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General => DnD Central => Topic started by: Frenzie on 2013-11-30, 14:32:23

Title: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-11-30, 14:32:23
Too little basic human decency.

http://skepchick.org/2011/12/reddit-makes-me-hate-atheists/
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-01, 10:42:46
See? when atheists don't speak, there's absolutely no problem with atheism... :)

(of course, some, more purists than I am, could always object that they don't speak but they think...)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-01, 17:10:23

Too little basic human decency.

http://skepchick.org/2011/12/reddit-makes-me-hate-atheists/

Pick any group of living humans that is non-trivial in size, you're guaranteed to find your share of idiots, psychos, assholes and so on. Why would atheists be any different in that regard? It's not like lack of belief in some spook in the sky automatically makes you a better, or even a decent ( let alone rational ) human being.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-01, 17:17:14
Yup. I think a more accurate description of "the" problem is that being an atheist doesn't really mean anything. You're an atheist, and then what? That's the part that matters.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-01, 17:30:48

Yup. I think a more accurate description of "the" problem is that being an atheist doesn't really mean anything. You're an atheist, and then what? That's the part that matters.

One reason why I never joined any real life atheist groups. There's always someone ( or more than one ) who wants to attach more to it, which inevitably turns it into something I won't want to be associated with.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: krake on 2013-12-01, 18:10:54

See? when atheists don't speak, there's absolutely no problem with atheism... :)

Isn't this valid for both directions? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 01:39:21


See? when atheists don't speak, there's absolutely no problem with atheism... :)

Isn't this valid for both directions? :)

Valid in any direction if you don't have anything to support your position.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 02:55:43
The Problem with Atheism .... Nice subject, with a very simple answer.

The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

The Problem with Atheism is that hate is the only answer they have to the existence of God.







Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 04:01:53

The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

You mean everyone who regurgitates the same old crap, again, that wasn't convincing, valid or even coherent the last five million times ::)


The Problem with Atheism is that hate is the only answer they have to the existence of God.

Weapon grade projection. You should see a doctor about that.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 05:44:51


The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

You mean everyone who regurgitates the same old crap, again, that wasn't convincing, valid or even coherent the last five million times ::)


So are  you, Macallan, going to break the mold, & be the very first Atheist that can actually disprove God?(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/exitstageright.gif)

It's never been done, but feel free ...... go ahead, I'd like to hear you, Macallan, disprove the existence of God,

Or, are you just going to continue the endless fountains of hate Atheists worldwide are known for spewing when faced with having to disprove God's existence, & they can't?   

We're waiting .....  Atheists & the Faithful alike ........ (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F3MUqHXo.gif&hash=db591489dd2283595b3b91024406a271" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/3MUqHXo.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 06:09:46



The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

You mean everyone who regurgitates the same old crap, again, that wasn't convincing, valid or even coherent the last five million times ::)


So are  you, Macallan, going to break the mold, & be the very first Atheist that can actually disprove God?(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/exitstageright.gif)

Why exactly would I want to disprove something that isn't supported by any kind of evidence to begin with?
That said, I'll gladly disprove your god ( whichever christian variety it happens to be ) right after you show me undeniable proof that Vishnu does in fact not exist, and never did. Or Cthulhu. Or unicorns. Or any other deity you don't believe in.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 06:32:11
Quote from: Macallan
Why exactly would I want to disprove something that isn't supported by any kind of evidence to begin with?


Nice dodge, but still waiting......waiting for you to simply disprove God's existence.

Quote from: Macallan
That said, I'll gladly disprove your god ( whichever christian variety it happens to be ) right after you show me undeniable proof that Vishnu does in fact not exist, and never did. Or Cthulhu. Or unicorns. Or any other deity you don't believe in.


I don't care about any organized religion, or belief other than my own.

My faith is all I need to realize the existence of God, a God you seemingly refuse to disprove, even though you say you gladly can.

So far all I hear is  a lot of hot wind, stressful frustration no doubt, & name calling ............ so when are you going to disprove the existence of God?

Or, could it just be your faith in your own Atheism is buckling from the pressure of your own boastfulness?

So when are you going to disprove the existence of God?

I say you flat out can't.

My moneys on that you'll probably resort to some bogus reasoning, to avoid having to eat crow, & you'll dart off, tail between legs,  rather than disproving anything.

Then again, we may just see the beginning of an end ........ that is if you're willing to concede to the fact that you simply can't disprove the existence of God, & be done with it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 06:41:12

Quote from: Macallan
Why exactly would I want to disprove something that isn't supported by any kind of evidence to begin with?

Nice dodge, but still waiting......waiting for you to simply disprove God's existence.

Nope, just pointing out your double standards and general lack of logical consistency.


Quote from: Macallan
That said, I'll gladly disprove your god ( whichever christian variety it happens to be ) right after you show me undeniable proof that Vishnu does in fact not exist, and never did. Or Cthulhu. Or unicorns. Or any other deity you don't believe in.

I don't care about any organized religion, or belief other than my own.

Mother of all dodges. So you demand that I accept your god's existence without any evidence whatsoever, yet you are unwilling to apply the same to yourself? Can't say I'm surprised.


My faith is all I need to realize the existence of God, a God you seemingly refuse to disprove, even though you say you gladly can.

Irrelevant to your god's actual existence.


So far all I hear is  a lot of hot wind, stressful frustration no doubt, & name calling ............ so when are you going to disprove the existence of God?

You can read, can you? I said right after you disprove Vishnu, Cthulhu, unicorns or any other deity of your choice.


Or, could it just be your faith in your own Atheism is buckling from the pressure of your own boastfulness?

Missing the point by a mile, as usual. Why on earth would I even consider the possibility that your god may exist anywhere else than your head only?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 06:55:50
Quote from: Macallan
Mother of all dodges. So you demand that I accept your god's existence without any evidence whatsoever, yet you are unwilling to apply the same to yourself? Can't say I'm surprised.


You're the Athiest.....this thread is labeled "The Problem With Athiesm"

I need not prove my Faith, but the burden of proof is all yours regarding the "Problem with Atheism" as I initially assert way back.

So far you are already proving I'm right, by your avoiding my initial direct question ....... can you simply disprove the existence of God? ..... last chance ...  Macallan, the ref is about to count you out!!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 07:03:51

Quote from: Macallan
Mother of all dodges. So you demand that I accept your god's existence without any evidence whatsoever, yet you are unwilling to apply the same to yourself? Can't say I'm surprised.

You're the Athiest.....this thread is labeled "The Problem With Athiesm", the burden of proof is all yours.

Holy mother of non-sequitur, Batman!
So you accept that Cthulhu exists?


I need not prove my Faith, but you are already proving I'm right, by your avoiding my initial direct question ....... can you simply disprove the existence of God? ..... last chance ...  Macallan, the ref is about to count you out!!

For the 3rd time, since you're apparently a little slow - why would I want to prove the non-existence of something without the tiniest shred of evidence that it actually might exist? You claim that your god exists yet you are entirely unable to support your claim. You attempt to handwave the non-existence of any other deity that's supported by the same amount of evidence yet you demand that I disprove your particular delusion? Sorry, as things stand your god is indistinguishable from a delusion.
I'll happily accept the existence of the voice in your head ( nothing unusual about that ). I'll refuse to accept that it's some sort of god without decent evidence.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 07:54:54
Quote from: Macallan
........ why would I want to prove the non-existence of something without the tiniest shred of evidence that it actually might exist? You claim that your god exists yet you are entirely unable to support your claim. You attempt to handwave the non-existence of any other deity that's supported by the same amount of evidence yet you demand that I disprove your particular delusion? Sorry, as things stand your god is indistinguishable from a delusion. I'll happily accept the existence of the voice in your head ( nothing unusual about that ). I'll refuse to accept that it's some sort of god without decent evidence.


So you can't disprove the existence of God....you admit it.
All bark, & no bite.....just dodge, & avoid doing the manly thing....admit you cant do it & end your charade & tap dance.

I thought not, being no Atheist ever has been able to before you, I'm not at all surprised you couldn't.

I don't have a burden of proof here....your the Atheist who says He doesn't exist, but cant begin to back up the assertion...step one.

All you've proven is that you are seething with hate ..... & if somehow you're right (which you're not).... seething with hate of what you say is a non existent god.


Case closed.......that's the "Problem with Atheism"

When push comes to shove, they all fall to jelly.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 08:15:32

Quote from: Macallan
........ why would I want to prove the non-existence of something without the tiniest shred of evidence that it actually might exist? You claim that your god exists yet you are entirely unable to support your claim. You attempt to handwave the non-existence of any other deity that's supported by the same amount of evidence yet you demand that I disprove your particular delusion? Sorry, as things stand your god is indistinguishable from a delusion. I'll happily accept the existence of the voice in your head ( nothing unusual about that ). I'll refuse to accept that it's some sort of god without decent evidence.


So you can't disprove the existence of God....you admit it.

Since by 'God' you mean 'the voice in your head'...


All bark, & no bite.....just dodge, & avoid doing the manly thing....admit you cant do it & end your charade & tap dance.

For the last time, I'll type reallllly slow this time so maybe you can follow it this time.
I will disprove your god as soon as you disprove Vishnu, Cthulhu, unicorns or any other deity. Obviously you're unable to do so.


I don't have a burden of proof here....your the Atheist who says He doesn't exist, but cant begin to back up the assertion...step one.

You really need to learn some logic. You make the claim that your god exists, you support it. Or admit that you also believe in Vishnu, unicorns, or Cthulhu. You're not one of these damn hypocrites, are you? ::)


All you've proven is that you are seething with hate ..... & if somehow you're right (which you're not).... seething with hate of what you say is a non existent god.

If you had any reading comprehension you'd know that I didn't even try to prove anything. Why don't you just stop bullshitting for a minute?
Still waiting for your disproof of Vishnu. Or supporting evidence for your god.


When push comes to shove, they all fall to jelly.

Weapon grade projection. Again.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 08:19:17

The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

The problem with people like you is that they think this is an actual argument ::)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 09:02:30
Noun: atheism
The doctrine or belief that there is no God.

Your whole Atheist existence is predicated on a belief in a doctrine (which oddly enough denotes some form of faith) that says something doesn't exist, but it's impossible for you to support your position either way on it's existence.  What a dichotomy.

Whereas my belief in my God is predicated by my personal Faith in my God, & that Faith doesn't require proving His existence to anyone/anything, least of all you.

Whatever..........God still loves you, want him to or not.

I've come to the conclusion that not believing in His existence poses neither Him or me any threat.

We wish you peace, though somehow I doubt you'll experience any,  during this Holy Season. (https://www.smileyfaze.tk/thumbs/grin.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2013-12-02, 09:22:43
Well I'm agnostic, which accepts that neither religion nor atheism can prove they are right.

But of the two it should be easier to prove something exists if, in fact, it really does exist, than prove something does not exist where there is no evidence one way or the other.

Of the two, the atheist viewpoint has logic on its side.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 09:42:09
Quote from: String
Of the two, the atheist viewpoint has logic on its side.


OK, being empirical evidence back then was impossible to glean, explain the logic in how:

  Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.
  Planets and stars formed from space dust.
  Matter created life by itself.
  Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves.
  Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals).

None of the above proves that God exists, but as an Agnostic the proposition of His existence should pose stronger than the doubt of His existence.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-02, 10:45:53

Well I'm agnostic, which accepts that neither religion nor atheism can prove they are right.


That's not exactly Agnosticism...

Agnosticism it's different and consists in realizing that the ultimate truths, as the existence or not of God, are inaccessible to the human spirit. It realizes perfectly the paradox of God's definition (in the sense of a total and global human mental comprehension) and basically adopts a posture of "denial of knowledge" - A-Gnosis, therefore the word. An agnostic knows that he can't ever know.

It's the maximum expression of Man's finitude and insignificance and a refusal and disbelief about the possibility of Man's divine origin and soul.

A very different thing from what I see people normally using it, which is just a form of dismissal attitude - I don't know and I find it futile to know.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 11:36:44

Your whole Atheist existence is predicated on a belief in a doctrine (which oddly enough denotes some form of faith) that says something doesn't exist, but it's impossible for you to support your position either way on it's existence.  What a dichotomy.

Nonsense.
Believe it or not, but most atheists don't 'unbelieve' in your god like you do believe in yours.
And that thing about "it's impossible for you to support your position" is a plain old lie. For the millionth time - why would I want to believe in your god? Where is it other than in your head only?


Whereas my belief in my God is predicated by my personal Faith in my God, & that Faith doesn't require proving His existence to anyone/anything, least of all you.

So the previous statement is weapon grade projection. Again.


Whatever..........God still loves you, want him to or not.

So does Vishnu. Why should I believe in your god instead of Vishnu?


I've come to the conclusion that not believing in His existence poses neither Him or me any threat.

More weapon grade projection. So you do feel threatened by the mere existence of non-believers and because of that you keep making up nonsense about them, as shown in this thread.


We wish you peace, though somehow I doubt you'll experience any,  during this Holy Season. (https://www.smileyfaze.tk/thumbs/grin.gif)

Not if you and your ilk can help it, huh? ::)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 11:45:59

Quote from: String
Of the two, the atheist viewpoint has logic on its side.


OK, being empirical evidence back then was impossible to glean, explain the logic in how:

  Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.
  Planets and stars formed from space dust.
  Matter created life by itself.
  Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves.
  Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals).

The only way this could support any kind of god ( let alone yours in particular ) would be if the existence of any being capable of creating all that could be shown. Which it can't, what you're doing is merely an argument from ignorance. "we don't know therefore god" stopped being convincing at least 200 years ago.
Not to mention that half of the list above is a strawman anyway.


None of the above proves that God exists, but as an Agnostic the proposition of His existence should pose stronger than the doubt of His existence.

Only if you're ignorant enough to assume that existence requires a god ( circular logic, don't you love it? )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-02, 12:00:15


Well I'm agnostic, which accepts that neither religion nor atheism can prove they are right.


That's not exactly Agnosticism...

Agnosticism it's different and consists in realizing that the ultimate truths, as the existence or not of God, are inaccessible to the human spirit. It realizes perfectly the paradox of God's definition (in the sense of a total and global human mental comprehension) and basically adopts a posture of "denial of knowledge" - A-Gnosis, therefore the word. An agnostic knows that he can't ever know.

It's the maximum expression of Man's finitude and insignificance and a refusal and disbelief about the possibility of Man's divine origin and soul.

Well, any sufficiently powerful being could certainly hide from all of us as long as it wants, thereby rendering its existence unknowable. To us. The existence of any such beings which don't interact with the world in any measurable way ( otherwise we'd be able to detect them ) is indistinguishable from them not existing. Or rather, it makes no difference either way, which renders the term pretty much meaningless.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2013-12-02, 13:28:23


Well I'm agnostic, which accepts that neither religion nor atheism can prove they are right.


That's not exactly Agnosticism...

Agnosticism it's different and consists in realizing that the ultimate truths, as the existence or not of God, are inaccessible to the human spirit. It realizes perfectly the paradox of God's definition (in the sense of a total and global human mental comprehension) and basically adopts a posture of "denial of knowledge" - A-Gnosis, therefore the word. An agnostic knows that he can't ever know.

It's the maximum expression of Man's finitude and insignificance and a refusal and disbelief about the possibility of Man's divine origin and soul.

A very different thing from what I see people normally using it, which is just a form of dismissal attitude - I don't know and I find it futile to know.
Actually I wasn't trying to define the meaning of Agnostic but just one aspect of thinking. But if someone wants to drag some flawed definition out for view then I retreat and shall call myself an agnostic Agnostic which means to me that I see no proven benefit in believing one way or the other and certainly not a denial of ultimate truth where there is no such thing.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2013-12-02, 13:41:05

Quote from: String
Of the two, the atheist viewpoint has logic on its side.


OK, being empirical evidence back then was impossible to glean, explain the logic in how:

  Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.
  Planets and stars formed from space dust.
  Matter created life by itself.
  Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves.
  Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals).

None of the above proves that God exists, but as an Agnostic the proposition of His existence should pose stronger than the doubt of His existence.


All those questions, possibly bar the first, have some form of scientific hypothesis based on observation of the World or Universe around us. unlike deities they can be tested against the observable world.

The first is interesting because it is not obvious that it is a valid question. The concept of things having a beginning and an end is essentially anthropermorphic. How can we know that there was a point in time when things "began"?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2013-12-02, 13:57:27
1. I'm neither. Maybe skeptic or schizoph... Ok...
2. They weren't questions, string. And, as a linguist I clearly see what's wrong with the very approach: the approach implies that "there must be a CONSCIOUS force", that without such [CONSCIOUS!] a force even a chicken won't lay. Such an approach reveals an obviously mythological thinking, i.e. like a child unable to CLEARLY tell between what is real and what is not.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 20:50:18
Quote from: Macallan
.... why would I want to believe in your god?.....
..... So does Vishnu. Why should I believe in your god instead of Vishnu?

Who, or what you personally believe in is between you & yourself. I don't seek to affect any of your beliefs, even if I could.

I never demanded or even asked you to believe in, or not in believe, in God or any Supreme Being.

Secondly, what you do believe in, or for that matter, what you do not believe in, is simply not my concern or care.

The only thing I requested from you was to disprove the existence of God........period.

You chose not to for 2 reasons.......because you didn't want to, & because I didn't fulfill your prerequisites,  which I contend, you inserted because you figured it was a clever way of avoiding the proposition to disprove the unprovable......the existence of God.

Your personal motives no longer matter.....actually, to be perfectly honest, they never did.

I hereby permanently withdraw my unfulfillable request.

I can never prove the existence of God in any tangible way, much the same as you can never disprove the existence of God, no matter how much effort you employ in doing so.

Again, I don't care a curly hair what you believe, or don't believe.....that's between you & yourself.

Your existence is not a threat to me in any way whatsoever ..... personally I wish you a very long & happy life believing in what you do, & disbelieving in what you do too.

I don't hate you, or wish you any malice.  Never did.

I don't consider you an enemy or mortal adversary.

If you choose to hate dislike me because of what I believe in, that's an emotion controllable by you & you alone.

(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/captianboat.gif)You are the Captain of that ship.



Cheers (https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/cheerskj4.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-02, 23:25:39
Quote from: An earlier post by String
.......The first is interesting because it is not obvious that it is a valid question. The concept of things having a beginning and an end is essentially anthropermorphic...........


Quote from: An earlier post by Me
......Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.......


Ok...The quote directly above is the first item in the list I presented.

As a point of reference, I hope that is the point of query you question the validity of.

Is it your personal opinion that time, space, & matter always existed? 

Either way, could your opinion be based upon the fact that you don't have any tangible reference point to confirm your contention, & that being true, a random toss of the coin to determine whether they came into existence or not would leave far too much to chance?

Firstly, how is that first item specifically describing a concept of a beginning coupled with an end, & secondly how in the world do you derive anthropomorphism from it?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-03, 01:18:30

Quote from: Macallan
.... why would I want to believe in your god?.....
..... So does Vishnu. Why should I believe in your god instead of Vishnu?

Who, or what you personally believe in is between you & yourself. I don't seek to affect any of your beliefs, even if I could.

Missing the point by a mile. Again.
You pretend that belief in your god is somehow the default, that there's plenty evidence to support it ( which you consistently fail to provide ). All the vague nonsense you brought up in favour of your god would work just as well for any of the others. Why did you pick yours over the others?


The only thing I requested from you was to disprove the existence of God........period.

And I told you about a million times by now that this demand is absolute nonsense. You make an outlandish claim, fail to support it in any meaningful way, therefore rejection of your claim is the reasonable position.


You chose not to for 2 reasons.......because you didn't want to, & because I didn't fulfill your prerequisites,  which I contend, you inserted because you figured it was a clever way of avoiding the proposition to disprove the unprovable......the existence of God.

Spare us the babble. We know your favourite strawman by now since you drag his poor ass out every other post. That doesn't magically turn him into anything else than a strawman.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-03, 02:23:19
Quote from: An earlier post by Macallan
You pretend that belief in your god is somehow the default, that there's plenty evidence to support it


I do?  

Where did  you see this?

Are you sure you aren't just falling to an over-active imagination?

I've alluded to nothing of the sort, but if you really really believe I did....please quote my statement........if you don't mind.....thank you(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/adoreen7.gif)

Quote from: An earlier post by Macallan
You make an outlandish claim


What, in your words, "outlandish claim" was that --- regarding what???

Quote my statement please ..... naturally, if you don't mind.
I honestly think you might be over-reacting a tad.

Are you having a bad day?

I hope not.

Quote from: An earlier post byMacallan
We know your favourite strawman by now since you drag his poor ass out every other post.


Who is, in your own words, who is "strawman"..............who's , in your words, "poor ass" do I drag out in every other post?

I never spoke of anyone called "strawman".

Who is he?

Quote me the post where I did.....please....if you don't mind.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-03, 02:44:21
Quote from: smileyfaze

Quote from: An earlier post by Macallan
You make an outlandish claim


What in your words "outlandish claim" was that --- regarding what?

Now that's a silly question even by your standards. I'm sure you can figure it out.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-03, 02:55:40
Quote from: An earlier post by Macallan
Now that's a silly question ........ figure it out.


Cute, but non-productive to the discussion.

So, based by your response, there wasn't any "outlandish claim" was there then.

If you say there was, then it's imperative that you quote my, in your words--not mine, my "outrageous claim" you speak of!

Then again, if there wasn't any "outrageous claim" as you claim, then I can see your unfortunate dilemma. (https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/yes02ix3.gif)

In any event, your response is suspect of one lacking candor.

If we don't communicate our differences clearly, how are we to properly enunciate our problems concerning our differences, in order to eventually eradicate them -- if at all possible?

That should be the goal, no?

I'm trying......but you're not being very helpful at all.

Why do you like to be so evasive --- you know that you are, don't you?   Why?

I never asked, & your profile doesn't say, I know you're 39 years of age, but are you perhaps Female?

Not that I'm saying over-reactiveness, coupled with evasiveness is solely a female trait, hell you might just be male, & have those faults too.

Whatever, this may just be an unfortunate impasse, but if we work together, can be overcome. (https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/yesyesyes.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2013-12-03, 09:06:57
Always in circles. They never see the fault and always act like this is the first conversation ever held on the subject.

If you can't prove something is there why would anyone need to prove it isn't there? That lack of logical reasoning is why christianity breeds ignorance. When superstition leads you to believe outlandish things and you start thinking it's another's place to disprove your delusion, you've missed the point of why it's called a "belief". There's nothing to distinguish one god from another. In fact most of your god's stories were stolen/borrowed from the other gods. You then have to accept them all as probably real, and in doing so open the door to more evidence against the idea of gods in reality. Or accept yours is no different and therefore probably no more real. Since we aren't going to have a discussion on you proving Zeus isn't real you can stop your dodging around with trivial "I don't care about you, but you can't answer my question" bullshit. If everything I can't prove doesn't exist then does exist because I can't prove otherwise... Well i'll stop there because that's the difference. I accept I don't know without a need to fill the gap with magic. You're already tripping over basic fallacies. Like looking to reason yourself into a beginning of nothing, you can't prove, just so your god can be there  to start it all... which then eliminates you argument that nothing can even exist. Circular arguments usually from christians not accustom to how little sense their deeply held beliefs make.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-03, 09:44:00
Quote from: SmileyFaze

Quote from: An earlier post by String
.......The first is interesting because it is not obvious that it is a valid question. The concept of things having a beginning and an end is essentially anthropermorphic...........


Quote from: An earlier post by Me
......Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.......


Firstly, how is that first item specifically describing a concept of a beginning coupled with an end, & secondly how in the world do you derive anthropomorphism from it?


It's obvious that in no way the problem you raised (how is it possible that Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves) has any connection with anthropomorphism or some sort of beginning/end vision.

The sort of atheism represented by the Forum atheists uses a simple strategy of discussion for answering your question (as any other you may raise).

1. One answers something totally unrelated with your arguments.
2. Another, will accuse you of circular logic.
3. Another one, will accuse you of intellectual fallacy. If inspired, he can mention something related to Cutchu Cutchu...
4. Another one will start babbling about the big bang.
5. The last one will accuse you of ignorance.

Since they posted five times while you posted once, they believe to have "demonstrated" that you are wrong.

If you, SmileyFaze, I would not spend too much time with it. A couple of well humored posts are enough too keep them busy and happy. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2013-12-03, 10:03:42
While Christians usually just replay the same trick.

Crying doesn't relieve ignorance. Only god does for you. But then you've just invented a way to justify it.

The amount of stupid that comes from Christianity and Islam speaks for its self. That's not all people involved but the ideology religion perpetuates breeds ignorance. If you can't accept that view is valid you're lost in any meaningful discussion defining a group you then can't understand.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-03, 10:31:43

The amount of stupid that comes from Christianity and Islam speaks for its self.


Oops, I forgot that one.
Consider it the sixth step of my unpretentious atheist's manual. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2013-12-03, 10:57:35
You concede the point when you dodge to posting style commentary.  Meta that.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-03, 12:30:08

Quote from: An earlier post by Macallan
Now that's a silly question ........ figure it out.


Cute, but non-productive to the discussion.

What discussion? All you do is waffling around.


So, based by your response, there wasn't any "outlandish claim" was there then.

Your god. You claim it exists and attempt to handwave any question for proof. Yet you loudly demand proof from the other side. Typical christian hypocrisy or is it just you?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-03, 12:35:29

It's obvious that in no way the problem you raised (how is it possible that Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves) has any connection with anthropomorphism or some sort of beginning/end vision.

Special pleading - check ::)


The sort of atheism represented by the Forum atheists uses a simple strategy of discussion for answering your question (as any other you may raise).

1. One answers something totally unrelated with your arguments.

Weapon grade projection - check


2. Another, will accuse you of circular logic.

Maybe stop using circular "logic" then ::)
Whining about being called out for bullshit - check


3. Another one, will accuse you of intellectual fallacy. If inspired, he can mention something related to Cutchu Cutchu...

If you have trouble understanding an argument feel free to ask :)


4. Another one will start babbling about the big bang.

Which, unlike your or anyone else's god, has some supporting evidence.


5. The last one will accuse you of ignorance.

Gee, I wonder why ::)
( see 3. and 4. for a hint )

Since they posted five times while you posted once, they believe to have "demonstrated" that you are wrong.

More weapon grade projection.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-03, 17:20:56
This was supposed to be about atheism, but is more about bantaying. Maybe the religion thread is more reasonable. I'll go take a look...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-03, 18:23:30
Quote from: ersi

This was supposed to be about atheism [...]


Of course it isn't, this is an open book about the atheist mentality, which is a completely different thing.
My role being solely to put them speaking. They do the rest with such a motivation that turns heart touching.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-03, 19:05:10
Well, all the answers from the Atheist lot have redoubled my original posting.

Quote from: An earlier post by Me ... https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg791#msg791
The Problem with Atheism .... Nice subject, with a very simple answer.

The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

The Problem with Atheism is that hate is the only answer they have to the existence of God.


The only change I'd make to the above statement is I'd strike the word 'only' from the last sentence.

I've gone as far as stating clearly that my belief in the existence of a (my) God is solely from my Faith---my personal, individual, solitary Faith.....I also stated in another post that I could not prove His existence in any tangible way.

So me having to prove God's  existence was never a valid issue in relation to the threads title "The Problem with Atheism" , but that became center focus of an uncalled for barrage of unwarranted criticisms that followed.

The Atheist posts are a testimony solidifying my simple, but highly accurate, depiction..........My Point was proven, without a shred of doubt...........

Now for my departing rant....

I swear, if you listen to the Atheist sounds, it's like the sequel you'd expect from little altar boys as they're being raped by the parish priest, or even their communal psychiatrist, unsuccessfully treating them for their paranoid schizophrenia!

Talk about projection......complaints about "outlandish claims" that were never made --- not by me anyway, & after re-reading all the posts, it is quite obvious any purported 'outlandish claims'that I'm being accused of either must have been made by someone else & somewhere else, or the understanding & meaning of the word of 'outlandish' is totally absent from the Atheist's dictionary.....

'Outlandish Claims' in the mind of the Atheist now comes to mean = any post/any statement by a non-atheist that the Atheist disagrees with, any time--any place .... no other conditions required.

Arguments weak as piss are all you get from the atheist camp here.

And, the vitriol personally lodged against me............I'm not even religious............I haven't seen the inside of a church since the '80s, but yet because I declared that I simply believed in God, I became the focus of the Atheist scorn.

But, the Atheist attempts to have the readers believe I'm demanding that they all drop to their knees, & swear allegiance to my God, pledging total & complete blind faith submission to my beliefs, as if I was holding a hair-trigger colt to the back of his little beady head.

Like I give a rats ass in what & of whom they believe in.................I couldn't care less, & I never have!!!!

Need an example of 'outlandish', all you have to do is read the Atheist's words, see the vitriol flow.

Well, I've proven my statement regarding the actual title of this thread "The Problem with Atheism", & that the Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate & scorn, possibly out of some self-inflicted frustration.

My statement was short & simple......no outlandish claims, just pure simple fact.

The Atheist's posts testify to that.

Quote from: An earlier post in another thread by mjmsprt40

......As long as this situation continues, I personally see little purpose to these kind of discussions beyond throwing dust in the air and shouting at the top of your lungs to get your aggressions out. It may vent your spleen but beyond that it seems to me to be pointless.


Agreed

I leave this den of ineptitude to feed upon itself in peace, ............I've got more beautiful things to dwell upon........................see ya!

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2013-12-04, 11:46:35
Lol.

There is no god. There's no reason to prove make- believe. Using make-believe to guide people's lives leads to a convergence of ignorance justified by delusional thinking, in many cases, that is used to serve the purposes of individual leader's control.

From the other corner : "ATTACK! Did you see that attack! That's not the topic! The topic is how sorry atheists are!"

Funny how any time the subject comes up "superior moral value" flies right out the window.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-09, 19:25:39
Atheists aren't all equal.
The problem I see here is not that atheists demand proofs of whatever religions dare to claim. Rather the debate starts when some religious person (Bantay, for instance) claims having proofs of whatever he/she believes, presenting inconsistent arguments. Then, some atheist doesn't argue what is believed, rather the validity of the arguments.
It may work both ways, too.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-11, 13:23:40

Then, some atheist doesn't argue what is believed, rather the validity of the arguments.


Yes... the validity of the arguments, indeed...
How much does your God weights? One kilogram? two kilograms? a tonne? can't be weighted? he doesn't exist.
The cumulus of "valid" thinking.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: krake on 2013-12-11, 16:21:20

Yes... the validity of the arguments, indeed...
How much does your God weights? One kilogram? two kilograms? a tonne? can't be weighted? he doesn't exist.
The cumulus of "valid" thinking.

How much does God weigh?
Hmm, hard to answer taking into consideration the lack of gravity in His habitat.

Therefore let me ask you something more simple.
God created man. Doesn't He?

Did He only create Adam and Eve as we are told or did He start mass production?
If it was only Adam and Eve, were they black, white or of other color for that matter?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2013-12-11, 20:19:27
Well, all the Atheists I ever met were mostly nice, friendly people, a tiny bit different---& they had problems just like any other group, but that was from my prospective, & looks aren't everything are they.


                                                                 (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FbemakEi.gif&hash=5ba5f8acf948c3c50574184179cb9bc4" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/bemakEi.gif)(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/taunt.gif)


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-11, 21:34:11


Yes... the validity of the arguments, indeed...
How much does your God weights? One kilogram? two kilograms? a tonne? can't be weighted? he doesn't exist.
The cumulus of "valid" thinking.

How much does God weigh?
Hmm, hard to answer taking into consideration the lack of gravity in His habitat.

The concept of immaterial is worth taking seriously. Question about weight is a contradiction of terms when concerning the immaterial world.

Some examples about immaterial are mathematical objects and logic itself. You can't say that these things don't exist. You use them daily and they are indispensable. Therefore they exist. Yet they weigh nothing and can't weigh anything. They have no location, speed, or change of form. They are immaterial.

Everything eternal and logically necessary is immaterial. Such as the concepts of cause and effect - they are just concepts, but you can't take a single breath without them.

But it's okay. Even Bertrand Russell, a formidably subtle thinker mostly, fell inescapably back into gross reasoning whenever God was mentioned. He assumed that a giant teapot in the sky sufficiently refutes any notion of God. This from the guy who made a considerable contribution to set theory...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-11, 23:43:46

Hmm, hard to answer taking into consideration the lack of gravity in His habitat.

Therefore let me ask you something more simple.
God created man. Doesn't He?

Did He only create Adam and Eve as we are told or did He start mass production?
If it was only Adam and Eve, were they black, white or of other color for that matter?


Ahhh... now you stopped asking me about material "proofs" of my God... :)
That never again you ask me again about such imbecility.

If God created Adam and Eve, as you were told, and your ridiculous capacity of thinking doesn't take you out of there, is not my problem. Ask your fellow Protestants to answer you your childish questions.

Ersi, you talk too much. There's no need and you'll never get an answer from this people. They are way behind you.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2013-12-12, 05:25:35
What of an ocean wave approaching the shore that's a few centimeters higher than the one before and the one to follow. Immaterial? Energy transfer through a substance, while mathematically definable, requires some intelligence to separate the wave from the water. That intelligence may give it significance. "The force that makes water strong and that one is different/better. " But even if the wave isn't misunderstood and everything is known about it... So what? As the wave hits the shore none of what was thought matters anymore. It's been part of events that will end.

Any waves we cast are relevant within circumstances and that can change.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-12, 13:30:58



Yes... the validity of the arguments, indeed...
How much does your God weights? One kilogram? two kilograms? a tonne? can't be weighted? he doesn't exist.
The cumulus of "valid" thinking.

How much does God weigh?
Hmm, hard to answer taking into consideration the lack of gravity in His habitat.

The concept of immaterial is worth taking seriously. Question about weight is a contradiction of terms when concerning the immaterial world.

Some examples about immaterial are mathematical objects and logic itself. You can't say that these things don't exist. You use them daily and they are indispensable. Therefore they exist. Yet they weigh nothing and can't weigh anything. They have no location, speed, or change of form. They are immaterial.

Everything eternal and logically necessary is immaterial. Such as the concepts of cause and effect - they are just concepts, but you can't take a single breath without them.

So your god is nothing but an abstract concept which has about the same power to throw your ass into hell as a Riemann integral :o


But it's okay. Even Bertrand Russell, a formidably subtle thinker mostly, fell inescapably back into gross reasoning whenever God was mentioned. He assumed that a giant teapot in the sky sufficiently refutes any notion of God. This from the guy who made a considerable contribution to set theory...

I'll take Missing The Point By A Mile for $1000, Alex.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-12, 13:33:39


Hmm, hard to answer taking into consideration the lack of gravity in His habitat.

Therefore let me ask you something more simple.
God created man. Doesn't He?

Did He only create Adam and Eve as we are told or did He start mass production?
If it was only Adam and Eve, were they black, white or of other color for that matter?


Ahhh... now you stopped asking me about material "proofs" of my God... :)
That never again you ask me again about such imbecility.

If God created Adam and Eve, as you were told, and your ridiculous capacity of thinking doesn't take you out of there, is not my problem. Ask your fellow Protestants to answer you your childish questions.

I see, proof by pompous asshattery. Now I'm convinced ::)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-12, 13:49:50
So your god is nothing but an abstract concept which has about the same power to throw your ass into hell as a Riemann integral :o

Abstract concepts have amazing powers. Take right and wrong, true and false for example. Hell is when you are ignorant of the power of these concepts.

Quote from: Macallan
Quote from: ersi

But it's okay. Even Bertrand Russell, a formidably subtle thinker mostly, fell inescapably back into gross reasoning whenever God was mentioned. He assumed that a giant teapot in the sky sufficiently refutes any notion of God. This from the guy who made a considerable contribution to set theory...

I'll take Missing The Point By A Mile for $1000, Alex.
Russell's argument fails to address the immaterial. Thus missing the point.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jimbro37 on 2013-12-12, 13:55:00


Then, some atheist doesn't argue what is believed, rather the validity of the arguments.


Yes... the validity of the arguments, indeed...
How much does your God weights? One kilogram? two kilograms? a tonne? can't be weighted? he doesn't exist.
The cumulus of "valid" thinking.

Things that don't exist are weightless, but
Δm=Ec2=Nhλc

Does that help?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-12, 14:41:01

So your god is nothing but an abstract concept which has about the same power to throw your ass into hell as a Riemann integral :o

Abstract concepts have amazing powers. Take right and wrong, true and false for example. Hell is when you are ignorant of the power of these concepts.

When was the last time an abelian group answered your prayers?


Quote from: Macallan
Quote from: ersi

But it's okay. Even Bertrand Russell, a formidably subtle thinker mostly, fell inescapably back into gross reasoning whenever God was mentioned. He assumed that a giant teapot in the sky sufficiently refutes any notion of God. This from the guy who made a considerable contribution to set theory...

I'll take Missing The Point By A Mile for $1000, Alex.

Russell's argument fails to address the immaterial. Thus missing the point.

Russell's argument has nothing to do with whatever you're imagining right now or at any other time. Missing the point by a mile. At least. And deliberately.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-12, 15:33:03


So your god is nothing but an abstract concept which has about the same power to throw your ass into hell as a Riemann integral :o

Abstract concepts have amazing powers. Take right and wrong, true and false for example. Hell is when you are ignorant of the power of these concepts.

When was the last time an abelian group answered your prayers?
Mathematical symbols and objects guide the thought process, they have explanatory power, they enable predictions. See the connection? Sure you do, but you deny it.

Quote from: Macallan

Russell's argument has nothing to do with whatever you're imagining right now or at any other time. Missing the point by a mile. At least. And deliberately.
If his argument had nothing to do with the actual concept of God, then it was a strawman. If it had nothing to do with anything, then it was worse than that.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-12, 16:13:59



So your god is nothing but an abstract concept which has about the same power to throw your ass into hell as a Riemann integral :o

Abstract concepts have amazing powers. Take right and wrong, true and false for example. Hell is when you are ignorant of the power of these concepts.

When was the last time an abelian group answered your prayers?

Mathematical symbols and objects guide the thought process, they have explanatory power, they enable predictions. See the connection? Sure you do, but you deny it.

Sure - all human inventions, just like all gods. Oh, did you mean something else? ::)


Quote from: Macallan

Russell's argument has nothing to do with whatever you're imagining right now or at any other time. Missing the point by a mile. At least. And deliberately.

If his argument had nothing to do with the actual concept of God, then it was a strawman. If it had nothing to do with anything, then it was worse than that.

Still missing the point, still quite deliberate.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-12, 17:02:49
Quote from: ersi

Mathematical symbols and objects guide the thought process, they have explanatory power, they enable predictions. See the connection? Sure you do, but you deny it.

Sure - all human inventions, just like all gods. Oh, did you mean something else? ::)
If you say that e.g. thought process is human invention, then you just ran into the causality dilemma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_egg_problem

The discussion can continue when you solve the dilemma.


Quote from: Macallan

Russell's argument has nothing to do with whatever you're imagining right now or at any other time. Missing the point by a mile. At least. And deliberately.

If his argument had nothing to do with the actual concept of God, then it was a strawman. If it had nothing to do with anything, then it was worse than that.

Still missing the point, still quite deliberate.

You actually know the work I am referring to? Name its title along with its point [edit]and how I missed the point[/edit]. (Hint: You don't have to answer.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2013-12-12, 19:58:58
Your concept of reality leads you to believe there's a cliff at the end of your understanding.  There isn't.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-13, 12:38:27

Quote from: ersi

Mathematical symbols and objects guide the thought process, they have explanatory power, they enable predictions. See the connection? Sure you do, but you deny it.

Sure - all human inventions, just like all gods. Oh, did you mean something else? ::)

If you say that e.g. thought process is human invention, then you just ran into the causality dilemma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_egg_problem

Always presupposing your own beliefs, I see.



Quote from: Macallan

Russell's argument has nothing to do with whatever you're imagining right now or at any other time. Missing the point by a mile. At least. And deliberately.

If his argument had nothing to do with the actual concept of God, then it was a strawman. If it had nothing to do with anything, then it was worse than that.

Still missing the point, still quite deliberate.

You actually know the work I am referring to? Name its title along with its point [edit]and how I missed the point[/edit]. (Hint: You don't have to answer.)

You were referring to Russell's teapot, forgot that already? ::)

Also, which "concept of god" is it this time around? Last time I checked there was no such thing as a universally accepted one.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-13, 15:31:49

You were referring to Russell's teapot, forgot that already? ::)

Also, which "concept of god" is it this time around? Last time I checked there was no such thing as a universally accepted one.

Immaterial. Forgot that already?

And yes, this concept is universally accepted in all major religions (including Asian religions and ancient ones - Zeus was also immaterial) but you can limit yourself to Christianity so you remember the topic better.

Russell's teapot fails to address the universally accepted concept. I could elaborate on several aspects how his analogy fails, but it's not worth it as long as you are too brief yourself and possibly not even really interested in the topic.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-14, 01:17:06


You were referring to Russell's teapot, forgot that already? ::)

Also, which "concept of god" is it this time around? Last time I checked there was no such thing as a universally accepted one.

Immaterial. Forgot that already?

Still as vague as it gets ::)


And yes, this concept is universally accepted in all major religions (including Asian religions and ancient ones - Zeus was also immaterial) but you can limit yourself to Christianity so you remember the topic better.

Now that's just plain ridiculous. Do you seriously believe that your concept of 'god' is the same as smiley's?


Russell's teapot fails to address the universally accepted concept. I could elaborate on several aspects how his analogy fails, but it's not worth it as long as you are too brief yourself and possibly not even really interested in the topic.

Still deliberately missing the point I see. But since you insist on living in your own little world instead of reality this is pointless.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2013-12-14, 07:34:07
"Firstly, how is that first item specifically describing a concept of a beginning coupled with an end, & secondly how in the world do you derive anthropomorphism from it?"

Give me an example of someone else who can make sense of it? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-14, 20:49:22

Now that's just plain ridiculous. Do you seriously believe that your concept of 'god' is the same as smiley's?
I have to give you this one. His concepts really are dismissible, probably even in the crude way Russell did.

But I'm not talking to him nor am I talking about him. I am talking to you and you are talking to me. Thus far you have responded to absolutely nothing I have had to say.

You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology. But I already got your point: You are just talking for the sake of talking, only using my posts as another opportunity to hear the sound of your own voice. You didn't even clarify how I was missing Russell's point. Hence I was not missing any point. End of story.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2013-12-14, 21:01:02
The connection between "beginning and end" and anthropomorphism? It's quite simple really. We live in a world where things start, happen and end. It is thus familiar for us to think in those terms. IF one postulates other, non-corporal entities, then one needs tho accept that our own perception of what is "right" may not be the only one.

By the way I put "IF" in capital letters because it's a big if.

You remember the recurring question, "what was there before God?" Well the equally recurring answer is "God is outside time and space". In other words even God believers do not feel it necessary to stick with the human mindset of there being a start and a stop; Anthropomorphism is as good a way to describe start/stop viewpoint as any.

Anyway, to get back to the point that Mac was valiantly trying to discuss, there is arguably a truth to the universality of mankind's need to believe in something greater than himself (I think it goes back to the Mother/Child relationship), but that is not the same as there being a consensus on everyone believing in one God. Some think God is Allah, others think it is the Sun, others the Earth and so on. Even within nominally the same religion there are different views. If there were a single God then he/she/it would have some form of multiple personally disorder. Maybe SF's apparent viewpoint of his God being his alone and none else's is the way to go.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-15, 01:30:48


Now that's just plain ridiculous. Do you seriously believe that your concept of 'god' is the same as smiley's?
I have to give you this one. His concepts really are dismissible, probably even in the crude way Russell did.

What I mean is if your concept of 'god' is so vague that it's acceptable to christians, hindus, muslims etc. it's essentially meaningless. It's not like even protestant christians can agree on one among themselves ( compare fundie evangelicals with their old testamental fire & brimstone interventionalist god who sends tornados up their asses whenever a state at the other end of the US allows gay marriage, with for example, episcopalians )


But I'm not talking to him nor am I talking about him. I am talking to you and you are talking to me. Thus far you have responded to absolutely nothing I have had to say.

Then it's time for you to learn to read, don't you think?


You didn't even clarify how I was missing Russell's point. Hence I was not missing any point. End of story.

Actually I did, and if you actually read what you're 'responding' to you would have got that. The point he's making is that there's no sense in believing something exists if there is no evidence whatsoever for it and its existence can't be verified. What you're trying to do is obviously to construct yourself an abstract thing you can call 'god' which doesn't need evidence. Unfortunately it's indistinguishable from the voices in your head.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-15, 12:26:05

Anyway, to get back to the point that Mac was valiantly trying to discuss, there is arguably a truth to the universality of mankind's need to believe in something greater than himself (I think it goes back to the Mother/Child relationship), but that is not the same as there being a consensus on everyone believing in one God. Some think God is Allah, others think it is the Sun, others the Earth and so on. Even within nominally the same religion there are different views. If there were a single God then he/she/it would have some form of multiple personally disorder.

Look, we all clearly don't have the same mother. Pretty much all of us in this forum have a different mother, and we even have a different word for mother in our respective languages, so how can there be a universal Mother/Child relationship? But if you can infer a universal Mother/Child relationship beyond all our particular mothers, then what prevents you to see the same about "mankind's need to believe in something greater than himself"? Are you saying that mankind is the greatest and there's nothing greater than mankind? How do you justify this belief?

For me, it's not a matter of belief. It's a matter of inevitable logical deduction. Once you arrive at the conclusion, you either face the consequences of your own thinking or you will deny your own mind to your own detriment. No belief necessary at any stage.



The point he's making is that there's no sense in believing something exists if there is no evidence whatsoever for it and its existence can't be verified. What you're trying to do is obviously to construct yourself an abstract thing you can call 'god' which doesn't need evidence. Unfortunately it's indistinguishable from the voices in your head.
The point that Russell missed in all this was that the "abstract thing" was the universally accepted definition of God in theology all along. Just read some Augustine or Thomas Aquinus (Christians) or Avicenna or Ibn Tufail (Muslims) or absolutely anything about Vedanta or Buddhism. But you don't even need to read those.

It's enough to refer back to Russell's own concept of universals in his Problems of Philosophy to see how "abstract things" are actually more objective than empirical objective things. They make math work, they make logic work. By observing and following those "abstract things" we can tell if our thinking (or someone else's thinking) is right or wrong, true or false, makes sense or not. Those "abstract things" - universals - are the measure, the absolute standard. You would not be able to even argue against me without thinking that you have such a standard,  the standard which is abstract by definition. There is no other verification than by means of those "abstract things".

Truth is one such thing. Can you show me the truth? No. It's abstract. Since this is so, does truth not exist because it can't be "verified"? Russell surely believed truth exists, even though his own reasoning showed it's an a priori abstract universal and cannot be empirically verified.

Let's say that the analogy was, as you say, about "believing something exists if there is no evidence whatsoever for it and its existence can't be verified". Unfortunately the analogy of a teapot in the sky does not apply when we are talking about immaterial things, because empirical verification does not apply to immaterial or metaphysical objects. What applies to immaterial and metaphysical objects is logical proof, mathematical proof. (All this this is argued by Russell himself in chapters 7-9 of Problems of Philosophy) In this kind of proof, empirical detection has absolutely no value as a measure of "existence". For example, anyone of us is able to detect their own dreams or voices in their own head, but you of course deny the value of those, even though they are detected! Hence detection by itself is insufficient for evidence or verification.

So, what evidence are you asking for? In metaphysics, the logical proof is absolutely dependent on definitions. Incidentally, this is so in investigative science too. The outcome of a science project depends a lot on how you formulate the problem. In logic and metaphysics, the outcome depends absolutely on how you define things. For example, if truth is abstract and you say that abstract things are non-existent, then your discussion with me is your own self-refutation, because you are talking about nothing by your own definition, while asserting that you are saying something. From my point of view, truth exists and is worth revealing and defending and this is why I am having this discussion.

If Russell's analogy is about an abstract or metaphysical object (which God is), it's a bad analogy because Russell's analogy refers to a physical empirical object, not to an abstract object as it should. On the other hand, if his analogy is meant as a shift-of-burden-of-proof device to show that it makes no sense to refute ad-hoc empirical objects, then the analogy is not just bad (because by virtue of being about empirical objects it cannot be about God), but FALSE. Namely, you CAN disprove ad-hoc empirical objects by going where the empirical object is and detect it there - or fail to detect it and thus disproving it. Empirical objects necessarily have location and can be detected. If the empirical object, such as a giant teapot in the sky, is not detected, then it doesn't exist. This is so by the definition of empirical objects.

So, to conclude, if Russell's analogy is about abstract metaphysical objects, it's a bad analogy. If it's about empirical objects, it's a false analogy. Not only do I see the point of his analogy, I also see where the analogy goes wrong. The analogy only works as a light joke, not as an insight about anything.

And I have the same conclusion about your remarks. If you want a further response from me, elaborate properly on your definitions, such as definitions of existence, evidence, verification etc.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2013-12-15, 13:13:32


Anyway, to get back to the point that Mac was valiantly trying to discuss, there is arguably a truth to the universality of mankind's need to believe in something greater than himself (I think it goes back to the Mother/Child relationship), but that is not the same as there being a consensus on everyone believing in one God. Some think God is Allah, others think it is the Sun, others the Earth and so on. Even within nominally the same religion there are different views. If there were a single God then he/she/it would have some form of multiple personally disorder.

Look, we all clearly don't have the same mother. Pretty much all of us in this forum have a different mother, and we even have a different word for mother in our respective languages, so how can there be a universal Mother/Child relationship? But if you can infer a universal Mother/Child relationship beyond all our particular mothers, then what prevents you to see the same about "mankind's need to believe in something greater than himself"? Are you saying that mankind is the greatest and there's nothing greater than mankind? How do you justify this belief?

For me, it's not a matter of belief. It's a matter of inevitable logical deduction. Once you arrive at the conclusion, you either face the consequences of your own thinking or you will deny your own mind to your own detriment. No belief necessary at any stage.


A straight question.

Do you believe (or has your logic led you to the conclusion) that there is
1  just one God,
2  or that there is no God
3  or that there are several

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-15, 14:48:25
Are you saying that mankind is the greatest and there's nothing greater than mankind? How do you justify this belief?

For me, it's not a matter of belief. It's a matter of inevitable logical deduction. Once you arrive at the conclusion, you either face the consequences of your own thinking or you will deny your own mind to your own detriment. No belief necessary at any stage.

That sounds an awful lot like an ontological argument.

The point that Russell missed in all this was that the "abstract thing" was the universally accepted definition of God in theology all along. Just read some Augustine or Thomas Aquinus (Christians) or Avicenna or Ibn Tufail (Muslims) or absolutely anything about Vedanta or Buddhism. But you don't even need to read those.


Let's assume he was ignorant and wrong about the eastern religions when he wrote this:
Quote from: Russel
Monotheism, which at the beginning of the Antiochan persecution had been the creed of only part of one very small nation, was adopted by Christianity and later by Islam, and so became dominant throughout the whole of the world west of India. From India eastward, it had no success: Hinduism had many gods; Buddhism in its primitive form had none; and Confucianism had none from the eleventh century onward.

(But although some denominations of Hinduism hold a monotheistic viewpoint, I'm not sure if that suffices to say he's wrong as such.)

How would that change anything about his central argument regarding the development of the concept?
Quote from: Russel
In the earliest times of which we have definite history everybody believed in many gods. It was the Jews who first believed in only one. The first commandment, when it was new, was very difficult to obey because the Jews had believed that Baal and Ashtaroth and Dagon and Moloch and the rest were real gods but were wicked because they helped the enemies of the Jews. The step from a belief that these gods were wicked to the belief that they did not exist was a difficult one. There was a time, namely that of Antiochus IV, when a vigorous attempt was made to Hellenize the Jews. Antiochus decreed that they should eat pork, abandon circumcision, and take baths. Most of the Jews in Jerusalem submitted, but in country places resistance was more stubborn and under the leadership of the Maccabees the Jews at last established their right to their peculiar tenets and customs.

Quote from: Russel
But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.


Remember, your argument is effectively that the eastern religions are like Christianity. If anything, that makes his arguments more applicable, not less.

To claim that your god concept is nothing at all like an immaterial teapot is special pleading. It incrementally developed from its own teapot, starting out rather crudely with the likes of Baal and Zeus, much like Russel wrote. The teapot tries to make you aware of the outsider test (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.be/2006/02/outsider-test.html).
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-15, 15:34:28

Are you saying that mankind is the greatest and there's nothing greater than mankind?

How exactly do you measure 'greatness'?
Otherwise that statement of yours is utterly meaningless.



The point he's making is that there's no sense in believing something exists if there is no evidence whatsoever for it and its existence can't be verified. What you're trying to do is obviously to construct yourself an abstract thing you can call 'god' which doesn't need evidence. Unfortunately it's indistinguishable from the voices in your head.
The point that Russell missed in all this was that the "abstract thing" was the universally accepted definition of God in theology all along. Just read some Augustine or Thomas Aquinus (Christians) or Avicenna or Ibn Tufail (Muslims) or absolutely anything about Vedanta or Buddhism. But you don't even need to read those.

You keep making that claim, with no justification whatsoever. Not that you actually posted anything remotely resembling a definition. No, 'immaterial' isn't one.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-15, 20:31:06

A straight question.

Do you believe (or has your logic led you to the conclusion) that there is
1  just one God,
2  or that there is no God
3  or that there are several

Just one.


Are you saying that mankind is the greatest and there's nothing greater than mankind? How do you justify this belief?

For me, it's not a matter of belief. It's a matter of inevitable logical deduction. Once you arrive at the conclusion, you either face the consequences of your own thinking or you will deny your own mind to your own detriment. No belief necessary at any stage.

That sounds an awful lot like an ontological argument.
Let's say it is the ontological argument. Refute it.

[snipping an awesome quote from Russell]
(But although some denominations of Hinduism hold a monotheistic viewpoint, I'm not sure if that suffices to say he's wrong as such.)

Even ancient pre-Christian Greeks (at least the philosophically-minded ones) had a solid concept of an abstract God above/beyond all others. Read Plato's Republic and other works for extensive discussion about God without a name. Had Plato been an entrenched polytheist, he surely would have given a name to the god he was referring to. Sure, there are gods with names there too, but this makes it all the more clearer that Plato was able to distinguish between particular gods plus the abstract one.

As to Hinduism, instead of polytheism, consider the concepts of monolatrism and kathenotheism.

To claim that your god concept is nothing at all like an immaterial teapot is special pleading.
"Immaterial teapot" is a contradiction in terms. Russell did not make such a mistake. Actual quote from Russell: (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/38828-if-i-were-to-suggest-that-between-the-earth-and) "If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes."

Instead of immaterial, he suggests it's "too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes". He is clearly talking about detecting. So, no, he is not talking about immaterial. He is enough of a philosopher and logician to know that immaterial is irreconcilable with empirical detection. Consequently, I tend to suspect that he tacitly knew he was not refuting God as defined in theology. He was just making a little joke at the expense of literalist fundies, even though his atheist followers think he was making an actual serious philosophical argument. It's likely that he didn't. It's also possible that he did, but then he was crudely mistaken.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-15, 21:03:11
Let's say it is the ontological argument. Refute it.

I can make up all kinds of things. Doesn't mean they exist.

Even ancient pre-Christian Greeks (at least the philosophically-minded ones) had a solid concept of an abstract God above/beyond all others. Read Plato's Republic and other works for extensive discussion about God without a name. Had Plato been an entrenched polytheist, he surely would have given a name to the god he was referring to. Sure, there are gods with names there too, but this makes it all the more clearer that Plato was able to distinguish between particular gods plus the abstract one.

Back in my freshman year, the introduction to Western philosophy course taught me philosophy got started in Miletus in the sixth century BCE. Plato then, a few centuries later, is pretty much the embodiment of the highly evolved, sophisticated, immaterial teapot that took centuries to develop. It's rather strange how you say even pre-Christian Greece when so much of Christianity was based on Platonic thoughts. I'm talking about archaic-primitive cultures, not the so-called father of Western civilization.

"Immaterial teapot" is a contradiction in terms. Russell did not make such a mistake.

You're the one who argues for the existence of an immaterial teapot, not I.

Instead of immaterial, he suggests it's "too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes". He is clearly talking about detecting. So, no, he is not talking about immaterial. He is enough of a philosopher and logician to know that immaterial is irreconcilable with empirical detection. Consequently, I tend to suspect that he tacitly knew he was not refuting God as defined in theology. He was just making a little joke at the expense of literalist fundies, even though his atheist followers think he was making an actual serious philosophical argument. It's likely that he didn't. It's also possible that he did, but then he was crudely mistaken.

You're still missing the point. It's about how the teapot can evolve from this potentially empirically detectable teapot into a sophisticated, reasoned, immaterial teapot. But to an outsider, it's still a silly teapot.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-15, 21:49:10

Let's say it is the ontological argument. Refute it.

I can make up all kinds of things. Doesn't mean they exist.

In philosophy and logic, when you "make up", then it comes to be. It means it will exist. And its seeds are already here and now.

For example consider some things often thought of as "unreal" but with unmistakably real consequences: Nightmare that gives you real scare, sweat on your skin and trembling in your muscles. Voices in your head that tell you to kill the prime minister. The prime minister will be in real danger and you *will* be put away... Psychologically, metaphysically, ethically, legally and socially these are not unreal things even though they may be completely "made up".

My argument, therefore, is: Be very  careful what you make up, because it *will* become reality, if it already isn't.


You're still missing the point. It's about how the teapot can evolve from this potentially empirically detectable teapot into a sophisticated, reasoned, immaterial teapot. But to an outsider, it's still a silly teapot.
I suppose I am indeed missing the point. The reason is that I am trying to take you seriously. I am trying to think how you are making a reasoned argument. I have these questions about your argument:

1. Is the "potentially empirically detectable teapot" the same teapot that Russell referred to?
2. If yes, did the outsider detect it or not?
3. If not, then how does the outsider know that it's just a silly teapot?
4. If yes to #2, then we are back at #1, because Russell says the teapot is too small to be detected, in which case you are making a different argument than Russell. Spell out your own argument so that I may not miss the point!
5. Disregarding all about detection and granting that the "insiders" have a different idea of the teapot than the outsider - how do you determine that the outsider's view is correct? And when you have a way of determining this, doesn't this make *you* the true impartial otsider rather than the outsider your argument is referring to? Isn't the outsider of your argument enmeshed in his own ideas about other things with regard to which he is an insider? In other words, how do you define the outsider? An example/analogy would be helpful, thanks.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-16, 00:15:38

How exactly do you measure 'greatness'?
Otherwise that statement of yours is utterly meaningless.


I know that one, "greatness" is measured at the inverse proportion of yours.
Right? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2013-12-16, 02:57:51
Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-16, 05:51:29

Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Ironic as it may seem, ignorance of God requires some theology to bring you up-to-date with what you are ignorant of.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-16, 11:38:52


Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Ironic as it may seem, ignorance of God requires some theology to bring you up-to-date with what you are ignorant of.


One could see theology as a "third element" that interposes between Man and a possible direct knowledge of God, a rationalization that doesn't have necessarily to exist. Such "third element" could be considered as something that separates instead of unifying.

That would be a very, very mystical approach, or, at least, deeply religious.
Not certainly Ersi's and very surprising to be OakdaleFTL's.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-16, 19:03:09



Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Ironic as it may seem, ignorance of God requires some theology to bring you up-to-date with what you are ignorant of.


One could see theology as a "third element" that interposes between Man and a possible direct knowledge of God, a rationalization that doesn't have necessarily to exist. Such "third element" could be considered as something that separates instead of unifying.

That would be a very, very mystical approach, or, at least, deeply religious.
Not certainly Ersi's and very surprising to be OakdaleFTL's.
Actually, there's nothing mystical about my suggestion. When you don't know God, then reading about theology is as common sense as picking up a math textbook when you don't know about math.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-16, 23:02:13


Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Ironic as it may seem, ignorance of God requires some theology to bring you up-to-date with what you are ignorant of.

So much for 'universally accepted', eh? ::)
Then again, by 'universally accepted' you obviously mean 'accepted by people ersi agrees with'.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-17, 00:07:06



Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Ironic as it may seem, ignorance of God requires some theology to bring you up-to-date with what you are ignorant of.

So much for 'universally accepted', eh? ::)
Then again, by 'universally accepted' you obviously mean 'accepted by people ersi agrees with'.
I am not singling out any author for you. Just get a grip of the topic in general. Unfortunately you don't have it right now. You fail to grasp that God is immaterial, even though this is universally accepted in theology the same way as there are basics to arithmetic and geometry that you find in absolutely any math textbook without any need for me to single out any particular one. This is what I mean by universally accepted.

This is a serious problem with atheists - they have absolutely no clue about what they are in denial of. And no willingness to verify either. With all your talk about evidence and verification, why don't you verify something as simple as this?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2013-12-17, 08:01:21




Let's go back a bit:
Quote from: ersi
You would see that the concept of God I referred to is universal, if you even superficially read anything about theology.

Why would knowledge of God require theology? Aren't you just disputing with the voices in other people's heads? :)
Ironic as it may seem, ignorance of God requires some theology to bring you up-to-date with what you are ignorant of.

So much for 'universally accepted', eh? ::)
Then again, by 'universally accepted' you obviously mean 'accepted by people ersi agrees with'.

I am not singling out any author for you. Just get a grip of the topic in general.

q.e.d. ::)


Unfortunately you don't have it right now. You fail to grasp that God is immaterial, even though this is universally accepted in theology the same way as there are basics to arithmetic and geometry that you find in absolutely any math textbook without any need for me to single out any particular one. This is what I mean by universally accepted.

You can repeat that claim as often as you want, that doesn't make it any less ridiculous. If your god is immaterial the same way as a Riemann integral, and this was somehow universally accepted ( in the dictionary sense, not the ersi one ) then why are there lots of people who believe god is punishing them with things like tornadoes? You can't have it both ways, either it's abstract and has no real world interactions other than through the voices in peoples' heads, or it's not abstract.


This is a serious problem with atheists - they have absolutely no clue about what they are in denial of. And no willingness to verify either. With all your talk about evidence and verification, why don't you verify something as simple as this?

Nonsense. Give me something that can be verified for starters. So far it's all waffling and vague intellectual wankery.
Sure you can find similar wankery related to most major religions. That doesn't make it universally accepted.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-17, 08:51:56
In philosophy and logic, when you "make up", then it comes to be. It means it will exist. And its seeds are already here and now.

[...]

My argument, therefore, is: Be very  careful what you make up, because it *will* become reality, if it already isn't.

That's all trivially true, because of course the synapses in your brain are real. That doesn't mean the synapses correspond to real things outside of your brain. It's also the very reason people should have a strongly vested interest in eradicating false beliefs. Steven Weinberg wrote, "for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." That's true insofar as religion corresponds to false beliefs. But any false belief will do, and one needn't be religious to hold a false belief.

1. Is the "potentially empirically detectable teapot" the same teapot that Russell referred to?

Yes. I phrased it that way at your insistence.

2. If yes, did the outsider detect it or not?

Of course not.

3. If not, then how does the outsider know that it's just a silly teapot?

How do you know it's silly if I say I've got five million china teapots at home? :)

Disregarding all about detection and granting that the "insiders" have a different idea of the teapot than the outsider - how do you determine that the outsider's view is correct? And when you have a way of determining this, doesn't this make *you* the true impartial otsider rather than the outsider your argument is referring to? Isn't the outsider of your argument enmeshed in his own ideas about other things with regard to which he is an insider? In other words, how do you define the outsider? An example/analogy would be helpful, thanks.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Outsider_test
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-17, 10:33:34

That's all trivially true, because of course the synapses in your brain are real. That doesn't mean the synapses correspond to real things outside of your brain. It's also the very reason people should have a strongly vested interest in eradicating false beliefs. Steven Weinberg wrote, "for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." That's true insofar as religion corresponds to false beliefs. But any false belief will do, and one needn't be religious to hold a false belief.

What if you hold false beliefs? How would you revise them? For example, I find your implicit suggestion that "synapses in your brain" correspond to beliefs as open to immediate attack. How do you justify this contention? Any evidence? If it turns out dubious, would you revise it?

1. Is the "potentially empirically detectable teapot" the same teapot that Russell referred to?

Yes. I phrased it that way at your insistence.

I most definitely didn't ask you to formulate it this way. What was wrong with some formulation more true to Russell's? Was he wrong after all? If so, why not admit it and revise your belief?

3. If not, then how does the outsider know that it's just a silly teapot?

How do you know it's silly if I say I've got five million china teapots at home? :)
By logical inference from knowing you and knowing what china is. Note: The basis for the judgement would be knowledge, not ignorance. This is inverted in your case.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Outsider_test
If this test is meant to eliminate bias, then it fails miserably. It is specifically designed to attack traditional religion, not religion in general. It's not a test of rationality. It's applicable only to adherents of traditional religion. Converts don't qualify and atheists don't qualify either. Hence we both don't qualify here. It's irrational of you to refer to this test. It's inapplicable here. Its connection with Russell's analogy (the analogy that is either false or meant as a joke, most likely both) also remains unexplained.

Very disappointing. Follow your own advice and consider a complete overhaul of your methodology.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-17, 15:52:06
What if you hold false beliefs? How would you revise them? For example, I find your implicit suggestion that "synapses in your brain" correspond to beliefs as open to immediate attack. How do you justify this contention? Any evidence? If it turns out dubious, would you revise it?

If you're ignorant of basic neuroscience, here's a semi-random place to start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphasia Semi-random because you could say Broca was the first neuroscientist, or at least the most famous early one, and that's what he studied.

My "implicit suggestion" was more of a pars pro toto. If there was an implicit suggestion, it's that it's all wholly and completely physical. Would I revise that suggestion if it turned out to be dubious? Well, why wouldn't I?

I most definitely didn't ask you to formulate it this way. What was wrong with some formulation more true to Russell's? Was he wrong after all? If so, why not admit it and revise your belief?

You're clearly still missing the point about the evolution of ideas. Okay, so there's a teapot in space undetectable by telescope. And as you indicated, a teapot undetectable by telescope might still be detectable by e.g. sending over some kind of space vessel. This changes what exactly? Even adding the undetectable by telescope attribute is already part of the evolution.

By logical inference from knowing you and knowing what china is. Note: The basis for the judgement would be knowledge, not ignorance. This is inverted in your case.

That's the only potentially valid objection to the teapot you've managed to muster thus far: we know a thing or two about teapots. The teapot argument presumes that knowledge about teapots to be correct, while that's actually the point it sets out to prove. However, you feign knowledge where there is none, which is the problem I've been pointing out all along.

It's not a test of rationality.

I've seen Christians quite rationally tear down Islamic concepts without realizing much the same arguments would dismantle their own faith. Sure, there are some caveats, but it's all about not applying a double standard.

It's not a test of rationality. It's applicable only to adherents of traditional religion. Converts don't qualify and atheists don't qualify either. Hence we both don't qualify here.

The point is to subject your own beliefs to the same amount of skepticism and rational inquiry that you do others. Your contention that converts and atheists already do is special pleading.

Its connection with Russell's analogy (the analogy that is either false or meant as a joke, most likely both) also remains unexplained.

You think it's an analogy to your god concept, but it's an analogy to its infancy and to its development.

The connection is that this is how it sounds to outsiders. You obviously don't think it's ridiculous, so one has to come up with something everyone thinks is ridiculous to demonstrate. Is it a joke? Maybe, but a joke with utility.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-17, 18:35:49

What if you hold false beliefs? How would you revise them? For example, I find your implicit suggestion that "synapses in your brain" correspond to beliefs as open to immediate attack. How do you justify this contention? Any evidence? If it turns out dubious, would you revise it?

If you're ignorant of basic neuroscience, here's a semi-random place to start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphasia Semi-random because you could say Broca was the first neuroscientist, or at least the most famous early one, and that's what he studied.

My "implicit suggestion" was more of a pars pro toto. If there was an implicit suggestion, it's that it's all wholly and completely physical. Would I revise that suggestion if it turned out to be dubious? Well, why wouldn't I?
I know enough about neuroscience to know that nobody has ever detected a belief in the brain or observed revisions of beliefs in terms of synapses in the brain.

Also, I know about psychology. Aphasia is a defect of communication. Communication is distinct from reflection and self-reflection. Beliefs are of the reflective and self-reflective sort primarily, and of communicative sort only secondarily. How? You can hide your true motivation by your expression and behaviour, you can deceive people as to your true loyalties. That's how.

So, your example was not just semi-random. It was completely random, and unfortunately inapplicable. 


You're clearly still missing the point about the evolution of ideas. Okay, so there's a teapot in space undetectable by telescope. And as you indicated, a teapot undetectable by telescope might still be detectable by e.g. sending over some kind of space vessel. This changes what exactly? Even adding the undetectable by telescope attribute is already part of the evolution.

Evolution of ideas is connected to (un)detectability how? Are true ideas detected? Detected as what? As synapses in the brain? Can you bring an example? (Aphasia was inapplicable. Let's have an applicable example.)

By logical inference from knowing you and knowing what china is. Note: The basis for the judgement would be knowledge, not ignorance. This is inverted in your case.

That's the only potentially valid objection to the teapot you've managed to muster thus far: we know a thing or two about teapots. The teapot argument presumes that knowledge about teapots to be correct, while that's actually the point it sets out to prove. However, you feign knowledge where there is none, which is the problem I've been pointing out all along.

I feign knowledge where there is none? You are open to the same charge. You feign knowledge that your "potentially empirically detectable" teapot is unreal, but there is a crucial distinction between undetected (i.e. not yet known, but knowable in principle) and unknowable (whatever this may be, Russell's analogy is not about this and neither is your formulation). You are not talking about unknowable. You are talking about *potentially detectable* while pretending it's the same thing as unreal!

Here's how the distinction is important. Potentially detectable may be, for example, a faint whiff of wind that your skin may not feel if it's insensitive enough but that may cause e.g. a feeble leaf to move. If you don't notice the leaf, the potentially detectable whiff of wind will remain undetected by you. If you notice the leaf, the potentially detectable whiff of wind becomes empirical reality for you. However, even if you don't detect it, it's an empirical reality that you failed to detect. It's not unreal either way. It's flawed logic to conflate undetected with unreal. This is even a scientifically important distinction. In math, infinitesimals are not zeroes.

Here are some more metaphysical distinctions (just to show you what I think about stuff, if you are really interested in dialogue. If not, you can safely ignore this. Or you can refute or ridicule these distinctions, whichever way you want it.). Unknowable does not mean unreal. Unreal means *does not exist*. Unknowable exists, but it escapes empirical detection and grasp of mind for whatever reasons.

Then there are also empirically undetectable knowables. Concepts (e.g. beliefs!) are of this sort - knowable and thus existent, but empirically undetected. Math (and any other science and laws of nature) are also knowable, but empirically undetectable (not even potentially empirically detectable). You can't detect abstract circularity or the number 0, 1, -1 or pi. Coherent mental activity (logical inference and deduction) is a form of detection, if you insist, but unempirical. You can't mechanically/electronically record and reproduce a trail of thought in a person. Evolution is not empirically detected in nature. Evolution is a conclusion from facts of nature that seem to imply evolution. There are empirically detected facts of nature for which the best explanation may be evolution, but you can't take evolution and put it on someone's table to "prove" it to him. You can show the facts and hope the facts lead him to the same conclusion. The facts are empirical, but evolution is an unempirical knowable.

It's not a test of rationality.

I've seen Christians quite rationally tear down Islamic concepts without realizing much the same arguments would dismantle their own faith. Sure, there are some caveats, but it's all about not applying a double standard.
Good. Let's stick to avoiding double standards.

It's not a test of rationality. It's applicable only to adherents of traditional religion. Converts don't qualify and atheists don't qualify either. Hence we both don't qualify here.

The point is to subject your own beliefs to the same amount of skepticism and rational inquiry that you do others. Your contention that converts and atheists already do is special pleading.
More crucial distinctions. Born atheists have evidently not exercised skepticism to the extent that they'd have converted, right? So, if the test is to be impartial, it should invite conversion in both directions, right?

Then there's a class of people that may superficially fail the test, yet be perfectly rational, namely those whose beliefs have undergone and withstood all tests of time, inquiry, adequacy, utility. What kind of outsider would be able to evaluate this? Let's say you are evaluating me in this interaction. Do I seem like someone who has not questioned his own beliefs and reasoned his way towards a systematic world view? Someone at loss with answers? Someone easily refuted? In turn, I don't see you too keen to revise or improve your beliefs when they don't carry too far in argumentation.

Its connection with Russell's analogy (the analogy that is either false or meant as a joke, most likely both) also remains unexplained.

You think it's an analogy to your god concept, but it's an analogy to its infancy and to its development.
It's not how Russell meant it, but I understand that you want to argue it this way. Okay, allowed.

The connection is that this is how it sounds to outsiders. You obviously don't think it's ridiculous, so one has to come up with something everyone thinks is ridiculous to demonstrate. Is it a joke? Maybe, but a joke with utility.
I have enough sense of humour to see how it is a joke. I also have enough reason to see how it is an inside joke rather than an outsider's view at Christian beliefs. It doesn't address the mainstream Christian beliefs, much less the concept of God in general.  It's an inside joke for atheists. It offends only literalist fundies. It does not concern anybody else's religious beliefs, except maybe make sympathetic people sad how such a great guy as Russell could stoop so low as to offend those who deserve pity rather than ridicule. Well, I forgive him, if he meant it as a joke.

As I argued before - with references to Russell - Russell certainly knows what immaterial is, and thus he certainly knows his analogy is not an analogy about it. It's not a logical argument. Here comes a funny thing now. The element that makes the joke work is the fact that atheist physicalists share the concept of God with literalist fundies. Both are essentially ontological materialists. Both think "God is out there" (with all its implications). Scriptural literalists think this affirmatively, atheists negatively. Atheist physicalists and literalist fundies conceive their ontology the same way. They are the same class of people. So it's an inside joke, a ridicule of atheists' own mirror image.

Mainstream believers and theologians don't think "God is out there". In the mainstream, God is immaterial, incorporeal, both transcendent and immanent.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-17, 22:05:11
"Atheism" is not even the opposite of the philosophical understanding and recognizing of God.
Just the baseless opposition to non-theologian pseudo-religions as protestant sects, scientificism and the sort. Nothing else.

No different from tribal voodoo.
No need to waist so much words about it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2013-12-18, 13:57:07
Ersi, should an atheist deny only the Christian god - or any other gods as well? For example, does anybody believe in those guys from "Lord of the Ring" or what?
The thing was brilliantly made up - hence it happened to exist - with all the gods there are there, etc. So, does anybody have a clue about any possibility to determine one's lesser probability to the other/another/whatever?
Does anybody believe in Odin&Co? If no - why? Nice and very elaborated theology is present, so what? Ah, your 'God' says "I'm the Only One"? Nahhh... 
See, "the problem" with atheists is that they just simply aggravated at all this assortment and say "go to hell all of you".
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-19, 08:22:47
I think a more accurate description of "the" problem is that being an atheist doesn't really mean anything. You're an atheist, and then what? That's the part that matters.

I'm an atheist converted from Catholicism, married to a nominal Catholic and a relative of assorted Catholics, Baptists and I don't know whats.

I operate on the premise that nobody wants to be proselytized by an atheist. My neighbor, a Baptist minister and a very nice man, has no idea that I'm an atheist.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-19, 20:36:43
Quote from: Jimbro3738
I'm an atheist converted from Catholicism


At the agnosticism thread, you have already converted from atheism to agnosticism.

You'll finish Catholic again... let's hope that at some Order with a vow of silence... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-20, 09:43:10
[quote ]At the agnosticism thread, you have already converted from atheism to agnosticism.

You'll finish Catholic again... let's hope that at some Order with a vow of silence... [/quote]
1. On assertion 1, that's a likely as you finishing as an atheist.
2. Just in case you haven't noticed, but for the click of the keyboard, posting everywhere is silent. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-21, 11:49:26
Quote from: Jimbro
...posting everywhere is silent.


The deafening sound of silence...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-23, 18:20:17
Another Bloody Mary, please...

On that much most of our posters agree with you. Me? I'm a Coke® man, ex-Scotch man and ex-beer man. I stayed with the CC until it stopped serving wine with bread.

While I'm no longer a member of the tribe, I like El Papa Francisco. Cool guy.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: krake on 2013-12-23, 18:44:20
Quote from: Belfrager
Another Bloody Mary, please...


Did anybody call for bloody Mary?  :o

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fmiltona.files.wordpress.com%2F2011%2F05%2Fbloody-mary.jpg%3Fw%3D949&hash=a436242732b6965b634d6a8593ec95cd" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://miltona.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/bloody-mary.jpg?w=949)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-23, 19:42:53
Quote from: Jimbro3738
While I'm no longer a member of the tribe, I like El Papa Francisco. Cool guy.

I don't.
Always wrong, atheist.
Quote from: krake
Did anybody call for bloody Mary?

You are no good bartender Krake...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2013-12-24, 15:45:46

The Problems of atheism is - Hate


Karl Marx born as Jews

Jews are the one that Created the Religion Doctrines ala NAZI - argumentum ad nauseam , blah blah .

what Marx did is just Hate Fascism  and Vice versa  then  new religion called - atheism born.
#Haters gonna hate
------------------------------

btw , why not give Buddhism a try ?

buddha mean is - the awakened one

Buddha is not God , that's just about Philosophies

Dont think , just Feel  --->
You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion


Rational enuf in this Modern World

NO God BS , just - Conscience , Consciousness ,  Meditations, etc  ..
can Self - Heal  some     insomnia ,  Bipolar Disorder  or probably - Schizophrenia .


Hindi is Good too --> The Goal of Hindi is True Happiness .

Something like this ..
Albert Einstein :If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-24, 16:44:31
Albert Einstein :If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things

I live a happy life and it's tied to a woman, one who is perfect for me.

Having a goal is fine, but it doesn't guarantee a happy life. Think Osama bin Laden, and Adolph Hitler.

I just baked an apple pie, which is now cooling. In a couple of hours I'll know if it makes me happier. ;)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2013-12-24, 23:01:11
Forgive me, for I have read the previous posts... My sins are likely irredeemable.



For those who struggle with the concept of "immateriality," please provide me with an idea... So that I can know what it is that you refer to. (Yes, I know you can't.)


If you have even one, no one will ever know...
(Think hard: What are the reasons that numbers -e.g., 1,2, etc.-- are presumed to "exist"?)


For those who despair of convincing atheists of God's existence, let God do the heavy lifting! If He won't, there must be a reason... No? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-26, 11:04:55

Ersi, should an atheist deny only the Christian god - or any other gods as well? For example, does anybody believe in those guys from "Lord of the Ring" or what?
The thing was brilliantly made up - hence it happened to exist - with all the gods there are there, etc. So, does anybody have a clue about any possibility to determine one's lesser probability to the other/another/whatever?
Good example. It essentially doesn't matter if the mythology is individually or collectively made up. What matters is its consistency and capacity to make people relate to it. Some like the more scientific aspect of a mythology, its adequacy vis-a-vis the empirical world, while some others like its esthetical aspect, capacity to stimulate imagination, while still others appreciate its didactic aspect. This is so with any book, story, fiction or the so-called non-fiction. You can get immersed in it, because it makes internal sense. It has explanatory power about things. Fiction illustrates truths about human nature, provides emotional and mental experiences. These are all real things and educate people about the real world.

Story-books teach by means of fictitious illustrations. Think of them as analogies, thought experiments or illuminating dream-experiences. Science books are not too different, inasmuch as they contain analogies and a concept system with internal consistency insofar as the author can see. In addition to thought experiments, science books contain empirical experiments which is just a game that adults play, with the same shortcomings and dangers as kids games and sports contests are.

The teaching in it all is immaterial *useful fiction* in any case. The teachings of religion or spirituality are relevant or become relevant the same way as fiction is or becomes, as one is able to relate it to the real world. And, same as with fiction or religion, also science makes no sense at all when you can't relate it to reality. For example Newtonian physics, a major part in school program, never made sense to me, whereas the relativity theory and quantum mechanics made instant sense. For anyone of us, some theories/analogies/stories/traditions/religions are better graspable than others.

For example, Christianity is relevant in countries with Christian majority as a cultural tradition. The same way as it matters that you should eat with spoon, fork and knife, it matters to know something about the Bible and have some respect for the tradition. Religion is of course more than tradition, but thinking of it as a tradition is a good start. You can't discard it just because it doesn't make sense to you, the same way as you can't discard spoon, fork and knife complaining that they don't make sense to you. Then further it can make sense to people the way Lord of the Rings does, and then further as a statement of spiritual truths.

I don't see it as my duty to proclaim spiritual truths to atheists. Spiritual truths can't make sense to you if you presuppose spirituality does not exist. I am not surprised. There are people here in this thread even saying that existence is undefinable, effectively that no truths can exist, etc. Nothing surprising in it.

For me, making sense of things is easy - just relate the right label (word, idea, concept) with the right object (meaning). This is all there is to it. Religion is just another concept system, same as any scientific theory, same as good fiction. It serves its purpose. When you rightly identified the purpose, there's nothing mysterious about it.


For those who struggle with the concept of "immateriality," please provide me with an idea... So that I can know what it is that you refer to. (Yes, I know you can't.)
You mean you struggle with the idea of immateriality? If it doesn't exist, then what is it you are struggling with? When you struggle with it, then it more likely exists rather than not. You wouldn't be struggling with something non-existent, right?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-26, 14:32:27
For those who despair of convincing atheists of God's existence, let God do the heavy lifting! If He won't, there must be a reason... No?

There's a mouthful and a third.

Y'all can wait for Godot as along as you live, but it finally comes down to something like...
VLADIMIR:
Together again at last! We'll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.
ESTRAGON:
(irritably). Not now, not now.
VLADIMIR:
(hurt, coldly). May one inquire where His Highness spent the night?
ESTRAGON:
In a ditch.
VLADIMIR:
(admiringly). A ditch! Where?
ESTRAGON:
(without gesture). Over there.
VLADIMIR:
And they didn't beat you?
ESTRAGON:
Beat me? Certainly they beat me.
.........................................
When was the last time that an argument between a religionist and an atheist produced more light that heat.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-26, 14:45:25
You mean you struggle with the idea of immateriality? If it doesn't exist, then what is it you are struggling with? When you struggle with it, then it more likely exists rather than not. You wouldn't be struggling with something non-existent, right?

Most involved physicists hold that the photon is mass-less. We see them because they exist and because we have eyes. But your invisible friend, what about Him? Can't see'em, don't know when He enters or leaves the room. Can't definitively show a reasonable person how He interacts with the world.




Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-26, 15:15:51
Most involved physicists hold that the photon is mass-less.

I'm fairly sure we can safely read those words material and immaterial as physical and unphysical. Otherwise a physicist like Krauss could hardly be accused of being a materialist.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-26, 16:06:56

Most involved physicists hold that the photon is mass-less.

I'm fairly sure we can safely read those words material and immaterial as physical and unphysical. Otherwise a physicist like Krauss could hardly be accused of being a materialist.

Correct, Frenzie. Materialists these days call themselves physicalist and naturalist. Nutty synonyms. For me the most recognisable word is still materialist, meaning the believer in the primacy of matter. It's also historically the most prevalent (in philosophical literature). The other synonyms are relatively recent trend words, designed to obfuscate the fact that physicists have philosophical presuppositions, namely the tendency to believe in the primacy of matter.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-26, 16:33:56
Or: not to believe in the primacy of anything else.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-26, 16:56:05
The other synonyms are relatively recent trend words, designed to obfuscate the fact that physicists have philosophical presuppositions, namely the tendency to believe in the primacy of matter.

A physicist does not have to be a physicalist or a materialist. But surely describing physicists as people with a tendency to believe in the "primacy" of that which is physical is much closer to being accurate than speaking of matter. There was no matter until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.

Or: not to believe in the primacy of anything else.

It's a bit of a false dilemma, isn't it. Just wiggle and squeeze a bit and it'll all nicely fit into predefined categories. :P
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-26, 17:21:39

But surely describing physicists as people with a tendency to believe in the "primacy" of that which is physical is much closer to being accurate than speaking of matter. There was no matter until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.
What do you make of the fact that Big Bang itself has been around only since fifties or sixties? This is what I mean by trend word. I am not disputing anything what you say about "physical", but refusal to acknowledge the normal common-sense meaning of the word "matter" is a bad sign. Random contextless re-definitions of common concepts won't help physicists nor anyone else.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-26, 18:33:37
What do you make of the fact that Big Bang itself has been around only since fifties or sixties? This is what I mean by trend word.

One would think a hypothesis from the 1930s would take relatively recent and theretofore unexplained observations into account. If it also successfully predicts observations that were made since, that improves its validity and usefulness.

I am not disputing anything what you say about "physical", but refusal to acknowledge the normal common-sense meaning of the word "matter" is a bad sign. Random contextless re-definitions of common concepts won't help physicists nor anyone else.

If something with mass and volume isn't the "normal" definition of matter, what is?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2013-12-26, 19:19:57
A physicist does not have to be a physicalist or a materialist. But surely describing physicists as people with a tendency to believe in the "primacy" of that which is physical is much closer to being accurate than speaking of matter. There was no matter until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.

Lots of supposition there, which is the hallmark of cosmologists and people like you and I guessing about the first moments of the Big Bang. There is even some question about the Big Band itself.

It's much like the old question of "How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?"
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-26, 19:25:55
Hear, hear.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-26, 19:27:56

I am not disputing anything what you say about "physical", but refusal to acknowledge the normal common-sense meaning of the word "matter" is a bad sign. Random contextless re-definitions of common concepts won't help physicists nor anyone else.

If something with mass and volume isn't the "normal" definition of matter, what is?

Already just for the reasons of clarity I am all for proper definitions. In this case, the problem is your statement "There was no matter until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang". Now it looks like you were saying there was no mass or volume until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.

Anyway, this is just a rhetorical point to show how definitions and philosophical presuppositions matter. In any science project (at least in the science I studied in the university), definitions are the very first thing to write up in the paper. Presuppositions (methodology, which is not just a list of models used, but reasons why this or that model has been chosen over some other) follow closely. Without these, there's no science.

To presuppose philosophical materialism in physics is "successful" because physics studies matter and this is all it does. ("If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.") Study anything else and materialism becomes highly problematic. For example psychology and sociology clearly call for a different presupposition. To assume primacy of physics is, for most purposes in our lives, out of place. Shouldn't this make one honestly question materialism/physicalism for a moment?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-26, 20:20:04
"If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail."

Eh eh :)
That's a really funny expression, never heard before.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-26, 20:24:51
Already just for the reasons of clarity I am all for proper definitions. In this case, the problem is your statement "There was no matter until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang". Now it looks like you were saying there was no mass or volume until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.

There are a few more facets to be considered. If you're speaking of a so-called common-sense definition of matter, I hardly think non-relativistic matter counts.

For example psychology and sociology clearly call for a different presupposition. To assume primacy of physics is, for most purposes in our lives, out of place. Shouldn't this make one honestly question materialism/physicalism for a moment?

It sounds like you're confusing different definitions of primacy. Heck, I don't even know what your obsession with primacy is all about. Energy probably came first, then matter, then at some point us. So what?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-26, 20:38:48

Heck, I don't even know what your obsession with primacy is all about. Energy probably came first, then matter, then at some point us. So what?
Well, then I have identified the problem with atheism correctly pages ago. The problem is "so what?" i.e. no interest in ultimate causes, no interest in the extent of one's own lack of knowledge.

Energy (this is just the same matter really, as matter and energy are mutually perfectly convertible in physics) came first as per Big Bang theory. But what is first beyond any theory? The answer as per atheism: So what?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-26, 21:29:22
The answer as per atheism: So what?

No, the answer is I don't know and you most certainly don't know either. It's not so what. The so what applies to my life in general. Imagine there is an ultimate cause, and that to presuppose such a thing is not just a meaningless combination of words. What difference does it make? To me, not particularly more or less than to discover that epigenetics plays a very important role in the heritability of traits. It's all extremely interesting, yet it doesn't affect my life at all.

You're the one who seems to have little interest in the extent of your own lack of knowledge. You just claim things willy-nilly, like that there is an ultimate cause, yet you accuse me of a lack of rigor. My rigor consists precisely of not pretending to know the answer when I don't, or that a question is meaningful just because I can ask it. My rigor consists of always trying to accept the facts for what they are rather than making the facts fit my preconceived notions. I refuse to repeat your mistakes. Something that exists independently outside your mind is the best working definition of reality I dare give. You accuse it of being fluid and malleable, which is a very intentional feature, not a bug.

A question that starts with a WH-word and ends in a question mark may look like a question, but there are presuppositions and implications at the core of the question that may not make sense at all. Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate cause? I think you need to demonstrate the necessity of why and what. Simply put, the universe is not an object inside the universe.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-26, 22:31:10

The answer as per atheism: So what?

No, the answer is I don't know and you most certainly don't know either.
I hope you acknowledge that this again yet another presupposition stemming from the world view you have and from inability to suppose anything further than this.

Imagine there is an ultimate cause, and that to presuppose such a thing is not just a meaningless combination of words. What difference does it make? To me, not particularly more or less than to discover that epigenetics plays a very important role in the heritability of traits. It's all extremely interesting, yet it doesn't affect my life at all.

Again, stemming from your world view, you presuppose that an ultimate cause is either just a meaningless combination of words or something irrelevant to life here and now. Wrong on both accounts. A properly identified ultimate cause tells you, for example, how to prioritise things in your life, what is important as opposed to merely interesting, what is less important and why. A properly identified ultimate cause directly points out the ultimate meaning of life and, in degrees, all lesser meanings also.

My rigor consists precisely of not pretending to know the answer when I don't, or that a question is meaningful just because I can ask it. My rigor consists of always trying to accept the facts for what they are rather than making the facts fit my preconceived notions.
Today I was able to identify at least this preconceived notion of yours: "If I don't know, then nobody else knows either. (At least ersi doesn't!)" Are the facts in your life in accordance with this notion?

I refuse to repeat your mistakes. Something that exists independently outside your mind is the best working definition of reality I dare give. You accuse it of being fluid and malleable, which is a very intentional feature, not a bug.
Besides other problems with this definition, the root philosophical issue here is that it came from your mind. The definition is not independent from your mind and thus, alas, it's unreal as per your own definition. So much for rigour.

As for my mistakes, feel free to point them out. I am very much into learning, even from you, and certainly from my own mistakes.

A question that starts with a WH-word and ends in a question mark may look like a question, but there are presuppositions and implications at the core of the question that may not make sense at all. Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate cause? I think you need to demonstrate the necessity of why and what. Simply put, the universe is not an object inside the universe.
Awesome. Congrats to you for this bit. Already earlier I was very close to get to the concept of subject (the logical opposite of object) which is directly relevant to what you say here, but I suspected you would denounce this as yet another meaningless word. In case you confirm that subject is a relevant concept now, I will proceed. But confirm it, please.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2013-12-27, 06:37:07
Quote from: Frans
But surely describing physicists as people with a tendency to believe in the "primacy" of that which is physical is much closer to being accurate than speaking of matter. There was no matter until a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.
There was.
There might have been no barionic matter or such, still matter existed.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2013-12-27, 06:41:52
Quote from: Frans
If something with mass and volume isn't the "normal" definition of matter, what is?
Matter is such a contingency within the Universe which has mass regardless of any and all speed issues.
My definition of matter.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2013-12-27, 07:03:52
Quote from: Frans
Simply put, the universe is not an object inside the universe.
Mathematically, it is.
I said on MyOpera that you'd forgotten the Set Theory.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-27, 10:48:12
To presuppose philosophical materialism in physics is "successful" because physics studies matter and this is all it does. ("If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.") Study anything else and materialism becomes highly problematic. For example psychology and sociology clearly call for a different presupposition. To assume primacy of physics is, for most purposes in our lives, out of place. Shouldn't this make one honestly question materialism/physicalism for a moment?
Wait a minute. Are you saying that psychology and sociology resort to "abstract entities" or "the immaterial" to make sense? I hope you are confusing them with philosophy and theology (and metaphysics and whatever). Social or human sciences (or whatever they are called in English) don't have anything in common with "the transcendent" - and, in fact, don't need it. Physicalism has been used here to refer to the physical reality (that is, how the Universe works and how it can be detected, measured, tested, etc.) and now it refers to what is material - concrete - against abstract things like mental concepts!? This shift of meanings leads to meaningless discussions, as we have already seen before.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-27, 10:50:51
My definition of matter.
Frans was talking about the "normal" definition of matter. ::)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-27, 13:37:27
Today I was able to identify at least this preconceived notion of yours: "If I don't know, then nobody else knows either. (At least ersi doesn't!)" Are the facts in your life in accordance with this notion?

If you do know, you're doing a pretty good job pretending you don't by creating straw men out of e.g. physicists. My "preconceived notion" remains the same as before: without a reality check such as science, you have no idea whether your logical constructions actually relate to reality. You might have overlooked something, whether it's a fact about nature or an illogical leap in your reasoning. The latter might be detectable through reason alone, but the former unfortunately is not.

Besides other problems with this definition, the root philosophical issue here is that it came from your mind. The definition is not independent from your mind and thus, alas, it's unreal as per your own definition. So much for rigour.

When I say a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant that concept is also real, yet somehow it doesn't refer to anything real. It's quite simple at the basics. Of course you could greatly complicate matters by speaking of e.g. simulacra and the hyperreal because nothing is ever quite that simple. Proposing that our universe is some sort of simulacrum goes back at least to Plato. One might counter-propose that such concepts as God are themselves baseless simulacra that conceal no truth at all--a point made in some form by Baudrillard himself, if I recall correctly.

As for my mistakes, feel free to point them out. I am very much into learning, even from you, and certainly from my own mistakes.

I've been repeatedly paraphrasing much the same thing about epistemology. You said, "I don't like unanswered questions. In the end, I have found no question unanswerable." This seems to exemplify what I mean when I say that an answer isn't necessarily better than none.

Awesome. Congrats to you for this bit. Already earlier I was very close to get to the concept of subject (the logical opposite of object) which is directly relevant to what you say here, but I suspected you would denounce this as yet another meaningless word. In case you confirm that subject is a relevant concept now, I will proceed. But confirm it, please.

Probably not. :P You sound rather Platonic and Cartesian in your outlooks, while I lean more in the direction of Spinoza's liberationism or the more recent enactivism. Although I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with the universe, unless you're proposing that the universe itself has some kind of Dasein.

Social or human sciences (or whatever they are called in English) don't have anything in common with "the transcendent" - and, in fact, don't need it.

+1
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-27, 16:24:20

My definition of matter.
Frans was talking about the "normal" definition of matter. ::)
There is no normal definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter
Quote
Matter is a poorly defined term in science (see definitions below).
You may accuse me of shifting meanings, but if the alternative is to accept something poorly defined and elusive as the basis from which to derive everything else, then sorry, I prefer to stick with meanings - with relevant distinctions.

If you do know, you're doing a pretty good job pretending you don't by creating straw men out of e.g. physicists [....] You might have overlooked something, whether it's a fact about nature or an illogical leap in your reasoning.
Krauss is not my caricature, but of his own making. Or did you have something else in mind by straw men? What did I overlook? You keep accusing me randomly. I keep asking for examples, but none are forthcoming. I guess I will just disregard any such remarks from now on. Without proper examples, it's just hot air.

The latter [an illogical leap in reasoning] might be detectable through reason alone, but the former [a fact of nature] unfortunately is not.
Three questions:

- How did you arrive at this conclusion? (i.e. show that both halves of the statement have evidential support)
- What is a fact of nature? An example.
- If reason is ruled out, how do you detect facts of nature?

When I say a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant that concept is also real, yet somehow it doesn't refer to anything real. It's quite simple at the basics. Of course you could greatly complicate matters by speaking of e.g. simulacra and the hyperreal because nothing is ever quite that simple.
Which way is it? Simple or not? Make up your mind.

Proposing that our universe is some sort of simulacrum goes back at least to Plato. One might counter-propose that such concepts as God are themselves baseless simulacra that conceal no truth at all--a point made in some form by Baudrillard himself, if I recall correctly.

Plato had a good reason to propose this. Namely, the proposition is based on the distinction of appearance and reality. For example, there are cold things and warm things. Moreover, some things turn from cold to warm or vice versa. Different cold and warm things imply the existence of temperature. Temperature is the reality behind the superficial appearance of warm and cold things. Temperature is more important, because it's a general feature, a universal measure. No particular object or instance by itself shows anything about temperature. Only comparison between objects at different instances reveals the reality of temperature. The objects at different instances are an appearance revealing an underlying deeper reality. This is how Plato thought.

Baudrillard, on the other hand, as (mis)interpreted by you, would reason in the exact opposite way: The particular objects at isolated instances are the fundamental reality, whereas the concept of temperature is a baseless assumption without any truth and purpose to it. I will leave it to you to determine which reasoning makes better sense and which way science actually works.

You said, "I don't like unanswered questions. In the end, I have found no question unanswerable." This seems to exemplify what I mean when I say that an answer isn't necessarily better than none.
I have had my own phase of denialism, so I know somewhat what you mean here. Hopefully you understand me too: running away from answers won't make the answers non-existent.

[Concerning the concept of subject:] Probably not. :P You sound rather Platonic and Cartesian in your outlooks, while I lean more in the direction of Spinoza's liberationism or the more recent enactivism. Although I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with the universe, unless you're proposing that the universe itself has some kind of Dasein.
First, I have not detected any coherent philosophical system behind your statements. Ah, well, reading a bit about "enactivism" reveals why. In fact I shouldn't :)

Second, your statement was "Simply put, the universe is not an object inside the universe". The concept of subject has everything to do with it, because, logically, inasmuch as the universe cannot be considered an object, it must be considered the subject.

Empirically, the object is that which is observed, and the subject is that which observes. The subject itself cannot be observed, but it cannot be denied either. Insofar as observation occurs, the subject is a logical necessity. Metaphysically it's at least half of reality. The problem with atheism is to deny or forget the subject. It's a serious thing to overlook a half of metaphysical reality.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-27, 17:00:42


My definition of matter.
Frans was talking about the "normal" definition of matter. ::)
There is no normal definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter
Quote
Matter is a poorly defined term in science (see definitions below).
You may accuse me of shifting meanings, but if the alternative is to accept something poorly defined and elusive as the basis from which to derive everything else, then sorry, I prefer to stick with meanings - with relevant distinctions.

I was just kidding with Josh about the definition of matter. What you quoted above - about the definition of Matter - isn't in any way related to what I had said about shifting meanings, before. Please, read that again.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-27, 17:08:10
The problem with atheism is to deny or forget the subject.
According to my grammar classes, the subject can be "nobody" quite well.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-27, 18:34:21
Krauss is not my caricature, but of his own making. Or did you have something else in mind by straw men? What did I overlook? You keep accusing me randomly. I keep asking for examples, but none are forthcoming. I guess I will just disregard any such remarks from now on. Without proper examples, it's just hot air.

Well, here's a couple of specific examples.
https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=33.msg911#msg911
https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=33.msg2445#msg2445

In the first link you speak of "the physicist" as a generality, while apparently you only mean your particular interpretation of one physicist. In the second you write a giant wall of text based on barely reading one paragraph. It reminds me of what Dawkins wrote about The Selfish Gene.
Quote from: Richard Dawkins
Let me begin with some second thoughts about the title. In 1975, through the mediation of my friend Desmond Morris I showed the partially completed book to Tom Maschler, doyen of London publishers, and we discussed it in his room at Jonathan Cape. He liked the book but not the title. 'Selfish', he said, was a 'down word'. Why not call it The Immortal Gene? Immortal was an 'up' word, the immortality of genetic information was a central theme of the book, and 'immortal gene' had almost the same intriguing ring as 'selfish gene' (neither of us, I think, noticed the resonance with Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant). I now think Maschler may have been right. Many critics, especially vociferous ones learned in philosophy as I have discovered, prefer to read a book by title only. No doubt this works well  {viii}  enough for The Tale of Benjamin Bunny or The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but I can readily see that 'The Selfish Gene' on its own, without the large footnote of the book itself, might give an inadequate impression of its contents. Nowadays, an American publisher would in any case have insisted on a subtitle.


Three questions:

- How did you arrive at this conclusion? (i.e. show that both halves of the statement have evidential support)
- What is a fact of nature? An example.
- If reason is ruled out, how do you detect facts of nature?

Reason is not ruled out.
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.


How does one arrive at such a conclusion? Seeing how you like to keep talking about physics, classical mechanics held out quite well, did it not? And Aristotelian physics held up quite well until Galileo. So if you really can't think of an example yourself, try on craters for size.

Which way is it? Simple or not? Make up your mind.

Is it simple or not to say that a particular color is red? If you said it unequivocally isn't, you'd be just as wrong as if you said it unequivocally is.

I have had my own phase of denialism, so I know somewhat what you mean here. Hopefully you understand me too: running away from answers won't make the answers non-existent.

Why is the sky blue? Apple pie. Oh, if only I could quit running so the answers would be all over me.

First, I have not detected any coherent philosophical system behind your statements. Ah, well, reading a bit about "enactivism" reveals why. In fact I shouldn't

If you say so. I find coherence with reality a tad more important than an alleged lack of internal coherence.

Second, your statement was "Simply put, the universe is not an object inside the universe". The concept of subject has everything to do with it, because, logically, inasmuch as the universe cannot be considered an object, it must be considered the subject.

I didn't say the universe can't be an object. The various parts that make up a plane can't fly, but you'd be wrong if you therefore concluded a plane can't fly. Ascribing the same properties to the universe as to an object inside the universe may very well be a category mistake. Wikipedia presents the somewhat cruder but perhaps clearer example of saying bananas are atheists.

Empirically, the object is that which is observed, and the subject is that which observes. The subject itself cannot be observed, but it cannot be denied either. Insofar as observation occurs, the subject is a logical necessity. Metaphysically it's at least half of reality. The problem with atheism is to deny or forget the subject. It's a serious thing to overlook a half of metaphysical reality.

The subject is a part of reality, not opposite from it. The subject is also an object.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-27, 18:40:33
According to my grammar classes, the subject can be "nobody" quite well.

And just who's doing the raining in "it's raining"? ;)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-27, 20:51:21

Krauss is not my caricature, but of his own making. Or did you have something else in mind by straw men? What did I overlook? You keep accusing me randomly. I keep asking for examples, but none are forthcoming. I guess I will just disregard any such remarks from now on. Without proper examples, it's just hot air.

Well, here's a couple of specific examples.
https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=33.msg911#msg911
https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=33.msg2445#msg2445

In the first link you speak of "the physicist" as a generality, while apparently you only mean your particular interpretation of one physicist.

No. In that post I had physicists in mind as a generality, what I consider as a regular physicist. I brought up Krauss when you expressed your disbelief that such physicists exist. Krauss is not a caricature to me. He represents ordinary physicists trapped in preconceived notions imposed on them by their own science. And this image of physisicts is not mine alone. There's growing body of philosophical literature about scientism. You are welcome to bring up someone who represents ordinary physicists for you, if Krauss seems a caricature for you.

In the second you write a giant wall of text based on barely reading one paragraph. It reminds me of what Dawkins wrote about The Selfish Gene.
Sorry, but did you have something to say about what I actually wrote? Not just the length, but the contents, you know... 

Three questions:

- How did you arrive at this conclusion? (i.e. show that both halves of the statement have evidential support)
- What is a fact of nature? An example.
- If reason is ruled out, how do you detect facts of nature?

Reason is not ruled out.
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.


How does one arrive at such a conclusion? Seeing how you like to keep talking about physics, classical mechanics held out quite well, did it not? And Aristotelian physics held up quite well until Galileo. So if you really can't think of an example yourself, try on craters for size.
So, reason is not ruled out. This means that in your statement "[An illogical leap in reasoning] might be detectable through reason alone, but [a fact of nature] unfortunately is not" you actually have reason operative in both cases, while physicality is operative only in one case. This in turn means that dualism or idealism is a more practical philosophical perspective than physicalism, yet you expressed your reservations towards Platonic or Cartesian outlooks. Coherence does not seem to be your strong point.

Which way is it? Simple or not? Make up your mind.

Is it simple or not to say that a particular color is red? If you said it unequivocally isn't, you'd be just as wrong as if you said it unequivocally is.
Okay. From a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant to colour red. Coherence is definitely not your strong point.

In the current meaning of simple, your examples are inappropriate to me. The question for me is not if colour red or a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant are simple concepts. The real question is if they are relevant concepts. I don't care how simple they are. I care what they are about.

I have had my own phase of denialism, so I know somewhat what you mean here. Hopefully you understand me too: running away from answers won't make the answers non-existent.

Why is the sky blue? Apple pie. Oh, if only I could quit running so the answers would be all over me.
Resorting to irrationality when faced with facts of life undermining their world view is endemic among atheist physicalists these days. Vide Krauss. He is not the only example of course. Also, he is not a caricature. He is not a funny case to me. He is a sad case. I actually care about rationality. Rationality of scientists should matter more generally too, as a proof of quality of our civilisation or such.

First, I have not detected any coherent philosophical system behind your statements. Ah, well, reading a bit about "enactivism" reveals why. In fact I shouldn't

If you say so. I find coherence with reality a tad more important than an alleged lack of internal coherence.
I see. Yet another remark of the "coherence/rationality/truth is overrated" type. Yet coherence, rationality, and truth determine what reality is, not the other way round. If you think it's the other way round, then you can dedicate your life to the study of sky-scraper-sized pink elephants. As a joke or a dream-object, a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant is real enough, while coherence matters less according to you.

Ascribing the same properties to the universe as to an object inside the universe may very well be a category mistake.
Is this how you answer my point about the subject? By saying that mentioning the subject means ascribing the properties of the object to it? By implying that the subject just means the universe to you and consequently it's me making a category mistake? Coherence really is not your strong point, but I am already for a while under the impression that this is intentional.


The subject is a part of reality, not opposite from it. The subject is also an object.
The subject is a part of reality alright, but serves as a perfect example that not everything in reality is an object. The properties ascribable to them are a world apart. The object can be detected and observed, the subject only logically inferred. The subject is always conscious and alive, the object only sometimes, depending on the particular case or on the particular definition of conscious and alive. The object is an empirical reality in space and time with physical characteristics such as shape, size, etc., while the subject is a metaphysical reality with none of the physical features. By saying that the subject is also an object, you made a category mistake.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-28, 12:12:41
Sorry, but did you have something to say about what I actually wrote? Not just the length, but the contents, you know...

Quite simply, yet also rather surprisingly, you seem to have a hard time taking context into account. The few sentences I quoted did have a footnote or two in the form of the rest of the article. Most of your reply in essence regurgitated what he was responding to in the first place. Something similar applies to Russel's Teapot. It's part of a larger narrative, some of which I quoted to make that point. You then called it an awesome quote while both implicitly and explicitly rejecting that e.g the introduction might have much bearing at all on what followed.

This in turn means that dualism or idealism is a more practical philosophical perspective than physicalism, yet you expressed your reservations towards Platonic or Cartesian outlooks. Coherence does not seem to be your strong point.

I don't know if Cartasianism is more practical, although superficially it sure doesn't sound right. If mind and body are two distinct substances, and remember Descartes does support (pre)classical mechanics, how can they even act on each other? It sounds rather unpractical and incoherent. It stands to reason that Descartes was not incoherent and meant a logical distinction, i.e. different ways of describing what we experience, in which case it might be coherent and practical after all. But that aside. I suspect an enactivist-like reinterpretation of Descartes is hardly what you had in mind.

Much more important, what's practical and what's true are not the same thing. Of course something needs to be sufficiently true within certain parameters order to be practical, but that's a rather important distinction.

Okay. From a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant to colour red. Coherence is definitely not your strong point.

If the color analogy is such an incoherent shock without the inclusion of a giant elephant, just think of a pink elephant and a red elephant before you start thinking about when you'd start calling it one color or the other.

Resorting to irrationality when faced with facts of life undermining their world view is endemic among atheist physicalists these days. Vide Krauss. He is not the only example of course. Also, he is not a caricature. He is not a funny case to me. He is a sad case. I actually care about rationality. Rationality of scientists should matter more generally too, as a proof of quality of our civilisation or such.

Facts of life such as what? It's hardly my fault the answers I'm "running away from" consist of wishful thinking. Would I like to believe in kamma or some related concept? Of course! Do I like to feel cared for? Naturally. Would I like there to be easy answers? Occasionally.

I see. Yet another remark of the "coherence/rationality/truth is overrated" type. Yet coherence, rationality, and truth determine what reality is, not the other way round. If you think it's the other way round, then you can dedicate your life to the study of sky-scraper-sized pink elephants. As a joke or a dream-object, a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant is real enough, while coherence matters less according to you.

The Maxwell equations are incompatible with classical mechanics. I'm not completely sure how because I never went into those differential equations or what they represent in-depth; that's (mostly freshman-level) university-level physics. In any case, if you value coherence over accuracy, you'd be doing what exactly? Deny the way electromagnetism works just because it lacks coherence with your existing model? Stop investigating as soon as you've reached a coherent explanation for what you already know? My argument is that you should accept for now that things might seem somewhat incoherent, but everything that happened so far seems to indicate that you or someone else will figure out a way to make things coherent again in the future. And that will not happen by ignoring the facts.

NB By facts I don't mean one anomaly that seems to contradict a well-supported model, for that would be most likely to be some kind of fluke. If the anomaly is observed multiple times, however, it starts to become a problem.

As for the skyscraper-sized pink elephants, I believe whole branches of psychology already specialize in that sort of thing, not to mention theology departments.

While coherence matters less to me than truth, truth clearly doesn't matter much to you:
Quote from: ersi
Quote from: Frenzie
Quote from: ersi
If you insist that this is circular logic or that the distinction is irrelevant, then I don't call you a moral relativist any more. I call you moral nihilist.

Neither of those labels bother me, although they no more than partially apply. Just because there are no intrinsic moral values doesn't mean we can't come up with objective, universal moral values.
If moral definitions only partially apply, then what is objective and universal to you? It's becoming clear that you do not bother with objective and universal values yourself. This means you leave it to others. Then it shouldn't bother you when I "come up" with the values for you, as I consistently demonstrate better capacity to formulate ethical principles.

You seem to think calling someone a moral nihilist is an insult or something. I don't. Now, what could it mean when something partially applies? Since we're talking about sex and gender already, we could superficially examine what makes up a woman. She's got bones, nipples, hands, a head, a mouth, feet, hair, a uterus, and a vagina. The attributes of a woman don't just partially apply to me; they mostly apply to me. Yet somehow, I'm not a woman.

Your ethical principles mostly deny reality, so unfortunately they are worthless insofar as they do even if they often come to the right conclusions. "Coming up" with values "for me" illustrates that you value neither accuracy nor truth sufficiently. If I had no values I'd have no values. I certainly wouldn't have your made-up values.

Is this how you answer my point about the subject? By saying that mentioning the subject means ascribing the properties of the object to it? By implying that the subject just means the universe to you and consequently it's me making a category mistake? Coherence really is not your strong point, but I am already for a while under the impression that this is intentional.

What part of the universe is not an object inside the universe is so hard to understand? It's not my fault you decided to ignore half the noun phrase. Moreover, it's your own definition of a subject that precludes the universe from being one: the universe has characteristics like shape, size, et cetera. All I'm saying is that to think the same facts necessarily apply to the universe as to an object inside the universe is quite likely to be a category mistake. And that's why asking what caused the universe may not be a meaningful question at all.

The subject is a part of reality alright, but serves as a perfect example that not everything in reality is an object. The properties ascribable to them are a world apart. The object can be detected and observed, the subject only logically inferred. The subject is always conscious and alive, the object only sometimes, depending on the particular case or on the particular definition of conscious and alive. The object is an empirical reality in space and time with physical characteristics such as shape, size, etc., while the subject is a metaphysical reality with none of the physical features. By saying that the subject is also an object, you made a category mistake.

True, I did phrase that inadequately. Nevertheless, it seems clear now that your subject ("always conscious and alive") is just a synonym for God.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-28, 13:58:18

According to my grammar classes, the subject can be "nobody" quite well.

And just who's doing the raining in "it's raining"? ;)

A little bit off topic:
I'm not sure. In English, it seems that the subject is "it", while "it" is just a placeholder for an implicit inexistent subject. If I recall correctly, in German there's even a word for an inexistent subject: "es", so that the sentence would be like "'es' is raining", where "es" is a placeholder for an explicit inexistent subject. In Portuguese the sentence is constructed like "is raining": it just doesn't have a subject at all.
Finally, whether the subject can be inexistent, either implicitly or explicitly, or it can be "nobody", such a discussion about an object requiring a subject is pointless.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-28, 15:59:10
in German there's even a word for an inexistent subject: "es", so that the sentence would be like "'es' is raining",

That's not necessarily any different from "it". The child looks hungry; give it food. As you said the difference in both cases is that the antecedent is missing, but es is not a dedicated word. It's simply a neuter indeterminate pronoun. A construction like "The girl went shopping. It came home with a new hat."*  is quite ordinary. "She came home..." would be ungrammatical in this context.

* Das Mädchen ging einkaufen. Es kam Zuhause mit einem neuen Hut. Or something like that; I don't get to practice my German nearly enough.

Finally, whether the subject can be inexistent, either implicitly or explicitly, or it can be "nobody", such a discussion about an object requiring a subject is pointless.

You may have touched on something I overlooked. If an object was implicitly defined as needing a subject, rather than using those words descriptively to differentiate between our perceptions and what they relate to, that seems like it would be begging the question.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-28, 18:27:49

Sorry, but did you have something to say about what I actually wrote? Not just the length, but the contents, you know...

Quite simply, yet also rather surprisingly, you seem to have a hard time taking context into account. The few sentences I quoted did have a footnote or two in the form of the rest of the article.

The rest of the article is additional material, not context. The context is our discussion here and now, which is already massive enough to keep track of. Looks like we disagree on pretty much every new concept that shows up.

This in turn means that dualism or idealism is a more practical philosophical perspective than physicalism, yet you expressed your reservations towards Platonic or Cartesian outlooks. Coherence does not seem to be your strong point.

I don't know if Cartasianism is more practical, although superficially it sure doesn't sound right. If mind and body are two distinct substances, and remember Descartes does support (pre)classical mechanics, how can they even act on each other? It sounds rather unpractical and incoherent.

For practical purposes, Cartesianism sounds right enough. There's object and subject, body and mind. These are self-evident concepts. On the surface the system looks perfectly workable. In fact, it is workable, because e.g. sociology and psychology are based on this distinction. It works just fine. The question about how body and mind can interact is already going beyond the surface, but why would you go there? There's no reason to replace a workable concept system with something unworkable just to get rid of the interaction problem that presents no practical obstacles.

Here I don't really mean to defend Cartesianism (even though I would choose Cartesian dualism over materialist monism any day). This is just a point illustrating my bewilderment at your philosophical priorities. Namely, you place some obscure interaction problem above the general applicability of the concepts of body and mind, you get rid of the concept of mind, leaving just the body, and consequently ending up with highly distorted ideas about the subject. Why? How is this move practical, realistic, or true? These values don't seem to be guiding you here.

Much more important, what's practical and what's true are not the same thing. Of course something needs to be sufficiently true within certain parameters order to be practical, but that's a rather important distinction.

Yes, the distinction is important, but let's see you make some practical use of the distinction.

Resorting to irrationality when faced with facts of life undermining their world view is endemic among atheist physicalists these days. Vide Krauss. He is not the only example of course. Also, he is not a caricature. He is not a funny case to me. He is a sad case. I actually care about rationality. Rationality of scientists should matter more generally too, as a proof of quality of our civilisation or such.

Facts of life such as what? It's hardly my fault the answers I'm "running away from" consist of wishful thinking. Would I like to believe in kamma or some related concept? Of course! Do I like to feel cared for? Naturally. Would I like there to be easy answers? Occasionally.
How do you define wishful thinking? I suppose you will get as stuck here as when defining reality. You have not defined these crucial concepts, yet you have strongly entrenched opinions about them. This is how irrational minds operate, first get all fanatic/antagonistic about something, then later maybe, if ever, look what it actually is.

I see. Yet another remark of the "coherence/rationality/truth is overrated" type. Yet coherence, rationality, and truth determine what reality is, not the other way round. If you think it's the other way round, then you can dedicate your life to the study of sky-scraper-sized pink elephants. As a joke or a dream-object, a sky-scraper-sized pink elephant is real enough, while coherence matters less according to you.

The Maxwell equations are incompatible with classical mechanics. I'm not completely sure how because I never went into those differential equations or what they represent in-depth; that's (mostly freshman-level) university-level physics. In any case, if you value coherence over accuracy, you'd be doing what exactly? Deny the way electromagnetism works just because it lacks coherence with your existing model? Stop investigating as soon as you've reached a coherent explanation for what you already know? My argument is that you should accept for now that things might seem somewhat incoherent, but everything that happened so far seems to indicate that you or someone else will figure out a way to make things coherent again in the future. And that will not happen by ignoring the facts.
Agreed, but why are you contrasting coherence and accuracy? You see, in metaphysics, in logic, and in humanistic sciences coherence *is* accuracy.

In your example here, by coherence you seem to mean the internal coherence of the explanatory model, and by accuracy you mean the model's relation with observable facts. In physics these may have a variance, but in logic, concepts themselves are the only facts and, consequently, internal coherence equals accuracy. And what are we talking about here? We are talking about world views, philosophical systems, not some this or that empirical fact in isolation.

This is what I mean by coherence. When you understand the topic, then finally by the end of the day you may also be able to bring an example that is actually relevant to the discussion. And relevance is another aspect I have been emphasising along with coherence. A philosophical system may be internally coherent, but irrelevant due to, e.g. oversimplification, so that it's not applicable to a situation. This is so with any theory. No physical theory can explain e.g. the impact of a press release on the population. Why? Because physical theories are not about it. They lack the relevant concepts and dynamics. Your example from physics is simply not relevant. Accuracy in physics is different from accuracy in sociology and logic. In sociology and logic, accuracy is not about minute precision, but about relevant distinctions and nuances.

While coherence matters less to me than truth, truth clearly doesn't matter much to you: [snip]

You mean this bit: "Then it shouldn't bother you when I "come up" with the values for you, as I consistently demonstrate better capacity to formulate ethical principles." Do you notice how I put "come up" in quotes? Who was I quoting? I was quoting you! Looks like you have a hard time distinguishing mere rhetorical points from philosophical argumentation (this would explain why you think Russell's teapot is a philosophical argument, while in truth it would be pretty unfortunate for Russell if he really meant it this way). I am not into inventing values for other people to follow. This just demonstrates your incapacity to distinguish a rhetorical point from philosophical argumentation that really represents the opponent.

Also, without defining the concept of truth you are really not making any point of your own. You are not being convincing in your commitment to truth when truth remains undefined. Definitions are very important in our discussion, because we represent diametrically opposite points of view philosophically. The list of things that you don't believe in or that you think are worthless or where we disagree is long and serious already (reality, existence, matter, God, rationality, subject, context, accuracy). Now I have to see with astonishment that somehow you believe in truth. So, please define truth so that I can see what it actually is you believe in.

You seem to think calling someone a moral nihilist is an insult or something. I don't.
No, I didn't mean it as an insult. I meant it as an accurate description applicable to someone who is ready for wanton social engineering without considering the consequences.

Now, what could it mean when something partially applies? Since we're talking about sex and gender already, we could superficially examine what makes up a woman. She's got bones, nipples, hands, a head, a mouth, feet, hair, a uterus, and a vagina. The attributes of a woman don't just partially apply to me; they mostly apply to me. Yet somehow, I'm not a woman.

Your ethical principles mostly deny reality, so unfortunately they are worthless insofar as they do even if they often come to the right conclusions.

