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Atheism

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 04:21:20 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.


Intelligent people will choose not to be deluded. Stupid people will always be deluded, no matter what paradigm there is on the day. It's a shame that you view nothing as holy or sacred.

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 04:35:49 PM
Quote from: metal power
"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?

I'm sorry, are you saying fighting over retarded childish archaic beliefs is a good thing?  Fighting war takes incredible effort and resources.  Effort and resources which could be going to achieving other goals.  I believe in fighting wars when it is good to and not when it is pointless.  Am I also a modern liberal moral shite?

Quote from: metal power
Intelligent people will choose not to be deluded. Stupid people will always be deluded, no matter what paradigm there is on the day. It's a shame that you view nothing as holy or sacred.

Of course stupid people are stupid.  That's why I support eugenics.  However, to say stupid people are equally delusional under all paradigms is absurd.  Most people who believe in the delusional aspects of religions are followers.  Why not attempt to get people to follow as delusion free a path as we can get them to?  To give you a real world example:  stupid Christians hate abortion.  Therefore, the most radical (who are usually the most delusional) kill abortion doctors and attempt to criminalize abortion.  You're saying that we wouldn't live in a better world if we could get Christians to just accept abortion as a good thing?

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 05:14:46 PM
Why not reform Christianity so that it both get a more healthy social role and transcendantal ideal through more esoterism ?

Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 11:22:54 PM
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.

I don't know if you care to pursue this any further and I know it's straying away from the thread topic, but I'm a little puzzled by what you've said here so I'm going to go ahead and reply.

First of all, such statements as '1 + 1 = 2' and 'It is not the case that both p and not-p' seem to me perfectly meaningful and true in and of themselves. Now, I take it you don't regard such statements as true simpliciter nor as meaningful, but then why the apparent meaningfulness of the statements '1 + 1 = 2' and  "'1 + 1 = 2' is true"? I guess I'm not clear on what you mean by 'meaning'.

I can make sense of mathematical and logical truths' being useful tools, but I can't make sense of the distinction between something's being mathematically or logically true and being true simpliciter. If '1 + 1 = 2' is mathematically true, then why isn't it just true simpliciter? You seem to think that since the terms in mathematical propositions don't refer to things, mathematical propositions are neither meaningful nor do they have a truth value. Of course, such terms do refer to things; they refer to abstract things. They are, of course, not the same kinds of things as apples and chairs. But why do the terms in a proposition have to refer to things in your sense of 'things' in order to be meaningful and have a truth value?



Re: Atheism
January 04, 2009, 11:39:05 PM
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.

I don't know if you care to pursue this any further and I know it's straying away from the thread topic, but I'm a little puzzled by what you've said here so I'm going to go ahead and reply.

First of all, such statements as '1 + 1 = 2' and 'It is not the case that both p and not-p' seem to me perfectly meaningful and true in and of themselves. Now, I take it you don't regard such statements as true simpliciter nor as meaningful, but then why the apparent meaningfulness of the statements '1 + 1 = 2' and  "'1 + 1 = 2' is true"? I guess I'm not clear on what you mean by 'meaning'.

I can make sense of mathematical and logical truths' being useful tools, but I can't make sense of the distinction between something's being mathematically or logically true and being true simpliciter. If '1 + 1 = 2' is mathematically true, then why isn't it just true simpliciter? You seem to think that since the terms in mathematical propositions don't refer to things, mathematical propositions are neither meaningful nor do they have a truth value. Of course, such terms do refer to things; they refer to abstract things. They are, of course, not the same kinds of things as apples and chairs. But why do the terms in a proposition have to refer to things in your sense of 'things' in order to be meaningful and have a truth value?

I'll try to explain myself more clearly.  I was attempting to show the relationship between math/logic and empirical truth.  I referred to empirical truth as actual truth, which I probably shouldn't have.  Mathematical abstractions don't exist in reality.  They are concepts that has been designed by humans as a tool for understanding reality.  That is what I meant by meaningless.  If you can think of a better word to use, I would be happy to use it.

I hope this clears things up.  I'll be more than willing to continue clarifying as much as necessary.

Re: Atheism
January 05, 2009, 11:08:50 AM
The important underlying argument:

Reality is rational and repeats itself consistently. Drop a ball, it always falls.

We have logical systems to describe this reality. Sometimes, they are inexact; other times, people misunderstand them to be linear.

Categorical logic is one example. Idiots make it absolute and universal; "he can't be a fireman, he's a policeman!!!1!" when the guy is working nights as a fireman.

