Sunday School

Sunday School December 30th 2018

This topic contains 33 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 34 total)
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  • #25006

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think another definition of “meaning” is “signifying”.  So, to a religious person, the universe signifies all kinds of things about a Creator and having been created.

    For one thing, it signifies transcendent meaning (relevant to timeless goals/values that are a part of being a human being) that is somehow built into the fabric of the universe, presumably in a similar way to mathematics – it’s part of the structure.

    Mead’s view of meaning is anthropocentric to an atheist.

    #25007

    I think people confuse the terms “meaning” and “purpose”. Theists believe that they are given life as a gift from god. Their purpose during that life is to praise and serve that particular god. Whatever happens is willed by Him. He does everything for a reason, no matter how mysteriously it is done.

    I am not sure why they look for “the meaning” in anything that happens unless they understand the term to signify “the reason” it happens. It has all been predetermined since the beginning of time.

    For me, as an atheist, I see it very differently. I understand DNA to “be the boss”. It creates humans to pass itself on. It is “just” a molecule that is unaware that it does this. It has evolved over time to produce more complex species but Evolution does not know it created us any more than the Universe cares we exist. It is up to me (us) to decide what meaning my life has for me. What brings us most enjoyment? Of course much of the population of the planet can’t even do that because they are in constant survival mode, seeking food and shelter all day long. Evolution even forces us to spend about 1/3 of our lives asleep!! Anyway, I give praise to the Master Molecule for selecting me, naturally.

    #25008

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I am not sure why they look for “the meaning” in anything that happens unless they understand the term to signify “the reason” it happens.

    If something happens for a reason, and God made it happen, then God would have had goals.  Presumably, events relevant to these would have transcendental meaning: the meaning of the mind of God.

    So religious people are looking for transcendent meaning, because this is relevant to the purposes God had when He made the universe.

    #25009

    So religious people are looking for transcendent meaning,

    Why are they? Are they claiming to know the mind of god as well as having the ability to be able to communicate with Him? According to their faith their God created them in His own image, loves them and wants them to praise and worship Him in return. For this they are to become immortals like their God so why would they look for something that transcends this? What is the point if immortality is the end result of this life’s purpose??

    #25010

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    So religious people are looking for transcendent meaning,

    If they are, then I presume it’s because they are looking for confirmation that God exists.

    But also, we are all looking for transcendent meaning.  It’s just that atheists limit theirs to the human world, whereas religious people seem to see it in the whole universe, in the form of immutable moral laws (which can be plausibly explained by evolution) and human cooperation (” “).

    #25011

    If they are, then I presume it’s because they are looking for confirmation that God exists.

    Then they must have doubts about the existence of God. If they really believed what they profess to believe then no confirmation would be required.

    For me, I actively search out views and opinions that have the potential to destroy my own and my understandings of reality and my worldview.  Confirmation bias and group polarization how faith survives because the foundations upon which it is build are make-believe.

    It’s just that atheists limit theirs to the human world…

    I completely disagree. The atoms that build me and the atoms that build planets at the far side of the Universe are exactly the same. The whole Universe is unconcerned with any moral law or human endeavor.  I see no gods up there or down here.

    #25012

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The atoms that build me and the atoms that build planets at the far side of the Universe are exactly the same.

    Are you saying that you find meaning in this?

    #25013

    Are you saying that you find meaning in this?

    In the sense that it is was a profound understanding of the reality of the natural world to gain. Now it is just a fact – everything is made of atoms. Worthy of being tattooed on my arm 🙂

    #25014

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    So you could say it’s relevant to your goal of profoundly understanding the natural world.

    #25015

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Worthy of being tattooed my arm 🙂

    I see that a few people are posting on Think Atheist until quite recently, that’s strange.

    #25016

    I don’t think my “goal” is to understand the natural world. I know I will never know enough but I make an effort to learn new things and to consider new ideas. I am happy to revise or correct my current understanding of the world. I only consider the natural world and see nothing outside of it.

    Here is a good question to get the party started 🙂

    “Why don’t we all go outside now and commit suicide?” Think before you answer!

    #25017

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The ultimate goal every Christian or Jew has is to worship their lord to the point of self sacrifice (Jee-bus and Job) or sacrifice of their child (Abraham and god the father). There is nothing transcendent or moral about that bullshit. The result of attaining this goal is vicarious redemption – transfer of the responsibility of your sins to a scape goat. What sort of idiot believes this is objective morality?

    #25018

    Ivy
    Participant

    Why don’t we all go outside now and commit suicide?” Think before you answer!

    It has crossed my mind several times. But I know it would be worse for those who depend on me.

    #25019

    Davis
    Participant

    Are you saying that you find meaning in this?

    As much meaning as you can find in all the other non-sentient activity in the Universe. The Sun blasts the inner planets with intense and deadly radiation. Is there meaning in that? Water usually freezes at the poles and no ice is to be found at the equator. Is there meaning in that? There are more than 12,000 species of ants. Is there meaning in that…now that there are animate agents invovled? Archaic-homosapiens lived short lives. Is there meaning in that…perhaps this time cause there are semi-sentient beings here? The furthest known dwarf-planets take hundreds of Earth Years to circle our sun. Perhaps there is meaning in that? Humans can see only the tiniest sliver of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Is there meaning there? If you sever the human spine between the highest vertebrae, you die. Is there meaning in this…again perhaps because sentient-beings are involved?

    #25020

    Unseen
    Participant

    Sect. 43 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations says that: “For a large class of cases–though not for all–in which we employ the word ‘meaning,’ it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language.”

    What is the meaning of “meaning”? How do we use the word? What is the meaning of “belief”? How do we use the word? What are these words for? What happens when we use them?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.
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