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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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."

Light, Prisms, and the Rainbow Connection


"Did you know that the light from the sun or from white electric lights is made up of all the colors that can be seen by the human eye? In this activity you will use a prism to prove that this is true. You will find that when you shine a light in just the right way on a prism, the light enters the prism, bends (or refracts), and spreads out, showing us all of the beautiful colors of a rainbow.

The rainbows we sometimes see in the sky work in the same way. When sunlight shines on raindrops in just the right way, the sunlight is bent as it moves through the drops. It spreads out and is reflected back to us as a colorful rainbow in the sky.

The group of colors that we can see with a prism or in a rainbow is called the color spectrum. These colors always appear in the same order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. An easy way to remember the order of colors of the spectrum is to remember the name ROY G. BIV. Each letter of the name is the first letter of a color."

This is why I like THINK ATHEIST!  I like the think part more than the atheist part.  The people I talk to in Tampa accept rumor, gossip, speculation, prejudice, and faith, as equivalent to fact.  When I'm told something as 'gospel truth',  I ask how the person KNOWS this is a fact.  He usually looks at me as if to say, "What difference does that make?"  It reminds me of  Ntozake Shange's play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf."


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