Author Topic: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...  (Read 6000 times)

En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2012, 07:43:05 PM »
pur·pose/ˈpərpəs/
Noun:   
The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. (my emphasis)

Nurturing behaviour exists because it is a trait perpetuated by natural selection. I think you are quibbling about semantics, really.

Edit: Oh, I see, it is your intent to quibble. Very good then. And yes, everyone wrote me a "Dear DJ, We all agree with you! Well done!" letter. They're secret though, so I can't show you.

I think it is actually more than a matter of pedantry (But I would say that, wouldn't I?). So what is the "reason for which" nurturing behaviour was "done or created" or "the reason for which it exists"?
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2012, 07:49:32 PM »
Never mind the fact that your choice to enforce your "linguistic precision" in a thread that is supposed to be about depression, especially when members of our community are giving personal accounts of their difficulties, leaves a little tact to be desired.

Edit: I apologise for the multiple posts and I promise I won't derail any more. Maybe En_route and I should start a separate thread. Sorry everyone.

A separate thread to house this important controversy would seem fitting. It's difficult to avoid being diverted into these discursive tributaries.In fairness to me (and I am always scrupulously fair in that direction) I was one of those who have contributed to the main stream of the discussion here.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

Dobermonster

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2012, 01:21:43 AM »
Still on topic, but with the evolutionary aspect in mind . . .

This is just a theory of mine, but I've often wondered if the rise in psychiatric illness, especially depression, has to do with the lack of natural selection in our species. I know it's still exists to a certain extent (mostly in-utero), but we have definitely done a great job of keeping people with depression (and other illnesses) alive and procreating. This is a good thing. But it might also be the reason why more people need treatment for it. I've always thought of my illness as a sort of evolutionary roadblock - that is, if it had been allowed to continue unchecked, my brain might have killed me before I had the chance to pass on my genes. Of course, there are a slew of other reasons why it's on the rise statistically as well - environmental factors, better diagnostics, and increased awareness and encouragement to seek treatment.

On another note, has anyone had, or known someone who had, ECT with good results? It's something I may try in the future, as I don't wish to take medication for the rest of my life.

Tank

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2012, 07:44:12 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.
I agree that evolution has no purpose, as in a target or goal. However natural selection forever passively shapes the gene pool towards the traits of those individual organisms that have successfully reproduced. Now in the case of the vast majority of organisms successful reproduction can be considered the production of a seed or egg that will never again require input of effort from its parents/progenitors.

But in the case of that minority of organisms that provide any type of care to their offspring successful reproduction includes the successful completion of the nurturing stage over and above the birth of the organism. I think humans have by far the longest nurturing stage of any organism on the planet. Our nurturing behaviours are selected for and as such do have a purpose in that they allow successful reproduction; where reproduction is producing an offspring that can survive long enough to reach reproductive maturity.

I would contend that in the case of humans simply giving birth to a child is not successful reproduction. It is not until that child has themselves reproduced that the total reproductive cycle can be considered successful.

Our nurturing behaviours don't serve any purpose; they are adaptive, no more or less.

We're getting into a nit picking semantic argument that is being limited, not enhanced, by the language available. In one sense you are right. But it's an accountants answer 'Accurate, but meaningless.'

Nurturing behaviours facilitate survival. That is their 'purpose' but they are adaptive in that they have been selected for.

Wittgenstein would have loved this discussion.
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En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2012, 02:45:18 PM »
From an evolutionary psychological perspective certain behaviours have been the subject of natural selection. If we accept this conceptual frramework, we can  seek to explain how they have come about. But we cannot say they possess any purpose.The behaviours themselves are natural phenomena so are incapable of having any intentionality; there is no intelligent (or unintelligent) designer behind the scenes to whom one can attribute a purpose. The best discussion of the teleological fallacy is to be found in Searle's "Construction of Social Reality".
The idea that our behaviours exist in order to facilitate some greater end is a  fundamental misconception, redolent of the confusion generated by Dawkin's coining of the term "Selfish Gene" which although clearly a metaphor lends itself to being taken literally.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

Tank

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2012, 02:48:16 PM »
From an evolutionary psychological perspective certain behaviours have been the subject of natural selection. If we accept this conceptual frramework, we can  seek to explain how they have come about. But we cannot say they possess any purpose.The behaviours themselves are natural phenomena so are incapable of having any intentionality; there is no intelligent (or unintelligent) designer behind the scenes to whom one can attribute a purpose. The best discussion of the teleological fallacy is to be found in Searle's "Construction of Social Reality".
The idea that our behaviours exist in order to facilitate some greater end is a  fundamental misconception, redolent of the confusion generated by Dawkin's coining of the term "Selfish Gene" which although clearly a metaphor lends itself to being taken literally.
I agree with this completely. Glad you got what I was saying in the end  ;) :D
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2012, 03:01:56 PM »
Thanks for being so patient with me.*


*Please relocate instantly to Flattery Thread.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

Dobermonster

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2012, 05:44:04 PM »
An argument resolved through reasonable discussion? Am I still on the internetz?

 ;)

Davin

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2012, 05:46:08 PM »
An argument resolved through reasonable discussion? Am I still on the internetz?

 ;)
Relax, it's still very rare. :D

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Tank

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2012, 06:40:27 PM »
An argument resolved through reasonable discussion? Am I still on the internetz?

 ;)
Yes, but a very special part of it!
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2012, 09:59:49 PM »
An argument resolved through reasonable discussion? Am I still on the internetz?

 ;)

Yes, but not as we know it.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2012, 11:04:54 PM »
From an evolutionary psychological perspective certain behaviours have been the subject of natural selection. If we accept this conceptual frramework, we can  seek to explain how they have come about. But we cannot say they possess any purpose.The behaviours themselves are natural phenomena so are incapable of having any intentionality; there is no intelligent (or unintelligent) designer behind the scenes to whom one can attribute a purpose. The best discussion of the teleological fallacy is to be found in Searle's "Construction of Social Reality".
The idea that our behaviours exist in order to facilitate some greater end is a  fundamental misconception, redolent of the confusion generated by Dawkin's coining of the term "Selfish Gene" which although clearly a metaphor lends itself to being taken literally.
I agree with this completely. Glad you got what I was saying in the end  ;) :D

I also totally agree with this.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Xiilent

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2012, 12:21:45 AM »
When i feel down, i generally listen to music that somewhat fits my situation. It's nice to know that someone else has been through the situations i've been through. That being said, i rarely get in a down mood anyways. I sometimes drink but that's not always to help me feel better when i'm down but to just feel better in general. Going out with friends usually always makes things better no matter what we do. I'm the type that in person would rather listen than talk, but just being around people usually helps. But like i said, i rarely get down in the dumps. There's not really a reason to get down xD you gotta live and love life while you've got it.

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2012, 01:14:24 AM »
When i feel down, i generally listen to music that somewhat fits my situation. It's nice to know that someone else has been through the situations i've been through. That being said, i rarely get in a down mood anyways. I sometimes drink but that's not always to help me feel better when i'm down but to just feel better in general. Going out with friends usually always makes things better no matter what we do. I'm the type that in person would rather listen than talk, but just being around people usually helps. But like i said, i rarely get down in the dumps. There's not really a reason to get down xD you gotta live and love life while you've got it.

Thanks for sharing, Xilient. :) Like you, I'd rather listen than talk (which may surprise some here, considering how much I post, lol) but I know what you mean when you say being around others helps. Although it's true there isn't always a 'reason' to be down, having chemical imbalances/psychiatric issues is something that sometimes gets in the way of always loving life. I do my best though. One day at a time, and I try to look for the good in every day, if I can. I bet a lot of us do that. :)


"Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb we are bound to others. By every crime and act of kindness we birth our future." - Cloud Atlas

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Xiilent

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2012, 01:34:11 AM »

Thanks for sharing, Xilient. :) Like you, I'd rather listen than talk (which may surprise some here, considering how much I post, lol) but I know what you mean when you say being around others helps. Although it's true there isn't always a 'reason' to be down, having chemical imbalances/psychiatric issues is something that sometimes gets in the way of always loving life. I do my best though. One day at a time, and I try to look for the good in every day, if I can. I bet a lot of us do that. :)

Exactly =) we always have to look for the good things cause that's what we are given. I do understand we do have chemical imbalances but that is something a lot of us go through, but we have people that have gone through the same thing to help us. As long as we are optimistic, we are unstoppable. Even with a chemical imbalance, i still believe all of us have a great outlook on life. Those that are feeling depressed just need to hop on here and get some encouragement by people who really care =P (even if we don't know eachother in real life, we still have a bond)