Relativism page's Internal Consistency section
Hi there. I don't think your section on Internal Consistency on the Relativism page works as currently presented.
While I think that you present a good argument against epistemic relativism, the argument doesn't touch other forms of relativism. As such, it should not be presented as a general attack on relativism.
If you think that you presented an argument against relativism in general, I'm afraid its just a straw man. For instance: A moral or cultural relativist may be an epistemic realist persuaded that reality does not impose any absolute standards on morality or culture beyond natural selection. You could not employ reductio ad absurdum against such positions as you do in your section, since it could be absolutely true that reality does not impose any absolute standards on morality or culture.
RDouglasEzell 08:57, 11 November 2010 (CST)
Why wouldn't you apply the same reasoning against morality or culture and simply get the same results? Perhaps I'm missing the essence of your response.
I don't see this as a reduction ad absurdum, it an internal consistency issue shown through application.
I'm not implying that reality does not impose any absolute standards on morality or culture. Where do you see that implication? --BunniRabbi 12:35, 16 November 2010 (CST)
I said that the argument doesn't work since someone could hold as absolutely true that reality does not impose any absolute standards on morality or culture. Lets focus on morality.
One could believe that there are no absolutely no absolute moral standards without inconsistency. Such a person would be both a realist concerning truth and a relativist concerning morality.
Now, take your argument and apply it to them:
"First take the standard claim of relativism, that all points of view are equally valid relative to the standards of those views, and that no truth exists outside of views."
one would probably respond: "I do not believe that all points of view are equally valid relative to the standards of those views, and I never claimed that no truth exists outside of views. This doesn't apply to my position in any way."
"Then consider that if all points of view are true according to their frame of reference, then realism is also true according to its framework."
one would probably respond: "Since your first assertion had nothing to do with my position, this second assertion also has nothing to do with my position. Moral Relativism does not say that all moral views are true according to their frame of reference. Therefore, it is never implied that moral realism is also true according to its framework. Indeed, I claim that it is absolutely true that moral realism is untenable. Is killing moral? Who is doing the killing of what? Without defining that relation, its impossible to answer the question. Soldiers killing enemies may be moral. Butchers killing cows may be moral. A Duke killing a King in order to usurp power may be immoral. We really need more information before coming to a decision. Situations are full of relations that effect what we deem moral or immoral. Without relativity, there are no moral questions; hence, a non-relative or absolute morality is absurd."
"Realism says that there exists truth outside of viewpoints, so if realism is true then relativism is not, but as shown realism is true according to relativism."
one would probably respond: "Once again, moral relativism never claims that moral realism is true. That was just a straw man, and while straw men may be simple to pick apart... it doesn't accomplish anything more than picking apart the straw man."
RDouglasEzell 09:51, 17 November 2010 (CST)
"I never claimed that no truth exists outside of views" What definition of relativism are you working from?
As per Dictionary.com: Relativism –noun Philosophy . any theory holding that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with individuals and their environments.
--BunniRabbi 16:26, 17 November 2010 (CST)
If you want to abandon your own premises, the conclusion fails to get supported by them. Perhaps that entire internal consistency section should get deleted.
However, similar arguments can be made against epistemic relativism. For instance, if it is absolutely true that 'all is relative', then the statement refutes itself. If it is not absolutely true that 'all is relative', then there could exist some absolutes. Of course, such arguments only hold against epistemic relativism. To refute moral or cultural relativism one would have to actually demonstrate some moral or cultural absolute.
--RDouglasEzell 09:12, 18 November 2010 (CST)
In what way is that abandoning the premise and not using the same premise? I'm still not not sure I'm seeing what you're getting at. If relativism is relative to knowledge inherently, then epistemic relativism is relativism-as-default. Are you simply trying to say that it should be the case that more context-specific relativism is distinct from general relativism? If so, I agree. It would suggest that the entry should be lengthened to include sections on those forms of relativism.--BunniRabbi 19:50, 7 December 2010 (CST)
Atheism is based on faith
On the Atheism is based on faith page, you added:
"In a strict Epistemological sense atheism can be said to rest on faith, in that all knowledge must come through thought and/or sensory information, and both are fallible. By this understanding of the term "faith" however, the idea that the sun will rise tomorrow, that there is such a thing as "Tuesday", and that you, the reader, exist, are also based on faith."
to the main section.
I have to disagree with you completely here. Atheism, or not believing that a god exists, is not knowledge. It is lack of belief in a god. I would dare say that a person born with no sense organs, trees, and even rocks do not believe in a god. As such, they would be atheistic. In any case, absolutely no epistemic leaps of faith are needed not to believe in a god.
I don't mean to be picking on you. I'm pretty new to this wiki stuff and am just surfing the recent changes.
RDouglasEzell 09:26, 11 November 2010 (CST)
I am not saying that Atheism is knowledge, I am saying that it is a statement of conviction, which implies the speaker takes it as knowledge. If you say "There is no God", it means that "I believe it is factual that there is no God." There is an implication of belief.
"I would dare say that a person born with no sense organs, trees, and even rocks do not believe in a god. As such, they would be atheistic." I'm not sure what the relavence is here. That person does not have data to support their belief, but belief is belief weather or not there is a reason for the belief.
In what way can their be knowledge which does not require that leap of faith? All knowledge comes through the senses postpriori or through reason a priori, or through a combination of the two. One must then either trust the senses or reason, and usually both. That trust is an epistemic leap.--BunniRabbi 12:37, 16 November 2010 (CST)
A theist is one who believes there exists god.
An atheist is one who does not believe there exists god.
There is no middle ground. Either one believes in god, or they do not.
Does a person who was never introduced to the concept of a god believe in god? If so, they are a theist. If not, they are an atheist.
Does a tree believe in god? If so, it is a theist. If not, it is an atheist.
Does a rock believe in god? If so, it is a theist. If not, it is an atheist.
I realize the last two examples are rather silly, but it illustrates the point. It does not take any conviction whatsoever to not believe in something. The one exception would be to not believe in something that is evident. For instance, it would take some conviction to not believe that you think while you are thinking.
It would take some conviction to believe that there does not exist a god, but that position goes beyond atheism to anti-theism or what some people call positive atheism.
Knowing things without taking any epistemic leap is irrelevant here. Not believing that there exists a god is not knowledge or conviction. Just like not walking isn't a form of exercise and not sitting isn't a form of rest.
RDouglasEzell 10:10, 17 November 2010 (CST)
Again, as per Dictionary.com:
Atheism –noun 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no god. 2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
An atheist is not one who lacks a belief in god, an atheist is one who disbelieves in god. The rock lacks a belief in god, but it does not actively disbelieve in god. The colloquial and traditional idea of atheism, as shown by the first dictionary definition, is positive atheism. What you are talking about is called passive atheism (definition 2). The term antitheist (no hyphen needed) actually refers to passive atheism:
Dictionary.com: Antitheist An`ti*the"ist\, n. A disbeliever in the existence of God.
As this is a counter-apologetics site, use of the term as an active conviction (definition 1) is consistent. If you are actively arguing against a belief in god it is not appropriate to say that you are passively without a conviction on the subject.
"Knowing things without taking any epistemic leap is irrelevant here." It is relevent because by epistemic definition knowledge includes belief. I understand that colloquial definitions do not include this as part of the definition, but that is why I prefaced the statement with "In a strict Epistemological sense".
--BunniRabbi 16:47, 17 November 2010 (CST)
Atheism as per the Iron Chariots wiki and as promoted by The Atheist Experience and The Non-Prophets, which features the creator of ironchariots.org, Matt Dillahunty. Atheism as I use the word as an Atheist:
An atheist is a person who does not believe in any gods. Atheism is the corresponding philosophical position. This commonly used definition does not assume any positive claim of the nonexistence of a god.
If you want to define atheism and atheism in some other way, perhaps you should try rewriting the Atheism page and see what happens. Words and their meanings are defined by use, not dictated by authority. As the word atheism is used in the context of this wiki, I think the definition provided by the wiki might carry a bit more weight than dictionary.com.
Still, fun having this conversation even if we disagree.
--RDouglasEzell 08:51, 18 November 2010 (CST)
You have a point about the atheism entry. The specific definition used on this site uses only one of the common definitions, and that could lead to some problems. Looking back on my earlier statements, I am favoring one of those two definitions over the other, and I shouldn't be. I'll edit the atheism page to reflect the existences of both definitions.--BunniRabbi 19:50, 7 December 2010 (CST)