Breaking the spell?
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23-04-2015, 10:46 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 10:17 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 10:05 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't recall, ever mentioning stories told by people living in B.C.E.

I assumed you were a christian based on some of your posts and your mention of it being safer to believe in minimal theism.

I am a christian, though my christian beliefs, a belief in a personal God, are not really relevant to what I'm arguing here.

From my perspective, even if I didn't believe in Christianity, or the Christian conception of God, or religion, I couldn't find myself accepting atheism. At the very least, I'd be subscribing to some minimal theism, deism, or as Thomas Nagel would suggest a "neutral monism".

My assumption is though while many atheists openly confess to believing that the Christian God exist, it's this sort of minimal conception of God, that they lack a belief in. At some level they don't see themselves as being able to fervently reject this, in the way they might reject the Abrahamic conceptions of God.

And that's what makes me curious here.
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23-04-2015, 10:48 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 10:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  My assumption is though while many atheists openly confess to believing that the Christian God exist, it's this sort of minimal conception of God, that they lack a belief in. At some level they don't see themselves as being able to fervently reject this, in the way they might reject the Abrahamic conceptions of God.

And that's what makes me curious here.

What? What atheists are those? Do you even understand what the word 'atheist' means?

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23-04-2015, 11:02 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 10:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 10:17 AM)jennybee Wrote:  I assumed you were a christian based on some of your posts and your mention of it being safer to believe in minimal theism.

I am a christian, though my christian beliefs, a belief in a personal God, are not really relevant to what I'm arguing here.

From my perspective, even if I didn't believe in Christianity, or the Christian conception of God, or religion, I couldn't find myself accepting atheism. At the very least, I'd be subscribing to some minimal theism, deism, or as Thomas Nagel would suggest a "neutral monism".

My assumption is though while many atheists openly confess to believing that the Christian God exist, it's this sort of minimal conception of God, that they lack a belief in. At some level they don't see themselves as being able to fervently reject this, in the way they might reject the Abrahamic conceptions of God.

And that's what makes me curious here.

I don't know of any atheists who believe the christian god (or any god) exists. Wouldn't that defeat the whole point of calling yourself an atheist? I understand that you can't see yourself accepting atheism and would opt for minimal theism at the very least. But which god is the right god for minimal (or any) theism? I know you say you are not arguing for christianity--but how do you know that is the *right* theistic approach? Wouldn't it be better then to minimally believe in all of the gods that ever are and ever were just to be safe?
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23-04-2015, 11:06 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 10:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 10:17 AM)jennybee Wrote:  I assumed you were a christian based on some of your posts and your mention of it being safer to believe in minimal theism.
From my perspective, even if I didn't believe in Christianity, or the Christian conception of God, or religion, I couldn't find myself accepting atheism.

Woah, what? lol

Even if you rejected "religion" you couldn't accept "atheism"? Haha, so you wouldn't accept the very thing you would be considered?
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23-04-2015, 11:17 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 10:27 AM)Chas Wrote:  You are claiming that humanity was inevitable. Why? How?

I should say that I'm not claiming that humanity was inevitable, as if I'm trying to convince you this were the case. I'm merely saying that I can't particularly not see it as inevitable. That human life seems like such an astonishing and miraculous event, to imagine that it was the antithesis of inevitable. I don't find the alternative explanations, ontological naturalism all that convincing.

For me there is no such thing as lacking a belief here, either I subscribe to one view or the other, and the other view doesn't seem all that believable.

Quote:If you are in fact saying that humanity was intentional, then what or whose intention was it?

I can see humanity as intentional, without having to know or even guess at to what or whose intention was it. I don't have to assume the answer to this question, to assume intention. The same way I don't have to know who or what robbed me, to believe that I was robbed,

Quote:
Quote:Other that perceiving goals, even if these perceptions by your account is just an illusion. Like seeing Jesus in a sweat stain.

What goals do you perceive?

The existence of human life for one. The perception of a Good, a moral life, a good life, in which I am to aim for. A moral law, moral obligations, etc... Aspects that are nearly inconceivable as being a product of an unintentional process, that many atheists who subscribe to naturalism, often have to reject these very things as a result, as illusions, or false beliefs, such a Sharon Street, who concludes that Darwinism and moral realism are incompatible, therefore she rejects moral realism.

Quote:What or who set those goals?

Forces capable of creating and setting goals. But the who or what is not all that relevant here.
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23-04-2015, 11:45 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 11:17 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 10:27 AM)Chas Wrote:  You are claiming that humanity was inevitable. Why? How?

I should say that I'm not claiming that humanity was inevitable, as if I'm trying to convince you this were the case. I'm merely saying that I can't particularly not see it as inevitable. That human life seems like such an astonishing and miraculous event, to imagine that it was the antithesis of inevitable. I don't find the alternative explanations, ontological naturalism all that convincing.

For me there is no such thing as lacking a belief here, either I subscribe to one view or the other, and the other view doesn't seem all that believable.

Quote:If you are in fact saying that humanity was intentional, then what or whose intention was it?

