Sunday, July 5, 2009

Do Atheists Want to be Human?

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Emuse is one of the people I admire form the CARM board (yes there are a few CARM atheists I like). He is bright and I like his personality. We have had a falling though over this issue. It's about my Thomas Reid argument. He says somethings that have a bearing on my discussions with Hermit about atheists being fully Human. Remember the big stink Hermit raised alleging that the Bishop said atheists are not fully human? But it seems to be that Emuse is willing to deny the basis of human experience in terms of private feelings just to deny a God argument. That raises several issues upon which I find atheists chucking the concept of being fully human. It me wonder if they sell humanity short and if they really want to be human.

In the Thomas Reid argument I propose a criteria by which humans make epistemic judgments about reality. we have to make judgments because we can have no ultimate proof.I then argue that Religious Experience meets the criteria we use for judgment and thus we should think of RE as trustworthy. The problem is there a distinction between what I mean by "shared" as part of the Criteria and what Emuse is willing to advance as his notion of shared. Now he says shared is objective experience that can agree upon and if any can't perceive it then the lack of such perceptions is an obvious problem: the example he gives is a chair, a concrete solid object that all can see. Obviously religious experience does not yield up solid objects as the presence of God. We are clearly talking about a subjective experience.

There we raise the old atheist dread of the subjective. Just calling it subjective is enough to convince any atheist that's its wrong and must dismissed at once. I argue that it's a shared experience but not to the extent that people are sharing the exact same experience. I say that mystics have the same kinds of experience when they feel the presence of God, not that they the exact same experience but the same kinds of experiences.

That means nothing to Emuse. He dismisses it immediately as "subjective." I say it's Inter-subjective. It's subjective but others can experience the same or something very similar. that is still a form of confirmation. But of course atheists completely deny anything subjective it's not even worth thinking about.

Here's how the argument went:

Quote:Meta:
It's what I mean by shared, it's my argument. I'm the one who introduced it. you are the clumsy thinker. you are trying to shift the meaning of the argument and it's not your argument.



Quote:Emuse:
Seriously Meta, this sounds so childish.



Meta

what does? because you never listened to the argument? I can prove it, I can' show my website.


Quote:Emuse:
I am responding to your arguments in the opening post that were lacking in some aspects. The reasons you gave in the opening post are not the only basis on which we determine something is real. We consider something to be real when a group of people all with the same faculties and in proximity to the object all experience it collectively whether they want to or not.


Meta:
not everything has to fit that same criteria. you are making red herring argument now because you expect that to cross over to the other meaning and mean the same thing there. you can it names al lyou want to you are not obeying the rules of logic! talking at cross purpsoes! not responding to my argument.


Quote:Emuse
If someone in a group saw a chair but no-one else present did then we would assume a problem. If someone heard a voice but no-one else present did then we would assume a problem. Why should we make a special case for religious claims?

Meta:
but if millions of other peole heard the same voice saying the same thing under the same kind of circumtances then we would think it's nto such a problem it' something else. it might be real its not insane or hallucination. how can people have the same kinds of experiences? that's insane that doesn't' happen. you have rationalized it by saying 'they all have human brain structured" you never did show me one single example other than this where that happens. you can't do it.

Emuse:
why would two people together at the same time have to experience God is the same way?

This has nothing to do with people having identical experiences. We don't know that our experiences are identical and it appears to me that you are trying to defend your position by resorting to some form of solipsism. We don't know that all experiences are identical but that is moot. If there is a chair in a room then everyone in proximity to it will experience it, irrespective of whether their experiences are identical and irrespective of whether they want to or not. That is the point. It is an important factor by which we determine something is real.



Meta
It sure as hell does! just think what you are saying man. you are trying to reduce all human experience to objective agreement on reality. But you damn well no two people ever experience everything exactly alike. God is not given in the sense God is not a chair. he's not an land mark he's not a point in the physical land scape. obviously we are dealing with another kind of experience.


you are totally dishonest in your reductionism here. you are screwing the oriognal argue all to hell make this point that doesn't apply! it does not apply! you are just trying to reduce the kind of experience I"m talking about to seeing a land mark on the street.



Emuse:
Many things are not given directly to sense data and can only be detected indirectly using other equipment. But anyone (even a group) could all still detect the phenomena using that equipment.

Meta
but that proves my point don't' you see that! that's just addmiting that there are other kinds of "shared" experience than just seeing objective landmark.

you are so dishonest in the way you are arguing. you can't even play fair long enough to have a real discussion.

Hey I admit I came unglued there. But look at what he's saying. He's saying that privet feelings and personal experiences are not valid and they really don't exist. He had to be saying that because he just he constantly comes back to the tangible object as the sum of all good criteria and he clearly dismisses personal expedience and inner feelings as any sort of guide to anything.


Quote:Emuse
But it is something of a moot point. Even if God is experienced in some other way we would still have to possess faculties to experience and interpret this event.

Meta
that's irrelevant because its not the case. we are experiencing this way and you are being dishonest about it. because its inter-subjective and you are not paying attention. you are trying to reduce it to some phsyical thing that can objectively viewed by all or nothing..
He has to pull two bait and switches. First where the replaces what I meant by the argument with his own view that reduces private feelings to non existence, then another one where he replaces private feelings with perceptions rather than feelings.

this is just the height of dishionest.

I start quoting a bunch of studies that say that peole who have religious experiences have identical kinds of experiences, this is true the world over:

rom Lukoff and lu's study
Quote:
The two major exceptions to the lack of shared instrumentation are the mysticism scale by Hood (1975) which has been used in quite a number of studies by Hood and others, and the repeated use of certain questions in survey research by Greeley and the Gallop Organization over a sixteen year period.
Holm (1982) “mysticism and intense experiences” demonstrates another level of cross-cultural validation.

Quote:
Method: The author translated into Swedish several Hood scales designed to measure mystical experiences. The items describing religious experiences drawn from William James, on Hood’s (1970) Religious Episode Experience Measure (REEM) with narratives taken from Nordic anthologies. Eighteen teachers of religion and psychology each administered the scales to 6-9 persons.
Findings: The study replicated most of Hood’s findings with the same instruments. “The results of our empirical study of mysticism in a Finnish-Swedish environment largely coincide with Hood’s results in an American environment…The cross-cultural testing that some of Hood’s methods have received as a result of our research on another continuant and in another linguistic area means that the results have received a wider range of applications.
The M scale has been validated with Iranian Muslims.
In a mostly Christian American sample (N = 1,379), confirmatory factor analysis of Hood's (1975) Mysticism Scale verified the existence of Stace's (1960) introvertive and extrovertive dimensions of mystical phenomenology along with a separate interpretation factor. A second study confirmed the presence of these three factors in not only another group of Americans (N = 188), but also a sample of Iranian Muslims (N = 185). Relationships of the introvertive and extrovertive factors with the interpretation factor were essentially identical across these two cultures, but the Americans displayed a stronger association between the two


here are his answers:

That is how they are diagnosed. I'm not saying that religious belief is a mental illness ... I'm merely saying that this is not enough in itself. This the problem you have by merely pointing to the content of the experience as a deference.
But a colour blind person can still detect the chair in other ways that are not determined by will and in ways that other members in a group could also. That is the point. Even a blind person could experience the chair through touch along with other members of a group. They would experience the chair at the same place and at the same time as everyone else in the group. That is one basis on which we determine that the chair (the cause of the experience) is objectively real. It isn't purely individualistic.


What gives him the right to assume that only tangible objects are valid experience? I understand that they are more verifiable than personal feelings. But when people have the same kinds of feelings and the descriptions are so alike they they they are talking about the same thing, and the result is a changed life, indicating the experience is real why does that not verify the experience in the say that corroboration of objective land marks does for a group of people?

atheists used to argue that experiences are all different. then I find the studies that say mystics have the same kinds of experience. But that doesn't amaze them or meaning anything because its subjective so it' still false we have to disregard it. But look at the inconstancy, we have to disregard because they must be different, then when it's proved their the same that doesn't mean anything!

To be sure he has atheist's disease, he can't evaluate arguments or evidence fairly. But more importantly look what the has to deny to make that argument work. He has to deny that he has feelings that matte. I argued that no one knows what it's like to be you. That's a unique fleeing, but it doesn't mean it's not real, you are real aren't you? His answered implied that no private feelings are not real because they are subjective.

I think this is one of the ways in which atheists want to deny their humanity. They don't understand what it means to be human. Doesn't mean they are not fully human, bu they don't want it. they reject the experience of humanity. They want to control. They want to be in charge of nature. They can never be in charge with God Around so they have to deny God.

15 comments:

stuart said...

Wow! I just read the greatest atheist manifesto ever written. Seriously. It's called the Real Messiah:

http://www.amazon.com/Real-Messiah-Throne-Origins-Christianity/dp/1906787123/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246864135&sr=8-1

It's written by a Jewish writer who found proof in a number of ancient sources that Jesus never claimed to be the messiah. It was all made up by later Christians in Rome to distract from the truth that threatened to overtake the whole Empire.

You see there was this Jewish king named Marcus Julius Agrippa. He was the St. Mark who wrote the gospel. He wrote the gospel secretly to have Jesus announce HIM as the messiah. Then the Roman authorities caught wind of what was going on and then cut Agrippa out of the gospel.

Don't you see!!! It's all a big lie - even the biggest lie in history. Jesus never claimed to be what all these people now say he was. They have been fooled by a second century editorial effort that still goes undetected.

How is Huller so sure of this conspiracy? He found an ancient throne in Venice which Italian sailors stole from the most ancient Church of St. Mark in Alexandria in the ninth century. The author proves that the throne goes back much further than that - i.e. all the way to the beginning of Christianity in Egypt.

In any event the throne has Hebrew letters and symbols which prove the real story of Christianity and how the modern Church is one big fake.

The throne is real. Here are pictures of the throne:

http://www.therealmessiahbook.blogspot.com
You can look it up with Google. It's a real object. But now the game is up. Christianity is proved to be a big lie and the world will never be the same again.

It's so great to be on the winning side at last! I've got to tell everyone.

All I got to say is that you got to read this book. This is the straw that breaks the back of the Church.

J.L. Hinman said...

ahahahahahahahahhahahaahhahaha that's even better than the Pizo family! that's the best Joke I've heard in ages.

the funniest part is it contradicts the Jesus mythers. that's so stupid! I can disprove that crap right now. The claim was not that they stole a throne the claim was that they stole Mark's body. that's what's the real (the claim its probably not Mark)> I saw that on a PBS travel show.

anyone can take a picture of a throne, what does that prove? I have a picture of bigfoot, does that bigfoot?

what's this about "at last I'm on the winning side?" that sort of tells something about atheism doesn't it?

thanks for bringing this up now I have more material for another blog spot.

A Hermit said...

"Emuse is one of the people I admire form the CARM board (yes there are a few CARM atheists I like). He is bright and I like his personality. We have had a falling though over this issue. It's about my Thomas Reid argument. He says somethings that have a bearing on my discussions with Hermit about atheists being fully Human. Remember the big stink Hermit raised alleging that the Bishop said atheists are not fully human? But it seems to be that Emuse is willing to deny the basis of human experience in terms of private feelings just to deny a God argument. That raises several issues upon which I find atheists chucking the concept of being fully human. It me wonder if they sell humanity short and if they really want to be human."

That's worth a big "fuck you" once again. I think you've completely misunderstood Emuse's argument here, (if anything the commonality of mystical experience points to their nature as a product of people's common humanity) and nowhere in it did he attack the humanity of anyone, like your pedophile enabling friend the Cardinal did...

J.L. Hinman said...

I don't see how you could interpret his arguments any other way but to say that whatever is subjective and wrong and must be dismissed. He basically says that the idea that people can have similar kinds of experiences as validating is childish.

A Hermit said...

Not everyone who has a "religious experience" attributes it to God, and certainly not to your idea of God...He's just saying those similar experiences don't warrant the conclusion you're attaching to them; ie that such experiences are the product of something other than something in our own human nature. You're making too big a leap here.

And in that sense you're the one denying something essential about humanity here...

A Hermit said...

You know, looking at this again I'm staring to get really pissed at you...you're response to Emuse is consistently rude and dismissive, for one thing, and for another you're continuing this assault on my humanity with a return to this idea that not adopting your argument makes one "less than fully human." INsterad of considering my objections to this insult you've chosen to compound it.

You really can be an ignorant prick, you know that?

A Hermit said...

"I think this is one of the ways in which atheists want to deny their humanity. They don't understand what it means to be human. Doesn't mean they are not fully human, bu they don't want it. they reject the experience of humanity. They want to control. They want to be in charge of nature. They can never be in charge with God Around so they have to deny God."

I more fully understand and value my humanity as an atheist than I ever did when I was weighed down by the artificial construct of a "god".

Theologians invent gods so they can deny nature...

J.L. Hinman said...

I dobout that. But you know there are some bad religious set ups. People need to understand the basics of self authentication and see seek groups that enhance that. They are out there you can find them.

stop thinking your experiences in church is the be all end all of religious life.

You were not a mystic, you did not have mystical experience. Did you have baptism of the Holy Spirit? did you have the spiritual gifts?

A Hermit said...

"You were not a mystic, you did not have mystical experience. Did you have baptism of the Holy Spirit? did you have the spiritual gifts?"

Who are you to judge my religious experiences?

You're sounding more like a self righteous "fundy" all the time...

J.L. Hinman said...

You were not a mystic, you did not have mystical experience. Did you have baptism of the Holy Spirit? did you have the spiritual gifts?"

Who are you to judge my religious experiences?

You're sounding more like a self righteous "fundy" all the time...

Well? are you?

sorry. I didn't mean to put it so bluntly. Rephrase: you do seem to be judging all churches by your experiences and perhaps your experiences are not universal?

A Hermit said...

"you do seem to be judging all churches by your experiences and perhaps your experiences are not universal?"

You're the one telling me I'm denying my humanity because I don't share your interpretation of the experience.

And this is my big objection to theism generally; you accuse atheists of wanting to be in control, but it's theists who try to take ownership of the infinite by giving it a name, tying it to religious dogma and inventing little doctrinal tests like your "gifts of the spirit" with which to pass judgement on anyone whose interpretation doesn't fit into the pigeonhole you've prepared for it.

If you weren't so desperate for control over what you call God you wouldn't get so upset with those of us who are just willing to accept it as nature, and our experience of it as profoundly human.

J.L. Hinman said...

You're the one telling me I'm denying my humanity because I don't share your interpretation of the experience.

a generla tendency among atheists not every single one. Denying personal feelings is a denial of humanity.

And this is my big objection to theism generally; you accuse atheists of wanting to be in control, but it's theists who try to take ownership of the infinite by giving it a name, tying it to religious dogma and inventing little doctrinal tests like your "gifts of the spirit" with which to pass judgement on anyone whose interpretation doesn't fit into the pigeonhole you've prepared for it.

Doctrine is a communal thing. It's membership in the commutes. Not all communities are exclusive.

Religious tradition is like a compos. People are trying to figure out what they experience. you want take away people's experiences. you want to force people to pretend they don't have them.


If you weren't so desperate for control over what you call God you wouldn't get so upset with those of us who are just willing to accept it as nature, and our experience of it as profoundly human.

all churches are like your chruch. you know all about every single one because you went to one.

you are judging all religious people by the one's you knew.

Mark said...

"you want take away people's experiences. you want to force people to pretend they don't have them."

On the contrary; I'm trying to get you to acknowledge that my experience might have as much as validity as yours.

You're projecting your own fears and attitudes onto me again...you do that a lot...

"all churches are like your chruch. you know all about every single one because you went to one."

I grew up in one Mennonite tradition, I attended others (there are more than one strain of Mennonites, in case you didn't know, from the Amish-like Old Order, to the more modern Old Mennonites I lived with in Ontario, to the liberal General Conference I attended with my parents and everything in between).

Over the years I've also attended Baptist and Pentecostal Churches, I've attended Catholic and Orthodox services, I've spent time with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Hare Krishnas...I even hung around with some Moonies in Toronto for awhile.

I realize it's easier for you to just dismiss me as some ignorant atheist, but that's a stereotype you've invented out of your own ignorance and has nothing to do with me...or most atheists I should think...

It seems to me you have this whole thing backwards. Acknowledging that the commonality of religious experience may be the product of our common humanity and not something bestowed on us by some divinity is not a denial of feelings or of humanity; it is a recognition of the power of human feelings; it's an embrace of our humanity. That's what your theism would deny us.

J.L. Hinman said...

On the contrary; I'm trying to get you to acknowledge that my experience might have as much as validity as yours.

why did you switch screen names?

You're projecting your own fears and attitudes onto me again...you do that a lot...

that's what you are doing. I'm objectively presenting the hate radiated by the extreme atheists.

"all churches are like your chruch. you know all about every single one because you went to one."

I grew up in one Mennonite tradition, I attended others (there are more than one strain of Mennonites, in case you didn't know, from the Amish-like Old Order, to the more modern Old Mennonites I lived with in Ontario, to the liberal General Conference I attended with my parents and everything in between).

Over the years I've also attended Baptist and Pentecostal Churches, I've attended Catholic and Orthodox services, I've spent time with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Hare Krishnas...I even hung around with some Moonies in Toronto for awhile.

I realize it's easier for you to just dismiss me as some ignorant atheist, but that's a stereotype you've invented out of your own ignorance and has nothing to do with me...or most atheists I should think...

I should not have to qualify my states infinitely every single time. the qualifications are knows commonly they should be assumed sometimes.

It seems to me you have this whole thing backwards. Acknowledging that the commonality of religious experience may be the product of our common humanity and not something bestowed on us by some divinity is not a denial of feelings or of humanity;


that wasn't really my argument. That's just incidental to where it comes up. The denial of private feelings in the argument that feelings are always lies and they don't exist and religious experience is just labeling things according to some sort of fantasy belief.


it is a recognition of the power of human feelings; it's an embrace of our humanity. That's what your theism would deny us.

It's a priori a denial of humanity because one of the most basic and cherished aspects of being human is feelings. Private inner feelings are the last domain of freedom in a one dimensional society. Atheists are willing to give that up just to destroy a God augment; that's hate.

A Hermit said...

"why did you switch screen names?"

Loged in with the wrong email...yes, it's Mark (also "Peewee", but that's another story...

"that's what you are doing. I'm objectively presenting the hate radiated by the extreme atheists." from my perspective you're distorting my arguments (and Emuse's) by viewing them through the lens of your own anger and hatred.

"I should not have to qualify my states infinitely every single time. the qualifications are knows commonly they should be assumed sometimes."

You're talking to me now, not to the imaginary other atheists in your head. This is just the old "not all Jews are greedy BUT..." dodge.

"It's a priori a denial of humanity because one of the most basic and cherished aspects of being human is feelings."

But there's no denial of feelings here at all, certainly not on my part. It's a recognition of the power of human feelings, and the limitations of human feelings. Discussing those things is NOT rejecting them.

"Private inner feelings are the last domain of freedom in a one dimensional society. Atheists are willing to give that up just to destroy a God augment; that's hate."

No one is giving them up, just interpreting them in a different light. And disagreeing with you or challenging one of your precious arguments is not an act of hate. Hate is telling me I'm a bad person for objecting to some pompous ass telling me I'm "less than fully human..." hate is thanking someone in another thread for calling me an idiot; hate is ignoring what I've actually said and arguing instead against these atheist bogeymen in your head.

You and your friend the Cardinal are the ones denying my humanity; all you're doing here is projecting your own bad attitude onto others in an effort to justify own hateful attitude.