Comments

  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    So, I'm curious. Do you have a bare minimum criterion for what counts and/or what it takes for any and/or all examples of giving purpose to something to count as such?
    — creativesoul
    An excellent question! I had to read it more than once to understand what you were asking. Not, what are the minima for a purpose to be a purpose, but rather, as you have already granted that purpose is granted, given, assigned...
    tim wood

    My apologies. The scarequotes implied uncertainty on my part. You used the terms. I indicated my own trepidation of that use by using scarequotes. That was a way of mentioning without assent.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    Do (A implies B) and (A implies not B) contradict each other?

    Please give your reasoning, if you choose to answer, for why you think they do, or don't, contradict each other. And if you think they do contradict each other, does that mean they can't both be true at the same time?
    flannel jesus

    It depends upon the values given to the variables.

    They can contradict one another at times. At other times, they can both be true. They cannot do both at the same time.

    Some A's have a plurality of implications. If A implies both, B and C, then "A implies B" and "A implies not B" is better understood as "A implies B and C". C is not B.

    A implies B and C. C is not B. A implies both, B and not B. No contradiction.

    QED
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    I do not limit such behaviour to people, but I do think it makes sense to speak in terms of people on the assumption that at least at first there may be greater clarity.tim wood

    Ah. Good. Thanks for clarifying.

    So, I'm curious. Do you have a bare minimum criterion for what counts and/or what it takes for any and/or all examples of giving purpose to something to count as such?

    I mean, it seems to me that if humans and other creatures can 'give things purpose' then there must be some bare minimum criterion, some basic set of common denominators/elements, which counts as such. What do all examples of a capable creature giving purpose to something include, human examples notwithstanding?

    I'm concerned that focusing upon only human examples could lead us away from the more basic ones. It seems to me that our criterion regarding what counts as the most basic outline of 'giving purpose' needs to be perfectly capable of bridging the gap between the language less animals' cases and our own.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    Imho best to limit this to people because, so far as I know, there is no adequate language for making clear just what exactly animals are doing. As to your distinction between purpose on one side and meaning and significance on the other, l don't quite get it. But I have no reason to think I would disagree with you. I assume you mean that a dim bulb can illuminate meaning and significance, but that it takes something brighter to execute purpose. In any case I think none of it exists absent an agent in which it is thought/supposed.tim wood

    Perhaps unpacking the last claim would help.

    I do think giving purpose(s) to things takes more complex cognition/thinking than attributing meaning/significance. As before, purpose involves a means to some goal. I think we agree there.

    I'm curious what sort of reasoning/justification grounds the implication that only humans are capable of attributing meaning/significance and/or giving purpose to things. The way you put the last claim may be indicative of how you've arrived at that. May I safely conclude that you do not believe any other creature(aside from humans) is capable of thinking in any way that it makes sense for us to say that they are attributing meaning or significance to something, or that no other creature is capable of 'giving' purpose to other things?

    All of that presupposes some unspoken notions. Meaning. Significance. Thought. We may be working from very different notions.
  • The Principle of Double Effect
    1. The action in-itself is good;
    2. A good effect is foreseen from that action;
    3. The foreseen bad effect is not directly intended (from that action);
    4. The good effect cannot be brought about without the bad effect; and
    5. The alternative means for producing that good effect also cannot be used without bad effects; and
    6. The bad effect for the means chosen is less severe than or on a par with the alternative bad effects from the alternative means (consequentially).
    Bob Ross

    This could be used to justify knowingly causing preventable harm. 4, 5, and 6 presuppose omniscience of all means capable of bringing about the desired 'good' effect.
  • Suicide


    You seem incapable of understanding that some folk, myself included, fully accept that all things meaningful and/or significant are so to a capable creature. Hence, if 'the universe' excludes all such creatures, by definition nonetheless, then the universe is meaningless.

    I've no issue at all accepting that until something/someone convinces me otherwise. I have no reason to accept the limited options you offered as means to deal with a meaningless irrational universe. In fact, I'm living proof, prima facie evidence, a shining example to the contrary.
  • Suicide
    The volunteer manning the suicide prevention hotline will try to give his user hope by means of some adhoc crash course in informal spirituality.

    Apparently, the Biden administration has approved a yearly budget increase of $100 million (or $200 million) for this approach.

    In my opinion, it may already be too late in the game for such last-ditch effort. You cannot give hope to someone who does not even believe in the fundamentally irrational notion of hope. That is why everybody knows that there is simply no hope for the hopeless.

    In that sense, this approach is largely an expensive waste of time and resources. They cannot make a visible dent in the problem just by throwing money at it.
    Tarskian

    Rhetorical drivel.

    The quality/accuracy of the belief system is not under scrutiny. In that case, it is how many people it could help to save from having a miserable life. Helping those who can be helped with life by spiritual teaching is fine if it helps. The reward is worth the cost. Doing nothing for them simply because they hold unacceptable beliefs to you is heartless.

    Sure hope you're not in charge of appropriating the necessary funds.

    Hopeless, to you, evidently means not worthy of help.
  • Suicide
    "The universe is irrational and meaningless" is false on its face. We are elements within the universe. We make rational meaningful claims. The universe is not irrational and meaningless.
    — creativesoul

    There is no rationale for why the universe exists.
    Tarskian

    "Why the universe exists" is a psychological question. It does not follow from the fact that there is no rationale answering that question that the universe is irrational and meaningless. We are part of the universe. We are meaningful and rational. If a part of the universe is meaningful and rational then it is not true that the universe is meaningless and irrational. That claim is false on its face.
  • Suicide


    I invite you to reread and directly address the counter-examples of reasoning for committing suicide. One example of valid reasoning arguing in the affirmative for taking one's own life counts as a case of rational suicide.

    If all one's suffering requires one's being alive, then one's death ends all one's suffering.
  • Suicide
    suicide is not always irrational
    — creativesoul
    Perhaps, but my point is that suicide is always either unsound (choice) or involuntary (abject / pathological).
    180 Proof

    Your characterization is not the only past/current state of affairs, situation, circumstance, actual happenstance. Your characterization counts as unwarranted belief(false hope). There are such cases. Not all.
  • Suicide
    Absurdism is the philosophical theory that the universe is irrational and meaningless. It states that trying to find meaning leads people into a conflict with the world. Absurdism claims that existence as a whole is absurd.

    Various possible responses to deal with absurdism and its impact have been suggested. The three responses discussed in the traditional absurdist literature are suicide, religious belief in a higher purpose, and rebellion against the absurd.

    Seems other options are there to be practiced.

    Rationality is a feature/quality we attribute to a plurality of individual thoughts, beliefs, and/or statements thereof. How well are they strung together.

    Where there has never been a plurality of individual thoughts, beliefs, and/or statements thereof there could have never been rationality.

    "The universe is irrational and meaningless" is false on its face. We are elements within the universe. We make rational meaningful claims. The universe is not irrational and meaningless.

    I remain puzzled about what counts as a non atheist society.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    We can always rest easy claiming - but that all the more reason to remember it's just a claim. And good claims work - but none of that makes them true.tim wood

    That is the case with all good claims.



    It's not easy to describe any animal action in terms that do not tend either to anthropomorphize or make hasty assumptions.tim wood

    I agree. It is not easy to avoid anthropomorphism. We'll keep an eye out for it.



    My cat meows at the door; obviously it wants to go out. The evidence being that it goes out - except when it doesn't. Cat owners all share the experience of their cat, once the door opens, standing in the doorway, or lying down in the doorway, for an extended sampling of the day, no matter the weather. So what is the cat about? Who knows? All we get is the probability/possibility of certain behaviours.tim wood

    I do not see the relevance of your mistake to what I wrote.

    The cat didn't want to go out. That cat meows at the door for more than one reason. You're the one saying it's obvious that the cat wanted to do something that he did not do. Not I.

    What's the problem with what I wrote? I don't have that problem. By all means, if I ever attribute thought/belief/reason that only humans are capable of forming, having, and/or holding to a non human, let me know.

    Problems with your account are being held up as an example used against my account. Does that move count as a valid objection these days? My oh my, what is the world coming to?

    When one creature that has never done so watches another creature that is well rehearsed in doing so gather termites from a mound using a stick, it learns how to use a stick for the purpose of gathering resources. They want to eat termites. They know how to use a stick in order to do so. The one will break a small limb from branch, strip it of all external leaves and twigs, poke holes into a termite nest, and then poke the limb deep into the nest allowing the termites to climb upon the stick.

    That creature does that on purpose. The stick becomes significant to the watcher. The stick is already significant to the user.

    Does any of that count as anthropomorphism to you?
  • Suicide


    :smile:

    'ppreciatchoo!
  • Suicide
    Suicide is not always irrational. That's the only point I was making.
    — creativesoul

    You don't have to convince me! While I would not want to live in a culture that values 'honour' -whatever they think that means - over life and happiness, I have my own exit strategy in case of certain foreseeable eventualities.
    Vera Mont

    No worries. Convincing you wasn't the aim. Clearly making the case was.

