Why are you here?

ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
Why are you here?

Why are you here on this website?

If you are trying to discover yourself, kudos, but this post is not necessarily for you. Search, ask and research until you are satisfied or bored...

 

This post is a theist attack on atheism:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live? <-- if you're contemplating suicide, don't do it!

Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

 

The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Why are you here on

ax wrote:

Why are you here on this website?

This is self explanatory for me, I'm here because I created it and maintain it.

 

Quote:
If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain?

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live?

There are other options here.  All humans choose their own purpose in life.  Atheists just happen to choose a purpose that doesn't involve God.  All theists choose their purpose in life too, and if that involves worshiping a mythical character and basing their life on a book from thousands of years ago that has no relevance to our society today, then so be it. 

"To shun ignorance and superstition, to embrace knowledge and reason, to become the sum of all the wisdom that one can absorb in a very limited lifetime-that is the purpose of humankind." - Ranjef

 

Quote:
Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

Yes.

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1196
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
RE: Why are you here

ax wrote:
If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain?

My personal view is life has no purpose; we're just here.  My "survival" doesn't require every available moment of my time.  I'm able to give some of my time to enjoyable pursuits, one of which is debating religion in venues such as this.

ax wrote:
If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live? <-- if you're contemplating suicide, don't do it!

I continue to live because I enjoy living, and as evidence indicates, this is the only life there is.  Should my life's miseries come to outweigh its enjoyments, I will certainly discontinue living.  What puzzles me is why more theists don't commit suicide if they believe there is a better life than this one.  (Jim Jones' followers, the Heavens Gaters and the 9-11 hijackers demonstrated far greater confidence in their theism than most.)

ax wrote:
Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?
 

Obviously it is, since here I am doing it.  But it is not a purpose in any utlimate sense, but rather a purpose I myself have prescribed.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Philosophicus
Philosophicus's picture
Posts: 362
Joined: 2009-12-16
User is offlineOffline
...

ax wrote:

Why are you here on this website?

It's an awesome website, with a bunch of smart people.  You should stick around.

 

ax wrote:

This post is a theist attack on atheism:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!

Under evolutionary theory we don't spend every waking and sleeping moment seeking survival and reproduction.  The things that make humans happy tend to have helped our ancestors survive and reproduce; the brain mechanisms and networks that we have today were selected tens of thousands of years ago, other parts even longer.  

Someone today doing sophisticated research in physics and math is doing something that didn't have survival value for his ancestors, but he can make a living doing it; he can also pursue the knowledge for its own sake.  Maybe it will help him attract a mate.  Or take a hobby like playing guitar on the weekends or taking dancing classes; they give meaning to life but might not directly enhance your survival value.  We can take the means-to-ends nature of things that make us happy and pursue them as ends-in-themselves, experiencing meaning as a by-product.

 

ax wrote:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live? <-- if you're contemplating suicide, don't do it!

Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

Part of my purpose is to discredit theisms, but I have positive purposes like pursuing scientific and philosophical understanding.  I get meaning from my relationships and from growing and contributing, to name a couple more.  It's fun for me to learn and then to teach people -- it makes me feel important.  Love is awesome too.

Your post was mainly about this website, so I'll finish with some words on that.  I already said it's an awesome website with a bunch of smart people.  I've learned a lot here and I've gotten to share some knowledge too.  I get to debate theists once and awhile, which blows off steam.  I have a broader goal than simply to discredit theisms; I want to make society better too. 

 


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
(No subject)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
(No subject)

RAWG! dp

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Anonymous768769 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:The questions are

ax wrote:

The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.

What purpose ? How is this an "attack" on anything ?


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Why are you here on

ax wrote:

Why are you here on this website?

I have to be somewhere. Why not here?

 

ax wrote:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg! 

Because it is for my personal gain. I enjoy being here so I am here. I could try to make myself like Zuckerberg, but I have no desire to do so. I am a lazy person, I do things because I enjoy them not because I feel like I have to.

 

ax wrote:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live?

Because existing is mostly an enjoyable experience and I am not in a hurry for it to be over. Why do you watch movies or play games or listen to music or whatever other forms of entertainment you enjoy? Why do you insist that there has to be a purpose to do everything?

 

ax wrote:

Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

 

 Your so vain, you probably think this song is about you.......

 

 

ax wrote:

The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.

So in other words you don't actually have a desire to learn from your questions. Doesn't your brand of skydaddy encourage honesty? Well I shall wait with bated breath for your rhetorical masterstroke that is going to prove all of us dunces. 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
AFK Jesus says "OMFG hi!"

Beyond Saving wrote:

ax wrote:

Why are you here on this website?

I have to be somewhere. Why not here?

 

ax wrote:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg! 

Because it is for my personal gain. I enjoy being here so I am here. I could try to make myself like Zuckerberg, but I have no desire to do so. I am a lazy person, I do things because I enjoy them not because I feel like I have to.

 

ax wrote:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live?

Because existing is mostly an enjoyable experience and I am not in a hurry for it to be over. Why do you watch movies or play games or listen to music or whatever other forms of entertainment you enjoy? Why do you insist that there has to be a purpose to do everything?

 

ax wrote:

Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

 

 Your so vain, you probably think this song is about you.......

 

 

ax wrote:

The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.

So in other words you don't actually have a desire to learn from your questions. Doesn't your brand of skydaddy encourage honesty? Well I shall wait with bated breath for your rhetorical masterstroke that is going to prove all of us dunces. 

 

 

"Who's the turbanhead, anyone?" (Probably some random goatfucker)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Why are you here on

ax wrote:

Why are you here on this website?

If you are trying to discover yourself, kudos, but this post is not necessarily for you. Search, ask and research until you are satisfied or bored...

 

This post is a theist attack on atheism:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live? <-- if you're contemplating suicide, don't do it!

Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

 

The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.

Why am I here? Because other atheist hang out here. And because I am sick and tired of superstition infecting politics and education as if it still has any merit in 2012 when we have cell phones, space telescopes and modern medicine.

Do you really believe that there is a non-material magic man with a magic wand? I am sure you do, but that is YOU and your own anthropomorphic wishful thinking in wanting a super hero to exist.

It never occurs to the believer that life and the universe are the product of a mere WHAT, and not the product of a magical WHO.

You can accept that a hurricane doesn't need the ocean god Neptune to occur, why would nature or the universe be any different?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
Excellent

You have all stated that you are here on the website because you choose to be and attain some degree of enjoyment and/or enlightenment by choosing so.

Some of you have indicated "there is no purpose". On the contrary, by choosing to be here and choosing to play games, etc, you are regularly defining your purpose at a micro-scale. E.g. you choose to watch the movie because you enjoy it, so the purpose of watching the movie is to obtain enjoyment.

Therefore you have proven for me - there is a purpose in everything we do. Whether it is seeking enjoyment, survival, etc.. By attempting to refute this argument, you would be refuting yourself, as this meaning can be deduced from your own responses.

 

The purpose of my questions was to draw out the aforementioned meaning using your own words. Sapient quickly summed this up in his response.

Sapient wrote:
There are other options here. All humans choose their own purpose in life. Atheists just happen to choose a purpose that doesn't involve God. All theists choose their purpose in life too, and if that involves worshiping a mythical character and basing their life on a book from thousands of years ago that has no relevance to our society today, then so be it.

So the statement made by Sapient coincides with the conclusion you have all proved - the existence of purpose in everything we do at a micro scale.

If the macroscopic purpose of a whole object can be sub-divided and understood as the combination of smaller microscopic purposes, then what is the whole purpose of human civilization?

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
So in other words you don't actually have a desire to learn from your questions. Doesn't your brand of skydaddy encourage honesty? Well I shall wait with bated breath for your rhetorical masterstroke that is going to prove all of us dunces. 

[Curtains open revealing Straw Man.]


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1196
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Some of you have

ax wrote:
Some of you have indicated "there is no purpose".

I certainly did.

ax wrote:
...Therefore you have proven for me - there is a purpose in everything we do.

Yes, but it is a purpose of my own choosing, not handed down to me from another.  There is no ultimate significance to my existence, nor anything I do in that brief moment I exist. 

ax wrote:
Whether it is seeking enjoyment, survival, etc.. By attempting to refute this argument, you would be refuting yourself, as this meaning can be deduced from your own responses.

You'll have to be clearer how you think this amounts to self-refutation.  If the theist claims that one's existence cannot have purpose without a god, then let him explain:  What is the purpose of god's existence?

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:You have all stated

ax wrote:

You have all stated that you are here on the website because you choose to be and attain some degree of enjoyment and/or enlightenment by choosing so.

Some of you have indicated "there is no purpose". On the contrary, by choosing to be here and choosing to play games, etc, you are regularly defining your purpose at a micro-scale. E.g. you choose to watch the movie because you enjoy it, so the purpose of watching the movie is to obtain enjoyment.

Therefore you have proven for me - there is a purpose in everything we do. Whether it is seeking enjoyment, survival, etc.. By attempting to refute this argument, you would be refuting yourself, as this meaning can be deduced from your own responses.

 

The purpose of my questions was to draw out the aforementioned meaning using your own words. Sapient quickly summed this up in his response.

Sapient wrote:
There are other options here. All humans choose their own purpose in life. Atheists just happen to choose a purpose that doesn't involve God. All theists choose their purpose in life too, and if that involves worshiping a mythical character and basing their life on a book from thousands of years ago that has no relevance to our society today, then so be it.

So the statement made by Sapient coincides with the conclusion you have all proved - the existence of purpose in everything we do at a micro scale.

If the macroscopic purpose of a whole object can be sub-divided and understood as the combination of smaller microscopic purposes, then what is the whole purpose of human civilization?

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
So in other words you don't actually have a desire to learn from your questions. Doesn't your brand of skydaddy encourage honesty? Well I shall wait with bated breath for your rhetorical masterstroke that is going to prove all of us dunces. 

[Curtains open revealing Straw Man.]

 

Your point? The existence of billions of individual purposes does not necessarily lead to some grand singular purpose any more than the fact that every living person has a beating heart leads to a singular giant heart. Especially since our individual purposes/goals often are in direct conflict with each other. There is no purpose of human civilization, although it is possible for large groups of people to have a common purpose. I haven't really seen anyone argue against that. When an atheist says there is no purpose to life they are generally speaking about some externally imposed universal purpose by a deity. They are not making the claim that humans act randomly with no purpose.  

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote:Yes, but

zarathustra wrote:

Yes, but it is a purpose of my own choosing, not handed down to me from another.

I never said it was handed down. In fact, I am supporting that you choose your own purpose.

zarathustra wrote:

There is no ultimate significance to my existence, nor anything I do in that brief moment I exist.

That is sad to hear. You have no goals in life?

zarathustra wrote:

You'll have to be clearer how you think this amounts to self-refutation.

Your purpose in eating is nourishment. Your purpose in entertainment is enjoyment, etc. Your life is therefore filled with purpose, and denying this would be denying every function you do daily.

zarathustra wrote:

If the theist claims that one's existence cannot have purpose without a god then let him explain:  What is the purpose of god's existence?

I never claimed your existence cannot have purpose without a god. Choosing to be a doctor and save lives may be considered as a significant purpose and this does not require a god to be considered significant.

The topic is why you are here; and essentially your purpose. If you would like to debate the purpose of a god's existence, this is a subject for a separate forum topic I would gladly help clarify.


Beyond Saving wrote:

Your point? The existence of billions of individual purposes does not necessarily lead to some grand singular purpose any more than the fact that every living person has a beating heart leads to a singular giant heart.

On the contrary, the existence of billions of individual purposes creates many groups of a singular purpose which at times try to influence the other groups to agree on a grand singular purpose. Take this website for example, many stated their goals either are or partially are to dispute theism. By all collectively choosing to dispute theism, you are aligning to a common "grand singular" purpose of disputing theism.

When you try to compare this with the heart, you are comparing things which are not similar; your biological heart is irrelevant. The functions of your heart do not directly impact the functions of another heart. Your purpose and decisions can impact the decisions and purpose of another.

Beyond Saving wrote:

our individual purposes/goals often are in direct conflict with each other.

Indeed, this is a big problem.

Beyond Saving wrote:

There is no purpose of human civilization, although it is possible for large groups of people to have a common purpose.

Different civilizations across history have had many different purposes at any given point in time. These purposes are often driven by various reasons including shared beliefs of the large groups within.

