The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism

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The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism

Below is a link to Charles Tart's "Western Creed," which is basically an exposition of the beliefs of scientific materialism in the form of a religious creed.  The creed is located in the middle of the page. It's short and should only take two minutes to read. I think it fairly represents the logical conclusions or implications of an atheistic worldview. Read it and let me know what you think. If you think that it doesn't fairly represent your views, then please state where it does not.

http://www.paradigm-sys.com/ctt_articles2.cfm?id=38

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Mostly agree.

 

 

    I  have a problem with the fifth paragraph.  I Jeffrick will affirm that churches have no real use;  and stop there. Any good a church does is also being done by secular groups ergo- a church is not really needed.

    The deffinition of virtue is much different then mine and I would never affirm to theirs.

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Jeffrick wrote:I  have a

Jeffrick wrote:

I  have a problem with the fifth paragraph.  I Jeffrick will affirm that churches have no real use;  and stop there. Any good a church does is also being done by secular groups ergo- a church is not really needed.

You believe churches do not provide any social support whatsoever?

Also, you do or do not believe in objective sins?

Jeffrick wrote:

The definition of virtue is much different then mine and I would never affirm to theirs.

Okay. Tart's definition of virtue appears to be compatible with the ethic of rational egoism as depicted by Ayn Rand (who was an atheist philosopher). What is your definition of virtue? And how do you justify altruism on the atheistic worldview?

Quote:

She (Ayn Rand) was also an atheist, and promoted ethical egoism (which she termed "rational self-interest" ) while condemning altruism.[8]

(source: Wikipedia: Ayn Rand)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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The Worldview of Atheistic

The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism...

The Materialist Worldview of Atheism...

The Atheist Materialistic Worldview...

 

Haven't we seen this before?

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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Well, heck, since I took the

Well, heck, since I took the time to read it:

Quote:

I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance.

No problem with that.

Quote:

I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny.

Until some deity pops up and introduces themselves, I have to say I agree with this, too.

Quote:

I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions. - Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny.

Agreed!

Quote:

I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective

Disagree. While I agree with the rest of the statement, it does not follow that they are therefore subjective.

Quote:

- arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance.

Agree.

Quote:

- Free will is an illusion.

Agreed, but irrelevant.

Quote:

- Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.

Disagree. Humans are communal animals. Only sociopaths define others solely on the basis of personal utility. And, yes, I know, a lot of theists are stupid enough to think that all atheists are sociopaths.

Quote:

I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support

They might fulfill that function, but it's much better to find it elsewhere where it's not saddled with irrationality and willfull ignorance.

Quote:

- that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for - that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions.

Agreed.

Quote:

- Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others.

See above about sociopaths.

Quote:

I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense.

Agreed.

 

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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geirj wrote:The Worldview of

geirj wrote:

The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism...

The Materialist Worldview of Atheism...

The Atheist Materialistic Worldview...

 

Haven't we seen this before?

Since when has Paisley written something that wasn't a mash of fallacies we've all read before?

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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:3

Paisley-Cat makes a triumphant return from his other thread!!

 

 

 

 


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ClockCat wrote:Paisley-Cat

ClockCat wrote:

Paisley-Cat makes a triumphant return from his other thread!!

 

 

 

 

cervello_marcio endorses this post.

"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven. Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And recks not his own rede."


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A couple of things to weigh

A couple of things to weigh in on here:

 

This is a self-published paper describing an experiment which he yields no results for but makes comments on the emotional impact on the test subjects.  Don't we even get to see the questionnaire he used?

I've done some research of my own.  I'm even working on a paper.  It'll be published by the Michael McFarlane school of Awseome.  Here's an excerpt:

"I asked a bunch of people to sit at desks with physics books in front of them and say "I believe in a magic sky-daddy that watches my every move in life and will cast me into an eternal fire for the sin of not loving him, even though he gave me the choice to not love him and did nothing to win my affection".  Afterwords many of them said they felt like total fuck-nuggets.  These poeple concluded that they only believed in the sky-daddy because they had been conditioned to think that way since birth."

I can only hope that my paper will have the same sort of gravitas that Mr Tart's does.  Can I feel free to send you a copy Paisley?

 

Why can't I find any information on the first or second international symposium on science and consciousness?  The only page I can find on the 3rd syposium is this one which is happy to quote participants, but the pages on the first and second are laughable in their lack of detail.  Just throwing this out there, but maybe it's because they never happened?

Also, I love that the meeting appears to be chaired by Dr Max Payne (who can join my school of Awesome) but what made me chuckle more was this quote from Professor Ursula Kind (actually Ursula King, but it's not like you need to get the names of your participants right is it?) "the explosiong of knowledge and information has resulted in a loss of wisdom".  I bet she, or whoever wrote the aforementioned page, was up all night thinking of that one.  How very deep.

 

 

If you're going to start citing things can you at least give us a paper that (A) doesn't look like anyone could have written it like my example above, and (B) at least relates to a conference that doesn't appear to be entirely fake.

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


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Paisley

 

 

 

     Please pay attention to what I wrote, "Any good a church does is also being done by secular groups...." i.e. social support.  This is NOT a belief it IS what I see where I live.  This may not be true in small towns but I live in The Greater Toronto Area. What ever social support you can name is available from a secular source (privete or Government) and church groups are not needed, they exist but they are not needed.

 

   

    As for virtue, I can not see how any act   you are affraid to get caught at is "virtue".  Getting caught implys doing something immoral or illeagel,  or at the very least embarassing.  I consider myself virtuous because I don't do anything I personally am affraid to be "caught at".  Religious people might consider me un-virtuous because I live quite well without a theology; I can live with that.

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MichaelMcF wrote:A couple of

MichaelMcF wrote:

A couple of things to weigh in on here:

 

This is a self-published paper describing an experiment which he yields no results for but makes comments on the emotional impact on the test subjects.  Don't we even get to see the questionnaire he used?

I've done some research of my own.  I'm even working on a paper.  It'll be published by the Michael McFarlane school of Awseome.  Here's an excerpt:

"I asked a bunch of people to sit at desks with physics books in front of them and say "I believe in a magic sky-daddy that watches my every move in life and will cast me into an eternal fire for the sin of not loving him, even though he gave me the choice to not love him and did nothing to win my affection".  Afterwords many of them said they felt like total fuck-nuggets.  These poeple concluded that they only believed in the sky-daddy because they had been conditioned to think that way since birth."

I can only hope that my paper will have the same sort of gravitas that Mr Tart's does.  Can I feel free to send you a copy Paisley?

 

Why can't I find any information on the first or second international symposium on science and consciousness?  The only page I can find on the 3rd syposium is this one which is happy to quote participants, but the pages on the first and second are laughable in their lack of detail.  Just throwing this out there, but maybe it's because they never happened?

Also, I love that the meeting appears to be chaired by Dr Max Payne (who can join my school of Awesome) but what made me chuckle more was this quote from Professor Ursula Kind (actually Ursula King, but it's not like you need to get the names of your participants right is it?) "the explosiong of knowledge and information has resulted in a loss of wisdom".  I bet she, or whoever wrote the aforementioned page, was up all night thinking of that one.  How very deep.

 

 

If you're going to start citing things can you at least give us a paper that (A) doesn't look like anyone could have written it like my example above, and (B) at least relates to a conference that doesn't appear to be entirely fake.

Evidently, you did not bother to read the OP. Perhaps I should repeat it in order to make my point.

Paisley wrote:

Below is a link to Charles Tart's "Western Creed," which is basically an exposition of the beliefs of scientific materialism in the form of a religious creed.  The creed is located in the middle of the page. It's short and should only take two minutes to read. I think it fairly represents the logical conclusions or implications of an atheistic worldview. Read it and let me know what you think. If you think that it doesn't fairly represent your views, then please state where it does not.

http://www.paradigm-sys.com/ctt_articles2.cfm?id=38 

What am I asking you to do in the OP?

1) Read Charles Tart's "Western Creed."

2) Determine whether or not it reflects your views.

3) If it does not, please tell me what aspect of the creed you disagree with.

This is not difficult!

Several comments:

1) I am not asking you to partake in Tart's experiment. And by the way, it is not a scientific experiment, but rather an exercise to demonstrate the implications of scientific materialism that is pervading our school systems and society. It is not directed at those who identified themselves as passionate atheists or materialists, but rather, it is directed at ordinary people (most-likely those who have some kind religious or spiritual beliefs). And, for what it is worth, Tart himself is fairly critical of traditional religions.

2) Your entire post is completely irrelevant because you did not respond to the OP.  You want me to respond to a straw-man argument.

3) It is very rude for an individual to post in a thread when he is not willing to honor the request as outlined in the OP. Unfortunately, this practice is all too common on this forum. 

4) If you want me to respond to your "theistic creed," then I suggest you start your own thread and list the creed. I will let you know what points I agree with and what points I disagree with. Fair enough?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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geirj wrote:The Worldview of

geirj wrote:

The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism...

The Materialist Worldview of Atheism...

The Atheist Materialistic Worldview...

 

Haven't we seen this before?

Over and over again.

Yes Paisley I read the link on your OP and this has been exhaustively answered since you first appeared here. I suggest you go back to all of your previous threads when you can't sleep at night and actually read the responses you were given.

*edit* Here's my comment on the link:

1- I do only perceive the material Universe so it is what I currently accept.

2- As far as can be determined a creator was not required to make what we perceive so until otherwise proved I see no need for one.

3- Nothing regarding a god has been shown to be more than myths and legends so until otherwise proved I consider all gods as such.

4- As to life and consciousness being identical that is all that can be proved and all your attempts have done nothing to dissuade me from such a position. Keep trying though you never know you may eventually find something or you may win Powerball 1st.

5- I certainly have at least one objective, to argue against your positions.

6- We already determined last year I was a robot 0111 0011 1100 0001.

7- Churches are a good way to clear out Denny's on a Sunday morning.

8- Until someone can show a return from death I will continue to take the position when the RAM in the brain no longer is powered 'That's All Folks'

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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thatonedude wrote:Well,

thatonedude wrote:

Well, heck, since I took the time to read it:

This is shocking. Perhaps I should commend you for at least adhering to proper forum etiquette by actually reading the OP before posting. This is progress!

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance.

No problem here.

Actually, I see a problem here. In the deterministic world that is materialism, there is no possibility of chance. IOW, the belief in strict determinism (every event has a cause) logically precludes the possibility of chance or indeterminism (events occurring without a cause). You can't have it both ways. Also, the belief in strict determinism does not agree with the prevailing scientific theory. According to quantum theory, nature is fundamentally indeterminate.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny.

Until some deity pops up and introduces themselves, I have to say I agree with this, too.

Okay. Fair enough. Just for clarity, are you implying that a deity may have revealed him or herself to another? Or, are you implying that the existence of God is simply not a possiblity? IOW, would you be willing to accept some form of evidence as evidence for the existence of God? If so, what form of evidence would that be?

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions. - Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny.

Agreed!

Just for clarity, you don't believe in nonphysical forces?

Also, I believe I have already established that there can be no "chance interactions" in a deterministic world. IOW, all events that have occurred could not have been otherwise.

In addition, I want to stress the point that the belief that "life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes" is just that - a belief. IOW, this has never been established by science.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective

Disagree. While I agree with the rest of the statement, it does not follow that they are therefore subjective.

You believe that there are objective judgments, values, and morals? This is interesting. How do you account for a moral universe? Please elaborate.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

- arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance.

Agree.

To reiterate: Chance plays not part in a completely deterministic world.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

- Free will is an illusion.

Agreed, but irrelevant.

Why is it irrelevant? You either believe in it or you don't. And the fact is that you have just gone on record and expressed the belief that free will is an illusion. If it is an illusion, then the burden of proof is upon you to prove it. Why? Because we have first-person evidence that says otherwise.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

- Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.

Disagree. Humans are communal animals. Only sociopaths define others soley on the basis of personal utility. And, yes, I know, a lot of theists are stupid enough to think that all atheists are sociopaths.

The question here is not whether humans are communal animals (dogs are social animals too...but many folks are apt to say "this is a dog eat dog world" ). Rather, the question is, given an atheistic and materialistic worldview, what is the rational basis for ethics. Many atheists are proponents of Ayn Rand's atheistic philosophy which upholds egoism as being rational while denouncing altruism as irrational. On the other hand, other atheists subscribe to some form of secular humanism which has a more favorable view of altruism. Clearly, these are two different sides of the spectrum. However, given that atheists promote rationalism (e.g. this particular forum calls itself the "Rational Response Squad" ), why the discrepancy between such disparate views?

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support

They might fulfill that function, but it's much better to find it elsewhere where it's not saddled with irrationality and willfull ignorance.

Okay, but you do believe they fulfill some kind of social support. There appears to be another member here who is arguing that they serve no social function whatsoever.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

- that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for - that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions.

Agreed.

Okay.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

- Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others.

See above about sociopaths.

Okay. But you still have to provide the rational basis for altruism.

thatonedude wrote:

Quote:

I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense.

Agreed.

Okay. But I think it is fair to say that you have a morbid worldview. And I can't see why anyone would object for characterizing it as such.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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geirj wrote:The Worldview of

geirj wrote:

The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism...

The Materialist Worldview of Atheism...

The Atheist Materialistic Worldview...

 

Haven't we seen this before?

Well, I know I have seen this type of response from you before. Apparently, you believe that you are making some kind of contribution.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:geirj

Paisley wrote:

geirj wrote:

The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism...

The Materialist Worldview of Atheism...

The Atheist Materialistic Worldview...

 

Haven't we seen this before?

Well, I know I have seen this type of response from you before. Apparently, you believe that you are making some kind of contribution.

Why should geirj make a point? You haven't yet.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

geirj wrote:

The Worldview of Atheistic Materialism...

The Materialist Worldview of Atheism...

The Atheist Materialistic Worldview...

 

Haven't we seen this before?

Over and over again.

Yes Paisley I read the link on your OP and this has been exhaustively answered since you first appeared here. I suggest you go back to all of your previous threads when you can't sleep at night and actually read the responses you were given.

*edit* Here's my comment on the link:

1- I do only perceive the material Universe so it is what I currently accept.

2- As far as can be determined a creator was not required to make what we perceive so until otherwise proved I see no need for one.

3- Nothing regarding a god has been shown to be more than myths and legends so until otherwise proved I consider all gods as such.

4- As to life and consciousness being identical that is all that can be proved and all your attempts have done nothing to dissuade me from such a position. Keep trying though you never know you may eventually find something or you may win Powerball 1st.

5- I certainly have at least one objective, to argue against your positions.

6- We already determined last year I was a robot 0111 0012 1100 0001.

7- Churches are a good way to clear out Denny's on a Sunday morning.

8- Until someone can show a return from death I will continue to take the position when the RAM in the brain no longer is powered 'That's All Folks' 

Well, you have demonstrated once again that you are completely incapable of responding to a simple request.  Why do you feel that I am obligated to respond to your post when you fail to properly respond to the OP of this thread? But I do understand why this request is an especially difficult proposition for you. You have deluded yourself into believing that you have NO beliefs! This is the irrationality that is the school of behaviorism and/or eliminative materialism. And I have learned from past experience that it is futile to attempt to engage in a rational discussion with an individual who is enslaved to such a dogma. You cannot rationally discuss beliefs with an individual who insists that he has no beliefs.

Just as an aside. I never attempted to persuade you into believing (yeah, I know that this is a difficult term for you to intellectually grasp) that life and consciousness are not identical. But I have argued that science has never proven that mental phenomena are physical. Consciousness has no physical property that has ever been measured or determined. There is no third-person perspective (which the scientific method requires) that can observe the consciousness of another. That's not speculation. That's not conjecture. That's a fact.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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jcgadfly wrote:Why should

jcgadfly wrote:

Why should geirj make a point? You haven't yet.

Yeah, that's a brilliant response. You're really impressing me.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Western Creed wrote: I

Western Creed wrote:

 

I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance.

Objective:

1. Of or having to do with a material object.2. Having actual existence or reality. 

 Subjective:

1.

     a. Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: 

     b. Particular to a given person; personal:

2. Moodily introspective.

3. Existing only in the mind; illusory.

4. Psychology Existing only within the experiencer's mind.

Since we believe the material world is reality and that Theism is an illusion of the mind, Our judgements are objective and the Theist's judgements are subjective. Their judgement are subjective to their personal delusion of God(i.e. their personal relationship with Jesus Christ).

 

Western Creed wrote:

- Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.

 

Since Free will is an illusion, we can't choose our values either. No one can choose not to live by these values. I am honest about being a hedonist. The theist must continually lie to himself an others that his real values are to please himself. If a theist's goal is the pleasure of heaven, he must 'use' people to achieve this hedonistic goal.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Paisley wrote:Well, you have

Paisley wrote:

Well, you have demonstrated once again that you are completely incapable of responding to a simple request.

Thanks for the lovely compliment.

Paisley wrote:

Why do you feel that I am obligated to respond to your post when you fail to properly respond to the OP of this thread? But I do understand why this request is an especially difficult proposition for you. You have deluded yourself into believing that you have NO beliefs! This is the irrationality that is the school of behaviorism and/or eliminative materialism. And I have learned from past experience that it is futile to attempt to engage in a rational discussion with an individual who is enslaved to such a dogma. You cannot rationally discuss beliefs with an individual who insists that he has no beliefs.

Assumptions seem to always get you in trouble something you have repeatedly shown in the last year and a half.

Paisley wrote:

Just as an aside. I never attempted to persuade you into believing (yeah, I know that this is a difficult term for you to intellectually grasp) that life and consciousness are not identical.

GASP what? Damn my robot mind just can't handle your intellectual arguments.

Paisley wrote:

But I have argued that science has never proven that mental phenomena are physical. Consciousness has no physical property that has ever been measured or determined. There is no third-person perspective (which the scientific method requires) that can observe the consciousness of another. That's not speculation. That's not conjecture. That's a fact.

It's also a fact that all we know and are aware of is the physical which is how we interact. If you have a way other than the physical to do so please do so now. I'm waiting.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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EXC wrote:Western Creed

EXC wrote:

Western Creed wrote:

 

I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance.

Objective:

1. Of or having to do with a material object.2. Having actual existence or reality. 

 Subjective:

1.

     a. Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: 

     b. Particular to a given person; personal:

2. Moodily introspective.

3. Existing only in the mind; illusory.

4. Psychology Existing only within the experiencer's mind.

Thanks, but I know the difference between subjective and objective.

EXC wrote:

Since we believe the material world is reality and that Theism is an illusion of the mind, Our judgements are objective and the Theist's judgements are subjective. Their judgement are subjective to their personal delusion of God(i.e. their personal relationship with Jesus Christ).

No, materialism is a metaphysical belief and therefore subjective, not objective.

Also, I think it is important to note that all theistic beliefs do not involve a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's strictly a Christian belief.

EXC wrote:
 

Western Creed wrote:

- Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain. 

Since Free will is an illusion, we can't choose our values either.

What scientific evidence do you have that proves conclusively that free will is illusory? Do you have something objective?

EXC wrote:

No one can choose not to live by these values. I am honest about being a hedonist. The theist must continually lie to himself an others that his real values are to please himself. If a theist's goal is the pleasure of heaven, he must 'use' people to achieve this hedonistic goal. 

So, do you subscribe to a form of egoism? Also, are you implying that we all have the same values?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Mao4EverBadi
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Quote:“I BELIEVE - in

Quote:
“I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance.”


Nope, not blind chance, just fixed laws that of course we may or may not have an understanding of.

Quote:
“I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny.”


I don’t believe that the universe has a creator, nor a purpose, meaning, or destiny that it is carrying out, or even by what mechanism it is consciously acting with in any way whatsoever.

Quote:
“I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions. - Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny.”


When you speak the sound “god” you’re simply talking about concepts in people’s minds, there is no evidence that would lead one to believe that gods are anything other than concepts in people’s minds kept firmly in place by a public opinion-molding machine in the control of those who reap benefits from keeping people steeped in religion.

There are certainly enlightened beings, but of course there are no magic spells, magic beings etc.. involved. And the question of meaning and purpose needs to be expounded upon. What do you mean exactly by objective purpose? Are you asking me if something out there or independent of me has a set purpose for me in life? Well I think they do, it’s called the capitalist ruling class, but seeing as they’ve failed in their objective purpose for me (work-give me the overwhelming majority of wealth that your labor produces- make more workers-die) then it’s not objective anymore I suppose. I get to choose my meaning and destiny in the parameters of an environment created by the ruling class.


Quote:
“I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance. - Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.”


Look, never listen to what a preacher or apologist tells you about what atheists believe, or what a rich person tells you about a communist, and I won’t go to a satan worshipper to learn about Jesus…okay?

I do believe that objective morality exists. I don’t believe in most situations that we are capable of determining which actions we take will cause the less overall harm in the world, but there certainly are actions in any situation that do lead to there being less harm in the world as compared to other potential actions. Through gathering more knowledge about our environment we can become more moral as a society and as individuals. I seriously doubt we’ll ever be able to determine which actions are the most moral ones to take in each and every situation, but the more you know…..

The selfish beliefs you refer to here are a direct product of the public opinion-molding machine in the hands of the capitalist ruling class. It’s not natural law that humans will act in a set way in all environments. Our actions are based on our beliefs. Our environment under capitalism makes for beliefs that stacking cash is more important than humanity, but this system is not forever to be with us. Your belief that atheists, by rule, are selfish is made look foolish by the existence of glorious Maoist people’s movements in Southeast Asia (Nepal, India etc..) where poor atheists numbering in the thousands routinely become martyrs for humanity showing the utmost and unparalleled selflessness.  

Quote:
“I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support - that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for - that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions. - Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others. “


Nope, nobody’s going to come and make everything okay. No one is going to come from the sky and take care of the bad people. We must do these things ourselves and religion provides the perfect mindset that allows the capitalist ruling class to maintain it’s dictatorship over the common people…why bother struggling against our oppressors now when all will be made right by magical means?

Again the selfishness you think is innate is a product of the public opinion-molding machine in the hands of the capitalist ruling class. And sin is a concept that I don’t accept the validity of, or welcome it’s muddying of the waters on moral issues and the rivers of tears that this made up concept has unnecessarily caused to pour from humanity.

Quote:
“I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense. “


Perhaps they’ll eventually be able to keep human minds alive without “bodies” but until then, yep nonsense. This is our only life, humanity is the most important thing there is, get with it.


Paisley
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, you have demonstrated once again that you are completely incapable of responding to a simple request.

Thanks for the lovely compliment.

It was an observation, not a compliment.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Why do you feel that I am obligated to respond to your post when you fail to properly respond to the OP of this thread? But I do understand why this request is an especially difficult proposition for you. You have deluded yourself into believing that you have NO beliefs! This is the irrationality that is the school of behaviorism and/or eliminative materialism. And I have learned from past experience that it is futile to attempt to engage in a rational discussion with an individual who is enslaved to such a dogma. You cannot rationally discuss beliefs with an individual who insists that he has no beliefs.

Assumptions seem to always get you in trouble something you have repeatedly shown in the last year and a half.

I believe that in the past you expressed the belief that you believe that you have no beliefs. Are you insinuating that my assumpition (i.e. belief) is incorrect? If so, then let's clarify this issue. Do you believe you have  beliefs? Yes or no? I expect an answer, not an evasive ploy.

(Just phrasing the question is an exercise in irrationality that makes me dizzy.) 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Just as an aside. I never attempted to persuade you into believing (yeah, I know that this is a difficult term for you to intellectually grasp) that life and consciousness are not identical.

GASP what? Damn my robot mind just can't handle your intellectual arguments.

Agreed.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

But I have argued that science has never proven that mental phenomena are physical. Consciousness has no physical property that has ever been measured or determined. There is no third-person perspective (which the scientific method requires) that can observe the consciousness of another. That's not speculation. That's not conjecture. That's a fact.

It's also a fact that all we know and are aware of is the physical which is how we interact. If you have a way other than the physical to do so please do so now. I'm waiting.

Yes, I do. It's called the mental. And clearly we are dependent on the mental for our interaction. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that has proved beyond all reproach that mental phenomena are physical. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that free will is an illusion. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that what we conventionally call the physical is actually physical.

You who don't believe in assumptions are guilty of making quite a few.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


pauljohntheskeptic
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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Why do you feel that I am obligated to respond to your post when you fail to properly respond to the OP of this thread? But I do understand why this request is an especially difficult proposition for you. You have deluded yourself into believing that you have NO beliefs! This is the irrationality that is the school of behaviorism and/or eliminative materialism. And I have learned from past experience that it is futile to attempt to engage in a rational discussion with an individual who is enslaved to such a dogma. You cannot rationally discuss beliefs with an individual who insists that he has no beliefs.

Assumptions seem to always get you in trouble something you have repeatedly shown in the last year and a half.

I believe that in the past you expressed the belief that you believe that you have no beliefs. Are you insinuating that my assumpition (i.e. belief) is incorrect? If so, then let's clarify this issue. Do you believe you have  beliefs? Yes or no? I expect an answer, not an evasive ploy.

(Just phrasing the question is an exercise in irrationality that makes me dizzy.) 

Imagine that!

I have positions that can be changed by proof and evidence. As an engineer I operate in a world of the physical based on material characteristics of physical reality. What I accept in general I have tested and proved. I have not in fact tested all aspects of physics but sufficient to rely on the established principles. Where I rely on the work of others you may suggest I have a belief and so I do. However, I can test these beliefs in the lab to verify if I choose to take the time to do so. What I cannot test is subjects such as the origin of the Universe, what occurred prior to our Universe, and non-observable reality which you call spiritual.

As I have repeatedly told you in the past you jump to conclusions on insufficient knowledge instead of waiting for science to progress. In due time much more will be known and your conjecture will either be shown to be in error or validated. It serves no purpose to insist your beliefs that have no substantial basis are reality when so much is not known. You need to wait for more testing and experimentation which may take far longer than your own existence. The problem of course is if one does not approach the unknown objectively one can never progress. If one does not challenge one's positions no progress will occur in understanding. In all fairness I don't outright dismiss the subjects you bring to the forums, sometimes it's quite interesting but so have claims of engineers I have known which turn out to be a dead end road after extensive investigation. 

So, yes I have beliefs but they are subject to challenge. Are yours?

 

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

But I have argued that science has never proven that mental phenomena are physical. Consciousness has no physical property that has ever been measured or determined. There is no third-person perspective (which the scientific method requires) that can observe the consciousness of another. That's not speculation. That's not conjecture. That's a fact.

It's also a fact that all we know and are aware of is the physical which is how we interact. If you have a way other than the physical to do so please do so now. I'm waiting.

Yes, I do. It's called the mental. And clearly we are dependent on the mental for our interaction. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that has proved beyond all reproach that mental phenomena are physical. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that free will is an illusion. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that what we conventionally call the physical is actually physical.

You who don't believe in assumptions are guilty of making quite a few.

We had this discussion in one of your other threads at least once or twice.

We all may be in the Matrix or the 13th Floor and have no clue. I'm reasonably certain that the world I observe is not one I created so I can eliminate that.

I currently assume that we are not in a computer simulation though I could be wrong.

If we actually are and are not electrical pulses in an advanced computer system then it seems all we have is that which we observe, We observe in the physical which is where this discussion appears to be occurring, if we aren't just electrical pulses in a simulation. As the physical is all we can observe or measure with our senses and the tools we construct I have no way to observe or grasp that which is not physical. That which you may construe to be non-physical may just be misunderstood and require far more research and study. This is what I have told you time and time again.

Mental activity operates in the physical realm as electrical pulses indicate. When the electrical activity ceases permanently, so does the mental as far as we can presently discern. If there is more, than as I have said to you, put it on the lab table for dissection. I'm open to seeing progress in understanding our Universe in all its complexity but I'm not willing to lay explanations on claims that have insufficient reproduction or verification. 

Is free will an illusion or is it real? With the info one has one makes a decision based on the data. Go right not left. Can you go left? Yes. Why didn't you? Just didn't. If you repeat will you do the same thing again. Not if it involves something you did wrong and now know. The problem is you can't go back to repeat the situation so one can't really test. If one could redo the situation everyone would win Lotto. 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Paisley wrote:This is

Paisley wrote:

This is shocking. Perhaps I should commend you for at least adhering to proper forum etiquette by actually reading the OP before posting. This is progress!

Well, it WAS posted by you, so it takes a severe amount of boredom to bother.

Quote:

 

Actually, I see a problem here. In the deterministic world that is materialism, there is no possibility of chance. IOW, the belief in strict determinism (every event has a cause) logically precludes the possibility of chance or indeterminism (events occurring without a cause). You can't have it both ways.

Sure, from a strict materialist point of view, it's all determined. From an individual's point of view, it makes no difference whether the element of "chance" that I see is an illusion. It's a factor beyond my control and beyond my ability to predict, therefore it might as well be true chance to me.

Quote:

Also, the belief in strict determinism does not agree with the prevailing scientific theory. According to quantum theory, nature is fundamentally indeterminate.

Depends on the interpretation you look at. The Bohr interpretation does not say that, if I recall. And the idea of a single unified wave function for everything would also allows it.

Quote:

Okay. Fair enough. Just for clarity, are you implying that a deity may have revealed him or herself to another?

Sure. And underwear gnomes might be pillaging my dresser, too.

Quote:

Or, are you implying that the existence of God is simply not a possiblity? IOW, would you be willing to accept some form of evidence as evidence for the existence of God? If so, what form of evidence would that be?

The same evidence that convinces me that my coffee cup exists would do nicely. You know, the empirical type.

Quote:

Just for clarity, you don't believe in nonphysical forces?

If by non-physical you mean supernatural, no.

Quote:

 

In addition, I want to stress the point that the belief that "life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes" is just that - a belief. IOW, this has never been established by science.

Here, let me show you how to prove it. Take a saw, and begin cutting through your skull. Make sure to be careful, staunch the blood flow, and don't damage the brain. Make a careful incision all the way around, and pull off the top of your skull, exposing the brain. Now, take a stick and poke it at random. Observe the effects of these purely physical processes on your consciousness. If you survive, you will have generated more proof that consciousness is a physical process than has ever been generated by those who claim it is not.

Similarly, you could try to disrupt the physical processes in your body to determine whether life will continue without them. You might have a bit of trouble taking notes at that point, so maybe you should localize it to some fingers or a testicle or something. See if removing the physical processes which support that tissue has no effect.

Quote:

You believe that there are objective judgments, values, and morals? This is interesting. How do you account for a moral universe? Please elaborate.

Calling it a "moral universe" is a loaded term. I define morality strictly in human terms. Subtract the humans from the equation, and morality disappears. But it's rather simple: as social animals, humans display behaviors. Behaviors which promote the life and health of the group and the individual are labeled "good," others are neutral, and those which harm the group or individual are labeled "bad." Most of these behaviors are evolved, and we are simply codifying them when we write laws.

Quote:

To reiterate: Chance plays not part in a completely deterministic world.

to reiterate: From an individual perspective, events beyond our ability to perceive causation for are effectively chance.

Quote:

Why is it irrelevant?

I've explained this before. I react to stimuli from my environment and have for my whole living history. Whether those stimuli are determined or affected by chance is immaterial to my perception of free will.

Quote:

You either believe in it or you don't. And the fact is that you have just gone on record and expressed the belief that free will is an illusion. If it is an illusion, then the burden of proof is upon you to prove it. Why? Because we have first-person evidence that says otherwise.

