What is this fallacy?

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What is this fallacy?

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?


Specially conflating disbelief with deny.


So the argument is:


Disbelief is positive denial.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of god

Therefore atheism is the positive denial that god exists.


Obviously while denial is a form of disbelief, disbelief does not necessarily mean denial.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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I'm not sure this is a

I'm not sure this is a fallacy so much as just imprecision or badly formed definitions.  Right at the get-go, I would object to the first premise.  Disbelief is not only positive denial.

A fallacy is a problem with the argument itself.  The form of this argument is fine:

D is P

A is D

Therefore A is P

 

The premise "D is P" is just wrong.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I've googled around and

I've googled around and found this: Fallacy of definition refers to the various ways in which definitions can fail to have merit.

 

Or perhaps Doublespeak - a language constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass.

 

Another - The definist fallacy involves the confusion between two notions by defining one in terms of the other.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Hambydammit wrote:A fallacy

Hambydammit wrote:
A fallacy is a problem with the argument itself.

Well that is a formal fallacy, right? A problem with the structure of the argument.

Informal fallacies relate to problems with the content of the premises, which I why I considered this a fallacy - the first premise is wrong.

Informal fallacies may be logically fine in terms of the structure (i.e. the premises support the conclusion), however they are simply unsound due to a false premise.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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Quote:Well that is a formal

Quote:

Well that is a formal fallacy, right? A problem with the structure of the argument.

Informal fallacies relate to problems with the content of the premises, which I why I considered this a fallacy - the first premise is wrong.

Ah... yeah.  I guess you can say that.  It also occurred to me that there are omitted premises if you consider the first premise itself to be a conclusion.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Topher wrote:What is the

Topher wrote:

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?


Specially conflating disbelief with deny.


So the argument is:


Disbelief is positive denial.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of god

Therefore atheism is the positive denial that god exists.


Obviously while denial is a form of disbelief, disbelief does not necessarily mean denial.

I'd like to explore this a bit more to get some clarification on what "disbelief" is. Moreover I'd also like to explore what exactly atheism is. While I can follow what you are saying, the standard ontology of belief that philosophers give is that belief is an attitude towards a proposition. A proposition is standardly held to be the bearer of a truth value, or the object of belief. Now, thiests have the attitude that the proposition "God exists" is true. Therefore they have the belief that some God exists is true. You don't even have to be aware of a proposition all the time to have a belief. I can have a belief that I'm not going to fall through the floor, but I may not be aware of this belief all the time. Now this is all standard in philosophy of mind or epistemology although there is some debate about what exactly constitutes a belief, most accept something like the above ontology.

Now suppose atheists consider the proposition "God exists"; do atheists have an attitude towards this proposition. It seems that a lot of the ones I have come across think it's false. What about the proposition "God is absent in the universe", do atheists think that this proposition is true? I guess I'm wondering what exactly "disbelief" is. Does it mean not having any attitude towards the particular propositioin "God exists". Surely I can imagine such a case where one doesn't even consider the proposition "God exists", but surely in this Global age it's extremely improbable that one can not even consider the proposition "God exists". While the etemology of the word "Atheism" typically comes from the greek for "lack of belief in God", etemologies only get us so far, moreover it doesn't really describe what Atheism actually is or has come to be in the 20th century. But we might try to reconcile the etemology of the word by describing Atheism  or Atheists as just not having the attitude that God exists is true. I think most theists can agree with that. But what about the attitude that God is absent in the universe is true, or even the attitude that the proposition God exists is false? Do atheists have these? Further suppose that you understand particular logical entailments about these propositions like:

1. If God is absent in the universe, then it is not the case that God exists.

2. God is absent in the universe.

3. Therefore, it is not the case that God exists.

Now it seems that if you understand the logical entailments and you agree with the logical entailments, Further you believe the antecedent of the entailments, then you must have the belief that the antecedent entails. In essence you must believe the consequent of those entailments otherwise you are irrational. It absolutely absurd to say, "I believe p, and I understand that q follows from p, but I don't blieve q." 

If you want you can still stick to your guns and say "No! Atheism is disbelief in any God". But I'm just not sure what that means. Do you have attitudes towards propositions that happen to be about God? Do you strongly disagree with theists about some propositioins like "God divinely acts on the world". If so then it seems to me that you have a belief.


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I'd like to explore this a

I'd like to explore this a bit more to get some clarification on what "disbelief" is. Moreover I'd also like to explore what exactly atheism is.  ~~~~~ 

      Atheism is for me, the non belief of traditional theists god definitions. Define god, then make a case. What the heck can we agree on when this g-o-d word is mentioned. This drives me crazy .....  No wonder Pat Condell won't debate the theists ..... what's to debate? 

I never could understand the religious folks, as I was taught from childhood, that I and all was the g-o-d thingy, that me and that Jesus and that Buddha and you are one in the same, and the dirt and the entire everything too. 

      What a silly presumption, a beginning, a creator. Is that what this god of the theist's  imagination is?

   Sorry, seems I don't belong here on this merry go round .... I'm jumping off for now. 


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drummermonkey wrote:1. If

drummermonkey wrote:
1. If God is absent in the universe, then it is not the case that God exists.

2. God is absent in the universe.

3. Therefore, it is not the case that God exists.

The problem here is with premise two. Most atheists do not say god defiantly does not exist, rather they say there is no reason/evidence to believe there is such a being.

drummermonkey wrote:
 If you want you can still stick to your guns and say "No! Atheism is disbelief in any God". But I'm just not sure what that means. Do you have attitudes towards propositions that happen to be about God? Do you strongly disagree with theists about some propositioins like "God divinely acts on the world". If so then it seems to me that you have a belief.

Disbelief is anything other than belief. Disbelief is a spectrum of all the positions other than belief, so it entails a) non belief through ignorance, b) simply a lack of belief, or c) positive denial.

A is what you might call implicit atheism - babies and anyone else who is ignorant of theism are implicit atheists
B is weak/negative atheism
C is strong/positive atheism

Both B and C are a form of explicit atheism, that is, the individual has taken a consciousness stance. B is what most people commonly call agnosticism.

 

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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Topher wrote:drummermonkey

Topher wrote:

drummermonkey wrote:
1. If God is absent in the universe, then it is not the case that God exists.

2. God is absent in the universe.

3. Therefore, it is not the case that God exists.

The problem here is with premise two. Most atheists do not say god defiantly does not exist, rather they say there is no reason/evidence to believe there is such a being.

Belief and what one says are two different things. Some philosophers identify propositions as non linguistic entities. And attitudes one adopts towards how the world is are generally thought to be beliefs. So while I don't think a lot of atheists would genuinely want to philosophically argue for (2) with evidence, I think a lot of them actually believe that (2) is true. Sam Harris recently documented a poll taken from atheism and theism and how strongly both agree or disagree with particular statements. The interesting thing I found about the poll is that a lot, if not the majority of atheists had particularly strong attitudes against religious statments. So I'm not entirely sure that it is the case that most atheists do not want to say God does not exist.

This is kind of the confusing thing I find about atheists, a lot claim disbelief. But the way they act and the attitudes they seem to take towards religious ilk seem shockingly like a belief. For example a lot of scientists that presented at the beyond belief conference thought that most religiouse statements were just false. If that's true then they have a belief.

Quote:

drummermonkey wrote:
 If you want you can still stick to your guns and say "No! Atheism is disbelief in any God". But I'm just not sure what that means. Do you have attitudes towards propositions that happen to be about God? Do you strongly disagree with theists about some propositioins like "God divinely acts on the world". If so then it seems to me that you have a belief.

Disbelief is anything other than belief. Disbelief is a spectrum of all the positions other than belief, so it entails a) non belief through ignorance, b) simply a lack of belief, or c) positive denial.

