Perhaps Atheism Doesn't Actually Exist [Moved back, my bad, Jacob]

Beloved Spear
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Perhaps Atheism Doesn't Actually Exist [Moved back, my bad, Jacob]

I was re-reading Decartes' "Meditations" recently, and while me and Renee don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, something struck me as I went back through his development of the cogito. That argument, in which Decartes roots all philosophy in the irrefutable assertion that we exist ("I think, therefore I am"), lies at the heart of most modern thinking. It's the one undeniable thing...that we are, that we are aware. You can't deny it, for in denying it, you affirm it. There are problems with that as a philosophical cornerstone, of course, because it 1) is so self evident as to border on tautology and 2) really doesn't provide a foundation for much other than subjectivism.

What struck me is that even this assertion is assumed to be somehow irrelevant by neoatheism. Our being and existence..that light behind our eyes that perceives and knows and irrefutably is...is assumed to have less reality than a rock or a quark or a complex protein strand. Sentience is reduced to little more than a collateral side effect of complex biochemical processes, and deemed ultimately to be basically nothing. The idea that our consciousness might have a deeper and more eternal ground is dismissed as unprovable, even though the fact of our being is a logical absolute.

So do you guys exist, or not?


todangst
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Beloved Spear wrote:

Beloved Spear wrote:

tod: Having over the past few days entered a phase of conversation with folks here began to more resembles human contact, I'd sensed in some of them a sense of humor and a willingness to disagree but engage civilly and with some lightness of heart. Forgive me for mistaking you for a mensch. I will carefully lower my pinky into it's locked and secure position, and endeavor to write to you simply and methodically in order not to further inflame your spittle-flecked sensibilities. Oops...wait...the pinky's not down yet. Ah, there we go.

Look, it's not that I lack a sense of humor over this, in fact, I find your constant running from ever backing up anything you say hilarious.... All I am saying is that for all your verbosity, you never actually back up any of the claims you make.

 

Quote:
Yes, I understand that atheism is not a single coherent system of thought, but a variety of reactionary responses to a particular worldview.

Well if you actually understood that, then explain why you made the clear error of asking for an 'atheistic epistemology', particularly when the actual issue involved a challenge for you to present a supernatural ontology?

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There are a variety of different competing conceptual frameworks within it. That is quite obvious from the variety of perspectives expressed here.

Again, atheism is merely a lack of belief in the claims of theism.

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I will not revisit the "transcendent being" statement, having attempted twice to note that my initial remark implicitly recognized the paradox in such a term.

Yet your 'system of morality' relies upon a 'transcendent being', so by conceding this you conceding that your entire system is based on an incoherent foundation. This renders all your assertions nonsensical. Some might be concerned by that.

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Terms like being itself or the ground of being are more accurate philosophically.

It is in those concepts that theist ontology lies.

The presumption of an absolute ground to being roots the contingent in the absolute. From a theist perspective, all being participates in the absolute from which it derives it's being.

I've already shown why the foundations for your claim are incoherent, you even seem to agree that there are problems with the idea of a 'transcendent being" and yet here you are again just asserting your claims and ignoring the actual problems contained within them...

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tilberian: I must have read different history books. As for todangst, he has certainly asserted that...somewhere in the depth of his ad hominem attacks...but he has not shown it.

Ad hominem has to do with attacking a person to undermine an argument. I've not done that, my dear pinky waving friend. I've merely tweaked your nose and deservedly so... funny how its OK with you when you're doing it, but when it comes back your way,  you want to take your ball and go home.... As your mommy ought to have taught you: "If you can't take it, don't dish it out..."

In addition, your second claim here is an outright lie: I've backed up my arguments, whereas you haven't even the common courtesy to demonstrate where I fail to adequately support them. You have no problem merely asserting that this is the case....  do you at least see the irony?

Here, I'll post the argument in question a second time, give you a chance to redeem yourself:

 "But there's an even more glaring error than the ontological problems in his foundation - he goes on to ignore their ramifications.

If man really were in contact with a 'transcendent being' that laid down moral law, then one is saying that geography and culture play no role in the foundation of morals in the first place. Well then, what would be the point of a 'transcendent being' transcending all of reality in order to lay down a moral law that is just going to be reinterpreted through a cultural filter that this creator must also be responsible for in the first place? The same 'transcendent being' would be perfectly responsible for the parameters of existence that allowed for differences in interpretation across culture.

See the problem yet? You'd have to appeal to the same 'transcendent being' as the cause of the problem.... So the theist must steal from secularism to make his argument... he must make the Panglossian error and assume that our world is a given, yet also hold, at the same time, that our world is contingent upon an omnipotent god.

The ultimate contradiction.

Only secular morality can explain differences in morality across culture. Geography, environment, context, zeitgeist, etc., all explain how human need is reflected differently in various moral systems.... There is one foundation that 'transcends' all human cultures: human nature X environment. The most parsimonious explanation is that human character is the origin of similiarites across moral systems, whereas environment and culture explain the differences. The 'supernatural hypothesis' is not only the ultimate violation of occam's principle, it fails to account for the differences that environment and culture explain. To the theist view, the differences in morality across culture are problems, outliers in the data that cannot be made to fit into their 'paradigm'..."

Quote:

tod: Theists steal from secular systems of morality? A bold assertion, although not one you've demonstrated other than by expressing it.

Keep telling that to yourself, it saves you the trouble of actually having to respond to an argument. 

Of course, others will see that I have done more than assert my case.

Oh, and if you really do want some more: 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/christians_must_steal_from_secular_morality

 

 

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Hmmm, I think it's a

Hmmm, I think it's a chicken-and-egg question to speculate on whether (1)  experience of the transcendent results in consistent cross-cultural moralities or if (2) the hard-wiring of the brain results in both cross-cultural moralities and transcendent experiences.  I'd say (2), but the evidence is still coming in.

The advantage of approaching ecstatic experience from a stance of mechanistic reductionism is that it allows you to construct a predictable, reproducible technology of ecstatic experience.  As with morality, it isn't necessary to route everything through a religious filter--it's possible to go straight for the experience itself.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: Hmmm, I

Textom wrote:

Hmmm, I think it's a chicken-and-egg question to speculate on whether (1) experience of the transcendent results in consistent cross-cultural moralities or if (2) the hard-wiring of the brain results in both cross-cultural moralities and transcendent experiences. I'd say (2), but the evidence is still coming in.

The advantage of approaching ecstatic experience from a stance of mechanistic reductionism is that it allows you to construct a predictable, reproducible technology of ecstatic experience. As with morality, it isn't necessary to route everything through a religious filter--it's possible to go straight for the experience itself.

That, in the end, is the key point: if you want to investigate any of these phenomena at all, you must turn some form of physicalism. 

 

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Textom:  We both know the

Textom:  We both know the egg came several billion years before the chicken...but I know what you mean.  Developing mechanisms for reproducible ecstatic experience can be "technological," if we understand technology as determining means by which such experiences can be consistently replicated.  Meditation and contemplative techniques can yield such experience, as can certain psychoactive substances.  Decoupling those experiences from religious symbolic frameworks makes them significantly less useful in shaping or redefining our worldview.  The shaman who intakes peyote as part of a structured ritual is a very different thing from the frat boy stumbling around with pupils dilated by psilocibin.  The way the experience is approached...the framework into which it is received...makes a significant difference. 

Have you read Huxley's musings on this subject?

tod:  Yes, you are self-evidently a jolly, happy-go-lucky fellow. How could anyone whose handle could be loosely translated "death anxiety" not be filled with radiant joie de vivre?  Have you considered doing standup?  You have a gift, my friend.  A gift.

Recognizing that there are a range of different atheistic epistemologies, I presumed you might have one of your very own.  You appear to lean towards the physicalist/materialist side, which could mean you see no distinction between your epistemology and your ontology.  Then again, it might not.  I've clearly positioned myself with theist existentialism, but as you say, atheism is not one thing.  Expecting me to engage with you without it being clear how you understand your position would be silly. I personally don't mind silliness, but it seems to make you grumpy.

You're right about the ad hominem thing.  It's a very useful rhetorical technique, as I'm sure you're aware.  But implying that your opponent is an idiot, that he cannot understand what is written, that he is obtuse, that he has a twitchy pinky...these are all more name calling than true ad hominem assaults.  Subverting your opponent's ethos requires more evident grounding in classical rhetoric than that, so I'll cede the point.

Having acceded to your request for a theistic ontology, I'm very sad you've not responded.  Snif.  My assertions of theist ontology should give you all the handles you need to rebut me.  In the event that my prior discussions with folks here haven't made it obvious, I'm using 19th and 20th century theist existentialist terminology...a tad archaic, to be sure, but it's not as brittle a system as presuppositional apologetics.  Just look for contemporaneous secular refutations of Tillich and Kierkegaard.  I'm sure you have them memorized.

 Your broader attack on theistic morality doesn't seem to  grasp its teleological character.  You typify it as a temporally imposed structure of regulations and statutes, where in actuality theistic morality (particularly Christian morality) would assert that it has more to do with the ultimate purpose of being.  Rather than denying that such purpose exists, which has been cogently articulated several times in this forum, you instead develop an argument that seems to...convolutedly...ask why a creator wouldn't make a perfect law that would be perfectly understood.  I'm happy to respond to that, if I've correctly understood your assertion, although the reference to Pangloss threw me a bit.  As Voltaire intended it, the Panglossian error assumes divinely intended purpose in all things, and while that argument has it's place in these debates, it doesn't seem appropriately used here.

Finally, I dutifully followed your link to the essay on christians stealing secular morality.  What I found was that same assertion, followed by a few miscellaneous quotes and a long list of bad things the Bible says you should do leavened with some snark.  First, that clumsily constructed diatribe didn't show that you've comprehended the hierarchy internal to Judeo-Christian moral frameworks.  More significantly, it also lacked any evidence from the historical development of Christian thought or from contemporary sociological studies of religion.  The relevant evidences of secular incursions into Christian thought and the cross-pollination between culture and Christian moral expectation are utterly lacking.  There's no excuse for that, because they're there, and had you referenced them, you might actually have something worth discussing.  As it is, you've produced something that doesn't even begin to support your initial assertion.  

 

 


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Beloved Spear wrote:

Beloved Spear wrote:

tod: Yes, you are self-evidently a jolly, happy-go-lucky fellow. How could anyone whose handle could be loosely translated "death anxiety" not be filled with radiant joie de vivre? Have you considered doing standup? You have a gift, my friend. A gift.

Ah, but recognition of one's mortality is precisely what gives one's life joie de vivre....

Quote:
Recognizing that there are a range of different atheistic epistemologies, I presumed you might have one of your very own.

You were asked to present a 'theistic ontology, and here you are still blathering away about 'atheistic epistemology'.  Stop pretending that you're doing anything other than dodging the challenge.

Quote:

You're right about the ad hominem thing. It's a very useful rhetorical technique, as I'm sure you're aware. But implying that your opponent is an idiot, that he cannot understand what is written, that he is obtuse, that he has a twitchy pinky...these are all more name calling than true ad hominem assaults.

This coming from the guy who devoted a paragraph to mocking a typographical error.

Quote:

Having acceded to your request for a theistic ontology, I'm very sad you've not responded.

Responded to what? Anytime you want to give your 'theistic ontology', give it. I just don't see the point of actually awaiting anything from you, considering that you never back up an assertion.

Quote:

Your broader attack on theistic morality doesn't seem to grasp its teleological character.

The points of my argument however are to demonstrate the ontological problems of your foundation and on the contradictions between christian behavior and putative biblical moral precepts. Your assertion is false (obviously a moral system founded on a creator is teleological), and, has no bearing on my argument.

Other than that, it's a good argument.

Quote:

You typify it as a temporally imposed structure of regulations and statutes, where in actuality theistic morality (particularly Christian morality) would assert that it has more to do with the ultimate purpose of being.

Again, you've not demonstrated your claim, AND, ultimately, it has no bearing on my arguments.

But other than that, you're on fire here. 

Quote:

Rather than denying that such purpose exists, which has been cogently articulated several times in this forum,

I don't need to deal with your assertions about teleology because my ontological argument undermines the foundation of your claim! You can't even get to the point where you discuss teleology if your very foundation is internally contradictory.

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you instead develop an argument that seems to...convolutedly...ask why a creator wouldn't make a perfect law that would be perfectly understood.

  

As usual, you assert there's a problem, but you don't ever get about the business of demonstrating it.

Quote:

I'm happy to respond to that, if I've correctly understood your assertion, although the reference to Pangloss threw me a bit. As Voltaire intended it, the Panglossian error assumes divinely intended purpose in all things, and while that argument has it's place in these debates, it doesn't seem appropriately used here.

That's funny, because I explained my particular usage: It is folly to assume that that there can be an omnipotent creator, upon which everything exists contingently, and yet, to rely on arguments that assume that there are necessary "givens" in the world... the one belief obviates the other.

Quote:

Finally, I dutifully followed your link to the essay on christians stealing secular morality. What I found was that same assertion, followed by a few miscellaneous quotes and a long list of bad things the Bible says you should do leavened with some snark.

In other words, you just ignored the argument again.

Quote:

First, that clumsily constructed diatribe didn't show that you've comprehended the hierarchy internal to Judeo-Christian moral frameworks.

So you assert, without demonstrating, or illustrating its relevance to my argument. I'd call that clumsy.

 

Quote:

More significantly, it also lacked any evidence from the historical development of Christian thought or from contemporary sociological studies of religion.

My argument concerned the differences in christian beliefs and the implicit beliefs contained in their actual behaviors.

Care to deal with my argument?

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The relevant evidences of secular incursions into Christian thought and the cross-pollination between culture...

Sorry, had to cut you off.... but I don't, it seems no one will...

I don't even see you attempting to deal with my argument.

Here's how you argue a point.

1) Cite the actual argument.

2) Demonstrate flaws within the argument.

 

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Christ, I have to be a lot

Christ, I have to be a lot more awake to understand what the fuck Mr Spear is talking about. Though interestingly, I've understood Deluded quite well so far, and both use an equally large vocabulary. Perhaps, Mr. Deluded is better at articulating his thoughts? Sadly, I'm not quite sure what exactly is wrong with Mr. Spear's arguments and reasoning. But I'm well read enough to know that he could do a much, much better and concise job of saying what he means than he has done thus far, and I do believe he is capable of doing so. But methinks he perfers not to.

Anyways, I knows a troll when I sees one. And I'm sure you are all familliar with Rule 14. "Do not argue with trolls - it means that they win."


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:
vastet:  Well, you've certainly proved intellectual laziness exists. 

No, I'm afraid that's what your post accomplished. That's why you got such a lame response. It's all it was deserving of. As Todangst has shown, your position is incoherant and illogical.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:

tilberian: I must have read different history books. As for todangst, he has certainly asserted that...somewhere in the depth of his ad hominem attacks...but he has not shown it. Your assertion that the "Big Three" are not concerned with suffering needs some justification. On the face of it, the Golden Rule morality that is foundational to those traditions seems specifically directed at suffering.

The Golden Rule came from Kierkgaard, if I'm not mistaken. The message of the Bible is obey God unquestioningly, no matter what he commands, regardless of the suffering implicit of the command. If he tells you to kill your son, do it. If he tells you that your sexual preferences are abomination, spend your life in chaste hell. If you are a woman, shut up and get used to your status as property. The Muslim and Jewish teachings are the same.

Beloved Spear wrote:

No, it's not a joke. Is today's Vatican the same as that in 1600? No. Why? Is there dynamism and development in Protestantism? Your assertion shows little grasp of the actuality of that tradition.

Bullshit. The only reason the Vatican is any different than that of 1600 is because of the pressure put on it by secular progress in science and morality. It has resisted even those changes, admitting its mistake in punishing Gallileo and supporting the Nazis only recently.

Protestantism, in the US, is going backwards! The movement is toward more fundamentalism and a return to the barbaric values of the Bible and the early church. Islam is the same - whenever theists are challenged by change, this massive backlash erupts to try to take the faith back to its roots.

Beloved Spear wrote:

Guaranteed by what? Where it's been attempted, it has been a dismal failure...unless you consider the Soviet Union a success. Modern global capitalism is also reliant on scientific and rational principles...how is it doing?

Modern global capitalism has done more to alleviate suffering and empower the world's poor in the last 50 years than all the efforts of every religion that has ever existed in history combined. The effect of religion is to oppress the poor, tell them their place and to support class structures and income divides. It is because of the emergence of global capitalism that Western Europe crawled out from under the rock of the Church and gave the world the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and all the fruits of science that we see today. The resulting increase in wealth and associated reduction in daily suffering is without precedent in the history of the world. And all without a guiding moral principle! It is rather ironic that a paradigm which is deliberately amoral has acheived far greater victories for morality than the Church. Though perhaps that isn't surprising, when we reflect on the fact that the Big 3 religions are actually immoral in their core teachings.

I'll take the knock about the Soviet Union and Maoist China, though those were failures of Communist ideology, not atheism. Against those disappointments I'll put the entire history of Western Europe and its colonies since the Enlightenment, all of which occured in an atmosphere of greatly reduced societal religiousity and increased secular influence compared to the previous history of the area. I'll take the record, today, of Canada, Australia and Western Europe against the record of the US in providing safer, better educated, healthier and more peaceful societies despite having far fewer resources with which to do so. What is the common difference between the US and all these other countries? The US accepts religious dogma as a basis for policy. The others do not.

 

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tod:  Ah, awareness of

tod:  Ah, awareness of mortality and joie de vivre.  Reminds me of reading "No Exit" and "The Stranger."  Those do give you a serious case of the happies. 

Dodging?  Gracious.  I laid out both the terms and the historical conceptual foundation for my ontological assertions.  I am working under the assumption that you've done enough reading to understand the development of contemporary philosophy.  So I laid out the terms, told you where I got them, and gave you the basis for an informed counterargument.  Should I actually make the counterargument for you?  It seems like you need some help grasping the fusion between ontology and teleology from a theistic existentialist perspective.

Your efforts to "subvert" theist teleology show this.  First,you make a simplistic statement that does not represent the perspective I've articulated for you.  You then follow it with a "particular usage" of the Panglossian error that doesn't accurately reflect either it's original meaning or it's contemporary usage.  Your usage, to put it in more consistent terms, is as follows: "It is folly to believe in an absolute, upon which all things exist absolutely, and still believe that there are absolutes in the world."  There are ways to attack the theist perspective, but your articulation of the Panglossian error both misuses the term and is internally inconsistent.

Argument?  Again, gracious.  Your initial assertion, that Christians fail to recognize their dependence on secular norms, is a defensible position.  I've even given you hints as to how to effectively support it.  Talk to Rook...perhaps he can help you with the historical development of the understanding of covenant in the cultures of the Ancient Near East and the interplay between enlightenment humanism and Protestant ethics.  But the "evidence" in your argument centers on a series of Bible passages strung together with the same contextual obliviousness of a fundamentalist proof-texter.  They don't support your position or develop your argument to conclusion.  There.  I have..again..recognized the validity of your assertion, and noted where it's development is critically flawed.  i recognize that your approach is appropriate for a blogrant to true believers, but it wouldn't pass muster in an intro level course at any competent state college.

arcteryx:  Perhaps you should have another cup of coffee.  I do wish deluded would return to the conversation...he'd made what I assumed to be an inadvertent error that made one of his arguments appear internally invalid. Given his obviously sophisticated and systematic thinking, he's got useful things to contribute.  Troll?  Me?  Nah.  It's your dang bridge.  If you folk are feeling the need to justify a retreat, though, I suppose that rationalization is as good as any.   

vastet:  Yes, it was pretty lame. Thanks for the affirmation!  Tod's doing what he can.  I'm sure he appreciates your support.  Helps with the self-esteem.


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:
Decoupling those experiences from religious symbolic frameworks makes them significantly less useful in shaping or redefining our worldview.  The shaman who intakes peyote as part of a structured ritual is a very different thing from the frat boy stumbling around with pupils dilated by psilocibin.

First, the idea that ecstatic states of consciousness have to be coupled with a religious framework in order to shape or redefine a world view doesn't match my experience.  I used to do a lot of stuff with Jungian analytic psychology, and had many more profound spiritual experiences under that psychological framework than under any religious one.

Secondly, the frat boy half of the analogy is not an accurate representation of what I'm talking about.  A shaman is a skilled engineer of altered states technologies, while a frat boy is typically an amateur.  A shaman may use religious or spiritual frameworks as part of the technology of ecstatic experiences, but to say that no ecstatic experience is genuine without that framework is a no true Scotsman argument.

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tilberian:  Did you forget

tilberian:  Did you forget to put in a smileyface emoticon after your first statement to indicate humor and/or sarcasm?  I mean, I'm into Kierkegaard as much as the next guy, but that assertion...if not intended as humor...is a little frightening in it's disconnect with reality.

Even from a Jesus-mythicist perspective, that statement has no empirical foundation.  The golden rule has been articulated as a central part of Judeo Christian morality since it was preliminarily expressed in the levitical codes (Lev.19:18).  It received further development in the pre-Christian proto-rabbinic tradition, when Hillel and his school expressed it as the summation of the law.  Jesus (or the early Christian stories about him, if you want to be oppositional) articulated it as foundational in both the Sermon on the Plain (Lk: 6:31) and the Sermon on the Mount (Mtt. 7:12).  In the first century, it is reaffirmed in the Pauline tradition in several locations (cf. Rom. 12).  You can argue that it hasn't been acted upon, or that other aspects of the Judeo Christian normative framework have primacy over it.  But that statement is not something you should repeat if you want to retain your credibility as a critic of religion.

Cowpoop aside, an equally valid argument could be made that the reforms of the Vatican were in response to the pressure applied by Protestantism.  You can counter that with an argument from secular syncretism..as todangst should have, but did not...by asserting that the Reformation was simply reflecting the opening of Christianity to enlightenment humanism.  Care to make that case?  You and I are in complete agreement about the direction of Protestantism.  In regressing towards fundamentalism, it is abandoning the revolutionary and dynamic intent of the Reformation, and becoming a calcified and dangerous thing.  In my arguments with fundamentalists, I tend to call them idolatrous...but that term probably doesn't mean much in this forum.

Try telling a fisherman scraping out a living in the effluent-blighted waters of Lagos harbor about the benefits of capitalism.  Or perhaps you can make the case more effectively to a sixteen year old Thai girl who spends every waking moment making plastic crap for Walmart.  Globally, one could make the case that there is more net suffering now than at any time in human history. Further, capitalism is too structured towards consumption to respond effectively to the coming environmental crisis...which it has directly caused.  For all of it's dynamism, the system is, as you say, amoral...or, rather, it works under the morality of profit maximization as articulated by Friedman.

We do agree about the superiority of social democracies in providing a better environment for human existence, but I don't see the same cause.  The reluctance of Americans to develop first-world educational and medical systems has everything to do with the capitalist ethos and the presumption that unfettered market forces should guide every aspect of our society.  I know you disagree with that hypothesis...care to debunk it?

 


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textom:  But from my

textom:  But from my understanding Jungian psychology is, if not overtly religious, certainly open to the validity of religious experience.  You get no "Future of an Illusion" invective from Carl, and he's often criticized for articulating concepts (like the collective subconscious) that are quasi-religious in character.  Most of what little I've read is amenable to theistic perspectives, and many of the pastors I know are both aware of and appreciative of Jung and his work.  What sort of spiritual experiences?  I have only a general, layman's knowledge of Jung, and would be interested in hearing more about the specific techniques.

Fair enough.  But do we agree that a conceptual framework is necessary for interpreting and gaining value from an ecstatic experience?


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NB: Jung always referred to

NB: Jung always referred to the "unconscious." The "subconscious" was Freud; he believed it was inferior.  Also FYI "analytic psychology" is the name given to the discipline that Jung founded, as opposed to Freud's "psychoanalysis."

Well Jung himself was essentially a kind of Gnostic and from all accounts believed in supernatural experiences and a nonmaterial consciousness.  But even though he drew some of his symbolism from Christian myth, like many non-Judeo-Christian religions, Jung's own version of religion or spirituality did not require faith.

<tangent> That's one of the big things that has always bugged me about Christianity in particular.  It places such a premium on faith and creates that insidious equation: faith = reward; doubt = punishment.  Adherents seldom bother to ask the key question: Why is faith necessary? </tangent>

But something that even Jung mentioned in his work on alchemy is that the alchemists used their own hermetic/religious system to represent and explain their experiences of altered states, even though Jung himself did not necessarily believe they were experiencing the presence of supernatural beings.  For Jung the line between internal psychological functions and external supernatural beings was never particularly necessary.

Since Jung, many analytic psychologists have found it useful to disregard the question of an actual material existence for Jung's supernatural phenomena and instead focus on the system of symbolism as a useful way of modeling human experience.  For example, it doesn't matter whether the anima figure you see in dreams is actually communicating messages from an actual collective unconscious--it's useful to treat your experience of the anima that way in order to make sense of the event whether it's actually true or not.  

 So psychology--analytic or cognitive--can provide a materialistic framework for cultivating/interpreting all kinds of human experiences, not just ecstatic ones.  I think I would readily agree that experience necessarily needs a framework of some kind if it's going to make any sense of any kind.  But it would still be an error of composition to say that psychology is a religion in this case.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: NB: Jung

Textom wrote:

NB: Jung always referred to the "unconscious." The "subconscious" was Freud; he believed it was inferior. Also FYI "analytic psychology" is the name given to the discipline that Jung founded, as opposed to Freud's "psychoanalysis."

Well, my understanding is that Jung had 2 different types of unconsious. and that freud didn't call it "subconsious" it as the Preconsious.  I do not remember off the top of my head if jung also believed in the Preconsious or not, i'm thinking he did because for a while he was a "follower" of freud. I also don't quite understand where you got the idea that Freud thought the preconsious was "inferior" he just thought that the preconsious was where things that are out of your consious but in easy grasp where. The unconsious was where repressed memory was.  

 


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textom:  You're right. 

textom:  You're right.  It is "unconscious," although I've often conflated those related thoughts, and have seen the term misrepresented in some of my online readings about Jung.  I appreciate your informed clarification.  I'm curious, though, as to how Jung's own belief in nonmaterial consciousness and supernatural phenomena could not require faith in some form.  Did he ever formally articulate that?

