Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
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11-07-2014, 01:26 AM (This post was last modified: 11-07-2014 01:31 AM by thespiritualanarchist.)
Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
I wasn't sure how to word this topic. My question is this. How come any discussion of Metaphysical questions like Free Will or God or the Soul almost always leaves it up to a religious person in a debate to define all the terms?

In the Free Will debate some Atheist will accept that Free Will is a Metaphysical question but they make the argument that science has so much evidence against Free Will that there is nothing to discuss.

In Philosophy if you want to discuss Free Will you have to be willing to discuss Consciousness.

But in religion in order to discuss Free Will you must be willing to Discuss the soul and God.

If there is a debate between an Atheist and a Religious person any one taking a Philosophical Position and is willing to use Philosophical terms like Metaphysics will usually pick sides and either side with the religious people in the debate or the atheist side.

This means that in my example God will automatically be defined by religion or supernatural concepts. And the soul is treated the same way.

Theological Arguments will be advanced and then picked apart by Atheist. Then the debate would normally degenerate into Moral Arguments like Sam Harris' Argument for Determinism being accepted on Moral Grounds or the Theological Arguments made for Free Will based on Moral Arguments.

My point is it is assumed by both sides that Religion has the unique right to define all Metaphysical Concepts.

So all debates will begin with a Theological or Supernatural definition of God or the Soul.

And all arguments on both sides will discuss a MetaPhysical concept like Free Will either either by debunking the Supernatural or degenerating into Moral Arguments.

We do not make Moral Arguments for whether water is wet or Moral Arguments for whether we are Conscious or not. So Moral Arguments for or against Free Will shouldn't even come up.

And if we are debating an Ontological Question like what is the nature of being or a Metaphysical question such what is the nature of Reality or God we shouldn't be forced to accept only Theological definitions.

I know that the Atheist does not accept a Theological definition of Reality because there is no such thing at least not in the mainstream of Theology.

Theology is not a Branch of Philosophy and can not address Metaphysical questions. So why should they be able to define the terms used in a Metaphysical Debate?

Also I think that a lot of Atheist use the word woo way to much. Some use the word woo so often I was beginning to suspect to these particular Atheist that maybe woo was the name of their God.

As many Atheist point out Christians and Muslims and Jews are all Atheist in relation to other peoples gods. So if woo was a God of certain Atheist they could still technically call themselves Atheist by that definition.

Homeopathy is magic posing as science just as Intelligent Design is Creationism posing as science. So being 90% Atheist myself I could see the frustration of some Atheist wanting to call such things woo. And there are some new age crack pots talking about quantum medicine. In fact some homeopathic schools are trying to claim they are Quantum Medicine. Again I can see the tendency to call some things woo.

But Quantum Physics does have Metaphysical Implications and some of these implications might one day lead to actual Quantum Medicine in the same way it has been leading us to our work in developing Quantum Computers.

Any advances in Quantum Computers will lead to advances in Artificial Intelligence and this will have to impact our view of the human brain.

When Artificial Intelligence was first explored it was by comparing the human brain to a computer and essentially equating them as very similar or working on similar principles. This was so pervasive that most AI was based on our brain in the form of Neural Networks.

Quote:In computer science and related fields, artificial neural networks (ANNs) are computational models inspired by an animal's central nervous systems (in particular the brain) which is capable of machine learning as well as pattern recognition. Artificial neural networks are generally presented as systems of interconnected "neurons" which can compute values from inputs
Artificial neural network
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
.

My point here is that for years I have argued with Atheist on Quantum Effects in the Brain and they always answered woo because I said it opened the door to a Physical Soul.

But when you say soul to an Atheist they usually give it the religious definition of being supernatural and blow it off.

Religion has done enough to slow down the progress of all man kind. Why let them define all Metaphysical concepts and thereby limit what science can explore by shutting down all philosophical inquiry completely? There are many in the New Atheist movement that now say philosophy is dead. If philosophy is dead it is only because you let religion kill it and and some Atheist are willing to bury the body even if it is still breathing.This is because the coffin is in is a symbol of religion and they are willing to bury anything that gets rid of religion

... even if it means burying any hope of any meaning beyond the material nature of the Universe.

