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I dislike using the term "materialism" to describe a philosophical or political position, because it is often ambiguous whether it should be taken to mean ontological positivism or productivism/consumerism. I assume that you mean ontological positivism, since using it in the sense of productivism/consumerism would be tautological in this case.

That being so, I'm not quite sure what made you conclude that ontological positivism is intimately connected to consumerism. I can't see any obvious logical or psychological connection.

As an aside, while ontological positivism is related to atheism, it is not quite the same thing. It is possible to be an atheist and still believe in, say, astrology, which is inconsistent with a position of ontological positivism.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 04:11:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used the term materialism because it contains "matter" as opposed to "spirit".

Atheists can of course be spiritual as well, be that by seeking answers in astrology, or in occult practices, calling on 'dark' forces or through other possible experiences.

In that sense, 'spiritual atheists' are not materialists, or atheism does not imply materialism.

I cannot make much of "ontological positivism". Maybe you can explain the meaning to me?

Materialism as much as consumerism speaks of a strong attachment, if not clinging to this world. Faith is the force that teaches us that these things will pass and do not matter which should make the believer free from this attachment (bondage), ideally.

Without faith, we have nothing to oppose the forces of this world that boil down to everyone's selfish will which makes us susceptible to consumerism.

 

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 05:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I totally disagree. What is wrong with 'clinging to this world' if one sees this 'world' as being an emergent phenomenon?

Why are atheists selfish? Why is fear the central driver of your religion? Why is compassion such a low priority for you? What are you afraid of?

Why do you promise to your believers that everything will be OK when you are dead? But not before?

How can you venerate deliverance without scolding circumstance? So, for instance, how is it possible to thank a god for rescuing the Chilean miners without blaming that god for this accident in the first place?

Perhaps you are confusing selfishness with a demand for human rights?

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 06:08:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is wrong with 'clinging to this world' if one sees this 'world' as being an emergent phenomenon?

There's clinging to this world and clinging to this world. This world consists of here and there, heaven and earth. I do not believe that we're here on Earth, and there, heaven would be for later.

I believe that this world is both but we're limited (space/time) and free-willed. We can already experience heaven, glimpses of it - for as long as we live since we're spiritually blind, or in Christian terminology, in our fallen state, sinners, separated from God.

Clinging to "this world" refers to the here only, not the spiritual, eternal aspect of our life.

The core of Christian faith - is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and he sent the Holy Spirit so that we would be able to be with Him, have the spiritual experience and See, with our hearts, through faith.

Why are atheists selfish?

Everyone who is separated from God is on his own, with himself, alone - and from there, selfish, confined to the prison of the "Self". This is not a reproach. It belongs to our human condition unless we return into the Father's arms.

Why is fear the central driver of your religion?

The awareness of the reality of death is a central driver. Most people fear death. We fear because we're separated from God. This separation causes us pain.
We experience God through friendships and loving bonds with other people. Death will separate us from what/who we've known and loved. We fear more separation.

There's a song that I like with a line in it, "If we could see what the angels see... we'd understand that death is just a swinging door."

Personally, I am not comfortable with drawing people to God with heaven and hell rhetoric. "If you don't have faith, you'll go to hell." - We have faith, because we have a deep longing for God, not because we're so afraid. But then, and this is also true, when we're afraid and turn to God, the fear will go away. So.

Why is compassion such a low priority for you?

It's not a low priority for me.

What are you afraid of?

Me personally or the generic Christian-"I"? In any case, I have ordinary fears like everybody else but hope to manage them constructively(?) through faith. (This is not my strength.)

Why do you promise to your believers that everything will be OK when you are dead? But not before?

"I" am a Christian but no specific Church representative.
Everything may be "okay" - but not yet perfect - before we're dead.
You are hinting at why is there suffering? Why is there inequality, injustice? Why...? - Questions that cannot be answered at the surface.

How can you venerate deliverance without scolding circumstance? So, for instance, how is it possible to thank a god for rescuing the Chilean miners without blaming that god for this accident in the first place?

You Can complain or submit to God's holiness and trust His "plan" that is greater than our understanding. Everything is meant to work for our best. God let this accident happen. He listened to prayers, and the miners were saved. Maybe safety standards are going to improved as a consequence, and many lives will be saved in the future. Maybe weak family bonds were strengthened through the experience. People who lacked faith, found God. There can be many reasons why this occurred the way it did.

Perhaps you are confusing selfishness with a demand for human rights?

I support human rights. As I explained before, I understand selfishness rather as a form of poverty than a base attitude.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 07:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a somewhat unusual definition of selfishness, and one that may lead to confusion when used in the company of those who are only in possession of a more limited thesaurus.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 08:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This unusual definition of selfishness addresses the cause of selfishness, not what it produces.

 

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 03:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This unusual definition of selfishness postulates a cause of selfishness that is wholly uncorrelated with the the effects that the common version of English attribute to selfishness.

While correlation does not prove causation, absence of correlation does disprove causation. Necessary versus sufficient conditions, again.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 28th, 2010 at 08:40:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot make much of "ontological positivism". Maybe you can explain the meaning to me?

Ontology is the branch of philosophy that concerns itself with what can be said to exist. As opposed to epistemology, which concerns itself with how we learn about the world. Positivism is the philosophical view that the predictive power (and parsimony) of statements is our only guide to the world.

So ontological positivism is the position that everything that exists is amenable to experimental detection. As opposed to epistemological (or methodological) positivism, which merely makes the much weaker statement that the best way to go about learning about the world is to poke it and see what happens. Ontological positivism posits that God does not exist, because there is no evidence of God's existence. Epistemological positivism posits that if God does exist, we'll figure it out in its own good time as long as we keep making predictions and testing them experimentally.

Materialism [...] speaks of a strong attachment, if not clinging to this world.

Eh, not really. One does not have to rage against the dying of the light in order to believe that the light really does die, and doesn't simply move on to somewhere else. Death is not, a priori, any more terrible to those who believe that it is the last chapter in their book than to those who believe that it is the last page of the first chapter.

Now, it is very human to rage against the dying of the light. It is not many who would not like just one more dance, just one more kiss, just one more birthday party. And frankly, I see nothing particularly wrong with that.

Without faith, we have nothing to oppose the forces of this world that boil down to everyone's selfish will which makes us susceptible to consumerism.

We have the impartial spectator; the man within the breast. And we have ideology, for that matter.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 27th, 2010 at 08:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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