Atheist's Simplistic Worship of Hume

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

Moderator: Metacrock

Post Reply
User avatar
Metacrock
Posts: 10046
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:03 am
Location: Dallas
Contact:

Atheist's Simplistic Worship of Hume

Post by Metacrock » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:54 am

There are some very ignorant people on message boards. Recently I had a big acrimonious show down with a group of atheists who were incensed because I insisted that Hume has been rendered irrelevant by Kant. They were so upset about this I didn't have the heart to tell them that Kant is pretty irrelevant too now days. These message board atheists practically worship Hume, and they have a fierce commitment to the term "empiricism" even though understand very little about it. I suppose they think Hume assures for them that reality is surface level, what you see is all there is. That keeps them safe from an angry God who wont let them do their little things. Hume is the failsafe for materialism because he's such important philosopher. That's why they are all such stalwart empiricists, because they don't understand that empiricism is a philosophy, they think it's science. They do not see a distinction between scientific method and Hume's ideas. They were so incensed that one of the said I am lying about philosophy and it's a stupid lie, I'm stupid. Then to prove that I am a stupid liar he proceeded to quote an article that confirmed everything I said.

Here is my original post:

It is well known in the history of ideas that Kant destroyed both rationalism and empiricism. Rationalism overestimated the role of reason in understanding the world, and empiricism underrated it. Kant demonstrated this with his categories, and replaced empiricism in its Humean form. That's why Kant is regarded as the major philosopher in the West and not Hume.

The modern scientific notion of empirical data, based upon inductive reasoning and backed by statistical probability, is a replacement for the philosophical empiricism that Hume started. Parsimony is an attempt on the part of scientists to overcome the limitations of empiricism, that is an excuse for not having the sort of first hand accuracy that empiricists like to dream they have. They invented parsimony because they knew empiricism is limited.

The result of brain research in the early part of this new century proves conclusively that Kant was right. There is no such thing as an accurate portrait of the world based upon "objective" observations.

this is born out by the words of the major God Pod researcher, Andrew Newberg (Why God Wont God away, p35)



Quote:Newberg
"The medieval German mystic Meister Echkart lived hundreds of years before the science of neurology was born. Yet it seems he had intuitively grasped one of the fundamental principles of the discipline: What we think of as reality is only a rendition of reality that is created by the brain. Our modern understanding of the brain’s perceptual powers hears him out. Nothing enters consciousness whole. There is no direct, objective experience of reality. All the things the mind perceives—all thoughts, feelings, hunches, memories, insights, desires, and revelations—have been assembled piece by piece by the processing powers of the brain from the swirl of neural blimps. The idea that our experiences of reality—all our experiences, for that matter—are only “secondhand” depictions of what may or may not be objectively real, raises some profound questions about the most basic truths of human existence and the neurological nature of spiritual experience. For example our experiment with Tibetan mediators and Franciscan nuns showed that the events they considered spiritual were, in fact, associated with observable neurological activity. In a reductionist sense this could support the argument that religious experience is only imagined neurologically, that God is physically ‘all in your mind.’ But a full understanding of the way in which the brain and the mind assemble and experience reality suggests a very different view."(end quote)





The alternative to these failed attempts is phenomenology, not empiricism.

Phenomenology is allowing the sense data to suggest its own categories, rather than assigning categories and stuffing sense data into them to back up a pre conceived view such as materialism.

Let the categories suggest themselves out of the appearance of data.


__________________
Metacrock


They asked me to explain and prove how Kant bested Hume. One of them quoted an encyclopedia article that said Hume is the most important philosopher to write in English. I was so angry at being called a "stupid liar" that it did not occur to me to point out that lots of more important people did not write in English. Kant for example, who I say took things further down the road then did Hume, left him behind (although of course building on his work) wrote in German.Hume being the most important in English doesn't mean that Kant is not more important. I think two things drive their comments that I'm a stupid liar.

(1) The guy who said, "Magnus" doesn't know anything about philosophy, and he didn't read the article so all he knows is that first line about Hume being most important English philosopher. Nor does he know that Kant wrote in German. His reasoning says "Hume was most important, therefore, he's important than Kant, therefore he's write and Kant is wrong."

(2) the few of them who have actually read some philosophy know form 101 classes that Kant was influenced by Hume. Kant said it was Hume who woke him from his dogmatic slumber. So they can't have gone further than Hume. I think atheists (at least these kind on message boards) think that since reality is surface level there can only be on truth and its available through empiricism. Thus in their view there is no being influenced by and going beyond. it's all just right there, right or wrong, surface level, no details no nueaunces no developments.

They also know form 101 class and intro books that Kant leaned to empiricism and left behind the previous regime of metaphysics. Therefore, they conclude, Kant was a strict empiricist and disproved metaphysics. Of course anyone who realizes anything about Kant realizes this is quite an overstatement.


Here is the second post I made in response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
No he is not! You might have some freshman English teacher who told you that in high school but that's laughable. He's not even considered relevant now. Kant is much more important than Hume. Kant agreed with Hume in rejecting rationalism, but he did not become a stark empiricist. the argues in Critique of Pure Reason. The mind limits empirical knowledge to mathematics and science of the natural world. It does not follow that other aspects of realty can be dismissed just because they are beyond empirical means.




This is the Encyclopedia article that "mangus" quoted to show that Hume was the most important Philosopher to write in English.


First a quite from THE STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY.


Quote:
The most important philosopher ever to write in English, David Hume (1711-1776) — the last of the great triumvirate of “British empiricists” — was also well-known in his own time as an historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre, Hume's major philosophical works — A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), as well as the posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) — remain widely and deeply influential. Although many of Hume's contemporaries denounced his writings as works of scepticism and atheism, his influence is evident in the moral philosophy and economic writings of his close friend Adam Smith. Hume also awakened Immanuel Kant from his “dogmatic slumbers” and “caused the scales to fall” from Jeremy Bentham's eyes. Charles Darwin counted Hume as a central influence, as did “Darwin's bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley. The diverse directions in which these writers took what they gleaned from reading Hume reflect not only the richness of their sources but also the wide range of his empiricism. Today, philosophers recognize Hume as a precursor of contemporary cognitive science, as well as one of the most thor



that's the article he quotes to show that I'm a stupid liar.

Here is my response.

"the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience and limiting the mind's access to the empirical realm of space and time" (Mat McCarmick Cal State speaking of Kant's argument). That is in agreement with what Newberg has found.

Kant's argument can be said to be that empiricism underestimates reason, while rationalism over estimates it. That's why he's not an empiricist or a rationalist. He develops the Kantian categories.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
McCarmick



Hume was influenced by Berkely.
[/quote] Yes, but Berkely was a fool who thought god sends things to our senses, which makes us think reality is real. A fool is many ways.

Quote:

I think you guys are just on the wrong track with empiricism. As this article shows it's not the kind of thing you think it is. Locke and Berkeley are the other two in the trinity of empiricism, and they were Christians. for those of you who don't like philosophy, Berkeley was an idealist but he influenced Hume.
Hume was the greatest of the three most agree-and to be honest I think you are underestimating his influence, and also failing to understand what Kant was talking about. He himself thought we could never prove god exists. The following is from another website.

McCarmick:
So time and space are necessary to perception, even though they themselves cannot be perceived apart from the events "in" them. The next step is the transcendental analytic, which says that the mind applies certain categories of thought to ideas. Without these categories, Kant says, we would not be able to think at all, and Hume couldn't have come up with his arguments. Hume, for example, felt that cause and effect were not objectively real; Kant says right! -- they are a priori, in the mind:

1. Quantity: unity, plurality, totality. 2. Quality: reality, negation, limitation.
3. Relation: substance and accidents, cause and effect, reciprocity between active and passive.
4. Modality: possible-impossible, existence-nonexistence, necessity-contingency.

Finally comes the transcendental dialectic. Kant believed that the mind seeks complete knowledge. But it is limited to dealing with phenomena, appearances, only. It can't reach to noumena, the thing-in-itself. Phenomena are all you have, but they are not real; noumena are real, but you can't have them. So, to discover that real world, we try to construct it. Unfortunately, we err by trying to use the categories (logic), "designed" for phenomena, on the ultimate reality! So we end up with contradictions that are irreconcilable. Regarding cause and effect and free will:

Ultimately, Kant found that the existence of God, the soul, and ultimate reality is not something you can prove, because proof is based on phenomena and the categories. Instead, they are heuristic, that is, we believe in these things because they are useful to us! In saving science and religion from Hume, he proved that they had to be taken on faith! Scholars and churchmen on all sides of the issues criticized the Critique, which ironically guaranteed its success. Kant had no censorship problems to worry about at the time, because Frederick the Great -- a brilliant man himself -- ruled Prussia at that time. Unfortunately for Kant and many others, he died in 1786.




Here is Mangus brilliant comment about me:

He would laugh at you for thinking you can prove god exists. Next time you try to lie about philosophy make it a bit less stupid.



I will prove that the only thing he read is the first line by showing that his article is in almost total agreement with my position.

My position is that Kant demonstrates that rationalism overrated the role of reason, while empiricism underrates it. Even though Kant leaned toward empiricism himself, and he limited empirical knowledge to the physical world, he did not say that one is a fool for thinking of Metaphysics or that there is nothing beyond the material realm. He was still a Christian, he still believed in God and in the Critique of Practical reason he uses the moral argument to justify belief in God.



Standord article:

Quote:
The most important philosopher ever to write in English, David Hume (1711-1776) — the last of the great triumvirate of “British empiricists” — was also well-known in his own time as an historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre, Hume's major philosophical works — A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), as well as the posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) — remain widely and deeply influential. Although many of Hume's contemporaries denounced his writings as works of scepticism and atheism, his influence is evident in the moral philosophy and economic writings of his close friend Adam Smith.



Really nothing there with which I disagree. This little intro part is Irrelevant to the discussion.



Standford:

Hume also awakened Immanuel Kant from his “dogmatic slumbers” and “caused the scales to fall” from Jeremy Bentham's eyes.

I specifically made the statement that Hume awoke Kant from his slumber, as Kant himself put it. I said this on the board before the idiot's statement.



Stanford:

Charles Darwin counted Hume as a central influence, as did “Darwin's bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley. The diverse directions in which these writers took what they gleaned from reading Hume reflect not only the richness of their sources but also the wide range of his empiricism. Today, philosophers recognize Hume as a precursor of contemporary cognitive science, as well as one of the most through



Notice there is nothing in that article that even addresses any specifics of any ideas of Hume, let alone a specific idea of Kant in conflict with Hume. There is nothing about Berkeley, which the brilliant thinker Mangus called a "fool," one of the most brilliant that ever existed! Nothing specific nothing to indicate any kind of philosophical issues.

Mangus knows nothing about the things upon which he pontificates. Like most know nothings on message boards, he's just flapping his gums because he reads statment about Hume is the most important, and "richness of empiricism" and this is total absolute vindication for him, there is no God! It's proven because this article says this. One of his Cronies chimes in and says "Philosophy is crap, philosophers don't know anything." Excuse me, for what is Hume most famous? He wasn't a professional philosopher, but he was a philosopher (professionally he was s diplomat). Empiricism is a philosophy. In the course of that argument they tried to say that empiricism is a natural faculty given us by our evolutionary endowment. This is because they can't understand the concept that science is a construct. They have no concept of what that means. It means this: it's based upon a philosophy and used as a lens to understand everything else in connection with it, but it's just a philosophical put up.

These atheists should not be talking about this stuff. They knowing nothing about it, their view on God are based upon appalling ignorance of thought and the world of ideas.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
Buy My book: The Trace of God: Warrant for belief

Magnus102
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Atheist's Simplistic Worship of Hume

Post by Magnus102 » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:11 am

Actually, I worship the Easter Bunny. Somedays I hear he and Yahweh play golf.

User avatar
Metacrock
Posts: 10046
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:03 am
Location: Dallas
Contact:

Re: Atheist's Simplistic Worship of Hume

Post by Metacrock » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:06 am

Magnus102 wrote:Actually, I worship the Easter Bunny. Somedays I hear he and Yahweh play golf.

EB is a Christian

Ok you get two sunshine points for humor.

1000 sunshine points and you get to be a sunbeam.

If you lose 100 ss points you get a rain cloud.

3 coulds and you are a grumpus.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
Buy My book: The Trace of God: Warrant for belief

Post Reply