How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

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

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

Post by thedoc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:12 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
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
Belief and knowledge are not mutually exclusive, they can coexist. I can believe in what I know to be true.

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

Post by thedoc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:15 am

Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:27 am
Huh?
I'll have to remember to type slower for you.

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

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:30 am

thedoc wrote:
Belief and knowledge are not mutually exclusive they can coexist I can believe in what I know to be true
Belief and knowledge are total opposites and so you cannot believe and know something at the same time

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

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:18 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
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

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.
OR it is far more likely that you suffer from an incapacity to write clearly.
As for my experience in philosophy it far outweighs yours. I would guess that my history on this website alone would exceed your experience, and that would not be to count my history using another name, with which I exceeded posts of any other person. When you add to that my qualifications in academia and my long history of just being an annoying gadfly to a long list of persons during my lifetime, I have no lack of experience.

One thing you do lack, is basic honesty. If you don't know what you mean by the phrases you do, then simply say so, and we could try to unpack what you ARE trying to say. Sadly you are either incapable of saying what you want to say or are just yanking my chain.

So put up or shut up!

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

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:22 am

thedoc wrote:
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


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.
Luther is dead, he's not evolving. And your creed harps back to a long dead set of out-of date doctrines.
If the universe has no purpose then there is no need for the god that is supposed to have made it, is one way of looking at the question.
Another is that "Universe" includes everything including god. If the universe is purposeless they god's purpose is of no interest.
DO you have evidence that I do not have a family of Martian living inside my mobile phone??? WELL, do you??

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

Post by attofishpi » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:27 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:22 am
DO you have evidence that I do not have a family of Martian living inside my mobile phone??? WELL, do you??
Give me your mobile phone for analysis, i'm sure i can prove you do not.

Your turn, prove God does not exist...Chaz.

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

Post by Theleman » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:02 pm

Shouldn't atheist prove that God doesn't exist before being qualified as a true atheist?
Last edited by Theleman on Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sir-Sister-of-Suck
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Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:04 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:18 am
OR it is far more likely that you suffer from an incapacity to write clearly [snip]
You don't need to take it so personally. What I said was a pun, you see, albeit a pretty lame one, but relevant to the discussion. I was playing off the quote that you shared 'Everything is possible' with the follow-up 'I think it's possible you have a poor reading comprehension'. This seems to have escaped you, because you've chosen to reply in this very passive aggressive way, metaphorically unzipping your pants and laying it all on the table for us to see when there wasn't even another dick on the table to measure.

There are people who have been debating in philosophy for decades but are still logically incompetent. A capacity for knowledge does not mean you're able to apply that knowledge correctly. Regardless, I wasn't seriously questioning your knowledge, but trying to point out that you're missing the point. It's not me who thinks that atheism is nihilistic or pessimistic, I'm specifically addressing those that do.
One thing you do lack, is basic honesty. If you don't know what you mean by the phrases you do, then simply say so, and we could try to unpack what you ARE trying to say. Sadly you are either incapable of saying what you want to say or are just yanking my chain.
It feels like you aren't even replying to what you're quoting from me, but using it as an excuse to hear yourself talk; What phrases, and what is there to unpack? Why do you think I'm not saying what I really want to say?

Again, my original post was very straight forward; There are people who think that atheism is inherently 'nihilistic', in terms of morality, and often reach conclusions more in line with 'moral pessimism' like 'rape would be okay'; These people are wrong, because 'no morality' =/= 'everything is morally justified'.
Last edited by Sir-Sister-of-Suck on Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Melchior » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:06 pm

thedoc wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:15 am
Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:27 am
Huh?
I'll have to remember to type slower for you.
What are you talking about, 'meaning in a purposeless universe'?

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

Post by thedoc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:34 pm

Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:06 pm
thedoc wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:15 am
Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:27 am
Huh?
I'll have to remember to type slower for you.
What are you talking about, 'meaning in a purposeless universe'?
An individual can have a purpose or find a meaning for their life. The universe does not need a purpose or meaning to exist. An individual is in the universe but is not the whole of the universe, just a small part and a small part can have a meaning or purpose even if the whole does not.

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

Post by Melchior » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:41 pm

thedoc wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:34 pm
Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:06 pm
thedoc wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:15 am


I'll have to remember to type slower for you.
What are you talking about, 'meaning in a purposeless universe'?
An individual can have a purpose or find a meaning for their life. The universe does not need a purpose or meaning to exist. An individual is in the universe but is not the whole of the universe, just a small part and a small part can have a meaning or purpose even if the whole does not.

Biological adaptations are not the result of 'intentions' and serve no 'purposes': they are merely functional. Leaves have no purposes, but they do have functions.

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

Post by Harbal » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:46 pm

Theleman wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:02 pm
Shouldn't atheist prove that God doesn't exist before being qualified as a true atheist?
If one had to prove the non existence of everything they do not belive exists, there wouldn't be any time left for anything else.

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

Post by thedoc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:58 pm

Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:41 pm
Biological adaptations are not the result of 'intentions' and serve no 'purposes': they are merely functional. Leaves have no purposes, but they do have functions.
Biological adaptations do have a purpose or intention, to reproduce, they do not have a goal to evolve into a particular form that does not enhance the ability to reproduce. Leaves do have a purpose and the intention, to make food for the tree, and in some species when that function is finished they are discarded, but the leaf does have a purpose a meaning and a function. You seem to be conflation conscious intention with purpose, a purpose can be without conscious intent by the organism.

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

Post by thedoc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:10 pm

Theleman wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:02 pm
Shouldn't atheist prove that God doesn't exist before being qualified as a true atheist?
The burden of proof is usually on the person making the positive claim, such as "God exists" and not on the person who simply says "I do not believe God exists." If a person makes the claim that "God does not exist" then they have made a positive claim and bear the burden of proof.

Do not make the "No true Scotsman" fallacy by attempting to define what a "true atheist" is, an atheist is whoever claims to be an atheist.

I could make the claim that you are "Not a true philosopher" because your views do not match mine, but I would be wrong about you possibly being a philosopher.

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

Post by Melchior » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:51 pm

thedoc wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:58 pm
Melchior wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:41 pm
Biological adaptations are not the result of 'intentions' and serve no 'purposes': they are merely functional. Leaves have no purposes, but they do have functions.
Biological adaptations do have a purpose or intention, to reproduce, they do not have a goal to evolve into a particular form that does not enhance the ability to reproduce. Leaves do have a purpose and the intention, to make food for the tree, and in some species when that function is finished they are discarded, but the leaf does have a purpose a meaning and a function. You seem to be conflation conscious intention with purpose, a purpose can be without conscious intent by the organism.
No, that is false. Teeth and lungs have no purposes. Consult a good dictionary.

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