• creativesoul
    11.6k
    ...there was a basic problematic built into existence that gave rise to the worshipping and the rest.
    — Astrophel

    Yup. Ignorance of causality.
    creativesoul

    As in not knowing, say, disease to be caused by microbiology.Astrophel

    That's a sharper example which makes good segue into broader understanding...

    If that particular ignorance of causality is combined with strong conviction that supernatural entities can and do intervene in our lives and such intervention is guided/established by that entity's(or those entities') judgment of our behaviour, the result can be people believing that sickness is somehow, in someway, caused by the entity(entities) as a direct result/effect/consequence of the individual's behaviour. Such people misunderstand(are ignorant of) causality. As you may imply, they've an idea that things happen for a 'reason', so they may have a clue about the fact that they live in a causal world/universe, but are often ignorant of exactly "what causes what". That is ignorance of causality with efficacy(not really ironic, but very curious, nonetheless). Such folk often hold unshakable belief that everything happens for a reason, and that particular reason(say for a loved one's sudden onset of terrible sickness, suffering and death) belongs to the entity. Combine all that with another strong conviction that we cannot know the 'mind' of entity, and the result is we cannot know the reason(s). This is just off the top of my head, and there's a plethora of examples/explications available. For now, suffice it to say, that when all of that was, is, and/or will remain to be the case for some time to come, the inevitable result is a gross misattribution of causal relationships(layer upon layer of belief system/worldview built upon ignorance of causality).

    Of course, by my lights, the whole story is permeated through and through with anthropomorphism, but that's a topic in its own right, and is not limited to only such belief systems/worldviews. All that said...

    To be more considerate, given the historical timeframe of the supernatural stories, and the sheer explosion of very complex human thought and belief emerging from written language, it makes complete and perfect sense that such people used language in the ways they did to come up with such explanations for 'why' things were/are the way they were, and/or 'will be'.

    Such 'compound/complex' ignorance of causality served as purportedly solid ground for scores of different belief systems/worldviews, many, perhaps most of which included some sort of ritualistic practices("worshipping and all the rest").



    Not so much about causality itself, but of what causes what.Astrophel

    The part of your reply directly above presupposes relevant significant meaningful distinction between my use of "causality" and your use of "what causes what" aside from merely being two ways of pointing out the same thing. It's odd because I'm fairly sure you agreed with what I wrote... as written.




    On the other hand, the question remains, what is there that is IN the causal matrix of the world?Astrophel

    I do not understand how that counts as being 'on the other hand'. Looks like a different way to say "what causes what", both of which refer to causality, which is what I started with. Occam's razor applies.



    All one can witness is movement, change, and one can quantify these in endless ways...Astrophel

    Sensible use of "movement" and "change" presupposes some thing(s) to move, some thing(s) change as well as a means of doing so.



    ...the world as such is simply given.Astrophel

    Presupposes a giver. Occam's razor applies.


    ...here we find the mystery of value and ethics. This is what is behind all those stories.Astrophel

    A mystery is behind the stories? Seems like those stories spell it all out fairly clearly. So, I see no mystery to speak of. The stories are mistaken, but clear enough to be clearly mistaken.

    Value and ethics are embedded within stories. They grow with stories. They change with stories. So, to say that values and ethics are 'behind' the religious stories, as if they are somehow the basis underlying/grounding of all those stories seems suspect, eh? Cleary not all. Some. Sure.
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    I haven't said that everyday mundane reality is low, in fact I have explicitly said that it is our disposition towards things which could be higher or lower.Janus
    I don't see that the disposition to help people in need, to pursue beauty and truth, to eat drink and be merry, to sleep well at night can be put on a scale at all, at least not on any meaningful scale.

    Right, so to extend the above line of thought, it is natural for us to value our species, our own families and friends, ourselves, above all else. But this is something we are called upon to overcome, at least intellectually if not "viscerally" in the name of our human ideals of justice, freedom, beauty, love and truth.Janus
    You are setting up a false opposition here. It is not merely natural for us, it is right. Admittedly, we need to reconcile our love of our own with more universal, and perhaps less immediate values, and the specific values can compete with the universal ones. But that doesn't mean that one is "higher" than the other. "Higher" and "lower" are metaphors and the metaphors should be very cautiously interpreted.

    Usually, we do not 'know' our values in any meaningful sense. It would be helpful to elaborate what you mean here. It seems prima facie absurd.AmadeusD
    The context shows that I was summarizing @Janus view:-
    You seem to be trying to say that our values cannot be described in the way that facts can and hence are not true or false and cannot be known, and yet we know them and they are true.Ludwig V
    Hwowever, I agree that it was poorly expressed.
    Values cannot be truth-apt. They are intellectual states of affairs.AmadeusD
    But that is also poorly expressed, in my view. A state of affairs is truth-apt and values may involve the intellect, but not in the way that science, for example, does. A value is more like an imperative than a statement, in that it relates to action in a way that a state of affairs does not. A value can be the major premiss of a practical syllogism; a state of affairs an only be a minor premiss in such a syllogism.

    This might explain why it's so silly...AmadeusD
    One explanation for the fact that he seems to have dropped this topic in his later writing is that he realized that it was, shall we say, the result of a very limited view of language, which he escaped from when he recognized that the meaning of language is in its use, not in "propositions" - which are separated by definition from action, at least in Frege's talk of "entertaining" a proposition.

    We all know them, by virtue of being human, but their truth cannot be demonstrated in any determinable way as the truth of the fact of the world of the senses can.Janus
    No, no, no. An imperative is not true or false, but is valid or not, obeyed or not. Values are more like imperatives than truths. They are what we pursue. We can pursue truth (which is why it is also a value), but we also pursue other values, and needs (which are not necessarily the same kind of thing).