Beyond Saving wrote:

When an atheist says there is no purpose to life they are generally speaking about some externally imposed universal purpose by a deity. They are not making the claim that humans act randomly with no purpose.

The purpose of your life is always your choice. If it was imposed, then you wouldn't be free to choose atheism.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
  I am missing your whole

 

 

I am missing your whole point...where is your "attack on atheism"? 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:You have all stated

ax wrote:

You have all stated that you are here on the website because you choose to be and attain some degree of enjoyment and/or enlightenment by choosing so.

Some of you have indicated "there is no purpose". On the contrary, by choosing to be here and choosing to play games, etc, you are regularly defining your purpose at a micro-scale. E.g. you choose to watch the movie because you enjoy it, so the purpose of watching the movie is to obtain enjoyment.

Therefore you have proven for me - there is a purpose in everything we do. Whether it is seeking enjoyment, survival, etc.. By attempting to refute this argument, you would be refuting yourself, as this meaning can be deduced from your own responses.

 

The purpose of my questions was to draw out the aforementioned meaning using your own words. Sapient quickly summed this up in his response.

Sapient wrote:
There are other options here. All humans choose their own purpose in life. Atheists just happen to choose a purpose that doesn't involve God. All theists choose their purpose in life too, and if that involves worshiping a mythical character and basing their life on a book from thousands of years ago that has no relevance to our society today, then so be it.

So the statement made by Sapient coincides with the conclusion you have all proved - the existence of purpose in everything we do at a micro scale.

If the macroscopic purpose of a whole object can be sub-divided and understood as the combination of smaller microscopic purposes, then what is the whole purpose of human civilization?

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
So in other words you don't actually have a desire to learn from your questions. Doesn't your brand of skydaddy encourage honesty? Well I shall wait with bated breath for your rhetorical masterstroke that is going to prove all of us dunces. 

[Curtains open revealing Straw Man.]

LET US REPEAT, THERE IS NO PURPOSE! I am sorry that bothers you, but there is no purpose to life. Evolution only has one goal, to get to the point of reproduction. THAT is the only factual purpose to life.

Now here is what we do that you do not do. We do not conflate nature to Superman vs Kriptonite.

Purpose is an individual thing, there is no grand scheme to biology or the universe.

Do you think that the ocean god Neptune magically makes hurricanes to threaten us to conform to him? So why would biology or the universe need a "who" either?

Do you really believe that 60 million years from now that you or I will be remembered? Were you and I around 60 million years ago?

PURPOSE, as a word depends on CONTEXT. There is no magic fairy tale purpose. The only thing humans have as far as purpose is the time between our birth and our death. If my sperm that made me did not make it to the egg, I wouldn't exist. All I can do since I am the random result of nature, is deal with what is, not bullshit myth and fairy tails.

Otherwise if all purpose meant was warm fuzzy feelings "just because" then we should all falsely believe that the sun was a thinking being because, for over 3,000 years, that warm fuzzy "purpose" sustained successfully the Ancient Egyptians.

I think a better purpose for all humans is to scrap the stupid myth and labels and nationalism, and work on REAL problem solving like resources, pollution, crime and war. Those are all things that affect all of humanity. You don't need an invisible friend or superstition to know we all shit pee and will die.

I find no good reason to cling to the past, especially when that past is rooted in ignorance. If our species never questioned social norms, our species never would have left the caves.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1196
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:I never said it was

ax wrote:
I never said it was handed down. In fact, I am supporting that you choose your own purpose.

That is not to be inferred from your initial post, where you severally insinuated that an atheist's purpose is "essentially survival" and "undefined", and questioned why atheists don't simply commit suicide in absence of a defined purpose.   (Incidentally, I would like you to explore if you're so inclined, my question of why more theists don't commit suicide if they think there is a better life than this one -- presumably an afterlife of ultimate significance.)  

ax wrote:
zarathustra wrote:

There is no ultimate significance to my existence, nor anything I do in that brief moment I exist.

That is sad to hear. You have no goals in life?

Of course I do, and I'm not sure where you found it implied that I don't.  I simply do not operate under the delusion that my pursuit of goals bear any ultimate significance.  

ax wrote:
 
zarathustra wrote:
You'll have to be clearer how you think this amounts to self-refutation.

Your purpose in eating is nourishment. Your purpose in entertainment is enjoyment, etc. Your life is therefore filled with purpose, and denying this would be denying every function you do daily.

I'm afraid you'll have to be clearer still how you think this amounts to self-refutation.   My quest for nourishment is no more "purposeful" than that of any other living organism; it is a biological imperative.  Are you curious to ask plants and bacteria why they seek nourishment as well?

Again, there is no purpose to our existence.  By that I mean there is no ultimate meaning to our lives, and our existence is not part of the fulfillment of any goal.  Any worth and fulfillment in our otherwise meaningless existence is of our own provision.   Now where lies the self-refutation?

ax wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

If the theist claims that one's existence cannot have purpose without a god then let him explain:  What is the purpose of god's existence?

I never claimed your existence cannot have purpose without a god.

Again, your initial post carried that implication.  Why else would you ask why we don't just kill ourselves -- especially with the preamble that this is a theist attack on atheism?  

 

ax wrote:
The topic is why you are here; and essentially your purpose. If you would like to debate the purpose of a god's existence, this is a subject for a separate forum topic I would gladly help clarify.

 If you're asking why I am on this forum, I already explained why.  

And no; since you took pains to identify this as a theist attack on atheism,  the purpose in relation to god is relevant to the topic.  You ask what our purpose is and imply that cannot be satisfactorily explained without a god.  It is therefore pertinent to ask what a god's purpose would be in doing anything it does.

(By the way, I am enjoying this discussion, hence my purpose for being here.)
 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:You have all stated

ax wrote:

You have all stated that you are here on the website because you choose to be and attain some degree of enjoyment and/or enlightenment by choosing so.

Some of you have indicated "there is no purpose". On the contrary, by choosing to be here and choosing to play games, etc, you are regularly defining your purpose at a micro-scale. E.g. you choose to watch the movie because you enjoy it, so the purpose of watching the movie is to obtain enjoyment.

Therefore you have proven for me - there is a purpose in everything we do. Whether it is seeking enjoyment, survival, etc.. By attempting to refute this argument, you would be refuting yourself, as this meaning can be deduced from your own responses.

 

The purpose of my questions was to draw out the aforementioned meaning using your own words. Sapient quickly summed this up in his response.

Sapient wrote:
There are other options here. All humans choose their own purpose in life. Atheists just happen to choose a purpose that doesn't involve God. All theists choose their purpose in life too, and if that involves worshiping a mythical character and basing their life on a book from thousands of years ago that has no relevance to our society today, then so be it.

So the statement made by Sapient coincides with the conclusion you have all proved - the existence of purpose in everything we do at a micro scale.

If the macroscopic purpose of a whole object can be sub-divided and understood as the combination of smaller microscopic purposes, then what is the whole purpose of human civilization?

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
So in other words you don't actually have a desire to learn from your questions. Doesn't your brand of skydaddy encourage honesty? Well I shall wait with bated breath for your rhetorical masterstroke that is going to prove all of us dunces. 

[Curtains open revealing Straw Man.]

World:1 You:0

Would you like to go for World:2???

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
Kapkao wrote: World:1 You:0

Kapkao wrote:

World:1 You:0

Would you like to go for World:2???

You offer no intellectual conjecture to validate your position. On the contrary, I am in support of "the world", and hope various religious viewpoints can come to agree upon a common purpose. I am simply asking you to identify and validate your stance on the purpose of life. Applying purpose to life is something many atheists seem to confuse with misunderstandings about theism, so as a theist, I am seeking to correct this view and point out that the purpose of life is always your choice, and the existence of collective purpose is undeniable based on pure scientific and mathematical reasoning.

 


Beyond Saving wrote:


I am missing your whole point...where is your "attack on atheism"?



An atheist point of view which many have supported here is there is no ultimate purpose. My simple conclusion is the "grand purpose" is simply the collective sum of individual purpose. Individual purpose exists, which can be proven simply be asking "why are you here", or why you do anything for that matter.

 

Brian37, I didn't get a chance to address you earlier, so I am glad you decided to respond again.

Let me first address your OP.

Brian37 wrote:


Why am I here? Because other atheist hang out here. And because I am sick and tired of superstition infecting politics and education as if it still has any merit in 2012 when we have cell phones, space telescopes and modern medicine.



Yes there are other atheist here, but they may not have necessarily directly asked you to be here or enjoy your presence here. Are you simply here because you feel a sense of belonging by being amongst others who share similar beliefs? What benefit does it bring you to be here? If you simply want to be part of a group without fully understanding its beliefs, then you are no different than those you dislike who blindly follow a religion without knowing why.

 
Brian37 wrote:


Do you really believe that there is a non-material magic man with a magic wand? I am sure you do, but that is YOU and your own anthropomorphic wishful thinking in wanting a super hero to exist.

It never occurs to the believer that life and the universe are the product of a mere WHAT, and not the product of a magical WHO.

You can accept that a hurricane doesn't need the ocean god Neptune to occur, why would nature or the universe be any different?



Nature and the universe are entirely purpose driven - Causality. This forum topic is about why you are here, your purpose and how the individual purpose affects the whole. If you would likely me to elaborate further on subjects unrelated to the topic, please start a new topic and we can discuss there.

 

Brian37 wrote:


LET US REPEAT, THERE IS NO PURPOSE!...



By us are you referring to all atheism? Sapient clearly disagrees with you when he stated:

Sapient wrote:


...All humans choose their own purpose in life...



 

Brian37 wrote:


...I am sorry that bothers you, but there is no purpose to life. Evolution only has one goal, to get to the point of reproduction. THAT is the only factual purpose to life.



Of course there is a purpose. Your specific individual purpose is to live and reproduce. I am a theist and I enjoy these things too. Additional purpose that you decide beyond this is your choice.

 

Brian37 wrote:


Now here is what we do that you do not do. We do not conflate nature to Superman vs Kriptonite.



The context of this discussion is not super heroes (which most people happen to think are pretty cool btw). This may fit into another forum topic if you would like to discuss religious anthropomorphism and the uncanny valley.


Brian37 wrote:


Purpose is an individual thing, there is no grand scheme to biology or the universe.



Indeed purpose varies per individual. From a macro perspective, we can notice groups of people often share similar purpose. Biology and the universe only strengthen my position. People who often excel in sports have biological advantages to those who do not. These advantages increase the probability of their choice in choosing that particular purpose. Because you are taller, faster and stronger doesn't mean you are going to excel in sports, or that you will choose this purpose, but this genetic advantage has increased the chance that you will consider this as a stronger alternative than someone who does not have the same advantages.


Brian37 wrote:


Do you think that the ocean god Neptune magically makes hurricanes to threaten us to conform to him? So why would biology or the universe need a "who" either?

Do you really believe that 60 million years from now that you or I will be remembered? Were you and I around 60 million years ago?



The topic is not about the existence of a "who" or our state of being in the past or present. This topic is not debating the existence of any supernatural being or the lack thereof since it is not the point I am illustrating, but I will gladly debate this in another topic.


Brian37 wrote:


PURPOSE, as a word depends on CONTEXT. There is no magic fairy tale purpose. The only thing humans have as far as purpose is the time between our birth and our death. If my sperm that made me did not make it to the egg, I wouldn't exist. All I can do since I am the random result of nature, is deal with what is, not bullshit myth and fairy tails.



Purpose - an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

It wasn't your sperm, it was your father's, and yes your sperm fulfilled its purpose or you would not exist. To say you are the random result of nature is contradictory to science, which serves to give reasonable causative explanation why and how things have come to be rather than simply say they are random. Causation by definition infers purpose.


Brian37 wrote:


Otherwise if all purpose meant was warm fuzzy feelings "just because" then we should all falsely believe that the sun was a thinking being because, for over 3,000 years, that warm fuzzy "purpose" sustained successfully the Ancient Egyptians.



The purpose of the sun as we perceive it seems clear. It provides us warmth and light, among other things. The Egyptians were thankful for this, and chose to show their respect in their own way. How do you know the sun is not a thinking being? This is very unlikely, but maybe underneath that hot surface is a big squishy brain. This might be an interesting topic for another post.
 

Brian37 wrote:


I think a better purpose for all humans is to scrap the stupid myth and labels and nationalism, and work on REAL problem solving like resources, pollution, crime and war. Those are all things that affect all of humanity. You don't need an invisible friend or superstition to know we all shit pee and will die.



I agree we should all come to a common purpose and glad you came to this conclusion. But in order for us all to agree we must first agree that we may disagree.


zarathustra wrote:


That is not to be inferred from your initial post, where you severally insinuated that an atheist's purpose is "essentially survival" and "undefined", and questioned why atheists don't simply commit suicide in absence of a defined purpose.   (Incidentally, I would like you to explore if you're so inclined, my question of why more theists don't commit suicide if they think there is a better life than this one -- presumably an afterlife of ultimate significance.)



ax wrote:


If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!



What I am saying in this sentence is if your purpose is survival or something other than spending time on this website, then why are you here? My suggestion is that you focus your time on a more fulfilling purpose of your choice, unless of course this is fulfilling for you, which you have indicated it is. There is no indication here that purpose is handed down.

Quote:



zarathustra wrote:


There is no ultimate significance to my existence, nor anything I do in that brief moment I exist.



ax wrote:


That is sad to hear. You have no goals in life?



zarathustra wrote:


Of course I do, and I'm not sure where you found it implied that I don't.  I simply do not operate under the delusion that my pursuit of goals bear any ultimate significance.





It seemed implied when you indicated there is no "ultimate significance" to your existence. However, I see in our banter here you that you have indicated you indeed have goals, but simply do not think they hold any ultimate significance. I do not know what your goals are personally, but if your goals were to be a ruthless dictator and you successfully completed them, that seems to me to be of ultimate significance, especially if it results in the massive loss of human life.


zarathustra wrote:


I'm afraid you'll have to be clearer still how you think this amounts to self-refutation.   My quest for nourishment is no more "purposeful" than that of any other living organism; it is a biological imperative.  Are you curious to ask plants and bacteria why they seek nourishment as well?

Again, there is no purpose to our existence.  By that I mean there is no ultimate meaning to our lives, and our existence is not part of the fulfillment of any goal.  Any worth and fulfillment in our otherwise meaningless existence is of our own provision.   Now where lies the self-refutation?



It is self-refuting if you agree you life is filled with purpose.

As a complex organism you are capable of processing many commands which may be abstract, optional or imperative. At the single point in time when you make a decision, there is a reason why you have made this decision.

When you are hungry, you decide to eat, but you also have the option not to eat, which you may sometimes choose after weighing other options.

You didn't define which plants and bacteria you are referring to, but if a flu virus is given the option to infect your system, which is to its advantage, it will always choose to infect you. Whereas you have the ability to override this fundamental "biological imperative", the virus does not..

Therefore your choice to eat is not only a biological imperative (which is more of a reminder that you should eat), but it is also your choice to live. So your purpose (an intended or desired result) in eating, is to nourish your system, but alternatively your purpose in not eating may be because you are not satisfied with the current food options available to you.

This purpose driven neural function separates you from the virus.

"Worth and fulfillment" are perceived. You define the meaning of your existence, and whether you lived a worthwhile life is speculation. If you agree you had a purpose (an intended or desired result) in choosing to eat, then it is only logical your life is filled with many of these decisions driven by purpose.

If your life is filled with much purpose, then this refutes that your life has no purpose.

Quote:



zarathustra wrote:


If the theist claims that one's existence cannot have purpose without a god then let him explain:  What is the purpose of god's existence?



ax wrote:

I never claimed your existence cannot have purpose without a god.



zarathustra wrote:


Again, your initial post carried that implication.  Why else would you ask why we don't just kill ourselves -- especially with the preamble that this is a theist attack on atheism?





My initial post implies the general atheist view has a rational flaw relating to the purpose of life - by not accepting any other beliefs, you may fail to recognize that your life has purpose.

If your life had no purpose, then you would not exist. You exist because your genetics were coded with a purpose to survive. The purpose of these genetics may be to give you physical strength, and the purpose of that strength may be to hunt animals for your survival. There is purpose from the bottom to the top, but once you are the top of the genetic decision tree your purpose becomes much more complex as the variables are not simply which phenotype produces the greatest strength, but which part of the jungle contains the best animals to hunt, or is the least dangerous?.. etc

So your life undoubtedly has purpose, we simply may disagree what that purpose is, or which is the most optimal.

I do not suggest to know what that purpose is, but rather encourage you to identify for yourself and question why you do the things you do.

zarathustra wrote:

And no; since you took pains to identify this as a theist attack on atheism,  the purpose in relation to god is relevant to the topic.  You ask what our purpose is and imply that cannot be satisfactorily explained without a god.  It is therefore pertinent to ask what a god's purpose would be in doing anything it does.

Theism implies purpose, whereas atheism usually does not. However, if you are able to accept the idea that your life has purpose without accepting a deity, the difference between your beliefs and a theist religion may be more similar than you realize.
I could not possibly comprehend the purpose of why a more advanced being makes any decision it makes any more than an ant could comprehend why you chose to step on it. But I can comprehend my own purpose, as you can as well, and choose accordingly in a way that is most fulfilling.


It is interesting to me that it is so difficult for many to understand the overall effect of the sum of one's decisions in their lifetime, especially when your leader Sapient clearly implies he indeed has a "higher" purpose:

Sapient wrote:


"To shun ignorance and superstition, to embrace knowledge and reason, to become the sum of all the wisdom that one can absorb in a very limited lifetime-that is the purpose of humankind." - Ranjef



Sapient defines his purpose, but many of you do not.

If you do not believe you have a purpose, then you are likely a tool to help someone else in their purpose.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Kapkao wrote:

ax wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

World:1 You:0

Would you like to go for World:2???

You offer no intellectual conjecture to validate your position. On the contrary, I am in support of "the world", and hope various religious viewpoints can come to agree upon a common purpose. I am simply asking you to identify and validate your stance on the purpose of life. Applying purpose to life is something many atheists seem to confuse with misunderstandings about theism, so as a theist, I am seeking to correct this view and point out that the purpose of life is always your choice, and the existence of collective purpose is undeniable based on pure scientific and mathematical reasoning.

 


Beyond Saving wrote:


I am missing your whole point...where is your "attack on atheism"?



An atheist point of view which many have supported here is there is no ultimate purpose. My simple conclusion is the "grand purpose" is simply the collective sum of individual purpose. Individual purpose exists, which can be proven simply be asking "why are you here", or why you do anything for that matter.

 

Brian37, I didn't get a chance to address you earlier, so I am glad you decided to respond again.

Let me first address your OP.

Brian37 wrote:


Why am I here? Because other atheist hang out here. And because I am sick and tired of superstition infecting politics and education as if it still has any merit in 2012 when we have cell phones, space telescopes and modern medicine.



Yes there are other atheist here, but they may not have necessarily directly asked you to be here or enjoy your presence here. Are you simply here because you feel a sense of belonging by being amongst others who share similar beliefs? What benefit does it bring you to be here? If you simply want to be part of a group without fully understanding its beliefs, then you are no different than those you dislike who blindly follow a religion without knowing why.

 
Brian37 wrote:


Do you really believe that there is a non-material magic man with a magic wand? I am sure you do, but that is YOU and your own anthropomorphic wishful thinking in wanting a super hero to exist.

It never occurs to the believer that life and the universe are the product of a mere WHAT, and not the product of a magical WHO.

You can accept that a hurricane doesn't need the ocean god Neptune to occur, why would nature or the universe be any different?



Nature and the universe are entirely purpose driven - Causality. This forum topic is about why you are here, your purpose and how the individual purpose affects the whole. If you would likely me to elaborate further on subjects unrelated to the topic, please start a new topic and we can discuss there.

 

Brian37 wrote:


LET US REPEAT, THERE IS NO PURPOSE!...



By us are you referring to all atheism? Sapient clearly disagrees with you when he stated:

Sapient wrote:


...All humans choose their own purpose in life...



 

Brian37 wrote:


...I am sorry that bothers you, but there is no purpose to life. Evolution only has one goal, to get to the point of reproduction. THAT is the only factual purpose to life.



Of course there is a purpose. Your specific individual purpose is to live and reproduce. I am a theist and I enjoy these things too. Additional purpose that you decide beyond this is your choice.

 

Brian37 wrote:


Now here is what we do that you do not do. We do not conflate nature to Superman vs Kriptonite.



The context of this discussion is not super heroes (which most people happen to think are pretty cool btw). This may fit into another forum topic if you would like to discuss religious anthropomorphism and the uncanny valley.


Brian37 wrote:


Purpose is an individual thing, there is no grand scheme to biology or the universe.



Indeed purpose varies per individual. From a macro perspective, we can notice groups of people often share similar purpose. Biology and the universe only strengthen my position. People who often excel in sports have biological advantages to those who do not. These advantages increase the probability of their choice in choosing that particular purpose. Because you are taller, faster and stronger doesn't mean you are going to excel in sports, or that you will choose this purpose, but this genetic advantage has increased the chance that you will consider this as a stronger alternative than someone who does not have the same advantages.


Brian37 wrote:


Do you think that the ocean god Neptune magically makes hurricanes to threaten us to conform to him? So why would biology or the universe need a "who" either?

Do you really believe that 60 million years from now that you or I will be remembered? Were you and I around 60 million years ago?



The topic is not about the existence of a "who" or our state of being in the past or present. This topic is not debating the existence of any supernatural being or the lack thereof since it is not the point I am illustrating, but I will gladly debate this in another topic.


Brian37 wrote:


PURPOSE, as a word depends on CONTEXT. There is no magic fairy tale purpose. The only thing humans have as far as purpose is the time between our birth and our death. If my sperm that made me did not make it to the egg, I wouldn't exist. All I can do since I am the random result of nature, is deal with what is, not bullshit myth and fairy tails.



Purpose - an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

It wasn't your sperm, it was your father's, and yes your sperm fulfilled its purpose or you would not exist. To say you are the random result of nature is contradictory to science, which serves to give reasonable causative explanation why and how things have come to be rather than simply say they are random. Causation by definition infers purpose.


Brian37 wrote:


Otherwise if all purpose meant was warm fuzzy feelings "just because" then we should all falsely believe that the sun was a thinking being because, for over 3,000 years, that warm fuzzy "purpose" sustained successfully the Ancient Egyptians.



The purpose of the sun as we perceive it seems clear. It provides us warmth and light, among other things. The Egyptians were thankful for this, and chose to show their respect in their own way. How do you know the sun is not a thinking being? This is very unlikely, but maybe underneath that hot surface is a big squishy brain. This might be an interesting topic for another post.
 

Brian37 wrote:


I think a better purpose for all humans is to scrap the stupid myth and labels and nationalism, and work on REAL problem solving like resources, pollution, crime and war. Those are all things that affect all of humanity. You don't need an invisible friend or superstition to know we all shit pee and will die.



I agree we should all come to a common purpose and glad you came to this conclusion. But in order for us all to agree we must first agree that we may disagree.


zarathustra wrote:


That is not to be inferred from your initial post, where you severally insinuated that an atheist's purpose is "essentially survival" and "undefined", and questioned why atheists don't simply commit suicide in absence of a defined purpose.   (Incidentally, I would like you to explore if you're so inclined, my question of why more theists don't commit suicide if they think there is a better life than this one -- presumably an afterlife of ultimate significance.)



ax wrote:


If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!



What I am saying in this sentence is if your purpose is survival or something other than spending time on this website, then why are you here? My suggestion is that you focus your time on a more fulfilling purpose of your choice, unless of course this is fulfilling for you, which you have indicated it is. There is no indication here that purpose is handed down.

Quote:



zarathustra wrote:


There is no ultimate significance to my existence, nor anything I do in that brief moment I exist.



ax wrote:


That is sad to hear. You have no goals in life?



zarathustra wrote:


Of course I do, and I'm not sure where you found it implied that I don't.  I simply do not operate under the delusion that my pursuit of goals bear any ultimate significance.





It seemed implied when you indicated there is no "ultimate significance" to your existence. However, I see in our banter here you that you have indicated you indeed have goals, but simply do not think they hold any ultimate significance. I do not know what your goals are personally, but if your goals were to be a ruthless dictator and you successfully completed them, that seems to me to be of ultimate significance, especially if it results in the massive loss of human life.


zarathustra wrote:


I'm afraid you'll have to be clearer still how you think this amounts to self-refutation.   My quest for nourishment is no more "purposeful" than that of any other living organism; it is a biological imperative.  Are you curious to ask plants and bacteria why they seek nourishment as well?

Again, there is no purpose to our existence.  By that I mean there is no ultimate meaning to our lives, and our existence is not part of the fulfillment of any goal.  Any worth and fulfillment in our otherwise meaningless existence is of our own provision.   Now where lies the self-refutation?



It is self-refuting if you agree you life is filled with purpose.

As a complex organism you are capable of processing many commands which may be abstract, optional or imperative. At the single point in time when you make a decision, there is a reason why you have made this decision.

When you are hungry, you decide to eat, but you also have the option not to eat, which you may sometimes choose after weighing other options.

You didn't define which plants and bacteria you are referring to, but if a flu virus is given the option to infect your system, which is to its advantage, it will always choose to infect you. Whereas you have the ability to override this fundamental "biological imperative", the virus does not..

Therefore your choice to eat is not only a biological imperative (which is more of a reminder that you should eat), but it is also your choice to live. So your purpose (an intended or desired result) in eating, is to nourish your system, but alternatively your purpose in not eating may be because you are not satisfied with the current food options available to you.

This purpose driven neural function separates you from the virus.

"Worth and fulfillment" are perceived. You define the meaning of your existence, and whether you lived a worthwhile life is speculation. If you agree you had a purpose (an intended or desired result) in choosing to eat, then it is only logical your life is filled with many of these decisions driven by purpose.

If your life is filled with much purpose, then this refutes that your life has no purpose.

Quote:



zarathustra wrote:


If the theist claims that one's existence cannot have purpose without a god then let him explain:  What is the purpose of god's existence?



ax wrote:

I never claimed your existence cannot have purpose without a god.



zarathustra wrote:


Again, your initial post carried that implication.  Why else would you ask why we don't just kill ourselves -- especially with the preamble that this is a theist attack on atheism?





My initial post implies the general atheist view has a rational flaw relating to the purpose of life - by not accepting any other beliefs, you may fail to recognize that your life has purpose.

If your life had no purpose, then you would not exist. You exist because your genetics were coded with a purpose to survive. The purpose of these genetics may be to give you physical strength, and the purpose of that strength may be to hunt animals for your survival. There is purpose from the bottom to the top, but once you are the top of the genetic decision tree your purpose becomes much more complex as the variables are not simply which phenotype produces the greatest strength, but which part of the jungle contains the best animals to hunt, or is the least dangerous?.. etc

So your life undoubtedly has purpose, we simply may disagree what that purpose is, or which is the most optimal.

I do not suggest to know what that purpose is, but rather encourage you to identify for yourself and question why you do the things you do.

zarathustra wrote:

And no; since you took pains to identify this as a theist attack on atheism,  the purpose in relation to god is relevant to the topic.  You ask what our purpose is and imply that cannot be satisfactorily explained without a god.  It is therefore pertinent to ask what a god's purpose would be in doing anything it does.

Theism implies purpose, whereas atheism usually does not. However, if you are able to accept the idea that your life has purpose without accepting a deity, the difference between your beliefs and a theist religion may be more similar than you realize.
I could not possibly comprehend the purpose of why a more advanced being makes any decision it makes any more than an ant could comprehend why you chose to step on it. But I can comprehend my own purpose, as you can as well, and choose accordingly in a way that is most fulfilling.


It is interesting to me that it is so difficult for many to understand the overall effect of the sum of one's decisions in their lifetime, especially when your leader Sapient clearly implies he indeed has a "higher" purpose:

Sapient wrote:


"To shun ignorance and superstition, to embrace knowledge and reason, to become the sum of all the wisdom that one can absorb in a very limited lifetime-that is the purpose of humankind." - Ranjef



Sapient defines his purpose, but many of you do not.

If you do not believe you have a purpose, then you are likely a tool to help someone else in their purpose.

I just looked up the word "obtuse" on wikipedia and found a picture of you.

Sapient and I DO NOT disagree about the word "purpose". He has his individual purpose and I have mine.

You make no distinction between individual purpose, and nature.

The universe and biological evolution have no purpose. Just like a single rain drop has no set location from cloud to ground. The universe and evolution are NOT the result of a magical "who" but the result of a non-cognitive "what".

We as thinking beings make our own purpose from the time we are born to the time we die. Before we are born is nothing, after we die is nothing. Brian Sapient would not disagree with me on that.

There is no grand scheme to nature or the universe, anymore than there is a scheme to the seasons changing.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Philosophicus
Philosophicus's picture
Posts: 362
Joined: 2009-12-16
User is offlineOffline
...

ax, it seems you're doing a bait and switch with your use of the word 'purpose.'  You bait us in with the meaning of purpose as 'efficient cause,' get us to agree, then switch to the meaning of purpose as 'final cause.'  There is only efficient cause in the universe up until the point when minds evolve enough to have teleology, or final causes.  For most of the history of life on earth, biology only had efficient causes.


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Why are you here on

ax wrote:

Why are you here on this website?

I consider this website as part intellectual stimulation, part entertainment, and part my inner drive to point out logical fallacies and irrationality. 

ax wrote:

This post is a theist attack on atheism:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!

Firstly, there is no "atheist view" relative to the "purpose of life", if there is I must have not gotten the memo.  The "purpose of life" is a poorly defined concept and has absolutely no meaning unless you define the frame of reference in which you would use said concept.  For example, do you mean the ultimate purpose to life, the universe and everything? then the answer is 42.  If you mean the purpose of my individual life relative to my community, then said purpose is to better my community and to be a productive member.  If you mean the purpose of life relative to my family, then my purpose is to provide, protect and contribute.  ETC.

You define the frame of reference and I will tell you specifically what my purpose of life is.  

ax wrote:

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live? <-- if you're contemplating suicide, don't do it!

I'm not even sure what you mean by undefined.  The short answer would be, continue to live to define it? whatever that means... you really have to be more specific.

ax wrote:

Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

Yes, theism and every other irrationality that I can discredit.

ax wrote:
 

The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.

The term you are looking for is "vague" not loaded.  There is a world of difference.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
I am strictly of the "I

I am strictly of the "I could give a shit what people believe" position... until they ask stupid questions or make stupid philosophical propositions.

Atheistic philosophy is a pain in the ass enough to sort out, as is. Why inflate the already measurable clustercoitus with the GARGANTUAN fuckup that is religious philosophy?

 

edit; in short... you make several pitiful arguments from authority that are quite ineffectual as is. Why should I care what you think or want to know?

 

/sniggers

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Kap, you're right so much for being serious

Brian37 wrote:

I just looked up the word "obtuse" on wikipedia and found a picture of you.

 

Oh good, they finally took down the picture of me. 

 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:  I just

Brian37 wrote:

 I just looked up the word "obtuse" on wikipedia and found a picture of you.

Sapient and I DO NOT disagree about the word "purpose". He has his individual purpose and I have mine.

You make no distinction between individual purpose, and nature.

The universe and biological evolution have no purpose. Just like a single rain drop has no set location from cloud to ground. The universe and evolution are NOT the result of a magical "who" but the result of a non-cognitive "what".

We as thinking beings make our own purpose from the time we are born to the time we die. Before we are born is nothing, after we die is nothing. Brian Sapient would not disagree with me on that.

There is no grand scheme to nature or the universe, anymore than there is a scheme to the seasons changing.

 

Your purpose is to exist, but unique to you is a choice on how to exist. The options of how to exist far exceed the options conceivable by other species, but these options are still bound to you by nature. You can conceive flight, but even if you choose to fly you cannot suddenly grow wings - you are limited by gravity and the genetics that define you.

Because there is a realization of oneself, you are attributed individuality, and so we have individual purpose - a combination of choices unique to your iteration of the human organism that you choose while completing your primary purpose in life (existing). You make these choices to establish additional purposes to vary yourself from the control group (other humans). This is an attempt of your genetics to improve your next iteration. Ultimately we will all still face the same end regardless of these choices - death.

So the primary purpose of your life is still to live, but in order to improve the organism, your genetics will also attempt to make other choices which may benefit yourself and ultimately the human race. This secondary purpose is the one we individually define differently, and think of as a "higher purpose". This is the one we should try to agree on; what choices will most benefit yourself and mankind.

The "grand scheme" is obviously there, you and I just disagree on what it is. The seasons changing helps sustain life on Earth. From a perspective of how it relates to your survival, (to you) this is the purpose of the seasons and to maintain your survival this purpose must exist. You can impact the seasons, so you are therefore connected to it and may make an effort to ensure the seasons maintain, since "in the grand scheme of things", it is necessary for your survival. 

 

Philosophicus wrote:

ax, it seems you're doing a bait and switch with your use of the word 'purpose.'  You bait us in with the meaning of purpose as 'efficient cause,' get us to agree, then switch to the meaning of purpose as 'final cause.'  There is only efficient cause in the universe up until the point when minds evolve enough to have teleology, or final causes.  For most of the history of life on earth, biology only had efficient causes.

My belief is that the final cause is the most efficient cause. What is more efficient to your survival than immortality? This is the goal which you biology seeks, because obviously the most desirable outcome is not to die at all.

 

Ktulu wrote:

Firstly, there is no "atheist view" relative to the "purpose of life", if there is I must have not gotten the memo.  The "purpose of life" is a poorly defined concept and has absolutely no meaning unless you define the frame of reference in which you would use said concept.  For example, do you mean the ultimate purpose to life, the universe and everything? then the answer is 42.  If you mean the purpose of my individual life relative to my community, then said purpose is to better my community and to be a productive member.  If you mean the purpose of life relative to my family, then my purpose is to provide, protect and contribute.  ETC.

You define the frame of reference and I will tell you specifically what my purpose of life is.  

 

I stated "and/or" because some atheists may see this view as relevant to their religious position, whereas others (the or) will see this simply as a personal view.

The purpose of your life is the sum of all your purposes, at every frame of reference. The ultimate purpose of everything is speculation, but it is clearly something, not nothing; our genetics drives us to live, not die.

 

Ktulu wrote:

I'm not even sure what you mean by undefined.  The short answer would be, continue to live to define it? whatever that means... you really have to be more specific.

You clearly have defined your life has purpose, whereas some others earlier stated it has no purpose. We have since attempted to establish the difference between primary purposes and secondary purposes, and how these both relate to the purpose of life.

 

Ktulu wrote:

Yes, theism and every other irrationality that I can discredit.

I disagree that you say theism is irrational, but would be off topic if I were to introduce this debate in these posts, and must reserve my view on this for another topic where you will hopefully be present.

 

Ktulu wrote:

The term you are looking for is "vague" not loaded.  There is a world of difference.

Loaded question - a question which contains a controversial assumption such as a presumption of guilt.

My controversial assumption is that many atheists believe their life has no "higher" purpose. My question presupposes that life does indeed have a "higher" purpose.

 

Kapkao wrote:

 I am strictly of the "I could give a shit what people believe" position... until they ask stupid questions or make stupid philosophical propositions.

Atheistic philosophy is a pain in the ass enough to sort out, as is. Why inflate the already measurable clustercoitus with the GARGANTUAN fuckup that is religious philosophy?

 

C'est la vie.

 

Kapkao wrote:

 ...Why should I care what you think or want to know?

 

Touché.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:So the primary

ax wrote:

So the primary purpose of your life is still to live, but in order to improve the organism, your genetics will also attempt to make other choices which may benefit yourself and ultimately the human race. This secondary purpose is the one we individually define differently, and think of as a "higher purpose". This is the one we should try to agree on; what choices will most benefit yourself and mankind.

Why should we try to agree on one purpose? How about we just agree that you have your own purpose and I'll have mine and try not to kill each other over it. Obviously, Brian37's higher purpose in life is to be my foil in the political forums, Sapient's higher purpose is to run this site, Kapkao's higher purpose is to troll for laughs, Ktulu's higher purpose is to attempt to get you to be more precise, Philosophicus' higher purpose is to take you seriously just in case you are serious, Zarathustra's higher purpose is to remind me of my favorite philosophy professor- the Jew who loved Heidegger. 

 

ax wrote:

My belief is that the final cause is the most efficient cause. What is more efficient to your survival than immortality? This is the goal which you biology seeks, because obviously the most desirable outcome is not to die at all.

Immortality is not a desirable outcome. Indeed, I can't think of anything that would ruin the experience of life more than immortality. Ironically, IME atheists tend to fear death less than theists. 

 

ax wrote:

The purpose of your life is the sum of all your purposes, at every frame of reference. The ultimate purpose of everything is speculation, but it is clearly something, not nothing; our genetics drives us to live, not die.

Not necessarily. Many people consider certain things more important than living and put themselves in lethal situations or even kill themselves for things they believe are more important than life. For example, many people would willingly die to save a loved one. Again, you have a purpose that might be common among a very large portion of the human population, but it is not universal by any means. There is no great purpose that everyone shares. 

 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:Brian37

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I just looked up the word "obtuse" on wikipedia and found a picture of you.

 

Oh good, they finally took down the picture of me. 

 

[jokasaurus_rex=Kapkao] I say we get the names of every fool that minted his coins so can tax the living fuck out of both him and them... then charge him a yearly percentage based on both offshore assets and domestic estates just for the privilege of being sodomized sideways by tax codes and social engineering.

Oh wait... that tax is already on the bill table, isn't it? I mean... how else are states and our ever-glorious nation going to pay for such expensive damn public schools?!

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Ktulu wrote: The

ax wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

The term you are looking for is "vague" not loaded.  There is a world of difference.

Loaded question - a question which contains a controversial assumption such as a presumption of guilt.

My controversial assumption is that many atheists believe their life has no "higher" purpose. My question presupposes that life does indeed have a "higher" purpose.

I look forward to future exchanges as well Smiling I see what you're attempting to do with the sum of all purposes = bigger purpose but I beg to differ.  It is a fallacy of composition.

Basically a fallacy of composition makes the assumption that if parts of a system have a property, the system itself has that property.  For example, an iron chunk sinks in water, therefore a boat made of iron will sink in water.  In order to avoid this fallacy you have to define purpose as an absolute.  Since you and I strongly agree that purpose is relative:

ax wrote:

I never said it was handed down. In fact, I am supporting that you choose your own purpose.

You sir are on a slippery slope.  

As a side note, I agree with everything you said prior to committing the fallacy.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:Brian37

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I just looked up the word "obtuse" on wikipedia and found a picture of you.

 

Oh good, they finally took down the picture of me. 

 

That is you? "Smithers, send that family a ham"...................Glad to see you have a sense of humor.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
 Beyond Saving wrote:Why

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Why should we try to agree on one purpose? How about we just agree that you have your own purpose and I'll have mine and try not to kill each other over it. Obviously, Brian37's higher purpose in life is to be my foil in the political forums, Sapient's higher purpose is to run this site, Kapkao's higher purpose is to troll for laughs, Ktulu's higher purpose is to attempt to get you to be more precise, Philosophicus' higher purpose is to take you seriously just in case you are serious, Zarathustra's higher purpose is to remind me of my favorite philosophy professor- the Jew who loved Heidegger. 

The benefit of trying to agree on our purpose is to achieve higher efficiency as a group than we could as an individual. A beehive can only function if all roles are carried out for the benefit of the hive.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Immortality is not a desirable outcome. Indeed, I can't think of anything that would ruin the experience of life more than immortality. Ironically, IME atheists tend to fear death less than theists.

From a biological perspective, what is most desirable to our genetics? I do not fear death because of the premise of immortality.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Not necessarily. Many people consider certain things more important than living and put themselves in lethal situations or even kill themselves for things they believe are more important than life. For example, many people would willingly die to save a loved one. Again, you have a purpose that might be common among a very large portion of the human population, but it is not universal by any means. There is no great purpose that everyone shares.

As sure as a fish with a short fin is more likely to be eaten, someone who values their survival less has impacted their chance of continuing to live. If they value their survival less, natural selection states that genetics will eliminate their reasoning from the future iterations. Genetics is a process of elimination, and among the whole control group a pattern will emerge of those who have survived the longest. 

 

 

Ktulu wrote:

I look forward to future exchanges as well  I see what you're attempting to do with the sum of all purposes = bigger purpose but I beg to differ.  It is a fallacy of composition.

 

Basically a fallacy of composition makes the assumption that if parts of a system have a property, the system itself has that property.  For example, an iron chunk sinks in water, therefore a boat made of iron will sink in water.  In order to avoid this fallacy you have to define purpose as an absolute.  Since you and I strongly agree that purpose is relative:

Indeed Aristotle! I must prove my statement with certainty and clarity. Please help me with the deductive reasoning that can surely establish the proof.

 

The Game is life.

Day is a unit of Time. Time is a measurable and quantifiable variable that increases indefinitely as perceived by the player.

Person is a player in the game.

The quantity of Persons playing increases as time increases.

Each Person may execute any variable quantity of actions as time increases, but the total quantity of these actions (the sum) is less than the finite quantity of all actions available to each Person (you cannot do everything available as an option in a single lifetime); the quantity of actions taken per unit of time by each Person is therefore limited.

Each action has an intended or desired result, and by definition is therefore a purpose.

 

Commence Game:

On Day 1, Person A adds a new purpose.

On Day 1, Person B adds a new purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person A and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

On Day 2, Person A maintains the same purpose as on Day 1.

On Day 2, Person B subtracts a purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

...

 

Analysis:

In a series of Days from 0 approaching infinity, each Person (seemingly randomly) adds and subtracts purpose. Since the quantity of persons also increases with respect to Days, and the available purposes (actions) is finite, then with certainty there will be a known quantity of purposes that match among all Persons.

 

The high recurrence of any particular purposes among all matches of all Persons may therefore be isolated as higher-order purposes, since they are shared by multiple Persons and continue to reoccur.

 

Within this group of higher-order purposes, one particular purpose eventually will have the highest recurrence. So we are destined by science and mathematics to ultimately have the most common occurence of one single purpose.

 

Ktulu wrote:

You sir are on a slippery slope.  

 

As a side note, I agree with everything you said prior to committing the fallacy.

The slope is very slippery; it is an icy mountain I am trying to climb.

 


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:I disagree that you

Quote:
I disagree that you say theism is irrational, but would be off topic

If you believe in a non material thinking being, it is quite on topic. Because everything you argue is intended to lead to the conclusion that a god exists.

Why? Because thoughts require a material process. We have no evidence of non biological life having the capability of thought, thus making theism, especially theism that has god claims, irrational.

Just as you would agree that it would be irrational to believe that the sun is a thinking being.

What IS rational is the fact that our species has always been capable of believing false things. Deity belief and the traditions of superstitions stem from our  gap filling. If we think a sugar pill will bring comfort and a social structure, we use it, even if that sugar pill is a delusion.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 582
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Why are you here on

Quote:
Why are you here on this website?

 

I found the best way to float ideas around for social change is to stay away from bullshit like 4chan, Reddit and Facebook and make a home base in a place where religion isn't dominating, intelligence is regarded as beneficial/worthwhile and new ideas are mostly accepted. 

 

Oh, and the cookies here were much tastier than those on the dark side

 

Quote:
If you are trying to discover yourself, kudos, but this post is not necessarily for you. Search, ask and research until you are satisfied or bored...

 

"To thine own self be true" - Shakespeare

 

I grew bored of being something I wasn't so I stopped believing and evolved.  I'm pretty satisfied.

 

Quote:
This post is a theist attack on atheism:

 

If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain?

 

I don't expect someone that belongs to an astronomically large belief system to understand how remarkably important something like an atheist movement website with thousands of members is.  It is VITAL as is all atheist efforts to purge the ties that bind religious corruption.  For all of us to remain silent and passive is not an option especially when it's YOUR laws and influence that keep us in all sorts of social shackles that hinder our mental progress as a species.

 

Quote:
If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is undefined, then why continue to live?

 

The purpose of life is to live to the fullest and do as much good for the world as you can while limiting the harm you cause to the best of your ability.  That's it.

 

Quote:
Is part of your purpose in life simply to discredit theism?

 

No; it's to eradicate it. 

 

Quote:
The questions are loaded. If you respond, then they served their purpose. If you read it and don't respond, they still served their purpose. If the topic is deleted, they still served their purpose.

 

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote: If you

Brian37 wrote:

If you believe in a non material thinking being, it is quite on topic. Because everything you argue is intended to lead to the conclusion that a god exists.

I never stated I believe in a non material being.. It is quite possible a more advanced being is very tangible. But this is off topic.. Whether a god exists or not is irrelevant to the questions. The questions are in regard to your purpose in life. You do not need a god to have a purpose in life, but it may help to shape that purpose if you are uncertain.

 

Brian37 wrote:

Why? Because thoughts require a material process. We have no evidence of non biological life having the capability of thought, thus making theism, especially theism that has god claims, irrational.

I am not sure how you think this relates to your purpose in life.. Even if there was no evidence that non biological life can have thought, it would not make it impossible; it would simply be unproven or unlikely. Since computer programming and AI recreate thought with increasing accuracy, it would indicate quite the opposite - that maybe thought can exist without biological life. Isn't that why Transformers is so believable?

 

Brian37 wrote:

Just as you would agree that it would be irrational to believe that the sun is a thinking being.

Also off topic, but in case you claim it relates.. It is irrational for us to believe the sun is a thinking being because we (arguably) have a greater knowledge of cosmology than ancient humans who may have believed this. However, it does not completely eliminate the possibility. Science has already proven that the environmental conditions in which biological life can exist can be very extreme, and their limits are still uncertain.

 

Brian37 wrote:

What IS rational is the fact that our species has always been capable of believing false things. Deity belief and the traditions of superstitions stem from our  gap filling. If we think a sugar pill will bring comfort and a social structure, we use it, even if that sugar pill is a delusion.

Seems off topic again as it is not specified how this relates to purpose but I'm enjoying these statements. If you've ever played Chinese whispers (a.k.a. "telephone&quotEye-wink, you can see how easy it is for the truth to become distorted over time as it is continuously reinterpreted. What if atheism is your sugar pill?

 

 

Sage_Override wrote:

I don't expect someone that belongs to an astronomically large belief system to understand how remarkably important something like an atheist movement website with thousands of members is.  It is VITAL as is all atheist efforts to purge the ties that bind religious corruption.  For all of us to remain silent and passive is not an option especially when it's YOUR laws and influence that keep us in all sorts of social shackles that hinder our mental progress as a species.

It seems I am targeted by many off topic attacks, but nonetheless.. Whether the atheist movement is important or not is a matter of opinion and perspective. You must validate why you think it is important, and especially how it truly affects you. Will you cease to exist if you change your belief? Will you make more or less money? etc. I never suggested you remain silent or passive if this is truly important to you. The "social shackles" you speak of are a political matter, and should not be confused with religion.

 

Sage_Override wrote:

The purpose of life is to live to the fullest and do as much good for the world as you can while limiting the harm you cause to the best of your ability.  That's it.

I respect your purpose. There are many theists who want the same thing.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:The benefit of

ax wrote:

The benefit of trying to agree on our purpose is to achieve higher efficiency as a group than we could as an individual. A beehive can only function if all roles are carried out for the benefit of the hive.

Why is high efficiency such an important goal? High efficiency towards which purpose? Does it matter? Personally, I think efficiency is overrated and so is "getting along", I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone agreed on a single purpose and attempted to achieve it with the highest possible efficiency. One of the reasons I love this site is because of the disagreements.

 

Fortunately, I am not a bee, they would kick my ass out of the hive. 

 

ax wrote:

As sure as a fish with a short fin is more likely to be eaten, someone who values their survival less has impacted their chance of continuing to live. If they value their survival less, natural selection states that genetics will eliminate their reasoning from the future iterations. Genetics is a process of elimination, and among the whole control group a pattern will emerge of those who have survived the longest. 

The theory of evolution states no such thing. Evolution simply suggests that species capable of surviving will continue to survive. Species can evolve to be good enough, they don't constantly improve or advance to some kind of perfection. It does not guarantee the elimination of genes that might lead to higher death rates and there is no evidence that reasoning is genetic. If it was, religion would probably already be a thing of the past as much as religious types are always killing each other and dying for their god(s).

 

 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 582
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:It seems I am targeted

Quote:
It seems I am targeted by many off topic attacks, but nonetheless..

 

How is this off topic?  You come on here and try to put a really pathetic spin on some watered-down questions directed at atheists and you expect, what, the same responses from every atheist here?  I notice a pattern with believers; they think everything is "off-topic" or "irrelevant" or "straw man" when it comes to the issues when they have nothing else to say.  Spare me and, furthermore, spare all of us.  Better yet, have a chat with your "creator."

 

 

 

Quote:
Whether the atheist movement is important or not is a matter of opinion and perspective. You must validate why you think it is important, and especially how it truly affects you. Will you cease to exist if you change your belief? Will you make more or less money? etc.

 

Validate it?  VALIDATE IT??  Unlike you and your beliefs, I don't have to validate a damn thing let alone to someone like you.  I have no religious beliefs.  If anything, the validation lies with YOU, not me.  Atheism doesn't affect me in the way that you're implying because there's nothing that it does except provide me with nothing which is what atheism is; a "lack of."  We have the affirmation that there are no gods and never have been.  Whatever ignorance you have that's geared towards your expectations of atheists or atheism in general needs to be addressed.     

 

Quote:
I never suggested you remain silent or passive if this is truly important to you. The "social shackles" you speak of are a political matter, and should not be confused with religion.

 

Religion and politics are interconnected and if you believe differently, you really need to get your head out of the sand.  A good portion of the social troubles in this world have started with religious beliefs and developed into political ones harboring a lot of hypocrisy and creating a senseless place in the modern world.  You name it; abortion, gun control, medical issues, the death penalty, etc., etc.     

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Ktulu

ax wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

Basically a fallacy of composition makes the assumption that if parts of a system have a property, the system itself has that property.  For example, an iron chunk sinks in water, therefore a boat made of iron will sink in water.  In order to avoid this fallacy you have to define purpose as an absolute.  Since you and I strongly agree that purpose is relative:

Indeed Aristotle! I must prove my statement with certainty and clarity. Please help me with the deductive reasoning that can surely establish the proof.

The Game is life.

Day is a unit of Time. Time is a measurable and quantifiable variable that increases indefinitely as perceived by the player.

Person is a player in the game.

The quantity of Persons playing increases as time increases.

Each Person may execute any variable quantity of actions as time increases, but the total quantity of these actions (the sum) is less than the finite quantity of all actions available to each Person (you cannot do everything available as an option in a single lifetime); the quantity of actions taken per unit of time by each Person is therefore limited.

Each action has an intended or desired result, and by definition is therefore a purpose.

 

Commence Game:

On Day 1, Person A adds a new purpose.

On Day 1, Person B adds a new purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person A and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

On Day 2, Person A maintains the same purpose as on Day 1.

On Day 2, Person B subtracts a purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

...

I'm not sure what this is intended to prove, let me try.

On Day 3, Person C subtracts a large quantity of the arbitrarily, subjectively prerecorded "matching" purposes of A and B

On Day 3 you get Cp>Ap+Bp... 

This game proves that you like making up games.  That's very creative of you Smiling

 

In order to avoid a fallacy, and therefore render your argument illogical, you need to prove that the concept of PURPOSE is an objectively, independently perceived absolute.  For example:

Led's melting point is ~300 C (absolute property)

P1 = chunks of led melt at ~300 C

P2 = this statue of Jesus is made of chunks of led

Therefore Jesus melts at ~300 C (I joke, I joke, the statue of Jesus melts at 300 C Smiling )

The above is a logical conclusion and not a fallacy of composition because the melting point property of led is absolute.

 

This is the analogy of your PURPOSE argument.

P1 = this chunk of led is ugly

P2 = this statue of Jesus is made of chunks of led

Therefore Jesus is ugly ( I joke again, it's the statue of Jesus that I incorrectly conclude to be ugly Smiling )

The above is a fallacy of composition because UGLY, like PURPOSE is a relative and subjective property. 

 

I hope that clears up the misunderstanding.

ax wrote:
 

Analysis:

In a series of Days from 0 approaching infinity, each Person (seemingly randomly) adds and subtracts purpose. Since the quantity of persons also increases with respect to Days, and the available purposes (actions) is finite, then with certainty there will be a known quantity of purposes that match among all Persons.

 

The high recurrence of any particular purposes among all matches of all Persons may therefore be isolated as higher-order purposes, since they are shared by multiple Persons and continue to reoccur.

 

Within this group of higher-order purposes, one particular purpose eventually will have the highest recurrence. So we are destined by science and mathematics to ultimately have the most common occurence of one single purpose.

 

Ktulu wrote:

You sir are on a slippery slope.  

 

As a side note, I agree with everything you said prior to committing the fallacy.

The slope is very slippery; it is an icy mountain I am trying to climb. 

A slippery slope is an informal fallacy where the conclusion that purpose arbitrarily accumulates coherently leads you down a reasoning slope, concluding with your "higher purpose" that is analogous of GOD.  I will also like to point out a begging the question fallacy in your argument by attempting to prove "higher purpose" as a Sum Of All Purpose, with using Purpose as part of the premise.  I can elaborate on that fallacy if you like.

It is a valiant effort, but in order for this to be a true attack on atheism you have to at least make it a self consistent logical argument. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1196
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Il n'y a qu'un problème philosophique vraiment sérieux

ax wrote:
Quote:

 If the atheist view and/or your personal view on the "purpose of life" is essentially survival or defined (anything else), then why choose to spend time on something like this website that is not necessary for your survival or personal gain? <-- you could be more focused and get rich like zuckerberg!


 What I am saying in this sentence is if your purpose is survival or something other than spending time on this website, then why are you here? My suggestion is that you focus your time on a more fulfilling purpose of your choice, unless of course this is fulfilling for you, which you have indicated it is. There is no indication here that purpose is handed down.

What I've already said is that my life has no purpose -- in any higher, overarching, handed down sense.  What I've also already said is I'm on this site because I enjoy it, enjoyment being a goal I've set for myself -- though not in any ultimate sense, lest you misconstrue.  

If you are in fact "supporting" that I choose my own purpose, I am uncertain precisely what your quibble is.  

ax wrote:
...I see in our banter here you that you have indicated you indeed have goals, but simply do not think they hold any ultimate significance. I do not know what your goals are personally, but if your goals were to be a ruthless dictator and you successfully completed them, that seems to me to be of ultimate significance, especially if it results in the massive loss of human life.

Then you are mistaken; there is in fact no ultimate significance to a ruthlessly successful dictatorship.  Your mistake is particularly gauche if hypothetically predicated on a resulting "massive loss of human life":  There is an ever-increasing body of data that suggests all humans --and indeed, all living things-- eventually die.  (I regret to inform you that you will likely contribute to this statistic at some point in the future.)  That is to say, whether people die peacefully in their sleep after several decades of lyrical bliss; or untimely mewling upon the implements of torture of a psychotically imbalanced autocrat; the loss of human life promises to be equally massive.  Your selective consideration of human life (to the exclusion of non-human life) and the manner of death amounts to arbitrary reasoning.  

And one day our planet (and all life on it) will be destroyed, whether by the successful trajectory of a ruthless asteroid; or the successful expansion of our ruthless sun, or the successful heat death of our ruthless universe.  And the proportion of shiny happy people holding hands to scabby oppressed people holding kidneys will be of no ultimate significance.


ax wrote:
It is self-refuting if you agree you life is filled with purpose.

I'm afraid you will have to be clearer still how this amounts to self-refutation, when I clearly made a distinction between a higher, handed-down purpose, and purpose of my own device.

 

ax wrote:
When you are hungry, you decide to eat, but you also have the option not to eat, which you may sometimes choose after weighing other options.

 You didn't define which plants and bacteria you are referring to, but if a flu virus is given the option to infect your system, which is to its advantage, it will always choose to infect you. Whereas you have the ability to override this fundamental "biological imperative", the virus does not..Therefore your choice to eat is not only a biological imperative (which is more of a reminder that you should eat), but it is also your choice to live. So your purpose (an intended or desired result) in eating, is to nourish your system, but alternatively your purpose in not eating may be because you are not satisfied with the current food options available to you.

Correct, but if I (or anyone else) forgo eating or any other biological imperative long enough, I will no longer exist (and by extension, no longer be able to ponder if my existence has a higher purpose -- which it does not).  

That our species which have evolved brains complex enough that we may challenge our biological imperatives is hardly an indication of higher purpose.

 

ax wrote:
If your life is filled with much purpose, then this refutes that your life has no purpose.

False.  If my life is filled with purpose of my own device, it does not refute that my life has no higher purpose.  Please attend this distinction, as it has been made several times now.

 

ax wrote:
If your life had no purpose, then you would not exist. You exist because your genetics were coded with a purpose to survive. The purpose of these genetics may be to give you physical strength, and the purpose of that strength may be to hunt animals for your survival. There is purpose from the bottom to the top, but once you are the top of the genetic decision tree your purpose becomes much more complex as the variables are not simply which phenotype produces the greatest strength, but which part of the jungle contains the best animals to hunt, or is the least dangerous?.. etc

False again.  I exist because each generation in my personal ancestry successfully reproduced.  Genetics has no "bottom to the top" purpose; the genes that contribute to an organism's survival in its environment get propagated, while those not conducive get selected out--naturally, blindly, without any higher purpose as a factor.  

 

ax wrote:
Theism implies purpose, whereas atheism usually does not. However, if you are able to accept the idea that your life has purpose without accepting a deity, the difference between your beliefs and a theist religion may be more similar than you realize.I could not possibly comprehend the purpose of why a more advanced being makes any decision it makes any more than an ant could comprehend why you chose to step on it. But I can comprehend my own purpose, as you can as well, and choose accordingly in a way that is most fulfilling.

False again.  Theism simply begs the question:  What is the purpose of god's existence?  Just as with other theist fallacies like the First Cause or Moral arguments, this simply adds an extra step -- god -- and leaves the begged question unanswered.


ax wrote:
I do not fear death because of the premise of immortality.

Then I will ask (again) why theists who believe in a better life than this one don't commit suicide (as you appear to have now identified yourself).  You previously implied your expectation that atheists who acknowledge no (higher) purpose to their lives should commit suicide.  Now if you truly believe in your "premise of immortality" why are you still here, shuffling mortally about?

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Sage_Override wrote: 

Sage_Override wrote:


 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


neptewn
Silver Member
neptewn's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: 2007-06-25
User is offlineOffline
People gravitate towards

People gravitate towards like minds; I also frequent music forums, and a pipe smoking forum. The definition of atheism does not include a proposition on the purpose of life. Survival is self-evident and not exclusive to atheist. If you assume your purpose is faith and not survival, I invite you to try not eating for a while, and see how long your faith can sustain you.

 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote: ax

zarathustra wrote:

 

 


ax wrote:
I do not fear death because of the premise of immortality.

Then I will ask (again) why theists who believe in a better life than this one don't commit suicide (as you appear to have now identified yourself).  You previously implied your expectation that atheists who acknowledge no (higher) purpose to their lives should commit suicide.  Now if you truly believe in your "premise of immortality" why are you still here, shuffling mortally about?

 

 

 

    Many Christians won't commit suicide because in the eyes of God that would be looked upon as them going AWOL.  They would have abandoned their post and failed their mission of Earthly subservience .   It also means ( to those Christians who are convinced believers who kill themselves don't lose their salvation ) that they won't receive as much gold, diamonds, heavenly mansions and other celestial real estate because God was disappointed with their lack of commitment to him.  Suicide would diminish their heavenly "pay day" and reduce their status in the heavenly hierarchy. 

 

  Still other Christian sects don't commit suicide simply because they believe that they will lose their salvation and be condemned to Hell.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
neptewn wrote:People

neptewn wrote:

People gravitate towards like minds; I also frequent music forums, and a pipe smoking forum. The definition of atheism does not include a proposition on the purpose of life. Survival is self-evident and not exclusive to atheist. If you assume your purpose is faith and not survival, I invite you to try not eating for a while, and see how long your faith can sustain you.

 

This guy has just earned my next bottle of decades-old chardonnay (assuming, I ever can afford the genuine article.)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13396
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Kapkao wrote:neptewn

Kapkao wrote:

neptewn wrote:

People gravitate towards like minds; I also frequent music forums, and a pipe smoking forum. The definition of atheism does not include a proposition on the purpose of life. Survival is self-evident and not exclusive to atheist. If you assume your purpose is faith and not survival, I invite you to try not eating for a while, and see how long your faith can sustain you.

 

This guy has just earned my next bottle of decades-old chardonnay (assuming, I ever can afford the genuine article.)

No no no no, you need liquid crack, Mad Dog. Or a bible, does the same thing to the brain.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Orly Taitz Owl

Brian37 wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

neptewn wrote:

People gravitate towards like minds; I also frequent music forums, and a pipe smoking forum. The definition of atheism does not include a proposition on the purpose of life. Survival is self-evident and not exclusive to atheist. If you assume your purpose is faith and not survival, I invite you to try not eating for a while, and see how long your faith can sustain you.

 

This guy has just earned my next bottle of decades-old chardonnay (assuming, I ever can afford the genuine article.)

No no no no, you need liquid crack, Mad Dog. Or a bible, does the same thing to the brain.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 582
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
 Brian37 wrote:Kapkao

 

Quote:
Brian37 wrote:
Kapkao wrote:
neptewn wrote:
People gravitate towards like minds; I also frequent music forums, and a pipe smoking forum. The definition of atheism does not include a proposition on the purpose of life. Survival is self-evident and not exclusive to atheist. If you assume your purpose is faith and not survival, I invite you to try not eating for a while, and see how long your faith can sustain you.

 

This guy has just earned my next bottle of decades-old chardonnay (assuming, I ever can afford the genuine article.)

No no no no, you need liquid crack, Mad Dog. Or a bible, does the same thing to the brain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


ax
Theist
ax's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: 2012-02-10
User is offlineOffline
 ::Cracks knuckles:: You

 ::Cracks knuckles:: You guys make me feel like Ip Man. Someone give me a heads up before the big British boxer gets here.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Why is high efficiency such an important goal? High efficiency towards which purpose? Does it matter? Personally, I think efficiency is overrated and so is "getting along", I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone agreed on a single purpose and attempted to achieve it with the highest possible efficiency. One of the reasons I love this site is because of the disagreements.

 

Fortunately, I am not a bee, they would kick my ass out of the hive.  

There are many reasons why efficiency is important. You can research these reasons if you don't believe me. Towards which purpose? This is unsure. Care to speculate which purpose efficiency leads towards? If we can't all get along, then why not blow each other up?

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

The theory of evolution states no such thing. Evolution simply suggests that species capable of surviving will continue to survive. Species can evolve to be good enough, they don't constantly improve or advance to some kind of perfection. It does not guarantee the elimination of genes that might lead to higher death rates and there is no evidence that reasoning is genetic. If it was, religion would probably already be a thing of the past as much as religious types are always killing each other and dying for their god(s).

If a species capable of surviving contains different genes than a species which has not survived, nature has favored the surviving species. If a fish with a short fin gets eaten before it can reproduce, then the likelihood of the birth of another gimped fish has decreased and nature has once again favored the strong.

 

 

Sage_Override wrote:

How is this off topic?  You come on here and try to put a really pathetic spin on some watered-down questions directed at atheists and you expect, what, the same responses from every atheist here?  I notice a pattern with believers; they think everything is "off-topic" or "irrelevant" or "straw man" when it comes to the issues when they have nothing else to say.  Spare me and, furthermore, spare all of us.  Better yet, have a chat with your "creator."

The topic is why you are here and the purpose of life. If you have difficulty staying on topic, simply don't post.

 

Sage_Override wrote:

Validate it?  VALIDATE IT??  Unlike you and your beliefs, I don't have to validate a damn thing let alone to someone like you.  I have no religious beliefs.  If anything, the validation lies with YOU, not me.  Atheism doesn't affect me in the way that you're implying because there's nothing that it does except provide me with nothing which is what atheism is; a "lack of."  We have the affirmation that there are no gods and never have been.  Whatever ignorance you have that's geared towards your expectations of atheists or atheism in general needs to be addressed.

It seems you cannot validate how atheism affects your purpose in life.

 

Sage_Override wrote:

Religion and politics are interconnected and if you believe differently, you really need to get your head out of the sand.  A good portion of the social troubles in this world have started with religious beliefs and developed into political ones harboring a lot of hypocrisy and creating a senseless place in the modern world.  You name it; abortion, gun control, medical issues, the death penalty, etc., etc.

Exactly. Politics and religion should be seperated.

 

Ktulu wrote:

I'm not sure what this is intended to prove, let me try.

 

On Day 3, Person C subtracts a large quantity of the arbitrarily, subjectively prerecorded "matching" purposes of A and B

 

On Day 3 you get Cp>Ap+Bp... 

 

This game proves that you like making up games.  That's very creative of you 

 

In order to avoid a fallacy, and therefore render your argument illogical, you need to prove that the concept of PURPOSE is an objectively, independently perceived absolute.  For example:

 

Led's melting point is ~300 C (absolute property)

 

P1 = chunks of led melt at ~300 C

 

P2 = this statue of Jesus is made of chunks of led

 

Therefore Jesus melts at ~300 C (I joke, I joke, the statue of Jesus melts at 300 C &nbspEye-wink

 

The above is a logical conclusion and not a fallacy of composition because the melting point property of led is absolute.

 

This is the analogy of your PURPOSE argument.

 

P1 = this chunk of led is ugly

 

P2 = this statue of Jesus is made of chunks of led

 

Therefore Jesus is ugly ( I joke again, it's the statue of Jesus that I incorrectly conclude to be ugly &nbspEye-wink

 

The above is a fallacy of composition because UGLY, like PURPOSE is a relative and subjective property. 

 

 

I hope that clears up the misunderstanding.

I shall continue to elaborate using some of my own analogies. The fallacy of composition has many exceptions:

 

Ex.

An apple is a fruit

A banana is a fruit

A basket containing apples and bananas is a basket of fruit

 

If you are carrying a basket and someone asks you what you are carrying, a common response might be "fruit". This is true because both apples and bananas are fruit.

 

Ex.

You buy milk at the grocery store

You buy cheese at the grocery store

A bag from the grocery store containing milk and cheese is a bag of groceries

 

If you are a parent, when you come home from the grocery store you may ask your children to help you with the (bags of) groceries. It is rational to refer to them as groceries regardless of their contents because they were purchased and bagged at the grocery store.

 

The fallacy and its' exceptions are a bit more complex to apply to something abstract and non-tangible, such as purpose. To do this, as you stated, we must define purpose as an expansive property. To be expansive, it must be absolute (non-comparable) and independent.

 

Non-comparable (absolute):

Purpose is an intended or desired result. The intended or desired result may vary, but regardless of what this variance may be, it is still defined as a purpose. You might choose to eat the banana and I might choose to eat the apple, but overall we both chose to eat fruit. We do not need to compare our purposes to know they are both clearly purposes.

 

Structure-independent:

Purpose is clearly independent in this scenario. The "whole" is simply the observation of many recurring purposes independent of any particular structure. If you chose not to eat a banana, and I still chose to eat the apple, our higher purpose would no longer be to eat fruit; our higher purpose would be to disagree to eat fruit. The constituent parts have changed, but the sum of these parts still defines a higher purpose.

 

Purpose therefore passes the critera to be considered expansive. This indicates my argument is an exception of the fallacy.

 

Ktulu wrote:

A slippery slope is an informal fallacy where the conclusion that purpose arbitrarily accumulates coherently leads you down a reasoning slope, concluding with your "higher purpose" that is analogous of GOD.  I will also like to point out a begging the question fallacy in your argument by attempting to prove "higher purpose" as a Sum Of All Purpose, with using Purpose as part of the premise.  I can elaborate on that fallacy if you like.

 

It is a valiant effort, but in order for this to be a true attack on atheism you have to at least make it a self consistent logical argument. 

I respect that you have identified my approach. Thank-you for helping me to formalize my argument until it is surely uncontested.

 

 

zarathustra wrote:

What I've already said is that my life has no purpose -- in any higher, overarching, handed down sense.  What I've also already said is I'm on this site because I enjoy it, enjoyment being a goal I've set for myself -- though not in any ultimate sense, lest you misconstrue.  

 

If you are in fact "supporting" that I choose my own purpose, I am uncertain precisely what your quibble is.

The "quibble" is that if the series of choices you will make in your life are analyzed as a whole, it will reveal that these purposes (such as visiting this website) are also shared with others. Since you and this group share this purpose and it is not part of your primary purpose (to survive), then you have all chosen to rank this purpose "higher" than other secondary purposes. It is the shared group decision that creates the higher order purposes.

 

zarathustra wrote:

Then you are mistaken; there is in fact no ultimate significance to a ruthlessly successful dictatorship.  Your mistake is particularly gauche if hypothetically predicated on a resulting "massive loss of human life":  There is an ever-increasing body of data that suggests all humans --and indeed, all living things-- eventually die.  (I regret to inform you that you will likely contribute to this statistic at some point in the future.)  That is to say, whether people die peacefully in their sleep after several decades of lyrical bliss; or untimely mewling upon the implements of torture of a psychotically imbalanced autocrat; the loss of human life promises to be equally massive.  Your selective consideration of human life (to the exclusion of non-human life) and the manner of death amounts to arbitrary reasoning.  

 

And one day our planet (and all life on it) will be destroyed, whether by the successful trajectory of a ruthless asteroid; or the successful expansion of our ruthless sun, or the successful heat death of our ruthless universe.  And the proportion of shiny happy people holding hands to scabby oppressed people holding kidneys will be of no ultimate significance.

If life holds no significance to you, then why are you alive?

 

If we were to agree to stop destroying one another, and focus on developing a means to extend our lives indefinitely, then develop a more efficient means of interstellar transportation, we would avoid this fate you have prophesied.

 

zarathustra wrote:

I'm afraid you will have to be clearer still how this amounts to self-refutation, when I clearly made a distinction between a higher, handed-down purpose, and purpose of my own device.

Purpose is not handed down, it is chosen. The reoccurence of particular chosen purposes among people creates higher order purpose.

 

zarathustra wrote:

Correct, but if I (or anyone else) forgo eating or any other biological imperative long enough, I will no longer exist (and by extension, no longer be able to ponder if my existence has a higher purpose -- which it does not).  

 

That our species which have evolved brains complex enough that we may challenge our biological imperatives is hardly an indication of higher purpose.

"Higher purpose" is simply an emergent recurring pattern of choices identified by analyzing the whole control group.

 

zarathustra wrote:

False.  If my life is filled with purpose of my own device, it does not refute that my life has no higher purpose.  Please attend this distinction, as it has been made several times now.

Not false. Some of the purposes you claim are of your own device are shared by others. The vast sum of these shared purpose causes them to stand out from other secondary purposes.

 

zarathustra wrote:

False again.  I exist because each generation in my personal ancestry successfully reproduced.  Genetics has no "bottom to the top" purpose; the genes that contribute to an organism's survival in its environment get propagated, while those not conducive get selected out--naturally, blindly, without any higher purpose as a factor.  

Also not false. Why did they choose to reproduce? Because they were genetically and biologically compelled. If genetics did not compell them to reproduce, they would not, and you would not exist. Your genetics are therefore coded to survive. Like I have stated earlier, higher purpose is a perspective created from a macro analysis of emergent trends. Is the purpose of a deadly virus to kill its host? Is the purpose of multiple strains of the same virus to kill many hosts?

 

zarathustra wrote:

False again.  Theism simply begs the question:  What is the purpose of god's existence?  Just as with other theist fallacies like the First Cause or Moral arguments, this simply adds an extra step -- god -- and leaves the begged question unanswered.

Theism implies your life and the decisions you make in it (purpose) have value, so there is a purpose to your life. Even as an atheist you may also accept this as true. It may be a diffcult concept to grasp the First Cause. I am sure there will be many theories that will attempt to explain it.

 

zarathustra wrote:

Then I will ask (again) why theists who believe in a better life than this one don't commit suicide (as you appear to have now identified yourself).  You previously implied your expectation that atheists who acknowledge no (higher) purpose to their lives should commit suicide.  Now if you truly believe in your "premise of immortality" why are you still here, shuffling mortally about?

I never suggested you commit suicide, but instead ask yourself why you have not. The answer to why you have not is what I was hoping to show you. I am alive "shuffling mortally" because it is part of my purposes - to exist.

 

neptewn wrote:

People gravitate towards like minds; I also frequent music forums, and a pipe smoking forum. The definition of atheism does not include a proposition on the purpose of life. Survival is self-evident and not exclusive to atheist. If you assume your purpose is faith and not survival, I invite you to try not eating for a while, and see how long your faith can sustain you.

Indeed people are drawn to share their similar purposes; this partly is how we create common goals. Atheism does not suggest the purpose of life and therefore some choose to interpret this as having no purpose at all. Atheism also does not define good or evil. If you can rationally identify good or evil and define a purpose in your life which is good, then you are not so different from a theist - one of the points I am trying to illustrate.

 

I never suggested my purpose is faith and in fact have argued our primary purpose is survival. What better way to survive than to be immortal?

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Many Christians won't commit suicide because in the eyes of God that would be looked upon as them going AWOL.  They would have abandoned their post and failed their mission of Earthly subservience .   It also means ( to those Christians who are convinced believers who kill themselves don't lose their salvation ) that they won't receive as much gold, diamonds, heavenly mansions and other celestial real estate because God was disappointed with their lack of commitment to him.  Suicide would diminish their heavenly "pay day" and reduce their status in the heavenly hierarchy. 

 

Still other Christian sects don't commit suicide simply because they believe that they will lose their salvation and be condemned to Hell.

Many individuals allow themselves to be manipulated. It is quite possible that many "religious leaders" may not truly believe in their religion at all, or may even be atheist. Historically, there have been many leaders willing to abuse the naivety of individuals who follow them blindly. This may be done purely for personal gain or some other twisted religious misunderstanding. Either way, these leaders and followers have lost sight of their purposes. 

 

Do you truly know why you follow atheism? How does it relate to your purposes - the past, present and future? If our primary purpose is survival, how long do you think humanity will continue the cycle of life and death before attempting to unite all of our secondary purposes to achieve immortality?


Zaq
atheist
Zaq's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: 2008-12-24
User is offlineOffline
About your game...

ax wrote:

*Shit about a game*

On Day 1, Person A adds a new purpose.

On Day 1, Person B adds a new purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person A and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

On Day 2, Person A maintains the same purpose as on Day 1.

On Day 2, Person B subtracts a purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

...

So first point, if you allow for subtracting purposes, and the adding/subtracting is genuinely random, then in an infinite amount of time there will be infinitely many days during which there are no purposes.  Tell me again how this is supposed to necessitate a common purpose between all people?

 

ax wrote:

In a series of Days from 0 approaching infinity, each Person (seemingly randomly) adds and subtracts purpose. Since the quantity of persons also increases with respect to Days, and the available purposes (actions) is finite, then with certainty there will be a known quantity of purposes that match among all Persons.

Uh... no.  Here's an example sequence.

Person A alternates between adding purpose X and subtracting purpose X

All other persons alternate between adding purpose Y and subtracting purpose Y

In this case, there is no time at which any purpose is common to all people, even if you allow the process to continue for infinite time.  Now, if the "seemingly randomly" is in fact genuinely randomly, then your reasoning still doesn't work.  If the number of purposes is sufficiently large comared to persons A's and B's lifetimes (but still finite, remember), then you could quite easily have person A die after only netting purposes a1, a2, a3... aN while person B dies after only netting purposes b1, b2, b3... bM, where {a1,a2,a3...aN} and {b1,b2,b3...bM} are disjoint sets (they share no common elements).  Since A and B have died, they aren't adding any more purposes, and so their collections of purposes will remain forever disjoint, regardless of what other people are doing.  Thus, no purpose is ever shared by persons A and B, and thus no purpose is ever shared by all persons. 

ax wrote:

The high recurrence of any particular purposes among all matches of all Persons may therefore be isolated as higher-order purposes, since they are shared by multiple Persons and continue to reoccur.

Here you say "high recurrence," so are you no longer insisting the higher-order purposes are shared by all people?  Alsso,  I have a problem with "continue to reoccur," because for that you'll need to assume that there will be persons for an infinite amount of future time, and that seems unlikely in our universe.  Even if you can argue that there will be an infinite amount of future time in our universe, this may not result in an infinite number of persons.
 

And don't get hung up on words.  You've called the recurrences "higher-order purposes," but I suspect you'll be using that terminology to try and sneak in connotations of "higher-order" that do not actually meet your definition.  For now, the only property these "higher-order purposes" have is being shared, which more or less means that people are more likely (but not guaranteed) to create those purposes  and not destroy them later on.  If you then claim that people "ought to" pursue these "higher-order purposes," then then you're jumping beyond where the logic leads.

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

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


Zaq
atheist
Zaq's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: 2008-12-24
User is offlineOffline
About your game...

ax wrote:

*Shit about a game*

On Day 1, Person A adds a new purpose.

On Day 1, Person B adds a new purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person A and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

On Day 2, Person A maintains the same purpose as on Day 1.

On Day 2, Person B subtracts a purpose.

On Day 2, For Each purpose in Person and Person B, evaluate if Person A purpose == Person B purpose. Record the purposes that match.

...

So first point, if you allow for subtracting purposes, and the adding/subtracting is genuinely random, then in an infinite amount of time there will be infinitely many days during which there are no purposes.  Tell me again how this is supposed to necessitate a common purpose between all people?

 

ax wrote:

In a series of Days from 0 approaching infinity, each Person (seemingly randomly) adds and subtracts purpose. Since the quantity of persons also increases with respect to Days, and the available purposes (actions) is finite, then with certainty there will be a known quantity of purposes that match among all Persons.

Uh... no.  Here's an example sequence.

Person A alternates between adding purpose X and subtracting purpose X

All other persons alternate between adding purpose Y and subtracting purpose Y

In this case, there is no time at which any purpose is common to all people, even if you allow the process to continue for infinite time.  Now, if the "seemingly randomly" is in fact genuinely randomly, then your reasoning still doesn't work.  If the number of purposes is sufficiently large comared to persons A's and B's lifetimes (but still finite, remember), then you could quite easily have person A die after only netting purposes a1, a2, a3... aN while person B dies after only netting purposes b1, b2, b3... bM, where {a1,a2,a3...aN} and {b1,b2,b3...bM} are disjoint sets (they share no common elements).  Since A and B have died, they aren't adding any more purposes, and so their collections of purposes will remain forever disjoint, regardless of what other people are doing.  Thus, no purpose is ever shared by persons A and B, and thus no purpose is ever shared by all persons. 

ax wrote:

The high recurrence of any particular purposes among all matches of all Persons may therefore be isolated as higher-order purposes, since they are shared by multiple Persons and continue to reoccur.

Here you say "high recurrence," so are you no longer insisting the higher-order purposes are shared by all people?  Alsso,  I have a problem with "continue to reoccur," because for that you'll need to assume that there will be persons for an infinite amount of future time, and that seems unlikely in our universe.  Even if you can argue that there will be an infinite amount of future time in our universe, this may not result in an infinite number of persons.
 

And don't get hung up on words.  You've called the recurrences "higher-order purposes," but I suspect you'll be using that terminology to try and sneak in connotations of "higher-order" that do not actually meet your definition.  For now, the only property these "higher-order purposes" have is being shared, which more or less means that people are more likely (but not guaranteed) to create those purposes  and not destroy them later on.  If you then claim that people "ought to" pursue these "higher-order purposes," then then you're jumping beyond where the logic leads.

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

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


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote: ::Cracks

ax wrote:

 ::Cracks knuckles:: You guys make me feel like Ip Man. Someone give me a heads up before the big British boxer gets here.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Why is high efficiency such an important goal? High efficiency towards which purpose? Does it matter? Personally, I think efficiency is overrated and so is "getting along", I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone agreed on a single purpose and attempted to achieve it with the highest possible efficiency. One of the reasons I love this site is because of the disagreements.

 

Fortunately, I am not a bee, they would kick my ass out of the hive.  

There are many reasons why efficiency is important. You can research these reasons if you don't believe me. Towards which purpose? This is unsure. Care to speculate which purpose efficiency leads towards? If we can't all get along, then why not blow each other up?

 

Sure, efficiency is important if you desire/need to do something efficiently. But you implied we should seek efficiency for the sake of efficiency like bees. You said we should seek to have a common purpose so that we are efficient. Why? I don't see any reason why efficiency should be a goal, simply a means to getting to a goal and not always the best means. For example, shooting someone is a very efficient way to end an argument, perhaps the most efficient way. But I don't think shooting someone over an argument is generally a good course of action. 

 

Why not blow each other up? Because someone once had a brilliant idea that we could fight using words and elections instead of killing each other for power constantly. The idea is still in its testing stages, but thus far gaining/losing power through non-violent means is better for everyone involved than simply killing people you don't get along with even if you have radically different goals.

 

So you go from claiming there is some "higher" purpose, now you say you are unsure what that purpose is.... I'm still missing your attack on atheism, unless you falsely believe that atheists believe they do things without a purpose. So far you have conceded that everyone makes their own purpose. Ok, so what? Why are you so insistent that we should somehow have the same purpose?

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 582
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Sage_Override

Quote:
Sage_Override wrote:

How is this off topic?  You come on here and try to put a really pathetic spin on some watered-down questions directed at atheists and you expect, what, the same responses from every atheist here?  I notice a pattern with believers; they think everything is "off-topic" or "irrelevant" or "straw man" when it comes to the issues when they have nothing else to say.  Spare me and, furthermore, spare all of us.  Better yet, have a chat with your "creator."

Quote:
ax wrote:  The topic is why you are here and the purpose of life. If you have difficulty staying on topic, simply don't post.

 

I responded to your boring questions already, you condescending little phleeb.  Again, how is ANYTHING I said off topic?  I'm not allowed to challenge you?  Oh, I'm sorry, I'll go take a walk into busy traffic for ever having done such a thing... 

 

 

Quote:
Sage_Override wrote: Religion and politics are interconnected and if you believe differently, you really need to get your head out of the sand.  A good portion of the social troubles in this world have started with religious beliefs and developed into political ones harboring a lot of hypocrisy and creating a senseless place in the modern world.  You name it; abortion, gun control, medical issues, the death penalty, etc., etc.

Quote:
ax wrote: Exactly. Politics and religion should be seperated.

 

First you say that the "social shackles" I spoke of before aren't to be confused with religious matters, even though they are intermingled, and now you're agreeing with me that religion and politics should be separated...

 

I'm having trouble understanding your flawed logic on this, among other things.  You either think these matters aren't all connected or they are. 

 

Not that your input matters in the slightest to me because these forums get a consistent troll on here for a little while and he/she tries to rile up the regulars that post here and then he/she vanishes.  At least it's a change of pace and source of humor for us all. 

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:  Many

ax wrote:

 

 Many individuals allow themselves to be manipulated. It is quite possible that many "religious leaders" may not truly believe in their religion at all, or may even be atheist. Historically, there have been many leaders willing to abuse the naivety of individuals who follow them blindly. This may be done purely for personal gain or some other twisted religious misunderstanding. Either way, these leaders and followers have lost sight of their purposes.

  

.....and how does that play into Christian attitudes toward suicide ?  Suicide is universally condemned within Christianity and only the "eternal" consequences of a Christian killing one's self is debated.  I see no influence of atheist thought when the presence of spiritual issues are still being considered.  What atheist would concern themselves with that ?

 

 

ax wrote:
Do you truly know why you follow atheism?
 

 

  Because I no longer believe in a supernatural realm. 

 

ax wrote:
How does it relate to your purposes - the past, present and future?

 

  Purposes ?  the past is irrelevant to me, the present is simply where I'm at now and the future is unknown. 

 

ax wrote:
If our primary purpose is survival, how long do you think humanity will continue the cycle of life and death before attempting to unite all of our secondary purposes to achieve immortality?

            

Such issues are meaningless to me.  I consider the human race to be evolution's most successful failure.  If I were still a Christian I would seriously doubt the competence of a god who allowed such a pathetic race to exist. The extinction of humanity is much more appealing to me.  Humans are disgusting.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4280
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
ax wrote:Indeed people are

ax wrote:

Indeed people are drawn to share their similar purposes; this partly is how we create common goals. Atheism does not suggest the purpose of life and therefore some choose to interpret this as having no purpose at all. Atheism also does not define good or evil. If you can rationally identify good or evil and define a purpose in your life which is good, then you are not so different from a theist - one of the points I am trying to illustrate.

 

I never suggested my purpose is faith and in fact have argued our primary purpose is survival. What better way to survive than to be immortal?

 

All you have illustrated is your ignorance of atheism. Atheism is quite simply not believing in a god, as such there is no deity giving meaning or purpose to life or imposing a definitive good or evil on us. It has nothing to do with the meaning/purpose a person assigns to their own life (or doesn't assign) nor does it mean that atheists operate without a moral code. They simply believe that purpose and morality come from somewhere other than an ancient book.

 

Your primary purpose might be survival. Mine is not. As stated before, I have no desire to be immortal and if given the opportunity I would politely decline. So if you think we should all get together as a group and work towards immortality, I am not interested in participating. However, if you have a realistic method of creating immortality that could be brought to market before I die, I might be interested in investing in it. Any idea how much profit there would be in selling immortality? Well, until people realize immortality isn't all its cracked up to be and want their money back, but I'll be long dead by then. 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken