Why is there no philosophy forum?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #39108

    Unseen
    Participant

    Many of our discussions—very many—are discussions about philosophical matters, and yet we have to shoehorn them into the existing set of forum, many of them ending up in Small Talk.

    Why not a philosophy forum?

    #39109

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I’m not sure there is much atheist-related philosophy or learning you can have, unless it’s secular morality, which we have been forced into by incessant religious mocking and derision of our poor philosophy in that department.

    Beyond “lack of belief in God”, I don’t see there’s much more to say philosophically.  Bertrand’s teapot, um, what else?

    #39112

    Unseen
    Participant

    Yes, this is an atheist forum, but look around you Simon, many of our topics and even discussions within atheism-related topics, end up going in a philosophical direction.

    #39113

    Davis
    Moderator

    Simon, I do not know why you keep making claims about Philosophy without actually familiarising yourself with the subject. It is absolutely beyond my comprehension how someone feels compelled to comment to such an extent on a theme they know, and make little effort, to know more about.

    In the Leuven philosophy library the atheism/secularism/humanism related section (and keep in mind this is a Catholic university with a huge theology school) is one entire row. That is a LOT of books. Part of the reason so much has to be written, is because there are so many stupid bullshit counter arguments made by theists. But on top of that, you have a lot of discussion about how a secular world should function, secular ethics, tons of literature on humanism and a lot of analysis of religion and particular religions.

    • A very small selection of questions:
    • Does religion actually poison everything?
    • Are some religions more harmful/harmless than others?
    • Is totalitarian atheism (Leninism/Maosim) a separate form of atheism?
    • Does humanism put too much emphasis on humans to the cost of nature?
    • Should secular societies more aggressively stamp out religious institutional influence?
    • To what degree can we be certain about the non-existence of a fantastical entity?
    • Do virtue ethics and utilitarian ethics change absent of religious influence?
    • Is it moral to instil a religious world view into children before they are capable of rationally questioning it?
    • To what extent should secular schools give students the tools to question their own faiths?
    • Are the Abrahamic faiths inherently violent ones?
    • Should bioethics embrace the individual over the needs of a family unit?
    • How just is it that religious groups continue to disproportionately shape policies on abortion and euthanasia despite overwhelming support for them in most Western countries?
    • Can there be such thing as a radical atheist?
    • How problematic is it that Western society typifies an atheist as a Western non-believing sceptic when they are in fact the minority among the world’s atheists?
    • How different are Chinese, British and Indian atheists and why does that matter?
    • How to shape secular values in a world of disinformation?
    #39114

    Davis
    Moderator

    To answer your question Unseen, I did create an ethics and humanism forum which cover all of the philosophy related questions I have asked so far…but it wouldn’t hurt to have one. By all means create one.

    #39119

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’m not sure there is much atheist-related philosophy or learning you can have, unless it’s secular morality, which we have been forced into by incessant religious mocking and derision of our poor philosophy in that department. Beyond “lack of belief in God”, I don’t see there’s much more to say philosophically. Bertrand’s teapot, um, what else?

    I increasingly get the impression you have no idea what you’re talking about much of the time as exemplified by your assessment of philosophy. I realize in some circles “philosophy is dead” is a fashionable thing to say, but it’s far from true. Many issues can ONLY be settled intellectually through philosophy.

    I feel sad that you often don’t seem to be talking the same language as many of the rest of us. For example, I understand the difference between absolute fitness and relative fitness, and that being relatively more fit than the competition is what actually gets genes passed along to the next generation. It’s how it relates to cruelty and pleasure that’s a mystery you need to clarify, but haven’t. I realize this criticism may belong in that other discussion on consciousness, but I’m using it as an example. I don’t think I’m alone in wondering.

    To answer your question Unseen, I did create an ethics and humanism forum which cover all of the philosophy related questions I have asked so far…but it wouldn’t hurt to have one. By all means create one.

    Do you mean a main forum, like the ones on the Forum drop down list on the home page? Wouldn’t it take a moderator like you to do that?

     

    #39123

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It’s how it relates to cruelty and pleasure that’s a mystery you need to clarify,

    Fitness benefits (achieving goals) result in pleasure:

    Our brains could have been wired so that good food, sex, being the object of admiration, and observing the success of one’s children were all aversive experiences.  However, any ancestor whose brain was so wired would probably not have contributed much to the gene pool that makes human nature what it is now.  Similarly, if there were someone who experienced no upset at failure, no anxiety in the face of danger and no grief at the death of a child, his or her life might be free of suffering but also would probably be without much accomplishment, including having offspring.  These evolved preferences for pursuing certain resources and avoiding their loss are at the very centre of human experience.  It is not surprising that bad feelings are reliably aroused by losses, threats of losses, and inability to reach important goals …

    Randolph M Nesse – “Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness”

     

    I realize in some circles “philosophy is dead” is a fashionable thing to say, but it’s far from true. Many issues can ONLY be settled intellectually through philosophy.

    You’re right: for atheists, philosophy takes the place of theology.

    #39124

    Davis
    Moderator

    Hey Unseen,

    I am fairly certain that you can create a new group, and while you create a group, check the option to create a forum that is part of the group (I know that is slightly confusing). If you cannot do that, then I will happily create one for you. Go to images.google.com and search for two philosophy related images (try to be creative if possible) and add them: there is a general square image and a background landscape/panoramic size image. If all of this is too much of a nuisance, again, Ill do it for you no problem at all. Just let me know 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Davis.
    #39126

    Davis
    Moderator

    for atheists, philosophy takes the place of theology.

    Not really Simon. Theology is viewed as either a sub-branch of philosophy or an entirely different subject to philosophy. I take the latter view, some religious people do not.

    Theology is a particularly pernicious intellectual field (if you can call it intellectual) because, with the most miniscule of exceptions, it starts with the goal of defending a claim and/or making sense out of the rubble of confusing ancient texts/traditions/claims. This is an exercise that is doomed to fail intellectually from the beginning.

    No…atheism/secular/humanistic branches of philosophy do not aim to replace theology. They dedicate portions of their inquiry (some more to others) into showing how much steaming nonsense theology is. Atheism/secular/humanistic branches of philosophy rarely start with an axiomatic claim and then devote the rest of their inquiry to jamming pieces into a puzzle regardless of how badly they fit. You must be willing to completely admit you were wrong and change your views if your thought process or evidence leads to a different answer. Few theologians do that, most respected philosophers do. This is not replacing an empty space but throwing aside a plate of bullshit and building on centuries of philosophical tradition.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Davis.
    #39130

    Folks – I have added this group;

    https://atheistzone.com/groups/the-atheist-agora/

     

    #39137

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    But theologians are making an honest attempt to make sense of the factual information they think they have, in the same way that philosophers do.

    #39139

    But theologians are making an honest attempt to make sense of the factual information they think they have, in the same way that philosophers do..

    Ouch!! No No No!! It is not. Theology is the study of nothing.

     

    #39146

    Davis
    Moderator

    But theologians are making an honest attempt to make sense of the factual information they think they have, in the same way that philosophers do.

    Well Simon…you could say the same thing about flat-Earthers or QAnon lunatics. There is honestly no difference between flat-Earthers who put their stupid ideas into rational sounding arguments following a somewhat logical framework and what theologians do. Would you call flat-Earth mornic texts on the same plane as rational, critical, open-minded and open-to-being-wrong-about-everything philosophy? The very fact that theologians assume multiple axioms and are unwilling to budge on them puts it COMPLETELY at odds with most of modern philosophy (sans some of the post-modern nonsense). If you start by assuming something is absolute truth (or worse take it on faith) or try to justify your axioms at any cost you are, again doomed to intellectual failure. I simply do not see why just because theologians deal with “mystical men in the sky” or “exotic quaint religious traditions and many people hold dear to their heart” makes their bullshit any less absurd and intellectually bankrupt than flat-Earthers.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Davis.
    #39149

    jakelafort
    Participant

    But theologians are making an honest attempt to make sense of the factual information they think they have, in the same way that philosophers do.

    This is through a drunken monkey’s left eye after it has been torn by a marauding chimp.

    Philosophy is the opposite in its approach. Religion-DOGMA FAITH INDOCTRINATION make the wheels spin.
    PHILOSOPHY- INQUIRY REASON RATIONALISM are guidelines. The wheels of religion
    are anathema to philosophers.

    It is interesting though to see the parallel between the need for consistency WITHIN the fairy tale/comic book of religion compared to a paranoid schizophrenic’s delusion. Even within the delusion or fairy tale it is dishonest because it is rife with confirmation bias. Philosophers try to avoid that trap.

    #39159

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If you start by assuming something is absolute truth (or worse take it on faith) or try to justify your axioms at any cost you are, again doomed to intellectual failure.

    Good philosophy is like science, and good philosophers are like scientists.  That’s true.  But I still see a lot of people in love with indefensible positions, who won’t be budged.

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