Is self-delusion possible?

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chewybrian
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by chewybrian » July 13th, 2018, 5:59 am

Newme wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:42 am
“All have faith, but not all are conscious of having faith.”

Sorry but I find it difficult to take you seriously when you state, “God is an impossibility.” The bible defines God as Love. How logical is it to claim, “Love is an impossibility”? God is also biblically written to be experienced within us: “The kingdom of God is within you.” How logical is it to state that “Experiencing God within you is an impossibility”?

Spectrum, looks like you need to go back to the drawing board, even if you’ve been working on this “God is an impossibility” work, for years. That is, unless it’s become too dogmatic for you. ;)
It is perhaps not a coincidence that people argue so forcefully against both God and free will. The stoics also said that our rational faculty of choice was a piece of God within us, and Descartes 'proved' God to himself with similar reasoning.

The determination of those opposing God and free will, when no real proof or disproof is at hand, does remind me of people of excessive faith. In arguing against God, are they in fact turning God back against God in the process? I don't know. In the case of free will, I do believe they are turning their self back against itself.

Why is it so hard to admit there are things we simply don't know? I'm on the fence about God, but I do believe in free will, and that does seem to leave the door open for God, at least a bit.
Felix wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:05 pm
Do sane, rational people ever successfully fool themselves?
What does "successfully" mean in that context - come to believe their own self-conceived lie? If so, they are not acting sanely/rationally when they do that, are they?
Yes, it would mean they have come to believe their own lie. If this proves them insane, then maybe we had better get busy building asylums. My gut tells me the delusion may never be 100% complete, and that deep down everyone knows what they believe to be the truth about any issue. They may be deep in denial, rather than having successfully fooled themselves. As soon as they quit making the effort to deny the truth, it should come back to the surface.
Greta wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:55 pm
Okay team, we are going to WIN this time!

WE WILL WIN!

Louder!

WE WILL WIN!

Better! It doesn't matter if we haven't won a game since 2008! It doesn't matter that the overpaid opposition hasn't lost at home since 1973! WE WILL WIN THIS TIME!

WE WILL WIN!! WE WILL WIN!! WE WILL WIN!!!

Then they lose 6-0 after being completely dominated. Yet would it be rational to accept a ritual slaughter? After all, they might have been lucky.
As a Bengals fan, this hits much too close to home. Fortunately, though, THIS is the year they will put it all together...

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Greta
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Greta » July 13th, 2018, 8:05 am

chewybrian wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 5:59 am
Greta wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:55 pm
Okay team, we are going to WIN this time!

WE WILL WIN!

Louder!

WE WILL WIN!

Better! It doesn't matter if we haven't won a game since 2008! It doesn't matter that the overpaid opposition hasn't lost at home since 1973! WE WILL WIN THIS TIME!

WE WILL WIN!! WE WILL WIN!! WE WILL WIN!!!

Then they lose 6-0 after being completely dominated. Yet would it be rational to accept a ritual slaughter? After all, they might have been lucky.
As a Bengals fan, this hits much too close to home. Fortunately, though, THIS is the year they will put it all together...
Yes indeed, Brian. I am sure there is no delusion involved there :)

It's like watching movies - sometimes we suspend disbelief for enjoyment. When you think about it, we do the same with eating and sex. Each of them, when judged by the same standards as other aspects of life, is basically a disgusting exercise of messing around with goop! Yet when we ignore our elemental realities, those messy activities bring many good feelings.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Burning ghost » July 13th, 2018, 9:48 am

chewybrian wrote:
July 8th, 2018, 6:33 am
Do sane, rational people ever successfully fool themselves?

What valid reasons, if any, could these folks have for wishing to delude themselves? Are they always trying to get away with something they feel is wrong? Is self-delusion always involuntary, always deliberate, or can it be either or both? By what process or processes do people accomplish this deceit, if in fact they do? Is the deception, or the attempt, ever justified; can the means of fooling yourself result in worthwhile ends?

Have you ever deceived yourself; if so, how and why? Would you know if you had, or can this only be seen in others, or perhaps after the fact?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkdU7p30xKg
Am I teh first oen here to simply ask ... what do you mean? It sounds like a deluded OP to me :D
AKA badgerjelly

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Newme
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » July 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm

Spectrum,
Of the almost 1,000 biblical words to describe God, the 100 Islamic interpretations of God (one being no words can truly describe), and the many other religious and individual definitions of God, which one do you cling to to make it easier to deny? ;)

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 13th, 2018, 2:57 pm

chewybrian wrote:
July 8th, 2018, 6:33 am
Do sane, rational people ever successfully fool themselves?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb2NHTka-gw

Nuff said!

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Newme
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » July 13th, 2018, 3:31 pm

chewybrian wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 5:59 am
Newme wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:42 am
“All have faith, but not all are conscious of having faith.”

Sorry but I find it difficult to take you seriously when you state, “God is an impossibility.” The bible defines God as Love. How logical is it to claim, “Love is an impossibility”? God is also biblically written to be experienced within us: “The kingdom of God is within you.” How logical is it to state that “Experiencing God within you is an impossibility”?

Spectrum, looks like you need to go back to the drawing board, even if you’ve been working on this “God is an impossibility” work, for years. That is, unless it’s become too dogmatic for you. ;)
It is perhaps not a coincidence that people argue so forcefully against both God and free will. The stoics also said that our rational faculty of choice was a piece of God within us, and Descartes 'proved' God to himself with similar reasoning.

The determination of those opposing God and free will, when no real proof or disproof is at hand, does remind me of people of excessive faith. In arguing against God, are they in fact turning God back against God in the process? I don't know. In the case of free will, I do believe they are turning their self back against itself.

Why is it so hard to admit there are things we simply don't know? I'm on the fence about God, but I do believe in free will, and that does seem to leave the door open for God, at least a bit.
Yeah, Atheism is like a religion for many - with all kinds of Atheist books and organizations. Many argue for it with preachy passion! :D For a while, I entertained Atheist ideas - wondering if there is a God/gods - doubting a lot. I found skepticism without faith can be addicting and paralyzing. Then I moved on - but faith is hard. When times are tough, it’s not easy to believe that things could be better than they are - yet belief is what ignites action, thereby improving conditions.

I agree that free will and God are being dismissed. What a sucky mental place to believe you have no choice, no will. Delusional hell. I consider God like a huge metaphysical shape of infinite sides and aspects - but the main thread being the exercise of one’s will to produce the greatest GOoD possible. In that sense the stoics and Descartes were right.

Jordan Peterson (quoting Jung I think) suggested that polytheistic notions of God without a hierarchal God represented a disorganized psyche. I do believe that there are various “lesser gods or demons” or spirits (spirit of giving, contention, friendship etc) which seemed to “possess” people. In psych-ology, it might be considered emotions, or tendencies. And it makes sense, to have a coherent, reasonable person with emotional intelligence would require an overarching a general internal governing principle (higher GOoD) which keeps lesser gods or demons (dysfunctionality) in check.

A lot of conflict is based on semantics. Paul Tillech defined God more in evidential terms... Rather than ask, “Do you believe in God?” - just observe what a person daily worships or prioritizes.

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Greta
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Greta » July 13th, 2018, 7:55 pm

I personally don't argue forcefully at all against the existence of God or free will. What d I know - a little hominid locked in on the effective Flatland of the Earth's surface? My issue is only with the certainty of people's views about God's existence and nature. There is no way of being certain about the ultimate nature of reality. So agnosticism is the only truly honest possible position - the rest is just touting. (However, atheism to an anthropomorphic deity is rational, as is atheism towards Santa Claus and Bigfoot).

Thus, in terms of a philosophy forum, claiming certainty about things about which one cannot be certain is simply not good enough. That will simply lead to a mountain of competing unsubstantiated claims, and the ultimate death of philosophy.

If philosophy is to be taken seriously enough to survive in the modern world then there must be rigour. Simply believing large extrapolated concepts based on internal experience, supposition and popularity is not good enough; there needs to be be a logical thread from supposition to conclusion or we might as well start talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

We can posit all manner of ideas but once certainty claims are made then grounding is needed if they are to qualify as being philosophical in nature.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » July 13th, 2018, 9:40 pm

Greta,
Logically speaking Agnosticism makes sense - we really don’t know much. Yet, with intuitive application - it doesn’t work. If God/spirituality is a verb like Love, highest truth, greatest GOoD - then being iffy is paralyzing. If you lived your life agnostically, you’d be questioning everything - not committing to anything. I suppose it could be a bit like Nihilism - if taken to extreme. Most probably don’t go to that extreme and a dash of agnostic humility is good.

I find the Spaghetti monster reference annoying, especially when “the kingdom of God is within you.” It’s ignorantly making fun of one’s own brain/psyche.
http://www.spiritofthescripture.com/wp- ... Brain-.jpg

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Greta
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Greta » July 13th, 2018, 10:34 pm

Newme wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 9:40 pm
Greta,
Logically speaking Agnosticism makes sense - we really don’t know much. Yet, with intuitive application - it doesn’t work. If God/spirituality is a verb like Love, highest truth, greatest GOoD - then being iffy is paralyzing. If you lived your life agnostically, you’d be questioning everything - not committing to anything. I suppose it could be a bit like Nihilism - if taken to extreme. Most probably don’t go to that extreme and a dash of agnostic humility is good.

I find the Spaghetti monster reference annoying, especially when “the kingdom of God is within you.” It’s ignorantly making fun of one’s own brain/psyche.
http://www.spiritofthescripture.com/wp- ... Brain-.jpg
I learned out about the brain reference from Anthony Hopkins on Westworld :D

I don't find agnosticism paralysing, rather it is freeing. People generally like limitations, which provide structure and allows for clear goal setting. Now that I am retired, I don't need goals and the like. During my working life I was largely atheist with what I now think of as some hangover unconscious emotional Catholicism courtesy of Mum. I suppose my direction stemmed from humanism and the desire to make a contribution that might make people's lives better. I was probably pretty terrible at it in hindsight with a lot of clumsy unintended harm, but I gave it a go :lol:

Now that I don't need to drive myself, I am free to simply ponder what is rather than choosing paradigms based on efficacy. This is a critical point here. Time and again theists explain to me that their belief is efficacious, providing meaning and direction. To my mind that makes the belief a tool. I don't need such tools and am just interested in what is really "out there", "in here", the interchange between those (subjectively divided) domains the fritz that occurs at the boundary.

The idea of God as a sense of being (the "verb") appears to be an extra layer. Why can't a sense of being simply be, without attributing it to the nature of a deity? Or did I answer my own question above? That is, belief acts as an effective tool that you feel improves your life.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by LuckyR » July 14th, 2018, 10:36 pm

Felix wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:05 pm
Do sane, rational people ever successfully fool themselves?
What does "successfully" mean in that context - come to believe their own self-conceived lie? If so, they are not acting sanely/rationally when they do that, are they?
We all know folks who profess to believe their obvious rationalizations. Many, if not most are lying (therefore not "successfully" fooling themselves), but some probably aren't. I suppose they could be fooling themselves.

In the current climate (with numerous examples on this Forum), folks routinely profess to support this or that policy or law or opinion for this or that reason, when it is quite plain that the opinion expressed favors the position of the writer and thus is a self-serving action. Naturally there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is the most normal and predictable action imaginable. Yet I believe that the individuals involved truly believe that the origin of their opinion is rooted not in self interest, but in their world view.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by baha » July 14th, 2018, 10:39 pm

LuckyR wrote:
July 14th, 2018, 10:36 pm
Felix wrote:
July 12th, 2018, 10:05 pm


What does "successfully" mean in that context - come to believe their own self-conceived lie? If so, they are not acting sanely/rationally when they do that, are they?
We all know folks who profess to believe their obvious rationalizations. Many, if not most are lying (therefore not "successfully" fooling themselves), but some probably aren't. I suppose they could be fooling themselves.

