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Old 12-15-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
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I'm nihilistic in the sense that I don't think there is an objective purpose or reason for existing. I also don't think that there are objective moral standards either, but I think it is good for us to live as if both of the above truths are falsehoods. There may not be some universal judgment upon our works, but there are actions that benefit humanity and actions that lower it...even if no one will remember us, even if our actions benefit only a few people in a lifetime, it is best to have a set of standards that are considered "good" and "evil." If everyone rejects conforming to a standard of objective morality, everyone's quality of life would plummet at some point.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:45 AM
 
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While I am very chary of signing up to any 'Ism' since they often involve subscribing by implication to a lot of tenets which I don't actually embrace, Atheism is one I have to accept as it is only no god - belief.

Simple enough, but it does often need some explanation including fine distinctions between not believing in any gods and believing that there are no gods, which is a very different atheist belief and actually not a logical one to hold.

Similarly, while my worldview has to be Nihilist in the sense that I do not believe in a valid moral code existing for humans other than what humans have devised, I am Not a Nihilist is the sense of refusing to accept any sort of moral, cultural or evidential validity.

Those things are valid as they are useful and indeed necessary, but they often do not have validity outside of human meaning. Thus I don't believe in absolute morality, let alone a god - given one, but that does not in any way mean that I do not accept morality, or do not have morality or do not try to be moral. Which is very often what Theists, using the 'Nihilism' argument, try to show.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
believing that there are no gods, which is a very different atheist belief and actually not a logical one to hold.
No, there is a difference between believing that there are no gods and making the positive declaration there are no gods. It is only the positive declaration that there are no gods that is not logical because it is impossible to know or prove that there are no gods. However, simply believing that there are no gods is a reasonable position being that there is an absence of persuasive evidence that there is a god.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:21 AM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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I don't know that I could call myself a Nihilst or not , as yes, life has meaning, but that meaning does not come from a religious definition or external source. It comes from within, from the subjective values (not objective ones)
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
No, there is a difference between believing that there are no gods and making the positive declaration there are no gods. It is only the positive declaration that there are no gods that is not logical because it is impossible to know or prove that there are no gods. However, simply believing that there are no gods is a reasonable position being that there is an absence of persuasive evidence that there is a god.
Yes there is a fine distinctions between believing that there are no gods and making a positive declaration that there are no gods. The first implies only a belief based on what evidence there is and the second amounts to a claim of certain knowledge.

The second is not logical, as you say, and the former logical only in respect of those man - made gods whose claims are falsifiable. In respect of anything one might call a 'god' we cannot have enough knowledge to justify belief. In respect of that, as you say, we can only be agnostic disbelievers in the absence of persuasive evidence.

And that was pretty much what I said.

"fine distinctions between not believing in any gods and believing that there are no gods, which is a very different atheist belief and actually not a logical one to hold."

My post did not address the idea of a claim of positive knowledge of the non - existence of any gods, since it is no obviously illogical that it need not be mentioned. It is a view falsely attributed to atheism by theists wishing to make it look illogical.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Hmm...I've always considered myself the stronger "there are no Gods" type of Atheist. At least in the sense of religions today.

To say I just "believe" there is no God who will send me to Valhalla if I die in battle, is like saying I just believe there isn't a green rabbit 12 stories tall wearing a tie right behind me.

Call me closed minded, not "logical" etc but I draw the line when it comes to believing ridiculous fantasies, and refuse to play the "you never know - there could very well be a green rabbit blah blahblah behind you," game.

I'm not the type of Atheist who claims "show me proof.." either, as that goes against the very definition of Faith. What gives the death blow for religion as I see it, is the emotional aspect and psychology of it, the fact that to subscribe to one requires being arrogant enough to say "the warm fuzzy feeling inside me is more sincere than anyone of other faiths has ever felt."

So I think by reviewing religion from a biological/psychological sense, rather than a "oh yeah - show me proof!" way of thinking - I'm more capable of saying "There are no Gods..."

Only mans misinterpretation of emotion, complacency of indoctrination, selfishness of "yeah, but that warm fuzzy feeling inside me is more 'pure' - everyone elses was less"
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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Well, so do I. In fact I tend to avoid the 'Strong/weak atheism' thing as it often depends on how you define it and the sort of god - claims to which it is applied.

The arguments tend to be of two types :-

1) the argument that the Bible or whatever is true and believable and

2) the one where the vague woo - woo aspects of cosmic physics are used to argue for a possible unknown great thing we might call 'god' and which is used (so it appears) to try to make atheists agree that they cannot really hold to atheism.
I needn't elaborate on the massive rhetorical trick involved there.

About that 'sortagod' we can be politely curious and 'strong' atheism perhaps it isn't.

About the personal gods and their religions and Holy Books, well, then, we are on firmer falsifying grounds and that is where I, at least, become what one might call a 'strong' atheist, just like you.

P.s sorry, we appear to have drifted off the topic of atheism = nihilism. In order to try to wring some wrelevance out of this post, I might argue that a keen interest in the rationale and validity of these matters undermines the supposition that atheists have a 'nothing matters' Nihilist view. In anything, atheism tends to make us more keenly ask, like Pilate, 'What is Truth?', though we are less content than he with the silent response.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 12-18-2011 at 12:39 PM.. Reason: gotta have the ol' one-two
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:02 PM
 
1,281 posts, read 1,062,505 times
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life does have a meaning. Life is a process of self assembly, mass and energy seem to store information on their own. therefore I see that by nature, I am no different than the forces of self assembly. my purpose and the purpose of mass and energy, is to gather information. through human technological advancements, we are only an extension of the physics of the universe, and we will control the mass and energy of our universe. biology through evolution slowly gathers information, mankind seems to develop technology that follows an exponential behavio.r
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:03 AM
 
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I agree. Creationists have a term for for that concept. They call it 'Evilooshun'
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werone View Post
my purpose and the purpose of mass and energy, is to gather information.
That is what you do, but the fact that you do it doesn't make it your purpose. If that is the purpose for which you exist, then someone/thing with a mind had to make it your purpose, because "purpose" isn't something that just exists out there. It takes the ability to plan to bestow a pupose onto something.

So, if you want your reason/purpose for existing to be to gather information, you can give yourself that purpose because you have a mind. But, "purpose" isn't inherent in things. An object doesn't become a tool until someone has a purpose for it. A stick is just a stick until an ape gives it a purpose, namely it will help the ape extend his reach into an ant hill. Now it has a purpose, because something with a mind gave it a purpose.

For example, I may "purpose" a bunch of logs to the task of holding back a river to make a lake. But, suppose I did not exist, and a bunch of logs drifting on the current happened to form a dam all by themselves. They are holding back a river and making a lake, but that is not their purpose; they just happen to be there. No mind has given them any purpose as of yet.
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