The admin refuses to give me a rational response

Fiserfully
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The admin refuses to give me a rational response

So I sent in an e-mail critizing the article about Agnostics and here is the progression it's gone in.  I'm pretty frustrated that "The Rational Response Squad" refused to give me a rational response.  I'm not even telling them they're wrong about anything major, I just don't like them redefining my belief (as I'm sure they'd be a little peeved if I tried to redefine the word Atheism to include a believe in God).  The person I've been in contact with, as you will see, only sends fairly curt and somewhat childish responses without actually addressing my arguments.  I understand the RRS gets a lot of flaming from idiots (trust me, I live in the mid-west, I've been around a lot of idiotic Theists), but I'm asking the RRS to prove they aren't on the same level as the theists by either recognizing their logical fallacy and correcting it (hence no longer promoting fallacious claims) or provide a good counter argument, something more than that I'm insane and they don't have time to deal with insane people that day (which, as any of you with a basic philosophical background know is two argument fallacies wrapped up in one sentence).  So read, and let me know your thoughts on my argument and the actions of the RRS.  Thanks.  It starts with their response to my first e-mail because it got lost somewhere in the months this has occured over.


 

admin@rationalresponders.com wrote:

Hey, I just read your "article" about agnosticism versus atheism...the
claims in it were completely unresearched and many false.  First off the
author doesn't cite any sources for his information


That's how far I read before I stopped reading, because clearly you didn't read.  Read it again... the god damned dictionary itself was sourced, Mr. know it all.  And it wasn't a bastardized Christian version of the dictionary either, it was the Oxford English Dictionary, ya know... the most respected dictionary of the English language.

SEE ALSO: Agnosticism and it's many misconceptions by RRS co-founder Rook Hawkins, and the definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary. (listed right there in the fucking page)

Thanks for wasting 5 minutes of my life.



From: <fiserfully@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 6:37 PM
To: <admin@rationalresponders.com>
Subject: Looking for a "Rational Response"

Just sending this again since...for some reason...you didn't respond Smiling . Btw, I'm not sure if you understand what a rational response is, you see disregarding someones argument before hearing it out completely is called ignorance...not reason.  If you had the slightest idea what a rational argument was you'd know that the article about Agnosticism was a poor argument.  Also, before you dismiss me as "below you," I have an IQ of 140 (what's yours?) and I've actually studied philosophy.  So I'd appreciate it, if you continue to claim you are the "Rational Response Squad" to...well...rationally respond to my argument.  Don't read the first sentence and ignore the rest, take it as a whole and respond to the logic within.  Remember it's the people you rail against that respond without thinking or really to anything other than the actual argument.  I hope you enjoy, I've included a copy of what I sent you before below.

Ben Williams wrote:
Okay, did you read the definition that was linked there?  Or any other dictionary definitions...or anything on Wikipedia or in a philosophic text book?

First off, the thing by Rook Hawkins doesn't offer any more help than the first article (he quotes an atheistic writer who doesn't really prove anything).  Idiot.  Did you even read the definition you told me to look up?  Even that matches more with what I said than what the article is saying...it defines Atheism as:

   /atheism/ Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god.

   /disbelieve/ 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence
   to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the truth or reality of.

   /deny/

      1. To contradict or gainsay (anything stated or alleged); to
         declare to be untrue or untenable, or not what it is stated to be.
      2. /Logic./ The opposite of /affirm/; to assert the contradictory
         of (a proposition).
      3. To refuse to admit the truth of (a doctrine or tenet); to
         reject as untrue or unfounded; the opposite of /assert/ or
         /maintain/.
      4. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge (a person or thing) as
         having a certain character or certain claims; to disown,
         disavow, repudiate, renounce.

Now, before yelling at me again, read this thoroughly...this is talking about someone who specifically does not believe in a god.  Now, look at the definition of agnosticism:
/
agnostic/ A. /sb./ One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing.

Again, read through carefully...it defines agnosticism more specifically than I did (though a more general definition is someone who believes most if not all things are unknowable...this coming from the root words Gnosis, which is "To know," add the A and you have "without knowledge" or "to not know," Agnostic is not based off of Gnosticism, but rather they are both based of the word Gnosis, just look the word up on Wikipedia or any decent encyclopedia to see this) this goes so far as to apply the lack of knowledge specifically to the supernatural and first cause.  As you can see, it's definitely different than what your authors portray...and if you look at any other dictionary (as far as I know Dictionary.com, the source I told you to look at, is not Christian) you'll find the same thing.  What we have here is your author slyly shifting the definitions within their arguments, if you are so ignorant as to not only not see this but also to never have cracked open an introductory philosophy text book (which would have had the exact same definition I've listed) then why the hell are you running a website on this stuff?

I'd appreciate it if you actually read through my entire e-mail, since you obviously haven't read through your article.  Yes, you cited the dictionary (and another unfounded article from a person writing specifically from and atheistic perspective to an atheistic audience...great journalism) but you didn't do anything with the actual information given...at the best you ignored the definition, at the worst you misguided your readers about it's content, relying on the fact they probably wouldn't understand it...or even better just not read it.   Of course there's also what many Christians do, I believe it's called "Preaching to the choir" in which you trust your audience will accept what your saying because they already believe it.

I'd also like to know what the reference to a Christian dictionary is...I'm not a Christian, in fact I generally despise the actions of both Christians (or more generally, many Theists) and "Hard Atheists" (as you call them), with some notable exceptions on both sides.  I'm and epistemological nihilist...which is quite a bit different than a Christian.  I'd also note that there are many bastardized Atheist things I've seen (dictionaries, textbooks, you name it).  I think both extreme atheists and extreme christians have the same problem, they have so much "surety" that they believe it's okay to try to strong arm, deceive, or manipulate people into their beliefs.  I've seen about as many examples of this on each side...so don't think I'm just yelling at idiotic atheists.

As for this argument, I'd like some more -actual- evidence, maybe cite some sources that -actually- back up what your saying...and dare I say I'd definitely like a bit more reason within your arguments.  Also, please don't cite atheist authors to prove your points...if you had cited people who didn't associate themselves with atheists and didn't write atheistic propaganda I might be more likely to believe their claims (I think this relates to the idea I wouldn't buy Christians quoting from misguided Christian textbooks and "Bastardized Christian dictionaries.&quotEye-wink. It sounds like in all the arguments I read on your site that you want to change the definition of atheism to agnosticism...but let's get this straight, you changing it in your mind and it being that definition are two very separate things.  If you're so unhappy with the -actual- definition of Atheism and you believe you're really an Agnostic then call yourself one...but please don't try to make your camp bigger by redefining what atheism means.   Also, I'd like to request you pull that article from your website and post a public apology for misguiding your readers (unless you have an actual argument for what you were saying), it's the professional and rational thing to do.  If you do not stop the deceit and publicly tell people there was deceit (to correct the false knowledge they might have attained) you are just as bad as the Christians you rail against...because they brainwash, deceive, and do whatever is necessary to get converts also.

-Ben



admin@rationalresponders.com wrote:
I didn't read it because as I skimmed it I found several delusional statements.  I don't have the time for delusional people today.



From: <fiserfully@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2007
To: <admin@rationalresponders.com>
Subject: Looking for a "Rational Response"

Heh, nice...so the Rational Response Squad doesn't have the time to give a rational response...you sound like a winner.  What "delusional" statements were made?  Ad hominem attacks are not a valid form of argument, if you can't tell me why my statement are "delusional" then how do you know that they are?  Anyways, I have a full time job, a part time job, and I overload at school...so please don't talk to me about not having enough time.  Again, I encourage you to change your groups name if you aren't willing to give a rational response to my argument (and as of yet I've not heard one).  All you've done is throw up argument fallacies in an attempt to get me to leave you alone.  So please, again, I'd like to ask you to give me a rational response Smiling...saying you're to busy is just an excuse for not being able to (by the way, claiming your too "smart" or in some way too superior to provide a response is an argument fallacy also, please read a introductory philosophy textbook, all this would have been covered there in words even you could understand).

  -Benjamin Williams 

 


Fiserfully
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addition

oh, and I forgot to add at the bottom that I have not received a reply to my last e-mail (and now it's been over a month).


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Hello to the 15,814th

Hello to the 15,814th person who has demanded that the RRS reply to their post, e-mail, blog entry or message in a wine cooler bottle.

That # above was fictionalized by me, but I have a question:  What makes everyone think that the RRS owes them a reply to whatever message they send in ?

It sometimes takes me weeks to reply to my own family.  I'm busy !  The more ridiculous the request the longer I usually take to reply.

Now apply this to what I'm guessing is thousands of e-mails, forum posts, etc. etc. from crackpots, self styled messiahs, wannabe's, and time wasters !

Doesn't anyone ever consider that their demand for a response (or perhaps more complete response) from a group of people they've probably never met, is at least a little "presumptious" ? 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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You gotta be the nob from

You gotta be the nob from jtv last night aren't you? I think you are.

You are using 1 defintiion of the word atheist and making a big deal over semantics.

You are wrong in your assumptions and the article explains that. If you don't accept it, then you are ust disagreeing with common definitions for words and you can take that up with the people that put together dictionaries.

The FACT is that these are the uses of the word.

If you are "radiovideo" from jtv last night, then you've had well more than enough explaination on the differences of gnosticism and theism.

If you are not, then you still need to read the shit thuroughly if you are asking for a source when there is a source right on the page.

Simply put, atheism is the DISBELIEF in a god. AKA the LACK OF BELIEF, it is not the 100% denial of the possible existance of god.  It is just disbelief. 


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Do you really expect a

Do you really expect a website this size to respond to every email they get? Especially when it's something that's been dealt with in literally dozens of threads. They'd much rather have the debates in the forums than privately by email anyway. By the way, dictionaries often define words the way the average person uses them in addition to (or sometimes even instead of) the correct one - try looking up the word "theory."

Cpt_Pineapple, I think this guy needs the Waahhmbulance.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Fiserfully wrote:  

 

Fiserfully wrote:

   /atheism/ Disbelief

 

Quote:
Now, before yelling at me again, read this thoroughly...this is talking about someone who specifically does not believe in a god.

Exactly.  So which god do you believe in Mr. Theist? 

 

Quote:
agnostic/ A. /sb./ One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing.

 

So which God that you believe in do you admit to not KNOWING something about?

Quote:
I'd appreciate it if you actually read through my entire e-mail

Well I'm not, and if you had a clue you'd realize that is the most rational response to an email full of arrogant ignorant condescending clueless not willing to admit to being brainwashed by people that have redefined words just to fuck you over is. 

- Brian Sapient


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Mr 140 IQ wrote: /atheism/

Mr 140 IQ wrote:
/atheism/ Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god.
A true pedantist would have looked up the definition of 'god', but it appears you did not.

If you did, you would have experienced what I call dictionary pingpong and would not have been so strangely concerned about the words 'atheist' or 'agnostic'.

Therefore, because you are bitching about the definitions of 'atheist' and 'agnostic' I would have to assume your "concern" here is really a ruse to calumniate the rationalresponders.

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


Visual_Paradox
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One word of advice:

One word of advice: concision. Reading what you wrote was like: Claim X, blah blah blah, bitch bitch bitch, blah blah blah, Claim Y, blah blah blah, bitch bitch bitch.

You say they tried changing the definition of atheism. You're mistaken.

Atheism means "not theism" just as asymmetrical means "not symmetrical" and atypical means "not typical." Theism and atheism are positions with regard to belief or the lack thereof.

Agnosticism is a position about knowledge. One can believe knowledge is impossible to attain and thus infer that theism is an unjustifiable position. After all, what knowledge would be used to form the premises from which the theistic conclusion would follow? That would be a position of agnostic atheism.

The article's purpose was to show that agnosticism and atheism are frequently misdefined and they're actually compatible with one another when defined correctly. The definition of atheism used by the core RRS members has been used since the 1770s and probably earlier. (Baron d'Holbach used it when writing Good Sense.)

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


Fiserfully
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Response

I think that the presumption that you owe a response to me, and to others comes from your groups title. If you feel you're groups mission is not to provide a "rational response" and you're tired of said expectation...maybe you should change your title to something more fitting.

You've chosen to put yourselves at the front of a heated debate over religion, that's fine, I respect standing up and putting in extra time to argue and defend what you believe...but with this comes people like me (and also the more crazy people). I'm suprised you haven't realized this by now, but either way if you want less people arguing with you you might want to quit the RRS, otherwise you're just getting what you asked for.


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Tarpan wrote: You gotta be

Tarpan wrote:

You gotta be the nob from jtv last night aren't you? I think you are.

You are using 1 defintiion of the word atheist and making a big deal over semantics.



I'm not sure what jtv is, so no, it wasn't me...however this is the dictionary definition that was listed in the article and you'll find similar definintion in any philosophical textbook or dictionary you look at.  You might use the word in some bizarre way, and that's fine, but it doesn't mean you should expect everyone else to understand what your saying.

Also, the word denial is used in the definitions I've read, but I'm not sure exactly waht you think the difference between disbelief and denial of a god is.  Either way to be Agnostic is to neither believe nor disbelieve in a god.  To be Agnostic, in this context, means you're not sure either way.


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Sapient wrote:Fiserfully

 

Sapient wrote:

Exactly. So which god do you believe in Mr. Theist?

 

So which God that you believe in do you admit to not KNOWING something about?

 

Wow, this is true ignorance.  Alrighty, I guess I'll start off by mentioning...if you had read my e-mail you might have found out that I do not believe in a god.  I'm and Epistemilogical Nihilist, meaning I think surety is unattainable.  Personally, I think the christian god and the normal atheistic belief (those being just in science and a physical world) are equally ridiculous.  Though I cannot say, with surety either are untrue.  I am an Agnostic, as defined in what you quoted me, I am without belief as to if there is anything behind natural phenomenon.

I think the problem might be you don't understand what the definition of Agnosticism is, so, hopefully in words you can understand:  Agnosticism is a disbelief in surety.  You can be an Agnostic Theist or and Agnostic Atheist (meaning you aren't sure buy you guess that it's one or another) or you can be just an Agnostic, meaning you have no clue as to what belief system is right or wrong and don't even lean towards one or another.  I'm not trying to disprove Atheism or prove Theism becuase I'm unsure of which is right, however from my knowledge of philosophy I'm pretty sure you are wrongly defining (at least as compared to most people, including academics) definitions of at the least the word Agnostic and most likely the word Atheism.


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aiia wrote: Mr 140 IQ

aiia wrote:

Mr 140 IQ wrote:
/atheism/ Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god.
A true pedantist would have looked up the definition of 'god', but it appears you did not.



I have researched the idea of gods, and yes the definitions can be changing (thank you Christians for confusing our language a bit more), but the term "god" generally implies a supernatural being with much more power than a human.  If it's uppercase it generally means a supreme being and if it's lowercase it means a being with extreme powers that rules over a certain part of our lives.  Either way my argument applies to most reasonable definitions of god (I'm neither believe in or specifically disbelief in any of them).  I'm not sure what argument you were trying to make, if you could explain further how the definition of god beyond what is presupposed in these arguments applies to my arguing that there is a difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist I would be grateful.


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Fiserfully wrote: to be

Fiserfully wrote:

to be Agnostic is to neither believe nor disbelieve in a god. 

You have been lied to so many times about the words that you end up not even having an elementary understanding of the word disbelieve.  The answer is on the page, and you refuse it with no good argument against.  You're a dogmatic adherent.  Even if you were an atheist, and you probably are I don't have the time or desire to align with you as you are uncomfortable accepting realityt when it difers from your pre-conceived notion. 

 

IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN SOMETHIMG AND YOU DON'T DISBLIEVE IN IT: YOU ARE DEAD. 

From the page you read which is accurate but since it disagrees with the lies you've been told, you've objected:

FAQ

Q: But I don't disbelieve in god! I just don't believe!

A: Again, if you literally 'don't disbelieve' then it would follow that you believe [by double negation]. You obviously don't mean to say this! What you probably mean to say is that you don't believe, OR reject the possibility of 'god' claims either. This leaves you without any theistic beliefs. Unless you are a pantheist or a polytheist (a person with god beliefs other than theism), this makes you an a-theist. Atheism does not necessarily imply anything other than a lack of theistic belief.

 

I refuse to baby you through a game that I would play with a 4 year old.  It's like a never ending game of peek-a-boo.  If you want to exhibit a fundamental ignorance about the words you use to describe yourself that is fine by me. I'm just not playing.

 

 

MODS: I'm done here, feel free to do whatever you want.

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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Visual_Paradox

Visual_Paradox wrote:

Atheism means "not theism" just as asymmetrical means "not symmetrical" and atypical means "not typical." Theism and atheism are positions with regard to belief or the lack thereof.

Agnosticism is a position about knowledge. One can believe knowledge is impossible to attain and thus infer that theism is an unjustifiable position. After all, what knowledge would be used to form the premises from which the theistic conclusion would follow? That would be a position of agnostic atheism.

 

Theism is "Theos" (Greek for deity) + "ism" (making it a belief), so Atheism doesn't exactly mean "A" + "Theism", it actually is saying "A" (not) + "Theos" (Deity) +"ism" (belief).  So, yes, on some level it is the opposite of Theism, but the most accurate way to view it is "No belief in a deity."  Atheism does not apply to all who are not theist, but rather all who don't believe in a deity.  You may be saying the same thing, but your wording seems unclear.  So, if you break down the words, that is what they mean.

 

Also, remember, any Agnostic (aside from an Agnostic Atheist of course) does not disbelieve in some form of deity, but rather their position on knowledge precludes them from making a decision about the existence of a deity.  It seems as if you, and many others who've responded,  think there are only two possible positions: Belief and Disbelief.  But remember, this is also unsurety.  An Agnostic that does not lean towards one belief or another would not discount Theism or Atheism (as I have not, I think both are very possible).

I'm not entirely sure what the point of saying that Agnostics and Atheists are compatible is, Agnostics and Theists have the same amount of compatibility.


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Sapient wrote:

Sapient wrote:

A: Again, if you literally 'don't disbelieve' then it would follow that you believe [by double negation]. You obviously don't mean to say this! What you probably mean to say is that you don't believe, OR reject the possibility of 'god' claims either. This leaves you without any theistic beliefs. Unless you are a pantheist or a polytheist (a person with god beliefs other than theism), this makes you an a-theist. Atheism does not necessarily imply anything other than a lack of theistic belief.



Alright, as I've argued before, there is a middle ground, it's called unsurety. You do not have to believe or disbelieve something (if only the world were as black and white as that). As I've said before (and as you obviously aren't understanding) I don't reject theism, but I don't accept it either. I think it's possible, just as I think Budhism, atheism (this refering to the specific belief in only science and the such, not the belief as a whole), Thelemic religions, Hindu, whatever the hell else is just as possible.

AGAIN I neither reject nor accept the tenets of Theism, I am unsure if they are true or not.

Also...heh, speaking of not knowing what the words you use mean...I think that you think Theism means Monotheism...it does not. Actaully Pantheism and Polytheism are Theistic beliefs, Theism is just the belief in some form of deity (whether multiple or one).

As the dictionary that was cited in the article this is based on says, Atheism is a DISBELIEF or a DENIAL.

Finally, your view of belief and disbelief as black and white, your argument on double negation, is purely semantical (which on some level this is also, but that has less to do with the ideas behind the words and more to do with the literal wording). To give you an idea of what I mean, here's a thought, I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10. I ask you to guess what number I'm thinking of and you say 4. I then ask you if you believe that the number I'm thinking of is for. Of course it would be absurd to belief that the number is 4 right, you have only a 1 in 10 chance of being correct, you're just guessing and probably don't really believe it's 4 but you're just playing the game and naming a random number...according to your logic that means you disbelieve in the number being 4...but I think if I asked you if you didn't believe it was 4 you would say no to that also (unless you're a real prude and talk about the 1 in 10 odds, but we could do this with 1 in 2 odds also and really there's just as much chance it's 4 as it is any other number). So you would neither believe nor disbelieve the number I'm thinking of is 4 because you are unsure (because really there's no way of knowing with surety either way).

If you can provide some text or source that shows your idea that unsurety does not exist I would love to read it, but I doubt you could find a credible one. But I'd enjoy hearing what you think.


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Here's one delusional

Here's one delusional statement: 

Fiserfully wrote:
I'm and epistemological nihilist.

