Individualism vs. Collectivism

For all things philosophical.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Nick_A wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:10 pm But it is the chain of collectives that have the power.
Not necessarily, though we should really worry about that. Collectives tend to do bad things.

What usually happens is this: the masses get mobilized around a common cause. A collective is formed. The cause is then put forward with violence or with sheer compulsion of numbers. The revolution wins.

Then the revolution starts to fail. Causes are sought, but the revolutionary theory fails to explain its own failure. The new elites among the masses, their leaders, realize that the wrath of the disappointed masses will soon turn against them. The ideology of revolution will be questioned. This cannot happen.

They find scapegoats. They then channel the wrath of the masses against the scapegoats. For a time, this works.

But the wrath of the disappointed masses continues, because the failure of the revolution continues. More scapegoats are needed. Pogroms and purges begin. Re-education camps open. But it's never enough. So eventually, the new elites crack down on their own people. They have to, or the anger will rise against them. The revolution cannot be allowed to fail. You get widespread repression, misery and death.

This is the story of Collectivism in this world. It never changes. It just plays out slower or faster in different locales, depending on how radical the aspirations of the collective movement have been, and now quickly the failure manifests itself.

Orwell, the one-time Socialist, covers this so well in Animal Farm. "All animals are equal -- but some are more equal than others."

Or as The Who so perceptively put it, in Won't Get Fooled Again: "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss."
Nick_A
Posts: 5127
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A »

I C
Linear time is abundantly described in Scripture. That's why, Nick. And I might add that scientifically, the idea that the universe is linear and not cyclical is also beyond reasonable debate. The matter has essentially been settled since the 1960s, although the evidence for it was actually found earlier. Finally, mathematically, in a chain-of-causes type universe, which is what we live in, a singular starting point is mathematically inevitable, because of the impossibility of an actual infinite regresses of causes.
However many wouldn’t agree and assert that the universe is cyclical. Consider the Buddhist Kalpa

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/buddhacosmo.html
Time in Buddhist cosmology is measured in kalpas. Originally, a kalpa was considered to be 4,320,000 years. Buddhist scholars expanded it with a metaphor: rub a one-mile cube of rock once every hundred years with a piece of silk, until the rock is worn away -- and a kalpa still hasn’t passed! During a kalpa, the world comes into being, exists, is destroyed, and a period of emptiness ensues. Then it all starts again.
https://www.accessscience.com/content/c ... y/YB090037
The cyclic universe theory is a model of cosmic evolution according to which the universe undergoes endless cycles of expansion and cooling, each beginning with a “big bang” and ending in a “big crunch……………
There is a collective called “experts” which is probably the most dangerous collective of all.
Only when the grounds of arbitration were settled could we make any progress, I suspect.

But we could talk about that. For me, the Bible is the determinative factor. What would you accept as a basis of arbitrating such questions, Nick?
Yes, the problem with experts in the domain of Christianity. How to reconcile it?
The greatest obstacle the experts present is to turn the question of Christianity into purely an intellectual one making understanding the Bible impossible. The value of Christianity is its ability to put suffering into higher context. We are normally governed by lower earthly animal and acquired emotions but the essence of Christianity can arouse the experience of the higher sacred impulses of love, faith, and hope. So rather than arguing with experts, the Christian strives to experience these "feelings". This means becoming able to Know Thyself – including to have the emotional experience of oneself.

