quest


I am a woman of 65 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:
marulaki@hotmail.com


The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

611. More About The Fallacy Of Teleological Thinking

611.   More About The Fallacy Of Teleological Thinking 

Yesterday I got a strange email in reference to entry 610 about teleology.   The sender, according to the name probably a guy, omits to introduce himself in any way and to tell me, why he contacts me and what he expects from me.    He merely informs me of his disagreement with my considering teleology as a fallacy in entry 610.    I am puzzled, what made him assume, that the difference between knowing or not knowing, that a person with a given email address disagrees, were of any significance to me.    
There are billions of persons on this globe, who disagree with my way of thinking.  Any of them only wastes his own and my time by informing me of the disagreement.  
This blog is not written for them.   I am elaborating my thoughts for the purpose of finding my mindmate being someone, who agrees as the result of his own independent thinking prior to reading this blog.     

The following are two quotes from his email:
"I can see no good scientific application for teleology." 
"A teleological universe remains quite possible on logical grounds."

 
These quotes show clearly, that he has not clue, what teleology really means and that he is himself someone caught too much himself in this fallacy to be able to gain mental distance from irrational beliefs of any kind.

When someone asks questions, then this indicates a reason to explain.   But someone declaring his disagreement implicitly states his own point of view as valid as mine.    A guy, who claims his teleological fallacy as equally valid as rational and scientific thinking is a clear example of the Dunning-Kruger-effect.    While such a haphazard disagreeing guy certainly as a person is of no interest to me, his email nevertheless inspires me to write some more about teleology.      


Teleology is a logical fallacy of thinking.    No scientist, who deserves to be called one, would use it consciously and deliberately as an appropriate method to explore and explain anything.  It just is not a scientific method.  The effect described in the research presented in http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017102451.htm is the tendency of the human brain to spontaneously tend to succumb to this fallacy.   This does not make teleology any less a fallacy, it is only an indication of how careful scientists need to be to avoid it. 


The fallacy can be shown by comparing the following two statements:  

1. "Trees produce oxygen so that animals can breathe"   (From the research presented in
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017102451.htm)
2. "Oxygen masks supply environmentally lacking oxygen so that people can breathe."

Superficially, both statements seem to be quite similar.    In both statements, oxygen is needed and it is supplied.   But there is a fundamental distinction between the teleological fallacy of statement one and the genuine intention in statement two.  

Oxygen masks are invented and produced by persons having knowledge and intention concerning what the masks are to be used for.   Without a known need for oxygen, such masks would not be invented and produced.   
All oxygen masks are made by humans or by human made machines.   The purpose of oxygen masks to supply oxygen when not otherwise available is the intended or expected beneficial outcome of the activity of producing it.   This is logically only possible, when there is someone performing the purposeful activity.  

There cannot be any intentional production without a producer, but things can exist and offer collateral benefits without having been produced by anybody.   

The teleological fallacy is thinking as if there were a causality, where there is none at all.   To believe that the trees have been produced by an acting entity the same way as the oxygen masks is the fallacy of simpleminded and gullible persons.   They invent a creator deity, which serves for them not only but also as an explanation for the existence of trees and more generally of anything, of which they derive benefits and which exists without having been produced intentionally by any human.      
 
Scientific research to look for evidence of oxygen masks which are not produced by humans is an option.   As long as such evidence has not been found, it can be considered as established, that oxygen masks are produced by persons, who can be traced.    
Any scientific attempt to find the producer of the trees is equally futile as the attempts to find evidence of the existence of any deity.    

Also the person selling oxygen masks knows, that they are produced by humans and what for.   The person planting trees to enhance the oxygen in the air knows, that trees produce oxygen.   But as a rational person he also knows, that the trees have not been produced by any person or entity for the purpose of breathing.   The rational person knows, that the existence of trees and of beings needing oxygen can either be coincidence or co-evolution, in which the evolution of beings in need of oxygen has been enabled by the evolution of the emittance of oxygen by the trees.


