Atheism being intellectually dishonest

RationalSchema
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Atheism being intellectually dishonest

I found this on another discussion board. Curious as to what people think over here.

 

True agnosticism is intellectually honest - but pure atheism is not. Not even the most brilliant philosopher or scientist - ever - can claim to have sufficient knowledge which would allow him or her to decide with any degree of certainty that no - a priori - Intelligence exists or doesn't exist! An intelligent agnostic recognizes that fact and limitation - and therefore suspends judgment in his deliberations. The agnostic philosopher/mathematician, Bertrand Russell, stated: "in the final analysis there is no way to prove the existence or non-existence of God." There are three positions human beings can take in respect to that age-old question: Believe - Suspend Judgment - Disbelieve. NOT JUST THE FAMILIAR TWO!!!

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


Cpt_pineapple
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Honestly science can only

Honestly science can only take us so far.  The rest is left to personal belief.


The Patrician
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I kind of disagree. In my

I kind of disagree. In my opinion belief an knowledge are two seperate things - the first requires faith, the second certainty.

So, taking belief first, it can really only exist in two states - you either do or you don't. Since believing in something is the 'active' state then saying "I don't know" merely equates to non-belief.

Knowledge on the other hand implies certainty and since we don't absolutely know if God exists or not then we are all agnostic by this definition.

Just my opinion, YMMV.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


RationalSchema
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Honestly science can only take us so far.  The rest is left to personal belief.

 

This is true to a point. There are things that science does not know. So, we just don't know. Anything else is pure speculation and mythology. For example until something is proven, I have to assume that is does not exist. This is quite similar to innocent until proven guilty. Until we have evidence to the contrary, we have to assum the person is innocent. We do not assume they are guilty until we have sufficient evidence.

I am playing devils advocate here. Who then, has the correct personal belief??

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


magilum
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Imagine here I wrote the

Imagine here I wrote the rigmarole about weak versus strong atheism.
Weak atheism and agnosticism don't open the door to one proposition: they open the door to every proposition. Every god of every religion, every pixie, every orbiting teapot, every supernatural idea, everything that recuses itself of any method of testing natural phenomena. Does this mean that a weak atheist or agnostic believes in these things? Of course not, it's just a technicality dictated by logic because one can't prove a negative. To interpret it as support for one idea or another is to misunderstand the insignificance of the technicality.
Any person living under the assumption of every unproven phenoma would be driven mad. To filter all but one or two ideas, when there's no justification to do so, is simply special pleading.


Strafio
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Strong atheism isn't

Strong atheism isn't necessarily irrational.
Weak/agnostic atheism claims that God isn't proveable so there's no reason to believe in a God. However, this statement depends on the word 'God' being meaningful.
We can talk about proving the existence of chairs and unicorns because we know what chairs and unicorns are. If I asked whether a quilto existed, we couldn't go any further until we established what a quilto is.

So far, out all the definitions I've been given of God, I've not yet had one that makes proper sense. 'God' can't exist if the word 'God' doesn't describe or define anything. The definitions of God that come closest to making sense are the ones that leave 'him' so mysterious that nothing more can be said about 'him'.


The Patrician
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Pehaps, however I have

Perhaps. I have always found terms like 'strong' and 'weak' atheism rather redundant though. One either believes in a God or gods or they do not - anything else is just a measure of the strength of that belief/disbelief and seems kind of superfluous.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


Strafio
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Both are atheism and for all

Both are atheism and for all practical purposes they are the same.
However, Philosophy always goes into the bitty details, and they tend to call a more extreme position 'stronger' than the 'weaker' less extreme position.

That's where the weak/strong atheism distinction comes from.
It's not a measure of disbelief or anything, just a philosophical distinction between two atheistic positions.


Jacob Cordingley
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I don't think grade 7

I don't think grade 7 atheism on Dawkin's scale is rational, neither does he. But we can not believe in God and be less than that. Grade 7 would be a belief that there is absolutely no God, that would require faith. We do not know everything. However for most grade 6 atheists it is lack of a positive belief in God, not a negative belief against God. Agnosticism is fence sitting, it is saying quite rightly that we cannot know either way but admitting that this means there must then be a 50/50 chance.


djneibarger
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just because there's holes

just because there's holes in a scientific theory doesn't mean you have to plug them with belief. there is such a thing as having an unanswered question, and being able to live with that until new information provides a possible solution.

if i lose my car keys, and i look in several places and don't find them, i'm not going to assume that a supernatural being has taken them, just to satisfy my need for a resolution. i'm going to keep looking until i actually find the damn keys. 

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


Rev0lver
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the actual definition of

the actual definition of atheism is the lack of belief in a deity

plus, of course it is not 100% provable that a god doesn't exist, but the odds are so slim that there is no reason to even acknowledge the idea. therefore why atheism is rational.