atheism, another dogma[moved from mailbag to phil./psych.]

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atheism, another dogma[moved from mailbag to phil./psych.]

This is a follow-up to my last post concerning atheism and certainty. In my last post I got affirmative replies that atheism does not/cannot hold certainty in their claims. I will try in this post to show how atheism is another dogma of belief similar to theism.

The last sentence of my opening paragraph is definitely going to be the most difficult to defend. Here are some starting considerations to clear up any ambiguity before I begin my defense.

First, concerning the argument that atheism contains beliefs similar to theism. I want to start off by noting that it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack in belief. Atheism entails many beliefs pertaining to God; Most fundamentally, the belief that he doesn't exist. If it were the case that you had no beliefs pertaining to God, then what makes you feel the urge to reply to this post? What makes you form the Rational Response Squad if you don't have any beliefs concerning the concept of Deity or God? Could you say that you reply in the name of rationality and human reason? If so, what makes you want to employ that rationality this very moment? Instinct? Habit? No. A belief renders your mind into action. To say that atheism the lacking of belief pertaining to God is just not correct. As one of my philosophy professors put it, "Well if they [atheists] say that [atheism is simply the lack of a belief] then they're cheating."

Secondly, I want to speak of theism and try to clear up some misconceptions. To start off, theism is not religion and religion is not theism. Religion is man's creation. You may argue with me whether theism is man's creation as well, I have no problems with that. In fact, I'll grant you that theism is man's creation. Yet, I will insist that you realize that religion and theism are distinct. All the shortcomings, mistakes and horrible things religion has done in the name of God are mistakes of religion, not theism or God. Now, since I have granted you theism as man's creation you may think it will be the bringer of my position's downfall. Although, what it does is allow me to compare theism and atheism both as creations of MAN.

I think I have done enough clarifying, now onto my argument that atheism is another dogma.

I would like to start off by quoting David Hume:

Our reason must be consider'd as a kind of cause, of which truth is the natural effect; but such-a-one as by the irruption of other causes, and by the inconstancy of our mental power, may frequently be prevented. By this means all knowledge degenerates into probability; and this probability greater or less according to our experience of the viracity or deceitfulness of our understanding, and according to the simplicity or intricacy of the question. (From: David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature; 1.4.1 : 121)


"All knowledge" doesn't seem to leave anything out of the equation does it? Of course, you may reject what David Hume says, but allow me to continue on before you make a rationalist positional switch. (Presuming atheists should remain empiricists in order make the existence of God seem impossible.) So to continue with my argument, I would like to argue that following Hume's line of reasoning it would follow that science, mathematics, etc. all contain laws of mere probability. Granted, the laws of physics and geometry are more probable than the existence of God, but here me out. If you have bought into Hume's argument, and granted him that all knowledge is probability, then I want to argue for the following:

1. Atheism rests on probability

2. Theism rests on probability

3. Therefore, atheism and theism rest on probability

 

Now, I'm sure that your reply to this argument would be: "That may be the case, but the probability of atheism is a lot higher as a result of scientific evidence." To which I would reply, "And what is it that your evidence rests upon? Truth? Fact? No. The evidence you would use also rests on probability." The point of this argument is to show that the position that is atheism is on the same rational playground as theism because both rest on probability. As a result, claiming theism is irrational loses its punch line. (Remember, theism is not religion.) I will grant that theism is mere probability, but also demand that atheism is likewise probable.

 

After reading this, I'm sure that the lingering shout is that atheism has more evidence and is more probable. Sure that may be the case, but does that make it more rational? If both atheism and theism are probable, how is atheism more rational? Quibbling over evidence and degrees of probability is what atheism vs. theism reduces to. The evidence in favor of theism is there as well, providing theism with a level of probability of its own. The mere fact that atheists reject the theists evidence is not enough to make it non-evidence. The evidence in favor of theism seems to be pointing to unanswerable questions of science, and positing theories to answer those questions, or as you granted R.R.S. arguments like the Painter argument. All this quibbling over evidence is great, but not my current aim. The evidence for or against either atheism or theism is perplexing and worthy of lifetimes of investigation. Putting such an aspect of investigation in the last paragraph of an already long post would not do it justice.

Once again my R.R.S. please reply criticizing my argument/reasoning/logic/stupidity. I look forward to your replies.

 

***Last note: Please makes discussions of evidence not the bulk of your reply. I am not an authority on theistic scientific evidence. Consider this post focusing on the argument I have presented. I would love to discuss evidence for or against atheism and theism in another posting.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Quote: Once again my

Quote:

Once again my R.R.S. please reply criticizing my argument/reasoning/logic/stupidity. I look forward to your replies.

 

***Last note: Please makes discussions of evidence not the bulk of your reply. I am not an authority on theistic scientific evidence. Consider this post focusing on the argument I have presented. I would love to discuss evidence for or against atheism and theism in another posting.

Okie Dokie.

Quote:
I want to start off by noting that it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack in belief.

No, it's not. Where you're getting confused is the manifestation of atheism. A lack of belief in anything is not irrational unless there's sufficient evidence of its existence that disbelief is delusional.

Now, most atheists activists do have an agenda which includes trying to make the world a better place for atheists to live in, but we're talking politics, not philosophy, when we start discussing this sort of thing.

Quote:
Atheism entails many beliefs pertaining to God; Most fundamentally, the belief that he doesn't exist.

And do you believe that Santa Claus does not exist? You're conflating terms here. Yes, for practical, day to day purposes, you can say that atheists believe that god doesn't exist, but in a philosophical sense, we must be precise. It is simply a lack of belief, like it or not.

I dare say the rest of your essay is going to fall flat because your fundamental claim is erroneous, but I'll keep going and see if I see any other glaring errors that aren't directly related.

Quote:
If it were the case that you had no beliefs pertaining to God, then what makes you feel the urge to reply to this post? What makes you form the Rational Response Squad if you don't have any beliefs concerning the concept of Deity or God?

The fact that others believe in god, and it screws my life up. Again, you're talking about politics, not philosophy. You're using two different meanings to try to prove a point. This is the fallacy of equivocation.

Quote:
Secondly, I want to speak of theism and try to clear up some misconceptions. To start off, theism is not religion and religion is not theism. Religion is man's creation.

True. So is theism. For some reason, it seems like only theists confuse religion with theism. Classic projection. I've never met an atheist who didn't understand the distinction between religion and theism.

Quote:
All the shortcomings, mistakes and horrible things religion has done in the name of God are mistakes of religion, not theism or God.

Not true. They are the mistakes of people. The people were fooled into doing very bad things because they believed in a religion. They wouldn't have believed in the religion if they weren't theists. This game of "Pass the Buck" won't fly.

Quote:
Now, since I have granted you theism as man's creation you may think it will be the bringer of my position's downfall. Although, what it does is allow me to compare theism and atheism both as creations of MAN.

But, before you make the comparison, you have already been defeated, for you misunderstand atheism.

Quote:
Our reason must be consider'd as a kind of cause, of which truth is the natural effect; but such-a-one as by the irruption of other causes, and by the inconstancy of our mental power, may frequently be prevented. By this means all knowledge degenerates into probability; and this probability greater or less according to our experience of the viracity or deceitfulness of our understanding, and according to the simplicity or intricacy of the question. (From: David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature; 1.4.1 : 121)

Right, but before your argument, I need to ask, you do realize that knowledge and logic are very different, right? Syllogism is not based on probability. Hume was talking about a very specific thing here. I hope you're not going to equivocate again...

Quote:
"All knowledge" doesn't seem to leave anything out of the equation does it? Of course, you may reject what David Hume says, but allow me to continue on before you make a rationalist positional switch. (Presuming atheists should remain empiricists in order make the existence of God seem impossible.)

Damn. You didn't make it one sentence before you conflated terms again. "All knowledge" is referring to sense data, specifically. He's not talking about abstract constructs like math or logic. If you read much further into Hume, you realize that he solved his own problem long before it got to be an issue for simple little syllogisms.

Quote:
So to continue with my argument, I would like to argue that following Hume's line of reasoning it would follow that science, mathematics, etc. all contain laws of mere probability.

Here's the official equivocation. No, it does not follow that mathematics are mere probabilities. Some math deals with probabilities, but again, you are arguing with two definitions. It is 100% certain that there are no married bachelors, because the abstract concepts of the words "married" and "bachelor" are contradictory. Here we are talking of syllogism, which is logic, which is also an abstract, not sense data.

Quote:
Now, I'm sure that your reply to this argument would be: "That may be the case, but the probability of atheism is a lot higher as a result of scientific evidence."

I suppose some might argue that, but not me. I would argue that there is not a "probability of atheism" because there is no coherent definition for god. Without a clearly defined thing to assign a probability to, speaking of probability is meaningless.

Quote:
After reading this, I'm sure that the lingering shout is that atheism has more evidence and is more probable.

Nope. It's just us, standing here, twiddling our thumbs waiting for any kind of coherent definition of god.

Quote:
Quibbling over evidence and degrees of probability is what atheism vs. theism reduces to.

Nope. Theism is reduced to believing in a thing which is either undefined, or defined incoherently. Atheism is standing agog while theists blather about probability, not realizing that they're conflating terms!

Quote:
The evidence in favor of theism is there as well, providing theism with a level of probability of its own.

What evidence?

Quote:
The mere fact that atheists reject the theists evidence is not enough to make it non-evidence.

Quite true, but the logical fallacies in the presentation of the "evidence" is enough to make it non-evidence.

Quote:
The evidence in favor of theism seems to be pointing to unanswerable questions of science, and positing theories to answer those questions, or as you granted R.R.S. arguments like the Painter argument.

pointing out currently unanswered questions is a logical fallacy, and may be discounted out of hand. (Appeal to ignorance, God of the Gaps fallacy, etc...)

Quote:
All this quibbling over evidence is great, but not my current aim. The evidence for or against either atheism or theism is perplexing and worthy of lifetimes of investigation.

Only the theists quibble over evidence. The atheists recognize the errors, so we don't bother too much over it.

 

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

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you can define "atheism" in

you can define "atheism" in any way you see fit, since it's nothing more than a label.

i know, with complete certainty, that god does not exist. i don't care what label you choose for me or how you define it, it won't change who i am or what i think. neither will attempts to draw comparisons between what you think i am, and what you choose to be.

metaphor: you say you like cheese. i say i don't. you label me an anti-cheesist. so by your designation of a label, i agree that the definition of anti-cheese is that "i simply don't like cheese". but this isn't good enough for you. you must in some way mutate the argument to show that my dislike of cheese is the same as your like of cheese. truthfully, it's as ridiculous as this cheese metaphor.

stop being bothered by my lack of interest in your superstition. 

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jread wrote:

jread wrote:
...I am not an authority on theistic scientific evidence.
Theistic science does not exist.

{ADDED} 

jread wrote:
First, concerning the argument that atheism contains beliefs similar to theism.
This is dogma
Quote:
I want to start off by noting that it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack in belief.
And this is dogma

dog·ma

1. a system of principles or tenets, as of a church.
2. a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption.
3. prescribed doctrine: political dogma.
4. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle.

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


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


Once again my R.R.S. please reply criticizing my argument/reasoning/logic/stupidity. I look forward to your replies.


***Last note: Please makes discussions of evidence not the bulk of your reply. I am not an authority on theistic scientific evidence. Consider this post focusing on the argument I have presented. I would love to discuss evidence for or against atheism and theism in another posting.


Okie Dokie.

jread wrote:


I want to start off by noting that it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack in belief.


No, it's not. Where you're getting confused is the manifestation of atheism. A lack of belief in anything is not irrational unless there's sufficient evidence of its existence that disbelief is delusional.


Reply: We are clearly talking past each other here. When people attempt to define atheism they say that it is: the lack of a belief pertaining to God (or close to that). I'm saying that whenever someone identifies as an atheist, they have any number of beliefs pertaining to God. There is no confusion between the manifestation of atheism and the rational position of atheism, because the rational position (beliefs) is the underlying cause of the manifestation (action or thought). As I see it, You must have certain beliefs in order to have a manifestation (action or though).

Hambydammit wrote:

Now, most atheists activists do have an agenda which includes trying to make the world a better place for atheists to live in, but we're talking politics, not philosophy, when we start discussing this sort of thing.



Reply: I never once spoke of politics in my whole post. You put that term into my argument. My post concerns purposeful action and purposeful thought. You have a purpose as a member of the R.R.S. ; is that a political purpose? No. It is a philosophical one (you wish to debate).


Hambydammit wrote:

jread wrote:


Atheism entails many beliefs pertaining to God; Most fundamentally, the belief that he doesn't exist.


And do you believe that Santa Claus does not exist? You're conflating terms here. Yes, for practical, day to day purposes, you can say that atheists believe that god doesn't exist, but in a philosophical sense, we must be precise. It is simply a lack of belief, like it or not.



Reply: Posit any fictional being/God/ and yes I will admit that I do not believe in them. When you ask me if Thor exists, I form a belief that no he doesn't. So, posit any fictional entities you want, and I will admit that I do not have a belief that they exist. (Yes, that means I have the capacity to have a lot of beliefs. Amazing, thanks for pointing that out)

Hambydammit wrote:

I dare say the rest of your essay is going to fall flat because your fundamental claim is erroneous, but I'll keep going and see if I see any other glaring errors that aren't directly related.


Reply: I shall now enjoy pointing out your, "glaring errors."



Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:



If it were the case that you had no beliefs pertaining to God, then what makes you feel the urge to reply to this post? What makes you form the Rational Response Squad if you don't have any beliefs concerning the concept of Deity or God?


The fact that others believe in god, and it screws my life up. Again, you're talking about politics, not philosophy. You're using two different meanings to try to prove a point. This is the fallacy of equivocation.


Reply: I'm not talking about politics. I am talking about belief driven motives for thought or action. Furthermore, I am not equivocating. Explain to me how you commit an action or speak anything meaningful, without having beliefs before you act or speak? That is not equivocation to associate beliefs as a precursor to action or thought.

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


Secondly, I want to speak of theism and try to clear up some misconceptions. To start off, theism is not religion and religion is not theism. Religion is man's creation.


True. So is theism. For some reason, it seems like only theists confuse religion with theism. Classic projection. I've never met an atheist who didn't understand the distinction between religion and theism.




Reply: I only mention this because a lot of atheist arguments against God contain all the horrible things done in his name (Some were used in the Nightline debate). I am glad that you never heard any of these points and didn't realize that atheists have made this association before.

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


All the shortcomings, mistakes and horrible things religion has done in the name of God are mistakes of religion, not theism or God.


Not true. They are the mistakes of people. The people were fooled into doing very bad things because they believed in a religion. They wouldn't have believed in the religion if they weren't theists. This game of "Pass the Buck" won't fly.




Reply: You didn't read. Who made religion? Man. Who commits the mistakes of made by religion? Religion? No. Man? Yes. Oh and being a theist, doesn't require you to be religious.

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


Now, since I have granted you theism as man's creation you may think it will be the bringer of my position's downfall. Although, what it does is allow me to compare theism and atheism both as creations of MAN.


But, before you make the comparison, you have already been defeated, for you misunderstand atheism.




Reply: Show me again how I've been defeated thus far?

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


Our reason must be consider'd as a kind of cause, of which truth is the natural effect; but such-a-one as by the irruption of other causes, and by the inconstancy of our mental power, may frequently be prevented. By this means all knowledge degenerates into probability; and this probability greater or less according to our experience of the viracity or deceitfulness of our understanding, and according to the simplicity or intricacy of the question. (From: David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature; 1.4.1 : 121)


Right, but before your argument, I need to ask, you do realize that knowledge and logic are very different, right? Syllogism is not based on probability. Hume was talking about a very specific thing here. I hope you're not going to equivocate again...




Reply: Knowledge and logic are not different. Hume's point is to intentionally draw these matters into question. That's why he said "All knowledge."

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


"All knowledge" doesn't seem to leave anything out of the equation does it? Of course, you may reject what David Hume says, but allow me to continue on before you make a rationalist positional switch. (Presuming atheists should remain empiricists in order make the existence of God seem impossible.)


Damn. You didn't make it one sentence before you conflated terms again. "All knowledge" is referring to sense data, specifically. He's not talking about abstract constructs like math or logic. If you read much further into Hume, you realize that he solved his own problem long before it got to be an issue for simple little syllogisms.




Reply: Sense data is not knowledge by itself. Remember, Hume is an empricist so all knowledge is derived from the senses. Oh and by the way, he is talking about math, remember "All knowledge." Also, explain to me problems that Hume solved? Hume as I've understood it, brought up problems, ever heard of the problem of induction?

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:



So to continue with my argument, I would like to argue that following Hume's line of reasoning it would follow that science, mathematics, etc. all contain laws of mere probability.


Here's the official equivocation. No, it does not follow that mathematics are mere probabilities. Some math deals with probabilities, but again, you are arguing with two definitions. It is 100% certain that there are no married bachelors, because the abstract concepts of the words "married" and "bachelor" are contradictory. Here we are talking of syllogism, which is logic, which is also an abstract, not sense data.


Reply: Thank you for declaring yourself a rationalist. You should read Two Dogmas of Empricism and realize that the analytic/synthetic distinction is very problematic. You bring up so many philosophical problems with your claim that "there are no married bachelors" is 100% certain. How do you know this? Is it because all previous times you've looked out into the world there haven't been an married bachelors? (great, that is based on induction) Or is it based on the meanings of words? How would you define meaning? The questions can go on and on. Hume meant what he said when he said, "All knowledge."

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


Now, I'm sure that your reply to this argument would be: "That may be the case, but the probability of atheism is a lot higher as a result of scientific evidence."


I suppose some might argue that, but not me. I would argue that there is not a "probability of atheism" because there is no coherent definition for god. Without a clearly defined thing to assign a probability to, speaking of probability is meaningless.


Reply: I actually like this point you make. But, it would seem that atheism is operating under a basic understanding of what God means or might mean. So I think there is still probability.



Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


After reading this, I'm sure that the lingering shout is that atheism has more evidence and is more probable.


Nope. It's just us, standing here, twiddling our thumbs waiting for any kind of coherent definition of god.


Reply: You utter the word God. You must have some notion of what it means? Or perhaps you have a notion of what God isn't? Clearly, you are setting yourself up to admit that you just uttered a meaningless phrase by using the word God. But, your phrase wasn't meaningless, was it?

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


Quibbling over evidence and degrees of probability is what atheism vs. theism reduces to.


Nope. Theism is reduced to believing in a thing which is either undefined, or defined incoherently. Atheism is standing agog while theists blather about probability, not realizing that they're conflating terms!


Reply: You really like using the word conflating. I think you may want to check what 'conflation' means. I suspect your usage isn't proper in this attack.

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


The evidence in favor of theism is there as well, providing theism with a level of probability of its own.


What evidence?


Reply: As an atheist, shouldn't you know what the other side will use as evidence? It's out there so you should learn about it. If you learn about it, then you can show how it fails. Saying, "what evidence" is merely a sign of your lack of investigation into your own beliefs. Isn't that something the R.R.S wants theists to do? Investigate? Learn? Think?

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


The mere fact that atheists reject the theists evidence is not enough to make it non-evidence.


Quite true, but the logical fallacies in the presentation of the "evidence" is enough to make it non-evidence.





Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


The evidence in favor of theism seems to be pointing to unanswerable questions of science, and positing theories to answer those questions, or as you granted R.R.S. arguments like the Painter argument.


pointing out currently unanswered questions is a logical fallacy, and may be discounted out of hand. (Appeal to ignorance, God of the Gaps fallacy, etc...)


Reply: Granted.

Hambydammit wrote:


jread wrote:


All this quibbling over evidence is great, but not my current aim. The evidence for or against either atheism or theism is perplexing and worthy of lifetimes of investigation.


Only the theists quibble over evidence. The atheists recognize the errors, so we don't bother too much over it.


Reply: It does seem though atheists argue for evidence in their favor that God can't exist. I don't believe it's theists only using evidence.

[MOD EDIT – fixed all the quoting in this post. Please learn to use the quote function. There is a tutorial here. Thank you.]

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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AiiA wrote: jread

AiiA wrote:
jread wrote:
...I am not an authority on theistic scientific evidence.
Theistic science does not exist.

 

Well said. Sorry for the lack of clarity. Let me rephrase it as theistic arguments using scientific evidence.  

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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djneibarger wrote: you can

djneibarger wrote:

you can define "atheism" in any way you see fit, since it's nothing more than a label.

i know, with complete certainty, that god does not exist. i don't care what label you choose for me or how you define it, it won't change who i am or what i think. neither will attempts to draw comparisons between what you think i am, and what you choose to be.

metaphor: you say you like cheese. i say i don't. you label me an anti-cheesist. so by your designation of a label, i agree that the definition of anti-cheese is that "i simply don't like cheese". but this isn't good enough for you. you must in some way mutate the argument to show that my dislike of cheese is the same as your like of cheese. truthfully, it's as ridiculous as this cheese metaphor.

stop being bothered by my lack of interest in your superstition.

 

That is great that you can believe with complete certainty that God does not exist. I am not trying to convince individual atheists to not be atheists (or whatever non-label you want to call yourself). 

 My claim concerning certainty is that a 100% certain proof cannot be given to demonstrate the non-existence of God. 

 Also, I am not bothered by what atheists believe. I am merely doing what you (the R.R.S) try to do to theists. I am trying to act as a skeptic towards your beliefs and asking questions. I am sorry if that bothers you personally.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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AiiA wrote:

AiiA wrote:

jread wrote:
...I am not an authority on theistic scientific evidence.
Theistic science does not exist.

{ADDED}

jread wrote:
First, concerning the argument that atheism contains beliefs similar to theism.
This is dogma
Quote:
I want to start off by noting that it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack in belief.
And this is dogma

dog·ma

1. a system of principles or tenets, as of a church.
2. a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption.
3. prescribed doctrine: political dogma.
4. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle.

 

Yes thank you for pointing out that I am using the fourth definition. I would assume that since atheism has been around as long as theism, that it would be an established opinion.

 Also, I never said that I wouldn't be employing dogma. Thank you for pointing out that I have. 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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I am off to work. Please

I am off to work. Please don't worry, I will be back on later to reply and try to defend what I said. I won't roll over and play dead; you'll be able to have your fun I promise.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread, I'm not going to

jread, I'm not going to quote all your replies, because you're just repeating the same mistake.

Bottom line: 1) Atheists don't believe in god the same way you don't believe in Santa Claus.  You wouldn't bother trying to prove that Santa doesn't exist unless someone assured you that he does.  At that point, you wouldn't be presenting evidence that Santa doesn't exist, you would be refuting alleged evidence that he does.  The heart of your mistake is misunderstanding the burden of proof.  The claimant is the person who claims a thing exists.  This is the theist!

2) Whether you say you're talking about politics or not, you are.  R.R.S. exists for political reasons.  Our goals are centered around the manifestations of people's beliefs -- the way they act.  If god-belief caused no changes in the way the world worked, it wouldn't matter to us.  We are not activists because of atheism.  We are activists because of THEISM!

 

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

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Not this FUCKING noise

Not this FUCKING noise again.
Sorry, I'm really tired of hearing this tired, tedious, refuted argument. Maybe some atheists actively reject the religion in which they were brought up, and this is the only informed decision they are making because they're ignorant of other religions. They would still be justified in doing so until such a time that a religious principle bore some kind of fruit. I find it highly unlikely that this is a proposition even religious leaders are confident in, which explains their emphasis on the concept of faith. Faith is the carrot on a stick they wag for theists to make them obey while they wait for death, which happens to be the moment they promise you your proof. 
However, certainty in the falsehood of a religious proposition is not a prerequisite for atheism. And uncertainty or open-mindedness met by silence instead of evidence will not inspire belief.
And, even if an individual's subjective experience suggested to them something supernatural, they would have to determine whether its character has been seen clearly, or whether it's been distorted by the expectations of their indoctrinated beliefs. If a person doesn't have indoctrinated beliefs, and their experience doesn't suggest a particular religion, there's no basis to claim it confirms any religion at all. It's such a hideous conceit to even imagine that, out of all the religions in the world, people ought to look at their own experiences as confirmation of the one you're hocking.


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magilum wrote: Not this

magilum wrote:
Not this FUCKING noise again.
Sorry, I'm really tired of hearing this tired, tedious, refuted argument. Maybe some atheists actively reject the religion in which they were brought up, and this is the only informed decision they are making because they're ignorant of other religions. They would still be justified in doing so until such a time that a religious principle bore some kind of fruit. I find it highly unlikely that this is a proposition even religious leaders are confident in, which explains their emphasis on the concept of faith. Faith is the carrot on a stick they wag for theists to make them obey while they wait for death, which happens to be the moment they promise you your proof.
However, certainty in the falsehood of a religious proposition is not a prerequisite for atheism. And uncertainty or open-mindedness met by silence instead of evidence will not inspire belief.
And, even if an individual's subjective experience suggested to them something supernatural, they would have to determine whether its character has been seen clearly, or whether it's been distorted by the expectations of their indoctrinated beliefs. If a person doesn't have indoctrinated beliefs, and their experience doesn't suggest a particular religion, there's no basis to claim it confirms any religion at all. It's such a hideous conceit to even imagine that, out of all the religions in the world, people ought to look at their own experiences as confirmation of the one you're hocking.

 

I find that your reply has made no contact with my argument. If you feel you have, then please rephrase your criticism. Furthermore, never once did I attempt to push a religion or even push theism in my post, I don't know why you bring up religious beliefs. What you are saying seems to be something pertaining to the origination of individuals religious beliefs. That is all fine and dandy, but has no bearing on what I am arguing. The beliefs I am comparing are that of atheism and theism. Not atheism and religion. 

Oh and just remind you, my usage of dogma is not the religious context usage. I am sorry if my post title mislead you.

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Hambydammit wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:


jread, I'm not going to quote all your replies, because you're just repeating the same mistake.


Reply: If you reply to my replies in this way, by merely saying that I'm still making the same mistakes, at least tell me what mistakes I may be making. If you don't want to point out my mistakes, then I don't think you've adequately replied to my argument. Saying I conflated terms just doesn't stick. I find it an interesting charge, but you haven't shown me where and what I conflate. The terms you argued that I conflated have already been defended and shown not be involved in conflation.


Hambydammit wrote:
Bottom line: 1) Atheists don't believe in god the same way you don't believe in Santa Claus. You wouldn't bother trying to prove that Santa doesn't exist unless someone assured you that he does. At that point, you wouldn't be presenting evidence that Santa doesn't exist, you would be refuting alleged evidence that he does. The heart of your mistake is misunderstanding the burden of proof. The claimant is the person who claims a thing exists. This is the theist!


Reply: I disagree, I think atheists do reject God's existence in the same way I reject Santa Claus. I also think that presenting evidence that Santa Claus doesn't exist is also refuting evidence that he does. For example, someone wants to claim Santa Claus exists. They say, "Oh well he will drop down your chimney on Christmas Eve with presents. Stay up late and you will see him." The evidence for his existence would be: He drops down your chimney on Christmas Eve. So, Christmas Eve rolls around and you stay up all night, making sure not fall asleep. You set up bells to ring if he passes down your chimney. But, alas, after a full night no sign of Santa. Therefore, because he didn't descend your chimney, he must not have come.

You see? The evidence that he exists[coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve], was refuted with the evidence that he didn't come down the chimney on Christmas Eve. I just don't see how the evidence used to refute that he exists is not simultaneously acting as evidence that he doesn't exist.

If you disagree, please explain why you disagree.

Also I don't believe my argument involves aspects of burden of proof, because I am not arguing that God exists here. My aim in this argument is to skeptically analyze atheism, not try to establish that God exists. Furthermore, if atheists assert that God doesn't exist, then they also share in the burden of proof. The only belief that I see escaping burden of proof is agnosticism. If you disagree, do so by please elucidating what burden of proof entails, and if it applies to my given argument.

Hambydammit wrote:
2) Whether you say you're talking about politics or not, you are. R.R.S. exists for political reasons. Our goals are centered around the manifestations of people's beliefs -- the way they act. If god-belief caused no changes in the way the world worked, it wouldn't matter to us. We are not activists because of atheism. We are activists because of THEISM!


Reply: My apologies for not realizing the R.R.S. exists for political reasons. Although, I was under the impression that debating theists was not a political act. I do not have any concern with the political actions of R.R.S. in fact, it would be good for more rationally based lobbyist groups in Washington. I officially vouch my support of R.R.S. in the political arena.

My concerns with the R.R.S. only involve philosophical considerations. I was under the impression, that the R.R.S. welcomed argumentation and debate. I know they do in fact, so that it is what I am doing here.

[MOD EDIT – fixed quotes]

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: 1. Atheism

jread wrote:

1. Atheism rests on probability

2. Theism rests on probability

3. Therefore, atheism and theism rest on probability

 

Probability can only be assigned to schemes relating to the natural world. The laws of nature (science) determine probability. Probability of supernatural claims cannot be determined. "God exists" is a supernatural claim.

 

 


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jread wrote: [noise words

jread wrote:

[noise words snipped]
[N]ever once did I attempt to push a religion or even push theism in my post, I don't know why you bring up religious beliefs. What you are saying seems to be something pertaining to the origination of individuals religious beliefs. That is all fine and dandy, but has no bearing on what I am arguing. The beliefs I am comparing are that of atheism and theism. Not atheism and religion. 

Please, do explain what “theism” is meant to mean outside of a religious context.


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Edger wrote: jread

Edger wrote:
jread wrote:

1. Atheism rests on probability

2. Theism rests on probability

3. Therefore, atheism and theism rest on probability

 

Probability can only be assigned to schemes relating to the natural world. The laws of nature (science) determine probability. Probability of supernatural claims cannot be determined. "God exists" is a supernatural claim.

 

 

First off, thank you for engaging my formal argument. Next, I would like to argue that you are making some incorrect judgments. 

You severely misunderstand science and its relation to the seemingly 'supernatural'. Gravity is a supernatural claim for instance. Can you see gravity? Can you touch it? Can you taste it? No. Or how about magneticism? Can you see it? Can you touch it? No. You merely measure and understand the effects of gravity and magneticism. Is gravity or magneticism then outside of science? No. Furthermore, if God's existence is outside of science, then how can scientific evidence be used to prove that God doesn't exist? It should have no affect on the judgment if it is outside of science.

Also, laws of nature are merely currently accepted scientific theory. If you believe in eternal laws of nature, then you seem to be involved in the supernatural.

Lastly, I would agree with you that probability of supernatural claims cannot be determined (meaning able to reach a probability of 1). It seems to be the main point of my argument concerning atheism and probability. But, to say that claims concerning God are beyond probability is just plain wrong.

 I think we may arrive at a better understanding between one another if you explain what you mean by "supernatural." In order to make sure we're not addressing two different meanings.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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magilum wrote: jread

magilum wrote:
jread wrote:
[noise words snipped] [N]ever once did I attempt to push a religion or even push theism in my post, I don't know why you bring up religious beliefs. What you are saying seems to be something pertaining to the origination of individuals religious beliefs. That is all fine and dandy, but has no bearing on what I am arguing. The beliefs I am comparing are that of atheism and theism. Not atheism and religion.
Please, do explain what “theism” is meant to mean outside of a religious context.

 

I am actually very glad you bring this up. Someone earlier got really frustrated with me for not thinking that all atheists knew that theism is not religion. Now I can use you as an example of why I made sure to point out that they distinct.

Theism is merely the belief in the existence of a God/Creator/Omni-whatever-you-want being.

Religion is an institution based on a theistic belief created by man involving that belief. Theism in no way entails religion or religious beliefs. I can believe in God and in no way be religious. Hope that explantion helps.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: Theism is

jread wrote:

Theism is merely the belief in the existence of a God/Creator/Omni-whatever-you-want being.

Religion is an institution based on a theistic belief created by man involving that belief. Theism in no way entails religion or religious beliefs. I can believe in God and in no way be religious. Hope that explantion helps.

 

Can one reasonably claim to have gotten their concept of “god” outside of religion?


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magilum wrote: jread

magilum wrote:

jread wrote:

Theism is merely the belief in the existence of a God/Creator/Omni-whatever-you-want being.

Religion is an institution based on a theistic belief created by man involving that belief. Theism in no way entails religion or religious beliefs. I can believe in God and in no way be religious. Hope that explantion helps.

 

Can one reasonably claim to have gotten their concept of “god” outside of religion?

 

You mean, can someone in actuality, in today's society, get their concept of God from a non-religious source? I would say that it is possible, yet unlikely. I could argue that even though the concept may arise from religion in today's society, a theist must not adhere or remain religious. The main point I wanted to make though, was that religious belief is not a necessary condition for a theistic belief. You could say that a theistic belief is presumably the foundation of religious belief. But again, that doesn't make theism require religion. 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: First,

jread wrote:

First, concerning the argument that atheism contains beliefs similar to theism. I want to start off by noting that it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack in belief. Atheism entails many beliefs pertaining to God; Most fundamentally, the belief that he doesn't exist.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find an atheist on this forum who absolutely believes that there is no God. Would you care to tell me why it is irrational to say that atheism is simply a lack of belief? We may say also given the fact that we have no belief in God that the concept of God must've come from somewhere, yes, human beings. We are the only known species on the planet that is widely theistic. So, human beings created it out of thin air. We have an almost unlimited imagination. Given that God is a concept created by human imagination, not human reason or science how likely is it that such a being actually exists. Note that human beings have also created Flying Spaghetti Monsters, Celestial Teapots, Invisible Magical Drawer-dwelling Monkeys, Invisible Pink Unicorns, as well as various deities throughout our existence, some polytheistic, pantheistic, bitheistic, monotheistic, deistic, some metaphysical, some physical, some humans have also created whole worlds, Middle Earth, Discworld, Elidor, Narnia and amazing characters Gandalf, Aslan, Tom Bombadil, Startibartfast. But though we cannot prove their non-existence, given that they are created by humans imaginations we can be fairly sure that none such things exist. I don't believe Gandalf exists, I don't believe God exists, but I do not know for certain, I do not believe Gandalf does absolutely not exist, nor do I believe God does absolutely not exist.

jread wrote:

 If it were the case that you had no beliefs pertaining to God, then what makes you feel the urge to reply to this post? What makes you form the Rational Response Squad if you don't have any beliefs concerning the concept of Deity or God? Could you say that you reply in the name of rationality and human reason? If so, what makes you want to employ that rationality this very moment? Instinct? Habit? No. A belief renders your mind into action.

Ok, firstly the reason for the RRS as I see it is that it is to promote the cause of a socially persecuted minority in America and give atheists, some of whom have been alienated from their friends and family a place to talk and form a community.

Second, yes there is a belief that lies behind our reason. Rather there are two beliefs the first is "I exist", which is an empirical belief, a fairly reasonable belief, we might in fact use Descartes' Cogito Ergo Sum "I think therefore I am" (probably one of his only decent achievements). It is quite okay to assume I exist, I have unrefutable evidence for this. The second belief is also empirical belief. The world/universe in which I exist also exists "I experience therefore the experience exists", perhaps this one takes a tiny fraction of faith, but it remains a reasonable assumption to make. Everything else any atheist believes is a superstructure to these two beliefs. In fact an atheist need not even believe these two beliefs. Bear in mind belief does not equal faith, faith is just one kind of belief, belief without evidence.

These arguments never try to answer the burden of proof that lies on the theist (I agree with you by the way that theism is not equal to religion but religion relies on theism, attack theism, you attack religion). Such arguments are only really trying to say "You're just as bad as us!" when in fact we aren't, we have no burden of proof for the existence of the unprovable, you do. Anything that science needs to prove it can do on empirical grounds. Theism alternatively can't prove sod all.


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jread wrote: Edger

jread wrote:
Edger wrote:
jread wrote:

1. Atheism rests on probability

2. Theism rests on probability

3. Therefore, atheism and theism rest on probability

 

Probability can only be assigned to schemes relating to the natural world. The laws of nature (science) determine probability. Probability of supernatural claims cannot be determined. "God exists" is a supernatural claim.

 

 

You severely misunderstand science and its relation to the seemingly 'supernatural'. Gravity is a supernatural claim for instance. Can you see gravity? Can you touch it? Can you taste it? No. Or how about magneticism? Can you see it? Can you touch it? No. You merely measure and understand the effects of gravity and magneticism. Is gravity or magneticism then outside of science? No. Furthermore, if God's existence is outside of science, then how can scientific evidence be used to prove that God doesn't exist? It should have no affect on the judgment if it is outside of science.

Also, laws of nature are merely currently accepted scientific theory. If you believe in eternal laws of nature, then you seem to be involved in the supernatural.

Lastly, I would agree with you that probability of supernatural claims cannot be determined (meaning able to reach a probability of 1). It seems to be the main point of my argument concerning atheism and probability. But, to say that claims concerning God are beyond probability is just plain wrong.

I think we may arrive at a better understanding between one another if you explain what you mean by "supernatural." In order to make sure we're not addressing two different meanings.

 

The effects of gravity and magnetsim can be observed and finitely measured. There's nothing supernatural about either. Can you measure "god"? Can you observe the force of "god"? The world may be a strange and mysterious place. This doesn't indicate in any way, shape, or form that supernatural forces are driving it. "God" and gravity have nothing in common.

I don't claim science disproves "god". The contention that "god" exists isn't falsifiable in part because probability cannot be assigned to the contention. It can be assigned to the effects of gravity or magnetism.

Scientific law is not the same as scientific theory. Laws are unbending. They explain specific functions in and of nature. Theories explain how these laws work collectively to produce X. Scientific theories must adhere to scientific law. This is what makes them testable and falsifiable. At the same time, theories can be subject to refinement to bring them in to accordance with scientific law should new laws be witnessed that would create problems with an existing theory.

"Supernatural" simply describes that which cannot be measured or ascertained through laws that govern the natural world. Science is the study of the natural world. So by definition, supernatural claims have zero place in a scientific realm. Because science doesn't concern "itself" with, or address supernatural claims, they are sometimes mocked but never actually disproved.

With all due respect, the misunderstanding is yours.

 


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Edger wrote:     The

Edger wrote:

 

 

The effects of gravity and magnetsim can be observed and finitely measured. There's nothing supernatural about either. Can you measure "god"? Can you observe the force of "god"? The world may be a strange and mysterious place. This doesn't indicate in any way, shape, or form that supernatural forces are driving it. "God" and gravity have nothing in common.

I don't claim science disproves "god". The contention that "god" exists isn't falsifiable in part because probability cannot be assigned to the contention. It can be assigned to the effects of gravity or magnetism.

Scientific law is not the same as scientific theory. Laws are unbending. They explain specific functions in and of nature. Theories explain how these laws work collectively to produce X. Scientific theories must adhere to scientific law. This is what makes them testable and falsifiable. At the same time, theories can be subject to refinement to bring them in to accordance with scientific law should new laws be witnessed that would create problems with an existing theory.

"Supernatural" simply describes that which cannot be measured or ascertained through laws that govern the natural world. Science is the study of the natural world. So by definition, supernatural claims have zero place in a scientific realm. Because science doesn't concern "itself" with, or address supernatural claims, they are sometimes mocked but never actually disproved.

With all due respect, the misunderstanding is yours.

 

 

I suppose I am just being nit picky at this point. I am merely trying to point out that scientific laws are part of scientific theory. The laws of science would then be subject to revision and or rejection like scientific theories. So yes, I would agree with you that our current scientific laws are accepted as foundational. But, I was just trying to point out that they are not unrevisable or always going to be considered true.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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jread wrote: I suppose I am

jread wrote:
I suppose I am just being nit picky at this point. I am merely trying to point out that scientific laws are part of scientific theory. The laws of science would then be subject to revision and or rejection like scientific theories. So yes, I would agree with you that our current scientific laws are accepted as foundational. But, I was just trying to point out that they are not unrevisable or always going to be considered true.

EXACTLY!

Also, it takes evidence to change. Verifiable, objective, evidence.

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I will not focus on the

I will not focus on the definition of atheism part because it bores me.  All one is doing is playing semantical games.  Therefore, I will only reply to the argument from probability.

Before I get started, I would like to say that jread, although mistaken, has thought these ideas through.  Moreover, I fully enjoyed reading a thoughtful theists meditations. 

 

jread wrote:

1. Atheism rests on probability

2. Theism rests on probability

3. Therefore, atheism and theism rest on probability

 

You seem to be implying that since theism and atheism rely on a degree of probability, they are equal in their degree of warrant.  But this clearly cannot be correct.  Intuitively, if proposition A has a probability of .9, and proposition B has a probability of .4, then A should carry with it more warrant for us.  However, you seem to be implying that both A and B have the same degree of warrant for us.  This seems false.

Perhaps you remain unconvinced.  Alright, so like any good philosopher, I am going to employ intuition pumps and thought experiments.  Surly, I hope you will conceed, the existence of the Flying Spagetti Monster is possible.  However, it seems unlikely.  I don't know what the objective probability of the proposition saying "the flying spagetti monster exists" is.  However, my subjective probability is around .01.  Now, I am very confident in the theory of evolution.  I believe it accurately accounts for all the biological phenomena that need to be explained, it makes fruitful predictions, its elogant, and it coheres well with our other beliefs.  Moreover, I know the theory of evolution was arrived at, via the scientific method.  The subjective probability I give it, is .95.   I can clearly imagine cases where it would be wrong, but those cases are wacky and wild. 

It seems that you want me to think that Evolution carries the same amout of warrant as the existence of the flying spagetti monster.  This is obviously not the case.  

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Chaoslord2004 wrote: I

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

I will not focus on the definition of atheism part because it bores me. All one is doing is playing semantical games. Therefore, I will only reply to the argument from probability.

Before I get started, I would like to say that jread, although mistaken, has thought these ideas through. Moreover, I fully enjoyed reading a thoughtful theists meditations.

 

jread wrote:

1. Atheism rests on probability

2. Theism rests on probability

3. Therefore, atheism and theism rest on probability

 

You seem to be implying that since theism and atheism rely on a degree of probability, they are equal in their degree of warrant. But this clearly cannot be correct. Intuitively, if proposition A has a probability of .9, and proposition B has a probability of .4, then A should carry with it more warrant for us. However, you seem to be implying that both A and B have the same degree of warrant for us. This seems false.

Perhaps you remain unconvinced. Alright, so like any good philosopher, I am going to employ intuition pumps and thought experiments. Surly, I hope you will conceed, the existence of the Flying Spagetti Monster is possible. However, it seems unlikely. I don't know what the objective probability of the proposition saying "the flying spagetti monster exists" is. However, my subjective probability is around .01. Now, I am very confident in the theory of evolution. I believe it accurately accounts for all the biological phenomena that need to be explained, it makes fruitful predictions, its elogant, and it coheres well with our other beliefs. Moreover, I know the theory of evolution was arrived at, via the scientific method. The subjective probability I give it, is .95. I can clearly imagine cases where it would be wrong, but those cases are wacky and wild.

It seems that you want me to think that Evolution carries the same amout of warrant as the existence of the flying spagetti monster. This is obviously not the case.

 

Many thanks for the appreciation of my efforts. The lines of argumentation that I employed did occupy some hours of what you call meditative activity.

You articulated my thoughts better than I could have done if you were to ask me what my aim was with that argument. I was in fact attempting to argue that the warrant of atheism and theism were equal because they are both based on probability. I also acknowledge that I was mistaken in trying to assert this in then end.

You will be happy to know though, that in my hours between my realization post and now, I have already begun thinking about new questions having to do with more fundamental aspects of properly understood atheism. I look forward to posting them, and many others in an effort to try and continue what I set to do originally. Only this time, I will not try to point things out that the figurehead of atheism had already noted and acknowledged.

My I raise my metaphorical cup *raises hand* to a great future, frought with better understanding and awareness.

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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properly understood

properly understood atheism? I can't wait.

figurehead of atheism?

I'm glad I put this into this forum. *raises metaphorical cup* Ditto. [whispers]What an odd little ritual.

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darth_josh wrote: properly

darth_josh wrote:

properly understood atheism? I can't wait.

figurehead of atheism?

I'm glad I put this into this forum. *raises metaphorical cup* Ditto. [whispers]What an odd little ritual.

 

Sorry, I should've made myself clearer. By 'figurehead' of atheism I meant Richard Dawkins because his book seemed to ellucidate atheism.

You are quite apt darth_josh, but frankly I just don't know you well enough to call you the 'figurehead' of atheism. Doesn't that sort of thing have to wait till the second date? *smirk*

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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darth_josh wrote: properly

darth_josh wrote:

properly understood atheism? I can't wait.

figurehead of atheism?

I'm glad I put this into this forum. *raises metaphorical cup* Ditto. [whispers]What an odd little ritual.

Teaching the layman to "properly understand atheism" is a big part of what the RRS is about. Most folks interpret the term through a Websterian fog (I may and I have). This is forgivable.

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/atheist

Although I've never been a theist, I've shared many of the same misconceptions jread has/had before investigating further. It's apparent that few conventional educational outlets show atheism in a proper light. How should anyone without a deep interest be expected to know?

 


Jacob Cordingley
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jread wrote: Sorry, I

jread wrote:

Sorry, I should've made myself clearer. By 'figurehead' of atheism I meant Richard Dawkins because his book seemed to ellucidate atheism.

Richard Dawkins is just one atheist. Any philosophy is bound to have famous proponents of the view. To say however that Mr Dawkins is akin to the pope is nothing short of silly. A lot of Dawkins' philosophical writing including the God Delusion isn't actually all that amazing, he isn't a philosopher, he's a biologist. There are some over simplistic arguments with a lot of rhetoric, I got the feeling that I could perhaps defend Dawkins position better than he himself could. However, his position is one that I agree with, a position I agreed with long before I'd ever heard of Dawkins.

There are plenty of other well known atheist thinkers, Dan Dennet, David Hume (quite possibly). The difference is, we don't follow their teachings blindly, we all have our own opinions and we all came to atheism on our own, through our own thinking. When at 15 I became an atheist I had never read any atheist literature, in fact I'd only heard the word atheism in RE classes. Of course the RE teachers said it was someone who believed there was no God in order to bring it down so for a while I coined the term semi-atheist as something more than agnostic but not believing in God.

As atheism is a lack of a belief, it need not be influenced by anyone else. Christianity on the other hand requires you to believe something that someone else believes no matter how personal your coming to Christianity. The same goes for Islam, Wicah etc.