• Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    thanks - have a good day.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    Camus' absurdity is man's desire to find meaning, where there is none. Why would man seem to have this need, and there being none. This presents a dilemma- why live, often with all the hardships of life, without meaning. Which is the basis of his very famous opening question in the myth of Sisyphus, which was never, at least in my opinion, meant to be literal.

    Camus believed those who chose to not directly face and accept this absurdity where making a leap of faith, abandoning reason and truth, and committing a type of philosophical suicide. These included a type of superficial hedonism, existentialism, and theism.

    His answer was the absurd hero, who did not avoid the dilemma, but understood it, challenged it, and in the end accepted it.
  • TheMadFool
    3.3k
    I justify my lack of belief through the absence of sufficient evidence for theism. I have seen other atheists do this on many occasions. Haven't you?S

    Isn't this the ad ignorantiam fallacy? You can't conclude the negative just because the affirmative hasn't been proven. Suspension of judgment seems the right thing to do.

    I agree that there are limits to ''suspending judgment''. What you can't see, touch, smell, or hear probably doesn't exist. Microbes exist although you can't see them. Perhaps God just needs the right microscope or telescope or some kind of instrument. I don't know. It sounds ridiculous to hear oneself say this but Copernicus was ridiculed and so was Darwin.
  • TheMadFool
    3.3k
    No, atheism on its own is someone who hasnt been convinced, who simply lacks beliefDingoJones

    I disagree with this. If one is unconvinced tye right thing to do is neither affirm nor deny anything. Atheism, logically, shouldn't follow an unconvincing theistic argument.

    I guess I'm saying the logical thing to do is be an agnostic.

    I think it's called the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    1. Theists can't prove that God exists.
    So,
    2. God doesn't exist.
    The rational thing to do is to withold your judgment. Am I right?
  • S
    10.2k
    Isn't this the ad ignorantiam fallacy? You can't conclude the negative just because the affirmative hasn't been proven. Suspension of judgment seems the right thing to do.TheMadFool

    No, it's not an example of that fallacy. It's not fallacious, whatever the topic, to justify an absence of belief because of an absence of sufficient evidence in support of it. I'm not claiming that God doesn't exist or even that I believe that God doesn't exist, which would be the kind of claims which would be susceptible to the fallacy.

    And suspension of judgement requires an absence of belief, surely based on an absence of sufficient evidence, or some variation of that wording. What else could it reasonably be based on? So, it seems you can't argue against me in that regard without arguing against yourself.
  • S
    10.2k
    I disagree with this. If one is unconvinced the right thing to do is neither affirm nor deny anything. Atheism, logically, shouldn't follow an unconvincing theistic argument.

    I guess I'm saying the logical thing to do is be an agnostic.

    I think it's called the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    1. Theists can't prove that God exists.
    So,
    2. God doesn't exist.
    The rational thing to do is to withold your judgment. Am I right?
    TheMadFool

    You seem to be stuck in your own little world and do not seem to be accounting for what myself and DingoJones have been saying. You have beef with positive atheism, and you should take it up with positive atheists, and you should just bloody call it that for sake of clarity.
  • DingoJones
    792


    Mr S has pretty clearly addressed your post so I wont bother repeating. At this point I think its all been laid out for and as S has said, you might be stuck somehow if you cannot see it because you really are not accounting for what's been said.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    No, it's not an example of that fallacy. It's not fallacious, whatever the topic, to justify an absence of belief because of an absence of sufficient evidence in support of it. I'm not claiming that God doesn't exist or even that I believe that God doesn't exist, which would be the kind of claims which would be susceptible to the fallacy.S

    I think that is absolutely fine, except someone with that position should refrain from the discussion between atheist and theist. If the only thing one could add was I don't know enough to have a position - than one should logically remain on the sidelines. If one wants to challenge the theist position as false, one should have a basis for that challenge. If the only challenge is - Mr. Theist sir, you have not proved you point to my satisfaction, than argument stops there.
  • S
    10.2k
    I think that is absolutely fine, except someone with that position should refrain from the discussion between atheist and theist. If the only thing one could add was I don't know enough to have a position - than one should logically remain on the sidelines. If one wants to challenge the theist position as false, one should have a basis for that challenge. If the only challenge is - Mr. Theist sir, you have not proved you point to my satisfaction, than argument stops there.Rank Amateur

    Why on earth should I refrain from those discussions? That makes no sense. I'm challenging the claims of theism as unjustified. I'm not merely saying that I don't know enough. That's a really poor representation of my position. You don't know enough either. The difference between us is that I'm not deluded. Socrates thought of that distinction as a mark of wisdom:

    Socrates: I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate, that what I do not know I do not think I know either. — The Apology

    And it's not merely about my satisfaction, it's about the reasonable threshold for satisfaction. It's more about being reasonable than being satisfied. You're just manipulating language to make it seem arbitrary. If, say, you're satisfied that God exists, just because you have a funny feeling about it, then you aren't setting a reasonable threshold. You're free to set whatever threshold you like, and I'm free to criticise it. You won't get any special treatment from me.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    Why on earth should I refrain from those discussions?S

    because - if as you stated before:

    I'm not claiming that God doesn't exist or even that I believe that God doesn't exist,S

    what are you adding to the discussion beyond:

    I'm challenging the claims of theism as unjustifiedS

    which is exactly my point of:

    Mr. Theist sir, you have not proved you point to my satisfaction,Rank Amateur

    what value does that add ? You are just standing on the sidelines yelling you guys are wrong, and i don't have to tell you why. Better to just stay on the sidelines, and think as you wish until you are willing to defend the position.

    So here goes, I propose theism is a rational position. And I welcome any argument you can make with supportable propositions that ends in a conclusion that says " therefore theism is unreasonable"

    preferably without the acrimony, but that maybe too much to ask.
  • S
    10.2k
    So here goes, I propose theism is a rational position. And I welcome any argument you can make with supportable propositions that ends in a conclusion that says "therefore theism is unreasonable"Rank Amateur

    The rest of your post makes no sense, and completely ignores my reply which exposes the faulty assumptions in how you're attempting portray my position. It would only make sense if it was a case of anything goes or if my standard is arbitrary, but that's not the case.

    As for the above quote, the burden lies with you, so off you go. You set out your argument in a suitable place, and I'll explain why it isn't justified in accordance with a reasonable standard.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    and once again - never mind. Now you can make your post declaring some type of victory over me, and await the next fish - you can snare into one of these useless arguments.
  • S
    10.2k
    Predicable. I must remember to take you less seriously the next time it seems as though you're looking to challenge me. You've shown that as soon as the going gets tough, you'll just tell me to never mind.
  • VoidDetector
    70
    Why didn't humans stop at atheism (I'm assuming you mean why didn't [all] humans stop at being atheists)?Mayor of Simpleton

    Or, I could be asking why [most] humans are yet to forget theism.
  • S
    10.2k
    Or, I could be asking why [most] humans are yet to forget theism.VoidDetector

    I don't think that that's such a big mystery. It's difficult to forgot what's around you. That would be a bit like trying to forgot politics or the entertainment industry. Something big would have to change first of all.

    Theism has stuck around because it has a wide enough appeal and as a result of widespread indoctrination, and those circumstances haven't changed enough for it to have been forgotten.

    But, on the bright side, it no longer has such a powerful grip on our thinking and our lives like it used to.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    Or, I could be asking why [most] humans are yet to forget theism.VoidDetector

    If you mean forget theism as in erase it from our memory or knowledge I would not advocate that notion.

    Indeed I'm not a theist and certainly do not adhere to the ideologies resulting from the various religious notions of theism, but to forget theism or have it not within one's understanding/field of knowledge would leave a massive void in the understanding of the history of mankind.

    ------------------------------------

    As a small sample (trivial as it may be), without knowledge of theism and the subsequent ideals within a given context, why babies (often being baby Jesus) in medieval paintings look like ugly old men would be an unknown.

    If one has no knowledge of the "Homunculus" and what role it played in the theistic ideology at the time of these paints one might well assume the artists were simply terrible in having no idea what a baby was supposed to look like; thus the symbolic meaning of the paintings (we're talking 100's of 1000's of paintings) would be lost due to a lack of knowledge that can only come from an understanding of certain aspects found within theism and it's ideology.

    -------------------------------------

    If you mean (more so) why do people still believe in theistic deities and theistic ideologies, well that's a very complicated kettle of fish. I doubt that there's only a single answers to this question. Indeed one could begin to categorize these reasons into groupings of similar motivations (me thinks why bother, but that's just me), but as the trend in theistic belief has moved more in a direction of a personal experience and a personal god I'm not too sure such an effort would go without many folks angry. Sure most of them would be issuing strong complaints having to do with personal offense in spite of the questions and categories not being meant to personally offend. When one would start to say... these believe due to a non sequitur experience (like they saw a frozen waterfall and immediately believed in
    god) or said these folks over here believe because they are in need of a psychological gap filler (someone close to them died and suddenly they needed a god to make sense of it all) well... it seems rather difficult for such a list not to offend those who believe. Indeed if you can handle that sort of mass anger, well... kudos. ;)

    In short, people who believe have their reasons and as this sort of belief is a belief that centers one's being and shapes one's entire worldview making broad brush strokes with their personal beliefs is a difficult gambit.

    Indeed I could discuss this futher with you, but perhaps not in a public forum. There are simply too many folks out there who have baited breath waiting to find or twist any words written that might hint of criticism regarding what they hold near and dear; thus will pick a fight or invent one if necessary for the sake of their own cause. To be fair, the same goes for too many of those who are non-theists or atheists.

    So now that I've said far too much, I can now wait for either the silence (the usual) or the wonderful accusations of me being grossly unfair or not charitable to somethings someone holds near and dear; thus read about how someone is suddenly offended because I didn't bother to write my words through the filter of their personal comfort. ;)

    Meow!

    G
  • Karl
    9
    "Why didn't humans stop at atheism? What went wrong?"

    There is an obvious distincition between not believing in a deity and not being religious. As unstrustworthy as wikipedia may be, here is its definition of religion:

    "Religion may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements."

    If declaring oneself as an atheist means not believing in deities, metpahysics, magical thinking, superstition, or anything in that category,, then it might be that the prehistoric world didn't inhabit a single atheist.

    If, however, being an atheist only means that one doesn't believe in deities, which is the standard definition, then it's fully possible to be religious and an atheist at the same time.

    So instead of asking why humanity didn't stop at atheism instead of developing Christianity, it's rather a question of why not stop at earlier forms of religion. -But I can't see how Christianity was a step backwards in that sense.
  • AJJ
    350


    You set out your argument in a suitable place, and I'll explain why it isn't justified in accordance with a reasonable standard. — S

    How about William Lane Craig’s favourite, the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    2. The universe began to exist.
    3. Therefore the universe had a cause.

    In answer to the initial question: The profound mystery of existence, and our sense of morality and what that suggests about our place and purpose in the cosmos are excellent reasons to posit theism over atheism.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k
    It seems to me that humans are the only creatures that can have religions and have deities and have an imagination to imagine things that aren't there or that could be there but hidden or potential.

    Once you have an imagination it is hard to control or contain it.

    But still I think beliefs from evidence are the most secure. I am agnostic about things I don't have evidence for.
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k
    I suspect that fear and hierarchies/power structures and indoctrination are behind peoples religious/superstitious beliefs.Andrew4Handel

    This is the kind of claim you find evidence for. I cited my own experience here. But there is a lot of historical and current day evidence.

    Today millions of people live in theocracies where leaving the religion can mean a death sentence.
    In the past we had the inquisition and crusades and people were burnt to the stake for heresies. In Britain in the past people could be fined if they didn't attend church regularly.

    Alternative sexualities and extra marital sex were criminalized and still are in many Muslim countries and some Christian ones. So religious values became mixed with societal and cultural values making it harder to critique religion. Not many religions advocate sexual freedom and extra marital relationships. This suggests the need for control and conformity to sustain religion.

    So it is hard to tell what religious or deistic beliefs people would form spontaneously.
  • S
    10.2k
    How about William Lane Craig’s favourite, the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    2. The universe began to exist.
    3. Therefore the universe had a cause.
    AJJ

    There's a lot of criticism against that argument. See here.

    In answer to the initial question: The profound mystery of existence, and our sense of morality and what that suggests about our place and purpose in the cosmos are excellent reasons to posit theism over atheism.AJJ

    Firstly, it makes no sense whatsoever to say that a mystery suggests theism. A mystery suggests a mystery. The reasonable thing to do is to accept that it's a mystery, meaning that there's currently no known answer. The unreasonable thing to do is to jump to an unwarranted conclusion.

    Secondly, our sense of morality simply doesn't suggest what you think it does. Not only are there alternative explanations, there are more credible alternative explanations, e.g. evolution v.s. teleology.
  • AJJ
    350


    I imagine there are a lot of criticisms made about any philosophical argument; but if it’s reasonable to believe the premises of an argument, then it’s reasonable to believe the conclusion. The premises of the Kalam Cosmological argument are at the very least reasonable, given the metaphysical axiom that “out of nothing, nothing comes” and given the scientific evidence in favour of a beginning of the universe. So theism seems reasonable simply off the back of that argument, so long as it’s not utterly refuted.

    Why, given our uncertainty, is the conclusion that this is a created, purposeful, just universe unwarranted? Believing that this is all a meaningless chaos is just as arbitrary - moreso,
    I’d say - and I don’t see why simply withholding judgement should be more respectable than either.

    We’re forever and unchangeably oriented toward what we perceive as the Good. We don’t do good simply out of instinct and habit; we desire and seek it for its own sake. I’m not against believing that our basic morality has an evolutionary origin, the way employ it remains indicative of a deeper moral reality.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    Why, given our uncertainty, is the conclusion that this is a created, purposeful, just universe unwarranted?AJJ

    A fair question. (so now more than likely I'll get my head chopped off by someone some where who will flip their lid over something that they find to be offensive, but anyway...)

    A hasty generalization is a fallacy in which a conclusion is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence. It's also called an insufficient sample, a converse accident, a faulty generalization, a biased generalization, jumping to a conclusion, secundum quid, and a neglect of qualifications.

    Is it unwarranted to reach a conclusion that is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence?

    On a side note, if one reaches a conclusion the tendency for futher critical investigation slows, if not stops outright. Having an answer for the sake of having an answer is in no way a guarentee that the concluded answer is itself accurate.

    Now continuing investigation into a notion, even if the evidence is just not there is another kettle of fish.

    One other thing to consider is that a conclusion of a created, purposeful and just (that's a really tricky term) universe holds far reaching implication as to how a worldview and a world order could be structured beyond the individual's personal belief on the matter. In short, such implication can lead (look at historry... has lead) to a dictatorship of values as dictated from what might well be completely false.

    Simply having a conclusion for the sake of having a conclusion holds a great number if horrific potentials; thus hasty generalizations are indeed (from my perspective) unwarranted. Uncertainty with continued investigation would not hold the same horrific potentials.

    Meow!

    G
  • Mattiesse
    20
    Humans have always picked sides. It’s how our brains work, to go with the idea that will help us either feel better, or move on. Someone may of come to a village one day and said “look! I saw a flying lizard!” There are bound to be people who are believers or skeptical. “I’ve never seen or heard of such a thing!” Or “what can I do to stop it from eating me?!”
  • AJJ
    350


    The way I see it, you can believe that the universe just exists, that part of it is necessary and there’s no explanation why.

    Or...

    You can believe that the cosmos derives its existence from a sustaining reality beyond it, and, being beyond space and time, is necessarily immaterial, necessarily timeless, and since it has creative powers, necessarily conscious.

    I choose the latter, because it better fits my experience of the world. As fashionable as it is to think the opposite, I think atheism should be counter-intuitive to anyone who hasn’t been misled by the overreaching claims of some scientists, and the gratuitous application of science’s materialism to a broader metaphysical perspective.

    As for religion and society, moral evils have been committed within religious societies, and moral goods have been too. Our evils are committed by us, not by “religion”, as are our goods. Perhaps you can point us to a society that isn’t guided by beliefs, where we do neither?
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    A hasty generalization is a fallacy in which a conclusion is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence. It's also called an insufficient sample, a converse accident, a faulty generalization, a biased generalization, jumping to a conclusion, secundum quid, and a neglect of qualifications.Mayor of Simpleton

    would you consider the fine tuning argument for God to fit into this category ??
    would you consider the cosmological argument for an necessary being to fit into this category?
    would you consider the existence of a singularity of infinite mass in zero space/time in this category?

    Just trying to narrow down where you feel the parameters are for "justified and sufficient"

    As an aside - I think fine tuning argument fails - due to skeptical theism
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    As for religion and society, moral evils have been committed within religious societies, and moral goods have been too. Our evils are committed by us, not by “religion”, as are our goods. Perhaps you can point us to a society that isn’t guided by beliefs, where we do neither?AJJ

    Even as a rather serious Catholic, it is important to remember that religion is a human undertaking with all the frailties that that entails. Religion is not "God", and "God " is not religion.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    would you consider the fine tuning argument for God to fit into this category ??
    would you consider the cosmological argument for an necessary being to fit into this category?
    would you consider the existence of a singularity of infinite mass in zero space/time in this category?

    Just trying to narrow down where you feel the parameters are for "justified and sufficient"
    Rank Amateur

    I find other flaws in the first two arguments mentioned. I haven't really bother to check them for hasty generalizations, as the other things caught my eye; thus why pile on?

    As for the third I haven't really spent enough time on that one to comment one way or the other at the moment.

    My reason for mentioning the fallacy of hasty generalizations was that the quote I responded to was itself a hasty generalization and from my perspective unwarranted to conclude.

    Oddly enough, it would be hasty to generalize that the listed arguments are themselve guily of such a fallacy simply because of what they intend to argue.

    Indeed I could respond to the questions, but to be fair I believe that each of those questions would make very detailed and rich topic of discussion in their own right I'm not too sure I can answer each of them with some adequate explaination for my reason of seeing flaws in such a short commentary.

    As you can probably tell, I'm simply not very good at brevity nor do I place much stock in the notion for most philosophical debate.

    Just trying to narrow down where you feel the parameters are for "justified and sufficient"Rank Amateur

    I don't have a short list or long list for this.

    In terms of "justified":

    I can say here that anecdotal evidence alone simply doesn't make the cut. Sure anecdotal evidence can be used as a starting point of proper scientific investigation, but alone the gate is left wide open for any unfounded notion or simple misconception to be credible evidence.

    In short:

    "If you are basing your claims on anecdotal experience, then any treatment will seem to work for anything and everything."
    —Steven Novella

    The issue of the problems with anecdotal evidence is a large topic on it's own and I really cannot address all of them as I woud like in such a forum.

    In terms of "sufficient":

    If an single case exceptiong is found it is indeed worthy of investigation, but I'd like to test it and see if it is indeed a common problem of simply a speacial case.

    I'd like to say I have been confronted from time to time with folks who have a "new theory" and go to great lenghts to state "this proves Newton, Einstein, Planck, Hugh Everett III and all of them to be wrong"... then only point out a single exception that only their special theory can solve.

    My reaction is usually "fine... so it works in this special case. What about all the other cases that are explained quite well by Newton, Einstein, Planck, Hugh Everett III and all of them?"

    Sure this might be a small aspect that needs consideration and indeed this new theory might shed some light on a new adaptive method, but if all it I see is a "one-trick pony" I'd say such a thing is not "sufficient" to "prove Newton, Einstein, Planck, Hugh Everett III and all of them to be wrong".

    There is quite a bit to explain and cover; thus can it?

    On a different tangent:

    I also take care of what could be a Cognitive Bias. These are at time obvious, but often quite subtle. Everyone has these tendencies and I find a part of a proper scientific investigation makes an effort to weed them out. This is where peer review plays an important role. It is very easy to overlook flaws in one's own work and have no ability to see this clearly.

    Indeed many of the quality controls that would apply have a bit of contingency upon the topic at hand. To be honest I don't plague myself as much over decisions like do I prefer the cherry pie or the apple pie for desert as I would for a desion of does the universe have a specific purpose for myself and everyone. OK... halfway thru eating the pie I might have a sense of disappointment that I didn't choose the other, but that is really of little consequence. Such an epiphany that an error was made halfway into living out a specific purpose and commanding/demanding others live up to a specific purpose would more than likely have far greater consequences.

    In short... not all problems are of the same magnitude.

    Finally, am I good at any of this?

    Well... certainly not as good as I'd like to be, but I try.

    In some issue I have some small degree of knowledge, but in most I to have lots to learn. Instead of trying to come up with answers I try to ask better questions and I try to question the given at all times.

    "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
    — Samuel Beckett


    Sorry the disjointed tangents, but it's all still a work in progress.

    Meow!

    G
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    no worries - I read your point, in light of the topic and discussion as a dismissal of theist arguments as fallacious due to them being " hasty generalization is a fallacy in which a conclusion is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence." Not wanting to make a "hasty generalization" is why I asked you about your opinion of those specific arguments.

    I find this response -

    I find other flaws in the first two arguments mentioned. I haven't really bother to check them for hasty generalizations, as the other things caught my eye; thus why pile on?Mayor of Simpleton

    decidedly unsatisfying - I have no issue with all of the sited arguments having flaws, or maybe better said - valid arguments against ( as I noted in my aside) - that however would seem a second step. If such argument were patently fallacious simply due to lack of vigor - why would anyone bother with looking for flaws or counter arguments. You position on this seem to support your point.

    On a side note, if one reaches a conclusion the tendency for further critical investigation slows, if not stops outright.Mayor of Simpleton

    If I am missing your point, or if i am suffering from some hyper sensitivity to anti theist posts and read something into this point that was not intended - mea culpa.

    Always look forward to your thoughtful replies.
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