I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity."  Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."

A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of  "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?

Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.

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Rainbows, it seems to me, are no more an illusion than any other apparently solid object.  Water droplets refracting light allow our eyes to see an object.  With other objects the separate, far spaced atoms are not seen as moving separate particles, but our eyes perceive them as a solid object.  Water and light are real are they not?

Water and light are real in on sense as physical objects. Rainbows are not. They are an illusion just like a mirage on a hot road. They aren't physical objects with real boudaries and edges. Their boundaries and edges aren't really there. You can touch a water droplet, not a rainbow. A rainbow is an epiphenomenon.

In that case, would you say sunlight is also an epiphenomenon? An illusion?

No, the fact that I can get sunburn makes it a phenomenon, not an epiphenomenon. When you can get a rainbowburn, let me know.

Speaking of electromagnetic spectrums, I believe rainbowburn would only appear on the back of an observer.

I mean, speaking of late night, photo-physics trivia.

OK - but you described epiphenomenon has something without edges, something you can't touch. You didn't define it in terms of effects. And in fact, if you were to stare at a rainbow, then look at a white blank page (cue Mumford & Sons), you might see a sort of after-image of the rainbow. I'd say that qualifies as a rainbowburn. There is a physical interaction between the light and your eye. When we perceive light and color, it's not some trickery - it's real photons hitting receptors in our eyes.

As I said, the rainbow is not out there where it appears to be because it's an epiphenomenon.

Aren't rainbows just different colours, made up of light. Light is real. Why not a rainbow?

Lol you're kidding right? Maybe I joined the rainbow debate a little late. Photons are real. Rainbows are what we call a particular arrangement of photons. So rainbows are real. The illusion is the pot of gold which is an epiphenomenon of the rainbow? I thought everyone knew this.

@Blaine: I've been following the discussion myself. Can't wait to take a picture of a rainbow, post it on Facebook with the caption "Rainbows don't exist, they are an illusion", and see how many end up responding, hopefully about how they haven't thought about it that way before.

I never said illusions are unreal. The reason you can't find a pot of gold (or anything else) is that as you try to approach the rainbow, you'll find that you aren't getting closer to it in the same way you'd be getting closer to a McDonald's restaurant. Why? When you get there, you'll find that there's no there there. The only way it's unreal is if it's mistaken for a physical object like McDonald's golden arches.

It is real. It's an illusion. It's just not real in the same way as light is. "Everything is real once properly categorized."


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