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  • 3RU7AL
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    Taleb would argue, on the basis of the precautionary principle, that religious ideas that have been useful for thousands of years (Lindy Effect), and would be better arbitrators of truth than personal rationality or new moral ideas. But at the same time, religion is only accepted because it survived, while other belief systems that would have been equally valid did not survive. How do we reconcile survivorship bias with the precautionary principle in the case of religion?

    1. Precautionary Principle: a broad epistemological, philosophical and legal approach to innovations with potential for causing harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking.

    2. Lindy Effect: a theory that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy. Where the Lindy effect applies, mortality rate decreases with time.

    3. Survivorship Bias: the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. It is a form of selection bias. [**]
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Perceived usefulness and actually usefulness can be different - furthermore, if it isn't the truth of the matter then it doesn't matter - I suppose you could make a pragmatic argument; however Religion is overwhelmingly harmful to the rate of progress in the modern world
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    Perceived usefulness and actually usefulness can be different -
    You are correct.  The key "problem" is QUANTIFYING "actually usefulness".

    furthermore, if it isn't the truth of the matter then it doesn't matter -
    Mythology and "history" (story, narrative structure) are not strictly "provably true" but I'm not convinced "it doesn't matter".

    I suppose you could make a pragmatic argument;
    I'm not sure any human society could function without some literary fiction.

    however Religion is overwhelmingly harmful to the rate of progress in the modern world
    Please explain what you mean by this (rather bold) claim.
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Um... like the whole hanging and endless persecuting scientists for disagreeing with dogmatic all throughout history? Some going as far as completely hindering advancements for centuries? Doesn't ring a bell?

    Take these very few examples:
    In the early 1600s, a certain Italian astronomer came into conflict with the Catholic Church over his support of the Copernican view that the Earth revolves around the sun. Galileo, himself a Catholic, was tried for heresy in 1633 by the Roman Inquisition, which forced him to recant his views and live out his days under house arrest. It wasn't until 2000 that former pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for the church's treatment of Galileo.


    The church's views on evolution have themselves evolved over the years. For the first hundred years or so after Charles Darwin first put forth his theory, the church took no formal stance on evolution, though some church figures rejected it. As late as the 1950s, the church maintained a neutral position on the subject, but by the end of the 20th century the Catholic Church showed general acceptance of 'theistic evolution,' which states that God created a universe where cosmic and biological evolution occurred.

    "The theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge," former pope John Paul II said in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican in October 1996. [The Top 10 Intelligent Designs (or Creation Myths)]

    When it comes to reproductive issues like contraception and abortion, the Vatican has taken a consistently conservative stance. In 1968, Pope Paul VI formally rejected the use of contraception, including sterilization, in his encyclical "Humanae Vitae" (On Human Life). "An act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design," the pope wrote.

    To combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS, the church advocates monogamy and abstinence before marriage over the use of condoms. The church has been a world leader in providing care for victims of HIV/AIDS, but Pope Benedict XVI drew fire from health experts in 2009 when, while on a trip to Africa, he stated that condoms would worsen the AIDS epidemic.

    "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope said of the AIDS crisis. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."

    In recent years, the church has taken issue with research using human stem cells, which have the ability to develop into different tissue types, making them promising for disease therapies. The church has mainly confined its opposition to the use of embryonic stem cells because of the Catholic view that life begins at conception.

    ''Scientific research must be encouraged and promoted, so long as it does not harm other human beings, whose dignity is inviolable from the very first stages of existence,'' Pope Benedict XVI said in June 2007, the New York Times reported.

    "The main question should be what benefit can come out of stem cell research," Utkan Demirci, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, told LiveScience. "The potential benefit of stem cell research is huge."

    The Pontifical Academy of Sciences held a workshop on stem cell research in 2012. The event focused on the potential of induced pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to develop into different cell types, but don't have to come from embryos.

    The workshop is a good example of how the Vatican is willing to listen to scientists, said Arber (president of the academy).
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    Um... like the whole hanging and endless persecuting scientists for disagreeing with dogmatic all throughout history? Some going as far as completely hindering advancements for centuries? Doesn't ring a bell?
    I KNOW "RELIGION" (MORE SPECIFICALLY PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE RELIGIOUS) HAS DONE A FEW "BAD" THINGS HERE AND THERE.

    THAT IS NOT IN DISPUTE.

    Most of the "evils" of humankind can be chalked up to "appeal to authority" and "hero worship" which certainly appear to be integral to most modern religions, but they are not EXCLUSIVE to the idea of religion.

    "Religion" itself is simply a framework of tribal organization (not a "bad" thing).  Most wars are about control of resources, "religion" is simply a control mechanism that helps motivate people to sacrifice their lives for the rich assholes who can never seem to gather enough gold coin.

    I appreciate you not bothering to quote the tiny snippet of our conversation that you are specifically referencing (while at your whim ignoring the bulk of my previous reply).
  • Theweakeredge
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    I am currently not in the mood to deal with your particular brand of "argument", since you see no need to address most of my argument, I see no need to address yours.

    You have lost my respect as an interlocutor 
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @3RU7AL
    While Fauxlaw and Co can be a tad annoying in as so far as we disagree, at least I can tell that they consider all of my argument - you just want to set up gotchas and don't seem really interested in an actual conversation - just being right 
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    I am currently not in the mood to deal with your particular brand of "argument", since you see no need to address most of my argument, I see no need to address yours.
    I never expected you to address my entire argument.

