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  #151  
Old 10-22-2019, 02:35 PM
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Whoa, ratchet it back, this is MPSIMS, it's all in fun.

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Being an "oddball" does not make you insane. You really don't like people who are the least bit individual as opposed to being just like everyone else, do you?
Welcome to the Arcadia! We're a giant spaceship that is flying through space for, er, some reason? Let me check my notes. (rustling) Oh yes, Earth was getting overpopulated and started desperately offloading large blocks of its population as quickly as it could in an ultimately doomed effort to counteract the birth rate. Fortunately they eventually discovered that by giving everyone the internet they could eliminate intercourse, but in the meantime this ship was buiit and launched.

Anyway, we've been flying through space isolated and unaided for fifteen generations now, and we've almost completely eliminated the mental disease "rock madness", where a person is for some unclear reason unhappy when their clean, enclosed colony bubble is mobile rather than parked on a large rock. We worked so hard to treat this because the poor souls afflicted with it could never be satisfied, since we go for hundreds of years at a time with no large rocks nearby. And we have been almost completely successful, which we are thankful for, for their sakes.

The Arcadia is dedicated to providing the best entertainment options possible. Among the many entertainments here, we include a full suite of simulated outdoor environments for people to LARP in. There is an entire level where people can live in purely rustic environments, harvesting genuine crops and trees and building genuine shelters to protect against realistically simulated weather and large predatory animals; similarly there are realistic simulations of medieval, victorian, antebellum, preinternet, internet, postinternet, and postscarcity eras. With our enlightened awareness that we don't actually have a shortage of people and don't really need you to stay alive, we even allow you to live your entire lives and even kill yourself due to a preference for terrible living conditions and twentieth-century witch doctor medicine. Live (and die) your own way!

Oh, and here's a news flash: for the first time in decades we're approaching a star with a theoretically habitable planet! Dubbed "Eden" because it's so insanely human-friendly that it has been determined to be statistically impossible, for the first time ever we are going to allow citizens to shuttle down and walk on a planetary surface without atmosphere suits. All interested parties are welcome to schedule a landing trip for dropoff, with an entertainment package of seeds, animal stock, inflatable shelters, and other survival goods provided free of charge. Sign up today! Note: As with our internal habitats, there is no assurance of comfort or survival, and the Arcadia will be departing this system forever in one month and after that time no further support will be provided. Also note that due to uncertainty about environmental contaminants, no one and nothing that lands on the planet will be allowed to return to the Arcadia. So enjoy your trip! Live (and die) your own way!

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Gilgamesh is not a TV show. Is it really necessary to explain that to you?
Of course it isn't, but it is a bit of historical information that could be considered data about the past. People watching modern "realistic" TV shows aren't going to get very good information about how to survive. Honestly they'd be better off playing in the habitat simultions.

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I dunno - parking the "rebels" in exile on a space rock might be seen as less effort and less distasteful than, oh, executing all of them.
I don't see how it's less effort - in both cases they leave via the shuttle bay; just with execution you save the cost of a shuttle.

It might indeed be perceived as less distasteful by people who choose to believe that rather than thinking it through, of course. Sure the planet we're dropping them on has an atmosphere made of hydrochloric acid, but hey, at least we're not executing them!

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Or maybe those staying on the ship will be thrilled that, with a bit of a drop in population, many can have slightly more children than they would have otherwise been allowed.
Once again, they would have already figured this out. And it would be a very brief thrill in any case, and then it's back to whatever they had before. No point getting excited about it.


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Depends on just how different it is, doesn't it?
Oh, absolutely! Heck, with a sufficently eden-like planet they'd be able to step out of their crashed escape pod, pick an apple off a tree, then strip the branch it was on and make it in a bow and arrow to shoot the nearby Succulent Space Cow! Comfortable year round! Houses literally grow on trees! Indigenous aliens that are Rawling's house elves, desperate to be enslaved! It could be wonderful!

But then again it might not be, and maybe humans will want that entertainment package to be shipped down with them after all.

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You are simply incapable of imagining anything other than disaster, aren't you?
You know, this response would have gone better after the cannibalism comment, not the comment that segued directly from the crashed pod to eden.

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Gee, I don't know - why did our distant ancestors leave the perfectly serviceable continent of Africa to go off to places like Siberia to make a living?
Oh, that's easy: For resources, for space, and to get away from people they don't like. Those are the reasons why people explored and spread out.

The thing is, though, with the possible exception of the odd miraculous eden (which will be promptly overrun and destroyed be people taking selfies), the average space rock is hardly more enticing than empty space itself. Empty space provides places to expand to and places to run away to; all it lacks is resources. So then it comes down to what resources do you need; if you have replicators the only resource you need is energy, for example. And failing that, what will the average planetoid have that you can't get more easily from an asteroid belt?
  #152  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:33 PM
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You really reach some bizarre absolutions when atheists tell you they don't have a mythology.
This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
  #153  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:49 PM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
Back up a second - since when do atheists have a social group? Like, at all?

Religions hold meetings. They get together and share ideas - in person! Whereas I haven't met a whole lot of atheists in person, and when I did we didn't share ideas. ("Hey, guess what - gods aren't real!" "Yep." "Yep." "Um, now what?" "Want to get some lunch?" "Naah. We have nothing in common.")

Religion has to be taught, because when two people make up religions separately they invent different things. Atheism is just the act of not doing that, and not listening when others do that. This results in people with the same non-beliefs naturally. It doesn't have to be taught, and once you figure it out, there's really not that much to say about it. As mythoses go, it's a single sentence.

You have this grand vision of some kind of atheist church or something, with the sharing of ideas and the creation of myths, but that sounds absurd to me. It's true that a lot of atheists agree about things relating to objective reality, but that's not because atheism taught us those things, it's because those are the things that happen to be real.
  #154  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:06 PM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
That reminds me--I forgot to pay my Atheist dues! Gotta take care of that, or I won't be able to enter the Atheist Cathedral or do the Secret Atheist Handshake! Not even sing the Atheist Anthem!

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 10-22-2019 at 05:08 PM.
  #155  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:35 PM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
Huh???

You seem to have a lot of really bizarre assumptions about atheists. Do you think we make sacrilegious gestures to each other? Signs of the Not Cross? "Psssst... there is no God. Pass it on."

What religion are you? If you tell me, I'll be sure to saturate you with every type of inane stereotype of that religion I can think of, and even make up new ones.

Besides, you started this thread to correlate skepticism of exoplanet colonization with an atheist agenda, because you think we're some sort of religion in disguise, intent on holding back the potential of humanity. We're saying it can't done because of simple math! How do you expect human colonization to occur after 70,000+ years of space travel? Humans have only been around for 6,000 or 100,000 years, depending on who you believe.
  #156  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:47 PM
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Besides, you started this thread to correlate skepticism of exoplanet colonization with an atheist agenda, because you think we're some sort of religion in disguise, intent on holding back the potential of humanity.
Just the opposite--he claims that belief in space colonization is one of the prime tenants of the Church of Atheism, and that saying that it won't happen is going to get atheists specifically into a tizzy.
  #157  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:48 PM
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I wonder, what is the atheist stance on apostasy and heresy? Do those who fail to live up to the tenets of atheism have to get baptized (perhaps even again) as part of their excommunication ritual?
  #158  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:56 PM
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I wonder, what is the atheist stance on apostasy and heresy? Do those who fail to live up to the tenets of atheism have to get baptized (perhaps even again) as part of their excommunication ritual?
No, that would only be the case if atheists only disbelieved in the single god of the single religion Christianity. Since atheists disbelieve in all gods, proposed or not, to be properly excommunicated from atheism one would have to undergo all the entrance rituals for all possible religions and religious variants, for all possible religions including theoretical and not-yet-imagined ones.

We don't do this all that often, because it takes a very long time and is generally fatal to the subject.
  #159  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:04 PM
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No, that would only be the case if atheists only disbelieved in the single god of the single religion Christianity.
But Iíve been told that a central tenet of my atheism, along with my belief that we will inevitably colonize other worlds and develop sentient AI, is that I am specifically anti-Christian, thereby setting Christianity apart from all those religions as the "anti-atheism."

As you seem to reject this, the mainline view of all atheists, I can only say... apostate!
  #160  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:12 PM
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But Iíve been told that a central tenet of my atheism, along with my belief that we will inevitably colonize other worlds and develop sentient AI, is that I am specifically anti-Christian, thereby setting Christianity apart from all those religions as the "anti-atheism."

As you seem to reject this, the mainline view of all atheists, I can only say... apostate!
Aw dang, now I have to join a religion, don't I? And it can't even be one of the 'fun' religions, that don't worship a creature that accepts human sacrifices - it has to be that one doesn't it.
  #161  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:17 PM
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Aw dang, now I have to join a religion, don't I? And it can't even be one of the 'fun' religions, that don't worship a creature that accepts human sacrifices - it has to be that one doesn't it.
Hey, don’t worry. Your functionally-everlasting soul won’t be able to join mine in the technological singularity, but at least as a Christian you’ll have a thousand different varieties to choose from. For, while there is but one, monolithic and unholy atheistic anti-church, there are as many forms of Christianity as there are seats in the pews. And for that matter, plenty of believers who don’t even go to Church. You can believe anything you want, just so long as you label yourself a Christian! :thumbs up:

ETA: Why, in many respects, I envy your freedom to choose to believe so many things that us atheists must simply accept or reject on faith.

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  #162  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:28 PM
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Hey, donít worry. Your functionally-everlasting soul wonít be able to join mine in the technological singularity, but at least as a Christian youíll have a thousand different varieties to choose from. For, while there is but one, monolithic and unholy atheistic anti-church, there are as many forms of Christianity as there are seats in the pews. And for that matter, plenty of believers who donít even go to Church. You can believe anything you want, just so long as you label yourself a Christian! :thumbs up:

ETA: Why, in many respects, I envy your freedom to choose to believe so many things that us atheists must simply accept or reject on faith.
Wouldn't that mean that I have to be baptized separately into every different christian variant in order to be properly ejected from atheism, then? I mean, the mormons aren't going to accept a catholic baptism. To become eligible for all the different variants i'm going to have to be baptized possibly multiple dozens of times. And I don't want that; that'd make me all wrinkly!

Aren't there some symbols or narratives in patterns of thought that I can repeat a bunch of Hail Roses over, and get back into the cabal?
  #163  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:34 PM
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Thatís all between you and Jesus, God-boy.

ETA: And, once again, for the benefit of those joining us late in the exchange:

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 10-22-2019 at 06:36 PM.
  #164  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:42 PM
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Huh???

You seem to have a lot of really bizarre assumptions about atheists. Do you think we make sacrilegious gestures to each other? Signs of the Not Cross? "Psssst... there is no God. Pass it on."
No but we do exclaim ďScience be praised!Ē When something good happens.

/South Park
  #165  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:31 PM
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Sigh... I've never heard of this "New Atheism." It may be presented as a religious-type movement by Wikipedia, but the only one of the "Four Horsemen of Atheism" I've ever heard of was Richard Dawkins, and that's only tangentially. He's not the reason I'm an atheist. I came upon that on my own, and believe me, it was a tough decision. It's not something I make known to the public, and I don't consider it my business to tell people what their belief system should be.
Best I can tell, New Atheism involves atheists who have the nerve to not stay in the closet, and the greater nerve of writing books that lots of people buy. The the greatest nerve of all in saying that religions are most probably wrong and that god is very likely to not exist.
The myth of atheist evangelism (which I've never seen) is mostly spread by people in megachurches who buy tons of TV time and ads to push their beliefs, and who get very, very upset when someone challenges them.
The other group who hate new atheism (and write reviews of atheist books in the Times) are those believers who are moderate and who absolutely do not believe that the kind of people who wrote to Dawkins saying he was evil in writing about evolution.
  #166  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:32 PM
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Atheism is never simply lack of belief in God(s).
Yes, for me, and many others, it is.

It's not something I really ever think of. Unless I read something silly like this.

Stop trying to tell me what I think or believe. You don't know me.
  #167  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:39 PM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
Back in Usenet days I had an alt.atheism number and the black helicopter brought me my anti-Rapture beanie and my irony meter, but since then I haven't seen any atheist social groups succeeding, despite some attempts. Care to point some out?
I live in a reasonably non-religious area, and we don't have social groups even here.
I also don't know of any shared atheist values, besides not believing in any gods, which is hardly a value.
  #168  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:17 PM
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I wonder, what is the atheist stance on apostasy and heresy? Do those who fail to live up to the tenets of atheism have to get baptized (perhaps even again) as part of their excommunication ritual?
An atheist apostate would be somebody who believes in G(g)od(s), and our baptisms are dry heaves.
  #169  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:23 PM
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I also don't know of any shared atheist values, besides not believing in any gods, which is hardly a value.
Well... a few years back there was an attempt to link atheism to activism for third-wave intersectional gender feminism, but as you might imagine the cats had no desire to be herded. To this very day the supporters are bitter at the "dictionary atheists" who insist that atheism is just a lack of belief in gods and not inherently tied to a set of progressive beliefs.
  #170  
Old 10-23-2019, 12:01 AM
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What religion are you? If you tell me, I'll be sure to saturate you with every type of inane stereotype of that religion I can think of, and even make up new ones.
This type of approach shows another typical attitude, a stereotype in itself, where the 'God-less' person can never be wrong because he is always free of cliches whereas the 'God-full' person can never be right because he has a fixed an oversimplified image just about everything. My opinion is that atheists and believers are the same in that they can all be prone to weaknesses that the entire human race shows.

But if you have to know, I grew up in an atheist state and raised by an atheist family. I have never believed in the divine or supernatural of any kind or belonged to any religious group. However, I am not a militant atheist - I can probably be called a 'friendly atheist."


People don't need to have formal meetings to form a social group. Also, if a layman like myself wants to learn something about a social group or phenomena the person to trust is a sociologist, not a member of that particular group or a participant in that particular social phenomena. As I have already said, I am not a sociologist, but I do remember these simple things from school.

Last edited by UY Scuti; 10-23-2019 at 12:02 AM.
  #171  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:03 AM
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...if a layman like myself wants to learn something about a social group or phenomena the person to trust is a sociologist...
[My bold] Ok, now I understand the problem.

But since some postmodern social theorists claim that the laws of physics are social constructs, how can you be so confident that if all the non-atheists were thrown out of NASA, we couldn't rediscover our own truth, including some new laws of physics that fly us to the stars?
  #172  
Old 10-23-2019, 04:14 AM
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[My bold] Ok, now I understand the problem.
I know certain people decry nowadays hyper-specialization (which can actually lead to higher business returns and superior customer satisfaction) while advocating for an era of integration but the fact is few atheists on this board have studied the firmament themselves to conclude the universe came to being as a cosmic inflation rather than the result of a six-day effort.

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But since some postmodern social theorists claim that the laws of physics are social constructs, how can you be so confident that if all the non-atheists were thrown out of NASA, we couldn't rediscover our own truth, including some new laws of physics that fly us to the stars?
I think you are asking the wrong person. I usually refrain myself from hypothesizing and I havenít made any conjectures in this thread because I know whether or not human beings will ever wind up colonizing the outer space is a pure speculation.

Within reason, however, people can expect certain things to happen or not to happen based on what they know, and can discuss probabilities. Indeed, I may have a problem with likelihood because even when something is really likely to happen doesnít make it a fact. And I dislike it when people regard the existence of the multiverse, the existence of aliens, the future conquest of space by mankind, or the future creation of conscious AI as facts rather than speculation. Who do you think these people tend to be?

When discussing atheism, it is probably unavoidable to talk about the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. This is exactly the reason why I have quoted that paragraph from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The existence or non-existence of any non-observable entity in the world is not settled by any single argument or consideration. Every premise will be based upon other concepts and principles that themselves must be justified. So ultimately, the adequacy of atheism as an explanatory hypothesis about what is real will depend upon the overall coherence, internal consistency, empirical confirmation, and explanatory success of a whole worldview within which atheism is only one small part. The question of whether or not there is a God sprawls onto related issues and positions about biology, physics, metaphysics, explanation, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of language, and epistemology. The reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world.(my bolding)

I am entirely aware of the fact that everything I hold as true is a cultural construct and sometimes, in my internal forum, I try to imagine what my Ďtruthí would be like if I lived in a completely different social environment. But in the meantime I tend to stick to what we can rationally agree to be true in an effort that I hope will resemble the Socratic Method.
  #173  
Old 10-23-2019, 06:37 AM
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This type of approach shows another typical attitude, a stereotype in itself, where the 'God-less' person can never be wrong because he is always free of cliches whereas the 'God-full' person can never be right because he has a fixed an oversimplified image just about everything. My opinion is that atheists and believers are the same in that they can all be prone to weaknesses that the entire human race shows.
I never claimed atheists were perfect. All I really said was that simple math makes the idea of space colonization virtually impossible, and you haven't acknowledged that.
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But if you have to know, I grew up in an atheist state and raised by an atheist family. I have never believed in the divine or supernatural of any kind or belonged to any religious group. However, I am not a militant atheist - I can probably be called a 'friendly atheist."
Hey, I'm friendly too! So if you come from an atheist environment, why aren't you citing your parents as examples of atheist culture? Did they tell you every Sunday morning "Sleep in champ, we don't go to church?" Did you pray to nothing before dinner?
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People don't need to have formal meetings to form a social group. Also, if a layman like myself wants to learn something about a social group or phenomena the person to trust is a sociologist, not a member of that particular group or a participant in that particular social phenomena. As I have already said, I am not a sociologist, but I do remember these simple things from school.
So you're "speculating" about the atheist culture in which you were raised. Talk about an identity crisis...
  #174  
Old 10-23-2019, 08:01 AM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
All Hail Athe!
  #175  
Old 10-23-2019, 10:25 AM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
- Bolding added.

My fellow atheists, I think we maybe have this wrong. We apparently all have a shared atheist mythology because we don't (as atheists) have to share any values or beliefs.

I think we have a Russell's Paradox situation here. We (atheists) make up a social group with a shared culture of values and beliefs [...] because we aren't a social group with a shared culture of values and beliefs.

Which means we don't make up a social group with a shared culture of values and beliefs. Did I miss a step here or drop the ball?

Meanwhile, populating exo-planets. There's no rush. Or, if there is, we're not going to make it. I vote for something more like Elysium or the Axiom* as more likely options.


* documented in the atheist mythology of WALL-E.
  #176  
Old 10-23-2019, 10:54 AM
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I forget - is the shared culture that we don't pray today?

Or do we not pray on Saturday or Sunday?

And which God am I not praying to this week? I am afraid that I've lost my handbook.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:22 AM
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I think we have a Russell's Paradox situation here.
The sect of all sects that are not members of themselves?

Last edited by Riemann; 10-23-2019 at 11:23 AM.
  #178  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:00 PM
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I forget - is the shared culture that we don't pray today?

Or do we not pray on Saturday or Sunday?

And which God am I not praying to this week? I am afraid that I've lost my handbook.
And am I supposed to not not work on Sunday, or not not work late Friday afternoon? Am I supposed to not avoid eating ham, or is it beef?
  #179  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by UY Scuti View Post
When discussing atheism, it is probably unavoidable to talk about the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. This is exactly the reason why I have quoted that paragraph from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The existence or non-existence of any non-observable entity in the world is not settled by any single argument or consideration. Every premise will be based upon other concepts and principles that themselves must be justified. So ultimately, the adequacy of atheism as an explanatory hypothesis about what is real will depend upon the overall coherence, internal consistency, empirical confirmation, and explanatory success of a whole worldview within which atheism is only one small part. The question of whether or not there is a God sprawls onto related issues and positions about biology, physics, metaphysics, explanation, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of language, and epistemology. The reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world.(my bolding)

I am entirely aware of the fact that everything I hold as true is a cultural construct and sometimes, in my internal forum, I try to imagine what my Ďtruthí would be like if I lived in a completely different social environment. But in the meantime I tend to stick to what we can rationally agree to be true in an effort that I hope will resemble the Socratic Method.
Here's the thing - science and observation of the various facets of reality don't prove atheism to be correct. They merely fail to support the wild claims that theists make. So while you can sort of say that the question of whether there's a god sprawls into every subject under the sun, what's actually happening is that theists are attempting to claim that every subject under the sun supports their beliefs, and other people are looking at the subject, then the claims, then the subjects, then pushing their glasses up on their noses and saying "nope".

This is not an active proof of atheism. It's not even really a disproof of theism - it only disproves the theists when they make false claims about observable reality. Eradicating those false claims disproves some versions of some gods, sure - any god who is described as having created mankind by molding them out of mud does not exist as described. But there are myriad possible gods that are not disproven.

And here's the part you're missing: just because they haven't been disproven, doesn't mean we have to believe in them. You say that when discussing atheism, it is probably unavoidable to talk about the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. This is wrong. A significant number of atheists don't claim to have knowledge or justification or rationalization for their core belief in the first place! They have justifications for not believing the claims of theists, but the only reason they have for disbelieving in all possible gods is basically because the claims sound silly or unimportant.

You could claim that you believe in a deity that is watching everything but which never does anything (except masturbate). I would tell you that I don't believe in such a deity. You could ask me why I don't, and I would shrug and say I have no reason to. You could ask to try and disprove it, and I would tell you I don't feel like it. You could tell me that because I haven't disproven it that I must believe it, and you'd be wrong.

Seriously, when you say that the reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world, this is correct - if gods actually existed, and were like walking around and high fiving people and stuff, then atheism would be pretty silly because the world would disprove it. But the absence of evidence of gods is not evidence of the absence of (non-interventionist) gods. Nobody has evidence of the absence of non-interventionist gods; no science provides proof of such a belief, and yet we hold it just the same. (Pending new evidence, anyway. Good evidence, that is.)
  #180  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:31 PM
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I forget - is the shared culture that we don't pray today?

Or do we not pray on Saturday or Sunday?

And which God am I not praying to this week? I am afraid that I've lost my handbook.
It was going rather well until we got to the Hindu pantheon. Now it's a bit hard to keep track of what we are not believing this week.
  #181  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:41 PM
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If this theory disproves anything, it disproves religion. Pretty much all religions say that humans are the center of creation and the universe was created for our use.

So if science shows that pretty much the entire universe is uninhabitable by humans, it's a direct line of evidence that we're nothing special in the universe. The universe as a whole exists for reasons that have nothing to do with human beings. There's no God that created humans and then built a universe around us.
Your "proof" has more holes in it than swiss cheese. LOL

Pretty much the entire universe is uninhabitable by humans ...... RIGHT NOW.

What science has really shown us is that we have made amazing scientific strides in a very short time. The Dark Age was a mere 700 years ago when we had virtually no technology at all. At the current pace of development, it's hard to even imagine the technology we may have at our disposal a mere thousand years from now. It may very well include a form of propulsion that will make interstellar travel a reality.

You're critiquing a "book" that is very far from being written. If the universe is indeed over 12 billion years old, and if a God exists who is timeless, then His plans are most likely over a time span that you can't possibly even imagine much less analyze.
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  #182  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:55 PM
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Your "proof" has more holes in it than swiss cheese. LOL

Pretty much the entire universe is uninhabitable by humans ...... RIGHT NOW.

What science has really shown us is that we have made amazing scientific strides in a very short time. The Dark Age was a mere 700 years ago when we had virtually no technology at all. At the current pace of development, it's hard to even imagine the technology we may have at our disposal a mere thousand years from now. It may very well include a form of propulsion that will make interstellar travel a reality.

You're critiquing a "book" that is very far from being written. If the universe is indeed over 12 billion years old, and if a God exists who is timeless, then His plans are most likely over a time span that you can't possibly even imagine much less analyze.
Similarly, you should give me a million dollars, because one day I might be a trillionaire and feel inclined to treat you generously in return.

Not that his argument was rock-solid, mind you - but as holes go, yours appears to be filled in with cheese.
  #183  
Old 10-23-2019, 02:08 PM
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And am I supposed to not not work on Sunday, or not not work late Friday afternoon? Am I supposed to not avoid eating ham, or is it beef?
Actually, I think we atheists need to revive Discordianism, which embraces contradiction and disarray as necessary components of chaos, so the less sense it makes, the better.

Discordianist doctrine holds that every single man, woman, and child on this Earth is a Discordian Pope. The Principia Discordia includes an official pope card that may be reproduced and distributed freely to anyone and everyone. Papacy, however, is not granted through possession of this card; it merely informs people that they are "a genuine and authorized Pope" of Discordia. So, in lieu of the card, everybody reading this thread is now a Discordian Pope, or at least finally comes to awareness of this.
  #184  
Old 10-23-2019, 02:09 PM
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Your "proof" has more holes in it than swiss cheese. LOL

Pretty much the entire universe is uninhabitable by humans ...... RIGHT NOW.

What science has really shown us is that we have made amazing scientific strides in a very short time. The Dark Age was a mere 700 years ago when we had virtually no technology at all. At the current pace of development, it's hard to even imagine the technology we may have at our disposal a mere thousand years from now. It may very well include a form of propulsion that will make interstellar travel a reality.

You're critiquing a "book" that is very far from being written. If the universe is indeed over 12 billion years old, and if a God exists who is timeless, then His plans are most likely over a time span that you can't possibly even imagine much less analyze.
So, are you saying that it is ineffable, or are you saying that you know the answers?
  #185  
Old 10-23-2019, 03:27 PM
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The reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world.
I previously said this was correct, but then I revisited it, considered what you seemed to mean, and decided that you're actually wrong.

"A whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world" - that means to know literally everything, right? To have an explanatory description of how the laws of physics work, why the republicans do what they do, and the state of North Korea's nuclear program. That's what you're saying a person has to know before they can neglect to believe in every god ever theorized, right? (Or maybe just your favorite variant of the Christian God - I'm not sure if you're still hewing to Pascal's wager or not.)

I dispute this. I don't have to know your underwear size before I'm allowed to be inactive in the theology department. The default state is to not believe in things - by default you haven't heard about them, and thus can't possibly believe in them. This being the case it's impossible for there to be prerequisites for not believing in other people's crazy ideas. That's, well, a crazy idea. And it's an idea that I certainly didn't believe by default before now.
  #186  
Old 10-23-2019, 04:55 PM
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This very idea that atheists don't make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race sounds exactly like a tenet of such mythology.
Well, for the most part, we don't - because, for the most part, atheists don't socialize with people specifically because they're atheist. Speaking personally, I don't have a single social context in which I can state confidently that I even know the religious inclinations of most of the people present. I've precisely one friend whom I know, for a fact, is an atheist. I've got one friend who, based on her Facebook posts, is into some form of New Age spiritualism, but I don't know the specifics, or how deeply she believes in it. The rest of my friends, I can at best make educated guesses, and those guesses are largely based on the fact that none of them talk about religion much.

So, if I'm in the process of sharing values and beliefs expressed by atheist symbols and narratives in patterns of thought, I must be doing an incredibly shit job at it, because I don't even know if the people I'm sharing these values with are also atheists or not.
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Old 10-23-2019, 05:13 PM
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Well, for the most part, we don't - because, for the most part, atheists don't socialize with people specifically because they're atheist. Speaking personally, I don't have a single social context in which I can state confidently that I even know the religious inclinations of most of the people present. I've precisely one friend whom I know, for a fact, is an atheist. I've got one friend who, based on her Facebook posts, is into some form of New Age spiritualism, but I don't know the specifics, or how deeply she believes in it. The rest of my friends, I can at best make educated guesses, and those guesses are largely based on the fact that none of them talk about religion much.

So, if I'm in the process of sharing values and beliefs expressed by atheist symbols and narratives in patterns of thought, I must be doing an incredibly shit job at it, because I don't even know if the people I'm sharing these values with are also atheists or not.
OTOH, you often know if your acquaintances are religious, as they like to remind you of it often.
  #188  
Old 10-23-2019, 06:36 PM
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Within reason, however, people can expect certain things to happen or not to happen based on what they know, and can discuss probabilities. Indeed, I may have a problem with likelihood because even when something is really likely to happen doesnít make it a fact. And I dislike it when people regard the existence of the multiverse, the existence of aliens, the future conquest of space by mankind, or the future creation of conscious AI as facts rather than speculation. Who do you think these people tend to be?
How many people consider these as facts rather than possibilities, or even probabilities? There are lots of good reasons for them, which does not mean anyone thinks they are facts.
As for who these people are, in college I was in a science fiction club with a guy who no doubt thinks aliens are a possibility. He became a priest and now works for the Vatican as an astronomer. This debate is quite independent of religion, except for religions who think that the universe is an illusion created by god to make it look like the universe is not 6,000 years old.
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When discussing atheism, it is probably unavoidable to talk about the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. This is exactly the reason why I have quoted that paragraph from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The existence or non-existence of any non-observable entity in the world is not settled by any single argument or consideration. Every premise will be based upon other concepts and principles that themselves must be justified. So ultimately, the adequacy of atheism as an explanatory hypothesis about what is real will depend upon the overall coherence, internal consistency, empirical confirmation, and explanatory success of a whole worldview within which atheism is only one small part. The question of whether or not there is a God sprawls onto related issues and positions about biology, physics, metaphysics, explanation, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of language, and epistemology. The reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world.(my bolding)
I've read lots of philosophy on atheism by theists who do not understand it and do not want to understand it. This example is a nice illustration of trying to evade the burden of proof. Atheists do not need a consistent world view. An atheist can believe that the Earth was created naturally, but an atheist could also think that the Earth was build by Seymour the Cosmic Construction guy. (Or Slarty.) Atheist tend to accept the Big Bang and other things demonstrated to a reasonable degree of certainty by science, but they don't have to. An atheist can just say "I don't believe you" to any theist attempted demonstration of a god, or the atheist can give scientific and logical reasons why the "proof" of a god doesn't hold water.
Trying to force atheists to answer the types of questions in the passage is common but still invalid.
A theist needs to define the god they believe in and give evidence for it. The best evidence in the past 2,000 years ago has been god of the gaps, but the gaps are vanishing.
If you were trained in atheism, you weren't trained well.
  #189  
Old 10-23-2019, 06:48 PM
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If you were trained in atheism, you weren't trained well.
Now I'm trying to picture what atheism training would be like. For some unknown reason I'm picturing pushups. (Which would be a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned.)

Last edited by begbert2; 10-23-2019 at 06:48 PM. Reason: typo
  #190  
Old 10-23-2019, 08:53 PM
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It's atheist calisthenics. As you do jumping jacks, chant THERE IS NO GOD. THERE IS NO GOD.
  #191  
Old 10-23-2019, 11:59 PM
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Now I'm trying to picture what atheism training would be like. For some unknown reason I'm picturing pushups. (Which would be a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned.)
I trained my kids. When they were old enough, we went through the beginning of Genesis and I pointed out the absurdities and contradictions. We also taught them how to reason critically. Nice side effect - they two of them have 8 degrees between them, and they both make lots of money.
  #192  
Old 10-24-2019, 02:08 AM
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I previously said this was correct, but then I revisited it, considered what you seemed to mean, and decided that you're actually wrong.
Knowledge is great.

My point is that atheists make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race.

Mythical thinking is fundamental to all human beings.

Otherwise... what Will said.
  #193  
Old 10-24-2019, 03:23 AM
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My point is that atheists make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race.
Can you be more specific as to what these "symbols and narratives" are? The examples we've mentioned in this thread were sarcasm, in case you didn't notice.
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Mythical thinking is fundamental to all human beings.
Of course it is. That doesn't mean atheists have a unified mythos, like the ancient Greeks. Even if we did, it wouldn't be the reason for our skepticism about space colonization. Belief in divine beings is not a requisite for understanding simple math. Remember, it would take 70,000+ years to reach Alpha Centauri. It doesn't matter what "mythical thinking" we would have.
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Otherwise... what Will said.
Who?
  #194  
Old 10-24-2019, 03:27 AM
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Knowledge is great.

My point is that atheists make a social group whose members share a culture consisting of shared values and beliefs expressed by means of symbols and narratives in patterns of thought pertaining to the entire human race.

Mythical thinking is fundamental to all human beings.

Otherwise... what Will said.
If what you're saying is all A are B and all B are C, then why are you honing in on all A are C? It may be true, but if B is "members of the human race," itís kind of trivial to beat a drum about how all A are C. (And here, I suppose the most generous definition of C I could allow is "believers in a myth or myths).

Even if I grant, for the sake of argument, that "all humans are believers in a myth or myths," do you honestly believe that there are beliefs held by atheists, that are unique to atheists, and could be used to set them apart from other "members of the human race," beyond a simple lack in a belief in a god or gods? If so, what do you hold those beliefs to be?
  #195  
Old 10-24-2019, 03:47 AM
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OTOH, you often know if your acquaintances are religious, as they like to remind you of it often.
Not necessarily. Not every religion compels its adherents to make pests of themselves by bothering non-believers.
  #196  
Old 10-24-2019, 04:00 AM
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Atheists no more share a common culture than theists do, and I say that as a theist myself. Just because I believe in God doesn't mean I have shared cultural beliefs with another theistic religion. Atheism is even more diverse in thought, simply because all it requires is that someone didn't believe in a god.

Some people try to lump in atheists with rationalism. But then there are some very woo-heavy, spiritual atheists out there. The things they have in common tend to be for other reasons than their atheism, such as their country of origin or literary tradition and such. When that is different, you get very different groups.

I reject the idea that atheism is different by being a "lack of belief" vs. "belief," as both are the same thing. "I don't believe in X" is the same as "I believe in no X." But that doesn't turn atheism into a religion. It's just a belief that is common in many cultures and subcultures, same as theism. Calling atheism a "social group" is like calling heartburn an illness.

Your OP is talking about a certain subset of atheists. I'm pretty sure I've even encountered a name for them, but I'm not having luck finding the term on Google. I know it's a subset of humanism and scientism that is specifically about space travel and colonization, but I can't remember it. It definitely isn't futurism, as that is a very different thing.
  #197  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:05 AM
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I reject the idea that atheism is different by being a "lack of belief" vs. "belief," as both are the same thing. "I don't believe in X" is the same as "I believe in no X."
Let’s assume I have here a jar of marbles. Short of being able to actually open up and count its contents, or at least have some information about the likely number of marbles contained (like, who filled it and if they recall how many marbles they put in)...

Would you say you believe there are an even number of marbles in the jar?

Because you have basically set up, by your atheism example, a scenario in which, to be logically consistent, you must either a) believe there are an even number of marbles in the jar, or b) specifically and positively believe that there is NOT and even number of marbles in the jar, which amounts to c) a positive statement that you believe there is an odd number of marbles in the jar.

That’s the problem with your statement that "I don’t believe" is consistent with "I believe there is no."

The time to believe, with any degree of confidence, whether there is either an even or an odd number of marbles in the jar is when you are provided with evidence of the even- or odd-ness of the number of marbles in the jar. Until then, you (I assume) 1) don’t know how whether the number is even or odd (are agnostic as to the even or oddness), but likely 2) also are atheistic as to both its evenness and its oddness (you don’t believe it is either, even in this very special scenario in which it must be one or the other).

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 10-24-2019 at 10:09 AM.
  #198  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:13 AM
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Until then, you (I assume) 1) donít know how whether the number is even or odd (are agnostic as to the even or oddness), but likely 2) also are atheistic as to both its evenness and its oddness (you donít believe it is either, even in this very special scenario in which it must be one or the other).
3) Don't give a damn about the marbles.
  #199  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:17 AM
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3) Don't give a damn about the marbles.
Do you wish you could go back to a time when, 4) no one ever told you about the marbles?

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 10-24-2019 at 10:18 AM.
  #200  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:28 AM
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Do you wish you could go back to a time when, 4) no one ever told you about the marbles?
My parents were not religious. My mom's parents were Jewish, my dad's parents were Christian, and non of my grandparents were happy about their offspring marrying to the other team.

Marbles were not a big deal growing up. I never found them all that interesting. I'd go to shul or church with a friend but it all seemed a silly contrivance.
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