Best world scenario

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Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 9th, 2017, 8:57 am

I prefer the Oxford dictionary definition
Or even the wikipedia page on atheism
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2][3][4] Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist.[5][6] In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities
Regardless that is how I define atheism and that is how I was attempting to use the word. If you see no difference I recommend re-reading. You seem to have answered individual points without reading ahead. I will attempt to explain again.

If you said something like no unicorns exist then I would agree with you. Because unicorns are fantasy animals made up by humans who by definition do not exist.
If you said something like no Christian God exists then I would agree with you. For reasons similar to the above, which I really don't need to go into.
If you said something like we were not created then I would ask what evidence do you have for that. We exist. There is no evidence we were created. But we do exist. Nothing exists which wasn't created (that has ever been observed).
If you said we were created I would again ask what evidence do you have?
If you said it us unknown if we were created or not I would agree.

Do you not see a difference between these scenarios?
I am not saying that in one million years, humans won't look different, think differently or whatever else - I doubt we will survive that long but if we do
Why do you doubt we will survive that long?
"I can vastly increase the survivability of my genes without procreating" is what you said.
Yes I meant procreate. The above quote is correct. Not sure what we are stumbling over here. I share 99% of my genes with you. So if I save you and you procreate and I do not procreate then I will have still insured the survival of 99% of my genes into the next generation. Of course someone has to procreate, but not every individual. And each individual can still contribute without themselves procreating.
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 17th, 2017, 12:38 pm

Regardless that is how I define atheism and that is how I was attempting to use the word. If you see no difference I recommend re-reading.
Was it really? In any case, I can agree with this definition... I have thought about it and I recognise the difference between not believing and denying existence and I think it is fair to say that my language has always assumed that the difference between a denier and one who hold no opinion was redundant and not even worth distinguishing between. I recognise the folly of this after thinking about it, there is some difference although I am not sure how relevant it is. I would have generally characterised someone who sits on the fence or abstains from opinion to be an agnostic but I thought about and this is a rather extreme definition of an atheist, I don't think refusing to absolutely deny the existence of deities suggests you hold the same level of conviction as an agnostic - the position relies on principles and beliefs that are irrelevant to the subject matter - about what grounds rejection of something can take place and things of this nature. With this conclusion I acquiesce my earlier statements that one who holds the principles as I have stated would be unable to argue against nihilism. One who does not believe as I do that objective moral law, objective purpose and meaning are all inherently absurd concepts and only believes evidence is necessary in order to sustain belief, need not call himself a nihilist. Still you wouldn't be able to believe in any of these things and from that I concluded nihilism the result but this is untrue. While you could not believe in them, you could also abstain from denying the existence of these things, which is what would be required to be a nihilist. Somehow I had not considered this, like I said I am still figuring out what terminology to use when it comes to nihilism.

That may seem like a somewhat weak excuse but aside from correct labelling, I wonder how much of a difference it makes to be an agnostic when it comes to nihilism, or indeed religion - and this includes what I have agreed is atheism, all of which have lack of belief in common but refrain from going so far to make claims beyond that. As a non-believer, you will live your life under the pretense that these things do not exist just as a denier would - there is undoubtedly a choice involved as to what exactly refusing to deny means to you but there needn't be a difference. I certainly respect that one would act differently towards the subject matter on the basis of the strength of their claim but this exists even within atheism and nihilism and within agnosticism already. I will need to think more on this, I don't have answers I am satisfied with yet. I am glad this conversation has gotten me to think, this is why I came to this forum - to see the holes in my arguments and amend my positions as I or others challenge what it is I am saying.
If you said something like no unicorns exist then I would agree with you. Because unicorns are fantasy animals made up by humans who by definition do not exist.
If you said something like no Christian God exists then I would agree with you. For reasons similar to the above, which I really don't need to go into.
If you said something like we were not created then I would ask what evidence do you have for that. We exist. There is no evidence we were created. But we do exist. Nothing exists which wasn't created (that has ever been observed).
If you said we were created I would again ask what evidence do you have?
If you said it us unknown if we were created or not I would agree.

Do you not see a difference between these scenarios?
I see a lot of differences... However if I take what you're saying at face value then I don't understand the argument, you arbitrarily decide that you need evidence for one thing but not another? If in our culture, we tied the view that we were/weren't created with some kind of religious ideology, would it be more demanding of evidence? I have tried to think about what is being said here, personally I view these circumstances differently based on the level of information I have about each query. I am sure that you are the same, but I reject the Christian God and unicorns not simply on the basis that there is no evidence for them, but also that there is a convincing argument to be made against them. Perhaps this for you, is what separates atheism from nihilism, because your basis for calling yourself an atheist is exactly the same as your basis for denying you are a nihilist. In fact a lot of what I have said earlier applies to how I use the word nihilism, I am still grappling with my terminology but technically as I understand it nihilism is not a belief in anything - it is simply a lack of belief in something for which no proof exists. Putting that aside as I don't know which definition is correct right now, my arguments for nihilism has a lot of evidence, not simply a lack of evidence in the opposing argument however this is not the case for atheism. Yes for atheism against known religions it is but against nameless Gods, my argument is that there is no evidence for them, it goes against everything I know to be true and so I won't believe in their existence until I see evidence. I would actively deny the existence of known Gods but would simply lack belief in nameless Gods, I assume this is what you are saying since it goes in line with what you have said previously but I can't tell for sure tbh.

