Savage Theism

Slayne
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Savage Theism

well I found this excellent  Theology paper that seems to point to the basis of our useless bi-product of evolution "Religion".  Though its a simple find online  it seems to have a non-biast look into the Evolution of religion.

 http://www.urantia.org/papers/paper86.html

so what I would like for us to do is pick this apart a bit for a healthy Debate my guess is its probably been done here but not within my time of membership.

I think the parts I would like to pick at for starters is not at the very top but rather:

3. DEATH--THE INEXPLICABLE

4. THE DEATH-SURVIVAL CONCEPT

So since I am feeling some sleep Deprevation as I did not sleep well in the past 36 hours my thoughts may be scattered and shortened.  that said lets start a lil into this.

 

So we se here up to the present that Death is a concept that to this day in a shok to the system of all people and yes that includes us Atheist. so we can all have an agreement that we all morn but the difference is how we deal with it. but I really wonder if a "Theist" yeallyhas any les problems dealing with death than us atheist.

If these thought of the Survival in Death concept was  was a way for savages to deal with the trauma then when we transcend that to modern life. I guess I need to know how Theist put themselves above a savage life and what are the psychological effects of telling yourself you will see them again if you never do? does lying to yourself make it any easier? obviously, this paper really proposes more questions for me about how a Christian percives them self when they see all the basic ideas of their Bible in Primitive man. does this make you think any that you maybe following an belief structure that doesnt Necessarily need to be there if all the conceptsare seen over the past 500,000 years or so... but if you are a creationist I guess the 500,000 years fall on deaf ears negating the argument. so lets say for that ignorance we use fact not Biblical.

 

If one of my fello Atheist thinks My post is incomplete or high strung please point out.  

 

If God didn't want atheists than we wouldn't exist..


Eloise
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Slayne wrote: well I found

Slayne wrote:

well I found this excellent Theology paper that seems to point to the basis of our useless bi-product of evolution "Religion". Though its a simple find online it seems to have a non-biast look into the Evolution of religion.

http://www.urantia.org/papers/paper86.html

I've heard of the urantia book some sort of quasi-christian new age gnosticism written in the 70's isn't it?

 

Quote:

so what I would like for us to do is pick this apart a bit for a healthy Debate my guess is its probably been done here but not within my time of membership.

THis particular faith hasn't been picked apart in my time here, either, as far as I know.  

Quote:
 

I think the parts I would like to pick at for starters is not at the very top but rather:

3. DEATH--THE INEXPLICABLE

4. THE DEATH-SURVIVAL CONCEPT

So since I am feeling some sleep Deprevation as I did not sleep well in the past 36 hours my thoughts may be scattered and shortened. that said lets start a lil into this.

 

So we se here up to the present that Death is a concept that to this day in a shok to the system of all people and yes that includes us Atheist. so we can all have an agreement that we all morn but the difference is how we deal with it. but I really wonder if a "Theist" yeallyhas any les problems dealing with death than us atheist.

I doubt it, we're all in the same boat on this one aren't we? Each of us individually has to come up with some personal conception of an ultimate unknown. Even the idea that death is bad, or to be avoided, is merely a subjective impression without inherent truthiness, despite the fact that almost everyone assumes such and agrees upon that assumption. 

The funny thing about this is that things like the problem of evil, the mythology and religiosity of sacrifice and other such related issues go on to be discussed ad nauseam over the presupposition that death is bad, and needs be avoided, does anyone ever question this assumption? Ok so some do, but not nearly enough, IMO. 

Is death bad? That is the question. Or as Shakespeare put it... 'to be or not to be ...' you know the rest.

 

Quote:
 

If these thought of the Survival in Death concept was was a way for savages to deal with the trauma then when we transcend that to modern life.

 

We have to define this trauma that you're talking about carefully otherwise each of us can just go on to assign arbitrary associations to it and we'll just be talking past each other. What is the trauma of death to the living? It is simply and succinctly, fear. That's it. So there's no actual definable outside force acting on the living person to cause it a traumatic experience regarding death, the entire drama is internally and subjectively generated from a block of information with a huge, essential, core bit missing from it.

From this point of view the trauma we're supposedly dealing with is utterly irrelevant to the question. Dealing with the trauma is, precisely, dealing with the products of our own imagination and nothing more than that. The trauma is something we have invented from the information, it has nothing to do with the actual question of death and everything to do with fine tuning our own personal fairy tale. 

 

Quote:
 

I guess I need to know how Theist put themselves above a savage life and what are the psychological effects of telling yourself you will see them again if you never do? does lying to yourself make it any easier?

 

Ultimately, in answer to your question, this process you're talking about here isn't a picture of a theist dealing with the reality of death at all but just playing with psychological playdough, the biggest lie of this scenario is the lie that this mental activity has anything at all to do with the reality of death. It contains, worst of all, the presuposition that one must come up with a solution to a problem with death which is not even known to exist outside our own imagination. 

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wavefreak
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Slayne wrote: well I found

Slayne wrote:

well I found this excellent Theology paper that seems to point to the basis of our useless bi-product of evolution "Religion".

There are no useless by-products of  evolution. What evolves is what evolves, without judgments of right or wrong. And AFAIK, there is no line of evolution that is not eventually supplanted by another. So you could say humans are a useless by-product of evolution as we will some day be supplanted by something else.


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Eloise wrote: I doubt it,

Eloise wrote:

I doubt it, we're all in the same boat on this one aren't we? Each of us individually has to come up with some personal conception of an ultimate unknown. Even the idea that death is bad, or to be avoided, is merely a subjective impression without inherent truthiness, despite the fact that almost everyone assumes such and agrees upon that assumption.

I recently had a theist ask me if there was an objective reason why an atheist should value their life or if it was only subjectively true that one should value their life. Of all the possible answers I could think of, what I considered the best objective reason for valuing one's own life was that as long as one is alive one always has the possibility of continued life or death, whereas with death there no longer exists the possibility of life. No matter in what state one finds themself, even in an existence of nothing but intolerable pain, this is an objective reason why one should value. Of course this is not saying that it is never understandable that some may choose death, only that I thought it was an acceptable line of reasoning in which to ground the statement "It is objectively true that one should value their life" as a true statement.

Quote:
The funny thing about this is that things like the problem of evil, the mythology and religiosity of sacrifice and other such related issues go on to be discussed ad nauseam over the presupposition that death is bad, and needs be avoided, does anyone ever question this assumption? Ok so some do, but not nearly enough, IMO.

I think the presupposition that death is bad is more than an assumption. I think it is a necessary presupposition of a life in general if life is to exist. Any life form that considers death desirable would be a life form that could never come to exist as it is self defeating. 

 

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Vessel wrote: I think the

Vessel wrote:

I think the presupposition that death is bad is more than an assumption. I think it is a necessary presupposition of a life in general if life is to exist. Any life form that considers death desirable would be a life form that could never come to exist as it is self defeating. 

Death is arguably bad for individuals but it is ESSENTIAL for the survival of a species. If we did not die, resources would quickly be exhausted. Objectively, dying is just as important as living.


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wavefreak wrote: Vessel

wavefreak wrote:
Vessel wrote:

I think the presupposition that death is bad is more than an assumption. I think it is a necessary presupposition of a life in general if life is to exist. Any life form that considers death desirable would be a life form that could never come to exist as it is self defeating.

Death is arguably bad for individuals but it is ESSENTIAL for the survival of a species. If we did not die, resources would quickly be exhausted. Objectively, dying is just as important as living.

Yes, That is a good point.The thing is that continuation of life requires active pursuit, so life needs to have a desire for life, or to pursue life over death, for life to exist. Death can be seen as necessary, but not desirable, for life in general.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Vessel wrote: wavefreak

Vessel wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Death is arguably bad for individuals but it is ESSENTIAL for the survival of a species. If we did not die, resources would quickly be exhausted. Objectively, dying is just as important as living.