    It is true that establishing (reaching agreement about) values and establishing (reaching agreement about) truths involve different kinds of argument. We think we have a pretty good handle on arguments about truth and a pretty poor handle on arguments about value, and that may be inherent in those concepts. But let's not pretend that it is a simple matter to establish truth and a hopeless enterprise to establish a value; that far too simple a model to be helpful.
  • Janus
    15.8k
    I don't see that the disposition to help people in need, to pursue beauty and truth, to eat drink and be merry, to sleep well at night can be put on a scale at all, at least not on any meaningful scale.Ludwig V

    Only in terms of degree of caring and commitment.

    You are setting up a false opposition here. It is not merely natural for us, it is right. Admittedly, we need to reconcile our love of our own with more universal, and perhaps less immediate values, and the specific values can compete with the universal ones. But that doesn't mean that one is "higher" than the other. "Higher" and "lower" are metaphors and the metaphors should be very cautiously interpreted.Ludwig V

    If you think I was aiming to set up any kind of opposition, then you have misunderstood my intention. Higher and lower should be read as better and worse. Sometimes blindly following our "normal" appetites may be detrimental to ourselves and others, so the discipline or moderation that may come with a rational understanding of those appetites is better than an unreasoned addiction to them.

    We all know them, by virtue of being human, but their truth cannot be demonstrated in any determinable way as the truth of the fact of the world of the senses can.
    — Janus

    No, no, no. An imperative is not true or false, but is valid or not, obeyed or not. Values are more like imperatives than truths. They are what we pursue. We can pursue truth (which is why it is also a value), but we also pursue other values, and needs (which are not necessarily the same kind of thing).
    Ludwig V

    Firstly, I am not thinking in terms of imperatives, but in terms of concern or care; our human capacity to care about justice, beauty, freedom, truth, creativity, love and so on. I see these concerns as being truths about the human condition, about being human. Those who care nothing for such things are considered to be not as fully human, and I think rightly so.

    But let's not pretend that it is a simple matter to establish truth and a hopeless enterprise to establish a value; that far too simple a model to be helpful.Ludwig V

    I haven't proposed that at all. I have said that I think that empirical truths are easier to establish, but that people "know" the other human truths I mentioned above because we find on self-examination that we care about them and that we have good reason to believe that most others do too, even if we don't always act in full accordance with those intuitions.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    A state of affairs is truth-aptLudwig V

    It is not. A state of affairs is that against which somethign truth apt is held to standard. The state itself is brute (in any sense that can actually be grasped, anyway).

    A value is more like an imperative than a statement, in that it relates to action in a way that a state of affairs does not. A value can be the major premiss of a practical syllogism; a state of affairs an only be a minor premiss in such a syllogism.Ludwig V

    I may not be quite understanding what you're saying here, as it seems artificially complicated - but my response is 'no, that is absurd' the same way it was to (apparently) Janus' position.
    My position is a value isn't anything but an expression of someone/thing's mental hierarchy of achievable realities. 'Values' in the sense of 'communicable visions for the world' capture mental content in words. Nothing more. They are responses to propositions(or, inductive pre-empts - kinda - to possible propositions). Both yours, and Janus' formulations are roughly the same thing, I also note. Neither has any 'truth' value.

    This is why the moral debate between 'objective' and 'subjective' morals is so utterly ridiculous and intractable. They aren't either, independently: They are. together, states of people's minds. They are objectively(again, ignoring dishonesty) the subjective mental states of affairs within any given person's mind, or collective (that one gets murky -but hte principle is the same) in relation to a proposition.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    'A' is a contradiction of orthodoxy which denies the heretical Gnostic principle that God can be known. So, it should be "I am convinced there is a God".
    'B' is, most moderately, "I find no reason to believe in God, so I lack such a belief."
    'C' is about right, it being a denial of Gnosticism, which paradoxically orthodoxy also is, rendering it in line with agnosticism, the difference being that the believer has faith in the existence of God, whereas the agnostic finds no reason to have such a faith, nor any reason to have faith in God's non-existence.
    'D' is not I know there is not a God", but "I am against the very idea" (for whatever reasons, rational, moral, etc.)
    Janus

    In turn:

    A. You're going to need to overturn orthodoxy to establish an orthodoxy. It is orthodox in the Abrahamic's to know God through his works. Not sure where you're coming from here... It also isn't that relevant. Being convinced results in the statement I used. There's no contradiction, even if your point is 'true' as such. /

    B. Yes. This is a redundant reply.

    C. Gnosis is not Gnosticism.

    D. No, it isn't.

    A. I believe in a God.
    B. I do not believe in a God.
    C. I do not know whether or not there is a God.
    D. I claim that 'theism is not true, therefore theistic deities are fictions, and therefore theistic religions are immoral'.

    ABC are standard definitions and D is nonstandard (which I prefer).
    180 Proof

    A. This is not at all how this appears in the world, so I'm just going to say 'no' given these definitions are meant to be practical. All you've done is stepped down to a less helpful version.

