Two Atheists philosophers: Damien AtHope (Autodidact Philosopher) and Challenger (with a MA. Philosophy) debate “spiritual”

Challenger, A lot of philosophers discuss “spiritual” things that have nothing to do with the supernatural. “Hadot acknowledges his use of the term “spiritual exercises” may create anxieties, by associating philosophical practices more closely with religious devotion than typically done (Nussbaum 1996, 353-4; Cooper 2010). Hadot’s use of the adjective “spiritual” (or sometimes “existential”) indeed aims to capture how these practices, like devotional practices in the religious traditions (6a), are aimed at generating and reactivating a constant way of living and perceiving in prokopta, despite the distractions, temptations, and difficulties of life. For this reason, they call upon far more than “reason alone.””

Damien Marie AtHope, God has many definitions yet lack epistemic justification, If there is some “spiritual” I want to hear a clear and evidence rich offering with valid and reliable reason one evidence full with adherence to epistemic rationality.

Challenger, Hadot’s concept of spiritual exercise is based on ancient philosophy and is quite secular in nature. It has been adopted quite a bit by a lot of cognitive behavior therapy as well. There is something to be said against viewing philosophy as a mere handmaiden to science, though. So, cognitive behavioral therapy is not necessarily needed to think there’s a philosophical point to spiritual exercises. I wrote a bit about this issue a long time ago here.

Damien Marie AtHope, here are two of my blogs Spiritual Woo Woo, Trying to Make Magic of Reality  and Addressing The Ethics of Belief

Challenger, The second link you posted right now is not relevant to this discussion in my view. I am not talking about a supernatural type of spiritual. Yes, people use the word ‘spiritual’ in different ways. That is how a lot of important words are including ‘sound,’ ‘valid,’ ‘philosophy,’ ‘logic’, etc.

Damien Marie AtHope, Challenger, You are actually going to say a reasoned thinker does not ALWAYS need to be aware of the ethics of belief? A good standard is to adhere beliefs to is epistemic rationality (a rational belief or knowledge forming possess) which has similarities to the correspondence theory of truth (a rational belief or knowledge forming possess requiring that they accurately relate to or describes (i.e., corresponds with) that real world as it presents itself. However, epistemic rationality is that part of rationality which involves achieving accurate beliefs about the world (i.e., corresponds with), but also good belief educate, such as, assessment before belief acquisition, reassessing and if need be updating one’s beliefs once valid, sound and reliable to new evidence when it is received and examining why such a belief is needed, useful or an actual extension of knowledge. Here is epistemic rationality as it is stated by Center for Applied Rationality, “when cognitive scientists talk about rationality, one of the main things they’re talking about is epistemic rationality.” Ref

Challenger, It is a complex issue, but how does it relate to this issue? The spiritual exercises were developed by philosophers for good reasons. They should not be dismissed as violating the ethics of belief in my view. The view is not to be easily dismissed as irrational or unethical in this case. You might have reasons to reject it, but make sure you understand all the reasons to think it could be right first.

Damien Marie AtHope, Challenger, How does it not you hold that burden to proof as you first made the claim I challenged you are not trying to shift the burden on me are you?

Challenger, The burden of proof is best analyzed by reading books about it, not by thinking I can prove it easily in a conversation like this. I don’t want to explain all the details here. I already posted some info about it.

Damien Marie AtHope, Believing things you don’t know is to be ethically, intellectually dishonest does it not? Great so you will support your claim?

Challenger, You don’t have to believe it, but being dismissive of what you don’t know is not intellectually honest either.

Damien Marie AtHope, James Gray claiming to know does right? You made a truth claim it seemed to me unless you are restating it as a personal view and not a TRUTH claim?

Challenger, I wrote my master’s thesis about this issue to some extent. Two New Stoic Ethical Theories (Free Ebook, updated 12/11/10). What was the truth claim that you question exactly?

Damien Marie AtHope, The spiritual exercises were developed by philosophers for good reasons. – claim without full substantiation of your claim.

Challenger, You can read more about it. I don’t think a simple facebook conversation would due justice to that fact because there’s a lot involved. Books are written about it.

Damien Marie AtHope, “good reasons” – loose looking thinking claim you will be quite hard pressed to prove thing but as always I am more than ready to receive your evidence substantiation.

Challenger, You can read my MA thesis. I posted a link to it. If you can know enough about the issue to have a proper conversation about the details, I will be willing to delve into the details more.

Damien Marie AtHope, Telling me to read more is not a reputation of anything I said rather you are adding more elevation from fulfilling the truth of error in your claim.

Challenger, I can make claims that are explained and justified in hundreds of pages of books that I know about. You might as well say you reject cognitive behavioral therapy and that the burden of proof is on the psychologist to prove it can be effective when they already have a lot of research just because fully explaining all the research would take too much time, and you can already read about it on your own. I don’t think major philosophical conclusions are properly proven in a facebook conversation. There’s a lot of information to think about and discuss. A lot of the evidence also has to do with personal experience, but even discussing that requires a familiarity with the subject.

Damien Marie AtHope, Stating your education is great and still no evidence then you have training, not that you employ it with a universal truth to all claims to such a person and I am taken back that you think you can push any claim against me with out your full valid warrant. . I want evidence please?

Challenger, Before providing evidence you have to know what the claim is. I don’t have to fully teach classes of material online in a personal facebook conversation without payment. Even if I taught a class on this, I would have people do readings on it.

Damien Marie AtHope, I do so enjoy conversing with you so you don’t think I am not enjoying this.

Challenger, Want to prove anything you learned in psychology to me that requires a lot of classes and research to understand properly just through a simple facebook conversation and without reading the material?

Damien Marie AtHope, I would be lad to in fact I would love o talk over this with you and still I want the proof you have for the “good reasons”. How I see it is you exaggerated or used a hasty generalization and now that I am holding it to you, the question not answered with sufficient evidence only a appeal to authority, yet it seems logical fallacies to me. What I find the most odd is your initiating this entire conversation on my post, which you willingly did, then it seems you may be trying to posture that you can’t be bothered to give more than evidenceless opinions in their place?

Challenger, Sometimes an appeal to authority is perfectly reasonable and appropriate rather than fallacious. I don’t ask experts to prove everything they say in facebook conversations, but I do think it is good when they offer more information for the curious. I am not claiming I know everything about this issue in a strong sense either. Claiming a belief is irrational or false is also a strong claim. Having reasons for beliefs is mostly all we can do in philosophy, but I doubt you even know what spiritual exercises are. It would take time to even explain that. You want to tell us you don’t like the word ‘spiritual.’ You admit you don’t know what people mean by the word. It often seems like it has to do with the supernatural. Yes, the ‘spiritual’ can have to do with the supernatural. If you want to know what it can mean in the most reasonable way, you can look into spiritual exercises of the stoics. It does not have to do with the supernatural there. If you want to know if the concept itself is unreasonable or whether spiritual exercises can be effective, we can talk about those issues, but first I would want you to learn more about it. For the Stoics, the spiritual is related to their moral psychology, so you can learn more about the Stoic conception of moral psychology, which I discuss in my thesis. Here is a simple illustration: You can want an apple and it might not be available. You can get upset about that by thinking it’s bad that you can’t have it. It would seem like a good idea to think about why it’s not a bad thing to not get upset about it.

Damien Marie AtHope, I can show there is no such thing but emotionalism projected as knowledge. as to the further assertion that an expert does not have to validate your unsupported claim that I then held you to which you are again trying to posture that somehow asking you to validate a claim you as the self-reported expert are not evidentiary showing me anything but just the same evidence evasion all erroring thinker tend to do as a form of self-protection meaning you seem to be hiding the evidence you as the reported expert you think is better than me of which you have yet to demonstrate but as always I am waiting and all I have been asking is give evidence or say you don’t really believe your first claim as offered as it does seem you are trying towards? That some nice explanation but so to can William Lane Craig say the same things about faith believed beliefs, say he uses god positively but that is neither proof of a god anything not that a god is good. You said they do it for good reasons. No, they do it for an abstraction on reality it is not an actual ontological property as in there is no ontological really connected property it’s an extra subjective word about one’s feelings about believed ontologies reality.

Challenger, What isn’t an actual ontological property? Doing something to change our emotional states? Trying to have emotional states that are healthier or more reasonable?

Damien Marie AtHope, Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical enterprise is highly theoretical, it also has practical application in information science and technology, such as ontology engineering.

Challenger, I know what ontology is. You said “it’s not an actual ontological property.” Is it possible to change our emotional states? Can some emotional states be based on false beliefs and be corrected by true beliefs?

Damien Marie AtHope, How I see the difference between Ontology and Definition: “The Ontology, is mainly the objective reality of a thing. A Definition, is often the subjective explanation of a thing.” We are always emotionalizing as we are emotional being who use the thinking method of reason that is utilized in a way that is not standard to the thinking of lower animals. So, we use emotional intelligence to manage our emotions to be able to hold emotions in regulation while we think or that is what can happen when we are functioning well but you know we are quite fallible. Can some emotional states be based on false beliefs and be corrected by true beliefs? Yes it is possible..

Challenger, Spiritual exercises have to do with changing our emotions mainly by making sure our beliefs are true or reasonable because there’s a connection between our beliefs and emotions, and we can make ourselves miserable by having false beliefs about bad things happening.

Damien Marie AtHope, James Gray Is there a universal taxonomy of Spiritual exercises, if so evidence please. Principal questions of ontology include:

“What can be said to exist?”

“What is a thing?”

“Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?”

“What are the meanings of being?”

“What are the various modes of being of entities?”

Challenger, I know of no universal taxonomy for it. It’s focus is not metaphysics. The focus is how to live your life and psychology.

Damien Marie AtHope, Thanks.