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The truth that I can't escape is that there is no deeper meaning


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This is little more than special pleading, though.

 

Extremely simplified, your basic point (and one inherent in the position of several others here) is that... "Yeah, those OTHER gods are silly nonsense with no merit, but MY version of god is different so your criticisms don't apply."

 

No... Your version really is not any different and yes, the same criticisms apply for the same reason. It's that reason why many of us treat them all the same. They are equally made up personal preferences and wishes, even though the assigned attributes and characteristics may from person to person.

 

Do you even bother reading people's posts before you start with your atheistic preaching (I apologise to all the other atheist but that is the only term that can be used to describe this guy)?

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And yet I presume you are neither actively engaged in suicide attempts, nor waiting to simply waste away. Why? Most likely because you simply cannot help the fact that you are hard-wired to value thin

That comment was indeed flippant and over-the-top, and I would never dream of trying to eradicate religion by authoritarian means - everyone certainly should have the right to believe as they wish whe

Neither. This is what some people might call a false dichotomy. I've clarified my "goal" at least 6 times in the thread from which this was split and also at least once in this one. There is really

The contention is that Polednice asserts that the concept of meaning is invalid if it does not exist within a transcendent context. Only "absolute" or "ultimate" meaning and value matters. I disagree with this.

I didn't say that those concepts are the only ones that matter because I also don't think they exist. I also said that, even given a supernatural being, there would still not be transcendental "meaning".

 

 

 

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I wouldn't mind understanding it. How would you elucidate its meaning?

 

Jesus was talking about the tax collectors, who he refered to as being strong and said they did not require a physician, but those who are ill do. Jesus said he came not to call upon righteous people, but sinners.

 

In conclusion, the tax collectors required help, they were sinners.

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I don't know what the OP is talking about. Some of my joy comes from accomplishment, but the greatest bliss I've felt was in acknowledgment that existence probably lacks any designed purpose. As soon as I began reorienting my thoughts around pride-based goals, the bliss began to fade. I think the bliss was the freedom of knowing that there was nothing I absolutely had to do.

 

EDIT: That said, I think using intentional ignorance to induce bliss, as Zapatos suggested, is usually counterproductive. If everybody disassociates from their responsibilities, no matter how large, nothing will get done. The ego isn't all bad.

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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No, that's not my basic point at all. I don't have a version of god. I'm saying that meaning and value are anthropological phenomena. They may or may not exist apart from human brains in some Platonic realm, or in a Divine Will, or whatever; but I doubt it. Psychology and neuroscience have a good bit to say about how we process the world and create meaning, coping mechanisms, value systems, and the like. I am only assuming that we are the source of meaning and value. If there were no sapient entities in the universe the discussion of existential meaning and values would be irrelevant.

Thanks for clarifying. My point still applies to others, but obviously not you.

 


Do you even bother reading people's posts before you start with your atheistic preaching

Yes, but sometimes I skim quickly and make mistakes. As much as I wish it were otherwise, I'm simply not perfect.

 

Atheist preaching, though? How is holding your claims about god(s) to the same standards that I hold everyone else's claims about everything else... preaching? Oh, that's right. It's not. It's being consistent and presenting some academic integrity... Ensuring consistency in my approach to the claims people make, regardless of the subject matter.

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I still don't understand what you are saying. What are the good portions and what are the bad? What is the silly extraneous stuff, and how have you determined this? And then what is the reality of it that you were referring to before? This is a cryptic discussion and I feel like I'm required to fill in the blanks and guess at what you're really trying to say.

 

Shared reverence and uncertainty toward what exactly? And what has this to do with what you were saying before?

 

the asinine cretin,

 

I suppose my rule would be, if the thing you, or I, or they are/am considering the truth, is a thing that only you or only I or only they can know, it is probably a false or made up, imaginary thing. Whereas if it is a thing that everybody can know, it is probably true.

 

Consider the condition of a person living their whole life, never hearing the name Jesus, nor any talk of his being the son of God or the messenger of God or anything about Christianity. The common things about reality that this hypothetical person and a devout Christian would both consider to be true, would be the true type things. The things about reality that only the Christian "knows" are probably the silly, made up stuff.

 

I am not trying to be cryptic. Just allowing that the truth that the asinine cretian knows and the truth that TAR2 knows, is already the case, is already true and need not be "pointed out" by one of us, to the other. The "unexplained" that needs no explanation, if you will. The already assumed, common reality that we are in and of.

 

Inow knows this thing we all share, Appolinaria knows it, everybody knows it...already.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

I forget what I was "saying before". Can you give me a hint?

 

As for "good and bad", I am calling things we tend to associate with, for whatever reasons, good, and things we tend to dissassociate with for what ever reasons, evil. These things might well be subjective.

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I wonder... if we were to analyze or think carefully about the way we're using the word "meaning" in this thread, would we discover that it implies a subject? Like, perhaps when we ask whether something (life, the universe, and so on) is meaningful, we're implicitly wondering if it is meaningful to someone.

 

If so, then the theist says it is meaningful to God, and therefore it is all meaningful even if it isn't meaningful to me personally (God's values = objectivity). So from a theistic perspective, an atheistic universe would be meaningless.

 

But from a thoroughly atheistic perspective, without any theistic reference or expectation (thus without any expectation of objective meaning), I can rest content that something is meaningful to me.

In fact, that's really all I feel I need. The fact that in aeons past and in aeons to come there will probably be no conscious agents to enjoy or endure the cosmos - what does that matter to me? For whatever reason, I value X, and X is meaningful to me. That's what I have, and what I need.

 

I feel no nostalgia for an authoritarian deity who can tell me "what really matters" in total disregard for my values. And I fervently distrust anyone who proposes to speak on behalf of such a deity, telling me what matters in total disregard for my values, as an explicit threat to my democratic values and liberty.

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It's perfectly normal to make mistakes and I realised that is what happened, but the 'atheist preaching' does not stem from that. Perhaps you might afford me some concentration just this once though.

 

If God does not exist, then as many have correctly pointed out, there is no pre-determined meaning to life. It is what it is. The only meaning is a personal meaning, there is no meaning in science, there is no meaning in reality, there is no meaning in anything, only meaning in what we decide. Now from that point we move to the meaning that the individual gives their life by believing in God and an implied universal meaning. The individual finds meaning in a creator which implies that the individual was created and perhaps even created for a purpose. You, on the other hand, are saying that such a meaning cannot be and furthermore are not replacing that lack of meaning with anything, but rather destroying meaning and leaving them desolate. In that sense you are preaching against individual meaning, which is the only truth that can ever exist without belief. Hopefully you will come to understand this and leave others to have what we all ultimately want, whether it is real or not. Unfortunately you have given your life meaning by believing that you are living as per an universal meaning, by spreading the 'truth' to others, much like an atheistic disciple. Your choice for meaning in life is to destroy the meaning of others.

 

 

It could be seen more charitably. I don't know iNow, so I don't have any idea whether you're interpreting his motives accurately. But a lot of people would rather live in a hell without illusion than live in hell imagining (or pretending) to live in a heaven. That's taking the opposition to extremes, so the point applies more forcefully when we're just talking about something like whether we can imagine that a god is watching us. And so, it's possible to understand at least some atheist proselytizers as being motivated by a desire to seek truth together rather than by a desire to ruin theists' lives.

 

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Jesus was talking about the tax collectors, who he refered to as being strong and said they did not require a physician, but those who are ill do. Jesus said he came not to call upon righteous people, but sinners.

 

In conclusion, the tax collectors required help, they were sinners.

 

My assumption was that the poster who alluded to that passage of Scripture was trying to make some relevant point to the discussion. I understand what the passage is about on the obvious level. It's the specific applicability and particular interpretation that I was inquiring about. Thanks though.

 

P.S. Auto Engineer,

 

I think it may not be important, and my curiosity has since dissolved, but here is the context anyway.

 

First Appolinaria said:

 

It's a shame that I can't freely discuss my uneasiness about existence, the meaning of the universe and question the purpose of life with others. I think these are normal feelings that no one should be afraid to discuss. If I were to ignore them, instead of facing them and coming up with a realistic solution, I would probably rely on religion.

 

Then Villain replied:

 

 

I think you will find that the religious are more than willing to talk about the reality of life and I'm not talking about the American idea of reality but the real world reality. Perhaps you are capable of understanding what Christ was talking about in Mark 2:17. I wouldn't bother with the nonsense that the majority on this forum have to say about religion, it is quite obvious that they have little understanding of it.

 

Here is the passage in question:

 

 

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

 

My question for Villain:

 

I wouldn't mind understanding it. How would you elucidate its meaning?

 

 

To elaborate, I wanted to know how this was being applied concretely to Appolinaria in the context of the discussion up to that time. If Villain's question were simply about the literal meaning of the verse than phrasing it as "perhaps you are capable of understanding" would just be rude condescension. Of course I don't think this was the case. I was just curious enough to request expansion of the idea from Villain.

 

the asinine cretin,

 

I suppose my rule would be, if the thing you, or I, or they are/am considering the truth, is a thing that only you or only I or only they can know, it is probably a false or made up, imaginary thing. Whereas if it is a thing that everybody can know, it is probably true.

 

Consider the condition of a person living their whole life, never hearing the name Jesus, nor any talk of his being the son of God or the messenger of God or anything about Christianity. The common things about reality that this hypothetical person and a devout Christian would both consider to be true, would be the true type things. The things about reality that only the Christian "knows" are probably the silly, made up stuff.

 

I am not trying to be cryptic. Just allowing that the truth that the asinine cretian knows and the truth that TAR2 knows, is already the case, is already true and need not be "pointed out" by one of us, to the other. The "unexplained" that needs no explanation, if you will. The already assumed, common reality that we are in and of.

 

Inow knows this thing we all share, Appolinaria knows it, everybody knows it...already.

That's a good rule of thumb. There are caveats and tangents, but I don't think this needs to be said. Thanks for the clarificatiom, TAR2.

 

I forget what I was "saying before". Can you give me a hint?

I'm okay with where things are at right now. Going back on this and the original thread doesn't seem worth it at the moment. Thanks again for the additional remarks.

 

Regards.

 

 

 

I wonder... if we were to analyze or think carefully about the way we're using the word "meaning" in this thread, would we discover that it implies a subject? Like, perhaps when we ask whether something (life, the universe, and so on) is meaningful, we're implicitly wondering if it is meaningful to someone.

 

If so, then the theist says it is meaningful to God, and therefore it is all meaningful even if it isn't meaningful to me personally (God's values = objectivity). So from a theistic perspective, an atheistic universe would be meaningless.

 

But from a thoroughly atheistic perspective, without any theistic reference or expectation (thus without any expectation of objective meaning), I can rest content that something is meaningful to me.

This fundamental distinction was intended in a couple of my posts. Maybe I'm not as clear as I think I am. And it's just a generalization as there are outlier points of view within theism and atheism that don't conform to this neat dichotomy. I mentioned Platonism in its broadest sense in an attempt to be a bit more inclusive. But still, I agree with you. In my experience, theists often assume that the source of meaning and value is extrinsic to humanity or it does not exist.

 

This is purely a tangent so feel free to disregard, but I think it is theoretically possible to have a theistic universe in which meaning and value are intrinsic to humanity and God could be regarded as the "source" in the sense of an efficient cause, at best. In other words, I think an essentially humanistic conception of meaning and values can hold within a theistic universe. It takes more assumptions than just the existence of God to think that without God values and meaning are void. Perhaps what underlies the idea is the attitude that without personal immortality, we might as well be nihilists. If my service to others, my devotion, or whatever it is I live for, is for nothing in an absolute, eternal view of things, then it's worthless and I might as well not bother. It's similar to the old, "if God doesn't exist, why be good?" Theist or not, I think we are good for reasons even more basic than religious world view. Similarly, I think our capacity for meaning and value is more basic than our construction of a supernatural world picture. But I've rambled enough. . . What do you think?

 

Edit: the usual typos

Edited by the asinine cretin
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This is purely a tangent so feel free to disregard, but I think it is theoretically possible to have a theistic universe in which meaning and value are intrinsic to humanity and God could be regarded as the "source" in the sense of an efficient cause, at best. In other words, I think an essentially humanistic conception of meaning and values can hold within a theistic universe. It takes more assumptions than just the existence of God to think that without God values and meaning are void. Perhaps what underlies the idea is the attitude that without personal immortality, we might as well be nihilists. If my service to others, my devotion, or whatever it is I live for, is for nothing in an absolute, eternal view of things, then it's worthless and I might as well not bother. It's similar to the old, "if God doesn't exist, why be good?" Theist or not, I think we are good for reasons even more basic than religious world view. Similarly, I think our capacity for meaning and value is more basic than our construction of a supernatural world picture. But I've rambled enough. . . What do you think?

 

 

'the asinine cretin'

 

Its not a tangent to me. Its more or less where I have been trying to go, that is argue toward, and then maybe a little more, in Inow's thread this split from, and in my responses to Appolinaria. With a challenge, or "opportunity" to one element.

 

If God is to be considered nature in the above paragraph, we need not consider anything that nature has to offer, as something extrinsic to humaness...if, we realize or acknowledge the fact that we ourselves as humans are 100% natural. That is, there are about a zillion things about us that exist elsewhere, that would realistically allow us to associate ourselves with those things. And very few, if any things that we could find only in ourselves, contrary to nature, or without natural causes.

 

Therefore what the universe is extrinsically capable of includes the creation of a human named TAR2. And the power and possibilities of the universe are already built into TAR2, therefore ARE intrinsic characteristics.

 

There is probably a name for this type of philosophy, but it seems to me to be very logical and a philosophy that anybody could hold, with no worries about being wrong. It doesn't require anything to be the case, that isn't already very apparent to everybody.

 

What people DO with this realization however, seems to cause a bit of contention. Some thusly take responsibility for everything, inappropriately. Some thusly take responsibility for nothing, inappropriately. Some thusly usurp the authority of nature for themselves, appropriately or inappropriately.

 

And in a lot, of cases, that I have noticed (including myself), people seem to feel the way they have it parsed is good, and feel that the way that people they talk to have it parsed is questionable, and that certain third parties have it completely wrong.

(like the linguistic finding that the same idea framed in the first person is good, in the second person questionable and in the third person negative... as in "I am exploring my sexuality", "you are loose", and "she is a slut".)

 

In anycase, it appears that whatever a person does with this "conscious human within a greater reality" thing it is bound to be somewhat appropriate for the individual and somewhat questionable to some, and downright inappropriate to others.

 

Inow feels that "Godidit" is a lously excuse for rational thinking...whereas I think its sort of a foregone conclusion (in the manner just expressed.)

 

Appolinaria,

 

Another way to look at it, is that if you know what "meaning" means, then automatically, there has to be meaning in the universe. Whether you find it in yourself, the other gal, or in the heavens.

 

Regards, TAR2

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Not really... to be human is to suffer. Even in the most utopian society there will always be things like loss of loved ones and physical pain. I can't even go on a peaceful walk without stepping on some kind of bug.

 

Screw the beauty and complexity, I don't really care. I think the universe sucks. Terrible things happen that don't involve human error. There will always be accidents. Little kids go through wood chippers in front of their fathers. Our loved ones are painfully tortured with illness before our eyes only to die and become a thought in our minds.

 

I think that you just made a great post and yes, this is also the way that I tend to look at things.

 

Buddhism may be able to explain why some people have to go through so much pain and suffering in their life just to leave this world in the end but in the end, does it really matter?

Edited by seriously disabled
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I think its normal to have hope and it is what keeps us breathing whether it is of the hope that humans will go beyond the earth and explore other earth like planets in other solar systems or the hope that religion gives that there is another realm out there which need to be explored and the interesting things it throws up.

 

 

 

 

Wilson_The_Volleyball.jpg

 

 

"I have to keep breathing. Tomorrow, the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring," he

 

says.

 

 

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