You are delusional. I have no such evidence. My current state of mind was shaped by events all through my life. My decisions are explicable from the information I have and my desires.

Quote:

 

The question here is not whether humans are communal animals (dogs are social animals too...but many folks are apt to say "this is a dog eat dog world" ). Rather, the question is, given an atheistic and materialistic worldview, what is the rational basis for ethics.

Outlined above.

Quote:

Many atheists are proponents of Ayn Rand's atheistic philosophy which upholds egoism as being rational while denouncing altruism as irrational. On the other hand, other atheists subscribe to some form of secular humanism which has a more favorable view of altruism. Clearly, these are two different sides of the spectrum. However, given that atheists promote rationalism (e.g. this particular forum calls itself the "Rational Response Squad" ), why the discrepancy between such disparate views?

Perhaps because you expect that there is only one rational answer?

Quote:

Okay, but you do believe they fulfill some kind of social support. There appears to be another member here who is arguing that they serve no social function whatsoever.

Certainly. They fulfill a lot of functions, most of them irrational and dangerous.

Quote:

Okay. But you still have to provide the rational basis for altruism.

Already did.

Quote:

Okay. But I think it is fair to say that you have a morbid worldview. And I can't see why anyone would object for characterizing it as such.

I'm morbid because I don't moon for a pie in the sky fantasy world? I would certainly object. It's a stupid characterization. The first definition of morbid is "suggesting an unhealthy mental state or attitude; unwholesomely gloomy, sensitive, extreme, etc." I am perfectly healthy and happy. I consider those who feel that moral behavior and a meaningful life require a sky deity to be morbid and ill.

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


Paisley
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Mao4EverBadi wrote:Quote:"I

Mao4EverBadi wrote:

Quote:
"I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance."


Nope, not blind chance, just fixed laws that of course we may or may not have an understanding of.

Good. You understand that determinism precludes the possiblity of chance. Unfortunately, this is a difficult concept for many on this forum to grasp.

That you believe in "fixed laws" is a belief that is ultimately taken on faith. I think it is important that you acknowledge this. Everyone's worldview is ultimately based on faith. There are no exceptions (well, with the possible exception of the experiential knowledge acquired through religious mysticism).

By the way, I commend you for actually responding to the request as outlined in the OP. That separates you from the vast majority of individuals who participate on this forum.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny."


I don’t believe that the universe has a creator, nor a purpose, meaning, or destiny that it is carrying out, or even by what mechanism it is consciously acting with in any way whatsoever.

You seem to be implying that the universe may be "consciously acting?" Do you believe this?

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions. - Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny."


When you speak the sound "god" you’re simply talking about concepts in people’s minds, there is no evidence that would lead one to believe that gods are anything other than concepts in people’s minds kept firmly in place by a public opinion-molding machine in the control of those who reap benefits from keeping people steeped in religion.

Human beings are predisposed to have some belief in a divine or spiritual reality. Call it a religious or spiritual impulse. That the vast majority have some form of spiritual beliefs, even in circumstances where the state seeks to stamp out all such beliefs out (e.g. communist regimes), provides proof-positive to this assertion.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


There are certainly enlightened beings, but of course there are no magic spells, magic beings etc.. involved. And the question of meaning and purpose needs to be expounded upon.

Please define what you mean by "enlightened beings?" Can you provide me with an example?

Mao4EverBadi wrote:

What do you mean exactly by objective purpose? Are you asking me if something out there or independent of me has a set purpose for me in life? Well I think they do, it’s called the capitalist ruling class, but seeing as they’ve failed in their objective purpose for me (work-give me the overwhelming majority of wealth that your labor produces- make more workers-die) then it’s not objective anymore I suppose. I get to choose my meaning and destiny in the parameters of an environment created by the ruling class.

What exactly is "Radical Humanism?" What is its relation to Communism or Marxism? Is this the movement founded by the Indian political activist "Manabendra Nath Roy?"

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance. - Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain."


Look, never listen to what a preacher or apologist tells you about what atheists believe, or what a rich person tells you about a communist, and I won’t go to a satan worshipper to learn about Jesus…okay?

I do believe that objective morality exists. I don’t believe in most situations that we are capable of determining which actions we take will cause the less overall harm in the world, but there certainly are actions in any situation that do lead to there being less harm in the world as compared to other potential actions. Through gathering more knowledge about our environment we can become more moral as a society and as individuals. I seriously doubt we’ll ever be able to determine which actions are the most moral ones to take in each and every situation, but the more you know…..

You believe in "objective morality?" That implies that the universe is moral. In the deterministic worldview that is atheistic or scientific materialism, the world-process is neither good nor bad. Moreover, whatever happens could not have been otherwise. I suppose you could argue that nature is always seeking balance. But to argue that nature (as a whole) is always seeking a greater good is to argue for a moral universe. Such an argument implies pantheism, not atheism.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


The selfish beliefs you refer to here are a direct product of the public opinion-molding machine in the hands of the capitalist ruling class. It’s not natural law that humans will act in a set way in all environments. Our actions are based on our beliefs, Our environment under capitalism makes for beliefs that stacking cash is more important than humanity, but this system is not forever to be with us, Your belief that atheists, by rule, are selfish is made look foolish by the existence of glorious Maoist people's movements in Southeast Asia (Nepal, India etc..) where poor atheists numbering in the thousands routinely become martyrs for humanity showing the utmost and unparalleled selflessness.

But the fact of the matter is that Libertarians (who seem to embrace pure laissez faire capitalism) are primarily influenced by Ayn Rand's atheistic philosophy of "rational egoism."

As I see it, both modern capitalism and socialism are based on sceintific materialism and therefore engender materialistic values. Both are spiritually-impoverished economic systems. And both are dentrimental to the environment.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support - that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for - that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions. - Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others. "


Nope, nobody’s going to come and make everything okay. No one is going to come from the sky and take care of the bad people. We must do these things ourselves and religion provides the perfect mindset that allows the capitalist ruling class to maintain it’s dictatorship over the common people...why bother struggling against our oppressors now when all will be made right by magical means?

Are you familiar with Liberation Theology?

Quote:

 

is a school of theology within Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church. It emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism. Its theologians consider sin the root source of poverty, believing sin as exploitative capitalism and class war by the rich against the poor.

(source: Wikipedia: Liberation theology)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology

Marx's dialectic is a perversion of Hegel's dialectic. The former is atheistic and materialistic; the latter is pantheistic and spiritual.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:

Quote:
"I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense. "


Perhaps they’ll eventually be able to keep human minds alive without "bodies" but until then, yep nonsense

You're not serious...are you?

Mao4EverBadi wrote:

This is our only life, humanity is the most important thing there is, get with it.

Human beings have spiritual needs as well as material needs.

"It is written, Man does not live by bread alone." Matthew 4:1

And typically, violence only breeds more violence.

"For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Matthew 26:52

Religious conviction and political or social activism are not mutually exclusive.

Liberation theology

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:Mao4EverBadi

Paisley wrote:


Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance."


Nope, not blind chance, just fixed laws that of course we may or may not have an understanding of.



Quote:
Good. You understand that determinism precludes the possiblity of chance. Unfortunately, this is a difficult concept for many on this forum to grasp.

That you believe in "fixed laws" is a belief that is ultimately taken on faith. I think it is important that you acknowledge this. Everyone's worldview is ultimately based on faith. There are no exceptions (well, with the possible exception of the experiential knowledge acquired through religious mysticism).

By the way, I commend you for actually responding to the request as outlined in the OP. That separates you from the vast majority of individuals who participate on this forum.


I claim knowledge of a fixed law, ball drops to the ground when I let it go. This is faith to you? I believe we’re going to have communication problems. Even under some bizarre definition of faith that includes things which have been demonstrated to you, I think you have to acknowledge that there are varying degrees of “faith.”

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny."


I don’t believe that the universe has a creator, nor a purpose, meaning, or destiny that it is carrying out, or even by what mechanism it is consciously acting with in any way whatsoever.


Quote:
You seem to be implying that the universe may be "consciously acting?" Do you believe this?


No, I was answering the question that assumes that the universe is alive or something and has a purpose for us. Further explain what this person means by “purpose” “meaning” and “destiny” To me this implies that the person who wrote this thinks that the universe is alive and acting or thinks that some atheists do or something.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions. - Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny."


When you speak the sound "god" you’re simply talking about concepts in people’s minds, there is no evidence that would lead one to believe that gods are anything other than concepts in people’s minds kept firmly in place by a public opinion-molding machine in the control of those who reap benefits from keeping people steeped in religion.


Quote:
Human beings are predisposed to have some belief in a divine or spiritual reality. Call it a religious or spiritual impulse. That the vast majority have some form of spiritual beliefs, even in circumstances where the state seeks to stamp out all such beliefs out (e.g. communist regimes), provides proof-positive to this assertion.


You state that we are predisposed to believe in these things, but this is not true or backed up with evidence. People’s beliefs and behaviors are formed by their environment and furthermore by the public opinion-molding machine in their environment. The public opinion-molding machine is by no means omnipotent, it simply forms what is considered normal in society and decides what information will be most accessible based on the interests of those in control of it. There will always be those who escape full control of the dictator’s public opinion-molding machine, but if you get too close to their power you’ll feel their guns..their command of the armed forces.


Mao4EverBadi wrote:


There are certainly enlightened beings, but of course there are no magic spells, magic beings etc.. involved. And the question of meaning and purpose needs to be expounded upon.



Quote:
Please define what you mean by "enlightened beings?" Can you provide me with an example?


Why should I? The person who wrote this didn’t bother. I think those whose ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are enlightened, as I’ve stated, there is no magic (supernatural beliefs) involved here.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


What do you mean exactly by objective purpose? Are you asking me if something out there or independent of me has a set purpose for me in life? Well I think they do, it’s called the capitalist ruling class, but seeing as they’ve failed in their objective purpose for me (work-give me the overwhelming majority of wealth that your labor produces- make more workers-die) then it’s not objective anymore I suppose. I get to choose my meaning and destiny in the parameters of an environment created by the ruling class.



Quote:
What exactly is "Radical Humanism?" What is its relation to Communism or Marxism? Is this the movement founded by the Indian political activist "Manabendra Nath Roy?"


Humanism is the belief that there is nothing more important than humanity, radical means basic. No this is not the rather obscure philosophy of M. Roy, rather simply me repackaging MLM so that those who are so turned off by the words will even attempt to engage the content. Note to others, this tactic doesn’t work, they still won’t engage the substance of what you put forth.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance. - Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain."


Look, never listen to what a preacher or apologist tells you about what atheists believe, or what a rich person tells you about a communist, and I won’t go to a satan worshipper to learn about Jesus…okay?

I do believe that objective morality exists. I don’t believe in most situations that we are capable of determining which actions we take will cause the less overall harm in the world, but there certainly are actions in any situation that do lead to there being less harm in the world as compared to other potential actions. Through gathering more knowledge about our environment we can become more moral as a society and as individuals. I seriously doubt we’ll ever be able to determine which actions are the most moral ones to take in each and every situation, but the more you know…..



Quote:
You believe in "objective morality?" That implies that the universe is moral. In the deterministic worldview that is atheistic or scientific materialism, the world-process is neither good nor bad. Moreover, whatever happens could not have been otherwise. I suppose you could argue that nature is always seeking balance. But to argue that nature (as a whole) is always seeking a greater good is to argue for a moral universe. Such an argument implies pantheism, not atheism.


No, I don’t imply that the universe is moral. I imply that there is a definite action in any situation that objectively translates to less harm in the world, ergo that action is objectively the moral one to take.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


The selfish beliefs you refer to here are a direct product of the public opinion-molding machine in the hands of the capitalist ruling class. It’s not natural law that humans will act in a set way in all environments. Our actions are based on our beliefs, Our environment under capitalism makes for beliefs that stacking cash is more important than humanity, but this system is not forever to be with us, Your belief that atheists, by rule, are selfish is made look foolish by the existence of glorious Maoist people's movements in Southeast Asia (Nepal, India etc..) where poor atheists numbering in the thousands routinely become martyrs for humanity showing the utmost and unparalleled selflessness.



Quote:
But the fact of the matter is that Libertarians (who seem to embrace pure laissez faire capitalism) are primarily influenced by Ayn Rand's atheistic philosophy of "rational egoism."

As I see it, both modern capitalism and socialism are based on sceintific materialism and therefore engender materialistic values. Both are spiritually-impoverished economic systems. And both are dentrimental to the environment.


Yes I am familiar with the Randbots, they are enemies of humanity firmly on the side of the capitalist ruling class.

Do you know of any other alternatives to capitalism or socialism/communism? Either the ownership of the means of production are in the hands of individuals with property rights who use them to make profits for themselves (capitalism) or in much more environmentally friendly common ownership where goods are produced for need rather than profit (communism). I’m very interested in any alternatives and you shouldn’t post here with them, you need to write your papers outlining this new potential system to people and distribute them widely.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support - that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for - that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions. - Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others. "


Nope, nobody’s going to come and make everything okay. No one is going to come from the sky and take care of the bad people. We must do these things ourselves and religion provides the perfect mindset that allows the capitalist ruling class to maintain it’s dictatorship over the common people...why bother struggling against our oppressors now when all will be made right by magical means?



Quote:
Are you familiar with Liberation Theology?


Yes I am very familiar with that oxymoron. And yes there are many who do good work that are motivated by various sections of cherry picked holy text. Chattel slavery in this country in where the slaves took up the religion of their oppressors is a glaring example of the power of the public opinion-molding machine.

Quote:
Marx's dialectic is a perversion of Hegel's dialectic. The former is atheistic and materialistic; the latter is pantheistic and spiritual.


Well I disagree, perhaps you’ll provide a more substantive criticism. On what evidence do you base the claim that the science of Marxism is pantheistic and spritual..I assume you’re meaning in the supernatural sense.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


Quote:
"I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense. "


Perhaps they’ll eventually be able to keep human minds alive without "bodies" but until then, yep nonsense



Quote:
You're not serious...are you?


Yes. Serious. When you die that’s it. Humanity is the most important thing there is..dead serious.

Mao4EverBadi wrote:


This is our only life, humanity is the most important thing there is, get with it.



Quote:
Human beings have spiritual needs as well as material needs.

"It is written, Man does not live by bread alone." Matthew 4:1

And typically, violence only breeds more violence.

"For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Matthew 26:52

Religious conviction and political or social activism are not mutually exclusive.

Liberation theology


Violence breeds more violence. So the chattel slaves were wrong to revolt? I see your logic and it disgusts me.

And no magical spiritual needs here, am I not human?
 


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Paisley wrote:What

Paisley wrote:
What scientific evidence do you have that proves conclusively that free will is illusory?Do you have something objective?

Well in the first place 'free will' can't even be defined. Also there is no standard by which one judge what has free will and what does not. There are tons of scientific studies that indicate that 'free will' is an illusion. The studies that indicate otherwise have all been debunked. Here is one for example:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/science/02free.html

So my problem with this creed is that 'no free will' means that nature has decided my values, not some creed that I follow.

Paisley wrote:
So, do you subscribe to a form of egoism? Also, are you implying that we all have the same values?

Egoism as a philosophy is impossible since we don't have free will to choose anything else. So no free will means we all have the same values(hedonistic). Nueroscience and psychology are pretty clear on why we do things. To produce pleasurable sensations in the limbic system and avoid unpleasant ones. This is everyone's values. Religion had to invent heaven and hell because humans always operate on maximizing pleasure/minimizing pain.

You are a theist because this produces an more pleasurable sensations that not believing. I'm an atheist because not believing is more pleasurable. We're both selfish hedonists, we can't choose any other values. I admit this, you don't.

Religion will end only when science produces something better at reproducing religions' pleasures and opiate effects.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I believe that in the past you expressed the belief that you believe that you have no beliefs. Are you insinuating that my assumpition (i.e. belief) is incorrect? If so, then let's clarify this issue. Do you believe you have  beliefs? Yes or no? I expect an answer, not an evasive ploy.

(Just phrasing the question is an exercise in irrationality that makes me dizzy.) 

Imagine that!

I have positions that can be changed by proof and evidence. As an engineer I operate in a world of the physical based on material characteristics of physical reality. What I accept in general I have tested and proved. I have not in fact tested all aspects of physics but sufficient to rely on the established principles. Where I rely on the work of others you may suggest I have a belief and so I do. However, I can test these beliefs in the lab to verify if I choose to take the time to do so. What I cannot test is subjects such as the origin of the Universe, what occurred prior to our Universe, and non-observable reality which you call spiritual.

The bottom line is that you have beliefs. And you cannot test and validate all beliefs (even in theory). Therefore, you are ultimately operating on faith.

Also, the spiritual can be experienced.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As I have repeatedly told you in the past you jump to conclusions on insufficient knowledge instead of waiting for science to progress. In due time much more will be known and your conjecture will either be shown to be in error or validated. It serves no purpose to insist your beliefs that have no substantial basis are reality when so much is not known.

The point that I have consistently argued on this forum is that everyone has a metaphysical belief that is ultimately taken on faith. Materialism is a metaphysical belief.

Also, what exactly is my "conjecture?"

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You need to wait for more testing and experimentation which may take far longer than your own existence.

What exactly are you expecting me to wait for?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

The problem of course is if one does not approach the unknown objectively one can never progress. If one does not challenge one's positions no progress will occur in understanding. In all fairness I don't outright dismiss the subjects you bring to the forums, sometimes it's quite interesting but so have claims of engineers I have known which turn out to be a dead end road after extensive investigation. 

So, yes I have beliefs but they are subject to challenge. Are yours?

Yes, my beliefs are subject to modification.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, I do. It's called the mental. And clearly we are dependent on the mental for our interaction. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that has proved beyond all reproach that mental phenomena are physical. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that free will is an illusion. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that what we conventionally call the physical is actually physical.

You who don't believe in assumptions are guilty of making quite a few.

If we actually are and are not electrical pulses in an advanced computer system then it seems all we have is that which we observe, We observe in the physical which is where this discussion appears to be occurring, if we aren't just electrical pulses in a simulation. As the physical is all we can observe or measure with our senses and the tools we construct I have no way to observe or grasp that which is not physical.

No, this is not entirely true. We can observe mental phenomena. And this is made abundantly clear by our first-person experience.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

That which you may construe to be non-physical may just be misunderstood and require far more research and study. This is what I have told you time and time again.

Mental phenomena cannot be study from the third-person perspective (not even in theory).

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Mental activity operates in the physical realm as electrical pulses indicate. When the electrical activity ceases permanently, so does the mental as far as we can presently discern. If there is more, than as I have said to you, put it on the lab table for dissection. I'm open to seeing progress in understanding our Universe in all its complexity but I'm not willing to lay explanations on claims that have insufficient reproduction or verification. 

I have already presented the evidence for parapsychology (psi phenomena). Your refusal to accept the evidence does not change the fact that there is evidence.

Also, the prevailing evidence in physics does not actually support materialism (quantum theory and the theory of relativity).

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Is free will an illusion or is it real? With the info one has one makes a decision based on the data. Go right not left. Can you go left? Yes. Why didn't you? Just didn't. If you repeat will you do the same thing again. Not if it involves something you did wrong and now know. The problem is you can't go back to repeat the situation so one can't really test. If one could redo the situation everyone would win Lotto. 

True, we cannot go back and repeat the situation. However, even if we take this argument into consideration, the probabilities that free will is illusory is only 50-50 (at best). Therefore, why should we presume that materialism is correct when the odds are only 50-50? Besides, the prevailing scientific evidence (quantum mechanics) indicates that nature is fundamentally indeterminate (i.e. physical events occurring without physical causes).

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I have positions that can be changed by proof and evidence. As an engineer I operate in a world of the physical based on material characteristics of physical reality. What I accept in general I have tested and proved. I have not in fact tested all aspects of physics but sufficient to rely on the established principles. Where I rely on the work of others you may suggest I have a belief and so I do. However, I can test these beliefs in the lab to verify if I choose to take the time to do so. What I cannot test is subjects such as the origin of the Universe, what occurred prior to our Universe, and non-observable reality which you call spiritual.

The bottom line is that you have beliefs. And you cannot test and validate all beliefs (even in theory). Therefore, you are ultimately operating on faith.

Also, the spiritual can be experienced.

Call it what you will, but if I choose to study and test a belief that I hold or accept a theory, law, postulate or whatever because it holds valid in my understanding based on my study, research, and interelated scientific training it is not faith. Remember, I'm an engineer, not a scientist, so I have studied multiple disciplines but not to the level required to develop new theories. I may have designed multiple products that you unknowingly use in your life, but no new theories were developed in the process. In the case of the origin of the Universe and the conditions prior to said event I remain undecided and choose the course of I don't know.

What someone experiences that they attribute to spiritual first off occurs in their physical body, they sense it some way, therefore it is part of the physical materialistic reality. Where such experience is generated or caused is likely still beyond understanding and is part of my criticism of those that jump to conclusions on inadequate knowledge. Far as I know it may originate in the 11th dimension, which would still be materialistic if it really exists.

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As I have repeatedly told you in the past you jump to conclusions on insufficient knowledge instead of waiting for science to progress. In due time much more will be known and your conjecture will either be shown to be in error or validated. It serves no purpose to insist your beliefs that have no substantial basis are reality when so much is not known.

The point that I have consistently argued on this forum is that everyone has a metaphysical belief that is ultimately taken on faith. Materialism is a metaphysical belief.

I know, and you sound like a bot at times. Several times I have wondered if that is what you are because of your rigidity in your answers and your approach.

Paisley wrote:

Also, what exactly is my "conjecture?"

See all of your previous threads, have you somehow lost those memories?

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You need to wait for more testing and experimentation which may take far longer than your own existence.

What exactly are you expecting me to wait for?

More information, knowledge, test results, and verification.

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

The problem of course is if one does not approach the unknown objectively one can never progress. If one does not challenge one's positions no progress will occur in understanding. In all fairness I don't outright dismiss the subjects you bring to the forums, sometimes it's quite interesting but so have claims of engineers I have known which turn out to be a dead end road after extensive investigation. 

So, yes I have beliefs but they are subject to challenge. Are yours?

Yes, my beliefs are subject to modification.

Good.

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, I do. It's called the mental. And clearly we are dependent on the mental for our interaction. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that has proved beyond all reproach that mental phenomena are physical. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that free will is an illusion. Please provide me with the scientific evidence that what we conventionally call the physical is actually physical.

You who don't believe in assumptions are guilty of making quite a few.

If we actually are and are not electrical pulses in an advanced computer system then it seems all we have is that which we observe, We observe in the physical which is where this discussion appears to be occurring, if we aren't just electrical pulses in a simulation. As the physical is all we can observe or measure with our senses and the tools we construct I have no way to observe or grasp that which is not physical.

No, this is not entirely true. We can observe mental phenomena. And this is made abundantly clear by our first-person experience.

And you do this observing in your physical existence unless you are a bunch of electrons in a simulation and don't really exist. Though at some point we may have to argue over AI robots if they become self aware as to what they are.

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

That which you may construe to be non-physical may just be misunderstood and require far more research and study. This is what I have told you time and time again.

Mental phenomena cannot be study from the third-person perspective (not even in theory).

So you say for now. If anything exists in the physical related to mental phenoma eventually it will be measured and observed though probably not soon enough to make you happy. You seem to want all of your answers right now and skip the research, investigation and study. Where's the fun in that?

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Mental activity operates in the physical realm as electrical pulses indicate. When the electrical activity ceases permanently, so does the mental as far as we can presently discern. If there is more, than as I have said to you, put it on the lab table for dissection. I'm open to seeing progress in understanding our Universe in all its complexity but I'm not willing to lay explanations on claims that have insufficient reproduction or verification. 

