Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#61

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:01 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:The confusion with morality being absoulte/objective or not is that people confuse Good and Bad with WHAT IS Good and Bad).
So we have a clear understanding, perhaps you can define "Good" and "Bad" then describe what is good, and what is bad.

Ken
PaulSacramento wrote:Do you prefer right and wrong or does that put us in the same boat?
Moral/immoral, good/bad, right/wrong; doesn't matter
PaulSacramento wrote:Would you agree that there are some things that a person simply should NOT do, like Rape babies?
I agree with you, but I see subjective right or wrong as equal to objective right or wrong. It is also my understanding that in order for it to be objective, it isn't enough that we agree something is wrong, but it must be demonstrable; otherwise some sicko could say it was right, and how would you prove him wrong?

Ken
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#62

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:04 pm

Philip wrote:Ken, Matt Strassler is a Matt Strassler, theoretical physicist whose research has been related mainly to the Large Hadron Collider, though he's also written many scientific papers on a wide variety of topics in string theory, quantum field theory and particle physics. He earned his Ph.D. at Stanford, was a full professor at Rutgers University, a member of the American Physical Society. He's been a visiting scholar and professor at Harvard, and a Simons Foundation fellow at the Galileo Galilei Institute in Florence, Italy.

Here's what Strassler says about matter:


Matter and Energy really aren’t in the same class and shouldn’t be paired in one’s mind.

Matter is always some kind of stuff, but which stuff depends on context.

Energy is not ambiguous (not within physics, anyway). But energy is not itself stuff; it is something that all stuff has.

The term Dark Energy confuses the issue, since it isn’t (just) energy after all. It also really isn’t stuff; certain kinds of stuff can be responsible for its presence, though we don’t know the details.

Photons should not be called `energy’, or `pure energy’, or anything similar. All particles are ripples in fields and have energy; photons are not special in this regard. Photons are stuff; energy is not.

The stuff of the universe is all made from fields (the basic ingredients of the universe) and their particles. At least this is the post-1973 viewpoint.


Ken, name just one THING that is made of matter, that pre-existed the Big Bang. Just ONE!
How am I supposed to answer that question? Suppose I said all the matter that currently exist in the Universe existed prior to the Big Bang. could you prove me wrong using established scientific theories?
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"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#63

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:07 pm

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:

If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. When gravity pulls something to the surface of the Earth, the impact will cause an audible sound, and witnesses are not necessary for this to take place. that is an example of an objective truth.
RickD wrote: Ok, I think I understand where you're coming from. Things can be objectively true, but you just don't believe morality is objective. Is that accurate?
Yes
RickD wrote:Would you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim? By objective, I mean it's either a Chevrolet, or it's not, and nobody's opinion can change that fact.
Yes.

K
Ok, good.

Since you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim, would you agree that the claim, "God exists" is also an objective claim?
Yes.

K
Ok, great.

Would you then agree that a man raping an eight year old girl, is objectively wrong? Meaning, regardless of anyone's opinion, it is wrong to rape an eight year old girl?
Of course I would agree with you on this. But according to my understanding, it isn't enough to agree, it must also be demonstrable. Suppose some sicko claimed that raping an 8 yr old isn't wrong; how do we demonstrate that our claim trumps his?
RickD wrote
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#64

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:03 pm

Ken : How am I supposed to answer that question? Suppose I said all the matter that currently exist in the Universe existed prior to the Big Bang. could you prove me wrong using established scientific theories?
Ken, if you insist that matter existed prior to the Big Bang, then either you don't believe the overwhelming number of physicists and studies that deny that, or you don't understand basic Big Bang science assertions and studies. You are asserting something that science says isn't true. And so your belief in the, yes, the MAGIC, of blind, random matter, to self-organize so brilliantly and to coordinate with itself, while also recognizing and harnessing such unfathomable power - you are insisting that the irrational and mathematically, IMMENSELY improbable is possible. Really, Ken, what level of exponential math would make you realize an impossibility the equivalent of rocks, given enough time, learning how to do and take advatage of algebra and calculus. Oh, and btw, the rocks have to be either eternal or created.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#65

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:33 pm

Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Yes


Yes.

K
Ok, good.

Since you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim, would you agree that the claim, "God exists" is also an objective claim?
Yes.

K
Ok, great.

Would you then agree that a man raping an eight year old girl, is objectively wrong? Meaning, regardless of anyone's opinion, it is wrong to rape an eight year old girl?
Of course I would agree with you on this. But according to my understanding, it isn't enough to agree, it must also be demonstrable. Suppose some sicko claimed that raping an 8 yr old isn't wrong; how do we demonstrate that our claim trumps his?
And we've made a full circle, back to you confusing ontology and epistemology.

Kenny, do you agree that it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old? Yes or no. It's a simple question. It's either yes or no.

Edit: Kenny,

When I ask you if it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old, I'm asking you to deal with the ontology of morality.

Ontology in this case, deals with "if" something is objectively wrong. You're still conflating ontology with epistemology. Epistemology in this case, deals with the "why" something is objectively morally wrong.

While ontology and epistemology can overlap, there is a distinction.

Let's stick with the "if" for now.
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:
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#66

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:40 pm

Kenny's morality I'd expect is supported by a Christian moral ontology wherein God implants some understanding of moral rightness and wrongness within us. A main question is, what support is there to properly ground what he considers his own "subjective" morality (which as I see is actually divinely inherited) in a view of the world where God doesn't exist and all just unintentionally happened.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#67

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:03 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Kenny's morality I'd expect is supported by a Christian moral ontology wherein God implants some understanding of moral rightness and wrongness within us. A main question is, what support is there to properly ground what he considers his own "subjective" morality (which as I see is actually divinely inherited) in a view of the world where God doesn't exist and all just unintentionally happened.
If I can get Kenny to answer the question, I believe I can make a point that will force him to think about something. But he needs to stop conflating ontology and epistemology, in order for him to be able to see my point.

Kenny,

See the edit in my previous post.
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: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#68

Post by Kenny » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:15 pm

Philip wrote:
Ken : How am I supposed to answer that question? Suppose I said all the matter that currently exist in the Universe existed prior to the Big Bang. could you prove me wrong using established scientific theories?
Ken, if you insist that matter existed prior to the Big Bang, then either you don't believe the overwhelming number of physicists and studies that deny that, or you don't understand basic Big Bang science assertions and studies. You are asserting something that science says isn't true.
Again; can you point to a scientific theory that says nothing existed prior to the Big Bang? I don't believe science says that.
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#69

Post by Kenny » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:27 am

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote: Ok, good.

Since you agree that "my truck is a Chevrolet", is an objective claim, would you agree that the claim, "God exists" is also an objective claim?
Yes.

K
Ok, great.

Would you then agree that a man raping an eight year old girl, is objectively wrong? Meaning, regardless of anyone's opinion, it is wrong to rape an eight year old girl?
Of course I would agree with you on this. But according to my understanding, it isn't enough to agree, it must also be demonstrable. Suppose some sicko claimed that raping an 8 yr old isn't wrong; how do we demonstrate that our claim trumps his?
And we've made a full circle, back to you confusing ontology and epistemology.

Kenny, do you agree that it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old? Yes or no. It's a simple question. It's either yes or no.

Edit: Kenny,

When I ask you if it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old, I'm asking you to deal with the ontology of morality.

Ontology in this case, deals with "if" something is objectively wrong. You're still conflating ontology with epistemology. Epistemology in this case, deals with the "why" something is objectively morally wrong.

While ontology and epistemology can overlap, there is a distinction.

Let's stick with the "if" for now.
I made a mistake on my previous reply. You asked if I agree raping an 8 yr old is objectively wrong; then you defined “objectively wrong” as “regardless of anyone’s opinion, it is wrong”. If that were all “objectively wrong” meant, I would agree with you; but I don’t agree objectively wrong is limited to “regardless of opinion” I think it also includes an ability to demonstrate as wrong; and this is where I disagree.
As far as ontological, I don’t believe it can be applied to morality because its about things with an actual existence; not thoughts and ideas. I believe morality is based on thoughts and ideas. Things with an actual existence can be demonstrated.

Ken
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#70

Post by Byblos » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:30 am

kenny wrote: I made a mistake on my previous reply. You asked if I agree raping an 8 yr old is objectively wrong; then you defined “objectively wrong” as “regardless of anyone’s opinion, it is wrong”. I don’t agree objectively wrong is limited to “regardless of opinion” I think it also includes an ability to demonstrate as wrong.
As far as ontological, I don’t believe it can be applied to morality because its about things with an actual existence; not thoughts and ideas. I believe morality is based on thoughts and ideas. Things with an actual existence can be demonstrated.
Kenny, I sincerely hope you do realize that if your thoughts can't be demonstrated then not only do you not exist, but communication in general is illusory.
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Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#71

Post by Kenny » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:44 am

Byblos wrote:
kenny wrote: I made a mistake on my previous reply. You asked if I agree raping an 8 yr old is objectively wrong; then you defined “objectively wrong” as “regardless of anyone’s opinion, it is wrong”. I don’t agree objectively wrong is limited to “regardless of opinion” I think it also includes an ability to demonstrate as wrong.
As far as ontological, I don’t believe it can be applied to morality because its about things with an actual existence; not thoughts and ideas. I believe morality is based on thoughts and ideas. Things with an actual existence can be demonstrated.
Kenny, I sincerely hope you do realize that if your thoughts can't be demonstrated then not only do you not exist, but communication in general is illusory.
I disagree. Thoughts don’t exist by themselves, but can be demonstrated through action.

K
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"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#72

Post by RickD » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:41 am

Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Yes.

K
Ok, great.

Would you then agree that a man raping an eight year old girl, is objectively wrong? Meaning, regardless of anyone's opinion, it is wrong to rape an eight year old girl?
Of course I would agree with you on this. But according to my understanding, it isn't enough to agree, it must also be demonstrable. Suppose some sicko claimed that raping an 8 yr old isn't wrong; how do we demonstrate that our claim trumps his?
And we've made a full circle, back to you confusing ontology and epistemology.

Kenny, do you agree that it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old? Yes or no. It's a simple question. It's either yes or no.

Edit: Kenny,

When I ask you if it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old, I'm asking you to deal with the ontology of morality.

Ontology in this case, deals with "if" something is objectively wrong. You're still conflating ontology with epistemology. Epistemology in this case, deals with the "why" something is objectively morally wrong.

While ontology and epistemology can overlap, there is a distinction.

Let's stick with the "if" for now.
I made a mistake on my previous reply. You asked if I agree raping an 8 yr old is objectively wrong; then you defined “objectively wrong” as “regardless of anyone’s opinion, it is wrong”. If that were all “objectively wrong” meant, I would agree with you; but I don’t agree objectively wrong is limited to “regardless of opinion” I think it also includes an ability to demonstrate as wrong; and this is where I disagree.
As far as ontological, I don’t believe it can be applied to morality because its about things with an actual existence; not thoughts and ideas. I believe morality is based on thoughts and ideas. Things with an actual existence can be demonstrated.

Ken
Ken,

Objective morality deals with if something is right or wrong, independent of the person making the claim. In other words, if something is right or wrong regardless of one's opinion, then it's objectively right or wrong. As contrasted with subjective right and wrong, which depends on opinions. Just google, "objective morality definition", and you'll see that I'm taking a dictionary definition. Once you've seen that the definition I've used is correct, then please respond to my question.

By definition, do you believe it is objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old girl?
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: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#73

Post by Byblos » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:51 am

Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
kenny wrote: I made a mistake on my previous reply. You asked if I agree raping an 8 yr old is objectively wrong; then you defined “objectively wrong” as “regardless of anyone’s opinion, it is wrong”. I don’t agree objectively wrong is limited to “regardless of opinion” I think it also includes an ability to demonstrate as wrong.
As far as ontological, I don’t believe it can be applied to morality because its about things with an actual existence; not thoughts and ideas. I believe morality is based on thoughts and ideas. Things with an actual existence can be demonstrated.
Kenny, I sincerely hope you do realize that if your thoughts can't be demonstrated then not only do you not exist, but communication in general is illusory.
I disagree. Thoughts don’t exist by themselves, but can be demonstrated through action.

K
How do we communicate with one another Kenny? Before we can demonstrate anything thru action, what is the principle agent in any good theory of communication?
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#74

Post by Hortator » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:25 pm

Can we just come together for a moment and realize that we are arguing how to communicate between believers and non-believers? Like, I knew the gulf of understanding was bad, but I never thought it would become this bad. It's like we don't even speak the same language anymore.

But don't get me wrong, I like Kenny. I like the content he provides us. Especially in this thread, where he's as Kenny as ever.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#75

Post by Kenny » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:26 pm

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote: Ok, great.

Would you then agree that a man raping an eight year old girl, is objectively wrong? Meaning, regardless of anyone's opinion, it is wrong to rape an eight year old girl?
Of course I would agree with you on this. But according to my understanding, it isn't enough to agree, it must also be demonstrable. Suppose some sicko claimed that raping an 8 yr old isn't wrong; how do we demonstrate that our claim trumps his?
And we've made a full circle, back to you confusing ontology and epistemology.

Kenny, do you agree that it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old? Yes or no. It's a simple question. It's either yes or no.

Edit: Kenny,

When I ask you if it's objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old, I'm asking you to deal with the ontology of morality.

Ontology in this case, deals with "if" something is objectively wrong. You're still conflating ontology with epistemology. Epistemology in this case, deals with the "why" something is objectively morally wrong.

While ontology and epistemology can overlap, there is a distinction.

Let's stick with the "if" for now.
I made a mistake on my previous reply. You asked if I agree raping an 8 yr old is objectively wrong; then you defined “objectively wrong” as “regardless of anyone’s opinion, it is wrong”. If that were all “objectively wrong” meant, I would agree with you; but I don’t agree objectively wrong is limited to “regardless of opinion” I think it also includes an ability to demonstrate as wrong; and this is where I disagree.
As far as ontological, I don’t believe it can be applied to morality because its about things with an actual existence; not thoughts and ideas. I believe morality is based on thoughts and ideas. Things with an actual existence can be demonstrated.

Ken
Ken,

Objective morality deals with if something is right or wrong, independent of the person making the claim. In other words, if something is right or wrong regardless of one's opinion, then it's objectively right or wrong. As contrasted with subjective right and wrong, which depends on opinions. Just google, "objective morality definition", and you'll see that I'm taking a dictionary definition. Once you've seen that the definition I've used is correct, then please respond to my question.

By definition, do you believe it is objectively wrong to rape an 8 year old girl?
I looked up objective morality in several dictionary sites and none of them have it. They have objective, and morality, but not both words together. I went to a search engine to look up Objective Morality and a variety of sites came up about objective morality, objective truths, moral objectivism, etc. and they discussed the issue, but none of them providing a concrete definition of the term when both words are used together.
The closest thing I can get would be to get the dictionary definition of objective and morality. Objective is defined as not influenced by personal opinions, or pre justices; unbiased and based upon facts. If we apply objective to morality it would be morality that is unbiased and based upon facts. This is how I got the idea that if morality were objective, it could be demonstrated as true; because facts can be demonstrated as true.

But I’m curious; Assuming morality IS objective, how would things be different if morality were not? How would this change things if this sicko you spoke about were to claim that it is okay to rape this 8 yr old girl? You and I would agree it is wrong and this sick guy would say it is right.

Is it just a matter of being unable to point to a moral base that we believe all of morality is based upon and using it to prove the guy wrong? Obviously to label morality objective will not force him to agree with our moral base, or stop him from providing his moral base that justifies his actions; so how would things be different?

ken
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