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Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?

Posted by Dick 
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 08:32PM
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Dick
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TheThorn
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Dick
TheThorn, sorry but I haven't seen your reply. Sorry too if my schedule is a little full right now and I can't post as often as I'd like. Sorry also that your replies aren't that interesting . . . mate.

No problem mate.

I'll repost it for the third time for you:


Dick: If this equation is confirmed, how many of you will admit that it's now more likely that the universe was not created by a god or by anything else? And, as a result, the correct answer to the implied question in this thread's title is . . We never "got here" at all. We've always been here. Everything has always been here.

Also, this destroys the argument for purpose. Obviously, the universe was not created for some purpose because the universe wasn't created at all!


No it doesn't.

Position A: The universe has always been here and it has a purpose.

Position B: The universe has always been here and it is meaningless.

See - neither position is damaged.

Buddhists manage just fine believing that the universe has always been here, and that it has a purpose.

Thanks, mate.

There is more evidence, now -- if the equation that indicates the universe has no beginning holds up -- that there is nothing outside the universe to give it an objective purpose. Historically, the reason most often used by believers for purpose goes like this: "God created the world for a purpose."

The universe itself does not appear to be a living being with intelligence and intention even though it contains living beings with intelligence and intention (along with everything else). Only a living creature with intelligence and intention, as far as we have any reason to believe, can give itself a subjective purpose.

I have no idea whether Buddhists manage just fine by holding seemingly contradictory beliefs. I don't even know what you mean by claiming that they "manage just fine." Lots of other atheists, not just Buddhists, "manage just fine," too, but I don't believe that our managing just fine is any kind of indicator for the truth of our beliefs.

They aren't contradictory beliefs.

The universe can always have existed with a purpose, or it can always have existed meaninglessly.

The universe can have started at a fixed point with a purpose, or it can have started at a fixed point meaninglessly.

The finite/infinite dilemma of space/time is not a factor in whether the universe is meaningless or purposeful.

Both outcomes are perfectly compatible with both beliefs.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 08:39PM
Indy wrote: Now - to address one of your points... True some people believe god (lower case) exists and do horrible things because of that belief. OTOH, there are also those who believe a god doesn't exist and therefore feel they are free to do horrible things as well based on that belief. My comment didn't reflect or reference either aspect of that idea, but since you've brought it up - I would not endorse either belief or action.

And to those people (the nonbelievers) and others like them you can cite value systems and the evidence for and against each to rationally argue that their action is mistaken or in some sense "bad."

How do you argue against their actions, however, if you concede that their belief in their God, is OK? It's contradictory to say to someone I have no problem with you believing, sincerely believing, in an omnipotent, omniscient God that can and does communicate with you in an infallible way BUT don't listen to this God if He tells you to crash a hijacked airliner into a skyscraper.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 08:46PM
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Sam
It doesn't bother me if a bunch of theists and agnogs say I'm irrational. I don't have good reason to trust their judgment in these matters. Their opinions about what qualifies as evidence for or against a claim don't make sense to me. Their definitions of words are weird sometimes or change completely from one post to another. They think it's ok to hold irrational beliefs as long as it is acknowledged that they are faith based, lol.

If I thought any of them were as rational about godthing existence claims as they probably are about all other claims I might have a reason to take it seriously and try harder to get on board with their (magical) thinking processes but I have to consider the source when I decide to give credence to an argument opposite of mine. I'm just trying to apply all the rules of discovering truth that we all use everyday for all other claims to this specific (haha) claim. Makes sense to them to say godthings neither probably exist nor probably don't exist and I base my beliefs on probability (like everyone does for all other claims).

Their whole goal here seems to be not to find a way to the truth of the matter but to have those who disagree with them admit they are being irrational. So let's say they get their wish and everyone admits we are all operating on faith on this particular claim. Um, so what? All this for a feeling of what, victory? Feeling smarter than everyone else?

Moving the conversation forward. Making progress.

This atheism debate has been happening all over the internet for years, and it is almost impossible to find an atheist who will admit what is undeniably factually correct: that saying the universe is meaningless is an assertion.

It is not a lack of belief. It is a belief.

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I don't get their agenda or their arguments and I don't understand why atheism seems so threatening to them but it does.

I don't find atheism threatening. I don't care what anyone believes so long as they aren't shoving it in my face, or attacking my own position.

I do find it incredibly irritating when a group of people insist on calling a spade a shovel.

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All I can see are the psychosocial aspects of their motivations for saying they don't believe anything regarding the existence of godthings and no interest whatsoever of finding out what's actually true. If they believe it's irrational to believe anything regarding the existence of godthings then they should, to be consistent, believe it's irrational to have beliefs about anything at all which makes their beliefs about what we should believe irrational, lol.

It is rational to have beliefs regarding things there are evidence for.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 08:48PM
TheThorn wrote:The universe can always have existed with a purpose, or it can always have existed meaninglessly.

"Can"? Sure it "can." But we're not talking about possibility here, we're talking about probability or what it is that we are can warranted to believe. Right? If not, if we instead are merely talking about what "can" be the case, then we're done because we probably agree about that. Any concept that is not inherently contradictory CAN be the case and nothing could be more uninteresting that the tautological fact that something possible is in fact possible.

The plain fact of the matter is that for centuries religionists have continually made the argument that the world was created for a purpose. Now, it appears that view has a problem.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:00PM
Dick, I feel we are speaking at crossed purposes here.

Let me break down what my actual view is, then you can agree or disagree:

1. A definition of Theism, where we took just the things that all of the religions and spiritual philosophies - past, present and possible - have in common with each other, it would be a short list. In fact it would be one word long: Purpose. When we exclude the aspects of these religions and philosophies not shared by all, we don't have God 'characters', we don't have the belief that the had a starting point or any creation story, we don't have miracles, we don't have moral laws, we don't have an afterlife. All those details fall away and we are left with the idea that the universe has a purpose. When we say 'God' this is what we actually mean.

3. A definition of agnosticism is much simpler: it is a mental approach whereby you do not form beliefs about things that can't be known. Relating to religion and metaphysics in general, it means a belief that the truth of the matter is unknown.

4. Atheism may mean "without God", or Purpose, but a simple lack of belief in purpose already has a name: agnosticism. The only relevant usage of the word Atheism is what some people call strong Atheism - the belief that there is no Purpose. What follows on from that assertion is a clearly detailed metaphysical belief system. The universe exists meaninglessly, it has physical laws which also exist for no purpose, and by happenstance, they combined it such a way that purposeful, thinking, feeling, creative, perceptive beings developed. That's the 'creation story' of Atheism.

You can believe that the universe is meaningless, I respect your right to believe that, just like I respect religious people's right to believe what they believe.

Do I believe it's a better belief than religions? In the fine details, yes, in the overarching philosophy? No.

It is true that Atheists do not believe fictional stories are true, or have any beliefs that contradict science, or believe they have to do stupid things because an old book said so. Atheism is a largely inert faith when it comes to its affect on its adherents or society at large.

At the same time, I find the Atheism 'creation story' inordinately improbable. So while I think that religions are stupid, at least when you strip away the fine details, they are making an observation that seems sensible: It does not seem likely that you could take some completely random and meaningless physical laws, throw them together and have something meaningful come about as a result.

I accept that it could, I don't completely rule out the possibility, but I don't find it likely. I equally have absolutely no idea what the purpose of the universe could be. So I remain agnostic.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2015 09:02PM by TheThorn.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:07PM
TheThorn wrote: This atheism debate has been happening all over the internet for years, and it is almost impossible to find an atheist who will admit what is undeniably factually correct: that saying the universe is meaningless is an assertion.

It is not a lack of belief. It is a belief.


The universe certainly appears meaningless as far as any purpose Man might have in it goes. The eternal universe has existed in its present manifestation for about 13.8 billion years and it JUST NOW got around to producing us! We humans live and die here on a tiny, tiny molecule in the ocean of the universe and we're supposed to think for some reason that we are the purpose of the universe??? It's akin to a single-cell bacteria believing that it is the reason for the Pacific Ocean. It's just incredibly arrogant. If evolution argues anything it argues that the species homo sapiens sapiens will end (and probably not in the too distant future, either, cosmologically speaking). Either we will die off or we will become another species and then that species or some future evolving species will die off. So why should anyone believe that the species homo sapiens sapiens whose existence will encompass an eyeblink is the purpose of an eternal universe???
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:12PM
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Dick
TheThorn wrote: This atheism debate has been happening all over the internet for years, and it is almost impossible to find an atheist who will admit what is undeniably factually correct: that saying the universe is meaningless is an assertion.

It is not a lack of belief. It is a belief.


The universe certainly appears meaningless as far as any purpose Man might have in it goes. The eternal universe has existed in its present manifestation for about 13.8 billion years and it JUST NOW got around to producing us! We humans live and die here on a tiny, tiny molecule in the ocean of the universe and we're supposed to think for some reason that we are the purpose of the universe??? It's akin to a single-cell bacteria believing that it is the reason for the Pacific Ocean. It's just incredibly arrogant. If evolution argues anything it argues that the species homo sapiens sapiens will end (and probably not in the too distant future, either, cosmologically speaking). Either we will die off or we will become another species and then that species or some future evolving species will die off. So why should anyone believe that the species homo sapiens sapiens whose existence will encompass an eyeblink is the purpose of an eternal universe???

When have I proposed that I think humans are important to anything?
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:27PM
I don't agree with your definitions. First of all we should make clear that theism and atheism are not, generally speaking, labels that describe someone's knowledge or avowed knowledge. Mainly, they are labels for belief. Simply put, theists believe in God, atheists don't.

The most common definition of theism is "belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world."

Atheism is to be without this belief.

Agnosticism OTOH IS about knowledge claims. Essentially, an agnostic is one who believes knowledge about God is unavailable (or even, for some, unattainable).

Here's Dawkins' scale of religiosity. It fairly well mirrors my own thought about this:

1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."

2. De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."

3. Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

4. Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."

5. Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

6. De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."

7. Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."

I would put myself at about a 6.9 on this scale.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:29PM
Thorn, Dick is simply paraphrasing what you said. Something that none of us are allowed to do with anything he says.

Sam
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:34PM
Thorn, Re: "it is almost impossible to find an atheist who will admit what is undeniably factually correct: that saying the universe is meaningless is an assertion.

It is not a lack of belief. It is a belief."

I have always admitted that I believe godthings are not real. The problem is that you and others don't want to recognize what I believe is evidence for my belief but you do recognize something as evidence that I do not consider evidence. If you did believe in math/probabilities in the same way about this claim as I assume you do about all other claims made on earth you might understand the strong atheist view but, alas, when you believe people should believe what makes them happy, well, I doubt you can think the way I do for even a second so, yeah, I think we're done here.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:35PM
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TheThorn
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Dick
TheThorn wrote: This atheism debate has been happening all over the internet for years, and it is almost impossible to find an atheist who will admit what is undeniably factually correct: that saying the universe is meaningless is an assertion.

It is not a lack of belief. It is a belief.


The universe certainly appears meaningless as far as any purpose Man might have in it goes. The eternal universe has existed in its present manifestation for about 13.8 billion years and it JUST NOW got around to producing us! We humans live and die here on a tiny, tiny molecule in the ocean of the universe and we're supposed to think for some reason that we are the purpose of the universe??? It's akin to a single-cell bacteria believing that it is the reason for the Pacific Ocean. It's just incredibly arrogant. If evolution argues anything it argues that the species homo sapiens sapiens will end (and probably not in the too distant future, either, cosmologically speaking). Either we will die off or we will become another species and then that species or some future evolving species will die off. So why should anyone believe that the species homo sapiens sapiens whose existence will encompass an eyeblink is the purpose of an eternal universe???

When have I proposed that I think humans are important to anything?

I'm not just referring to you here but to all who believe that the universe has a purpose. The vast majority of those believe that Man is that purpose. You may believe that the moon is the purpose or that Brittney Spears' musical(?) career is the purpose, for all I know, but that would be weird. Usually when someone says that "The universe has a purpose" it's because they believe humanity or intelligence or consciousness or something else as totally unimaginative as that is that purpose. It's difficult for anyone to say I think X has a purpose without them also having at least some modicum of belief about what that purpose is.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:39PM
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Ponderer
Thorn, Dick is simply paraphrasing what you said. Something that none of us are allowed to do with anything he says.

Not true. I just resent your mis-paraphrasing what I say.

I wish it were surprising that you wrote an entire post just to say that and nothing at all about the subject at hand, but . . . .
Sam
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:40PM
I don't think Thorn mentioned man per se as the purpose but did say something about Life being the ohsopossible purpose.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:46PM
Dick and Sam are in denial, more stubborn than a hardcore religionist. Atheism gives them comfort...

There is no scientific theory that is incompatible with Theology. There is no probability for or against the existence of God. You both believe that it's very unlikely that fairies exist and very unlikely that God exists. But the belief that it's very unlikely God exists implies you both know the nature of this world. So now you must demonstrate the math that proves your metaphysical beliefs are probably true.

The arguments you two present to us are flawed. Seriously your thoughts are fractured. You dismiss metaphysics as trivial but hold metaphysical beliefs. That's looney...

I don't think either of you can separate religion from your thoughts. Religion just had too powerful of an effect on both of your lives, for good or bad...it's an irrational hatred. You play politics with philosophy. This goal to eradicate religion is masqueraded as promoting logic and reason. No clear thinking sane individual wants to destroy another individual's metaphysical beliefs when it causes no harm and gives someone hope.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:50PM
Oh now Dicks defending a weak atheist position! Lol atheism is just without belief in God. I'm now an atheist. Look how fun that was...
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 09:54PM
When is probability, real probability not knowledge? What in the hell do you think science is? So now your belief we live in a world absent of God a scientific belief?
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 10:26PM
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Sam
I don't think Thorn mentioned man per se as the purpose but did say something about Life being the ohsopossible purpose.

That's my guess, yeah. I recognise it's just an idea though.
Sam
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 10:36PM
Tuk, Wow, three posts in a row? Talk about fractured thinking, lol.

Re: " But the belief that it's very unlikely God exists implies you both know the nature of this world."

First, no one said "very" and your use of it is an attempt to disingenuously attribute a strength to our belief that you just made up and second, what world? The one you made up to mentally masturbate to? Nope, I have no idea what the nature of your imaginary world is nor do I care. Yep, math, reason and logic rock. You should try it.

"No clear thinking sane individual wants to destroy another individual's metaphysical beliefs when it causes no harm and gives someone hope."

Oh oh I think Tuk might be saying the same thing here as the other believing in nonbelieving agogs do "believe what makes you happy", lol. IOW, It's ok to be irrational as long as it gives you comfort and don't harm anyone else. So what if someone's HappyPlace DOES harm someone else? What are they to believe then? Oooooh, I get it. Nothing. Lmao and wow.

"When is probability, real probability not knowledge? What in the hell do you think science is? So now your belief we live in a world absent of God a scientific belief? "

Now I think you are getting it. I know there are no gods in exactly the same way you know there are no fairies. Unless you don't know fairies don't exist in which case you can keep believing they do if that makes you happy. smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2015 10:39PM by Sam.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 10:39PM
Argh. I just wrote a reply to this and it didn't post. Will try and remember it again...

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Dick
I don't agree with your definitions. First of all we should make clear that theism and atheism are not, generally speaking, labels that describe someone's knowledge or avowed knowledge. Mainly, they are labels for belief. Simply put, theists believe in God, atheists don't.

The most common definition of theism is "belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world."

It's a definition that is in need of updating to incorporate eastern religions. If we are saying that being a Theist is dependent on believing in a Greco Roman/Abrahamic-style God 'character', then we are saying that a lot of deeply religious people in Asia are actually Atheists.

If we take all of the worlds religions, and any other theistic belief systems, and remove everything that is not present in all of them we are left with a very simple and clear concept: The universe exists for a purpose. That is why I use the word Purpose instead of God. It's accurate.

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Atheism is to be without this belief.

As I said in my last post - you can technically say that Atheism refers to a lack of a belief in a God character, but we already have the term "agnosticism" which would incorporate that position.

Whatever the semantics, people who identify themselves as Atheists are almost always Strong Atheists. I might as well save myself some time and drop the 'Strong'. You've made it clear that you are, as has Sam and many others in the past.

By the way when I say a 'Strong' atheist, I use it in the way it has traditionally been used, not Dawkins scale. A Strong Atheist, also known as a Positive Atheist, asserts that there is no God and hence holds a positive belief.

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Agnosticism OTOH IS about knowledge claims. Essentially, an agnostic is one who believes knowledge about God is unavailable (or even, for some, unattainable).

That's a description of a particular agnostic position. It's not necessary to assume that there is a God to find knowledge of to be an agnostic. An agnostic simply knows that we cannot find evidence for any answer to the question we are all born with: "Why are we here?".

An atheist says: The answer is the universe is meaningless.

A thesist says: The answer is the universe is meaningful.

An agnostic says: You're both making it up. None of us know the answer.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2015 12:44AM by TheThorn.
Re: Anybody want to talk about how all this got here?
February 13, 2015 10:40PM
I'll stand with you Sam when irrational beliefs cause harm.
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