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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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Atheism And Moral Progress

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  • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    Correspondence is a process, not an actual theory of what truth is. Combustion converted to motion is a process but doesn’t describe what an engine coupled to a transmission is. I feel that Avicenna hit the nail on the head when he suggested that truth is a—obviously non-empirical—component of essence, and thus of all existents.
    Sorry, Ano - but I just don't do the philosophical crypto-speak. My philosophy roots are too old and my interest level is not high enough to want to re-engage with it, especially since I've found most concepts can be expressed reasonably simply. Correspondence is not a "process," in the standard definition of the word. It is a condition. One thing is in a state of correspondence to another if they are aligned. There is no "process" involved. Truth is simply the correspondence - the state of alignment - of a symbolic expression with the reality it describes. It's not much more complicated than that.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    Agreed. The truth of personal feelings, beliefs, motivations, etc. are subjective and relative. Those include moral beliefs, opinions, etc. But that doesn’t justify imposing relativism on all truth.
    Then you will have to overcome the problem of how a relative/symbolic representation (i.e., language) can be used to articulate absolutes. I don't see how you get there.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    To my thinking a strong case for absolute truth in both realms (facts/morality) is found in the compatibilist structure of material reality itself. Matter in complex particulars is mutable, but their mutability is supervised by the absolute non-contact forces. One can argue that non-contact forces aren’t absolute—for instance gravity is known to have been measured at different points in time at slightly different values—but this argument is irrelevant to the point. The non-contact forces are thought to have necessarily been in effect since the Big Bang, chugging along and moderating the changeable side of reality since day one. Reality thus operates under the mutation ordered within the constraints of the absolute process of compatibility. The fact that change is limited to action within the parameters of the absolute, obvious in the material realm, can reasonably be believed to operate as an identical process in the prescriptive side of reality.
    That there are objective realities, I agree. That there are universal principles that govern these (i.e., gravity, laws of physics) seems obvious to me, but then again we still cannot articulate a consistent set of these principles from the quantum to the macro. That they are absolute? I'm not sure how you show this - or even begin to express it.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    This is intuitive; a relativistic universe could not order itself.
    And yet the universe appears to operate relatively....

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    Assuming (as I do) that all things (particulars and universals) form from ‘raw information’ (check out James S. Saint’s Rational Metaphysics : Affectance Ontology on I Love Philosophy. His concept of affectance seems to closely parallel the notion of a universe formed from raw information.) Imagine what would happen if the non-contact forces suddenly disappeared. Instant chaos would ensue. Particulars would disintegrate. Without the strong nuclear force neutrons and protons would probably just disassemble into their subatomic constituents. Stuff would really be involved in relativistic change.
    I think I'll wait for the movie.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    A reasonable assessment.


    But the mental, sociological, psychological, moral, material, etc. processes that would naturally follow from value being an essential ingredient of reality leads to just those kinds of propositions as value is a judgment about a thing, requires a valuer.

    The last statement contains the point of contention: we are in agreement that value requires an assessor. This takes us right back to the conflict between our positions. You refuse [I'm assuming] to accept the idea that value can possibly be an ingredient of reality because the prerequisite for value is a mind. The mind necessary to impose value on reality cannot, it is true, be human.
    Really? From where I sit - any sentient mind can assess value.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    Limiting your beliefs to a materialist ontology naturally precludes minds prior to human intellects, so the metaphysical value system presented above will be incoherent to you, not on the basis of a failure to provide evidence but on the basis of it providing evidence you’re willing to accept. In other words, no matter how logically coherent the presentation, you’ll not be able to overcome an unwillingness to accept the evidence as warrant for belief. Continued materialist belief under this scenario fails the test of objectivity due to personal bias. I’m not criticizing, only pointing out that in belief, whether about empirical or non-empirical reality, because it is an interpretation is subjective in nature. So it seems to me that objectivity is only the holding of analytic (interpretation) evidence for any of us. Of course my theistic bias is a priori to my belief of a mechanism based on value as a component of reality. What's new under the sun? Objectivity almost never seems to actually make it past its hazy attachment to justified reasons.
    As best I can tell, trying to parse the crypto-speak, you object to the fact that any sentient mind is subjectively related to its environs. We assume (and cannot show) that the universe has an objective reality - but none of us can experience it objectively - our experience of it will always be subjective. Like it or no - that's what we have to work with.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    I take the position that the hypothesis of value in the essence of existents produces logically or semantically consistent pathways to objective warrant for belief of its existence and purported function. The value mechanism that comes to pass by this process provides a reasonable case that moral values, which attach to and play out in descriptive reality, are grounded in the truth-nature of God.
    I have no idea what any of that means - but the words appear to be English. It's a conundrum...

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    I’m pretty close to 100% sure it is impossible for us to grasp, much less articulate, absolute truths. But it doesn’t follow from this that all truth is subjective and relative.
    Then you will have to explain how a sentient mind subjectively related to its environs can formulate an "absolute" truth.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    How would you approach the compatibilist structure presented earlier as evidence of necessity of the absolute to order existence?
    I would crouch very low to the grass and creep up on it slowly.

    Sorry, Ano - I am not trying to be disrespectful, but I don't even try to answer questions I do not understand - especially when they appear to framed in a way designed to make them obtuse.

    Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
    Btw, our use of symbolism seems compatible with the notion of the fragmental falsification of the mind, whose natural indistinctness toward true propositions would produce figurative forms of communication as tools to help us arrive at proper or warranted beliefs.
    Same comment -

    Look, Ano - you may coome to the same conclusion that I think Matt (and a couple others) have come to here: I'm simply out of their league and not worth having a discussion with. If that is what you conclude, so be it - and nice to meet you. If not, then you are going to have to simplify your posts. I believe Seer called it "dumbing down." In my experience, most concepts can be expressed intelligibly, so even the "lay person" can follow the discussion. I'm happy to engage with those.

    If that makes me intellectually lazy (as others have concluded)... so be it
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

    Comment


    • Originally posted by seer View Post
      Yet it seems that you leave no room for human agency
      Agency exists in a state of restrained freedom as I see it. The upshot of the value mechanism is its capacity to demonstrate that rather than the common take on free will--i.e., as an ability to make free choices unconstrained by external agencies--the will is only bound in its ability to choose truly. Salvation is being set free from a falsified soul [falsity destroyed and the soul restored to a true state, the entire message of the Bible] to be made wholly true and be able to embrace truth wholly. To the extent we're able to unite with prescriptive truth, which as Aquinas saw necessitates inner cleansing, has a strong deterministic component as you seem to have noticed. But this is the micro-level assessment. Though the ability to will truly is logically reduced to mathematical or determined functions on a fragmentary level, value-bearingness emerges in the macro-level soul and takes on different properties. Here, complex value calculations play out in dispositions or inclinations, which allows degrees of freedom to resist the sum of one's falsification with respect to various normative beliefs. This may not make much sense to you without the metaphysical background it comes from. This includes a reduction of each particular to constituents of information, where each iota of information exists (microscopically) in its own value state. Similar to the body as a whole made up of atoms or cells or however you want to reduce it, only on a more abstract level. In value mechanics substance is just a mode of information, the soul a different mode of information. All particulars are reducible to minute value components. As consciousness emerges from cells, value recognition emerges within consciousness, not merely along with sense experience, but tied inexorable to it. For example, I read an article recently where researchers discovered that children recognized moral norms intuitively, without being taught. I'm working on a YouTube video showing how this hypothesis plays out, will try to remember to link to it here somewhere if you're interested.

      I'm not sure where scripture states that we all are granted regeneration out of the gate
      This is based on an interpretation of Jn 1:9 as regenerative in nature, and supported by the theological (salvific) function of the value metaphysic playing out in the allegorical structure of both Testaments of Scripture. Long story. Hope to finish the book before I die, but already two years into retirement and too much other stuff getting in the way of progress.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
        Sorry, Ano - but I just don't do the philosophical crypto-speak. My philosophy roots are too old and my interest level is not high enough to want to re-engage with it, especially since I've found most concepts can be expressed reasonably simply. Correspondence is not a "process," in the standard definition of the word. It is a condition. One thing is in a state of correspondence to another if they are aligned. There is no "process" involved. Truth is simply the correspondence - the state of alignment - of a symbolic expression with the reality it describes. It's not much more complicated than that.
        Sorry, I'm not sharp enough nor do I have the time to reduce to simplicity. I agree that simplicity is better, just have enough trouble working out the stuff. I understand your lack of interest. Correspondence is a process for me because of my views of value, just as its a condition for you under your worldview. Understood.

        Then you will have to overcome the problem of how a relative/symbolic representation (i.e., language) can be used to articulate absolutes. I don't see how you get there.
        Actually I stated that I'm close to 100% sure that because we can't under current conditions of falsification grasp the absolute, that I see representation/symbolism as a natural tool to improve understanding this lack produces.

        That there are objective realities, I agree. That there are universal principles that govern these (i.e., gravity, laws of physics) seems obvious to me, but then again we still cannot articulate a consistent set of these principles from the quantum to the macro. That they are absolute? I'm not sure how you show this - or even begin to express it.
        I noted that to have to 'prove the absolute'--given the reality that we can't grasp it--is not necessary to express the "immutable in control of the mutable" compatibilistic structure that demonstrates the necessity of the absolute. To articulate a consistent set of principles to explain the absolute is not necessary to understanding the compatibilist principle itself.

        And yet the universe appears to operate relatively....
        Yep. But only under the aforementioned compatibilist parameters.

        I think I'll wait for the movie.
        Really? Disappointing response. Simple logic: imagine what would happen if scientific laws quit working. Not impossible or even hard to do. Simple: chaos reigns when the absolute is removed. There, I thought it out for you in its simplest terms my friend.

        Really? From where I sit - any sentient mind can assess value.
        So you and Fido and the three year old across the street have frequent discussions about ethics? Hmmm.

        As best I can tell, trying to parse the crypto-speak, you object to the fact that any sentient mind is subjectively related to its environs. We assume (and cannot show) that the universe has an objective reality - but none of us can experience it objectively - our experience of it will always be subjective. Like it or no - that's what we have to work with.
        ??? I not only don't object, I've stated at least once that we're not capable of grasping the absolute or escape our subjective and relative state, and see no conflict between this and belief that the absolute exists.

        I have no idea what any of that means - but the words appear to be English. It's a conundrum.
        Yes, it would be for one unwilling to pursue the concepts. I get it, not your cup of tea.

        Then you will have to explain how a sentient mind subjectively related to its environs can formulate an "absolute" truth.
        *sigh* No, I don't. This has already been spoken to. I think I'm beginning to see why Seer gets so frustrated with you.

        Sorry, Ano - I am not trying to be disrespectful, but I don't even try to answer questions I do not understand - especially when they appear to framed in a way designed to make them obtuse.
        Understood. Unfortunately I'm not and probably won't be in a position to condense. It would be fruitless anyway. I do find it a bit irritating that you suggest I purposefully design obtuseness into my writing. I do not. I paint what I see. Period. If I condense, you'll respond that I offer no proof for the "simplistic" condensed version. Then I'll have to offer justification, which you'll again state is obtuse. Do I sense a subtle sophistry at work? My approach to value is unorthodox, which makes reduction to 'commonspeak' all the more complicated. Most message board folks are only comfortable rehashing the same stuff ad infinitum with nothing ever resolved. If you prefer to remain in the herd, I understand. I've been around the block a time or two, having worked on this hypothesis for around 25 years now. Worry not, no offense taken. You've actually been more polite than most of my Christian brethren. Once they find out the value mechanism leads to the salvation of all, I'm the offspring of Satan himself to them. Cheers, and best to you carped.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          Sorry, I'm not sharp enough nor do I have the time to reduce to simplicity. I agree that simplicity is better, just have enough trouble working out the stuff. I understand your lack of interest. Correspondence is a process for me because of my views of value, just as its a condition for you under your worldview. Understood.

          Actually I stated that I'm close to 100% sure that because we can't under current conditions of falsification grasp the absolute, that I see representation/symbolism as a natural tool to improve understanding this lack produces.

          I noted that to have to 'prove the absolute'--given the reality that we can't grasp it--is not necessary to express the "immutable in control of the mutable" compatibilistic structure that demonstrates the necessity of the absolute. To articulate a consistent set of principles to explain the absolute is not necessary to understanding the compatibilist principle itself.

          Yep. But only under the aforementioned compatibilist parameters.

          Really? Disappointing response. Simple logic: imagine what would happen if scientific laws quit working. Not impossible or even hard to do. Simple: chaos reigns when the absolute is removed. There, I thought it out for you in its simplest terms my friend.
          I'll leave you to your disappointment. "Scientific laws" are by no means "absolutes." "Scientific laws" are practical conclusions reached by applying the scientific method. They are descriptive, and are open to reformulation on the basis of new evidence. They are not the same as mathematical principals or logical ones. These latter are the only "absolutes" I think we can even remotely consider. And even then, we have to represent them with symbolic language which is inter-subjective and relative to the concepts they describe.

          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          So you and Fido and the three year old across the street have frequent discussions about ethics? Hmmm.
          No - we don't discuss ethics. My statement was about assessing value. Any sentient mind can - to one degree or another - assess value. Assessing value is not equivalent to discussing ethics.

          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          ??? I not only don't object, I've stated at least once that we're not capable of grasping the absolute or escape our subjective and relative state, and see no conflict between this and belief that the absolute exists.
          So you believe in something to which we have no demonstrable access. So you cannot demonstrate it exists, and I cannot refute its existence. And we proceed from there to....?

          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          Yes, it would be for one unwilling to pursue the concepts. I get it, not your cup of tea.

