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Is Atheism Too Simple?

stubs
Posts: 1,887
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6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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6/13/2012 10:50:36 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

Define "meaning." Why does atheism necessarily make the universe have no meaning? What is wrong with simplicity?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 11:12:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

Atheism has no stance on the meaning of/in the universe. That is not the same as atheism saying there is no meaning of/in the universe.
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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6/13/2012 11:29:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:12:51 AM, drafterman wrote:

Atheism has no stance on the meaning of/in the universe. That is not the same as atheism saying there is no meaning of/in the universe.

Sorry for my ignorance but could you please explain what you mean by atheism has not stance on the meaning of the universe?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 11:51:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:29:33 AM, stubs wrote:
At 6/13/2012 11:12:51 AM, drafterman wrote:

Atheism has no stance on the meaning of/in the universe. That is not the same as atheism saying there is no meaning of/in the universe.

Sorry for my ignorance but could you please explain what you mean by atheism has not stance on the meaning of the universe?

I mean whether or not the universe has meaning, or what that meaning may or may not be, is outside the scope of atheism. The scope of atheism is god and that's it. If you want stances on meaning, you'll have to look to other philosophies.

For example, nihilism, existentialism, absurdism are all philosophies that address meaning.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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6/13/2012 11:53:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

That quote is based on the assumption that meaning exists. I don't see why we can't perceive that there is no meaning.

My computer mouse has no meaning. I have perceived this, so it must be false, right?
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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6/13/2012 11:55:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Moreover, the quote assumes that if the universe as a whole has no meaning, then its components have no meaning. He assumes that if the universe has no meaning, then nothing does, but this is not true.

We know that the universe has no objective meaning precisely because we know that objective meaning does not exist. All meaning is subjectively determined.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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6/13/2012 12:18:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I get what he's saying, but I think it works in the other direction. People invented the fiction of "meaning" in the telic/mind-independent sense; so, it's not as if existential nihilists are making the original claim to non-meaning; rather, it's a response to people who make positive claims to meaning, and the response is always, "You made that up."
twocupcakes
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6/13/2012 12:33:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 11:29:33 AM, stubs wrote:
At 6/13/2012 11:12:51 AM, drafterman wrote:

Atheism has no stance on the meaning of/in the universe. That is not the same as atheism saying there is no meaning of/in the universe.

Sorry for my ignorance but could you please explain what you mean by atheism has not stance on the meaning of the universe?

Atheists are free to form their own opinion about the meaning of the universe. Some may think the meaning of the universe is too form good relationships, make the world a better place, raise a good family, achieve goals ect. I assume theists believe the meaning of the universe is to serve their God. Generally, atheists form their own opinion on the meaning of the universe, while theists believe it is to serve God.
Microsuck
Posts: 1,562
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6/13/2012 12:55:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
http://www.debate.org...
Wall of Fail

Devil worship much? - SD
Newsflash: Atheists do not believe in the Devil! - Me
Newsflash: I doesnt matter if you think you do or not.....You do - SD

"you [imabench] are very naive and so i do not consider your opinions as having any merit. you must still be in highschool" - falconduler
Reason_Alliance
Posts: 1,283
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6/13/2012 12:59:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
His point was that if the world had no meaning, we wouldn't know.

Spun another way maybe,

~transcendant meaning = ~knowledge of meaning = ~affirmations or denials of meaning

But then,

trancendant meaning = knowledge of meaning = affirmations or denials of meaning

The key for Lewis was, I think, to hold meaning as a necessary truth if in fact it is a truth.
jat93
Posts: 1,440
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6/13/2012 1:12:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

Of course the problem is that Lewis jumps from the proposition of atheism to the whole universe having no meaning if it is true. Seeing as generally, atheism is merely the belief not even that there is certainly no God but that there is no convincing evidence to believe in one, I'm quite confused where Lewis got everything after the first sentence. The absence of a celestial totalitarian dictatorship doesn't mean a universe with no meaning.

As Shelly Kagan said to William Lane Craig in a debate, which I think is one of the few which Craig lost:

"It's one thing to say it lacks eternal, everlasting, cosmic significance; it's another thing to say it lacks significance. In fact in one of your quotes you talk about the Nazi tortures... And you say, you know, if theism isn't true then it doesn't really matter. This strikes me as an outrageous thing to suggest - it doesn't really matter? Surely it matters to the torture victims whether they're being tortured. It doesn't require that this make some cosmic difference to the eternal significance of the universe for it to matter whether a human being is tortured. It matters to them, it matters to their family, it matters to us. So again, how do you move from the lack of eternal significance to the thought that if it doesn't have eternal significance, it can't have any significance?"
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 1:13:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 12:59:38 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
His point was that if the world had no meaning, we wouldn't know.

And it was couched as a specific rebuttal of atheism. Since there is no consequence of atheism that leads to the conclusion that the world has no meaning, our inability to know this, if true, has no bearing on atheism and, thus, can't be used as a criticism of atheism in any way, shape, or form.


Spun another way maybe,

~transcendant meaning = ~knowledge of meaning = ~affirmations or denials of meaning

But then,

trancendant meaning = knowledge of meaning = affirmations or denials of meaning

The key for Lewis was, I think, to hold meaning as a necessary truth if in fact it is a truth.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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6/13/2012 1:14:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 12:59:38 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
His point was that if the world had no meaning, we wouldn't know.

Spun another way maybe,

~transcendant meaning = ~knowledge of meaning = ~affirmations or denials of meaning

But then,

trancendant meaning = knowledge of meaning = affirmations or denials of meaning

The key for Lewis was, I think, to hold meaning as a necessary truth if in fact it is a truth.

Well, if there was meaning, we probably wouldn't know about it, much less know what "meaning" meant or was like. :P Nihilism, dawg.
tBoonePickens
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6/13/2012 1:46:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Both theism and atheism are rather simple:

Atheism: Doesn't believe in God/gods.
Theism: Believes in God/gods.

Is there a necessity for it to be complicated?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 1:51:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 1:46:22 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Both theism and atheism are rather simple:

Atheism: Doesn't believe in God/gods.
Theism: Believes in God/gods.

Is there a necessity for it to be complicated?

No, but people confuse theism with religion, and often compare religion against atheism rather than theism against atheism.

And religions are often a package deal. Subscribe to a religoin and you get a moral code, the meaning of life, etc.

Atheism, you get nothing. In comparing the two and noticing the stark contrast, some are led to believe, then, that atheists don't have morals or believe in meaning, not realizing that it is perfectly fine and acceptable for atheists to have those, they just go to other philosophies to do that.
tBoonePickens
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6/13/2012 2:20:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 1:51:51 PM, drafterman wrote:
No, but people confuse theism with religion, and often compare religion against atheism rather than theism against atheism.

And religions are often a package deal. Subscribe to a religoin and you get a moral code, the meaning of life, etc.
True, that.

Atheism, you get nothing. In comparing the two and noticing the stark contrast, some are led to believe, then, that atheists don't have morals or believe in meaning, not realizing that it is perfectly fine and acceptable for atheists to have those, they just go to other philosophies to do that.
Well, I wouldn't say nothing...but it makes theists wonder: Which philosophies? Why? By what authority? etc.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 2:24:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 2:20:39 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/13/2012 1:51:51 PM, drafterman wrote:
No, but people confuse theism with religion, and often compare religion against atheism rather than theism against atheism.

And religions are often a package deal. Subscribe to a religoin and you get a moral code, the meaning of life, etc.
True, that.

Atheism, you get nothing. In comparing the two and noticing the stark contrast, some are led to believe, then, that atheists don't have morals or believe in meaning, not realizing that it is perfectly fine and acceptable for atheists to have those, they just go to other philosophies to do that.
Well, I wouldn't say nothing...but it makes theists wonder: Which philosophies?

Nihilism, Existentialism, Absurdism, for the meaning of life.
There are a ton of moral philosophies as well.

Why?

Personal preference, mostly. Probably.

By what authority? etc.

I don't see why an authority is needed.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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6/13/2012 2:35:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 2:24:59 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 2:20:39 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Well, I wouldn't say nothing...but it makes theists wonder: Which philosophies?
Nihilism, Existentialism, Absurdism, for the meaning of life.
There are a ton of moral philosophies as well.
Derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.

Why?
Personal preference, mostly. Probably.
Way too trivial and derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.

By what authority? etc.
I don't see why an authority is needed.
It makes it easier; shift responsibility to The Big Guy!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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6/13/2012 3:10:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

Prove the universe has meaning....
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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6/13/2012 3:16:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 3:10:40 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Prove the universe has meaning....

The quote does not say anything about what the meaning is or where it came from, but simply if the universe has no meaning then we should have never found out it has no meaning. I would never use this argument C.S Lewis presented because I don't find it that convincing haha, but saying that one should prove the universe has meaning, only strengthens Lewis' argument. If the universe has no meaning then we should never have found out it has no meaning.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 3:44:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 2:35:43 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/13/2012 2:24:59 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 2:20:39 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Well, I wouldn't say nothing...but it makes theists wonder: Which philosophies?
Nihilism, Existentialism, Absurdism, for the meaning of life.
There are a ton of moral philosophies as well.
Derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.

In your opinion, but that's out of scope of this topic.


Why?
Personal preference, mostly. Probably.
Way too trivial and derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.

Determining the meaning of life is trivial? Lol.


By what authority? etc.
I don't see why an authority is needed.
It makes it easier; shift responsibility to The Big Guy!

I asked about necessity, not ease.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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6/13/2012 5:13:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 3:44:41 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 2:35:43 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Nihilism, Existentialism, Absurdism, for the meaning of life.
There are a ton of moral philosophies as well.
Derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.
In your opinion, but that's out of scope of this topic.
Not opinion but fact.
1) Man is mortal. Fact.
2) Man is imperfect. Fact.
3) Man is lacking. Fact.

Why?
Personal preference, mostly. Probably.
Way too trivial and derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.
Determining the meaning of life is trivial? Lol.
Personal preference is quite trivial.

By what authority? etc.
I don't see why an authority is needed.
It makes it easier; shift responsibility to The Big Guy!
I asked about necessity, not ease.
I didn't say it was needed.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 5:19:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 5:13:35 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/13/2012 3:44:41 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 2:35:43 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Nihilism, Existentialism, Absurdism, for the meaning of life.
There are a ton of moral philosophies as well.
Derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.
In your opinion, but that's out of scope of this topic.
Not opinion but fact.
1) Man is mortal. Fact.
2) Man is imperfect. Fact.
3) Man is lacking. Fact.

Perfection and lacking require some standard against which man can be measured. The standard you are using is based on your opinion.


Why?
Personal preference, mostly. Probably.
Way too trivial and derived from mortal/imperfect men; lacking.
Determining the meaning of life is trivial? Lol.
Personal preference is quite trivial.

By what authority? etc.
I don't see why an authority is needed.
It makes it easier; shift responsibility to The Big Guy!
I asked about necessity, not ease.
I didn't say it was needed.

Then why ask about it?
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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6/13/2012 5:28:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 5:19:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 5:13:35 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
1) Man is mortal. Fact.
2) Man is imperfect. Fact.
3) Man is lacking. Fact.
Perfection and lacking require some standard against which man can be measured. The standard you are using is based on your opinion.
Is that your argument, semantics? I am talking about objective qualities NOT subjective. Man is mortal: FACT. Man is NOT perfect: he CAN make mistakes: FACT. Man is lacking (at the very least, he's lacking perfection): FACT.

Then why ask about it?
I thought that was clear: preference.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 5:35:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 5:28:33 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/13/2012 5:19:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 5:13:35 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
1) Man is mortal. Fact.
2) Man is imperfect. Fact.
3) Man is lacking. Fact.
Perfection and lacking require some standard against which man can be measured. The standard you are using is based on your opinion.
Is that your argument, semantics? I am talking about objective qualities NOT subjective. Man is mortal: FACT. Man is NOT perfect: he CAN make mistakes: FACT. Man is lacking (at the very least, he's lacking perfection): FACT.

No. My argument is the standard of perfection is subjective. For example, let's say I set the standard of perfection is man himself.


Then why ask about it?
I thought that was clear: preference.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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6/13/2012 5:35:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 5:28:33 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/13/2012 5:19:55 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/13/2012 5:13:35 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
1) Man is mortal. Fact.
2) Man is imperfect. Fact.
3) Man is lacking. Fact.
Perfection and lacking require some standard against which man can be measured. The standard you are using is based on your opinion.
Is that your argument, semantics? I am talking about objective qualities NOT subjective. Man is mortal: FACT. Man is NOT perfect: he CAN make mistakes: FACT. Man is lacking (at the very least, he's lacking perfection): FACT.

Then why ask about it?
I thought that was clear: preference.

Why is an authority preferred?
Wnope
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6/13/2012 5:36:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

Talk about bass-ackwards.

Which explanation is simpler?

A. Complex low entropy structures we see on a macro-level are not, as common sense would have it, the product of even greater order/lower entropy with some predestined plan but instead emergent from chaotic processes which give rise to stochastic changes in biological evolution which, under one of an infinite number of possible contingencies, lead to organisms with the cognitive ability to analyze their own existence. In order to analyze the meaning of the universe, one must be constructed as opposed to being found since no inherent meaning exists.

B. We see people make pretty stuff that is complicated. Everything around us is pretty and complicated. Therefore, someone made it. Whoever made it chose the meaning.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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6/13/2012 7:35:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

The Fool: If learning is gradual, why would anyone assume that we could or even will or Need to too.

If you go back in time far enough every answer is a God or Spirit. What is love? its the love God..(The Symposium) why does the Sun move, its the Sun God? why does the water move, Water God.

That is the BEST measurement of the progress of knowledge are explanations with don't include God. God is and has always been the default explanation to fill a Gap of ignorance. ALWAYS!!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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6/13/2012 7:37:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 7:35:50 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 6/13/2012 10:48:28 AM, stubs wrote:
This is a quote from C.S Lewis. I just wanted to hear what people had to say about it:

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

The Fool: If learning is gradual, why would anyone assume that we could or even will or Need to too.

If you go back in time far enough every answer is a God or Spirit. What is love? its the love God..(The Symposium) why does the Sun move, its the Sun God? why does the water move, Water God.

That is the BEST measurement of the progress of knowledge are explanations with don't include God. God is and has always been the default explanation to fill a Gap of ignorance. ALWAYS!!

Thus GOD=IGNORANCE
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL