ATHEIST definition changed
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
11-06-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 06:21 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(10-06-2017 08:29 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  To me, scepticism is about trying to apply the same standard to everything.
I would go so far as to say that if you don't apply it to everything you're not really a skeptic. However ... I would also say that no one is 100% perfectly consistent and logical in all things at all times, so everyone's skepticism is imperfect.

The closer we get to consistently applying it to everything, the better.

I have been reading (and it's turned into a real slog) Solve For Happy, the latest in a recent spate of self-help books written by extremely wealthy Silicon Valley elites who have been sullied by personal tragedy. It is a pastiche of useful mind tricks (be always in the present moment, let go of expectations) but concludes with an argument in favor of some generic form of eternal life based pretty much on an argument from incredulity and an argument for design. Compartmentalization again ... he applies engineering discipline to the human condition -- until he doesn't.

In his case, the reason is that he can't accept that he'll never see his son again. His son is presented as almost a Jesus-figure, preternaturally spiritual and mature, who was simply too good for this world. I do not burden my son's memory with such projections, and don't expect to see him again. Nor would it give me hope to believe that I would. It would make it all about me, and my need to believe what I want to believe, instead of about what actually IS. I suppose it would be harder if my son was younger, better-launched, mentally well, and not suffering. But that would not change reality either. I would have to question his immortality anyway. I would have to question the existence of design, direction or destiny in an attempt to "explain" random events, too.

Intelligent design, intentionality or consciousness of reality, and eternal life invariably "vanish in a puff of logic" when logic is applied to them. Our willingness to forego seeming but short-term transient comfort in favor of logic is a test of our commitment to skepticism and empiricism and rationalism.

Also in my case it honors my son's deeply held convictions about what is the better explanation for experienced reality, which we shared together. He arrived at his convictions independently. In the case of the author of this book, he shared with his son a more gauzy idealized notion of reality so it is not that he is of weak intellect so much as that he's too invested in his own (and his son's) narratives.

Dog save us from our own narratives!

I agree totally. No one is free from bias. All we can do is try our best to be consistent, and of course to apply a decent standard. It's no good consistently applying a really low bar so that you believe anything. Like "atheist", I think "sceptic" is a dirty word to some people and they don't even want to try and associate with it. I used to describe myself as a sceptic, but I might just say I aspire to be a sceptic. I'm not sure, really.

I'm very sorry to hear about your son. I am impressed with how you have handled it. I can understand how some people may develop emotional beliefs because they can't cope with reality. We do what we have to in order to cope.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Robvalue's post
11-06-2017, 07:00 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 06:21 AM)mordant Wrote:  Dog save us from our own narratives!

These days many people seem to have their own personal mythologies.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2017, 07:48 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 07:00 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(11-06-2017 06:21 AM)mordant Wrote:  Dog save us from our own narratives!

These days many people seem to have their own personal mythologies.

and many involve a god thing.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2017, 07:59 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 02:24 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(10-06-2017 12:05 PM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  > Practically speaking, the "supernatural" should be more correctly referred to as the "unnatural." Consider

Yes, that would make more sense.

Someone also tried to define nature as "the things that obey the laws of nature". Again, when you're trying to leave this void open to stick all your magic shit in, you end up being circular.

The other usual attempt (from theists) is to define nature in terms of science. This is also pretty pointless because what science can measure or understand changes with time, and no one can know that any particular thing won't ever be available to science to study. Also, by hiding the super/unnatural from science, they reduce their position to nonsense because these things become invisible to us in every respect. Of course, they then have these special ways of knowing they are there. But you can't possibly know, if there is no way to distinguish them from nothing, which is what the claim states. Such people don't understand what science is, of course.

On some level I wonder if these people know that they are arguing for the imaginary/conceptual. Conflationwith abstract concepts, frequently mathematics, further cements this point.

movies too. I like scy fy movies. But I often think with these great graphics what does it reinforce in brains?

I dont think "skepticism" should be the bar. That means doubt everything and a literal person will just butcher it all to hell like they do with everything else. The bar should be a process, not a statement about how someone feels. If we add more people we can remove error and lessen bias. Not perfectly, but it will work.

The problem with literal skeptics/atheist conflation is that they ignore, dismiss, or flat out hide reasonable conclusions that don't further their "lack of belief" bias. A great example is how some atheists can't separate a spiritual claim of oneness to a science claim of connectedness. what it means to people is not my area.

the bias runs so deep that some people conflate idea's to match a personal need that may or may not match reality as we can describe it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2017, 08:04 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(10-06-2017 11:51 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Another thing that bothers me a lot is about all this "supernatural" nonsense. The problem is that it's usually just semantic games and equivocations.

So my question is this: what does "natural" mean in the first place, in this context? Until that is clearly defined, it's a waste of time to talk about what is "supernatural". I've found that people who believe in the latter have real trouble defining the former in an objective way. There are things that exist. Why this arbitrary divide? We already know different laws apply to different things in different ways.

(PS: someone once tried to define "natural" as "not supernatural". Jesus fuck.)

"Supernatural" means "magic".
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Gawdzilla's post
11-06-2017, 08:46 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 06:33 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Like "atheist", I think "sceptic" is a dirty word to some people and they don't even want to try and associate with it. I used to describe myself as a sceptic, but I might just say I aspire to be a sceptic. I'm not sure, really.
Skeptic is a label with a distinct negative connotation in my upbringing. It had the flavor of "killjoy" combined with "asshole". I came to see, however, that skepticism is actually one of the great virtues. Properly understood, it is not against (or for) anything; initially, it is assiduously neutral in approaching any new subject for consideration. One does not automatically assume there is or isn't a god or an afterlife for example, but that allows one to follow the evidence where it leads and to develop a view of what's likely to be true that's as accurate as possible. It just so happens that a neutral openness to all possibilities sometimes does lead one toward a very different view of what's (un)likely than many people arrive at ... and this is seen as "against" the rainbows and unicorns in between other people's ears.

Religious faith has done a great job of convincing people that one needs to embrace its magical beliefs lest one descend into despair and moral chaos -- and then, having ginned up a need people wouldn't otherwise even think to have, sells them the supposed antidote.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like mordant's post
11-06-2017, 11:17 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
Yeah, I think some people confuse scepticism with cynicism.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Robvalue's post
11-06-2017, 11:20 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 08:04 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(10-06-2017 11:51 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Another thing that bothers me a lot is about all this "supernatural" nonsense. The problem is that it's usually just semantic games and equivocations.

So my question is this: what does "natural" mean in the first place, in this context? Until that is clearly defined, it's a waste of time to talk about what is "supernatural". I've found that people who believe in the latter have real trouble defining the former in an objective way. There are things that exist. Why this arbitrary divide? We already know different laws apply to different things in different ways.

(PS: someone once tried to define "natural" as "not supernatural". Jesus fuck.)

"Supernatural" means "magic".

Pretty much, yeah! It's when people refuse to come out and admit this that they tangle themselves in knots trying to define this absurd concept.

And what is magic, really? It's just something that's currently impossible to explain. Very subjective. Lots of things would have been magic to ancient man, hence the nonsense written in their books.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 11:20 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(11-06-2017 08:04 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  "Supernatural" means "magic".

Pretty much, yeah! It's when people refuse to come out and admit this that they tangle themselves in knots trying to define this absurd concept.

And what is magic, really? It's just something that's currently impossible to explain. Very subjective. Lots of things would have been magic to ancient man, hence the nonsense written in their books.

magic is an illusion. it happened, just not the way we think it did.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2017, 09:06 PM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(11-06-2017 07:59 AM)AB517 Wrote:  I don't think "skepticism" should be the bar. That means doubt everything and a literal person will just butcher it all to hell like they do with everything else...

No. The very basis of atheism is a necessary skepticism. It's the theists who take too many things—such as their holy books—literally. Beliefs in supernatural gods, miracles, creationism, resurrection, an afterlife, heaven and hell, a 6,000-year-old earth etc.

Quote:The problem with literal skeptics/atheist conflation is that they ignore, dismiss, or flat out hide reasonable conclusions that don't further their "lack of belief" bias.

There are no "reasonable conclusions" that contradict atheism. You misunderstand both skepticism and atheism in attempting to conflate them. There's no imperative connection between the two. I've known atheists who are undoubting in their belief that there's no evidence for anthropomorphic global warming. And I've also known Christian theists who disbelieve in the existence of Jesus, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. So we have a gullible atheist and a skeptical theist.

You're tending to overthink atheism: it's nothing more than a position statement, or a singular state of mind—like saying you like chocolate or you hate baseball. There's no inherent philosophy involved.

Quote:A great example is how some atheists can't separate a spiritual claim of oneness to a science claim of connectedness.

I'm not even sure what this means? What the fuck is "a spiritual claim of oneness"? In an atheist world, there's no such thing. So whatever you're talking about is not "a great example".

Quote:The bias runs so deep that some people conflate ideas to match a personal need that may or may not match reality as we can describe it.

Which is precisely what most theists do in their misguide attempts to satisfy some personal metaphysical "need".

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes SYZ's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: