Congnitive Biases - A tool towards understanding the theist's psychology?

justmoon
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Congnitive Biases - A tool towards understanding the theist's psychology?

Hey,

I just found this extensive list about cognitive biases on Wikipedia:

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

Right of the bat I can see quite a few of them that are relevant to the theistic mind: Bandwagon effect, Selective perception, Anthropic bias and Ludic fallacy.

Has anyone ever done a paper summarizing the specific types of rationalizations and biases at work in the mind of most moderates? I know that phenomena like the Bandwagen effect are well understood, but has anyone ever looked at them in the context of an elaborate, complex delusion like god-belief? 

 

Cheers,

Seraph0x Smiling


Cpt_pineapple
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Is it just me or do people

Is it just me or do people always see these baises in other people, but never in themselves?


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Wow this is awesome,

Wow this is awesome, thanks!

Yes, people are much more capable of observing these in others before they are themselves.  Knowing that ought to be a consciousness raising influence in itself. 


justmoon
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Is it

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Is it just me or do people always see these baises in other people, but never in themselves?

Must... avoid... self...inspection... Eye-wink

Seriously though: Whether you agree or not - Naturalism doesn't contain any contradictions while Christianity contains quite a few. Why? Because naturalism is based on the real world -> There's only one non-contradictory version of the real world. Christianity is a collection of fantasy stories. That's why you find contradictions. Simple. You know, it's hard to describe how much sense the world makes when you take fairy tales out of the picture. You just don't need 'em.

Although I know that's not going to convince you. One more thing: When I first saw the list I didn't immediately think about theists, but I went through it and looked for biases that were distorting my own reality and yes, I found some. Intellectual honesty is hard at first, but gets progressively easier.

You know I'm sitting here, thinking how I can make my perspective clear to you. You think Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Bastet, Shiva, Allah, Mithras are all bullshit, but Jahwe is not because he is the "one true god" - which everyone is saying of their gods too. How do you reconcile that? I mean don't you see that you're in a bubble, where the logical rules are different? Can I get you to at least suspend your belief for a second to look at the world neutrally? What questions does god answer for you? What do you need him for in your world view? As a creator? Accept that maybe, just maybe, we don't know the first cause yet. To have an afterlife? I've shown in another thread that atheists live forever, too - scientifically proven. To have morals? Sweden and Japan have low crime rates and good ethics - that's not it, dude. What about your personal experience with god? Sorry to burst your bubble, but lots of people had lots of experiences with alien abductions, other gods, ghosts, spirits and all kinds of stuff, yet we can explain that with exactly the cognitive biases that you can find in the list above. To get you through bad times? It's not god who "pulls you through", either you get your own ass up or not. And if you do, give yourself the fucking credit. Honesty, remember?

Please know that I'm not trying to take something positive from you. Faith seems like such a great thing, right? Well, faith has a good PR machine, but what is it, really? It's a free pass to believe whatever someone tells you. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you to overcome those beliefs. I've been raised protestant, but was silently agnostic for pretty much as long as I can remember. All the propaganda was so strong though... I've only just recently really overcome it. And you'll know what I mean what you break free of it yourself. It's just as I said before, everything suddenly has an easy explanation and makes sense and you don't need dodgy arguments like free will or the GMW (God's Mysterious Ways) arguments who at the end of the day don't <b>really</b> solve the problems.

I love you, man, I hope you'll do what's right!

 

Cheers,

Stefan 


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What is the "real world" and

What is the "real world" and what does it mean to look at it "neutrally?"  The idea that one can view the world neutrally, that there is a real world that could be grasped without presuppositions, has been discredited for a while now, at least in many strains of thought (and many of the advocates of such positions are atheists).  Indeed, to assume that one can adopt a completely neutral position regarding the world is itself a fantasy, a myth.  This applies to theism, atheism, and all other isms.  Of course, we can suspend certain beliefs to a certain extent, but to assume that such suspension can be total is, I think, intellectually dishonest.