In the current climate (with numerous examples on this Forum), folks routinely profess to support this or that policy or law or opinion for this or that reason, when it is quite plain that the opinion expressed favors the position of the writer and thus is a self-serving action. Naturally there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is the most normal and predictable action imaginable. Yet I believe that the individuals involved truly believe that the origin of their opinion is rooted not in self interest, but in their world view.
waaahaa what an info. amazing you are really very good.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Spectrum » July 15th, 2018, 12:40 am

Newme wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm
Spectrum,
Of the almost 1,000 biblical words to describe God, the 100 Islamic interpretations of God (one being no words can truly describe), and the many other religious and individual definitions of God, which one do you cling to to make it easier to deny? ;)
You are lost on the principles of the theistic God.
Re God or anything there is the view of 'substance versus forms.'
Whatever the infinite of forms there is only one substance or essence to God.
Due to the limitation of words, God can only be best and ultimately described in the negative.
The ultimate definition of God has to be the ontological God, i.e.
"God is being than which no greater can be idealized"

As I had argued the ultimate ontological God is an impossibility to be real.

The only reason why the idea of a God [by default is ontological] emerged is because of the existential psychological impulses.
Why do you deny these psychological impulses that drive you to be theistic?
If you make an effort to understand these primal theistic impulses you will understand [not necessary give up] why you need to cling to a God.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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chewybrian
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by chewybrian » July 15th, 2018, 6:56 am

Greta wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 7:55 pm
Thus, in terms of a philosophy forum, claiming certainty about things about which one cannot be certain is simply not good enough. That will simply lead to a mountain of competing unsubstantiated claims, and the ultimate death of philosophy.

If philosophy is to be taken seriously enough to survive in the modern world then there must be rigour. Simply believing large extrapolated concepts based on internal experience, supposition and popularity is not good enough; there needs to be be a logical thread from supposition to conclusion or we might as well start talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

We can posit all manner of ideas but once certainty claims are made then grounding is needed if they are to qualify as being philosophical in nature.
Maybe you should make this a "sticky" thread at the top of every page. Epictetus said something similar 2000 years ago, btw.
LuckyR wrote:
July 14th, 2018, 10:36 pm
In the current climate (with numerous examples on this Forum), folks routinely profess to support this or that policy or law or opinion for this or that reason, when it is quite plain that the opinion expressed favors the position of the writer and thus is a self-serving action. Naturally there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is the most normal and predictable action imaginable. Yet I believe that the individuals involved truly believe that the origin of their opinion is rooted not in self interest, but in their world view.
That is politics in a nutshell. "This policy which is in my self-interest just happens to be the morally correct position, and here are the tortured reasons why this is so:"... I disagree that there is nothing wrong with that.

Suppose I was a drinker, and wanted pot to be illegal. I *could* try to justify that position with correlations, pretending they must be cause and effect. Pot smokers tend to be involved in other illegal activities; why would that be a surprise? The correlation comes from the very fact that we made pot illegal, not from some cause and effect relationship between pot smoking and armed robbery! The reality seems to be that alcohol causes more harm than pot, and if alcohol should be legal, then they should both be legal. You are violating the social contract by expecting others to honor your preferences while you deny theirs to them (unless their preference is for armed robbery).

Putting yourself in the other guy's shoes is difficult if not impossible. How much of a 'world view' do we have if we get more worked up about Stormy Daniels than political prisoners in North Korea or people starving in Africa? Being a cosmopolitan citizen of the world is a tall order.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Eduk » July 15th, 2018, 8:02 am

I might be wrong but personally I found my thread on agnosticism somewhat enlightening.
My conclusion was that to be agnostic about God you need to define what God you are agnostic about. Few people, who claim the intellectual superiority of agnosticism, seem to be agnostic about any of the multitude of God's, except their own.
Personally I cannot define God in a meaningful way.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Greta » July 15th, 2018, 7:23 pm

Eduk wrote:
July 15th, 2018, 8:02 am
I might be wrong but personally I found my thread on agnosticism somewhat enlightening.
My conclusion was that to be agnostic about God you need to define what God you are agnostic about. Few people, who claim the intellectual superiority of agnosticism, seem to be agnostic about any of the multitude of God's, except their own.
Personally I cannot define God in a meaningful way.
You are right, Duk - you were wrong :D

Q. What do you call a person who is agnostic "about any of the multitude of God's, except their own"?

A. A theist.

Agnostics don't have "their own" deity as such (which is rather the point); they instead have probabilities, possibilities and intuitions.

While the application of logic rather than wishful thinking or self-programming may constitute "intellectual superiority", it may also simply be due to greater caution and rigour, but that tells us nothing of the subject matter, just competitive personal gumph.

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