A is what you might call implicit atheism - babies and anyone else who is ignorant of theism are implicit atheists
B is weak/negative atheism
C is strong/positive atheism

Both B and C are a form of explicit atheism, that is, the individual has taken a consciousness stance. B is what most people commonly call agnosticism.

Well (c) is a belief. If you think a proposition is false you have a propositional attitude. (b) is interesting but (a) seems sufficient to entail (b). So if (a) is the state one is in, (b) seems to accompany it. I have to say that I find (b) just plain odd outside of (a).


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Quote:So while I don't think

Quote:
So while I don't think a lot of atheists would genuinely want to philosophically argue for (2) with evidence, I think a lot of them actually believe that (2) is true.

So what?  If one atheist in the world believes there isn't enough evidence to say, then the category exists.

 

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Topher wrote:What is the

Topher wrote:

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?
 

 

 

Establish a new fallacy and call it the "Fallacy of Conflation"

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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drummermonkey wrote:This is

drummermonkey wrote:
This is kind of the confusing thing I find about atheists, a lot claim disbelief. But the way they act and the attitudes they seem to take towards religious ilk seem shockingly like a belief. For example a lot of scientists that presented at the beyond belief conference thought that most religiouse statements were just false. If that's true then they have a belief.

 

They say they are false when they can demonstrate it (such as creationism), but when they cannot they just don't believe it.

 

As for the "additude" of some atheists. Atheists like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens do not criticise religion because they are atheists, they do so because they are anti-theists. Bill Maher is also an anti-theists, but he actually believes in a god. Many people conflate atheism with anti-theism.

 

You can be an atheist but think religion is great or have no opinion of it.

You can be an atheist and actively dislike religion.

You can believe in god but actively dislike religion.

 

 

drummermonkey wrote:
 If you want you can still stick to your guns and say "No! Atheism is disbelief in any God". But I'm just not sure what that means. Do you have attitudes towards propositions that happen to be about God? Do you strongly disagree with theists about some propositioins like "God divinely acts on the world". If so then it seems to me that you have a belief.

Disbelief is anything other than belief. Disbelief is a spectrum of all the positions other than belief, so it entails a) non belief through ignorance, b) simply a lack of belief, or c) positive denial.

A is what you might call implicit atheism - babies and anyone else who is ignorant of theism are implicit atheists
B is weak/negative atheism
C is strong/positive atheism

Both B and C are a form of explicit atheism, that is, the individual has taken a consciousness stance. B is what most people commonly call agnosticism.

Quote:

Well (c) is a belief. If you think a proposition is false you have a propositional attitude. (b) is interesting but (a) seems sufficient to entail (b). So if (a) is the state one is in, (b) seems to accompany it. I have to say that I find (b) just plain odd outside of (a).

 

No, A and B are distinct. Anyone who has never even heard of god such as a newly born baby falls under A. To fall under B one needs to have knowledge of the claims but abstain from believe in them.

 

 

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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That would be the fallacy of

That would be the fallacy of equivocation. For example:


A tit is a kind of mouse.
Ally has nice tits.
Therefore Ally has nice mice.

 


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inspectormustard wrote:That

inspectormustard wrote:

That would be the fallacy of equivocation. For example:


A tit is a kind of mouse.
Ally has nice tits.
Therefore Ally has nice mice.

 

But disbelief and deny are two different words

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Quote:That would be the

Quote:
That would be the fallacy of equivocation.

I don't think so.  Your example is equivocation, but in the OP, the fallacy was not using a single word in two ways.  It was implicitly treating two words as synonymous when they are not.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Oh, sorry, I should have

Oh, sorry, I should have used an implicit example with a substitution. Here is the definition my logic textbook gives: "Equivocation - An informal fallacy that occurs because some word or group of words is used either implicitly or explicitly in two different senses." Handy thing this book.

 

 


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inspectormustard wrote:Oh,

inspectormustard wrote:

Oh, sorry, I should have used an implicit example with a substitution. Here is the definition my logic textbook gives: "Equivocation - An informal fallacy that occurs because some word or group of words is used either implicitly or explicitly in two different senses." Handy thing this book.

 

Hmmm Copi? That rascal!

I used http://www.fallacyfiles.org/equivoqu.html

Quote:
Equivocation is the type of ambiguity which occurs when a single word or phrase is ambiguous, and this ambiguity is not grammatical but lexical. So, when a phrase equivocates, it is not due to grammar, but to the phrase as a whole having two distinct meanings.

Thats why I didn't called it a fallacy of equivocation.

edit -  I just checked Copi's definition. Its the same as Fallacy Files.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Quote:"Equivocation - An

Quote:
"Equivocation - An informal fallacy that occurs because some word or group of words is used either implicitly or explicitly in two different senses." Handy thing this book.

Indeed.  It appears my memory doesn't work quite as well as printed text for accurately preserving information.

 

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 And the most common use

 And the most common use the fallacy of equivocation: "You have faith too"

 


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
"Equivocation - An informal fallacy that occurs because some word or group of words is used either implicitly or explicitly in two different senses." Handy thing this book.

Indeed.  It appears my memory doesn't work quite as well as printed text for accurately preserving information.

 

A Concise Introduction to Logic, by Patrick J. Hurley

Click the sponsored link and buy it. It's worth every penny.


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quote=Topher]drummermonkey

 

Topher wrote:

drummermonkey wrote:
This is kind of the confusing thing I find about atheists, a lot claim disbelief. But the way they act and the attitudes they seem to take towards religious ilk seem shockingly like a belief. For example a lot of scientists that presented at the beyond belief conference thought that most religiouse statements were just false. If that's true then they have a belief.

They say they are false when they can demonstrate it (such as creationism), but when they cannot they just don't believe it.

As for the "additude" of some atheists. Atheists like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens do not criticise religion because they are atheists, they do so because they are anti-theists. Bill Maher is also an anti-theists, but he actually believes in a god. Many people conflate atheism with anti-theism.

You can be an atheist but think religion is great or have no opinion of it.

You can be an atheist and actively dislike religion.

You can believe in god but actively dislike religion.

I don't think a lot of the scientists I was talking about "disbelieve" in the sense you had defined. Most think that the best explanation for the way the universe is, is one where God is absent. Kauffman explicitly states this, and several other of the other scientists seem to implicitly think this way. I've never actually heard Bill Maher actually state that he believes in a God, perhaps you can point me to some place he states this. I wasn't trying to conflate atheism with anti-theism.

By "attitude" I was talking a propositional attitude. Here's what I meant; although I wasn't exactly clear and for that I apologize. In most cases we act on our beliefs about the world. We think something is the best action thus we do that action. We think the world is a particular way, so we act that the world is a particular way, unless we have any good reason to think that our beliefs or cognitive mechanisms are malfunctioning in some way or that the world in fact is not a particular way. I'm not entirely sure how we can act on a disbelief. Are we even capable of acting on our disbelief? Now, If we do act on our beliefs and not on disbeliefs, then what I meant was that the way atheists act is as if the universe was absent of a God. This is fine, but it's still an action that is based on a belief.

My point was that perhaps atheism is a bit more complicated than mere "disbelief". It seems to me at times they might have a "disbelief", whatever the heck that is. Other times, and I suspect in most cases, they actually have a belief. Atheism is not necessarily a disbelief, Atheism can also be a propositional attitude. So, to actually conclude that all Atheism is a "disbelief" is false. Atheism is a disbelief OR a belief.

So now we have a new term introduced here an “Anti-theist”. What is this? Is it one who thinks that theism is false?

Again, Sam Harris has taken a survey that a lot of so called atheists took part in. When statements popped up such as "God acts on the world" or something to that effect, most atheists said they "Strongly Disagree". Barely any said that they "neither disagree or agree" which I suspect a disbelief is. If this poll represents what most atheism is, or even what several atheists are, then I suspect most atheists or several atheists have a belief or propositional attitude. How do you understand the results of the survey if you think most Atheists are in a state of disbelief?

Quote:

drummermonkey wrote:
If you want you can still stick to your guns and say "No! Atheism is disbelief in any God". But I'm just not sure what that means. Do you have attitudes towards propositions that happen to be about God? Do you strongly disagree with theists about some propositioins like "God divinely acts on the world". If so then it seems to me that you have a belief.

Disbelief is anything other than belief. Disbelief is a spectrum of all the positions other than belief, so it entails a) non belief through ignorance, b) simply a lack of belief, or c) positive denial.

A is what you might call implicit atheism - babies and anyone else who is ignorant of theism are implicit atheists
B is weak/negative atheism
C is strong/positive atheism

Both B and C are a form of explicit atheism, that is, the individual has taken a consciousness stance. B is what most people commonly call agnosticism.

Quote:

Well (c) is a belief. If you think a proposition is false you have a propositional attitude. (b) is interesting but (a) seems sufficient to entail (b). So if (a) is the state one is in, (b) seems to accompany it. I have to say that I find (b) just plain odd outside of (a).

No, A and B are distinct. Anyone who has never even heard of god such as a newly born baby falls under A. To fall under B one needs to have knowledge of the claims but abstain from believe in them.

First, disbelief cannot be (c), if disbelief is anything but a belief.

Second I think you misunderstood my point. Suppose a baby has non-belief through ignorance (as you described members of A) , my point was that this baby has a lack of belief (but lack of belief is also the way you described B). So if S is in state A, then S is in state B. So there is some logical connection there. State A is sufficient to be in state B.

I had said I found state B outside of A just plain odd. What I meant is that I find it difficult to think of a good example where one has knowledge of claims, but has absolutely no propositional attitude towards them outside of some sort of ignorance of the said claims. And by ignorance I don’t mean some sort of conceptual confusion, I’m conceptually confused about physicalism, but I’m still convinced some version of it is correct, therefore I have a belief that it is true. Beliefs can also come in various degrees, so by disbelief I don’t mean that one weakly believes that God is absent in the universe. I mean actually being in a state of disbelief.

In addition I find it difficult to believe that one has that much control over their own propositional attitudes, in fact, I think it is false that you can have that much control over your own propositional attitudes. If you can, perhaps you can tell me how I can not believe that my computer is on right now.

There is one way I think one can understand disbelief, it is in some ways akin to B; but it is simply not having the attitude that it is true that God exists. This is by definition true, you have a disbelief, but it doesn't exlude you from having the attitude that  it is false that God exists. So one can disbelieve that it is the case that God exists, and also believe that it is false that God exists. This seems okay, but it kind of goes against your own convictions; in stating A, B, and C you made a distinction between weak atheism and strong atheism. But if you agree with how I understand disbelief, then one can be in state B, and in state C.

The way I have characterized "disbelief" is just not having a PARTICULAR propositional attitude. For example I don't have the particular attitude that it is true that I am going to fall through the floor, I think it is false.

So if you are one of those atheists who have a weak propositional attitude that it is true that God is absent in the world, then I think you do have a belief. I think a lot of the atheists do have this propositional attitude, some are honest about it, some are not. But atheists have no evidence that God is absent in the world. Therefore, it seems entirely possible, even probable that atheists have some beliefs that are unsupported by evidence, some would suggest this is faith. I just don't think this is a horrible thing. That is to say I think it is false that it is a horrible thing Eye-wink.


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Fuck all you theist idol

Fuck all you theist idol worshipers types .... ME GOD , is it any wonder I fucking reject you, me god , me christ .... or what ever you could call me  .... FUCK YOU , idol worshipers , of any design. I AM serious, FUCK YOU ....   all you idol loving wacks .... you are sick , the blind, the sick, to heal, to love, to understand. Come on you idol worshipers, so that I may destroy your DOGMA shit .... bring it on , I dare you , me god .....


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confusion

I'd like to address some of your points drummer.

Firstly, I agree that a denial is a belief. It falls within the category of disbelief because it excludes belief in what it denies, and disbelief encompasses all categories that don't fall under positive belief.

I'd also hope I can demonstrate that position (b) - lack of belief is exclusive of (c) denial, (a) ignorace, and the implicit opposing category belief. Lets step away from the god propsition and direct our attention to a less emotinoally charged fabricated example.

Right now, you are in category (a), ignorant of the statement to follow. You can't have positive belief, but you can't claim to lack belief or positively deny it either, as you have no idea what I am going to say next.

Tommorow it will rain where I live.

Now you cannot be in category (a), ignorance, about whether it will rain where I live tommorow or not. You either (d) believe me, (b) lack belief, or (c) think what I say isn't true. While it is likely true that some may feel they have enough evidence to either believe or deny me, I think the majority, and I hope including you, would polarize into position (b) lack of belief if asked to peform one measurable task.

Bet money.

There is a third party willing to take bets one way or the other. How much of your hard earned value symbols would you be willing to risk on only hearing proposition, with no supporting evidence attatched? It would be difficult to justify doing so other than the simple thrill of gambling. Many people can easily approach belief similarly. While I don't feel that justification is necessary for the formation of belief, some people have trained themselves to limit that as much as they can and discard what slips through the cracks through introspection. These are the people who fall into category (b) for nearly every proposition presented without supporting evidence.

PS - for all who didn't catch the phrase "fabricated example" , and went through the work of tracking my IP and googling a weather report, no one is taking bets.


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Topher wrote: What is

Topher wrote:

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?


Specially conflating disbelief with deny.

 

So the argument is:

 

Disbelief is positive denial.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of god

Therefore atheism is the positive denial that god exists.

 

Obviously while denial is a form of disbelief, disbelief does not necessarily mean denial.


 

Personally, I would say that this is an example of a Red Herring. Here is how they work:

Proposition A is open for discussion.

Someone posts proposition B (which is superficially similar to proposition A while actually being different in substance) to distract from proposition A.

Proposition A is abandoned (and proposition B is discredited). By association, proposition A is (incorrectly) viewed as discredited.


 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


 

As an example, I submit that L. Ron Hubbard set out to create a patently absurd idea and see if he could get people to believe what he had to say. There it is plain as day, I do not believe in the Evil Galactic Overlord Xenu.

Now Tom Cruise walks in and says “I can't fathom how you believe in the non-existence of Xenu!”.

No Tom, I never said that.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


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WTF could possibly not be

WTF could possibly not be g-o-d as meaning all connectedness of all existence by any logical definition, except in illogical fantasy?


Paisley
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Topher wrote:What is the

Topher wrote:

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?


Specially conflating disbelief with deny.


So the argument is:


Disbelief is positive denial.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of god

Therefore atheism is the positive denial that god exists.


Obviously while denial is a form of disbelief, disbelief does not necessarily mean denial.

 

Strong atheism is the denial that God exists.

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Topher
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Paisley wrote:Topher

Paisley wrote:

Topher wrote:

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?


Specially conflating disbelief with deny.


So the argument is:


Disbelief is positive denial.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of god

Therefore atheism is the positive denial that god exists.


Obviously while denial is a form of disbelief, disbelief does not necessarily mean denial.

 

Strong atheism is the denial that God exists.

 

Yeah, but weak atheism isn't.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


Vastet
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Or atheism in general, for

Or atheism in general, for that matter.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Topher wrote:Paisley

Topher wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Topher wrote:

What is the fallacy for conflating two words?


Specially conflating disbelief with deny.


So the argument is:


Disbelief is positive denial.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of god

Therefore atheism is the positive denial that god exists.


Obviously while denial is a form of disbelief, disbelief does not necessarily mean denial.

 

Strong atheism is the denial that God exists.

 

Yeah, but weak atheism isn't.

So wait a minute is taking the blasphemy challenge weak or strong atheism?