ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:41 am
@manored,
Quote:
He thinks he does not believe in any deity, but if human life is sacred, there must be a divine being that says so.


This is me. I don't believe in any deity. I believe that human life is sacred.

Are you suggesting that I am not the person who gets to determine what my own beliefs are?



dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:43 am
@gungasnake,
a2k has a small number of resident trolls, gunga is a member of that sect.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:44 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

The main problem with atheism is that you almost have to believe in evolution to be an atheist and nobody with brains or talent believes in evolution anymore. The disproofs (of evolution) are too numerous and too overwhelming.


yeah once again this is utter nonsense, not sure who you've been listening to but it amounts to practically nothing.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:52 am
Hi All,
Are all non-humans (as observed by humans) atheists?
Who's the green worm that thinks "nobody believes in evolution"?
Thank you, be fantastic.
Mark...
0 Replies
 
Huxley
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:55 am
There were a collection of thoughts I wanted to respond to, so I'm copy-pasting.

Quote:
What does it mean to be human? What is good and evil? What is beautiful.


I agree, at least at present, that there is a set of questions that the scientific process doesn't seem to address as well as I'd like it to. Though I will note that there is current scientific work attempting to answer "What is good and what is evil?", and the arguments for the approach are philosophic (in particular, they address Hume's contention "You can not derive an ought from an is" -- a pretty important philosophic point you would need to address to turn ethics into a science)

So, for myself, while I suspect there are questions that can not be answered by science, and that I think we ought to try and answer them (regardless of the possibility of answering them), I do have to admit I have no proof of that. It's just built on my shoddy conception of the relation between science and philosophy. So... perhaps, before declaring things like "you have faith and there is an exact identity between the atheist and theist", I think a stronger argument need be made than "Well, there isn't a science that addresses these questions yet, and this implies that theism/religion/faith/etc. should take over"

Quote:
I tend to the scientific. Science is the work of discovery. It does not answer perfectly every question, but gets us closer than anything I could think of.


Have you noticed that this is a common trend amongst those who call themselves "atheists"?

Quote:
Once again, when you talk about atheism there is only one thing that you can infer from it...


I understand that there is only one thing that you can infer with certainty from those who self-identify as "atheist": There is some conception of God that they think does not exist. However, we can still draw correlations and find trends, and possibly from these, build towards a reasonable, approximate possibility of other positions held by the community which is forming.

Quote:
...I must accept any value on life on faith...


I tend to agree that all value questions are poorly addressed by the scientific approach, at least at present. However, I don't think rejecting a scientific approach to a question necessarily implies a faith-based approach to a question. There are other methods, and faith itself is a contentious word -- multiplicity of assumed meanings, and it has the ability to explain any position (Why do you believe "X"? can always be answered "I take it on Faith") -- as it can explain everything away, it really isn't much of an explanation.

edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:56 am
@manored,
manored wrote:

I think the point he is trying to make is "Everyone has to take some things on faith", what is correct, since our ultimate objectives cannot be chosen scientifically. I may be wrong about the point he is trying to make though.



There is taking things on religious faith and then there is acting according to the influences and lessons of life, plus there is part that is inate.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:00 pm
@Huxley,

Quote:
I tend to the scientific. Science is the work of discovery. It does not answer perfectly every question, but gets us closer than anything I could think of.

Have you noticed that this is a common trend amongst those who call themselves "atheists"?

You say that as if it were a fault.
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:05 pm
@edgarblythe,
I disagree. My intent was to be as dry as possible, actually. I'm curious if your experiences are similar to my own.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:06 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
plus there is part that is inate.


I think this is a cop-out. There is no scientific backing to "influences and lessons of life". Of course people with different influences and lessons in life have vastly different values, ideals and religions.

As far as what is innate-- the only objective way to measure this is to see what is common in human behavior. Violence towards people different then ourselves is obviously innate in human beings (and other evolutionarily close primates). This is not surprising since there is evolutionary advantage toward killing the "other". Are you suggesting this is a valid part of a "scientific" system of values?

Women's rights (which were historically denied by the vast amount of human societies and individuals) are not innate. Rape is innate in human beings (and in other evolutionarily close primates).

Values, such as those that oppose violence and rape, and that propose human rights, need to be accepted on faith.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:09 pm
@Huxley,
My mistake. It is sometimes hard to read nuances on a forum such as this. Some on here argue, rather than discuss, and I get confused at times.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:10 pm
@Huxley,
Quote:
Though I will note that there is current scientific work attempting to answer "What is good and what is evil?",


"Scientific" work means that there is some objective way to test what is "good" and "evil"?

I am a bit curious (and quite skeptical) about what measurements could be made on this.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:17 pm
ebrown, isn't it expected that religious people think philosophically about what it says in, say, the bible? Otherwise they are a literalist, and that's very problematical. Do you agree that it is unfair to criticize religion solely based on a literalistic interpretation? Because that is the equivalent of how you are criticizing science.
0 Replies
 
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

My mistake. It is sometimes hard to read nuances on a forum such as this. Some on here argue, rather than discuss, and I get confused at times.


No worries, I do the same. I agree that this format is abominable. But hey, it's fun none-the-less, and gives me the pleasure of discussing things I don't always get to discuss.

ebrown p wrote:

"Scientific" work means that there is some objective way to test what is "good" and "evil"?

I am a bit curious (and quite skeptical) about what measurements could be made on this.


Well, up front, I'm not sure about the terms "objective/subjective" as a good point of demarcation on what is and is not scientific. The line of demarcation between scientific and other types of knowledge is... a sticky discussion.

I would recommend Natural Ethical Facts by William Casebeer to see an argument for a scientific ethic. I don't think I'm whole-hog on board, just yet, but I am excited to see what comes from it. I will say that it forced me from my deontologic perspective to adopt a Virtue-theory ethic as more than a pragmatic solution. (and after that sentence I'm feeling more than a little hoity-toity, I have to admit Very Happy)
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:30 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
plus there is part that is inate.


I think this is a cop-out. There is no scientific backing to "influences and lessons of life". Of course people with different influences and lessons in life have vastly different values, ideals and religions.

As far as what is innate-- the only objective way to measure this is to see what is common in human behavior. Violence towards people different then ourselves is obviously innate in human beings (and other evolutionarily close primates). This is not surprising since there is evolutionary advantage toward killing the "other". Are you suggesting this is a valid part of a "scientific" system of values?

Women's rights (which were historically denied by the vast amount of human societies and individuals) are not innate. Rape is innate in human beings (and in other evolutionarily close primates).

Values, such as those that oppose violence and rape, and that propose human rights, need to be accepted on faith.

You are telling me nothing has been taught to you, nothing has influenced you? Yet, innate action is violence? That leaves nothing to go on, except religious faith, which must be innate, since it has no other source. Circle complete.

You pick out to describe the worst aspects of human behavior, as if that settles it that nothing good can be innate.
I look on the innate as what we have still left within us even after we evolved to have reason and, some of us, faith. We are, in my view, born with all the potentialities to be moral and also not. I was into a long paragraph from here, but it would take too long and more effort than I have time for to complete it. I have other things to do today.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:55 pm
@edgarblythe,
You are missing the point Edgar.

The point is that your claim that you live "scientifically" is impossible given your values. There is no scientific way to determine what is good, and what is bad. If you are proposing a system of values based on what is "innate" human nature-- then you need to accept all of the things that are part of human nature.

Your values and beliefs are not based on science (because there is no science to back them up). These things have to be accepted on faith.
Huxley
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 01:07 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

You are missing the point Edgar.

The point is that your claim that you live "scientifically" is impossible given your values. There is no scientific way to determine what is good, and what is bad. If you are proposing a system of values based on what is "innate" human nature-- then you need to accept all of the things that are part of human nature.

Your values and beliefs are not based on science (because there is no science to back them up). These things have to be accepted on faith.



What do you mean by "faith"? Definitionally, conceptually. How are you using that word?
0 Replies
 
daredevil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 01:46 pm
wow, I didn't expect this much of a responce for this subject. This is great. Are the majority of posters here atheist? I consider myself agnostic with theistic leanings.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 02:34 pm
@ebrown p,
You are confusing faith of a religious nature with the very fact of living. I told you how I proceed from what I have learned and from influences of a lifetime, plus what part of it is innate, but you insist on religious faith. It ain't like that. I raise a hand to brush back my hair. I don't see the top of my head, but I know that it and its hair is there. Faith? Hardly.
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 02:41 pm
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:
nobody with brains or talent believes in evolution anymore


That's right. All the smart people believe whichever creation myth their parents taught them.
mark noble
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 03:38 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:

gungasnake wrote:
nobody with brains or talent believes in evolution anymore


That's right. All the smart people believe whichever creation myth their parents taught them.


Hi Nightripper,
The green snake States "Nobody" not a body (person) that means - Not one single person believes in evolution. I do!

But you say "That's right". Then you are wrong. We are the sum of all our influences/experiences, not some freudian hangover.

I'm sure you are jesting though, because you know better, I believe.

Have a great day Nightripper - And I'm glad you are here.
Mark...
0 Replies
 
 

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