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#475661 - 10/11/01 09:17 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Elliot Kane Offline
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Registered: 08/17/01
Posts: 2337
Loc: London, England
Travis...

Good analogy. Wish I'd thought of it myself, actually. [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

Welcome to the debate [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

***

Jesse...

Amorality is more pushed than Atheism. Atheism is only encouraged as an excuse for amorality.

(And no Charlie, I'm not saying all Atheists are amoral - or even immoral. Atheism IS often used in this way though)
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#475662 - 10/11/01 09:38 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Elliot Kane:
Amorality is more pushed than Atheism. Atheism is only encouraged as an excuse for amorality.

(And no Charlie, I'm not saying all Atheists are amoral - or even immoral. Atheism IS often used in this way though)


The way I see it, atheism is to religion as 1776-style American democracy is to monarchy.

Some people think that without a king to enforce order, society decends into chaos and/or barbarism. Yet the lesson of the American experiment was that self-rule was possible. You CAN play sandlot baseball without an umpire.

Some people think the point of the revolution is "now we can do WHATEVER WE FEEL LIKE!" Opponents would argue that this is exactly why a king is NECESSARY.

Some people think it means "Now we're wholly responsible for the consequences of our actions, and we have no one but ourselves to credit OR blame for what we do." Some monarchists opposed the revolution exactly because this notion terrified them.

I see many parallels with religion and atheism here.

- Larry H

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#475663 - 10/11/01 09:45 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Quote:
This misses the fact that many atheists convert to theism on the basis of its rational appeal, plus the fact that many "native" theists remain theists by reason of that same appeal. Disagree with us if you must, but chalking our views up to upbringing or secret fideism is unwarranted (and frankly strikes me as petty).


Well, what else could explain a group of people who hold irreconciable views, yet insist that they are coherent? There's simply no way of making all the claims you've made in this thread consisted with logic or rationalism (except to redefine the omnis to a degree where they're no longer really "omni"). As I said, I have more intellectual admiration for fideism, so I hardly consider it an insult.

A point of clarification:

Rawls's ideal observer is an imagined being who is the perfectly rational human. According to him, this is what we should, and do, use in evaluating whether some moral proposition is true. To the degree that this is what a god construct is used for, I agree that the ideal observer is consistent with Christianity. However, Rawls doesn't mistake this construct for reality (that would be the fallacy of misplaced concreteness). Eco uses a similar notion in his ideal reader for textual interpretation, which shows the leap you feel is necessary more to be more obviously goofy: in order to read a text properly, do we need a Divine Reader?

[This message has been edited by Charles Reece (edited 10-11-2001).]
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#475664 - 10/11/01 09:50 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Yet another good analogy from Larry.
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#475665 - 10/11/01 10:04 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
I not sure exactly what some of you guys think is going on in academia. It's there that I began to think more and more about the question of morality and how to have coherent answers. Not once did I ever take a class that told me morality doesn't exist. That's just bullshit propaganda from right-wing thinktanks that prefer to scare people away from getting an education. One should be suspicious of the generally ivy-league educated upper-bourgeoisie proclaiming the futility of liberal education.

Atheism is only used to promote amorality by theists who can't figure out a way to think about morality outside of a god. Atheism is consistent with all moral systems except the one that says a god is necessary for morality. Like theism, it is intrinscially amoral, but it doesn't promote the lack of morality.

[This message has been edited by Charles Reece (edited 10-11-2001).]
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#475666 - 10/11/01 10:13 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Travis,

I'm not going to run through the whole debate again. Suffice it to say that if you can look ahead at a future panel and the comics characters can't alter the content of that panel, then they are determined. Your example is really just a permutation of the deterministic film reel one. All my answers to your analogy are contained in responses to that one.

[This message has been edited by Charles Reece (edited 10-11-2001).]
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#475667 - 10/11/01 10:42 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Kal Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 113
Good morning gentlemen (or good night from where I sit).

I was hesitant to post something after Travis’ and Jesse’s posts as they sounded like nice links back to comics, and I perceived a nearing of the end of this thread.

However, I see a willingness to continue, and seeing as I have nothing better to do other than to go to sleep now...

Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
Kal,

Well, how many people are truly encouraged by society en masse to be an atheist in this country? Come on. I will grant that anytime some authority tries to enforce a doctrine of belief, be it theistic, atheistic, or otherwise, on a people in a ruthless manner, people rebel (and I say good for them). Christianity isn't however ruthlessly enforced on the majority of us Americans, but it is taught from birth probably up till college to be the only plausible explanation (and even then there are only a few of us that read much philosophy). This makes it difficult to see outside of the box, and understandably so. That's why groups like the Moral Majority are so gungho on foisting it on us at a young age.


Well Charlie, as I live in Australia, it’s kind of hard for me to comment on what affects the “majority of us Americans”. I’m still not sure how or why this represents a rebuttal of my general statement about foundational beliefs — I can only assume it does by the tone of your argument — not least the words “Come on.”

I picked on a hypothetical atheist in my example, and even though I qualified it as just an example, I can only assume this is what you have taken offense to. Okay, I confess the inference was that science is pushed as a plausible explanation of Universal origins in schools without reference to God, but in all honesty, I can say that (at least in the public high-school which I attended) this was absolutely the case. If you wanted to hear about God, you could sacrifice your lunch time to attend a small, not very exciting gathering of students once a week in one of the class-rooms. The influence of television and other media was much the same. University was the same, if not more so. When I went to Uni, I started regularly attending a church for the first time in my life, and I openly shared about my faith if someone was open to listening — but doing so was kind of like going to a sold-out home-town sports game, dressed only in a pair of jockies and painted from head to toe in the opposition colors. Are you saying it is so different in the US?

Quote:
Check just about any post of mine (or Larry's) in this thread after l'affaire Steranko. Key words: omniscience, omnipotence, morality, mathematics, prime mover, etc..


I’m afraid I have a confession to make. I may not be as smart as Jesse and Elliot, because for the most part I had a lot of trouble even understanding what you were arguing for, let alone arguing against it. Would you be condescending enough to spell out the key aspects of Christianity that are contradictory or scientifically flawed as you see it, using words and sentences that even I (my highest qualification being a Bachelor of Graphic Design) might understand?




[This message has been edited by Kal (edited 10-11-2001).]

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#475668 - 10/11/01 11:32 AM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Kal Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Reece:
Suffice it to say that if you can look ahead at a future panel and the comics characters can't alter the content of that panel, then they are determined. Your example is really just a permutation of the deterministic film reel one. All my answers to your analogy are contained in responses to that one.


This predeterminism thing is a real mind bender. (Is predeterminism the right word? I don’t know — look up your big book Charlie.) It seems similar to the question: “If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around does it make a sound?” We ask: “Does the act of observing future events, cause those events?” To me, the simple answer would seem to be no — observation is not a cause in itself. On the other hand, it could be argued, as Charlie has done, that if someone has seen the future, and it’s unchangeable, then no other cause can exist to alter it.

Does anyone else think that this could be another one of those issues that is beyond human understanding? I don’t know. Maybe just beyond my understanding.

Carry on.

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#475669 - 10/11/01 02:20 PM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Kal:
This predeterminism thing is a real mind bender. (Is predeterminism the right word? I don’t know — look up your big book Charlie.) It seems similar to the question: “If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around does it make a sound?” We ask: “Does the act of observing future events, cause those events?” To me, the simple answer would seem to be no — observation is not a cause in itself. On the other hand, it could be argued, as Charlie has done, that if someone has seen the future, and it’s unchangeable, then no other cause can exist to alter it.

Does anyone else think that this could be another one of those issues that is beyond human understanding? I don’t know. Maybe just beyond my understanding.

Carry on.


I'd say that if a mechanism exists whereby someone CAN see the future, then it is determined, whether or not someone actually DOES choose to look. So it is not the act of observation which forces the predetermination. It is the AVAILABILITY of such an observation.

Forgive a new metaphor. [img]/resources/ubb/wink.gif[/img] In my view, it's not so much like the tree in the forest question as it is like "What happens when an irresistable force meets an immovable object?" To me, the answer is that if an irresistible force exists, then BY DEFINITION there cannot be such thing as an immovable object. In fact, if you posit an irresistible force, you are necessarily positing that no object is immovable. The opposite is also true.

So an irresistalbe force can't meet an immovable object. Only one or the other may exist. But we don't know which one (or if neither does), nor do we have to to realize the question is an absurdity.

Likewise free-will vs predetermination.

Now that we know that, what do we know?

- Larry H



[This message has been edited by columnist (edited 10-11-2001).]

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#475670 - 10/11/01 02:45 PM Re: TERRORIST COMICS: Time to Take a Stand!
Jesse Hamm Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 682
Loc: Portland, USA
Quote:
Charlie: Well, what else [but upbringing or secret fideism] could explain a group of people who hold irreconciable views, yet insist that they are coherent?


You arbitrarily rule out the possibility of honestly mistaken thinking. For example, I've been charitable enough to treat your views as mistakes, rather than leaps of faith or results of your upbringing, in spite of how embarrassingly irrational they appear to me to be. (Although your "who knows" hypothesis did force me to question that charity.)

Quote:
Charlie: in order to read a text properly, do we need a Divine Reader?


Ultimately, yes; but I won't bother explaining presuppositional apologetics to someone who believes logic is founded on limitless contingency.

Quote:
Charlie: Atheism is only used to promote amorality by theists....it is intrinscially amoral, but it doesn't promote the lack of morality.


Ah-hahh.

Quote:
Larry: The way I see it, atheism is to religion as 1776-style American democracy is to monarchy.


1776-style American democracy was founded in large part on a theistic base. A better analogy for godless government would be 20th Century communism. (In other words, those governments which used God's supposed non-existence to kill hundreds of millions of people, dwarfing the death tolls of any opressive religious regimes in history.)
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