Your tangent is an interesting one. I think you've expressed faith as it's understood by most American Christians.  But doubt is an essential component of faith.  If you are unquestioningly certain of something, you do not have faith, which is more akin to trust than to empirical certitude.  In that sense, I think most adherents to religious systems are just that...adherents to a system.  They are not faithful.


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Wow, I learned something

Wow, I learned something today, cool. 

I checked back and Freud consistently uses the term "unbewussten" rather than "unterbewussten" when referring to the unconscious.  I was obviously misinformed, or possibly misled by translation issues.  Thanks, zntneo. 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:

tilberian: Did you forget to put in a smileyface emoticon after your first statement to indicate humor and/or sarcasm? I mean, I'm into Kierkegaard as much as the next guy, but that assertion...if not intended as humor...is a little frightening in it's disconnect with reality.

Bah. I meant Kant of course. Hey they both start with K.

Beloved Spear wrote:

Even from a Jesus-mythicist perspective, that statement has no empirical foundation. The golden rule has been articulated as a central part of Judeo Christian morality since it was preliminarily expressed in the levitical codes (Lev.19:18). It received further development in the pre-Christian proto-rabbinic tradition, when Hillel and his school expressed it as the summation of the law. Jesus (or the early Christian stories about him, if you want to be oppositional) articulated it as foundational in both the Sermon on the Plain (Lk: 6:31) and the Sermon on the Mount (Mtt. 7:12). In the first century, it is reaffirmed in the Pauline tradition in several locations (cf. Rom. 12). You can argue that it hasn't been acted upon, or that other aspects of the Judeo Christian normative framework have primacy over it. But that statement is not something you should repeat if you want to retain your credibility as a critic of religion.

The idea of the rule is present in Babylonian writings from way, way before Christianity. It is a common sense moral rule deriving directly from our innate sense of compassion and needs no religion to articulate it.

I will argue that other aspects of the Christian normative framework have primacy over it. In fact, it is very much a buried feature of the Bible, obscured by page after page of instruction to smite thine enemies and do as God says, not as he does.

Beloved Spear wrote:

Cowpoop aside, an equally valid argument could be made that the reforms of the Vatican were in response to the pressure applied by Protestantism. You can counter that with an argument from secular syncretism..as todangst should have, but did not...by asserting that the Reformation was simply reflecting the opening of Christianity to enlightenment humanism. Care to make that case?

Sounds right to me. Either way, we only see progress in religious thought when it is pushed from without. If it weren't for Enlightenment humanism, we'd all still be burning witches.

Beloved Spear wrote:

You and I are in complete agreement about the direction of Protestantism. In regressing towards fundamentalism, it is abandoning the revolutionary and dynamic intent of the Reformation, and becoming a calcified and dangerous thing. In my arguments with fundamentalists, I tend to call them idolatrous...but that term probably doesn't mean much in this forum.

Actually, I've seen that exact point made on another atheist board before. By holding the Bible up even above their consciences or their prayerful communion with God, fundies are certainly guilty of worshipping the thing itself rather than the God that is supposed to lie behind it.

Beloved Spear wrote:

Try telling a fisherman scraping out a living in the effluent-blighted waters of Lagos harbor about the benefits of capitalism. Or perhaps you can make the case more effectively to a sixteen year old Thai girl who spends every waking moment making plastic crap for Walmart. Globally, one could make the case that there is more net suffering now than at any time in human history.

Oh spare me. Let's talk about the generations after generations of peasents all over the world who spent their entire lives toiling from dawn to dusk so that they could eat after their feudal masters took everything else in taxes. Who had life expectancies of maybe 30. Who were illiterate, to a man. Who were put at the front of armies and driven like cattle into the front lines of the enemy. I could go on and on, but for most of human history, this was the reality of life for 99% of all people on the planet. This was the society created and supported by the religions of the world.

Of course, most of the people in the world still live only slightly better lives than this. But almost everyone's life is somewhat better, if only in the elimination of disease and the increased availabiltiy of food. And, for large swaths of the world, life is now completely unrecognizable - a real heaven on earth, you might say - for even the lowest members of society. 

Come talk to me when global capitalism has had as much time to work as religion has had. At the present rate of progress, poverty as we know it will be gone in a few hundred years.

Beloved Spear wrote:

Further, capitalism is too structured towards consumption to respond effectively to the coming environmental crisis...which it has directly caused. For all of it's dynamism, the system is, as you say, amoral...or, rather, it works under the morality of profit maximization as articulated by Friedman.

If the price of avoiding the ever-approaching environmental crisis is to return to the benighted misery of the religion-dominated society, I can say very conclusively that the cure is worse than the disease. I can further guarantee you that, as soon as people are able to attach value to avoiding global warming, capitalism will be the strongest force driving a solution. We are already seeing it in the proliferation of hybrid cars.

Beloved Spear wrote:

We do agree about the superiority of social democracies in providing a better environment for human existence, but I don't see the same cause. The reluctance of Americans to develop first-world educational and medical systems has everything to do with the capitalist ethos and the presumption that unfettered market forces should guide every aspect of our society. I know you disagree with that hypothesis...care to debunk it?

I don't know how to say this gently so I'll just say it: Americans are stupid.

They didn't used to be. Prior to the World Wars, Americans had one of the best public education systems in the world, and led the world in literacy. But over the past fifty years this thing has grown in the culture where it's considered more important to be a lot of things before being smart. Rich, popular, good at sports...and religious. The message in movies and television has been that it's OK to be dumb, as long as you have faith and charisma. Forrest Gump - perfect example. In fact, people who are too smart are portrayed in popular culture as being annoying nerds and ultimately incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile. I can't think of any source for this anti-intellectual bias except for the constant admonishments of the evangelical preachers who say quite clearly that people should beware of too much reason and analysis when it comes to God and that excessive thinking can only lead one astray.

I don't want to make the mistake of claiming that the America in TV and movies is an accurate portrayal America on the streets, but if my travels in the US have shown me anything it's that if anything the real situation at ground level is worse. Even people in intellectual occupations like engineering (who I dealt with) seem to go out of their way to avoid sounding like they are smart. Does this mean they are dumb? No. But it means that they are conscious of a cultural prejudice against sounding or looking intellectual.  

In the presence of this mentality, the democratic will is not there to spend money on schools. Which fuels more ignorance, and more devaluing of education. Which fuels greed, sloth, violence and a multitude of other deadly sins.

 

 

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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:

 

Dodging? Gracious. I laid out both the terms and the historical conceptual foundation for my ontological assertions.

No, you did not. In fact, all you did was concede that there was a paradox concerning a 'transcendent being'

Please present your theistic ontology or concede the issue.

Quote:

Your efforts to "subvert" theist teleology show this.

Please stop your dodging and deal with my argument or concede that you can't. Nothing you are saying here has any relevance to anything I've said. You don't even bother to cite evidence of your assertion.

Quote:

Argument? Again, gracious. Your initial assertion, that Christians fail to recognize their dependence on secular norms, is a defensible position.

No kidding. And it's more than an assertion, it's an argument. One you've studiously ignored. Now either respond to it, or quit dodging.

I've taught you how.

You actually cite the argument.

Then you support your counter claims through argument.

If you need help, I can guide you through each step, slowly.

Quote:

I've even given you hints as to how to effectively support it.

I already have supported it. Your "hints' were schizophrenic non sequiturs - you haven't given anything that is in any way relevent to my arguments.

In fact, your inability to see this is proof that you've not even adequately examined my argument....

 

Let me do what you never do: cite something you say, and then use it to demonstrate my claims:

Quote:
But the "evidence" in your argument centers on a series of Bible passages strung together with the same contextual obliviousness of a fundamentalist proof-texter.

But this is not the evidence for my argument.

I knew you didn't even bother to examine my argument, and this is the proof.

My argument is at the top of the page.

My evidence is the five points of christian theology that christians contradict in daily practice.

And Kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning. 

The bible quotes are merely tagged on, an after thought. They are merely incidental to the argument. Examples of biblical behaviors that christians would reject as immoral. If you like, you can cut them out entirely, they have no bearing at all, on my argument.

You'd realize this, if you actually read my argument.

You'd have seen that, had you actually attempted to cut and paste my argument here, to properly deal with it.

So once again, your inept, sloppy, schizophrenic-like, non sequitur approach to issues is your downfall.

You haven't even shown that you know what the argument is, so what can we say about your above comments for offering ways to improve the argument? That you were just riffing on whatever bullshit sounded good to you, with blissful disregard for the actual argument before you?

No wonder you hold that everyone is asserting without demonstrating.... you're too lazy to actually look for the argument! No wonder your comments sound so schizophrenically detached... you don't even know what argument you are responding to...

Unbelievable! Look, seriously... I'm about to start my internship next month, and I'd really like to avoid dealing with schizophrenically detached patients for a few more weeks, so please stop posting your bizarre non sequiturs to me, OK? My patients are more responsive to reality than you are.

 

 

 

 

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zntneo wrote: Textom

zntneo wrote:
Textom wrote:

NB: Jung always referred to the "unconscious." The "subconscious" was Freud; he believed it was inferior. Also FYI "analytic psychology" is the name given to the discipline that Jung founded, as opposed to Freud's "psychoanalysis."

Well, my understanding is that Jung had 2 different types of unconsious. and that freud didn't call it "subconsious" it as the Preconsious.  I do not remember off the top of my head if jung also believed in the Preconsious or not, i'm thinking he did because for a while he was a "follower" of freud. I also don't quite understand where you got the idea that Freud thought the preconsious was "inferior" he just thought that the preconsious was where things that are out of your consious but in easy grasp where. The unconsious was where repressed memory was.  

 

I have a little review of Jung here:

http://www.candleinthedark.com/jung.html

And yes, Jung feels that the mere personal 'unconscious' is less 

significant than the collective unconscious 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Beloved Spear wrote:

 

Fair enough. But do we agree that a conceptual framework is necessary for interpreting and gaining value from an ecstatic experience?

You need to first demonstrate the ontology for your theory.

 How can you have a conceptual framework with meaningless concepts?   

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Beloved Spear wrote: I was

Beloved Spear wrote:
I was re-reading Decartes' "Meditations" recently, and while me and Renee don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, something struck me as I went back through his development of the cogito. That argument, in which Decartes roots all philosophy in the irrefutable assertion that we exist ("I think, therefore I am&quotEye-wink, lies at the heart of most modern thinking. It's the one undeniable thing...that we are, that we are aware. You can't deny it, for in denying it, you affirm it. There are problems with that as a philosophical cornerstone, of course, because it 1) is so self evident as to border on tautology and 2) really doesn't provide a foundation for much other than subjectivism. What struck me is that even this assertion is assumed to be somehow irrelevant by neoatheism. Our being and existence..that light behind our eyes that perceives and knows and irrefutably is...is assumed to have less reality than a rock or a quark or a complex protein strand. Sentience is reduced to little more than a collateral side effect of complex biochemical processes, and deemed ultimately to be basically nothing. The idea that our consciousness might have a deeper and more eternal ground is dismissed as unprovable, even though the fact of our being is a logical absolute. So do you guys exist, or not?

I'm slightly more awake now, so I think I can finally comprehend this. And instead of trying to figure out what the hell is going on in the rest of this thread, I'll just address the OP.

The Cogito is a rather convincing reason for our existence, although it can easily lead to the whole "objective reality" and solipsist bullshit. But it doesn't necessarily prove dualism. You seem to be caught up in a dualistic mindset, where the "brain" and the "mind" are two separate entities. But there is no reason to think this. Our "being and existence..that light behind our eyes that perceives and knows and irrefutably is" doesn't have "less reality" than a rock or DNA. Our existence can easily be summed up as our brain's interpretations of sensory input. Now I know Descartes doubted the senses, leading to "Je pense, donc je suis," I fail to see how that irrefutably supports dualism. It seems quite logically and physically possible that the "I" that thinks is the brain. And that's much easier to prove than trying to find the "soul" or the "mind."

I think your last statement sums up nicely what you're talking about, including the glaring error in reasoning it commits. It is very very difficult, near impossible, to scientifically prove that consciousness has a "higher" source, and our being is a logical absolute. But why must the two be connected? A worm's existence is a logical absolute, but you'd be hard pressed to argue that it has a consciousness, a sense of self. Because we exist does not mean that our consciousness is not caused by the firing of neurons. I fail to see how that is a logical connection.


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:
vastet:  Yes, it was pretty lame. Thanks for the affirmation!

You're not only welcome, I thank you for admitting your own structure and argument is just as faulty if not more so.

Beloved Spear wrote:
  Tod's doing what he can. 

He owned you two pages ago. You're just too dense to admit it.

Beloved Spear wrote:
I'm sure he appreciates your support.  Helps with the self-esteem.

I don't particularly care if he appreciates support or not. The fact of the matter is that you are wrong, he has proven it, and you're just ignoring him. Proving that I need not put anywhere near as much effort into argumentation since your opening post is a bunch of illogical claptrap and your posts since then have actually sunk in quality, much to my amazement.

