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Atheism

Re: Atheism
January 01, 2009, 11:43:38 PM
We have however, being the clever primates we are, developed various tools for aiding our thinking.  Rationality is one of them.  Finding errors within rationality doesn't mean the whole thing gets thrown out, just that it must be revised/modified.

Exactly.

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I'd also like to point out that your logic could be used to "deal a blow" to any ideology/philosophy/world view because they are all constructed by humans.

Clarify. My initial point was merely that we have immense difficulty in conceiving of something for which there is no outside, because where we evolved, everything had an outside, so it made sense for us to come to be wired that way. This has only to do with intuiting information. Whether we're irrational and the universe is rational or vice versa is a word game; it is nonetheless true that our subjective experience does not at the onset account for everything, because parsimoniously, it didn't have to for survival. This is where the modification you mentioned above comes in.

It would be illogical to work out the formation of worldviews in the following way:

1. There are neurological limitations to how a single individual perceives reality and makes abstractions.

2. Limitations are equivalent to errors.

3. Therefore, all subjective individual perceptions are erroneous.


We should be careful not to throw everything out upon identifying a limitation point along the perception-line. Having a hole in one's vision (which, by the way, everyone does) does not make one blind.

Re: Atheism
January 02, 2009, 05:52:20 PM
Yeah, certain things can't be empirically proven...like things that are false or not real.

Basically, you're limiting truth and reality to what can be empirically proven. Admit that, and we can end this fruitless exchange of words. Aristotle explained more than 2000 years ago (Analytica Posteriora) that the first premiss(es) of scientific knowledge are indemonstrable. For the following, one should remember that for Aristotle, science is always based on necessary truths, that is, principles which are universally true. Aristotle, if he lived in the modern world, would thus name differently that which we now call "science".

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The premisses must be true: for that which is non-existent cannot be known-we cannot know, e.g. that the diagonal of a square is commensurate with its side. The premisses must be primary and indemonstrable; otherwise they will require demonstration in order to be known, since to have knowledge, if it be not accidental knowledge, of things which are demonstrable, means precisely to have a demonstration of them. The premisses must be the causes of the conclusion, better known than it, and prior to it; its causes, since we possess scientific knowledge of a thing only when we know its cause; prior, in order to be causes; antecedently known, this antecedent knowledge being not our mere understanding of the meaning, but knowledge of the fact as well. Now 'prior' and 'better known' are ambiguous terms, for there is a difference between what is prior and better known in the order of being and what is prior and better known to man. I mean that objects nearer to sense are prior and better known to man; objects without qualification prior and better known are those further from sense. Now the most universal causes are furthest from sense and particular causes are nearest to sense, and they are thus exactly opposed to one another. In saying that the premisses of demonstrated knowledge must be primary, I mean that they must be the 'appropriate' basic truths, for I identify primary premiss and basic truth.

And he also explains at the end how these premisses are known by man:

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Thus it is clear that we must get to know the primary premisses by induction; for the method by which even sense-perception implants the universal is inductive. Now of the thinking states by which we grasp truth, some are unfailingly true, others admit of error-opinion, for instance, and calculation, whereas scientific knowing and intuition are always true: further, no other kind of thought except intuition is more accurate than scientific knowledge, whereas primary premisses are more knowable than demonstrations, and all scientific knowledge is discursive. From these considerations it follows that there will be no scientific knowledge of the primary premisses, and since except intuition nothing can be truer than scientific knowledge, it will be intuition that apprehends the primary premisses-a result which also follows from the fact that demonstration cannot be the originative source of demonstration, nor, consequently, scientific knowledge of scientific knowledge. If, therefore, it is the only other kind of true thinking except scientific knowing, intuition will be the originative source of scientific knowledge. And the originative source of science grasps the original basic premiss, while science as a whole is similarly related as originative source to the whole body of fact.

Re: Atheism
January 02, 2009, 06:53:26 PM
"What is the cause of all causing?"

"I don't know, I'll go insane thinking about it."

You either decide there's a God/no God, or you believe the universe is a big organic machine that made itself (which leads you to transcendental idealism).

One could spend forever stuffed into God/no-God without realizing that the form "God" is anthropomorphic.

That's like laying a fish on top of three buckets and saying, "now in which bucket is this fish"?

Re: Atheism
January 02, 2009, 07:55:04 PM
Quote from: nous
Basically, you're limiting truth and reality to what can be empirically proven.

Almost.  What I'm saying is that we can only justifiably believe in things that can be empirically proven.  There may exist things that can't be empirically proven, but there is no way to distinguish between those things and things that aren't real.  Please explain to me how you have such intimate knowledge of things that can't be empirically understood.  From what you've explained thus far, you understand these things by pulling facts about them out of your ass and then calling anyone who disagrees with you unintelligent.

Quote from: nous
the first premiss(es) of scientific knowledge are indemonstrable

Correct.  Everything starts with assumptions, but not all assumptions are equal.  Some assumptions lead to results and others lead to nothing.  If you want to argue about the fundamental assumptions of empiricism, I suggest you take it to another topic.

Quote from: ASBO
You either decide there's a God/no God, or you believe the universe is a big organic machine that made itself (which leads you to transcendental idealism).

Why does it have to be one of those two things?  It would seem to me that there could be an infinite number of hypothetical possibilities.  I would tend to believe that the universe is a "big organic machine" but I have no idea who/what "made" it, or if it even was in fact "made."  What if the universe always existed?  And what does this have to do with the fact that literally believing in deities is retarded?

edit:

I forgot a couple things:

Quote from: Aristotle
intuition [is] always true

This statement is incorrect.  Intuition can be wrong.  In fact, intuition is very often wrong.  Haven't you heard of a counter-intuitive concept?  There are many objectively verifiable concepts that are counter-intuitive.  Whole areas of mathematics can be counter-intuitive.

Also, quoting Aristotle is essentially meaningless.  It is an appeal to authority.  I could just as easily go pick another philosopher who disagrees with Aristotle but that would also mean nothing.

Re: Atheism
January 02, 2009, 11:57:30 PM
Religion is a vehicle toward transcendence. Atheism lacks this ability, but this does not mean an individual cannot transcend, or "working toward the superman" as most of you know it as. I think that this is what we're all trying to say here, but we get lost in language.

Re: Atheism
January 03, 2009, 06:46:39 PM
If you treat the universe as God or of His essence, you are able to worship it. If you institutionalise this love of life and death, and around it create a community of honest loving consensus, and use it as a springboard for works which surpass yourself and focus your community further together, you can behold the benefit of religion.

Or, you can trust atheism, which provides no vehicle to serve anything other than it's own dead-end philosophy.

Re: Atheism
January 03, 2009, 07:19:33 PM
My "problem" with atheism: it doesn't really matter if no deity exists. It doesn't necessarily change the function of spirituality or religion, which is not solely based upon the existence of God or gods. We could still have use of it.

Modern atheism is kind of a straw man argument (Dawkins, anyone?!) against religion, and is today ideologically closely connected to secular humanism, e.g. Judeo-Christian morality in a secular package.

Re: Atheism
January 03, 2009, 08:38:48 PM
If you treat the universe as God or of His essence, you are able to worship it. If you institutionalise this love of life and death, and around it create a community of honest loving consensus, and use it as a springboard for works which surpass yourself and focus your community further together, you can behold the benefit of religion.

Or, you can trust atheism, which provides no vehicle to serve anything other than it's own dead-end philosophy.

One does not have to treat the universe as anything other than what it is to appreciate it.  Nor does one have to worship anything to surpass themselves.  Why can't a community group itself around something as simple as understanding reality for what it is and working together to achieve consensus goals?

Also, atheism is not a philosophy.  It is simply a rejection of the idea that deities exist.

Quote from: Alexis
My "problem" with atheism: it doesn't really matter if no deity exists. It doesn't necessarily change the function of spirituality or religion, which is not solely based upon the existence of God or gods. We could still have use of it.

It does matter when millions of people base their lives around the idea that their deity of choice/birth actually exists.  I really wish that ridiculous notions and superstitions were not a part of religion, but they are.  Working to remove them is a necessary goal.

Quote from: Alexis
Modern atheism is kind of a straw man argument (Dawkins, anyone?!) against religion, and is today ideologically closely connected to secular humanism, e.g. Judeo-Christian morality in a secular package.

This is far too true.  Dawkins has even referred to himself as a cultural Christian.  He is an excellent biologist though.

Re: Atheism
January 03, 2009, 09:06:54 PM

One does not have to treat the universe as anything other than what it is to appreciate it.  Nor does one have to worship anything to surpass themselves.  Why can't a community group itself around something as simple as understanding reality for what it is and working together to achieve consensus goals?

I didn't say 'appreciate' I said 'worship'. I can appreciate everything, including terrible ideas like a mundane universe and an anthropomorphic God. Worship entails a different kettle of fish.

Ultimately, it is down to your own belief to discard the profane and uphold beautiful unity. It is not a belief that entails error or delusion but the opposite. In this way, it is similar to a belief in nihilism.

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Also, atheism is not a philosophy.  It is simply a rejection of the idea that deities exist.

This is a common recurrence in your posts: useless little attempts at semantic oneupmanship. Much like admitting you admire the universe but do not wish to go so far as to treat it as God, your creator.

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It does matter when millions of people base their lives around the idea that their deity of choice/birth actually exists.  I really wish that ridiculous notions and superstitions were not a part of religion, but they are.  Working to remove them is a necessary goal.

Hackneyed. You think delusion is limited to people who don't understand religion very well? If people are willing to believe in 'ridiculous notions and superstitions' do said people immediately become 100% rational if turned into atheists?

Re: Atheism
January 03, 2009, 11:14:59 PM
Quote from: metal power
This is a common recurrence in your posts: useless little attempts at semantic oneupmanship. Much like admitting you admire the universe but do not wish to go so far as to treat it as God, your creator.

The reason others and I must keep restating this is because it's true.  People just can't seem to accept it for one reason or another.  Also, I appreciate the universe for what it is.  I have no need to view it as something that it is not.  You seem to think that because I won't call the universe "God" that somehow limits me.  Referring to the universe as "[my] creator" implies that the universe is separate from me.  I'm part of the universe.  It would actually be more accurate to say that my mother and father created me.  Should I also worship them and call them god?

What exactly is this obsession people have with naming things god?  Even if I wished to "worship the universe" I don't need to refer to it as anything other than the universe.  Either way, I don't worship anything.  I also don't view anything as holy or sacred.

Quote from: metal power
Hackneyed. You think delusion is limited to people who don't understand religion very well? If people are willing to believe in 'ridiculous notions and superstitions' do said people immediately become 100% rational if turned into atheists?

That isn't even remotely what I said.  What I'm saying is that whether you like it or not, ridiculous claims and superstition are attached to religion and removing them is a necessary goal.  This is simply one form of delusion though.  There are uncountable delusions that plague our species.  You seem to be projecting some other argument/philosophy/beliefs onto what I've stated.  My point was rather clear.

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 03:37:10 AM
you still have to realize that there is still a purpose, the furthering and bettering of our species.

Why exactly do you think that's our purpose?

Quote from: JewBob
What I'm saying is that we can only justifiably believe in things that can be empirically proven.  There may exist things that can't be empirically proven, but there is no way to distinguish between those things and things that aren't real.

I am interested to know how radical your empiricism is. What do you make of mathematical and logical truth? Presumably there is an important sense in which mathematical and logical truths are not grasped empirically. Then again, you keep talking about the existence of things which would suggest that your position is that you cannot justifiably believe in the existence of any entity except through empirical means. That is something I would agree with.

ken

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 07:09:53 AM
If you treat the universe as God or of His essence, you are able to worship it. If you institutionalise this love of life and death, and around it create a community of honest loving consensus, and use it as a springboard for works which surpass yourself and focus your community further together, you can behold the benefit of religion.

Or, you can trust atheism, which provides no vehicle to serve anything other than it's own dead-end philosophy.

A dead end philosophy, dissimilar to a stagnant and falling christianity? Retarded fallacy.

Atheism is nothing to trust, I trust myself and believe this life is the only life and that it is worth living, not spent worshiping an imaginary creature.

You compare religion and atheism which brings up a question: have you chosen to believe in a god, or to be an athiest?

I say this to ASBO in particular, why would you even consider atheism, you said before you were a member of a community church, dont you believe in a god? Or do you toggle between believing and not believing at your social convenience?

Yes we can benefit the community aspects of religion being able to bring us together(similar to the power of a punk show, much less metal)

But we can also let go of the retarded childish archaic beliefs that are much cause of pointless war, debate, and fighting. The Spartans were not profoundly religious but their syssitia  was an incredible success, we should learn from them.

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 03:09:34 PM
This statement is incorrect.  Intuition can be wrong.  In fact, intuition is very often wrong.  Haven't you heard of a counter-intuitive concept?  There are many objectively verifiable concepts that are counter-intuitive.  Whole areas of mathematics can be counter-intuitive.

