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Agnosticism: Lazy Man's Atheism?

2456730

Posts

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Variable wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Can you explain this? Is there any evidence that you possess that leaves you unable to completely rule out the existence of an afterlife? I don't consider there being any evidence for an afterlife, just as I don't consider there being any evidence for an invisible lion in my room. I am quite comfortable denying the existence of both. If there is no evidence do you automatically assume a position of doubt that leaves you to conclude you cannot say one way or another. Is this the case for everything you think about or is this the case only when religion is involved? Or maybe there is some evidence you consider valid that causes you to doubt the non-existence of the afterlife?

    I am comfortable working with the belief there is no afterlife. However, I also see the benefit to their being one. It gives people living today a real reason to give a fuck about life. I mean, families have a reason to care about their family, in the sense that it is beneficial for them to do so, typically. But, there is no reason to live a lawful life if there is no afterlife. There is only the reasons to appear to do so. (I suppose, in that sense, I consider all atheists who are straight laced to be too lazy to live the one life they have to its fullest.)

    that is entirely false.

    How is it entirely false? Again, I am not saying you want to appear to be unlawful, but you definitely have no compelling reason to always do so.
    Systems of law existed long before the concept of a judgmental afterlife, taeric.

    the Hebrews didn't believe in such an afterlife.

    Altruism predates the concept of an afterlife, of language, and really, human beings; many animals are altruistic.

    The reasons you follow laws are (1) you think they are morally good, or (2) you don't want to risk getting punished for breaking them.

    For society, it makes sense to enforce laws. As a member, it makes sense not to get caught breaking laws. However, if you can get away with a crime, and there is no punishment now or ever, why do you hold back?

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    and you take this stance on everything that fits the same criteria?

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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    loren i remember when you weren't an agnostic

    hi5, duder

    being happier with yourself and your understanding of the universe is healthy

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Wasn't agnosticism at point not just a statement that the existence of God is by its very nature not only currently unknown but also actually unknowable? That's the manner in which I consider myself an agnostic, although that's also probably tied to the fact that I think Qingu's categorization of things like the Clockmaker god or 'the Force' is unecessarily restrictive.

    I call myself an agnostic mainly because I believe there are limits to human perception and observation. I think Qingu makes the distinction he does because he believes that anything falling beyond this point is unlikely to have any meaningful interaction or impact on us, but I'm not sure I'm willing to make that distinction.

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  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Variable wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Can you explain this? Is there any evidence that you possess that leaves you unable to completely rule out the existence of an afterlife? I don't consider there being any evidence for an afterlife, just as I don't consider there being any evidence for an invisible lion in my room. I am quite comfortable denying the existence of both. If there is no evidence do you automatically assume a position of doubt that leaves you to conclude you cannot say one way or another. Is this the case for everything you think about or is this the case only when religion is involved? Or maybe there is some evidence you consider valid that causes you to doubt the non-existence of the afterlife?

    I am comfortable working with the belief there is no afterlife. However, I also see the benefit to their being one. It gives people living today a real reason to give a fuck about life. I mean, families have a reason to care about their family, in the sense that it is beneficial for them to do so, typically. But, there is no reason to live a lawful life if there is no afterlife. There is only the reasons to appear to do so. (I suppose, in that sense, I consider all atheists who are straight laced to be too lazy to live the one life they have to its fullest.)

    that is entirely false.

    How is it entirely false? Again, I am not saying you want to appear to be unlawful, but you definitely have no compelling reason to always do so.
    Systems of law existed long before the concept of a judgmental afterlife, taeric.

    the Hebrews didn't believe in such an afterlife.

    Altruism predates the concept of an afterlife, of language, and really, human beings; many animals are altruistic.

    The reasons you follow laws are (1) you think they are morally good, or (2) you don't want to risk getting punished for breaking them.

    For society, it makes sense to enforce laws. As a member, it makes sense not to get caught breaking laws. However, if you can get away with a crime, and there is no punishment now or ever, why do you hold back?

    because it would hurt another human being

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    This topic breeds conflict and hateship, can we please change the subject?


    BTW, the probability of a God existing is so low that you might as well say that there is no God.

    I think the simulation argument is pretty compelling. If we're in a simulation, then there is obviously something akin to a god relative to the universe we inhabit.

    Can you elaborate on this argument, or is this it in full? I don't find arguments founded on an unproven hypothetical to be very compelling however maybe this is just the short version.

    I'm not quite sure which part you're asking me about. I posted a link to a simulation argument in post 29. As to the "god" part, if there's a simulation in a vein similar to a super-advanced SimCity, The Sims, Civilization or whatever and we are a part of it, there is almost certainly a thing that is a god relative to our existence.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    ive heard a lot of athiests say that agnostics are just pussies who cant take a stand. i think that's just blind stupidity at its best.
    its basically all of these religous people running around calling everyone who doesent believe in god an idiot because it cant be disproven, then you have your athiests running around calling everyone else an idiot because they dont disbelieve in a god that cant be proven. then you have your agnostics running around calling everyone else an idiot because everyone else is basing their opinions of everyone else over which side of an aisle they stand on, niether having proof either way to sway a critically-thinking person to make a decision.

    Keep in mind that this is a huge generalization of all parties involved, but thats the kind of behavior i see on a fairly regular basis.
    There is actually plenty of proof that the specific gods worshipped by religious people are made up.

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Arch wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    You just said what I said last page, but much shorter.
    Brevity is the soul of agnosticism.

    Or something.

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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    For society, it makes sense to enforce laws. As a member, it makes sense not to get caught breaking laws. However, if you can get away with a crime, and there is no punishment now or ever, why do you hold back?
    In the case of crimes I don't think are immoral and I don't think there's sufficient risk of me getting caught ... I don't.

    Are you asking why I have a sense of morality at all? Like why would I refrain from murdering or stealing if I could get away with it?

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.

    Interestingly enough, this is a linguistic limitation that creates a really silly argument.

    Essentially, there's a difference of opinion on whether "atheist" means "lacks belief in a God" or "disbelieves in a God"

    Those are two different things!

    And people use the word atheist to mean one, or the other, or both. This is a constant source of confusion in these kinds of threads because lack of belief is not the same thing as disbelief.

    When people generally call themselves atheist, they mean they disbelieve in a God. When they call themselves agnostic, they usually mean they lack a belief in a God. Those are two different things and ignoring that distinction doesn't help meaningful conversation!

    So, rather than try to codify the terms like I'm some kind of authority, I would suggest people, at least for the purpose of this thread, try to differentiate when they are referring to disbelief and when they are referring to lack of belief.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    I think the simulation argument is pretty compelling. If we're in a simulation, then there is obviously something akin to a god relative to the universe we inhabit.
    I never understood that argument.

    We are obviously in a simulation. You don't even have to resort to metaphysics. You can just look at the brain. Reality is not something that "I" experience directly. Rather, my experience of reality is hallucinated by my brain based on a constant stream of sensory input. The brain translates that raw sensory data, which is meaningless to my conscious "I," into a "simulation" that "I" inhabit.

    In terms of there being an external simulation that we all inhabit. We are very likely the Sims to some highly advanced iteration of SimUniverse.
    This concept presumes that there is a "designer" and that a simulation could not arise naturally through, for example, a process of evolution.

    Greg Egan had this awesome idea in his book Diaspora where transhumans happen upon a planet that's empty oceans except for these floating carbohydrate mats that are sort of like a simpler version of algae. They examine them and figure out that the carbohydrates are arranged on these mats in patterns like Wang Tiles, geometric patterns that can function like computers.

    So, they analyze the arrangement of the Wang tile carbohydrates and discover there is an entire world "encoded" inside the mats of algae, complete with multitudes of complex, intelligent creatures.

