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Old 02-17-2018, 10:06 AM
Marcus Flavius Marcus Flavius is offline
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How likely is it that all this was created by something evil?

I look at this world from the viewpoint of wisdom; I see all the death, predation, pain, disease, filth, untold amounts of completely pointless suffering and so on. I do not believe that all this is the product of blind evolution and random chance, and I certainly do not believe that it is the product of a good, benevolent god. I believe that there is a wicked 'creator' behind it all (which doesn't necessarily have to be an entity, it could also be some sort of mind or awareness). He/it is insidious and uncaring, an evil sadist, or a predatory beast. The concept that this universe was created by something evil is one that very few people are able to stomach.
If there is a good, divine god, then He had no hand in creation, creation is not His work, He took no part in it.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:24 AM
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It's our fault, it's a fallen world!! Goddammit Eve!

Just wanted to beat the holyrollers to that.

Carry on.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:57 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Postulating an evil creator-god is exactly as useful as postulating a benevolent creator-god. If it helps you get though the day, fine, but don't pretend it contributes to your understanding of the universe.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:59 AM
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But what about the beautiful sunsets?

Yours seems like the mirror image of the arguments that the creationists use - there is so much beauty in the world that there must be a benevolent god. But your argument seems easier to counter, since in a universe where "shit happens," you'd expect a lot of bad, chaotic stuff without there being a need for an evil creator.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:08 AM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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I recall encountering one person whose theology defined the creator as a different entity from the ruler. It could be that 5he universe was created by a being in the last throes of dementia and the deity we know is a different being who was called in by the council of Gallifreyan SuperGods to deal with the creator's infinite fuckup.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:15 AM
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About as likely as all this being created by something lactose intolerant.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:20 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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The unpleasant reality is that negative is stronger than positive. Pain is more intense than pleasure, and people will work harder to avoid a loss than to obtain a gain (that is my understanding).

The movie 'antichrist' was supposed to end with the conclusion that satan created the world, not god. sadly that plot got out and they had to change the plot to something stupid instead.

But was all this created by something evil? No, it was created by something amoral. Amoral is not the same as evil. A rock is amoral, Ted Bundy was evil.

We were created by natural selection. natural selection has no morals, and doesn't care if we are miserable or blissfully happy. just so long as we are engaged in behaviors that enhances our survival odds. If the planet being full of miserable, suicidal, cruel, desperately unhappy animals had a 1% survival advantage over a world full of blissfully happy, loving, friendly animals, then the planet would be full of evil animals within 100 generations.

But again, evolution is amoral. Evolution invented pain and suffering, but it also invented social cohesion and love. We have pain because it enhances our survival odds. But we also invent and innovate medical and agricultural advances because those enhance our survival odds too (a well fed, healthy society has massive survival advantages over a starving, unhealthy society).

Basically, evolution created both good and evil. Best to side with good (aka pro-social) behaviors to make the world a better place. Did natural selection create pain and suffering? Yes (I assume pain and suffering only started to exist ~500 million years ago, probably not long after the Cambrian explosion). But natural selection also created love and social responsibility. Natural selection is why people like Bill Gates donate billions to help cure malaria and provide working sanitation to people. Because those things reduce pain and increase survival odds.

Also if it helps, pain is pretty rare in life (not human life, I mean all Life on earth). The vast, vast majority of life on this planet is single celled organisms. They are not capable of pain. Plants aren't capable of pain, and most animals aren't capable of pain (supposedly only vertebraes can feel any pain, and 97% of animals aren't vertebraes). Only a small % of life forms on this planet are capable of pain, and an even smaller % of them are capable of emotional pain.

Also the universe at large is pretty much devoid of pain and suffering too. most of the universe is just rocks and atoms, feeling pain requires an advanced nervous system in a biological organism. That seems to be pretty rare in the universe.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:20 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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I recall encountering one person whose theology defined the creator as a different entity from the ruler.
Possibly some form of Gnosticism?
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:24 AM
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OP: How does your view account for the existence of Good? Of beauty, love, pleasure, peace, and joy?
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:25 AM
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If God were evil, the cruelest thing he could have done would be to refrain from creating us.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:35 AM
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OP: How does your view account for the existence of Good? Of beauty, love, pleasure, peace, and joy?
I have the same question. There's a bunch of good and pleasant things in this world for it to have been created by something evil. How did those slip in?
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:38 AM
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Your evidence of a evil creator is that there is so much suffering in the world. But generally speaking, what we consider to be suffering is actually the lack of things we take pleasure in. As a stark example, those who lost their children the recent school shooting, are suffering because of the love and pleasure that their children gave to them that no longer exists. That most people try to avoid death, is evidence that most people prefer existence to non-existence. That being the case, an evil entity would be best off not bothering to create the universe in the first place.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:41 AM
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I have the same question. There's a bunch of good and pleasant things in this world for it to have been created by something evil. How did those slip in?
Those things had to be included so we would have a basis of comparison and realize when we were suffering. Plus there is the bonus of passive suffering because we aren't getting some pleasing thing in addition to the active suffering from pain and disease and such. The good and pleasant things are here to make us suffer too.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:45 AM
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I see the possibility that the world was created by an evil entity as slightly greater than the possibility it was created by a good entity, just since there seems to be so much more suffering and pain than joy in this world, but they both seem pretty damn remote to me. If some entity, rather than natural processes, created the world or the universe, I think the idea that they're still paying any attention to us, when there appears to be an uncountable number of interesting things happening elsewhere in the universe, is rather egocentric and childish.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:49 AM
Marcus Flavius Marcus Flavius is offline
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I have the same question. There's a bunch of good and pleasant things in this world for it to have been created by something evil. How did those slip in?
The evils of this world that I mentioned are infinitely more intrinsic and fundamental, and thus make this world irredeemably evil.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:52 AM
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Well, joy itself is subjective and personal. For instance, your joy at winning that race is offset by the sadness of the loser(s). Joy and happiness are kind of selfish things that come with a cost. Based on what I know about the second law, I am going to guess that the amount of good in the world must be derived through a greater, possibly much greater, amount of not-good.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:54 AM
Marcus Flavius Marcus Flavius is offline
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Those things had to be included so we would have a basis of comparison and realize when we were suffering. Plus there is the bonus of passive suffering because we aren't getting some pleasing thing in addition to the active suffering from pain and disease and such. The good and pleasant things are here to make us suffer too.
I agree with this. Life is full of suffering and deprivation, which is bad. But the good and pleasant only seems to be so because it alleviates the suffering and deprivation in some way or another.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:14 PM
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The evils of this world that I mentioned are infinitely more intrinsic and fundamental, and thus make this world irredeemably evil.

But the fact that you keep on keeping on is evidence of what, exactly?

If a guy wrote all of that stuff in a suicide note, Id maybe disagree about whether he was right; but Id grant that he believed that the bitter outweighed the better. But if a guy relays all of that stuff as if he truly meant it, and then he casually goes back to the everyday enjoyments of his daily life? Whats my takeaway?
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:18 PM
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I agree with this. Life is full of suffering and deprivation, which is bad. But the good and pleasant only seems to be so because it alleviates the suffering and deprivation in some way or another.
Right y'are; It's hope that kills us.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:20 PM
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Whats my takeaway?
Masochism.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:31 PM
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I think many of y'all are going at the question sideways, upside down, and wrong.

The sense of goodness or evilness of the world is an emotional cognition. A value judgment, if you will, but ultimately it's how you feel about it. So far so good (or evil)...

The theological or philosophical or evolutionary purpose of such emotionally-grounded assessments of the quality of life is to direct individuals towards the betterment of things: if they were profoundly happy all the time, they wouldn't find the worst aspects of matters as they are to be intolerable and hence would not go forth determined to fix them. If, on the other hand, they were profoundly miserable to the point of not seeing any purpose to life, no possibility of it being enough better to count, they won't have sufficient inspiration and optimistic sense of purpose and confidence to go forth determined to fix things. So we're equipped with a natural "taring" mechanism, like a scale being zeroed before use: generally speaking, things are seldom so awful that we can't find some pleasure in some aspects of our lives, nor so good that we can't get distressed over some flaws in our paradise, and that's exactly as it should be.

But I think we also have some long-term things going on that give us some less relative assessment skills — some mechanisms that would cause us to be unhappier as a whole if the entire social-environmental situation were worse — say, under a totalitarian regime with brutality and scarcity and lots of random cruelty.

I happen to think that some of our long-term taring dates back to before the agrarian revolution, and that our species has been discernably unhappy with things ever since we started planting stuff in the ground and setting down and making cities and whatnot. And I happen to think that we have the potential for a much better way to live and that that potential is far more in our immediate grasp (give or take a half-millennium or so) than it was 4000 years ago. In brief, we have surplus and lots of cool technology and we are in many important respects post-agrarian, although our social mores and notions of how to "do society" are still anchored in our agrarian past.

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Old 02-17-2018, 01:45 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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The theological or philosophical or evolutionary purpose of such emotionally-grounded assessments of the quality of life is to direct individuals towards the betterment of things: if they were profoundly happy all the time, they wouldn't find the worst aspects of matters as they are to be intolerable and hence would not go forth determined to fix them.
As a side note, I find this darkly amusing. If we ever manage to win this game, as far as it can be "won". By winning I mean we develop tech to the max, abolish aging and death, launch robotic self replicating offspring to the stars, and then settle in for some retirement in virtual reality. "we" may not live to see this but billions of humans might. If they don't get killed in the process.

Anyways, the virtual reality would probably not be realms of peace. They'd be scenarios crafted to appeal to our instincts. Post apocalyptic earths where YOU and only you have supernatural powers. Past earths where you get to roleplay Genghis khan or Adolf Hitler. An alternate universe where Tom Clancy novels are fact and you get to play as Jack Ryan. Etc.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:46 PM
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I look at this world from the viewpoint of wisdom
Cite?
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:49 PM
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As a side note, I find this darkly amusing. If we ever manage to win this game, as far as it can be "won". By winning I mean we develop tech to the max, abolish aging and death, launch robotic self replicating offspring to the stars, and then settle in for some retirement in virtual reality. "we" may not live to see this but billions of humans might. If they don't get killed in the process.

Anyways, the virtual reality would probably not be realms of peace. They'd be scenarios crafted to appeal to our instincts.

I may be living in one of those.
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:03 PM
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I may be living in one of those.
Was that you, on the plains of Thrandor, beneath the dour shade of Mt. Frigglethorpe, where we fought off ravening hordes of sandgorgons and bugblatter beasts, narrowly escaping with our lives?
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:25 PM
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Was that you, on the plains of Thrandor, beneath the dour shade of Mt. Frigglethorpe, where we fought off ravening hordes of sandgorgons and bugblatter beasts, narrowly escaping with our lives?

Im guessing I opted for the Im-A-Lover-Not-A-Fighter one.

Possibly with the Ill-Drink-To-That subroutine.
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:39 PM
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I think it's rather arrogant of the OP to presume that his viewpoint on wisdom, death, predation, pain, disease, filth, suffering, good, benevolence, wicked, evil, and sadism are universal or even relevant in the grand scheme of the Universe.

Is a lion wicked for eating a gazelle?
What is a lifespan of 90 years reduced to 20 when we are talking about time scales of billions of years?
To a God, is man's genocide against man materially different from his genocide against the polio or measles virus?
Of all the trillion quadrillion atoms on Earth, what makes this particular configuration "filthier" than that one?
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:46 PM
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I have the same question. There's a bunch of good and pleasant things in this world for it to have been created by something evil. How did those slip in?
Evan and Ada ate from the tree of ignorance and evil-God cast them out of the cesspool of Nede into a risen world.
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:51 PM
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As a side note, I find this darkly amusing. If we ever manage to win this game, as far as it can be "won". By winning I mean we develop tech to the max, abolish aging and death, launch robotic self replicating offspring to the stars, and then settle in for some retirement in virtual reality. "we" may not live to see this but billions of humans might. If they don't get killed in the process.

Anyways, the virtual reality would probably not be realms of peace. They'd be scenarios crafted to appeal to our instincts. Post apocalyptic earths where YOU and only you have supernatural powers. Past earths where you get to roleplay Genghis khan or Adolf Hitler. An alternate universe where Tom Clancy novels are fact and you get to play as Jack Ryan. Etc.
Its off topic a bit, but I disagree.

In any true singularity, transhuman world one of the first things we will do is transfer consciousness to a better substrate. Our consciousness is stuck inside our brains, which are very limited and prone to suffering. In a transhumanist society, we'd transfer our consciousness to either mechanical brains, engineered organic brains or VR brains which have a totally different set of cognitive and subjective experiences.

There is no law in the universe saying my consciousness can't be transferred to a brain (either mechanical, organic or VR) that is 100x smarter and that feels unfathomable bliss every second from now until the end of time.

People are going to choose that over being stuck inside their biological brains. It is easier to change our brain, than to create an environment that triggers the reward mechanisms of our brains and avoids triggering the punishment mechanisms.
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:55 PM
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This, of course, touches on theodicy, which derives from theo meaning "god" and dicy, meaning "really questionable."

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Old 02-17-2018, 03:30 PM
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According to the bible - it was - took it seven days, trapped all of its creation in a 'garden' and forbade said creation to eat from a specific tree - without giving them the knowledge they needed to understand that eating from said tree was a 'bad thing'. If it weren't for our lord and savior, we would never have escaped from that garden nor had the ability to discern good from evil.

For escaping, said deity cursed women, limited our lifespans and forced us unto hard labor - and then confounded all of our efforts to work together (the babel incident) for said deity was concerned we would become as powerful as him. Failing then to stop our progress, it then proceeded to commit genocide on the whole of the earth with the exception of one family and their pets.

Then, in order to make it all up to us - said deity required human sacrifice to appease him and promised to never flood the earth again - of course, when it returns it will destroy the earth with fire.

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Old 02-17-2018, 04:21 PM
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But the fact that you keep on keeping on is evidence of what, exactly?

If a guy wrote all of that stuff in a suicide note, Id maybe disagree about whether he was right; but Id grant that he believed that the bitter outweighed the better. But if a guy relays all of that stuff as if he truly meant it, and then he casually goes back to the everyday enjoyments of his daily life? Whats my takeaway?
Your takeaway point is that most of us are unable to jump off that cliff or stick that gun in our mouths or swallow that bottle of pills or what have you. We're wired that way to make sure we hang around and keep suffering.
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:24 PM
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This whole thread and especially the OP is very human centric. If a god created this planet for beetles,thing aren't so evil and sadistic. They just keep on keeping on. Getting eaten by the occasional bird is just life.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:01 PM
Marcus Flavius Marcus Flavius is offline
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But the fact that you keep on keeping on is evidence of what, exactly?

If a guy wrote all of that stuff in a suicide note, Id maybe disagree about whether he was right; but Id grant that he believed that the bitter outweighed the better. But if a guy relays all of that stuff as if he truly meant it, and then he casually goes back to the everyday enjoyments of his daily life? Whats my takeaway?
I do not believe that you can simply kill yourself out of this hell.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:15 PM
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I do not believe that you can simply kill yourself out of this hell.
Why not?
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:26 PM
Marcus Flavius Marcus Flavius is offline
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Why not?
This is really another discussion, but death is not "the end," it is the beginning of a new cycle.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:31 PM
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Why not?
Because Sithrak the Blind Gibberer is waiting to torture us when we die. Duh.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:34 PM
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This is really another discussion, but death is not "the end," it is the beginning of a new cycle.
cite?
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:44 PM
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What if there is no good or evil? What if the word just exists and it's humans that have overlaid it with this concept of good and evil. Our counterparts in the animal word certainly don't seem to be bothered by the intrinsic goodness or evilness of their world. They just keep on truckin'.


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Old 02-17-2018, 06:02 PM
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Because Sithrak the Blind Gibberer is waiting to torture us when we die. Duh.
Nah, Stephen King got it right in Revival.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:18 PM
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cite?
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:55 PM
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I do not believe that a world without evil, preferable in order to ours, is possible; otherwise it would have been preferred. It is necessary to believe that the mixture of evil has produced the greatest possible good: otherwise the evil would not have been permitted
Here is a related view:
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Originally Posted by Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:10 PM
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Here is a related view:
It seems trivially easy to think of a possible world with less evil than ours. Just off the top of my head, how about a world identical to ours in all ways except that any time someone is about to abuse a child, or sexually assault someone, a random bystander happens to pass by and punches the offender in the face, allowing the victim to escape. Or the offender is struck with crippling nausea until the desire passes. Or that desire just happens to be as rare among humans as the desire to slowly burn one's own skin off with fire, one inch at a time. Or a million other possibilities.
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:18 PM
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Here is a related view:
Leibniz and Gibran have been Graped!
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:32 PM
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Its off topic a bit, but I disagree.

In any true singularity, transhuman world one of the first things we will do is transfer consciousness to a better substrate. Our consciousness is stuck inside our brains, which are very limited and prone to suffering. In a transhumanist society, we'd transfer our consciousness to either mechanical brains, engineered organic brains or VR brains which have a totally different set of cognitive and subjective experiences.

There is no law in the universe saying my consciousness can't be transferred to a brain (either mechanical, organic or VR) that is 100x smarter and that feels unfathomable bliss every second from now until the end of time.
What you are talking about isn't the kind of win condition I am. You're talking about human extinction and a replacement with something new. Which is probably the "best" outcome in terms of what the universe rewards, but not necessarily what outcome we will get.

I'm saying, as humans, if all 7 billion of us could work together and make the best possible future for ourselves, this is what we'd do. (we'd preserve the ones who die before we figure out a cure so we can revive them once we do)

Obviously that isn't what 99.999% of us are doing, just speaking idealistically, but as far as I know, from the "rules" of the game as observed, this is the best outcome we can shoot for.

And I'd like to think that even plain biological human minds, uploaded or not, would want more than an eternity of bliss. I'd still want to solve challenges, like performing violent sidequests to expand my virtual harem or deciding if I want to declare war on the Orcs or not.

Last edited by SamuelA; 02-17-2018 at 09:34 PM.
  #46  
Old 02-17-2018, 09:51 PM
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septimus septimus is offline
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
It seems trivially easy to think of a possible world with less evil than ours. Just off the top of my head, how about a world identical to ours in all ways except that any time someone is about to abuse a child, or sexually assault someone, a random bystander happens to pass by and punches the offender in the face, allowing the victim to escape.
In such a world there would be no child abuse, so how would the bystander know that (nonexistent) abuse was about to occur? For that matter, do I need to cite examples of people who achieved greatness despite (or because of) adversity?

I think I've read someone address this by distinguishing "best possible world" from "best world possible." I am no Christian theist and don't intend to defend the viewpoint, but it isn't as stupid as some might make it out to be.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:03 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Maybe this is a world where all acts of interpersonal violence are instances of instinctively stopping people from performing glazeltnick. We don't know--indeed, can't conceive--what glazeltnick is because it has always been prevented.

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 02-17-2018 at 10:03 PM.
  #48  
Old 02-18-2018, 02:01 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Chaos (not 'evil' per se, but its look-alike) happens when we don't make an effort to establish order. Humanity is somewhat of a paradox - born of chaos but seeking order.
  #49  
Old 02-18-2018, 02:23 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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The world we see, the apparent mixture of joy and pain, evil and good, is easily explicable if you assume no creator at all.
Sure, you can shoehorn one in but the moment you do that and apply either benevolent or malevolent intent you have all you work still ahead of you to explain the contradictions of this imagined superbeing.
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  #50  
Old 02-18-2018, 10:19 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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If you've ever read a novel, or seen a movie, or played a narrative-style video game, you've experienced a world that does have a creator. Could you tell from the nature of that world whether its creator was good or evil?
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