Some Reasons Why Atheists/materialists/physicalist/naturalists Are Delusional

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Thoughts at least to ponder. A materialistic/scientistic ideology and world view necessarily involves holding a lot of logical and other contradictions. Warning: This is from a very conservative source: I think many of these are not validly arguable, but a few are validly arguable or even offensive because they involve political/moral/ethical issues. From https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-...elusional/ .


Quote:1. They dismiss morality as nothing more than strongly felt subjective preference, but admit they act as if morality is objective in nature.

2. They speak, act and hold others responsible for their behaviors as if we all have some metaphysical capacity to transcend and override the deterministic effects of our body’s physical state and causative processing, yet they deny any such metaphysical capacity (like free will) exists.

3. They deny truth can be determined subjectively while necessarily implying that their arguments and evidences are true and expecting others to subjectively determine that their arguments are true.

4. They deny that what is intelligently designed can be reliably identified when virtually every moment of their waking existence requires precisely that capacity.

5. They deny that some abstract concepts are necessarily true and objectively binding on our existence (such as the fundamental principles of math, logic and morality) yet reference them (directly or indirectly) as if they are exactly that.

6. They deny humans are anything other than entirely creatures of nature, yet insist that what humans do is somehow a threat to nature or some supposed natural balance.

7. They insist humans are categorically the same as any other animals, but then decry it when humans treat other humans the same way other animals treat their own kind (alpha male brutality, violence, etc), as if humans have some sort of obligation to “transcend” their “animal” nature.

8. They insist that physical facts are the only meaningful truths that exist, but then want to use force of law to protect subjective concepts that contradict physical facts, like “transgenderism”.

9. They insist spiritual laws that transcend the physical do not exist, but then insist that all humans are equal, when they factually, obviously are not equals at all – either physically or intellectually.

10. They pursue social systems that attempt to force the concept of equality on everyone as if they expect that through ignoring the physical realty of human inequality they can build a sound social system, which would be comparable to ignoring the inequality of building materials and insisting that they all be treated as equal when building a skyscraper.
(This post was last modified: 2020-10-10, 07:07 PM by nbtruthman.)
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They say things like "the giraffe evolved its long neck in order to reach the leaves at the tops of trees", clearly forgetting that they are supposed to believe there is no purpose to evolution.
The inclusion of atheism seems incorrect to me. An atheist can believe in objective morality and eternal truths, or even the paranormal. They just don't think the evidence shows there are "gods"...

Plato himself via his dialogues regarding Universal Truth & Goodness is a foundation of modern theism, arguably beyond the West given the historical interactions with the Islamic world, yet he also argued against the idea that something could be good simply because some god supposedly commanded it.

Tbh I'm not even sure what 4 is saying.

Regarding 5 the argument is that math/logic are born of evolution. Their truth comes from their usefulness which can be verified empirically. I agree this doesn't actually work.

6 is just an uncharitable, wilful misreading IMO.

I think atheists are pretty divided on the political points, say 6-10. Since those are political I won't touch too much on them, but I think 9 is factually wrong? Whether there are physical facts regarding transgenderism is at minimum still an open question. That said I make no suggestion of policy, as that belongs in the Politics forum.

As a sort of metaphysical and perhaps meta-political point, isn't the accusation of subjective claims seemingly contrary to evidence as true for religion as it is for transgenderism? In fact the latter only concerns the individual, the former - religion - seems more grandiose because it makes assertions about the very nature of reality from metaphysical to moral.

Also, there are a number of physicalists/materialists who do think all human existence is worthless - which is the correct conclusion if that metaphysics is true. So given their nihilist stance they'd agree with points 1, 2, 3 as rightful criticisms of movements like New Atheism.

I wonder if there is an ID site that is actually just about ID.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2020-10-10, 09:01 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: The inclusion of atheism seems incorrect to me. An atheist can believe in objective morality and eternal truths, or even the paranormal. They just don't think the evidence shows there are "gods"...

Plato himself via his dialogues regarding Universal Truth & Goodness is a foundation of modern theism, arguably beyond the West given the historical interactions with the Islamic world, yet he also argued against the idea that something could be good simply because some god supposedly commanded it.

Tbh I'm not even sure what 4 is saying.

Regarding 5 the argument is that math/logic are born of evolution. Their truth comes from their usefulness which can be verified empirically. I agree this doesn't actually work.

6 is just an uncharitable, wilful misreading IMO.

I think atheists are pretty divided on the political points, say 6-10. Since those are political I won't touch too much on them, but I think 9 is factually wrong? Whether there are physical facts regarding transgenderism is at minimum still an open question. That said I make no suggestion of policy, as that belongs in the Politics forum.

As a sort of metaphysical and perhaps meta-political point, isn't the accusation of subjective claims seemingly contrary to evidence as true for religion as it is for transgenderism? In fact the latter only concerns the individual, the former - religion - seems more grandiose because it makes assertions about the very nature of reality from metaphysical to moral.

Also, there are a number of physicalists/materialists who do think all human existence is worthless - which is the correct conclusion if that metaphysics is true. So given their nihilist stance they'd agree with points 1, 2, 3 as rightful criticisms of movements like New Atheism.

I wonder if there is an ID site that is actually just about ID.

Quote:The inclusion of atheism seems incorrect to me. An atheist can believe in objective morality and eternal truths, or even the paranormal. They just don't think the evidence shows there are "gods"...

I think this is a technicality in that the vast majority of atheists are thoroughgoing materialists.

Quote:Tbh I'm not even sure what 4 is saying.

People over their lives ordinarily automatically make many evaluations of whether something is designed or it came together by natural forces. Usually with observation of objects encountered in everyday life it is obvious if they were designed. And there are more special occasions such as for instance in forensics in considering crime scene evidence, or in contemplating Mount Rushmore. 

Quote:As a sort of metaphysical and perhaps meta-political point, isn't the accusation of subjective claims seemingly contrary to evidence as true for religion as it is for transgenderism? In fact the latter only concerns the individual, the former - religion - seems more grandiose because it makes assertions about the very nature of reality from metaphysical to moral.

I agree, at least with regards to many or most of the theological/doctrinal/scriptural claims of religion. I don't have any particular liking for religion either. However, some claims of religion are about the basic existence of a spiritual realm and an afterlife, and there is a substantial evidence base for these assertions.


Quote:I wonder if there is an ID site that is actually just about ID.
 

Probably not. I don't know of one anyway.
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(2020-10-10, 10:44 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: I think this is a technicality in that the vast majority of atheists are thoroughgoing materialists.

I think most people don't think of things that way. My guess is if pressed many atheists would say there's some kind of objective morality, or at least mathematical truths might be Eternal/Platonic.

It's the same with Dualism - most people think of a soul and a body, not Res Cogitans and Res Extensa or even Mind & Matter. I think many people who are religious would be happy to think of the soul as a physical object or some kind of energy.

Quote:People over their lives ordinarily automatically make many evaluations of whether something is designed or it came together by natural forces. Usually with observation of objects encountered in everyday life it is obvious if they were designed. And there are more special occasions such as for instance in forensics in considering crime scene evidence, or in contemplating Mount Rushmore.

But surely even IDers would say there are things that seemed designed but are a result of undirected forces?

Quote:I agree, at least with regards to many or most of the theological/doctrinal/scriptural claims of religion. I don't have any particular liking for religion either. However, some claims of religion are about the basic existence of a spiritual realm and an afterlife, and there is a substantial evidence base for these assertions.

True, though the data isn't agreeable to most orthodoxies...but then this might be an important function of parapsychology, to inject a new mysticism so we can transition to some new ideas about science and religion...or so I hope...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2020-10-11, 02:01 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I think most people don't think of things that way. My guess is if pressed many atheists would say there's some kind of objective morality, or at least mathematical truths might be Eternal/Platonic.

I guess I was thinking mainly of college educated people with at least a minimum of schooling in the sciences and in analytical thinking. Certainly all the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

Quote:It's the same with Dualism - most people think of a soul and a body, not Res Cogitans and Res Extensa or even Mind & Matter. I think many people who are religious would be happy to think of the soul as a physical object or some kind of energy.

Same in this case. Especially people with even a slight acquaintance with science and philosophy. Unfortunately there are indeed also people who have no idea of the contradictions and conundrums involved in imagining the soul as a material thing. 


Quote:But surely even IDers would say there are things that seemed designed but are a result of undirected forces?

Please give a couple of examples of such things. Certainly something like a natural rock arch obviously created by erosion over umpteen years wouldn't qualify. IDers would generally say that if it exhibits a high degree of complex specified information (CSI) it must be the product of intelligence. That would include all living organisms and their constituent systems, subsystems, cellular organelles, etc. etc. Even something like the beautiful patterns of a peacock's plumage would be considered as having some sort of directed origin, as opposed to the meaningless result of blind meaningless purposeless forces. Even the patterns and shapes of crystals (without a high degree of CSI) can be seen as the outworking of elegant physical laws that must have an intelligent origin.
(This post was last modified: 2020-10-11, 05:30 PM by nbtruthman.)
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(2020-10-11, 05:27 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: Please give a couple of examples of such things. Certainly something like a natural rock arch obviously created by erosion over umpteen years wouldn't qualify. IDers would generally say that if it exhibits a high degree of complex specified information (CSI) it must be the product of intelligence. That would include all living organisms and their constituent systems, subsystems, cellular organelles, etc. etc. Even something like the beautiful patterns of a peacock's plumage would be considered as having some sort of directed origin, as opposed to the meaningless result of blind meaningless purposeless forces. Even the patterns and shapes of crystals (without a high degree of CSI) can be seen as the outworking of elegant physical laws that must have an intelligent origin.

Hmmm, well if even crystals are signs of design it would be hard to give an example.

I don't know if the elegance of physics equation is really a sign of intelligent origin? On the other hand there is the general efficacy of mathematics, as Wigner noted in his brilliant essay:

Quote:THERE IS A story about two friends, who were classmates in high school, talking about their jobs. One of them became a statistician and was working on population trends. He showed a reprint to his former classmate. The reprint started, as usual, with the Gaussian distribution and the statistician explained to his former classmate the meaning of the symbols for the actual population, for the average population, and so on. His classmate was a bit incredulous and was not quite sure whether the statistician was pulling his leg. "How can you know that?" was his query. "And what is this symbol here?" "Oh," said the statistician, "this is pi." "What is that?" "The ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter." "Well, now you are pushing your joke too far," said the classmate, "surely the population has nothing to do with the circumference of the circle."

Naturally, we are inclined to smile about the simplicity of the classmate's approach. Nevertheless, when I heard this story, I had to admit to an eerie feeling because, surely, the reaction of the classmate betrayed only plain common sense. I was even more confused when, not many days later, someone came to me and expressed his bewilderment [1 The remark to be quoted was made by F. Werner when he was a student in Princeton.] with the fact that we make a rather narrow selection when choosing the data on which we test our theories.

"How do we know that, if we made a theory which focuses its attention on phenomena we disregard and disregards some of the phenomena now commanding our attention, that we could not build another theory which has little in common with the present one but which, nevertheless, explains just as many phenomena as the present theory?" It has to be admitted that we have no definite evidence that there is no such theory.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Crystals depend on geometry, a branch of mathematics. I'm not sure whether the laws of mathematics are amenable to design. They are, I suppose tools which a designer could use, but in the case of crystals I'm not convinced.
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(2020-10-11, 06:08 PM)Typoz Wrote: Crystals depend on geometry, a branch of mathematics. I'm not sure whether the laws of mathematics are amenable to design. They are, I suppose tools which a designer could use, but in the case of crystals I'm not convinced.

I'm of two minds on the subject. On the one hand, it could be coincidence that such beautiful structures not only exist but are amenable to modeling with elegant mathematics.

But then this applies to fine-tuning itself, if this idea of coincidence is taken to an extreme...and that seems to be using coincidence as mere excuse/denial...After all laws of nature are something we decide exist after the observations have been made - so what orders Nature in such a manner that mathematics is so effective in describing Her?

Even materialists are slowly waking up to this issue -> the philosopher Quentin Meillassoux saying that Physicalism means ever sign of order has to be based on mere chance tha[t] can become undone at any time because Laws of Nature cannot be physical.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2020-10-11, 07:16 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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Well, I was thinking of something which could not be described as coincidence. Take for example the fifteen snooker balls arranged in the triangle. That's just an ascending sequence, one ball at the top, then two, then three and so on. I don't think this is in the same category as fine tuning, rather it could not be any other way.
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