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What is the point of life? (atheists only please) watch

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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    self preservation is the cause for most law, that and hoping to stay in power (so another type of self preservation).

    so you agree then?

    by creating a law that EVERYONE or THE MAJORITY of people agree with, you stand the greatest chance of preserving ones power.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    You've made another paradoxical remark. First of all, you explain why you feel that other people have value, and admit that it's just an evolutionary instinct with no philosophical grounding. But then you go, "we must respect others' rights and liberties" as if you have in fact got some justification for it. To which position are you committing?
    UNTIL you feel that life has any value you will not understand any justifications. This is a major difference between you and the rest of the people debating with you. There is no philosophical reason for why life is valuable, it is an evolutionary instinct and people want to live. Not everyone is a nihilist and not everyone wants to spend their life moping shamrock. People want to enjoy it. Stop looking for a justification that isn't there. Life exists, people are alive, they want to enjoy it rather than waste it moping around surprisingly enough, this leads to morality and law, and that is all there is to it.
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    (Original post by Hypnotic_Me)
    so you agree then?

    by creating a law that EVERYONE or THE MAJORITY of people agree with, you stand the greatest chance of preserving ones power.
    I agree that's why the law is made, morals do exist, but they're not all the same. They're based on culture, often religion, The Biggest religion in this country seems to be Christianity, so if you have laws aimed at Christianity then you're more likely to get Christian votes. However the Christian laws themselves seem to be base upon self preservation:
    "don't commit adultery"-or the other guy will ******* smash your head in.
    "don't steal"-or who you stole from will smash your head in/society will crumble.

    by formalising these it just meant that people were less likely to do these things, if everyone did, then society would crumble, the makers of most religions don't seem to want that.

    morals do make up part of the law, but they're in general not the reason for the law, the reason for the law is to keep society how it is and keep society from crumbling, not to tell you you are right or wrong.
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    (Original post by Darkened Angel)
    UNTIL you feel that life has any value you will not understand any justifications. This is a major difference between you and the rest of the people debating with you. There is no philosophical reason for why life is valuable, it is an evolutionary instinct and people want to live. Not everyone is a nihilist and not everyone wants to spend their life moping shamrock. People want to enjoy it. Stop looking for a justification that isn't there. Life exists, people are alive, they want to enjoy it rather than waste it moping around surprisingly enough, this leads to morality and law, and that is all there is to it.
    So there isn't a justification and you're just doing it because you feel that way?
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    Why not? It's just a consequence of particle interaction, like anything else. Why a special category therefor?
    There is no special category; we simply have not studied behavior in that sort of situation.

    (Original post by shamrock92)
    Well, ultimately, we can't explain the logical leap that we make between premises in any kind of discourse. It's just reason that tells us the leap makes sense.

    You can be a baby and go, "Oh but it's not rigourously defined enough for me!" I won't be able to refute it, because, as I say, you can't explain reason (though it's transcendental, so it's justified). But I think you know in your heart what reason is, and when an argument is valid, and when premises are true. So tell me when you're willing to accept that, and when you're willing to play my game.
    You're ultimately saying that whether or not something is morally justified depends on whether or not something or another is "true". That's not helpful if the word "true" is meaningless.

    I am willing to accept huge "logical leaps...in discourse", but the idea of a meaningful "true" or "untrue" in statements that are vaguely related to morality is too much for me. And just using "true" in an intuitive way, as you suggest above, will not work, as there is too much variation in peoples' intuitions. Darkened Angel could claim, as a premise she "knows in her heart... to be true", that life has inherent value and we can use this to derive some sort of right and wrong - and you will simply state you doubt in your heart that it is true. And there are no possible arguments for or against, because this is a premise already.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    So there isn't a justification and you're just doing it because you feel that way?
    In a sense yes though that is simplifying it too much. I want to enjoy my life, I know others want to enjoy theirs too and I have to respect that if I want the same respect back. Things have to work both ways.

    There is no ultimate justification. It's just a fact of human nature, something most don't see a problem with because they want a life.
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    Does anyone else feel like quoting Sartre?
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    (Original post by The Bachelor)
    There is no special category; we simply have not studied behavior in that sort of situation.
    So it is behaviour, then.

    (Original post by The Bachelor)
    You're ultimately saying that whether or not something is morally justified depends on whether or not something or another is "true". That's not helpful if the word "true" is meaningless.
    It's not meaningless, it just invokes the Wittgenstein beetle-in-a-box problem. Reason is transcendentally reliable, but it can't be expressed adequately with words.

    For example:
    All men are mortal.
    Socrates is a man.
    Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

    If you refuse to see how we connect the premises then there is little I can do to prove it to you. Therefore, debate in Philosophy requires cooperation, and if you refuse to cooperate about reason, then I can't do anything about that.

    As I said before, we can't explain reason with words. If something's logical, it should cry out to you. If you don't want to accept truth in this sense, then fine, but don't pretend it's me who's ****** the game up.

    (Original post by The Bachelor)
    I am willing to accept huge "logical leaps...in discourse", but the idea of a meaningful "true" or "untrue" in statements that are vaguely related to morality is too much for me. And just using "true" in an intuitive way, as you suggest above, will not work, as there is too much variation in peoples' intuitions. Darkened Angel could claim, as a premise she "knows in her heart... to be true", that life has inherent value and we can use this to derive some sort of right and wrong - and you will simply state you doubt in your heart that it is true. And there are no possible arguments for or against, because this is a premise already.
    Aha!

    There's a difference between using "true" in a rational way and an emotive way. Whilst reason is essentially an instinct (albeit a relatively formalised one), it can't be doubted without self-contradiction. We can rely on reason. Emotion, on the other hand, can be doubted, and arguments based on emotional premises are assumption-based. We shouldn't trust assumptions.

    That's why I think I'm right and Darkened Angel is wrong - I'm asking for a rational justification for her behaving in a certain way, and she responds by saying "she feels that way". But that fails, because reason supersedes emotion.
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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    Does anyone else feel like quoting Sartre?
    Please, please don't. That man makes me cringe (though not as much as Kierkegaard).
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    (Original post by Darkened Angel)
    In a sense yes though that is simplifying it too much. I want to enjoy my life, I know others want to enjoy theirs too and I have to respect that if I want the same respect back. Things have to work both ways.

    There is no ultimate justification. It's just a fact of human nature, something most don't see a problem with because they want a life.
    That's all I wanted you to say. I just wanted you to stop being confusing - you were acting as if there's a rational justification for what you were saying, which you've now admitted there isn't. Cool.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    That's why I think I'm right and Darkened Angel is wrong - I'm asking for a rational justification for her behaving in a certain way, and she responds by saying "she feels that way". But that fails, because reason supersedes emotion.
    You'd be surprised.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    That's all I wanted you to say. I just wanted you to stop being confusing - you were acting as if there's a rational justification for what you were saying, which you've now admitted there isn't. Cool.
    To me it was a justification *shrugs*
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    Please, please don't. That man makes me cringe (though not as much as Kierkegaard).
    what have you got against Sartre?
    I don't know everything he did, perhaps it's all just condemned to be free, but I liked that.
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    (Original post by Darkened Angel)
    You'd be surprised.
    Reason cannot be doubted. It's transcendental - if we say "what if reason were actually unreliable?" we're contradicting ourselves, because we've used reason to criticise reason. That is, the possibility of reason being wrong can only be considered by reason itself - we simply can't have a scenario in which reason fails.

    Emotion can be doubted. It's just a random instinct. It has no order.

    Ergo, reason > emotion.

    (PS. It's interesting to note how such a vociferous critic of the irrationality of faith in God can simultaneously hold such faithy views on morality )
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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    what have you got against Sartre?
    I don't know everything he did, perhaps it's all just condemned to be free, but I liked that.
    First of all, he totally ignores determinism for no apparent reason.

    Second of all, he butchers in things to make his philosophy seem nicer, such as this idea of "defining yourself by the Other" to make Existentialism seem really social and nice, which is hopelessly incongruous.

    Third of all, he talks about how morality doesn't exist (fine) but then starts condemning people for Bad Faith (not fine).

    etc.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    First of all, he totally ignores determinism for no apparent reason.

    Second of all, he butchers in things to make his philosophy seem nicer, such as this idea of "defining yourself by the Other" to make Existentialism seem really social and nice, which is hopelessly incongruous.

    Third of all, he talks about how morality doesn't exist (fine) but then starts condemning people for Bad Faith (not fine).

    etc.
    when he sticks the basics he doesn't get tripped up, and do you know what he means by bad faith? it *might*(nice little disclaimer in there) not be what you're thinking.
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    (Original post by there's too much love)

    However the Christian laws themselves seem to be base upon self preservation:
    "don't commit adultery"-or the other guy will ******* smash your head in.
    "don't steal"-or who you stole from will smash your head in/society will crumble.
    I assume you're trying to make the connection of primal instincitive intuition there then?

    If so you could also say that there is a primal insticnt to preserve the species, hense why in darwinian theory of revolution, offsping are often in high numbers in increase the chance of survival of the genes of the parents.
    So adultery is actually not consistent with this, simply because the more people whom you have sex with, the more your genetics are passed on and thus, helping to a greater extent to preserve the species. From an individuals perspective, the aim of the game is to make sure ones own genetics are passed on, for to do otherwise would be to commit genetic suicide.


    morals do make up part of the law, but they're in general not the reason for the law, the reason for the law is to keep society how it is and keep society from crumbling, not to tell you you are right or wrong.
    But surely these inailiable terms such as truth, goodness , justice etc are part of something deeper within everyone. Lets take the UK's parliament, when they debate the proposed bill, each and every person in that room has their own feelings on what ever the bill is regarding. Not because it is law, at this point the potential law is just a bill. These such terms however, have been around long before christianity, ancient greek philosophers had a very different belief system and yet still played with the same old ideas.

    We deduce our moral stand points based on the context in which they're created. Of course this is true, but inconsistencies need not infer moral relativism. Merely a faulter in the logical reasoning of how we deduce what our stand point actally is.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    Reason cannot be doubted. It's transcendental - if we say "what if reason were actually unreliable?" we're contradicting ourselves, because we've used reason to criticise reason. That is, the possibility of reason being wrong can only be considered by reason itself - we simply can't have a scenario in which reason fails.

    Emotion can be doubted. It's just a random instinct. It has no order.

    Ergo, reason > emotion.
    Yeah but emotion is powerful and useful. Fear is an emotion and a very useful tool, even when one feels their fear is based on no reason it can be advantageous with respect to avoiding unknown dangers.
    Love is an unreasonable emotion but it produces reasonable results (and sometimes the opposite).

    There's loads of other examples. Reason itself can be dangerous as reason is also relative. One can believe it is reasonable to believe in God yet another will think otherwise. Reason is also based on personal perceptions. Usually it is more useful than emotion but at times emotion is more useful.

    (PS. It's interesting to note how such a vociferous critic of the irrationality of faith in God can simultaneously hold such faithy views on morality )
    Morality is evident, God isn't. They have a better basis but you do have a point, it's all down to evolution however.
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    (Original post by shamrock92)
    So it is behaviour, then.
    In the same sense that me detonating a nuclear bomb to destroy the earth is behavior, yes. It's definitely not behavior science has studied (which is what I said in the first place).



    (Original post by shamrock92)
    It's not meaningless, it just invokes the Wittgenstein beetle-in-a-box problem. Reason is transcendentally reliable, but it can't be expressed adequately with words.

    For example:
    All men are mortal.
    Socrates is a man.
    Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

    If you refuse to see how we connect the premises then there is little I can do to prove it to you.
    Firstly, I don't see what that has to do with the beetle argument. Secondly, I'm very willing to connect premises. If you were to say, for example:

    All waoeigj23oif3 are ;olkmoje3oig.
    mmmmmmlkjjoqiw is a waoeigj23oif3.
    Therefore, mmmmmmlkjjoqiw is ;olkmoje3oig.

    I would completely agree with you. Connecting the premises is not the problem (assuming one has logical axioms). The problem in your claims of "truth", as I see, lies in the acceptance of something as "true" or "untrue". How could we know it's true that all waoeigj23oif3 are ;olkmoje3oig? It neither seems true nor untrue; the truth claim seems meaningless.

    (Original post by shamrock92)
    As I said before, we can't explain reason with words. If something's logical, it should cry out to you. If you don't want to accept truth in this sense, then fine, but don't pretend it's me who's ****** the game up.

    There's a difference between using "true" in a rational way and an emotive way. Whilst reason is essentially an instinct (albeit a relatively formalised one), it can't be doubted without self-contradiction. We can rely on reason. Emotion, on the other hand, can be doubted, and arguments based on emotional premises are assumption-based. We shouldn't trust assumptions.

    That's why I think I'm right and Darkened Angel is wrong - I'm asking for a rational justification for her behaving in a certain way, and she responds by saying "she feels that way". But that fails, because reason supersedes emotion.
    Sorry, but it "cries out" to Darkened Angel that life has meaning. It is practically self-evident to her, and really has nothing to do with emotion. And you are unable to deny this, as you have accepted what "cries out" to someone as "true".

    Secondly, the premises used for reason can generally be doubted. A simple example is Thomas Aquinas' "one cannot have an infinite chain of causes". That axiom "cried out" to him, as it still cries out to many people, including on this forum. But equally (and this is partially thanks to relatively recent mathematical reasoning on infinite sets), people start to wonder "why not? What in principle prevents an infinite chain of causes?"
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    (Original post by Darkened Angel)
    Yeah but emotion is powerful and useful. Fear is an emotion and a very useful tool, even when one feels their fear is based on no reason it can be advantageous with respect to avoiding unknown dangers.
    Love is an unreasonable emotion but it produces reasonable results (and sometimes the opposite).
    I agree - there are some things which reason can't evaluate, but only instinct can. Hume is a good one for this.

    But, getting back on topic, we were talking about an a priori issue - morality. "I feel that way!" isn't a valid argument.

    (Original post by Darkened Angel)
    There's loads of other examples. Reason itself can be dangerous as reason is also relative. One can believe it is reasonable to believe in God yet another will think otherwise. Reason is also based on personal perceptions. Usually it is more useful than emotion but at times emotion is more useful.
    :hmmm:
 
 
 
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