Jacob Needleman alludes to it in the preface of his book “Lost Christianity”
…………………………………..But in fact, no such assumption of moral authority by secular humanism, has
taken hold or now seems in any way likely or justified. The modern era, the era of science, while witnessing the phenomenal acceleration of scientific discovery and its applications in technological innovation, has brought the
world the inconceivable slaughter and chaos of modern war along with
the despair of ethical dilemmas arising from new technologies that all
at once project humanity’s essence-immorality onto the
entire planet: global injustice, global heartlessness and the global
disintegration of the normal patterns of life
that have guided mankind for millenia. Neither the secular philosophies
of our epoch nor its theories of human nature—pragmatism, positivism,
Marxism, liberalism, humanism, behaviorism, biological determinism,
psychoanalysis–nor the traditional doctrines of the religions, in the way we have understood them, seem able to confront or explain the crimes of humanity in our era, nor offer wise and compassionate guidance through the labyrinth of paralyzingly new ethical problems.
What is needed is a either a new understanding of God or a new understanding
of Man: an understanding of God that does not insult the scientific
mind, while offering bread, not a stone, to the deepest hunger of the
heart; or an understanding of Man that squarely faces the criminal
weakness of our moral will while holding out to us the knowledge of how we can strive within ourselves to become the fully human being we are meant to be– both for ourselves and as instruments of a higher purpose.
But, this is not an either/or. The premise –or, rather, the proposal—of this
book is that at the heart of the Christian religion there exists and
has always existed just such a vision of both God and Man. I call it
“lost Christianity” not because it is a matter of doctrines and concepts
that may have been lost or forgotten; nor even a matter of methods of
spiritual practice that may need to be recovered from ancient sources.
It is all that, to be sure, but what is lost in the whole of our modern
life, including our understanding of religion, is something even more fundamental, without
which religious ideas and practices lose their meaning and all too
easily become the instruments of ignorance, fear and hatred. What
is lost is the experience of oneself, just oneself—myself, the personal
being who is here, now, living, breathing, yearning for meaning, for
goodness; just this person here, now, squarely confronting one’s own
existential weaknesses and pretensions while yet aware, however
tentatively, of a higher current of life and identity calling to us from
within ourselves. This presence to oneself is the missing element in
the whole of the life of Man, the intermediate state of consciousness
between what we are meant to be and what we actually are.
It is, perhaps, the one bridge that can lead us from our inhuman past
toward the human future…………………..
It does seem like the only real hope for our species is what is hated the most by the world that worships the Great Beast and its many collectives.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:07 pm You don't understand statistics.
Quite the opposite: it seems obvious that you are making a mistake about what infinity plus randomness implies.

You're supposing that infinity can increase odds. But you're forgetting randomness.

Infinity can only increase odds if the number of possible variables and outcomes is limited. Some "law" has to constrain that there are not infinite other possibilities. If no such law exists (which the quantum explanation presupposes must be true) then the chances of ANY single outcome ever happening is not just random, but infinite. That means there are always, for any one outcome, an infinite number of other possibilities that could have come into being.

What the odds are of any one of these infinite outcomes randomly recurring are astronomical...some multiple of infinity, one would have to say...but infinity can't be "multiplied," because it's infinite.

But the point is clear: if infinite alternate worlds are possible, there is no reason why any one outcome ever becomes more likely than another. ALL are infinite improbabilities. And there is definitely no chance at all that any one outcome will ever recur...an infinite chance against it happening, that is.
Skepdick
Posts: 4778
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:18 pm Quite the opposite: it seems obvious that you are making a mistake about what infinity plus randomness implies.

You're supposing that infinity can increase odds. But you're forgetting randomness.

Infinity can only increase odds if the number of possible variables and outcomes is limited. Some "law" has to constrain that there are not infinite other possibilities. If no such law exists (which the quantum explanation presupposes must be true) then the chances of ANY single outcome ever happening is not just random, but infinite. That means there are always, for any one outcome, an infinite number of other possibilities that could have come into being.

What the odds are of any one of these infinite outcomes randomly recurring are astronomical...some multiple of infinity, one would have to say...but infinity can't be "multiplied," because it's infinite.

But the point is clear: if infinite alternate worlds are possible, there is no reason why any one outcome ever becomes more likely than another. ALL are infinite improbabilities. And there is definitely no chance at all that any one outcome will ever recur...an infinite chance against it happening, that is.
The father of statistical mechanics says that you are wrong. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain

The anthropic principle necessitates self-observational bias. You can't observe a universe in which you don't exist.

Whether there are 1 or infinite number of universes cannot be determined. What can be determined that in 1 out of 1 universes observed sentient life-forms exist. That's 100%.

But the simples way to show you how mistaken is to ask you this: do you think you stand more chance of winning the lottery if you played once, or if you played 1000000 times?
Last edited by Skepdick on Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Nick_A
Posts: 5127
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:10 pm
Nick_A wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:10 pm But it is the chain of collectives that have the power.
Not necessarily, though we should really worry about that. Collectives tend to do bad things.

What usually happens is this: the masses get mobilized around a common cause. A collective is formed. The cause is then put forward with violence or with sheer compulsion of numbers. The revolution wins.

