Atheism as religion

SteveHHMD
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Atheism as religion

Okay, here's my thinking.  First, I don't care one way or another.   I would propose that atheism, however, is nonscientific, and cannot be scientific by it's very nature, for the same reason that theism is nonscientific.  Neither theism nor atheism are testable by the scientific method and therefore lie outside of the realm of science.  The only true scientific approach to God is agnosticism.  Both atheism and theism require faith.I suspect those here who are atheists have a visceral axe to grind, probably have been hurt by religion.SteveHHMD


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Atheism does not require

Atheism does not require faith. That is a logical fallacy. Religion is a positive assertion without proof. Religion is bound to an assertion that cannot be proven. Atheism is merely a denial of that assertion.

Atheism is a negative assertion. This is a denial of the positive assertion because it lacks veracity. To say atheism is faith is the same argument as "we cannot disprove God ergo saying he does not exist is faith. Imagine:

Bertrand Russell; The celestial teapot exists

Me: That's ridiculous. Prove it.

Russell: We cannot see the teapot, our telescopes do not have that capability, therefore we cannot disprove the teapot

This is the same line of thinking (mind you, the brilliant Bertrand Russell meant it as a joke) that leads theists to believe atheism requires faith.

But because this line of thinking exists in faith, it has been allowed to get away with things that no other human endeavor would. Imagine that a theoretical physicist marched into the Royal Society Hall and shouted "There are 800 billion parallel universes!" And one of the scientists would invariably shout back "prove it". The physicist rebuts "can it be disproven?" At this point he is laughed out the door.

What you are essentially saying is that atheists have some kind of burden of proof. The flow is very simple.

Religious people insist that their god is real without evidence

Atheists say he is not real.

To say that we don't know either way is somewhat akin to saying that Santa might exist because we can't disprove him.

Also, what is with the comment about an ax to grind and that we have somehow been "hurt by religion". take your false generalizations elsewhere please. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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SteveHHMD
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800 billion parallel universes

First, no insult meant relative to being hurt by religion.  Many of us have been hurt by religion.Second, the most honest approach to the 800 billion parallel universes is "I don't know."  When Einstein came out with his stuff, few believed him, and it was a long time until we had the means with which to test his hypothesis.As a physician, I've learned it is dangerous to discount things which don't fit into my own diagnostic  paradigms.  It aggravates me when other docs declare a patient to be "crazy" just because they can't arrive at a diagnosis.  I still maintain that atheism is a matter of faith.  I wouldn't be ashamed of that, however.  There's nothing wrong with faith.  We must be intellectually honest, however.Cheers. 

[i]


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Can you rebut the argument

Can you rebut the argument about the negative versus positive assertion? the 800 billion parallel universes hypothetical scenario was meant to illustrate that every other human endeavor is based on evidence, while religion is not. This is why you cannot confuse atheism with faith. religion is a worldveiw. Atheism is the denial of someone else's worldveiw because it is insane. Atheism per se is not a doctrine, and is not based on faith.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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celestial teapots

I don't find the celestial teapot cencet plausible.  It does not "resonate" with me.  I dont  think Einstein's relativity resonates well either.  I believe the latter, however.  I think our beliefs are usually based on what resonates.  I think those who are atheists are so because atheism resonates to them. Resonance does not always indicate veracity, however.A personal question.  Have you been hurt by religion?

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Again, I merely point out

Again, I merely point out that atheism is not actually a worldview. It is just a denial of someone else's worldview because it is insane. I am atheist because religious worldview does not "resonate" with me because it is a load of mythical junk. And for the record, I was never hurt by religion. I was raised in an atheist Jewish family, and not in the United States, because I am not american. That is a remarkably US-centric question, which except for the Islamic world, is the only place where atheism is still persecuted. There is no real debate between religion and atheism because religion is based on evidence-less concepts. Atheism is not a "concept" merely a denial of someone else's concept because it is ridiculous.

I think I summed it up eloquently when I was six:

-You believe in God? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!

           -Me at six years old 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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negative vs. positive assertion

I don't quite get the negative vs. positive assertion.  I could buy "there's no evidence that God exists" argument, (as some would have said almost a century ago "there's no evidence that Einstein is correct&quotEye-wink.  I could also buy an apathetic approach to theism "fine, believe it if you wish, sounds stupid to me".  As none of us has ever returned from death, to emphatically say they know there's nothing on the other side makes no sense to me.  Further, I'll say that I've seen some spooky things taking care of dying folks.  Those who are atheistic try to "explain them away", almost like the religious person would try to explain away anything they didn't fit their paradigms.