    I mean, shit. You can close your eyes and imagine an entire simulated world based on your experiences. That is a simulation that emerged, ultimately, without any "designer," without any "god," since the underlying creative force of the brain that's doing it is natural evolution.

    That's possible, sure, but I believe that the likelihood is ultimately on the side of a created simulation for at least the simulation that we are in. There may in fact be an ultimate "simulation", but... I think at that point it simply becomes extremely weird and it's very difficult to discount some truly weird notions, possibly even impossible to contort our minds to understand the ultimate physics or whatever there might actually be underneath or outside (or whatever) it all.

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  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I am close to accusing you of being condescending by reducing religion to a crutch and claiming people need it to leave good lives but I don't think I fully understand what you're saying so I'd like to you elaborate. I don't think there is another life after this one, so you would be saying then that I cannot lead a lawful life? And what are these illusions that I apparently call reasons that you are talking about? You are claiming that the reasons I have for living, the purpose I make for myself, is false? Furthermore, religion is the only real reason to live? Please explain.

    I don't think religion is a crutch. I do think it is a comforting thought, and closes a logic hole for why you should be an unobserved lawful person.

    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.

  • local flavor policelocal flavor police Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    ive heard a lot of athiests say that agnostics are just pussies who cant take a stand. i think that's just blind stupidity at its best.
    its basically all of these religous people running around calling everyone who doesent believe in god an idiot because it cant be disproven, then you have your athiests running around calling everyone else an idiot because they dont disbelieve in a god that cant be proven. then you have your agnostics running around calling everyone else an idiot because everyone else is basing their opinions of everyone else over which side of an aisle they stand on, niether having proof either way to sway a critically-thinking person to make a decision.

    Keep in mind that this is a huge generalization of all parties involved, but thats the kind of behavior i see on a fairly regular basis.
    There is actually plenty of proof that the specific gods worshipped by religious people are made up.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.
    I don't see why I have to pick a specific god that MAY exist to shore up my agnostic credentials.

    Can I only be a Lutheran Agnostic, or a Shiite Agnostic? I can be unsure about the existence or non-existence of a guiding divine hand without picking a particular religion to be unsure about, right?

    Because under your definition, there's no such thing as passive agnosticism.

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  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.

    I, for one, accept that my position is one of 'belief'. However, this belief is that we can never conclusively prove either side (yes/no) and thus, a belief in uncertainty if anything. My longpost last page says it better, and I even accept that what I call 'agnosticism' may actually be better labeled as something else.

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I am close to accusing you of being condescending by reducing religion to a crutch and claiming people need it to leave good lives but I don't think I fully understand what you're saying so I'd like to you elaborate. I don't think there is another life after this one, so you would be saying then that I cannot lead a lawful life? And what are these illusions that I apparently call reasons that you are talking about? You are claiming that the reasons I have for living, the purpose I make for myself, is false? Furthermore, religion is the only real reason to live? Please explain.

    I don't think religion is a crutch. I do think it is a comforting thought, and closes a logic hole for why you should be an unobserved lawful person.

    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.

    I am sorry for you then. you are missing some serious comprehension about a lot of people... any person who doesn't base their morality on a God who will smite them come the afterlife.

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  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    So basically you can't conceive of any system of morality that's not enforced by a supernatural being who will torture you for eternity if you ever break it?

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  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Variable wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Can you explain this? Is there any evidence that you possess that leaves you unable to completely rule out the existence of an afterlife? I don't consider there being any evidence for an afterlife, just as I don't consider there being any evidence for an invisible lion in my room. I am quite comfortable denying the existence of both. If there is no evidence do you automatically assume a position of doubt that leaves you to conclude you cannot say one way or another. Is this the case for everything you think about or is this the case only when religion is involved? Or maybe there is some evidence you consider valid that causes you to doubt the non-existence of the afterlife?

    I am comfortable working with the belief there is no afterlife. However, I also see the benefit to their being one. It gives people living today a real reason to give a fuck about life. I mean, families have a reason to care about their family, in the sense that it is beneficial for them to do so, typically. But, there is no reason to live a lawful life if there is no afterlife. There is only the reasons to appear to do so. (I suppose, in that sense, I consider all atheists who are straight laced to be too lazy to live the one life they have to its fullest.)

    that is entirely false.

    How is it entirely false? Again, I am not saying you want to appear to be unlawful, but you definitely have no compelling reason to always do so.
    Systems of law existed long before the concept of a judgmental afterlife, taeric.

    the Hebrews didn't believe in such an afterlife.

    Altruism predates the concept of an afterlife, of language, and really, human beings; many animals are altruistic.

    The reasons you follow laws are (1) you think they are morally good, or (2) you don't want to risk getting punished for breaking them.

    For society, it makes sense to enforce laws. As a member, it makes sense not to get caught breaking laws. However, if you can get away with a crime, and there is no punishment now or ever, why do you hold back?

    Because people aren't moral out of fear of punishment, they are moral because they have been raised with a sense of right and wrong that makes them feel that, say, harming others is wrong, and that they shouldn't do it.

    People do not generally think "I'd steal this chocolate bar, but I'll go to hell if I do, so I won't." They don't even think "but I'll get caught by the security guard, so I won't." They just feel terrible and guilty about taking it, because of the moral framework that exists in their mind. So they don't do it. Morals are feelings, they are not logical decisions. Most people make moral decisions based on what feels right or wrong, ultimately.

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  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Pony wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.

    Interestingly enough, this is a linguistic limitation that creates a really silly argument.

    Essentially, there's a difference of opinion on whether "atheist" means "lacks belief in a God" or "disbelieves in a God"

    Those are two different things!

    And people use the word atheist to mean one, or the other, or both. This is a constant source of confusion in these kinds of threads because lack of belief is not the same thing as disbelief.

    When people generally call themselves atheist, they mean they disbelieve in a God. When they call themselves agnostic, they usually mean they lack a belief in a God. Those are two different things and ignoring that distinction doesn't help meaningful conversation!

    So, rather than try to codify the terms like I'm some kind of authority, I would suggest people, at least for the purpose of this thread, try to differentiate when they are referring to disbelief and when they are referring to lack of belief.

    I realize the distinction. In fact I have always tried to argue that atheism is "the lack of belief in a God or Gods" and nothing else. I think it is more accurate than defining it as "the disbelief in a God or Gods".

    As for agnosticism there are two sides to it. You can believe in a God or Gods but concede you can't prove or disprove them (relying instead completely on faith) or you lack belief in a God or Gods but concede you can't prove or disprove them. There is no middle ground as far as I am concerned.

  • Dance CommanderDance Commander Registered User
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I am close to accusing you of being condescending by reducing religion to a crutch and claiming people need it to leave good lives but I don't think I fully understand what you're saying so I'd like to you elaborate. I don't think there is another life after this one, so you would be saying then that I cannot lead a lawful life? And what are these illusions that I apparently call reasons that you are talking about? You are claiming that the reasons I have for living, the purpose I make for myself, is false? Furthermore, religion is the only real reason to live? Please explain.

    I don't think religion is a crutch. I do think it is a comforting thought, and closes a logic hole for why you should be an unobserved lawful person.

    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.

    It doesn't close the 'hole' at all though, because we still apply an outside standard when we pick and choose those moral lessons from religion we wish to obey. Morality is cultural.

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I am close to accusing you of being condescending by reducing religion to a crutch and claiming people need it to leave good lives but I don't think I fully understand what you're saying so I'd like to you elaborate. I don't think there is another life after this one, so you would be saying then that I cannot lead a lawful life? And what are these illusions that I apparently call reasons that you are talking about? You are claiming that the reasons I have for living, the purpose I make for myself, is false? Furthermore, religion is the only real reason to live? Please explain.

