Welcome to Atheist Nexus and its thousands of good friends.
Do join groups like the busy discussion/debating group “ORIGINS” (Origins: Universe, Life, Humans, Evolution, Religion..... ).
I have been running a long discussion (over 60 posts) there about being "Proud to be Atheist" because we should all be at least inwardly proud---if not loudly proud---seeing that atheists and humanists hold the intellectual high ground of correctness over the fictions of the irrational, superstitious god believers.
I enjoy reading your comments. I hope you'll continue posting your thoughts and make me think.
I'm also glad to see someone in my age range here. Not that I mind all of the younger ones - it gives me hope for the future. But sometimes I feel like Methusaleh.
Plus, now and then it's fun to talk to someone who didn't just learn about Vietnam in a history book, or who actually went outside and looked up to the sky when we landed on the moon. A little grey hair can be a good thing.
Thanks for the compliment. I owe my condition to the good genes my mother and father gave me. True, I don't smoke. I quit when I was a little boy after my father caught me stealing his cigarettes. Fortunately, I've always eaten good and nutritious foods and in moderation. Thanks again.
"1.) Is faith epistemologically valid? 2.) Is the universe deterministic? 3.) How do you measure - or even discuss-aesthetics (as form? function? grace? morality?), what?"
I'll see if I can say something about these questions in a short way. 1.) It depends on how you view the enterprise of epistemology. The philosophers I respect the most see epistemology as an attempt to define the process of gaining "understanding", rather than "knowledge" (as knowledge traditionally conceived is almost impossible to get, and our understanding of the world from science depends critically on obvious and egregious falsehoods). That opens the door for faith, because one's faith might well help you understand the world. But it doesn't open the door very far, because it also requires that we judge between different ways of understanding the world on the basis of certain criteria (which end up putting faith-based perspectives very low on the list). So it becomes a case of "faith based perspectives can be minimally epistemologically valid but generally nowhere near as valid as scientifically-based systems". This puts many atheists in an uncomfortable position, but it seems to me an arguable epistemic approach. Kate Elgin's paper "True Enough", in Philosophical Issues, 14, Epistemology, 2004, is great on this.
2.) I have no idea! But I think a more important question is the question of human free-will - how it seems to us, and whether it actually is how it seems. There's a lot of debate about this amongst philosophers, neuroscientists etc. but I honestly think the jury's out at the moment. Some think that ultimately we will discover we have no free will. Others think that there are types of materialistic explanation of human consciousness that would leave the door open for free will.
3.) How you discuss aesthetics? Well, there are as many answers to that question as there are aestheticians, but I like to look at it in terms of symbolic function - how are these objects / actions functioning as symbols, and how does that affect us? This allows us to consider not only traditional art, but all symbolic interactions as "aesthetic" - including the moral interactions you describe. I am much influenced by Nelson Goodman here (a teacher of Kate Elgin's).
I may be misreading Elgin's piece, but I didn't read the las page as equating "tenable" with "invalid". Rather, I feel that we could say "it may have been tenable at one time, but no longer in light of competing theories which are more tenable". So there's a sort of bounded relativity to it. I will ask her about this question on Monday especially for you!
Hi AcesLucky, the most info about wonderism is in the discussions on the Wonderism group. I never really could consistently make videos, largely due to my ADHD and procrastination. But now I'm writing regularly for the group, so more info will continue to be posted there.
Wonderism is an attempt to articulate what I see as a common underlying set of ideas held by many of the best defenders of reason and science (best example being Carl Sagan). I personally adopted it as my own philosophy a few years ago, as opposed to just playing around with the ideas I was seeing in common.
I'm absolutely open to any doubts, skepticism or criticism, or just questions, comments, or other feedback. Please feel totally free to ask me anything on your mind about it. I would especially like to hear from those who have serious doubts or trepidation.
From checking out your site, you may be interested in the posts on pragmatism (about truth) and faith (about, well, faith). I totally agree with your sentiment about truth above faith. I think we likely hold similar evidence-based, rational philosophies. Wonderism is about bringing those ideas to a greater public audience, very much along the lines of what Carl Sagan was trying to do.
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OK. I am venting. My mother died two weeks ago. She was a “god fearing christian.” Before her death she refused all medical treatment. She wanted to be left alone. She even refused to speak with my brother who is a methodist minister. He is a pip, let me tell you! I suspect she did not believe, but a woman born in her time could not and did not state her actual beliefs. This is the opening salvo to all christians; FUCK YOU! I had so many people come and tell…
This probably should not have shocked me as much as it did (especially since I am in Texas). I actually thought my coworkers were playing a joke on me because they know I am an atheist. Sadly, this was no joke. This actually happened.
I work in a psychiatric hospital. The doctors who admit patients are general MDs. (Psychiatrists see patients after admission) Yesterday evening we received several calls from irate parents. A new doctor who was doing admissions yesterday actually…
No Jason Torpy it is you that should be banned for promoting atheism, a belief that has no foundation in reality and zero proof behind it. The letter was a mockery of your atheist beliefs. I request to the board here that they remove Jason for his unverifiable beliefs in atheism for which he has no proof other than his arrogance. The letter was a mockery of atheism. Atheism is stupid and it should be mocked and it…