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A positive assertion: X is

A positive assertion: X is true

A negative assertion: I deny that X is true because there is no evidence, therefore you have just asserted that X is true, which is the same as making it up. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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stupidest thing I ever head

I'm good with the stupidest thing I ever heard concept.  You are correct in saying my view is UScentric, as I sadly have never set foot in another country outside of this continent.  I don't find atheists to be any less moral, any less ethical etc. than anyone else.  My experience (and I have some experience) is that most of the religious people I have known are into power and control just as people are in many other facets of life.  I'm okay with the "stupidest thing I ever heard" approach to theism as a concept with no resonance to you.  I will say, however, that you will not know for sure until you close your eyes and breathe your last breath.

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x is not true

So way back when, we could say relativity was not true, because we had no means to test it, and therefore it was not true?

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hurt by religion

For whatever it's worth by the way, I have been hurt by religion.


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True enough for the last

True enough for the last sentence. But it rings oddly of Pascal's wager. Regarding the deathbed, the concept of the afterlife is just as much ridiculous as any other X is true assertion without proof by religion. When I die I shall be as I was in the time of the unborn. The afterlife concept is probably why religion sells so easy. We are based on genetic code whose sole existence is devoted to replication by templated polymerization. the genetic drive is all about a ruthless molecular fight to survive. That is what evolutution is all about. The genes have a blind following of the "continue" command. They exist for that alone. Thus a sentient entity based on this code will have a deeply intrisicate instinct to "continue" even though because we are self aware and concious thinking organisms we know that we have a finite lifespan, we still despise the concept because our genes are blindly insisting that we "continue".

that, at least, is current thought on the subject from the evolutionary physcology field.  

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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the deathbed

Yes, but you don't know...


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You mean way back during the

You mean way back during the classical physics era before it was discovered? In science, when something has no experimental data yet is labeled a hypothesis. But in religion it is labeled absolute truth, so that is not a valid comparison.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Your apriori assumption that

Your apriori assumption that theism is an absolute truth is the assumption of the atheist.  I would suggest that the agnostic scientist would say that theism is a hypothesis, then when looking to test it, would say that it cannot be tested then might disregard it as a scientific hypothesis.  That having been said, to arrive at an "absolute truth" of no other world than that which we can see or test is a leap of faith.  Further, I would say that devotion of such energy to it's defense seems odd.  Why do you really care?

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Yes. the problem with

Yes. the problem with religion is that it is not testable, so it is just a hypothesis. Therefore it cannot compete with a theory (the title an explanation gets when it has been experimented). It forever remains a hypothesis. Why do I care? you started this debate.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Why

Really, why do you care?   That wasn't a rhetorical question.  I would really consider myself a truth-seeker.  Seems to me that atheism shuts doors that may or may not be worth opening.

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why I started this debate

By the way, just to tell you, the reason I stumbled onto this website is because one of the posts was about a doctor that I happened to go to medical school with.  He taught creationism at a certain church.  He was just arrested on an internet sting  attempting to solicit an underage girl online.  Isn't that something?  I will not put more energy into this debate past today, but the website intrigues me, thus my posts.

[i]


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You werent clear. Why do I

You werent clear. Why do I care about what? For the umpteenth time. Atheism is not a stance per se. It is a denial of someone else' stance because it is riduclous. How does it shut doors to get information from the scientific method instead of the faith-based method.

If you meant why do I care about religion so much. Well...atheists make lousy suicide bombers, if you catch my drift. It is clear to me that a set of unmovable faith based doctrines which are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist with each other is very dangerous. the fact that Iran is trying to develop uranium hexaflouride technology has my senses tingling. The Iranians are deeply Shi'ite. If they get nuclear weapons...The soviets may have appreciated mutually assured destruction but a death cult that gets glazed-eyed at the mention of the return of Mahdi or 72 virgins will celebrate their own annihlation. If you have not set foot outside the US, then I have some interesting reading for you. In the essay contest, under "write a letter imploring a theist to give up their irrational world veiw"  section there is an essay I wrote called "the disaster of Islam". I suggest you read it to find out how terribly wrong religion has gone in modern society.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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The argument here includes a

The argument here includes a #4, a # 11 and a # 16.

