What do you consider to be the ultimate goal when developing your philosophy? What are you attempting to achieve with a better understanding of our place in the universe?
I ask, because finger pointing seems to be how we determine where our philosophy ranks on the scale. We seem to seek validation through agreement. We seem to have a need to clarify our place, even if that includes digging our heels into our perception of the backs of others. Some seek validation through their understanding of their scriptures, to the detriment of others. Some seek validation through agreement across the table by those with different beliefs; to the detriment of others.
If, in search of validation for our beliefs, we find the need to belittle others by our understanding of their beliefs; have we gained more than was lost?
A point that must be made here. Atheism, when argued in this thread, is considered a belief.
Then, you open the discussion based on a false premise.
Isn't it obvious?
"Atheism, when argued in this thread, is considered a belief."
I assumed that was the issue. But I decided to wait until you said it. Atheism isn't so much a belief. However, conclusions on life do fall into that category. What we consider to be right and wrong do fall into that category, since different societies have different ideas on the subject. We can claim that our understanding is derived through a better understanding of reality, a better grasp on the facts; but, how our actions affect others does color how we perceive our actions. How their actions affect us colors how we perceive their actions.
So, although the statement 'I am an atheist' doesn't imply belief the conclusions made by the individual and the perception of others will, from time to time, fall into the category of belief. Since my question involves how our actions affect others, I don't see how it would be fair to single out atheists and claim they were always 100% dead on with their perception. Primarily, because that flies in the face of reality.
Exactly, it is a lack of belief. Folks who are labeled atheists simply lack belief in things and instead attempt to understand things.
Fair enough. However, the issue of our understanding of reality would be based not only on our observed and experimental knowledge of it, but also how honest we are as individuals in exhibiting that understanding. If we allow faith based ideas and philosophies to "supplant" what we know about reality in favor of the faith based ideas, we exhibit dishonesty of our understanding.
The atheist knows this only too well. That is primarily the reason they lack a belief, because they know they must be honest with themselves and their understanding first and foremost before they can be honest about anything else.
That is an example of the 'honesty' part of our understanding. Most certainly, if an atheist were to exhibit beliefs that run contrary to their understanding, they are either ignorant of the facts or are being deceptive. If they take the time to understand the facts, they will remedy their ignorance and admit it. If they continue with their faith based beliefs with full understanding to the contrary, they are simply being dishonest.
Most atheists take reality for what it is. They do not dishonestly add faith based invisible entities to their understanding of it.
I bet you may think you win an argument with your wife but she still expects you to apologize.
Winning an argument with my wife is not satisfying to say the least.
Basically. Your response was nicely thought out, but ignores the reality that interpersonal relationships are directly affected by our individual philosophies and that the discussion of these has nothing to do with the answers you provided.
Yes, people are affected by the delusions of others, that is true, I am not ignoring that at all. That is reality.
Is it your assertion then, sir, that you never suffer what you refer to as delusions? You always, in every situation, understand every thought behind the words and actions of others?
And, that you communicate so effectively that they always understand you as you intended to be understood? Or, if not, this is their fault not your own?
Lets look at the American football game for a moment. While standing on a level playing field, no one can see all of the players. And if we can not see everyone else, we do not know what they are doing or why they are doing it. While bumping heads with the guy in front of you and when you are picking yourself up off the ground, knowing you are going to have to do it again; we might forget what the purpose is?
Some of us don't even get to see the football? Whatz that all about?
But when the quarterback throws a touchdown pass ... we get to feel like we just did something special.
What is that supposed to mean? I don't know ... just felt like saying it.
I attempt to understand, yes. Suffering delusions means accepting the absurd and ridiculous, that is usually not part of reality.
No idea, you'll have to ask them.
We all attempt to understand ATM. You aren't addressing the question of what stands in the way of understanding each other. Your comments generally address understanding physical reality. But, human perception attempts to interpret more than the things we see. When dealing with each other there is more to it than simply looking across at another human being. We take what they say and do. We attempt to determine how their actions affect our lives. Miscommunication can very easily taint our conclusions. We can condemn without full understanding. This action increases confusion. It pulls it into another level. We are condemned unfairly because we condemned; possibly unfairly.
We set the stage in our minds and force others to play the predetermined parts; molding our judgment of them to our predetermined views. We seek to prove truth of this by consensus. How realistic is this? How fair? By attempting to agree we raise the level of confusion another notch. We blind ourselves a bit more by believing consensus on perception of others equates to truth. We make it one step more difficult to reach understanding of others.
By these actions we bear some level of responsibility. How much weight do they carry (if any) in our minds when attempting to calculate the value of our philosophies? How much importance do we equate to these behavior patterns when determining if the road to self discovery we have chosen is the right one?
This just in, humans and our understanding ARE part of the physical reality.
Baloney, believers add to our reality "faith in things that cannot be seen." You've heard that one before, I'm sure.
If that's what you do, then you have a problem.
And I think you have a problem. Who is right? Who is wrong? Without honesty in communication and honesty with oneself, we may never know. I think, it is clear that your answers reflect a level of dishonesty. I am left to wonder at what level that dishonesty exists. Are you attempting to fool me, or yourself?
Ah, so the fact that I acknowledge reality for what it is and I don't add nor subtract from it like so many others, I am being dishonest. Okee dokee.
Yes, I am fooling you with reality.
The fact that you are unwilling to accept that your perception is simply the result of your conclusions, which may or may not fully reflect the reality of who another human is and what they think shows a dishonesty with yourself.
You are simply showing me the reality of who you are.
That is baloney, reality does not exist or exhibit itself based on my conclusions of it. Nonsense.
Did anyone, other than yourself, imply that it did? I don't think so.
I don't know that I've ever actually attempted to develop a philosophy, but if I had to give a reason, I'd say that it's to make myself the kind of person who brings kindness, goodness, generosity, and a sense of universal connection to those around me. Perhaps seeking agreement is how I feel I'm accomplishing something. It is not a conscious effort for me to seek agreement, though, as I recognize (or try to) that we may never all agree on anything simply by virtue of our human nature. Being able to agree on how we exercise the best parts of that nature is what means a lot to me. I don't think any two people need to have the same life philosophy, but I do believe that we should all seek peace, because peace is the only thing, IMO, that allows for a human being's optimal development.
I suppose that is an answer; though not to the final questions posed.
Fair enough. I think it's unfair that we do belittle others in some cases. I am no less guilty of it, I suppose, than anyone else. I try, with all of my heart, not to hold anyone's views or beliefs as less than any others. My conscious effort is to point out similarities as far as emotions and human desires. Likely, I often fail in that.
For example, I don't find your agnosticism really all that different from my own. While I believe with hope, I also share your opinion that there are things we will never know or understand. It hasn't stopped me from believing in God, and in being a person who believes in a personal God, but that personal God isn't just mine alone, and I don't feel that my beliefs are so 'right' that they cannot be reasonably challenged. Disagreement is not to anyone's detriment, as a rule. Name calling, condescension, and flat out attempts to embarrass or humiliate someone who thinks differently by bringing into question their intelligence or sanity - those things are, without question, detrimental. I see it all the time. It's possible that others feel I should take a stronger, more noticeable stance against it, but I can do it 1000 times a day before I run out of energy, and someone will always bring the number to 1001.
At the end of the day, I'm not going to belittle someone for taking whatever stance or developing whatever philosophy they choose - if I can keep myself from doing so. I'm not always in control of my emotions, though, and every now and again, someone who stings me, intentionally or not, might get a bit of a stinging response. It's human nature, I'm afraid, and we are all doing our best to transcend that.
If you think you've failed, then you certainly wouldn't garner the massive respect we have for you.
Allow me to address that. I on the other hand, think that we most likely will understand everything, at least the "everything" that is relevant to us.
As you know, science is still in its infancy, but as time marches on, our vast banks of knowledge grow exponentially as our technologies advance, one pretty much driving the other. Over time, we should very much understand everything about our universe. And, since we know it will take a long time to achieve that goal, we are best to spend our time in it's exploitation rather than wondering about stuff we can't see or alleged forces that never reveal themselves.
When it comes to knowing what happened before our universe existed and what will happen after the universe and life no longer exists, we may never know that. But, that's not a big deal because they aren't really that relevant to our understanding of the universe. And, as our understanding grows, we find the universe is filled with much more amazing and wondrous phenomena than we could ever have possibly imagined.
All that coupled together gives me great confidence that we will discover it all.
Hmmm, belittling others to gain understanding? I guess we need to define belittle. I try to respect the person and question the philosophy, but I've been told a few times lately I've not been successful. It appears that to some their philosophy is part of them and cannot be questioned without questioning ones character. I do however agree that some want to be with like minded people to validate their personal philosophy, and for those they will take without question the words of someone who validates their beliefs.
It's all fascinating stuff.
I think my question had more to do with back handed insults than with confrontational discussions. I ran across such in another thread. A Hubber questioned another. Basically, to insure the the believer and the atheist were in agreement on their low opinion of other believers. I'm not certain how one feels good about themselves on the one hand, because they have been validated by another; without questioning their motives on the other hand because they had to belittle others because of their low opinion of the beliefs of others.
I know you don't agree that all is belief, but I have a difficult time resolving our hypocrisy. I use the term our because I don't know anyone who lives outside of its influence. We blind ourselves to our beliefs in order to convince ourselves of the shortcomings in other beliefs, as we perceive them. Without accepting that the problem may be more with our perception than it is the actual belief.
I've never been as good at living by this as I wish that I would have been ... but ..
My basic phylosophy would be to achieve a reasonable amount of comfort, exerting a minimal amount of effort, stepping on a minimal number of toes while experiencing a maximum amount of happiness and bliss.
But this is impossible when those in our immediate enviroment are unsucessfull in their pursuit of these things. It becomes obvious that we are supposed to help others to achieve these same things. When just one person out of five that I help would return that same courtousity , the world would be a much better place for everyone.
In order to be truly happy, we have to spread happiness around the enviroment in which we live.
We can't keep it all bottled up in our own back yard if we want to be happy out there in the neighborhood.
When we attempt to make the neighborhood a happier place to be, this reflects back into our own homes.
This can not happen when we spread judgment and condemnation.
If we were to leave a smiling face behind everywhere we go, we will soon find smiling faces everywhere we go. Which causes us to smile more often.
Thank you Emile,
In contrast to that phylosophy ... would be "kinda like" seeing ourselves and the life we live in as a barrel of crawfish.
Everyone on their own trying to make it to the top of the barrel. Grabbing onto someone which is on top of us and pulling ourselves up by pulling them down. And IF we make it to the top ... there is nothing to reach up for and nothing to hold onto ??? those underneath you still have you to crawl over. BUT ... when we are helping others to rise higher than ourselves and when they get there, we have them lifting us up; life is much more pleasing even when we haven't found our way to the top. CAUSE .... when we can count on each other, we feel as though we are on top even when we are not. No individual ever stays on top for long.
But as a group (helping each other) we might even make it over the top of the barrel and find ourselves back in the creek where no one is pulling us by our feet.
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