• Janus
    8.5k
    Language. It is not interpreted; it is understood.god must be atheist

    Language is understood. You need that primary understanding in order to be able to arrive at the point where you become capable of interpretation. The meaning of any linguistic utterance is interpreted.

    Some interpretations are better informed than others; that should be obvious.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Are you absolutely sure? In other words you have explained hat it's just an additional feature but could not explain why?3017amen

    So first, about this idea re evolution, do you understand that I'm not talking about any specific trait?
  • 3017amen
    704
    first, about this idea re evolution, do you understand that I'm not talking about any specific trait?


    Well I'm not sure I'm guessing that you mean any trait.

    For example, why do we have musical ability?

    Is that what you mean?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Well I'm not sure I'm guessing that you mean any trait.

    For example, why do we have musical ability?
    3017amen

    ??

    I'm saying something general about evolution. Not something about any particular trait.
  • 3017amen
    704
    I'm saying something general about evolution. Not something about any particular trait.


    I'm asking you about these particular traits :

    Love and math.

    And now that we're talking about specific traits, let's talk about musical ability and the ability to engage in musical composition and theory.

    Fair enough?
  • god must be atheist
    882
    Some interpretations are better informed than others; that should be obvious.Janus

    All interpretations are the best to those who believe it is the best. So for Person A it may be the best to believe one interpretation, and for Person B it may be the best to believe another interpratation.

    Should the commandment not say something nonsensical, it would NOT need any interpretation.

    In effect, not every statement in language needs to be interpreted. If a statement is inambiguous and clear, and everyone understands it, and everyone understands it the same way, then it has no room for a need for interpretations to be made on it.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    I'm asking you about these particular traits :

    Love and math.
    3017amen

    That's fine. But I'm not saying something about those particular traits yet. I'm saying something about evolution in general first, without talking about particular traits. Does that make sense to you?
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    I have faith in a god that does not exist." then if you want to engage, you cannot just let it pass that there is a contradiction in the terms according to how you understand them, you have elucidate to me what that contradiction is and thus enable me to begin to see which words we are using differently and what hidden premises are being invoked.unenlightened

    Fine, I will bite. "I have faith in a god that does not exist" seems nonsensical to me. Can you tell me how you define "faith", "god", and "exist" and then I can see if it starts to make any sense.
  • Janus
    8.5k
    No, you're quite mistaken: the correct interpretation is clear in the context of the Christian faith. It's just a matter of educating yourself, and I say that as someone who is not one of the faithful. It is essentially the same message as the "Golden Rule" : "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". It is an injunction to treat others kindly-as of the same kind- as you treat yourself.
  • 3017amen
    704
    . But I'm not saying something about those particular traits yet. I'm saying something about evolution in general first, without talking about particular traits. Does that make sense to you?

    Sure that makes sense but it doesn't explain why and for what purpose we have those traits correct?

    If we were animals or lower life-forms for example, we would presumably just need instinct to survive.

    Similarly, to survive in the jungle by avoiding falling objects, you wouldn't run calculations prior to avoiding the object, would you?

    Now what about musical genius, is that an extra ordinary feature or trait? Is it a metaphysical language of sorts or what?

    Again, you being an atheist, I would think you would know.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Sure that makes sense but it doesn't explain why and for what purpose we have those traits correct?3017amen

    There is no purpose to evolution.
  • 3017amen
    704
    There is no purpose to evolution


    "In biology, evolution is the change in the characteristics of a species over several generations and relies on the process of natural selection. The theory of evolution is based on the idea that all species are related and gradually change over time"

    Does that sound right?
  • god must be atheist
    882
    the correct interpretation is clear in the context of the Christian faithJanus

    But if you insists that it's an interpretation of the Christians, then you don't prove that it's the only correct interpretation, to ANYONE, but only to Christians. That is what I am telling you: it is not an absolute correct interpretation, because you have added a qualifier to it.

    Sure, if you are Christian, you'll accept the interpretation you gave. I fully beleive that.

    In fact, there are nearly 2000 instances in the Bible that needs altering the language or altering the wording in order to interpret the words of the Bible to make sense to a reasonable human being. This is just one such instance.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    It's good enough, sure. Nothing there about purpose.
  • god must be atheist
    882
    Language is understood.Janus

    No. Statements in the language are understood.

    Language, in and by itself, only exists in terms of its manifestations by utterances of words. Language is not "understood"; it is manifested by words and grammar, and when manifested properly, the statements made up are understood. Language itself alone without actual words and actual grammatical applications would not exist, hence, there would be nothing to understand.
  • 3017amen
    704


    Great I think we're making progress.

    So if we agree that's the correct definition of evolution. How do we make a leap to purpose?

    For example, and these are the topics we're trying to parse; how did love, mathematics, and musical ability evolve?

    Or are you saying there is no purpose to these?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    There's no purpose to anything in evolution.

    That's why I had written "There is no purpose to evolution [period]"

    Purposes are ways that individuals think about things.
  • 3017amen
    704
    There's no purpose to anything in evolution.

    We agree! But again can you please answer the questions?

    Or at least answer this simple question if you cannot answer the questions about Love, musical ability, and math: how do we make the leap to purpose?

    Or let me try to help you and ask it in a different way: why do humans want to have a purpose?

    As an atheist, how do you square that circle?
  • Janus
    8.5k
    The commandment is a Christian one and should be interpreted as such. Sure, you can interpret it to give it any arbitrary meaning you think is intelligible, but such "alien" interpretations are irrelevant to its meaning as a Christian commandment.
  • Janus
    8.5k
    What you say is irrelevant. Language is first understood in the sense that it is learned. Children are not great at subtle interpretation: a certain level of understanding of the language is required for that. Imagine you want to learn German. First you need to understand the language to a sufficient level before you can begin to interpret German texts.
  • god must be atheist
    882
    The commandment is a Christian one and should be interpreted as suchJanus

    I admit that that's true. But the bible was not written for Christians only. When it was written, hardly any of the entire population was Christian. It is a document for Christians, while it is also a document for would-be Christians. And anyone who is not a Christian can become a Christian.

    So my NOT interpreting the quote, or the command, but taking it at face value will turn me away -- hypothetically -- from Christianity. Not that it had any chance of my following it.

    The fact remains that Christians don't follow the word of the Bible but a version which is altered from the original document. Altered by interpretation.

    If that's how much Christians respect their god, that they decide, "this is what god said, but we don't believe it, we believe an altered version", then so be it. I have no argument against how the Christians decide to alter the word of their own god.
  • creativesoul
    6.2k
    Language. It is not interpreted; it is understood.god must be atheist

    Language is not "understood"god must be atheist
  • creativesoul
    6.2k


    Shake your head and walk away...

    Some who call themselves "atheists" are just as fundy as religious ones.
  • fresco
    547
    Hmm...I note that 'language' has emerged as issue on this thread. I suggest that those who want to dabble with that with respect to atheism might bear the following points in mind.

    1. What we call 'language' and what we call 'theism' both appear to be unique to humans.
    2. Human language is largely involved in planning and control of our lives, and allows us to anticipate 'consequences'.
    3. That anticipatory preoccupation of humans is linguistically/cognitively channelled by theists, like other religionists, into a concern with the 'direction' of their lives, and the inevitability of death, for which they seek 'spiritual guidance'.

    IMO. It is only by trying to objectivize human language behaviour that we can observe a significant separation of thesists from atheists. Theists put 'the Word' on a pedestal...language ability being a 'gift from the creator to its image..humanity'. But atheists tend to 'see through' this anthropocentism, and reject the multifarious versions of so-called 'holy writ' in which 'existence of a deity' is merely an axiom on which the linguistic house of cards is built.

    In short, 'religion' in general, and 'theism' in particular is the cognitive price many humans pay for their linguistic abilities. Words are the currency of thought. Existential axioms are as arbitrary as basing the value of a currency on 'gold'.
  • unenlightened
    4k


    I believe in honesty. Everybody lies, I do myself. Yet if i don't believe in honesty, the there can be no communication.
  • god must be atheist
    882
    Language. It is not interpreted; it is understood.
    — god must be atheist

    Language is not "understood"
    — god must be atheist
    creativesoul

    Touche. Allow me to correct myself. (If that is permissible in the normal course of debates. By whatever rules.)

    Corrected version:

    Expressions of language are understood, using proper words, syntax, grammar.

    Language is not understood, or communicated. Communication uses language. Language is the system of words, syntax, grammar. It can be likened to a telephone wire, inasmuch as it is essential for a landline telephone system to carry instances of communication, but the wire itself does not form part of a communicated message.
  • god must be atheist
    882
    Shake your head and walk away...

    Some who call themselves "atheists" are just as fundy as religious ones.
    creativesoul

    I admit you are right in this instance. I blundered.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    We agree! But again can you please answer the questions?3017amen

    I thought you were asking "How do we make a leap to purpose in evolution"--in other words, so that there's a purpose to evolution in some manner, at some point. The answer is that we don't.

    If you're asking "How do we make a leap to purpose in how we think about things," it's just an upshot to consciousness as it's realized in us--we have conscious motivations and goals for things. That's a way that our brain works. It doesn't need to have an evolutionary advantage for it to work that way, but that does have evolutionary advantages, because it enabled us to prepare in advance for hard/lean times--it allowed us to think ahead re food, shelter, clothing, etc.

    Note, by the way that I'm answering your questions as requested, and making adjustments as requested, so you're going to be expected to do the same when I ask you a question.
  • 3017amen
    704


    Thank you kindly for the reply. I'm going to go ahead and start another thread. I have too many questions to derail the discussion here.

    If you care to join that would be great!
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    I believe in honesty. Everybody lies, I do myself. Yet if i don't believe in honesty, the there can be no communication.unenlightened

    Huh?

    I said:

    Fine, I will bite. "I have faith in a god that does not exist" seems nonsensical to me. Can you tell me how you define "faith", "god", and "exist" and then I can see if it starts to make any sense.ZhouBoTong

    Are you saying I lied? I don't get it? Maybe you are responding to a different person or thread?
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