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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35553 times)

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Offline Caehlim

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #625 on: March 10, 2013, 10:03:50 AM »
Or you could look up Jordan Peterson, who has pointed out that critical points of Christianity and they're hard ones to shrug off.

I was not at all impressed with the precis to 'maps of meaning'. (You can read it here).

He seems to be struggling to form a theodicy and find meaning in the modern world. This seems a particular problem for him because he's encountered things that he just can't deal with, particularly in the 20th century's various wars. Unfortunately he's read a series of books that tends to lead people down the kooky train. Nietzsche, Goethe, Milton, Jung, Campbell and Eliade form a potent combination that frankly should carry a warning label.

These influences are pretty obvious throughout his work and I really think he needs to read some less depressing philosophy/psychology books.

Also he seems largely based in the psychology from the 60s and despite quoting a few modern works, really does seem behind the times when it comes to modern psychology. We've moved on a lot from dream interpretation and metaphor into some pretty concrete neuroscience.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #626 on: March 10, 2013, 11:36:43 AM »
Obviously atheism is a gut reaction and most Christians don't believe in the Christianity described by someone like Eagleton, but one wishes to have the most solid form of any position (and besides, it's entertaining.)

Err... guessing you're not an atheist, or are a pretty isolated and unique one. "Gut reaction" is kinda the polar opposite of what it tends to be.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #627 on: March 10, 2013, 12:12:02 PM »
I'm just going to throw an example out here.

I know someone who sends her kid to a private Catholic school.  She's not Catholic, but the public schools in the area really suck, and this is the only place that her kid can get a decent education in a safe environment.  There's a waiting list for families trying to get their kids into this school for the same reason:  a safe place where the kids can learn.  Now, if she sees something wrong at the school and pushes for change, it's no skin off the school's nose to tell her 'Fine, your kid can't come here any more,' and still not do a thing about the problem.

Here, standing up for the right thing would have cost her child rather severely, to no lasting effect as far as the corruption goes.  Does she probably 'need a better school anyways'?  Yes.  Is she likely to get one?  No.

This is a major problem with English schools, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. Dawkin's did an entire documentary on the subject. A lot of English schools are becoming faith schools, due to initiatives in place to reward those who want to create them, leading to not only lesser funding for secular schools open to all, but then hugely cutting off admittance to huge portions of the society. It's surprisingly common how many people have to hide their lack of belief, or straight up pretend to be religious in order for their child to go to a decent/school close enough to be viable.

It's important to seperate the hideous institution that protects child rapists (rape is the appropriate word) and maybe, strangely, somehow actually creates the behavior in people... from what underlies it. Terry Eagleton makes a good explanation of that. Or you could look up Jordan Peterson, who has pointed out that critical points of Christianity and they're hard ones to shrug off.

Obviously atheism is a gut reaction and most Christians don't believe in the Christianity described by someone like Eagleton, but one wishes to have the most solid form of any position (and besides, it's entertaining.)


I'm not talking about some of the horrid things Christians (remember, what a Christian person does is seperate from what Christianity expects of them, in a large majority of cases) or other religious have done under the cover of religion - for example, the Vatican's large ring of child sex offenses. I'm talking about the actual moral tenants of Christianity, which I find morally backwards. Christianity, as one of it's main tenants, proudly displays their love for the virtue of forgiveness which we can hardly dismiss as being a bad thing. Everyone in this world does wrong and forgivings and carrying on with our lives in a good thing to learn as adults. Christianity, however, takes forgiveness to an (in my opinion) extremely backwards, cult-like level which doesn't border on immoral, it actively is immoral. Christianity preaches that forgiveness is a virtue beyond righteousness - that the man who begs forgiveness on his death bed after raping and murdering a woman lives an eternal life in paradise, while his murdered victim who didn't believe in God burns an eternity in Hell because she didn't have a chance to ask for forgiveness. This, of course, isn't what the majority of Christians would actually accept as being real.

Another point on the forgiveness angle is the idea that humanity are asking for forgiveness from God, their creator, for being what they are; God makes you homosexual, then asks you to apologize for it. He makes you naturally wired to want to have sex, then makes you apologize for having sex. It's like a scenario between an abused couple, where the abuser is validated in punching his partner in the face and it's the abusee who needs to apologize for being so idiotic, imperfect and stupid to provoke the abusers wrath.

Edit: Added a little bit onto here about morality; also, snipped the last section. For some reason, thought I was in another thread.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 01:01:10 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #628 on: March 10, 2013, 12:46:19 PM »
Well, a quick search shows him going from "The problem with objectification of women is that it taunts men!", through silencing tactics re: Amanda Todd, to complete and total meltdown in which he rants about how great it was that someone was raped. So... he might be the greatest entertainer in the world. I will not reward him with my attention, and I would recommend that others not do so either.

While gathering the above links, I also stumbled across this. Oh, Penn. I want to like you. Stop making it so hard.

Just noticed this post.

Yeah, I do remember seeing the first... hadn't known about the latter two. I tend to only frequent his Youtube account, but yeah... that's pretty brutal.

And yeah... never seen that side to Penn, either. Some of it is pretty shocking.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #629 on: March 10, 2013, 01:20:52 PM »
Just noticed this post.

Yeah, I do remember seeing the first... hadn't known about the latter two. I tend to only frequent his Youtube account, but yeah... that's pretty brutal.

And yeah... never seen that side to Penn, either. Some of it is pretty shocking.

Most of my specifically atheist reading is A+ bloggers. They're not everyone's bag - they're a lot less concerned with politeness and civility than getting stuff done - but they're really good for calling out bullshit like this. And more positive examples, when they happen (sadly nowhere near as often).

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #630 on: March 10, 2013, 01:43:57 PM »

Caehlim
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
I was not at all impressed with the precis to 'maps of meaning'. (You can read it here).

He seems to be struggling to form a theodicy and find meaning in the modern world. This seems a particular problem for him because he's encountered things that he just can't deal with, particularly in the 20th century's various wars. Unfortunately he's read a series of books that tends to lead people down the kooky train. Nietzsche, Goethe, Milton, Jung, Campbell and Eliade form a potent combination that frankly should carry a warning label.

These influences are pretty obvious throughout his work and I really think he needs to read some less depressing philosophy/psychology books.

Also he seems largely based in the psychology from the 60s and despite quoting a few modern works, really does seem behind the times when it comes to modern psychology. We've moved on a lot from dream interpretation and metaphor into some pretty concrete neuroscience.

Well that's the point, that he struggled with the topic and still is. He's got some interesting ideas as a result of that. Also Peterson has a serious background in modern psychological science and is a practicing clinical whatsit besides being a professor.



Err... guessing you're not an atheist, or are a pretty isolated and unique one. "Gut reaction" is kinda the polar opposite of what it tends to be.

No, the atheist position is "I don't feel there's someone living in the sky looking at the whole thing." That or believing whatever you believe is a habit from having other people tell you since you were a kid, or someone we rather liked held that sort of view and we just pick it up. It applies to everything, not just your view of the god business.

From there, or rather from thinking it's an important topic for us, we tend to try to reason about it and research it. I don't think I've ever seen someone that expects it's like a math proof or a chemistry experiment.


Vanity Evolved:
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I'm not talking about some of the horrid things Christians (remember, what a Christian person does is seperate from what Christianity expects of them, in a large majority of cases) or other religious have done under the cover of religion - for example, the Vatican's large ring of child sex offenses. I'm talking about the actual moral tenants of Christianity, which I find morally backwards. Christianity, as one of it's main tenants, proudly displays their love for the virtue of forgiveness which we can hardly dismiss as being a bad thing. Everyone in this world does wrong and forgivings and carrying on with our lives in a good thing to learn as adults. Christianity, however, takes forgiveness to an (in my opinion) extremely backwards, cult-like level which doesn't border on immoral, it actively is immoral. Christianity preaches that forgiveness is a virtue beyond righteousness - that the man who begs forgiveness on his death bed after raping and murdering a woman lives an eternal life in paradise, while his murdered victim who didn't believe in God burns an eternity in Hell because she didn't have a chance to ask for forgiveness. This, of course, isn't what the majority of Christians would actually accept as being real.

Another point on the forgiveness angle is the idea that humanity are asking for forgiveness from God, their creator, for being what they are; God makes you homosexual, then asks you to apologize for it. He makes you naturally wired to want to have sex, then makes you apologize for having sex. It's like a scenario between an abused couple, where the abuser is validated in punching his partner in the face and it's the abusee who needs to apologize for being so idiotic, imperfect and stupid to provoke the abusers wrath.

Well the obvious bit is that they protect the priests because it's a PR problem. It's like when you notice the police never seem to turn one of their members over to the wolves for abusing their own position. It's worth saying that most of these problems are because it's an institution that exists first to preserve itself, if it wasn't it wouldn't be around at all.

And "Christianity Preaches Blank" is rather like "Science Tells Us Blank." It's just a setup to an ugly strawman version of religion. The Chris Hitchens style bombast is entertaining and not bad when it comes to dispelling plenty of bad assumptions people have about their religion, their institutions or their history. But bad science doesn't discredit science anymore than a bad dentist discredits dentistry as a medical field.

You need the best form of the other side if you want to argue with it, otherwise what you're really after is dogmatism or institutional solidarity or political smokescreens made to distract voters from practical reality. Not that those things aren't bad but it's not like the a christian philosophy is the root of it. It would be much more important if you were a christian having to argue with your own tribe, which I think is where the changes come from.

That's more a practical point but at the very least it's more interesting to argue with the better opponent.


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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #631 on: March 10, 2013, 03:02:25 PM »
No, the atheist position is "I don't feel there's someone living in the sky looking at the whole thing." That or believing whatever you believe is a habit from having other people tell you since you were a kid, or someone we rather liked held that sort of view and we just pick it up. It applies to everything, not just your view of the god business.

From there, or rather from thinking it's an important topic for us, we tend to try to reason about it and research it. I don't think I've ever seen someone that expects it's like a math proof or a chemistry experiment.

Then with all due respect, it seems like you've talked to very few or a very limited subset of atheists. The overwhelming majority of the ones I've talked to and read and listened to start from a position not of "I don't feel", but of "There is no evidence for", and would gladly alter their positions if someone provided some. A statistically significant number actually come from theistic households (including myself, though mine was pretty laid back), so your "habit" or "raised that way" hypothesis fails to hold water.

The null hypothesis is not "This one specific God as detailed in this one specific holy book." Rather the opposite.

Offline Braioch

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #632 on: March 10, 2013, 03:09:15 PM »
Then with all due respect, it seems like you've talked to very few or a very limited subset of atheists. The overwhelming majority of the ones I've talked to and read and listened to start from a position not of "I don't feel", but of "There is no evidence for", and would gladly alter their positions if someone provided some. A statistically significant number actually come from theistic households (including myself, though mine was pretty laid back), so your "habit" or "raised that way" hypothesis fails to hold water.

The null hypothesis is not "This one specific God as detailed in this one specific holy book." Rather the opposite.

Pretty much, I'd change my stance were there sufficient evidence, as any aspiring scientist should. ::)

And I came from a laid back household myself, hell most of the theism in my early life was due to me bouncing around religions privately, mostly pagan, but still. Hell I didn't even know my dad was Christian until I was like 14 and my mother's an agnostic, so my spiritual raising was not heavy. Much to my grandmother's chagrin of course, but she acknowledges you don't need to be a Christian to be a good person and it doesn't change who I am, just how I view the world.

I would probably burst into fire were I to walk into a church anyways >,>

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #633 on: March 10, 2013, 03:53:36 PM »


Ephiral:
Well, it's not a hypothesis. It's just the way people are. First let's take a slightly more less glib version from Kierkegaard via Eagleton, which goes "a believer is someone who is in love." You'd sound crazy if you couldn't give reasons for being in love with someone but the reasons aren't enough. Knowing and agreeing with the reasosn doesn't causeyou  to fall in love with them or not.

But the other bit is what someone like Eagleton calls the grammar. If the question is whether there's a god because the importance of the ideas is all based on that there's a god and he wrote us a big postit note.

Well, fine but it's such a cheap position (right is what god says) that it's barely worth talking about.

If you're in love with someone and someone else points out they have an oddly shaped nose and you'd never noticed before you don't fall out of love with them. If you do... it's really surprising. When it comes to people, we tend to love them and then, motivated by that love, come to really know them. Most people fall out of love with someone when they get a good picture of them over time and find themselves disappointed, or have a clear example they can't ignore of some underlying "more real" form of that person.

If you want to pretend that people in general are just waiting for the right bullet points to do a full reversal on their view of reality then I guess that's your business. I don't think it's realistic.

But if they were like that, you'd still want the best form of the postion you argue against.

On that note, you should just take your account and apply it to something else like how and what people eat. People aren't video game avatars being managed rationally by minds, we're meaty objects that do and say things based mostly on habit.

I don't think what you mean to say here is that atheism is a position held by especially willful, reasonable subset of the population. I have to assume you're talking about atheists as just another slice of the population woth all the usual quirks and shortcomings as everyone else.



Pretty much, I'd change my stance were there sufficient evidence, as any aspiring scientist should. ::)

I think the history of scientific thought is marked by just the opposite. That's probably because people are not "just" scientists, they're also academics and careerists and philosophers and hold other views.

It's a nice ideal but if we pretend we're angels instead of meaty-objects we're living in a fantasy.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #634 on: March 10, 2013, 03:58:22 PM »
Well the obvious bit is that they protect the priests because it's a PR problem. It's like when you notice the police never seem to turn one of their members over to the wolves for abusing their own position. It's worth saying that most of these problems are because it's an institution that exists first to preserve itself, if it wasn't it wouldn't be around at all.

And "Christianity Preaches Blank" is rather like "Science Tells Us Blank." It's just a setup to an ugly strawman version of religion. The Chris Hitchens style bombast is entertaining and not bad when it comes to dispelling plenty of bad assumptions people have about their religion, their institutions or their history. But bad science doesn't discredit science anymore than a bad dentist discredits dentistry as a medical field.

You need the best form of the other side if you want to argue with it, otherwise what you're really after is dogmatism or institutional solidarity or political smokescreens made to distract voters from practical reality. Not that those things aren't bad but it's not like the a christian philosophy is the root of it. It would be much more important if you were a christian having to argue with your own tribe, which I think is where the changes come from.

That's more a practical point but at the very least it's more interesting to argue with the better opponent.

Which you'd think a bunch of priests, men who'd dedicated themselves to their faith, would be a little more eager to get rid of, rather than harbour, proven pedophiles in the church if what they believed in was doing what's right and better mankind, yes?

What the Vatican has done to children does little to colour my opinion on Christianity; it's a horrid thing, but I don't recall a point in the Bible where it said 'And he shall rape little boys in lieu of women'. I can't fault Christianity for something which some of it's followers have done, unless the Bible or it's teachings are directly responsible (However, there is a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that Catholicism not allowing priests to marry or have sex, if I recall rightly, is in part responsible for attracting those to the faith who may lean towards doing those kind of things. But I have no opinion on that).

They are two seperate things; science is the easy one to point out in this case. One scientist can tell me gravity doesn't exist. One scientist can tell me it does and point to peer reviewed study which shows gravity exists. Even further, I can test this myself; if I drop something, it will hit the ground, just as the research states. Of course, with religion, you do have to paint with a slightly broader brush; stating what each subset of Christianity believes and which they prioritize over others would take forever, just for the major sects, let alone every minor offshoot of each of those sects and even then, the people within those sects can still hold other things more important than what their own sect/church preaches, so really, the only way I can discuss a topic like 'What does this religion preach?' is to focus on one focal point.

I don't know many Christians who refuse that the Bible is the word of God, and contains his teachings on morality and life, so I will state right now that my observations of Christian morality come from what is stated in the Bible, the same Bible I myself believed in during my younger years. Heck, even then, I have some problems (One guy says being a Christian gets you into Heaven, but Jesus then says that good deeds make you a Christian, not being a Christian, so even the Bible doesn't know whether it's coming or going).

As you've said, bad scientists or bad dentists don't discredit their fields; I completely agree with you. By the same extention, just because someone of a certain faith does something, good or bad, this does not reflect the values or validity of how good a religion is. You get into very weird loops that by doing something one group considers good, you're actively making yourself a bad example within your religion. Going by religion, helping your friend out by covering his shift on Sunday makes you a bad Christian who deserves to be stoned, despite the fact that your friends and most other people would say 'Yeah, he's a pretty nice guy'.

I mean, sure, I can get the best from both side. Depending on what you mean by 'best'. Do you mean the Christian who helps people, runs a soup kitchen and a shelter and cares for the rights of homosexuals? Or do you mean the Christian who actively is a 'good Christian' in the sense that he follows the teachings of his belief the closest, the man who stones women for being found to not be virgins, the man who stones his children for speaking back and the man who makes his raped daught marry her attacker in exchange for money? In other cases, this simply doesn't work. How do I argue what the 'best Atheist' is? The best Atheist does what every other Atheist does; doesn't believe there is a supernatural being who controls the world, because that is all Atheism states. It'd be like trying to argue what the best homosexual is; I mean, if you're a homosexual man who goes around having sex with women and not men, then you're doing pretty poorly at being a homosexual, for example...

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #635 on: March 10, 2013, 04:50:11 PM »
Ephiral:
Well, it's not a hypothesis. It's just the way people are. First let's take a slightly more less glib version from Kierkegaard via Eagleton, which goes "a believer is someone who is in love." You'd sound crazy if you couldn't give reasons for being in love with someone but the reasons aren't enough. Knowing and agreeing with the reasosn doesn't causeyou  to fall in love with them or not.

A testable assertion about an observed phenomenon. Sounds like a hypothesis to me. Merely saying "It's true!" over and over again does not constitute any evidence for your case. You are asserting that atheism will always stem from an emotional basis; citation needed. (The closest you could argue to an emotional basis in my case is a strong value placed on a map-of-reality that accurately and usefully reflects reality.)

But the other bit is what someone like Eagleton calls the grammar. If the question is whether there's a god because the importance of the ideas is all based on that there's a god and he wrote us a big postit note.

Well, fine but it's such a cheap position (right is what god says) that it's barely worth talking about.

No, the question is "Is there any basis whatsoever to this life-defining assertion that people keep making?"

If you're in love with someone and someone else points out they have an oddly shaped nose and you'd never noticed before you don't fall out of love with them. If you do... it's really surprising. When it comes to people, we tend to love them and then, motivated by that love, come to really know them. Most people fall out of love with someone when they get a good picture of them over time and find themselves disappointed, or have a clear example they can't ignore of some underlying "more real" form of that person.

All this says to me is that love is a really poor analogy for "shut up and multiply" questions.

If you want to pretend that people in general are just waiting for the right bullet points to do a full reversal on their view of reality then I guess that's your business. I don't think it's realistic.

Did I say "people in general", or "atheists, in my extensive experience"?

But if they were like that, you'd still want the best form of the postion you argue against.

On that note, you should just take your account and apply it to something else like how and what people eat. People aren't video game avatars being managed rationally by minds, we're meaty objects that do and say things based mostly on habit.

I don't think what you mean to say here is that atheism is a position held by especially willful, reasonable subset of the population. I have to assume you're talking about atheists as just another slice of the population woth all the usual quirks and shortcomings as everyone else.

I'm talking about atheists as a particular slice of the population which has, on average, devoted way more time, energy, and thought than the general population to the issue of cognitive bias and how to adjust for or counter it.

I think the history of scientific thought is marked by just the opposite. That's probably because people are not "just" scientists, they're also academics and careerists and philosophers and hold other views.

It's a nice ideal but if we pretend we're angels instead of meaty-objects we're living in a fantasy.

Did I say scientists or atheists? And did I say they're perfect, or did I say that the  people you're trying to deny the existence of are in fact real, do in fact value evidence that strongly, do attempt to deal with cognitive bias, and there's one right here in front of you?

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #636 on: March 10, 2013, 04:57:14 PM »

I don't believe I said the best form of christianity or anything is the one that causes them or would logically cause them if they followed it to behave in waysa we'd like them to.

Best form would just be a description of reality. If the christ story is about goodness, like art, being more important than its outcomes, especially when things are bad and following your conscience is going to get you nailed to some wood then that's pretty good. It's pretty true. It's telling you about the world you live in.

If it's the tyrannical god, literal bible, saddles on dinosaurs business that's bad because a lousy description of the world. I hardly think it's worth saying you don't believe it any more than it's worth sayng you don't believe in the superconscious or something.

The Eagleton position is that a rational, sciencey take on the truth of the bible is something like trying to weigh the merits of Moby Dick on how accurately it depicted the whaling industry. I think that's pretty compelling.

I think it would be a bad start to say the catholic church actually does practice their values. If I said something like Canada helped abduct and exhile the president of Haiti because we wanted to make the country free so freedom is a lousy cause I don't think anyone would agree with me.

The most radical thing you can say about the catholic church is that it's the least christian thing on the planet. And it's probably true for most people that call themselves christians, especially inside the church where the contradictions are quite plain.

And it takes some work. Gravity is a bit more than things fall down. You actually have to do some real legwork to demonstrate it because most of the obvious stuff can be covered by saying "well , all the stuff that didn't fall down isn't sitting on the ground for us to find."

The broad brush approach... again, test it somewhere else. Most of the time I don't think you'd accept the practice, especially over some other category like ones nation or sex.


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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #637 on: March 10, 2013, 05:07:45 PM »
I don't believe I said the best form of christianity or anything is the one that causes them or would logically cause them if they followed it to behave in waysa we'd like them to.

Best form would just be a description of reality. If the christ story is about goodness, like art, being more important than its outcomes, especially when things are bad and following your conscience is going to get you nailed to some wood then that's pretty good. It's pretty true. It's telling you about the world you live in.

If it's the tyrannical god, literal bible, saddles on dinosaurs business that's bad because a lousy description of the world. I hardly think it's worth saying you don't believe it any more than it's worth sayng you don't believe in the superconscious or something.

So... isn't a world view that upholds altruism and equality without bringing in a whole bunch of baggage that there is literally zero evidence for more accurate and therefore "better" by your standard?

The Eagleton position is that a rational, sciencey take on the truth of the bible is something like trying to weigh the merits of Moby Dick on how accurately it depicted the whaling industry. I think that's pretty compelling.

Except for the part where Biblical literalists exist, even non-literalists tend to warp culture around their mythology, and the Bible keeps making testable scientific claims.

I think it would be a bad start to say the catholic church actually does practice their values. If I said something like Canada helped abduct and exhile the president of Haiti because we wanted to make the country free so freedom is a lousy cause I don't think anyone would agree with me.

The most radical thing you can say about the catholic church is that it's the least christian thing on the planet. And it's probably true for most people that call themselves christians, especially inside the church where the contradictions are quite plain.

Sorry, you don't get to "no true Scotsman" your way out of this. A Christian is a believer in and worshipper of Christ. Does the Catholic church fall within that description?

The broad brush approach... again, test it somewhere else. Most of the time I don't think you'd accept the practice, especially over some other category like ones nation or sex.

Or in statements like "Atheists are all coming from an emotional gut reaction"?

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #638 on: March 10, 2013, 05:47:07 PM »
[quote author=Ephiral link=topic=139881.msg7860181#msg7860181 date=1362952211
Did I say "people in general", or "atheists, in my extensive experience"?

I'm talking about atheists as a particular slice of the population which has, on average, devoted way more time, energy, and thought than the general population to the issue of cognitive bias and how to adjust for or counter it.

Did I say scientists or atheists? And did I say they're perfect, or did I say that the  people you're trying to deny the existence of are in fact real, do in fact value evidence that strongly, do attempt to deal with cognitive bias, and there's one right here in front of you?
[/quote]

So really we're disagreeing on reality here. I don't hold with the idea that people calling themselves atheists are especially more or less Blank than anyone else.

I denied the existance of scientists as such the way I'd deny there are honest people as such or evil people as such. I'd call that being realistic about the kind of thing that people are.

In the mean time you seem very unhappy about something and I'm not sure I want any part of that. Do feel free to call me names or make assertions about my parentage if you enjoy that sort of thing. It's quite satisfying, I find.

... ah, I see you've made a few more of them.

Short list,

I said nothing about altruism. Look up Eagleton on the yeti formulation of the god issue if you're confused about what I think a better view of it looks like.

It's not hard to dismiss biblical literalists intellectually. Politically they're an ugly lot but that's another story.

Again, if the bible is a history or book of natural philosophy then it's the worst one ever written. If it's a piece of literature it's not just one of the best it's nearly the foundation of western culture. I think I might pick Socrates over Jesus to chop last from the dwindling school curriculum but I wouldn't consult either of them on dinosaurs or planetary motion. Nor do most Christians, let alone most self proclaimed christians that aren't raving loonies.

Do all atheists begin at an emotional, gut reaction? Yes. Everyone does this for everything, it's necessary but not sufficient and if that wasn't the kind of meat-object we are we wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Again, belief and worship of mister Jesus, well it's the yeti question.

A novel that is a literal description of events with no ideas, themes or anything else is just lousy. Jesus isn't a vampire covered in sparkles. If that was the point it would be a lousy book.

So much for the short list. Well take it or leave it Ephiral, I don't see why you're so attached to the literal version but I don't get why the evangelicals are either. As far as I can tell it's the weakest version and a boring one but that's just me.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #639 on: March 10, 2013, 05:49:12 PM »
I don't believe I said the best form of christianity or anything is the one that causes them or would logically cause them if they followed it to behave in waysa we'd like them to.

Best form would just be a description of reality. If the christ story is about goodness, like art, being more important than its outcomes, especially when things are bad and following your conscience is going to get you nailed to some wood then that's pretty good. It's pretty true. It's telling you about the world you live in.

