What common ground, if any, is there for having meaningful dialogue? (For the Atheists - Preferrably the Core Members)

RationalSpy
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What common ground, if any, is there for having meaningful dialogue? (For the Atheists - Preferrably the Core Members)

Hello RRS,

I was wondering what common ground you think there is for having any meaningful dialogue.  Do you think this needs to be established in order for consistency to be maintained in one's own thoughts and words and subsequently, dialogue between persons?

R.S.

 


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When you say common ground,

When you say common ground, do you mean between atheists and theists? 


RationalSpy
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I mean common ground

I mean common ground between any thinking being (which is inclusive of the theist and atheist) and more specifically those who are attempting to express their thoughts in dialogue.

R.S.


todangst
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RationalSpy wrote: Hello

RationalSpy wrote:

Hello RRS,

I was wondering what common ground you think there is for having any meaningful dialogue. Do you think this needs to be established in order for consistency to be maintained in one's own thoughts and words and subsequently, dialogue between persons?

R.S.

 

 

An acceptance that appeals to subjective experience and emotions are not a valid grounds for holding a position.

 An acceptance that physicalism is the only coherent position,  seeing as theists must steal from it in order to make their supernatural claims. Theists must concede that they can only argue from the negative, and from ignorance, for their claims.

An acceptance of negative theology, which concedes that supernatural claims are necessarily incoherent.

In other words, an acceptance that there is no way to present a coherent ontology for theological claims, as well as an acceptance that there is no rational grounds for holding to a theistic belief.

Once we have that, we can talk... the problem, of course, is that there's nothing really left to talk about.

 

Oh, and by the way: many theists DO accept these grounds... 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


RationalSpy
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todangst

todangst wrote:
RationalSpy wrote:

Hello RRS,

I was wondering what common ground you think there is for having any meaningful dialogue. Do you think this needs to be established in order for consistency to be maintained in one's own thoughts and words and subsequently, dialogue between persons?

R.S.

 

 

An acceptance that appeals to subjective experience and emotions are not a valid grounds for holding a position.

 An acceptance that physicalism is the only coherent position,  seeing as theists must steal from it in order to make their supernatural claims. Theists must concede that they can only argue from the negative, and from ignorance, for their claims.

An acceptance of negative theology, which concedes that supernatural claims are necessarily incoherent.

In other words, an acceptance that there is no way to present a coherent ontology for theological claims, as well as an acceptance that there is no rational grounds for holding to a theistic belief.

Once we have that, we can talk... the problem, of course, is that there's nothing really left to talk about.

 

Oh, and by the way: many theists DO accept these grounds... 

 

 

In order for any person to either accept or deny your above premises and conclusion, would they have to understand what you mean by them?

For example: Tell me, true or false, blicks are grue?  Can you give me a definitive answer without understanding the meaning of the terms?

So in relation to my original question about the common ground (which is common among all persons - in other words it is both objective and subjective) needed for meaningful dialogue, how can/does one critically examine basic assumptions for coherence of meaning? 

R.S.

 


Yellow_Number_Five
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We are ALWAYS going to

We are ALWAYS going to disagree on matters of faith, there is no way around that, and no middle ground between it.

My views were expressed here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/8184

 

Yellow wrote:
For the last few decades, most atheists, some notable exceptions aside, have been of the "live and let live" philosophy. We formed the RRS, in part, because we saw such a stance was getting us nowhere, and that there were reall consequences to being so passive.

When politicians and preachers hold the reigns of our society and make policy for ALL of us based on what we see as irrational beliefs, we aren't doing ourselves any favors by being silent.

When issues like reproductive rights, mideast policy, scientific research and basic education are influenced to the degree that they are in our culture by such people and beliefs, it would be utter maddness to not step up and cry foul and challenge such things on a very basic and fundamental level.

I think you DO see that our enemies, and yours to a very real degree, are dogma, arrogance, ignorance, the blurring of the lines between church and state and blind faith and devotion. While I DO see your beliefs as irrational, I don't see you as part of this problem - rather as part of a potential solution.

You seem to see our common interests and our common problems. You also seem to understand that we have a lot in common when push comes to shove and that we're not your personal enemy or bad people - we're simply an all to often marginalized minority fighting for a bit of fair play and recognition; we'll that and we do want to fundamentally change the world we live in.

Still, like I said, I see you as part of the solution, and here is why. You understand these things and you probably have a better shot of making others who believe similarly to you understand than we do - simply because that sort of education would be coming from a source percieved as less hostile.

