I identify as: (belief)

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Feb 10, 2022.

  1. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    I have deconverted from Gnosticism and now identify as a Stoic and Utilitarian.

    Specifically, I am an averagist and welfarist. I see the greatest good as maximizing the average health of the existing population and minimizing welfare inequality. This is actually not so different from my ethical framework as a Gnostic, I just realized that I didn't need a religion to justify this ethical position and that the supernatural elements of Gnosticism were bogging me down.

    My justification, loosely, comes from evolution. Evolutionary pressures naturally select species that pursue the health of their population until they are able to reproduce. Ants, for instance, work together for the collective welfare of their colony, despite most of them being infertile.

    There have been those who argue for Social Darwinism from the same background, but I think they make two fundamental mistakes (as well as many others.) First, humans are social animals like wolves and lions and evolved for cooperation among their species, not competition. Second, biodiversity is a key feature of species who survive sudden catastrophes; specifically selecting for only a handful of genes based on arbitrary criteria actually weakens our species.

    Speaking of specifically human attributes, I see reason as evolving as a mechanism to correct our cognitive biases and emotional reasoning. Emotions are essentially vestigial training wheels. If we can recognize our evolutionary purpose and follow it with a strict adherence to reason, then they are more or less unnecessary. Stoicism recognizes this unique property of humanity and it's recommended by many psychologists and therapists for its benefits to mental health, making it a natural extension of my form of Utilitarianism.

    This isn't to say that I have any arguments for why we should follow our evolutionary instincts, just that we can use evolution to understand why we evolved a sense of moral intuition and what that moral intuition accomplishes for us. Just because I derive a sense of meaning and purpose from my inherent biology doesn't mean that I have any compelling argument for why anyone else should. I see "right" and "wrong" as descriptions of this evolutionary model, not prescriptions for how individuals should act.
     
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  2. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    May you find fulfillment on your journeys, no matter which paths - or paths - you travel upon.
     
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  3. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    You too
     
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  4. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    I forgot.
     
  5. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I haven't. :)
     
  6. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    I apologize for my memory problem, not sure if it is a disadvantage or advantage. Whichever the case, I find that I must depend on the memory of other rather than myself. o_O
     
  7. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Did you ever own a Discord account by the same name and use a mask as your avatar?
     
  8. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    No, not that I remember. Not sure what a Discord account is but will try to look it up. Bad experience for you or good?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
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  9. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Not bad.
     
  10. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    I'm off on the good foot then. At least the handle does not conjure bad thoughts.
     
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