Lack of belief

cojalen
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Lack of belief

 I am having trouble with the argument from theists that a "lack of belief in a god" is not what atheism means.

 

I'm sure you all have good answers for it. How is a lack of belief different from active disbelief? Is a lack of belief possible?

 

I apologize if this has been handled time and time again.

 

For another discussion, here is a link to the most annoyingly dense theist I have come across on the internet that got my wondering more about the argument: http://debunkingatheists.blogspot.com/2011/07/atheism-is-lack-of-belief.html

 


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cojalen wrote: I am having

cojalen wrote:

 I am having trouble with the argument from theists that a "lack of belief in a god" is not what atheism means.

 

I'm sure you all have good answers for it. How is a lack of belief different from active disbelief? Is a lack of belief possible?

 

I apologize if this has been handled time and time again.

 

For another discussion, here is a link to the most annoyingly dense theist I have come across on the internet that got my wondering more about the argument: http://debunkingatheists.blogspot.com/2011/07/atheism-is-lack-of-belief.html

 

Well from the pop culture definition, they ARE right.. But from a historical history of the prefix and suffix of the word, they are wrong.

You are going to have a hard if not impossible time convincing them otherwise.

But, a good way to bypass this distraction is to point out to them that they lack belief in other gods besides the one they do believe in.

Over the years many of us have suggested to these people who do this to try to understand WHY they reject the claims of others and apply that same use of logic to their own claims. Basically put a mirror to their face and let them see the skepticism they aim at all others.

The only difference between an atheist and a theist is that we lack a belief in one more god than they do. When they understand why they reject all other claims besides their own, they should(not always) but should understand why we reject their claims as well.

The facts are that humans long before the god/s of Abraham super natural beings have been claimed. The early ones reflected nature like volcano gods or animal gods or weather gods. Then they progressed to have more human like qualities in polytheism, then onto our modern monotheism.

We have abundant evidence that humans are capable of believing false things. We have no evidence of any non-material magical super brain BY ANY NAME, past or present.

Deities/gods/ super natural, and even more new age crap like pantheism are a result of mental masturbation without the rigors of pragmatic testing and falsification and independent peer review.

It is hard convince a delusional person that they are delusional. But there are ways to crack the wall they throw up.

I often ask the believer(insert label here) if they would buy someone else's god if that person were using the exact same argument they are trying to use on you.

I hope this helps.

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Read the blog - some of it,

Read the blog - some of it, anyway.  I don't know what the deal is.  Really, who cares?  Lack of belief, active disbelief, count me in.

Perhaps, lack of belief is more passive and active disbelief - well, more active.  Sometimes I'm passive and sometimes I'm active. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Click on

Click on the link :

to the left, that says "Am I an Atheist or an Agnostic?"

I thought the video that Jake posted there explains it quite nicely.

I would tell them that they don't  know their historical language very well.

Since the word theist, means belief in god, the A, meant without. Therefor A-theist, meaning without god.

If I am in a patient mood, I will try to explain to them that there are Positive Atheists and Negative Atheists. If I am having a bad day, I usually don't bother trying to go that far into explanations. I just tell them to go out and do some research, and stop listening to their preachers. But that is only if they catch me in the wrong mood, which is rare. I actually enjoy arguing with theists for the most part.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Re: Lack of Belief

I actually look at it slightly differently.

I'm sure some of you guys have heard this argument before, but it works for me:
Calling us non-believers is a discredit to the proportional amount of ideas as compared with any world religion. The Bible is a fairly extensive fairy tale, and even the Hindu Vedas are quite thorough upon certain metaphysical subjects and physical laws. Regardless, No group or person with anti-scientific ideas* has ever come close to the conciseness [Occam's kind of conciseness] and expansive field of evidence, proof and factual text that is science.

*By anti-scientific, I don't mean ideas that are contrary to pre-established science , I mean ideas that have no scientific base or grounding at all.
 

So someone is arguing [as I believe I could sum up from this link you gave] that atheism is not a lack of belief in god, but rather an active ignorance of some kind.

You can point out that we are not typically actively ignorant of their particular scripture; as an atheist I've read the Bible, B.o.Mormon, Vedas, Koran, etc with the goal of finding one of them to be congruent with my understanding with reality...I still prefer science. Their follow-up argument is inevitably that our active ignorance is more specifically to the fact that their scripture is true, something they will say is self-evident, but will never be able to prove as such. There's really no easy reply to that. One can perhaps point out the colloquial state they're throwing the term truth into.

But overall, my point is still that I consider myself a believer and religious folk to be the non-believers. Agreeing with scientifically proven facts is virtually axiomatic to our continued existence. Quickly denying the "truth" to be had without scientific proof is therefore unavoidably as axiomatic to the thought process.

"There's no six six six in outer-space."


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This type of semantic debate

This type of semantic debate is worthless. Words are defined to be what we define them to be; that there can be such a long debate over various dictionaries, thesauruses, and etymologies, and that there is common usage, should already be sufficient to warrant defining the term that way.

