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Author Topic:   What we must accept if we accept evolution Part 2
Modulous
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 271 of 301 (284144)
02-05-2006 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by robinrohan
02-05-2006 11:02 AM


A self is not possible without incorporeality.

OK.

Evolution explains our origins naturalistically. Before evolutionary ideas came along, there was no way to explain the creatures of the earth being here except by invoking gods. There is now no logical need for god.

There isn't a need for gods to explain the divergence of life. That doesn't logically mean there is an absence of gods.

Evolution, being a very cruel process, tells us that no good, all-powerful God would operate in this fashion. You can talk about the "greater good" all you like--and then imagine some particularly gruesome birth defect--and ask yourself if there can be any greater good that would justify that.

Easy peasy. Eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven. If the choices were oblivion (non-existence) or existing for a tiny time period in suffering and the rest of eternity in bliss and paradise... I'd say the greater good is served.

A cruel or weak god is inconceivable.

I can as easily concieve a cruel god as I can conceive a good god. Why can't you? Indeed, I can even easier conceive a god that isn't so 2 dimensional, and whose decisions have massive ethical ramifications.

That's why nobody believes in such a being.

Which is actually not true. Currrently, its rare, but Greek, Roman, Slavic, Egyptian...indeed most gods before Yahweh were at times cruel, petty, and at times indifferent to human suffering. Yahweh seems to have been that way inclined at one time.

The logical fallacy here is quite apparant - "The reason why nobody believes in an indifferent god is because it doesn't exist". Why would anyone believe in an indifferent god? He wouldn't reveal himself to us would he?

Darwinism is ultimately a nihilistic idea. We are here for no reason.

Darwinism doesn't say this. Darwinism is dead in the water. Evolutionism doesn't give a reason for our existence, nor does it say that we have no reason. It merely provides a physical explanation for the diversity of life. It says HOW we are here, not WHY we are here.

TOE is not an innocuous liitle idea about population changes: it is an idea that shakes the foundations of the traditional concept of humanity.

Despite my demonstrating to you the fundamental difference in terminology you are using. You refer to COMMON ANCESTRY, not ToE. ToE is an explanatory framework for describing population change. Common ancestry says that all organisms share a common ancestor.

Which DOES shake the foundation of the traditional concept of humanity.

However:
Evolution does not say that the "I" is purely physical. Naturalists and materialists say this. Neurologists might say this. They would point to evolutiuon as the reason how it happened. However, if a mind does exist beyond the physical, ToE is incapable of describing it and science cannot detect it.

Evolution does not imply that gods, cruel, indifferent, demi or semi don't exist.

Evolution does not lead to nihilism. There might be a god and he might have given us purpose. He might not be immediately nice, he might even be cruel, or he might be serving some cosmic good to us that we are incapable of seeing.

Thus: Athiesm isn't needed to be accepted. Only a cruel god or a god that appears cruel but turns out not to be or a god that is not related to the creation of humanity.

As such neither materialism nor determinism need to be accepted.

Nihilism of course doesn't need to be accepted if a cruel or ultimately kind god exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by robinrohan, posted 02-05-2006 11:02 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 284 by robinrohan, posted 02-06-2006 3:08 PM Modulous has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 272 of 301 (284162)
02-05-2006 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by nwr
02-05-2006 12:44 PM


the aesthete and the nihilist
I looked up "nihilism". The answers are all over the map. None of them seemed to have much of a relation to "aesthete".

An aesthetic approach to life is quite reasonable if one accepts the idea that life has no purpose. The aesthete goes about his life looking for interesting experiences. There's no reason to do this, of course, other than that it's fun. He wants to make a "work of art" of his life. What does this mean? Oh, just whatever he decides--some kind of pattern.

There have been aesthetes (such as Edgar Allan Poe) who believed that God himself was an aesthete--that is to say, an artist. God created the world for aesthetic rather than moral reasons. So God created the tiger because the tiger is beautiful, and even more beautiful in the fact that the tiger is ferocious. If the tiger were not dangerous, it would be a less beautiful creature.

ABE: The aesthete also tends to believe that most people are closet aesthetes rather than moralists.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 02-05-2006 02:03 PM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 02-05-2006 02:14 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by nwr, posted 02-05-2006 12:44 PM nwr has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 6:25 AM robinrohan has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 273 of 301 (284317)
02-06-2006 6:25 AM
Reply to: Message 272 by robinrohan
02-05-2006 3:02 PM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
An aesthetic approach to life is quite reasonable if one accepts the idea that life has no purpose.

The scientifically minded keep insisting that Darwinism has no role in any of this sense of life's having no purpose, but I certainly remember its being the case that it strongly affected the general atheism around me, and my own as well. Inventing one's own identity/life was a romantic notion my generation certainly had; and the aesthetic attitude as you describe it as well, although I don't recall its being called that -- living for experience. Because life has no formal purpose, humanity no longer has a noble standing. It was commonly said that three great thinkers had knocked humanity off our pedestal, Darwin, Marx and Freud --I think, though now I can't remember why Marx was in that company.

All this nitpicking about definitions, about what precisely the ToE may be properly scientifically considered to refer to is just a smoke screen to confuse things. Darwinism's influence on 20th century intellectuals was tremendous and it was all about destroying the meaning of life. Nietzsche's brand of nihilism was a direct response to Darwinism. So were Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, all the Existentialists. But the "scientists" just go on denying it.

This tunnel-visioned answer that we are all just supposed to somehow make our own meaning is psychologically obtuse. Should I bother mentioning the unbelievably dreary accusation that it's about personalities -- that those who regard Darwinism as a challenge to traditional views of humanity just haven't "grown up?" This is a clash of sensibilities here, perhaps, the artistic and the ...I'd like to say "philistine" but that would be snobby; I hesitate to say "scientific" but I guess that's all that would be understood.

Sorry, it's still the middle of the night for me and I'm annoyed at how this thread has been treated.

Anyway I'm glad you explained what you meant about "aesthete" being the same as "nihilist" as I didn't get it either. Now I do.

This message has been edited by Faith, 02-06-2006 06:37 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 272 by robinrohan, posted 02-05-2006 3:02 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by PaulK, posted 02-06-2006 6:55 AM Faith has responded
 Message 276 by JavaMan, posted 02-06-2006 8:52 AM Faith has responded
 Message 283 by robinrohan, posted 02-06-2006 3:03 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14819
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 274 of 301 (284323)
02-06-2006 6:55 AM
Reply to: Message 273 by Faith
02-06-2006 6:25 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
quote:

All this nitpicking about definitions, about what precisely the ToE may be properly scientifically considered to refer to is just a smoke screen to confuse things. Darwinism's influence on 20th century intellectuals was tremendous and it was all about destroying the meaning of life. Nietzsche's brand of nihilism was a direct response to Darwinism. So were Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, all the Existentialists. But the "scientists" just go on denying it.

Let me remind you that the topic is about what we MUST accept if we accept evolution. It is not about the historical influence that evolution may have had. That is a separate topic.

To accuse others of setting up a "smokescreen" simply for addrsssing the actual topic is, I have to say bizarre and unjustified.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 6:25 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 6:57 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 275 of 301 (284324)
02-06-2006 6:57 AM
Reply to: Message 274 by PaulK
02-06-2006 6:55 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
Good morning to you, too, Paul. Have a good day.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by PaulK, posted 02-06-2006 6:55 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 276 of 301 (284351)
02-06-2006 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 273 by Faith
02-06-2006 6:25 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
This tunnel-visioned answer that we are all just supposed to somehow make our own meaning is psychologically obtuse.

We always make our own meaning. Even if that involves accepting a particular religious tradition. On this point Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky were all agreed, even though the meaning chosen by the latter two was a Christian meaning.

The only difference for those of us who don't ignore the scientific evidence is that we can't base our sense of meaning on a special relationship with a supernatural being.

By the way, Nietzsche would have been horrified at being labelled a 'nihilist'. He considered himself the foremost 'anti-nihilist' - fighting a crusade against nihilist philosophies like Christianity!


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible
This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 6:25 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 277 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 9:15 AM JavaMan has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 277 of 301 (284355)
02-06-2006 9:15 AM
Reply to: Message 276 by JavaMan
02-06-2006 8:52 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
This tunnel-visioned answer that we are all just supposed to somehow make our own meaning is psychologically obtuse.

quote:
We always make our own meaning. Even if that involves accepting a particular religious tradition.

Yes, we always make our own meaning but we make it out of what is culturally available, and the effect of Darwinism -- at least the psychological effect, especially on those who really think about such things -- is to abolish all objective or formal ground for meaning.

On this point Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky were all agreed, even though the meaning chosen by the latter two was a Christian meaning.

The only difference for those of us who don't ignore the scientific evidence is that we can't base our sense of meaning on a special relationship with a supernatural being.

No, nobody here seems to have a sense of how much more was lost by Darwinism in an objective sense, of the larger Western philosophical framework in which humanity was given a noble place. This was built up from the predominantly Christian foundation of the West, but it certainly wasn't dependent on individual relationship with a supernatural being.

By the way, Nietzsche would have been horrified at being labelled a 'nihilist'. He considered himself the foremost 'anti-nihilist' - fighting a crusade against nihilist philosophies like Christianity!

Well fine, then define your terms. I am using it to refer to a morality-free and purpose-free and meaning-free philosophical, or even cultural, weltanschaung. Nietzsche predicted the loss of all moral frameworks as a result of the "death of God." He embraced this in his rejection of Christianity which was the West's main foundation of morality. He seemed both to lament and to celebrate the Antichrist of which he was the herald. I hate Nietzsche but I consider him perspicacious.

This message has been edited by Faith, 02-06-2006 09:27 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by JavaMan, posted 02-06-2006 8:52 AM JavaMan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 280 by JavaMan, posted 02-06-2006 10:43 AM Faith has responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 278 of 301 (284365)
02-06-2006 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 262 by Faith
02-04-2006 11:03 PM


Good morning and thanks
Just wanted to say good morning, and thanks for the verse, Faith. I enjoyed the poem.


"Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?"
-Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Faith, posted 02-04-2006 11:03 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 279 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 10:40 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 279 of 301 (284366)
02-06-2006 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 278 by Omnivorous
02-06-2006 10:37 AM


Re: Good morning and thanks
Good morning to you, Omni, and thank you for the appreciation.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by Omnivorous, posted 02-06-2006 10:37 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 280 of 301 (284367)
02-06-2006 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 277 by Faith
02-06-2006 9:15 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
No, nobody here seems to have a sense of how much more was lost by Darwinism in an objective sense, of the larger Western philosophical framework in which humanity was given a noble place.

For many of us Christianity was an unfortunate backwater in that Western philosophical tradition, an ignoble regression to primitive mythology that we were rescued from, first by the Renaissance, which rediscovered the Roman and Greek traditions that really stand at the heart of Western civilization, then by the Enlightenment enquiries of the 18th century and the scientific discoveries of the 19th.

The only noble thing that remains admired in the Christian part of that tradition is the ethical teaching of Jesus himself, and the work of those who followed his example.


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible
This message is a reply to:
 Message 277 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 9:15 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 281 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 10:47 AM JavaMan has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 281 of 301 (284368)
02-06-2006 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 280 by JavaMan
02-06-2006 10:43 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
That "for many of us" phrase kind of underscores what Darwinism did right there. Not alone of course, there were other influences. An unfortunately fitting epitaph for noble humanity your post. So very modern.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by JavaMan, posted 02-06-2006 10:43 AM JavaMan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 282 by JavaMan, posted 02-06-2006 11:29 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 429 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 282 of 301 (284377)
02-06-2006 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 281 by Faith
02-06-2006 10:47 AM


Re: A very modern outlook?
An unfortunately fitting epitaph for noble humanity your post. So very modern.

Not so very modern, Faith. This battle between reason and superstition has been fought for millenia, wherever some men want to seek the truth and others want to snuff it out.

The nobility of humanity, if it lies anywhere, lies in this honest attempt to face the truth even when it's uncomfortable to do so. To avert your eyes, to persuade yourself to believe in something just to give yourself a sense of meaning is at best irresponsible, at worst selfish and ignoble.

This notion of mine seems very old-fashioned to me. The more modern position is quite different and has different forms, depending on which side of the political fence you lie:

1. On the right there is a tendency, one fashionable I believe in neo-conservative circles, to rubbish this noble quest, to argue that uncomfortable truths should be swept under the carpet and people fed with useful lies;

2. On the left, there is a tendency to argue that there is no truth to quest after at all, that all judgements, even in science, are relative or subjective.

I hope you don't mistake my old-fashioned argument for either of these modern ones!

This message has been edited by JavaMan, 02-06-2006 12:20 PM


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible
This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 10:47 AM Faith has not yet responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 283 of 301 (284421)
02-06-2006 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 273 by Faith
02-06-2006 6:25 AM


Re: the aesthete and the nihilist
Anyway I'm glad you explained what you meant about "aesthete" being the same as "nihilist" as I didn't get it either. Now I do.

They are really more like private definitions that I worked out. I like to put labels on these liitle ideas because I have a neat mind. That's the only thing about me that's neat.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 02-06-2006 02:09 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by Faith, posted 02-06-2006 6:25 AM Faith has not yet responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 284 of 301 (284422)
02-06-2006 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 271 by Modulous
02-05-2006 1:17 PM


Darwinism doesn't say this.

It doesn't literally say it, no. It implies it logically.

I can as easily concieve a cruel god as I can conceive a good god. Why can't you?

I've been trying to figure that out. I think there's something self-contradictory about the phrase "cruel God." When someone says, "God is cruel," it really means that they don't believe in God.

Despite my demonstrating to you the fundamental difference in terminology you are using. You refer to COMMON ANCESTRY, not ToE. ToE is an explanatory framework for describing population change. Common ancestry says that all organisms share a common ancestor.

In that case, I'm throwing in common ancestry. That's what I mean.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by Modulous, posted 02-05-2006 1:17 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 285 by Modulous, posted 02-06-2006 3:28 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 285 of 301 (284429)
02-06-2006 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by robinrohan
02-06-2006 3:08 PM


It doesn't literally say it, no. It implies it logically.

No it doesn't imply no purpose, it just doesn't provide one. You think that because we weren't specially created 'as is' by a good creator god that logically implies there is no purpose?

I have provided several possile purposes to life which are perfectly in keeping with evolution. Just because you cannot conceive of a purpose with evolution, does not imply that there isn't one.

I've been trying to figure that out. I think there's something self-contradictory about the phrase "cruel God." When someone says, "God is cruel," it really means that they don't believe in God.

I'm not talking about God (yahweh). I am talking about a hypothetical god. A creator god that happens to be cruel. Such a god can exist, have created us for a purpose and have created the 'cruel' evolutionary process. That is theologically consistent with a cruel god and logically consistent with evolution, assuming evolution is cruel.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by robinrohan, posted 02-06-2006 3:08 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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