As for something like created/not-created, or any claim - I was wrong when I said what I said, negative claims do require validation, my statements were warped by tunnel vision on a particular point I was trying to make and ended up making huge generalisations that are not true. I thought about what I said and I was only looking at one side of a multi-faceted issue. There are circumstances where what I said is true but I made it out like this was a general rule but I don't think this is the case after reflection, indeed the proper stance towards a situation where no evidence exists for either option is scepticism and an unbiased, open mind. "Claims" come in all shapes and sizes and I did not consider that when I made my last post. I apologise for my rudeness, especially since I was wrong yet tried to lecture you. I have further thoughts regarding this topic but clearly it is not something I have spent enough time considering and thus I will refrain from saying anything else about it. I think in terms of the overall argument, my position has changed and I no longer view adherence to evidence as a indisputable pathway to nihilism, I don't know what an agnostic or nihilist-who-denies-nothing is but I don't know if my argument against objective meaning or purpose could be considered proof, it is just an argument and so long as they live like a nihilist then I am not sure it bothers me anyhow. Living based on what might be true is surely unsustainable, if people only apply this logic against nihilism perhaps it would be fair to call that dishonest. I also disagree with rejecting nihilism based on disliking it, in the same way I would anything else when it comes to our views of what is or isn't true.
Why do you doubt we will survive that long?
Well we have already come fairly close to blowing up the planet several times, civilisation is very young compared to one million years, with a rate of advancement so fast that none of us can predict 100 years into the future... let alone one million. I do not have much of an opinion on whether we will survive or not, I just think things are changing so fast that who can say what direction we will veer off to but if the past is any indication of the future, I don't think we will survive that long.
Yes I meant procreate. The above quote is correct. Not sure what we are stumbling over here. I share 99% of my genes with you. So if I save you and you procreate and I do not procreate then I will have still insured the survival of 99% of my genes into the next generation. Of course someone has to procreate, but not every individual. And each individual can still contribute without themselves procreating.
I feel after listening to you for a while, that there is some unstated context to all of what you are saying. In the modern world, a lifesaver or doctor is not saving people based on their genes and so the effect ought to be mostly random. I would expect that such events would protect weak genetics, as people with stronger genetics are less likely to need that kind of help. Sure if we are 10 people in the jungle and I save someone, then yeah we can use the word vastly and say that it mattered as far as evolution and genetics are concerned but the causality of saving a life today is irrelevant, potentially even opposing evolution - I don't see any pattern or anything here worth talking about. I have become increasingly demotivated to argue with you about this, as it is clear that you understand as little as I about genetics and evolution. It is like arguing about the fastest way to become a professional bike rider, we can have opinions and make theories but neither of us have any knowledge so the debate is doomed to redundancy. You haven't said anything stupid like reality corrects people who make bad decisions lately either, I am not sure what I am arguing against anymore. Evolution is still happening, I don't know what will be the result of that or what the future holds and everything you are saying makes sense to me in specific context but not right now. You say "think long term" but to me, I have no idea what that means. I don't know what the long term of evolution is and you are not specifically saying anything about it either - since I know nothing about the future, or the future of evolution, I don't know anything about that. All my arguments against this resided in my understanding of the world as it is today, without accounting for any massive changes.

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 17th, 2017, 1:29 pm

Thank you for reading the definition of Atheism and properly considering it. It's refreshing when someone actually thinks about something and doubly refreshing if that causes a change of mind as it is such a rare occurrence on a forum. This is why too, I am here, to learn to express and to learn what things I have wrong.
However if I take what you're saying at face value then I don't understand the argument, you arbitrarily decide that you need evidence for one thing but not another?
No I wasn't being arbitrary. Let me try again.
1. Atheism in the broadest sense is lack of belief in God or Gods.
2. Less broadly it is the rejection of the belief in God or Gods.
3. And less broadly again it is the belief that there are no Gods.
4. Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God is unknown or unknowable.

These are four different things. Though it is confusing if you don't think about it and the difference may seem largely irrelevant.

Position 1 above requires no proof. It is just me saying that I am not convinced by an argument. I don't have to prove that I am unconvinced (it is safe to just take my word for it).
Position 2 and 3 do require evidence. If I say Christian God does not exist then I need evidence. If I say you should not believe in God then I need evidence. Now personally I believe I do have evidence for this, so regarding Christian God I am in camp 3.

Position 4 above seems very similar to position 1. But 4 is an assertion that the knowledge does not exist to test the claim.

Now all the above is confusing, and used in every day speech confusingly. But it is key to why I was not being arbitrary.

1. Unicorns. I am position 3. I believe I have enough knowledge on unicorns to categorically claim that they don't exist.
2. Christian God. Again 3, the same position as I have for unicorns.
3. Were we created (note I don't like the word created, but it's the best I can do). 4, I don't have any evidence one way or the other.

So if you say there is no purpose. That is a positive claim for which you need evidence. I am position 4 on if there is a purpose.

So how does any of the above change anything or have an effect on anything.

1. If I am position 1 then I don't go to church or pray but I don't argue that others shouldn't.
2. If I am position 2 then likewise I don't go to church etc but now I argue that people shouldn't, but I don't argue that I know religion is incorrect. I just argue that you shouldn't be religious. These are two different things.
3. Obviously I don't go to church and I argue no one should (in general) and I argue that religion is false.
4. I would possibly consider going to church, perhaps I would go sometimes. I certainly wouldn't argue that others shouldn't. Or that religion is wrong.
Well we have already come fairly close to blowing up the planet several times, civilisation is very young compared to one million years, with a rate of advancement so fast that none of us can predict 100 years into the future... let alone one million. I do not have much of an opinion on whether we will survive or not, I just think things are changing so fast that who can say what direction we will veer off to but if the past is any indication of the future, I don't think we will survive that long.
This is interesting to me and feeds back to my main point. Would be being closer to or further away from reality aid survival in this long term million year long time span? What kinds of things would destroy us? A nuclear war for example? Is it likely to have a nuclear war for reasons which are closer to or further from reality? I can see no scenario where the destruction of the human race is the intended consequence of humans who are accurately perceiving reality. I can only see the opposite.
You haven't said anything stupid like reality corrects people who make bad decisions lately either
Again you are missing the point. Granted my actions are likely to matter little in the grand scheme of things. And any individuals actions are likely to matter little in the grand scheme of things. Much in the same way that my vote, or your vote, almost certainly make no difference. But this is not the same as saying voting makes no difference. Voting clearly makes a difference, even though each individual vote makes no difference. Likewise with behaviour which would increase gene survival, my actions or your actions make little to no difference but the sum total of actions do.

Now the above is slightly complicated. Sure each individual makes little difference how far or how close to reality they are to the whole. But the sum total does make a difference. Only so much distance from reality can be sustained.

But having said that on an individual level quality of life is impacted by distance from reality. There are loads of actions I see everyday where the punishment or justice you would like to hand out is handed out to themselves by themselves. Drunk guy urinated on your car is annoying but the damage to his liver and quality of life is far worse than the damage done to you. Of course this is not always the case, a drunk guy stabbing you will pay a large price but not as large as the price you pay. Life is not perfectly fair and reasonable. It just tends in that direction.
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LuckyR
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by LuckyR » August 17th, 2017, 4:50 pm

Eduk wrote:Thank you for reading the definition of Atheism and properly considering it. It's refreshing when someone actually thinks about something and doubly refreshing if that causes a change of mind as it is such a rare occurrence on a forum. This is why too, I am here, to learn to express and to learn what things I have wrong.
However if I take what you're saying at face value then I don't understand the argument, you arbitrarily decide that you need evidence for one thing but not another?
No I wasn't being arbitrary. Let me try again.
1. Atheism in the broadest sense is lack of belief in God or Gods.
2. Less broadly it is the rejection of the belief in God or Gods.
3. And less broadly again it is the belief that there are no Gods.
4. Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God is unknown or unknowable.

These are four different things. Though it is confusing if you don't think about it and the difference may seem largely irrelevant.

Position 1 above requires no proof. It is just me saying that I am not convinced by an argument. I don't have to prove that I am unconvinced (it is safe to just take my word for it).
Position 2 and 3 do require evidence. If I say Christian God does not exist then I need evidence. If I say you should not believe in God then I need evidence. Now personally I believe I do have evidence for this, so regarding Christian God I am in camp 3.

Position 4 above seems very similar to position 1. But 4 is an assertion that the knowledge does not exist to test the claim.

Now all the above is confusing, and used in every day speech confusingly. But it is key to why I was not being arbitrary.

1. Unicorns. I am position 3. I believe I have enough knowledge on unicorns to categorically claim that they don't exist.
2. Christian God. Again 3, the same position as I have for unicorns.
3. Were we created (note I don't like the word created, but it's the best I can do). 4, I don't have any evidence one way or the other.

So if you say there is no purpose. That is a positive claim for which you need evidence. I am position 4 on if there is a purpose.

So how does any of the above change anything or have an effect on anything.

1. If I am position 1 then I don't go to church or pray but I don't argue that others shouldn't.
2. If I am position 2 then likewise I don't go to church etc but now I argue that people shouldn't, but I don't argue that I know religion is incorrect. I just argue that you shouldn't be religious. These are two different things.
3. Obviously I don't go to church and I argue no one should (in general) and I argue that religion is false.
4. I would possibly consider going to church, perhaps I would go sometimes. I certainly wouldn't argue that others shouldn't. Or that religion is wrong.
Well we have already come fairly close to blowing up the planet several times, civilisation is very young compared to one million years, with a rate of advancement so fast that none of us can predict 100 years into the future... let alone one million. I do not have much of an opinion on whether we will survive or not, I just think things are changing so fast that who can say what direction we will veer off to but if the past is any indication of the future, I don't think we will survive that long.
This is interesting to me and feeds back to my main point. Would be being closer to or further away from reality aid survival in this long term million year long time span? What kinds of things would destroy us? A nuclear war for example? Is it likely to have a nuclear war for reasons which are closer to or further from reality? I can see no scenario where the destruction of the human race is the intended consequence of humans who are accurately perceiving reality. I can only see the opposite.
You haven't said anything stupid like reality corrects people who make bad decisions lately either
Again you are missing the point. Granted my actions are likely to matter little in the grand scheme of things. And any individuals actions are likely to matter little in the grand scheme of things. Much in the same way that my vote, or your vote, almost certainly make no difference. But this is not the same as saying voting makes no difference. Voting clearly makes a difference, even though each individual vote makes no difference. Likewise with behaviour which would increase gene survival, my actions or your actions make little to no difference but the sum total of actions do.

