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  1. #101
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    For instance?
    That's a LONG list, Seer - most of which has been discussed before. The leaps differ in detail by religion. But every religion I have encountered bends itself into a pretzel to ascribe attributes to god that are often irrational - and most religions simply try to replace "I don't know" with "god did it." Your argument about "logical foundations for reason" is a great example. At its heart, you are arguing that because there is no naturalistic explanation for the laws of reason, "god did it." But you have to engage in a badly circular argument to get there.

    I don't find a need to twist myself into such pretzels. I am fine with the "self-evident" nature of the laws of reason, and proceeding from there.
    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

  2. #102
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    If it did - then it would indeed believe it's existence had meaning.
    Yes, right before you stepped on it. Suggesting that his meaning, like yours, is as substantial as smoke....


    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.
    Yes, the other rational atheists who understand the nihilistic implication of their atheism...
    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. #103
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Yes, right before you stepped on it. Suggesting that his meaning, like yours, is as substantial as smoke....
    And who says meaning has to be "eternal" or "absolute" to be real, Seer? You? On what basis?

    I live and will die - am I therefore not real?
    The earth will go out of existence eventually - is it therefore not real?
    The sun will blink out of existence eventually - is it therefore not real?

    Where is it written that for a thing to be "real" it must be eternal or absolute? How did that get added to the definition of "real" or "true?"

    Yes, the meanings I derive are transient and will someday end. That does not make them "unreal." They are quite real - as long as they last.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Yes, the other rational atheists who understand the nihilistic implication of their atheism...
    What exactly is it you think I don't understand?
    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. #104
    tWebber Adrift'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. And since when do you speak for all atheists? Do you speak for nihilistic atheists?
    He doesn't. As Russell himself stated,

    “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built."

    Or as atheist philosopher Alex Rosenberg puts it in The Atheist's Guide to Reality,

    "Here is a list of some of the questions and their short answers The rest of the book explains the answers in more detail. Given what we know from the sciences, the answers are all pretty obvious. The interesting thing is to recognize how totally unavoidable they are, provided you place your confidence in science to provide the answers.

    Is there a God? No.
    What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is.
    What is the purpose of the universe? There is none.
    What is the meaning of life? Ditto.
    Why am I here? Just dumb luck.
    Does prayer work? Of course not.
    Is there a soul? Is it immortal? Are you kidding?
    Is there free will? Not a chance!
    What happens when we die? Everything pretty much goes on as before, except us.
    What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? There is no moral difference between them.
    Why should I be moral? Because it makes you feel better than being immoral.
    Is abortion, euthanasia, suicide, paying taxes, foreign aid, or anything else you don't like forbidden, permissible, or sometimes obligatory? Anything goes.
    What is love, and how can I find it? Love is the solution to a strategic interaction problem. Don't look for it; it will find you when you need it.
    Does history have any meaning or purpose? It's full of sound and fury, but signifies nothing.
    Does the human past have any lessons for our future? Fewer and fewer, if it ever had any to begin with."


    "When it comes to making life meaningful, what secular humanists hanker after is something they can't have and don't need. What they do need, if meaninglessness makes it impossible to get out of bed in the morning, is Prozac."


    In a Godless world where there is no cosmic justice, and where morality is purely subjective, imagine telling the young victim of the holocaust that "meaning is what we bring to life," while her captor escapes punishment and leads a long and fulfilling life in Argentina believing that his actions were just and noble. Life on this planet is often harsh and cruel, with most people throughout history scratching and clawing just to survive. The absurdity of someone sitting comfortably in their middle class home in the developed West, with all of the freedoms afforded them by 2000 years of Christian influence, asserting that morality and meaning is ultimately subjective, but "gosh darnit, just carve out your own meaning. It's just as real."

  5. #105
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    That's a LONG list, Seer - most of which has been discussed before. The leaps differ in detail by religion. But every religion I have encountered bends itself into a pretzel to ascribe attributes to god that are often irrational - and most religions simply try to replace "I don't know" with "god did it." Your argument about "logical foundations for reason" is a great example. At its heart, you are arguing that because there is no naturalistic explanation for the laws of reason, "god did it." But you have to engage in a badly circular argument to get there.

