Faith

Paisley
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Faith

1) What is faith?

2) Do you have faith?


Vastet
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"That's a well thought-out

"That's a well thought-out response."

Say something that requires one and you'll get one in return.

"This is a common tactic atheists employ - taking refuge under the banner that atheism simply means "without belief in God.""

It's the logical conclusion that follows from the definition of atheism.

"The rationale for this ploy is obvious: You wish to have the luxury of attacking the spiritual worldview without subjecting your own materialist worldview to the same scrutiny. How convenient!"

All you have to do is quit referring to it as atheist and start referring to it as materialist, and you'll be far better off. Otherwise, I can redefine words too.
Theist: A fool who wants to kill people.

See how that works?

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"If you reject a spiritual

"If you reject a spiritual or divine reality, then this necessarily implies that you only accept the material as real. If there is another viable option, then I am not aware of it."

That seems true enough, but that's not where your problem is. Your problem is in your leaps of logic. Using this to conclude people are incapable of making choices is just stupid. No matter how you swing it, you can only limit choices. You cannot remove them entirely.

"And how does this support the notion that believers are incapable of doing science?"

I don't recall suggesting that anyone is incapable of using science.

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Luminon wrote:What you mean

Luminon wrote:
What you mean as witchcraft is, when people, ordinary men or women with limited knowledge do their occult practices. But people are fallible and ignorant, so they will sooner or later screw up something really bad and then occultism backfires on them. If they won't do the optimal thing in optimal time to optimal person, in optimal extent with optimal motivation, then they contribute to their bad karma, which will eventually return to them. As there is the saying, all good deeds must be rightfully punished Smiling

"No good deed goes unpunished", lol, yeah, I love that song.

Luminon wrote:
There is something that you might call mythology, but why would anyone want to deceive others? Firstly, it's a bad thing.

You're being serious ? Aw, you're such a sweetie.

Luminon wrote:
I know, maybe it's naive,

Kinda, yeah.

Luminon wrote:
but it works for years, there's no reason to start suspecting people of dishonesty. If someone is full of shit, then they don't have to be secretive, we have to respect that Smiling Those who are full of shit remind us of ourselves 10 or 20 years ago. We don't force them to agree with us, they can start their own group of like-minded people and 10 or 20 years later develop mentally where we are now. And in meantime, we can still propagate the topics on which we mutually agree. And if there is someone who's totally full of shit and he still gathers followers, then we have the "white soul magic" to make their own soul put them on a tighter and shorter leash. 
Our main protection from lies and imprecision are the sources, that we already proved to be reliable by each our member independently. No potential liar among us could offer a different version without raising suspicion and demands for explanation.

Like I said, it all seems like harmless fun to me, so I don't want make too big a deal of any potential make-believe that's going on, but can't you at least admit that most of the "magic" you guys do only works for people in your circle ? In other words, you can't preform a feat of magic that would convince anyone outside your group ?

Luminon wrote:
That clairvoyant person already helped many of us with important problems, mostly emotional, in relationships, organizational, job-related, and so on. If she would make a bad advice or decision, we would certainly notice it. So far, she was always right. And we also sometimes have other sources, which we can consult to see, that they match each other.
But there is not much popularity that can be gained from that. The methods by which we usually work are very... esoteric and minimalistic. We don't need much talking, many people or a lot of equipment. The work is done quickly, effectively and quietly. Majority of it is done in the unphysical realm. We do nothing to impress people.

She certainly seems to have impressed you. Your group is affirming her "powers" for her. I think you're underestimating what that can do to a person.

Luminon wrote:
As for astrology, I study that and I have to say, if someone practices it on medieval level, (which is today still prevalent) then it may even give exact opposites, compared to reality. Medieval astrology was made for kings by their court astrologers. Perhaps you have to become a king, then it will fit on you Smiling

The point was, she did a lot of really complicated math, that I couldn't possibly do, to arrive at total bullshit. Still seems like a waste of skill to me. She couldn't deny that it was bullshit, but she's still making the damn things. Very, very frustrating.

Luminon wrote:
No problem. But as you mentioned zapping... well, one such an incident involved electrical accident of the guilty person's son Smiling But there are many other methods. For example, we can in some cases disable someone's powers, if they are misused, for instance, to manipulate people. You'd be surprised what some people do, to gather audience on their lectures on shamanism Smiling

Heh, I actually do like modern magic anecdotes. I even posted one on this forum a year ago (something about reality altering magic, turning Enid Blyton's Noddy into the creator of the universe). Fun, but not really the place for it. Anyhoo, been fun talking to you as well. Thanks and happy newyear.

Luminon wrote:
I'm starting to get impression, that alternative medicine on American continent really does nothing, although here it's very powerful. It must be impossible to hold up good standards in such a vast country as USA.

I'm from europe. It's crap here as well.

 

Anyways, in regard to the OP, I'd just like to add that in my language, we have no word for "faith", so it's literally a foreign concept for me.


 


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Indeterminate wrote:Paisley

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

[That's atheistic existentialism, not atheistic materialism. The atheist existentialist views life as ultimately meaningless, purposeless, and absurd. However, he believes that he is able to create his own purpose. But this must necessarily be illusory based on his worldview.

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

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

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

You've been alleging absurdity not absurdism. One is an insult and one is a philosophical position, they're difficult to confuse.

To begin with, I provided the link to "absurdism" because existentialism, absurdism, and nihilism are closely related philosophies and the Wikipedia article on absurdism had a comparison chart outlining the similarities and differences between the three. I merely provided it to you as a reference.

Secondly, I haven't been "alleging" absurdity. I was simply stating that the logical implications of atheistic materialism ultimately renders life meaningless, purposeless, and absurd. That's not an allegation; that's a logical conclusion.

Finally, if you have trouble differentiating between an insult and a logical deduction, then I suggest you neither participate in this discussion/debate nor any other because you will most certainly be offended.

Indeterminate wrote:

Do you really not understand that existentialism and materialism are not mutually exclusive options?

I never said that they were mutually exclusive options. I merely argued that  atheistic materialism (a.k.a. scientific materialism) does not require atheists to create their own purpose and meaning. That's a tenet of atheistic existentialism, which many atheists have simply adopted.

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You're contradicting yourself because you just stated above that my worldview is "bleak and depressing ."

I should have said that I can't comment in detail. From the arguments you've made against the rest of us I can know that you cannot engage in the kind of processes that many of the rest of us do in order to find purpose and meaning. From the poor quality of the arguments you've made I can know that you can't even comprehend those processes. I find this knowledge bleak and depressing.

Based on the deterministic, reductionistic, and nonteleological worldview that is atheistic materialism, freedom of choice and intentional acts presupposing purpose are beliefs that must be characterized by logical necessity as purely illusory. You have yet to successfully mount a counterargument that would lead me to believe otherwise.  Casting aspersions about my intellectual capacity will not change this fact.

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


Atheistextremist
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There are a number of things I dislike

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Agreed. However, your worldview denies the reality of the spiritual and any attempt by you to speak of a "group spirituality" is inherently self-contradictory.

"Atheistic materialism" is the term I employ to identify a worldview which denies the reality of God and of the spiritual. I also use the term to weed out 'atheists' who really have a lurking God-belief.

My interpretation of life is more honest than yours because I fully acknowledge that it is ultimately based on faith.

I do believe your interpretation of life is ultimately one that renders life meaningless, purposeless, and absurd. That you refuse to acknowledge the logical implications of your worldview simply demonstrates your intellectual dishonesty.

These points collectively. I don't believe there is an invisible realm of spirituality where magic things happen and souls go flitting about. I used the term 'group spirituality' for your benefit but 'group feeling' would have been a more accurate portrayal of my position. Can you seriously argue that disbelief in spirituality, another word of vast ambiguity, allows you to categorize your opponents as dishonest and write off their views as absurd? I think there's a theory of mind and even a collective or shared theory of mind at a group level but that does not mean there are things going on in an invisible spirit realm we cannot detect.

What is dishonest is not the disbelief in the spiritual per se, but the profession of disbelief in the spiritual while siimultaneously making a profession of belief in a "collective or shared theory of mind." This is one of the reasons why I employ the term atheistic materialism. It is to weed-out 'atheists' who really have a lurking God-belief. In your particular case, the lurking God-belief is a pantheistic one.

Based on your profile, I can see you are a relative newcomer to this forum. On the other hand, I am a veteran here. And I can assure you that in the past I have created threads on this forum in which I presented the scientific evidence for a collective theory of mind. To say that they were not well-received is a gross understatement.

I am not denying that there is a physical aspect. But, by the same token, I am not denying that there is also a spiritual aspect. And the notion that you can profess to be an atheist and deny the reality of the spiritual while simultaneously speaking of a belief in a collective or shared theory of mind is laughable.

 

About this - use of the word 'dishonest' to describe a disbelief in the spiritual being the first one. This is inappropriate. It's clear there are some people who do not feel as you do about spirituality and this does not constitute dishonesty. You're on the cusp of applying the sort of theistic adhom the church specialises in when it tells unbelievers they don't understand because they are blinded by the devil. The second issue I have with this is the idea that theory of mind can be any any way connected with things like soul or a spirit world or spirituality. I have the ability to feel a mirror of what other people might be feeling as part of being a grown up human being. The ability to create a projected reality in my brain and to populate it with the people around me and to use it to try to understand the way they are thinking is not what you think of as spirituality. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Paisley
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Indeterminate wrote:Paisley

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

But in your previous post you asked why "anyone needs to have a positive or hopeful outlook as opposed to a realistic one," which implies that the outlook you presently have on life is not actually a positive or hopeful one. Also, you stated previously that  you "agree that the fact that we cease to exist post-mortem isn't hopeful." It appears to me now that you are contradicting yourself. Which one is it? Do you believe that you have an interpretation of life that is ultimately positive or not?

False implication and conflation there. Asking why anyone needs a positive or hopeful outlook as opposed to a realistic one implies nothing about ones own.

The implication is clear: She is implying that my outlook may be positive or hopeful, but it is not realistic. On the other hand, she is implying that her outlook is realistic. Unfortunately, she is also implying (probably unwittingly) that her outlook is NOT positive or hopeful. I'm afraid that no amount of spin-doctoring will change this.

Indeterminate wrote:

Stating that we case to exist post-mortem isn't hopeful about death, but says nothing about life. Unless you wish to conflate life and death, which seems to be a popular fundie thing.

If you believe that your ultimate (a term that atheists are apparently incapable of grasping) fate is simply to cease to exist and if you agree that the thought of ceasing to exist is not hopeful, then it says a lot about your OUTLOOK on life - namely, that your outlook is ultimately not a very hopeful one because you view your ultimate fate as simply ceasing to exist.

Indeterminate wrote:

Now, I'm sure that distinction has been explained to you before. Difference between life and death implies that a positive outlook on life does not require a positive outlook on death.

I will admit that I have witnessed many atheists engage in pathetic spin-doctoring techniques whenever I broached the subject of the logical implications of a materialistic worldview.

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


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Meh...This is all just

Meh...

This is all just foolish.

Mr. Paisley - and may I ask if it is by coincidence that your name reminds me of Ian Paisley -

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

- one of the more disgusting characters in modern European conflict history?

You are a king size moron.

Your arguments are paleolithic, your agenda is obvious, your morals are like those of a Komodo Dragon.

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

However, I do wish you a happy new year.

Like I would all of the little creatures that roam the earth (although most of them don't give a flying fuck about the human calendar and registry for the perceived passing of time). I know that life is tough... and also filled with pain... and fears that you couldn't even imagine. And you know what? It just gets worse. Year by year. The more you know, the more you know that you don't know. Makes your head explode, right?

Go suck the cock of your disgusting daddy deity, boy.

I will just laugh at you. You are wasting your precious life time on being a moron.

 

 

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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Paisley wrote:Indeterminate

Paisley wrote:

Indeterminate wrote:

You've been alleging absurdity not absurdism. One is an insult and one is a philosophical position, they're difficult to confuse.

To begin with, I provided the link to "absurdism" because existentialism, absurdism, and nihilism are closely related philosophies and the Wikipedia article on absurdism had a comparison chart outlining the similarities and differences between the three. I merely provided it to you as a reference.

Secondly, I haven't been "alleging" absurdity. I was simply stating that the logical implications of atheistic materialism ultimately renders life meaningless, purposeless, and absurd. That's not an allegation; that's a logical conclusion.

Finally, if you have trouble differentiating between an insult and a logical deduction, then I suggest you neither participate in this discussion/debate nor any other because you will most certainly be offended.

 

I am not aware of any system in which absurdity is a logical predicate which can be deduced. If you believe it to be a logical deduction you should provide deductive proof or retract the statement as arbitrary and unfounded. You'll do neither I expect, but feel free to prove me wrong.

Paisley wrote:

 

Indeterminate wrote:

Do you really not understand that existentialism and materialism are not mutually exclusive options?

I never said that they were mutually exclusive options. I merely argued that  atheistic materialism (a.k.a. scientific materialism) does not require atheists to create their own purpose and meaning. That's a tenet of atheistic existentialism, which many atheists have simply adopted.

Taxonomic pedantry. Aesthetics and self-setting of goals follows immediately from the tenets of any non-theistic worldview, certain extreme forms of nihilism excepted.

Paisley wrote:

Indeterminate wrote:

I should have said that I can't comment in detail. From the arguments you've made against the rest of us I can know that you cannot engage in the kind of processes that many of the rest of us do in order to find purpose and meaning. From the poor quality of the arguments you've made I can know that you can't even comprehend those processes. I find this knowledge bleak and depressing.

Based on the deterministic, reductionistic, and nonteleological worldview that is atheistic materialism, freedom of choice and intentional acts presupposing purpose are beliefs that must be characterized by logical necessity as purely illusory. You have yet to successfully mount a counterargument that would lead me to believe otherwise.  

I'm reasonably sure that I implicity suggested the possibility that free will is illusory elsewhere, but if it helps I'll state clearly and explicitly: empiricial methods applied to physics and mathematics offer no place for free will; empirical methods applied to psychology and anthropology imply free will; we experience the sensation of free will and consistently observe it in others; if free will exists then it may be accounted for by the as yet unexplained epiphenomena of neurology; if free will does not exist we have no choice but to assume whatever we're going to assume, and indedd the whole concept of assumption may be meaningless; we may as well therefore assume the free will exists, since the question of free will is unresolved and either possible answer does not affect the outcome of of deductions based upon this one.

You have repeatedly made your assertions without offering an argument of any kind, never mind deductive proof. There is nothing to make a counterargument against. Once again you fail to grasp basic principles of rhetoric or deductive logic.

 

Paisley wrote:

Casting aspersions about my intellectual capacity will not change this fact.

 

My implication was that you extremely narrow, specific and closed worldview does not equip you to examine the worldview of others. If I wanted to cast aspersions about your intellectual capacity I would point out that from what I can tell of said distasteful worldview of yours it is not self-consistent and seems to be based upon fallacies and arrogance, a fact you don't seem to realise. I would also point out, although this is more to do with your mental state than intellectual capacity, that you appear to suffer true believer syndrome, preferring at a basic level to undergo trauma erasure rather than belief revision, which would explain why so many people's points go ignored and questions unanswered.

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Atheistextremist
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I use the term faith because it's what

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Take a hissy fit if you must. But I must forewarn you that it will not change the facts - facts that I have already spelled out in my last post: "It is not possible to engage in rational thought or discourse without presupposing some kind of belief which is ultimately taken on faith - faith as the atheist typically defines the term...belief without sufficient evidence or proof."

 

But not a hissy fit. When I have a hissy fit, you'll know about it. I don't agree with your contention that you quote here yet again that supposes that faith in god and faith in things reliably proven by evidence can be compared. This assertion is just - silly. I have faith the sun will rise tomorrow - it always has in my life. I have no faith in god/s operating in some invisble dimension. Why don't you get it? Too much invested in your belief system?

The belief (you actually called it faith, your word - not mine) you have that the "sun will rise tomorrow because it always has" in your life is a prime example of inductive reason or inference. Induction is used in science and assumes a belief in what is called the "principle of the uniformity of nature" - the belief we have that things tend to behave in a regular manner. But just because something has happened before on a regular basis is no justification to rationally warrant that it will behave like that in the future. In other words, your belief that the "sun will rise tommorow just because it always has before in your life" is a belief that is ultimately taken on faith - faith as the atheist typically defines the term (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). So, my assertion is not silly! The very faith you profess to hold in utter contempt is actually the same faith that you employ in your everyday life. And moreover, this very same faith is employed in science.

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

 

 

we are arguing about. Remember we have not agreed on a definition of the word faith so whenever I use that word don't think you've found the sixpence in the Christmas Pudding. Your earlier definition is not my definition - it sounds more like a doctrine - as if you've crammed all the connective tissue you'd like faith to bind into a single sentence. Faith in an invisible sky daddy/soul/afterlife/invisible reality is not the same as the ability to rely on the repetition of things proven consistent by observation. I went sailing last night. I ran the diesel engine but I unwrapped the sails and got the sheets organised just in case. The engine has never broken down but you never know. If there was no wind I planned to drop the anchor. I have 3 anchors and full chain and line rodes on the boat. If none of this worked I'd call for help or take to the dinghy or swim to shore. This sort of practical expectation or performance with reservations is not the same as faith in the unprovable spiritual.

I don't believe in god the way I don't believe there's a pink gila monster living on the moon. I've never, ever seen it. No one else has ever seen it. Show it to me. Show me a soul, an afterlife. You equate conjecture over something like say, questions over superconduction at room temperature, with conjecture over the supernatural. We can observe superconduction and we know its benefits if we could make it work at room temperature. But the supernatural has never been observed. It's a product of your mind - no more than a projection generated by the ability of the human brain to share the experiences of those around it. Experiments show that when children observe others kids being bullied, they feel pain. The same neurons fire in the brains of the kids watching as fire in the brains of the victim. Whatever is going on with shared human experience is going on in the confines of our individual heads. And that's proven by experiment.   

