So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#136  Postby Dark Matter » September 12th, 2017, 9:36 pm

Scribbler60 wrote:
Dark Matter wrote:Atheism is the zombie parasite and you're infected to the point of irrationality.

Why oh why must discussions like these always degenerate into meaningless and simpleminded insults?

It seems to be a truism that when you have to revert to insulting someone who disagrees, you have automatically lost the argument.

Take it up with Spectrum. Like I said, "Anyone with half the brain of a lizard can see that [Spectrum's] talk about a "zombie parasite" is a deliberate ploy taken from Dawkin's playbook to mock and insult theists. One can instead easily a use words like "unconscious motivations and experience content rising up and making a claim on the present moment" to convey the same thing without being offensive."
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.



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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#137  Postby Spectrum » September 12th, 2017, 9:55 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
Atheism is the zombie parasite and you're infected to the point of irrationality.

Dark Matter wrote:
Scribbler60 wrote:Why oh why must discussions like these always degenerate into meaningless and simpleminded insults?

It seems to be a truism that when you have to revert to insulting someone who disagrees, you have automatically lost the argument.

Take it up with Spectrum. Like I said, "Anyone with half the brain of a lizard can see that [Spectrum's] talk about a "zombie parasite" is a deliberate ploy taken from Dawkin's playbook to mock and insult theists. One can instead easily a use words like "unconscious motivations and experience content rising up and making a claim on the present moment" to convey the same thing without being offensive."

Dark Matter, you don't seem to understand the difference between discussing general statements & ideas and resorting to attacking the individual person.

I had not thought of Dawkins but used the analogy from biological studies of real parasites that made their hosts into "zombies".
Note the National Geographic video and article above.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#138  Postby Greta » September 13th, 2017, 2:08 am

I can see how a believer could take the zombie parasite comments to imply that they are infected. Hard to miss the inference.

Of course, even if religions can in some contexts be considered parasitic memes, not all believers are party to organised theism or believe blindly, especially not active members of philosophy forums.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#139  Postby Spectrum » September 13th, 2017, 3:50 am

Greta wrote:I can see how a believer could take the zombie parasite comments to imply that they are infected. Hard to miss the inference.

Of course, even if religions can in some contexts be considered parasitic memes, not all believers are party to organised theism or believe blindly, especially not active members of philosophy forums.

I stated DNA wise ALL humans are infected with the 'zombie parasite' in their brain/mind. For the majority [theists and non-theists] the 'zombie parasite is active [in various degrees] while for a small % of people, the 'zombie parasite' is dormant [neurally inhibited].

To get this reality across, William James used the term 'worm [parasite] at the core' which is more unpleasant, but I have not read that it is offensive.

Here is what I wrote in #133.
viewtopic.php?p=294848#p294848

I did not relate the 'zombie parasite' to only theists or you personally but to all [majority] humans.

The term 'zombie parasite' is psychological uncomfortable to many.
However, "Zombie Parasite" [zombie meme or mind virus] is very realistic in terms of behaviors in relation to the real 'zombie parasites' that exist in nature. [Note the link I have given and there are many more similar ones].

The consequences of this 'zombie parasite' are the evils acts that range from petty evils to the worst genocide.
One advantage of linking the root of all evils to this 'zombie parasite' is it will stir people to find its root cause and thus enable effective resolution to the world's evil.

I did not relate the 'zombie parasite' to ONLY theists but to all humans.
Note William James [the famous philosopher] used the phrase 'parasite at the core' i.e. the core of the conscious self eating its way outward till it kill its victim [a certainty]. That is reality. Thus it is critical for humanity to deal, prevent and immunize this parasite or worm.

-- Updated Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:02 am to add the following --

I believe the term 'zombie parasite' has significant utility for humanity.

At present, theists [especially Islamists] has a false sense of arrogance and superiority to the extent they are so dehumanized where they will kill non-Muslims because they believe that is what Allah has commanded them to do as a divine duty.

What we need to reveal to these Islamists is, their arrogance and superiority that give them the authority to kill non-Muslims and even other Muslims is not based on any real all-powerful Allah but merely driven by these 'zombie parasites' in the brain just like what real 'zombie parasites' do to ants, snails, rats, etc..
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#140  Postby Dark Matter » September 13th, 2017, 12:57 pm

Hitler rationalized his hatred for Jews the same way, Spectrum.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#141  Postby Truthhunter » September 13th, 2017, 3:35 pm

Its funny in all of this convoluted thread to disprove atheism there hasn't been one logical argument against it. Reason reins Victorious again!!
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#142  Postby Hereandnow » September 13th, 2017, 8:31 pm

Truth hunter: Why, you cut me to the quick, man! Pray tell: produce your refutation at once and prove yourself worthy.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#143  Postby Ranvier » September 13th, 2017, 9:14 pm

Truthhunter

One can't "disprove atheism", as much as one can disprove irrationality.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#144  Postby Hereandnow » September 13th, 2017, 9:49 pm

Ranvier:

There is a considerable academic and scientific community that holds a belief that “thought” is determined by our vocabulary and understanding of the language, where people just can’t think “right” without linguistic ability to describe a given thought. Such people may quote a tribe in Africa that doesn’t have a word for “watch” or “time”, therefore they can’t think in terms of time. Without the concept of present, past, or future that African tribe somehow managed to survive for thousands of years in one of the harshest environments on the planet, while that academic advisor would have great difficulty in surviving such environment without help from others for more than few days without food and water. That African tribe seems to have more “consciousness” than that Western College Professor “teaching” English language with words that include “respect” and “decency.”


Not clear on the point. If the professor saw that there was a language deficiency that would make an education in a language driven field too difficult, then it makes sense to recommend something else. It would not be a matter of whether one language is the one true sign of intelligent life; it would simply be a practical necessity. One like myself would be ill equipped to manage affairs in, say, an African tribal environment, and it would be reasonable for the tribal leader to deny me a place their beyond my capacity. I don't see the issue here. It's not a matter of one being better than the other, it's about simply being able to function well enough in a given language environment.

However, before logic there was self-aware thought in ability to learn through observation that can be easily seen in animals without the ability to communicate through mutually understood language between different species.


I don't think there was self aware thought prior to logic. What could this be? To be self aware, one has to bring a prior awareness into question, and a question has a logical form, that is, questions stand in relation to other grammatical/logical forms and produce logical dialectic. A question is inherently logical. Thus, self awareness is inherently logical.
And animal language doesn't amount to much, does it? Animals don't take up the world "as" like we do; they don't, that is, interpret.
Hence observation is the fundamental tool of all knowledge that is greatly supplemented by the reasoning of logic.


Not quite right, I would say. To say that knowledge is supplemented by logic would imply a kind of knowledge that is void of logic. I am willing to admit my cat knows where the food bowl is, but has no concept of bowl or spatial position. The same could be said of an infant child. But is this knowing absent of logic? My thought is that there is a kind of proto-logic in the mind of a cat; or a cow that knows there is no grass beyond the fence because it was just there and ate it all, and while not explicitly thinking gee I think I'll try somewhere else because I know there is nothing to eat there, having a logical form of the conditional if....then dimly present at the time.

Actually, in modern science we often get into trouble attempting to supplement logic with observation of the experimental data, such as statistical analysis of human population data that makes sense to economists but doesn’t seem to reflect the economic reality of the population. There are many brilliant minds that ask questions with greater concern for enjoyment of the sound of their voice rather than actual answer. There is nothing wrong in catering to one’s own motives in the debate, where it be to show one’s point of view or simply to appear smart, there is always an opportunity to learn something new, even from those who ask the wrong questions. However, such polemics can be frustrating when the debate involves a topic of “what could be the main course for dinner today”, while the Titanic is sinking. This is why I refuse to entertain such silly term as a "zombie meme"


Here it sounds like you have an ax to grind with presumptuous professors. But I am reminded that your original complaint was
"I hope that what you meant to say: was that what we are able to communicate to others, knowledge, is tainted by the language of the observer and not that the language of the observer controls what one can learn"

Now this has to be wrong. Knowledge is tainted by language? We are not int he primitive world of my cat, who's one word vocabulary pretty much means "hey you!." I can see that if the cat were among it own kind, other cats in a community of cats, there would be some greater intuitive body of intersubjective possibilities. In fact, I can see this in the purring, the hissing and so on. But to think this is somehow primary, I can't even begin to understand. It sounds like you're saying all these words we use to build spaceships and conceive of forms of government just "taint" the original grunts and bellows.

Similarly, we can "strip" the human brain to its basic components and the physiology of transmission of the electrical impulses with all the complexity in interaction of the neurotransmitters controlled by the electrolyte levels influenced by the enzymes, medication, or hormones and pH. All this can be learned and understood, except for the actual "message" of the "radio wave" picked up by the supra-consciousness. It may become a cliche by now, in how often "Love" is cited as such abstract concept that is no more "tangible" even if reduced to the basic biochemical reactions. I wish that I could accept knowledge of the unconscious experience as a driving motive for the consciousness, yet this doesn't explain the supra-consciousness of youth without experience. There are simply some things that can't be adequately "dressed in words", similar to love.


With this, I am going to have to aggravate your pet peeve a little. Apologies.

You account above is, I am sure, reasonable, given added context in theory. But i would point out the whole thing is done with words, as is the observational grounding of any empirical datum. I do sympathize with your position here, though: Language is not an emotion nor is it any particular "presence" of the world, if we mean by presence what is on the intuitive side of a perceptual event. Such a presence is entirely transcendental. It is ineffable, yet it sits there before us, Presence as such is the most profound thing a person can acknowledge, every occasion a burning bush.
But knowing, human knowing requires language to be taken up by a knowing agent. UNLESS, that is, you want to count as knowledge the meows and bow wows; or rather, the "knowing" that lies beneath the perceptual skin, deep, intuitive, the kind of thing that stirs an animal to bark or chirp. Yes, there is a matrix of animal "qualia" that possesses the imprint of instinct embracing the world . But to say this, we are saying very little indeed. Not that there is no rich stream of experience within the psyche of an animal--this I am reasonably sure there is; but to call this knowledge and belief, the kind of thing thought is constructed out of, that discloses the world to us in such profound nuance and complexity, gathering it together in metaphor and imagery, in poetry, rhetoric, and essay. I think not.

-- Updated September 13th, 2017, 10:03 pm to add the following --

Truth hunter:

One can't "disprove atheism", as much as one can disprove irrationality.


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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#145  Postby Spectrum » September 13th, 2017, 10:32 pm

Dark Matter wrote:Hitler rationalized his hatred for Jews the same way, Spectrum.

I don't want to argue on the above premise here, but what is critical is not to get personal.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#146  Postby Dark Matter » September 14th, 2017, 12:40 am

Spectrum wrote:
Dark Matter wrote:Hitler rationalized his hatred for Jews the same way, Spectrum.

I don't want to argue on the above premise here, but what is critical is not to get personal.

Nothing personal. Just stating a fact.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#147  Postby Ranvier » September 14th, 2017, 2:42 am

Hereandnow wrote:
Not clear on the point. If the professor saw that there was a language deficiency that would make an education in a language driven field too difficult, then it makes sense to recommend something else. It would not be a matter of whether one language is the one true sign of intelligent life; it would simply be a practical necessity. One like myself would be ill equipped to manage affairs in, say, an African tribal environment, and it would be reasonable for the tribal leader to deny me a place their beyond my capacity. I don't see the issue here. It's not a matter of one being better than the other, it's about simply being able to function well enough in a given language environment.


I'm not sure what you mean by a "language driven field?". My friend was a brilliant kid from Nigeria, registered as a Liberal Arts major but he was planning on completing pre-med courses to eventually go to medical school. Without acknowledging the University we both attended, it's one of the top 100 Universities in the U.S. and obviously since he was accepted to enroll and attend the University, it wasn't because of his skin color. The academic advisor passed his judgement hopefully only based on my friend's heavy accent, which had nothing to do with his ability to complete his education. Again, this only reveals a subjective bias, similar to treating someone as "mentally retarded" due to a speech impediment. Such occurrences have no place in an institution of higher education. Recently, I was watching a YouTube video and opinions of "common" people at the street level about Brexit. One of the videos was from a perspective of three "immigrants" from Poland, Hungary, and Slovenia, where two out of the three had higher education from the Universities of their country. However, all three had similar stories of discrimination and prejudice based on their accents indicative of their birth place. Such treatment is quite irrational, really.

Some people have an incredible ability to express their thoughts through language but speak nonsense in the content of what they convey (politicians). Other people, can't express thoughts efficiently through language but the knowledge and wisdom is quite apparent in little that they can express. I'd rather be around and converse with the latter.

Ranvier
However, before logic there was self-aware thought in ability to learn through observation that can be easily seen in animals without the ability to communicate through mutually understood language between different species.


Hereandnow
I don't think there was self aware thought prior to logic. What could this be? To be self aware, one has to bring a prior awareness into question, and a question has a logical form, that is, questions stand in relation to other grammatical/logical forms and produce logical dialectic. A question is inherently logical. Thus, self awareness is inherently logical. And animal language doesn't amount to much, does it? Animals don't take up the world "as" like we do; they don't, that is, interpret.


Before I engage this comment, let me make a distinction by differentiating certain terms:
Awareness vs Consciousness
Knowledge vs wisdom
Intelligence

Awareness - is the ability of the central nervous system (CNS) of animals to perceive and respond to the external environment. Plants, for instance have the ability to "respond" to changes in light frequency with seasons by changing leaf pigmentation or by growth towards the source of light. However, plants are not considered to posses the ability to "perceive" pain or pleasure, nor posses structures "designed" to process such stimuli. Animals, as far as we understand are only life forms capable of self awareness, which has nothing to do with logic. Although, animals with higher intelligence have the capacity for logic by learning and acting accordingly.

Secondary Awareness - is the ability of more complex animals (mammals), to not only be self aware (know that they are hungry or cold) but also "act" on behalf of other animals (compassion or concern Ex: chimpanzee or dolphin)

Complex or multiple awareness - is believed to be reserved only to humans, capable of "acting" on behalf of imaginary characters (cry watching a movie) or benevolence towards people they've never met (help victims of the natural disaster)

Consciousness - is much more difficult to define, in reality nobody really knows other than it's a complex higher brain function, which is not the same as "mind". Where mind is a collection of human experience in knowledge and wisdom.

Knowledge - is acquired information (data) through indirect learning process, such as reading books or listening to lectures about solutions to problems.
Wisdom - is a type of information that is acquired directly from a personal experience or direct observation of others, while solving "real life" problems.
Intelligence - is the capacity to learn efficiently and solve problems without prior knowledge. Ex. Someone locked in a windowless room without an apparent door, waking up from an unconscious state, may immediately start running around screaming for help while pounding on the walls with brute force. Others, will calmly assess the environment and generate possible theories for their predicament and try to come up with a hierarchy differential methods of solving the "problem" before acting.

In return to your comment above, the acquisition of knowledge does require at least a minimum language skills but it isn't indicative of ones ability to learn, including learning the language. Learning is subject to intelligence and capacity for thought, in both acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. However, the skill of observation is a primary source of wisdom in ability to learn through experience of deductive reasoning of logic in solving a problem. Therefore, someone can be very "book smart" but have very little wisdom and vice versa, someone may have great wisdom but have very little "scientific" knowledge. One can read an entire book on metallurgy and be ill equipped to forge a sward, while someone who had been shown once how to do that (without language) will be able to master the skill of sward making with practice and experience.

Ranvier
Hence observation is the fundamental tool of all knowledge that is greatly supplemented by the reasoning of logic.


Hereandnow
Not quite right, I would say. To say that knowledge is supplemented by logic would imply a kind of knowledge that is void of logic. I am willing to admit my cat knows where the food bowl is, but has no concept of bowl or spatial position. The same could be said of an infant child. But is this knowing absent of logic? My thought is that there is a kind of proto-logic in the mind of a cat; or a cow that knows there is no grass beyond the fence because it was just there and ate it all, and while not explicitly thinking gee I think I'll try somewhere else because I know there is nothing to eat there, having a logical form of the conditional if....then dimly present at the time.


I made an error, "knowledge" should be replaced by "wisdom".
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#148  Postby Dark Matter » September 14th, 2017, 4:07 am

Every thing, every where, every when and their every possibility converge in a singularity (quantum field) whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. This isn't mere speculation, but something that can be extrapolated (not without controversy) from modern cosmology and physics. The implications are astounding and, for many, too disturbing to even contemplate. For if the center of infinity is everywhere, it is within each and every one of us and all the information contained therein is theoretically available to conscious entities.

Most people will shake their heads in derision at the prospect of believing such nonsense. But is it irrational? William James argued that it is rational to believe beyond the available evidence if the option to so believe is genuine. An option to believe is genuine if, and only if, it is

    Live -- You can bring yourself to believe it

    Forced -- Not to choose has the same consequences of a negative choice

    Momentous -- Something of great importance is at stake

Now that science admits that “we are complex nodes in a rich web of reciprocal information” (Carlo Rovelli, Reality is Not What it Seems), it's easy to believe that convergence is a real phenomenon. It's unquestionable that something of great importance is at stake and not choosing has the same consequences of a negative choice. Convergence, however, has the problem of letting the "divine foot" in the door.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#149  Postby Steve3007 » September 14th, 2017, 8:52 am

Dark Matter:
Every thing, every where, every when and their every possibility converge in a singularity (quantum field) whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.


I'm not shaking my head in derision here, but it's difficult to tell, from that brief description, what you're referring to. It looks vaguely as though you might be talking about the physics of black holes. Could you expand on this?

William James argued that it is rational to believe beyond the available evidence if the option to so believe is genuine. An option to believe is genuine if, and only if, it is

Live -- You can bring yourself to believe it

Forced -- Not to choose has the same consequences of a negative choice

Momentous -- Something of great importance is at stake


Believing beyond the available evidence is what I would call extrapolating. We do it all the time. It's the old "all swans are white" paradigm.

I don't see how that fits with the three criteria you propose. All three of those criteria (or at least the second two) seem to me to be reasons not to believe without evidence, because they are indications that we might be vulnerable to confirmation bias. If not believing has negative consequences and if important things are at stake, those are just the kinds of circumstances that are likely to cloud our judgement, and believe things that are not true because we very much want them to be true.

I think one of the basic tools of the search for empirical truth is to mistrust our own judgement more if we want something to be true. Search out ways to prove yourself wrong.
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Re: So you're an atheist? Not so fast.

Post Number:#150  Postby eyesofastranger » September 14th, 2017, 9:46 am

So it seems A-theism is misunderstood
The universal wonder of the lessor mind must believe you absolutely must believe in something while the Atheist believes in the universe The fact is quantum entanglement all but assures life but then what. I'm without god but looking deeper than political discourse. god is political and nothing more.
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