"The will to revolutionary change emerges as an urge, as an 'I cannot do otherwise,' or it is worthless." --Slavoj Zizek


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spiritisabone wrote: What

spiritisabone wrote:
What is the "real world" and what does it mean to look at it "neutrally?" The idea that one can view the world neutrally, that there is a real world that could be grasped without presuppositions, has been discredited for a while now, at least in many strains of thought (and many of the advocates of such positions are atheists).
Yes, it is called nihilism. It is interesting as a thought experiment ("What if we are all hooked up to The Matrix?&quotEye-wink, but as an actual basis for decision-making it is simply impractical and irrelevant. Nobody here is suggesting that it is possible to have absolute knowledge, but we do have different qualities of knowledge. What I call the real world is what we can see and measure through our senses and what ultimately determines our lives.
spiritisabone wrote:
Indeed, to assume that one can adopt a completely neutral position regarding the world is itself a fantasy, a myth. This applies to theism, atheism, and all other isms. Of course, we can suspend certain beliefs to a certain extent, but to assume that such suspension can be total is, I think, intellectually dishonest.
This is just plain wrong. Of course we can strive towards a "neutral" or a better word would be "objective" position. This endeavor is called science. We don't see nations fighting wars over whether light is a wave or a particle. Why not? Because there is an objective answer to that question and science is the way to find it. For the supernatural, no such objective position exists. And to assume one arbitrarily, that to me is intellectually dishonest. Cheers, Stefan Smiling


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I agree that there are

I agree that there are different qualities of knowledge, but I would still insist that this does not get rid of the presuppositions inherent in thought and action, presuppositions that are required to get anything done.  In this sense, nihilism (and there are many ways to define nihilism, though I take it that you are defining it as the absence of reference to objectivity?) is quite practical and relevant.  (Gianni Vattimo has developed this in an interesting direction, though I part ways with him on key points.)  
Take, for instance, your definition of the real world as that which we can measure through our senses and that which ultimately determines our lives.  Implicit in this definition are certain presuppositions--such as our senses are reliable indicators of the way things really are.  I am not necessarily saying that this is a wrong definition, only pointing out that there are presuppositions involved that enable the production of knowledge.  
Ultimately, such presuppositions help determine the form that knowledge takes.  If you suspend the presuppositions, which is possible to an extent, and change them accordingly, then the type of knowledge itself changes.  In this sense, the production of knowledge requires fundamental axioms, which must be decided upon (Alain Badiou develops this quite thoroughly, it seems.)  
I hope that this clarifies what I was saying.

"The will to revolutionary change emerges as an urge, as an 'I cannot do otherwise,' or it is worthless." --Slavoj Zizek


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spiritisabone wrote: I

spiritisabone wrote:
I agree that there are different qualities of knowledge, but I would still insist that this does not get rid of the presuppositions inherent in thought and action, presuppositions that are required to get anything done. In this sense, nihilism (and there are many ways to define nihilism, though I take it that you are defining it as the absence of reference to objectivity?) is quite practical and relevant. (Gianni Vattimo has developed this in an interesting direction, though I part ways with him on key points.)

Vattimo never suggested a nihilistic position. He merely warned from what he calls "strong thought". That being ideas that claim absolute objective correctness.

Again, I can only repeat: We can't have absolute knowledge, but we can try to get closer through science. We can not get closer to it through faith in some dude's opinion.


spiritisabone wrote:
Take, for instance, your definition of the real world as that which we can measure through our senses and that which ultimately determines our lives. Implicit in this definition are certain presuppositions--such as our senses are reliable indicators of the way things really are. I am not necessarily saying that this is a wrong definition, only pointing out that there are presuppositions involved that enable the production of knowledge.

No, I don't presuppose that our senses are reliable indicators of the ways things really are. It may well be a simulation or illusion. But I do presuppose that this reality, illusion or simulation will be consistent. Of course it could be that after my death I wake up as an alien standing in front of an arcade machine that reads "Planet Earth - Insert coin" But it is impractical to assume any of these fantasies are actually the case, because even if they were, my knowledge of them won't improve my decisions while I'm still in the simulation.


spiritisabone wrote:
Ultimately, such presuppositions help determine the form that knowledge takes. If you suspend the presuppositions, which is possible to an extent, and change them accordingly, then the type of knowledge itself changes. In this sense, the production of knowledge requires fundamental axioms, which must be decided upon (Alain Badiou develops this quite thoroughly, it seems.) I hope that this clarifies what I was saying.

I understand what you are arguing, but - and please excuse by bluntness - it seems so utterly, utterly irrelevant to me. I already said that I don't believe in total certainty either. Citing Badiou:

A Badiou, 2005 wrote:
That is a crucial point, on which we
shall often return: knowledge, as theory, is (dialectically) opposed to practice.
Theory and practice form a unity, that is to say, for the dialectic, a unity of
opposites. But this knowledge (theory/)practice contradiction is in turn the
very object of the theory of knowledge. In other words, the inner nature of
the process of knowledge is constituted by the theory/practice contradiction.
Or again, practice, which as such is dialectically opposed to knowledge (to
theory), is nevertheless an integral part of knowledge qua process.
A good example for top-heavy philosophy. Within phisophical thinking I agree with Badiou, but why does the basis for knowledge have to be a philosophical one at all? Have we forgotten why we are acquiring knowledge in the first place? We acquire knowledge to improve the human experience. Solve problems. Predict future observations. And to that end, the scientific method has proven very valuable. I'm 19 years old. That means I've spent over 600 million seconds on this planet and every single one of them has played out according to our scientific knowledge. That, to me is a sound enough basis to expect the next second also plays out according to the same knowledge. Of course, I might be wrong, but if I am, what other knowledge do you suggest I rely on? And why? (This is the key question and I suggest you don't dodge it. Maybe we have the same opinion anyways.) Cheers, Stefan Biblio: Badiou, A. (2005) An Essential Philosophical Thesis: "It Is Right to Rebel against the Reactionaries", Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Duke Univ Press, Durham


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Thanks, again, for your

Thanks, again, for your response.  And don't worry about being blunt--I don't mind blunt.  We also agree, I think, on what knowledge is for--improvement.  Of course, this is where the problems begin: what constitutes improvement or progress, what type of knowledge is adequate to improvement and in which realms of human experience, and so on.  
Before going any further, though, I must correct something you said.  Your statement about Vattimo--and I hope you don't mind if I am blunt--is simply wrong.  It is true that he opposes "strong thought," but in the latter's place he develops a "weak thought" or a "weak ontology."  He derives this, in part, from Nietzsche and Heidegger, and reads them as contributing to the project of nihilism, which for Vattimo is a type of liberation.  In other words, Vattimo fully endorses and explicates, and he is more than up front about it, a type of nihilism, which for him is synonymous with hermeneutics.  One only needs to look at the title of his most recent collection of translated essays, "Nihilism and Emancipation," to figure this out.   
You accuse Badiou and myself, I think, of wanting to ground everything in philosophical knowledge.  There is some merit to this claim in reference to Badiou (and perhaps myself); however, it completely ignores the complexity of Badiou's position.  For Badiou, ontology is mathematical, so, in a sense, he displaces it from the domain of philosophy proper.  Philosophy itself does not provide the conditions for truth; rather, it thinks truth on the basis of his four truth procedures: art, science, politics, and love.  The mode of truth varies in each, and philosophy is conditioned by these; philosophy reflects on the conditions of truth as these are given to it.  If you say that you agree with Badiou, then I think you run into some problems--most notably, you seem to reduce truth to science, which Badiou does not do.  If I am wrong about this, then let me know, but based on what you have said I find it hard to think otherwise, since you assume that the scientific method is primary for human experience.  
I agree that science has contributed to the human experience--I would be a fool to think otherwise--but this does not entail acccepting science as valid to determine all aspects of human experience.  If one accepts that there are other realms of truth--and you have already committed yourself to Badiou, so don't back down--then it is illegitimate to apply the methods of science to all realms of human experience.  Indeed, I think it is simply wrong (and often quite disastrous) to apply science to love, to art, and to politics.  Here are some other areas you can rely on, I think, to answer the question you posed to me.  
In this sense, your experience over the last nineteen years has not played out only according to our scientific knowledge--there are other things in play.  Badiou also holds to the idea of the event, a rupture in the order of things--this is fundamental to his philosophy.  The event is completely non-scientific--it cannot be predicted according to what we know.  In this sense, the event can very well shatter the smooth procession of your life over the last 600 million seconds, ultimately calling into question the very notion of the scientific method which you hold.  Without this idea, there is no Badiou.  
I know that we have drifted a little bit off the original topic--but that is how things go.  
All the best.

"The will to revolutionary change emerges as an urge, as an 'I cannot do otherwise,' or it is worthless." --Slavoj Zizek


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spiritisabone

spiritisabone wrote:
Thanks, again, for your response. And don't worry about being blunt--I don't mind blunt. We also agree, I think, on what knowledge is for--improvement. Of course, this is where the problems begin: what constitutes improvement or progress, what type of knowledge is adequate to improvement and in which realms of human experience, and so on.

What realms are you talking about? Badiou's?

