A-believerism or A-deism?
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20-02-2013, 06:51 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(20-02-2013 02:19 AM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Glad to talk about it if you're interested. Otherwise, just know that my understanding of god and faith is not anything close to the notions you're knocking. Like I tell my atheist friends and acquaintances: I don't believe in those ridiculous, horrible gods either. But I object to the common atheistic implication that those are all there are to consider.
The stage is yours. Consider

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20-02-2013, 08:17 AM
Re: A-believerism or A-deism?
The denial is strong with this one.

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20-02-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 08:11 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  HAHA! You and I have very different definitions for faith.
And that's precisely why the rest of your post is moot.

Unless we all agree upon a specific definition of the term "faith", we don't have any common ground for a discussion about its usage.

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20-02-2013, 11:46 AM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 08:04 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  And so far, I find it curiously that most atheists define "evidence" in such a way as to exclude not only evidence for the existence of god, but evidence for the existence of love, potential, honor, or any of the "non-physical" things that actually make living a physical life worth the effort.

Just think about it. Apply your rules of evidence to an experience like love or compassion. Do THEY exist?
I don't see the analogy here. I know that love exists because I have personally experienced it both as the giver and the receiver. I feel love, I see people engaged in acts of love, I personally know people that have given me love and to whom I have given love. I have also seen people give other people love or do things out of love. This is all evidence. The love itself may be intangible and inferred, but the people involved unquestionably do exist and do carry out the actions that illustrate the love.

On the other hand, I see things around me that some people claim are evidence for a god, but there is nothing at all connecting those things to any god. I have never seen a god. I have never seen a god create these things. I see no evidence for a god at all to even infer a god's existence from the things I see around me; let alone that god's involvement in creating them.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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20-02-2013, 12:14 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(19-02-2013 08:04 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  And so far, I find it curiously that most atheists define "evidence" in such a way as to exclude not only evidence for the existence of god, but evidence for the existence of love, potential, honor, or any of the "non-physical" things that actually make living a physical life worth the effort.
Care to demonstrate that you know what most people of a group that consists of several hundred million people do or don't do? Go ahead, substantiate your arrogant generalization.

That aside, I fail to see the relevance of this part to my post, because I have yet to tell you which definition of the term "evidence" I'm using.

(19-02-2013 08:04 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Just think about it. Apply your rules of evidence to an experience like love or compassion. Do THEY exist?
What 'rules of evidence' are you talking about?

(19-02-2013 08:04 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Yes, yes, I know that we can focus down on the physical aspects of those experiences to the exclusion of the meaning of those experiences. So tired of that response. The physical aspect of the things we love about life DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR OUR LOVE FOR THEM. A physicalistic understanding of things leaves a huge motivational rift between what we think exists and why we care about it. The problems we care most about are problems of MEANING. Physicalism (aka materialism) hamstrings itself by ruling the most important problem space out of the discussion!

If atheists want to actually change what's going on with crazy believers instead of just piss and moan, they'd do well to look deeper. Otherwise, the only option left open for dealing with religious crazies is to lock em up, shoot em, or drug em. I'm not OK with any of those "solutions." I love some religious crazies. I'd rather figure out how to help them out of their living hells.

I find that most atheists don't take their thinking nearly far enough. If it's true in a philosophical context, it's also true in real life.



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25-02-2013, 05:05 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
Haha, DLJ, you prove my point for me. 14 years ago, AT THE TIME, it was faith. Now, with 20-20 hindsight and a lot of experience behind you, it isn't faith anymore.

Science and engineering preclude SOME defects. We handle the ones they missed (or had nothing to do with, because neither science nor engineering--principles and design--control the APPLICATION of those principles and designs in production processes) by FAITH. Or if you don't like that term, give me one you do like. Confidence? I don't care about the label. You just seem to be avoiding the THING I'm talking about, apparently because of repugnance for the label "faith."

Non-scientists/non-engineers like construction foremen and line managers and the front-line staff doing the building/fabricating/assembling control the APPLICATION of science and engineering. They decide HOW to follow the principles and designs, and they often make changes on the fly, employ work-arounds (when the engineering turns out to be impossible, for example, which happens much less often now thanks to CAD/CAM,) make mistakes, take shortcuts, etc. (I used to work in IT for Boeing.) All those problems that are really there but we don't know about (until we get a recall notice) are covered by faith (or obliviousness.)

We're doing apples-to-oranges, unofortunately. Everything you cite as a preventative measure or preclusion method is granted. I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about what those measures DON'T handle. You keep referring to the stuff that they DO handle.

My faith (and the faith I claim you employ to give you what trust researchers call "confident positive expectations") is a result of careful, rational thought, experience, testing, and reasonable judgment. It's still faith (or "confidence" that has no more justification than faith does.) You can talk about irrational "faith" all you want. I already agree with you on that. I don't even consider that to be faith, but a bastardization of faith.

We won't get very far until we agree to talk about the same thing. I already am on your side about bogus faith. No argument. Where we disagree is that you implicitly assume that "faith" applies to nothing else, that faith = bogus faith. I disagree. There's more to it than that. I'm just trying to point out from very familiar examples where to see it. It's there. :-)
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25-02-2013, 05:07 PM
Re: A-believerism or A-deism?
The passage of time does not convert faith to evidence. Try again.

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25-02-2013, 05:09 PM
Re: A-believerism or A-deism?
If it did, then Roswell and the aliens are real Wink

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25-02-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(25-02-2013 05:05 PM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Haha, DLJ, you prove my point for me. 14 years ago, AT THE TIME, it was faith.
...

Actually, in all seriousness, I had evidence that she would divorce me because she had done that to two other guys before me.

But it didn't bother me.
Her child needed a stable environment so I agreed to marriage.

It was no surprise when it did happen.

Yes, it all depends on the definition we choose for 'faith'.

In the arena of governance, risk, compliance and management ... my fields of interest (and income), we use terms like confidence, assurance and trust.
These are all evidence based terms and the term 'faith' is avoided.

Do we have faith that a course of action will bring about a defined outcome? No. We have 'reasonable assurance' based on evidence. There is still subjectivity. No assessment is completely objective. But evidence is gathered by defined processes to support a position / recommendation / opinion.

After the event, assessments are made that help refine those defined decision-processes.

Even the assessment processes are continually refined based on evidence that is accumulated over time.

Ditto with manufacturing processes. See e.g. Deming and Six Sigma.

See also ISO standards.

There are plenty of International Standards that cover quality (ISO9000), risk (ISO31000), governance (ISO38500), management (ISO2000), security (ISO27000) and assessments (ISO15504) etc.

It is no surprise that there are no International Standards that cover religion.

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25-02-2013, 07:01 PM
RE: A-believerism or A-deism?
(20-02-2013 06:51 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(20-02-2013 02:19 AM)millardjmelnyk Wrote:  Glad to talk about it if you're interested. Otherwise, just know that my understanding of god and faith is not anything close to the notions you're knocking. Like I tell my atheist friends and acquaintances: I don't believe in those ridiculous, horrible gods either. But I object to the common atheistic implication that those are all there are to consider.
The stage is yours. Consider
Haha, thanks! The whole stage? Hope I don't freeze up! ;-)


I began that comment with "My position is located in a very different paradigm than the god debate takes place in." My paradigm is a first-person-shooter POV. I'm exploring phenomenology, because it seems to match my interests somewhat.

My question is not like the aerial-view questions, "Does God exist?" or "What is God like?" but--from purely a cognitive process point of view--HOW do we deal with the fact that our wiring presupposes the need for gods or something like them?

It's always seemed flippant, even arrogant, for atheists to dismiss 99.9% of human experience as somehow misguided, defective, or delusional; especially when atheists engage in the same cognitive processes that believers resolve with gods. I don't care so much what we resolve them with. I just want to stop fighting over it and learn how to do it better, or learn how to stop doing it if that's better.

My big AHA! a few years ago was to realize that neither believers nor atheists actually share my interest. I'm interested in improving something we all do. They seem more interested in eradicating each other.

We instinctively resort to "a higher power" (or powers) when we need to. When in need or under duress, we naturally appeal for help to powers "outside of" and "beyond" ourselves. We long to contribute to and be connected to causes, purposes, or meaning that is greater than ourselves. As a
bizarre example of appealing to a higher power, lately I hear the term "evolution" used in exactly the same places that Intelligent Design folks use "God" and "natural selection" in the same places ID-ers use "miracle of creation." Go figureā€¦

We can point at our appeal to powers greater than ourselves and call it a "weakness," but then we'd have more than three fingers pointing back to us: science, engineering, politics, business admin, just name your preferred field of academic research. All are attempts to create/harness/control information smarter and powers greater than the average human. More and more writers these days comment on the eerie aspect that science is taking in the public mind, often supported by scientists who should (and do) know better. It's becoming the post-modern religion of choice, complete with elitist governance, rituals, accouterments, and official garb. We all know the reverence that white lab coats and stethoscopes hanging around the neck evoke.

So my question isn't a what is there question, but how do we effectively and beneficially manage the fact that we think that something is there, whatever we decide it is and what we call it? That's a very different question based on different assumptions.

I think this approach has some huge advantages, one of them being that it takes the discussion much closer to real life, since we're talking about how to manage experiential cognitive processes we all share. If the reason we don't like the music is due to problems with the equipment and/or the way we're using it, it makes more sense to talk about fixing equipment and processes than argue about the music we'd better listen to.

Even more importantly, if our perception of the music is flawed (for example, my folks' attitude towards rock-n-roll back in the day!) changing music, player, or play operation is not going to help. Think about how "abstract art" was regarded by most in the early 20th century compared to how we regard it now. It's still the same artwork. Nothing changed except our appreciation of it, i.e., our perception.

I'm really interested in that angle because of the cost-benefit ratio: HUGE effects for little real risk doing something that works without moving a muscle or spending a dime. Although things like dance, physical risk-taking, sex, and psychedelics can help! ;-)

What do you think? :-)
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