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Tags atheism , epicureanism , hedonism , nihilism , philosophy , stoicism

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Old 1st January 2016, 07:40 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Not if free will is defined as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's actions.
And if free will is defined as wild assed arm waving?
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Old 1st January 2016, 07:45 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Free will is "a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives".
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/
Which "particular sort of capacity"? Please elaborate so that I can properly address your questions.

Last edited by Philosofer123; 1st January 2016 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 01:21 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Which "particular sort of capacity"? Please elaborate so that I can properly address your questions.
How about you address mine?
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Old 2nd January 2016, 01:49 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Which "particular sort of capacity"? Please elaborate so that I can properly address your questions.
Not impressed. Good luck with your philosophy.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 07:27 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Not if free will is defined as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's actions.
I wish to preface this with the comment that I'm only half expecting an answer. What did you do that makes it important for you that you don't have free will?
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Old 2nd January 2016, 08:11 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Not if free will is defined as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's actions.

...but you don't know what 'ultimately' even means. Nobody does. All you know is that you can make decisions that can make things better, or worse. If you agree with that then you subscribe to whatever free will is (who cares how it's defined...does it make any difference?). Wondering about whatever 'ultimately' means is indisputably pointless... unless you are some manner of being that has the capacity to understand how you are 'ultimately' created.

...are you?
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Old 2nd January 2016, 09:38 PM   #87
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Just skimming over parts of it now, here are some things which stand out for me:

Quote:
  • I define “atheism” as the view that it is highly implausible that the Abrahamic God exists, and that there is no good reason to believe that any other god exists
    • I define “the Abrahamic God” as the disembodied, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe, who wants all humans to believe in him
Definitions such as this make me wince. Not because they're particularly terrible definitions, but because they include extraneous details and make unnecessary assumptions.

For example, why are you making specific mention of the "Abrahamic God" in your definition of atheism? You could just define atheism as a lack of belief in any God or god(s). There's no reason to specifically refer to the Abrahamic God.

And why are you defining "Abrahamic God" in a way that's unrelated to Abraham or the Abrahamic faiths? Are you assuming that only the Abrahamic faiths can have a God with these attributes?

Maybe you should refer to it as a monotheistic god instead.

Quote:
  • Moral skepticism is the view that it is highly implausible that moral facts exist
    • Therefore, under moral skepticism, it is highly implausible that anything is “good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong” or “morally obligatory” or “morally impermissible”
It seems to me that this would depend on how morality is defined.

You mention evolutionary factors such as kin selection and empathy. We could base our definitions of morality on the function that these evolutionary traits developed to perform.

For example, I define moral "good" to be general behaviours which tend to be (directly or indirectly) beneficial to other members of the community and moral "bad" to be general behaviours which tend to be (directly or indirectly) detrimental to other members of the community.

From this, it is possible to deduce some moral facts.

For example, attacking and injuring or killing people without valid cause (such as self-defence) would be morally bad because it directly harms other people, and also indirectly harms other people by reducing the number of healthy individuals contributing beneficially to the community and disrupts the functioning of the community as everyone would have to be constantly on guard against random attacks from others.

Quote:
Negative hedonism
  • Optimizing one’s state of mind over one’s lifetime is the ultimate goal that best fits all plausible ultimate motivational considerations

Optimizing for what?
Optimizing for pleasure?
Optimizing for problem solving?
Optimizing for tranquillity?
Optimizing for productivity?
Simply asserting that the goal should be to optimize one's state of mind is meaningless without specifying what it is that the state of mind should be optimized for, because a mind can be optimized in various mutually-exclusive ways.

And optimizing the mind is not necessarily a good idea, as people may have complex interests in multiple areas, each of which being best served by different states of mind. Optimizing the mind in a way which better serves one area of interest may result in being less effective in other areas of interest.

Quote:
  • The most effective way of which I am aware to optimize one’s state of mind over one’s lifetime is to aim for the achievement and maintenance of peace of mind
    • I define “peace of mind” as the absence of significant negative emotions, while still retaining one’s mental faculties
      • I define “negative emotion” as any emotion that feels uncomfortable. Examples may include distress, fear, frustration, anger, boredom and regret, among others.
Okay, so you mean optimized for tranquillity. Maybe that's right for you, but not everyone would want to try and achieve this.

For example, some people may wish to accomplish as much as possible with their lives, but attempting to minimize emotions such as frustration, anger or boredom could be counterproductive, as for some people these emotions may act as powerful driving forces that allow them to overcome apathy or indolence in order to make progress toward achieving their goals.

Quote:
  • In a large polity, avoiding politics usually promotes peace of mind
    • Political activity may disturb one’s mind, and one’s personal efforts would likely have little or no ultimate effect in a large polity
    • Still, it may be rational to vote or donate to a political cause, as these are easy to do
This would appear to be another example of how your philosophy may conflict with other people's goals.

What if someone believes that achieving a particular political goal or change would be a worthwhile cause with which to dedicate their lives to achieving?

By engaging in politics with a large number of like-minded people, the result may eventually be achieved.

But if all these people were to take your advice and avoid political activity, then their desired outcome would be unlikely to ever be achieved, because engagement in political activities can produce results, even in a large polity.

For example, if everyone were to have taken your advice in the 50's and 60's, there would have been no civil rights movement, and we'd still have things like segregation.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 10:01 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Not if free will is defined as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's actions.
If free will is defined as a kumquat, how do you like them kumquats?
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Old 3rd January 2016, 11:18 AM   #89
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Thank you for your comments and questions, Brian-M.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post

For example, why are you making specific mention of the "Abrahamic God" in your definition of atheism?
Because I can argue specifically against the existence of the Abrahamic God as defined.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
And why are you defining "Abrahamic God" in a way that's unrelated to Abraham or the Abrahamic faiths?
The qualities that I attribute to the Abrahamic God are shared by the Abrahamic religions.


Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Are you assuming that only the Abrahamic faiths can have a God with these attributes?
No.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Maybe you should refer to it as a monotheistic god instead.
Not all monotheistic religions would agree with the attributes I have assigned to the Abrahamic God.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
It seems to me that this would depend on how morality is defined.
I basically defined moral facts in my discussion of their metaphysical queerness.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
You mention evolutionary factors such as kin selection and empathy. We could base our definitions of morality on the function that these evolutionary traits developed to perform.

For example, I define moral "good" to be general behaviours which tend to be (directly or indirectly) beneficial to other members of the community and moral "bad" to be general behaviours which tend to be (directly or indirectly) detrimental to other members of the community.

From this, it is possible to deduce some moral facts.

For example, attacking and injuring or killing people without valid cause (such as self-defence) would be morally bad because it directly harms other people, and also indirectly harms other people by reducing the number of healthy individuals contributing beneficially to the community and disrupts the functioning of the community as everyone would have to be constantly on guard against random attacks from others.
You are proposing a form of moral naturalism, which I show to be implausible in the document.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Optimizing for what?
Optimizing for pleasure?
Optimizing for problem solving?
Optimizing for tranquillity?
Optimizing for productivity?
Simply asserting that the goal should be to optimize one's state of mind is meaningless without specifying what it is that the state of mind should be optimized for, because a mind can be optimized in various mutually-exclusive ways.
I think it is clear from the context that optimizing one's state of mind means, roughly, maximizing one's overall happiness.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
And optimizing the mind is not necessarily a good idea, as people may have complex interests in multiple areas, each of which being best served by different states of mind. Optimizing the mind in a way which better serves one area of interest may result in being less effective in other areas of interest.
One's interests ultimately reduce to the motivational considerations of self-interest in this life and concern for others, and as I show in the document, optimizing one's state of mind is the ultimate goal that best fits those motivational considerations.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Okay, so you mean optimized for tranquillity.
Not exactly, as discussed above.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
This would appear to be another example of how your philosophy may conflict with other people's goals.

What if someone believes that achieving a particular political goal or change would be a worthwhile cause with which to dedicate their lives to achieving?
Because, as I state in the document, doing so would likely disturb their minds while not having any ultimate effect.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
By engaging in politics with a large number of like-minded people, the result may eventually be achieved.
But the efforts of one individual--and it is the individual to whom the document is addressed--would likely have little or no ultimate effect in a large polity.

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
But if all these people were to take your advice and avoid political activity, then their desired outcome would be unlikely to ever be achieved, because engagement in political activities can produce results, even in a large polity.

For example, if everyone were to have taken your advice in the 50's and 60's, there would have been no civil rights movement, and we'd still have things like segregation.
Again, my philosophy is addressed to the individual. I would agree with you if I alone could spur the general population to action. Unfortunately, this is extremely unlikely, so it usually makes no sense for me to be politically active.

Last edited by Philosofer123; 3rd January 2016 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 26th December 2016, 10:06 PM   #90
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How to Live Well--My Philosophy of Life

Please click here for a brief summary and link to the full 14-page document.

Constructive feedback is welcome.
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Old 26th December 2016, 10:35 PM   #91
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Seems your philosophy is to be lazy and expect others to do all the work.

At least some posted content would be constructive and welcome.
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Old 26th December 2016, 11:33 PM   #92
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Didn't we do something just like this a few years ago on the JREF version of this forum? Was it the same OP? Anyone with a good memory?
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Old 27th December 2016, 12:17 AM   #93
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Atheism 101?
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Old 27th December 2016, 12:39 AM   #94
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I clicked the link, which had a page outlining the summary:

"In the first six pages of the document, I develop the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, ultimate responsibility impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism, thanatophobic irrationalism, and negative hedonism. I conclude that aiming for peace of mind is the best way to go about living well.

"The remainder of the document primarily elaborates upon ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind. I have found many of these methods to be invaluable in practice."


I won't click any further, because anything I've read about peace of mind, philosophy, meditation or mindfulness is all just:



I'm happy. And I'm happy you're happy.
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Old 27th December 2016, 02:21 AM   #95
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That's a lot of isms. Personally I've found mindfulness techniques to be very useful in certain situations, but it is a field that can be full of rubbish. You just have to know which bits are useful.
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Old 27th December 2016, 02:43 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
I clicked the link, which had a page outlining the summary:

"In the first six pages of the document, I develop the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, ultimate responsibility impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism, thanatophobic irrationalism, and negative hedonism. I conclude that aiming for peace of mind is the best way to go about living well.

"The remainder of the document primarily elaborates upon ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind. I have found many of these methods to be invaluable in practice."


I won't click any further, because anything I've read about peace of mind, philosophy, meditation or mindfulness is all just:



I'm happy. And I'm happy you're happy.
or, all just fecal matter!!!!!
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Old 27th December 2016, 07:19 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Didn't we do something just like this a few years ago on the JREF version of this forum? Was it the same OP? Anyone with a good memory?
Here, here, and now...here.
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Old 27th December 2016, 07:46 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
I clicked the link, which had a page outlining the summary:

"In the first six pages of the document, I develop the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, ultimate responsibility impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism, thanatophobic irrationalism, and negative hedonism. I conclude that aiming for peace of mind is the best way to go about living well.

"The remainder of the document primarily elaborates upon ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind. I have found many of these methods to be invaluable in practice."

I don't see anything in there about surfing for pretty girls. What kind of life is that?
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Old 27th December 2016, 07:48 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's a lot of isms. Personally I've found mindfulness techniques to be very useful in certain situations, but it is a field that can be full of rubbish. You just have to know which bits are useful.
Don't you mean one has to be "mindful" of the useful parts?
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Old 27th December 2016, 09:34 AM   #100
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Did someone reinvent Stoicism?
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Old 27th December 2016, 10:14 AM   #101
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Yes- I did remembered correct: Philosofer123 posted a near identical OP in December of 2015 and at various lengthly intervals before that. These appear to me to be solely attempts to drive traffic to his website, because he doesn't present his views or participate in any real discussion on the ISF (note that he is still a "student" poster after three years, meaning he has very, very few posts here).

Philosofer123: if you want a real discussion of your ideas, please summarize them here. Your website might be useful for more details, but if you are going to reference your website again now as you did last year, it might help if you informed us what has changed on it in the past year. Thanks!
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Old 27th December 2016, 10:17 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by turingtest View Post
Here, here, and now...here.
Thanks!! I finally got smart enough to do a search for Philosofer123's other posts, but your references also helped!

As noted above, certain times of the year appear to inspire him to advertise his website here, but then he disappears from the ISF. Doesn't seem to me to be the actions of someone who really wants discussion or feedback.
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Old 27th December 2016, 10:40 AM   #103
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From the links;

Quote:
Atheism
 I define “atheism” as the view that it is highly implausible that the Abrahamic God exists, and that there is no good reason to believe that any other god exists
 I define “the Abrahamic God” as the disembodied, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe, who wants all humans to believe in him
 There is a presumption of atheism because theists propose the addition of a major metaphysical entity (the Abrahamic God) to what is already known to exist (the physical universe). That is, theists make an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires?
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Old 27th December 2016, 11:55 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires?
Evidence proportional in strength to the extraordinary claim made by theists.

Last edited by Philosofer123; 27th December 2016 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 27th December 2016, 11:57 AM   #105
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Intellectually considered and chosen atheism (not default atheism) isn’t prepared to and doesn’t accept the incredulous claims of theism based purely on belief and faith. Intellectual atheism requests credible evidence that at least equals the incredulity of the claims.
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Old 27th December 2016, 01:04 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Evidence proportional in strength to the extraordinary claim made by theists.
Why should atheists be expected to disprove the claims (claims asserted without a sou of evidence) of the superstitious?
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Old 27th December 2016, 01:15 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
Why should atheists be expected to disprove the claims (claims asserted without a sou of evidence) of the superstitious?
They shouldn't, and I don't see that anyone here is saying that they should. Intellectual atheists request that theists prove their claims by providing evidence that is at least equal in credibility to the claimed credibility of the claim.
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Last edited by ynot; 27th December 2016 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 27th December 2016, 01:30 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires?
Wrong - Atheism doesn't require anything. It's extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence if they're expected to be accepted by intelligent people.
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Last edited by ynot; 27th December 2016 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 27th December 2016, 03:50 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
They shouldn't, and I don't see that anyone here is saying that they should.
You mean, other than this?

Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Evidence proportional in strength to the extraordinary claim made by theists.
Philosopher123 seems, in fact, to be saying that atheists are required to provide evidence to counter the extraordinary claim(s) made by theists.

Clear attempt to reverse the onus,


Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Intellectual atheists request that theists prove their claims by providing evidence that is at least equal in credibility to the claimed credibility of the claim.
Which is the way it ought to be; but that is not what Philosopher123 seems to be demanding...
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Old 27th December 2016, 04:34 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires?
Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Evidence proportional in strength to the extraordinary claim made by theists.
Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
Philosopher123 seems, in fact, to be saying that atheists are required to provide evidence to counter the extraordinary claim(s) made by theists.
Clear attempt to reverse the onus,
Even though Navigator's question wasn't valid . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Wrong - Atheism doesn't require anything. It's extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence if they're expected to be accepted by intelligent people.
I still don’t see how you make your interpretation.

Surely Navigator meant "What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires (to receive from theists)?" and that's what Philosopher123 replied to. Not "What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires (to provide to theists)?"

Mind you, Navigator's words are pretty much a moving feast of conveniently changing meanings.
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Last edited by ynot; 27th December 2016 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 27th December 2016, 05:00 PM   #111
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I think Navigator just misread the sentence he quoted from Philosofer's link-

Quote:
That is, theists make an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
to read that atheism, rather than theism, required the extraordinary evidence for a claim. TBF to Navigator, it's an easy mistake to make, one I made myself- my initial reaction was to ask what extraordinary claim was being made by atheists when the whole thrust of the preceding sentence was that none at all was made by them.

And from there, the train went well and truly off the rails. It could have been easily set back on course by Philosofer simply correcting Navigator's understandable error- "I said theists require extraordinary evidence, not atheism." Why he didn't, I don't know- too much deep philosofy, maybe.
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Old 27th December 2016, 05:12 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by turingtest View Post
I think Navigator just misread the sentence he quoted from Philosofer's link-

to read that atheism, rather than theism, required the extraordinary evidence for a claim. TBF to Navigator, it's an easy mistake to make, one I made myself- my initial reaction was to ask what extraordinary claim was being made by atheists when the whole thrust of the preceding sentence was that none at all was made by them.

And from there, the train went well and truly off the rails. It could have been easily set back on course by Philosofer simply correcting Navigator's understandable error- "I said theists require extraordinary evidence, not atheism." Why he didn't, I don't know- too much deep philosofy, maybe.
Theists only need to provide extraordinary evidence to support their extraordinary claims if they expect intelligent people to accept their claims. There's no evidence I’ve ever seen that theists themselves need any evidence at all. In other words, extraordinary claims don’t require extraordinary evidence if you’re prepared to merely accept and believe them at face value.

It’s neither theism nor atheism that require extraordinary claims to be supported by extraordinary evidence, it’s honest and intelligent brains that do for the purpose of establishing credible knowledge in preference to mere belief.
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Last edited by ynot; 27th December 2016 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 27th December 2016, 07:10 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Evidence proportional in strength to the extraordinary claim made by theists.
Originally Posted by turingtest View Post
I think Navigator just misread the sentence he quoted from Philosofer's link-



to read that atheism, rather than theism, required the extraordinary evidence for a claim. TBF to Navigator, it's an easy mistake to make, one I made myself- my initial reaction was to ask what extraordinary claim was being made by atheists when the whole thrust of the preceding sentence was that none at all was made by them.

And from there, the train went well and truly off the rails. It could have been easily set back on course by Philosofer simply correcting Navigator's understandable error- "I said theists require extraordinary evidence, not atheism." Why he didn't, I don't know- too much deep philosofy, maybe.
No.

I understood that the words meant that if someone makes an extraordinary claim then the counter-argument is for those making the extraordinary claim having to provide extraordinary evidence in which to make the claim valid to an atheist.

Since the argument comes from an atheist in relation to theist claims, my question was focused on that.

The statement was "That is, theists make an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Which followed this:
There is a presumption of atheism because theists propose the addition of a major metaphysical entity (the Abrahamic God) to what is already known to exist (the physical universe).

(I crossed off the "Abrahamic God" reference as being irrelevant due to intelligent design theories which are not specific to organised religions ideas of GOD.)

So my question "What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires?" has to do with what it is that atheism regards as extraordinary claims...and of course, this principally has to do with notions involving Intelligent Design in relation to the existence of the universe as a whole.
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Old 28th December 2016, 09:20 AM   #114
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Are you actually reading what you are responding to?

Quote:
That is, theists NOT ATHEISTS make an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
I think the highlighted section I added should clarify matters.

Last edited by I Am The Scum; 28th December 2016 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 28th December 2016, 11:50 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
I clicked the link, which had a page outlining the summary:

"In the first six pages of the document, I develop the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, ultimate responsibility impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism, thanatophobic irrationalism, and negative hedonism. I conclude that aiming for peace of mind is the best way to go about living well.

"The remainder of the document primarily elaborates upon ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind. I have found many of these methods to be invaluable in practice."


I won't click any further, because anything I've read about peace of mind, philosophy, meditation or mindfulness is all just:



I'm happy. And I'm happy you're happy.
I'd say you know very little about the breadth of academic philosophy if you think it's just words.
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Old 28th December 2016, 11:56 AM   #116
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Here is my life philosophy in just five words: Don't be a dick.
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Old 28th December 2016, 11:58 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
Are you actually reading what you are responding to?



I think the highlighted section I added should clarify matters.
Yes I am. Are you actually reading what I am responding to?

So my question "What is this 'extraordinary evidence' atheism requires?"

See? The requirement is that theists provide 'extraordinary evidence' and my question to atheists is "What is this 'extraordinary evidence'?"

Examples please.
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Old 28th December 2016, 02:51 PM   #118
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Atheism doesn’t require anything. A baby is an atheist by default. Intellectual atheists however require evidence rather than belief to accept that a god actually exists.

Navigator is merely trying to score a “gotcha” over nasty atheists by disingenuously asking them to provide an example of extraordinary evidence knowing full well they can’t, because atheists don’t think such a thing even exists. And that’s the point the atheists are making. If a god actually exists there should be at least SOME evidence that one does. Theists can’t provide ANY evidence that their god actually exists. Not even extraordinary evidence. All theists have are unsubstantiated, paranormal beliefs that are a hangover from less educated times. Navigator's "FSC/GOD" thread is further evidence of that.
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Last edited by ynot; 28th December 2016 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 28th December 2016, 03:04 PM   #119
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Oh boy! This thread again.
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Old 28th December 2016, 03:10 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
Here is my life philosophy in just five words: Don't be a dick.
That's four words.

My philosophy in just seven words: Sometimes you have to be a dick.
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