Other than that, I agree.

spiritisabone wrote:
Before going any further, though, I must correct something you said. Your statement about Vattimo--and I hope you don't mind if I am blunt--is simply wrong. It is true that he opposes "strong thought," but in the latter's place he develops a "weak thought" or a "weak ontology." He derives this, in part, from Nietzsche and Heidegger, and reads them as contributing to the project of nihilism, which for Vattimo is a type of liberation. In other words, Vattimo fully endorses and explicates, and he is more than up front about it, a type of nihilism, which for him is synonymous with hermeneutics. One only needs to look at the title of his most recent collection of translated essays, "Nihilism and Emancipation," to figure this out.

He calls himself a nihilist because his ideas derive directly from Nietzsche. But to me his views are postmodern, not nihilistic. He rejects strong thought, but embraces weak thought. Complete nihilism would require him to reject both.


spiritisabone wrote:
You accuse Badiou and myself, I think, of wanting to ground everything in philosophical knowledge. There is some merit to this claim in reference to Badiou (and perhaps myself); however, it completely ignores the complexity of Badiou's position. For Badiou, ontology is mathematical, so, in a sense, he displaces it from the domain of philosophy proper. Philosophy itself does not provide the conditions for truth; rather, it thinks truth on the basis of his four truth procedures: art, science, politics, and love. The mode of truth varies in each, and philosophy is conditioned by these; philosophy reflects on the conditions of truth as these are given to it. If you say that you agree with Badiou, then I think you run into some problems--most notably, you seem to reduce truth to science, which Badiou does not do. If I am wrong about this, then let me know, but based on what you have said I find it hard to think otherwise, since you assume that the scientific method is primary for human experience.

I was talking about that particular quote when I said I agree with Badiou. Obviously I don't agree with him on much else.

Regarding his four realms: Art is not a way to arrive at knowledge, because it lacks the epistemological element. Politics is also not a way to arrive at knowledge, because as an example, just because you vote on something or just because a king decrees something doesn't make it any more or less true. Love is subject to science/nature, because it relies on the senses (=evidence).

 


spiritisabone wrote:
I agree that science has contributed to the human experience--I would be a fool to think otherwise--but this does not entail acccepting science as valid to determine all aspects of human experience. If one accepts that there are other realms of truth--and you have already committed yourself to Badiou, so don't back down--then it is illegitimate to apply the methods of science to all realms of human experience. Indeed, I think it is simply wrong (and often quite disastrous) to apply science to love, to art, and to politics. Here are some other areas you can rely on, I think, to answer the question you posed to me.

Again: I don't agree with his realms at all. Art is a way to generate information (as in: structured data), not knowledge (as in: justified belief). Love is something that we constantly evaluate using evidence, subtle cues give us an intuition, but our instincts ultimately work based on evidence scientifically. And politics is a process to arrive at a common opinion despite our lack of knowledge, we cannot use politics to arrive at truth.


spiritisabone wrote:
In this sense, your experience over the last nineteen years has not played out only according to our scientific knowledge--there are other things in play. Badiou also holds to the idea of the event, a rupture in the order of things--this is fundamental to his philosophy. The event is completely non-scientific--it cannot be predicted according to what we know. In this sense, the event can very well shatter the smooth procession of your life over the last 600 million seconds, ultimately calling into question the very notion of the scientific method which you hold. Without this idea, there is no Badiou.

And I sure won't miss him.

spiritisabone wrote:
I know that we have drifted a little bit off the original topic--but that is how things go.

That's the point and fun of a discussion. You never know where it goes. I learned a lot since this thread started, thanks! Smiling

 

Cheers,

Stefan Eye-wink


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When I mention realms of

When I mention realms of human experience, I am only pointing to the idea that human experience cannot be reduced to science.  These other realms can be defined according to Badiou's four conditions, or otherwise, if you like.  
You are correct that Vattimo's position is postmodern; however, Vattimo equates postmodernism with nihilism.  Really, there is no way around this.  Vattimo flat out refers to himself as a nihilist and a postmodernist in numerous writings.  Morever, he traces this tendency back farther than Nietzche.  And, for Vattimo, weak thought is nihilism.  What do you mean by complete nihilism?
As for the quotation from Badiou, you originally stated that you agreed with Badiou philosophically, and then went on to state that you only agreed with this quotation.  Fair enough.  But to be totally fair, and in order to continue the discussion, please state what it is that you agree with in the quotation from Badiou.  In other words, give me an interpretation of the quotation, so that there is a little more to go on.  Doing so will help me discuss the other points you raise.
All the best.  

"The will to revolutionary change emerges as an urge, as an 'I cannot do otherwise,' or it is worthless." --Slavoj Zizek


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spiritisabone wrote:

spiritisabone wrote:
When I mention realms of human experience, I am only pointing to the idea that human experience cannot be reduced to science. These other realms can be defined according to Badiou's four conditions, or otherwise, if you like.

Ok. (We disagree, but I think we now understand each other's position.)

spiritisabone wrote:
You are correct that Vattimo's position is postmodern; however, Vattimo equates postmodernism with nihilism. Really, there is no way around this. Vattimo flat out refers to himself as a nihilist and a postmodernist in numerous writings. Morever, he traces this tendency back farther than Nietzche. And, for Vattimo, weak thought is nihilism. What do you mean by complete nihilism?

Well, yes. I know 1. he calls himself a nihilist, 2. his roots are in nihilism and 3. his postmodernism leans towards nihilism. But call me stubborn I just don't think his position is nihilism. Maybe the OED's definition helps us settle this?

OED wrote:

1. Total rejection of prevailing religious beliefs, moral principles, laws, etc., often from a sense of despair and the belief that life is devoid of meaning. Also more generally (merging with extended use of sense 3): negativity, destructiveness, hostility to accepted beliefs or established institutions.

1812 J. STEWART Revol. of Reason 69 All the creatures of error; as ghosts, monsters, gods, and the more dangerous subtleties of metaphysicians, necessity, optimism, chivalry of virtue, and nihilism. a1817 T. DWIGHT Trav. New-Eng. (1821) II. 238 Hence the transition is easy to mere Nihilism, and a total disregard of moral obligation. 1854 J. C. BUCKNILL Criminal Lunacy 8 In Germany, rationalism ending in absolute nihilism has led to results of the same nature. 1881 J. S. BLACKIE Lay Serm. (1886) iii. 118 The hollow vacuities and negative absurdities of Atheism or Nihilism. 1926 R. H. TAWNEY Relig. & Rise Capitalism (1972) iv. 236 The commercial classes..even before the Civil War, more than half converted to the administrative nihilism which was to be the rule of social policy in the century following it. 1970 J. C. BENNETT in In Search Theol. of Devel. (Sodepax) 5 There have been great gains that should not be squandered in a moment of nihilism or revolutionary recklessness. 1992 Utne Reader May-June 43/1 The band members' main dissatisfaction with their public portrayal is the media depiction of them as rock brats simply mirroring the nihilism they rail against.

2. a. Philos. The belief or theory that the world has no real existence; the rejection of all notions of reality.

1842 W. HAMILTON Diss. in T. Reid Wks. I. 129/2 Is the acknowledged result of the Fichtean dogmatism less a nihilism than the scepticism of Hume? a1856 W. HAMILTON Lect. Metaphysics (1859) I. xvi. 294 Of positive or dogmatic Nihilism there is no example in modern philosophy. 1857 F. MAX MÜLLER Chips (1880) I. xi. 284 Buddhism..cannot be freed from the charge of Nihilism. 1887 W. PATER Imaginary Portraits 128 Actually proud at times of his curious, well-reasoned nihilism. 1909 A. M. LUDOVICI tr. Nietzsche Will to Power I. 16 The extremest form of Nihilism would mean that all belief{em}all assumption of truth{em}is false: because no real world is at hand. 1964 P. ROUBICZEK Existentialism vii. 125 Thus it is no cause for surprise that Sartre lands himself in complete nihilism. 1994 Philos. & Phenomenol. Res. 54 509 (Phenomenalistic) idealism occupies the ontologically middle ground between the extremes of nihilism and realism.

{dag}b. Nothingness, non-existence. Obs.

1856 R. A. VAUGHAN Hours with Mystics I. VII. ii. 335 [To] lose, in utter Nihilism, all sense of any existence separate from the Divine Substance. 1866 Athenæum No. 2006. 454/3 To aim at nihilism as the supreme good.

c. Psychiatry. The delusional belief that the patient's self, the outside world, or parts of either have ceased to exist or to function. Cf. NIHILISTIC a. 3.

1927 D. K. HENDERSON & R. D. GILLESPIE Text-bk. Psychiatry viii. 160 The most characteristic involutional qualities lie in the content of the psychosis, especially in the apprehension, hypochondriasis and nihilism. 1957 E. MAYER in P. A. Schilpp Philos. K. Jaspers xi. 451 Jaspers vividly describes nihilism as a symptom of mental illness or..as a manifestation of ultimate situations in which a human being can find himself in depressions and schizophrenias. 1965 J. POLLITTDepression & its Treatm. iii. 33 The most extreme form of hypochondriacal delusion, referred to as ‘nihilism’. 2001 Internat. Jrnl. Geriatric Psychiatry 16 1088/1 Twenty two psychotic patients expressed delusional ideation of paranoid content,..and 7 of nihilism.

[3 irrelevant definitions omitted]

To me, Vattimo simply does not "reject all notions of reality" completely. But maybe I'm just splitting hairs.

spiritisabone wrote:
As for the quotation from Badiou, you originally stated that you agreed with Badiou philosophically, and then went on to state that you only agreed with this quotation. Fair enough. But to be totally fair, and in order to continue the discussion, please state what it is that you agree with in the quotation from Badiou. In other words, give me an interpretation of the quotation, so that there is a little more to go on. Doing so will help me discuss the other points you raise.

First of all: I've read my share of philosophy, but I'm not formally trained in it. So forgive me if I was a little careless - in my field of economy, it is normal to write "I agree with xy" and to be talking just about the most recent quote.

Going back to the quotation: Badiou looks at the terms knowledge, theory and practice. He's pointing out the fundamental gap between knowledge/theory and practice. Putting it in my own words: The dichotomy between reality and our model of it. Both form a unity and our experience tells us the model is accurate, but ultimately we can't be sure. To me this reasoning stands from a philosophical perspective. However, to solve the dichotomy we have to be pragmatic. Even if the rupture of experience you mentioned were to happen, there is no useful thought to come out of it. We are limited to our senses and it is - to me - not very important to wonder what may or may not lie beyond them, because we can ultimately neither prove nor disprove such theories. That means that not only can we not know them with 100% certainty as gnostic believers claim, but we can only know them with 0% certainty. (Science fits in this frame as the things we can know with 99% certainty, based on experience that we can reasonably expect to continue coherently even though we are not 100% certain.)

I hope this clarifies my position. Let me ask you, do you subscribe to the supernatural (religious or not)? Because I think neither of them supports such a position, they merely leave a theoretical possibility for it. If you're not suggesting that at all, then we better get it out of the way right now.

Cheers,

Stefan


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We can agree to disagree on

We can agree to disagree on Vattimo, if you like.  Though I would only say that what nihilism means is always contextual; there is no nihilism as such--the term only makes sense in its actual use.  So, when Vattimo calls himself a nihilist, I would prefer figuring out what type of nihilism he is talking about.  But enough of Vattimo.
To answer your question: I subscribe to a belief in transcendence; I really dislike the term supernatural. Transcendence can be either religious or non-religious.  Really, it doesn't matter all that much to me.   
You are correct that neither Badiou or Vattimo would subscribe to a belief in the supernatural, I think, though it might be a little more complicated in the case of Vattimo (Badiou just flat out rejects any such thing).  Vattimo is a Catholic, though a quite liberal one (he would have to be given his open sexual preferences) and he has been advocating a type of return to Christianity as of late (though ultimately Christianity is, for him, a type of nihilism).  Badiou is adamently atheist, so there is no question in this regard.  
However, I think that both of them do enable one to think transcendence, and I think a conception of the latter is implicit in their thought.  Interestingly, I think that Badiou goes further in this direction than Vattimo with his idea of the event.  
I would have to disagree that the idea of the event is impractical.  Rather, it is thoroughly practical.  Indeed, one of the main events for Badiou is the advent of science and the scientific method, which shattered the normal course of the things and introduced a new type of knowledge.  
In this sense, the idea of the event is not supernatural but simply exceeds our given experience--this is where I would locate transcendence in Badiou, and there is no need to endow it with anything mysterious.  
I know that this response is a bit inadequate, but I can only do so much right now, since I am in the middle of working.  
But one more thought: it really doesn't matter to me in the end whether we agree on the particulars.  So long as we agree that we should be using our knowledge to improve humanity and our human institutions, and I think we do agree on this, then I am fine with that.  

"The will to revolutionary change emerges as an urge, as an 'I cannot do otherwise,' or it is worthless." --Slavoj Zizek


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spiritisabone wrote: I know

spiritisabone wrote:
I know that this response is a bit inadequate, but I can only do so much right now, since I am in the middle of working.

Same here.

But I think your last post pretty much cleared things up. I'm not going to talk you out of transcendence and you're not going to talk me into it, so I think it's a good time to end the discussion.

Thanks again, I learned a lot and it was fun! Smiling

 

Cheers,

Stefan