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Old 05-19-2013, 08:25 AM
 
291 posts, read 476,444 times
Reputation: 270

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
Objectivism as in, "my objective is to use my all-powerful reasoning ability to make lots of money and be an alpha dawg because making lots of money and being an alpha dawg is the highest form of human achievement"? That kind of objectivism?

I've never really studied objectivism, from my cursory understanding of its basic tenets I find it to be a pretty repulsive way of thinking.
Most people seem to associate Ayn Rand's philosophy with extreme fiscal libertarianism and unfettered capitalism, and it's true that those things are a big part of her philosophy.
However, there are also other aspects, such rational egoism, realism, atheism, the importance of reason, social libertarianism (i.e. lack of restrictions on pornography, abortion etc.), the rejection of altruism as a moral "duty" etc.

I reject the former as they are purely ideological and, as much sense as they might make in theory, they are not pragmatic enough to be applicable to the real world (she rejected everything from taxation to public schools to child labor laws).

The latter tend to be more reasonable and rooted in reality.

I am not sufficiently familiar with Ayn Rand to say whether the extreme greed that is attributed to her works is an accurate representation of her views or a distortion used to justify a pathological obsession with money, but I am most certainly not someone who would go to great lengths just to add an extra million to their $20 million salary as it would most certainly not result in any significant increase in happiness (though I would not feel any "obligation" to give my money away to charity or any other BS like that)

I am not a "fan" of Ayn Rand - I merely tend to agree with some of her views as they coincide with some of mine - or any other philosopher or ideology, as any philosophy or ideology must appeal to a sizable number of people to be sufficiently well-known, and hence it's highly unlikely for it to be entirely consistent and rational in every way (i.e. there might be some obscure ideology that perfectly matches mine, but I've yet to find it).
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,938,758 times
Reputation: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
Just because there was nothing in writing that suggested explicit atheism does not mean there were no atheists, or people who at least had doubts in their faith.


But for someone today, with the internet available, who knows what rain is, what thunders are, what gravity is, who understands the main idea behind the scientific method - that is, that explanations must rely on proof - to believe in God, is genuinely moronic.
Not only do your remarks fail to justify your previous argument's flaws, you create further ones with them. You're quite willing to deride those who would believe in god, despite no evidence to warrant doing so, as "genuinely moronic. Prior to that you stated that, despite there being no evidence, you are willing to accept that medieval atheists exist. (first bolded statement above).

I will ask a simple question, to which I expect a simple answer:

How is the statement that you wrote - "Just because there was nothing in writing that suggested explicit atheism does not mean there were no atheists" different from the statement that "Just because there's no physical evidence that explicitly suggests god exists, that does not mean that god does not exist"?
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:34 AM
 
291 posts, read 476,444 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
Not only do your remarks fail to justify your previous argument's flaws, you create further ones with them. You're quite willing to deride those who would believe in god, despite no evidence to warrant doing so, as "genuinely moronic. Prior to that you stated that, despite there being no evidence, you are willing to accept that medieval atheists exist. (first bolded statement above).
I didn't say I believed it, I said it's not entirely impossible.
Quote:
I will ask a simple question, to which I expect a simple answer:

How is the statement that you wrote - "Just because there was nothing in writing that suggested explicit atheism does not mean there were no atheists" different from the statement that "Just because there's no physical evidence that explicitly suggests god exists, that does not mean that god does not exist"?
Oh please, that's a false equivalency and you know it. There's a difference between saying it's possible that a number atheists existed before the first explicit declaration of atheism because it was dangerous for them to "out" themselves, and saying that there's a supernatural being who created everything but refuses to prove its existence just 'cause.

Which of these statements is reasonable, given a lack of evidence:

"I dropped some fish in the front yard, but now it's gone. It must have been the neighbor's cat."
or
"I dropped some fish in the front yard, but now it's gone. It must have been a leprechaun."

Furthermore, you're the one who says there's no evidence. As I said, disbelief in God can be traced back to Greek philosophers, such as Diagoras of Melos or Theodorus "the Atheist," Chinese philosopher Fan Zhen, not to mention Eastern religions that rejected the notion of God.
It's extremely unlikely that there were just a couple of atheists in the world before a the first explicit writings.

That being said, anyone who would believe the first statement to be an absolute fact - as many religious people believe the existence of God to be - would indeed be a moron.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
10,060 posts, read 12,806,906 times
Reputation: 7168
Could Paparappa's real name be Neil Peart?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:18 AM
 
304 posts, read 1,425,614 times
Reputation: 180
What a pointless argument - neither side can prove anything!
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,938,758 times
Reputation: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
I didn't say I believed it, I said it's not entirely impossible.

Oh please, that's a false equivalency and you know it. There's a difference between saying it's possible that a number atheists existed before the first explicit declaration of atheism because it was dangerous for them to "out" themselves, and saying that there's a supernatural being who created everything but refuses to prove its existence just 'cause.

Which of these statements is reasonable, given a lack of evidence:

"I dropped some fish in the front yard, but now it's gone. It must have been the neighbor's cat."
or
"I dropped some fish in the front yard, but now it's gone. It must have been a leprechaun."
Neither is reasonable, given a complete lack of evidence.

I would agree that the existence of medieval atheists is more likely than that of God. However, the point was that, in order for your arguments to be correct, you were willing to make assumptions contrary to what the evidence showed. That is precisely the thought process that theists use to justify their own beliefs.

Quote:
Furthermore, you're the one who says there's no evidence. As I said, disbelief in God can be traced back to Greek philosophers, such as Diagoras of Melos or Theodorus "the Atheist," Chinese philosopher Fan Zhen, not to mention Eastern religions that rejected the notion of God.
It's extremely unlikely that there were just a couple of atheists in the world before a the first explicit writings.
I quite carefully avoided Eastern religion in my posts.

My initial criticism was that you've labelled many of the great minds of Western civilization as unintelligent.
Whether or not Chinese or, to a lesser extent, ancient Greek philosophers took atheist positions is irrelevant to that criticism.

There's no references to either Theodorus nor Diagoras beyond that of their contemporaries, save some early (and hostile) church writing. Based on that, I concluded that there were not influential on those people in question.


Quote:
That being said, anyone who would believe the first statement to be an absolute fact - as many religious people believe the existence of God to be - would indeed be a moron.
[/quote]

This leaves us, more or less, where we were several posts ago. Since we cannot conclude that medieval or early Renaissance atheists did exist, we cannot conclude that those great thinkers were atheists (some, including our prior example, Newton, were explicitly theist).

That leaves your previous argument of context as the only viable defense, which could also be applied to a large number of modern theists.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Canada
196 posts, read 424,437 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
"I dropped some fish in the front yard, but now it's gone. It must have been the neighbor's cat."
or
"I dropped some fish in the front yard, but now it's gone. It must have been a leprechaun."
I did like this bit myself, actually made me LOL.

That being said guys, I think this discussion is better handled in the Religion section. MOS wondered about religion in Canada, and I think he saw the final answer, and something that does make us different than the US.

- Both sides dug in
- One side dug in harder, and insulted those who did not share their beliefs
- Everyone disappeared, as Canadians, it just isn't that important to our daily life

Really, Canadians are tolerant of others, and generally only turn them off (or turn away from their thinking) when they get rigid/militant/dogmatic/insulting. Excepting a few of us, religion simply just doesn't become something to fight over.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Canada
7,309 posts, read 9,322,889 times
Reputation: 9858
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterMcTavish View Post
I did like this bit myself, actually made me LOL.

That being said guys, I think this discussion is better handled in the Religion section. MOS wondered about religion in Canada, and I think he saw the final answer, and something that does make us different than the US.

- Both sides dug in
- One side dug in harder, and insulted those who did not share their beliefs
- Everyone disappeared, as Canadians, it just isn't that important to our daily life

Really, Canadians are tolerant of others, and generally only turn them off (or turn away from their thinking) when they get rigid/militant/dogmatic/insulting. Excepting a few of us, religion simply just doesn't become something to fight over.
Wrt your last sentence, I was beginning to wonder about that since my impression previous to this thread was the same - that Canadians don't tend to fight over things like that. Maybe it's a Manitoba thing.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:15 AM
 
291 posts, read 476,444 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
Neither is reasonable, given a complete lack of evidence.
So you think probability and "external" facts (such as the factual existence of the neighbor's cat) are completely irrelevant in the formulation of presumptions and hypotheses?
Quote:
I would agree that the existence of medieval atheists is more likely than that of God. However, the point was that, in order for your arguments to be correct, you were willing to make assumptions contrary to what the evidence showed. That is precisely the thought process that theists use to justify their own beliefs.
Oh, but those are not assumptions.
I am not "assuming" that there was hostility towards non believers in the past, I think that's pretty well documented.
I am also not "assuming" that a lot of people would rather keep their mouths shut than get killed or marginalized, because that's something that still happens in some countries today.

So if, anything, saying that might have been atheists before the first official declaration is a presumption, based on certain facts and probability. It might be completely untrue, but it's not just entirely made up either. (Which is why I presented it as such, and not as a fact)

Quote:
This leaves us, more or less, where we were several posts ago. Since we cannot conclude that medieval or early Renaissance atheists did exist, we cannot conclude that those great thinkers were atheists (some, including our prior example, Newton, were explicitly theist).

That leaves your previous argument of context as the only viable defense, which could also be applied to a large number of modern theists.
That ignores my second point though, which is context. Lack of knowledge and access to knowledge is important in determining whether someone can be considered intelligent or not. Rational decisions can only be made based on one's knowledge.
Therefore, my original statement is still valid when applied to people who are alive today, and have access to the internet. Obviously a rich person who believes in God and a farmer in Bangladesh cannot be treated equally in this regard.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,938,758 times
Reputation: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparappa View Post
So you think probability and "external" facts (such as the factual existence of the neighbor's cat) are completely irrelevant in the formulation of presumptions and hypotheses?
"must have been" implies a definitive conclusion, which cannot be reached in either case.

Quote:
That ignores my second point though, which is context. Lack of knowledge and access to knowledge is important in determining whether someone can be considered intelligent or not. Rational decisions can only be made based on one's knowledge.
Therefore, my original statement is still valid when applied to people who are alive today, and have access to the internet. Obviously a rich person who believes in God and a farmer in Bangladesh cannot be treated equally in this regard.
Right.

We can thus conclude that in some contexts theists can, indeed, be intelligent.
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