Faith

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Faith

1) What is faith?

2) Do you have faith?


v4ultingbassist
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Free will raises the

Free will raises the question whether, and in what sense, rational agents exercise control over their actions, decisions, choices.  -Wiki

 

The problem I see with discussing free will is the distinction between a person and their body.  If you hold the worldview that mind and body are synonymous, how can you even define free will?  You can't have control over your brain because you ARE your brain.  Does this make sense?

 

I would argue that free will is insufficiently defined to apply to the materialist view of mind.


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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

I qualified the statement by stating "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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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I said atheistic materialism, not atheism.

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

Because atheistic materialism is the only worldview that is completely incompatible with a spiritual one.  

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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'.

Well, based on your definition, rationality does not depend on consciousness either.

BobSpence1 wrote:

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

Does decision-making and freedom of choice have anything to do with creativity and intelligence?

BobSpence1 wrote:

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.

Well, if materialism is true, then free will, intentional acts, and intelligence are definitely illusory. I really don't see how one can professed to be rational when he is seriously questioning the reality of his rationality.

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


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Vastet wrote:Paisley

Vastet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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.

Is this where you're placing your hope? Well, the belief that life will continue to exist indefinitely or eternally is a belief which is ultimately based on faith.

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


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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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.

Exactly. It could theoretically go on forever because we would be caught in an infinite regress. We can't argue for the validty of induction and/or deduction without first presupposing the validity of  induction and/or deduction. These presuppositions are basic beliefs taken on faith.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

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.

Well, I'm not attempting to relegate every form of information to the same level. I'm simply pointing out that faith (beliefs without sufficient evidence) plays a vital role in everyone's life. Also, scientists disagree on what constitues "concise" predictive power, especially when that predictive power is based on probabilities.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

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).

That's what I pose as an example of true knowledge....our first-person experience of our own subjective-awareness.

Di66en6ion wrote:
  

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...).

Yes, I am aware of "weak" atheism. But what constitutes "evidence to the contrary" is also subjective. Eminent scientists disagree on what constitutes evidence to the contrary. 

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

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.

I think beliefs matter.

Di66en6ion wrote:

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. 

I believe that everyone ultimately desires to be happy. Do you agree or disagree with that perspective? If you disagree, explain why.

"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:Exactly. It

Paisley wrote:

Exactly. It could theoretically go on forever because we would be caught in an infinite regress. We can't argue for the validty of induction and/or deduction without first presupposing the validity of  induction and/or deduction. These presuppositions are basic beliefs taken on faith.

 

Eh, depends on how you frame the question and answer imo. They're ultimately based on experience and experience is all we can know, depending on how you view it (which is the biggest issue it seems). Imo all we have IS induction, deduction, etc... in various forms that are just terms for this general concept of experience we all have. The type of all-encompassing faith you're attempting to argue for wouldn't change a thing in any specialized field of knowledge as it would just be ignored. It would also seem to require many words to either be completely deleted from a dictionary or have their definitions amended. I guess what I'm trying to say is that your version of faith = belief.

 

 

Paisley wrote:

Well, I'm not attempting to relegate every form of information to the same level. I'm simply pointing out that faith (beliefs without sufficient evidence) plays a vital role in everyone's life. Also, scientists disagree on what constitues "concise" predictive power, especially when that predictive power is based on probabilities.

~

Yes, I am aware of "weak" atheism. But what constitutes "evidence to the contrary" is also subjective. Eminent scientists disagree on what constitutes evidence to the contrary.

How about instead of concise we'll say with some form of regularity. We all know statistics can be manipulated but we also know how powerful a tool science can be; there's almost no place on the planet you can go without seeing (or not seeing for that matter) some form of technology being implemented. Advanced calendar systems can be an easy example; they can predict precisely when eclipses happen and account for leap years etc... Things like these have always utilized some form of mathematics. To my knowledge no one has received a wireless message from god and just scribbled one out on a paper like a fax machine. Religion presents itself with absolutely no form of regularity (don't confuse this with concepts like dogma).

 

If you believe that "evidence to the contrary" is a subjective matter then I'm really not sure how we can continue. If no one can be absolutely wrong about something then all you've really done is ensure mutual destruction of both your opponent's position and yours.

Ex: Creationists who want to question a ~10,000 y/o Earth vs. a 4.5+ billion one. Their position is absolutely indefensible. If you want to inject your version of faith in here anywhere then I think it's safe to say you'd make a lot more people in the world pessimistic.

 

 

Paisley wrote:

I believe that everyone ultimately desires to be happy. Do you agree or disagree with that perspective? If you disagree, explain why.

I agree with it for sure but I also think you're attempting to brand people with what you think should make them happy and not let them choose for themselves what makes them happy. I disagree with your notion that people can't be happy if they see the universe's ultimate fate to be complete loss of (information, heat death, <insert whatever> ).  One can take solace in MANY things, some brand of deity is just another one some people choose to add to their pile.


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v4ultingbassist wrote:The

v4ultingbassist wrote:

The problem I see with discussing free will is the distinction between a person and their body.  If you hold the worldview that mind and body are synonymous, how can you even define free will?  You can't have control over your brain because you ARE your brain.  Does this make sense?

 

I would argue that free will is insufficiently defined to apply to the materialist view of mind.

Well, free will as it is commonly presupposed by our first-person experience is incompatible with the deterministic worldview of materialism. One definition is that free will is the freedom of choice we have which is not completely determined by antecedent physical causes.

