mechanism outside yourself is doing the difference in work for you. It doesn't matter if your using a spoon or a borer, power comes down to personal capacity.

Take another example, President Obama is said to be the most powerful man on the planet. But this is false. It is the mechanisms in place which are powerful, not the man himself. The man is fairly disposable. In fact, if a truely powerful man where to hold the whitehouse, the world would actually change. But, ironically, the most powerful job on the planet is generally expected to be held by someone quite submissive and lacking in personal power.

Voice of Reason 10-Dec-2011 10:53

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The thing is that it's not Your power that is being augmented. It is the combination of Your power and the machine's power.
This is where we disagree. The machine has no power of its own. It exists only because humans built it, and does only what humans designed it to do. Without humans, there would be no machines. Therefore, the machines *are* augmenting human power - that is the only reason they exist at all and their sole purpose.


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Take another example, President Obama is said to be the most powerful man on the planet. But this is false. It is the mechanisms in place which are powerful, not the man himself.
Where did those mechanisms come from? Put there by *humans*, by any chance?

Gotterdammerung 11-Dec-2011 01:19

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698791)
Without humans, there would be no machines. Therefore, the machines *are* augmenting human power - that is the only reason they exist at all and their sole purpose.

You are right, you need a human to activate the machine. But that is not to say that the reactions henceforth are also due to the human, or directly augment human power. After initation, the machine is largely autonomous until the desired result is acheived. Therefore, is not the human power that is augmented, but that the human desire is augmented. The machine is largely an external power built to achieve some end which the human is otherwise not capable of achieving. But towards that end - and this is my problem with machines - the human power is in turn diminished. In the relationship with the machine, the emphasis on personal toil is reduced to mere activation of various mechanism which satisfy a desired result.

Voice of Reason 11-Dec-2011 05:53

A machine is not largely autonomous at all. It does what only humans tell it to, when humans tell it to do it. It has *no* autonomy at all, and as such is a tool to increase human power.

Unabombers mistake, and yours, is to think that delegating a task is a reduction of power. It is not. You can delegate only from a position of power.

Gotterdammerung 11-Dec-2011 06:52

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698802)
A machine is not largely autonomous at all.

So then when you turn on an engine, is it designed to keep running? Or does it take constant human effort and thus defeat the purpose of being an engine?

Machines harness physics and chemistry to run as autonomously as possible, otherwise they would not be machines!

Voice of Reason 11-Dec-2011 11:53

Clearly you don't know what 'autonomy' means, which explains your confusion.

From OED:

"independence from external influence or control, self-sufficiency"

The engine starts when a human tells it too (human control), runs at the speed a human tells it to (human control), and stops when a human tells it to stop (human control), and can't choose to do anything else because it has no autonomy.

Even a very sophisticated machine such as an airliner that has autopilot and can apparently 'fly by itself' is doing nothing of the sort. It is following a set of human instructions (human control) called 'software', and can't choose to do anything else because it has no autonomy.

Gotterdammerung 11-Dec-2011 14:12

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698812)
Clearly you don't know what 'autonomy' means, which explains your confusion.

From OED:

"independence from external influence or control, self-sufficiency"

The engine starts when a human tells it too (human control), runs at the speed a human tells it to (human control), and stops when a human tells it to stop (human control), and can't choose to do anything else because it has no autonomy.

Even a very sophisticated machine such as an airliner that has autopilot and can apparently 'fly by itself' is doing nothing of the sort. It is following a set of human instructions (human control) called 'software', and can't choose to do anything else because it has no autonomy.

Okay then, autonomy might better be described as chemistry or physics.

You are avoiding the fact that there is power which exists outside of the human.

Voice of Reason 11-Dec-2011 14:25

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You are avoiding the fact that there is power which exists outside of the human.
I am not avoiding it all. I have pointed out several times how humans harness machinery to extend their own power.

What I don't agree with is the conclusion from you and the Unabomber that using machines reduces human autonomy or power, when in every measurable way machines increase human power. You have yet to give a rational explanation of how machines are enslaving humans or reducing human power.

Black Oranje 11-Dec-2011 14:27

Quote:

You are avoiding the fact that there is power which exists outside of the human.
I think before you can speak of power you would ave to look at what power is. I'd define power in this sense as the ability to influence things by performing an action after a decision. The president decides to bomb the regime meaning his decisions ring heavily throughout the world.

A machine, while being able to influence things, has no decision making power. Any 'decision' an automated system would make are outcomes of algorythms built by humans leading to certain actions, designed by humans, if the outcome is within parameters defined by humans. The machine (the bomb) might be powerful in it's capabilities, but it has no power of it's own, it just grants power to whoever is in control of them.

Gotterdammerung 11-Dec-2011 17:33

Re: A new religion...
 
He who has the biggest stick wins.

Is that the conclusion we are drawing to?

Voice of Reason 12-Dec-2011 15:05

There is nothing to win, but he who has the biggest stick will have the power to move the biggest rock, because the big stick extends his power.

