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thoughts on the supernatural

000ike
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11/25/2012 7:32:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why do so many people's personal beliefs or religions or philosophies revolve around circumventing nature? Forget about the science involved, those beliefs don't even pass the test of logical cogency. I don't see how something can be non-physical or supernatural. We do not establish a series of laws that govern nature, against which any deviation would be considered "supernatural"....rather, we observe nature and then try to make sense of it according to its occurrences. So what does it mean for something to be supernatural? It must mean nothing! If it occurred in nature (aka if it occurred at all), then it is certainly natural. Likewise, what does it mean for something to be non-physical? If it has the power to affect everything else that's putatively physical, then it certainly is a physical thing as well. In short, anything with observable influence on this reality is a part of nature.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
phantom
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11/25/2012 7:51:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Define supernatural first. It seems like you're equating it with immaterialism.

Depending on how you define it, I have no idea whether anything is supernatural or not. Seems like it could solve some epistemic problems but that's just speculation.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
000ike
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11/25/2012 8:00:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/25/2012 7:51:32 PM, phantom wrote:
Define supernatural first. It seems like you're equating it with immaterialism.

Depending on how you define it, I have no idea whether anything is supernatural or not. Seems like it could solve some epistemic problems but that's just speculation.

I'm not equating the two. I mention them both separately and refer to them both separately in the OP. And supernatural does not have an ambiguous definition, so didn't really need to be defined either. It means, plainly, beyond nature. In the manner that "supernatural" is intuited, there's an assumption that nature has some sort of order that is occasionally, inexplicably transgressed,...and so they call it supernatural, will the implicit idea that it somehow bypassed nature.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
phantom
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11/25/2012 8:02:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/25/2012 8:00:22 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/25/2012 7:51:32 PM, phantom wrote:
Define supernatural first. It seems like you're equating it with immaterialism.

Depending on how you define it, I have no idea whether anything is supernatural or not. Seems like it could solve some epistemic problems but that's just speculation.

I'm not equating the two. I mention them both separately and refer to them both separately in the OP. And supernatural does not have an ambiguous definition, so didn't really need to be defined either. It means, plainly, beyond nature. In the manner that "supernatural" is intuited, there's an assumption that nature has some sort of order that is occasionally, inexplicably transgressed,...and so they call it supernatural, will the implicit idea that it somehow bypassed nature.

k
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
FREEDO
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11/26/2012 5:48:37 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Generally, when it comes to anything that humans use their higher faculties for, we have no idea what we mean when we say half the things we say.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

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Kinesis
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11/26/2012 5:56:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I don't see how you get to the conclusion that non-natural things can never interact with natural things. It isn't obvious to me why that would be the case. I'm not saying supernaturalists don't have work to do explaining just how that happens, but what makes you assume its impossibility?
FREEDO
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11/26/2012 5:57:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 5:56:04 AM, Kinesis wrote:
I don't see how you get to the conclusion that non-natural things can never interact with natural things. It isn't obvious to me why that would be the case. I'm not saying supernaturalists don't have work to do explaining just how that happens, but what makes you assume its impossibility?

I'm pretty sure he's just asking for someone to give a clear explanation of what supernatural is supposed to mean in the first place.
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Ren
Posts: 7,102
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11/26/2012 6:29:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/25/2012 7:32:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why do so many people's personal beliefs or religions or philosophies revolve around circumventing nature? Forget about the science involved, those beliefs don't even pass the test of logical cogency. I don't see how something can be non-physical or supernatural. We do not establish a series of laws that govern nature, against which any deviation would be considered "supernatural"....rather, we observe nature and then try to make sense of it according to its occurrences. So what does it mean for something to be supernatural? It must mean nothing! If it occurred in nature (aka if it occurred at all), then it is certainly natural. Likewise, what does it mean for something to be non-physical? If it has the power to affect everything else that's putatively physical, then it certainly is a physical thing as well. In short, anything with observable influence on this reality is a part of nature.

"Supernatural" is something, someone, or somewhere that observably belies one's understanding of "natural" (normative) reality.

So, whereas some sort of rare and unique physical manifestation may appear supernatural to the layman, but not to a scientist that would be familiar with it, phenomena that supersedes even a scientist's worldview will appear supernatural to that scientist.

In this way, you could even say that it's an easy way to categorize things that cannot be categorized otherwise. An exciting explanation with which one can be satisfied until more information is garnered.
Kinesis
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11/26/2012 6:46:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 6:29:02 AM, Ren wrote:
"Supernatural" is something, someone, or somewhere that observably belies one's understanding of "natural" (normative) reality.

So, whereas some sort of rare and unique physical manifestation may appear supernatural to the layman, but not to a scientist that would be familiar with it, phenomena that supersedes even a scientist's worldview will appear supernatural to that scientist.

In this way, you could even say that it's an easy way to categorize things that cannot be categorized otherwise. An exciting explanation with which one can be satisfied until more information is garnered.

The problem is, it's easy to define supernatural as 'not natural' or 'outside of the ordinary course of events' but that tells you what supernatural things aren't . Where's the explanation of what they actually are?
Ren
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11/26/2012 6:53:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 6:46:41 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 11/26/2012 6:29:02 AM, Ren wrote:
"Supernatural" is something, someone, or somewhere that observably belies one's understanding of "natural" (normative) reality.

So, whereas some sort of rare and unique physical manifestation may appear supernatural to the layman, but not to a scientist that would be familiar with it, phenomena that supersedes even a scientist's worldview will appear supernatural to that scientist.

In this way, you could even say that it's an easy way to categorize things that cannot be categorized otherwise. An exciting explanation with which one can be satisfied until more information is garnered.

The problem is, it's easy to define supernatural as 'not natural' or 'outside of the ordinary course of events' but that tells you what supernatural things aren't . Where's the explanation of what they actually are?

Well, determining what supernatural isn't, is the point, isn't it? The word isn't it's own, root word with a unique meaning. It is literally an elaboration on another word. In this case, the word "supernatural" translates into the statement "above or beyond what is natural or normative." Therefore, supernatural would literally be defined as what isn't natural or normative.
Sidewalker
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11/26/2012 7:24:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/25/2012 7:32:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
Why do so many people's personal beliefs or religions or philosophies revolve around circumventing nature?

Do you have an example of this? If you are just expressing your contempt for people who are spiritual, well duh, we all know how you feel and we all know it"s a strictly emotive feeling you have. But this is a debate site, the question becomes, is there a logical argument here, something besides emotional semantics games and baseless declarations that you are more logical and intelligent than people who have spiritual beliefs.

Forget about the science involved, those beliefs don't even pass the test of logical cogency.

You want to talk about circumventing nature, but you want to forget about science? That isn"t a very logically cogent start.

I don't see how something can be non-physical or supernatural.

OK, I get why you want to forget science now. This comment is a typical agenda based fallacy that presumes a hundred year old materialist determinism that science has moved well beyond, it does in fact, forget about science. A large part of current science examines non-physical realities, including other dimensions, and the fact is that real science doesn"t say that you can reduce all of reality to a single ontological level; it certainly doesn"t in any way say that all of reality is purely physical, it is only scientism that says that, and scientism isn"t science. Scientism does not "pass the test of logical cogency".

We do not establish a series of laws that govern nature, against which any deviation would be considered "supernatural"....rather, we observe nature and then try to make sense of it according to its occurrences.

OK, so we aren"t forgetting about science, that"s good, it means there might be something of a debatable argument here.

So what does it mean for something to be supernatural?

I suppose you would have to define the word "supernatural" to get at what it means for something to be supernatural. The way it"s typically used it"s a just a meaningless word for a category of things people want to say have no ontological existence as a matter of faith, and they use it to give the false appearance that there is an ontological argument hidden somewhere when they don"t actually have a logically cogent argument.

It must mean nothing!

Well yeah, it certainly means nothing if you don"t define it. And of course, asking what it means and then declaring that it must mean nothing, isn"t a definition, or an argument.

If it occurred in nature (aka if it occurred at all), then it is certainly natural.

Yeah, natural and nature are definitely related words, aka by definition they are referential to each other, but that is a circular truism that doesn"t really make any point at all.

Likewise, what does it mean for something to be non-physical?

That depends, if it"s the kind of relationship your girlfriend suggested, it means you"re not going to get any, if you are talking about ontology, then I suppose it comes down to the distinction between the philosophical schools of physicalism and dualism.

If it has the power to affect everything else that's putatively physical, then it certainly is a physical thing as well. In short, anything with observable influence on this reality is a part of nature.

I really don"t think you are going to resolve the age old conflict between physicalism and dualism in favor of physicalism by using the word "putatively". Putative means "commonly put forth or accepted as true on inconclusive grounds". It is commonly accepted as true by the vast majority of people that consciousness exists, that it is not physical, and that it has effects on physical reality, in short, dualism is what is most commonly accepted, not physicalism.

In science there are plenty of things that are not physical, but that have the power to affect things that are physical, the study of immaterial entities are foundational to physics. The concept of a field in physics is not a physical or material thing, but it has an affect on physical objects. Newtonian gravity is a field that has an observable and measurable effect on anything with mass, but it is certainly an immaterial thing. In Relativity theory, gravity is a curvature of spacetime, still not a physical or material thing. Strictly speaking, physicalism is defined as "a thesis that the descriptive terms of scientific language are reducible to terms which refer to spatiotemporal things or events or to their properties". All of the unifying theories of physics postulate more dimensions, most reference ten or eleven dimensions, that is to say that reality ultimately consists of at least six additional dimensions that transcend the four dimensional frame of reference of physicalism. Physicalism is not supported by science, quite the opposite, physicalism would require the causal closure of the material world and science has abandoned any attempt to demonstrate that. In fact, Kurt Godel provided a logically consistent proof that such causal closure is impossible in principal.

Continued....
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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11/26/2012 7:27:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
...continued.

If you want to debate the distinction between "supernatural" and "natural", you will need to define "natural" and "supernatural" more explicitly. In the last century science"s natural explanations have defined reality in a way that has blurred the line between supernatural and natural. Quantum physics changed both our ideas of physical reality and our conception of rationality itself. The distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, between mind and world has become blurred; it was shown that there is no independence between the observer and the observed. On its most fundamental level science has given us particles that move from place to place without traveling the distance in between, would that qualify as a supernatural event? It"s told us that energy and matter are interconvertible, and that they demonstrate the mutually exclusive characteristics of both particles and waves, physical reality exhibits two conflicting aspects of an ultimate reality that has proven to be logically incomprehensible by the human intellect, that"s certainly not logically cogent, does that make matter and energy things you would call supernatural? The universe has been shown to be non-local in direct violation of all of our laws of physical science; does that mean the entire universe is supernatural?

Science defines space, time and motion, matter, energy and force as types of relationships rather than absolute entities. Space and time have been shown to have no independent reality apart from their connections with matter and energy - space, time, matter, and energy have been shown to be relationships that have no autonomous existence. but we have no idea what they are relationships among, science can only tell us that the natural world is contingent, and what it is contingent upon can only be postulated as something that is beyond the four dimensional frame of reference of physicalism. By your own definition of supernatural as "beyond nature", it is reasonable to say that science has concluded that everything in the universe is ultimately supernatural. If there is supposed to be an argument here, it is a self refuting one that equates natural and supernatural.

Now, I"m sure you will find this response to be some kind of attack on you; I think it"s only natural for any refuting response to an emotive expression of contempt for anyone holding a different opinion to be seen that way. But that isn"t what I"m doing, this is a debate site and this is a genuine attempt to find an argument here and respond to it. If you can define your terms and formulate a resolution then I"d be glad to debate it. If you can"t, and it"s just another emotive expression of contempt for people whose beliefs are different than yours, then the only really appropriate response is a big YAWN, and a recommendation that you should probably place such unwarranted, emotional, and faith based declarations in either the religion or personal section.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
popculturepooka
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11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.
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Sidewalker
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11/26/2012 12:07:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.

Preferably a definition that doesn't use the word natural.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Kinesis
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11/26/2012 12:39:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.

It's this kind of obsession with definitions that turns me off philosophy. Defining what gets to count as 'natural' isn't particularly important. We can define it as 'stuff made of atoms' provisionally and expand that definition as scientists uncover more of the world. Who cares? The question was, how does stuff that supernaturalists claim exists, like souls and disembodied beings like god, interact with uncontroversially physical stuff like bodies. Defining 'nature' doesn't need to come into it.
Sidewalker
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11/26/2012 12:49:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 12:39:45 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.

It's this kind of obsession with definitions that turns me off philosophy. Defining what gets to count as 'natural' isn't particularly important. We can define it as 'stuff made of atoms' provisionally and expand that definition as scientists uncover more of the world. Who cares? The question was, how does stuff that supernaturalists claim exists, like souls and disembodied beings like god, interact with uncontroversially physical stuff like bodies. Defining 'nature' doesn't need to come into it.

I don't see how you can try to make a logical distinction between what is natural and supernatural without defining the terms. Like I said above, if you define supernatural as a category that stuff you don't believe in fits into then you aren't really talking about ontology or making a logical argument, you are just declaring your faith. That would go in either personal or religion, this is the philosophy section.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Kinesis
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11/26/2012 12:57:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 12:49:07 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I don't see how you can try to make a logical distinction between what is natural and supernatural without defining the terms. Like I said above, if you define supernatural as a category that stuff you don't believe in fits into then you aren't really talking about ontology or making a logical argument, you are just declaring your faith. That would go in either personal or religion, this is the philosophy section.

You see, this isn't how actually successful subjects like chemistry operate. Scientists look at the world and try to work out what things are made of and how they work, and then fit their definitions to reality. You don't need cleanly defined categories to explain how the supernatural interacts with the natural, because we have uncontroversial examples of both. Just tell me how those operate, don't talk about definitions. Minds are supposed to control bodies somehow. How?
Sidewalker
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11/26/2012 2:32:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 12:57:04 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 11/26/2012 12:49:07 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I don't see how you can try to make a logical distinction between what is natural and supernatural without defining the terms. Like I said above, if you define supernatural as a category that stuff you don't believe in fits into then you aren't really talking about ontology or making a logical argument, you are just declaring your faith. That would go in either personal or religion, this is the philosophy section.

You see, this isn't how actually successful subjects like chemistry operate. Scientists look at the world and try to work out what things are made of and how they work, and then fit their definitions to reality. You don't need cleanly defined categories to explain how the supernatural interacts with the natural, because we have uncontroversial examples of both. Just tell me how those operate, don't talk about definitions.

So you are saying that science doesn't categorize things and it doesn't worry about being precise, really?

Minds are supposed to control bodies somehow. How?

I could tell you, but you don't really want to know, right?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
stubs
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11/26/2012 2:47:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 12:07:42 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.

Preferably a definition that doesn't use the word natural.
000ike
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11/26/2012 6:11:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.

Does it make sense to define nature in any other way than the present environment we inhabit and the occurrences therein? It doesn't. So how can something that happened supersede nature? ...unless you believe nature is some fixed plurality of laws and expectations the violation of which must be supernatural...but that is a ridiculous idea since it supposes perfect knowledge of nature. If something odd happens (odd as in inexplicable)...all it means is that there is something wrong with our perception or often times the scientific paradigm of nature, not that nature was some how bypassed.

And if you think the definition sucks then it should behoove you to explain why and how so that your opposition doesn't seem so empty.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
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11/26/2012 6:16:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/23/2012 12:02:00 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
When you want to deal with anything that transcends that wall of :understanding, well then you've hit an impediment that must :resolve in intellectual abstention....that includes, objective morality, :God, and the validity of intuitive logic. Hence I am an atheist and :objective morality ridiculous to me.

Are you sure the conclusion follows? If God and morality are past the limits of human understanding it would seem foolish to make judgments about them or reach conclusions beyond a complete agnosticism towards both subjects.

I want you to revisit this.
000ike
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11/26/2012 6:39:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 6:16:42 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 11/23/2012 12:02:00 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
When you want to deal with anything that transcends that wall of :understanding, well then you've hit an impediment that must :resolve in intellectual abstention....that includes, objective morality, :God, and the validity of intuitive logic. Hence I am an atheist and :objective morality ridiculous to me.

Are you sure the conclusion follows? If God and morality are past the limits of human understanding it would seem foolish to make judgments about them or reach conclusions beyond a complete agnosticism towards both subjects.

I want you to revisit this.

You're right in that it doesn't make sense, but the problem was my wording and description, not the basis of the belief itself. By "beyond human understanding" I didn't mean beyond what humans can understanding,...I should have said "beyond the limits of subjective perception." And the point I was trying to make was that human beings have only two intellectual inputs that may provide them with information about the exogenous world: Sensory perception for inductive reasoning, and logic for deductive reasoning. However, this means that our intellectual capacities are contingent on the effectiveness and accuracy of these tools. It is not just unwarranted but very likely false to assume the inerrancy of these tools and then go on to believe that the information they provide us are de facto decryptions of the real world. So when we speak about any exogenous thing, we must remember to add the phrases "as it appears" or "as it seems"....And so when we start trying to construct these beliefs that bypass the limits of subjective perception, such as objective morality, the whole effort becomes absurd. We're essentially trying to defy the subjective nature of our intellectual inputs (for lack of a better term). Nothing we know or see is objectively correct. Everything we know and see is contingent on our tools of knowing and tools of seeing. As for atheism,...it isn't, as far as I'm concerned, an objective declaration of the nonexistence of God. It is rather predicated on logic...insofar as logic is accurate, God cannot exist, a predicate that's necessary for thought in the first place.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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11/26/2012 6:46:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 6:39:17 PM, 000ike wrote:
As for atheism,...it isn't, as far as I'm concerned, an objective declaration of the nonexistence of God. It is rather predicated on logic...insofar as logic is accurate, God cannot exist, a predicate that's necessary for thought in the first place.

The whole atheism thing isn't relative to my 1st point, and so I shouldn't have mentioned it. This explanation of why I am an atheist, is also not very good or complete. I don't want to have to write another paragraph, so I'll just leave it. But if it makes you feel better, I certainly don't think that I can objectively determine that God does not exist...however I do have other reasons on logic, probability, and the necessity of belief that more than justify me calling myself an atheist.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Sidewalker
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11/26/2012 7:21:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 6:39:17 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/26/2012 6:16:42 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 11/23/2012 12:02:00 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
When you want to deal with anything that transcends that wall of :understanding, well then you've hit an impediment that must :resolve in intellectual abstention....that includes, objective morality, :God, and the validity of intuitive logic. Hence I am an atheist and :objective morality ridiculous to me.

Are you sure the conclusion follows? If God and morality are past the limits of human understanding it would seem foolish to make judgments about them or reach conclusions beyond a complete agnosticism towards both subjects.

I want you to revisit this.

You're right in that it doesn't make sense, but the problem was my wording and description, not the basis of the belief itself. By "beyond human understanding" I didn't mean beyond what humans can understanding,...I should have said "beyond the limits of subjective perception." And the point I was trying to make was that human beings have only two intellectual inputs that may provide them with information about the exogenous world: Sensory perception for inductive reasoning, and logic for deductive reasoning. However, this means that our intellectual capacities are contingent on the effectiveness and accuracy of these tools. It is not just unwarranted but very likely false to assume the inerrancy of these tools and then go on to believe that the information they provide us are de facto decryptions of the real world. So when we speak about any exogenous thing, we must remember to add the phrases "as it appears" or "as it seems"....And so when we start trying to construct these beliefs that bypass the limits of subjective perception, such as objective morality, the whole effort becomes absurd. We're essentially trying to defy the subjective nature of our intellectual inputs (for lack of a better term). Nothing we know or see is objectively correct. Everything we know and see is contingent on our tools of knowing and tools of seeing. As for atheism,...it isn't, as far as I'm concerned, an objective declaration of the nonexistence of God. It is rather predicated on logic...insofar as logic is accurate, God cannot exist, a predicate that's necessary for thought in the first place.

Do you want to explain how "insofar as logic is accurate, God cannot exist" ?

Or is that just a declaration of your faith?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
popculturepooka
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11/26/2012 7:33:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 12:39:45 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 11/26/2012 10:23:14 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah...someone define "nature" for me in a way that doesn't suck and I'll get back to you on that. Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like naturalists haven't been haraunging over the matter for forever.

It's this kind of obsession with definitions that turns me off philosophy. Defining what gets to count as 'natural' isn't particularly important. We can define it as 'stuff made of atoms' provisionally and expand that definition as scientists uncover more of the world. Who cares? The question was, how does stuff that supernaturalists claim exists, like souls and disembodied beings like god, interact with uncontroversially physical stuff like bodies. Defining 'nature' doesn't need to come into it.

It kind of does matter. Most naturalists want to define "natural" or "naturalism" in such a way to exculde theistic religions. Yet by your definition Mormominism is which has a historically physicalistic metaphysics is entirely consistent with "the natural." So are the old-school greek pantheon of gods. It sounds a bit strange to call Zeus-worshipers naturalists or Mormons naturalists...

Can you tell me how physical to physical or "natural to natural" relationships occur? As Hume showed quite elegantly the whole relationship of cause and effect itself is quite mysterious. After all, there is no logically necessary connection between "natural/physical" cause A and "natural/physical" cause B. They might only be accidentally connected... When you throw in the havoc that action-at-a-distance wreaks on the notions of cause and effect I'm not sure how asking the "how" question is supposed to be some sort of telling question if a detailed answer can't be provided. Sounds more like you're asking about the metaphysics of cause and effect. Good luck with *that*. :P
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Kinesis
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11/27/2012 8:55:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 7:33:14 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It kind of does matter. Most naturalists want to define "natural" or "naturalism" in such a way to exculde theistic religions. Yet by your definition Mormominism is which has a historically physicalistic metaphysics is entirely consistent with "the natural." So are the old-school greek pantheon of gods. It sounds a bit strange to call Zeus-worshipers naturalists or Mormons naturalists...

I don't see how that shows that definitions matter. Definitions have nothing to do with reality, they just define the domain of the objects you are referring too. If we wanted to be absolutely precise and exclude everything that seems 'strange' we could - it just wouldn't be worth the effort.

I could define 'natural' as a set containing {a1, b1, c1...) where the letters represent all the objects we want to classify as natural. But why bother? It doesn't matter for the sake of our discussion whether religious physicalists are naturalists or not. At least, it's not obvious to me why it's an interesting question.

Can you tell me how physical to physical or "natural to natural" relationships occur? As Hume showed quite elegantly the whole relationship of cause and effect itself is quite mysterious. After all, there is no logically necessary connection between "natural/physical" cause A and "natural/physical" cause B. They might only be accidentally connected... When you throw in the havoc that action-at-a-distance wreaks on the notions of cause and effect I'm not sure how asking the "how" question is supposed to be some sort of telling question if a detailed answer can't be provided. Sounds more like you're asking about the metaphysics of cause and effect. Good luck with *that*. :P

Well I'm wandering into a subject I don't know all that much about, but I don't think philosophers would be the first group I'd turn too if I wanted to understand how, for example, heat causes water to turn into steam. Surely the way to understand how that works is to turn to scientists who examine the mechanics of how inputting energy into a system causes the molecules of that system to move faster and break their bonds with one another. From what my physicist friends tell me, there's a fairly complete set of theories that explain the underlying causal mechanisms of ordinary physical events.
badger
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11/27/2012 9:03:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/26/2012 7:21:42 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 11/26/2012 6:39:17 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/26/2012 6:16:42 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 11/23/2012 12:02:00 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
When you want to deal with anything that transcends that wall of :understanding, well then you've hit an impediment that must :resolve in intellectual abstention....that includes, objective morality, :God, and the validity of intuitive logic. Hence I am an atheist and :objective morality ridiculous to me.

Are you sure the conclusion follows? If God and morality are past the limits of human understanding it would seem foolish to make judgments about them or reach conclusions beyond a complete agnosticism towards both subjects.

I want you to revisit this.

You're right in that it doesn't make sense, but the problem was my wording and description, not the basis of the belief itself. By "beyond human understanding" I didn't mean beyond what humans can understanding,...I should have said "beyond the limits of subjective perception." And the point I was trying to make was that human beings have only two intellectual inputs that may provide them with information about the exogenous world: Sensory perception for inductive reasoning, and logic for deductive reasoning. However, this means that our intellectual capacities are contingent on the effectiveness and accuracy of these tools. It is not just unwarranted but very likely false to assume the inerrancy of these tools and then go on to believe that the information they provide us are de facto decryptions of the real world. So when we speak about any exogenous thing, we must remember to add the phrases "as it appears" or "as it seems"....And so when we start trying to construct these beliefs that bypass the limits of subjective perception, such as objective morality, the whole effort becomes absurd. We're essentially trying to defy the subjective nature of our intellectual inputs (for lack of a better term). Nothing we know or see is objectively correct. Everything we know and see is contingent on our tools of knowing and tools of seeing. As for atheism,...it isn't, as far as I'm concerned, an objective declaration of the nonexistence of God. It is rather predicated on logic...insofar as logic is accurate, God cannot exist, a predicate that's necessary for thought in the first place.

Do you want to explain how "insofar as logic is accurate, God cannot exist" ?

Or is that just a declaration of your faith?

This. Also, how the fvck did you guys make so much conversation from this topic...

I think I made a good argument for communism :3
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