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rex:  I'm sorry I neglected

rex:  I'm sorry I neglected your post from the other day...the full court press from todangst made me miss it in the flurry of his posting.  You absolutely should read Russell.  Both Kierkegaard and Tillich...and anyone whose actually thought about it...would assert affirmatively that the second option requires faith and ecstatic experience.  Kierkegaard would describe it as a leap, and Tillich as a state of teleological concern, but however you slice it, the absolute is not attainable any other way.

tilberian:  That's alright.  We all make errors.  Unfortunately, that you were referring to Kant's deontological imperative doesn't make your statement any more true.   Your subsequent statement makes more sense, and I'm afraid it reflects the way that many Christians approach the texts.  Fundamentalism in particular assumes that every verse has equal value, rather than seeing...from context and the assertions within the texts themselves...that there is a hierarchy of authority within the Bible.

I think that science and advances in medicine have contributed greatly to human welfare, and I...with you...am fearful that the claims of literalism will stifle development of possible responses to environmental degradation, pandemic disease, and the crisis of global poverty.  With you, I think fundamentalism has contributed greatly to our unwillingness to respect the place of critical thinking and rationality in society.  Unlike the progressive Christianity that held sway during the mid 20th century, we're at a point where "fundies" are dominant...and as they believe that pluralist thought and openness are "bad", I think they contribute to the decline of our democratic society.

tod:  Where to begin? As someone who has worked with church-based programs for the indigent mentally ill, let me first recommend gently that you consider removing schizophrenic from your list of insults.  Were you not going to be responsible for the care of the mentally ill, it might be acceptable as a crass way of implying incoherence.  But if you carry that negative valuation into your internship, it won’t serve your patients well.  To do the good, you have to know the good, tod.

Amidst the thicket of invective and name-calling, there are a few relevant points.  The complaint about "not cutting and pasting"...golly.  I think that’s illustrative of the difference in our perspectives.  In what way is that relevant to developing an argument?  It's a stock methodology for webrants, true.  But I assume you remember what you've written, or are able to go back and  re-read it.  If necessary, I’ll restate it in a non-polemic fashion.  But your method lends itself to choppy, disjointed argumentation, particularly if the parsing is done sloppily or with polemic purpose.  It allows you to ignore the development of an argument..both those you are attempting to refute and your own.  The evidence of overreliance on this mode of argumentation can be found in your "essay" on Christian moral dependence, and I’m pleased that you recognize that a significant portion of it is irrelevant.  That section was the most egregious part of the essay, so it seemed...parsimonious...to focus on it.  As you seem to desire it, I will spend a little more time on the opening section.

You assert that Christians borrow secular morality.  You state the argument, and provide what you see to be it’s conceptual foundation.  You claim that Christianity is amoral because it assumes that morality cannot be founded in contingent existence and actions, but through participation in an absolute.  You first present a thumbnail sketch of the Pauline works/law dynamic.  You attack the Christian rejection of legal frameworks, and then condemn Christians for “blind obedience” to those same frameworks.  You then assume that this dissonance is because there is internal incoherence.  As support, you then cite Kohlberg’s categories, but necessarily undercut stage six as “theoretical” because it implies universality.  Using Kohlberg is an poor choice, because Kohlberg is asserting through his categories that legalism is necessarily rejected in more advanced systems of morality.  Which, as you’ve indicated, is precisely what Christianity does through the negative valuation of adherence to legalistic morality.   Your eager polemic blinds you to that critical inconsistency in the development of your argument, just as it permitted you to include your irrelevant list of “evidence.”  It’s just not a sound, systematic effort.

I’ll assume from your non-response to my giving you a clear grounding for my ontology that you’ve not read Tillich (which is understandable) or Kierkegaard (which is less forgivable).  You’ve also not responded to my deconstruction of your incoherent statement about absolute morality...you know, the one with your “particular interpretation” of the Panglossian error. I assumed you’d call me on it if I misrepresented you, but you did not.  You’re falling behind.  Can’t be that you’re too busy...I’m juggling a job and primary care provision for two kids.  Less time on invective, more time on thought, comrade.

arctyrex:  Glad you’re more awake now, and thanks for getting back to that.  Though I love the elegance of the cogito, I don’t adhere to a dualist mindset either.  What I thought was interesting was the disjuncture between it’s axiomatic irrefutability and the ephemeral nature of consciousness from a materialist standpoint.  Rocks and complex proteins may degrade, or shift from one form to another, but their mass or the energy contained in their mass remains.  A materialist cannot make that assertion about the self.  The materialist self...as deludedgod may have intended to imply before he departed the discussion...does not exist.  

As to lower forms, it’s hard to say where self and sentience is definitively present. Take Sean Hannity, for example.  Neurons are firing...but is there truly sentience?   Seriously, though...when you say a worm’s existence is a logical absolute, are you saying that in the context of the cogito, or from a materialist perspective?

Vastet:  Again, you aren’t contributing.  Perhaps if we talked about something in which you have expertise you’d have something to say.  I wouldn’t want you to feel left out.  <tangent>Have you played the Wii port of Resident Evil 4 yet?  I picked it up this week, and the control mapping is exceptionally good...it adds real depth to the game.<tangent>


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Beloved Spear wrote: rex:

Beloved Spear wrote:
rex: I'm sorry I neglected your post from the other day...the full court press from todangst made me miss it in the flurry of his posting. You absolutely should read Russell. Both Kierkegaard and Tillich...and anyone whose actually thought about it...would assert affirmatively that the second option requires faith and ecstatic experience. Kierkegaard would describe it as a leap, and Tillich as a state of teleological concern, but however you slice it, the absolute is not attainable any other way.

I'm glad we agree on one thing: Anyone who's given the issue any thought agrees that that the second option is irrational (i.e. "requires faith and ecstatic experience"). If you want to take that leap of faith, fine, go right ahead, but it just doesn't make sense to expect other people to make that same leap with you. It doesn't seem to offer any advantage, and it would come at the cost of intellectual honesty, which personally I value a great deal.

I think todangst has a good point that I'd like to see you address, in that it is dubious to ground a "non-contingent meaning" in the fiat of a god, especially one that is capable of changing its mind. I'd also like to see this addressed as well, since it is a more fundamental problem than the one I have been addressing.

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rex:  I'd use the term

rex:  I'd use the term meta-rational myself...it doesn't bear the negative freight of "irrational," and better reflects the position of a theism that profoundly respects the both importance of reason and simultaneously grasps it's teleological limitations.  But then, that's my perspective, so call it what you will.  While I don't consider a sense of purpose that isn't ontologically meaningless to be "no advantage," and think that the dynamic character of faith permits intellectual honesty, the current context of religious expression makes your response quite understandable.  

Given how the dialogue here has developed, I think your suggestion is a useful one.  I'd actually been thinking about opening another forum to specifically discuss the question of meaning that both you and todangst have raised.  It seems to be more potentially interesting than continuing under the framework of the rather abstract Cartesian thought exercise I'd pitched out for y'all's entertainment.  Your thoughts?  Is that meme worth pursuing?


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:
Vastet:  Again, you aren’t contributing.

Pot, meet kettle.

Beloved Spear wrote:
  Perhaps if we talked about something in which you have expertise you’d have something to say.

I don't need expertise in the subject. Moderate familiarity is more than enough to know you haven't said anything of value yet. Besides, I'm rather tired of destroying this particular subject at the moment, it is that pathetic. Since you have a significant excess of time to post so many large substanceless posts anyway, you can take a look back through my post history to see how I already ripped your claims apart a few times over the last few months.

Beloved Spear wrote:
  I wouldn’t want you to feel left out.

Impossible.

Beloved Spear wrote:
  <tangent>Have you played the Wii port of Resident Evil 4 yet?  I picked it up this week, and the control mapping is exceptionally good...it adds real depth to the game.<tangent>

Never got into that series. But this would make for a better discussion in another topic.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Beloved Spear wrote: rex: 

Beloved Spear wrote:
rex:  I'd use the term meta-rational myself...it doesn't bear the negative freight of "irrational," and better reflects the position of a theism that profoundly respects the both importance of reason and simultaneously grasps it's teleological limitations.  But then, that's my perspective, so call it what you will.

I don't see the point of inventing new synonyms for irrationality, and doing so doesn't change anything. You can dream up all the fantasies you want, and you don't have to justify them to me or anyone else, but they are still completely unfounded. Believing something on faith is irrational, whatever else you may also call it.

Beloved Spear wrote:
While I don't consider a sense of purpose that isn't ontologically meaningless to be "no advantage," and think that the dynamic character of faith permits intellectual honesty, the current context of religious expression makes your response quite understandable.

You don't get this meaning by just believing in it. There is no basis for an ultimate meaning, and so the meaning that you assign to yourself and imagine to be ultimate is no greater than the meaning which I deliberately create for myself without all the pretense.

Beloved Spear wrote:
Given how the dialogue here has developed, I think your suggestion is a useful one.  I'd actually been thinking about opening another forum to specifically discuss the question of meaning that both you and todangst have raised.  It seems to be more potentially interesting than continuing under the framework of the rather abstract Cartesian thought exercise I'd pitched out for y'all's entertainment.  Your thoughts?  Is that meme worth pursuing?

I guess it depends on how off-topic the answer is. I'd like to see you answer the questions todangst has posed.

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vastet:  Your posts are

vastet:  Your posts are there for all to see.  As with too many folks in this forum, you seem to confuse invective for argumentation.  "Moderate familiarity" would seem to permit you to to make comments that reveal a layman's knowledge of this stuff.  You've pitched out plenty of baseless insults...which might be fine for a commentator on Fox News, but isn't really rational.

rex:  I wouldn't expect you to concur on that definition.

I'd try to be precise, but to be clear:  I would be responding to the assertion from todangst that theist attempts to root non-contingent meaning in a transcendent "God" are dubious and internally inconsistent.  


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It appears I misunderstood

It appears I misunderstood the jist of the thread. My bad.


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Beloved Spear

Beloved Spear wrote:
vastet:  Your posts are there for all to see.

You think perhaps that I am somehow unaware of this?

Beloved Spear wrote:
  As with too many folks in this forum, you seem to confuse invective for argumentation.

I confuse nothing. I merely acknowledge two seperate points.
1: You have ignored and failed to respond to those who have destroyed your arguments completely.
2: I am bored of this sad attempt at an argument by theists at the moment.

Therefore it is clear that logical argumentation has no effect on you. But I can string you along just as easily as you're attempting to string Todangst and Deludedgod along. Even easier, since your argument has no substance. Either you'll get frustrated and leave, or you'll actually start paying attention to what others have said, do some learning, and see how your arguments are flawed. I'd prefer you take the latter path, but I expect you'll take the former one.

Beloved Spear wrote:
  "Moderate familiarity" would seem to permit you to to make comments that reveal a layman's knowledge of this stuff.  You've pitched out plenty of baseless insults...which might be fine for a commentator on Fox News, but isn't really rational.

You started the topic off with an insult. Suggesting that atheism doesn't exist, implying that every atheist on the planet is a liar, including myself. I returned the insult with the equally invalid claim that theism doesn't exist, suggesting you are as much a liar as you claim us to be(the one and only insult I delivered to you). Perhaps you should take an in depth examination of your flawed reasoning and insulting manner before suggesting that others do the same. If you want to be rational, that is. It seems you do not.

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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:

Oh spare me. Let's talk about the generations after generations of peasents all over the world who spent their entire lives toiling from dawn to dusk so that they could eat after their feudal masters took everything else in taxes. Who had life expectancies of maybe 30. Who were illiterate, to a man. Who were put at the front of armies and driven like cattle into the front lines of the enemy. I could go on and on, but for most of human history, this was the reality of life for 99% of all people on the planet. This was the society created and supported by the religions of the world.

Pull the other one Tilberian. No such thing as a true capitalist economy even exists let alone a global one. all existing capitalism is hampered and lame. Systematically rationalising freedom and equality out of every politic is what people do, not what theism does, or what religion did in any such exclusive sense. The generalisation is absurd. Secular people do it in secular systems morphing good libertarian ideas into the quasi-feudal lordships and nobilities we have today no less than any other historic atrocity you might mention.

How about you come see me when you find a real lasseiz faire society to speak of in terms of being anything in a hundred years other than another yesterday's feudal decline.


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Eloise wrote: Pull the

Eloise wrote:

Pull the other one Tilberian. No such thing as a true capitalist economy even exists let alone a global one. all existing capitalism is hampered and lame. Systematically rationalising freedom and equality out of every politic is what people do, not what theism does, or what religion did in any such exclusive sense. The generalisation is absurd. Secular people do it in secular systems morphing good libertarian ideas into the quasi-feudal lordships and nobilities we have today no less than any other historic atrocity you might mention.

How about you come see me when you find a real lasseiz faire society to speak of in terms of being anything in a hundred years other than another yesterday's feudal decline.

Elosie, if you  are even going to start equating the level of freedom we enjoy in today's secular democracies with the level of freedom in the Church-supported monarchies of the past, then you are really not worth debating on this topic because your knowledge of history is simply too limited. Go grab a book called Poland by James Michner if you want to gain a real understanding of what the life of the comman man was like in feudal Europe.

