• Robert Lockhart
    170
    It is of course no more the ultimate aim of atheism to disprove the existence of God than it is of theism to prove same but instead the ultimate aim of each philosophy surely is to recommend a solution to the human predicament – inasmuch as each necessarily is constrained by the preconception that a solution is possible – through advocating for a means of reconciliation with our mortality. In the case of religion, such a solution is advocated via the prospect of a meaningful after-life and, in the case of atheism, via the combination of a humanist focus on realising the potential for fulfilment offered by the life experience together with the inculcation of a mature stoicism in the face of our ineluctable demise.

    Setting aside the claims of religion, my objection to the prescription of atheism is that, given that the extremes of adversity possible in human life exceed what is vicariously conceivable, so then its recommendation of stoicism as a solution to our predicament is by definition platitudinous – this apart from the inconsistency, in the context of its claim to being rationally based, that it proceeds in common with religion from the fundamental preconception referred to above. The fact that in practice it would be litteraly impossible for any atheistic doctrine to escape its imprisoning adherence to such a preconception and, instead, formulate an attitude of disinterested openess towards the possibility that there may or may not in principle exist a solution to our human predicament via a valid reconciliation towards mortality serves to further undermine the credibility of the atheistic claim that its doctrine is independant of human pschycological need and ultimately rationally based.

    The preconception that there must in principle exist a valid means of reconciliation with the fact of our mortality derives of course from the incomprehensibility of the alternative idea - in the face of which it would become impossible for humans to sustain a constructive existence. So it is I think striking to see the accomodations being made in both religious and atheistic arguments, sometimes subliminally, so as to engineer the required answer - that such reconciliation is possible.

    But isn't my argument - that it is self-evident we are incapable of comprehending the idea that there exists in principle no way to validly reconcile ourselves to our mortality and that effectively therefore this reduces the prescriptions of atheism to a set of preconceptions - undermined by my own personal capacity here to apparantly comprehend same, in that I am arguing that this nihilism may in principle be the case? Well know, partly because I am rescued by what I privately consider to be evidence for the constructive survival of consciousness after death - but mainly because there exists of course a fundamental distinction between our ability to rationalise something and our ability to pschycologically comprehend same, this then permitting the most indefensible inconsistencies of attitude. Like I am aware, that were I personally to find myself engulfed in a sufficiently terrible predicament then, notwithstanding my absolute rational conviction that the claims of religion are litteraly false, I would nonetheless cry out to God to save me - and that with a desperateness I presently cannot vicariously suspect. If, no matter your convictions, you personally think otherwise of yourself then I would say you are mistaken.
  • 3017amen
    704
    "...exist a solution to our human predicament via a valid reconciliation towards mortality serves to further undermine the credibility of the atheistic claim to ultimately being rationally based."



    1. Fundamentalism primarily uses philosophical rationalism to justify their belief.
    2. Atheism primarily uses philosophical rationalism to justify their belief.

    Instead of using rationalism or a priori logic, I think the smarter person or more intuitive person will use inductive reasoning in order to tip the scales in favor of a Deity.

    The obvious deficiency of positive Atheism is that it's just another dogmatic religious paradigm.
  • NOS4A2
    1.1k


    Though there is the prescriptions of individuals atheists (often of the social justice, multiculti, feminist type in recent years) there is no prescriptions of atheism as such.
  • fresco
    547
    From a philosophical pragmatist's pov, atheism is merely an assertion that 'theistic concepts' are at best useless, and at worst socially pernicious. To talk about 'deficiencies' of this pov is to assume that life involves a 'purpose' or 'aim' beyond personal aspirations and harmonious relationships .But surely that constitutes another quasi-religious assumption.
  • 3017amen
    704
    "...pernicious."



    Here in America I don't think the term pernicious is completely accurate. Christian philosophy would suggest the opposite. Generally speaking Christian philosophy heloed to make America value freedom of choice, the Golden rule, Christmas and Thanksgiving, virtuous ethical practices (OT Wisdom Books) and other virtuous teachings of Jesus..

    However that doesn't mean the Bible is free from error. Early church politics; interpretation issues, translations, lost Gospels, and all the rest still doesn't mean one should throw the baby out with the bathwater. Accordingly, the Book tips the scales in favor of thought provoking goodness.

    Beyond that it leaves unanswered existential questions. One might then ask : What does atheism have to offer? Freedom to choose nihilism?

    Does the paradigm of meaninglessness help the human condition?
  • fresco
    547
    I take 'pernicious' to be defined in a historical context (crusades, religious intolerance, missionary zeal etc). If you are claiming the US has largely escaped such tendencies that's up to you.
    I have no idea what you mean by 'the human condition' except perhaps as one of continuous competition and tribal strife, fuelled from time to time by parochial 'convictions', an example of which can be religious. If 'atheism' is an escape from being mentally saddled with that, so be it.
  • S
    11.8k
    You assume far too much. That I'm an atheist doesn't entail half of what you said. It simply means that I don't believe that God exists. There isn't any "ultimate aim" in that, nor is it about "the human predicament", and nor is it about "stoicism". Those are separate things which you're muddling up.
  • Robert Lockhart
    170
    Well, S - I think it's yourself who's a bit muddled. You do of course believe, even if only subliminally - in that quite naturally like most people you probably never consciously think about it - that you can validly reconcile yourself with the prospect of your mentality. Otherwise you would be unable to sustain your existance and would increasingly destabilise. The 'God' question by comparison is in practice little more really than a party game - answering according to whatever currently is most fashionable.
  • Artemis
    1.4k
    You do of course believe, even if only subliminally - in that quite naturally like most people you probably never consciously think about it - thRobert Lockhart

    Well, that ends the conversation right there when you claim you know what the other person is actually thinking without them being aware of it themselves.

    Such hubris.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Atheism doesn't have an aim. It's simply a term for a lack of belief in a deity.
  • Robert Lockhart
    170
    Dunno - the atheisticly based outlook then, beyond the limited dictionary definition. - You must know what I'm getting at in my posts!
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    you can validly reconcile yourself with the prospect of your mentality.Robert Lockhart

    Say what? What in the world is "validly reconciling oneself with the prospect of one's mentality"?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    The term doesn't conventionally refer to something other than the dictionary definition, though.

    If you want to make a claim about atheists often having such and such additional view that's fine, although one should probably be able to point at enough examples of it to justify "often"
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k
    What if our terrible predicament is to believe our terrible predicament can be overcome? Perhaps there is no answer to our death because we are being who die.

    The hubris in assume our predicament can be overcome just because we want it has always astonished me.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Because I fear death, in the face of it I will cry out to God, even as I know there is no such being to call out to. Twenty-eight words. Yours, around 540 words. Write shorter, write better. Learn to spell.

    As to reconciliation to mortality, what, exactly, is there to reconcile?
  • Mww
    1k
    I am aware, that were I personally to find myself engulfed in a sufficiently terrible predicament then, (...) I would nonetheless cry out to God to save me with a desperateness I presently cannot vicariously suspect. If, no matter your convictions, you personally think otherwise of yourself then I would say you are mistaken.Robert Lockhart

    Hmmm.......I guess my predicaments weren’t sufficiently terrible? Sure seemed that way at the time.

    Just how terrible does a situation have to be to demonstrate your claim that I would call out for saving?
  • Judaka
    421

    Athiesm is not offering solutions to existential problems, nor is it an attempt at being pragmatic. Religion is not necessary for answering existential problems, any insistence on that is meaningless.
  • Robert Lockhart
    170
    Yeah - unlike you, Tim Wood, I've no access to a spell checker right now! Regarding your injunction that I "write better", well, I'd say, check your own lazy abysmal grammar! As to complacently congratulating yourself on your relative concision, well I think you need to recognise that, owing to your excessively abreviated expression, your meaning, though no doubt clear enough to you, is as far as others are concerned buried in ambiguity. For all I know, maybe a universe is somewhere contained in each of your cryptic aphorisms - but that last question of yours anyway seems to have all the explicitness of a crossword clue! :)
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    It is of course no more the ultimate aim of atheism to disprove the existence of God than it is of theism to prove same but instead the ultimate aim of each philosophy surely is to recommend a solution to the human predicament – inasmuch as each necessarily is constrained by the preconception that a solution is possible – through advocating for a means of reconciliation with our mortality.Robert Lockhart

    As to reconciliation to mortality, what, exactly, is there to reconcile?tim wood

    That last question of yours has all the explicitness of a crossword clue! :)Robert Lockhart

    "Reconciliation" is your word, your claim. Please make it clear. What does "reconciliation with our mortality" mean?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Ah, I guess "reconciliation with mentality" was a typo , then.
  • Soap Needswater
    3
    Atheism itself does not aim to disprove the existence of any deity, quite frankly it is better stated as the rejection of the very notion that one might need to do so. It would be absurd to any genuine atheist that they might be asked to disprove that in which they by definition do not believe exists in the first place. It is akin to saying that those who do not believe in the tooth fairy have the aim of disproving the existence of a tooth fairy... rejection of a belief does not infer or confer the responsibility, goal or even desire to disprove said belief.

    In the same light... offering solutions is not quite right either. It seems that there is a basic assumption of cohesiveness, a solidified doctrine of the atheist, so to speak. There is not. This is an error made by theists, who strive to compare/contrast and exalt various doctrines within their specific religious affiliation. Theistic existence revolves around the acceptance and internalizarion of doctrine, scripture and sp forth... various unifying elements. Atheism has no such doctrine. It is, simply put, a rejection of deity-centered beliefs and the subsequent ad nauseum doctrine that goes with said beliefs. The existence of an atheist philosopher is not the same as having a guiding belief system that is adopted, or even known, by even a fraction of atheists. It simply isn’t the same. Name an atheist philosopher and then start polling the public, how many atheists can you find that have a) heard of said philosopher and b) know and agree with their tehoretical musing. It won’t result in any unifying principles.

    Without any form of representational ideology, beyond simply NOT believing in something, it cannot be said that atheists or atheism offers anything ideological, solution or otherwise. Perhaps it would be better to restate the position and refer to a specific atheist or group.
  • Robert Lockhart
    170
    OK, tim so, without being patronising, you know that to reconcile yourself towards something - or, for that matter, someone - means to convert some previously existing difficulty or antipathy into justifiable acceptance. Reconciliation with mortality would mean perceiving it, in the context of understanding everything that it represents, as nonetheless representing a meaningful as opposed to merely an accidental or logically inevitable conclusion of life.

    - Got to go! :)
  • Wayfarer
    8.6k
    have no idea what you mean by 'the human condition'fresco

    Relevant!
  • Artemis
    1.4k


    That's an entirely different process from simply being atheist.

    The atheist recognizes the absence of a god and an afterlife.

    After that the atheist has a lot of choices about how to deal with mortality. Humanism, as you point out, is one of them. Stoicism another. Existential crisis would be another.

    Personally, I don't think I'm stoical about death. I don't see it as a reason to be afraid or stoical. Being dead is being nothing, and so there's nothing to fear.

    Dying, on the other hand, is kinda scary. I don't like pain and I don't like lots of the things that happen during the dying process. I'm hoping for a quick death when the time comes. Somehow I think most theists (except maybe those who think they need to practice some voodoo before death to get wherever they want to go?) would agree with me there.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Reconciliation with mortality would mean perceiving it, in the context of understanding everything that it represents, as nonetheless representing a meaningful as opposed to merely an accidental or logically inevitable conclusion of life.Robert Lockhart

    In my view there are a lot of problems with this including that "everything that x represents" is every way every single individual has ever thought about x . . . which obviously isn't possible to know.

    Also, I don't buy the dichotomy you're setting up between meaning and accident.
  • 3017amen
    704


    Human condition: being and becoming, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, striving, temporalness, faith, interconnectiveness, consciousness, pacifism, wonderment, spirituality, finitude, sickness, mortality so on and so forth.
  • PoeticUniverse
    723
    It is evident that since neither 'God' nor 'no God' can be shown for thee sure satisfaction of all, the positions of both atheism and theism are indefensible and are thus intellectually dishonest as surety claims, leaving all to have to be truly agnostic, with leanings either way based but on observatonal probability.
  • Banno
    6k
    It is evident that since neither 'flat earth' nor 'no flat earth' can be shown for the sure satisfaction of all, the positions of both flat earth and no flat earth are indefensible and are thus intellectually dishonest as surety claims, leaving all to have to be truly agnostic, with leanings either way based but on observatonal probability.PoeticUniverse
  • alcontali
    702
    It is akin to saying that those who do not believe in the tooth fairy have the aim of disproving the existence of a tooth fairy... rejection of a belief does not infer or confer the responsibility, goal or even desire to disprove said belief.Soap Needswater

    The rejection of unexplained system-wide premises degenerates in the complete inability of building systems or deriving conclusions in such system.

    For example, if you do not accept the unexplained axiomatic premises of a theory of arithmetic, such as Dedekind-Peano, Robinson, Presburger, Skolem, and so on, you cannot calculate anything. Furthermore, these rules do not correspond to anything in the real, physical world. They are completely abstract and Platonic.

    So, an atheist would say, "I do not believe in the existence of a successor function". Fine, but how do you generate natural numbers in that case? Atheists are completely correct to point out that there is no evidence for the existence of such successor function. That is ompletely true. However, without that kind of unexplained beliefs you will end up without theory and without any ability to reason in it.

    Every criticism that atheists may have on religious systems perfectly apply to any other theoretical system. Since every axiomatic system ultimately rests on unexplained beliefs, and since science extensively uses them to maintain consistency in its own theories, the rejection of the notion of axiomatization also constitutes an implicit rejection of science.

    The idea that someone refuses to accept any kind of premises to start reasoning for, constitutes in effect a complete rejection of the concept of reason itself. Atheists mistakenly believe that their views are reasonable, while they are absolutely not.
  • Swan
    96
    God does not exist. Religion is nonsense. We all know it. Get over it.
  • alcontali
    702
    God does not exist. Religion is nonsense. We all know it. Get over it.Swan

    God is a system-wide premise in a religious system, i.e. a religious theory. Atheists do not seem to grok the concept of "system" or do not even understand what could be legitimate criticism of a system.

    Criticizing the fact that every possible system ultimately rests on an unexplained construction logic is nonsensical and even absurd. Atheists criticize a premise simply for the mere fact of being a premise. What kind of nonsense is that?

    You need to look at systemic properties such as consistency, completeness, and so on. A legitimate remark about a system could be, for example, that it is non-ergodic, or compact, or isomorphic with another system, and so on.

    Atheists do not seem to be capable to reason at that level either within a system or about a system.

    That is why atheist remarks are invariably dumb, unwarranted, anti-intellectual, and ultimately even an attack on reason itself. Reason is simply not possible without axiomatizing basic beliefs. Get over it!
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