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  1. #21
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    atheism can not possibly be handled like definition. its a choice.
    you are not born atheistic, and then labeled by others.
    you buy into the atheistic believe, or you don't.
    so its believe and identification, that makes an atheist. not a definition.

    if atheism is defined by me, and i say they are identified with irrational believe, and you say all who are matched by a definition are just that, then i can group them all day long. but is was still their choice to be that.
    .
    so, the point is, that we disagree about wheter atheism must involve irrational believe and identification (hence about the definition)

  2. #22
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    If the norm is theistic belief, then the absence of such a stance is a stance in itself. The disagreement of policy/influence due to the theistic belief is also a pro-active position for any atheist to take. The definition does not limit such groupings or identities, especially not when they serve a real and tangible goal.
    i have no idea what you are saying here. probably language barrier. however it seems to be quite the obfuscation.

    i dont know what positive atheists are, but ... duh!
    if you think there are types of atheists, and you are not like "them" then maybe don't call yourself atheist!

    because atheism is not commonly understood as a typology!

    and whatever I say about atheists can not possibly stereotype you, if you don't call yourself by a label that does not fit you.

    That's irrelevant to my positive set of beliefs, especially considering I am distinctly against the 'mystic view' of reality.
    i don't understand that sentence either.

    are you trying to say that you are, what is usually called agnostic? meaning someone who "knows that he can not know" but who believes that mysticism is probably not a good methodology?

    then you are not an atheist.

  3. #23
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    It always seems kinda silly to call myself an atheist.

    I mean I don't believe in Poseidon or unicorns. And it would be silly and futile to give evidence for my lack of belief in Poseidon or unicorns.

    So it would seem silly to call myself an atheist in regard to Poseidon or unicorns.

    It seems to me that if I did believe in Poseidon or unicorns, I would give evidence for my belief.

    But if I don't believe, there is no need for me to give evidence.

    So it seems to me that the burden of proof is on believers rather than on atheists.

    So I think it would be mistake to call myself an atheist. I mean it is just a defensive position and there is no intellectual reason for unbelievers to be defensive.

    But of course there are good social reasons for disbelievers to be defensive.

  4. #24
    it's a nuclear device antireconciler's Avatar
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    ^ Victor, this is a highly defensive argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    the original myths tell nothing about the rational or trans rational world we live in, because when they were envisioned by wise men, all of the structures of modern man's psyche and culture did not even exist yet.
    Well ... even if those structures weren't quite conscious to the rational mind when myths and very symbolic works were genearated, it doesn't mean those structures didn't exist. Reading mythology, while containing a lot that just isn't so, also tells a lot about the structure of the human mind and of the world. Yes, this is reinterpretation in a sense, but there is also a sense in which this is not reinterpretation at all and is merely reading into the ACTUAL CONTENT, which was otherwise buried in dream-images. Dreams, of course, are a great example of something which is quite telling of the structure of the mind, but which is presented at a level somewhat deprived of rational consciousness. I mean, one should have a kind of inner unwillingness to say downright that something is entirely devoid of meaning. But to say that it has SOME meaning also suggests that it participates in some degree of reflectivity of the mind, thus transmitting information relevant to rational reflective consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Metaphors form the basis of all language and mathematics.
    Ha, that's an obvious connection I hadn't made. =P ... that shouldn't make language any less real though. On the contrary, there's a sense in which everything is language-like because it is knowable, and nothing knowable is ineffable... (not sure if that's actually right ... going to have to think on that one)
    ~ a n t i r e c o n c i l e r
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  5. #25
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antireconciler View Post
    ...[metaphor] shouldn't make language any less real though.
    It is commonly thought that metaphors aren't real. So let's take a look under the hood -

    If a metaphor is a comparison of relationships, then a metaphor is a comparison.

    So the question now is - is a comparison real?

    For instance, if I compare an apple and an organge, the apple and the orange are real, but the comparison is not.

    So we can say a comparison is not real.

    And so we can also say a metaphor is not real.

    So we could say, a metaphor is imaginary like an imaginary number. And mathematics would never recover without imaginary numbers, and neither would we without metaphors.

    However we can also say, a metaphor connects what is real.

    So a metaphor is a bridge from one reality to another.

    However it is slightly more complicated than that as a relationship is also a bridge. And metaphors connect relationships.

    So we can now say a metaphor is bridge between bridges.

    So I find it hard to understand why metaphors get such a bad press when they are exquisite.

  6. #26
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    @antireconciler:

    unfortunately i cant give you a good example for how myths can be interpreted wrong, if the interpreter is not aware of how different the times and the people were, from himself. i could invent an example, but then they would tar me.

    if i understand you correctly ... you make the point that any pattern can be inspiring, a help for channeling something. like tarot cards are sometimes understood as introspective tool, and nothing else. they provoke projections, so we experience our selfs.

    i did not mean to say, that myths have no meaning, but that false reinterpretations have no meaning to the specific topic/realm, this reinterpretation tries to apply them to, that is to say: if you take a pattern that originated in psychology, but you are an astronomer, then you might apply the pattern to the stars and come to ridiculous conclusions about them. or its the other way round. (see, now i invented something, except i did not make it concrete enough, to disprove me )

    personally, i cant prove to you, that certain structures did actually not exist in the past.

    you already know, where i have been learning, so for the real deal go there ...

  7. #27
    it's a nuclear device antireconciler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    unfortunately i cant give you a good example for how myths can be interpreted wrong, if the interpreter is not aware of how different the times and the people were, from himself.
    I agree, and it is out of our understanding, for instance, that those who first gave expression to their spiritual sentiments (which is a remarkable leap for conscious development) did so using the conceptual tools available to them. The Bible, for example, is written with much that has to be understood with this background. Theories of mind, philosophy, psychology ... these are some very magnificent tools which were very inaccessible to the originators of the books of the Bible, but understanding this is what allows us to interpret the contents as capable of pointing toward universal truths, but simply expressed primitively. This in turn allows us to reject certain more literal interpretations which have just always been stumbling blocks.

    So when I think about it, I might have misunderstood you. I might be entirely agreeing with what you were saying. Certain structures, as tools, are the privilege of the time we live in. It is simply that the structure (of truth) we can draw out sources of the truth (like the Bible, but anything will do) has not changed. It is just progressively given less sophisticated expression the further back in history we go.

    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    you already know, where i have been learning, so for the real deal go there ...
    It is more fun this way, but thank you.
    ~ a n t i r e c o n c i l e r
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    What is life, lives.

  8. #28
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    atheism can not possibly be handled like definition. its a choice.
    All words have definitions that describe something. Atheist describes me, and others... logically, it has to follow that all atheists share something in common - the definition of atheism.

    you are not born atheistic, and then labeled by others.
    Everyone is born atheist - no one is born with theistic knowledge.

    so, the point is, that we disagree about wheter atheism must involve irrational believe and identification (hence about the definition)
    There are many foundations for why people conclude atheism is correct. Some are 'rational' and some are not. Atheism does not require any additional 'irrationality' than any other set of beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    i dont know what positive atheists are, but ... duh!
    if you think there are types of atheists, and you are not like "them" then maybe don't call yourself atheist!
    There are three/four sub-types of atheists... strong/weak, implicit/explicit. (wikipedia has a small section on it here)

    are you trying to say that you are, what is usually called agnostic? meaning someone who "knows that he can not know" but who believes that mysticism is probably not a good methodology?

    then you are not an atheist.
    I believe that all knowledge has a probability/accuracy attached to it, and each piece of known information that is available supports knowledge. Mysticism does not exist in that world view.

    I am partially agnostic, as I do not believe we have knowledge of any type that relates to the supernatural... however, I also do not believe we can have knowledge of the supernatural. The sheer existence of the supernatural affecting our world makes it natural. This makes me somewhere between strong and weak agnosticism, depending on interpretation.

    It is possible to be an agnostic atheist, just as it is possible to be an agnostic theist.

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