Cultural Relativism is wrong

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:07 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:15 am
...the FACT of cultures being relative to one's self, family, community, country, their times, etc, all mean that any particular or arbitrary culture lacks a unique foundation in reality.
That does not follow.

Remember that if there are ten, or a thousand, or even an infinite number of wrong answers to a question, that does not even begin to suggest that there's no right answer. So the mere "fact" that many cultures exist does not suggest that they're all good or right, or that none is better than another, or that one is not uniquely right. So Cultural Relativism isn't warranted by that observation.

And that's just a basic logical truism.
...one particular religion could hold some belief about what is 'true' or 'correct' behaviors' that are shared across all religions...
There's no logical requirement that a true believe has to be "shared across all religions." That wouldn't imply it was right, even if it happened.

Remember that at one time in history, 100% of the living people thought the world was flat. Did that imply they were right? Of course not.
They often think that the SAME GOD exists in all religions equally but that God is communicating the relevant moral material THROUGH different cultures without concern for literal interpretation.

Well, I think we can see that that's obviously untrue. The "gods" of different religions have wildly different characteristics ascribed to them -- in fact, often opposite characteristics. For example, some religions believe in one God, and others in many. Some believe in impersonal gods, and some in a personal one. Some believe the gods even have human character failings, and others say God is transcendent of all that...and so on.

Logically, there's zero chance they're all the same "god." So people who say such things as that are simply wrong. If they did any investigation at all, they'd realize that had to be so. But usually, such folks, as I've found, have no real depth of knowledge about any religion, save perhaps the one into which they were raised. They want to avoid the question, really: they want it all not to matter, and not to make them think to hard. So they blithely assume their conclusion, without investigation. But looking at the particulars destroys that illusion immediately, so they have to avoid looking very hard.
But would you think it wise to permit a government specific power of theocratic lawmaking?

No. I believe in religious toleration -- but not because everybody's equally right, but rather because I believe in the sanctity of personal conscience. Every person has the right to be wrong. They also have the right to live or die by their personal obedience to the truth. So I would never, under any circumstances, want that taken away from them.

However, not all religions are like that.
It doesn't matter. Society will always have both the variable religions and some minority of non-religious people with various different percentages of popularity to each.

:D Well, it's not a popularity contest, after all. It's about the truth. Truth isn't a function of the number of people who believe a thing, because the masses, just like the individual, are capable of being wrong. So it's true that only around 4% of the people are Atheists, but that in itself doesn't make Atheism wrong. However, it also doesn't make it right. Numbers just aren't relevant, either way.
I can say that science is itself a 'secular' institution
It's not, though. Its basic method was discovered by a Theist (Francis Bacon), and on Theistic assumptions. The reason that Bacon knew the scientific method would work is that he believed God was rational, and would order reality in rationally comprehensible ways. So he premised the scientific method on that.

If you ever wondered why science was never discovered in polytheistic cultures, even though the number and cleverness of such people was very high, this is why. You don't look for systematic consistency in a polytheistic culture: their gods are idiosyncratic, and you can't predict what they will do, not by any method, so you can't predict reality, and cannot test it.
We are in an era of science and tech that cannot continue to hold meaning for religious truth...
This is the idea that died in the 1960s.
you wrote:
I wrote:I used to call myself Agnostic Atheist. I'm now DO claim a positive rational disapproval of religion for logical reasons. (Gnostic == knowing)
Actually agnostic means "not-knowing." The "a-" is the Greek particle of negation. It's a confession of ignorance, not a claim to know something. A "Gnostic" does claim to know something, but he's a very different fish, and is religious.

But if you do claim to have "a positive, rational disapproval...for logical reasons," then I have no doubt you'll be able to justify that with evidence.

So now it's fair for me to ask, what's your "positive, rational, logical" evidence for the non-existence of God?
I'm aware of the varying definitions.
I'm sorry... I can't figure out how that answer corresponds to the question.
Note that you just erred in assuming the word, "gnostic" is uniquely definitive of only the religious "Gnostics" of the mystic origins. These were the original forms of 'secular' religions that trusted stories as hiding interesting truths within the context of them.
Sorry to contradict, but that's just not true. I have expert knowledge in this area. The Gnostics were a religion, one that only faded in the 17th Century, and has been recently revived in various religious and technical "gnosticisms" like Extropianism. But every form of it is intensely religious, being premised on esoteric "knowledge" of some kind, not on cold facts.
Note too that "theist" and its alternative spelling, "deist",...
These are two distinct ideologies, not one with two names. Theists believe in a personal God, and Deists believe in an absentee one.
But I am NOT religious.
You don't have to be. To see this, a person would just have to be honest.

When things are not the same, an honest person wants to recognize it. That doesn't mean that he has to believe in any of them...he just has to know the difference between them, and recognize it. That's all.
You are begging a unique relationship of one being 'good' as OWNED by their God. [/quote]
No, I'm not talking about that. I'm saying something very simple: when two things are different, it's honest to acknowledge that -- no matter what those two things are. That's all.
As a non-religious person knowing of what evolution means,...
Evolution does not have a "meaning." If true, it's a mere fact about the world, with no value judgment attached. It also indicates that there is no "meaning" to life. Life just exists, for the Evolutionist: it is neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong.
These assignments are what initiates a 'moral' sense and is also relative to your environmental experience.

If that were true, all morality would be the same, and all of it would be the same as that which conduces to survival. But look at the particulars of different moralities, and you'll see that neither is true.
...our illusion of value comes first from one's own interpretation of values that favor them.
But illusions are not evolutionarily adaptive. Realism is. So the existence of these illusions is puzzling to the Evolutionist: we ought to all be realists, if we are responding to a survival instinct.

A person who sees dragons where there are none has a disadvantage relative to somebody who sees things as they are. A person who trusts that fairies will make him fly has a survival disadvantage relative to somebody who understands gravity. So there's no Evolutionary explanation that allows for illusions to be adaptive.

Darwin was quite clear that in order to survive, a mutation has to be adaptive for survival, and immediately so. If it's not, it cannot be "naturally selected." Indeed, the Evolutionary process is blind to such a thing.
No, the acts of people consolidated under ANY belief CAN be 'good' or 'bad'.
Not in a secular world. In a secular world, there are no criteria for "good" or "bad." There's only what IS.
Government laws are what 'rule' morality.[/quote]
If so, then an evil government can do what it wants to us...and we have no grounds for objection. Would you be content to accept that outcome?
I don't support his many views but also know that Christianity originated as its own original 'communistic' system in its origins as adapted by the Romans.
Not quite. Christianity was a persecuted group in the Roman Empire. The merely-nominal conversion of Constantine (312 AD) later changed this, but not for a very long while after Christ....about three centuries, in fact.
YOUR Christianity...[/quote]
Bear in mind that we're are not talking about my Christianity, nor any Christianity, really. Constantine was a pagan syncretist, and a founder of the Roman Catholic organization. He was not a real Christian, and said so himself.
Christianity was sold on borrowing the advantages of Judaism when Jews were NOT welcomed as they represented to mean "terrorist" to the Romans due to the contemporary problems in the Middle East at that time. The stories of this "Jesus" was more of a collection of other peoples', like [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_bar_Kokhba]Simon bar Kokhba[/i] among others of the prior source of Judaism, the Egyptian beliefs.
I know what books you've been reading now, or at least what the people you've been listening to have been reading. This is the old, Gnostic misrepresentation of Christian history, with one monolithic religious entity (usually the Catholics) pegged as the totality of "Christianity."

