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Is Atheism doomed to extinction?
Posted: 07 November 2012 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 151 ]
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GdB - 07 November 2012 09:30 AM
sobpatrick - 07 November 2012 06:53 AM
GdB - 06 November 2012 11:20 PM

Don’t look for meaning in the (meta)physical world, you will not find it there.

I don’t think the scienctific world offers any answers either - every answer leads to another question.  Seems too much like a hampster wheel.

Exactly, but that is what I said: ‘Don’t look for meaning in the (meta)physical world’. It is a category mistake. In you posting here you seem to search for the physical possibility of eternal existence. You still want an answer from the hamster wheel called science?

And ‘every answer leads to another question’: yes of course! This is science, not religion! In religion one postulates an answer, when necessary with no empirical support at all, and that’s that. No further questions allowed. You want a final answer. To expect such a true answer exists is absurd, to think that science should deliver such an answer is even absurder.

What good is any answer then?  Just to pacify us for the moment?

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Posted: 08 November 2012 01:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 152 ]
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sobpatrick - 07 November 2012 03:16 PM

What good is any answer then?  Just to pacify us for the moment?

Well, in science there are a few different possible answers:
- the joy of understanding a bit more about the world around us
- in some case the possibility of new technology (think about all the technology based on quantum physics)

Your question only makes sense in the context of your search for final answers about the meaning of life. But there are no final answers to these, only provisional, and the hard sciences definitely are the wrong place even for provisional answers on such questions.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 153 ]
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GdB - 08 November 2012 01:40 AM
sobpatrick - 07 November 2012 03:16 PM

What good is any answer then?  Just to pacify us for the moment?

Well, in science there are a few different possible answers:
- the joy of understanding a bit more about the world around us
- in some case the possibility of new technology (think about all the technology based on quantum physics)

Your question only makes sense in the context of your search for final answers about the meaning of life. But there are no final answers to these, only provisional, and the hard sciences definitely are the wrong place even for provisional answers on such questions.

Well if we believe the universe (multiverse) is infinite - can we really apply the word “more”?  Like taking a step towards infinity and thinking you’ll get closer to the end. It also becomes a value judgement you can ask the question “are we better off (happier) today than in the past?” maybe 30 years ago - maybe two hundred.  Personally I found myself to be happier 30 years ago - this may just be a general feeling most people have recalling the past, and not associated with technology at all.  Anyhow - to me there seems to be an illusionary aspect to the whole notion of progress.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 154 ]
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Well if we believe the universe (multiverse) is infinite - can we really apply the word “more”?  Like taking a step towards infinity and thinking you’ll get closer to the end. It also becomes a value judgement you can ask the question “are we better off (happier) today than in the past?” maybe 30 years ago - maybe two hundred.  Personally I found myself to be happier 30 years ago - this may just be a general feeling most people have recalling the past, and not associated with technology at all.  Anyhow - to me there seems to be an illusionary aspect to the whole notion of progress.


It seems to me by reading your latest post that you seemingly have a fear of your own future and haven’t excepted the concept of your own ending. Also, when we look back into the past our memories are clouded by having a tendency to cull out the bad incidents and remember only the good, and unless you kept a daily journal (most people don’t any more) you can’t accurately judge your past being positive or negative unless you experienced a catastrophic incident such as a near fatal accident or combat. Technologically at least you are better off than you were 30 years ago. You wouldn’t be sharing your thoughts with us then. You also live in a much less violent time period. You’re still contemplating the idea that there’s “something out there” that we haven’t found yet. Maybe, but it’s certainly impersonal.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 08 November 2012 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 155 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 08 November 2012 06:36 AM

Well if we believe the universe (multiverse) is infinite - can we really apply the word “more”?  Like taking a step towards infinity and thinking you’ll get closer to the end. It also becomes a value judgement you can ask the question “are we better off (happier) today than in the past?” maybe 30 years ago - maybe two hundred.  Personally I found myself to be happier 30 years ago - this may just be a general feeling most people have recalling the past, and not associated with technology at all.  Anyhow - to me there seems to be an illusionary aspect to the whole notion of progress.


It seems to me by reading your latest post that you seemingly have a fear of your own future and haven’t excepted the concept of your own ending. Also, when we look back into the past our memories are clouded by having a tendency to cull out the bad incidents and remember only the good, and unless you kept a daily journal (most people don’t any more) you can’t accurately judge your past being positive or negative unless you experienced a catastrophic incident such as a near fatal accident or combat. Technologically at least you are better off than you were 30 years ago. You wouldn’t be sharing your thoughts with us then. You also live in a much less violent time period. You’re still contemplating the idea that there’s “something out there” that we haven’t found yet. Maybe, but it’s certainly impersonal.

 

Cap’t Jack

I’m not sure about it being impersonal.  Maybe you can shed some light on what physicists call the “measurement problem”  I’ve heard it described as “every atom is everywhere till you want it to be somewhere”.  This gives a very personal aspect to the physical universe (if true).  I don’t know if “fear” is the word I’d use to describe my own ending - curious would be better - especially since I’ve had numerous “close calls” with death.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 156 ]
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sobpatrick - 08 November 2012 05:59 AM

Well if we believe the universe (multiverse) is infinite - can we really apply the word “more”?  Like taking a step towards infinity and thinking you’ll get closer to the end.

Only someone who does not understand infinity would think that. As GdB said:

And ‘every answer leads to another question’: yes of course! This is science, not religion! In religion one postulates an answer, when necessary with no empirical support at all, and that’s that. No further questions allowed. You want a final answer. To expect such a true answer exists is absurd, to think that science should deliver such an answer is even absurder.

Yet you keep saying science is failing because every answer brings a new question. Scientific progress has always uncovered new questions with each step forward, yet people in the United States are finally beginning to turn away from religion. Europeans have already pretty much abandoned religion.

sobpatrick - 08 November 2012 05:59 AM

It also becomes a value judgement you can ask the question “are we better off (happier) today than in the past?” maybe 30 years ago - maybe two hundred.  Personally I found myself to be happier 30 years ago - this may just be a general feeling most people have recalling the past, and not associated with technology at all.  Anyhow - to me there seems to be an illusionary aspect to the whole notion of progress.

You’re projecting. I’m happier than I was 30 years ago, and the AARP keeps reminding me that study after study shows most people get happier as they age. Just because you are unhappy does not mean the majority of people are unhappy. Just because scientific progress bothers you does not mean it bothers the majority of people. Despite what the bassackwards know-nothings in the Tea Party profess most people are fine with science and enjoy discussing and pondering the role of science in society. The vast majority of people in Western society are better off than they be would be without the scientific progress made in the 19th and 20th centuries. You could not discuss this issue with us without the advances made in quantum physics. Like it or not, the theory works.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 157 ]
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sobpatrick - 08 November 2012 05:59 AM

Personally I found myself to be happier 30 years ago - this may just be a general feeling most people have recalling the past, and not associated with technology at all.  Anyhow - to me there seems to be an illusionary aspect to the whole notion of progress.

That is a different topic. Your expectation of getting a final answer from science has nothing to do with that. You are shifting the subject.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 158 ]
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I’m not sure about it being impersonal.  Maybe you can shed some light on what physicists call the “measurement problem”  I’ve heard it described as “every atom is everywhere till you want it to be somewhere”.  This gives a very personal aspect to the physical universe (if true).  I don’t know if “fear” is the word I’d use to describe my own ending - curious would be better - especially since I’ve had numerous “close calls” with death.

 

And did you have an epiphany concerning your relationship with the physical universe as a result of these experiences? I’ve had a couple myself and they led me to believe that life is best lived a day at a time and we should appreciate each minute of the time we have. That’s why learning is my mantra. Also, totally agree with Darron that I’m a hellava lot better off than I was 30 years ago and much happier. I even have more toys to play with like this IPad, which I’m still learning to use. On the measurement problem,try Evert’s explanation and there are others with similar theories.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 08 November 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 159 ]
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I think that some smart, young, entrepernurial kids should start renting themselves out as personal tutors to teach people how to use their IPads.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 160 ]
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So this entire thread exists because Pat is suffering from existentialist angst?  Cute.

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 08 November 2012 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 161 ]
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Dead Monky - 08 November 2012 09:33 AM

So this entire thread exists because Pat is suffering from existentialist angst?  Cute.

Yep. That’s pretty much it.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 162 ]
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DarronS - 08 November 2012 09:35 AM
Dead Monky - 08 November 2012 09:33 AM

So this entire thread exists because Pat is suffering from existentialist angst?  Cute.

Yep. That’s pretty much it.

I’m experiencing the “the more I know, the less I know” conundrum - not sure if that qualifies as existentialist angst.  Having said that, I’m proud to say I know nothing for certain and knowing less everyday.  I guess my point about happyness is that more kids are inside texting or on facebook rather than outside playing with friends.  I don’t consider this progress - not sure how many of you consider this progress

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Posted: 09 November 2012 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 163 ]
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sobpatrick - 08 November 2012 01:03 PM

I’m experiencing the “the more I know, the less I know” conundrum - not sure if that qualifies as existentialist angst.  Having said that, I’m proud to say I know nothing for certain and knowing less everyday.  I guess my point about happyness is that more kids are inside texting or on facebook rather than outside playing with friends.  I don’t consider this progress - not sure how many of you consider this progress

Okay, and?  What the hell does that have to do with anything you’ve been arguing about over the last ten pages?

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Posted: 09 November 2012 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 164 ]
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Dead Monky - 09 November 2012 08:29 AM
sobpatrick - 08 November 2012 01:03 PM

I’m experiencing the “the more I know, the less I know” conundrum - not sure if that qualifies as existentialist angst.  Having said that, I’m proud to say I know nothing for certain and knowing less everyday.  I guess my point about happyness is that more kids are inside texting or on facebook rather than outside playing with friends.  I don’t consider this progress - not sure how many of you consider this progress

Okay, and?  What the hell does that have to do with anything you’ve been arguing about over the last ten pages?

responding to your angst comment-

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Posted: 10 November 2012 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 165 ]
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sobpatrick - 08 November 2012 01:03 PM

I’m experiencing the “the more I know, the less I know” conundrum - not sure if that qualifies as existentialist angst.  Having said that, I’m proud to say I know nothing for certain and knowing less everyday.

Knowing nothing for certain is one of the hallmarks of science, although I cannot fathom why one would be proud to say such: that’s just reality. As for knowing less every day, that would be pathetic if true, however I suspect you are being disingenuously modest. If you really are getting more ignorant every day I feel sorry for you.

I guess my point about happyness (sic) is that more kids are inside texting or on facebook rather than outside playing with friends.  I don’t consider this progress - not sure how many of you consider this progress

Older generations complaining about younger generations goes back at least as far as our written history, and probably much further than that. The younger generation is no better or worse than us old farts. I probably have a skewed perspective because I am in college, but the younger people I know are very engaged and motivated, and many of them openly discuss their disdain for religion.

[ Edited: 10 November 2012 03:34 AM by DarronS ]
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