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Atheist Community of Austin
Reality

1.Would someone please explain to me what reality is and how I could tell if I am perceiving it with out delusions or cognitive distortions.

2. Would someone please explain how ethics does not commits logical fallacies? Because it seems to me it does.

3. Please explain, regardless of its value and its validity, how philosophy, science, or any other why of knowing matters in the long run. And, if in the long run we are all going die and the species goes extinct, then why put so much emphasis on a losing battle, only to fill ones head with the delusion it matters.

I am interested in a rational logical answer devoid of sentiment and emotion. I do not think whether something is of value really makes it matter. So, please indulge me.

Noone said, "1.Would someone please explain to me what reality is and how I could tell if I am perceiving it with out delusions or cognitive distortions."

Reality is what you don't believe on "faith" alone there is actual evidence. It is what is there without simply believing it is there. You don't need an authoritative figure to tell you what reality is, if you do, then you are not in control. If you are affirming the validity of something for which there is no evidence on the basis of authority and not your own knowledge then they have taken over the control of your mind and how you are using it.

Noone said, "2. Would someone please explain how ethics does not commits logical fallacies? Because it seems to me it does."

Ethics are learned values that help us to develop a moral compass. It is a learning process and we develop what will become our values. It is not a matter of threatening people with torture to develop morals or ethics. If you believe upon the authority of another person what is right then you have given them the authority to tell you what is right without question; it's believing things upon affirmation alone. It is not something that you believe because of reasoning and knowledge. When we believe upon the authority of our own reasoning by finding out what the facts are; then our beliefs are based upon our own authority. When you have the understanding and knowledge yourself you will make your own decisions. You don't need an authoritative figure to give you permission to find the answers. You give yourself the permission to know what is right not some authoritative figure who might (are might not) know as much as you do.

Noone said, "3. Please explain, regardless of its value and its validity, how philosophy, science, or any other why of knowing matters in the long run. And, if in the long run we are all going die and the species goes extinct, then why put so much emphasis on a losing battle, only to fill ones head with the delusion it matters."

I don't know if the species is going extinct or not, but I think that will depend on finding inhabitable planets in space. There are many wondrous things to be involved in and to learn, which should give any intelligent person plenty of reason to live their life to the fullest. What does worshiping on your knees and listening to lies do for one? I don't notice god doing a thing for us. All of the suffering there is and god who could snap his fingers and stop it, but he doesn't. I've heard all the excuses, let's face facts okay, it sucks and makes no sense. Knowing does matters in the long run because authority can be given but ability is earned. If you know yourself you do not have to give power to an authoritative figure. You give yourself the power to be your own authority. To act own your own knowledge not someone else's, to express your own opinions not someone else's opinions. By lowering our sense of self worth the clergy and religion try to think for us.

Noone said, "I am interested in a rational logical answer devoid of sentiment and emotion. I do not think whether something is of value really makes it matter. So, please indulge me."

I can only use conjecture since you are not making it very plain what exactly you base any of this on "if something is of value it really doesn't matter" usually if something is of value it does matter, but some of us have very different ideas about what really does matters.

I appreciate the response Linda and I found it interesting, especially the assumption in the response that I am religious. Now about the conjecture you mentioned. Life is absurd and I find it odd how atheists seem to fall prey to the same reasoning theists do to defend the futility of humans existence. Some existential nihilists will admit they cannot possibly 'know' or provide evidence of this but, then again they do not have to. The reason why is the same reason atheists give to the theists for not having the burden of proof. Value, like God is imaginary. Cosmic indifferentism comes to mind. Who care what other people value, that does not mean that what they value is truly meaningful or valuable. It is just subjective. I do no have a problem with people's subjective views, but the point is the objective one. Philosophy can not help you make your case, because it rests on the presupposition that their is wisdom. that human reasoning is trust worthy, there ought to be a 'right' way, etc. If and when humanity dies off there will be no one to argue for humanity. No philosophy will be done. All that we value will be lost and the universe will not even notice. I am sure scientists will agree to that, so the question is when do we stop the bullshit.

Noone said, "I appreciate the response Linda and I found it interesting, especially the assumption in the response that I am religious.

If you are reading things that aren't there it might be a delusion. There was nothing in my response that gave an opinion about your religious position. I was generalizing in response to your questions "1.Would someone please explain to me what reality is and how I could tell if I am perceiving it with out delusions or cognitive distortions."

I said "Reality is what you don't believe on "faith" alone there is actual evidence. It is what is there without simply believing it is there. You don't need an authoritative figure to tell you what reality is, if you do, then you are not in control. If you are affirming the validity of something for which there is no evidence on the basis of authority and not your own knowledge then they have taken over the control of your mind and how you are using it." The word religion is nowhere in my response. There are many forms of brainwashing besides the religious brainwashing.

Noone said, "Now about the conjecture you mentioned. Life is absurd and I find it odd how atheists seem to fall prey to the same reasoning theists do to defend the futility of humans existence.

Atheists do not have any one philosophy - or ideology - atheists do not have a "shared" worldview so, when anyone characterizes atheists as all thinking the same way about anything it is false. Atheists use critical thinking or rationalize things theists are taught to believe things on "faith" or whatever they are told without question. Theists are working to have a better life in the mythical next world. Most atheists are working to have a better life in the real world. That's the difference. I said, "I can only use conjecture since you are not making it very plain what exactly you base any of this on" if something is of value it really doesn't matter" usually if something is of value it does matter, but some of us have very different ideas about what really does matters." Some of us believe that society, as a whole would be better off facing reality about a lot of things. Many atheists would agree with Bob Marley's words - But if you know what life is worth - You would look for yours on earth - And now you see the light - You stand up for your rights. Get up. Stand Up - Bob Marley

Noone said, "Some existential nihilists will admit they cannot possibly 'know' or provide evidence of this but, then again they do not have to. The reason why is the same reason atheists give to the theists for not having the burden of proof. Value, like God is imaginary.