If it's the tyrannical god, literal bible, saddles on dinosaurs business that's bad because a lousy description of the world. I hardly think it's worth saying you don't believe it any more than it's worth sayng you don't believe in the superconscious or something.

The Eagleton position is that a rational, sciencey take on the truth of the bible is something like trying to weigh the merits of Moby Dick on how accurately it depicted the whaling industry. I think that's pretty compelling.

I think it would be a bad start to say the catholic church actually does practice their values. If I said something like Canada helped abduct and exhile the president of Haiti because we wanted to make the country free so freedom is a lousy cause I don't think anyone would agree with me.

The most radical thing you can say about the catholic church is that it's the least christian thing on the planet. And it's probably true for most people that call themselves christians, especially inside the church where the contradictions are quite plain.

And it takes some work. Gravity is a bit more than things fall down. You actually have to do some real legwork to demonstrate it because most of the obvious stuff can be covered by saying "well , all the stuff that didn't fall down isn't sitting on the ground for us to find."

The broad brush approach... again, test it somewhere else. Most of the time I don't think you'd accept the practice, especially over some other category like ones nation or sex.

The New Testament contains pretty bad advice not based in reality, either; remember, Jesus also proclaimed that you should give away everything and live on the streets because God will provide. Giving all your savings and belongings and relying on a man in the sky to make your life work isn't good, or realistic advice.

Eagleton may say this or that, but that is beside the point; the reason to take a rational take on the Bible is because we do live in reality. People who believe the Bible is right believe in reality. Unlike Moby Dick, whalers don't base their profession on what Moby Dick says; people do, however, base their entire lives on the stories on the Bible which is completely different.

Saying the Catholic Church is the 'least Christian thing on the planet' is also an odd thing to say. To define them as 'least Christian', you'd have to define what is 'most Christian', and you've already said my position of using the Bible as a baseline for comparing Christian morality to other systems of morality is a strawman, so. I'm not sure what you'd like to use as your barometer, here.

Because while sex, and nation are big topics, observing these sorts of cultures and social constructs are also carried out by hundreds of thousands of people, world-wide, every day to get together a comprehensive and testable amount of data with which to base their conclusions. I am one guy, on the internet. Are you seriously telling me that if I wish to have an opinion on what Christian morality is or what a large amount of Christianity is based on, I'm not allowed to use the Bible, the 'source' for pretty much every off-shoot of Christianity currently in existance, you expect me to somehow study, in detail, hundreds of thousands of seperate offshoots, then interview and study every Christian on this planet to find out what their person ideas are on the subject? Does that sound to you in any which way to be a reasonable expectation to ask someone, especially in a situation like that? You may as well say 'Oh, you can't say you dislike chicken, because you havn't tried meat from every breed of chicken on the Earth, or every countries recipes which include chicken.'
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 05:50:32 PM by Vanity Evolved »

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #640 on: March 10, 2013, 05:56:59 PM »
Ack Arg, I've asked you for anything, the slightest shred of evidence, to back up your rather bold claims. You responded, repeatedly, by simply reasserting them as true. Then you accused me of being angry at you, making personal attacks (where, exactly?) and of clinging to a literal reading of the Bible. I am not. I am asserting that religious beliefs have an impact on how our society works and what actions we take, and inasmuch as that is true, they deserve careful examination. Having a view of reality that describes reality as it actually works will tend to make our decisions and actions more effective, after all. The exact text of any holy book is irrelevant; what matters is how it impacts society.

If you cannot actually respond to my points instead of slinging logical fallacies and baseless accusations, then I wash my hands of this. If you can, then perhaps we can actually have a conversation.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #641 on: March 10, 2013, 06:12:15 PM »
Having a view of reality that describes reality as it actually works will tend to make our decisions and actions more effective, after all.

I'm interested by this point.  I'm not convinced by it, but I realise that its not fully expanded upon.

My issue is that I have no idea how my computer works.  I know it needs plugging in to the mains (electricity) after a while but whether thats because it runs on electricity or that the little fairies inside it need electricity to heat their break rooms and refuse to work if they don't get it I couldn't say (obviously I'm stretching the truth here a little but you get my point).  But I use a computer for work when I cant avoid it and, obviously, use one to get into this lovely website.  My lack of a view that describes reality as it actually works as opposed to the IT department being some sort of strange neo-druids chanting prayers to the great god CPU doesn't affect my effectiveness at all.  It doesn't matter whether I have a firewall because of blah blah blah tech stuff or if I have a firewall because I worry that without adequate protection the spirit inhabiting my computer will escape through the internet and stop making porn appear.

Basically - and, as I say, I realise this was a throwaway point you made - I'm not certain thats a hard and fast rule.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #642 on: March 10, 2013, 06:20:35 PM »
Admittedly, it's a general trend, not a hard and fast rule. Obviously it won't make a difference in every facet of your life - but in my experience, it tends to matter for the important things. It'sextremely difficult to maintain a reality-based mental toolkit if you don't work it routinely, and I for one see no similarly significant value in subscrubing to false versions of reality. Ergo, it's worthwhile to maintain the most reality-based approach you can. You might not understand the finer points of how your computer works - but you don't leave the fairies offerings just in case, do you?

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #643 on: March 10, 2013, 06:27:28 PM »
You might not understand the finer points of how your computer works - but you don't leave the fairies offerings just in case, do you?

I dunno.  I drop A LOT of crumbs into the keyboard.  It's pretty gross, in fact.  Maybe I'm doing it subconsciously?

Nah, but I take your point.  Thank you for expanding.  I return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #644 on: March 10, 2013, 06:36:35 PM »
I dunno.  I drop A LOT of crumbs into the keyboard.  It's pretty gross, in fact.  Maybe I'm doing it subconsciously?

Nah, but I take your point.  Thank you for expanding.  I return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

You're quite welcome. Thanks for taking the time to examine it, actually.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #645 on: March 10, 2013, 06:49:58 PM »
I'm interested by this point.  I'm not convinced by it, but I realise that its not fully expanded upon.

My issue is that I have no idea how my computer works.  I know it needs plugging in to the mains (electricity) after a while but whether thats because it runs on electricity or that the little fairies inside it need electricity to heat their break rooms and refuse to work if they don't get it I couldn't say (obviously I'm stretching the truth here a little but you get my point).  But I use a computer for work when I cant avoid it and, obviously, use one to get into this lovely website.  My lack of a view that describes reality as it actually works as opposed to the IT department being some sort of strange neo-druids chanting prayers to the great god CPU doesn't affect my effectiveness at all.  It doesn't matter whether I have a firewall because of blah blah blah tech stuff or if I have a firewall because I worry that without adequate protection the spirit inhabiting my computer will escape through the internet and stop making porn appear.

Basically - and, as I say, I realise this was a throwaway point you made - I'm not certain thats a hard and fast rule.

For what you're doing, knowledge of how your computer works is not needed. If you were to try to fix your computer, or teach others about the internals of a computer, then it would matter more.

Let me ask this: If a religious group cannot prove or demonstrate that god exists, what business do they have in teaching other people (especially children) that god exists? Is it not immoral for them to punish, shun or condemn others for not accepting this belief? 

I have a big issue with religions teaching that those who do not conform to their ideology are in some way inferior, less than, unenlightened, sinners, "not saved", or "not chosen".

-- edit: added below --



Quote
Obviously atheism is a gut reaction and most Christians don't believe in the Christianity described by someone like Eagleton, but one wishes to have the most solid form of any position (and besides, it's entertaining.)

The term atheism does not imply "how" one came to be atheist.


« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 07:09:23 PM by TaintedAndDelish »

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #646 on: March 10, 2013, 07:34:47 PM »

Kythia:
If you believe your computer thinks and has emotional states you have a bad model of reality.

If you describe your computer as having computer cancer because something is clearly going more and more wrong with it then that's a very reasonable way, a figurative way, to view it.

Neither is a literal description of all the electrical activity of the machine, even if that's what a computer happens to be in an objective sense.

The Jordan Peterson example would be: Your car is the thing that you get into and drive yourself around in. As soon as something goes wrong and it doesn't start, it's now a large problem with a thousand complicated pieces, all of which are suspect. You're in a terribly place unless you can call someone, pay them some cash and have them turn your problem back into a car.

Reality does involve perspective, so it's not objective. We're stuck as beings with perspectives. Usually it's pretty good but if you pretend that putting on a labcoat solves everything... I don't know what world you live in.



Vanity Evolved:
I say it's a disservice to yourself to take the cheapest version of religion. If I pick up a newspaper I can crack open the health page and find some hilariously bad"science." Whether it's the catholic church or biblical literalism it's just not a hard thing to say "they're bad."

If you had a really good form of Christian Religion, one that in Eagleton's terms costs you something to give up, then that would be something.




Ephiral:

I don't know what you're after when you're getting into the logical fallacies business. If you're going to make assertions that atheists are by definition a bunch of intellectual rigorous people and that you're a smart, honest, open minded person so I'd better take you seriously... I'm not really going to give you the time of day am I?

If I'm the one making bold claims I'd wonder what it is you're making.

I realiy think this talk sounds like the Sam Harris routine. Admitedly I didn't see anyone saying that it might be worthwhile to have progress at the cost of nuking the people that believe crazy things, but as they say the night  is young.




I don't think I've been particularly obscure or mysterious here. I don't think admitting we aren't the philosophical equivilent of Kant or someone when it comes to the atheism thing is such a big deal. Maybe I'm wrong about that though.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #647 on: March 10, 2013, 07:42:13 PM »
I don't know what you're after when you're getting into the logical fallacies business. If you're going to make assertions that atheists are by definition a bunch of intellectual rigorous people and that you're a smart, honest, open minded person so I'd better take you seriously... I'm not really going to give you the time of day am I?

No True Scotsman on the Catholic church, cheap strawmen and ad-hominems at me... this is another strawman, for the record. Did I say that all atheists are by definition rigorous thinkers, or that in my experience it's not uncommon, and definitely way more prevalent than in the general population?

If I'm the one making bold claims I'd wonder what it is you're making.

Requests for evidence, given that my experience does not match your blanket assertions. You still have yet to provide any.

I realiy think this talk sounds like the Sam Harris routine. Admitedly I didn't see anyone saying that it might be worthwhile to have progress at the cost of nuking the people that believe crazy things, but as they say the night  is young.

This is a ridiculous straw man. This is what I'm talking about when I mention logical fallacies. You may want to read the stickies in this forum.

I don't think I've been particularly obscure or mysterious here. I don't think admitting we aren't the philosophical equivilent of Kant or someone when it comes to the atheism thing is such a big deal. Maybe I'm wrong about that though.

Conversely, I don't think admitting that at least some atheists have put actual thought and effort into rigorous thought is that big a deal. Apparently I am wrong.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #648 on: March 10, 2013, 07:45:02 PM »
Kythia:
If you believe your computer thinks and has emotional states you have a bad model of reality.

If you describe your computer as having computer cancer because something is clearly going more and more wrong with it then that's a very reasonable way, a figurative way, to view it.

Neither is a literal description of all the electrical activity of the machine, even if that's what a computer happens to be in an objective sense.

The Jordan Peterson example would be: Your car is the thing that you get into and drive yourself around in. As soon as something goes wrong and it doesn't start, it's now a large problem with a thousand complicated pieces, all of which are suspect. You're in a terribly place unless you can call someone, pay them some cash and have them turn your problem back into a car.

Reality does involve perspective, so it's not objective. We're stuck as beings with perspectives. Usually it's pretty good but if you pretend that putting on a labcoat solves everything... I don't know what world you live in.



Vanity Evolved:
I say it's a disservice to yourself to take the cheapest version of religion. If I pick up a newspaper I can crack open the health page and find some hilariously bad"science." Whether it's the catholic church or biblical literalism it's just not a hard thing to say "they're bad."

If you had a really good form of Christian Religion, one that in Eagleton's terms costs you something to give up, then that would be something.




Ephiral:

I don't know what you're after when you're getting into the logical fallacies business. If you're going to make assertions that atheists are by definition a bunch of intellectual rigorous people and that you're a smart, honest, open minded person so I'd better take you seriously... I'm not really going to give you the time of day am I?

If I'm the one making bold claims I'd wonder what it is you're making.

I realiy think this talk sounds like the Sam Harris routine. Admitedly I didn't see anyone saying that it might be worthwhile to have progress at the cost of nuking the people that believe crazy things, but as they say the night  is young.




I don't think I've been particularly obscure or mysterious here. I don't think admitting we aren't the philosophical equivilent of Kant or someone when it comes to the atheism thing is such a big deal. Maybe I'm wrong about that though.

... then, tell me. What is a 'good' form of Christianity to base my judgements on? I shouldn't base my opinions on the Bible, the two thousand year old text which Christians of all walks of life refer to and get their morality from as an example of Christianity and being a good person? Then if you know something else which works as a good starting point to determining what Christianity preaches and values, morality-wise, give me a link or a source and I'll base it on that for you. On a similar note, if I want to base something on science, I will base it on peer reviewed work and scientists who've proven what they know what they're doing - hence why when I examine the morality of Christianity, I will go to it's source, the Bible and not Bill O'Reilly's ravings on Fox.

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #649 on: March 10, 2013, 08:00:32 PM »

Let me ask this: If a religious group cannot prove or demonstrate that god exists, what business do they have in teaching other people (especially children) that god exists? Is it not immoral for them to punish, shun or condemn others for not accepting this belief? 

The term atheism does not imply "how" one came to be atheist.


Well I think it's worth keeping in mind why we believe most of the things we think and it wasn't because we're great philosophers or anything. That doesn't make religion true, it just means it might not be something to take that much pride in by default.

I definitely think it's worth asking what good the question is. Because as soon as you insist on God being a Sciencey thing, demonstrably existing in an objective way or not, like a rainbow or Jay Z, you make a lot of people who are not willing to turn down the argument come riding with pistols drawn for your science textbooks.

I'll give an example of this:



I'm currently taking a writing course at my college (yay, engineers being forced to take humanities courses) and the woman teaching it someone I've dubbed "Batshit."

Batshit is a new age mystic that picked up a PhD in education using nonsense words like soul work and spiritual intelligence. Besides earning an obscene amount of money from the college, she publishes books of poetry and is availible to advise you by reading viking runes, tarot cards and the I-Ching.

Sad as this person is, she would be mostly harmless if not for her being required to pretend she's a serious academic.

So in the middle of comments about past lives and heart chakras she define her field as "creativity science." She has turned the curriculum of a practical writing course into a fringe review of psychoanalysis, pop culture (left brain right brain thinking) and a literal belief in the... Supraconcious? Superconcious? Basically a shared unconcious where everything good and true comes from that you get by your intuition and talking candidly about your mother.

Ask old Batshit and she'll tell you that science is "just a way of knowing."

What's my point? Well I don't mind that Batshit wants to be crazy. But it doesn't belong in a class about an extremely practical thing: writing. But she's gotten in there because she's gone through all the academic hoops and come out with enough jargon to pretend she has a scientific, objective basis for teaching her own "religious" views as a class.

Insisiting on a sciencey basis for people's crazy ideas doesn't eliminated the crazy ideas, it just makes them harder to pick apart and scourge from polite society.



Yes, religion is generally not a good thing to lob at children (or in this case, a room mostly full of soft headed types finishing up their teens,) but if you crack down on it you're going to be left with the craziest, most militant varieties breeding in the niche where the reasonable kind used to be.

A reasonable, objective standard of reality sounds nice until you realize exactly what people are, which is anything but reasonable and objective.