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Thread: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post
    Zero is no more or less abstract than any other number. Likewise with infinity, with the only exception being infinity happens to be the next number, on through infinity.
    But having 5 horses is not an abstraction. Having zero horses or -5 horses is an abstract idea. Absolute zero is an abstract idea. Infinity is an abstract idea. God is an abstract idea.

    Infinity is not the next number. Infinity doesn't represent a number. Infinity is an absolutely meaningless idea. Whatever you think of it is not enough. Likewise, absolute zero is meaningless. The fact that you exist to contemplate zero is proof that zero does not exist.

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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    Anything can "exist" in the mind only. Ideas exist. Not all ideas have something outside of the mind that correspond in reality. We are able to make things up.
    True, although this doesn't explain how they exist in the mind. Is this a part of reality? If so, they do exist in reality.

    Anyway, the point is most mathematicians believe mathematical objects, like infinity, do exist outside the human mind, hence they are objective and not created by the human mind. You seem to be taking some sort of mathematical constructivist position without arguing for it. If you say that abstract mathematical concepts are entirely subjective, you have to explain how they can have the seemingly objective qualities and uses they are put to in mathematics, and how we can know what seem to be their objective, abstract properties.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 03-20-17 at 05:54 PM.
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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    True, although this doesn't explain how they exist in the mind. Is this a part of reality? If so, they do exist in reality.

    .
    How do you know that this line of reasoning is accurate? THe conclusions that something exists conceptually does not mean it is part of reality. What do you mean 'part of reality'?? To me, 'reality' is something that physically exists, and can be examined, or the effects of it can be examined indirectly.
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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    True, although this doesn't explain how they exist in the mind. Is this a part of reality? If so, they do exist in reality.

    Anyway, the point is most mathematicians believe mathematical objects, like infinity, do exist outside the human mind, hence they are objective and not created by the human mind. You seem to be taking some sort of mathematical constructivist position without arguing for it. If you say that abstract mathematical concepts are entirely subjective, you have to explain how they can have the seemingly objective qualities and uses they are put to in mathematics, and how we can know what seem to be their objective, abstract properties.
    Math does not exist independent of human beings. Math was created, not discovered. It is a tool that has some usefulness in helping to describe reality. It is not part of reality outside of human thought.
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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell797 View Post
    But having 5 horses is not an abstraction. Having zero horses or -5 horses is an abstract idea. Absolute zero is an abstract idea. Infinity is an abstract idea. God is an abstract idea.

    Infinity is not the next number. Infinity doesn't represent a number. Infinity is an absolutely meaningless idea. Whatever you think of it is not enough. Likewise, absolute zero is meaningless. The fact that you exist to contemplate zero is proof that zero does not exist.
    You could count for the rest of your life and never reach the end of the number string. Why? Because there will always be a next number. They go on through to infinity, which of course, you can never reach. But, it still exists...by definition given.

    Now, if you never start counting at all, you will have counted zero numbers. Hence zero too exists. As in zero numbers counted, or zero elephants sitting on the tip of my nose, or zero gods living on Mt Vesuvius.

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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    Math does not exist independent of human beings. Math was created, not discovered. It is a tool that has some usefulness in helping to describe reality. It is not part of reality outside of human thought.
    I don't think that's true. Math represents real relationships and can be applied to real things. One apple plus one orange equals two pieces of fruit. So, even though apples are not oranges, math serves to unite them and give you two pieces of something you otherwise would only have had one of each.

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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    Math does not exist independent of human beings. Math was created, not discovered. It is a tool that has some usefulness in helping to describe reality. It is not part of reality outside of human thought.

    This doesn't describe its objectiveness, nor the fact that many mathematical relationships are necessary - they hold in all possible worlds. Or do you reject this? If so, it would be good to see in detail how you deal with such features of mathematical objects. At the moment you are just asserting highly controversial things with little intellectual context or detail.
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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMOSS View Post
    How do you know that this line of reasoning is accurate? THe conclusions that something exists conceptually does not mean it is part of reality. What do you mean 'part of reality'?? To me, 'reality' is something that physically exists, and can be examined, or the effects of it can be examined indirectly.

    I did not use the term real here originally. But your definition of reality seems strange. Are concepts unreal then?
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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    I did not use the term real here originally. But your definition of reality seems strange. Are concepts unreal then?
    Let's look at the definition of 'reality'

    reality
    rēˈalədē/
    noun
    noun: reality

    1.
    the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
    "he refuses to face reality"
    2.
    the state or quality of having existence or substance.


    Can you show that a concept is something as it truly is?? How would you know or test that?

    That is defnition one.

    Definition two.. Have the state of existence or substance. Do concepts have a 'state of existence or substance'? They certainly don't have substance

    WHat is the definition of existence

    the fact or state of living or having objective reality.


    Can you touch or show a concept?? No.

    So, I would say that concepts are not objectively real.
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    Re: When does Atheism Become a Belief System

    The first definition isn't really a philosophical definition of the real. Besides, those definitions rely on equally contentious terms, like substance, existence, being.

    Let's put it this way, if concepts are unreal, does that mean they lack all being? If I think of the abstract concept of a triangle, does it that concept - either in itself or as a mental event - nothing at all?

    Or take a term like a married bachelor and our concept of a triangle? Are they equally unreal?
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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