Atheism is the only rational position to take
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08-08-2017, 08:15 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
Sorry folks that I haven't been able to participate much over the past couple of days. Things have gotten crazy with my work. Hopefully I'll have some time tonight to sit down and reply.

Robert

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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08-08-2017, 10:36 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(06-08-2017 07:36 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Facts are empirically verifiable...

Not necessarily. We all acknowledge that the force of gravity works as theorised, but its mechanism is based on circumstantial evidence, which is not empirical evidence. In actuality, science still has not figured out how gravity—at the atomic level—actually works. We can only observe its action, but not its mechanism.

"Circumstantial" evidence is reliant on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact. "Empirical" evidence is verifiable by observation, replicability, or experience rather than pure logic or theory.

And theism requires a truckload of (to be polite) inferences. Ultimately, an inference is nothing more than an educated guess or personal opinion. If a helium-filled balloon moves away from the earth's surface—and if I were insufficiently educated—I could infer that the theory of gravity is incorrect, judging by my observation of its motion (contrary to gravitational theory).

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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08-08-2017, 10:58 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(07-08-2017 01:20 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(06-08-2017 09:45 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I don't define a god because a) I don't think such a thing exists, and more importantly b) definitions are something that apply to abstractions, not concretes.

Quote:I don't define a god because a) I don't think such a thing exists, and more importantly b) definitions are something that apply to abstractions, not concretes.
Everything is an abstraction of the mind. Some abstractions match the perceived reality to some extents. Everything needs to be defined before it can be talked about within a logical framework.

Quote:A unicorn, while it may be a made up, does not present a contradiction of known facts. It would be irrational to believe in such a thing in the absence of evidence. A god that is said to enjoy metaphysical primacy as a subject over any or all of its objects does, so yes if theism proposes that such a thing exists, then it endorses a principle which if it were true would negate reason, since reason involves a subject being aware of and identifying some object, the relationship between consciousness and its objects is front and center as an issue and since we can directly observe this relationship, we can see in all cases that the objects of consciousness hold primacy. Not only that but in order to consider such a subject of consciousness we are forced to imagine it, which means we've already departed from reason. And notice that when you say that "I don't think the conclusion follows from the premise in this proposition", you implicitly make use of the primacy of existence principle unless you are saying that this is the case because you wish it, want it, like it, would prefer it, ect. Same thing happens when theism claims that a god exists. It makes use of the primacy of existence in making the claim while in the content of the claim, it affirms the primacy of consciousness, resulting in a self contradictory claim. Totally incompatible with reason which can not be founded on negation of the law of non-contradiction. The principle of the primacy of existence is logically antecedent to conclusions following from premises. If one consciousness enjoyed metaphysical primacy over its objects then logical inference would be impossible.

I think my argument does not depend on any of what you said. I'm simply saying the proposition "I don't believe in any Gods" hinges on an undefined term, therefore it lacks clarity that is essential for a logical proposition, therefore it is logically flawed. Thus, it's irrational to utter such propositions.

I agree with you that it is easy to say too much as an atheist when you toss around such poorly defined terms as "god". However "I don't believe in any gods" is little more than an elaboration of the more general "I don't find myself tempted to believe in the existence of things which are poorly defined and which cannot be demonstrated". I have no problem with that statement when I interpret its meaning generously.


(07-08-2017 01:20 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think even your claim that "primacy of consciousness is wrong" is irrational. Since consciousness is equally undefined. It is not clear what you are talking about. Scientists have not figured out what consciousness is. Maybe consciousness and existence are the same thing, for example. There are no evidences to suggest otherwise, still.

Why do you say consciousness is poorly defined? Exactly how the brain produces it is not entirely understood, granted. But we do know what we're talking about, even though the concept is pretty sophisticated. To say that consciousness is the awareness by the mind of itself and the world doesn't ruffle my feathers. Of course you may object that "mind" too is undefined, but I would say a mind is just what we call our objective brains from inside our subjective experience. It isn't easy to use language precisely to delineate what consciousness is but that isn't too surprising.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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08-08-2017, 02:51 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
Atheism might be the only rational position, but human nature is inherently irrational, so atheism doesn't even make sense. Rationale has its place in mathematics and science, but humanity is more than mathematics and science. Room must be made for intuition and spirit, that's where religion/spirituality comes into play.
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08-08-2017, 05:08 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(08-08-2017 02:51 PM)Angra Mainyu Wrote:  Atheism might be the only rational position, but human nature is inherently irrational, so atheism doesn't even make sense.

Some are apparently more rational than others. What you are saying is that if people can't be perfectly rational then they may as well abandon it completely. Good luck with that.

Quote: Rationale has its place in mathematics and science, but humanity is more than mathematics and science. Room must be made for intuition and spirit, that's where religion/spirituality comes into play.

Intuition is a key component of science. Fantasy is an important part of life. There is ample room in the life of an atheist for that sort of thing. The key is to know when you are dealing with reality and when you aren't and that seems to be lost on the religious.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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08-08-2017, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2017 06:57 PM by Cosmo.)
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(08-08-2017 02:51 PM)Angra Mainyu Wrote:  Atheism might be the only rational position, but human nature is inherently irrational, so atheism doesn't even make sense. Rationale has its place in mathematics and science, but humanity is more than mathematics and science. Room must be made for intuition and spirit, that's where religion/spirituality comes into play.

I would like a citation for your sweeping generalization that human nature is inherently irrational, given that I'm in a forum surrounded by rationalists.

Edit: the other bit started to seem unnecessary. I'm more interested in this TBH.
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08-08-2017, 06:14 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2017 06:18 PM by Simon Moon.)
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(08-08-2017 02:51 PM)Angra Mainyu Wrote:  Atheism might be the only rational position, but human nature is inherently irrational, so atheism doesn't even make sense. Rationale has its place in mathematics and science, but humanity is more than mathematics and science. Room must be made for intuition and spirit, that's where religion/spirituality comes into play.

Ah...

So, use your critical thinking, skepticism, valid and sound logic, when evaluating science and math...

But gullibility is fine everywhere else. Dodgy

No thanks.

I'd rather continue to strive to have as many true beliefs as possible, and as few false beliefs.

Your 'method' is not a reliable path to truth, so I think I will avoid it.

EDIT: Let me add, that I do feel there is a place for intuition. Like when sizing up a person when you first meet them.
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08-08-2017, 06:24 PM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(08-08-2017 02:51 PM)Angra Mainyu Wrote:  Atheism might be the only rational position, but human nature is inherently irrational, so atheism doesn't even make sense. Rationale has its place in mathematics and science, but humanity is more than mathematics and science. Room must be made for intuition and spirit, that's where religion/spirituality comes into play.

If by "intuition and spirit" you mean rationalizing emotional reactions, you can count me out.

Hobo
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09-08-2017, 05:42 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(08-08-2017 02:51 PM)Angra Mainyu Wrote:  Atheism might be the only rational position, but human nature is inherently irrational, so atheism doesn't even make sense. Rationale has its place in mathematics and science, but humanity is more than mathematics and science. Room must be made for intuition and spirit, that's where religion/spirituality comes into play.

> Bullshit!
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09-08-2017, 07:27 AM
RE: Atheism is the only rational position to take
(02-08-2017 02:16 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Theism holds the opposite principle: the primacy of consciousness. This is the principle that the things that exist are dependent upon and can be altered by conscious activity such as willing. It holds that "wishing does make it so".

For this reason theism is incompatible with reason. Therefor atheism is the only rational position to take.

This is a dishonest representation of theism.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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