If religion has no role to play in supporting the power of the ruling class, then why has every ruling class through history (including today, nauseatingly) found it important to kowtow to religious leaders and treat them like heads of state? Why are hereditary rulers crowned by religious officials, and have been since the dawn of history? Why, prior to the idea of separation of Church and State gaining currency, did priests tell their congregations whom to support in local political battles (oops, this is still happening in conservative Churches all over the US and Canada)? If religion has nothing to do with social control and politics, why has every society down through history acted like it does?

It also isn't hard to see how Christian values played right into the hands of the European nobility and assisted them to keep their populations passive. Expect no reward in this world - look to the next one. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Render unto Caesar. Accept no gods before me. Thou shalt not steal. Turn the other cheek. The meek will inherit the earth. I'm not even scratching the surface of how the Bible acts as a ready-made brainwashing device for the use of any authoritarian in need of a little softening up of the population.

The overarching message is perfect for totalitarian purposes: surrender all moral judgement to God, including the right to get angry and take revenge. Live modestly, accepting what you have and staying fixated on your eternal reward. Beware of pride and the instinct to better your circumstances - this was the sin of Satan himself. Beware of sex and surrender control of this critical aspect of life to the authorities. Watch your neighbours vigilantly for any sign of transgression and denounce and punish them swiftly and harshly. Demand nothing less than total obedience from your children and kill them if they defy you.

Makes 1984 sound like a playground.

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Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Pull the other one Tilberian. No such thing as a true capitalist economy even exists let alone a global one. all existing capitalism is hampered and lame. Systematically rationalising freedom and equality out of every politic is what people do, not what theism does, or what religion did in any such exclusive sense. The generalisation is absurd. Secular people do it in secular systems morphing good libertarian ideas into the quasi-feudal lordships and nobilities we have today no less than any other historic atrocity you might mention.

How about you come see me when you find a real lasseiz faire society to speak of in terms of being anything in a hundred years other than another yesterday's feudal decline.

Elosie, if you are even going to start equating the level of freedom we enjoy in today's secular democracies with the level of freedom in the Church-supported monarchies of the past, then you are really not worth debating on this topic because your knowledge of history is simply too limited.

that is true my reading of history is limited, it's many times not my preferred subject. however current events are, and freedoms are in decline. i can only assume, but i believe i do fairhandedly, libertarian society has no claim on that title as of today, religious influence is not to blame the problems of material excess, fear and human indifference are global, not religious. You cite wars of religion, but ignore wars of conquest and indignation, you argue the corruption of the clergy and dismiss the corruption of the secular politics and legislation that kissed its arse. Sorry Tilberian I can't argue history with you but I can say your puritan faith in capitalist politics today is unfounded and mean it.

 

 

Quote:

Go grab a book called Poland by James Michner if you want to gain a real understanding of what the life of the comman man was like in feudal Europe.

 

I won't argue that our standards haven't risen. And compared to feudal history who could? But standards rise and fall, and it's usually down to greedy men in and of themselves, their beliefs hardly differentiate. It's usually the peasants who have any claim to moral assertion no matter the system or the peripheral leanings of the individuals in it's priviledge.

Quote:

If religion has no role to play in supporting the power of the ruling class, then why has every ruling class through history (including today, nauseatingly) found it important to kowtow to religious leaders and treat them like heads of state?

To enhance their own standing, to exponentiate their privilege. This is an example of religion exploited by one and all, it's not an example of faith being exploitative.

Quote:

Why are hereditary rulers crowned by religious officials, and have been since the dawn of history? Why, prior to the idea of separation of Church and State gaining currency, did priests tell their congregations whom to support in local political battles (oops, this is still happening in conservative Churches all over the US and Canada)? If religion has nothing to do with social control and politics, why has every society down through history acted like it does?

Now I won't argue that it has nothing to do with social control, nor will you catch me trying to feign an innocent history for religion. This just would not be the honest thing to do, but I will question the singling out of 'religion' ad hoc as the basis of all corruption. The peasants were religious too, recall, what they didn't have was disproportionate money, power and status. The Libertarian function of capitalism is to recognise, above all, whereever there is a vulgar disproportion there is the apocalypse of your society, and it has failed. You wish to blame religion but who let the religious corruption pervade the secular tenet? Were they not also corrupt?

 

Quote:

The overarching message is perfect for totalitarian purposes: surrender all moral judgement to God, including the right to get angry and take revenge. Live modestly, accepting what you have and staying fixated on your eternal reward. Beware of pride and the instinct to better your circumstances - this was the sin of Satan himself. Beware of sex and surrender control of this critical aspect of life to the authorities. Watch your neighbours vigilantly for any sign of transgression and denounce and punish them swiftly and harshly. Demand nothing less than total obedience from your children and kill them if they defy you.

Makes 1984 sound like a playground.

I know... see my signature.

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Eloise wrote: that is true

Eloise wrote:

that is true my reading of history is limited, it's many times not my preferred subject. however current events are, and freedoms are in decline. i can only assume, but i believe i do fairhandedly, libertarian society has no claim on that title as of today,

I think you are making an assumption that I am one of the neo-anarchist ultra-libertarians that do tend to be common in atheist ranks. I'm not. In American terms I'd probably be considered a social democrat, though Europeans would consider me quite a bit right of that.

Eloise wrote:

religious influence is not to blame the problems of material excess,

All through history we see religions defending the divine right of the wealthy to be wealthy and retain their wealth. This is, no doubt, usually because the religious leaders are among the ranks of the ultra-wealthy themselves. Religion has been a major force in history for promotion of material excess.

One example: it was common practice for nobles and wealthy merchants in medieval Europe to spend exorbidant amounts of money on fancy churches. Why? Because in return the clergy would throw their support behind their benefactors and give all their enterprises the blessings of the church, thereby endowing some seriously messed up people with the moral aura of respectibility. If these men had been judged on their merits, many of them would have hoisted on pitchforks at the front of enraged mobs.  

Eloise wrote:

fear and human indifference are global, not religious.

But how much easier is it to be indifferent to the plight of someone who is going to hell anyway?

Eloise wrote:

You cite wars of religion, but ignore wars of conquest and indignation,

Religion has ever been a tool in the hands of generals down through history to demonize the opposition and enable their soldiers to kill without remorse.

Eloise wrote:

you argue the corruption of the clergy and dismiss the corruption of the secular politics and legislation that kissed its arse.

Point to where I've done that. You can't because I haven't. What I have done is point out that the secular ideals of democracy and capitalism have delivered wealth, freedom, health and enlightenment everywhere they have been embraced, while religion has delivered, and continues to deliver, nothing but a furtherance of the benighted human condition that prevailed through most of history and still prevails in much of the world.  

Eloise wrote:

Sorry Tilberian I can't argue history with you but I can say your puritan faith in capitalist politics today is unfounded and mean it.

I have no faith in anything. My endorsement of capitalism is based entirely on fact, and goes no further than the facts I have cited. I think you better educate yourself more thoroughly on the history of world political economy before you try to tangle with me on this.

Eloise wrote:

I won't argue that our standards haven't risen. And compared to feudal history who could? But standards rise and fall, and it's usually down to greedy men in and of themselves, their beliefs hardly differentiate. It's usually the peasants who have any claim to moral assertion no matter the system or the peripheral leanings of the individuals in it's priviledge.

And religion is a favourite tool and weapon of the greedy men you mention. I'd like to see that tool taken out of their hands by a rise in consciousness among the people they have used it against. Let's see the greedy and power-hungry defend their plans and actions on rational bases instead of on an appeal to faith, whether it be their own faith in some religion or their followers faith in them. The lesson of history is that, if forced to that, the greedy and power-hungry will get their way a lot less often.

Eloise wrote:

To enhance their own standing, to exponentiate their privilege. This is an example of religion exploited by one and all, it's not an example of faith being exploitative.

So religions and religious leaders don't profit from their donation of moral support to political figures? How much tax do American churches pay? How many devout Christians are now on the payroll of Bush's faith-based social services programs? How rich is the Vatican?

Religion is inherently exploitive. I'd argue that it's the only reason organized religion exists.

Eloise wrote:

Now I won't argue that it has nothing to do with social control, nor will you catch me trying to feign an innocent history for religion. This just would not be the honest thing to do, but I will question the singling out of 'religion' ad hoc as the basis of all corruption.

I haven't said this. I'm saying religion is a major basis of corruption and delivers no offsetting benefit to justify its continued existence.

Eloise wrote:

The peasants were religious too, recall, what they didn't have was disproportionate money, power and status. The Libertarian function of capitalism is to recognise, above all, whereever there is a vulgar disproportion there is the apocalypse of your society, and it has failed. You wish to blame religion but who let the religious corruption pervade the secular tenet? Were they not also corrupt?

I think your notions of Libertarianism and capitalism are fuzzy and you seem to be lurching between the two as if they are synonymous, which they aren't, but whatever...

No one let religions into secular politics; they have forced themselves forward by determined, organized and well-funded lobbying. The push to turn American political culture into a faith-based one started with the Moral Majority (which followed less nationalized precursors) back in the '80s and has scarcely slowed in gaining power since. It is in fact a function of the openness and lack of corruption in the American political system that allowed this to happen, despite the fact that what these people have been fighting for is nothing less than an undermining of everything the country is supposed to stand for.  

Eloise wrote:

I know... see my signature.

So you agree that religious ideology shares many of the features of totalitarianism, yet you can bring yourself to defend it? How? 

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Tilberian wrote: Eloise

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

that is true my reading of history is limited, it's many times not my preferred subject. however current events are, and freedoms are in decline. i can only assume, but i believe i do fairhandedly, libertarian society has no claim on that title as of today,

I think you are making an assumption that I am one of the neo-anarchist ultra-libertarians that do tend to be common in atheist ranks. I'm not. In American terms I'd probably be considered a social democrat, though Europeans would consider me quite a bit right of that.

I'd put you right of it too , actually, I don't think I am nearly saying you would be neo-anarchist, I'm far more that than you, I think. Not surprising I suspect, I'm from Australia where genuine lasseiz faire (she'll be right) has more contemporary sway. As far as moral majorities go, ours is a far more recent uprising subsuming the oppressed generations. And that of itself is a valuable example of the process. Hubris turns jaded, jaded to bitter and the bitter becomes sinister all too quickly. Seems to me the question is right, ie somewhere along this road we demonised and dismantled liberty, but in pinpointing the source of the wronging they are all of a group of blinfolded drunks at a dartboard. When uprising rises in synch from all quarters, each of them seething bitterly at each other, I'd dare say that all miss their target by a good few thousand miles. 

 By the by, you're right that I do informally equate capitalist ideology with libertarian archetype, I don't think I'm that far off, really.

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

religious influence is not to blame the problems of material excess,

All through history we see religions defending the divine right of the wealthy to be wealthy and retain their wealth. This is, no doubt, usually because the religious leaders are among the ranks of the ultra-wealthy themselves. Religion has been a major force in history for promotion of material excess.

One example: it was common practice for nobles and wealthy merchants in medieval Europe to spend exorbidant amounts of money on fancy churches. Why? Because in return the clergy would throw their support behind their benefactors and give all their enterprises the blessings of the church, thereby endowing some seriously messed up people with the moral aura of respectibility. If these men had been judged on their merits, many of them would have hoisted on pitchforks at the front of enraged mobs.

Eloise wrote:

fear and human indifference are global, not religious.

But how much easier is it to be indifferent to the plight of someone who is going to hell anyway?

 

 It seems we agree in principle that power is brokered, and religion is a commodity.

 

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

You cite wars of religion, but ignore wars of conquest and indignation,

Religion has ever been a tool in the hands of generals down through history to demonize the opposition and enable their soldiers to kill without remorse.

Eloise wrote:

you argue the corruption of the clergy and dismiss the corruption of the secular politics and legislation that kissed its arse.

Point to where I've done that. You can't because I haven't. What I have done is point out that the secular ideals of democracy and capitalism have delivered wealth, freedom, health and enlightenment everywhere they have been embraced, while religion has delivered, and continues to deliver, nothing but a furtherance of the benighted human condition that prevailed through most of history and still prevails in much of the world.

You entail that secular ideals are in a position to continue doing that and I disagree. You say devolve religious influence and my disagreement goes away, and I disagree with that equally. Capitalism is corrupted of its own means; and religion. Dismissal of the former does nothing to solve either problem in my modest opinion. And it is just a modest opinion.  

 

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Sorry Tilberian I can't argue history with you but I can say your puritan faith in capitalist politics today is unfounded and mean it.

I have no faith in anything. My endorsement of capitalism is based entirely on fact, and goes no further than the facts I have cited. I think you better educate yourself more thoroughly on the history of world political economy before you try to tangle with me on this.

 Well, Tilberian, I admire your veracity, but my reading of history is very very reluctant, only when required of other study. Sorry I can't be more kindred on that aspect and only offer my singular stand which is basically Mixed Capitalism is corrupted of its own means as well.

I spin a good yarn, LOL. But I believe this is all bare fact anyway. Take a certain world leader for example, Ya he's christian radical of the nth degree, but he's also a spoiled pampered rich brat with a third rate, third grade education aspiring his so called profession. If you say his religious affiliation accreted this vulgarity more than the billions in well placed oil estate it's just a bald-faced lie.  

