• Vera Mont
    3.5k
    But if we want to live at all, we’re going to have to work with it. I didn’t say like it, I said work with it.Fire Ologist
    Yes. Thank your God for creating it, since you consider pain good. Job questioned it and Jehovah told him : Because I'm bigger than you. He accepted that and if it's fine for you, be happy. I disagree that there is anything intelligent or benevolent in a system that requires antelope to die in agony, torn apart by lions. They don't get the option of "working with it".
  • Fire Ologist
    234
    They don't get the option of "working with it".Vera Mont

    The other antelopes do.
    The lions do.
    The vultures do.
    The bacteria do.
    The grass does.
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    The other antelopes do.
    The lions do.
    The vultures do.
    The bacteria do.
    The grass does.
    Fire Ologist

    No, they don't. The other antelope are lucky to escape, for the moment; they don't 'work with' the loss of a herd-mate. Vultures, bacteria and grass benefit from the death and decomposition of animals. Another's pain is of no use to them.
    (BTW, muscle growth doesn't hurt, either. Damage does.)
  • DifferentiatingEgg
    21
    Ironically, Dawkins still made God the center of his universe ... but this isn't the case for all Atheist.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Who's to say humans are worth more than cockroaches?BitconnectCarlos

    Among many other things, cockroaches are disgusting.
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    Among many other things, cockroaches are disgusting.Lionino

    And humans aren't?
  • chiknsld
    314
    No, I would not say that atheism is illogical, though I believe that God wants us to love each other and create peace (my personal opinion), that does not allow me to say that therefore atheists (whom do not believe in God) are automatically illogical.

    It has taken a lot of time and dedication to understand what the implications entail (though I did start early) and so I can say this with a rather high degree of confidence. In my youth I certainly did not think so kindly. :heart:
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.9k


    “If you crush a cockroach, you're a hero. If you crush a beautiful butterfly, you're a villain. Morals have aesthetic criteria.” - Nietzsche
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    And humans aren't?Vera Mont

    The ones I like aren't.

    Of course it does. Who can deny that our morality is strongly influenced by evolution?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.9k


    Evolution shapes our brains to survive which is not necessarily what is right or rational.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Not necessarily right or rational, but not possibly wrong or irrational.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.9k


    If something is not necessarily right then it could possibly be wrong. Evolution helps us survive, not necessarily thrive or self-actualize.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    says who?flannel jesus

    I did, see above.

    If something is not necessarily right then it could possibly be wrongBitconnectCarlos

    Only if you see it as a matter of black and white and not as a spectrum.

    necessarily thrive or self-actualizeBitconnectCarlos

    Do you not think that the values that we define as necessary for those two are given (majorly) by evolution?

    Although the head may err, the blood will never be wrong. — Nakajima Atsushi
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    antelope to die in agonyVera Mont

    If you have some conclusive proof of the phenomenology of antelope agony, that would be interesting!

    muscle growth doesn't hurt, either. Damage does.Vera Mont

    I see you've entirely ignored the necessary relationship between the two, again.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Do you not think what the values that we define necessary for those two to be defined (majorly by evolution)?Lionino

    Man, what the hell did I even mean by this. Fixed now.
  • flannel jesus
    1.4k
    I did, see above.Lionino

    With no explanation, sure, that's not very compelling though
  • Ludwig V
    932
    Remove God and life can lose its sanctity quickly.BitconnectCarlos
    That right? All the time the majority of the people believed in God, none of them killed any other?Vera Mont
    The truth is, you are both right.
    What religions don't often face up to is that brotherly love and sanctity are actually applied only to believers. When it comes to unbelievers, all too often it's a different story. (Unbelievers includes those of a different sect.)
    It's difficult to state this accurately. Not all religious people all the time regard unbelievers beyond the pale of sanctity, but it frequently goes that way.
    But I don't think history shows religious people any worse than irreligious or atheistic people. (Though the majority of people through the majority of history have been religious, so the comparison is a bit flaky.)
  • Vera Mont
    3.5k
    But I don't think history shows religious people any worse than irreligious or atheistic people.Ludwig V
    Or vice versa. People who claim a religion don't just kill the irreligious and the heretics, they also kill those who profess a different version of their own religion, and those who profess their same religion but fight for a different king, people of their own nation and faith accused of crimes, their rivals, neighbours, fathers, spouses and other drunks at the same tavern.
    Belief in a god stops no humans to from acting like humans; having no faith in a god causes no humans to act any worse.
  • Ludwig V
    932
    “If you crush a cockroach, you're a hero. If you crush a beautiful butterfly, you're a villain. Morals have aesthetic criteria.” - NietzscheBitconnectCarlos
    He's right, of course, in his annoying way. Either there's a justification for that difference or there isn't. If there isn't, then morality is deficient. But I think there is. Cockroaches are annoying and dangerous. Butterflies mostly are not, but they are beautiful - except perhaps when they are caterpillars. (That's awkward, I admit) I don't see anything dubious about not destroying beautiful things that do no harm and something very dubious about not destroying dangerous things that are harmful.

    If something is not necessarily right then it could possibly be wrong. Evolution helps us survive, not necessarily thrive or self-actualize.BitconnectCarlos
    Do you not think that the values that we define as necessary for those two are given (majorly) by evolution?Lionino
    Evolution doesn't give a toss whether individuals or a given species survive or not. It doesn't even care much if a species survives. It is a consequence of the genetic variation of individuals within a species and the random effects of that variation on the survival and reproduction of traits amongst those individuals. Morality has nothing to do with it.
    Homo sapiens is a social animal. So are many other species. It is curious that we so often see ourselves as individuals and society as an optional extra and a problem. But surely that fact sociality is so common should lead us to conclude that social living enables individuals to survive and reproduce better than competitors. I would agree that this may well have something to do with morality, insofar as morality is about social living. Evolutionary biologists regard this as "kin selection", based on preserving the genome and nothing at all to do with morality, so there is more to be said here.
    I do agree that evolution doesn't have much to do with thriving or self-actualizing, as we understand it. Though it does seem very plausible that if morality interfered with the ability to survive at least until reproduction, it would surely die out. (Can you imagine a society in which everyone was celibate? Not for long.) So evolution must influence morality at least in that negative way.
    The idea that ethics and morality are not merely about how to live in a society, but also about how to live well as an individual (that is, as an individual in society). Answers to that must be based on ideas about what human beings are and what they can be. But evolution, though it has an impact on everything, does not dictate everything, (though evolutionary biologists seems to forget that), so it is not impossible to choose different ways of living with the constraints of survival and reproduction. If our lives are really limited to survival and reproduction then they are grim indeed. It is better to regard them as the preliminaries to living well but not the whole story. There's more to be said, of course, but I'll leave it there.
  • Manuel
    4k
    I don't think it's illogical per se, in fact, today, maybe it's more logical that standard institutionalized religion, maybe not.

    The issue is that it's a certainty claim: God does not exist.

    If we narrow that down to saying something like, the Abrahamic tradition of God does not exist, then I think it makes sense to say one is an atheist in regard to that.

    But to say that one is an atheist about any possible notion of God (which is very often very ill defined) assumes more than one can know.

    I think agnosticism is better, with atheism being applied in specific instances.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    I don't think this divide captures common language. Ask someone whether they believe there is a green (copper poisoning, it got shaved too) floating donkey tidally locked behind Jupiter in respect to the Earth. Yes, the animal donkey flying in space, always behind Jupiter from our perspective. Everybody will say "No, I don't believe there is such a donkey" instead of "Erm, I can't say either way", even though there is nothing logically contradictory about a green floating donkey tidally locked behind Jupiter in respect to the Earth.
  • Manuel
    4k


    But we would have way to check if this proposition is true, we can send a telescope to Jupiter, or several of them.

    If you say that this donkey is immune to being captured by satellites, or that it is shy and only shows up once a year to one person who looks up at Jupiter at very specific instances, then someone is pulling my leg.

    First, define what God is, then we can say if we know enough to say, with certainty, that such a thing exists or does not. Maybe we can't reach certainty, in that case we shift to probabilities.
  • Ludwig V
    932
    "Erm, I can't say either way", even though there is nothing logically contradictory about a green floating donkey tidally locked behind Jupiter in respect to the Earth.Lionino
    On that basis, agnosticism is the only rational response. (It is my preferred response if people ever ask me.) But there are a number of physical impossibilities, not to mention improbabilities, about that the green donkey hypothesis that make it, in my view, unreasonable to be agnostic about it. I assume that you focus on logical possibilities because that's the tradition of our philosophy. But we have to live with physical impossibilities as well, so it seems a bit peculiar to ignore them, if what you want to understand is human beings.
    Wittgenstein imagines himself in conversation with a philosopher about the question whether the tree they are sitting under really exists, and then realizes that he has to turn to anyone nearby who's listening and explain "It's all right, we're only doing philosophy". If it's only philosophy how can it matter to actual human beings?

    First, define what God is, then we can say if we know enough to say, with certainty, that such a thing exists or does not. Maybe we can't reach certainty, in that case we shift to probabilities.Manuel
    That's the logical procedure, and some theists do like to try to follow it. But God isn't an empirical hypothesis. It is how you frame your life. What God means, according to the religions, is how one should (try to) live one's life. (What science means is not just the philosophy of science, but how you do it in practice.) Admittedly, how that works out in practice can be a bit puzzling to outsiders, but that's how the ideas work. (The same is true of science) To put it another way, if you start by defining God, that may turn out not to be a hypothesis, but an axiom. And there's no arguing with axioms, except by their results. In this case, the argument has to be about what life the believer leads.
  • Ludwig V
    932
    I think agnosticism is better, with atheism being applied in specific instances.Manuel
    That's a very reasonable position.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Since when has it become illogical to disbelieve illogical claims (e.g. theism)? :chin:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/902043
  • Manuel
    4k
    But God isn't an empirical hypothesis. It is how you frame your life. What God means, according to the religions, is how one should (try to) live one's life. (What science means is not just the philosophy of science, but how you do it in practice.) Admittedly, how that works out in practice can be a bit puzzling to outsiders, but that's how the ideas work. (The same is true of science) To put it another way, if you start by defining God, that may turn out not to be a hypothesis, but an axiom. And there's no arguing with axioms, except by their results. In this case, the argument has to be about what life the believer leads.Ludwig V

    It's not so clear to me, many people treat God as if it were something explanatory, sometimes even empirical, in the broad meaning of the term (which includes personal experience). Why did I get a bonus at work? God is gracious. What caused my existence? God. Etc.

    But I do not think that asking for some properties or attributes or facets of God is asking for too much. The more which can be given, the better we can proceed. If it is limited to a Great Being, or a supreme force, then I do not know what this means, or at least, it is very nebulous.

    So I think we can have arguments about God, even if there may be no chance of getting each other to agree.
  • Ludwig V
    932
    It's not so clear to me, many people treat God as if it were something explanatory, sometimes even empirical, in the broad meaning of the term (which includes personal experience).Manuel
    Yes. People may differ, of course. The view I expressed is unlikely to be acceptable to many believers - though there may be some, with philosophical inclinations who could accept it. There are theologians who would be able to recognize a view like mine.

    Why did I get a bonus at work? God is gracious. What caused my existence? God. Etc.Manuel
    A nice simple example. But if you look a bit closer, you may think that what is on the surface is not the whole story. When you don't get a bonus, even though you worked just as hard, with the same good results, you don't think maybe it isn't God who gives you the reward, but your employer. You think that God must be angry with you and search for reasons why that might be so. You don't think maybe God is a bit strapped for cash this year so is having to cut back. The idea that it is God who dishes out rewards is protected against refutation. That's important. (I'm sketching here to avoid reams of writing and reading.)

    But I do not think that asking for some properties or attributes or facets of God is asking for too much. The more which can be given, the better we can proceed. If it is limited to a Great Being, or a supreme force, then I do not know what this means, or at least, it is very nebulous.Manuel
    Yes, that's a fair demand. Too many "proofs" of God don't explain what that means. (Hence, we find that the God of the philosophers bears little resemblance to the God of the believers, and that's a problem.)

    And there's no arguing with axioms, except by their results. In this case, the argument has to be about what life the believer leadsLudwig V
    In many ways, I'm not happy to be dealing with a God about whom there can be no argumentation. Hence belief in God as a matter of faith, not subject to rational comment, is far too comfortable a retreat for believers. That's why I suggested how the argument might go.

    So I think we can have arguments about God, even if there may be no chance of getting each other to agree.Manuel
    You are maybe a little too pessimistic. People do sometimes abandon their faith. But it's a complex process that may include rational arguments, but religious belief involves more than that, so they are only one factor.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Maybe we can't reach certainty, in that case we shift to probabilities.Manuel

    On that basis, agnosticism is the only rational response.Ludwig V

    Let's run the argument. "We don't know if god does not exist". The same argument applies just as well (more strongly in fact) to the theist. Ignore Christians or Baha'i, let's take a universalist generic theist: "I believe a personal creator beyond the universe exists". The atheist claims such a being does not exist. The UGT claims such a being exists. Who is more reasonable here?
    Let's then say that "we don't know". Here is the problem: you don't whether you will wake up tomorrow, you don't know whether your HS history teacher was really licensed, you don't know whether your dad is really your dad, you don't know whether NASA is really saying the truth, you don't know whether you are dreaming as you read this, and yet you give a good, single-worded, definitive answer when you get asked about all of these matters. But somehow the God question is one of the very few questions where people feel the need to pontificate that we are aren't really sure.
  • Manuel
    4k
    Let's run the argument. "We don't know if god does not exist". The same argument applies just as well (more strongly in fact) to the theist. Ignore Christians or Baha'i, let's take a universalist generic theist: "I believe a personal creator beyond the universe exists". The atheist claims such a being does not exist. The UGT claims such a being exists. Who is more reasonable here?
    Let's then say that "we don't know". Here is the problem: you don't whether you will wake up tomorrow, you don't know whether your HS history teacher was really licensed, you don't know whether your dad is really your dad, you don't know whether NASA is really saying the truth, you don't know whether you are dreaming as you read this, and yet you give a good, single-worded, definitive answer when you get asked about all of these matters. But somehow the God question is one of the very few questions where people feel the need to pontificate that we are aren't really sure.
    Lionino

    The goal is to seek better understanding. Perhaps the topic of God is not as simple as the "New Atheists" take it to be, for we know that most primitive cultures believe in such a "being" or "beings", so maybe there is a room for nuance here which would be slightly more problematic than claiming that I do not know if my father is really my father, of which more could be said.

    If by God you are speaking about a "personal creator", by this you mean a being that has the power to give life to people? If that's what is being argued, then I do not think it is a strong argument.

    If you mean that there is "personal creator" of some higher being who created the universe. Well, I would like to know some of the properties of said being. A higher being or a higher power is a very nebulous term, people like to hand-wave when asked about it.

    But if it is given precision, maybe we can work it out.

    Back to the problem of my father, yes, you are correct, I do not know with 100% accuracy that he is my father. I have plenty of evidence to suggest that he is, but pictures of me being a baby could be faked, maybe the baby in the picture is not me, etc.

    Given the options I have, then I opt to believe that my father is my real father with, say, 99% accuracy. Hence, I have no good reason to be agnostic about this issue, because what my father is, is much better defined than God, or a higher being.
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