    I don't find a need to twist myself into such pretzels. I am fine with the "self-evident" nature of the laws of reason, and proceeding from there.
    I just asked for one for instance. You tend to paint with a broad brush, with no real justification. And no I did not argue that because there is no naturalistic explanation for the laws of logic that God did it. I said that a rational immutable God accounts for the universal logical absolutes - which are not physical in nature, but conceptual. And that atheism can not account for for universal conceptual truths. On any level. So it is much more that just saying that God did it.
    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...

  6. #106
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    "When it comes to making life meaningful, what secular humanists hanker after is something they can't have and don't need. What they do need, if meaninglessness makes it impossible to get out of bed in the morning, is Prozac."
    LOL... I wonder if Carp is on meds...


    In a Godless world where there is no cosmic justice, and where morality is purely subjective, imagine telling the young victim of the holocaust that "meaning is what we bring to life," while her captor escapes punishment and leads a long and fulfilling life in Argentina believing that his actions were just and noble. Life on this planet is often harsh and cruel, with most people throughout history scratching and clawing just to survive. The absurdity of someone sitting comfortably in their middle class home in the developed West, with all of the freedoms afforded them by 2000 years of Christian influence, asserting that morality and meaning is ultimately subjective, but "gosh darnit, just carve out your own meaning. It's just as real."
    Yep...
    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. #107
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    He doesn't. As Russell himself stated,

    “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built."

    Or as atheist philosopher Alex Rosenberg puts it in The Atheist's Guide to Reality,

    "Here is a list of some of the questions and their short answers The rest of the book explains the answers in more detail. Given what we know from the sciences, the answers are all pretty obvious. The interesting thing is to recognize how totally unavoidable they are, provided you place your confidence in science to provide the answers.

    Is there a God? No.
    What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is.
    What is the purpose of the universe? There is none.
    What is the meaning of life? Ditto.
    Why am I here? Just dumb luck.
    Does prayer work? Of course not.
    Is there a soul? Is it immortal? Are you kidding?
    Is there free will? Not a chance!
    What happens when we die? Everything pretty much goes on as before, except us.
    What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? There is no moral difference between them.
    Why should I be moral? Because it makes you feel better than being immoral.
    Is abortion, euthanasia, suicide, paying taxes, foreign aid, or anything else you don't like forbidden, permissible, or sometimes obligatory? Anything goes.
    What is love, and how can I find it? Love is the solution to a strategic interaction problem. Don't look for it; it will find you when you need it.
    Does history have any meaning or purpose? It's full of sound and fury, but signifies nothing.
    Does the human past have any lessons for our future? Fewer and fewer, if it ever had any to begin with."


    "When it comes to making life meaningful, what secular humanists hanker after is something they can't have and don't need. What they do need, if meaninglessness makes it impossible to get out of bed in the morning, is Prozac."
    I've never seen this list. Here are my responses:

    • Is there a God? No.
    • What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is.
    • What is the purpose of the universe? There is none.
    • What is the meaning of life? Whatever I make it to be
    • Why am I here? The process of evolution
    • Does prayer work? Sometimes
    • Is there a soul? There is "mind" Is it immortal? No.
    • Is there free will? I have no idea. I experience free will, so that's good enough for me.
    • What happens when we die? I like Keanu Reeve's answer: the people who love us will miss us.
    • What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? Right is what we have determined we ought do, wrong is what we have determined we ought not do. What promotes/enhances/protects what we value we call "good" and what diminishes/threatens/degrades what we value we call "bad."
    • Why should I be moral? Because, in a society, it maximizes the probability that what I value will be protected/promoted/enhanced.
    • Is abortion, euthanasia, suicide, paying taxes, foreign aid, or anything else you don't like forbidden, permissible, or sometimes obligatory? That depends on the moral code of the person making the assessment.
    • What is love, and how can I find it? Love is an intense feeling of deep affection and/or a choice of action
    • Does history have any meaning or purpose? History is nothing more than the story of what has gone before. It has meaning if we wish to learn from it. It has purpose if it has meaning.
    • Does the human past have any lessons for our future? Absolutely. Those not willing to learn from the past will end up repeating it - the bad as well as the good.



    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    In a Godless world where there is no cosmic justice, and where morality is purely subjective, imagine telling the young victim of the holocaust that "meaning is what we bring to life," while her captor escapes punishment and leads a long and fulfilling life in Argentina believing that his actions were just and noble. Life on this planet is often harsh and cruel, with most people throughout history scratching and clawing just to survive. The absurdity of someone sitting comfortably in their middle class home in the developed West, with all of the freedoms afforded them by 2000 years of Christian influence, asserting that morality and meaning is ultimately subjective, but "gosh darnit, just carve out your own meaning. It's just as real."
    And now you get to one of the primary reasons I think people cling to the notion of a god: it just makes them feel better to think that the "bad guys" get it in the end. Otherwise, how unfair is that! I mean, really.

    But the fact is, sometimes the bad guys get away with it. Sometimes there is no justice. Sometimes life is cruel. If inventing a god to avoid having to face that reality makes you feel better, by all means invent a god. Or adopt one humanity has already invented for you. I prefer to simply face what seems to me to be pretty obvious: sometimes, life isn't fair - and that's life.
    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. #108
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I just asked for one for instance.
    Ummm...I gave you one. Did you miss it?

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    You tend to paint with a broad brush, with no real justification.
    In discussions as in art, Seer, sometimes a broad brush is the right tool, and sometimes we need that fine brush for the details. I'm sure I have used the wrong brush in the wrong place more than once. All I can say is, "I try not to."

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    And no I did not argue that because there is no naturalistic explanation for the laws of logic that God did it. I said that a rational immutable God accounts for the universal logical absolutes - which are not physical in nature, but conceptual.
    Which you did by crafting a sound argument (presumably) that cannot be shown to be true but gets you exactly to the conclusion you want, using the very laws of logic you are attempting to show a foundation for. By any definition, Seer, that is a circular (and unsupported) argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    And that atheism can not account for for universal conceptual truths. On any level. So it is much more that just saying that God did it.
    Atheism cannot "account" for them, Seer, because to do so would involve getting into the same kind of circular argument you are currently putting forward. When there IS no argument, the wise man says, "there is no argument here." The laws of logic are self-evidently true. We cannot conceive of them being otherwise. They are part and parcel of how the universe works. I also cannot account for the laws of gravitation, strong and weak nuclear force, or electromagnetism, though I can observe them and recognize them and quantify them.

    And you are indeed slipping into that gap with "god did it" using a highly flawed and circular argument. Sorry, Seer - but it just won't fly.
    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. #109
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    The fact is, if atheism is true, then we remain sentient and we continue to have the ability to derive meaning.
    We can also use our sentience to derive "meaning" out of a random pattern in a rock. So what? That doesn't make it true or rational.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Why is it a "fiction?"
    Because it's something you make up and that has no grounding in reason. You think that public service gives your life "meaning". Someone else might think that cheating the elderly out of their retirement savings gives his life "meaning". For that matter, someone could think that undoing all of your work is the source of their "meaning". If atheism is true then one source of "meaning" is as good as any other. It literally doesn't matter. It's just something you arbitrarily latch on to in order to get through the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    MM - you are arbitrarily declaring any meaning that the human mind derives as "meaningless."
    I haven't declared anything. All I've done is point out the logical implications of your own worldview.
    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

  10. Amen Adrift, Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
  11. #110
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    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
    Carp you already admitted that this was an inductive argument (which tend towards fallacies), not deductive. In other words you were countering my deductive argument with an inductive.



    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.

    Well no, I don't start with logical absolutes - I start with God. I thought that was obvious...

    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 fact that you can not grasp how it could be otherwise is not deductive justification, it certainly is not justification 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...

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