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Old 20th February 2019, 01:23 AM   #281
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't know what data you're asking for.
Your claim that what has not been published in a scientific journal is false is absurd. There are important questions for humanity that are not purely scientific.
95% or more of the things we discuss in this forum have not been published in any scientific journal.
But that's not what I said. I said that unless he did that, then you have no business building him into some authority figure that lends value to some postulate. You're doing a textbook case of the appeal to false authority fallacy.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Let's discuss what Dostoevsky said, please.
I thought we were. Pointing out flaws in some nonsense does qualify as discussing it, last I checked.
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Old 20th February 2019, 01:34 AM   #282
HansMustermann
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Also, just to make one thing clear: several of Dostoevsky's claims actually trespass quite overtly on the domain of actual sciences, like sociology, psychology and neuroscience. So, yes, not only they CAN be discussed in terms of actual science, they ARE in the domain of actual sciences. And any figure of authority on the domain of those claims would, yes, have to be from those sciences.

You can't back into "oh, but it's not science" just because you can't deal with the actual science. Just like the truthers don't get to discuss their nonsense outside of actual physics just because they can't understand the actual physics, you don't get to do that about Dostoevsky's claims about human psychology either.
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Old 20th February 2019, 02:01 AM   #283
Aridas
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You promise great things, but you don't show one.
You not keeping track isn't my problem. I pointed out what the evidence points pretty firmly to when it comes to the nature of morality and that very much applies here.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What rational criteria of normative certainty do you mean?
Let's dissect this more directly, though, to make things easier for you.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
B) The cynical position.
According to the above, the cynic --let us call him Critias-- affirms that social norms are conventional, not obligatory.
This is misleading. Not all social conventions hold the same weight or have roots that are as widespread as others. What this does is lump together, say, a social convention of wearing a bow tie to a kid's 4th birthday, which we'll say was a superficial fad in a small town for a couple years for the sake of this example, and a social convention that one shouldn't throw other people's babies off a cliff, which has a much, much stronger basis and is likely to be effectively permanent and universal among humans (with exceptions for populations that genocides are being committed against).

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Consequence: there is no rational criterion to decide between one norm and another.
There can be a couple answers here depending on what specific meaning of "rational criterion" is being invoked. As it stands, though, there's a very important question that needs asked. "Which values and goals are actually being preferred and why?"

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The only reason is violence and coercion. The law of the strongest.
This is little more than an emptily asserted answer to that question. What's worse is that this answer demands inconsistency or whimsical arbitrariness in the judging criteria. Game theory, for example, helps to show that the field is immensely wider.

As an aside, this doesn't actually offer an alternative to the primary version of Abrahamic "objective morality." In that, it's "objective" exactly because "God/Allah" is enforcing it with violence and coercion.

ETA:
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
By now you should know what my posture is and what Dostoevsky's posture is. Fine-tune your reading, please.
Dostoevsky does not claim that all atheists are bad people. He claims that they don't have the intellectual weapons to defeat Critias, the cynic. Therefore, their position is weak.

Therefore, he tries to convince that if we consider Critias to be the main enemy, we will have to renounce atheism.
He overestimates Critias, then. Reminds me of "Tide goes in. Tide goes out. You can't explain that!"
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:19 AM   #284
abaddon
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
How's this for a reason: God will smite you and everyone and everything you love if you don't believe.
You want to take that chance?
Good old Pascal's Wager had to make a guest appearance.
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Old 20th February 2019, 10:18 AM   #285
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Hi, thanks for contributing. I’m not sure how much “being loved by God” is an actual factor or whether it’s actually more the religious community itself. Sure, religious communities can be effective at giving those that need it a sense of belonging, companionship, family, personal worth, etc. But so can and do criminal biker gangs, neo-nazi groups, and (less offensively to us I’m sure) social and sporting communities as well. Might we agree that the end doesn’t always justify the means (if ever)?
Glad to participate. I agree that the context of the perception of being loved will direct the outcome. When people experience this (particularly for the first time, or in contrast to what they are accustomed to) in a religious setting, it becomes, for them, a reason to believe. I also agree that the ends don't always justify the means, though I think there could be an interesting (and possibly endless) thread on the contextual nuances of that idea too

Quote:
I know some people that have poor self-image/esteem with religious influence. They tend to believe but not be in a religious community however. I personally knew two religious people that committed suicide (unrelated events).
Me too, and I'm sorry to hear that. My point was just that to the sub-group who have poor self-image and no religious background, religious teachings about being loved can be particularly appealing.

Quote:
The more complete quote is “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”. So nothing to do with poor self-image/esteem or low-income/education, but everything to do with being “sick” because you’re a “sinner”.
Right, but I think this was an appeal to people who already felt like they were sinners and were largely ostracized by their community, not an additional condemnation. Akin to "come to me all who are weary and burdened", which I don't think was an attempt to point out how much people were struggling, but an invitation for those who already perceived themselves that way. I agree though that this was contrary to what was typical of the religious community at the time as Jesus is reported to have criticized in Luke 11:46; a sentiment still pertinent today in many circles in my opinion.

Quote:
I think it’s more likely to be religious community than religious thinking that has resonated so strongly and broadly. Merely a guess from my own assessment.
Good point. I would guess both are factors, likely carrying different weight for some compared to others.

Quote:
And thanks for that perspective. I agree that’s why some join a religious community and believe in a god (don't know which happens first). I don’t think this applies to the majority of believers however and it’s not something that would inspire me to join or believe. If I ever needed support from a community I could get it elsewhere and without the need to believe in a god with all the unnecessary baggage that comes with doing that. Cheers
You're very welcome. And I can understand and appreciate your perspective as well. I would be very surprised indeed if anyone else's reason for believing convinced you to do so. You have clearly already given it a lot of consideration and made firm conclusions that make sense to you and give you peace of mind. Also, most of the "conversion testimonies" I have heard are unique and very personal, so I think it would be unexpected even if you didn't already have a strong perspective.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Always happy to receive feedback about anything, and no one has to tip-toe over broken glass in the process. Being a life-long religious believer you can only view and assess things from that perspective (and myself the opposite). It’s no surprise therefore that you experience and interpret "the tone of the thread, the tag-lines on your posts, and the reply" the way you do, and that I don’t. I don’t mind and I’m not offended in any way by your occasional “tsk, tsk” posts.
Sounds good . I won't shy away from the occasional "tsk, tsk", but I'll try to check my own interpretive presumptions as well. I do try to do that in general, so I am curious now whether others (religious or non-religious) also interpreted the tone the same way I did, or if I need to re-evaluate my biases more carefully.

Quote:
ETA - My experience in interacting with many (not all or even most) theists is that they have and display a superior, smug attitude toward myself and other atheists. Given you’ve lived your entire life inside a religious community, that superior, smug attitude may be so normal to you that you don’t/can’t see it as being such. Or it doesn't exist in your particular community. For all I know you may have that attitude yourself to some degree without realising you have it. An “ex-theist” on this forum doesn’t understand why all people don’t accept speaking in tongues as being anything but normal.
I certainly accept that it is very hard for me to fully recognize and address my biases, and some that I don't even see may be painfully obvious to others. Like yourself, I appreciate the feedback and perspective.

Last edited by attempt5001; 20th February 2019 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 20th February 2019, 10:35 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
...I think that you're a little bit off track here, though, much as my objection here has more to do with the emphasis implicit in singling out a single reason. I would rate that as, at best, a minor factor or derivative from more important factors overall.
Sounds like an agreement except in matter of degree I have no objection to your objection. I didn't intend to claim a single reason, just a contribution and only as a matter of my opinion. If you're willing, I'd be interested to know what you feel the more important factors are/were.

Quote:
For a discussion like this to actually convince people to believe or not to believe, it would likely need to address the underlying values that are being invoked. Otherwise... a Mormon complaint rises to mind. "Just let us have our stories! What does it matter if they're true or not, when they offer us and each other an amazing, friendly community and happy lives that lead to positive impacts on the world?"
I think other portions of this thread have demonstrated that a discussion of values is unlikely to be very persuasive either.

Quote:
Your assessment... would be more on point for those already heavily influenced by that faith more or less. When you have cases of people simply feeling that "something is wrong here" and subconsciously groping about for answers and preferably a solution, sin doesn't factor in so much.
I agree. This is akin to the "conversion testimonies" I described earlier.
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Old 20th February 2019, 11:36 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Also, if you want some feedback, the tone of the thread, the tag-lines on your posts, and the reply above all suggest that Arth's assessment is about right. :/
Just a little FYI. When I started this thread I only added two search Tag keyword phrases. They were something like "should I believe" and "why believe" (can't remember exactly). Anything else that was added was done so by Mods or the forum software. I see that the Tags now only say "None" so Mods must have removed them all (I didn't). Perhaps one of the Mods might like to explain on this thread why they did this, and who or what added additional Tags? (just curious)

I see some Tag boxes on other threads contain "!MOD BOX WARNING! ". Wonder what that means?
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Old 20th February 2019, 01:45 PM   #288
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Just a little FYI. When I started this thread I only added two search Tag keyword phrases. They were something like "should I believe" and "why believe" (can't remember exactly). Anything else that was added was done so by Mods or the forum software. I see that the Tags now only say "None" so Mods must have removed them all (I didn't). Perhaps one of the Mods might like to explain on this thread why they did this, and who or what added additional Tags? (just curious)

I see some Tag boxes on other threads contain "!MOD BOX WARNING! ". Wonder what that means?
That is interesting, but I meant to refer to the lines that follow your posts (sorry, I'm probably not using the correct term): "Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos." and "Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated." I think a theist seeing those following an invitation to share something personal about the reasoning behind their belief might get the impression they are being lead into a trap.
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Old 20th February 2019, 01:50 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
I think this is an important caveat to the idea that religion only solves problems it has created
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Right, but I think this was an appeal to people who already felt like they were sinners and were largely ostracized by their community, not an additional condemnation.
I don’t accept your caveat is valid (sorry about that ).

You don’t have to be a theist to be affected by religion. A “problem” the “God” religion uniquely creates and offers to “solve” is that all people are by default nasty sinners from birth, and that if they don't "solve" that problem by believing in and worshiping "God", their lives will end in eternal torture. This religion created slur-attack/threat on people’s self-image/esteem has an effect on many atheists that aren’t “hard-atheists” like myself.

Rather than ”being loved by God“ I think it’s more likely “being saved by God”, and “being rewarded by God” are common motivators why some atheists become theists. From my perspective, more people seem to be scared/threatened and enticed/bribed into religion than any other reasons. I don’t expect any theist to agree, but some might.
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Old 20th February 2019, 02:08 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
That is interesting, but I meant to refer to the lines that follow your posts (sorry, I'm probably not using the correct term): "Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos." and "Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated." I think a theist seeing those following an invitation to share something personal about the reasoning behind their belief might get the impression they are being lead into a trap.
They're called "signatures".

My signatures are merely a shorthand version of what I (and other atheists) regularly express in more detail in posts. Theists that aren't going to respond because they don't like my signatures probably aren't going to respond anyway because they also wouldn't like my posts. I think my posts are "worse" than my signatures . I don't know if any other atheists give a toss what theists put in their signatures, but I certainly don't. If theists do give a toss as you suggest, then it highlights the emotional PC extent of their beliefs that they apparently want to impose on others.
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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Old 20th February 2019, 02:18 PM   #291
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I don’t accept your caveat is valid (sorry about that ).
no problem. Makes the discussion more interesting

Quote:
You don’t have to be a theist to be affected by religion.
Agreed. But you also don't have to have been affected by religion to have bad self esteem. Simple example, have you ever been bullied? I have and it made me feel pretty bad about myself without invoking any notions of God or sin.

Quote:
A “problem” the “God” religion uniquely creates and offers to “solve” is that all people are automatically nasty sinners from birth, and that if they don't "solve" that problem by believing in and worshipping "God", their lives will end in eternal torture. This religion created slur-attack/threat on people’s self-image/esteem has an effect on many atheists that aren’t “hard-atheists” like myself.

Rather than ”being loved by God“ I think it’s more likely “being saved by God”, and “being rewarded by God” are common motivators why some atheists become theists. From my perspective, more people seem to be scared/threatened and enticed/bribed into religion than any other reasons. I don’t expect any theist to agree, but some might.
I see what you mean and yes, I have seen this sort of "evangelical" approach (though worded differently and emphasizing God's love as well, however juxtaposed that may seem) be both effective and ineffective at different times. For my part, I've heard a lot more testimony about the impact of a perception of God's love than of fear or reward, but that's just my experience. I don't disbelieve that your perspective is also genuine, though no doubt, ours are both tinted by our biases and experiences.
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Old 20th February 2019, 02:27 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
Really?

So you can turn belief on and off at will? Maybe raise money by starting a bidding war over whether or not you'll believe or not, because you can choose either way?

Ridiculous.
Absolutely ridiculous. And not what I said.

Quote:
Now, I do agree that someone's beliefs may change over time, they're not immutable, but the possibility of changing over time is not the same as belief being a simple matter of choice.
Based on information and increased insight, you can make the choice to abandon a belief. Or for some, the motivation could be different. But it can be a conscious choice.

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Old 20th February 2019, 02:32 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Belief in a god is a gift from a belief in a god?

You don't see anything circular in that?

ETA - You have to believe in a god before you can believe you've received a gift from that god. To believe that receiving a belief in a god that you already believe in is a "gift" from that god, is . . . well . . . y'know . . .
I see what you (and Thor2) mean, but to get into it requires theodicy (reconciling the existence of evil with a loving omnipotent God - not that I am calling atheists evil, I mean that if one believes God exists then not believing in God is a false belief which is therefore not good, it is the false belief that is bad not the person). Which is an interesting discussion including things like e.g. if someone is atheist in part because of how religious people have treated them (or in some cases abused them), it's not their choice, but it is influenced by the actions taken by others exercising their own free will and making wrong choices.

But re the atheism itself not being sinful, the way I've heard it expressed:

Rejecting God = sinful because it's a choice.

Not believing in (monotheistic) God = not rejecting but just not believing = not sinful because not a choice.

Being wilfully blind/close-minded does have aspects of rejection, and therefore does have a moral dimension. But ignoring someone angrily shouting bible verses at you is not being close-minded!
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Old 20th February 2019, 02:34 PM   #294
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
They're called "signatures".

My signatures are merely a shorthand version of what I (and other atheists) regularly express in more detail in posts. Theists that aren't going to respond because they don't like my signatures probably aren't going to respond anyway because they also wouldn't like my posts. I think my posts are "worse" than my signatures . I don't know if any other atheists give a toss what theists put in their signatures, but I certainly don't. If theists do give a toss as you suggest, then it highlights the emotional PC extent of their beliefs that they apparently want to impose on others.
Ah. Thanks. Signatures.

I was with you up until the highlighted bit. I think the signatures suggest you have already made up your mind absolutely about theism and that you are prepared (and likely) to strongly refute anything anyone chooses to share. There's no problem doing that (one should expect it on a skeptics forum), but I expect many theist would decline the invitation. It feels a bit too much like "hey fishy, come swim in this nice barrel over here while I check the sights on my rifle" I'm not sure how declining to participate could be an imposition of beliefs on others.

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Old 20th February 2019, 02:41 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
For my part, I've heard a lot more testimony about the impact of a perception of God's love than of fear or reward, but that's just my experience.
Surely testimony only happens after you are a theist. I don't see how you can have a a perception of a god's love without first having a belief that a loving god exists. From what I understand, religions have a constant "God is love, God loves you" mantra that any "new recruit" is bound to adopt, repeat and celebrate, regardless of what motivated them to believe in a god to begin with.

I'm suggesting that the victim mentality of accepting they have a problem merely because someone else says they do can cause poor self-image/esteem. That other non-religious things can also do this is irrelevant. Two wrongs don't make a right
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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Old 20th February 2019, 03:23 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Ah. Thanks. Signatures.

I was with you up until the highlighted bit. I think the signatures suggest you have already made up your mind absolutely about theism and that you are prepared (and likely) to strongly refute anything anyone chooses to share. There's no problem doing that (one should expect it on a skeptics forum), but I expect many theist would decline the invitation. It feels a bit too much like "hey fishy, come swim in this nice barrel over here while I check the sights on my rifle" I'm not sure how declining to participate could be an imposition of beliefs on others.
A theist voluntarily choosing to be an active member on a "Sceptics Forum" in which most members are obviously atheists (some strongly so) is a fish voluntarily jumping into the barrel don't you think?

But let's examine my signatures . . .

"Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos."
Many theists I know don't accept that god beliefs are paranormal beliefs, so doesn't have to be taken as relating to god beliefs at all. Doesn't mention god beliefs.

"Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated"
An attempt at a humorous parody of the well known "Rumours of my death . . . " quote. It's not like it's overtly saying "God doesn't exist" or "God beliefs are crap".

My posts by far more overtly represent my response to religion than my comparatively benign forum signatures do. How many people even read forum signatures?

Is Thor 2's "Thinking is a faith hazard" signature any better or worse than mine?
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 20th February 2019, 03:27 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
I see what you (and Thor2) mean, but to get into it requires theodicy (reconciling the existence of evil with a loving omnipotent God - not that I am calling atheists evil, I mean that if one believes God exists then not believing in God is a false belief which is therefore not good, it is the false belief that is bad not the person). Which is an interesting discussion including things like e.g. if someone is atheist in part because of how religious people have treated them (or in some cases abused them), it's not their choice, but it is influenced by the actions taken by others exercising their own free will and making wrong choices.
Can't follow this sorry.

Quote:
But re the atheism itself not being sinful, the way I've heard it expressed:

Rejecting God = sinful because it's a choice.

Not believing in (monotheistic) God = not rejecting but just not believing = not sinful because not a choice.

Being wilfully blind/close-minded does have aspects of rejection, and therefore does have a moral dimension. But ignoring someone angrily shouting bible verses at you is not being close-minded!

I struggle with the idea that someone can believe in God but reject him. Do you really think it's true that some folk can believe God exists, (God being an all powerful being, who has the final say about salvation or damnation), and thumb their noses at him?
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Old 20th February 2019, 03:35 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I struggle with the idea that someone can believe in God but reject him. Do you really think it's true that some folk can believe God exists, (God being an all powerful being, who has the final say about salvation or damnation), and thumb their noses at him?
Um . . . The Devil

Oh, you mean actual, real folk .
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Old 20th February 2019, 04:01 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Um . . . The Devil

Oh, you mean actual, real folk .

Well some do decide to show their lot in with The Devil we hear. Perhaps they think a reward awaits them as chosen folk, when they make it down to the fiery place. Get to be a stoker rather than the fuel perhaps, or maybe get promoted to the ranks of Demons. I imagine this may hold some allure if you get to flit around from one tormented soul to another. Sure beats harp playing and grovelling for eternity.

Oh rats! I've answered the thorny question I asked epeeist myself.
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Thinking is a faith hazard.

Last edited by Thor 2; 20th February 2019 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 20th February 2019, 04:44 PM   #300
abaddon
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can't follow this sorry.
He thinks not believing in god is a faith or belief. There are a surprising number of theists that think this. I think it's origin as an idea comes from the presuppositionalists who think that we all without exception really believe in their particular god but are in denial/misguided/evil/possessed. The thought is (or seems to be from epeeist's version of it) that we all as humans have a faith compenent intrinsic to our very beings. No exceptions. From that perspective, atheists have simply substituted something else in which to have faith because that faith component must be filled by something, even egotism or hedonism or my personal favourite, the love of sinning, which is all kinds of messed up.

These types of arguments are rather easy to pick apart with the exception of the hard presups. They are so convinced that you or I believe in their god that when you tell them you don't believe in any god or gods, they will call you a blatant liar to your face. They know you believe in their god. In their souls (like that is going to sway anyone). It is at that point that I go way off script and come up with a steady stream of escalating bizarre claims that I know are true. The throbbing veins on their temples and bulging eyes are a treat.

In fairness, be under no illusion. I am not claiming epeeist is one of those wingnuts at all. Nevertheless, it is the line of thinking that originates such claims/beliefs.

Regardless that epeeist is likely unaware where he glommed onto such a notion, the claim falls into a couple of joint claims.

1. We have a soul.
2. All souls have a faith shaped jigsaw puzzle piece in them
3. You must fill in that empty faith shaped jigsaw puzzle piece with something even if it is the wrong piece
4. Atheists have filled in the jigsaw puzzle hole with the wrong piece
5. If only the atheist could be persuaded to swap his piece for a carbon copy of my piece he/she would be saved
6. It is not possible to not fill that hole with something nor to not have a hole in the first place nor to have an empty hole (scuse unintentional FNAR)

And the real kicker. This leads to an inevitable consequence.

7. Those having an empty hole, or no hole at all are by definition sub-human.

Those who think this way usually go along with 1 to 6 but balk at the cliff edge of 7. Presups don't even hesitate at 7.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I struggle with the idea that someone can believe in God but reject him. Do you really think it's true that some folk can believe God exists, (God being an all powerful being, who has the final say about salvation or damnation), and thumb their noses at him?
I don't. I fully expect that if and when I die, there will be nothing at all. I wont even know about it because there will be no me to know anything. So suppose I die and there is some god resplendent in glory to my astonishment. I would reject him/her/it/housecat immediately and I would have a single statement to make.

You could have made things better, perfect even. You chose to do nothing. That makes me your moral superior and you know it.
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Old 20th February 2019, 04:48 PM   #301
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Another perspective:

My wife is a theist, former Catholic but now believes in a nebulous idea of a God that watches over her and guides her through life. She has no use for man-made religion. Her reasons for believing are idiosyncratic and she isn’t asking anyone to believe what she believes. Doesn’t, in fact, care if anyone else accepts her beliefs.

So tell me, why shouldn’t she believe in her idea of a God? You may say, “Because it isn’t real, obvs.” And her response would be along the lines of, “Says who? You? Ha. Are you the ultimate arbiter of reality? Didn’t think so.”


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Old 20th February 2019, 05:33 PM   #302
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Many do, but as you well know, many on this board have studied the Bible enough to be ordained if we so wished. I for one have repeatedly provided not only exact verse numbers, but also the mainstream theological interpretations (well, mostly the Catholic ones) on occasion, and even occasional Midrash and Talmud interpretations for the OT.
I apologise if I gave you the impression that I included you among their number. I am aware of and respect your extensive knowledge. Most of my comments have been directed to others.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I struggle with the idea that someone can believe in God but reject him. Do you really think it's true that some folk can believe God exists, (God being an all powerful being, who has the final say about salvation or damnation), and thumb their noses at him?
That is indeed the basis behind religious Satanism (as opposed to atheistic LaVeyan Satanism).
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Old 20th February 2019, 06:52 PM   #303
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Surely testimony only happens after you are a theist. I don't see how you can have a a perception of a god's love without first having a belief that a loving god exists. From what I understand, religions have a constant "God is love, God loves you" mantra that any "new recruit" is bound to adopt, repeat and celebrate, regardless of what motivated them to believe in a god to begin with.

I'm suggesting that the victim mentality of accepting they have a problem merely because someone else says they do can cause poor self-image/esteem. That other non-religious things can also do this is irrelevant. Two wrongs don't make a right
Right. I don't disagree with anything you've said there. What I'm saying though is that these testimonies are frequently from people who already feel quite badly about themselves before having any theistic beliefs or involvement in any religious community. This is certainly not true in every case, but these cases are pertinent to the OP I think. As such, the "all have sinned and fallen short" part of the Christian message is encouraging in a "it's okay, none of us is perfect and God doesn't expect us to be" kind of way. The further encouragement that I think often leads to belief is the sense of love and inclusion and hope for change that I mentioned earlier.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
A theist voluntarily choosing to be an active member on a "Sceptics Forum" in which most members are obviously atheists (some strongly so) is a fish voluntarily jumping into the barrel don't you think?
Such a theist would likely carefully consider in which threads to participate and on which to take a pass.

Quote:
But let's examine my signatures . . .

"Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos."
Many theists I know don't accept that god beliefs are paranormal beliefs, so doesn't have to be taken as relating to god beliefs at all. Doesn't mention god beliefs.

"Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated"
An attempt at a humorous parody of the well known "Rumours of my death . . . " quote. It's not like it's overtly saying "God doesn't exist" or "God beliefs are crap".

My posts by far more overtly represent my response to religion than my comparatively benign forum signatures do. How many people even read forum signatures?

Is Thor 2's "Thinking is a faith hazard" signature any better or worse than mine?
I totally understand, your signatures reflect your thoughts, and are mild, humorous, and not atypical within the forum. My comment was not meant to suggest there is anything wrong with them, but to highlight that they, along with some posts, may lead someone to think that it's a bit of a set-up, which in turn, may be counter-productive if you want to encourage participation. I'm not suggesting you change your sigs or your manner of posting, you gotta stay true, I'm just sharing some perspective from my point of view for your consideration.
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Old 20th February 2019, 09:09 PM   #304
ynot
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Right. I don't disagree with anything you've said there. What I'm saying though is that these testimonies are frequently from people who already feel quite badly about themselves before having any theistic beliefs or involvement in any religious community. This is certainly not true in every case, but these cases are pertinent to the OP I think. As such, the "all have sinned and fallen short" part of the Christian message is encouraging in a "it's okay, none of us is perfect and God doesn't expect us to be" kind of way. The further encouragement that I think often leads to belief is the sense of love and inclusion and hope for change that I mentioned earlier.

