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Old 11-22-2013, 05:58 AM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,078,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Now, the majority of the posters on this forum will blithely dismiss your apparent desire to blame a divinity (that's how I read your OP anyway) for your problems as illogical. I will in turn blithely dismiss their blithe dismissals.
At your own peril. It isn't illogical from a clinical perspective to understand that need to blame someone or something for one's problems, the question is, is it rational. I would argue that it isn't particularly when the actor is supposed to be some mythical god creature. Yes it is easier to blame or give credit to god for tornados, tsunamis and and other devastating natural disasters that befall mankind and while we have grown past burning witches and devils, those that blame god, still have't approached the issue in a rational and objective manner.

Quote:
Given that nothing but physical/chemical processes are responsible for the totality of what we experience in our little corner of the solar system/galaxy/universe (as with all the other all-but-infinite corners), one would easily go insane if one truly thought "logically", which is to say, no entity or blind force or process is truly worthy of credit or blame.
Say what?

We would go insane if we didn't have an entity or blind forces to credit of blame...seriously?!? You really can't be serious.. can you?!?!? If a tornado came today, destroyed my home, killed my family, as a sane rational human being do you think that I would spend my time blaming god or Mother nature?!? What freaking purpose would that serve? What sort of comfort much less sanity would I derive from such behavior?

Quote:
First "physical/chemical processes" are the mechanics of conscious thought they are not responsible for how we perceive, learn, or evaluate thoughts and experience. Everything is just a byproduct of what might be called luck
This is just getting sillier by the sentence. I would respond in detail if there weren't so many points that are so off base, errant and just mystifying in their illogic.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,269,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Actually, this is a TERRIBLE post, given the OP. The OP pretty clearly outlines that the guy's life conditions are worse than yours. Insensitive to the max. The guy describes himself as a crossdressing gardener (from the profile) whose loved ones keep dying (from the OP), and yet you talk about your ability to enjoy making love to your wife, as if that might be at all applicable to his lot in life...and then you have the audacity to call the OP out for his "preening self-absorption"? Lol, ok.

bulmabriefs, I'll give you a proper response once I get changed out of my running clothes and get a few IPAs in me.
Guess what? We all have loved ones who die. We've all had tragedy - I certainly have. And the poster goes on to ramble about despair, then insist that atheism is emotional. Sorry, the emotional claim is: "There must be a God because my life sucks!", not the simple observation that evidence for a deity is woefully lacking.

The OP made it rather clear that despair is the natural consequence of not believing in God. So, yeah, it is entirely appropriate for me to explain why there is nothing about not believing in God that causes me despair.

My life is not defined by what I have suffered. Every day is a new day with boundles opportunities. If you really want to delude yourself into thinking that the OP leads some sort of tortured existence beyond the human norm, have at it. But I notice that the OP has access to a computer and the luxury of posting online. He hikes, reads and plays video games. That means the OP has opportunities and resources lacking to much of the population of this planet. But his glass is half empty. That's fine if he wants to be that way, but don't sanctimoniously try and insist that he needs to be coddled, and his irrational claims need to be reinforced, because he thinks he's had it worse than most. Meanwhile, you waltz in and suggest that I must live a comparatively carefree existence just because I don't parade my list of sufferings around as a prop for what I believe.

Reality is what it is. It isn't predicated on desire or need.

One last thing - what's the problem with crossdressing? Nothing. Nothing at all, except for, perhaps, condemnation on the part of some based on what? Ultimately, almost certainly, a morality based not on logic but on the illogical dictates of one religion or another. Don't hang that at the door of an atheist or of atheism.

Last edited by Unsettomati; 11-22-2013 at 06:38 AM..
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,190 posts, read 9,075,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Given that nothing but physical/chemical processes are responsible for the totality of what we experience in our little corner of the solar system/galaxy/universe (as with all the other all-but-infinite corners), one would easily go insane if one truly thought "logically", which is to say, no entity or blind force or process is truly worthy of credit or blame. Everything is just a byproduct of what might be called luck (from our perspective) ... But that sort of (superior from a conceptual standpoint, but inferior from a survival standpoint) thinking can drive a mere human insane....

--Is it reasonable to believe in scientific inquiry? Yes.
--Is it reasonable that every component of this universe, ourselves included, is theoretically reducible to scientific explanation/mathematical expression to some as-yet-unknown margin of error (Heisenberg Uncertainty-style)? Yes.
--Is it reasonable to believe in ANYTHING beyond the observable universe, whether it be a multiverse theory advanced by a physicist or some grand deistic simulator as Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom might or an imaginary being advanced by any random human you're likely to come across on a given day? No...but given the worldview that results from an answer of "no", I can easily sympathize with the inclination to answer "yes".
I think there is another alternative.

It's a bit like the theist argument that no morality can exist apart from an origin in god. This position is based on the idea that apart from an objective, externally-imposed morality, anything goes. Technically it is correct that "anything goes", but it is also a meaningless technicality because in practice morality arises out of people's interactions and explicit and implicit agreements with one another. The need for social order and the sustainable protection of personal liberties guarantees that there will be morality, ethics, and values that will be enforced by the state and by societal conventions and taboos. The irony is that theists live under that same morality but just have an imagined backstory for it.

Similarly -- yes, it's technically true that there is no externally given meaning or purpose and that therefore, technically, life is inherently purposeless and meaningless. In practice, however, if all sentient beings believed that way, and it if was the only consideration, they would all collapse in a heap like the Vogon police in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, moaning, "what's the point?"

In practical reality, each sentient being determines its own meaning and purpose. The key error of nihilism in my view is the notion that meaning and purpose must be some sort of elaborate, ambitious, flowery thing that has broad consequences and conveys heroism and lofty vision on the individual that engages with that meaning. In reality, all it has to do is make that one individual's existence rationalizable, which in practice means that it is pleasurable enough to provide motivation.

I don't need to understand the Ultimate Meaning of Life, save the world from poverty or war, or be able to point to some huge accomplishment that my fellow humans occasionally get to be part of so that I can be lauded by countless subsequent generations, like Lincoln ramming the 13th amendment through congress or Kennedy just being handsome and glamorous. All I have to do is get an occasional hug from my wife or see a glimmer of appreciation from my children. Nor does this have to be something that will get me through my entire life, just to get me through today and hopefully something else will suffice for tomorrow.

Is this rational? No. Does it settle anything once and for all? No. Is it objectively a reason to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune -- or even, if I may coin a phrase, ragious fortune? No. Would it be enough for me, had I somehow magically understood this all in advance, and if I somehow had a choice to be born as I was, or not -- to cause me to choose the absurdity that is this life? No. Is it enough for me to feel comforted and to bear my personal purgatory? Yes.

And that, my friend, is all that evolution cares about. Survival to pass on genes. Not enjoyment and peace and justice and fairness and, alas, happiness. But the good news is that we as a species have gotten to the point where our awareness, knowledge, and technology allow us to move far enough up the hierarchy of needs that we can actually pursue happiness. Further, those of us fortunate enough to live in secular democratic republics have unprecedented freedom to consider the pursuit of happiness a fundamental human right, and to enjoy many societal structures that support that pursuit, however imperfectly.

We pursue happiness unwisely at times, thinking perhaps that war against an opponent will bring about victory and therefore sustainable happiness with no nasty side effects, or that recreational drugs will be a shortcut to solid ground, and so on. But we at least have the opportunity to try.

My biggest problem in life is disappointment. I'm deeply, head-shakingly, abidingly disappointed in life as a rational proposition, but guess what: most of that is in between my ears, courtesy of sky-high expectations implanted there by my evangelical upbringing. Only gradually is the ideation leaching out of me, like an old poison, that life is at all about me and that it is in any way arranged in my personal favor and that there is a discoverable formula that will turn it into a cakewalk for me or that it extends beyond death to infinity so that I have all time to get it right -- all under the benign and protective eye of a benevolent god who personally favors me.

I would encourage you not to get hung up on the technicalities and instead just live within your true personal scope as a mere mortal with simple needs. Finding happiness is a bit of a paradox, and no, it isn't entirely rational -- but neither does it require magical thinking and, as Occam had it, the "multiplication of unnecessary entities".

Last edited by mordant; 11-22-2013 at 07:35 AM..
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:00 AM
 
39,014 posts, read 10,812,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
I believe I understand your point.

I am not an Atheist because it is logical. I look at the world around me and I see things happening and they seem to be the result of some kind of natural forces at work. The idea of some kind of supernatural force never occurred to me.

That's how my instincts perceive the world around me. You may see things differently. No problem.
That is indeed how many theists (and some atheists) see atheism. It is an instinctive or perhaps a 'Common sense' approach to God -claims. That is understandable as logical reasoning is not part of the curriculum and ration analysis of god claims (let alone discussion of the atheist response to the) is not encouraged in schools and never will be until atheists or something like is the voting majority.

However, theists do ask about the rational and logical basis for atheism, and so they should. And it has a perfectly logical and rational basis, even if most atheists (and all theists, it seems) are unaware of it.

This would not be a problem were it not that theism is constantly trying to prove that atheism does not make logical sense, apparently in the hope of making the god -claim more credible by default. This why the arguments about the difference between not believing that a god exists and believing that a god does not exist (and a difference and a significant one there is, despite the two terms sounding the same) and also the 'is agnosticism different from atheism or the basis of it?' argument (1) can become so intense, though outside the religion debate the question would hardly arise.

It is only ever because theism challenges the logical and rational credential of atheism in hopes to discredit it. And then they wonder why we spend time here posting. *sigh* (quote)

(1) The answer is both - depending upon what one means by 'agnosticism.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
269 posts, read 168,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
At your own peril. It isn't illogical from a clinical perspective to understand that need to blame someone or something for one's problems, the question is, is it rational.
i agree. the reality is...the problem exists for the person which is taking it upon themselves on how to handle the problem.

being that today commemorates the assassination of kennedy i'll use him as an example
..the problem: our president was assassinated
the method to reconcile that with our emotions resulted in: many conspiracy theories...

in short, religion is one big conspiracy theory used to reconcile reality with our emotions.
the atheist is just as emotional about the reality of life, they just require objective evidence to justify their feelings (and often times are not coddled by facts)...not circumstantial evidence which is fodder for conspiracy and is rational but to what avail...?

when the objective scientific evidence has been provided, which can formulate a prediction, then willful ignorance kicks in these conspiracies..and that to me very much like saying; 2+2 can be 5
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,296 posts, read 4,398,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Always existed? Cosmology and background radiation does seem to confirm that the universe has existed a for a very specific, finite period of time. But let's not get too off track.
I said "reality" always existed--not the universe. For that exact reason.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:17 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,947,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
::Sigh:: There is nothing logical about disbelief in God.
It is not a disbelief, it is a knowledge. There is nothing logical about believing in a god based solely on the ancient ignorance and superstitions of people that also believed that the earth was the center of the universe, etc., etc..

You chastise and attempt to degrade those that don't believe in a single god (yours) yet there are many many gods you don't believe in, but you are so lost in your own self-rightness fantasy about your god you can't see the hypocrisy you are so clearly demonstrating.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,111,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
However, theists do ask about the rational and logical basis for atheism, and so they should. And it has a perfectly logical and rational basis, even if most atheists (and all theists, it seems) are unaware of it.

Maybe there is a logical basis for Atheism. To be honest, I have never thought about it.

When I was child, I was told there is a god, but I never saw evidence of one, so I never have believed in one.

Like Bill O'Reilly says, I am a simple man.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:30 PM
 
39,014 posts, read 10,812,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Maybe there is a logical basis for Atheism. To be honest, I have never thought about it.

When I was child, I was told there is a god, but I never saw evidence of one, so I never have believed in one.

Like Bill O'Reilly says, I am a simple man.
As I say, so did I. I simply saw no reason to believe in a god who didn't seem to be there, long before I knew I was an atheist let alone the logical rationale behind it. That is perfectly fine. The world is full of people who live their lives using practical and social mechanisms without their ever being aware of the supporting rationales or mechanisms.

It is only when the mechanics get questioned that we examine and see whether the basics are valid. Sometimes we find they are not.

As I replied to a pertinent Q. If atheism had an illogical basis (e.g denial of God without absolute knowledge) that would have long since needed to be replaced with a logical basis. Which is what we actually have. So it is futile for Theists to try to refute atheism with the old 'denial' accusation. And it would be dishonest to try to force definitions (esp. those cherry -picked from dictionaries) on people who actually hold views with a different definition.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:10 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,736,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
You're entirely wrong. It's my centerpoint. Once you hopefully read my above post, I forget what Dostoevsky character was made to say "without god, all is permitted"...entirely true. Much as Hume noted that brute facts cannot determine values. I'd punish you for your literary negligence, and other things.
Beloved Matt, I've heard the "without god" line before, and now it falls on tired ears.

You say I'm entirely wrong, but I doubt you understand all of your fellow beings. For a lot (dare I say: the majority) of atheists, atheism is nothing and should be nothing. To them, atheism should eventually be classified along with non-stamp collecting and aunicornism. Their lack of choosing among the god believes is as much their emotional centerpoint as nonvegitarianism is the centerpoint for meat eaters.

Why would monotheism dispermitt anything? With our Choosing, Designing, and Recrafting of Gods, all is permitted. The mind is a powerful thing, it can make a hell out of heaven, and a heaven out of hell.

Let Theism not stand in your way, because there truly are countless theist religions, denominations, and interpretations. By all means, permit yourself to be free. Rise up against us, and be plucked from your place by the power of the society we have set up around you. Or work, work within it to infiltrate it and rule it, and be brought to humility by its stumbling blocks, loose yourself in your own insincerity.

I HATE the fear of truth and the fear of being wrong. My Agnosticism is not the centerpoint of my emotions, my humanity is... and I would hope all the people would see that.
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