Atheists don't have to have any one philosophy about life or anything really - they reject belief in god/gods. I can't square a fairy God-Daddy with reality - but then I don't try to.

Noone said, "Cosmic indifferentism comes to mind. Who care what other people value, that does not mean that what they value is truly meaningful or valuable.

Yeah, some people adore television - or they're addicted to television - but I wouldn't care if they all went Charlie Sheen on us for that matters, all of them, it would be just the same.

Noone said, "It is just subjective. I do no have a problem with people's subjective views, but the point is the objective one. Philosophy can not help you make your case, because it rests on the presupposition that their is wisdom. that human reasoning is trust worthy, there ought to be a 'right' way, etc. If and when humanity dies off there will be no one to argue for humanity. No philosophy will be done. All that we value will be lost and the universe will not even notice. I am sure scientists will agree to that, so the question is when do we stop the bullshit.

My own opinion is this: Some people are too big for life - for other people life is too big for them - that's why they need fairytales to keep them going.

Linda you are not an atheist and if you are you should not be so dogmatic. In response to another person in the general discussion board you criticized him for being condescending, but you seem to be a hypocrite. I do not know what you do for a living, your educational background or your status, but I think it is safe to say considering the time you put in to your responses that you have a lot of time on your hands. Please, stop pretending to be the arbiter of what an atheist should and should not be. Finally, it is very easy for you to be insulting when you are at your computer locked in your home, but what do you do in public? That is probably the difference between us. You have already made it clear that you are a hypocrite, therefore it is not that hard to imagine you being a hypocrite and cowering away from your position in public. You make atheism seem dogmatic and as you mention we do not have a set philosophy or ideology, so please get off your soapbox and shut up.

It's none of our business what anyone does or how they spend their time. We don't engage in nosey backyard fishwife type speculation about some atheist's personal life. That's what one expects from empty-headed nosey lowlifes. We also don't post long drawn out what all we think about someone numb nut posts. Speculation about what anyone does in public including cowering in public is an unfounded vicious little comment based on nothing. It's none of your business what anyone does in public, but it does sound like you know what ignorant redneck Holy Roller trash does when someone tells them Jeebsus never existed.

None of us write essays about the people on the message board with fabrications that were just made up in our heads about who they are and what they do. That is really simple minded. It might be hard to fathom but we don't care what goes on in anyone's life because they are writing in cyber space. We are reading and answering things that pertain to the topic on the discussion board. Once anyone posts a comment on a topic anyone can answer the comment. Nobody controls the message board just because they posted a comment. That means anyone can answer the comment in part or in full.

Nobody is giving out personal information -- which means that you don't have any personal information about anyone. You have made remarks about someone that you don't know -- what they know and what they would do etc. when you don't know them from Adam. You've written these statements based on absolutely nothing. You don't know them. Do you? It seem that what you think would take incredible knowledge and a great deal of time does not require that much time for most people. Most people must read faster and have a great deal more knowledge than you do. I'm sure you have a lot of fascinating things to do judging from your obsession with people writing in cyber space that you don't know and have never met. Your comments about what anyone would do in public are based on nothing. Maybe you don't know the difference in things that are based on what we actually know and something that was made up in our heads.

Most normal people don't decide things about what profession people are in or what they would do that they don't know. Everything that was said about that person is totally false and based on nothing. We don't write on any message board about the people or even care to figure out a thing about them. We don't make nosey Hicksville how-can-I-get-in-your-business 'cause I'm too dumb to find anything else to do inquiries. We like to read the posts with the kind of information that Linda has contributed on many topics that prove an incredible knowledge of ancient history, the Bible and science etc. That's the real problem isn't it? Yes, you do want Linda to shut up -- don't you? Now go think up some more names. We have seen all of this before anyway.

Oh! Many of us probably have told delusional little pea brained fanatics what we think of them right to their faces many times.

Ray Comfort: You Can Lead An Atheist To Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think.

"Everyone is born confused, but can come out of your delusions if you believe in him and that you accept that you are confused."

Ray Comfort philosophy? They couldn't read or understand anything you have written. All they have is belief. They do not have any scientific information or education.

At least she is not so dumb that she is making the same remarks in different names and saying that it is what "all" of us thinks. When none of us dig your crap is.

Noone (Posted Mar 30, 2011 at 5:40 am) this was to Linda, but I didn't get to answer it right away because I couldn't get on any of the computers, and actually, from the low level of conversation I really didn't care that much anyway. The problem is your little name calling fits prevent you from answering anything in my actual reply. I know why none of you copy any of our actual replies (to show exactly what you are answering) because if you did you couldn't fabricate something that nobody said and then throw a fit over that instead of answering the actual reply. Don't answer this reply with what I "supposedly" said without coping it for proof. If you are going to claim that what you are writing is what I actually said. It will also point out to people that you can't comprehend what you read - if you think that what you are saying is about what was actually in my reply. I hope they read my reply and compare it to your incoherent hysterics.

Try again Noone:

Noone said, "Life is absurd and I find it odd how atheists seem to fall prey to the same reasoning theists do to defend the futility of humans existence."

Why don't you ask some of the other atheists if they feel the same need as theists to defend human (NOT HUMANS) existence? This is absurd because I have never met an atheist that actually feels the need to defend the futility or (meaninglessness) of life. I don't think you even realize what you are saying. That would mean defending the meaninglessness of life. I know that I don't need a God to feel that life has meaning. Theists do need a God for life to have meaning. I do think that theist lives are futile because they are living under a delusion that this life is not important. The imaginary (pie in the sky) life after death is more important. They have to die before they get their reward or punishment. I think those theists who believe that (no matter what happens) it's all God's plan. They are actually apathetic do-nothings. Most atheists and theists have a totally opposite idea about life. This sounds like what apologists think about atheist's lives 'cause they don't think this life is as important as the next. This is approximately what I told you before. I know loads of atheists that agree with me that are right here in my own house.