Why do most Atheist reject the Multiverse theory? Because it would leave the door open for religion to claim that there are hidden supernatural worlds. This completely ignores the facts

1. The Multiverse theory has gained a lot more acceptance in Physics
2. Most Theologians hate the idea of a Multiverse
3. Progress in Quantum Computing may in fact hinge on the Physical laws of such a Multiverse

I may be wrong on all of this but it won't be settled by calling all Metaphysical questions not settled by science woo or by accepting the Theologians false claim to able to define Metaphysical terms.
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11-07-2014, 02:53 AM (This post was last modified: 11-07-2014 04:20 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
They can define those terms because they own them.

What would be the equivalent terms for the rationally minded?

Free Will = Risk Analysis
God = concept redundant
Soul = concept debunked

Let them keep their concepts and terminology. It's all they have left.

ps. I didn't recognise the (most) Atheist to whom you were referring.

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11-07-2014, 03:14 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(11-07-2014 01:26 AM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  My point here is that for years I have argued with Atheist on Quantum Effects in the Brain and they always answered woo because I said it opened the door to a Physical Soul.

There is absolutely no reason yet to think that human intelligence requires quantum effects to occur in the brain. That's not to say that they don't occur, we don't know. But from what we can tell based on the number of neurons, the complexity of a single neuron, secondary messengers, neuro-modulation, the connectivity between neurons, synaptic plasticity, dendritic trees and some have even suggested synaptic spines and glial cells, there is no apparent lack of computational power in the brain.
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11-07-2014, 03:32 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
The concept of the soul was a mistake Aristotle made by confusing the psyche with the soul.

Ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates thought logic came from a separate source inside the body later named the soul in the poem Beowolf.

Now we know logic comes from the brain.

Free will is an argument against fate. It seems the whole notion of moral responsibility is more along the lines of being responsible for one's own actions, which I think would work against the notion of being born in sin or having an original nature of sin. It doesn't make sense. If sin is your fate, where does free will fit into the mix?

I would think free will would assume you are logical being responsible for your own actions. If that is true, why do we need Jesus to die for our sins? Couldn't we control ourselves?

It's all so confusing. Christianity is so contradictory.
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11-07-2014, 05:38 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(11-07-2014 01:26 AM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I wasn't sure how to word this topic. My question is this. How come any discussion of Metaphysical questions like Free Will or God or the Soul almost always leaves it up to a religious person in a debate to define all the terms?

I am a piratical sort of person and in most cases if I can hit it with a hammer it exists! So, when we come to metaphysics I take my time to attempt to understand the concepts!
Yes, I understand your argument!
So what can you do? I would surges that you start to redefine the word you find problematic and take them back and you place yourself in the debate and start to show that the Sole is not the only fish! :-)

If the simple debater can start to as thing like "well its only a theory!" And then find out how a "Theory" is defined under the terms of science!
So, I will ask you to take the words and give a comprehensive definition that would work in the secular world and then debate them out and see how strong the definition stand up to testing!


K:

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11-07-2014, 06:57 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
Who else would/should define the terms, if religion is the one that came up with them? That'd be like debating Dawkins on the term "meme", but defining "meme" as "Wikipedia".

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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11-07-2014, 07:16 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
Quote:Why do most Atheist reject the Multiverse theory? Because it would leave the door open for religion to claim that there are hidden supernatural worlds. This completely ignores the facts

Citation?


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11-07-2014, 07:16 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(11-07-2014 01:26 AM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I wasn't sure how to word this topic. My question is this. How come any discussion of Metaphysical questions like Free Will or God or the Soul almost always leaves it up to a religious person in a debate to define all the terms?
The reason is, most atheists are dragged into this stuff against their will. Religion pushes itself onto people and they revolt against it. Talking to atheists about spirituality is like talking to a soldier in trenches about finer points of diplomacy. They'd be happy to live their life without any woo pushed on them and if they ever browse into spirituality, they hardly ever perform the real brain-rewiring work of deep meditation. Some understand spirituality as taking drugs, because, like, drugs are chemical and chemistry is science. Almost nobody of them has weird any transcendental experience that would compel them to search deeper on their own and never be satisfied with this stuff I just described.


(11-07-2014 01:26 AM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  In the Free Will debate some Atheist will accept that Free Will is a Metaphysical question but they make the argument that science has so much evidence against Free Will that there is nothing to discuss.

In Philosophy if you want to discuss Free Will you have to be willing to discuss Consciousness.

But in religion in order to discuss Free Will you must be willing to Discuss the soul and God.
Nah, I took a stab at these things and turns out they are not so mysterious as people think. Basically, the Free Will thing is a hype. It's a straw man. People who argue against Free Will say, that to predict someone's will makes it not free, which is nonsense. Predictability is causality, yet causal things still exist.
I just say, there is no Free Will or non-free will. There is only a will or lack of will, or someone else's will suppressing yours. Our ability to predict it changes nothing.

God is a bit tougher thing, but meaningful. I say, all previous definitions of God were either inconsistent, or irrelevant (deism, Occam's razor). I think I have made a meaningful definition of the universe and its contents that unifies things like energy, natural forces, matter, space, time, consciousness, information, people, planets, suns, galaxies, other worlds of multiverse and do on. And this all together can hardly be called by any other name than God - so the existence of God is a matter of definition, but it has to be a damn good definition and it must not beg anything extra that would need empirical proof.

As for the soul, I think this is an empirical problem, it has a lot to do with transcendental experience. Look up "Andrew Newberg - How God changes your brain" or "J. M. Cohen - The Common Experience".
Basically, I don't equate the Soul with personality, I always refer to the Soul as an experience of a superbeing that sometimes manifests itself in our consciousness and Christians say it's Jesus. I say it has no Jesus label on it, but nonetheless it's a life-changing psychological and possibly neurological phenomenon.

As you see, I am sort of a spiritual anarchist as well!

(11-07-2014 01:26 AM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I may be wrong on all of this but it won't be settled by calling all Metaphysical questions not settled by science woo or by accepting the Theologians false claim to able to define Metaphysical terms.
Frankly, in my experience I have never once met a philosopher among atheists. I believe atheism is what we get when we apply philosophy (logic) to religion, but almost all atheists (or any other kind of people) are woefully unable to apply philosophy to anything else but their pet peeve.

My training at philosophy is amateurish, but vigorous and I'm very dissatisfied by what people here can't do as philosophers. Empirical research is their definition of truth. Any rational critical evaluations they do, are pretty trivial, unless of course it's against religion. But if they could do to politics what they do to religion, there would be no politics left. (which is a good thing in my book) There's a lot more bullshit and evil in the world besides religion and the job of philosophy is fighting evil, not just religion.
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11-07-2014, 07:32 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(11-07-2014 07:16 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Frankly, in my experience I have never once met a philosopher among atheists. I believe atheism is what we get when we apply philosophy (logic) to religion, but almost all atheists (or any other kind of people) are woefully unable to apply philosophy to anything else but their pet peeve.

My training at philosophy is amateurish, but vigorous and I'm very dissatisfied by what people here can't do as philosophers. Empirical research is their definition of truth. Any rational critical evaluations they do, are pretty trivial, unless of course it's against religion. But if they could do to politics what they do to religion, there would be no politics left. (which is a good thing in my book) There's a lot more bullshit and evil in the world besides religion and the job of philosophy is fighting evil, not just religion.


Your knowledge of philosophy and philosophers is woefully inadequate.

Here's an atheist philosopher of world-class repute.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-07-2014, 07:33 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(11-07-2014 07:32 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-07-2014 07:16 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Frankly, in my experience I have never once met a philosopher among atheists. I believe atheism is what we get when we apply philosophy (logic) to religion, but almost all atheists (or any other kind of people) are woefully unable to apply philosophy to anything else but their pet peeve.

My training at philosophy is amateurish, but vigorous and I'm very dissatisfied by what people here can't do as philosophers. Empirical research is their definition of truth. Any rational critical evaluations they do, are pretty trivial, unless of course it's against religion. But if they could do to politics what they do to religion, there would be no politics left. (which is a good thing in my book) There's a lot more bullshit and evil in the world besides religion and the job of philosophy is fighting evil, not just religion.



Your knowledge of philosophy and philosophers is woefully inadequate.

Here's an atheist philosopher of world-class repute.

See also, Russell, Bertrand.


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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