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


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

The problem I see with discussing free will is the distinction between a person and their body.  If you hold the worldview that mind and body are synonymous, how can you even define free will?  You can't have control over your brain because you ARE your brain.  Does this make sense?

 

I would argue that free will is insufficiently defined to apply to the materialist view of mind.

Well, free will as it is commonly presupposed by our first-person experience is incompatible with the deterministic worldview of materialism. One definition is that free will is the freedom of choice we have which is not completely determined by antecedent physical causes.

Interesting how free will is indeterminate but your faith is deterministic and absolute - how'd you pull that off?

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


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greek goddess

greek goddess wrote:


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.



I have already addressed this in a previous post:

"Because the most basic of human desires is to be happy (not miserable) and an interpretation of life that is ultimately positive is more-likely to engender it than one that is negative."

greek goddess wrote:


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?



Well, the view that we all will eventually "cease to exist" is your outlook, not mine. However, assuming your view to be true, then it really doesn't make a difference. In fact, in the vast scheme of things, it really doesn't make a difference whether we ever existed or not. Nothing matters. That's why I said that the materialistic worldview ultimately renders life meaningless, purposeless and absurd.

greek goddess wrote:


Paisley wrote:


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.



The argument that I have made in this thread is that we all exercise an element of faith - faith as the atheist typically defines the term (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence). Also, I argued that we cannot engage in rational thought or discourse without making some basic presuppositions (i.e. beliefs ultimately taken of faith). Moreover, faith is not the result of fear. Faith engenders hope, which is the oppositve of fear.

greek goddess wrote:


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.



Scientific empiricism is only one form of empiricism.

I employed the term "nonsensory" to mean not derived from the physical senses. Perhaps a better word would be "intuition" or intuitive sense.

greek goddess wrote:


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.

I have an intuitive faculty.

Do you consider mathematics and logic to be empirically derived? Has the validity of the scientific method itself been established by the scientific method?

greek goddess wrote:


Paisley wrote:


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.



Well, I value subjective experiences because they are the only means by which we have access to true knowledge. For example, I presently have absolute certitude that "I am aware." This is based on my first-person experience of my own subjective-awareness. Albeit, I cannot objectively prove this to your satisfaction.

greek goddess wrote:


Paisley wrote:


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.
 

 
Materialism has never been established by the scientific method. And if the physical world is simply a figment of our perceptions, then this implies that the phenomenal world is nothing more than the projection of our consciousness. I would think that would be significant because it supports what mystics have been reporting since time immemorial.
 
greek goddess wrote:

 
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.



I disagree. Our first-person experience of free will provides evidence that there is "something" beyond matter.

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


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"Is this where you're

"Is this where you're placing your hope? Well, the belief that life will continue to exist indefinitely or eternally is a belief which is ultimately based on faith."

Educated opinion would be a more appropriate description. Your belief in things with no evidence is faith. Life exists and evolves. It would take more "faith" to believe it will end than it would to believe that it will continue.

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Vastet wrote:Paisley

Vastet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Is this where you're placing your hope? Well, the belief that life will continue to exist indefinitely or eternally is a belief which is ultimately based on faith.

Educated opinion would be a more appropriate description. Your belief in things with no evidence is faith. Life exists and evolves. It would take more "faith" to believe it will end than it would to believe that it will continue.

What scientific evidence do you have that humanity will continue to live for all eternity?

Species evolve and eventually become extinct. In fact, the ultimate fate of the universe is death (i.e the big crunch or heat death). Your "educated" opinion is a belief that is ultimately based on faith.

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


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"What scientific evidence do

"What scientific evidence do you have that humanity will continue to live for all eternity?"

I never asserted it would. In fact, I said the opposite. Try harder.

"Species evolve and eventually become extinct. In fact, the ultimate fate of the universe is death (i.e the big crunch or heat death). Your "educated" opinion is a belief that is ultimately based on faith."

The ultimate fate of the universe is unknown. You are making things up again. My educated opinion is an educated opinion. YOU are the one using blind faith. I don't respect any view made from ignorance such as yours.

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"I disagree. Our

"I disagree. Our first-person experience of free will provides evidence that there is "something" beyond matter."

Yep, there's energy out there also.

What first-person evidence do you have for the magic you claim exists?

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


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Of there is 'something' more

Of there is 'something' more than 'matter'. There is energy, of course, but there are the structures and patterns in which that matter can form, which, with a flow of energy, can support complex patterns of interactions, energy flows, which can quite plausibly be what supports emergent things like consciousness.

That would be a 'higher', more subtle version of the behavior of a computer running complex inter-actiive software. Software is not material, yet we buy and sell it. Yet it is not supernatural, either. It is information, another very important category in addition to matter and energy.

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Vastet wrote:Paisley

Vastet wrote:

Paisley wrote:

What scientific evidence do you have that humanity will continue to live for all eternity?"

I never asserted it would. In fact, I said the opposite. Try harder. 

The ultimate fate of the universe is unknown. You are making things up again. My educated opinion is an educated opinion. YOU are the one using blind faith. I don't respect any view made from ignorance such as yours.

This is what you said, and I quote.

Quote:

Educated opinion would be a more appropriate description. Your belief in things with no evidence is faith. Life exists and evolves. It would take more "faith" to believe it will end than it would to believe that it will continue.

That you BELIEVE it will continue to evolve eternally is ultimately a belief taken on faith....because...by your own admission...."the ultimate fate of the universe is unknown."

 

"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:Of there is

BobSpence1 wrote:

Of there is 'something' more than 'matter'. There is energy, of course, but there are the structures and patterns in which that matter can form, which, with a flow of energy, can support complex patterns of interactions, energy flows, which can quite plausibly be what supports emergent things like consciousness.

The term "emergent" is just a euphemism for "magic" here. The argument goes as follows: When the flow of energy reaches a certain level of complexity...presto....consciousness emerges.

BobSpence1 wrote:

That would be a 'higher', more subtle version of the behavior of a computer running complex inter-actiive software. Software is not material, yet we buy and sell it. Yet it is not supernatural, either. It is information, another very important category in addition to matter and energy.

What we designate as structures, patterns, and information is completely arbitrary and has absolutely no existence independent of conscious intelligence.

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


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"That you BELIEVE it will

"That you BELIEVE it will continue to evolve eternally is ultimately a belief taken on faith....because...by your own admission...."the ultimate fate of the universe is unknown.""

Sucks to have to make things up to hold your ground in an argument eh? Read that again. I didn't say anything about my actual beliefs. I merely pointed out that one of the two positions was more rational than the other. And it is. Try again.

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Paisley wrote:The term

Paisley wrote:

The term "emergent" is just a euphemism for "magic" here. The argument goes as follows: When the flow of energy reaches a certain level of complexity...presto....consciousness emerges.

I've seen you make this comment before but I think you're being a little obtuse about it. Emergence is pretty much synonymous with "conplexity in a spectrum" in this context but the way you choose to frame it would make everything we know magic as well. If you still choose to believe that one either posesses consciousness or doesn't (depending on how you define it), then I think you're mistaken. There are millions of people out there all across a spectrum of mental handicaps/disabilities that could easily be described as blending in with animals of "lower" cognitive ability.

 

Just because someone cannot explain to you in one forum post what took a field of scientists to discern in 50 years does not make it magic. If you need a detailed explanation of how consciousness arises, I think you'll have to reformulate the question. If you want to know how memories are formed, the information is out there.

 

 

Paisley wrote:

What we designate as structures, patterns, and information is completely arbitrary and has absolutely no existence independent of conscious intelligence.

So do concepts such as god and self fit in there as well? (I don't think anyone can answer that question for sure.)


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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Exactly. It could theoretically go on forever because we would be caught in an infinite regress. We can't argue for the validty of induction and/or deduction without first presupposing the validity of  induction and/or deduction. These presuppositions are basic beliefs taken on faith.

 

Eh, depends on how you frame the question and answer imo. They're ultimately based on experience and experience is all we can know, depending on how you view it (which is the biggest issue it seems). Imo all we have IS induction, deduction, etc... in various forms that are just terms for this general concept of experience we all have. The type of all-encompassing faith you're attempting to argue for wouldn't change a thing in any specialized field of knowledge as it would just be ignored. It would also seem to require many words to either be completely deleted from a dictionary or have their definitions amended. I guess what I'm trying to say is that your version of faith = belief.

Deduction is a priori (i.e. not based on experience).

Quote:

a priori 1 a : deductive

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: a priori)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/a%20priori

Inductive reasoning presupposes the uniformity of nature - a belief that cannot be rationally justified. Such a belief qualifies as faith as defined by Merriam-Webster (and as the atheist typically defines the term).

Quote:
 

faith : firm belief in something for which there is no proof

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

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

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, I'm not attempting to relegate every form of information to the same level. I'm simply pointing out that faith (beliefs without sufficient evidence) plays a vital role in everyone's life. Also, scientists disagree on what constitues "concise" predictive power, especially when that predictive power is based on probabilities.

~

Yes, I am aware of "weak" atheism. But what constitutes "evidence to the contrary" is also subjective. Eminent scientists disagree on what constitutes evidence to the contrary.

How about instead of concise we'll say with some form of regularity. We all know statistics can be manipulated but we also know how powerful a tool science can be; there's almost no place on the planet you can go without seeing (or not seeing for that matter) some form of technology being implemented. Advanced calendar systems can be an easy example; they can predict precisely when eclipses happen and account for leap years etc... Things like these have always utilized some form of mathematics. To my knowledge no one has received a wireless message from god and just scribbled one out on a paper like a fax machine. Religion presents itself with absolutely no form of regularity (don't confuse this with concepts like dogma).

Some form of regularity? I have already addressed this. The principle of the uniformity of nature is a belief that cannot be rationally justified. IOW, it is a belief without proof that is ultimately taken on faith. This is the problem of induction.

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

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

If you believe that "evidence to the contrary" is a subjective matter then I'm really not sure how we can continue. If no one can be absolutely wrong about something then all you've really done is ensure mutual destruction of both your opponent's position and yours.

You have already gone on record and agreed that evidence is subjective. Are you retracting now? Also, I am not destroying anything here. Quite the contrary. I am establishing something. And what I am establinshing is that the atheist must live his life based on faith - faith as the atheist defines the term (i.e. belief without sufficient evidence).

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Ex: Creationists who want to question a ~10,000 y/o Earth vs. a 4.5+ billion one. Their position is absolutely indefensible. If you want to inject your version of faith in here anywhere then I think it's safe to say you'd make a lot more people in the world pessimistic.

The topic of this thread is "faith,"  not "creationism vs. evolution." I would ask you to stay on topic.    

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

I believe that everyone ultimately desires to be happy. Do you agree or disagree with that perspective? If you disagree, explain why.

I agree with it for sure but I also think you're attempting to brand people with what you think should make them happy and not let them choose for themselves what makes them happy. I disagree with your notion that people can't be happy if they see the universe's ultimate fate to be complete loss of (information, heat death, <insert whatever> ).  One can take solace in MANY things, some brand of deity is just another one some people choose to add to their pile.

Well, if you agree that everyone desires to be happy, then you agree that we all have the same purpose. And the notion that you can be "happy by choosing to be miserable" is inherently self-contradictory. But I am not preventing you from making this choice. If you choose to live in misery, then I hope you enjoy yourself.

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


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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The term "emergent" is just a euphemism for "magic" here. The argument goes as follows: When the flow of energy reaches a certain level of complexity...presto....consciousness emerges.

I've seen you make this comment before but I think you're being a little obtuse about it. Emergence is pretty much synonymous with "conplexity in a spectrum" in this context but the way you choose to frame it would make everything we know magic as well. If you still choose to believe that one either posesses consciousness or doesn't (depending on how you define it), then I think you're mistaken. There are millions of people out there all across a spectrum of mental handicaps/disabilities that could easily be described as blending in with animals of "lower" cognitive ability.

Yes, there is either a subject of experience or there is not. Awareness either exists or it does not. To argue that consciousness exists as a continuum is to make an argument for pantheism.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Just because someone cannot explain to you in one forum post what took a field of scientists to discern in 50 years does not make it magic. If you need a detailed explanation of how consciousness arises, I think you'll have to reformulate the question. If you want to know how memories are formed, the information is out there.

I don't need a detailed explanation of how consciousness arises. It's a brute fact of existence. And you have already made my argument for me by arguing that consciousness exists in a spectrum.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

What we designate as structures, patterns, and information is completely arbitrary and has absolutely no existence independent of conscious intelligence.

So do concepts such as god and self fit in there as well? (I don't think anyone can answer that question for sure.)

You have already answered that question by arguing that consciousness exists in a spectrum.

"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:Deduction

Paisley wrote:

Deduction is a priori (i.e. not based on experience).

 

Yes, I've seen that all many times before and it's all a matter of perspective. Even concepts that are said to be not based on experience are still based on an amalgam of concepts received from previous experiences that build up to its formulation. A priori to me is just playing with language and definitions which are all learned through experience. My position is that one has to experience the world to know anything at all in the first place.


Paisley wrote:

Inductive reasoning presupposes the uniformity of nature - a belief that cannot be rationally justified. Such a belief qualifies as faith as defined by Merriam-Webster (and as the atheist typically defines the term).

Yes, some of it's sub-definitions are synonyms, we established that.

 

 

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, I'm not attempting to relegate every form of information to the same level. I'm simply pointing out that faith (beliefs without sufficient evidence) plays a vital role in everyone's life. Also, scientists disagree on what constitues "concise" predictive power, especially when that predictive power is based on probabilities.

~

Yes, I am aware of "weak" atheism. But what constitutes "evidence to the contrary" is also subjective. Eminent scientists disagree on what constitutes evidence to the contrary.

How about instead of concise we'll say with some form of regularity. We all know statistics can be manipulated but we also know how powerful a tool science can be; there's almost no place on the planet you can go without seeing (or not seeing for that matter) some form of technology being implemented. Advanced calendar systems can be an easy example; they can predict precisely when eclipses happen and account for leap years etc... Things like these have always utilized some form of mathematics. To my knowledge no one has received a wireless message from god and just scribbled one out on a paper like a fax machine. Religion presents itself with absolutely no form of regularity (don't confuse this with concepts like dogma).

Some form of regularity? I have already addressed this. The principle of the uniformity of nature is a belief that cannot be rationally justified. IOW, it is a belief without proof that is ultimately taken on faith. This is the problem of induction.

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

If the very reality we experience has no form to present to you that you think you can rely on for any justified belief then you should probably have no opinions of just about anything (which seems like more of an atheistic position to hold). If you simply want to argue over one word and its MANY definitions then I'm really not interested in this kind of mental circle-jerk. Human language is fuzzy like that, that's why ever field of knowledge has it's own vocabulary and sub-set of definitions. Call if faith if you like, hell I'll label my own beliefs faith if you like, but I still wont believe in any literal/classical god concept.

 

 

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Ex: Creationists who want to question a ~10,000 y/o Earth vs. a 4.5+ billion one. Their position is absolutely indefensible. If you want to inject your version of faith in here anywhere then I think it's safe to say you'd make a lot more people in the world pessimistic.

The topic of this thread is "faith,"  not "creationism vs. evolution." I would ask you to stay on topic.    

It was merely an example of a clear-cut case of where someone is wrong. If there is no such thing as "sufficient evidence" in YOUR world view then how would one go about stating whether someone is right or wrong? This is probably one of the most important points because it has implications for everything.

 

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I believe that everyone ultimately desires to be happy. Do you agree or disagree with that perspective? If you disagree, explain why.

I agree with it for sure but I also think you're attempting to brand people with what you think should make them happy and not let them choose for themselves what makes them happy. I disagree with your notion that people can't be happy if they see the universe's ultimate fate to be complete loss of (information, heat death, <insert whatever> ).  One can take solace in MANY things, some brand of deity is just another one some people choose to add to their pile.

Well, if you agree that everyone desires to be happy, then you agree that we all have the same purpose. And the notion that you can be "happy by choosing to be miserable" is inherently self-contradictory. But I am not preventing you from making this choice. If you choose to live in misery, then I hope you enjoy yourself.

Again, maybe you should have read that entire paragraph. How anyone reaches that happiness is up to them. Because it works for you does not mean it works for everyone. Believing existence will come to an end and being miserable about it is a mind-state, not a universal truth that everyone's brain is wired to experience in the exact same way. What you believe to be misery can be solace for another, I'm not sure why you don't understand that. It's not self-contradictory because they're NOT MISERABLE in that mind-state (the one you believe to be miserable)! 

 

 

All your energy directed at this one word is kind of futile because it doesn't validate any sort of god(s) concept in any way.


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That seems to be a key

That seems to be a key mistake or misunderstanding or assumption of Paisley's part: that belief (I would call it acceptance) that our fate and that of the Universe is ultimately extinction directly and inevitably implies we are 'miserable'.

We can pretty much all deny from direct first-hand personal experience that that is not true for us, whatever contemplation of such a possibility might lead to in Paisley's mind.

Feelings are not purely determined by rational reasoning processes anyway.

Does Paisley never get any pleasure from a great meal, reading a great story, watching a good movie, having a party with friends, receiving expressions of heart-felt appreciation from someone you have helped in some way,  etc, etc? Because none of those experiences last forever.

There are many experiences which bring periods of pleasure to a normal person.

Sure, a clear-eyed, rational look at the state of the world and society today could easily trigger well-justified depression, so it is understandable why most people seek to find a way to deal with this.

Alcohol and other drugs are one common way. Denial, or convincing yourself that there really is a 'purpose' for it all, or that we have the prospect of a blissful afterlife to look forward to, are some of the other reactions.

Maximizing the high points, dealing with the lows, is what it's all about.

Life is a mixture of the positive and the negative. There are many strategies to deal with this.

Lying to yourself about reality, ie 'faith', "believing what you know ain't so", in the words of Mark Twain, is just one way. 

 

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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Deduction is a priori (i.e. not based on experience).

 

Yes, I've seen that all many times before and it's all a matter of perspective. Even concepts that are said to be not based on experience are still based on an amalgam of concepts received from previous experiences that build up to its formulation. A priori to me is just playing with language and definitions which are all learned through experience. My position is that one has to experience the world to know anything at all in the first place.

A priori knowledge (or justified belief) does not depend on empirical evidence. A posteriori knowledge (or justified belief) does.

1) example of a priori knowledge: "All bachelors are unmarried."

2) example of a posteriori knowledge: "Some bachelors have red hair."

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

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Some form of regularity? I have already addressed this. The principle of the uniformity of nature is a belief that cannot be rationally justified. IOW, it is a belief without proof that is ultimately taken on faith. This is the problem of induction.

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

If the very reality we experience has no form to present to you that you think you can rely on for any justified belief then you should probably have no opinions of just about anything (which seems like more of an atheistic position to hold). If you simply want to argue over one word and its MANY definitions then I'm really not interested in this kind of mental circle-jerk. Human language is fuzzy like that, that's why ever field of knowledge has it's own vocabulary and sub-set of definitions. Call if faith if you like, hell I'll label my own beliefs faith if you like, but I still wont believe in any literal/classical god concept.

I am not arguing for complete skepticism here. Quite the contrary. Without faith, we only have pure skepticism. Also, I have not argued in this thread for the existence of God. However, I am arguing that all of our beliefs ultimately rest on faith (regardless of whether we profess to be theists, agnostics, or atheists). Deductive logic employs premises (beliefs that are assumed to be true). Inductive logic rests on the belief in the uniformity of nature (a belief that must ultimately be taken on faith). The bottom line is that rationality itself depends on faith and cannot function independently of it.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

The topic of this thread is "faith,"  not "creationism vs. evolution." I would ask you to stay on topic.    

It was merely an example of a clear-cut case of where someone is wrong. If there is no such thing as "sufficient evidence" in YOUR world view then how would one go about stating whether someone is right or wrong? This is probably one of the most important points because it has implications for everything.

I thought we already agreed that evidence is subjective. We may agree on what constitutes sufficient evidence for some things. We may disagree on what constitutes sufficient evidence for other things. That's just the way it is.

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Well, if you agree that everyone desires to be happy, then you agree that we all have the same purpose. And the notion that you can be "happy by choosing to be miserable" is inherently self-contradictory. But I am not preventing you from making this choice. If you choose to live in misery, then I hope you enjoy yourself.

Again, maybe you should have read that entire paragraph. How anyone reaches that happiness is up to them. Because it works for you does not mean it works for everyone. Believing existence will come to an end and being miserable about it is a mind-state, not a universal truth that everyone's brain is wired to experience in the exact same way. What you believe to be misery can be solace for another, I'm not sure why you don't understand that. It's not self-contradictory because they're NOT MISERABLE in that mind-state (the one you believe to be miserable)! 

The subject matter of this thread is "faith." Faith entails hope and hope looks forward to the future with a positive or optimistic outlook. Therefore, if you ultimately believe that you have nothing to look forward to, then you ultimately do not have an optimistic outlook on life. Logic dictates this much.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

All your energy directed at this one word is kind of futile because it doesn't validate any sort of god(s) concept in any way.

Without faith, all your striving in this life will ultimately be an exercise in futility. The saying "hope springs eternal" simply does not apply to you.

"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:Di66en6ion

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Deduction is a priori (i.e. not based on experience).

 

Yes, I've seen that all many times before and it's all a matter of perspective. Even concepts that are said to be not based on experience are still based on an amalgam of concepts received from previous experiences that build up to its formulation. A priori to me is just playing with language and definitions which are all learned through experience. My position is that one has to experience the world to know anything at all in the first place.

A priori knowledge (or justified belief) does not depend on empirical evidence. A posteriori knowledge (or justified belief) does.

1) example of a priori knowledge: "All bachelors are unmarried."

2) example of a posteriori knowledge: "Some bachelors have red hair."

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

What exactly bachelors are and what unmarried even means is learned through experience. That type of knowledge rests on the definitions of the words, which is then dependent on the definitions of the words contained in its definition. If justified beliefs are subjective then so is everything else, including definitions you post.

 

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Some form of regularity? I have already addressed this. The principle of the uniformity of nature is a belief that cannot be rationally justified. IOW, it is a belief without proof that is ultimately taken on faith. This is the problem of induction.

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

If the very reality we experience has no form to present to you that you think you can rely on for any justified belief then you should probably have no opinions of just about anything (which seems like more of an atheistic position to hold). If you simply want to argue over one word and its MANY definitions then I'm really not interested in this kind of mental circle-jerk. Human language is fuzzy like that, that's why ever field of knowledge has it's own vocabulary and sub-set of definitions. Call if faith if you like, hell I'll label my own beliefs faith if you like, but I still wont believe in any literal/classical god concept.

I am not arguing for complete skepticism here. Quite the contrary. Without faith, we only have pure skepticism. Also, I have not argued in this thread for the existence of God. However, I am arguing that all of our beliefs ultimately rest on faith (regardless of whether we profess to be theists, agnostics, or atheists). Deductive logic employs premises (beliefs that are assumed to be true). Inductive logic rests on the belief in the uniformity of nature (a belief that must ultimately be taken on faith). The bottom line is that rationality itself depends on faith and cannot function independently of it.

At this point I simply do not care about your definition of faith because it does nothing to further any argument. All you're attempting to do is say "hay, we all have faith" and thereby implying that others don't have any justified contention with anyone else's views about religion, etc... 

 

To be skeptical implies that you believe things are capable of being untenable at any time. To call this faith says very little, you're only attempting to flip it around in order to give other ideas more credence then they should be allowed under the ruse of subjectivity. 

 

 

Paisley wrote:

I thought we already agreed that evidence is subjective. We may agree on what constitutes sufficient evidence for some things. We may disagree on what constitutes sufficient evidence for other things. That's just the way it is.

So what constitutes evidence & truth is democratic to you? 

 

 

Paisley wrote:

The subject matter of this thread is "faith." Faith entails hope and hope looks forward to the future with a positive or optimistic outlook. Therefore, if you ultimately believe that you have nothing to look forward to, then you ultimately do not have an optimistic outlook on life. Logic dictates this much.

You simply don't understand do you? It's frustrating to see you argue from the perspective of subjectivity in one paragraph and then watch it completely go over your head in another. You just argued that justified belief and logic are predicated on faith/subjectivity and then turn right back around and tell me that LOGIC dictates what optimism is? For someone who argues about the subjectivity of other beliefs so much you sure do love to stick to specific dictionary definitions as if they're the be-all end-all of conceptual knowledge.

 

What constitutes faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. It's a part of your personality to look toward the future and associate positive/optimistic feelings with it. Someone (try reading up on other religions) else could see death and the end of the universe in a very positive/optimistic way of some form: End of a life cycle, closing of an epic story, a time to finally rest, etc....

 

 


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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

A priori knowledge (or justified belief) does not depend on empirical evidence. A posteriori knowledge (or justified belief) does.

1) example of a priori knowledge: "All bachelors are unmarried."

2) example of a posteriori knowledge: "Some bachelors have red hair."

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

What exactly bachelors are and what unmarried even means is learned through experience. That type of knowledge rests on the definitions of the words, which is then dependent on the definitions of the words contained in its definition. If justified beliefs are subjective then so is everything else, including definitions you post.

The reasoning to recognized the validity of the statement was not learned through experience. It's innate and intuitive, not derived from empirical evidence. This is the difference between "rationalism" and "empricism."

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

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

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I am not arguing for complete skepticism here. Quite the contrary. Without faith, we only have pure skepticism. Also, I have not argued in this thread for the existence of God. However, I am arguing that all of our beliefs ultimately rest on faith (regardless of whether we profess to be theists, agnostics, or atheists). Deductive logic employs premises (beliefs that are assumed to be true). Inductive logic rests on the belief in the uniformity of nature (a belief that must ultimately be taken on faith). The bottom line is that rationality itself depends on faith and cannot function independently of it

.

At this point I simply do not care about your definition of faith because it does nothing to further any argument. All you're attempting to do is say "hay, we all have faith" and thereby implying that others don't have any justified contention with anyone else's views about religion, etc... 

To reiterate: You employ beliefs that ultimately rest on faith. I have made an argument to support this statement. Hitherto, you have not been able to refute it. And if you do not wish to argue the point any further, then I will conclude that you concede the point.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

To be skeptical implies that you believe things are capable of being untenable at any time. To call this faith says very little, you're only attempting to flip it around in order to give other ideas more credence then they should be allowed under the ruse of subjectivity. 

