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Offline pantodragon

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The Causes of Evil?
« on: 24/12/2012 14:11:13 »
In the film, The Lord of the Rings, (and I suspect in the book as well, but it is so long ago that I read it that I cannot remember.) Frodo, a ‘hobbit’, and one of the ‘heroes’ of the story, takes pity on the creature Gollum, who is evil, one is lead to suppose, beyond redemption.  Gollum was once a creature not unlike the hobbits, but he came into possession of the One Ring, the Ring of Power, and it corrupted him till there was nothing of good left in him, there was nothing at all left in him but hatred and malice.

Frodo and Sam, his friend/servant, get lost trying to find their way to Mordor.  Frodo has possession of the One Ring, and he is taking it to Mordor so that it can be destroyed.  The pair are attacked by Gollum who wants the Ring for himself, but Frodo and Sam overcome him and take him prisoner.

This is where it gets interesting, for Frodo and Sam exhibit entirely different attitudes towards Gollum, and it is the effect this has on Gollum and his responses that are interesting.

Sam treats Gollum with distrust and derision.  He watches him, suspecting treachery at every moment, and reading malicious intentions into his every act.  He calls him ‘Stinker’, and expresses disgust at his eating habits etc. stc.

Frodo on the other hand, preferring to believe that Gollum is not beyond redemption, and recognising that he has suffered takes pity on him and is more sympathetic.  He treats Gollum with respect, and remembering that he had once been a better creature called Smeagol, calls him by that name.  He also gives Gollum his trust, and gets him to guide himself and Sam to Mordor.

Under Sam’s influence Gollum remains as treacherous and malicious as ever, but in response to Frodo he begins a process of transformation.  Gollum enjoys the consideration, trust and respect he gets from Frodo, and in return he develops a sort of respect, trust and even attachment to him.  Under Frodo’s influence Gollum begins to become detached from his evil side, to see it as not really him, and tries get free of it.  He tries to become the creature Frodo treats him as, tries to become Smeagol.

If one is to abstract a principle, or moral, from the above story, it would be this:

People behave as they are treated.

i.e. any person that is treated with disrespect will behave badly.  If they are treated with mistrust they will become untrustworthy.  If they are treated as though they are evil then they will behave evilly.
Conversely, if a person is treated with trust and respect they will behave well and will BE trustworthy.  If a person is treated as though they are good then they will be (or become) good. 

In other words, people are not just ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  They are ‘interactive’, they ‘become’.

If this is true, and in my own, very extensive experience it is most definitely true, then the implications for our society are profound.

I live in the UK, but the situation is not so different anywhere in the world that I have seen, or where it has been different, it is in places that are called ‘underdeveloped’, or ‘primitive’, and these places are scheduled to follow in the footsteps of the ‘developed world’.

Whatever I do, wherever I go, I am treated with disrespect, with distrust and suspicion.

I take a walk into town to do some shopping, and everywhere I look, inside the shops and out, I see video cameras watching me.  These are saying ‘we are watching you because we think that you will do something wrong if we do not watch you’. 

In the shops there are all sorts of devices designed to ensure that if I take something out of the shop without having paid for it an alarm will sound.  These are telling me they do not trust me not to thieve.
Some shops display large notices in prominent places warning of the consequences if you are caught shop-lifting.   These are telling me they do not trust me.

I go home and put on a DVD.  The first thing I see is a notice warning me that it is an offence to pirate a video and that severe penalties will result if I am caught doing so.  That is saying that they do not trust me.
I go to the library to return and borrow some books.  At the counter one of the books I am returning is overdue, I am told.  I know that this is not the case, that I have only had the book for a few days, in fact.  But the computer and the stamp on the book both concur that the book is overdue.  I am not believed.  I have to pay the fine.  I have experience of the computer getting it wrong, and have seen the library staff making mistakes with the stamps.  That is of no matter.  The whole system of keeping track of books says, ‘you are not to be trusted and we need to watch you’.

At work, many people have to clock in and out.  This says we do not trust you to work your official hours.
Also at work, if you are off ill for more than a day or two, then you are required to obtain a doctor’s certificate to prove that you were, in fact, ill.  This says, we do not trust you.

On the internet one is always having to prove one’s identity, or at the very least, to prove that one is not a machine.  Also, any site that allows interaction has long lists of terms and conditions that are designed to ensure good behaviour.  In addition there are usually monitors policing these sites.  This says, we do not trust you.

On this site, Naked Scientists, I have already been admonished for posting text that I had also posted on another forum.  The reason given for the rule that one must not post identical texts on multiple forums was to prevent spamming.  This says, we do not trust you.  (I have published most of this text, all but this paragraph which is relevant to Naked Scientists, on other forums.  I do not know how much alteration is required between texts.  This one paragraph may be sufficient.  If not, I have no doubt I will be advised accordingly.  Otherwise I will take this to be sufficient confirmation that I am not a computer and will alter texts similarly in future where multiple texts are going to be posted – there is, in fact, a reason for why I am doing these multiple posts, but an explanation would draw attention away from the main point of this piece.)
Whenever I fill in an official form there is a prominent warning about the consequences of giving incorrect, or withholding, information.  That says, ‘we do not trust you’.

I have had dealings with the police.  For example, I once reported a lost camera, an expensive item that I had been using but which was the property of my employer.  Two plain clothed policemen visited me.  One made polite conversation, being very nice and chatty, but really trying to put me off my guard so that the other one could suddenly fire a question at me about the camera and when I had last seen it etc, and hopefully catch me out, as though they suspected that I had stolen the camera myself.  They were clearly saying, ‘we do not trust you’.

I once found a purse dropped in the street and took it to the police station.  The duty policeman asked me all sorts of questions and then carefully noted down all the contents of the purse.  I had the distinct feeling that if anything was found to be missing when the purse was claimed by its owner then I would be blamed.  In fact it may have been also about keeping checks on the policemen themselves, but it does not matter, there was still that accusation hanging in the air, that distrust.

I remember a time and place where I could leave my house without having to lock the door, and I could leave my car in town without having to lock it.  Every lock on every door, every alarm system, every iron fence says, ‘we do not trust you’.

Now, if I go back to the principle that I derived from the story of Frodo, Sam and Gollum i.e. that people behave as they are treated, then one can only conclude that society is making the criminals.  That is, that the more governments try to clamp down on criminal behaviour, the more surveillance and alarm systems they install, then the more criminals they create; the more they tighten their grip on society the  more violence, theft and criminal behaviour of all kinds they instigate.  In fact, one can only conclude that if you want to prevent crime  then you have to do the opposite of what is being done, i.e. you have to relax your grip on society, you have to do away with all the surveillance, the locks and alarms and checks. 

I am not suggesting that these surveillance and alarms and locks etc are the only cause of criminal behaviour.  The situation is not as simple as that.  Karl Marx said, ‘property is theft’, and I think he may have a point.  I mean, on top of everything else, what we class as good and bad behaviour is, itself, open to question.  But what I AM saying, is that the way society handles crime is counterproductive. 



Points for further consideration

1.  If I am right, if it is the case that society would be safer and better if all the systems designed to watch and deter criminal behaviour were dismantled and done away with, then I would call that good news indeed!  I would LOVE to get my privacy back!  I would love to return to that relaxed atmosphere where you could walk out of your front door and not even have to shut it, when you could leave things lying about, could walk away from your car, when you did not have to be sure to have something about you at all times that could prove that you are who you say you are etc etc.    It is so wonderful to feel safe and to be respected and trusted as a matter of course.  There are many young people in the world today who do not know what that is like.  I feel that is a shame, because they do not know what they are losing with every new measure that is brought in to prevent crime or catch criminals.


2. The way the academic world works, the way scientific, historical etc research are done, the peer-review system, is based on mistrust.  Scientific research is done the way it is done in order to prevent individual scientists from being able to lie and cheat.  The other academic disciplines are the same.  Based on the above, one could conclude that the scientific method only engenders lying and cheating.


 

Offline graham.d

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/2013 11:18:59 »
Human behaviour has a very wide spectrum. I think that probably the security systems you object to and, pehaps the attitude of the police you met, reflect accurately what is currently the right balance between trust and suspician. Security systems are not cheap so their installation is done out of financial necessity not any unreasonable paranoia. The police have a great deal of experience in dealing with crime and criminal behaviour. Whilst their attitude may seem offensive, and wholly unreasonable in your case, they have not formed these attitudes and methods of interrogation without good reason. I don't think the widespread riots in the UK last year were all as a result of people being treated badly. Many acts of theft and vanadalism were simply by people being criminally opportunistic and thinking they could get away with something.

Your analogy with Frodo, Sam and Gollum is interesting  and reflects well on the balance that needs to be struck in a society. Frodo recognised that Gollum was not wholly evil (if there is such a state) and appealed to his better self with some effect. Sam maintained his lack of trust, which also was a sensible thing to do given Gollums "history". Gollum himself was torn between these drives as was played out well in his internal debates. Tolkien's art was in showing that all this behavior is essentially the way humans are, with a mix of selfish and benevolent behaviour along with a whole other set of complex drives (I don't think Hobbits were intended to be different in this regard).

Whilst I agree that trust and respect for people will encourage the the best response from others, it simply does not work 100% of the time. The consequences of it not working can be serious and costly to both companies and individuals. It may be unfortunate, but there has to be a balance between being suspicious and being overtly trusting. Scientifically this can all be analysed with "game theory"; the "prisoner's dilemma" is one simple example.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #2 on: 05/01/2013 15:48:42 »
This assertion "Conversely, if a person is treated with trust and respect they will behave well and will BE trustworthy.  If a person is treated as though they are good then they will be (or become) good.  " is at odds with common experience.
If, for example, the presence of cctv cameras makes people commit theft, how come there were thieves before the cameras were invented?
We only created the police force because there were crimes.
The message from the camera isn't "We don't trust you"; it's "We know that are crooks out there and we are doing are best to stop the bastards."
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #3 on: 06/01/2013 14:21:33 »
Evil and human behavior is a complex issue, but I don't think it is outside of the realm of science. There is a neurological basis for altruism.  Although we think that natural selection favors competitiveness and domination, there are evolutionary advantages to cooperation and empathy. Empathy is closely related to the areas of the brain involved in learning. If I observe you touching a hot object or falling off a cliff, I don't have to injure myself in order to learn from your experience, but in order for that experience to be as important and memorable as if I had experienced it myself, I have to "feel your pain" so to speak. And our natural reaction to pain, is to want it to stop, whether it's my pain or yours.

 Empathy is also useful in that if I can understand another person's feelings and state of mind, I can predict whether he is likely to share his food with me or hit me in the head with a club. And of course empathy is important in the care and survival of offspring. Finally, although not exactly "altruistic," people treat others generously or at least fairly with some expectation of reciprocation by that person or others connected to him in some way.

I agree that people will often behave the way they are expected to. And an atmosphere of distrust does somehow subliminally send a message that dishonest behavior, although undesirable, is somehow "normal" and not "really" deviant. But I would also argue that the surveillance cameras or suspicion isn't the sole cause, just an ironic contributing factor. A game theorist might suggest that we live in increasingly large groups, where we may never see an individual twice, and there is less incentive to be generous and fair. We also live with increasing numbers of people who seem dissimilar to ourselves, and may have trouble empathizing or predicting their behavior. Hence the atmosphere of distrust.

Surveillance is a double edged sword. It does contribute to that atmosphere of suspicion. On the other hand, I'm guessing cops don't rough up suspects like they used to either, when every body and his brother has a video camera on their cell phone.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #4 on: 06/01/2013 15:58:21 »
Quote
the peer-review system, is based on mistrust.

An alternative way of looking at this is that we all make mistakes, and sometimes overlook something obvious (me included!). I actually like people to quickly point out errors or omissions in my work, even though I wouldn't go so far as to say I enjoy "eating humble pie"!

The Peer Review process for publication is a way people experienced in the field to ask questions like: "Did you think of this?", "Did you check for that factor?", "How does this result align with this previously published result?" or "It might be clearer if you said it this way". It means that the first published version of a paper will be of higher quality.

The Peer Review process also means that totally new and unexpected results, or results which don't quite fit into an existing category must be produced in conjunction with someone who already has an established reputation in a related field, or else published in an environment which explicitly presents new ideas for discussion (like the "New Theories" space at Naked Scientists).

