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  1. #261
    firemart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorjor View Post
    uuuhh, because the bible isn't factual to begin with? Lol.
    ftmfw.

  2. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    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.
    The unspoken connection between atheism and materialism is Ayn Rand, the ultimate atheistic materialist who is simultaneously held as an icon by those on the religious right who hold greed to be a virtue.

    However, since I don't think I've ever read anything she wrote, I guess that must mean I don't exist.

  3. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Slate View Post
    Here is something to ponder if we are not suppose to eat grain. Why did Jesus say I am the BREAD of life? Grain is all through the Bible. Have we made a wrong turn?
    Your question is interesting to ponder. The wrong turn may have taken place approximately 8,000 years earlier when humans began to cultivate grains in mass. But then that gives reason to question the legitimacy of the Bible and the religions it's tied to. Perhaps the Paleo and Primal diets are a creation of Satan--like fossils--meant to deceive us and lead us away from salvation. Hmm....


  4. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    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.
    Good point. He then goes even further astray by insisting that atheists must embrace moral relativism, lest they be labeled "hypocrites."

    But not even "moral relativism" in the sense that one might understand morality to be relative, but rather that atheists necessarily cannot (or will not) ascribe any weight to one value over another. I was completely lost by the implication that a position taken by the United Nations on universal human rights is no different than religious dogma; thus one must accept both or neither to avoid being a hypocrite. What??

    He seems to be suggesting that religious belief is just like any other system of values created and followed by man, I guess?
    Last edited by UTfootball747; 04-03-2013 at 07:28 PM.

  5. #265
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    Maybe he said it because bread is poor people food and the poor and miserable generally need a reason for their plight. Religion helps to swallow the inequities of reality.

    I would argue that atheists can be more moral/ethical than believers. Believers are good because they expect the ultimate reward. Atheists are good because being good is its own reward. No cookie treat required.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  6. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    Hey Scott, I'm home from work and I've had a chance now to read your whole post from earlier, as well as the discussion that followed. I have to be honest, I still can't follow your logic. There are a few things I'd just like to touch on.



    I think this quote represents a fundamental flaw in your conception of atheism. Atheism is not meaningless. It's not meaningful either. Atheism is not a worldview, though it seems from the way you write about it that you think it is. You might as well talk about my being unconvinced of the existence of unicorns as meaningless. I don't look to my unbelief in unicorns for meaning, and I certainly don't derive any from it. It's just my current stance on a specific question on a single topic.

    Also, atheism doesn't necessarily lead to an acceptance of materialism (though certainly many atheists are materialists). I'm an atheist, which means that I'm not convinced that a supernatural god exists, but this doesn't mean that I claim reality is nothing more than matter and energy. It might be, but it also might not be. I consider it likely that there's a lot about reality that we're not even capable of perceiving or comprehending, we're pretty limited organisms after all. Personally, I have a feeling that we humans hold a lot of fundamental misconceptions about what we call reality. It only makes sense, we've evolved to perceive the world in a way that's useful to use.

    Not to beat this horse further, but again...



    I think I just covered that pretty well. I don't really care so much about the materialism thing at the moment, more about you seeing that there actually isn't a "point" to atheism, no more so than there is a point to not believing in unicorns. Maybe we can agree on that?



    Sure, I agree that putdowns and smugness generally aren't helpful. Regarding the bit about morality though -- I'm an atheist, and I made my argument for the existence of an objective morality in my first response to you a couple pages back. I honestly don't see that you've managed to refute it.



    This is, of course, the conclusion that we disagree about.

    See, here's the thing, it's true that "good" and "evil" are subjective (you used these terms in a prior post). I certainly don't have an issue with that. My argument is that morality isn't about good and evil. Morality is about well-being, and well-being is something that can be objectively assessed (I argued on a previous page that well-being is analogous to health, if that helps). If morality is concerned with well-being, then we actually can be rationally justified in distinguishing the moral superiority of competing claims.

    And sure, different cultures have different norms, and different ideas about right and wrong. But in my view there is an objective morality, and I would say that it is theoretically possible to compare various cultures (our own included, of course) and to point out specific examples of where one is actually, objectively, morally superior to another.
    Well I'm the first to admit I'm not the best at writing out my thoughts. I find myself leaving out words, etc. I think it's related to asperger's.

    The quote I posted from A Catholic Thinker - The Incoherence of Atheism lays it out my arguments pretty well. The other definition of materialism (BestBetter's comment about the pope's material possessions) is not metaphysics.

    I and the author of the above link both said that in and of itself you can be an atheist and not hold to a belief in materialism.

    But a non-materialistic atheist undermines his arguments against god...."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." Why? Because Materialism makes it easier to argue against the existence of god.

    Materialism undermines the belief in god(s) and it undermines the belief in objective morals, Moral Realism, and arguments to human rights violations such as those in wars (Crusades) and who is a person. So while an atheist doesn't have to be a materialist,...... a materialist must be an atheist:
    Alanyzer: Four Difficulties for Materialism
    "Pastore does fall into the common conflation of atheism and materialism. Technically speaking, one can be an atheist without being a materialist. (The converse is not true, however, since no standard account of God allows God to be a material being.) Pastore's conflation is understandable, however, because a great many (if not most) atheists are materialists." Even if they don't realize it themselves.

    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....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”
    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?

  7. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    I would argue that atheists can be more moral/ethical than believers. Believers are good because they expect the ultimate reward. Atheists are good because being good is its own reward. No cookie treat required.
    Only if that atheist believes in supernatural "goodness" does your argument hold. Your argument presuppose the existence of a factual, objective non-natural quality that's imposed upon reality.
    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?

  8. #268
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    @Scott F. My only belief is that I am not here to shit on other people to make myself happy. It has not much spiritual component. I don't need spirituality to know that murder, stealing, and hurting are wrong - in fact, I think they are diseases of the mind.

    If good is indefinable, then we are just monkeys. I'm too egotistic to accept that. If you cause another to say ouch, it's probably not good. It's just not that complex.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  9. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    Only if that atheist believes in supernatural "goodness" does your argument hold. Your argument presuppose the existence of a factual, objective non-natural quality that's imposed upon reality.
    I'm sorry, but that's bullshit. The idea that, to properly have 'values,' have views on 'right vs. wrong,' to be 'moral,' one must believe in the "supernatural"? Why? You seem to be insistent that these values MUST be held as objective--but they're often not. I believe in dying with dignity. I believe that a terminally ill individual should be able to seek assistance in dying on their own terms. But I don't insist that anyone who disagrees with me is objectively wrong, or bad, or immoral. That doesn't mean that I won't fight for ideas that I hold to be important. But even for values or concepts held to be objectively 'right.' Why must those come from a "supernatural" source?

    There are people on this planet that believe killing an animal, for any reason, is wrong. I disagree with them. Perhaps they think me immoral, and that's fine...but I think the notion that there's one cosmic, "correct" answer to these questions is silly. In any event, it's irrelevant to real life. To believe one holds the answer to these questions is pure hubris...and it doesn't get much worse than believing that you follow the one, 'true' religion, and everyone else is damned. Sure, on some questions there is a great deal of agreement. Again, the majority's will generally prevails, even as it changes drastically over time. To argue this is somehow demands the "supernatural" is, frankly, absurd. But I have no doubt that you can find hundreds of writings from The Catholic Church that back you up! If there ever was an example of man's utter failing to actually adhere to the "supernatural" proclamations he claims to follow...
    Last edited by UTfootball747; 04-04-2013 at 05:20 AM.

  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    Maybe he said it because bread is poor people food and the poor and miserable generally need a reason for their plight. Religion helps to swallow the inequities of reality.

    I would argue that atheists can be more moral/ethical than believers. Believers are good because they expect the ultimate reward. Atheists are good because being good is its own reward. No cookie treat required.

    I love this

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