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Paisley
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Indeterminate wrote:Paisley

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

No, I don't think that is a reasonable conclusion to draw. The fact is that belief in a spiritual or divine reality is universal (or nearly universal). Religious and/or spiritual experiences are commonplace in disparate cultures. Even if you disbelieve in the reality of a spiritual dimension, you still have to explain why this is so.

Far from universal, have you seen the increase in atheism and rationalism throughout the western world (although some atheists do have a spiritual side).

I qualified it by saying NEARLY universal. Also, I said a belief in a SPIRITUAL or divine reality is nearly universal. IOW, your point is pointless. 

Indeterminate wrote:

Meanwhile if you consider it unreasonable to assume that something with no verifiable evidence isn't there, why are you using a computer? The existence of computers depends on physical theories which in turn depend on that epistemological approach. The same epistemology which demands that since you're asserting the existence of something, you must provide evidence for it.

I fail to see what relevance this has to the subject matter at hand.

"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:Indeterminate

Paisley wrote:

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

No, I don't think that is a reasonable conclusion to draw. The fact is that belief in a spiritual or divine reality is universal (or nearly universal). Religious and/or spiritual experiences are commonplace in disparate cultures. Even if you disbelieve in the reality of a spiritual dimension, you still have to explain why this is so.

Far from universal, have you seen the increase in atheism and rationalism throughout the western world (although some atheists do have a spiritual side).

I qualified it by saying NEARLY universal. Also, I said a belief in a SPIRITUAL or divine reality is nearly universal. IOW, your point is pointless. 

Some swans are black, therefore it is a universal (or nearly universal) truth that swans are black. Your statement is tantamount to that. Fallacious, demonstrably false, and inept generalisation intended to support your argument but which only embarrasses you before an audience which knows better.

Also there is a distinction between spiritual and divine.

Your point isn't even a point, something which my entirely worthwhile point demonstrated.

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Vastet wrote:People made

Vastet wrote:

People made things up to explain events beyond their comprehension, to try to make sense of their emerging intellect and the world and themselves.

Simple, really.

I do not necessarily see faith and rationality (or belief and reason) in conflict with each other. Quite the contrary. I see them working in tandem. And certainly, the rationality itself requires belief taken on faith in order to function at all. That being said, if you truly believe that we lack the intellectual capacity to make sense of the world, then you are clearly making an argument for the inadequacy of rationalism. If that is indeed the case, then perhaps we should seek another way. Either that, or resign ourselves to ignorance. 

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


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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:

Paisley wrote:
No, I don't think that is a reasonable conclusion to draw.

But you said you don't know how to tell the difference between someone who is having this "non-sensory perception of a spiritual or divine reality" , and someone who's just making it all up. So how can it be unreasonable for me to conclude that you could be making it all up ? If you can't tell the difference, how am I supposed to do it ?

Okay. Let's try a different tack. Do you think it is reasonable to conclude that everyone who has ever reported an out-of-body experience during an NDE (near-death experience) is making their experience up?

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

Faith is a nonsensory preception (or an intuitive sense) that engenders trust, hope, love, peace, wisdom,  vision, strength, bliss, acceptance, positive attitude, etc.  

 

Here is Paisley's definition of faith. What do other people think of this? Does anyone agree with the smallest part of this? That faith engenders strength? Bliss? Vision? Love? Wisdom???

I want to say here and now that this definition of faith - admirable in its ideology though it might be considered by some - cannot be applied to my reliance on my car, my short term trust in reproducible evidence, or my guarded acceptance of any other thing going on in the ordinary world. This definition of faith is loaded like a gun. 

But in the OP of this thread, I didn't state my definition of faith and then ask you if you had it. I asked you to define faith and then asked you if you had faith. 

"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:Okay. Let's

Paisley wrote:
Okay. Let's try a different tack. Do you think it is reasonable to conclude that everyone who has ever reported an out-of-body experience during an NDE (near-death experience) is making their experience up?

No. But it's reasonable to conclude they were hallucinating due to lack of oxygen, or the massive amounts of demerol in their system, or simply the fact that lack of sensory input causes the brain to make shit up. Then the fact that many of them have different kinds of experiences, and you can only conclude that they aren't visiting the same place. Which indicates it's all fiction, whether they made it up or not.

Like the recently-deceased Vic Chesnutt noted, "It ain't supernatural."

 

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Atheism at it's core is a journey of self discovery - but unfortunately it's a journey too few people make.

Atheism is a "journey of self discovery?" That sounds like you're embarking on a spiritual path, assuming of course that you believe your Self to be spiritual.

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


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Anonymouse wrote:Again, I'm

Anonymouse wrote:

Again, I'm wondering what's the difference between trust, hope, love, etc..inspired by nonsensory perception, and trust, hope, love, etc...engendered by sensory perception, and how the heck anyone can tell the difference.

Well, you believe that consciousness is only and purely physical (even though there is evidence to the contrary - namely, your first-person experience of your own subjective-awareness). Therefore, on this view, all emotions (e.g. love) must necessarily be physical. The way I tell the difference between the physical and the nonphysical is that the nonphysical does not have any physical attributes.

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


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Anonymouse wrote:Like I

Anonymouse wrote:

Like I said, it all seems like harmless fun to me, so I don't want make too big a deal of any potential make-believe that's going on, but can't you at least admit that most of the "magic" you guys do only works for people in your circle ? In other words, you can't preform a feat of magic that would convince anyone outside your group ?

We don't do our works to convince people. We do it to support balance and progress in people's lives. The problem is, that there are many ignorant, downright stupid amateurs at occultism, who can really fuck up themselves and those around them. They often die on cancer. And when someone get hurt, they come to us to get fixed. Because, you know, we are probably the most sane and rational people associated with occultism, that you could ever find in this small country.
One woman (a professional and succesful psychologist, btw) associated herself with certain would-be healers and occultists, who made her protective amulets. But that woman wanted to be self-reliant, so her will interfered with the will of amulets. The result was, that she felt she wasn't the master of her house. During one year she had destroyed her laptop, desktop, three printers, two cars, thieves broke into her house, and her child gave her really bad time. When she felt the worst, she came here for help. My mom took her into relaxation state and used her as a medium to find out where the problem is. She found out about the amulets, burned them in our furnace of central heating and did a lot of further work to counter the destructive forces around that woman, and two more people of that family. It was so hard and diffcult process, that my mom had to ask for energy to give her strength to finish it all properly.
An interesting thing then happened to me, I was in the house as well. At the time when my mom asked for the energy, I started to feel really, really sick. I felt nauseous, weak, almost shivering, without apparent reason. Like I would give all my strength to someone else. (which is very possible, I love helping people) And my mom when she finished the work with that woman, was not tired, but all active, energized, despite of hours of continual work. I got better in a couple hours, but I swear, I won't be so generous next time Smiling

Anonymouse wrote:
 She certainly seems to have impressed you. Your group is affirming her "powers" for her. I think you're underestimating what that can do to a person.
Well, the work she does usually involves "curing" the energies of this region. She is sort of a good fairy of the region, and her soul sends her on tasks to fix things like unadaptable gypsy communities, bad energy on certain places, anti-progressive energy hanging all over the region, and so on. These topics are so abstract and otherworldly, and yet they are her main work.
Otherwise, she does not get involved with people and their affairs. She prefers to have minimal information, she doesn't want any details, neither she asks for results. Often, she doesn't need to know anything at all, not even name and tells us of things that we didn't mention yet. The work is minimalistic and modest in all respects. This is in sharp contrast to many mediums in this region, who are capable of saying that their 'automatic drawings' contain encrypted messages of utmost importance for saving the world from destruction. (and I mean a specific person here) Really, these people are very fucked up in their head and we know enough of them personally to be able to know the tree according to it's fruits. What impresses me, is the modesty.

Anonymouse wrote:
  The point was, she did a lot of really complicated math, that I couldn't possibly do, to arrive at total bullshit. Still seems like a waste of skill to me. She couldn't deny that it was bullshit, but she's still making the damn things. Very, very frustrating.
As I said, it sounds more and more like medieval astrology. In 21th century we have astrologic software, that instantly computes everything. Maths REALLY is a waste of time. Today astrologers don't need it, neither they need tower rooms and telescopes. You say it was a Mensa person?
By the way, it would interest you, the modern notion is, that horoscope does not show what you are. It shows what qualities you should learn in your lifetime, which means more often than not, that you DON'T have these qualities. So it's exactly opposite meaning. It's well demonstrated on me - with Luna in Capricorn I should be really handy and practical person, according to traditional interpretation. But guess what - I'm daydreaming, clumsy, impractical, and I have to learn practicality. So the modern interpretation fits. Horoscope does not tell you, what you are, but what you migt become, if you live correctly. The modern astrology as my dad researches it, is something completely different, it starts to be a real science. I will certainly recommend you his book, which will be soon published in USA. It's interesting book even for those, that don't understand astrology, it counters many misconceptions and explains reasonably how and why it works, and how to practice it correctly. It also gets a lot into science, maths, geometry, metaphysics, psychology, his own practice, and so on. I look forward to next volumes, which are still in preparation.

Anonymouse wrote:
  Heh, I actually do like modern magic anecdotes. I even posted one on this forum a year ago (something about reality altering magic, turning Enid Blyton's Noddy into the creator of the universe). Fun, but not really the place for it. Anyhoo, been fun talking to you as well. Thanks and happy newyear.
Thanks, Happy new year to you too. I hope you had fun with the new magical anecdote I just wrote. It's quite fresh, like 3 days ago.


Anonymouse wrote:
  Anyways, in regard to the OP, I'd just like to add that in my language, we have no word for "faith", so it's literally a foreign concept for me. 
Well, what country is that? Sounds like atheists' paradise. I wonder how they translated Bible into it Smiling

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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greek goddess wrote:Paisley

greek goddess wrote:

Paisley wrote:

But in your previous post you asked why "anyone needs to have a positive or hopeful outlook as opposed to a realistic one," which implies that the outlook you presently have on life is not actually a positive or hopeful one. Also, you stated previously that  you "agree that the fact that we cease to exist post-mortem isn't hopeful." It appears to me now that you are contradicting yourself. Which one is it? Do you believe that you have an interpretation of life that is ultimately positive or not?

Ok, I think I see the problem here. You are talking about outlook on life, and I am talking about outlook on death.

To answer your question, my interpretation and outlook on life is positive. My outlook on death is neutral. Not a contradiction at all.

Actually, it is a contradiction.

I orginally made the following post (not personally addressed to you, but to another forum member):

Quote:

The worldview of atheistic materialism implies that everyone's ultimate fate is cessation of existence. If you believe that constitutes a positive or hopeful outlook on life, then I guess we will have to simply agree to disagree.

The context of the post is clear....I specifically stated in the post "positive or hopeful outlook on LIFE."

To which you responded:

Quote:

I would just like to ask why anyone needs to have a "positive or hopeful outlook" as opposed to a realistic one.

I agree that the fact that we cease to exist post-mortem isn't hopeful, but I see no point in trying to delude your way around reality.

And now you respond:

"To answer your question, my interpretation and outlook on life is positive. My outlook on death is neutral."

To which I respond:

"The worldview of atheistic materialism implies that everyone's ultimate fate is cessation of existence. If you believe that constitutes a positive or hopeful outlook on life, then I guess we will have to simply agree to disagree."

greek goddess wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

greek goddess wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You call it delusional; I call it making sense of life which seems to me to be the more rational approach.

 

Now you're being dishonest with yourself. Your way of "making sense of life" has nothing to do with empirical observation or pursuit of true knowledge, but rather with just making up your own cushioned version of reality. I hardly think that qualifies as a rational approach.

No, I am not being dishonest. Belief in the existence of a spiritual or divine reality is a metaphysical belief. Metaphysics itself is a branch of philosophy and the methodology of philosophy is rational thought. It is the task of metaphysics to construct a coherent worldview that makes sense of life and all that we experience.

 

I don't have much background in philosophy, though I am generally aware of what metaphysics and the like entail. However, the caveat with metaphysics, and philosophy in general, is that the methodology is useful for identifying and asking questions, as well as proposing hypotheses. But philosophy cannot test its claims.

But previously you stated that my approach to "make sense out of life" was not rational. This is not true. Formulating a metaphysical belief involves rationality. All philosophy invovles rational thought. Also, you stated that my belief was not based on empirical observation. But this is not entirely true. To be empirical simply means to be based on experience (or, at least that is one defintion of it). And my metaphysical beliefs do have a basis in experience - my own religious or spiritual experiences.

greek goddess wrote:
 

However, this provides a great starting point for scientific pursuits. (And I do happen to be well-versed in science.) Science is great for discovering new facts and answering the questions that philosophy has put forth. I think that the task of "making sense of life and all we experience" is not one that rests solely on metaphysics, but also on science. However, you seem to completely reject the latter.

Well, I do reject the notion that science is the only means to "true" knowledge. Science is a valid approach to objective knowlege. It is not a valid approach to subjective knowledge. 

greek goddess wrote:

It is scientific practice to only accept that which has evidence to support it, which is apparently where we differ, since you prefer to make up a complex worldview, and cling to it despite lack of evidence, because it has not been or cannot be falsified. It's basically a metaphysical "god of the gaps" exercise. 

Yes, we do differ here. You have a faith-commitment to scientific materialism - a metaphysical belief that was not arrived at by employing the scientific method. Also, it a metaphysical belief which cannot be falsified (at least, this is what materialists would have us believe).  

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


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The worldview of atheistic materialism is ultimately irrational because it views the world as utlimately meaningless, purposeless, and absurd.

 

Atheism only rejects belief in a particular immaterial entity, ie , something which is some sort of sentient intentional being.

I said atheistic materialism, not atheism.

BobSpence1 wrote:

To demonstrate your conclusion, you need to show:

 1. That only the existence of such a being could make the world meaningful and purposeful to us; AND 2. That the world is necessarily meaningful and intelligible.

 

To demonstrate it I merely need to demonstrate the absurdity of the contrary.

How can you create your own purpose when deterministic and nonteleological materialism necessarily renders any belief in free will and intentional acts as purely illusory? Moreover, how can you say that you are rational when deterministic and nonteleological materialism necessarily renders any belief in rationality as purely illusory?(I expect a response. If not, then I will conclude that you simply concede the point).

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Vastet wrote:Paisley

Vastet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

If you're holding out the hope that some human beings in particular or that humanity in general will live forever, then you are clearly displaying faith.

I don't believe either is the case. Given time enough, homo sapiens will be extinct. Though we may evolve into new species. In fact, we always are. Provided we don't destroy ourselves and nothing else does either in the near future, there's no reason to believe that we can't be around for millions or billions of years. You can try and predict a gloomy ending all you like, I have no reason to.

I am not predicting a gloomy end. You have already done that. Whether extinction commences in 100 years or 100 billion years is really irrelevant. In the final analysis, humanity will be extinct.

Vastet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

If you are not the cause of your choices, then you do not make any choices. It's really that simple.

Illogical. It does not follow. It's really that simple.

I take this as your way of conceding the point. 

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


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Indeterminate wrote:Paisley

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

This is a common tactic atheists employ - taking refuge under the banner that atheism simply means "without belief in God." The rationale for this ploy is obvious: You wish to have the luxury of attacking the spiritual worldview without subjecting your own materialist worldview to the same scrutiny. How convenient!

I'd be falling off my chair if it wasn't so comfortable. I can't believe you said this moments after saying in the thread next door

Paisley wrote:

Indeterminate wrote:

I certainly couldn't describe your views, since I've not been able to find any occasion where you've expounded them in any detail, although I've found many occasions on which you've been invited to.

No, you can't. And I am not about to share my theistic views with you.

Believe it. I'm not here to share my theistic views with you. I'm here to dismantle atheistic materialism.

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


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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:
Okay. Let's try a different tack. Do you think it is reasonable to conclude that everyone who has ever reported an out-of-body experience during an NDE (near-death experience) is making their experience up?

No. But it's reasonable to conclude they were hallucinating due to lack of oxygen, or the massive amounts of demerol in their system, or simply the fact that lack of sensory input causes the brain to make shit up. Then the fact that many of them have different kinds of experiences, and you can only conclude that they aren't visiting the same place. Which indicates it's all fiction, whether they made it up or not.

Like the recently-deceased Vic Chesnutt noted, "It ain't supernatural."

Whatever. The bottom line is that you agree with my point that you have to offer some kind of explanation instead of simply concluding that everyone is fabricating experiences. And while you may question the evidence, you cannot say the individuals in question have no evidence whatsoever for interpreting their experience as an out-of-body experience.

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


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Indeterminate wrote:Paisley

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

How convenient! If you reject a spiritual or divine reality, then this necessarily implies that you only accept the material as real. If there is another viable option, then I am not aware of it.

Solipsism?

Solipsism is a spiritual worldview. In this particular case, you and only you qualify as God.

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


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Indeterminate wrote:I tried

Indeterminate wrote:

I tried to resist, but I couldn't.

Paisley wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Atheistic immaterialism" is an oxymoron.

In fact it is not. Plenty of atheists believe in the immaterial. You further demonstrate your lack of understanding as to what atheism is.

Yes, I am quite aware of this fact (I encounter it all the time). That's why I employ the term atheistic materialism. Those atheists who refuse to identify themselves as materialists need not participate in my threads. So-called atheists who profess to believe in the reality of the immaterial are implicitly professing a belief in the spiritual. And I see no point in arguing with an individual who is bolstering my worldview.

Quote:

immaterialism : a philosophical theory that material things have no reality except as mental perceptions

im·ma·te·ri·al·ist \-list\ noun

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/immaterialism

 

You realise that the dictionary definition that you provide contradicts your own statement, right? Immaterialism is not synonymous with spirituality.

The view that material things have no reality except as mental perceptions is the basis for pantheistic idealism.

Indeterminate wrote:

I don't identify as a materialist. Since I know the meaning of the terms 'atheism' and 'materialism' this doesn't present a contradiction. Cue hissy fit.

 

I know. You subscribe to dualism. However, you seem to be taking a hissy fit because I am dismantling atheistic materialism. Why is that?

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


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Call the mind whatever you want, Pais.

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Atheism at it's core is a journey of self discovery - but unfortunately it's a journey too few people make.

Atheism is a "journey of self discovery?" That sounds like you're embarking on a spiritual path, assuming of course that you believe your Self to be spiritual.

 

If you want sentience to be a spirit and not a brain well - go for it. You not going to change your mind for anyone here though the only reason I can imagine you would bother to argue about it with all these people is if you are not 100 per cent certain of your position.

What you are suggesting above is that a person is a spirit. Please define spirit. I don't know what you are talking about. 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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What are you saying?

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

Faith is a nonsensory preception (or an intuitive sense) that engenders trust, hope, love, peace, wisdom,  vision, strength, bliss, acceptance, positive attitude, etc.  

 

Here is Paisley's definition of faith. What do other people think of this? Does anyone agree with the smallest part of this? That faith engenders strength? Bliss? Vision? Love? Wisdom???

I want to say here and now that this definition of faith - admirable in its ideology though it might be considered by some - cannot be applied to my reliance on my car, my short term trust in reproducible evidence, or my guarded acceptance of any other thing going on in the ordinary world. This definition of faith is loaded like a gun. 

But in the OP of this thread, I didn't state my definition of faith and then ask you if you had it. I asked you to define faith and then asked you if you had faith. 

That no point we contend that's further than the original OP can be considered no matter what other points get raised in the debate? Come on...

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Ta for the heads up

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Does anyone have any idea what Paisley's beliefs are and why he goes to all this trouble, his position opaque, in support of the immaterial? If we are deluded and pointless, what is he doing here? If he's not a fundy, he's not going to score points with Jesus converting us, is he? Is h just here to argue for his own edification or to satisfy himself we still believe in the something? What this all about...anyone?

Paisley has been around for almost 2 years. He has presented his views/beliefs on this subject many times. This effort is a repackage of his previous views.

He is a pantheist/parentheist. He is fascinated by 1 hour videos where he can find a minute scrap to support his views.

The 1st thread he started contains much of his beliefs, it is over 1000 posts - http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13045

Since that effort didn't work he tried another angle - http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/17328

And again - http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/17880

There are several more, all of which contain his agenda that atheistic materialism is purposeless and hopeless.

He has yet to pull out his dictionary in this thread or his favorite sources, but wait this thread still has time to develop.

I have no idea why he comes here, possibly he is taking another philosophy class.

 

He's the most passionate and directional pantheist I've ever talked to. Has he ever debated a theist on this stuff? It's an interesting fulcrum - spirituality. I've looked up a bunch of definitions and they all suck. I've found no useful definition of the word 'spirit' that is not total speculation. I can't help but think that Paisley's definition of spirituality is going to be more of a blueprint than a naming word. And it's probably pretty close to a bunch of things we believe in but define in some other way.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Sure - it's true that

Paisley wrote:

Based on your profile, I can see you are a relative newcomer to this forum. On the other hand, I am a veteran here. And I can assure you that in the past I have created threads on this forum in which I presented the scientific evidence for a collective theory of mind. To say that they were not well-received is a gross understatement.

 

I've only been here a short time but I could be here another 5 years and I still would not see myself believing in spirituality as an actual thing rather than a name for a clump of things we humans relate each to the other. Having said this I don't see group theory of mind - that's my mind and it's ability to perceive the feelings of other minds and vice versa - as clashing with a disbelief in spirituality. I look at the empathy/understanding part of the human capacity as being similar to the ability to run 2 or 3 operating systems on a single PC. Sure there's some tricky stuff going on there but it's a PC under my desk not MPLS to another dimension. Theory of mind, faith in supernatural deities or beings, spirituality - where do these concepts exist, if not inside your brain, Paisley?

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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SapphireMind wrote:Paisley

SapphireMind wrote:

Paisley wrote:
The item I underlined is the one I find most interesting. This is not to diminish the other areas of your work. They are certainly praise-worthy. However, I am simply focusing on this item because it is the one most relevant to the discussion at hand.

Here are my questions: Assume that my wife and I were undergoing the same situation as the couple in your nursing practice. What would you say to me on this score? Would you support my religious or spiritual conviction that love is eternal and everyone we encounter and love in this life we will  encounter in another and/or that we will always be forever connected? Or, would you tell me that I must face up to 'reality' and that to entertain such irrationality is not healthy?

No, I will not contradict their views at all, because it is not my place to in that situation.  I am a nurse and I have legal, moral and ethical responsibilities, which include caring for the patient and the family as best I can.  If it makes them feel better to think that they'll see their child again, then bully for them.  I believe that as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, you can believe whatever the hell you want.  But yes, I will lie to parents and agree with them if they look to me for support and confirmation.  It is not a nurse's job to try and tear down a family while they are mourning the loss of their child.  I would posit NO ONE should do that.  If they want to doubt god and be pissed at god, I'll support that too.  If they are muslim, I support that.  If they are pagan, I support that, or buddhist or hindu or anything.  Because it's not about me, it's about them.

But here, you're not my patients' families nor my patients themselves.  So I am free to tell you that you are on crack.  (I would never say that to a family, even the ones who are literally on crack).

Okay. So, you don't necessarily believe that all religious or spiritual beliefs are unhealthy?

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


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Indeterminate wrote:Paisley

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

What is dishonest is not the disbelief in the spiritual per se, but the profession of disbelief in the spiritual while siimultaneously making a profession of belief in a "collective or shared theory of mind."

Theory of mind is a mental faculty. Humans being one species it's quite plausible, even likely, that in all healthy adults the theory of mind is virtually identical and in that sense shared. There's even arguments to be made that this is necessary for society to function. Where in any of that is there anything spiritual?

I am not referring to cognitive psychology, but to the parapsychological concept of a collective mind or unified field of consciousness.

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


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Ok

Paisley wrote:

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

What is dishonest is not the disbelief in the spiritual per se, but the profession of disbelief in the spiritual while siimultaneously making a profession of belief in a "collective or shared theory of mind."

Theory of mind is a mental faculty. Humans being one species it's quite plausible, even likely, that in all healthy adults the theory of mind is virtually identical and in that sense shared. There's even arguments to be made that this is necessary for society to function. Where in any of that is there anything spiritual?

I am not referring to cognitive psychology, but to the parapsychological concept of a collective mind or unified field of consciousness.

 

That's another brick in the wall in terms of undestanding your thinking. Not my definition of theory mind, however.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Paisley wrote:Okay. So, you

Paisley wrote:

Okay. So, you don't necessarily believe that all religious or spiritual beliefs are unhealthy?

That is correct.  If you read my intro on the intro board, I said that very clearly.  I don't care if people are religious or have faith, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Unfortunately, a lot of times religion and faith do hurt people.  Even in a grieving situation, people who become reckless with their lives because they are sure that once they die they will reunite with their loved ones and be in paradise.  But I don't deal with that aspect of grieving - I'm strictly immediate and pre-death, so I don't need to worry about that belief in a god becoming harmful.  But it can harm a child when a parent is refusing treatment or something because of religious beliefs.  Christian Scientists, for example, think that modern medicine shows a lack of faith in god's healing powers.  Their children can die from diabetes, strep, measles, you name it!  But, that's god's will to them.  I think it's criminally negligent and it harms the child. 

But, if it makes you feel better about the world to think there's a big guy who lives in the sky and is responsible for everything, then go for it.  But don't hurt, kill, restrict the rights of, or harm another being because of those beliefs. 

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Oh, another thread started

Oh, another thread started by Paisley to attack "atheistic materialism" on the basis of his own definitions and convolutions of what sufficient evidence is while attacking ours (not that I'm even sure if that's the position I hold). You'll sit there and define induction and other forms of reason as a form of faith to make yourself feel comfortable about the position you represent which has nearly no reliable evidence.

 

You have insufficient evidence to support your perspective of what NDE/OBE represent (clearly by your own definition of sufficient evidence). What's clear is that you'll stop at whatever one-liner might possibly support your conclusion instead of asking deeper questions about what might be happening and how.

You have no evidence (the flaws in the research have been pointed out to you numerous times in other threads) to your persistent clinging notion of the kind of "field of consciousness" claptrap you've been trying to purport.

 

If the accumulation of experiential knowledge (containing everything deductive and inductive we know about the world) is just another form of faith to you then how do you define beliefs that are made up? Please define them so I can properly label you and keep this false group identity going. 

 

I see no problem with induction because the problem relies on ignoring all forthcoming information after a conclusion is made, which is NOT what the scientific method is about. It's all about congruency, not some notion of perfect absolutes. 

 

 

Pessimism is such an odd concept to me, I've been called pessimistic many times for just explaining to someone how something works (something as simple as a card trick for example). If understanding that your body dies and that there is absolutely no evidence to support that your consciousness will survive makes you so damn depressed and keeps you from harming yourself and/or others then keep believing in whatever you want. Pessimism is a subjective term, I could just as well start a thread arguing how dangerous optimism can be.

 

 

Also: You seem to be arguing around the concept of purpose once again and the question still stands. What purpose (and from that I'm guessing your sense of optimism) does an afterlife (or some sort of extended consciousness) fulfill? Living forever in any conceptual framework gives me no optimistic outlook on life that wasn't already present.


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SapphireMind wrote:Paisley

SapphireMind wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Okay. So, you don't necessarily believe that all religious or spiritual beliefs are unhealthy?

That is correct.  If you read my intro on the intro board, I said that very clearly. 

Okay. I didn't read your intro on the intro board. Thanks for the clarification.

SapphireMind wrote:

I don't care if people are religious or have faith, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Unfortunately, a lot of times religion and faith do hurt people.  Even in a grieving situation, people who become reckless with their lives because they are sure that once they die they will reunite with their loved ones and be in paradise.  But I don't deal with that aspect of grieving - I'm strictly immediate and pre-death, so I don't need to worry about that belief in a god becoming harmful.  But it can harm a child when a parent is refusing treatment or something because of religious beliefs.  Christian Scientists, for example, think that modern medicine shows a lack of faith in god's healing powers.  Their children can die from diabetes, strep, measles, you name it!  But, that's god's will to them.  I think it's criminally negligent and it harms the child. 

Do you uphold the same standard in reguards to atheistic beliefs?

SapphireMind wrote:

But, if it makes you feel better about the world to think there's a big guy who lives in the sky and is responsible for everything, then go for it.  But don't hurt, kill, restrict the rights of, or harm another being because of those beliefs. 

I do subscribe to a belief in God. However, your characteriztion of Deity does not represent my theistic views. Also, I trust that you will also adhere to your own exhortation not to "hurt, kill, restrictrict the rights of, or harm another [human] being" because of your beliefs. 

"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:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The worldview of atheistic materialism is ultimately irrational because it views the world as utlimately meaningless, purposeless, and absurd.

Atheism only rejects belief in a particular immaterial entity, ie , something which is some sort of sentient intentional being.

I said atheistic materialism, not atheism.

I know. Why do you restrict your consideration to a particular form of atheism?

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

To demonstrate your conclusion, you need to show:

 1. That only the existence of such a being could make the world meaningful and purposeful to us; AND 2. That the world is necessarily meaningful and intelligible.

 

To demonstrate it I merely need to demonstrate the absurdity of the contrary.

How can you create your own purpose when deterministic and nonteleological materialism necessarily renders any belief in free will and intentional acts as purely illusory? Moreover, how can you say that you are rational when deterministic and nonteleological materialism necessarily renders any belief in rationality as purely illusory?(I expect a response. If not, then I will conclude that you simply concede the point).

I have my own basic purpose, derived from the naturally evolved urge to survive and avoid harm and find pleasant experiences. This is not contingent on any assumed 'purpose' or 'meaning' of the Universe at large.

Rationality is a description of the process of applying logic in assessing the course of events and likely future outcomes, and how they are likely to affect us, and so on, which even a computer can perform. It certainly does not depend on 'free will'.

Individual 'freedom of choice' is the opposite of rationality - it is where our personal wants and desires hopes and preferences determine our decisions.

All perceptions, of the world and especially of the background of our own mental life are illusory to some degree, in that they are only approximations or simplified 'models' of how things actually are.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Paisley wrote:SapphireMind

Paisley wrote:
SapphireMind wrote:

I don't care if people are religious or have faith, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Unfortunately, a lot of times religion and faith do hurt people.  Even in a grieving situation, people who become reckless with their lives because they are sure that once they die they will reunite with their loved ones and be in paradise.  But I don't deal with that aspect of grieving - I'm strictly immediate and pre-death, so I don't need to worry about that belief in a god becoming harmful.  But it can harm a child when a parent is refusing treatment or something because of religious beliefs.  Christian Scientists, for example, think that modern medicine shows a lack of faith in god's healing powers.  Their children can die from diabetes, strep, measles, you name it!  But, that's god's will to them.  I think it's criminally negligent and it harms the child. 

Do you uphold the same standard in reguards to atheistic beliefs?

Yes, unless you are talking about butthurt on debate forums  :D 

Paisley wrote:
SapphireMind wrote:

But, if it makes you feel better about the world to think there's a big guy who lives in the sky and is responsible for everything, then go for it.  But don't hurt, kill, restrict the rights of, or harm another being because of those beliefs. 

I do subscribe to a belief in God. However, your characteriztion of Deity does not represent my theistic views. Also, I trust that you will also adhere to your own exhortation not to "hurt, kill, restrictrict the rights of, or harm another [human] being" because of your beliefs. 

Yep.  I've also stated frequently that I'm a pacifist.  I'm also very socially liberal and a big supporter of the ACLU, even when they seem to be doing stupid things. *L*   Everyone deserves equal rights.

"Shepherd Book once said to me, 'If you can't do something smart, do something right.'" - Jayne

Personally subverting biological evolution in favor of social evolution every night I go to work!


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Paisley wrote:greek goddess

Paisley wrote:

greek goddess wrote:

Paisley wrote:

But in your previous post you asked why "anyone needs to have a positive or hopeful outlook as opposed to a realistic one," which implies that the outlook you presently have on life is not actually a positive or hopeful one. Also, you stated previously that  you "agree that the fact that we cease to exist post-mortem isn't hopeful." It appears to me now that you are contradicting yourself. Which one is it? Do you believe that you have an interpretation of life that is ultimately positive or not?

Ok, I think I see the problem here. You are talking about outlook on life, and I am talking about outlook on death.

To answer your question, my interpretation and outlook on life is positive. My outlook on death is neutral. Not a contradiction at all.

Actually, it is a contradiction.

I orginally made the following post (not personally addressed to you, but to another forum member):

Quote:

The worldview of atheistic materialism implies that everyone's ultimate fate is cessation of existence. If you believe that constitutes a positive or hopeful outlook on life, then I guess we will have to simply agree to disagree.

The context of the post is clear....I specifically stated in the post "positive or hopeful outlook on LIFE."

To which you responded:

Quote:

I would just like to ask why anyone needs to have a "positive or hopeful outlook" as opposed to a realistic one.

I agree that the fact that we cease to exist post-mortem isn't hopeful, but I see no point in trying to delude your way around reality.

And now you respond:

"To answer your question, my interpretation and outlook on life is positive. My outlook on death is neutral."

To which I respond:

"The worldview of atheistic materialism implies that everyone's ultimate fate is cessation of existence. If you believe that constitutes a positive or hopeful outlook on life, then I guess we will have to simply agree to disagree."

Yes. And I tried to convey the fact that I view life and death as separate "events." My outlook on life is positive, because there are many things I hope to accomplish for my own fulfillment and the fulfillment of others; my outlook on death is neutral, because I won't be in existence to care that I'm dead.

Furthermore, to get back to the original point, you still haven't answered why anyone NEEDS to have a positive outlook on life - you only made assumptions about my own personal outlook. Since, in the end, we all die and cease to exist, what difference does it really make whether we enjoyed our stay or were miserable?

 

Paisley wrote:

greek goddess wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

greek goddess wrote:

Paisley wrote:

You call it delusional; I call it making sense of life which seems to me to be the more rational approach.

 

Now you're being dishonest with yourself. Your way of "making sense of life" has nothing to do with empirical observation or pursuit of true knowledge, but rather with just making up your own cushioned version of reality. I hardly think that qualifies as a rational approach.

No, I am not being dishonest. Belief in the existence of a spiritual or divine reality is a metaphysical belief. Metaphysics itself is a branch of philosophy and the methodology of philosophy is rational thought. It is the task of metaphysics to construct a coherent worldview that makes sense of life and all that we experience.

 

I don't have much background in philosophy, though I am generally aware of what metaphysics and the like entail. However, the caveat with metaphysics, and philosophy in general, is that the methodology is useful for identifying and asking questions, as well as proposing hypotheses. But philosophy cannot test its claims.

But previously you stated that my approach to "make sense out of life" was not rational. This is not true. Formulating a metaphysical belief involves rationality. All philosophy invovles rational thought. Also, you stated that my belief was not based on empirical observation. But this is not entirely true. To be empirical simply means to be based on experience (or, at least that is one defintion of it). And my metaphysical beliefs do have a basis in experience - my own religious or spiritual experiences.

Well first of all, I apologize if I've misunderstood your argument. (Though to be my own advocate, you haven't exactly clarified your argument thus far either.) I was under the impression that your position was emotionally, rather than rationally, arrived at, as a result of fear of death. Maybe you latched onto someone else's metaphysical belief that they arrived at rationally, but this is not the same as arriving at that conclusion in the same way on your part. However, if you'd like to elaborate what your position is, and how you arrived at is, I am willing to consider rescinding that statement that your belief is not rationally arrived at.

Additionally, empirical evidence is that which is perceived by the senses. Though you did not make any such mention to me personally, you said elsewhere in this thread that part of your definition of faith included that which is "nonsensory," which is outside the realm of empiricism and science. How exactly would you go about gathering evidence for the nonsensory, or even experiencing it for that matter? Empirical evidence is also "capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment." (Merriam Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empirical ) Observation and experimentation are activities that are only possible using some method of detection.

Paisley wrote:

greek goddess wrote:
 

However, this provides a great starting point for scientific pursuits. (And I do happen to be well-versed in science.) Science is great for discovering new facts and answering the questions that philosophy has put forth. I think that the task of "making sense of life and all we experience" is not one that rests solely on metaphysics, but also on science. However, you seem to completely reject the latter.

Well, I do reject the notion that science is the only means to "true" knowledge. Science is a valid approach to objective knowlege. It is not a valid approach to subjective knowledge. 

Indeed it is not, as the scientific method is set up to distinguish the objective from the subjective. No argument from me there.

In my opinion, there is no real true knowledge, because we humans will always see things from a human perspective. But our objective truth is the closest that we can come to true knowledge, which is why I embrace the scientific method. I don't really see much value in the subjective experiences of the individual, unless those experiences can be objectively verified or falsified.

Paisley wrote:

greek goddess wrote:

It is scientific practice to only accept that which has evidence to support it, which is apparently where we differ, since you prefer to make up a complex worldview, and cling to it despite lack of evidence, because it has not been or cannot be falsified. It's basically a metaphysical "god of the gaps" exercise. 

Yes, we do differ here. You have a faith-commitment to scientific materialism - a metaphysical belief that was not arrived at by employing the scientific method. Also, it a metaphysical belief which cannot be falsified (at least, this is what materialists would have us believe).  

 

 

First of all, I do not have a "faith-commitment," but I do consider my perception of the material to be scientifically arrived at. Matter is something that we know exists. Whether it is truly there or is only a figment of our perceptions is of little consequence, because we can perceive it nonetheless. We can interact with matter and identify patterns of behavior within its nature. We can detect it with our senses, and can detect it empirically.

Now, to give credence to what I believe you're trying to get at, there may be something beyond matter. However, nothing of this nature has thus far been empirically detected. If it is something that cannot be detected by human senses/means, then we will never know whether it is there or not, because of the impossibility of knowing. The rational thing to do is to accept only what we have evidence for. It is a futile attempt to posit the existence of something that we will never be able to verify, because we lack the means by which to do so.

 

 


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"That being said, if you

"That being said, if you truly believe that we lack the intellectual capacity to make sense of the world"

This shows you aren't understanding my argument, which has a lot more to do with the state of aquired knowledge than intellect.

"I am not predicting a gloomy end."

Yes, you are.

"You have already done that."

Strawman.

"Whether extinction commences in 100 years or 100 billion years is really irrelevant. In the final analysis, humanity will be extinct."

Like our predecessors are today. But they "changed" into us, so they continue. So your argument is irrelevant.

"I take this as your way of conceding the point. "

Thanks for conceding you have nothing to back up your assertions with. Gives me another victory. Think I'm up to ten in this topic alone.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Di66en6ion wrote:Oh, another

Di66en6ion wrote:

Oh, another thread started by Paisley to attack "atheistic materialism" on the basis of his own definitions and convolutions of what sufficient evidence is while attacking ours (not that I'm even sure if that's the position I hold). You'll sit there and define induction and other forms of reason as a form of faith to make yourself feel comfortable about the position you represent which has nearly no reliable evidence.

You have insufficient evidence to support your perspective of what NDE/OBE represent (clearly by your own definition of sufficient evidence). What's clear is that you'll stop at whatever one-liner might possibly support your conclusion instead of asking deeper questions about what might be happening and how.

You have no evidence (the flaws in the research have been pointed out to you numerous times in other threads) to your persistent clinging notion of the kind of "field of consciousness" claptrap you've been trying to purport.

What qualifies as evidence (sufficient or otherwise) is ultimately subjective and arbitrary.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

If the accumulation of experiential knowledge (containing everything deductive and inductive we know about the world) is just another form of faith to you then how do you define beliefs that are made up? Please define them so I can properly label you and keep this false group identity going. 

I define beliefs that are made up as beliefs that are made up. Also, what is your basis for believing the validity  of deduction and/or induction?

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

I see no problem with induction because the problem relies on ignoring all forthcoming information after a conclusion is made, which is NOT what the scientific method is about. It's all about congruency, not some notion of perfect absolutes

Exactly. Absolute truth can never be falsified. However, all scientific theories must necessarily be falsifiable. IOW, you will never have sufficient evidence to say that you know anything with absolute certitude. That's why I can say that the worldview of scientific materialism is ultimately based on faith - faith as the atheist typically defines the term (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence).

Di66en6ion wrote:
  

If understanding that your body dies and that there is absolutely no evidence to support that your consciousness will survive makes you so damn depressed and keeps you from harming yourself and/or others then keep believing in whatever you want. Pessimism is a subjective term, I could just as well start a thread arguing how dangerous optimism can be.

Touche. Your point is well-taken. Both pessimism and optimism are subjective and based on one's interpretation of his or her circumstances. Also, I agree (at least partially) that both can be either healthy or unhealthy depending on the context.  

Di66en6ion wrote:
  

Also: You seem to be arguing around the concept of purpose once again and the question still stands. What purpose (and from that I'm guessing your sense of optimism) does an afterlife (or some sort of extended consciousness) fulfill?

I am arguing that materialism necessarily implies that all intentional or purposive acts are purely illusory because materialism reduces everything to nonteleological physical processes.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Living forever in any conceptual framework gives me no optimistic outlook on life that wasn't already present.

Your materialistic worldview provides no basis for eternal hope. That's one optimistic outlook not currently present in your personal life.

"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:I define

Paisley wrote:

I define beliefs that are made up as beliefs that are made up. Also, what is your basis for believing the validity  of deduction and/or induction?

Experience + Congruency, but this type of conversation could go on forever so I think I'll end it there.

 

Paisley wrote:

What qualifies as evidence (sufficient or otherwise) is ultimately subjective and arbitrary.

~

Exactly. Absolute truth can never be falsified. However, all scientific theories must necessarily be falsifiable. IOW, you will never have sufficient evidence to say that you know anything with absolute certitude. That's why I can say that the worldview of scientific materialism is ultimately based on faith - faith as the atheist typically defines the term (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence).

 

This is exactly what I was getting at. What else is supposed to constitute sufficient evidence then? I agree that the term "sufficient" by itself is subjective but I hardly see how you could relegate every form of information to the same level (i.e, astrology = mathematics as far as applicable knowledge goes). I for one would define "sufficient evidence" as any body of knowledge (theory etc..) that has concise predictive power.

 

I for one don't know of anything besides a few axioms that I could say I believe with absolute certitude ("I doubt, therefore I am" being one of them). There are a few atheists on these boards who would say they don't believe in god with certitude but I will let them speak for themselves. If you want to broaden the definition of faith to encompass all of what you have said then maybe we should make up new terms for types of belief that persist despite evidence to the contrary (Flat Earthers, astrologers, creationists, etc...).

 

Paisley wrote:

I am arguing that materialism necessarily implies that all intentional or purposive acts are purely illusory because materialism reduces everything to nonteleological physical processes.

So what if it is, do you think it would change anything we do even if it were shown to be unambiguously true? People who want to kill someone will find a way to do it, people who don't, wont.

 

BTW, I think my stance is that one couldn't even know if intentional acts are illusory or not because that would require time travel to know for sure. Maybe one day digital human brains will give us insight but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

 

Paisley wrote:

Your materialistic worldview provides no basis for eternal hope. That's one optimistic outlook not currently present in your personal life.

But WHY must I have eternal hope? What is contained in eternal hope that you believe every human must have? Do you have some sort of spreadsheet with people you know feel pessimistic vs. optimistic? I assume you think it's dangerous in some way but I'd like you to demonstrate how.

 

It seems like everyone in one way or another feels that others should feel the way that they do about a certain perspective. We spend much time trying to justify these differences, but then again, these boards wouldn't be very active. 


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Paisley wrote:Anonymouse

Paisley wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:

Paisley wrote:
No, I don't think that is a reasonable conclusion to draw.

But you said you don't know how to tell the difference between someone who is having this "non-sensory perception of a spiritual or divine reality" , and someone who's just making it all up. So how can it be unreasonable for me to conclude that you could be making it all up ? If you can't tell the difference, how am I supposed to do it ?

Okay. Let's try a different tack. Do you think it is reasonable to conclude that everyone who has ever reported an out-of-body experience during an NDE (near-death experience) is making their experience up?

According to you, there's no way to find out. Same problem.


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Paisley wrote:Anonymouse

Paisley wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:

Again, I'm wondering what's the difference between trust, hope, love, etc..inspired by nonsensory perception, and trust, hope, love, etc...engendered by sensory perception, and how the heck anyone can tell the difference.

Well, you believe that consciousness is only and purely physical (even though there is evidence to the contrary - namely, your first-person experience of your own subjective-awareness). Therefore, on this view, all emotions (e.g. love) must necessarily be physical. The way I tell the difference between the physical and the nonphysical is that the nonphysical does not have any physical attributes.

As long as you're not able to tell the difference between someone who's really having a non-sensory perception, and someone who just lying about it, (and I trust you haven't changed your mind about that) then the whole faith concept remains irrelevant.


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I don't assume that most

I don't assume that most people reporting NDE's are 'making them up'.

They are simply trying to make sense of a very unfamiliar experience, and in many cases their brain will have attached images and ideas, typically at a sub-conscious level, from their memories of real events and stories and beliefs to aspects of the recalled experience.

They did have a 'real' experience, but just what 'really' happened to their consciousness is impossible to know.

Unless they report some specific observation which they cannot possibly have known beforehand, like a detailed description of something only visible from a viewpoint inaccessible to them in normal conditions, is there any reason to treat such experiences as actually indicating that their consciousness and some form of sensory ability actually was physically located out of the body.

The feeling that one is actually outside the body has been readily generated by things like 'virtual reality' headsets connected to a camera pointed at the person's own body from various angles, so by itself, such a feeling doesn't prove that one IS 'outside' the body.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Atheistextremist wrote:The

Atheistextremist wrote:

The second issue I have with this is the idea that  theory of mind can be any any way connected with things like soul or a spirit world or spirituality. I have the ability to feel a mirror of what other people might be feeling as part of being a grown up human being. The ability to create a projected reality in my brain and to populate it with the people around me and to use it to try to understand the way they are thinking is not what you think of as spirituality.  

You explicitly stated a "COLLECTIVE or SHARED theory of mind" (not merely a theory of mind), which implies something psychic, paranormal or spiritual. Also, you employed the term empathy, which is used by New Agers to identify an individual with the psychic ability to "feel what others are feeling." If this is not what you meant, then in the future you should choose your words more carefully as to not confuse the readers of your posts.

 

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


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Some form of "collective"

Some form of "collective" mind does not assume or require 'psychic' connection between individuals, just the normal sensory connections via speech and 'body language', where individuals react to what they understand to be the feelings and ideas of others. The interchange of ideas and feelings by the normal means of communication can be considered to give rise to collective or group behaviour. The proposition that this sharing of ideas and emotions can become strong enough to be regarded as some sort of collective 'mind' is the theory being referred to here. No 'psychic', paranormal phenomena necessarily involved.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Marquis wrote:Meh...This is

Marquis wrote:

Meh...

This is all just foolish.

Mr. Paisley - and may I ask if it is by coincidence that your name reminds me of Ian Paisley -

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

- one of the more disgusting characters in modern European conflict history?

You are a king size moron.

Your arguments are paleolithic, your agenda is obvious, your morals are like those of a Komodo Dragon.

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

However, I do wish you a happy new year.

Like I would all of the little creatures that roam the earth (although most of them don't give a flying fuck about the human calendar and registry for the perceived passing of time). I know that life is tough... and also filled with pain... and fears that you couldn't even imagine. And you know what? It just gets worse. Year by year. The more you know, the more you know that you don't know. Makes your head explode, right?

Go suck the cock of your disgusting daddy deity, boy.

I will just laugh at you. You are wasting your precious life time on being a moron.

I can only hope that you work out your personal issues

"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:

Atheistextremist wrote:

The second issue I have with this is the idea that  theory of mind can be any any way connected with things like soul or a spirit world or spirituality. I have the ability to feel a mirror of what other people might be feeling as part of being a grown up human being. The ability to create a projected reality in my brain and to populate it with the people around me and to use it to try to understand the way they are thinking is not what you think of as spirituality.  

You explicitly stated a "COLLECTIVE or SHARED theory of mind" (not merely a theory of mind), which implies something psychic, paranormal or spiritual. Also, you employed the term empathy, which is used by New Agers to identify an individual with the psychic ability to "feel what others are feeling." If this is not what you meant, then in the future you should choose your words more carefully as to not confuse the readers of your posts.

 

 

You didn't introduce your trippy woodstock theory of mind till 5 minutes ago. I'm an atheist - I don't believe in god, spirits, angels or any of the kooky stuff you're so keen on. Other atheists - let's take bob as the nearest example - had absolutely no trouble understanding me. It still beggars my mind that you can retain hidden definitions of ambiguous words or concepts and then use them to load your questions after the fact. A shared or collective theory of mind is a society - a bunch of people who think the same way, understand each other, feel for each other. It's not a disembodied hive mind - which is apparently but not certainly what you seem to be talking about. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Indeterminate wrote:I am not

Indeterminate wrote:

I am not aware of any system in which absurdity is a logical predicate which can be deduced. If you believe it to be a logical deduction you should provide deductive proof or retract the statement as arbitrary and unfounded. You'll do neither I expect, but feel free to prove me wrong.

A world that is ultimately meaningless, valueless and purposeless is absurd by definition.

Quote:

absurd : having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : meaningless <an absurd universe>; also : lacking order or value <an absurd existence>

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dicitionary: absurd)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absurd

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I never said that they were mutually exclusive options. I merely argued that  atheistic materialism (a.k.a. scientific materialism) does not require atheists to create their own purpose and meaning. That's a tenet of atheistic existentialism, which many atheists have simply adopted.

Taxonomic pedantry. Aesthetics and self-setting of goals follows immediately from the tenets of any non-theistic worldview, certain extreme forms of nihilism excepted.

That you acknowledge that nihilism is an exception is an admittance that it does not logically follow. Incidentally, I said "atheistic," not "nontheistic." The terms are not exactly interchangeable.

Indeterminate wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Based on the deterministic, reductionistic, and nonteleological worldview that is atheistic materialism, freedom of choice and intentional acts presupposing purpose are beliefs that must be characterized by logical necessity as purely illusory. You have yet to successfully mount a counterargument that would lead me to believe otherwise.  

I'm reasonably sure that I implicity suggested the possibility that free will is illusory elsewhere, but if it helps I'll state clearly and explicitly: empiricial methods applied to physics and mathematics offer no place for free will; empirical methods applied to psychology and anthropology imply free will; we experience the sensation of free will and consistently observe it in others; if free will exists then it may be accounted for by the as yet unexplained epiphenomena of neurology; if free will does not exist we have no choice but to assume whatever we're going to assume, and indedd the whole concept of assumption may be meaningless; we may as well therefore assume the free will exists, since the question of free will is unresolved and either possible answer does not affect the outcome of of deductions based upon this one.

If free will exists, then it has no physical cause. And I believe that you have already gone on record and professed yourself to be a dualist. So, we can say you subscribe to "atheistic dualism."

Indeterminate wrote:

You have repeatedly made your assertions without offering an argument of any kind, never mind deductive proof. There is nothing to make a counterargument against. Once again you fail to grasp basic principles of rhetoric or deductive logic.

You have already made an argument against atheistic materialism by arguing for dualism. Some here might argue that such a belief in immaterial agency (free will) is a belief that smacks of supernaturalism.

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


Paisley
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The belief (you actually called it faith, your word - not mine) you have that the "sun will rise tomorrow because it always has" in your life is a prime example of inductive reason or inference. Induction is used in science and assumes a belief in what is called the "principle of the uniformity of nature" - the belief we have that things tend to behave in a regular manner. But just because something has happened before on a regular basis is no justification to rationally warrant that it will behave like that in the future. In other words, your belief that the "sun will rise tommorow just because it always has before in your life" is a belief that is ultimately taken on faith - faith as the atheist typically defines the term (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). So, my assertion is not silly! The very faith you profess to hold in utter contempt is actually the same faith that you employ in your everyday life. And moreover, this very same faith is employed in science.

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

 

we are arguing about. Remember we have not agreed on a definition of the word faith so whenever I use that word don't think you've found the sixpence in the Christmas Pudding. Your earlier definition is not my definition - it sounds more like a doctrine - as if you've crammed all the connective tissue you'd like faith to bind into a single sentence. Faith in an invisible sky daddy/soul/afterlife/invisible reality is not the same as the ability to rely on the repetition of things proven consistent by observation. I went sailing last night. I ran the diesel engine but I unwrapped the sails and got the sheets organised just in case. The engine has never broken down but you never know. If there was no wind I planned to drop the anchor. I have 3 anchors and full chain and line rodes on the boat. If none of this worked I'd call for help or take to the dinghy or swim to shore. This sort of practical expectation or performance with reservations is not the same as faith in the unprovable spiritual.

This kind of "practical expectation" is based on induction which is ultimately based on faith for reasons I have already stated. Whether or not you believe in the spiritual is not at issue here. That you are living your life on the basis of some element of faith is.

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