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  • Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
    ....so people who don't believe in God can't have legitimate opinions on what is right or wrong? That's silly.
    I didn't say that. I'm saying in a materialistic reality right and wrong, what is "good", can be whatever you (or someone's Islamic Khilafat) want it to be.

    G. E. Moore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Good as indefinable

    Moore contended that goodness cannot be analysed in terms of any other property. In Principia Ethica, he writes:

    It may be true that all things which are good are also something else, just as it is true that all things which are yellow produce a certain kind of vibration in the light. And it is a fact, that Ethics aims at discovering what are those other properties belonging to all things which are good. But far too many philosophers have thought that when they named those other properties they were actually defining good; that these properties, in fact, were simply not "other," but absolutely and entirely the same with goodness. (§ 10 ¶ 3)

    Therefore, we cannot define "good" by explaining it in other words. We can only point to an action or a thing and say "That is good." Similarly, we cannot describe to a blind person exactly what yellow is. We can only show a sighted person a piece of yellow paper or a yellow scrap of cloth and say "That is yellow."
    Good as a non-natural property

    In addition to categorising "good" as indefinable, Moore also emphasized that it is a non-natural property. This means that it cannot be empirically or scientifically tested or verified - it is not within the bounds of "natural science".
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Scott F View Post
      I didn't say that. I'm saying in a materialistic reality right and wrong, what is "good", can be whatever you (or someone's Islamic Khilafat) want it to be.
      Absolutely. Anything beyond that is just theory, anyway.

      What does this have to do with believing in a 'God' or not?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
        Absolutely. Anything beyond that is just theory, anyway.

        What does this have to do with believing in a 'God' or not?
        What is the point of atheism if an atheist isn't grounding his belief in materialism? Show me an atheist who doesn't so. I really don't care to rehash all this stuff. I did enough of that back in the old Usnet. What I get tired of, though, are the smug put downs on theists that can only be based upon that atheist's arguing a moral realism of his own.
        Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Scott F View Post
          What is the point of atheism if an atheist isn't grounding his belief in materialism? Show me an atheist who doesn't so.
          I don't see how you get from that to the notion that atheists must necessarily then reject morality, right and wrong, emotion, etc., simply because they attribute those concepts to 'materialistic' origins.

          I really don't care to rehash all this stuff. I did enough of that back in the old Usnet. What I get tired of, though, are the smug put downs on theists that can only be based upon that atheist's arguing a moral realism of his own.
          Good lord, but what you're peddling isn't "smug"!?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
            I don't see how you get from that to the notion that atheists must necessarily then reject morality, right and wrong, emotion, etc., simply because they attribute those concepts to 'materialistic' origins.
            I didn't say they had to reject morality. Any sociology class will talk about morality and cultural moral codes. That class will put "right and wrong" within cultural norms (normative ethics), aka Cultural Relativism. That doesn't mean you don't have your moral preferences; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What it mean, however, is that you (or anyone else) could have no rational justification to argue that your moral preferences are somehow factually superior. So much for the UN's Declaration on Human Rights in that rights are somehow "inherent." The UN Declaration would also have to be the stuff of fairy tale.

            Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
            Good lord, but what you're peddling isn't "smug"!?
            It's a counter. Someone always wants to put down theists for believing in "fairy tales."
            Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Scott F View Post
              What I get tired of, though, are the smug put downs on theists that can only be based upon that atheist's arguing a moral realism of his own.
              How about put downs on theists by true moral relativists? :-)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                I didn't say they had to reject morality. Any sociology class will talk about morality and cultural moral codes. That class will put "right and wrong" within cultural norms (normative ethics), aka Cultural Relativism. That doesn't mean you don't have your moral preferences; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What it mean, however, is that you (or anyone else) could have no rational justification to argue that your moral preferences are somehow factually superior.
                But the religious among us DO have such a "rational justification"? That seems strange, because even within a particular sect of a single denomination of one of the various religions on the planet, there can be great disagreement. Humans learn of religion from other humans.

                I don't need to argue that my beliefs are "factually superior" in order to advocate on their behalf.

                It's a counter. Someone always wants to put down theists for believing in "fairy tales."
                So you, in turn, resort to these philosophical back-flips to put atheists in their place? I'm not saying there aren't a lot of smug atheists (and as I noted I'm simply agnostic), but there's plenty of that coming from the side of religious believers ("Oh you poor dear, I will pray you find your way to agreeing with my belief system before you're subjected to an eternity of damnation.")
                Last edited by UTfootball747; 04-03-2013, 01:25 PM.

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                • Originally posted by Lumifer View Post
                  How about put downs on theists by true moral relativists? :-)
                  He's fine with those. Keep 'em coming!
                  The Champagne of Beards

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
                    But the religious among us DO have such a "rational justification"? That seems strange, because even within a particular sect of a single denomination of one of the various religions on the planet, there can be great disagreement. Humans learn of religion from other humans.

                    I don't need to argue that my beliefs are "factually superior" in order to advocate on their behalf.



                    So you, in turn, resort to these philosophical back-flips to put atheists in their place? I'm not saying there aren't a lot of smug atheists (and as I noted I'm simply agnostic), but there's plenty of that coming from the side of religious believers ("Oh you poor dear, I will pray you find your way to agreeing with my belief system before you're subjected to an eternity of damnation.")
                    At one point I was agnostic. I couldn't accept the ethical implication materialism has. Back flips? OK. Depends, not all atheists. I really don't care whether someone is atheist, theist, deist, whatever. It's when an atheist puts down theists for believing in fair tales in inadvertently using his own. These days I pass over most of those arguments. And I agree that there are smug theists. Someone even replied to a post of mine using a biblical phrases. At least that's what I thought the intent was. I used to take issue with theists as well in forums were atheists and theists were debating each other. I argued with atheists against theists. I'll do that when a fundamentalist is arguing against evolution. I posted a rebuttal on that earlier in this thread.
                    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

                    Comment


                    • What I don't get, Scott, is your insistence on equating atheism with materialism. It's a faulty premise from which the rest of your faulty reasoning proceeds.

                      Ya see, I actually have a PhD. I didn't just get complemented (sic) by one once.

                      Boy this gets the silly thread of the month award for sure.

                      Comment


                      • You know, you CAN believe in the basic tenants and principles and moral ideals behind something without believing absolutely every word as 100% truth.

                        This becomes possible when you accept the fallibility of human beings. We may not have written everything down correctly, we may have changed things on purpose in order to achieve our own personal ends, we may even have misunderstood things as they happened.
                        "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                        • Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                          What is the point of atheism if an atheist isn't grounding his belief in materialism? Show me an atheist who doesn't so. I really don't care to rehash all this stuff. I did enough of that back in the old Usnet. What I get tired of, though, are the smug put downs on theists that can only be based upon that atheist's arguing a moral realism of his own.
                          Uh, ever seen - or even heard about - the mind-blowing treasure stockpiled in the Vatican? The pope is the king of materialism. It even made the news when the new pope Francis I wanted to use an old car in the Vatican's storage instead of getting brand-new one; really freaked people out.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                            What I don't get, Scott, is your insistence on equating atheism with materialism. It's a faulty premise from which the rest of your faulty reasoning proceeds.

                            Ya see, I actually have a PhD. I didn't just get complemented (sic) by one once.

                            Boy this gets the silly thread of the month award for sure.
                            Then you missed the post where I said you actually don't have to be both...but atheism loses its grounding without materialism. You can be an atheist and believe in ghosts since ghosts aren't gods.

                            At the risk of quoting a bias source, even though the argument is a sound one:

                            A Catholic Thinker - The Incoherence of Atheism

                            Materialism

                            Materialism is a philosophy that states, simply, that matter is all that exists – period. There is no God because we cannot see Him. There are no human souls because we cannot detect them physically by any means we’re aware of. The philosophy of materialism is the cornerstone of the atheist’s worldview, and a couple large issues can be pointed out about that fact at the outset:

                            i) Materialism is assumed to be true by nearly all atheists – this is clear from the way they argue. I am not just talking about the run-of-the-mill Dawkins and Hitchens fan but Dawkins and Hitchens themselves. Anyone who argues a philosophical position by essentially assuming what they’re trying to prove is chasing their tale.

                            ii) Materialism is commonly mistaken for science by these people, who use the two words almost interchangeably (or rather never use “materialism” when they mean “materialism”, because science is something no one can deny). But materialism and true science have nothing in common – science, by the definition that actually virtually everyone accepts, is the study of the natural world. Science itself says nothing at all about things outside the natural world – it doesn’t say that the physical world is all there is, which is what materialism postulates. In reality, atheists use the word “science” to shield materialism, because they are well-aware that materialism is not nearly such an easy sell.

                            Of course materialism goes very naturally hand-in-hand with atheism: atheism is a direct corollary of materialism. (Although a non-materialistic atheistic worldview is entirely possible, it’s not much accepted. I think one reason is that “giving” on materialism makes the existence of God that much easier – likely – and generally atheists don’t like that.)

                            Lest anyone (who is not widely educated on these topics) suspect I am misrepresenting the naturalists’ position, here's a quote from famous Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin (emphasis is mine):

                            "Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."

                            Note just what he is saying here - atheists are rarely so candid! He is stating directly that:

                            1) His materialistic philosophy drives his science: he imposes it upon his science, and does not allow the possibility of any conclusion that contradicts this philosophy.

                            2) The above results not infrequently in constructs that are not just untenable or "against common sense" but downright "patently absurd".

                            3) It is not at all anything scientific that drives him to materialism: it is his a priori belief/preference.

                            And we should trust such a person to come up with the correct answers to the great truths of life - why?

                            Let this quote - which I suspect Dr. Lewontin wishes he'd never put in print - be a lesson to all the disciples of the New Atheists who think they're really guided by science and impartial with regard to evidence. Now, Lewontin implies above that science and materialism are one and the same but that is not at all the case, and that is provable by this simple fact: one can engage in science, using the scientific method, while not accepting materialism.
                            Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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                            • My Primal Journal - Food, pics, the occasional rant, so...the usual.

                              I love cooking. It's sexy science that you stuff in your face. - carlh

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                              • First of all, there are several different definitions of materialism.

                                Webster says:
                                ma·te·ri·al·ism noun \mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌli-zəm\

                                Definition of MATERIALISM

                                1a : a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter

                                1b : a doctrine that the only or the highest values or objectives lie in material well-being and in the furtherance of material progress

                                2: a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things
                                — ma·te·ri·al·ist noun or adjective
                                — ma·te·ri·al·is·tic adjective
                                — ma·te·ri·al·is·ti·cal·ly adverb

                                You are using definition1a whereas BestBetter's comment about the pope's material possessions was definition 1b and some of 2.

                                Even by definition 1a however, I still don't see that atheism=materialism. It may for some individuals but it may not for others. Try to refrain from painting all atheists with broad brush strokes just as you insist that not all theists are the same.

                                While I definitely do not believe in a creator, that doesn't mean that my reality stops at the material. That would deny love, beauty, wonder, and joy. Love is not a material thing but it definitely exists.

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