Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

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Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Fri May 26, 2017 4:49 pm

Is atheism a valid default paradigm of existence in the absence of Incontrovertible proof of an opposing paradigm? I don’t think so. The basic problem is what I term the “ultimate mystery” of existence. That is, the concept of “No beginning” which seems unfathomable to the human intellect. Why is there existence itself?

If atheists can ask theists to prove that a person who never had a child cannot have a grandchild (i.e., something from a nonexistent offspring), then the theist can justifiably ask the atheist to prove that there is no God. If a man has no hands, then the fingerprints left at the scene of the crime can't be his: what other proof is needed? Atheism is asserting a positive statement: there is no creator. This is not the same as saying that one doesn’t know if there is or isn’t. The atheist must defend his or assertion just as a theist must. The atheist must demonstrate how matter/energy (for example) can exist without having had a beginning or antecedent cause the same as the theist must for God.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri May 26, 2017 6:56 pm

Don Schneider wrote:Is atheism a valid default paradigm of existence in the absence of Incontrovertible proof of an opposing paradigm? I don’t think so. The basic problem is what I term the “ultimate mystery” of existence. That is, the concept of “No beginning” which seems unfathomable to the human intellect. Why is there existence itself?

K: indeed, why is there existence? I for one cannot speculate as to why there is existence,
but I cannot prove why there is not existence... the problem becomes how to you prove
a negative.. for example, how do you prove that there are unicorns when unicorns don't exist...
what evidence would you provide that shows that unicorns don't exist... I am not sure
that existence is the "ultimate mystery" and more importantly I don't see what
we would gain by answering such a question.. the question of existence....

DS: If atheists can ask theists to prove that a person who never had a child cannot have a grandchild (i.e., something from a nonexistent offspring), then the theist can justifiably ask the atheist to prove that there is no God. If a man has no hands, then the fingerprints left at the scene of the crime can't be his: what other proof is needed? Atheism is asserting a positive statement: there is no creator. This is not the same as saying that one doesn’t know if there is or isn’t. The atheist must defend his or assertion just as a theist must. The atheist must demonstrate how matter/energy (for example) can exist without having had a beginning or antecedent cause the same as the theist must for God.


K: so how do I prove that there is no god? as for matter/energy existing, it seems clear that
matter/energy has a beginning... big bang... I don't need to show how matter/energy
exists without a beginning because I don't believe that matter/energy can exist without
a beginning.... Atheist are not asserting a positive statement, we are asserting a negative
one.... there is no god and how would you go about proving a negative statement....
as for example of a man having no hands and the fingerprints can't be his, that is correct,
however the classic definition of a man is having hands and having fingerprints..
where are the hands of god and where are the fingerprints of god? one might say
god is this and this and this... ok, show me the fingerprints... but how would I show you
from the lack of fingerprints that god does not exist...god exist because ......
would make sense, god doesn't exist because... makes less sense, indeed,
to say god doesn't exist because there is no evidence makes the most sense instead
of trying to say, god doesn't exist because we can't find the fingerprints. dicey at best
now I am trying to stay within the arguments you raised.. I personally would
argue from a different standpoint.....

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby barbarianhorde » Fri May 26, 2017 8:13 pm

Don Schneider wrote:Is atheism a valid default paradigm of existence in the absence of Incontrovertible proof of an opposing paradigm? I don’t think so. The basic problem is what I term the “ultimate mystery” of existence. That is, the concept of “No beginning” which seems unfathomable to the human intellect. Why is there existence itself?

If atheists can ask theists to prove that a person who never had a child cannot have a grandchild (i.e., something from a nonexistent offspring), then the theist can justifiably ask the atheist to prove that there is no God. If a man has no hands, then the fingerprints left at the scene of the crime can't be his: what other proof is needed? Atheism is asserting a positive statement: there is no creator. This is not the same as saying that one doesn’t know if there is or isn’t. The atheist must defend his or assertion just as a theist must. The atheist must demonstrate how matter/energy (for example) can exist without having had a beginning or antecedent cause the same as the theist must for God.

Advocate of the devil says as long as they dont define what god is they cant prove he doesnt exist, so yeah it doesnt work. Agnosticism is the only valid opening for a skeptic that still wants to define himself in terms of something he doesn't do rather than what he does do vis a vis the exalted he talks about (not) existing.

Hard to define and to negate, God is like the Force in Skywalkers, the mind behind chemistry, the unconscious mind which isnt even different from the Sun that feeds it. Its scary.
Buddha says were a flame, but were in the sun. We're shielded from what we are so that we can be. Atheism is just the radical conservative side of ultimate hiddenness, fear of light.

Abeardedmanintheskyism is valid but thats not what they are called now, so I must make this annoying argumentation.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat May 27, 2017 7:46 am

Don ... I 'see' atheism as a self defense mechanism ... it prevents corrosion of the temerity adherents have towards materialism.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat May 27, 2017 8:57 pm

One can just as easily see "theism" as a self-defense or defense mechanism.
Without the so-called love and support of a personal God or any kind of god, the world can be a lonely, scary, unloving place to be without a self-sustaining identity and strong sense of flowing self.


I don't understand the particular language of ~~~Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods. It is a lack of belief in gods.

Can someone explain that to me. I don't see much of a difference in that language. What is the missing link?
For me, to "disbelieve" something means the same as having a lack of belief.
I am an agnostic. I have no belief. That to me is a lack of belief.
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If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Sat May 27, 2017 9:40 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:
Don Schneider wrote:Is atheism a valid default paradigm of existence in the absence of Incontrovertible proof of an opposing paradigm? I don’t think so. The basic problem is what I term the “ultimate mystery” of existence. That is, the concept of “No beginning” which seems unfathomable to the human intellect. Why is there existence itself?

K: indeed, why is there existence? I for one cannot speculate as to why there is existence,
but I cannot prove why there is not existence... the problem becomes how to you prove
a negative.. for example, how do you prove that there are unicorns when unicorns don't exist...
what evidence would you provide that shows that unicorns don't exist... I am not sure
that existence is the "ultimate mystery" and more importantly I don't see what
we would gain by answering such a question.. the question of existence....

DS: If atheists can ask theists to prove that a person who never had a child cannot have a grandchild (i.e., something from a nonexistent offspring), then the theist can justifiably ask the atheist to prove that there is no God. If a man has no hands, then the fingerprints left at the scene of the crime can't be his: what other proof is needed? Atheism is asserting a positive statement: there is no creator. This is not the same as saying that one doesn’t know if there is or isn’t. The atheist must defend his or assertion just as a theist must. The atheist must demonstrate how matter/energy (for example) can exist without having had a beginning or antecedent cause the same as the theist must for God.


K: so how do I prove that there is no god? as for matter/energy existing, it seems clear that
matter/energy has a beginning... big bang... I don't need to show how matter/energy
exists without a beginning because I don't believe that matter/energy can exist without
a beginning.... Atheist are not asserting a positive statement, we are asserting a negative
one.... there is no god and how would you go about proving a negative statement....
as for example of a man having no hands and the fingerprints can't be his, that is correct,
however the classic definition of a man is having hands and having fingerprints..
where are the hands of god and where are the fingerprints of god? one might say
god is this and this and this... ok, show me the fingerprints... but how would I show you
from the lack of fingerprints that god does not exist...god exist because ......
would make sense, god doesn't exist because... makes less sense, indeed,
to say god doesn't exist because there is no evidence makes the most sense instead
of trying to say, god doesn't exist because we can't find the fingerprints. dicey at best
now I am trying to stay within the arguments you raised.. I personally would
argue from a different standpoint.....

Kropotkin


Can you explain the origin of the big bang? It just was (or is if you believe in eternalism), not unlike: “God always was, always is and always will be”?

Atheism as opposed to agnosticism (at least in the commonly (an incorrectly) understood definition of the word, “I don’t know; insufficient data” ) is making a positive statement. It is asserting positively that there is no God. I don’t understand your objection to this assertion.

The "fingerprints of God" (or more precisely, a creator of some kind; the creator could be an extra-dimensional computer programer) are exactly what my philosophical proof of a creator posted here (under philosophy) purports to point to. This is how I counter the often raised argument that asking an atheist to prove there is no God is not unlike asking him or her to prove there are no fairies. There is absolutely no logical reason why fairies should exist in the absence of proof that they do. However, the question of why anything at all exists—indeed, why there is existence itself—remains unanswered. Therefore, the creator hypothesis remains a valid option to be refuted. It can be refuted by proving that another paradigm is true.
Last edited by Don Schneider on Sat May 27, 2017 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Sat May 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Barbarian wrote:

"Agnosticism is the only valid opening for a skeptic..."

Agreed, but again, in the commonly (mis)understood meaning of the word. Agnoticism as formulated by Thomas Huxley (he simply appended an "a" to Gnostic (knowledge)) is a rejection of Gnosticism, mysticism, in which the former incorporates the latter. He stated that man can only know what he can perceive through his physical senses. Thus, in actuality agnosticism too is a positive statement, the assertion that mysticism is not valid.
Last edited by Don Schneider on Sat May 27, 2017 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Sat May 27, 2017 10:01 pm

Arcturus wrote:

"I don't understand the particular language of ~~~Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods. It is a lack of belief in gods. Can someone explain that to me. I don't see much of a difference in that language. What is the missing link?

"For me, to 'disbelieve' something means the same as having a lack of belief. I am an agnostic. I have no belief. That to me is a lack of belief."

Yes, you just accurately defined agnosticism (subject to the caveat in my last response to Barbarian) as opposed to atheism which positively denies the existence of God. Peter is curiously not the first self-professed atheist I have encountered who denies this definition of their paradigm. By doing so, they reposition themselves as agnostics.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby surreptitious57 » Sat May 27, 2017 11:11 pm

Don Schneider wrote:
Atheism as opposed to agnosticism ( at least in the commonly and incorrectly understood definition of the word
I dont know insufficient data ) is making a positive statement. It is asserting positively that there is no God

Not all atheists think there is definitely no God only probably so and most of them are agnostic anyway
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun May 28, 2017 12:45 am

Arcturus Descending wrote:One can just as easily see "theism" as a self-defense or defense mechanism.
Without the so-called love and support of a personal God or any kind of god, the world can be a lonely, scary, unloving place to be without a self-sustaining identity and strong sense of flowing self.


I agree ... with a twist.

We are known more by our actions than by our words. The people who profess a belief in God ... supported with participation in some religious rituals ... yet ... at the same time embrace consumerism and one or another ideology ... political, economic, finance ... expose their duplicity.

Leaving us with a very large community of atheists ... as well as a very large community of hypocrites.

Leaving a very small community of true believers ...
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby phyllo » Sun May 28, 2017 3:30 pm

We are known more by our actions than by our words. The people who profess a belief in God ... supported with participation in some religious rituals ... yet ... at the same time embrace consumerism and one or another ideology ... political, economic, finance ... expose their duplicity.

Leaving us with a very large community of atheists ... as well as a very large community of hypocrites.

Leaving a very small community of true believers ..
"True believers" don't consume and don't engage in politics, economics or finance?

What do "true believers" do?
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun May 28, 2017 3:53 pm

phyllo wrote:
We are known more by our actions than by our words. The people who profess a belief in God ... supported with participation in some religious rituals ... yet ... at the same time embrace consumerism and one or another ideology ... political, economic, finance ... expose their duplicity.

Leaving us with a very large community of atheists ... as well as a very large community of hypocrites.

Leaving a very small community of true believers ..
"True believers" don't consume and don't engage in politics, economics or finance?

What do "true believers" do?


I dunno Phyllo ... never met one ... and it seems impossible to separate fact from fiction in the historical accounts of those who may have been true believers.

For example ... legend suggests some of the nuns who lived in one of St Teresa (Avila) convents complained about her fear of starving to death ... the convent relied on alms.

St Teresa apparently answered ... we should be so lucky.

Is this story true?

Speaking for myself ... I'm working on it but seems I'm still at square one.

Reminds me of the Arab axiom ... trust in God but tie your camel tight. :)
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby phyllo » Sun May 28, 2017 4:31 pm

St Teresa : Does she represent what God wants or expects from the "true believer"?
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby James S Saint » Sun May 28, 2017 4:43 pm

Don Schneider wrote:Is atheism a valid default paradigm of existence in the absence of Incontrovertible proof of an opposing paradigm?

The default is agnostism - no belief one way or another.

Don Schneider wrote: The basic problem is what I term the “ultimate mystery” of existence. That is, the concept of “No beginning” which seems unfathomable to the human intellect. Why is there existence itself?

Some of us have that "mystery" absolutely resolved.

Don Schneider wrote: The atheist must defend his or assertion just as a theist must.

That is certainly true (as we often run across here).

Don Schneider wrote: The atheist must demonstrate how matter/energy (for example) can exist without having had a beginning or antecedent cause the same as the theist must for God.

Well, I can do that. It doesn't take an atheist. I suspect that you are presuming a false dichotomy.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Sun May 28, 2017 6:04 pm

Don Schneider wrote: The basic problem is what I term the “ultimate mystery” of existence. That is, the concept of “No beginning” which seems unfathomable to the human intellect. Why is there existence itself?


"Some of us have that 'mystery' absolutely resolved."[

Don Schneider wrote: The atheist must demonstrate how matter/energy (for example) can exist without having had a beginning or antecedent cause the same as the theist must for God.


"Well, I can do that. It doesn't take an atheist. I suspect that you are presuming a false dichotomy."

Indeed?! Well, don't leave us hanging! Pray enlighten us (or at least me).

Thank you.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby James S Saint » Sun May 28, 2017 6:34 pm

Don Schneider wrote:Well, don't leave us hanging! [/b] Pray enlighten us (or at least me).

Thank you.

That is a long story that I have been talking about on this forum for years. I call it "Rational Metaphysics: Affectance Ontology". But the false dichotomy that I referenced would be the notion that "either the universe had a beginning or conversely, there is no God". That is a false notion.

God, being the cause of the universe and being eternal, is the very reason that the universe has always existed and always will. Wherever there is the cause, there is immediately the result (else there wasn't sufficient cause). The concept of the Big Bang started as a joke, caught on due to a catholic priest seeing the utility of it, and has been promoted for socio-political-religious reasons ever since. The BB is an absurd, irrational impossibility.

God did not "begin the universe" God is the reason for or cause of (aka "First/Prime Cause") of the universe. God is the very fundamental principle from which all existence stems.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Sun May 28, 2017 7:23 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Don Schneider wrote:Well, don't leave us hanging! [/b] Pray enlighten us (or at least me).

Thank you.

That is a long story that I have been talking about on this forum for years. I call it "Rational Metaphysics: Affectance Ontology". But the false dichotomy that I referenced would be the notion that "either the universe had a beginning or conversely, there is no God". That is a false notion.

God, being the cause of the universe and being eternal, is the very reason that the universe has always existed and always will. Wherever there is the cause, there is immediately the result (else there wasn't sufficient cause). The concept of the Big Bang started as a joke, caught on due to a catholic priest seeing the utility of it, and has been promoted for socio-political-religious reasons ever since. The BB is an absurd, irrational impossibility.

God did not "begin the universe" God is the reason for or cause of (aka "First/Prime Cause") of the universe. God is the very fundamental principle from which all existence stems.


I don’t see how you discerned that I was positioning such a dichotomy from anything I’ve written here or elsewhere. I actually agree with you entirely in substance, but differ in form. The difference between us (apparently) is how we view “God.” See my post under Philosophy on the “Why is consciousness?” thread in which I position undifferentiated, universal Consciousness as what you refer to as God, rather than an anthropomorphic, personal deity. This is accordance with the Eastern ontological view predicated upon the Upanishads.

However, my paradigm doesn't preclude The occurrence of the Big Bang or other (seemingly) physical phenomena. I simply view them as manifestations of Consciousness with no fundamental reality of their own. The illusion of material realty, however, is so powerful that we experience them as it they were real as for all intents and purposes, they are, just as we can be freighted out of our wits, for example, by a nightmare.
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby James S Saint » Sun May 28, 2017 7:46 pm

Don Schneider wrote: I position undifferentiated, universal Consciousness as what you refer to as God, rather than an anthropomorphic, personal deity.

I don't refer to God as "universal consciousness". To me, consciousness is an emergent property of the affectance that forms the physical universe.

Don Schneider wrote:However, my paradigm doesn't preclude The occurrence of the Big Bang or other (seemingly) physical phenomena.

Mine does.

Don Schneider wrote: I simply view them as manifestations of Consciousness with no fundamental reality of their own. The illusion of material realty, however, is so powerful that we experience them as it they were real as for all intents and purposes, they are, just as we can be freighted out of our wits, for example, by a nightmare.

I suspect a definition of "reality", "physical reality", or "existence" would be in order. You seem to be either a solipsist, relativist, perceptionist, or mentalist (or some combination thereof).
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25768
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby Don Schneider » Sun May 28, 2017 8:00 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Don Schneider wrote: I position undifferentiated, universal Consciousness as what you refer to as God, rather than an anthropomorphic, personal deity.

I don't refer to God as "universal consciousness". To me, consciousness is an emergent property of the affectance that forms the physical universe.

Don Schneider wrote:However, my paradigm doesn't preclude The occurrence of the Big Bang or other (seemingly) physical phenomena.

Mine does.

Don Schneider wrote: I simply view them as manifestations of Consciousness with no fundamental reality of their own. The illusion of material realty, however, is so powerful that we experience them as it they were real as for all intents and purposes, they are, just as we can be freighted out of our wits, for example, by a nightmare.

I suspect a definition of "reality", "physical reality", or "existence" would be in order. You seem to be either a solipsist, relativist, perceptionist, or mentalist (or some combination thereof).


I refer to the metaphysical paradigm based upon the Upanishads as “corporate solipsism,” as opposed to what I term "radical solipsism." Again, see my aforementioned post, if interested. For now, rest assured that I believe that you exist as I wouldn’t be wasting my time communicating with a figment of my imagination. :)
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby James S Saint » Sun May 28, 2017 8:19 pm

Don Schneider wrote: I wouldn’t be wasting my time communicating with a figment of my imagination. :)

Ohhhh ... don't count on that one ... (said the guilt complex to the paranoid) :-"
:lol:
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 25768
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon May 29, 2017 12:26 am

phyllo wrote:St Teresa : Does she represent what God wants or expects from the "true believer"?


I don't know ... with any degree of certainty ... that I don't know.

In my life ... I have already traveled 61.5 billion kilometers and I never experienced ... as in conscious recognition of this travel ... a single kilometer.

How can I say ... with any degree of certainty ... that God hasn't "held my hand' during all of this travel?
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby phyllo » Mon May 29, 2017 12:48 am

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
phyllo wrote:St Teresa : Does she represent what God wants or expects from the "true believer"?


I don't know ... with any degree of certainty ... that I don't know.

In my life ... I have already traveled 61.5 billion kilometers and I never experienced ... as in conscious recognition of this travel ... a single kilometer.

How can I say ... with any degree of certainty ... that God hasn't "held my hand' during all of this travel?

As soon as one believes in God, then one automatically believes that there is a particular relationship with God. God interacts with the world in some way, He interacts with others in some way and He interacts with the believer in some way.

So when one talks about a "true believer", then one is referring to a better way of interaction as compared to an "average believer" or "hypocritical believer".

Certainty is only a minor aspect of it.
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon May 29, 2017 3:32 am

phyllo wrote:
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
phyllo wrote:St Teresa : Does she represent what God wants or expects from the "true believer"?


I don't know ... with any degree of certainty ... that I don't know.

In my life ... I have already traveled 61.5 billion kilometers and I never experienced ... as in conscious recognition of this travel ... a single kilometer.

How can I say ... with any degree of certainty ... that God hasn't "held my hand' during all of this travel?

As soon as one believes in God, then one automatically believes that there is a particular relationship with God. God interacts with the world in some way, He interacts with others in some way and He interacts with the believer in some way.

So when one talks about a "true believer", then one is referring to a better way of interaction as compared to an "average believer" or "hypocritical believer".

Certainty is only a minor aspect of it.


So when one talks about a "true believer", then one is referring to a better way of interaction as compared to an "average believer" or "hypocritical believer".


An appealing 'cornerstone' Phyllo ... let me try to 'lay a stone' beside it. If I err in understanding the underlying intentions of your above comment ... the error is mine ... fruit of my arrogance ... and I beg forgiveness in advance.

The words "better way" point to an ever-increasing understanding ... knowing ... fueled almost entirely by personal experience.

Let me try to illustrate by sharing a personal experience from yesterday.

First some context.

My wife is farming 2-3 acres ... largely by hand ... and she has dragged me into participating in her enterprise. My reluctance to participate is shrinking ... I'm learning a lot through participation ... though I'm still selfish enough to keep some time and energy for my personal enterprise.

Yesterday afternoon we went on an inspection tour ... walked around her gardens ... her garden is not one contiguous parcel of land.

My keen observations lead to some profound thoughts:

1) We have had very little rain in the past month or so ... the soil is like a dust bowl The young unhealthy plants seemed to be crying out ... water ... water ... water ... please! The seeds that have yet to germinate and sprout seem to be uttering the same plea.

2) Shortly after this observation I experienced a gut-wrenching feeling of angst. On reflection I understood my feelings to be rooted in how much we take food for granted. For most of the people in the world food security is a trip to the local supermarket. This wasn't always the case ... and today's supermarkets may not always exist.

3) Reflected on the feast still celebrated in the West ... Thanksgiving. I felt ... at a much deeper level ... the underlying intentions of the first instances of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. The feast is a relic of the past with no significance today. Western people might better celebrate a Zuckenberg proclamation ... since he embodies what almost all people in the world aspire towards. Namely ... fortune and fame ... and by association the power that comes in it's wake.

4) I better understand why more than one billion Chinese people work so hard every day ... it's in their jeans. Their ancestors survived generation after generation of hardship(s) ... and that impressive survival was largely the fruit of hard physical labour.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby phyllo » Mon May 29, 2017 2:39 pm

The words "better way" point to an ever-increasing understanding ... knowing ... fueled almost entirely by personal experience.
I don't think that St Teresa's actions point to increased understanding. I think they point to increased confusion.

You (or at least some who you respect) seem to think that she did have some "ever-increasing understanding". The question is why do you think so?

Take for example, her ordering weekly flagellation in the convent. Isn't that completely out of sync with God and Jesus?

The entire concept of "mortifying the body" seems to point to confusion. It's a denial of the physical nature of existence. If God did not want you to have a physical body and a life on Earth in that body, then He would not have made you or the world.
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
phyllo
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Re: Is atheism a valid default paradigm?

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon May 29, 2017 11:35 pm

phyllo wrote:
The words "better way" point to an ever-increasing understanding ... knowing ... fueled almost entirely by personal experience.
I don't think that St Teresa's actions point to increased understanding. I think they point to increased confusion.

You (or at least some who you respect) seem to think that she did have some "ever-increasing understanding". The question is why do you think so?

Take for example, her ordering weekly flagellation in the convent. Isn't that completely out of sync with God and Jesus?

The entire concept of "mortifying the body" seems to point to confusion. It's a denial of the physical nature of existence. If God did not want you to have a physical body and a life on Earth in that body, then He would not have made you or the world.


More intentional deflection Phyllo?

You raised the flagellation issue with me before ... my feelings haven't changed ... I have no urge to punish ... mutilate ... my body ... yet ... I understand why other people have/do ... different strokes for different folks.

Seems there is little or no hope of bringing e-exchanges to a discussion of personal experiences as they unfold ... ergo today's personal experiences are more relevant than yesterdays ... despite their being connected by a thread(s).

Endless discussion of the experiences of "other individuals" always seems to lead to a dead end street.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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