I have never equated skepticism with faith. Where are you getting this from?

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

Paisley wrote:

I thought we already agreed that evidence is subjective. We may agree on what constitutes sufficient evidence for some things. We may disagree on what constitutes sufficient evidence for other things. That's just the way it is.

So what constitutes evidence & truth is democratic to you? 

Well, that's how they basically determine it in the courtroom. The members of the jury vote.

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The subject matter of this thread is "faith." Faith entails hope and hope looks forward to the future with a positive or optimistic outlook. Therefore, if you ultimately believe that you have nothing to look forward to, then you ultimately do not have an optimistic outlook on life. Logic dictates this much.

You simply don't understand do you? It's frustrating to see you argue from the perspective of subjectivity in one paragraph and then watch it completely go over your head in another. You just argued that justified belief and logic are predicated on faith/subjectivity and then turn right back around and tell me that LOGIC dictates what optimism is? For someone who argues about the subjectivity of other beliefs so much you sure do love to stick to specific dictionary definitions as if they're the be-all end-all of conceptual knowledge.

 

What constitutes faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. It's a part of your personality to look toward the future and associate positive/optimistic feelings with it.

Yes, I agree. Faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. However, you have been givig me the impression that you do NOT have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. Now, just for clarity, do you have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope in something? If you do, please share it with us. Because you seem to be wavering on this point.

Di66en6ion wrote:

Someone (try reading up on other religions) else could see death and the end of the universe in a very positive/optimistic way of some form: End of a life cycle, closing of an epic story, a time to finally rest, etc....

I am fairly well-read on various religions. I don't know of any religion that places their ultimate faith and ultimate hope in cessation of existence. Is this your religious 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:Di66en6ion

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The subject matter of this thread is "faith." Faith entails hope and hope looks forward to the future with a positive or optimistic outlook. Therefore, if you ultimately believe that you have nothing to look forward to, then you ultimately do not have an optimistic outlook on life. Logic dictates this much.

You simply don't understand do you? It's frustrating to see you argue from the perspective of subjectivity in one paragraph and then watch it completely go over your head in another. You just argued that justified belief and logic are predicated on faith/subjectivity and then turn right back around and tell me that LOGIC dictates what optimism is? For someone who argues about the subjectivity of other beliefs so much you sure do love to stick to specific dictionary definitions as if they're the be-all end-all of conceptual knowledge.

 

What constitutes faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. It's a part of your personality to look toward the future and associate positive/optimistic feelings with it.

Yes, I agree. Faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. However, you have been givig me the impression that you do NOT have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. Now, just for clarity, do you have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope in something? If you do, please share it with us. Because you seem to be wavering on this point.

 

Sigh, what you define as "ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope" IS SUBJECTIVE (ultimate, faith, hope... yep, all subjective terms). You seem to be stuck on the concept that everyone has such a concept or that everyone must rank their hopes and dreams.

 

I simply cannot describe any one single greatest faith/hope, I do not see life in simple black and white terms like that. I look forward to furthering my education but I also like to have fun in the here and now. You can try to tell me that my urge for education implies some form of "ultimate hope" but the justifications will always be subjective. I know getting bogged down on future events is unproductive and juicing my brain's seek and reward circuitry can be done in many ways (video games, dating, drugs, food, etc...). Knowing the universe will die out in a couple hundred billion years is just not a buzz-kill for me anymore than knowing that I will die and forever lose all memories/consciousness I had. Inevitable facts are to be accepted, not denied (also, to call this a subjective matter would doom one to extinction, but hey, maybe that's not such a big deal to some people) . Some people aren't wired to handle them in the ego-centric societies we live in today but others are, that's just the way it is.

 

One could take optimism in the idea that any family you construct and some form of your personality will live on in others. One could even have faith that one day we have complete knowledge of how the universe works and that there will be loopholes to eternal existence (expansion, alt universes, etc... like the movie supernova).

 


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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, I agree. Faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. However, you have been givig me the impression that you do NOT have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. Now, just for clarity, do you have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope in something? If you do, please share it with us. Because you seem to be wavering on this point.

One could take optimism in the idea that any family you construct and some form of your personality will live on in others. One could even have faith that one day we have complete knowledge of how the universe works and that there will be loopholes to eternal existence (expansion, alt universes, etc... like the movie supernova).

Yes, one could take the optimism in the idea that...blah, blah, blah. The question is whether you do. If you do, then you have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. If you do not,  then you do not have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope.  

"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:Di66en6ion

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, I agree. Faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. However, you have been givig me the impression that you do NOT have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. Now, just for clarity, do you have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope in something? If you do, please share it with us. Because you seem to be wavering on this point.

One could take optimism in the idea that any family you construct and some form of your personality will live on in others. One could even have faith that one day we have complete knowledge of how the universe works and that there will be loopholes to eternal existence (expansion, alt universes, etc... like the movie supernova).

Yes, one could take the optimism in the idea that...blah, blah, blah. The question is whether you do. If you do, then you have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. If you do not,  then you do not have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope.  

Doesn't require that the hope be 'ultimate', just plain hope, in the sense that it would be nice to think that there is at least a possibility that 'blah, blah' will happen.

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

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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, one could take the optimism in the idea that...blah, blah, blah. The question is whether you do. If you do, then you have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. If you do not,  then you do not have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope.  

Doesn't require that the hope be 'ultimate', just plain hope, in the sense that it would be nice to think that there is at least a possibility that 'blah, blah' will happen.

I would say the following qualifies as ultimate faith - ultimate faith placed in science.

Di66en6ion wrote:
 

One could even have faith that one day we have complete knowledge of how the universe works and that there will be loopholes to eternal existence (expansion, alt universes, etc... like the movie supernova).

"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:Di66en6ion

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, I agree. Faith, positivity, optimism, and hope are subjective. However, you have been givig me the impression that you do NOT have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. Now, just for clarity, do you have ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope in something? If you do, please share it with us. Because you seem to be wavering on this point.

One could take optimism in the idea that any family you construct and some form of your personality will live on in others. One could even have faith that one day we have complete knowledge of how the universe works and that there will be loopholes to eternal existence (expansion, alt universes, etc... like the movie supernova).

Yes, one could take the optimism in the idea that...blah, blah, blah. The question is whether you do. If you do, then you have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. If you do not,  then you do not have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope.  

 

Why does it matter what I believe to you? I already told you that I don't view the world in simple black and white terms. I'm skeptical about anything beyond next week or even an hour from now since I know it could all be taken away in an instant by some drunk douche bag on the highway. The future is unknown, nor you or I knows how long humans will exist, and how long it'll be before we're not even recognizable as humans if we do live a very long time.

 

You simply refuse to understand that other people don't see the world you do. I simply do not have a number one hope/dream/goal that I can identify above all others. Most of my goals deal with the here and now but also necessarily require that I look toward the future to alleviate future pain and suffering of myself and others I care about. I'm sorry that you feel like you must have hope for some hopelessly distant future for which no being could predict what events might unfold. Believing something highly improbable (that I'll never experience in person) for the mere stimulation of my motivational circuits is antithetical to optimism/hope for me.

 

One thing I've always disliked about the (western) society I've grown up in is the obsession with self-identity, uniqueness, ego, etc...  You're not special, you're not unique, you're just another human being, cooperating with others. The sooner people realize this the less depressed they'll be when their bodies get older, falter, make a mistake, or explore their sexuality in a taboo way.


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Di66en6ion wrote:Paisley

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, one could take the optimism in the idea that...blah, blah, blah. The question is whether you do. If you do, then you have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. If you do not,  then you do not have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope.  

Why does it matter what I believe to you?

It matters because "faith" is the subject matter of this thread. If you are not interested in the subject matter, then you should not be participating in this thread.

Di66en6ion wrote:

I already told you that I don't view the world in simple black and white terms.

Yes, I know. It's simply an evasive tactic. Either you are living your life by faith or you are not. If you are not, then you are living your life without hope. If you have hope, then you are living your life by faith. It's that simple.

"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:latincanuck

Paisley wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Depends on what you are defining faith as: 1) the trust or belief in the truthness or trust of a person, idea or thing that comes from experience, eg. Faith in a doctors ability to help the sick, faith in one owns capabilities. 2) religous faith that requires one to believe in a supreme deity or religious concept without any evidence to back up the claims of the religious claims.

I have the first definition, I always lacked the second definition.

Belief in God is based on personal experiences.

 

So is unbelief in "God". Personally i find religious faith offensive because it is at the heart of the religious being so unreasonable. 


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Paisley wrote:Di66en6ion

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Yes, one could take the optimism in the idea that...blah, blah, blah. The question is whether you do. If you do, then you have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope. If you do not,  then you do not have some ultimate faith and/or ultimate hope.  

Why does it matter what I believe to you?

It matters because "faith" is the subject matter of this thread. If you are not interested in the subject matter, then you should not be participating in this thread.

Di66en6ion wrote:

I already told you that I don't view the world in simple black and white terms.

Yes, I know. It's simply an evasive tactic. Either you are living your life by faith or you are not. If you are not, then you are living your life without hope. If you have hope, then you are living your life by faith. It's that simple.

Paisley, that's not entirely true.

The faith that you want to talk about is based on your definition of it (which changes like wind direction).

I can also think of people living by faith in <fill in god or gods here> and not having hope for much of anything. Hell, I was one of them.

Can you take that into account or will your definition change again?

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


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley,

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley, that's not entirely true.

The faith that you want to talk about is based on your definition of it (which changes like wind direction).

I can also think of people living by faith in <fill in god or gods here> and not having hope for much of anything. Hell, I was one of them.

Can you take that into account or will your definition change again?

You have no hope beyond the grave.

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


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley,

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley, that's not entirely true.

The faith that you want to talk about is based on your definition of it (which changes like wind direction).

I can also think of people living by faith in <fill in god or gods here> and not having hope for much of anything. Hell, I was one of them.

Can you take that into account or will your definition change again?

You have no hope beyond the grave.

"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:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley, that's not entirely true.

The faith that you want to talk about is based on your definition of it (which changes like wind direction).

I can also think of people living by faith in <fill in god or gods here> and not having hope for much of anything. Hell, I was one of them.

Can you take that into account or will your definition change again?

You have no hope beyond the grave.

First, you have to establish that there is a "beyond the grave" - still waiting for you to do that.

Next, that's true with faith as well. All you really have is the hope you guessed the right God.

Besides, life is wonderful enough without having to worry about what happens when you no longer exist.

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