How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

Spin-off from "Dialog on 'Creationists read this' "

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2661  Postby BlackBart » Jan 09, 2019 10:59 pm

Literally dying? Wow.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2662  Postby archibald » Jan 10, 2019 9:53 am

BlackBart wrote:Literally dying? Wow.


I once briefly met a woman, a few years ago, who told me she had been brought up strict Roman Catholic, including being educated in a convent. She said to me that the nuns used to tell the children that they (humans) started to die the moment they were born (or possibly conceived, I'm not sure).

Personally, I thought that was stretching it a bit. But now that I'm nearly 60 years old, I think it might arguably be at least more applicable, to describe the underlying nature of my so far continuing existence. :)
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2663  Postby Jayjay4547 » Jan 10, 2019 9:54 am

Cito di Pense wrote:

Aww, you're not being treated with kid gloves. You've been broadcasting the same tired wibble for years, now, slathered in complaints about ideology and being treated rudely.


Actually Cito, I’ve developed a high tolerance to being treated rudely, I just won’t put up with being told I’m lying. And I’m not exactly complaining about ideology; my whole aim is to reveal the role of ideology In origin narratives, especially of human beings.


Cito di Pense wrote: Surely you understand that, if you had a point to make, you'd have made it already, including your contention that you're not being understood, or whatever it was, last time.


When you say “whatever it was, last time” you advertise that you couldn’t be bothered to go back and identify something concrete. I’m trying to present an argument in the context of an ideological blizzard that has been going on for many decades and to an audience who deny that they even share an ideology, although you imagine you are gathered in a “lifeboat”. It’s a good point that I should have been able to make my point already, but it’s an exploration and I feel the blizzard in my head as well as in your text. I would like to drop in two new things.


In discussing this Smithsonian Mag article on the human skin https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science- ... 1xo4mme.99 I criticized some of those involved: science writer Jason Daley for building his story on basic science research that had nothing to do with the speculations about the human skin he went on to detail. Mark Pagel for proposing that our hairless skin is to combat lice, and Mark Changizi who proposed that primate colour vision is to help in signalling emotional and health status. Also reader Ben Hotchkiss proposed it was to avoid getting singed by fire. I cited two others without criticism: reader Virginia Harlow pointed out racial prejudice and dermatology professor Sarah Millar author of the basic research. So the good guys were female. But then it occurred to me, ALL the female scientists and academics I have cited here, are or were good guys: Lynn Margulis, Elizabeth Vrba, Mary Midgley, Joan Roughgarden, Dorothy Cheney (died last year, sadly), Anne Engh. I’d like to add Christine Garwood (“Flat Earth”) and Linda Birke (‘Feminism, Animals and Science”). There is a pattern: women do good science and men tend to suffer cross-talk from ideology. The ideology pattern even extends to this forum where males predominate. OK I’m also male but I’m not so much an alpha.

I don’t know yet where to take that, also came across this YouTube of a “Brave monkey fights snake”

One thing that shows is the incredible excellence of a primate, at biting with speed and agility. But please do not try this at home, although you are also a primate and doubtless excellent in some other way.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2664  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 10, 2019 10:21 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:Actually Cito, I’ve developed a high tolerance to being treated rudely, I just won’t put up with being told I’m lying. And I’m not exactly complaining about ideology; my whole aim is to reveal the role of ideology In origin narratives, especially of human beings.


Well, if you could do that, wouldn't it be a feather in your cap!? I already asked you why you're trying to keep the human origins narrative separate from, say, the astrophysics narrative. I can't make that separation, so I'd like to know on what basis you're doing so. I suspect it's because you lack the mathematics facility to discuss astrophysics. Who knows what you suspect?

So far, your revelation of the role of ideology in origin narratives has been to keep on saying that ideology plays a role in the creation of narratives. You don't believe all narratives are equivalent, though. What are the consequences of this?
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2665  Postby zoon » Jan 10, 2019 11:28 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:..
my whole aim is to reveal the role of ideology In origin narratives, especially of human beings.

In discussing this Smithsonian Mag article on the human skin https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science- ... 1xo4mme.99 I criticized some of those involved: science writer Jason Daley for building his story on basic science research that had nothing to do with the speculations about the human skin he went on to detail. Mark Pagel for proposing that our hairless skin is to combat lice, and Mark Changizi who proposed that primate colour vision is to help in signalling emotional and health status. Also reader Ben Hotchkiss proposed it was to avoid getting singed by fire….

