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Old 05-01-2017, 06:50 PM   #101
ToothSayer
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Re: Sex GTO

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Originally Posted by VeeDDzz` View Post
Inferences you're choosing to draw based on Watts' acute observations. Feel free however to make your own inferences and conclusions.
They're merely a restatement of his claims.

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In my understanding, even the the most artsy of artists seek recognition or peer support. Turned inward it simply changes forms, into a game of - who I am now vs who I want to become.
I feel really sad you haven't experienced the pure egoless joy of creative expression. Perhaps you like Watts because you are like Watts - intelligent but utterly trapped in ego; if your experience of life is entirely emanating from your own ego, I guess it would be close to impossible to understand how others could function differently.

Psychopaths can't really grasp empathy. People with attachment disorders can't really grasp intimacy. And people who are pure egoists and hedonists can't understand motivation that doesn't emanate from it.
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As soon as you divide the self, you have ego; and you have ego-games.
Escape from the game is not possible, short of living only in and for the present. Something many have tried, to little avail.
I think you've accurately described a subset of people trapped in a particular mental/emotional/ego state; I don't think you've captured people in general.

There are other solutions apart from "living in the present" to escaping the ego. Dissociation + intellect. Creative imagining. Pure will/discipline. Humans have a ton of tools for bypassing their ego. Granted, it's extremely rare to do so at a young age, but once you've been broken down and rebuilt a time or two (and extreme version of the "absurdity" you mentioned earlier), I think you might discover other escapes from ego that aren't ripoffs of Buddhist philosophy.

From a broader perspective, the real problem with your claims is that they're circular; you seek nothing that can falsify them and indeed are setting up a narrative that's actually not all falsifiable. You can plausibly trace all actions back to ego; everything that people do has been done by someone for reasons of ego, and there's sufficient black box effect in human affairs that you can extrapolate/shoehorn the rest, therefore, when you look at the world, you see that all actions must emanate from the ego.

I think it's philosophically very poor to think like that, a basic error of logic that makes your view artificially narrow. Just one guy's opinion, however.

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Old 05-01-2017, 06:59 PM   #102
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Re: Sex GTO

Your ego-ridden response exemplifies Watts' views on the impossibility of escaping ego-games.

I'm "trapped" while it is implied that you're "free" and some other subset of special humans to which you belong.

You insistently continue to draw divisions between you, as belonging to some special subset, and others, as belonging to a subset that is lesser in some important way.

Re-read your comments in this thread. Of all the posters ITT, you have been most guilty of this.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:52 PM   #103
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Re: Sex GTO

I like it when my cat is happy even when it's not interacting with me. I'd love to know how doing stupid things my cat likes (e.g. leaving dirty clothes out for it to roll around in while I'm in the shower) is ego driven because I know damn well that "I'm such a good cat owner" or "I'm a better cat owner than X" or anything of that sort have never gone through my mind when I do that.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:19 PM   #104
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Re: Sex GTO

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I like it when my cat is happy even when it's not interacting with me. I'd love to know how doing stupid things my cat likes (e.g. leaving dirty clothes out for it to roll around in while I'm in the shower) is ego driven because I know damn well that "I'm such a good cat owner" or "I'm a better cat owner than X" or anything of that sort have never gone through my mind when I do that.
Do you get any kind of gratification or good feelings (delayed or instant) by doing the stupid things your cat likes? I mean why repeat a behaviour if it isn't rewarding to you in some way now, or in the anticipated future?

Would you get those same good feelings if you instead interacted with your cat in a way that was abusive?

Likely not.

You've divided the self into 'how I want to be' - as a loving, nurturing cat owner - and 'how I don't want to be' - as an abusive or neglectful cat owner. And from that you've acted accordingly.

Who are you defeating in every instance you choose to be the loving cat owner? The abusive or neglectful cat owner. There's a tiny little ego-trip each time you defeat one with the other. And I'm sure that sometimes, just sometimes, the neglectful cat owner wins: e.g. when you're too busy to give the cat enough attention.

The fact that the neglectful cat owner sometimes does win, gives meaning to the ego-game and gratification derived from it (but that's a whole other subject best left for another conversation).
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:37 PM   #105
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Re: Sex GTO

I can only think seriously of trying to live up to an ideal, to improve myself, if I am split in two pieces. There must be a good “I” who is going to improve the bad “me.” “I,” who has the best intentions, will go to work on wayward “me,” and the tussle between the two will very much stress the difference between them. Consequently “I” will feel more separate than ever, and so merely increase the lonely and cut-off feelings which make “me” behave so badly. - Alan Watts
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:37 PM   #106
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Re: Sex GTO

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Do you get any kind of gratification or good feelings (delayed or instant) by doing the stupid things your cat likes? I mean why repeat a behaviour if it isn't rewarding to you in some way now, or in the anticipated future?

Would you get those same good feelings if you instead interacted with your cat in a way that was abusive?

Likely not.
Of course not.

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You've divided the self into 'how I want to be' - as a loving, nurturing cat owner - and 'how I don't want to be' - as an abusive or neglectful cat owner. And from that you've acted accordingly.

Who are you defeating in every instance you choose to be the loving cat owner? The abusive or neglectful cat owner. There's a tiny little ego-trip each time you defeat one with the other.
No. Just no. It literally *never crosses my mind* in the course of a day to beat my cat, to go rape the old lady who lives next door, to go shoot up a church, or anything else of the sort. It's not a conscious decision. It was never a conscious decision. Those courses of action (like almost all possible courses of action) don't even register as options. And I can certainly feel schadenfreude (and not feel guilty about it later), so it's not like I'm some slave to empathy or something.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:43 PM   #107
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Re: Sex GTO

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No. Just no. It literally *never crosses my mind* in the course of a day to beat my cat, to go rape the old lady who lives next door, to go shoot up a church, or anything else of the sort. It's not a conscious decision. It was never a conscious decision. Those courses of action (like almost all possible courses of action) don't even register as options. And I can certainly feel schadenfreude (and not feel guilty about it later), so it's not like I'm some slave to empathy or something.
Does it sometimes register as an option to not be attentive toward your cat and it's likes and dislikes? E.g. you may think you're too busy?

If so, even that gives enough meaning for the game to be gratifying.

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Old 05-01-2017, 10:54 PM   #108
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Re: Sex GTO

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Does it sometimes register as an option to not be attentive toward your cat and it's likes and dislikes? E.g. you may think you're too busy?
Of course. I don't sit on the toilet for infinite time after taking a dump just so I can keep petting the cat. Most of the time I'm not even thinking about it at all.

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If so, even that gives enough meaning for the game to be gratifying.
There's no game. Why do you keep repeating there's a game? I don't take any different sense of personal accomplishment from the length of extra time (if any) I spend on the ****ter petting my cat after I'm done wiping.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:15 AM   #109
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Re: Sex GTO

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Of course. I don't sit on the toilet for infinite time after taking a dump just so I can keep petting the cat. Most of the time I'm not even thinking about it at all.



There's no game. Why do you keep repeating there's a game? I don't take any different sense of personal accomplishment from the length of extra time (if any) I spend on the ****ter petting my cat after I'm done wiping.
You feel value in being as attentive (to your cat) as is necessary to appease your feelings and get some feel-goods. This is not because there is inherent value to being attentive as such. Rather the value is entirely generated by the game or heuristic you have running, whereby - being attentive/loving and identifying with such a character > being inattentive and identifying with a neglectful or careless or love-less character. Most often, the game need not be at the conscious level.

Your ego is stroking itself; it wants to feel good about who it identifies with; and who it doesn't, by contrast.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:46 AM   #110
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Re: Sex GTO

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Ok. How do you falsify your belief that everything humans do is ultimately the appeasing of feelings? What would hypothetically disprove your thesis? If you can't answer that, you have circular reasoning.
Easy game. Find people who have intact brains except for damage to their feely parts, or disconnect people's thinky parts from their feely parts either medically or through surgery.

The thinky parts are between the feely parts and the voluntary action parts, which simplifies things.

This has been both discovered and done, and these people just don't do much of anything that would be expected (if they had the normal emotions). It seems that there is no reason to do any cold-hard calculations on the proper course of action if you don't feel like doing cold-hard calculations. It just doesn't occur to them to do the calculations.