Now the above is slightly complicated. Sure each individual makes little difference how far or how close to reality they are to the whole. But the sum total does make a difference. Only so much distance from reality can be sustained.

But having said that on an individual level quality of life is impacted by distance from reality. There are loads of actions I see everyday where the punishment or justice you would like to hand out is handed out to themselves by themselves. Drunk guy urinated on your car is annoying but the damage to his liver and quality of life is far worse than the damage done to you. Of course this is not always the case, a drunk guy stabbing you will pay a large price but not as large as the price you pay. Life is not perfectly fair and reasonable. It just tends in that direction.
Your post has a logic to it (yours) and uses universal logic principles to reach it's conclusions. Unfortunately it is being directed at a problem for which logic does not apply well. Namely, in an area dominated by faith. It is true that believers often use their (to their mind) god given intellect to rationalize their beliefs in the wording of logic, but if you scratch the surface, it is pretty much all faith. ie quoting the Bible is not "proof" in the standard use of the word.

This situation can offend some of the faithful (because it implies they are acting illogically) but that is a mistake. It is completely rational to use faith in an area of the unprovable.
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Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 17th, 2017, 6:19 pm

If logic does not apply then you can't be rational.

I am fully prepared to consider something beyond human comprehension. Personally I believe our existence is logically impossible. And yet I believe in our existence. This implies that there is something beyond what is logically possible. But it doesn't prove there is. And it says absolutely nothing about what that something might be. Indeed even the word something almost certainly doesn't apply when you are talking about something beyond human comprehension. Obviously no human words or thoughts exist outside of human comprehension which can be explained.

For this reason I don't rule out a purpose. Or a creator of some kind. But at the same time I cannot prove anything whatsoever about a purpose or creator. And this is misusing the words purpose and creator because I don't have any better words.

In the other hand as soon as you start to give your God properties you are immediately entering a fantasy which contradicts everything known.
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Judaka
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 19th, 2017, 8:49 am

These are four different things. Though it is confusing if you don't think about it and the difference may seem largely irrelevant.
I have already acquiesced on the differences between these things, that is not what I was calling arbitrary, in your example, while you may feel you have sufficient evidence to claim God does not exist and do not have enough evidence to claim that we were or weren't created to me seems arbitrary or defined by what are to me unknown stipulations. We obviously cannot disprove God, we can only provide evidence which may lean us towards a particular stance and the same thing can be done for many things which cannot be known with certainty to be true or false. You reject the Christian God on what you consider to be evidence, yet clearly much of the world feels that you are wrong but you would critique anyone with a stronger stance than uncertainty with regards to other questions without clear answers such as whether we are created or not, whether there is meaning/purpose or not.

I think in your 1st category, one who doesn't know with certainty that (whatever) is not real - yet don't entertain the possibility at all, even thinks badly of those who do believe and would argue against believing based on a particular principle about the requirements for belief and those who fail to meet it. An agnostic also may recognise although they believe the issue to be unsolvable or unapproachable yet have a hostile opinion towards those who believe or perhaps even a hostile opinion to the 2nd and 3rd categories because they believe one who takes a strong stance on an issue of faith/principle to be deluded or oblivious. I reject your simple classifications for how each category defines the nature of any particular stance and this is why I am still unsure of what to think about what this means for my definitions of nihilism and atheism quite yet.

So if you say there is no purpose. That is a positive claim for which you need evidence. I am position 4 on if there is a purpose.
I view the evidence to be overwhelmingly in my favour, I just admit that I lack proof. I may go into detail about all the things that make nihilism the more reasonable position (as far as a position 1 goes on your list) and perhaps even a position 3 for some including myself. I think the evidence for nihilism is far greater than what exists for atheism and as a result of this evidence my position for nihilism is the 3rd. However just to go back into what I was saying previously, the differences between all four of the aforementioned positions are essentially preferences and I say that mainly because you have said you take position 3 on things which we have no proof do not exist.

Position 1 is simply saying the argument is unconvincing, no evidence of this is required, you will be position 1 if you say you are

Position 2 You are basically stating a preference for other peoples behaviour and arguing for it, if you say this is your position then it is, no evidence is required here, it is just your personal belief

Position 3 You say you need evidence but not proof, what is decided as being evidence can be contested and debated due to nature of the subject, the amount of evidence required for the position is not stipulated and as a result of all these things, you are to judge whether you have enough evidence and whether your evidence is valid or not. In the end, you can pretty much decide that you have enough (information you classify as evidence) as you wish.

Position 4 can be said to be either a position of principle or an interpretation of the information they have access to, either way one will arrive at this position as they wish and without requiring an argument/evidence, it is simply their opinion.

So surely you would agree that assuming I cannot give proof against objective meaning/purpose, that how convincing my argument would be has little to do with anything except for how it impacts you, if you like it or not. This is why it would be great if I could capitalise on some principles that would allow me to make an argument of alignment (dunno if you get what this means yet or not but whatever) as it would be more compelling. A lot of whether I can or not depends on the definition of nihilism. Whether it is simply a lack of belief, or a conviction against the existence of objective meaning/purpose... would determine whether the aforementioned principles would lead someone to nihilism. Whether I am content if I cannot do this depends on what course of action an agnostic of objective meaning/purpose determines, will it be essentially nihilism without conviction? Or will they live their lives without giving it much thought? Or even under the pretense that they are real? My argument against such people would naturally use an argument of alignment and I guess I will have to consider my options if I wish to continue arguing for nihilism.
Would be being closer to or further away from reality aid survival in this long term million year long time span? What kinds of things would destroy us?
I just don't think you use the word reality sensibly, where in reality does it say "do not destroy your planet with bombs, it is not sensible to do that"??? If a guy wants to destroy the world for lols, or for a feeling of power or as a last **** you to those who insulted him, how can you turn around and say "that is not close to reality... you are so far away from reality!!.. Reality will correct!"? It truly boggles my mind how you use the word reality, I now assume whenever you say reality what you mean is "whatever I think to be reasonable" and when I do that, everything you say makes a lot more sense.
Again you are missing the point.
I said that I wanted to hear out your argument and then rebut it but there is no argument beyond "perhaps there is a pattern here, perhaps that pattern will result in something". Drunk people stabbing randoms, people driving cars too fast and dying or people getting rekt by gravity; the people who do such things may have been influenced by genetics and by doing what they do - slowly reduce the percentage of people with that gene. My response to this was that I recognise these patterns but they are not necessarily doing us any favours, you are thinking about it in a way which only considers extreme circumstances, mostly revolving around death. Now I am not an expert on genetics, homosexuality seems to be genetic yet still exists, many conditions like this which ought (based on the simplest understanding of evolution) to be bred out, are not being bred out of. The big reasons that people have a lot of children or no children however is not based on whether you are stabbed to death, or drive your car into a tree, it is based on far more subtle things. Your education, your place of birth, your ethnicity, your socioeconomic status, your IQ and so on, are clearly recognised factors in how likely you are to reproduce and how many children you are likely to have. When you involve factors like these, you no longer have this picture of degenerates and fools being taken out of genetic circulation, leading to a world where anything is "corrected" by anything. Instead you see a picture of causality, where more often than not, more intelligent, more educated, more privileged people are getting significantly out bred by underachievers, lower IQs and that those of a particular ethnicity are out breeding others due to culture and factors which are not genetic but lead to a difference in the overall genetic pool.

Government policies, economics, culture and so much more goes into who reproduces, how much and there are a lot of factors that are not genetic to do with who survives and who doesn't. Things like "saving people" are again, not distinguishable patterns that you've made any attempt to demonstrate, instead you feel that because the impact is unknown, maybe the impact is a pattern. Perhaps not all of what I have said is relevant to what you are saying because honestly most of what you are saying is complete gibberish to me, I am still waiting for that moment that you give an explanation that makes sense. You have in some Frankenstein-like fashion intertwined quality of life, "reality" and evolution into some horrible monster too hideous to look at... I fear I have nothing more to say about this than I have just now, it is a truly unique and peculiar idea and perhaps it will make sense to somebody else but not me.

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 19th, 2017, 10:15 am

while you may feel you have sufficient evidence to claim God does not exist and do not have enough evidence to claim that we were or weren't created to me seems arbitrary
Oh I see. I disagree. I believe the evidence that Christianity is made up by humans is overwhelming. The language, the concepts, the knowledge, the history etc etc, all very clearly of human origin. Christianity also suffers from a kind of technical problem in that the various properties of God and what they mean are interpreted differently by different Christians. So even when I say I don't believe in Christian God, to be fair Christian God isn't even defined well enough to be able to make that statement in the strongest sense. I would be better saying I don't believe in each individuals interpretation of what they call Christian God.

By the way whether a number of people disagree with me or not is totally irrelevant, surely we agree on that? I am not being arbitrary I am capable of explaining myself in a consistent fashion and explain my methodology. Of course anyone is absolutely free to disagree with me, but I don't think it's fair to say I am being arbitrary.

I think we can both agree that there is no known purpose. No known objective moral law. We can both agree on that. I would not be as strong as you in saying that there is no purpose and there is no moral law. But I think that is fair, I do not find your position ridiculous. Again what would be the real world difference. I will never say it's objectively wrong to perform action X and neither will you. We will both say action X is wrong subjectively. I can't think of many real world differences? For example you wouldn't destroy the world because there is no objective purpose because you subjectively don't want to do this. Likewise I would not destroy the world, but I would also look to hedge my bets and say I objectively shouldn't because while I have zero reason to believe there is no objective purpose I have zero reason to believe that there isn't and destroying the world feels like a pretty big thing to get wrong. But again real world differences seem slim between our two positions?
If a guy wants to destroy the world for lols, or for a feeling of power or as a last **** you to those who insulted him, how can you turn around and say "that is not close to reality... you are so far away from reality!!..
Well first of all it would need more than individual to do such a thing. But individually then of course I can say that. Don't destroy the world because it will lower your quality of life. Very very few humans can destroy the world and physiologically be fine with that. When applied to a group this gets even more unlikely. Plenty of people do things for lols which they regret and which reduce their quality of life. Plenty of people do things for revenge or spite or whatever which they regret and which lower their quality of life. I am not talking about an objective quality of life (which we agreed doesn't exist) I am talking about each individuals subjective quality of life. Don't forget people do many things which harm their quality of life which they will never admit consciously have or did lower their quality of life, but they are wrong.
This is not my personal opinion on what is right, this is the subjective truth of each individual. Of course we can't measure that easily but everyone has a quality of life and that quality of life can be greater or lower. As I keep saying I can't think of things which are false which generally increase quality of life. Of course as I said there are exceptions.
homosexuality seems to be genetic yet still exists
Homosexuality is not an issue for long term survival. Sure if the whole population were homosexual that would be uncomfortable, although I'm sure there would still be children. But as you pointed out not everyone needs to procreate for the population as a whole to do fine, and as I tried to explain not everyone needs to procreate for their individual genes to also do fine.
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Ranvier » August 19th, 2017, 11:27 am

This is somewhat unrelated to the original post but with Rafal's permission I would like to address Eduk's points:
No I wasn't being arbitrary. Let me try again.
1. Atheism in the broadest sense is lack of belief in God or Gods.
2. Less broadly it is the rejection of the belief in God or Gods.
3. And less broadly again it is the belief that there are no Gods.
4. Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God is unknown or unknowable.
This is something that often surfaces in philosophy of religion posts and would be worthwhile to discuss here for purpose of generating an accurate description for Atheism. There appear to be a conscious anti Christian/Islam "movement" that seems to arrive from British cultivated ideology attempting to galvanize a range of different perspectives of thought under a single banner of Atheism. This is perhaps another thread entirely as to why would there be such anti-religious movement but for now a clear definition of Atheism would suffice in the context of the "Best world scenario".

Objectively, there seem to be only three possibilities to view our reality and human existence:

1. Atheism - there is no God/s
2. Theism - there is God/s
3. Agnostic - the existence of God is unknown or can't be known using empirical evidence

Everything else is just a human interpretation of knowledge from an underlying social context, where Eduk's 1,2,3 mean roughly the same thing except:

1. is confused in intellectual deficit to formulate an opinion
2. is ignorance similar to Theistic "fallacy" of belief in non-belief
3. is a belief in some alternate anti-religious agenda in possible purpose of rescuing the society from superstition using pseudo-science.
4. is the only logical approach in restraint from marginalizing any group with an open mind to all possibilities.

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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 19th, 2017, 1:32 pm

Trust me when I was six and my mother asked if I believed in God it was the first time I had thought about the possibility that there wasn't a God. It being common to go to school and sing hymns at that time as if God were real. I immediately thought to myself well obviously not. This is not a plot from a six year old against religion. It is a simple statement of fact. At the time I could be best described as 1. In that I don't believe in the claim but at the same time I see no reason why another wouldn't believe the claim. In the same way I like football but not everyone should. There is nothing wrong with liking or disliking football.

Now I have progressed slightly to believe that anything that isn't true that is believed to be true is overall harmful. Of course not in every instance but in most instances. So you could accuse me of 2.

Furthermore as you get older you wonder why people have extreme beliefs when evidence is not extreme. You really think why did people round up Jews and shoot families on top of other families and get parents to dig the graves of their children and so on. You wonder why they believed something so obviously false as Jews being in some massive conspiracy. Personally I still don't really understand that. In less extreme cases you wonder why people are extremely pro their political party. Both parties are horrible. This is true of UK and USA politics. Both parties deserve contempt and hatred. I pick not conservative by about 5%. But people act like it's a 100% obvious choice but when you ask them why they have zero answer. There is no proportion. Again I don't actually understand why.

Then you begin to see similarities between beliefs. You learn most beliefs are emotional and nothing to do with logic. So on and intellectual level almost all beliefs make sense but still if you don't have that emotion it's only making sense logically which isn't good enough for a human. Like I can explain wavelength to a blind man but I can't describe red.

Then you progress to 3. There is plenty of evidence to show religion is the same as every other emotional belief not based on evidence. It is identical. It just demands a special place but again gives no logical reason why it deserves it. Only emotional reasons.

At no point have I plotted against Christians. Remember there is a big difference between Christianity and Christians. Christianity I don't agree with but Christians are normal people just like me and everyone else on the planet. Some good some bad.

I was reading a stupid YouTube comment. In the video was a cute but badly trained dog. Someone pointed out the dog was badly trained. They got an out of perspective response. Many said they wished said person would never own a dog. I take a more inclusive view. I wish the people making comments would take some classes or read some books on how to properly look after a dog.

It's is the same with Christians. Christians aren't horrible people, or dumb people, they are just people. They deserve the same rights as any human. Their errors are likely no worse than the vast majority of humans. They should not be massively ashamed or anything of the sort. Of course I would like them to study the Bible and work out for themselves reality.

I guess I'm just saying keep things in perspective.

By the way this thread is really not about religion. It is about truth claims. The above distinctions 1,2,3 and 4 can readily apply to all truth claims.

Oh and I'm sorry I read your own 1,2,3,4 and I can't understand 1,2,3. I understand 4, which in large part is what this post is about really. I'm not trying to marginalise anyone.
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Ranvier » August 19th, 2017, 3:10 pm

Eduk

An excellent reply, honest and straight forward without the unnecessary dance of words...
I also remember a moment from my childhood, when the Pope Jan Paul II was visiting my area. The teacher took upon herself to ask pupils if we're aware of such an event and why it was a significant function for the "Head of the Christian Church" to travel to different parts of the world. One of the students raised his hand to answer that question, as to "spread the Christianity throughout the world and convert the non-believers". I remember the teacher's delight in hearing such answer, as to prove her point that this is by far NOT the reason at all...

I also grew up, to learn that nothing... absolutely nothing happens without a reason. One can sit back and just listen to what is being said in the nuance of the specific words being used to fairly accurately ascertain the "purpose" of what's being conveyed. I have no knowledge of your Ethnicity or where you reside but it's my subjective observation that certain ideas or even how they are expressed has a common point of origin, which is quite logical. With this sentiment I often notice that people from Britain have a "difficulty" in understanding the "language" used by other English speaking thinkers. as in quoting:
"Oh and I'm sorry I read your own 1,2,3,4 and I can't understand 1,2,3. I understand 4, which in large part is what this post is about really. I'm not trying to marginalise anyone".
I apologize if I misrepresent any of your statements by drawing my own conclusions. I'm often easily convinced to elaborate on my thoughts if clarity should help to find a consensus, although it rarely does. I find that the problems with communication is not with the words being used but the minds that have not yet "matured" to find such consensus. However, for the sake of imagination I will attempt to illustrate my point with Eureka moment of discovery of an absolute truth. It would be my contention that there would be a significant desire to "shout the findings" of the Eureka discovery from the rooftops, yet without evidence of direct benefit from such knowledge or the empirical evidence as a proof for such enlightenment, it would be best to leave such insight as a personal value but not attempt to aggressively convince others to "convert" to such point of view through coercion of condescending hubris. Without quoting your earlier post, such hubris is seen in curiously confident Atheist claim of "fact"... "There is no God".

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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 19th, 2017, 3:42 pm

Objectively, there seem to be only three possibilities to view our reality and human existence:

1. Atheism - there is no God/s
2. Theism - there is God/s
3. Agnostic - the existence of God is unknown or can't be known using empirical evidence
Since you are here, what in your opinion is the practical difference between an atheist and an agnostic? Maybe you can add more to this conversation than your agenda and bitterness?
But individually then of course I can say that. Don't destroy the world because it will lower your quality of life. Very very few humans can destroy the world and physiologically be fine with that.
Well you can say that the sky is green also, you can also make some stupid argument about quality of life and how they will be psychologically* damaged by it.. this reasoning is a bit stupid as destroying the world right now would be a murder-suicide thing, none of these concerns would matter. People commit murder-suicide all the time, sadly we don't have the luxury to ask them whether they regretted it or not. It seems you are still unable to separate your axiom from actual reality, this is disappointing but I remain hopeful you will see the error of your ways. People go to war and get themselves maimed/traumatised with little in return, people risk their safety to save others and the risk/reward as far as basic quality of life is concerned is overwhelmingly against them and people have different ideals and feelings that make few actions universally beneficial for quality of life. It is reasonable to assume that not all of these people regretted it, forget percentages because it don't matter, as soon as we agree that one person could do something that lowers their quality of life and doesn't regret it then that's one step towards something right? Unless you have a stipulated goal for an action, you cannot measure it, all you can do is measure the effectiveness of an action to attain a goal and as we said before, people may have bad goals and in this case, perhaps we would go out of our way to measure their actions based on how they attained different goals but if you just make that different goal "quality of life" and sweep everything else under the rug simply because you have decided it is what matters most to everyone then you will end up with a very idealistic and unrealistic world view. I am sure it is convenient to say anyone who is living their life differently than your preference, can be said under your understanding to be living their life "far from reality" i.e far from objective truth but that's all it is, convenient.
Don't forget people do many things which harm their quality of life which they will never admit consciously have or did lower their quality of life, but they are wrong.
This is not my personal opinion on what is right, this is the subjective truth of each individual.
You need to reconcile these two points into something more reasonable than a loophole for you to elevate your perspective into objective truth or "reality", first of all let's get one thing straight at the very least, you are not in a position to say what is best for others, let alone a hypothetical person. There are several points to make here:
1. You don't get to decide what quality of life is, this is a subjective term which actually does not exist in reality, it is a man made concept.
2. You don't get to decide what others will regret, or what their actual goals are (even if we agree their goals may change over time).
3. There is no objective truth in the notion that quality of life ought to be the chief concern among people, this is your personal opinion.
4. The answer for whether you are doing something that will increase your quality of life depends on your definition of quality of life, which is subjective. What will improve your quality of life is also subjective, happiness and such are obtained through different means according to that particular individuals character and interests. Your perspective can't even get out of the starting gate because even the very concept of quality of life is so subjective and contentious that there is no definition that we could agree on. One might question whether absolute happiness is even what people want. Often the higher the socioeconomic status, the greater the suicide rate!

You want a monopoly on a definition for something that doesn't belong to you. The effectiveness of an action can be said to be objectively better than another at achieving a certain goal but you want to decide both the goal for others and then determine the objectively best method by guessing. This is why I say that "reality" in your definition, is pretty much just whatever you think is reasonable, whatever you think is a good way to act = reality. It is ludicrous in every aspect.

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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Ranvier » August 19th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Impetuous even bossy Judaka ;)

I'm surprised that my agenda is perceived as bitterness, I'm usually sweet... or so I'm led to believe by my sarcastic mind.
Of course I would expend on my statements if required but in short, the practical difference between Agnosticism and Atheism is in the pragmatic approach to "reality" with all the complexities of human context versus unrealistic belief devoid of logical consequence.

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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 19th, 2017, 5:37 pm

You want a monopoly on a definition for something that doesn't belong to you. The effectiveness of an action can be said to be objectively better than another at achieving a certain goal but you want to decide both the goal for others and then determine the objectively best method by guessing. This is why I say that "reality" in your definition, is pretty much just whatever you think is reasonable, whatever you think is a good way to act = reality. It is ludicrous in every aspect.
No you miss the point I'm trying to make.
1. A person has a goal or more likely many goals, often these goals contradict each other. For example you wish to approach a girl to ask her out but you don't want to be rejected. You wish to fight Germany (in WW2) but you don't want to be injured. And so on for ever.
2. I've already agreed many times that I cannot say a goal is objectively good or bad.

Now this is where I think you are missing my point. I have a subjective experience of what kinds of things I like and don't like. This experience is a combination of my biology and the environment I grew up in. It is true that I have this subjective experience. It is true that the world and myself effect myself. It is true that I, and others, can take actions which increase or decrease the amount of things which I desire. It is true that I do not fully understand either myself or others. It is true that I can take actions which I believe will be 'good' for me but that turn out to be bad for me. I can think of no actions which I would take if I knew they would turn out to be bad for me.

For example I go to fight WW2. Is that because I love to live in hellish conditions and want to increase chance of injury and death and want to kill people? No. Maybe a handful of people actually want to fight in wars and live in suffering and kill others, maybe. But why, as you say, would I be willing to lower my quality of life. Or why would I want to do such an undesirable thing? That is because there is an even bigger desire. For example I want my son to survive and have the kind of good life which I hope he will have. I do not believe this possible under Hitler so I fight. I make a sacrifice for something I believe in even more. In the case of Hitler I have made the very bitter but right choice.

So now you go well I'm sure a terrorist is thinking the same thing. And I'm sure they more or less are too. They are taking the actions which lead to their goal. If that goal is their version of heaven or their goal is freedom from oppression, whatever. But they are wrong. They are not going to go to their version of heaven and the oppression is not how they imagine (not saying the west doesn't oppress, but not in the same way Hitler did). They are mostly damaged people being manipulated by others for political power. So if they realised actual reality would they continue to deliberately not achieve their goal? Would they die for a belief that their leader does not hold that they know to be a lie? Again not many people have the goal of not achieving any of their goals.

Also I am not talking about self reported reality. I am talking actual reality. It is a fact if your desires and goals are being met or not (whether you realise or not). This is the heart of the happy pig V unhappy human (it's better to be an unhappy human by the way). It is a fact if the competing goals within you are being resolved in the correct order. As in some goals are bigger than others.

Lastly, just to be doubly clear. I am not psychic. So I don't know what everyone's goals are or to what extent. I also don't know my own goals perfectly or to what extent they apply to each other. I am a human though, and I do exist and I do have desires. Personally I would wish for knowledge that was closer to reality rather than further away because that will better rank my desires and help me achieve those desires.
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Ranvier » August 19th, 2017, 7:01 pm

I will be bossy for a moment in pointing out to both of you Eduk and Judaka that in the fever of your debate you lost perspective on the fact that Rafal possibly lost interest in this thread on June 26, 2017. I'm sure that both of you are fantastic individuals in the "Best wold scenario" but try to be more inclusive, and yes I will say it... don't marginalize others ;)

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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 20th, 2017, 4:45 am

Well done for illustrating one of my points.
I'm sure you not deliberately being illogical. I'm sure you have a reason for posting. I don't know what that reason is. But my suspicion is that goal will not be achieved because you are too far from reality. Would being closer to reality change your goal or help you achieve that goal. I don't know in your specific case of course but overall I think it would.
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