Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

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: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#151

Post by Kenny » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:39 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: Go on, quote the exact reference. ;)
Yes! It says: "Most of the objective morals promoted today in the West are grounded in Christianity."
Despite rationalwiki being a primitive close-minded source, and certainly it'd love to colour anything it likes against Christianity...

THAT, does not say the term "objective morality" is religious.
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Dentists are both good and bad then, eh? :shakehead:
Just because something is painful doesn't make it bad.
I agree. Perhaps you need to revise your definition then, eh?

Although it really doesn't matter. Because all you're doing is offering up a subjective ontology. Again, you call chocolate "good", while another might call it "bad" and prefer strawberry.

Some people think it good to inflict pain onto others, especially if they don't belong to their social group.

Others are psychopathic. Once they "realise" these feelings of morality evolved -- well now let's shake them off and use other's sense of them to our advantage as much as it profits us.

Any reason you offer to try and call something really "good" or really "bad" becomes mute.
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Neglected? No. I did not neglect it but rather purposefully chose not to answer.

You asked a very loaded question that assumed certain premises I disagree with, and as such it is logically fallacious.

Ask some more simple and fair questions and I might respond, but I'm not going to continue playing your foolish games.
How is the question loaded, or unfair? And what premis do you disagree with?
You wrote: "Do you believe Genocide and rape is objectively immoral? If so, how do you justify the atrocities of Moses against the Midinites? Or do you?"

Try take some stabs at working out where the loaded assumptions are. My time is spent.
Kurieuo
I agree. Perhaps you need to revise your definition then, eh?

Ken
I was not giving a definition, I was giving an example of what is often seen as good vs bad.

Kurieuo
Some people think it good to inflict pain onto others, especially if they don't belong to their social group.

Ken
But if morality were objective, they wouldn’t feel that way now would they.

Kurieuo
Others are psychopathic. Once they "realise" these feelings of morality evolved -- well now let's shake them off and use other's sense of them to our advantage as much as it profits us.

Any reason you offer to try and call something really "good" or really "bad" becomes mute.

Ken
And how does your objective morality change this?


Kurieuo
You wrote: "Do you believe Genocide and rape is objectively immoral? If so, how do you justify the atrocities of Moses against the Midinites? Or do you?"
Try take some stabs at working out where the loaded assumptions are. My time is spent

Ken
I did not ask a loaded question. I asked 2 yes or no questions, and I followed each question up with; “if the question is yes how do you respond”. Obviously if your answer is no you would ignore the follow-up question; that is to only be answered if the answer is yes.
However, if you don’t wanna answer the question, I understand; I’ll ask somebody else.
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#152

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:15 pm

Ken, once again, you're confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology.

The former is how we can really embrace that "good" and/or "bad" are real in the world. That's not a religious question, but an open question to all philosophical views of the world.

The latter is concerned with justifying what that morality looks like.

You just keep squirming and trying to distract from the issue. I think I'll just keep to my more logical Atheist buddies.

I'm done discussing with you and it seems so are some others. That should tell you something.
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#153

Post by Kenny » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:23 am

Kurieuo wrote:Ken, once again, you're confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology.

The former is how we can really embrace that "good" and/or "bad" are real in the world. That's not a religious question, but an open question to all philosophical views of the world.

The latter is concerned with justifying what that morality looks like.
I don't care about ontology, esiptemology, or religious questions; I'm asking about a subjective, vs objective question.

Kurieuo wrote:You just keep squirming and trying to distract from the issue. I think I'll just keep to my more logical Atheist buddies.

[I'm done discussing with you and it seems so are some others. That should tell you something.
It tells me you don't want to answer the question.

Ken
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#154

Post by 1over137 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:30 am

It tells me you don't want to answer the question.

Ken
The question is why, Kenny. Think about it.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#155

Post by neo-x » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:48 am

Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Ken, once again, you're confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology.

The former is how we can really embrace that "good" and/or "bad" are real in the world. That's not a religious question, but an open question to all philosophical views of the world.

