ATHEIST definition changed
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17-06-2017, 02:19 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(17-06-2017 01:57 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  PS:

At what point do you draw a line and say "this is a reality", if you're then going to say that it's possible that there could be interaction with "another reality"? Isn't that just arbitrary? Don't the two together then just make up a/the "reality"?

To me, the only useful definition seems to be that realities are entirely self-contained. It could make sense, however, that one reality could indirectly affect another, if a reality is a side effect (manifestation) of a process in another reality (again, I'm thinking simulations).

I should make another thread about this Tongue

Reality is, in principle, observable. Now you can call the unobservable another reality, and posit that it allows you to cast spells and it's where god and gremlins hide, but if it is unobservable then it cannot interact with our world (i.e. gods are powerless, you never see gremlins, you cannot cast spells and magic is bunk). Crossing into our reality would itself be an observable interaction. If you have no evidence, and unobservable things by definition have no evidence for them, there's no reason to posit a positive belief or make positive claims about what does or does not exist outside reality.

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17-06-2017, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2017 02:27 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
Regarding: supernatural "breaking the laws of nature":

I see that as entirely circular though. What are the "laws of nature"? If something can break them, then they aren't laws. They are clearly then just laws that work differently in regard to different things, which we're already aware of. At what point do we draw a line and say, "the laws on this side, or partial laws thereof, are natural; whereas these laws apply to the supernatural". It's again splitting the existent into two arbitrary categories, and then reporting how rules work regarding each. If they can interact at all, this seems entirely pointless.

I don't see what our understanding has to do with any of it. Our models are just approximations of whatever real laws there may be. I think the word "nature" has become a bit of a tripwire, whereas "real" would serve better I think.

I agree that if realities are in fact self-contained, then it's impossible for anything in any reality (even a god, whatever the fuck that is) to be even aware of the existence of another reality. If such an exception exists, then the self-containment does not apply. The person generating our reality on their computer would be unaware that we exist as a side effect.

Let's face it: magic, and the supernatural, generally mean "doing the impossible". Which is a contradiction. Of course, I'm not accusing any atheist here of claiming anything else to be the case.

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17-06-2017, 02:23 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(17-06-2017 02:21 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I see that as entirely circular though. What are the "laws of nature"? If something can break them, then they aren't laws. There are clearly then just laws that work differently in regard to different things, which were already aware of. At what point do we draw a line and say, "the laws on this side, or partial laws thereof, are natural; whereas these laws apply to the supernatural".

I don't see what our understanding has to do with any of it.

The supernatural has no laws, cause if it did, it wouldn't be supernatural. The supernatural is unobservable, and thus, we cannot possibly posit laws about how it does or does not work; assuming of course that 'it' is even possible or exists. Since it is outside observable reality, we cannot know, because knowing requires evidence.

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17-06-2017, 02:28 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(17-06-2017 02:23 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(17-06-2017 02:21 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I see that as entirely circular though. What are the "laws of nature"? If something can break them, then they aren't laws. There are clearly then just laws that work differently in regard to different things, which were already aware of. At what point do we draw a line and say, "the laws on this side, or partial laws thereof, are natural; whereas these laws apply to the supernatural".

I don't see what our understanding has to do with any of it.

The supernatural has no laws, cause if it did, it wouldn't be supernatural. The supernatural is unobservable, and thus, we cannot possibly posit laws about how it does or does not work; assuming of course that 'it' is even possible or exists. Since it is outside observable reality, we cannot know, because knowing requires evidence.

Why does it have no laws? Can't it just have different laws that apply to it in whatever reality it is in? Aren't we similarly supernatural with respect to these things, yet we have laws?

It would be observable from within its own reality, presumably.

In these cases, it's not that the laws don't apply as such, it's that things cannot escape their own reality and as such never come under the effect of laws from other realities. Whether, in theory, the laws would "adapt" if the realities collided (which now by definition they cannot) is a matter for the imgination Wink

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17-06-2017, 02:36 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(17-06-2017 02:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Why does it have no laws? Can't it just have different laws that apply to it in whatever reality it is in? Aren't we similarly supernatural with respect to these things, yet we have laws?

It would be observable from within its own reality, presumably.

All assumptions, none of that is knowable, cause by definition we cannot have evidence for it.

Without evidence, there is no reason to posit positive belief about the existence of the supernatural, let alone about how it might work.


(17-06-2017 02:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  In these cases, it's not that the laws don't apply as such, it's that things cannot escape their own reality and as such never come under the effect of laws from other realities. Whether, in theory, the laws would "adapt" if the realities collided (which now by definition they cannot) is a matter for the imgination Wink

Unfortunately, reality is not subject to the fanciful whims of pure imagination. Magic is the product of imagination, which is why it's a supernatural concept.

If we had evidence for the existence of another reality, it would cease to be supernatural, and would rather just be another part of our ever expanding understanding of the natural.

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17-06-2017, 02:12 PM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(16-06-2017 01:58 PM)Goshine Wrote:  I cannot think of anything else defined by what it lacks while also not being the opposite of something else. Maybe you can?

How about amoral? It is defined in the OED as.

Not within the sphere of moral sense; not to be characterized as either good or bad; non-moral.

It is the opposite of moral, but not a synonym for immoral.

“I am not responsible for actions of the imaginary version of me you have inside your head.” - John Scalzi

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18-06-2017, 01:41 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(17-06-2017 02:36 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(17-06-2017 02:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Why does it have no laws? Can't it just have different laws that apply to it in whatever reality it is in? Aren't we similarly supernatural with respect to these things, yet we have laws?

It would be observable from within its own reality, presumably.

All assumptions, none of that is knowable, cause by definition we cannot have evidence for it.

Without evidence, there is no reason to posit positive belief about the existence of the supernatural, let alone about how it might work.

(17-06-2017 02:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  In these cases, it's not that the laws don't apply as such, it's that things cannot escape their own reality and as such never come under the effect of laws from other realities. Whether, in theory, the laws would "adapt" if the realities collided (which now by definition they cannot) is a matter for the imgination Wink

Unfortunately, reality is not subject to the fanciful whims of pure imagination. Magic is the product of imagination, which is why it's a supernatural concept.

If we had evidence for the existence of another reality, it would cease to be supernatural, and would rather just be another part of our ever expanding understanding of the natural.

I think I haven't explained myself well, and as this crosses over into my new thread about realities I will continue the discussion there.

Of course I totally agree that there is no reason to believe anything exists for which there is no evidence, especially something which gets defined so that it can never have any evidence. I'm approaching it entirely as a thought experiment.

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18-06-2017, 01:47 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(18-06-2017 01:41 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I think I haven't explained myself well, and as this crosses over into my new thread about realities I will continue the discussion there.

I eagerly await your response. Thumbsup

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18-06-2017, 01:50 AM
RE: ATHEIST definition changed
(17-06-2017 02:12 PM)Norm Deplume Wrote:  
(16-06-2017 01:58 PM)Goshine Wrote:  I cannot think of anything else defined by what it lacks while also not being the opposite of something else. Maybe you can?

How about amoral? It is defined in the OED as.

Not within the sphere of moral sense; not to be characterized as either good or bad; non-moral.

It is the opposite of moral, but not a synonym for immoral.

Indeed.

I think a big problem occurs when people insist you must take one side or the other and that you're not "allowed" to reserve judgement. It's even seen as cowardly by some people. I don't get it. What is desirable about picking a side when you cannot back it up, just so that you're on a side? Maybe it's a leftover from tribal times.

It seems to me that the kind of person who makes this insistence is someone who gets frustrated with having nothing to swing at. After all, you can't prove a default atheist "wrong", because they are making no claims.

I would say that trying to be a sceptic is something to be proud of. Being an atheist can be a very simple application of scepticism, or it can be reached by whatever other method someone happens to use. Either way, it's just a factual description of a state of mind and not a philosophical position. I don't think it's something that inherently involves pride, although I wouldn't think badly of someone for being proud of being an atheist; especially if it's been the result of a journey out of religion.

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