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An homage to absurdity

unitedandy
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8/17/2012 11:02:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
For a few weeks now, every time I browse the religion or related forums, folk seem to be defending extreme and, to my mind, absurd beliefs (at least, far more than usual). The latest being one of the recent forums on Kalam which turned into a philosophy of mind discussion, and we ended with with defenses of reductive materialism and other such things. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember DDO ever being so hospitable to so many offensively counter-intuitive beliefs (we are all freedos now).

I thought I'd set up this post for people to vent on what they think are the most absurd a/theistic claims. I'll start:

Atheism

3. "Death makes life meaningful."

Screw that. Various atheists (e.g. Andrew Copson) have made this claim. I understand the sentiment behind it (facing death honestly), but death sucks, and eternal nothingness can't really have a silver lining for me.

2. New Atheism - "Theism is necessarily irrational and harmful to society."

I'm amazed that people who write (and probably more astoundingly, sell) books on God could actually make this claim. The fact is most philosophers of religion are theists, including some of the very best. As for religion, it undoubtedly has played a positive part in the lives of scores of moral leaders (MLK and others), even if I do value secularism.

1. Reductive materialism

At least in some of its forms, this is downright crazy. Denying qualia, pain experience and so on is probably the strangest thing I've heard. To reduce private, mental experience as physical phenomena is just obviously false.

Theism

3. Sceptical Theism

I must admit, my biggest surprise is how seriously this is taken. Until people who use this can show a) that it is even plausible
b) how to deal with the huge sceptical tidal wave it creates (moral paralysis, theological scepticism, erosion of common-sense epistemology)
I think it should be treated as a blatant play of the nuclear card.

2. Fideism

No explanation needed.

1. Traditional Hell

The idea that Hell (as traditionally conceived) can be squared with omnibenevolence or that somehow people would "freely choose" eternal torment is as alien to me as an idea can be. Either we're all talking a different language, or someone's employing some doublethink.

Anyways . . .
twocupcakes
Posts: 2,749
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8/17/2012 11:12:54 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
1. People saying that atheism is a religion is pretty absurd

2. I find the idea that nonbelievers face eternal torture to be absurd.

3. Young earth creationism is pretty absurd
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/17/2012 11:15:24 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:02:34 AM, unitedandy wrote:
For a few weeks now, every time I browse the religion or related forums, folk seem to be defending extreme and, to my mind, absurd beliefs (at least, far more than usual). The latest being one of the recent forums on Kalam which turned into a philosophy of mind discussion, and we ended with with defenses of reductive materialism and other such things. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember DDO ever being so hospitable to so many offensively counter-intuitive beliefs (we are all freedos now).

I thought I'd set up this post for people to vent on what they think are the most absurd a/theistic claims. I'll start:

Atheism

3. "Death makes life meaningful."

Screw that. Various atheists (e.g. Andrew Copson) have made this claim. I understand the sentiment behind it (facing death honestly), but death sucks, and eternal nothingness can't really have a silver lining for me.

How can death suck? When you're dead you don't exist to feel anything. It's peace in the purest form.

2. New Atheism - "Theism is necessarily irrational and harmful to society."

I'm amazed that people who write (and probably more astoundingly, sell) books on God could actually make this claim. The fact is most philosophers of religion are theists, including some of the very best. As for religion, it undoubtedly has played a positive part in the lives of scores of moral leaders (MLK and others), even if I do value secularism.

That doesn't outweigh the harm. Religion is the ONLY thing in this freeminded glorious country of ours that shuts down opposition, suppresses questioning, and incites belligerent behavior. Religion is the justification for historic atrocities! It's not just a cliche that atheists use, religion really is the essence of passion before thought....and emotion is the natural enemy of reason.

1. Reductive materialism

At least in some of its forms, this is downright crazy. Denying qualia, pain experience and so on is probably the strangest thing I've heard. To reduce private, mental experience as physical phenomena is just obviously false.

I really dislike this kind of sentiment because it's a little bit closed minded. Why do humans have this tendency to believe that life will fall neatly into place and harmonize so well with their perceptions? The deeper science advances forward the more difficult the revelations are, difficult to comprehend and swallow. We sprung from an existing universe. The universe did not spring from us. The likelihood that classic logic does not describe ALL of the universe, and that freewill and consciousness are both delusions is astronomically high.
"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
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/17/2012 11:18:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:02:34 AM, unitedandy wrote:
For a few weeks now, every time I browse the religion or related forums, folk seem to be defending extreme and, to my mind, absurd beliefs (at least, far more than usual). The latest being one of the recent forums on Kalam which turned into a philosophy of mind discussion, and we ended with with defenses of reductive materialism and other such things. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember DDO ever being so hospitable to so many offensively counter-intuitive beliefs (we are all freedos now).

I thought I'd set up this post for people to vent on what they think are the most absurd a/theistic claims. I'll start:

Atheism

3. "Death makes life meaningful."

Screw that. Various atheists (e.g. Andrew Copson) have made this claim. I understand the sentiment behind it (facing death honestly), but death sucks, and eternal nothingness can't really have a silver lining for me.
Can't say I don't agree with that analysis.

2. New Atheism - "Theism is necessarily irrational and harmful to society."

I'm amazed that people who write (and probably more astoundingly, sell) books on God could actually make this claim. The fact is most philosophers of religion are theists, including some of the very best. As for religion, it undoubtedly has played a positive part in the lives of scores of moral leaders (MLK and others), even if I do value secularism.
Yes. It's basically the "all of humanities woes are caused by religion" argument. Yet many atheists follow the argument RELIGIOUSLY.

1. Reductive materialism

At least in some of its forms, this is downright crazy.
Is it?

Denying qualia, pain experience and so on is probably the strangest thing I've heard.
I've heard stranger. What's so strange about having different abilities? Some people can see all colors, some see some colors, and yet others see no colors; all different abilities.

To reduce private, mental experience as physical phenomena is just obviously false.
Not so obvious to others.
Tell that to someone with a severed corpus callosum!

Theism

3. Sceptical Theism

I must admit, my biggest surprise is how seriously this is taken. Until people who use this can show:
a) that it is even plausible
b) how to deal with the huge skeptical tidal wave it creates (moral paralysis, theological skepticism, erosion of common-sense epistemology)
I think it should be treated as a blatant play of the nuclear card.
Never really understood it.

2. Fideism

No explanation needed.

1. Traditional Hell

The idea that Hell (as traditionally conceived) can be squared with omnibenevolence or that somehow people would "freely choose" eternal torment is as alien to me as an idea can be.
I can "see" a possible argument about reconciling omnibenevolence & hell. But that there can be some that would "freely choose" eternal torment is a no brainier: people freely do stupid things all the time.

Either we're all talking a different language, or someone's employing some doublethink.
Not sure what you mean.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tBoonePickens
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8/17/2012 11:32:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:12:54 AM, twocupcakes wrote:
1. People saying that atheism is a religion is pretty absurd
True, but what I take it to mean is that atheism is a belief. And it is.

2. I find the idea that nonbelievers face eternal torture to be absurd.
I've always found that eternal torture seems a bit drastic...but then again, I didn't make the rules!

3. Young earth creationism is pretty absurd
Agreed: I've never really heard any YEC argument that's worth its salt.

*****************************************************

At 8/17/2012 11:15:24 AM, 000ike wrote:
How can death suck? When you're dead you don't exist to feel anything. It's peace in the purest form.
Not so, for what is it that is experiencing said peace?

That doesn't outweigh the harm.
Total non-sense! The good of religion ASTRONOMICALLY outweighs the bad of religion.

Religion is the ONLY thing in this freeminded glorious country of ours that shuts down opposition, suppresses questioning, and incites belligerent behavior.
This is exactly the behavior of liberalism!

Religion is the justification for historic atrocities!
The amount of historic atrocities which have to do with religion to those that do not are like a sparrow's fart to a hurricane!

