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Atheism is absurd


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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 7:14:08 PM PST
Ariex says:
lenf says: "I always thought it was "God walks in mysterious ways." With a lurching limp, maybe. I guess I was wrong. :-) "Bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep, we will come rejoicing, bringing in the sheep..."

Ariex: I assume those sheep have been thoroughly fleeced..........

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 7:24:31 PM PST
Ariex says:
Aromatic Bovine on the Alpine says: "The same has been argued against theism: that it's the evolutionary result of intelligent minds attempting to deal with the unknown, particularly the prospect of non-existence."

Ariex: Makes sense.

Aromatic Bovine on the Alpine says: "It would make theism an absurd fiction to which people adhere as a survival trait."

Ariex: That makes sense, too. Nice going.

Aromatic Bovine on the Alpine says: "Now empathy, so described, would also be the product of an absurd illusion."

Ariex: Products of absurd illusions can still be useful in social dynamics. We are driven to action by what we believe, and the actions themselves are often useful to individuals and groups. ( and extremely dangerous to other individuals and groups, in some cases).

Aromatic Bovine on the Alpine says: "Yet, what fascinates me is to read the arguments that seem to portray empathy as having some transcendant value."

Ariex: Does a hammer have transcendant value when it is used to drive nails? Does empathy have transcendant value when it drives people to act for the common good? Does something need transcendant value in order to be functunal in the real world, or do some people merely cling to the idea that things must be eternal to have any value at all?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 7:29:42 PM PST
I just read a few posts. Those who do not believe in the existence of God seem to argue that there is no objective meaning but there is subjective meaning, that is, they find meaning in what they feel. It seems that one may argue that, therefore, the meaning that they apply to their existence is merely an illusion of meaning and not actually meaning or purpose. This existence having no objective purpose/meaning has, therefore, no real purpose/meaning; reality is meaningless. Has Bovine says, everything "will ultimately come to the same meaningless end." And since one's life will meet that same end, ultimately, whatever meaning they regard their life to have had will also be subject to that same "will ultimately come to the same meaningless end".

I would have to agree, the atheist, although regarding their life to have meaning, is, nevertheless, "living a fantasy as if life has meaning" when, in fact, it does not. Subjective meaning does not give true meaning to life. The atheist seems merely walking along while holding out his hands in the empty dark, "feeling" (subjectively) that he has taken hold of something where there is in reality (objectively) nothing.

"...Look! this flesh how it crumbles to dust and is blown!
These bones, how they grind in the granite of frost and are nothing!
This skull, how it yawns for a flicker of time in the darkness,
Yet laughs not and sees not!"

Conrad Aiken (1889-1973), U.S. poet, novelist. Tetéelestai (l. 68-71).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 7:36:00 PM PST
Ariex says:
Nelson Banuchi says: "Subjective meaning does not give true meaning to life."

Ariex: Maybe that's the best reality has to offer. It is quite possible that there is no "true meaning" to life after all. The theist often assumes that, because we WANT something to exist, it must therefore exist for us to have. This is an emotional argument that gives comfort. It is this feeling of comfort that is often mistakenly thought to be logic. If it "feels right", it must be logical. Sorry, but no.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 7:45:04 PM PST
Aromatic says: "The logical outcome of true atheism is nihilism."

JC: This line should actually read "*When filtered through my mindset*", the logical outcome of true atheism is nihilism."

Fortunately, that is not actually the case; in the real world, the thoughts of non-believers (most, anyway) simply do not conform to your theory. Your idea is dead in the water due to that simple fact.

You cannot force us to think in a certain way simply because you have a "theory" on why we should.

Aromatic: "Since the universe will eventually wither away to nothing..."

JC: Another mistake of yours- assuming that what occurs billions of years from now necessarily and directly affects the immediate thoughts and actions of non-believers in the here-and-now, and in the way that you suggest. And not to mention in the stereotypical way that you paint us all with the broad stroke.

Aromatic: No one I know lives out these premises.

JC: But of course not, and there's a good reason for it. You know no one like this because again, non-believers don't think in the way that you would like to portray them. It's simple, actually.

Aromatic: The most die-hard atheist suspends his disbelief in order to function.

JC: How silly. Forget "when the universe withers away" in billions of years; I believe I'm going to die within a few short decades, and don't expect to see an afterlife. I wish you could witness how well I'm functioning, and I haven't "suspended" anything- disbelief or otherwise.

Your theory is seriously flawed because, as several have pointed out to you, something does not have to be eternal for it to have "meaning". It may be true, as one example you use, that an act of heroism might not have "meaning" if and when the universe ends in billions of years. That is completely irrelevant, however, to the "meaning" it has now.

Aside from that, I am requesting, as Michael H. has, that you now state simply and clearly what your "point" of all of this might be.

Posted on Feb 12, 2012 7:57:04 PM PST
lenf says: "I always thought it was "God walks in mysterious ways." With a lurching limp, maybe. I guess I was wrong. :-) 

Aries,

"Bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep, we will come rejoicing, bringing in the sheep..." 

You're kidding though, right?  You do know it's Bringing In the Sheeves...?

Everyone else - I cant imagine anything that has "meaning" for humans that is anything but subjective. I'm not talking about food, shelter, the necessities. It's different, based on the time you live in, culture you live in, the family, your friends and so on. Name something that you deem important, meaningful and there are others who will not find it so.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 8:04:06 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 12, 2012 8:05:14 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 9:39:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2012 9:42:22 PM PST
AxeGrrl says:
Nelson Banuchi wrote: "Those who do not believe in the existence of God seem to argue that there is no objective meaning but there is subjective meaning, that is, they find meaning in what they feel. It seems that one may argue that, therefore, the meaning that they apply to their existence is merely an illusion of meaning and not actually meaning or purpose."
~~~~

Why on earth are you dismissing subjective meaning as "not actually meaning"? Who are you to dictate that ONLY 'objective meaning' (which has never been demonstrated to _exist_) IS meaning?

Meaning is _inherently_ subjective. Nothing is 'meaningful' in a vacuum. Things are meaningful because they're meaningful TO someone.

*mind boggled*

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 9:41:08 PM PST
AxeGrrl says:
Aromatic wrote: "The logical outcome of true atheism is nihilism."

Jetto Canettos replied: "This line should actually read "*When filtered through my mindset*", the logical outcome of true atheism is nihilism."'
~~~~

Exactly!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 9:50:04 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 19, 2012 1:25:11 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 12, 2012 9:51:06 PM PST
Axe

High Five!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 10:27:50 PM PST
Re Axegrrl, 2-12 9:39 PM: It is necessary to carefully distinguish "objective meaning" from "objective evidence." Those who posit the existence of a deity are often asked to provide objective evidence. So far, none have succeeded.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 7:26:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2012 9:37:41 AM PST
>It seems that one may argue that, therefore, the meaning that they apply to their existence is merely an illusion of meaning

Well, Nelson, it's funny you should mention that, since most of us atheists say that is an exact description of religion.

But if you are confident that the existence of God supplies "true" meaning, let's consider the case of a child born in Somalia, who never knows her father, whose mother picks her up and joins a trail of refugees heading for a camp in Kenya to escape Somalia's Islamic militia and death by starvation, who finally reaches a camp where there is not enough food and inadequate medical supplies, and who dies at 3 years of age of malnutrition and/or a disease.

If God exists, please tell us how this fact supplies the "true" meaning of the child's existence.

Or, alternatively, admit that you're just whistling in the dark, the same as you claim that atheists are.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 9:12:06 AM PST
It's actually "Bringing in the sheaves," not sheeves.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 11:32:57 AM PST
zoltán says:
"It's actually "Bringing in the sheaves," not sheeves.'

Sheeves are preferable to shivs.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 11:54:14 AM PST
ABOTA says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 11:55:09 AM PST
ABOTA says:
"It is quite possible that there is no "true meaning" to life after all."

Yet, we all act as if there is. Which is my point.

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 12:03:58 PM PST
Worshipping the arbitrary beliefs of a semi-primitive culture seems counterproductive to me. They dreamt up this stuff to make sense of their world. One can't blame them. However, knowledge has advanced and made the mysticism a bit obsolete.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 12:07:16 PM PST
Rev. Otter says:
<<However, knowledge has advanced and made the mysticism a bit obsolete.>>

which is why they're using the products of that advancement of knowledge (eg, computers and world-spanning information networks) to agrue AGAINST that knowledge, and FOR that mysticism.

i do adore irony.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 12:26:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2012 12:28:24 PM PST
Brian Curtis says:
""It is quite possible that there is no "true meaning" to life after all."

'Yet, we all act as if there is.'

How so? Or rather, how would we act if we knew all of our meaning was internally-generated (as atheists, humanists, and agonostics DO indeed know)? Would you be able to spot the difference?

When atheists go about their lives making value judgements, planning for the future, caring for their loved ones... how does that automatically become "acting as if meaning were inherent and objective"? You're just CLAIMING that those behaviors align with objective meaining; but what if they also align perfectly well with subjective meaning too?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 2:21:43 PM PST
Bubba says:
To me it announces 'bullcrap'.

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 4:10:23 PM PST
D. Stepp says:
There is a school of thought that states that every god ever worshipped is a manifestation of the true ineffable divine ground of existence. In other words "god" transcends every form with which the imagination chooses to endow it. The problem with atheism is that in it's positivist aspect it tends to be nothing but a Darwinian materialism. As if the cosmos can be explained by purely causal hypotheses. Yes the dung beetle rolls up dung to lay his eggs in, of course, but WHY? The pure contingency of it points in the direction of the essential and immutable Mystery of Creation.
We take modern fundamentalism to be a true and adequate expression of religion and this is where we fall into error. Spiritually speaking we have de-evolved from a world where everything is sacred to one in which nothing is.
Of course modern Christianity is garbage but this is because it is de-sacralized and does not truly determine it's adherents' core values. It is a mask donned to cover up a materialism (or in Biblical terms Mammon worship) identical to the atheist/muslim/jew....ethically there is simply no difference between them. It's a mere fashion statement. What does the Christian do? Give all his money away to the poor and live as an ascetic? No, he chases the dollar, the real god, just as everyone else does. Man has lost the ability to sublimate his experience on Earth into a high symbolism, in other words to give birth to Gods.
It is a frightfully superficial view of history to view religion merely as bad science. That is only what it has degenerated into in the present day. In fact nothing human exists, even the skepsis of the modern critical spirit without roots in religious thought. Even group sex has a religious origin!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 6:19:06 PM PST
"There is a school of thought that states that every god ever worshipped is a manifestation of the true ineffable divine ground of existence. In other words "god" transcends every form with which the imagination chooses to endow it."

There are people who believe some variation of this. The question is, what actual *evidence* supports that belief? In other words, by what means do we determine whether or not the belief is actually true?

"The problem with atheism is that in it's positivist aspect it tends to be nothing but a Darwinian materialism."

This is false. Atheism can be of the "weak atheism" variety, which is nothing more than the state of *lacking* one belief - the belief in the existence of Deities. "Strong atheism" takes the stance that "No Deities exist"... but says nothing of what else does or does not exist.

"As if the cosmos can be explained by purely causal hypotheses."

And what reason do we have to believe that it can't? Furthermore, even if purely causal hypotheses are insufficient, that tells us nothing about what *is* required.

"Yes the dung beetle rolls up dung to lay his eggs in, of course, but WHY?"

To ask "Why?" implies that one is seeking to uncover some *purpose* behind the existence / behavior of dung beetles. There may well not be any, besides something along the lines of "It behaves this way as a result of the evolutionary pathway of its species."

"The pure contingency of it points in the direction of the essential and immutable Mystery of Creation."

No, it's that the *assumption* of the questioner leads to their confirmation bias coloring their perceptions when observing reality.

"We take modern fundamentalism to be a true and adequate expression of religion and this is where we fall into error. Spiritually speaking we have de-evolved from a world where everything is sacred to one in which nothing is.
Of course modern Christianity is garbage but this is because it is de-sacralized and does not truly determine it's adherents' core values. It is a mask donned to cover up a materialism (or in Biblical terms Mammon worship) identical to the atheist/muslim/jew....ethically there is simply no difference between them. It's a mere fashion statement. What does the Christian do? Give all his money away to the poor and live as an ascetic? No, he chases the dollar, the real god, just as everyone else does. Man has lost the ability to sublimate his experience on Earth into a high symbolism, in other words to give birth to Gods.
It is a frightfully superficial view of history to view religion merely as bad science. That is only what it has degenerated into in the present day. In fact nothing human exists, even the skepsis of the modern critical spirit without roots in religious thought. Even group sex has a religious origin!"

That's a lot of verbiage... but I'm not at all sure that it contributes to an actual worthwhile point.

Could you re-phrase the above, please?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 6:55:17 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 6:56:56 PM PST
Mr. Krinkle says:
ABOTA: Yet, we all act as if there is. Which is my point.

K: No, we don't all act as if there is "true meaning" to life, if by this you mean intrinsic, objective meaning to life.
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