I have already presented the evidence for parapsychology (psi phenomena). Your refusal to accept the evidence does not change the fact that there is evidence.

I remember, and I don't disagree that something is observed but as I told you before there's not enough to verify it and more needs to be done. Again, don't jump to conclusions, file the info in your working file and continue to investigate and research. Again, what if it occurs in dimensions that we can't yet measure but mathematically they may be real. Does that make it spiritual, or material? I say it would be materially based. 

Paisley wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Is free will an illusion or is it real? With the info one has one makes a decision based on the data. Go right not left. Can you go left? Yes. Why didn't you? Just didn't. If you repeat will you do the same thing again. Not if it involves something you did wrong and now know. The problem is you can't go back to repeat the situation so one can't really test. If one could redo the situation everyone would win Lotto. 

True, we cannot go back and repeat the situation. However, even if we take this argument into consideration, the probabilities that free will is illusory is only 50-50 (at best). Therefore, why should we presume that materialism is correct when the odds are only 50-50? Besides, the prevailing scientific evidence (quantum mechanics) indicates that nature is fundamentally indeterminate (i.e. physical events occurring without physical causes).

And do you really understand what that means?

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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I agree with every passage

I agree with every passage that I have omitted. Here are my objections:

Quote:
and blind chance.

No. For something to act at random is for it to act in contradiction to its nature. Nothing acts at random.

Quote:
- Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes -
 

Not obviously. I used to be certain that our minds are identical to our brains, but I have read Searle's arguments since then. A thought can be "ambivalent," but I don't know what would make me call a piece of matter ambivalent, unless I actually meant that it was having a thought that was ambivalent. Again, a piece of matter can have velocity and mass, but I don't know what would make me say that my thoughts have velocity or mass. Those two sorts of considerations make me unsure whether my mind is actually identical to my brain.

Quote:
- Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny.

I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance. - Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.

No. We can use other life forms to understand our situation. Every life form pursues its own well-being. It even makes sense to say that life forms are supposed to pursue their own well-being. For example, it makes perfectly good sense to say that a flower is supposed to grow from a seed, or to say that a wolf is supposed to run with its pack. On that basis, I hold that the preservation of my life is the objective purpose of my life.

Quote:
or reward for virtue

No. If the position I expressed above is true, then life is the reward of virtue.

Quote:
- although there may be social consequences of actions. - Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others.

No! What a horrible, cynical thing to say. This says nothing about materialistic atheism, but a lot about its author.


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Asthetic masterbation?

Asthetic masterbation?


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Haven't responded to one of these before so...

Quote:

Here is the creed...

Creed is a poor word choice here due to the connotation.  While some definitions do work, the proper definition to use here is a codified set of beliefs.  It's important to note that my "creed" is different from the theistic creeds.  The theistic creeds are asserted on the basis of faith and authority.  My "creed" is asserted on the basis of logic, reason, and evidence.

 

Quote:

I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance.

Correction:

I believe in the material universe - as the only and ultimate meaningful reality - a non-deterministic universe controlled by fixed physical laws including the chance/randomness nature of quantum mechanics.  Fixed laws does not imply fixed outcome.

 

Quote:

I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny.

Correction:

I believe (why change words here?) that the universe has no conscious creator and thus no purpose.  I believe the universe has no destiny on acount of it being non-deterministic, and I believe that applying the term "objective meaning" to the universe as a whole doesn't make any sense, as it presupposes non-universe viewpoints that may not exist and are ultimately meaningless.

 

Quote:

I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions. - Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny.

Correction:

I believe that all current ideas about the supernatural are superstitions and delusions.  Life and consciousness are a holistic result of physical processes, which arose from interactions of non-conscious physical forces.  My life/consciousness has one objective purpose, to ensure the survival of my race.  I believe that applying the term "meaning" to my life doesn't make any sense if meaning is to mean something different from purpose.  I believe I have no destiny since the universe is non-deterministic.

 

Quote:

I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective - arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance. - Free will is an illusion. - Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.

Couldn't be more wrong.  Correction:

I believe that morality is objective, and knowledge of such morality can be gained through biology, mathematics, and philosophy.  I am unsure wether free will is an illusion due to the non-deterministic yet law-governed nature of the universe.  The most rational values I can persanally live by are those developed through biology, mathematics (particularly game theory), and philosophy.  Rationality requires that people act in ways that maximize pleasure for all, while minimizing pain for all.

Quote:

I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support - that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for - that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions. - Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others.

Correction:

I believe that churches provide no good that cannot be provided through less divisive means.  I believe that there is no conscious being against which to sin, of from which to ask forgiveness.  I believe that there is no divine or supernatural at all, and that virture is its own reward in addition to its social consequences.  Virtue for me is doing what I have rationally determined is right, see above.

 

Quote:

I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense.

Correction

I believe that the death of the mind is the death of the self.  I believe that there is no afterlife, and hope of such is false hope, while promises or threats of such are empty promises or empty threats.

 

Also, I find it funny that the result of this "study" was that when proclaiming depressing, nihilistic, and negative views participents felt, well, depressed, nihilistic, and negative.  It seems like he basically told people to believe this stuff, and then said they suffered as a result.  But he then claims that these are the beliefs the western world teaches, without really backing that up.  Also, this guy gives no data.  He claims "studies have shown..." but then gives no data, no citations, no footnotes, no bibliography.  And he presented this at a symposium?  What kind of scientific symposium would have this kind of unsupported, data-less, reference-less paper as a presentation?

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Why should geirj make a point? You haven't yet.

Yeah, that's a brilliant response. You're really impressing me.

Well as you've contradicted yourself at least once in this thread, you're not impressing me.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I'll play.Quote:I BELIEVE -

I'll play.

Quote:
I BELIEVE - in the material universe - as the only and ultimate reality - a universe controlled by fixed physical laws - and blind chance.

Controlled by fixed laws or acts in accordance with?

Quote:
I AFFIRM - that the universe has no creator - no objective purpose - and no objective meaning or destiny. 

Well it doesn't of course, I'm not sure it's necessary to "affirm" it though.

Quote:
I MAINTAIN - that all ideas about God or gods - enlightened beings - prophets and saviors - or other non-physical beings or forces - are superstitions and delusions...

Ridiculous. These ideas are part of the spiritual history of the human race, however much we may have outgrown them, dismissing them out of hand is sheer arrogance.

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I MAINTAIN ... Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes - and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. - Like the rest of life - my life - and my consciousness - have no objective purpose - meaning - or destiny.

I suppose. It sounds an awful lot like an excuse when it's put this way though.

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I BELIEVE - that all judgments, values, and moralities - whether my own or others - are subjective- arising solely from biological determinants - personal history - and chance.

I'll go along with this as long as it's not used as an argument against the existence of shared judgments, values, and moralities or  used as an argument for selfishness being a virtue.

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- Free will is an illusion.

Nonsense. Just because we don't get to decide about everything, doesn't mean we can't decide about some things.

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- Therefore the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me - what pleases me is Good - what pains me is Bad. - Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends - those who pain me or keep me from my pleasure are my enemies. - Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure - and minimize my pain.

Five-year-olds believe this, then they grow up.

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I AFFIRM - that churches have no real use other than social support.

In what context? Today's? The past's? For instance, whatever else it's been, the Roman church in medieval times was one of the great civilizing influences in history. This statement's so broad it's useless, even in the context of today.

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- that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for...

Sigh.

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... that there is no divine or supernatural retribution for sin or reward for virtue - although there may be social consequences of actions.

Oh I agree. The first idea's absurd and the second goes without saying.

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- Virtue for me is getting what I want - without being caught and punished by others.

A point of view childish in it's conception. Thatonedudes comment on sociopaths also relevent here. There are other people in the world besides me.

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I MAINTAIN - that the death of the body - is the death of the mind. - There is no afterlife - and all hope of such is nonsense.

While I agree that the idea of an afterlife is nonsense, that others may hope for such a thing isn't. How others go about finding comfort isn't my business. 

So atheism as an excuse for self-indulgence. If this is what atheists are, religion will never die.