The teleological fallacy and the deity delusion are therefore related and reinforcing each other.   But it is difficult to know, which was first.
I doubt Pararajasingham's suggestion (http://www.reasonism.org/main-content/articles-by-other-authors/item/285-the-telos-drive-a-neurobiological-basis-for-religious-belief), that the telos drive having been there first suffices to explains religious beliefs.    
It is at least as probable, that the gullibility to the delusion of deities has been an evolutionary advantage to the species for very different reasons.   
Those women, who accept the self-harming by accepting the biological abuse of their bodies for procreation due to expecting a reward in the afterlife, have more offspring than those, who refuse to accept self-harming.  
Those men, who harm women by making them pregnant due to displacing the responsibility for doing this to a deity, also have more offspring than the more considerate men.   
Thus the gullibility to believe in the existence of deities has been incorporated into the gene pool.   Once someone believes in the existence of a creator deity, then the conclusion of attributing the existence of any not human made phenomena and entities to be allegedly produced by such a creator is apparently and subjectively logical to such a believer.   

But neither the deity delusion nor teleological thinking is logical to rational, skeptical and apistic persons like me.   

Friday, October 19, 2012

610. The Telos Drive And The Fallacy Of Teleology

610.   The Telos Drive And The Fallacy Of Teleology

Teleology is not a part of my rational thinking or of my identity.   
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology

"A teleology is any philosophical account that holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature."

I have been born, I am living until I die, and I do not exist for any purpose.   My own life has no general meaning or value except for myself and for those persons who choose to appreciate me.   The reasonable way of living without teleological tendencies is to avoid harming and being harmed and to make the best of a lifetime without any nonsensical sacrifices for anything happening after the own death.  
 

Being myself void of teleology, considering it as an innate human tendency did not occur to me until I read about the postulation of the telos drive:
http://www.reasonism.org/main-content/articles-by-other-authors/item/285-the-telos-drive-a-neurobiological-basis-for-religious-belief

"The telos drive is a hypothetical neuropsychological construct that I propose exists as a primitive instinct which, like all biological drives, may be modulated by higher cognitive function or environmental influences, and often forms the core of religious faith."

"This intrinsic drive is a need to find meaning and purpose for which religion (given its immense popularity) is perhaps the most powerful construction."

"I would argue that the telos drive is no different; it has been boosted so we assume everything is suffused with intention or purpose so that we may predict the behaviour of the world around us, thus staying ahead of the game we call survival. This exaggeration or boost causes us to see purpose within (human purpose) and without (cosmic purpose)."


Today I read this:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017102451.htm

"despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities ..... cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose."

"Although purpose-based "teleological" explanations are often found in religion, ..... they are generally discredited in science. When physical scientists have time to ruminate about the reasons why natural objects and events occur, they explicitly reject teleological accounts, instead favoring causal, more mechanical explanations. ...... when scientists are required to think under time pressure, an underlying tendency to find purpose in nature is revealed. The results provide the strongest evidence yet that the human mind has a robust default preference for purpose-based explanation that persists from early in development."

""It seems that our minds may be naturally more geared to religion than science.""

So it seems that the telos drive is more ubiquitous than it had appeared to me.   But I doubt that it suffices as a direct explanation of religion.   I think that the telos drive and religion together are mainly enabling procreation.   

Drives and instincts have evolved as advantageous for the survival of the species.    I consider the search for a purpose and the delusion of the existence of deities are interdependently enabling, reinforcing or enhancing one direct advantage for the survival of the human species, which is the submission to and acceptance of suffering harm caused by being determined by the procreation instinct.  
Procreation requires two persons' contribution to a combination of harming and self-harming.  Women are harmed by the biological abuse of their body in pregnancy and birth and by the slavery of raising the brood.   Men are harmed by the obligation to provide at least materially for the offspring.  People are harmed by being deprived of resources, which competing alpha men usurp for their own offspring.   

Self-harming as a sacrifice for procreation needs a justification for accepting the harm.  When there is no rational justification, then imagining and inventing a pseudo-meaning and an alleged purpose can help to avoid cognitive dissonance.    The less people accept harm, the less they are prone to accept any purpose as a justification.  
Deities were invented with the attribute of having the power to reward in the afterlife for the suffering by procreation and to punish in the afterlife for refusing procreation.   They were also attributed to be omniscient and thus competent to demand procreation as a purpose not to be questioned.    

Harming others in spite of empathy, responsibility and consideration and avoiding cognitive dissonance also needs the strong justification of considering the harm as an unavoidable price for fulfilling a purpose.   
Deities were invented to transfer the responsibility for harming to the deity.  Thus the biological harm of procreation could be misinterpreted as if it were a purpose installed by an omniscient and powerful deity. 


The belief in having a purpose and the belief in the existence of a deity are interdependent.   Having a purpose implies to accept being used as a tool or utility and this leads to the question concerning who is doing the using.   A deity or higher power is a simple answer.     
Having the delusion of the existence of a deity leads to the question, why anything had been created by the deity, and what he meant to do with it.   Having a purpose only understood and known by the deity is also a simple answer.   
And simple minds prefer simple answers.   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

609. Subtle Commodification

609.   Subtle Commodification

There are many forms of commodification, not all are drastic, some are very subtle.  

A while ago I contacted someone due to being attracted by his profile.   As a first impression, there seemed to exist a common intellectual basis and he had indicated to be seriously looking for a long term relationship.   
I was pleased, when I got a fast and apparently interested reply.   But my being pleased did not last long.  

That guy had just sprained his ankle so badly, that he was housebound for a week.   This made me cautious and suspicious.   When asked directly, he admitted that he started corresponding with me only as a distracting entertainment until he would be well again.   

I do not like this kind of playing games.    Had I not asked bluntly, I would have been led on during a week of building up false hopes followed to an unavoidable disappointment.  
Subtle and low scale commodification as was this nevertheless derives from the same attitude as do the more hurting and more drastic commodifications and objectifications.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

608. Commercials: The Paradoxical Effects Of A Nuisance

608.  Commercials:  The Paradoxical Effects Of A Nuisance

Usually I avoid to expose myself to commercials.   While visual commercials can be avoided after a short glance, acoustic commercials are less easy to avoid.    There is no earlid to shut the ears and avoid hearing.

While doing dull routine chores, I often listen to easy stuff like audio books or radio shows, whatever can be found for legal downloading.  Thus I got a series of very old detective radio shows made in Hollywood.    
The entire series is loaded with commercials from just one company, at a rate of about four commercials per every half hour episode.  Listening to the repetition of the same few commercials in a dozen of these episodes is already sufficient to make me dislike this company so much, that I would never ever consider to buy any of their products.  

As far as I know, such an bombardment by commercials is quite normal on radio and TV in the USA and on private stations in other countries too.   
I am really puzzled, how it is possible, that people are influenced favorably by such a nuisance and why they buy, what the commercials lure them to.   Why are people so foolish as to reinforce, what they are pestered by and what they rarely like or enjoy but usually dislike?
I am wondering if growing up bombarded by commercials is another example of desensitization by the media and if people can get selectively desensitized only towards stopping to feel disturbed and annoyed, but not towards being influenced in favor of buying?


On myself, the effect of commercials is very different.   Perceiving commercials as an annoyance and nuisance being exposed to them causes me to develop an aversion against the brand of the advertised product.   As long as there is any no-name product, I buy it as an alternative.  

Besides being a nuisance, commercials also cost a lot of money, which is paid by the customer.   Whenever someone buys the expensive advertised brand instead of buying a cheaper no-name product, he contributes to the persistence of the nuisance.   

If everybody would react like me and refuse to buy, what is advertised, commercials would seize to exist due to not being profitable.  But too many people are fools, who are too easily taken in.    

Friday, October 5, 2012

607. Pseudo-Chivalry

607.  Pseudo-Chivalry

Sometimes I am reading in men's profiles the slogan:  'Chivalry is not dead', followed by the emphasis of the guy on his habit of opening doors and helping women into the coat.   

I doubt, that they are aware of the real meaning of chivalry as an attitude towards women.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chivalry

"Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood.  .....  Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as knightly virtues, honour and courtly love,  "

"The Knight's Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. ..... Knights were required to .. always respect the honour of women. "

Chivalry is an attitude towards women, not just some superficial behaviors, It means respecting women as having dignity and honor, not as objects to be abused by ephemeral copulation but on the contrary as persons to be protected against being abused by promiscuous villains.  

Whenever a man attempts to manipulate a woman into bed without his having any intention to commit to her, his opening doors and helping into coats is only pseudo-chivalry and hypocrisy.   His pseudo-chivalry is nothing more than a disguise for his true being a jerk, and it is sad, how many women get taken in by this pretense.  

Chivalry and commodification or objectification are mutually exclusive.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

606. Discovering And Developing Preferences

606.   Discovering And Developing Preferences

I just read this, but I disagree with the interpretations. 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003132416.htm

"You're in a store, trying to choose between similar shirts, one blue and one green. You don't feel strongly about one over the other, but eventually you decide to buy the green one. You leave the store and a market researcher asks you about your purchase and which shirt you prefer. Chances are that you'd say you prefer the green one, the shirt you actually chose. As it turns out, this choice-induced preference isn't limited to shirts. Whether we're choosing between presidential candidates or household objects, research shows that we come to place more value on the options we chose and less value on the options we rejected.

One way of explaining this effect is through the idea of cognitive dissonance. Making a selection between two options that we feel pretty much the same about creates a sense of dissonance -- after all, how can we choose if we don't really prefer one option over the other? Re-evaluating the options after we've made our choice may be a way of resolving this dissonance."

"They were then presented with pairs of similar vacation destinations and asked to choose which destination they would prefer. "

"The results suggest that the act of choosing between two similar options can lead to enduring changes in preference. Participants rated vacation destinations as more desirable both immediately after choosing them and again three years later. "

"Sharot and her colleagues argue that fact that this effect is robust and enduring has implications for a diverse array of fields, including economics, marketing, and even interpersonal relationships. As Sharot points out, for example, repeatedly endorsing a particular political party may entrench this preference for a long period of time."

The quoted article concerns preferences expressed by a decision.   The preference for one color of a shirt over another is the decision what to buy and does not automatically represent a possible preference for one of the colors by itself.  

I doubt that a more or less haphazard choice leads to changing a preference.   The choice of a green shirt does not suffice for a change towards experiencing green as the favorite color. Making a choice is a decision process leading to discover or to develop a preference.   This process includes getting aware and considering the pros and contras of all options from either the memory or by obtaining additional external information.     The result of making a rational choice by this process is then remembered.    It is not a changed preference, but one either newly acquired or a previously existing one rationally reinforced or enhanced. 

People are often not consciously aware of pros and contras concerning any issues and matters, until circumstances for the first time require a specific choice.   This then triggers some thinking and reasoning, which leads to discovering or developing the preference.  

1.  Someone may spontaneously not prefer a green over a blue shirt.   This is an example of basing a decision upon getting aware of reasons in favor of one of the colors by retrieving them from the memory.   Such reasons could be the color of the majority of the trousers to be worn in combination with the shirt, the color of other shirts in the wardrobe or the favorite color of the partner. 
 
2.  Someone may spontaneously not prefer one vacation destination over another.   This is also a case of remembering reasons like a favorite national dish or music.  But this is additionally a case for not being able to choose until obtaining sufficient information about the availability of especially interesting places for sightseeing.   

3.  The more complex and abstract a choice, the less someone can have an initial strong preference before getting informed.   This is the case with political parties.   Ignorance and manipulations by propaganda do not lead to a persistent and qualified preference.    Only if a subjectively informed decision has been reached by learning something about the parties, this can cause a preference to persist after having voted. 


In entry 590 I declared myself as opinionated.   Opinions are preferences, which can be either expressed by the behavior of making a choice or it can merely exist as a predisposition for a specific choice.

Writing over 600 blog entries about my preferences of who is compatible and suitable as a mindmate is the result of a lot of thinking, pondering, and reflecting.   While I am blogging for the purpose to be found by my mindmate, as a side effect I got more and more conscious of the reasons behind my preferences.   The awareness for my reasons enabled and enables me to evaluate them rationally.   Better understanding my reasons made me also more certain and more confident and this reinforces my preferences.   

Monday, October 1, 2012

605. Existing Or Not Existing

605.   Existing Or Not Existing

Breeders and anti-abortion people often ask persons like me the question, what if their parents had refused to breed or had aborted them.
  
There is a simple answer to this.   A non-existing person cannot miss herself or himself and can also not be missed by anybody.   
Therefore logically the non-existence cannot be compared with existing.      

Every time an unfertilized egg is discarded from a woman's body, the consequence is one additional non-existence of one of countless potential combinations of genes, which could have become anything between a moron and a genius, between a monster and a benefactor.   Reasonably nobody bothers.  

The complementary question is as valid.   What justifies parents to force children into existence, who cannot be asked for consent?   To do so is a huge responsibility for parents, as long as too many people are so much driven by animal instincts, that at any opportunity they do not hesitate to harm others very easily.    Every child has the potential to become either a victim, who suffers, or a transgressor, who harms others, or both.   
Indirectly the breeding parents are responsible for all the harm due to the existence of their offspring.   

Therefore, the decision between breeding and not breeding can rationally only be based upon considerations concerning the impact of breeding upon the parents themselves.   No breeders are able to make a correct prognosis about the amount of harm to be suffered and caused by their offspring.