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Topic: The Awesomesauce with Religion (Read 58266 times)

  • Frenzie
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The Awesomesauce with Religion
I suppose we need one of these.

Edit (20-02-2014): maybe a more positive title will make some difference? :)
  • Last Edit: 2014-02-20, 18:13:52 by Frenzie

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #25


Seems more like an imaginary friend.  ::)

It's indistinguishable from one. Nobody ever managed to come up with a halfway sane explanation on how the voice in his head created the universe yet they trot out that particular piece of nonsense every goddamn time.


+1 The voices in my head tell me to do random dumb things. I listen because they are real.  :P


  • ersi
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #26

I hope this thread won't get bantayed.

I think you just did. :devil:
religious philosopher William Lane Craig


It will get bantayed, if you support Krauss. I won't support Craig. He only serves as a readily available example for you to you get into the philosophical discourse. He is a perfectly legitimate philosopher. There are legitimate religious scientists too. It's just that argument from authority is among my least favourite tactics, so I endorse none of them.

From what I have seen, you are unfamiliar with the philosophical discourse, so, for a start, I am offering you an opportunity to catch up with logic and terminology. Anyway, no surprise if you are not interested. It's not easy or particularly interesting to make the effort to make sense as much as possible.

  • Macallan
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #27


Nobody ever managed to come up with a halfway sane explanation on how the voice in his head created the universe yet they trot out that particular piece of nonsense every goddamn time.

Trying to explain the 'inexplicable' is part of human nature.

Especially if it's only 'inexplicable' thanks to self-imposed, willful ignorance.


Besides, very handy if you can institutionalize a dogma turning it into an instrument of power.

Isn't that the whole point of any halfway organized religion ever?

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #28
From what I have seen, you are unfamiliar with the philosophical discourse, so, for a start, I am offering you an opportunity to catch up with logic and terminology. Anyway, no surprise if you are not interested. It's not easy or particularly interesting to make the effort to make sense as much as possible.

If the philosophical discourse you refer to displays the same disdain for accuracy and truth as yours or William Lain Craig's, it will only make sense as long as it's unconstrained by both. Unlike some atheists I certainly don't think that makes it useless, but it means you can often be just as egregiously wrong as a physicist speaking outside of their area of expertise when you confuse your thought experiment for reality. Especially if you consequently make claims about reality based on the results of your thought experiments.

  • ersi
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #29

From what I have seen, you are unfamiliar with the philosophical discourse, so, for a start, I am offering you an opportunity to catch up with logic and terminology. Anyway, no surprise if you are not interested. It's not easy or particularly interesting to make the effort to make sense as much as possible.

If the philosophical discourse you refer to displays the same disdain for accuracy and truth as yours or William Lain Craig's, it will only make sense as long as it's unconstrained by both. Unlike some atheists I certainly don't think that makes it useless, but it means you can often be just as egregiously wrong as a physicist speaking outside of their area of expertise when you confuse your thought experiment for reality. Especially if you consequently make claims about reality based on the results of your thought experiments.
Okay, let's begin :)

I'm perfectly okay with your insistence to not confuse a thought experiment with reality, but what is missing in this is your definition of reality. Now, here's a thing that may seem subtle, so please pay attention. If you refuse to define reality, then the discussion ends here, because you are unwilling to cooperate. The cooperation is necessary in order to avoid misunderstandings. And it's important to avoid misunderstandings in the ensuing discussion, right?

However, be aware that if you proceed with defining reality, you will be engaging in a pure thought experiment. And I will examine your thought experiment critically so as to determine its relevance, logical consistency, accuracy, applicability. I will do this precisely because by attempting to define reality you undertook a thought experiment that must not be confused with reality itself. In other words, I will be doing with your concepts and definitions exactly the same thing that you said you would do to me.

Then again, no proper science project escapes peer review. And surely you want to think of yourself as rigorously scientific and impeccably logical.

Ready? Define reality.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #30
Quote from: ersi

Ready? Define reality.


Three days later Frenzie keeps on thinking about. This is promising...  :)
A matter of attitude.

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #31
If every Christian disappeared so would your god like the ones before. Therefore nonexistent. Like your philosophy,  a pointless road to travel. Reality isn't related to how anyone imagines it. Meaning if your god was there we wouldn't need to have this conversation.

Funny now they want others to answer questions they couldn't. Are y'all expecting someone to make up answers like you did? Or more likely like the writers of whatever texts y'all wanna believe represents your reality did?

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #32


I suppose we need one of these.

A problem? Don't we all have plenty already?  ???



Ha Ha Mac there is life after Death !!!! :o Hey wheres the Beer cheers guy?

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #33

If every Christian disappeared so would your god like the ones before. Therefore nonexistent. Like your philosophy,  a pointless road to travel. Reality isn't related to how anyone imagines it. Meaning if your god was there we wouldn't need to have this conversation.

Funny now they want others to answer questions they couldn't. Are y'all expecting someone to make up answers like you did? Or more likely like the writers of whatever texts y'all wanna believe represents your reality did?


You forgot Jewish, Muslims, Vanuatu cargo god ect. ect. ect. 

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #34
Playing to an audience.  But that's examining the human condition and we're yet to establish its consistency with reality.

  • ersi
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #35

Quote from: ersi

Ready? Define reality.


Three days later Frenzie keeps on thinking about. This is promising...  :)

Looks like predicting the outcome was easy. Reductionist materialism does not admit logical and conceptual analysis as a valid form of proof. This is the problem of atheism: Simply not interested in the entire realm of existence. If reality remains undefined and unclear, then so there cannot be any proof for or against the reality of God. Neither for or against. All claims that God is unreal are as vain as the opposite claims, as long as reality or existence remain undefined.

Let's try this one then: Any consistent agnostics here?


If every Christian disappeared so would your god like the ones before. Therefore nonexistent.

This would of course apply to every shape and manner of human thought, including atheism.

Like your philosophy,  a pointless road to travel.

Surrounded by philosophical statements we find here a denial of philosophy.

Philosophy has clarified many definitions for me. I recommend methodical thinking to everyone plagued by doubts and caught at inconsistencies too often. Philosophy and logic are a matter of practising thought, they are practical.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #36
All claims that God is unreal are as vain as the opposite claims, as long as reality or existence remain undefined.

We don't need a perfectly delineated definition of reality in order to work with it--especially not when talking about facts directly verifiable or directly deducible through empiricism. However, I do like Philip K. Dick's quip: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." That is, reality is that which imposes the same kind of experiences on all of us; it exists independent of human thought or observation. Doubtless you'd come up with something clever to say about solipsism or some such, but you'd be quite correct to surmise I'm not interested.
I recommend methodical thinking to everyone plagued by doubts and caught at inconsistencies too often.

This is the problem with religion: putting metaphysics before epistomology. If you find reality is inconsistent, just admit you don't know instead of shoehorning the facts to align with your philosophy. When the facts contradict your beliefs, it's not the facts that should be adjusted.

  • ersi
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #37

All claims that God is unreal are as vain as the opposite claims, as long as reality or existence remain undefined.

We don't need a perfectly delineated definition of reality in order to work with it--especially not when talking about facts directly verifiable or directly deducible through empiricism.

The main point of my posts in this thread was exactly to emphasise that to presuppose empiricism in everything is presupposing too much. Surely you didn't miss this point.


However, I do like Philip K. Dick's quip: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." That is, reality is that which imposes the same kind of experiences on all of us; it exists independent of human thought or observation. Doubtless you'd come up with something clever to say about solipsism or some such, but you'd be quite correct to surmise I'm not interested.

Good quote, but I derive something totally different from it. There are many things that don't go away (and are thus real according to Philip Dick's definition) but about which people differ greatly. For example meaning of life. Is there one? What is it? Some people are greatly bothered by the question, others feel nothing. Then there are some who have the answer, whether you acknowledge it or not. Looking at the whole situation from afar unconcerned, observing those who wrestle with the question and those who don't, and the different answers and non-answers that people arrive at, you may be greatly amused at the different realities that people live in.

So, unless you are comfy with the meta-position (which I take you aren't: "Doubtless you'd come up with something clever..., but you'd be quite correct to surmise I'm not interested"), the definition of reality is rather relevant in our communication due to the evident fact that people have different realities.


I recommend methodical thinking to everyone plagued by doubts and caught at inconsistencies too often.

This is the problem with religion: putting metaphysics before epistomology. If you find reality is inconsistent, just admit you don't know instead of shoehorning the facts to align with your philosophy. When the facts contradict your beliefs, it's not the facts that should be adjusted.
In this post I presented a rather clear epistemological fact. I can explain the apparent inconsistencies in a consistent way, but it takes metaphysics to explain it. I presented my metaphysics to show what it's good for and in what way I use it, but I am kind enough to not force my metaphysics on you. Instead I'm giving you the chance to conjure up your own metaphysics that you think would work for you.

Looks like you are declining the offer. Thanks anyway.
  • Last Edit: 2013-12-12, 18:52:33 by ersi

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #38
To presuppose inventions of your psyche exist is an interesting way to gauge reality.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #39
The main point of my posts in this thread was exactly to emphasise that to presuppose empricism in everything is presupposing too much. Surely you didn't miss this point.

Neither science nor physics nor atheism presupposes any such thing. They presuppose that empiricism is a useful way to learn more about the world, which has been more than sufficiently confirmed. The better question is, why do you presuppose the opposite?

Good quote, but I derive something totally different from it. There are many things that don't go away (and are thus real according to Philip Dick's definition) but about which people differ greatly. For example meaning of life. Is there one? What is it? Some people are greatly bothered by the question, others feel nothing.

That is a pretty bizarre interpretation to say the least, although if you stick solely to the sentence in question it could be twisted that way. Just because it may be rather hard to stop believing something, doesn't mean it's real. Regardless what they just can't seem to stop believing, everyone is still born, grows old, and dies. Even if they think they are immortal.

Quote
Then there are some who have the answer, whether you acknowledge it or not.
I have the answer, thank you very much.

Instead I'm giving you the chance to conjure up your own metaphysics that you think would work for you.

Maybe--just maybe--it's patchy on purpose. Some check marks of good epistemology are the willingness to revise your beliefs and to say you don't know when you don't know. It should also consist of reason, rationality, and science. You attack these rather purposeful features as if they were a weakness. I think my view should be obvious by now: if your epistemology is missing one or more of those features, you're probably not saying anything meaningful at all.

  • Macallan
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #40

Ha Ha Mac there is life after Death !!!! :o

Sure, other people's ;)

  • Macallan
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #41


Quote from: ersi

Ready? Define reality.


Three days later Frenzie keeps on thinking about. This is promising...  :)

Looks like predicting the outcome was easy. Reductionist materialism does not admit logical and conceptual analysis as a valid form of proof. This is the problem of atheism: Simply not interested in the entire realm of existence.

That's true, not many people care about the voices in your head, or the fairies in your backyard. No amount of intellectual wankery is going to move them from your imagination to reality.


If reality remains undefined and unclear, then so there cannot be any proof for or against the reality of God. Neither for or against.

Quite obviously by design. Some people simply think that if you can't prove it wrong it must be right. Hence Russell's teapot.


All claims that God is unreal are as vain as the opposite claims, as long as reality or existence remain undefined.

Why exactly should we assume something to be real without the tiniest shred of evidence? If your god existed but would be undetectable by not interacting with anything, it would be indistinguishable from empty space.

  • Macallan
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #42

To presuppose inventions of your psyche exist is an interesting way to gauge reality.

