Belief and personal responsibilitty - salt bucket thread

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Belief and personal responsibilitty - salt bucket thread

Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:55 am UTC

Here is a view, I would like to see a good refuting of it.

Assumptions about the person in question:

1. The person "believes", (Agrees to something without having concrete evidence of it)
2. The person lets other people know he "beleives"
3. There are other people who also "believe" similar things as him, and there is an institution that preaches "believing" these things.
4. One of the people who also "believes", uses this belief to justify putting skinned babies in a salt bucket. This person also knows that there are others who "beleive" and an institution that advocates "believing".
5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.


Conclusion: You are partly responsible for the throwing of the skinned baby into a salt bucket. Your portion of responsibility is proportional to the amount of ([evidence against/evidence for]+c) your "belief".
Where c is a constant amount of responsibility all humans have to the well being of other humans.

(A baby is a human)!

Use your specific "beleif" to find the analogy.

Remember the assumptions are NOT in question. Just the conclusion
Also the constant is arbitrary and you get to choose your own.
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Postby Tchebu » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:54 am UTC

I see your point... and yes you are right in a way... and at the same time... this still fits into my statement "believe what you want as long as it doenst harm anyone"

In this case it DOES harm someone, so the belief shouldn't be allowed, or spread around...

another way out of this is to add to my statement that the belief shouldnt even contain elements which would justify any sort of "evil act"... in this case saying "I believe in God" is ok... saying "I believe in God AND killing in his name is good" shouldn't be done... but making a "belief police" is not only impossible but could create another inquisition or something...

a third possibility is to say, believe what you want, but dont preach it to others... not as in don't share your beliefs, but dont try to persuade others to believe the same... also kinda hard to do... at least because then we'll have to close down all the churches...

so yes you're entirely correct, in what concerns actual real life beliefs and real life situations...

But in my perfect little world... *drifts off into his fantasies*...

As for the C... i dont think there is a C set by default... a person can choose to have a C and give it whatever value he/she wishes, but otherwise there is no "predefined" responsibility that all humans have. The value of the C can actually be viewed as another belief of every individual.
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Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:07 am UTC

Carefull
1. The person "believes", (Agrees to something without having concrete evidence of it)

4.One of the people who also "believes", uses this belief to justify putting skinned babies in a salt bucket.


I didn't say, the belief said to do anything. Just that it was used as a justification, also to refute the "evil people will just find new ways to be evil" idea which will come up soon.

"5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.
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Postby Goplat » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:10 am UTC

Nobody skins babies unless they're a psychopath, in which case they will do it whether they can concoct a biblical justification or not. Your premises are flawed. It's like saying "Assume 2+2=5, what's 2+3?" I can't answer because the assumptions are false.
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Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:22 am UTC

Skinned babies is a refrence to http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?t=2816

me wrote:also to refute the "evil people will just find new ways to be evil" idea which will come up soon.


"5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.


5. Withouth this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.
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Postby Tchebu » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:24 am UTC

I didnt say it had to say to do anything... I said that

the belief shouldnt even contain elements which would justify any sort of "evil act".


so basically this is sorta like eliminating the possibility of assumption 4... which is against the rules, i guess... so yeh... but the other two possibilities still hold... sorta... in my perfect little world...

By the way i just noticed this, but you said

1. The person "believes", (Agrees to something without having concrete evidence of it)

Your portion of responsibility is proportional to the amount of ([evidence against/evidence for]+c) your "belief"


Can you clarify this point... doesnt that mean that (evidence for) = 0 and so you're entirely responsible of this (assuming there is responsibility against it as well)... or is "concrete evidence" somehow different from just "evidence"... this is a small detail, so i dont want to seem picky, but just clarify this please.. what do you really mean by "belief"?
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Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:31 am UTC

No that is a really good point, the idea being that concrete evidence is enough evidence such that the probability of the null hypothesis being true is negligible.
Universal Gravitation for example, the hypothesis that it doesn't exist is not impossible, but it is very improbably and thus neglible.

Also
Tchebu wrote:I didnt say it had to say to do anything... I said that

Quote:
the belief shouldnt even contain elements which would justify any sort of "evil act".


so basically this is sorta like eliminating the possibility of assumption 4... which is against the rules, i guess... so yeh... but the other two possibilities still hold... sorta... in my perfect little world...


me wrote:4. One of the people who also "believes", uses this belief to justify putting skinned babies in a salt bucket. This person also knows that there are others who "beleive" and an institution that advocates "believing".
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Postby SpitValve » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:11 am UTC

Doesn't work.

No matter what you believe, somebody will use it for evil.
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Postby Owijad » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:47 pm UTC

This seems an analogous question, if I understand you:

Okay, so an American man goes to church every Sunday, says the Pledge of Allegiance, takes his hat off for the Anthem, and loves apple pie and baseball. He has to go out of state due to unfortunate family issues during election week, 2000. For some reason he is unable to send in his absentee ballot in time.

Is he responsible for the Iraq War?


I dunno.
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Postby Tchebu » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:34 pm UTC

Doesn't work.

No matter what you believe, somebody will use it for evil.


Thats sorta the point... if you believe something, then by spreading that belief you are partially responsible for all the evil that the belief is used to justify... especially if there is evidence against your belief, which basically makes you a spreader of a rather "unjustifyed" justification of an evil act.

By assumption number 5

5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.


so you are responsible for any act that has used your belief as a justification...
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Postby dan » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:50 pm UTC

It depends somewhat on whether the person is being reasonable in using the belief to justify the act, and this in turn probably depends on the belief. The fact that similar beliefs are bundled together confuses matters as well. For example, one person's idea of God may not be the same as another's. If one person spreads a belief in God and then somebody else picks this up but then decides that it really means it's a good idea to persecute unbelievers, you can't necessarily hold the first person responsible. The degree of responsibility would then depend on how justifiable the act is according to the original person's belief, as well as the evidence for and against.
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Postby SpitValve » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:51 pm UTC

Tchebu wrote:
Doesn't work.

No matter what you believe, somebody will use it for evil.


Thats sorta the point... if you believe something, then by spreading that belief you are partially responsible for all the evil that the belief is used to justify... especially if there is evidence against your belief, which basically makes you a spreader of a rather "unjustifyed" justification of an evil act.

By assumption number 5

5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.


so you are responsible for any act that has used your belief as a justification...


I still don't see the point. Because it's irrelevant whether you believe anything or not. If you believe something, somebody will use that as justification for evil. If you don't believe something, somebody will use that as justification for evil. If you don't care about it, somebody will use that as justification for evil.
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Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:00 pm UTC

To clarify this, and make it a bit more heated I will give a few examples:

Without the justification of the promised land, many jewish people would find it harder to support the apartheid there.
Without the belief that the earth is flat and the sun goes around it, it would have been harder for priests to burn bruno, and imprison Galelio.
Without the promise of 72 virgins and martyrdom, it would be harder to recruit suicide bombers.
Without the belief that "the gods exist and the youth should believe in them" it would have been harder for Melitus to get the Greek senate to give socrates the capital punishment.
Without the belief in the bible It would be harder for many hardcore christians to justify their discrimination of homosexuals.

None of these are strictly evil beliefs.
Me wrote:1. The person "believes", (Agrees to something without having concrete evidence of it)
2. The person lets other people know he "beleives"
3. There are other people who also "believe" similar things as him, and there is an institution that preaches "believing" these things.
4. One of the people who also "believes", uses this belief to justify putting skinned babies in a salt bucket. This person also knows that there are others who "beleive" and an institution that advocates "believing".
5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.

All the criterion are met. Except not skinned babies but other evil stuff.
Therefore:
Conclusion: You are partly responsible for the throwing of the skinned baby into a salt bucket. Your portion of responsibility is proportional to the amount of ([evidence against/evidence for]+c) your "belief".
Where c is a constant amount of responsibility all humans have to the well being of other humans.


This thread isn't religion bashing, its considering that situation,

Please write seriously in this one.
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Postby VannA » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:53 pm UTC

...

I'm sorry, PI, but I completely fail to see the point.

The whole question seems to avoid the basis of 'Personal Responsbility.'

Without direct chemical interference, an individual is always responsible for their own actions.

It doesn't matter what I believe.. an Individual will chose what they want to do, based on their own ideas. I cannot be held responsible for their intrepetations of my belief or my actions.

I share some responsibility in ensuring that I do not actively promote something I would see as evil but I believe these 2 concepts are distinctly seperate.
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Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:07 pm UTC

I havn't said you are responsible

I said is the person in question responsible.

The connection is meant to be obivious, but I will explain anyway :?

If its harder for the person (5) without your belief (1-4) Then you have helped make his job easier (conclusion)

If this doesn't make sense, I am sorry but I can't make it anymore clear.
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Postby fjafjan » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:12 pm UTC

Okey im going to assume I understand crust of this pie so to speak

(badabish!)

An analogy

In a country where conservative and gay bashing opinions are allowed to prosper without being argued, people are allowed to believe what they will, more gays will be the victims of abuse, both verbal and physical

It is still wrong to beat someone, and these people also have personal responsiblity, but since they had something to blame, it was easier to go around

I think that is the gist of it..
I don't see how that applies to any major religion today though...
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Postby dan » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:24 pm UTC

To summarise my previous post, a modified conclusion:

Your portion of responsibility is proportional to ([extent to which you believe the action is justified by the belief]*([evidence against belief]/[evidence for belief]+c)).
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Postby Axolotl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:31 am UTC

If the belief and the institution are completely seperate from the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, and do not in any way condone said act, then it is simply a case of the individual using the institution and belief as justification for his or her own personal actions, in a way that cannot be said to reflect on the character of other believers, nor apportion blame to them.
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Postby Axolotl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:34 am UTC

However, once the institution becomes aware of the actions of this person, and their use of the institution as justification, they *do* have a strong responsibilty to publicly and forcefully condemn the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, as do their believers in order to avoid being partially responsible for the ability of the person to justify their actions.
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Postby VannA » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:39 am UTC

Axolotl wrote:However, once the institution becomes aware of the actions of this person, and their use of the institution as justification, they *do* have a strong responsibilty to publicly and forcefully condemn the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, as do their believers in order to avoid being partially responsible for the ability of the person to justify their actions.


Meet Islam >.< (I'm going to get roasted for that.)

But part of the problem in Sydney, is the lack of argument from the Muslim population against the actions of a small subsection of the Muslim population.

And silence in interpretted as acceptance. Poor public relations on all sides, and the media makes money of it all.

FTR - I agree with Axolotl.
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Postby 3.14159265... » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:02 am UTC

Axolotl wrote:If the belief and the institution are completely seperate from the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, and do not in any way condone said act, then it is simply a case of the individual using the institution and belief as justification for his or her own personal actions, in a way that cannot be said to reflect on the character of other believers, nor apportion blame to them.


Read 5

Axolotl wrote:However, once the institution becomes aware of the actions of this person, and their use of the institution as justification, they *do* have a strong responsibilty to publicly and forcefully condemn the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, as do their believers in order to avoid being partially responsible for the ability of the person to justify their actions.


Read 5

dan wrote:Your portion of responsibility is proportional to ([extent to which you believe the action is justified by the belief]*([evidence against belief]/[evidence for belief]+c)).
. No one believes they are believing in evil, therefore according to you its always just c.
However even if you don't think its evil or wants to create evil, 5 still applies.

Please read 5 carefully and understand the implications before responding

fjafjan wrote:I think that is the gist of it..
I don't see how that applies to any major religion today though...


Examples were above, but here they are again.

Me wrote:Without the justification of the promised land, many jewish people would find it harder to support the apartheid there.
Without the belief that the earth is flat and the sun goes around it, it would have been harder for priests to burn bruno, and imprison Galelio.
Without the promise of 72 virgins and martyrdom, it would be harder to recruit suicide bombers.
Without the belief that "the gods exist and the youth should believe in them" it would have been harder for Melitus to get the Greek senate to give socrates the capital punishment.
Without the belief in the bible It would be harder for many hardcore christians to justify their discrimination of homosexuals.
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Postby Owijad » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:10 am UTC

Owijad wrote:This seems an analogous question, if I understand you:

Okay, so an American man goes to church every Sunday, says the Pledge of Allegiance, takes his hat off for the Anthem, and loves apple pie and baseball. He has to go out of state due to unfortunate family issues during election week, 2000. For some reason he is unable to send in his absentee ballot in time.

Is he responsible for the Iraq War?


Whaddaya think?
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Postby 3.14159265... » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:47 am UTC

Owijad wrote:
Owijad wrote:This seems an analogous question, if I understand you:

Okay, so an American man goes to church every Sunday, says the Pledge of Allegiance, takes his hat off for the Anthem, and loves apple pie and baseball. He has to go out of state due to unfortunate family issues during election week, 2000. For some reason he is unable to send in his absentee ballot in time.

Is he responsible for the Iraq War?



Whaddaya think?

Sorry must have missed it as I was reading through.
First Use only ONE belief in the analogy, is it the christianity of the man or the "americanness"
I will guess the "americanness" --> The institution is the government? or the republican party? Be more clear.
Is his belief of "americanness" being used by a person to do the attrocities? Yes, that man is Bush.
Does he tell other people he loves "americanness" (2)

Is he responsible in that?
He believes in "americanness"
He tells other people.
There is an institution that advocates his belief of "americanness"
Another person uses "americanness" to justify a war.
It would be harder for that person to go justify the war if it wasn't for that belief.

Were all the criterion met?
Then ABSOLUTELY.

See how the voting had nothing to do with anything. It was the combination.

If you would like to present a case that proves me wrong, write it in the format of the 5 assumptions, and see if you still wanna post it.


@ Vanna.
Meet Islam >.< (I'm going to get roasted for that.)

The extension to any religion is quite easy, but I want everyone to find the analogy in their own belief system.
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Postby Axolotl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:38 am UTC

3.14159265... wrote:
Axolotl wrote:If the belief and the institution are completely seperate from the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, and do not in any way condone said act, then it is simply a case of the individual using the institution and belief as justification for his or her own personal actions, in a way that cannot be said to reflect on the character of other believers, nor apportion blame to them.


Read 5

Axolotl wrote:However, once the institution becomes aware of the actions of this person, and their use of the institution as justification, they *do* have a strong responsibilty to publicly and forcefully condemn the act of putting skinned babies in a salt bucket, as do their believers in order to avoid being partially responsible for the ability of the person to justify their actions.


Read 5


I did. Responding like that is hardly conducive to an intelligent discussion; it's up to you to point out why assumption 5 renders what I said invalid.

I understand that at a purely technical level (which is in my opinion useless when it comes to real-world implications, but is probably what you intended) then yes, anyone who contributes to the existence of the institution which in turn makes it easier for the baby-skinner to justify his or her actions could be said to be partially responsible. However, if the belief and the institution do not in any way support the practice, then calling them 'responsible' for the person's actions before they have any chance to do something about it is meaningless.

If I knock on your door claiming to be a friend of your girlfriend's, then kill you when you let me into your house, is she 'responsible' for your death? After all, it would have been a lot harder for me to get in the door had she not existed! A ridiculous analogy, but my point is that if you use someone's reputation, name, whatever, to commit evil acts, it is meaningless to apportion blame or responsibility to them without first giving them the change to disassociate themselves from you.

Finally, if you ARE getting so technical that wrongdoing or lack thereof on the part of the institution is unimportant, I fail to see what the relevance of the evidence for and against the belief is: at a technical level all those who contribute to the justification of the act would be just as responsible if their belief was true as they would if it were false.
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Postby Axolotl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:01 am UTC

Oh and if it wasn't clear, I'm suggesting that given the chance the believers and the institution have the power to remove the justification: if all oppose the actions and refute the justification, it is no easier to justify the actions than if the evildoer was the only 'believer' and the institution didn't exist.
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Postby SpitValve » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:20 am UTC

If you slack off and don't do your homework, are you responsible for someone who slacks off and doesn't tighten a safety valve, accidentally killing a hundred people?

Lots of bad stuff happens from people just not caring, from people not believing things, people just ignoring and accepting things...
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Postby Andrew » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:14 pm UTC

I think pi has a point here, albeit inelegantly phrased. I mean, when the Pope says "condoms are evil" and in doing so helps AIDS to spread in Africa, he is indirectly killing a lot of people, but if he was just some bloke with no supporters then he'd be ignored as the crackpot that he is.

Every single Roman Catholic out there is giving their name, their time and often their money to support him, to prop up his organisation and to legitimise and publicise his views, usually regardless of how irrational or dangerous those views are, and that is a very large part of what makes the Pope so powerful.

Those people must be, in some small way, responsible for the extra deaths in Africa. If they all renounced their support for the Catholic church tomorrow then by next year the Pope would be powerless to continue his random crusade against things the church quite arbitrarily considers wrong.

The same argument can be applied to any teaching, good or bad, by any religion, though it's rather harder to apply it to religions with no central governance.
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The flaw is in the responibility measure

Postby thisillusion » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:20 pm UTC

From the axioms it is not clear that the truthfulness of the belief has anything to do with our hero finding justification for such culinary abuse (everyone knows skinned babies require precisely one pinch of salt before serving).

Furthermore, even in the limiting case of belief in something which is true, ie (evidence against)/(evidence for) --> 0, said hero still derives justification from the existence of believers and their institution. So having believers' responsibility go to zero in this case makes no sense. Quite simply (existence of believers) => (hero finds justification), regardless of the truth-status of the belief. I have unilaterally set c=0 anticipating the deletion as off-topic of those posts challenging such blatant egoism.

In short, the conclusion reeks of irrelevance.

This is better: I'm going to modify axioms 3 and 5 as follows

3. There are other people who also "believe" similar things as him, and there is an institution that preaches "believing" these things. People perceive the institution to have an influence proportional to the number of believers in its doctrine.

5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this, and the degree of justification afforded him depends upon his perception of the influence of the institution.

These modifications provide a better measure for making statements about the guilt of individual believers.

Suppose our hero requires J units of justification from sources external to his philistine tastes before he over-seasons a tender young baby. Suppose further that all of J comes from his faith. Then I recommend that the believers, who are responsible for inducing the perception of this faith in our hero (which perception is necessary for his subsequent belief - it is hard to believe in things you don't know about) be credited with R=J/(#believers) units of responsibility.

One last observation, which concerns the responsibility of our hero. Suppose this waste of perfectly good skinned babies is induced purely by the institution, with no intrinsic cause in our hero. Since he is one of the believers he would still have responsibility R, just like the rest of them. I leave it to someone with more patience for being precise about such utter nonsense to interpret that result.

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Re: If you believe, a skinned baby is thrown in a salt-bucke

Postby Tractor » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:20 pm UTC

3.14159265... wrote:5. Without this justification it would be harder for this person to do this.

Conclusion: You are partly responsible for the throwing of the skinned baby into a salt bucket.


(Citing myself fom the atheism thread) A belief system is only a belief system, that's it. If you take it to the next level with your interpretations and use it to do major good OR evil, that's all on you, whatever the consequences.

3.14159265... wrote: Your portion of responsibility is proportional to the amount of ([evidence against/evidence for]+c) your "belief".
Where c is a constant amount of responsibility all humans have to the well being of other humans.

No. Evidence for/against your belief has nothing to do with responsibility. See my previous point. This leaves your constant hanging out by itself, leaving it meaningless, true or not.
There are other factors that may impact an individual's responsibilty, but organizations using the original belief system have no responsibility.
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Postby Andrew » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:49 pm UTC

I'm glad someone finally thought to apply algebra to morality. It clears thigns up beautifully.
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Postby dan » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:56 pm UTC

OK, consider person/institution A, who has a belief we shall call BELIEF (see 1). In A's mind, believing BELIEF does not justify a certain ACTION in the least.

Person A then shouts BELIEF for the world to hear (2, 3), and as a result, person B starts to believe BELIEF. Now, person B is completely insane, and happens to feel that BELIEF perfectly justifies ACTION. (4) For them, without BELIEF, ACTION would be unthinkable. (5)

Surely person A is not responsible if B carries out ACTION? Or should A take into account how insane people might react upon hearing the belief? Since they are insane, any belief could lead to any action, so this is basically impossible.

Even with sane people, you cannot necessarily be expected to tell how certain beliefs will affect their actions.
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Postby Belial » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

Which makes sense if ACTION is completely unreasonable to derive from BELIEF.

But what if one only needs to go a very short conceptual distance from BELIEF to ACTION, and most proponents of BELIEF advocate simply *not* making that leap from BELIEF to ACTION?
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Postby Tractor » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:16 pm UTC

The argument by myself and dan can be phrased in a different manner as well, as it can be applied to technology.

Person A discovers Technology X. Technology X can be used to develop a perfect energy source by person A. Then A publishes an article on this wonderous Technology X, and person B uses it to develop a perfect weapon.

Is A responsible for the deaths caused by B's weapon? No. Technology X is just that, some kind of technology. How people use it is no fault of the inventor.

This is the kind of thinking that frivolous lawsuits are made of.
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Postby neneko » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:34 pm UTC

Trying another approach here:

I agree that you are responsible for throwing the baby in the bucket. But you can't paraphrase that to being responsible for general well being.
Throwing babies in buckets is directly and visibly damaging. But a lot actions are not. They are morally/ethically wrong.

What if (not considering real life situation) a belief like christianity has a lot of concrete proof against it. But the 30% that follows christianity still chooses to belief it. AND the action that follows is not directly damaging, but is considered ethically wrong by the remaining majority of people.

Are you then still "responsible" for human well being?
What if they think it's a good thing solely based on their religion or sorts, but for other people it's not acceptable and damaging.

A small example is burying your deceased versus burning them. It does not directly affect another person. The only reason it's not acceptable for family/friends is because of their beliefs. Is it wrong because it's not common opinion/ethics?

But I agree mostly on your other point. Although you should consider availability to evidence (religious school for example) for that person.[/b]
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Postby dan » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:37 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Which makes sense if ACTION is completely unreasonable to derive from BELIEF.

But what if one only needs to go a very short conceptual distance from BELIEF to ACTION, and most proponents of BELIEF advocate simply *not* making that leap from BELIEF to ACTION?

Well, firstly it should be specified that this is the case in the argument. And secondly, in many of the most controversial real life cases, there is a lot of variation in interpretation of beliefs. It is not clear whether or not the action can be derived from the belief because there is so much disagreement about this very fact.

I'm not saying that there is no responsibility for sharing of beliefs though. You have to do your best to judge how they will be received - thus my extra coefficient in the equation.

Tractor, if Technology X was a perfect weapon, and it was made easy for anyone to use, I think A would be somewhat responsible since you'd have to be fairly shortsighted not to realize what it would lead to. It's just a question of how far removed A is from the actions resulting from their technology. While I agree about the frivolous lawsuits and similar thinking, we shouldn't completely leave out the other side of it.
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Postby Tractor » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:04 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Which makes sense if ACTION is completely unreasonable to derive from BELIEF.

But what if one only needs to go a very short conceptual distance from BELIEF to ACTION, and most proponents of BELIEF advocate simply *not* making that leap from BELIEF to ACTION?

dan wrote:I'm not saying that there is no responsibility for sharing of beliefs though. You have to do your best to judge how they will be received - thus my extra coefficient in the equation.


Ok, so you're both saying that the farther removed the conclusion is from the original belief, the less responsibility the preacher of said belief has? Why? Does it really matter if you had to move an inch or a mile to drop the babies in the bucket? You were the one who decided to go that extra step. You were the one; whether the preacher told you straight up it was a good idea, or you intrepreted his preachings completely wrong; who decided that you had to go out and skin some babies.
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Postby Belial » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:09 pm UTC

It depends on how you (and your religion) sees the importance of obedience to religion.

"If the preacher told you to jump off a bridge, would you do that too?"


A closer analogy, for some religions, would be "If your commanding officer ordered you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?"

And is an officer in the military responsible for things he ordered to occur? Or is he free of responsibility, and the only ones responsible are those who followed the orders?
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Postby Tractor » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:32 pm UTC

Belial wrote:It depends on how you (and your religion) sees the importance of obedience to religion.

See my previous notes on intrepretation.

Belial wrote:And is an officer in the military responsible for things he ordered to occur? Or is he free of responsibility, and the only ones responsible are those who followed the orders?


I'd like to think that the military is different than a religion and/or belief system.

Assuming the military acts on concrete evidence (as it should), we are out of this ballpark, as designated in point 1 by Pi. The military should be doing things as necessary to keep the country safe, with appropriate actions being ordered by commanding officers. And as their actions are sent down the chain, officers are at least paritally responsible for their orders. The ones who follow the orders are responsible as well, as they have the opportunity to object (admittedly at threat of some sort of legal action).

This all becomes hairy when military decisions are made on beliefs instead of facts. At this point the system has failed and everything is up in the air.
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Postby Belial » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:39 pm UTC

See my previous notes on intrepretation.


You said that it doesn't matter whether you interpreted the preacher's words exactly right, or completely wrong, the responsibility is still all *yours*. Or at least that's how I understood what you said.

So I'm examining one of the extremes you referred to: The extreme in which you are committing an atrocity in direct obedience to a religious authority figure.

The military should be doing things as necessary to keep the country safe, with appropriate actions being ordered by commanding officers. And as their actions are sent down the chain, officers are at least paritally responsible for their orders.


And theoretically, religion should be promoting good behaviour in society, as this is the benefit so often quoted to atheists by the religious. And the appropriate behaviour should be ordered by the religious authorities, and the according actions sent "down the chain" to the parishioners. So you would agree that the religious authority (a priest or sommat) is at least partially responsible for things people do in accordance with his teaching?
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Postby Tractor » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

Belial wrote:And theoretically, religion should be promoting good behaviour in society, as this is the benefit so often quoted to atheists by the religious. And the appropriate behaviour should be ordered by the religious authorities, and the according actions sent "down the chain" to the parishioners. So you would agree that the religious authority (a priest or sommat) is at least partially responsible for things people do in accordance with his teaching?


Negative, ghostrider. Firstly, religion isn't always promoting good stuff, but this isn't really important to the argument. Secondly, fact-based vs. belief based.

Also I want to note that I dislike the military structure, but realize it is a necessary evil to keep things safe (when used properly - fuck this Iraq mess).

Really, I am opposed to sheeple in any form. This includes political sheep, military sheep, and religous sheep. I think that no matter what you do it should be of your own free will, and you should deal with the consequences. I think I need to back up and re-think my take here, all I'm getting now is pissed at sheep.
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