I see the literal point that man and woman share most organs yet man is man and woman is woman. Man and woman share most organs because they are of the same species, but they do not share the organs distinctive of their respective gender - which is what it means to be of different gender. This is all trivially true, so I have to ask why are you making this point and how does it relate to your statement about me denying reality. If it relates at all. In several ways, you are again making no point here. You are saying something trivially true in itself, but it relates to nothing else you are saying.

When you say "Your ethical principles mostly deny reality", what reality do you mean? Was my emphasis on the biological definition of family as the core reproductive unit of species somehow unreal? All along, there was no definition of family from you, so of course we had to go by my definition. How was my definition unreal? What is your definition of reality? If you mean the reality that you defined once as "independent from mind", then how do you arrive at any ethical principles independently from the mind (i.e. do ethical principles go under "reality" or not)? What is the reality that I am "mostly" denying? Examples and definitions, please, and be specific.

"Coming up" with values "for me" illustrates that you value neither accuracy nor truth sufficiently. If I had no values I'd have no values. I certainly wouldn't have your made-up values.
As I already said, this was a rhetorical point. Imposing values on other people is not what I would want to do. It's a simple thought experiment for you to consider: When you have no values, and considering that having no moral values is by itself often sufficient to get you in jail or in a lunatic asylum, and I assume you'd agree it is hardly demonstrative of any pragmatic life skills when you end up in those places, then why not, for practicality's sake, borrow some values from where they are readily available for learning and emulating? You don't have to borrow from me, but lacking values of your own, you'd have to borrow somewhere, anywhere. And, without values, who are you to say it's worse to borrow from me than from anyone else?

What part of the universe is not an object inside the universe is so hard to understand? It's not my fault you decided to ignore half the noun phrase.
I was not ignoring anything. I understand each and every word in line here, but they raise questions like: Why are they in line here? What is their purpose? How does it relate to the concept of subject?

It looks like your statement presupposes that the empirical universe is the only reality, there's no reality beyond it. This is a highly arguable preconception that you would do well to acknowledge. It would be nice of you to be open about your preconceived notions to yourself first, so you would not blame them on me, as you tend to do lately. It's important to make you aware of the presupposition embedded in your statement. You were supposed to be free from preconceived notions and I am all for being free from misinterpretations, misunderstandings and misrepresentations for both of us.

So, are you presupposing that the empirical/physical universe equals total reality? Yes or no.

Moreover, it's your own definition of a subject that precludes the universe from being one: the universe has characteristics like shape, size, et cetera.
By "one" you mean "object"? Is it again my fault when you fail to acknowledge the normal mainstream definition of the subject. You use your own nonstandard preconceived notions that turn the normal concept on its head, making it mean its logical opposite, and then you accuse me of a category mistake and redefinition? This is an especially queer form of projection.

The subject is a part of reality alright, but serves as a perfect example that not everything in reality is an object. The properties ascribable to them are a world apart. The object can be detected and observed, the subject only logically inferred. The subject is always conscious and alive, the object only sometimes, depending on the particular case or on the particular definition of conscious and alive. The object is an empirical reality in space and time with physical characteristics such as shape, size, etc., while the subject is a metaphysical reality with none of the physical features. By saying that the subject is also an object, you made a category mistake.

True, I did phrase that inadequately. Nevertheless, it seems clear now that your subject ("always conscious and alive") is just a synonym for God.
Right. So you know where this is heading, and you refuse to follow through with the logical conclusion due to your preconceived notion that "subject is just another object - must be!" But for me, when there's no logical or practical problem with the conclusion, then there's no problem with it, period. For all practical purposes, this is how it is.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-29, 09:43:10
Nevertheless, it seems clear now that your subject ("always conscious and alive") is just a synonym for God.

It seems in no way clear to me.

Regarding God, I see two possibilities, God as the definitive overcome of the logical cleavage subject/object or God as the demonstration of the non existence of object, everything being Subject.
Both would sustain the completeness and perfection of God but by two different ways.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-29, 15:56:35
ersi, this has been fun, but it's starting to take up too much of my time and I don't think we'll get much more out of it for now. I'll try to keep things a lot shorter than I'm inclined to, which I hope will aid clarity rather than reduce it.

We do seem to disagree on a great many things. That might mean I was wrong to disregard your insistence on defining reality more precisely, although I still think I can't do much better than the two or three tentative definitions I already gave you, and even those come with a slew of explicit and implicit constraints. For instance, when I use the word mind I mean it as a description of the way we experience the world, and not as something separate from it. Next time I'll make sure not to imply the mind is separate from reality. Perhaps better than to define reality more precisely in isolation, I'll paraphrase what I already said about epistemology. That is, how we can learn about reality: our knowledge of reality is limited to that which we can perceive or indirectly derive from such through the appropriate use of reason.

Indeed, this means that an ant's experience of reality is not the same as our own. Through the use of reason, measuring instruments, analogies, etc. we might manage to form a reasonable approximation. I believe such an approximation can only be considered valid if we assume an independent reality that exists with or without a human or an ant to experience it. That is what I mean when I say that reality is that which occurs outside your mind, even if your mind is smack dead in the middle of it, and when I say reality is that which doesn't go away no matter how much you might want it to. Perhaps the Buddhist story There Is No Ego (http://books.google.be/books?id=0fbIFCC0Sv0C&lpg=PA76&ots=xEIUGPmIKE&pg=PA74#v=onepage&q&f=false) will illustrate better how I define mind.

As for the practicality of Cartesianism, I could refer to the quite practical and very recent advancements in neurosurgery that allow the removal of brain tumors without e.g. impairing the patient's speech ability, which was impossible even just a decade ago. I could talk about how stimulating certain areas of the brain can evoke sensations or disrupt certain higher functions, or how the brain seems to store memories rather than receive them. However, I don't believe I have to refer to the modern era in order to find this issue not very obscure at all, and I can simply refer to experiences common to (almost) all people who ever lived. After a hard day of physical activity, I'm generally not in the mood to read the likes of The Sound and the Fury, or to think particularly sophisticated thoughts. Why should my mind be tired when I only used my body?

Let's see, I seem to disagree with your definition of definition itself. That is, I often don't even see the need. If I say that a heterosexual couple and child are a family, a single parent and child are a family, and a homosexual couple and child are a family, I have implicitly already stated that, in the context of child-rearing, a family consists of at least one adult and one child. In both cases you should ask about particular concerns or unclarities if there are any. I'm not sure if this means that your definitions are more prescriptive while mine are more descriptive, whether it's more directly related to some kind Platonic idealism, or whether it's just an internalized philosophical reflex that's not always appropriate. (Regarding the definition of wishful thinking; there are websites (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wishful_thinking) that can explain what atheists tend to mean with such terms. A word of warning, that particular website might display some snarky humor. They also have an article on reality.)

In your example here, by coherence you seem to mean the internal coherence of the explanatory model, and by accuracy you mean the model's relation with observable facts. In physics these may have a variance, but in logic, concepts themselves are the only facts and, consequently, internal coherence equals accuracy. And what are we talking about here? We are talking about world views, philosophical systems, not some this or that empirical fact in isolation.

That's what I've been saying all along, isn't it? That's all perfectly fine, glorious even, so long as it's understood that philosophy is restricted only by our mental capacity, not by reality. The reality-check I keep going on about is what you off-handedly wiped under the table, even if elsewhere you speak of irrelevance due to oversimplification. Science, in contrast, is a specialized branch of philosophy which is restricted by reality.

You say that coherence is accuracy in the humanities, but I reject that because I can say the exact same thing about e.g. a grammar as I can about any other scientific model.

So, are you presupposing that the empirical/physical universe equals total reality? Yes or no.

I live my life under the assumption that physicalism in a broad sense is true, using what essentially comes down to Richard Carrier's definitions of natural and supernatural (http://richardcarrier.blogspot.be/2007/01/defining-supernatural.html). Please do read the entire piece. However, that assumption is emphatically not embedded in what I wrote about the nature of the universe. My presuppositions about what can be meaningfully said about reality, of course, are.

I'll try to clarify more if you have any further questions about my views, but I hope to end the discussion by agreeing to disagree. If that's not something you wish to do, I'm afraid I'll have to leave you hanging. ;)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-29, 16:03:23
I split off the grammatical discussion (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=79.0).
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-29, 20:17:00
So finally I have earned some kind of half-recognition with reference to lack of time. Thanks, Frenzie. I understand your constraints and I truly appreciate the time and effort you have put into the discussion. This must have become possible by means of a fair amount of sincerity. In return, I will try my best not to touch on your incoherence this time. Rather, let's note two common points that I think you agree we share.

Point #1. We both seem to be after truth. You have expressed your honest take on things as best as humanly possible and I hope you see that I did exactly the same, not something different. I am not distorting my stance. I am not making things up on the go. Everything I say is backed up by evidence, examples, and logical proof. We both do this because we are after actual truth, not some convenient half-explanations.

Point #2. We both seem to believe we are pretty close to some kind of final truth. We think we only require some minor revisions in our respective overall world views, if at all. This is a common point that drives us to disagreement. Still, it is a strong common point that could in its own way to help us surmount the differences, if we play it with some more humility, willingness to learn, and continued sincerity in the quest after truth.

...our knowledge of reality is limited to that which we can perceive or indirectly derive from such through the appropriate use of reason.

Glad to see that you have a place for "the appropriate use of reason" after all, even though the exact formulation of course calls for further clarification. To me it's self-evident that empirical knowledge about objects is not the only knowledge, and that it's actually the lowest kind of knowledge. The mind is so crucially indispensable in all interpretation, sorting and correlating of the sensory data, so that in the end of the day, zen-like statements like "all is mind" seem much less off target than the supposedly scientific but impermissibly reductionist "we are just atoms".

A trivial example. We have five separate commonly recognised sensory channels. Let's say we observe a barking dog. The vision operates through the eyes. What the eyes actually see is a dog opening and closing its mouth rhythmically. The eyes don't hear anything. It's ears, whole different organs, that do the hearing. But the mind correlates vision and hearing and concludes it's the dog barking, even though the eyes don't hear and the ears don't see the dog barking. There, already this trivial level is not free from the intervention of the mind. It's an example of inductive correlation, the simplest form of reasoning. And we both know how important it is to have this little mental function constantly operative in our everyday lives.

The same way as this example illustrates the vital importance of the inductive reasoning, I also award other mental operations, such as deduction and logical inference, a high place in the temple of knowledge and truth, a place far above mere sense-perception. Physical facts exist, but they are absolutely worthless without coherent logical organisation. Logic tells me, for example, that causality implies destiny (i.e. based on your potentials and the current situation you can calculate your likely future); broken destiny (such as a child's death or other fatal accidents) implies afterlife; broken destiny and afterlife together imply pre-life, and this way the logical support for the law of karma is complete. It's a law of nature, non-different from causality, and very relevant to us from moment to moment both in small time-scales and large. No wishful thinking involved at all.

I won't go into more details for now. It's good enough that we got as far as we got. It will be good to continue from here some other year or century or so.

Regarding God, I see two possibilities, God as the definitive overcome of the logical cleavage subject/object or God as the demonstration of the non existence of object, everything being Subject.
Both would sustain the completeness and perfection of God but by two different ways.
It's nice of you to uphold the transcendental view of God, but for us mere mortals the relative view is more accessible. Particularly when talking to atheists, the relative view is the only view that is likely to be given some thought by them. I don't deny that the path via the object, the empirical way can lead to the transcendental point of view in the end, but I don't believe it can be recommended with the same success as the path via the subject. Namely, the objects are far and wide, in innumerable confusing shapes, never as completely and immediately accessible as the subject. The subject, on the other hand, is always with us wherever we go, and it's always immediately accessible in its totality. This is why the path via the subject is the direct path, while the path via the object is a detour.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2013-12-30, 11:20:34
It's nice of you to uphold the transcendental view of God, but for us mere mortals the relative view is more accessible. Particularly when talking to atheists, the relative view is the only view that is likely to be given some thought by them.

Atheists will never give any attention to anything that shocks the illusion that they are in domain. That's why they reject any idea of God, they consider God to be some sort of feudal master idea and atheism something alike democracy, equality, non discrimination, gay rights, that kind of trendy illusions they like so much.
Curiously, they forget that many sinister and bloody regimes were exactly atheists.

The above introduction it's meant to remember that religion is not only the philosophical quest. In fact, for the majority of people all over the world, religion has nothing of philosophical. What atheists pretends to fight is the culture, tradition, rituals, organization and practices associated with any religion.
Philosophy, they have no clue about what it is and regarding spiritual aspects, they see it as pre-historic mambo jambo, an obstacle to modernity.

It's at the sociological, cultural and political field that theism and atheism clashes. In philosophy, I never saw any consistent defense of atheism.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2013-12-30, 11:25:11
Back to topic: The problem with Atheism.

Some nice insights have been given here. I'd like to address them.

But remember:

Pick any group of living humans that is non-trivial in size, you're guaranteed to find your share of idiots, psychos, assholes and so on. Why would atheists be any different in that regard?


1.
The Problem with Atheism is that they can never disprove the existence of God, so they attack everyone of faith with hate.

I don't see why this is a problem. Atheists don't have to disprove anything - unless required by some nutty theist. The inability to disprove the undisprovable isn't a bug - it's a feature.

2.
The Problem with Atheism is that hate is the only answer they have to the existence of God.

Hate? This can be applied to some nutty atheists, of course, but Atheism (if it exists at all) isn't about hate, and the existence of God isn't even a question that should be answered.

3.
The concept of immaterial is worth taking seriously.

This one has taken a lot of posts. In my point of view, the concept of immaterial isn't necessarily denied by atheists; they just don't see a reason to take it seriously, or even to take it at all. When someone comes up with arguments that the "immaterial" should be taking seriously, some problem arises.

Personally, I don't deny that something immaterial - or God, or gods - COULD exist, and I obviously can't disprove such things; but I have reasons to personally believe that they don't exist at all. This doesn't apply to all atheists, or agnostics, or whatever.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2013-12-30, 11:35:41
The Problem with Atheism

The author should demonstrate, that,
with - what? - atheism.
[/list]Because otherwise, there can't be any "the" in the title.
Am I (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F996t7u0.png&hash=de2e4bf985c158e2b5d0de8535ec1a41" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/996t7u0.png)?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2013-12-30, 23:21:31
This one has taken a lot of posts. In my point of view, the concept of immaterial isn't necessarily denied by atheists; they just don't see a reason to take it seriously, or even to take it at all. When someone comes up with arguments that the "immaterial" should be taking seriously, some problem arises.

Oh, but I do take metaphysics quite seriously. Metaphysics is what you infer from what you think science has proved. As ersi said, "You use [metaphysical concepts] daily and they are indispensable." However, I have an issue with ersi's use of the word "immaterial" to describe metaphysics, because I hold metaphysical naturalism to be true.

Am I (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F996t7u0.png&hash=de2e4bf985c158e2b5d0de8535ec1a41" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/996t7u0.png)?

Nope. :P It's short for the most important problem, not the only problem. The problem with fishing in the wrong time of year is that you're severely diminishing next year's population, but problems like destroying the bottom of the ocean remain no matter when you fish.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2013-12-31, 19:29:46

Atheists will never give any attention to anything that shocks the illusion that they are in domain.

No need to be too dismissive. The same way as most religious people are religious simply out of convenience or inertia, atheists also are mostly people who haven't given these matters any deeper thought. Every thinking person experiences a few events in life that shake her out of complacency and provide another point of view to the way of life and the order of things. A small realisation, an experience of a broader perspective is in store for all of us.


In philosophy, I never saw any consistent defense of atheism.

Now, this is quite true, and this implies that atheists are unphilosophical, i.e. haven't given any deeper thought to the basis and implications of their own world view, exactly as I said. Another example is right here:


The concept of immaterial is worth taking seriously.

This one has taken a lot of posts. In my point of view, the concept of immaterial isn't necessarily denied by atheists; they just don't see a reason to take it seriously, or even to take it at all. When someone comes up with arguments that the "immaterial" should be taking seriously, some problem arises.

Personally, I don't deny that something immaterial - or God, or gods - COULD exist, and I obviously can't disprove such things; but I have reasons to personally believe that they don't exist at all. This doesn't apply to all atheists, or agnostics, or whatever.

You say that gods COULD exist, you can't disprove them, but you still don't believe they exist. If you were an investigative skeptic, you'd keep inquiring until a proper solid answer is found, instead of staying at mere belief. For the enquiry to be meaningful, you can't presuppose that gods depend on your belief. It's the other way round: Gods reveal themselves to you (or not) as they please, regardless of your beliefs. Gods may have mercy on you and show themselves when you investigate seriously enough.

There's nothing extraordinary in this view. It's so with all reality, all facts: Reality is what it is regardless of popular belief. Reality reveals itself for those who undergo thorough enough investigation. In any scientific or skeptical enquiry, if you mean to find out the true answer, you consider your hypothesis as a fact and investigate it as such, seriously and conscientiously.

When you take sides based on mere belief, your stance does not fulfil even the scientific criteria, not to mention the philosophical criteria, which are stricter, though also subtle enough so that they are useless to explain to someone who doesn't care to pay attention. As Belfrager said, there's no philosophical defence for atheism. Atheism is only a hasty generalisation from the failure to detect a skydaddy, flying spaghetti monster or cosmic teapot.

May the next year bless your quest for truth.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2014-01-01, 13:50:40
Apart from daydreams, where is the evidence for the existence of a god, let alone gods?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-01-01, 19:41:38
Here's a video that might be relevant to this thread: Is Philosophy Stupid? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLvWz9GQ3PQ)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-01-02, 09:01:09
If you were an investigative skeptic, you'd keep inquiring until a proper solid answer is found, instead of staying at mere belief.

I was an investigative believer, and no proper solid answer was found. Enough for me.
In any scientific or skeptical enquiry, if you mean to find out the true answer, you consider your hypothesis as a fact and investigate it as such, seriously and conscientiously.

I think it's the other way around: you consider your "fact" as a hypothesis and investigate it to see if it works out as a fact (I'm not speaking too strictly here, just to show the idea).
Happy new year!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-01-02, 23:52:20
Bah...
Theism/Atheism is not a matter of "investigation" but about how we were born.
Destiny it's what counts.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-01-03, 07:58:23
 
Theism/Atheism is not a matter of "investigation" but about how we were born. Destiny it's what counts.

I was born head first, feet last. Is that the sign of an atheist?  ;D
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-01-03, 08:08:23



See? when atheists don't speak, there's absolutely no problem with atheism... :)

Isn't this valid for both directions? :)

Valid in any direction if you don't have anything to support your position.

There's nothing under the sun that can meaningfully support any religious position, and the same is true of atheism, agnosticism and drink preferences.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-01-03, 10:26:29
Roughly speaking, agnosticism is the lack of faith, that is, the lack of something... = nothing. There's actually nothing to support. Hence, this is the simplest "religious" position.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Mandi on 2014-01-03, 22:53:46

Theism/Atheism is not a matter of "investigation" but about how we were born. Destiny it's what counts.

I was born head first, feet last. Is that the sign of an atheist?  ;D


That would make most people atheists.  Hmmmmmm.....
When I was born, I didn't know anything about religion. As is true for every other human being.  Does that mean anything?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-01-04, 09:16:12
That would make most people atheists.  Hmmmmmm.....When I was born, I didn't know anything about religion. As is true for every other human being.  Does that mean anything?

Perhaps, but as any religionist will tell you, the Spirit of the Lard was watching over you at that time and all the way back to fertilization.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-04, 10:24:10

That would make most people atheists.  Hmmmmmm.....When I was born, I didn't know anything about religion. As is true for every other human being.  Does that mean anything?

Perhaps, but as any religionist will tell you, the Spirit of the Lard was watching over you at that time and all the way back to fertilization.

Children are clueless about most things. Is it surprising that they are also clueless about atheism-vs.-religion divide?

@Jimbro
Kids are watched over by the parents. Perhaps this means something.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-04, 10:39:25

Bah...
Theism/Atheism is not a matter of "investigation" but about how we were born.
Destiny it's what counts.
You mean to say that conversion doesn't happen?

Somehow, even though born in the Soviet Union, I resisted to be identified as a Soviet since very early age. Soon enough it turned out that the country itself was destined for destruction. In the light of this, what is destiny?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-06, 20:42:56

Here's a video that might be relevant to this thread: Is Philosophy Stupid? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLvWz9GQ3PQ)
This video is not as bad as I suspected at first. The speaker shows a way to think about the relationship of philosophy and science, so that philosophy has a place and purpose. Sure enough, philosophy has a place and purpose, most importantly in defining and exercising laws of logic. The speaker also directs criticism at philosophy, but this criticism only refers to the current organisation of academic philosophy, not with its overall place, purpose, or achievements. And possibly the organisation under criticism only applies to the United States

There are three issues with the video itself that I'd like to point out. First, the art and science of argumentation (the structure of philosophical arguments) is vital in philosophy. The speaker does not present a single argument. The speaker's world view is atheism and he repeatedly asserts its superiority over theism, but he does not give a single example by refuting a theistic argument or by presenting an atheist argument. Plain assertions do not make any case for a world view. One such argument or refutation would have been good to educate the audience and show the quality of the speaker's philosophical stance.

Second, he cites Krauss. Even though Krauss is topical, it demonstrates poor judgement to cite Krauss favourably, because Krauss's arguments are unphilosophical and self-admittedly illogical and irrational, while logic and rationality are central to philosophy.

Third, the speaker promotes his book in the end. It's okay that he promotes his book, but he makes rather bold assertions about it: "This is the only book that presents a coherent [naturalist-atheist] world view based on where we are in science and philosophy now." No, it's not the only such book. Let's recall, for instance, Walter Kaufman's "The Faith of a Heretic" and Alex Rosenberg's "Eliminativism without Tears". These are examples of philosophical attempts at a coherent explanation of everything from the atheist point of view. I also know of very good literary (bordering philosophical) accounts, such as Ernest Renan's "La vie de Jésus" and Thomas Mann's "Das Gesetz".

In addition to Frenzie's link, the video I'd like to recommend is Intro to Philosophy of Religion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gbGvyJNELU). The speaker is, again, atheist, so nobody should have a problem with him. His focus is on the nature of ultimate causes/explanations, on argumentation as such, and on the definition of God. All this is perfectly appropriate to the discussion. The video contains sufficient relevant distinctions from what is of interest to philosophers as opposed to scientists of specific fields or non-scientific people, and the way argumentation works as an explanation for something.

And on my own part, I'd like to say a few words on debate. Debate is an exercise of argumentation. Debate doesn't lead to truth, but shows who can build more solid and coherent argumentation, which in a good case should lead both participants to some considerations as to their overall world view, if they have it. Rather than a way to convince others of something, a philosophical debate is a good opportunity to learn about one's own beliefs oneself. Some relevant aspects of a debate are:

- Common definitions. In order to have a dialogue in the first place, there must be some common ground. Usually this means there must be agreement on one or some focal concepts.

- Criticism is always constructive. Given that the first aspect is fulfilled, it follows that there is dialogue, which in turn means there's critical scrutiny of definitions, of argumentation, etc., which again means that there is real progressive clarity regarding the things discussed. A good opponent is respectably and worthy. With this attitude in mind, ad hominem attacks and other lame fallacies are ruled out by themselves. By the amount and nature of fallacies it's usually easy to see if there's the appropriate philosophical attitude in the exchange.

- The topic dictates the nature of the arguments. For example, when the topic is "Does God exist?" it's irrelevant for the atheist side to say that God in the Old Testament is evil and stupid. This kind of argumentation builds a case for an evil god, i.e. it builds a case for a god. It doesn't undermine the existence of God. The argument from evil is applicable when the topic is "Is God good?" Similarly, the objections or refutations of God directly depend on the definition or concept of God. E.g. the argument from evil could refute a good God, but it doesn't refute the concept of a creator God as such. Also, the demand for empirical proof of God doesn't apply when God is not defined as an empirical being, an object among others. Etc.

These two videos should beat some sense into the discussion.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-01-06, 21:13:50


Bah...
Theism/Atheism is not a matter of "investigation" but about how we were born.
Destiny it's what counts.
You mean to say that conversion doesn't happen?

Somehow, even though born in the Soviet Union, I resisted to be identified as a Soviet since very early age. Soon enough it turned out that the country itself was destined for destruction. In the light of this, what is destiny?

I would say that conversion was your destiny. It was mine also, but I'm a fatalist so it doesn't bothers me at all, I just accept it.
You probably aren't and you believe you command your life. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-06, 21:31:23

I would say that conversion was your destiny. It was mine also, but I'm a fatalist so it doesn't bothers me at all, I just accept it.
You probably aren't and you believe you command your life. :)
Not really in command, no. I observe tension between individual willpower and destiny. On one hand, it's wisely ordained that ignorant will, no matter how powerful, must always eventually subside in the waves of destiny. On the other, each such wave is a manifestation (or an aftermath) of a particular instance of willpower of some individual. So, the best way I can put it is that there's tension. The purpose of religion is to help cope with this tension between one's own will and other wills, and make life meaningful, whatever the particular configuration of destiny may be.

I have understood that the purpose is not to be in total command of destiny, but to find a preferably effortless way to make destiny feel and seem natural. Be friends with your own destiny, a good recommendation, right?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-01-07, 04:10:41
"The purpose of religion is to help cope with this tension between one's own will and other wills, and make life meaningful, whatever the particular configuration of destiny may be."

Isn't it just a bit presumptuous of religion and/or you, Ersi, to assume that I or anyone else need a god of some sort to make life meaningful.  Religion would reduce my life to being created for the sole purpose of worshiping my creator for all eternity.  That is what religion offers--"the opportunity in heaven to sing His praise forever".  How many times would I have to thank God for my existence?  I honestly can't imagine anything more meaningless than that. 

Religious people speak about the wonderful spirituality of having God in charge of their lives, but know nothing of the greater spirituality felt in understanding our existence through man's best efforts to discover nature's truth.  The story of mankind is before us right now--from the instant of spontaneous creation, to the formation of stardust, to the first self-replicating cell, to evolution, to mankind today--it is all there for each of us to comprehend and marvel at.  I prefer to stand in awe and reverence to what our species has accomplished in this universe and not to some possible supernatural being--that, to me, is a much, much greater spirituality. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-01-07, 08:11:19
Yes. But that's rather "the" problem with religion (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=33.0), James.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-01-07, 09:20:45
Not really in command, no. I observe tension between individual willpower and destiny. On one hand, it's wisely ordained that ignorant will, no matter how powerful, must always eventually subside in the waves of destiny. On the other, each such wave is a manifestation (or an aftermath) of a particular instance of willpower of some individual. So, the best way I can put it is that there's tension. The purpose of religion is to help cope with this tension between one's own will and other wills, and make life meaningful, whatever the particular configuration of destiny may be.

Exactly. Tension is a very good definition, tension between layers.
The layer of free will and rational thinking and a deeper, non rational, layer that only can be perceived indirectly and, yet, it's constantly present.
I have understood that the purpose is not to be in total command of destiny, but to find a preferably effortless way to make destiny feel and seem natural. Be friends with your own destiny, a good recommendation, right?

What else can we do...
Yes, things changes a lot when people realize this.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-01-07, 09:51:06
Destiny exists only when it has already happened. Then, it's not destiny anymore.  ???
Title: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-01-07, 10:15:32
A church for atheists?! What next? A McDonalds without Big Macs?
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/07/260184473/sunday-assembly-a-church-for-the-godless-picks-up-steam?ft=1&f=1001 (http://www.npr.org/2014/01/07/260184473/sunday-assembly-a-church-for-the-godless-picks-up-steam?ft=1&f=1001)
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.npr.org%2Fassets%2Fimg%2F2014%2F01%2F06%2Fap132299252338_wide-809246b52e0de30b8a2d77b7c282d0948bf061cf-s4-c85.jpg&hash=8b4fca2c43943c6f5f46148ecff8c62c" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2014/01/06/ap132299252338_wide-809246b52e0de30b8a2d77b7c282d0948bf061cf-s4-c85.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jax on 2014-01-07, 12:45:17

Too little basic human decency.

http://skepchick.org/2011/12/reddit-makes-me-hate-atheists/

Reddit is the ugliest face of male adolescence of any age. While they have tried a little to clean up their act, it is a place to stay away from.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-07, 14:25:40

Religious people speak about the wonderful spirituality of having God in charge of their lives, but know nothing of the greater spirituality felt in understanding our existence through man's best efforts to discover nature's truth.

What exactly is this 'spirituality' thing anyway and how can it be useful?
As far as I can tell the only 'spirituality' that exists in real life comes in bottles.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-07, 14:26:46

Destiny exists only when it has already happened. Then, it's not destiny anymore.  ???

It's a convenient excuse for all kinds of dickery. A bit old fashioned these days though.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-07, 14:27:29

A church for atheists?!

That's what we call a pub :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-01-07, 15:38:41
What exactly is this 'spirituality' thing anyway and how can it be useful?

This is the kind of spirituality that can unify a world.  To be able to see that it took all the time that it took--from the combined efforts of all of us--to finally answer the most perplexing question man has been asking since he was conscious of himself.   When the people of Earth realize that we are alone in this universe, perhaps then we will learn to depend on one another and see that only by cooperation can we possibly survive. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-07, 15:50:54

What exactly is this 'spirituality' thing anyway and how can it be useful?

This is the kind of spirituality that can unify a world.  To be able to see that it took all the time that it took--from the combined efforts of all of us--to finally answer the most perplexing question man has been asking since he was conscious of himself.   When the people of Earth realize that we are alone in this universe, perhaps then we will learn to depend on one another and see that only by cooperation can we possibly survive.

That's all nice and fluffy but doesn't even attempt to answer the question.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-01-07, 20:08:13
That's all nice and fluffy but doesn't even attempt to answer the question.

If you don't think unifying our world to a single cause is useful then I got nothing else for ya bub.  I got your fluff swinging. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-07, 20:20:19

That's all nice and fluffy but doesn't even attempt to answer the question.

If you don't think unifying our world to a single cause is useful then I got nothing else for ya bub.  I got your fluff swinging.

Do you actually read what you 'respond' to? Let's try this again:
What exactly is this 'spirituality' thing anyway and how can it be useful?
Do you understand the question?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-01-08, 02:16:49
What exactly is this 'spirituality' thing anyway and how can it be useful?

There is no single definition of spirituality.  I see it as that which leads to finding purpose and meaning in life; generally an internal individual experience that is set apart from the ordinary. 

Spirituality can be useful in providing the impetus for people to simply put one foot in front of the other along life's road.  No one gets through this life unscathed--we are all guaranteed to be in pain, physically and psychologically, during our brief sentience on Earth.  Our spirituality is simply something we can call on to help us through those times. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-08, 07:18:20
Spirituality can be useful in providing the impetus for people to simply put one foot in front of the other along life's road.  No one gets through this life unscathed--we are all guaranteed to be in pain, physically and psychologically, during our brief sentience on Earth.  Our spirituality is simply something we can call on to help us through those times. 
You have a penchant for verbal disagreement when you are substantially in agreement. It's a peculiar characteristic, amusing to observe :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-01-08, 08:12:30
Spirituality can be useful in providing the impetus for people to simply put one foot in front of the other along life's road.

Spirituality is what one goes to when life is seen as confusing. A seeing eye dog works better.

Maybe if you defined spirituality for us...
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fhollywoodphony.files.wordpress.com%2F2008%2F06%2Fguide-dog.jpg%3Fw%3D200%26amp%3Bh%3D180&hash=9a2c090e6fc68d320ef61acdc5ed5822" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://hollywoodphony.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/guide-dog.jpg?w=200&h=180)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-08, 08:45:23

What exactly is this 'spirituality' thing anyway and how can it be useful?

There is no single definition of spirituality.  I see it as that which leads to finding purpose and meaning in life; generally an internal individual experience that is set apart from the ordinary.

How is attaching purpose & meaning to your life 'apart from the ordinary'? Nearly everyone does that, wether they admit it or not.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2014-01-08, 19:52:19
When the people of Earth realize that we are alone in this universe...........


Now that's a profoundly quantitative statement to get one's head around. (https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/imthinkin6.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-01-08, 23:08:44
You have a penchant for verbal disagreement when you are substantially in agreement. It's a peculiar characteristic, amusing to observe

Sometimes I argue with myself...if no one else will.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-01-19, 15:12:20
IMHO , Spiritualism is Traditional Psychic  science .

almost same with Philanthropy --> how to be a Human .

Spiritualism also almost same with Modern Psychology .

usually it's something about Mindfullness , n/or healthy mind .

to prevent some Mind diseases like : Anxiety , Bipolar , Schizo , ADHD /ADD , Obsessive compulsive disorder, etc .
thru Meditation ,  Philosophy ,  attitude , etc.
i/e ---> Dont think , just let things happen

so the symptoms of Spiritual awakening   is something like diz


(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi41.tinypic.com%2F140ak94.jpg&hash=7e27f047f673f4ec343e52e1e6794f73" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i41.tinypic.com/140ak94.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-20, 01:31:16

IMHO , Spiritualism is Traditional Psychic  science .

That's at least three oxymorons rolled into one :faint:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-01-20, 04:45:44
i cant find the Right words fo dat ..

Ancient Psychology

Traditional Psychology

Afaik, Psychology is Psychics science .

so what's the right word for something like dat ?  :o

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-20, 12:25:24

i cant find the Right words fo dat ..

Ancient Psychology

Traditional Psychology

Afaik, Psychology is Psychics science .

so what's the right word for something like dat ?  :o

I think the term you're looking for is 'bullshit that you can pretend is helping you somehow'.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-01-21, 13:08:00
so , psychology is bullshit ?

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-21, 13:14:24

so , psychology is bullshit ?

I didn't say that. Anything with 'psychic' in it is bullshit. Almost anything with 'traditional' or 'ancient' attached to it ( for things that don't usually require them ) is bullshit.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'spiritualism' - 19th century fraudsters pretending to talk to dead people?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-01-21, 13:25:45
 dat fraudster is suffered for @schizophrenia.

there are like 4000 religion n/or spiritual traditions.

some are nonsenses , some are makes aa senses .

Afaik , Zen is sane enuf .

dat's something about Consciousness, Mindfullness , Stress management , etc
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-22, 16:44:47
So your point is ... what exactly?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-23, 06:47:37
I don't know what Sparta's point is, but I find it significant that physics has made exactly zero contribution to psychology, whereas psychology (the concept of mind) has made significant contributions to understanding the implications of quantum mechanics.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-01-23, 11:32:33
@mac

the point is , there are Psychiatrists before Psychiatrist called   Psychiatrist

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-01-23, 13:14:36

@mac

the point is , there are Psychiatrists before Psychiatrist called   Psychiatrist


Which has what to do with what exactly?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-01-23, 13:18:13
psychology (the concept of mind) has made significant contributions to understanding the implications of quantum mechanics.

What are you talking about?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-23, 13:50:16

psychology (the concept of mind) has made significant contributions to understanding the implications of quantum mechanics.

What are you talking about?
Things such as "Consciousness causes collapse," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann-Wigner_interpretation) many-minds interpretation, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation) retrocausality, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrocausality) parallel superposition of physical states, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition) antimatter, etc. All these concepts are either directly borrowed from or informed by psychology. There's been no contribution in the other direction.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-01-23, 14:57:29
All these concepts are either directly borrowed from or informed by psychology.

Go on.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-23, 15:05:44

All these concepts are either directly borrowed from or informed by psychology.

Go on.
You be a smart dude, not easily appeased. Recommended reading: The correspondence of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atom-Archetype-Pauli-Letters-1932-1958/dp/0415120780/).
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-01-23, 15:24:54
Your own link seems to disagree.
I find it significant that physics has made exactly zero contribution to psychology (emphasis mine), whereas psychology (the concept of mind) has made significant contributions to understanding the implications of quantum mechanics.

Quote from: The blurb from Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters 1932-1958
Through the association of these two pioneering thinkers, developments in physics profoundly influenced the evolution of Jungian psychology (emphasis mine).
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-01-23, 15:50:08
Read the book :) I have read it. My impression:

Admittedly it's evident that Jung the psychologist was highly interested in quantum mechanics, and became informed of physics in general during the correspondence, but as to any detectable/citable contribution from classical physics to his theories, there's no evidence of such. Whereas Pauli the quantum physicist, if you consider QM physics, learned a lot on the problems I already linked to earlier. Note that they are closely philosophical problems (problem of measurement, mind-body problem, consciousness and subconsciousness), not strictly science problems, and none of these is really a physics problem, yet they have entered physics (quantum mechanics, specifically) via psychology and philosophy.

The interaction of ideas in the book is between psychology, philosophy, mythology, and quantum physics as a continuum theory. Relativity theory is discussed in the same spirit. Newton is only discussed as an alchemist. I am not exaggerating when I say that the influence is exactly in one direction.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-02-07, 19:56:58
This is probably the right thread for this one http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-moral-landscape-challenge1

Quote from: Sam Harris, New Atheist

So I would like to issue a public challenge. Anyone who believes that my case for a scientific understanding of morality is mistaken is invited to prove it in under 1,000 words. (You must address the central argument of the book--not peripheral issues.) The best response will be published on this website, and its author will receive $2,000. If any essay actually persuades me, however, its author will receive $20,000,* and I will publicly recant my view.

Submissions will be accepted here the week of February 2-9, 2014.

One thing is certain: He won't be persuaded, the $20,000 prize will not find its lucky winner. Reasons for this are two-fold. One, Sam Harris cannot be persuaded logically, because he has displayed utter contempt for logic as used in philosophy, which is the domain of logic. Two, he is an emotional person whose arguments are appeals to emotion, while he thinks he's being logical.

Thus, all rational arguments will fail, and the most beautiful essay consisting of an appeal to emotion will be denounced as an appeal to emotion. Emotional people become particularly angry when they detect an attempt of emotional manipulation on themselves :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Colonel Rebel on 2014-02-17, 23:06:16
Must say I am terribly disappointed that Mr. Howie and Belfrager and mjmsprt40 aren't in here teaming up to debate us "heathens". :(
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-02-18, 00:53:26
Atheism is boring.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-02-18, 04:21:39

Must say I am terribly disappointed that Mr. Howie and Belfrager and mjmsprt40 aren't in here teaming up to debate us "heathens". :(
At least Belfrager was active in these threads when you weren't. Besides, you personally don't qualify as a heathen. You are a fresh convert into atheism. I remember when you declared that Bantay had converted you. Now stay where you are. Too much conversion is bad for you. Seriously.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2014-02-18, 08:43:44

Atheism is boring.
:D
You are probably right; mumbo-jumbo is comparatively hilarious.

Mind you atheism does give you more time to follow more sensible pursuits.

A bit of a trade-off really.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-02-18, 10:42:07
Mind you atheism does give you more time to follow more sensible pursuits.

Like posting in DnD's The Problem with Atheism thread. Now, there's a sensible pursuit.

Frankly, being a person who harbors an overabundance of uncertainty, I have trouble committing to atheism. Agnosticism suits me much better. If you ask me where my thumbs are, I'll hesitate before responding, thinking it might be a trick question.

As an aside, why do Christians always refer to god as He? Does that god have body parts? Thumbs, ears,a p***s?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-02-18, 10:48:10
Somehow, he's got a son.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-02-18, 11:01:54
So he's a son god, and not a sun god?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-02-18, 20:28:26
Atheism is boring.

Such clarity is not usual in protestants. Discussing with Catholics it's an enlightening thing.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Colonel Rebel on 2014-02-18, 21:50:46


Must say I am terribly disappointed that Mr. Howie and Belfrager and mjmsprt40 aren't in here teaming up to debate us "heathens". :(
At least Belfrager was active in these threads when you weren't. Besides, you personally don't qualify as a heathen. You are a fresh convert into atheism. I remember when you declared that Bantay had converted you. Now stay where you are. Too much conversion is bad for you. Seriously.

"Fresh"? lol

I'd hardly call 5 years (2009) a "fresh conversion". Additionally, while I am pleased for you that you have such unlimited leisure time, not everyone is able to post at all times on here, or on D&D in the case you mention.

Bantay was quite useful. His arguments were interesting. He reminds me of Ken Ham. That is not to say that, that is necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly does help one decide where one stands on an issue.

I'll post in here as I please, thanks Ersi.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-02-20, 05:48:27

I'll post in here as I please, thanks Ersi.

This is only right, because so does everyone else. They all post as they please.

Btw, I meant seriously that too much conversion is bad for you. I know what I am talking about. I have seen people convert en masse at some turn of sociopolitical tides and at the next turn unconvert again. It left them feeling empty and aimless. Many of them recognised having been played like puppets on strings by hidden dark forces, which is a particularly devastating realisation for anyone, especially when it occurs collectively.

To put it more simply, it's bad for people's self-esteem. Let proselytisers on either side of the divide consider this and develop some conscience.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-02-20, 09:31:39
To put it more simply, it's bad for people's self-esteem. Let proselytisers on either side of the divide consider this and develop some conscience.

You're asking the wolves to become sheep. We're not talking about people of conscience.
http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/category/celeb/televangelists/ (http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/category/celeb/televangelists/)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Colonel Rebel on 2014-02-21, 01:26:47


I'll post in here as I please, thanks Ersi.

This is only right, because so does everyone else. They all post as they please.

Btw, I meant seriously that too much conversion is bad for you. I know what I am talking about. I have seen people convert en masse at some turn of sociopolitical tides and at the next turn unconvert again. It left them feeling empty and aimless. Many of them recognised having been played like puppets on strings by hidden dark forces, which is a particularly devastating realisation for anyone, especially when it occurs collectively.

To put it more simply, it's bad for people's self-esteem. Let proselytisers on either side of the divide consider this and develop some conscience.


I understand well what you meant my friend. I have not regretted my decision once. Your advice is quite valuable though, and I appreciate it. :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-02-25, 12:09:48
Colonel, I'd like your input on this gem.
Quote
Three freshmen were expelled from their fraternity at University of Mississippi (popularly known as Ole Miss) Friday for hanging a noose on a statue of James Meredith, a civil rights hero who was the first African American to attend the university. The chapter has also been suspended indefinitely by the national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization.
Ole Miss and local police concluded that the three white 19-year-olds from Georgia were responsible for hanging the noose and plastering an old Georgia flag bearing the Confederate symbol on the statue's face. The students could face criminal charges, if Ole Miss police get their way, and the FBI is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

The times, they are a'changing, but not everywhere at the same pace. I recognize that these idiots are ferriners from Georgia, but still.

Personally, I don't see it as a hate crime but as a severe infection of stupid. Recall that Tom Hanks gem from Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Title: Open-mindedness as per Sam Harris
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 11:52:26
To show that he is open-minded and capable of changing his mind, Sam Harris wrote this blog post http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-pleasure-of-changing-my-mind

He cites a recent case where he changed his mind (emphases added):
Quote
I watched Scahill's Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars--twice. The film isn't perfect. Despite the gravity of its subject matter, there is something slight about it, and its narrow focus on Scahill seems strangely self-regarding. At moments, I was left wondering whether important facts were being left out. But my primary experience in watching this film was of having my settled views about U.S. foreign policy suddenly and uncomfortably shifted. As a result, I no longer think about the prospects of our fighting an ongoing war on terror in quite the same way. In particular, I no longer believe that a mostly covert war makes strategic or moral sense. Among the costs of our current approach are a total lack of accountability, abuse of the press, collusion with tyrants and warlords, a failure to enlist allies, and an ongoing commitment to secrecy and deception that is corrosive to our politics and to our standing abroad.

Any response to terrorism seems likely to kill and injure innocent people, and such collateral damage will always produce some number of future enemies. But Dirty Wars made me think that the consequences of producing such casualties covertly are probably far worse. This may not sound like a Road to Damascus conversion, but it is actually quite significant. My view of specific questions has changed--for instance, I now believe that the assassination of al-Awlaki set a very dangerous precedent--and my general sense of our actions abroad has grown conflicted. I do not doubt that we need to spy, maintain state secrets, and sometimes engage in covert operations, but I now believe that the world is paying an unacceptable price for the degree to which we are doing these things. The details of how we have been waging our war on terror are appalling.

I conclude from this that my evaluation of Harris was correct. On intellectual grounds I dismissed his case against religion from day one. Reason: All he does is yell that religion is immoral, while he does not put together a single philosophical argument to prove it. His case only consists of citing historical incidents - an emotional cumulative case that can be amounted with equal effect against atheism just as soon as misrepresentations, cherry-picking and double standards are dropped.

Now he has changed his mind about something. Based on what? A film touched his emotions. That's it. It was not a philosophical argument. It was the discovery that he didn't know enough to actually hold the opinion he held on the case. He understood that he had been making a case based on ignorance, not on knowledge. He even developed moral scruples. Notably, "I no longer believe that a mostly covert war makes strategic or moral sense." The proclaimer of morals actually developed a modicum of moral sense at last! This is what happens when morality is a matter of belief and feelings - and when you make noise about how righteous you feel.

Earlier I mentioned the essay contest that Harris announced http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-moral-landscape-challenge1 In keeping with the diagnosis of Harris's character, if an essay wants to win, it should not methodically dismantle Harris's case nor make a coherent logical point. Instead, it should appeal to emotions.
Title: Re: Open-mindedness as per Sam Harris
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-04, 11:58:12
All he does is yell that religion is immoral, while he does not put together a single philosophical argument to prove it.

If he said that, he goes overboard, perhaps, but a philosophical argument isn't required. Historical examples are required.
Title: Re: Open-mindedness as per Sam Harris
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 11:59:36

All he does is yell that religion is immoral, while he does not put together a single philosophical argument to prove it.

If he said that, he goes overboard, perhaps, but a philosophical argument isn't required. Historical examples are required.
The problem here is that historical examples against atheism are at least equal, if not worse. So, to prove his point, he really has to make a different argument.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 12:08:12
What's YOUR problem with atheism, Ersi? What "historical examples against atheism"? Can you remember actually atheistic societies - to have done either good or bad to the species's evolution? Don't feed me with various bolsheviks - they are not atheists, they are morons (a sect of Bullshit worshippers).
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 12:19:41
Don't feed me with various bolsheviks - they are not atheists, they are morons (a sect of Bullshit worshippers).
The case with historical examples against religion is exactly the same: Choose the historical incidents where idiots and morons prevail and forget the actual teachings and ideals - and also forget times and places where the ideals bore good fruit. Cherry-picking works both ways.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 12:40:45
Not exactly so, I believe.
The keyword is "idea", ideology. Ideology influences people's minds, creating "brain turf" for developing certain sorts of behaviour. (I don't say "wrongdoing" - nor "rightdoing" or some -- because I mean the principle not application.)
Now, religious ideology, IMHO, created such turf (with whatever consequences), -- because it existed and influenced on a LARGE  scale. What cases of societally organised existence have you show for atheism? Has it ever been applied as ideology on whatever scale???
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 12:52:32

The keyword is "idea", ideology.
This is the right keyword. It applies to all ideological propaganda, with equal effect in case of crusades and witchburnings, French Revolution, bolshevism, the utterly irreligious, purely patriotic expansion of United States, etc.

The point here is that when spiritual ideals are missing, then people are psychologically empty on spiritual level and subject to all kinds of other ideologies to fill up the vacant spot. French Revolution is a perfect example. Towards the end Robbespierre's anti-religious fanaticism took explicit religious form (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fête_de_l'Etre_suprême_2.jpg), because this is what he was missing. Same goes for personal cults of any dictator: they are replacements of religion, because religion is necessary, cannot be ignored. You cannot eliminate religion without replacing it somehow.

The point of religion is to meet people's spiritual tendencies in an as orderly way as humanly possible. The first step in this is to acknowledge that these spiritual tendencies exist. When you don't acknowledge this, you get all the historical examples that show what happens in case of lack of religion.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 12:56:48
The point here is that when spiritual ideals are missing...
You're missing. The point(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FBlLv9nr.png&hash=781a6c4f553cc76e363ebc6e339c0feb" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/BlLv9nr.png)
The point is that atheism is not exactly about your "missing ideas":P And on the contrary, bolsheviks&al. had very SWELL ideas to back their activity.:tutut:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 12:58:02
O'k, I missed your "spiritual". Though, define "spirit";)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 12:59:56

The point here is that when spiritual ideals are missing...
You're missing. The point(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FBlLv9nr.png&hash=781a6c4f553cc76e363ebc6e339c0feb" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/BlLv9nr.png)
The point is that atheism is not exactly about your "missing ideas":P And on the contrary, bolsheviks&al. had very SWELL ideas to back their activity.:tutut:
Ideals, not ideas. The right ideals invite you to match your behaviour to the ideals. Wrong ideals fail at this. If the ideology is not making an essentially ethical point - in terms of actual moral behaviour and social stability -, then it is only making empty ideological points.

Edit:

O'k, I missed your "spiritual". Though, define "spirit";)

Considering what you are, the preliminary answer is that the word "spiritual" is there to emphasise the distinction between "idea" and "ideal". If you fail to acknowledge the distinction - with appropriate conceptual content -, there's nothing more to talk about.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 13:38:59
The right ideals invite you to match your behaviour to the ideals.
This is a way, but not the only way.
Still then, what incites people to favour an ideal to follow?:)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 13:40:17
Frans, it's something wrong with smilies.
I'd better the old codes - to the old codes. For new ones -- new codes!:irked:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-03-04, 13:43:34
Rome wasn't built in a day.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 13:52:02
Frans, don't make that too atheistic complicated.
And I see it as to be folded by default. When done, I mean.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 14:01:15

The right ideals invite you to match your behaviour to the ideals.
This is a way, but not the only way.

Tell me the other way(s).


Still then, what incites people to favour an ideal to follow?:)

In a good case, the religion or spiritual ideal organically meets people's spiritual tendencies with favourable effect. In a worse case, there must be a teaching, a dogmatic tenet to explicitly remind thick people that the core of religion is ethical. Such as "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" <-- this is a rather unambiguous invitation to match your claimed ideals and actual behaviour. Vide also the parable of the pharisee and the publican, which knocks directly on the conscience of people in power.

Even the "worse case" as I termed it is actually very good when compared to atheism. Atheism has nothing in it to match this.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 14:06:11
Tell me the other way(s).
THE other ways??;)
All of them?:D
..organically meets people's spiritual tendencies..
"Organically meets" means that such people are already "in tune" with the ideas.
See my argument above.
..that the core of religion is ethical.
Really??
You mean 'ANY religion'?:D Religion IN GENERAL?:D Aww, I could tell ya...:rolleyes:...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-04, 14:08:47

Tell me the other way(s).
THE other ways??;)
All of them?:D

The first five will do.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-03-04, 14:37:08

Even the "worse case" as I termed it is actually very good when compared to atheism. Atheism has nothing in it to match this.

Why exactly is atheism so bad?  :scared:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 15:10:22
I may not be knowing five. But to disprove a presumed uniqueness, only one alternative is needed.
You were talking about a way of dealing with those who don't get it - or haven't been given chance to. "A way" - because there must be others.
On the contrary, people capable of reasoning can apply pragmatism. Based either on individual or societal priorities. Or both. Usually in a certain "proportion".
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-04, 15:16:17


Even the "worse case" as I termed it is actually very good when compared to atheism. Atheism has nothing in it to match this.

Why exactly is atheism so bad?  :scared:

Take that question to the favela, and you'll find out. :pirate:
Title: Re: Open-mindedness as per Sam Harris
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-04, 16:00:47


All he does is yell that religion is immoral, while he does not put together a single philosophical argument to prove it.

If he said that, he goes overboard, perhaps, but a philosophical argument isn't required. Historical examples are required.
The problem here is that historical examples against atheism are at least equal, if not worse. So, to prove his point, he really has to make a different argument.

I'd really like you to show one example of Harris yelling at anybody.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-03-04, 16:01:02
You hardly find anything related to atheism in a favela...  ???
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 16:04:57
:right:...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-03-04, 16:12:40
That's (Brazilian?) Portuguese for slum.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-03-04, 16:18:25
Barul, congratulations with your hundred! :beer:
Now you're too a fool memba:D
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-04, 16:29:59

You hardly find anything related to atheism in a favela...  ???
I thought not! :devil:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-03-12, 22:24:47
The main Problem with Atheism is that I'm not an atheist. :)
One of these days I will turn atheist for a week, then atheist argumentation will be interesting for a while.

Let me practice...God doesn't exist!
Very well, this is promising. I got already a couple ideas to turn religious people speechless.
How nice it is to return to fifteen years old again...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-03-13, 00:28:22

The main Problem with Atheism is that I'm not an atheist. :)
One of these days I will turn atheist for a week, then atheist argumentation will be interesting for a while.

Let me practice...God doesn't exist!
Very well, this is promising. I got already a couple ideas to turn religious people speechless.
How nice it is to return to fifteen years old again...

What you're thinking of is a Hollywood Atheist (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodAtheist). First step - don't believe in god. Second step - constantly be angry at the god you don't believe in. Shake your fist at the sky and think blasphemous thoughts, if god doesn't strike you down by lightning be more angry at him.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-03-13, 03:20:54
Many atheists regard themselves as wonderfully intelligent and above the common herd. Maybe I in a broad and active life have been unfortunate but I have most lacking and often boring. I am sure Belfrager will cope but I am not dancing to their tune.  :P
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-13, 06:00:54


The main Problem with Atheism is that I'm not an atheist. :)
One of these days I will turn atheist for a week, then atheist argumentation will be interesting for a while.

Let me practice...God doesn't exist!
Very well, this is promising. I got already a couple ideas to turn religious people speechless.
How nice it is to return to fifteen years old again...

What you're thinking of is a Hollywood Atheist (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodAtheist). First step - don't believe in god. Second step - constantly be angry at the god you don't believe in. Shake your fist at the sky and think blasphemous thoughts, if god doesn't strike you down by lightning be more angry at him.

The "Hollywood" will become a justified addition as soon as real-life atheists begin behaving differently than those described. Until then it's appropriately called mere atheism.

Of course, most people don't care to define themselves too carefully. They are whatever circumstances led them to be and now they stay the course out of sheer inertia. But this would make a boring movie.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-13, 08:26:24
From the Hollywood Atheist...
Quote
Atheists only seem to have arguments against their culture's predominant religion, most often Christianity, and to a lesser extent, its brethren Judaism and Islam. They'll have nothing bad to say against Eastern religions.
Oh, yeah!

The Dalai Lama is a fraud!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-03-13, 10:43:52

The "Hollywood" will become a justified addition as soon as real-life atheists begin behaving differently than those described. Until then it's appropriately called mere atheism.

So I can be sure you know well a significant amount of real-life atheists - even those that don't manifest themselves often. :rolleyes:
(I should add: even atheists that haven't developed in Stalinist environments...)
Considering just one kind of atheism is the same error as considering just one kind of Christianity.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-03-13, 10:57:34

So I can be sure you know well a significant amount of real-life atheists - even those that don't manifest themselves often. :rolleyes:
(I should add: even atheists that haven't developed in Stalinist environments...)
Considering just one kind of atheism is the same error as considering just one kind of Christianity.

Indeed, it is. I find the list of characteristics described behind the link provided by Macallan varied enough. That's already a whole spectrum of atheists for a start, valid for you to consider. "Hollywood Atheism" may seem stereotypical, but it's not unreal. It's just that most movies are built on stereotypes. Again, not all movies do this, so even the term "Hollywood Atheism" itself is built on stereotypification - the stereotype about Hollywood.

There are real-life militant atheists, such as Leninists, Stalinists, Maoists, and neoatheists a la Dawkins and Harris. They are their own caricature. Nobody is overly happy that these examples come from real life, not from imagination.

Then there are philosophically-minded atheists (or agnostics) whom I happen to know. Among themselves, they have jokes like this:

"Sam Harris works in mysterious ways."
"Richard Dawkins was sent by God to give atheism a bad name."
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-13, 13:01:22
Atheists don't know any more about the nonexistence of god than religionists know about the existence of god.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unipd.it%2Filbo%2Fsites%2Funipd.it.ilbo%2Ffiles%2Fssshh_2.jpg&hash=17fb4ec190ffced56a50e2ba200a9632" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.unipd.it/ilbo/sites/unipd.it.ilbo/files/ssshh_2.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-03-13, 13:10:03

There are real-life militant atheists...
Then there are philosophically-minded atheists...

It's fair. (Nice jokes!)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-03-13, 14:46:09
Buena broma, de hecho!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-03-13, 19:21:58

From the Hollywood Atheist...
Quote
Atheists only seem to have arguments against their culture's predominant religion, most often Christianity, and to a lesser extent, its brethren Judaism and Islam. They'll have nothing bad to say against Eastern religions.
Oh, yeah!

The Dalai Lama is a fraud!

State Shinto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Shinto) anyone? :right:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-03-13, 19:24:22


The "Hollywood" will become a justified addition as soon as real-life atheists begin behaving differently than those described. Until then it's appropriately called mere atheism.

So I can be sure you know well a significant amount of real-life atheists - even those that don't manifest themselves often. :rolleyes:

Of course - it fits his beliefs and prejudices so it must be true. If reality disagrees then obviously reality needs to catch up with him :right:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-03-15, 22:59:07
What you're thinking of is a Hollywood Atheist (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodAtheist).

You are wrong Macallan. Hollywood? not even closer.
I was referring to Cannes atheists... you know, where cinema exists as an art, not Hollywood.

But yes, "Atheists are materialists and probably technophiles/transhumanists/roboticists as well." I would add a lot of other pejorative qualifications.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jax on 2014-04-13, 09:37:58
Clearly the problem with Atheism is that we don't have a map.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fblogs%2Fworldviews%2Ffiles%2F2013%2F05%2Fatheism-map.jpg&hash=5f6eb96a3e34df00baec22b8ea47d954" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2013/05/atheism-map.jpg) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/23/a-surprising-map-of-where-the-worlds-atheists-live/)

Consider it solved.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-04-13, 09:48:53
The problem with the map is too many grey areas. Estonia has been polled on this question several times. The result according to the latest one: 54.14% atheists + 14.36% "don't care to answer" + 2.18% "don't know" Source: http://www.eestikirik.ee/uploads/2013/09/Eesti-elanike-suhtumine-usku.pdf (a 2013 exposition of the poll conducted in 2011) To my subjective impression they found astonishingly many believers.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jax on 2014-04-13, 09:57:03
True that, the problem isn't fully solved. Data for Estonia, Norway, Britain, and Portugal, the most important countries in the world, are missing.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-04-13, 10:55:20
as long you do good ,

people aint ask you what's in your mind.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: krake on 2014-04-13, 11:06:24

True that, the problem isn't fully solved. Data for Estonia, Norway, Britain, and Portugal, the most important countries in the world, are missing.

We don't need data for Portugal. We already have Bel :cool:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-04-13, 12:38:32
54.14% atheists
It is impossible.
Atheist is not the same as non-believer.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-04-13, 12:58:02
Atheist is not the same as non-believer.

I agree, albeit whether nonbeliever means atheist depends a bit on who uses it. I'd say the term you're really looking for is nonreligious.

The more globalized poll asked whether people were "religious," "not religious" or "convinced atheist." I find the wording odd, but that aside. The Estionian census actually seems to mention that back in 2000, 34.1 % were nonreligious and 6.1% were atheist. However, the 2011 update seems to have conflated nonreligious and atheist in order to reduce clarity.

Edit: also, it shouldn't ask whether one is atheist, but whether one believes in the existence of any deities. If the question is put forward incorrectly, then lumping nonreligious and atheist together is actually the best way to proceed.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-04-13, 13:15:30
"religious," "not religious" or "convinced atheist." I find...
What are "religious," and "convinced atheist."?
:rolleyes:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-04-13, 13:40:55
I didn't write those words. I think it's a horrible question. You should simply ask some questions about what people believe and do, including some opposites to make sure they're actually paying attention. You don't ask people to reflect on things.* That's your job as a questionnaire maker.

Here (http://www.fearus.org/)'s an example of how big a difference the question makes. That's why you should ask whether or not one believes in any deities, not whether someone's an atheist. Regardless if the response is higher or lower, it'll be more accurate.

