Why I am not an Atheist

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
Kenny
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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#106

Post by Kenny » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:46 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:We need to remember that we don't invent things like math or gravity, we discover them.
2+2=4 and has always equaled 4 before humans ever came up with the concept of math and it will always =4 ( probably? lol).
Triangularity will always exist even if there are no triangles in the universe or no humans to "think" about it.

These things are immaterial things because, again, they would be so even if there were no material universe to speak of.
Gravity is a physical force that exist on the surface of Earth and other planets. But where does math exist?

Ken
Concepts dude, concepts.
Concepts don't exist like gravity, they only exist within human thought. Are you suggesting math only exist in the context of human thought?
Hardly.
Math would exist regardless of there being ANY humans at all.
That is the point.
So again; where does math exist? Also, who found math, and where was it first found?
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#107

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:23 am

*gives up and walks away*

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#108

Post by RickD » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:16 am

PaulSacramento wrote:*gives up and walks away*
You surrendered. Kenny wins!!!!
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Kurieuo (Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:56 am)
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#109

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:53 am

Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:We need to remember that we don't invent things like math or gravity, we discover them.
2+2=4 and has always equaled 4 before humans ever came up with the concept of math and it will always =4 ( probably? lol).
Triangularity will always exist even if there are no triangles in the universe or no humans to "think" about it.

These things are immaterial things because, again, they would be so even if there were no material universe to speak of.
Indeed. While qualitatively different to physical objects, math would be akin to form ("morphe"), for example, a circle formula of PR2). The materialisation ("hyle") of circles would be say planets, the Sun, circle drawings or wherever something circular can be found.

Similar questions then arise i.e., is math itself ("morphe") as real as the materialisations we see? Realists answer "yes". Nominalists answer "no". Conceptualists embrace a type of realism seeing such as fundamentally conceptual in nature, the logical conclusion being an eternal mind is necessary which allow such concepts to be grounded.
So shapes exist as well? Shapes are descriptions. If the description of an object has an actual existence by itself apart from the object being described, does fast, funny, stupid, tall, etc. exist as well? Because these are descriptions also; so if I say “the Hell cat is a fast car” does fast actually exist? If so, where? Is it somehow attached to the car being described?
Shapes are universal. Circles exist no matter what anyone believes. The math for circles still holds even if noone discovered it. Investigate the problem of universals.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#110

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:27 am

RickD wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:*gives up and walks away*
You surrendered. Kenny wins!!!!
Dirty Harry once said that a man has to know his limitations.
I have tried a few times with Kenny and I have to accept that I don't have the ability to make myself clear enough for him to understand.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#111

Post by RickD » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:29 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
RickD wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:*gives up and walks away*
You surrendered. Kenny wins!!!!
Dirty Harry once said that a man has to know his limitations.
I have tried a few times with Kenny and I have to accept that I don't have the ability to make myself clear enough for him to understand.
Unfortunately, it seems all of us suffer from that same lack of ability to communicate with Kenny.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#112

Post by Justhuman » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:40 am

Kurieuo wrote:Do you have any programming experience JH?
Yes, programmed in several languages like assembler, Basic, Forth, html, ASP, javascript, C++.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#113

Post by Justhuman » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:03 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Justhuman wrote:The conclusion that it's all in a mind, and that this mind can only be from a very powerfull 'being', is a presumption. If one believes in God one tries to explain things according to that believe. Aren't you (and others) with that form-theory (unwillingly?) working towards a God-only solution?
1. God exist, and He created all there is.
2. Thus, the only conclusion can be that anyway we look at it, the solution must be an can only be God.
3. Thus, any theory that might indicate otherwise, is and must be false.
There is certainly a repulsion towards metaphysics, understanding underpinnings to reality, that more empirically-minded positivist persons (which would describe many secular scientists) wish to deny, don't wish entertain or even discuss.

Aristotle and Plato did not appear to start with belief in God (certainly not the God I identify), such neither preclude God or even gods. Rather, their guide is reasoning ability, their own mind, and what logic and reason alone seem to define. Aristotle perhaps somewhat more than Plato moved things closer to God with his unmoved mover and like. Certainly, his bare minimum "god" isn't the God I believe. Yet, such philosophical thinking perhaps merely lays the framework of logical possibilities rather than what is the case of the reality we find ourselves within (which is better identified by science).

In light of all this, I think it naive to be dismissive of where such reasoning appears to lead. Although I will say unlike myself, Plato and Aristotle were firstly philosphers. I make no apology myself about firstly being theologian, even Christian as was Thomas Aquinas. My life and personal experiences have set me firmly in such, so you could say ALL of my own arguments are reasoning to a conclusion I had, that my whole arguments amount to confirmation bias of sorts. Yet, I think my own starting position is logically irrelevent to any said arguments made or reasoning put forward. Just as much as your being taken by Atheism means I should reject out-of-hand any arguments you might make against Theism or Christianity.

Now certainly, there might be a bias. Some might start with God existing and so then proceed to reason to such, perhaps even I do this unknowingly. Which I think means we must be careful to identify our biases, and to deal with the substance of actual arguments themselves rather than focus on the people making them. I'm upfront with mine. You yourself have your own bias and positions you'd be more receptive of. So then, for any argument you might make, would it be logical for me to identify you as an Atheist and so just reject any arguments you present against God's existence as mere bias?? No, such isn't fair, I should deal with the substance of your arguments. In fact, if I reject your arguments because of who you are, what I believe your bias and motivations to be, then such is entirely irrelevant to the actual substance of any argument made -- I'd here be committing a genetic fallacy of sorts.

Now deeper logical thinking about the world, the foundational nature of reality -- in my experience the discussion of such appears scary to those who like to feel certain of things, have textbook answers, have all nails in their life nailed down, who wish to cling to something stable, predictable and known. Such might identify as pragmatists, working from where they are to what they see is practical for them in their immediate life. Questions that fall outside are meaningless to pursue, why bother about things we can't be certain of like I can my own physical existence, family, friends... so then, many seem disinterested in more foundational questions about reality, like what does it matter anyway? Such perhaps feel we should just deal with more certain things in life that a more directly felt and experienced, that which is repeatable and predictable in the world provides stablity that we can plant our feet upon and move forward to increase our own happiness in life.

Yet understand, what is pragmatic or practical isn't necessarily true or correct. SImilarly, ignoring such questions, thinking them irrelevent, doesn't mean they're unimportant. Such people I see have a rather shallow and surface-level construction of reality, they ignore their own philosophical underpinnings, the ontology that undergirds their faith in their own experiences and/or empiricism. And contrary to the belief that deeper questions of reality are silly mind games philosophers play, I'd say the answers we have to such foundational questions will also often shape the way we live our life, how we will treat others and what we cling to as really important in life when push comes to shove.
I find it difficult to 'dig' into religious matters, somewhat with fear of the possibility it might be right after all, even though I'm a firm believer in the material universe.
And I sometomes catch myself "clinging onto certain 'material' aspects which are not yet determined" or "denying certain 'theistic' aspects just for being theistic aspects".
A big difference between evolutionary and theistic viewpoint is that evolution is based on physical evidence while the theistic is based on the non-physical (which is unprovable?).
Viewpoints are often 'shaped' around the 'evidence' one is willing to accept. It is very, very hard to keep an unbiassed open mind to viewpoints that do not stroke with ones own.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#114

Post by Justhuman » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:22 am

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote: Gravity is a physical force that exist on the surface of Earth and other planets. But where does math exist?

Ken
Concepts dude, concepts.
Concepts don't exist like gravity, they only exist within human thought. Are you suggesting math only exist in the context of human thought?
Hardly.
Math would exist regardless of there being ANY humans at all.
That is the point.
So again; where does math exist? Also, who found math, and where was it first found?
Math doesn't exist in neither a fundamental material or immateriual form. Math is knowledge and can only be brought into physical existence by intelligent beings.

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#115

Post by Kenny » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:46 am

Justhuman wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Concepts dude, concepts.
Concepts don't exist like gravity, they only exist within human thought. Are you suggesting math only exist in the context of human thought?
Hardly.
Math would exist regardless of there being ANY humans at all.
That is the point.
So again; where does math exist? Also, who found math, and where was it first found?
Math doesn't exist in neither a fundamental material or immateriual form. Math is knowledge and can only be brought into physical existence by intelligent beings.
Good point. But good luck of trying to convince anybody else around here of that!

Ken
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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#116

Post by RickD » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:10 am

Justhuman wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Concepts dude, concepts.
Concepts don't exist like gravity, they only exist within human thought. Are you suggesting math only exist in the context of human thought?
Hardly.
Math would exist regardless of there being ANY humans at all.
That is the point.
So again; where does math exist? Also, who found math, and where was it first found?
Math doesn't exist in neither a fundamental material or immateriual form. Math is knowledge and can only be brought into physical existence by intelligent beings.
How can math be brought into physical existence?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

Kenny
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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#117

Post by Kenny » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:15 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:We need to remember that we don't invent things like math or gravity, we discover them.
2+2=4 and has always equaled 4 before humans ever came up with the concept of math and it will always =4 ( probably? lol).
Triangularity will always exist even if there are no triangles in the universe or no humans to "think" about it.

These things are immaterial things because, again, they would be so even if there were no material universe to speak of.
Indeed. While qualitatively different to physical objects, math would be akin to form ("morphe"), for example, a circle formula of PR2). The materialisation ("hyle") of circles would be say planets, the Sun, circle drawings or wherever something circular can be found.

Similar questions then arise i.e., is math itself ("morphe") as real as the materialisations we see? Realists answer "yes". Nominalists answer "no". Conceptualists embrace a type of realism seeing such as fundamentally conceptual in nature, the logical conclusion being an eternal mind is necessary which allow such concepts to be grounded.
So shapes exist as well? Shapes are descriptions. If the description of an object has an actual existence by itself apart from the object being described, does fast, funny, stupid, tall, etc. exist as well? Because these are descriptions also; so if I say “the Hell cat is a fast car” does fast actually exist? If so, where? Is it somehow attached to the car being described?
Shapes are universal. Circles exist no matter what anyone believes. The math for circles still holds even if noone discovered it. Investigate the problem of universals.
I believe these things only exist within the context of human thought; IOW our imagination. If they had an actual existence, somebody would be able to tell me where else they exist.
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#118

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:46 pm

Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:We need to remember that we don't invent things like math or gravity, we discover them.
2+2=4 and has always equaled 4 before humans ever came up with the concept of math and it will always =4 ( probably? lol).
Triangularity will always exist even if there are no triangles in the universe or no humans to "think" about it.

These things are immaterial things because, again, they would be so even if there were no material universe to speak of.
Indeed. While qualitatively different to physical objects, math would be akin to form ("morphe"), for example, a circle formula of PR2). The materialisation ("hyle") of circles would be say planets, the Sun, circle drawings or wherever something circular can be found.

Similar questions then arise i.e., is math itself ("morphe") as real as the materialisations we see? Realists answer "yes". Nominalists answer "no". Conceptualists embrace a type of realism seeing such as fundamentally conceptual in nature, the logical conclusion being an eternal mind is necessary which allow such concepts to be grounded.
So shapes exist as well? Shapes are descriptions. If the description of an object has an actual existence by itself apart from the object being described, does fast, funny, stupid, tall, etc. exist as well? Because these are descriptions also; so if I say “the Hell cat is a fast car” does fast actually exist? If so, where? Is it somehow attached to the car being described?
Shapes are universal. Circles exist no matter what anyone believes. The math for circles still holds even if noone discovered it. Investigate the problem of universals.
I believe these things only exist within the context of human thought; IOW our imagination. If they had an actual existence, somebody would be able to tell me where else they exist.
I think you are right to attach them to "thought", just not sure why you limit such to human thought (except perhaps due to a preexistent bias against an eternal mind).

Here's the issue I see with saying such exist only within the context of human thought:
Would 1+1=2 even if humans didn't exist? If "yes", then 1+1=2 is true independant of humans and as such human thought.

So then, if you affirm that math holds without humans existing, and yet math exists in human thought -- then you must surely believe this all some silly riddle. Perhaps you think it doesn't merit further reflection to try and resolve. It's just a stupid riddle. Yet, I believe riddles, and ones like this, are solvable.

How do you resolve that 1+1=2 prior to any human existing, yet 1+1=2 being brought into existance by thought (which you restrain to only human thought)?

This riddle is one I see can only be resolved if, and only if, we posit an intelligence or mind has always existed. We already know of one intelligence - our own human intelligence. So then like you accept that the physical world is eternal, why not also consider the possibility of an eternal mind? This mind would be as eternal as math itself since it provides the context or foundation to such. Therefore, math (and other universal concepts) which are kind of unfathomable to believe could never exist, have always existed within the context of an eternal mind.

You can reject my solution here, because you don't like where it points to, but I'm hard-pushed to think up an alternative solution to the riddle of universals. I will add, this also doesn't necessarily prove God as Chrisitans believe, but one could opt for panpsychism of sorts (i.e., a conscious universe in addition to a physical).
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#119

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:35 pm

Justhuman wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Justhuman wrote:The conclusion that it's all in a mind, and that this mind can only be from a very powerfull 'being', is a presumption. If one believes in God one tries to explain things according to that believe. Aren't you (and others) with that form-theory (unwillingly?) working towards a God-only solution?
1. God exist, and He created all there is.
2. Thus, the only conclusion can be that anyway we look at it, the solution must be an can only be God.
3. Thus, any theory that might indicate otherwise, is and must be false.
There is certainly a repulsion towards metaphysics, understanding underpinnings to reality, that more empirically-minded positivist persons (which would describe many secular scientists) wish to deny, don't wish entertain or even discuss.

Aristotle and Plato did not appear to start with belief in God (certainly not the God I identify), such neither preclude God or even gods. Rather, their guide is reasoning ability, their own mind, and what logic and reason alone seem to define. Aristotle perhaps somewhat more than Plato moved things closer to God with his unmoved mover and like. Certainly, his bare minimum "god" isn't the God I believe. Yet, such philosophical thinking perhaps merely lays the framework of logical possibilities rather than what is the case of the reality we find ourselves within (which is better identified by science).

In light of all this, I think it naive to be dismissive of where such reasoning appears to lead. Although I will say unlike myself, Plato and Aristotle were firstly philosphers. I make no apology myself about firstly being theologian, even Christian as was Thomas Aquinas. My life and personal experiences have set me firmly in such, so you could say ALL of my own arguments are reasoning to a conclusion I had, that my whole arguments amount to confirmation bias of sorts. Yet, I think my own starting position is logically irrelevent to any said arguments made or reasoning put forward. Just as much as your being taken by Atheism means I should reject out-of-hand any arguments you might make against Theism or Christianity.

Now certainly, there might be a bias. Some might start with God existing and so then proceed to reason to such, perhaps even I do this unknowingly. Which I think means we must be careful to identify our biases, and to deal with the substance of actual arguments themselves rather than focus on the people making them. I'm upfront with mine. You yourself have your own bias and positions you'd be more receptive of. So then, for any argument you might make, would it be logical for me to identify you as an Atheist and so just reject any arguments you present against God's existence as mere bias?? No, such isn't fair, I should deal with the substance of your arguments. In fact, if I reject your arguments because of who you are, what I believe your bias and motivations to be, then such is entirely irrelevant to the actual substance of any argument made -- I'd here be committing a genetic fallacy of sorts.

Now deeper logical thinking about the world, the foundational nature of reality -- in my experience the discussion of such appears scary to those who like to feel certain of things, have textbook answers, have all nails in their life nailed down, who wish to cling to something stable, predictable and known. Such might identify as pragmatists, working from where they are to what they see is practical for them in their immediate life. Questions that fall outside are meaningless to pursue, why bother about things we can't be certain of like I can my own physical existence, family, friends... so then, many seem disinterested in more foundational questions about reality, like what does it matter anyway? Such perhaps feel we should just deal with more certain things in life that a more directly felt and experienced, that which is repeatable and predictable in the world provides stablity that we can plant our feet upon and move forward to increase our own happiness in life.

Yet understand, what is pragmatic or practical isn't necessarily true or correct. SImilarly, ignoring such questions, thinking them irrelevent, doesn't mean they're unimportant. Such people I see have a rather shallow and surface-level construction of reality, they ignore their own philosophical underpinnings, the ontology that undergirds their faith in their own experiences and/or empiricism. And contrary to the belief that deeper questions of reality are silly mind games philosophers play, I'd say the answers we have to such foundational questions will also often shape the way we live our life, how we will treat others and what we cling to as really important in life when push comes to shove.
I find it difficult to 'dig' into religious matters, somewhat with fear of the possibility it might be right after all, even though I'm a firm believer in the material universe.
And I sometomes catch myself "clinging onto certain 'material' aspects which are not yet determined" or "denying certain 'theistic' aspects just for being theistic aspects".
A big difference between evolutionary and theistic viewpoint is that evolution is based on physical evidence while the theistic is based on the non-physical (which is unprovable?).
Viewpoints are often 'shaped' around the 'evidence' one is willing to accept. It is very, very hard to keep an unbiassed open mind to viewpoints that do not stroke with ones own.
You know, I'm not sure why you set up the dichotemy here as "Evolution" vs "Theism".

In fact, some modern theologians use evolution as a teleological form of argument, the physical universe and "orderliness" required for such (Richard Swinburne). It can be argued that the apparent telos where things are driven towards an end of higher complexity (from simple cell to humans) in an orderly way, as evidence for God's existence rather than a thorough-going Naturalism. Rather than random luck or dumb chance, the anthropic principle looks like a real intention rather than imaginary feature in our universe.

Or we have Alvin Plantinga's epistemological arugment, his Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism which attempts to point out a form of nihilistic problem with rational justification if one accepts both evolution and naturalism as true.
Here's a video that leverages the argument.

You might be use to Evangelical Christians drawing a line in the sand between Young Earth Creationism over and against an old Earth and Evolution? Or maybe Atheist/skeptic sites who always like putting YECs as the "token Theist" position in order to create a strawman to easily knock down. Yet really, as I see matters, it is such a false dichotemy to think in terms of "evolution or God".
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Why I am not an Atheist

#120

Post by Kenny » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:20 pm

Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: Indeed. While qualitatively different to physical objects, math would be akin to form ("morphe"), for example, a circle formula of PR2). The materialisation ("hyle") of circles would be say planets, the Sun, circle drawings or wherever something circular can be found.

Similar questions then arise i.e., is math itself ("morphe") as real as the materialisations we see? Realists answer "yes". Nominalists answer "no". Conceptualists embrace a type of realism seeing such as fundamentally conceptual in nature, the logical conclusion being an eternal mind is necessary which allow such concepts to be grounded.
So shapes exist as well? Shapes are descriptions. If the description of an object has an actual existence by itself apart from the object being described, does fast, funny, stupid, tall, etc. exist as well? Because these are descriptions also; so if I say “the Hell cat is a fast car” does fast actually exist? If so, where? Is it somehow attached to the car being described?
Shapes are universal. Circles exist no matter what anyone believes. The math for circles still holds even if noone discovered it. Investigate the problem of universals.
I believe these things only exist within the context of human thought; IOW our imagination. If they had an actual existence, somebody would be able to tell me where else they exist.
Kurieuo wrote: I think you are right to attach them to "thought", just not sure why you limit such to human thought (except perhaps due to a preexistent bias against an eternal mind).
Fair enough; how ‘bout if I limit it to intelligent thought.
Kurieuo wrote: Here's the issue I see with saying such exist only within the context of human thought:
Would 1+1=2 even if humans didn't exist?
Yes. The reason is because math (1+1=2) is a system used to calculate numbers. Numbers are representative symbols we use to represent things that DO exist. So the system of math works whether an intelligent being is around to use it or not.
Kurieuo wrote: If "yes", then 1+1=2 is true independant of humans and as such human thought.
The system works independent of intelligent thought, but the system doesn’t exist unless there is intelligent being around to think of it.
Kurieuo wrote: So then, if you affirm that math holds without humans existing,
No. Math doesn’t exist without intelligent beings capable of using the system.
Kurieuo wrote:and yet math exists in human thought -- then you must surely believe this all some silly riddle. Perhaps you think it doesn't merit further reflection to try and resolve. It's just a stupid riddle. Yet, I believe riddles, and ones like this, are solvable.

How do you resolve that 1+1=2 prior to any human existing, yet 1+1=2 being brought into existance by thought (which you restrain to only human thought)?
Consider the combustion engine; the idea of carefully timed explosions connected to a crankshaft used to propel a structure. Even if nobody invented the machine to use this idea, (the automobile) the idea would still work independent of humans. But does this mean the idea existed prior to humans? No. The idea would work, but it didn’t exist until someone thought of it.
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