 

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

To enhance their own standing, to exponentiate their privilege. This is an example of religion exploited by one and all, it's not an example of faith being exploitative.

So religions and religious leaders don't profit from their donation of moral support to political figures? How much tax do American churches pay? How many devout Christians are now on the payroll of Bush's faith-based social services programs? How rich is the Vatican?

I say religions don't profit they succumb to disproportioned hedonistic reinvention just like any other ideology. In the end nobody profits because the filthy rich destroy their own civilisation.

 

 

tilberian wrote:

Religion is inherently exploitive. I'd argue that it's the only reason organized religion exists.

Eloise wrote:

Now I won't argue that it has nothing to do with social control, nor will you catch me trying to feign an innocent history for religion. This just would not be the honest thing to do, but I will question the singling out of 'religion' ad hoc as the basis of all corruption.

I haven't said this. I'm saying religion is a major basis of corruption and delivers no offsetting benefit to justify its continued existence.

I disagree, there is offsetting benefit in religion, only a biased cherry pick says otherwise. However the religious are as biased and as cherry picking as any other party so that's little consolation, I know. On this matter I am definitely with Spear there is a heirarchy of authority in religious doctrine, if it is ignored you're only getting half the picture and it's the wrong half.

 

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:

I know... see my signature.

So you agree that religious ideology shares many of the features of totalitarianism, yet you can bring yourself to defend it? How?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for dispelling religion in its corruption, but not without the fair qualifying of its role and contribution (it's not the only madman in the ranks) and not with out a renewed treatise on the fundamental innocence and virtue of faith.  

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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:


By the by, you're right that I do informally equate capitalist ideology with libertarian archetype, I don't think I'm that far off, really.

Show me a small businessman and I'll show you a capitalist who is a libertarian. Show me a big businessman and I'll show you a capitalist who is an authoritarian.

Eloise wrote:

It seems we agree in principle that power is brokered, and religion is a commodity.

Yep. One that should be dumped into the sea so that it can't be misused any more.

Eloise wrote:

You entail that secular ideals are in a position to continue doing that and I disagree.

Interesting. What calamity do you see in the future that is suddenly going to reverse the steady and accelerating growth of wealth and prosperity worldwide since the Enlightenment? Please don't point to global warming, because all that is going to do is spur a new burst of innovation and create more economic opportunities than ever before.

Eloise wrote:

You say devolve religious influence and my disagreement goes away, and I disagree with that equally. Capitalism is corrupted of its own means; and religion. Dismissal of the former does nothing to solve either problem in my modest opinion. And it is just a modest opinion.

Again, this is a strawman of my position. Religion and capitalism can co-exist quite comfortably. Certainly no one is fonder of money than religious leaders. But what religion can't (actually, won't) co-exist with is a free, pluralistic, democratic society. Unfortunately for the would-be religious capitalists, this is exactly the best kind of society for economic growth.

Eloise wrote:

Well, Tilberian, I admire your veracity, but my reading of history is very very reluctant, only when required of other study. Sorry I can't be more kindred on that aspect and only offer my singular stand which is basically Mixed Capitalism is corrupted of its own means as well.

This point is a non sequiteur. I realize that there are other corrupting influences in the world. I also support any and all efforts to erase those influences as well (provided the cure isn't worse than the disease).

Eloise wrote:

I spin a good yarn, LOL. But I believe this is all bare fact anyway. Take a certain world leader for example, Ya he's christian radical of the nth degree, but he's also a spoiled pampered rich brat with a third rate, third grade education aspiring his so called profession. If you say his religious affiliation accreted this vulgarity more than the billions in well placed oil estate it's just a bald-faced lie.

The question is not why he does what he does. There will always be a surplus of cretins in the world with or without religion. The question is why he is able to do what he does. And part of that equation, for as long as there have been cretins in power, is the moral authority he can buy from the church. Buying moral authority should be an oxymoron, but it isn't because of religion. Religion is the perfect tool for autocrats because it directly tells people to suspend their own moral judgement and consider "good" to be "whatever the church says is good."

Eloise wrote:
I say religions don't profit they succumb to disproportioned hedonistic reinvention just like any other ideology. In the end nobody profits because the filthy rich destroy their own civilisation.

I always wondered why Benedict's eyes looked so puffy. Now I know. He and the rest of the Holy See have been crying themselves to sleep at night on their silk pillows because they mistakenly thought they were profiting, but were really buying into a disproportioned hedonistic reinvention! Oh the humanity!

Eloise wrote:

I disagree, there is offsetting benefit in religion, only a biased cherry pick says otherwise. However the religious are as biased and as cherry picking as any other party so that's little consolation, I know.

I'll claim right here that religion confers no benefit that is actually and properly attributable to it's status as a religion, ie an organization dedicated to the worship of a god. When religions function as community centres or activist groups or charitable institutions, they do good things. However any of these functions can and are carried out just as well (or better) by secular organizations. When they function as houses of worship, they just waste everyone's time and money, reinforce divisions in communities, call on people to suspend moral and critical thought and dispense horrible advice on relationships and sex.

Eloise wrote:

On this matter I am definitely with Spear there is a heirarchy of authority in religious doctrine, if it is ignored you're only getting half the picture and it's the wrong half.

I don't see how this statement relates to anything. 

Eloise wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for dispelling religion in its corruption, but not without the fair qualifying of its role and contribution (it's not the only madman in the ranks) and not with out a renewed treatise on the fundamental innocence and virtue of faith.

What good is faith?

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Tilberian wrote: Eloise

Tilberian wrote:
Eloise wrote:


By the by, you're right that I do informally equate capitalist ideology with libertarian archetype, I don't think I'm that far off, really.

Show me a small businessman and I'll show you a capitalist who is a libertarian. Show me a big businessman and I'll show you a capitalist who is an authoritarian.

LOL good one. But to me the big businessman doesn't have anything to do with the ideology apart from being a gaping, gargantuan wound in its implementation.  

 

Quote:
Eloise wrote:

You entail that secular ideals are in a position to continue doing that and I disagree.

Interesting. What calamity do you see in the future that is suddenly going to reverse the steady and accelerating growth of wealth and prosperity worldwide since the Enlightenment? Please don't point to global warming, because all that is going to do is spur a new burst of innovation and create more economic opportunities than ever before.

Steady and accelerating growth? Beg to differ, Tilberian, the way down is always shorter; I'm not saying it didn't happen, because it did most definitely in the past, but it's a little optimistic to call it steady right now with every man woman and child in western society (the ones who have most benefited) teetering on the knife edge of abominable debt. I'm sure the uberwealthy don't mind that as long as they can move on to greener less demanding fields to sponge from anyway. But seriously, I'm not quite that jaded, really, or maybe I am.. Okay, I can't decide. Sometimes I think I am that jaded and can't wait for the top tier to do itself hari kiri. But otherwise.. no calamities for me ... la la la... *checks in to Pleasant Gardens to do some therapeutic knitting*

In all honesty, Tilberian, and lets be honest, the wealthy countries have millions of dispossessed starved peasants in them. It's not the 1950s and it hasn't been since the 1950s.

I'm sorry to say, if you live in the US the evidence isn't that far from home, but as in all good doomed societies you're taught to believe that the homeless and disenfranchised have brought it all on themselves because they were living in a good freedom loving democracy that would never tread them down or force them into destitution, refuse them health care, a living or just plain human respect, heck you'll probably say they should have started their own business, right? instead of drinking and gambling their life away.

But the thing is all too many never had one of those 'life' things to begin with. Born on cheapside die on cheapside, preferrably in the gutter if you don't let me kick you cause I'm better and more libertarian than you are. And because a magazine has Paris Hilton snogging a tree on the cover you can see the value of you just doesn't come close.

Yeah I'm ranting, I know, you asked for a calamity though so I guess you probably should have expected the answer to come saddled with emotion.

the problem with a mixed economy capitalism is that it opens the door to outrageous inequality.

How can a two metre stride in front of fifty cameras be worth 20,000 dollars when an hour in the sun digging a two metre hole is only worth 10 maybe 15 if you're lucky. That's not capitalism. Its the most vulgar and distasteful distortion of the ideology imaginable, and it's rife, absolutely rampant.

How can a secular lasseiz faire ideology be in a position to say we have this in hand, no you can't have it in hand because you don't stand for that, what you stand for is what already happened.

give it time it will work? work at what? restoring feudal conditions to the underclass as the model gets to thinking 50,000 is more to her taste and the freedom loving agenda of course insists that she has the right to her capitalisation on a demand and carry on taking it from anyone without the means to put up a fight? There is no democracy once the people lose their power. And since when did capitalism stand for money equalling power? but it happened, and continues to happen.

and what answer does capitalism have to everything being owned again, because it is, everything is owned, this is not not feudal, it IS feudal. With strange Kings and Lords who wear suits instead of crowns and have podiums and first class flights instead of thrones. Everything's owned, and the price for wandering your world is high enough, the price for actually wanting to live in it is ludicrous.    

speaking of first class flights, you know planes contribute megatons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in superexcess of any other average human activity. Yeah I mentioned Global warming... something had to distract me from my ranting. 

 

Quote:
Eloise wrote:
I say religions don't profit they succumb to disproportioned hedonistic reinvention just like any other ideology. In the end nobody profits because the filthy rich destroy their own civilisation.

I always wondered why Benedict's eyes looked so puffy. Now I know. He and the rest of the Holy See have been crying themselves to sleep at night on their silk pillows because they mistakenly thought they were profiting, but were really buying into a disproportioned hedonistic reinvention! Oh the humanity!

What are you on about? They're selling it!

But at least they have something to sell.  

 

Tilberian wrote:

What good is faith?

You said yourself that communities of faith do achieve good in the world. 

I agree with you when you say gathering together to worship is basically wasteful and confers no benefit. But faith itself has many benefits, it inspires the imagination, not that other things can't inspire but why should we dictate what is right for someone to draw inspiration from.

there are timeless meaningful questions explored by faith and in religious doctrine, people have been contemplating existence for thousands of years, ha! so we may say we have it all the right now and what anyone else thought or felt is of no value, that doesn't make it true, and someday, like people of our time search through ancient truths to form themselves, people of our future are going to be interested in knowing. Whether we find it boorish and stupid makes no difference to them. Our human history is wrapped up in faith, and that reason alone is enough virtue.

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vastet: Your posts are there for all to see. As with too many folks in this forum, you seem to confuse invective for argumentation.  

You'd be the main offender in this thread. Whatever you get back is a return volley. 

 

Quote:
 

 I'd try to be precise, but to be clear: I would be responding to the assertion from todangst that theist attempts to root non-contingent meaning in a transcendent "God" are dubious and internally inconsistent.

Again, it was more than an assertion, and you were unable to respond to it.  

More of the same of this sort of posting will lead to a ban. 

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 tod:  Dagnabbit, man,

 tod:  Dagnabbit, man, this portion of the site is called "Atheist vs. Theist," not "Theists give Atheists a Nice Relaxing Massage."  That's why I put this thread here.  Seemed in keeping with the intent of this section of the forums.

So you'd ban posting that challenges you..even on the section of the site that is set aside for such challenges?  Just like you RRSers had my YouTube censored a few months back, eh? Ah well.  At least you're consistent in that respect.

 As for your argument, I did respond to it specifically.  In your subsequent postings, you didn't counter my response...not a peep, not a whisper.  Nothing.  In part, that's why I figured that such a topic..your topic...deserved it's own forum.


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Eloise wrote: Tilberian

Eloise wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

Show me a small businessman and I'll show you a capitalist who is a libertarian. Show me a big businessman and I'll show you a capitalist who is an authoritarian.

LOL good one. But to me the big businessman doesn't have anything to do with the ideology apart from being a gaping, gargantuan wound in its implementation.

Now, now, Eloise, we in the industrialized world do owe a lot to big businesses. And capitalism really wouldn't work at all if small businesses weren't motivated by the possibility of getting bigger. 

Eloise wrote:

Steady and accelerating growth? Beg to differ, Tilberian, the way down is always shorter; I'm not saying it didn't happen, because it did most definitely in the past, but it's a little optimistic to call it steady right now with every man woman and child in western society (the ones who have most benefited) teetering on the knife edge of abominable debt.

Western economies are not growing at the rate they used to because we in the West already have so much. An addition of wealth that would cause a third world economy to go into hyperinflation doesn't even register on our stock markets. However when you look at the global situation, you see that incredible amounts of wealth are being created faster and faster all the time. Is it distributed properly? No. But this is a political problem, not an economic one.

Eloise wrote:

In all honesty, Tilberian, and lets be honest, the wealthy countries have millions of dispossessed starved peasants in them. It's not the 1950s and it hasn't been since the 1950s.

It's that history thing again, Eloise. There is far less poverty in Western countries now than there was in the '50s. Things have come so far that what we consider "poverty" today was practically middle class then. There are fewer poor people, and they are looked after better.

Eloise wrote:

I'm sorry to say, if you live in the US the evidence isn't that far from home, but as in all good doomed societies you're taught to believe that the homeless and disenfranchised have brought it all on themselves because they were living in a good freedom loving democracy that would never tread them down or force them into destitution, refuse them health care, a living or just plain human respect, heck you'll probably say they should have started their own business, right? instead of drinking and gambling their life away.

I am in Canada, where I can say that the only way to be poor is through some personal failing, like stupidity or drug addiction. My wife used to work for welfare here, and the one consistent factor that emerged from her stories was that these people just could not link up simple cause and effect. You were out drinking all night and you slept in and lost your job? Well duh. You didn't bother with birth control and got knocked up at 18 and decided to have the baby? Hmmm. You don't even show up for school? Gee, I wonder what's going to happen?

I  will admit that the US situation is different as their social supports suck in most states. One major reason for this is that they have always relied more heavily on churches to provide them.

Eloise wrote:

How can a two metre stride in front of fifty cameras be worth 20,000 dollars when an hour in the sun digging a two metre hole is only worth 10 maybe 15 if you're lucky. That's not capitalism. Its the most vulgar and distasteful distortion of the ideology imaginable, and it's rife, absolutely rampant.

Things are worth what people will pay for them. I agree that no one should have the slightest interest in Paris Hilton (unless you encountered her drunk in a bar...OK, I'm back from fantasy land now) but the fact is they do and will buy magazines with her on the cover. And, since she is a supply of one meeting all that demand out there, her price is obviously high. Compare the ditch digger who is doing a job that any number of people can do. Big supply, limited demand. It isn't a distortion of economics: it's economics in its purest form.

Eloise wrote:

How can a secular lasseiz faire ideology be in a position to say we have this in hand, no you can't have it in hand because you don't stand for that, what you stand for is what already happened.

Huh? Lasseiz faire ideology doesn't care what you stand for, by definition.

Eloise wrote:

give it time it will work? work at what? restoring feudal conditions to the underclass as the model gets to thinking 50,000 is more to her taste and the freedom loving agenda of course insists that she has the right to her capitalisation on a demand and carry on taking it from anyone without the means to put up a fight? There is no democracy once the people lose their power. And since when did capitalism stand for money equalling power? but it happened, and continues to happen.

Global capitalism has already hugely improved the lives and health of almost everyone in the world, even in the third world. Yes, many people have been victimized. But I'm talking macro effects here, not micro.

Here's an example: when you look at photos from the third world, you see people wearing t-shirts, obviously mass produced in some terrible capitalist sweat shop somewhere. Why are they wearing them? Certainly this isn't their "traditional" garb that they wore before the capitalists arrived. But no one is forcing them to wear them so the only conclusion can be that the t-shirt is better somehow than their previous clothing options. I can see that: the t-shirt is probably lighter fabric than they could produce themselves and the machine-stitching probably holds together better than that done by hand. Plus they are obviously cheap and plentiful. And the colors! My point is, everyone seems to have them. So, like it or not, global capitalism has delivered an improvement to clothing to these societies. It might not seem like much to us, but I bet it's a big deal when you are some African villager with nothing and you have to be out in the hot sun all day.

This is just one example, but what I'm saying is that these places and people are hundreds of years behind us in development so it is a mistake to look at their situation and compare it to ours. As I said, give global capitalism as long with them as it has had with us and they will get there.

Of course, their corrupt, undemocratic governments are doing all they can to halt that progress, so it isn't a given that it will go forward until they have political reform.

Eloise wrote:

and what answer does capitalism have to everything being owned again, because it is, everything is owned, this is not not feudal, it IS feudal. With strange Kings and Lords who wear suits instead of crowns and have podiums and first class flights instead of thrones. Everything's owned, and the price for wandering your world is high enough, the price for actually wanting to live in it is ludicrous.

Sorry, Eloise, but the fact is that you could become one of those kings or lords (queens and ladies?) if you wanted to and you applied yourself to the problem. The feudal system allowed very little upward mobility, our system now places no formal restrictions on it. Anyone who wants to do the work and live the lifestyle can get there. It's just that most people won't pay the price. I know I won't.

Eloise wrote:

speaking of first class flights, you know planes contribute megatons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in superexcess of any other average human activity. Yeah I mentioned Global warming... something had to distract me from my ranting.

And whom shall we turn to to develop non-polluting planes? That's right, the big capitalist nasties are the only ones who can deliver. 

Eloise wrote:
Quote:
I always wondered why Benedict's eyes looked so puffy. Now I know. He and the rest of the Holy See have been crying themselves to sleep at night on their silk pillows because they mistakenly thought they were profiting, but were really buying into a disproportioned hedonistic reinvention! Oh the humanity!

What are you on about? They're selling it!

But at least they have something to sell.

My sarcasm was a little thick there. What I was trying to illustrate was that religious leaders seem rather unconcerned by the spiritual perils of hedonism and wealth and certainly appear to subscribe to the same definitions of "profit" as the rest of us.  

Eloise wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

What good is faith?

You said yourself that communities of faith do achieve good in the world.

I also pointed out that they do so when they are acting as communities rather than as religions. And that secular entities such as governments, corporations and scientific institutions do much, much more good. So far, I can't see the causal connection between faith and good works.

Eloise wrote:

I agree with you when you say gathering together to worship is basically wasteful and confers no benefit. But faith itself has many benefits, it inspires the imagination, not that other things can't inspire but why should we dictate what is right for someone to draw inspiration from.

First of all, no one is trying to dictate anything to anyone. I would like to persuade people to abandon faith, not force them. 

This is one thing about faith that sometimes gives me serious pause. When I look at the great cathedrals and the beautiful works of art and music that were inspired by faith, I do fear that humanity could lose a valuable source of inspiration if faith were to go away.

Then I reflect on the wonderful religious architecture, art and music made in the last 100 years...and I realize that there isn't any. There's still lots of faith and religion, but the artistic oomph seems to have gone out of its paradigm. What this tells me is that the great artistic acheivements of religion had less to do with faith itself and more to do with the particular artistocratic culture of Western Europe in the last millennium. There was an elite class with essentially no responsibilities except to outdo each other in displays of cultural acheivement, and a church that brokered power and social advancement within that elite. That's the source of the great religious works of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,not religion itself.

Eloise wrote:

there are timeless meaningful questions explored by faith and in religious doctrine, people have been contemplating existence for thousands of years, ha! so we may say we have it all the right now and what anyone else thought or felt is of no value, that doesn't make it true, and someday, like people of our time search through ancient truths to form themselves, people of our future are going to be interested in knowing. Whether we find it boorish and stupid makes no difference to them. Our human history is wrapped up in faith, and that reason alone is enough virtue.

Faith has delivered no useful natural knowledge to us in its history - why should we assume that it can deliver useful knowledge on the "timeless" questions? Most of those questions are timeless because they are posed by the faithful for the precise purpose of creating an unanswerable question for which God can be inserted as an arbitrary answer. "What is the meaning of life?" There's no answer to this question and the question itself begs the question that there is or needs to be a meaning. Most of the questions that religion answers are questions we don't need an answer to.

The fact that there has always been faith does not make faith valuable. There has always been murder...is it valuable?

 

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Beloved Spear wrote:

 tod:  Dagnabbit, man, this portion of the site is called "Atheist vs. Theist," not "Theists give Atheists a Nice Relaxing Massage."  That's why I put this thread here.  Seemed in keeping with the intent of this section of the forums.

So you'd ban posting that challenges you..even on the section of the site that is set aside for such challenges?  Just like you RRSers had my YouTube censored a few months back, eh? Ah well.  At least you're consistent in that respect.

 As for your argument, I did respond to it specifically.  In your subsequent postings, you didn't counter my response...not a peep, not a whisper.  Nothing.  In part, that's why I figured that such a topic..your topic...deserved it's own forum.

A response is not a refutation or an addressing of stated facts or opinions. It's merely a response. I could say the world is flat, and you could say no, and you'd have given a response. It would be an invalid response, but a response. That is what you have done here as well.

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  Hi Tilberian, I'm

 

Hi Tilberian,

I'm concerned we may be getting rather too deeply political lately, despite that principally we agree on the major axes of the discussion we seem to be diverging almost for the sake of it. We're not doing that, really, I think we genuinely have different ideas about the future of secular ideology, but neither of us are for theocracy so it's a bit academic in this forum ultimately.

With that in mind I'm going to wind it down a little if I can. Thanks for sharing your point of view I have enjoyed this. Smiling

Tilberian wrote:

Western economies are not growing at the rate they used to because we in the West already have so much. An addition of wealth that would cause a third world economy to go into hyperinflation doesn't even register on our stock markets. However when you look at the global situation, you see that incredible amounts of wealth are being created faster and faster all the time. Is it distributed properly? No. But this is a political problem, not an economic one.

I see the lack of distribution as a strong political problem because the idea we have with capitalist economy is to move towards more liberal, not less. This can only serve, in my view, to consecrate the autocratic heirarchy once and for all while poor distribution inevitably becomes zero distribution. Economics is the mechanical heart of our secular political system and I don't believe that is such a healthy thing as was first thought. I was a good idea and proved itself that, yes, but I do believe we know more now and can see it's not heading in the right direction any more.

Tilberian wrote:

I am in Canada, where I can say that the only way to be poor is through some personal failing, like stupidity or drug addiction. My wife used to work for welfare here, and the one consistent factor that emerged from her stories was that these people just could not link up simple cause and effect. You were out drinking all night and you slept in and lost your job? Well duh. You didn't bother with birth control and got knocked up at 18 and decided to have the baby? Hmmm. You don't even show up for school? Gee, I wonder what's going to happen?

I will admit that the US situation is different as their social supports suck in most states. One major reason for this is that they have always relied more heavily on churches to provide them.

Well, first I can say, over here in Australia its bothering us quite a bit what's happening in the US as our present leadership takes leaps and bounds to follow suit (frankly it gives me a chill just thinking about it) and reproduce a mini america down under.

As you say, their social supports suck, speaking plainly that system has no social conscience whatsoever and it inhuman in it's worship of the holy dollar. So yes it bothers me. Secular ideology doesn't bother me, I am, at heart, a reasoner, but that does piss me off, a great deal.

Unfortunately it gets a strong foothold when humanist people start to buy their own ignorance of cause and effect, and it tends to get projected in just the way you argue for above. I won't say I know the situations that your wife faces in the Canadian welfare system, as I don't, but I will say that depriving the disadvantaged of the benefit of the doubt hasn't lead to good consequences here at all, it breeds indifference too fast.

 

Tilberian wrote:

Things are worth what people will pay for them. I agree that no one should have the slightest interest in Paris Hilton (unless you encountered her drunk in a bar...OK, I'm back from fantasy land now) but the fact is they do and will buy magazines with her on the cover. And, since she is a supply of one meeting all that demand out there, her price is obviously high. Compare the ditch digger who is doing a job that any number of people can do. Big supply, limited demand. It isn't a distortion of economics: it's economics in its purest form.

Eloise wrote:

How can a secular lasseiz faire ideology be in a position to say we have this in hand, no you can't have it in hand because you don't stand for that, what you stand for is what already happened.

 

Huh? Lasseiz faire ideology doesn't care what you stand for, by definition.

Uh yeah, that was my point, Tilberian. You can't have something 'in hand' when in hand is against your policy.

The reason I say distortion is because capitalism is at the most essential level a liberal and humanist politic. The free market is there to provide everyone a living on equal terms. Equal terms wasn't ordinarily possible to establish, so we have something generalised to that accord with all hope that it will eventually beget itself equal terms. That of course, didn't work. But then, nobody in the planning stages was counting massive demands of one as even a vague possibility, they were, at that stage, among a common mind that outrageous demands of one was the bane of humanity and it had to go to save the future for humanity. I don't think they expected us to reinvent the old wheel they were casting off, but we did. And it occurs to me, that can't be a good thing.

 

Tilberian wrote:

Here's an example: when you look at photos from the third world, you see people wearing t-shirts, obviously mass produced in some terrible capitalist sweat shop somewhere. Why are they wearing them? Certainly this isn't their "traditional" garb that they wore before the capitalists arrived. But no one is forcing them to wear them so the only conclusion can be that the t-shirt is better somehow than their previous clothing options. I can see that: the t-shirt is probably lighter fabric than they could produce themselves and the machine-stitching probably holds together better than that done by hand. Plus they are obviously cheap and plentiful. And the colors! My point is, everyone seems to have them. So, like it or not, global capitalism has delivered an improvement to clothing to these societies. It might not seem like much to us, but I bet it's a big deal when you are some African villager with nothing and you have to be out in the hot sun all day.

This is just one example, but what I'm saying is that these places and people are hundreds of years behind us in development so it is a mistake to look at their situation and compare it to ours.

I agree, that is a mistake. But I don't think it's a mistake to look at our own situation and knowing its trend wonder for the future of all the poor, including the abjectly poor but not limited to their situation.

 

Quote:
Eloise wrote:

and what answer does capitalism have to everything being owned again, because it is, everything is owned, this is not not feudal, it IS feudal. With strange Kings and Lords who wear suits instead of crowns and have podiums and first class flights instead of thrones. Everything's owned, and the price for wandering your world is high enough, the price for actually wanting to live in it is ludicrous.

Sorry, Eloise, but the fact is that you could become one of those kings or lords (queens and ladies?) if you wanted to and you applied yourself to the problem.

