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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by jaimehlers on Today at 02:18:07 AM »
That is how we experience beauty.
However, it does not make beauty into some objective quality that things have, as you suggest by claiming that beauty is something we experience (more accurately, perceive).  No, beauty is a subjective quality we give certain things we perceive.

Quote from: dennis
Because we appreciate beauty because we have a sense of aesthetics?
This does not answer my question; it does not explain why we have to have that sense of aesthetics in the first place.  If anything, it makes your argument circular, as you are essentially answering the question "why do we have a sense of aesthetics that allows us to appreciate beauty" by saying "we appreciate beauty because we have a sense of aesthetics", turning the question into a statement.

Quote from: dennis
WE ALL AGREE that scientific laws/principles can explain HOW it is beautiful (light/refraction/wavelengths/cornea - whatever) .
I do not agree.  Science in no way explains how something is beautiful.  At most, it can explain the reactions we have to perceived beauty.  There is a distinct difference between the two.

Quote from: dennis
I guess that is one of the differences in our views. I DO presuppose a why? I want to know WHY for everything. And in the deterministic view that dominates here, 'why' is indeed not a valid question. I think it is a most relevant question.
Here is something I don't think you've considered; your own viewpoint is even more deterministic than the one you say dominates here.  It depends on something having determined that we, human beings, should have an aesthetic sense that we would not otherwise have, and then proceeds to ask why that is so.  The idea that our aesthetic sense evolved along with us is less deterministic than that, because it need not have come about that way at all, whereas if it was imprinted on us by some entity, then it must have come about that way and no other.

Quote from: dennis
It is true that it does not necessarily follow. When it rains, the ground does not necessarily get wet. There may be a roof overhead.
The existence of something covering the ground, preventing it from getting wet, is not subjective.  Two people, with different experiences and different viewpoints, will both conclude that the ground is not wet for the same reason - because it is covered by something.  By comparison, if you take a statue, and have those same two people look at it, they may both conclude that it is not beautiful, or one may while the other doesn't, or they may both conclude that it is so.

It is true that subjective viewpoints can agree with each other.  That does not make them any less subjective, though.  Even if both agree that the statue is not beautiful, they can easily have differing opinions on it.  One might think that it is plain, while the other thinks of it as hideous.  Similarly, even if both agree that the statue is beautiful, one might think that it is far more beautiful than the other.  And even if they agreed in every particular on it, that is no guarantee that a third person could not come in and disagree with them.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by jaimehlers on Today at 01:49:38 AM »
^^Plus, how much of a difference is there between "my gonads are bigger than your gonads" and "this thing I built is bigger and looks nicer than that thing you built", really?

I'm not saying that people are consciously doing that, but the basic survival motive - having enough food to ensure that you and your family will survive - is the ultimate foundation of everything that humans have ever built, or made, or even conceived of.  Houses and other buildings started out as safe places to eat and sleep; money came from bartering, which ultimately began as a way to trade things you had (like wood you'd chopped, for fires or shelter) for things you didn't have (like grain or meat for eating).  Even stories came about because of food; telling an entertaining story was a way someone without anything to trade could get their meals.

It's true that we've turned life into more than just a Darwinian struggle to survive long enough to reproduce.  It's true that things like beauty don't directly contribute to survival, even though they're indirectly linked to it.  But those things happened because of previous human beings who came up with ways to make life just that little bit less difficult, just that little bit more than searching for food to survive another day, being just a little bit less at the mercy of nature, being just a little bit more able to do things because they're enjoyable than because they're necessary.

All of that, and much more besides, came about because of human beings.  To give the credit for things humans did to supernatural beings is to sell ourselves and our predecessors short.  And to give credit or blame for natural events to supernatural beings is to leave ourselves that much more vulnerable to those same things happening again in the future.

No amount of prayers to any god ever protected anyone from being killed by lightning.  A single human invention, the lightning rod, did more to protect people from it than any number of prayers.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by dennis on Today at 01:44:06 AM »
@ParkingPlaces
Quote
No, it isn't the beauty. Someone somewhere is gonna make a lot of money. That is the true motivator.

The money is made because it is in the right location, size of the apartment, features of comfort etc etc. It didn't have to be the tallest building to make money.
Why is it beautiful?
It is not beautiful.  It is our subjective interpretation of the sensory data that is beautiful.

That is how we experience beauty.

Quote from: dennis
Why did the universe have to be beautiful?And why did we have to have a sense of aesthetics to appreciate beauty?
Why do you think it had to be beautiful?  Why do you think we had to have a sense of aesthetics to appreciate beauty?  I do not think it had to be beautiful, or that we had to have a sense of aesthetics to appreciate beauty.  I think that we evolved a sense of aesthetics, because people who react with appreciation/disgust tend to survive more effectively (and thus reproduce).

Because we appreciate beauty because we have a sense of aesthetics?

Quote from: dennis
WE ALL AGREE that scientific laws/principles can explain HOW it is beautiful (light/refraction/wavelengths/cornea - whatever) .
I do not agree.  Science in no way explains how something is beautiful.  At most, it can explain the reactions we have to perceived beauty.  There is a distinct difference between the two.

Quote from: dennis
My understanding is that the common response from most members would be 'it just is' and the evidence is that it is there for you to see that it 'just is.'

I hope you will agree that 'it just is' is not the answer to the actual question.
The "actual question", as you put it, presupposes that there is a 'why' to begin with.  It does not explain why that presupposition is necessary.

I guess that is one of the differences in our views. I DO presuppose a why? I want to know WHY for everything. And in the deterministic view that dominates here, 'why' is indeed not a valid question. I think it is a most relevant question.

Quote from: dennis
But MORE than that it is also an analogy for the difference between the two (basic) worldviews:

The THEISTIC worldview looks at the same things as you do, but we see something different.

No amount of insistence on 'physicalist proof' can prove that you see a face in that artwork, because it is isn't there on a physical level. It is just a pile of junk.

Theists believe that our innate ability to appreciate beauty AND experience suffering is supernatural. (Animals suffer in the sense that they experience pain and want to escape it in order to survive, but humans experience it on a spiritual dimension.)
I disagree.  There is no 'spiritual' dimension to suffering or beauty.  Both suffering and beauty are subjective.  Because we can communicate using abstract terms, we can come up with common definitions and terminology to describe them and share our understanding with others, but the individual reactions are still innately subjective.

The same goes for seeing a face in a pile of junk, or seeing an angel in the clouds, or seeing a bearded man on a piece of toast.  Our brains are constantly attempting to identify patterns in the world.  When such a pattern is identified, it is interpreted by the mind as something, but it is still subjective to the person seeing it.  Because of our ability to share our understanding of things, we can help other people to see the patterns we see, but that does not mean that those patterns exist on some spiritual plane.  It simply means that we can successfully communicate with others.

It is true that it does not necessarily follow. When it rains, the ground does not necessarily get wet. There may be a roof overhead.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by ParkingPlaces on Today at 12:40:14 AM »
Animals build shelters. It serves purpose (strong, waterproof or attractive or whatever)
Humans do the same thing.

BUT - we have an innate desire to build things better/stronger/higher/prettier for no reason other than because we can. In the case of for instance a highrise building, there is no one man that will be able to use it show off  his bigger genitals to attract a better mate - or any such evolutionary benefit - we just build it because we are humans and we love science and technology and want to achieve and aspire...

No, it isn't the beauty. Someone somewhere is gonna make a lot of money. That is the true motivator.



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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by Azdgari on Today at 12:29:05 AM »
BUT - we have an innate desire to build things better/stronger/higher/prettier for no reason other than because we can. In the case of for instance a highrise building, there is no one man that will be able to use it show off  his bigger genitals to attract a better mate - or any such evolutionary benefit - we just build it because we are humans and we love science and technology and want to achieve and aspire...

You seriously can't see a benefit possessed by a group that seeks to constantly improve and compete, versus a group that does not?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by dennis on Yesterday at 11:56:06 PM »
dennis given yr "why" is something beautiful, which is subjective do you consider why is something ugly and repulsive.

is it god had to make ugly in order for you to contrast what is not ugly, why are some things neither beautiful or ugly.

why can beautiful things become not beautiful if you are exposed to them over and over and over.


I am satisfied with an evolutionary approach, we find a mate beautiful if they seem to carry traits that would best allow for strong healthy offspring to continue my genes. the peacock thing foxy stated seems to hold.

as far as a beauty in a flower, ask a flower farmer if they weep at the sight of a beautiful rose or just see them as a saleable commodity of varying monetary worth.

The point is that we are made with an ability to discern beauty (or not) - not whether it is there or whether we agree.

And the farmer should do it - we have dominion over the world.

The peacock thing doesn't hold, because it is not the COMPLETE point/ purpose of beauty. We all GET sexual attraction, but why get weepy over a sunset?

What is the evolutionary purpose of Burj Kahlifa? http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/ ?

First of all, your question about the evolutionary purpose of Burj Kahlifa makes no sense whatsoever. Not if you are talking about biological evolution rather than architectural evolution. Please explain your POV a bit more if you want a response.


Animals build shelters. It serves purpose (strong, waterproof or attractive or whatever)
Humans do the same thing.

BUT - we have an innate desire to build things better/stronger/higher/prettier for no reason other than because we can. In the case of for instance a highrise building, there is no one man that will be able to use it show off  his bigger genitals to attract a better mate - or any such evolutionary benefit - we just build it because we are humans and we love science and technology and want to achieve and aspire...



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General Religious Discussion / Re: What is the will of Jehovah?
« Last post by Jag on Yesterday at 11:43:55 PM »
What does scripture tell us that's applicable to modern life that couldn't be reasoned out by observation, noticing cause and effect? That seems far more plausible than divine inspiration from a now-undetectable source.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by jaimehlers on Yesterday at 11:43:28 PM »
A lot of people would find the idea of a fungus that makes zombies out of ants creepy, if not outright disgusting.  Never mind the idea of a parasite that eats a fish's tongue so it can reproduce.

I find things like that intriguing, and humbling, because it illustrates the truism that humans and other large animals are simply occasional clouds over the teeming landscape of life in fierce competition with itself.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: What is the will of Jehovah?
« Last post by jaimehlers on Yesterday at 11:36:10 PM »
This is for believers and unbelievers alike.  I've yet to see this actually discussed.  So....let's discuss it.  Rather than talking about what the will of God has been, let's talk about what it is, or at least what it is according to the scriptures.  That shouldn't be a problem since that is also always the basis for discussing what his will has been.  It's obvious many don't agree with some of the things in the Hebrew scriptures that were done in Jehovah's name, or rather, our peceptions of what actually occured are different.
I don't have a clue what the will of God is, because God isn't available to ask (for whatever reason).  If I ask other people, I am just getting their own opinion on it, which isn't really helpful.  One thing I am sure of is that if there is a god to have a will in the first place, his will is not going to be something that could be determined by what is, effectively, an opinion poll - which is what asking other people about it amounts to.

This question is like asking me what some guy named Rahid from India's will is.  How should I know?  I've never met him.  All I have to go on are things purportedly said by him, recorded by other people, all of whom have been dead for ages.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A Question for Atheists:
« Last post by ParkingPlaces on Yesterday at 11:33:22 PM »
dennis given yr "why" is something beautiful, which is subjective do you consider why is something ugly and repulsive.

is it god had to make ugly in order for you to contrast what is not ugly, why are some things neither beautiful or ugly.

why can beautiful things become not beautiful if you are exposed to them over and over and over.


I am satisfied with an evolutionary approach, we find a mate beautiful if they seem to carry traits that would best allow for strong healthy offspring to continue my genes. the peacock thing foxy stated seems to hold.

as far as a beauty in a flower, ask a flower farmer if they weep at the sight of a beautiful rose or just see them as a saleable commodity of varying monetary worth.

The point is that we are made with an ability to discern beauty (or not) - not whether it is there or whether we agree.

And the farmer should do it - we have dominion over the world.

The peacock thing doesn't hold, because it is not the COMPLETE point/ purpose of beauty. We all GET sexual attraction, but why get weepy over a sunset?

What is the evolutionary purpose of Burj Kahlifa? http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/ ?

First of all, your question about the evolutionary purpose of Burj Kahlifa makes no sense whatsoever. Not if you are talking about biological evolution rather than architectural evolution. Please explain your POV a bit more if you want a response.

I see just a few nice sunsets a year. Mostly because the frickin' mountains are in the way. But even when I'm in Kansas, not every sunset is beautiful. But lo and behold, every once in awhile a bunch of bright colors show up and presto, pretty sunset. Such things are very nice and all but I'm pretty sure the planet would get along well even if there was never a pretty sunset ever.

Despite my joking complain in a earlier paragraph, I love the mountains around me. But almost every year I talk to someone from Kansas or Nebraska who hates the mountains because they make the person feel trapped. So my beauty is their ugliness. The old eye of the beholder thing is pretty standard fare when staring at things and deciding whether or not they are beautiful.

I we humans are going to be able to discern between good (as in not poisonous, not dangerous, not sharp) and bad (poisonous, dangerous, sharp, etc.) we are likely going to come up with a set of standards that we can apply to both old and new situations. And we, as discerning humans, will come up with categories, like good and bad, beautiful and ugly, tall and short, Breck commercial and bald. These categories are important if and when our survival or well being is at stake. Otherwise such differences are merely luxuries.

For every sunset, I can show you a fungus that zombifies ants, for every rose I can show you a tsunami torn shoreline. Beauty is usually associated with something that is pleasing, ugliness with stuff that is unpleasant. To imagine that it takes a god to create the good and some other force to create the bad is to over simplify the whole universe, and that's an ugly thing to do.
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