I can see humanity as intentional, without having to know or even guess at to what or whose intention was it. I don't have to assume the answer to this question, to assume intention. The same way I don't have to know who or what robbed me, to believe that I was robbed,

Quote:What goals do you perceive?

The existence of human life for one. The perception of a Good, a moral life, a good life, in which I am to aim for. A moral law, moral obligations, etc... Aspects that are nearly inconceivable as being a product of an unintentional process, that many atheists who subscribe to naturalism, often have to reject these very things as a result, as illusions, or false beliefs, such a Sharon Street, who concludes that Darwinism and moral realism are incompatible, therefore she rejects moral realism.

Quote:What or who set those goals?

Forces capable of creating and setting goals. But the who or what is not all that relevant here.

You give no reason for anyone else to believe your stance, it is just your feeling.

Your robbery simile is poor as there is no evidence of your metaphysical stance while there is evidence of robbery.

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23-04-2015, 12:11 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 09:51 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 09:42 AM)unfogged Wrote:  It would only be an uncanny fluke if you assume that there was goal. If humans were a desired result then the fact that evolution produced them would be an incredibly uncanny fluke. The problem is that calculating probabilities based on looking back at what actually happened is pretty meaningless.

I think it's the other way around. To see it as inevitable is suggestive of a goal.

Inevitable and uncanny fluke aren't the only options unless the outcome is planned or at least desired. We can look back and say that it was lucky that evolution proceeded the way it did because if it had been different we would not be here. From our standpoint it was luck but looking at it objectively it just was.

Quote:If I won a million dollar lottery, back to back, it may just be an uncanny fluke. But if someone actually tampered with the system to produce this result, of me winning twice in a row like that, then my winning was more or less so inevitable, and not really a fluke occurrence.

If you won a lottery it would be lucky for you. If you won two back to back it could be called an uncanny fluke. In both cases you are imposing the specific end goal that you are the winner. That somebody would win the lottery is not a fluke, nor is it inevitable that that particular person won.

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23-04-2015, 12:18 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 11:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  You give no reason for anyone else to believe your stance, it is just your feeling.

Well, you're not particularly giving me any reason to accept your stance either now are you? I don't see you selling me on ontological naturalism.

And it's as much a feeling for me, as is your belief that we are a product of unguided, and unintentional forces is a feeling. It's not a feeling, it's just that the alternative explanations presupposing an unguided, unintentional forces is pretty unbelievable for me, and it doesn't seem to be this way because I'm a theist.

Quote:Your robbery simile is poor as there is no evidence of your metaphysical stance while there is evidence of robbery.

Evidence of a robbery is merely the missing items in my apartment, in which a "robbery" is the explanation that I draw from these missing items.

You see our existence, and draw the conclusion that it was a product of an unguided, unintentional process, that ontological naturalism is true. And yet you claim that for some reason a person is not allowed to draw a different conclusion looking at the same thing, that it seems to be product of a guided, intentional process, which had us in mind?

Why? Because in order to draw such a conclusion a person would need to know who or what these intentional sources are?
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23-04-2015, 12:32 PM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2015 12:45 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 12:11 PM)unfogged Wrote:  If you won a lottery it would be lucky for you. If you won two back to back it could be called an uncanny fluke. In both cases you are imposing the specific end goal that you are the winner. That somebody would win the lottery is not a fluke, nor is it inevitable that that particular person won.

So we have three terms we're using here, lucky, uncanny fluke, and inevitable.

What does this relate to in regards to human existence?

Am I incredibly lucky to be existing? Or is it inevitable that I would exist?

Is conscious life, capable of forming language, rational and capable of uncovering truth, even in regards to its own existence, with creative capacities, able to create art and poetry, music, contemplate moral questions, an inevitability in your view? A lucky occurrence, like me winning the lottery? Or an uncanny fluke like me winning the lottery back to back?
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23-04-2015, 01:05 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 12:32 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 12:11 PM)unfogged Wrote:  If you won a lottery it would be lucky for you. If you won two back to back it could be called an uncanny fluke. In both cases you are imposing the specific end goal that you are the winner. That somebody would win the lottery is not a fluke, nor is it inevitable that that particular person won.

So we have three terms we're using here, lucky, uncanny fluke, and inevitable.

What does this relate to in regards to human existence?

Am I incredibly lucky to be existing? Or is it inevitable that I would exist?

Is conscious life, capable of forming language, rational and capable of uncovering truth, even in regards to its own existence, with creative capacities, able to create art and poetry, music, contemplate moral questions, an inevitability in your view? A lucky occurrence, like me winning the lottery? Or an uncanny fluke like me winning the lottery back to back?

None of the above. It is simply what happened. As unfogged has already pointed out, you can't apply probability retroactively. Given the process of evolution, it was inevitable that it would produce some spectrum of life at this point in time, but not necessarily the one we actually have. We are simply "what happened" -- just as it is very likely that someone will win the lottery every few weeks or so, but extremely unlikely that any specific person will. Yet it is always a specific person who wins. Unlikely things happen all the time.
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