Often, the implication is that if the theist shows that atheism is not defined to be a 'lack of belief in god,' then somehow, people that consider themselves atheists are actively rejecting. This is a complete non sequitur. If he chooses to define atheism as the active belief that there is no god or gods, then it simply doesn't describe many self-described atheists. This doesn't make any claim that holds real value on the subject; it is a debate over language, not reality. 

cojalen wrote:
Is a lack of belief possible?

If you are open-minded, it is necessary.

If you can't "lack belief," then must either believe or reject all positive claims with confidence. It is saying that you don't believe it is true because you have not been presented with enough evidence, but neither do you have sufficient evidence to be sure that it is false.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I prefer to use the phrase

I prefer to use the phrase "working assumptions" to refer to the concepts on which I base my assessment of what is the best way to think about any particular topic.

The words 'belief' and 'knowledge' have become far to slippery, with countless interpretations, to be used in any serious, rigorous discussion.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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Re: Slippery

I agree. Belief has been a loaded word for thousands of years, and knowledge has become too subjective to gauge.

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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Well, hellisyou, I don't see much of a problem with the general idea of something being self evident. Rather, what I see in a general abuse of the term. Here I would consider some items that serve my point.

 

1. You get to the train station two minutes before your train comes in. When you check the monitor, it says that the train is going to be five minutes late. It is self evident that you have enough time for a smoke.

 

2. You go to a restaurant and the waitress hands you a menu. It takes little time to determine that they serve food.

 

3. You are sitting in front of your computer reading this post. How hard is it to figure out that I am asking you to think about the specific term at question?

 

4. The whack job on the corner says that his really old book is completely true. No other old books can possibly be true. All of them have the same basic advice on how to live a reasonable life. Which do you find to be closer to self evident: The automatic truth assertion or the let's all try to be nice to each other assertion?

 

Don't get me wrong. There are nasty people in the world and once in a while, you just have to do what you have to do. Still, if you start by assuming the nice proposition, you increase the odds of getting nice back.

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Any time I run into it I

Any time I run into it I make a choice on the defence, since there are multiple options. Sometimes I go with the etymology of the word atheist. But more often I choose descriptive terms to flesh out the true meaning. Gnostic and agnostic are the best two, though ignostic is also occasionally helpful. These descriptors can be added to both atheist and theist, making absolutely sure everyone can follow the conversation. An agnostic atheist is someone who has a lack of belief, whilst a gnostic atheist believes there is no god. A gnostic theist believes that there is a god, and an agnostic theist believes there could be but they aren't sure.
Ignostic gets a bit complicated for the average theist, since their belief systems often include an assumption that every human agrees with them deep down inside. Theists figure an opponent is just mad at god, for whatever reason, and refuses to acknowledge it. As such, they are incapable of truly understanding the meaning of ignosticism, so it's best not to bring it up.

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Just state your beleifs or

Just state your beleifs or lack thereof and don't use the word atheism at all.  Then, if they start attacking beliefs you don't have or trying to label you an athiest (and then using this label to assign beliefs to you that you don't have), call them out for comitting a straw man fallacy and insist that they address your position, not some position they just made up.  Again, don't use the word atheism.  If they can't get around the fact that atheism = non-beleif, then don't use the word.  Taboo it.  If they call you an atheist, ask them what "atheist" means to them, and if this doesn't reflect your beleifs, thell them you're not an atheist under their definition, and ask them to please address your position insead of some position they just made up.

Whether or not the word "atheism" means "lack of belief" has nothing to do with what your position is.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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cojalen wrote: I am having

cojalen wrote:

 I am having trouble with the argument from theists that a "lack of belief in a god" is not what atheism means.

I'm sure you all have good answers for it. How is a lack of belief different from active disbelief? Is a lack of belief possible?

Rather than proclaiming their position, internet atheists tend to adopt a passive position with which they feign neutrality in order to avoid shouldering the burden of proof.  As such, they put themselves under a safety blanket where they can never be wrong, because accordingly they've never endorsed any viewpoint in the first place.

The problem is that atheism, at least on the internet, is clearly maintained by individuals who are aware of theism and are consciously choosing not to accept that God exists; this alone is enough to substantiate that atheism is a worldview, and at that, one needing to be defended.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that Santa Clause exists not because I lack evidence of his existence, but rather I have positive evidence that he does not.  For instance, if you go to the North Pole, you can observe that nothing is there.  

Do we know of any atheists who have died and witnessed that there's no God?


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Tom_the_Who wrote:Rather

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Rather than proclaiming their position, internet atheists tend to adopt a passive position with which they feign neutrality in order to avoid shouldering the burden of proof.  As such, they put themselves under a safety blanket where they can never be wrong, because accordingly they've never endorsed any viewpoint in the first place.

If the burden of proof was on the person who questions supernatural claims, then where would it end ? The list of things you can make up is endless.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
The problem is that atheism, at least on the internet, is clearly maintained by individuals who are aware of theism and are consciously choosing not to accept that God exists; this alone is enough to substantiate that atheism is a worldview, and at that, one needing to be defended.

Go for it. Attack !

Tom_the_Who wrote:
For what it's worth, I don't believe that Santa Clause exists not because I lack evidence of his existence, but rather I have positive evidence that he does not.  For instance, if you go to the North Pole, you can observe that nothing is there.
 

Been to the North Pole, have you ?

Let me borrow an "argument" I've had thrown at me by one of christian brothers : "If you believe, you will see Him". (He's hiding behind the polar bear !)

 

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Do we know of any atheists who have died and witnessed that there's no God?

You can witness stuff when you're dead ?


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Tom_the_Who wrote:cojalen

Tom_the_Who wrote:

cojalen wrote:

 I am having trouble with the argument from theists that a "lack of belief in a god" is not what atheism means.

I'm sure you all have good answers for it. How is a lack of belief different from active disbelief? Is a lack of belief possible?

Rather than proclaiming their position, internet atheists tend to adopt a passive position with which they feign neutrality in order to avoid shouldering the burden of proof.  As such, they put themselves under a safety blanket where they can never be wrong, because accordingly they've never endorsed any viewpoint in the first place.

The problem is that atheism, at least on the internet, is clearly maintained by individuals who are aware of theism and are consciously choosing not to accept that God exists; this alone is enough to substantiate that atheism is a worldview, and at that, one needing to be defended.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that Santa Clause exists not because I lack evidence of his existence, but rather I have positive evidence that he does not.  For instance, if you go to the North Pole, you can observe that nothing is there.  

Do we know of any atheists who have died and witnessed that there's no God?

Totally unworkable position. Anything like God whose supposed attributes are way beyond anything observed or observable in this world, and beyond the best theories of science, most definitely must default to having the burden of proof.

The classic case is Russell's Teapot  - if someone claims they know there is a porcelain teapot in orbit around Jupiter, it is up to them to provide positive evidence for it.

As Antpiatris says, there are literally an infinite number of things you could claim, especially if you allow the supernatural, so being required to disprove every claim for which no appropriate level of evidence is presented is a totally absurd proposition.

We are NOT 'consciously choosing not to accept that God exists'. That is not how rational understanding works.

We could possibly choose not to look at the evidence, but honest belief is a position you are driven to, not something you choose, when you find the evidence compelling.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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Antipatris wrote:If the

Antipatris wrote:

If the burden of proof was on the person who questions supernatural claims, then where would it end ? The list of things you can make up is endless.

The atheist does not believe in the existence of God.

All I want is a reason which justifies his choice to not maintain that belief; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Quote:
Go for it. Attack

I'm not an atheist; why would I defend atheism?  

Quote:
Been to the North Pole, have you ?

What if I told you that I have?  Would you believe me?

Is it your contention that no human being has even been to the North Pole?

Quote:
Let me borrow an "argument" I've had thrown at me by one of christian brothers : "If you believe, you will see Him". (He's hiding behind the polar bear !)

Are you claiming that no claim has epistemic warrant unless you have empirically exhausted every single nomological possibility to the point where you are at least 99.9% certain that your claim is true?  If so, then by your logic we can't really know anything, let alone whether God exists.

Quote:
You can witness stuff when you're dead ?

If there's an afterlife, then yes.  "Death" is defined in Wikipedia as the termination of the biological functions which sustain a living organism; if human beings are essentially spiritual entities who can be conscious without a body, then it's possible to witness stuff after you've died.


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BobSpence1 wrote:We are NOT

BobSpence1 wrote:

We are NOT 'consciously choosing not to accept that God exists'. That is not how rational understanding works.

Capitalizing the word "not" does little to strengthen your argument, which is flimsy at best.

Do you believe in God?  Are you aware of religion, what "God" means to certain people, and the implications for your life should certain religious claims be true?  Do you accept any of those claims?  

If not, then you are consciously choosing not to accept those claims; that IS how rational understanding works (I capitalized "is" just in case that suffices for you as some bizarre method of making a more salient point).  

Quote:
We could possibly choose not to look at the evidence, but honest belief is a position you are driven to, not something you choose, when you find the evidence compelling.

No, evidence does not force you into any one position.  Evidence may be the basis on which you choose to believe, but you may believe in things for other reasons as well; you could believe in things on account of some intuitive sense that they are true, without any evidence at all.  This is a choice you are making.  


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Absence of evidence can

Absence of evidence can certainly be evidence of absence, such as in cases such as where the existence of the proposed entity is claimed to have an all-pervading effect on reality.

No claim has warrant unless the interpretation of the available evidence shows at least some minimal level of logical plausibility, and alternative explanations are not overwhelmingly more plausible and demonstrable.

Now you need positive evidence of an afterlife as well.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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1: You name a fallacy but

1: You name a fallacy but fail to correctly apply it. The average atheist here does not maintain a disbelief in a god, and without evidence of a god there is insufficient evidence to believe there is or is not one. Unless or until actual and testable evidence appears to support or refute "god", that's not going to change.

What we can say is that your particular god doesn't exist. And once you define it for us, we'll tell you why.

2: I skipped a bunch of crap and dove at the 99.9% paragraph. You can't miss it, it had 99.9% in it. In this paragraph you again fail at basic logic. You dug your own hole and dove in head first. If we can be 99.9% certain of something, and we assume we can know anything at all, then it is perfectly reasonable to assume the thing you're 99.9% certain of is true, until or unless it is proven wrong.

And that's a wrap.

edit: Damnit Bob. Beat me in by two fucking minutes. lol

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BobSpence1 wrote:Absence of

BobSpence1 wrote:

Absence of evidence can certainly be evidence of absence, such as in cases such as where the existence of the proposed entity is claimed to have an all-pervading effect on reality.

No, fallacies do not become valid as soon as you apply them to certain kinds of things.  A fallacy of composition, for example, is a fallacy whether you apply it to God or to a horse.

Quote:
No claim has warrant unless the interpretation of the available evidence shows at least some minimal level of logical plausibility, and alternative explanations are not overwhelmingly more plausible and demonstrable.

That's actually not true, but I can tell that you're an obstreperous twit.  So I'm not going to bother explaining.

Quote:
Now you need positive evidence of an afterlife as well.

Why?  I never claimed that there was one.  I only claimed what could be the case if there was.


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Vastet wrote:1: You name a

Vastet wrote:
1: You name a fallacy but fail to correctly apply it. The average atheist here does not maintain a disbelief in a god

So the average atheist here believes in God?  What????

Quote:
and without evidence of a god there is insufficient evidence to believe there is or is not one.

If there is insufficient reason to believe that there is no God, then to consciously maintain a lack of God-belief is unjustified.  

Quote:
What we can say is that your particular god doesn't exist. And once you define it for us, we'll tell you why.

If you know that I haven't defined "God," then how are you to say that you know that this being--whatever it may be--does not exist?  What if defined "God" as Bruce Springsteen?  Are you going to prove that Bruce doesn't exist?

Quote:
2: I skipped a bunch of crap and dove at the 99.9% paragraph. You can't miss it, it had 99.9% in it. In this paragraph you again fail at basic logic. You dug your own hole and dove in head first. If we can be 99.9% certain of something, and we assume we can know anything at all, then it is perfectly reasonable to assume the thing you're 99.9% certain of is true, until or unless it is proven wrong. And that's a wrap. edit: Damnit Bob. Beat me in by two fucking minutes. lol

You didn't even read the paragraph.  I never said that it was unreasonable to believe a claim the truth of which we're 99.9% certain.


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1: No, the average atheist

1: No, the average atheist here is an agnostic atheist. If you're still confused, I suggest a dictionary. Oh silly me, theists don't own dictionaries. Well, try wikipedia. It should suffice, and is easy enough to get to that your laziness shouldn't prevent you from finding it.

2: Incorrect. It is unjustifiable to believe in god when there is no evidence of god.

3: Why don't you just define god and see what happens? Or are you scared?

4: Apparently you have a problem with English comprehension, because I never said you said that. Try reading it this time. If you still don't understand, you may want to consider taking a few English courses.

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Vastet wrote:1: No, the

Vastet wrote:
1: No, the average atheist here is an agnostic atheist. If you're still confused, I suggest a dictionary. Oh silly me, theists don't own dictionaries. Well, try wikipedia. It should suffice, and is easy enough to get to that your laziness shouldn't prevent you from finding it.

You said that the average atheist here does not maintain a disbelief in God.  In the dictionary, which I've used per your request, a "disbelief" is defined as "the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true."  You stated that the average atheist here, thus, does not maintain a refusal to accept the existence of God as true.  The contrary to that is that the average atheist here does accept the existence of God as true.

Hoisted by your own petard!

Quote:
2: Incorrect. It is unjustifiable to believe in god when there is no evidence of god.  

And it is thus equally unjustifiable to not believe in God when there is no evidence that God does not exist.  Your logic, not mine.

Quote:
3: Why don't you just define god and see what happens? Or are you scared?

Why don't you address your inability to make a cogent point?

Quote:
4: Apparently you have a problem with English comprehension, because I never said you said that. Try reading it this time. If you still don't understand, you may want to consider taking a few English courses.

You said that I fail at basic logic, dug a hole, and dove in head first.  And in justification of this, you wrote, "If we can be 99.9% certain of something, and we assume we can know anything at all, then it is perfectly reasonable to assume the thing you're 99.9% certain of is true, until or unless it is proven wrong."  So you mockingly said I was wrong, and said in justification of this that it is reasonable to believe things of which we're 99.9% certain; therefore, you are tacitly stating that my contention was that we are not reasonable in adhering to beliefs the truths of which we know with 99% certainty.  Otherwise, in what sense did I fail at basic logic and dig myself into a hole, considering that I agree that we should believe things of which we're 99.9% certain?


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1: Aha! You found it. Now

1: Aha! You found it. Now let me teach you how to read it, and use multiple definitions. You should have been taught this by grade 3, so I'll safely assume you were home schooled by a dropout.

"the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true"

See the bold and italics? That's the definition I used. We don't refuse to believe, though we are incapable of believing without evidence.
Try again.

2: Fail. It is justifiable to be unable to believe in that which there is no evidence for.
REAL logic, not yours.

3: Why don't you stop dodging the question I asked 3 post ago? I'm guessing it's because you haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about. The evidence backs my hypothesis.

4: Because in the same breath you claimed by that logic we couldn't know anything. I know you're stupid and are having trouble keeping up, mostly because you're stuck on irrelevant philosophy instead of relevant reality, but this is almost hysterically funny.

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Tom_the_Who wrote:If there

Tom_the_Who wrote:

If there is insufficient reason to believe that there is no God, then to consciously maintain a lack of God-belief is unjustified.  

Define 'insufficient'.

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Tom_the_Who wrote:The

Tom_the_Who wrote:

The atheist does not believe in the existence of God.

All I want is a reason which justifies his choice to not maintain that belief; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

You just declared yourself an eager and willing slave to anyone with an imagination.

 

Quote:
Go for it. Attack

Tom_the_Who wrote:
I'm not an atheist; why would I defend atheism? 

???

Uhm...I said "attack".

 

Tom_the_Who wrote:
What if I told you that I have?  Would you believe me?

Is it your contention that no human being has even been to the North Pole?

So no, you don't have positive evidence that santa claus doesn't exist, like you claimed. So you might as well believe in him too. Your pantheon is about to get crowded.

 

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Are you claiming that no claim has epistemic warrant unless you have empirically exhausted every single nomological possibility to the point where you are at least 99.9% certain that your claim is true?  If so, then by your logic we can't really know anything, let alone whether God exists.

I claimed what I typed, namely that christians make very silly arguments. I don't hear you disagreeing.

Btw, are you by any chance a philosophy major ? You're starting to sound familiar.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
If there's an afterlife, then yes.  "Death" is defined in Wikipedia as the termination of the biological functions which sustain a living organism; if human beings are essentially spiritual entities who can be conscious without a body, then it's possible to witness stuff after you've died.

If this, if that....If wishes were horses...


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Antipatris wrote:You just

Antipatris wrote:

You just declared yourself an eager and willing slave to anyone with an imagination.

How so?  

Quote:
Uhm...I said "attack".

Attack what?

Tom_the_Who wrote:
What if I told you that I have?  Would you believe me?

Is it your contention that no human being has even been to the North Pole?

Quote:
So no, you don't have positive evidence that santa claus doesn't exist, like you claimed. So you might as well believe in him too. Your pantheon is about to get crowded.

Do atheists just lobotomize themselves before engaging in a discussion with a theist?  

How does this:

"What if I told you that I have?  Would you believe me?  Is it your contention that no human being has even been to the North Pole?"

Imply this:

"So no, you don't have positive evidence that santa claus doesn't exist"

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Are you claiming that no claim has epistemic warrant unless you have empirically exhausted every single nomological possibility to the point where you are at least 99.9% certain that your claim is true?  If so, then by your logic we can't really know anything, let alone whether God exists.

Quote:
I claimed what I typed, namely that christians make very silly arguments. I don't hear you disagreeing.

Btw, are you by any chance a philosophy major ? You're starting to sound familiar.

Have you even graduated high school?

I asked you a question.  Are you claiming that we are not justified in claiming knowledge unless we are 100% certain that the claim is true?  For example, if I went to the North Pole (and I haven't told you that I have not) and saw that there was no Santa Clause living there, would I be justified in saying that Santa Clause doesn't exist--even though you could make the argument that he was just taking a vacation in Hawaii at the time I visited the North Pole? 

If your answer is no, and you just continually make ad hoc fallacies, then I would contend that this standard is such that we can't even know if something does exist.  You could apply this same 3rd-grade methodology to positive claims about existence.

Quote:
If this, if that....If wishes were horses...

Translation:  I've been owned, and now I am just going to mock and ridicule.  Wahhh.


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Vastet wrote:1: Aha! You

Vastet wrote:
1: Aha! You found it. Now let me teach you how to read it, and use multiple definitions. You should have been taught this by grade 3, so I'll safely assume you were home schooled by a dropout. "the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true" See the bold and italics? That's the definition I used. We don't refuse to believe, though we are incapable of believing without evidence.

You do refuse to believe, but even if you didn't, the definition still applies to you by your own admission (i.e., the inability to accept something as true).  You just admitted that atheists are incapable of believing without evidence, or are you going to continue to play hermeneutical games with simple words in order to say that to be incapable of something is not to have an inability of something?  Are you going to employ the same tactic as in the other thread and continue responding with nonsensical points until I just quit out of boredom?

Quote:
Try again. 2: Fail. It is justifiable to be unable to believe in that which there is no evidence for. REAL logic, not yours.  

You argue like Francis from Pee Wee's Big Adventure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOGWbzUM-y8

So are we going to play this game where I make points and you just repeat the point that I've previously refuted?

Quote:
3: Why don't you stop dodging the question I asked 3 post ago? I'm guessing it's because you haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about. The evidence backs my hypothesis.  

You said that you could prove the nonexistence of whatever God I believe in, notwithstanding the fact that I've yet to define what I mean by "God."  Do you retract your statement, or shall you continue defending your error?

Quote:
4: Because in the same breath you claimed by that logic we couldn't know anything. I know you're stupid and are having trouble keeping up, mostly because you're stuck on irrelevant philosophy instead of relevant reality, but this is almost hysterically funny.

I said that if absolute certainty (which can essentially apply to 99.9%) is the standard by which knowledge can be claimed, then we can't know much of anything.  In order words, there's very little that we are 99.9% certain of.  (Actually, I'll just say 100%, since I know you'll play games and say that you are only .01% uncertain that everything you believe is true.)  Obviously, this point sailed right over your head, for your high school education (I'm not going to count the two college classes that you've taken, sorry) hasn't done much for your reading comprehension skills.   


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Tom_the_Who wrote:Rather

Tom_the_Who wrote:

Rather than proclaiming their position, internet atheists tend to adopt a passive position with which they feign neutrality in order to avoid shouldering the burden of proof.  As such, they put themselves under a safety blanket where they can never be wrong, because accordingly they've never endorsed any viewpoint in the first place.

The problem is that atheism, at least on the internet, is clearly maintained by individuals who are aware of theism and are consciously choosing not to accept that God exists; this alone is enough to substantiate that atheism is a worldview, and at that, one needing to be defended.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that Santa Clause exists not because I lack evidence of his existence, but rather I have positive evidence that he does not.  For instance, if you go to the North Pole, you can observe that nothing is there.  

Do we know of any atheists who have died and witnessed that there's no God?

A statement may be true or false, this does not mean I have to decide.

This is not a difficult concept. You have yet to prove the truth of your claim...

 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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Tom_the_Who wrote:The

Tom_the_Who wrote:

The atheist does not believe in the existence of God.

All I want is a reason which justifies his choice to not maintain that belief; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Antipatris wrote:

You just declared yourself an eager and willing slave to anyone with an imagination.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
How so?  

Are you seriously arguing that a statement is true until evidence to the contrary can be provided?

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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neptewn wrote:Tom_the_Who

neptewn wrote:

Tom_the_Who wrote:

The atheist does not believe in the existence of God.

All I want is a reason which justifies his choice to not maintain that belief; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Antipatris wrote:

You just declared yourself an eager and willing slave to anyone with an imagination.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
How so?  

Are you seriously arguing that a statement is true until evidence to the contrary can be provided?

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

No, I'm saying that the absence of evidence for any one particular claim does not produce any sort of epistemic warrant for adopting a worldview the tenets of which operate under the assumption of the claim's contrary.


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neptewn wrote:Tom_the_Who

neptewn wrote:

Tom_the_Who wrote:

Rather than proclaiming their position, internet atheists tend to adopt a passive position with which they feign neutrality in order to avoid shouldering the burden of proof.  As such, they put themselves under a safety blanket where they can never be wrong, because accordingly they've never endorsed any viewpoint in the first place.

The problem is that atheism, at least on the internet, is clearly maintained by individuals who are aware of theism and are consciously choosing not to accept that God exists; this alone is enough to substantiate that atheism is a worldview, and at that, one needing to be defended.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that Santa Clause exists not because I lack evidence of his existence, but rather I have positive evidence that he does not.  For instance, if you go to the North Pole, you can observe that nothing is there.  

Do we know of any atheists who have died and witnessed that there's no God?

A statement may be true or false, this does not mean I have to decide.

This is not a difficult concept. You have yet to prove the truth of your claim...

Have those who claimed "God does not exist" proven this to be true?  If not, then why are you going about your daily life as if God does not exist? 


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Tom_the_Who wrote:neptewn

Tom_the_Who wrote:

neptewn wrote:

Tom_the_Who wrote:

Rather than proclaiming their position, internet atheists tend to adopt a passive position with which they feign neutrality in order to avoid shouldering the burden of proof.  As such, they put themselves under a safety blanket where they can never be wrong, because accordingly they've never endorsed any viewpoint in the first place.

The problem is that atheism, at least on the internet, is clearly maintained by individuals who are aware of theism and are consciously choosing not to accept that God exists; this alone is enough to substantiate that atheism is a worldview, and at that, one needing to be defended.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that Santa Clause exists not because I lack evidence of his existence, but rather I have positive evidence that he does not.  For instance, if you go to the North Pole, you can observe that nothing is there.  

Do we know of any atheists who have died and witnessed that there's no God?

A statement may be true or false, this does not mean I have to decide.

This is not a difficult concept. You have yet to prove the truth of your claim...

Have those who claimed "God does not exist" proven this to be true?  If not, then why are you going about your daily life as if God does not exist? 

So we are all polytheist by default, until we provide counter evidence. There are lots of claims to various gods... Have you disproven all but one?

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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Tom_the_Who wrote:neptewn

Tom_the_Who wrote:

neptewn wrote:

Tom_the_Who wrote:

The atheist does not believe in the existence of God.

All I want is a reason which justifies his choice to not maintain that belief; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Antipatris wrote:

You just declared yourself an eager and willing slave to anyone with an imagination.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
How so?  

Are you seriously arguing that a statement is true until evidence to the contrary can be provided?

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

No, I'm saying that the absence of evidence for any one particular claim does not produce any sort of epistemic warrant for adopting a worldview the tenets of which operate under the assumption of the claim's contrary.

 

I am not adopting a view, it is the default. This appears to be the point of confusion.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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cojalen wrote: I am having

cojalen wrote:

 I am having trouble with the argument from theists that a "lack of belief in a god" is not what atheism means.

 

I'm sure you all have good answers for it. How is a lack of belief different from active disbelief? Is a lack of belief possible?

 

I apologize if this has been handled time and time again.

 

For another discussion, here is a link to the most annoyingly dense theist I have come across on the internet that got my wondering more about the argument: http://debunkingatheists.blogspot.com/2011/07/atheism-is-lack-of-belief.html

 

If there were no theist, what would he call that? That's what I am.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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Tom_the_Who wrote: Have

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Have those who claimed "God does not exist" proven this to be true? 

No. But they haven't been refuted in thousands of years, either.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
If not, then why are you going about your daily life as if God does not exist? 

Because we can.

You know, the same reason theists go about their daily lives as if transitional fossils don't exist...

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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1: No, I don't refuse. I

1: No, I don't refuse. I don't even have a choice in the matter. I am unable to believe in the unbelievable without any evidence at all. Are you going to continue lying about me or are we going to have a discussion? See, you saying I refuse to believe is the same as me saying you don't believe, you're only pretending to in order to scam people.

2: You can attempt to deflect my refutation all you like, but until you actually respond to it you are going nowhere.

3: I do not retract that statement, and there was no error. Now quit dodging and define god, or concede the point. In case you were unable to understand the first time I'll phrase it again: Whatever god you believe in is fictional, and if you define it I or others or both will tell you why. Until you define god, however, it is a nonsensical term. A nonsensical term is self refuting until it is defined. Since different people define god differently, each god believed in can have its own inconsistency or illogic.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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4: Well you should have

4: Well you should have started with 100%, because anything other than 100% invalidates your entire argument.
Referring to my reading comprehension as you do simply hurts you further. I was above university reading and comprehension while I was in grade 4, so obviously you are the one who needs remedial English

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Absence of evidence for

Absence of evidence for something which is claimed to be omnipresent is very definitely evidence of absence.

You can repeat that mantra about 'absence of evidence' all you want, won't make it true.

It can only be the 'default' if it is clearly apparent, like the Sun. If you are relying on the OA, which I presume you are, that relies on an argument that IS questionable at the very least, and has been questioned by many qualified people, and even Platinga conceded it requires an additional assumption or acceptance of a particular precondition to be convincing. So it does not qualify for a default, since it relies on the application of a non-trivial logical argument of questionable validity based on questionable assumptions.

If someone claimed there was a second Sun in our system, as bright as the one we already know, the fact that there is no evidence for it is evidence that it is ABSENT, since it would be clearly visible.

If you cannot acknowledge that, you are clearly the one who does not understand logic.

Do you get it?? 'God' is in the same category.

The absence of evidence thing only applies if the claim is for something which would not otherwise be clearly observable or detectable.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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I might as well save myself

I might as well save myself the trouble, as this is obviously that same philosophy major with the anger management issues again...

*sigh* Countdown to his flaming this place yet again starts now.

 

Tom_the_Who wrote:
How so?

???

You're just going to accept any supernatural claim without asking for evidence, and you ask me "how so" ?

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Attack what?

Atheism. You said it's a worldview and as such needed to be defended. So I invited you to attack it. I mean, really, what's wrong with you ?

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Do atheists just lobotomize themselves before engaging in a discussion with a theist? 

I'm starting to think that might make it less frustrating.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
How does this:

"What if I told you that I have?  Would you believe me?  Is it your contention that no human being has even been to the North Pole?"

Imply this:

"So no, you don't have positive evidence that santa claus doesn't exist"

You claimed you have postive evidence. You don't.

You do realise that you're getting annoyed at christian's arguments here, right ?

Quote:
I claimed what I typed, namely that christians make very silly arguments. I don't hear you disagreeing.

Btw, are you by any chance a philosophy major ? You're starting to sound familiar.

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Have you even graduated high school?

I asked you a question. 

So did I. You didn't answer it.

But that's okay. The last line of your reply proves that you are indeed, that very fellow.

So, when can we expect you to start spouting vulgarities again ?

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Are you claiming that we are not justified in claiming knowledge unless we are 100% certain that the claim is true?  For example, if I went to the North Pole (and I haven't told you that I have not)

Shall I ask you again ?

Tom_the_Who wrote:
and saw that there was no Santa Clause living there, would I be justified in saying that Santa Clause doesn't exist--even though you could make the argument that he was just taking a vacation in Hawaii at the time I visited the North Pole? 

If your answer is no, and you just continually make ad hoc fallacies, then I would contend that this standard is such that we can't even know if something does exist.  You could apply this same 3rd-grade methodology to positive claims about existence.

You keep forgetting you're talking about supernatural beings.

 

Quote:
If this, if that....If wishes were horses...

Tom_the_Who wrote:
Translation:  I've been owned, and now I am just going to mock and ridicule.  Wahhh.

"If wishes were horses" is ridicule to you ?

Oh dear, you've not gotten any less highly strung, have you ?

Btw, if you're going to come here again and pretend to be somebody else, you really should get a few new catchphrases first.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Absence of

BobSpence1 wrote:

Absence of evidence for something which is claimed to be omnipresent is very definitely evidence of absence.

I'll add to that, that by definition of their claims, this 'god' is claimed to disrupt the universal constants that our physical world appears to be patterned by.

The 'Butterfly Effect' is a causal chain of events, that, can be tested for non linearities of universal constants.

That's not to say that 'Find one, and you've found God', but, it could certainly alter the worldview of even the most skeptical atheist/anti-theist scientists that are the most capable of seeking ways to test non linearities.

BobSpence1 wrote:
You can repeat that mantra about 'absence of evidence' all you want, won't make it true.

It's how they lend veracity to their daydreamed theories.

BobSpence1 wrote:
If someone claimed there was a second Sun in our system, as bright as the one we already know, the fact that there is no evidence for it is evidence that it is ABSENT, since it would be clearly visible.

If you cannot acknowledge that, you are clearly the one who does not understand logic.

Do you get it?? 'God' is in the same category.

It's just petulance.

Arrested development. It's quite common.

When their position fails to get the positive response they desire, they act out in the most extreme ways. Little kids are know to shit and piss themselves in retaliation when they can't convince their parents to respond to them, in the desired way.

They're in denial, at best, a bit delusional, and entirely hypocritical with their double standards, since they've done nothing to scour the universe to disprove the 330 million gods that some Hindus believe exist in the universe.

If one takes their arguments to their logical conclusion, the logical position would be a polytheistic worldview, with the possibility of no heaven or hell, and the possibility that there was never an actual Jesus, or that he was merely a false messiah, and that he's deader than a doornail.

Oh, and that things can exist that are uncaused...

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Tom,Here is another thing

Tom,

Here are some more thoughts you need to keep in mind.

If you state that something is logically possible, such as a 'necessary being', that needs to have the caveat that all it means is that you are not aware of any facts, any established data, that contradicts it. That it is possible within the context of already accepted premises. Doesn't mean it is actually possible, that there is not some other data that would conflict with it, that you are not aware of, unless you can prove you are omniscient.

Another example of how logic, by itself, cannot prove any premise is true, only that some cannot be true, or really only just that at least two premises cannot both be true, due to entailing a contradiction.

Let me say it again - logic, by itself, cannot prove the truth of any single assertion about reality, about what exists or what doesn't, etc. It 'only' provides a tool to identify inconsistencies and contradictions, to signpost invalid assumptions. Which is itself extremely important, of course. Necessary, but not sufficient, for rigorous discourse.

So the OA requires that you prove that the non-existence of a God matching your 'definition' entails a contradiction.

A 'greatest' being must exist, that only requires that beings of some kind do exist. But greatest possible?? No. Only the idiot Anselm would not see the logical circularity in including existence itself as part of the 'definition' of 'greatness', in a desperate or intellectually dishonest attempt to 'prove' his delusion true.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:Tom,Here

BobSpence1 wrote:

Tom,

Here are some more thoughts you need to keep in mind.

If you state that something is logically possible, such as a 'necessary being', that needs to have the caveat that all it means is that you are not aware of any facts, any established data, that contradicts it. That it is possible within the context of already accepted premises. Doesn't mean it is actually possible, that there is not some other data that would conflict with it, that you are not aware of, unless you can prove you are omniscient.

Exactly.

That's the equivocation fallacy that's inherent in many of these arguments. These 'insofar as we know' caveats conveniently seem to remain absent, most times, when the arguments are presented.

Any idea why?...lol

I pointed out the same thing to the clown who thought he could properly get behind William Lame Craig's KCA argument, before he bailed after realizing his ignorance of the fallacies of equivocations in it, not to mention the verbal 'slight of hand' of attempting to nakedly assert that some things begin to exist, which entails that some things don't.

These arguments are appeals to ignorance and incredulity, which is perfect for humanity, given the median IQ.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris