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Author Topic: Atheism Redux [READ THE FIRST POST]  (Read 187957 times)

Bauglir

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2010, 06:01:42 pm »

The universe itself could be an insignificant speck in a sea of multiverses. Fringe theories gogogo.

Which would be an insignificant speck in a sea of SUPERMULTIVERSES.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. You can't just recurse like that. It's like witchcraft. It'd never end! Next you'll be talking about Supersupermultiverses!
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

fqllve

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2010, 06:06:02 pm »

If we're gonna keep doing this whole "what particular atheistic flavor are you" I guess I should out myself as a pantheist.
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Criptfeind

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2010, 06:10:08 pm »

I am not suggesting a blanket condemnation of religion, or suggesting that it is solely the cause of conflicts by any means.

Ah, yes, sorry if I gave you that impression, I was trying to explain why I was taking a stance that many may see as moronic or  devils advocate. You seem more reasonable then some, so I thought it was a good idea to to quickly explain my position to you. I believe any discussion with I have with you will end up being a half full/empty deal, with us saying different words but ultimately saying the same thing. Thus I believe a good idea is to agree to agree here.
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Shrugging Khan

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2010, 06:38:39 pm »

God dammit. Just when we were getting somewhere in the other thread.

Religion is, in a sense, masturbatory because it makes the practitioner feel god while the imagines an act/being that does not actually exist.
Religion is based on make-believe because, hey - what are those words? People are made to or make themselves believe in something that does not exist.

Furthermore, I mostly subscribe to the old "religion was a placeholder for science and philosophy until those really kicked off" theory.
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fqllve

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2010, 06:42:05 pm »

Masturbatory and make-believe are both connotatively negative.

If you are trying to state facts don't use loaded terminology. That's why I said fictional, and that's still probably derogatory.
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Criptfeind

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2010, 06:45:39 pm »

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Aqizzar

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2010, 06:46:17 pm »

Masturbatory and make-believe are both connotatively negative.

If you are trying to state facts don't use loaded terminology. That's why I said fictional, and that's still probably derogatory.

If I may interject - If you're going to forbid "connotatively negative" words, then there can be no argument.  Trying to prove, or at least voice the view that something does not exist, is by definition connotatively negative.  The connotation is invalidation of someone else's beliefs, ergo, anything he says to that effect will sound derogatory.
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sonerohi

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2010, 06:49:39 pm »

I motion that we follow what Aqizzar said. It seems like a sensible notion that will be easy and beneficial to follow.
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fqllve

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2010, 06:55:40 pm »

If I may interject - If you're going to forbid "connotatively negative" words, then there can be no argument.  Trying to prove, or at least voice the view that something does not exist, is by definition connotatively negative.  The connotation is invalidation of someone else's beliefs, ergo, anything he says to that effect will sound derogatory.

I'd say that's denotative negativity, as it's inherent to the definition.

But anyway, my dispute wasn't with negative connotations. That's basically the foundation of rhetoric. My dispute was with calling what amounted to insults facts.

Facts may be offensive and insulting, but it shouldn't be because of their wording.
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Criptfeind

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2010, 06:56:35 pm »

I motion that we follow what Aqizzar said. It seems like a sensible notion that will be easy and beneficial to follow.
He did not suggest anything...
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Mephisto

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2010, 06:57:21 pm »

God dammit. Just when we were getting somewhere in the other thread.

Religion is, in a sense, masturbatory because it makes the practitioner feel god while the imagines an act/being that does not actually exist.
Religion is based on make-believe because, hey - what are those words? People are made to or make themselves believe in something that does not exist.

Furthermore, I mostly subscribe to the old "religion was a placeholder for science and philosophy until those really kicked off" theory.

This is one of the biases I mentioned. Going by the quoted post, no religions are based around real people? If so, I would like to interject. All are verifiably real individuals. I could go on.
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Sir Pseudonymous

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2010, 07:12:13 pm »

Catholicism is slightly further down the scale; it has some unhelpful things that are followed with varying degrees of fervor, depending, but plenty of Catholics are perfectly good people, and Catholicism can get quite a bit of charity work done due to sheer size.
I've often joked about how Catholicism is better than protestantism because it seems to create a lot more apostates who are disgusted by the institution's corruption and hypocrisy. Mostly to apostate Catholics, who agreed with it.

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Islam is an interesting one; it is currently fairly high on the "external harm" scale, but I could see it becoming something on the same level as the various other modern forms of Christianity.  It would just take quite a lot of effort and time, most likely.
It actually has been just that. Well, not exactly, since you include "modern forms of Christianity" as though that meant "benevolent", rather than the exact opposite. The modern problems stem from the marginalization of the middle east, the leadership of certain countries, most notably Saudi Arabia (although Iran pulls a close second there), and that whole thing with terrorists seizing control of the British territory of Palestine, and the world overall supporting the apartheid theocracy that resulted (although I have heard a rather convincing realpolitik argument that Israel is useful and should be supported specifically because it has an inflammatory presence, that leaves the Middle East fragmented and in a perpetual state of near-chaos, besides serving as a much more convenient target for disaffected locals than the US or Europe. It's also much more brutal, and willing to do extremely unsavory things that most nations would balk at, if only for the bad PR in some cases, and so can serve as a sort of attack dog in the area, who would take the full blame for things we want done, but aren't willing to soil ourselves with doing. Were that the actual reason for the US backing Israel, and not the whole "herpderp if you aint sucking Israel's dick yur a goddamn Nazi!" thing it appears very much to be, then perhaps such support would be excusable).

Goddammit.

Can't you people let sleeping dogs lie down for a little while?
As I understand it, the other thread hadn't been posted in for a month, before someone bumped it and everyone poured back in to say the things that they'd said earlier, but had forgotten having said. Since it was then on everyone's mind, they started a new thread to say all those things. ::)

I think Julian Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind is probably the most interesting explanation for why human society and religion have been so coincident.

Basically, he posits that that the man of the Illiad wasn't conscious and that when the gods speak directly to the characters. It's because instead of internally and consciously directing his actions he literally heard his gods telling him what to do. He says that it originated by people repeatedly hallucinating the instructions given to them by the tribal leader. And this is all after a rigorous re-examination of what consciousness is.
That's quite possibly the most insane thing I've ever heard. Not to mention it seems to be using as an example an epic story (actually, what is considered the archetypal hero epic, considering the incompleteness and relatively late rediscovery of the epic of gilgamesh) about a minor war that took place... what was it? Nearly a thousand years earlier?
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I'm all for eating the heart of your enemies to gain their courage though.

fqllve

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2010, 07:36:46 pm »

That's quite possibly the most insane thing I've ever heard. Not to mention it seems to be using as an example an epic story (actually, what is considered the archetypal hero epic, considering the incompleteness and relatively late rediscovery of the epic of gilgamesh) about a minor war that took place... what was it? Nearly a thousand years earlier?

Oh yeah it's insane. And he does use the Illiad in Ancient Greek as evidence. But he presents historical, neurological, and archaeological evidence also. And he uses the Bible, and Gilgamesh too I think. He basically does a deep text analyses on them, finding words that require or imply consciousness. And he examines their evolution as texts. Increased incidence of such words later on, more varied and precise terms for consciousness.
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Shrugging Khan

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2010, 07:47:50 pm »


I'd say that's denotative negativity, as it's inherent to the definition.

But anyway, my dispute wasn't with negative connotations. That's basically the foundation of rhetoric. My dispute was with calling what amounted to insults facts.

Facts may be offensive and insulting, but it shouldn't be because of their wording.
Make-Believe denotes a healthy imagination. Masturbatory implies sexual independence. How are those negative?

The negativity is a matter of interpretation. If my position disagrees with yours, my choice of words is automatically insulting. Especially when religion is concerned, oy oy.
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Not a troll, not some basement-dwelling neckbeard, but indeed a hateful, rude little person. On the internet.
I'm actually quite nice IRL, but you people have to pay the price for that.

Now stop being distracted by the rudeness, quit your accusations of trollery, and start arguing like real men!

Criptfeind

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #74 on: December 04, 2010, 08:11:03 pm »

So you are saying religion is a good thing and you are all for it.

Not what I was expecting.
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