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Metal => Interzone => Topic started by: Anthem364 on December 27, 2008, 07:34:07 PM

Title: Atheism
Post by: Anthem364 on December 27, 2008, 07:34:07 PM
What does everything think about atheism in their own perspective? I''ve been a well-devoted atheist for some time now, and I'm very confused why the staff at ANUS and CORRUPT bicker so much about this so called "problem" of atheism..... enlighten me please.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: My AIDS, Your Arse on December 27, 2008, 09:32:08 PM
What does everything think about atheism in their own perspective? I''ve been a well-devoted atheist for some time now, and I'm very confused why the staff at ANUS and CORRUPT
biker so much about this so called "problem" of atheism..... enlighten me please.

I'll give you my two cents.

Atheism is as inconclusive as any religion. (And I'm using religion in a very generalized way.) Proclaiming that there is no god is just as irrational a belief as proclaiming that there is one.

What does matter is how these beliefs affect a given person: of particular concern is the average unconscious individual who cannot think for himself.

Atheism pushes people toward the 'rational' dogma like liberalism and science-ism, and both of these encourage our modern decadence, needless consumption, et cetera (i.e. "There's no god, I'm gonna do whatever the fuck I want! Bring on the motorized anal beads!!"). Not just that, but atheism isn't a very unifying belief. There's no doctrine to unite all "atheists" because atheism isn't an organized religion. It divides everyone and makes them weak individuals instead of strong groups of unified individuals.

In short, there are practical beliefs, and there are impractical ones. Choose the ones which make you better as a human being.

That's the magic of nihilism (tm).

EDIT: In my short life, I've seen many Christians (of all people) who were much more capable and level-headed human beings than atheists. Perhaps being a well-minded person and being religious are not mutually exclusive, but it does take a certain mind to transcend religious symbolism and to grasp what is meant by religions and their accompanying morals and virtues.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: fractal on December 28, 2008, 07:13:34 AM
In my short life, I've seen many Christians (of all people) who were much more capable and level-headed human beings than atheists. Perhaps being a well-minded person and being religious are not mutually exclusive, but it does take a certain mind to transcend religious symbolism and to grasp what is meant by religions and their accompanying morals and virtues.

It seems to me (here in Czech Republic) that the "default setting" that people are born into is driven by atheism. As everyone in middle ages who didn't think of this was by default a christian, now he would be an atheist. That's partly because of seeming overflowing of the "religion market" and partly because of crowdist fear of looking different. The religious person then would be one thinking about such topic so much that he comes out with it. There are many aspects to be considered in reaching out to grasp the attention of god in yourself that i would not only say that "being a well minded person and being religious are not mutually exclusive", but in a sincere person, it has to come hand in hand. Of course (or at least i think it might be like this), religions are built as simple pieces of wisdom that speak to even the dumbest mind. But this is true only when there's one religion present. The religions that deal with the true, abstract, moral god (as one's will and self-control) must be first recognised and learnt - that's the point where the well-mindedness comes in handy. You know, it seems to me that many, if not all, religions offer the same goal and the same path to it, but when an inexperienced person is exposed to the seeming variety of them, he becomes confused and tries to run away to denial - and that's atheism.

Atheism is just a half religion, because it offers only the point of evidence, of being bound to the world somehow. Religions also have a historical context (that is something atheism cannot ever have by definiton) and a social one (that is something atheism denies). The only people able to go on without any belief (atheism or theism) are the Strangers of Albert Camus. But for them not to be random marionettes of butterfly effects from over the universe, some solid point of security (perhaps fantastic) is also needed. Sad old news is that today's society offers it in the form of money and all those matters.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Humanicide on December 28, 2008, 07:36:01 AM

Atheism is as inconclusive as any religion. (And I'm using religion in a very generalized way.) Proclaiming that there is no god is just as irrational a belief as proclaiming that there is one.

aye, my thoughts exactly.

sorry to sound borderline hippie here, but as one goes through life, there are so many uncertainties. Do I know if there is a God? No, I don't. Do I know that God does not exist? No, I don't. Could there just be a group of midget aliens who look like cockroaches deciding everyone's fate? A bit fantastic, but who is to say that I am completely wrong?

No human can answer these questions. They will probably exist until mankind's end. Until then, I believe in myself, my friends, and my loved ones. That to me is the best belief system anyone can have.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on December 28, 2008, 08:37:53 AM
Quote from: My AIDS, Your Arse
Atheism is as inconclusive as any religion. (And I'm using religion in a very generalized way.) Proclaiming that there is no god is just as irrational a belief as proclaiming that there is one.

Really?  Not believing in fairy tales is just as irrational as believing in them?  I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there.

Anyway, I have a number of problems with atheism.  First of all, the word atheist shouldn't even exist because it defines something by what it is not.  Second, most people who are atheists either keep the religious morals/values of their parents but try to act superior to everyone for realizing the magic space zombie isn't real, or they replace their old religious beliefs with some other form of insanity.  Lastly, I hate people who try to turn atheism into a religion.  This is mainly done by Secular Humanists and I assume everyone already knows why this is a failure of an ideology.

One last thing.  What exactly is a "well-devoted atheist?"  Atheism isn't an ideology or belief system.  Using religious language to describe your atheism is very telling.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: fractal on December 28, 2008, 09:17:13 AM
Really?  Not believing in fairy tales is just as irrational as believing in them?  I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there.
Perhaps you misunderstand religion as a whole? There is no importance in that the god actually exists, but in the faith and the religious feeling that connects one to the world and the other world. As said earlier, there is also the social aspect, binding people together. That's why many religions have/try to have impact on family life (marrying in churches speaks for all). Come on, it's a cliché, but people truly don't believe in fairy tales in terms of senile daddy smiling on them from the cloudy cloud and speaking about heaven. (ok, some do)

Lastly, I hate people who try to turn atheism into a religion.  This is mainly done by Secular Humanists and I assume everyone already knows why this is a failure of an ideology.
That's because its function is partly the same as of religion. As said above.

One last thing.  What exactly is a "well-devoted atheist?"  Atheism isn't an ideology or belief system.  Using religious language to describe your atheism is very telling.
What does it matter if some of us are atheists and some not? We're here to discuss things abstract from individual struggle, not to blab about someone's tastes in pink socks.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on December 28, 2008, 10:32:57 AM
"Unbelief is for the mob."

Whilst this is provocative, it also has truth to it. It's way easier to un-believe than to believe, and the mob likes it simple.

How I view it: belief is a very natural thing. How can you know something you don't believe? Without belief, no true knowledge is possible, believe it or not. I don't like to see belief as an end-point, but as a stance which prepares for that which exceeds the status quo.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: istaros on December 28, 2008, 10:49:20 AM
hard-line atheism is akin to fatalism in that it provides no reason to do anything noble. it also gives full leniency to extreme individualism, since it can only support that view of life which sees all humans as inherently the same, at least when compared to other species. additionally, it seems to be an attempt to not only approach, but fully know, an objective truth in human minds, which can ultimately only see the world in subjective terms. what nous said probably indicates its biggest fault, though; it's merely another easy way out.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: on December 28, 2008, 11:03:41 AM
Atheism is completely retarded. If religions were like a sports team, and a religious person said to an "atheist" what team do you support? The Atheist would basically say "I don't support any team". And then they treat their lack of a team like an actual team, and dress in shirts of that teams colours and stand at the side of a field every Sunday, cheering on their empty pitch. The idiots.

I like what this Fractal chap says, and Mr Nous too. Many people say that religion is an allegory of the real world, but that is just opinion. Fractal just pointed out that without the intermediary of religion, humans can't connect directly to the world. I think there is a lot of sense in saying something like that.

Also, it is clear that most of the world is atheistic as Nous pointed out. The Herd.

And you must believe what you know, otherwise you don't know it. Atheists' opinion that 'you can demonstrate certain specific things that are real regardless of whether the deluded individual believes them' is just garbage individualist blind faith. The hypocrites.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Devamitra on December 28, 2008, 11:25:46 AM
It seems to be one of the most wastefully time consuming syntactical problems. There are solid grounds to both the theist and the atheist argument, the latter especially when objecting to the God of the Judeo-Christians; one can't read philosophy very extensively without encountering a convincing method for either one. But particularly there is a point to atheism in being the systematic way of denying the myth about God, since the genealogy of ideas has brought us to the point where this idea is dead. Thus: God is dead.

To reject all religions and all their metaphysics has never been the mission of the atheists except in the most narrow-minded cases. Note that the one argument I wish to avoid here is the definition of a "true atheist". Misuse of the term is not my problem.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: fractal on December 28, 2008, 12:11:39 PM
But particularly there is a point to atheism in being the systematic way of denying the myth about God, since the genealogy of ideas has brought us to the point where this idea is dead.
Thanks for pointing this out, i said earlier that atheism doesn't have historical context and i was apparently wrong. But, isn't this the historical approach only? Because "God is dead" effectively destroys some values, but doesn't replace them by anything one could live by. I think that the personal atheism has to be something more then just negation. But then again, i might be wrong because many people adopt "God is dead" and subscribe to material values. And i don't want to confuse atheism and idolatry.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Dedrater on December 28, 2008, 12:33:11 PM
This can all be summed up pretty succinctly, I think, to:

'God' has no clear definition, and is a term that can be arbitrarily applied to virtually anything. Taking a stance against something that is inherently incoherent is a waste of time.

So, what's really going on? Secular humanism needs to anthropomorphize its otherwise elusively intangible enemy, because without doing so, it has nothing coherent to attack morally. It doesn't take long before "Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift?" devolves into "I'm not going to worship a capricious, baby-killing sky daddy!" Decontextualization occurs, everyone assumes the terms they're using have clear definitions, and then "Women should be allowed to abort their babies because they have inalienable rights" slyly makes its way into the argument.

Silly.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: fractal on December 28, 2008, 01:01:41 PM
And we return once again to the problem of education, will to be educated and that the uneducated fools are being heard more and more. To come to a conclusion in such argument as is the question of god, one must have great portion of knowledge and dedication. There are many approaches and in each of them the terms are defined quite clearly, but when someone comes to the problem as a whole and does not see the little nuances changing the meaning, confusion will occur.

and on a personal note: Sorry if i am a bit inarticulate here, it is late here and my eyes begin to close. I don't often engage in debates, but hey, thanks for this one, it's great and to the point!
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Destructor on December 28, 2008, 03:24:58 PM
Atheism is to embrace the fact that you are mortal and that there is no use in plaguing your mind with paranoid fantasies and guilt. I see nothing wrong with this.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on December 28, 2008, 03:46:33 PM
Being an atheist simply means you don't believe deities exist.  It does not mean being anti-religious, although the two often go together.  Nobody has said anything about religions having no value to them, so arguing that they do is irrelevant to the discussion.

Also, saying that whether or not gods actually exist is irrelevant to religions is ludicrous.  Many religions (mostly the monotheistic religions) are completely obsessed with belief in a deity.  Many of them consider it to be of the highest priority.

I'm also seeing people in this thread conflate religion with morality/moral codes.  Morality does have an effect of unifying people and tribes to help society function, but that doesn't mean morals have to arise out of a religious context.

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Dedrater on December 28, 2008, 04:53:55 PM
Being an atheist simply means you don't believe deities exist.

I agree with most of your post, but consider this: there is such a thing as conceptual infinity. The number of conceivable mind-things is an infinite set; all you have to do is consider the infinite increments between the real numbers 1 and 2 to realize this. So, then, we could say we are:

adragonists
abigfootists
acircularsquareists

And you can get even more absurd than that if you want. 'God,' as a symbolic summation of a bunch of reality-notions, is only slightly more comprehensible than 'circular squares,' and seems to be indicative of a flaw pertaining to how most people use language. Sure, you can claim that the preponderance of religious people in the world might make it worth professing one's particular lack of belief in deities (whatever those even are in the first place) while never even referencing one's conceptually infinite set of lack of belief, but there are structural flaws in society which -- in being fundamental and all-encompassing -- should take precedence over arguing about the damage a sub-paradigm has caused.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on December 28, 2008, 05:17:57 PM
Being an atheist simply means you don't believe deities exist.

I agree with most of your post, but consider this: there is such a thing as conceptual infinity. The number of conceivable mind-things is an infinite set; all you have to do is consider the infinite increments between the real numbers 1 and 2 to realize this. So, then, we could say we are:

adragonists
abigfootists
acircularsquareists

And you can get even more absurd than that if you want. 'God,' as a symbolic summation of a bunch of reality-notions, is only slightly more comprehensible than 'circular squares,' and seems to be indicative of a flaw pertaining to how most people use language. Sure, you can claim that the preponderance of religious people in the world might make it worth professing one's particular lack of belief in deities (whatever those even are in the first place) while never even referencing one's conceptually infinite set of lack of belief, but there are structural flaws in society which -- in being fundamental and all-encompassing -- should take precedence over arguing about the damage a sub-paradigm has caused.

Yeah, this is why I said the word atheist shouldn't even exist.

Also, I forgot to add:

Quote from: fractal
people truly don't believe in fairy tales in terms of senile daddy smiling on them from the cloudy cloud and speaking about heaven

This is the most intellectually dishonest statement I've ever seen.  Have you ever looked at the studies done on what religious people actually believe?  Do you think if I went to the Muslim world that most of them would tell me that they don't really believe Allah exists?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Cigno on December 28, 2008, 06:30:12 PM
Pheeew...

I better choose non-theist religiosity (Zen, Tao... Eckhart!).

And yes, I mostly disagree with atheism because we surrender to economics as the sole factor of social explanation.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: AzureNight on December 28, 2008, 06:35:14 PM
Atheism is completely retarded. If religions were like a sports team, and a religious person said to an "atheist" what team do you support? The Atheist would basically say "I don't support any team". And then they treat their lack of a team like an actual team, and dress in shirts of that teams colours and stand at the side of a field every Sunday, cheering on their empty pitch. The idiots.

I like what this Fractal chap says, and Mr Nous too. Many people say that religion is an allegory of the real world, but that is just opinion. Fractal just pointed out that without the intermediary of religion, humans can't connect directly to the world. I think there is a lot of sense in saying something like that.

Also, it is clear that most of the world is atheistic as Nous pointed out. The Herd.

And you must believe what you know, otherwise you don't know it. Atheists' opinion that 'you can demonstrate certain specific things that are real regardless of whether the deluded individual believes them' is just garbage individualist blind faith. The hypocrites.
Most people in the world are certainly not atheistic, not in the slightest. The vast majority of people are religious and believe in a god. The herd needs crude, traditionalist beliefs because it makes them feel comfortable in what otherwise would be a very plain and natural world. They feel comfort in there being a grand leader who will reward them for life if they are part of his team; they feel comfort in being part of a group where others believe the exact same thing. They get an absolute "truth" about everything there is to be known, and this truth is unyielding to criticism. In other words, they are comfortable. That is what the herd seeks. Atheism gives absolutely none of that simple comfort.

Your simplistic metaphor comparing religions to sports teams is idiotic and I fail to see the connection, other than the fact that there are many "teams" of religions as there are teams in sports. Not a valid comparison at all.

And atheism has no dogma at all, nothing even close to what would qualify as a religion. All atheism is is a lack of belief in god, nothing more. A Buddhist can be an atheist if they do not believe in a god. There isn't one big pool of atheists with the same values, the same beliefs, etc. I would think this is something extremely obvious, yet so many misunderstand what atheism is. It is not even necessarily a belief in god, simply the absence of belief. Any rational person withholds belief until there is sufficient evidence. There is not sufficient evidence for a god, and thus I withhold my belief in god, making me an atheist.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on December 28, 2008, 07:04:58 PM
Atheism is completely retarded. If religions were like a sports team, and a religious person said to an "atheist" what team do you support? The Atheist would basically say "I don't support any team". And then they treat their lack of a team like an actual team, and dress in shirts of that teams colours and stand at the side of a field every Sunday, cheering on their empty pitch. The idiots.

I like what this Fractal chap says, and Mr Nous too. Many people say that religion is an allegory of the real world, but that is just opinion. Fractal just pointed out that without the intermediary of religion, humans can't connect directly to the world. I think there is a lot of sense in saying something like that.

Also, it is clear that most of the world is atheistic as Nous pointed out. The Herd.

And you must believe what you know, otherwise you don't know it. Atheists' opinion that 'you can demonstrate certain specific things that are real regardless of whether the deluded individual believes them' is just garbage individualist blind faith. The hypocrites.
Most people in the world are certainly not atheistic, not in the slightest. The vast majority of people are religious and believe in a god. The herd needs crude, traditionalist beliefs because it makes them feel comfortable in what otherwise would be a very plain and natural world. They feel comfort in there being a grand leader who will reward them for life if they are part of his team; they feel comfort in being part of a group where others believe the exact same thing. They get an absolute "truth" about everything there is to be known, and this truth is unyielding to criticism. In other words, they are comfortable. That is what the herd seeks. Atheism gives absolutely none of that simple comfort.

Your simplistic metaphor comparing religions to sports teams is idiotic and I fail to see the connection, other than the fact that there are many "teams" of religions as there are teams in sports. Not a valid comparison at all.

And atheism has no dogma at all, nothing even close to what would qualify as a religion. All atheism is is a lack of belief in god, nothing more. A Buddhist can be an atheist if they do not believe in a god. There isn't one big pool of atheists with the same values, the same beliefs, etc. I would think this is something extremely obvious, yet so many misunderstand what atheism is. It is not even necessarily a belief in god, simply the absence of belief. Any rational person withholds belief until there is sufficient evidence. There is not sufficient evidence for a god, and thus I withhold my belief in god, making me an atheist.

Agreed on all counts.

(http://www.adherents.com/images/rel_pie.gif)

Quote from: fractal
What does it matter if some of us are atheists and some not? We're here to discuss things abstract from individual struggle, not to blab about someone's tastes in pink socks.

It doesn't.  The thread starter stated he was a "well-devoted atheist" and I wanted to know what he meant by that.  Nothing more.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ken on December 28, 2008, 07:25:52 PM
^ the first intelligent post in this thread (AzureNight)

I am surprised that religion still exists, but I am probably too far out of 'the know' to know better.

There have been a few comments like

Atheism pushes people toward the 'rational' dogma like liberalism and science-ism, and both of these encourage our modern decadence, needless consumption, et cetera (i.e. "There's no god, I'm gonna do whatever the fuck I want! Bring on the motorized anal beads!!").

when an inexperienced person is exposed to the seeming variety of them[religions], he becomes confused and tries to run away to denial - and that's atheism.

hard-line atheism is akin to fatalism in that it provides no reason to do anything noble. it also gives full leniency to extreme individualism, since it can only support that view of life which sees all humans as inherently the same, at least when compared to other species. additionally, it seems to be an attempt to not only approach, but fully know, an objective truth in human minds, which can ultimately only see the world in subjective terms. what nous said probably indicates its biggest fault, though; it's merely another easy way out.

Personally I see agnosticism as slightly cowardly. Scientifically, we cant prove that God doesnt exist, and scientifically we cant prove that God does exist. It might be, therefore, more 'logical' to be a Christian so that if God does exist then you wont go to Hell, but logic and science denies the existance of any god and taking the middle ground is a weak decision.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=402381


 http://bhascience.blogspot.com/2008/10/atheists-are-more-intelligent-but-does.html
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Cigno on December 28, 2008, 07:52:23 PM
Ken: beware of that false dilemma.

If a remember well, atheism has been also used as a flag to move herds to achieve an utopic state. Please stop using atheism as a sign of freedom against religion.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Anthem364 on December 28, 2008, 08:04:16 PM
man hold up, that's what I'm talking about. XD
so I see what you guys are saying to me. What if I combine my atheism and a mix of religions together in a trancendental way?
It reminds me of personal based gnosticism of some sorts... tell me what you think.

It's like God is the universe, the story of creation is actually how humans evolved both literally, physically, metaphorically, and symbollically,
and the rest....personal based.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: David_Ravel on December 28, 2008, 08:21:48 PM
As said ABSO in another thread (I think) :

Science as a method,
Religion as a methaphor.

My point of view is that if you can understand the underlying principle of the message without taking time to study and follow the metaphor, fine by me. But we shouldn't hold that most people can transcend the metaphor (i.e. being atheist).

I prefer herd hold together by tradition and religion than driven in all direction. Spirituality is important, no mather what god or no-god you pray.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: AzureNight on December 28, 2008, 09:54:08 PM
man hold up, that's what I'm talking about. XD
so I see what you guys are saying to me. What if I combine my atheism and a mix of religions together in a trancendental way?
It reminds me of personal based gnosticism of some sorts... tell me what you think.

It's like God is the universe, the story of creation is actually how humans evolved both literally, physically, metaphorically, and symbollically,
and the rest....personal based.
Why does the universe have to be god? Do you think that is the wrong choice of words to describe the universe? Is the universe conscious of itself?

You are obviously not an atheist if there is any belief in god. Why not just save a step and remove god from the equation? The universe is the universe; it is simply all matter that exists. While matter can become conscious, I do not think the universe is conscious of itself as a whole. You need to think deeper into your beliefs as it appears you are confused about the definitions of the terms you are throwing around.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Heydrich on December 28, 2008, 10:24:06 PM
"Religion may be an excellent means of taming and training the perverse, obtuse and wicked biped race: but in the eyes of the friend of truth every fraud, however pious, is still a fraud." 

"Philalethes"  - in "On Religion: A Dialogue" by Schopenhauer.

Some here may enjoy this essay if you've never read it.   
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ASBO on December 30, 2008, 07:57:47 PM
I'm very confused why the staff at ANUS and CORRUPT bicker so much about this so called "problem" of atheism.....

Do they?

I think we all have a little anarchist in us, but anarchy doesn't work. Same with atheism.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: AzureNight on December 30, 2008, 09:14:25 PM
I'm very confused why the staff at ANUS and CORRUPT bicker so much about this so called "problem" of atheism.....

Do they?

I think we all have a little anarchist in us, but anarchy doesn't work. Same with atheism.
Atheism certainly does work, considering that it is logical to withhold belief until there is sufficient evidence. The extraordinary claim of a god existing does not have extraordinary evidence.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ken on December 31, 2008, 12:30:01 AM
I'm very confused why the staff at ANUS and CORRUPT bicker so much about this so called "problem" of atheism.....

Do they?

I think we all have a little anarchist in us, but anarchy doesn't work. Same with atheism.

Why? Explain in more detail.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Mirdautas_Vras on December 31, 2008, 01:03:39 AM
Quote
Why does the universe have to be god? Do you think that is the wrong choice of words to describe the universe? Is the universe conscious of itself?

We are the universe and part of it, therefore in a metaphysical sense, one with the universe and co-creators. You sound like you are still associating the "God" of the bible with it.

Quote
You are obviously not an atheist if there is any belief in god. Why not just save a step and remove god from the equation? The universe is the universe; it is simply all matter that exists. While matter can become conscious, I do not think the universe is conscious of itself as a whole. You need to think deeper into your beliefs as it appears you are confused about the definitions of the terms you are throwing around.

I remember viewing a video posted here, it was an Averse Sefira interview. One of the members mentioned the universe as an ambivalent, ever moving force. It is chaotic, destructive and creative all at once.. it has no need to be conscious while it is moving and churning you are taking part in the creation, destruction and chaos on Earth itself. Henceforth in metaphysics and scientifically you could frame the Universe as some kind of "Godly" matter( C, N, H, O). We are of it.

The belief in -ism's I believe is what holds people back from seeing the big picture, there isn't a single religion to establish truth but many pick apart little satori's from.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on December 31, 2008, 07:36:44 AM
If you're redefining god as something other than a deity, then obviously whatever you're talking about doesn't apply to this discussion.

Quote from: Mirdautas_Vras
Henceforth in metaphysics and scientifically you could frame the Universe as some kind of "Godly" matter( C, N, H, O).

Why would we want to frame the universe this way?  You're simply making a twisted effort to keep god in the picture.  There's no need for it.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Mirdautas_Vras on December 31, 2008, 10:42:00 AM
The universe created everything did it not? Framing it with a three letter word has placed no weight upon my shoulders or karma for that matter. Physicists even talk of the "god" particle, not in reference to vengeful deity of the Jewish and European peoples. Maybe some will apply it to but what does that matter?

There is no 10 commandments with the universe, the only constant is change.

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Anthem364 on December 31, 2008, 12:04:49 PM
then is the mission plan of ANUS and CORRUPT to reconstitue a new religion over all the others or what?

what about the inquisitions and what not?

hell, me? I say F*** organized religion, but independent spirituality is okay.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: wood on December 31, 2008, 12:44:59 PM
I think some of the best points of this thread, points that deal with the initial question, are being buried by attempts to define a term that is, as someone stated earlier in the thread, arbitrary.

One of the definitions of god could be a natural human response to the cold harsh world it lives in, an attempt to indentify with that world, and create a bond with it, or humanize it (put a face to it, god).  Then instead of a harsh unforgiving world where life means nothing, and your value as an individule is rewarded only with death, the uncaring reality around you suddenly has a kind face that gives you a purpose and a promise of some type of reward.  The pitfall is that instead of seeing reality you only see illusion, and in that illusion there are many unrealistic paths which you can see people walking in todays society.

Atheism also has pitfalls, a supposed realization that there is no god often comes hand in hand with a belief that there is no order, or no point to anything.  It's possible to be an atheist, and still contribute positive things to the human species, just like it's possible to do the same as a religious person.  I don't see as much of a problem with being an atheist, but you just have to be careful to realize that just because there is no one looking over your shoulder, you still have to realize that there is still a purpose, the furthering and bettering of our species.

To me, the pursuit of reality relative to the quality of human kind, without the promise of reward, but simply because it's what needs to be done is more 'noble' than anything.  Nihlism as defined on this site, and the works they promote, is the best means to this end.  Atheism is a potential detractor, I think that is the answer you are looking for.

*edit* My definition of god, arbitrary as the term is, came from Freud's 'The Future of an Illusion'.  Well worth the read.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on December 31, 2008, 01:30:43 PM
then is the mission plan of ANUS and CORRUPT to reconstitue a new religion over all the others or what?

what about the inquisitions and what not?

hell, me? I say F*** organized religion, but independent spirituality is okay.

The organizational and community strengthening aspects of religion are what's good about it.  It's the retarded beliefs that are the problem.

Quote from: Mirdautus_Vras
The universe created everything did it not? Framing it with a three letter word has placed no weight upon my shoulders or karma for that matter. Physicists even talk of the "god" particle, not in reference to vengeful deity of the Jewish and European peoples. Maybe some will apply it to but what does that matter?

There is no 10 commandments with the universe, the only constant is change.

Saying the universe created everything is a poor choice of words.  The universe IS everything.  What created the universe is, so far, an unanswered question.

Physicists very often make metaphorical mentions of "god," yes, and I think it's rather disingenuous of them.  Think of how often fundamentalist Christians attempt to use the metaphorical language of physicists to "prove" that their god is real.  Just look at the bullshit stories they make up about Einstein (http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp).

If you want to use the word god to describe the universe or some abstract concept or something, I'm not going to try to stop you.  I just think it's an unnecessary use of rather weighted terms.  Why does the universe have to be god?  Why can't it just be the universe?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: NHA on December 31, 2008, 07:15:07 PM

 bullshit stories they make up about Einstein (http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp).


To me, this underlines a fundamental flaw in a persons thinking. It seems to be a commonly reoccurring pattern - people draw conclusions from the emotional centers of their mind, then try to justify it with logic for the sake of validation.

Incoherence is the result.

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ken on December 31, 2008, 10:57:33 PM
Atheism also has pitfalls, a supposed realization that there is no god often comes hand in hand with a belief that there is no order, or no point to anything.

Isnt this the same as fatalist nihilism? E.g. existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value so lets shoot heroin.

Atheism today is not an attack, a denial, or an offensive stance against anything. Its simply choosing not to believe in God and the rejection of religion.

In my mind it is also the most intelligent, considering the lack of any empirical evidence of any god.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: David_Ravel on December 31, 2008, 11:40:29 PM
But we do have the empirical data of spirituality as an effective tool for humanity.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 01, 2009, 08:51:30 AM
Isnt this the same as fatalist nihilism? E.g. existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value so lets shoot heroin.

Atheism today is not an attack, a denial, or an offensive stance against anything. Its simply choosing not to believe in God and the rejection of religion.

In my mind it is also the most intelligent, considering the lack of any empirical evidence of any god.

Note that the universe, understood as 'all', can by no means be limited to matter, as that which would be so limited could not be 'all'. It seems that some people here have not been nihilistic enough in their approach to question this 'physicist' notion of the universe, which translates to a materialism pure and simple; clearly a belief in materialism will limit your understanding.

Contrary to you I think that atheism is an ongoing attack against God; it is no new thing, granted, but that does not make it less of an attack. Something doesn't vanish just because it is attacked.

Atheism is based on ignorance, for it denies God out of sentiment. Again, 'unbelief is for the mob', it is unintelligible for any truly intelligent mind.

By the way, one does not need any empirical evidence to understand the idea of God, given that one is intelligent enough to grasp it; and if not, then empirical evidence won't do the trick.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 01, 2009, 10:11:59 AM
Isnt this the same as fatalist nihilism? E.g. existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value so lets shoot heroin.

Atheism today is not an attack, a denial, or an offensive stance against anything. Its simply choosing not to believe in God and the rejection of religion.

In my mind it is also the most intelligent, considering the lack of any empirical evidence of any god.

Note that the universe, understood as 'all', can by no means be limited to matter, as that which would be so limited could not be 'all'. It seems that some people here have not been nihilistic enough in their approach to question this 'physicist' notion of the universe, which translates to a materialism pure and simple; clearly a belief in materialism will limit your understanding.

Contrary to you I think that atheism is an ongoing attack against God; it is no new thing, granted, but that does not make it less of an attack. Something doesn't vanish just because it is attacked.

Atheism is based on ignorance, for it denies God out of sentiment. Again, 'unbelief is for the mob', it is unintelligible for any truly intelligent mind.

By the way, one does not need any empirical evidence to understand the idea of God, given that one is intelligent enough to grasp it; and if not, then empirical evidence won't do the trick.


The universe is only "all" that exists, so in that sense it is limited.  Also, materialism doesn't state that the universe is merely matter.  According to our current understanding from a "physicist" perspective less than 5% of the universe is observable stuff (including matter), with about 25% being dark matter, and over 70% being dark energy.

If you think atheism is "an attack on God" then you're simply wrong.  Your ignorance shouldn't be other people's problem.  It also has nothing to do with sentiment.  The argument is that there is no reason/evidence to believe in deities.

From what I can tell, the real problem here is that you have a hatred of empiricism because what is observed to be true about reality runs contrary to the philosophical position you have taken.  You're the one acting out of sentiment.  You can't just claim something exists and then when asked to present evidence, declare that you are exempt from having to do so and anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 01, 2009, 12:13:48 PM
The universe is only "all" that exists, so in that sense it is limited.  Also, materialism doesn't state that the universe is merely matter.  According to our current understanding from a "physicist" perspective less than 5% of the universe is observable stuff (including matter), with about 25% being dark matter, and over 70% being dark energy.

If you think atheism is "an attack on God" then you're simply wrong.  Your ignorance shouldn't be other people's problem.  It also has nothing to do with sentiment.  The argument is that there is no reason/evidence to believe in deities.

From what I can tell, the real problem here is that you have a hatred of empiricism because what is observed to be true about reality runs contrary to the philosophical position you have taken.  You're the one acting out of sentiment.  You can't just claim something exists and then when asked to present evidence, declare that you are exempt from having to do so and anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

When you say: 'all that exists', then do you mean to say that there is something outside of that which exists? I wouldn't disagree with you there, as 'exist' means to 'stand out', and standing out implies something on which is stood, simply put.

If you intend to limit 'all', however, I must object; because either there is something outside of it, or there is nothing outside of it. If there is something outside of it, then it is not 'all', and if there is nothing outside of it, then it is 'all'.

Some background information: Atheism (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02040a.htm), Materialism (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10041b.htm)

Your accusations are not helpful. What can be empirically shown has its own relative value, but shouldn't be used as a basis for claims on truth that are outside its scope (=empiricism), for certain things just cannot be empirically proven. I do not hate empiricism, but I call it false, which is quite a different thing.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: AzureNight on January 01, 2009, 01:34:14 PM
Again, many of you are taking atheism for more than what it is. It is ONLY a lack of belief in god. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no dogma, no code of values, nothing. It is not a religion at all. You can have a vast array of beliefs among atheists, with the only thing in common between them being a lack of belief in god. You can have a Buddhist atheist who has humanistic values; you can have a misanthropic, nihilist atheist; you can have an atheist who holds scientific truth in high regard. There is no religion of atheism, nor is it an attack on god, nor is it anything but a lack of belief.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 01, 2009, 01:44:33 PM
Quote from: nous
When you say: 'all that exists', then do you mean to say that there is something outside of that which exists? I wouldn't disagree with you there, as 'exist' means to 'stand out', and standing out implies something on which is stood, simply put.

I would not say there is something outside of what exists, because things that do not exist aren't anywhere.  Perhaps there are higher/lower levels of existence but they would all be part of the same whole.  I also disagree with defining things that exist as "standing out."

Quote from: nous
Your accusations are not helpful. What can be empirically shown has its own relative value, but shouldn't be used as a basis for claims on truth that are outside its scope (=empiricism), for certain things just cannot be empirically proven. I do not hate empiricism, but I call it false, which is quite a different thing.

Yeah, certain things can't be empirically proven...like things that are false or not real.  And I stand by my accusations.  You are attempting to do philosophical acrobatics to avoid having to properly justify your beliefs.  Anything can be made to appear true if you don't have to verify it.


Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Dedrater on January 01, 2009, 02:40:55 PM
When you say: 'all that exists', then do you mean to say that there is something outside of that which exists?

From what I can tell, only one thing currently exists, and it is the universe. When using terms like 'all,' and implying a fractionalized reality, we do so only for convenience, because we are rational beings trapped in a world of metaphor and symbol; in a sense, 'all that exists' is a linguistic conundrum, and is evidence of our neurological and subjective limitations as arbitrary individuals.

Another thing to consider, here, is that we have a tendency to conceive of insides and outsides, because we evolved to intuit as much. If it holds true that nothing exists outside the universe because there is no outside, then the cognitive equipment we have been bestowed with via generational genetic modification is not entirely accurate; rationality, then, is a tool used to the end of the survival of molecular replicators, dealing a blow to rationalism as an outlook.

Quote
I wouldn't disagree with you there, as 'exist' means to 'stand out', and standing out implies something on which is stood, simply put.

But doesn't that upon which 'things' stand exist? At what point do they separate, and what separates the standing from the stand? If it is a thing that separates them, then what separates the thing from the stand, or the thing from the standing? If it is still another thing in both cases, and on again ad infinitum, then the separation is imagined. Only one thing exists.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 01, 2009, 03:19:41 PM
Quote from: Dedrater
If it holds true that nothing exists outside the universe because there is no outside, then the cognitive equipment we have been bestowed with via generational genetic modification is not entirely accurate; rationality, then, is a tool used to the end of the survival of molecular replicators, dealing a blow to rationalism as an outlook.

I don't really agree with this statement.  It reminds me of how Darwin wondered if his brain/mind was evolved just like that of a monkey's then how could he trust his own thinking.  Of course our cognitive equipment isn't entirely accurate.  It's an emergent system (like practically everything in the universe).  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.

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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Dedrater on January 01, 2009, 03:43:38 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.

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 02, 2009, 09:52:20 AM
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".

Quote
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:

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ASBO on January 02, 2009, 10:53:26 AM
"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"?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 02, 2009, 11:55:04 AM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Chessnut on January 02, 2009, 03:57:30 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Metal POWER! on January 03, 2009, 10:46:39 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Alexis on January 03, 2009, 11:19:33 AM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 03, 2009, 12:38:48 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Metal POWER! on January 03, 2009, 01:06:54 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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 03, 2009, 03:14:59 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: reasonable on January 03, 2009, 07:37:10 PM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ken on January 03, 2009, 11:09:53 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 04, 2009, 07:09:34 AM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 04, 2009, 07:55:41 AM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Metal POWER! on January 04, 2009, 08:18:54 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.

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?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Metal POWER! on January 04, 2009, 08:21:20 AM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 04, 2009, 08:35:49 AM
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?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: David_Ravel on January 04, 2009, 09:14:46 AM
Why not reform Christianity so that it both get a more healthy social role and transcendantal ideal through more esoterism ?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: reasonable on January 04, 2009, 03:22:54 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?


Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 04, 2009, 03:39:05 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ASBO on January 05, 2009, 03:08:50 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 05, 2009, 11:44:35 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.

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?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: JewishPhysics on January 05, 2009, 12:23:02 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: reasonable on January 05, 2009, 10:44:03 PM
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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 07, 2009, 07:41:05 AM
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. (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm#article3)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ASBO on January 07, 2009, 01:36:12 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 08, 2009, 01:13:05 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: death metal black metal on January 08, 2009, 03:59:28 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.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: nous on January 09, 2009, 04:17:30 AM
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 (http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html#8)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: ASBO on January 09, 2009, 07:17:17 AM
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 (http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html#8)

You have no idea what you're talking about. "Of that necessity" is jargon, not a demonstrating of philosophical necessity. NEXT
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: reasonable on January 09, 2009, 03:12:09 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 (http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html#8)

I'm sorry, but I simply fail to see how Hume is confusing causation and necessity in the above passage. He is clearly denying that there is sufficient reason to posit a necessary connection between causes and effects. He merely postulates that causation is normally taken to be a form of necessity. He identifies causation as the constant conjunction of events, which is such an attenuated notion of necessity as to clearly not be an adequate account of necessity on any intuitive reading of 'necessity'. I am quite sure that fact was abundantly clear to Hume.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vanguard on January 12, 2009, 02:09:51 PM
The most troublesome part about modern atheists is that they so closely resemble the sort of slave revolt that intellectual atheism is supposed to rise against. It's one thing to criticize a childish conception of god;  trying to get rid of religion is a compltely different matter. Just as with christians, i have know some very noble atheists in my time, as well as some very stupid and weak ones. I so often find myself wishing that the weak and stupid atheists would just go back to christianity, as it would probably be best for all parties involved. And it's not so much a matter of intelligence as it is of personal integrity, as there are many above-average or high-iq atheists who are still in need of some rulebook to follow. Atheism is a big responsibility, and many people simply arent cut-out for it.

For good examples of atheism at its sillier moments, consult youtube.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: lost_wanderer on January 18, 2014, 08:53:57 PM
the new Übermensch


http://i.imgur.com/EYAw98p.jpg

http://oi44.tinypic.com/2lkpp9x.jpg
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 18, 2014, 09:03:53 PM
the new Übermensch


http://i.imgur.com/EYAw98p.jpg

http://oi44.tinypic.com/2lkpp9x.jpg

If there had been a blond, blue-eyed, healthy and strong looking male put under the text, would you have posted this?

Is THIS the new Ubermench?

(http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs40/f/2009/017/8/c/Islamic_Jihad_hamas_by_ashoura.jpg)

Or maybe this?

(http://unfundy.com/images/westboro_protest.jpg)

Then again...

(http://forward.com/workspace/assets/images/articles/W-FUNDAMENTALIST-123011.jpg)

But surely not someone who has actually penetrated into the mystery of the cosmos, No.

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/4/6/1302094389618/Astronomer-royal-Martin-R-007.jpg)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: lost_wanderer on January 18, 2014, 09:33:29 PM
''If there had been a blond, blue-eyed, healthy and strong looking male put under the text, would you have posted this?''


It would have been less tempting, but I think yes. It would have still come out a little bit arrogant for my liking.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 18, 2014, 09:35:35 PM
The first (the text) is indeed patronising and snide. The second is OK.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: aquarius on January 19, 2014, 04:52:51 PM
the new Übermensch


http://i.imgur.com/EYAw98p.jpg

http://oi44.tinypic.com/2lkpp9x.jpg

If there had been a blond, blue-eyed, healthy and strong looking male put under the text, would you have posted this?

Is THIS the new Ubermench?

(http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs40/f/2009/017/8/c/Islamic_Jihad_hamas_by_ashoura.jpg)

Or maybe this?

(http://unfundy.com/images/westboro_protest.jpg)

Then again...

(http://forward.com/workspace/assets/images/articles/W-FUNDAMENTALIST-123011.jpg)

But surely not someone who has actually penetrated into the mystery of the cosmos, No.

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/4/6/1302094389618/Astronomer-royal-Martin-R-007.jpg)

This reads like a post from The Thulean Perspective.  :D
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: istaros on January 19, 2014, 10:35:52 PM
Is THIS the new Ubermench?(http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs40/f/2009/017/8/c/Islamic_Jihad_hamas_by_ashoura.jpg)
Considering the degree to which this (generalized) man can now exert influence over world affairs, I would say, non-sarcastically, yes.

The Jewish question was pretty funny, though.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Wild on January 20, 2014, 10:47:37 AM
Knowledge enlightens. Intelligence is "merely" a possible vehicle and occasional hindrance to that.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Jim Necroslaughter on January 20, 2014, 11:30:43 AM
Atheism is rebellion against the unknown.  The atheist only believes in human perceptions, observations and knowledge.  However, reality exists beyond what the mind can perceive.  The unknown is very much a part of reality and an aspect of reality - it is simply not known.  Knowledge does not change reality, it only changes how man relates to reality. 

The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.  Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.  The unknown is not the same as unreal.

If God and religion are based on belief and not knowledge, then this does not at all mean it is untrue or illogical.  Unknown is not the same as untrue, something can very well be true without being justified by knowledge, to be unjustified by knowledge is not at all to say that something is false.

The premise is simple:  the unknown is not a lesser aspect or lesser part of reality, if anything it is primary.  For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown.  What you don't know could fill a library.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 20, 2014, 12:24:02 PM
Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Wild on January 20, 2014, 01:46:38 PM
Quote
The unknown is very much a part of reality and an aspect of reality - it is simply not known.


How can any part of reality be said to be "known" or "unknown" independent of anything that might "know" or "not know" it?

Quote
The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.

This is not as accurate as it could be. Theory without observational evidence is not grounds for belief. If observational evidence is present, then it is safe to consider it valid.

Quote
Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.

Do you know of any religion which did not arise and be communicated through what individuals think, know, perceive, or feel?

Quote
something can very well be true without being justified by knowledge

It can also be false.  :)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Wild on January 20, 2014, 01:49:35 PM
Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.

Ethics; perhaps, (if the Richard Dawkins type is the model under discussion) but cosmology? The difference between stating the universe was created by Jewgod some thousands of years ago in 6 days seems far removed from a billions of years process that arose from random quantum fluctuations.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 20, 2014, 02:06:28 PM
Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.

Ethics; perhaps, (if the Richard Dawkins type is the model under discussion) but cosmology? The difference between stating the universe was created by Jewgod some thousands of years ago in 6 days seems far removed from a billions of years process that arose from random quantum fluctuations.

The belief in natural law is a carryover from the belief in divine law. We are still stuck in the mode of looking for some first causes of a linear progression of events. As far as contemporary western atheism is concerned. Hell, we are still looking for a beginning and an end.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 20, 2014, 06:48:17 PM
The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.  Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.  The unknown is not the same as unreal.

I largely agree with your post. I particularly agree with the general point that belief ('faith') is an essential part of being human. It is a source of energy. Despite welcoming the collapse of Xtianity, Nietzsche, for instance, wrote of the utility of belief for driving human mind to higher endeavors.

However, keep in mind that Atheists, on an underlying level, have their own faith and their own mission. They are driven by belief. You cannot 'know' (in sense of having a 100 per cent certain true belief) that the supernatural does not exist. You are simply driven, if an atheist, by the conviction that physicalism captures the stuff the cosmos.

This is not to say that most of the objective evidence does not point towards a physicalist ontology... but just that it does so probabilistically, and not with 100 per cent certainty.

The premise is simple:  the unknown is not a lesser aspect or lesser part of reality, if anything it is primary.  For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown.  What you don't know could fill a library.

Yes, the unknown is like an open ocean to an explorer, or a christian village to a Viking.

However, do not conflate the unknown with the known-probably-not-to-exist.

It is one thing, from the point of view of knowledge, to not be 'captured by human minds' because you are yet to be reached - another not to be 'captured by human minds' because you don't exist.

Something that is beyond your grasp you cannot put in a basket, alternatively you can't put what doesn't exist in your basket either.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 20, 2014, 06:54:02 PM
Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.

Agree with your assertion about secular ethics, for the most part (first premises: individualism, equality).

But cosmology?!

 ???

Theists thought the sun revolved around the earth.

If you think modern cosmology is boring, i suggest you read a Paul Davies book, or something.

If you think the amazing, and multi-layered view of reality of science is boring, then i suggest your read some philosophy of science. Learn how physics gives rise to chemistry, how chemistry gives rise to biology, how biology gives rise to pyschology, how psychology gives rise to economics and culture - and you have an amazing mosaic of knowledge that simply dwarfs christian ontology in its scope, unification and ultimately its success (at least pragmatic success - religion can still have psychological, 'subjective' success when measured by standards like transcendence, or alternatively fulfillment, or maybe even happiness - but then again I could believe everyone is equal and be 'happy' about this)

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: lost_wanderer on January 20, 2014, 07:40:22 PM
what is unreal? Does a thought  have a form of reality? Is it real and unreal at the same time?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 20, 2014, 08:22:48 PM
Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.

Agree with your assertion about secular ethics, for the most part (first premises: individualism, equality).

But cosmology?!

 ???

Theists thought the sun revolved around the earth.

If you think modern cosmology is boring, i suggest you read a Paul Davies book, or something.

If you think the amazing, and multi-layered view of reality of science is boring, then i suggest your read some philosophy of science. Learn how physics gives rise to chemistry, how chemistry gives rise to biology, how biology gives rise to pyschology, how psychology gives rise to economics and culture - and you have an amazing mosaic of knowledge that simply dwarfs christian ontology in its scope, unification and ultimately its success (at least pragmatic success - religion can still have psychological, 'subjective' success when measured by standards like transcendence, or alternatively fulfillment, or maybe even happiness - but then again I could believe everyone is equal and be 'happy' about this)

You know, I was talking about what's underneath the hood.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 20, 2014, 09:53:50 PM
I don't follow...

(As a side note, I wasn't meaning to imply I know all of the connections between the different layers of reality studied by different sciences - just that its implications are in many ways far more profound than Theistic ontological study.)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: dead last on January 21, 2014, 07:20:35 AM
what is unreal? Does a thought  have a form of reality? Is it real and unreal at the same time?

A thought does take form in reality. For a thought to occur, a precise series of energy trades take place, and they do so using physical matter as a conduit.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 21, 2014, 08:10:16 AM
I don't follow...

(As a side note, I wasn't meaning to imply I know all of the connections between the different layers of reality studied by different sciences - just that its implications are in many ways far more profound than Theistic ontological study.)

It's the pursuit of natural laws, deterministic causality and the like that is a carry over from Christian ontology. Sure, the quantum world appears to be nondeterministic in areas, but there's a small problem, we aren't observing nature when left to operate on its own.

While the death of God has us running around frantically trying to justify the meta-Christian ethical system, this event also has us frantically trying to find an explanation of the mechanical cosmos without the involvement of a creator
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 21, 2014, 11:23:37 AM
what is unreal? Does a thought  have a form of reality? Is it real and unreal at the same time?

A thought does take form in reality. For a thought to occur, a precise series of energy trades take place, and they do so using physical matter as a conduit.

No-thing is unreal. Thoughts are real. The content or object of thought may be inaccurate and that's as far as it goes.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 21, 2014, 08:10:32 PM
I don't follow...

(As a side note, I wasn't meaning to imply I know all of the connections between the different layers of reality studied by different sciences - just that its implications are in many ways far more profound than Theistic ontological study.)

It's the pursuit of natural laws, deterministic causality and the like that is a carry over from Christian ontology. Sure, the quantum world appears to be nondeterministic in areas, but there's a small problem, we aren't observing nature when left to operate on its own.

While the death of God has us running around frantically trying to justify the meta-Christian ethical system, this event also has us frantically trying to find an explanation of the mechanical cosmos without the involvement of a creator

What is your damn point? "Frantically trying to find explanations...". Yeah, and I frantically run around looking for water when I'm thirsty. You know why? Because it works. It quenches my thirst.

Try looking for an explanation of some natural phenomena by appealing to 'vital spirits' or something. See how far that gets you. 'Frantically' trying to find explanations indeed... You make it sound as though a commitment to naturalism is desperate, marginal, and defensive.

Why should we not look to find an explanation of the cosmos, as a whole, that does not involve a creator? Nearly every event within the cosmos, that used to depend on explanation in terms of a creator, is being explained better by mechanistic processes. We might look for a 'first cause' in the form of an agent for moral, artistic, emotional, political, or other reasons. But when we're looking for a cause for the purposes of serious ontological study (in this case of the totality of things) we need to approach issues with an eye to what-the-fuck-has-proven-itself-to-work.

Why even suppose that the natural world, or the world of causal events, itself, requires a first cause? Kant believed that causation is something our understanding constructs ('makes up') in order to make sense of the flux of perceptions. It does not exist in the world beyond sense impressions. He believed that the search for God, or a first cause, is simply a by-product of this category of the understanding turning back in on itself and 'desperately' (perhaps you are right after all) applying its logic to the world of sense impressions itself - when its proper function is to process events within the world of sense impression (and not that world itself).

A society needs more than just hierarchy, transcendence, and art (file each under 'culture'). It needs technology (esp if we are to get out of our current environmental problems, or reach space). It needs defense. It needs industry - lest it be crushed by some new mega-power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China#Demographics). And for these endeavors, a commitment to naturalism is the only contender.

Are you saying stop with this methodology when we reach the universe itself? Why? Certainly not because it doesn't have a good track record (re: questions of ontology). As I said above, I think it has an exemplary track record. For cultural reasons then (related to preserving the 'noble by-products of religion')? I am saddened that culture and science are antagonistic. This cannot remain so. Something needs to be done, lest the defenders of higher culture become increasingly relegated into the 'too hard to deal with with their strange metaphysical views' basket. Some new philosopher kings need to fashion some spirit out of the hodgepodge of 'atheism'.

And also, what is your point about origins? So what if it arose from Christianity. Wherever it arose from, the methodology of naturalism is producing vigorous insights into the cosmos that surpass any other methodology, and, if you are right about its origins, it has even bitten off the hand that originally fed it, for better or for worse.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: dawn on January 21, 2014, 11:41:59 PM

(http://betapedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/BAbt2e2.jpg)



(http://jesusfuck.me/di/NWCN/atheist.jpg)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Humanicide on January 22, 2014, 06:25:17 AM
The second picture....the neckbeard is so vast we don't even see where it ends! He must be a wizard.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 22, 2014, 07:09:07 AM
Two can play the ad-hoc pictures game. Let's bring an actual Ubermench into the ring to represent the 'atheists' - not the embarrassing specimens hitherto exhibited.

(http://dailyatheistquote.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/sunday-thoughts-god-is-a-clumsy-idea.png)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 22, 2014, 07:51:37 AM
What is your damn point? "Frantically trying to find explanations...". Yeah, and I frantically run around looking for water when I'm thirsty. You know why? Because it works. It quenches my thirst.

I made my point most clearly.

Quote
Try looking for an explanation of some natural phenomena by appealing to 'vital spirits' or something. See how far that gets you. 'Frantically' trying to find explanations indeed... You make it sound as though a commitment to naturalism is desperate, marginal, and defensive.

Nice strawman. I say frantically, which was probably a poor word choice in hindsight, because of the level of dedication given to the justification of Christian ethics and Christian ontology through non-theological inquiry.

Quote
Why should we not look to find an explanation of the cosmos, as a whole, that does not involve a creator? Nearly every event within the cosmos, that used to depend on explanation in terms of a creator, is being explained better by mechanistic processes. We might look for a 'first cause' in the form of an agent for moral, artistic, emotional, political, or other reasons. But when we're looking for a cause for the purposes of serious ontological study (in this case of the totality of things) we need to approach issues with an eye to what-the-fuck-has-proven-itself-to-work.

I implied nothing of the sort. I am describing a simple observation: atheist movements never shed the core ethical and ontological views of their parent faith. I'm not going to touch the rest of that as it is unrelated, entirely, to my intent and belief.

Quote
Why even suppose that the natural world, or the world of causal events, itself, requires a first cause? Kant believed that causation is something our understanding constructs ('makes up') in order to make sense of the flux of perceptions. It does not exist in the world beyond sense impressions. He believed that the search for God, or a first cause, is simply a by-product of this category of the understanding turning back in on itself and 'desperately' (perhaps you are right after all) applying its logic to the world of sense impressions itself - when its proper function is to process events within the world of sense impression (and not that world itself).

I believe we presuppose first causes due again to western intellectual heritage and the fundamental schism between man god and nature. Thus the pursuit of looking at and looking for parts. Parts, causes. The smallest parts and the first causes.

Quote
A society needs more than just hierarchy, transcendence, and art (file each under 'culture'). It needs technology (esp if we are to get out of our current environmental problems, or reach space). It needs defense. It needs industry - lest it be crushed by some new mega-power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China#Demographics). And for these endeavors, a commitment to naturalism is the only contender.

This is all a big red herring and another straw man. I think tradition, as per Evola Guenon and the like is bullshit. I enjoy their work and I believe there's merit in it when the conditions are right, but by and large it's a meta-historical projection of extreme bias.

What's interesting however is that you've basically outlined for me the extent to which you've subscribed to the ideology of our day. The idea that man isn't a true component of this planet, his destiny is among the stars. Man has dominion over the earth and industry is his arm. Technology must progress vaguely and infinitely. So on and so forth. This is all very much rooted in Christianity. The universe and nature is imperfect so man must transcend it after death in glorious paradise beyond life. On and on.

Quote
Are you saying stop with this methodology when we reach the universe itself? Why? Certainly not because it doesn't have a good track record (re: questions of ontology). As I said above, I think it has an exemplary track record. For cultural reasons then (related to preserving the 'noble by-products of religion')? I am saddened that culture and science are antagonistic. This cannot remain so. Something needs to be done, lest the defenders of higher culture become increasingly relegated into the 'too hard to deal with with their strange metaphysical views' basket. Some new philosopher kings need to fashion some spirit out of the hodgepodge of 'atheism'.

I'm not saying we should jettison empiricism and give up inquiry into the workings of the cosmos. I'm point out the similaritis between important cultural ideologies, specifically between theistic narratives and the rationalist narratives that supercede them (temporarily).

The "accomplishments" are relative. You hold it in high regard largely because the narrative you've proven yourself to subscribe to says so. Many others would look upon the disaster that mans pursuit of dominon has had on himself and his world and conclude that a moon landing, while a great feat, was not worth it.

There are many examples of societies which do not partake in industry and they are adapted and successful all the same. While they might not have the autonomy, stimulation and convenience we have, they adapted successful models that accomplish whatever their cultures think is important.

Quote
And also, what is your point about origins? So what if it arose from Christianity. Wherever it arose from, the methodology of naturalism is producing vigorous insights into the cosmos that surpass any other methodology, and, if you are right about its origins, it has even bitten off the hand that originally fed it, for better or for worse.

I've made my point sufficiently by now. Keep in mind the bit about poking nature, observing its reaction and declaring that observation to be the operation of nature under uninterrupted operating conditions.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Wild on January 22, 2014, 08:40:55 AM
Quote
we aren't observing nature when left to operate on its own

How is possible to remove the observer from what is being observed?

Are roses red?

Quote
While the death of God has us running around frantically trying to justify the meta-Christian ethical system, this event also has us frantically trying to find an explanation of the mechanical cosmos without the involvement of a creator

This is what you're saying:

1. Christianity collapsed. "Atheism" [as if it's a single ideology] has turned to secular humanism in order to perpetuate a continuation of the same ethical system. This part seems accurate.

2. Christianity has been collapsed due to scientific discoveries which render its ontology untenable. Because of this, science is attempting to explain the mysteries of the universe without God. Therefore science is based on Christian ontology.

How can they simultaneously "share ontological views" and yet be in a situation where one has negated the other?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 22, 2014, 08:55:42 AM
Look at the hub lub over the interpretation of quantum mechanics because light exhibits qualities of a wave and a particle. It shouldn't be they say. Wah wah wah. Not to mention the collapse of the wave function when introducing a classical observer. It's sort of like trying to derive a theory about the behavior of bears through the constant introduction of stimulus and control by the observers.

1. I understand there to be multiple brands of atheism today and historically. Lest we get off point, at least we are in agreement here.

2. That is what the narrative says sure. Science causing people to turn away from religion could be it. Or, it's part of a greater pattern that occurs through human civilizations that follow the arc of literacy. Remember, this current brand of atheism is only the most recent rationalist movement.

I don't believe one has truly negated the other in any meaningful sense. If you compare say a monistic view with a creationist view the former isn't exactly an independently running mechanism that was "built" by divine hands like the latter suggests. Hence, the trap of the God of Gaps strategy. It's an easy trap to fall into because the ontology is so compatible (setting aside direct lineage for a moment). Remember, the Christian ontology suggests that everything operates on divine law. When was the last time you heard it suggested that laws might not exist and that nature has tendencies and contingencies rather than a definite set of operating procedures that the human intellect need only to Pierce the veil and understand?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: trystero on January 22, 2014, 09:42:15 AM
Two can play the ad-hoc pictures game. Let's bring an actual Ubermench into the ring to represent the 'atheists'

lol for fucks sake.

Its a request, not a suggestion, a very humble one at that, but pleeeeease can we let this thread die? You dont come in after a trainwreck to rape the survivors, its just not... nice.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 22, 2014, 04:27:50 PM
Vigilance, despite what you may think. I don't get your point at all. I think Wild is also unclear on it too.

More specifically, I don't see the point IN your point.

Your point is just that naturalism (looking for causes, laws, and operating with reductive methodology) emerged from deism?

If so, this does not make the former 'boring'.

If so, this does not mean the former is stuck with the same ontology as the latter, now, 400 years later.

Do you not believe that naturalism has a more complete, deep, and systematic understanding of how the cosmos works than theism/deism?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 22, 2014, 04:28:55 PM
Two can play the ad-hoc pictures game. Let's bring an actual Ubermench into the ring to represent the 'atheists'

lol for fucks sake.

Its a request, not a suggestion, a very humble one at that, but pleeeeease can we let this thread die? You dont come in after a trainwreck to rape the survivors, its just not... nice.

I'm trying to save the survivors from the rapists.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: dead last on January 22, 2014, 04:49:59 PM
Quote
Do you not believe that naturalism has a more complete, deep, and systematic understanding of how the cosmos works than theism/deism?

What makes you think that?

(Just out of curiosity.)

I can see how one could see this situation both ways. I'll try to explain:

1. Theism is lacking, because it limits thought at a stopping point (the super-human deity), beyond which all questioning and investigation is purposeless by definition.

2. Naturalism (which you define somewhat like the scientific method ["looking for causes, laws, and operating with reductive methodology"]) is lacking because it limits our observations to what we can observe empirically.

Hopefully, at this point, we can admit that there is more to the universe's basic functions than can be observed by the naked eye, or the telescope, or the microscope, or the computer.

Looking at it this way, I see that both systems have a self-imposed limiting factor in common; that is, experiences beyond our observation ought not to be questioned. The two schools of thought break apart there, because science says that we should not question the systems until we can test them, while theism says we should not test the systems at all, or we would be defiling sacred ground (or just wasting our time).

Maybe someone has some idea of how to synthesize these two perspectives.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 22, 2014, 05:22:02 PM
2. Naturalism (which you define somewhat like the scientific method ["looking for causes, laws, and operating with reductive methodology"]) is lacking because it limits our observations to what we can observe empirically.

Why do you suppose the scientific methodology is 'lacking' for this reason? Some would say that this is what propels it.

You are not using a computer to engage in this discussion because a commitment to naturalism (plus some logic) has proven itself insufficient!

Hopefully, at this point, we can admit that there is more to the universe's basic functions than can be observed by the naked eye, or the telescope, or the microscope, or the computer.

Yes, mathematical concepts (number, shape etc), and subjective experience. Is there anything else i've missed?

EDIT: also, the initial constants.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 22, 2014, 05:34:26 PM
What's interesting however is that you've basically outlined for me the extent to which you've subscribed to the ideology of our day.

God, this is getting tired. It matters not one whit the origins of views, simply whether they stand up to examination.

The idea that man isn't a true component of this planet, his destiny is among the stars. Man has dominion over the earth and industry is his arm. Technology must progress vaguely and infinitely. So on and so forth. This is all very much rooted in Christianity. The universe and nature is imperfect so man must transcend it after death in glorious paradise beyond life. On and on.

This is incredible derivation from my views. Wrapped in prophetic garb and all. I don't hold much of this at all. So we seem to be talking past each other, which is something that is always sad.

Man is NOT a true (or if, by this, you mean 'essential) component of this planet, sure. We are simply a complex vehicle for the transmission of genes. Life could arise on any planet under similar conditions. This doesn't mean we are not special though, we COULD be the only life capable of reflection, the only manifestation of nature to comprehend its own being, in the entire universe.

Technology must progress, not because of some futurist/technocratic wet dream ideology mixed with Christian teleology, but so that when the sun swallows the earth, we have a place to go and continue evolving. I don't want to waste consciousness. Like I said, we could be the only bearers of this torch to ever have been and come again.

Also, I just don't believe we will divert ecological damage via 'turning back the clock', where everyone voluntarily throes off their technology. What a dream!  Technology is here to stay, and it will have to be used to fix the problems it has been partly responsible for creating in the first place: http://www.amazon.com/God-Species-Planet-Survive-Humans/dp/0007375220/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390460041&sr=8-2&keywords=the+god+species

It must also progress so that we are not dominated by other societies with said technology. If you think the USA, for example, or some other Western country (ie some country with more historical complexity than utopias that no one cares about like Burma) could revert to agrarian lifestyles, and not be invaded by China, Russia, and other ideological foes, then I think you're dreaming.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: dead last on January 22, 2014, 06:03:40 PM
2. Naturalism (which you define somewhat like the scientific method ["looking for causes, laws, and operating with reductive methodology"]) is lacking because it limits our observations to what we can observe empirically.

Why do you suppose the scientific methodology is 'lacking' for this reason? Some would say that this is what propels it.

You are not using a computer to engage in this discussion because a commitment to naturalism (plus some logic) has proven itself insufficient!

Hopefully, at this point, we can admit that there is more to the universe's basic functions than can be observed by the naked eye, or the telescope, or the microscope, or the computer.

Yes, mathematical concepts (number, shape etc), and subjective experience. Is there anything else i've missed?

EDIT: also, the initial constants.

I was actually doing my best to synthesize the two views while defining their separations. The fact that the "scientific" or naturalist view compels us to cease putting faith in that-which-cannot-be-observed is important; it means that we must stop at a certain point and wait for our capacity for curiosity to catch up with our capacity for observation,

For example, the recent idea of our universe being "holographic" (that is, the universe stores information non-locally, much like a piece of holographic film) suggests that we can obtain fuzzy glimpses of parts of the universe very physically (or causally) separated from our own. In this way, theism makes some amount of sense, because we can interpret those "fuzzy" glimpses into far-off mechanisms. But, on a smaller scale, those glimpses are not empirically observed because not everyone is in a mind-state to allow those perspectives to overcome their egos or rationale. This is a normal situation, and I am not criticizing it (or your claims), just offering a slightly altered point of view.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: dawn on January 22, 2014, 07:13:28 PM
I didn't read a single preceding post; I only posted the pics as a joke. It's part of a "campaign" by Reddit users to personify their atheist beliefs by uploading photos of themselves with inspirational quotes. Look on Google image search for something like "Reddit atheist neckbeard" and you'll find dozens of these bejowled failures.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 22, 2014, 10:31:30 PM
Dead Last and Dawn, fair enough.

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 23, 2014, 07:14:37 AM
My point:

Atheism is boring. It accepts the same ethics and cosmology as its parent theistic faith.

Note: Boring is an opinion. My opinion.

The meat of it was contained in the second sentence.

During the course of our little discussion you managed to demonstrate most eloquently the subtler ideology that has driven much of the West since Nietzsche first witnessed the death of God.

We are not talking past each other by any means. The way you view technology is very much in line with the ideology of progress.

For example: You say technology is here to stay. Of course it is, aqueducts are technology, passive solar water heaters are technology, a hammer is technology. Technology takes many forms and to many purposes.

Look, I don't care to debate whether you are right or wrong here. You just happen to demonstrate a strong commitment to the contemporary rationalist ideology which is entirely derivative of Christianity. This doesn't mean every detail is going to line up (this is where you attempted to show your reasoning behind your beliefs, without significant divergence mind you) but the core narrative is fixed in place.

The scientific revolution didn't "start from scratch" it came gradually and used the intellectual tradition of Western Europe to determine its scope and its trajectory of inquiry.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 24, 2014, 12:05:22 AM
Note: Boring is an opinion. My opinion.

It's interesting you seem to value your opinion, simply because it is yours, and seem a bit insensitive to considering one that might(?) be more accurate. Or perhaps you did consider the alternative, related to the unification, depth and reduction of modern science vs Christian ontology, but just chose not to respond. Whatever! One topic that might be worth dwelling on briefly before this discussion undergoes a well-deserved death:

Look, I don't care to debate whether you are right or wrong here. You just happen to demonstrate a strong commitment to the contemporary rationalist ideology which is entirely derivative of Christianity. This doesn't mean every detail is going to line up (this is where you attempted to show your reasoning behind your beliefs, without significant divergence mind you) but the core narrative is fixed in place.

Are you saying the Greeks did not find joy in putting the world to rational inquiry? The Egyptians?

My views are a mix between normative and descriptive. I would like to be clear:

Someone might hold the view that 'technology is here to stay'. This does not necessarily mean they buy into a narrative of linear progress - of the sort pagans apparently did not hold. I.e. some underlying metaphysical necessity producing progress.

Such a person might think technology is here to stay, not because of some underlying metaphysical narrative with causal power, but because the 'contingent' atomic, isolated, empirical facts suggest that technology will be a defining part of human life into the future - and that this has some degree of robustness (holds under some amount of changing circumstances).

For example, even if one society were to experience economic collapse (war, environmental implosion, whatever), they would pick technology back up from another. If the entire modern world were to collapse, then the survivors would probably also pick technology back up. The causal factors would still be there: the scientific method would be reformulated (in time), which, combined with a mix of inter-group hostility (arms races), materialism, inquisitiveness, interest in survival, and vanity would, I think, lead to something like technological progress again.

The idea that technological progress is likely under a variety of circumstances is not a metaphysical commitment, neither is it completely a normative one ('this is good' - although I do think exploring space, for example, is an amazing goal, and that science is unearthing amazing things). It can be a prediction, based on contingent facts about human beings that presumably will lead to similar outcomes throughout changes in local circumstances (war, environmental collapse, etc).
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 24, 2014, 07:50:58 AM
Responding from a mobile device, sorry if I missed something:

I value my opinions as they are my opinions. Naturally some get discarded over time while others become reinforced, who cares though? Finding the mechanical cosmological model to be boring has little to with a matter of how accurate it is, you know. I never did share my opinion of THAT. Further, atheism is in general boring, but not useless as it tends to serve civilization rather well during certain periods until the particular movement fails to live up to its own claims. Nevertheless, on the whole it's a boring view of life IMO.

Rational inquiry and Rationalist Ideology - the core narrative of every rationalist period which is typically derivative of a parent faith - are two wholly separate entities. Rational inquiry is a check and balance of narrative vs. reality. I think this is where you are getting caught up, probably my fault.

I'd rather not make anymore assumptions, so what do you mean by technological progress?

 Certainly, technology is employed to perform a myriad of tasks. These tasks usually revolve around whatever a particular society thinks is most important. Progress is rather vague because that is contingent. A society picking up on the ruins of industry might not hold that man has dominion over nature, thus, you aren't likely to see technologies that reflect this view. Even then, what's going to be available to future generations is going to be entirely contingent on what resources they have available. In this context, I will have to say that absolutely, yes technological progress is entirely normative.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Jim Necroslaughter on January 26, 2014, 06:03:12 PM
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The unknown is very much a part of reality and an aspect of reality - it is simply not known.


How can any part of reality be said to be "known" or "unknown" independent of anything that might "know" or "not know" it?

This is an unnecessarily complicated way to frame things.  We used to think the sun revolved around the earth, now we know it is the opposite, reality did not change, only knowledge changed.

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The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.

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This is not as accurate as it could be. Theory without observational evidence is not grounds for belief. If observational evidence is present, then it is safe to consider it valid.

That's fine with me, I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt.  Ontologically speaking (I believe Im using that word correctly?) it would be natural to assume that there are things that are true but not known and work that into the equation.

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Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.

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Do you know of any religion which did not arise and be communicated through what individuals think, know, perceive, or feel?

Religion is based on belief and works the unknown into the equation.  It does not claim otherwise.  Atheism has nothing to say about the unknown.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Jim Necroslaughter on January 26, 2014, 06:15:35 PM
The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.  Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.  The unknown is not the same as unreal.

I largely agree with your post. I particularly agree with the general point that belief ('faith') is an essential part of being human. It is a source of energy. Despite welcoming the collapse of Xtianity, Nietzsche, for instance, wrote of the utility of belief for driving human mind to higher endeavors.

Yes but it is not *merely* utilitarian.  Belief is utterly inescapable.
 
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However, keep in mind that Atheists, on an underlying level, have their own faith and their own mission. They are driven by belief. You cannot 'know' (in sense of having a 100 per cent certain true belief) that the supernatural does not exist. You are simply driven, if an atheist, by the conviction that physicalism captures the stuff the cosmos.

This is not to say that most of the objective evidence does not point towards a physicalist ontology... but just that it does so probabilistically, and not with 100 per cent certainty.

The premise is simple:  the unknown is not a lesser aspect or lesser part of reality, if anything it is primary.  For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown.  What you don't know could fill a library.

Yes, the unknown is like an open ocean to an explorer, or a christian village to a Viking.

However, do not conflate the unknown with the known-probably-not-to-exist.

It is one thing, from the point of view of knowledge, to not be 'captured by human minds' because you are yet to be reached - another not to be 'captured by human minds' because you don't exist.

Something that is beyond your grasp you cannot put in a basket, alternatively you can't put what doesn't exist in your basket either.

"known-probably-not to exist"?  That is not very scientific of you.  In any event I like your analogy very much.  Yes, the unknown is like the ocean, and the known is like a tiny little island.  We are utterly surrounded by the unknown and yet we hardly think of it.  If anything, knowledge is the anomaly.  But no one thinks of it like that, do they.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 27, 2014, 12:19:38 AM
The atheist mistakenly assumes that if something is not known or cannot be known theoretically, it is not worthy of belief.  Once again, a belief in only what the individual or collection of individuals think, know, perceive, or feel.  The unknown is not the same as unreal.

I largely agree with your post. I particularly agree with the general point that belief ('faith') is an essential part of being human. It is a source of energy. Despite welcoming the collapse of Xtianity, Nietzsche, for instance, wrote of the utility of belief for driving human mind to higher endeavors.

Yes but it is not *merely* utilitarian.  Belief is utterly inescapable.

Hello Jim!

Some belief is purely instrumental, if it's not true and or justified. All belief is inescapable, but only some are true and justified.
 
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However, keep in mind that Atheists, on an underlying level, have their own faith and their own mission. They are driven by belief. You cannot 'know' (in sense of having a 100 per cent certain true belief) that the supernatural does not exist. You are simply driven, if an atheist, by the conviction that physicalism captures the stuff the cosmos.

This is not to say that most of the objective evidence does not point towards a physicalist ontology... but just that it does so probabilistically, and not with 100 per cent certainty.

The premise is simple:  the unknown is not a lesser aspect or lesser part of reality, if anything it is primary.  For every one thing that is known, there are ten things that are unknown.  What you don't know could fill a library.

Yes, the unknown is like an open ocean to an explorer, or a christian village to a Viking.

However, do not conflate the unknown with the known-probably-not-to-exist.

It is one thing, from the point of view of knowledge, to not be 'captured by human minds' because you are yet to be reached - another not to be 'captured by human minds' because you don't exist.

Something that is beyond your grasp you cannot put in a basket, alternatively you can't put what doesn't exist in your basket either.

"known-probably-not to exist"?  That is not very scientific of you.  In any event I like your analogy very much.  Yes, the unknown is like the ocean, and the known is like a tiny little island.  We are utterly surrounded by the unknown and yet we hardly think of it.  If anything, knowledge is the anomaly.  But no one thinks of it like that, do they.

Nope, it is. Science works via induction, and inductive truths are never 100 per cent certain. That only comes from deductive truths (logic) or mathematic truths.

It is a common error, or a common violation of good norms of rationality, to have 'knowledge' mean absolute certainty (unless you're a logician or mathematician!).
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 27, 2014, 12:25:09 AM
Responding from a mobile device, sorry if I missed something:

I value my opinions as they are my opinions. Naturally some get discarded over time while others become reinforced, who cares though? Finding the mechanical cosmological model to be boring has little to with a matter of how accurate it is, you know. I never did share my opinion of THAT. Further, atheism is in general boring, but not useless as it tends to serve civilization rather well during certain periods until the particular movement fails to live up to its own claims. Nevertheless, on the whole it's a boring view of life IMO.

But it's mostly likely the true account. So whether we like it or not, we have to come up with interpretations of it that go above and beyond shopping, immediate gratification, and lowest common denominator culture.

I guess that the main difference between a few other folk around here and me is that they see this being achieved by conserving beliefs about reality that I cannot see working in a practical sense. Theistic, traditionalist, pagan, quasi-mystic beliefs are too antagonistic to other beliefs we now hold as a society. They will reply that, for their part, 'ascending' cultural practices, divorced from traditional beliefs about reality are just not functional, and would be like trying to grow a tree after chopping off its roots.

I'd rather not make anymore assumptions, so what do you mean by technological progress?

I think something similar to your remarks that followed. Something as normative-free as possible. Scope of, usefulness of, and depth/complexity of...
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 27, 2014, 07:18:32 AM
But it's mostly likely the true account. So whether we like it or not, we have to come up with interpretations of it that go above and beyond shopping, immediate gratification, and lowest common denominator culture.

I guess that the main difference between a few other folk around here and me is that they see this being achieved by conserving beliefs about reality that I cannot see working in a practical sense. Theistic, traditionalist, pagan, quasi-mystic beliefs are too antagonistic to other beliefs we now hold as a society. They will reply that, for their part, 'ascending' cultural practices, divorced from traditional beliefs about reality are just not functional, and would be like trying to grow a tree after chopping off its roots.

I don't really care to deal with polemicists. I said earlier that I'm not interested in arguing who holds the correct view. My stated observation had nothing to do with "correctness" of any particular view.

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I think something similar to your remarks that followed. Something as normative-free as possible. Scope of, usefulness of, and depth/complexity of...

Thought so.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 29, 2014, 12:24:39 AM
My concern with correctness is not just for its own sake, which is what I was trying to get at in my last post. It's for the sake of realism (in a practical sense). Atheism coheres with so many other beliefs (related to the creation of technology, exploration, and science) that I think it is here to stay. Correctness? Let's talk about reality, or presence, then. Atheism is present.

How do we deal with it, improve upon it, make it, yes... sacred?

This is probably why I'm drawn more towards listening to death metal these days, and not black metal. There is a real sense of making physicalism/nihilism meaningful there... while black metal is more mythical and traditionalist.

Eastern religions might have made more progress in making a form of monistic a-theism sacred, in a sense.

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on January 29, 2014, 08:45:53 AM
Haha well where you and I depart is on that sense of realism. Realism in the context of the conversation to myself is an understanding that human civilizations, given the necessary conditions, will follow through "periods" on the way up and on the way down. The outward forms will change but the underlying patterns are there.

I think it's pretty obvious that the core ideology of modern atheism, Progress, no longer fits reality. Not that it every truly did, but the vision itself bore practical fruit in the pursuit. Atheism of the present sort, clings tightly on the suppositions of Progress. I think it does have a large effect on your thinking just by how this conversation has gone.

I throw heavily into question the greater ontology/cosmology that modern science has wrought simply due to the unshaken foundations I mentioned earlier that have their origins in Christendumb. Again a lot of that has to do with my understanding of the patterns of thought throughout recorded history.

I don't think we are really going to find much of a consensus here. Which isn't really an issue.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on January 29, 2014, 05:53:06 PM
I find people interesting, and their beliefs interesting. If we don't agree at least we can understand why we don't, which is more than most substantial debates in polite society achieve.

I think it's pretty obvious that the core ideology of modern atheism, Progress, no longer fits reality.

If you would like to keep the conservation going (as I personally would rather discuss cool, big picture stuff like this than other topics), you are going to have to explain this to me.

Atheism, I would have thought, is simply the belief that the God of theism (a supernatural agent/person) does not exist. It might also include the belief that reality is better explained via physicalism. The evangelical endeavors of the 'new-atheist' movement is its own thing. 'Progress' is vague ideological trapping that gets associated with atheism - due to proximity rather than the conceptual meaning of 'atheism'.

Both of these beliefs (a-theism, physicalism) are better born out by the success of science/naturalistic philosophy than their opposites (supernaturalism/dualism)... so how does atheism no longer fit with reality? I would have though theism no longer fits reality, from the perspective of true beliefs.

I throw heavily into question the greater ontology/cosmology that modern science has wrought simply due to the unshaken foundations I mentioned earlier that have their origins in Christendumb. Again a lot of that has to do with my understanding of the patterns of thought throughout recorded history.

Are you saying that physics is wrong because the origins of science is in finding laws of nature (which is attached to Christianity, in some vague sense)?!

And how, on earth, can it be sensible to question the ontology of modern science? As i tried to point out before, we aren't using computers, stereos, telescopes, airoplanes, medicine, etc because physical/chemical/biological 'laws' (or regularities of greater enough stability/range) in nature aren't there! We're using them all because they are!

let me know if I've misinterpreted your comments.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 17, 2014, 07:25:00 AM
There is a distinction, Imposition, between the categorical definition of Atheism and the ideologies of Ages of Rationalism that are categorically atheist.

When the Greeks coined the term to describe a particular lack of belief in Gods, they were heavily invested in the study of metaphysics. The ideology of Progress, aside from easily defined, and its evangelists are actual manifestations of real human behavior that actually occurs which textbook definitions try to describe. I really think this is the gap between us.

I said Progress no longer fits reality. Big distinction.

You misunderstood my comments on science so I can't really address any more of what you wrote.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 17, 2014, 05:14:24 PM
There is a distinction, Imposition, between the categorical definition of Atheism and the ideologies of Ages of Rationalism that are categorically atheist.

Agreed!


I said Progress no longer fits reality. Big distinction.

You misunderstood my comments on science so I can't really address any more of what you wrote.

Is the idea something like this: progress doesn't fit reality because progress is leading to environmental destruction? Is the difference this: i was talking about the accuracy of scientific statements and their ability to refer to things in the world, where you were talking about the consequences of science - down the track?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 17, 2014, 07:09:30 PM
It's more along the lines that Progress posited infinite economic, technological and moral progress. Sure the science was never there to support it given the finite nature of things. But the vision itself put boots on the moon among other great feats, driving innovations in communication and so on. I'd say its like any mythology: not literally true but significant views that form the core goals of society.

There's a lot of bad, ugly, destructive things that came of it but those are all very well covered round these parts. The dream never panned itself out completely as most never do.

With regards to science, I think that's really a separate issue. Granted I believe it is held hostage by the suppositions of this mythology as well as the influence of Descartes on all modern thinking. That's a llarge conversation within itself and honestly one I'll need to brush up on.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: grecocastro on February 18, 2014, 06:26:50 AM
Atheists believe in science, thay don't care for anything but science. They don't care for nothing before science prove, atheists are ignorants.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: KingdomGone on February 18, 2014, 10:21:20 AM
Kill atheists and then ask them how does it feel to burn in hell you pathetic egoist and humanist.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 18, 2014, 04:23:48 PM
Atheists believe in science, thay don't care for anything but science. They don't care for nothing before science prove, atheists are ignorants.

Kill atheists and then ask them how does it feel to burn in hell you pathetic egoist and humanist.

I think you two were aiming for the 'Birdbrain' thread?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: crow on February 18, 2014, 04:25:27 PM
Maybe the whole point of the Birdbrain thread has just been stunningly illustrated?
Hahahahahaaaaaaaa :)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 18, 2014, 04:29:04 PM
Quite. As you wrote in that thread:

a prime example of what can happen when a perfectly capable brain is left to deal with automatic processing

 ;)
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: KingdomGone on February 19, 2014, 01:18:55 PM
Atheists believe in science, thay don't care for anything but science. They don't care for nothing before science prove, atheists are ignorants.

Kill atheists and then ask them how does it feel to burn in hell you pathetic egoist and humanist.

I think you two were aiming for the 'Birdbrain' thread?

I think science is egoist and humanist.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: crow on February 19, 2014, 01:19:59 PM
So do I. Which is a shame, because science has so much potential.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 19, 2014, 03:29:03 PM
Please read my posts in the hubris of science thread, KingdomGone. Then tell me whether science is operating via the EGO, or rather hand-wavy posts like yours - which offer no reasons, no deep considerations, no sacrifice, and nothing but what seems like a crude mental reflex or spasm in response to a stimuli you don't like.

In what way is science 'egoist'. Please read my aforementioned posts before responding, otherwise we will engage in yet another mud-slinging match.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: crow on February 19, 2014, 03:58:31 PM
I think your definition of 'science' is not his definition. That's all.
Maybe we should all make a distinction between science and the caliber of the people who sometimes pose as scientists. As in everything, there are the real ones, and the ones that act it out. Good ones and awful ones.
Ones who strive towards knowledge and ones who strive to max-out their finances.


Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 19, 2014, 05:32:33 PM
I think you're right Crow, and i've been trying to instill the correct definition - science is not an individual, it is an institution. Science is a collective practice. This institution is comprised of checks and balances, peer-review, experimental norms, and other emergent phenomenon that ensure individual egos DO NOT take the cake. As such, it is the least egotistical endeavor I can think of at the present time. As far as humanistic goes? I don't know what he meant, but possibly something like "scientists they get together with their telescopes and their computers and Nek Minnit god and jesus and higher propose all gone".

Of course this might be the case, but it is rarely the fucking reason why individual scientists starting doing science in the first place. It is a reflection of REALITY LACKING GOD and stuff. Einstein, for example, wanted to catch god at his handy-work.

New-atheists USE science as a weapon for humanism, but that is their agenda, and not specifically the agenda of the INSTITUTION OF SCIENCE (which has no agenda - beyond a concern for mechanisms, evidence, laws, cause & effect).

[It's strange to be the resident 'modern' or enlightenment defender around here, as at any other time in my life I'm the conservative - however, I will embrace this role and champion it as there is nobility and profundity bound up with it all]
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 20, 2014, 07:37:58 AM
The value of empiricism is that it was no longer enough to simply shore up an argument or a position that met the rules of logic, you had to demonstrate it. It had to be proven against reality as it can be repeatedly ddemonstrated to other observers.

The limitations are obvious. Empiricism is not applicable to metaphysics which is "the stuff beyond physics." Empiricism is time sensitive. Pure positivism could be used to reject truths which are true but lack in evidence buried over time, burned, destroyed. Finally, that many events/phenomenon are downright impossible, or even notoriouslt difficult to produce/reproduce.

The problems with scientists, science or what have you are do entirely to the underpinnings of all modern thinking, not the discipline itself.

Go right back to the beginning, as I mentioned already, to Descartes.

"I think, therefore I am" which means: To be, is to be known. To be known is to be defined. To be defined is to be quantified. And so on.

It shouldn't be much from there to trace out how we got to strict physicalism qua the mechanical cosmos. All the hubris, the suppositions and the belligerence that is attributed to partisans of this type of thinking has its origins in Descartes and his essential proposal that only that which can be known, by way of the process described, can be said to exist.

I think it's helpful, so that we don't join the chorus of babbling babboons to separate science as a mode of inquiry and the modern mode of thinking that uses and guides it.

Kingdomgone, Grecocastro and all onlookers, please take note.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: grecocastro on February 20, 2014, 08:29:16 AM
"Humanism is a code for anti-life". Humanists has infected modern science to (try) prove their egocentric philosofy, they also has infected atheism, so the philosofy of not-being theistic is now a belief in humam superiority.

Maybe it isn't atheism or science, it is humanism.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Tree on February 20, 2014, 09:11:05 AM
The problems with scientists, science or what have you are do entirely to the underpinnings of all modern thinking, not the discipline itself.

I think it's helpful, so that we don't join the chorus of babbling babboons to separate science as a mode of inquiry and the modern mode of thinking that uses and guides it.

This makes sense and I agree, thanks for stating it so clearly. The scum poison all that they touch.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 20, 2014, 09:47:10 AM
Humanism is the result of Christian moral philosophy put under scrutiny by our formal schools of rationalism. It is the product, if you will, of jettisoning the inconsistencies within the Christian tradition and as practiced by Christian institutions. The core ethics however, are largely the same.

It's important to stress, that the death of God in popular and intellectual circles leaves the moral philosophy of humanism with the task of justifying itself. No longer could it rest on a metaphysically objective axiom - the belief in God the Father.

If you take the work of Descartes and apply his thinking to your ethical system, you will be led to the conclusion that objective morality can be found manifesr in physical reality. Science, as the mode of inquiry most suited to the study of physical reality, was and is the natural tool used to justify humanism.

Everyone is free to pass moral judgment on humanism, but as I said with science, let's understand the thinking that got us to where we are. I do believe there is a profound lack of clarity on this whole subject.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Wild on February 20, 2014, 11:40:48 AM
Vigilance:

Is the tendency towards proto-humanism a divorcible element from the Christian tradition?

If not, one could make the argument that the main point of Christianity™ was to provide a metaphysical justification for that pre-existing belief tendency. God's death simply changed how it was explicated and defended.

If it is divorcible, do you think it's been done before / could it be done?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: lost_wanderer on February 20, 2014, 12:39:41 PM


"I think, therefore I am" which means: To be, is to be known. To be known is to be defined. To be defined is to be quantified. And so on.



I haven't studied a lot about the philosophy of Descartes so I might be wrong but I think what he implied from "I think, therefore I am" is that even if you doubt about everything in the universe including god, you cannot doubt that you are thinking so total doubt is impossible. There's at least one certitude.

But I don't know if he believed in some sort of god
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: crow on February 20, 2014, 01:49:42 PM
I've long been of the view that Descartes got it 180 degrees backwards.
"I think, therefore I am not" makes eminently more sense to me.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 20, 2014, 02:22:35 PM
Wild,

I think that it is fruitless to divorce Humanism from Christianity in the history of ideas. I know there is a tendency to flatten out human culture and human ethics across the board by people looking for perennial truths. One such example is the notion, by humanists nonetheless, that all ethical systems converge on compassion. Not true by any means.

Christianity emerged saying many of the same things as other religions of that time period. It just happened to catch on by a stroke of luck. I don't know of any record of nonreligious ethical systems being popular in those days such that it would make your case.

Meta-historically, a strictly rationalist ethical system wouldn't have survived in that phase of European history.

Lost Wanderer,

It certainly appears that way if we mentally substitute consciousness for the verb, I think.

Crow,

Indeed.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: crow on February 20, 2014, 02:30:43 PM
White Man make one-word answer.
Him smarter than he look.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 20, 2014, 03:41:56 PM
The value of empiricism is that it was no longer enough to simply shore up an argument or a position that met the rules of logic, you had to demonstrate it. It had to be proven against reality as it can be repeatedly ddemonstrated to other observers.

Yep Nihilism in action. Some people even think empirical discoveries in quantum physics have challenged certain rules of logic, but I couldn't elaborate on this.

The limitations are obvious. Empiricism is not applicable to metaphysics which is "the stuff beyond physics." Empiricism is time sensitive. Pure positivism could be used to reject truths which are true but lack in evidence buried over time, burned, destroyed.

What is the alternative you are vaguely gesturing at? What is this alternative 'stuff', this knowledge which is not 'time sensitive', eternal? Mathematics? Sure. Logic? Sure. What else? Come! Let us have it.

With all respect, your whole post was pointing out limitations in empiricism without offering a positive view of the alternative. (I think I know why...).

Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: crow on February 20, 2014, 04:09:25 PM
Forgive my intrusion here, but I just 'saw' something, that to me was quite new.
Science is totally dependent upon language. You know: that stuff that conveys something different to everybody?
Subtly different, or radically different, but always different.
A scientist may see something magical a thousand times, without ever registering that it is something magical.
To him, it is always something that can be 'explained', and so he sets about explaining it, thereby incidentally removing the magic from it.
To those who can see magic as magic, there is no need to explain it. That is what makes it magic. It is. It is observable, even if only once in a lifetime. Explaining it seems pointless, useless, and silly. Not to mention impossible.

We've seen here, that even big buddies like myself and Vigilance, for example, suffer extreme communication breakdown, even when we are ostensibly on the same side. It's not really his fault, any more than it is really mine. It is the manifest limitation of language to translate the ethereal stuff of thought, idea and vision, into something that can be shared by the medium of language.

Thus, there is no way for a mystic to communicate with a scientist, or vice-versa.
Each have their limitations placed upon them by - if nothing else - their dependence upon language.

Even mathematics is elastic. People often overlook this, having the idea that it is some pure and perfect language, when it is no such thing. Most of the time it holds up, and works as advertised, until it suddenly doesn't.
Mathematicians are aware of this discrepancy, but since it is their chosen lingo, and nothing else is currently superior to it, they agree to carry on using it.

Magic is anything that IS. Sometimes, that magic can be adequately explained, and thus understood. But there remain, and will always remain, things that defy all explanation.


Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Wild on February 20, 2014, 07:11:01 PM
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I think that it is fruitless to divorce Humanism from Christianity in the history of ideas.

Christianity emerged saying many of the same things as other religions of that time period.


These two seem to be conflicting here, at least as long as the narrative of humanism deriving from a secular conception of Christianity's ethics is upheld. If Christianity is necessarily a humanistic religion, and Christianity bears similarities to other religions of its time, it would seem to follow that the liberal proto-humanistic tendency pre-dates the adoption of it into this specific belief system (BS).

My case: secular humanism is a vehicle aimed at conveying a BS which derives its nature from an impulse towards degeneracy that pre-dates Christianity. There isn't anything specifically post-Christian about it; it is the already-existing belief tendency spread without any metaphysical additions. 

(There might be a challenge that the humanistic can exist only after the belief in anything higher than oneself has vanished, but this isn't much of a challenge: the Jews, and then the Christians, believed that everything is created for humans, which are the highest order of everything which is not divine.)

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It just happened to catch on by a stroke of luck.

This seems highly unlikely; anything with the power to convulse humanity would probably have something to it. Obviously, it owes its initial domination to Rome. Why the Romans were willing to abandon their paganism in favor of this creed is a very intriguing question...
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 20, 2014, 07:12:53 PM
The value of empiricism is that it was no longer enough to simply shore up an argument or a position that met the rules of logic, you had to demonstrate it. It had to be proven against reality as it can be repeatedly ddemonstrated to other observers.

Yep Nihilism in action. Some people even think empirical discoveries in quantum physics have challenged certain rules of logic, but I couldn't elaborate on this.

The limitations are obvious. Empiricism is not applicable to metaphysics which is "the stuff beyond physics." Empiricism is time sensitive. Pure positivism could be used to reject truths which are true but lack in evidence buried over time, burned, destroyed.

What is the alternative you are vaguely gesturing at? What is this alternative 'stuff', this knowledge which is not 'time sensitive', eternal? Mathematics? Sure. Logic? Sure. What else? Come! Let us have it.

With all respect, your whole post was pointing out limitations in empiricism without offering a positive view of the alternative. (I think I know why...).

I'm a bit confused. What do you mean by alternatives?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 21, 2014, 07:53:22 AM
Crow,

Astute observation. I might add a nugget of interest: rationalism follows a rise in literacy rates. I don't know the tipping point, but as language fluency rises so do formal rationalist schools like Logic or Empiricism, mathematics, the sciences, you name it.

Wild,

Your case is accurate, but I don't and won't follow with the rhetoric that it is deliberate degeneration. Humanists truly believe they are making moral progress towards utopia.

My point was that Christianity arose during a hot bed of religious sensibilities; none of which were divorced from their metaphysical sympatheties.

There was something rotten about the earth and the human condition that needed to be transcended and the deliverance was in heaven. We can see how later on, that fundamental view leads humanists to believe mankind needs to be remade, morally, and heaven ought to be on earth-in a sense.

Christianity really stressed the private life of individuals to such a degree that it shattered classical law which had no conception of the private individual. Jesus told his disciplines to work out their own sin and salvation in private. Later humanistic moralists like to point out the inconsistency between that and the institutional persecution of homosexuality. Humanists use the common trope that whatever one does in the privacy of their home without hurting anyone should be allowed.

Shit I'm ranting. Anyway I'm trying to connect the dots here without writing a book. It feels like We'd have to dig further into the past to look at the landscape before Christianity, and see if some proto humanism existed.

By stroke of luck, it could have been any one of the religious sensibilities of that time, Rome happened to pick up Christianity for reasons that are less than important to the topic.
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Imposition on February 22, 2014, 06:58:10 PM
The value of empiricism is that it was no longer enough to simply shore up an argument or a position that met the rules of logic, you had to demonstrate it. It had to be proven against reality as it can be repeatedly ddemonstrated to other observers.

Yep Nihilism in action. Some people even think empirical discoveries in quantum physics have challenged certain rules of logic, but I couldn't elaborate on this.

The limitations are obvious. Empiricism is not applicable to metaphysics which is "the stuff beyond physics." Empiricism is time sensitive. Pure positivism could be used to reject truths which are true but lack in evidence buried over time, burned, destroyed.

What is the alternative you are vaguely gesturing at? What is this alternative 'stuff', this knowledge which is not 'time sensitive', eternal? Mathematics? Sure. Logic? Sure. What else? Come! Let us have it.

With all respect, your whole post was pointing out limitations in empiricism without offering a positive view of the alternative. (I think I know why...).

I'm a bit confused. What do you mean by alternatives?

That's what I was asking you! Did you indicate that empirical knowledge is limited in its scope, in some sense. If so, what is the other knowledge being left out?
Title: Re: Atheism
Post by: Vigilance on February 22, 2014, 08:36:25 PM
The value of empiricism is that it was no longer enough to simply shore up an argument or a position that met the rules of logic, you had to demonstrate it. It had to be proven against reality as it can be repeatedly ddemonstrated to other observers.

Yep Nihilism in action. Some people even think empirical discoveries in quantum physics have challenged certain rules of logic, but I couldn't elaborate on this.

The limitations are obvious. Empiricism is not applicable to metaphysics which is "the stuff beyond physics." Empiricism is time sensitive. Pure positivism could be used to reject truths which are true but lack in evidence buried over time, burned, destroyed.

What is the alternative you are vaguely gesturing at? What is this alternative 'stuff', this knowledge which is not 'time sensitive', eternal? Mathematics? Sure. Logic? Sure. What else? Come! Let us have it.

With all respect, your whole post was pointing out limitations in empiricism without offering a positive view of the alternative. (I think I know why...).

I'm a bit confused. What do you mean by alternatives?

That's what I was asking you! Did you indicate that empirical knowledge is limited in its scope, in some sense. If so, what is the other knowledge being left out?

Yes and only because I believe in using different tools for their required tasks. Empiricism happens to be useful, but it is over used and the results are something like using a forklift to mince garlic.