    I don't think religion is a crutch. I do think it is a comforting thought, and closes a logic hole for why you should be an unobserved lawful person.

    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.

    Are you a sociopath?

    Do you lack basic, secular human empathy? Do you require the Damoclesian sword of metaphysical retribution hanging over your head in order to keep you in line?

    Because that's fucked up, man. I sure as hell don't! And a lot of people don't!

    If you're so cynical as to think the majority of people, by default, require this sort of thing in order to have ethics and morality, I feel sad for you. It is certainly true that people indoctrinated by religion often have a hard time understanding a moral framework outside their religion, but that doesn't make it the default conduct of the human race.

    Most people who have no metaphysical punishment-fear keeping them in line or the hope of some spiritual reward driving them forward are nonetheless very capable of being moral and ethical people, even in the lack of authority figures to tell them to do so.

    People can certainly go all "Lord of the Flies" in a period of traumatic anarchy (see: New Orleans immediately following Katrina) but as a norm, people don't constantly have to be threatened and watched in order to be good people to each other.

    God damn, man.

  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.

    Interestingly enough, this is a linguistic limitation that creates a really silly argument.

    Essentially, there's a difference of opinion on whether "atheist" means "lacks belief in a God" or "disbelieves in a God"

    Those are two different things!

    And people use the word atheist to mean one, or the other, or both. This is a constant source of confusion in these kinds of threads because lack of belief is not the same thing as disbelief.

    When people generally call themselves atheist, they mean they disbelieve in a God. When they call themselves agnostic, they usually mean they lack a belief in a God. Those are two different things and ignoring that distinction doesn't help meaningful conversation!

    So, rather than try to codify the terms like I'm some kind of authority, I would suggest people, at least for the purpose of this thread, try to differentiate when they are referring to disbelief and when they are referring to lack of belief.

    I realize the distinction. In fact I have always tried to argue that atheism is "the lack of belief in a God or Gods" and nothing else. I think it is more accurate than defining it as "the disbelief in a God or Gods".

    As for agnosticism there are two sides to it. You can believe in a God or Gods but concede you can't prove or disprove them (relying instead completely on faith) or you lack belief in a God or Gods but concede you can't prove or disprove them. There is no middle ground as far as I am concerned.

    Fair enough- to your last point.

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    That's possible, sure, but I believe that the likelihood is ultimately on the side of a created simulation for at least the simulation that we are in.
    Okay. On a metaphysical level, what constitutes "creation"?

    Can evolution be said to "create" forms of animals?

    If creation has to be the product of an inteliligence, what does that word even mean? Our brains have several forms of intelligence working in concert. Some of those forms are truncated versions of evolution. We've designed genetic algorithm AI's.

    Evolution is a vast, difficult-to-fathom force of nature, and it's responsible for "creating" the simulation we experience as consciousness. But I wouldn't call evolution a God. I don't think God is a good word to describe something like that. I also don't know why you would ever assume it's likely that a humanlike tinkerer designed the universe as a simulation when we are such a small and insignificant speck of the Universe's unfolding.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    First, holy crap is this thread moving fast. I am likely going to have to drop out, as I do have work. I'll try to stay up on this, though.
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    For society, it makes sense to enforce laws. As a member, it makes sense not to get caught breaking laws. However, if you can get away with a crime, and there is no punishment now or ever, why do you hold back?
    In the case of crimes I don't think are immoral and I don't think there's sufficient risk of me getting caught ... I don't.

    Are you asking why I have a sense of morality at all? Like why would I refrain from murdering or stealing if I could get away with it?

    I saw someone earlier said "because it would hurt another human being." We do tons of shit that hurts other human beings. See the climate change thread. Nobody here would directly hurt someone, as they do not want the appearance of having done so. However, we take actions that have a very high chance of endangering the lives of someone down the line.

    Am I trying to bring morality in to this? I do not believe so. I do question any strict adherence to any rules and regulations by people that scorn other people's rules and regulations. Society is no more corporeal than any god, to me.

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I'm an agnostic because there is no way to empirically prove or disprove the existence of god. Therefore, I simply don't know.

    BAM, agnostic.

    Instead of trying to be clever by asking you questions designed to trap you into something I'm just going to immediately tell you that despite this you are still an atheist because you lack belief in a God. If you want to refute this then tell me how you simultaneously reject two out of the two possible positions (belief/no belief) and what this third position you've made for yourself is called.
    I don't see why I have to pick a specific god that MAY exist to shore up my agnostic credentials.

    Can I only be a Lutheran Agnostic, or a Shiite Agnostic? I can be unsure about the existence or non-existence of a guiding divine hand without picking a particular religion to be unsure about, right?

    Because under your definition, there's no such thing as passive agnosticism.

    I'm not saying you have to pick a specific God. If you believe then you're simply an agnostic theist.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Okay, here is my understanding of things:

    Theism - active belief in God
    Atheism - active disbelief in God/undecided
    Agnosticism - impossible to know if there is or is not a God

    So, to me, agnosticism is compatible with both theism and atheism, as it prescribes that there simply isn't any way for us to know with absolute certainty that God exists. I could be way off here, but that's what I've gathered.

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I am close to accusing you of being condescending by reducing religion to a crutch and claiming people need it to leave good lives but I don't think I fully understand what you're saying so I'd like to you elaborate. I don't think there is another life after this one, so you would be saying then that I cannot lead a lawful life? And what are these illusions that I apparently call reasons that you are talking about? You are claiming that the reasons I have for living, the purpose I make for myself, is false? Furthermore, religion is the only real reason to live? Please explain.

    I don't think religion is a crutch. I do think it is a comforting thought, and closes a logic hole for why you should be an unobserved lawful person.

    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.

    We're a social creature. We benefit when the rest of our group benefits, thus it's in our best interest to keep society functioning smoothly, which is best done by following all laws.

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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.
    But ... it's not. Like I said, altruism exists among many groups of intelligent mammals.

    The underlying reason is that our brains are evolved to feel empathy, and they give us rewards (happiness, or perhaps respect in humans) for aiding others. Only psychopaths lack empathy. And they are a huge problem because they do indeed game the system, like you fear.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Crap, as I said, this is moving too fast to really pay attention to. Can I see a reason to create your own moral code? Definitely. Can I see a benefit for everyone to try and have as much overlap in their view of this as possible. Yes. Do I honestly believe that there is a universal truth? Not really. This includes afterlife as much as anything else. I find people with a moral code that have complete empathy in only other humans to be somewhat laughable when they kill animals daily. Especially if they espouse a view that says humans are not incredibly special as far as animals go.

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    atheism is lack of belief in God... isn't that literally what the word means when you break it down? not a theist, doesn't believe in God. not the same as active disbelief.

    BNet-Vari#1998 | WiiU-Variable | 3DS-3866-8105-7478 | Steam | Twitch
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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Okay, here is my understanding of things:

    Theism - active belief in God
    Atheism - active disbelief in God/undecided
    Agnosticism - impossible to know if there is or is not a God
    This is meaningless unless you define what (or who) you mean by "God."

  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Variable wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Variable wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Can you explain this? Is there any evidence that you possess that leaves you unable to completely rule out the existence of an afterlife? I don't consider there being any evidence for an afterlife, just as I don't consider there being any evidence for an invisible lion in my room. I am quite comfortable denying the existence of both. If there is no evidence do you automatically assume a position of doubt that leaves you to conclude you cannot say one way or another. Is this the case for everything you think about or is this the case only when religion is involved? Or maybe there is some evidence you consider valid that causes you to doubt the non-existence of the afterlife?

    I am comfortable working with the belief there is no afterlife. However, I also see the benefit to their being one. It gives people living today a real reason to give a fuck about life. I mean, families have a reason to care about their family, in the sense that it is beneficial for them to do so, typically. But, there is no reason to live a lawful life if there is no afterlife. There is only the reasons to appear to do so. (I suppose, in that sense, I consider all atheists who are straight laced to be too lazy to live the one life they have to its fullest.)

    that is entirely false.

    How is it entirely false? Again, I am not saying you want to appear to be unlawful, but you definitely have no compelling reason to always do so.
    Systems of law existed long before the concept of a judgmental afterlife, taeric.

    the Hebrews didn't believe in such an afterlife.

    Altruism predates the concept of an afterlife, of language, and really, human beings; many animals are altruistic.

    The reasons you follow laws are (1) you think they are morally good, or (2) you don't want to risk getting punished for breaking them.

    For society, it makes sense to enforce laws. As a member, it makes sense not to get caught breaking laws. However, if you can get away with a crime, and there is no punishment now or ever, why do you hold back?

    because it would hurt another human being

    How about this one? I bought a keyboard a few months ago. Rain leaked through my ceiling and damaged it. I still had the receipt, so I could have returned it to the store for an exchange, no questions asked. But I didn't. I don't believe in any deity that affects my life.

    Morality isn't dependent on reward. It's not even dependent on harm towards others. A lot of it has to do with societal notions of what is "right" and what isn't.

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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Okay, here is my understanding of things:

    Theism - active belief in God
    Atheism - active disbelief in God/undecided
    Agnosticism - impossible to know if there is or is not a God
    This is meaningless unless you define what (or who) you mean by "God."

    No, it isn't meaningless. You know damn well who I'm talking about.

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  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.
    But ... it's not. Like I said, altruism exists among many groups of intelligent mammals.

    Altruism also exists among groups of 'unintelligent' insects!

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.
    But ... it's not. Like I said, altruism exists among many groups of intelligent mammals.

    The underlying reason is that our brains are evolved to feel empathy, and they give us rewards (happiness, or perhaps respect in humans) for aiding others. Only psychopaths lack empathy. And they are a huge problem because they do indeed game the system, like you fear.

    By your own definition of reality as a simulation, empathy is entirely simulated. Why would you expect everyone's simulation of empathy to match?

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Crap, as I said, this is moving too fast to really pay attention to. Can I see a reason to create your own moral code? Definitely. Can I see a benefit for everyone to try and have as much overlap in their view of this as possible. Yes. Do I honestly believe that there is a universal truth? Not really. This includes afterlife as much as anything else. I find people with a moral code that have complete empathy in only other humans to be somewhat laughable when they kill animals daily. Especially if they espouse a view that says humans are not incredibly special as far as animals go.
    My cat clearly has empathy and would not hesitate to kill many other animals.

    Also, many humans do have empathy for animals, especially pets. Great effort is made to abstract the process of killing animals for meat so that consumer humans don't have to face the suffering we cause.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

    optimusighsig.png
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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    By your own definition of reality as a simulation, empathy is entirely simulated. Why would you expect everyone's simulation of empathy to match?
    I'm not sure what you mean.

    When I said everything we experience is "simulated" I didn't mean that it's fake or that it's not meaningful.

    Also, some people don't have empathy: psychopaths.

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    taeric wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    That is, I don't think that someone that doesn't believe in an afterlife can not lead a lawful life. I just don't buy into the logic of why they should. I do agree 100% they should give the appearance of a lawful life. But, cheating and ``looking out for number 1'' would be the absolute name of the game.
    But ... it's not. Like I said, altruism exists among many groups of intelligent mammals.

    The underlying reason is that our brains are evolved to feel empathy, and they give us rewards (happiness, or perhaps respect in humans) for aiding others. Only psychopaths lack empathy. And they are a huge problem because they do indeed game the system, like you fear.

    By your own definition of reality as a simulation, empathy is entirely simulated. Why would you expect everyone's simulation of empathy to match?

    He doesn't. In fact, like the last half of his post is pointing out that not everyone's sense of empathy matches.

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