Even after the Peer Review process, there is a risk that results may be accidentally wrong, or intentionally distorted by the authors. There are cases where many researchers have wasted frustrating years doing work based on published work which was later revealed as fraudulent. There is at least one website dedicated to monitoring this: http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/

There have been some moves recently to improve the quality of the scientific method by intentionally setting out to reproduce published results, before people invest too much time and money relying on them. This will increase the cost of research - you need to plan and budget for an independent lab to recreate the results; this may be seen as lower status, as the people reproducing the results are not the guys who will get the Nobel prize! But this may be a good training ground for new researchers, and may reduce the cost of science, overall.
« Last Edit: 23/01/2013 20:38:39 by evan_au »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #5 on: 14/01/2013 14:52:55 »
Human behaviour has a very wide spectrum. .....................................Scientifically this can all be analysed with "game theory"; the "prisoner's dilemma" is one simple example.

I am afraid that I disagree with almost everything you say.  (And that last about Game Theory I do not subscribe to at all, since it really fails to see human beings as human beings.)  In fact, since I do not accept the scientific view of what it is to be human (see my post The Shadow World of Cartesian Doubt) then you will understand why I disagree with almost everything you say.

Speaking from personal experience, I have found that one can push trust really very far to the benefit of all.  I wonder if you have seen the film The Man Who Knew Too Little?  It is about a man who misinterprets what is going on around him and in so doing he, in effect, turns enemies into friends.  So, for example, there have been times when I have been insulted or verbally attacked by people where, in response, I have pretended to think there are only joking and, lo and behold, the next thing they are thinking is that they are very clever and funny, and an enemy has turned into a friend.  Then again, there are times when I have been extremely ill-used by people when within, say, a few days of the event I might come upon them by surprise and I show delight at the meeting as if I have forgotten completely the abuse I took at their hands.  They always respond with delight and again, an enemy becomes a friend.

In both these cases, I am endowing people with good attributes which they did not have, but which they were only too delighted to believe they had.  Once they believe they have the attributes, they have gone half-way to actually having them, because they find that it feels good to have them.  This, therefore, goes beyond merely trusting people.  It actually goes to the point where one is allowing them to be better people than one knows they are.  So this is not about knowing whether people are good or bad, but by interacting suitably such that bad is transformed into good.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #6 on: 14/01/2013 14:53:52 »
This assertion "Conversely, if a person is treated with trust and respect they will behave well and will BE trustworthy.  If a person is treated as though they are good then they will be (or become) good.  " is at odds with common experience.
If, for example, the presence of cctv cameras makes people commit theft, how come there were thieves before the cameras were invented?
We only created the police force because there were crimes.
The message from the camera isn't "We don't trust you"; it's "We know that are crooks out there and we are doing are best to stop the bastards."

There are obviously many reasons why people commit theft.  The invention of CCTV cameras and of the police before that just gave people another two reasons on top of a whole load of other reasons that had been accumulating over the centuries – deprivation and starvation being two good ones to start with!  One is also tempted to quote Karl Marx “All property is theft”, which, if one subscribes to the opinion, allows one to accuse the propertied classes of setting a bad example in the first place, and of allowing lesser beings to justify their bad behaviour on the grounds: what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #7 on: 14/01/2013 14:55:15 »
Evil and human behavior is a complex issue, but I don't think it is outside of the realm of science. There is a neurological basis for altruism.  ........................................... It does contribute to that atmosphere of suspicion. On the other hand, I'm guessing cops don't rough up suspects like they used to either, when every body and his brother has a video camera on their cell phone.

Personally, I think that almost everything is outside the realm of science, especially the human mind.  I have expressed my views on this in my post The Shadow World of Cartesian Doubt. 
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #8 on: 14/01/2013 14:56:17 »
An alternative way of looking at this is that we all make mistakes, and sometimes overlook something obvious (me included!). I actually like people to quickly point out errors or omissions in my work, even though I wouldn't go so far as to say I "enjoy" it! ............................................ But this may be a good training ground for new researchers, and may reduce the cost of science, overall.

I, too, welcome my work being questioned so long as the questions are friendly in intention.  Before a paper ever goes out, it is handed round to professors and colleagues who then, hopefully, pick up on all the relevant points that need to be made.  What need, therefore, to duplicate the process and formalize it such that it actually provides the upper echelons of the scientific establishment with the opportunity to prevent publication of what they do not like?.

Also, the peer review system robs scientists themselves of the chance to make up their own minds as to the value of published work.  Everyone is capable of developing their critical faculties such that they can pick out the fraudulent from the genuine.  However, if they are not allowed to develop that faculty, they remain ever at the mercy of frauds and tricksters.  One could, therefore, argue that the peer review system actually opens the door to more fraud.
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #9 on: 14/01/2013 17:11:59 »
Pantodragon, you seem to have a strong view on what is human behaviour, and that it is outside the realm of scientific analysis. I think that few scientists would agree with that. Also you seem to be just using a few personal experiences to justify your reasoning, which is not a very scientific approach.

I am sure that you are right that giving people the "benefit of the doubt" is generally a good default for many circumstances and on most occasions will elicit the best response. In the ideal society it would always be the best way to behave but sadly we are not in an ideal society. The game theory example of the Prisoner's Dilemma shows that if people behaved unselfishly (as we all would like) then it gives the best overall result, but practical experiments show that this is not what happens in practice. Saying that people should behave well will not make them do so although I agree that if everyone adopted this view then all would be fine. The Christian view of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a great guide to good behaviour but many would just not do this and would seek to better themselves at others expense. I would agree that one should try to react well in various circumstances but I think you should also be aware that not everyone means well or tells the truth. I am sure you must know this so I do not wholly follow your arguments. I think you are basically saying that people should behave better and if they did so the world would be a better place. I completely agree. Unfortunately this is patently not always the case. Perhaps more people should have been nice to Hitler or Stalin and we could have saved millions of lives - I think Chamberlain tried this approach for a while.

How is your code of behaviour different from a Christian one? As a goal, I have no disagreement. But as a description of actual behaviour it deviates from the world as it is. 
 

Offline Raphael

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #10 on: 14/01/2013 17:51:23 »
this study is evidence that being watched tends to make people 3 times more honest/generous IF they think they are being watched.
>>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5120662.stm [nofollow]

And this study suggests why Hitler used the swastika to get Christians to commit crimes against humanity in WWII.
An issue that has NEVER been addressed.
Swastika as Dynamic Pattern Underlying Psychosocial Power Processes
Implicate order of Knight's move game-playing sustaining creativity, exploitation and impunity
>>> http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/musings/swastika.php [nofollow]

too bad 'we the sheeple' underestimate how easily they can be manipulated by a poster of eyes or a symbol that long long long ago represented 'god'.

here is a formula that has been buried by NEGATIVE propaganda, turning a 12,000+ year old symbol into a non-issue.
god = gott = JeHoVaH = YHVH = tetragrammaton = swastika

selah V
ox
« Last Edit: 14/01/2013 17:54:44 by Raphael »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #11 on: 17/01/2013 14:12:57 »
Pantodragon, you seem to have a strong view on what is human behaviour, and that it is outside the realm of scientific analysis. ..................

Refer to my post Krakatoa part 2: erupting chimps, for my assessment of the scientific method.

Quote: game theory example of the Prisoner's Dilemma shows that if people behaved unselfishly
The problem with this is that game theorists completely misunderstand what constitutes unselfish behaviour – it’s not actually the behaviour that counts, it’s the intention, and that takes one to a position of understanding that the division of behaviour into selfish and unselfish, is spurious.

Quote: I think you should also be aware that not everyone means well or tells the truth
Have you been paying attention when reading my posts?  Maybe this is the first of mine you’ve read, but if you read a little further it’ll become glaringly obvious that not only am I aware that not everyone means well or tells the truth, but I am aware NO ONE means well or tells the truth.  (As to your comment about politicians, the idea that a politician is nice to somebody…….Well, what can I say?  Nice?  Politicians?  You’ve got to be joking!  But if Chamberlain HAD actually been capable of being nice to Hitler, then the course of WWII might well have been different.)

Question: How is your code of behaviour different from a Christian one?
The Christian code of behaviour is anathema to me.  The most fundamental difference is that I have no CODE of behaviour.  I’m just an animal – instinctive – a noble savage.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Krakatoa part 1: ex- 52 Caldera Crescent, Tunbridge Wells
« Reply #12 on: 17/01/2013 14:18:05 »
Returned to origianl status as a new thread on General Science.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2013 15:43:22 by pantodragon »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Krakatoa part 2: erupting chimps
« Reply #13 on: 17/01/2013 14:19:27 »
Returned to origianl status as a new thread on General Science.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2013 15:43:39 by pantodragon »
 

Offline JP

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #14 on: 17/01/2013 14:48:27 »
Pantodragon, I've merged a bunch of your posts.  If you're continuing an essay across multiple posts, please keep it all in one thread so that we can keep the forum organized. 

