Still Thinking This Shit Through

January 10, 2010

Talk about mixed emotions. I started this blog when I discovered atheist blogs in general, while researching the problem of evil for something related to philosophy class. I saw it as a way to have a sort of ^anonymous persona^ where I could say whatever I want without fear of retaliation or drama. It’s has been and still is that, and I like that part. I can randomly write ^fuck^ if I want, and not have to worry that my teacher will flip out and pray for me. If people don’t want to read ^fuck^ then they don’t have to read it, but if you’ve lived part or all of your life bound by religion then you know where the ^fuck^ I’m coming from when I say it feels good to be free.

Another thing here is that the name “Godless Randall” reflected how I felt at that time, happy to be free from the religious culture I grew up inside, but “Godless” only really means that I’m an atheist of some sort. What is an atheist? It’s a question I saw being argued just today. If an atheist is defined as “absence of belief in gods,” yeah, I’m an atheist in the sense that I don’t ^believe in^ any gods meaning I don’t ^follow^ any religion, but that doesn’t mean I believe in only matter or only this universe. There are all sorts of varieties of atheist, from what I hear, and it seems people should be more open-minded than that. Some atheists are religious, some religious folk are pretty much atheists when it comes down to it too. But by “Godless” I don’t mean to say materialism. By “Godless” I mean without religion and God and gods, but diehard materialism atheists seem to me to be much like the people at church back home and I want to also stand apart from them.

Sometimes when I read atheist blogs, I find myself nodding “yes” to everything. Other times, the atheist needs a slap upside the head or a swift kick to the nuts. I feel like I fall somewhere between the extreme believer and the extreme atheist, and I feel under represented. People on both sides get crazy and need to be brought back down to Earth. So don’t be surprised if I end up criticizing things in atheist blogs if they’re as ignorant as the things atheist blogs criticize believers for. I notice lots if not most atheist talk centers around criticizing theism and rightly so, but I’m not looking to share uniforms with another movement . That’s one thing currently non negotiable.

So, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll end up writing about the crazy bar exploits I’ve had in the last short year. After all, I do like Bukowski.

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25 Responses to “Still Thinking This Shit Through”

  1. jim Says:

    You seem to have a reasonable attitude. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your comments here and there in the blogosphere. Even though I’m not a huge fan of Bukowski 🙂

  2. PhillyChief Says:

    I find it amusing to be critical of others while admittedly “still thinking this shit through”. Ah, the arrogance of youth. LOL!

  3. Godless Randall Says:

    jim:

    thanks. i like your series about mr. garcia it’s like a mystery novel

    no bukowski? how about fante? how could an atheist ^not^ love the blue-collar anti-catholic from san pedro?

    PHillyChief:

    uh –

    criticize: : to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly : evaluate
    2 : to find fault with : point out the faults of

    so, if you’re just making a joke ^in good spirit^ then hardy har, got me on that one, no hard feelings and now i owe you one 😉

    if you’re actually serious, go fuck yourself because all i did was ask you some questions and that ain’t evaluating or finding fault. if you think me asking questions to get to the bottom of shit is criticizing you, you got no business calling yourself rational or talking as much shit as you do

    lemme know.

  4. PhillyChief Says:

    I should have said judgmental, as in being judgmental while admittedly still being relatively ignorant of a topic is comical. Your comparison of materialists to your church folk back home reveals an ignorance of the subject matter. Now indeed there are various types of atheists, and I would encourage you to be one who values critical thinking and the scientific method rather than being a faith based or wishful thinking atheist. I say this because there’s nothing yet to warrant the existence of anything other than the physical, so if you want to believe in supernatural shit, you’d be doing so based on faith or wishful thinking. Now of course you, or one of your ilk, may one day demonstrate the existence of your supernatural shit, at which time we’d all have to acknowledge it, but until then, belief in it is unwarranted. Don’t confuse rejection of a claim for lack of warrant as the same as your church folk who would reject reality if it smacked them in the face.

    Here’s a video which might help.

  5. Godless Randall Says:

    are you really serious right now? what topic am i ignorant of, wiser, older man? who the fuck are you to imply i need help? that’s just like jack chick christians who tell strangers on the street they need help. arrogant. as. fuck. worry about your own shit

    and where did i admit to being relatively ignorant of a topic anywhere in the post? correct answer: i didn’t. you assumed it like you know shit about me

    ^Your comparison of materialists to your church folk back home reveals an ignorance of the subject matter.^

    now how the fuck would you know the first thing about my church folk back home? since you can’t you got no ground to make your claim which kinda makes you just like them now doesn’t it?

    ^I say this because there’s nothing yet to warrant the existence of anything other than the physical,^

    says who? i heard you the other 87 times on that other post. that argument is bullshit. i don’t know if you ever took a freshman philosophy class, but existence doesn’t need any warrant. shit exists or it doesn’t.

    speaking of warrant, i would be warranted to call ^you^ a hypocritical jackass for calling me ignorant while you botch basic freshman philosophy. since you like to go that way with it

    but really i ain’t tryin to raise cain with ya i wanted to get to the bottom of that shit with you and cl because it ain’t addin up. i still want to hear a valid atheist objection to his counter claim. the most i got from your wandering jumbalaya was that you don’t like the definition because its transitory. the whole ^dna was supernatural^ thing.

    okay, then why the fuck did you give cl a transitory defintion to sustain your claim in the first place?

  6. PhillyChief Says:

    You’re quite the cranky pants, aren’t you? Teen angst I guess.

    Anyway, you’re the one who made the comparison between materialists and your church folk back home, remember? Was I incorrect to read that as they’re dogmatic, and thus that was the basis of the comparison?

    Your title is your open admission of ignorance, and your comparison of materialists to church folk is your accidental admission.

    i heard you the other 87 times on that other post. that argument is bullshit. i don’t know if you ever took a freshman philosophy class, but existence doesn’t need any warrant. shit exists or it doesn’t.

    Well apparently the number of times you understood what I said was zero. I’m talking about warrant for accepting the claim of existence. That’s completely different than actual existence. Here’s a simple example:
    John contacts Guinness World Records and tells them he’s just broken the record for longest belch. Guinness first asks for any evidence of this feat, like perhaps witnesses. John says he has none. Guinness informs John they can’t accept his claim.
    In the above example, whether John actually broke the record is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the warrant for believing he did. Sadly, John offers no warrant for anyone to accept his claim.

    I look forward to when you progress past freshmen philosophy and move on to logic and/or argumentation. There are some good lectures available on The Teaching Company’s website (I’d stick with audio downloads for most of them, though). FYI, you might want to work on those caps there if any of those classes you’ll eventually take are designated writing courses. 😉

    Oh, and cl is a gamer. The Merrian-Webster definition was a test to see if he’d try to exploit it to pull a sleight of hand and just as expected, he did. If he wasn’t such a douche, I’d discuss the issue of “order of existence” in that definition, along with the “especially” part as well as the issue of transitory usage, but you can’t have a sincere discussion with him. All his comments are either attempts to set traps or merely to derail discussions. I engage with him either out of boredom or if there’s some sliver of value in something he says, whether he means there to be or not. Does that answer your last question?

  7. Godless Randall Says:

    ^In the above example, whether John actually broke the record is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the warrant for believing he did.^

    no shit. you don’t have to explain the obvious. ^warrant for existence^ and ^warrant for belief^ are two different things so say what you actually mean. don’t say it slightly different the first time and expect me to know what the fuck you mean, then act like i’m puttin you off

    when it comes to my title, it admits no ignorance. a good critical thinker is always thinking shit through. when it comes to my claim that materialist atheists can be a lot like church people i knew back home, you don’t have any warrant to say shit about that

    when it comes to Cl, don’t try to drag me into your shit with others. i wasn’t talking to you over there i was talking to Ildi

    what are you my goddamn english teacher now, too? i comment like this to be quick, and it’s about what the words mean not how pretty they look. talking shit on spelling is some pussy shit. stick to the actual logic

    ^I look forward to when you progress past freshmen philosophy and move on to logic and/or argumentation.^

    shit. speaking of logic and/or argumentation, the first lesson in freshman logic was not to make unwarranted claims or assumptions. e.g., i’m not in my teens. there’s another assumption you made about someone you know jack shit about. and what the fuck does age matter anyways?

    i’m not cranky i’m just not into bullshit and drama

  8. jim Says:

    Randall:

    Thanks. I’m playing the Mr. G. thing by ear. Hopefully it’ll eventually go somewhere.

    I don’t hate Bukowski, but he leaves me cold. He represents the curve away from craftsmanship, imo. I’m not particularly stuck on classic forms, but sometimes I feel like he and the generation that followed took it too far, and lost their way.

  9. Godless Randall Says:

    oh, and

    ^The Merrian-Webster definition was a test to see if he’d try to exploit it to pull a sleight of hand and just as expected, he did.^

    wtf?? he went by the definition you approved! how is that sleight of hand? if you’re trying to bait apologists with definitions you already think are transitory, to me you’re the douche buddy

  10. Godless Randall Says:

    jim:

    i’m not much for form either. substance is what really matters

    if you haven’t read any fante, i just got a good kick out of Road To Los Angeles. you could read it in a day easy. in case you’re wondering, i do at least try to capitalize proper nouns like names and titles when commenting

    when it comes to your thing with Mr. G, its already gone somewhere from my pov. just keep going

  11. jim Says:

    Randall:

    Thanks for the fante reference. I’ll look into it. I don’t really care about how you punctuate or anything like that; so far, I’m finding you’re a real kick to read.

