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#285961 - 11/26/07 11:45 AM Re: Proving A Negative [Re: Mr Sam]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
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 Quote:
While absence of evidence for anything cannot prove the absence of it, it does suggest that non-belief is entirely more rational than belief. This is suggested in the principle of Occam's Razor.

While non-belief is technically a form of belief (belief to the contrary), in this sense it has little practical difference to an intellectual 'agnostic' who accepts that a personal god is ridiculously unlikely.


I agree with everything that you've said here, Mr. Sam, and I'd like to add one more thing.

You CAN prove a negative.

You can show that its negation (the positive) leads to a contradiction, or is logically incoherent, or meaningless.

Or you can show that the positive claim would require a proof that exceeds the conditions for the possibility of any finite being's understanding. If you not only don't have a proof of the positive, but plead that you CAN'T have a proof of the positive - well, that's a prima facie reason to take the negative.

Claims for the existence of God are of the latter sort. All the rational proofs ever given depend upon fallacies. There can be no empirical evidence, because evidence can only give natural causes, not supernatural. That's all the proof you need to assert the negative.

Physicists don't have a monopoly on methods of proof. Physicists can't prove whether God exists or not, because the existence of God isn't within the purview of physics. Neither can they prove whether 2+2=4. That's something for mathematicians to prove. Likewise, there are specifically philosophical proofs. Different questions call for different methods.


Edited by reprobate (11/26/07 11:54 AM)
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#285967 - 11/26/07 12:12 PM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Nemo]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Magister, I have one big reservation about this strategy.

I think, at a fundamental level, we agree. I take it that your underlying premise here is that Satanism is not a metaphysical belief about the True Nature of the Universe. Rather, Satanism is a pragmatic life philosophy. It's based on the human need for ritual and dogma celebrating individual reason and imagination, in a world where might makes right. Satanic dogma doesn't have anything particular to say about deep philosophical issues - those are problems for personal application and elaboration. Also, there is nothing to be gained by becoming atheist evangelists.

But, in my view, all of this only makes sense if you do not believe in God.

You say:
 Quote:
We would be Satanists with or without big Juju.

We are pragmatists and simply do not see any advantage in bowing down to immature sociopathic homicidal maniacs (unless it would be to save our skins and get out of their reach in a crisis).

Here's my problem with this position.

If might makes right, and there is an omniscient creator, then his sociopathic homicidal dictates are absolutely right.

Almighty makes Alrighty.

In a world where God exists and can punish sinners or resurrect the obedient, according to his whims, then there is no reason to be a Satanist at all. The pragmatic thing to do would be to please the maniac. It's the only way to get the Big Carrot (resurrection) and avoid the Big Stick (Hell).

All of our normal arguments for obeying the law would go all the moreso for obeying the Law.

Christians know all this. That's why they think of Satanists as pathetic losers, fighting against God as if we could win.

Now I, for one, don't find the alleged existence of Big Juju to be credible, not at all. If I did, even a little bit credible, then the only pragmatic thing would be to play Big Juju's game. But I don't, so I won't. I'm a Satanist, because I'm an atheist.
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#285970 - 11/26/07 12:40 PM Exactly right. [Re: reprobate]
Nemo Offline
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Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12577
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
 Quote:
...there is no reason to be a Satanist at all...
(My emphasis).

Yes.

There is no reason.

That is because we are simply born that way.

Or, if you prefer, it's God's fault since he made us this way. ;\)

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#285978 - 11/26/07 01:13 PM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Nemo]
Jack_Lantern Offline
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#286003 - 11/26/07 02:47 PM Re: Gad! Defined and everything! [Re: TheDegenerate]
Adveser Offline


Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 429
Loc: California
I saw this special, and while it was convincing and a few friends think this is true, The same claims have been made repeatedly throughout recent times with no end of the world. Besides that there seems to be a market of literature surrounding this speculation which makes it seem like selling books is the motivation behind such theories. Call me a cynic.

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#286117 - 11/26/07 11:49 PM Re: Proving A Negative [Re: Xaira]
Majic Offline


Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Sagittarius III
Philosophy Versus Philosophistry

 Originally Posted By: Mr Sam
Science is no more applied Philosophy than Philosophy is applied Science.
 Originally Posted By: Equality72523
Science can support philosophy, or certain philosophies can give incentive to begin scientific studies, but correctly researched science cannot be called applied philosophy.

The word "philosophy" can have several meanings, most of which have nothing to do with Philosophy as a separate, formal academic discipline.

For example, one can have a philosophy regarding the best way to play tennis. If the philosophy is sound, then applying it can lead to desirable results. Likewise with any field of study or endeavor, including Science.

The word "science" also has various meanings. When I use the capitalized form, it is to refer to the practice of science, the body of knowledge accumulated therefrom and the methods used to accomplish scientific research -- or "Science as a whole".

Within Science are many different kinds of scientific disciplines, but all of them share a common philosophy: that of discovering truth through the systematic application of logical analysis -- techniques such as the scientific method, for example -- or "applied philosophy", if you will.

To suggest that Science could exist without an underlying philosophy (or philosophies) is to disregard the meaning and significance of both.

The Google: applied philosphy link provided by Mr Sam turns up quite a few references that seem to have a degree of formality in Commonwealth nations that is not extant here in the U.S., and that may well explain what's actually in dispute here (perhaps we're separated by a common language?). And indeed, I strongly suspect this argument is ultimately semantic, which would make it ultimately pointless.

I maintain that Science is applied philosophy, consider that to be a very accurate two-word description of what Science is, and do not stand corrected. ;\)

Proof Negative

Getting back to the topic, Magister Nemo's assertion stands without credible challenge, which is noteworthy.

reprobate made a good point regarding proving a negative. It is most definitely possible to prove a negative, provided there are sufficient facts to do so.

That, of course, is the rub when attempting to disprove the existence of God.

What makes the challenge even more slippery is the fact that there is so much disagreement and inconsistency concerning what "God" actually is.

Probably the most generic description of "God" (versus "gods" or various other terms) would be "whoever or whatever created the universe" -- but even that simple qualification is itself subject to contention.

If accepted, however, then the existence of God could be reasonably inferred by virtue of the fact that the universe exists -- or that at least God existed at the point the universe was created.

Going a step further, God could just as well be defined as "everything without exception". Thus if anything exists, God exists.

Which rather conveniently leads to what the debate actually involves: not necessarily whether God exists, but the nature of God.

Obviously there is a great deal of disagreement over the nature of God, and indeed most religious strife can be directly attributed to it.

For the Satanist, however, the question is moot.

Why?

Because if you're a Satanist, YOU are God.

End of debate.






P.S. Magister Nemo's assertion regarding cats also stands without credible challenge.

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#286123 - 11/27/07 12:41 AM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Nemo]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
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Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10573
Loc: England
>>We do not care whether or not there is a big Juju in the sky<<

The whole religious definition of God is absolute bullshit and, to me, Satanism pragmatically opposes the concept.

By pragmatically oppose I refer to how we apply Satanism in our lives - free of this ludicrous conception.

What I don't care about is whether they agree with me or not. The onus is not on me to prove a negative.

I feel that Satanism is grounded in its logical conviction that God does not exist and to acknowledge that there might be a Juju in the sky is undermining that pragmatic conviction.

The Satanic Bible flatly calls them on their bullshit - "No redeemer liveth" - "All this is fraud" - and frankly I see no need to compromise that position in the face of hogwash.

I am an atheist and, at least to me, Satanism remains steadfast in its opposition of such mystical dogma. No hoary falsehood shall encamp my pen.

It's bullcrap. And we call them on it. Don't give the bastards an inch.
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#286125 - 11/27/07 12:44 AM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Reverend, I like this way of putting it!
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#286140 - 11/27/07 06:28 AM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Svengali Offline
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Registered: 03/06/03
Posts: 12460
Loc: Florida, U.S.A.
Dr. LaVey makes two basic assertions about "God" in The Satanic Bible:

1. The term "God" is so general you may as well use it to apply to something you like or that makes more sense, like to the forces of nature in general. He does this without implying any "prime mover" or "watchmaker" or ex nihilo "creator." I've seen some people claim that this is a premise for some kind of Satanic Deism, but this is refuted by the very next chapter:

2. All gods, including "God," were the inventions of man. By worshipping them you are therefore worshipping the men who created them by proxy. He advocated eliminating the idea AND the middle-man, and worshipping yourself.

He is also explicit that there is no Devil aside from carnal man.

Magus Gilmore has made several statements in print and interviews that Satanism is Atheistic, more recently saying "Satanism begins with atheism." He frequently uses the terms "skeptical," "Epicurean" and "atheistic" to accurately describe Satanism.

Dr. LaVey has also stated that Satanism is not merely atheistic, it is anti-Theistic.

A lot of confusion arises because the term "atheism" literally means "without god" - in itself it does not mean anything one way or another about god's existence other than the Atheist is without religious belief, just as the asocial person is not interested in social interaction without being ANTI-social.

It is closer to what people mean by the common use of the term "agnostic" which means literally "without knowledge." Someone can not know for sure but still "believe." Which is fairly silly unless it is an act of suspended disbelief for a specific reason.

The strongest arguments for the existence of god are so circular in begging the question that they are readily dismantled.

So-called "strong atheism" seems a little arrogant, when it comes to strongly asserting the non-existence of something, but when it is something so absurd as "God", the strong position is not so far-fetched.

If someone were to assert the non-existence of the Easter Bunny, in the sense of an actual anthropomorphic rabbit, most people would agree without hesitation. The case for the existence "God" is only stronger than the case for the Easter Bunny because no one has bothered to argue for the Easter Bunny. The case for the existence of god makes about as much sense.

It is arguing for a meaningless and patently absurd concept.

Strongly asserting "God does not exist" is no less arrogant than asserting "A twelve-galaxy-tall chocolate bunny does not exist."

Someone can always ask "How do you know for sure?" And yes, while you have not empirically proven the non-existence of the twelve-galaxy-tall chocolate bunny, the weight of probability is so grossly in favor of its non-existence that there are more productive and less nonsensical cosmic problems to devote your time to.

I personally think it is well-founded to assert that Satanism is both Atheistic AND Anti-theistic.

If you can't tell, I happened to be in the middle of writing a LONG article about Satanism and Atheism when this thread came up. ;\)
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#286145 - 11/27/07 07:38 AM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Svengali]
The_Lightning Offline


Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1325
Loc: Israel
HEAR HEAR!
True, undefiled wisdom!

Thank you very much, Magister.
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#286206 - 11/27/07 11:09 AM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Svengali]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
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Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10573
Loc: England
>> A lot of confusion arises because the term "atheism" <<

Yes. I should have added that neither do I care what connotations they attach to the word. For purposes here I was stating that my stance is that Satanism does NOT recognise a stupid concept in the first place - and as you assert, is indeed anti-theistic.

Anton LaVey was, as you know, extremely exacting in his opposition to the whole concept - intentionally brutal towards those people "in positions of authority thinking muddled thoughts."

But the public forums are not the place to discuss that in depth.
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#286273 - 11/27/07 03:51 PM Re: Do not pin your Satanism on your atheism. [Re: Svengali]
Xaira Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 142
Loc: South Carolina
You know, if I didn't hear so many clever fellows saying exactly what's on my mind, I'd have to type more.

Good points, Magister!
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#286307 - 11/27/07 08:05 PM Just don't get it backwards. [Re: Svengali]
Nemo Offline
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Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12577
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
The true disbeliever is as bad as the true believer.

The theistic evangelist is as obnoxious as the atheistic evangelist.

Neither can truly be Satanists if they make claims to absolute proofs.

As I have mentioned before, since the top minds in physics are still not there that closes the issue.

If "atheist" had only one definition things would not be so complicated (and would not require these kinds of clarifications either).

As "atheist" covers a wide spectrum of meanings, it remains important to not pin your Satanism on your atheism.

Do it the other way around and you will never have a problem.

Simple.

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#286312 - 11/27/07 08:38 PM "Absolute" proof. [Re: Nemo]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Magister, I think I'd be more comfortable with your position if you distinguished between probability and fallibility.

When, say, a mathematician or a philosopher constructs a proof, he doesn't say, "This is probably true." What he says is, "I'm reasonably sure this is true. I might be wrong; others should check my steps, and my opinion is open to revision if I've made a mistake. But if I didn't make a mistake, then this is not just probably true, or true for most cases; it's quite certain to be true for all cases that satisfy conditions x, y, and z. And I can't doubt it unless I have some particular reason to think I made a mistake."

Satanists should hold all their judgments as fallible. We can make mistakes in our reasoning. But it doesn't mean we should hold all our judgments as merely guesses.


Edited by reprobate (11/27/07 08:45 PM)
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#286330 - 11/27/07 09:34 PM Re: "Absolute" proof. [Re: reprobate]
Majic Offline


Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Sagittarius III
Breaking The Chains Of False Certainty

"The truth alone has never set anyone free. It is only DOUBT which will bring mental emancipation." -- Anton S. LaVey, The Satanic Bible

"3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!" -- Anton S. LaVey, The Nine Satanic Statements

"4. Self-deceitóItís in the 'Nine Satanic Statements' but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when itís fun, and with awareness. But then, itís not self-deceit!" -- Anton S. LaVey, The Nine Satanic Sins

To believe you know something you do not actually know is to sin against yourself.

To be your own god does not confer infallibility upon you.

There is no shame in embracing skepticism, only in embracing the folly of false beliefs.

To thine own self be true.

Hammer Of The Gods

As for God, I maintain that for the Satanist, the question is moot.

If it were proven beyond all doubt that the God of Christianity was the "One True God and Creator of All That Is", or that "there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet", or that the Jewish Messiah has come forth and delivered Israel from the gentiles, or that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Lord Of All Mankind and demands blood sacrifice, would it matter?

Would you worship such a being? Or do you find the idea of bowing before any being utterly intolerable?

What sort of Satanist would kneel before any god, real or imagined?

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