Follows from Rule 34 - if it can be imagined, there will be porn about it, no exceptions. If there's porn about it, it obviously exists :right:

  • ersi
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #43

The main point of my posts in this thread was exactly to emphasise that to presuppose empricism in everything is presupposing too much. Surely you didn't miss this point.

Neither science nor physics nor atheism presupposes any such thing. They presuppose that empiricism is a useful way to learn more about the world, which has been more than sufficiently confirmed. The better question is, why do you presuppose the opposite?

I presuppose the opposite such as that empiricism is not a useful way to learn more about the world? I don't. I observe that empiricism is a way to learn about the world that imposes itself forcefully and this alone should raise suspicion about its usefulness, if you have capacity for critical thinking. Specific concerns are that the empirical way is either superficial or destructive. E.g. to examine an animal empirically, you either watch it from the outside or cut it up, kill it. Therefore proceed with caution when employing the empirical method. This caution is more important than empiricism (which doesn't mean that empiricism is absolutely useless - it only means it's limited). And note that it was not the empirical method by which I arrived at this conclusion of caution about empiricism. 

Just because it may be rather hard to stop believing something, doesn't mean it's real.

Which reminds me - and should have reminded you: Define "real".

Some check marks of good epistemology are the willingness to revise your beliefs and to say you don't know when you don't know. It should also consist of reason, rationality, and science. You attack these rather purposeful features as if they were a weakness. I think my view should be obvious by now: if your epistemology is missing one or more of those features, you're probably not saying anything meaningful at all.
As if I had been saying something different. Where did I attack reason, rationality and science? Where was I against revision of beliefs? I am against blowing the role of empiricism out of proportions so that it's raised over rationality.

Your self-contradiction on the other hand is marked. It could be easily remedied with proper rational prioritisation. The self-contradiction I refer to is emphasising empiricism as a great positive value in the first part of your post and rationality in the latter part, while ignoring that they are contradictory.
  • Last Edit: 2013-12-16, 07:46:48 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #44
And note that it was not the empirical method by which I arrived at this conclusion of caution about empiricism.
Holy smokes, Batman!

Which reminds me - and should have reminded you: Define "real".

Been there, done that. Your favorite physicist, Lawrence Krauss, had something interesting to say about it:

Quote from: Lawrence Krauss
To those who wish to impose their definition of reality abstractly, independent of emerging empirical knowledge and the changing questions that go with it, and call that either philosophy or theology, I would say this: Please go on talking to each other, and let the rest of us get on with the goal of learning more about nature.


Your self-contradiction on the other hand is marked. It could be easily remedied with proper rational prioritisation. The self-contradiction I refer to is emphasising empiricism as a great positive value in the first part of your post and rationality in the latter part, while ignoring that they are contradictory.
Empiricism provides the anchor to reality and truth that unbounded reason does not. While contradictory is the wrong word, the fact that they restrain each other is precisely the point.

  • ersi
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #45
Frenzie,

Your non-answers and lack of rigour are becoming very disappointing. But the fact is that I have to get along with you, so I will try to avoid picking on you directly. Luckily you gave some other guy to pick on.

Your favorite physicist, Lawrence Krauss, had something interesting to say about it:

Quote from: Lawrence Krauss
To those who wish to impose their definition of reality abstractly, independent of emerging empirical knowledge and the changing questions that go with it, and call that either philosophy or theology, I would say this: Please go on talking to each other, and let the rest of us get on with the goal of learning more about nature.
Okay. First, this quote from him does not address me, because I offered you a chance to define reality and existence on your own terms. I am not imposing my own definitions. The offer still holds, by the way. I exposed my definitions first, so you could see the way I reason. You don't have to go by my definitions. Spell out your alternatives and we can go by those. This is called generous.

