Ontology of belief
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02-05-2014, 12:32 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 12:28 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(02-05-2014 12:19 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  When I come across incoherent babble I ignore it - I'm not being ignored. I wonder why the fuck that is???
Many of us excel at pointing out flaws in arguments and reasoning. It's what we do.

You're welcome
That means you are comprehending it - just not accepting it - arguing against it.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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02-05-2014, 12:37 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(30-04-2014 02:54 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  To what do we owe our beliefs?

This is an ambiguous question. Owe our beliefs in what, exactly? So I will selectively interpret it in the best way that suits me.

Wikipedia defines philosophy as:

"Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3] In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group""

At the core of any belief system, at least any developed belief system, is a core set of principles that defines that system and the foundation of that belief. These basic definitions and root truths are called axioms. For example, if you are talking about the philosophy of logic, some of the axioms would include the definition of true, the definition of false, the definition of premise and conclusion, and the assumption that a well constructed argument is better than a poorly constructed argument.

So, to succinctly put it, we owe our beliefs to our supporting philosophy and its axioms.

That doesn't quite feel satisfying, so lets go a bit deeper. What justifies an axiom? Can the foundations of a philosophy rest upon another, yet firmer foundation in reality?

Probably not no. Even the philosophies of science and logic make subjective, value based assumptions. In science something that has evidence is believed to be more credible then something that doesn't have evidence. Why? Well it makes more sense to use it that way, that's why. Why does making sense matter? Because its useful for our species to solve problems. Why do we need to solve problem? ...and ect. You can probably see where I am going with this.

There is no ultimate justification for any belief. Ideas like morality, and reasoning, and whatever else that people generally understand and agree upon do not mandate an existence. Gravity, for example, mandates an existence. It would no be possible to have a universe like ours without gravity. Electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and other laws of physics demand an existence. The very structure of our universe necessitates them. Value in human life, or in logical dedications, the universe can go on just fine without these belief systems, it is not necessary that they exist and so there is no mandate, no ultimate justification for them.

That isn't a very useful way of going about things though. Its the ultimate nihilist argument.

We create beliefs and philosophies that are useful to use, and they have justification because we choose to believe them. That isn't a bad thing. Human life has value in this universe because it has value to me. My life has meaning in this universe because I assign it meaning; I deem it to be 'meaningful'. Using that mode of reasoning, you can still create axioms, form philosophies, use philosophy to define and support a belief system, and then here we are. That is what we owe our beliefs too; ourselves, our thoughts, and our value based assumptions, and nothing else.
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02-05-2014, 12:38 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 12:32 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  
(02-05-2014 12:28 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Many of us excel at pointing out flaws in arguments and reasoning. It's what we do.

You're welcome
That means you are comprehending it - just not accepting it - arguing against it.

Yes I comprehend it when flaws in arguments are made. Do you ?

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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02-05-2014, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2014 02:26 PM by djhall.)
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 12:30 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  Atheists are organizing groups, because they realize that is the only way to advance an agenda that includes your advancement of atheist organized charities.
....
No I do not want to include those. I want to include all the organizations that are clearly organized to gather atheists and advance a political agenda, which is what American Atheist, Atheist Alliance, Secular Coalition, and several other do.

I still don't think most of us have any clue WHY it is so important to you that people who don't fall into this category get pushed out of the specific word atheist. What is the overwhelming problem that arises if the word atheist continues to include non-political non-theists and political non-theists adopt a different word or label to avoid misunderstandings?

The language is full of words and labels that mean what they do only because they are commonly accepted as doing so. A white person born in Africa that immigrates to the US and becomes an American citizen is commonly understood to NOT be included in the term "African American" while a black person born in the US to parents that were also born in the US is commonly understood to be included in the term. It means what it means solely because we commonly agree it to be so. We don't waste time and effort trying to get everyone to agree and understand that "African American" is no longer a euphemism to refer to black americans but literally refers to Americans that were born in Africa.... we just grab another descriptor like "African Immigrant" to eliminate confusion and simplify communication.

I dare say most of us would propose that the word Atheist is similar... it means whatever most people commonly understand it to mean, because our primary concern in word choice is that people think of the same concept we are when we use the word. As things stand, that is problematic enough with some people using atheist to refer to "existence of any deity is not proven" and others using it to refer only to "non-existence of any deity". If we need to describe a different concept than what most people will think of when they hear the word, we simply adopt a different word or label or descriptor to avoid confusion. The word itself is not inherently important. Only the communication of the concept is important.
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02-05-2014, 02:45 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 02:19 PM)djhall Wrote:  What is the overwhelming problem that arises if the word atheist continues to include non-political non-theists and political non-theists adopt a different word or label to avoid misunderstandings?
The problem is that the Christians are going to recognize correctness of the definitions that I am campaigning, and the atheists are going to look foolish for having not recognized the error and correction - especially, in consideration of atheists claim to be the guardians of better reasoning.

Reason is dependent on correct semantics

(02-05-2014 02:19 PM)djhall Wrote:  The language is full of words and labels that mean what they do only because they are commonly accepted as doing so...
. . . And so long as it does not interfere with science - you have no problem with misnomers - right???

(02-05-2014 02:19 PM)djhall Wrote:  The word itself is not inherently important. Only the communication of the concept is important.
Are you kidding?!?!?! Atheists perpetually have to explain to theists what atheism is, and that it is not a religion - you haven't noticed that?

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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02-05-2014, 02:48 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 12:37 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(30-04-2014 02:54 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  To what do we owe our beliefs?

This is an ambiguous question. Owe our beliefs in what, exactly? So I will selectively interpret it in the best way that suits me.

Wikipedia defines philosophy as:

"Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3] In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group""

At the core of any belief system, at least any developed belief system, is a core set of principles that defines that system and the foundation of that belief. These basic definitions and root truths are called axioms. For example, if you are talking about the philosophy of logic, some of the axioms would include the definition of true, the definition of false, the definition of premise and conclusion, and the assumption that a well constructed argument is better than a poorly constructed argument.

So, to succinctly put it, we owe our beliefs to our supporting philosophy and its axioms.

That doesn't quite feel satisfying, so lets go a bit deeper. What justifies an axiom? Can the foundations of a philosophy rest upon another, yet firmer foundation in reality?

Probably not no. Even the philosophies of science and logic make subjective, value based assumptions. In science something that has evidence is believed to be more credible then something that doesn't have evidence. Why? Well it makes more sense to use it that way, that's why. Why does making sense matter? Because its useful for our species to solve problems. Why do we need to solve problem? ...and ect. You can probably see where I am going with this.

There is no ultimate justification for any belief. Ideas like morality, and reasoning, and whatever else that people generally understand and agree upon do not mandate an existence. Gravity, for example, mandates an existence. It would no be possible to have a universe like ours without gravity. Electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and other laws of physics demand an existence. The very structure of our universe necessitates them. Value in human life, or in logical dedications, the universe can go on just fine without these belief systems, it is not necessary that they exist and so there is no mandate, no ultimate justification for them.

That isn't a very useful way of going about things though. Its the ultimate nihilist argument.

We create beliefs and philosophies that are useful to use, and they have justification because we choose to believe them. That isn't a bad thing. Human life has value in this universe because it has value to me. My life has meaning in this universe because I assign it meaning; I deem it to be 'meaningful'. Using that mode of reasoning, you can still create axioms, form philosophies, use philosophy to define and support a belief system, and then here we are. That is what we owe our beliefs too; ourselves, our thoughts, and our value based assumptions, and nothing else.

Thank you for taking the time to actually address the subject in question.

You stated that we (individuals) create our beliefs that we find useful to us and the justification for these beliefs is our belief that they are true.

Is that an accurate summation of your view?
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02-05-2014, 02:54 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 02:48 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(02-05-2014 12:37 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  This is an ambiguous question. Owe our beliefs in what, exactly? So I will selectively interpret it in the best way that suits me.

Wikipedia defines philosophy as:

"Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3] In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group""

At the core of any belief system, at least any developed belief system, is a core set of principles that defines that system and the foundation of that belief. These basic definitions and root truths are called axioms. For example, if you are talking about the philosophy of logic, some of the axioms would include the definition of true, the definition of false, the definition of premise and conclusion, and the assumption that a well constructed argument is better than a poorly constructed argument.

So, to succinctly put it, we owe our beliefs to our supporting philosophy and its axioms.

That doesn't quite feel satisfying, so lets go a bit deeper. What justifies an axiom? Can the foundations of a philosophy rest upon another, yet firmer foundation in reality?

Probably not no. Even the philosophies of science and logic make subjective, value based assumptions. In science something that has evidence is believed to be more credible then something that doesn't have evidence. Why? Well it makes more sense to use it that way, that's why. Why does making sense matter? Because its useful for our species to solve problems. Why do we need to solve problem? ...and ect. You can probably see where I am going with this.

There is no ultimate justification for any belief. Ideas like morality, and reasoning, and whatever else that people generally understand and agree upon do not mandate an existence. Gravity, for example, mandates an existence. It would no be possible to have a universe like ours without gravity. Electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and other laws of physics demand an existence. The very structure of our universe necessitates them. Value in human life, or in logical dedications, the universe can go on just fine without these belief systems, it is not necessary that they exist and so there is no mandate, no ultimate justification for them.

That isn't a very useful way of going about things though. Its the ultimate nihilist argument.

We create beliefs and philosophies that are useful to use, and they have justification because we choose to believe them. That isn't a bad thing. Human life has value in this universe because it has value to me. My life has meaning in this universe because I assign it meaning; I deem it to be 'meaningful'. Using that mode of reasoning, you can still create axioms, form philosophies, use philosophy to define and support a belief system, and then here we are. That is what we owe our beliefs too; ourselves, our thoughts, and our value based assumptions, and nothing else.

Thank you for taking the time to actually address the subject in question.

You stated that we (individuals) create our beliefs that we find useful to us and the justification for these beliefs is our belief that they are true.

Is that an accurate summation of your view?

Something like that yeah.
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02-05-2014, 03:18 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 02:45 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  
(02-05-2014 02:19 PM)djhall Wrote:  What is the overwhelming problem that arises if the word atheist continues to include non-political non-theists and political non-theists adopt a different word or label to avoid misunderstandings?
The problem is that the Christians are going to recognize correctness of the definitions that I am campaigning, and the atheists are going to look foolish for having not recognized the error and correction - especially, in consideration of atheists claim to be the guardians of better reasoning.

Reason is dependent on correct semantics

(02-05-2014 02:19 PM)djhall Wrote:  The language is full of words and labels that mean what they do only because they are commonly accepted as doing so...
. . . And so long as it does not interfere with science - you have no problem with misnomers - right???

(02-05-2014 02:19 PM)djhall Wrote:  The word itself is not inherently important. Only the communication of the concept is important.
Are you kidding?!?!?! Atheists perpetually have to explain to theists what atheism is, and that it is not a religion - you haven't noticed that?

Perhaps I'm just dense, but let us say for the sake of argument that you and everyone who agrees with you abandons the term atheist as hopelessly flawed and instead promotes themselves as "political secularists" (or whatever you like) rather than atheists. What changes other than the political debate being between theists and "political secularists" instead of between theists and "atheists". Why do your beliefs have a better future if called atheist rather than something else?
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02-05-2014, 03:19 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 02:48 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  ... the justification for these beliefs is our belief that they are true.
Sorry, this is circular logic, this statement cannot hold to be true. Try again.
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02-05-2014, 03:20 PM
RE: Ontology of belief
(02-05-2014 02:54 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(02-05-2014 02:48 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Thank you for taking the time to actually address the subject in question.

You stated that we (individuals) create our beliefs that we find useful to us and the justification for these beliefs is our belief that they are true.

Is that an accurate summation of your view?

Something like that yeah.

Interesting.

So if I say I believe the earth is flat and not round and that I believe this because at the moment it is useful for me to believe this (I am trying to get into the flat earth society) then you would consider my belief to be justified?
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