I take it your “ideology”, as you stated in the OP to this thread, is that humans were designed by God:
Jayjay4547 wrote:This claim is that the human origin story has been presented as one of self-creation, in reactive opposition to the Genesis story in which human beings were made by something greater than themselves- and which is a basic truth about human origins and the human status.


I’m happy to agree with you, in the context of this discussion, that my atheism, and that of most people here, includes an alternative narrative, or “ideology” if you want to use that term for both narratives. My alternative claim is that the hypothesis of evolution by natural selection is a better fit with the evidence than the hypothesis that God made us.

I agree with Dawkins (writing in “The Blind Watchmaker) that before the theory of evolution by natural selection was put forward, there was in fact strong evidence for some sort of goal-directed creation of living things, because there is such a strong appearance of teleology in their design: we grow eyes which are useful for seeing, ears which are useful for hearing, etc. The strength of the theory of evolution is that it explains how this apparent teleology comes about, without in fact requiring pre-thought-out goals.

You appear, somewhat bizarrely, to be putting forward an argument for God which is the reverse of the argument from design. OK, some scientists have put forward hypotheses to explain the hairless skin of humans, and all the 3 hypotheses which you cite have the surface appearance of being teleological in nature: the hairless skin may have been useful for discouraging lice, or for signalling emotions, or for not getting singed by fire. Of course, the scientists are using this teleological language as a shorthand for saying that natural selection over thousands of years resulted in the trait of hairless skin, but the weird thing about your argument is that, as far as I can tell, it’s the teleology you are objecting to. Since you are arguing that God created us, why are you so keen to argue that hairless skin is useless? If hairless skin doesn’t help us to avoid lice, or miscommunication, or getting burnt, then God just did it for the fun of it? Are you claiming, as a positive argument in favour of creationism, that God designed our bodies without any predesigned usefulness? The uselessness of the appendix, for example, is in your view an argument for God as designer, since in your view evolution would have made a better job of it?
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2666  Postby newolder » Jan 10, 2019 7:33 pm

archibald wrote:... Can I actually mentally have a lack of something in other words? How would or even could a lack of something even manifest physically in my brain?

I may be off-topic or a day late or a dollar short here... Your brain does not manifest physically the whole content of the attached image of parallel bars. After you begin to shake your head from side to side, you should get the rest. So, yes, one can actually mentally have a lack of something in other words.

The ratio of signal to noise gets altered.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2667  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 10, 2019 7:50 pm

Jayjay4547 wrote:Actually Cito, I’ve developed a high tolerance to being treated rudely, I just won’t put up with being told I’m lying. And I’m not exactly complaining about ideology; my whole aim is to reveal the role of ideology In origin narratives, especially of human beings.


Your song and dance (another term for "narrative") is a tale of human beings having been made by something greater than themselves and a tale of atheism as an alternative version of how human beings were made. It's as if all you care about is humans and how they were made. Apparently you believe humans have some great significance in the scheme of things.

First of all, that's your personal take on atheism, and if you try to force your tale beyond those bounds, you're lying about the justification for having done so. Evolutionary biology is not a tale of causes, and atheism is not a tale of human origins. Biology covers far more than you give it credit for, and atheism covers far less than your claim about narratives of origins.

You're stuck with the theist garbage of creationism, which is an ideology. Atheism doesn't posit that a creator is necessary to placing human beings in their context as some small part of the universe. If you're unhappy that some people won't accept a tale of creation by a higher power, cry me a river.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2668  Postby archibald » Jan 10, 2019 11:13 pm

Error. Double post.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2669  Postby archibald » Jan 10, 2019 11:14 pm

newolder wrote:
archibald wrote:... Can I actually mentally have a lack of something in other words? How would or even could a lack of something even manifest physically in my brain?

I may be off-topic or a day late or a dollar short here... Your brain does not manifest physically the whole content of the attached image of parallel bars. After you begin to shake your head from side to side, you should get the rest. So, yes, one can actually mentally have a lack of something in other words.

The ratio of signal to noise gets altered.


Thanks. Good example. I am not sure if it illustrates what I was suggesting is not possible, but it could do. I say that partly because I am not sure what it in fact does show, partly because I do not understand what 'altering the signal to noise ratio' actually means.

