Why I bother....
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14-10-2014, 01:46 PM
RE: Why I bother....
Timber1025,

Thanks for cutting through the fat. Let me be more plain, and correct me if I'm wrong.

Atheism would hold that we are simply natural creatures, spawned into a universe by accident. In universal context, we have no more meaning than a virus and no greater claim to survival. As far as we can tell from natural science, when we're dead, we're really dead. Morality is simply a set of mutually agreed upon rules for living together, but really have no meaning in and of themselves other than to facilitate society. Laws of physics exists, but laws of morality do not.

If this is so, shouldn't the atheist obey laws and live within society's mores as best helps him, but if he find it's better for him to shed morals, then do that?

Here's where I see the atheist contradiction. The Big Bang, evolution and natural selection is all you have, but you still take umbrage and skirt the point about morality as if it's objective and universal. You said, "If you cannot love your children with evolution being more true than a god, then you are warped and an ignorant twit." But you still haven't answered the question as to why. I can tell you an objective reason why we love our children, but you can't tell me, because you don't have an answer, at least that I've been able to find.

When I research aesthetic morality, all I find is reasoning about building society and living in harmony.

If morality is based around the advancement of our society as the greatest good (and no one can tell me why that is), then we're going about this the wrong way. Let's euthanize the weak, test for the best genes, and create a hive society. No unwanted children, slackers or old people. Or if some guy is smart enough or strong enough to steal your mate, grab your stuff, and push you outside of the circle, well good for him. It's better that he passes on his DNA than you, anyways.

On the other hand, if morality is based around building society as a way to help the individual, then the individual's benefit is paramount. Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow may never come. If it turns out better for the individual to take advantage of society instead, then that's not only logical, but perhaps even moral.

Do you see the contradiction in following a system with no moral absolutes, yet then insisting people follow them? Who's being warped now? Why not be intellectually honest and say morals are non-binding constructs people adhere to when trying to live in a society. But that's just their opinion. You can bypass it if you want, just don't get caught, or they might make you pay because you trespassed their personal rules.

I must be missing something. What is it?
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14-10-2014, 01:49 PM
RE: Why I bother....
Quote:It's been sarcastically alluded to that believing in Christianity is analogous to believing in faeries, big foot, and Santa Clause.

You may find it offensive but you should ask yourself why that is. From the atheist perspective it is a way of illustrating that you have no more actual evidence for your god than a child has for Santa Claus or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had for garden fairies. In some respects you have less evidence, at least the child sees the milk and cookies gone and presents appear.

You have repeatedly advised that atheists read the bible. I have. It's an interesting book with much information about the lives and customs of bronze and iron age inhabitants of the middle east. It has some good things and some bad things but I find absolutely nothing unique or profound about it. The ideas and teachings can be found in other cultures that pre-date it. Much of it can be shown to be historically and/or scientifically inaccurate. Exactly what I'd expect from people of that time trying to make sense of the world within the limitations of their knowledge.

You need to provide evidence that there is a god besides the fact that it says so in a book. Dickens wrote books about England but that doesn't provide evidence that Oliver Twist was real.

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14-10-2014, 01:53 PM (This post was last modified: 14-10-2014 02:05 PM by wazzel.)
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 01:46 PM)Tsukho Wrote:  Timber1025,

Thanks for cutting through the fat. Let me be more plain, and correct me if I'm wrong.

Atheism would hold that we are simply natural creatures, spawned into a universe by accident. In universal context, we have no more meaning than a virus and no greater claim to survival. As far as we can tell from natural science, when we're dead, we're really dead. Morality is simply a set of mutually agreed upon rules for living together, but really have no meaning in and of themselves other than to facilitate society. Laws of physics exists, but laws of morality do not.

If this is so, shouldn't the atheist obey laws and live within society's mores as best helps him, but if he find it's better for him to shed morals, then do that?

Here's where I see the atheist contradiction. The Big Bang, evolution and natural selection is all you have, but you still take umbrage and skirt the point about morality as if it's objective and universal. You said, "If you cannot love your children with evolution being more true than a god, then you are warped and an ignorant twit." But you still haven't answered the question as to why. I can tell you an objective reason why we love our children, but you can't tell me, because you don't have an answer, at least that I've been able to find.

When I research aesthetic morality, all I find is reasoning about building society and living in harmony.

If morality is based around the advancement of our society as the greatest good (and no one can tell me why that is), then we're going about this the wrong way. Let's euthanize the weak, test for the best genes, and create a hive society. No unwanted children, slackers or old people. Or if some guy is smart enough or strong enough to steal your mate, grab your stuff, and push you outside of the circle, well good for him. It's better that he passes on his DNA than you, anyways.

On the other hand, if morality is based around building society as a way to help the individual, then the individual's benefit is paramount. Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow may never come. If it turns out better for the individual to take advantage of society instead, then that's not only logical, but perhaps even moral.

Do you see the contradiction in following a system with no moral absolutes, yet then insisting people follow them? Who's being warped now? Why not be intellectually honest and say morals are non-binding constructs people adhere to when trying to live in a society. But that's just their opinion. You can bypass it if you want, just don't get caught, or they might make you pay because you trespassed their personal rules.

I must be missing something. What is it?

Morality is subjective, even among christians.
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14-10-2014, 02:01 PM
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 08:58 AM)Tsukho Wrote:  I know love exists. If all of humanity suddenly died, love still remains as a good thing, in and of itself.

Define love.

Can animals and aliens feel love?

Would love cease to exist if all life in the universe suddenly died?

Is there any physical evidence of the existence of love outside of the living brain?

Is there any physical evidence of the influence of this physical love on brains?

How does this physical love effect different parts of the brain such the visual cortex? If it does not then why not?

Is there any reproducible and testable evidence to show that human beings cannot feel love without this physical entity?

Can you theorise as to what this love consists of? Is it pure energy? In which case how does it maintain complex interaction with the brain without matter? Does it contain matter? If so then where is it?
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14-10-2014, 02:10 PM
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 01:46 PM)Tsukho Wrote:  Timber1025,

Thanks for cutting through the fat. Let me be more plain, and correct me if I'm wrong.

Atheism would hold that we are simply natural creatures, spawned into a universe by accident. In universal context, we have no more meaning than a virus and no greater claim to survival. As far as we can tell from natural science, when we're dead, we're really dead. Morality is simply a set of mutually agreed upon rules for living together, but really have no meaning in and of themselves other than to facilitate society. Laws of physics exists, but laws of morality do not.

If this is so, shouldn't the atheist obey laws and live within society's mores as best helps him, but if he find it's better for him to shed morals, then do that?

Here's where I see the atheist contradiction. The Big Bang, evolution and natural selection is all you have, but you still take umbrage and skirt the point about morality as if it's objective and universal. You said, "If you cannot love your children with evolution being more true than a god, then you are warped and an ignorant twit." But you still haven't answered the question as to why. I can tell you an objective reason why we love our children, but you can't tell me, because you don't have an answer, at least that I've been able to find.

When I research aesthetic morality, all I find is reasoning about building society and living in harmony.

If morality is based around the advancement of our society as the greatest good (and no one can tell me why that is), then we're going about this the wrong way. Let's euthanize the weak, test for the best genes, and create a hive society. No unwanted children, slackers or old people. Or if some guy is smart enough or strong enough to steal your mate, grab your stuff, and push you outside of the circle, well good for him. It's better that he passes on his DNA than you, anyways.

On the other hand, if morality is based around building society as a way to help the individual, then the individual's benefit is paramount. Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow may never come. If it turns out better for the individual to take advantage of society instead, then that's not only logical, but perhaps even moral.

Do you see the contradiction in following a system with no moral absolutes, yet then insisting people follow them? Who's being warped now? Why not be intellectually honest and say morals are non-binding constructs people adhere to when trying to live in a society. But that's just their opinion. You can bypass it if you want, just don't get caught, or they might make you pay because you trespassed their personal rules.

I must be missing something. What is it?

Yes, morality derived from god is the only true explanation. I just love smashing people's head in with a rock for working on the Sabbath.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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14-10-2014, 02:13 PM
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 11:46 AM)Tsukho Wrote:  The Bible teaches God exists and reality is governed by the spirit, not the natural. God is spirit. We're part spirit. Everything spirtual impacts life and this world.

Define spirit.

Is spirit energy or matter or both? Is spirit pure energy? In which case how does it maintain complex interaction with reality without the aid of matter? Does it contain matter? If so then where and what exactly is it?

If spirit can interact with the world then is it subject to entropy or does it violate the laws of thermodynamics? Please provide evidence.

How is reality governed by the spirit? Do you have any physical, testable evidence for this that can be reproduced in laboratory conditions?

Exactly what parts of the human body consist of spirit?

What is 'the natural' if it does not govern reality?
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14-10-2014, 02:14 PM
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 01:46 PM)Tsukho Wrote:  Timber1025,

Thanks for cutting through the fat. Let me be more plain, and correct me if I'm wrong.

Atheism would hold that we are simply natural creatures, spawned into a universe by accident.

No, it wouldn't. Atheism is not a philosophy or an explanation. It is a position of skepticism on the claims of religion; it is a lack of belief in gods.

Quote:In universal context, we have no more meaning than a virus and no greater claim to survival.

Except we have consciousness, viruses do not. Viruses can't even be said to be alive.

Quote:As far as we can tell from natural science, when we're dead, we're really dead.

That's what the evidence tells us.

Quote:Morality is simply a set of mutually agreed upon rules for living together, but really have no meaning in and of themselves other than to facilitate society.

Not quite true. The evidence is that people have an evolved basic moral sense.

Quote:Laws of physics exists, but laws of morality do not.

Laws of physics are human-created descriptions of observation of the universe.

Quote:If this is so, shouldn't the atheist obey laws and live within society's mores as best helps him, but if he find it's better for him to shed morals, then do that?

That is certainly a rational argument, if you ignore empathy.

Quote:Here's where I see the atheist contradiction. The Big Bang, evolution and natural selection is all you have,

Nope. We also have art, music, dance, wonder, excitement, love, friendship, and bacon.

Quote:but you still take umbrage and skirt the point about morality as if it's objective and universal.

Our shared basic morality is sort of universal and objective, but the rest is subjective and negotiated.

Quote:You said, "If you cannot love your children with evolution being more true than a god, then you are warped and an ignorant twit." But you still haven't answered the question as to why. I can tell you an objective reason why we love our children, but you can't tell me, because you don't have an answer, at least that I've been able to find.

I think that's out of context, so I can't comment.

Quote:When I research aesthetic morality, all I find is reasoning about building society and living in harmony.

And human rights, dignity, respect, ...

Quote:If morality is based around the advancement of our society as the greatest good (and no one can tell me why that is),

And no one here has said that, either.

Quote:then we're going about this the wrong way. Let's euthanize the weak, test for the best genes, and create a hive society. No unwanted children, slackers or old people. Or if some guy is smart enough or strong enough to steal your mate, grab your stuff, and push you outside of the circle, well good for him. It's better that he passes on his DNA than you, anyways.

OK, you just went off the rails. I call straw man extraordinaire on that.

Quote:On the other hand, if morality is based around building society as a way to help the individual, then the individual's benefit is paramount. Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow may never come. If it turns out better for the individual to take advantage of society instead, then that's not only logical, but perhaps even moral.

False dichotomy, straw man.

Quote:Do you see the contradiction in following a system with no moral absolutes, yet then insisting people follow them?

Another straw man.

Quote:Who's being warped now? Why not be intellectually honest and say morals are non-binding constructs people adhere to when trying to live in a society. But that's just their opinion.

You again left out empathy.

Quote: You can bypass it if you want, just don't get caught, or they might make you pay because you trespassed their personal rules.

... and again.

Quote:I must be missing something. What is it?

Empathy?

And an accurate understanding of what atheism is and isn't.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-10-2014, 02:25 PM
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 02:13 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(14-10-2014 11:46 AM)Tsukho Wrote:  The Bible teaches God exists and reality is governed by the spirit, not the natural. God is spirit. We're part spirit. Everything spirtual impacts life and this world.

Define spirit.

Is spirit energy or matter or both? Is spirit pure energy? In which case how does it maintain complex interaction with reality without the aid of matter? Does it contain matter? If so then where and what exactly is it?

If spirit can interact with the world then is it subject to entropy or does it violate the laws of thermodynamics? Please provide evidence.

How is reality governed by the spirit? Do you have any physical, testable evidence for this that can be reproduced in laboratory conditions?

Exactly what parts of the human body consist of spirit?

What is 'the natural' if it does not govern reality?

Love this post Mathilda, maybe because it's how I think. Big Grin

I realized during my long agnostic phase that Christians live within the realm of the ill-defined. The more vague, the less you think about it, the more it makes sense.
I also realized there were other things that thrived within the realm of nebulous woo.

1.Self delusion
2.Unchecked confirmation bias
3.Charlatans
4.People that were fundamentally wrong about a great many things.
5.People that were wrong held up as leaders to perpetuate their delusion.

Charisma was the coin of the realm in Christianity. If you spewed a smooth line of BS, you could amass unthinking acolytes -and get rich and famous.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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14-10-2014, 02:30 PM
RE: Why I bother....
Grasshopper and many others,

If we continue on conversation, you may very well catch me in misquoting the Bible. I'm like every other guy, I can get lazy and coast on what I heard instead of what I've researched out myself. Honestly, your posts made me worried for moment. My quote was off the cuff based on general understanding, so I worried I put my foot in my mouth. However, this is not one of those cases.

Someone in the thread cautioned me about cherry picking information. You must do the same.

You quoted the use of evil of Isaiah 45:7 in the King James version. The Hebrew word for evil there is "rah," which can refer to plain evil, but also just bad stuff in general.

In context, God is showing contrasts. Light and dark. Peace and "not-peace" or peaceful times and not peaceful times. Peace and moral evil are not contrasts. So translate the word evil there to bad stuff happening.

God has brought down lots of bad things, such as wars, pestilence, drought and other calamities. But not moral evil. We do that. We might think these things happening is evil of God, but it's not. It's all deserved.
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14-10-2014, 02:32 PM
RE: Why I bother....
(14-10-2014 02:30 PM)Tsukho Wrote:  Grasshopper and many others,

If we continue on conversation, you may very well catch me in misquoting the Bible. I'm like every other guy, I can get lazy and coast on what I heard instead of what I've researched out myself. Honestly, your posts made me worried for moment. My quote was off the cuff based on general understanding, so I worried I put my foot in my mouth. However, this is not one of those cases.

Someone in the thread cautioned me about cherry picking information. You must do the same.

You quoted the use of evil of Isaiah 45:7 in the King James version. The Hebrew word for evil there is "rah," which can refer to plain evil, but also just bad stuff in general.

In context, God is showing contrasts. Light and dark. Peace and "not-peace" or peaceful times and not peaceful times. Peace and moral evil are not contrasts. So translate the word evil there to bad stuff happening.

God has brought down lots of bad things, such as wars, pestilence, drought and other calamities. But not moral evil. We do that. We might think these things happening is evil of God, but it's not. It's all deserved.

The interpretation excuse. Facepalm

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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