          *sigh* No, I don't. This has already been spoken to. I think I'm beginning to see why Seer gets so frustrated with you.
          Wow - I've manage to frustrate you in two posts. I think that might be a new record

          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          Understood. Unfortunately I'm not and probably won't be in a position to condense. It would be fruitless anyway. I do find it a bit irritating that you suggest I purposefully design obtuseness into my writing. I do not. I paint what I see. Period.
          Years ago, I set out to build my own house. I figured other people build houses - why not me? As I encountered things I didn't know, I would engage people who DID and work with them until I knew the thing, and then do the rest myself. I quickly discovered that there are two types of people in the construction world: those who surround what they do with crypto-speak as a way to give their trade panache and keep it in the "realm of the masters," and those who were happy to find someone interested and looking to learn, and happy to meet their students at their level.

          I have since come to find that pattern in just about every part of life. It surfaces a great deal in the realm of computer and network sciences. The experience has factored into my profession as a teacher. I have found no concept, even in the word of networks and computers, that I cannot express in terms that my students and the participants in my classes can easily follow and grasp. In general, when someone wishes to communicate - it is incumbent on them to frame their communication in a way the recipient can grasp. To assume that everyone has to adjust their "receivers" to the skill level of the speaker is intrinsically arrogant, IMO, if the speaker's skill level exceeds that of the listener.

          But that's my philosophy. Yours may be different.

          The concepts described by philosophy do not need to be expressed in crypto-speak, and they do not need to be "compressed." They can simply be expressed in the king's English in a way that is accessible to anyone. Look at your sentences. The vast majority of humanity does not speak that way. The language is arcane and incredibly obtuse. If it is natural to you - and that has become your default manner of speaking - then so be it. I have to wonder how many people you successfully communicate with. Either way, I don't think you're going to very successfully communicate with me. I have no desire to chase down a philosophical thesaurus so I can parse a sentence.

          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          If I condense, you'll respond that I offer no proof for the "simplistic" condensed version. Then I'll have to offer justification, which you'll again state is obtuse. Do I sense a subtle sophistry at work?
          You are speculating about what MAY happen before anything HAS happened. I will leave you to your speculation.

          Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
          My approach to value is unorthodox, which makes reduction to 'commonspeak' all the more complicated. Most message board folks are only comfortable rehashing the same stuff ad infinitum with nothing ever resolved. If you prefer to remain in the herd, I understand. I've been around the block a time or two, having worked on this hypothesis for around 25 years now. Worry not, no offense taken. You've actually been more polite than most of my Christian brethren. Once they find out the value mechanism leads to the salvation of all, I'm the offspring of Satan himself to them. Cheers, and best to you carped.
          We all make choices about where/how we spend our energies. My energy is predominantly expended with my family, maintaining my work for my clients, working on that aforementioned house, and planning for my next trip. I dabble here because I find some of the discussions interesting. But they are only interesting to the degree they are understandable.

          You can be assured you will not be the offspring of Satan to me, for obvious reasons.

          Well met, Ano. I will leave you to your positions.
          Last edited by carpedm9587; 04-10-2019, 07:39 PM.
          The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

          I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

          Comment


          • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
            I'll leave you to your disappointment. "Scientific laws" are by no means "absolutes." "Scientific laws" are practical conclusions reached by applying the scientific method. They are descriptive, and are open to reformulation on the basis of new evidence. They are not the same as mathematical principals or logical ones. These latter are the only "absolutes" I think we can even remotely consider. And even then, we have to represent them with symbolic language which is inter-subjective and relative to the concepts they describe.
            I used the term 'scientific laws' last post, should have been 'non-contact forces'. I assume you aren't really reading my posts or you're skipping the issue...I pointed out why it's irrelevant to argue, as some do, that the absolute laws aren't absolute. The concept still stands unchallenged if you care to respond to what I actually wrote.

            So you believe in something to which we have no demonstrable access. So you cannot demonstrate it exists, and I cannot refute its existence. And we proceed from there to....?
            We all believe in things to which we have no demonstrable access, assuming by 'demonstrable access you mean empirical evidence? And your point is?

            Wow - I've manage to frustrate you in two posts. I think that might be a new record
            No, just one. The sigh wasn't frustration. You're not trying hard enough, carp-man; I'm usually pretty easily frustrated. When I get frustrated I leave the forum for anywhere from a month or so to forever. As long as I'm still posting you still have your work cut out for you.

            Years ago, I set out to build my own house. I figured other people build houses - why not me? As I encountered things I didn't know, I would engage people who DID and work with them until I knew the thing, and then do the rest myself. I quickly discovered that there are two types of people in the construction world: those who surround what they do with crypto-speak as a way to give their trade panache and keep it in the "realm of the masters," and those who were happy to find someone interested and looking to learn, and happy to meet their students at their level.

            I have since come to find that pattern in just about every part of life. It surfaces a great deal in the realm of computer and network sciences. The experience has factored into my profession as a teacher. I have found no concept, even in the word of networks and computers, that I cannot express in terms that my students and the participants in my classes can easily follow and grasp. In general, when someone wishes to communicate - it is incumbent on them to frame their communication in a way the recipient can grasp. To assume that everyone has to adjust their "receivers" to the skill level of the speaker is intrinsically arrogant, IMO, if the speaker's skill level exceeds that of the listener.
            I feel you, dude. I'm a furnace installer/sheet metal mechanic by trade. Worked for a Chinese doctor once who built a huge, beautiful home overlooking the Mississippi River from a high Illinois bluff. He told me he did his own electrical. Two 200 amp panels...big house. I asked him where he learned the electrical trade. Told me he bought a book when house was in planning stages, saw how easy it was and decided to do it himself. I'm just finishing up remodeling my basement, did all my own work, framing, finish carpentry, wiring, flooring, drywalling, etc. I'm all for your hands on approach. But back to the point...I get what you're saying. The "two types of people" seems simplistic and too general to hold over the entire body of the trades, but I understand that there are those insecure in their understanding who withhold information and technique from others in order to be the one who's 'in the know'. I don't try to foist hard reading on anyone. Been working on this for a long time, and the concepts just don't seem that difficult to me, especially for posters in a philosophy thread I would think.

            The concepts described by philosophy do not need to be expressed in crypto-speak, and they do not need to be "compressed." They can simply be expressed in the king's English in a way that is accessible to anyone. Look at your sentences. The vast majority of humanity does not speak that way. The language is arcane and incredibly obtuse. If it is natural to you - and that has become your default manner of speaking - then so be it. I have to wonder how many people you successfully communicate with. Either way, I don't think you're going to very successfully communicate with me. I have no desire to chase down a philosophical thesaurus so I can parse a sentence.
            Have you ever read Hegel? He apparently didn't get the email about simplicity of expression. I think it safe to suggest that a large portion of philosophy of historical and lasting note is originally 'semantically cumbersome'. Reduction to simpler terms comes later. I tried to read Hegel, don't understand a word he's saying. The only way I can fathom Hegel is by reading other philosophers' interpretations of him. Life is full of simple and complex things. We accept some and reject others. Understood.

            You are speculating about what MAY happen before anything HAS happened. I will leave you to your speculation.
            To the contrary, I had to learn philosophy and metaphysics on my own from the internet the last 20+ years in order to find the value connections I was looking for between empirical and non-empirical realities. My early posts were abysmally lacking and I was criticized roundly on message boards for my 'simplistic' approach. I stated what I did not as speculation, but from experience. As I learned more, logical connections began to open up and I tried to keep up by incorporating and testing new correlations, all in my spare time while raising a family, working, etc. Stuff naturally became more in-depth and 'complicated'. I don't have the luxury at this point in my life to stop and reduce to small chunks. Retired, mind is slowing down, don't retain well any more and have to read things two and three times to get the gist of the texts. Life sucks, then you die. It is what it is.

            Well met, Ano. I will leave you to your positions.
            Ditto my friend. Peace out.

            Comment


            • It occurs to me an addendum might be beneficial to some readers of the thread. That writing is best when simple, unencumbered ideas and concepts are used is a true general rule in comparison with cumbersome, unwieldy prose. But from another point of view, the call for simplicity can be [not saying it is here, but can be] a subtle tactic by those who favor only empirical responses. From this position, the theist, who likely allows a broader category of existents into her ontic and epistemic 'reality libraries', is at a decided disadvantage. This second reason for a call to simplicity is subtle in that the benign concept of simplicity is here used as part of the standard circularity in the atheist approach, who says to the theist: "Let's debate with one another. The only rule is that only things in time and space are real. Now come, tell me all about your God!"

              The abstract is naturally difficult to articulate; the lion's share of language is quite naturally dedicated to the empirical side of reality since matter is the "loudest" noise in the intellect. To demand "simplicity" of concepts can therefore be a shrewd way of manipulating the theist--who must struggle to simplify information which is naturally difficult to express--into stripping complex ideas of their substance by coercing them into the sphere in which they can be more easily dismissed on the basis of 'lack of empirical evidence'. Just saying.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                It occurs to me an addendum might be beneficial to some readers of the thread. That writing is best when simple, unencumbered ideas and concepts are used is a true general rule in comparison with cumbersome, unwieldy prose. But from another point of view, the call for simplicity can be [not saying it is here, but can be] a subtle tactic by those who favor only empirical responses. From this position, the theist, who likely allows a broader category of existents into her ontic and epistemic 'reality libraries', is at a decided disadvantage. This second reason for a call to simplicity is subtle in that the benign concept of simplicity is here used as part of the standard circularity in the atheist approach, who says to the theist: "Let's debate with one another. The only rule is that only things in time and space are real. Now come, tell me all about your God!"

                The abstract is naturally difficult to articulate; the lion's share of language is quite naturally dedicated to the empirical side of reality since matter is the "loudest" noise in the intellect. To demand "simplicity" of concepts can therefore be a shrewd way of manipulating the theist--who must struggle to simplify information which is naturally difficult to express--into stripping complex ideas of their substance by coercing them into the sphere in which they can be more easily dismissed on the basis of 'lack of empirical evidence'. Just saying.
                Well Anomaly, I'm a Christian and I wish you would simplify. I suspect that you have some good ideas but I am having trouble following you. I don't think you would lose much by using language that is familiar to the rest of us. And perhaps focus on one point at a time. For instance, this thread is about atheism and moral progress. Do you believe that atheism can not account for ethics? If so why?
                Last edited by seer; 04-11-2019, 01:44 PM.
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • Originally posted by seer View Post
                  Do you believe that atheism can not account for ethics? If so why?
                  I believe that all human beings regardless of religious persuasion (including none) have, by benefit of design, varying abilities to apprehend moral/ethical norms.
                  Design:
                  The primary component of being is value. Truth exists as things themselves, so literally all things--including abstract entites--have truth as part of their makeup. Truth is a single thing, the only real absolute, but exists in different modes and in two different kinds--moral [prescriptive] and factual [descriptive]. Moral truth is dynamic, material is static. The former endues the latter, i.e., the soul endues the body.
                  Outcome of value-bearingness:
                  Because value (only two denominations, true (t) and false (f)) is part of all things on all levels, value plays out in all areas. In cognition, prescriptive value can arguable account for almost all behaviors. (It's not clear to me whether emotions, feelings, impressions, etc. as cognitive reactions can be truth-bearers in the sense the information of matter or minds (souls) can be.)

                  My hypothesis of cognitive response--using the simple explanation above--is that value in the information of the intellect naturally either unites with or rejects moral propositions based on the degree one's mind is fragmentally falsified. To this extent, the mind's knowledge (stored or inner content; memory) exists as propositions that are true or false corresponding to the value-bearingness of the mind that holds them. Assume the mind draws on inner content and focuses this content on a particular moral proposition. Given that the mind properly interprets the meaning of the proposition (propositions carry only represented, not actual, value) and that the representation is consistent with and conveys moral truth, the mind unites with the proposition as long as the fabric of the mind itself and the inner content it uses to process the proposition is sufficiently true. The mind thus structured can be said to be "free" to unite with moral truth. [the truth will set you free] If the mind's fabric and/or batch of knowledge content used to process that moral proposition is sufficiently falsified, it won't be able to unite with the true moral proposition and will reject it.

                  I'm suggesting the process is the same for all humans. So atheist, theist and all people gain their normative worldviews in exactly the same way. That the value-bearingness of the soul is fluid and under constant micro change is, I think, able to account for the changes one goes through in life, toward both factual-generated truth [I like strawberry more than vanilla ice cream] and morally-generated [I used to believe in God but no longer do] beliefs. Thus, Christians, based on thier beliefs that God exists and the Bible is a reliable source of revelation, suppose their religious beliefs to be superior (hold higher truth content) to the moral beliefs of atheists. Atheists hold that their belief that God does not exist [and therefore revelatory texts are the creation of fallible human minds] is true, and superior to the beliefs of theists. But both can find agreement on a broad range of moral and ethical ground by virtue that all humans have access to true beliefs and a moral sense by the aforementioned conditions and processes.

                  The moral beliefs of those with higher truth content in the soul will be more truth-apt while higher degrees of falsification produce a stronger depository of false beliefs, both with respect to absolute truth.

                  Summary: Since all people develop beliefs in the same way and by the same processes, atheists account for and stand in degrees of right and wrong to their moral and ethical beliefs like everyone else. Btw, this is a sort of 'informational dualism' as it extrapolates information as the base stuff of existence, of which substance is just a mode--a constricting, lesser mode compared to the information of the soul--of existence. This is as simple as I can make it. If it works, okay, if not I'll graciously bow out and leave y'all to you your own stuff.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                    It occurs to me an addendum might be beneficial to some readers of the thread. That writing is best when simple, unencumbered ideas and concepts are used is a true general rule in comparison with cumbersome, unwieldy prose. But from another point of view, the call for simplicity can be [not saying it is here, but can be] a subtle tactic by those who favor only empirical responses. From this position, the theist, who likely allows a broader category of existents into her ontic and epistemic 'reality libraries', is at a decided disadvantage. This second reason for a call to simplicity is subtle in that the benign concept of simplicity is here used as part of the standard circularity in the atheist approach, who says to the theist: "Let's debate with one another. The only rule is that only things in time and space are real. Now come, tell me all about your God!"

                    The abstract is naturally difficult to articulate; the lion's share of language is quite naturally dedicated to the empirical side of reality since matter is the "loudest" noise in the intellect. To demand "simplicity" of concepts can therefore be a shrewd way of manipulating the theist--who must struggle to simplify information which is naturally difficult to express--into stripping complex ideas of their substance by coercing them into the sphere in which they can be more easily dismissed on the basis of 'lack of empirical evidence'. Just saying.
                    You're somewhat fabricating an objection out of thin air. I have no problem communicating abstracts. Indeed, most of what we express as humans takes the form of abstractions. One might even make the case that abstraction are the default for us, given that we are naturally constrained to use symbolic language, which is itself an abstraction. The request has not been that you simplify concepts - only that you simplify your language.

                    The doctor, speaking with other doctors, can use all of the formal language they wish with their similarly trained peers. When they a conversing with someone without that formal training, they will simply not be understood if they insist on using their formal language. Patients will either bow deeply to their wisdom and follow like sheep, or abandon them and seek a doctor that can convey the same information in language they can follow.

                    So the problem is a simple one:

                    Ano can speak philosophical cryptospeak, and the king's English.
                    Carpe can speak the King's English.

                    To successfully communicate, either Carpe has to relearn philosophical cryptospeak, or Ano has to be willing to switch to the King's English. You seem to believe I should learn the new language, leaving me with the choice of either investing days of time to become facile (again) in the language so I can converse with you, or simply saying, "nice to meet you," and moving on. I choose the latter. I have enough going on in my life. I have no desire to exert that kind of effort solely for the privilege of exchanging ideas with you.

                    There is no trick involved. No attempt to subvert or hamstring your discussions. If your ideas cannot be conveyed without resorting to cryptospeak and that is the problem, then we're not a good pairing for a discussion. If they can and you are simply unwilling to shift, then we are not a good pairing for a discussion.
                    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                      The primary component of being is value.
                      Herein lies some of our problem. This sentence to me, doesn't even make sense. "Value" is not a component of being." It is a relative assessment made by a valuer. A rock sitting on a desert plain has no "intrinsic value." It has value to the degree that it serves a purpose for a valuer. It may have great value to one, and no value to another. You seem to be trying to turn "value" into an objective component of a thing. I frankly don't see how you can even begin to get there.

                      Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                      Truth exists as things themselves, so literally all things--including abstract entites--have truth as part of their makeup.
                      And here you try to do the same thing with the idea of "truth." It is possible our definitions of truth differ. I tend to use this one: "that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality." In other words, a "truth" is a statement that conforms to what is real. A "falsehood" is a statement that does not conform to what is real. A "lie" is a falsehood that is put forward with intent to deceive.

                      Presumably your definition is somehow related to "I am the way, the truth, and the life." I consider that statement to be largely mystical gobbleygook. A thing cannot be "truth." A thing merely is or is not. A claim about a thing can be true or false.
                      The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                      I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                        Herein lies some of our problem. This sentence to me, doesn't even make sense. "Value" is not a component of being." It is a relative assessment made by a valuer. A rock sitting on a desert plain has no "intrinsic value." It has value to the degree that it serves a purpose for a valuer. It may have great value to one, and no value to another. You seem to be trying to turn "value" into an objective component of a thing. I frankly don't see how you can even begin to get there.
                        here you try to do the same thing with the idea of "truth." It is possible our definitions of truth differ. I tend to use this one: "that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality." In other words, a "truth" is a statement that conforms to what is real. A "falsehood" is a statement that does not conform to what is real. A "lie" is a falsehood that is put forward with intent to deceive.

                        Presumably your definition is somehow related to "I am the way, the truth, and the life." I consider that statement to be largely mystical gobbleygook. A thing cannot be "truth." A thing merely is or is not. A claim about a thing can be true or false.
                        Simplified: Yes, your and my approach to what truth is is completely different. I understand that you and those who share your worldview will robustly reject my interpretation of truth. You don't see how I "can even remotely get there" because, as you've stated, you have no interest in learning my "cryptospeak":
                        To successfully communicate, either Carpe has to relearn philosophical cryptospeak, or Ano has to be willing to switch to the King's English. You seem to believe I should learn the new language, leaving me with the choice of either investing days of time to become facile (again) in the language so I can converse with you, or simply saying, "nice to meet you," and moving on. I choose the latter. I have enough going on in my life. I have no desire to exert that kind of effort solely for the privilege of exchanging ideas with you.
                        I don't really give a rat's posterior that you don't care to learn what I'm saying in order to discuss. 95% of all humans are only interested in surrounding themselves with the worldview they've concocted and to discuss from within the same tired framework with others cemented into their beliefs the same concepts over and over with no resolution is sight. This is just what we humans do. You've been telling...and telling...and telling me repeatedly that you're not willing to invest in my gobbledygook--and yet here you are again, telling me--again--that you're not willing to invest in my gobbeldygook. For the love of God, carpe, why do you continue to respond to my posts? I've already explained to you in previous posts why you can't accept what I'm posting (which you appear to have just figured out), yet you keep reappearing, like the overly chatty neighbor who lives next door.

                        Yes, the definition of truth I use necessitates that truth exists by design. You don't buy it. I get it. Put it to rest already. The gobbledygook is my attempt at a defense for warranted belief for the idea of truth designed into reality. That you're unable to give the idea due consideration is actually anticipated by the mechanics of value (as I call this view). One of its strengths is its ability to predict certain responses to moral propositions. You've unwittingly supplied abundant proof for the view's predictive capability in your responses. I won't go into the mechanics of it in order to save you from the pain of suffering further gobbledygookedness.

                        Now give me a big hug and go back to planning that vacation, dude.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                          Yes, the definition of truth I use necessitates that truth exists by design. You don't buy it. I get it. Put it to rest already. The gobbledygook is my attempt at a defense for warranted belief for the idea of truth designed into reality. That you're unable to give the idea due consideration is actually anticipated by the mechanics of value (as I call this view). One of its strengths is its ability to predict certain responses to moral propositions. You've unwittingly supplied abundant proof for the view's predictive capability in your responses. I won't go into the mechanics of it in order to save you from the pain of suffering further gobbledygookedness.

                          Translation for Carpe: "The fact that no one can figure out what the heck I'm even talking about is evidence that my belief is true."
                          ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                            Translation for Carpe: "The fact that no one can figure out what the heck I'm even talking about is evidence that my belief is true."
                            Sounds similar to the old adage, if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance then baffle them with your "bovine scat"

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              Simplified: Yes, your and my approach to what truth is is completely different. I understand that you and those who share your worldview will robustly reject my interpretation of truth. You don't see how I "can even remotely get there" because, as you've stated, you have no interest in learning my "cryptospeak":
                              The sentences I responded to were fairly simple to follow. As noted, if you are redefining conventional words, then we are not talking about the same things. 'Nuff said.

                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              I don't really give a rat's posterior that you don't care to learn what I'm saying in order to discuss.
                              I don't remember suggesting that you did. I was simply outlining the situation.

                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              95% of all humans are only interested in surrounding themselves with the worldview they've concocted and to discuss from within the same tired framework with others cemented into their beliefs the same concepts over and over with no resolution is sight. This is just what we humans do. You've been telling...and telling...and telling me repeatedly that you're not willing to invest in my gobbledygook--and yet here you are again, telling me--again--that you're not willing to invest in my gobbeldygook.
                              You seem to have conflated (quite literally) two separate posts. The first responded to your suggestion that the call for simplicity could be some sort of subterfuge (which I reject, in this case), and hence my post. The second was a response to your use of "value" and "truth."

                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              For the love of God, carpe, why do you continue to respond to my posts?
                              Honestly? I'm having a boring afternoon. The other discussion I had an interest in I disconnected from. It was in a bizarre venue I don't want to spend time in.

                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              I've already explained to you in previous posts why you can't accept what I'm posting (which you appear to have just figured out), yet you keep reappearing, like the overly chatty neighbor who lives next door.
                              Just call me Wilson!

                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              Yes, the definition of truth I use necessitates that truth exists by design. You don't buy it. I get it. Put it to rest already. The gobbledygook is my attempt at a defense for warranted belief for the idea of truth designed into reality. That you're unable to give the idea due consideration is actually anticipated by the mechanics of value (as I call this view). One of its strengths is its ability to predict certain responses to moral propositions. You've unwittingly supplied abundant proof for the view's predictive capability in your responses. I won't go into the mechanics of it in order to save you from the pain of suffering further gobbledygookedness.
                              You don't need to save me, Ano. I tend to pick and choose what I read and respond to.

                              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                              Now give me a big hug and go back to planning that vacation, dude.
                              Vacation? I wish...

                              Generally, Ano, my post was intended as a kind of invitation to climb off the pedestal and descend to chat with us little people. You sound like someone who has ideas it might be fun to explore, but not at the cost of trying to parse your "gobblygookedness." I'm willing to put an effort into a discussion - but there is a limit. Anyway - I leave it to you. Dunno if I'll respond again. Sort of "as the spirit moves me" kind of thang...
                              Last edited by carpedm9587; 04-13-2019, 03:02 PM.
                              The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                              I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                                Translation for Carpe: "The fact that no one can figure out what the heck I'm even talking about is evidence that my belief is true."
                                Now THAT made me snort my coffee up my nose...
                                The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                                I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                                Comment

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