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Author Topic: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?  (Read 8578 times)

Alex Libman

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 04:30:22 pm »

I think it is very important to distinguish between different levels of atheism.  I think that political atheism (i.e. anarchism), economic atheism (i.e. capitalism), epistemological atheism (i.e. evolutionary pragmatism), reproductive atheism (i.e. rational natalism), etc are just as important as religious atheism.  As far as I know - I am the only real atheist in the known universe.  ;)

Furthermore, religion is a cultural issue as subjective as clothing or language.  Most people accept religion like any other cultural irrationality - useless neckties, inconsistent English spelling, the imperial system of weights and measures, and so on.  Don't be too quick to prejudge people just because they're "religious".  A person who accepts that 2 + 2 add up to 4 out of blind faith is a better ally than a critically-thinking "atheist" fool who thinks they add up to 3 or 5!

You're confusing atheism and agnosticism.

Atheism is every iota as much a statement of irrational faith as any other religion.  With the added irrationality that "there exists no deity" is not a logically-provable statement, whereas "there exists a deity" might be.

Joe

You are forgetting that there are such things as plausibility and burden of proof.  There are many things that I am agnostic about (even some degrees of 9/11 "conspiracy theories" and even "holocaust denial"), because those theories are plausible in terms of motive and historical precedent, but trustworthy evidence is lacking to make a positive decision either way.  The same cannot be said about religions - the political motive and evidence behind their fabrication is more than sufficient to make their validity implausible.  No one can disprove the theoretical possibility that a ghost has materialized under one's bed at any random moment during the night, but at some point it would be rational to stop checking for it every few minutes, especially when modern psychology can offer other explanations for what caused you to contemplate the possibility of a ghost in the first place.

Furthermore, Atheism doesn't necessarily make any predictions about the (non)existence of any deities anywhere in the universe by any definition of what a "deity" might be, just a rejection of their relevance to our lives at this time based on the current levels of scientific evidence, or lack thereof.  An asexual person doesn't dispute that sex exists, s\he just has no positive interest in having it.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 04:32:13 pm by Alex Libman »
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rossby

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 04:44:36 pm »

I think it is very important to distinguish between different levels of atheism.  I think that political atheism (i.e. anarchism), economic atheism (i.e. capitalism), epistemological atheism (i.e. evolutionary pragmatism), reproductive atheism (i.e. rational natalism), etc are just as important as religious atheism.  As far as I know - I am the only real atheist in the known universe.  ;)

Furthermore, religion is a cultural issue as subjective as clothing or language.  Most people accept religion like any other cultural irrationality - useless neckties, inconsistent English spelling, the imperial system of weights and measures, and so on.  Don't be too quick to prejudge people just because they're "religious".  A person who accepts that 2 + 2 add up to 4 out of blind faith is a better ally than a critically-thinking "atheist" fool who thinks they add up to 3 or 5!

You're confusing atheism and agnosticism.

Atheism is every iota as much a statement of irrational faith as any other religion.  With the added irrationality that "there exists no deity" is not a logically-provable statement, whereas "there exists a deity" might be.

Joe

You are forgetting that there are such things as plausibility and burden of proof.  There are many things that I am agnostic about (even some degrees of 9/11 "conspiracy theories" and even "holocaust denial"), because those theories are plausible in terms of motive and historical precedent, but trustworthy evidence is lacking to make a positive decision either way.  The same cannot be said about religions - the political motive and evidence behind their fabrication is more than sufficient to make their validity implausible.  No one can disprove the theoretical possibility that a ghost has materialized under one's bed at any random moment during the night, but at some point it would be rational to stop checking for it every few minutes, especially when modern psychology can offer other explanations for what caused you to contemplate the possibility of a ghost in the first place.

Furthermore, Atheism doesn't necessarily make any predictions about the (non)existence of any deities anywhere in the universe by any definition of what a "deity" might be, just a rejection of their relevance to our lives at this time based on the current levels of scientific evidence, or lack thereof.  An asexual person doesn't dispute that sex exists, s\he just has no positive interest in having it.

I can see Martin Luther tapping his theses to the church door at Wittenburg now... if people couldn't agree on all the implications contained in a single word then, "Christianity", I don't see why we'd expect human beings to do so now...

I would generally say I'm agnostic. But that doesn't mean all outcomes are equally likely. And when you overlay what society in general seems to think about theists and theism, I think it's justified to go ahead and say atheist. I doubt anyone is keeping score.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 05:43:16 pm »

I believe that the most likely scenario involving the existence of God is that God is the theoretical end-point of billion years of evolutionary phenomena, of which the human civilization is just a minute spec, and that phenomena is what created the universe in the first place due to the fractal nature of spacetime.  So do your homework, kids, or civilization might collapse and the universe might not end up being created...   :o
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MaineShark

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 05:44:28 pm »

You are forgetting that there are such things as plausibility and burden of proof.

No, I'm not.  I find the overwhelming majority of religious beliefs to be completely implausible.  Hence, I don't much worry about them.  But I don't automatically deny the possibility of anything which I can't outright disprove using logic.

Furthermore, Atheism doesn't necessarily make any predictions about the (non)existence of any deities anywhere in the universe by any definition of what a "deity" might be, just a rejection of their relevance to our lives at this time based on the current levels of scientific evidence, or lack thereof.

Um, yes, that is what atheism means.  What you're describing is agnosticism.  Atheism quite specifically means the belief that no deity of any sort exists.

Joe
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Alex Libman

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2010, 06:05:54 pm »

I disagree.  Atheism simply means "no God(s)" in terms of present-day relevance, it doesn't automatically imply the impossibility of God(s), especially when you consider how broadly that term can be redefined in various science fiction scenarios.  Agnosticism is a subset of atheism for people who want to push this issue more explicitly.
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MaineShark

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2010, 06:13:05 pm »

I disagree.  Atheism simply means "no God(s)" in terms of present-day relevance, it doesn't automatically imply the impossibility of God(s), especially when you consider how broadly that term can be redefined in various science fiction scenarios.

Your disagreement isn't supported by any evidence.  The definition I gave, is.

Agnosticism is a subset of atheism for people who want to push this issue more explicitly.

Agnosticism is an entirely-separate entity, not a subset of atheism.  I know, atheists want to claim agnostics so they can increase their numbers, but that can't change the facts.

Agnosticism is the rejection of faith.  Atheism is merely a different take on faith.  Claiming that the former is a subset of the latter is like claiming that anarchy is a subset of minarchy.

Joe
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"An armed society is a polite society" - this does not mean that we are polite because we fear each other.

We are not civilized because we are armed; we are armed because we are civilized..

Alex Libman

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2010, 06:37:58 pm »

I recognize God(s) as literary character(s), a whole category of metaphors / philosophical concepts (ex. pantheism), as well as the remote possibility of extraterrestrial consciousness, etc, etc, etc...  and I still call myself an atheist - deal with it.

If millions of people in the world call themselves "dog-lovers" (as they have for thousands of years in some languages), and then some 19th century nitpicker invents the term "platonic lovers of dogs", defined as people who love dogs but don't have sex with them, that doesn't automatically mean each person who still calls herself a "dog-lover" is guilty of bestiality!

My disagreement is based on a rational analysis of the level of ambiguity inherent in certain words, and your argument is based on attributing a greater level of deliberateness to a dictionary definition than its authors in all likelihood originally intended.  I'd even go a step further and claim that atheism (aka godlessness) is a culturally relative concept, that is a person who worships Jehovah might be called an "atheist" in the temple of Athena, and vice versa.  But this isn't a hill I want to die on.

I've also written extensively in the past on the inter-relationship between Anarcho-Capitalism (an idealistic philosophy) and Minarchism (a pragmatic political strategy OR a philosophy), which are both subsets of the big-tent libertarian movement (as are some forms of communism).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 06:56:38 pm by Alex Libman »
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MaineShark

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 07:24:13 pm »

If millions of people in the world call themselves "dog-lovers" (as they have for thousands of years in some languages), and then some 19th century nitpicker invents the term "platonic lovers of dogs", defined as people who love dogs but don't have sex with them, that doesn't automatically mean each person who still calls herself a "dog-lover" is guilty of bestiality!

Your metaphor fails because agnosticism predates atheism.

My disagreement is based on a rational analysis of the level of ambiguity inherent in certain words, and your argument is based on attributing a greater level of deliberateness to a dictionary definition than its authors in all likelihood originally intended.  I'd even go a step further and claim that atheism (aka godlessness) is a culturally relative concept, that is a person who worships Jehovah might be called an "atheist" in the temple of Athena, and vice versa.  But this isn't a hill I want to die on.

The concept is not relative.  The definition of a particular word, is.  The definition given by Webster's is current, and includes notes as to prior meanings of the same word.

I've also written extensively in the past on the inter-relationship between Anarcho-Capitalism (an idealistic philosophy) and Minarchism (a pragmatic political strategy OR a philosophy), which are both subsets of the big-tent libertarian movement (as are some forms of communism).

Anarchism (the rejection of the State) is not related to minarchism (the belief in a small State).  A minarchist and a totalitarian have more in common than a minarchist and an anarchist.  Similarly, an atheist and a theist have more in common than an atheist and an agnostic.

Joe
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"An armed society is a polite society" - this does not mean that we are polite because we fear each other.

We are not civilized because we are armed; we are armed because we are civilized..

Alex Libman

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2010, 08:03:17 pm »

Your metaphor fails because agnosticism predates atheism.

That's demonstrably false.  Even the most primitive human tribes to be observed and documented by science have the concept of godlessness, most often used as a derogatory term for someone who fails to follow the tribe's established code of conduct.  (I guess the cyberculture equivalent of that word would be a "troll", which some open-minded individuals now wear as a badge of honor.)  Agnosticism can be loosely related to a far more complicated philosophical concept from the first millennium BC, but not earlier.  You are free to invent your own terms, but not to narrow the definitions of the existing terms for your benefit.


The concept is not relative.  The definition of a particular word, is.
The definition given by Webster's is current, and includes notes as to prior meanings of the same word.

Language is not a dictatorship of Noah Webster or his followers.  Their attempt to reduce an immensely complicated concept into just a few short words of definition created an ambiguity, but to their credit not an outright falsehood.  The first definition (which has an OR relationship to the other definition) is "a disbelief in the existence of deity" , which can include agnosticism as well.  Wikipedia presently does a much better job discussing the nuances of the term.


Anarchism (the rejection of the State) is not related to minarchism (the belief in a small State).

That's not true for multiple reasons.  First of all, I don't recognize anarchism as rejection of the state, only Anarcho-Capitalism fits this definition based on historical precedent.  Anarchism is a vague notion that doesn't answer the question of how the state's power vacuum is to be filled, and no society has ever existed with a power vacuum like that for more than a few days at most.  Anarcho-Capitalism fills this vacuum with strong individual rights (life, liberty, property, parents' rights, freedom of contract, etc), which is what makes it sustainable in the long term, as has been the case in ancient Ireland, ancient Iceland, the various Quaker colonies, etc - and even the Israeli Kibbutz movement was closer to Anarcho-Capitalism due to its voluntary nature and the freedom to leave at any time.

Furthermore, Minarchism can exist in different contexts - a gradualist form Anarcho-Capitalism, an idealistic political philosophy (ex. American Constitutionalism, Objectivism, Georgism, ProtectLittleBirdiesIsm), etc.  Some Minarchists believe in a small one world government and no local / national governments, while others believe in a thousand or even a million local governments and strong intergovernmental competition between them.  I consider myself both a Minarchist (ex. my support for Ron Paul, as a short-term political strategy) and an Anarcho-Capitalism (my ivory-tower philosophy, which I know even under the ideal circumstances would take many decades to implement on any notable scale).

I see FSP as a two-pronged effort - to push for greater levels of Minarchism state-wide thanks to political gurus like Denis Goddard, and to experiment with small agorist / Anarcho-Capitalist communities on local / municipal level (for which I personally recommend buying land and staying away from larger cities like Keene).  One will only complement the other.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 08:31:47 pm by Alex Libman »
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2010, 12:13:33 am »

Anarchism (the rejection of the State) is not related to minarchism (the belief in a small State).  A minarchist and a totalitarian have more in common than a minarchist and an anarchist.  Similarly, an atheist and a theist have more in common than an atheist and an agnostic.

Joe
The minarchist simply hasn't realized at a point in time that a smaller State will require no State.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2010, 02:55:42 am »

Anarcho-Capitalism naturally needs Minarchism to give the civil disobedience culture room to maneuver: detainee rights, limits on anti-dissident crackdowns, free speech, home-schooler rights, localizing control of property taxes, etc, etc, etc.

Minarchism naturally leads to Anarcho-Capitalism as intergovernmental competition increases and states fragment to the point of being more like voluntary neighborhood associations, with some areas being 100% free.

It's a match made in heaven!  One without the other is simply infertile!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 02:59:10 am by Alex Libman »
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MaineShark

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Re: Are there many atheist-anarcho-capitalists / rationalists in NH?
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2010, 11:38:04 am »

That's demonstrably false.  Even the most primitive human tribes to be observed and documented by science have the concept of godlessness, most often used as a derogatory term for someone who fails to follow the tribe's established code of conduct.

A heretic is not automatically an atheist.  Your "demonstrations" seem to consist solely of conflating terms.

Agnosticism can be loosely related to a far more complicated philosophical concept from the first millennium BC, but not earlier.

Agnosticism existed the moment someone said, "prove it, or I won't believe."

You are free to invent your own terms, but not to narrow the definitions of the existing terms for your benefit.

The only one trying to distort the meanings of existing words, is yourself.

Language is not a dictatorship of Noah Webster or his followers.  Their attempt to reduce an immensely complicated concept into just a few short words of definition created an ambiguity, but to their credit not an outright falsehood.  The first definition (which has an OR relationship to the other definition) is "a disbelief in the existence of deity" , which can include agnosticism as well.

No, disbelief does not include agnosticism.  Lack of belief is not the same as the presence of disbelief.

Wikipedia presently does a much better job discussing the nuances of the term.

Or, more to the point, attempting to conflate categories, as you have.  Wikipedia articles are not primary sources.

That's not true for multiple reasons.  First of all, I don't recognize anarchism as rejection of the state, only Anarcho-Capitalism fits this definition based on historical precedent.

Unfortunately, that's what anarchism is.  If you don't like it, well, that's just too bad for you.

Anarchism is a vague notion that doesn't answer the question of how the state's power vacuum is to be filled, and no society has ever existed with a power vacuum like that for more than a few days at most.  Anarcho-Capitalism fills this vacuum with strong individual rights (life, liberty, property, parents' rights, freedom of contract, etc), which is what makes it sustainable in the long term, as has been the case in ancient Ireland, ancient Iceland, the various Quaker colonies, etc - and even the Israeli Kibbutz movement was closer to Anarcho-Capitalism due to its voluntary nature and the freedom to leave at any time.

All you've potentially demonstrated is that only anarcho-capitalism is actually anarchism.  Not that anarchism is something other than the rejection of Statism.

Furthermore, Minarchism can exist in different contexts - a gradualist form Anarcho-Capitalism, an idealistic political philosophy (ex. American Constitutionalism, Objectivism, Georgism, ProtectLittleBirdiesIsm), etc.  Some Minarchists believe in a small one world government and no local / national governments, while others believe in a thousand or even a million local governments and strong intergovernmental competition between them.  I consider myself both a Minarchist (ex. my support for Ron Paul, as a short-term political strategy) and an Anarcho-Capitalism (my ivory-tower philosophy, which I know even under the ideal circumstances would take many decades to implement on any notable scale).

I see FSP as a two-pronged effort - to push for greater levels of Minarchism state-wide thanks to political gurus like Denis Goddard, and to experiment with small agorist / Anarcho-Capitalist communities on local / municipal level (for which I personally recommend buying land and staying away from larger cities like Keene).  One will only complement the other.

The fact that anarchists can use minarchists to help tear down their own state, does not change the fact that minarchism and anarchism are unrelated philosophies.

I mean, I get what you're trying to do, here.  You want to be part of every group, so you can avoid having to take an actual stand.  But it doesn't work.  Certain things are just incompatible.  Trying to distort their meanings so you can claim membership is disingenuous.

Joe
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"An armed society is a polite society" - this does not mean that we are polite because we fear each other.

We are not civilized because we are armed; we are armed because we are civilized..
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