By the way you might want to read more in here on agnosticism and atheism - if you are agnostic, you are also atheist. Agnosticism vs gnosticism = knowledge. Atheism vs theism = belief. The idea that agnosticism is somehow midway between atheism and theism is one of the irrational precepts here. If you cant say "I believe in a god or gods." you are an atheist. Don't confuse weak and strong atheism.

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I disagree. To say I don't

I disagree. To say I don't know whether God(s) exist(s) is not the same as saying there is (are) no God(s).  Hats off to you for your motives, though.  I agree the world will end at the hands of religious fanaticism.Remember though, you really don't know....And all of the apologetics can't convincee me otherwise.I like the statement of Miguel de UnamunoSadroughly paraphrased)They say  "light, light, more light"  the dying Goethe said on his deathbed.  I say warmth, warmth, more warmth, for we dye of the cold, not of the darkness."

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SteveHHMD wrote: Okay,

SteveHHMD wrote:
Okay, here's my thinking.  First, I don't care one way or another.   I would propose that atheism, however, is nonscientific, and cannot be scientific by it's very nature, for the same reason that theism is nonscientific.  Neither theism nor atheism are testable by the scientific method and therefore lie outside of the realm of science.  The only true scientific approach to God is agnosticism.  Both atheism and theism require faith.I suspect those here who are atheists have a visceral axe to grind, probably have been hurt by religion.SteveHHMD

 

You have it partially correct. You are right in your assessment in the falsifiability aspect of God and the supernatural. It cannot be tested, therefore it cannot be a scientific theory. So, since this is the case you have to assume that something does not exist. This is the most plausible and parsimonious explanation. This is an application of scientific principles. Therefore, Atheism is most reasonable. It is up to the person making a claim about phenomenon and the world to provide evidence, not up to other people to provide evidence to the contrary. Since I have no evidence there is not point in believing.

Atheism is nothing like religion. No rituals, no right or wrongs. It is all based on evidence, reason, and logic. Atheism teaches questioning and skepticism. Therefore, each atheist has different questions and areas where they are skeptical.

"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."


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Sorry to sound like a broken

Sorry to sound like a broken record here.  But I am not talking about "not believing" when I question atheism, I am talking about actively believing something outside of the scientific construct must therefore not exist.  There's a difference between not knowing and actively believing contrarily.  This will be my last post.  Remember, you don't know for sure.....

[i]


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Steve, welcome aboard, I

Steve, welcome aboard, I hope you stay past this discussion.

 Here is a topic that we discuss this issue, with links to more supplementary data.

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RhadTheGizmo
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Let me see if I understand

Let me see if I understand the conversation here (just jumping in).

Delude is distinguishing atheism from religion because religion makes positive assertions while atheism makes negative ones.

Steve is disagreeing on the grounds the dinstinction doesn't seem to come into play here:

X exists

(X does not exists because it lacks evidence.)

The latter is in fact two assertions:

X lacks evidence.

As well as X does not exist.

So: Two positive assertions.

X does exist. (theism)

     X lacks evidence. (atheism)

Two positive assertions.  Correct? One might say "Show me evidence of X!" I would say, the universe is evidence. The counter would be: "The universe is not evidence for God".

In which case that would be another positive assertion.

At which point I would make a positive assertion stating: Yes it is (based on my understanding of the concept of evidence).

I'm beginning to think there is not a whole lot of difference between atheism and theism.

If atheism is, "a·the·ism      /ˈeɪθiˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ey-thee-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun

1.the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings"

 

And one is as sure of there positive assertions as a theist is of theres.. then what is the difference?

On a secondary note: Atheism is not of the same mentality of "science".  Science is a methodology of permanent questioning.  Atheism does ask "Does God exist?" but states "God does not."

Anyways.. this is something I could be wrong on, I'm just testing the waters. Smiling 


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Jumping in... You are

Jumping in...

You are calling all of atheism what has been termed strong atheism, or the belief that no gods exists. In doing so, you are ignoring weak atheism, the lack of belief in gods. There is no reason why you can't be an agnostic atheist as agnosticism deals with knowledge and atheism deals with belief.

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
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Sorry guys, I can't resist

Sorry guys, I can't resist reposting.  Okay, I've speed read thru a few of the posts on atheism vs. agnosticism.  So as an atheist can you wonder if God exists?    As a theist can you wonder if God does not exist?  As an atheist, if you wonder if God exists is that a crisis of faith, so to speak?  Have you ever seen a miracle?  If you did, would you try to explain it away?    The reference I gave above to Miguel de Unamuno was somewhat veiled  attempt to describe my belief that what you think intellectually may not be so honestly what's inside.  In the my very first post,  I suggested some atheists might have an axe to grind.  Later in the replies the terrible atrocities done in the name of theistic faith were noted.  I think these atrocitiies would count as axes.  But I digress.  Unamuno wrote a short story "St. Imanuel the good, martyr."  In it, there was priest who secretly did not believe in God, but went about his priestly duties.  In the end, he died, and the atheist, who the priest ostensibly was to save, took up the priest's duties, going about doing good for the poor.  I won't pretend to be a literary anything, but I will say that limiting your own reality to what is intellectually plausible potentially shuts out what I would deem supra-scientific truths.  These would be truths that don't follow the usual "rules of the universe."  Really, how does anyone know what happens when we die?  How can you then so assuredly declare that there is no existence after death? To me that declaration requires faith, and I still haven't been convinced otherwise.

[i]


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If atheism can have "weak

If atheism can have "weak atheist" and "strong atheist".. and "weak atheist" corresponds to "agnostic atheist"... well then, by golly, I'm a "gnostic theistic."

I realize the boundaries of human knowledge (as it stands now).. and thus I cannot be sure of the existence of God, yet I of the belief anyways. Sticking out tongue

Can someone please explain to me now, what distinguishes a gnostic theist and a gnostic atheist? In terms of rationality I mean.

And also... what distinguishes a "strong theist" from a "strong atheist"-- since we seem to be removing the concept of "gnosticism" from either of these by applying it to the other. (Perhaps we are not.. I'm just being argumentative for the time being. Smiling 


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Maybe a better description

Maybe a better description is the one Richard Dawkins put in "The God Delusuion":

(note by "God" I mean any god or gods.)

0: Absolutely sure God exists

1: Think God probably exists, and live life as if he/she/it does.

2: Not sure, but think God more likely to exist than not.

3: Think it equally likely God exists/ does not exist

4: Not sure, but think God is more likely to not exist.

5: Think God probably does not exist, and live life as if there is no God

6: Absolutely sure God does not exist.

I would be a 5 leaning toward 6.

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I feel sorry for deists, as

I feel sorry for deists, as deism is a religion now.I suspect everyone here has faith that maybe people will stop playing the "I may be stupid, but you are too!" card.

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And I'm asking what

And I'm asking what distinguishes between 0 and 6, 1 and 5, 2 and 4...

Because.. at least my impression of things so far is that 5-6 generalize 0-3 into some singular group of "theist".. while they allow themselves to be distinguished into 4, 5, 6.

My first statement is meant to be addressed on a logical basis.  I'm asking.. what is the logical distinction between these groups.  Whether it be positive assertions, negative assertions.. I don't know, whatever. 


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  deludedgod wrote: A

 

deludedgod wrote:

A positive assertion: X is true

A negative assertion: I deny that X is true because there is no evidence, therefore you have just asserted that X is true, which is the same as making it up.

 

If that really is a "negative assertion" than wouldn't it be an appeal to ignorance fallacy? Wouldn't the more logical conclusion be "There is no evidence, but I am willing to consider if there is?"

 To say that something is not true because lack of evidence is to make an equally positive statement. It's like saying at one point that Atoms didn't exists because we had no evidence for them existing...or that there was no such thing as the Americas because we had no evidence for them at one point.

 

I don't think that this is the proper definition for a negative assertion. And if it is then I see problems with it. 

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The only alternative is to

The only alternative is to believe in everything - elves, fairies, Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Boogie Man, etc.

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No.. another option would

No.. another option would be:

""[I perceive that] there is [now] no evidence, but I am willing to consider if [ever] there is [evidence presented]?"

To say that the only to options are:

To state as true only what there is "evidence" of and to state as not true only in what there is "no evidence of".. would run into the problems that M stated.

It is the "absolutism" that gets you into trouble on both sides of the spectrum. (at least I perceive this to be).

But thats a general idea.. since we are speaking of "rationality"-- yes, we are, for the sake of these conversations, limiting our beliefs to what is "logically" sound.


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MattShizzle wrote: The only

MattShizzle wrote:
The only alternative is to believe in everything - elves, fairies, Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Boogie Man, etc.

Not necessarily; however, we can judge them by other criteria (whether they are self refuting). For instance, the idea of invisible pink unicorns. I don't know that unicorns exist (though I believe they probably don't); however, we know that something cannot be pink and invisible at the same time as light is recquired for us even to acknowledge that something is pink. 

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SteveHHMD wrote: I don't

SteveHHMD wrote:
I don't find the celestial teapot cencet plausible.  It does not "resonate" with me.  I dont  think Einstein's relativity resonates well either.

This is the fallacy of personal incredulity.

Dissident1 wrote:
I believe the latter, however.  I think our beliefs are usually based on what resonates.  I think those who are atheists are so because atheism resonates to them. Resonance does not always indicate veracity, however.

Atheism doesn't "resonate" with me. Atheism isn't a standpoint. It's the denial of a standpoint that has no evidence. It's the denial of a standpoint that contradicts evidence.

Dissident1 wrote:
A personal question.  Have you been hurt by religion?

Not directly. Aggravated would be a better term than hurt. Hurt implies damage, and I haven't let religion damage me. I try and prevent it from damaging others.

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Quote:

Quote:
Atheism isn't a standpoint. It's the denial of a standpoint that has no evidence. It's the denial of a standpoint that contradicts evidence.

I request a rephrase of your statement in this particular place; for it seems to use language incorrectly.

"stand·point /ˈstændˌpɔɪnt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[stand-point] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun

1.the point or place at which a person stands to view something.
2.

the mental position, attitude, etc., from which a person views and judges things: From the lawyer's standpoint, her client is right"

 

Your "position" is as much a "mental" position as the other "mental position".


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Atheism isn't a standpoint. It's the denial of a standpoint that has no evidence. It's the denial of a standpoint that contradicts evidence.

I request a rephrase of your statement in this particular place; for it seems to use language incorrectly.

"stand·point /ˈstændˌpɔɪnt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[stand-point] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun

1.the point or place at which a person stands to view something.
2.

the mental position, attitude, etc., from which a person views and judges things: From the lawyer's standpoint, her client is right"

 

Your "position" is as much a "mental" position as the other "mental position".

No it isn't. It's a denial of a standpoints credibility. It's not a standpoint in and of itself.

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Let me toss a slightly

Let me toss a slightly different perspective into the mix.  I'm likely to be in disagreement with some atheists on this one.

I think that making the strong/weak distinction actually confuses the issue.  It seems as though it is used in order to soften conflict with the general assumption that "atheism" really means "anti-theism," which is just plain wrong, so bending in this manner is inadvertantly giving some credibility to the falsehood.  It is a practical and effective method perhaps (I used to be a practitioner of this method as well), but it is not honest to the actual meaning of the term, which is simply:  "not theism."  It is binary; if you're not a theist, you're an atheist, without even having to make any assertions.  It may be true that some atheists make assertions like "I believe that God does not exist," but that is not what is common among all atheists--not being a theist is the commonality.  Atheism is utterly content free, and I don't think we should pretend otherwise.

Example:  I lack a belief in the existence of unicorns; I'm an a-unicornist, so to speak.  Would it make much sense for someone to claim that they disbelieved any more or less in unicorns than I do?  "Weak" a-unicornism vs. "strong" a-unicornism?  Sounds ridiculous if you ask me.

I find it difficult to place myself on that 0 - 6 scale, since--even more than merely lacking belief--what I lack is a frame of reference from which to draw meaning from the term "God."  It would be one thing if theists literally believed that God is a guy in the sky, but that isn't the case...  well, I guess there may be a few real crackpots out there that do, but I haven't met or spoken with them, and would rather keep it that way.  Beyond that, lots of theists talk about what God does or what it's like, but not what it is; they give secondary or comparative characteristics, but are unable to provide an ontology.  And, imo, when we allow theists to define God without providing primary characteristics, we're missing an important point.

My take on it is that the word "God" is cognitively meaningless.  Theists believe that [what] exists?  Atheists lack the belief that [what] exists?  It's not even a valid question unless we know what it is we're talking about.


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Jumping back in

Jumping back in here...

Quote

"How do we really know what happens after we die?"

We don't. But this rings oddly of Pascal's Wager again. How do we know that the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which is a concept that everyone realizes is made up, will not judge us. We do know what does not happen after we die. We know that there will be no afterlife.

The concept rings of the vaguely ridiculous notion of the complete dualistic dichotomy. Though we have hitherto to discover the regions of the brain that plan conciousness and thought elaboration, what we can say for certian is that even if the brain was not purely material, there would simply be no afterlife. For a soul to exist, there would have to be a completely seperate area of the brain that is also, according to theists, immaterial and outside the physical world. This sounds ridiculous enough, but the gulf they create between the mind and brain can be demolished by six decades of experiments in neurology. Why did the iron bar through Gage's head cause him to reverse personality, and become a rude, irritable, foul mouthed, mean spirited bully? Neuroanatomy is now so well documented, and the consequences of physical destruction like progressive amyelation of tumour also so well documented that we have irrefutably demonstrated that the brain is fundamentally the creator of the mind, we don't have some "invisible God spark". When the brain dies, that is the end.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Laker-taker wrote: Let me

Laker-taker wrote:

Let me toss a slightly different perspective into the mix. I'm likely to be in disagreement with some atheists on this one.

I think that making the strong/weak distinction actually confuses the issue. It seems as though it is used in order to soften conflict with the general assumption that "atheism" really means "anti-theism," which is just plain wrong, so bending in this manner is inadvertantly giving some credibility to the falsehood. It is a practical and effective method perhaps (I used to be a practitioner of this method as well), but it is not honest to the actual meaning of the term, which is simply: "not theism." It is binary; if you're not a theist, you're an atheist, without even having to make any assertions. It may be true that some atheists make assertions like "I believe that God does not exist," but that is not what is common among all atheists--not being a theist is the commonality. Atheism is utterly content free, and I don't think we should pretend otherwise.

Example: I lack a belief in the existence of unicorns; I'm an a-unicornist, so to speak. Would it make much sense for someone to claim that they disbelieved any more or less in unicorns than I do? "Weak" a-unicornism vs. "strong" a-unicornism? Sounds ridiculous if you ask me.

I find it difficult to place myself on that 0 - 6 scale, since--even more than merely lacking belief--what I lack is a frame of reference from which to draw meaning from the term "God." It would be one thing if theists literally believed that God is a guy in the sky, but that isn't the case... well, I guess there may be a few real crackpots out there that do, but I haven't met or spoken with them, and would rather keep it that way. Beyond that, lots of theists talk about what God does or what it's like, but not what it is; they give secondary or comparative characteristics, but are unable to provide an ontology. And, imo, when we allow theists to define God without providing primary characteristics, we're missing an important point.

My take on it is that the word "God" is cognitively meaningless. Theists believe that [what] exists? Atheists lack the belief that [what] exists? It's not even a valid question unless we know what it is we're talking about.

 Now this definition I can get on board with if everyone decided to get on board with it (but they don't).  At least it is consistent.. no argument on the matter of "what and atheist is" merely "what it is not".

However.. the binary doesn't work.. since "atheists" are also "adeist" and "apantheist".. (according to the objective definition).  They do not believe in God nor gods.

Still.. I guess the question still stands.  What distinguishes one with an "knows" that God and/or gods do not exist from one who "knows" that God and/or gods do exist?

 


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Vas wrote:

Vas wrote:
No it isn't. It's a denial of a standpoints credibility. It's not a standpoint in and of itself.

Person A: I did not murder person X, here is my evidence.

Person B: Your evidence is not valid, you did murder person X.

Yes, person B is making a counter-claim which would not exist without the original claim.. however, how does the fact that it is a counter-claim make it any less of a standpoint?

And where does the definition of "standpoint" state that it must be "in and of itself a mental position"?

I still think your using the word objectively incorrect in this case..... (I could however, be wrong).


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Because (head banging on

Because (head banging on wall) we know that God doesnt exist for the same reason we know that faries and unicorns dont. All three are positive assertions with no evidence, therefore, as dawkins pointed out, the probability of an evidence-less concept existing is the same probability as that of the celestial teapot not existing. The probability of your God actually existing is so low (If the number is a random frequency probability, it could not be written down using all the atoms in the universe to represent a digit) that the intellectual honesty by allowing for the possibility is completely ridiculous.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote: Because

deludedgod wrote:
Because (head banging on wall) we know that God doesnt exist for the same reason we know that faries and unicorns dont. All three are positive assertions with no evidence, therefore, as dawkins pointed out, the probability of an evidence-less concept existing is the same probability as that of the celestial teapot not existing.

Yet.. when interprets this probability as a means to infer that it is "plausible" that the thing does not exist-- and from "plausible" they jump to "only rational choice to accept what is plausible".

This progression I would contest is.. a little off.

As M pointed out correctly.

200 years ago one could use this same time of logic to say that, "One knows that black matter does not exist for the same reasons we know that dragons and FSM does not.  It is a positive assertion with no evidence, therefore, as Jimmy Cricket pointed out, the probability of an evidence-less concept existing is the same probability as that of the celestial teapot not existing."

Yes.. at that time one was as "probable" as the other.. does that mean either of them was more or less plausible?  No.. at least, not based on this singular line of logic, you just can't make the jump from it without making some sort of positive assertion such as: the earth can't be used as evidence of God.

Yet.. this positive assertion would be as relevant as a person stating 200 years ago that the solar system could not be used as evidence of Black Matter.

Quote:
The probability of your God actually existing is so low (If the number is a random frequency probability, it could not be written down using all the atoms in the universe to represent a digit) that the intellectual honesty by allowing for the possibility is completely ridiculous.

Where'd you come up with this? Surely not with (only) the logic from above.  For it doesn't say anything about how probably or improbable one thing is.. merely that it is "as probable" as something else.

(And.. if by "evidence" it is implying a particular type of "evidence"-- then, my second point applies.. for this would be a "positive" assertion from would I would deem it as "relevant" as the 200 year old man.)


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200 years ago one could use

200 years ago one could use this same time of logic to say that, "One knows that black matter does not exist for the same reasons we know that dragons and FSM does not.  It is a positive assertion with no evidence, therefore, as Jimmy Cricket pointed out, the probability of an evidence-less concept existing is the same probability as that of the celestial teapot not existing."

200 years ago, dark matter was not a scientific concept because solar understanding wasn't good enough. A proposition is labelled a hypothesis before it has evidence. However, God has remained in "permanent hypothesis mode" since the dawn of man, so why should I, as a scientist, accept it? I don't accept abiogenesis anymore than Panspermia or clay theory because they are all just hypothesis (mind you, these ones have some base, God does not 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote: 200 years ago, dark

Quote:
200 years ago, dark matter was not a scientific concept because solar understanding wasn't good enough. A proposition is labelled a hypothesis before it has evidence. However, God has remained in "permanent hypothesis mode" since the dawn of man, so why should I, as a scientist, accept it? I don't accept abiogenesis anymore than Panspermia or clay theory because they are all just hypothesis (mind you, these ones have some base, God does not

I'm not saying you should accept it.  I'm just saying.. as a scientist.. you should take as antagonistic stance towards a "hypothesis" or make such claims as its impossible, or, any other such absolute statements since, as a scientist, you must always be open to progressive revelation of evidence.

Even within 200 years "solar understanding" progressed to accept EVIDENCE it did not ACCEPT as evidence before.  Did the fact that it wasn't accepted at one point make it any less valid as evidence in the first place? Hmm....

I believe your absolute statements about the existence of God are not based of your scientific methodology but rather your atheistic belief.  (Once again.. I'm being a little more definite in my statements then I have been in the past.  Not meaning to step on any peoples feet.. just pushing a bit harder.  But, as always, I premise these statements, regarding my perception of your statements, that I could be wrong.. I'm just making an argument.)


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Vas

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Vas wrote:
No it isn't. It's a denial of a standpoints credibility. It's not a standpoint in and of itself.

Person A: I did not murder person X, here is my evidence.

Person B: Your evidence is not valid, you did murder person X.

Yes, person B is making a counter-claim which would not exist without the original claim.. however, how does the fact that it is a counter-claim make it any less of a standpoint?

And where does the definition of "standpoint" state that it must be "in and of itself a mental position"?

I still think your using the word objectively incorrect in this case..... (I could however, be wrong).

Your analogy is fundamentally flawed. Let me translate it into a logical analogy.

Person A: I did not murder Person X. Trust me.
Person B: The evidence, while not 100% empirical(Persons D, E, F, G, and K say you killed Person X, but there isn't a recording of the event), suggests you did kill Person X.

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Quote:

Quote:
Your analogy is fundamentally flawed. Let me translate it into a logical analogy.

People use "fundamentally flawed" liberally these days......

Quote:
Person A: I did not murder Person X. Trust me.

That's not what I said.. unless you are considering "trust me" as replaceable with the word "evidence"-- in which case you would help my argument greatly as to the objectively liberal definition of evidence.  But I don't think you meant so.. I digress.

 In my analogy I said person A stated "Here is my evidence" I did not state what type of evidence.. for it doesn't really matter. The evidence was not "trust me".. the "evidence" was whatever he considered to be "evidence". In the case of theist.. most would say "bible" or "universe" = evidence-- which is where the second part of the analogy comes into play..

Quote:
Person B: The evidence, while not 100% empirical(Persons D, E, F, G, and K say you killed Person X, but there isn't a recording of the event), suggests you did kill Person X.

To state that persons A's evidence is not evidence is a "positive assertion" (by your definition) as well as the statement as a whole is a representation of a "standpoint" (by objective definition).

And.. so.. I restate my contention with your previous posts with this:

myself wrote:

Yes, person B is making a counter-claim which would not exist without the original claim.. however, how does the fact that it is a counter-claim make it any less of a standpoint?

And where does the definition of "standpoint" state that it must be "in and of itself a mental position"?

I still think your using the word objectively incorrect in this case..... (I could however, be wrong).

 


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Well, using the Bible as

Well, using the Bible as "evidence" would be like the guy writing a note saying "I didn't do it" and calling that evidence. Using the universe is like the prosecutor saying the fact the guy is dead as evidence that person A killed him.

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SteveHHMD wrote:Okay,

SteveHHMD wrote:
Okay, here's my thinking. First, I don't care one way or another. I would propose that atheism, however, is nonscientific, and cannot be scientific by it's very nature, for the same reason that theism is nonscientific. Neither theism nor atheism are testable by the scientific method and therefore lie outside of the realm of science. The only true scientific approach to God is agnosticism.

Sigh, not this error again. Brian, can we just start deleting these threads and just direct people to the FAQ?

Agnosticism is an epistemological position, atheism is a belief (non belief in this case) position.

Atheists can be agnostics, and most of us here are agnostic atheists.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist


So even according to this post, we are taking the 'scientific' approach'

However, even the implication that strong atheism is a faith is wrong.... strong atheism lays claim to the existence of deductive refutations of any 'god' - they rely on arguments from internal contradiction, reduction to absurdity and incoherence of god claims....

No atheist position need rely on faith. The idea that strong atheism and theism are equitable is a natural leap that many people make, I used to make the same connection myself as a teenager, but it's simply untrue that a strong atheist must take his position on faith.

Now, can strong atheists be wrong about their deductive claims? Even strong atheists concede that they could be wrong..... 

 

 

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MattShizzle wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
Well, using the Bible as "evidence" would be like the guy writing a note saying "I didn't do it" and calling that evidence. Using the universe is like the prosecutor saying the fact the guy is dead as evidence that person A killed him.

"Equivocation fallacy"? I don't know.. I hate using those ideas.. they're thrown around all the time.

First off.. no person alive today wrote the Bible.

But that is secondary to the absolutely ludricruous idea that "a guy is dead" could not be used as evidence that "Person A killed him".

Think about it this way. If "guy is not dead" could "person A have killed him"? No.. of course not.

Evidence can be used to support many different theories.. the fact that it can be used as such does not change the fact that it is evidence no matter which theory uses it as long as it logically fits within a construct.

In the case of If God -> created universe is a logical construct as well as the universe would be considered evidence. (Not sufficient evidence mind you.. but necessary).

Even as If Person A Killed guy -> Guy dead.

Beh.. ludricuous. I'm going to sleep.

[edit] I'm a little tired.. so apologies if I come off as a bit rough. No offence meant.