On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 8:14 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 1/15/2015 8:47 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>
>   Do you believe in a source of reality beyond the apparent physical
> reality we find ourselves in now?
>
>
> No.  I don't "believe IN" anything.  I entertain hypotheses.
>
>
>  Good. But you don't always talk like that. Sometimes it looks like you
> do believe that our origin is physical.
>
>
> You only think that because I don't believe IN Platonism.
>

History, in terms of us having accessible records and writing, frames the
Greeks as the first to value critical scientific thought, where nothing can
be hidden from questioning and doubt.

This doesn't confer them some godlike status as they didn't invent doubt or
critical thinking. The use just complies with accessible historical data.

You seem to have a problem with "Platonism" as linguistic label, which I
say because I assume you value critical thought and scientific method on
semantic level. Because "believing in Platonism" is nonsense if Platonism
is framed as the first tradition in accessible history to value reasonable,
scientific doubt, without resorting to radical theological extremes. In
effect therefore, you state on semantic level "I don't believe in
reasonable doubt".

That's why I guess you're arguing a language problem and not semantic
level. Nevertheless, this use of language, I refer to "pushing atheism to
swallow agnosticism" the last months, aims to assign all kind of
stereotypes of low sensational kind to group of "Platonism believers", as I
can't see an argument or position emerge out of all this posting other than
some fundamental "no!". But saying "No!" to critical thinking and its
historically marked tradition/reference is what it is.

That is, in my view, unscientific use of language, the kind we all seem to
criticize elsewhere: why talk to someone if you have their
"beliefs/philosophy cornered" and we frame ourselves as being too
sophisticated to entertain the same?

In the end, arguing atheism in this way, we imply that we're somehow
"beyond believing propositions", while at the same time commenting how
anything is nonsense when it leaves rationality behind for a nanosecond. We
leave it behind for eternity when reasoning like this though. At least the
mystics can offer some plausible account (not truth, even by their
standards, see Plotinus) as to why they want to talk theology, and why the
act of doing exactly that is problematic.

Why talk and get angered by people as home brewed mascot projections of
labels in our heads, when we can talk to real people and explore their
thinking? What's behind the labels? Sure, we need the labels for reference.
But I'd like to think that good science doesn't believe in those. That's
why all this talk around "agnostics are really atheists" is dubious: in
assigning to certain ideas fixed literal meaning (God as person or
whatever), the atheist does and goes beyond what the agnostic refuses to
do: to believe strongly, with a certainty and confidence, that should be
alien to scientific practice. PGC

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