It's not just a cliche that atheists use, religion really is the essence of passion before thought....and emotion is the natural enemy of reason.
It is a total cliche and falsehood that anti-religion atheists use all of the time. However, I can show you atheist (ie anti-religious) that in the 20th century alone caused more death & destruction than everything that preceded it!

I really dislike this kind of sentiment because it's a little bit closed minded. Why do humans have this tendency to believe that life will fall neatly into place and harmonize so well with their perceptions? The deeper science advances forward the more difficult the revelations are, difficult to comprehend and swallow.
This is reasonable enough.

We sprung from an existing universe. The universe did not spring from us. The likelihood that classic logic does not describe ALL of the universe, and that freewill and consciousness are both delusions is astronomically high.
It is actually SHOWN that classical logic is incomplete and can NEVER describe the whole of the universe! I rather like to think that there is a God simply because the whole of existence IS outside the scope of reason.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/17/2012 11:55:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:32:29 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:

At 8/17/2012 11:15:24 AM, 000ike wrote:
How can death suck? When you're dead you don't exist to feel anything. It's peace in the purest form.
Not so, for what is it that is experiencing said peace?

Exactly. Peace isn't felt. Peace is the absence of feeling. Consciousness is inherent unrest.

Religion is the justification for historic atrocities!
The amount of historic atrocities which have to do with religion to those that do not are like a sparrow's fart to a hurricane!

You may be right here. People do use religion to justify heinous actions, but religion wasn't what CAUSED them to perform those actions. I'll concede that much

It is actually SHOWN that classical logic is incomplete and can NEVER describe the whole of the universe! I rather like to think that there is a God simply because the whole of existence IS outside the scope of reason.

If God is outside the scope of reason then there can be no reason to believe in him. God is merely ONE possibility out of an ocean of possibilities the bounds of which are logically inconceivable. Instead of assuming this 1 lousy possibility out of the trillions that we don't know of, why don't we take the agnostic road, admit to our lack of knowledge, and observe what there is to observe with absolute open-mindedness.
"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
tBoonePickens
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8/17/2012 1:13:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:55:16 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:32:29 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Not so, for what is it that is experiencing said peace?
Exactly. Peace isn't felt. Peace is the absence of feeling. Consciousness is inherent unrest.
So being a rock (ie at peace) is preferable over life. Right.

The amount of historic atrocities which have to do with religion to those that do not are like a sparrow's fart to a hurricane!
You may be right here. People do use religion to justify heinous actions, but religion wasn't what CAUSED them to perform those actions. I'll concede that much
As far as what I am speaking to, it is the same difference. Much more atrocities have been committed in the name of things OTHER than religion than have in the name of religion. The key being that it is PEOPLE and their nature that is at fault REGARDLESS of religion.

It is actually SHOWN that classical logic is incomplete and can NEVER describe the whole of the universe! I rather like to think that there is a God simply because the whole of existence IS outside the scope of reason.
If God is outside the scope of reason then there can be no reason to believe in him.
That's your opinion.

God is merely ONE possibility out of an ocean of possibilities the bounds of which are logically inconceivable.
Logically inconceivable, but conceivable nonetheless.

Instead of assuming this 1 lousy possibility out of the trillions that we don't know of, why don't we take the agnostic road, admit to our lack of knowledge, and observe what there is to observe with absolute open-mindedness.
The agnostic road doesn't speak to belief; ergo, that road can be taken nonetheless. That is why I am an agnostic-theist.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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8/17/2012 1:32:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:15:24 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:02:34 AM, unitedandy wrote:
For a few weeks now, every time I browse the religion or related forums, folk seem to be defending extreme and, to my mind, absurd beliefs (at least, far more than usual). The latest being one of the recent forums on Kalam which turned into a philosophy of mind discussion, and we ended with with defenses of reductive materialism and other such things. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember DDO ever being so hospitable to so many offensively counter-intuitive beliefs (we are all freedos now).

I thought I'd set up this post for people to vent on what they think are the most absurd a/theistic claims. I'll start:

Atheism

3. "Death makes life meaningful."

Screw that. Various atheists (e.g. Andrew Copson) have made this claim. I understand the sentiment behind it (facing death honestly), but death sucks, and eternal nothingness can't really have a silver lining for me.

How can death suck? When you're dead you don't exist to feel anything. It's peace in the purest form.
And I suppose "peace in the purest form" that cannot be enjoyed by us on a conscious level can be equated to a meaning lent to "death"...

However, I do agree with it, in one sense.

2. New Atheism - "Theism is necessarily irrational and harmful to society."

I'm amazed that people who write (and probably more astoundingly, sell) books on God could actually make this claim. The fact is most philosophers of religion are theists, including some of the very best. As for religion, it undoubtedly has played a positive part in the lives of scores of moral leaders (MLK and others), even if I do value secularism.

That doesn't outweigh the harm. Religion is the ONLY thing in this freeminded glorious country of ours that shuts down opposition, suppresses questioning, and incites belligerent behavior. Religion is the justification for historic atrocities! It's not just a cliche that atheists use, religion really is the essence of passion before thought....and emotion is the natural enemy of reason.

And that doesn't necessarily outweigh or even negate any semblance of whatever moral fruition religion has offered, especially in regards to whatever spiritual or moral community has been offered. And then there are the social implications of religion, especially in regards to being a liberating force with the creation of monastic life.

As one may say, reason can be best to be used for religion as opposed to being placed as juxtaposing it...the entire characterization is a bit questionable; to lambast religion as the enemy of reason is to entertain some false dichotomy of reason and faith, where the two are mutually exclusive and cannot cross the barrier set between them....:(


1. Reductive materialism

At least in some of its forms, this is downright crazy. Denying qualia, pain experience and so on is probably the strangest thing I've heard. To reduce private, mental experience as physical phenomena is just obviously false.

I really dislike this kind of sentiment because it's a little bit closed minded. Why do humans have this tendency to believe that life will fall neatly into place and harmonize so well with their perceptions? The deeper science advances forward the more difficult the revelations are, difficult to comprehend and swallow. We sprung from an existing universe. The universe did not spring from us. The likelihood that classic logic does not describe ALL of the universe, and that freewill and consciousness are both delusions is astronomically high.

Hmmm.....I've looked into reductive materialism and I can only generally agree with UniteDandy; however, I am not sure how all of this is...even related...are you questioning UniteDandy's statement that to reduce private, mental experiences to a physical realm is false??
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
000ike
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8/17/2012 2:08:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 1:13:08 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:55:16 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:32:29 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Not so, for what is it that is experiencing said peace?
Exactly. Peace isn't felt. Peace is the absence of feeling. Consciousness is inherent unrest.
So being a rock (ie at peace) is preferable over life. Right.

Are you serious? Every human being will at some point suffer...emotionally, physically or otherwise. The sensation of "feeling" and "thinking" are inherently taxing as they require a constant expenditure of energy. Whatever happiness there is, is counteracted by the existence of sadness. Nonexistence is better than existence.

By the way, one cannot "BE" a rock, for a rock is not a being and has no self recognized identity. My argument isn't to be something else that's not human. My argument is to NOT "BE" at all. Think back to the period before you were conceived. That is what I'm talking about.

It is actually SHOWN that classical logic is incomplete and can NEVER describe the whole of the universe! I rather like to think that there is a God simply because the whole of existence IS outside the scope of reason.
If God is outside the scope of reason then there can be no reason to believe in him.
That's your opinion.

It's a forced logical conclusion. If God is above logic, then he can exist and not exist simultaneously. He can follow logic and not follow logic simultaneously. His boundless capabilities make him intellectually unapproachable, and outright logically perverse concept. To believe in God while claiming he is outside the scope of reason is the just...well, absurd.
"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
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/17/2012 3:49:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 2:08:35 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 1:13:08 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Exactly. Peace isn't felt. Peace is the absence of feeling. Consciousness is inherent unrest.
So being a rock (ie at peace) is preferable over life. Right.
Are you serious?
Totally.

Every human being will at some point suffer...emotionally, physically or otherwise.
Yes, it's called life.

The sensation of "feeling" and "thinking" are inherently taxing as they require a constant expenditure of energy. Whatever happiness there is, is counteracted by the existence of sadness. Nonexistence is better than existence.
I see that you practice what you preach.

By the way, one cannot "BE" a rock, for a rock is not a being and has no self recognized identity.
Neither does a dead person, but that didn't stop you from making your fallacious statement...why stop now?

My argument isn't to be something else that's not human. My argument is to NOT "BE" at all.
That is a logical absurdity. What exactly is that is at peace?

Think back to the period before you were conceived. That is what I'm talking about.
More logical absurdities.

If God is outside the scope of reason then there can be no reason to believe in him.
That's your opinion.
It's a forced logical conclusion. If God is above logic, then he can exist and not exist simultaneously. He can follow logic and not follow logic simultaneously. His boundless capabilities make him intellectually unapproachable, and outright logically perverse concept. To believe in God while claiming he is outside the scope of reason is the just...well, absurd.
Again, that's your opinion: logic cannot make conclusions on things outside its scope.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/17/2012 4:03:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 3:49:00 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:

That is a logical absurdity. What exactly is that is at peace?

But you're really attacking my wording and not the message. Peace and consciousness are mutually exclusive. Something cannot experience peace, but it can attain it by not existing. Peace isn't feeling, it is the absence of feeling. You're presuming that something must be experiencing this peace....which is a circular argument. You can't presume that peace is something "FELT" in order to destroy the argument that peace is the absence of feeling.

If God is outside the scope of reason then there can be no reason to believe in him.
That's your opinion.
It's a forced logical conclusion. If God is above logic, then he can exist and not exist simultaneously. He can follow logic and not follow logic simultaneously. His boundless capabilities make him intellectually unapproachable, and outright logically perverse concept. To believe in God while claiming he is outside the scope of reason is the just...well, absurd.
Again, that's your opinion: logic cannot make conclusions on things outside its scope.

Yes, but by necessity of "attempted comprehension" and by necessity of discourse, logic is an inescapable presumption. To speak of God's existence invokes the law of noncontradiction, which of course God is not bound to. So God may not exist while existing.
God may or may not be above logic, but you want to BELIEVE that he is above logic, then you can't actually believe that he is above logic! He can be above and under logic simultaneously! Your belief reduces to absurdity.
"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
tBoonePickens
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8/17/2012 4:33:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:03:38 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 3:49:00 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
That is a logical absurdity. What exactly is that is at peace?
But you're really attacking my wording and not the message.
A distinction without a difference.

Peace and consciousness are mutually exclusive.
Ergo, one can attach said concept of peace to a rock, as a rock has no consciousness.

Something cannot experience peace, but it can attain it by not existing.
What exactly is it that is doing the attaining?

Peace isn't feeling, it is the absence of feeling.
The Empire Estate Building has an absence of feeling, so I guess it attained peace!

You're presuming that something must be experiencing this peace....which is a circular argument.
Lol! The only one with the circular argument is yourself!

You can't presume that peace is something "FELT" in order to destroy the argument that peace is the absence of feeling.
I don't have to because there is no argument! All you have done is string words together that sound "appealing" (to you) but are logically incoherent.

What you are assuming is that all things can be negated, which of course is not so because this leads to logical contradictions. If "at peace" = non-existence, then it simply doesn't exist. So your concept of "at peace" is akin to a square circle.

It's a forced logical conclusion. If God is above logic, then he can exist and not exist simultaneously. He can follow logic and not follow logic simultaneously. His boundless capabilities make him intellectually unapproachable, and outright logically perverse concept. To believe in God while claiming he is outside the scope of reason is the just...well, absurd.
Again, that's your opinion: logic cannot make conclusions on things outside its scope.
Yes, but by necessity of "attempted comprehension" and by necessity of discourse, logic is an inescapable presumption.
No. One may accept things WITHOUT comprehension: ie belief.

To speak of God's existence invokes the law of noncontradiction, which of course God is not bound to. So God may not exist while existing.
Yet you seem to have no problem violating said law via your "at peace" concept!

God may or may not be above logic, but you want to BELIEVE that he is above logic, then you can't actually believe that he is above logic! He can be above and under logic simultaneously! Your belief reduces to absurdity.
Yes, absurdity from within the limited scope of logic. Regardless, it is still a belief.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Wnope
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8/17/2012 4:35:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Very few atheists say "I can't wait for death" they say "Because of the permanence death, every moment of existence we have now is contrasted not with an eternity of blissful consciousness but of nothingness. Therefore, anything you wish to gain from 'experience' itself must be gained through immediate life instead of preparing for an eternity of the same in an afterlife. Thus, life with permanent, unconscious death is more sacred and meaningful than life with no sacrifice of consciousness after death."

It goes back to Nietzche's wise point that Christians are some of the worst nihilists around; they spend their entire life preparing for death instead of experiencing life while they have it.
000ike
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8/17/2012 4:40:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:35:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Very few atheists say "I can't wait for death" they say "Because of the permanence death, every moment of existence we have now is contrasted not with an eternity of blissful consciousness but of nothingness. Therefore, anything you wish to gain from 'experience' itself must be gained through immediate life instead of preparing for an eternity of the same in an afterlife. Thus, life with permanent, unconscious death is more sacred and meaningful than life with no sacrifice of consciousness after death."

That has to be the most eloquent and beautiful argument I've ever heard. Is this yours?

It goes back to Nietzche's wise point that Christians are some of the worst nihilists around; they spend their entire life preparing for death instead of experiencing life while they have it.
"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
Wnope
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8/17/2012 4:49:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:40:22 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 4:35:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Very few atheists say "I can't wait for death" they say "Because of the permanence death, every moment of existence we have now is contrasted not with an eternity of blissful consciousness but of nothingness. Therefore, anything you wish to gain from 'experience' itself must be gained through immediate life instead of preparing for an eternity of the same in an afterlife. Thus, life with permanent, unconscious death is more sacred and meaningful than life with no sacrifice of consciousness after death."

That has to be the most eloquent and beautiful argument I've ever heard. Is this yours?

It goes back to Nietzche's wise point that Christians are some of the worst nihilists around; they spend their entire life preparing for death instead of experiencing life while they have it.

Unless I unwittingly read it somewhere and copied it, yes.
Reason_Alliance
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8/17/2012 11:48:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:35:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Very few atheists say "I can't wait for death" they say "Because of the permanence death, every moment of existence we have now is contrasted not with an eternity of blissful consciousness but of nothingness. Therefore, anything you wish to gain from 'experience' itself must be gained through immediate life instead of preparing for an eternity of the same in an afterlife. Thus, life with permanent, unconscious death is more sacred and meaningful than life with no sacrifice of consciousness after death."

...until of course when you no longer exist.

You're supposing that life is more meaningful with short duration and no maximally great reality. But simply bravely living for qualia's sake is far from what existentialists consider an authentic existence.
unitedandy
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8/18/2012 6:13:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:45:48 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
We are on the same wave-length, united.

I agree on every list point.

I'm surprised actually you agree with sceptical theism being on the list. Some of the other points, I remember you've made before, particularly on hell.
unitedandy
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8/18/2012 6:30:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:15:24 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:02:34 AM, unitedandy wrote:
For a few weeks now, every time I browse the religion or related forums, folk seem to be defending extreme and, to my mind, absurd beliefs (at least, far more than usual). The latest being one of the recent forums on Kalam which turned into a philosophy of mind discussion, and we ended with with defenses of reductive materialism and other such things. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember DDO ever being so hospitable to so many offensively counter-intuitive beliefs (we are all freedos now).

I thought I'd set up this post for people to vent on what they think are the most absurd a/theistic claims. I'll start:

Atheism

3. "Death makes life meaningful."

Screw that. Various atheists (e.g. Andrew Copson) have made this claim. I understand the sentiment behind it (facing death honestly), but death sucks, and eternal nothingness can't really have a silver lining for me.

How can death suck? When you're dead you don't exist to feel anything. It's peace in the purest form.

Pretty easily. First, death of loved ones into eternal nothingness is bleakly self-explanatory. Second, my own death is something I want to avoid for as long as possible. The belief that in 60 years or so, I'll cease to be depressing now. There is a part of me that does reflect on the futility of life on atheism.

2. New Atheism - "Theism is necessarily irrational and harmful to society."

I'm amazed that people who write (and probably more astoundingly, sell) books on God could actually make this claim. The fact is most philosophers of religion are theists, including some of the very best. As for religion, it undoubtedly has played a positive part in the lives of scores of moral leaders (MLK and others), even if I do value secularism.

That doesn't outweigh the harm. Religion is the ONLY thing in this freeminded glorious country of ours that shuts down opposition, suppresses questioning, and incites belligerent behavior. Religion is the justification for historic atrocities! It's not just a cliche that atheists use, religion really is the essence of passion before thought....and emotion is the natural enemy of reason.

It's obviously not the only such force, neither is it uniformly bad. People do use it to justify horrible things, like they do everything else, but it's the acceptance of dogma which seems the problem.

1. Reductive materialism

At least in some of its forms, this is downright crazy. Denying qualia, pain experience and so on is probably the strangest thing I've heard. To reduce private, mental experience as physical phenomena is just obviously false.

I really dislike this kind of sentiment because it's a little bit closed minded. Why do humans have this tendency to believe that life will fall neatly into place and harmonize so well with their perceptions? The deeper science advances forward the more difficult the revelations are, difficult to comprehend and swallow. We sprung from an existing universe. The universe did not spring from us. The likelihood that classic logic does not describe ALL of the universe, and that freewill and consciousness are both delusions is astronomically high.

I honestly don't know how to respond to the denial of consciousness (particularly with the accusation of "close-mindedness, which is a little ironic, for someone who denies the mind), or whether to take it serious at all. Such beliefs seem incorrigible, and I'm always (I suspect) going to be far more convinced of my awareness of pain and such, than any argument against it.
unitedandy
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8/18/2012 6:36:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 4:35:56 PM, Wnope wrote:
Very few atheists say "I can't wait for death" they say "Because of the permanence death, every moment of existence we have now is contrasted not with an eternity of blissful consciousness but of nothingness. Therefore, anything you wish to gain from 'experience' itself must be gained through immediate life instead of preparing for an eternity of the same in an afterlife. Thus, life with permanent, unconscious death is more sacred and meaningful than life with no sacrifice of consciousness after death."


I agree with the "live your the life to the fullest" part, but some atheists do respond to eternal life, saying that death does make life meaningful, and I just don't see that. Like I said, if it's true that death = nothingness, we should face up to it, but we shouldn't try to pretend it's not crap.

It goes back to Nietzche's wise point that Christians are some of the worst nihilists around; they spend their entire life preparing for death instead of experiencing life while they have it.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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8/18/2012 7:09:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:15:24 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:02:34 AM, unitedandy wrote:
For a few weeks now, every time I browse the religion or related forums, folk seem to be defending extreme and, to my mind, absurd beliefs (at least, far more than usual). The latest being one of the recent forums on Kalam which turned into a philosophy of mind discussion, and we ended with with defenses of reductive materialism and other such things. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember DDO ever being so hospitable to so many offensively counter-intuitive beliefs (we are all freedos now).

I thought I'd set up this post for people to vent on what they think are the most absurd a/theistic claims. I'll start:

Atheism

3. "Death makes life meaningful."

Screw that. Various atheists (e.g. Andrew Copson) have made this claim. I understand the sentiment behind it (facing death honestly), but death sucks, and eternal nothingness can't really have a silver lining for me.

How can death suck? When you're dead you don't exist to feel anything. It's peace in the purest form.

2. New Atheism - "Theism is necessarily irrational and harmful to society."

I'm amazed that people who write (and probably more astoundingly, sell) books on God could actually make this claim. The fact is most philosophers of religion are theists, including some of the very best. As for religion, it undoubtedly has played a positive part in the lives of scores of moral leaders (MLK and others), even if I do value secularism.

That doesn't outweigh the harm. Religion is the ONLY thing in this freeminded glorious country of ours that shuts down opposition, suppresses questioning, and incites belligerent behavior. Religion is the justification for historic atrocities! It's not just a cliche that atheists use, religion really is the essence of passion before thought....and emotion is the natural enemy of reason.

1. Reductive materialism

At least in some of its forms, this is downright crazy. Denying qualia, pain experience and so on is probably the strangest thing I've heard. To reduce private, mental experience as physical phenomena is just obviously false.

I really dislike this kind of sentiment because it's a little bit closed minded. Why do humans have this tendency to believe that life will fall neatly into place and harmonize so well with their perceptions? The deeper science advances forward the more difficult the revelations are, difficult to comprehend and swallow. We sprung from an existing universe. The universe did not spring from us. The likelihood that classic logic does not describe ALL of the universe, and that freewill and consciousness are both delusions is astronomically high.

The Fool: If you are that sure you wouldnt mind debating about it.
"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
Sidewalker
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8/18/2012 8:39:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/17/2012 11:12:54 AM, twocupcakes wrote:
1. People saying that atheism is a religion is pretty absurd

I used to believe that atheism was a religion like not collecting stamps was a hobby, but then again, if someone who doesn't collect stamps spends an inordinate amount of time at a stamp collecting web site mocking and insulting stamp collectors, contriving illogical arguments against stamp collecting, and defining themselves as superior because they do not collect stamps, then I think they do in fact, have a hobby.

I don't think it can be denied that there are some atheists who's atheism has all the characteristics of a fundamentalist religion.


2. I find the idea that nonbelievers face eternal torture to be absurd.

3. Young earth creationism is pretty absurd

I concur with #2 and #3.
"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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8/18/2012 9:05:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
l) Theists are closed minded.

This trendy comment is absurd and hypocritical because it is typically sprinkled liberally throughout an argument that claims nothing should be believed without evidence or proof, that nonphysical realities do not exist, that reality is fully comprehended from a single ontological level, among other closed minded positions.

Faith is a belief in things unseen, by its very nature it demonstrates an ontological openness to other possibilities which include regions of being that are presumed to exist without their nature being fully known. By definition, theism is a more open minded point of view than atheism.
"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
Reason_Alliance
Posts: 1,283
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8/18/2012 9:52:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 9:05:30 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
l) Theists are closed minded.

This trendy comment is absurd and hypocritical because it is typically sprinkled liberally throughout an argument that claims nothing should be believed without evidence or proof, that nonphysical realities do not exist, that reality is fully comprehended from a single ontological level, among other closed minded positions.

Faith is a belief in things unseen, by its very nature it demonstrates an ontological openness to other possibilities which include regions of being that are presumed to exist without their nature being fully known. By definition, theism is a more open minded point of view than atheism.

I know many atheists... and I want to disagree with you, I just don't know how yet.
popculturepooka
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8/19/2012 3:58:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/18/2012 6:13:00 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 8/17/2012 11:45:48 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
We are on the same wave-length, united.

I agree on every list point.

I'm surprised actually you agree with sceptical theism being on the list. Some of the other points, I remember you've made before, particularly on hell.

I mean, I'm perhaps not *so* hard on it as you because there seems to be an element of truth in it, obviously, if God did exist, there would be things about him that are simply beyond are epistemic capabilites. But, I do see it as "going nuclear", for the most part, in part because the arguments against it seem to me to be particularly strong.

Although Justin McBrayer's work may be able to redeem the response in my eyes (http://faculty.fortlewis.edu...), I think criticisms like the ones you mentioned and others like Erik Wielenberg and "skeptical theism divine lies" (http://journals.cambridge.org...) and Trent Doughtery's trenchant criticisms (https://docs.google.com... and http://www.springerlink.com...) are difficult to rebut.

Right now, tentatively, I support a response to the PoE like Marilyn Mccord Adams might offer.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!