As small asides, the ego/id/superego thing is a stupid/na´ve way of looking at the world and cat people shouldn't try to pretend that they are related in any manner to the cognitive-emotional traits and states of normal humans.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:05 AM   #111
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Re: Sex GTO

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As small asides, the ego/id/superego thing is a stupid/na´ve way of looking at the world and cat people shouldn't try to pretend that they are related in any manner to the cognitive-emotional traits and states of normal humans.
The typology is outdated apparently (as used by Freud) and I'm not too familiar with it. That ego-games (as used by Watts) pervade all aspects of experience, is a different matter.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:30 AM   #112
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Re: Sex GTO

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The typology is outdated apparently (as used by Freud) and I'm not too familiar with it. That ego-games (as used by Watts) pervade all aspects of experience, is a different matter.
"All" is a bit too strong. We do try to act in a consistent manner (to some extent) and do try to act in line with what we believe is right or whatever group we belong to or aspire to think we belong to (to some extent), but it isn't a pervasive. For instance, the reason I didn't prepare a poop sandwich for myself tonight is entirely because of my lack of desire to eat a poop sandwich.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:00 AM   #113
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Re: Sex GTO

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Your ego-ridden response exemplifies Watts' views on the impossibility of escaping ego-games.
Wow, you are stuck in a confirmation bias/shoehorning trap so strong that you can no longer see outside.

Ego ego ego. Ego. Ego!
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I'm "trapped" while it is implied that you're "free" and some other subset of special humans to which you belong.
Nothing in my post implies superiority to you. That's your own ego ****ing up your understanding again. Indeed, I've called you highly intelligent. But it's curious how trapped your are in your little understanding bubble, a bubble woefully inadequate at understanding human nature.

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You insistently continue to draw divisions between you, as belonging to some special subset, and others, as belonging to a subset that is lesser in some important way.
Again, you interpret everything you see through an "ego must be causing this" filter. I'm strongly an individualist, I don't really believe in groups except to the extent shared culture and shared genes creates discernible patterns.

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Re-read your comments in this thread. Of all the posters ITT, you have been most guilty of this.
Not at all. I'm talking about classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder; it's purely a science-based discussion. If I was talking about whether we should classify ADHD or Borderline Personality as a mental disorder (which I have discussed before in depth), you wouldn't say a peep. Nor would you see ego. It's your own bigoted political beliefs that causes you to see ego in EXACTLY the same discussion about homosexuality, which is just a mental state like all the other things we try to classify.

The people throwing hate at opinions they don't like are the egoists - their sacred cows to which they have attached their egos/self worth/goodness as a person are being threatened, so they lash out.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:26 AM   #114
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Re: Sex GTO

I mean, let's look at this from another angle. Your hero Watts claims to have found the root cause of all human behavioral choices - the ego. Given how complex our brains, instincts and personalities are, and how varied our life experiences, how likely do you think it is that one word captures the genesis of all of this?

I mean, people throughout history have claimed to have found the source/genesis that explains all things - from God/the Devil to things as whacked out as Thetans, to things as plausible but false/incomplete as the id and evolutionary psychology.

Yet you thinlk Mr Watts has nailed it when he reduces human behavior to ego. Perhaps this guy is Mr Watts reincarnated?



At the very least, you need to add some id to your ego - one so you don't sound like a parrot with OCD, and two because id + ego captures a broader range of human behavior than just ego alone. Then throw in some dissociation, intellectualization, creativity, overriding will driven by neither ego or id, some need-fulfilling, and you'll start to get a more complete and less ridiculous view of human nature.

Last edited by ToothSayer; 05-02-2017 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:22 PM   #115
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Re: Sex GTO

The skenes gland located below the urethra is no different than the prostate, the clitoral bulbs which surround the entrance of the vaginal canal are no different than the shaft of the penis, the hymen ensures sex feels good later on, humans are fundamentally designed to be straight


Ego is the sum of perception, the energy passing through your mind, its otherwise insignificant
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:54 PM   #116
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Re: Sex GTO

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You feel value in being as attentive (to your cat) as is necessary to appease your feelings and get some feel-goods. This is not because there is inherent value to being attentive as such. Rather the value is entirely generated by the game or heuristic you have running, whereby - being attentive/loving and identifying with such a character > being inattentive and identifying with a neglectful or careless or love-less character. Most often, the game need not be at the conscious level.

Your ego is stroking itself; it wants to feel good about who it identifies with; and who it doesn't, by contrast.
That's utter nonsense. I don't pet the cat when I'm on the ****ter because I feel value in being attentive to it or I'd feel negative value in not petting it. It's basically reflex and takes no conscious thought. It puts its paws on me and I pet it. I'm often on my phone with the other hand while it's there. If I'm typing (instead of just browsing), it gets to stand there and head butt my arm, and I *don't care at all* that I'm not petting it at that moment. Sometimes I'm actively interested in the cat. Many times I'm not. It would be an exceptionally bizarre (and miserable for me) existence if I couldn't even take a ****ing dump without being bombarded with decisions full of emotional rewards/baggage. I'm not identifying with different hypothetical-character-versions-of-myself when I'm transitioning between typing+not petting/petting+not typing. I can seamlessly switch with zero ego/thought/emotional content whatsoever.

Your model is decent for a small number of decisions that do involve your kind of ego-battle deliberation, but the vast, vast, vast majority just don't, at all, in any way whatsoever.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:52 PM   #117
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Re: Sex GTO

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"All" is a bit too strong. We do try to act in a consistent manner (to some extent) and do try to act in line with what we believe is right or whatever group we belong to or aspire to think we belong to (to some extent), but it isn't a pervasive. For instance, the reason I didn't prepare a poop sandwich for myself tonight is entirely because of my lack of desire to eat a poop sandwich.
Not eating a poop sandwich is an experience? Dubious claim.
I could say that - not desiring to jump out of a 10 storey building today is part of my experience. But is it, really?

This will likely depend on how much you consider an abstract thought (preceded by or following no action) to comprise 'an experience' and our views here may differ.

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Old 05-02-2017, 06:55 PM   #118
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Re: Sex GTO

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That's utter nonsense. I don't pet the cat when I'm on the ****ter because I feel value in being attentive to it or I'd feel negative value in not petting it. It's basically reflex and takes no conscious thought. It puts its paws on me and I pet it. I'm often on my phone with the other hand while it's there. If I'm typing (instead of just browsing), it gets to stand there and head butt my arm, and I *don't care at all* that I'm not petting it at that moment. Sometimes I'm actively interested in the cat. Many times I'm not. It would be an exceptionally bizarre (and miserable for me) existence if I couldn't even take a ****ing dump without being bombarded with decisions full of emotional rewards/baggage. I'm not identifying with different hypothetical-character-versions-of-myself when I'm transitioning between typing+not petting/petting+not typing. I can seamlessly switch with zero ego/thought/emotional content whatsoever.

Your model is decent for a small number of decisions that do involve your kind of ego-battle deliberation, but the vast, vast, vast majority just don't, at all, in any way whatsoever.
You're hung up on the conscious element. As mentioned, they need not be conscious decisions, and especially for decisions of little consequence, such as that of when you pat the cat. And yes, with such "(non)decisions" perhaps there are better models. What would they be in your opinion?
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:22 AM   #119
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Re: Sex GTO

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You're hung up on the conscious element. As mentioned, they need not be conscious decisions, and especially for decisions of little consequence, such as that of when you pat the cat. And yes, with such "(non)decisions" perhaps there are better models. What would they be in your opinion?
If you're using ego to describe something with no conscious element, um, what the hell? I'm switching between actions with no emotion while placating my subconscious ego? The ****? There are plenty of conscious contemplated decisions that also have zero ego content- which thing am I going to cook today (I'll be cooking the other one tomorrow), etc.

People can have preferences that have no ego content, no level of identifying or not identifying with factual or counterfactual representations of themselves, or any other such nonsense. Basic stimulus-response (aka habit) is a far better model for most human behavior. There are like 500 different models for the narrow range of interesting decisions, and most of them have some element of truth in some specific situations while being obviously moronic in lots of others. It's not a trivial problem.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:01 PM   #120
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Re: Sex GTO

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If you're using ego to describe something with no conscious element, um, what the hell? I'm switching between actions with no emotion while placating my subconscious ego? The ****? There are plenty of conscious contemplated decisions that also have zero ego content- which thing am I going to cook today (I'll be cooking the other one tomorrow), etc.

People can have preferences that have no ego content, no level of identifying or not identifying with factual or counterfactual representations of themselves, or any other such nonsense. Basic stimulus-response (aka habit) is a far better model for most human behavior. There are like 500 different models for the narrow range of interesting decisions, and most of them have some element of truth in some specific situations while being obviously moronic in lots of others. It's not a trivial problem.
Would it be fair to say that - concious decisions or preferences of little consequence can be without ego content, but decisions or preferences of greater subjective importance must necessarily derive from the outcome of a conscious or subconscious ego deliberation?; including a decision for example of sacrificing oneself - in order to appease feelings/identify with one who loves selflessly.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:17 AM   #121
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Re: Sex GTO

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Not eating a poop sandwich is an experience? Dubious claim.
I could say that - not desiring to jump out of a 10 storey building today is part of my experience. But is it, really?

This will likely depend on how much you consider an abstract thought (preceded by or following no action) to comprise 'an experience' and our views here may differ.
Not having a desire to eat a poop sandwich is certainly part of any decent description of my experience. It is the sufficient reason why I didn't prepare one for myself. Any 1) belief I hold that I am not of the poop-sandwich eating persuasion 2) signaling to others that I don't partake in poop sandwiches or 3) anything else you can think of just doesn't come into play.

Your theory would be correct about me putting ketchup on hotdogs, perhaps.

You are being as strangely idealistic as Tooth is in this thread. Both missing the empirical forest for the theoretical trees.

I'm not sure about Tom. I can't get my head around the inner workings of cat "people." He got the "habit" and the difficulty of modeling human behavior thing correct, but I assume that he gathered this through years of studying the behaviors of real people.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:38 AM   #122
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Re: Sex GTO

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You are being as strangely idealistic as Tooth is in this thread. Both missing the empirical forest for the theoretical trees.
This "empirical forest" you see is largely an illusion. The research is crap, often unreplicated, publication biased, and conclusions and inferences are drawn from it that go far beyond what can be drawn from the data, which is usually little to nothing.

For example, take your homophobia = secret gay claims. In the study you posted, penises moved slightly (very slightly in terms of full arousal) more in the phobic group than the control group in 30 university students in the south. They moved in BOTH groups. But taboo, nervousness (this is a huge amount of empirical evidence for this unlike your single unreplicated study), novelty and strong emotion also causes arousal. And never mind that the "secret gay" men got full arousal on straight porn and tiny movement on gay porn. They must be closet gays, because that narrative conveniently backs up your bigotry. The claims you make on seeing the "empirical forest" are usually bogus...your empirical forest is just something you cherry pick (unscientifically and irrationally) to back up your prejudices, with not a care for science or reason and with zero skepticism.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:30 AM   #123
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Re: Sex GTO

Toothsayer what's your history in terms of education and career, as much as you're willing to say on the internet? I'm not trying to jump back in the argument or throw it in your face - you posted ITT that you have a science degree and I've found myself curious while reading your latest posts.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:56 AM   #124
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Re: Sex GTO

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This "empirical forest" you see is largely an illusion. The research is crap, often unreplicated, publication biased, and conclusions and inferences are drawn from it that go far beyond what can be drawn from the data, which is usually little to nothing.

For example, take your homophobia = secret gay claims. In the study you posted, penises moved slightly (very slightly in terms of full arousal) more in the phobic group than the control group in 30 university students in the south. They moved in BOTH groups. But taboo, nervousness (this is a huge amount of empirical evidence for this unlike your single unreplicated study), novelty and strong emotion also causes arousal. And never mind that the "secret gay" men got full arousal on straight porn and tiny movement on gay porn. They must be closet gays, because that narrative conveniently backs up your bigotry. The claims you make on seeing the "empirical forest" are usually bogus...your empirical forest is just something you cherry pick (unscientifically and irrationally) to back up your prejudices, with not a care for science or reason and with zero skepticism.
The study isn't just the study. There is that whole thing that they do in research articles where they discuss previous research.

Given your lack of belief in the studies that go against your ad hoc beliefs, it is surprising how quickly you are able to jump to strong conclusions from the results of other studies that could possibly (if you squint really hard and ignore several thousand alternative conclusions) support your ad hoc beliefs.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:26 PM   #125
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Re: Sex GTO

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Would it be fair to say that - concious decisions or preferences of little consequence can be without ego content, but decisions or preferences of greater subjective importance must necessarily derive from the outcome of a conscious or subconscious ego deliberation?; including a decision for example of sacrificing oneself - in order to appease feelings/identify with one who loves selflessly.
I don't think so. Even in decisions that clearly involve ego deliberation, sometimes the ego *loses*. Like an addict who's gotten clean and then agonizingly uses again. It's almost certain that he literally hates being that guy, in every sense of the word, and knows that in advance, but winds up becoming that guy again anyway.
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