UGh! devoid myself of all human integrity you mean, No thanks. Been there, offered that, was not impressed enough to stay.

 

Quote:

The feudal system allowed very little upward mobility, our system now places no formal restrictions on it. Anyone who wants to do the work and live the lifestyle can get there. It's just that most people won't pay the price. I know I won't.

But here you are admitting that constraints on upward mobility are quite normal in this system. I'm only saying they are increasing, there's not a lot of difference between our viewpoints, we just slightly differ on conclusion.

 

Tilberian wrote:

Faith has delivered no useful natural knowledge to us in its history -

I vehemently disagree. Looking at the books of faith and saying well see here there's nothing in this that has ever been valuable is through and through wrong. This calls for a long list of theist philosophers, scientists, artists and builders, especially those whose religiosity and study of religion was meaningful and intrinsic to their secular work. What was valuable to them has become valuable to us, we have built rather a large proportion of all secular good from the great ideas of the religious and faithful. Does this mean that faith has given us nothing?

Quote:

should we assume that it can deliver useful knowledge on the "timeless" questions?

Yes. And to think otherwise is a stolen concept fallacy. On the one hand you say, physicalism has it 100% right, which essentially means that boolean information is the fundamental material of mind. On the other hand you are saying the No's are useless. If the No's are useless then mind is not Boolean computation, if the mind is boolean computation then the no's are essential.

 

Quote:

The fact that there has always been faith does not make faith valuable. There has always been murder...is it valuable?

Hmm, this seems like a false analogy to me. A history of faith and a history of murder are inescapable facts of our condition, it's always valuable to know, regardless of the subject matter.

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vastet:  Sorry for not

vastet:  Sorry for not getting back to you.  My free time has been completely consumed by Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition.  It's bloody brilliant, and totally absorbing.  No, actually, a refutation is a form of response.  If one plays back through this thread, you can read:

1) my providing both the basic terms and the conceptual foundation of a theist ontology, in..ahem..response to todangst's request. 

2) a refutation of todangst's first internally incoherent assertion about theist morality, (the one in which he misuses the term panglossian, against the standards of both Voltaire's usage and contemporary usage.)

3) A point-by-point refutation of todangst's essay on Christian "borrowing" of secular morality, in which I show that both the "evidence" and the initial argument are critically flawed.

4) If you read back to deludedgod's portion of the discussion, he left the forum at the point at which I noted that he was...in effect...agreeing with my statement on the cogito.  It may have been in error, but I never heard back. 

At each of those points in the discussion, no counter-refutation was offered...just silence or invective.  Or "counter-response."  Have it as you like.


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Beloved Spear wrote:

vastet: Sorry for not getting back to you. My free time has been completely consumed by Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. It's bloody brilliant, and totally absorbing. No, actually, a refutation is a form of response. If one plays back through this thread, you can read:

1) my providing both the basic terms and the conceptual foundation of a theist ontology, in..ahem..response to todangst's request.

Except that you never actually provided anything that demonstrates such a foundation. 

Quote:

2) a refutation of todangst's first internally incoherent assertion about theist morality

Actually, you never even demonstrated an ability to read the argument or respond to it. You just made naked assertions about it, like you are doing here again.

Quote:

, (the one in which he misuses the term panglossian, against the standards of both Voltaire's usage and contemporary usage.)

I provided my usage of the term and it flows from Voltaire's usage. From the claim that we live in the 'best of all possible worlds' it can be seen that such a statement rests on the error of presuming our set of parameters must be a given, when in fact, they can never be in a universe contingent upon an omnipotent creator.

Your inability to follow it is your problem. It might be solved if you actually read the posts you think you're replying to... Instead, you focus on tossing insults, whining, complaining and merely asserting.

Quote:

3) A point-by-point refutation of todangst's essay on Christian "borrowing" of secular morality, in which I show that both the "evidence" and the initial argument are critically flawed.

Again, you weren't even able to read the argument accurately. I have no need to respond to your inability to even read my arguments.

Quote:

At each of those points in the discussion, no counter-refutation was offered..

Because you never actually wrote a response to my arguments. You replied to issues unrelated to them. I've demonstrated this already in the thread.  I see no reason to continue with someone who can't even properly respond to the actual argument in the first place.


So please stop your lying.

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Vastet wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Beloved Spear wrote:

tod: Dagnabbit, man, this portion of the site is called "Atheist vs. Theist," not "Theists give Atheists a Nice Relaxing Massage." That's why I put this thread here. Seemed in keeping with the intent of this section of the forums.

So you'd ban posting that challenges you..even on the section of the site that is set aside for such challenges? Just like you RRSers had my YouTube censored a few months back, eh? Ah well. At least you're consistent in that respect.

As for your argument, I did respond to it specifically. In your subsequent postings, you didn't counter my response...not a peep, not a whisper. Nothing. In part, that's why I figured that such a topic..your topic...deserved it's own forum.

A response is not a refutation or an addressing of stated facts or opinions. It's merely a response. I could say the world is flat, and you could say no, and you'd have given a response. It would be an invalid response, but a response. That is what you have done here as well.

Precisely. All he's done is lie that he's responded, when in fact, he hasn't even demonstrated an abilty to recognize what the argument is... and he's now lying over why he'd be banned if it did happen: it would be precisely because he is NOT responding to the arguments, he's merely lying about that.

 

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Beloved Spear wrote:

vastet: Sorry for not getting back to you. My free time has been completely consumed by Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. It's bloody brilliant, and totally absorbing. No, actually, a refutation is a form of response. If one plays back through this thread, you can read:

1) my providing both the basic terms and the conceptual foundation of a theist ontology, in..ahem..response to todangst's request.

2) a refutation of todangst's first internally incoherent assertion about theist morality, (the one in which he misuses the term panglossian, against the standards of both Voltaire's usage and contemporary usage.)

3) A point-by-point refutation of todangst's essay on Christian "borrowing" of secular morality, in which I show that both the "evidence" and the initial argument are critically flawed.

4) If you read back to deludedgod's portion of the discussion, he left the forum at the point at which I noted that he was...in effect...agreeing with my statement on the cogito. It may have been in error, but I never heard back.

At each of those points in the discussion, no counter-refutation was offered...just silence or invective. Or "counter-response." Have it as you like.

I'm sorry. We were talking about this thread, right?

I have read it twice. Once point by response and once as stream. I can see no supporting evidence for the alleged hypothesis as stated in the initial thread topic. Also, many requests for the arguments in support of the tangential topics have gone unanswered.

 The qualifying words that have plagued you mental masturbators since the dawn of recorded history are so convoluted in connotation that every piece of evidence, for or against, is wholly subjective.

Terms like: 'a certain ontology' are abrasive generalities with so little meaning that it becomes difficult to maintain a modicum of decency with regard to existentialists of any ideology. One should expect 'silence or invective' when making a false declaration.

 

 

When 'theist' is said, should it be assumed that 'christian' or 'presbyterian' can be substituted?

Can a christian truly disregard the tenets of their faith to make an argument for theism based upon psychoanalysis? That's one for the record books. lol.

An atheist ontology must contain the reasons for not believing in any god(s) just as the theist must provide reasons to believe. Plain and simple. If those reasons are refuted by evidence and still remain then we pass from metaphysics into the realm of aberrant behavior study.  Anything else deals with a separate ontology.

As has been declared axiomatic, the definitions of 'theism' and 'atheism' while not only being diametrically opposed to one another are also bound to a closed system. Belief or disbelief. Faith or skepticism. 

In conclusion to this post from an alleged objective viewpoint, I have not seen any good reason to profess a belief in any god(s). By investigating any claims made concerning the existence of anything 'supernatural', in no way have I given credence to those claims. I have instead followed the ontology of atheism by lacking belief and requesting evidence for a cohesive ontology with regard to theism. Without that, the theistic precept can go no further because the more complex concepts concerning the interactions of humans would be based upon a faulty axiom and as such would not provide an ontology of their own to be incorporated.

We can readily evidence that the same ritualistic rules in the bible predated the society that incorporated its usage in their lives. Cavemen worshipped fire. Civilizations prospered prior, during, and after the incorporation of theism. Homosexuality has seen acceptance, denial, hatred, and tolerance again and again. The same will be true, in my opinion, of this debate.

 

 

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  deludedgod wrote:

 

deludedgod wrote:

That is the most awesome picture in human history. :D 


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Beloved Spear wrote: No,

Beloved Spear wrote:
No, actually, a refutation is a form of response.

Yes, a refutation is a form of response. I'd even go so far as to say it meets the very definition of response. But while a refutation is a response, a response is not necessarily also a refutation. And therefore your contributions in this topic have accomplished less than nothing.

Beloved Spear wrote:

  If one plays back through this thread, you can read:
1) my providing both the basic terms and the conceptual foundation of a theist ontology, in..ahem..response to todangst's request.

As Todangst said, you've done no such thing. You merely keep suggesting you have when you have not.

Beloved Spear wrote:
2) a refutation of todangst's first internally incoherent assertion about theist morality, (the one in which he misuses the term panglossian, against the standards of both Voltaire's usage and contemporary usage.)

Again, you've done no such thing. In fact, the idea you find it incoherant is most likely due to the fact that you either never read it to begin with or you simply don't understand it. Possibly a combination of the two. What makes this response of yours so sad is that these are both things you can take care of with a bit of effort on your part. Yet you won't do it.

Beloved Spear wrote:
3) A point-by-point refutation of todangst's essay on Christian "borrowing" of secular morality, in which I show that both the "evidence" and the initial argument are critically flawed.
4) If you read back to deludedgod's portion of the discussion, he left the forum at the point at which I noted that he was...in effect...agreeing with my statement on the cogito.  It may have been in error, but I never heard back.
At each of those points in the discussion, no counter-refutation was offered...just silence or invective.  Or "counter-response."  Have it as you like.

*Yawn* More of the same. In fact, if you look back, it was around this time that it was clear to anyone reading the topic that you not only have no idea about what you're speaking of, but that you're a pathalogical liar when facing claims you cannot refute.

todangst wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Beloved Spear wrote:

tod: Dagnabbit, man, this portion of the site is called "Atheist vs. Theist," not "Theists give Atheists a Nice Relaxing Massage." That's why I put this thread here. Seemed in keeping with the intent of this section of the forums.

So you'd ban posting that challenges you..even on the section of the site that is set aside for such challenges? Just like you RRSers had my YouTube censored a few months back, eh? Ah well. At least you're consistent in that respect.

As for your argument, I did respond to it specifically. In your subsequent postings, you didn't counter my response...not a peep, not a whisper. Nothing. In part, that's why I figured that such a topic..your topic...deserved it's own forum.

A response is not a refutation or an addressing of stated facts or opinions. It's merely a response. I could say the world is flat, and you could say no, and you'd have given a response. It would be an invalid response, but a response. That is what you have done here as well.

Precisely. All he's done is lie that he's responded, when in fact, he hasn't even demonstrated an abilty to recognize what the argument is... and he's now lying over why he'd be banned if it did happen: it would be precisely because he is NOT responding to the arguments, he's merely lying about that.

 

Indeed. It's a perfectly clear demonstration of the logic I came to when first responding to this topic, and why I didn't bother to write paragraphs refuting his claims that you and Deludedgod had already obliterated far better than I ever could.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Tilberian
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Agree that the political

Agree that the political discussion was kind of going nowhere... 

Eloise wrote:

 

Tilberian wrote:

Faith has delivered no useful natural knowledge to us in its history -

I vehemently disagree. Looking at the books of faith and saying well see here there's nothing in this that has ever been valuable is through and through wrong. This calls for a long list of theist philosophers, scientists, artists and builders, especially those whose religiosity and study of religion was meaningful and intrinsic to their secular work. What was valuable to them has become valuable to us, we have built rather a large proportion of all secular good from the great ideas of the religious and faithful. Does this mean that faith has given us nothing?

I didn't say that faith has never been valuable. Certainly it has. Unfortunately, the drawbacks have outweighed the rewards by a large margin. And it has not been valuable by adding to our knowledge of the natural world.

The fact that faithful people have made contributions to knowledge in no way links faith to those contributions. Show me where something new has been discovered or understood through faith. You can't, because it's never happened. 

Eloise wrote:

Tilberian wrote:

should we assume that it can deliver useful knowledge on the "timeless" questions?

Yes. And to think otherwise is a stolen concept fallacy. On the one hand you say, physicalism has it 100% right, which essentially means that boolean information is the fundamental material of mind. On the other hand you are saying the No's are useless. If the No's are useless then mind is not Boolean computation, if the mind is boolean computation then the no's are essential.

The mind only models the universe, Eloise. We can imagine things that don't exist. That is why we perceive false results and why those results can be useful to us - so we know when we are wrong.

Eloise wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

The fact that there has always been faith does not make faith valuable. There has always been murder...is it valuable?

Hmm, this seems like a false analogy to me. A history of faith and a history of murder are inescapable facts of our condition, it's always valuable to know, regardless of the subject matter.

I am not attempting to equate faith and murder, I'm attempting to illustrate the flaw in your reasoning, which is that faith must be good only because it has always been around. If you want to claim that faith has some value that outweighs its drawbacks, you'll have to do better than that. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown