359

Everyone has an Achilles heel somewhere. I try to keep an open mind and accept valid criticism. It's the only way to learn. The only time I become defensive is if someone is simply being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. Otherwise I try to learn from everyone around me. Most people despise being corrected in any way. It hurts their ego. That's why most people never learn anything. It's more fun to receive new stimulus rather than examining it and checking its accuracy; the "Santa Claus Effect."

People always believe what they want to believe and now they have the opportunity to follow those who think like them on social media. They group themselves. The moment they find something which they want to believe, they share it immediately without verifying its veracity and hoping their inner-groups will support. Or it's just about mocking things, nothing else.

It's comforting people's each other cognitive dissonance, and make them feel more credible about their choices. Also people like to feel special about being aware of something no one else understands. It makes them feel special and more intellectual then all the "dumb sheep out there." I have no doubt you have seen such rhetoric before. It plays a self-affirming role. And since many aspects of our modern society does a great job of pushing our self-image into the ground, people have a very strong need for some positive self-affirmation.

At a personal level, a disassociation from reality allows denial of accountability. Basically no one wants to deal with the real problems so its easier to get offended and project them onto something else, albeit fiction far enough away for the path of accountability to be obscured, because if real facts was reported it would create a path of responsibility back to the individual. Because the world is broken. Fake news is simply giving the people what they want. When they want something better, outcomes will be better.

Since time began there's always been the "baying crowd" people that have an innate ability to suck up bullshit at an alarming rate. Desperate times for the establishment. Lateral thinking, equivocation goofballs who have become so mentally lazy to accept loose associations and trendy spin. Post-modernism aka duplicitous, sellout thinking, which is all so trendy. This current era has got to be one of the most trendy conformist eras in all of history.

358

Our ego, pride and self-esteem rely on how much beauty, knowledge, talent, charisma, and intelligence we presume to have. Or better: on how much under such qualities, we presume to outdo others, because we also demand uniqueness in everything that defines us.

If you don't agree, then simply suppose that, for a moment, you have the power to give every "inferior" human being on this planet the amount of beauty, knowledge, talent, charisma or intelligence the need to match your level. Would you do it? From a moral standpoint, you should. Still, some might think it would probably be the most stupid decision of your entire existence. Because our nature (despite being mostly righteous and moral) is only good as far as our ego and vanity can allow.

Ego can be the most powerful drive of progress. If not for ego we would be having a very primitive society, content with its simplicity. That's why good and evil seem to be illusion. Everything is just useful, otherwise it would not exist.

I've heard people saying, "Why does God create evil in this world, murder, war, people hurt each other. Why does God have the heart to let that happen? Isn't God the almighty can change, prevent, or stop all that evil? Why?"

And then these people eventually left God.

I'd say, maybe when we see it from above, we might understand better, not "the" God, but for the why.

Since most of the evil is powered by ego--wars, exploitation, betrayal. Power hunger or money hunger are just ego. What is more, those selfish-ego-powered needs bring most of the progress like culture, civilization, inventions, or economy. Since evil is as necessary as good, and if evil is useful does it have a proper label and usefulness as seen from our perspective of what progress brings?

If you accept that our needs are intrinsic to our nature, then so is the concept of usefulness. Every war was good to the winners and bad to the losers, similarly defending yourself seems to be morally right but attacking morally wrong while there's always an attacker. My point is, everything that happened from our human initiative was useful in some way--useful means it had positive consequences, and I mean long term and necessary. So it challenges the concepts of traditionally understood good and evil.

Let's say without all of our evil, our species would go extinct, would that evil still be evil? What is a good motivation for the war other than defending yourself? If not for all the evil, we would be long extinct or soon extinct or very primitive in nature.

My whole point is, that things we consider evil are in fact profitable. I'm not advocating for evil, I'm wondering about the nature and order of things and I begin to see that good and evil serve the same purpose and contribute equally much to existence, like yin and yang.

I personally wouldn't be able to do anything evil, I get devastated for a days when there is an act of terrorism for example, but I think the natural order of the universe holds what we perceive as good and evil in that same regard. Although I don't accept it emotionally, rationally I think all the evil that takes place at least universally might be as important and necessary as the good in the grand scheme of life.

It might be the wars that result in enormous scientific progress. Most of the technologies we have today were originally created for wars. Again wars or conquest and therefore murder. But if people didn't conquer other people, great rich empires wouldn't be created and without enough resources collected in "one hands" there would be not enough progress. We would be scattered tribes unable to build anything big. Examples of that are there in the history of the world.

Which makes me question our perception of evil and the level of our self awareness from the God-creation point of view. Maybe more evolved creatures than us would ditch the concepts of good and evil and operate on other terms? Maybe they would be purely utilitarian?

The nature of the world is not what we expected it to be and we can investigating that, looking at it from different angles, but only limited to thoughts, the reality behind that is not necessarily we can achieve. I think the picture is much bigger than we are able to see through our narrow lenses. I think we might be in fact lacking in self-and-universe awareness to understand it all.

Since we are a kid we are exposed to this good vs evil potentially false dichotomy. Through religion, through literature, society, and the picture might be much more complex. We don't even know what we are like. We don't know how much of what we are is learnt and how much is innate.

357

The female is generally more affiliative than the male. This can be seen throughout many mammals. The social structure of females is more interconnected and a lot more social bonds are created between females. Whereas, the social structure of human males, is more hierarchical - with different levels of social and physical dominance.

Physical dominance can be seen in primates such as chimpanzees where the alpha male is usually the best fighter, most aggressive and more built with muscle. Social dominance, which is present in humans, is levels of who provides the most survival value--social skills. All alpha males can provide more resources and protection (survival value) than anyone else. Females nurture the children and seek survival value off the alpha male. Alpha males are leaders that keep the community or tribe in order. Reproductive success in males is generally determined by competition, therefore males rarely form strong social bonds.

Females on the other hand, have the reproductive strategy of investing in the production of a relatively few offspring and reproductive success is determined by the quality of care and the ability to enable infant survival beyond weaning age. Females and infants form strong social bonds and female to female form strong social bonds. This is how evolution has made us. Females are affiliative, males are competitive.

Women are generally better at reading non-verbal communication than men. This is because, in evolutionary terms, women are mothers and need to be able to tell what a non-talking baby is communicating. Put a man next to 3 crying babies and ask him to figure out what the babies are saying. Most likely he'll say "They're just 3 babies crying." Put a women in front of the same 3 babies and ask her the same question and she'll be able to answer "This one's hungry, this one wants attention, this one needs sleep." The ability to read non-verbal communications is mainly an unconscious one. When women read the non-verbal communication they get a "feeling" of what the person is "saying." Men tend to be more goal oriented and, when they get stressed, want to get straight to the point. Whereas women, when in a stressful (such as an argument), want to get into every little detail about things.

This can seem that men maybe more logical, however, on a deeper level women are better at exchanging communications than men and she focuses more on what she feels is best for the relationship--as apposed to what supposedly matters in the argument. Women are relationship oriented. For example, when it comes to telling a man some bad news he would rather you be completely honest and blunt. Women on the other hand, would rather you still be honest but reframe it in a way that spares her feelings and keeps the relationship going. So, when women try to break bad news to men they do it wrong and when men try to break bad news to women they do it wrong.

Men and women don't communicate the same, if anything women communicate better. Men do communicate, we just do it analytically and accumulate words rather than non-verbals which are delivered and received unconsciously. Men are mostly dominant and competitive; which in an ancestral environment would provide a survival advantage for the species. Of course there are some exceptions, such as masculine women and feminine men.

356

The jobs of animals which do not procreate is almost always to support the process for those who do. Worker ants support the queen's process for continuing the species. Beta wolves support the rule of the alpha couple so that they can continue to successfully breed.

The only time this does not happen is when the non-breeding animals are removed from supporting the species, for whatever reason. Like male lions who are removed from the breeding option when a more powerful male has taken over control of a pride of females.

In terms of continuation of the species, those males no longer have purpose unless they can dethrone the Lion King. So they live their lives in exile, wondering the desert until they die. Then their bodies feed the scavengers and vermin, but that's more "re-purposing" than purpose.

Even with humans (gay or straight), those who do not breed are only here to help support the continuation of our civilization which itself supports the continuation of breeders. If there were no more breeders, there would be no point to civilization.

The only thing life concerns itself with is to keep going. It is the only "intelligence" inherent in the process of life. To keep going no matter what. So in the immediate, we inovate and consume to keep going. And in the ultimate goal, we procreate to keep the species going.

The entire purpose of any individual is to be a cog in the wheel of some mindless process that has been going on for billions of years without any real direction. And the only reason why we know this, is because the degree of complexity of the process has by chance produced a self-aware entity. Or some just go roll with it.

Birth and death exists because there's no reason for it not to exist. Nothing got in the way of it existing. Nothing put a stop to the causal chain that led to its existence. There was no plan. There was lack of a hindrance on this world strong enough to stop it. Not yet, anyway.

If you need to give life meaning, then it conditionally you think life has no meaning, rite? No matter the claim. What we have here is an expression of a delusional ideal. Not reality. We are simply not big enough, smart enough, advanced enough to come to these conclusions. Come back in 10 million years and see if you still feel the same way.

There is something very special about life and evolution, it doesn't just change for the sake of survival but always evolve toward something more advanced. This is exactly how an Intelligent Higher source would have done it assuming magic does not exist.

355

Race is a social construct, but not just a social construct. And it was never science that said race was a social construct. It was a journalist, I believe. It was also not science that said race did not exist at all, another common misconception based on poor understanding of the genetics involved.

Science does in fact recognize that race is ingrained in our genetic makeup. Races are defined scientifically as collections of certain statistical traits that are inherited from our ancestors. What science no longer recognizes is an unproven convention of older science that held that there were clear defining lines that existed between one race and another.

Race is not a splatter of color samples so much as it is a gradient color chart. Also, there are no racial traits that seem to belong to any one race on the genetic level. So from a genetic point of view, determining one race from another may be difficult, but far from impossible. Many people have had their genetic lineage traced to many different races. Few people on earth still have lineages isolated enough to trace to one particular racial lineage. Especially in Africa and Asia.

Genes turn on and off not just according to environment, but according to inherited traits, regardless of the environment. This is why black people still give birth to black people, even in Iceland rather than Nigeria. And genetics does have an influence on behavior patterns. Just not to the extent that people once believed or tried to used to justify racism.

There is a strong basis for race in genes, and the science doesn't say there's not. The science is precise enough to actually track human lineage back to the various parts of the continents their distant ancestors lived. What the science actually says, minus the popularist bullcrap that some journalist made up, is that there are no traits that belong to just one particular race. But there are collections of traits that do belong to particular races through which they can be identified. Even forensic science can take a particular set of bones and tell you what race the person was when they were alive. You couldn't do that if there was no scientific basis for race.

Most genetic contributions to behavior are subtle. Like being prone to addictive behaviors. Being short-tempered. Being conformist. Being prone to religious or spiritual ideas. So subtle that by the time we are in our teens, society has found a way to overwhelm these behaviors and program new ones. Which is why they are mostly studied in isolated communities with little external influence by way of behavior.

There have also been studies done on twins who didn't grow up together to see if there were genetic behaviors they shared. The evidence isn't clear cut, but they did tend to exhibit similar behaviors for which researchers could not account for by environment and family.

There is no such thing as a white, black, yellow, or brown behavioral gene. White and black aren't even genetic designations. And yes, the societies in which we live overall are the largest influences on who and what we become.

Some people behaviors belonging to certain groups can indeed inherit some behavioral traits from the racial lineage of that group. But they are often subtle, not pronounced. And this is scientifically verifiable, not a myth. Race is not JUST a social construct and you won't find a scientist saying that it is all just convention.

354

While we do have methods for measuring people's intelligence in the form of IQ tests, those tests are only design to measure very specific features of intelligence; pattern recognition and problem solving. This is not a measurement of our intelligence's other components; creative thinking and intuition. So with IQ tests, we are only getting a part of the picture. The part that our society finds most useful and relatively easily measured.

However, measuring the creative half is not viable for two reasons. First, what is useful on the creative side of our intelligence is not always useful in all cases and to everyone. A brilliant painter is highly intelligent in a place where painting is valued, but less intelligent in a place where no one paints. In such a place, a good plumber is more intelligent than your best portrait painter. Alternatively, since math is important everywhere, no matter how small your village, being good at math has value no matter where you go. Even if you are the only person in the village good at math.

The second reason that measuring the creative half is not viable is because there is no one standard known by which we can say how creative a person is. Is the writer Stephen King more creative than Fyodor Dostoyevsky? Dostoyevsky was brilliant at character development, but his writing never scared the crap out of anyone. At least, intentionally. In the world of horror, King is considered a genius. Dostoyevsky? Not so much. And yet, Dostoyevsky is often on the list the greatest writers to ever live. King is not that high on the list.

If King and Dostoyevsky were writing math books, it would be easy to see who was the more intelligent. The one whose math theory worked out the best. But whose fiction stories worked out the best? It's a matter of taste. Therefore, there is no universal standard for measuring it.

Which means there will never be a unified standard for measuring all of intelligence if half of it can't be measured realistically or objectively. That is, until scientists work out the language and code for the brain's intelligence and we are able to go through it, line by line like a book, and figure out where all the good parts are.

On that day, we will finally be able to objectively and empirically separate the intellectuals from the morons. But until then, we will just have to use social media to do that.

353

Pedophilia didn't exist in Muhammad's time. There was no law or morality against it. And stoning people was a pretty common practice. So the only realistic charge you can lay against Muhammad was that he was pretty normal for his time.

"Oh right, since there was no law against it, then it is ok?"

There are many things that people do which are not okay, but are regardless not against the law and we do them. The fact remains that marrying a girl of Aisha's age in Muhammad's time was neither against the law nor was it considered wrong. So condemning the man for just being from the 7th century is pretty stupid. 

At that time Muhammad had a lot of enemies, either from the Arab or any where area that Islam touched. But why there never been any historical records or literary evidence close to that era, which criticizes Mohammed's behavior of marrying Aisha? Even from the ancient Europe was never any record about it, which at that time Islam was on war with Europe. The slightest ugliness or bad behavior of Muhammad, it will be written, spread, and used as a material against him. But there was nothing.

I also pointed out that none of the sources are clear on when Muhammad actually consummated his marriage. As was the custom of the time in Saudi Arabia, young girls would often remain with their parents even after a marriage and not go live with their husbands until they had matured. We know it wasn't at 9, so it could have been at 14, could have been at 17. Basing one's criticism on a unknown is again, stupid.

"So because murder was the norm back in the day, it'd be stupid to condemn them for killing people because that's just how it went right?"

Yes, that is correct. What is your suggestion? We hop in our time machines, travel back to the 7th century, and teach the "savages" about the virtues of 21st century non-violence? But oh, wait... How do we explain the fact that we are now fighting bloody, unnecessary wars for the oil they haven't discovered yet just to protect the wealth of the richest people on earth? Hmmm. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.

"What I'm saying is, it seems pretty dumb to say that just because something was okay a long time ago then it means ok in general."

What I said was it is stupid to judge the standards and actions of the past by present standards. Present standards evolved in the wake of knowledge and ethics that were not available to the people of the past.

If you are going to blame the people of the past for being more violent because they didn't have the same ethics as us, you might as well also blame them for letting people die because they didn't have the same level of medicine as us.

I am now communicating with you through the internet, computer, and not quill, ink, and parchment because I am not of the 19th century. Should I accuse a 19th century man of being anti-science because he didn't have a computer?

Saying Muhammad was a pedophile because he married a 9 year old girl in a time and place where there was nothing wrong with it makes no reasonable sense. It is totally irrational. It implies that he was suppose to be psychic enough to understand it would be wrong in the future. You may not be able to marry a 9 year old girl, but then you are not living 1,400 years ago.

I don't know why that distinction would be so hard for you to make. It seems pretty simple to me.

Let's flip the script...

You are currently doing things right now that will likely be considered reprehensible in the future. So we should blame you for them now and consider them crimes here in this time because the future will condemn these acts. And you should have predicted that. In fact, in comparison, you, is just as bad as a pedophile of the past. You are the reprobate of the future and this is how we should judge you. Then your task is simple. All you have to do is prove that the people of Saudi Arabia in the 7th century knew of alternatives and decided not to follow them as a conscious moral course of action. I await your research.

"But doesn't our modern day morals seem like pretty simple things for non-douchebag human beings to follow?"

That's moralistic and naturalistic fallacy, by the way.

The moralistic fallacy is the informal fallacy of assuming that whichever aspect of nature which has socially unpleasant consequences cannot exist. Its typical form is "if X were true, then it would happen that Z!", where Z is a morally, socially or politically undesirable thing. What should be moral is assumed a priori to also be naturally occurring.

As you stated, if our modern day morals are pretty simple things, then it must happen that only douchebag human beings wouldn't follow it. It couldn't possibly be that they did not follow or even know of our modern day morals which are not universal and eternal.

"Paedophilia did exist in Muhammad's time. 'Peado' deriving from Greek for 'child' and 'phile' denoting a fondness for something. Thus irrespective of laws, Muhammad was a paedophile."

Not all Greek terms come from the ancient world. If you check the etymology of the word pedophilia, you will see that this term was first used in the late 19th century, not ancient Greece. The term was used specifically to denote a modern "sexual disorder" and later a crime.

Although it is true that in the ancient world sex with children was common, it is also true that in most cultures, this was not defined as a disorder or crime. It is also true that in most primitive cultures, being a preteen actually marked the inclusion into adulthood and sexual maturity. This is not a standard we still have in the modern world, but in the ancient world it was a norm. Calling Muhammad a pedophile is akin to calling Alexander a terrorist. It makes no sense when yo put it in context.

There are no definitive sources that absolutely determine when Muhammad married Aisha or when that marriage was actually consummated since she remained with her father for a few years after the marriage, signifying more of political union than a traditional marriage of the time. So the fact is, the details of the marriage which vary from scholar to scholar is more legend than fact. I'm sure that if as an atheist you can understand the folly of believing legend to be truth without actual evidence.

I can also see you don't understand what presentism is and why it is a logical fallacy. You may want to look that up before trying to use it in a reasoned argument again. What signifies people's bigotry is their language, attitude, and mostly the inability to remain unbiased and rational on this topic.

352

There is a conspiracy in this country to try to stop us from calling "dumb asses" dumb asses because supposedly it hurts their feelings too much. Well, they hurt my very sense of decency, so screw 'em.

The internet is the greatest tool ever invented by humanity in terms of readily available knowledge. It has done in thirty years what libraries have failed to accomplish in 4,000 years. And that is turn everyone into a veritable wealth of ingenious information.

However, it has one flaw that also makes it the worst thing to ever happen to civilization.

It has no means of filtering out false information from correct information, making it possible for every dumb ass in the world to pick and choose (or cherry pick) which information they FEEL is the right information, and giving them justification for ignoring all the rest. We are living in an age where the dumb ass, once ostracized for their stupidity, is made to feel that their ignorance is just as valid as the knowledge of the expert, the educated, and the informed--or simply better than any person with even a modicum of common sense.

And what is even worse, those in the middle who don't bother to check on facts take the dumb asses at their word, and every bit as seriously as those who have spent decades in their fields separating the facts from the nonsense. This is a part of what explains the last presidential election in the U.S.; Dumb asses and their non-fact-checking followers.

3,360 years ago, the Pharaoh Akhenaton wrote something that you would think would be a thing of the past by now, but is just as relevant today as it was then--because there are just as many dumb asses now per capita as there was in ancient Egypt:

True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.