Simon Paynton

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  • #37626

    Simon Paynton
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    A lack of belief in his (undefined) god is all that Atheism is. It is certainly not a code of ethics or a guide to the behaviour of atheists.

    That’s true, but I think the point that Sveda is making, is that since there are two possibilities on the table for how morality originated: 1) God did it; 2) evolution and natural selection: it’s down to evolution and natural selection to provide as complete an answer as 1).

    The fact is, that the theistic version of morality does work very well, albeit it is open to abuses of its own making, like self-delusion, charlatanism and hypocrisy.  I think this is because the structure of religion: promoting morality and punishing offenders, reflects the structure of morality itself, and it suffers from the same inherent dark sides (inter-group hatred, and moral anger).

    #37609

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    As for a flaw – those are the flaws: relying on these “proofs” as evidence.

    #37608

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Can you spot one major flaw in this more sophisticated argument by a Christian apologist?

    how could we possibly trust our brain in thinking about such truths if it evolved out of a mindless, unguided process that selected not for truth at all but only survival and advantageous behavior?

    This is a classic case of “truth as utility” versus “truth as accuracy”.  The author, Andrew Sveda, through Alvin Plantinga’s argument, seems to say that truth as utility may be inaccurate.  According to Robert Wright (I think), there is a small brown beetle that tries to mate with brown beer bottles it finds on the ground.  So, truth as utility can be inaccurate.  But humans are sophisticated and so they generally know what or whom they are trying to mate with.  Humans are sophisticated enough that their efforts to find truth, aimed at increasing fitness, are scientific and accurate enough to work with.  We have the ability to choose between truth-for-increasing-fitness, and truth-in-itself.

    Sveda also claims that without God, there are no objective morals and no objective meaning.  These things we can live without, in the sense that he means.  His moral objectivity, i.e., realism, i.e., the idea that morals are baked into the fabric of the universe – is an illusion.  Objective meaning – I certainly don’t need.  Our objective (biological) purpose is thriving and surviving and for some, reproducing.

    #37607

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I would say that 98 percent of all philosophers would agree with me that essentially free will is a myth.

    Stephen Fry, in a recent interview with the NYT.

    I would say, in that case, that 98% of philosophers are dismissing the existence of something because they can’t explain it.

    #37560

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    This is what I mean.  We have to call it something, but “rape culture” is an unpleasant name, although somewhat descriptive.

    We could call it patriarchal abuse.

    #37557

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    “Rape culture” is going to stick because it’s snappy and catchy.  But men need to get used to that paradigm, of being seen as potential rapists.  However, that’s an accurate paradigm according to that pyramid diagram.  Lack of consent, and coercion, are rapey.

    #37555

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What is not needed is harping on a “rape culture” without firmly defining terms.

    I think @theencogitationer has a point – “rape culture” is a massive downer.  Why not frame it in more neutral or positive and less gruesome terms, such as misogyny, sexism, or consent culture?  Who wants to be thinking about rape the whole time?

    Anti-social sexual behaviour, is a good name for it.

    #37550

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    lol

    #37492

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    My point was the statistics we are given are probably poppycock because (a) they are procedural disasters inflated artificially by a combination of fuzzy and/or overly broad definitions. and a set of motivations almost designed to inflate the number of reports

    I think you’re straw-manning the diagram to fit your agenda that feminists, and their scientific integrity, can’t be trusted.

    #37480

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think the idea of the pyramid is that the transgressions become more extreme and intense nearer to the top.  It’s a way of classifying sexual rudeness/assault in terms of severity, I suppose.

    This is not the same, somehow, as Richard Dawkins pointing out a similar concept to the SkepChick who was propositioned in the elevator.  The context was different, and loaded with the dynamic of wanting to hit back, instead of understand or listen.

    #37457

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Personally I find the idea of “social consequences” for speaking out of turn, pretty ominous.  To me, it sounds like the Chinese government.

    #37436

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I don’t quite agree with this article on people become atheists.

    Cognitive byproduct theory contends that religion arose from innate thought processes that emerged to serve other functions. …

    By this account, any self-reports of atheism only go “skin deep,” in that non-believers would have to actively suppress their innate religious feelings at all times. As is often said during war, “There are no atheists in the foxholes.”

    The original premise may be correct – cognitive byproducts – but it’s silly to say that this leads to non-believers having to actively suppress their innate religious feelings.  We just don’t.  On the other hand, I do think that religious people sometimes have to work hard to suppress atheistic feelings.

    #37431

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Speaking as an armchair commentator, I’d say that the lady’s response to Dawkins’ fulsome apology was not very gracious.  I think the original guy shouldn’t have propositioned her in the elevator.

    I wouldn’t say that Dawkins etc. have set anything back – but it looks like he’s hung on past his time, opening his mouth with nothing to say.  Atheism is such a loose coalition, that I don’t feel discredited by association.

    You don’t find William Lane Craig carrying on like this.

    #37425

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @simon – That is not what he said (or tweeted). I remember the incident very well as I had recently met him.

    I wonder how well any of us would stand up if all and every of our actions and remarks are reported to the whole world.

    But some things are going to put people’s backs up.  I’ve probably said things on social media which wouldn’t stand the light of day.   I try to keep my foot out of my mouth.

    – I had a look at the original tweets – Dawkins had virtually swallowed his whole leg.  If he had ever been sexually assaulted, he wouldn’t be saying those insulting things.

    #37402

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The truth of the accusations against Lawrence Krauss, David Silverman and Neil deGrasse Tyson remain murky in my mind since we did not have criminal trials.

    Would that make any difference, unless there was a confession of wrongful accusation?

    I think it was foolish of Richard Dawkins to say, apparently, that women shouldn’t complain about getting minor sexual offences against them, because it’s not as bad as a full-blown rape.  Or that’s how it came across.  He seems to have become like everyone’s bigoted uncle.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 2,390 total)