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One cannot be considered a moral person when he or she chooses to believe thinks that are not true, especially if acting on that belief hurts others. That is a message which must be conveyed to those who believe in false ideologies -- political and religious- and in in the words of demagogues -- also political and/or religious.

wordywalt 9 Sep 28
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You do not choose a religion usually, and when you do, you do not choose to believe in it.

What you do when you choose a religion, is choose a system of thoughts which matches your wants and justifies them. Then, whether you believe it or not, is not relevant, because your choice forces you to pretend belief (literal or metaphorical ), which is the same thing as belief to the rest of the world.

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What is your belief towards population control of the human animal?

Make sure everyone is vaccinated and cured of all disease so people do not die off?

Force birth control/abortion/limited offspring?

Total non-violent passivity to population growth out reach food supplies, then people die from starvation with out violence?

Wait a few billion years to let the Sun explode or expand into a Red giant star eradicating every one on Earth?

Other options?

Word Level 8 Sep 29, 2021

Geez !!

You bring up a good point. I make a similar, very uncomfortable point about healthcare resources for the sickest among us. For the persons that are so severely mentally handicapped that they will spend every minute of their life in a bed, get countless surgeries to close off their esophagus so they can't aspirate their tube feeding, peg tubes, trach, shunts, etc. And the permanent removal of their mother [most often] from production to simply consumption as she sits at the beside wasting her life to care for someone who has no quality of life and who doesn't even know she's there. Inevitably, in the future, it won't be a question of 'do we keep this person alive as long as we can' it'll be a question of 'do we keep this person alive at the cost of these other lives'. But I don't think most people are ready for that conversation...

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I do not, and cannot, believe in a personal God, no matter how hard I try. My belief chose me, I did not choose this belief. No one could force me to change my mind on this, which in the mind of many faithful believers makes me an immoral person who will face the punishment of eternal damnation.

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People don't believe "thinks" that are not true as far as they know.

What of the teleological utilitarianism of the greater good permitting collateral damage?

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  1. You can't choose to believe things. You either believe them or you don't, but it's not really a matter of choice. I know it seems like there are a lot of examples of deliberative processes where you 'decide' to believe something, but one need only look at times when you have no choice in the matter (e.g. can you choose to believe Santa Claus is real or that the sky is purple with pink polka-dots) to realize that choice is an illusion.
  2. Even if you could choose, it could only be for things that remain within the realm of possibility as far as you're concerned. You can't choose to believe something you know isn't true. You can't choose to believe you have more money than Jeff Bezos.
  3. I fully agree with the underlying message of the post. If you knowingly harm people, or engage in behaviors that you know will result in harm, especially for the sake of the harm it will cause, in many cases you are a shittier person than normal shit people.

To believe or not to believe is always a choicve. The question is how we go about making that choice.

@wordywalt You can choose to believe in Santa?

@JeffMurray As a child, one chooses to believe in Santa to r3eceive the benefits. A
s we become aware of the truth, we also choose not to believe in Santa. If an adult is unwise, he or she can continue to believe in Santa..

@wordywalt That's not choosing. You're even putting conditions on it "if unwise". If it was a choice, intelligence would be irrelevant. The child doesn't choose to believe, he's told it's true by people he trusts and is effectively deceived. When he is told it's not true and puts the pieces together and realizes, he has no choice to continue to believe (even if he pretends to believe to continue to get presents).

@JeffMurray The way that you define choosing, how do you account for the Trumpites who choose not to face overwhelming evidence of Trump's lies about himself and the election??????

@wordywalt They're either fooled by misinformation and actually believe it, or know they're lies and pretend to go along with it for what they believe to be a greater good (like the children that lie to their parents about believing in Santa to continue to get presents), but they can't choose to actually believe something they know isn't true.

I think you're missing a very important facet of all this, and that's how powerful subjective perception, echo chambers, and confirmational bias is. That stuff can make someone actually believe shit you and I think is the craziest fuckin' thing in the world, but none of it is a choice. I think you're also missing the huge distinction between having a belief and professing a belief.

4

And what happens if they don't know the things they believe are not true? When I think of some of the things I was taught as a child, I had some really messed up ideas. Why would I doubt those who taught me? They "loved" me after all. If I believed it, it must therefore be true. It is what I was taught, and I'm sure I was a "moral" person.

All generalities are no damned good, including this one.

Considering the question that's a pretty significant change of question. We are now considering someone unaware of their moral determinations.

Spot on.

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