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DieChecker
On 5/20/2020 at 2:34 AM, Horta said:

Not sure this group were inspired by Maslow's hierarchy of needs lol.

http://www.vhemt.org/

Seems like a good way to allow the idiots to take over by way of them having kids while the smart people do not.

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Alchopwn
On 5/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, sci-nerd said:

The following concepts are all things most people are willing to die for. They all share one important property: They are ideas. They do not exist, except in our heads.

Wait a minute.  You say that ideas do not exist except inside our heads, but let us unpack that statement...

Everything we ever experience can be dismissed in the same way.  The world we experience with our senses is demonstrably false.  We can prove this with optical illusions and other forms of sensory deception, as well as the findings of science that demonstrate that the reality we experience is indelibly linked to and controlled by atomic and quantum phenomena that we will never see, and thus exist only as "ideas" to us.  Yes, we use machines to manipulate these phenomena, but ultimately the machines are based on "ideas".  So... when is an idea real and when doesn't it exist?

Oh, I know, we can reduce it to Science...  But wait, does that mean that the experience of countless human generations  that ultimately produced Science are invalid?  Or do they represent a huge collected body of lived human experience stored in human cultural systems upon which science ultimately drew?  The veritable shoulders of giants ?

You say that things are "just ideas" and "don't exist", so prove to me that you aren't a Bose Brain (a thought experiment term derived by Satyendra Bose, not an insult btw), and everything you are saying isn't wrong?

Furthermore, does that mean that imaginary numbers aren't real, because they are "just ideas"?

The fact is, that ideas are valuable in that, despite being potentially completely abstract, they can serve as extremely valuable organizational reasoning systems that unlock ways to navigate the reality in which we find ourselves.  Often ideas have a pedigree of hundreds of generations, and have served as the organizing principles that made the survival of our species possible, but you want to just dismiss them?  Frankly, the human imagination is a tool kit that no other species possesses; one might even say it is the tool kit that makes all other tool kits possible, and without it, we are simple creatures who are just struggling to find sustenance, shelter and a mate like any other animal. 

The intellectual life of our species is more complex than you suspect sci-nerd, and comes from a super computer that everyone possesses but nobody really understands.  Careful where you "tread" with those assumptions.

On 5/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, sci-nerd said:

Nation - Being in a place long enough to claim it as your own. But it belongs to nobody. It's just a piece of land. 10,000 years ago it belonged to nobody, and in 10,000 years it "belongs" to someone else.
Nationalism - We think we are better than everyone else.
Patriotism - We are proud to be, who we think we are.

This categorization is redundant.  Really, nation, nationalism and patriotism are subsets of the same phenomenon.  I am happy to go into a lot of detail about why these ideas are very valuable, but it will have to be a different post, but it will also be closely reasoned and very controversial (I hope).

On 5/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, sci-nerd said:

Marriage - Let's make a deal to live together and only to have sex with each other.

I notice that you include marriage, but you don't include Family.  What makes you leave family off this list?  Haven't a great many left wing authors criticised the existence of family as a concept as the harbinger of every mental illness?  Or is Family, at its core, a fundamental human unit?  And isn't marriage just a way of sanctioning that unit socially?

On 5/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, sci-nerd said:

Faith - The way I understand the world, is the correct understanding of it. Look for yourself, and see how many, who agree with me!

While I am no fan of religion (it is obsolete), the idea of faith as in "to act in good faith" or "your inauthentic life is an expression of your bad faith", is not intrinsically a worthless concept, insofar as it represents a willingness to commit oneself to a course of action and tolerate the consequences.

On 5/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, sci-nerd said:

Money - The value of our work and resources. We used to use symbolic pieces of paper and metal, but nowadays it's just numbers in a computer, and we use a piece of plastic to prove we've got them.

Your definition of money is severely defective.  if you continue to think about money in this fashion, not only will you be wrong, but you will stay poor.  Yes, money is "just a symbol", but what is it a symbol of?  Money is a philosophy all of its own, and I might be prepared to write separately about it.

On 5/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, sci-nerd said:

What are you willing to die for, and can you argue that it is real?

Your list is quite incomplete btw.  Where are ideology, knowledge, values, love, art, and hedonism (to name a few)?  Are you prepared to die for science sci-nerd?

Given that most people literally die for nothing at all other than getting ill or old, what on earth is wrong with dying for something they consider meaningful instead?  In a bland and apparently meaningless universe, the choice to give one's life in the service of a value system that one feels strongly about is ART, and is a death in the service of human meaning systems so much more degrading than one brought on by organic decay? Our meaning systems after all, have the capacity to outlive our contributions to them.  It may well be that human meaning systems are far more meaningful in the cosmos than anyone suspects.  After all, science is an outgrowth of more primitive beliefs, and it has already allowed humanity to dominate its environment; who knows what is possible?  It may even be that human science will ultimately be able to stave off the heat death of the universe in some distant time.

To finish, consider this historical example...

Was the death of Socrates a worthless death?  It would have been easy for the friends of Socrates to smuggle him out of Athens so he could live in exile in safety until the end of his days.  Socrates however was an educator, and his death at the hands of injustice by the people of Athens, served as a long term lesson as to the value of freedom of speech in the face of public censure, amongst other things. One might even say that in willingly allowing his life to be ended by the Athenian people Socrates died a patriotic death for Nationalism, but that doesn't quite do him justice, does it?  All western philosophy ultimately derives from the school of thought Socrates brought into being, including Science, sci-nerd.  But Socrates died for things that were "just ideas".  Or does the point Socrates made ring down the ages as a lesson for all time, pregnant and poignant with meaning for all with the wit to understand it?

BTW sci-nerd, thanks for putting up such an interesting topic for us to "cut our teeth" on.

Edited by Alchopwn
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Bendy Demon

I can think of other things that don't really exist outside of our heads..how about:

Beauty

Rights

Freedom

Morals

Ethics

Values

Love

Friendship

Hate

Ugliness

Evil

Good

The list could go on however I am not inferring that the above, save for the last four, are therefore useless or meaningless but you won't find those in nature either. You won't find this thing in nature or space called 'Love' or 'Beauty' or any that are on this list..they are concepts that we create as a society, words we use to describe states of being.

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Horta

^ Not sure what this has to do with the op? The question wasn't "how many other things can you think of that exist only as ideas inside our heads". It was never claimed to be a complete list of such things, it was asking whether anyone would die for those specifically mentioned (of which he was quite clear) or whether anyone could argue they have an objective reality aside from being ideas. 

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Aaron2017

Self preservation is a natural human instinct.  So there is nothing that I would 'voluntarily' give my life for, except in extreme cases of protecting others from harm e.g.  Giving up my space in a lifeboat so that a child will take my place an survive, or when the passengers on Flight 93 tried to stop the hijackers from reaching their target.

 

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