maybe I shoot too high, but I was expecting something better from you, at
least referring to what I said.

On 2/6/07, Stathis Papaioannou <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>  John,
> You shouldn't have one criterion for your own beliefs and a different
> criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, "those old Greeks sang
> songs about their gods' miraculous exploits, really seemed to believe in
> them, and on top of that were pretty smart, so I guess everything in the
> Iliad and Odyssey must be true", then they would be consistently applying
> the standards they apply to the Bible. Of course, they don't: other peoples'
> religious beliefs are subjected to rational scrutiny and (rightly) found
> wanting, but their own beliefs are special.
> Stathis Papaioannou
> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500
> To:
> Subject: Re: The Meaning of Life
> Stathis:
> is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY
> with a person
> who carries two (or even more)? I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic
> and an excellent
>  biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two in one mind, he
> answered:
> "I never mix the two together". Tom is an excellent natural scientist and
> has brilliant
> arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what
> he, quite
> inderstandably - does not want to give up.
> We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of
> intelligence.
> Some have 'Platonia', some 'primitive matter view' - it is your
> profession.
> Do you really think you can penetrate one by arguments from another?
> John M
> On 2/5/07, *Stathis Papaioannou* < [EMAIL PROTECTED] > wrote:
> Tom Caylor writes:
> > On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > > OK. But in that case your question is just half of the question, "Why
> do people have values?" If you have values then that mean some things will
> be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a place you don't
> want it. You must already know the obvious answer to this given by Darwin.
> And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas have values. I suspect you
> have a set answer in mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.
> > >
> > > Brent Meeker
> > >
> > Also Stathis wrote:
> > > Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of
> weeds or anything else. You need a person to come along and say "let
> x=good", and then you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary theory
> etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be good or beautiful, but this
> is not binding on an individual in the way laws governing the chemistry of
> respiration, for example, are binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am
> quite comfortable with ethics being in this sense outside the scope of
> science. Unlike some religious types, I am quite comfortable without looking
> for an ultimate source of ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this
> conclusion made me very unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception,
> but it has no bearing on the truth.
> > >
> > > Stathis Papaioannou
> > >
> >
> > Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to meaning. Brent
> > reduces meaning to something based on mere existence or survival. Thus
> > amoebas can have such meaning.
> > Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered (unanswerable?) mystery.
> > We just somehow self-generate meaning.
> >
> > My introduction of the "Meaning Of Life" thread asked if the
> > Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question.
> > Looking at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is
> > apparently not. This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either
> > limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis (the
> > Noble Lie). If you really read the modern philosophers seriously this
> > is their conclusion. Of course there is a third possible answer to
> > this question: Meaning is based on a source outside of ourselves, by
> > "making connections with others based on such ideals as honour and
> > obligation" (a quote I read from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a
> > Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such
> > ideals as simply "sentiments", debunking them on a surface level
> > (which is the only level there is without them), just as C.S. Lewis
> > pointed out in his lectures on "The Abolition of Man". And indeed,
> > without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton
> > of his true self.
> >
> > Tom
> You seem to keep arguing that it wouldn't be very nice if there were no
> ultimate meaning. Is there any actual evidence that this alleged meaning
> exists? For example, suppose a society believes that the Sky God provides
> ultimate meaning and live their lives happily, whereas it could be shown
> that they would all be miserable and kill each other if they believed it
> were not true. On this basis there may be reason to think that belief in the
> Sky God is useful, but is there any reason to think that belief in the Sky
> God is true?
> Stathis Papaioannou
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