How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:36 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 am
I think many atheists have an issue in conflating purpose with anti-purpose - that is to say, they conflate a sort of existential nihilism with existential pessimism. Probably more applicable to the topic of morality, but just because 'nothing is objectively wrong' does not mean 'everything is objectively right'.
I think you are the one who is confused. Objectivity is an idea that relies on the agreement of a collective of observers within the same language community. It is often confused with absolute truth.
Ideas of right and wrong are about moral values and values are at heart subjective.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:10 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:36 pm
Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 am
I think many atheists have an issue in conflating purpose with anti-purpose - that is to say, they conflate a sort of existential nihilism with existential pessimism. Probably more applicable to the topic of morality, but just because 'nothing is objectively wrong' does not mean 'everything is objectively right'.
I think you are the one who is confused. Objectivity is an idea that relies on the agreement of a collective of observers within the same language community. It is often confused with absolute truth.
Ideas of right and wrong are about moral values and values are at heart subjective.
That's a controversial and heated statement. But I think you and me are talking about two very different things. I'm saying that if we assume that the atheist's existential nihilism is true, than it doesn't necessarily follow that their pessimism is.

thedoc
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by thedoc » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:19 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:32 pm
thedoc wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:11 am
If your universe is purposeless then it has no meaning. If your universe has a purpose then it is up to you to find the meaning. Each person will have their own meaning, and one persons meaning will not be another persons meaning.

You are confusing two things; personal purpose and a "the" purpose of the universe. These things are not on the same page, beyond comparison, and mean different things.
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been, I don't believe the Universe itself has a purpose, as in an intention to be something other than to exist. An individual may have a purpose, but the individual will need to find and pursue that purpose themselves, the Universe is not going to tell the individual what their purpose is.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:42 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:10 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:36 pm
Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 am
I think many atheists have an issue in conflating purpose with anti-purpose - that is to say, they conflate a sort of existential nihilism with existential pessimism. Probably more applicable to the topic of morality, but just because 'nothing is objectively wrong' does not mean 'everything is objectively right'.
I think you are the one who is confused. Objectivity is an idea that relies on the agreement of a collective of observers within the same language community. It is often confused with absolute truth.
Ideas of right and wrong are about moral values and values are at heart subjective.
That's a controversial and heated statement. But I think you and me are talking about two very different things. I'm saying that if we assume that the atheist's existential nihilism is true, than it doesn't necessarily follow that their pessimism is.
Let's unpack what you are trying to say. What does existential nihilism look like? And who says that atheism is nihilistic, or pessimistic for that matter.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:43 pm

thedoc wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:19 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:32 pm
thedoc wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:11 am
If your universe is purposeless then it has no meaning. If your universe has a purpose then it is up to you to find the meaning. Each person will have their own meaning, and one persons meaning will not be another persons meaning.
You are confusing two things; personal purpose and a "the" purpose of the universe. These things are not on the same page, beyond comparison, and mean different things.
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been, I don't believe the Universe itself has a purpose, as in an intention to be something other than to exist. An individual may have a purpose, but the individual will need to find and pursue that purpose themselves, the Universe is not going to tell the individual what their purpose is.
So you are an atheist?

thedoc
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by thedoc » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:36 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:43 pm
thedoc wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:19 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:32 pm


You are confusing two things; personal purpose and a "the" purpose of the universe. These things are not on the same page, beyond comparison, and mean different things.
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been, I don't believe the Universe itself has a purpose, as in an intention to be something other than to exist. An individual may have a purpose, but the individual will need to find and pursue that purpose themselves, the Universe is not going to tell the individual what their purpose is.
So you are an atheist?
No, I'm a Lutheran but I rationalize almost everything I am supposed to believe, but I don't say it out loud. The one thing that I do believe is that God exists but I don't pretend to know much about what God is like except that I believe that God is good. And no I don't have any evidence for believing that God is good.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:39 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:42 pm
Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:10 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:36 pm


I think you are the one who is confused. Objectivity is an idea that relies on the agreement of a collective of observers within the same language community. It is often confused with absolute truth.
Ideas of right and wrong are about moral values and values are at heart subjective.
That's a controversial and heated statement. But I think you and me are talking about two very different things. I'm saying that if we assume that the atheist's existential nihilism is true, than it doesn't necessarily follow that their pessimism is.
Let's unpack what you are trying to say. What does existential nihilism look like? And who says that atheism is nihilistic, or pessimistic for that matter.
I don't know what there is to be 'unpacked'; I'm just saying that, assuming there is no moral truth to the world and nothing is objectively wrong, =/= everything is objectively right. So if someone brought up a predicament like 'the atheist that rapes and kills is justified by his moral philosophy' they're fundamentally wrong in their approach.

It's a very, very common argument that atheism is nihilistic, but some take this and extrapolate it to a pessimism without even realizing it. For example, this yutz.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:25 pm

thedoc wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:36 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:43 pm
thedoc wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:19 pm


Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been, I don't believe the Universe itself has a purpose, as in an intention to be something other than to exist. An individual may have a purpose, but the individual will need to find and pursue that purpose themselves, the Universe is not going to tell the individual what their purpose is.
So you are an atheist?
No, I'm a Lutheran but I rationalize almost everything I am supposed to believe, but I don't say it out loud. The one thing that I do believe is that God exists but I don't pretend to know much about what God is like except that I believe that God is good. And no I don't have any evidence for believing that God is good.
Does that mean you hate Jews as much as Martin Luther?
And how come the universe is without purpose - where's your god in all that?
You view of god is absurd, but I suppose you know that.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:31 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:39 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:42 pm
Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:10 pm

That's a controversial and heated statement. But I think you and me are talking about two very different things. I'm saying that if we assume that the atheist's existential nihilism is true, than it doesn't necessarily follow that their pessimism is.
Let's unpack what you are trying to say. What does existential nihilism look like? And who says that atheism is nihilistic, or pessimistic for that matter.
I don't know what there is to be 'unpacked'; I'm just saying that, assuming there is no moral truth to the world and nothing is objectively wrong, =/= everything is objectively right. So if someone brought up a predicament like 'the atheist that rapes and kills is justified by his moral philosophy' they're fundamentally wrong in their approach.

It's a very, very common argument that atheism is nihilistic, but some take this and extrapolate it to a pessimism without even realizing it. For example, this yutz.
I've no idea what you are talking about. What makes you think that atheism entails either pessimism OR nihilism?
It's not as if religion has given us morality, that predates religion by Millenia, and we all have a sense of fairness that can be seen in apes and even dogs.
It seems that your stock phrases are from the Christian/philosophy handbook and mean nothing whatever. They certainly mean nothing to me, speaking as an atheist.
I'd go so far as to say that my sense of morality is purer and better than any religious person I've ever met.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:31 pm
I've no idea what you are talking about. What makes you think that atheism entails either pessimism OR nihilism? ...
I don't, I'm addressing those that think it does. I'm not even a christian as you seem to suggest, I'm an atheist, who is in fact defending atheism here.

I'm saying, even if we ASSUME there is no objective morality, that does not mean 'everything goes'.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:38 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:31 pm
I've no idea what you are talking about. What makes you think that atheism entails either pessimism OR nihilism? ...
I don't, I'm addressing those that think it does. I'm not even a christian as you seem to suggest, I'm an atheist, who is in fact defending atheism here.

I'm saying, even if we ASSUME there is no objective morality, that does not mean 'everything goes'.
Everything is possible. is one translation of that famous Dostoyevski quote. Which is more appealing.
I still don't know how atheism is supposed to relate to nihilism or pessimism.

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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:16 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:38 pm
Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:31 pm
I've no idea what you are talking about. What makes you think that atheism entails either pessimism OR nihilism? ...
I don't, I'm addressing those that think it does. I'm not even a christian as you seem to suggest, I'm an atheist, who is in fact defending atheism here.

I'm saying, even if we ASSUME there is no objective morality, that does not mean 'everything goes'.
Everything is possible. is one translation of that famous Dostoyevski quote. Which is more appealing.

I still don't know how atheism is supposed to relate to nihilism or pessimism.
I think it's very possible that you have a poor reading comprehension.

Then you probably haven't spent very much time in philosophical debate, if you're unaware that theists, and even other atheists, commonly object to the idea of purpose and objective moral values in atheism, and in case you haven't noticed, is sort of what this thread is hinting to.

thedoc
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by thedoc » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:25 pm
thedoc wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:36 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:43 pm


So you are an atheist?
No, I'm a Lutheran but I rationalize almost everything I am supposed to believe, but I don't say it out loud. The one thing that I do believe is that God exists but I don't pretend to know much about what God is like except that I believe that God is good. And no I don't have any evidence for believing that God is good.
Does that mean you hate Jews as much as Martin Luther?
And how come the universe is without purpose - where's your god in all that?
You view of god is absurd, but I suppose you know that.
No, but Martin Luther was a product of his time, do you think it is not possible for people to change over time. If so you are denying evolution.
What does God have to do with the purpose of the Universe? Do you believe that if the universe does not have a purpose, that proves the nonexistence of God?
I base my belief in the existence of God on evidence, do you have evidence that God does not exist? Or that God is not good.

Melchior
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Melchior » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:27 am

Huh?

surreptitious57
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:03 am

thedoc wrote:
I base my belief in the existence of God on evidence
Were that true then you would have no need to believe in him because his existence could be verified
But God is just a mental construct and so personal testimony or arguments from emotion or popularity
or the existence of the Universe are not evidence for him at all although many actually think they are

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