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  1. #201
    Lumifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    "Spirituality" is a biochemical state of the brain.
    <shrug> So is everything else.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumifer View Post
    Huh? You said nothing about the humanity's place in the universe (hint: the universe is really big. Really really. MUCH bigger than Earth). You've been talking about your place in, basically, Earth's ecology.

    Essentially the meaning of your life is to provide food for lions :-P
    Yup. I can only occupy this tiny corner of the Universe, of course. Doing my part as one member of the community of life on our tiny, insignificant planet is meaningful to me. No supernatural invocation necessary.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Yup. I can only occupy this tiny corner of the Universe, of course. Doing my part as one member of the community of life on our tiny, insignificant planet is meaningful to me. No supernatural invocation necessary.
    Cool :-)

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by liminal_luke View Post
    I will attempt to address the original question. Yes, the bible clearly states that Christians should eat bread. Eating primal/paleo is incompatible with Christian faith. Jesus said nothing about trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, or processed foods in general but if I may hazard a guess, I suggest Christ would of wanted his followers to indulge in those substances as well.
    What is Paleo, then? There are many that argue that Paleo also encompasses properly-prepared, traditionally grown grains that could have actually been healthful.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    So you're a reluctant atheist defending religion on the patronizing grounds of it's quaint?

    The problem with the comparison is that nobody ever used Little Red Riding Hood to justify the Crusades (or September 11th or the violence in Palestine or Ireland if you want to pick some contemporary examples).

    As I said earlier, what I take issue with is justifying decision-making based on the fairy tales. The original post implied that we should eat grains because Jesus talked about bread. That is worthy of ridicule, even if it doesn't make you feel warm or fuzzy inside. Why should certain preposterous beliefs be beyond scrutiny just because they relate to the origin of the world?
    I knew your type of argument would come up from someone. Maybe you don't realize it, Rich, but your entire argument presupposes the existence of a Moral Truth. If even one just moral precept can be found to real it necessarily follows that atheism (specifically secular humanism) is bankrupt based upon Meta Ethics. That doesn't mean atheism is wrong in its theistic arguments but it does logically follow that materialism (of which modern atheism is grounded upon) cannot possible be true.

    You said:
    As I said earlier, what I take issue with is justifying decision-making based on the fairy tales.
    If you are talking about stuff related to science I agree with you. But with regards to you moral issues...
    nobody ever used Little Red Riding Hood to justify the Crusades (or September 11th or the violence in Palestine or Ireland if you want to pick some contemporary examples).
    only makes sense if in fact morals can be objectively defined.
    If/then: If materialism is true then all justifications are arbitrary. Secular humanism (a kind of atheism with a belief in universal human rights) is the newest fairy-tale making mythology....it only excludes a deity.

    To quote Infidel.org
    Philosophical Materialism
    [14] "An evolutionary account of the origin of moral judgment in human beings does not tell us what (if anything) makes a specific action moral. On a materialist view, all codes of conduct must ultimately be man-made or socially constructed; there are no objective moral laws existing independently of sentient beings in the way that laws of nature do. Thus there are no objective criteria for determining if human actions are right or wrong. The objectivity of laws of nature is clear--our approximations to them (laws of physics) are publicly falsifiable and can be corroborated by empirical evidence. Moreover, unlike natural laws, moral laws can be violated. But if what we call moral laws are really man-made inventions, our ethical rules are arbitrary and thus individuals are not obligated to follow them. Nothing makes an action objectively moral or immoral; individual and social codes vary because ethics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But then there are no compelling grounds for arguing that Aztec human sacrifice, Nazi or Serbian genocide, or infanticide is really wrong. Core ethical rules are no doubt determined by intersubjective consensus across cultures--for example, incest and murder are universally prohibited. But such consensus does not demonstrate the objectivity of ethics; it merely demonstrates that human beings or societies are largely 'built' the same way and react similarly to certain types of behavior. Suppose we have inherited an aversion to committing murder. That such a genetic disposition would be widespread makes evolutionary sense. A known murderer's neighbors will fear that the murderer might kill them. Out of mutual self-interest they would be wise to band together and eliminate the murderer before he could eliminate them. Since murderers would tend to be eliminated before they could reproduce, individuals with a genetic inclination to commit murder would tend to dwindle. But this is merely an accident of natural selection, and trying to base morality on the fact that adhering to certain ethical norms will make you more "fit" to stay alive and reproduce is insufficient. The origin of behavior is irrelevant to whether a behavior is right or wrong; what makes an individual evolutionarily 'fit' (e.g. infidelity) is not necessarily moral. There will no doubt still be some individuals who are genetically inclined to commit murder; but we do not conclude that they are exempt from moral prohibitions on murder because of this. Furthermore, the fitness of certain evolutionary traits changes when the environment changes. Would murder suddenly become morally acceptable--even obligatory--if it provided us a selective advantage? On a materialist account, the only foundations for behavioral codes are preserving self-interest and satisfying one's conscience--there are no additional 'moral facts' which motivate behavior."


    Like it or not, that quote applies equally to both atheist and theist who justify action upon anything they want. Existence is pointless and all human rights arguments are the stuff of myth.
    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?

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    Hey Derp, my apologies, it just occurred to me that I called you a "her" in a previous comment. I think I just assumed that was you in your avatar. Sorry about that!

    Regarding the bold bit -- I agree with the spirit of what you say, though I'll point out that everyone considers their own beliefs to be "right", otherwise they wouldn't believe them. Think about it... if you thought someone else's belief about something was better than yours, then you'd believe that instead. However, it's how we act in regard to these differing beliefs that you're addressing, and that's where I really agree with you: people should recognize that they may be wrong, and that we're all on our own paths. No one is superior to anyone else because of the conclusions they've come to about the universe.

    So cheers to you, and to this fun discussion, but please stop painting this horrible picture of atheists as total assholes. I can't speak for all atheists, but we're not all what you seem to think we are!

    This is what I really wanted to address though...



    I'm going to agree and disagree with you. I'm depressed too. I've dealt with terrible depression that's had me close to suicide on a number of occasions for almost 20 years. I've only barely hung on at times. So I agree that reality can be depressing, but that does not necessarily mean that reality is depressing. It's all in how you perceive it.

    Reality is also marvelous, and fascinating, and beautiful beyond measure. Music and art, love and friendships, or the big stuff like the unbelievable complexity of life, the strangeness of the quantum world, the unfathomable vastness of the universe, the mysteries of consciousness, and so on.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking that awe and appreciation for the wonders of reality go away just because a person doesn't think a god made it. The universe is a pretty amazing show whether it has a director or not.

    It's no worries, I get that a lot, because I like using pretty girls for avatars.

    For your post, and to Rich:

    I wouldn't say that I feel sympathetic towards religious people, it's more like envy. True believers have so much unconditional love and reliance and faith in their deity, that they never feel alone here. Never lost, because they believe they have a place that's always waiting for them beyond this existence. Where they can be reunited with those loved and lost, and a place where only the good and pure are allowed in. No crime, no intolerance, no misery. When you have love and faith you never feel alone.

    Unfortunately for me, I lack that faith and imagination, so I envy those who have it and all their ability to love unconditionally. I realize that my existence is meaningless. My entire being is a product of my environment, and a fluke, or an accident. I'm one of billions and billions. I know that when I die, time will keep revolving, and nothing I've done here will matter whatsoever. I know that the loved ones I've lost are lost forever. I don't like the idea of decomposing and being digested by animals.

    There's an undeniable simplicity that's inherent with faith and belief, sort of like youth. It almost feels like freedom. When I look at a child, that's uncomplicated by age and experience, I find myself envying that too. They're seemingly beaming with boundless energy and happiness.

    True happiness is probably viewing each day like a child would on Christmas morning.
    nihil

  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derpamix View Post
    I wouldn't say that I feel sympathetic towards religious people, it's more like envy. True believers have so much unconditional love and reliance and faith in their deity, that they never feel alone here. Never lost, because they believe they have a place that's always waiting for them beyond this existence. Where they can be reunited with those loved and lost, and a place where only the good and pure are allowed in. No crime, no intolerance, no misery. When you have love and faith you never feel alone.
    Sure, I can understand that. It's natural to be envious of anyone who has something great that you don't. There's no question that religious beliefs are comforting and make people happy, which is awesome. Don't get me wrong, I would love it if there was an eternal paradise of never-ending bliss awaiting me. I certainly don't reject the idea because it's not appealing! Fact is though, and I guess it's the same for you, I see no reason to believe that this is actually the case. I don't believe things that I wish were true, I believe things that I think are true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derpamix View Post
    Unfortunately for me, I lack that faith and imagination, so I envy those who have it and all their ability to love unconditionally. I realize that my existence is meaningless. My entire being is a product of my environment, and a fluke, or an accident. I'm one of billions and billions. I know that when I die, time will keep revolving, and nothing I've done here will matter whatsoever. I know that the loved ones I've lost are lost forever. I don't like the idea of decomposing and being digested by animals.
    Well, most people of faith don't love unconditionally, and on the flip-side, there's absolutely no reason an atheist can't. Of course, most atheists don't love unconditionally either. We're all just human after all. But anyway...

    I doubt you lack the imagination. You write so eloquently that I have a feeling you're a deeply creative and imaginative person, or at least have that potential. But yes, you do lack the faith, as do I. I consider this a good thing. I think it's better to have beliefs that are consistent with reality, even if the stories of religions are extremely appealing in the ways you describe. If I had to choose between believing a truth that unsettled me, or a fiction that made me happy, I'd pick the truth every time. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, lol.

    Here's what I really want you to consider though, your existence is not necessarily meaningless. Meaning is not something prescribed to us, it is not something absolute, or ultimate, not something bestowed upon us or dictated from on high. It doesn't come from some outside authority, so it's not lost when you don't believe in such an authority. Meaning is something we create for ourselves. It's a human concept. Each of us finds and creates meaning in our own lives. I certainly can't tell you what will make your life meaningful to you. I think you just have to figure out what you value and what you consider good and then construct your life around that stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derpamix View Post
    True happiness is probably viewing each day like a child would on Christmas morning.
    That seems like a good start.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by GroksRoyalewCheese View Post
    I don't think any reasonable person here would debate that. I consider religion rather silly, but I absolutely support people's personal freedom to choose to worship as they please, so long as it doesn't infringe on others. I consider myself an atheist, on Dawkins' spectrum I would be a de facto atheist, meaning I don't claim to know for certain, but I consider the possibility of a higher being to be so improbable that I live my life under the assumption that there is no god.


    Seriously, his troll job was off to a good start with the original post, but I'm now quite sure OP has an IQ in the double digits
    For God so Loved the world He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have Eternal Life!

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    I knew your type of argument would come up from someone. Maybe you don't realize it, Rich, but your entire argument presupposes the existence of a Moral Truth. If even one just moral precept can be found to real it necessarily follows that atheism (specifically secular humanism) is bankrupt based upon Meta Ethics. That doesn't mean atheism is wrong in its theistic arguments but it does logically follow that materialism (of which modern atheism is grounded upon) cannot possible be true.

    You said:
    If you are talking about stuff related to science I agree with you. But with regards to you moral issues... only makes sense if in fact morals can be objectively defined.
    If/then: If materialism is true then all justifications are arbitrary. Secular humanism (a kind of atheism with a belief in universal human rights) is the newest fairy-tale making mythology....it only excludes a deity.

    To quote Infidel.org
    Philosophical Materialism
    [14] "An evolutionary account of the origin of moral judgment in human beings does not tell us what (if anything) makes a specific action moral. On a materialist view, all codes of conduct must ultimately be man-made or socially constructed; there are no objective moral laws existing independently of sentient beings in the way that laws of nature do. Thus there are no objective criteria for determining if human actions are right or wrong. The objectivity of laws of nature is clear--our approximations to them (laws of physics) are publicly falsifiable and can be corroborated by empirical evidence. Moreover, unlike natural laws, moral laws can be violated. But if what we call moral laws are really man-made inventions, our ethical rules are arbitrary and thus individuals are not obligated to follow them. Nothing makes an action objectively moral or immoral; individual and social codes vary because ethics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But then there are no compelling grounds for arguing that Aztec human sacrifice, Nazi or Serbian genocide, or infanticide is really wrong. Core ethical rules are no doubt determined by intersubjective consensus across cultures--for example, incest and murder are universally prohibited. But such consensus does not demonstrate the objectivity of ethics; it merely demonstrates that human beings or societies are largely 'built' the same way and react similarly to certain types of behavior. Suppose we have inherited an aversion to committing murder. That such a genetic disposition would be widespread makes evolutionary sense. A known murderer's neighbors will fear that the murderer might kill them. Out of mutual self-interest they would be wise to band together and eliminate the murderer before he could eliminate them. Since murderers would tend to be eliminated before they could reproduce, individuals with a genetic inclination to commit murder would tend to dwindle. But this is merely an accident of natural selection, and trying to base morality on the fact that adhering to certain ethical norms will make you more "fit" to stay alive and reproduce is insufficient. The origin of behavior is irrelevant to whether a behavior is right or wrong; what makes an individual evolutionarily 'fit' (e.g. infidelity) is not necessarily moral. There will no doubt still be some individuals who are genetically inclined to commit murder; but we do not conclude that they are exempt from moral prohibitions on murder because of this. Furthermore, the fitness of certain evolutionary traits changes when the environment changes. Would murder suddenly become morally acceptable--even obligatory--if it provided us a selective advantage? On a materialist account, the only foundations for behavioral codes are preserving self-interest and satisfying one's conscience--there are no additional 'moral facts' which motivate behavior."


    Like it or not, that quote applies equally to both atheist and theist who justify action upon anything they want. Existence is pointless and all human rights arguments are the stuff of myth.
    For God so Loved the world He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have Eternal Life!

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Yup. I can only occupy this tiny corner of the Universe, of course. Doing my part as one member of the community of life on our tiny, insignificant planet is meaningful to me. No supernatural invocation necessary.
    For God so Loved the world He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have Eternal Life!

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