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The Sandy Hook shooting: objectively wrong or subjectively wrong?

#321C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/29/2013 12:38:10 AM
"I was only surprised that I could have avoided understanding this from the very beginning--it has been so long known to all.

Today or tomorrow sickness and death will come (they had come already) to those I love or to me; nothing will remain but stench and worms.

Sooner or later my affairs, whatever they may be, will be forgotten, and I shall not exist.

Then why go on making any effort? How can man fail to see this? And how go on living?

That is what is surprising! One can only live while one is intoxicated with life; as soon as one is sober it is impossible not to see that it is all a mere fraud and a stupid fraud!

That is precisely what it is: there is nothing either amusing or witty about it, it is simply cruel and stupid."

-Tolstoy
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#322ThuggernautzPosted 1/29/2013 8:03:34 AM
On the flipside, we could just as easily say that since we only believe in this one life and no afterlife, we cherish each second more and each decision holds much more value for us. If you can't find any joy in the world without God, that's your problem, not ours.
#323Faust_8Posted 1/29/2013 10:40:26 AM
You say that as if we don't invent "imaginary" meaning all the time. You really think the upcoming Super Bowl has a concrete, factual value? Not monetary, but that it actually matters in the grand scheme of things?

No, it doesn't. But that doesn't mean we don't value it anyway.

Same with the dollar. You yourself can't find any factual basis to say it has value and yet you treat it as such anyway. There are million things that are essentially without value that we assign value to. Diamonds, gold, Little League games, purses with a certain brand name, the world record for largest cookie...

To act like every single person doesn't do this is absurd. So to say that we just invent imaginary value to go through life is just redundant nonsense. You do too, and so does everyone you've ever known and will ever know, regardless of their beliefs.

Point me to one thing that has value independent of humanity. Also, watch this short youtube video of how atheists find meaning in life (just like how everyone else finds meaning in meaningless things):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU6bc_Gsp7s
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You are the universe
Expressing itself as a human, for a little while
#324kozlo100Posted 1/29/2013 11:02:46 AM
C_Mat posted...
No, I don't think you could reasonably say it's a fact that anything has value from an atheistic perspective. In the last episode of Cheers, all the characters are sitting around the bar and someone makes the remark (paraphrasing) that, "Some people think all of our lives are just a cosmic accident and that nothing we do has any true meaning." Then someone else responds, "Hey, there's a happy thought," and everyone laughs. I'm trying to look at that quote from an atheist's point of view, and I can't refute it. Not trying to be dark and depressing, but it feels like the atheist must go through life inventing imaginary meaning for things that have none.


I read your whole post, thank you for the answers. I'm going to focus on responding to this though, I think it's where the meat and potatoes are, so to speak.

Do a thought experiment for me. Imagine that God does not exist. Now in that context, look at the things in your life that you value. Do you still value them? Do you still love your family, is their well being still important to you?

Is that value imaginary and invented? If it is, does that matter to you, does the value decrease knowing that?
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#325C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/29/2013 9:20:34 PM
Thuggernautz posted...
On the flipside, we could just as easily say that since we only believe in this one life and no afterlife, we cherish each second more and each decision holds much more value for us. If you can't find any joy in the world without God, that's your problem, not ours.


Yes, exactly like Tolstoy said in the quote I posted above: One can only live while one is intoxicated with life; as soon as one is sober it is impossible not to see that it is all a mere fraud and a stupid fraud!

Faust_8 posted...
You say that as if we don't invent "imaginary" meaning all the time. You really think the upcoming Super Bowl has a concrete, factual value? Not monetary, but that it actually matters in the grand scheme of things?

No, it doesn't. But that doesn't mean we don't value it anyway.

Same with the dollar. You yourself can't find any factual basis to say it has value and yet you treat it as such anyway. There are million things that are essentially without value that we assign value to. Diamonds, gold, Little League games, purses with a certain brand name, the world record for largest cookie...

To act like every single person doesn't do this is absurd. So to say that we just invent imaginary value to go through life is just redundant nonsense. You do too, and so does everyone you've ever known and will ever know, regardless of their beliefs.

Point me to one thing that has value independent of humanity. Also, watch this short youtube video of how atheists find meaning in life (just like how everyone else finds meaning in meaningless things):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU6bc_Gsp7s


So...you agree with what I said? Besides all the pointless things you posted like bringing up the Super Bowl (which I don't even see a "concrete, factual value" for no matter what religion you have), nothing you said refutes my point, and much of what you said didn't even respond to anything I was saying. I watched the video, and please don't think I'm going down the "why don't atheists just kill themselves" road. I hate that approach.

You said: "So to say that we just invent imaginary value to go through life is just redundant nonsense." Why is that nonsense? Though you surrounded that sentence with a lot of other points (and I think I agreed with them all anyway), nothing you said supported that sentence.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#326C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/29/2013 9:30:44 PM
kozlo100 posted...
Do a thought experiment for me. Imagine that God does not exist. Now in that context, look at the things in your life that you value. Do you still value them? Do you still love your family, is their well being still important to you?

Is that value imaginary and invented? If it is, does that matter to you, does the value decrease knowing that?


Yes, if God didn't exist, I would likely still value my family and friends, and probably just about any non-religious thing I value now.

The value of those objects/people is indeed "imaginary" and "invented." Imaginary, because that value does not exist outside of my own head- which is essentially the definition of it means for something to be imaginary; and invented, because that value does not exist unless I create it.

I can't honestly say I would know how much it would matter to me to realize that new information. I think it's fair to say that the value of any person or object seems less significant when you go from a mindset of "God and C_Mat value this person" to "C_Mat values this person."
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#327kozlo100Posted 1/29/2013 9:49:10 PM
C_Mat posted...
I think it's fair to say that the value of any person or object seems less significant when you go from a mindset of "God and C_Mat value this person" to "C_Mat values this person."


But it is still a fact that you value them, yes?

Might you still construct a framework for deciding how to act in ways that affect those people around that framework? Or, more directly, are you going to treat those people differently because it is only C_Mat that values them, and not God and C_Mat?

Even more directly: Sure, the value is less significant to an impartial observer, but is it any less significant to you?
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#328C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 1/29/2013 9:53:49 PM(edited)
kozlo100 posted...
But it is still a fact that you value them, yes?

Might you still construct a framework for deciding how to act in ways that affect those people around that framework? Or, more directly, are you going to treat those people differently because it is only C_Mat that values them, and not God and C_Mat?

Even more directly: Sure, the value is less significant to an impartial observer, but is it any less significant to you?


Yeah, it's an undeniable fact that I value them. It's not a "fact" that they have value; if everybody stopped valuing them and they didn't even value themselves, I guess they would no longer have any value. I don't think that to stop believing in God would make the family members I value any less significant or less valuable to me personally, though.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#329kozlo100Posted 1/29/2013 10:24:02 PM
C_Mat posted...

Ok, one more thought experiment and we'll draw this all together.

You see a small child you don't know and don't have any connection to in pain. Still proceeding under the premise that God does not exist, do you help this child?

Might you help the child under the premise that you feel empathy for her? Might you also do it because you understand that someone values her in the same way that you value those close to you, and you feel empathy for them as well?
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#330Faust_8Posted 1/29/2013 11:15:46 PM
You said: "So to say that we just invent imaginary value to go through life is just redundant nonsense." Why is that nonsense? Though you surrounded that sentence with a lot of other points (and I think I agreed with them all anyway), nothing you said supported that sentence.

Everything I said supported that. Everything I said pointed to how everyone, everywhere, assigns imaginary values to pretty much everything, even if they believe in a god with their whole being. Thus to use that a criticism of "atheism" (again, a misunderstanding of atheism) is pointless. It's redundant because when you really think about it, you're just accusing us of what we both already know the both of us do.

So I really don't see how any of your finger pointing at any arbitrariness, imaginary, or invented anything has any relevance.

If you already agree that we can highly value things that are ultimately only valued because we invented value for them as a consensus, why is this topic still going? That is exactly where subjective morality comes from; we decided to value human happiness, health, and well-being, and we don't give a damn if the rest of the universe doesn't give a damn about any of that. Because to us, these things matter and have value. It doesn't matter that they don't have value when you take the humanity out of the equation, because we ARE the humanity.
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You are the universe
Expressing itself as a human, for a little while