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Featured The new Athiest Humanities downfall?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by TransmutingSoul, Dec 30, 2021.

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  1. Yes it is!

    4 vote(s)
    11.4%
  2. No it isn't!

    18 vote(s)
    51.4%
  3. Yes but I will explain more.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. No but I will explain more.

    6 vote(s)
    17.1%
  5. I offer a different view.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. The subject is more complex.

    7 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Because you are not ready to receive it, perhaps
     
  2. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    This needs to be explained. It doesn't mean that what a human senses in their environment is not there or imaginary, but that the light waves that reach the eye, and the eye converts this light into sensory data (via signals, neurotransmitters and electricity) to the visual cortex of the brain, and the brain converts them into representations of what is being viewed. Jim can look at a loaf of bread on a table and his sensory apparatus will relay the reality of this loaf and table to his brain. The representations in the brain are NOT the things seen, so philosophers have called this brain activity illusory. The loaf itself can't be in the brain, but a representation of the loaf can be, thus it is an illusion of the loaf that the brain senses.

    Of course human senses are limited. We can't see many waves of light. We can't see infrared like other animals can. We can't see microorganisms, or deep into space. So the unaltered human as an instrument for observation is limited.

    This all assumes people have working senses and brain.

    Now this differs from people who have damage to some senses. It also differs from people who have brain dysfunctions. As we know mental illness or drugs can alter what people think they are seeing. Hallucinations are not accurate representations of the environment.
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Or perhaps there's no god to send one.
    Beware obeying voices in your head
    that others don't hear.
     
  4. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    “The external perception is an internal dream which proves to be in harmony with external things; and instead of calling hallucination a false perception, we must call external perception a confirmed hallucination.”
    - Hippolyte Taine
     
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  5. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Better to disregard the inner monologue, and tune it out altogether if possible; it’s generally just the ego, and is guaranteed to drown out the voice of God - which is seldom heard in the head, nor perceived with the senses.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    So does God communicate by feelings?
     
  7. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Aha. If you sincerely wish to communicate with God, the Universe, the Underlying Creative Intelligence, Great Spirit, or whatever concept of divine power makes sense to you, you will probably have to open the channels of communication yourself.

    There are many ways of doing this, but in my experience God does not hide himself for long from those who sincerely seek and need Him. Humility appears to be a prerequisite though, pride is a tough barrier to overcome, but desperation sometimes provides the key. Which is why alcoholics and addicts in recovery sometimes talk about having received the Gift Of Desperation.
     
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  8. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    1. Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. One suspect that a list of "atheist characteristics" made by anyone claiming they are is likely to be similarly flawed. But anywho...

    Gnostic atheism is the only rational position in respect to the gods of religion.
    Agnostic atheism is only reasonable in the context of non-specific, supernatural forces.

    This one is wrong.

    Also not true.

    Boo hoo. Try a thicker skin?

    Another straw man. We view science as the "best method", not some "infallible source". That nonsense belongs to you religionists.

    WADR you are overthinking this. Yes, what you say is true, but its kinda stating the bee din' obvious.

    To a degree, yes. Again, "stating the bleeding' obvious".

    Another straw man. Whether a god is talking literally or figuratively, there is still no evidence for that god.
    And remember that there are religionists who claim that god should be taken at his word. We atheists are equal opportunity sceptics so we can address both the literalists and the revisionists.

    Careful you don't run out of straw there.
    Morality is a combination of innate and acquired traits. Some morality has come from religion, but then religion got it (well, the bits worth having) from our innate tendencies in the first place.

    Wrong again. That is only brought up when religionists claims that religious ideology or behaviour is timeless and universal.

    That's quite a mixed bag of straw you have there.

    Wrong again.

    Who wrote that again? They are an idiot, and so are you for agreeing with it.
     
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  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I have no more desire to communicate with God, Thor, Allah,
    Gahesha, etc than I do with Voldemort, Santa, or Philip Fry.

    Desire is the corruptor of minds. If one seeks, then one is
    likely to imagine finding what is sought. To not seek, but
    to merely observe is neutral, & comports with objectivity.
     
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  10. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    "New Atheism" is just regular atheism pulling down religion's pants in public.
     
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  11. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Debate what? How many angels can stand on the head of a pin? Whether God can make a stone too heavy to lift? Theology is sterile speculation. Debate it all you like. You'll never come up with a single useful idea.

    If you can't demonstrate the likelihood that your god exists, and you can't, then you have nothing to offer the empiricist. And you don't merely consider the possibility. You've accepted it as actual. That's where your thinking goes off the reason tracks.

    Now you're reducing your theism to psychology, to comforting placebo. I can agree with you there. That's when I entered it - when I needed comfort, when I was experiencing extreme angst, as I have previously explained to you. You, too. The difference between us is that mine resolved and religion no longer served any purpose (I know that you don't consider a god belief religion, but I do).

    Sure we do. I know why I was a theist. I know why you are one. Many are indoctrinated into it and feel comforted by being part of a religious community. They have been taught to consider atheism evil. And they hope for heaven, fear hell, and have their prayers answered. Or they feel that life is empty without such ideas. They've been told that atheists are without morals or purpose. I suspect than many aren't really theists, but just playing the part socially.

    And yes, I have a bias against theism as I do against all faith-based thinking. It's guessing.

    Interesting that you see atheism as rewarding to atheists just as you see theism rewarding to believers, but condemn the former anyway. But you're correct. I take pride in being an atheist and a secular humanist. What others see as as intellectual and moral failure, I see as the opposite. I see secular humanism as the pinnacle of man's progress to date in epistemology and ethics.

    No, most do not. This is you still tilting at windmills, your straw man. You're fighting a nonexistent foe.

    You're refusal to acknowledge that most atheists are agnostic undermines everything you have to say about atheists or atheism.

    Defeat what? Unevidenced claims? We just reject them. You'd do well to assimilate that as well.

    Ammo? Against what?

    You see yourself as some kind of warrior and defender of the faith in a war.

    You keep referring to materialism, but whatever you call the alternative that you prefer doesn't function in any area. Presumably, you are talking about idealism, but who knows, as you never say. But what has your alternate way of knowing that you consider more insightful than an empirical approach to what is true and real generated of any value? You continually bemoan the skeptic's outlook as too narrow and ill-equipped to examine this other realm you seem to think exists for no better reason than that you want it to, but you never reveal what you see, or why what you think you know is worth knowing. Because you have no such knowledge. Your better way of knowing is sterile except perhaps to you personally as a comforting placebo, but not to others.

    Let me offer an allegory that shows what a better way of knowing actually is and can do. There are a people that can count, but haven't learned to add yet. The chief wants to merge a flock of 36 sheep with one of 87, maybe because of a marriage between two families each with a herd, and he wants to know how many sheep that will be. He can only answer that by merging the two flocks and counting them.

    Then along comes a stranger who claims to have another way of knowing that shows him more. He says he can tell in advance how many sheep the chief will count when he merges a flock of 36 with one of 87. This stranger announces that there will be 36+87=123 sheep. The chief merges the flocks, counts them, gets 123, and the crowd gasps, some shouting, "Witchcraft!" This stranger made a claim of seeing more, and demonstrated that he really did.

    How about you? Your verbiage suggests that you seem to feel that you have a better way of knowing. Show me some of what this better way of knowing than what you scornfully call materialism has generated so that I'll stop calling it useless. Just kidding. We both know you can't. If you could, you would have posted it in the scientism thread, when you made the same claims that were rebutted the same way and ignored.

    This is pretty funny coming from Don Quixote.
     
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  12. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    If you could understand that what others believe doesn't matter to the empiricist. He only cares what is known and can be demonstrated. If you can't demonstrate a physical referent to correspond with a belief, it is probably wrong, and even if it were a correct guess, you would have no way of knowing that until there was a physical manifestation caused by whatever it is you believe is out there. That's the power of strict empiricism. It doesn't bother with ideas until they can be shown to correlate with reality. Science only posits a new aspect of reality when it can't account for some observation given the known aspects of reality.

    This is why gods don't appear in any scientific theory or law. There is nothing unexplained for them that the science without them doesn't account for. Inserting a god into the theory of evolution, for example, gives it zero additional explanatory power.

    So, the fact that you have unevidenced beliefs is meaningless to the empiricist. Nothing is real except the belief, which is useless if it has no connection to or effect on whatsoever demonstrable reality. And yes, once again, I have a strong bias against other these way of "knowing." This is why. Their sterility.

    Sure, Senor Quixote. You just keep fighting those lying atheists, lying when they tell you that they are also agnostic - an idea that apparently cannot fit into your head, one of the most extreme examples of closed-mindedness I've seen. Other closed minded people tell you that there is no evidence that could change their mind that their belief is wrong and the skeptic's correct, but you don't even know what that is, because you apparently can't fit the idea into your consideration chamber even to consider and reject it.

    That is not correct. Theism is the belief in one or more gods. What you have described is theology.

    Clarification? We already know your delusion, Senor Quixote. You've been very clear already. It's just that your definition is rejected. Interesting that you think that indicates it wasn't understood and needed clarification.

    This is what happens when one allows oneself to decide what is true without an empirical basis for those beliefs. Because those beliefs are not tethered in reality, they are free to float and drift anywhere. For you, you have created a fantasy that you think reflects reality despite having been concocted in your head. You think they reflect what's actually out there, but how could they without being derived empirically?

    Sorry, but it is you who is hopelessly lost. Empiricists make a distinction between imagination and the reality that you don't seem to understand. I suspect that you are an idealist, and believe that ideas in your imagination are more fundamental than physical reality, which you likely see as an epiphenomenon of an idea held by deity, or you believe that the deity is idea, or some other formulation that places equal significant to ideas that have no external referent as to those that do.

    And that is no doubt why you rail against empiricism. It places little value on imagination except as a source for ideas to test empirically, and then reject when reality fails to confirm them. That's a direct affront to how you chose to decide what is true and real, as your comment above attests.
     
  13. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    You've relinquished all your desires? Well done.

    To not see, but merely observe, is a noble aspiration. Objectivity may be a little more elusive. Unattainable for we humans, it remains an abstract ideal destined to be always out of reach. Nothing wrong with reaching for those, though.
     
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  14. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    "I didn't say to drive the X out of town, I'm just putting up the posters that quote the person who said it".

    Weasel words.
     
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  15. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    It's like those medieval drawings of exotic animals that the artist has only heard described.
    My favourite is the hippo...
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Not all.
    I just have no desire for deities or what some call "truth".
    OK.
     
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  17. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    So opinions are great - unless they contradict yours, then they are ignorance.
    Careful with that irony, it burns.

    Cognitive dissonance at work.
    Are you saying his scientific work was discredited once you found out about his atheism?
     
  18. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    Says the person who insists that the earliest human societies were constantly in a state of internal conflict. :tearsofjoy:
     
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  19. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    Feel free to cite some of Dawkins', Dennett's, Harris' or Hitchens' "historical illiteracy".
     
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  20. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    It's only sterile to you because you can't allow the idea of God to be in any way valid or useful. And that's too bad for you. But billions of your fellow humans can, and do. So for all of them the idea and the discussion is not sterile at all. It's unfortunate that you can't participate, but that's your own choice. It's even more unfortunate that you seem to feel obliged to belittle, dismiss, and denigrate everyone else's interest and value in the subject.
     
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