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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    So the irony, from the atheist's perspective, is that the theist is dancing around clapping themselves on the back, congratulating themselves that they have found "real meaning" in worshipping a god that doesn't exist. Meanwhile, the atheist goes through each day aware that meaning is what we bring to life - each and every day. It is the only kind of meaning that is actually "real." I am similarly amused when the moralizer calls themselves a "moral realist," and the while chasing a moral absolute they cannot even show exists, while the moral subjectivist/relativist goes about their day focused on the only form of morality that actually DOES exist and has reality.

    There are times when I find the whole thing very amusing.
    Right, and I'm sure that if the ant could articulate it he would say that his life had a subjective meaning - right before you stepped on him. And since when do you speak for all atheists? Do you speak for nihilistic atheists?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    No - I was demonstrating that anyone and put together a sound, deductive argument that is completely untrue, or cannot be shown to be true. I was attempting to show you that you simply strung together a set of premises that fit your desired conclusion, so you ended up with your desired conclusion. You didn't actually prove anything or show anything to be true.
    No Carp, I was speaking of this:

    Seer, anyone can string together a sound syllogism.

    P1) I value life
    P2) A thing that is value should not be destroyed indiscriminately
    C) I should not destroy life indiscriminately
    That is not a sound deductive argument, yet you thought it was until I called you on it. And your little syllogism above didn't prove anything either. So what is your point about proof?


    Account for? You mean using the principles of reason to prove the principles of reason exist? Seer - you are on a fools errand. There is a reason they are called "a priori truths." You see - you have to accept them as true in order to use them to prove they are true - and round and round you go...

    Are you admitting that you can not account for logical absolutes? And who decides what is an a priori truth is? Do you use rationality to decided? In other words you first need the principles of reason to accept or discover a priori truths. One big circle. The fact is Carp you can not account for logical absolutes.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  3. #93
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Because, as I noted, it's the definition "as it relates to this context".
    I have to admit that I don't see how the definition that has to do with "implied meaning" (as in a look that everyone understands) is particularly relevant in this context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    So what? If God doesn't exist then sentience is nothing more that an accident of evolution and doesn't confer any "hidden or special significance".
    MM, if god DOES exist, then god derives meaning, assuming this god is sentient. As soon as humanity was made sentient (i.e., evolution, creation, etc.), then man gained the ability to derive meaning. I'm not sure why you think this "hidden or special significance" is relevant. I presume you think it is superior? That's "god's meaning" is somehow more meaningful than "my meaning?" If so, I have not clue how you get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    You're just picking an arbitrary attribute that we happen to possess and begging the question that it makes us inherently special.
    Who said "special?"

    I said we are sentient - so we can derive meaning. A tree cannot. It's a fact of existence. I never claimed anything "special" except that we have an attribute the tree doesn't. It can photosynthesize and I can't - so it has an attribute I do not possess. That doesn't make me any more "special" than the tree. I have no idea what your point here is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    It's not that you need to, it's that you can't.
    So what? If I don't need to do something, why is the fact that I can't even relevant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Tell me, how would you talk an existential nihilist, who believes that people who claim to have found meaning are either dishonest or deluded, out of putting a bullet in his head?
    I would try to find out if there is anything in their life they find worth living for, and put that in front of them. Since we are all human, and we hare many common experiences/likes/needs, I would use my own experiences as a starting place, until I can uncover something that is particularly meaningful to them. If I can't, they will probably shoot themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Especially seeing how you have no rational basis to disagree with him?
    What on earth does that have to do with anything? Meaning is not universal except in so far as the things we agree jointly to assign meaning to. Language is a good example. We create words to represent some aspect of reality, and the words either gain wide acceptance and get added to our dictionary, or they become local colloquialisms the rest of the world is indifferent to, or they can even be constrained to an exchange between twins that no one else understands because they are not privy to the meanings of the symbols.

    You seem to be wanting to universalize meaning - which is pretty much where I predicted you would go. Meaning derived by an individual is "meaningless." Only meaning derived by god is "meaningful." That's a pretty arbitrary distinction.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  4. #94
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Who said "special?"
    It's in the definition: "implication of a hidden or special significance." You claim that sentience grants us this quality, but that's just you begging the question. The fact is that if atheism is true then our lives have no "hidden or special significance".

    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Meaning is not universal...
    The qualification being "if atheism is true", which is exactly my point. And if atheism is true then whatever "meaning" you think you've found is nothing more than a fiction you tell yourself to help you get out of bed in the morning. The fact that you have no defense against this line of reasoning is significant.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  5. #95
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    It's interesting to hear an atheist's perspective on things. That said, you're begging the question rather a lot here. (Not that theists don't do that either, mind you)

    I doubt you can demonstrate that God doesn't exist, and I doubt that you can even demonstrate that a Christian cannot be rationally justified in believing that God exists. I don't think that it can be demonstrated (in the sense of 'undeniably prove') that God does exist, so IMHO it's possible to be a rational and reasonable atheist (at least for now), just as one can be a rationally justified Christian. But pointing and cackling at the 'other side' for not being able to demonstrate as true something that you can't demonstrate is false is unproductive.
    I have been clear, form the outset, that I conclude belief in god is a matter of faith - whether you believe such a being exists, or believe it does not. I think the theist makes a lot of irrational leaps, and engages in a great deal of "arguments from uncertainty" to arrive at "god exists," and from that basis then makes some amazing statements about their level of certainty and absolute knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    Elsewhere you said something that makes me wonder if by 'subjective morality' you mean something like the idea that everyone chooses the moral values that they live by, and hence they are subjective. I'd like to point out that that is completely compatible with the Christian's position, which is that there are moral values that are true and real irrespective of what people think about them. So your second paragraph is completely begging the question, in that it assumes that there is no meaning other than what we humans create ourselves, and no moral truths other than those we choose to value.
    So, a little off here. The first part is correct: we all derive our moral values. "Choose" is not a word I would use, nit because it isn't accurate - but because it conveys the connotation of a degree of randomness. That is a drum the average moral absolutist/objectivist loves to pound, so I prefer not to feed that misconception. But I have been very clear that I think the Christian is not exempt from this process. The moral average absolutist/objectivist is still left trying to figure out which of the slate of "absolute/objective" moral principles that have been put forward since the dawn of man is the "right" one, and then to interpret that slate.

    But the latter part of your statement is a bit off. I did not say there is no meaning outside of what humans create - I said meaning is a function of sentience. It is the sentient mind that derives meaning. Assuming god exists and is sentient, then god too would derive meaning. But there is no "meaning" if there is no mind to conceive it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    I notice the subjectivity that you hold to in morality slowly creeping to other areas (as I previously said it would). How long before you abandon objective truth in everything?
    Why would I do that? Truth is nothing more than the alignment between a statement/claim and reality. Truth exists where there is alignment between statement and reality, and does not exist when there is no such alignment. How could I conclude "objective truth does not exist?"

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    I think that's the ultimate outcome of your present beliefs. If morality is necessarily subjective because we all choose the values we live by, then everything is subjective, because we are all individuals with unique perspectives and experiences.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    Who can say that what you experience when you see 'green' is what I experience when I see 'green'?
    We can't. Indeed, it is very likely what we each experience as "green" is slightly different. That is because the experience of "green" is within the mind, and the reality that creates the experience "green" is received from different physical places and/or at different times (i.e., we can't both be in the same place at the same time), filtered through the receptors (eyes), electrical plumbing (nerves), as interpreted in our central processor (brain). Any difference between our location/time, receptors, electrical plumbing, and processing can alter the experience of "green." That does not change the fact that the object we are both looking at is absorbing particular wavelengths of photons and reflecting others to our receptors. The object we are looking at is objectively real (or so we have to assume), but our experience of it is subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    I'd hate to see you end up a complete subjectivist, because (a) it's false, and (b) it's unliveable and will destroy your relationships and your life.
    I don't know what a "complete subjectivist" is, but I can tell you that, so far, quite the opposite is true. Recognizing the uniqueness of our experiences gives me the ability to empathize more. When my wife reacts to something differently than I, I can appreciate that there is something going on for her that is not the same as what is going on for me - even if we are looking at the same things. It colors all parts of my life - though imperfectly, I will acknowledge. There are some behaviors that I still find difficult to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    Lastly, my main objection to your position on morality is not that I think I can prove or demonstrate to your satisfaction the existence of objectively true moral values, but that you yourself don't live as if what you believe is true is actually true. That is, you act as if morality is objective (in your arguments for your moral values, the language you use, and the effort you put in to arguing). I think others here have the same objection, so your response above in the second paragraph rather misses the point.
    I get that a lot, and it simply is not true. But I doubt I will convince anyone here of that. There appears to be this underlying belief that the moral absolutist/objectivist has that someone who is a moral relativist/subjectivist is therefore required to "honor" everyone else's moral code. As if we are supposed to say to the Maoist that Seer continually refers to, "Oh - you believe that it is moral to murder others to further your own power? Alrighty then. Good on you, mate. Off you go. Stick to your guns, comrade!"

    When we derive a moral framework, we use that framework to not only assess our own behavior - but that of any other sentient being around us. We hold the moral framework because we believe it is best. We recognize that if all humans valued as we value, and moralized as we moralize, the world would conform to our idea of "best." So we strive to convince those around us to adopt our views. We gather with those who share our views to have a society that aligns with our idea of "best," and for protection against those who do not so align. When we cannot convince others to share our views, we resort to the only options possible: ignore (for the trivial things), isolate/separate (for the more concerning things) or contend (for the most critical things).

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxVel View Post
    If you have time or inclination, look at the most recent pages of the 'Buttgeig v Trump' thread where Tassman has run smack into the same problem.
    I've been following the thread, and have elected not to add my voice to the discussion. Frankly, the conversation seems more about who is and is not a Christian than a real discussion on morality. I'm not interested in trying to define who is or is not a Christian. That is for Christians to concern themselves with. If Buttigieg claims to be Christian, and the externality of his beliefs aligns with at least some Christian sects, then I'll take him at his word. There are Christians who accept homosexuals, and Christians who do not. There are Christians who accept the concept of the Trinity, and Christians who do not. There are even Christians who believe Jesus was the son of god, and some who do not. I realize many on one side or the other of each of those issues will point to the other side and claim vehemently that the others are NOT Christians. That is their concern. It is not something I engage in.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I think the theist makes a lot of irrational leaps...
    For instance?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

  7. #97
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    And none of the above precludes morality from being objective, or, if there is an absolute moral framework, people from being able to discover and align their own moral values with that framework.
    In general, Chrawnus, I tend not to accept as real something that a) cannot be shown to exist, and b) there is a simpler explanation for "how things work." Subjective/relative morality is visible all around us. It explains the dynamics we see in humanity. It is a cleaner, simpler explanation for "how things work."

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    Based on the fact that I've never seen you sufficiently demonstrate your view that morality is by nature subjective I can only conclude that this is simply you begging the question.
    That has been the subject of many threads. I'll leave you to your conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    Your comparisons with an atheist who is living like a theist, or the person who believes they are a dog is simply not valid. You've in no way shape or form been able to show that it's impossible for an absolute moral framework to exist, or, if it exists, that it's impossible to find out how that moral framework looks like and choose to adopt it.
    Impossible? Yes, I would say "impossible" because it simply flies in the face of what morality is within each of us: a set of behavioral codes that we use to sort "ought to do" from "ought not do." Look - we humans are constantly making decisions about action. I ought do this. I ought not do that. We do so for whether or not we should put chlorine in the pool, mow the lawn, have dinner at that restaurant, or kill our neighbor in their sleep. All of these decisions are rooted in what we value. But we value across a wide continuum: from the innocuous and trivial (the look of our lawn) to the significant (the value of life itself). All of these decisions are like in kind - they simply differ in "criticality" as each of us measures it. We use the word "moral" and "immoral" in place of "ought" and "ought not" for those actions on the more "critical" end of that continuum.

    Seer is right - there is no difference in kind between "I ought not eat that pizza" and "I ought not kill that man." The difference is in degree - in depth of valuing. It is entirely possible (though not particularly probable) that one person will be wired in such a way that "pizza" is valued above "life," leading to what most of us would see as a bizarre (and dangerous) moral code. It happens all the time for other things, though. Money above life. Power above life. Happiness above life. When someone who has such a moral code, we can try to convince them to moralize otherwise. If we cannot do so successfully, then we will act to protect ourselves. In this case, the issue is critical enough to most of us that "ignore" won't be adequate, so we will either isolate/separate (i.e., put in jail or exile) or contend (wage war, etc.).

    This is what we see all around us every day. You (and others) want to claim that there is a "moral absolute" in much the same way that there are mathematical and logical absolutes. But you confront a simple problem: if all sentience in the universe were to end right now, there would still be two planets between this one and the sun of this solar system. And there would still be six others, and the total would still be nine. There would be no one to say those words, or use those symbols, but the reality would exist. If there were no sentience, a thing would still not be able to exist and not exist at the same time and in the same way. But there would be no "morality." "Thou shalt not kill" would not exist as a concept or a principle. If non-sentient life continued, killing would exist. But the idea that there is something bad or wrong or undesirable about it, or that it ought not be done, would simply cease to be. It is not possible to conceive of a mindless universe with "moral" principles. It is possible to conceive of a mindless universe in which 2 + 2 is still 4 and a thing can still not "exist" and "not exist" at the same time and in the same way.
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 06-13-2019 at 08:36 AM.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  8. #98
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Right, and I'm sure that if the ant could articulate it he would say that his life had a subjective meaning - right before you stepped on him.
    This is a non-sequitur - unless you can show that "ant" has "mind." If it did - then it would indeed believe it's existence had meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    And since when do you speak for all atheists?
    Ahh... I said "the atheist" instead of "this atheist." You are right to catch me on it. I speak for myself. Other atheists will have to speak for themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Do you speak for nihilistic atheists?
    I generally speak for my own beliefs.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  9. #99
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    No Carp, I was speaking of this:
    So was I. That was exactly what I was referring to.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    That is not a sound deductive argument, yet you thought it was until I called you on it. And your little syllogism above didn't prove anything either. So what is your point about proof?
    Seer, that argument is perfectly sound. If you think otherwise, I suggest you research the concept of soundness in an argument. Or perhaps Max or Chrawnus can chime in. I suspect you will take their word where you will not take mine. Gentlemen - is this argument sound?

    P1) I value life
    P2) A thing that is valued should not be destroyed indiscriminately
    C) I should not destroy life indiscriminately

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Are you admitting that you can not account for logical absolutes?
    I am noting that no one can account for logical absolutes without engaging in a circular argument: You have to use the logical absolutes you are trying to account for to show they exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    And who decides what is an a priori truth is?
    Actually, my ancient philosophical roots (and dust) are showing. I have been using "a priori" as synonymous with "self-evident." Technically, it means a thing that can be known through reasoning alone - with recourse to experience. An example would be, "if that bread costs at least four dollars, then it costs more than three dollars." Reason alone tells us this statement is true. We do not need any experiences to tell us it is true. The statement "That bread costs $4.22," is an example of an a posteriori statement: the truth of it cannot be determined without resort to experience.

    The basic laws of logic are descriptions of how reasoning work. You have to use them to even make the argument you are trying to make, which is badly begging the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Do you use rationality to decided?
    To decide what is a priori and what is a posteriori? Yes. We use the laws of logic - which we accept as self-evidently true.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    In other words you first need the principles of reason to accept or discover a priori truths. One big circle. The fact is Carp you can not account for logical absolutes.
    Seer, the basic laws of logic are considered self-evidently true for no other reason than our minds cannot grasp them NOT being true. So we begin with these three basic principles and build from there to other conclusions. There is no circle here. At no point am I trying (as you are) to use the basic laws of reason to prove the source of the basic laws of reason.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    It's in the definition: "implication of a hidden or special significance."
    MM, you are adding a whole lot to what I am saying that is not there. The specific definition you chose is in the context of statements like "a meaningful glance." I look at you and the way I look at you conveys a meaning that can be significant or "special" to the two of us. At no point have I suggested that humans are somehow "special" because we can derive meaning - nor does that particular definition of "meaning" imply that "all meaning is special." You're reaching badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    You claim that sentience grants us this quality, but that's just you begging the question.
    How is noting that assigning mean is a function of sentience "begging the question?" Can you conceive of a mindless universe in which "meaning" still exists?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    The fact is that if atheism is true then our lives have no "hidden or special significance".
    The fact is, if atheism is true, then we remain sentient and we continue to have the ability to derive meaning. There is no contradiction in noting that with or without a god, I can find meaning in a poem, understand the meaning of words, or give my wife a rose that is meaningful. And Mom and Dad will still have the ability to give kids "that look" that is rife with "hidden and special meaning."

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    The qualification being "if atheism is true", which is exactly my point. And if atheism is true then whatever "meaning" you think you've found is nothing more than a fiction you tell yourself to help you get out of bed in the morning.
    Why is it a "fiction?" Unless, of course, you are trying to say that the only TRUE meaning is the absolute/external meaning. You will recall I predicted you would get here, right...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    The fact that you have no defense against this line of reasoning is significant.
    MM - you are arbitrarily declaring any meaning that the human mind derives as "meaningless." I don't need a defense against your statement. You're defining your way to a conclusion you want to have. Sorry, but meaning is meaning. Any sentient mind can derive it. Language does not become "meaningless" because it is derived by the human mind. You are simply declaring by fiat that meaning derived by humans is "meaningless" and (presumably) meaning derived by god is "meaningful." Other than declaring it - you haven't offered a shred of proof - except to note that we are finite (we are), we are the product of evolution (we are) and any meaning we derive is limited and finite (it is). That does not make it "meaningless." It makes it finite and limited.
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 06-13-2019 at 08:41 AM.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

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