Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
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07-01-2015, 01:34 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2015 01:38 AM by Brownshirt.)
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
[b]Q3: Why do you feel that the term "atheist" does not apply to you when "agnostic atheist" appears to be an accurate description?

Two reasons , the overuse of the 'lack of belief', and the know and belief convergence.

I do not define my own perspective based on the claims of theists. I'm agnostic towards a higher power. I don't bother to say I don't believe in or lack belief in God,Allah, Yahweh etc. It holds no relevance to my position as I'm not anti-theist, and only those who claim to be atheist use this tired argument.

The lack of belief claim is merely a semantic dodge to remove any burden to have to disprove a god. This lack of belief claim also applies to lacking belief in leprechauns,fairies etc, this analogy just assumes its conclusion and is a claim to truth. This does not bear any resemblance to my position so I want nothing to do with a lack of belief and I clearly make no claims of negating some from of god.

Secondly very few people claim to know. Those who claim to know through assumptions and reasoning are nuts free and evolution would be good examples of this, there are also theists like this. I don't draw a huge distinction between know and believe as they tend to be personal and as such subjective.

Knowing can also be called justfied true belief, so this distinction between the two terms means very little to me. I've noted only new atheists draw on the semantics, or definitions of the terms atheism and agnosticism; atheists being based on what they lack belief in, and agnostics being what you know. I'm an agnostic as I claim neutrality in the existence of some form of first cause. I make no claims to know and belief is for theists, so belief in god holds no influence in defining my position on what I view as a philosophical question not a theological one.

Next question - do you believe evidence can be obtained by humanity to prove or dissprove a first cause or naturalism?
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07-01-2015, 02:08 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Can you clarify that a little bit? As I said, I dropped out around page 6.

First cause as in Thomas Aquinas' First Cause?

And naturalism being philosophical/metaphysical naturalism?

In the intermission it's story time. And this one is your fault for reminding me of it.

A while back I was living down in the States. I had a badge from one of the local naturalist societies ironed onto my jacket. I'd worked for them the previous summer setting up field trips and it was the easiest way to identify me. After a few months living down there a couple of my newly minted friends approached me, very cautiously, and asked me what it was like running around in the woods in my nothing-at-all. Shocking And that was how we all learned to not confuse our terms. Naturalism =/= Naturism

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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07-01-2015, 02:28 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
(07-01-2015 02:08 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Can you clarify that a little bit? As I said, I dropped out around page 6.

First cause as in Thomas Aquinas' First Cause?

And naturalism being philosophical/metaphysical naturalism?

In the intermission it's story time. And this one is your fault for reminding me of it.

A while back I was living down in the States. I had a badge from one of the local naturalist societies ironed onto my jacket. I'd worked for them the previous summer setting up field trips and it was the easiest way to identify me. After a few months living down there a couple of my newly minted friends approached me, very cautiously, and asked me what it was like running around in the woods in my nothing-at-all. Shocking And that was how we all learned to not confuse our terms. Naturalism =/= Naturism

Still shocked you didn't read all 2000 pages, could have found the secret to l life in there.

Philosophical naturalism again.

More of a deist god with regard to getting the ball rolling as a first cause.

Do you think that evidence is able to be obtained to prove/disprove either naturalism/
a first cause. if so why?
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07-01-2015, 03:05 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Yes to both.

I'm assuming that a deistic first cause is necessarily external to the universe. Otherwise we could have evidence at any time now courtesy of a voice booming from the sky. A deity could still have put its stamp on creation in some subtle fashion that would indicate that it had been involved. A smart deity might well have hidden such a "watermark" to keep it from primitives like ourselves for our own good. Only once we've advanced sufficiently will we be able to discover it.

On the flip side, the bright boys in cosmology have been doing some very interesting work with origins of the universe. I won't pretend to understand it all except to comment that they love to joke about how P-Branes may be involved. They might well find a natural first cause that would obviate a deistic first cause.

Right now it's anybody's bet.

Q5: What do you think of Canada's win at the World Junior Hockey Championship last night?

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07-01-2015, 12:36 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
Not much, that's the first I've heard of it.


question: was it ice hockey and not field hockey?
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07-01-2015, 02:16 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
(07-01-2015 12:36 PM)Brownshirt Wrote:  Not much, that's the first I've heard of it.


question: was it ice hockey and not field hockey?

Ice hockey! At this time of year in Canada the few fields not buried balls deep in snow would be churned to a mire in the first period.

I suppose you could play indoors... Consider

Q7: One obvious location for the more discrete class of deity is at the beginning of the universe. A sort of 'wind it up and let it go' god. What other 'habitats', for lack of a better word, can you think of for such a deity?

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07-01-2015, 11:32 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
I don't consider what its habitat is or could be. It seems pretty pointless to consider the possible habitat of something such as an unmoved mover, first cause etc.

I don't know whether science will account for existence, and as such am skeptical of the claim that science will so determining an 'habitat' is unlikely.

I find people's belief in science to be akin to religious belief. Science is amazing to how it helps us function in our material reality, yet I see no reason for it to become a panacea for every question we don't know.
It definitely helps us, but personally I see no conflict between science and theism. Whenever I've made this statement I get the inevitable don't use medicine or technology as if science ability to prove/disprove the riddle of existence holds some sort of similarity to what it's helped us with. It's a false dichotomy.

If an deist god existed it appears logical to most atheists that some form of fingerprint would be available to us, this lacks the consideration of what we would be, i.e a by-product of existence, yet somehow we must transcend this and be able to decipher all of existence and as it is.


So next question(s), do you believe and feel justified in this belief that science possesses the capability to answer the "riddle of existence"? and if so, why is this view a fundamental assumption of many atheist's perspectives when it has not been validated and is therefore unproven?
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07-01-2015, 11:48 PM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
If you can clarify for me what you mean by "riddle of existence" I'll take a stab at it.

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08-01-2015, 12:01 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
how the universe came to be, the big bang is not what I'm looking for here.
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08-01-2015, 01:46 AM
RE: Paleophyte and Brownshirt play Q & A
I don't know if science will be able to provide any answers prior to the Big Bang. As I mentioned above, there is some interesting work being done in cosmology regarding branes, string, superstrings and the like. There are other hypotheses (I wouldn't call them theories yet) that suggest that the Big Bang may have been one of a series of such event in a very long-lived or eternal universe that undergoes Big Bang/Big Crunch cycles. It all sounds fascinating but it's not something that I would even pretend to have a basic understanding of.

On the other hand, the conditions prior to the Big Bang might prove to be entirely unamenable to science. It may turn out that reason itself breaks down at that point and any investigation of anything prior to the Big Bang is impossible.

The one thing I know for certain is that we'd be imbeciles not to ask.

I won't pretend to speak for "many atheists". For myself and those few that I've spoken to on the subject I can only say that we don't appear to hold the position that you think we do. From what little I can tell, even the bright boys in cosmology who understand this stuff and are working on the very cutting edge of it don't have any certainty that they'll be able to crack this nut.

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I think you may have misunderstood my previous question, most likely because we're straining the utility of the English language here. Let me try and restate.

Q9: In what realm might you speculate that a deity might be located?

I've put realm into italics here because the term is the closest accurate one that I can think of at the moment. I tried 'habitat' yesterday but it doesn't seem to have properly conveyed my meaning. The simplified version, "Where might god live?" is ridiculous because the term "where" has unavoidable spatial connotations and the term "live" may well be entirely inapt. But that's roughly what I'm asking.

I've also underlined speculate because I'm interested in exactly that, a speculative approach. Ignore science and its limitations on this one. I don't expect to find god with a microscope. This is a matter of pure curiosity so throw out anything that seems even remotely plausible. Also, I'm not asking what you believe and hold to be true, just what might be.

For example, we've established that it is not implausible that an unmoved mover initiated the universe, so one realm we might find a deity in is the past, prior to the Big Bang.

My apologies if you have already answered this one. In that case I've wasted a question.

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