    :wink:
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    But I have no reason to think I would disagree with you. I assume you mean that a dim bulb can illuminate meaning and significance, but that it takes something brighter to execute purpose. In any case I think none of it exists absent an agent in which it is thought/supposed.tim wood

    You may be getting hung up on my distinction between a capable creature and an agent. I think "agency" is fraught with historical baggage. The more I think about it, I'm not so sure I agree that all purpose presupposes agency either. Chimps. Crows. I'm hesitate to attribute agency to them, but I've no issue clearly explaining how they give purpose to rudimentary tools; how those tools become meaningful/significant to them.

    I'm actively working this out as well. :blush: I'm not well rehearsed in the subject matter of purpose/teleology. I'm more seeing where my prior commitments leave/lead me on the matter.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    A person can be hungry without knowing what he wants, but at least he's hungry.tim wood

    Sure, but being hungry without knowing what one wants to eat is more akin to being ambitious without knowing how to achieve the desired outcome. That is ambition without clear means. It is not ambition without desired outcome/goal.



    X has purpose in strict relation to a creature capable of intentionally, deliberately, and/or knowingly putting things to use...
    — creativesoul

    Imho best to limit this to people because, so far as I know, there is no adequate language for making clear just what exactly animals are doing.
    tim wood

    Hmmm. People are not the only creatures capable of intentionally, deliberately, and/or knowingly putting things to use. If a creature learns to use a stick to fetch termites out from deep inside of a nest, we can rest quite easy in claiming that the creature uses that stick for a specific purpose. The stick is a tool. The stick has purpose in strict relation to the creature intentionally, deliberately, and/or knowingly putting it to use. The purpose is 'given' to the stick by the creature under consideration.

    Is that not adequate enough?



    As to your distinction between purpose on one side and meaning and significance on the other, l don't quite get it.

    All purpose is meaningful/significant to a creature capable of 'giving' purposes to things. All purpose presupposes meaning and/or significance. Not all meaning and/or significance presupposes purpose.
  • Suicide
    If the person believes the only way to rid themselves of misery is to end their own life, and they choose to commit suicide, then that is a completely rational choice. I do not see how false hope plays a role here
    — creativesoul
    The hope is that all suffering will end with life. It's false if there is a judgmental afterlife, in which suicide is against the law.
    Vera Mont

    Agreed, if there is some judgmental afterlife.

    However, I was simply pointing out by anecdote that suicide is not always irrational, which is about being well grounded, justified, and/or arrived at from valid reasoning. That is quite distinct from whether or not the decision/reasoning was based upon true belief/premises. There are other stories as well.

    Samurai will fall on their own sword rather than to be dishonored by virtue of being killed by an enemy. In that culture, it is most honorable to do so. Kamikaze pilots performed honorably according to the cultural mores as well. Suicide is not always irrational. That's the only point I was making.



    That said, I suspect there are - sometimes - multiple other ways to rid oneself of misery, but that is definitely context dependent.
    — creativesoul
    Sometimes there are other means - or would be, if they were made available to the person contemplating death. But there are situations in which that person is powerless to affect change in their circumstances. (I'm thinking prisoner in some benighted country or terminally ill or catastrophically injured patient. those are extreme situations, but they're the simple fact of life for many thousands.)

    Yup.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    Let X be at least one(although there are countless ones) creature capable of drawing correlations between different things, where at least one of those things is want/desire/aims/goals of the agent and another is a means to that end.

    Without that, there is no purpose.
    — creativesoul

    Purpose then emergent, requiring person, desire, goal, means? In this your "agent," the person, necessary, desire as catalyst. It looks to me like ends and means are unnecessary. As with a person said to be ambitious, that is, a person with purpose but not (yet, presumably) with a goal or means to achieve it.
    tim wood

    Means are purposeful. The purpose of means is to reach, attain, and/or acquire a goal/end.

    Ambition without goals? What's that consist of?

    However, I do agree that one can be ambitious without yet having, arriving at, and/or being capable of articulating a means to the desired end. Good call, but I can make no sense whatsoever out of ambition absent any goal, and/or desired outcome. General ones suffice. Being a good person, for example. One can be ambitious about life in general as well. So, there is little need for specificity, however there is most certainly a need for some sort of desired outcome/expectation. There's always something that one is ambitious about regardless of the complexity of the desired outcome.



    I do feel compelled to admit/note that I wrote something earlier that I have come to disagree with in recent years. I misspoke. While I do hold that purpose presupposes agency, I do not hold that meaning and significance do as well. That is not my position, despite stating otherwise. Mea culpa.

    X has purpose in strict relation to a creature capable of intentionally, deliberately, and/or knowingly putting things to use. Whereas all things meaningful and/or significant are meaningful/significant to a creature capable of drawing correlations between different things. Purpose requires that and more. A simple/rudimentary thinking creature is all that's needed to attribute meaning and/or for things to become significant to them by virtue of drawing correlations between different things. However, "agency/agent" imply deliberate contemplation, abstract thinking, moral culpability, volition, a creature that 'cares', etc.

    All that to say that I retract the claim that meaning and significance presuppose agency. Best to do that now, so as to avoid any confusion it will certainly cause otherwise, should this discussion continue.
  • Suicide
    That is why there have never been atheist societies in history. They don't last long enough to make it into the history books.Tarskian

    I question what counts as a non atheist society.
  • Suicide
    No doubt, yet the act is not rational (i.e. false hope).180 Proof

    I'm not sure I understand that.

    If the person believes the only way to rid themselves of misery is to end their own life, and they choose to commit suicide, then that is a completely rational choice. I do not see how false hope plays a role here my friend. If one ceases to exist at death, and misery requires one to persist, then their hope to end the misery and suffering by virtue of committing suicide will be well grounded, and their belief/hope that death ends misery... true.

    That said, I suspect there are - sometimes - multiple other ways to rid oneself of misery, but that is definitely context dependent.
  • Suicide
    After all, from a rational standpoint, suicide is a disproportionately (ir-ratio ... absurd) permanent solution to a temporary problem. :smirk:180 Proof

    Suicidal folk can see it quite differently. Trust me. The problems are not "temporary" until their gone. Death is believed to provide that.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    It’s often said – not in so many words – that there exists an X such that 1) X provides purpose in the world, and 2) if there be no X, then there is no purpose, that the world is without purpose. By purpose I tentatively mean, subject to adjustment, that which gives ultimate underlying meaning and significance.tim wood

    "X provides purpose" is about X, where all subsequent qualification of "X" is bound by/limited to that which is capable of providing purpose. If X provides purpose, it must be the sort of thing that it makes sense to say is capable of doing so(providing purpose). For example, we could not substitute "potato chips" for 'X' and make any sense at all. Potato chips are not the sort of thing capable of providing purpose. They could help provide a feeling of satisfaction/contentment. Even then without eating them, that purported 'purpose' is left empty, unfilled, unmet, unsatisfied, unrealized. So, potato chips alone are not enough, nor are potato chips the sort of thing capable of providing purpose.

    What thing(s) is(are)?

    Seems to me that purpose presupposes agency. All things purposeful are so in strict relation to one's(the presupposed agents') aim, goal, prediction, and/or expectations.


    The last claim in the quote at the top of the post asks the reader's acceptance of the author's potential future equivocation of the term "purpose". It also invokes "meaning" and "significance". All three presuppose agency.

    Meaning and significance are not limited to providing purpose. They provide (mis)understanding. They provide a worldview. They provide the necessary preconditions for agency and hence help lay the groundwork needed for purposes to emerge. Purpose is nonexistent is complete absence of meaning and significance. Seems to me that meaning/significance is necessary but insufficient for purpose.

    Thinking processes 'give' meaning and significance. The scare-quotes are intentional. By my lights, meaning and significance are not the sorts of things that can be given to another like a physical object. We could be said to 'give away' meaning and significance to another by virtue of helping them to draw correlations between the same sorts of things that we are/do.

    Teaching a child how to use "tree" is a prima facie example. Teaching a child how pick oranges helps them to draw many of their own correlations between oranges and other things.

    While both meaning and significance play a role in the child's mind/thought/worldview prior to learning how to pick oranges and/or call trees by name, there's no argumentative ground for attributing much along the lines of purpose to the child, as if they have one, or they've found other things useful.

    Let X be at least one(although there are countless ones) creature capable of drawing correlations between different things, where at least one of those things is want/desire/aims/goals of the agent and another is a means to that end.

    Without that, there is no purpose.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    ...religion is about the dimension of our existence called value. Religion is about metavalue, metaethics, metaaesthetics.Constance

    Metaethics is discovered IN the analysis of mundane ethics.Constance

    Religion is about metavalue, metaethics, metaaesthetics.Constance

    It follows that religion is about that which is discovered IN the analysis of mundane ethics. That's not true either. Religion was around long before we began doing that sort of analysis.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    Religion is about metaphysics...
    — Astrophel

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

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

    But metaphysics is not about thinking practices.
    Constance

    Red herring.

    Some religion was before all such practices began. Not all religion is/was about thinking practices. Metaphysics IS a thinking practice. Some religion was before metaphysics.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    Philosophy wants to know what things are at the most basic level of inquiry, and the narrative account is the first thing to go.Astrophel

    How do you know without knowing what "the basic level" includes?
    — creativesoul

    One discovers the basic level through inquiry.
    Constance

    Do you have a list of things found at the most basic level of inquiry?
  • Is atheism illogical?
    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.
    Constance

    Who needs goalposts anyway?

    Ethics is not equivalent to spinoffs and extrapolations from/of Heiddy's thought.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    We move through life never questioning these engagements in a culture, and as a result, we never realize our "true" nature.Astrophel

    That's not true.

    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.Astrophel

    Right?

    They don't get to choose so it makes no sense whatsoever to say otherwise...

    Geez.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    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.
    — creativesoul

    "Attributing wants to things"? A bit left fieldish.
    Constance

    Still having problems with spatiotemporal locations I see.

    No, it's right there on everyone's screen!
  • Is atheism illogical?
    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.Constance

    Bullshit.

    The narrative in question was all narrative.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    ...This is the metaphysical ground of ethics, where ethics, and therefore religion, acquires its foundation.Constance

    As if all religion is existentially dependent upon a fairly recent philosophical practice we've named metaphysics?

    Nah.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    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.Constance

    Assertion, not argument.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    I referred to metaphysics. This is about the lack of fixity our ideas have at the basic level.Constance

    Ya think?

    How do you know without knowing what "the basic level" includes?
  • Is atheism illogical?
    Religion is about metaphysics...Astrophel

    Nah. It did not begin by thinking about thinking practices as subject matters in their own right.
  • Is atheism illogical?
    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.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    How would you respond to the trolley problem?

    By pointing out that it is based upon impossible scenario. If such a scenario should ever arise, there's much better ethical considerations to be had than which 'choice' one would make. The focus ought be upon how we ever got to that point to start with...

    :brow:
  • Is atheism illogical?
    ...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.
  • A Summary of the "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus"
    In PI 325, Wittgenstein says the following, 'The certainty that I shall be able to go after I have had this experience-seen the formula, for instance,-is simply based on induction.' What does this mean?- 'The certainty that the fire will burn me is based on induction.' Does that mean that I argue to myself: 'Fire has always burned me, so it will happen now too?' Or is the previous experience the cause of my certainty, not its ground?...Richard B

    I also disagree with "The certainty that the fire will burn me is based on induction".

    Language less creatures can be certain that touching fire hurts, and rightfully so. Being burned by fire causes one to draw the correlation between the behavior and the pain(correctly attribute/recognize causality). It only takes once.

    Some who've been burned learn to talk about it, others prior to being burned.

    One knows that touching fire hurts by virtue of touching fire and drawing correlations/associations and/or connections between what they did and the subsequent pain. In a language less case, the experience grounds the certainty. There is no justification possible, if that requires language use.


    ...Whether the earlier experience is the cause of the certainty depends on the system of hypotheses, of natural laws, in which we are considering the phenomenon of certainty. Is our confidence justified? - What people accept as a justification is shown by how they think and live."

    A language less creatures' certainty is shown, not argued for. That certainty is based upon previous experience, and it depends - in no way, shape, or form - upon "the system of hypotheses, of natural laws, in which we are considering the phenomenon of certainty"
  • Is atheism illogical?
    there was a basic problematic built into existence that gave rise to the worshipping and the rest.Astrophel

    Yup. Ignorance of causality.
  • Quantifier Variance, Ontological Pluralism, and Other Fun Stuff
    I'd just like to show appreciation and support to the contributors. This thread initially piqued my interest since it seemed relevant to my own position on a few things, but given my lack of knowledge regarding formal logic, I wasn't at all certain. I've chosen silent reading until now. The recent tangents regarding the early development of human thought and belief(mind) have been interesting as well.

    I've nothing much to add aside from gratitude.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism


    Mistakes are equivalent to neither, harm nor foul. Mistakes have been made.