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Author Topic: Why do Atheists Hate Religion?  (Read 872940 times)
Beliathon
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June 16, 2015, 06:01:52 PM
 #781

A mind that worships imaginary gods is unlikely to recognize that Homo Sapiens are the only true gods of Earth. This is catastrophic, and part of the reason we are still such awful stewards for this place.


Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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June 16, 2015, 08:11:28 PM
 #782

2) ...I am not ascribing them any intrinsic meaning in and of themselves as you suggest.  Although, I would like to point out that you seem to be making some very definitive claims about the nature of objects in general, which goes against your favoritism towards indeterminism as an explanatory model (i.e. you are determining their meaning).

If you meant to say that I, as a subject, determine the meaning of things to me (e.g. their usefulness in achieving my ends), then yes, I am. But I don't see how that goes against my favoritism toward indeterminism

3) Again, meaning is derived from a subject-object relationship.  You seem to acknowledge this by claiming that objects are neither meaningful nor meaningless (see #1).

4) If you acknowledge #3, then you should also acknowledge that you cannot say objects (like cancer) can exist (imbuing them with your own meaning) outside of subjective awareness.

They I cannot agree with. If I determine the meaning of things (to me), it doesn't mean that I determine their existence since meaning is subjective, existence is objective. In other words, existence is an intrinsic quality of things while meaning is not (removing this quality from a thing would be equal to destroying it)...

1)  The mere existence of something is meaningful.  That is, if you assert something exists, then it is imbued with meaning, and it is your awareness of its existant form that determines, in tandem with each other, that it 1) it exists, and 2) to that extent (at the very least) it is meaningful.  Existence and meaning are a package deal.

Now you go where you started at. I don't want to repeat what I have said earlier. If I assert that something exists, or otherwise ascribe some meaning to it (since that seems to be your point), this by no means affects the objective existence of a thing. In this way, asserting the existence of something is not the same as its objective existence, which is not dependent on someone assigning a meaning to it (or just stating that it exists)...

It seems that you got lost in purposeless verbiage

You have absolutely no basis to say that it "by no means affects the objective existence of a thing."  This is your fundamental error.  How can you possibly know that without making a (as I noted before) "totally unnecessary and wholly unfalsifiable assumption?"  How can you possibility know what the objective existence of something is without being aware of it?  To falsify your assumption requires that you would need to be aware of its objective existence independent of your awareness of its objective existence.  Your assumption negates its own possibility.

Whereas you make an assumption that impossible to falsify empirically or logically, I make exactly zero assumptions.

This point isn't even anything novel.  This is taught in classrooms globally.  I hate appealing to authority, but how many academic references would you need to convince you otherwise?  Though, the explanation contained in this very post is enough to prove the flaw in your assumption beyond all doubt.  You are making an assumption that is absolutely impossible to establish, provide reasonable grounds for, or falsify, and there is not a shred of evidence to support it.

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June 16, 2015, 08:27:45 PM
 #783

You have absolutely no basis to say that it "by no means affects the objective existence of a thing."  This is your fundamental error.  How can you possibly know that without making a (as I noted before) "totally unnecessary and wholly unfalsifiable assumption?"  How can you possibility know what the objective existence of something is without being aware of it?

Strictly speaking, I agree with that. Absence of proof is not proof of absence (and all that shit about falsifiability). Thereby it is a moot point really, since the same principle is applicable to your reasoning as well. Ancient people knew nothing of cancer, but there is overwhelming evidence that it existed back then, so something might exist today that we know nothing of. Actually, that's what I was trying to convey right from the start. That is, in the absence of strong evidence we can only believe (until new evidence is found, of course), or just refrain from drawing definitive conclusions...

And yes, I am more inclined to think that the subjective is not connected with the objective in the way you are trying to push it
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June 16, 2015, 10:04:21 PM
 #784

You have absolutely no basis to say that it "by no means affects the objective existence of a thing."  This is your fundamental error.  How can you possibly know that without making a (as I noted before) "totally unnecessary and wholly unfalsifiable assumption?"  How can you possibility know what the objective existence of something is without being aware of it?

Strictly speaking, I agree with that. Absence of proof is not proof of absence (and all that shit about falsifiability). Thereby it is a moot point really, since the same principle is applicable to your reasoning as well. Ancient people knew nothing of cancer, but there is overwhelming evidence that it existed back then, so something might exist today that we know nothing of. Actually, that's what I was trying to convey right from the start. That is, in the absence of strong evidence we can only believe (until new evidence is found, of course), or just refrain from making definitive conclusions...

And yes, I am more inclined to think that the subjective is not connected with the objective in the way you are trying to push it

Correct, absence of proof is not proof of absence, but in this case that only applies directly to Empiricism, which necessarily omits comprehensive explanation and thereby not only leaves unfalsifiable assumptions on the table, but also leaves a necessary cause of which it can never model.  In a self-deterministic model where objective content is fundamentally inseparable from the mental constructs that model them, the necessary cause is modeled, and in such a way that it also explains the cause of the model itself (i.e. through theoretical self-reference).  

A self-deterministic model is not in any way threatened by such unfalsifiable assumptions in the same way that an Empirical worldview is because it precludes any instance in which such unverifiable content is actually relevant to Reality.  Accordingly, these unfalsifable assumptions are a priori unreal.  This distinction is especially highlighted by the fact that Empirical models cannot account for themselves (because they are abstract and therefore beyond the scope of Empiricism altogether), and can't even account for their own assumptions (e.g. that we live in a Positivistic Universe, a purely philosophical assumption that also falls outside of their scope).  

My claims are falsifiable, as I have already explained how there is a theoretical way to falsify them.  Again, what you will find is that any attempt to falsify them will only reinforce the general idea in the same way that any attempt to falsify the existence of absolute truth only serves to reinforce it, since any claim must necessarily assume its own absolute, objective weight in order to be objectively relevant to the argument.

...Objectively relevant.  These are the types of relationships you need to become aware of.  What is objective is only so in relation to something else.  For example, the syntax of a system is objective relative to its contents, while its contents are only relative to its syntax and not in any way absolute to it.  However, the same, objective syntax of the original system is merely relative to the syntax of an even greater system containing it.  Objective does NOT mean something like "it is what it is all by itself."  Objectivity is a relation.  You avoid infinite regression by modeling objectivity self-relationally (in the same way that sound logic is logical because sound logic says so).

And of course you're inclined to think subjectivity and objectivity aren't connected in the way I propose because the notion apparently runs contrary to what you've been assuming (i.e. your inclination) this entire time.

Quote
http://ctmu.org/  [See Q&A]

Scientific theories are mental constructs that have objective reality as their content.   According to the scientific method, science puts objective content first, letting theories be determined by observation.  But the phrase "a theory of reality" contains two key nouns, theory and reality, and science is really about both. Because all theories have certain necessary logical properties that are abstract and mathematical, and therefore independent of observation - it is these very properties that let us recognize and understand our world in conceptual terms - we could just as well start with these properties and see what they might tell us about objective reality.  Just as scientific observation makes demands on theories, the logic of theories makes demands on scientific observation, and these demands tell us in a general way what we may observe about the universe.

In other words, a comprehensive theory of reality is not just about observation, but about theories and their logical requirements.  Since theories are mental constructs, and mental means "of the mind", this can be rephrased as follows: mind and reality are linked in mutual dependence at the most basic level of understanding.  This linkage of mind and reality is what a TOE (Theory of Everything) is really about...

...Mind and reality - the abstract and the concrete, the subjective and the objective, the internal and the external - are linked together in a certain way, and this linkage is the real substance of "reality theory".  Just as scientific observation determines theories, the logical requirements of theories to some extent determine scientific observation.  Since reality always has the ability to surprise us, the task of scientific observation can never be completed with absolute certainty, and this means that a comprehensive theory of reality cannot be based on scientific observation alone.  Instead, it must be based on the process of making scientific observations in general, and this process is based on the relationship of mind and reality...

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...As noted by Berkeley, we can know reality only through perception. So our theories of reality necessarily have a perceptual or observational basis.  But as noted by Kant, the process of observation has substantial internal complexity; it is a relationship of subject and object with sensory (phenomenal) and cognitive (categorical) components. So reality is at once monic, because uniformly perceptual, and dualistic, because perception has two complementary aspects...

...Now consider physics. Because physics is governed by the scientific method, it deals exclusively with phenomena. Thus, it effectively diverts attention away from the cognitive, categorical aspect of perceptual reality, without which neither phenomena nor scientific theories could exist. Because physics is irreducibly dualistic and takes the fundamental separation of mind and matter as axiomatic, it cannot provide us with a complete picture of reality. It can tell us only what lies outside the subjective observer, not within.

By definition, reality must contain all that it needs to exist; equivalently, anything on which the existence of reality depends is real by definition (if it were not, then reality would be based on nonreality and would itself be unreal, a semantic contradiction). So attempts to explain reality entirely in terms of physics are paradoxical; reality contains not only the physical, but the abstract machinery of perception and cognition through which "the physical" is perceived and explained. Where this abstract machinery is what we mean by "the supraphysical", reality has physical and supraphysical aspects. Physical and supraphysical reality are respectively "concrete" and "abstract", i.e. material and mental in nature.  

The question is, do we continue to try to objectivize the supraphysical component of reality as do the theories of physics, strings and membranes, thus regenerating the paradox? Or do we...resolve the paradox, admitting that the supraphysical aspect of reality is "mental" in a generalized sense and describing all components of reality in terms of SCSPL syntactic operators with subjective and objective aspects?

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June 17, 2015, 12:42:12 AM
 #785


A self-deterministic model is not in any way threatened by such unfalsifiable assumptions in the same way that an Empirical worldview is because it precludes any instance in which such unverifiable content is actually relevant to Reality.  Accordingly, these unfalsifable assumptions are a priori unreal.  This distinction is especially highlighted by the fact that Empirical models cannot account for themselves (because they are abstract and therefore beyond the scope of Empiricism altogether), and can't even account for their own assumptions (e.g. that we live in a Positivistic Universe, a purely philosophical assumption that also falls outside of their scope).  

My claims are falsifiable, as I have already explained how there is a theoretical way to falsify them.  Again, what you will find is that any attempt to falsify them will only reinforce the general idea in the same way that any attempt to falsify the existence of absolute truth only serves to reinforce it, since any claim must necessarily assume its own absolute, objective weight in order to be objectively relevant to the argument.

But one thing about putting "it's the absolute truth that..." in front of statements is that some statements will take the form of the Liar Paradox (It's the absolute truth that this sentence is false.) , which Gödel used to great effect, upsetting lots of people with his incompleteness theorems. Others have also expounded upon it, saying that the incompleteness is not only relevant to vague ideas of arithmetical language, but it applies to "real world" theories as well. The take-home message being that there will always be some true truths that cannot proven within the theory.

Interestingly, I'm not sure about your use of the word 'theory' earlier. For one thing, I didn't immediately click that you were using theory as a synonym for similar words like perception, experience, or the senses. And I'm wondering how a "practice" of reality might differ, or whether it's a coherent idea for there to even be a practice of reality.

I can test these thoughts by applying them to a concrete example to see if it makes sense in a smaller context. E.g.: Weather forecasting. Forecasters would have a theory about how the weather ought to work, which they implement as a simulation running on some computers. However, the actual weather does not care what someone else thinks about it. What it actually does, would be the practice.  This reminds me of the quote "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."

Theory would be the subjective reality, and practice would be objective reality. However, since we're "stuck in our minds", maybe we just have to keep adjusting our theory in a learning process?
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June 17, 2015, 02:15:52 AM
 #786


A self-deterministic model is not in any way threatened by such unfalsifiable assumptions in the same way that an Empirical worldview is because it precludes any instance in which such unverifiable content is actually relevant to Reality.  Accordingly, these unfalsifable assumptions are a priori unreal.  This distinction is especially highlighted by the fact that Empirical models cannot account for themselves (because they are abstract and therefore beyond the scope of Empiricism altogether), and can't even account for their own assumptions (e.g. that we live in a Positivistic Universe, a purely philosophical assumption that also falls outside of their scope).  

My claims are falsifiable, as I have already explained how there is a theoretical way to falsify them.  Again, what you will find is that any attempt to falsify them will only reinforce the general idea in the same way that any attempt to falsify the existence of absolute truth only serves to reinforce it, since any claim must necessarily assume its own absolute, objective weight in order to be objectively relevant to the argument.

But one thing about putting "it's the absolute truth that..." in front of statements is that some statements will take the form of the Liar Paradox (It's the absolute truth that this sentence is false.) , which Gödel used to great effect, upsetting lots of people with his incompleteness theorems. Others have also expounded upon it, saying that the incompleteness is not only relevant to vague ideas of arithmetical language, but it applies to "real world" theories as well. The take-home message being that there will always be some true truths that cannot proven within the theory.

Interestingly, I'm not sure about your use of the word 'theory' earlier. For one thing, I didn't immediately click that you were using theory as a synonym for similar words like perception, experience, or the senses. And I'm wondering how a "practice" of reality might differ, or whether it's a coherent idea for there to even be a practice of reality.

I can test these thoughts by applying them to a concrete example to see if it makes sense in a smaller context. E.g.: Weather forecasting. Forecasters would have a theory about how the weather ought to work, which they implement as a simulation running on some computers. However, the actual weather does not care what someone else thinks about it. What it actually does, would be the practice.  This reminds me of the quote "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."

Theory would be the subjective reality, and practice would be objective reality. However, since we're "stuck in our minds", maybe we just have to keep adjusting our theory in a learning process?


Quoting from the same source as previous post:

Quote
To demonstrate the existence of undecidability, Gödel used a simple trick called self-reference.  Consider the statement “this sentence is false.”  It is easy to dress this statement up as a logical formula.  Aside from being true or false, what else could such a formula say about itself?  Could it pronounce itself, say, unprovable?  Let’s try it: "This formula is unprovable".  If the given formula is in fact unprovable, then it is true and therefore a theorem.  Unfortunately, the axiomatic method cannot recognize it as such without a proof.  On the other hand, suppose it is provable.  Then it is self-apparently false (because its provability belies what it says of itself) and yet true (because provable without respect to content)!  It seems that we still have the makings of a paradox…a statement that is "unprovably provable" and therefore absurd.  

But what if we now introduce a distinction between levels of proof?  For example, what if we define a metalanguage as a language used to talk about, analyze or prove things regarding statements in a lower-level object language, and call the base level of Gödel’s formula the "object" level and the higher (proof) level the "metalanguage" level?  Now we have one of two things: a statement that can be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, and thus recognized as a theorem conveying valuable information about the limitations of the object language, or a statement that cannot be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, which, though uninformative, is at least no paradox.  Voilŕ: self-reference without paradox!  It turns out that "this formula is unprovable" can be translated into a generic example of an undecidable mathematical truth.  Because the associated reasoning involves a metalanguage of mathematics, it is called “metamathematical”.

Edit:  I'm a big fan of Langan's work, as you can see my beliefs closely reflect his -- and I've spent literally hundreds of hours dissecting it.

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June 17, 2015, 09:24:15 AM
 #787

Weather forecasting. Forecasters would have a theory about how the weather ought to work, which they implement as a simulation running on some computers. However, the actual weather does not care what someone else thinks about it. What it actually does, would be the practice.  This reminds me of the quote "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."

Theory would be the subjective reality, and practice would be objective reality. However, since we're "stuck in our minds", maybe we just have to keep adjusting our theory in a learning process?


Quoting from the same source as previous post:

Quote
To demonstrate the existence of undecidability, Gödel used a simple trick called self-reference.  Consider the statement “this sentence is false.”  It is easy to dress this statement up as a logical formula.  Aside from being true or false, what else could such a formula say about itself?  Could it pronounce itself, say, unprovable?  Let’s try it: "This formula is unprovable".  If the given formula is in fact unprovable, then it is true and therefore a theorem.  Unfortunately, the axiomatic method cannot recognize it as such without a proof.  On the other hand, suppose it is provable.  Then it is self-apparently false (because its provability belies what it says of itself) and yet true (because provable without respect to content)!  It seems that we still have the makings of a paradox…a statement that is "unprovably provable" and therefore absurd.  

But what if we now introduce a distinction between levels of proof?  For example, what if we define a metalanguage as a language used to talk about, analyze or prove things regarding statements in a lower-level object language, and call the base level of Gödel’s formula the "object" level and the higher (proof) level the "metalanguage" level?  Now we have one of two things: a statement that can be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, and thus recognized as a theorem conveying valuable information about the limitations of the object language, or a statement that cannot be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, which, though uninformative, is at least no paradox.  Voilŕ: self-reference without paradox!  It turns out that "this formula is unprovable" can be translated into a generic example of an undecidable mathematical truth.  Because the associated reasoning involves a metalanguage of mathematics, it is called “metamathematical”.

Edit:  I'm a big fan of Langan's work, as you can see my beliefs closely reflect his -- and I've spent literally hundreds of hours dissecting it.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. For the most part I actually agree with you, except for your confidence in earlier posts that you've got it all figured out. I suspect Gödel spent a lot of time breaking his way out of "linguistic Mamushka dolls", and what he tried to show was that the limitation could apply to any language.
Btw, I'm not sure what some people have against paradoxes - I think they're great! And I think the whole point of using a paradox was because of its ridiculousness, not in spite of it. It's just a symbol to represent any statement that's "true but unprovable" within its system of thought.

Another paradox would be our ability to define metalanguages -- creating higher levels of thought -- to isolate and explain things when we hit some limit at a lower level. If we were previously operating within the confines of a lower-level object language, who could have predicted that we were about to break out of that intellectual prison and create something different? If we can do that, then inductive reasoning suggests there's no known upper limit to the meta-metalanguages we might create. And we don't even know whether there's infinite regression because it's an open-ended proposition. We simply don't know if there will be more higher-level paradoxes as side-effects or not. But if we call it infinite regression and say we're operating at the highest possible level, the continued existence of paradoxes makes our system internally inconsistent.

Therefore, in response to metalanguages, Gödel's "incompleteness or inconsistency" dilemma could be a kind of "meta paradox" that persists in defiance of any attempt to contain it. Back to reality, it seems intuitively obvious that reality is incomplete (or inconsistent?) because it just keeps changing. It's not a static system.
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June 17, 2015, 12:55:31 PM
 #788

Weather forecasting. Forecasters would have a theory about how the weather ought to work, which they implement as a simulation running on some computers. However, the actual weather does not care what someone else thinks about it. What it actually does, would be the practice.  This reminds me of the quote "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."

Theory would be the subjective reality, and practice would be objective reality. However, since we're "stuck in our minds", maybe we just have to keep adjusting our theory in a learning process?


Quoting from the same source as previous post:

Quote
To demonstrate the existence of undecidability, Gödel used a simple trick called self-reference.  Consider the statement “this sentence is false.”  It is easy to dress this statement up as a logical formula.  Aside from being true or false, what else could such a formula say about itself?  Could it pronounce itself, say, unprovable?  Let’s try it: "This formula is unprovable".  If the given formula is in fact unprovable, then it is true and therefore a theorem.  Unfortunately, the axiomatic method cannot recognize it as such without a proof.  On the other hand, suppose it is provable.  Then it is self-apparently false (because its provability belies what it says of itself) and yet true (because provable without respect to content)!  It seems that we still have the makings of a paradox…a statement that is "unprovably provable" and therefore absurd.  

But what if we now introduce a distinction between levels of proof?  For example, what if we define a metalanguage as a language used to talk about, analyze or prove things regarding statements in a lower-level object language, and call the base level of Gödel’s formula the "object" level and the higher (proof) level the "metalanguage" level?  Now we have one of two things: a statement that can be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, and thus recognized as a theorem conveying valuable information about the limitations of the object language, or a statement that cannot be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, which, though uninformative, is at least no paradox.  Voilŕ: self-reference without paradox!  It turns out that "this formula is unprovable" can be translated into a generic example of an undecidable mathematical truth.  Because the associated reasoning involves a metalanguage of mathematics, it is called “metamathematical”.

Edit:  I'm a big fan of Langan's work, as you can see my beliefs closely reflect his -- and I've spent literally hundreds of hours dissecting it.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. For the most part I actually agree with you, except for your confidence in earlier posts that you've got it all figured out. I suspect Gödel spent a lot of time breaking his way out of "linguistic Mamushka dolls", and what he tried to show was that the limitation could apply to any language.
Btw, I'm not sure what some people have against paradoxes - I think they're great! And I think the whole point of using a paradox was because of its ridiculousness, not in spite of it. It's just a symbol to represent any statement that's "true but unprovable" within its system of thought.

Paradoxes are fun, no doubt.  But, as Langan further notes:

Quote
Saying that a theory is “inconsistent” amounts to saying that it contains one or more irresolvable paradoxes.   Unfortunately, since any such paradox destroys the distinction between true and false with respect to the theory, the entire theory is crippled by the inclusion of a single one.  This makes consistency a primary necessity in the construction of theories, giving it priority over proof and prediction.

This is really the crux of it all.  Presenting a consistent model that provides a means of resolving said paradoxes automatically grants the model explanatory precedence.  Consequently, what thus determines a given, consistent model to be superior to another is generality.  By identifying a limit of theorization and evoking categorical relationships between the limit itself and reality, the result is a consistent model of reality at the epitome of generality, precluding the existence of a consistent model more general than itself.  In other words, it is the best we can ever do, and all that remains is to use such a model as a context within which to frame all sub-theories/models, resolving the paradoxes contained therein and providing us with objective insight which may give us clues as to how we can gain additional, practical utility from them (and perhaps even objectifying practical utility itself, giving us a concrete path to follow with regards to ethics and other considerations).

Quote
Another paradox would be our ability to define metalanguages -- creating higher levels of thought -- to isolate and explain things when we hit some limit at a lower level. If we were previously operating within the confines of a lower-level object language, who could have predicted that we were about to break out of that intellectual prison and create something different? If we can do that, then inductive reasoning suggests there's no known upper limit to the meta-metalanguages we might create. And we don't even know whether there's infinite regression because it's an open-ended proposition. We simply don't know if there will be more higher-level paradoxes as side-effects or not. But if we call it infinite regression and say we're operating at the highest possible level, the continued existence of paradoxes makes our system internally inconsistent.

The "higher-level paradoxes as side-effects" would again be precluded by the reintroduction of yet another metalanguage to resolve paradoxes in an object-oriented metalanguage.  Isomorphic regression is not the same as infinite regression in the traditional sense because falsifying isomorphic regression would require introducing a metalanguage to attempt to falsify it, making it impossible to falsify it without actually adhering to it.  Thus, the falsification attempt renders itself inconsistent and therefore invalid.

Edit:  A way to visualize how isomorphic regression does not equate to infinite regression is to consider a 'prime' metalanguage as an algebraic construct which serves as a primordial archetype which distributes its structure isomorphically to all linguistic subsystems.  This means the archetype is a static, unchanging structure distributed among both reality in total and in part, objectively relating the latter to the former.

Quote
Therefore, in response to metalanguages, Gödel's "incompleteness or inconsistency" dilemma could be a kind of "meta paradox" that persists in defiance of any attempt to contain it. Back to reality, it seems intuitively obvious that reality is incomplete (or inconsistent?) because it just keeps changing. It's not a static system.

On a lower level, it isn't static, but at the highest level it would be totally static and unchanging...complete and self-consistent with respect to its non-static constituents.  A presumption of the kind you're making would suggest there would be something external to reality itself that would be capable of determining it incomplete and/or inconsistent (claiming its either or both is itself an objective determination, and this would reintroduce the problematic infinite regression).

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June 17, 2015, 01:55:42 PM
 #789

You ask why rational people try to engage theists into critical thinking, then go on to detail how you, like most atheists, began as a child being conditioned to believe the theist myths of your parents until you discovered the skills of critical thinking and objective reasoning.

So you prove that theists can break their conditioning but then question why we bother trying to free the minds of others who, like us once, were brainwashed.



Some Christians are threatened by atheism's rise on the pop charts. Some say atheists "hate God." But of course, a philosophical atheist cannot hate something he does not believe exists. Many atheists, though, do hate religion...

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June 17, 2015, 05:02:04 PM
 #790

You ask why rational people try to engage theists into critical thinking, then go on to detail how you, like most atheists, began as a child being conditioned to believe the theist myths of your parents until you discovered the skills of critical thinking and objective reasoning.

So you prove that theists can break their conditioning but then question why we bother trying to free the minds of others who, like us once, were brainwashed.



Some Christians are threatened by atheism's rise on the pop charts. Some say atheists "hate God." But of course, a philosophical atheist cannot hate something he does not believe exists. Many atheists, though, do hate religion...

There's no good reason why a Christian should ever be "threatened" by atheism's rise. Saddened maybe, feeling bad for them, yes. But threatened? There's no good reason for that. Christians believe God will be with them forever and they'll go to Heaven, and God will shine His light on them, and bless them. There's nothing to be threatened with when God is with you, who can be against you?

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
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June 18, 2015, 12:34:30 PM
 #791

Paradoxes are fun, no doubt.  But, as Langan further notes:

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Saying that a theory is “inconsistent” amounts to saying that it contains one or more irresolvable paradoxes.   Unfortunately, since any such paradox destroys the distinction between true and false with respect to the theory, the entire theory is crippled by the inclusion of a single one.  This makes consistency a primary necessity in the construction of theories, giving it priority over proof and prediction.

This is really the crux of it all.  Presenting a consistent model that provides a means of resolving said paradoxes automatically grants the model explanatory precedence.  Consequently, what thus determines a given, consistent model to be superior to another is generality.  By identifying a limit of theorization and evoking categorical relationships between the limit itself and reality, the result is a consistent model of reality at the epitome of generality, precluding the existence of a consistent model more general than itself.  In other words, it is the best we can ever do, and all that remains is to use such a model as a context within which to frame all sub-theories/models, resolving the paradoxes contained therein and providing us with objective insight which may give us clues as to how we can gain additional, practical utility from them (and perhaps even objectifying practical utility itself, giving us a concrete path to follow with regards to ethics and other considerations).

Let's not shoot the messenger... Plain English would be a superb example where it's possible to construct nonsensical statements, but that doesn't render the entire language useless and we continue to use it. Returning to your "absolute truth" argument,

Consider the following statement:  "Absolute truth exists."  Any attempt to falsify this statement actually reinforces it....

I later pointed out that in some cases it could result in the Liar Paradox, for which you quoted Langan about metalanguages:

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But what if we now introduce a distinction between levels of proof?  For example, what if we define a metalanguage as a language used to talk about, analyze or prove things regarding statements in a lower-level object language, and call the base level of Gödel’s formula the "object" level and the higher (proof) level the "metalanguage" level?  Now we have one of two things: a statement that can be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, and thus recognized as a theorem conveying valuable information about the limitations of the object language, or a statement that cannot be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, which, though uninformative, is at least no paradox.  Voilŕ: self-reference without paradox!  It turns out that "this formula is unprovable" can be translated into a generic example of an undecidable mathematical truth.  Because the associated reasoning involves a metalanguage of mathematics, it is called “metamathematical”.


Except, rereading, it seems to make more sense to think of metalanguage in computing terms. We can think of a statement as a series of instructions for running a program. Rather than a noun, the metalanguage would be an action: a reasoning process by which we somehow evaluate statements. Except that that still doesn't explain what we do when we run them. Or how we somehow seem able to overcome the limitations of computers.
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June 19, 2015, 06:01:08 PM
 #792

Paradoxes are fun, no doubt.  But, as Langan further notes:

Quote
Saying that a theory is “inconsistent” amounts to saying that it contains one or more irresolvable paradoxes.   Unfortunately, since any such paradox destroys the distinction between true and false with respect to the theory, the entire theory is crippled by the inclusion of a single one.  This makes consistency a primary necessity in the construction of theories, giving it priority over proof and prediction.

This is really the crux of it all.  Presenting a consistent model that provides a means of resolving said paradoxes automatically grants the model explanatory precedence.  Consequently, what thus determines a given, consistent model to be superior to another is generality.  By identifying a limit of theorization and evoking categorical relationships between the limit itself and reality, the result is a consistent model of reality at the epitome of generality, precluding the existence of a consistent model more general than itself.  In other words, it is the best we can ever do, and all that remains is to use such a model as a context within which to frame all sub-theories/models, resolving the paradoxes contained therein and providing us with objective insight which may give us clues as to how we can gain additional, practical utility from them (and perhaps even objectifying practical utility itself, giving us a concrete path to follow with regards to ethics and other considerations).

Let's not shoot the messenger... Plain English would be a superb example where it's possible to construct nonsensical statements, but that doesn't render the entire language useless and we continue to use it. Returning to your "absolute truth" argument,

Consider the following statement:  "Absolute truth exists."  Any attempt to falsify this statement actually reinforces it....

I later pointed out that in some cases it could result in the Liar Paradox, for which you quoted Langan about metalanguages:

Quote
But what if we now introduce a distinction between levels of proof?  For example, what if we define a metalanguage as a language used to talk about, analyze or prove things regarding statements in a lower-level object language, and call the base level of Gödel’s formula the "object" level and the higher (proof) level the "metalanguage" level?  Now we have one of two things: a statement that can be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, and thus recognized as a theorem conveying valuable information about the limitations of the object language, or a statement that cannot be metalinguistically proven to be linguistically unprovable, which, though uninformative, is at least no paradox.  Voilŕ: self-reference without paradox!  It turns out that "this formula is unprovable" can be translated into a generic example of an undecidable mathematical truth.  Because the associated reasoning involves a metalanguage of mathematics, it is called “metamathematical”.


Except, rereading, it seems to make more sense to think of metalanguage in computing terms. We can think of a statement as a series of instructions for running a program. Rather than a noun, the metalanguage would be an action: a reasoning process by which we somehow evaluate statements. Except that that still doesn't explain what we do when we run them. Or how we somehow seem able to overcome the limitations of computers.

1) I really don't understand the "let's not shoot the messenger comment."  I'm guessing it's non-essential, though I don't know who I shot lol.

2)  I agree that we can make sensical and non-sensical statements with plain English, and that the non-sensical statements do not render English inoperable or useless.  The syntax and rules of operation for English determine what is sensical and what isn't.  Statements are relayed back to the syntax and processed according thereto to determine if it is meaningful in a way consistent with it.  Thus, at the syntactic level there is indeed a "reasoning" process by which statements are evaluated, but the syntax itself is structural, i.e. it imposes constraints upon what can be considered meaningful.

3)  Yes, I recall your mention of the Liar's paradox.

4)  If you run software with code that does not conform to the syntax of its programming language, it will be evaluated as an invalid input. If valid, how those statements are expressed is a product of both their relation to their governing syntax, and also in relation to other object-level statements governed by the same syntax that may affect them (e.g. if-then or "conditional" statements).  I'm not sure if I fully responded to what you were saying, here.  I'm at lunch on an iPhone.

Edit: Linking this to subjectivity and objectivity, consider a governing syntax of Reality in total as it relates to its internal components.  As we perceive real content and subsequently process and model that content, we can either model that content in a way that is consistent with the syntax of Reality in total, or in a way that is inconsistent.  Because the structural syntax of Reality in total necessarily distributes to all of its content, if our model is consistent, then it is objectively valid, else we have an inconsistent, invalid model that provides us with no objective value.  In this way, we can consider this process in terms of a fundamental utility function, where utility is defined upon consistency and congruency with Universal syntax.  

Now, as you previously pointed out to some extent, real content isn't static, and this is because it is expressed through conditional changes according to the unconditional syntax of Reality.  This implies that Reality's syntax embodies rules for self-configuration via relational feedback between syntax and content, essentially a mechanism of self-evolution.  It is no different for us in an isomorphic sense.  We, too, embody this same mechanism for self-configuration, and this self-configuration can be defined in terms of the utility it generates.  If we self-configure in a way that is consistent with our own structural syntax, then bueno.  Else, no bueno.  I think this can serve as an objective basis for concepts like "good" and "bad," lending itself as a means of objective ethical mapping.

Edit 2: This may be getting a little bit ahead of ourselves, but consider for the sake of argument that what I have said so far in this post is true.  Relating to the computer analogy in which code that does not conform to the syntax of its program language would be considered invalid and thus incapable of being expressed, what would happen then if we do not conform to the syntax of Reality?  Might we, too, be deemed "invalid" and incapable of being expressed?  If so, might this be the basis of seemingly-religious concepts such as Heaven (i.e. something akin to "living with God forever, or in congruence with him), and Hell (i.e. being incongruent with God, and potentially facing interdiction from the system)?

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June 20, 2015, 02:06:22 PM
 #793

So I see 2 threads of why islam hates people or why people hate Islam. I dont see the point of such a mundane debate based on religion any debate for or against religion would be stupid. Either you are stupid to believe what a prophet / god / divine entity said or you are stupid enough to believe you can change the minds of the bleak minded people who follow such a prophet / god / divine entity.

But since its fun let me initiate my own brand of 'why do' topic.

WHY DO ATHEISTS (like me) HATE RELIGION ?

Seriously what has to happen in a person's life for them to seriously give up hope on the one true everlasting brand (of religion) which their ancestors have followed for generations.

Everyone has their own story even I have mine, so lets hear some of it.



its a really interesting view i think, i consider myself atheist but i don't hate religion nor do i discourage others from it, i have the ability to see things as they are and believe in them, i am not saying religious people dont, i just think religion helps them through tough times by believing in someone being there for them 

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June 20, 2015, 06:03:17 PM
 #794

We don't hate religion. We always ask why you believe. And we debate about why you shouldn't. I respect what people believe, I just have a bad habit of causing religious debates.
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June 20, 2015, 10:20:28 PM
 #795

You ask why rational people try to engage theists into critical thinking, then go on to detail how you, like most atheists, began as a child being conditioned to believe the theist myths of your parents until you discovered the skills of critical thinking and objective reasoning.

So you prove that theists can break their conditioning but then question why we bother trying to free the minds of others who, like us once, were brainwashed.



Some Christians are threatened by atheism's rise on the pop charts. Some say atheists "hate God." But of course, a philosophical atheist cannot hate something he does not believe exists. Many atheists, though, do hate religion...

There's no good reason why a Christian should ever be "threatened" by atheism's rise. Saddened maybe, feeling bad for them, yes. But threatened? There's no good reason for that. Christians believe God will be with them forever and they'll go to Heaven, and God will shine His light on them, and bless them. There's nothing to be threatened with when God is with you, who can be against you?

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Perhaps not Christians individually, but certainly a shrinking pool of adherents is threatening to the religion as a whole. The financial base drying up is an existential threat, and a smaller base is less political power as well. Individuals care about converting nonbelievers because they're taught to believe this is necessary (for soul-saving reasons) by the church hierarchy, when it's actually for perseverance of the financial and political power base of the church.
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June 20, 2015, 11:50:12 PM
 #796

You ask why rational people try to engage theists into critical thinking, then go on to detail how you, like most atheists, began as a child being conditioned to believe the theist myths of your parents until you discovered the skills of critical thinking and objective reasoning.

So you prove that theists can break their conditioning but then question why we bother trying to free the minds of others who, like us once, were brainwashed.



Some Christians are threatened by atheism's rise on the pop charts. Some say atheists "hate God." But of course, a philosophical atheist cannot hate something he does not believe exists. Many atheists, though, do hate religion...

There's no good reason why a Christian should ever be "threatened" by atheism's rise. Saddened maybe, feeling bad for them, yes. But threatened? There's no good reason for that. Christians believe God will be with them forever and they'll go to Heaven, and God will shine His light on them, and bless them. There's nothing to be threatened with when God is with you, who can be against you?

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Perhaps not Christians individually, but certainly a shrinking pool of adherents is threatening to the religion as a whole. The financial base drying up is an existential threat, and a smaller base is less political power as well. Individuals care about converting nonbelievers because they're taught to believe this is necessary (for soul-saving reasons) by the church hierarchy, when it's actually for perseverance of the financial and political power base of the church.

It's not threatening to the religion. It may be threatening to specific churches money supply, but I know plenty of Christians don't even bother going to church, versus just living their life and praying straight to God. God's not going to disappear even if all the physical churches disappeared. The bible is still one of the most read books and best selling books of all time. There are now lots of religious youtube stations, programs on tv, and on radio (like satellite radio), and websites.  And I still think it's sad when people don't believe, so I would hope people would convert even if only to live their lives doing unto others as they would have done to themselves (versus not caring what they do to others because they don't believe in consequences). There are consequences, even if you don't believe in God. But I couldn't care less if they went to church or not. Accepting Jesus as your savior, reading the bible, forgiving others, asking for forgiveness, is pretty much all you need.
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June 21, 2015, 06:03:41 AM
 #797


I don't hate any religion but yeah, some facts and rituals are quite unfair. Almost all religions have different rules for men and women. I don't think any religion should differentiate between two genders.

My religion as well has some facts I don't agree with. "If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other cheek as well." "If one doesn't go to the Church on every Sunday, he is a sinner".

Religion shouldn't make someone lose their self respect or make anything compulsory for a person else they are called sinners. I'm not an atheist but do criticize religion at times.

Even I don't hate any religion... its those practices which are not based on equality that ticks me off.
For instance..if we take Muslims into consideration and if we think of the laws they have... we realize how unfair those laws are for the women... and the funny part is..most of their laws are based their beliefs... if they believe something is good.. they just wont verify it.. they'l just do it in the God's name..and women have to suffer... M not a Muslim... and once again I don't hate Muslims.. its their beliefs that I have a prblm with

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June 21, 2015, 06:22:23 AM
 #798

So I see 2 threads of why islam hates people or why people hate Islam. I dont see the point of such a mundane debate based on religion any debate for or against religion would be stupid. Either you are stupid to believe what a prophet / god / divine entity said or you are stupid enough to believe you can change the minds of the bleak minded people who follow such a prophet / god / divine entity.

But since its fun let me initiate my own brand of 'why do' topic.

WHY DO ATHEISTS (like me) HATE RELIGION ?

Seriously what has to happen in a person's life for them to seriously give up hope on the one true everlasting brand (of religion) which their ancestors have followed for generations.

Everyone has their own story even I have mine, so lets hear some of it.




An atheist sees what he/she wants to see. The very fundamentals still remain that the person is socially misplaced in the land of self-believed righteous men.

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June 21, 2015, 08:09:36 AM
 #799

So I see 2 threads of why islam hates people or why people hate Islam. I dont see the point of such a mundane debate based on religion any debate for or against religion would be stupid. Either you are stupid to believe what a prophet / god / divine entity said or you are stupid enough to believe you can change the minds of the bleak minded people who follow such a prophet / god / divine entity.

But since its fun let me initiate my own brand of 'why do' topic.

WHY DO ATHEISTS (like me) HATE RELIGION ?

Seriously what has to happen in a person's life for them to seriously give up hope on the one true everlasting brand (of religion) which their ancestors have followed for generations.

Everyone has their own story even I have mine, so lets hear some of it.




Why does anybody hate anything?
They don't like what they see.
It's the same with religion.
I am atheist and I for once have never hated any religion in particular but i have to accept that i've hated the unless rituals and practices more than anything.

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June 21, 2015, 10:11:13 AM
 #800

And I still think it's sad when people don't believe, so I would hope people would convert even if only to live their lives doing unto others as they would have done to themselves (versus not caring what they do to others because they don't believe in consequences).

Typical retarded theist logic.

You don't need to believe an invisible sky-daddy is watching your every move in order to live within decent moral boundaries. In fact, if anything, those who are only behaving themselves because they think their invisible sky-daddy is watching are morally bankrupt already.

Let me explain the concept of objective secular morality:

The autonomy of consent serves to provide the basis for objective morality

Without differentiation which might warrant unequal consent; the overriding of the autonomy of another in order to protect them from the resultant harm of erroneously-reasoned refusal to consent; all autonomy is equally valid where informed consent is equally honoured.

Basically, I can have no expectation of my consent, or refusal to consent, being honoured if I do not honour the consent of others.

It's your "Do unto others" without the need for, "or else sky-daddy . . ."



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