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BS: New things about atheism

Mrrzy 20 Oct 07 - 01:05 PM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 07 - 11:25 PM
Bill D 19 Oct 07 - 10:40 PM
Donuel 19 Oct 07 - 05:27 PM
Amos 19 Oct 07 - 05:06 PM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 07 - 04:34 PM
Bill D 19 Oct 07 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Oct 07 - 03:32 PM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 07 - 03:21 PM
Bill D 19 Oct 07 - 03:14 PM
Bill D 19 Oct 07 - 03:08 PM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 07 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Oct 07 - 02:14 PM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 07 - 01:18 PM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 07 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM
Little Hawk 18 Oct 07 - 10:24 PM
M.Ted 18 Oct 07 - 10:20 PM
Little Hawk 18 Oct 07 - 08:25 PM
Amos 18 Oct 07 - 08:07 PM
robomatic 18 Oct 07 - 07:49 PM
Bill D 18 Oct 07 - 02:44 PM
Donuel 18 Oct 07 - 02:04 PM
Mrrzy 18 Oct 07 - 01:58 PM
Amos 17 Oct 07 - 10:52 PM
Riginslinger 17 Oct 07 - 10:02 PM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 07 - 09:45 PM
Riginslinger 17 Oct 07 - 09:32 PM
Neil D 17 Oct 07 - 09:00 PM
Amos 17 Oct 07 - 08:47 PM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 07 - 08:41 PM
Nickhere 17 Oct 07 - 07:51 PM
Riginslinger 17 Oct 07 - 07:14 PM
Amos 17 Oct 07 - 06:56 PM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 07 - 06:06 PM
Jeri 17 Oct 07 - 05:28 PM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 07 - 05:09 PM
Amos 17 Oct 07 - 04:51 PM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 07 - 03:49 PM
Riginslinger 17 Oct 07 - 02:26 PM
Amos 17 Oct 07 - 02:09 PM
Riginslinger 18 Sep 07 - 01:15 PM
Little Hawk 18 Sep 07 - 12:59 PM
Amos 18 Sep 07 - 10:46 AM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 07 - 10:27 AM
Mrrzy 26 Jul 07 - 07:38 PM
Little Hawk 09 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM
Mrrzy 09 Jul 07 - 07:25 PM
Little Hawk 09 Jul 07 - 06:53 PM
Riginslinger 09 Jul 07 - 06:18 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Oct 07 - 01:05 PM

robomatic - your dad had it bang on!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 11:25 PM

I think that $30 an hour would entirely satisfy me, Donuel.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 10:40 PM

Oh, it's embedded all right! Right up to the metaphorical eyeballs.

But it still resonates with subjective recognition of eternal verities!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 05:27 PM

what are you worth?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 05:06 PM

The hard part of your metaphor, good Mr D, is deeply embedded in the use of the word "wrong".


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 04:34 PM

Well, let's put it this way, Bill...I'm not getting paid nearly what I am worth. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 04:32 PM

"In that case, why even bother? ;-) "

Oft do I ask myself that....but I could ask others the same. ;>)

(alternate line.."You mean YOU'RE not getting paid, too?")

I guess it's like the remark I read years ago, which originally referred to manual tasks..

"The hardest thing in the world - to know how to do something - to watch others doing it wrong - and to refrain from comment."


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 03:32 PM

It's people who try to convert everyone else who are the plague on this Earth, and I think that is just as true of aggressive atheists as it is of aggressive religious prosyletizers. They both are arrogant enough to imagine that they have the right, even the moral imperative to dominate and control somebody else's basic way of thinking. They don't.

   I agree entirely.
   George Carlin compared religion to lifts for your shoes. They may help you walk taller and straighter, but that doesn't give you the right to nail them on other peoples feet. The same applies to confrontational or institutional atheists who would try to forcefully remove them.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 03:21 PM

Yeah, I saw # 500 open, Bill, but I figured...aww...let Chongo have it this time. Then it turns he got distracted by something and missed it. Oh, well...

You said "it often takes 5 times as much nit-picking care to refute it as he took to make it".

In that case, why even bother? ;-) I mean, it's not like you're getting paid or anything... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 03:14 PM

and I'm trying to think how to explain my claim that Kant's position on this really says and/or clarifies very little about what can or can't be said about Reality and possibility.

When someone, like the author in CSM, makes a broad assertion about implications, it often takes 5 times as much nit-picking care to refute it as he took to make it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 03:08 PM

someone is asleep....500th post


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 02:30 PM

Yes. That it (the religious vision) is essentially the same thing in most cases, but clothed in different cultural clothing, is clear. The only question is whether its reality is limited to being only within the mind of the beholder of the vision or whether the beholder is tapping into a much larger reality that is, in fact, universally present...and potentially available therefore to all people. Spirituality usually assumes the latter, materialism assumes the former.

And neither you nor I is in a position to prove that one way or another. We simply have our opinions (or our best guesses) about it, and our opinions are based on our own subjective nature, the people and books we've been influenced by, and how we perceive life and our place in it.

And that's fine with me. I don't have to prove it one way or another, and I KNOW I can't prove it one way or another, nor can anyone else, except to themselves, and then only through direct personal experience. Other people are usually not too inclined to give credence to someone's direct personal experience if it doesn't already match their own chosen assumptions quite closely. ;-) This is as true of atheists as it is of spiritually-minded or religious people.

It's people who try to convert everyone else who are the plague on this Earth, and I think that is just as true of aggressive atheists as it is of aggressive religious prosyletizers. They both are arrogant enough to imagine that they have the right, even the moral imperative to dominate and control somebody else's basic way of thinking. They don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 02:14 PM

I believe that they are all actually the same thing, a thing that exists WITHIN the mind of the one perceiving them. Call it an idea, an ideal, a vision or an hallucination. It is the thing itself being shaped by cultural expectations, not just the interpretation of it.
   Religions do start out as local and regional and primitive attempts to come to terms with fear of the unknown as well as reverance for their dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 01:18 PM

Religions, by the way, all start out as local and regional attempts by people to describe something divine in terms they can relate to. They attempt to define the indefinable, thus making it comprehensible to at least some degree. They must do that in order to relate to it.

So how do you know that Saint Michael, Krishna, Thor, Quetzalcoatl, and Mescalito are not all actually the same thing or a very closely related thing, just interpreted through a different set of cultural expectations?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 01:09 PM

Oh, well, this poodle knew that the animals on the TV weren't real...in the sense of actually being in the room physically, I mean...but she knew also that they were depictions or projections of real animals. This was evidenced by the fact that she attempted neither to approach nor to flee from animals she would normally have approached or fled from, but she got very excited about them.

She knew she was safe, accordingly, but she could not help commenting on a matter of interest by barking and carrying on about it.

Now, all of our other dogs reacted only to sounds from the TV, not to pictures. She was the only one who saw the projected image for what it was. The others saw simply a meaningless, flickering box.

It was not heightened vision that enabled the poodle to correctly interpret the images, in my opinion, it was a heightened ability in her to interpret the visual input. People from certain tribal cultures have great difficulty interpreting 2 dimensional art. For instance, when T.E. Lawrence sketched pictures while sitting at a campfire with Bedouins they could not see anything intelligible in the drawings, even when he explained each part to them. They saw only meaningless marks on paper (and Lawrence's drawing were quite clear to anyone familiar with visual realistic art). The reason the Bedouins could not "see" the pictures Lawrence drew had nothing to do with their eyesight. It had to do with how their minds interpreted what they were looking at. They were completely unfamiliar with such pictures, and did not have the mental "software" to decode them, though they certainly had the hardware.

In similar fashion, many of the Natives who first saw the Conquistadors ships offshore were at first completely unable to comprehend...or in some cases even to see those ships. They later developed the ability to see them, no problem, after they developed some familiarity with the sight and could relate to and interpret it correctly.

Mind is the king of perception. The hardware is useless if the software is not there to guide it.

What people in advanced spiritual disciplines do is, they learn new and more advanced mental software. That enables them to perceive what many people cannot...but they cannot prove it to someone else who can't even perceive it...nor would they generally feel impelled to.

Proving things is only important to people who have something to prove, if you know what I mean... ;-)

I've never met a disbeliever in anything somewhat unusual who didn't act like he had something to prove...mainly that his way of seeing things is the ONLY right way there is to see things. That would be highly unlikely.

The reason that people in different cultures see different forms of sacred visions, and usually forms that suit their culture, is simple:

The Sacred is a form of highly intelligent energy. It's not limited to any physical structure or any fixed image. It is interpreted by the person who sees the vision strictly through the person's own available software. Thus one person sees a Christian saint or Angel, another sees a Buddhist saint, another sees a Nature Spirit...whatever...they are all essentially seeing varieties of much the same thing, but they're translating it with the only language they know...their own stored mental images. Their mental images arise spontaneously and clothe that which is beyond descibing into something they can describe. And that's perfectly natural.

I'm sure that if rabbits had religious visions, they'd mostly see rabbit gods and sacred beings...they might see a "wolf" devil...and for them, that would be absolutely right. They would simply be seeing a higher expression of what they themselves are or what they deal with in life, and that's what people do. They see the representation of their ideal or their deepest love or their deepest fear. Their mind shapes it that way.

What is the Divine? It's simply the highest expression(s) of what we are. It's our full potential in manifestation. It's pure thought, prior to physical manifestation, and it's the original and limitless source of all physicality.

If you don't believe in it or see it...no problem. You've obviously got other work to do instead, and that's okay. Everyone (hopefully) does what suits them.

In Joan of Arc's case, it would have been completely useless to her mission if she had seen Mescalito! Or Krishna. Or Buddha. Or Zoroaster. ;-) No one in her society could have related to that, herself included, and it would probably have gotten her accused of witchcraft before liberating France, not afterward! She needed to see her visions in a way that would be relevant and useful to a peasant girl in a Christian nation in the 1400's. So she saw Saint Michael, and later Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. That was powerfully useful to the nation of France. It accomplished full-blown miracles, in fact, considering the political and military situation at the time. It was so incredible that it stands almost alone in human chronicles to this day as about the most unselfish and courageous act imaginable by a young person in a society where only men were expected to go to war.

The mind must try to interpret what it sees, and it does so as best it can through prior experience and memory gleaned in this lifetime...through its available stored software, in other words. That's all a mind can do.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM

Little Hawk, Interesting analogy of the dog who had the awareness to show interest to animals on a TV screen. But here is another way to look at it. I once own a beagle, a breed known above all else for it's sense of smell. I noticed that he never paid attention to animals on a television with this one exception: if a dog barked or wolf howled in the distance on a show, a distance that would normally be out of the range of his nose in real life, his ears would perk up the same as if it was outside somewhere. Anything else he totally ignored. My theory was that because he relied on his smell more than any other sense he instinctively knew that what he could see on TV wasn't real.(I watcehed him track a rabbit once and he followed every zig and zag of the rabbit even though it was clearly visible 20 feet in front of him in a straight line. He never looked up but kept his nose an inch off the ground.)
    Not to denigrate your dog but is it possible that showing interest in animals on television could have been from a defficiency in its sense of smell as much as from heightened vision or even both?
It is common in animals and humans that a defficiency of one sense is compensated by a strengthening of others.
    I'm not sure what implication this has regarding our discussion of Kant, except that maybe people who are not as rooted in our five sensory reality are more spiritual. Perhaps this is why seers and shamans commonly use hallucinogenic drugs in seeking revelation.
    The fact that Joan of Arc was spoken to by a Christian God and Native Americans of the southwest see Mescalito when ingesting peyote and other peoples percieve deities from their own belief system when seeking visions, might speak to the relativist nature of even heightened awareness.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 10:24 PM

So true.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 10:20 PM

Kant's message conveys the idea that we are not as smart as we think we are, and that we shouldn't take ourselves so seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 08:25 PM

I concur with Amos on all of that. Every lifeform has its own presumptions about what is real and what isn't, based exclusively on its natural abilities and powers of observation. Most dogs, for example, are keen observers when it comes to auditory and olfactory data...not quite so keen when it comes to visual data...but the vast majority of them are completely unable to recognize 2-dimensional visual data in the form of a painting, a drawing, or a video screen.

Still, there is the rare dog who can recognize things in a film on a video screen. I've seen direct evidence of that in the case of 1 specific dog we owned over the years. While most of them completely ignored images on a video screen, this one did recognize animals and people in videos. It was unconcerned about the people...but very concerned about the animals...even if they were cartoon animals! It knew that a cartoon animal was a representation OF an animal.

That particular dog had an unusual gift of observation which most dogs seem to be quite incapable of...though they never miss indentifying a sound that comes from a TV or radio, providing it's a sound of something that concerns them, such as a cat or another dog or some kind of animal.

It's all a matter of perception. Human beings are also generally limited in their perceptions, but some humans show unusual abilities to perceive what many cannot. Part of the point of spiritual disciplines in a variety of cultures is to stir latent human abilities to perceive things which the average person doesn't perceive.

The spiritual search does NOT require belief in a deity. It does not require a deity at all. It simply requires a recognition that there is much yet to be discovered about existence, and that some of it will not necessarily be discoverable through means which are physically verifiable in a lab. Some experiences are inner not outer. Therefore they can only BE experienced by the person who is having the experience. That is not to say that they aren't real. They just aren't physical, that's all.

Science is concerned with physical things, energy, and observable phenomena. Spirituality is concerned with meaning and with inner experience.

Science looks at the objective. Spirituality looks at the subjective. Anyone who IS genuinely spiritual and at all well educated is perfectly happy to trust science to deal with the objective world...I know I am. Let science do what it is designed to do, because it's very good at that. Let spirituality impart meaning to the world of objectivity, because that's what it is designed to do.

As for doctrinaire religions...well, I'm not much interested in them, but they serve some people fine, and that's okay with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 08:07 PM

Well, since I seem to have inherited the role here of Angel's Advocate, the presumed tautology is not as presented. He argues that because our methods of knowing are bounded by our ability to perceive, experience and know, and that those methods are in turn defined by the organic means of acquiring data (bodily perceptic channels) that we are in a self-proving tautological loop if we say that by this means we can someday parse all of reality.

But Mrrzy's point is a strong one -- chaos theory was not derived from sesory observation, so much as theoretical analysis, the patterning of mental constructs to solve mathematics that have some time back taken departure from the purely sensory channels of perception and wandered into the manipulation of ideational forms.

What he is saying is not that "reality is bounded by reality" but that reasons based wholly on organic channels of awareness will be unable to acquire data concerning reality outside that boundary. NOT material reality but other "existence" if you prefer.

This does not assert that other realities such as deity do exist, but that they should not be dismissed on the basis of materialistic method.

I have made the same argument a number of times -- measuring and computing on ideational structures born from bodily perceptic channels is a closed system of perception and reality.

This observation does not make an assertions about what previously unmeasured reality might have in it, if our means of acquiring data were able to operate on those "bands", to use a material term.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 07:49 PM

I like the following definition:

Tongue in cheek:
Atheist: "One with no invisible means of support."

from my father:
"Religion is the awe in which we hold our ignorance."


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 02:44 PM

It is important to separate what Kant said from that attempt to draw too many implications from Kant's premises.

As stated, the 'refutation' is not much more than a complex, erudite tautology. Kant begins with a statement that "all knowlege begins with experience", and yes, does go on to suggest that we have no other input other than our experience, and thus cannot be sure that we can 'know' all reality this way.....but David Hume begins with a similar statement, and draws VERY different conclusions from it.

It is hardly a "bulwark against atheism" to show that 'we only know what we know'. This hardly implies that what we DON'T know is likely to exist somewhere in reality.

   Kant was, indeed, pretty smart...smart enough to not be lured by his own logic into specious claims about it's implications....unlike that author in the CSM.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 02:04 PM

Proof of the afterlife was submitted by the Catholic Church yesterday in the form of a photo of flames in the shape of the late Pope John Paul.

Pope Ratslinger said it was indeed a picture of his holiness.

I only aks why flames? Do you suspect that John Paul did not get through the pearly gates?

This just in...

Famed author Hitchens was struck and killed by a bus while pushing a 80 year old nun out of harms way.
THe Catholic Church claims to have proof that Hitchens went to hell by submitting a picture of Hitchens in the shape of clouds and cherubims.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 01:58 PM

Neil D- indeed.
Also, Kant's Critique predated a lot of technology that has allowed us to examine all kinds of things that we can't directly perceive with our 5 senses. Look at dark matter (well, not literally look at, exactly, but you know what I mean!), and relativity, and quantum physics.

And let's take a deeper look at this paragraph: The Fallacy of the Enlightenment is the glib assumption that there is only one limit to what human beings can know – reality itself. This view says we can find out more and more until eventually there is nothing more to discover. It holds that human reason and science can, in principle, unmask the whole of reality.
1) Fallacy: calling it that begs the question, no?
2) How is it an assumption that reality is limited by reality? For it to BE an assumption presupposes that reality is NOT all there is, i.e. that the supernatural is real. Again, begs the question.
3) How does reality being the only reality mean that we could ever run out of questions? You can always ask another question, so there will always be things to be found out. Especially if you allow technology into the equation.
4) Even if human reason and science COULD unmask the whole of reality, what would be the problem with that? let's say we COULD actually understand ALL of physics and chemistry etc, we would still have chaos theory preventing us from, say, predicting the weather more than a few days in advance (which was discovered by human research, of course), and even if we could, how would this mean that reality ISN'T all there is? Unless you are coming from the assumption that it isn't, of course, as was Kant.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 10:52 PM

No doubt, Rig!!

I'm a secular humanist as well. I just leak a little on the spiritual side.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 10:02 PM

Well, I guess we can all agree that Immanuel Kant was a pretty smart guy.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 09:45 PM

Everyone with a questioning mind desperately tries to make sense of the Universe around him... ;-) It's normal to do that. It indicates curiosity and imagination.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 09:32 PM

"So you think his proposition about the bounding of the perceivable universe was hallucinatory?"

             Of course there are things man has not discovered, but that doesn't mean they are not discoverable.

             I think Kant was desparately trying to make sense of the world he lived in. He went as far as he could with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Neil D
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 09:00 PM

Amos, I think I'm following Kant's argument thusly: Since there may be reality beyond the perception of our five senses, there may exist a deity that we would not be aware of. Of course there may not be a deity but since we can't be sure one way or another atheism becomes illogical.
   Does his theory mean that agnosticism is the most logical position regarding the existence of God(s)?
   I personally think his argument supports my own theory of Irrelevantism (my own word). If a deity may or may not exist in a dimmension that we cannot perceive, then what possible relevance could said deity have for us, especially in the practicality of our day-to-day existence.
   I used to like telling evangellical types that I was an atheist just for the shock value, but it wasn't really true. Now I just say I'm a Secular Humanist. They hate that just as much.
                                                   Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 08:47 PM

Rigin:

So you think his proposition about the bounding of the perceivable universe was hallucinatory? And conversely that there must not be any reality outside the limits of those bounds?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 08:41 PM

By the way, Amos, I agree very much with Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason", and I think he has hit the nail right on the head, as the saying goes.

None of my foregoing comments were in any way connected to your post about Kant's critique.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 07:51 PM

Amos,

I'd have to add one to that book list:

Why Y2K? - What the Millennium is REALLY all about. (by John Blanchard) ISBN 0 85234 433 3

Regrards,

The Usual Suspect!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 07:14 PM

Actually, it sounds like Kant had a hard time dealing with reality when he was in his manic state.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 06:56 PM

Or at least we would.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 06:06 PM

Well, yes, Jeri, but I only do it because I know I am among a supportive community of like minds here, friends and comrades, people who can be trusted to never do or say anything hurtful or take advantage of another's weaknesses... (smile)

Besides, I was recommending drawing the pictures of Amos doing the fornicating with farm animals, not recommending actually doing the fornicating with farm animals oneself! Indeed, too much fornication with the "wrong" farm animals can have really quite horrendous results upon the mentality and the constitution as time goes by, and I think if you want evidence of that you might observe Amos closely...watch for the symptoms...but don't get too close!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 05:28 PM

"...engaging in acts of fornication with farm animals. I recommend these practices for reducing tension and increasing longevity."

There are some things about your lifestyle you'd be better off not sharing!


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 05:09 PM

No, Amos. ;-) I also sit in the corner, suck my thumb, hum pointless little ditties, and draw rude pictures on the wall of you engaging in acts of fornication with farm animals. I recommend these practices for reducing tension and increasing longevity.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 04:51 PM

Sigh...

Rigin, do you have anything more discerning to offer?

Little Hawk, is a retreat into obsessive creativity your only response?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 03:49 PM

Here's another new thing about atheism: it has been discovered that 99 out of 100 pipe wrenches are extremely sceptical about the existence of "soft-life", that being biological forms of life that are not made out of metal and which have a limited lifespan of less than, say 500 years under rusty conditions. The general consensus in the pipe wrench community is that "soft-life" is a myth promulgated by New Age wrenches who have tightened way too many left hand threads and lost their grip long ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 02:26 PM

And they named him that because he Can't fig'er out nothin'?


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 02:09 PM

The key refutation of "pure materialism" in the sense that asserts reality is wholly measurable and knowable in material terms was estabslihed by Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" several centuries ago.

The CSM has an axcellent article summarizing the impact of that refutation. It says, among other things:

"Kant erected a sturdy intellectual bulwark against atheism that hasn't been breached since. His defense doesn't draw on sacred texts or any other sources of authority to which people of faith might naturally and rightfully turn when confronted with atheist arguments. Instead, it relies on the only framework that today's atheist proselytizers say is valid: reason. The Fallacy of the Enlightenment is the glib assumption that there is only one limit to what human beings can know – reality itself. This view says we can find out more and more until eventually there is nothing more to discover. It holds that human reason and science can, in principle, unmask the whole of reality.

In his 1781 "Critique of Pure Reason," Kant showed that this premise is false. In fact, he argued, there is a much greater limit to what human beings can know. Kant showed that human knowledge is constrained not merely by the unlimited magnitude of reality but also by a limited sensory apparatus of perception.

Consider a tape recorder. It captures only one mode of reality, namely sound. Thus all aspects of reality that cannot be captured in sound are beyond its reach. The same, Kant would argue, is true of human beings. The only way we apprehend empirical reality is through our five senses. But why should we believe, Kant asked, that this five-mode instrument is sufficient? What makes us think that there is no reality that lies beyond sensory perception?

Moreover, the reality we apprehend is not reality in itself. It is merely our experience or "take" on it. Kant's startling claim is that we have no basis for assuming that a material perception of reality ever resembles reality itself. I can tell if my daughter's drawing of her teacher looks like the teacher by placing the portrait alongside the person. With my eyes, I compare the copy with the original. Kant points out, however, that comparing our experience of reality to reality itself is impossible. We have representations only, never the originals. So we have no basis for presuming that the two are even comparable. When we equate experience and reality, we are making an unjustified leap.

It is essential to recognize that Kant isn't diminishing the importance of experience. It is entirely rational for us to use science and reason to discover the operating principles of the world of experience. This world, however, is not the only one there is. Kant contended that while science and reason apply to the world of sensory phenomena, of things as they are experienced by us, science and reason cannot penetrate what Kant termed the noumena – things as they are in themselves. "

Of interest to those who cared about this ancient, sturdy horse.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 01:15 PM

Actually is has. We're calling it a unicorn.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 12:59 PM

Has that horse shown any life yet?




















Didn't think so...


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Amos
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 10:46 AM

In the world of the commons we object to invasive forces backed by authority, such as having our houses searched without grounds, or seized by eminent domain, or having inoculations forced on our children, sometimes, or seeing someone buy the political pull to ruin the neighborhood with a high-rise. Enforcement backed by authority is not our preferred model of the social contract and we only fall back on it when criminal acts occur beyond the pale of ordinary management.

In spiritual matters the same condition runs true. No-one wants to be pressured, wheedled, or forced into beliefs he or she does not see clearly as his own. The tendency of the Christian right to do this, one way or another, is what makes them so unpopular. They needle, wheedle, or melodramatically demand agreement. They refuse discussion on issues of pure opinion or fantasy, asserting them as untouchable fact. They assert as objectively true things which when looked for are not found to exist. This is a maddening style of dialogue, and it is understandable that folks who value their own self-determined sanity would tend to erect shields or find means of evasion in the face of such assertions.

It may be an error, though, to go so far in the opposite direction as to subscribe entirely to the "existence as mechansim" school of thought, failing to confront the world of thought and spiritual phenomena squarely because it seems too imponderable, too ambiguous, or too volatile to measure and calculate on.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 10:27 AM

Cross-reference to great thread on this topic.

Meanwhile, the conference is ongoing - will report back.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 07:38 PM

Conference> completely sold out - before I, the avid fan, could get a ticket! Merde, alors! But at least people are going... Any of y'all? Can I be your date for anything? I dress up nice...


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM

Everything evolves. Animals, plants, political ideas, philosophical notions, relationships, philosophy, faith, religion, everything...

Or else it devolves. ;-)

"Evolution" is a word which refers to the observable process of change, and everything changes as time goes by, quite aside from the normal process of change we refer to as "aging".

Religious fundamentalists are the people who most vigorously resist the forces of change (evolution) in religion. As such, they are opposed to evolution both as a scientific concept AND as a religious process. This makes them a pain in the butt, to use the common vernacular.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 07:25 PM

Religion wasn't what evolved - but faith certainly was. I'm with the Time to outgrow it faction.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 06:53 PM

What about folks who have no problem at all with the theory of evolution, but see it as part of a spiritually functioning Universe? Many of the Eastern religions see it that way, because they believe that evolution occurs both in spirit and in the worlds of physicality. In other words: the soul evolves/the bodies of creatures evolve/their intelligence evolves...both when in the body and when in spirit. Natural evolution = spiritual evolution (as seen evidencing itself in Nature). As above, so below.


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Subject: RE: BS: New things about atheism
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 06:18 PM

I could go along with the folks who think religion was part of the evolutionary process, but now that we've outgrown it, it's time to move on.


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