Second, Krauss's non-answer yields the exact opposite result to his aims. He is supposed to be exposing religious dogmatism and irrationality, but with his lack of definitions (this quote is an excellent example of such, thanks Frenzie) and open rejection of the law of non-contradiction (in this particular quote, discouraging the "abstract" while promoting "changing questions" is self-contradictory) the result is that concepts that have come up thus far - empiricism, reality and existence - become unquestionable dogmas. Well, worse than dogmas. They are dogmatic, but without definitions they are also irrational mystified absolutes - religiously so.

Religious theology has not been this grievous. God has been absolutised, yes, but never undefined. The commandments may seem dogmatic, but their purpose is clear, graspable to anyone with common sense and they are also practical for everyday life.

In contrast, empiricism's purpose is utterly unclear. There's talk of progress, but no talk about where the progress should take us to. There's no ethical check on it. And my attempts to call for a definition of reality and existence from you - generously as per your convenience, not as per mine - are only met with irrational scorn.

So, for balance let's reformulate your marginally interesting outsider's test that you brought up in the other thread. Let's reformulate it so as to suit everyone, not just traditional religion. How many of us were born into the religion/ideology we currently confess to? I suppose only SF. And probably half of the atheists. Makes a funny bunch to look at from the outside :)

So, we need to reformulate the outsider's test so as to be applicable to everyone. Let's say that the main idea in it is that there's a standard for presented arguments. Impartial standard. The standard is this: When you criticise and reject a form of argument that the opponent presents in support of his own concepts, thou shalt not use the same form of argument to support your own concepts. Conversely, when you accept a form of argument to support your own concepts, thou shalt also accept the same form of argument in support of the opponent's concepts.

Example: I like definitions. I laid out my definitions as a metaphysical concept system to have a place both for everything existent and everything non-existent. The topic is religion, where the current charge is that God does not exist, has no proof-evidence-verification, and/or is unreal. As per my standard, for these objections to apply, existence, proof-evidence-verification and reality must be defined. Why? Because those are the things that the charge is about. Otherwise the objections don't apply. Am I really asking too much?

Moreover, when there's the charge that God does not exist, has no proof-evidence-verification and is unreal, then it would be nice of the chargers to not leave their own key concepts open to the same charge. The quote from Krauss is a good example here. He doesn't define or prove any of his concepts. He complains about reality being defined abstractly, without giving his own concrete definition. He also complains about reality being defined independently from emerging empirical knowledge, without spelling out the relationship or dependence that the two are supposed to have. He suggests that reality be tied to changing questions that go along with emerging empirical knowledge, but if so, then this make the definition of reality necessarily fluid and malleable - changing, the exact opposite of concrete. So,  the brief quote from Krauss is  a failure by its own standards. And the charger's standards are the first ones to try in the outsider's test, to be properly impartial.

The standard to be used in the test is exposed by the charge itself. Krauss is criticising abstractions, lack of emphasis on empirical knowledge and lack of flexibility ("changing questions"), while his own statement is vague (no concrete definitions) and does not stem from empirical knowledge of any sort (as in citation of specific sources or reference to some empirical objects). He is criticising undefined unreferenced general concepts in a statement completely consisting of undefined unreferenced general concepts. Some of these concepts he condemns ("abstract", "philosophy", "theology") while he promotes others ("[concrete] reality", "empirical knowledge", "changing questions", "nature"), but since all the concepts lack definitions, the charge is perfectly convertible, meaning that the concepts he promotes obtain the qualities that he condemns - abstractness, philosophy, theology. Thus the statement fails the test.

Clear enough?

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #46
I appreciate that quote from Lawrence Krauss.
Rephrasing it with my own words: Too much philosophying leads to bullshit.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #47
Rephrasing it with my own words: Too much philosophying leads to bullshit.


Too less leads to atheism.
A matter of attitude.

Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #48
Nice! I like it!  ;D

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Problem with Religion
Reply #49
Course you do. Atheism it's easy.
Soo simple, no effort at all.
A matter of attitude.