Yes, That is a good point.The thing is that continuation of life requires active pursuit, so life needs to have a desire for life, or to pursue life over death, for life to exist. Death can be seen as necessary, but not desirable, for life in general.

Which ironically leads to theism - it is the ultimate form of avoiding death, of persuing life, of screaming at the cold, hard universe, "I don't want to die".


Eloise
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Vessel wrote:

Vessel wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
Vessel wrote:

I think the presupposition that death is bad is more than an assumption. I think it is a necessary presupposition of a life in general if life is to exist. Any life form that considers death desirable would be a life form that could never come to exist as it is self defeating.

Death is arguably bad for individuals but it is ESSENTIAL for the survival of a species. If we did not die, resources would quickly be exhausted. Objectively, dying is just as important as living.

Yes, That is a good point.The thing is that continuation of life requires active pursuit, so life needs to have a desire for life, or to pursue life over death, for life to exist. Death can be seen as necessary, but not desirable, for life in general.

We can say death is not desirable and this is different to saying that death is undesirable. To wit saying that the value of death is not known and thus cannot be desired contrasts the notion that the value of death is not worthy of desire.

What seems to me here to be necessary for life (physically) is that it be dynamically hovering in the area between the two polar interests of the individual and the species.

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Eloise
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Vessel wrote:

Vessel wrote:
Eloise wrote:

I doubt it, we're all in the same boat on this one aren't we? Each of us individually has to come up with some personal conception of an ultimate unknown. Even the idea that death is bad, or to be avoided, is merely a subjective impression without inherent truthiness, despite the fact that almost everyone assumes such and agrees upon that assumption.

I recently had a theist ask me if there was an objective reason why an atheist should value their life or if it was only subjectively true that one should value their life. Of all the possible answers I could think of, what I considered the best objective reason for valuing one's own life was that as long as one is alive one always has the possibility of continued life or death, whereas with death there no longer exists the possibility of life. No matter in what state one finds themself, even in an existence of nothing but intolerable pain, this is an objective reason why one should value. Of course this is not saying that it is never understandable that some may choose death, only that I thought it was an acceptable line of reasoning in which to ground the statement "It is objectively true that one should value their life" as a true statement.

Hi Vessel,

I'm answering this post directly (and individually) because I would like to clarify that my intent was not to question objectively valuing life. To me it is objectively true that one should value what life is, just as it is known to and experienced by us. I don't consider it necessary to juxtapose ones knowledge and experience against their limits in order to value them. So, I mean you could say $5 is not $0 and it is therefore valuable, but to me that's not necessary when you could rather say $5 buys me a meal therefore it is valuable regardless of where it stands in regard to $0 (or $100 if you are a heaven believing theist).

Then, to clarify further, my point is that I don't believe the only objective value of life is that it is something rather than nothing, rather I feel life is objectively valuable because something and value are intrinsically linked concepts, something is inherently many possibilities of applicable/conceivable value.

 

 

Quote:

Quote:
The funny thing about this is that things like the problem of evil, the mythology and religiosity of sacrifice and other such related issues go on to be discussed ad nauseam over the presupposition that death is bad, and needs be avoided, does anyone ever question this assumption? Ok so some do, but not nearly enough, IMO.

I think the presupposition that death is bad is more than an assumption. I think it is a necessary presupposition of a life in general if life is to exist. Any life form that considers death desirable would be a life form that could never come to exist as it is self defeating.

I also need to clarify that I don't mean to suggest that death should necessarily become desirable to the individual, only that it should not necessarily be taken to be undesirable.

Continued life is, frequently, a most desirable outcome for any individual, (sometimes it's not but that is not essential to this point) this desire invokes creative action, in the individual, and creative action invariably fulfills some value; this is an observable truth so we can presuppose this without any need for contrast against what it isn't.

As Wave noted, we can observe the impact of death on the collective of physical life, this has value which we can measure through our empirical observation, we can even say that death is good for the collective.

On the other hand, the impact of death on an individual is unobservable, it's simply mysterious. It doesn't have value that we know and it doesn't lack value that we know, the value of death in terms of the individual is just not measurable, because it is unmeasurable presupposing a measure of its value is not logical.

Overall, my point is that death is regarded by just about everybody through this lens of presupposition in their ordinary daily lives. It is only necessary to life existing that continued life be desirable, death is not, then, by default, undesirable, it is simply unknown and unmeasurable (to date) that we can place no essential (referencing the individual) value on it.

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We need to remove the words

We need to remove the words desirable and value from this conversation if we want to discuss life in general. Trees are alive and they desire nothing. And, absent some metric of value separate from our human centric point of view, a living organism has no more intrinsic value than a rock. What makes a replicating molecule (DNA) any more valuable than a piece of granite?


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Eloise wrote: Vessel

Eloise wrote:
Vessel wrote:
Eloise wrote:

I doubt it, we're all in the same boat on this one aren't we? Each of us individually has to come up with some personal conception of an ultimate unknown. Even the idea that death is bad, or to be avoided, is merely a subjective impression without inherent truthiness, despite the fact that almost everyone assumes such and agrees upon that assumption.

I recently had a theist ask me if there was an objective reason why an atheist should value their life or if it was only subjectively true that one should value their life. Of all the possible answers I could think of, what I considered the best objective reason for valuing one's own life was that as long as one is alive one always has the possibility of continued life or death, whereas with death there no longer exists the possibility of life. No matter in what state one finds themself, even in an existence of nothing but intolerable pain, this is an objective reason why one should value. Of course this is not saying that it is never understandable that some may choose death, only that I thought it was an acceptable line of reasoning in which to ground the statement "It is objectively true that one should value their life" as a true statement.

Hi Vessel,

I'm answering this post directly (and individually) because I would like to clarify that my intent was not to question objectively valuing life. To me it is objectively true that one should value what life is, just as it is known to and experienced by us.

I think I see now, for the most part, what it is you are saying.

Eloise wrote:
I don't consider it necessary to juxtapose ones knowledge and experience against their limits in order to value them. So, I mean you could say $5 is not $0 and it is therefore valuable, but to me that's not necessary when you could rather say $5 buys me a meal therefore it is valuable regardless of where it stands in regard to $0 (or $100 if you are a heaven believing theist).

But the value of that $5 is contingent. It is, we could say, inter-subjectively true that $5 has value. If something happened to the world economy, or we simply agreed that $5 no longer had value, and $5 became equal to $0 and no longer had the power to buy one a meal, or anything for that matter, then $5 would no longer have value. $5 can be said to presently have value but it has no necessary value. But a living being's life is necessarily valuable if it is objectively true that one should value one's life. That is what I was trying to establish.

I was hoping to put forth a line of reasoning by which life had value to all living entities in all possible situations working from an atheistic worldview.

I may be misunderstanding your point as that seems to be my M.O. so I am just trying to clarify what I was trying to establish by stating that life had objective value for the living.   

Eloise wrote:
Then, to clarify further, my point is that I don't believe the only objective value of life is that it is something rather than nothing, rather I feel life is objectively valuable because something and value are intrinsically linked concepts, something is inherently many possibilities of applicable/conceivable value.

Something and value may be intrinsically linked concepts in that only something can have value, but that is not saying that everything necessarily has value. So, to say something is necessarily valuable, or has objective value, requires that we establish a line of reasoning by which to support that it is indeed objectively true that it has value.

 

Eloise wrote:
I also need to clarify that I don't mean to suggest that death should necessarily become desirable to the individual, only that it should not necessarily be taken to be undesirable.

But I think it should be taken to be undesirable, to the individual, though not dependent on the individual's subjective opinion. I think it is objectively true that death should be undesirable to the individual. Again, this is assuming no afterlife. 

Quote:
Continued life is, frequently, a most desirable outcome for any individual, (sometimes it's not but that is not essential to this point) this desire invokes creative action, in the individual, and creative action invariably fulfills some value; this is an observable truth so we can presuppose this without any need for contrast against what it isn't.

