Sunday School

Sunday School January 27th 2019

This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #25269

    There is evidence to show that an exorcist drove the devil from a possessed atheist!

    Catholic misogyny is not a mystery for a former Irish President.

    Thankfully the “In God We Trust” bill has nothing to do with religion!

    Following the Law may soon be optional for the Christian Right.

    This weeks’ Woo: Fake News Award for Science goes to….?

    Climate Change: Australia Day was very warm this year. Children there have had enough.

    What was New Atheism?

    As God is dead it is time to put trust in the better angels of our own nature.

    Understanding the rates of primate mutation allows us to learn more about our own evolution. So why do we still underestimate the Neanderthals or maybe they should not have underestimated us?

    A 4 billion year old “Earth rock” was found on the moon. Could a meteor strike like this one have brought it to the surface?

    For Philosophy to be useful it must be practical.

    A brief history of atomic theory with Carlo Rovelli.

    Long Read: Survivors of conspiracy theories speak out.

    This week I am reading this book: Well, this article before I decide which book.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil…..

    Coffee Break Video:  Brian Cox, Star lecture. It is from 2012 (before the Higgs boson discovery) but after it you will know more about the Universe (Can start at 9:00). TedTalk: The brain changing power of exercise.

    #25270

    Have a great week everyone!!

    Faith is belief without evidence and reason; coincidentally that’s also the definition of delusion.

    Richard Dawkins.

    #25271

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Interesting to see how conspiracy theorists and fake news enablers sometimes impact people on a very personal level.

    #25272

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!

    #25279

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    As God is dead it is time to put trust in the better angels of our own nature.

    I think that Tara Isabella Burton is right – there is a normal human yearning for something that is neglected by traditional atheism, which can be called “faith”,  or “hope”, or “optimism”.

    I’m not sure though if it’s universal to want to replace religion with something else equivalent.  I don’t see many atheists doing that.

    Have we thrown out the spiritual baby with the dogmatically religious bathwater?  Was the baby even visible in all the murk?  To some people yes, to others, no.

    I think Burton is also right to say that spirituality will find a way of surfacing in any transformational movement (like the rationalists), but I disagree that this is borrowed from theistic religion – more like Buddhism.

    Does theistic religion have a clearly visible spirituality?  Definitely, but not of that variety.

    #25281

    I think that Tara Isabella Burton is right – there is a normal human yearning for something that is neglected by traditional atheism, which can be called “faith”, or “hope”, or “optimism”

    What is traditional atheism? It is the same now as it was 2000 years ago. It is basically a lack of belief in the existence of any gods. Atheism does not strive to offer hope or optimism or anything encompassed by “faith”.

    Many of us who were never part of a religion or belonged to any system that was the foundation of a supernatural worldview, we never yearned for a god to give us hope or optimism.

    Whatever hope or optimism promised by traditional theism is founded on a lie, a false promise, a pious pretense of knowing what happens after we perish and charging people a lifetime of mental servitude based on its preposterous claims. To even entertain the thought that we are missing out on something “spiritual” because we don’t indulge in religious fantasies is to misunderstand what it means to be an atheist. Atheism does not define us but seeing the world without any god involved gives us a much greater vantage point to understand the world we exist in. We are a part of nature just like every other living creature, not some special creation that will be reborn in some supernatural summer camp.

    #25282

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    For Philosophy to be useful it must be practical.

    This is a very interesting tour around the Vienna Circle and the ideas about truth of Wittgenstein and Ramsey.

    According to the article, Wittgenstein’s original hyper-rational approach died a death(?).  I have a lot of sympathy for Ramsey’s position that we need human values to make sense of information.  Surely there is a place for both: which we could sum up as “truth is factual” or “truth is love”; one is informational, the other is useful.

    People whose emotional systems are knocked out by brain damage find it impossible to make choices about the simplest things, which just demonstrates that we need to make value judgements to get through life, even if we are doing something “purely rational” like mathematics.

    #25283

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I hadn’t heard of Ramsey before, but I like the fact that he seemed very rigorous.  I think he was more rigorous than Wittgenstein, who seemed to have started by dreaming up a scheme to make philosophy totally logical, and insisting on cramming everything into this, whereas Ramsey recognised that we are a human animal, through his free enquiry, and that philosophy has to take the human animal into account.

    #25288

    Unseen
    Participant

    I hadn’t heard of Ramsey before, but I like the fact that he seemed very rigorous. I think he was more rigorous than Wittgenstein, who seemed to have started by dreaming up a scheme to make philosophy totally logical, and insisting on cramming everything into this, whereas Ramsey recognised that we are a human animal, through his free enquiry, and that philosophy has to take the human animal into account.

    Wittgenstein himself rejected his early logicomathematical work, turning in his later philosophy to epistemology: what is it to know something. He was the most thoughtful of modern philosophers, and I mean that literally. Both his lectures and his magnum opus, Philosophical Investigations, basically consisted of thinking out loud.

    He did not write academic papers or pen scholarly books. Reading Philosophical Investigations is a real experience, whether you find anything in it to agree/disagree with. Even in translation he was, like Bertrand Russell, a master of communicating his thoughts in plain language.

    For what a word means, he recommends looking at how it is used. In most (not all) cases, he argues, that will reveal the meaning.

    A man and his wife are out shopping together and as they pass a jewelry store, the wife, whose birthday is in two or three weeks, stops and says “That is a lovely bracelet.” The real meaning is nowhere to be found in the mere words. It is the use of the sentence that is its meaning.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #25291

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The real meaning is nowhere to be found in the mere words. It is the use of the sentence that is its meaning.

    That makes sense – “meaning” in the sense of “what does it signify?”

    There’s also knowledge in common ground – the man and his wife both knew that the other was looking at the bracelet.

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