    I'm simply pointing out that you are doing the exact same thing that you complain about.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    While Fauxlaw and Co can be a tad annoying in as so far as we disagree, at least I can tell that they consider all of my argument - you just want to [speculation about speaker's motive] set up gotchas and don't seem really interested in an actual conversation - just being right 
    CLASSIC AD HOMINEM ATTACK.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    don't seem really interested in an actual conversation - just being right 
    My only "goal" here is to help you make your argument better.
  • Theweakeredge
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I don't believe you bud. As you have so helpfully shown, you like ignoring context in favor of being right, even if you aren't.

    I have lost my respect for you as an interlocutor 
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    If you can produce a better argument, I will adopt it.
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Do you have an example of other equally valid belief systems that did not survive?
  • Theweakeredge
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    You see - I do not have the willpower to currently engage, I don't feel like it - so you're stuck with that I have put up so far
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    Do you have an example of other equally valid belief systems that did not survive?
    Taoism and Confucianism are perfectly valid tribal frameworks that have survived but do not happen to enjoy the same widespread popularity of the middle eastern myths.

    The idea of decentralized organization has also survived but has been historically overshadowed by hierarchical authoritarian and oligarchal models.
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Taoism and Confucianism would also be considered religious ideas. Other than science and religion, both of which currently flourish, have there ever been any other types of belief systems that no longer survive?

    The idea of decentralized organization has also survived but has been historically overshadowed by hierarchical authoritarian and oligarchal models.
    Agreed. Perhaps Trumpism could be viewed as an oligarchal belief system that is neither religion nor science based and might benefit from the application of the precautionary principle.
  • 3RU7AL
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    Taoism and Confucianism would also be considered religious ideas.
    While there are some tangential "religious" adherents to both Taoism and Confucianism, the core aspects are purely philosophical and require no FAITH.

    In stark contrast to the middle eastern religions, Taoism and Confucianism are not contingent on belief in any supernatural entities.

    Post-facto, Confucius was added (honorarily) to the Chinese "realm of saints" but unlike Jesus, Confucius never claimed to be a god and was a historical human with a verifiable and well documented lineage that extends to the present day.

    Other than science and religion, both of which currently flourish,
    Science is certainly not "flourishing".  The entire process (and even the word itself) has been twisted into something unrecognizable.

    have there ever been any other types of belief systems that no longer survive?
    That appears to be a trick question.

    It's like asking if there are any undiscovered fossils.

    It's like asking if there are any undiscovered languages.

    It is important to maintain a constant awareness of and vigilant respect of our epistemological limits.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    Perhaps Trumpism could be viewed as an oligarchal belief system that is neither religion nor science based and might benefit from the application of the precautionary principle.
    Well stated.
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    have there ever been any other types of belief systems that no longer survive?
    That appears to be a trick question.
    It wasn't meant as such. You wrote that there were non-religious belief systems that did not survive and I was curious if you had an example. I understand that you can't have knowledge of something for which there is no evidence. I considered Taoism and Confucianism to be quasi-religions but concede that they may not necessarily be.
  • ebuc
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    --> @Theweakeredge
    Paradox's may be 180 degree opposites, ergo, to reconcile perhaps we need to have an angle viewpoint that is more 90 degrees to both of them.

    If take radius to moon from Earth we see moon orbits at angle little less than 90 degrees. its called precession.

    So we need to view the viewpoints of the paradox at 89, 88 degrees or so and that forms an orbital trajectory (   )  around a common center point-of-axis ( l ) or as (----) or viewpoint center common to both (  -  ).

    To reconcile is to find harmony { taoist way }. Go with the flow, go with the wind i.e. do not fight the flow of nature.

    Humans are the most complex entity of nature, putting aside any ideas of two or more humans as in an Earth or Universe.

    How does the bilateral human find harmony in the osscillation between two diametrically opposing viewpoints?

    Sea-peoples learned how to  sail into the wind by tacking into the wind. See LINK

    ..."To reach its target, sailors that intend to travel windward to a point in line with the exact wind direction will need to zig-zag in order to reach its destination. This technique is tacking. Sailors can reach a point in any direction using the technique of tacking and traveling at angles closest to the wind direction......

    .........Efficiently being able to sail against the wind takes more practice and skill than any other sailing endeavor. Doing this well will enable you to sail anywhere".'....




  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    I considered Taoism and Confucianism to be quasi-religions but concede that they may not necessarily be.
    Do you consider Animism "non-religious" (pre-religious)?

    Do you consider Transcendentalism "non-religious"?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @ebuc
    .........Efficiently being able to sail against the wind takes more practice and skill than any other sailing endeavor. Doing this well will enable you to sail anywhere".'....
    Good metaphor.
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Do you consider Animism "non-religious" (pre-religious)?

    Do you consider Transcendentalism "non-religious"?
    Both have elements of religion depending on the specific definition being used for each. Animism is described with the words "soul" and "supernatural". Transcendentalism describes a direct connection with "God".
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @TwoMan
    Both have elements of religion depending on the specific definition being used for each. Animism is described with the words "soul" and "supernatural". Transcendentalism describes a direct connection with "God".
    I've heard "religion" defined as "reading and re-reading the same book over and over again" which connects it to an idea of DOGMA and hierarchical priesthood (official sources).

    Perhaps a spiritual belief with no DOGMA and no PRIESTHOOD might not qualify as a "religion"?

    I mean, do you think ZEN is a "religion"?
  • TwoMan
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Perhaps a spiritual belief with no DOGMA and no PRIESTHOOD might not qualify as a "religion"?
    Perhaps, but using the words "spiritual belief" suggests a religious intimation although not a "religion" outright.

    I mean, do you think ZEN is a "religion"?
    I think that technically, it's not. I'll add that to the other non-religious belief systems you mentioned. Thanks for the examples. Yes, they all seem to have suffered survivorship bias. Given their age, however, the Lindy effect suggests they will be with us for quite a long time to come. In my opinion, they deserve at least as much consideration as any of the Abrahamic belief systems.