Then the revolution starts to fail. Causes are sought, but the revolutionary theory fails to explain its own failure. The new elites among the masses, their leaders, realize that the wrath of the disappointed masses will soon turn against them. The ideology of revolution will be questioned. This cannot happen.

They find scapegoats. They then channel the wrath of the masses against the scapegoats. For a time, this works.

But the wrath of the disappointed masses continues, because the failure of the revolution continues. More scapegoats are needed. Pogroms and purges begin. Re-education camps open. But it's never enough. So eventually, the new elites crack down on their own people. They have to, or the anger will rise against them. The revolution cannot be allowed to fail. You get widespread repression, misery and death.

This is the story of Collectivism in this world. It never changes. It just plays out slower or faster in different locales, depending on how radical the aspirations of the collective movement have been, and now quickly the failure manifests itself.

Orwell, the one-time Socialist, covers this so well in Animal Farm. "All animals are equal -- but some are more equal than others."

Or as The Who so perceptively put it, in Won't Get Fooled Again: "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss."
Marx wrote that religion is the opiate of the masses. Simone Weil retorted that revolution is the opiate of the masses. I'll stick with Orwell, Simone, and the Who. Since we are as we are, everything is as it is.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Nick_A wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:13 pm However many wouldn’t agree and assert that the universe is cyclical.
They are both Biblically and scientifically believing something untenable.
The cyclic universe theory is a model of cosmic evolution according to which the universe undergoes endless cycles of expansion and cooling, each beginning with a “big bang” and ending in a “big crunch……………
This is an old theory, and very dead.

There are two obvious observations that destroy this theory. One is that the universe is expanding, not contracting; and as the red-shift effect shows, accelerating, not slowing. The second is this: that no known or detectable force in the universe is anywhere close to strong enough to induce a cosmic collapse. Matter, as it expands, has now exceeded escape velocity and cannot be "crunched" anymore. We are headed toward the state known as heat-death, and not cosmic recycling: that much is quite clear.
Yes, the problem with experts in the domain of Christianity. How to reconcile it?
Test the experts. Don't accept them "as experts," unless what they say is true.
The value of Christianity is its ability to put suffering into higher context.

That is indeed a value, but not the value.
This means becoming able to Know Thyself – including to have the emotional experience of oneself.
Not in Christianity, it doesn't.

What one "knows" when one genuinely looks into oneself, is not one's wonderfulness or demi-godhood, but one's own sinfulness. Authentically recognizing that is not an "emotional experience," but rather a form of stoical realism, of finally coming to grips with a real assessment of one's own moral state. It's not an easy thing.
Skepdick
Posts: 4778
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:18 pm Infinity can only increase odds if the number of possible variables and outcomes is limited.
Lets just say that Mathematically, your own God would laugh at your stupidity.

A limited omnipotence is not omnipotence.
A limited omnipresence is not omnipresence.
A limited omniscience is not omniscience.

A limited infinity is not infinity.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:20 pm The anthropic principle necessitates self-observational bias. You can't observe a universe in which you don't exist.
The Anthropic Argument is merely circular, and very trivially so. It says, "The reason we can exist and observe the universe is that we couldn't observe the universe if this wasn't the kind of universe we were in."

That sort of explanation really isn't one at all. It isn't one step above the parental platitude, "Because."
But the simples way to show you how mistaken is to ask you this: do you think you stand more chance of winning the lottery if you played once, or if you played 1000000 times?
Ah, but a "lottery" with how many variables? Answer me that, first, and I will show you why you're wrong.

The average lottery might have merely several million. But in an infinite universe (and even more, in an infinite number of possible "other" universes) the variables are, by definition, infinite. What that means is that NO number of 'rolls of the dice' will ever make the odds against any particular number recurring anything less than infinitely improbable.

Indeed, it makes any particular outcome unlikely to an infinite degree in the first place. :shock:
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:27 pm A limited infinity is not infinity.
Now you've got it! :D

If you want to have infinite recursions of chances, you would have to arbitrarily limit the variables involved, or you'd never increase your odds.

As you say, "a limited infinity is not infinity."
Skepdick
Posts: 4778
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:33 pm Ah, but a "lottery" with how many variables? Answer me that, first, and I will show you why you're wrong.
Obviously it's a lottery with infinitely many variables!

But the fact that you and I are here, right now existing - it means that we won it!

1/∞ > 0/∞
Skepdick
Posts: 4778
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:35 pm If you want to have infinite recursions of chances, you would have to arbitrarily limit the variables involved, or you'd never increase your odds.
You don't even know the difference between odds and probability.

The odds of us being alive are 1/∞
The probability of us being alive is 100%

Seriously dude, if you are going to be defending the indefensible you can't afford to be this stupid.

https://stats.seandolinar.com/statistic ... y-vs-odds/
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:47 pm But the fact that you and I are here, right now existing - it means that we won it!
That's assuming a couple of things we can't assume. Namely, it's taking for granted without further doubt that quantum variability IS the reason for our existence. We don't know that, and can't use the quantum explanation to verify itself.

Secondly, we can't assume there aren't other possible explanations that are MORE plausible...such that intelligence is the product of divine creation. We can't just jump to the conclusion that that explanation is wrong.

But it actually gets much worse for your case. For there is no reason why the "lottery" needed to happen at all. :shock: The chances of ANYTHING existing AT ALL are actually incalculably vast. What rule existed that said "Universes must be generated"? What "law" was in place to guarantee that it would happen at all?

So now we've got an infinite unlikelihood of anything existing, and then a "lottery" with infinite variables popping into existence out of nothing, and then, according to the Anthropic Argument, against infinite odds we somehow just "won" it. And the proof, says the AA, is that we are here.

In other words, the AA just "skips" over two infinitely unlikely gaps, and concludes that we are what we are because we had to be that. But "had to" for no reason it can tell us, because that would require an explanation of "laws" constraining the possibilities, an explanation that would defeat the AA if it were ever given. :shock:

If you know anybody would accept an explanation like that, and never even question it, I've got some great real estate investments in Florida that I can introduce them to. I'll cut you in for 10%. :wink:
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8727
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 pm Seriously dude, if you are going to be defending the indefensible you can't afford to be this stupid.
Ah, yes...the ad hominem...the first refuge of the losing arguer.

Well, perhaps you can pretend not to see it, and perhaps you really can't. I can't know that. I can just tell you that you haven't thought this through yet.
Skepdick
Posts: 4778
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:12 pm
Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 pm Seriously dude, if you are going to be defending the indefensible you can't afford to be this stupid.
Ah, yes...the ad hominem...the first refuge of the losing arguer.

Well, perhaps you can pretend not to see it, and perhaps you really can't. I can't know that. I can just tell you that you haven't thought this through yet.
It is not ad-hominem when it's a fact. You actually don't understand statistics.
Skepdick
Posts: 4778
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:11 pm
Skepdick wrote: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:47 pm But the fact that you and I are here, right now existing - it means that we won it!
That's assuming a couple of things we can't assume. Namely, it's taking for granted without further doubt that quantum variability IS the reason for our existence. We don't know that, and can't use the quantum explanation to verify itself.

Secondly, we can't assume there aren't other possible explanations that are MORE plausible...such that intelligence is the product of divine creation. We can't just jump to the conclusion that that explanation is wrong.

But it actually gets much worse for your case. For there is no reason why the "lottery" needed to happen at all. :shock: The chances of ANYTHING existing AT ALL are actually incalculably vast. What rule existed that said "Universes must be generated"? What "law" was in place to guarantee that it would happen at all?

So now we've got an infinite unlikelihood of anything existing, and then a "lottery" with infinite variables popping into existence out of nothing, and then, according to the Anthropic Argument, against infinite odds we somehow just "won" it. And the proof, says the AA, is that we are here.

In other words, the AA just "skips" over two infinitely unlikely gaps, and concludes that we are what we are because we had to be that. But "had to" for no reason it can tell us, because that would require an explanation of "laws" constraining the possibilities, an explanation that would defeat the AA if it were ever given. :shock:

If you know anybody would accept an explanation like that, and never even question it, I've got some great real estate investments in Florida that I can introduce them to. I'll cut you in for 10%. :wink:
That's an elaborate strawman. I am not using any explanations for anything. I am simply sticking to the Mathematical argument for now.

You agreed that a limited infinity is not an infinity, therefore you agree that the odds of our existence are 1/∞
However, the probability of our existence is not disputed. As observed - it's 100% certain that we exist.

If you are going to be using some crutch to defend your God, Mathematics is not it.
Post Reply