Most atheist on HubPages are not at all apologetic about their nihilistic view of existence in general and of the human condition in particular. Is that surprising? In the absence of a non-material underpining to their view of reality, they are looking abyssmaly on earth and in fact on the whole universe.
How Christian of you to judge and demean others. You should be aware that Atheist do not reject religion because we think life is meaningless. We reject religion because we don't find meaning in religion. We find meaning in humanity and are statistically more moral than Christians. Less than one percent of the American prison system is occupied by Atheists.
Thank God you are not a nihilist, like so many of your atheist peers on HubPages...not exactly a cause for celebration on my part since your perception of reality is so totally skewed towards the merely physical and material.
All I ask is for evendence that there is anything more then the physical or material. Do you have any?
The belief in the existence of non-physical reality is based not on any empirical evidence buy rathet on intuition and instinct....two of the most introspective functions of the human brain...an organ so impacted by the evolutionary demands on homo sapiens.
Theistic belief has nothing to do with morality. We as humans have been vested by evolution with the brain that subsumes conscience, so in that sense we are all moral creatures. It is when our EGO overides our conscience that we become amoral or immoral.
Not engaging in magical thinking is hardly nihilistic.
Nihilism has a lot to do with the idea that reality is based purely on empirical knowledge without the input of imaginatiion. I think it was Einstein who said that imagination is a lot better than knowledge
Enough with the whinning and get on with the debating. Infantilism is not one I would associate with atheism.....narcissism perhaps, but wait isn't infatilism synonymous with narcissism?
Interesting you should bring up narcissism because happen to have know a few narcissist and each one was a Christian. Not a good combo.
Nihilists, as I'm sure you are aware, believe in nothing. That is not true of atheists. Atheists don't believe in the supernatural. Anything else is fair game. Would you like me to tell you what I believe in?
a positivist is a step sibling of empiricist - I will not call them nihilists
I never called empiricists, nihilists. On the contrary the mere fact that they demand or search for truth via scientific evaluations make them one of the most creative members of Homo Sapiens. As I have also said innumerable times, the existence of God is neither provable nor unprovable with the methods that are now available to empiricists.
There are very few true nihilists in existence, at least as far as I can tell. In my opinion, nihilism isn't actual a logical view to have, and I think most would agree, if you actually understand what nihilism is.
"Nietzsche discusses Christianity, one of the major topics in his work, at length in the context of the problem of nihilism in his notebooks, in a chapter entitled 'European Nihilism'.Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote against a primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness. However, it is exactly the element of truthfulness in Christian doctrine that is its undoing: in its drive towards truth, Christianity eventually finds itself to be a construct, which leads to its own dissolution. It is therefore that Nietzsche states that we have outgrown Christianity "not because we lived too far from it, rather because we lived too close." As such, the self-dissolution of Christianity constitutes yet another form of nihilism. Because Christianity was an interpretation that posited itself as the interpretation, Nietzsche states that this dissolution leads beyond skepticism to a distrust of all meaning." ~wiki
@A troubled Man:
I would not at all be surprised if Nietzsche suffered anomie all throughout his life and career as a brilliant polemicist for atheism and nihilism.
Anomie is a disconnect from social norms as a result of the individual being rejected by society.
Nope, not Nietzsche.
That's not my definition of anomie....rejection by society?.. I thought it was the other way around, where because of the individual being so despairing of his own existence and its non-meaning and non-purpose that he withdraws from almost all social contact. ....akin to clinical depression.
Even if that were the case, that doesn't mean that atheism is wrong, just that its consequences aren't to your liking.
I'd rather suffer melancholy, then live in a happy fantasy.
Given the vissisitudes of disproving(or proving) the existence of God. I would rather be happy in ignorance than miserable in certainty. But then again, I suppose it all is "argumentum ad ignorantiam."
The existence of God is neither provable nor unprovable by anything empiricists have at their disposal...that is why we call it Faith..that is informed by intuition and instinct.
Then, as a man of science, you should agree that the burden of proof is on the claimant: those who claim that god(s) exist. If something cannot be proven empirically to exist, then it follows that that thing probably does not exist.
Probably....so you are not a hundred percent sure that God does not exist. And here I am thinking you are one rabid atheisr.
I'm not rabid, I had my shots But seriously, no one can be 100 percent sure anything doesn't exist. I can't be sure Vishnu, Wotan or Zeus don't exist, nor can I sure that Bertrand Russell's teapot isn't in orbit around Jupiter. But being unsure something doesn't exist doesn't mean I should believe it does. I've never seen any evidence to suggest a god exists, therefore I'm going to assume none do.
By definition you are an agnostic, not an atheist.
By a strict definition, yes, but then all intellectually honest atheists would also be agnostic. But then I would also be agnostic on the question of whether there are fairies, unicorns or the like.
My instincts and intuition informed by my introspective perception tells me that pink fairies and unicorns do not exist. God on the other hand does.
But I do believe that there are people on this planet whose instincts and intuitions inform them that fairies and unicorns do exist. They also would likely not agree on a monothistic God existing.
So then we move into the realm of whose story is right? Does it matter? Faith and/or belief is a personal matter.
It only becomes a problem for me when matters of faith or belief are forced upon another, as humanity is so apt to do.
There is an infinitesimal difference between belief in pink fairies/unicorns and belief in God. The former does not go beyond the merely physical and material while the latter involves the transcendental and spiritual. So to degrade and denigratete belief in God down to the level of belief in unicorns/fairies just does not cut it as a lacerating debating point.
I totally agree with you that faith is a personal matter; however, expressing it emphatically in this and other forum is not the same ad forcing or imposing it on others.
As a doctor I'm sure you trust your instinct and intuition, but do you trust it in the face of contradictory empirical evidence?
Validated empirical evidence always trumps instinctive/intuitive interpretation. On the other hand curiosity, urged on by intuition and instincts almost always result in the discovery of empirical evidence. This formulation obviously does not apply to spiritual and transcendental realm.
Why doesn't it apply? It should. I would argue, though, that what you term the spiritual and transcendental realm are constructs of the mind.
Empirical methodologies that leads to validated empirical evidence obviously deals solely with the physical and material world.
Just because the spiritual/transcendental realm are constructs of the mind, does not make it any less real than what is immediately perceived or inferred by our 5 physical senses. At some point in time all the material entities that have been created by man, started with the mind (brain) imagining them. Does that mean that God will suddenly appear and crossover into the material realm anytime soon? I don't think so. Now if you believe in the narrative of the Nazarene, (which all Christians believe in as an act of faith), you could say... well it has happened before, so the chances are it could happen again.
Ah, but pink fairies do exist, or did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Fairies
Most atheists are most likely in fact agnostic, and don't even know it.
Okay, explain, please. I have never heard of this. Sounds funny.
Explain what? Bertrand Russell's teapot? Rather than waiting for a reply, I'll assume that's what you mean. Russell posed the following dilemma: can you prove that there isn't a china teapot in orbit around Jupiter at this very moment? No, you can't. It would be highly unusual for a teapot to be orbiting Jupiter, therefore if I was to assert that there was one, the burden would be on me to prove there was indeed one there, otherwise, it's safe to assume there isn't one.
Russell's point was that the same argument could be made about gods. We can't prove there isn't a god, but the existence of such a being would be so unusual that the burden of proof lies with those who assert a god exists.
The short answer, you can't logically prove a negative.
Good luck with your nihilism...but that coupled with melancholy is not a good recipe for a life well lived.
Some people like people. Some like being alive. They don't need a God to justify that.
Nihilism is a pretty rare phenomena, more or less country-specific and time-specific (Russia, 19th Century).
What people usually mean by nihilism these days is alienation. Cure that by getting connected to something, anything. Not just God.
God does not need to justify Himself...and humans should never use God to justify his all too human enterprise. It is when humans take God's name in vain that chaos ensues.
why doesn't your god need to justify itself? chaos ensues when religion is used as a reason to justify control.
I am concerned when atheism leads to nihilism. There are many who reject religion because it does provide a value system that disagrees with theirs and they wish not to be subject to it. I maintain that it is possible to have a value system without religion, and it is important to have one. The 'YOLO' trend is worrying, in a sense, because there are many who interpret it to mean that one should not be subject to morality or any kind of principles. These people are usually very easily led.
The same attitude you speak of exists in people who believe in deities, as well. They think that they can do whatever because they "have God on their side." Sorry, but is not an attitude only of atheists. Anyway, there are many different viewpoints that can stem from atheism, because atheism itself isn't really one collective belief system. The thing that most have in common is a lack of belief in God. After that, there's literally an endless list of possibilities...
".... people who believe in deities... think that they can do whatever because they have 'god on their side'...: is another rather perplexing statement coming as it does from someone who seems to be an altogether reasonable debater. Following the trajectory of that statement, I could then say that since I believe in God and therefore He is on my side, I could then kill someone, or shout "fire" in a crowded theater, or commit adultery, or steal someone elses property, without being bothered by any penalties, societal/legal or otherwise because God will at the end of the day will protect me. Someone who thinks like that and acts on it, would certainly get his just punishment, if not here, then in the herafter.... God being, as you said... the "big sherrif in the sky."
The thing is, there ARE people like that. And I can only attest to those in America, however. But know of people personally, as well people on the news. The "Prophets" who basically have permission from God to take little 12/13 year old girls as wives, the people who start whatever outlandish cults that end with people killing themselves (one example ended in the death/murder of 900 people), etc, etc...
Notice how I didn't say ALL theists are that way. I simply said that there are theists who are that way, so you cannot only associate such an attitude with Atheism.
Many people are easily persuaded, whether it be for what "civil" society deems good or bad. The YOLOs are no different from many religious people, same as those overly-obsessed with extraterrestrials, and psychics, etc...
Many theists are afraid to ask the serious questions about their belief system, and look the inconsistencies in the face without trying to poorly fill in the gaps and make connections where there probably wasn't mean to be.
I'm worried more that society doesn't teach in general why one shouldn't jump to concrete conclusions about ANYTHING without objective, testable proof, understanding that everything else is just faith, conjecture, theories, and what have you, whether it be scientific or religious or anything. Ego's always an issue there though, with a long list of other things. Like how blissful ignorance is and human's herd mentality (the mob effect, etc).
I got sucked into a Christian cult. That won't ever happen again because my whole personality, view of life, everything has changed, and I don't believe anything that anyone says just because it sounds nice, or they try to appeal to my guilt. I live my life honestly and sincerely, and feel pressured to believe nothing for no one besides where I see life is taking me and what it's teaching me.
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a YOLO?
"... everything else is just faith"..? is a statement that I find a bit disconcerting. For some of us whose belief system is based on faith in the existence of the spiritual and transcendental (God and human soul), denigrating and degrading it to the level of conjecture and theories just does not cut it as a sharp debating point, pun intended.
YOLO is a term that many people, mainly young people, say, which stands for You Only Live Once. When one says YOLO, it's usually followed by some mind-numbingly reckless action.
What I said wasn't meant to be a "sharp debating point." What it was, though, was true, if you understood what I said. If you noticed I said that everything else besides what can be proven (and isn't only based on subjective experience, I might add), or physically tested upon, cannot be considered "fact." Which is why, conjecture, theory, and anything of that nature is all that's left, whether one is science-minded or religious is irrelevant. Did you read my comment all the way through?
Anyway, faith is just that. Faith. You can't prove any of it. You can try to, but nothing will ever be concrete. And since none of the Gods seem to want to present themselves clear as day to the whole human population, it's safe to say that we're left with subjective experiences of other people, and "unexplainable phenomena" to go by. I would assume that something as important as eternity would mean that no ever-present all loving deity would be playing such games.
Oh, but by the way, I'm not really an Atheist. Not that you asked. But... eh. I'm simply not religious, nor do I believe God is any way that westerners or anyone who might think that he/it is consciously active in our lives. My view of "God" is less concrete, and more like the "Tao." Something infinitely just, Nature, the Universe, it boasts of nothing, it doesn't take credit for what it is and what sprung from it. We can choose to be close to it. By learning from it we can become Master. Etc, etc. But it isn't some idea to be put in a box, some Cosmic Sheriff in Heaven awaiting to destroy us petty humans unless we conform to His will.
I am not Taoist, however. I am a Naturalistic Pantheist with Taoist and other Eastern influences, and maybe some mystic-like ideas. I think of God as the Universe and nature. I don't see them as being separate entities, and I find the term God unnecessary. I think that people just develop religion to develop some kind of understanding about the mysterious, beautiful, and sometimes ugly and scary Universe.
Thanks for your lucid exposition. From my perspective, belief and faith are separate construct, belief being more in the realm of the purely physical/mythical and faith applies to the spiritual/transcendental...the existence of God or the human soul will neither be informed by our 5 physical senses nor proven by any empirical methodology. Our brain however through evolutionary perspicacity is able to conceptualize the existence of spiritual reality .. a reality denied by atheist, objectivists, and reductionists.
That spiritual state that you speak of is most likely an illusion that goes away when you grow up. Religion and the belief in/fear of God is an effective way to control the masses foe people in power. For the followers, it makes life simpler when you don't really think about the ugly things that happen in life. You might experience them, but your disposition makes it so that it never truly affects you because there's something "bigger" than you to ultimately take care of it. It's the same way that Mommy and Daddy pacify their children.
There are few religions/religious philosophies, etc, that I recognize. While the Native Americans believe that everything has a spirit, even if I do not agree, what I do agree with is their respect for life and nature. It is because they believe that everything has a spirit that they show such respect. I believe we can do the same without spirit being involved, but I would support their way of thinking regardless. And ultimately I do know that energy exists, that it cannot be created nor destroyed and that maybe if their is another "side" to us, it is our energy, which dissipates upon death, and our bodies, if we are buried naturally, nourish the surrounding soil/vegetation and everything goes through the circle of life, which is how nature intended it.
Religions such as theirs and maybe even Shintoism will cause people to respect their surroundings more. Often religions/spcoeties of Western origin/influence use and abuse their surroundings. It's why we're in half the trouble we're in now. For convenience and "innovation," to defy nature and dominate nature, we have destroyed so much of it, instead learning to live within it peacefully.
For millions upon millions of people(the faithful) , the existence of God and the spiritual realm he inhabits is all too real and not an illusion. The faithful are neither naifs nor naive and yet we have not outgrown that faith. It is self-sustaining as the energy from whence our soul emanated.
The energy that you are referring to that envelopes our very being is what we faithful call the soul, which contrary to your formulation will not disappear as soon as you breathe your last breath. It will be as eternal as the energy from whence it came from....the ultimate source of all energy, God.
Good for you that your naturalistic outlook have made you less enamored of any religious identification. Theism and religiosity are not mutually inclusive, but to say that religion is used to control the masses by the people in power is as inane a generalization as atheists claiming that religion is the source of all wars.
Nonsense, no such energy has ever been observed that is referred to as the soul. Any energy the body produces is very well known and has nothing to do with an imagined "ultimate source of all energy, God"
Spoken like a rabid atheist and nihilist. But I should not despair, for there is always hope. Someone said that deathbed conversions are quite common. Question is would God be so benign to those who in their lifetime arrogantly and egotistically derided and denied the reality of His existence.
Actually, I was merely stating facts. How unfortunate you're compelled to insult those who try to educate you as to what is going on in reality.
No worries, I'm sure your imagined deathbed conversions are as valid as your gods existence, just as they are as valid as any other gods existence.
What will you do when all the other gods are lined up in front of you after denying their existence? LOL!
"...insult those who try to educate you..." is again a statement that attests to the thin-skinnedness (and arrogance simultaneously) of atheists. My posts are never aimed to insult anyone, let alone atheists, but to evoke a robust debate. If I do occasionally use a lacerating comment, then that is what robust means... to lacerate and draw blood. When atheists do use vapid generalizations and dull-edged arguments, then use the ;whining" tone of "stop the attack already", or "you are insulting me" is indeed very disappointing from the point of view of having a robust debate.
Look into my avatar. It is a generation of the energy that you profess to deny. Your tongue cannot belay the yearning of your heart to be freed from the dungeon of the cynical mind. There is a better question to answer. You have purchased a one way ticket to nowhere. When you ride that train all the way to the end of the line, how long will it take you to get back?
But if it can't be proven empirically, does it exist? Imagination or wishful thinking does not make something real, however much we "feel" something to be real.
Putting aside the thought experiment that nothing can truly be "proven," you have ample evidence that I exist, and nothing to suggest I don't. I don't know you, but I can assume you are not delusional and prone to imagining people who don't exist, also, it is not particularly extraordinary to find other people in online fora, so the possibility of me existing is quite high. The burden of proof is quite low, and if you doubt my existence, I would be happy to provide more evidence.
Semantically speaking, imagination and wishful thnking are not synonymous, thus should not be use interchangeably in the same sentence. Just to remind you, Einstein himself said that imagination is more important than knowledge...you certainly can not say that wishful thinking is more important than knowledge.
"Most atheist on HubPages are not at all apologetic about their nihilistic view" No matter the view at what point does anyone need to be apologetic to a bunch of strangers? As an atheist I don't go around demanding apologies because I am surrounded by a country run by Christians. I also don't go around demanding someone be apologetic because they have different views than mine. What a sad life when people are waiting on apologies from complete strangers!
Good for you that you do not need to apologize to strangers about your belief thay your life is meaningless or devoid of utility. Then perhaps you should apologize to yourself for believinh so.
Lol I don't need to apologize because you are wrong! My life has plenty of meaning and is only missing one thing that a religious person's life has (a God). So no apologies needed to you or myself. I created an awesome life all on my own without the help of any of the "Gods"! Even sadder that you are coming to the internet to attempt to make people feel bad! Ha that's sad! Have a great day!
"Most atheist on HubPages are not at all apologetic about their nihilistic view". MOST? How about NONE and why should they be? So they don't believe in an imaginart friend or believe that the earth was created in 7 days and life began in a garden inhabited by a talking snake.
so by definition you are not a nihilist.
Well thank God you found a lot of meaning to your life. Not a lot of people are similarly blessed or lucky.
If nihilism is the bastard son of atheism, who is the mother?
Sensationalism, of course.
Still, solipsism turned nihilism has many expressions, from existential to metaphysical. The purposelessness of life is a result of failed experiments, says Kant, while Nietzsche decrees a cosmic instinct in humans to destroy themselves and everything around them, due to a rage of regrets -either by lack of experience, effectuality of another, or lose of spiritual connectivity.
Atheism, which, firmly to me, clings deeply to an amoral ideology, yet leans heavily on existentialism -more precisely Christian existentialism. It too has a rage of regret from failed experiments/experiences, resolute to being a "ma ma's boy" far too long. My own sibling is proof of this.
The first and last person on earth would essentially be identical, believing only their own consciousness remains with absolution. The things around them may, or may not, be or have been. And while modern solipsism declares itSelf -pun intended- cannot seem to let go of some sort of intrinsic, instinctive moral humanism, in most instances of life. Albeit, amoral humanitarianism, by self consciousness, self satisfaction, keeps the individual in check, thus believing itSelf the great humanist.
Atheists are prone to existential crises.
I was in one for almost three years.
As it should be, even for a Christian. It is easy to have faith without crisis, but real faith produces crisis.
Christians don't worry about ceasing to exist, and the lack of value in anything.
That's why I tried to stay a believer but the more research I did, the less sense theism made.
You have been talllking to the wrong Christians. Existential angst is a natural human condition. Kierkegard wrote specifically about the existential conditoin and faith.
Probably more prone to existential crises then the devoutly religious... yes.
Although I should probably point out... at the risk of offending everyone... that existential thought requires a high level of intelligence and a more organized thought process then religious belief.
It could also be said that those with sub-par IQs rarely enter existential crises because they fall too low on the hierarchy of thought to question the reason for their existence.
No argument there.
Though sometimes I wonder how adaptive it is being overtly analytical.
It sure didn't help me when I was going through it in high school I went from 5 As to 5 Fails in one year.
That is so cute - the arrogance of those who don't believe and think everyone who does is a fool exceeds the arrogance of those who believe without question. To believe or not believe is hardly a measure of intellect, but try to tell an atheist that.
Not necessarily Intelligence but certainly level of education.
As you see the poorest less educated areas are more religious.
And yet atheism requires a faith that some Christians would envy - the certainty of atheism is highly prized by Christians.
That's just hardcore atheists like me, a lot hedge their bets.
I will pray for your success. It is only a matter of openness. True atheists make good Christian converts.
It is partly because a true atheist is just as dogmatic and closed minded as the religious who are certain their truth is THE only truth. It's an extremist appealing to another extremist neither of whom recognize that the world actually has shades of gray, as well as a full array of colors...
1. I am not an atheist.
2. I didn't invent the hierarchy of intelligence. The people you need to accuse of arrogance on that one are dead... feel free to call them arrogant I don't think they care.
Atheism was and continues to be enamored with objectivism and reductionism. They actually are the trifecta that aims to deny the verity and dignity of human existence.
As usual your connections are strained and confused. Atheism aims to deny the dignity of human existence. Haha! Where do they get this stuff?
As far as I was aware, atheism aimed only to deny the existence of God. But what do I know. Lol.
Strained and confused? Hmmm, let me un-strain and un-confuse this for you. First let me go to Definition.
(1) Atheism- belief that denies the existence of God,
The irony of ironies.... it was an agnostic on HubPages who posited during our discussion that belief in a Deity is "hard wired" into our brains by evolution. My instinct and intuition, informed by my perceptive introspection and imagination (all functions of the human brain by the way) lead me to conclude that there is a kernel of truth to what he said. As I see it, evolution is neither neutral nor indifferent into making Homo Sapiens more attuned to the perplexities and complexities of nature. As a tool to sustain our specie, a belief in God was an evolutionary leap. As a tool to plasticize our brain into the most physiologically complex organ there is in the natural world, a belief in God was and continues to be an evolutionary triumph.
Thus atheism do aim to deny man's verity and dignity because it denies the reason ( i.e. God, through the process of evolution), for Homo Sapiens being so attuned to the complexities and perplexities of nature.
(2) Objectivism- is the belief that all reality is objective, independent of and external to the mind (human and other sentient entities).
I fully agree with what Stephen Hawking unequivocally stated in his book The Grand Design, that (paraphrasing) there is no observer independent concept of reality. Reality must always be interprted from the vantage point or through the prism of whoever or whatever is observing it. Thus reality on its own can not exist without being perceived or interpreted by an observer.
So objectivism do aim to deny man's verity and dignity because it would remove totally the role of the mind of an observer in perceiving reality, and because it denigrates man's ability to fully perceive, interpret and comprehend the natural world.
(3) Reductionism- is the belief that a complex system is nothing but the suim of its parts and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of its individual contituents.
I think it was Aristotle who famously said that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. As complexity goes, there is nothing on earth that is as complex as the Human brain... a brain that drives him to, as Rene Descarte also so famously said: "I think therefore I am" .... both statements inferring the existence of a human soul...a soul that gives man his essential verity and dignity in a duality. Thus the idea that humans could be deconstructed and reduced to his individual physical parts not only degrades man's niche in the natural world, but also make him not anymore purposeful or meaningful than any of the other sentient beings on earth.
THE COMMON THREAD THAT WEAVES THROUGH Atheism, objectivism and reductionism is the nihilistic impulse.
"Thus atheism do aim to deny man's verity and dignity because it denies the reason ( i.e. God, through the process of evolution), for Homo Sapiens being so attuned to the complexities and perplexities of nature."
Simple non-sequitur. God is not the only reason possible for "Homo Sapiens being so attuned to the complexities of nature."
This is like a Muslim saying Christianity is nihilistic because Christianity denies the reason (i.e. Allah, as revealed by Muhammad) for human purpose, etc. There are many options available, not just yours.
"So objectivism do aim to deny man's verity and dignity because it would remove totally the role of the mind of an observer in perceiving reality, and because it denigrates man's ability to fully perceive, interpret and comprehend the natural world."
Yet another non-sequitur. Objectivism does not "remove totally the role of the mind in perceiving reality." Objectivism simply says, according to your own definition: reality is independent of the mind. The mind can perceive reality all it wants. Objectivism simply says reality exists apart from the mind.
Stating that reality exists apart from the mind no more "denigrates" the ability of the mind to "fully perceive, interpret and comprehend" reality than stating that the interstate highway system exists apart from your car "denigrates" the ability of your car to fully travel and make use of that highway system.
"I think therefore I am" does not infer the existence of a human soul.
"Thus the idea that humans could be deconstructed and reduced to his individual physical parts not only degrades man's niche in the natural world, but also make him not anymore purposeful or meaningful than any of the other sentient beings on earth."
And a third and final non-sequitur. Lol. The idea that humans can be reduced to simpler parts does not "degrade" man in any way. The verity, dignity and purpose of human beings can come from other things, not just your particular worldview.
Interestingly, perhaps fittingly, you left out the most important definition of all--nihilism, which is defined as: "an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth; nothingness or nonexistence."
Isn't it interesting that you claim objectivism, being nihilistic in nature, must deny the possibility of an objective basis for truth! LOL!
There is nothing inherent to atheism, objectivism or reductionism that constitutes an "extreme form of skepticism," nor "denies all real existence." These are simply metaphysical and philosophical ways of interpreting the world (or just a metaphysical claim in the case of atheism). Nothing more, nothing less.
Just because you disagree with these ways of thinking does not mean they have a nihilistic impulse. All the things you don't believe in are not necessarily related to each other.
Again let me go to definition first: "Non-sequitur"---an inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence".
Premise #1: God exist....I believe this as you do when you said: "God is NOT THE ONLY reason possible for Homo Sapiens being so atttuned to the complexities of nature." Premise #2 God created the cosmos and everything in it including Homo Sapiens, since the universe (as per our mutual friend Stephen Hawking and other eminent astro-physicists) could not have created itself (i.e. the Big Bang did not bang itself into existence), As an aside, the same Stephen Hawking in his book The Grand Design, in arguing for the impossibility and therefore non-existence of miracles, said that (paraphrasing) whoever or whatever (call Him God, Yaweh, or Allah) created the universe and the Laws of Nature that were formulated with it, could not possibly go against his own laws, just to show a miracle. Premise#3 God imparted or blessed the hominid specie (Homo Sapiens being the latest manifestation of that long line of sentient beings) through the evolutionary process, with a brain that allowed them to be perspicaciously reactive to the demands of that evolutionary process, a process that was intimately ruled by the Laws of Nature, thus in effect making man securely attuned to its perplexities and complexities. Premise#4 Atheism denies the existence of God. Conclusion: Atheism thus deny the creator of the Laws of Nature, thus deny evolutionary process that the Laws of Nature imposed on the Hominid brain, thus deny the creation of the hominid(human brain) that has made him so attuned to the perplexities and complextities of nature...., a brain that has allowed him to secure his current ( dignity in verity) niche in the natural world.
Premise#5 The natural world is a physical/material world. It exists soley because a sentient mind perceives that it exist. Without the mind, there could never be an objective reality, i,e, an objective reality do not and can not exist outside of the mind that perceives it. ( If Stephen Hawking says so, who are we to disagree). Premise #6 Objectivism posits that reality's existence is objectively independent of and external to the mind.
Conclusion: If the mind is not necessary to confirm the existence of an objective reality, and the human mind is what made us the most perceptive, intuitive, instinctive, introspective, and yes creative force on earth, and we can not even rely on it to inform us, or let us confirm then interpret the existence of those objective realities... then you are denying our dignity and verity... downgrading us to the level of....potted plants.
Premise#6 Man is part of nature and as such has a material\physical essence, subject to the laws of nature Premise #6 Man is a complex entity made up of superbly integrated parts, the ultimate expression of which is the human brain. Premise#7 Reductionism posits that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and thus could be reduced to its individual constituents. Conclusion: Reductionism denies man's dignity and verity because his creation with the most complex system of all creation, the human brain is the seat of the human soul which to my perception is the conscientious part of man's duality...body and soul, non-reducible, making man more than the sum of his physical parts.
You stated that "atheism, objectivism, and reductionism are simply metaphysical and philosophical ways of interpreting the world (or just a metaphysical claim in the case of atheism)... nothing more, nothing less"
Really? Hhhmm you might want to tell that to the rabid atheists that I have had the temerity (or stupidity, as the case maybe) to tangle with on HubPages.
On second thought perhaps you have a point in saying that these "isms" are just metaphysical concepts.......but when coupled with other "isms" with pernicious implications, i.e socialism, fascism, stalinism/maoism , communism, have become toxic and deadly to millions, upon millions of people, in the 20th century.
That's a lot of premises. Lol.
I hate to burst your bubble, but just because you call something a "premise" doesn't absolve you of all further intellectual responsibility.
Here, suppose I say: Premise 1: there is no God. Premise 2: anybody who believes in God is an idiot. Conclusion: all Christians are idiots who deny reality. See? Logically that works and makes sense, because I am already embedding a huge amount of assumptions and biases in the argument.
You need to employ more intellectual rigor than this, my friend.
Also you miss a key element of your own definition of the term non-sequitur: "an inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence"
Evidence. There is no logical or empirical evidence for the existence of God, for instance. Moreover, there is abundant evidence for the fact that human purpose can come from things other than a god.
On the basis of the evidence, many of your premises constitute non-sequiturs as well.
Just because God exists and just because he made the laws of the universe, does not mean he directly caused evolution to give humans a brain. He may have taken a step back and allowed evolutionary processes to arise spontaneously from nature, for example.
Again, there are countless possible explanations aside from your preferred ones.
Also, with a statement like "If Stephen Hawking says so it must be true" indicates that maybe you've been worshipping the wrong being all this time, lol! You're free to believe Stephen Hawking is infallible, but many of his extremely intelligent colleagues would disagree.
Your second conclusion does not even make any sense (and BTW you mis-numbered your premises, you have three 6's). You said (with some grammatical edits):
"Conclusion: If the mind is not necessary to confirm the existence of an objective reality... then you are denying our dignity and verity... downgrading us to the level of....potted plants."
This is the core of your claim. Obviously, after I take out all the fluff, this is nothing more than a reiteration of what you already said earlier.
I therefore reiterate my previous sentiment. Just because reality exists independently of the mind does not make the mind as worthless as a potted plant, lol. The mind still has value. It does not need superpowers to have a bare minimum of worth. Just because a 5-year-old cannot run a marathon does not mean he is as worthless as a bucket of slime. Gimmie a break.
The part on reductionism--huh? What does one thing (the parts of a system) have to with the other (the worth or purpose of that system)? Lol. You are strained and confused as always.
I can't believe I actually have to say this, but one individual's machinations and hyperventilations, and what that individual calls himself, has nothing to do with the substance of a given metaphysical/ philosophical idea or school of thought. I'm sure if I pointed to the many people killed in the name of God and religion, you would say "that's not religion's fault; it's those individuals."
Communism and fascism have nothing, in and of themselves, to do with atheism. For more on that you might want to check my hub on Atheism, Marxism and Socialism.
You threw a lot of darts, but never quite hit the bullseye since your arguments were not only scattered but inchoate as well.
When you put up a set of premises, of course you are also putting a lot of assumptions and biases behind it , otherwise they are not premises but empty syllogisms and semanticisms. Now you can say that my premises are based on flawed assumptions and biases, and it's up to me to argue that they are not flawed.
I fully agree with you that there are no empirical evidence of the existence of God, but one could make arguments for his existence, logically. Using empirical to mean logical in the same sentence was an exercise in empty syllogisms and semanticism. I also agree with you that there is abundant evidence of humans deriving meaning and purpose to their lives independent of God. That's what you call Free Will, and that is what makes you human and not a dart snail.
Your statement: "Just because God exists, and just because he made the laws of the universe..." tells me, however subtly, that you do believe in His existence. Now if you tell me that I am wrong in that conclusion, then I am sorely missing the point of this debate, unless, of course if you are just playing darts with words, then I better go somewhere else for a more honest and robust discussion. From my perspective and from the perspevtive of your statement that I quoted above, God exist and was, is , and continues to be responsible for his creation. Drawing from that perspective it certainly does not make logical sense for Him to create this wonderfull universe and everything in, on, and around it only to abandon it to its own devices. Even a criminal (the lowest of the lowest in human terms) would go to the scene of the crime again and again and again.
My reference to Stephen Hawking and his statements was tongue-in-cheek, thus for you to put some kind of emphasis to it was misplaced to say the least. I don't consider him the be-all and the end-all of all things cosmological.
I disagree totally with your insistence that reality exist independent of the mind. Your insistence in fact do make my argument ... that denying the role of the mind in perceiving the existence of reality... viable.
The metaphysical/philosophical ideas that you are referring to, obviously becomes reality when Man-Ego decides to latch on to those ideas and breathe life to them. No matter how much you'ld like to dissociate those isms from atheism, the fact is they do have a lot of intersecting impulses that lead to man's degradation and ultimately death.
There's never been a coherent logical argument for the existence of God in all of history. For more on that you can see my hub on the "Proofs for the Existence of God." If you have a new logical argument that no one has developed in over 5,000 years, I would love to hear it.
I did not take "empirical" to mean "logical." I referred to "logical evidence." In other words, a legitimate basis for believing something that is based on logic. You should not get caught up in semantics.
"I also agree with you that there is abundant evidence of humans deriving meaning and purpose to their lives independent of God."
Well, then that's pretty much the end of the discussion because that was precisely your main claim for all this time. For instance, you said earlier:
"atheism do aim to deny man's verity and dignity because it denies the reason ( i.e. God...) for Homo Sapiens being so attuned to the complexities... of nature."
Atheism denies God. God is the reason for man's dignity. Therefore atheism denies man's dignity. That was your claim.
"Your statement: "Just because God exists, and just because he made the laws of the universe..." tells me, however subtly, that you do believe in His existence."
I guess you've never heard the term "playing the devil's advocate." Lol.
All you've said on objectivism is that you disagree with it.
No matter how much you would like to associate atheism with nihilism, you simply have not shown it.
I think it's a stretch to assume all atheists are nihilistic.
I think that atheism leads logically to moral nihilism.
Using the same logic one uses to prove the nonexistence of God.
One can prove the nonexistence of moral concepts, good and bad are invisible, immaterial, have never been measured on scientific instruments, and vary from culture to culture.
I think the use of proof here is interesting. There is no evidence either for or not for the existence of God. Here is the difference between the belieiver's faith and the atheist's faith. The believer requires no proof, the atheist must suppose their proof to be sufficient. It is the difference between believing and knowing. Since the atheist cannot know that thing it must be denied. I think that takes a great deal fo faith in the invisible.
In my opinion, (and this is just an opinion, disregard if you like lol ) I think that even Christians have faith in God based on some sort of proof, whether conscious of it or not. Why do you believe in God? Because something about the Bible, your life, or your past, etc. has convinced you that it is true. At some point in your life, you made a decision to believe what you believe based on some sort of criteria...I say this from a believer's perspective. But what do you think?
I can tell you it has little to do with the Bible. It does have a great deal to do with the glory of humanity and the obvious beauty in it. It only requires openness.
So do you mind if I ask you why you became a Christian? Your answer interests me. Most people base their answer on the Bible.
Some people argue that belief in the supernatural is a natural human tendency, check out Pascal Boyer.
Well it's been a pleasure talking to you wonderful people but I'm late too class, hope this conversation doesn't die by the evening.
Same amount of evidence exists for all gods. There is no evidence either for or against the existence of invisible pink unicorns or flying spaghetti monsters either.
The lack of belief in any god isn't faith. Just like the lack of belief in IPUs and FSMs isn't faith. You don't believe in the other 3,799 named gods, do you? You're atheistic towards them, aren't you?
It's the lack of proof that provides sufficient warrant for the lack of belief. IPUs, FSMs and gods all lack sufficient proof of existence.
Since you cannot know how many gods, IPUs, FSMs, Loch Ness monsters, or yetis there are then should you believe in them based on faith? Atheists aren't denying some thing because they cannot know it, there's no denial of a thing involved, the denial is in the proposition put forth that such a thing exists. It doesn't take faith to withhold belief.
Do you also withhold your belief in qualia? Exactly how do you accomplish that if you do?
BTW how long have you existed? How long do you plan on existing? Can you show me your self awareness? How much does your introspection weigh exactly?
Can you show me your red herring? Why yes, you can!
@living well now:
Although the dictionary use belief and faith interchangeably, one has to make some clear distinctions between the two, not just from the point of view of semantics, but most importatntly from the view of epistemology. Wheras belief could properly be applied solely on the material and physical, faith could and should not. Belief in the existence of the tooth fairy, unicorns , loch ness monster and other mythological creatures may make sense semantically but not epistemologically. Saying: I have faith in the existence of the tooth fairy, unicorns, etc just does not make sense, but saying: I have Faith in the existence of God does... epistemologically that is because its relevance not only but more properly belongs in the realm of the spiritual and transcendental. No amount of empirical methodology could prove or unprove God's existence, empirical knowledge being derived from and applicable soley to the physical and material.
Terribly sorry, but according to the dictionary, faith can mean a "belief in anything" and "belief that is not based on proof" hence it can be used quite appropriately for gods or unicorns.
You just stated above "other mythological creatures" in regards to the tooth fairy, unicorns , loch ness monster, yet there is no "empirical methodology" that proves or disproves their existence either.
Sorry, but your god is on equal grounds with those "other mythological creatures"
Kindly re-read my post, and if you still come to the same conclusion that belief in physically/materially constructed entities like unicorns and fairies is at the same perceptual level as faith in the existnce of a non-material being like God... then I have nothing further to say, except that as usual your perceptual perspicacity have so been dulled by your total teethering to the purely material and physical.
Of course your God is little more than the "constructed entities like unicorns and fairies". The only thing that separates them is indoctrination. Simple, really.
The indocrination argument falls flat on its face and is an obvious fallacy, and non-sensical to say the least....for it were true why would millions of believers continue and persist to believe, unless of course if those millions are simple minded, naive, and total fools, an absurdity that even atheists would concede
Alot of times, you are probably right.
I think my impression of the idea of nihilism painted a picture of people who are depressed and disillusioned with life, seeing life as having no purpose and nothing to look forward to. Perhaps I was leaning more toward the existential nihilism in my understanding.
As far as morality is concerned, yes I can see that.
As far as being able to prove that, I'm not sure. I suppose it depends on one's premises and method of logic.
I think that at some point it is more of a personality issue, you can see the same facts and take the "enjoy life while it lasts approach", or the moan and complain approach.
I haven't seen any evidence of moral concepts affecting things, the new lion kills the baby cubs and that is that, so far as I see it morality only exists inside our brains, probably as an evolutionary byproduct.
That makes sense...about the personality aspect.
Concerning moral concepts affecting things: so you believe that moral concepts are simply a construct and that there's really no such thing as good and evil (or at least that they are subjectively determined)? or am I misunderstanding? I notice you said they (moral concepts) are invisible, vary from culture to culture, etc. I've had it suggested to me once that moral concepts are, at their root, nothing more than a concept of self-preservation. That anything that preserves the species or one's own well-being is considered to be moral, although it may have the appearance of not being so, at first. Sorry if I went on a tangent there. Just curious.
I think you are on to something there
In most cases personal morals are highly influenced by societal norms. Societies are evolutionary in that those who follow certain "universal" morals are much more likely to survive long enough to... for lack of a better term... reproduce. Those societies who don't encourage those morals are prone to collapse without expanding.
I've always found it interesting that most of those "universal" morals are common in one form or another in all successful religions and legal systems. In many cases they are even repeated... in lesser developed ways... within pack animal societies in the wild.
Some innate adaptive biases probably dating to pre homo sapien times, rationalized through concepts of good and evil, god and the devil, etc.
Although its not at the level of the species, but I think at most at the in-group (ethnicity), for example in many countries it was not a crime to kill a foreigner but it was to kill one of your fellow Xs.
Not necessarily... that assumption is that God is a meaningful aspect of morality universally. Meaningfulness is subjective and there are almost limitless options for replacement of a God as a meaningful guide for morality.
Atheism and nihilism, a combination so toxic all by itself, became deadly to millions of people when Stalin and Mao mixed them with another ism....i.e. communism, which posit that humans could be used and abused in whatever the State decides it would, for the greater glory of who knows what. Stalin and Mao were resposible for the greatest massacre in all history (Stalin with his multiple purges, and Mao with his so calle"great leap forward").. all failed policy by any measure that led to the death of milluions upon millions of people.
Sure, contrasted by the existence of communist leaders who have not committed such atrocities and religious leaders who have.
Is the relationship of non-belief in God and massacring people synonymous or are there other reasons why Stalin and Mao were despot dictators?
I am not saying that all atheiststs are nihilists....but a preponderance of them are, at least on HubPages
Hi, Al! Back at it I see! You sure do seem to like rufflin' feathers! Strangely, I was just thinking this morning about how humano-centric atheism is, and here you are! Must be some good airwaves from here to there. The battle you are waging is a hard one. The U.S. is a very nihilistic place. Good luck!!!
More pseudo blabber with long words only half understood -
when YOU say nihilism you mean the rejection of the christian nonsense that you believe (before positing the question) is the meaning of life. Because you start with an assumption, a precondition, you cannot get to the meaning of hihilism and what it actually means for thinking.
For less narrow minded and entrenched thinkers reading this - nihilism is the rejection of mandated meanings to life and the acceptance that there is no outside meaning, therefore mankind has to continually create meaning for itself through reason not by becoming stuck in the dumb acceptance of a particular set of myths.
I ain't no atheist, but I will fight for any one to be one. I got no bones against them. They usually make good neighbors. They got no choice but to take responsibility for their own behavior.
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