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Author Topic:   Percy is a Deist - Now what's the difference between a deist and an atheist?
Huntard
Member (Idle past 459 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 361 of 375 (507804)
05-08-2009 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 360 by Straggler
05-08-2009 7:53 AM


Re: Mark24 Disagrees
Your link is wrong, it should be: www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=33&t=48&m=282#282 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=33&t=48&m=282#282">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=33&t=48&m=282#282

You're welcome :p


I hunt for the truth
This message is a reply to:
 Message 360 by Straggler, posted 05-08-2009 7:53 AM Straggler has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19869
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 362 of 375 (507985)
05-09-2009 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 359 by Rahvin
05-07-2009 11:30 PM


Re: once again, with feeling ... (so special)
LOL. You still don't get it.

Which means that deists engage in special pleading, because universal application of the "believe in x so long as there is no reason not to believe in x" would result in belief in fairies, ghosts, goblins, Zeus, and the Invisible Pink Unicorn, none of which has a reason for disbelief.

No, it just means there is no reason to not believe in x.

Believing in x does not de facto mean one should believe in y even though there is no evidence contrary to either x or y.

Curiously, the fact that you need to pin a logical fallacy on something that is not derived by logic is rather humorous on two counts: (1) the fact that it is a (in your mind anyway) logical fallacy, does not mean that it is necessarily wrong, just that it is not logical, and (2) you are trying to prove something is illogical that is acknowledged to not involve logic: big whoop eh?

It also means that everyone who likes blue is engaged in special pleading when they say they prefer blue to pink. Surprisingly there is no logical reason to prefer any color over any other color - they are just wavelengths, after all. Curiously, it is a fact that there are many people that prefer blue. There are also people that prefer pink. One preference does not make the other invalid.

This does not change the fact that I prefer blue nor the fact that there are people that prefer pink. This preference is not based on choice or logical deduction, it is just a part of me.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 359 by Rahvin, posted 05-07-2009 11:30 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 363 by Rahvin, posted 05-09-2009 2:07 PM RAZD has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1350 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 363 of 375 (507988)
05-09-2009 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 362 by RAZD
05-09-2009 12:52 PM


Re: once again, with feeling ... (so special)
It also means that everyone who likes blue is engaged in special pleading when they say they prefer blue to pink. Surprisingly there is no logical reason to prefer any color over any other color - they are just wavelengths, after all. Curiously, it is a fact that there are many people that prefer blue. There are also people that prefer pink. One preference does not make the other invalid.

This does not change the fact that I prefer blue nor the fact that there are people that prefer pink. This preference is not based on choice or logical deduction, it is just a part of me.

Oh come on.

Are you really saying that asserting the existence in reality of an entity is comparable to personal color preference?!

Personal color preference, taste, human emotion, all are subjective value assessments.

Asserting the existence of a deity asserts that the deity exists in objective reality.

The two are not the same, they;re not even comparable. Or do I get to choose that my salary is three times larger based on my personal preference now? Perhaps I can assert that the Immaterial Pink Unicorn existsm and that this is a personal preference not based on logic?

Perhaps the Creationists are right, the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, there was a global Flood, and evolution's accuracy is based on personal preference, just like preferring blue over red?

What foolishness. Objective reality has nothing to do with our personal feelings and preferences. Believing that a deity exists requires making an assertion about objective reality. It has nothing to do with preference.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 362 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 12:52 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 364 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 3:08 PM Rahvin has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19869
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 364 of 375 (507992)
05-09-2009 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 363 by Rahvin
05-09-2009 2:07 PM


Re: once again, with feeling ... (so special)
Hi Rahvin,

Oh come on.

Perhaps if you spent less time fantasizing about what I've said, and more time reading it, you wouldn't keep making false assertions.

Are you really saying that asserting the existence in reality of an entity is comparable to personal color preference?!

Curiously, I have not asserted the reality of such an existence. At no time have I tried to convince anyone, or asserted, that what I believe is actually true. It just happens to be what I believe (and I'm not even sure what "it" involves).

Personal color preference, taste, human emotion, all are subjective value assessments.

So, if I prefer my faith to faith in say, for the sake of argument, the IPU, then it is a "subjective value assessment," and immune from special pleading?

Perhaps the Creationists are right, the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, there was a global Flood, and evolution's accuracy is based on personal preference, just like preferring blue over red?

No, because the young age for the earth and a global flood are contradicted by evidence. Evolution's accuracy is validated by observations of actual evolution happening in real-time, and by the fact that there is no evidence that contradicts or invalidates it.

Asserting the existence of a deity asserts that the deity exists in objective reality.

Logically false, even if that were what I was asserting. One can easily imagine a deity outside objective reality, and for such a deity it would be impossible to have any objective reality ... by definition.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 363 by Rahvin, posted 05-09-2009 2:07 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 365 by Rahvin, posted 05-09-2009 3:40 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 367 by onifre, posted 05-09-2009 6:22 PM RAZD has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1350 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 365 of 375 (507995)
05-09-2009 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 364 by RAZD
05-09-2009 3:08 PM


Re: once again, with feeling ... (so special)
Im done, RAZD. We're not getting anywhere, and I don't see that changing in the near future. I'm not even going to bother posting a rebuttal. I concede nothing, I still think your faith is irrational, I still think the IPU argument is perfectly valid, and I still think you've shown absolutely nothing convincing to show otherwise.

As far as I'm concerned, this conversation is over. We've hit a brick wall, and I'm agreeing to disagree.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 364 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 3:08 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 366 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 4:56 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19869
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 366 of 375 (508000)
05-09-2009 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 365 by Rahvin
05-09-2009 3:40 PM


irrational vs rational or just non-rational
Thanks Rahvin.

... I still think your faith is irrational,...

It is not explained by rational means, which is why the IPU argument fails, as the IPU argument only works if I said it was rational, and I've said before that it is non-rational - orthogonal to rational vs irrational. It is not chosen, nor is it deduced in any way. It is just what I believe. With no evidence contrary to my belief, it is not irrational, for there is no reason to disbelieve it.

My preference for blue is also not rational, but is it insane to prefer blue? Or is there just no reason not to like blue? Is the preference for different colors just part of the many differences between people?

As far as I'm concerned, this conversation is over. We've hit a brick wall, and I'm agreeing to disagree.

Thanks for your participation.

I concede nothing, ... I still think the IPU argument is perfectly valid,...

Then you will likely continue to misunderstand faith, and try to treat it as if it should be rational, and get frustrated when it doesn't play nice.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 365 by Rahvin, posted 05-09-2009 3:40 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 367 of 375 (508008)
05-09-2009 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 364 by RAZD
05-09-2009 3:08 PM


Re: once again, with feeling ... (so special)
Hi RAZD,

Hope you don't mind me jumping in. I've really been enjoying this debate and I don't want to stop the flow but this caught my eye and I couldn't understand it,

RAZD writes:

One can easily imagine a deity outside objective reality, and for such a deity it would be impossible to have any objective reality ... by definition.

To me this sounds impossible. There is no way you can know what "outside of objective reality" is, let alone imagine it. It's like trying to imagine what it would be like to not be able to imagine - it's a canceling out factor.

I may be misunderstand you, if so, please help...

---------------------------------------------------------

About blue, or prefering one color or the other being a "subjective" feeling/interpretation - I've heard it called "color qualia" - has many critics . There is a science behind it, I'm not sure if you're familiar with it, but it's not subjective, it's very much objective as to why there are color preferences.

Paul Churchland says about color qualia in the book Conversations on Consciousness:

quote:
I'm happy to use the word qualia to describe, or to index, the fact that there are profound differences between my various visual sensations; sensations of green versus sensations of red, sensations of yellow versus sensations of white and so forth. There are differences in my olfactory sensations, my gustatory sensation, my tactile sensations.

furthermore,

quote:
There is a problem with objective colors, and it's the problem of metamers. To have a sensation, say of the color red, is to have all of your three kind of opponent proccessing cells showing a certain pattern of relative stimulation. They are a blue versus yellow, red versus green, and black versus white, and all of them have heightened activity or lowered activity. The pattern activity for say red will be, say 50%, 90%, 50%, across the three kinds of cells.

According to Paul Churchland, the reason you prefer blue is because you will have heightened and lowered activity in your proccessing cells due to the different patterns of relative stimulation for that particular color, and not because you just feel it, or it's a "subjective" interpretation free of a causing agent. There is a reason why, an objective reason.

IMO, you can't use the "I prefer blue" argument to explain why you "prefer your faith" over the IPU. The reason you may prefer blue has to do with your three kind of opponent proccessing cells showing a certain pattern of relative stimulation.

- Oni

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.

Edited by onifre, : reworded Churchlands opinion of RAZD's argument about prefering "blue".


"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


This message is a reply to:
 Message 364 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 3:08 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 368 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 7:20 PM onifre has responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19869
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 368 of 375 (508009)
05-09-2009 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 367 by onifre
05-09-2009 6:22 PM


qualia, and the quality of evidence
Thanks onifre

... I've heard it called "color qualia" ...

I've heard of it, and it has critics as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia

quote:
Yet it has been argued whether or not identification with the external object should still be the core of a correct approach to sensation, for there are many who state the definition thus because they regard the link with external reality as crucial. If sensations are defined as 'raw feels', there arises a palpable threat to the reliability of knowledge.

Since it is by definition difficult or impossible to convey qualia verbally, it is difficult to demonstrate them directly in an argument; a more tangential approach is needed. Arguments for qualia generally come in the form of thought experiments designed to lead one to the conclusion that qualia exist.


Doesn't sound like that is an objective area of study. Looks more like a study of subjective evidence than on objective reality.

According to Paul Churchland, the reason you prefer blue is because you will have heightened activity in your proccessing cells, not because you just feel it. There is a reason why, and objective reason.

No, that is a reason how, not why - if it even explains that. In effect, color blue "resonates" with my vision perception more than other colors. This means that I am more sensitive to seeing blue, but that doesn't explain why I prefer it. I could still be more sensitive to blue, but like orange better.

IMO, you can't use the "I prefer blue" argument to explain why you "prefer your faith" over the IPU.

And yet the experiments with the God Helmet show that some people have a heightened activity in their processing cells for religious experience. Certain areas of the brain resonate with the helmet to produce a spiritual feeling. This too would explain how, but not why.

To me this sounds impossible. There is no way you can know what "outside of objective reality" is, let alone imagine it.

Why is imagination limited by knowledge? What is the objective reality of a god that is undetectable? Further, if one believes that god is unknowable, how could one expect to have any way of determining whether or not the terms "objective reality" applied or not.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 367 by onifre, posted 05-09-2009 6:22 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 369 by onifre, posted 05-09-2009 10:09 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 369 of 375 (508013)
05-09-2009 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 368 by RAZD
05-09-2009 7:20 PM


Re: qualia, and the quality of evidence
Doesn't sound like that is an objective area of study. Looks more like a study of subjective evidence than on objective reality.

Qualia itself can be said to be the subjective interpretation of the reality you experience, however, color qualia is different.

I'll try to explain in the next response.

No, that is a reason how, not why - if it even explains that. In effect, color blue "resonates" with my vision perception more than other colors. This means that I am more sensitive to seeing blue, but that doesn't explain why I prefer it. I could still be more sensitive to blue, but like orange better.

I am talking about color qualia, which is the "feeling" that you like one color versus the other.

The problem: Color is objectively viewed therefore color is subject to how you view it, how it stimulates your sensory receptors, and as such, determines how you "feel" about it. In this sense there is no subjective "feelings" about color, it is simply a higher sensory stimulation for one color versus another color.

And yet the experiments with the God Helmet show that some people have a heightened activity in their processing cells for religious experience.

Be that as it may, it doesn't correlate with "feeling" a color. If you could point to some outside stimuli that is experienced through one of our sensory inputs that then gets subjectively interpreted to be god, you may be on the right track with your comparision.

That I know of there are no outside stimuli that trigger these experiences, these experiences manifest within our minds. The "God Helmet" was more of a forced nuerological stimulation, this is very different from looking at a wall a seeing red.

From your link:

quote:
However, some psychologists and neuroscientists seek other explanations. They suspect that these mystical experiences may be caused by natural processes functioning (or malfunctioning) inside one's brain. One method of building support for this theory would be to find a way to artificially induce a mystical experience in the laboratory. Another would be to show how a natural disorder, like epilepsy, can produce hallucinations that simulate the God experience.

Neuro disfunctions have been linked to God experiences before. However, that is completely different from normal, everyday feelings of liking red more than blue.

Color is visually perceived under normal conditions, and is perceived by your sensory receptors in a certain way that can cause the sensation of one color being more appealing than the other - which you are refering to as "subjectively liking blue more".

Why is imagination limited by knowledge?

I didn't quite mean that. I don't think imagination is limited, this is one of my favorite Einstein quotes,

quote:
Albert Einstein said, "Imagination…is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

However, let's put everything into proper context. Viewing some phenomenon and imagining how it happened is in the context that I would say "knowledge is limited". One has to use their imagination to begin to figure things out.

But, you are claiming to be able to imagine something "outside of reality", in that context I think your imagination is simply limited by the very idea of imagining something "outside of reality". - Like my example of imagine yourself not being able to imagine.

It has nothing to do with knowledge, it has to do with contradicting factors. If you can imagine something existing, no matter what that "something" is, you automatically place it in some kind of reality. Maybe not the reality that we perceive/experience, ok, I'll grant you that ability -(others may not), but certainly not "outside of reality" itself. I would go as far as to say that that is nonsensical.

What is the objective reality of a god that is undetectable? Further, if one believes that god is unknowable, how could one expect to have any way of determining whether or not the terms "objective reality" applied or not.

Whether or not god exists and lives outside of objective reality is not the point. I just don't see how you can imagine it. You can say it til the cows come home, but there's no way of imagining it.

- Oni


"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


This message is a reply to:
 Message 368 by RAZD, posted 05-09-2009 7:20 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
Whateverman
Junior Member (Idle past 3591 days)
Posts: 6
From: MA, US
Joined: 05-08-2009


Message 370 of 375 (508872)
05-16-2009 10:27 PM


I grew up a Baha'i. In college, I started formally exploring philosophy and logic, and moved away from religion in general. I became more aware of the very retarded things people were doing and saying in the name of religion, and tried to distance myself from them.

But I never quite became an atheist.

I harbor a suspicion that some intelligence had a hand in our creation. I'm not sure enough of this suspicion to advocate the idea, but it remains something I mull over as I get older.

It took me until I was ~35 to discover that I was a deist. Speaking only for myself, I reject almost every theological interpretation of God I've ever heard, and believe that whatever caused this whole thing to start existing, it generally evolves according to natural laws.

So, there's no special pleading coming from me. I simply refuse to talk about God as if I really know what he/she/it is like or wants. I have ideas, but they're no better than anyone else's. I would prefer to live a naturalistic life in the meantime...

IRT Minnemooseus' OP, I agree that the distinction between deist and atheist is fine. I occasionally wonder if I'm simply too "scared" to admit to myself that I'm an atheist :)

Edited by Whateverman, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 371 by onifre, posted 05-18-2009 12:44 PM Whateverman has responded
 Message 373 by RAZD, posted 05-18-2009 8:16 PM Whateverman has responded

    
onifre
Member (Idle past 1114 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 371 of 375 (509072)
05-18-2009 12:44 PM
Reply to: Message 370 by Whateverman
05-16-2009 10:27 PM


I reject almost every theological interpretation of God I've ever heard

Which theological interpretation do you not reject?

and believe that whatever caused this whole thing to start existing,

The "caused to start existing" is curious...why would anything be required to "start" the process of expansion?

I occasionally wonder if I'm simply too "scared" to admit to myself that I'm an atheist

I think as long as one reserves an opinion on deism or god until such time that evidence, either for god(s) directly, or of a needed causal agent, are shown, then atheism seems the most logical.

I don't personally think it's a question of fear, more so it's a question of rational logic. IMO.

- Oni


"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


This message is a reply to:
 Message 370 by Whateverman, posted 05-16-2009 10:27 PM Whateverman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 372 by Whateverman, posted 05-18-2009 1:39 PM onifre has not yet responded

    
Whateverman
Junior Member (Idle past 3591 days)
Posts: 6
From: MA, US
Joined: 05-08-2009


Message 372 of 375 (509082)
05-18-2009 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 371 by onifre
05-18-2009 12:44 PM


Which theological interpretation do you not reject?

I was being cautious; I don't accept any of them, as defined by theists. Polling all of the theologies I've encountered, I like bits and pieces - such as God really not caring where I put my naughty bits, or that all religions are essentially trying to get to the same place. But these "likes" of mine don't necessarily equate to characteristics of a real God if he/she/it/they exist(s).

EDIT: Onifre, I tend to like aspects of the Baha'i conception. I also think some of general ideas of compassion found in Christianity and Judaism make sense. Beyond that, the God I believe in (cautiously) doesn't resemble any theology I'm familiar with.

The "caused to start existing" is curious...why would anything be required to "start" the process of expansion?

I find the cosmological argument to be compelling

I think as long as one reserves an opinion on deism or god until such time that evidence, either for god(s) directly, or of a needed causal agent, are shown, then atheism seems the most logical.

I don't want to quibble about definitions, as there's a lot of overlap between strong/weak atheism/agnosticism. I think I agree that atheism/agnosticism is the most logical default position. For me, though, I do actually think something exists - I can't make the leap to "a lack of belief or knowledge".

But that's just me. Maybe it'll change over the next few decades...

Edited by Whateverman, : I don't think I answered the question the first time around. Added an "edit" explanation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 371 by onifre, posted 05-18-2009 12:44 PM onifre has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19869
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 373 of 375 (509120)
05-18-2009 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 370 by Whateverman
05-16-2009 10:27 PM


Hi whateverman,

It took me until I was ~35 to discover that I was a deist.

It took me a bit longer. I find it curious that finding out is a kind of epiphany - "oh, THAT's what I am" - experience. The "condition" exists before it is named ...

Enjoy the forum.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 370 by Whateverman, posted 05-16-2009 10:27 PM Whateverman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 374 by Whateverman, posted 05-18-2009 8:39 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Whateverman
Junior Member (Idle past 3591 days)
Posts: 6
From: MA, US
Joined: 05-08-2009


Message 374 of 375 (509121)
05-18-2009 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 373 by RAZD
05-18-2009 8:16 PM


I find it curious that finding out is a kind of epiphany - "oh, THAT's what I am" - experience.

This is exactly what I went through.

Thanks for the Welcome, Razd. I'm going to read through the essays in your signature over the next few days. So far, this forum looks interesting pretty interesting in general...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 373 by RAZD, posted 05-18-2009 8:16 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 375 of 375 (509176)
05-19-2009 4:21 AM


Topic closed.
Sounds like as good as place as any to end this thread, way over the 'normal' 300 post mark.
    
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