I wouldn't agree with any of that. Neither would a deeper investigation of history, actually.
"Atheism" is NOT a religion.
Sure it is. It's an arbitrary faith position with regard to God. That makes it fit the core definition. But we can disagree about that equitably.
I also already pointed out that religion originates FROM the secular reality. They have to come from somewhere.
I would say it simply originates from human hubris. It needs no more basis to get it going than that.
Can you not see how religion in constitutional or lawmaking purposes is dangerous regardless of the intentions of those who do good by religion?
I have said already that I am non-political, and do not believe that anybody's religion has legitimacy to deprive people of freedom of conscience. So this is not even a case you have to make to me.

However, you could make it to the Catholics or the Muslims, if you wanted. They both believe in religious control of political structures. I believe in political neutrality in regard to religion, so as to allow conscience to be free.

Scott Mayers
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:25 pm

@ Dachshund,

Your points about the relative differences of how the Nazis killed 6 million Jews in short order to the 7-10 million Ukraines as making left-wing politics more 'cruel' is odd. I agree that there is a relative ring of humanity preferences for putting someone out of their misery quickly versus starvation. I believe that we still use gas to kill chicken and a pressure bolt through the skull of cows to minimize unnecessary torture. We also use methods to relatively blind the animals from knowing their fate which makes them less likely to fear some anticipated doom of their death. However, the differences of how the Communistic governments form in fact differ from the Nationalistic types in that the motives of citizens in Communistic governments are due to larger populations starving in longer periods. This diminishes the means to which such systems could afford the means to harm others with ease.

The Nazis were relatively successful in their means of taking recent plunder and to how they exploited the abused populations to slave labor. When they anticipated the unlikely capacity of being able to feed the populations in question, they had lots of contemporary means to kill with organized power and money to a greater extent than Communists of those Ukraines. The intent of neglectful types of abuses are harder to determine than those of overt direct violence. So, while it is certainly true that making one suffer is more 'cruel', if you asked the ones dying of starvation if they'd PREFER an obvious quick death that would come upon them without notice versus those being left alone to die slower, they'd more likely opt to starve as it would give them some psychological hope to overcome death.

Neither is good. Comparing them would also have to take in consideration ALL times where abuses occurred where no quick humane means existed like gas nor bullets nor nuclear weapons, etc, of recent times. How likely are you to find right-wing vegetarians versus how many left-wing hunting meat-eaters?

Scott Mayers
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:36 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:07 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:15 am
...the FACT of cultures being relative to one's self, family, community, country, their times, etc, all mean that any particular or arbitrary culture lacks a unique foundation in reality.
That does not follow.

Remember that if there are ten, or a thousand, or even an infinite number of wrong answers to a question, that does not even begin to suggest that there's no right answer. So the mere "fact" that many cultures exist does not suggest that they're all good or right, or that none is better than another, or that one is not uniquely right. So Cultural Relativism isn't warranted by that observation.

And that's just a basic logical truism.
That FACT is that there is 4300 approximate distinctly different religions in the world. If 'religion' is true, you have 1/4300 possible gods to choose from. [source https://www.quora.com/How-many-differen ... -the-world]

These represent VARIATION of beliefs. If you support BEING religious as better than not, then comparing to only one kind of 'atheism', you have to ask how divergent theories of religious truths are in sync versus those that differ compared to all atheists. Although atheists can vary, they all live in the CONSTANT real same world their realism is dependent upon. In contrast, there are relatively 4300 different kinds of religious views. This makes religious beliefs dependent upon conditional factors which makes them 'relative' claims of reality.

EACH religion WANTS to think they've got the one truth. But just as a red tea pot is related to the same pot painted in 4300 different shades but differ only in that artificial distinction of color, religions are as superficially true relative to their distinct perspectives and preferences.
...one particular religion could hold some belief about what is 'true' or 'correct' behaviors' that are shared across all religions...
There's no logical requirement that a true believe has to be "shared across all religions." That wouldn't imply it was right, even if it happened.

Remember that at one time in history, 100% of the living people thought the world was flat. Did that imply they were right? Of course not.
Are you now saying that the fact that some mere 3 percent of a population COULD be correct, while 97% wrong? :roll:
you wrote:
me wrote:They often think that the SAME GOD exists in all religions equally but that God is communicating the relevant moral material THROUGH different cultures without concern for literal interpretation.

Well, I think we can see that that's obviously untrue. The "gods" of different religions have wildly different characteristics ascribed to them -- in fact, often opposite characteristics. For example, some religions believe in one God, and others in many. Some believe in impersonal gods, and some in a personal one. Some believe the gods even have human character failings, and others say God is transcendent of all that...and so on.

Logically, there's zero chance they're all the same "god." So people who say such things as that are simply wrong. If they did any investigation at all, they'd realize that had to be so. But usually, such folks, as I've found, have no real depth of knowledge about any religion, save perhaps the one into which they were raised. They want to avoid the question, really: they want it all not to matter, and not to make them think to hard. So they blithely assume their conclusion, without investigation. But looking at the particulars destroys that illusion immediately, so they have to avoid looking very hard.

And so you should now take that 97% and divide it between the 4300 different religions to given each an equal share of 0% proof of their particular God's existence, then compare that to the 3% of non-theists with 100% 'faith' in reality as defining what is or is not true?

I didn't assert that religions had identical beliefs. The 'relative culturalists', not me, believe that laws SHOULD be made to preserve the variety of the variation of cultures. I want no cultures to be permitted by protectionist laws. I DO also believe that religions should not be permitted to impose their unprovable claims as equal by BEING merely 'religious'. Public funding, for instance, should not be permitted to be redirected into one's religious private education that imposes non-neutral truths about reality.

[I'll close this for now. I went to highlight content and it inappropriately moved it in a way that looks more confusing to do than to erase and redress in a new post.]

Just in case I don't get back right away, in regards to thinking that being an atheist is a 'choice', it reminds me of a joke:

How did the inventors of the rectal thermometer determine their new product worked?
"Hey Johnny, are you not feeling well? ...
Not good?...
Well, let me stick this thermometer up your ass.....HOW are you feeling?
Worse you say?
Let me remove it then. ....Now how do you feel?
Better you say?
Good. See it worked!"

Atheism is only a relative return back to the default position of having no belief we are born with when society imposes it upon us early on. The recognition of the deceit doesn't make those opting out of it 'positing' a belief. Rather it is opting out of 'choosing' to ignore what is unproven and placing the burden upon the ones in the future making fantastic claims from requiring to prove their position before opting to trust it. Besides those who might have had a prior belief, there are those, such as myself, who was not an 'apostate'. Regardless, you wouldn't have the word, "atheist" if there were no religion AND the beliefs in such a possibility maps equally to one who lives in a world where religion exists but you opt out of. Being that religion has to be first imposed or created makes an atheist one who has a LACK of belief in the existence of gods, heavens, or certain claims about how we should live to serve these gods to get to those post-life places.

Scott Mayers
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:36 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:07 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:15 am
...the FACT of cultures being relative to one's self, family, community, country, their times, etc, all mean that any particular or arbitrary culture lacks a unique foundation in reality.
That does not follow.

Remember that if there are ten, or a thousand, or even an infinite number of wrong answers to a question, that does not even begin to suggest that there's no right answer. So the mere "fact" that many cultures exist does not suggest that they're all good or right, or that none is better than another, or that one is not uniquely right. So Cultural Relativism isn't warranted by that observation.

And that's just a basic logical truism.
That FACT is that there is 4300 approximate distinctly different religions in the world. If 'religion' is true, you have 1/4300 possible gods to choose from. [source https://www.quora.com/How-many-differen ... -the-world]

These represent VARIATION of beliefs. If you support BEING religious as better than not, then comparing to only one kind of 'atheism', you have to ask how divergent theories of religious truths are in sync versus those that differ compared to all atheists. Although atheists can vary, they all live in the CONSTANT real same world their realism is dependent upon. In contrast, there are relatively 4300 different kinds of religious views. This makes religious beliefs dependent upon conditional factors which makes them 'relative' claims of reality.

EACH religion WANTS to think they've got the one truth. But just as a red tea pot is related to the same pot painted in 4300 different shades but differ only in that artificial distinction of color, religions are as superficially true relative to their distinct perspectives and preferences.
...one particular religion could hold some belief about what is 'true' or 'correct' behaviors' that are shared across all religions...
There's no logical requirement that a true believe has to be "shared across all religions." That wouldn't imply it was right, even if it happened.

Remember that at one time in history, 100% of the living people thought the world was flat. Did that imply they were right? Of course not.
Are you now saying that the fact that some mere 3 percent of a population COULD be correct, while 97% wrong? :roll:
you wrote:
me wrote:They often think that the SAME GOD exists in all religions equally but that God is communicating the relevant moral material THROUGH different cultures without concern for literal interpretation.

Well, I think we can see that that's obviously untrue. The "gods" of different religions have wildly different characteristics ascribed to them -- in fact, often opposite characteristics. For example, some religions believe in one God, and others in many. Some believe in impersonal gods, and some in a personal one. Some believe the gods even have human character failings, and others say God is transcendent of all that...and so on.

Logically, there's zero chance they're all the same "god." So people who say such things as that are simply wrong. If they did any investigation at all, they'd realize that had to be so. But usually, such folks, as I've found, have no real depth of knowledge about any religion, save perhaps the one into which they were raised. They want to avoid the question, really: they want it all not to matter, and not to make them think to hard. So they blithely assume their conclusion, without investigation. But looking at the particulars destroys that illusion immediately, so they have to avoid looking very hard.

And so you should now take that 97% and divide it between the 4300 different religions to given each an equal share of 0% proof of their particular God's existence, then compare that to the 3% of non-theists with 100% 'faith' in reality as defining what is or is not true?

I didn't assert that religions had identical beliefs. The 'relative culturalists', not me, believe that laws SHOULD be made to preserve the variety of the variation of cultures. I want no cultures to be permitted by protectionist laws. I DO also believe that religions should not be permitted to impose their unprovable claims as equal by BEING merely 'religious'. Public funding, for instance, should not be permitted to be redirected into one's religious private education that imposes non-neutral truths about reality.

[I'll close this for now. I went to highlight content and it inappropriately moved it in a way that looks more confusing to do than to erase and redress in a new post.]

Just in case I don't get back right away, in regards to thinking that being an atheist is a 'choice', it reminds me of a joke:

How did the inventors of the rectal thermometer determine their new product worked?
"Hey Johnny, are you not feeling well? ...
Not good?...
Well, let me stick this thermometer up your ass.....HOW are you feeling?
Worse you say?
Let me remove it then. ....Now how do you feel?
Better you say?
Good. See it worked!"

Atheism is only a relative return back to the default position of having no belief we are born with when society imposes it upon us early on. The recognition of the deceit doesn't make those opting out of it 'positing' a belief. Rather it is opting out of 'choosing' to ignore what is unproven and placing the burden upon the ones in the future making fantastic claims from requiring to prove their position before opting to trust it. Besides those who might have had a prior belief, there are those, such as myself, who was not an 'apostate'. Regardless, you wouldn't have the word, "atheist" if there were no religion AND the beliefs in such a possibility maps equally to one who lives in a world where religion exists but you opt out of. Being that religion has to be first imposed or created makes an atheist one who has a LACK of belief in the existence of things more rational to assume as the state of what we are by default.
Last edited by Scott Mayers on Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:30 pm

[/quote]
Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:36 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:07 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:15 am
...the FACT of cultures being relative to one's self, family, community, country, their times, etc, all mean that any particular or arbitrary culture lacks a unique foundation in reality.
That does not follow.

Remember that if there are ten, or a thousand, or even an infinite number of wrong answers to a question, that does not even begin to suggest that there's no right answer. So the mere "fact" that many cultures exist does not suggest that they're all good or right, or that none is better than another, or that one is not uniquely right. So Cultural Relativism isn't warranted by that observation.

And that's just a basic logical truism.
That FACT is that there is 4300 approximate distinctly different religions in the world.
A fact of zero implication for whether or not any of them is true.

There are, in fact, an infinite number of (wrong) answers to "2+2". That infinite number of wrong answers does not get one minute step in the direction of warranting us in caring. They're all wrong but one.
If 'religion' is true...
'Religion" is not true. "Religion" is nothing but a collective noun attempting to catch together things that are vastly different. It's an error in thinking -- a sort of general collective of contempt. It's like calling all the possible answers to "2+2" "responses," and then imagining all "responses" are of the same value.

In other words, it's just not logic.
If you support BEING religious as better than not...
I don't. In fact, I've never met one solitary human being who, when asked, said, "Well, I'm religious," without immediately going on to say, "a Catholic," or "a Buddhist," or "a Hindu," or whatever. There's nobody who thinks that just "being religious" is a good thing...except those who have no grasp of what's at stake, like perhaps Western Leftists. They like imaginary constructs like "religion" because they think it allows them to dismiss them all at one go.

But no, I do not support "being religious." Rather, I would support people in believing the truth, and in rejecting delusions, whether religious or Atheist.
, then comparing to only one kind of 'atheism',
Wait a minute: I thought there WAS only one kind of Atheism.

Atheists tell me that's true. They say, "Atheism is not a claim to know anything, but a claim to disbelieve in what you believe." Are they lying to me?

If there's more than one kind of Atheism, then whatever they believe has to be additional to their confessed disbelief in God. And that must necessarily be ideological. Are you content to say that Atheism isn't a single disbelief, but is rather a cluster of ideologies? Will other Atheists be happy to join you in that?
you have to ask how divergent theories of religious truths are in sync versus those that differ compared to all atheists.
Why?

That seems self-evidently untrue. It's not even logically possible for both Atheism and religions to be true at the same time.

If there is a God or gods, of any kind, then Atheism has to be untrue. If there are many gods, Monotheism is untrue and Atheism is untrue. If there is one God, then Polytheism and Atheism are untrue.

This is simple logic. Whatever you choose, many people are simply believing something untrue. There's no escaping that fact.
Although atheists can vary,
In what?
EACH religion WANTS to think they've got the one truth.
As does every attempt to say what's true. Atheism itself excludes all other viewpoints. There's no such thing at "all-inclusive" belief. All beliefs about truth are exclusive, by nature.

"2+2+4" is right, and "2+2=5, 6, 7, 8..." are all wrong. Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, and Toronto, Edmonton, Boston and Shanghai are not. Normal hands have five fingers, not twenty three or sixty six. If murder is wrong, murder is not right. All these things do not "include" every other view, and legitimately so.
But just as a red tea pot is related to the same pot painted in 4300 different shades but differ only in that artificial distinction of color, religions are as superficially true relative to their distinct perspectives and preferences.
One can only believe this by denying the claims the religious people themselves make, and telling them that we know better than they do what they "really" believe. Otherwise, we cannot pretend all "religions" (to use the word you chose) are merely "shades of the same thing."

For example, take the fundamental claim of Islam, about Allah and Mohammed. If it's true, then every other religion is false. The only way we can subvert that is by saying, "Well, Islamic people are confused as to what they really believe: they think they worship Allah and follow Mohammed, but they really believe in several gods and follow the Bhagwan, or believe in no gods and follow Richard Dawkins. They just don't know that's how it is."

Would any sane person believe that?

But in point of fact, I'm familiar with what you're saying. You're channelling a kind of Jungian claim that all "religions" are really just "archetypes" of some deep, psychological fact about human beings, and thus all are essentially equal in value, in that they all represent some aspect of those archetypes. But it never occurs to the people who say this -- or they aren't willing to consider -- that in order to say it they have to deny all religions their self-understanding. They have to say, "You guys are messed up, and I and Carl Jung have the truth about what you really believe. Listen to us, and we'll decode for you what you think you've been believing, and show you what you've really been believing."

Now, in terms of arrogance, could any claim to exclusive truth be more arrogant than that?

At least somebody who is recognizing the exclusiveness of the truth claims of various religions is giving people the respect of assuming they know what they want to say, and the respect of contending with them against those strongly-asserted claims. They're accepting that those claims matter, and trying to deal with them. They're treating others like adults. But the Jungian approach pretends everybody's just a child or an idiot....yet somehow, the Jungians themselves think they've escaped the general stupidity of their rivals.

It's got to be the most insulting, patronizing and contemptuous interpretation of "religions" that anyone could offer. But it passes in Leftist quarters as "inclusivity," "open-mindedness" and "wisdom." It's actually none of those things.
Are you now saying that the fact that some mere 3 percent of a population COULD be correct, while 97% wrong?

Of course. I'm saying something could even be true if zero percent knew it...like the earth being round. Every single person in the world was wrong about that one, at one time.

Truth has nothing to do with inclusiveness. Truth isn't a popularity poll...it's a reality, whether or not any particular person believes it.
And so you should now take that 97% and divide it between the 4300 different religions to given each an equal share of 0% proof of their particular God's existence, then compare that to the 3% of non-theists with 100% 'faith' in reality as defining what is or is not true?
That's not logical.

One doesn't divide the truthfulness of a claim among the various mistaken ideas about it. If you do that with maths, then "2=2+4" is an infinitely wrong answer, because there are infinite alternate "answers." If you divide the estimates of numbers of planets that way, you would arrive at the conclusion that there are no planets.

So that's obviously mistaken. We can set aside that argument.
...religions should not be permitted to impose their unprovable claims...
I would say the same thing about Atheists. Their claim is utterly unprovable, and they should not be allowed to impose it.
But what would you say about provable claims?
Atheism is only a relative return back to the default position
The opposite is actually true. 100% of all ancient cultures are religious. I don't say that to advocate that you become religious, but to point out that Atheism is a relatively recent artifact, and not at all typical of the human condition historically.

of having no belief we are born with
This counts for very little. We're born knowing practically nothing. Certainly we're not born "doing science," let alone keeping ourselves clean or even knowing when our next meal is coming -- and you wouldn't conclude we should all revert to that state.

Babies are not "Atheists," they have no beliefs of any kind. If anything, you'd have to say they're simply "ignorant."
The recognition of the deceit doesn't make those opting out of it 'positing' a belief... an atheist one who has a LACK of belief in the existence of gods, heavens, or certain claims about how we should live to serve these gods to get to those post-life places.

So now we're back to a single "Atheism" again? But I thought above you said there were many kinds?

You'd best decide: in your view, is there one Atheism, or many? I'll accept your answer and work with it, but I think you've got to be consistent in your view of this.

Scott Mayers
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:30 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:36 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:07 pm

That does not follow.

Remember that if there are ten, or a thousand, or even an infinite number of wrong answers to a question, that does not even begin to suggest that there's no right answer. So the mere "fact" that many cultures exist does not suggest that they're all good or right, or that none is better than another, or that one is not uniquely right. So Cultural Relativism isn't warranted by that observation.

And that's just a basic logical truism.
That FACT is that there is 4300 approximate distinctly different religions in the world.
A fact of zero implication for whether or not any of them is true.[/quote] ...but a fact that all but one to be considered true in light of the majority of those wrong makes better sense? If I ask you to review each and every one of those belief systems from one without any prior bias to any belief, do you think it wise to continue to testing new beliefs to determine which one is true or not? If you are trying to determine whether it is wise to not touch the stove's burner when it looks red, do you expect one to even try beyond one experience of being literally burned to keep trying until you find one stove that doesn't?

You have a weird interpretation of what it means to be logical.
If 'religion' is true...
'Religion" is not true. "Religion" is nothing but a collective noun attempting to catch together things that are vastly different. It's an error in thinking -- a sort of general collective of contempt. It's like calling all the possible answers to "2+2" "responses," and then imagining all "responses" are of the same value.

In other words, it's just not logic.
"Religion" is the generic term that describes any belief system that predetermines some reality exists beyond life ('re-ligion' derives from "relive") that is begged to be true and is expected to be gambled on without question or evidence and demands that those who 'doubt' it be treated as though they are the idiots who are require disproving these claims. Well, let's meet up after life, and then we'll discuss it then. But for here in THIS life, I will only gamble with what I can see and touch and experience before I gamble on what I require death to confirm or deny.
If you support BEING religious as better than not...
I don't. In fact, I've never met one solitary human being who, when asked, said, "Well, I'm religious," without immediately going on to say, "a Catholic," or "a Buddhist," or "a Hindu," or whatever. There's nobody who thinks that just "being religious" is a good thing...except those who have no grasp of what's at stake, like perhaps Western Leftists. They like imaginary constructs like "religion" because they think it allows them to dismiss them all at one go.

But no, I do not support "being religious." Rather, I would support people in believing the truth, and in rejecting delusions, whether religious or Atheist.
You are responding to the post-derived adjective of 'religious' to describe a degree of devotion. The adjective 'religion' is not the same thing used when one speaks of the collection of beliefs in some post-life world-view of which our present life is but some 'test.'

, then comparing to only one kind of 'atheism',
Wait a minute: I thought there WAS only one kind of Atheism.

Atheists tell me that's true. They say, "Atheism is not a claim to know anything, but a claim to disbelieve in what you believe." Are they lying to me?

If there's more than one kind of Atheism, then whatever they believe has to be additional to their confessed disbelief in God. And that must necessarily be ideological. Are you content to say that Atheism isn't a single disbelief, but is rather a cluster of ideologies? Will other Atheists be happy to join you in that?
Don't short-quote me and lose the context of my claims. The 'a-' in "atheism" is the same as in "agnostic" and means WITHOUT theism.

I have to go and so will come back later to complete.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:00 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 pm
That FACT is that there is 4300 approximate distinctly different religions in the world.
A fact of zero implication for whether or not any of them is true.
...but a fact that all but one to be considered true in light of the majority of those wrong makes better sense?
Absolutely, it makes better sense. When people offer directly contradictory answers, not more than one of them can be right.

Rationally speaking, it's even possible that all of them could be wrong (so long as they do not cover all possible scenarios), but there is literally zero chance of them all being right. That's basic logic.

That's Aristotle, not me. But he's dead right about that.
If you are trying to determine whether it is wise to not touch the stove's burner when it looks red, do you expect one to even try beyond one experience of being literally burned to keep trying until you find one stove that doesn't?
No. But it wouldn't tell me whether or not everything that looks red burns. I might mistakenly think that was true.
You have a weird interpretation of what it means to be logical.
It's Aristotle, actually. And his rules for logic are universal. Deny them, and logic becomes impossible.
I will only gamble with what I can see and touch and experience before I gamble on what I require death to confirm or deny.
You need to consider Pascal's Wager, then. The gamble you're making is a bad one. If you're wrong, you lose everything; if you're right, you win nothing more than you already possess.

That's bad gambling skills.
The adjective 'religion' is not the same thing used when one speaks of the collection of beliefs in some post-life world-view of which our present life is but some 'test.'

I see. It's the afterlife you object to. Interesting. I cannot help but wonder why.

Do you feel free to explain?
The 'a-' in "atheism" is the same as in "agnostic" and means WITHOUT theism.
Well, that's what I always say. But then the Atheists come roaring back and say, "Wait...there are many types of Atheism," and then they usually want to include agnosticism in them.

But logically, they cannot have it both ways. If the definition of Atheism ("a- +"theism," as you suggest) is telling, then Atheism is a single ideology...but it's also not rational, because it's an unprovable claim to knowledge and certainty.

On the other hand, if they are claiming it's only agnostic, then they would have to admit they all have some percentage of uncertainty, which we can ask them to explain. In any case, they have now admitted they are not claiming to "know" anything at all. They just "wish" it.

Which way is it? As I say, I will happily accept either answer. But obviously, it has to stay consistent, or they are being irrational -- and perhaps just evading the inherent problems of Atheism.

P.S. -- A follow-up thought: the prefix "a" means simply, "not," or negation. It's in words like "atypical" and "asymmetrical."

Thus "Atheism" is literally, "negation" + God, "no God." As such, it's a belief there is no God, not just a failure to believe in God or lack of belief in God (who would then, obviously, be implied to exist -- the very thing Atheism is at pains to deny).

The Greek particle designating "without" is "aneu." But I doubt that any Atheist wants to say, "There IS a God, but I'm without Him."

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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:38 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:00 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 pm
A fact of zero implication for whether or not any of them is true.
...but a fact that all but one to be considered true in light of the majority of those wrong makes better sense?
Absolutely, it makes better sense. When people offer directly contradictory answers, not more than one of them can be right.

Rationally speaking, it's even possible that all of them could be wrong (so long as they do not cover all possible scenarios), but there is literally zero chance of them all being right. That's basic logic.

That's Aristotle, not me. But he's dead right about that.
If you are trying to determine whether it is wise to not touch the stove's burner when it looks red, do you expect one to even try beyond one experience of being literally burned to keep trying until you find one stove that doesn't?
No. But it wouldn't tell me whether or not everything that looks red burns. I might mistakenly think that was true.
You have a weird interpretation of what it means to be logical.
It's Aristotle, actually. And his rules for logic are universal. Deny them, and logic becomes impossible.
What? You are inappropriately interpreting and ignoring the LOGICAL implication. My point is that since it IS virtually ZERO percent 'true' of the whole collection, then it makes being atheist the only ones with a greater relative percentage of being 'true'. YOU gave 97% of the population as being religious as though this suffices to keep religion. If 3% are non-theist, then the one 'true' religion of the 97% of the population with 0% truth value, makes that 3%, 100% rational! [0 times 0.97 = 0; 0.03 x 100 = 1]
I will only gamble with what I can see and touch and experience before I gamble on what I require death to confirm or deny.
You need to consider Pascal's Wager, then. The gamble you're making is a bad one. If you're wrong, you lose everything; if you're right, you win nothing more than you already possess.

That's bad gambling skills.[/quote]
Is it bad to NOT buy a lottery ticket? You aren't one of those who falls for those chain letters that tell you that you have to copy and send out five of the same to your friends and loved ones or you'd have bad luck, are you?

I'm sure Osama bin Laden agrees with you. In fact, any religious truth has NO KNOWABLE PROBABILITY. It is 'indeterminate' and thus ANY religious person's claim is as equally 'valid' to any other without this known factor.

Furthermore, given this measure AND the nature of one in any ideal situation to reflect: what better way to 'save' the world than to destroy it. While you triggering this will likely send you to hell by your own god, this would prove you to be the ultimate and sincerest sacrifice. Spend an eternity in hell to shortcut many people's means to go to heaven! After all, if for those killed are 'innocent' in Gods eyes, you save the innocent from having to suffer before they have a chance to sin, right? [And I am already aware of the evangelical interpretation that children are presumed born 'evil' until they 'choose' their god. In this case, the terrorist working can still be considered LESS evil for getting rid of MORE evil. :wink: ]

What Pascal's wager does is just to enable every religion able to sell After-life-Lottery-prize tickets. Given the thousands of religions of which you think only one is certainly correct, your wager would require accepting the possibility that your religion is wrong and thus I can throw this back to you. Why not gamble on all of them just in case the one you do believe turns our wrong?
The adjective 'religion' is not the same thing used when one speaks of the collection of beliefs in some post-life world-view of which our present life is but some 'test.'

I see. It's the afterlife you object to. Interesting. I cannot help but wonder why.

Do you feel free to explain?
Again, this is weird thinking to me. You are placing significance on some place and time beyond our life. While it is hard for beings to resist death, it is not a universal appeal to live forever.

On this logic, it would be wise to shoot someone if you gamble they just might shoot you first. Better to just kill everyone off JUST IN CASE they are the Devil. It would be awful if you lost your chance to save yourself and others should you be wrong, right?
The 'a-' in "atheism" is the same as in "agnostic" and means WITHOUT theism.
Well, that's what I always say. But then the Atheists come roaring back and say, "Wait...there are many types of Atheism," and then they usually want to include agnosticism in them.

But logically, they cannot have it both ways. If the definition of Atheism ("a- +"theism," as you suggest) is telling, then Atheism is a single ideology...but it's also not rational, because it's an unprovable claim to knowledge and certainty.

On the other hand, if they are claiming it's only agnostic, then they would have to admit they all have some percentage of uncertainty, which we can ask them to explain. In any case, they have now admitted they are not claiming to "know" anything at all. They just "wish" it.

Which way is it? As I say, I will happily accept either answer. But obviously, it has to stay consistent, or they are being irrational -- and perhaps just evading the inherent problems of Atheism.[/quote]
So you are TELLING me that it is illegitimate for one who LACKS A BELIEF to use a single word to symbolize the concept? It sounds more of the means of the religious to destroy anything that goes against their beliefs by preventing others from having a fixed concept in mind. Note that I use the word, "non-religious", simply because many can't or won't accept the meaning of "atheist" to have a meaning. If you don't like to think there is a word for not being a religious person, then interpret "atheist" to "non-religious".

Now if it is the meaning and not the word that you think is possible, are you saying that anyone lacking something is the same as denying it? Furthermore, are you saying one cannot be both? I lack a car. So I say I am without-a-car. But does this mean I deny they exist? Note I CAN also be against having a car by denying myself one simultaneously with lacking one. How would this be irrational? Replace the word 'car' with religion. If you have contention with the word, religion, pick each and every belief you have in mind of what you think the atheists are denying.
P.S. -- A follow-up thought: the prefix "a" means simply, "not," or negation. It's in words like "atypical" and "asymmetrical."
Different times and places have different negation types of words. the 'a' in atheist and agnostic means "without" or "absent". Also some negations flip in meaning, just as one can think it cool to be hot or hot to be cool. 8)
Thus "Atheism" is literally, "negation" + God, "no God." As such, it's a belief there is no God, not just a failure to believe in God or lack of belief in God (who would then, obviously, be implied to exist -- the very thing Atheism is at pains to deny).

The Greek particle designating "without" is "aneu." But I doubt that any Atheist wants to say, "There IS a God, but I'm without Him."
I never originally had a word for what I new I was. But as I learned early on, when I was given select words for what I was by the religious, if I had to accept something like "unbelief" for what I am, it implies that I am "UN-(doing)" some prior state of belief. "Atheist" is a word taught to religious people as those who are NOT non-believers but their Devil in disguise attempting to trick them or 'test' their vulnerability.

There isn't a word you would like. But don't tell me that if I lack something, it is due to denying it. I'm sure the conservative believes this about those who aren't rich. It's not that they are not-rich, it is that they just don't want to be. :roll:

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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:58 am

@Immanuel Can,

I already recognize the concern about the fact that if people don't find there is no absolute 'right' over 'wrong' that this CAN lead to potential chaos. In many ways this is the effect of many parents today (from all backgrounds, religious or not) who SPOIL their kids by allowing them to OWN their own interpretation of what is or is not 'right'. Obviously a moral value one selects out of their own favor is not the same significance to ones' selection of color. But this points out the means to at least SET people's morals concepts in sync: Alter how we raise our children to be more uniform to assigning the values we want in them.

So, even if there is no religion to dictate what is right or wrong as a mental enforcer, you can install this in children by attending specifically to children's development windows OUTSIDE of religion. What MATTERS for some more balanced society is to have the same common internal assignments of value. So you can do this in a more secular way and just allow the religious place to add an artistic way of adding color to the values. This is like having science 'sell' itself through appealing artistic representations and related art. There can be a place for religion if it is not in a place of power.

A government can aid people's capacity be learn the art of people in general (like museums). But they are like how a University can teach people the methods of artistic expression, which techniques work better or not, what appeals and grabs people's attention better, how to use a paint brush, etc, But it cannot make one a successful artist. The art is distinct and if controlled, it is a counter to free expression.

You don't need religious 'truth' to be pretended real for moral values to exist. If this was the ONLY way this could occur, then it would only suggest that no morals are 'real' for such dependency. The fact that we 'feel' some moral ideals in us, without religion, it has to be something about those assignments in the development windows I speak of. It is at least better to take the gamble of scientific investigations into trying to determine what we can do to align our moral compasses to be in sync.

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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:31 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:38 am
What? You are inappropriately interpreting and ignoring the LOGICAL implication. My point is that since it IS virtually ZERO percent 'true' of the whole collection, then it makes being atheist the only ones with a greater relative percentage of being 'true'.
Actually, there are two logical errors here.

Firstly, it doesn't follow that even if the whole collection is not true, that Atheism is true. It would only follow to say that the right religious theory had not been found yet...but it would not prove whether or not this undiscovered, potentially right theory, or any of those not-right theories, referred to anything real -- i.e. a God or gods. I can have an incorrect theory about molecular structures...and in fact, we can formulate thousands of wrong theories, if we want. But that would not imply molecular structures aren't real, or that no potential theory can ever describe them.

Secondly, as I pointed out before, one can't calculate the chances of a particular answer being right or wrong by averaging the wrong answers with the right one. So if one of the theories of Theism were correct, no number of incorrect Theistic models would have any impact at all on that.

So the argument just doesn't add up there.
I will only gamble with what I can see and touch and experience before I gamble on what I require death to confirm or deny.
You need to consider Pascal's Wager, then. The gamble you're making is a bad one. If you're wrong, you lose everything; if you're right, you win nothing more than you already possess.

That's bad gambling skills.
Is it bad to NOT buy a lottery ticket?
Bad analogy. If you don't win the lottery, you lose nothing at all. If you gamble on this and lose, you lose literally everything.

Let's use a better analogy: stepping into an elevator on the 10th floor of a building. If I told you that the elevator was reliable 85% of the time, but the other 15% it plunged to the basement, killing all occupants, would you step in? No, because the loss you would potentially entail would vastly outweigh the inconvenience of walking down a few flights of stairs.

But the loss entailed by dying in an elevator crash pales to utter insignificance compared the potential loss Pascal is talking about. But meanwhile, the Atheists actually gains nothing; he's no better off than the Theist for being an Atheist, except perhaps in a temporary illusion of superiority. But what does that really count if we actually live the kind of universe Atheism requires -- an indifferent, mechanistic universe, in which death ends all forever?

The Atheist has got nothing to win, and everything to lose. And being a great mathematician, Pascal could not possibly overlook the odds there.
Furthermore, given this measure AND the nature of one in any ideal situation to reflect: what better way to 'save' the world than to destroy it.
I don't know any Theist who thinks this sort of idea makes sense, but perhaps there could be a cultist somewhere who does. It completely misunderstands the meaning of the word "save," for sure.
[Pascal's ]wager would require accepting the possibility that your religion is wrong and thus I can throw this back to you. Why not gamble on all of them just in case the one you do believe turns our wrong?
Pascal covered this. He said we'd best be very careful what we choose. If you pick carelessly, you could also lose. And that's fair enough.

But the Atheist is bound to lose.

He's not actually "gambling": he's just donating money to the "casino."
The adjective 'religion' is not the same thing used when one speaks of the collection of beliefs in some post-life world-view of which our present life is but some 'test.'

I see. It's the afterlife you object to. Interesting. I cannot help but wonder why.

Do you feel free to explain?
Again, this is weird thinking to me. You are placing significance on some place and time beyond our life.

Yes, indeed. All human beings do some of this. I've never been to a secular funeral where the director or ersatz clergyman brought in for the occasion didn't say, "Well, John will live on...in our memories...or in every football game...or looking down on us, wherever he is..." Now, that's sentimental claptrap, of course, if Atheism is right. So why do Atheists feel the need to resort to it?

But in point of fact, it's understandable. As you point out, we all "resist death." It's like we know we're supposed to be about more. And no wonder: life is very, very short. It seems long when you're young, but before you can even believe it, there's "snow on the roof," your knees ache a bit, and you can't run like you used to. Then it gets worse...and worse...and worse...and that period lasts from middle age to the end. Every single day you know that your body is deteriorating, and nothing can be done about it.

Life is just too short. We don't have enough time and strength to be what we wanted to be, or do what we wanted to do. And at the end, if we could have health and youth, we would all want more of it.
While it is hard for beings to resist death, it is not a universal appeal to live forever.
Maybe that's just a failure of our ability to understand what eternal life entails. I think it is. And given the choice, any sane person will take "more life" over "death now," unless he's already old, frail, miserable or beaten down.
The 'a-' in "atheism" is the same as in "agnostic" and means WITHOUT theism.
Well, that's what I always say. But then the Atheists come roaring back and say, "Wait...there are many types of Atheism," and then they usually want to include agnosticism in them.

But logically, they cannot have it both ways. If the definition of Atheism ("a- +"theism," as you suggest) is telling, then Atheism is a single ideology...but it's also not rational, because it's an unprovable claim to knowledge and certainty.

On the other hand, if they are claiming it's only agnostic, then they would have to admit they all have some percentage of uncertainty, which we can ask them to explain. In any case, they have now admitted they are not claiming to "know" anything at all. They just "wish" it.

Which way is it? As I say, I will happily accept either answer. But obviously, it has to stay consistent, or they are being irrational -- and perhaps just evading the inherent problems of Atheism.
So you are TELLING me that it is illegitimate for one who LACKS A BELIEF to use a single word to symbolize the concept?
No. But I'm saying that's an agnostic, not an Atheist. The term "Atheism" has no rational meaning.

But let's examine your definition: an "Atheist" is one who "lacks a belief." Well, rocks have no belief...are they "Atheists'? Trees do not believe things...are they "Atheists"? And babies, they have no beliefs about God...are they all "Atheists"? Is it not much more obvious that none of these things have a belief that qualifies them as Theists or Atheists at all?

So the term "Atheism" indicates only a person who deliberately disbelieves in God. It can't be just a "lack." In any case, if somebody "lacks" something, that suggests it exists -- as in, if I "lack water," then I am dehydrated; but that's only possible because water exists. How could I "lack" what does not exist? So the "lack" definition makes no sense on its own terms.

In point of fact, however, the Atheist only wants to say, "I lack a belief in God," not "I lack God." The word "lack" may be bad, but let's substitute "do not have". Okay, now an Atheist is someone who "does not have a belief in God."

Here's the problem: when you say you "don't have a belief" then you are making one of two kinds of statement: personal, or universal. If it's personal, one is only saying, "Lots of other people believe X, but I don't." Okay, but big deal. After all, there is much any person has not experienced and does not know about; so it's just a personal confession of one's own limitations of experience or knowledge. On the other hand, if the Atheist claim is universal, it's something like "I don't believe in God, and none of you are rational to do so either."

And that requires rational justification. If I happen not to know about Eritrea, that doesn't mean I disbelieve in it. I simply don't know, and have no epistemic stance toward is. On the other hand, if I deliberately refuse to believe such a country exists, then a rational person can come to me and say, "Why are you so dead set against believing in Eritrea?" And I would owe a rational answer.

Atheism claims to be rational disbelief. But it doesn't want to provide its reasons. That makes it irrational.
Note that I use the word, "non-religious", simply because many can't or won't accept the meaning of "atheist" to have a meaning. If you don't like to think there is a word for not being a religious person, then interpret "atheist" to "non-religious".

But the word "religious" is a poor one. It already assumes that all "religions" are cut from the same cloth. In other words, it's a case of the Atheist trying to assume his conclusion, then make it stick.

If one of these "religions" is true, then it's not a "religion" at all...it's the truth. So we should ask the Atheist, "How have you managed to find out that none of the "religions" is true?" And again, he'd owe us his evidence.
Now if it is the meaning and not the word that you think is possible, are you saying that anyone lacking something is the same as denying it?
"Lack" is a problematic word for the Atheist, as I have noted above. One who "lacks" lacks a real thing. And the fact of having no beliefs at all about the question doesn't give us grounds to distinguish between an "Atheist" and the case of a rock or a tree. So that definition just won't work.

However, if "Atheist" means to understand the question, and not to know how to answer it, and not to have firm evidence for any conclusion, then he's an agnostic, not an "Atheist." Or maybe he's just confused: that's possible too.
Furthermore, are you saying one cannot be both? I lack a car.
Cars exist.
So I say I am without-a-car. But does this mean I deny they exist?
No: it would imply that you don't deny they do. Is your suggestion there that Atheists are not implying God does not exist? That they don't really deny His existence?

Odd: for people who, in your analogy, must accept that God may exist, then sure seem intent on telling everybody He doesn't.
Note I CAN also be against having a car by denying myself one simultaneously with lacking one. How would this be irrational?
The irrational bit would come when someone asked you, "Why are you against cars?" and you had no reason at all to give. If you could give reasons, then you would be rational. But what are the Atheist reasons?
I never originally had a word for what I new I was.
It's "agnostic" if you're rational, and "Atheist" if you're not.
There isn't a word you would like.

Sure there is. If you tell me you are either, I'll believe you.

But what I would not believe is if you try to be both at the same time: Atheist when you want to say, "Religious people are wrong," but agnostic the very minute you're asked to produce any reasons for saying so.

Either you have rational disbelief (and can give reasons) or you are undecided (agnostic); but it is not rational for a person to say, "Well, as an Atheist, I have rational disbelief in God, and I'm happy to tell all you Theists you ought to believe as I do; but I'm not going to give you guys sufficient (or any) reasons."

Why would a person claim to have rational disbelief, but run away when asked for reasons? Yet that's the Atheist position.

There's a great new book out on this: Andy Bannister wrote it. It's called "The Atheist Who Didn't Exist." I understand that even Atheists have found it amusing, but it really makes the point well. I highly recommend it.
Last edited by Immanuel Can on Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:49 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:58 am
I already recognize the concern about the fact that if people don't find there is no absolute 'right' over 'wrong' that this CAN lead to potential chaos. In many ways this is the effect of many parents today (from all backgrounds, religious or not) who SPOIL their kids by allowing them to OWN their own interpretation of what is or is not 'right'. Obviously a moral value one selects out of their own favor is not the same significance to ones' selection of color. But this points out the means to at least SET people's morals concepts in sync: Alter how we raise our children to be more uniform to assigning the values we want in them.
But now we're reduced to pure authoritarianism. We teach our kids what we want them to think is right and wrong, but not because it really is -- only because it gives us what "we want in them."
So, even if there is no religion to dictate what is right or wrong as a mental enforcer, you can install this in children by attending specifically to children's development windows OUTSIDE of religion.
You can, but only by propagandizing them. You know that the values you're teaching are completely arbitrary...but you teach your children as if they were not. You teach them to believe things you know are not actually true.

Yes, this can be done: but does that make it moral?

And worse still, children do grow up. Very early on, they start asking "Why"? If we have no answer but "Because I told you so," then they will not forever believe us. They're children; but they're not fools. When they are being fleeced, they will discover it. And then what? Not only will they do as they please, but if they are smart they will have no confidence in us from then on as well.
What MATTERS for some more balanced society is to have the same common internal assignments of value. So you can do this in a more secular way and just allow the religious place to add an artistic way of adding color to the values.

I don't think so. Religion derives its authority only from the claim to be true. If it's declared false, then it has no traction.
This is like having science 'sell' itself through appealing artistic representations and related art. There can be a place for religion if it is not in a place of power.
Well, while I agree that no religion should control the political sphere, so that people can have free conscience, I think this misunderstands what people think "religion" really is. It's not an aesthetic taste, at least in most cases; it's a searching for truth. And once we declare that religion false, there's no real incentive to carry on with it at all.
You don't need religious 'truth' to be pretended real for moral values to exist.
You do need truth in order for values to refer to anything real. And religions propose to reveal that truth that grounds the values. There are no such values inherent to Atheism. Consider it:

"God is dead, so do not murder."
"God is dead, so do not steal, rape or pillage."
"God is dead, so give other people rights."

Does any of that make a lick of sense? Does any of it pass the first test of "Why?"
If this was the ONLY way this could occur, then it would only suggest that no morals are 'real' for such dependency.
That is exactly what Atheism implies. Nietzsche saw that. Dostoevsky saw that. And so will any child who can ask "Why"?
...scientific investigations into trying to determine what we can do to align our moral compasses to be in sync.
But that's just pure "social engineering," pure authoritarianism, if we know that morals are not real things. And why should we demand that they be "in sync?" Do we not live in a polity that values pluralism and multitudes of different cultures? To "sync" them up, we'll have to convince everyone of some new delusion, like "the triumph of the proletariat," or "the united nations of the world," or perhaps "the Third Reich." All three options will be equally moral, since real morals then don't exist.

But what "science" will give us morals? Where do we find what to put into the beakers and test tubes, to pinch in the Vernier callipers or to span with our measuring instruments? And how shall we judge our findings, since no Atheist criteria for morality exist?

Nietzsche knew: Atheism is Nihilism.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Arising_uk » Thu May 09, 2019 12:00 am

Immanuel Can wrote:...
... since no Atheist criteria for morality exist?
Of course there is, it's because it makes social society better to live in not to do these things. There's also the individual approach, it makes things safer for me and mine.
Nietzsche knew: Atheism is Nihilism.
Only for ex-theists.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Arising_uk » Thu May 09, 2019 12:04 am

Immanuel Can wrote:... But the Atheist is bound to lose.

He's not actually "gambling": he's just donating money to the "casino."
Which 'casino' should I bet in? The Hindu's, the Buddhists, the Muslims, the Jews, the Nordics, the Greeks, the Romans, the Mayan's, the Christian's(which sect? The Catholics, the Protestants?), etc, etc?

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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu May 09, 2019 8:44 am

Arising_uk wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:00 am
Immanuel Can wrote:...
... since no Atheist criteria for morality exist?
Of course there is, it's because it makes social society better to live in not to do these things. There's also the individual approach, it makes things safer for me and mine.
Nietzsche knew: Atheism is Nihilism.
Only for ex-theists.
I've been atheist all my life and am also belief there is truth to 'Nihilism', as in morality has no universal existence and is a mere animal relative construct. But I also don't think it is a concern if we pay attention to the critical periods of our development, because this is where I believe we get our values assigned, sensations and complex associations that derive 'morals'. The 'rule of law' through the management systems, like government, act AS what defines morality through negotiating. It makes it relative when there are differences in people's genetic and environmental inheritances. The more 'equal' these are, the more in common we share common morals.

I'm a fan of Michael Shermer, who is one of those atheists most interested in defending that morals exist without gods, but think this interpretation is NOT in sync with the actual point of the religious person's arguments. I don't like THAT nature lacks some essence of 'moral supremacy' but if it is a 'fit' evolutionary adjustment for some, this 'fitness' is only coincidental and dependent upon those "relative" environmental differences.

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Re: Cultural Relativism is wrong

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu May 09, 2019 1:04 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 8:44 am
Immanuel Can wrote:...
... since no Atheist criteria for morality exist?
Of course there is, it's because it makes social society better to live in
The problem is that Atheism has no necessary definition of "better." The Nazis thought Germany was "better" without Jews. The Southern Democrats thought the South was "better" with slave plantations. Pedophiles believe life is "better" with a ready supply of child victims.

Atheism has no singular position on "better." "Better" is whatever you think you want, because Atheism itself doesn't even attempt to answer the question of what "better" might be.

It has only one concern: that there should be no God. Beyond that, it's a total blank, leading to nihil, nothing in particular.
I've been atheist all my life and am also belief there is truth to 'Nihilism',
Essentially, this means "There is truth to the claim that that objectively nothing has value." Do you really agree with that?
as in morality has no universal existence and is a mere animal relative construct.
Apparently you must. For "animal constructs" do not have any moral duty at all attached to them. If the "animal" decides to do differently, it can; and there's no reason at all it shouldn't.
The 'rule of law' through the management systems, like government, act AS what defines morality through negotiating. It makes it relative when there are differences in people's genetic and environmental inheritances. The more 'equal' these are, the more in common we share common morals.
The "rule of law" in various parts of the world's said, or now says the following: that women are worth only half what a man is; that a rape victim deserves stoning; that women can murder their children at will; that children can be enslaved and traded; that we should kill infidels; that we should own slaves; that we should break and bind women's feet; that we should put the elderly on ice floes; that we should eat each other...

Need I go on? There's no way, under Atheism, to know which of these is more "right" or "wrong" than any other. The "rule of law" just says whatever the local prejudices are, because there's no objective truth underwriting any of these particular codes. And when society changes again, and says something hideous, we'll have no grounds for protest, because it will then be "the rule of law."
I'm a fan of Michael Shermer, who is one of those atheists most interested in defending that morals exist without gods,

I'm afraid Shermer doesn't even understand the question, let alone the answer.
...if it is a 'fit' evolutionary adjustment for some, this 'fitness' is only coincidental and dependent upon those "relative" environmental differences...
It's actually not. What you'll find is that when you try to match particular moral precepts with some sort of "survival value" some will seem to work, some will work only conditionally or badly, and some will just become so implausible as to be impossible to explain in evolutionary terms. The only way to avoid this is to avoid looking at any particulars altogether -- which is generally what proponents of the evolutionary ethics view have to do.

Says Darwin himself, if a feature cannot present a definite survival advantage it cannot be selected-for by evolution itself. It's not adaptive at all, and the evolutionary process is then "blind" to it, and it is eliminated. Thus most moral standards should not exist, given the evolutionists view; for in the case of many of them, we can readily imagine an alternative that is clearly more "adaptive."

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