What I would propose is that if you really DO want a live and let live world where we simply debate things like religion for purely intellectual and spiritual purposes, that you speak up as well. When a politician makes policy based on religious beliefs or says something utterly asinine about science or atheists - you should be screaming just as loudly as we are.

When a politician or preacher claims a blastocyst has a soul, speak up. When the local school board wants ID taught, speak up. When homosexuals are denied rights based upon a religious notion of what marriage is, speak up.

Fundamentalists are your problem as much as they are mine, and it's time for believers to take up the fight and responsibility of fighting them as we've done.

When the dust settles, we can have a nice, civil conversation about beliefs, secure in the knowledge that at the end of the day neither of us our going to have our rights trampled or be railroaded into Orwellian nightmares by people much more ignorant and closed-minded and far less enlightened than ourselves.

A common ground ultimately requires us recognizing we have the same problem: fundamentalists.

We’re there no fundamentalists, I doubt there would have ever been an RRS.


 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Rave
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RationalSpy wrote: I mean

RationalSpy wrote:

I mean common ground between any thinking being (which is inclusive of the theist and atheist) and more specifically those who are attempting to express their thoughts in dialogue.

R.S.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but it seems fairly wierd to register here, a forum that mainly deals with religion, to ask a question like that. I'd say look for a forum on philosophy. Unless you are just starting the conversation this way so you can later sneak in a theistic argument, based on semantics/definitions that you will try to get people to concede or agree upon first. In which case I'd say quit now. People try to do it all the time, it's just boring.

If you are just here to ask that question, I'd suggest putting it in the philosophy sub-forum. 

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


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Rave wrote: RationalSpy

Rave wrote:
RationalSpy wrote:

I mean common ground between any thinking being (which is inclusive of the theist and atheist) and more specifically those who are attempting to express their thoughts in dialogue.

R.S.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but it seems fairly wierd to register here, a forum that mainly deals with religion, to ask a question like that. I'd say look for a forum on philosophy. Unless you are just starting the conversation this way so you can later sneak in a theistic argument, based on semantics/definitions that you will try to get people to concede or agree upon first. In which case I'd say quit now. People try to do it all the time, it's just boring.

If you are just here to ask that question, I'd suggest putting it in the philosophy sub-forum.

 

This does smell a little like Matt Slick's "who do you think created logic?" rhetoric.  (especially appearing in A v T, and singling out Atheists as the out group in the topic name) 


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If I'm not mistaken, the

If I'm not mistaken, the topic of this forum is labeled Theist vs. Atheist.  This seems to connotate a definite distinction between the two concepts by which the athiests and theists are participating in discussions and attempting to give rational justification for their own position, the two of which are commonly accepted as being mutually exclusive.  This attempt at discussion assumes there is a goal those engaged are trying to reach (to show the other position to be meaningless or false) and that this goal is possible of being reached.  If it were not possible, those continuing to think and write about all the aspects of the supposed debate would be doing so to no avail.  In other words this is not a forum for atheists to dialogue with athiests, or theists with theists.  The goal of this entire website has been clearly made known: "Fighting to free humanity from the mind disorder known as theism".

The goal and necessary possiblity of achieving the goal is the same as saying that each position thinks it is possible for the opposing position to understand and ultimately to change from their original position to their opposition's.  In other words, P1 thinks that it is possible that P2 can understand P1 and change to P1, rejecting P2.  This is the same for P2 regarding P1.

For any meaningful dialogue to take place between the two positions, they would both have to first agree on how one knows anything at all and by what authority their claims can be objectively tested.  In other words, what rules (common ground) would guide any engagement?  Can this be agreed upon?  If not, there can be no fair play and no achievement of the goal.   

I do not intend to waste your time or mine and of course do not want to continue writing unto no avail as I'm sure you would agree for yourself.  This is the purpose for which I have asked the original question:  What common ground is there for having meaningful dialogue?  What is going to maintain consistency in the discussion by which each writer will be held accountable (so that no one can trick anyone or pull any fast ones on anybody else)?

The following are implications of the above:

1. This forum is for dialogue between two mutually exclusive ideas/positions known as theism and atheism. 

2. Meaningful dialogue means having correspondence in which understanding between the opposing positions can be reached.

3. For any meaningful dialogue between those holding the positions, there must be common ground by which all persons can bring to the table the position they've assented to and by which this position can be tested for meaning by both the other and themselves.

4. This objective common ground establishes that concepts and the meaning of a concept is universal in all persons and cannot leave us stranded in semantics and definitions.  Words can be ambiguous, but concepts are universal (the same in all thinkers).  Words express concepts and can be understood by looking at their relation to one another in a particular context.

5. If concepts are not universal in all persons, then there can be no meaningful dialogue between persons, including dialogue between atheists. 

6. No one can make you concede or trick you into accepting a position.

7. If there is not an objective common ground by which each subjective thinker can be held accountable to, then each side is only asserting subjective dogmatic claims.  Neither can make an objective rejection of their opposition's position, let alone claim to understand it.

8. If the goal cannot be reached by either position, it would be inconsistent for RSS to maintain this forum "Atheist vs. Theist", let alone their entire website.

On a side note - how can this be boring?  Discovering what establishes meaning in our lives and testing basic positions to see if they are meaningful?  If you find this boring, it might be an indication that you are lacking meaning/understanding.  What do you think?  Is this clear?  Can you detect a trick going on in my writing?  What would you use to test it?  That's what I'm getting at.  Is there a self-evident starting point (objective common ground) where we can begin?  What cannot be questioned by either of us, but instead makes questioning possible?

R.S.


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todangst

todangst wrote:
RationalSpy wrote:

Hello RRS,

I was wondering what common ground you think there is for having any meaningful dialogue. Do you think this needs to be established in order for consistency to be maintained in one's own thoughts and words and subsequently, dialogue between persons?

R.S.

 

 

An acceptance that appeals to subjective experience and emotions are not a valid grounds for holding a position.

An acceptance that physicalism is the only coherent position, seeing as theists must steal from it in order to make their supernatural claims. Theists must concede that they can only argue from the negative, and from ignorance, for their claims.

An acceptance of negative theology, which concedes that supernatural claims are necessarily incoherent.

In other words, an acceptance that there is no way to present a coherent ontology for theological claims, as well as an acceptance that there is no rational grounds for holding to a theistic belief.

Once we have that, we can talk... the problem, of course, is that there's nothing really left to talk about.

 

Oh, and by the way: many theists DO accept these grounds...

 

 No offense, but that almost made me throw up in my mouth.


RationalSpy
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LosingStreak06,If you are

LosingStreak06,

If you are not going to address anything that has been previously said in a respectful and meaningful way, I'd request that you please refrain from posting here.  The goal here is to have meaningful discussion that can progress and not be reduced to quibbling and conversation killers.  Of course when we hold certain beliefs, our emotions can be affected and we get riled up and want to let others know (I've done it plenty of times).  This still seems to be expressing that you think they should change their position.  If you want to have consistency and be listened to, this requires that you address the belief and more importantly the foundation on which it rests.  In doing so you will be affirming others human dignity.

Thanks,

R.S.


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RationalSpy wrote:   What

RationalSpy wrote:

  What common ground is there for having meaningful dialogue?

Human beings all possessing nearly identical data processors (human brains) existing in the same environment (objective reality) and receiving sensory data through their nearly identical sensory organs. 

 

Quote:
What is going to maintain consistency in the discussion by which each writer will be held accountable (so that no one can trick anyone or pull any fast ones on anybody else)?

Reality.

 

“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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RationalSpy wrote: Hello

RationalSpy wrote:

Hello RRS,

I was wondering what common ground you think there is for having any meaningful dialogue. Do you think this needs to be established in order for consistency to be maintained in one's own thoughts and words and subsequently, dialogue between persons?

R.S.

 

 To answer your question directly: yes.  It can happen.

If you have more than a speck of intelligence in you, you should be able to see that this forum is not the place where it will happen 

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


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RationalSpy

RationalSpy wrote:

LosingStreak06,

If you are not going to address anything that has been previously said in a respectful and meaningful way, I'd request that you please refrain from posting here. The goal here is to have meaningful discussion that can progress and not be reduced to quibbling and conversation killers. Of course when we hold certain beliefs, our emotions can be affected and we get riled up and want to let others know (I've done it plenty of times). This still seems to be expressing that you think they should change their position. If you want to have consistency and be listened to, this requires that you address the belief and more importantly the foundation on which it rests. In doing so you will be affirming others human dignity.

Thanks,

R.S.

RationalSpy.

This is the Atheist vs Theist forum.  Folks are allowed to jab and poke, even poke fun.  Sometimes it even gets emotional and heated in this forum.

If you want to keep everything "meaningful" and "respectful", I suggest you stay in the Kill 'Em With Kindness forum.  That forum is heavily moderated.  No insults.  No name-calling.  No cussing.

If you remain in the Atheist vs Theist forum, you can expect just about anything and it's perfectly within the rules.

 

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