The latter is concerned with justifying what that morality looks like.
I don't care about ontology, esiptemology, or religious questions; I'm asking about a subjective, vs objective question.

Ken
And this tells you are not serious about the whole thing. Why should you not care about these things when these things govern the answers you seek.
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And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#156

Post by Kenny » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:34 am

neo-x wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Ken, once again, you're confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology.

The former is how we can really embrace that "good" and/or "bad" are real in the world. That's not a religious question, but an open question to all philosophical views of the world.

The latter is concerned with justifying what that morality looks like.
I don't care about ontology, esiptemology, or religious questions; I'm asking about a subjective, vs objective question.

Ken
And this tells you are not serious about the whole thing. Why should you not care about these things when these things govern the answers you seek.
Ya know; if you want to explain it to me I would like that, buit if you are just going to point me to a website and tell me the answer is there, especially when I don't see the answer when I look at the site, I will not consider that good enough.
So how exactly are you defining objective morality? Do you see it like math where as anybody who understands math will agree that 1+1=2, or like anyone with their 5 sences working correctly will see the grass is green, that sugar is sweet, and the brick wall in front of them exists? Do you believe anyone who understand morals will agree that slavery (for example) is wrong if slavery is an objective moral situation?


Ken
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#157

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:28 pm

Kenny, try some more :reading: and less :blah:

That'd be better than having exchanges that you don't really feel like having or perhaps don't really understand.

I'm sure you are capable of Googling for answers if you have sincere questions.
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#158

Post by Kenny » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:09 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Kenny, try some more :reading: and less :blah:

That'd be better than having exchanges that you don't really feel like having or perhaps don't really understand.

I'm sure you are capable of Googling for answers if you have sincere questions.
Why did you even bother with such a reply? If you have a problem with the questions I ask, IGNORE ME!!! Go talk to someone else.

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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#159

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:41 am

Bah, let's not pretend you're really asking questions. y=;

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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#160

Post by Kenny » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:31 am

Kurieuo wrote:Bah, let's not pretend you're really asking questions. y=;

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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#161

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:49 pm

Just came across this quote that I think goes WAY back to the OP:
  • [Universal skepticism's] philosophical life, as noted by Mario dal Pra, Lo Scetticismo Greco (Milan, 1950), p. 217, can only be that of a parasite, nourished entirely by the philosophies it attacks.
Beautifully stated, as is most of the book, and certainly true. And modern "atheism," with its incessant whining about how it holds no positive beliefs but is nothing more than a lack of belief is certainly nothing more than the skepticism dal Pra has in mind. Is it, then, any surprise that it fails to furnish anything like its own coherent worldview?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#162

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:05 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Just came across this quote that I think goes WAY back to the OP:
  • [Universal skepticism's] philosophical life, as noted by Mario dal Pra, Lo Scetticismo Greco (Milan, 1950), p. 217, can only be that of a parasite, nourished entirely by the philosophies it attacks.
Beautifully stated, as is most of the book, and certainly true. And modern "atheism," with its incessant whining about how it holds no positive beliefs but is nothing more than a lack of belief is certainly nothing more than the skepticism dal Pra has in mind. Is it, then, any surprise that it fails to furnish anything like its own coherent worldview?
That is certainly in the same train of thought that I had.

Although, I'm not entirely sure what he means in the quote by: "Accordingly, universal Skepticism, in the Greek sense, is a possible philosophical position."
Unless, it is possible in the same sense as someone sawing off the branch that they're sitting on, or someone planting their feet in mid-air or the like. ;)

Universal Skepticism would at some stage have to turn in upon itself.
This is where it collapses and one is left in a state of Epistemic Nihilism -- that nothing can be known even that fact included... indeed even Ontological Nihilism -- reality doesn't exist.
In a state of true Nihilism, one is at an eternal crossroad of embracing reality and not embracing reality -- because an extreme Universal Skepticism leaves us with an inability to know one way or the other.

Atheists stop short of this however. They want to criticize others but then eat their own cake of personal beliefs that they have -- whatever they might be.
They then become incoherent and unable to establish their own position of the world based upon logic and reason, and so it really becomes built upon their own subjective tastes.

In other words, they are really only utilising a selective Skepticism -- an extreme skepticism as a form of epistemic justification where it suits their tastes.
They all the time double-talk by claiming they are skeptical of everything, while accepting many unprovable beliefs that would fail the same standards of skepticism that they apply to others.

This is not logical. It is not rational. It is not consistent. Therefore, as I argue and you correctly understand, it doesn't lead to any coherent view of the world.
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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#163

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:49 pm

Kurieuo wrote:That is certainly in the same train of thought that I had.

Although, I'm not entirely sure what he means in the quote by: "Accordingly, universal Skepticism, in the Greek sense, is a possible philosophical position."
Unless, it is possible in the same sense as someone sawing off the branch that they're sitting on, or someone planting their feet in mid-air or the like. ;)

Universal Skepticism would at some stage have to turn in upon itself.
This is where it collapses and one is left in a state of Epistemic Nihilism -- that nothing can be known even that fact included... indeed even Ontological Nihilism -- reality doesn't exist.
In a state of true Nihilism, one is at an eternal crossroad of embracing reality and not embracing reality -- because an extreme Universal Skepticism leaves us with an inability to know one way or the other.

Atheists stop short of this however. They want to criticize others but then eat their own cake of personal beliefs that they have -- whatever they might be.
They then become incoherent and unable to establish their own position of the world based upon logic and reason, and so it really becomes built upon their own subjective tastes.

In other words, they are really only utilising a selective Skepticism -- an extreme skepticism as a form of epistemic justification where it suits their tastes.
They all the time double-talk by claiming they are skeptical of everything, while accepting many unprovable beliefs that would fail the same standards of skepticism that they apply to others.

This is not logical. It is not rational. It is not consistent. Therefore, as I argue and you correctly understand, it doesn't lead to any coherent view of the world.
In fairness to both you and Owens, I suspect you don't own the book in question and only have access to the snippet we both linked to. He added the qualifier "in the Greek sense" I think precisely because of some of what you have pointed out here. In that section, he has been discussing the fact that our initial judgments are subject to correction. As such, he wants to know if we can "ever arrive by this process at judgments that are not subject to correction and cannot be doubted?" In this context, he first turns to look at Descartes, noting that Descartes says,
  • "I will proceed onwards until I come to something certain, or if nothing else until I know this for certain, that nothing is certain." . . . The initial methodic doubt, accordingly, was never envisaged by Descartes as "universal," though it is so interpreted by Mercier. . . . It was merely to continue until something certain was reached. It was artificial, because, except for ulterior purposes in Descartes' philosophy, it could have stopped at any of the immediately evident common notiongs (see Principia, I,13-15 . . .) just as easily as at the Cogito
So Descartes' real problem was that it was arbitrary. For him, "doubt" did not mean something like "a lack of conviction." All he meant (and, by the way, all that Aquinas and Aristotle before him meant when they employed the same approach; so they spoke of universalis dubitatio de vertate ("the universal doubting of truth"; see Metaphysics III) was that judgments must be questioned until they are no longer open to correction. In this way, we may "doubt" God's existence up until we have done the work to show that the statement "God exists" is not open to correction lest we imply some self-contradiction, which the First Way most certainly does. Going back to Descartes, he could have stopped at many other points. He could have held the existence of the external world as just such a point much as where he did choose to stop.

Now, Owens notes your argument, I believe, when he goes on to say, "Taken literally, a "universal" doubt would eave nothing upon which ny certitude could be built, not even the tenet that nothing is certain. The latter tenet was not exempt from Skeptical epoche. . . . It has generally been combated. . . . Parker had maintained an initial state of certitude in regard to immediate judgments and of doubt in regard to "mediate propositions." (p.266-67)

So with that in mind, we can see why he says that GREEK skepticism is philosophically permissible, even if it is little more than a parasite. The whole idea is that this kind of Skepticism--and this in the Greek sense in particular--does not and cannot doubt the existence of what is immediately perceived (although it CAN doubt that what is being perceived is being properly interpreted). That s obviously not MODERN skepticism. Modern skepticism is just stupid for a host of reasons, not the least of them being precisely what you have noted. But there seems to be nothing self-contradictory about the claim that while our immediate judgments are unquestionable, the fact that all interpretations of those judgments are open to correction means that all philosophical knowledge is open to correction. The skepticism, then, does not extend to existence itself, but only to how one interprets existence.

I'm certainly not saying that I agree with that position. I'm saying that it can be held without self-contradiction. It's just that it is little more than a parasite, philosophically speaking. It cannot, by its nature, make any philosophical claims--not even the claim that no philosophical knowledge is possible. The only thing it can do is respond to philosophical claims and charge that all such claims are based on what are fundamentally and necessary questionable claims, and therefore those claims must be "doubted" in the sense above (that is, as held to be open to correction--not that they cannot be held with conviction). As such, a Greek skeptic may hold with conviction the idea that philosophical truth cannot be known, but even that claim is not certain, because that itself is open to correction.

All in all, it's a much more nuanced position than modern skepticism, which is rather childish. But is it at all fulfilling or are we warranted in holding to it? I don't think so! But if we are going to argue against it, I think we should make good arguments against it rather than conflate it with something it isn't (modern skepticism).

edit:

Going back to my original point, btw, I think this discussion is helpful because it shows that modern atheism is at best little more than Greek skepticism, which is boring at best and parasitic at worst and in either case almost certainly inconsistently applied; or at worst it is the type of skepticism you have identified, universal in the modern, rather childish sense, which is ultimately self-contradictory and plainly stupid.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Can Atheism Stand On Its Own Two Feet?

#164

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:15 pm

Thanks Chris, I figured it would be a difference of what was meant by "universal" but continued with my post anyhow.

I think the majority of arguments, at least in like-minding individuals like us, comes down to our understanding or impressions of terms used.
People are often too quick (myself included) to equivocate meanings of how someone else uses a term with their own understanding.
They're really debating terms, rather than the thought and logic embedded within.

You know, the #1 issue that really took me to the brink was this universal skepticism, in an extreme sense that no belief is justified unless absolutely proven (logically or otherwise).
How could I know... really know anything... if there is a gap in being able to accept my rational faculties and experiences as accurate and truth conducive.
I thought this gap first needed to be filled before I can be rationally justified in my beliefs, any beliefs.

So while we could associate it with Atheists, it is perhaps more a modern issue in our Western society and education, rather than specifically an Atheistic issue.

The only way out, as I saw it, was be pragmatic and understand certainty can't be had (at least, in anyone other than a being such as God).
So then, if I can't get certainty, then what is more practical for me?
1) To be caught in some insane existence of rejecting everything including that rejection, or 2) To just accept absolute certainty can't be had and live what seems most obvious.
It seems someone entirely irrational would prefer the former. In which case, extreme Skepticism needs to be rejected.

I've been pleased to see that many fellow Christians on this board understand that "faith" is built upon the most logical position and best explanation and evidence -- and is not necessarily blind.
All explanations require a leap across some gap in knowledge, reason or experience... a leap across something we just can't ascertain with 100% certainty.
So the most justified position, is not one that has all nails battened down but rather with the least jump in knowledge required.

What you have provided here -- your original point -- is an insight that Atheism may not be a position at all.
The irony may be on me, since I've never liked to give in to the claims of some Atheists who claim they don't hold to a position.
It seems, at least, the modern Atheist is just this extreme form of skepticism, and it becomes childish when selectively applied according to their tastes.
A true Atheist, who applies extreme skepticism across the board even to their own beliefs, would either become insane and kill themselves to stop the insanity.

Perhaps a distinction needs to be made between "Atheism" as a position, and "Atheism" as found in the modern Atheist who seems a little childish in subjectively applying their extreme "skepticism"?
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