Thanks,
the mods
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #15 on: 19/01/2013 15:24:26 »
Pantodragon, I've merged a bunch of your posts.  If you're continuing an essay across multiple posts, please keep it all in one thread so that we can keep the forum organized. 

Thanks,
the mods

The posts that have been merged do refer to the original post and, superficially, contain material which appeared in the original post.   But a careful reading would have revealed that the different posts were, crucially, exploring different aspects of the same phenomenon.  This clearly justified a new thread and particularly in view of the outcome, contained in the second post of following this other aspect of surveillance. 

I might add that I think the editorial control is rather heavy handed and is being exercised without due care - I feel the first part of my post may have been mistaken for a continuation of the thread by a careless reader, but it is quite clear that the second part is raising a new topic.  That new topic being an attack on the scientific method, I am tempted to suppose that this tidying up was more of an attempt to sweep my posts out of sight at the bottom of a thread that had already been visited by all who wish to visit it. 

I have therefore taken the liberty of restoring these posts to their original status as new threads.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2013 15:37:53 by pantodragon »
 

Offline JP

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #16 on: 19/01/2013 16:17:18 »
It's fine for you to disagree with a moderation decision, but please don't take it upon yourself to repost what has been previously moved and/or deleted by a moderator.  If you have a problem with moderation, please contact the moderators and we will discuss it.  I've deleted the threads you've reposted. 
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #17 on: 21/01/2013 19:32:47 »
Karl Popper revolutionised the philosophy of science by pointing out that you can never prove a theory correct, no matter how many observations you make; you can only succeed in proving it false.

So, for Popper, the essence of a scientific theory was that it was something that made predictions, which could then be tested to see if they came true or not.

An extreme way of expressing this is: if a theory cannot be proven wrong, it is not scientific.

So the essence of science has to be one where the originator of a theory suggests ways the theory could be proven wrong, and others taking up the challenge to actually show that the theory is wrong (and sometimes, repeatedly failing).

But science works a lot smoother if the potential errors are pointed out politely, being acutely aware of the very real possibility that one's disproof may well be flawed. This is like the proverb: "Take the plank out of your own eye before trying to take a speck of sawdust out of your friend's eye".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

Ironically, accounts of Popper's personality hint that he did not deal well with criticism of his ideas.
« Last Edit: 22/01/2013 17:51:18 by evan_au »
 

Offline Raphael

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #18 on: 21/01/2013 20:48:18 »
Karl Popper revolutionised the philosophy of science by pointing out that you can never prove a theory correct, no matter how many observations you make; you can only prove it false.

So, for Popper, the essence of a scientific theory was that it was something that made predictions, which could then be tested to see if they came true or not.

An extreme way of expressing this is: if a theory cannot be proven wrong, it is not scientific.

So the essence of science has to be one where the originator of a theory suggests ways the theory could be proven wrong, and others taking up the challenge to actually show that the theory is wrong (and sometimes, repeatedly failing).

But science works a lot smoother if the potential errors are pointed out politely, being acutely aware of the very real possibility that one's disproof may well be flawed. This is like the proverb: "How can you say, ‘Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?".


"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down"
-Charles Darwin

Evolution is in fact a FAIL
Science is clearly a punk still on its learning curve...

Eyes and Ears are proof of the obvious without even getting into irreducible complexity.
Those that have EARS let them hear and SEE the obvious.
 
selah V
OX
« Last Edit: 21/01/2013 20:49:57 by Raphael »
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #19 on: 21/01/2013 21:57:43 »
To be clear, Raphael, are you saying that you think the development of ears and eyes disproves the theory of evolution?
 

Offline Raphael

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #20 on: 22/01/2013 00:16:42 »
To be clear, Raphael, are you saying that you think the development of ears and eyes disproves the theory of evolution?

to be clear graham, which theory of evolution are you endorsing?

the gradual or punctuated theory?

selah V
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #21 on: 22/01/2013 13:37:38 »
I, too, welcome my work being questioned so long as the questions are friendly in intention.
I found this remark quite telling. I may be reading too much into it in which case I hope you will correct me.

If I have prepared a research paper, an engineering report, or a business plan I welcome that work being questioned and I am wholly indifferent to the friendliness of the intention. Friendlieness will not make the findings of my research more accurate; friendliness will not make the conclusions of my engineering report more useful; friendliness will not ensure the success of my business plan.

I expect, indeed I demand, a probing, skeptical, hostile attack upon my observations, my interpretations, my conclusions and my recommendations. Anything less may fail to unearth weaknesses or errors and I do not wish to be associated with second rate work.

In contrast you seem to be more concerned about the form of the criticism (and its intent) rather than its efficacy. Am I reading you correctly and if so can you explain why you would favour an approach that is less efficient at improving  the 'end product'?
 

Offline Raphael

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #22 on: 22/01/2013 13:50:28 »
I, too, welcome my work being questioned so long as the questions are friendly in intention.
I found this remark quite telling. I may be reading too much into it in which case I hope you will correct me.

If I have prepared a research paper, an engineering report, or a business plan I welcome that work being questioned and I am wholly indifferent to the friendliness of the intention. Friendlieness will not make the findings of my research more accurate; friendliness will not make the conclusions of my engineering report more useful; friendliness will not ensure the success of my business plan.

I expect, indeed I demand, a probing, skeptical, hostile attack upon my observations, my interpretations, my conclusions and my recommendations. Anything less may fail to unearth weaknesses or errors and I do not wish to be associated with second rate work.

In contrast you seem to be more concerned about the form of the criticism (and its intent) rather than its efficacy. Am I reading you correctly and if so can you explain why you would favour an approach that is less efficient at improving  the 'end product'?

how about you just focus on the 'work' being offered instead of offering nonsense?

i.e. semite semantics about how he/she phrased their request for discussion...?

Quote
I expect, indeed I demand, a probing, skeptical, hostile attack upon my observations, my interpretations, my conclusions and my recommendations. Anything less may fail to unearth weaknesses or errors and I do not wish to be associated with second rate work.

DISCUSS the topic?
What a concept?
You are so typical of the nonsense trolling the internet...
why do folks who have so little to say always manage to find an issue in what somebody said or how they said it, resorting to even pointing out grammar or spelling errors?

geeshhhhhhh IMHO folks like you are an anchor to any kind of discussion.
Do you mind if I toss you overboard and severe the rope so we can continue on with the journey?

there ya go.
there is my observation and my hostile attack probing your skepticism regarding how pantodragon phrased his request for discussion.

selah V
« Last Edit: 22/01/2013 13:59:31 by Raphael »
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #23 on: 22/01/2013 14:03:27 »
Raphael, it was you who cited "evolution" without qualification, not me. I was just trying to understand your comments...

"Evolution is in fact a FAIL
Science is clearly a punk still on its learning curve...

Eyes and Ears are proof of the obvious without even getting into irreducible complexity.
Those that have EARS let them hear and SEE the obvious."

I don't think whether evolution is "continuous" or features "punctuated equilibrium" makes any difference to the overall concept of evolution in the general sense.
 

Offline Raphael

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
« Reply #24 on: 22/01/2013 14:16:03 »

I don't think whether evolution is "continuous" or features "punctuated equilibrium" makes any difference to the overall concept of evolution in the general sense.

but it does

it shows that science is negating science, that is clear.
Science like religion is at odds with itself.

Richard Dawkins has criticized the punctuated equilibrium theory as "destroying the theory of evolution's crediablity".
So what camp are you in?
Which of the 12 camps surrounding the Ark in the bible can I find you in?
lol

And why have bats not evolved much in 50 million years?
Were bats perfectly or intelligently designed by nature from the word go?
oops pardon me....the bat has evolved into the Dark Knight and 21st century manipulations and exploitations and propheting from the eternal ark-E-types?

Where are those missing links graham that science can't seem to find...?
In Hollywood Frodo that is where you will find where the ring has been crafted?

And here is another arena where the science scholars, everybody armed with their PhDUH cannot seem to agree.
Come blow your shofar horn here and leave a comment on my blog.
37 – Neanderthal Bone Flute – Do – Re – Mi – Fa
>>> http://at37.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/37-neanderthal-bone-flute-do-re-mi-fa/ [nofollow]

Oh look I found a missing link!!
It is Charles DUHwin himself?



I wonder if Charles DUHwin played the flute?
Because with his supraorbital ridge (or brow ridge), it is clear that he might have had Neanderthal DNA in his makeup.

And that would be cosmic justice or should I say 'just is'.
LOL

selah V
ox
« Last Edit: 22/01/2013 14:53:29 by Raphael »
 

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Re: The Causes of Evil?
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