I am still waiting for you to explain how that big stick reduces his power or autonomy...

Gotterdammerung 13-Dec-2011 01:27

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698835)
I am still waiting for you to explain how that big stick reduces his power or autonomy...

The leverage is something that the stick creates as an external power, or should I say potential power, which cannot be utilized without human intervention. This much is true.

However, the big stick increases desired outcomes but doesn't increase human power. Indeed, humans can harness that power, but that power, once untilized, is still largely automomous. As I'll explain thusly:

The only reason why the stick is not totally independant. is because the stick doesn't desire anything, so humans make one up for it. But once engaged, the stick is still an external power. Yes, connected to human deligation and input, but the stick remains critically self-sufficent in producing the desired result.

This illusion which augmented desire creates gives one the impression that power has also been augmented. This instills apathy and diminishes an individuals assertiveness and thus true power, for the sole reason that an individual in general won't exert himself if that task can be deligated to the stick.

One cannot simultaneously deligate the task to leverage and still be said to apply himself to the task equally. Therefore, using a big stick reduces personal power and autonomy. I argue that it is more empowering to attempt an insurmoutable task an fail, than to deligate that task to a machine and claim that you had personally succeeded in this achievement.

Voice of Reason 13-Dec-2011 16:07

I have met a lot of sticks in my time. Not one of them has ever made a decision, or even moved by itself. In fact they have done nothing except lay around being totally inert.

It takes a real stretch of the imagination to turn a mindless, inert, lump of wood into 'an external power'. Still, if you are seriously suggesting that going through life failing is a display of power, I shouldn't be too surprised by that.

I guess losing a race shows that you are the fastest runner, and being unable to buy a car is a display of wealth?

Gotterdammerung 14-Dec-2011 01:29

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698849)
I have met a lot of sticks in my time. Not one of them has ever made a decision, or even moved by itself. In fact they have done nothing except lay around being totally inert.

Which is what I agreed.

Quote:

It takes a real stretch of the imagination to turn a mindless, inert, lump of wood into 'an external power'.
It takes human imagination and desire. Again, I've qualified this with you.

Quote:

Still, if you are seriously suggesting that going through life failing is a display of power, I shouldn't be too surprised by that.
Deep down I know you enjoy our little play dates, so you don't have to pretend that you don't. It's okay though, I know you're too proud to admit it.

Anyway, you seem to have skewed my statement to the extreme. Just because you embrace personal empowerment doesn't mean you automatically fail at everything.

You will become smarter and more resourceful by striving to achieve of your own power, and if you wanted to beat the man with stick, you could strategize to disconnect the stick from use, or go straight to the weaker individual who is arrogant and delusional enough to think that he is more powerful.

I am reminded of that scene in fight club where the main character beats himself up in his boss' office to recieve financial compension. He won that despute, despite using nothing but his own personal power, to exploit the mechanisms of power in place and gain advantage. "The worker bees can leave the hive anytime but the queen is enslaved forever."

It's assymetric warfare taken to the most pure level.

Voice of Reason 14-Dec-2011 16:17

If you agree that the stick is mindless, and can only do anything under the command of a human, how can it be an external force?

I don't really see how struggling like hell to achieve something that can be done with ease by employing the right tool makes you smarter. I would say it makes you look quite stupid...

Gotterdammerung 15-Dec-2011 03:49

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698869)
If you agree that the stick is mindless, and can only do anything under the command of a human, how can it be an external force?

The human is mindful. The stick is mindless. The stick is given mindfulness.

The human is internal. The stick is external. The stick is given internalness.

That's the relationship. The stick does not become human. The human merely gives attributes to the stick in order to get the stick to perform in a certain why to fulfull the desire of the human. If the stick really was an internal force, this process, this relationship would not be needed. But in reality, an artifical mindfulness is given to the stick which has this aspect of internalness alongside is mechanical externalness. The power aspect of the stick is external, but its internal aspect is human.

Quote:

I don't really see how struggling like hell to achieve something that can be done with ease by employing the right tool makes you smarter. I would say it makes you look quite stupid...
The process does make you smarter, since it welcomes more input etc. The matter on whether you look stupid depends on your values. I would say that you are made weak by that assumption.

It's a common system of modernity: those spoilt by technology look to the past as barbaric and stupid, and the modern time as the best it has ever been. Which is retarded.

Voice of Reason 15-Dec-2011 06:37

Quote:

The stick is given mindfulness.
A mindful stick? Really? Have you got an example of this stick-with-a-mind?


Quote:

That's the relationship.
That is nonsense. Stick have no mind - full stop. They do not somehow absorb a human mind to become 'mindful'.


Quote:

If the stick really was an internal force, this process, this relationship would not be needed.
The stick is not a force. It is a tool.


Quote:

The process does make you smarter, since it welcomes more input etc.
So you keep saying, but you never offer any rational explanation of how spending months clearing a pile of rubble by hand makes anyone smarter than clearing it with a digger in a matter of hours.