Also, quoting Aristotle is essentially meaningless.  It is an appeal to authority.  I could just as easily go pick another philosopher who disagrees with Aristotle but that would also mean nothing.

I quoted Aristotle because he had something meaningful to say, not because I want to force you to accept anything. It is the truth of ideas that interests me exclusively. Sure, you could pick another philosopher. Why don't you do it? It's better to attack the idea than to attack me for quoting Aristotle. Truth is not found by following a man "so-and-so", but by understanding ideas.

I should have clarified that one such idea is that of intellectual intuition, which is in that translation simply called "intuition". This intuiotion is conscious, supra-rational, supra-human and has nothing to do with the kind of "intuition" you seem to have in mind, by which is meant, it seems, nothing more than superficial assumptions.

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 03:55:41 PM
Quote from: nous
I should have clarified that one such idea is that of intellectual intuition, which is in that translation simply called "intuition". This intuiotion is conscious, supra-rational, supra-human and has nothing to do with the kind of "intuition" you seem to have in mind, by which is meant, it seems, nothing more than superficial assumptions.

Fair enough.  Could you explain exactly how this form of intuition works and why it is always true?  I think I may already understand, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions.

edit: Never mind, I understand your position now.  Instead I'd like to ask how do you define god and how you do know god exists?

Quote from: Ginnungafap
I am interested to know how radical your empiricism is. What do you make of mathematical and logical truth? Presumably there is an important sense in which mathematical and logical truths are not grasped empirically. Then again, you keep talking about the existence of things which would suggest that your position is that you cannot justifiably believe in the existence of any entity except through empirical means. That is something I would agree with.

My empiricism is radical TO THE MAX!

Mathematics:
Mathematics deals primarily with abstract concepts.  In proving mathematical truths, a set of axioms is established, then through the use of defined concepts, postulates, and deductive reasoning necessary conclusions and new concepts are reached.  These abstract concepts are just tools we use.  They only really mean things to us when we apply them to reality.  At that point, they can be judged empirically.  It just so happens that there has never been a mathematical concept which can't be applied to a real world concept.  In other words, math has an excellent (perhaps unsurpassed) track record.  Therefore, it is a highly reliable tool.

Logic:
Logic is a form of reasoning.  In theory, it typically deals with abstract notions (much like math).  It is also merely a tool.  Again, however, it only really means things to us when we apply it to reality.  Logic can be a tricky subject, however, because different people accept/reject it to various degrees.

To summarize, math and logic are conceptual tools.  Only when they are applied to reality do they yield actual truths.  1 + 1 = 2 is mathematical true, but what does it mean.  1 is not a thing; it doesn't exist.  1 Apple + 1 Apple = 2 Apples is something that is true within reality and verifiable.  I hope this clears things up.

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 04:18:54 PM
If you treat the universe as God or of His essence, you are able to worship it. If you institutionalise this love of life and death, and around it create a community of honest loving consensus, and use it as a springboard for works which surpass yourself and focus your community further together, you can behold the benefit of religion.

Or, you can trust atheism, which provides no vehicle to serve anything other than it's own dead-end philosophy.

A dead end philosophy, dissimilar to a stagnant and falling christianity? Retarded fallacy.

Atheism is nothing to trust, I trust myself and believe this life is the only life and that it is worth living, not spent worshiping an imaginary creature.

You compare religion and atheism which brings up a question: have you chosen to believe in a god, or to be an athiest?

I say this to ASBO in particular, why would you even consider atheism, you said before you were a member of a community church, dont you believe in a god? Or do you toggle between believing and not believing at your social convenience?

Yes we can benefit the community aspects of religion being able to bring us together(similar to the power of a punk show, much less metal)

But we can also let go of the retarded childish archaic beliefs that are much cause of pointless war, debate, and fighting. The Spartans were not profoundly religious but their syssitia  was an incredible success, we should learn from them.

Who said I am defending a stagnant and failing Christianity? Who said I hate life? I treat life as a creation of an absolute, infinite cause, as a manifestation of something divine. It is beauty. Death will also be something beautiful to me: another plane, and something to prepare for. I don't worship a 'creature'. You're assuming a lot of random stuff. Have you ever read any holy texts? It's clear you're taking swipes in the dark at me.

"But we can also let go of the retarded childish archaic beliefs that are much cause of pointless war, debate, and fighting."

Modern liberal moral shite. I thought this was a metal forum?