Noone said, "Some existential nihilists will admit they cannot possibly 'know' or provide evidence of this but, then again they do not have to."

Evidence of what? Is it the futility or the meaning of life maybe? I doubt that anyone but the theists think that they really know that. Different people find a meaning to life in different ways. Some are writers some are scientists etc. and they are completely satisfied that this is their purpose (or meaning) in life. That's my opinion and if you don't think so you better be prepared to prove that.

Noone said, "The reason why is the same reason atheists give to the theists for not having the burden of proof. Value, like God is imaginary. Cosmic indifferentism comes to mind."

Philosophies like "mechanistic materialism" and "cosmic indifferentism" - the idea that the universe is a purposeless mechanism wherein humankind is largely insignificant. Through scientific exploration of space we know that man is not the center of the universe and Earth is just one small speck in the universe. Nothing is actually the way the authors of the Bible envisioned. We actually are insignificant and the Universe is not here just for us. Values like an imaginary God that does not exist isn't cosmic indifferentism.

Noone said, "Who care what other people value, that does not mean that what they value is truly meaningful or valuable. It is just subjective. I do no have a problem with people's subjective views, but the point is the objective one. Philosophy can not help you make your case, because it rests on the presupposition that their is wisdom."

Well, you might want to get daddy to help you write your next incoherent rant. You're not making any sense and there is an abundance of errors. You were not talking about what other people value in the first post. I don't base what I think is valuable or meaningful on other people's values but I do know what I value; it's not the same things. You've made the wisdom comment not long ago on another thread. Remember? I don't agree with someone so stupid that they do not realize evolution is a theory and a fact but then they want to pawn off Bible babble as wisdom.

"Subjective" is a belief or opinion. The idea is that subjective matters are not certain. "Objective," on the other hand, means certain or factual. Objective matters are those that can be measured or quantified. Some of us think that what we know scientifically today 2011 can't compared to what we knew in the past. Science is advancing very quickly now. That means the scales that may have been level in the past, have now dipped very far to one side because of a preponderance of evidence. All of the evidence point to natural causes and no evidence point to a Creator or Creation; it is now sensible for scientists and other well-grounded people to say the existence of God is not a reasonable hypothesis.

Noone said, "that human reasoning is trust worthy, there ought to be a 'right' way, etc. If and when humanity dies off there will be no one to argue for humanity. No philosophy will be done. All that we value will be lost and the universe will not even notice. I am sure scientists will agree to that, so the question is when do we stop the bullshit.

Some human reasoning is TRUSTWORTHY (it's one word) and some not - it depends on the ability of the human. What other kind of reasoning is there. The God reasoning - good luck with that one. We don't know exactly how long Earth will last or if and how humans will become extinct. If something really big hits the Earth like a comet or an asteroid we will all be dead. That could happen at any time. We know that global warming is destroying the Earth's atmosphere, which will make the Earth uninhabitable in the future. Some scientist are very worried about this because they think we do not have enough time now to fix the problem since nobody is doing anything. There is also the possibility of a nuclear war that could end all of our lives or a nuclear disaster like we just had. When the sun dies nobody could live on Earth but there probably won't be anyone left on Earth by then anyway. We will either go into space and colonize or we will cease to exist. Saving the environment and space should be our top priority - but it's not. We are presently trashing our only home, which is Earth, and at the same time we are not even teaching real science.

Addressing the personal inquest: It's none of your business but I do not mind telling anyone anything about my life. I'm sitting in the living room of my four-bedroom house with two full bathes. There is a huge front porch with a swing. I can look all around me and see beautiful country with large trees. My house is on acres of land and I do organic farming. I'm studying astrophysics and law.

Right now I have some relatives and friends visiting that come to stay with me every summer. They are all atheists, skeptics and one is a humanist. They are all professionals. My brother works for NASA but he is not here. They live in New York. Their kids (my cousins) always like to read the message boards. It's really funny because they have been asking me how I can stand living in this place. My cousins will stay here for a few months and then go back to New York. We will probably go up there and stay with them in the fall for a few months. I'm sure that this won't really satisfy your curiosity, just let me know if there is anything else you want to know about my personal life simply because I wrote a reply to something on a message board.

Linda,

After reading Noone's post and your response I have to agree with Noone-- in reference to the tone you take in your responses. I am ignorant of your profession, but I think it safe to say you are not in the mental health field and that you seem to be using the word 'delusion' in a pejorative sense. If you are using the term in a professional sense would you please cite the source. Also, you make a few other assertions with out citing your sources. I am sure none of the ideas and opinions you give are your own, so it would be intellectually honest to cite your source material. You seem to contradict yourself what. referring to what atheism is and is not. Atheism has no set philosophy and ideology, then you say what atheists believe. Again, where are your sources? Instead of being proud of thoughts that are not your own and belittling other people's ideas you should think carefully before you speak. I think it would be interesting to see you in an actual debate, because I think you would not be as bold as you are now.

Just keep telling yourself that. It probably makes you feel better.

I liked Uncle Sam better.

Sam Hailey, "After reading Noone's post and your response I have to agree with Noone-- in reference to the tone you take in your responses. I am ignorant of your profession, but I think it safe to say you are not in the mental health field and that you seem to be using the word 'delusion' in a pejorative sense."

That probably means something that isn't true or real because it wasn't. I read the post and she never said anything about anyone's religion -- it wasn't there. She was being accused of saying things she didn't say. I'm sure you are familiar with making idle accusations.

Sam Hailey, "If you are using the term in a professional sense would you please cite the source."

That should be if you were -- past tense. You think sources were required because you don't get it. You're hot kidding either; we know what that meant. Too bad it's as irrelevant as all the shit storms you've tried to whip up.

Sam Hailey, "Also, you make a few other assertions with out citing your sources."

I like without better. There was nothing that required sources. That's just wishful thinking. When making claims about scientific theories (for instance) that requires sources. That's obvious.

Sam Hailey, "I am sure none of the ideas and opinions you give are your own, so it would be intellectually honest to cite your source material."

"I'm sure," means you know for a fact. Your remarks are thoroughly dishonest unless you have had extensive conversations with that person. Unless you have personal knowledge of what that person knows this was intentionally deceptive. However, just look who's talking. The reason you think what was written was extremely lofty (when it wasn't) is because of the level you are on. From what you are writing I know exactly where you're coming from. I doubt that you know when sources are required. These are repetitive groundless accusations -- where's your proof that those were not her own opinions. It's rather belligerent to ask for sources (when none were required) while making accusations towards someone without being able to claim personal knowledge.

Sam Hailey, "You seem to contradict yourself what. referring to what atheism is and is not. Atheism has no set philosophy and ideology, then you say what atheists believe."

I don't know what that first comment means it's too inarticulate with the (what) at the end. Referring should be capitalized if that's a new sentence?

You can't read any better than you write. How mixed up are you? Nothing was said about what atheists believe -- it's what they don't believe. Like they don't believe in never never land -- you dig?

Sam Hailey, "Again, where are your sources? Instead of being proud of thoughts that are not your own and belittling other people's ideas you should think carefully before you speak. I think it would be interesting to see you in an actual debate, because I think you would not be as bold as you are now.

Do you know an idea from a question? There were no ideas in the original post it was all questions. Do you comprehend what you read? What are you talking about? Inarticulate people shouldn't be giving advice. All that you have proven is that you don't know a question from an idea or when sources are required. As well as, trying to insinuate that someone you're envious of couldn't possibly know far more than you do about almost everything.

Linda just told someone who was using creationist's arguments and saying it's what scientists think about evolution that it's not what scientists think. Several people told him it was creationist's arguments not just Linda. Why would someone who is not an atheist point that out? It's still there for anyone to read. He was told that those were creationist's claims because they were and it made him mad. When he got caught up with he then tried to say he was called a creationist. They said his claims were creationist's claims. It's not the same thing and more than one person told him not just Linda. However, the obsession is with Linda.

Some of the comments (in both posts) about what an atheist wouldn't do in public were meant to intimidate and were directed at an outspoken atheist. I have read this message board for years and I know Linda is an outspoken atheists, which is something that fundies think should be stopped. That's why they swarm atheists message boards and try to intimidate them.

-- pathetic.

Randy,

Yes, I read the evolution thread from top to bottom. I'm studying evolution right now. It was a treasure trove of information that covered the subject extensively from beginning to end. I wanted to learn more about the actual scientific facts. It was great to have all that information on one page. The person (who said he was a biologist) was debating Linda and insisting that real scientists think that the theory of evolution has flaws and holes in it. She was answering his arguments very rapidly with information on a very high level. After she posted her reply to his last claims someone interrupted that discussion (he claimed) to give Linda some advice. He told her that she needed to slow down. Her replies were too complicated and long for her (supposedly a biologist) opponent. How did he know? The reason he couldn't refute anything she said was because he couldn't. That's not Linda's fault. He wanted the discussion dumbed down, slowed down, and very brief. He repeatedly accused her of saying that her opponent was a creationist. She said that many of his arguments were creationist's arguments and she gave him the evidence of that. She defined words that he posted and explained why the theories either didn't work or they didn't dispute evolution. A great way to poison real scientific information is with irrelevant criticism.

He's calling someone a coward. She's not the one that had to get out of Dodge. She went toe to toe in that debate, but who wimped out? There is no evidence needed on this topic and no debate because she told him he didn't explain things well enough for anyone to know what he was referring to. On the evolution thread evidence was needed to prove your point and she told him he didn't have any. I don't know who he thinks could have debated her better, maybe Ray Comfort with his babble and a banana. Real scientists have debunked the proponents of Creation/Intelligent Design and "expelled" the notion that "evolution has flaws" many times. None of this is about this surreal topic. They are calling for a response to her last reply on evolution.

Sam Hailey,

The other post from Linda was about the ideas in The Matrix film and how those ideas correspond to Intelligent Design. Notice what Linda was discussing was the Matrix theme. Here it is:

Linda, "the theme could also be compared to Gnosticism. They believed that everything in this world is imaginary and that an evil magician created it. Only through a secret knowledge could people know reality."

The Ten Major Principles of the Gnostic Revelation: From Exegesis, by Philip K. Dick: "We are in fact asleep, and in the hands of a dangerous magician disguised as a good god, the deranged creator deity. The bleakness, the evil and pain in this world, the fact that it is a deterministic prison controlled by the demented creator causes us willingly to split with the reality principle early in life, and so to speak willingly fall asleep in delusion." Geez, it looks like she knows what she's talking about.

Linda, "One of the basic themes is that we can never actually know what is real, and to convince people that there are supernatural realms and beings."

It's in the film so; there is no need for proof of that and I thought of that all own my own. You only have the right to prove that it isn't true.

Linda, "Most religions depend on this kind of nonsense because they can't prove anything they believe is real."

Those who make claims about the truth or validity of a theory or the existence of something have to come up with the evidence not the person who rejected their claims.

Linda, "The "rationale" of the Matrix is that there is a "master programmer" making the universe and us from a computer simulation and we are inside a Matrix.

Geez! That couldn't be figured out own your own? Who needs help?

Linda, "That's not an original idea there have been movies and books with that same line of thinking. We were made from a series of one's and zeros and are all artificial persons living in a Matrix."

This is absolutely true and anyone could answer that off the top of their head unless they never read. The theme of moving in and out of reality and otherworldly beings goes way back in literature.

Linda, "This is supposed to be just computer science not theology, but it does seem very similar to an Intelligent Designer theory. And these "theories" require more leaps of faith, along with, scientific speculation than the theories of "real" scientists with testable and useable theories."

I have read Matrix rants on the Internet by people that think it is real science. There are people who think this is real science, but there is no proof of design or a Designer.

Linda, "What is the proof of a "master programmer" creating everything? I know it's just a hokey simulation argument, based on science fiction with no testable theory. The "theory" is based on the "big daddy" computer programmer making the universe and us from a computer simulation of a person and we are inside the Matrix. These theoretical designer theories are not even entitled to science fiction theory status because they do not provide knowledge."

Most people educated in a modern school that have a high school diploma could figure that out own their own. There is no scientific proof involved in that theory. If this is wrong produce a scientific theory about a Designer or supreme computer programmer creating everything. The expressions used in this writing are particularly indicative of other writings by Linda. That means it is particularly indicative of that writer.

Linda, "Science discovered evolution and everything else that is known about the universe and how human beings came into existence. All that this "theory" is attempting is to delude people into thinking that they are learning science, when it is nothing more than a theist spin on information that has been provided by scientific discovery and research."

What would you call an Intelligent Designer (computer programmer) that designed everything? It's not science.

Linda, "The discovery of the chemical basis of DNA mutations the mechanism of Darwin's theory of evolution has securely founded the theory of evolution as a fact and a theory. Genetic algorithms, which operate as mutate-and-select processes, and produce results which flat disprove the ID dogma that order cannot arise from disorder. It can, and it has, over and over again.

This comment is to demonstrate why the theory that DNA is like a computer program is wrong. This information is pretty common knowledge. It's Jr. High or High school level biology. Nobody could know this from their own knowledge? Millions of us do. Nobody has to prove these statements because science has done that. If life came from a computer program there would be evidence. Instead you will have to prove science wrong. Good luck with that one.

This is my opinion: Creation/Design proponents start with a conclusion that does not change. They have not produced a usable theory. Instead, to prove their Creation/Design theory they look for evidence to discredit evolution. When they find an unknown in the theory they declare that it is evidence of Creation/Design. What idiot would want science to operate like this?

From: 'The Daily Galaxy' "Scientists have long wondered why the Sherpa of the Tibetan Highlands can negotiate with ease elevations that cause some humans to become life-threateningly ill. Tibetans live at altitudes of 13,000 feet, breathing air that has 40 percent less oxygen than is available at sea level, yet suffer very little mountain sickness. The reason, according to a team of biologists in China, is human evolution; in what may be the most recent and fastest instance detected so far."

Tibetans are an example that not only did we evolve but also we are still evolving. It totally shatters the "evolution can't add new information" argument.

It may come as a shock to the ignorant and uneducated but everyone has the right to oppose "ideas" that we do not agree with. When we post ideas we know they will be challenged. Like this post that challenges the ideas in the Matrix; nobody has the right to maliciously attack a person because they didn't want these (or any other) ideas challenged. Nobody has the right to give the impression that know something about a person that they do not know.

We do have the right to comment on posting with unscientific ideas and no facts. What bubble are you living in? People that don't want their ideas challenged should not post them. Nobody is going to shut up.

Linda: "Reality is what you don't believe on "faith" alone there is actual evidence."

How do you know that the "evidence" is "actual" and not someone's lie or your illusion?

1a. Reality is that which exists. It is independent of our ability to perceive it.

1b. You can't. The closest thing you can do is amass evidence between your senses and cross-verify with the senses of others. You can never be certain that the entire thing isn't some complex simulation akin to the Matrix. However, you've only got the one perceived reality to work with, I assume, so you might as well work with it.

2. You're going to have to explain what you mean by this before I can respond.

3. It doesn't matter, objectively speaking. Meaning and value are subjective terms. What matters is what you think matters. One day, all life in the universe will be dead and gone. However, there's a lot of living to be done before that happens. For me making those current and future lives a little better is something that matters. Having fun is something that matters. If you want someone to tell YOU what matters, well sorry but no one can. Only you can decide that.

The Matrix films are simulacrums of religious doctrines. The theme could also be compared to Gnosticism. They believed that everything in this world is imaginary and that an evil magician created it. Only through a secret knowledge could people know reality. I think that the religious ideology in these films does not even have a thin veneer over them.

I guess these kinds of films are for people who like being indoctrinated with a science fiction message. One of the basic themes is that we can never actually know what is real, and to convince people that there are supernatural realms and beings. It's just beyond us; we can never actually determine anything about reality until we understand all this humbuggery. Most religions depend on this kind of nonsense because they can't prove anything they believe is real.The Matrix is about a conflict between the real world where humans are struggling to survive in a war against the machines and the simulated world where humans are plugged into computers in order to serve the machines. We need a serious Messiah.

The "rationale" of the Matrix is that there is a "master programmer" making the universe and us from a computer simulation and we are inside a Matrix. That's not an original idea there have been movies and books with that same line of thinking. We were made from a series of one's and zeros and are all artificial persons living in a Matrix. We live in a computer program intelligently designed by some "master programmer" and the designer guides evolution or Intelligent Design. This is supposed to be just computer science not theology, but it does seem very similar to an Intelligent Designer theory. And these "theories" require more leaps of faith, along with, scientific speculation than the theories of "real" scientists with testable and useable theories.

So, a theory that the master programmer is the Creator would answer what questions? What problems does it solve? And what predictions does it make? How will scientists use this theory? What is the proof of a "master programmer" creating everything? I know it's just a hokey simulation argument, based on science fiction with no testable theory. The "theory" is based on the "big daddy" computer programmer making the universe and us from a computer simulation of a person and we are inside the Matrix. These theoretical designer theories are not even entitled to science fiction theory status because they do not provide knowledge.

Science discovered evolution and everything else that is known about the universe and how human beings came into existence. All that this "theory" is attempting is to delude people into thinking that they are learning science, when it is nothing more than a theist spin on information that has been provided by scientific discovery and research. The fanatics will probably keep gushing over anything that has the idea of something being "designed," and avoiding the really substantive discoveries that have overturned their position. The discovery of the chemical basis of DNA mutations the mechanism of Darwin's theory of evolution has securely founded the theory of evolution as a fact and a theory. Genetic algorithms, which operate as mutate-and-select processes, and produce results which flat disprove the ID dogma that order cannot arise from disorder. It can, and it has, over and over again. Many people think that the real objective of these waste of time sci-fi fantasies with a Creator/Designer spin is to get people back on their knees and keep them there permanently.

I said nothing to you, and you apparently have nothing to say in response to what I said. You responded anyway and rambled on and on about nothing that is any significant way related to anything I said. Why?

Antifides,

I read your remarks and I think the reply was very pertinent. Many people would not agree with your comment.

Antifides, "You can never be certain that the entire thing isn't some complex simulation akin to the Matrix."

I think what was posted addressed that issue and very well. I have seen those same kinds of comments well-known atheist message boards and they always get blasted.

Some people may be confused about reality - the rest of us know the scientific reason why we are not living in a matrix and that nothing was designed with zeros and ones. Its called evolution and common sense.

Linda's reply had nothing to do with the content of my post. I mentioned the Matrix only in passing as an example of an alternate hypothesis regarding the nature of reality. Her entire post is about the Matrix, and completely misses the point of the example. Rational skepticism doesn't close the door to alternate interpretations of reality. It choose the one that has evidence for it, while allowing that we can't establish that evidence beyond reliance on our senses. Our senses may not be reliable. As I said, the only way to establish our perception of reality is to cross-confirm our senses. In a Matrix-like environment, ALL of our senses would be wrong in exactly the same way. But, again, we've only got one reality to deal with, so it's only a philosophical exercise. Common sense is no way to establish anything. Please use logic and science. Evolution is unrelated.

Any hypothesis that was based (even in part) on the Matrix is not scientific or logical. The Matrix is not science. The Matrix starts with the failed premise that there is a Designer or Computer Programmer. We know that the premise is false because of evolution and that does matter. It's the same thing as posting creation as science. Your hypothesis is not based on a provable scientific theory. The whole Matrix theory is a preconceived notion about not being able to know what is real and why (we are in a matrix and have always been in a matrix) without providing any actual evidence. That is false skepticism about never being capable of determining anything about the real world. It's based on the metaphysical not a scientific theory with evidence. It is about an assumption not actual knowledge, and the skepticism is about what we actually know scientifically. The only massive delusional belief that prevents us from knowing what is real is religion not science.

We do have scientific method of reasoning, which enable us to determine what is real even when we can't perceive the thing with our senses. We know how gravity works in space only because we figured it out. We also use tools that assist with things that we wouldn't be able to observe otherwise. Einstein's general theory of relativity describes gravity in terms of the geometry of both space and time. Far from a source of gravity, such as a star like our sun, space is "flat" and clocks tick at their normal rate. Closer to a source of gravity, however, clocks slow down and space is curved. Scientists have now used a continent-wide array of radio telescopes to make an extremely precise measurement of the curvature of space caused by the Sun's gravity. That is logic and science working to figuring out the reality of how something works in space before we had ever been into space, and we have developed new techniques that contribute to the study of quantum physics. We have the tools and the ability to explain things at the level of fundamental forces. Using the framework of quantum field theory, which we have no reason to doubt, we can classify the kinds of new particles and forces that could conceivably exist. We use scientific tools and theories to figure out if it is there. That is not like trying to prove "scientifically" that something is real without anything to test. Science would have no evidence or reason to believe it is real. We know that real things (in our real world) are made of particles. These are electrons, protons, and neutrons interacting through a few forces. Nuclear forces, gravity, and electromagnetism subject to the basic rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity.

We know that everything started at the Big Bang; as far as that theory is concerned it is meaningless to look back beyond the Big Bang, nothing existed. There is no Designer needed regardless of whether or not He rendered us incapable of knowing what is real. Time and space, energy and matter all came into existence through the Big Bang. You can find that information in Stephen Hawking 'A Brief History of Time'. Our universe came about through natural events. The reality is that it has created and will create an infinite number of universes. And science is on the verge of proving this. Neither the supernatural nor a Supreme Being is needed to explain any of this. The reality is that infinite energy will create all possible universes and has always been here and always will be here. The "reality" is that there is infinite energy that exists forever, and creates all possibilities. This is the scientific method that is used to explain reality, nothing more is needed. Things that we don't know yet are not the same things, as we don't know what is real or reality. The Matrix (ideology) suggests that something more is required to explain reality. We don't need a Designer to explain that the sunrise is an optical illusion. Never being able to understand things (mysteries) is a notion that comes from the ancient Greeks who put god in place of scientific explanations.

I hope you don't mind if we read the post about the Matrix since it wasn't addressed to anyone. You don't have to read anything that is too long or complicated for you, but we all have the right to discuss anything that is posted on this message board.

Wow, is there anyone on these boards besides Linda and her alts? I mean, you didn't even try. You used the same strawman as Harvey as you did as Linda. You also go on tangents as Harvey just like you do as Linda. The Matrix example is one of many. Others are the "brain in a vat" or Descartes "evil demon." Evolution does not have anything to do it. The premise is that reality is a lie. You can't disprove that by pointing to reality as evidence against it. I'm not saying that it is the case that reality is a lie, but it is a possibility.

A "straw man" argument is when the arguer argues to a conclusion and denies the "straw man" he has set up. If the Matrix is not true science but is science fiction it's the "straw man". Just like any claim made without evidence the person who originally made the claim will always be the one who set up the "straw man". There is no burden of proof needed to deny or dismisses a claim made without evidence. They may even present scientific and logical evidence that disputes the "straw man" claim, but any claim made without evidence and based on nothing but assumption is still the "straw man". The one that denies the claim didn't set up the "straw man" to begin with. So, under no circumstance do they have a burden of proof, because the burden of proof could only shift to the other side if the claim is presented with a bit of sound scientific or provable evidence.

No matter what you are told you first have to talk about the "same person" before you can answer the actual response. Furthermore, it does surface again and again that there are people who are repeating the same comments and trying to dictate who can talk and what they can say.

The two posts were not the same. One is merely an explanation of the plot in the Matrix film. The answer to your "hypothesis" from Harvey was about "scientific facts" contrasted with "science fiction". The Matrix is not science it is science fiction -- that is the "straw man"-- and that fact is you never have addressed that in your arguments.

"The brain in a vat" example is based on another assumption. Like the designer assumption it is made without evidence. What most people consider true or real is not based on assumptions. Science is definitely not based on assumptions. We know that the brain is real and the electronic impulses are real. The "hypothesis" that anyone's brain is in a vat is based on a theoretical unsupported assumption that it is possible or even plausible. These kinds of arguments have their origin in theology not science. Nobody can know reality except through divine revelation. Unfortunately, what is believed to be true or real is not based on unproven unfounded and unrealistic claims about someone's personal fantasizing.

No, I wouldn't overlook the Descartes comment because that defines what this is about.

Antifides said, "The Matrix example is one of many. Others are the "brain in a vat" or Descartes "evil demon." Evolution does not have anything to do it."

Descartes lived at the time in history when there was extreme repression because of the power of the Church. There are still scientists who are afraid to tell the fanatics that there is no evidence of design today. However, the comment defines exactly what this is about; something in control of it's Creation.

Antifides said, "The premise is that reality is a lie. You can't disprove that by pointing to reality as evidence against it. I'm not saying that it is the case that reality is a lie, but it is a possibility."

People can say darn near anything that nobody can prove isn't true about any number of absurdities. The one making the claim has to prove the claim. It's a claim (by the way) that completely violates the scientific evidence that evolution is a purely materialistic and unguided process. If someone claims that reality is controlled by a computer-designer they have to prove there is a designer, and what it is and where it came from. Victor Stenger - "Based on all we currently know about fundamental physics and cosmology, the most logically consistent and parsimonious picture of the universe as we know it is a natural one, with no sign of design or purposeful creation provided by scientific observations."

In Voltaire's satire "Candide" he put down "intelligent design" with the remark that "the nose is perfectly designed to accommodate spectacles, especially those that are rose-tinted."

When quantum mechanics was becoming more talked about in the 80's certain interest groups took statements by prominent physicists about quantum mechanics and compared that to eastern mystics view of reality, and decided that eastern metaphysics was ahead of western science. There still are people that want to find the "paranormal" in quantum mechanics. Mostly people who really don't understand it. The atoms that make up the molecules that make up life did not exist in the beginning. They came into existence because of the big bang over time as our universe evolved. That excludes the designer or evil magician. At quantum physics level transitions do occur spontaneously without an apparent cause, like nuclear reactions. The Universe does not require a cause or a Designer.

The idea of dimensions of time is an aspect of Albert Einstein theory of space-time. Many physicists have worked on all aspects of string theory. "M-Theory" is a "super-string theory" that encompasses a host of theories and predictions about the nature of matter and time with 11 dimensions. This theory allows Stephen Hawking to advance the theory that space and time have no boundary. If such a boundary did exist, Hawking allows that God might be a necessary or allowable theory of how all this began. But, if there is no boundary, there is no reason for God at all - the universe is self-explanatory.

There are theories about countless universes that might each have laws of physics radically different from all the rest. This is not about our reality on our universe being different from what we think it is; it's about the laws of nature being different in other universes and their reality would be different "alternative reality" from ours. Multi-universes realities could be different from ours because the natural laws might be different; it would not be because of a Designer. The natural laws (reality) of other universes would have no influence on the (reality) of our universe. What we do know is that our own universe and its operational laws do not require a divine Creator. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing," Stephen Hawking and Mlodinow in The Grand Design.

If we eliminate the Creator/Designer we can also eliminate reality was created/designed; if it were we would not all understand things pretty much the same way in this universe, but we do. We do not make reality we observe it as something separate from it. Design advocates try to use quantum mechanics in their theory that the universe is consciousness (not material) but the problem with that is quantum mechanics can also confirm disunity, because it shows how the whole breaks down. The process is called quantum de-coherence, and it is the central issue in the modern discussion of quantum computing. While people are agonizing over the metaphysical there are mind blowing real scientific developments. The scientists' interest in neurobiology, and theories of consciousness is not about finding a God/Creator or Designer it is about making super-intelligent-fast computers friendly A1 computers that work like our brains, but are far above human intelligence. Computers we have now do not work like our brains but in the near future they will. Nano-computers and assemblers memetic evolution will bring life-like machines that create from the molecular level. Genetic evolution is limited to a system based on DNA and RNA, and ribosomes, but assembler-built molecular machines will differ from the ribosome-built machinery of life. Assemblers will be able to build all that ribosomes can, and assembler-based replicators will be able to do all that life can, and more. This could lead to a new form of artificial life. Tiny robots, each no bigger than bacteria, will be able to make anything. That is what is really happening and humans will do it all. Actually humans are the Designers. We will create virtual reality not a Designer/Creator or a God.

Replies should provide explanations of the person's reasoning and there has been plenty of substantiating information given to you. You on the other hand complain (as usual) because it's too long or complicated to read. Why is that? You know far more about the subject. This ought to be a snap. I guess that's why you don't answer the actual rebuttals (as usual) you just complain about people who disagree with you, and then post a few names or words as undefined arguments. Your main argument is you can't prove I'm wrong. A computer designer (holy or not) in control of reality is not based on science. You will have to prove that it is.

When I use "know" in this post, I am referring to absolute undeniable certainty.

I would have to be asserting that our perceived reality is false and we're actually in some other reality, while this one is only an illusion in order to be making the argument from ignorance fallacy you just accused me of. I am not. That makes anything you said in that regard a strawman argument.

I am not asserting anything, other than that we cannot know that our perception of reality is accurate. It's impossible to know that, because the only means we have of verifying reality is our perception.

It's a possibility that we cannot make any judgements on, because it's outside of our ability to perceive it. We cannot even judge it's likelihood, because statistics require data. We have none for alternate possibilities.

So, what I originally said remains true. We cannot know that we are perceiving reality without delusions or distortions. We cannot, in fact, know that we are perceiving reality at all. All we can know is that we are perceiving.

I also said that we have but one perceived reality with which to interact. So, while it's an interesting philosophical exercise to posit how else reality might actually be, it's ultimately fruitless.

Now, replace "reality" with "God" here and elsewhere in these arguments. The whole discussion will still make perfect sense. How many realities are there? One? Many? None? If many, which ones are true? What happens if we deny reality? Shall we still exist? Is it possible that "God" IS "reality" and "reality" IS "God"? "The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End"? Aren't we arguing with ourselves, trying to prove ourselves wrong and deny our own life?

Objective: 1a. "b : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind <!objective reality>..."

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective

1b. Practice is a criterion for truth --Vladimir Lenin, a great Russian theorist and practician of materialism. A real historic figure whose dead body can still be perceived in his tomb by all observers.

http://marxists.catbull.com/archive/lenin/works/1908/mec/two6.htm#v14pp72h-138

"By their fruit you will recognize them." - Said some character whose body is nowhere to be found, so, he must not be real. Let's not pay attention to that.

"perceptible by all observers" is the key for the dictionary definition of "objective".

What if "all observers" are blind and never perceived or could perceive light? Is light, then, an "objective reality"?

What if "all observers" are deaf? Is sound, then, an "objective reality"?

What if none of the observers have or heard of a radio? Are radio waves, then, an "objective reality"?

Apparently, light does exist regardless of whether we perceive it or not as do many other things. And IF a blind person could see, he WOULD agree. However, how do you explain the concept of light to a blind person? You might bring him into the sun where he would feel the warmth and could get sun-burnt. So, a blind person may perceive the effects of light and thus agree that it exists. Still, there is more to light than the ability to carry heat energy. Will a blind person be ever able to comprehend what is "reality" to a seeing person?

How would you feel, being a blind person, to hear that your perception abilities are inferior and you may not be able to comprehend the "reality"? Frustrated? Insulted? Angry? Or, perhaps, thankful and eager to understand?

Say, one blind person breaks his ego and humbly acknowledges that his perception abilities are limited and admits that other observers may, indeed, perceive or experience something he is unable to, takes their word for it (believes) and follows the instructions of the seeing people to feel the effects of light and experience benefits from it. And another blind person proudly admits that he lacks nothing in his perception abilities and requires seeing people to produce a scientific evidence of light. Which blind person has more hope and potential to learn the truth? We are all blind in one way or another. Which blind person would you rather be?

What if there is a hundred of seeing people among a million of blind? Would you believe the hundred? What if there is only one? Would you crucify him? A little humility, a little faith, and sky is the limit. So, where exactly the Bible is wrong? The first two chapters? Crucify him!

Your analogy is all kinds of fail. You talk about a blind person feeling the warmth of the light. He doesn't have to believe to do that, he merely has to allow someone to show it to him. Then he can believe, or do further tests. Furthermore, you seem to forget your "light" is sentient and directly responsible for a person's ability to detect it or not. So, if your God made me blind to him but gave you the ability to sense him, yet he wants us both to believe in him, then that's his failing, not mine.

"What if there is a hundred of seeing people among a million of blind? Would you believe the hundred?" No. Especially if their stories contradicted. I also wouldn't believe a billion if I was the sole dissenter. Especially if their stories contradicted. No matter how many people agree, they can all be wrong together.

"What if there is only one? Would you crucify him?" You have us confused with religious people. We'd just call him an idiot or try to get him psychiatric help or both.

What was the original sin of Adam and Eve? Eating a fruit? No. Pride and skepticism. Consequences? Look around yourself and watch news on TV. Why did Kain kill Abel? Pride and envy. How did Christ redeem the original sin? By ultimate, astounding humility and faith. Result? He became one with the Master of the Universe. Need proof? Hang yourself on the cross (watch your motives, though).

What is the message of the Bible? "God created the world in 6 days?" Why is such nonsense there in the first two chapters? It's a test to save your time. If you keep reading the third chapter, you have faith and hope. By the time you finish it, you may get humility. If you do what the book *really* says, you have a chance to become one with the Ruler of the World. If you throw the book into the garbage after reading the first 2 chapters, you stay where you are - with the blind, leading the blind or following the blind, crucifying or burning on the stake those who can see. Choose your reality...

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