    B. See above.

    C. This is simply not what that word refers to.

    D. This is just you being a bit weird, imo - possibly silly.

    I gave the definitions to avoid, exactly, the dumb missteps you're making. As below:

    There are four words we can use to adequately, discreetly and clearly delineate the four positions of relevance:

    A. Theism=I know there's a God;
    B. Atheism = I do not know whether there's a God;
    C. Agnosticism = I cannot know whether there is a God; and
    D. Anti-Theism = I know there is not a God.
    AmadeusD

    A prime example of trying to sound cool, while entirely ruining the project.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    I missed (overlooked) this post – I more or less agree. :up:

    :roll:

    I tried to help clarify your "dumb" definitions, but you're incorrible. Both theism and atheism, as definitions and in practice, are expressions of belief and not knowing; yet, apparently, the difference between 'believing' (that / in) and 'knowing' (how / that / what) are also lost on you; and as an antitheist, your ignorance, Amadeus, of how I/we actually use the term antitheism is "silly" (probably disingenuous too). You can, of course, define terms in any way you like in order to reassure yourself of atheism (or any other concept); for me, however, what matters is whether or not arguments for atheism (or any concept) are valid rather than relying on mere stipulations like you vacuously have done.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    There are four words we can use to adequately, discreetly and clearly delineate the four positions of relevance:

    A. Theism=I know there's a God;
    B. Atheism = I do not know whether there's a God;
    C. Agnosticism = I cannot know whether there is a God; and
    D. Anti-Theism = I know there is not a God.
    AmadeusD

    I've mostly ignored this thread recently but I do have questions.

    B. Atheism = I do not know whether there's a God;AmadeusD

    Isn't the salient part of atheism's position, I don't believe in a god? It is for me. The 'not knowing' comes later and is somewhat tempered by something else, which I generally put down as; 'I have heard no good reason to accept the proposition that gods exist.' Other atheists would claim they do know there is no god - at least, no Yahweh or Ganesh or Allah.

    And by the same token isn't a theist someone who believes there is a god? I have a number of theist friends, including priests and rabbis, who would actually count as agnostic theists. They would never say that they know god exists. They would say they believe and have faith. A few of them are even open to the idea that they might be mistaken in their faith. I think many more sophisticated thinkers might self-identify as theists but might be considered atheists by people with different world views - generally because their belief isn't literalist.
  • flannel jesus
    1.6k
    Isn't the salient part of atheism's position, I don't believe in a god? It is for me.Tom Storm

    I think the way he splits it gets a lot wrong. Even the anti theism one
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    Firstly, I am not thinking in terms of imperatives, but in terms of concern or care; our human capacity to care about justice, beauty, freedom, truth, creativity, love and so on. I see these concerns as being truths about the human condition, about being human. Those who care nothing for such things are considered to be not as fully human, and I think rightly so.Janus
    Well, I can see that there's a difference, but let's not get picky about language. Values are related to action in a way that facts are not. That's the important difference.
    I'm aware that many people like to see ethical values as rooted in the human condition living in the world. I'm very sympathetic.
    However, we do dehumanize people who behave very badly - and it is not difficult to find people doing things that pass my (and, I hope, your) understanding. However, I think this is a mistake. The people who set up a huge administrative and industrial system to eradicate people of certain kinds from their society (to give just one hackneyed example) are human beings. We are capable of heroism and horror. We should not pretend otherwise even though the recognition is not comfortable.
    And there's the problem. If values are rooted in the human condition, how come people behave like that?

    This is why the moral debate between 'objective' and 'subjective' morals is so utterly ridiculous and intractable. They aren't either, independently: They are. together, states of people's minds.AmadeusD
    "States of people's minds" suggests that you are either a relativist or a subjectivist. Or have I misunderstood? I do agree, however, that the binary classification between objective and subjective is most unhelpful when applied to ethics.

    B. Atheism = I do not know whether there's a God;AmadeusD
    (sc. B) Isn't the salient part of atheism's position, I don't believe in a god? It is for me.Tom Storm
    And by the same token isn't a theist someone who believes there is a god? I have a number of theist friends, including priests and rabbis, who would actually count as agnostic theists. They would never say that they know god exists. They would say they believe and have faith.Tom Storm
    There is something of a battle going on at the moment between belief and knowledge as the appropriate category. The (mistaken) idea that the difference between belief and knowledge means that saying one believes in God implies some sort of uncertainty, so people who strongly believe in God want to claim to know, while people who don't believe in God (or don't believe that belief in God can be rationally justified) cannot possibly concede that. It's very confusing.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    It's very confusing.Ludwig V

    Ok thanks.

    When I say I don't believe in god, I also hold that I don't have a robust idea what the idea of god/s even means. It's pretty hard to believe in something which seems incoherent or unintelligible. But not understanding - and therefore not believing - can not be held as knowledge (I would have thought).

    There are many potential versions of god - from the magic space wizard (so beloved by Trump supporters), to the highest value in the hierarchy of values, as per Jordan Peterson.

    Wouldn't it be the case that to be an atheist or a theist varies radically according to the kinds of god you are or are not believing in, which must surely also impact upon the belief knowledge/question?
  • Astrophel
    479
    Yes, that's exactly his argument. What is not clear is whether he thought of that as debunking metaphysics or legitimizing it (in some form)? (Throwing away the ladder once one has climbed up it.) I can't see that he might have intended to allow (or would have allowed), if he had known about it) a project like Husserl's or Heidegger's - both of whom abjured metaphysics (as traditionally understood.)Ludwig V

    Russell thought Witt was a mystic, because Witt thought, in a letter to a publisher, that the Tractatus had two parts, the part that is spoken and the part that is not, and it was the latter that was most important. Heidegger's lecture The Ontotheological Constitution of Metaphysics, What Is Metaphysics, and in Being and Time's Care as the Being of Dasein, and also in his The Word of Nietzsche's God Is Dead (I happen to be reading these now) shows that he does not cross that line into forbidden metaphysics, but stays always in the historical grounding of Hegelian ontology. "Ontotheology? Understanding Heidegger’s Destruktion of Metaphysics" by Iain Thomson works this out so well, and I should read it again. Husserl is another matter. His epoche is notoriously borderline, and the so called French theological turn is entirely grounded in Husserl, and I find Michel Henry and Jen Luc Marion to be the torch bearers of this phenomenology that takes what appears before us down to the wire, the pure phenomenon of the encounter. I think they have a very good point: though language is always already IN the manifestation of what is perceived, the "life" of experiencing the world is so vividly there, in the "pathos" (broadly conceived) of our existence, that the metaphysics of that which cannot be spoken stands emphatically clear. It is just insane to think away the reality of this world's engagement, and this has to do with the value in the raw encounter. The pure phenomenon cannot be dismissed as an interpretative indeteriminacy. Its determinacy is AS apodictic as logic. But then, when we speak, we are in this historical ontology. This sounds close to Wittgenstein, no?

    I'm all for giving a central place in philosophy to human life. But classifying that as metaphysics is a bit of a stretch don't you think?Ludwig V

    But what is metaphysics? What does Witt mean when he says the world is mystical and ethics is transcendental? He was not talking about a surprasensory world. What would one classify as metaphysics? Heidegger was very down to earth.

    It certainly would. Ethics as we know it would not exist. It would reduce to determinism.Ludwig V

    But you are talking about freedom. At its essence, religion is not about freedom. It is rather purely descriptive: What is there in the world that makes religion what it is? Talk about creative minds fictionalizing things to make the world more agreeable begs the question: More agreeable? Why is this needed? Then we encounter Schopenhauer very accurate descriptions of our world. Of course, he didn't really understand the world's ethics: Our ethics IS Ethics. This is the dramatic change. As if the gravitas of the Bible were to be affirmed, but minus most of the narrative content, including it metaphysics, and, of course, God: God the creator, God the almighty, God the all knowing, and so forth. All the things the Bible (and other such texts)we may find wise and true are wise and true because that is what they are.

    This is where the OP is going. Observe ethics the way it is, and qualitatively, there hangs in the balance matters of profound importance, and here I say, see Schopenhauer. But see that ethics is also constituted by the "optimistic" side, a word chosen just to contrast Schop's infamous pessimism, as well. These are really deflationary terms, pessimism and optimism. One has to move into the language of poetry, from Baudelaire's amazing Flowers of Evil (Better than Schop) through to Emerson's Nature (In a bare common, I am glad to the brink of fear). In other words, to talk about this world's ethics, one has to talk about this world's value actualities (for these are what is in play in ethics, though often not so emphatically of vividly , and these are powerful; as powerful as burning living flesh and ecstatic visions of "holiness". We don't have language that can give such things their due place beyond "the Good" and "the Bad". These are simply their "own presupposition" entirely resistant to analysis (which is a major premise of the OP). AND: they issue from the world itself. One may be miserable because of condition she caused to be, but no "caused" misery to be there AT ALL.

    That depends on what you mean by "grounded". You seem to be attributing some sort of coercive force to Being and that is the nightmare of a world without ethics or even value.Ludwig V

    Not to personify Being at all. The matter is simply descriptive. The ground of something is that from which it comes. The ethical imposition upon me not to strangle my neighbor and steal his money is traceable to the value in play, which is simply "there".
  • Astrophel
    479
    To be more considerate, given the historical timeframe of the supernatural stories, and the sheer explosion of very complex human thought and belief emerging from written language, it makes complete and perfect sense that such people used language in the ways they did to come up with such explanations for 'why' things were/are the way they were, and/or 'will be'.creativesoul

    The Op asks, what is behind "such explanations"? "Behind" here is, of course, not a determinative matter. If it were, the human existence would be VERY different. Religion is about metaphysics, even though those etymological stories and crowd the issue with imagination. Clear the board of all that fabrication, and what is left? It is not nothing, but is the isolated condition itself, there to examined, not unlike that way a geologist well remove isolate quartz from granite or a psychiatrist will seek out more primary pathologies to explain behavior. Certain thing must be cleared away to discover what is there. Call this a scientist's reductive effort to research something. She may find plate tectonics, or childhood trauma, but to do this, a great deal has to be dismissed as incidental.

    But here, the matter is metaphysics, and empirical (a category that has rather arbitrary boundaries) research will not do. Ethics is transcendental. One has to see this before moving into the argument all all. Seeking out causes is certainly important, but first one has to see clearly what one is trying to track down, and if analysis stays at the level of story telling in ancient texts, then analysis stays with cultural anthropology, or the literary classics (I took a course once called "The Bible as Literature"), or mythology. But this is just not interesting philosophically.

    Philosophy wants to know what things are at the most basic level of inquiry, and the narrative account is the first thing to go. What does it mean to be "thrown" into a world like this with this impossible ethical dimension? The being thrown into disease, and countless miseries, as well as the joys, blisses, and the countless delights? Ethics does not simply deal with such things; it IS these things, meaning none of this value dimension, then ethics simply vanishes. No bads and goods, to put it bluntly, then no ethics (or aesthetics). And as the OP says, religious is the foundational ethical/aesthetic indeterminacy of our existence.

    I do not understand how that counts as being 'on the other hand'. Looks like a different way to say "what causes what", both of which refer to causality, which is what I started with. Occam's razor applies.creativesoul

    Right. What is IN the causal matrix of the world is not causality itself, but the world that is being observed. The qualitative matters of ethics and religion are not addressed if the essential meanings are not recognized. So ethical situations like returning an ax to its enraged owner bent on revenge have a great deal of content that has nothing to do with the "essence" of ethics. Metaethics asks, what IS it about this that makes it ethical AT ALL. What makes something ethical at the basic level? What is the "good" and the "bad" of ethics?

    Presupposes a giver. Occam's razor applies.creativesoul

    Givenness refers to "being thrown" into a world that is foundationally indeterminate. How is it foundationally indeterminate takes one to the issue of language. Language deals with the world, but does not speak its presence, so to speak. Long and windy issue.

    A mystery is behind the stories? Seems like those stories spell it all out fairly clearly. So, I see no mystery to speak of. The stories are mistaken, but clear enough to be clearly mistaken.

    Value and ethics are embedded within stories. They grow with stories. They change with stories. So, to say that values and ethics are 'behind' the religious stories, as if they are somehow the basis underlying/grounding of all those stories seems suspect, eh? Cleary not all. Some. Sure.
    creativesoul

    It is not the story itself, but what gave rise to the story. Jump to the chase: Religion is all about our being thrown into a world to suffer and die. Because this world is foundationally indeterminate, this "throwness"
    has no identifiable cause that can provide remedy. So understand what religion IS, we have to understand the very real presence in the world of value, a general term that designates a dimension of our existence which makes ethics possible. The issue takes thought deep into metaphysics.
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    When I say I don't believe in god, I also hold that I don't have a robust idea what the idea of god/s even means. It's pretty hard to believe in something which seems incoherent or unintelligible. But not understanding - and therefore not believing - can not be held as knowledge (I would have thought).Tom Storm
    That's just about where I'm at. That's why I'm taking an interest in this thread, but not adopting a position. I do have various theories, but none of them would be of any interest to a believer. For a start, I'm not merely interested in monotheism. Polytheism (which historically, I think preceded monotheism and derives from it.) is pretty clearly a sort of personification of important elements of ordinary life. "God" in modern religions seems to be a keystone for a way of life and a system of values, rather than an empirical reality. There's also the idea that religion is part of the system of social control that became necessary when cities and agriculture developed. Finally, there are those self-certifying experiences that people have.

    There are many potential versions of god - from the magic space wizard (so beloved by Trump supporters), to the highest value in the hierarchy of values, as per Jordan Peterson.Tom Storm
    I wasn't aware of Jordan Peterson's theory. It seems like a version of Aristotle's theory of the Supreme Good.

    Wouldn't it be the case that to be an atheist or a theist varies radically according to the kinds of god you are or are not believing in, which must surely also impact upon the belief knowledge/question?Tom Storm
    I would agree with that. There's a wide range of different views in circulation. Far too many to classify into just four propositions - unless you think that God is an empirical hypothesis. It's curious, though, that there seem to be both theists and atheists who prefer that approach, no doubt in the belief that favours their case.
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Well, I can see that there's a difference, but let's not get picky about language. Values are related to action in a way that facts are not. That's the important difference.Ludwig V

    I'm not sure what you are addressing here Ludwig; I was making a distinction between moral imperatives and moral intuitions and relating the latter to aesthetic intuitions, love and care.

    Values are related to action, but they are also related to concern, love, intention and judgement.

    I'm aware that many people like to see ethical values as rooted in the human condition living in the world. I'm very sympathetic.
    However, we do dehumanize people who behave very badly - and it is not difficult to find people doing things that pass my (and, I hope, your) understanding. However, I think this is a mistake. The people who set up a huge administrative and industrial system to eradicate people of certain kinds from their society (to give just one hackneyed example) are human beings. We are capable of heroism and horror. We should not pretend otherwise even though the recognition is not comfortable.
    And there's the problem. If values are rooted in the human condition, how come people behave like that?
    Ludwig V

    For me ethical values are rooted in caring about how we are to live. My earlier talk in terms of higher and lower was meant to show that I think living with care, concern and love for others and for the whole environment, the whole Earth, is a higher form of life than living without such care.

    I don't agree with dehumanizing people in the extreme, but I do think it is fair to see people who have no such care as being less than fully human. By human I mean something like "able to transcend being ruled by mere self-interest and the passions of the moment, able to be aware of and care about one's effect on other beings, both human and animal and even plant".

    I am not sure what you mean by "eradicating people of certain kinds" so I can't comment on that other than to say that I think certain kinds of people certainly need to be restrained; namely those who possess little or no self-restraint or even self-awareness.

    I think values are rooted in the human condition, but it does not follow that all of us will be able to live up to those values, perhaps none of us perfectly and all of us only more or less. And that refers only to those who are actually aware of and care about those values; some may have no awareness of them, or even if they do have some awareness, do not care at all about them.
  • LuckyR
    394
    No. Atheism is neither logical nor illogical, just at theism is equally neither. Metaphysical entities, like gods do no leave behind physical proof on which to base logical arguments. Thus gods can only be "believed in" (or not believed in) not "known/proven" (or disproven). Hence why religions deal in Faith.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Yeah, but is "religious faith" logical?
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    Values are related to action, but they are also related to concern, love, intention and judgement.Janus
    Of course. But concern, love, intention and judgement are all realized in actions.

    For me ethical values are rooted in caring about how we are to live. My earlier talk in terms of higher and lower was meant to show that I think living with care, concern and love for others and for the whole environment, the whole Earth, is a higher form of life than living without such care.Janus
    If you had said that living in that way was a better form of life, I would entirely agree with you.

    I am not sure what you mean by "eradicating people of certain kinds" so I can't comment on that other than to say that I think certain kinds of people certainly need to be restrained; namely those who possess little or no self-restraint or even self-awareness.Janus
    I'm not sure why I express my thought in that way. I was referring to the holocaust in WW2. Of course it is right to restrain people sometimes. The problems arise when you think that some people are not really people.

    I don't agree with dehumanizing people in the extreme, but I do think it is fair to see people who have no such care as being less than fully human. By human I mean something like "able to transcend being ruled by mere self-interest and the passions of the moment, able to be aware of and care about one's effect on other beings, both human and animal and even plant".Janus
    Even "less than fully human" is problematic. There is a concept of "human rights", which aims to establish minimal norms for the treatment of all human beings. Once you have branded a group of people as "less than fully human", you have licensed excluding them from those rights. As so often, a lofty and entirely praiseworthy enterprise is undermined by the exclusion of our enemies. This issue underpinned the battles about the rights of the "common man", women, slaves, and so on.
    I don't for a moment think that you intend to do this. But this kind of language is very, very prejudicial to values that we ought to hold dear.

    By human I mean something like "able to transcend being ruled by mere self-interest and the passions of the moment, able to be aware of and care about one's effect on other beings, both human and animal and even plant".Janus
    In a way, there is nothing wrong with that. Limiting one's scope to narrow self-interest is certainly a bad thing. But it is right to look after one's own interests. I don't see that it is a "lower" value than helping other people to look after theirs. What is wrong is not looking after and helping others as well.
    You are forgetting that it is quite easy to do terrible things in pursuit of a selfless ideology - indeed, I sometimes think that a set of values is often the basis for worse things than self-interest - like tyranny, torture and genocide.
  • LuckyR
    394


    No, it is neither logical nor illogical.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Insofar as 'religious faith' denotes worship of and/or practices justified (i.e. rationalized) by Mysteries – which only beg questions becsuse they are not answers (to e.g. "what is source, origin or cause of all things?" "why these values rather than those values?" "is there an afterlife? or day of judgment?" "what is the ultimate plan?" etc) – it is fallacious, or illogical. So explain what I get wrong about 'religious faith'.
  • LuckyR
    394


    Happy to. First, while you are correct that religious faith does not present answers, you missed the point that those particular "questions" are not merely unanswered, but are in fact unanswerable. Thus the status of "unanswered" is moot.

    Second it is an error to equate the lack of "answers" to "fallacious".
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Of course. But concern, love, intention and judgement are all realized in actions.Ludwig V

    Sure, they can be realized in actions, but they are not necessarily.

    If you had said that living in that way was a better form of life, I would entirely agree with you.Ludwig V

    That was just what I was saying, only I used the term "higher" instead of better while meaning "better". I prefer the term higher, despite its possible metaphysical baggage, because I tend to think in terms of greater love, freedom, moral sensibility, sense of justice and creativity as manifesting heightened states of consciousness, that is I think there are higher and lower states of consciousness.

    The problems arise when you think that some people are not really people.Ludwig V

    We are all defined biologically as being human, and as members of societies we are all defined as being people. I'm not concerned to define some individuals otherwise, but was merely pointing to the common tendency to think of those who completely lack empathy or moral sense as being less than human and worse than animals.

    There is a concept of "human rights", which aims to establish minimal norms for the treatment of all human beings.Ludwig V

    I'm not advocating removing the anyone's rights. That would be in the domain of legal policy and that is not what I am addressing.

    But it is right to look after one's own interests. I don't see that it is a "lower" value than helping other people to look after theirs. What is wrong is not looking after and helping others as well.
    You are forgetting that it is quite easy to do terrible things in pursuit of a selfless ideology - indeed, I sometimes think that a set of values is often the basis for worse things than self-interest - like tyranny, torture and genocide.
    Ludwig V

    I haven't compared looking out for one's interests with looking after the interests of others, or helping other to look after their own interests; what I've been saying is that one who is concerned only with their own interests is morally lower than one who is concerned with their own interests and the interests of others.

    I am also not advocating ideologies of any kind.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    I claim that many questions are answered by religion (i.e. scriptures, dogmas, sacraments/rites) and require "faith" because those "revealed answers" are merely question-begging "mysteries". Unanswered (or unanswerable) questions are not fallacious – begging the question (e.g. with "mysteries") is fallacious, ergo illogical.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    To be more considerate, given the historical timeframe of the supernatural stories, and the sheer explosion of very complex human thought and belief emerging from written language, it makes complete and perfect sense that such people used language in the ways they did to come up with such explanations for 'why' things were/are the way they were, and/or 'will be'.
    — creativesoul

    The Op asks, what is behind "such explanations"?
    Astrophel

    I didn't see that.



    "Behind" here is, of course, not a determinative matter.

    Nonsense.

    "Behind" is
    Reveal
    the term used to denote, stipulate, and/or otherwise point out
    one spatiotemporal location(or set thereof) based upon others. "Behind" is a spatiotemporal relation between things from a particular vantage point. This necessarily presupposes(requires) a plurality of locations. At least three.

    "Behind" is also used to determine where we look, as in "Hey Bob, look at the cat. She's behind the fridge!"

    Your use of the term is the single greatest determinate of how others take you to mean whatever it is that you claim to mean by such use. You do not seem to be following those 'rules'.

    What "behind" means to you, good sir, determines what you mean to say, what you mean by what you say, as well as what I take you to mean after such usage had begun.




    Philosophy wants to know what things are at the most basic level of inquiry, and the narrative account is the first thing to go.

    The assertion "Philosophy wants to know what things are at the most basic level of inquiry" is attributing wants to things that are incapable of forming/having them. I'd charge anthropomorphism; however, humans are not the only creatures capable of wanting things.

    Philosophy is something that is practiced. Practices are not the sort of things that 'want to know' anything. Practitioners are.

    What would 'the most basic level of inquiry' be in complete absence of narrative account. I mean, the suggestion neglects the fact that it quite simply cannot be done. There goes the only means/method available to us for seeking such knowledge.







    What does it mean to be "thrown" into a world...

    I can think of a few different sensible uses of that term. It may indicate situations when/where one's spatiotemporal location is drastically changed as a result of being hurtled through the air, against their will/choosing/wishes. It may refer to all the different subjective particular circumstances during the adoption of one's initial/first worldview. It may refer to the fact that no one chooses the socioeconomic circumstances they are born into.



    ...being thrown into disease, and countless miseries, as well as the joys, blisses, and the countless delights? Ethics does not simply deal with such things; it IS these things...

    If you're attempting to equate ethics with "being thrown into disease, and countless miseries, as well as the joys, blisses, and the countless delights" then I'll have to walk. That makes no sense whatsoever.



    I do not understand how that counts as being 'on the other hand'. Looks like a different way to say "what causes what", both of which refer to causality, which is what I started with. Occam's razor applies.
    — creativesoul

    Right. What is IN the causal matrix of the world is not causality itself, but the world that is being observed.
    Astrophel

    Not only is this a performative contradiction, at best, it is self-contradiction. If we put the first step earlier offered by you into practice now, we would throw out your reply here. Self-defeating, impossible, and/or unattainable standards/criterions are unacceptable.




    Givenness refers to "being thrown" into a world that is foundationally indeterminate. How is it foundationally indeterminate takes one to the issue of language. Language deals with the world, but does not speak its presence, so to speak. Long and windy issue.Astrophel

    Yup. Thousands upon thousands of pages. The introduction story in On The Way To Language is some of Heiddy's best work. Too bad he wasn't around enough individual's to grasp the full meaning underlying "that which goes unspoken". He was thrown into a different world, evidently where there were not enough Japanese traditionalists around him to help build correlational content.




    Value and ethics are embedded within stories. They grow with stories. They change with stories. So, to say that values and ethics are 'behind' the religious stories, as if they are somehow the basis underlying/grounding of all those stories seems suspect, eh? Cleary not all. Some. Sure.
    — creativesoul

    It is not the story itself, but what gave rise to the story. Jump to the chase: Religion is all about our being thrown into a world to suffer and die.
    Astrophel

    Jump over the burden much?

    I offered the single most comprehensive description of one thing that helped give rise to religious stories. Narratives such as yours are discussing all the different conditions/subjective circumstances into which one is born in terms of "being thrown into the world". That's certainly not enough to ground the claim that values and ethics are behind all religious stories. Some values and ethics emerge by virtue of those stories. It may be impossible to separate values from the stories in some cases.

    Our dispute is beside the point of this thread. Another may be on order.
  • LuckyR
    394


    Oh, some scriptural passages are unrealistic and some traditions are nonsensical. I just don't define "religion" by those passages and traditions. Much is made in philosophy forums about, say origin stories, but religious folk generally don't currently use religion to determine the origin of the universe.
  • Ludwig V
    1k
    Sure, they can be realized in actions, but they are not necessarily.Janus
    Surely you don't mean that love or concern may never shows themselves in any actions at all? The moral worth of that is, let us say, debatable.

    I think there are higher and lower states of consciousness.Janus
    There's that higher/lower metaphor again. But I can't see just what you mean without examples.

    I'm not advocating removing the anyone's rights. That would be in the domain of legal policy and that is not what I am addressing.Janus
    Those laws have been developed from what many people think are moral imperatives. Think of Kant's categorical imperative.

    what I've been saying is that one who is concerned only with their own interests is morally lower than one who is concerned with their own interests and the interests of others.Janus
    I'll just substitute "worse" for "lower". OK? Certainly most selfish people are hypocritical at some level, since their personal interests depend on mutual recognition of other people. My property is my own, but only because other people have the same rights as I do.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    What "behind" means to you, good sir, determines what you mean to say, what you mean by what you say, as well as what I take you to mean after such usage had begun.creativesoul

    Heh, heh, no, creativesoul. I don't mean behind the refrigerator. I referred to metaphysics. This is about the lack of fixity our ideas have at the basic level. Ideas' meanings are derived from the contexts in which they are found. But contexts are determinative or finite. "The world" possesses in its meaning "that which is not contextual" I am arguing. It certainly possesses interpretative values of language, but it is the "fleshy feels" and the palpable engagements that stand outside of the way context confers meaning. This is the metaphysical ground of ethics, where ethics, and therefore religion, acquires its foundation.

    The assertion "Philosophy wants to know what things are at the most basic level of inquiry" is attributing wants to things that are incapable of forming/having them. I'd charge anthropomorphism; however, humans are not the only creatures capable of wanting things.creativesoul

    It is rather a simple statement referring to the telos of philosophy: if there is a question begged, then inquiry will follow. Philosophy begins where specific inquiries in specific fields end. Physics does not ask what a force is. Philosophy does. Science does not ask about the nature of knowledge relations. Philosophy does.
    "Attributing wants to things"? A bit left fieldish.

    Philosophy is something that is practiced. Practices are not the sort of things that 'want to know' anything. Practitioners are.

    The quote above is self-defeating. It cannot be put into practice. What would 'the most basic level of inquiry' even look like in complete absence of narrative account. I mean, honoring the suggestion neglects the fact that it quite simply cannot be done. There goes the only means/method available to us for seeking such knowledge.
    creativesoul

    The narrative account in question refers to the religious narrative that is the stuff that sermons are made out of, and all the bad metaphysics. Not about narrative as such.

    The most basic level of inquiry deals with epistemology and ontology.

    can think of a few different sensible uses of that term. It may indicate situations when/where one's spatiotemporal location is drastically changed as a result of being hurtled through the air, against their will/choosing/wishes. It may refer to all the different subjective particular circumstances during the adoption of one's initial/first worldview. It may refer to the fact that no one chooses the socioeconomic circumstances they are born into.creativesoul

    Thrownness (geworfenheit) a term that refers, plainly put, to the condition of our being in a world always already endowed with the terms of meaningful possibilities. One sees this in moments of reflective thought in which it becomes clear that one has been "thrown" into a world of entanglements where one is a teacher, a lawyer, a wife or husband,has a language,or any of what Heidegger called "factical" identities. We move through life never questioning these engagements in a culture, and as a result, we never realize our "true" nature.
    You are close when you say "It may refer to the fact that no one chooses the socioeconomic circumstances they are born into." Right. But when one does choose, she is already IN a lifestyle, a language, a body of meaningful institutions. This is one's throwness.

    Yup. Thousands upon thousands of pages. The introduction story in On The Way To Language is some of Heiddy's best work. Too bad he wasn't around enough individual's to grasp the full meaning underlying "that which goes unspoken". He was thrown into a different world.creativesoul

    The full meaning of that which is unspoken? Pray, continue.

    Keep in mind that when it comes to metaphysics, I do not share Heidegger's commitment to finitude in his Ontotheology Constitution of Metaphysics (and in Being and Time's Care as the Being of Dasein, and elsewhere). In fact, I reject this way to ground metaphysics. Which brings me to what I call "value-in Being, the Being of Value.

    As to "that which is unspoken" Heidegger is notorious for dismissing ethics and value (value, in the way Wittgenstein refuses to talk about it). Here, both Kierkegaard and Heidegger fail to discover (at least analytically) the most salient feature of what we are. It is our existence's value dimension. Discussable.

    If you're attempting to equate ethics with "being thrown into disease, and countless miseries, as well as the joys, blisses, and the countless delights" then I'll have to walk. That makes no sense whatsoever.creativesoul

    Just ask, what IS ethics? This is not to ask Kant's question, or MIll's, but it is a question of ontology; not what should one do, but what is the very nature of the ethical and therefore religious imposition. So if you take no interest in such a thing, then you probably should, as you say, walk.

    But keep in mind that this is not a study in Heidegger. Rather, Heidegger provides the language tools for presenting ideas. Throwness is a VERY useful term for ethics regardless of whether he talked like this. He didn't because he didn't care about ethics and value, which is appalling. Husserl didn't talk like this either, yet you will find a great deal of neo Husserlian thinking in the French Theological turn, so called; there is Michel Henry, Jean Luc Marion, Levinas, and others, all who take the Husserlian reduction down to the wire. Henry is magnificent. His complaint against Heidegger rests with his (derived from Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety) notion of the angst one experiences when the "nothing" of encountering being as such appears. Henry's point is that if one is going to give this angst an ontological status (not merely ontic) then he has to allow for the entire range of affectivity, for anxiety is a mode of affectivity. And HERE is where the issue of the logicality of atheism begins. Theism has to be delivered from religious narrative (recall how Lyotard famously referred to the post modern move past "grand narratives" of religion, and reason, as in the "age of Reason") in order find what is there that was not constructed by creative medieval minds.

    One cannot understand the "logic" of atheism if one doesn't understand what theism is. Theism has to be purged of incidentals.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Jump over the burden much?creativesoul

    No, jumping To the burden, and bypassing the endless parade of descriptions of God that are entirely fabricated. God the creator? But where did this come from and why is a theistic view committed to this? To be the creator now puts the burden on this concept of God to be accountable for everything, and you end up with impossible contradictions and, say, theodicies to explain them All along, the entire issue was that God as a concept had never been thoroughly purged of invention. God is omnipotent, omniscient, the greatest possible being?
    You perhaps see how the posts that try to talk about God are all bound up in fiction. God has to be reduced to its essential meaning before one can talk about why one should believe in God. Prior to this is the worst kind of naivete. I mean, a metaphysical entity? And one has not examined at all what metaphysics is.
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Surely you don't mean that love or concern may never shows themselves in any actions at all? The moral worth of that is, let us say, debatable.Ludwig V

    It is perhaps unlikely, but not impossible. Some may live solely by the principle of "do no harm", for eample. Also I was thinking more of sitiations than of whole human lives when I said that moral feelings may not be expressed in action.

    There's that higher/lower metaphor again. But I can't see just what you mean without examples.Ludwig V

    Perhaps thinking in terms of the arts and greater and lesser works of art representing more and less heightened states of consciousness. Think of a heightened state of moral awareness and feeling and that should give you the pic ture.

    Those laws have been developed from what many people think are moral imperatives. Think of Kant's categorical imperativeLudwig V

    Sure, in some people's thinking a moral intuition may be transformed into what they think of as an imperative. But I don't see morality as primarily consisting in following rules but as being guided by human feelings.

    I'll just substitute "worse" for "lower". OK? Certainly most selfish people are hypocritical at some level, since their personal interests depend on mutual recognition of other people. My property is my own, but only because other people have the same rights as I do.Ludwig V

    I'm not sure why the higher/ lower terminology is giving you trouble. Is it because you associate it with religious thinking?

    God has to be reduced to its essential meaning before one can talk about why one should believe in God.Constance

    For me 'God' signifies nothing beyond the highest feelings and principles that humans aspire to. Unconditional love, unwavering steadfastness, indomitable bravery and so on,
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    Religion is about metaphysics...Astrophel

    Nah. It did not begin by thinking about thinking practices as subject matters in their own right.
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