Question about Atheism

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It doesn't require me to have faith for me being an atheist. It's a false assumption to state that being an atheist requires faith. Despite your "personal feelings". If atheism requires one to have faith, then atheism would not be atheism (by definition), therefore your remark is self-contradictionary.
How have u defined atheism? Believing nothing?

See also my previous post why I argue that there isn't any reason one could assume that the existence of a deity is a necessary or reasonable explenation.
What if we drop the assumption that mind is an emergent property of matter, which is what seperates origin of mind in a temporal sense from origin of universe?
 
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How have u defined atheism? Believing nothing?
I don't think that to believe in something contradicts atheism, since it is the case we don't have complete knowledge, so sometimes we make assumptions for which we don't have sufficient reason/knowledge. This assumption we may qualify as a belief.

[ For example, assume you forgot your key and you can't remember where you left it. For that reason you make for instance the assumption that you left it on your table, although you are not sure about it. ]

So, sometime we belief something is the case for which we don't have sufficient proof.
I think it is quite natural and part of our natural being to make sometimes decission on insufficient proof, and this may well relate to our evolutionary origin. If we would only take action in cases in which we have sufficient proof, maybe that would have caused negative outcomes for survival chances.

Atheism is a category of world outlooks which don't start out or are based on the idea that a supernatural being or deity created the world.

However, I don't consider myself to be an atheist (although my worldoutlook may certainly be classified as such) but as a materialist, which takes the stand that matter is primary, and consciousness is secundary.


What if we drop the assumption that mind is an emergent property of matter, which is what seperates origin of mind in a temporal sense from origin of universe?
What is mind, if not dependend on properties of matter? We know our mind is material in essence, else this would mean that my mind could not effect the material and could not be aware of the material world, and I could not move, speak, or do anything with material effects.

Such a mind would then in principle be undetectable, which makes it non-sensical to assume.
 
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Hurkyl
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I don't have to give a "proof" that deities don't exist as in general one can not proof a negative
If you can't "proof" a negative, then isn't your belief in said negative based on faith? :tongue:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
 
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What if we drop the assumption that mind is an emergent property of matter, which is what seperates origin of mind in a temporal sense from origin of universe?
If you wish to postulate a duality between mind and body, you must address the long standing Problem of Interactionism.

How does an immaterial mind causally interact with a material body?
 
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If you can't "proof" a negative, then isn't your belief in said negative based on faith? :tongue:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
I said I don't have to proof the non-existence of a deity. It is not a requirement.

The reason for why not to believe in a deity is that there is no reason to assume it exists.

That is already satisfactory, since said deity has no reason to exist, unless necessary.

So a deity that exists despite it not being necessary the case is self contradictionary.
 
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How does an immaterial mind causally interact with a material body?
Because *mind* is material !

:tongue:
 
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Atheism is a category of world outlooks which don't start out or are based on the idea that a supernatural being or deity created the world.
Would u say that atheism implies believing that no intelligent/purposeful cause was involved in the origin of the universe?

What is mind, if not dependend on properties of matter? We know our mind is material in essence, else this would mean that my mind could not effect the material and could not be aware of the material world, and I could not move, speak, or do anything with material effects.
No that doesnt have to be so, it only demonstrates interaction between mind and matter. It doesnt say that matter is primal, or mind is primal, or how deep mind extends into the physical even if it does emerge from it, or whether both are flipsides of the same coin no matter what configuration the physical takes and so have existed equally long, or they both come from some 'neutral substance' which is neither objective nor subjective but something different/inbetween/both.
 
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Because *mind* is material !

:tongue:
I share your position, I am simply posing the question to PIT2.

No that doesnt have to be so, it only demonstrates interaction between mind and matter. It doesnt say that matter is primal, or mind is primal, or how deep mind extends into the physical even if it does emerge from it, or whether both are flipsides of the same coin no matter what configuration the physical takes and so have existed equally long, or they both come from some 'neutral substance' which is neither objective nor subjective but something different/inbetween/both.
Of course this argument is based on assumptions, however, it seems logical to use the least amount of unverified assumptions as possible.

Perhaps this analogy might make better sense:

When one considers water, one can determine various properties of the water. One significant emergent property of water is it's wetness. When discussing the property of wetness, it does not make logical sense to seperate this property from water and treat it as an independent and tangible object. Instead, we discuss wetness as a property of the chemical structure of the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

Consciousness can be considered an emergent property of the brain and in this sense is inextricably, interconnected to the architecture of the brain. When considering consciousness as a property of the physical brain in the same regard one considers wetness as a property of water, one can see a dilemma.

Matter alone does not posses consciousness, however, when arranged in a specific physical pattern or structure, consciousness emerges.

This dilemma arises out of the etymology of the word 'consciousness' as 'ness' implies a substance or that consciousness is some tangible object seperate from the brain. However, it doesn't make sense to seperate these two as consciousness is an emergent property of the brain's architecture.

Hydrogen and oxygen alone, do not possess wetness (as far as I know), however, through their synthesis, wetness arises. Wetness is dependent upon the chemical structure.

In this sense, it doesn't make much sense to assume consciousness merely emerges out of matter, instead, it is more appropriate to consider consciousness as a unique property of the brain's architecture. We know if we alter the electro biochemical properties of the brain or it's physical structure, we can drastically effect consciousness.

In this respect, we eliminate the Problem of Interactionism because we do not postulate consciousness as something seperate.

When you discuss consciousness, you treat it as though it is an object. You are your consciousness. As you expore what consciousness is, it is in fact your consciousness (you) that is trying to understand itself.

There is a flaw in language which seperates these things into seperate substances.
 
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Would u say that atheism implies believing that no intelligent/purposeful cause was involved in the origin of the universe?
No, not necessarily, I think.

But that is some far fetched and infers some specific cosmologic theory (cosmological inflation) which, acc. to the founder of that theory, Andrei Linde, would make it in principle possible to "create" a universe in a laboratory .

This however would not imply a "begin" of the cosmos at large, but just creating a baby universe.

Personally I think it is a bit far fetched to make that assumption, I think Andrei Linde brought that idea up to ridicule religion.

No that doesnt have to be so, it only demonstrates interaction between mind and matter. It doesnt say that matter is primal, or mind is primal, or how deep mind extends into the physical even if it does emerge from it, or whether both are flipsides of the same coin no matter what configuration the physical takes and so have existed equally long, or they both come from some 'neutral substance' which is neither objective nor subjective but something different/inbetween/both.
Sorry, I don't follow this.

My argument is that mind is inconceivable without matter and must be material in essence. Unless mind itself is material in essence, it *can't* interact with matter.
The only mind we know of are minds of humans (and perhaps to a lesser extend of other living organisms). We know matter is much older then any mind we know of or can think of.

A mind which would not be based on matter is something inconceivable.
 
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Hydrogen and oxygen alone, do not possess wetness (as far as I know), however, through their synthesis, wetness arises. Wetness is dependent upon the chemical structure.
But there is no 'wetness'. Each property of 'wetness' is reducible to the hydrogen and oxygen and further down to the electrons and protons, etc(in the end wetness is still just motion). The reason we think of wetness as something different from motion, is because of our minds. To a retard incapable of any reductionist reasoning, the whole world can seem full of fundamentally different parts. To an omniscient genius, the world would look like one single blurry substance from which he understands how all else derives. U can see that the difference is only in their minds abilities to reduce. But how can that mind itself be the result of the minds ability to reduce?

Im not saying that mind is not emergent from matter, just that this is a metaphysical question, and it is just as problematic as the other options. It takes faith to think of that one as truth, and judge the other ones (which could logically lead to the idea that subjectivity was involved in the origin of the universe) as nontrue.
 
But there is no 'wetness'. Each property of 'wetness' is reducible to the hydrogen and oxygen and further down to the electrons and protons, etc(in the end wetness is still just motion). The reason we think of wetness as something different from motion, is because of our minds. To a retard incapable of any reductionist reasoning, the whole world can seem full of fundamentally different parts. To an omniscient genius, the world would look like one single blurry substance from which he understands how all else derives. U can see that the difference is only in their minds abilities to reduce. But how can that mind itself be the result of the minds ability to reduce?

Im not saying that mind is not emergent from matter, just that this is a metaphysical question, and it is just as problematic as the other options. It takes faith to think of that one as truth, and judge the other ones (which could logically lead to the idea that subjectivity was involved in the origin of the universe) as nontrue.
You essentially just deconstructed the whole of macrocosmic reality down into a simple component of motion, ignoring the physical phenomena and properties that emerge. Using your logic, nothing exists except for quantum entities zipping around in endless patterns and combinations.

You are denying the existence of complexity and organization as real components and consider them to be essentially illusions.

I have no idea where you are going with this but I would be glad to help develop your argument, it might have some logical foundation. I haven't heard anyone critique my view of consciousness in such a way so this should be interesting.
 
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But that is some far fetched and infers some specific cosmologic theory (cosmological inflation) which, acc. to the founder of that theory, Andrei Linde, would make it in principle possible to "create" a universe in a laboratory .

This however would not imply a "begin" of the cosmos at large, but just creating a baby universe.
Thats one possibility. Another one was mentioned by Paul Davies when he talked about retrocausality. He suggested that human beings right now might have some retrocausal effect even on the big bang, and that this could be why the universe was so finely tuned for life. But there are also other options. It depends on what u define as supernatural or deity.

My argument is that mind is inconceivable without matter and must be material in essence. Unless mind itself is material in essence, it *can't* interact with matter.
Even if so, and even if mind is the result of computation, brains arent the only material structures in the universe, or the only places where computation takes place. Depending on how deep mind originates in the complexity matter can also have an influence on where it is to be found.
 
Also, it is only a metaphysical concern when one assumes that consciousness is something more than physical.

I would like you to demonstrate one immaterial substance which would give you a logical reason to assume an extra component of reality.

My contention is that the immaterial emerges through the expression of language and is not present in reality. I welcome your rebuttal.
 
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But there is no 'wetness'. Each property of 'wetness' is reducible to the hydrogen and oxygen and further down to the electrons and protons, etc(in the end wetness is still just motion). The reason we think of wetness as something different from motion, is because of our minds.
Wetness is a sensory perception, which we catagorize in our mind as such. Wetness is not just the property of water, but how it acts on our skin and causes this sensory perceptions.

To a retard incapable of any reductionist reasoning, the whole world can seem full of fundamentally different parts. To an omniscient genius, the world would look like one single blurry substance from which he understands how all else derives. U can see that the difference is only in their minds abilities to reduce. But how can that mind itself be the result of the minds ability to reduce?
I'm not following this.

For instance, an omniscient genius, to which the world is a single blurry, for that same reason that he perceives it as such, can not understand how "all else" derives, since there is no "all else" in his/her/it's perception. So this "omniscient genius" would in fact have little, or no knowledge at all about the world, since all would be a indeferiantated single blurr, from which nothing at all could be infered.

So, this makes no sense to me at all.

The last sentence realy surpasses my ability to comprehend what you mean: "How can that mind itself itself be the result of the minds ability to reduce?"

Don't know what you mean by that. Minds are not results of 'minds ability to reduce', but instead minds are results of very long lasting evolutionary and biological processes. Any mind we know of this far at least.

Im not saying that mind is not emergent from matter, just that this is a metaphysical question, and it is just as problematic as the other options. It takes faith to think of that one as truth, and judge the other ones (which could logically lead to the idea that subjectivity was involved in the origin of the universe) as nontrue.
What "other options". I don't get it. What is problematic about the understanding that mind can not be seperate and not something entirely different as matter, but just requires some very specific material configuration?

So far we don't see any problems with that, the only problems we face here is that we can not comprehend you!
 
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You essentially just deconstructed the whole of macrocosmic reality down into a simple component of motion, ignoring the physical phenomena and properties that emerge. Using your logic, nothing exists except for quantum entities zipping around in endless patterns and combinations.
I didnt say the properties arent real, i said that the properties emerge from it, and that the more powerful minds we have, the better we would be able to reduce properties into lower level properties. Physicalism holds that only one substance exists, but what this actually is when fully reduced i couldnt guess.

You are denying the existence of complexity and organization as real components and consider them to be essentially illusions.
I dont neccesarily hold that view myself. I have tried reasoning if a single property-less substance makes any sense, whether it is even a substance at all, but i didnt get far enough to have a view on this.
 
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Thats one possibility. Another one was mentioned by Paul Davies when he talked about retrocausality. He suggested that human beings right now might have some retrocausal effect even on the big bang, and that this could be why the universe was so finely tuned for life. But there are also other options. It depends on what u define as supernatural or deity.
I don't see any reason to assume any fine tuning. We simply exist under the conditions which makes our form of life possible. It would therefore be an impossibility for the universe (the part we can know about) to exist in any other form (for instance in a form not allowing stellar formation or atoms to exist, or stable planetary orbits, etc. etc.), because then we would not be what we are, or not exist at all.

There is no fine tuning. We are a possibility and therefore we do exist.
In an infinite universe (eternal in time and unlimited/unbounded in extend) that sometimes happens..... It is not something unusual.

It becomes only unusual or very unlikely, when you make weird assumptions about the universe, but that is merely a deception.

Even if so, and even if mind is the result of computation, brains arent the only material structures in the universe, or the only places where computation takes place. Depending on how deep mind originates in the complexity matter can also have an influence on where it is to be found.
I don't follow this.
 
While I am a materialist, I do not embrace the notion of computationalism as the sole engineer of consciousness. However, regardless of 'how' consciousness emerges out of the brain's architecture, the general conclusion that consciousness is physical, still remains.

However, let's return back to the discussion of consciousness as material or immaterial.
 
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Wetness is a sensory perception, which we catagorize in our mind as such. Wetness is not just the property of water, but how it acts on our skin and causes this sensory perceptions.
Yes thats my point, its just the same lower level properties, just our minds which view it as something 'new'.

For instance, an omniscient genius, to which the world is a single blurry, for that same reason that he perceives it as such, can not understand how "all else" derives, since there is no "all else" in his/her/it's perception. So this "omniscient genius" would in fact have little, or no knowledge at all about the world, since all would be a indeferiantated single blurr, from which nothing at all could be infered.

So, this makes no sense to me at all.
Ok forget the omniscient part and consider normal human beings. We are capable of reducing things to lower level properties. But if we were halfway evolved between our apelike ancestors and homo sapiens, then our reductionistic reasoning would be less powerful. We would see fire, and think it is a fundamental property. Same with water, earth, etc. Isnt it the view of physicalists that everything can be reduced to the physical and its fundamental properties, but that our minds are simply holding us back from seeing it?

The last sentence realy surpasses my ability to comprehend what you mean: "How can that mind itself itself be the result of the minds ability to reduce?"

Don't know what you mean by that.
It applies to the example of wetness as something 'new' (which was used as an analogy for our minds). Wetness as 'something new' is a result of our minds viewing it as such (when we look at wetness closer with our human intellect, we see that wetness is just the same lower level properties at work). And this cant be the case with our minds as 'something new'.

What "other options". I don't get it. What is problematic about the understanding that mind can not be seperate and not something entirely different as matter, but just requires some very specific material configuration?
Besides materialism/physicalism(which u think is true) and dualism, there also exist subjective idealism, panpsychism, panexperientalism, neutral monism, and i dont know what else.
 
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I don't see any reason to assume any fine tuning. We simply exist under the conditions which makes our form of life possible. It would therefore be an impossibility for the universe (the part we can know about) to exist in any other form (for instance in a form not allowing stellar formation or atoms to exist, or stable planetary orbits, etc. etc.), because then we would not be what we are, or not exist at all.
Many scientists agree that the universe appears finetuned for life. One of the explanations for this is the one u mention (anthropic principle i think). In string theory it is claimed there are something like 500 trillion billion etc, possible universes, and that the laws in each or most of those would render life impossible, except for ours (i dont agree that they could know what is required for life). String theory is criticised for this, because it doesnt explain why our universe is the way it is, it simple states that there exist almost infinite other universes that are different. It explains as much about a universe without any matter, as it does about ours.

I don't follow this.
U said that mind emerges from the brain. And i say brain is the same matter and forces that exist in the rest of the universe. So even if u say mind emerges from matter, that leaves the rest of the universe open for it to exist. The moon is made of matter...
 
Ok forget the omniscient part and consider normal human beings. We are capable of reducing things to lower level properties. But if we were halfway evolved between our apelike ancestors and homo sapiens, then our reductionistic reasoning would be less powerful. We would see fire, and think it is a fundamental property. Same with water, earth, etc. Isnt it the view of physicalists that everything can be reduced to the physical and its fundamental properties, but that our minds are simply holding us back from seeing it?
I don't see how establishing an argument for the evolution of consciousness supports your contention. If we were to consider the perspective of a transition organism between 'ape' and 'homosapien' we would be confronted with very limited cognitive abilities.

The fact that as we have evolved and our consciousness has evolved, seems like direct evidence in support of consciousness as a property of the brain. Had consciousness been seperate, it would not rely on the brains evolution to dynamically expand itself, would it?

You posit that during a transitional stage, humanoids would have lacked the cognitive foresight and conscious awareness to reduce reality. As we evolve and our consciousness evolves, we gain better reductive skills. If the process continues exponentially, wouldn't it imply that we will in time, reduce consciousness fully?

I fail to see how demonstrating the evolution of consciousness in direct relation to the evolution of our species, proves an immaterial consciousness?

Is my perception severely distorted?
 
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Also, it is only a metaphysical concern when one assumes that consciousness is something more than physical.

I would like you to demonstrate one immaterial substance which would give you a logical reason to assume an extra component of reality.
Well, seriously, the burden of proof is on the ones claiming that it is physical. We can see/feel that there is an enormous difference between 'pain' and a rock, so I dont have to prove that they are different beyond comparison. Just ask urself how heavy the number 9 weighs. Its a meaningless question.

If matter is red, and experiences are blue, and we can all see the difference, then the ones claiming they are both red should demonstrate this. (it may be impossible though)

I do claim that experiences are not physical, and with physical i mean physical in the sense of what science currently thinks constitutes 'physical'. The comparison between that and experiences is still as meaningless as ever.
 
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Intregral said:
I am happy with saying that time and space did not exist before the big bang, at least that is a starting point, god on the other hand, by the very definition of the concept, has no begining, this is a bit hard for me to swallow.
Hard to swallow like a dog getting taught derivative, like our muslim friend said :smile:
moe darklight said:
To you is religion, and to me is reason.

Atheism is not a religion... by its very definition Atheism is the complete opposite of religion... that atheism is just another religion is something that religious thinkers tell themselves and each other as a way of dismissing Atheism. Atheists don't have a belief system... i guess our only rule would be to lean towards whatever 'makes sense'.
Personally I think it is a belief system, where one doesnt believe in a deity. However I have seen it quoted as a state where one doesnt have theistic beliefs. Either way its core seems to be belief system, not so far removed in its structure to any other belief system. One cannot prove their is not deity, in the same way one cannot prove their is one, so it all come down to what you believe, or have faith in. So where does that leave your reasoning? If one is to reason about this logically to its end, one has to say: "I dont know"

So to say your reasoning lead you to be Atheist has to have included in it some acts of faith, unless of course you can now prove thier isnt a God? Of course this leave what you said as a fallacy, (Ie To you is religion, and to me is reason) IMHO.
 
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You posit that during a transitional stage, humanoids would have lacked the cognitive foresight and conscious awareness to reduce reality. As we evolve and our consciousness evolves, we gain better reductive skills. If the process continues exponentially, wouldn't it imply that we will in time, reduce consciousness fully?
Look at my topic in this section about microbial consciousness. The scientists looking at those seem to be able to recognise a very primitive form of behaviour that is often considered unique to conscious beings. In other words its not clear how far mind goes back in evolution, and there is also no guarantee that it will be fully reduced when going back to the very first organism, or even before that. Of course if earlier animals have a very primitive form of consciousness, then the more complex they get, the more advanced their mental capacities will get.

Please if u reply about this, do it in that topic. Or else we go to far offtopic here.
Lets get back to what options atheism rules out.
 
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Yes thats my point, its just the same lower level properties, just our minds which view it as something 'new'.

Ok forget the omniscient part and consider normal human beings. We are capable of reducing things to lower level properties. But if we were halfway evolved between our apelike ancestors and homo sapiens, then our reductionistic reasoning would be less powerful. We would see fire, and think it is a fundamental property. Same with water, earth, etc. Isnt it the view of physicalists that everything can be reduced to the physical and its fundamental properties, but that our minds are simply holding us back from seeing it?
What is "physicalist"? I don't see myself as a physicalist but as a materialist.

A different mind (brain) sees the world different, and also a being with different sense organs, sees the world different.

That is true of course.

But how does that not concede with materialism?

I don't get it.

It applies to the example of wetness as something 'new' (which was used as an analogy for our minds). Wetness as 'something new' is a result of our minds viewing it as such (when we look at wetness closer with our human intellect, we see that wetness is just the same lower level properties at work). And this cant be the case with our minds as 'something new'.
It is not just the mind, but also the sense organs.

I don't understand your arguments, sorry.

Besides materialism/physicalism(which u think is true) and dualism, there also exist subjective idealism, panpsychism, panexperientalism, neutral monism, and i dont know what else.
And you didn't mention: the various religions, etc.
And solipsism (which is subjective idealism, I guess).

So?
 

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