• god must be atheist
    2.7k
    I think your counter argument is that if there is nothing known of a thing, then it is silly to say it exists or not. That may be true, that it is silly to be even ambivalent about it; but it is wrong to say it exists for sure, and it is also wrong to say that for sure it does not exist.

    Ambivalence is silly, denial or assertion is wrong.

    "there is a thing I know nothing about, but it exists."

    "You are wrong. The thing that you and I know nothing about does not exist."

    Which one is sillier?
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    The assertion that X exists is nonsense in the absence of any data. But it is also silly to insist that it is impossible for X to exist, even if there is no data.god must be atheist
    Strawman. I never claimed or implied "that it is impossible for X to exist". I asked how do you "know that it is possible for X to exist" without knowing anything about X. Well?
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    I asked how do you "know that it is possible for X to exist" without knowing anything about X. Well?180 Proof

    (1) I don't know that it is possible for X to exist without knowing anything about X.

    The above is the negation of my assertion, (2) "I know that it is possible for X to exist without knowing anything about X. According to you, you deny that (2) is true, at least you question its validity.

    With the same reasoning, (3) I also don't know that it is impossible for X to exist without knowing anything about X.

    If you deny the statement in the subject and the predicate, that is, you negate both the subject and the predicate of a sentence, then you are not changing the truth value of the sentence. Therefore (3) becomes (4) without changing its truth value.

    (4) I know that it is possible for X to exist without knowing anything about X.
  • TheMadFool
    9.1k
    Ambivalence is silly, denial or assertion is wrong.god must be atheist

    So, no matter what we do, we lose. Wicked! I like it. This will go into my favorite quotes collection. Thanks
  • Athena
    1.3k
    I understand you want to drop the religious mumbo jumbo and think about god in those other terms, but I’ve never understood why some folks keep the term “god”. Why define god so differently that it no longer resembles the religious god at all? Why not just let go of the label and talk about whatever it is you were trying to redefine god to be? (Like love or mystery or the universe...just talk about love, mystery or the universe! Lol)DingoJones

    Nothing could be better than starting the day with such wonderful questions. I love it. :grin: Let us go back to ancient times when no one was sure about what a god is and what a god does. A time when the gods were being created. :lol: We have an overpopulation of people now, and back in the day there was an overpopulation of gods and goddesses. Every time the priest became aware of a new concept they had a new god. Then we turned around and wanted a unifying force. :wink:

    An Egyptian pharaoh thought the population of gods was too crowded and had the priest search the archives for the true god. When his grandson came to power he ordered a city to the one and only god be built and that the rest of the gods be forgotten. When this pharaoh and his wife died, his city was dismantled and buried. Some believe the followers of the one god religion fled to what was once Sumer and that they searched Sumers archives for knowledge of the true god and they plagiarized Sumerian stories. This would be the origin of the Hebrews, the Garden of Eden, the flood, and at least 3 other stories.

    Athena's position in life was dramatically changed when Athens became a democracy. She could not have held the new position of rule by reason, before Apollo, a god of reason, came into being.

    How exciting to question what we believe and to discover new gods or change our stories. :grin: Our technological society is overly concerned with facts. We have forgotten the importance of spirit. I don't mean a supernatural spirit but spirit meaning how we feel about things. To be wonder full as a child and play full about learning is a very different spirit than demanding the facts and proofs. And that is essential to knowing truth. As soon as we think we know god, we know god not. Some say we can study god in nature and others say we must read a book, but neither nature nor a book is god. If we want truth we must talk about this. We must begin with "I do know" and then see what we can find and argue about until we have a consensus on the best reasoning.

    Then in comes science with the atom and oh no, the atom isn't the smallest thing, there are protons, neutrons, and electrons. Whoops, there are also quarks and :lol: will they ever stop naming new subatomic particles? As I was reading about the problem of too many gods, science began naming one subatomic particle after another, and I was impressed by how similar both searches of truth have been. We need to lighten up and be more playful.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    IOW, you have knowledge of God? First-hand, certain knowledge of God?baker
    :lol: No one has first-hand knowledge of god. And I am NOT certain of anything.

    This is the third time I ask this question (paraphrased) and I get ignored deeply, soundly, and unanimously, by those who have made actual claims about god.

    I guess the silence I encounter to my question is an answer in a way. A very telling answer. — god must be atheist

    And whose problem is that?
    Do you believe in God?

    If there is a problem it is attitude. We are taking ourselves way too seriously.

    Well, there are a few more problems like famine and pandemics and wars and global warming, but we are not going to come together and resolve those problems if we don't lighten up and stop thinking that what we want is what God wants for us.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    "(unless by "God" you mean just a referentless, or philosophical, concept and not a 'providential entity' of Abrahamic, Vedic or pantheonic religions).180 Proof

    You worded that very well. Yes, and what is philosophy about if it is not about asking the questions that are impossible to answer and attempting to answer them anyway. That is what humans do and hopefully, we enjoy the doing. :grin:
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k


    Hehe. I did not think of it that way, but I guess that's what that is.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    Athena's position in life was dramatically changed when Athens became a democracy.Athena

    So... you knew Julius Caesar personally?

    And who was Miltiades? I mean, the REAL Miltiades?
  • Athena
    1.3k
    So... you knew Julius Caesar personally?

    And who was Miltiades? I mean, the REAL Miltiades?
    god must be atheist

    Well, Miltiades was certainly good-looking.

    His daughter had more wisdom than Pericles and he should have respected her! :rage: Those men's egos got a little out of control and they needed to be taught a lesson. The temple they built for me was flattering but I suspect it was more about their egos than me. I think as the US today, they came to think they could manage just fine without the gods and they needed to be taught without the gods they are nothing. So the plague gave Sparta the victory in war.

    Perhaps this thread should address the gods and war? :wink:
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    Ok, but I’m not asking why someone might use the term “god”. I’m being more specific, I want to know why you, a person who recognises that the term “god” is being used to describe not the usual characteristics of “god” but to describe something else for which we already have a name for yet instead of using that name still insist on calling it “god”.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    Ok, but I’m not asking why someone might use the term “god”. I’m being more specific, I want to know why you, a person who recognises that the term “god” is being used to describe not the usual characteristics of “god” but to describe something else for which we already have a name for yet instead of using that name still insist on calling it “god”.DingoJones

    :chin: Some people believe science can be applied to the god question and some do not. But certainly, we can apply philosophy to the god question.

    Now, what boundaries do you think we should set for the god question and why? Or, instead of boundaries, should we expand our understanding of the god question? Does not it begin with a desire to understand all of life? I certainly prefer expanding our understanding of the god question. I absolutely what to avoid the futile argument of if god exists or not because that is so repetitive and boring after several years of the same arguments again and again.

    I want new arguments. What is the unified force?
  • baker
    1k
    Same reason I want to decide the truth of any other claim: I want to believe only things that are true, and avoid believing things that are untrue.Pfhorrest
    You do realize how immensely impractical this is, do you? I'm sure you do.

    I also doubt you practice it consistently. You aren't all that concerned about the truth about the half-life of radioactive isotopes that exist only on Triton or the vaginal system of fleas, are you?
  • TheMadFool
    9.1k
    Hehe. I did not think of it that way, but I guess that's what that is.god must be atheist

    It was a well-crafted sentence with a meaning of deep significance to me. Given any proposition and that's what our weltanschauungs are made of, right?, we have only "three" choices: 1. assert its truth or 2. deny its truth or 3. ambivalence. Your opinion, in brackets, is: assert its truth (wrong!), deny its truth (wrong again!), and ambivalence (how silly!). Thus, for any proposition the actual choices are 1. to be wrong or 2. to be silly. That's a profound insight for the simple reason that these two - the first, failing to discover truth/falsity and the second, spewing silly nonsense - are the stuff of philosophers' nightmares.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k
    :chin: Some people believe science can be applied to the god question and some do not. But certainly, we can apply philosophy to the god question.Athena

    Basic logic and critical thinking, haven’t come across a god concept that passes even that simple test let alone a scientific one.

    Now, what boundaries do you think we should set for the god question and why? Or, instead of boundaries, should we expand our understanding of the god question? Does not it begin with a desire to understand all of life? I certainly prefer expanding our understanding of the god question. I absolutely what to avoid the futile argument of if god exists or not because that is so repetitive and boring after several years of the same arguments again and again.Athena

    Well the right answer is always going to be boring and repetitive, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the right answer and make one up instead.
    Also, the “does god exist question” isn’t futile. It’s actually really easy to answer. What might be futile is trying to get someone committed to the idea after a lifetime of indoctrination to listen but even that I dont agree with because people reason their way put of that delusion all the time. I couldn't call it futile for those reasons.
    Again, you aren’t really answering my question. You want to talk about understanding all life and what that might mean then great but why call that a god question? Just make it the “life” question... that conversation doesn’t require “god” at all but you keep wanting to put “god” in there. Why?

    I want new arguments. What is the unified force?Athena

    Is there a unified force? How do you know?
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    That's a profound insight for the simple reason that these two - the first, failing to discover truth/falsity and the second, spewing silly nonsense - are the stuff of philosophers' nightmares.TheMadFool

    True, but it's not quite as bad when you can hang it on some other philosopher.

    It is actually frighteningly rare that any one particular philosopher realizes the self-application procedure of this phenomenon.

    Socrates did. At least he claimed he had.
  • Pfhorrest
    4.4k
    You do realize how immensely impractical this is, do you? I'm sure you do.

    I also doubt you practice it consistently. You aren't all that concerned about the truth about the half-life of radioactive isotopes that exist only on Triton or the vaginal system of fleas, are you?
    baker

    “Only things that are true” doesn’t mean “all the things that are true”... but yeah, knowing all the things would be cool too, though of course I have higher priorities in daily life.
  • baker
    1k
    though of course I have higher priorities in daily life.Pfhorrest
    And how do they match "how things really are"?
  • Pfhorrest
    4.4k
    That question doesn't make any sense. How do my higher priorities -- things like keeping myself alive -- "match how things really are"? What does that even mean?
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    Well, I think philosophy's more modest (and, at best, more coherent) than that, just questioning the value of 'questions for which we haven't yet found – might never find – adequate (decidable) answers'.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    You want to talk about understanding all life and what that might mean then great but why call that a god question?DingoJones

    Eisenstein spent his last years seeking the unified force. If he thought that was worth his time it might be worth our time. I gave my answer to why I think it is important to speak of God and I am not going to repeat it. However, I will forfeit all the wins to you and 180 Proof because I stopped having fun and want to drop out.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    I’m not trying to win, just asking a question and didn’t see where you really answered it. You avoided directly answering. Also, You don’t find discussing things fun?
    Anyway, sure take a good mental note of my name and you can avoid wasting both our time in the future.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    Oh c'mon. :roll:
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    That question doesn't make any sense. How do my higher priorities -- things like keeping myself alive -- "match how things really are"? What does that even mean?Pfhorrest

    It's easy. Some of your priorities are fulfilled to expectation, some are not. The bloke is asking you how your expected priorities compare to the actual actualization of those priorities. Obviously you're alive. But do you eat the foods you want, and do you date the babes you want? do you earn the money you want, do you see the movies you want, do you laugh at the jokes you want? "For want of the price, a tea and a slice, the old man died..."
  • Wayfarer
    11.8k
    Eisenstein spent his last years seeking the unified forceAthena

    Eisenstein? :chin: Albert Einstein often made his feelings clear on God.

    Here's some examples:

    Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

    I'm not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written these books. It does not know-how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.

    I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

    Along similar lines:

    Atheists are those who still feel the weight of their chains.

    However, just to balance things up:

    From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.

    So Einstein accepted the general idea of a 'higher intelligence', and sometimes spoke of Spinoza's God as exempyfying that. Some of his aphorisms were mystical. However he thought religion on the whole belonged to an earlier age of man, and certainly seemd to think of the popular image of the 'heavenly father' was childish. (Although why Einstein's opinions are to be sought on the matter is an open question. At least he wasn't as cranky as Dawkins, even though the first chapter of Dawkin's God Delusion was devoted to him. )

    Oh, and one more for good measure:

    A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

    :up: That resonates with me.
  • Pfhorrest
    4.4k
    That would be a sensible interpretation of just his quoted bit out of context, but given the full context it's clearly not what's meant:

    If you don't believe in God, then the presumed, claimed, or factual actions, qualities etc. of God are none of your business and none of your concern.baker

    The presumed, claimed, or factual actions, qualities etc. of God are a factor in deciding whether to believe such a God exists.Pfhorrest

    Why do you want to "decide whether God exists or not"?baker

    Same reason I want to decide the truth of any other claim: I want to believe only things that are true, and avoid believing things that are untrue.Pfhorrest

    You do realize how immensely impractical this is, do you? I'm sure you do.

    I also doubt you practice it consistently. You aren't all that concerned about the truth about the half-life of radioactive isotopes that exist only on Triton or the vaginal system of fleas, are you?
    baker

    “Only things that are true” doesn’t mean “all the things that are true”... but yeah, knowing all the things would be cool too, though of course I have higher priorities in daily life.Pfhorrest

    And how do they match "how things really are"?baker

    So I have things that I have to prioritize above investigating just every little question that piques my curiosity, though it would still be cool to have the answers to all those things if I could; but even in light of not being able to believe all the truths, I still want to believe only truths, among the proposed answers to questions I actually have need or free time to investigate. And since I have the free time to be here talking about believing (or not) in the existence of God, I care to be sure that I only believe things that are true, to which "the presumed, claimed, or factual actions, qualities etc. of God" are relevant.

    In light of all that, the last quote above makes no clear sense as a question.
  • Coco Veldkamp
    0
    The presence of an ultimate perceiver with interventionist mechanisms, who not only enables but creates the suffering that exists today; famine, disease, violence, etc. is, in my opinion, an entity to be feared. As an atheist, I find solace in my belief that such a 'God' does not exist. However, if there is but the slightest consideration of a higher power, then yes, perhaps one might actively hope there is not a 'God', so as to blame the atrocities of our world on humanity and nature, rather than a merciless 'God'.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    That was nice.
  • baker
    1k
    That question doesn't make any sense. How do my higher priorities -- things like keeping myself alive -- "match how things really are"? What does that even mean?Pfhorrest
    This really isn't rocket sicence. Duh.
    Have you never been to church or some such??

    There is The Truth, the How Things Really Are. And a particular person either matches/lives up to that Truth, or they don't.
    You might think that something is important, but in Reality, it might not be important at all, and your preferences and convictions could be all wrong.

    I mean, really. Have you never spoken to any religious person? I'm pointing out religious people because they are especially clear on these matters. For example, you might think that being a vegetarian is important in life, but a Christian might tell you that it is not only not important, but that it is, in fact, wrong, that it is not in line with How Things Really Are (and How Things Really Are is what God commanded -- and God commanded that people must eat meat).

    For some kind of an objectivist, you sure have a poor grasp of authoritarian/objectivist discourse.
    Even though you yourself use the authoritarian/objectivist style. For example, you say, in true authoritarian/objectivist manner "That question doesn't make any sense" (instead of, e.g. "I don't understand what you mean here"). As if questions objectively make sense or they don't, and you are the arbiter of this sense-making -- but I am not.
  • Pfhorrest
    4.4k
    Oh I see, you’re confusing is and ought, and trying to ask if the things I prioritize are actually important as though that was a description question about what is real.

    Also you’re still not distinguishing objectivism as universalism from objectivism as transcendentalism. Only the latter entails dogmatism.
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