I'm not sure what you mean by creative action.

I would put forth that continued life is always a most desirable outcome for any individual. That is what I was trying to establish. Given atheism.

Quote:
As Wave noted, we can observe the impact of death on the collective of physical life, this has value which we can measure through our empirical observation, we can even say that death is good for the collective.

For the collective, yes, but never for the indiviual, given no afterlife.

Quote:
On the other hand, the impact of death on an individual is unobservable, it's simply mysterious. It doesn't have value that we know and it doesn't lack value that we know, the value of death in terms of the individual is just not measurable, because it is unmeasurable presupposing a measure of its value is not logical.

I may understand what you are saying. I gather it is something like, since death is unknowable we can not say that there is necessarilly no value in death. We can not assign a value or lack of value to an unknown. My original reasoning for how life is objectively valuable, though, was answered, as was requested by the person who originally asked me the question, from an atheist perspective, which I took to mean one in which there is no afterlife. I realize that this may not have been wholly relevant to the comment of your's I quoted in my original response, but I commented in response to your question of whether or not we ever question the assumption that death is to be avoided.

Quote:
Overall, my point is that death is regarded by just about everybody through this lens of presupposition in their ordinary daily lives. It is only necessary to life existing that continued life be desirable, death is not, then, by default, undesirable, it is simply unknown and unmeasurable (to date) that we can place no essential (referencing the individual) value on it.

Working from an atheistic worldview, or a worldview without a presumed afterlife, many will make the claim that life has no objective value. What I was trying to establish is that even given as true that there was no afterlife there was a way to establish that life is objectively valuable. And from such a worldview, I think, that it is necessarilly true that if life is desirable then death is undesirable, or at the least less desirable.

 It seems that you are saying we can't say death is necessarilly undesirable without knowledge of what happens in death. And I agree with that. But, if we are to work from a particular worldview, which we most often do, then we can ask these questions such as why is life necessarily desirable, or more desirable than death, and arrive at objective truths of the matter within the worldview.

Many may say, well, of course, even given an atheistic worldview, life is desirable and death is not, but I have often heard it asked how we can establish it as objectively true and that is what I was trying to do. Even saying that with life one has existence and in death one does not, the theist can then ask what about having existence is objectively valuable. So by answering the question in a way that I hoped demonstrated necessary value without appeal to underlying assumed value I tried to show the value of one's life was, at its base, as simple as always having the possibility of non life or life as long as life was present, while death removes that possibility. Come to think of it, one could even say, even if it is possible that death and life were both good for an individual, or if it is possible that death is better than life, only life allows one the continued possibility of either and thereby has more value.

Many theists claim, that without a deity to assign value, nothing can have objective value and they require that one presents a line of reasoning to establish the objective truth of any value statement. By establishing, if one can, that it is neccessarilly true that a living entity should value its life, then one can perhaps establish that living entities in general should value life in general and this leads towards establishing that one should value the lives of others, all value statements and therefor things that theists often claim the atheist can not show to be objectively true.

Anyway, I think I have possibly strayed off into topics irrelevant to the conversation. What were we talking about?   

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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wavefreak wrote: We need to

wavefreak wrote:
We need to remove the words desirable and value from this conversation if we want to discuss life in general. Trees are alive and they desire nothing.

Yeah, desire may not be the best word but it was the best one I could think of. I, of course, do not mean intentional desire but am using desire as the pursuit of a given thing or quality. Even trees pursue continued life. When something no longer pursues continued life it dies. 

Quote:
And, absent some metric of value separate from our human centric point of view, a living organism has no more intrinsic value than a rock. What makes a replicating molecule (DNA) any more valuable than a piece of granite?

It is not the being, per se, that is necessarily valuable but the quality of being alive that the being possesses (I realize this is an odd distinction) that is valuable and that value, I think, is independent of whether the being considers it valuable or not as I try (possibly poorly) to explain above.  

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins