Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
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12-07-2014, 03:39 AM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2014 04:20 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(11-07-2014 06:59 PM)Chas Wrote:  You haven't answered the question. It's your phrase, you brought it up, now explain it.
Basically, it seems to me that government education offers history of Philosophy mistaken for the Philosophy itself. Philosophy portrayed as value-neutral, while it is actually Philosophy's job to make value judgments. Truth portrayed as relative, instead of pointing out the philosophers' mistakes at seeing the truth. Lots of beating around the bush, but no sacred cow of the society hunted down and dissected. No deep critical evaluation of God, state, family and meaning of life. Crappy history of ethics biased to this end or that, used to justify the status quo, not change it.

If science was taught that way, you would call it pseudoscience. Science and truth are not democracy (so why the hell do we still have democracy? Consider ), it is not relative or historical and it does not matter what this or that historical figure says about them.

(12-07-2014 12:35 AM)DLJ Wrote:  If their ability to reason was destroyed, which sounds like a permanent condition, why are they now ex-christians?

Consider

That's social phenomena for you. They're never 100%, never clear-cut, always a continuum.
You should ask atheists about God. Ask them too why are they still pro-government, pro-taxes, pro-military, pro-hitting children, why do they watch sports and games which don't mean anything and why do they still watch TV.

Losing faith in God is possible, because we have 200 years of secularization behind us. It started during the French revolution and it's a part of culture now. But we don't have 200 years of not having men in costume taking our money at gunpoint.
Losing faith in one part of culture is still very hard and costs the people a lot, usually their whole social circle. To doubt more of the culture than just this small part, that is dangerous. It would lead to depression or insanity if not replaced by Philosophy, by direct rational perception of first principles and applying them to one's life. It's literally an extreme sport.

(11-07-2014 11:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I think you'll find those with ideological principles are more than capable of intellectual contortionism in order to preserve them.

Prevailing moral standards have quite often been set by very principled groups and individuals.
(which drops us right back down the failure hole of "but only the right principles count, which is to say mine")
There are no my principles! The first principles are universal. That's like saying "your physics" or "your universe".
Yes, you're right that ideologies were always used for preserving the status quo. The changes of various cultures I meant, they took place by violence. If people have no principles on which rational arguments can be made and obeyed, nothing is left but violence.

(11-07-2014 11:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Telling half the people here that their childhood destroyed their ability to reason is not particularly compelling.
It's not meant to be compelling and sure it is not diplomatic. The discipline of self-knowledge and criticizing culture can be extremely distressing and I don't want to lure people in unless they really, really want to. Usually, those who have nothing more to lose are good candidates. If your life sucks as it is, you might as well learn why that is so. It's not going to get any easier, it can only get more interesting.

Reasoning does not mean shuffling around our mental stuff, just like not all bodily sounds are opera-level singing. I could not say I learned to think properly until I learned to think in concepts with full semantic triangle. Which was more recently than I like to admit.
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12-07-2014, 03:51 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  ...
Philosophy's job to make value judgments.
...

That's not the way I see it.

Philosophy's job is to define (and redefine and refine) the question.

Science's job is to find the answers.

It's our job to make the value judgments.


(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  ...
Ask them too why are they still pro-government, pro-taxes, pro-military, pro-hitting children, why do they watch sports and games which don't mean anything and why do they still watch TV.
...

They aren't and they don't.

I've asked them.

Sample size = 1.

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12-07-2014, 04:08 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(11-07-2014 06:59 PM)Chas Wrote:  You haven't answered the question. It's your phrase, you brought it up, now explain it.
Basically, it seems to me that government education offers history of Philosophy mistaken for the Philosophy itself. Philosophy portrayed as value-neutral, while it is actually Philosophy's job to make value judgments.

No, the function of philosophy is to provide better, clearer questions - that is, to provide a basis on which we can form judgements and make choices.

Quote:Truth portrayed as relative, instead of pointing out the philosophers' mistakes at seeing the truth. Lots of beating around the bush, but no sacred cow of the society hunted down and dissected. No deep critical evaluation of God, state, family and meaning of life. Crappy, biased ethics, used to justify the status quo, not change it.
If science was taught that way, you would call it pseudoscience.

Unless you can provide some compelling examples of where philosophy is treated this way, we'll just chalk this up as a straw man.

Quote:
(11-07-2014 11:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I think you'll find those with ideological principles are more than capable of intellectual contortionism in order to preserve them.

Prevailing moral standards have quite often been set by very principled groups and individuals.
(which drops us right back down the failure hole of "but only the right principles count, which is to say mine")
There are no my principles! The first principles are universal.
Yes, you're right that ideologies were always used for preserving the status quo. The changes of various cultures I meant, they took place by violence. If people have no principles on which rational arguments can be made and obeyed, nothing is left but violence.

You have declared these to be universal - that does not make them so. For instance, there are logics that do not accept the law of the excluded middle. Willard Van Orman Quine was noted for his arguments on that very thing.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-07-2014, 04:39 AM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2014 04:50 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 04:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  No, the function of philosophy is to provide better, clearer questions - that is, to provide a basis on which we can form judgements and make choices.
That answer tells me nothing. What questions? What basis? Why basis?

(12-07-2014 04:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  Unless you can provide some compelling examples of where philosophy is treated this way, we'll just chalk this up as a straw man.
Compelling examples? Look at my shiny new negative reputation from Vosur. Zero justification given. It would be emotionally unpleasant for him to articulate what he does not like about me. He avoids the pain by vagueness and blames me, not even saying what for.

So far, I have focused on learning good philosophy, not bad philosophy and I don't regret the choice. If you want to see bad philosophy, look at families, governments and the state of the world. It sucks and there is a reason for that. That reason is intellectuals, especially philosophers, not doing their job or doing exactly the opposite of it, while claiming full authority of reason and knowledge and thus blocking the field like a frog on a spring.

(12-07-2014 04:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  You have declared these to be universal - that does not make them so. For instance, there are logics that do not accept the law of the excluded middle. Willard Van Orman Quine was noted for his arguments on that very thing.
I could not manage to look up these logics and I don't know what use or real occurence in nature or thought they have. Obviously, empiricism does not work on the basis of excluded middle. I remember one lesson from informatics, that described a logic of bacterial growth. The bacteria with stronger poison might destroy bacteria with a weaker poison. But the poisonous bacteria was typically overrun by the bacteria with the weakest poison. Producing poison is a strain and the bacteria succeeded by simply outbreeding the poisoners.
So I'd believe that in empiricism there are various kinds of "logics", but I meant a rational method.

(12-07-2014 03:51 AM)DLJ Wrote:  That's not the way I see it.

Philosophy's job is to define (and redefine and refine) the question.

Science's job is to find the answers.

It's our job to make the value judgments.
Do you have any scientific evidence for that? Tongue (yes, I'm serious, it's a legitimate philosophical objection, can science prove the validity of philosophy - and what then proves the validity of science?)

(12-07-2014 03:51 AM)DLJ Wrote:  They aren't and they don't.

I've asked them.

Sample size = 1.

So what's your problem? Mine was my lying, cheating abusive family.
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12-07-2014, 06:28 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 04:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(12-07-2014 04:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  No, the function of philosophy is to provide better, clearer questions - that is, to provide a basis on which we can form judgements and make choices.
That answer tells me nothing. What questions? What basis? Why basis?

It tells you nothing because you are not listening.

Quote:
(12-07-2014 04:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  Unless you can provide some compelling examples of where philosophy is treated this way, we'll just chalk this up as a straw man.
Compelling examples? Look at my shiny new negative reputation from Vosur. Zero justification given. It would be emotionally unpleasant for him to articulate what he does not like about me. He avoids the pain by vagueness and blames me, not even saying what for.

Non-answer. Again.

Quote:So far, I have focused on learning good philosophy, not bad philosophy and I don't regret the choice. If you want to see bad philosophy, look at families, governments and the state of the world. It sucks and there is a reason for that. That reason is intellectuals, especially philosophers, not doing their job or doing exactly the opposite of it, while claiming full authority of reason and knowledge and thus blocking the field like a frog on a spring.

What determines good philosophy or bad philosophy?

Philosophers are not responsible for the state of the world.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-07-2014, 07:01 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?

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.

I'm not sure from your post what you mean when you say metaphysics. It is a fact that matter exists and so does consciousness. They are both part of the universe. So there is no need to come up with a supernatural source for consciousness or the soul.

There is a particular metaphysical question that they cannot answer and dare not look at too closely and that is -what is the proper orientation of the relationship between consciousness and existence? Does existence hold primacy over consciousness or does consciousness hold primacy over existence. They affirm the former every time they make a truth claim about their god but the content of their god claim affirms the latter leading to a direct contradiction and a stolen concept fallacy.

I think this is the question that should be pressed in every debate because I have never seen a theist able to answer it. It is unanswerable because they must accept and use the principle of the primacy of existence even to claim it is invalid. But in claiming their god exists they directly contradict this principle since it affirms the primacy of consciousness. They are stuck and there is no way out.

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12-07-2014, 07:14 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 06:28 AM)Chas Wrote:  It tells you nothing because you are not listening.

When backed into a corner, we all know, (alla Germey Wanker), you just asking inane questions.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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12-07-2014, 07:56 AM
Re: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
The Why is rather simple.

Most/many of those atheists in these debates that come in this form don't have any standard or set ideas on philological positions.

If you're coming off from a skeptical position, you wouldn't be debating reasonable if you begin making determinative statements on souls or outside of being.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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12-07-2014, 08:16 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 04:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  ...
(12-07-2014 03:51 AM)DLJ Wrote:  That's not the way I see it.

Philosophy's job is to define (and redefine and refine) the question.

Science's job is to find the answers.

It's our job to make the value judgments.

Do you have any scientific evidence for that? Tongue (yes, I'm serious, it's a legitimate philosophical objection, can science prove the validity of philosophy - and what then proves the validity of science?)

It's my observation.

The theologians claim to ask and answer the big questions but their audience is seeing the flaw... that they have started with the answer to define the questions that lead to the answer.

Philosophers have proved more adept at redefining these questions (Dan Dennett was mentioned; see his reformulation of the question of free will and his 'evitability' hypothesis).

These ideas can be rationally and/or empirically tested by the scientists and will prove/evidence their invalidity / non-non-validity (sic).

Value judgements are and will always be in the domain of the consumer (us).

(12-07-2014 04:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  ...
(12-07-2014 03:51 AM)DLJ Wrote:  They aren't and they don't.

I've asked them.

Sample size = 1.

So what's your problem? Mine was my lying, cheating abusive family.

Tbh, I have no outstanding problems.

Any problems I did have, I have resolved. Contingency plans are in place for the potential problems that are within my ability to predict.

(well, OK, there's the lying, cheating ex-wife but she's not my problem anymore)

I'm failing to see the connection of your question to my reply to your question regarding watching sports, games and TV etc.

Please fill in the blanks for me.

Thanks.

Huh

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12-07-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  You should ask atheists about God. Ask them too why are they still pro-government, pro-taxes, pro-military, pro-hitting children, why do they watch sports and games which don't mean anything and why do they still watch TV.

ITT: Making indulgently sanctimonious unfounded deprecating assumptions about all and sundry, for fun and profit!

(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(11-07-2014 11:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I think you'll find those with ideological principles are more than capable of intellectual contortionism in order to preserve them.

Prevailing moral standards have quite often been set by very principled groups and individuals.
(which drops us right back down the failure hole of "but only the right principles count, which is to say mine")
There are no my principles! The first principles are universal. That's like saying "your physics" or "your universe".

Right. "Universal". That must be why they're not universally evident nor universally accepted. Or perhaps this is merely some strange new use of the word "universal" I'm unfamiliar with.

Physics exists whether you believe in it or not. Morals don't.

(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Yes, you're right that ideologies were always used for preserving the status quo.

Oh, totally. You just mentioned the French Revolution, so let's consider that. I mean, the ideology of the Jacobins was all about "preserving the status quo", amirite?

DURRRRRR. Read a god-damn book, Luminon.

(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  The changes of various cultures I meant, they took place by violence.

Which is an incoherent thing to say, in light of having just emphasised preserving the status quo. What with that being fundamentally the exact opposite of changing culture. But stay tuned...

(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  If people have no principles on which rational arguments can be made and obeyed, nothing is left but violence.

And here, you're claiming that no ideology or principles (except yours, I guess, because Special Feels) admit of rational arguments following from it (deranged and self-evidently false), or that no past change has ever been non-violent (equally deranged and self-evidently false).

It's like you're not even trying. Read a book.

(12-07-2014 03:39 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(11-07-2014 11:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Telling half the people here that their childhood destroyed their ability to reason is not particularly compelling.
It's not meant to be compelling and sure it is not diplomatic. The discipline of self-knowledge and criticizing culture can be extremely distressing and I don't want to lure people in unless they really, really want to. Usually, those who have nothing more to lose are good candidates. If your life sucks as it is, you might as well learn why that is so. It's not going to get any easier, it can only get more interesting.

Reasoning does not mean shuffling around our mental stuff, just like not all bodily sounds are opera-level singing. I could not say I learned to think properly until I learned to think in concepts with full semantic triangle. Which was more recently than I like to admit.

"Only I am right. People who don't end up agreeing with me can't think right TROLOLOLOLOL."

Give me a fucking break.

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