Do you/does it mean that I do see the cat's head (tell me it is a cat's head, lol, please) but that I am not consciously aware of seeing it (until I change the way I look at the image)? If so, how is that 'having an absence of something' in the way I'm trying to suggest (for the sake of argument)? What would be the analogy of that to atheism, in other words, for someone who felt that 'bare atheism' was (consisted of) a lack of belief?
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2670  Postby newolder » Jan 11, 2019 9:27 am

I’m not trained in neuroscience but the analysis I can bring is from a history of looking at signals containing a mixture of noise and data.

What I suspect happens with this illusion is that when the observer’s head remains still, the noise of the bars overwhelms the signal of the shaded shape such that it remains below the detection threshold of brain processes and the shape is not observed. However, when the observer shakes their head, new signal process pathways kick-in that damp out the moving bars and consequently, reveal the hidden shape.

The illusion of an absence of a shape is removed from another perspective.

There are many other optical illusions that show things that are not there, like for example illusions of motion where everything is, in fact, stationary.

As a side note: In physics there is the proposed phenomenon of Unruh radiation where a population of particles (photons) is observed in an accelerating reference frame that simply don’t exist to an inertial observer - a merry-go-round if ever there was!

Lack of belief in something could easily be a product of ignorance. Many believed, for example, that all swans were white until antipodean black swans were observed.

Belief in god(s) is/was often attributed to ignorance - "God only knows." I lack belief that god(s) exist beyond ideas in some human brains like I lack belief that Sherlock Holmes lived and breathed in London.

ETA: In light on Cito's comment below - I know of 0 cases where god(s) are a product of knowledge since they are often defined to exist beyond the reach of empiricism. Knowledge without empiricism - laugh all the way to the bank they do. :coffee:
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2671  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 11, 2019 9:32 am

newolder wrote:Belief in god(s) is/was often attributed to ignorance - "God only knows."


Often?

You could make a great contribution here by citing any cases for which belief in gods is NOT attributed to ignorance. This includes ignorance (purposeful or otherwise) of one's emotional commitments.

What's the problem? Is the problem only that we don't have detailed knowledge of ALL THE CASES? So much for induction. When does induction not work? When it's concluding something (that is, ignorance) is NOT the case?

No. For that, we need a contradiction; that is, we need to show that some specific wise-ass concluded a belief in gods... wisely.

Let's review, again: Belief in gods is a practice that is inherited from the very ignorant goat-roasters of long ago. To demonstrate this is not the case, find someone who used the word 'god' in a context that escapes the curse of the goat-roasters.

newolder wrote:IAs a side note: In physics there is the proposed phenomenon of Unruh radiation where a population of particles (photons) is observed in an accelerating reference frame that simply don’t exist to an inertial observer - a merry-go-round if ever there was!


Well, it's not as if an 'accelerating reference frame' is as poorly-defined as 'god' is. What's the problem, again? What we conclude is that belief in god is attributed to ignorance of how properly to define one's terms. Thank the goat-roasters for that.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2672  Postby zulumoose » Jan 11, 2019 9:46 am

citing any cases you know of in which belief in gods is NOT attributed to ignorance


That rather depends on who is doing the attributing. Attributing is not objective.

If he had used the word "due" instead of "attributed" you would have a point.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2673  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 11, 2019 9:49 am

zulumoose wrote:
citing any cases you know of in which belief in gods is NOT attributed to ignorance


That rather depends on who is doing the attributing. Attributing is not objective.

If he had used the word "due" instead of "attributed" you would have a point.


Assessing ignorance is not the same as assessing stupidity. We know how to assess ignorance. What you're saying is that we can't do it here because there are no facts in question. Problem solved. What do you propose as an alternative? Being batshit nuts? Brute stupidity? Got any better alternatives? I already mentioned the misuse of induction when there are no cases on which to base an induction.

Belief in gods is easily attributed to ignorance of whether there are, in fact, any gods, and "due to" works identically, here.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2674  Postby newolder » Jan 11, 2019 10:02 am

Cito di Pense wrote:...

newolder wrote:IAs a side note: In physics there is the proposed phenomenon of Unruh radiation where a population of particles (photons) is observed in an accelerating reference frame that simply don’t exist to an inertial observer - a merry-go-round if ever there was!


Well, it's not as if an 'accelerating reference frame' is as poorly-defined as 'god' is. What's the problem, again? What we conclude is that belief in god is attributed to ignorance of how properly to define one's terms. Thank the goat-roasters for that.

I'm not claiming any problem but the Unruh effect is/will be if confirmed paradoxical, no? From the Unruh wiki page:
Unruh demonstrated theoretically that the notion of vacuum depends on the path of the observer through spacetime. From the viewpoint of the accelerating observer, the vacuum of the inertial observer will look like a state containing many particles in thermal equilibrium—a warm gas.

The claim is that riders on a carousel see light constantly streaming into their faces where an observer in the fairground below eating candy-floss, sees nothing but darkness all around. :scratch:
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2675  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 11, 2019 10:04 am

newolder wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:...

newolder wrote:IAs a side note: In physics there is the proposed phenomenon of Unruh radiation where a population of particles (photons) is observed in an accelerating reference frame that simply don’t exist to an inertial observer - a merry-go-round if ever there was!


Well, it's not as if an 'accelerating reference frame' is as poorly-defined as 'god' is. What's the problem, again? What we conclude is that belief in god is attributed to ignorance of how properly to define one's terms. Thank the goat-roasters for that.

I'm not claiming any problem but the Unruh effect is/will be if confirmed paradoxical, no?


How is this relevant? There isn't an image of a cat hidden in theology that anyone can find if he just shakes his head around.

The problem isn't that there are entities that have not been proven not to exist. The problem is theology, which proposes entities that have not been observed to exist. Theology is observable, and you have to twist yourself inside out to imagine that theology is not the product of human thought. The Unruh effect is a cat image that really includes an image of a cat. I can see the cat even without shaking my head.

There are only two ways to think about god, and the way I choose is not to give it a second thought (as a going concern). I'll leave you to guess what the other one is. On this approach, there's only one way it matters to you whether you give it a second thought, and that just gets you back to Pascal's Wager. That's not a philosophical problem; it's a social disease having to do with how much tolerance you have for some kinds of bullshit.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2676  Postby zulumoose » Jan 11, 2019 10:16 am

What you're saying is that we can't do it here because there are no facts in question.


Point completely missed.

Here is a case where belief in gods is NOT attributed to ignorance.

Though we typically refer to knowledge of the gospel as “faith,” there’s no inconsistency in saying that faith is rational and even a matter of knowledge.
from https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/knowledge-and-christian-belief-alvin-plantinga-mitch-stokes/

Attributing can be done by anyone, that was my point.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2677  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 11, 2019 10:29 am

zulumoose wrote:
What you're saying is that we can't do it here because there are no facts in question.


Point completely missed.

Here is a case where belief in gods is NOT attributed to ignorance.

Though we typically refer to knowledge of the gospel as “faith,” there’s no inconsistency in saying that faith is rational and even a matter of knowledge.
from https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/knowledge-and-christian-belief-alvin-plantinga-mitch-stokes/

Attributing can be done by anyone, that was my point.


So, you don't like my choice of words. Well done, you. Your position is evidently that there can never be anything but opinion about this, but I've given my reasoning on this on several occasions. You're not swayed by assertions that faith is rational and even a matter of knowledge any more than I am. Don't mistake those sorts of assertions for the reasoning I've presented, because they have been trivially introduced to counter the charge of ignorance by saying "Nuh-uh. Faith is a matter of knowledge."

Do you have some lingering faith in god? I'm guessing not. What's the alternative? Do you take other kinds of brain-dead assertions seriously? IF so, it's no better than simply having faith in god.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2678  Postby zulumoose » Jan 11, 2019 10:37 am

Your position is that there can never be anything but opinion about this


Where do you get shit like this from?

Don't mistake those sorts of assertions for the reasoning I've presented


and this?

I make one simple point and you head off on tangents all over the place.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2679  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 11, 2019 10:41 am

zulumoose wrote:
I make one simple point and you head off on tangents all over the place.


You made no fucking point. You chose instead to split hairs about my choice of the word "attiributed". It's not even as if you regard theistic claims as the result of anything but ignorance. Unless you don't, in which case, go with Jebus.

zulumoose wrote:
Here is a case where belief in gods is NOT attributed to ignorance.


Uh, sure. The people who believe in gods don't attribute their belief to ignorance in the same way people don't go around trying to kick themselves in the ass. Point well taken.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#2680  Postby newolder » Jan 11, 2019 10:47 am

Cito di Pense wrote:...

How is this relevant? There isn't an image of a cat hidden in theology that anyone can find if he just shakes his head around.
...

I brought the purported Unruh effect as an example of things that are not there for one observer but may, nevertheless, be there for another. It may off topic in a creationist screed but it did have some tangential relevance to archibald's post which is why I called it a side note.
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