What Book Changed Your Mind?

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uwot
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:20 am

Immanuel Can wrote:Today, we talk freely about our sexuality -- we parade our differences in the street. Everyone volunteers his or her opinion about politics, no matter how strong that opinion might be. Who is ashamed to speak of his philosophy today? And all sorts of previous taboos are breaking down.
That is precisely because in some places people have broken the stranglehold that religion used to have. I wouldn't recommend such behaviour in large areas of the US, most of the middle east and pockets of religious lunacy across the globe.
Immanuel Can wrote:So what sense does it make to reserve shame for one's deepest beliefs?
That's your problem. I'm not ashamed of anything that I believe.
Immanuel Can wrote:If one really, really believes something, and is really convinced it is helpful to everyone, what sort of a miser would not gladly share it with other people?
Well, I am touched by your solicitude, but many of us have said 'No thanks' in a variety of ways, all of which you fail to respect.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:55 pm

uwot wrote:Well, I am touched by your solicitude, but many of us have said 'No thanks' in a variety of ways, all of which you fail to respect.
Not that many, actually. The number of pure, self-declared American Atheists hovers around 4%. (CIA, 2004) Another 4% or so are Agnostics, who therefore have left the question to be asked. Everybody else, the other 92%, believes that some kind of a Supreme Being or supernatural entity exists. So there isn't much to "respect" there: upsetting 4% of the people is pretty much ordinary for any opinion a person could wish to assert. And that 4% can easily find something on TV.

It's not hard for anyone to avoid discussions of God today. They're rarely conducted out in public. You have to go searching for them, or else track some down on the internet.

However, what I have found is this: that people are very upset about God because many have a deep and irritating sense they're on the wrong side of the issue. Like a person with an open wound, they cringe at every touch, and thus are hypersensitive to this issue to a degree that they are not, even in matters like sexuality, finances or politics. Yet they cannot leave it alone.

In contrast, those who have some sort of sincere, deeply-held belief in the Supreme Being are usually more than happy to discuss it. The fear doesn't enter their eyes whenever the topic comes up. And even the Atheists...well, look how many of them want to write books, go on the lecture circuit, post opinions, gather in self-congratulatory groups...and so on. And as for PN, well, they tell me that this is their #1 most popular subject of articles. They want to do fewer of them, but the public is just so darned interested they can't resist putting more in.

The human race cannot get enough of the topic of God.

But you can. However, you choose not to, oddly enough... :D

So if your answer is really "no thanks," what are you doing here, chiming in now? :shock:

uwot
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:39 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:The number of pure, self-declared American Atheists hovers around 4%. (CIA, 2004) Another 4% or so are Agnostics, who therefore have left the question to be asked. Everybody else, the other 92%, believes that some kind of a Supreme Being or supernatural entity exists. So there isn't much to "respect" there:
Well, you might start by respecting the fact that not all of us are American.
Immanuel Can wrote:It's not hard for anyone to avoid discussions of God today. They're rarely conducted out in public. You have to go searching for them, or else track some down on the internet.
Really? 92% of Americans believe in god and you can't find someone to talk to? Has it crossed your mind that it might be that they just don't want to talk to you?
Immanuel Can wrote:However, what I have found is this: that people are very upset about God because many have a deep and irritating sense they're on the wrong side of the issue.
What do you base this conjecture on?
Immanuel Can wrote:In contrast, those who have some sort of sincere, deeply-held belief in the Supreme Being are usually more than happy to discuss it.
I imagine you could have a very lively discussion with the Taliban
Immanuel Can wrote:And as for PN, well, they tell me that this is their #1 most popular subject of articles.
Who did you ask? Rick? Grant?
Immanuel Can wrote:So if your answer is really "no thanks," what are you doing here, chiming in now? :shock:
Would you rather preach to the converted? What happened to:
Immanuel Can wrote:If one really, really believes something, and is really convinced it is helpful to everyone, what sort of a miser would not gladly share it with other people?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:15 pm

uwot wrote:Well, you might start by respecting the fact that not all of us are American.
True. But I think you probably are. Correct me if I presume incorrectly. And if so, no problem: the world statistics aren't vastly different, varying between 12 and 14%, with half of those, again, believing in some sort of supernatural or Divine reality but uncommitted to any particular religion. So your hardcore Atheists are now up to 6% or so. So there's still 94% of the world whose interests are being served by the discussion. And as I say, Atheists can find lots of TV shows to distract them while the rest of us get on with life. :lol:
Really? 92% of Americans believe in god and you can't find someone to talk to?
Well, you're here, aren't you? I assume nobody asked you to be: you just wanted to be. And so far as I know, nobody's holding a gun to your head at the present moment -- so you could solve your problem entirely by moving on if what you're evinced antipathy to the subject were sincere.
I imagine you could have a very lively discussion with the Taliban
Quite. They'd kill me even faster than they'd kill you, but we'd both be dead. That's why it's important to know what a religion actually believes, rather than to group them together in one prejudicial mass called "religion" or even worse -- to pretend the radical and violent sects and dogmas do not actually exist. Thus, if Atheists want us not to spend so much time thinking about "religion," they're really campaigning to deliver us to the hands of the violent extremist groups by suppressing the more peaceful and discourse-oriented ones. Perhaps they should be encouraging dialogue instead of suppressing it.
Would you rather preach to the converted? What happened to:
Immanuel Can wrote:If one really, really believes something, and is really convinced it is helpful to everyone, what sort of a miser would not gladly share it with other people?
Sorry. Not understanding this point. You'll have to clarify. If people believe in the wrong faith, they may still be quite happy to talk about God. Your Taliban would be happy to "talk" long enough to make you say the Shahada, then would cut your throat if you didn't. But Buddhists can also be very chatty, as can New Agers, Mormons, JW's, and any number of other such persons, including the Atheist set. (I have not noticed that reticence is characteristic of them).

Now, since these belief systems do not agree on their own fundamental premises, the Law of Non-Contradiction is all we need to know that the majority must simply be wrong. But they're all very happy to compare notes and talk about it. Some of us even think we can learn particular new ways of thinking from each other, even if we're not particularly entertaining the intention of leaving our own faith.

Actually, all that sounds kind of like a definition of "learning," and rather open-minded (with the exception of people like the Taliban...and, as you say, the radical Atheists who allegedly don't want to talk to anyone but can't stop talking about it). :o

Oh, and I notice you're still here. For a guy who thinks it's terrible we talk about religion so much, you sure want to talk about religion. :wink:

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:19 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:If you wish to claim otherwise then you're on your own because this is not a philosophical argument and I have better things to do with my time.
Heh. Hardly "on my own." In fact, "believe," in the sense in which I used it, means exactly what everybody means when they say "believe" every day.
.
Everybody? I think Not.
You are exceeding your empirical remit somewhat.
But God delusionists tend to do that all the time.

uwot
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:23 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
uwot wrote:Well, you might start by respecting the fact that not all of us are American.
True. But I think you probably are.
That's because you are in the habit of interpreting everything as evidence for what you choose to believe. Is there anything I have said that identifies me as American?
Immanuel Can wrote:And as I say, Atheists can find lots of TV shows to distract them while the rest of us get on with life. :lol:
I see. So you believe that only 4% of Americans watch television.
So who at PN told you that religion "is their #1 most popular subject of articles"?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:57 pm

uwot wrote:Is there anything I have said that identifies me as American?
This is not an interesting topic. Not remotely relevant to anything even modestly important, and very far from the purpose of the strand.

Ho hum...can't be bothered.

Happy trails, cowboy.

uwot
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:05 pm

So who at PN told you that religion "is their #1 most popular subject of articles"?

Ansiktsburk
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Ansiktsburk » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:16 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:
Ansiktsburk wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:Almost evey programming text I've read. I'm very choosy, and hate wasting my time on bad information. And don't try to put computer humour into it. I'm not reading it because I want a giggle. I want to learn something.
What's a "programming text"?
Eg. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs; Common Lisp: The Language. Even the Church-Turing thesis (lambda calculus, which is the universal Turing-complete programming language, and the smallest, consisting of λ and a dot, with parentheses). Looks like Lisp, which is based on it, and hence the perfect programming language, IMO.
Lisp? Nerd! I must admit, I never really got the hang of Lisp, event though it was very fashionable back when I went to university. All those lists back and forth, completely unreadable code even though you could make very compact code.
But I see what you mean by programming text. However, instead of bying a brick of eg. Java knowledge I normally google may way into new computer languages. Maybe run through a w3school.

Ansiktsburk
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Ansiktsburk » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:46 pm

Steven C Hayes - Get out of your mind and into your life(or really - Sluta grubbla börja leva). And also two swedish psychiatrists who wrote a Swedish work inspired by Hayes.

Mindfulness appeared to be drinking strange teas,wearing fluffy clothes and meditation until I read his book. Actually, it has really helped me out of some bad thoughts, a better way look at myself from outside a little more, say. Not any miracles, but yeah, it changed my mind a little. But I still hate christmas.

Dalek Prime
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:14 am

Ansiktsburk wrote: Lisp? Nerd! I must admit, I never really got the hang of Lisp, event though it was very fashionable back when I went to university. All those lists back and forth, completely unreadable code even though you could make very compact code.
But I see what you mean by programming text. However, instead of bying a brick of eg. Java knowledge I normally google may way into new computer languages. Maybe run through a w3school.
Give it another go. Lisp is worth it. Try this book:

http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~shapiro/Com ... onLisp.pdf

If you look at a function, the first ( aka car) of a list is usually the function, unless it's a data list. (Yes, programs and data are treated the same, simplifying the syntax, and making it easy to have programs write programs.) That's half the beauty of lisp.

I always recommend learning three languages. Lisp, Forth, and C. To that, I'm starting to think Haskell is another to recommend. (Oh, and Prolog!). After that, it doesn't really matter what language you use, as you've learned the best of the functional paradigm, the procedural, and the logical (or rule-based). For OOP, use a prototyping language, and not an OOPL with classes that can't be cloned, and thus are prone to breakage.

Anyways, here's a huge list of free learning resources. Enjoy.

https://github.com/vhf/free-programming ... g-books.md

(Thinking of starting a thread on programming, in the lounge, if there is enough interest. Let me know.)

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Arising_uk
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:05 pm

If you can use Prolog then this is a fun and interesting book for the Philosopher who likes Logic and wants to think about Ethics and Game Theory.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en& ... es&f=false

Prolog is also an interesting way to teach thinking using Logic.

Dalek Prime
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:56 am

Arising_uk wrote:If you can use Prolog then this is a fun and interesting book for the Philosopher who likes Logic and wants to think about Ethics and Game Theory.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en& ... es&f=false

Prolog is also an interesting way to teach thinking using Logic.
Thanks. That would be of interest.

I'm thinking of switching to Linux, if only to run Poplog, an environment which contains Prolog, Common Lisp, and ML, with the ability to mix them, as they are all written in the same language; POP-11. Now all I need to do is learn POP-11.

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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by attofishpi » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:26 am

Dalek Prime wrote:(Thinking of starting a thread on programming, in the lounge, if there is enough interest. Let me know.)
Know +1.

Dalek Prime
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Dalek Prime » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:34 am

attofishpi wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:(Thinking of starting a thread on programming, in the lounge, if there is enough interest. Let me know.)
Know +1.
Was that a 'yes', atto? I can work with that. :)

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