Gotterdammerung 16-Dec-2011 01:38

It's like you go out of your way to misunderstand, VoR.

Am I really such a poor communicater?

Black Oranje 16-Dec-2011 23:31

you'll need one hell of a mental coach to motivate the stick or make it mindful.

Voice of Reason 17-Dec-2011 17:08

Quote:

Am I really such a poor communicater?
The problem is with the message, not the messenger. I am still waiting to hear how inert tools get transformed into external powers.

Gotterdammerung 19-Dec-2011 03:47

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698905)
I am still waiting to hear how inert tools get transformed into external powers.

It's as simple as potential energy being transformed into kinetic energy.

All we need to do is examine how this is possible. I have found that the only difference is in the human desire to see one.

Voice of Reason 19-Dec-2011 13:38

This is another non-explanation. It is a stick. An inert stick. It has no potential energy or anything remotely like it. It has *nothing* until a human employs it as a tool, at which point it becomes an extension of the human.

Gotterdammerung 20-Dec-2011 00:09

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698932)
This is another non-explanation.

Can you direct me to where I can learn proper explanation protocol?

Quote:

It is a stick. An inert stick. It has no potential energy or anything remotely like it. It has *nothing* until a human employs it as a tool, at which point it becomes an extension of the human.
Obviously the stick has *something*. We're not pulling rabbits out of hats.

Even a pure pragmaticist like yourself can see the necessity in being able measure potential (which comes from its autonomy -- where else?) in the world around you.

Voice of Reason 20-Dec-2011 09:28

You cannot measure potential any more than you can measure holiness, and for the same reason. They both exist only in the human mind. This stick has no potential of its own. It has potential to a human who uses it as a tool to extend his abilities.

Gotterdammerung 23-Dec-2011 01:29

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698941)
You cannot measure potential any more than you can measure holiness, and for the same reason. They both exist only in the human mind. This stick has no potential of its own. It has potential to a human who uses it as a tool to extend his abilities.

O.K. so the stick doesn't have inherent potential;

But what I am getting at is that it has *something* which lends itself to potential.

What is the core thing here being manipulated in the human mind? It's the physicality of the stick. There's something within the realness of the stick that allows the human mind to use it as a tool. TThe stick has an outside reality of physicality. That's where power comes from. Not the mind, but physical reality.

Just as the stick in inert without a human mind, so too is the human mind inert without the stick.

Voice of Reason 23-Dec-2011 10:38

The stick has nothing. It just exists, full stop. Potential exists completely in the human mind. None of it exists in the stick. Take the human away and that stick will do absolutely nothing.

Take the stick away, and the human will get along just fine.

Gotterdammerung 23-Dec-2011 23:18

Re: A new religion...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voice of Reason (Post 1698978)
Take the stick away, and the human will get along just fine.

Why do you think that is?

Gotterdammerung 24-Dec-2011 00:26

i.e. Humans have personal power which is not diminished through lack of tools.

But can still be augmented through the use of tools?

That is not consistent. Getting along 'just fine' is not the same as grovelling cavemen lacking immense augmented power.

So which is it, are tools always essential augmentations, or are tools optional objects?

Finally, does the poverty of the former perspective diminish the autonomy of the individual as opposed to the latter? i.e. you HAVE to choose tools to be empowered vs. I am my own empowerment unconditionally.

Voice of Reason 24-Dec-2011 05:24

In the human-stick relationship, the human is the active component. The stick is totally passive, about as passive as it gets. Therefore, this conveniently un-defined 'personal power' you refer to - and the humans autonomy - is unaffected by the stick. It is neither increased nor reduced by the stick.

The stick is a tool. Full stop. It is a thing used by humans to extend their capabilities. Removing the stick will not affect the human because, being the active component, they will find an alternative solution.

Human A wants to join two pieces of wood, so he reaches for a nail gun. Take a way the nail gun and he will use a hammer. Take away the hammer and he will use a rock. Take away the rock and he will get a screw and screw driver. Take away the screw driver and he will make do with a knife blade. Take away the knife and he will get some glue. Take away the glue and he will fashion a dovetail joint, and so on.

Do you get the idea yet?

Gotterdammerung 24-Dec-2011 06:14

I get the idea.

But I disagree that humans are the only active component in the universe (sort of).

While it is technically correct (as a byproduct of consciousness), and does indeed have a practical basis, it assumes that the universe is otherwise inert and passive.

I am simply reluctant to elevate the human to that level by making that comparison. I don't think humans are that special and that this idea of having desire, creativity and autonomy as somehow distinguished from an otherwise passive, abstract world is nonsense.

It's just personal preference, I suppose, according to one's aims and values. It's an interchangable attitude to the world which I simply don't accept. I hope that makes sense.

[...]

I now read by you that "the humans autonomy - is unaffected by the stick. It is neither increased nor reduced by the stick".

I can accept that compromise. I won't push on further.

Voice of Reason 08-Jan-2012 15:23

Here is a religion I could get along with...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16424659


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