* Okay, that depends on the type of questionnaire.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jax on 2014-04-13, 13:45:56
The wording matters a lot, as does the cultural context. I assume most convinced atheists would consider themselves non-religious, probably most unconvinced atheists would consider themselves non-religious as well, but there would probably be a good number of non-religious who wouldn't consider themselves atheist. Is a Buddhist non-religious? What about a Taoist?

Among Muslims there is a bit of resistance against declaring yourself as an atheist, as that is apostasy, something that hasn't been encouraged within Islam.

Whatever the wording it seems to have hit jackpot with the Chinese and Japanese (and the Czechs, but they are as atheist as you get in Europe).
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-04-13, 14:29:21
I didn't write those words.
They are not words.
They are words(?) with punctuation marks.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-04-13, 14:39:43
Is a Buddhist non-religious? What about a Taoist?

ersi and I conversed about that in the past. I referenced Huston Smith's The World's Religions, specifically the subchapter named The Rebel Saint (in my 1991 HarperCollins copy pp. 92-99) to explore how one might define religion and how the Buddha tried to subvert these traditional religious aspects. The six aspects of religion defined there are authority, ritual, speculation, tradition, grace, and mystery. A summary of the discussion in the book can be found here (http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental/buddha.html). Incidentally, I'd also recommend Siddhartha (http://Siddhartha), a novel referenced on that page.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-04-14, 04:29:20
Edit: also, it shouldn't ask whether one is atheist, but whether one believes in the existence of any deities. If the question is put forward incorrectly, then lumping nonreligious and atheist together is actually the best way to proceed.
Agreed, but I'm sure you understand that the same way as poll-makers have a hard time trying to reveal relevant distinctions, the general population has no idea of the distinction of non-religious and atheist. Most people just don't care and the rest argue about how it should go. It's possible to quibble about the little differences to no end. For example:

The wording matters a lot, as does the cultural context. I assume most convinced atheists would consider themselves non-religious, probably most unconvinced atheists would consider themselves non-religious as well, but there would probably be a good number of non-religious who wouldn't consider themselves atheist. Is a Buddhist non-religious? What about a Taoist?

People in some places would not readily identify themselves as "unconvinced" anything. People who are indifferent to religion (which would be roughly half of any population, regardless of church membership, because church membership tends to come with birth) should be termed as non-religious, but true internal leanings are near-impossible to map with questionnaires. It's easier to be "true to form", i.e. religious people belong (and go) to church, non-religious don't. So, Buddhists and Taoists are unambiguously religious.

In the Estonian poll it was most interesting how religiousness was sharply demarcating ethnicity. Russians were found massively religious, Estonians hardly at all. Also, in most traditionally religious countries you would find educated people more critical of religion, but in Estonia this is nearly the other way around - the educated are slightly more tolerant of and leaning towards religion than the rest of population. The obvious reason being of course the Soviet era which made atheism the official tradition. So you can say that educated people are critical of tradition, whatever it be.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: krake on 2014-04-14, 05:50:14

Russians were found massively religious, Estonians hardly at all.
The obvious reason being of course the Soviet era which made atheism the official tradition.

:rolleyes:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-04-14, 06:41:51
The sentence between those sentences is important.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: krake on 2014-04-14, 07:57:55
Not really, except you will tell us that Estonians compared to Russians were the more assiduous Soviets :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-04-14, 08:18:06
Estonians have been described as cold to religion all along, ever since Germans began documenting them in the XIIIth century. So either it's inherent or it's the fault of Germans.

Anyway, for a quiz on religion, analyse this http://www.playbuzz.com/benjaminbirely10/which-religion-best-suits-you
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-04-14, 08:40:55
They usually use arabic digits in such cases.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-04-14, 09:23:46
Any problem with atheism is overwhelmed by problems with religion...sort of.
Each and every head in this photo has its own packet of stone.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fimg.thesun.co.uk%2Fmultimedia%2Farchive%2F00829%2Fstone2_682x400_829495a.jpg&hash=b34f4bb3157db126fad021a0258d9951" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00829/stone2_682x400_829495a.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-04-14, 12:44:23
They usually use arabic digits in such cases.

Not in the XIIIth century. :D
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Banned Member on 2014-04-14, 14:24:05
Damn you! you ancient Brit, aren't you?:P
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-04-14, 19:03:34

Estonians have been described as cold to religion all along, ever since Germans began documenting them in the XIIIth century. So either it's inherent or it's the fault of Germans.

IIRC the baltic countries were the ones that resisted christianization the longest, and at that time the germans in question would be the teutonic order and similar organizations still in the middle of trying to impose christianity.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jax on 2014-04-14, 19:46:20
Yes, but past performance is not a good predictor of future fervour. The Czechs were early adopters to anything Christian, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism, sects. You name it, they did it. If you didn't name it they probably did it anyway.

Many Poles were by comparison late bloomers to the blood of the Christ. Scandinavians made a name for themselves as heathen marauders, but by the time the Vikings had established a well-known international brand, they were actually already a franchise of Rome. Not so the Poles, they were quite enthusiastically staying unsaved.

Now, we should know which country is the European lighthouse of atheism, and which one is still carrying the cross.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-04-14, 19:56:57

Many Poles were by comparison late bloomers to the blood of the Christ. Scandinavians made a name for themselves as heathen marauders, but by the time the Vikings had established a well-known international brand, they were actually already a franchise of Rome. Not so the Poles, they were quite enthusiastically staying unsaved.

Yeah, at that time the heathen marauders were mostly slavs from the southern baltic, so eventually the danes of all people started to beat them down.


Now, we should know which country is the European lighthouse of atheism, and which one is still carrying the cross.

It's the :beer: :right:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jax on 2014-04-14, 21:20:12
You mean the holy spirit. Possible. I am having a Czech beer now in a Stockholm bar. No Christianity in sight.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-04-15, 00:25:32

You mean the holy spirit. Possible. I am having a Czech beer now in a Stockholm bar. No Christianity in sight.

Reminds me, I have a bottle of Holy Spirit ( from Scotland ) in my closet which needs some more air inside :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-04-15, 00:31:02
Ah-ha the closet!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2014-04-15, 00:35:08
Indeed, that's where I keep my skeletons and spirtits.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-11, 13:34:28
As was predictable, Sam Harris did not convert at the best essay critical of his magnum opus. Not only did he not change his mind about any single point, but he also vehemently rejects the arguments presented to him.

So, what's been going on? A year ago Sam Harris issued a public challenge, a contest of essays to criticise his book The Moral Landscape. He issued the challenge because the reception of the book had been unanimously negative on the academic arena, particularly among philosophers, including fellow neoatheists such as Daniel Dennett, so Harris wanted to see wtf was up with that.

Now the essays have been autonomously evaluated by a judge (also critical of Harris' book) and the winner has been selected. The winner is Ryan Born, MA in philosophy from Georgia State University. His essay criticises all key claims of Harris' book on the fundamental level. By this I mean that, after analysis and scrutiny, Harris has been found to have said absolutely nothing of value.

Harris claims to promulgate "a scientific understanding of morality". To summarise really briefly, Ryan Born maintains that Harris has no understanding of morality, particularly no scientific understanding. Part of the reason is Harris' failure to make relevant distinctions on every issue he picks up, but the more fundamental reason is the fact that scientific understanding of morality cannot be had. There's only philosophical understanding of morality.

As expected, Sam Harris is not listening to the criticism and disputes every bit of it on his blog. His dispute is absolutely worthless philosophically. I quote two blatantly self-refuting points for demonstration. Any word from Harris is a bit too much, but the benefit is that you won't have to go to his blog and read everything longer.

Quote from: Sam Harris blog
Ryan wrote that my "proposed science of morality cannot offer scientific answers to questions of morality and value, because it cannot derive moral judgments solely from scientific descriptions of the world." But no branch of science can derive its judgments solely from scientific descriptions of the world.

In Ryan's context, Ryan is criticising the way Harris conflates the concepts of science and philosophy - and calls the conflated result "science". Harris in his response admits the conflation, yet insists on continuing with his error, including the label "science".

Thus, this point refutes that Harris' book is a scientific perspective. And it has also been confirmed that he refuses to change his mind about this.

The second quote should be most telling:

Quote from:  Sam Harris blog
Imagine that you could push a button that would make every person on earth a little more creative, compassionate, intelligent, and fulfilled--in such a way as to produce no negative effects, now or in the future. This would be "good" in the only moral sense of the word that I understand.


So, it's literally good to take people's free will away, to elevate someone (elevate whom? Harris of course, the moral authority and expert) as the puppet master of humanity, and call the result "scientific understanding of morality". Of course Harris never sees that to take people's free will away is to obviate moral agency. It means to dilute the meaning of reward and punishment, to do away with any sense of right and wrong. In brief, he advocates obliterating morality and he calls the result morality!

This second point demonstrates that Harris has not been talking about morality at all. And he refuses to correct this error too.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-11, 21:57:39
So, it's literally good to take people's free will away

With physics (including a new understanding of quantum mechanics), one could now theoretically predict where any single particle in the universe would be at any given time in space since the big bang.  It would take a super duper computer and some reverse engineering to do it, but it would then be possible to know where every single particle will be at any given moment in time and space.  With this knowledge it is then easy to predict the future location of all particles and see into the future to accurately predict anything, including what anyone will (must) do next.  Therefore, free will is actually just an illusion. 

Everything today, including our wondrous thinking brain and consciousness work according to all the laws of nature and physics that govern this particular universe.  Nothing is immune to the laws of physics, we are all robotically following the laws of physics and nature whether we like it or not.  It certainly appears as though we have free will because we have nothing today (or likely ever), that can predict the future location of every particle in the universe, but the theory is still sound.  Moreover, being alive and conscious of ourselves does not exempt us from these laws, life is not magical or divine it is all the exact same physics.   :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-12, 03:20:01
JS, if you have no free will, then you are typing by someone else's will. Cool that you found a rationale to justify yourself, but as for me, it's perfectly right that I don't listen to people who are not talking out of their own best judgement, but out of some irrational will-lessness that they are powerless against.

And yes, I know this applies to Sam Harris too. He also believes that there's no free will. Therefore he has no power to change his mind. Therefore his essay contest was an utterly self-refuting joke.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-15, 20:57:56
As this thread has amply shown, atheists (or anti-theists) are bad at definitions and very reluctant to improve in this area. At the same time they easily shoot accusations such as no evidence or missing the point (characteristically coupled with not defining what kind of evidence they mean or what the point was, if any).

So here are some tongue-in-cheek definitions from me, simply because I am good at them. Choose your category. If you think yours is missing, show how to improve these categories.

Pretty much every atheist who ever participated in this thread rejected, when apparently still in rational mode, any positive claims about God, i.e. they reject the claim "God does not exist." This does not harmonise well with their heated antagonism to theistic positive claims, but it's convenient for their rejection of burden of proof on their own part. Probably hey simply like to watch theists agonise under burden of proof. So the first definition is -

ANTI-THEIST: God's a problem in every way, but not my problem! It's the theist's problem.

Otherwise I think lack of positive claims about God goes under agnosticism.

SOFTCORE AGNOSTIC: I don't know if God exists.

INTERMEDIATE AGNOSTIC: I don't know if God exists. I tried and could not figure it out.

HARDCORE AGNOSTIC: I don't know if God exists. When I don't know, nobody knows!

NEGATIVE ATHEIST: God does not exist, because there are so many other things in life that fascinate me.

POSITIVE ATHEIST: Goed does not exist and I can prove it by offering a better alternative explanation to everything!

This last category is yet to be seen here.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-15, 21:50:07
POSITIVE ATHEIST: Goed does not exist and I can prove it by offering a better alternative explanation to everything!

This would be more my cup of tea.  There is a perfectly marvelous alternate explanation offered today by science after 3000 years of gathering information and doing real world experiments to prove it's validity.  It is scientifically and mathematically sound (if one is capable of understanding even a little about those subjects), but perhaps most convincing of all, it meshes perfectly with everything else we know about our universe. 

You want to take the subject of god and argue it, to no end, with your brand of logical philosophy when you haven't ever taken the time to point out the flaw with the scientific explanation.  Don't use philosophy, simply point to the physics or math that is in error with just a brief explanation--that's not asking too much is it?  Or do you simply not trust 3000 years of mankind's best efforts to answer the oldest questions of all time? 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-15, 22:31:06
There is a perfectly marvelous alternate explanation offered today by science [...]

Otherwise known as "arm waving"! Most scientists abjure or eschew such "explanation" -- when they aren't otherwise giving it the neglect it deserves.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-15, 23:03:10
Otherwise known as "arm waving"! Most scientists abjure or eschew such "explanation" -- when they aren't otherwise giving it the neglect it deserves.

I suppose you have no answer to the question of 'where science's explanation is flawed', either...I didn't think so. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-16, 00:01:37
You could try, e.g., How the Laws of Physics Lie (http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/120/cartwright-How_the_Laws_of_Physics_Lie.pdf) (free pdf) by Nancy Cartwright, of Stanford, LSE, and other well-known institutions. Sorry, no video yet... :)
(I wonder: Would you forgive her mentoring of Naomi Oreskes?)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-16, 01:34:53
You could try, e.g., How the Laws of Physics Lie (http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/120/cartwright-How_the_Laws_of_Physics_Lie.pdf) (free pdf) by Nancy Cartwright, of Stanford, LSE, and other well-known institutions. Sorry, no video yet...


I will reiterate.....'I didn't think so'. 

Sure, I will read it, but is this the original version or the one she had to rewrite?  I'll get back to you (so don't say I didn't warn you). 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-16, 02:40:20
is this the original version or the one she had to rewrite?

While your question is presumptuous -meant merely to cast aspersions, I'd like you to expand it into a full-blown accusation... :)
I'll be happy to respond to such.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-16, 03:33:30
JS, for example take the post where I speak about the physicist's nothing and the philosopher's nothing. The physicist fails at crucial distinctions (crucial for science). A concrete example of such physicist is Lawrence Krauss, so this is not out of thin air.

Or take the posts where I refute atomism, which used to be so widely influential metaphysical assumption that it even made its way to spiritual literature. If atomism is not the foremost metaphysical assumption any more, then that's again science's problem: You can't switch your fundamental perspective every now and then and at the same time claim to have something to do with truth in the relevant sense!

Or take Sam Harris's (and your) reductionist view of free will. Are you even willing to expose your brand of scientism properly* here so that it would be open to peer review? If yes, your theory of free will implodes. If not, your complaints that everybody else somehow fails to understand you are futile.

* "Properly" includes the metaphysical assumptions and hidden presuppositions. Over millennia, science has made zero progress in even detecting any metaphysical assumptions and hidden presuppositions, much less defining what they are, so inevitably you will have to face logic and philosophy.

---------------
There's a gap in my definitions between negative and positive atheist. The positive atheist has a better explanation to everything than the theist, but there's a distinct category of atheists who disbelieve God due to evidence that God does not exist (and no, mere lack of evidence does not properly equal evidence).

So, the negative atheist has so much else to do that he has not much room for God. The positive atheist has such a good theory of everything that there's really no logical space conceivable for God. And then there's EVIDENTIAL ATHEIST who has proof that God does not exist, and proof that all proofs of God fail. This category has also been missing here.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-16, 06:25:27
Harris is a hoot! He's so smart he can appear dumb on any subject... And he's so dumb he repeatedly does: Note the use of the word 'flourish' in the quote below:
... my view of moral truth demands a little more than this -- not because I am bent upon reducing morality to "physical" facts in any crude sense, but because I can't see how we can keep the notion of moral truth within a walled garden, forever set apart from the truths of science. In my view, morality must be viewed in the context of our growing scientific understanding of the mind. If there are truths to be known about the mind, there will be truths to be known about how minds flourish; consequently, there will be truths to be known about good and evil.
(source (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/a-response-to-critics_b_815742.html))
Is flourishing an ultimate good?
Harris will always find something or other to be such. But the only 'science' involved will be that of opinion polling, which doesn't seem a very deep access of morality and -need we mention?- ethics?
Focus-grouped slogans seem a poor recompense for a scientist's sincere explorations. But Harris' bugaboos don't particularly interest me; I don't care why he believes what he believes. It's enough to see what silliness his proscriptions and prescriptions are...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-16, 10:55:12

no, mere lack of evidence does not properly equal evidence

... but is a hint. :left:

who has proof that God does not exist

While it is logically impossible, such people don't exist.

all proofs of God

:eyes: ???  :right:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-16, 12:01:29
While your question is presumptuous -meant merely to cast aspersions, I'd like you to expand it into a full-blown accusation...  :)
I'll be happy to respond to such.

It's just that the laws of nature and physics have been fixed for 13.8 billion years...she's a bit more wishy-washy.   :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-16, 12:52:35
* "Properly" includes the metaphysical assumptions and hidden presuppositions. Over millennia, science has made zero progress in even detecting any metaphysical assumptions and hidden presuppositions, much less defining what they are, so inevitably you will have to face logic and philosophy.

Science would lose all credibility if it delved into the the matters of the supernatural.  No one can make up an entity or anything else and expect science to look into it.  You are so blinded by (what I call) 'the spooky nature of things' that you can't even for one minute think that it is not real.  To you it is a plain as the beard on your face, but not everyone can see your beard (don't go crazy-silly on me here, it's only metaphorical).   :)


there's a distinct category of atheists who disbelieve God due to evidence that God does not exist (and no, mere lack of evidence does not properly equal evidence).

It is no longer 'the lack of evidence', it is the lack of necessity.  Occam's Razor is about theoretical parsimony and introducing God infinitely complicates matters.  Now you have a new entity without cause and a new unknown force in the universe that would ultimately put science back to square one.  Science can't consider spooky things or philosophical arguments because it is a vain effort to give an explanation which involves more assumptions than necessary.  Science, technology and progress would come to a halt if it adopted your way of thinking.   :knight:

Btw, even good circumstantial evidence can land one in the lethal injection chamber...just playing with you, relax! 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-16, 16:38:56


who has proof that God does not exist

While it is logically impossible, such people don't exist.

The fact that you are not an evidential atheist doesn't mean nobody is. Different from you, there are people who actually care about evidence and proof. Here's a start http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2011/10/20/what-are-the-best-arguments-for-the-non-existence-of-god/


Science would lose all credibility if it delved into the the matters of the supernatural.

In fact, science loses all credibility whenever it delves into the matters of the supernatural, so the reasonable suggestion is for scientists to stop doing that. Don't get all heated about the supernatural, drop your dogmas about it, and leave the supernatural have its own life. The same applies to metaphysics. Scientists should stop demonstrating their ignorance in areas outside their area of expertise.

Just like you. For someone eager to establish the validity of science, you have way too much to say about the supernatural and metaphysics, namely against them as if you proved something when you didn't. But I know why you act like that. You are not merely trying to establish the validity of science. You are outright worshipping science. You are giving science the place where other people have God, or where rational godless people have nothing.

For example this very claim of yours "Science would lose all credibility if it delved into the matters of the supernatural." Is this a scientific finding or a philosophical proposition? If scientific, by which scientific method did you arrive at it? By which method did you approach the supernatural and detect loss of credibility in science? On the other hand, if the claim is philosophical, then you are actually using the validity of philosophy to establish the validity of science, instead of letting science stand by itself.

Of course I know why you are doing this. Philosophy is indispensable to establish any rational validity, so it's not just that it's hard for you to let science stand on its own, but outright impossible. Moreover, you see no distinction between the notions of science and philosophy, you conflate the two, and you call the result science rather than philosophy. This is a failure of logic, but hey, you are in good scientific company when you do this, namely in the neoatheist company.

The rest of your post is more of the same fallacious and unengaging tirade of unsupported assertions. I formerly took the trouble of directly replying to your post, even though I didn't quote you. You quote me, but

- You disregard where I responded to you
- You don't reply to anything I actually say
- You (deliberately?) avoid addressing our only conceivable common ground
- Your text is a pile of unfounded assumptions upon unfounded assumptions, nothing methodically scientific, nothing logically coherent, even nothing personally interesting.

At least you are on topic, kind of. Carry on.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-16, 17:46:55
I thought that we could agree at least that it's impossible to prove the inexistence of whatever. (And that, just for this reason, such arguments like those of that link are nonsense.) All hope is gone now.  :cry:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-16, 17:52:50

By which method did you approach the supernatural and detect loss of credibility in science?

Because science approaches nature.  :doh:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-16, 19:16:00

I thought that we could agree at least that it's impossible to prove the inexistence of whatever.

To prove negatives is both common sense and logically coherent. For example, it's possible to demonstrate the set of people who are not members in these forums. They are NOT here AND it can be demonstrated right here. So no rational atheist would agree with your tenet.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-16, 19:26:30
Don't you know what "inexistence" means?
(Well... I forgot that you have a problem with the word "nothing" and alikes.  :sherlock:)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-16, 19:41:01
You can prove that married bachelors don't exist. They don't exist by the nature of their definition. By the same token, you can prove the inexistence of God by demonstrating that a certain relevant definition of God is logically self-contradictory or such.

Another way to prove the inexistence of God is to demonstrate the necessity of certain type of evidence that should be there if God by a certain relevant definition existed. Then move on to establish the lack of such necessary evidence and this in turn proves the inexistence of God.

And my first example was also applicable. The non-members of these forums do not exist HERE, and you can prove their non-existence HERE. You don't have to go anywhere to prove their existence elsewhere. You don't have to leave this place here, but it's exactly this place here where they don't exist - and you can logically prove it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-16, 20:01:09
This is getting better. :)
Self-contradictory things' inexistence don't need to be proven. That's fine - and I'm not referring to those. God is not self-contradictory by its very definition (which doesn't mean much).

Another way to prove the inexistence of God is to demonstrate the necessity of certain type of evidence that should be there if God by a certain relevant definition existed. Then move on to establish the lack of such necessary evidence and this in turn proves the inexistence of God.

Unfortunately, this is circular (or rather recursive), because, in order to prove the inexistence of something, you have to prove the lack of something else...
Your first example is applicable to the lack of things somewhere, but not to the inexistence of anything anywhere in the universe (and beyond). For instance, you cannot prove that goblins don't exist, because, even knowing that there's no evidence for them, you should know about everything that exists in the whole universe in every possible ways, in order to be sure that they are not there. The most we can say about them (absolutely) is that we haven't found any yet.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-16, 20:08:03

This is getting better. :)
[...]
For instance, you cannot prove that goblins don't exist, because, even knowing that there's no evidence for them, you should know about everything that exists in the whole universe in every possible ways, in order to be sure that they are not there. The most we can say about them (absolutely) is that we haven't found any yet.

So you are agnostic about goblins. This is indeed getting better :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-16, 20:27:17
I'm sure goblins don't exist -- but I'm not willing to prove it to anyone. :) (If not for any other reason, just because it's impossible.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-16, 20:53:15
You can't switch your fundamental perspective every now and then and at the same time claim to have something to do with truth in the relevant sense!


This is, and always has been, a normal and healthy part of the process of science. While it's true that all scientific ideas are subject to change if warranted by the evidence, many scientific ideas (evolutionary theory, foundational ideas in chemistry and physics) are supported by many lines of evidence, are extremely reliable, and are unlikely to change.  Science makes no promises, I'm sure you've heard me mention that before. 

Are you even willing to expose your brand of scientism properly* here so that it would be open to peer review? If yes, your theory of free will implodes.

Lol...again with the word games.  You are mixing your brand of 'willingness' with mine.  You are trying to say that my perceived willingness to expose my brand of scientism is a demonstration of your idea of willingness, making my brand of willingness the same as yours.  See where your logic leads to--a total convolution of ideas. 

Just like you. For someone eager to establish the validity of science, you have way too much to say about the supernatural and metaphysics, namely against them as if you proved something when you didn't. But I know why you act like that. You are not merely trying to establish the validity of science. You are outright worshipping science. You are giving science the place where other people have God, or where rational godless people have nothing.


I have a rather full life outside of our discussions here Eric.  All my children and grandchildren live nearby, I have a large extended family, I am President of the Residential Council where I live, I tutor students in math, psychology and one blind Canadian girl at a Theological Seminary college, in theology (strange but true, I can understand theology and teach it well without believing in God), I love to go to the beach and Caribbean, I love to watch all kinds of sports, I contribute to a sex-advice site often, I have a pretty good sex life myself, I have friends, drink occasionally with them and then we talk about everything under the sun.  I don't believe my lifestyle reflects any kind of preoccupation with science in body or mind. 

The only reason Hawking even mentions God in connection with science is because he felt that the question of how everything came into being was a job for physics to answer.  Science has no interest in telling people what to believe because it has no agenda with them, so if science mentions God, it is only to present its findings on creation and not because it has an opinion about God.  Individual scientists may have things to say about the supernatural, vis-a-vis Krauss, but not science itself. 

I must admit that I am out of my realm when discussing philosophy with you Eric, but that's not the only reason I tend to not get into it with you.  Would anything have changed when we were done?  I don't need a degree in philosophy to see that it is of little use or value to a person like me.  I have taken courses in philosophy, argued philosophical issues (and enjoyed it), plus I've researched some of your ideas about logical philosophy and simply found them not to be as logical as one would expect.  I see word games instead of logic, but maybe that's just me. 

I see beauty and truth in simplicity, so does nature, therefore I go with the simplest and most reasonable answer for my existence.  Too many people who believe in God have an agenda that usually leads to one giving up some of their hard earned money.  You may have an agenda (reason), for believing in God (certainly not $$), but that is really none of my business. 

I will do my best to argue with you philosophically about God/supernatural, so c'mon put up your dukes, what was your last question? 

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-06-16, 22:36:01
And my first example was also applicable. The non-members of these forums do not exist HERE, and you can prove their non-existence HERE. You don't have to go anywhere to prove their existence elsewhere. You don't have to leave this place here, but it's exactly this place here where they don't exist - and you can logically prove it.


A non member is something not here by your definition. In order to be God you'd have to be here having an effect. Anything else isn't "God". A creator, alien or whatever, but not God. As circular as proving aliens don't exist because we haven't seen them here. If it's here it's assumed not to be extra-terrestrial. Are there people that read the forum but aren't members? Non-members here are something you've presumed doesn't happen. Just like a bachelor that's not 'married' to their job. The play on word is the defining factor of existence to you. Not too far off from JS's approach. You both look to make it sound good.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-17, 05:08:33

I'm sure goblins don't exist -- but I'm not willing to prove it to anyone. :) (If not for any other reason, just because it's impossible.)

As I showed above, the existence or non-existence of goblins is perfectly provable. It's just that you are not an atheist of the evidential type, and you are doing your best to stay that way. I give you that.

The same goes @ensbb. You are bad at definitions in general. Non-members may view this site, but they cannot log in. For members, "here" means the ability to log in, among other characteristics that distinguish members from non-members. Non-members cannot log in, and from their point of view the place or state where we are is called "there". If you fail at this distinction, you fail at the definition of member versus non-member. You either stay on topic and talk properly about non-members or you don't. You have chosen not to. Without crucial distinctions it's easy to change the topic all the time and not get into the bottom of anything. Hence you don't qualify as evidential atheist.

Here's another clue: Rigorous definitions are vital to science, but it's not (empirical) science that gets to define anything. Namely, definitions are not empirical; they are logical, conceptual. For example, we have had this video in this thread earlier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw How do scientists get started? They GUESS it! Now, what venerable sir in the video doesn't say is that a guess is a proposition, and that a conclusion is also a proposition. How do you tell one kind of proposition apart from the other? No, you cannot detect the distinction physically. You can only define it logically. The same way as premises are distinguished from the conclusion in logic, in science when you have the scientific method and a guess (hypothesis) preceding your proposition, then you have a conclusion. Philosophy did this work before physics, and physics is benefitting from this. Science became possible when the philosophical work of logical distinctions had been done, not the other way round. Without knowing the difference between the guess and the conclusion, nobody would know if they are guessing things, drawing conclusions, or beating around the bush, but logical people know the difference.

Definitions are not circular. They are made up of logical distinctions, and I just showed how absolutely vital logical distinctions are. That's why I mentioned above that, when we talk about anything, we do it according to a relevant definition. Otherwise we are just talking, and just talking may very well be circular, but without any aim it's worse than that.

Still no evidential atheist detected here. No positive atheist either. No scientific method, hence no scientific conclusions. With denial of philosophy and logic, all you have is painfully flawed reasoning. JS is an anti-theist occasionally posing as something else, but not very good at acting. Keep trying and you may become something else some day.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-17, 10:12:19

As I showed above, the existence or non-existence of goblins is perfectly provable.

No, you didn't.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-17, 16:13:18
How do scientists get started? They GUESS it! Now, what venerable sir in the video doesn't say is that a guess is a proposition, and that a conclusion is also a proposition. How do you tell one kind of proposition apart from the other? No, you cannot detect the distinction physically. You can only define it logically.

"They guess it!"  You didn't say or define what 'it' was.  Science does not start with a guess, it starts with a question or a problem.  If the conclusion answers the question or solves the problem then it is indeed a conclusion to the question/problem.  The conclusion (once verified), may bring up other new questions/problems, but the original question has been scientifically answered.  There is no ambiguity about it Ersi--you just want to go on playing these mindless word games. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-17, 16:35:20
Of course I didn't say science was ambiguous. I said that the procedure of science mirrors the procedure of philosophy and is in fact borrowed from philosophy. And this is only a good thing. It is characteristic of good science.

And I'm saying that you don't reflect good science at all. For all your worship of science, why don't you emulate the scientific method here? Why don't you really give a demonstration of goodness of science, instead of bashing views that you see as if opposing or competing? As soon as you go through the motions of science properly, you will see I am actually not at odds with science at all. It's high time you get to it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-17, 16:58:03
Science became possible when the philosophical work of logical distinctions had been done, not the other way round. Without knowing the difference between the guess and the conclusion, nobody would know if they are guessing things, drawing conclusions, or beating around the bush, but logical people know the difference.

I can assure you that science would be just what it is today with or without philosophy.  Using fire and making stone age tools were crude forms of science using the scientific method and I doubt there was much philosophising about it:

1. Ask question--How kill woolly mammoth?
2. Formulate hypothesis--Use sharp stone on end of stick, make many holes in mammoth.
3. Perform experiment--We make 30 holes in mammoth. 
4. Collect data--Woolly mammoth dead.
5. Draw conclusions--Mammoth good food. 

So simple, a caveman could do it.  (A little levity never hurt anyone) 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-17, 17:16:49
No, Iraq and Afghanistan would never be what they are without...
(Ooops...!)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-17, 17:21:55

1. Ask question--How kill woolly mammoth?
2. Formulate hypothesis--Use sharp stone on end of stick, make many holes in mammoth.
3. Perform experiment--We make 30 holes in mammoth. 
4. Collect data--Woolly mammoth dead.
5. Draw conclusions--Mammoth good food. 

Your conclusion does nothing to answer the first question. Hence you were not following the scientific method. Also, you overlooked the reasonable cautious alternative hypothesis that puts a serious check on the experiment:

- Woolly mammoth mighty big. What if it kill me instead of me kill mammoth?

So you were not careful with logic either, when it could have saved your life.

Try again, and do it right this time. (Don't get too nervous about it. You will have infinite amount of tries here, just like in a computer game: At GAME OVER simply restart.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-17, 18:44:55
Your conclusion does nothing to answer the first question. Hence you were not following the scientific method. Also, you overlooked the reasonable cautious alternative hypothesis that puts a serious check on the experiment:


1. Ask question--How kill woolly mammoth?
2. Use logic--Club philosopher so can eat.
3. ....
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2014-06-17, 19:29:08

1. Ask question--How kill woolly mammoth?
2. Formulate hypothesis--Use sharp stone on end of stick, make many holes in mammoth.
3. Perform experiment--We make 30 holes in mammoth. 
4. Collect data--Woolly mammoth dead.
5. Draw conclusions--Mammoth good food. 

So simple, a caveman could do it.  (A little levity never hurt anyone)


Noting your last sentence, I offer:

6.  Consequences-Hair in soup.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-17, 20:25:28
Your conclusion does nothing to answer the first question. Hence you were not following the scientific method. Also, you overlooked the reasonable cautious alternative hypothesis that puts a serious check on the experiment:

The linear, stepwise representation of the process of science is simplified, but it does get at least one thing right. It captures the core logic of science--testing ideas with evidence. However, this version of the scientific method is so simplified and rigid that it fails to accurately portray how real science works.

The process of science is iterative.  Science circles back on itself so that useful ideas are built upon and used to learn even more about the natural world. This often means that successive investigations of a topic lead back to the same question, but at deeper and deeper levels.  For example, in the mid-1800s a questioned was asked: How are traits inherited?  There was a conclusion, but the conclusion kept getting deeper as time passed and new investigation was done.  It went something like this:

How are traits inherited?
  In discrete packets...  (1850s)
     ...on chromosomes...
         ...via their DNA...
              ...which is a double helix...
                  ...and encodes proteins...  (1960s) 

The scientific process doesn't start with a guess and it doesn't necessarily have to start with a question.  There are many routes into the process--from serendipity (e.g. being hit on the head by the proverbial apple), to concern over a practical problem (e.g. finding a new treatment for diabetes), to a technological development (e.g. the launch of a more advanced telescope)--and scientists often begin an investigation by plain old poking around, tinkering, brainstorming, trying to make some new observations, chatting with colleagues about an idea, or just doing some reading. 

The process of science is a way of building knowledge about the universe--constructing new ideas that illuminate the world around us.  Those ideas are inherently tentative, but as they cycle through the process of science again and again and are tested and retested in different ways, we become increasingly confident in them.  Furthermore, through this same iterative process, ideas are modified, expanded, and combined into more powerful explanations such as, how the universe came into being.  (I know...wrong again!) 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-17, 20:28:19
 
6.  Consequences-Hair in soup.


Maybe that's why they went extinct.   :lol:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-18, 06:30:10
Right that you got it wrong, but this time it's better than ever, surely better in terms of your tone, so congratulations. Now to some of the specifics of your wrongness.


The scientific process doesn't start with a guess and it doesn't necessarily have to start with a question.  There are many routes into the process--from serendipity (e.g. being hit on the head by the proverbial apple), to concern over a practical problem (e.g. finding a new treatment for diabetes), to a technological development (e.g. the launch of a more advanced telescope)--and scientists often begin an investigation by plain old poking around, tinkering, brainstorming, trying to make some new observations, chatting with colleagues about an idea, or just doing some reading.

Here at first you boldly contradict Feynman, who happened to be an actual scientist. Then you move on to conflate intuitive logic and philosophical problem-solving with engineerial procedures and in the end even apparently with business agreements. In a convoluted mind like yours it's understandable how it all seems like the same thing, but you should still see why I disagree when you file all these things under "science".

So, why do I disagree? For one, there are pretty relevant distinctions that need to be analysed. And second, after analysis, these different procedures and methods cannot be said to be on a par. They have a hierarchical structure. Some are superficially more prevalent (business agreements and engineerial methods), whereas at closer inspection, philosophy is really fundamental to everything else.

The obvious proof is that this analysis cannot be performed and the conclusion cannot be arrived at by means of archeological findings, newest telescope or microscope, or a series of business negotiations. These conclusions are arrived at by means of consciously directed logical reasoning, and only that. Another proof is that I already knocked you down in several rounds when you were asserting the opposite.


[Scientific] ideas are inherently tentative, but as they cycle through the process of science again and again and are tested and retested in different ways, we become increasingly confident in them.

If the ideas are inherently tentative, then they are not certain and never will be. They will be ever-tentative. Now, how can we be sure of this? Because of logic again, not because of poking around or brainstorming.

Sure enough, there are several types of logic too, and different types suit different temperaments. Some may prefer modal logic with its degrees of probability, or quantifiers that essentially emulate mathematical calculations. As for me, I prefer the classical trail of implications where conclusions follow necessarily. It doesn't get any more certain than this.

So, where do you place math in your system? (disregarding at the moment that you don't even have a system) Is math science like physics and therefore commendable or is math closer to philosophy consisting of pure logic and therefore worthless? Incidentally, here's something I found on the net about the views on math recently. I didnt write it, so it should be possible for you to agree with something there and get a clue http://aeon.co/magazine/world-views/what-is-left-for-mathematics-to-be-about/
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-18, 17:31:49
Here at first you boldly contradict Feynman, who happened to be an actual scientist.

Most people are more than just their occupation in life.  Nobel prize-winning and Manhattan Project physicist Richard Feynman also considered himself an amateur comedian and liked to get cute sometimes.  I'm sure that few in his audience actually believed that scientists go around willy-nilly guessing at everything they see.  In a comedic sense, one can say that it boils down to beginning with a guess, therefore, Feynman was making a simple joke...what's your point?  Are you too emotionally stoic to recognize this?


The obvious proof is that this analysis cannot be performed and the conclusion cannot be arrived at by means of archeological findings, newest telescope or microscope, or a series of business negotiations. These conclusions are arrived at by means of consciously directed logical reasoning, and only that.

Philosophy reminds me of the little child who always asks 'why' (why you think that conclusion is the case), in response to every answer (conclusion), you give them (nothing wrong with that).  The philosophy of science (mankind's questions), has pushed science's conclusions back to the beginning of time to answer their questions and now that science has the final conclusion to the ultimate question, philosophy is at wit's end as to what to do next--so some philosophers (certainly not all), simply deny it. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-19, 02:02:59
now that science has the final conclusion to the ultimate question

Huh?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-19, 07:10:16

...and now that science has the final conclusion to the ultimate question, philosophy is at wit's end....

As far as I can tell from our exchange, the science's answer to the ultimate question is something like "There's no free will and no God, so you can do what you want! with some minor exceptions: thou shalt not speak of God positively, not be religious, and such." Sorry, but doesn't even begin to make sense.

For me, blind faith is all-bad. For you, blind faith in science is all-good, and any modicum of faith in anything else is bad. This is where we differ and I'm quite sure we differ also as to what the ultimate question is.

So, let's get back on track: Where do you place math? Did you read the article?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-19, 20:06:29
So, let's get back on track: Where do you place math? Did you read the article?

I read the article.  Mathematics can be viewed as a branch of logic, but of course, it depends on how you want to define logic.  If by logic you mean 1)--fully general principles of reasoning that would be generally valid (whether or not one could pack all of these principles into some finite human brain)--then we have no reason to think that math isn't logic. 

The sense in which it has been proved that math isn't logic is (to put it briefly):  You can't program a computer to spit out all and only the truths of number theory.  If you understand logic to mean 2)-- first order logic or 3)-- a collection of fully general principles which a person could in principle learn all of, and apply or 4)-- principles of good reasoning that no sane person could doubt, then that tells us that the mathematical truths are not all logical truths, however, that does not necessarily mean that they are incorrect. 

If by logic one means 5)--principles of good reasoning that aren't ontologically committal, then the waters start to get muddied when math is reduced to set theory and thus second order logic and one must ask what are the ontological commitments of second order logic?  It is at this point that I would have a hard time arguing the logic of math with you. 

As far as 'where do you place math?' I naturally like Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis (MUH).   Of course, it has been logically criticized to the 'hypothesis shelf', but with new advances in quantum physics, may be revived someday. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-19, 21:03:02
But of course you see that Tegmark is a mystic...? :)

Just as you are a Western Christian -- er, Anti-Christian! (Same thing, really. Read the Hsu article.)

Jump to <a href="https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=407.msg22113#msg22113">the Mysticism thread, here[/url] -- if you've grown confused...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-20, 07:47:16
So, the way the article construes it, JS is a rigid-form Euclidian Platonist. I disagree that Plato himself was a rigid-mechanistic-form type. Such should not even properly be called Platonist. It's just that the article conceives of Platonism like this. More about this in my note below.

Anyway, you are such type, James, because knowing you, that's exactly how you'd construe Max Tegmark's ontology. Instead of thinking of matter as a holographic appearance to consciousness (which is how I do), you think of matter as solid composite forms, wherefrom consciousness emerges secondarily, as soon as the forms obtain sufficient complexity. That's positivism and atomism with all their flaws. No big deal though. Even Bertrand Russell formalised his ontology as "logical atomism". Somehow he couldn't do any better.

In mathematics, there is a further step from Euclidian geometry,* namely topology. In topology, all transformations of a mathematical object are thought to be the same object. You can think of the transition from Euclidian geometry to topology this way: When a dot moves, it forms a line. When a line moves, it forms a rectangle on a plane, a two-dimensional object. When a rectangle moves, it forms a three-dimensional solid. When a solid moves, it forms a hypersolid.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2F2%2F26%2FMug_and_Torus_morph.gif&hash=1881e731dc0ec0449596331fa4fb0f08" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Mug_and_Torus_morph.gif)
Now, movement is in time, but the topological space is eternity, not time. Instead of calling any instance of the transformation a thing, the entire process of the transformation is the real thing. Instead of thinking the cup and the doughnut separately, think of them as different appearances of the same thing, as in the illustration. The same way, instead of thinking of myself as I am now, I think of myself as I used to be, am, and will be, and not just as committed to this body here, but including pre- and afterlife. Simple.

Surely Max Tegmark knows all this and his theory is better interpreted in this light. He must know it because it's easy peasy. Even a two-year-old can understand these things, whereas Max Tegmark has been through university. He should know even better than a two-year-old.

The topological space in mathematics corresponds to what is called the causal world in spirituality. There's nothing causal in a single atom and adding an indefinite amount of atoms changes nothing in principle, particularly if the atom is committed to Euclidian space. Therefore a spiritual person feels the urge to answer these questions: Wherein does the dot/line/rectangle/solid/hypersolid move and why? Who says there's movement/transformation? The answer is consciousness, who has causal space as one of its aspects. When the mathematician says, "The dot moves..." he is presupposing consciousness as the observer. Any scientific experiment also works the same way, by presupposing consciousness as the observer. This is a logically necessary presupposition.

This presupposition is logically necessary, but not only in a barren sense. Corollaries from this presupposition actually make sense any way you look at it. Inert matter, atomic or otherwise, construed as devoid of consciousness, cannot have causal powers, whereas consciousness devoid of matter can have it just fine. Consciousness is the observer, the philosophical subject. What is it that is being observed? It's the aspects of consciousness itself, which are analytically or logically separable, as in thought. When an aspect is separated in thought, it becomes perceptible in imagination, and in imagination you can easily take a dream for reality. We do it all the time and so do our children and pets.

And that's all there is to matter. Instead of making God unnecessary, the scientific conclusion is that God is omnipresent as all-pervading spirit, the essence of every thing and the soul of every being.

------------------
* The critics of Platonism, including the article I gave, seem to conceive of Platonic forms as Euclidian solids. Aristotle also criticised this kind of ontology in his Metaphysics, but without mentioning Plato. The way I interpret it, this is how Aristotle tacitly admitted that he was not criticising Plato, whereas interpreters of Aristotle think he was criticising Plato's theory of forms. Such interpretation cannot hold because Aristotle himself is committed to a hylomorphic theory of forms, i.e. to a specific theory of forms, so therefore he was criticising a specific other theory of forms, not theory of forms as such, generically dismissed as Platonic forms, even though Aristotle does not mention Plato in connection of the specific theory under criticism.

The correct interpretation of so-called Platonic forms is topological or holographical, which is how Plotinus interprets it. And I side with Potinus. Plato's writings are difficult to interpret directly because he wrote dialogues, so you never know which literary character exactly represents Plato's point of view. Aristotle and Plotinus are easier to interpret because they wrote treatises.

PS Oakdale, instead of constant destructive criticism, why not set out an ontological model of your own too?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-20, 09:05:17
The same way, instead of thinking of myself as I am now, I think of myself as I used to be, am, and will be, and not just as committed to this body here, but including pre- and afterlife. Simple.

Simple but tricky. You can't think of yourself as you used to be, you think as you are now with the "now-memory" of what you used to be. Forwards, you think with your "now-imagination". You are always trapped into present. Each present.

Our Time slices inexorably reality. Only the Time of God could be comparable with the topology analogy, not our time. Why is that so, I don't know.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-20, 10:35:54
Tricky but possible with concentrated methodical effort. Near-impossible when you don't even try. But yes, it's tricky exactly the way you describe.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-20, 14:51:21
Therefore a spiritual person feels the urge to answer these questions: Wherein does the dot/line/rectangle/solid/hypersolid move and why? Who says there's movement/transformation? The answer is consciousness, who has causal space as one of its aspects. When the mathematician says, "The dot moves..." he is presupposing consciousness as the observer.


If physics is correct, and I believe it is, there was no consciousness when time began.  Everything was set in motion and space was created by the energy released at the instant of the big bang and then the laws of nature and physics took over from there.  Consciousness necessarily came afterwards as a result of that movement, as did space. 

I will admit that there are theories in quantum physics that suggest that nothing actually exists in the universe until it is observed consciously and therefore, there are vast areas of the universe that actually haven't been determined yet because we have yet to look at them.  Since physics isn't your thing, I doubt that you would buy this and besides this is still on the drawing board because how can we know that those areas have not been observed by consciousness somewhere else in the universe. 



This is a logically necessary presupposition.

Only for you Ersi, I am learning to qualify my statements better, logically you should already be doing this. 


Inert matter, atomic or otherwise, construed as devoid of consciousness, cannot have causal powers, whereas consciousness devoid of matter can have it just fine.

I partially agree, but it is the laws governing matter that has the causal power to bring about consciousness.  Consciousness as we know it in this universe only came about when matter arranged itself sufficiently enough (by the laws of nature), for consciousness to arise. 


And that's all there is to matter. Instead of making God unnecessary, the scientific conclusion is that God is omnipresent as all-pervading spirit, the essence of every thing and the soul of every being.

Sort of an amalgamated force of life, which, like most concepts of god, is just beyond the ken of us mere mortals (Hawking included, of course).   There may be a concept (and only a concept), such as this that appears to our consciousness to be at work in the universe, but we shouldn't carry this too far by deifying a mere concept or appearance.  You, as a philosopher, take simple things to the extreme. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-20, 16:16:40

You, as a philosopher, take simple things to the extreme.

I couldn't summarize it better. (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=33.msg2464#msg2464)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-21, 02:33:00
PS Oakdale, instead of constant destructive criticism, why not set out an ontological model of your own too?

Why is counter-example and needful complication seen as destructive?

Put another way: Consider me a mystic. You have but to give up the life you've lived till now and follow me; then, you'll understand! :)
You see, Grasshopper, I don't have all the answers. Indeed, I don't have any great need of such. I am but a gadfly... Your mere discomfort at my minuscule piques is a pleasure, to me: It means you are capable of learning. Maybe.

As you (and others) should recall, I have a serious tendency to nominalism. I'd argue, it's in reaction (over-reaction? -- perhaps) to others' idealism... But that doesn't mean I'd pick that hill to die on. It's merely an inclination that suits my intellect.
Your inclination is toward noumenism. So, of course, your only recourse is a mystical understanding... And even you will admit that the only justification of such is personal experience: Whoever doesn't attempt to live their life by such percepts has not understood, and cannot.
As life is short and gurus many, I'd prefer rational argument... I have time for that. Maybe.


Does ontology precede epistemology? Does logic precede them both? Does (*shock-shudder*) grammar precede them all?


But I've lost track of the main question: What's the problem with atheism?


One simple answer is that it's -on the model of Christianity- become evangelical...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-21, 04:11:30
Pondering the imponderable is a common pastime...

Regarding Time and the Big Bang:
The scales of temperature lend themselves to less frivolous thoughts. Degrees Fahrenheit and degrees Celsius are proportional in size, five to nine, but they count up and down from different zero points. The bottomless negatives in these scales make no sense below -273º C, or -459.4º F, because at that point there is no heat at all; no movement of molecules. The Kelvin scale takes that point as zero and counts upward only, thus 0º K = -273º C.

What I find interesting, then, is that we can nevertheless devise bottomless scales of temperature that do make sense at all points. Thus we might take our zero as the old 0º C, and our 1 as the old 1º C, but then we might take our upward degrees as progressively larger than the Celsius degrees, and our descending ones as progressively smaller. Specifically, having taken our first degree above zero as 1º C, we might inflate our next degree by the slight factor of 1/273, and the next by that factor twice over, and so on up, while correspondingly shrinking all degrees from zero downward. The general formula is this:
n degrees on the new scale, positive or negative, is equal to 274n/273n-1 in degrees Kelvin.*
What is interesting about this is that it shows the existence or nonexistence of a bottom temperature to be a question not of physics but merely of conventional measurement, even though the presence or absence of heat is a matter of physical fact. Our novel scale squeezes infinitely many degrees between 0º C and 0º K. It is a logarithmic scale. Or, we could retort, the usual scales are logarithmic relative to it.
A similar trick can be played on the measurement of time, for the comfort of people (not me, not you) who puzzle about what could have been going on before the Big Bang. By switching to a logarithmic scale, we can push the Big Bang back infinitely far, thereby declaring that there was always a world and never the Bang. Steven Weinberg's first three minutes expand to half an eternity. Scientific theory carries over intact, translated into the new units. But the translation calls for a compensatory rescaling of spatial measures, with the unwelcome result that past sizes are inflated and future ones are deflated. Atoms of the remote past take on cosmic proportions

(from the end of Quine's article on units, in Quiddities)
--------------------------
* That's 274 to the nth power divided by 273 to the n minus 1-th power... (I couldn't get the blockquote to accept the expression! Help? :))
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-21, 16:05:30
But I've lost track of the main question: What's the problem with atheism?

One simple answer is that it's -on the model of Christianity- become evangelical...

Perhaps seemingly so on this forum or the Internet.  The problem with atheism is that it is disruptive in a world where some sort of a God is believed in by so many.  Atheism is still a social stigma and declaring to be an atheist is not easy for many, especially the more timid and meek people of this world (hence the seemingly large number of militant atheists).  I'm sure that the countable number of atheists today is underestimated due to the number of uncounted closet atheists, some of whom openly state that they believe in God just to go with the flow and not rock the boat. 

We seldom discuss religion in my family simply because of the diversity of beliefs amongst us and it being one of those 'live and let live' things that can only weaken a family with controversy.  The same goes for most of my real friends, although, with my more intellectual real friends--anything goes.  As Ersi once said in a post on Opera "Imaginary friends have the advantage of being imaginary.", at the risk of misinterpreting Ersi (yet again), I consider my Internet friends, and myself in relation to them, to be a bit imaginary.  Therefore, the advantage that I see is that, on an Internet forum such as this, I can really let go and say exactly what's on my mind without bringing a lot of attention to my 'real-world' self.  I'm certainly not ashamed of my beliefs, nor do I deny them, I simply don't go out of my way to make life difficult for me in a God-believing world. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-22, 03:21:00
When I think of "militant atheists" I imagine people like Madalyn Murray O'Hair; and the infamous trio of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris.
I -personally- find evangelical Atheists as annoying as evangelical Christians... Both are specially annoying when they try to use the mechanisms of government to gain ascendency and conformity.
The main difference I see there is that the atheists prefer top-down government control whereas most Christians would prefer -or, at least, be satisfied with- local control. Can you guess which group gets my grudging support, and why? :)
There are so few evangelical (as opposed to entrepreneurial...!) Buddhists that I don't count them. Islamists are a category all by themselves... (My views might not be known to you, so I'll condense: Quarantine. You can guess the rest.) Other religions (oddly, we must include Judaism...) don't evangelize, really. So, they don't present a problem, to me.
Nor should they to you... But:

If I understand you correctly, you're a "free thinker" who wants others to accept chains on their thinking, unless they agree with you...so you can feel more comfortable about holding your beliefs? (The militant gays have successfully followed this battle plan, you must know.) Your stated position, that for peace and tranquility you must -or, at least, prefer- to mute your raging rightness, because You are still outnumbered strikes me as facile.
I suspect most people most times have been mostly agnostic/atheist/apathetic. You can't reasonably claim to be a free-thinker and expect others to shut-T-F-up... And, by the same token, most people couldn't care less what your religious practices or views are.
That is to say, your self-importance is more a symptom than a badge...

(Remember: I'm as imaginary as you!)

Also, keep in mind:
It's not your fault that you're an intellectual wimp. On your theory, you never had a choice... But, likewise, neither did I. So, should you "choose" to berate me or call foul! -- nothing you say can have any justificatory force; there are no justifications, on your view -- only effects radiating from the Big Bang.
--------------------------------------
The above is mostly cold, hard logic that shows in relief why your deterministic reductionism is incoherent.
Don't you agree? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-22, 14:24:20
Also, keep in mind:
It's not your fault that you're an intellectual wimp.


I have never claimed to be an intellectual giant (such as yourself?), but if you think that by attempting to crudely point that out to me puffs you up a little bit more then hey--knock yourself out. 

The above is mostly cold, hard logic that shows in relief why your deterministic reductionism is incoherent.
Don't you agree?


The illusion of control is so complete in humans that people will probably forever think and act as if they have it, even if they truly believe that they don't.  I must ask you, where does consciousness get the power to redirect molecular action that supersedes what the laws of physics and nature dictate?  Through what process does the brain create this new force that would necessarily be more powerful than all the other known forces of nature?  Your canned answer would be (and forever more be), 'science isn't finished yet' and Ersi would claim that it is a philosophically logical necessity to have free will, or some such gibberish, neither of which satisfactorily answers anything.   

Is it that you guys think that the whole concept of consciousness itself would be a cruel joke if you did not have the ability to get up - or not - and get a drink of water?  I doubt that anyone's life would really change that much because of this realization--some egos that I know of would come down a few notches, but other than that, not much else would happen. 

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-22, 14:37:09
More later -- but for now: I think you just failed the Turing Test... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-22, 17:18:23
The illusion of control is so complete in humans that people will probably forever think and act as if they have it, even if they truly believe that they don't.  I must ask you, where does consciousness get the power to redirect molecular action that supersedes what the laws of physics and nature dictate?  Through what process does the brain create this new force that would necessarily be more powerful than all the other known forces of nature?

Two preliminary points: Who would ever posit the "power to redirect molecular action that  supersedes what the laws of physics and nature dictate"? And why assume the "new force" must be created by the brain (or mind...); I meant, rather, an additional refinement of physics...

The arguments for reductive determinism (your preferred brand, especially) seem to hinge on a very basic confusion.
To illustrate this, ask yourself if there are any such things as solid bodies? Citing the "enormous empty space" within each atom, one could say no. But you, as an engineer, understand the sensible application of the terms solid and body and, so, don't "see" the problem!

One wonders (at least, I do...) what problem you do "see" that prompts your denial of free will, as understood through our common experience?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-06-22, 18:19:16
This blog might be of interest.

http://www.consciousentities.com/
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-22, 19:11:11
I find the blog enjoyable reading, food for thought. Thanks!
Of special interest (to me, of course) was the article Disobedience and ethical robots (http://www.consciousentities.com/?p=1609), which cuts to the nub of morality by convention explanations...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-23, 05:58:07
Quote from: Philosopher Eric@Conscious Entities
The Physical Ethics perspective runs something like this: Given the trillions (?) of conscious entities on our planet, there are this many corresponding instantaneous selves, or punishment/reward subjects. While there is no freewill/good/evil element here in an ultimate sense, each of these entities has this illusion given their own tiny awarenesses. So when we talk about creating good/evil machines, well... even we are only good/evil in respect to our pathetic little perspectives -- not ultimately.

James would perhaps agree with the quote, but there's a logical problem with this kind of denial of free will. If free will is an illusion stemming from pathetic little perspectives of tiny individual awarenesses, then by what mechanism did that particular individual awareness, namely Philosopher Eric@Conscious Entities, escape the illusion?

The same applies to a similar denial of consciousness in the ultimate sense. It boils down to: "Since I don't know everything, then nobody else does either." A logically invalid inductive jumping to conclusions. Surely it's appealing to lower others to your own level, but logically invalid and scientifically counter-evidential.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-06-23, 07:59:09
If free will is an illusion stemming from pathetic little perspectives of tiny individual awarenesses, then by what mechanism did that particular individual awareness, namely Philosopher Eric@Conscious Entities, escape the illusion?

But he wouldn't. Being aware that something is an optical or auditory illusion doesn't mean you stop seeing or hearing the illusion. Much the same would presumably apply to other illusions generated by the brain. And in any case, saying there is no free will in the ultimate sense is rather trivial and should not cause any shocks. It's been done by Spinoza and Voltaire, implicitly by Buddhism, and I'm sure it's been said plenty by ancient Greeks as well. Freedom is an abstract term. To say that I have free will (if that term is even at all meaningful (http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/free_will.html), cf. Locke) does not mean that I am always maximally free, just as to say that I am healthy does not mean I am exactly as healthy right now as I was two months ago. At the most basic level I did not choose where and when I grew up.

What does puzzle me is the claim that we would have an illusion of ultimate free will. I, for one, have never had any such notion.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-23, 09:10:06
That's all very cute, Frenzie, but the same reasoning applies to affirm free will, and even better so.

Free will in the pathetic little perspectives of tiny awarenesses is obviously relative, not absolute. It's limited by life span, by the extent of knowledge and wisdom, by external circumstances, by the wills of other individuals around, by personal character flaws, etc. We have free will, but it doesn't automatically wash away all the external circumstances that we are confronting.

Thus the rational definition of free will is limited individual willpower. When applied wisely, your will overcomes or circumvents the circumstances, and gets what it wants. When applied foolishly, circumstances overpower free will, sometimes so devastatingly that the free will appears to not exist. However, when you are overcome by circumstances, it does not directly eradicate your free will, individuality, free thought, etc. It is an emotional or psychological collapse wherein you still have your individual pain, inconsolable grief, worries and confusion. To prevent this collapse it's wiser to affirm free will and use it wisely. To overcome such collapse only works by means of affirming free will and responsibility for oneself.

You cannot rationally deny free will and at the same time say you are right and someone else is wrong. When there's no free will, then everybody is the same way and there's no right or wrong. My personal preference is to affirm right and wrong. Ethics exists, responsibility exists. Free will by means of which moral agents accrue responsibility for their own deeds exists. This is to spur people to self-improvement. Denial of free will leads to fatalism.

Edit:

Freedom is an abstract term. To say that I have free will (if that term is even at all meaningful (http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/free_will.html), cf. Locke) does not mean that I am always maximally free, just as to say that I am healthy does not mean I am exactly as healthy right now as I was two months ago. At the most basic level I did not choose where and when I grew up.

It's obviously invalid to conclude that "at the most basic level" you did not choose anything. Health and sickness both exist, but are contradictory. Can we conclude from this that "at the most basic level" only illness exists? On what logical basis? What is "the most basic level"?

We see both black and white. How does this necessitate a denial of one over the other? What is "the most basic level" where we can say that really only black or only white exists? You may even honestly see black consistently all the time, but it doesn't follow that only black exists. It may follow instead that you are blind! As partly colour-blind myself, I am acutely aware of this point.

Freedom is an abstract term, yes, but it doesn't follow that it doesn't exist. Instead it follows that it exists in a different sense than any limited concrete thing. The correct procedure is to define freedom carefully so that it applies to real life, because failure to do so leads to real, actual and concrete adverse consequences. It leads to abuse of freedom that anyone is free to justify by whatever means.


What does puzzle me is the claim that we would have an illusion of ultimate free will. I, for one, have never had any such notion.

Probably just an emotional overreaction on his part. When someone else believes in something you don't like, you easily tend to believe he believes it in the ultimate absolute sense and is all-wrong rather than reconcilable by means of some minor shift of perspective.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-23, 15:46:24
Thus the rational definition of free will is limited individual willpower. When applied wisely, your will overcomes or circumvents the circumstances, and gets what it wants. When applied foolishly, circumstances overpower free will, sometimes so devastatingly that the free will appears to not exist.


If we have free will, where in the evolutionary tree did it develop?  Does algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behavior automatic and within the realm of scientific law?  Simple creatures of less than a thousand cells will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better, depending on recent experience.  Is that the exercise of free will? 

Though humans feel that they can choose what they do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets. There are recent experiments in neuroscience to support the view that it is our physical brain, following the known laws of science that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside those laws. 

Studies of patients undergoing awake brain surgery have found that by electrically stimulating the posterior parietal cortex, one could create in the patient the desire to move the hand, arm, or foot, or to move the lips and talk, although they never actually did.  Stronger currents cast a powerful illusion, convincing the patients that they had actually moved, even though recordings of electrical activity in their muscles said otherwise. 

Stimulating a different region - the premotor cortex - produced the opposite effect.  The patients moved their hands, arms or mouths without realizing it.  One of them flexed his left wrist, fingers and elbow and rotated his forearm, but was completely unaware of it.  When his surgeons asked if he felt anything, he said no.  Higher currents evoked stronger movements, but still the patients remained blissfully unaware that their limbs and lips were budging. 

These contrasting responses tell us two important things. Firstly, they show that our feelings of free will originate (at least partially) in the parietal cortex.  It's the activity of these neurons that creates a sense that we initiate actions of our own accord.  Secondly, they show that the sense of moving doesn't depend very much on actually doing so - it depends on calculations that are made in the parietal cortex, long before the action itself begins.  It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it certainly seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion. 

(Much of the preceding  is taken directly from: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2009/05/07/electrical-stimulation-produces-feelings-of-free-will/ )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-23, 16:35:07
What was the point of the study? To prove that the brain is causing this or that sensation? Sorry, but any experiment where stimulating the brain is involved proves no such thing. Instead they prove that impulses from outside the brain - from the electrodes and the conductor of the experiment - produce impulses in the rabbit (or whoever is being stimulated there). The impulses may occur via the brain, but they are very concretely not generated in the brain. The fallacy involved is like saying that in case of murders the cause of death is the wound, and nobody else is guilty.

Another point. How did the experimenters get to know what the subject's subjective experience was due to stimulation? Testimony? That's the worst kind of evidence conceivable, say the anti-theists. Then how is it suddenly good enough now?

And from what I know about neuroscientists, particularly those who are vocal atheists or antitheists, does not induce any respect in their profession. Their conclusions go squarely against every necessary precondition of psychology, are logically flawed, counter-evidential or cherry-picked. Routinely so. Your example only confirms this impression.

But thanks for pointing to the source. That's a good standard to have in such discussions.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-06-23, 18:23:43
It's obviously invalid to conclude that "at the most basic level" you did not choose anything. Health and sickness both exist, but are contradictory. Can we conclude from this that "at the most basic level" only illness exists? On what logical basis? What is "the most basic level"?

I believe neither I nor that Eric fellow concluded that. You said much the same thing: any rational definition of "free will" must include the fact that we have a history. I have no idea what the person you quoted thinks about that, but to me it means there is no (necessary) contradiction between saying "the fact that I watched Ducktales in 1990 caused me to do X" and "my decision caused me to do X."
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-23, 18:26:42
Their conclusions go squarely against every necessary precondition of psychology, are logically flawed, counter-evidential or cherry-picked. Routinely so. Your example only confirms this impression.

The way you think that science so "routinely" gets it wrong, it's a wonder that we ever made it out of the stone age.  Your true colors (fear of science), are shining through, sir. 

I thought we got it clear that science seldom, if ever, produces a truth of nature in one fell swoop.  It is the mounting evidence of proof through years, decades or centuries of experimentation and verification across all lines of science around the world that makes something reliable enough to accept as a truth of nature.  This is good evidence only and needs to be added with other evidence and experimentation in order to draw any type of meaningful conclusion, and even then all theories and laws of science are forever subject to revision or even expulsion--it's the only way to do good science.  This is "looks, walks and quacks like a duck" stuff right now, but it often does turn out to be a duck you know. 

You want so badly to dismiss this as scientific hocus-pocus or chicanery that you fail to see how much important evidence this adds to our understanding of ourselves.  Yes, it's a long reach for anyone (including Hawking), to conclude that free will is an illusion.  I see the evidence pointing in that direction and simply draw that conclusion for myself, it may be premature, but I'm allowed. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-23, 21:41:01
Free will it's a characteristic of one and only one species, Homo Sapiens. (Ok, two. Neanderthals also counts)
It has nothing to do with "evolution".

Most people these days thinks that evolution means what in fact was defended by LamarcK, not Darwin, the "transformism" of species.

To Lamarck, species evolved transforming into another species.
Darwin never said such thing.

The problem with Darwin was to call to his book "On the origin of species" when, in fact, he never said anything about "the origin" but just about how environment and the consequent species reproductive behavior was related with certain factors and how it would affect the subsequent evolution of the species. Not the origin.

Free will is not a result of any evolution. It's present in Man from the beginning.
Man is not the "transformation" of apes.

P.S. I dont know if you were discussing this but since I saw so many times "free will" in the middle of posts, I thought it to be adequate. :)

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-24, 02:26:49
The impulses may occur via the brain, but they are very concretely not generated in the brain.

This may be the case for philosophers, but certainly not for the rest of us.  Our bodies are huge masses of positively and negatively charged atoms, we can, and quite easily do, generate electricity within our brains equivalent to that of the electrodes.  The scientists are merely stimulating certain areas of the brain artificially with an electric charge equal to what our brains produce.  These electric charges in our brain may vary in strength (just as the amount of charge on the electrodes was varied), depending on the urgency of the action that needs to be taken. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-24, 04:17:07
Consider me a naive and not-too-bright auditor of this conversation... (Not very hard, for most of you!) My first question is what I think is a simple one:
What difference in any of our practical, political or penal considerations would your (various) viewpoints make?

Have at it! (If you think there'd be no difference at all, you can practice your origami... :) )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-24, 05:06:52

I have no idea what the person you quoted thinks about that, but to me it means there is no (necessary) contradiction between saying "the fact that I watched Ducktales in 1990 caused me to do X" and "my decision caused me to do X."

There's no contradiction between those statements as long as you don't analyse the psychology involved. Watching the Ducktales may prompt a desire or idea for the next thing in you, but the causation is indirect, not direct. In truth you always have a choice. In a family fight you may yell: "I'm yelling because you are yelling!" and it may seem perfectly plausible in the situation, but in truth you may also smack, kick, walk away, run away, stay silent, etc. Lots of options.

The causation from the environment to a rational being is indirect. The environment prompts an impulse, but a rational being, different from an irrational animal, may always choose to not follow the impulse. Either follow a different impulse - not necessarily stronger impulse, merely a different one -, or suppress all impulses.

An animal invariably follows the strongest impulse and is psychologically torn when impulses are equal. Humans are also psychologically torn as long as the mind is not made up. But in the end, human choice does not necessarily entail opting for any impulse over any other. It may entail renunciation of all impulses.

Not sure how much I agree with Belfrager here. Lamarck's theory of evolution surely looks better than Darwin's, but at some point still not good enough for me.


Their conclusions go squarely against every necessary precondition of psychology, are logically flawed, counter-evidential or cherry-picked. Routinely so. Your example only confirms this impression.

The way you think that science so "routinely" gets it wrong, it's a wonder that we ever made it out of the stone age.  Your true colors (fear of science), are shining through, sir.

A concrete example of such neuroscientist is Sam Harris. Frenzie earlier also pointed to some neuroscientistic study somewhere which made as little sense as your source.

We got out of the stone age first. The distinction of neuroscientists versus philosophers is a fairly recent development, long after we got out of the stone age. Now neuroscientists are giving their proof that we are worse than apes (and this is how it should be, they seem to mean). Taliban is the standard of morality, says Sam Harris. If this goes on long and strong enough, yes, we will get back to stone age. (Taliban is actually not that bad. It only takes us back to the middle ages, if they get their wish through. Whereas the nuclear arsenal of the civilised West means that the future may be something far worse than the stone age.)


The impulses may occur via the brain, but they are very concretely not generated in the brain.

This may be the case for philosophers, but certainly not for the rest of us.

Remember the analogy I brought? The fallacy involved is like saying that in case of murders the cause of death is the wound and that nobody else is guilty. Are you saying that the distinction of natural death (an accumulation of decay of cells or whatever) and killing (a series of impulses from the environment) is irrelevant? If this distinction is relevant, then the distinction between your own thought and having yourself rabbited in a brain experiment is also relevant. It's not just a philosophy thing. It's common sense.

If you think that thinking for yourself is perfectly the same as being hard-wired to some mad scientist, then you lack common sense. And those neuroscientists who forget the distinction, and also the experimental physicists who think that their laboratory is the same as nature and things merely happen, ignoring that they are setting up the environment and pulling the strings, lack common sense, logic and morality. Common sense is necessary to have a rational discussion about anything.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-24, 05:24:18
...ersi has already answered my question (well enough). And without referencing it!

Anyone else care to try?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-06-24, 08:39:18
There's no contradiction between those statements as long as you don't analyse the psychology involved.

My psychology wouldn't be the same if I hadn't watched Ducktales.

The causation from the environment to a rational being is indirect. The environment prompts an impulse, but a rational being, different from an irrational animal, may always choose to not follow the impulse. Either follow a different impulse - not necessarily stronger impulse, merely a different one -, or suppress all impulses.

Or in other words, your will ("impulse") is at the very least not free until that point. And if you are "suppress[ing] all impulses[/ideas]" you are submitting to the idea of suppressing all other ideas. Does that mean you are actually choosing anything or does it mean that you are simply being dominated by a stronger idea? Continuing that line of thought, your freedom exists primarily at the point where you decide not to read e.g. The Selfish Gene, The Greatest Show on Earth or Why Evolution is True. Once you've properly read and considered it, whether or not the idea that "Darwinian" evolution is true will dominate the idea that it's not is out of your hands.

A concrete example of such neuroscientist is Sam Harris. Frenzie earlier also pointed to some neuroscientistic study somewhere which made as little sense as your source.

I didn't point to a study, but to a quick overview of the kind of things neuroscientists like Damasio are actually saying (http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Neural_basis_of_emotions).

If you think that thinking for yourself is perfectly the same as being hard-wired to some mad scientist, then you lack common sense. And those neuroscientists who forget the distinction, and also the experimental physicists who think that their laboratory is the same as nature and things merely happen, ignoring that they are setting up the environment and pulling the strings, lack common sense, logic and morality. Common sense is necessary to have a rational discussion about anything.

Nobody thinks it's "perfectly the same". But this idea that learning more about ourselves is immoral is odd to say the least. I can't find a more academic source in English at the moment, but "some mad scientist" using volunteers is responsible for developments like this, not possible even a decade ago:

https://www.curebraincancer.org.au/page/9/treatment#Surgery
Quote
If the brain tumour is located near a part of the brain that controls speech, or movement or some other vital function, it is common to perform the operation when the patient is awake for a short part of the surgery.  The patient is woken once the surface of the brain is exposed and special electrical stimulation techniques are used to locate the specific part of the brain that controls speech, movement, or vision. This avoids causing damage while removing the tumour.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-24, 09:07:43

Nobody thinks it's "perfectly the same".

Then tell James not to conflate where distinction is relevant. And tell the same to yourself.


But this idea that learning more about ourselves is immoral is odd to say the least.

Learning about ourselves is essentially morally neutral. Morality enters the picture when we are faced with the choice: Either learn by observing our own behaviour attentively or by tearing intestines apart. When you say that only the manner of tearing the intestines apart is the right way, and the way of uninterfering observation and careful logical inferences is wrong, you are being fallacious both philosophically and scientifically. And when you persist, you are soon enough proven immoral too.

@Oakdale
How is Frenzie answering your question?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-06-24, 09:56:29
Morality enters the picture when we are faced with the choice: Either learn by observing our own behaviour attentively or by tearing intestines apart. When you say that only the manner of tearing the intestines apart is the right way, and the way of uninterfering observation and careful logical inferences is wrong, you are being fallacious both philosophically and scientifically. And when you persist, you are soon enough proven immoral too.

Are the experiments being performed on slaves (early 19th century), the weak of mind (later 19th and a disturbingly large part of the 20th century), criminals (20th century) or imprisoned Jews (mid-20th century)? Or are the experiments first evaluated by an independent ethics review board, performed on volunteers who are fully informed about all the potential risks?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-24, 14:20:52
Frenzie, so your thesis of morality is this: "Morality only exists when there's an ethics board powerful enough to punish me." Let it be known that this is exactly what I call immorality, absolute lack of morals and ethics :)

For me morality is grounded in conscience, which is a real psychological function, not imposed from outside. Conscience is perceptible by means of introspection. It is regulated by means of will and intellect and actualised in behaviour. It manifests by means of self-restraint and ability to accommodate other individuals with their social conventions. Lack of self-restraint, lack of considerateness, and lack of culture point to lack of conscience, i.e. immorality. Culture does not determine conscience. Culture can only secondarily modify it, if the individual lays undue importance to what others think and say. Conscience is a real psychological function wherever one is born. This kind of morality is universal, while also being appropriately contextual.


The causation from the environment to a rational being is indirect. The environment prompts an impulse, but a rational being, different from an irrational animal, may always choose to not follow the impulse. Either follow a different impulse - not necessarily stronger impulse, merely a different one -, or suppress all impulses.

Or in other words, your will ("impulse") is at the very least not free until that point. And if you are "suppress[ing] all impulses[/ideas]" you are submitting to the idea of suppressing all other ideas. Does that mean you are actually choosing anything or does it mean that you are simply being dominated by a stronger idea? Continuing that line of thought, your freedom exists primarily at the point where you decide not to read e.g. The Selfish Gene, The Greatest Show on Earth or Why Evolution is True. Once you've properly read and considered it, whether or not the idea that "Darwinian" evolution is true will dominate the idea that it's not is out of your hands.

What a horrendous view about reading comprehension! And how unsustainable views of mental processes!

Let's take mental processes first. Some relevant distinctions:

You explicitly conflate idea and will, but there's a relevant distinction between a mentally formed idea and a practically applied idea. The latter necessarily entails will. It always takes willpower to apply an idea, for example to suppress an instinctive impulse or an unsuitable idea. (This last statement is what you should definitively refute, if you want to make it intelligible how you construe the concept of will. Or rather, why and how you try to circumvent it.)

So, will and idea are not the same thing. Further, when there is a certain goal in the mind, it means that the person wants (= has the will) to actualise a mentally formed idea, to apply it practically. When the result of the action is similar enough to the pre-conceived notion, then the goal will have been achieved. Awareness of this goal along with the ability to modify it - conscious goal-orientedness - is a feature of rational beings. If there appears to be similar behaviour and similar results without any pre-conceived notion and without any conscious relation to the goal, then that's the feature of irrational animals. Goal-orientedness entails will, and awareness about it defines a distinction between rational and irrational beings.

Of course you cannot refute the concept of goal-orientedness, because you would demonstrate determined rational conscious goal-orientedness in the process. So I'd rather you didn't do that, but of course the choice is yours. Well, as per your theory, not the choice, but impulses that have pre-determined you to make the choice. Seriously, do you have a way to eliminate the concept of choice too?

You fail in all these distinctions. Between an idea as a preconceived notion and an idea as being applied by means of will, and thus also between rational and irrational beings. You also fail to construe coherent or intelligible concepts of will, goal, choice, etc. These concepts in turn support the concepts of responsibility, reward and punishment, i.e. the theory of morality worth the name, instead of some incoherent bioevolutionary mess. Seriously, by means of a concentrated reasoning process you managed to end up with the conclusion that you are essentially the same as an irrational animal with no individual will and morals! If you were self-critical, you'd reconsider your line of thought and try to correct where you went wrong, but this would further distinguish you from irrational animals and undermine probably all the rest of the theories you hold, so I understand when you don't want to.

There are more relevant distinctions between the kinds of ideas we hold mentally. Of some ideas in the mind we are conscious, but not of all. Some are clearly formed, others are vague. Some lend themselves to further elaboration, clarification, modification, transformation, and even eradication. Others are deeply entrenched notions that rule us rather than we them. Looks like you think all ideas are of the last kind, and that all other kinds are illusory. As I illustrated by means of the analogy of black and white, you are able see both black and white, but you like to think it's really all black, and that white can handily be reduced to black without any harm. To me this is a logical fallacy I cannot accept. But you can. (Just saying it to inform myself properly of this astounding fact.)

Now, just for the sake of argument, let me concede that all our thoughts are of the kind of deeply entrenched notions and impulses that rule us rather than we them. Then I ask: By what means do they rule us? The answer is: By will. Those impulses have their own willpower. It may not be a conscious type of willpower, but that's how else do they do it? What would you call it? Inertia? Kinetic energy? Why? How?

And then about reading comprehension. You think that anyone in their right mind should, after reading the books you mention, concede everything and succumb to the same ideology. By what force should this happen, if not by will? Is it because "this is how things really are and everybody should see it," as per the theories? The funny thing in the (actual observable) universe is that things may be whatever they are, but different people always see things differently. Some see things as they want and please, refusing to resolve contradictions because contradictions feel nothing to them. Others see hardly anything, because they don't have eyes in that sense. Still others see more than you do, more than I do, and even more than we both combined do.

Further, anyone with the ability to see these facts and reflect over them is able to make conscious efforts to improve one's own knowledge and mental abilities, both intellect and introspection. This is all perfectly consistent with the notion of individual will versus other impulses, but not consistent at all with some theory of will-lessness. In fact, unwillingness or stubborness is also a form of will. How about that?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-24, 14:49:22
If you think that thinking for yourself is perfectly the same as being hard-wired to some mad scientist, then you lack common sense. And those neuroscientists who forget the distinction, and also the experimental physicists who think that their laboratory is the same as nature and things merely happen, ignoring that they are setting up the environment and pulling the strings, lack common sense, logic and morality.


Ahem...there are, at least, an equal number of mad philosophers if you would like me to count off a dozen or so.  It may be a wee bit of madness that leads great philosophers to try to seek out the answers that they do in the first place. 

Scientists can't bring stars, solar system, galaxies and massive black holes into their laboratories, but they know an awful lot of facts about them.  Similarly, scientists can't enter the quantum world, but we know much about how that works as well.  If you believe that observation from afar is meaningless then grab your stone weapons, we have some hunting to do. 

In the brain experiment, scientists had to eliminate the thought process that takes place before the brain chooses an action and an electrical impulse is created to carry that out.  To be the experiment that it is, scientists necessarily (by common sense), had to circumvent that process to get the results they were seeking.  The results are very meaningful in themselves, but will become even more so as more experimentation is done and more information is added--science marches relentlessly on. 
 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-24, 15:36:55
I think that the brain-in-a vat has the same problems of morality and conscience. Therefore is not in the outer world, in "reality", that one should seek explanations and answers.

So called "moral problems" (when the subject must decide between two options that are simultaneously against his sense of morality) results often in a brain "short-circuit" and the subject unable to take a decision, at least a decision that will let him comfortable with his conscience.

One must pay special attention to those "short-circuits" in order to get closer to understand the nature of conscience and the subsequent problem of Free Will.
I find it a very difficult subject of analysis.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-24, 17:19:03
One must pay special attention to those "short-circuits" in order to get closer to understand the nature of conscience and the subsequent problem of Free Will.


I don't believe "short-circuit" is a good choice of words to describe indecisiveness or simple refusal to make a decision because not making a decision is a decision in itself and not a malfunction.  All decisions come from the cascade of information rapidly filtering through the brain.  Morality is taken into account along with billions of other bits of information.  Morality can certainly carry more weight (importance), than say 'appearance to others', but it is logical, at times, to override morality--or ultimately illogical, if something like the love of a woman (emotion), is involved. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-25, 00:45:44
This is in answer to your question, ersi, about how I gauged Frenzie's answer to my question...and posted before I'd read much beyond it. :) (Obviously, a computer that "spoke" English would have no problem with this formulation, since it's grammatical -- even if it didn't have access to (memory of!) this thread; but then it would, were it conscious in the same sense we are, have questions...)
My estimation of his answer is stuck on how I'm meant to take his first salvo: "My psychology wouldn't be the same if I hadn't watched Ducktales."
(Yes, I did some research... Did I miss a crucial post? Or was DuckTales mentioned out of the blue, so to speak?)
Was he being a wag? (Someone always capable of making a joke while making a serious point, leaving the import and intent of such ambiguous...) Or merely reporting that he knows and accepts that he's just the dog's tail being wagged?
Short answer: I don't know... :)
(gotta go back and continue reading, if I'm going to say anything interesting -- that isn't just talking to myself...)
----------------------------------------------------

I don't believe "short-circuit" is a good choice of words to describe indecisiveness or simple refusal to make a decision because not making a decision is a decision in itself and not a malfunction.

I have to disagree: "Short-circuit" is indeed the ideal term! Logically, not making a decision is a failure of programming -- perhaps even a Halt-And-Catch-Fire op-code! Either God or Evolution has asked that the whole mechanism be checked, for correct functioning.


As I mentioned earlier: We'd only likely admit that machines were ethically our equals if they could and would be able to reject their programming -- that is, not follow "the rules"...
Which brings us to the consideration of "higher rules."
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-25, 07:41:22
Yes, short-circuit is the right term to designate the psychology of indecision and doubt. There are people for whom contradictions, logical or emotional or esthetic, feel nothing, but for others they induce a psychological conflict that they must resolve either internally or externally. I'd say the latter kind of people is functional as humans, and the former malfunctional or dysfunctional. Of course there may be multiple opinions about things, if a certain state of affairs constitutes a conflict or not, but the different opinions only apply against different backgrounds of thought, within different contexts. Within a specific context given a common standard, the opinions cannot be much apart.


I find it a very difficult subject of analysis.

Analysis is a piece of cake. The hard part is to apply it in real life under actual pressing urgency. Then there's no time for analysis any more. It's time to apply the conclusion and stay true to oneself no matter what.


Ahem...there are, at least, an equal number of mad philosophers if you would like me to count off a dozen or so.  It may be a wee bit of madness that leads great philosophers to try to seek out the answers that they do in the first place.

Madness according to what kind of standard? And when we apply the same standard to scientists, will they look less mad or even more than I have implied thus far?


Scientists can't bring stars, solar system, galaxies and massive black holes into their laboratories, but they know an awful lot of facts about them.  Similarly, scientists can't enter the quantum world, but we know much about how that works as well.  If you believe that observation from afar is meaningless then grab your stone weapons, we have some hunting to do.

If you believe you were saying something that should turn my world upside down, get back to the drawing board. It's just that I view the same facts against a different background and therefore I draw different conclusions. The same facts are subject to different interpretations in different contexts.


In the brain experiment, scientists had to eliminate the thought process that takes place before the brain chooses an action and an electrical impulse is created to carry that out.  To be the experiment that it is, scientists necessarily (by common sense), had to circumvent that process to get the results they were seeking.  The results are very meaningful in themselves, but will become even more so as more experimentation is done and more information is added--science marches relentlessly on.

If the subjective impressions of the rabbits were recorded from testimony, then the scientists didn't circumvent anything and they know it. If they claim otherwise, I wonder how they graduated from university. Or did they only circumvent university...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-25, 10:21:10


I find it a very difficult subject of analysis.

Analysis is a piece of cake. The hard part is to apply it in real life under actual pressing urgency. Then there's no time for analysis any more. It's time to apply the conclusion and stay true to oneself no matter what.

No matter the time you'll have, you keep blocked. Pressing urgency adds up to the sense of discomfort but it's not the origin and reason of the short circuit.
What I said to be very difficult to analyze is exactly the reason of the short circuit.

It's clearly related with mechanisms of guilt. Take the classic case of saving the mother and let the children die or save the children and let the mother die.
Any decision will kill one and we just don't want to feel responsible for killing either one or the other, because we value both equally.

If so, what's a purely moral mechanism, as guilt is, has the effect of override and prevent decision taking. It neutralizes brain's functions.
It seems to be a mechanism of prevention. Why do we have such mechanism, that's what is difficult to analyze. It's not clearly a mechanism to benefit survival, if we don't take any action probably both will die.
There's no place to "Darwinisms" and "evolutions" here.

Oakdale's going the right direction so I think - Which brings us to the consideration of "higher rules.", but he's speaking about machines...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-25, 11:18:10

It's clearly related with mechanisms of guilt. Take the classic case of saving the mother and let the children die or save the children and let the mother die.
Any decision will kill one and we just don't want to feel responsible for killing either one or the other, because we value both equally.

There may be a way to sacrifice yourself in the process so you don't have to live with the guilt of having chosen one over another. I'm saying this without any irony. The situation must be properly thought through beforehand, the dilemma must be solved, and one of the real solutions is to sacrifice oneself instead of having to choose between other lives. The other option is to endure psychological paralysis during the actual situation and live with the consequences of inaction/misaction everafter.

Analysis is a piece of cake for me. Easy peasy :)


Why do we have such mechanism, that's what is difficult to analyze. It's not clearly a mechanism to benefit survival, if we don't take any action probably both will die.
There's no place to "Darwinisms" and "evolutions" here.

Obviously, innate human ethical functions exist to spank materialists and atheists to their senses.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-25, 11:43:39
There may be a way to sacrifice yourself in the process so you don't have to live with the guilt of having chosen one over another. I'm saying this without any irony. The situation must be properly thought through beforehand, the dilemma must be solved, and one of the real solutions is to sacrifice oneself instead of having to choose between other lives.

Yes, indeed. It only emphasizes what I said.
Obviously, innate human ethical functions exist to spank materialists and atheists to their senses.

:)

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-25, 12:31:28
I have to disagree: "Short-circuit" is indeed the ideal term! Logically, not making a decision is a failure of programming -- perhaps even a Halt-And-Catch-Fire op-code! Either God or Evolution has asked that the whole mechanism be checked, for correct functioning.


Are you just being argumentative here?  People decide not to decide all the time because it is the best and most logical decision and not always for self-preservation reasons.  "I'm not going to decide what to wear to the party until I know whether it is a casual or formal affair.", is one example of not deciding without the roof falling in on us.  Furthermore, people often don't decide between options because it's a lose/lose situation for them (or someone else), so not making a choice is simply the best decision.  The decision not to decide is always an unmentioned option for us--it could be for self-preservation reasons, but most of the time it's not. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-25, 20:04:56
Oakdale's going the right direction so I think - Which brings us to the consideration of "higher rules", but he's speaking about machines...

No: The example of an ethical machine was a rhetorical device to help a better analysis, viz., what would be required...for us to even imagine such.
But the "higher rules" idea doesn't actually get us anywhere -- certainly not with the machine. In that case, programming still precludes (...even if it seems to allow) the freedom necessary for what we call ethical choice.

We're back to the difficulties of determinism... :)
--------------------------------
@James: Russell once used a pastiche of reductio showing that naive realism is false... Similarly, determinism is required by science; yet our best (most recent...) science eschews determinism!
Quantum Electro Dynamics is the "easiest" example. (Feynman's little book is a fun read!)

That is, determinism is an illusion...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-26, 06:31:41
On one side there's mechanistic determinism, on the other there are patterns of correspondence, which are purely formal insubstantial constructs, yet inevitable to make sense of anything. Any kind of atemporal pattern or concept, such as cause-effect, time, space, etc. is an example of patterns of correspondence. Funny how materialists try to reduce everything to the deterministic side, forgetting that they are necessarily operating with the pattern side when doing it, and when things don't fit, they blame others for overemphasising the pattern side of things, when it's really themselves out of balance. Sometimes funny, but sometimes painful to watch when they do it.

The higher rules of ethics can never be formulated as long as one views them as some imposed or decreed set of commands. It's necessarily a law of nature, then we can talk sense. I'd formulate it for now: What goes around, comes around.

The lower set of rules (social cultural conventions, national laws and religious dogmas) is for those who think they can escape this law of nature. Admittedly, the superior law of nature operates on sufficiently long ropes so that its operative nature is not clear, sceptics have their fun because it doesn't appear to be mechanistic, and therefore there's an obvious need for conventions, laws, police and governments.

Edit: Another way to put it is to say that the lower set of rules always is a formulation of the higher rules. The higher rules are a law of nature independent of human opinion, but whenever humans formulate it, the outcome is a fallible approximation, necessarily imperfect in one sense or another. The lower set of laws is the obvious consequence of the fact that the thing never is its label, but the labels are indispensable to teach the ignorant.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-27, 04:26:42
As per atheist logic, since there's no evidence that anybody has any problem with my classification of atheists (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg21823#msg21823), therefore my classification is absolutely good for everyone. Still, here's another classification (http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/some-varieties-of-atheism.html) for you to have some choice, even for those who don't believe in choice and free will.

In thisclassification, numbers pertain to the theoretical (metaphysical) aspects of religion, and letters to the practical (ritualistic and moral prescriptive) aspects. There are some points about the connection of morality and religion that could prompt some discussion.

Quote from: Edward Feser
1. Religious belief has no serious intellectual content at all.  It is and always has been little more than superstition, the arguments offered in its defense have always been feeble rationalizations, and its claims are easily refuted.

2. Religious belief does have serious intellectual content, has been developed in interesting and sophisticated ways by philosophers and theologians, and was defensible given the scientific and philosophical knowledge available to previous generations.  But advances in science and philosophy have now more or less decisively refuted it.  Though we can respect the intelligence of an Aquinas or a Maimonides, we can no longer take their views seriously as live options.

3. Religious belief is still intellectually defensible today, but not as defensible as atheism.  An intelligent and well-informed person could be persuaded by the arguments presented by the most sophisticated contemporary proponents of a religion, but the arguments of atheists are at the end of the day more plausible.

Obviously one could take one of these attitudes towards some religions, and another of them towards other religions.  For example, a given atheist might take a type 1 atheist position with respect to Christianity and a type 2 atheist position with respect to Buddhism (or whatever).  Or he might take a type 1 attitude towards some versions of Christianity but a type 2 or type 3 attitude towards other versions of Christianity.

[...]

A. Religious practice is mostly or entirely contemptible and something we would all be well rid of.  The ritual side of religion is just crude and pointless superstition.  Religious morality, where it differs from secular morality, is sheer bigotry.  Even where certain moral principles associated with a particular religion have value, their association with the religion is merely an accident of history.  Moreover, such principles tend to be distorted by the religious context.  They certainly do not in any way depend on religion for their justification.

B. Religious practice has a certain admirable gravitas and it is possible that its ritual and moral aspects fulfill a real human need for some people.  We can treat it respectfully, the way an anthropologist might treat the practices of a culture he is studying.  But it does not fulfill any universal human need, and the most intelligent, well educated, and morally sophisticated human beings certainly have no need for it. 

C. Religious practice fulfills a truly universal or nearly universal human need, but unfortunately it has no rational foundation and its metaphysical presuppositions are probably false.  This is a tragedy, for the loss of religious belief will make human life shallower and in other ways leave a gaping void in our lives which cannot plausibly be filled by anything else.  It may even have grave social consequences.  But it is something we must find a way to live with, for atheism is intellectually unavoidable.

[...]

An A1 atheist, then, would be the most negative sort, especially if he took an A1 attitude towards most or all forms of religion.  A C3 atheist would be the most positive.

[...]

I find that atheists who fall on the most negative ends of these scales -- A1 territory -- are invariably the ones who are the least well-informed about what the religions they criticize actually believe, and the least rational when one tries to discuss the subject with them.  And when you think about it, even before one gets into the specifics it is pretty clear that A1 is prima facie simply not a very reasonable attitude to take about at least the great world religions.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-06-27, 17:52:12
As per atheist logic, since there's no evidence that anybody has any problem with my classification of atheists (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg21823#msg21823), therefore my classification is absolutely good for everyone.


This shows more how you draw conclusions than how atheists do. Only one person responded to that... Which says it all. He picked what sounded good because he has no idea how far into metaphysics and misunderstanding he is too.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-27, 20:39:59

As per atheist logic, since there's no evidence that anybody has any problem with my classification of atheists (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg21823#msg21823), therefore my classification is absolutely good for everyone.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." :left: (But is a hint. :sherlock:)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-28, 03:19:05
There's a slight bit more to be considered: Read Andy Bannister's post here (http://www.rzim.eu/the-scandanavian-sceptic-or-why-atheism-is-a-belief-system) and get back to me...
The short version is that atheism is a belief and thus needs evidence and argument. (Before anyone says No! read the linked-to post...)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-28, 05:42:17
I have an even shorter version: Blind faith (whether in skydaddy or in science, doesn't matter) and stubborn disbelief is for kiddies. Grownups, if they want to be considered rational, have to be able to justify everything.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 12:56:50
Grownups, if they want to be considered rational, have to be able to justify everything.

No one on this planet can ultimately 'justify' anything.

(Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Britannica on the Principle of Falsification)
"Being unrestricted, scientific theories cannot be verified by any possible accumulation of observational evidence. The formation of hypothesis is a creative process of the imagination and is not a passive reaction to observed regularities. A scientific test consists in a persevering search for negative, falsifying instances. If a hypothesis survives continuing and serious attempts to falsify it, then it has "proved its mettle'' and can be provisionally accepted, but it can never be established conclusively. Later corroboration generates a series of hypothesis into a scientific theory."

Thus, the core element of a scientific hypothesis is that it must have a capability of being proven false.  For example, the hypothesis that atoms move because they are pushed by small, invisible, immaterial demons is pseudo-science since the existence of the demons cannot be proven false (i.e. cannot be tested at all).  However, the existence of an entity prior to the big bang has been shown to be false by science and therefore, for scientific purposes, God, as a creator of this universe, does not exist.  People are always free to let their imaginations run wild with gods as they have done throughout human history, science has said its piece. 

Next god step forward please....
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-28, 14:34:54

Grownups, if they want to be considered rational, have to be able to justify everything.

No one on this planet can ultimately 'justify' anything.

Right, specifically you cannot justify nor explain nor get any points across. And it's totally convenient for you.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-28, 15:56:37
However, the existence of an entity prior to the big bang has been shown to be false by science and therefore, for scientific purposes

The "existence" of anything "before" the Big Bang is not capable of being considered within the theory. Period. And yet some people persist in speculation... That is, when they use the phrase "for scientific purposes" they almost immediately go beyond scientific purposes.

There are, shall we say, "problems" with the demigod Falsification too. :)  This has been obvious, at least since Kuhn...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 16:56:24
Right, specifically you cannot justify nor explain nor get any points across. And it's totally convenient for you.


I am just trying to point out that science is a never ending process of seeking falsification of its postulations through experimentation.  Science never rests on it laurels and says 'that's the way it is', instead science says 'that's the way it seems to be today'.  Mounting evidence only serves to strengthens the reliability of a postulate, it does not make it immune to revision or elimination.  Science never makes promises because that's not the nature of science, science is merely a process of discovery through experimentation and a continuous accumulation/elimination of the results. 

You try to make sense of many things through correct logical reasoning when, actually, experience may be a better guide to understanding some things.  I don't rely on much of metaphysics because of the falsification principle and you don't rely on science because it falsified the existence of a god prior to the BB.  Science doesn't promise that any of its postulates are true, so what's to not like?  What you don't like is that the postulate of no god/creator, may one day become as reliable as the postulate of gravity. 

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 17:20:01
The "existence" of anything "before" the Big Bang is not capable of being considered within the theory. Period.


Science does rely on its assumptions until they are proven false.  Science postulates that without spacetime, nothing exists, therefore a creator prior to spacetime is not possible.  This only remains etched in stone only until empirical evidence to the contrary is set forth (don't hold your breath). 

That is, when they use the phrase "for scientific purposes" they almost immediately go beyond scientific purposes.


"Scientific purposes' are empirical purposes--so what is 'beyond scientific purposes'? 

P>S>--Kuhn had the notion of scientific truths, science claims no truths. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-06-28, 17:37:30
 
The "existence" of anything "before" the Big Bang is not capable of being considered within the theory. Period. And yet some people persist in speculation... That is, when they use the phrase "for scientific purposes" they almost immediately go beyond scientific purposes.


If anything that shows the futility in grouping all atheists together. I could argue god false based on the amount of Pentecostal preachers who have died from snake bites. But I doubt it's a point that you'd feel threatened by.

Part of not having a belief is knowing when to stop.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 17:44:52
Part of not having a belief is knowing when to stop.


Atheism is a belief--a belief in something other than gods to explain observable phenomena. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-28, 18:03:37
Kuhn had the notion of scientific truths, science claims no truths.

Surely, you jest!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-06-28, 18:36:26
Atheism is a belief--a belief in something other than gods to explain observable phenomena.


That's like saying a dolphin is a fish because it swims. An atheist doesn't believe in god(s). That's not to say some atheists don't have other beliefs, just that that isn't what atheist means. You have turned scientific theory into a belief system so are easily confused by the distinction. That doesn't mean I have to be. The possibility 'god did it' exists too, albeit a small possibility. Given no evidence I can't discount the possibility, only really comment on it's improbability accordingly. The offered evidence just doesn't stand up to due process.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 20:09:26
Surely, you jest


In an absolute sense, I believe I am correct.  There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions (truths)--science never absolutely proves anything. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 20:53:52
An atheist doesn't believe in god(s). That's not to say some atheists don't have other beliefs, just that that isn't what atheist means. You have turned scientific theory into a belief system so are easily confused by the distinction.


I will concede that my definition stinks.  However, I don't think of science as a belief system, it's more fun than that. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-28, 20:59:39
I don't think of science as a belief system, it's more fun than that.

You mean like tennis, without the net? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-28, 21:53:37
You mean like tennis, without the net?


Tennis is all about physics.  When my favorite player hits set point just out, I exclaim "One angstrom unit of angle to the left would have won!!".  Lol. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-06-28, 23:30:48
science never absolutely proves anything.

Newton did a fair job. Bit of a flip-flop for you on this issue tho.


Tennis is all about physics.

It can be defined and explained more precisely using physics... But you don't even have to know physics exists to play. So no, it's not.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-28, 23:35:24
I am just trying to point out that science is a never ending process

So science too goes beyond the confines of science...? :)
Science doesn't promise that any of its postulates are true, so what's to not like?

"I don't really know what I'm saying and I won't stick by it anyway" so buy in now, while shares are cheap!? :)

I've used up my allotment of Smileys for this post, so I'll put it plainly: You don't believe in science, James.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-29, 12:00:16
So science too goes beyond the confines of science...?


If scientific theories and laws are always open to the possibility of revision, then the principle of testability will only end when humans stop doing science.  Does that please your little nit-picking butt better? 

I'll put it plainly: You don't believe in science, James.


Yes I do. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-29, 12:56:03
Any science is defined by its object of study and its methodology before anything else.

I know no scientist (or science) that had ever declared God as his object of study and presented any methodology for doing such a task.

I know some scientists that alternates between their jobs and selling books about the nonexistence of God as well as dealing intensively with their self promotion career.

And I know much more scientists that have absolutely no problem at all with conjugating science and a belief in God. Most of them do so.
Science/Religion is an artificial dilemma. There's no antagonism at all.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-06-29, 15:30:00
black and white is for sure a logical fallacy .

on the other hand ..


IMHO

God thingy have it own benefit ---> Unlimited BS

that are  the ingredients of science --> Science is started with BS , and criticism about the BS

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-30, 02:55:30
I know no scientist (or science) that had ever declared God as his object of study and presented any methodology for doing such a task.


The principle of falsifiability in science prevents them from doing so.  God cannot be tested by science because of his allegedly supernatural nature and therefore, it is not a falsifiable hypothesis for science.  Science is now denying the existence of a god (or anything else), prior to the big bang because time had not yet begun.  Nevertheless, this will not keep believers from updating their gods to being able to transcend the beginning of time (without explanation, of course), because with the supernatural, anythingleberry goes. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-30, 08:46:16
God cannot be tested by science because of his allegedly supernatural nature

Very well. In that case the nonexistence of God as something demonstrated by science is definitely closed as a fallacy. Basically, science has nothing to say about God and that's all.

Science, as an human intellectual activity, based in reason, it's directed to the material side of things. Philosophy, another human intellectual activity also based in reason, it's directed for the non material side of life.
For some reason, aesthetics and emotions, not based in reason, are equally important to our lives, if not more.

The conscience of God it's easier if people don't slice themselves, pick a slice and disregards the rest. That's the problem, people mutilating themselves in order to "fit" into man made social structures.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2014-06-30, 09:28:06
@Bel .. "the nonexistence of God as something demonstrated by science is definitely closed as a fallacy"

Not really; such would be no different (lack of testing) should God not exist.

Also: ... "The conscience of God it's easier if people don't slice themselves, pick a slice and disregards the rest. That's the problem, people mutilating themselves in order to "fit" into man made social structures."

The implication being that the non-religious ignore feelings? You know that's not true; they just don't ascribe them to a god-origin.

Also, regarding man-made social structures; you realise that describes churches perfectly! Anthropomorphic thinking also describes the man shape given to God, the obsession with Earth by some as being the sole host to life and numerous other examples where human attributes are ascribed to gods, prophets and the like.

@jseaton - the intrusion of anthropomorphic thinking also intrudes into the concept of there having been a "start" at the time of the big bang. It's an assumption which is used also by the religious who like to ask "who caused the big bang". But the concept of there being a beginning and an end is itself a human concept, based on our experience of the way things are perceived by us. But suppose that time does not have that characteristic; suppose that the big bang was merely preceded by the energy state that follows an eventual collapse of the Universe into itself and that these cycles are all there is. In other words that time itself was simply a circle with no beginning and no end. We simply don't know but I merely point out that anthropomorphic thinking is all around us.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-06-30, 09:46:24
Also, regarding man-made social structures; you realise that describes churches perfectly!

That can describe many man made social structures. In context, meaning regarding atheists, never can refer to churches.
@Bel .. "the nonexistence of God as something demonstrated by science is definitely closed as a fallacy"

Not really; such would be no different (lack of testing) should God not exist.

I suppose what you want to say is that science also doesn't proof the existence of God. Course not, by the same reason I said.
Anthropomorphic thinking [..]

You are extending anthropomorphism way beyond what it means. There's nothing of anthropomorphic at the logical necessarily required characteristics of God.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-06-30, 11:14:00
something interesting are ..

Why is thread about science never get much  attention .

while thread about Labels n/or  selling labes .

i/e God thingy , atheism , religion , race , politics , etc

is always take some people attention and lure them to reply n/or comments .

this kind of situation really challenging and disturbing my Scientia .

:monkey:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-30, 11:37:49
@Sparta
Didn't James explain convincingly enough that science has no truth to tell, indeed nothing conclusive at all. Science is a set of statements of alleged fact under constant revision. Therefore, if you are interested in truth, there's absolutely nothing to do in science thread.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-06-30, 11:40:45

There's a slight bit more to be considered: Read Andy Bannister's post here (http://www.rzim.eu/the-scandanavian-sceptic-or-why-atheism-is-a-belief-system) and get back to me...
The short version is that atheism is a belief and thus needs evidence and argument. (Before anyone says No! read the linked-to post...)

I've read it all (well, not really needed). The same old straw man as usual. If someone refuses to believe in Sweden, then let it be. (However, if someone wants to convince anyone that Sweden does not exist, then there is a problem.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-06-30, 16:12:50
I've read it all (well, not really needed).

Glancing over there, it seems like most of the piece is essentially a "reaction" to a horrible misrepresentation of what Hitchens wrote. I can barely even call it a quote mine for how obvious it is.

Quote from: 'Lying for Jesus' Andy
As one atheist put it recently: "I don't believe in God and I don't need to justify this, just as I don't need to give reasons for my non-belief in the tooth fairy or the Flying Spaghetti Monster." The late New Atheist writer, Christopher Hitchens, put it even more succinctly when he wrote:
Quote
Our belief is not a belief.[1]

Am I sure? Well, I decided to find some context just in case.
Quote from: Hitchens
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.

I am assuming but didn't check that the Twitter quotes are actually accurate--although within 140 characters only an idiot would expect much nuance. Basically the article would've been fine using those Twitter quotes, but instead he tried to shovel in a lie about Hitchens hoping we wouldn't notice. (And Hitchens actually wrote and said plenty of objectionable stuff without having to force any ridiculous interpretations...)

Besides that, superficially it seems alright but superfluous.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-30, 16:19:26
Very well. In that case the nonexistence of God as something demonstrated by science is definitely closed as a fallacy. Basically, science has nothing to say about God and that's all.


Don't put words in the mouth out science.  Saying that god is a fallacy is a judgment and not a scientific one at that.  If something is not testable by science, it is simply dismissed without comment. 

Didn't James explain convincingly enough that science has no truth to tell, nothing conclusive at all. Science is a set of statements of fact under constant revision. Therefore, if you are interested in truth, there's absolutely nothing to do in science thread.


Some people assume that scientists have generated a body of knowledge that is sure to be true, some people like you take the truth of scientific discoveries to an absurd opposite extreme (I know you are just teasing anyway).  No one has observed the Earth orbiting the sun--it is a theory--what degree of reliability do you put in that...99.999% or more?  That is the same degree of certainty that is given to the existence of the Higgs boson as well and science spent almost 30 years and $8 billion US dollars just to say "It's probably true", when they have known for 50 years that it simply had to exist or atoms couldn't form in the universe.  A waste of money?  Science just had to do it to move on and there were many contributing countries who agreed. 

Science withholds  a final verdict of absolute truth on all its discoveries so that science can be more flexible and adjust easier when new evidence is introduced.  Philosophy is tyrannical about its findings in comparison, yet philosophy has been proven wrong countless times. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-06-30, 17:05:34

Philosophy is tyrannical about its findings in comparison, yet philosophy has been proven wrong countless times.

Flesh this one out please. By what standard of right and wrong has philosophy been proven wrong? Any specific example?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-30, 18:06:03
Science withholds  a final verdict of absolute truth on all its discoveries so that science can be more flexible and adjust easier when new evidence is introduced.

The anthropomorphism aside, Science "withholds a final verdict of absolute truth" because its methods preclude such... In other words, you can't get there from here. As in Can Not -- not as in It Is Prudent To Say or It Is Preferable (for some reason...)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-30, 18:57:23
Flesh this one out please. By what standard of right and wrong has philosophy been proven wrong? Any specific example?

I knew the word 'wrong' was inappropriate for what I wanted to say, but I was in a hurry and on my way out.  Metaphysical philosophies cannot be empirically proven right, wrong or otherwise because they are not falsifiable (except perhaps by other philosophies).  Philosophies can be rejected or revised by other philosophy in the same way science has done with many of its hypotheses.  Philosophies can be popular one day and nearly obsolete the next.  Everybody probably has some sort of philosophy of life that is--for them--suitable, but not necessarily for anyone else.  Philosophies are not testable, but that doesn't mean they can't be dismissed as inadequate or inappropriate, unacceptable, go out of fashion or simply become obsolete.  I say that philosophies are on shakier ground than scientific postulates, theorems and laws. 

Nothing stays the same and science knows that, so it makes itself flexible enough to accommodate for inevitable changes.  Science theorizes that the sun will come up tomorrow because it has been doing that exact same thing for the last 4.5 billion years, but there is always a touch of uncertainty in all science--and science wants to keep it that way--because science realizes that one day...the sun will not come up. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-06-30, 20:33:34
In other words, you can't get there from here.


Depends on where you're going. Science has laws that have never changed and probably never will.  Science simply doesn't see the need to etch anything in stone and pound their chests about it.  I will say that science does rely on its laws and theories to establish other laws and theories and so on, therefore, if a major law of science such as say, gravity, is proven false--the whole house of cards will come tumbling down.  Are you seriously worried about that?  Science is a united global effort, yet you seem to have no faith in mankind's accomplishments or perhaps you just feel the need to bitch about something.  I know science's track record doesn't impress you--but you depend on science everyday.  That's neither here, nor there, but science does seem to be stumbling along pretty well today--and seems to always get to where it's going from anywhere.  
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-06-30, 22:44:08
I take it, James, that you've never read (or read of) David Hume...
------------------------------------------

I know science's track record doesn't impress you--

You know no such thing.


It's pseudo-sciences and scientism that rankle... And the naive sci-doliters who readily and credulously accept such.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 04:16:04

Flesh this one out please. By what standard of right and wrong has philosophy been proven wrong? Any specific example?

I knew the word 'wrong' was inappropriate for what I wanted to say, ...

So, no standard, no example, and your "wrong" was itself inappropriate. Noted.


Metaphysical philosophies cannot be empirically proven right, wrong or otherwise because they are not falsifiable (except perhaps by other philosophies).

What's this thing with falsifiability that you keep pressing it as if it mattered somehow? Can you falsify the principle of falsifiability? You always had, and by now it's safe to say that you always will have, the wrong and false idea about philosophy. (And of science too, really.)

Philosophy has the nature of mathematics. Do you have multiple mathematics cancelling each other out? No, you don't.

What is mathematics? It's the precondition of physics. When you measure anything, you use mathematics for it. Do you falsify mathematics empirically? This question itself is inapplicable, yet you keep hammering it as if it mattered somehow.

Philosophy is the same way. Philosophy is that with which you reason. Philosophy equals logic and rationality. When you deny that, you deny the very means with which to do science in the first place. And this overboard denialism and self-defeating scientism is all you have demonstrated. In the long run it's not even funny.


I say that philosophies are on shakier ground than scientific postulates, theorems and laws.

Given that philosophy has the nature of mathematics, it's the other way round. Naturally. And I don't expect you to get it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-01, 04:37:28
Philosophy is Science .

it's Cognitive Science Branch .
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi60.tinypic.com%2F35i82uo.png&hash=fe53e15d40db704cca20320be6132ceb" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i60.tinypic.com/35i82uo.png)

hence , i have no idea who put that as part  of Cognitive Science, and since  when  .

but at least , i'm not too stupid to understand

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi57.tinypic.com%2Fscgfus.jpg&hash=7a15fc853502b24404ccd2b126c1210a" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i57.tinypic.com/scgfus.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-01, 05:53:46
Wikipedia, however, is... Well, if you don't know, Sparta, I wouldn't tell you. :)
--------------------------------
@ersi: Falsifiability was Popper's repudiation of the Vienna Circle's logical-positivism...


In short, they claimed that scientific theories were supported by empirical evidence via their predictions. A correct prediction was evidence that the theory was true... And also that propositions not so connected were simply nonsensical verbiage; e.g., all of metaphysics...
But there are logical problems with induction that mock scientific theories thus conceived unmercifully! :) To wit: That Caesar crossed the Rubicon is evidence that all crows are black; as is the fact that I once lost a toe-nail and it grew back. So, something is wrong with this conception...
Popper thought to remedy this by substituting well-, critically- or seriously-tested; in jargon-less words, the predictions of a scientific theory had to be such that they could be false, and if they passed some unspecified number of such tests then they were (sort-of) okay -- to believe. (see here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper#Falsification.2Fproblem_of_induction))


You likely see the problem Popper elided... :) (Anyone else?)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-01, 09:15:22

Something interesting here --->
Theory of Knowledge , is Popper want to say something like .

scientists with mental health issues , and trapped in  Logical fallacies  is an epic fail ?

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi58.tinypic.com%2F27yk4h.jpg&hash=58af7c3e294210665a035f2edfc3d632" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i58.tinypic.com/27yk4h.jpg)


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 10:37:52
@Oakdale
I know well what falsifiability is and who Popper is. The little point I am making is that it's inapplicable. You don't get 2+2=4 after some number of tests. Moreover, you don't consider ways to falsify it or to make the measurement more precise or whatever. This kind of thinking is flat-out inapplicable in math, logic, and philosophy.

@Sparta
You are not even wrong.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-01, 10:51:12
I possibly got it wrong. 2+2=4 is falsifiable because joining 2 things and 2 other things and getting something other than 4 things would prove it false. It couldn't be more simple.
Philosophy, on the other hand, cannot be falsified. If something seems wrong, all it takes is philosophizing a little more.
The same applies to the concept of God. That's the reason why God cannot be a scientific issue. The most science can say is that, in the realm of nature, it is not needed.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-01, 11:10:03
i  maybe Wrong ...

but Afaik , something simple will be Very Complicated .

When -- injected with selling / Promoting  labels , Labeling , claimism ( what's the English for  that ? ) etc.

That will Create a Black and White World , an epic Fallacy .

i/e -->

-- atheism is always right, the best , another believes are Wrong and evil

--religion is always Right, another believes are Wrong .

--God is always Right , Another believes are Wrong .

--My partij , is always right , the best , another partijs are wrong and bad

etc..

the real problem is in the  labels ( Religion , atheism , God , partij , etc )

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 12:33:52

I possibly got it wrong. 2+2=4 is falsifiable because joining 2 things and 2 other things and getting something other than 4 things would prove it false. It couldn't be more simple.

2+2=4 is always an immutable given. When you join two things with two another and you get something else than four, the problem is not with 2+2=4, but with the way you go about joining things.

You are right that you got it wrong. But you got it definitely wrong, not possibly. See, even that statement of yours needed correction.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-01, 12:50:20
2+2 = 4 for sure

falsifiable is something like Buttered cat paradox  .

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-01, 13:00:41
2+2=4 is always an immutable given.

2+2 = 4 for sure

You can create many kinds of mathematics, including mathematics where 2+2 are not 4 but something else.
What's required is that any new form of mathematics keeps on being logically coherent at it's entire inner structure.

1+1=2 it's only a postulate. Then, Arabs invented zero, a major breakthrough.
Zero it's a very curious thing with strange properties, the first being that it doesn't exist, therefore turning things a bit problematic as for example when simply trying to divide by zero.

(I know that many of you knows all this but others may not.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-01, 13:13:10
1+1 = 2

unless for satirical purpose

1+1 = 3

use condom  :coffee:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-07-01, 13:24:11

Zero it's a very curious thing with strange properties, the first being that it doesn't exist...

Absent people, which numbers do exist? :doh:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-01, 14:18:29
wait, what ?

Numbers never exist?  :o
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-01, 14:22:10
1. No.
2. I'm not convinced yet. Let's try another way.
2+2=3 is falsifiable? Yes or no?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 14:50:23

2. I'm not convinced yet. Let's try another way.
2+2=3 is falsifiable? Yes or no?

In math, statements are true or false, not falsifiable the way they are in empirical experiments. True mathematical statements are true by virtue of deductive proof. The same way, false statements are false by virtue of deductive proof. Deductive proof is a technical term in logic, something you should study some day.

Mathematics stands by virtue of internal coherence and consistency, and sustains all other sciences the same way. There's no probability or inductive assumption involved at all.

Empirical experiments are off the screen altogether when mathematics is considered, whereas empirical experiments vitally depend on mathematics. The dependence is precisely one way.

Whether you are convinced by this or not, it changes nothing in this. Nobody's convictions or opinions have any effect on mathematics, the nature of deductive proof, or truth.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-01, 17:31:55
Then, Arabs invented zero, a major breakthrough.

If by "invented" you mean "borrowed from India (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero#Islamic_world)"... :)


The "existence" of numbers is problematical, for some. But, note, Jaybro isn't a Nominalist -- he's a contrarian! A serious excursion into the ontological status of numbers would better fit the Mysticism thread...

True mathematical statements are true by virtue of deductive proof.

And the axioms of the particular system, which perforce must be "justified" in some other manner.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-01, 17:44:20
Mathematics stands by virtue of internal coherence and consistency, and sustains all other sciences the same way. There's no probability or inductive assumption involved at all.

Empirical experiments are off the screen altogether when mathematics is considered, whereas empirical experiments vitally depend on mathematics. The dependence is precisely one way.


Not so fast Ersi.  It turns out to be extremely useful in mathematics and science to say that this equation, x2 + 1 = 0, has a solution.  There is no real number to solve this equation, so math has made up a complex number, once called an imaginary number, so that there is a solution.   The magic number "i" is used where √-1 = i. 

Just briefly, the behavior of some differential equations depends upon whether the roots of a certain quadratic are complex or real. If they are complex, then certain behaviors can be expected. These are often used just to get the solutions that one wants, but they are indispensable in many thousands of applications today. 

As an analogy, suppose you have a normal carpenter's hammer and it does everything you need it to do around your house just fine.  Then one day you need to drive a big thick nail into hard wood.  You try the hammer, but it's not sufficient to do the job and you have no other hammer to do the job.  What you need basically is more leverage to drive the nail in, so you attach an extension onto the hammer and it works perfectly to drive in the big nail.  If you now tried to use the hammer with the extension to drive a simple nail in the wall, it can no longer do the job well because it doesn't suit the task and makes holes in the wall.  Therefore, you simply remove the extension and the hammer is usable again for what you normally need.  Complex numbers are analogous to the hammer with the extension (complex hammer), they are useful for some tough jobs, but not for everything.  I used them in school to solve differential equations involving AC electricity--it works!! 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-01, 18:16:58
I've heard it remarked that God created the natural numbers, Man the  rest... :)


Note: Gödel's Theorems referred to the natural numbers only, So, it's God's fault!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 18:39:04

True mathematical statements are true by virtue of deductive proof.

And the axioms of the particular system, which perforce must be "justified" in some other manner.

The axioms are justified either as a separate case of proof or they are necessary presuppositions, consistent with and foundational to the logic. In either case there's no departure from the same logic.


As an analogy, suppose you have a normal carpenter's hammer and it does everything you need it to do around your house just fine.  Then one day you need to drive a big thick nail into hard wood.  You try the hammer, but it's not sufficient to do the job and you have no other hammer to do the job.

Good analogy. It describes you well. Disproving God or even arguing about God is a totally different task than anything that science of your definition can do. You even explicitly admitted that science never approaches truth and cannot give propositions to which one could safely commit oneself. Therefore either you keep hammering hopelessly, even if optimistically, or choose the appropriate tool to the task.

Btw, what you said about math is nothing new of course. From positive numbers, negative numbers logically follow. From full numbers (or whatever the English term is), fractions logically follow. From rational numbers, irrational numbers logically follow. Imaginary unit is within the same chain, subject to the same laws of thought. It's the same logic all along, following from itself necessarily. Philosophy is the same way. No science can limit it.


I've heard it remarked that God created the natural numbers, Man the  rest... :)

I like this one:
"God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists since we cannot prove the consistency." -- Morris Kline
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-01, 19:04:10
I, too, like that, ersi!
About your parade of logical followings, I'd want to say -instead-that our simple logic permits such extensions... Not that it requires or impels them. Our experience (including our musings) are their motive, no? :)

In like manner, we find that while we can extend or alter our simple logic what we get then are systems that routinely fail to make sense. For instance, dropping the Law of the Excluded Middle...



The axioms are justified either as a separate case of proof or they are necessary presuppositions,

Meaning what exactly? That one can't get by without them? Then they should be made explicit, no? But, so far, every attempt to do so ultimately fails -- because some terms have to be left undefined.


Mathematics is not as malleable as Natural Language. But it is more like it than is comfortable to admit! (Still, that shouldn't be surprising.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 19:15:32

About your parade of logical followings, I'd want to say -instead-that our simple logic permits such extensions... Not that it requires or impels them. Our experience (including our musings) are their motive, no? :)

Consistency or coherence remains the main theme though. For some thinkers, such as myself, consistency is necessary. Others say it's natural. For you it's permissible :) Fair enough. Everyone describes it as their experience dictates...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-01, 19:26:21
Consistency or coherence remains the main theme though [etc.]

Indeed. And I'd agree too that they all come to the same thing... How else could it be? :) (Well, ask a mystic -- if you'd want an answer to that question!)


Would you, ersi, consider abstract algebra and set theory part of mathematics?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-01, 19:51:38
Of course. And topology too.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-01, 19:59:19
Good! Believe it or not, I prefer discoursing with those who share many of my preconceptions and predilections; otherwise, the likelihood of "mere" misunderstanding is too great...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-01, 22:10:52
From rational numbers, irrational numbers logically follow. Imaginary unit is within the same chain, subject to the same laws of thought. It's the same logic all along, following from itself necessarily.


The complex number i, where i2+1=0 does not exist at all in the traditional mathematical system.  There does not exist a number, positive or negative, rational or irrational that when squared equals a negative number, that's why i was originally referred to as imaginary.  It is not imaginary at all, it simply doesn't exist is our mathematical system.

From rational numbers, irrational numbers logically follow.


﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿ O'RLY?  Virtually all numbers are irrational you know, there are just a scant few rational numbers in comparison.  Which one, logically follows which? 

From positive numbers, negative numbers logically follow.


﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿ O'RLY?  Not in the binary system which uses only 0 and 1, neither of which are negative. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-01, 23:33:49
A serious excursion into the ontological status of numbers would better fit the Mysticism thread...

Yes and no, it depends. I see nothing of mystical at numbers, be it natural, integers, rational, real or complex numbers.

The only place for joining numbers with mystical approaches would be at the pre socratic philosophers for whom numbers had "magical" properties the same way footprints followed steps or shadows were connected with objects. Or prime numbers, much more "pure" than the rest.
But no one pays attention to the pre socratics these days.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-02, 01:22:47
But no one pays attention to the pre socratics these days.

Not quite true: Among other things, some pre-Socratic Greek Stoics did creditable work on what we now call the sentential calculus; that the logic of the syllogism eclipsed it is a fact of history that I think retarded both science and logic/mathematics... This, in much the same way as Roman numerals made mere calculation an arcane art! A bad notation makes thought harder than it needs to be... (Yes, I do think that the "modern" first-order predicate calculus should have been recognized and formalized in the Middle Ages. Instead, we had to wait until 1879... :) ) (Popper himself said this (http://cscs.res.in/dataarchive/textfiles/textfile.2010-08-25.9419571534/file).*)
The only place for joining numbers with mystical approaches would be [...]

Do numbers "exist" before they are constructed? Was the square root of two (or negative one) an entity before someone considered them?
Consider π: We do really know that it is an irrational and transcendental number. (Don't we?) And that it is merely the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter... (Not an unusual nor certainly bizarre notion!) Why is it thus?

You may scoff at such questions. But not everyone does; indeed, some great mathematicians have not. And -you'll forgive me for saying so- a lot of people would likely reject most of mathematics; specially, if they understood it! :)
----------------------------
Have you recanted your belief in Platonic ideas, and accepted the Nominalism of common sense? :)


_______________________
* @Sparta: You'll like this, if you have enough English to read it... Section XI is the most important! (If for no other reason, than that an American of my generation has immediate and conflicting emotions about "Chapter Eleven" filings... I mention this lame joke because I only decided to take your posts seriously after you quoted Popper! :) )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-02, 02:10:31
Consider π: We do really know that it is an irrational and transcendental number. (Don't we?) And that it is merely the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter...


I want to inject a simple observation that's not at all relevant to what you are discussing here, but the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is a largely irrelevant property in geometry.  We should be using the value that is equal to approximately 6.28--the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius.  Some mathematicians propose that pi should be changed to equal 6.28, whereby circumference C would equal πr and some have proposed the use of a whole new term called tau, which equals 2π.  Tau has been gaining popularity, they even have a Tau Day celebration at some math events. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-02, 02:31:35
Tau has been gaining popularity, they even have a Tau Day celebration at some math events.

That goes a long way toward explaining your scientism, James! :) You're a Faddist, through and through...
Why not base our number-system on Tau (or Pi or e...)? It'll just be a slight inconvenience of notational obscurity! (Quick now: What's the unit chosen times itself? Then, how does one coach the Peano Postulates? Or does one get a new mathematics? I'm calling BS on you, here!)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-02, 02:48:57
All work and no play, makes Oakdale a dull boy.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-02, 03:45:50
To the poet (and the savant), work and play are the same! :)


I spent 10 hours today dealing with a six year-old and a four year-old... And then their mother! I'm entitled to some recreation that involves my interests and experience.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-02, 03:53:40

From rational numbers, irrational numbers logically follow. Imaginary unit is within the same chain, subject to the same laws of thought. It's the same logic all along, following from itself necessarily.


The complex number i, where i2+1=0 does not exist at all in the traditional mathematical system.  There does not exist a number, positive or negative, rational or irrational that when squared equals a negative number, that's why i was originally referred to as imaginary.  It is not imaginary at all, it simply doesn't exist is our mathematical system.

If it's not imaginary, but doesn't exist, what is it then? In the end, you just like to throw words around. You are making no sense, you have no aim and no point to make. You simply have a fascination for things that you think is somehow not traditional or not in "our mathematical system". At the same time you equally irrationally reject concepts that don't fit your box. And this has been going on for a long while, well, all the time really.


From rational numbers, irrational numbers logically follow.

﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿ O'RLY?  Virtually all numbers are irrational you know, there are just a scant few rational numbers in comparison.  Which one, logically follows which?

Since you have no logic and no system, even the question doesn't follow.


From positive numbers, negative numbers logically follow.


﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿ O'RLY?  Not in the binary system which uses only 0 and 1, neither of which are negative.

It's because in the binary system the concepts of positive and negative don't apply. If you had any systematic reasoning, you would have seen this far away.

If you were a theist, you would be of the sort who is fascinated with tooth fairies and easter bunnies because you like to think that you have some extraordinary ideas, while rejecting little red devils because those are nasty and ugly. And rejecting transcendental god too, because you cannot wrap your mind around that one. But instead you prefer to be called atheist with these self-same ideas and the self-same line of methodless reasoning. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-02, 04:47:25
It's because in the binary system the concepts of positive and negative don't apply. If you had any systematic reasoning, you would have seen this far away.

Mostly wrong!
That's because the binary system is a code! I mean, the same way as the Sheffer stroke or the Peirce Arrow are: as, for some -mostly theoretical- contexts, convenient definitional simplifications; otherwise, they're a pain!
But they are sufficient: As binary notation is.
(BTW: the stroke and dagger are NAND and NOR, respectively. :) )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-02, 05:13:26

It's because in the binary system the concepts of positive and negative don't apply. If you had any systematic reasoning, you would have seen this far away.

Mostly wrong!

Wrong in your new random context, maybe. Perfectly right in the context where I said it. To 0 and 1 in the binary system, the concepts of positive and negative cannot be applied the way it is in natural numbers.


That's because the binary system is a code!

If you want to explain how this explains anything, follow up in the Philosophy and Logic thread.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-02, 05:42:55
To 0 and 1 in the binary system, the concepts of positive and negative cannot be applied the way it is in natural numbers.

The concepts of positive and negative were added to the natural numbers... (Also known as the counting numbers.) Likewise, 7/8 bit or 15/16 bit or 31/32 bit ... binary "numbers" have added interpretations of positive and/or negative.

(I'll check out this Philosophy and Logic thread you mention... But I think these excursions help elucidate the topics wherein they occur. YMMV)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-02, 09:14:07
Do numbers "exist" before they are constructed? Was the square root of two (or negative one) an entity before someone considered them?

Of course.
Numbers are concepts. You're not a creator but a discoverer. Can't discover what doesn't exists already.
If by "considering" something you attribute yourself demiurgical powers, I have bad news for you Oakdale. :)
Have you recanted your belief in Platonic ideas, and accepted the Nominalism of common sense?  :)

As you can see by my last answer, nope. We keep on being the slave at the bottom of the cavern, "true" reality transcending us.

There's something in numbers that makes us feel to be closer. By getting rid of the direct links with materiality, that numbers provides, the human spirit accelerates. That's why mathematicians (the real good ones) risks much more turning crazy... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-02, 09:48:27
is numbers make people crazy ?
or perception , thoughts and minds that make them crazy ?

if

10 = 25
15 = 75
20 = 125
25 = 175

how many 10 x 25 ?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-02, 10:28:29

is numbers make people crazy ?

It seems so.  :eyes:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-02, 10:57:05
I spent 10 hours today dealing with a six year-old and a four year-old... And then their mother! I'm entitled to some recreation that involves my interests and experience.


Lol...okay, a small commonality perhaps.  I have 3 children and although my Swedish wife was indeed lovely and just so much fun, I outgrew her--she went another direction and died much too young as a result of her choice, so in the end I raised my kids alone.  Yes, life with kids can get hectic at times and you are certainly deserving, but if you are anything like me--you love it.  No pressing need to reply, just an observation--and not a scientific one for sure. 


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-02, 14:19:50
﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿ O'RLY?  Not in the binary system which uses only 0 and 1, neither of which are negative.


In this case 1 and 0 represent switch positions. Not numbers. It's an ignorant point to make.

  
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-02, 15:04:27
In this case 1 and 0 represent switch positions. Not numbers. It's an ignorant point to make.


Real numbers can't be written in binary?  The binary system works under the exact same principles as the decimal system, only it operates in base 2 rather than base 10.  What is the binary number 1011 in decimal--on or off? 

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-02, 15:53:27

In this case 1 and 0 represent switch positions. Not numbers. It's an ignorant point to make.


Real numbers can't be written in binary?  The binary system works under the exact same principles as the decimal system, only it operates in base 2 rather than base 10.  What is the binary number 1011 in decimal--on or off? 


1011 is a data fragment. (on-off-on-on.) The sequence is what's relevant. Perhaps you should let this point go, or read into it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-02, 16:04:09
Maybe it's time to make a distinction between numbers and numerals. :left:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-02, 16:38:51
I have smoked a number, but never a numeral...what's it like? 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-02, 19:41:05
0101010001101000011000010111010000100111011100110010000001101110011011110111010000100000011001100111010101101110011011100111100100101110
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-02, 21:07:27
Just on the off chance anyone is confused about it: Numerals are the signs with which we write numbers. So, saying that the binary system consists of 0 and 1 and neither is negative is confusing use and mention; specially so, since the binary system is uninterpreted...
Does anyone here doubt that there are interpretations of binary arithmetic that include negative numbers? Fractions and Reals?
(Or that binary arithmetic itself is but an interpretation...?)
Numbers are concepts. You're not a creator but a discoverer. Can't discover what doesn't exists already.

That's certainly a tempting stance... So, of course, you agree that all the Cantor's alephs are as real as our natural numbers? That they always existed, and always will?
You know, of course, that your reasoning is circular... You assume your conclusion in your premise: I understand concepts as abstractions; you take them to be another, superior, realm of existence!
Jaybro's quip of a question can be taken seriously! Did Portuguese exist in this ideal realm, before anyone spoke it? Are all (or most or some...) instances of historical Portuguese bad copies of a perfect version?
Do you see why the non-nominalistic view leads to silly and unnecessary confusion? :)
----------------------------------------------

0101010001101000011000010111010000100111011100110010000001101110011011110111010000100000011001100111010101101110011011100111100100101110

Yes, it is funny, ensbb3! And it could be considered negatively or positively...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-02, 21:41:20
That's certainly a tempting stance... So, of course, you agree that all the Cantor's alephs are as real as our natural numbers? That they always existed, and always will?
You know, of course, that your reasoning is circular... You assume your conclusion in your premise: I understand concepts as abstractions; you take them to be another, superior, realm of existence!

Any number, always existed and always will and my reasoning has nothing of circular. It's totally disruptive and fertile.

I said that we don't create we can only discover and to reinforce it found a very interesting statement about Cantor...
Quote
To Cantor, his mathematical views were intrinsically linked to their philosophical and theological implications - he identified the Absolute Infinite with God,[56] and he considered his work on transfinite numbers to have been directly communicated to him by God, who had chosen Cantor to reveal them to the world.[12]

Got it? :)
Quote from: OakdaleFTL
Did Portuguese exist in this ideal realm, before anyone spoke it?

All possible languages already exists. Everything already exists, the Creation was total and perfect, not partial and imperfect.
It couldn't had been any other way regardless what we can be conscious about,
That's man condition, discovering the miracle of God's creation, one step at the time.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-03, 00:34:40
And such pronouncements could be falsified -- how? That is: Do they actually say anything? (Besides ascribing utterances to the category of Blasphemy, for which there are severe consequences...)

By the same token, they can be supported only by vagaries and fiat. Just because the history of Mankind shows such to be persistent, the result of Might Makes Right, doesn't prove they are right, true or reasonable...
These terms are (not so!) modern innovations.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-03, 09:47:32
And such pronouncements could be falsified -- how?

By way of claiming or, at least, admitting the hypothesis of Creation to be partial and/or imperfect. I told you that already.
Since it would be an absurd incoherent with the definition of God, you have no escape. It's a logical consequence of a perfectly "falsifiable" hypothesis.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-03, 10:56:34
Many pronouncements can only be falsified once you meet the Creator, ask him, and he tells you: "You are mistaken." :rolleyes:
This is not a problem to many philosophers. :left:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-03, 15:49:52
As I said elsewhere recently: "What do you think of Pascal's Wager? I'll give my (almost) off-the-cuff: It's a futile gesture. Belief isn't a matter of choice... And sincerity can't be faked, if one's audience is God!
(If I'm wrong, the Creator and I will toss back a couple of cold ones before I'm sent to Hell... :) )"


@Belfrager: I'm afraid we don't have a meaning for 'falsification' in common, so we're not talking about the same thing...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-03, 16:27:08
so if something cant be proven if wrong / false [ have margin of error ]

that's not science  :doh:

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi61.tinypic.com%2F4ruiia.jpg&hash=03697bed84564ba94e05023f54b4d9f7" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i61.tinypic.com/4ruiia.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-03, 16:30:18
Not exactly. For something to be "science", there must be a way to prove that it is wrong if it's wrong.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-03, 16:37:16
allow me  to make a premature conclusion

definition of science ;

Scientia  / knowledge of right and wrong

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi60.tinypic.com%2Fa5isx.jpg&hash=caf4eb7341b177656311a7ff946857ce" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i60.tinypic.com/a5isx.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-03, 19:14:08
Scientia  / knowledge of right and wrong

That's a  very restrictive definition, and not likely acceptable to many... (Would you, Sparta, consider posting in your native language? I'd like to see if, between Google Translate and my own intuition, I can get a better sense of what you're saying.) At any rate, conflating all of science with but a portion of ethics -as it's usually understood- seems un-helpfully idiosyncratic. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-04, 00:38:38
@Belfrager: I'm afraid we don't have a meaning for 'falsification' in common, so we're not talking about the same thing...

You're mistaken, I had the trouble of using yours, meaning misunderstanding Popper.
Anyway, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-04, 01:15:53
I had the trouble of using yours, meaning misunderstanding Popper.

Do you really think I've misunderstood Popper? Pray tell, how?
----------------------------------------
Anyway, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all.

If you mean that the "problems" with inductive reasoning are over-blown, I'd agree. But it's entertaining to see the variety of boxes one can construct that enclose normal, everyday thought... :)
Did you mean something more, or something different?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-04, 09:40:34
@Belfrager
Take a look at the Stanford page on Nominalism (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nominalism-metaphysics/) and maybe you can eventually figure Oakdale out. Good luck with trying to distinguish between abstract objects and universals. The task is all the more harder as Oakdale keeps playing the fool with many of his philosophical commitments (how typical of atheists!). He might be just a nihilist under splendid rhetorical cover.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-04, 10:18:20
Do you really think I've misunderstood Popper?

Probably.
My statement didn't emerge from observation and then inductive reasoning, the principle of falsifiability only applies to such method. Such principle is important to Science because it's important in order to validate scientific method (according to Popper but not accepted as such by others.)

I don't remember Popper to extrapolate it outside it's strict use as a component of the scientific method. When I say everything already exists we are clearly at a different area, we are into the search for ontological truth. You don't get there through scientific method and even less using Popper's ideas out of context to conditioning it.
But it's entertaining to see the variety of boxes one can construct that enclose normal, everyday thought...
Did you mean something more, or something different?

It doesn't matter at all because you are not interested in the ontological nature of things but only at the system of classification you made of them. Such system, for you, it's probably in itself the Truth.

Edit:
@Ersi
Yes, yes, I'm aware of Oakdale's nominalism.
"He might be just a nihilist under splendid rhetorical cover." Indeed, more than splendid, his rethoric has all the attributes of rococo art, what is surprising specially for an American and original for a nihilist. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-04, 22:00:31
It doesn't matter at all because you are not interested in the ontological nature of things

Indeed, that's often the case... When ways of talking (i.e., analogies) are elevated (e.g., pushed past their usual and vague application) to ontological independence, nonsense typically ensues!
Are you confused? Blame it not on my inept communication; nor on your inapt understanding: You've instantiated the eternal, ideal object Confusion.
(Was it good, for you? :) )
Had you kept your head out of the clouds, you could argue otherwise... :)
Quote
Nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects: every object is mereologically simple (i.e., partless). Together with the plausible assumption that ordinary objects (if they exist) are all composite objects, nihilism entails that there are no ordinary objects. Nihilists typically accept that there are countless microscopic objects: although there are "simples arranged dogwise" and "simples arranged statuewise", there are no dogs or statues. But nihilism is also compatible with existence monism--the thesis that there is a single, all-encompassing simple (the cosmos, a.k.a. "the blobject")--as well as the extreme nihilist thesis that there are no objects whatsoever.

Although I like the term blobject (kinda mystical, i'n't? :) ) I see in most philosophical "positions" little more than posturing: Head-in-the-clouds playing with words; word-play, where the usual rules of language are changed and, usually, kept mostly secret... :) 
(That may be giving "philosophers" too much credit, however: They may be unaware that they've in fact changed the rules! Or -a kinder way of putting it- simply get caught up in the excitement of the game!)
But, of course, I doubt that's what ersi meant by calling me a nihilist. He most likely meant to call me either immoral or amoral...because, yes, I'm comfortable with locating morality entirely within human groupings. (Which is not to say that anything goes!) And I could probably be called an atheist, too.
------------------------------
A side note: I don't think the term falsification should be used outside of its technical sense, which is that of providing a better justificatory warrant for the truth of scientific theories than confirmation...
You may be confusing me with Sparta?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-04, 22:36:35
All possible languages already exists. Everything already exists, the Creation was total and perfect, not partial and imperfect.
It couldn't had been any other way regardless what we can be conscious about,
That's man condition, discovering the miracle of God's creation, one step at the time.

Ah! Yes, I see where you got the idea: I myself asked And such pronouncements could be falsified -- how?
Your pronouncements -I should better say- are not sensible, they refer not to matters empirical but to philosophical positions (as mentioned above...) and are part of a game whose rules I'd defy* you to specify! :)

While Popper's fixation on falsification was an improvement over the Vienna Circle's confirmation, I don't think he was quite as confused as they, about the demarkation of sense and non-sense... That is, I read what he wrote about philosophy as being more reasonable.
--------------------------------------
* I won't accept a catechism... Rather, give me the point of the game.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-05, 04:53:38
to make this partij more phun ..

how about put some Wittgenstein flavor at this thread  ?  :drunk:

Wittgenstein will be like , it's just about language .

the limit of the World , is language .

everyone is struggles with language to express their mind and thought


just describe , dont explain

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi59.tinypic.com%2F6ypms8.png&hash=fa329eee4cd557003468f17981ecfa7d" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i59.tinypic.com/6ypms8.png)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-05, 05:43:41
But Wittgenstein himself rejected most of that stance (taken from his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus) as both too restrictive and, in some parts, just plain wrong (e.g., his picture theory of propositional meaning...)!
The "just describe, don't explain" is not particularly Wittgensteinian. He'd more like have interrupted even your short comment, and talked until everyone else was too tired to go on.
Or, as he did the only time he and Popper were in the same room, stormed out... :) (Sort of like Woody Allen, who said: "I'm not afraid of death. I just don't want to be there when it happens." W. wasn't so much afraid of losing a debate as he was of being struck speechless by someone other than himself or God!) W. was better at brooding than any other philosopher I've heard of.

p.s.,
Did you enjoy Popper's address (http://cscs.res.in/dataarchive/textfiles/textfile.2010-08-25.9419571534/file) to the Aristotelian Society?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-05, 07:44:19
Let's revisit Pascal's Wager: Perhaps it should better be said thus, "Since the mob's sincere beliefs won't allow them to brook a different opinion, and you'd likely accept most of their moral precepts anyway; pretend to believe... If there is a God, He'll likely understand your motives!"

I don't read French, and I'm not that interested in the wager -- since I'm not likely in any danger from religious fervor. Had I been born elsewhere and elsewhen, I might feel differently...
----------------------------------------------
@Belfrager: If the point of the game is "salvation," I won't play. If I don't believe in your God, "salvation" is a culmination that's unreachable. I am not Sisyphus!
You can play the part, if you wish. But your anguish isn't an object of admiration...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-05, 09:32:57
I see in most philosophical "positions" little more than posturing: Head-in-the-clouds playing with words; word-play, where the usual rules of language are changed and, usually, kept mostly secret...  :) 

Nothing else could be expected from the "analytic philosopher".
@Belfrager: If the point of the game is "salvation," I won't play. If I don't believe in your God, "salvation" is a culmination that's unreachable. I am not Sisyphus!
You can play the part, if you wish. But your anguish isn't an object of admiration...

Knocking at a wrong door. I'm a relentless sinner with no possible salvation and I like it.

.............................
I find the philosophical threads trinity (this one and the other two) to be conclusive.
There's more diversity at the kingdom of God's believers than at the intellectual desert of atheism.
Also verbiage is something alive and kicking... I finally understood the deep meaning of the Tower of Babel thing. :)


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-05, 09:50:11
I finally understood the deep meaning of the Tower of Babel thing.  :)

Good for you! When you finally realize that that's what and all there is from which to "construct" a philosophy, you'll be knocking at the door of Wisdom.
And when your knock is answered, from the path behind you, you'll realize that Wisdom is often outside in the same world you yourself roamed. If you are startled, at first, you'll come to share in the laughter such provoked!
Thus spake OakdaleFTL.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-05, 10:52:38
Interlude: The evolution of faith

It's three billion years since someone
sparked this earth's -our own!
shy peptide broth...

A long wait... I suspect God
is more fascination
than wroth anticipation:
Perhapses enthrall...

Me too.
Else I'd fain quit theodicy.
Else I feign quit the odyssey.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-05, 18:10:32
When you finally realize that that's what and all there is from which to "construct" a philosophy, you'll be knocking at the door of Wisdom.
And when your knock is answered, from the path behind you, you'll realize that Wisdom is often outside in the same world you yourself roamed. If you are startled, at first, you'll come to share in the laughter such provoked!
Thus spake OakdaleFTL.

:)
You're much better at the humorist side of life than at all the superficial confusion you make about basic concepts.
Now on I'll treat you by Master. You can call me Grasshopper.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-05, 19:04:11
... No, kind sir! I am no one's Master. Perhaps not even my own! Although I would (were it in my nature) venerate Hotei (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai), I still acclaim him a most congenial sage, worthy of the greatest respect.


I am tickled pink, to be taken for a fool! :)
_______________________________________
Just read Briggs' latest post (http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=12957)... Thought you might like it. (Yeah, each and every one of you!)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-12, 00:57:58
Is this the right thread to post the link to the Ada Lovelace Test (... a proposed successor to the Turing Test...)? Ah, well! If not, people make mistakes... No?!
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/forget-turing-the-lovelace-test-has-a-better-shot-at-spotting-ai (http://motherboard.vice.com/read/forget-turing-the-lovelace-test-has-a-better-shot-at-spotting-ai)


BTW: Azimov wrote a very short story many decades ago, in which all Man's effort went toward creating an artificial intelligence... The first question they asked it was "Is there a God?"
The machine answered: "There is now!" :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-12, 04:55:06
The New Testament definition of God is actually very simple: Whatever you worship, that's God. If you treat Mammon with inordinate reverence, then that's your god. In the same, it says God is truth etc. As the opposite sides of the equation are perfectly convertible, it follows that if you value truth above all, then that's the same as worshipping God. This is the principle. Everything else is less relevant.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-12, 12:19:24
It seems to me that such definition of God poses no problem.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-12, 19:30:18
Whatever you worship, that's God.


Hypothetically speaking, if God was standing directly before me and I absolutely knew who he was, I would not worship him nor would he expect me to.  Does God have such an ego that he would demand worship or even welcome it?  Of course not, otherwise, he is not God.  
:knight: The Pragmatic Atheist
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-12, 20:52:02
if God was standing directly before me [...]

He will... he will.
You'll have the opportunity to tell him all that. :)

I don't know if He will find it funny... He must have listen to that thousands of times before. Poor God, listening to the same conversation each time another atheist arrives up there... :)

Sorry, I forgot. Atheists don't go to Heaven, at the best, you'll go to Purgatory.
No interview with God.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-13, 01:31:53
This is the principle. Everything else is less relevant.

This is why I mis-trust mystics and practitioners of term-logics: Reality be damned -they say- and proceed to do whatever the heck they want... Justified by what would "normally" be laughed at!

[Actually reading the New Testament might be considered a prerequisite. But apparently not everywhere... BTW: Does anyone here know what Gautama wrote, that's survived? I'd like to read it.]

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Dunno. But, also, I don't care: I am not going to spend a lot of time disputing doctrinal squabbles.

Atheists will... They can't help it: They define themselves by their opposition to a Straw Man...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-13, 06:24:23

This is the principle. Everything else is less relevant.

This is why I mis-trust mystics and practitioners of term-logics: Reality be damned -they say- and proceed to do whatever the heck they want... Justified by what would "normally" be laughed at!

Without the definition of reality it's really you who fails to consider reality. And you are in perfect company with all the rest of the atheists in this.


Atheists will... They can't help it: They define themselves by their opposition to a Straw Man...

Particularly straw men of their own making.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-13, 17:50:04
Atheists will... They can't help it: They define themselves by their opposition to a Straw Man...Particularly straw men of their own making.


Do you two clowns run around painting black people as lazy, watermelon eating throwbacks in the same fashion you paint atheists as ignorant pushovers?  This says a lot about the very prejudiced personalities you two own, but do your best to hide. 

As an atheist, I believe it can be shown that considerations of simplicity for our existence support atheism rather than theism, though I must say that the atheistic conclusion of 'no god' must be held tentatively, if it is to be held rationally.  The simple reason for this is that, while science is very dependable, it is also, in some sense, also tentative.  However, I do think it is rational to believe that the universe can begin without a cause (based on singularity theory), and therefore any philosophical objection based on 'the causal principle' will fail.  You hold the position that the supernatural can transcend anything & everything, which I find much too problematic (more like impossible), to discuss rationally and/or scientifically. 

Now I could have said that the bigoted insults you two hurl at atheists here only proves that, beneath the surface, you are merely commonplace ignoramuses--but I didn't. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-13, 20:59:32
You've confused (mixed up) my comments with ersi's... Be that as it may: When I chide atheists, I mean evangelical atheists like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and the like; and their hangers-on.
Regular people who, from conscience or intellect, don't believe in the Christian or any other god get -from me- the same pass I give religionists who don't feel compelled to "save" me...

You are a special case, James! Your ability be offended is phenomenal -- no doubt, you practice a lot. Still, there had to have been some native talent there to begin with.

Are there ignorant pushovers (as you call them) among the hangers-on? Oh, indeed: Lots! But among the naive, only the true believer sort bothers me, the fundamentalist atheist -- I'd rather call them.
But do note: I don't seek them out! They find me...

BTW: No, I don't think I've ever actually painted a black person... But, then, I don't think "lazy" is a color.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-13, 23:10:50
You are a special case, James! Your ability be offended is phenomenal -- no doubt, you practice a lot. Still, there had to have been some native talent there to begin with.


If you knew me in person, perhaps you would wonder how I could possibly be so insulting.  When I first confronted some of Ersi's thoughts on Opera, he treated me very much like a child and I took it for awhile because the philosophy he expounded was completely new to me.  But when he took my ignorance of philosophy to mean total ignorance period, I had to fight back.  He even asked me for my IQ number and I told him the truth, though you will have to ask him if he believed me or not. 

When I followed Ersi here, I was surprised to find a whole bunch of Ersis (Ersae?).  The belittlement was plentiful when I first arrived here and has not diminished much since then.  I thought of just walking away from the mumbo-jumbo philosophical thinking of a bunch socially misfit eggheads, however, I decided to stay and not just to irritate anyone, but to hopefully say something relevant and gain insight on some things that I never before considered.  Btw, I do make mistakes sometimes. 

Atheism, for the first time, has theoretical scientific evidence that God cannot exist, but instead of arguing the fact with your impeccably logical thinking, you (or at least Ersi) poo-poo scientific theory in much the same way that you criticize atheists for doing it about God.  Hawking said philosophy was pretty much dead because philosophers were not keeping up with the latest in physics (if anyone but the elite physicists can actually do that), but philosophers didn't even seem to be trying to keep up. 

What was happening at that lawless instant of big bang singularity that is the scientific premise for the atheistic argument and is also inconsistent with the hypothesis that God created the earliest state of the universe?  If, like Ersi, you say 'science doesn't know for sure' then you are right, but is that all the ammunition you have to refute any and/or all scientific theories?  I stand at the ready.   :knight:  :cheers:

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-14, 00:58:09
I have no interest in "refuting" any scientific theory. Pseudo-science, however, piques my ire...
Atheism, for the first time, has theoretical scientific evidence that God cannot exist [...]

That's a bold statement! Would you care to point me to this evidence?
If you'd only contend that the Big Bang might conceivably have occurred, say, on this basis (http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.1207)... You're welcome to it. But I wouldn't go so far as to call it "evidence," and I'd down-grade such from scientific theory to scientific speculation. (Not that there's anything wrong with that... :) )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-14, 01:30:04
That's a bold statement! Would you care to point me to this evidence?


Sure, the article here, http://infidels.org/library/modern/quentin_smith/bigbang.html  is more than 20 years old, but it's a good starting place.  There are of course, more recent developments in physics that add to the mounting evidence of God's nonexistence, but this is good for now.   :knight:  :zzz:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-14, 03:00:36
... I'm about to start Smith's section 4. and I have some preliminary thoughts:
His first two premises are equivocal. Equate the singularity with God, and "animate" has lost the crucial quality his argument depends on... But he gets to keep his original lawlessness!
As he says, finally, at the end of section 3., he's constrained himself to arguing against classical theism -- and Western conceptions, at that.

I won't articulate an actual reply, just yet. Did you read my poem above (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg23042#msg23042)? (It can be given a more expansive meaning... :)  Specifically, a reasonable rejection of Smith's third premise.) Scholastic reasoning doesn't do much for this argument, one way or the other, I think.
------------------------------------------------------
Okay. (I'll read it again, sometime... I was familiar with some of the work he cited; and not that impressed by it originally.) Smith has added to the debate; a smidgen, at least.
But since he wanted to play the theology game too his additions were not conclusive of much... Either he is himself an evangelical atheist or "just another philosopher".
I'd like to see what actual philosophy of science he's done... But I don't expect much. (Oh! An evangelical! (http://infidels.org/library/modern/quentin_smith/) No doubt. :) )


Are you one too, James?
--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------
I guess at this point we can return to the original question of this thread: The problem with atheism? "Too little basic human decency," Frenzie said... The fundamentalists of both (many, all?) persuasions who evidence this trait tend to be mental midgets, IMHO.
You have a different scale? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-14, 06:07:12
Good for you, James, to have found some science that refutes God. Finally an evidence-based atheist here making an attempt to preach the gospel of atheism!

A few points on this. Quentin Smith explicitly admits that his argument only deals with Abrahamic God and is crucially dependent on what is attributed to God in that particular theology. More specifically, he mentions Swinburne, against whose cosmological argument he has apparently built his own argument. And "argument" is a technical philosophical term, not scientific. In science you have hypotheses and theories. Quentin Smith is a philosopher making a philosophical argument citing science, not a scientific point per se. So, you did not get rid of philosophy at all, and you only amounted an attack against God you hate most, instead of getting rid of God decisively.

If you overlook all that, I see how you can say "Science makes God unnecessary". It's about the same as saying "Trees make forest unnecessary" or even "This tree makes forest unnecessary".
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-14, 06:44:38
I mostly agree with your determination, ersi... What conclusions you'd draw from it are another matter. Atheists are much more numerous than imagined, I think; and always have been. And they are -as naive reasoners- more rational than some of the best philosophers!
I'd agree, also, that mystical feelings count for something. I'm interested in the question, What?

You -I take it- aren't: You're a true believer, of some sort. Allah. Brahma. What-ever. Feel free to live your own life by whatever principles and beliefs you prefer; so long as you don't run amok, in the Name of Anything!
You can still debate various topics with me: I don't discriminate, except on terms of incoherence or incomprehensibility... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-14, 21:34:57
So, you did not get rid of philosophy at all, and you only amounted an attack against God you hate most, instead of getting rid of God decisively.


How can I hate something that doesn't exist?  I don't even hate the idea of god, in fact, a belief in some sort of higher power can assist many people with all sorts of troubles, trials and tribulations that they're incapable of dealing with effectively on their own.  What I don't like is the idea of religion taking money from the poor in the name of god and dangling the carrot of eternal life in front of them to get them to cough up the dough--it's totally unethical. 

A few points on this. Quentin Smith explicitly admits that his argument only deals with Abrahamic God and is crucially dependent on what is attributed to God in that particular theology.


Yes, I agree with you.  The Christian religion says too much about God, thus allowing science and philosophy to poke holes in their ideas about God.  Muslims say much less and in fact, Allah left the building right after his first act, and left Mohammed to be his flunky here on earth.  But anyone can think up an untouchable god, not just philosophers. 

Here's an interesting tidbit; a 2009 survey by PhilPapers found that 62% of philosophers are atheists with another 11% on the fence, what do they know that you don't know?  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational/ 

You may argue that this is those philosophers who reject the Abrahamic god, however, the question posed to them on god was quite simple:

God: theism or atheism? 
1.   Accept: theism
2.   Lean toward: theism
3.   Accept: atheism
4.   Lean toward: atheism
5.   Other
Find the survey questions here:  http://philpapers.org/philpapers/raw/survey.pdf  For more info about the survey and the results go to:  http://philpapers.org/surveys/  

I doubt that you are much for surveys, but if you look closely at the participants chosen for this survey, you should find it at least a fair bunch, if not impressive. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-14, 22:46:00
What I don't like is the idea of religion taking money from the poor in the name of god and dangling the carrot of eternal life in front of them to get them to cough up the dough--it's totally unethical.

Ah! The ethical atheist complains that the poor give some of their pittance to religious organizations... (No doubt, he fantasizes he'd be a Robin Hood!)
Is this really your rationale, James?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-15, 00:46:09
The ethical atheist complains that the poor give some of their pittance to religious organizations... (No doubt, he fantasizes he'd be a Robin Hood!)
Is this really your rationale, James?


Not at all, it's simply something that irks me.  Isn't there anything that irks you--me, for example?  Or am I too unworthy for you to be irked about? 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-15, 18:37:26
Isn't there anything that irks you [...]?

Sure: Pretentious self-important prattling, unrelieved by humor! (See the Philosophy, Logic and Formal Systems thread, for numerous examples!)
Do you irk me? Not specially. But that's not because you're unworthy, in any essential sense: As ersi might say, there's a continuum that constitutes my attentions...and, yes, you are (mostly) at its furthest reaches! But I'd rather say what the main character in Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily said at the movie's end... :) Ca-peech?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-16, 10:53:40
But I'd rather say what the main character in Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily said at the movie's end...  :)  Ca-peech?


When thinking of my favorite person here, I like the line by the character Harry Block in Deconstructing Harry when Woody Allen says--"All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it". 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-16, 11:23:26
Well... the Theist fortress seems to be well defended for the moment being.
Atheist attacks are rare, uncoordinated and ineffective.

However, it's not impossible that internal dissensions amongst the Theist troops can lead to a volte face.
As usual, that's Protestant's fault. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-16, 11:58:48
Well... the Theist fortress seems to be well defended for the moment being.


Perhaps, but that doesn't mean theism is a truth or even rationally justified.  Ersi's logic is tailor made for him to believe in a supernatural god because he is desperate for an afterlife.  To me, wanting to live forever is not a rational thought--it is a far fetched fantasy.  Would Ersi so vehemently believe in a god if there were no promise of an afterlife?  Ersi may not believe in the Abrahamic god of this earth, but he still kept the main premise of religion for his own god--eternal life--which is not logical to assume. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2014-07-16, 12:49:56
Would Ersi so vehemently believe in a god if there were no promise of an afterlife?

Or if said afterlife was to be lived in perpetual anguish and pain?

What an enormous parcel of crap.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-16, 13:41:44
Interesting enough, the belief in an afterlife isn't mentioned in the Bible anywhere before the New Testament. And even there, it is somewhat controversial.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-16, 13:47:12
@James
The way you construe rationale for theism would be funny if it were not overly familiar and deeply wrong. Specifically, wrong about me. You are at your best as evidence-based apostle for atheism, so let's recall a small evidence-based guideline:

When referring to someone's views or opinions, back it up with what the person actually said.

Referring to someone's views and opinions without linking them to what the person actually said is sheer mind-reading. Mind-reading is inappropriate for atheists because minds are supernatural and atheists don't believe in supernatural.

For the same reason it's inappropriate of you to mention afterlife altogether. Afterlife is supernatural and you have no evidence for it. Stick with things that you have evidence for. You can bring up afterlife when I mention it, and then we'll talk evidence.

You have linked to a philosophical piece that contains an argument refuting God. This was a good start. A refutation of God is an indirect case for atheism (standing ovations). How about building a little positive case for atheism now? Can you summarise an argument that positively establishes atheism?

Let's keep this thread relevant and interesting.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-16, 20:22:31
Let's keep this thread relevant and interesting.


Here an interesting article,

http://theosophical.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/stephen-hawking-god-could-not-create-the-universe-because-there-was-no-time-for-him-to-do-so/

that tries to refute this Hawking statement:
You can't get to a time before the big bang, because there was no time before the big bang.  We have finally found something that does not have a cause because there was no time for a cause to exist in.  For me this means there is no possibility of a creator because there is no time for a creator to have existed. 

The article starts off with a bang of its own when it tries to outline Hawking's argument--it is wrong.  What Hawking actually is saying is that causal relationships necessarily entail temporality, except for the very first one.  The article then goes on to use the metaphysical logic of Kant to explain that other effects don't necessarily need a time-based cause.  However, in Kant's eternal ball-cushion-indent example the writer (and Kant, I assume), is using a metaphysical universe where eternity is a distinct factor and then trying to compare what happens there to our universe which has a finite beginning.  I don't find this kind of logic to be compelling at all. 

The second point of this argument is not worthy of comment, I do hope you don't see anything there.  Point 3 could have been summed up as: a temporal cause always has a delayed effect, no matter how minute; how that is relevant to the discussion of an effect with no temporal cause, you will have to tell me.   Point 4 the writer simply doesn't know the difference between 'the law of gravity' and 'the theory of gravity'--look it up.  The writer then goes on to say that there could be a metaphysical time that Hawking is overlooking--yada, yada, yada. 

Is this article just a bad example of good logical philosophy or is this as good as it gets?  While I will admit that Hawking is making somewhat of a premature leap to the nonexistence of god, there is much more on the horizon--I do hear a duck quacking, however. 

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-17, 04:08:10
Thanks for the article, James.

First off, Hawking's argument is another NEGATIVE case for atheism, built explicitly to get rid of God, not to establish atheism in its own right. By this I mean, the argument references God throughout. On atheism, God should not exist and non-existents should not be worth mentioning, but the argument doesn't manage to get off at all without mentioning God.

Anyway, let's look a bit into it.


The second point of this argument is not worthy of comment, I do hope you don't see anything there.

Okay, to understand what you mean by "the second point" I had to actually read the article, because you didn't list its points :) You seem to mean this one: 

Quote from: Theo-sophical Ruminations
2. Why is time necessary to causal relationships? A moment's reflection on the nature of time and causation should make it clear that causal relationships do not entail temporality.


Obviously, Hawking's argument crucially depends on his narrower definition of cause as the starting point that temporally produces the effect. I happen to disagree with Hawking's definition. I hold to a more elaborate and nuanced definition of cause.

Here's an example from Ghazali: When I hold a candle in my hand and I move my hand, the movement of both the hand and of the candle is simultaneous, but it's absolutely undeniable that the hand is the cause and the movement of the candle is the effect. Hence causes are not merely temporal.

Now, it's important that I cite Ghazali, a philosopher who formulated the cosmological argument the way that is relevant and immediately comprehensible even for modern Westerners. It's important because in order to refute Ghazali's argument, its premises must be shown to be false. In this case, the way Ghazali defines cause should be shown false.

Hawking has re-defined cause in a narrower way, but he has not shown that the definition used in theist arguments is false. Hence he is actually not addressing the theistic arguments at all. Hawking is going about his own autonomous business, disproving God to himself, not to theists. Hawking is basically doing monologue, not dialogue. Worse, Ghazali's common-sense example totally undercuts Hawking's re-definition.


Point 3 could have been summed up as: a temporal cause always has a delayed effect, no matter how minute; how that is relevant to the discussion of an effect with no temporal cause, you will have to tell me.

This is a Buddhist (and maybe Theosophical?) definition of cause and effect to argue that cause and effect are basically the same thing in atomistic sense, like beads on a thread. There's no point of calling one bead strictly cause and the other effect - they are all beads. It's relevant as yet another view of cause and effect that can rationally be held.


Point 4 the writer simply doesn't know the difference between 'the law of gravity' and 'the theory of gravity'--look it up.  The writer then goes on to say that there could be a metaphysical time that Hawking is overlooking--yada, yada, yada.

From Point #4 I take just this -

Quote from: Theo-sophical Ruminations
Hawking argues that "since time itself began at the moment of the Big Bang, it was an event that could not have been caused or created by anyone or anything."  But wouldn't "anything" include physical laws as well?

- which is also completely sufficient by itself to overturn Hawking's argument. If Hawking's conclusion is that nothing could have caused the Big Bang, he has not managed to give any rational explanation to the universe, but a rational explanation why this should be the case is what we are after. You may - in words - accept that there's no explanation, but then you must also accept that you cannot call yourself rational and the opponent irrational.

Hawking demonstrated that his science implies that there's no explanation to the Big Bang. This can be accepted as the latest and greatest truth by those who hold that only science can give truth (this view is called scientism), but it's inapplicable to those who see a bigger picture than what science gives. This bigger picture is called philosophy. In philosophy, leaving anything unexplained is irrational, while being able to explain things is rational.

Moreover, one can take the inexplicable Big Bang with a slight modification, attribute some consciousness to it for no good reason (it's inexplicable, so no good reasons are needed!), label it God and voila -  Hawking actually gave a theist argument. How do you like it now?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-17, 06:23:41
Quote
In philosophy, leaving anything unexplained is irrational


Ersi , no offence
can you  please be lesser compulsive ?
isn't that something like oxymoron?

Philosophy is for somehow to determine which   are  rational or irrational   .

check the definition of  logical fallacy --> A fallacy is a kind of error in reasoning

but , i dont think philosophy is  to explain  everything .

nobody have debt to explain everything to everyone .
if that's happening ,
perhaps  it's because of the insanity-factors  .


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-17, 10:11:07
Here's an example from Ghazali: When I hold a candle in my hand and I move my hand, the movement of both the hand and of the candle is simultaneous, but it's absolutely undeniable that the hand is the cause and the movement of the candle is the effect. Hence causes are not merely temporal.

There a giant Oops! in this argument: Einstein's theory of Special Relativity... Signals are limited by the speed of light. Hence, no special pleading of "simultaneity" suffices to warrant the conclusion.

Ghazali's common-sense example totally undercuts Hawking's re-definition.

Einstein's theory eliminates Ghazali's common-sense example... In other words, your "more elaborate and nuanced" definition of cause is mere subterfuge, a way of assuming (but not defending) a necessary premise. But call it, rather, a mere mistake in logic. :)
------------------------------------

Moreover, one can take the inexplicable Big Bang with a slight modification, attribute some consciousness to it for no good reason (it's inexplicable, so no good reasons are needed!), label it God and voila -  Hawking actually gave a theist argument. How do you like it now?

Yup! I like that well enough!  :yes:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-17, 10:25:01

Here's an example from Ghazali: When I hold a candle in my hand and I move my hand, the movement of both the hand and of the candle is simultaneous, but it's absolutely undeniable that the hand is the cause and the movement of the candle is the effect. Hence causes are not merely temporal.

There a giant Oops! in this argument: Einstein's theory of Special Relativity... Signals are limited by the speed of light. Hence, no special pleading of "simultaneity" suffices to warrant the conclusion.

There's a much more forceful example to sustain the traditional more elaborate definition of cause: The glass is the cause of the shape and position of water, the table is the cause of the position of the glass, the floor is the cause of the position of the table, etc.

The same applies with Ghazali's example too: Whether the hand is moving or not, it remains the cause of the position, movement, or staticness of the candle.

Now try to disprove this dimension of causality that is diametrically opposite to the temporal dimension.

I was saving this so as to not shatter James' tender soul, but you ruined it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-17, 11:09:10
a much more forceful example to sustain the traditional more elaborate definition of cause: The glass is the cause of the shape and position of water, the table is the cause of the position of the glass, the floor is the cause of the position of the table, etc.

Yes, indeed, you've changed the meaning of cause... (You perforce must do that a lot, given your logic and your theories!) Was the glass the cause of the shape and position of the water -- before it was poured? Was the table the cause of the position of the glass -- when it was in the cupboard? Etc.

It's the sort of thing that seems "forceful" if one doesn't mind or notice equivocation. You would use "cause" metaphorically, and expect noone would notice? :)

Now try to disprove this dimension of causality that is diametrically opposite to the temporal dimension.

Oh! I know: It's Redness?
--------------------------------------------------

nobody have debt to explain everything to everyone .
if that's happening ,
perhaps  it's because of the insanity-factors  .

Sparta, I hope you never have to read Alfred North Whitehead's Process and Reality! But it's a fine example of what I called (some 40 years ago) the "physicist's paranoia" ... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-17, 11:45:36

It's the sort of thing that seems "forceful" if one doesn't mind or notice equivocation. You would use "cause" metaphorically, and expect noone would notice? :)

In this case it's Hawking who changed the definition of cause and thought no one would notice. Context, dude!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-17, 12:19:10
But let's play some more with this counter-argument that James chose for us:
Quote
Imagine C and E are the cause and the effect. If C were to vanish before the time at which E is produced, would E nevertheless come into being? Surely not! But if time is continuous, then no matter how close to E's appearance C's disappearance takes place, there will always be an interval of time between C's disappearance and E's appearance. But then why or how E came into being when it does seems utterly mysterious, for there is no cause at that moment to produce it.
No offense to Dr. Craig (who seems a nice enough fellow, and both industrious and sincere) but he's no Zeno of Elea!


A little mathematics? He's using "continuous" in an odd sense, much as Zeno did in his story of Achilles and the tortoise. Summing an infinite series of successively halved terms gives a finite result. Similarly, Craig would have us accept mathematical continuity as physical reality -- which is plainly wrong.
The "utterly mysterious" he cites stems from his own misunderstanding of the mathematical concept, together with a naive application of it.


The argument's author, Jason Dulle, continues: "Arguably all causal relationships entail some sense of simultaneity between cause and effect."

Can we dispense with his "arguably" and "some sense of"...? Good! (Because, in this case, they're weasel words!) So, he seems not to have heard of Einstein's theories of Relativity, too... But he gets it almost right, nonetheless.
What he fails to take heed of is the nature of physical reality.
------------------------------------------

In this case it's Hawking who changed the definition of cause and thought no one would notice. Context, dude!

Come now, ersi, why would you expect a 20th century theoretical physicist and mathematician -- to use Ancient/Medieval definitions? For terms of physics? :) Dude!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-17, 12:34:55

In this case it's Hawking who changed the definition of cause and thought no one would notice. Context, dude!

Come now, ersi, why would you expect a 20th century theoretical physicist and mathematician -- to use Ancient/Medieval definitions? For terms of physics? :) Dude!

I wouldn't. The same way, the physics dude should not imagine he has anything relevant to say about theology. But this is precisely what he is imagining and poor James is taking him seriously.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-17, 12:52:53
The same way, the physics dude should not imagine he has anything relevant to say about theology. But this is precisely what he is imagining

You mean Hawkings? :) Well, he's not a trained theologean... (Dulle and Craig are! But neither are mathematicians or physicists...) But isn't it his universe, too? And, if there's a God, isn't He Hawkings' -- to understand, as best he can?

(I do really miss the whisper mode of the old forum... Seriously, ersi, Hawkings is dis-qualified to discuss theology? Whose authority sanctions such censorship?)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-17, 13:07:46
all i can say , Stephen hawking is fabulous .

he challenge Human race to understanding the  theory of everything, to know the mind of God .

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi59.tinypic.com%2F19p5eg.jpg&hash=3bf3872ea9c4783011bef9a22a4fc025" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i59.tinypic.com/19p5eg.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-17, 14:03:25
I doubt, Sparta, that that's how Hawking himself sees it! :) But I, personally, have no quibble to make against it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-17, 16:31:19
but it's absolutely undeniable that the hand is the cause and the movement of the candle is the effect. Hence causes are not merely temporal.


It depends on what you mean by cause, I suppose, but it seems to me that this is akin to saying that if you put a candle on a table and an earthquake shakes the table and hence the candle is moved, then it is the table that is causing the candle to move.  How do you train a table to do that? 

Btw, isn't it Ghazali who says that God is what causes cotton to burn when you put a torch to it?  You gotta stop incorporating everything philosophical that you read into your belief system, it's a mess. 

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-17, 19:44:41

but it's absolutely undeniable that the hand is the cause and the movement of the candle is the effect. Hence causes are not merely temporal.

It depends on what you mean by cause, I suppose, but this is akin to saying that if you put a candle on a table and an earthquake shakes the table and hence the candle is moved, then it is the table that is causing the candle to move.  How do you train a table to do that?

Hawking affirms a chain of causality but you don't? 

Funny, but I am with Hawking here - and more than he knows. Not only do I affirm the temporal chain of causality, I also affirm the simultaneous hierarchy of causality the way I described.

I'm with Hawking in one more sense. I agree that his conclusion follows from his premises. However, his premises - and consequently also the conclusion - are of insufficient scope to necessarily entail everything that he wants his argument to entail. This is most crucially so due to his narrow definition of cause.

In many European languages (including English) "cause" and "reason" are substantially overlapping concepts and this is exactly how "cause" is used in traditional theistic arguments.

Hawking's argument assumes that God is a being who set the universe going by giving a little nudge to the Big Bang and who stands idly by since then, whereas traditionally God has been understood as the ultimate cause in the simultaneous hierarchy of things. In terms of the simultaneous hierarchy it's easily seen how God is ever-present and constantly necessary to sustain both every little atom and the universe as a whole, whereas in terms of the temporal chain as described by Hawking one may indeed wonder what's the purpose of God.

I won't repeat what I already demonstrated. You didn't dispute any of it anyway.


Btw, isn't it Ghazali who says that God is what causes cotton to burn when you put a torch to it?

Yes, the same :) This one is over your head, but there's no way to stop it now.

Ghazali's argument involves three important points. The first point is specifying the definition of agency. Aristotelians attribute agency to natural substances. Aristotelians say that when fire burns, it is an action (agency) of fire, whereas Ghazali connects agency exclusively to will and choice. Agents are necessarily conscious and volitional. If not, there's no agency involved. According to Ghazali, when one talks of fire burning, the linguistic expression tends to metaphorically impute agency to the inert mechanics of the process, and one should be careful to not blow the metaphor out of proportion.

The second point is the dispute on the necessity or conditionality of natural effects. Because Aristotelians affirm a kind of agency in natural substances, they also affirm that from certain natural causes the corresponding natural effects follow necessarily, as a law of nature, e.g. when cotton comes in contact with fire, cotton will necessarily burn, no exception. Whereas Ghazali always admits the possibility of intervention of agents with will and choice, including supernatural and miraculous, no matter how improbable. This is not at all an ad hoc assumption on Ghazali's part, but a consistent commitment to the rule that "dispositions vary [and] the principles of dispositions include strange and wondrous things" (I have the book right here).

Compare for example that when Lawrence Krauss says that quantum mechanics implies that the universe is very strange and anything can happen and *therefore* theists are wrong, then he is actually on decisively weaker ground than theists who may also affirm the strangeness of things, but who attribute this to the absolute possibility of will and choice. The difference is that Krauss, if he be consistent, is committed to utter random irrationality and under this there cannot be any "therefore", whereas under absolute will and choice there can be both incomprehensible strangeness and "therefore" side by side - which happens to be exactly the way the universe appears to us.

And the third point is scriptural authority. And I agree with Ghazali on all three points. Please go puke somewhere else :)

When you return, I hope to finally see a positive evidence-based case for atheism, devoid of references to the supernatural and immaterial.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-18, 03:03:51
Put another way, "The Problem with Atheism" is that --no matter how "good" individual atheists may behave-- bad behavior by atheists (...and others, too, of course) has no rational means of condemnation... :)

Please, atheists, feel free to come with anything you believe goes beyond Might Makes Right!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-18, 21:48:32
When you return, I hope to finally see a positive evidence-based case for atheism, devoid of references to the supernatural and immaterial.


Simply admit it Eric, there is no scientific evidence that could ever satisfy you of anything.  You no longer live in the natural world (other than out of necessity).  You live and think in the fantasy world of the 'super' natural and, for the most part, reject what goes on in this world simply because it does not meet your most pressing need. 

But besides that, philosophers of science have long pointed out that there is no proposal in science, however idiotic, that cannot be made immune from refutation by the addition of a protective bubble of supplementary hypotheses to shield its weaknesses. 

Believers expect atheists and science to prove the nonexistence of a god who is determined to avoid leaving any evidence of his existence.  Then, if science does come up with some new theory that inadvertently eliminates god, believers quickly wrap another supernatural protective belt around their god of choice, so that they don't look like fools for believing. 

Somewhere in that brilliant mind of yours Ersi, I know you have some doubt because it's only logical that all people should have some doubt about god either way--I do, but simply not enough to say I am an agnostic.  Just because science cannot prove, with data, the negation of god, does not imply that it is reasonable to believe in god.  And just because scientific 'proofs' do not have the same level of rigor as mathematical proofs, does not mean that scientific conclusions cannot be extremely powerful (look around you).  Science is constantly making judgments in the absence of data and acts on those judgments--and necessarily so for science to proceed. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-19, 07:46:14

Simply admit it Eric, there is no scientific evidence that could ever satisfy you of anything.  You no longer live in the natural world (other than out of necessity).

Simply admit it that by "the natural world" you mean the world the way you specifically understand it and you acknowledge the true world (the way for example I understand it) only when cornered so tightly that you have no other option.


You live and think in the fantasy world of the 'super' natural and, for the most part, reject what goes on in this world simply because it does not meet your most pressing need.

Ditto applicable to you.


Believers expect atheists and science to prove the nonexistence of a god who is determined to avoid leaving any evidence of his existence.

No. Here's how it goes in my case. When puzzled over the concept(s) of god, I solve it on my own for myself and I make up my own mind. I don't really care what others think, scientists or atheists or philosophers or theologians. I only care about truth, but if truth is real in any relevant sense, then it cannot be that only I have discovered it. There must be some other sensible people too. It doesn't mean I have to accept what the other people say, but it means I have to do what the sensible people did: Think everything through properly and arrive at conclusions until I am genuinely convinced beyond any doubt, not just preliminarily or provisorily.

You are free to prove the nonexistence of gods and disprove gods as you like, but this time I asked you something much more modest: Prove your own brand of atheism/scientism in a positive sense. Meaning: Prove that whatever basic belief you have really explains everything, is internally consistent and thoroughly sensible and factual. I didn't ask you to disprove what you don't believe, but to back up what you believe. If you cannot do this, then your system is insufficient and you yourself doubt it and therefore you are not offering a rationally acceptable alternative to anyone.
 

...it's only logical that all people should have some doubt about god either way--I do, but simply not enough to say I am an agnostic.

Why should doubt apply only to beliefs about god? I think criticism should be applicable to any and all beliefs, with the purpose to examine, self-examine, correct, rectify, and ultimately arrive at a genuine conviction, i.e. minimise and eliminate doubt. Those puzzled about god(s) must make up their mind concerning god(s). Those holding to atheist or materialist or hedonist or utilitarian views should make up their minds concerning those other views beyond reasonable doubt. When this is done, we can discuss views, otherwise we are just being disingenuous, scared of our house of cards imploding or suspicious of each other's motives, and rational discussion cannot be had.

One pattern I have observed is that heavy denialists (such as yourself) some time or later say something like "You simply must doubt! Nobody can be sure of that thing!" which is yet another unwarranted belief. Truly, it's possible to be sure and certain and absolutely convinced of that thing and back it up with logical proof.


Just because science cannot prove, with data, the negation of god, does not imply that it is reasonable to believe in god.  And just because scientific 'proofs' do not have the same level of rigor as mathematical proofs, does not mean that scientific conclusions cannot be extremely powerful (look around you). 

Look at what you are saying here:

JS: Science cannot disprove A, but this does not imply that it is reasonable to hold A.
Question: If science has no say on A, then it must be some other means or method which makes A un/reasonable. What is that other method?

JS: Scientific conclusions have less rigor than mathematical proofs, but can still be extremely powerful.
Question: Does this "extremely powerful" mean more powerful than the more rigorous mathematical proofs? Why? How? If not, then what is the scope of "extremely powerful" and how do you examine that which lies beyond that scope?

And forget god(s) that you don't believe in. The topic is how we believe what we believe, whatever it is that we believe in. Seriously, it's not just the so-called believers who must justify their beliefs, but anyone harbouring any belief.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-19, 14:46:51
Forgive him, ersi. He sees "science" as a unified front so doesn't see how me, as an atheist, differs from him, as some sort of militant n00b atheist in denial. So how you believe must be the same as what he wants to confont. His arguments are geared for an organized religion. I've suspected most to be top link Google trash.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-19, 15:52:36
this kind of phenomena is

" When the Skin is presummed as the content , and the Content is presummed as the skin "

i hope the   grammer  is right , so that phenomena not happening in that phrase    :o
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-19, 17:09:33
Forgive him, ersi. He sees "science" as a unified front so doesn't see how me, as an atheist, differs from him, as some sort of militant n00b atheist in denial. So how you believe must be the same as what he wants to confont.


Actually, I started to question God at about the age of 9, at which time I also began wondering why anything, including God, existed at all.  I did this without any prompting and I kept it to myself for awhile because I was afraid people would think me weird(er).  I became an atheist in my mind as I learned about evolution and science in JHS, but I didn't confide my beliefs with anyone until HS physics and quietly so even then. 

In college, I saw all the major sciences fitting together as pieces in a puzzle and reinforcing one another to the point where I felt a certain absolute truth was becoming apparent to me, much like religious awakenings occur to others, I'm sure.  I didn't parade my thoughts and beliefs around to others, not even to my wife and children, but I did have many serious philosophical and scientific discussions with some of my more intellectual friends about our existence and God--usually over a few imported beers of course. 

I may have seemed a bit militant to some when I first came here, although I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'militant' as it smacks of suicide bombings and such when used in conjunction with religious beliefs.  I am sure that you just use it to provoke and convince yourself of some superior atheistic status, which really only shows how juvenile (n00bie), you are, at least with insults. 

I learn more about the meaning of life from the disabled and intellectually challenged kids I tutor than I do coming here and listening to the likes of you.  I am mentally (IQ) capable of being an intellectual giant in philosophy and logic like Ersi, Oakdale, yourself and others and although I occasionally enjoy the mental exercise (even getting beat up at bit), I see life as having too many other wonderful things that I want to experience before I vanish forever.  I am not saying that anyone is missing out on anything by being here more often than myself, I simply choose to spread myself more thinly at this stage of my life.   :knight:  :cheers:

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-19, 18:29:57
I come from a Southern Baptist background. I can relate to most of what you say there.

Yes, I try to provoke. Yes, I play the militant atheist when the role 'needs' filled. But I understand ersi more than I may let on. I went thru a metaphysical phase. Before I accepted that how and why may be beyond my (our) reach. But in my more honest moments I've argued for the benefit of belief (religion) and even it's necessaity in the evolution of the mind. "Militant" would be to attack that assumption.  (Not something I should have to explain.)

IQ is for people that wanna believe they're better. Leave it alone. The arguments against its meaning abound top-links for your amusement.

I always accept people are qualified with experience.  You'll have to excuse the side that asks for verification. I'm probably best read in a monotone. Not really how I speak, but there is only necessary inflection in my verbal communication. I should work to apply it to my writing.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-07-19, 18:55:08
But I understand ersi more than I may let on. I went thru a metaphysical phase.

I think most of us did, although that's not the word I'd use.

But in my more honest moments I've argued for the benefit of belief (religion) and even it's necessaity in the evolution of the mind.

At the very least it's not terribly detrimental.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-19, 20:47:58
But in my more honest moments I've argued for the benefit of belief (religion) and even it's necessaity in the evolution of the mind.

At the very least it's not terribly detrimental.
[/quote]
Probably more what I meant. The placebo effect is basically what benefit I see from most beliefs.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-20, 01:07:58
I am mentally (IQ) capable of being an intellectual giant in philosophy and logic like Ersi, Oakdale, yourself and others

I'm quite sure everyone got a good laugh out of that! (I certainly did...) Note, please: Were we -any of us- intellectual giants (of any sort), we'd likely not be posting on the web; and, certainly, not enjoying it if we did! :)

But since you profess the capability, please answer the simple question I've posed (for many decades...): What -beyond Might Makes Right™- justifies moral attitudes?
(Theists of a certain stripe think they have a pat answer... But their God is merely a mightier Might than others can claim!)

And, please understand, I am not "putting you on the spot" -- I sincerely want to hear your answer... To me, it's not a "gotcha" question.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-20, 20:13:20
Note, please: Were we -any of us- intellectual giants (of any sort), we'd likely not be posting on the web; and, certainly, not enjoying it if we did!


My flattery runneth over, but perhaps you are just unmotivated intellectual giants.


What -beyond Might Makes Right™- justifies moral attitudes?


Physics. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-20, 20:51:04
Ah, I see: You don't understand the question... Oh, well.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-20, 23:40:30
" When the Skin is presummed as the content , and the Content is presummed as the skin "

I'm not sure what you mean. Is this a "beauty is only skin deep" type statement or a "don't read a book by its cover" type thing..? Or am I not even close?


What -beyond Might Makes Right™- justifies moral attitudes?

While on things I don't get:
Perhaps if you wanna elaborate on what justifies this as a question I'll play your game? Seems the reality of that stretches beyond the question's qualifier.


What -beyond Might Makes Right™- justifies moral attitudes?

Physics. 

I don't get you at all. A waffling mess of inconsistencies... Except to bring up physics as often as possible. :rolleyes: 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-21, 01:50:39
Put prosaically, ensbb3: The longest lasting (and still frequent) "complaint" against atheism is that it unmoors morality...
I'm always interested in what others take to be the basis of their (preferred) morality! But I like to clear the philosophical air, first, by stating the position that must be overcome before any other can reasonably be considered... :)
Do you think this is the "wrong" place for such a conversation?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-21, 02:52:57
Do you think this is the "wrong" place for such a conversation?

Of course not. ;)  (I just got back from vacation and feeling a little spunky is all)

Put prosaically, ensbb3: The longest lasting (and still frequent) "complaint" against atheism is that it unmoors morality...

With equal candor; I'll say, It's not morality but tradition that's "threatened". Morality, at its base, is more a social instinct than derived attitude.

Is it morally justified to assert authority? Structure has social benefit. Is what's accepted as authority morally or traditionally derived? Religious quibbles are often over being told something is what it isn't. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-21, 03:34:05
So: You would see human (social) morality as upon the same continuum as other primates? Differences not in kind but only in degree?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-21, 03:48:49
Can morality exist in primates? Naturally, we can agree what we call moral behavior does happen. But at this point we have to separate morality from ethics. A primate may not have the cognitive ability to step outside base instinct in the moment. Aggression for example.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-21, 03:55:00

What -beyond Might Makes Right™- justifies moral attitudes?

I didn't quite understand the question, but then I remembered that you were libertarian of the worst type - the Ayn Rand type - and then it made sense. For you any slightest hint of coercion, even worse, the slightest hint that can be interpreted as coercion, is Might Makes Right, whereas to normal people moderate temporary discomfort can serve educative purposes.

The justification of ethics is in its good motives and good outcomes, and the definition of good and bad are also an inevitable part of ethics. Good and bad can be defined in a number of ways, but I'd argue that as long as they are not defined in any consistent way, they are not really defined at all. The consistent way would be holistic, not merely coming from external authorities, but also from inside, from conscience. It would also mean not going too stubbornly against the mores of the current society, i.e. it would be traditional and evolutionary rather than reactionary or revolutionary.

Then again, ethics and morals are best taught by example, and the best example is provided by the authorities, such as by the parents to their children, and the officials to the regular folks. When the authorities lead by good example, their "coercion" is moral, but when they fail at good example, it's really detrimental coercion that they are doing.

Defined and described this way, ethics is not Might Makes Right, but a rational support for social functions and processes. It's not merely tradition, but also ways to relate to outsiders, and also ways to function outside the society by oneself, when nobody is looking. If it were only tradition, there would be a way to argue that there's no unified or unifiable ethics, but considering cross-cultural relations and individual conscience when nobody is looking, ethics can be seen as universal.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-21, 05:35:54
ethics can be seen as universal

As a category, perhaps. But the variety of particular views -in different places, among different peoples; at different times- would seem to mean that there is no universal morality; only the universal impulse to act and react, and sometimes to "add" a moral dimension to such...

I do consider myself a conservative, with libertarian leanings... (Ayn Rand was a remarkably simple-minded philosopher!) But that doesn't mean your memory is accurate: When you run out of easy pigeon holes, you might understand me a little better; before then, you might try to understand yourself a little better... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-21, 05:47:52

...there is no universal morality; only the universal impulse to act and react, and sometimes to "add" a moral dimension to such...

Right, that's the atheist weak point: Moral dimension is "added", either superfluous burden or at best illusory useful fiction. Whereas in truth, for morality to mean anything, it cannot be considered even a useful fiction, but a reality. Hence the dimension is not added. The dimension is always there, but can be ignored, sidestepped or overpowered by other impulses the same way as you can sleep-deprive yourself by will, go hungry for a week or force yourself to eat spiders.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-21, 11:51:50
As a category, perhaps. But the variety of particular views -in different places, among different peoples; at different times- would seem to mean that there is no universal morality; only the universal impulse to act and react, and sometimes to "add" a moral dimension to such...


Ignorance of circumstance isn't added morality because you can realize why. Social structure is complicated. Ever more so because of culture. I can point out a wide variety of what we consider moral behavior in animals. That doesn't mean other things they do aren't moral, just the ethics are different.


Right, that's the atheist weak point: Moral dimension is "added", either superfluous burden or at best illusory useful fiction.

No idea what that means. But socially you're setting a line to cross and provoking a response. You'll judge me on how/if/why I cross it, based on how it makes you feel and/or learned response (based on how you've felt in the past).

The dimension is always there, but can be ignored, sidestepped or overpowered by other impulses the same way as you can sleep-deprive yourself by will, go hungry for a week or force yourself to eat spiders.

To argue that you'll have to set a baseline for average behavior. Not everyone can even be next to a spider much less make themselves eat one.

Common among people who turn in on themselves... They don't understand other people. Yes, culturally they have been taught how to react. But in a case of meeting a random stranger from a random background, how much useful data they collect on how to relate is low and slow. Why is a line I'm not eager to cross. These same people wouldn't take criticism well.   
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-21, 15:00:59
what if i told you 
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mememaker.net%2Fstatic%2Fimages%2Fmemes%2F3659813.jpg&hash=36a4aa524c6b095d490799474152862d" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.mememaker.net/static/images/memes/3659813.jpg)
Excessive focus on moral ideas is symptom of mental illness .

it is OCD . 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-21, 15:41:51
it is OCD

Aka: DnD. :P
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-21, 18:54:47
[...] that's the atheist weak point: Moral dimension is "added", either superfluous burden or at best illusory useful fiction. Whereas in truth, for morality to mean anything, it cannot be considered even a useful fiction, but a reality. Hence the dimension is not added.

That's a common mis-conception. When you say "for morality to mean anything" you likely mean "for your moral sensibilities to reign supreme"... :)
But let's back up a bit.

Is it moral to -accidentally, or even on purpose!- split an infinitive? To use "ain't"? Obviously, grammatical irregularity doesn't quite qualify as a reasonable cause of righteous indignation...
How about cussing? For some, yes; for others, no. Perhaps manners approaches morality...
Jews and Moslems are constrained by their religious teachings from eating pork. Surely, such is a moral issue: Offending God is a Big No-No! But Christians don't offend the God of the Jews or of the Moslems by having a bacon & egg breakfast... Do they?
Some would say Yes. Why?

Isn't the ability (or propensity) to take offense the main component of moral outrage? Note the common example of showing disrespect... I'd single out ersi's example of "officials" vs. "regular people" for special consideration!
It's arguably the case that morality evolved from the problems of authority, particularly of maintaining such.

There are some very widespread taboos (incest, murder, theft...) but none seems to be universally accepted.  But are there any examples of social organization without hierarchy and authority?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-21, 19:06:38
I'll just let you two work this out. I believe my concept of 'proper conduct' is too general for this anyway.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-21, 19:26:12
:)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-07-21, 19:53:49
Biggest problem with Atheism is that it it tends to be so boring and dull.  :happy:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-21, 19:56:24
Amen :left: Not enough :wizard:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-21, 20:04:32
Can't argue with that!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-07-21, 23:10:16
 :faint:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-22, 02:16:45
Oh, don't get your panties in a twist, RJ... You'll recover from your feigned faint! Your religion is no more interesting! But you seem to like dressing up and marching! Have at it, so long as you don't block traffic... :)


BTW: Just in case you forgot (some others may not recall...), I'm on record as averring that you're "in over your head" from the git-go -- even if your birth wasn't breech.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Colonel Rebel on 2014-07-22, 02:40:40

Biggest problem with Atheism is that it it tends to be so boring and dull.  :happy:

As opposed to antagonizing your Catholic brethren in N. Ireland?   :left:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-22, 03:51:40
@Oakdale and Ensbb
To me the difference of our definitions of morals - for you something like social norms and nothing more - is not just a difference of definitions. For me social norms is a secondary aspect of morality. I am not even interested in discussing social norms - this is how secondary it is. The primary aspect of morality is individual conscience. Individual conscience is there whether anyone else is there or not. Whether one is doing something by oneself or with others, individual conscience is always there and functioning, demanding its share.

Moreover, individual conscience is universal - everybody has it. You can deny you have it and, yes, this would mean you don't have morality, but this is like denying the eating or sleeping instinct. You can literally deny yourself food, you can deprive yourself of sleep, but this has its natural consequences.

Cultures don't agree universally what qualifies as food. Some say pork is a no-no, some have no place for rats and frogs, while for others those are great delikatessen. Does it follow from this that food doesn't objectively exist?

Those who deny moral objectivity or moral realism, they qualify as sociopaths. *Seeming normalcy* is part of what sociopaths are about. They feign normalcy, but it's an illness, and not a social one, but individual. Lack of conscience is an individual problem. It's irrational to argue about the value of morality with sociopaths. There's a reason why they are treated medically when their illness is detected. The reason is quite objective.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-22, 04:24:34
Normality for sure is not Morality .

Normality is like illusion .

What's Normal for a Lion , is  a Nightmare for a Deer .

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-22, 07:10:09
The primary aspect of morality is individual conscience. Individual conscience is there whether anyone else is there or not. Whether one is doing something by oneself or with others, individual conscience is always there and functioning, demanding its share.
Moreover, individual conscience is universal - everybody has it.

And yet individuals' consciences disagree... So, even if you consider individual conscience objective, it's a matter of taste; or appreciation, if you'd rather. Like Wittgenstein said: "One can't feel another's toothache..."

Congratulations, ersi, you've managed to put morality on the same level as a toothache! (Or did you mis-speak?) The sociopath is -you'd have to say- one who's conscience disagrees with yours. Perhaps that's what the sociopath says, too, about you and me... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-07-22, 07:20:41
Congratulations, ersi, you've managed to put morality on the same level as a toothache! (Or did you mis-speak?)

No, on the same level as sleep. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-22, 16:10:57
Moreover, individual conscience is universal - everybody has it.


Along the lines of Oakdale:  This is all fine and dandy, but not of much use to a discussion of morality unless or until consciences are on or can attain the same wavelength, i.e. feel each other's toothaches.  (Which brings us back to physics--j/k). 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-22, 16:32:56

Congratulations, ersi, you've managed to put morality on the same level as a toothache! (Or did you mis-speak?)

Or did you misread as usual? You know what an analogy is, don't you? Analogy doesn't have to be on the same level with what is being referred to, there just needs to be some shared essential feature. In this case, the shared essential features are immanence, universality, social impact, etc. To some high school student this does not need to be explained, but you are of course "above" that (meaning: hell-bent to deny any realism to morality).


The sociopath is -you'd have to say- one who's conscience disagrees with yours. Perhaps that's what the sociopath says, too, about you and me... :)

The sociopath can disagree all he wants, but there's a catch: He's a sociopath. Some junk food junkie may vocally disagree with the virtues of healthy eating, but he is a living example of why not to consume junk food. In case of morality, the example is equally tangible. Laws are made based on the universal sense of right and wrong. No matter where you find yourself, right and wrong exist and you have to take note of them or you will get into trouble. Real trouble, not the sort dismissible by hand-waving or ridicule. (And, in case you are puzzled here, laws were an analogy again, an approximation, not the real deal.)

Sociopaths are not people who have some different sense of morals, as in a different culture. They are people without morals, without culture, and, in all cultures, they are dealt with accordingly. This is not based on disagreement, but based on real damage they cause to the society. Sociopaths don't have some superficially different conscience which can be ignored when most other aspects of the person are okay. Sociopaths have sick conscience or no conscience. Conscience is so central and essential to human personality that there are procedures in place to deal with the situation as soon as the problem is detected - and this is so in all cultures without exception. The measure of the problem is objective. In case of a subjective measure, the only way to determine a sociopath would be to ask the sociopath and decide on what the sociopath says, but in reality the issue can be figured out regardless if the sociopath cooperates or not, the same way as it goes with any criminal. Is crime objective or subjective?

And, re Wittgenstein, is toothache objective or subjective? When your teeth ache, will you think that your teeth are simply disagreeing with you this week but it's perfectly okay for them to have their own differing perspective? You wave your toothache off with a smile and go on with your ordinary life? These are rhetorical questions (must point this out so that you won't miss it like you missed the analogy).


Along the lines of Oakdale:  This is all fine and dandy, but not of much use to a discussion of morality unless or until consciences are on or can attain the same wavelength, i.e. feel each other's toothaches.

Actually, shouldn't you rather make the effort to get a life without toothache? How is your toothache my problem?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-22, 19:35:04
How is your toothache my problem?

How is your conscience my problem? :) (Of course, when you would determine whose conscience matters -is a valid guide to behavior or worthy of respectful agreement or disagreement- your self-justifications become somewhat more important...) Perhaps you'd better understand, if you recognized  that your individual conscience is, itself, but an analogy! :)
You know what an analogy is, don't you?

Hm. A rhetorical device (as you describe it...). But too often an analogy becomes reified, a theory which adds too much to the object meant to be "explained". When such a theory becomes more dear than its object, all kinds of mischief portend...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-23, 02:51:28
Consider this:

Quote
[...] to claim that Gödel's incompleteness theorem is relevant for theories of everything (TOE) in theoretical physics [:] Gödel's theorem states that any theory that includes certain basic facts of number theory and is computably enumerable will be either incomplete or inconsistent. Since any 'theory of everything' must be consistent, it also must be incomplete."

It is on the ultimate success of such a quest [for a TOE] that Gödel's theorem casts the shadow of judicious doubt. It seems on the strength of Gödel's theorem that the ultimate foundations of the bold symbolic constructions of mathematical physics will remain embedded forever in that deeper level of thinking characterized both by the wisdom and by the haziness of analogies and intuitions. For the speculative physicist this implies that there are limits to the precision of certainty, that even in the pure thinking of theoretical physics there is a boundary present, as in all other fields of speculations."

-- Jaki (1966). The Relevance of Physics. Chicago Press. p. 129.
What I think you lack -or greatly fear- my friend, ersi, is anything that functions as what I underlined above...


In another thread (since abandoned?), you wanted me to defend (or explain) nominalism to you: I did so above, but you might have missed it...

How is your toothache my problem?

How is your conscience my problem? :) (Of course, when you would determine whose conscience matters -is a valid guide to behavior or worthy of respectful agreement or disagreement- your self-justifications become somewhat more important...) Perhaps you'd better understand, if you recognized  that your individual conscience is, itself, but an analogy! :)  [proximate underlining added]
You know what an analogy is, don't you?

Hm. A rhetorical device (as you describe it...). But too often an analogy becomes reified, a theory which adds too much to the object meant to be "explained". When such a theory becomes more dear than its object, all kinds of mischief portend...
Why can't we agree to disagree?
We speak different languages, live on different continents, and -it sometimes seems to me- on different planets! And we have actual disagreements...?


You'd like to teach me, and I'd like to teach you. Can we agree on that?!
What is it that we'd each teach?
You'd teach a dogma that pleases... I'd teach an analytical technique that might teach us something.


Why must conscience be objectified? Are people too stupid to understand what we mean when we talk about moral issues? (Issues that evoke "moral" reactions...) Or are we (some of us) too insecure to say what we expect and require?



Nominalism is a good starting point...for such a discussion.


Making atheism but yet another religious persuasion doesn't help: Sects and violence always go together, if they don't put great geographical distances between themselves.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-23, 03:53:42

Consider this:

Quote

...casts the shadow of judicious doubt...
What I think you lack -or greatly fear- my friend, ersi, is anything that functions as what I underlined above...

Actually, you lack it - critical thinking -, and this is plain in the rest of your post.


In another thread (since abandoned?), you wanted me to defend (or explain) nominalism to you: I did so above, but you might have missed it...

Repost it then. I usually notice a full argument. I should particularly notice it when it comes from you, because it would be earth-shatteringly different from your usual behaviour. I believe at best you (thought you) showed the emptiness of some common-sense experience again - without further comment on why the experience persists anyway. This is what you do at your so-called best, and of course I don't agree with that.


Why can't we agree to disagree?
We speak different languages, live on different continents, and -it sometimes seems to me- on different planets! And we have actual disagreements...?

You'd like to teach me, and I'd like to teach you. Can we agree on that?!

Sure, we can agree that we both want to teach each other a lesson, but there's this thing: One of us actually has something to teach, while the other has nothing. This is why we can hardly agree on anything else.


Why must conscience be objectified? Are people too stupid to understand what we mean when we talk about moral issues? (Issues that evoke "moral" reactions...) Or are we (some of us) too insecure to say what we expect and require?

What is at issue is precisely if conscience is a real object or merely objectified but inherently nothing. I have demonstrated my case. You have demonstrated nothing.

This is a methodical failure with you - you never give a full argument. As you know, plain assertions cannot touch a full argument. If you have a different case to make, make it. Obviously I would give a critical review of your case, but if you are afraid of that, then you have really absolutely nothing to teach me. You only serve as an example to avoid.


Nominalism is a good starting point...for such a discussion.

Maybe, if you demonstrated it. Just for once really demonstrate something. Anything. Considering morality, you do your usual thing again: I set forth a theory, you ridicule it without offering any alternative (a plain assertion that conscience is merely objectified is not a full moral theory - surely we can agree on that), thus leaving the inevitable impression that you ridicule all morality full stop.

I am ready to believe that it's your personal problem, not a problem with nominalism itself, but as soon as you mention nominalism here and keep on demonstrating nothing, then it becomes also the problem for nominalism as you represent it. You represent it as a secret tacit dogma behind everything you say. It is an esoteric religion that should not be revealed overtly to the unworthy, such as the members of DnD...


Making atheism but yet another religious persuasion doesn't help:...

It would help if you behaved open-mindedly with your dogmas, if you demonstrated a modicum of rational examination of them. Prove that atheism is not yet another religious persuasion. You like to simply say things, but what is needed is definite proof.

It's not my problem that you accepted all your dogmas uncritically and now cannot back them up with anything. It would be my problem if I went about things the same way. You want to teach, but you teach as a warning example.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-23, 03:59:30
it is always easy to find another people mistakes .

but to fix it , is not an easy task .

and fix every people , is not your Job .

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-23, 05:59:51
what is needed is definite proof

Oh, I definitely disagree! Unless God spoke -personally!- to you, you don't have "definite proof" and, unless you have convincing arguments, you don't have convincing proofs. What are you, then, left with? Those few words that you'd repeat endlessly, as mantra, to occupy your time. If you were a mystic (and hermit, as most mystics are) or a guru (as most charlatans are) I'd attack your assault on everyday life... But you claim to be something else: A philosopher!
You want (both senses!) definite proof... Why?
Is life, for you, so dull, drab and delimiting that you have to have more?

I've long restrained myself from the obvious comment about Plotinus's "philosophy": Is it more than a bad reaction to a traumatic potty-training? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-23, 06:06:34
Perhaps we should start bailing now? This boat is going down.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-23, 06:14:03
No need: Much of the briny deep and what lies on the ocean's bottom is prosaic. If we spent less time confusing ourselves we'd not be so confounded! :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-23, 06:52:41
I said something to you very similar to that once.

You both are more alike than either one of you are prepared to admit. Maybe not in ideas, but in other ways... Like tendencies to be grandiose in an either/or kind of style.

What's funny, and I don't mean to direct this at anyone, as a general rule debates over morality always end leaning toward amoral behavior. I was building toward a point regarding our basic instincts... Suddenly there's no need. (But hey, my simpler style of building to a point over the course of many posts never gets too much merit from either of y'all... Too much more in common and y'all will have to be friends. No? :P)

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-23, 08:45:49
Is life, for you, so dull, drab and delimiting that you have to have more?

There's no enough more, there's no more-o-meter...
Different people have different levels of contentment and/or intellectual satisfaction and I suppose there's nothing wrong with that.
That's why people are not born equal.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-23, 10:42:53

Prove that atheism is not yet another religious persuasion.

Shouldn't it be the other way around? Prove that it is another religious persuasion.
But it goes down to the exact definition of that atheism.
I'm an atheist, and I don't want to persuade anyone. It proves that atheism is not yet another religious persuasion. Or else it proves that I'm not related to your kind of atheism. "No true scotsman" comes into the scene, and that is quite easy.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-23, 17:56:43
Actually, shouldn't you rather make the effort to get a life without toothache? How is your toothache my problem?


Oh sure, and then you follow with a definition of analogy, but you can't follow through the analogy that understanding the moral consciences (toothaches), of others is relevant.  That's like saying "I have no moral opinion on the genitalia of young women getting sliced off because that's not my problem".
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-23, 19:17:39

Actually, shouldn't you rather make the effort to get a life without toothache? How is your toothache my problem?

Oh sure, and then you follow with a definition of analogy, but you can't follow through the analogy that understanding the moral consciences (toothaches), of others is relevant.  That's like saying "I have no moral opinion on the genitalia of young women getting sliced off because that's not my problem".

There are degrees of relevance through which the problems of people concern other people. There are also degrees of responsibility.

Let's say you have toothache. You go to the dentist. Good first step of taking your own responsibility right there. It was not the dentist's responsibility to call you.

Now, it's the dentist's responsibility to identify the problem with sufficient precision and apply the correct cure, but when you struggle and whine and run away, the dentist's responsibility stops there.

The same way, it's not my problem to provide you with a workable moral theory, to show the way to truth or anywhere, if you hate morality and truth etc. It's not my duty to save the world from whatever is threatening it. The world has to want to be saved and follow through with the necessary steps as told, then there will be a chance.

And when there is no chance, futile of you to blame me. And futile of me to care about it one way or another.

Anything wrong with this? Too complicated?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-23, 19:58:12
It's not my duty to save the world from whatever is threatening it. The world has to want to be saved and follow through with the necessary steps as told, then there will be a chance.

I'm slightly out of this discussion but that phrase got my attention.

a) It's your moral duty to try "saving the world" no matter what the result would be. Morality it's not the same as utility.
b) Is the world wanting to be saved a pre condition for a)? good question. The answer can't be a rational but an emotive one, I believe so.

What leads me to:

I find your reasoning well structured and a fine example of the result of a solid teaching system but sometimes I believe you forget emotions.
Most atheists (so I don't say all of them) are atheists by no rational reasoning but because emotions. Like teenagers they need to be against, just that. There is God will trigger No, there isn't and there you have the best of atheism - disguising emotive impulsions under a pseudo scientific cover.

Where God is at the heights and men at their knees, atheists want to change it. God must knee in front of The Atheist,in front of Man. Wow.

...........................

Why is it spreading at the western world, why so many attacks against life (abortion), family (homosexual propaganda) and God and spiritualism (happiness through materialist consumerism), that, it's the important matter.
A civilizational war is happening using well intentioned atheists that don't understand how their emotions are being used.

In the end, both atheists and theists will lose. What is emerging is something never seen before.
That's the only "problem with atheism", not understanding how they are being used as peons in a war.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-23, 20:12:37

Most atheists (so I don't say all of them)

I appreciate such a remark. :)
Generalization is useful when this care is taken. Features that describe most (not all) inside a group may describe well that group. However it possibly means that those features don't belong directly to that group, but are often found there.
Some attacks mentioned above aren't done exclusively by atheists, for example.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-23, 22:49:50
And when there is no chance, futile of you to blame me. And futile of me to care about it one way or another.

Anything wrong with this? Too complicated?


Not too complicated--I am simply stunned by your non-caring moral attitude.  Would you care if female genital mutilation happened to your sister?  It may not be possible for you to do anything more than express a concern about something like FGM, but if enough people express a similar concern then perhaps it will finally be outlawed worldwide--albeit some 2000 years too late. 

What about something in the same vein, but closer to home.  What about Russia's woeful response to human trafficking that puts Russia in the gutter along with China as a Tier 3 country where governments are not simply too fragile to do anything, but rather too indifferent to human trafficking to make it a priority.  Perhaps if you talked to a girl who was forced into the sex trafficking trade like I have, you wouldn't be so indifferent.  Knowing you, however, there must be a proper reason and logical explanation for your uncaring moral attitude. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-23, 22:54:13
Isn't a lack of empathy the primary symptom of sociopathy? :) (Or is it political opposition...? :( )
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-24, 02:04:48
Where God is at the heights and men at their knees, atheists want to change it. God must knee in front of The Atheist,in front of Man. Wow.


That's an awkward way to put that. But please keep in mind the medium you gather these views from. Because if your atheism views are from internet interactions, like say a debate forum, it isn't representative of a group's views so much as the medium's propose... But then there's this church thing I've heard about.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-07-24, 02:22:24
Well a year or so back jseaton2311, I watched a television documentary about Russian children adopted by US parents and that many were badly treated and shocking. The authorities either did little or there wasn't enough official control so it happens anywhere.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-24, 02:54:52
Have you ever watched a television documentary about Russian children adopted by Russian parents, RJ? Hm.
I'm sure you thought you had a point... ("America: Bad!") But your timidity betrays your intent.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-24, 03:20:58
What kind of propaganda tv do they get there in rj-land?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-24, 03:39:34

I find your reasoning well structured and a fine example of the result of a solid teaching system but sometimes I believe you forget emotions.

I never forget emotions. It's just that when emotions are less relevant, I won't mention them. You don't have to know how I feel. It's not your problem :)


Not too complicated--I am simply stunned by your non-caring moral attitude.  Would you care if female genital mutilation happened to your sister?  It may not be possible for you to do anything more than express a concern...

Sure I would care and sure I would express my concern, but what's the use when it won't be of any real help to her? On the other hand, when I can do something to help, I will not to stop at showing concern. I will actually help. See the difference? Showing concern is one thing, actual help a whole different thing.

Showing concern is helpful in emotional terms, but it's helpful *only* in emotional terms. What's the use of a dentist who does nothing else but express concern?

Edit: And what if my sister is not an emotionalist like you? What if expressions of concern only drive her angry? This is where real help makes an even more crucial difference.


Isn't a lack of empathy the primary symptom of sociopathy? :) (Or is it political opposition...? :( )

Many ways to interpret this, but I assume that, as usual, you are not really asking an answer to a question. You are wanting to tell something, but, as usual, not clear what.

I left some droppings for you in another thread. Pick them up, give your definition of empathy - or even better, your moral theory - and we'll see from there.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-24, 09:36:44
That's an awkward way to put that. But please keep in mind the medium you gather these views from. Because if your atheism views are from internet interactions, like say a debate forum, it isn't representative of a group's views so much as the medium's propose... But then there's this church thing I've heard about.

No, ensbb3, my views on atheism are not the fruit of "internet readings" and even less this or any other forum, it simply reflects a not so small background on philosophical stances by many different authors as well as sociological and psychological reflexions.

The same way organized religions have a deep sociological component, organized atheism also does the same. Think about it and you'll notice how patterns emerge from atheism. Psychological traces are very present at atheism (you can also find them at Religions even if those traces are naturally different).

What may constitute a surprise to you is to find that atheism is organized atheism, I suppose most atheists find themselves unique and not engaged into an organized thing - wrong, they are.

There's nothing awkward at my words.

Regarding the Catholic Church, it is more interested into serving God than to care about atheism. Good for the sake of discussion me to be a somehow uncharacteristic Catholic with no place guaranteed at Heaven... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-24, 09:56:49
I never forget emotions. It's just that when emotions are less relevant, I won't mention them. You don't have to know how I feel. It's not your problem :)

Course not :)
Not your personal emotions, I was referring to emotions as a justification so necessary and/or important as rational justifications.

Man is himself and his circumstances. You have your rational mind, your emotions and your circumstances. A complete analysis must include it all.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-24, 10:40:03

Not your personal emotions, I was referring to emotions as a justification so necessary and/or important as rational justifications.

You are right when you mean that I have had a hard time finding my balance in this area.

In Jungian psychology, emotions are a rational function alongside with the intellect. However, there's still the hierarchy that puts intellect above emotions. This hierarchy is unshakable. Those with lesser intellect overcompensate it with emotions. It mostly works for everyday life, but emotions won't ever replace the intellect. Same the other way too, of course - the intellect can never replace emotions. They are separate functions for good reasons.

I tend to be very austere with emotions. When there's a choice between the intellect and emotions, I always choose the intellect and I suppress emotions, because I see every day how emotions cloud the mind in others. Living this way has occasionally endangered personal relationships for me, but this only because people cannot bring themselves to admit that I was right all along.

It's so hard emotionally when someone else is right, right? Along the way, I have developed this maxim: It's always bad when I am right. But seriously, when I consistently and sincerely point out how to improve situations, then my fault cannot be too great.

In Jungian psychology, the function hierarchically above the intellect is intuition. Most people mix intuition up with emotions. When properly discerned, intuition is the most desirable psychological function to be guided by, better than both intellect and emotions.

As Oakdale would put it, enough of this traumatic potty-training high school BS. Until next time.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-24, 10:48:29
Those with lesser intellect overcompensate it with emotions.

Wrong. Wrong and dangerous.
But you're right, until next time.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-24, 10:57:18

Those with lesser intellect overcompensate it with emotions.

Wrong. Wrong and dangerous.

Right, it's wrong whenever they do it :)


But you're right, until next time.

Right again :up:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-24, 15:39:15
What may constitute a surprise to you is to find that atheism is organized atheism, I suppose most atheists find themselves unique and not engaged into an organized thing - wrong, they are.


Meh. I'm a card carrying member of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy. :left:

Though, it's basically a spoof. Most Christians spend time distancing their belief from the unfavorable characteristics of their belief system, for argument's sake anyway...
Good for the sake of discussion me to be a somehow uncharacteristic Catholic with no place guaranteed at Heaven...



...So, I understand where the "atheism is a belief system" crowd comes from. The statement, like your, "god must kneel before man" statement, presupposes your belief to be true meaning my non-belief must indeed be a belief. Any systematic attack on your belief system is therefore from an organized group. Again understandable. But it's more analogous to a flock of birds migrating, all together with unified structure, but when they get there where the individuals go is any man's guess. Not the best analogy, but sufficient for argument's sake.  ;) 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-24, 17:45:37
presupposes your belief to be true meaning my non-belief must indeed be a belief.

You have no other options but to believe. Despite Ersi's attempts of rational demonstrations, at the end my friend, there's nothing more but to believe.

What is really important it's not to be right but to find happiness. At which side you'll find it it's written in your destiny and you'll know it through your emotions. Nothing else is important, you are nothing but the realization of your fate.
So am I. And it takes courage, you can't hide behind reason... no matter how much "awkward" it seems.

From a social/collective/civilizational kind of approach, that's a completely different story, each ones plays wherever it pleases you.

This doesn't make too much sense but it's fundamental not to make too much sense. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-24, 18:50:57
:yes:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-24, 18:53:53
This doesn't make too much sense but it's fundamental not to make too much sense.  :)

Actually. It does. Taking yourself (and others) too seriously is as detrimental to happiness as anything else. 

What is really important it's not to be right but to find happiness.


I like to fall back on the arguments of how much true happiness is derived from some beliefs. They trend toward providing guidance that, when isn't appreciated by others, leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth.

 
You have no other options but to believe. Despite Ersi's attempts of rational demonstrations, at the end my friend, there's nothing more but to believe.

( No comment. let's, just once, let this thread show agreement between two sides. :) ) 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-24, 19:37:40

You have no other options but to believe. Despite Ersi's attempts of rational demonstrations, at the end my friend, there's nothing more but to believe.

Depends on the definition of belief. I favour rational demonstrations precisely because that's what I believe in. Rational demonstrations are the object of my belief because their utility is confirmed by my life experience. They have helped me see the solutions to difficult situations time after time.

Oakdale seems to have had such a careless life that even though he has trained his mind somewhat by means of intellectual interests, he has had no practical use for rigorous reasoning to solve real-life problems. As a result he has ended up believing that philosophical systems only have entertainment value, nothing more. He may have a point from his perspective. For example someone whose mother always does all the shopping may legitimately believe based on his own experience that it's absolutely worthless to sweat to earn money and to meticulously count pennies. He may be genuinely amazed that other people sternly carry on with such silly activities.

Someone else may believe in forefathers, blind faith, non-explanatory brute facts, etc. This is belief, but qualitatively different from rational demonstration and from experiential belief.

And there may be more definitions of belief. To me vehement disbelief - such as atheistic "I haven't seen it, therefore it doesn't exist!" - also counts as belief, but not everyone would agree.


What is really important it's not to be right but to find happiness. At which side you'll find it it's written in your destiny and you'll know it through your emotions.

It's quite true that happiness is most important. Happiness is the ultimate goal for everyone one way or another, but happiness also has different kinds. One may equate one's likes and desires to happiness or one may equate one's intellectual appetite and curiosity to happiness. To me happiness is the cessation of likes and dislikes, resting the tranquil mind from all activity, emotional and intellectual. If I had no responsibilities, no work, and no possessions, it would be a heavenly vacation to stay that way motionless and unperturbed, but in my current situation this kind of happiness is a luxury.

The Buddha has supposedly said: It's blissful to scratch an itch, but it's more blissful to not have any itch. (He was an atheist too, according to some definition.)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2014-07-24, 19:48:42
It's blissful to scratch an itch, but it's more blissful to not have any itch.

Otherwise; Being satisfied isn't the same as happiness.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-24, 22:51:07
( No comment. let's, just once, let this thread show agreement between two sides.  :)  )

Three... I have a lot of sympathy with Belfrager's position, too!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-07-24, 23:20:36
Oakdale seems to have had such a careless life that even though he has trained his mind somewhat by means of intellectual interests, he has had no practical use for rigorous reasoning to solve real-life problems.

:) I've worked since I was twelve, when I had a paper route (morning and evening editions of three dailies...) for which I built and maintained a clientele, negotiated with suppliers, arranged and charted routes, etc.; and, finally, sold the business for a profit...
So, your presumption seems unlikely accurate.

Your talk of happiness doesn't inspire me, nor deter me: I like to keep busy. (I can be busy, 'neath a shade tree on the bank of a river, for hours!) But, mostly, I like to be useful! I am technically retired, but I'm as busy as I've always been -- caring for others...
Am I happy? The question doesn't really capture my interest: I have had -and continue to have- joyful and sorrowful moments, while I do what needs doing. I try to avoid doing harm...
Can one do more than that? I'm no saint, and -while I've indulged myself occasionally, and been a hermit- I like being among people most.
Dealing with their real problems is -I think- a worthy challenge! But I require their input, connivence and, finally, judgement -- to determine how well I've performed -- what I take to be my duty.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-25, 04:17:11

Oakdale seems to have had such a careless life that even though he has trained his mind somewhat by means of intellectual interests, he has had no practical use for rigorous reasoning to solve real-life problems.

:) I've worked since I was twelve, when I had a paper route (morning and evening editions of three dailies...) for which I built and maintained a clientele, negotiated with suppliers, arranged and charted routes, etc.; and, finally, sold the business for a profit...
So, your presumption seems unlikely accurate.

You read carelessly again. It should be evident even without further context what I meant. I didn't mean work per se, but having to apply methodical problem-solving in everyday life, work or otherwise.

By methodical problem-solving I mean having to face the problem in earnest, concentrate on it, pick the solution, apply it to the problem and see through with it. Going through this repeatedly one acquires an understanding of the ways to figure out the nature of different problems and the importance of the choice of the right kind of solution.

In Anglo-American universities they don't properly teach the thing called methodology. For you methodology is a list of models and you pick one or some essentially at random. You demonstrate this at every step. Whereas over here, methodology is precisely the ability to figure out what model is more appropriate to the case at hand than some other and explain why. It's the high school BS that I take seriously. Has been of much practical help in my life.


I like being among people most.
Dealing with their real problems is -I think- a worthy challenge! But I require their input, connivence and, finally, judgement -- to determine how well I've performed -- what I take to be my duty.

Getting enough input and judgement from me? It's nice to cooperate :up:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-25, 19:33:16
The way that I see it, there are two things that are wrong with atheism--for the theist.  1. Theists see atheism as meaning the subversion of religion, i.e. atheists are more than just unobtrusive live and let live nonbelievers--they are all active proponents of atheism and therefore, a threat to theism (or more importantly, eternal life).  2. Atheism and atheists lack moral restraint, i.e. atheism is still a disgusting epithet unworthy of serious consideration. 

I have heard enough comments in this thread that reflect these attitudes to realize that if it lingers in the minds of intelligent and logical theists here, then it undoubtedly does even more so in the minds of all theists.  There are some here that, for whatever reason, see me as a fool for trying to defend atheism, but what better place then than in a forum such as this?  I don't preach atheism anywhere and I don't bring it up in normal social conversation, so where am I to have a good word on it?  If anyone thinks that what I say here is all that I say in my everyday life, then that type of thinking is certainly a more pertinent reflection of their own everyday life than it is mine. 

I'm also thinking that some people here believe that atheism has no redeeming value and instead makes life pointless, barren and futile.  I am here to say that quite the opposite is true and that, for this atheist, the redeeming value of atheism far exceeds that of any god-believing religion.  Religion necessarily creates a dependence on the afterlife that takes away (however much), from fully being able to appreciating this life on earth.  If anyone scoffs that theists don't depend on an afterlife then realize that atheism, to the atheist, is not a hill worth dying for, but how many theists have killed, and continue to be willing to kill, for their beliefs because the hill of eternal life is (obviously), one worth dying on? 

This atheist realizes that life is a one-shot winning lottery ticket to experience this natural universe with all of his senses and his ability to reason.  There is only focus and spotlight on this life for me, making it brighter and easier to appreciate in all its fullness.  I am obligated to only those earthly higher powers that we are all obligated to and not to the constant worship and moral scrutiny of some supernatural god who may or may not decide that I've been good enough to qualify for heaven. 

I don't, in any way, compromise or marginalize the one life I have based of the idea that there is always the next life to fall back on.  Many, and perhaps most, theists see this life as a warm up to the more important next life--and if the next life is the most important one, then how can one not rest on those laurels at least part of the time?  This life is not a dress rehearsal for me, this is the one and only real time showing of a one act play and I'm not going to blink, lest I miss one second of it.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-26, 00:22:15
IMHO
many people oftenly trapped in black or white , and gray  logical fallacy , etc .
when faced argument about theist-atheist .

no matter in condition theist or atheist.
Speak about religion is like searching the nest of Wind .

there is no point , and there is no End  of it .


that's how   people who speak about religion mostly are  lack of social skills , and cant make another topics beside religion .


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-07-26, 12:59:49
What a rather tenuous comment that is in the last line. Must be tiring being a know it all intellect.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-26, 14:07:16
that's how   people who speak about religion mostly are  lack of social skills , and cant make another topics beside religion .


I don't have the time or inclination to be involved with every thread on this site simply because of my other social pursuits.  I choose my battles--you are a scattered hit-and-run mercenary for any and all battles.  Nothing wrong with either, I suppose. 

In a few hours I have a date to sip Margaritas with an insanely younger woman while overlooking the warm Atlantic-Caribbean and discussing whatever comes into her cute little head, but it's a toss-up between that and discussing Putin's Russia on another DnD thread--can you help me out here? 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-26, 17:31:38
Sir , some people are just dont speak alot , in real ,    or in  internet  .

i guess that's  explain,  how -- scattered hit-and-run mercenary illusion created .

also i dont see ,  there are any rules in this forum to not make some comment , post , ask , discuss , or Science about something , aslong dont break the TOS .

i didnt intend  to somehow -- Argumentum ad Hominem , really ..

that's just a opinion  .
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-27, 01:05:19
Fine, so why are you on my case?  Am I not allowed the same freedoms as you?   :knight:  :cheers: :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-31, 05:39:25
Here's a funny one: Could an Atheist Pass a Lie Detector Test while Proclaiming Atheism? (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2006/02/04/could-an-atheist-pass-a-lie-detector-test-while-proclaiming-atheism/)

On the face of it an empirical question, but can be made philosophically interesting given the way I construe philosophical commitment. Logical coherence is of paramount importance in any system, including a system of belief (which atheism is). I believe that coherence has the best chances to reflect into internal conviction psychologically. When internal conviction has been built this way, it will be possible to pass lie detectors that ask about convictions.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 10:43:06
Another round on the "atheism is a system of belief" bullshit... (which could be applied, to some measure, to militant atheists, of course, but not to atheism, which is more accurately a non-system of non-belief).
Lie detectors don't validate logical coherence of whatever. They just validate if somebody really believes what he's saying is true.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-31, 10:53:01

Another round on the "atheism is a system of belief" bullshit... (which could be applied, to some measure, to militant atheists, of course, but not to atheism, which is more accurately a non-system of non-belief).

You mean atheism does not need to meet some minimal standards of evidence and coherence? (If this standard does not apply to atheism, then it would indeed not be a system of belief. It would be mere belief, unsystematic.)


Lie detectors don't validate logical coherence of whatever. They just validate if somebody really believes what he's saying is true.

I was saying the same thing. Nice to agree once in a lifetime.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-31, 11:15:01
Lie detectors don't validate logical coherence of whatever. They just validate if somebody really believes what he's saying is true.

Here, lie detectors are not considered a legal valid proof and its usage forbidden at polices and courts.

No only by the reason you say but also because, as any other machine, it can be falsified. Besides, it's against human dignity to be forced to subject to a machine in order to determine the veracity of people's words.Other people will try to determine, based in facts, if what you say it's true or false, not machines.

Lie detectors are at the top of materialism and obscurantism. QI tests the same thing.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 11:43:29
@ersi: You said "it will be possible to pass lie detectors that ask about convictions". Now I see you where speaking hypothetically. Very well. (Although I'd prefer you used "it would" instead.)
We have agreed in more than you have been aware. :)
When I was young, saying somebody is an atheist meant simply that he didn't believe in God. It didn't require him to believe another way, to have whatever convictions, anything. That's what I call atheism - it isn't a system of any sort. Later on, somebody felt the need to categorize a whole lot of "atheisms" (agnosticism, strong atheism, weak atheism, militant atheism, whatever atheism, a-religionism...) which has done a real mess with what people are talking about when they refer to atheism. As I can see, most of what is said in these forums applies to the militant kind of atheism, that is, to the one that tries do convince others that God (or gods) does not exist. This is a system of belief, somehow. I'm clearly not of that kind.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-31, 11:58:54

Now I see you where speaking hypothetically. Very well. (Although I'd prefer you used "it would" instead.)

For my purposes, lie detector is not at issue at all. Conviction is. And for intellectuals, convictions are shaped by logic - convincing argumentation.


When I was young, saying somebody is an atheist meant simply that he didn't believe in God. It didn't require him to believe another way, to have whatever convictions, anything. That's what I call atheism - it isn't a system of any sort. Later on, somebody felt the need to categorize a whole lot of "atheisms" (agnosticism, strong atheism, weak atheism, militant atheism, whatever atheism, a-religionism...) which has done a real mess with what people are talking about when they refer to atheism.

When you were young, nobody had elaborated on what atheism entails? You mean your youth pre-dates Marx? I grew up in a Marxist-Leninist country where it was quite inevitable to define one's own (a)theism.


As I can see, most of what is said in these forums applies to the militant kind of atheism, that is, to the one that tries do convince others that God (or gods) does not exist. This is a system of belief, somehow. I'm clearly not of that kind.

What kind are you then?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2014-07-31, 12:14:31
@Barulheira Your Weltanschauung (worldview) is a belief system. The problem here is purely definitional. Atheism is a part of your belief system and has logical consequences for your belief system, but it is not by itself a belief system. A belief system is not a religion, but a religion necessarily entails a belief system.

When you were young, nobody had elaborated on what atheism entails? You mean your youth pre-dates Marx? I grew up in a Marxist-Leninist country where it was quite inevitable to define one's own (a)theism.

No.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 12:21:21
That's what I'm trying to explain. Saying you are not a Republican does not mean you are a Democrat. Saying you don't believe in God doesn't imply you are subscribing to whatever other beliefs. That's what we used to call atheism. A generic word applied to those that don't believe in God.
My kind is... well... which kinds exist officially, so that I can pick one? And who's categorizing them?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 12:22:20
@Frenzie: you are right.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-31, 12:57:46
@Barulheira
To provide some hopefully clarifying conceptual background to my post today (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg24589#msg24589), I'm actually interested in a whole different thing than atheism versus theism divide. I am interested in the depth of people's convictions.

I am not interested if you are theist or atheist (you are either one or the other, so this is a trivial no-brainer). I am interested in if you can provide support for your stance, what kind of support it is, whether traditional inertia or logico-philosophical, attempt to appeal to certain kind of people or a career choice. That kind of thing.

It doesn't matter what you believe or if you believe anything at all. It matters how you justify it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 13:10:00
Nice.
I think I have already done it somewhere else, but I will try to summarize it here.
I was an ardent and happy Protestant believer, seeking the full knowledge of God. I ended up finding his silence, absence, and irrelevance. This is not what God should be. He should be glorious and self-evident. I inevitably lost my faith in his existence, and in fact there is no way to recover it.
So I started to be a somewhat unhappy atheist, but now I'm quite well used to it. I still attend in the church, giving classes to teenagers and playing in the band. I don't teach what to believe, but how to believe and behave according to what we believe.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2014-07-31, 15:57:50
@Barulheira
It must be frustrating to expect dramatic revelations and end up empty-handed. But don't despair. My comprehensive taxonomy of atheism (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg21823;topicseen#msg21823) has a category for you too:

INTERMEDIATE AGNOSTIC: I don't know if God exists. I tried and could not figure it out.

Glad to be of help :up:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 16:01:55
You are all about labels, so I was sure you would find one to me. :)
But you are mistaken. I'm close to 7: I'm sure that God doesn't exist. I just can't prove it because it is impossible.
But I prefer to be called "heretic Protestant atheist living in a Catholic country". We are going to take on the world. Wait and see!  :knight:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2014-07-31, 16:27:29
i dont think a Lie detector is always accurate .

in example , someone suffered with Delusional Syndrom .

They believe something , they believe if that's true .

and they say the truth .

Even that truth are  just Lies .
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-07-31, 18:06:28
But I prefer to be called "heretic Protestant atheist living in a Catholic country"

You seem to me more a Catholic atheist, you know those that don't believe in God but are devoted to Saints... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2014-07-31, 18:17:00
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.santosfc.com.br%2Ffavicon.ico&hash=63c0413f85e90dd6b286e28d6f00f525" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.santosfc.com.br/favicon.ico) Santos? (http://www.santosfc.com.br/)
No, not my kind, really.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-07-31, 18:20:01
When internal conviction has been built this way, it will be possible to pass lie detectors that ask about convictions.


Other than the fact that the article's claim of 25,000 people being subjected to a lie detector test turns out to be bogus, I think it would be much more telling, at least in the US, to test people who mouth the words that they believe in god only because it seems the right/American thing to do, but would fail a polygraph.  Belief in God, in the US, has declined 8% over the last 5 years and creationism only carries a 36% following as of Dec. 2013. 
http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/mid/1508/ArticleId/1353/Default.aspx

I just found these statistics myself and I am nor crowing that Atheism is on the rise even though those who are Absolutely/Somewhat certain there is no God (NET), is up 7% from 10 years ago (scroll down to see all the tables).  I realize that polls are only indicative of trends and not proof/disproof of anything, but they can be interesting to peruse.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-08-01, 00:52:39
Not ready to post yet... But I wanted to say that I understand what Barulheira has said recently more than what others have said.

Shan't we consider Naive and Cogent Atheism the most important categories? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: SmileyFaze on 2014-08-05, 06:06:43
Food for Thought
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F7re9KU7.jpg&hash=c758bc98abcf981b21c67942467d435a" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/7re9KU7.jpg)
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F4g52hwu.jpg&hash=9a362ea62dea3eef7e676d3a7f10bc63" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://i.imgur.com/4g52hwu.jpg)
(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/hmm.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-08-05, 09:55:33
Congratulations SmileyFaze, finally someone defines atheism at its very essence.
:yes:
Course it doesn't stops just there at dinosaurs... it keeps on going and going until much darkest things than just to be an inoffensive anecdote.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-08-23, 20:19:21
@ Smiley & Belfrager--Your description of atheism is not bad, just substitute 'by the laws of nature' for 'magically' and 'evolved' for 'turned into' and now it is easy enough, even for two simpletons like you, to understand.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-08-23, 20:29:11
@jseaton2311
You call me simpleton again and I'll reduce you to shit starting with your mother. Are we understood?
Good.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-08-23, 21:06:10
I just call 'em as I see 'em.  I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by calling you a simpleton instead of a retard--be more grateful, moron.  My mother is deceased, so you can start immediately with me once you find those little cojones of yours.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2014-08-24, 00:07:30
Before calling someone else a simpleton or possible retard perhaps  in what is properly fairness one should look at one's self before snarling!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-08-24, 00:07:52
Guys: If your repertoire of invective is so limited, perhaps you should ignore each other...? :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2014-08-24, 07:29:02

Guys: If your repertoire of invective is so limited, perhaps you should ignore each other...? :)

Oh, but that's what I'm doing, you can call it a form of personalized ignoring.
It works.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2014-08-24, 08:25:26
But do remember, how Frenzie began this thread... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Luxor on 2014-08-24, 11:33:30
Can we stop with the playground insults please, It adds nothing to the debate.  (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/253164678/nono.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2014-08-24, 16:25:52
The problem with atheism is that, for believers, it usurps the whole idea of there being any god to save them from this, apparently miserable, existence.   Those who mock atheism, must do so out of fear of it being true and hence, they make a joke out of it to ease the stress of their fears.  This makes me wonder just how strong their belief could be, not just in the most powerful force in the universe, but anything.  One would think that belief and devotion to the most important aspect of one's life would be positively impregnable.  

I began studying theology in an effort to help a blind girl get through her seminary college.  I now thoroughly enjoy studying theology because it gives me a historical perspective of how religion has evolved over the centuries and how religious theologians have thought in the past as compared to today.  I don't normally mock religion because I have a better understanding of its beginnings and why people have so devotedly followed it. 

In my view, religion has served a historical purpose (strength in times of despair, meaning to life, hope, etc.), and continues to serve a good purpose for many people today.  I seriously doubt that religion could continue to serve that purpose without the idea of a god and eternal life behind it, hence, I don't think that belief in a god is a bad thing. 

In my opinion however, I don't believe that any god, as a creator of this universe and provider of everlasting life, is the true nature of things.  I see enough mounting scientific evidence about our creation to make belief in anything supernatural unnecessary for me--and presumably, many millions of other atheists and agnostics.  The supernatural, for me, is merely an imagination of man, but apparently it can be useful to those who need it, so the idea is not completely without merit. 

I have no quarrel with religion, except for those who use it to manipulate people for personal financial gain or to harm innocent people.  For the most part, I express my agnostic atheism thoughts on forums such as this, simply because I don't wish to publicly offend believers.  I do however, believe that I have as strong a conviction for my beliefs as any religious person does theirs, moreover, one would certainly think there would be a modicum of respect for my beliefs coming from any morally good religion.  If one must mock and make fun of my beliefs (or anything else), then they certainly have some sort of fear of it which again, only brings into question the strength of their own religious convictions.  :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-02, 19:27:55
Keith Parsons published today the article The Theistic Arguments: A Brief Critique (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2015/03/02/the-theistic-arguments-a-brief-critique/). Keith Parsons is an atheist philosopher who has had one of the better debates with William Lane Craig. Better in the sense that he didn't get totally beaten up, but (by arguably balanced opinion) scored a win against Craig.

The article this time is rather general and abstract. Totally my type, so I gave it a read. The article introduces itself thus:

Quote from: Keith Parsons

Some of humanity's greatest intellects have tried to prove the existence of God, and any atheist will have to consider these arguments and provide rebuttals, that, by his lights, are sufficient. Arguments for the existence of God fall into two broad categories: demonstrative and non-demonstrative. The former supposedly prove the existence of God with all of the rigor and formality of a mathematical proof. That is, they attempt to show that the existence of God is in some sense necessary. The necessity purportedly established in these arguments is of two types, logical necessity and metaphysical necessity. If God's existence could be shown either logically or metaphysically necessary, this would be ideal. God's existence would be truly indubitable, that is, beyond rational dispute.


And now some of my comments over the main points.

Quote from: Keith Parsons

To say that it is logically necessary that God exists is to say that the denial of God's existence entails a contradiction. That is, "God does not exist" must entail a proposition of the form "p and not-p." ---- For the sake of argument, let's assume that existence and even necessary existence are ordinary, first-order predicates like "green." In that case, to say that "the necessarily-existent being does not exist" is indeed contradictory, just as much as to say "green grass is not green."

But to say that there is no necessarily-existent being is not to say anything at all like "the necessarily-existent being does not exist." Instead, what you are saying is that, limiting our discourse to extra-conceptual reality (i.e. objective, "out there" reality), there is nothing (no "x") that has the property of instantiating the concept "necessarily existent being." Such an assertion denies nothing in the content of the concept "necessarily existent being." It is not even about that concept.

Now, the last sentence is correct. When reality is delimited the way Parsons delimits it in the second paragraph (as extra-conceptual and objective), the atheist thesis "God does not exist" does not address the (logically or metaphysically) necessary being. But this fact is by itself part of the problem because, with this limitation, the atheist thesis cannot constitute a response to the theist thesis. When reality is reduced to that which is "out there", any statements about God are not statements about God as meant in classical theism. This way atheism does not provide an alternative to theism.

Moreover, with the stated limitation, Keith Parsons builds up his own reality which fails to account for his own mind. His reality is extra-conceptual, objective, "out there",  and therefore the penultimate sentence ("Such an [atheist] assertion denies nothing in the content...") cannot get off ground. When reality is limited to "out there", there's no person, subject, or internal organ (i.e. mind) here to issue any assertion in the first place.

Some things really are logically necessary. To have an argument that relies on a certain assertion construed a certain way, it is logically necessary to first posit a mind. The construal cannot be such that the mind is excluded.

Quote from: Keith Parsons

Well, what about arguments purporting to demonstrate the metaphysical rather than the logical necessity of God's existence? Such an argument will --- claim that the denial contravenes a self-evident metaphysical principle. ---- An instance of such a supposedly self-evident principle would be the principle of sufficient reason (PSR), the claim that nothing exists unless there is a sufficient reason for its existence. ---- If you accept the PSR, you cannot hold that there are any brute facts. However, it seems self-evident to me that there could possibly be brute facts, i.e. states of affairs that are just so with no sufficient reason for their being so.

---- if we deny the existence of brute facts, then we either have to say that the chain of causes that we invoke to account for any phenomenon either extends ad infinitum, or it ends with something that has no further cause or explanation, in short, a brute fact. If God is the end of our explanatory chain, then God is a brute fact.

In the last sentence here Parsons relies on his own peculiar definition of brute fact. Apparently "brute fact" means to him any end of explanation. However, for those who hold to the principle of sufficient reason, a brute fact is something that itself defies explanation, while the end of all explanation is that which explains everything else and is therefore in harmony with PSR.

Admittedly there are two opinions about God. God is said to be a mystery and thus apparently defying explanation. This cannot be so under the principle of sufficient reason. God is not a brute fact because God is the explanation of everything else.

Philosophical classical theism differs on this point from scriptural theology, but this is an inevitable difference, inasmuch as we are having a philosophical discussion. Parsons continues:

Quote from: Keith Parsons

Of course, some philosophers have tried to avoid this consequence [i.e. that God is a brute fact] by saying that God is his own sufficient reason. However, trying to make sense of this, without returning to the concept that God is logically necessary, is notoriously difficult.

Here Parsons problematises something that is actually the solution, not a problem. When God is logically necessary, then this is the explanation that satisfies the principle of sufficient reason. God is the end of all explanation, but it's the kind of end that provides an explanation to everything else and is itself explained by the fact of being logically and metaphysically necessary. Therefore God does not defy explanation and is not a brute fact.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-03-03, 00:46:17
Well atheism is boring and the playground much more fun when I was young.  :sing:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-03, 06:41:46
God, necessarily, has to be logically necessary but also at the same time has necessarily to remain a mystery. Reason, the source of logics, it's also a product of God ( a gift?) and, necessarily, can't encompass it's Creator in all his entire fullness. That's why philosophical theism differs from scriptural theology. Two ways of knowing (the best it is possible to know) God.

Some people prefers the hardness and hard work of philosophy, others the sweetness and rewards of religion. A few other starts babbling, usually with a lot of media coverage, those are the atheists. Such is life.

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-03-03, 09:00:15
God, necessarily, has to be logically necessary but also at the same time has necessarily to remain a mystery.

This is in-disputable! Which brings the rationality of terminological determinism into disrepute...
Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-03, 09:50:57

Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

And what would you say about disproofs?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-03, 10:41:51
This is in-disputable! Which brings the rationality of terminological determinism into disrepute...
Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

As are all other "proofs." In fact, they aren't proofs at all.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2015-03-03, 10:47:20

This is in-disputable! Which brings the rationality of terminological determinism into disrepute...
Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

As are all other "proofs." In fact, they aren't proofs at all.

I think the term you're looking for is "pseudo-intellectual wankery" :right:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Macallan on 2015-03-03, 10:49:36


Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

And what would you say about disproofs?

Disprove something that's not supported by any actual evidence in the first place? Why?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-03, 11:10:12



Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

And what would you say about disproofs?

Disprove something that's not supported by any actual evidence in the first place? Why?

Let's see you try to define "actual evidence" by providing just facts or whatever you think should do the work. Don't resort to what you call "pseudo-intellectual wankery".

Nobody in the history of mankind managed to pull it off so far. Let's see if you can perform a miracle.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-03, 11:15:14
Dogs are atheists as are new-born babies. That's good enough for me.

(https://www.smileyfaze.tk/slides/beatdeadhorse.gif)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2015-03-03, 13:34:41
Just one question is enough: can God be evidenceless?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-03, 14:22:17

Just one question is enough: can God be evidenceless?
No. And God is not evidenceless. You can reach a different conclusion only by misconstruing the evidence.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-03, 16:32:08
God talks to one of my friends. Bobby will be out of the facility as soon as he stops throwing feces at the staff.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2015-03-03, 17:52:08
Teism and atheism both are isms .
Teism Fundamentalist and Atheism Fundamentalist , both are Fundamentalists .
This is not like The problem with  Theism nor atheism .

but The Problem With Emotion .

faith , believe , religio , etc ...  those are feelings .

Teists Believe if God Exist
and Atheists Believe God Never exist

The Nature Of human with their Feelings is absolutely Hilarious .

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-03, 23:54:42
Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

Yes. I agree with that.
Maybe ersi doesn't... :)

Deficient as much we are deficient. But there's something that keeps on making us trying to be better at such understanding. We are basically an impulse towards and we can't aspire to be much more than that.
That's my Moor ascendancy, fatalism.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-04, 09:09:57

Can we agree, that the word-based -definitional- proofs of God's existence are ... deficient?

Yes. I agree with that.
Maybe ersi doesn't... :)

I have some questions about Oakdale's statement:

Precisely what is deficient? Are definitions deficient? Are proofs deficient? Deficient in what sense? For what purposes? And what would be the better alternative that would not be deficient?

So, I'd say Oakdale's statement itself is deficient. It lacks the definitional clarity necessary to determine if one could agree or disagree with it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-04, 21:59:47
So, I'd say Oakdale's statement itself is deficient. It lacks the definitional clarity necessary to determine if one could agree or disagree with it.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?action=reporttm;topic=36.625;msg=36242)

That's typical on him...  I suppose he enjoys it. :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-03-05, 02:40:54
Yeah. Oakdale loves a good waffle and just a pity doesn't get out so much and mix with the real world outside. Oh well too far away to help him.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-06, 23:44:08
Oh well too far away to help him.

Atheists are the ones who needs your help, not Oakdale.
How can you help them remains a mystery to me.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-03-07, 03:35:37
Well you come from a religious background full of mysteries and stuff so kind of natural I suppose......
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-07, 11:01:06
Well you come from a religious background full of mysteries and stuff

That's very true. These days, I've been wondering what happened to the Guardian Angel, nobody speaks about him anymore... then I realized why so many idiotic parents teaches their unhappy children how to ride a bicycle wearing lots of helmets and protections  - no more protection from the Guardian Angel, the safety industry killed the Guardian Angel.

It's not worthy to live in a world that has no more mysteries, just industries.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-03-08, 00:54:37
I have some questions about Oakdale's statement:

Precisely what is deficient? Are definitions deficient? Are proofs deficient? Deficient in what sense? For what purposes? And what would be the better alternative that would not be deficient?

So, I'd say Oakdale's statement itself is deficient. It lacks the definitional clarity necessary to determine if one could agree or disagree with it.

"A unicorn is a horse with a single horn situated slightly above and between its eyes" pretty much defines the creature most of us "recognize"... In what way does that make that creature real, extant and yummy?

ersi, saying such-and-such doesn't make it so. Why do you find this controversial? :) Might it be because you prefer word-games to science or logic?

There is a certain (particular) sense in which God is a required concept for the existence of anything... But that "God" has no necessary connection to any contemporary religion. Sect and di-sect..., my friend!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-08, 08:52:51

"A unicorn is a horse with a single horn situated slightly above and between its eyes" pretty much defines the creature most of us "recognize"... In what way does that make that creature real, extant and yummy?

ersi, saying such-and-such doesn't make it so. Why do you find this controversial? :) Might it be because you prefer word-games to science or logic?

Logic and experience say that the definition, properly understood, tells me whether the thing is real, extant and yummy. Surely you acknowledge the value of this? To define a unicorn does not mean to attribute reality to it. It means to put it into perspective with regard to reality or irreality or surreality.

If science proceeds differently, it proceeds wrongly. Indeed, it would be controversial to call it science when it proceeds wrongly.


There is a certain (particular) sense in which God is a required concept for the existence of anything...

Agreed. And, really, this is all one can ask from (the definition of) God. It's inappropriate to ask for more. I can define God and give you the definition, but there are good reasons why I cannot give you God. The reasons are the same why I cannot give you the nightmare I saw last night, or some near-fatal injury I suffered in childhood. You may be either fascinated or bored by the tales of those things, but you sure as hell would not be able to bear the reality of those things :)

The (definitional, logical, metaphysical) sense in which God is a required concept for the existence of anything should satisfy the seeker's intellectual curiosity. You don't ask for more. You just don't. It's the same as you don't divide by zero. You just don't, either in math, in logic, or in whatever you call reality. You don't divide by zero! You will have to be happy with the logical necessity of this, and that's it! Sorry, but more than this cannot be given.


But that "God" has no necessary connection to any contemporary religion. Sect and di-sect..., my friend!

First you will have to figure out the nature of the relationship between reality and logic right, then some day I may take you seriously on whatever you have to say on the relationship between reality and religion. For now you have nothing to teach me on this point.

Logic is miĺk for kiddies, but you spill it too much. Religion is grownup stuff, most likely indigestible to you.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-08, 14:26:47
You don't divide by zero!

The Eleventh Commandment... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-03-09, 04:27:30
 :D
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-09, 11:54:54
The Eleventh Commandment...  :)

The Eleventh Commandment is...:drumroll:

:devil: Thou shalt not get caught. :devil:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-03-09, 22:50:55
The (definitional, logical, metaphysical) sense in which God is a required concept for the existence of anything should satisfy the seeker's intellectual curiosity. You don't ask for more. You just don't. It's the same as you don't divide by zero. You just don't, either in math, in logic, or in whatever you call reality. You don't divide by zero! You will have to be happy with the logical necessity of this, and that's it! Sorry, but more than this cannot be given.

An interesting analogy that satisfies my curiosity, but probably not in the way you would expect or hope for.  One can't say "you don't divide by zero" simply because division by zero is always undefined and as such, it is nonsense--and so is God (you certainly should agree with this, imho). 

On another point however, the term 'atheist' is somewhat misleading.  It says that a person does not believe in something, namely God, but in a backhanded way that presupposes that God could be real--and that is completely irrational.  I am not anti-God any more than I am anti-unicorns.  Unicorns don't exist, so how can I possibly take a stand on their existence?  Ditto with God.  We are all atheist of the Roman Gods, so do we need to declare that by labeling ourselves?  I don't believe in voodoo, do I need to take a stand as an avoodooist?  How about anastrologist, gets pretty absurd after a while, huh? 

It is quite apparent to me that there is no god and certainly no necessity of there being a god (much less any admissible evidence of god).  God is a faith thing and some people need it to get through life (that's fine).   Others have simply had it drilled into them since infancy by Parents, Peers and child-molesting Priests and simply won't let go of their 'ba-ba' out of sheer stubbornness.  These same people will then use all of their resources to force logic out of flimsy, illogical and irrational thin air excuses, so as to make it believable to them.  They will then huddle together and boost themselves up by declaring that naysayers are the devil in disguise and they were divinely predicted by the superstitious bronze-age authors of the bible, so god must be real. 

Gods have come and gone since time immemorium and the gods of today will go by the same way as the gods of Mount Olympus simply because people will grow up.  Gods have always been born out of superstition, and the gods of today are no exception.   Thousands of years ago, people were scared and life was very hard for most people; death was everywhere and people didn't live long.  Therefore, designing a god who could deliver you from death forever!!--went over extremely well. Islam heaven has streams of clean fresh running water everywhere (among other decadent features), duh--I wonder why that sold so well in the desert?  It is all made up to suit certain people, at certain times, in certain places and situations.  People need to get their heads out of their asses and start thinking straight about the utter ridiculousness of religious belief in gods in today's (somewhat) more enlightened world. 

What has god done for you lately anyway?  Has he answered any prayers, stopped war, disease, famine, pestilence, terrorism or done any other good for you or mankind?  Delivered you from evil or gave you solace in time of despair and depression you say?  Perhaps, but wouldn't it be more efficacious for people to dig down deep inside themselves and learn to suck it up of their own power?  Of course, some people simply can't do that and some of those who 'simply can't do that', are here on DnD thumping their bibles and trying to sound intellectual about their childish superstitions and hopes for eternal life...uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, dat's what dey wants awright.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-09, 23:14:29
Of course, some people simply can't do that and some of those who 'simply can't do that', are here on DnD thumping their bibles and trying to sound intellectual about their childish superstitions and hopes for eternal life...uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, dat's what dey wants awright.    :knight:    :cheers:

If I would ever need your help against Protestants, I would prefer to let them at peace. Even them are better than you.

A sapient mas is the one who is aware about how much he doesn't know, an ignorant believes to know everything. You're the epitome of ignorance.
Drink  :wine: instead  :beer: , maybe it opens your spirit. In vino veritas.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2015-03-10, 11:19:13

On another point however, the term 'atheist' is somewhat misleading.  It says that a person does not believe in something, namely God, but in a backhanded way that presupposes that God could be real--and that is completely irrational.  I am not anti-God any more than I am anti-unicorns.  Unicorns don't exist, so how can I possibly take a stand on their existence?  Ditto with God.  We are all atheist of the Roman Gods, so do we need to declare that by labeling ourselves?  I don't believe in voodoo, do I need to take a stand as an avoodooist?  How about anastrologist, gets pretty absurd after a while, huh? 

Don't give to voodooists and astrologists the idea. :left:


Gods have come and gone since time immemorium and the gods of today will go by the same way as the gods of Mount Olympus simply because people will grow up.

Don't hold your breath. 1. People won't grow up. Only an elite will. 2. The God of today is remarkably fit to mutations (omnipotent and the sort). He will more likely evolve.


Of course, some people simply can't do that and some of those who 'simply can't do that', are here on DnD thumping their bibles and trying to sound intellectual about their childish superstitions and hopes for eternal life

I think you are confusing this forum with another one. People "thumping their bibles" use to be fundamentalist Protestants. mjmsprt40 hasn't done such thing; Belfrager is Roman Catholic and ersi has declared he is not a Christian. (Did I forget anyone?) In the past we had "bible thumpers" in forums, but they haven't been around here lately.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-03-10, 17:39:55

An interesting analogy that satisfies my curiosity, but probably not in the way you would expect or hope for.  One can't say "you don't divide by zero" simply because division by zero is always undefined and as such, it is nonsense--and so is God (you certainly should agree with this, imho).

I should agree that God is nonsense like the impossibility to divide by zero? But the impossibility to divide by zero is not nonsense. The impossibility to divide by zero can be explained as logically necessary. It's not just a mathematical dogmatic axiom that it's impossible to divide by zero, but it's also a fact of life. When you divide something by zero, i.e. you share something with no one, then you are not sharing at all, hence the logical impossibility.

God is a similarly explanatory logical necessity, but I won't bother you with the details. If you made an informed choice when you de-converted, you should know the details anyway.


On another point however, the term 'atheist' is somewhat misleading.  It says that a person does not believe in something, namely God, but in a backhanded way that presupposes that God could be real--and that is completely irrational.  I am not anti-God any more than I am anti-unicorns.  Unicorns don't exist, so how can I possibly take a stand on their existence?  Ditto with God.  We are all atheist of the Roman Gods, so do we need to declare that by labeling ourselves?  I don't believe in voodoo, do I need to take a stand as an avoodooist?  How about anastrologist, gets pretty absurd after a while, huh? 

We are not simply avoodooists or whatever for no reason. We can be that only when we have encountered it and rejected it. We are not avoodooists on the outset without having encountered voodoo.

You were not a brilliant illogician at birth. You are an entrenched incoherent thinker now after hard relevant training and practice.

There are specific reasons to reject voodoo, specific reasons to reject unicorns, Roman gods and whatever you reject. Without those reasons, there's no rejection; there's just ignorance.

Similarly, there are specific reasons why the impossibility to divide by zero is a logical necessity. Similarly, God is a logical necessity for specific reasons. Without addressing those reasons, you are not really rejecting God.

In my book, you are not an atheist, James. You don't know the definition of God, the nature of God, and how God is logically necessary. As long you don't know these things, you are not rejecting those things and thus you are not an atheist. You are merely a rambling anti-theist.

You have rejected the reality of unicorns for specific reasons, I assume. Can you cite similarly specific reasons why God cannot be real?


What has god done for you lately anyway?  Has he answered any prayers, stopped war, disease, famine, pestilence, terrorism or done any other good for you or mankind?  Delivered you from evil or gave you solace in time of despair and depression you say?

And what has atheism done for you lately? It evidently has not taken your mind off God, as you barely ever write about anything else. 


Perhaps, but wouldn't it be more efficacious for people to dig down deep inside themselves and learn to suck it up of their own power? 

Indeed, and for theists there's an explanation why people have such power, how to harness it and what to do with it. Thump your Bible and you may stumble on some relevant verses.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2015-03-10, 18:10:52
In the past we had "bible thumpers" in forums, but they haven't been around here lately.

Hmm. In the "If you build it, they will come." mentality we could start an 'Intelligent Design' thread.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-10, 18:54:50
And what has atheism done for you lately? It evidently has not taken your mind off God, as you barely ever write about anything else.

I can't imagine what atheism does for anybody because it does nothing for me. Nor does agnosticism. Nor does religion. In all three cases it may do something for one's sense of well being. I was a religionist, then an atheist, and am now an agnostic. In all three instances nothing was done for me, gave me any tangible satisfaction, not like a good meal at a nice restaurant.

Gods affect people to some extent that children can be affected by ghosts in the closet, noises in the basement and sounds in the attic. There's nothing there, but the fear is real. Will the gods punish me for my transgressions? Not unless I let them.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2015-03-10, 19:13:26
:sst: That quote isn't mine.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-10, 20:26:56
Hmm. In the "If you build it, they will come." mentality we could start an 'Intelligent Design' thread.

In a certain sense, and for sure very different from the Bible's Belt interpretation, I'm sure that life has originated from "intelligent design" an expression meant to say that it's not possible life to emerge from non organic matter simply by "hazard".

Such process needs indubitably to have "intention". Intention and conscience about what "it" is making. If nothing else to know when to stop generating stable adverse changes. An hazardous process would never "know" it, it's not logically possible to happen.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2015-03-10, 21:02:58
If nothing else to know when to stop generating stable adverse changes.

Given this isn't a thing that has happened, your point is already on the verge of collapse.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-03-11, 22:38:15
We are not simply avoodooists or whatever for no reason. We can be that only when we have encountered it and rejected it. We are not avoodooists on the outset without having encountered voodoo.

That's quite a knack for pointing out the obvious you have there friend.  You might think me a simpleton, but c'mon. 

Similarly, God is a logical necessity for specific reasons. Without addressing those reasons, you are not really rejecting God.

There was a logical necessity for gods at one point in our history, when we didn't know shit from Shinola. 

There are specific reasons to reject voodoo, specific reasons to reject unicorns, Roman gods and whatever you reject. Without those reasons, there's no rejection; there's just ignorance.

One primary reasons is that all rational thinking and reason is out-the-window in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs inspire the worst of human abominations.  We cannot expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely when one considers today's weapons of mass destruction.  Religion and politics make for strange and dangerous bedfellows, don't you agree? 

And what has atheism done for you lately? It evidently has not taken your mind off God, as you barely ever write about anything else.

Belief in god has life as we know it on the brink of disaster, but by all means, don't think about it Eric--just you and ur gremlins carry on. 

Indeed, and for theists there's an explanation why people have such power, how to harness it and what to do with it.

They don't harness diddly-squat.  If I had a nickle for every time I heard someone say "Let go and let god" or "I'm just going to put it in god's hands" or "Turn it over to god", I could buy every church in America.  Religion teaches people to NOT be self-sufficient and to place very little emphasis on this life at all.  No wonder the world is in such a fucking mess.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-12, 07:01:29

If nothing else to know when to stop generating stable adverse changes.

Given this isn't a thing that has happened, your point is already on the verge of collapse.

I think you don't have an idea about the complexity of life. Not one but thousands and thousands of stable processes and interactions are needed just for one cell, any cell, to be alive. Let's not even consider the step from a cell to the simplest animal form which is a gigantic jump in complexity.
Randomize processes can't create order, you need both conscience and intention.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2015-03-12, 14:06:59
Randomize processes can't create order, you need both conscience and intention.

:wizard:

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-12, 19:33:04
There was a logical necessity for gods at one point in our history, when we didn't know shit from Shinola.

Some of us still don't.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/avs/avatar_14_1388170091.png)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-13, 08:39:08
It's not worthy to live in a world that has no more mysteries, just industries.

No. Some of our posters are mysteries. Would you like to mention a couple?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-03-13, 21:32:34
Russian spam is also quite mysterious.  :yes:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-13, 22:06:12
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hormelfoods.com%2FBrands%2FBrandWall%2Fwww.hormelfoods.com%2F%7E%2Fmedia%2FHormelFoods%2FImages%2FBrands%2FProduct%2520Shots%2FThumbs%2Fspam-family-of-products.ashx&hash=402ec0ac0adfc18017f9644b1608df6d" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.hormelfoods.com/Brands/BrandWall/www.hormelfoods.com/~/media/HormelFoods/Images/Brands/Product%20Shots/Thumbs/spam-family-of-products.ashx)
Or....(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/82/5a/ce/825ace611333bbfddace8df8c1ec17e9.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: tt92 on 2015-03-13, 22:06:38
Have you ever read a news item about an atheist suicide bomber?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-03-14, 04:43:19
Truly excellent picture jimbro and a grilled Span sandwich (meat not the bread and butter) is magnifico. You have ably reminded me to get a tin so thanks.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Sparta on 2015-03-14, 08:06:39
i sometimes getting really tired with the People and their -isms .

well, perhaps this is just an apriori
but it seems what people want from -isms is not the truth   .
what they want exactly  is social community .
They are searching another people With similar appetite  with them .

since human will always  be a human .
human sometimes also have  herd mentality .

methaporically , Birds of a feather flock together .
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-14, 11:24:15

Have you ever read a news item about an atheist suicide bomber?

http://thelapine.ca/atheist-suicide-bomber-kills-eighteen-agnostics-0/ (http://thelapine.ca/atheist-suicide-bomber-kills-eighteen-agnostics-0/)
:jester:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-14, 11:38:29


Have you ever read a news item about an atheist suicide bomber?

http://thelapine.ca/atheist-suicide-bomber-kills-eighteen-agnostics-0/ (http://thelapine.ca/atheist-suicide-bomber-kills-eighteen-agnostics-0/)
:jester:

Quote
Yet Mr. Reinfeldt's message seems to be falling on deaf ears as prominent agnostic leaders and bloggers have already [...]

No posters? just leaders and bloggers?
I see... Agnostic posters are already creating their own faction. Well done folks, your leaders are betraying you and working for the infamous Atheists.

Or maybe poster's wars are simply too much underground and cov-ops to appear in the "news"... :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-03-14, 12:09:13
I see... Agnostic posters are already creating their own faction. Well done folks, your leaders are betraying you and working for the infamous Atheists....

....who never launched an atheist Children's Crusade as our Christian friends did.

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F_YHd9CmoXRwI%2FSvlBCK1xT_I%2FAAAAAAAABQY%2FEmyR-ce7-UE%2Fs400%2Fcruproc_us.jpg&hash=40c362b6ef8613747069dc46c6a64074" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YHd9CmoXRwI/SvlBCK1xT_I/AAAAAAAABQY/EmyR-ce7-UE/s400/cruproc_us.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-03-14, 17:13:02
....who never launched an atheist Children's Crusade as our Christian friends did.

You should try, it gives you points in the global score.
As I see it, Sunnites/Shiites competition it's the Top Level pros of religion wrestling, at least since Christians have retired. Agnostic /Protestant/Atheists are minor leagues with no impact in the world of sports religions.
The rest are amateurs.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-23, 13:21:11
When Frenzie brought up (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg2424#msg2424) the so-called Outsider Test (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Outsider_test), I immediately suspected it was a sham. Now at a closer look - it is indeed just a sham.

The Outsider Test is not even a test really. The test invites religious people "to subject their own faith to the same level of skepticism they use when examining the other religious faiths they reject", i.e. the test presupposes that religious people have not done this yet. Thus the test is nothing but an insult of intelligence.

John Loftus, the populariser of the Outsider Test, makes much of the childhood indoctrination theory of religiousness, and particularly invites to examine one's own upbringing with skepticism. However, for example in Islamic tradition there's a saying attribute to Muhammad himself, "Every child has in him the germ of Islam, then his parents make him Jew, Christian, or Zoroastrian." So there, religious people have been through this examination and it's just an insult to assume they haven't.

(Incidentally, neoatheists have vulgarised and adopted the same saying, by substituting Islam with atheism in the saying. This is a double boomerang of their own ignorance that atheists are hitting themselves with.)

Further, the test is an insult of intelligence because, superficially, it's an invitation to intellectual honesty and to balanced critical thinking. However, by targeting specifically religious people and by excluding atheists from the invitation to critically examine their own beliefs, the test fails by its own standard and reveals a cognitive bias.

This latter problem with the test I identified immediately as Frenzie brought up the so-called test. How was I able to identify this problem? Because I approach any and all beliefs and propositions - crucially including my own - with critical thinking. So when the test fails this obvious basic principle, it's exposed as not even a test, but a mere intellectual sham and insult.

Furthermore, Frenzie brought up the test in connection with Russell's Teapot, as if there were a connection. According to Frenzie, Russell's Teapot is what God looks like to outsiders. Now, God may look equivalent or similar to Russell's Teapot when you deliberately ignore what God really is like (specifically, when you ignore that God is immaterial and therefore undetectable in principle, whereas Russell's Teapot is material, too small to be detected). So, Russell's Teapot can have equivalence or similarity only by way of either strawmanning or ignorant mistake.

I personally would give Russell some benefit of the doubt here, even though it requires some effort. I think Russell was only ridiculing fundamentalist literalists. As knowledgeable as Russell is known to be, he must have known his teapot had no bearing on mainstream definition of God. Inasmuch as this is so, Russell's Teapot has no connection to the Outsider Test, because Outsider Test is not a ridicule. The Outsider Test pretends to be a tool of evaluation by impartial standard, but isn't, so it's in a more devious category compared to Russell's Teapot. The only shared characteristic of each of these is that they are not rational arguments and they don't address mainstream religion.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: string on 2015-05-23, 15:21:07
Everyone is so keen to persecute or be persecuted!


I would be a Theophobist, but can't see the point of it.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-23, 15:33:22
i.e. the test presupposes that religious people have not done this yet. Thus the test is nothing but an insult of intelligence.

I suppose you have the data to back up your far fetched guess on what religious people have done?  I suppose you may have done some critical thinking yourself, but I doubt that any large number of religious people have done the same.  I base this on the fact that religious belief cannot survive in an environment of reason and critical thinking.  Religion relies on faith and encourages it followers to use intuition alone to support their belief.  Furthermore, most Christians I have spoken with don't even know the basis of other religions, including, in many instances, their own.  Western Christians are too affluent to be very concerned about any religious matters other than for propriety's sake or those that make headline news. 

Religious affiliation is largely determined by that of one's parents and native country.  If indeed most religious people have accepted the Outsider Test challenge in earnest, one would expect to see more of a patchwork of religious affiliations throughout the world.  Most people just go with the flow and follow the path of least resistance--I think you know that.  Moreover, one's style of thinking comes into play with religious belief.  Most people use the simple (perhaps even innate), system of thinking intuitively; this relies on shortcuts and other rules-of-thumb--call it System A.  Critical thinking, System B, requires one to be analytical and meticulous which is a much slower method and actually requires effort

Since System B thinking requires a lot of effort, the majority of us tend to rely on our System A thinking processes when possible which would also explain why 3 out of 4 Americans hold at least one belief in the paranormal (ESP, haunted houses, ghosts, etc.).  System A is that path of least resistance most people go with to move on to more relevant and pressing issues in their busy lives.  No religion will ever encourage System B thinking because encouraging people to think analytically reduces their tendency to believe in God, while encouraging people to think intuitively increases people's belief in God. 

The Outsider Test is not an insult to anyone's intelligence, save those like you ersi, who rely on intuition for problem solving.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-23, 16:39:00

i.e. the test presupposes that religious people have not done this yet. Thus the test is nothing but an insult of intelligence.

I suppose you have the data to back up your far fetched guess on what religious people have done?

I gave the data: A statement attributed to Muhammad, which makes the lesson contained therein close to 1500 years old. You didn't notice it because you either (a) deliberately insult my intelligence or (b) lack the analytical skills necessary to examine the data. Or (c) both.


Most people just go with the flow and follow the path of least resistance--I think you know that.

Yes, I know it. I see you doing it all the time.


Moreover, one's style of thinking comes into play with religious belief.  Most people use the simple (perhaps even innate), system of thinking intuitively; this relies on shortcuts and other rules-of-thumb--call it System A.  Critical thinking, System B, requires one to be analytical and meticulous which is a much slower method and actually requires effort

Since System B thinking requires a lot of effort, the majority of us tend to rely on our System A thinking processes when possible which would also explain why 3 out of 4 Americans hold at least one belief in the paranormal (ESP, haunted houses, ghosts, etc.).  System A is that path of least resistance most people go with to move on to more relevant and pressing issues in their busy lives.  No religion will ever encourage System B thinking because encouraging people to think analytically reduces their tendency to believe in God, while encouraging people to think intuitively increases people's belief in God.

Furthermore, since System B requires a lot of effort, and also religion as per System A demands following certain dogmas, we have atheists who follow the path of very least resistance, call it System 0. Namely, instead of trying to follow a creed, to live up to some standards or even to keep up appearances - which all require some effort - atheists follow their own desires, whatever their mind or heart picks up for the time being. This requires no effort at all and has no focus either. Focus would entail effort and we don't want that, do we.

Seriously, dude, the theory of childhood indoctrination is a bad theory on multiple levels. It presupposes that (all) people are stupid and never grow up (except the one who holds the theory of childhood indoctrination, obviously, thus making the adherent of the theory a sort of puppet master, which is quite an attitude problem if your intention is to make the world a better place). It precludes "spiritual shopping in the marketplace of ideas", conversion and realisation (i.e. the theory requires to ignore concrete facts of human life, thus making it unsuitable for dealing with reality). It ignores that atheists can be - and are - uncritical of their own presuppositions the same as the theists that they criticise. It is perfectly predisposed to overlook the excesses of atheist indoctrination in atheist societies. Etc. I'd prefer you had some grip of reality, so I would not have to be telling you this.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-23, 20:14:44
Quote from: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-23, 16:33:22 (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg40212#msg40212)Quote from: ersi on 2015-05-23, 14:21:11 (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg40210#msg40210)i.e. the test presupposes that religious people have not done this yet. Thus the test is nothing but an insult of intelligence.I suppose you have the data to back up your far fetched guess on what religious people have done?I gave the data: A statement attributed to Muhammad, which makes the lesson contained therein close to 1500 years old. You didn't notice it because you either (a) deliberately insult my intelligence or (b) lack the analytical skills necessary to examine the data. Or (c) both.

Are you referring to the child-molesting, female abusing, murderer Muhammad or some other pillar of the Islam religion? 

Quote from: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-23, 16:33:22 (https://thedndsanctuary.eu/index.php?topic=36.msg40212#msg40212)Most people just go with the flow and follow the path of least resistance--I think you know that.Yes, I know it. I see you doing it all the time.

I only go with the flow when it comes to some good beer--I think you know that. 

The balance of your psycho-babble goes on to bash and stereotype atheists, and then you show your true colors of understanding nothing about child psychology.  Young children are ultra impressionable when it comes to learning new things, especially when it comes from their parents.  A young child cannot reason effectively as to everything they are told and if they try by asking a reasonable question such as 'where did god come from?', they are promptly hushed up and told to stop asking foolish questions--happens everyday, all day my friend.  

I am not insulting your intelligence ersi, you are doing a fine job of that all by yourself. 
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-24, 00:11:48

Are you referring to the child-molesting, female abusing, murderer Muhammad or some other pillar of the Islam religion? 

I'm referring to the data that you missed, then asked for, and now ignored again.

The balance of your psycho-babble goes on to bash and stereotype atheists, and then you show your true colors of understanding nothing about child psychology.  Young children are ultra impressionable when it comes to learning new things, especially when it comes from their parents.  A young child cannot reason effectively as to everything they are told and if they try by asking a reasonable question such as 'where did god come from?', they are promptly hushed up and told to stop asking foolish questions--happens everyday, all day my friend.  

And the reasonable questions are hushed up by the parents and other adult believers, right? Which is the kind of assumption I already predicted from you. You didn't have to confirm it, but you just did.

In turn, you are evidently unaware of real-life atheist indoctrination, which used to be common in Communist countries. Only blissful ignorance can explain why you are so eager for it.

You failed the outsider test. But it's okay - the outsider test fails even itself.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-26, 15:22:06
In turn, you are evidently unaware of real-life atheist indoctrination, which used to be common in Communist countries. Only blissful ignorance can explain why you are so eager for it.

Forced religious indoctrination by a ruler often backfires, but there is no need for this with atheism--global secularization happens quite spontaneously.  There is a specific version of this thesis that I favor, it is known as 'the existential security hypothesis'.  The basic idea is that as people become more affluent, they are less worried about lacking for basic necessities or of dying early from violence or disease.  In other words they are secure in their own existence--they do not feel the need to appeal to supernatural entities to calm their fears and insecurities.  The idea that improving living conditions are associated with a decline in religion is supported by a mountain of evidence (which I can provide upon request). 

The 9 most godless countries in a 2004 survey were Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom (this excludes Estonia as a formerly communist country).  Half of the populations of these countries disbelieve in God.  The GDP of these countries averaged almost $30,000 compared to about $11,000 for the average country in the world.  How long will it take before the world economy has expanded sufficiently that the GDP of the average country has caught up to the average for the godless countries in 2004?   If one uses the average global growth rate of GDP for the last 30 years of 3.33%, the atheist transition would occur in 2035. 

Of course, belief in God is not the only relevant measure of religion.  An individual may believe in God in a fairly perfunctory way without religion affecting his or her daily life.  Therefore, if one asks people if religion is important in their daily lives, as Gallup has done, then the countries with the least depth of religious commitment are  South Korea, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, France and Germany.  Once again, at a growth rate of 3.33% per year it would be 2041 before the average country in the world would be at an equivalent level of affluence as these godless nations. 

Is the loss of religious belief something to fear, as you seem to suggest ersi?  Antithetical to the claims of many religious authorities, godless countries are highly moral with an unusual level of social trust, low crime, economic equality and a high level of civic participation.  Right about now the world could do with some of that.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-26, 18:06:32

In turn, you are evidently unaware of real-life atheist indoctrination, which used to be common in Communist countries. Only blissful ignorance can explain why you are so eager for it.

Forced religious indoctrination by a ruler often backfires, but there is no need for this with atheism--global secularization happens quite spontaneously. 

Yeah, spontaneously. And the outcome is a historian like this, basically saying that anti-religious repressions were the fault of the religious, that Stalin was a good guy (and, via silent dialectic, this means that other historians are morons).



There is a specific version of this thesis that I favor, it is known as 'the existential security hypothesis'. 

Yep, you are well on your way in that direction :up:

You are in fact doing so well here that I'll skip the rest.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-05-26, 21:32:41
The Sovets were clean hands with the Church?!

Right across the country in USSR times from the start, hundreds of churches were closed and many turned into things from Union social clubs to general museums and other non-religious places. Stalin was very much anti-Church and right up to near modern times at one point only 6 churches were allowed to be open in Moscow. At times any pretext was used to close them and on one incident at Easter a group of young Communists caused a fiasco saying a fire had been started causing a panic and the authorities shut the place.

Gorbachov was the first to start relaxing things on religion and if my memory serves me right was invited to an event in his period celebrating a thousand years of the Church in Russia. During red times the Church was very seriously limited. Distribution of bibles, printing anything, trying to attract people was all a no-no. Staling started a long period of priests being sent to Siberia and he was an evil git. Even in the final days of the Communist system, Pastor Vims a Russian Baptist minister was jailed so Stalin's onslaught was still going on. Today the army has chaplains again the Church regarded and protected and the boredom and lack of anything in the Red days a thankfully gone history of what happens when Atheism holds supremacy.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-27, 02:45:27
You are in fact doing so well here that I'll skip the rest.

Only because you have to and I sorta knew you would.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-27, 02:56:29
and the boredom and lack of anything in the Red days a thankfully gone history of what happens when Atheism holds supremacy.

There is an elephant in the room that you are conveniently trying to overlook...got a wisecrack for that too?   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-05-27, 03:08:20
Er -- I think ersi means you are convicting yourself... As an evangelical atheist, a member of a small but committed group of zealots who persist because -- Well, because most of us need harmless philosophical ballerinas to applaud. (And laugh at, if their tutus slip...)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-05-27, 09:56:12
a thankfully gone history of what happens when Atheism holds supremacy.

Atheism never held supremacy in Russia, not even in the darkest Stalinist times.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-27, 14:57:31
Er -- I think ersi means you are convicting yourself...

Of what?  Being concerned that religious differences keep this world from the peace and happiness we all deserve?  If certain reckless countries obtain modern nuclear weapons (ones that make the Japanese bombs look like firecrackers), all of the hope and dreams of mankind will go up in a mushroom cloud of smoke.  People prosper and are at peace without religious concerns, how can religion be a good thing?  And because I attempt to point this out (none too eloquently I might add), to a group of self proclaimed intellectuals who cling to religion like it was their 'baba', I get taken to the woodshed by the alcoholic-know-it-all-clown of this forum.  If religion on a global scale was not the threat to human welfare, happiness, progress and perhaps even survival that it presently is, I'm sure I would have maintained the more laissez faire philosophy of my youth.  Religion is not a good thing no matter how you slice it--it is the big lie (and joke) on mankind--we should be ashamed of ourselves.  Therefore Oak, as the sotted court jester of DnD, prance around and dance for us once again please--whoopee we're all gonna die! :sing:   :knight:  :cheers: 


Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2015-05-27, 18:25:17
Religion is a broad term that covers any number of belief systems. Most all I'm familiar with teach peace and understanding. In practice the problems are the people with power. Political parties are simply marched out as the modern equivalent, so what most western religions would be if the congregation got to vote on the beliefs proclaimed. When western religions are gone, or at least firmly strapped in the back seat, you will still have people with more power than you telling you what you should believe under the one or another policy. The fault will always be in the people's willingness to follow even when the leaders have gone bad. A devoted atheist is no less immune to this process of humanity. The problem I see there is that there is no line that divides the groups of atheists so clearly. Although I'm an atheist, I can't agree with anything said in the above post even though I can mildly agree with some things the poster has said. From pessimistic overtures to the horribly emotion filled delivery and disgust, I feel like the distinction some atheists make of themselves is no different from the system that they have turned away from. Usually seems like they feel hurt, lied to and used so they seek to repay in kind. When in fact politics, religion and science have all evolved to fill very human needs and work best hand in hand. A nice system of checks and balances could exist. while that trinity may not be for everyone you can't say everyone is better off without any one of them and actually know what you're talking about in current circumstances. Religion is not responsible for the success of a political party. It's the political system's short comings if one system or the other system brings it down. Not the other way around. Just like it's the fault of the person if one or the other of those systems cause them hurt or problems. A place for religion will remain as part of the human condition, whether that's a large or small part is an open book. Taking away from others what you can't tolerate is tyranny though. Science is no closer to explaining away religion than it was 2000 years ago. Without it religions may had overstepped their bounds but were and are never at risk of losing their fundamental ground to it. By the same means science without regulations would quickly lose all of its moral ground and be far more deadly than any religion ever dreamed. Having seen religion and government without a true compass, we do not need to cast science to the same fate. Science checks religion, government checks science and religion checks government. Without that balance you see problems. Let one lead more and people's minds aren't challenged to be fair. Selfishness takes hold and hatred can run the roost. This balance isn't something that exists as it should now, it's an evolving process with a long way to go.

You have to have faith in something. I put mine in humanity... But I'm not going to walk away and call everyone else idiots because they can't get it right. I believe they will eventually. All of us with children have to believe that right? Otherwise it would of been idiotic to bring another life into this mess.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-27, 20:47:29

Er -- I think ersi means you are convicting yourself...

Of what?

Of incoherence, to put it mildly.


Being concerned that religious differences keep this world from the peace and happiness we all deserve? 

The incoherence here is that we (you and I) are obviously in conflict. So, either there are more differences than just religious differences (for example there could be also differences between atheists and religious people, and also between atheists, in which case you are guilty of oversimplification) or you actually have a different aim than the stated peace and happiness. You are hardly the sunshine of atheist peace and happiness on these forums.


If certain reckless countries obtain modern nuclear weapons (ones that make the Japanese bombs look like firecrackers), all of the hope and dreams of mankind will go up in a mushroom cloud of smoke.

"Certain reckless countries"? And you don't mean the certain reckless country who actually used nuclear weapons?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-27, 22:33:57
Sounds all nice and quite tidy ensbb3.  Things will work themselves out--unless they don't.  Just recently, we have lost two towering buildings, thousands of people, billions of dollars and countless billions more to protect ourselves against religion.  Were it a handful of radical extremists, perhaps we could sufficiently gird ourselves and wait them out, but there are hundreds of millions of religious people who would just as soon see the US suffer greatly--or simply go up into smoke altogether.  If you think that religion, science and politics will cooperatively play patty-cake until it all comes out in the wash one day, then you are an ostrich my friend.  Don't get me wrong, I rather enjoy your posts ensbb3, but I would no sooner try to convert a religious person to something else than I would adopt religion for myself.  I am an optimist and I see the world improving, to the benefit of all, in many ways; things are getting better every day except in the realm of governing ourselves.  Religion is a dangerous and antagonistic force in the 21st century where we have the technology to destroy ourselves at the push of a button.  No one thinks it will really happen, but until we have the ability to conduct ourselves responsibly (in another century or two probably), we are but reckless children playing with loaded guns.  I don't foresee a doomsday day scenario, after all I am an optimist, but I believe that if any one thing is going to destroy us before the sun fries the inner planets--it will be over our religious differences (Oak would say global warming, rj would say the meddling US [duh], and ersi would say gremlins--or the ressurection of communism).  What would you say?   :knight:  :cheers:

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-27, 22:59:45
You are hardly the sunshine of atheist peace and happiness on these forums.

I have a caustic style (bad), get over it. 

And you don't mean the certain reckless country who actually used nuclear weapons?

I don't suppose you would like to entertain the thought that the use of atomic bombs in WWII could--in the end-- prove to be the deterrent that keeps us from using the extinction level bombs we have today?  (Not that anyone had that thought in mind at the time)  Fat Boy was 15 kilotons, today they are 15,000 kilotons.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2015-05-27, 23:53:54
What would you say?

Resistant diseases or genetic manipulation. In other words, science with the best of intentions. (It's always what you least expect, right?)

I was suggesting the radicals were way out of balance but it wasn't really supposed to be that tidy. Saying the US's existence isn't required may mess it back up. (No, that's not my wish.) China holds the promise of what future government could be. Given an evolution towards democracy. Policies to combat corruption or control religion wouldn't be so taboo inside a pseudo-communist state and the level of efficiency could be hard to compete with. Not a system I'd be eager to jump in to but the rewards in structure could make the rest of the world seem to be stuck in the dark ages by comparison.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2015-05-28, 11:13:15
Oversimplifying a bit, in the USA - and to some extent in Europe - the big problem of the world sums up as: religious differences.

Out here, the big problem is corruption - and the following advance of poverty. Religious and non-religious people are corrupt the same.

If somebody came out here to say "religious differences are the big problem of the world in the 21st century", the answer would be: "you must be kidding!".

9/11 shifted the focus too much.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-28, 14:20:07
If somebody came out here to say "religious differences are the big problem of the world in the 21st century", the answer would be: "you must be kidding!".

Currently, religious differences are not the biggest problem facing the planet or any area thereof, including the volatile Middle East (I said nothing of the kind).  It simply has the very real potential for there to be no more problems, evermore, facing mankind.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Barulheira on 2015-05-29, 11:36:41
It's clear now.
I was thinking about it. As far as I know, there is only one religion with genocidal trends. :right:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-05-29, 15:23:35
 
China holds the promise of what future government could be. Given an evolution towards democracy. Policies to combat corruption or control religion wouldn't be so taboo inside a pseudo-communist state and the level of efficiency could be hard to compete with.

Too Hobbesian for me, I reckon.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ensbb3 on 2015-05-29, 16:22:21
A thought maybe worth debate. But I don't really know what you meant by that.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-05-30, 02:51:22
Well I will say that if China did become more democratic that would of course be a constructive thing and I do hope it rubs of on America.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-05-30, 06:50:36
if China did become more democratic that would of course be a constructive thing and I do hope it rubs of on America
Let's hope they don't judge Scotland and the English language by your example...

The Chinese government will not likely accept religious freedom in our lifetime: The remnants of Confucianism are difficult enough to deal with. Any theology that would vie with the State will be suppressed -- of necessity!
Which is to say, democracy will -at best- be a weed that grows in their well-tended garden.

Perhaps one day it will be recognized as a beautiful flowing plant.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-05-30, 12:45:19
The Chinese government will not likely accept religious freedom in our lifetime: The remnants of Confucianism are difficult enough to deal with. Any theology that would vie with the State will be suppressed -- of necessity!

There are cracks in the Chinese edifice. If you don't trust me (I don't), ask a Uighur or the 70 million Christians.
http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21629218-rapid-spread-christianity-forcing-official-rethink-religion-cracks (http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21629218-rapid-spread-christianity-forcing-official-rethink-religion-cracks)

Think Stalin, Hitler, Thutmose III. S**t has a way of happening.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-05-31, 04:34:08
You are heading for a polce Stae in the future or mind control Oakdale so they can practice well on you!

Meanwhile I must say that religion is active in China and that churches have been built. An interesting side to this is Hong Kong where The Boys' Brigade a church-based youth movement has reached 300 units and aiming for evn more. Started small under British rule but still expanding. In the rest of China there are of course rules and I came across an incident a couple of years ago wher a church was demolished as they had not got permission to build the thing!
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-05-31, 05:26:27
Of course, you know that the ceding of Hong Kong back to China was a mistake...? :)
But if you'd not feel so bad about it: We ceded the Panama Canal back to Panama -- which is to say, China! So, you can laugh.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: tt92 on 2015-05-31, 05:37:47

You are heading for a polce Stae in the future or mind control Oakdale so they can practice well on you!

Meanwhile I must say that religion is active in China and that churches have been built. An interesting side to this is Hong Kong where The Boys' Brigade a church-based youth movement has reached 300 units and aiming for evn more. Started small under British rule but still expanding. In the rest of China there are of course rules and I came across an incident a couple of years ago wher a church was demolished as they had not got permission to build the thing!

rj, you often start a post with "I must say."
Why must you say it? Are there voices in your head that command you to say it?Do you think you will be forgiven for writing drivel If you pass on the responsibility to supernatural promptings?
Just curious.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-05-31, 06:57:47

Of course, you know that the ceding of Hong Kong back to China was a mistake...? :)

Why and how?

Should Hong Kong have been returned to Taiwan instead? Or should it have been kept? What about this guy Kissinger who went to recognise mainland China over Taiwan?



But if you'd not feel so bad about it: We ceded the Panama Canal back to Panama -- which is to say, China! So, you can laugh.

Why can't imperialists simply keep their fingers off things? Stealing is not nice in private life, then why should it be okay in international politics?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-06-01, 00:54:51
Why and how?
Because Hong Kong under China's control will have to lose most of the liberty, political and economic, before its example "infects" the rest of the country... Repression and bureaucratization -with its tendency to corruption- are the two most obvious means available to China.
Do you "observe" that they won't be used? And ruthlessly, if it comes to that?
Why can't imperialists simply keep their fingers off things? Stealing [...]
For the same reasons any other designations can't... :) (Those that can keep their "fingers off" as you call it are feeble lotus eaters.) Do you think the people of Panama could have or would have built the canal?
Or do you merely think that the trade it facilitated was unnecessary?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-06-01, 04:23:06

Because Hong Kong under China's control will have to lose most of the liberty, political and economic, before its example "infects" the rest of the country... Repression and bureaucratization -with its tendency to corruption- are the two most obvious means available to China.

Granted.


Do you "observe" that they won't be used? And ruthlessly, if it comes to that?

Did you not observe that Hong Kong was used and China abused (ruthlessly, as in Opium Wars) when Hong Kong was colonised? China will be doing nothing different to Hong Kong, it's just that China will be doing it to herself, like a masochist with self-harm tendency. European empires (edit: and their offshoot U.S. ever since its independence) do it to both themselves and to everybody else - like bullying sado-masochists.  This is the difference, minor as it may seem.


(Those that can keep their "fingers off" as you call it are feeble lotus eaters.)

And this is why keeping fingers off is a bad idea? We shouldn't be like those feeble lotus eaters who don't steal, right?


Do you think the people of Panama could have or would have built the canal?
Or do you merely think that the trade it facilitated was unnecessary?

The canal is okay, when built the way that Panamans themselves also agree with. You don't have to colonise places to build canals.

Wait, you disagree with this. You are saying it is necessary to colonise because it facilitates trade. Then UK during the colonial high tide must be your ideal. Can't argue with someone else's ideals, a feeble lotus eater as I am.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-01, 09:15:18
Can't argue with someone else's ideals, a feeble lotus eater as I am.

Forget about it, Ersi, forget about it.
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.themarketingbit.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F08%2Fkeep-calm-and-forget-about-it.jpg&hash=a723fb7a4882492d3b658f7c673b5340" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.themarketingbit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/keep-calm-and-forget-about-it.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-06-04, 07:58:22
Hey, jseaton!
I recently re-read this:
Quote
We cannot neglect the training of men who will employ the weapons of the Technological war in actual combat; however, in the Technological War the pressing need is for strategy and strategic thought.

It is tempting to allow the scientist to dominate the field of strategic analysis and the management of the Technological War. He is the chief weapon in the war, and without him nothing could be accomplished. However, to give the scientist control of the process is an error of grave consequence.
The qualities that make a good scientist are not those that produce a good engineer, let alone a strategic analyst.
The scientist understands technology; indeed, he creates technology. However, he is often a specialist who is quite helpless outside of his own field. In general, he must be a specialist to make a reputation as a scientist, and without that reputation he will never achieve a position of management.There is a major difference in mental attitude between a scientist and a strategist. The scientist must deal with facts and scientific laws. By contrast, the strategist must deal with futures which cannot possibly be factual because the events have not occurred.The scientist deals with repetitive events and laws of nature; the strategist is virtually always confronted by a unique situation in which the opponent will try to do the unexpected. The strategist must always make decisions based on inadequate data; scientists must not jump to conclusions. The strategist's primary skill is to be able to reason like the opponent and stay ahead of him, while the primary skill of the scientist is to produce and package knowledge.
Just as men can be divided into athletes and non-athletes, they can be divided into scientists and
non-scientists.
But if a man is an athlete, he is not necessarily a good athlete; if he is a good one, he may only be good at baseball or boxing. Scientists, too, have very pronounced qualitative differences. There are broad distinctions between creative scientists, scientists who work best assistants and experimenters, and scientific administrators. Many a scientific reputation rests upon one particular discovery. Other reputations are derived from a long series of creative contributions. When we are talking about scientists it is quite important to keep these distinctions in mind.
But this is not the end of the story. The history of science is replete with examples of scientists who were grievously wrong. Scientists have believed firmly in weird theories and have instituted veritable inquisitions against nonbelievers. Scientists often refuse to accept evidence, and they sometimes go to rather comical lengths to defend their own theories.
There is no such thing as a fully rational scientist. There are only men who have scientific training, and this scientific training has not eliminated their emotions, hopes, and other human features as indeed it should not. The trouble is, however, that scientists are often inclined to transfer to themselves as individuals the objectivity of the scientific approach and to consider themselves to be far more objective than they are.
They tend to identify their brain with a computer and become emotional if the security of an established theory is threatened.

[emphasis added, and the paragraphing is my doing...]
(the source seems to be unavailable, now... Let me know if you'd want to read it.)


Your view of science seems to reject the mere fact that scientists are men... How do you counter this obvious deficiency in your arguments for "scientism" and atheism?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-04, 23:07:41
Your view of science seems to reject the mere fact that scientists are men... How do you counter this obvious deficiency in your arguments for "scientism" and atheism?

Was him an intelligent poster and you'll have a lot of problems with such "argument".
It's so bad that is better that you realize that it applies also to theists, including yourself. If rejecting being men, just men, is the sole reason that they can't be atheists why being men, just men, is the right reason to be theists?

Atheists are wrong not because their faith in Science, a construction of Man based on a gift of God - Reason.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: OakdaleFTL on 2015-06-05, 04:50:53
I am not a theist, Belfrager...
I am a rationalist, which places my principles much closer to -say- the Catholic church than most Imams. (The various protesters don't offer anything of value, that I can see.) The object of my derision is not James himself... It is the anti-religious, who would make "Science" a new religion.
We don't need a new religion...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-05, 05:56:43
We don't need a new religion...

Yes... I think you're right.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-06-05, 08:02:42
Now what do you know - I gave mention on Opera about the science lobby acting like a religion. Heavens, Oakdale touching the same base. Well nearly I remain a staunch Protestant Reformation bulwark...... :D
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: jseaton2311 on 2015-06-05, 17:57:44
Atheists are wrong not because their faith in Science, a construction of Man based on a gift of God - Reason.

Why is man's ability to reason only applicable in science and not religion? 

I am not a theist, Belfrager...
I am a rationalist, which places my principles much closer to -say- the Catholic church than most Imams. (The various protesters don't offer anything of value, that I can see.) The object of my derision is not James himself... It is the anti-religious, who would make "Science" a new religion.
We don't need a new religion...

If my enthusiasm for science runneth over, it is only because science gets the job done and answers the questions plaguing man since we came down from the trees (the historical evidence of which is etched in every cell of your body, Bel).  If I am going to pin the hopes of mankind on any one thing, it would be on science.  But not just science itself, it will be the triumph of science over religion (reality over fantasy), that will win the day.  Religion is no longer benign, it is a malignant cancer within mankind that needs to be eliminated for us to ever hope to live in peace, tranquility and prosperity.  Century after century after century, it's the same ol' crap--religious wars, innocent people dying and education being stifled.  Quite fittingly, education is the force by which religion will end and join the 'horse & buggy' in the museums.   :knight:  :cheers:
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-12, 23:34:56

Atheists are wrong not because their faith in Science, a construction of Man based on a gift of God - Reason.

Why is man's ability to reason only applicable in science and not religion? 
You have a very limited knowledge of religion jseaton, particularly Catholicism. Read Pope Benedict XVI, a man of reason much more than faith and one of the biggest intelectuals of our time.

Your idea of science as a monopoly of atheism is anedoctical. Probably, you have much more scientists that professes some religion than atheist ones.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-13, 13:46:19
I think the numbers bear out your suspicion, Belfrager.

Personally, I care what some scientists have to say about Pluto and dark matter just so long as their fields aren't biology or geology.

I don't care what Pope Francis has to say about almost anything. Almost but not everything.

You might take a look at this http://www.newscientist.com/special/god (http://www.newscientist.com/special/god)
and then at the below.
http://www.religionnews.com (http://www.religionnews.com)
Quote
Ecklund, director of Rice University's Religion and Public Life Program, presented preliminary results of the study, "Religious Understandings of Science," based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. adults including scientists, evangelical Protestants and the general public including 300 in-depth interviews with Christians (more than 140 of whom were evangelicals) Jews and Muslims.

Among the findings:

Nearly 36 percent of scientists have no doubt about God's existence
18 percent of scientists attended weekly religious services (compared with 20 percent of the general U.S. population
15 percent of scientists consider themselves very religious (19 percent)
13.5 percent of scientists read religious texts weekly (17 percent)
But research also shows where the threads of suspicion run. A 2009 study by Pew Research found a wider gap between scientists and the general public on religion. And Ecklund's new study also found:

22 percent of scientists and 20 percent of the general population think most religious people are hostile to science
22 percent of the general population thinks scientists are hostile to religion
27 percent of Americans feel that science and religion are in conflict
Of those who feel science and religion are in conflict, 52 percent sided with religion
- See more at: http://cathylynngrossman.religionnews.com/2014/02/16/science-religion-aaas-hamonnye-evangelical/#sthash.m7AWOkcw.dpuf


If there is intelligent life elsewhere in the multiverse, did/does/will-there-be a Jesus, too? Romans? Jews? Will he be crucified?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-14, 15:26:35
Personally, I care what some scientists have to say about Pluto and dark matter just so long as their fields aren't biology or geology.

I don't care what Pope Francis has to say about almost anything. Almost but not everything.

And so what?

It happens that, unlike you, the Pope, as well as his predecessors, have a Board of Science with the most reputable scientists from Universities and research labs from all over the world, at many scientific fields, with the mission of inform and advice the Holy See in all scientific matters and advances, very specially those ones that put in danger the dignity of human beings.

Vatican positions at such matters are the result of an holistic approach, that takes in account scientific and philosophic, as well as theological, perspectives. It represents the view of Man the best Man can view.
Such vision has no parallel at any other religion and even less between atheists.

On your knees heathen. :)

Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-15, 15:16:07
It happens that, unlike you, the Pope, as well as his predecessors, have a Board of Science with the most reputable scientists from Universities and research labs from all over the world, at many scientific fields, with the mission of inform and advice the Holy See in all scientific matters and advances, very specially those ones that put in danger the dignity of human beings.

His predecessors? Ask Galileo. Ask a female Catholic priest. The Church is mired in the past. I doubt it'll ever dig itself out.

Quote
On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II makes perhaps the most influential speech of the Middle Ages, giving rise to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of "Deus vult!" or "God wills it!"

That worked well.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-06-15, 17:20:46
Catholics tried a female Pope once upon a time. It didn't work so well https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Joan
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-15, 17:49:44
Quote
...according to popular legend...

Always looking to shake things up, aren't you. Our Portuguese friend is going to get you.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-15, 22:03:10
Ask Galileo. Ask a female Catholic priest.

Galileo was an idiot and females are not priests.
When I have the patience I will explain you both Galileo and females. You clearly need to learn about both...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-15, 22:07:15
Catholics tried a female Pope once upon a time.

I also need to explain you about Catholics so you don't keep on saying the aberrations you read at the Protestant/atheist propaganda Wikipedia.
But I'm sorry, Jimbro is first. He's older than you.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-16, 08:09:10
Thanks, Bel.

(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.truthdig.com%2Fimages%2Fmade%2Fimages%2Fcartoonuploads%2FJesusPriesthoodCartoon_720_590_565.jpg&hash=5882fc78f2ccce65d3f21369d5a7f121" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://www.truthdig.com/images/made/images/cartoonuploads/JesusPriesthoodCartoon_720_590_565.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-06-16, 10:09:11

Catholics tried a female Pope once upon a time.

I also need to explain you about Catholics so you don't keep on saying the aberrations you read at the Protestant/atheist propaganda Wikipedia.

Please explain about Catholics to me. I admit I know little about them.

The female Pope story, however, I didn't get it from Wikipedia originally. I first heard it when I was little, in school history lessons. No Protestant propaganda in Soviet schools, you know.

The lesson was about Jan Hus, an anti-papist, who had basically said that the cardinals were stupid because they didn't even notice when their Pope was pregnant (as in the story about the female Pope). When Jan Hus was accused of heresy for this statement, along with other statements, the accusers said that the offices of cardinals and the Pope were holy anyway.

In other words, the accusers made the point that the Pope can be female and child-bearing as he/she wishes. This was the lesson :)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-16, 14:47:22
Please explain about Catholics to me.

I used to be one. Fortunately I grew out of it.

My two brothers have "left" the church. One is a nothing, the other a Baptist.

All of my sisters are old style Catholics. They go to confession to reveal their sins to a priest. Before some reforms in what was called Vatican II, they word a hat to church service. All of us were baptized by a priest in church. My wife still calls herself a Catholic but she does none of the things that my sisters still do. Essentially, she offers silent prayers and says she prays for me. I don't ask what that's all about because I don't want to discuss that part of her life with her.

In the early teen years Catholics become "confirmed," thus moving into a more adult state of Catholicism.

I plucked this out of Confirmation for Dummies.
Quote
So what occurs during a Catholic Confirmation? The Holy Spirit is first introduced to a Catholic the day that she's baptized, because the entire Holy Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- are invoked at the ceremony. During Confirmation, God the Holy Spirit comes upon the person, accompanied by God the Father and God the Son, just as he did at Pentecost.


Obviously, that's just a small part of a complex thing.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-16, 22:08:50
In other words, the accusers made the point that the Pope can be female and child-bearing as he/she wishes. This was the lesson  :)

The things you've learned under the Soviets... :)
Well, better than others learn under the Free America for sure.

Joan D'Arc was a very interesting character, very mystical and with many things difficult to understand to us today but she was never a "Popess". She was burnt by the Britons.

Et Jeanne, la bonne Lorraine
Qu'Anglais brûlèrent à Rouen;
Où sont-ils, où, Vierge souvraine?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?


She was proclaimed martyr for Motherland and Faith.
She's a Saint of the Catholic Church.

"Pope Joan" from wikipedia propaganda never existed.

As for only males can be Popes or Priests is the same reason why only females can be Nouns.
There are rumors spreading that gays also want to become nouns.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: rjhowie on 2015-06-17, 03:47:00
Yep, the female Pope is entertaining. At another time there were 3 all having a kind of punch up as each claimed to be the correct Pope. It has also been said that a chair was made with a hole in it so a check could be made to ensure a Pope was a male!

Before the wonderful Prot Reformation here in Scotland we had a debacle once in Glasgow Cathedral when 2 priests claimed to be the lawful bishop. They both entered in 2 different aisles complete with bannerettes, etc and when they got to the fron both men and their people had a nice punch up at the communion table.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-06-17, 07:54:35
"Pope Joan" from wikipedia propaganda never existed.

I don't think Wikipedia says what you think it does. :P
Quote from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Joan
Pope Joan is a woman who, according to popular legend, reigned as pope for a few years during the Middle Ages. Her story first appeared in chronicles in the 13th century and subsequently spread widely through Europe. The story was widely believed for centuries, but modern scholars regard it as fictional.

(emphases mine)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-17, 08:16:55

"Pope Joan" from wikipedia propaganda never existed.

I don't think Wikipedia says what you think it does. :P
Quote from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Joan
Pope Joan is a woman who, according to popular legend, reigned as pope for a few years during the Middle Ages. Her story first appeared in chronicles in the 13th century and subsequently spread widely through Europe. The story was widely believed for centuries, but modern scholars regard it as fictional.

(emphases mine)

We can only hope. Perhaps one day...
(https://thedndsanctuary.eu/imagecache.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Frackjite.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fr11152013pope.jpg&hash=b4e567628cee1871ecb25195908ba059" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click here to view original" data-url="http://rackjite.com/wp-content/uploads/r11152013pope.jpg)
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-17, 22:40:09
I don't think Wikipedia says what you think it does.  :P

No? if it's a  fictional story what the f*ck that means? that she existed?? I said she never existed shit.

I mentioned Joan D'arc to educate the idiots that thinks that "Pope Joan" is she and keeps on posting proud of their own imbecility.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Frenzie on 2015-06-18, 07:52:12
No? if it's a  fictional story what the f*ck that means? that she existed?? I said she never existed shit.

So you object to the Wikipedia propaganda (whatever that may be) no matter what it actually says or what its sources are?
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-18, 10:10:26
I mentioned Joan D'arc to educate the idiots that thinks that "Pope Joan" is she and keeps on posting proud of their own imbecility.

I'm still waiting for the Catholic feminist revolution when two thousand years of Papal misogyny gets flushed down the toilet . Then we'll see a Pope Joan! Speaking of imbecility...
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: ersi on 2015-06-19, 18:09:19
@Jimbro
None of this explains anything about Catholics to me. I know all these details, but in order to be explanatory, I need to know how Catholics understand these details, understand in the deepest sense. If they don't understand them, they are Catholics in name only.

@Belfrager
The thing is, I never mixed up Pope Joan with Jeanne d'Arc, and I think nobody else did either. The name of the female Pope is Johannes in our history and Jeanne d'Arc is known by her French name.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-19, 22:21:09
I think nobody else did either

No? how many do you think that knows who's one and who's the other? You're speaking with Americans in case you forgot...
And for the last time a female pope never existed.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: mjmsprt40 on 2015-06-20, 00:08:37

I think nobody else did either

No? how many do you think that knows who's one and who's the other? You're speaking with Americans in case you forgot...
And for the last time a female pope never existed.


You're speaking with Americans who can look things up if we take a notion. If I decide to look up which Joan might have been a female Pope-- when in doubt, Google.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: tt92 on 2015-06-20, 01:54:50
And Jesus made a Greek pun with Peter.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Jimbro3738 on 2015-06-20, 09:35:57
...upon this petra I will a beam...

Or something like that.
Title: Re: The Problem with Atheism
Post by: Belfrager on 2015-06-20, 10:06:30