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View Poll Results: You are a...
firm believer 168 28.82%
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:18 PM   #766
jay73
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Quote:
...Are you assholes are jackassess...
What about jackassholes?
 
Old 02-15-2009, 03:22 PM   #767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yonnieboy View Post
I do resent the idea that Atheism is akin to Agnosticism. A true Atheist when presented provable facts will change their thinking on any subject according to what the facts present. On the other hand, I'm not so sure an Agnostic would. So would Agnostics fit the 'religion'/ 'believer' pattern better than Atheists?
Well thanks very much!
that is what exactly i was talking about

as for what i support , i stand for atheism or in other words
the disbelief in any god/s or 'superior powers' that one is made to worship.

and as for the conflict with agnosticism , my attitude is that supporting the grey state of not believing nor disbelieving in god and saying things like that god might exist but doesn't 'care' about the human race.

is basically indistinguishable from faith in god , or at least it would not make any sense to remain ambiguous , especially if that idea is being
considered as 'sacred' and 'undefeatable' .


What could one say that would make this thread and the rest of the world a better place?


you just did !

Cheers
 
Old 02-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #768
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Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
What about jackassholes?
Isn't that the latest Ubuntu: Jaunty Jackasshole?
 
Old 02-15-2009, 04:59 PM   #769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yonnieboy View Post
I do resent the idea that Atheism is akin to Agnosticism. A true Atheist when presented provable facts will change their thinking on any subject according to what the facts present. On the other hand, I'm not so sure an Agnostic would. So would Agnostics fit the 'religion'/ 'believer' pattern better than Atheists? But then one could argue that belief in facts is a religion. Would it be possible to say that such an arguement does not lead anywhere?
This is an interesting idea when taken to the next level: i.e. atheism is not an ideology, whereas both agnosticism and belief are.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 06:04 PM   #770
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This is an interesting idea when taken to the next level: i.e. atheism is not an ideology, whereas both agnosticism and belief are.
Everything is an ideology. Everything is based on belief. To claim otherwise would to strip man of all subjectivity. That would be the Garden of Eden myth.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 09:18 PM   #771
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Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Everything is an ideology. Everything is based on belief. To claim otherwise would to strip man of all subjectivity. That would be the Garden of Eden myth.
Not so. If I had never heard of the God of Abraham, then the question of belief or disbelief would never have occurred, would it?

Jay, I can't remember whether you're one of the believers or not. But, let's say you are. Consider the Greek gods, do you find any compelling reason to believe in them? If not, why not? Is it intuitively obvious that there were no actual Greek gods? If so, why?

As you probably know from early posts in this thread, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a religion designed to show these principals. There is no compelling reason to believe in the FSM, and many would say there are compelling reasons not to believe.

It should be pretty obvious that Christianity shares one important trait with atheism, and that is disbelief when there is no compelling reason to believe. We know that Christians aren't born, they are raised. The same is true of all other belief systems. In spite of the fact that we say, perhaps, "Muslim children", there is no such a thing. Instead, there are children raised in an atmosphere of Islamic belief; much the same as so-called "Christian children" are raised in an atmosphere of Christian belief. Without the training and reinforcement of beliefs from their peers, Christians and Muslims don't believe in the Greek gods. It's only the removal of one more god that makes the step from belief to atheism. That step is when the ideology of belief disappears due to lack of evidence.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #772
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That step is when the ideology of belief disappears due to lack of evidence.
And where the ideology of atheism steps in...

You know, I think you should read up on semiotics, the science of signs. One of its fundamental principles is that our interpretation of the world is based on conventions (ideology). The only way we can define man is by defining woman, the only way we can define day is by defining night, the only way we can define red is by defining yellow, green, blue, etc. A concept A is defined as what is not B (C,D,E, etc). Similarly, binary 0 is meaningless without the concept of a binary 1. To claim otherwise would be to take in "reality" all at once, as one huge lump - this would result in a total lack of meaning. Obviously, it would not mean that there would no longer be things which we now call man, woman, day, night, etc. - they just would be utterly meaningless to us (think of certain phenomena that we have not yet been able to explain, that we have not even considered as the subject of some future science - they would be "just there", things we most likely would not notice at all because they would be taken for granted). Or they would be reduced to a different scheme. Think about tales of indigenous tribes misidentifying gunfire as something divine because their world view does not have a science vs non-science set.
Now these distinctions we make are largely arbitrary and have a cultural background. This agrees with your observations about muslim children. What I think you fail to see, however, is that atheism is not an exception. If atheism is defined as non-belief, then by definition it implies belief, just as belief implies non-belief. You cannot have one without the other, A defines B and the other way round. The only alternative, as stated, is a return to absolute disinterest, to the hypothetical state in which our ancestors did not make any distinction yet between natural and supernatural, between man and nature, etc. Given the evidence we have, that would probably take us back to the days when man had not developed any linguistic skills yet. It also raises the question of exactly how one would go about initiating such a return to a zero state. The only thing that comes even remotely close to this would be agnosticism if taken to mean "indifference, not-caring about the issue at all, let's just shut up about it" - but its definition already involves the God concept so it is not neutral either.
As for the flying spaghettimonster, yes, it is a cultural artefact just like established religions. The reason that it does not appeal to most believers, however, is that it has comparatively less appeal. If you do not know what that appeal might be, then you should read the works of Greek and Roman philosophers from the first centuries of our era. With few exceptions, all of them transitioned to christianity because it was morally and intellectually superior to any polytheistic system that was current in their society (for example, if we believe that there is a fundamental law behind everything, how can there be more than one God? How do we relate to that God? How can God be everything if not also human (realized in the figure of Christ as the tradition goes) . Just because cultural artefacts are (largely) arbitrary does not mean that there can be no comparison; if this were true, there would be no reason at all for our universaties to teach Shakespeare or physics - they might just as well teach cartoons or astrology.

Last edited by jay73; 02-15-2009 at 10:26 PM.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 10:51 PM   #773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
And where the ideology of atheism steps in...

You know, I think you should read up on semiotics, the science of signs. One of its fundamental principles is that our interpretation of the world is based on conventions (ideology). The only way we can define man is by defining woman, the only way we can define day is by defining night, the only way we can define red is by defining yellow, green, blue, etc. A concept A is defined as what is not B (C,D,E, etc). Similarly, binary 0 is meaningless without the concept of a binary 1. To claim otherwise would be to take in "reality" all at once, as one huge lump - this would result in a total lack of meaning.
Somewhere within this paragraph you've introduced a set of false dichotomies. It's unfortunate, but it's almost always unavoidable when trying to have this conversation. The difference between belief and not-belief is not the same as the difference between 0 and 1. The reason is that religious belief (the subject at hand) is in something for which there is not, and can not, be any proof. As I tried to show you with the Flying Spaghetti Monster myth, in the case of belief in the God of Abraham, one must first be introduced to the Abrahamic myth. If one is never introduced to this myth, then there can be no discussion of belief vs nonbelief. The question cannot be asked without introduction of the myth; therefore it is irrelevant.


Quote:
Obviously, it would not mean that there would no longer be things which we now call man, woman, day, night, etc. - they just would be utterly meaningless to us (think of certain phenomena that we have not yet been able to explain, that we have not even considered as the subject of some future science - they would be "just there", things we most likely would not notice at all because they would be taken for granted). Or they would be reduced to a different scheme. Think about tales of indigenous tribes misidentifying gunfire as something divine because their world view does not have a science vs non-science set.
Now these distinctions we make are largely arbitrary and have a cultural background. This agrees with your observations about muslim children. What I think you fail to see, however, is that atheism is not an exception. If atheism is defined as non-belief, then by definition it implies belief, just as belief implies non-belief. You cannot have one without the other, A defines B and the other way round.
As I have just shown, this is utter rubbish. If you don't know about either A or B, then the question of belief is just silly. As such, atheism is the default condition. The question of belief only occurs because there are believers; not because there are non-believers.

Quote:
As for the flying spaghettimonster, yes, it is a cultural artefact just like established religions. The reason that it does not appeal to most believers, however, is that it has comparatively less appeal. If you do not know what that appeal might be, then you should read the works of Greek and Roman philosophers from the first centuries of our era. With few exceptions, all of them transitioned to christianity because it was morally and intellectually superior to any polytheistic system that was current in their society
Actually, in both the case of Christianity and Islam, belief was ordered by proclamation. It is not necessary that a belief system be morally or intellectually superior to another system for it to be accepted. All that is necessary is a culture of belief; regardless of where the beginnings of that culture came from. As an aside, I find nothing personally compelling in favor of Abraham's "God" over Zeus. One myth is as "believable" as another. The only difference is time and location.

Quote:
(for example, if we believe that there is a fundamental law behind everything, how can there be more than one God? How do we relate to that God? How can God be everything if not also human (realized in the figure of Christ as the tradition goes) .
And here we go with the false dichotomies, again. Your underlying presumption is that there is at least one god, and then you wave a hand at the effort of proving that there is at most one god. This is not the way proofs work. You cannot make a presumption and then generalise the case. You must first prove the simple case. As I have already, and tediously, shown with the FSM, one must first be introduced to the concept of a god before one will make any conclusions in favor of or against the viability of that god. If we had never been introduced to the concept, we would not be having this discussion. This is a far cry from the presumption that there must be at least one god, and due to the abrupt waving of hands not only must there be only one, but it must be the one "I" believe in.

Quote:
Just because cultural artefacts are (largely) arbitrary does not mean that there can be no comparison; if this were true, there would be no reason at all for our universaties to teach Shakespeare or physics - they might just as well teach cartoons or astrology.
I think you're just yanking my chain on this one. We teach Shakespeare because he was a good playwright who described the human condition. We teach physics because it is what we have observed about the physical universe. We do actually teach cartoons, but that would, once again be in the literature section, subdivision popular entertainment. Astrology we relegate to the history of science (and not science, itself), because we have not been able to correlate the predictions of astrology with reality.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 10:53 PM   #774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Isn't that the latest Ubuntu: Jaunty Jackasshole?
Nice one! lol

BTW, is that a religion?
 
Old 02-15-2009, 11:22 PM   #775
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God(s) have serious emotional issues:

Here's an interesting and logical reason why not to believe in the existence of god:

Considering that god is supposed to be omnipotent and all powerful, then logically one can deduce that NOTHING done by us should have any effect on god one way or the other.

Yet however, if according to said Abrahamic religions, that if nobody believes in god's existence or worships other 'god(s)' in 'his' place, he gets really really pissed off!

Well wait a minute, does this mean that we as insignificant that we are have power over god in some way? We have power to make him angry or happy, or sad. But, I thought that god is supposed to be a powerful being, and nothing can affect HIM. No supernovas, blackholes, or any other massive force in this universe can't even put a dent on god. Yet... A mere human only weighing ~60kg+ can determine his mood? Maybe its just me, but somethings amiss here.


I thought deities wouldn't gives two shits one way or the other if we mere mortals chose to worship them or not. Honestly why would they waste that much time? Or is it like the fairies in Peter Pan, and that if you don't believe in said deities they just fade away? So much for being all powerful then.

Last edited by Jeebizz; 02-15-2009 at 11:24 PM.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 11:25 PM   #776
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Quote:
Here's an interesting and logical reason why not to believe in the existence of god:

Considering that god is supposed to be omnipotent and all powerful, then logically one can deduce that NOTHING done by us should have any effect on god one way or the other.

Yet however, if according to said Abrahamic religions, that if nobody believes in god's existence or worships other 'god(s)' in 'his' place, he gets really really pissed off!

Well wait a minute, does this mean that we as insignificant that we are have power over god in some way? We have power to make him angry or happy, or sad. But, I thought that god is supposed to be a powerful being, and nothing can affect HIM. No supernovas, blackholes, or any other massive force in this universe can't even put a dent on god. Yet... A mere human only weighing ~60kg+ can determine his mood? Maybe its just me, but somethings amiss here.


I thought deities wouldn't gives two shits one way or the other if we mere mortals chose to worship them or not. Honestly why would they waste that much time? Or is it like the fairies in Peter Pan, and that if you don't believe in said deities they just fade away? So much for being all powerful then.
Nope, read the Book of Job.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 11:27 PM   #777
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Somewhere within this paragraph you've introduced a set of false dichotomies.
Seriously? 0 and 1 are entirely imaginary, no less than the other examples I gave; they are imposed on the world, not inferred from it. Grant this and the rest of your arguments go down. If you don't see what I mean, then I will ask you to take anyone who has never learned basic arithmatic and make them point out a nice 0 or 1 in the outside world. Imaginary, mental, conventional, that is all there is to it. By no means empirical.

Last edited by jay73; 02-15-2009 at 11:30 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2009, 12:35 AM   #778
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Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Seriously? 0 and 1 are entirely imaginary, no less than the other examples I gave; they are imposed on the world, not inferred from it. Grant this and the rest of your arguments go down. If you don't see what I mean, then I will ask you to take anyone who has never learned basic arithmatic and make them point out a nice 0 or 1 in the outside world. Imaginary, mental, conventional, that is all there is to it. By no means empirical.
I do agree with Brian about your introduction of a false dichotomy, and I also disagree with your statement that "we can't define red without defining blue, yellow, etc". Red is easily defined as electromagnetic radiation of around 7000 angstroms wevelength.

Yes, we then need to define electromagnetic radiation and its properties, but we can do that by pointing and saying "THAT is electromagnetic radiation".

Now, zero represented a big leap forward in both logic and imagination, and the definition of zero was a seminal event in the development of mathematics. But one is a lot easier, because we can point. One finger. One rock. One me.

Mathematics in general is indeed a construct of the mind, but arithmetic is not; we can point to things. One rock. Two rocks. Many rocks.

Also, when you consider mathematics as a purely mental and logical construct, it becomes incredibly interesting when we determine, as we pretty much HAVE determined, that this construct *appears* to be the "language of the universe". Really, when you get down to it, that is rather incredible.
 
Old 02-16-2009, 01:57 AM   #779
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Mathematics in general is indeed a construct of the mind, but arithmetic is not; we can point to things. One rock. Two rocks. Many rocks.
This is not what I meant. The real question is: whoever came up with "one", did (s)he infer that concept from reality (discover it) or did (s)he invent it, the way that someone came up with the idea that we might call a certain sense datum "blue" or "cold"? Did someone look at their fingers and go, hey, here is base ten and I'll call the little finger "one". Or did that person come up with the idea that it would be fun to categorize fingers and invent a technique to do so? I stress a as they might have considered fingers to be composites of joints rather than units, in which case the system would have been different. Or again, how far can our fingers take us once calculations get a little bit complex? Surely no-one has more than 100 fingers? And if we do calculations, have we got fingers in mind?

By the way, some people that have never learned math actually can do calculations. Only we do not know how and whether the technique they use is anything like what most of us are taught. Presumably, they tap directly into the non-verbal layer of their brains, which functions much like computers, with neurons being "on" or "off". But then this raises another question: have our brains evolved far enough to get to the bottom of things or are they just convenient tools that work up to (or down to) a certain level?

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Yes, we then need to define electromagnetic radiation and its properties, but we can do that by pointing and saying "THAT is electromagnetic radiation".
OK, but don't we need "something else" if we are to identify electromagnetic radiation? Does anything make sense in and of itself or does it need to be contrasted with that "something else"? How do we categorize chemical elements? Do we look at them and are we suddenly inspired, do we look straight into their "nature" (philosophers would call it essence)? Or do we need to compare them among each other? What if a new element were discoverd? Would its effects be localized or would they spread and redefine the whole set currently known? If the latter, than even science is an "ideology" (the proper term would be idealism, as opposed to materialism: we impose ideas on the world rather than the world imposing ideas on us - this does not mean that those ideas have no basis in that world, it only means that we simply cannot know anything directly, that the world (as we know it) mirrors our minds and not the other way round).

Quote:
Also, when you consider mathematics as a purely mental and logical construct, it becomes incredibly interesting when we determine, as we pretty much HAVE determined, that this construct *appears* to be the "language of the universe". Really, when you get down to it, that is rather incredible.
Yes, that is amazing. But there are still certain questions. For example, how can we be sure that our concepts have any validity outside our own universe? If our mathematical faculties are an effect of evolution, how reliable are they in a different universe? How do we know that other universes do not contain chemical elements that not only we do not know but cannot know because our constitution evolved on earth?
 
Old 02-16-2009, 04:04 AM   #780
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Whoa!!! All this philosophy is getting too deep for me.
 
  


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