The "excluded middles" problem is part of this. Is he a fireman, not a fireman, or another category? Well... categories either work in AND conditions or OR conditions. I prefer the AND conditions, don't you? He's a fireman who also has a nine-inch penis; he's not either a man with a nine-inch penis OR a fireman.

In the same way we can approach God. Most of us on this site despise the anthropomorphic God because (a) it makes zero fucking sense, and reveals a clear anthropocentric bias and (b) it justifies morality of the human form, e.g. every life is sacred. But that doesn't mean we have only a binary option, believes-in-anthropomorphic-God or doesn't-believe-in-anthropomorphic-God.

Life is bountiful and offers other options.

Re: Atheism
January 05, 2009, 07:44:35 PM
The important underlying argument:

Reality is rational and repeats itself consistently. Drop a ball, it always falls.

We have logical systems to describe this reality. Sometimes, they are inexact; other times, people misunderstand them to be linear.

Categorical logic is one example. Idiots make it absolute and universal; "he can't be a fireman, he's a policeman!!!1!" when the guy is working nights as a fireman.

The "excluded middles" problem is part of this. Is he a fireman, not a fireman, or another category? Well... categories either work in AND conditions or OR conditions. I prefer the AND conditions, don't you? He's a fireman who also has a nine-inch penis; he's not either a man with a nine-inch penis OR a fireman.

In the same way we can approach God. Most of us on this site despise the anthropomorphic God because (a) it makes zero fucking sense, and reveals a clear anthropocentric bias and (b) it justifies morality of the human form, e.g. every life is sacred. But that doesn't mean we have only a binary option, believes-in-anthropomorphic-God or doesn't-believe-in-anthropomorphic-God.

Life is bountiful and offers other options.

Whose underlying argument is that?

Your example of the ball reminds me of David Hume. Ever read him? He's an awful read, but a good example of the systematic, limiting viewpoint of empiricism. What he doesn't understand, or what does not fit into his empirical view is molded until it fits. Negative side effect is that his whole system is incoherent and doesn't stand up in the least to traditional doctrines. You'll notice that when you compare his notion of necissity to the idea presented by traditional texts. He confused necessity and causality and misnamed the latter to appear as the former. But why? Because he thought just like you that the "natural law" was the only rule, and that all reality was under its sway.

I often wonder, did all those modern philosophers not read the classics? How could one possibly confuse necessity and causality after having read Augustine's de libero arbitrio? Or confuse contingency and accident after having read Aristotle's Physics?

You prefer AND conditions; but you are the one impressing your OR on reality. Here's the AND condition: there is the universal and the contingent.

Nobody forces you to approach God like the crowd does. Nobody forces you to like the latest Metallica, either. But METAL you do like, don't you?

You want to tell me that God is not represented by the TV preacher, by sentimentalistic "religiousness"? Thanks, but I already know that. That's not reason enough for atheism, though; or do you hate Burzum because Metallica sucks?

Re: Atheism
January 05, 2009, 08:23:02 PM
Quote from: nous
Nobody forces you to approach God like the crowd does.
Quote from: nous
You want to tell me that God is not represented by the TV preacher, by sentimentalistic "religiousness"? Thanks, but I already know that.

I'm interested in knowing how exactly you define god and how you know god exists.  I promise I won't turn this into another pointless debate.  I ask simply out of curiosity, because looking back I can't see any place where you've said what you mean by it.

Re: Atheism
January 06, 2009, 06:44:03 AM
Your example of the ball reminds me of David Hume. Ever read him? He's an awful read, but a good example of the systematic, limiting viewpoint of empiricism. What he doesn't understand, or what does not fit into his empirical view is molded until it fits. Negative side effect is that his whole system is incoherent and doesn't stand up in the least to traditional doctrines. You'll notice that when you compare his notion of necissity to the idea presented by traditional texts. He confused necessity and causality and misnamed the latter to appear as the former. But why? Because he thought just like you that the "natural law" was the only rule, and that all reality was under its sway.

I often wonder, did all those modern philosophers not read the classics? How could one possibly confuse necessity and causality after having read Augustine's de libero arbitrio? Or confuse contingency and accident after having read Aristotle's Physics?

Could you please point me towards the passages in Hume's writings where he confuses necessity and causality? What do you even mean by 'necessity'? Hume most certainly did not confuse causality with logical necessity, and I can't see how causality isn't related to nomological necessity.

Re: Atheism
January 07, 2009, 03:41:05 PM
Quote from: nous
Nobody forces you to approach God like the crowd does.
Quote from: nous
You want to tell me that God is not represented by the TV preacher, by sentimentalistic "religiousness"? Thanks, but I already know that.

I'm interested in knowing how exactly you define god and how you know god exists.  I promise I won't turn this into another pointless debate.  I ask simply out of curiosity, because looking back I can't see any place where you've said what you mean by it.

I cannot define God, because by defining Him, I would limit Him (definire, from de- + finire to limit, end, from finis boundary, end), by which I would allow something to be outside Him; but if something were outside Him, I would not describe God in His Infinity, but something else.

A proof that "God is" can only be indirect, I think. For in order to perfectly know that He is, one would have to know what He is. Such knowledge is more than rational--unlike the proof which we have in mind--and is attained by direct comprehension of His essence. A proper scientific proof proceeds from what is better known to that which is [or was] less known. But he who wants to know God does not yet have that knowledge. He observes the effects, but he doesn't know the cause better than the effects. Thus he can only know that a cause exists, but from this does not follow that he has essential knowledge of the cause.

Here's a list of such demonstrations: Summa Theologica > First Part > Question 2 > Article 3.

Re: Atheism
January 07, 2009, 09:36:12 PM
nous, you're a classic (but not classical) liberal: the problem is that we use words/symbols, which aren't reality.

Well, no shit... I could have read a Thomas Pynchon story and learned that. But in addition, I'd have to say: if we want to communicate, we're going to be dependent on words and symbols.

So instead of being fucking brats like anarchists, and throwing out the baby with the bathwater, we should focus on how to make our communication more significant.

This whole "the tool is imperfect, so I'm going to lapse into metaphysical bullshit" game got old in the 1970s. You can do better, or you should pick cotton.

Re: Atheism
January 08, 2009, 09:13:05 PM
nous, you're a classic (but not classical) liberal: the problem is that we use words/symbols, which aren't reality.

Well, no shit... I could have read a Thomas Pynchon story and learned that. But in addition, I'd have to say: if we want to communicate, we're going to be dependent on words and symbols.

So instead of being fucking brats like anarchists, and throwing out the baby with the bathwater, we should focus on how to make our communication more significant.

This whole "the tool is imperfect, so I'm going to lapse into metaphysical bullshit" game got old in the 1970s. You can do better, or you should pick cotton.

I talk about reality, you talk about reality. Now where exactly do you see a problem? With symbols we can describe reality by sound and image. I'm not doing anything else. But some things have to be put in a certain way, for the sake of intelligibility, or misunderstandings and confusions will arise; but I do my best to prevent them. Why you're calling me a liberal is beyond me (or is it the 'description of God' that prompted this?).

"This whole game got old in the 1970s": wow, what a hipser-esque argument. Very convincing. And what exactly is "bullshit" about metaphysics? I expect more of you than a bunch of far-fetched accusations.

Re: Atheism
January 08, 2009, 11:59:28 PM
On a completed unrelated note, the most useful contribution of atheism is that it tells us we are responsible for our own future -- we steer the ship of humanity's survival, and no gods or "meta-governments" are going to bail us out if we screw it up.

Re: Atheism
January 09, 2009, 12:17:30 PM
Could you please point me towards the passages in Hume's writings where he confuses necessity and causality? What do you even mean by 'necessity'? Hume most certainly did not confuse causality with logical necessity, and I can't see how causality isn't related to nomological necessity.

"Our idea, therefore, of necessity and causation arises entirely from the uniformity observable in the operations of nature, where similar objects are constantly conjoined together, and the mind is determined by custom to infer the one from the appearance of the other. These two circumstances form the whole of that necessity, which we ascribe to matter. Beyond the constant conjunction of similar objects, and the consequent inference from one to the other, we have no notion of any necessity or connexion." Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding > Section VIII

Re: Atheism
January 09, 2009, 03:17:17 PM
Could you please point me towards the passages in Hume's writings where he confuses necessity and causality? What do you even mean by 'necessity'? Hume most certainly did not confuse causality with logical necessity, and I can't see how causality isn't related to nomological necessity.

"Our idea, therefore, of necessity and causation arises entirely from the uniformity observable in the operations of nature, where similar objects are constantly conjoined together, and the mind is determined by custom to infer the one from the appearance of the other. These two circumstances form the whole of that necessity, which we ascribe to matter. Beyond the constant conjunction of similar objects, and the consequent inference from one to the other, we have no notion of any necessity or connexion." Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding > Section VIII

You have no idea what you're talking about. "Of that necessity" is jargon, not a demonstrating of philosophical necessity. NEXT