Sorry, I thought I was replying to what you said. It's possible of course to be 
right about one thing and wrong about another, and people do keep different 
beliefs differently compartmentalized in their head, like your brother-in-law. 
However, this is *inconsistent*, and inconsistent is even worse than wrong. 
Stathis PapaioannouDate: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 16:03:05 -0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis,
maybe I shoot too high, but I was expecting something better from you, at least 
referring to what I said.
JohnOn 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 PapaioannouDate: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 
09:17:57 -0500
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeStathis:

is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one set of belief system ONLY with a 
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 
"I never mix the two together". Tom is an excellent natural scientist and has 
arguments in it, as long as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, 
inderstandably - does not want to give up. 
We all have 'second belief bases' in our multiple schizophrenia of 
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 <
> 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 PapaioannouLive Search: New search found Try it!

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