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Old 11-21-2011, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,119,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
It seems to me that nihilism is the only logical alternative if there is no God. Morality can be viewed as nothing more than a human construct - ultimately, morality equates to nonsense from the nihilistic perspective.

If there is no God, there is no ultimate intrinsic purpose or meaning to existence.

If there is no God, there is no ultimate hope.

I think Camus had it right when he stated that the only really serious philosophical question left is suicide. You can't have it both ways. If one determines to believe that there is no God, they should be willing to affirm the logical consequences of such a decision.
If there is no intrinsic meaning to existence, that does not mean that it's impossible to find or create meaning; only that it's not automatically provided. If the only alternative to an omnibenevolent deity is existential despair, then all who either do not believe / accept such a deity or have not heard of it, would commit suicide. Since there are entire cultures that have endured for millennia without exposure to Christianity, it's safe to say this is not the case.

The logical consequence of a particular belief system not being true, is not that there is no truth, just that it's found elsewhere, and possibly, that it's framed in different terms, that's all.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:22 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,436,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
If there is no intrinsic meaning to existence, that does not mean that it's impossible to find or create meaning; only that it's not automatically provided.
ONLY? In my view, it's a very huge "only."

Do you know of any other being in existence (animals, if you will) that are capable of creating their own meaning?

All REAL meaning is intrinsic. Either we have it or we don't. Life either makes sense or it is logically and ultimately nonsense.

Speaking for myself, I'm really not interested in creating some sort of pie-in-the-sky bubble world to live in. I happen prefer reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
If the only alternative to an omnibenevolent deity is existential despair, then all who either do not believe/accept such a deity or have not heard of it, would commit suicide.
A complete non sequitur. You just got through explaining how we, in your view, are able to create our own meaning. Another logical alternative would be that we all actually have intrinsic meaning but are simply unwilling to accept reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Since there are entire cultures that have endured for millennia without exposure to Christianity, it's safe to say this is not the case.
You followed up your nonsense presupposition with a nonsense conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
The logical consequence of a particular belief system not being true, is not that there is no truth, just that it's found elsewhere, and possibly, that it's framed in different terms, that's all.
Truth is mutually exclusive. If, in your view, it is true that God does not exist, what would be your logical reasoning for arriving at such a conclusion?
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:28 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,949,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
ONLY? In my view, it's a very huge "only."

Do you know of any other being in existence (animals, if you will) that are capable of creating their own meaning?
Yes, most humans are capable of it. There's lot of them. Billions. What more do you need?

Quote:
All REAL meaning is intrinsic.
Proof of this claim?

Quote:
Life either makes sense or it is logically and ultimately nonsense.
Lack of inherent purpose isn't the same as life being nonsense.

Quote:
Speaking for myself, I'm really not interested in creating some sort of pie-in-the-sky bubble world to live in. I happen prefer reality.
Then please post peer-reviewed studies showing that life has inherent meaning and ultimate purpose. Should be easy if you're basing your claims on established reality.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Earth. For now.
1,227 posts, read 1,780,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Pretty much. Chango and astron in #3 and 4 showed what relation there was between Logical positivism and atheism and then Tigetmax wanted to know the logical basis for atheism and we haven't looked back since.

Thanks Arequipa!

Hey, tigetmax...Is logical positivism and atheism necessarily identical? And, after 15 damned pages of cross-talk, why are you arguing about issues that have nothing to do with the original question? Frankly, I don't give a rat's butt about your "holy book." My question has nothing to do with your chosen belief system. Believe whatever the hell fantasy you want to. I'm far more interested in the idea of what constitutes a sense of what is observationally "real" (or even "truthful"!!) and how it is defined in the context of atheism.

In other words, is "reality" and, perhaps "truth" dependent upon the acceptance that the human senses are the final arbiter? Is there any recognition among my fellow atheists* that reality may be something more than mere sensory input? Or do you rather accept the logical positivist view that metaphysical questions are essentially meaningless because they are beyond the framework of precise language? i.e., Beyond logic and the scientific method? I'm not arguing either way. I just wanted to hear opinions of what others think about themselves and the greater world. That's really all I was asking, for Zeus' sake!

Yes, I know this may be a boring question. Hence, perhaps, why this thread was hijacked by religious zealots who have nothing to contribute other than to try to prove themselves "right" (whatever that means) in an effort to emotionalize the argument.


* I'm not suggesting I accept the label of "atheist" for myself. I am just using the term as a convenience. So sue me.

Last edited by Astron1000; 11-28-2011 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,965,841 times
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Quote:
In other words, is "reality" and, perhaps "truth" dependent upon the acceptance that the human senses are the final arbiter? Is there any recognition among my fellow atheists* that reality may be something more than mere sensory input?
Reality and truth are what they are, regardless of what we believe or think about them. People have had wrong ideas about reality down through the ages, and I fully expect that some of the ideas we have now may also be incomplete or even completely wrong. I'd rather have a system that includes a way to overturn old ideas rather than mindlessly venerating them because they are supposedly infalliable. The only reliable way we have to measure and analyze reality is via our senses, but they have built-in unreliabilities. Of course there is more to reality than what we experience, because we only have the senses that we've got - ultraviolet and infrared light are good examples - we can't see them, but other creatures can, and we can build machines that can sense those parts of the spectrum for us. So I don't know that is some sort of final limitation in a species such as ourselves which can produce devices to compensate for our sensory shortcomings.

But if what you are trying to get at is if atheists think that some sort of spirit world or some other reality layered under or over our own could exist... who can say what is or is not possible? We can postulate myriad what-ifs, and some of them may even be accurate, while most are pure flights of fancy. How do we sort the wheat from the chaff? I think it is useless to try to figure out what is true by how it makes us feel, or if it agrees with the mythology of our culture - because these are very misleading ways to determine truth which will lead down blind alleys and confirm what we want to be true instead of what really is. There is no better method that I know of than the scientific method to determine what is misperception and what is real - it's better than our individual perceptions because it brings these ideas out in the open where everyone can test them and confirm or deny the results. People use these processes every day - for instance, no one listens to the schizophrenic in the corner who claims to be in communication with (or even to BE) some diety. Maybe the schizophrenic is somehow able to perceive some other reality overlaid on our own. Or maybe they are simply crazy, and the reality they perceive is a projection of their own disorganized minds. Either way, we don't trust their perceptions, no matter how real they might seem to the schizophrenic who experiences them. And yet how many holy books were written by men supposedly inspired by dieties? How many of these prophets were schizophrenics? Or full-on hustlers like L. Ron Hubbard? This is why I find personal anecdote so completely suspect as it relates to evidence supporting the actual existence of any dieties, ghosts, demons, etc. And when it comes down to it, that's really all they've got.

Last edited by tilli; 11-29-2011 at 06:36 AM.. Reason: added a couple thoughts
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,333 posts, read 2,513,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
Do you think atheism can be equated with (or perhaps at least a subset of) logical positivism? This is not a trick question. Just wondering about other's thoughts.

If Psychology has no progress to consider for the mankind ambition; and if Epistemology finds the that there is total degradation of solutions for humanity. Mankind progresses into More and More and more.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,436,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
Is logical positivism and atheism necessarily identical?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
And, after 15 damned pages of cross-talk, why are you arguing about issues that have nothing to do with the original question?
"Cross-talk" with who? Are you inferring that there were other hijackers besides me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
Frankly, I don't give a rat's butt about your "holy book."
I'm shattered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
My question has nothing to do with your chosen belief system. Believe whatever the hell fantasy you want to.
Inferring that the God, the Bible and Christianity are "fantasy?" It's quite easy to impugn the beliefs of others...quite another to be willing to defend your own. Do you even have the courage to defend your worldview in a one-on-one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
I'm far more interested in the idea of what constitutes a sense of what is observationally "real" (or even "truthful"!!) and how it is defined in the context of atheism. In other words, is "reality" and, perhaps "truth" dependent upon the acceptance that the human senses are the final arbiter?
Logical positivism posits empiricism (what our senses inform us about our surroundings) and rationalism (that which can be reasonably and logically deduced). What is your definition of atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
Is there any recognition among my fellow atheists* that reality may be something more than mere sensory input? Or do you rather accept the logical positivist view that metaphysical questions are essentially meaningless because they are beyond the framework of precise language? i.e., Beyond logic and the scientific method? I'm not arguing either way. I just wanted to hear opinions of what others think about themselves and the greater world. That's really all I was asking, for Zeus' sake!

Yes, I know this may be a boring question. Hence, perhaps, why this thread was hijacked by religious zealots who have nothing to contribute other than to try to prove themselves "right" (whatever that means) in an effort to emotionalize the argument.


* I'm not suggesting I accept the label of "atheist" for myself. I am just using the term as a convenience. So sue me.
Are you asking me, or are you asking your fellow atheists*?
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:24 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,068,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
No because I think atheism is a result of a thing, and not a thing in itself. Allow me to explain.

I am someone who has one simple rule in life "Be open to listening to all ideas, but reject instantly any idea that comes before me with literally no evidence, argument, data or reasons to support it".

That is it. That is all I am and who I am.

Now GIVEN there is no argument, evidence, data or reasons on offer by anyone to my knowledge that a god exists, that is one of the ideas I reject. That is the result of the application of my simple rule.

"Atheist" is what OTHER people call me because of this. I do not use the term of myself.
Back in the 60's I was not reluctant to explain to my peers that I was/am an atheist. They, in turn, tried very hard to convince me that I was, in reality, an Agnostic, not an Atheist. I usually explained that, if they could fool themselves into believing in their make-believe god, then they could probably convince themselves of almost anything.
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