Such a theist would likely carefully consider in which threads to participate and on which to take a pass.

I totally understand, your signatures reflect your thoughts, and are mild, humorous, and not atypical within the forum. My comment was not meant to suggest there is anything wrong with them, but to highlight that they, along with some posts, may lead someone to think that it's a bit of a set-up, which in turn, may be counter-productive if you want to encourage participation. I'm not suggesting you change your sigs or your manner of posting, you gotta stay true, I'm just sharing some perspective from my point of view for your consideration.
Yep, “staying true” is better and more honest than false niceties and patronising platitudes .
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Old 20th February 2019, 10:58 PM   #305
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Again, first you have to show that theists do, before it means anything. Otherwise again, it's like saying that Longhorn roosters are useless because they don't lay eggs, as opposed to the other roosters, which also don't.
You're wrong about Dostoevsky's argument. This one has two parts:

First: It tries to show that the atheist has no argument to refute cynic's arguments.
Second: It tries to show that only true Christian can do it.

You don't need the second part to discuss the first. Until you get to the second part, what Christians do is irrelevant.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But that's not what I said. I said that unless he did that, then you have no business building him into some authority figure that lends value to some postulate. You're doing a textbook case of the appeal to false authority fallacy.
I never presented Dostoevsky as an authority. I am speaking of a theist argument. It doesn't matter whether it is said by Dostoevsky or his barber.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Also, just to make one thing clear: several of Dostoevsky's claims actually trespass quite overtly on the domain of actual sciences, like sociology, psychology and neuroscience. So, yes, not only they CAN be discussed in terms of actual science, they ARE in the domain of actual sciences.
Can you quote any scientific work that contradicts what Dostoevsky's first point says? Can you quote it here or can't you?
It is obvious that if you cannot quote a single one you do not know what you are talking about. Or perhaps I am not aware of this scientific study. That's why I ask you.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And it seems to me like Dostoevsky himself has put a lot of effort in showing that no, religion doesn't stop people from bending the rules to their own ends. In fact, he outright has a problem with organized religion, as one way to bend those rules in a pretzel. Read the chapter titled "The Grand Inquisitor" for example.
I advise you to read "The Karamazov Brothers" again. The Great Inquisitor is the example that Ivan uses to speak of someone who calls himself a Christian but does not love Christ. He is really a nihilist (cynic). I already told you that Dostoevsky suspects of (some kinds of) the official religion.


Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
You not keeping track isn't my problem. I pointed out what the evidence points pretty firmly to when it comes to the nature of morality and that very much applies here.
What evidence exactly are we talking about? You proclaim that there's evidence against Dostoevsky's argument. This claim is of little use to me. I need to see it to know what you are talking about.




Originally Posted by Aridas View Post

Let's dissect this more directly(…):

Not all social conventions hold the same weight or have roots that are as widespread as others. What this does is lump together, say, a social convention of wearing a bow tie to a kid's 4th birthday, which we'll say was a superficial fad in a small town for a couple years for the sake of this example, and a social convention that one shouldn't throw other people's babies off a cliff, which has a much, much stronger basis and is likely to be effectively permanent and universal among humans (with exceptions for populations that genocides are being committed against).
Killing the children of others seems to be a widespread custom from Yahweh's recommendations till Hiroshima bombing.

But the fact that a conventional standard is very widespread does not mean that it is based on a rational demonstration of any kind or that it is enforceable without exception. A pacifist can refuse to kill children. Or a terrorist (military or not) may believe himself authorized to kill other people's children.

How do you measure the "weight" of different social values? There is a check-weighing for this?

When we talk about an objective system of rules we are talking about a system of rules that cannot be rationally broken and that is valid for any type of community or individual. (Crazy people aside).


Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
This is little more than an emptily asserted answer to that question. What's worse is that this answer demands inconsistency or whimsical arbitrariness in the judging criteria. Game theory, for example, helps to show that the field is immensely wider.

As an aside, this doesn't actually offer an alternative to the primary version of Abrahamic "objective morality." In that, it's "objective" exactly because "God/Allah" is enforcing it with violence and coercion.

ETA:


He overestimates Critias, then. Reminds me of "Tide goes in. Tide goes out. You can't explain that!"
“If rules of community are conventional all is permitted (violence and coercion included)” is empty?
Critias implemented it with remarkable efficacy. I don't know what theory of games has to do with Critias' politics. Can you explain it? Please, explain also the youtube you linked. Too short for me.
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Old 20th February 2019, 11:29 PM   #306
HansMustermann
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David, let's look at it from another angle. Which incidentally is actually the most on topic for this thread: so how do you convince Critias to convert? Do you even HAVE a plan there?

Because the statement "if we consider Critias to be the main enemy, we will have to renounce atheism" is actually stonking stupid, if only you renounce atheism, but Critias doesn't. Because he's the problem in your screwed up world view, not you. If you renounce atheism, but Critias didn't, you didn't even solve the right problem.

That is, even assuming that religion can "defeat" Critias there, which you haven't actually supported with more than ipse-dixit postulates. But let's allow that assumption for the scope of this mental exercise.

And ESPECIALLY after you went No True Scotsman with it, you need Critias to actually believe and love Jesus, not just to fake it. You can't just create a Grand Inquisitor again and make sure Critias better fake it convincingly. (Never mind what Dostoevsky would think about THAT.) If your premises are that only belief and the love of Jesus can keep Critias from doing bad stuff, then you actually need to get him to believe.

So, go on, do just that. I'll play Critias. I have been, in fact. You give me a convincing reason why I should believe and love Jesus.

The current argument obviously hasn't done the trick. In fact, when you retreat into "well, it wouldn't convince an atheist" you outright concede defeat there.

So HOW do you do that? Do you even have a plan?

Because if you assert that abandoning atheism would defeat Critias, but don't show how that all connects from premises to conclusion, then all you have is a bunch of stupid magical thinking. Not a logical argument.
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Old 20th February 2019, 11:33 PM   #307
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Ah. Thanks. Signatures.

I was with you up until the highlighted bit. I think the signatures suggest you have already made up your mind absolutely about theism and that you are prepared (and likely) to strongly refute anything anyone chooses to share. There's no problem doing that (one should expect it on a skeptics forum), but I expect many theist would decline the invitation. It feels a bit too much like "hey fishy, come swim in this nice barrel over here while I check the sights on my rifle" I'm not sure how declining to participate could be an imposition of beliefs on others.
So what you're saying is that if my signature is the most sacred mantra of the Cult Of Cthulhu (which yes, it is,) then you know what I believe in and that I've made up my mind to believe in Cthulhu?
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Old 21st February 2019, 02:01 AM   #308
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
David, let's look at it from another angle. Which incidentally is actually the most on topic for this thread: so how do you convince Critias to convert? Do you even HAVE a plan there?

Because the statement "if we consider Critias to be the main enemy, we will have to renounce atheism" is actually stonking stupid, if only you renounce atheism, but Critias doesn't. Because he's the problem in your screwed up world view, not you. If you renounce atheism, but Critias didn't, you didn't even solve the right problem.

That is, even assuming that religion can "defeat" Critias there, which you haven't actually supported with more than ipse-dixit postulates. But let's allow that assumption for the scope of this mental exercise.

And ESPECIALLY after you went No True Scotsman with it, you need Critias to actually believe and love Jesus, not just to fake it. You can't just create a Grand Inquisitor again and make sure Critias better fake it convincingly. (Never mind what Dostoevsky would think about THAT.) If your premises are that only belief and the love of Jesus can keep Critias from doing bad stuff, then you actually need to get him to believe.

So, go on, do just that. I'll play Critias. I have been, in fact. You give me a convincing reason why I should believe and love Jesus.

The current argument obviously hasn't done the trick. In fact, when you retreat into "well, it wouldn't convince an atheist" you outright concede defeat there.

So HOW do you do that? Do you even have a plan?

Because if you assert that abandoning atheism would defeat Critias, but don't show how that all connects from premises to conclusion, then all you have is a bunch of stupid magical thinking. Not a logical argument.
Convincing Critias is a rhetorical image. I don't think a ruthless tyrant like Critias could be convinced with rational arguments. I am sorry for Plato. What I mean -- or rather, what Dostoevsky meant -- is that an atheist has no rational arguments against cynicism.

(Normally in a discussion with an opponent one does not convince him, but the listeners who have a certain predisposition in the best of cases. But this is another matter).

In my opinion, the flaw in Dostoevsky's reasoning is that he is looking for an absolute truth in morals, which does not exist. That is why his second step is even more irrational: to force himself to believe in Christ as a guarantee of morality. If the first step has a flaw, the second is a flaw in itself. You cannot fight moral utilitarianism, as he does, and defend religious utilitarianism.

If I can force myself to believe in something irrational, I can force myself to believe anything else, and Christ or Cosmic Soul or any other nonsense is good for me as long as it makes me stupidly happy and good. I don't think that's what we mean by moral good.

I think what Dostoevsky was really trying to do was convince himself. All these mystical and passionate Christians either fall into a parallel universe or spend their lives in constant stress at the threat of their faith being false.

Last edited by David Mo; 21st February 2019 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 21st February 2019, 02:11 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Convincing Critias is a rhetorical image. I don't think a ruthless tyrant like Critias could be convinced with rational arguments. I am sorry for Plato. What I mean -- or rather, what Dostoevsky meant -- is that an atheist has no rational arguments against cynicism.
"If you don't behave, we will start a rebellion and hang you!"

Nice argument. Through history has often (but not always) worked.

Hans
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Old 21st February 2019, 02:27 AM   #310
Aridas
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Sounds like an agreement except in matter of degree I have no objection to your objection. I didn't intend to claim a single reason, just a contribution and only as a matter of my opinion. If you're willing, I'd be interested to know what you feel the more important factors are/were.
Fair warning, this first paragraph is entirely skippable, but addresses the thought process at work and gives a bit of background. With that said, I was actually hoping that you wouldn't ask, because it's a little annoying to articulate, even while I expected that you would. To start with, I tend to view tendencies to be self-critical and desire self-improvement to fundamentally be emergent behaviors that arise from the directly salient factors and motivations, rather than much in the way of being important factors themselves. The annoying to articulate part then comes from nature of such emergent behaviors and the distinct incompleteness of taking any of it in isolation. Some of those parts, of course, being more directly relevant to the specific issue, but still notably incomplete. Enough of this for now, though.

I would cite 'Empathy' and the 'desire for suffering to have a greater meaning, rather than just being something senseless that happened in a uncaring reality' as being far more important factors at the root of what's in play. The inherent empathy that (a large majority of) people have will cause discomfort when harm is being done to others. Hence, there a base for the concept of 'sin' to grasp onto easily. This especially applies to criminals, but those with "less" are more motivated to at least seriously contemplate doing harm to make their lot in life better, especially those who may feel driven to do so to survive. As for the second, again, those who suffer more have more reason to want to find something good to try to make it all "worthwhile." You can actually call that something of a trait that is evolutionarily favored for survival.
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Old 21st February 2019, 02:56 AM   #311
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Convincing Critias is a rhetorical image. I don't think a ruthless tyrant like Critias could be convinced with rational arguments. I am sorry for Plato.
Maybe. I've seen nothing about the real Critias to suggest that he was some illogical crazy dude. But that's perhaps a discussion for another thread.

But before you can worry about his rejecting a rational argument for religion, you kinda first have to have one.

Bearing in mind that the real Critias wasn't even an anti-theist, and wouldn't, in fact, even be hostile to Dostoevsky's argument. In fact, he is (disputedly) credited with the first written faith-in-faith argument in recorded history: "a shrewd and clever-minded man invented for mortals a fear of the gods, so that there might be a deterrent for the wicked." So you want to give OTHER people religion, to keep them in line? Critias might even agree there. Hell, he might even take notes for tweaking his reign of terror.

The only problem is that so far you haven't given him any good reason why he too should start believing.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What I mean -- or rather, what Dostoevsky meant -- is that an atheist has no rational arguments against cynicism.
Maybe. But my point all along was that neither does religion. In fact, we can see even in Athens that religion-based morals (their notions of crime and impiety were fundamentally the same originally; see, Euthyphro) couldn't even defend their established position from logical attacks, much less go against some entrenched cynicism and win.

So it's kind of moot to keep harping on how that that guy over there is weak because he can't do X (say, lift a truck with one hand), when nobody else can either.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
(Normally in a discussion with an opponent one does not convince him, but the listeners who have a certain predisposition in the best of cases. But this is another matter).
The problem is that what you just described is sophistry, not logic.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In my opinion, the flaw in Dostoevsky's reasoning is that he is looking for an absolute truth in morals, which does not exist. That is why his second step is even more irrational: to force himself to believe in Christ as a guarantee of morality. If the first step has a flaw, the second is a flaw in itself. You cannot fight moral utilitarianism, as he does, and defend religious utilitarianism.

If I can force myself to believe in something irrational, I can force myself to believe anything else, and Christ or Cosmic Soul or any other nonsense is good for me as long as it makes me stupidly happy and good. I don't think that's what we mean by moral good.

I think what Dostoevsky was really trying to do was convince himself. All these mystical and passionate Christians either fall into a parallel universe or spend their lives in constant stress at the threat of their faith being false.
Yep. That's the fundamental problem: if I can convince myself that some illogical religious doctrine is true, just because it's convenient for me to believe that, then I'll have no problem convincing myself that any other religious doctrine is true, when it becomes even more convenient. Hell, even without abandoning Xianity entirely, I can then convince myself that whatever fringe or even ad-hoc interpretation of it is true, if it's what I'd like to believe. E.g., that Jesus actually wants me to go out and beat up gays.
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:35 AM   #312
Aridas
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What evidence exactly are we talking about? You proclaim that there's evidence against Dostoevsky's argument. This claim is of little use to me. I need to see it to know what you are talking about.
What I had pointed out before had quite demonstrated that there's no need or even good reason to accept that subjective morality is arbitrary or whimsical, regardless of whether it can be loosely classified as invoking conventions. That fact fundamentally and directly refutes the version of Critias' argument presented. And, given the timeline here, it did so preemptively.



Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Killing the children of others seems to be a widespread custom from Yahweh's recommendations till Hiroshima bombing.

But the fact that a conventional standard is very widespread does not mean that it is based on a rational demonstration of any kind or that it is enforceable without exception. A pacifist can refuse to kill children. Or a terrorist (military or not) may believe himself authorized to kill other people's children.
There are two very important questions that you need to answer after this. First, define exactly what you mean by "rational demonstration." Second, why did you bring up the fact that a conventional standard being widespread does not mean that it is based on a rational demonstration of any kind or that it is enforceable without exception as if it was contrary to what I said? After all, for you to state that means that you pointedly weren't paying attention to what was actually said. Not only was there was no such claim advanced, what was said inherently refutes such an interpretation of what I said.


Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
How do you measure the "weight" of different social values? There is a check-weighing for this?


Simple advice. Look at the actual reasons why each "convention" exists, first and foremost. Similarly, look at the actual reasons why each social value is held, for that matter. Once that's actually done, you'll largely have the information you need to answer that and your answer.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
When we talk about an objective system of rules we are talking about a system of rules that cannot be rationally broken and that is valid for any type of community or individual. (Crazy people aside).
Okay. Now what does that have to do with points that repeatedly and specifically state that they're dealing with subjective morality?


Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
“If rules of community are conventional all is permitted (violence and coercion included)” is empty?
Do you realize that you just altered what you had stated was the argument quite dramatically? Other than that, rather than empty, I would call it an "appeal to extremes". "Conventional" is taken to an extreme that's not particularly reflective of the range of actual positions in play, after all, and then abused.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Critias implemented it with remarkable efficacy.
Examples of what you're referring to specifically? Either way, I didn't call it useless. I called it wrong. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't know what theory of games has to do with Critias' politics. Can you explain it?
I could, but... it would take a fair bit of effort and I'm not at all convinced that you would understand, given your demonstrated grasp of English. A very, very short version is that game theory can very much be applied to evolution and the resultant behavioral trends and values held. Coercion and violence are very often NOT favored ways to make things change or happen on examination, though they are in some scenarios. This effectively refutes again the "The only reason is violence and coercion" statement made.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Please, explain also the youtube you linked. Too short for me.
The movement of the tides has long had rational and scientific explanations. In the clip, the speaker is denying that there is any rational or scientific explanation for the movement of the tides and using it as an argument. Critias' argument, as you presented it, especially if it's being cited in present day, is no different. There's long been good answers available and simply denying their existence only makes the argument ridiculous, not good.
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Old 21st February 2019, 07:13 AM   #313
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So what you're saying is that if my signature is the most sacred mantra of the Cult Of Cthulhu (which yes, it is,) then you know what I believe in and that I've made up my mind to believe in Cthulhu?
Laugh. Yes, providing I can translate your signature, and I take it seriously, it might incline me towards believing that.
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Old 21st February 2019, 07:34 AM   #314
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Good old Pascal's Wager had to make a guest appearance.
I don't see that as Pascal's wager - that only works if there is an afterlife.
I'm talking about Divine Retribution in the Here and Now: pestilence on your house, lighting strike, etc.
you going to risk that just so you can stay home on Sunday?
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Old 21st February 2019, 07:42 AM   #315
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Fair warning, this first paragraph is entirely skippable, but addresses the thought process at work and gives a bit of background. With that said, I was actually hoping that you wouldn't ask, because it's a little annoying to articulate, even while I expected that you would. To start with, I tend to view tendencies to be self-critical and desire self-improvement to fundamentally be emergent behaviors that arise from the directly salient factors and motivations, rather than much in the way of being important factors themselves. The annoying to articulate part then comes from nature of such emergent behaviors and the distinct incompleteness of taking any of it in isolation. Some of those parts, of course, being more directly relevant to the specific issue, but still notably incomplete. Enough of this for now, though.

I would cite 'Empathy' and the 'desire for suffering to have a greater meaning, rather than just being something senseless that happened in a uncaring reality' as being far more important factors at the root of what's in play. The inherent empathy that (a large majority of) people have will cause discomfort when harm is being done to others. Hence, there a base for the concept of 'sin' to grasp onto easily. This especially applies to criminals, but those with "less" are more motivated to at least seriously contemplate doing harm to make their lot in life better, especially those who may feel driven to do so to survive. As for the second, again, those who suffer more have more reason to want to find something good to try to make it all "worthwhile." You can actually call that something of a trait that is evolutionarily favored for survival.
Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts. For sure, it's a complex topic; impossible to cover the breadth of it in a forum post. I appreciate your summary of what you feel are some of the key factors though.

I see you emphasize the third person perspective (e.g. observing harm being done to others), which is a good point. I'm also highlighting the first person perspective (recognizing I have done harm to others or harm has been done to me) as being a factor for identifying with the concept of "sin". I appreciate the need to consider both though. Cheers!
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Old 21st February 2019, 07:49 AM   #316
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Laugh. Yes, providing I can translate your signature, and I take it seriously, it might incline me towards believing that.
I can translate it for you. It comes from H.P.Lovecraft's "Call Of Cthulhu" and means, "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." R'lyeh being the sunken (and thoroughly non-euclidean) city where Cthulhu rests.

Edit: just to put into context why that's important: the cultists of Cthulhu await his return, the blessed day when R'lyeh will rise and Cthulhu will return to us. But in the meantime he communicates with his chosen few only via dreams.
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Old 21st February 2019, 08:01 AM   #317
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Maybe. I've seen nothing about the real Critias to suggest that he was some illogical crazy dude. But that's perhaps a discussion for another thread.

But before you can worry about his rejecting a rational argument for religion, you kinda first have to have one.

Bearing in mind that the real Critias wasn't even an anti-theist, and wouldn't, in fact, even be hostile to Dostoevsky's argument. In fact, he is (disputedly) credited with the first written faith-in-faith argument in recorded history: "a shrewd and clever-minded man invented for mortals a fear of the gods, so that there might be a deterrent for the wicked." So you want to give OTHER people religion, to keep them in line? Critias might even agree there. Hell, he might even take notes for tweaking his reign of terror.

The only problem is that so far you haven't given him any good reason why he too should start believing.
"Critias" was the name I chose for the Cynic. True Critias was a sophist (relativist) who was a brutal tyrant of Athens. He is the main figure of a Plato's dialogue. I imagined an unreal situation in which a moralist is debating with him. Religion was a possible moralist issue. The cynical man that use of religion only to scare people is challenged by Dostoevsky's true belief in Christ as source of Love. Of course, this dialogue is fictitious.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Maybe. But my point all along was that neither does religion. In fact, we can see even in Athens that religion-based morals (their notions of crime and impiety were fundamentally the same originally; see, Euthyphro) couldn't even defend their established position from logical attacks, much less go against some entrenched cynicism and win.
Of course. Therefore Dostoevsky is against a purely formal religion. For him religion is Love and only Love. (He didn’t ever be coherent in this, but I am not speaking of flesh and blood Dostoevsky).

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Old 21st February 2019, 08:16 AM   #318
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
"Critias" was the name I chose for the Cynic. True Critias was a sophist (relativist) who was a brutal tyrant of Athens. He is the main figure of a Plato's dialogue. I imagined an unreal situation in which a moralist is debating with him. Religion was a possible moralist issue. The cynical use of religion only to scare people is challenged by Dostoevsky's true belief in Christ as source of Love. Of course, this dialogue is fictitious.
Well, sure. Of course, even. My point is just that any kind of defeating Critias (yours or the real one) by religion -- again, assuming that would actually work at all as Dostoevsky imagines -- involves getting him to truly belive in Christ. If he's just faking it and, as you put it, making cynical use of religion for his own purposes, as you note, that hasn't solved anything at all.

So what I'm getting at is simply that until you find a way to persuade Critias to start really believing, religion can't do anything to sort him out either.
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Old 21st February 2019, 08:28 AM   #319
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I can translate it for you. It comes from H.P.Lovecraft's "Call Of Cthulhu" and means, "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." R'lyeh being the sunken (and thoroughly non-euclidean) city where Cthulhu rests.

Edit: just to put into context why that's important: the cultists of Cthulhu await his return, the blessed day when R'lyeh will rise and Cthulhu will return to us. But in the meantime he communicates with his chosen few only via dreams.
Cool. I just read some reviews on it. I'll have to see if I can find a copy.
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Old 21st February 2019, 08:47 AM   #320
David Mo
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
What I had pointed out before had quite demonstrated that there's no need or even good reason to accept that subjective morality is arbitrary or whimsical, regardless of whether it can be loosely classified as invoking conventions. That fact fundamentally and directly refutes the version of Critias' argument presented. And, given the timeline here, it did so preemptively.

There are two very important questions that you need to answer after this. First, define exactly what you mean by "rational demonstration." Second, why did you bring up the fact that a conventional standard being widespread does not mean that it is based on a rational demonstration of any kind or that it is enforceable without exception as if it was contrary to what I said? After all, for you to state that means that you pointedly weren't paying attention to what was actually said. Not only was there was no such claim advanced, what was said inherently refutes such an interpretation of what I said.

(...)

I could, but... it would take a fair bit of effort and I'm not at all convinced that you would understand, given your demonstrated grasp of English. A very, very short version is that game theory can very much be applied to evolution and the resultant behavioral trends and values held. Coercion and violence are very often NOT favored ways to make things change or happen on examination, though they are in some scenarios. This effectively refutes again the "The only reason is violence and coercion" statement made.
Asking an infinite number of questions is a way of doing that they cannot be answered. Especially if you answer a question with another question. Excuse me but I don't have time to follow that path. I will stick to some of them.

I asked you what evidence you have against Dostoevsky and you tell me that your opinions are evidence. That is an assertion not supported any more than by your own opinions. I thought you were talking about verifiable evidence. I see it was not so.

My command of English is enough to realize that you have no interest in discussing but in slipping as an eel. This "you say I said what I didn't say but now I say what I didn't say before" is one way of wasting others' time. No game theory is needed to say that "Coercion and violence are very often NOT favored ways to make things change". This is obvious. But you attribute it to Critias and this is not what Critias says or what I said he said. For what it's worth, what Critias said is that the law of the nomos (social) is conventional and that only the law of the strongest is natural. And Critias was not talking about changing anything, but about justifying his absolute power, which was based on force.

Critias' argument is not just to deny that the law of nomos is conventional in 19'', but that no one has been able to prove that it is natural (i.e. objective). Of course he states this after discarding the reasons given by others. This has nothing to do with a 19'' video in which an individual says that tides cannot be explained. I suppose he has given reasons before such a surprising statement and they will be as surprising as his statement.
Since I don't know them, I can't discuss them and I'm not interested in them.

(This is a correct way to explain a misunderstanding and not what you do. I hope you realize the differences. I start to get a little tired. You will forgive me if I abandon you for a while).

Last edited by David Mo; 21st February 2019 at 09:19 AM.
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