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Messages - Imposition

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Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 27, 2014, 08:25:09 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...

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 27, 2014, 08:19:38 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.
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!).

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 24, 2014, 08:05:22 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).

Metal / Re: What bands are you listening to today?
« on: January 23, 2014, 07:04:27 AM »
Can't get enough of Perdition Temple's 2010, which happened again today. Old school Morbid Angel worship at its best. Also, Lantern's 'Below' again (amazed no one else around here has enjoyed this one).

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 06:31:30 AM »
Dead Last and Dawn, fair enough.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:34:26 AM »
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.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:22:02 AM »
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.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:28:55 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.

I'm trying to save the survivors from the rapists.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:27:50 AM »
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?

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 22, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »
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.

Interzone / Re: Atheism
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:10:32 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

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.

Metal / Re: Vaughan Williams
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:35:35 PM »

Interzone / Re: Obama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:30:21 PM »
And by the way my modern history books would indicate that Hitler was an IV methamphetamine user which makes him even worse in the mob's humble opinion. Obama just used a little bit of pot to help chill out not wage a fuckin' BLITZKRIEG on people so I don't see what the problem is.   ???

I've read that too!

Bit of speed never hurts when your commanding a Reich, I'm sure.

Interzone / Re: "The poor": kill them
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:29:15 PM »
Are you suggesting, as I think you are, that each of these two scenarios differ only in factors INSIDE the control of the individual?

No. That's your straw man.

The central part was this: no-one should be obligated to ensure that fairness is absolute. Life is unfair. Deal with it.

Thank you, Hemmingway. Perhaps I will go and cut some wood, so that I feel more manly, rough and ready in the face of rugged reality. It's the last I can do after all my denial of the Word ("life is unfair"), right?

I would think a society geared towards absolute fairness, or equality, would be hideous. I'm talking about a bit more sensitivity to equality of opportunity. Not equality of outcome.

Even the former is not absolute. I was simply trying to bring some balance to your views.

A society that allows its best to rise, and provides the conditions under which this can occur, is going to prosper over one that doesn't more often than not, I would have thought.

Metal / Re: Vaughan Williams
« on: January 21, 2014, 08:20:37 AM »
The Lark Ascending is truly beautiful! The opening always reminds me a bit of Sibelius' Violin Concerto.

Which one? I will have to check it out.

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