    If you go to my page and click my blog avatar, you’ll find I have a couple of poetry pages, as well. Check them out if you feel like it. I write in all kinds of forms and non-forms. Hell, I even do limericks! LOL!

    I think the Mr. G. thing has a long, long way to go. I’m trying to shift emphasis this year, and argue from the negative spaces. Thanks for your input.

  12. jim Says:

    Btw, I rolled a 201 the other night!


  13. well shit this is the first one of my posts that got more than ten replies.

    201 is pretty good. how many cups?

  14. jim Says:

    Randall:

    Just enough, it seems 🙂

    As far as the supernatural definition thing on SI’s thread, all I can say is sometimes subtext is everything. I’m making 2010 a cl-free year, so I don’t want to get sucked into that conversation too deeply. I will, however, continue visiting your blog, so your comments average will be moving upwards, if perhaps only slightly. Take care.


  15. ^all I can say is sometimes subtext is everything.^

    if you could elaborate that would be nice but if not hey its cool. just know i’m into the ^statements^ and how they add up, not the ^people^ that make them or the ^people that dislike^ the people who make them. maybe i’ll email you about it some other time or if you want hit me. i’ve also steered clear of cl and he from here which is why i don’t really want people blowin’ up my spot so hard. at the same time i dig talking i just don’t dig dealing with anbody’s personal drama. i do want to deal with how shit adds up and to me PhillyChief is the one not adding up. and for being a condescending dick when all i did was question him, mr. ^teen angst^ can go fuck himself. and for arguing with a goddamn 2×4 by assuming shit about me and my background that he can’t possibly know jack shit about. then trying to correct ^me^ on logic? then goin around saying i believe in the supernatural? fuck, fuck, and triple fuck that. right before i hit send something told me i shouldn’t have said shit to Ildi but i guess it’s too late now

    anybody is welcome to comment here even cl but anyybody if you do please just hold the drama if you know what i mean? stick to ^statements^ and ^clear answers^ and it should be smooth sailing but know i’m not in the mood or mindframe to hold shit back either

    i’ll see if i can’t set you up with a good fante selection later

  16. jim Says:

    ‘…if you could elaborate that would be nice…’

    Nah, old news. To be honest, I probably should have bypassed the subject, since it doesn’t really lead anywhere, anyway.

    Have fun!

  17. jim Says:

    Randall:

    “…but that doesn’t mean I believe in only matter or only this universe.”

    Now THIS is a conversation I’m interested in having. Do you have something else in mind? Are there particulars based on your personal experiences? When you say ‘only matter’, do you mean ‘other than’ matter, or perhaps ‘mere’ matter, i.e. there’s more to the stuff than meets the eye?

    So as not to make this a one-way interrogation, I’ll offer that I’ve had a few anomalous experiences which make me wonder from time to time. I’ve never come to anything like a solid conclusion about them as yet, and maybe never will. Have you? Any theories?


  18. fair enough i’m pretty burnt on it already myself but from PhillyChief not you

    yeah i got particulars but if i go into it next thing you know PhillyChief will be here saying i’m arguing video game shit

    no solid conclusions about them either, how could i? when it comes to theories certainty gets only a little less uncertain but to me the materialist view is just an approximation or model. there are people who have gotten by with practically no brain at all so how can we say consciousness is ^always^ and ^only^ from the brain? if there’s such thing as ghosts then consciousness isn’t always and only from the brain. we still don’t know. and some time or another we’ve got to square how there is even a universe at all

  19. jim Says:

    Starting at the last thing you’ve said- it’s funny, and rather against the grain of how a lot of people feel about it, but the question of why there’s something instead of nothing doesn’t bother me at all. That is the question you’re inferring, isn’t it? The way I see it, if there were ever a time when there was nothing, it would still be that way, and always would. But since there’s something, I figure there always was…something, I mean. What the foundational ‘stuff’ of that something is, is still up for grabs, but THAT question takes us out of the fundamental existential realm, and leaves us wondering about particulars. And I’m not sure anybody’s qualified to supply any categorical answers in that arena.

    As for the existence outside the normative material sphere, I’m certainly open to evidence. My suspicions are that there MIGHT be something to that question, although my suspicions could be fueled by erroneous thinking. I’m just not sure at this point. But I haven’t seen anything very convincing as yet. On the other hand, the more mundane answers to the general claims you hear pertaining to immaterial existence i.e. wish thinking, imagination, dreaming, mythmaking and the like, ARE pretty convincing to me. We see it happen all the time, after all.

    My default position is the ‘materialist’ view, with the caveat that there MAY be more to material than meets the eye. There are lots of theories out there, but most of their proponents seem less than thorough in their methodologies, and I’ll admit I don’t accept much of what they have to say. But I try to stay open to alternative possibilities. Maybe I should start a ‘mind fuck’ blog where I can explore some of these ideas with a more relaxed attitude, skeptically speaking. Not with an eye toward proving anything, but just to feel out the ‘what ifs’.

  20. PhillyChief Says:

    My default position is the ‘materialist’ view, with the caveat that there MAY be more to material than meets the eye.

    That’s a responsible position. I would add that physicalism is a better word, though.

    there are people who have gotten by with practically no brain at all so how can we say consciousness is ^always^ and ^only^ from the brain?

    I think your objections stem from misunderstanding the positions of those you’re objecting to. Going back to my earlier example of John the belcher, the issue is one of warrant to accept a claim. Refusal of a warrant is not necessarily an assertion of a contrary claim; therefore, rejecting dualistic claims for lack of warrant does not equal “consciousness is ^always^ and ^only^ from the brain”.

    Your rationale for dualism is fallacious, for it’s essentially an argument from personal incredulity; because you can’t imagine how else someone could function with “practically no brain at all”, then there must be something else going on. In the case of the brain, its functionality has yet to be fully documented, physical effects to the brain result in changes to functionality (ie – Phineas Gage), and there’s currently no evidence for something else going on, so there’s no warrant for dualism. Now of course there MAY be, as Jim put it above, but currently there’s nothing to warrant that belief. This is the same basis for rejecting claims for gods, ghosts, and a host of other woo. Please watch the video from QualiaSoup that I linked to earlier, for he explains this very well.

    In general, it’s best to remain calm and make sure you’re grasping what’s before you before rashly making conclusions. I understand that can be difficult, but nonetheless necessary.

  21. Godless Randall Says:

    jim:

    keep an eye for the next ones i’m still a little burnt from yesterday’s idiocy. i am an outdoor type of guy i prefer more reality and less computer. yeah i’m blogging but i want to talk ^less^ because i like listening and thinking more than pontificating about my own goddamned opinions, which brings to

    PhillyChief:

    ^In general, it’s best to remain calm and make sure you’re grasping what’s before you before rashly making conclusions.^

    no shit Mr. Miagi that’s why you’re a fuckin idiot for

    1 rash conclusion ^teen angst^

    2 rash conclusion ^criticizing others^ when i was only asking you questions

    3 rash conclusion ^being judgmental^ when i was only asking you questions

    4 rash conclusion i didn’t watch the video

    5 rash conclusion i need help

    6 rash conclusion ^rationale for dualism^ when i don’t believe in the soul

    7 telling me not to make rash conclusions when you just made a six packs worth

    fuck off and don’t write misleading shit about me on other websites. you act like a teacher when you oughtta be a student

  22. cl Says:

    Godless Randall,

    Well! I see you’ve had the privilege of making the Chief’s acquaintance! As far as your post, I think it’s great to think things through, and even better to keep an open mind. Bravo to you.

    As far as the thread, ha! Look at this nice little inconsistency:

    Oh, and cl is a gamer. The Merrian-Webster definition was a test to see if he’d try to exploit it to pull a sleight of hand and just as expected, he did.

    Yet then,

    The Merrian-Webster definition was a test to see if he’d try to exploit it to pull a sleight of hand and just as expected, he did.

    I’m the douche? All my questions are traps or bad faith derailment attempts, yet somehow PhillyChief’s admitted attempt to trap I mean test me is somehow good faith debate? Please.

    You’re right; PhillyChief isn’t adding up here. I’d describe my feelings about that and about PhillyChief in general, but you pretty much said everything I would have, and in much more colorful prose at that!

    I appreciate you trying to “get to the bottom of shit” and all I’ll ask is that if you ever do reach any conclusions about me, that you’ll do so based on your own experiences with me, and not anybody else’s, especially the one who complains about traps and bad faith then admits to “testing” me with a definition he himself apparently didn’t really accept from the beginning.

    Likewise, I’d equally encourage you to form your own opinions about PhillyChief regardless of what I say – but it seems you’re already well on your way to that!

    I read what you said about not wanting a scene here, Randall. I totally respect that, and with that I bid my adieu. See you around the blogosphere.

  23. ildi Says:

    I’m looking forward to your first mano-a-mano w/ cl…

  24. Titfortat Says:

    Now this shit was funny. 🙂


  25. funny but pretty much a waste of air you can’t get anything across to a wall


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