No functioning human can be a true epistemological nihilist. The 'nihilists' I've met so far have all been confused pragmatists. Are you telling us that you do not know anything? If so, then why do you bother writing emails and posts trying to convince anyone of anything? After all, you don't know anything, so why should we listen to you? We have nothing to learn from you.

If you do know some things, then once again, you're not an epistemological nihilist. 

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You said, "Either way to be

You said, "Either way to be Agnostic is to neither believe nor disbelieve in a god."

That's nonsense.

Belief: B(X)
Deny: B(~X)
Disbelief: ~B(X)

A belief is some cognitive content held as true. In the notation above, I labeled that cognitive content X. Thus, belief in X is expressed as B(X). If you deny X, that means you believe X is false. Or, in other words, you believe Not-X. Thus, denial of X is expressed as B(~X). Disbelief is to Not-Believe that X is true. Thus, disbelief in X is expressed as ~B(X).

Disbelief and denial are similar but not the same. Denial is actually one of the various forms of disbelief. If you believe X is false, then you necessarily not-believe X is true. Hence, B(~X) necessitates ~B(X).

Disbelief takes other forms though. If you are neither accept the truth of X or the falsity of X, you are still disbelieving X because disbelieving X only necessitates that X is not cognitive content you hold to be true (i.e. X is not-believed). In this case, you would match ~B(X). However, this does not place you in the denial category because you don't believe X is false, which would be B(~X).

There are two other forms of disbelief of which I can think right now. Both stem from a position of ignorance. The first is that if you've never heard of X, it's impossible for you to hold X to be true and thus your ignorance necessitates disbelief, which would be ~B(X). The second is that you've heard someone say X but X doesn't really mean anything to you (Uggablav tollyknockled yesterday!) in which case your ignorance necessitates disbelief, which would be ~B(X).

Because denial is a form of disbelief, we can tuck that under disbelief and pay no more attention to it. Now, let's turn our attention to your statement that, "Either way to be Agnostic is to neither believe nor disbelieve in a god." If we accept your claim about what agnosticism entails, and only belief and disbelief are possibilities regarding god, then it necessarily follows that agnosticism is essentially impossible because only people with split personality disorder could be agnostics unless you consider those as multiple people in one body in which case agnosticism is completely impossible.

Your definition of agnosticism is flawed. Agnosticism is concerned with the existence of knowledge in the brain, not about beliefs in the brain. Regardless of whether you have knowledge of X, you must of necessity either believe or disbelieve. If you have knowledge X is true, you believe. If you have knowledge X is false, you deny (and thus disbelieve). If you do not have knowledge X is true, you might accept that X is true anyway (faith). If you do not have knowledge X is false, you might accept that X is false anyway (faith). If you do not have knowledge that X is true or false, you might not accept a conclusion either way because that would mean not-believing X is true, which would be ~B(X), which would be disbelief. It's impossible to neither believe nor disbelieve because that would require B and ~B being true at the same time, which is logically impossible.

You then said, "Theism is "Theos" (Greek for deity) + "ism" (making it a belief), so Atheism doesn't exactly mean "A" + "Theism", it actually is saying "A" (not) + "Theos" (Deity) +"ism" (belief). So, yes, on some level it is the opposite of Theism, but the most accurate way to view it is "No belief in a deity." Atheism does not apply to all who are not theist, but rather all who don't believe in a deity."

The suffix -ism has multiple meanings. Alcoholism, for example, is not a belief in alcohol, otherwise the majority of people on this planet would meet the criteria for alcoholism. The suffix -ism has a wide variety of possible meanings. It could indicate an act, process, condition, or a characteristic. Baptism isn't a belief in baptizing, it's an act of baptizing. An organism isn't a belief in organs, it's a life form with the characteristic of having organs. Alcoholism isn't a belief in alcohol, it's a condition of being addicted to alcohol and a process of consuming alcohol to satisfy that addiction.

Regardless, if theism means deity belief and atheism means not deity belief, then atheism means not theism. Thus, if you don't fit in the category of theism, you automatically sift into the category of atheism. You're either a theist or an atheist. This same reasoning applies to symmetry and typicality. A painting is either symmetrical or asymmetrical. If the painting doesn't fit in the category of symmetrical, it is automatically sifted into the category of asymmetrical. A day is either typical or atypical. If a day doesn't fit in the category of typical, it is automatically sifted into the category of atypical. There is no person who is neither theist nor atheist. There is no painting that is neither symmetrical nor asymmetrical. There is no day that is neither typical nor atypical.

You then said, "I'm not entirely sure what the point of saying that Agnostics and Atheists are compatible is, Agnostics and Theists have the same amount of compatibility."

I can only wonder whether you're actually reading what has been said to you. I said agnosticism (a position on an issue)—not agnostics (people)—is compatible with atheism (a position on an issue)—not atheists (people). Please reread what I said earlier because you clearly didn't grasp it.

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natural wrote: Here's one

natural wrote:

Here's one delusional statement: 

Fiserfully wrote:
I'm and epistemological nihilist.

No functioning human can be a true epistemological nihilist. The 'nihilists' I've met so far have all been confused pragmatists. Are you telling us that you do not know anything? If so, then why do you bother writing emails and posts trying to convince anyone of anything? After all, you don't know anything, so why should we listen to you? We have nothing to learn from you.

If you do know some things, then once again, you're not an epistemological nihilist. 

Would the position come down to a stolen concept?


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Fiserfully wrote: Tarpan

Fiserfully wrote:
Tarpan wrote:

You gotta be the nob from jtv last night aren't you? I think you are.

You are using 1 defintiion of the word atheist and making a big deal over semantics.



I'm not sure what jtv is, so no, it wasn't me...however this is the dictionary definition that was listed in the article and you'll find similar definintion in any philosophical textbook or dictionary you look at. You might use the word in some bizarre way, and that's fine, but it doesn't mean you should expect everyone else to understand what your saying.

Also, the word denial is used in the definitions I've read, but I'm not sure exactly waht you think the difference between disbelief and denial of a god is. Either way to be Agnostic is to neither believe nor disbelieve in a god. To be Agnostic, in this context, means you're not sure either way.

There has to be a million of these threads on this forum.

Disbelief, aka "lack of belief", is far different than deny. 


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Fiserfully wrote: Alright,

Fiserfully wrote:


Alright, as I've argued before, there is a middle ground, it's called unsurety.

 

You are wrong.  There is no middle ground.  It's a boolean expression.

If you are unsure, then you "lack belief", if you "lack belief" by definition this is the same as "disbelief" like it or not (and I think this is often mistakenly considered to be not true), that's just the way it is. 

Disbelief is not having a belief regardless of your reasoning.  Ignorance is still a lack of belief.

 


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Tarpan, I just want to

Tarpan, I just want to nit-pick for a moment. Instead of saying lack you should say without because lack has the connotion of a deficiency. Your statement that disbelief is a lack of belief would literally mean disbelief is a deficiency in the sense of not having a desirable belief.

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Visual_Paradox

Visual_Paradox wrote:

Tarpan, I just want to nit-pick for a moment. Instead of saying lack you should say without because lack has the connotion of a deficiency. Your statement that disbelief is a lack of belief would literally mean disbelief is a deficiency in the sense of not having a desirable belief.

Nit-pick all you want, you are wrong though.  To lack something also means to be without something.

In all of these cases these are words that have more than 1 literal meaning.  You will find dictionaries that describe disbelief as "a lack of belief". 

My statement that disbelief is a lack of belief would literally mean that one is "without belief". 


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Dictionaries might include

Dictionaries might include a definition that's synonymous with without because it would help the user understand what someone is saying even though they might be using the wrong words but most definitions refer to deficiency because that is what the word denotes.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lack 

—noun

1. deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable, or customary: lack of money; lack of skill.

2. something missing or needed: After he left, they really felt the lack.

—verb (used with object)

3. to be without or deficient in: to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.

4. to fall short in respect of: He lacks three votes to win.

—verb (used without object)

5. to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable: Three votes are lacking to make a majority.

—Verb phrase

6. lack in, to be short of or deficient in: What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in brawn.

[Origin: 1125–75; ME lak; c. MLG lak, MD lac deficiency; akin to ON lakr deficient]

 Synonyms 1. dearth, scarcity, paucity, deficit, insufficiency. 1, 3. want, need. 3. Lack, want, need, require as verbs all stress the absence of something desirable, important, or necessary. Lack means to be without or to have less than a desirable quantity of something: to lack courage, sufficient money, enough members to make a quorum. Want may imply some urgency in fulfilling a requirement or a desire: Willing workers are badly wanted. The room wants some final touch to make it homey. Need often suggests even more urgency than does want stressing the necessity of supplying what is lacking: to need an operation, better food, a match to light the fire. Require, which expresses necessity as strongly as need, occurs most frequently in serious or formal contexts: Your presence at the hearing is required. Successful experimentation requires careful attention to detail.

—Antonyms 1. surplus. 

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Visual_Paradox

Visual_Paradox wrote:

Dictionaries might include a definition that's synonymous with without because it would help the user understand what someone is saying even though they might be using the wrong words but most definitions refer to deficiency because that is what the word denotes.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lack

—noun

1. deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable, or customary: lack of money; lack of skill.

2. something missing or needed: After he left, they really felt the lack.

—verb (used with object)

3. to be without or deficient in: to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.

4. to fall short in respect of: He lacks three votes to win.

—verb (used without object)

5. to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable: Three votes are lacking to make a majority.

—Verb phrase

6. lack in, to be short of or deficient in: What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in brawn.

[Origin: 1125–75; ME lak; c. MLG lak, MD lac deficiency; akin to ON lakr deficient]

Synonyms 1. dearth, scarcity, paucity, deficit, insufficiency. 1, 3. want, need. 3. Lack, want, need, require as verbs all stress the absence of something desirable, important, or necessary. Lack means to be without or to have less than a desirable quantity of something: to lack courage, sufficient money, enough members to make a quorum. Want may imply some urgency in fulfilling a requirement or a desire: Willing workers are badly wanted. The room wants some final touch to make it homey. Need often suggests even more urgency than does want stressing the necessity of supplying what is lacking: to need an operation, better food, a match to light the fire. Require, which expresses necessity as strongly as need, occurs most frequently in serious or formal contexts: Your presence at the hearing is required. Successful experimentation requires careful attention to detail.

—Antonyms 1. surplus.

 de·fi·cient      /dɪˈfɪʃənt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-fish-uhnt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective

1.lacking some element or characteristic; defective: deficient in taste.

 


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I'm unsure of whether you're

I'm unsure of whether you're agreeing with my argument or trying to rebut it Undecided


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Visual_Paradox wrote: I'm

Visual_Paradox wrote:
I'm unsure of whether you're agreeing with my argument or trying to rebut it Undecided

 

I"m suggesting that my usage was acceptable according to the english language whether it falls under your common usage / interpretation or not.  Deficient or lack, ultimately something that is deficient is lacking.

It's all a big circle of acceptable usage. 


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If deficient means lacking,

If deficient means lacking, what does lacking mean apart from deficiency? It means an absence of something needed, desirable, or customary—something missing, meaning it would ideally be present—to fall short in some respect—something absent, meaning it would ideally be present—the antonym of surplus which would be to fall short in some respect, which means a certain ideal wasn't attained.

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Visual_Paradox wrote: If

Visual_Paradox wrote:
If deficient means lacking, what does lacking mean apart from deficiency? It means an absence of something needed, desirable, or customary—something missing, meaning it would ideally be present—to fall short in some respect—something absent, meaning it would ideally be present—the antonym of surplus which would be to fall short in some respect, which means a certain ideal wasn't attained.
 

 

You're choosing one defenition of the word and ignoring the others because you don't use the word that way.

You pasted it above, "without OR deficient".

You disagree though, and this is going in circles.  You don't think that my use is acceptable, I think that the dictionary shows that my use is acceptable.  I believe it to be acceptable, and I think my point got accross all the same.


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Alright, first off as an

Alright, first off as an epistemilogical nihilist I think (which is different from being sure, I'm not sure this is true, I just think it is) that knowledge is unattainable (this taken from a definition of knowledge that requires some sense of surety). I argue because, according to my belief, no one can attain knowledge, the best we can get is midly educated guesses. So whereas I may not have certain knowledge neither do you. An epitemilogical nihilst who didn't search for knowledge is an idiot, because their belief precludes them of being certain of their belief. So I search for knowledge avidly but do not expect it to appear.

/disbelieve/ 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence
to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the truth or reality of.

 

Whereas your idea of ~B(x) is interesting, the definition given on the webpage in the article seems to indicate that disbelief is B(~x), hence "to refuse credence" and "to reject the truth or reality of." This, obviously, implies a rejection of the said belief. Neither of which an Agnostic does.

Also if you take the literal word Atheism your logic doesn't work. B would be a belief value, x meaning "dieties exist." So Theism would be B(x) (A belief (B) that dieties exist (x)). The Theism though is in the x, not in the B. A (not) + Theos (diety) would then be B(~x), meaning (A Belief (B) that dieties do not exist (~x)).

I think it's kind of ridiculous to say that you can have ~B (no belief, I mean even if you're not sure you still have a belief in that unsurety), so an Agnostics views would be better expressed as B(x XOR ~x) (A belief (B) that either (X in XOR) dieties exist (x) or (OR in XOR) deities do not exist (~x). Which is much different than Atheism (another way to look at Atheism is if "x = deities exist" then it would be NOT (~) Deities exist (x)). Hopefully this is clearer.


Finally, the suffix -ism has many uses as you point out, hence why I said I was using it to mean belief (which is what the ism in Theism or ist is in Theist, if you don't think that...well, I'd be very interested to hear what you belief they mean.)


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Fiserfully wrote:

Fiserfully wrote:


/disbelieve/ 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence
to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the truth or reality of.

 

Whereas your idea of ~B(x) is interesting, the definition given on the webpage in the article seems to indicate that disbelief is B(~x), hence "to refuse credence" and "to reject the truth or reality of." This, obviously, implies a rejection of the said belief. Neither of which an Agnostic does.

Isn't it cute how the dogmatic completely avoid the parts of the arguments that make them look foolish? A real insult to human dignity... you just want to pinch his cheecks and put a sticker on his forehead that says "I am a complete dumbass." 

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This is so ridiculous. It

This is so ridiculous.

It doesn't matter if you are unsure. Even if you are, unless you have an active theistic belief, you are an atheist. Saying that agnostic is a third position to the question of belief is like claiming there's a magical third whole number between zero and 1.

What I'm more interested is in why you insist that you aren't an atheist. What is it that you fear so much ? Do you fear ridicule ? Do you fear that there's some sort of imaginary box that being an atheist/agnostic puts you into ?

I've personaly talked to hundreds of people about this over the last 10 years. Many, ( like Brian for instance ) were able to give up their misconception of what the terms mean and accept the truth and it's rational. Some struggled with it, and those that did almost ALWAYS had the same problem. They feared that calling themselves an atheist meant that they weren't open minded, or they at least feared that others would see them as closed minded. Which is exactly the position theists want you to be in. It helps them to put atheists into an even smaller majority then they already are. It's a lie that many atheists have accepted.

The truth is you can be an atheist and still be unsure. Just like you can be a theist and be unsure. Let go of your preconceived fears. There are people here who will teach you how to deal with rejection and how to let people know that you are open minded and still an atheist. There are people you can meet in your community who will accept you and your lack of belief. We can help you find them. You just have to let go of your fear.

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  Quote: ...if you take

 

Quote:
...if you take the literal word Atheism your logic doesn't work. B would be a belief value, x meaning "dieties exist." So Theism would be B(x) (A belief (B) that dieties exist (x)).

Correct so far.

Quote:
The Theism though is in the x, not in the B.

What? The theism is in the X? This makes no sense. X is a proposition ("a god exists&quotEye-wink in which one either has a belief (B) or does not have a belief (~B). The proposition alone claims no position.

As you agree above, the theists position is B(X) believing in the proposition "a god exists". The atheists position is ~B(X) or B(~X), either not believing in the proposition "a god exists" (weak atheism) or believing in the proposition "no god exists/a god does not exist" (strong atheism).

Quote:
A (not) + Theos (diety) would then be B(~x), meaning (A Belief (B) that dieties do not exist (~x)).

That would be a strong atheists position.

Quote:
I think it's kind of ridiculous to say that you can have ~B (no belief, I mean even if you're not sure you still have a belief in that unsurety),

We aren't discussing beliefs in unsurety (whatever kind of goofed up epistemic position that is).

You seem to equate the statement "I don't believe X" with the statement "X is false". These statements, though, are clearly not synonymous. I can show you many instances where you very probably won't believe a proposition, or hold a belief in its truth, but it is still possibly true. "UFOs visit earth 3,000 times a day", for instance. I don't believe this statement is true, but that says nothing as to whether or not it is possibly true.

Quote:
so an Agnostics views would be better expressed as B(x XOR ~x) (A belief (B) that either (X in XOR) dieties exist (x) or (OR in XOR) deities do not exist (~x).

So you have a belief in a tautology? Freaky. I would go ahead and claim knowledge of that if I were you. No need to stop at mere belief.

Quote:
Which is much different than Atheism (another way to look at Atheism is if "x = deities exist" then it would be NOT (~) Deities exist (x)). Hopefully this is clearer.

It was definitely interesting.

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Tarpan, you said, "You're

Tarpan, you said, "You're choosing one defenition of the word and ignoring the others because you don't use the word that way." Actually I am choosing 5 of the 6 definitions that coincide and match the etymological meaning of the word. You're choosing 1 of the 6 definitions that strays from the word's etymological meaning which only exists in dictionaries because it helps you understand what someone means when they don't use the word lack correctly.

(I apologize to everyone who don't understand logical notation because it could get messy here on out. This might be a good time to start learning it though. It may seem convoluted at first but once you understand how it's used you can use it to think more clearly because it eliminates most ambiguities in regular writing.)

Fiserfully, you said, "Whereas your idea of ~B(x) is interesting, the definition given on the webpage in the article seems to indicate that disbelief is B(~x), hence "to refuse credence" and "to reject the truth or reality of." This, obviously, implies a rejection of the said belief." The definition also includes "not to believe." Thus, in the context of the word atheist it would mean "not to believe in the existence of deity." This can be expressed as ~B(x). To "reject the truth or reality of" the existence of deity would be expressed as B(~x). As I argued earlier, B(~x) is just one form of ~B(x) but there are other forms.

Fiserfully, you said, "Also if you take the literal word Atheism your logic doesn't work. B would be a belief value, x meaning "dieties exist." So Theism would be B(x) (A belief (B) that dieties exist (x)). The Theism though is in the x, not in the B. A (not) + Theos (diety) would then be B(~x), meaning (A Belief (B) that dieties do not exist (~x))."

The prefix a- means not, hence atheism means not-theism. This means all positions with regard to X (god) that would not qualify as theism would, by definition, qualify as atheism. Hence it necessarily follows that ~B(x) and B(~x) are forms of atheism. As I illustrated earlier, B(~x) is just one of the various forms that ~B(x) can take, so we can disregard it for our purposes. Hence it necessarily follows that theism is B(x) and atheism is ~B(x).

Fiserfully, you said, "I think it's kind of ridiculous to say that you can have ~B (no belief, I mean even if you're not sure you still have a belief in that unsurety)".

I didn't say ~B, I said ~B(x). To say ~B in this context is to imply that you lack belief in anything you place within its parenthesis—i.e., ~B(a), ~B(c), ~B(d), and so on. I wasn't referring to every conceivable variable, only X as it was defined. If you interpreted my statement as meaning ~B as applying to all conceivable variables, please reread what I wrote. I was specifically referring to ~B(x).

If you're unsure, you will believe that your current knowledge set leaves uncertainty. Assuming you meant to say "no belief in X ... you still have a belief in that unsurety" then that position would be written as: B(x XOR ~x) ^ ~B(x).

(For those unfamiliar with logical notation, ^ means "and".)

As I argued earlier, theism is B(x) so atheism is necessarily ~B(x), which means the position you've described, B(x XOR ~x) ^ ~B(x), would be placed in the category of atheism. In fact, that's essentially my position.

Fiserfully, you said, "so an Agnostics views would be better expressed as B(x XOR ~x) (A belief (B) that either (X in XOR) dieties exist (x) or (OR in XOR) deities do not exist (~x)."

You could express it that way.

Fiserfully, you said, "Which is much different than Atheism (another way to look at Atheism is if "x = deities exist" then it would be NOT (~) Deities exist (x)). Hopefully this is clearer."

I agree that it's not the same as atheism but I disagree with the definition of atheism you're using. You are defining atheism as B(~X). The problem with your definition is that it's overly narrow. Theos-ism means deity-belief. In logical notation that would be: B(x). Because the prefix a- in the word atheist stands for negation, not(deity-belief), so we just need to add a negation symbol at the beginning of the notation to derive the meaning of atheism, which would be ~B(x).

As I shown earlier, B(~x) necessitates ~B(x) so it qualifies as a form of atheism but it's not the only kind of atheism. Negative atheism or weak atheism includes the positions of ignorance about the idea of X, noncognitivism (the position of having heard about X but thinking X is meaningless), and a general absence of belief like the B(x XOR ~x) ^ ~B(x) position. All of those positions would qualify as atheism.

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Here's an interesting

Here's an interesting article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy I found that addresses this pretty thoroughly: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

This tries to show the differences between an Agnostic and an Atheist.  Though, as I've said, I think in general in the philosophical community it is assumed that theism is an acceptance and atheism is a rejection of the existence of a diety, whereas Agnostics suspend judgement (the word disbelieve, I think, in modern parlance, implies rejections).  This also describes why someone would choose to call themselves Agnostic over Atheist (look up the philosoher T. H. Huxley, who first coined the word).


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The Stanford Encyclopedia

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is mistaken in their definition of atheism. They are restraining the definition to B(~X) which I've already shown to be wrong. The definition of atheism I provided has been used for at least 230 years and is still in common use today in addition to being deductively true. That the philosophical community may disagree with the definition I provided is irrelevant. Appeals to authority is logically fallacious. Furthermore, even if they did disagree they would be wrong to do so.

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Fiserfully wrote: Alright,

Fiserfully wrote:

Alright, first off as an epistemilogical nihilist I think (which is different from being sure, I'm not sure this is true, I just think it is) that knowledge is unattainable (this taken from a definition of knowledge that requires some sense of surety).

You will be hard pressed to find a dictionary (or even a philosophy text) that supports your narrow view of knowledge. It's strange that you have to keep qualifying it with 'sure' or 'certain'. If those are implied by the definition, why qualify your usage? The fact is that knowledge does not have to be 100% certain to qualify as knowledge. I know that the sun exists, just as you know it, even if you're unwilling to admit it. If you did not know that the ground existed, you would not be willing to get up and stand up in the morning. You know millions of things. You are simply too narrow-minded in your definition of the word to admit it.

Quote:
I argue because, according to my belief, no one can attain knowledge, the best we can get is midly educated guesses.

Do you think it's a 'mildly educated guess' that you exist? How about that I exist? Wouldn't you say it's at least 99.99999999% certain that you exist? Is there any point in doubting it on a day-to-day basis?

Quote:
So whereas I may not have certain knowledge neither do you.

I agree that I do not have 100% certain knowledge of anything. And yet I do know some things. That is why I'm an epistemological pragmatist. And you are too, albeit a confused one. 

Quote:
An epitemilogical nihilst who didn't search for knowledge is an idiot

Can you read what you wrote there? You're searching for something you supposedly think cannot be found. This kind of mind-bending is required by so-called nihilists because it is founded on a whim. 

Quote:
So I search for knowledge avidly but do not expect it to appear.

Why bother? Why don't you just lay in bed and fantasize for the rest of your life? If knowledge is impossible, they are functionally equivalent.

The reason you search for knowledge is that there are some useful things to know. That's pragmatism, not nihilism. 

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Natural, Wow, okay.

Natural,

Wow, okay. Knowledge is generally defined (within a philosophical context) as a Justified True Belief. The Truth value (which is a binary value) is hard to come by, and it's also hard to figure out how a belief can be justified. Many people have tried to explain knowledge in a way that allows for uncertainty, but they've always ran into problems, generally huge problems.

I believe knowledge cannot be had with certainty, so whereas I think there is a thing as knowledge I don't think it's very reliable (so to the layman I don't believe knowledge is attainable, because most peoples definition inlcludes some form of certainty).

I do believe things can be more or less likely, but one can only gauge that with a shotgun blast and even then it's unlikely we're anywhere near right (because of all we can "know" is what we perceive and there could be many more factors than we perceive). So, in essence, the astute philosopher has no real certainty of anything, or anything near that.

I'm not sure if I exist, I think it's more likely than that you exist, but I'm uncertain of what the difference in probability is. I know something exists on some level because I perceive things, but I could be puppet of someone else (and thus no real me exists), or this could be a dream and you're just in my head. I don't know if this world exists, but I still play by the rules because it "seems" to exist. I would suggest reading Metaphysics texts, Kant, and many many other philosophers for more information about uncertainty.

So, yes, on some level I do know things, such as, in this world, whatever it is, most of the time when I drop a ball it falls. I trust in that on some level, but I don't know with certainty that the ball exists or that it must fall everytime I drop it. To claim such knowledge is ignorance. Though it sounds like you have a fairly limited understanding of logic. I would imagine that you're basing most of what your talking about on empirical data, which (as I hope you know) is based on perceptions which are easy to distrust (just think of dreams, halucinigens, or in general that we're limited to only perceiving a few dimensions).

I think you have a fair amount of pride, or ignorance, to think you know anything with 99.99999% accuracy.

As for your comment on searching for knowledge...I'd suggest you reread what I wrote. As I said, my belief in uncertainty precludes me from being certain of my belief. So, though I doubt sure knowledge can be attainable I still look in the off chance that it is. Because I'd hate to miss out. Of course some uncertain knowledge can help me interact with what I perceive to be real right now, so that's good also.

Finally, I know there are many bs nihilists (and might I add I have specifically said I'm and epistemilogical nihilist, I am not any other form of nihilist), I'm not even a complete Epistemilogical Nihilist, I believe there is some certain knowledge (namely A Priori, or pure logic). Unfortunately it's hard to prove much but mathematical principles and numbers using A Priori logic. Either way though, just because you have some inflated view or how much you know, or you have met some flaky nihilists, that doesn't mean the tenets aren't valid.

What I have found, is that the more I learn about thinking and knowledge, the more I read about Metaphysics and Epsitemology, the more I realize how little I know and how little surety I can have (hence the post-modern era). I think that if you took any of your beliefs in which you have 99.9999% certainty and really examined them, included factors for things beyond your perceptions and the other possibilities, that you'd find you'd be lucky to have 50% certainty. This, of course, precluding certainty in certain abstract concepts (such as math and numbers). I think that if you took some time to think over it you'd find the mind-bending was more in believing you have certainty than accepting that you have none.


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Visual_Paradox...okay, so

Visual_Paradox...okay, so the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is mistaken and you just happen to be right...okay. I would like to see some links or sources for this, but I think you'll find most of the philosophical community uses the same idea of Agnosticism and Atheism as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, but if you want to reject that...fine. I also think the general connotation to the word disbelief in the context of an idea is to reject an idea, not to simply have no opinion on it. I think that's even shown in the definition we've been throwing around.

But here's another go at getting you to understand the difference. I am an Agnostic, I have a 50% belief in the existence of gods. I think it's just as likely as there being no gods, so I think the probability is 50%, hence I believe in them at about a 50% mark. I think the defintion you're running from says that an Atheist and an Agnostic only have a 0% belief. I guess here's my question, if I hold a 50% belief in some form of gods, then what am I? I don't entirely belief in gods, but I don't disbelieve in them either.

You might argue that beliefs are binary, but I think that narrows it down way more than you might want. Here's an idea. I'm a Davist, meaning I have a friend named Dave and I believe that he exists. You have never met Dave and then therefore do not know if he exists or not, so you do not know if Dave exists. Does this make you an A-davist? Do you disbelieve in the existence of Dave? This raises two important point, I think.

The first is that, in the way people use the word, disbelief implies a negation. You might find one part of a dictionary definition that kind of supports what you want to believe, but that doesn't mean it's the general definition (I believe you argued with someone earlier in this thread about this). If I told the average person that I disbelieved what they said to me, or disbelieved that their car was red, then they would take that as me believing against either, rather than just lacking a belief one way or another. I think this is fairly obvious. Hence if I were to say I disbelieved in a god, most people would assume I was saying I specifically didn't believe in him.

The second point is that even taking your strange version of the word disbelief you can't say beliefs have to be binary. I don't think you would neccesarily lack a belief in Dave, I think you'd be somewhere uncomfortably in the middle. To say you had no belief in Dave wouldn't be true because you probably thought it was very possible Dave existed, but to say you believed in Dave wouldn't really be true either because you had no evidence to show Dave existed. You would be stuck somewhere in the middle, only holding part of a belief.


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First, I'm curious as to why

First, I'm curious as to why you want to rant at people via email and then complain about an entire website slighting you at the same time.

* So what if you have an IQ of 140? The IQ standard is post-facto normalized, it's a shitty thing to use to bolster your credibility.

* Oh gee, you've studied philosophy. That's nice. And that bolsters your arguments how? If you're so insistent that somebody was wrong for dismissing you based off of credibility or something, why do you keep trying to fix it?

* I'm saying this to you and also to most people on this forum: learn to sue some fucking bbcode and use the quotes!!

* dictionary.com may not be christian, but like the dictionaries it is sourced from, it shows christian biases when it skews epistemology when it comes to certain topics. Look at how it defined disbelief.

dictionary wrote:
/disbelieve/ 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence
to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the truth or reality of.


According to your dictionary source, it is implied that something has to be true or real for another person to not believe in it. It does this in the last part, "to reject the truth or reality of" without putting the appropriate "alleged" before "truth" and "reality." By that definition, everything is true and everything is real. It's for that reason that simple looking things up in the dictionary cannot count as research. Nor does looking something up in an encyclopedia. If you were in college and all you did was quote dictionaries and encyclopedias you'd be failed in no time. So in fact... you didn't do any research. Instead you looked up a reference tool that's summarized a search for you already. It's called re-search. You have to do it again for yourself.


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(1) The prefix a- in the

(1) The prefix a- in the English language means "not"
(2) Atheism is a combination of the word theism and the prefix a-
(3) Atheism means not-theism (from 1-2)
(4) If atheism means not-theism, any position pertaining to deity belief that is not-theism is atheism
(5) Any position pertaining to deity belief that is not-theism is atheism (from 3-4)
(6) If premises 1 and 2 are true, the conclusion in premise 3 necessarily follows
(7) Premise 1 is true
(Cool Premise 2 is true
(9) Therefore, the conclusion in premise 3 necessarily follows (from 6-8).
(10) If the conclusion in premise 3 necessarily follows, premise 3 is true.
(11) Premise 3 is true (from 9-10)
(12) Premise 4 is true
(13) If premises 3 and 4 are true, the conclusion in 5 necessarily follows
(14) The conclusion in 5 necessarily follows
(15) If the conclusion in 5 necessarily follows, the conclusion in 5 is true.
(16) The conclusion in 5 is true (from 14-15)
(17) Any position pertaining to deity belief that is not theism is atheism (from 16)

Period.

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Fiserfully wrote:

Fiserfully wrote:

Theism is "Theos" (Greek for deity) + "ism" (making it a belief), so Atheism doesn't exactly mean "A" + "Theism", it actually is saying "A" (not) + "Theos" (Deity) +"ism" (belief). So, yes, on some level it is the opposite of Theism, but the most accurate way to view it is "No belief in a deity." Atheism does not apply to all who are not theist, but rather all who don't believe in a deity. You may be saying the same thing, but your wording seems unclear. So, if you break down the words, that is what they mean.

And the above is a perfect example of what it means to pull etymology out of your ass hole.

To start, Theism is an English word created after the French atheismé and athée came into English. You are at least correct about the term's component parts. Deism was created shortly after and I believe it meant what we consider theism to mean presently before the modern deist philosophical position was enunciated.

A translation of the word atheism into English from Greek is the second error and it is unhelpful to explain the meaning of a word by breaking down it's 'Greek' components, just as how in many English words that contain roots plus affixes the actually meaning of the word cannot be gathered from the meaning of the component pieces.

Atheism came into English from French, not Greek. The word Atheism is not a Greek word or a cognate of a Greek word! It came into English from the French athéisme and after the French athée (atheist), which came into French from Greek. Atheist in English would not have been a word that anyone would have wanted to associate with when it first entered the language, it was essentially an insult and no one would have wanted to be accused of Atheism and that is amply evident in the writings of the time wherein atheistic authors avoided at all costs (even at the cost of intellectual honesty) being implicated as atheists or in atheism. It's also important to note that the Greek word which came into French underwent a few changes in meaning in Greek at different times meaning impious and godless. The English words which are actually definitionally connected to the Greek atheos and atheotes are ungodly and ungodliness.

The modern meaning of the word Atheist is one who has a non-belief in or a denial of the existence of god(s).

Fisherfully wrote:

Also, remember, any Agnostic (aside from an Agnostic Atheist of course) does not disbelieve in some form of deity, but rather their position on knowledge precludes them from making a decision about the existence of a deity. It seems as if you, and many others who've responded, think there are only two possible positions: Belief and Disbelief. But remember, this is also unsurety. An Agnostic that does not lean towards one belief or another would not discount Theism or Atheism (as I have not, I think both are very possible).

And here you're just plain wrong. Very simply if you cannot say that you believe in a god then you are Atheist. The term only means non-belief in god or denial of the existence of god. You can tell yourself you aren't Atheist all you like, but if you have not got a god belief, regardless of whether you think knowledge of a god can be had or not, you are Atheist.

You could be an agnostic Atheist depending on the god claim you have a non-belief about. You could be Atheist. You could even use weak and strong Atheist. You could be an agnostic theist. You could be a theist. You could be deist and it might be argued that you'd have to be agnostic. You could be a combination of some of those and I'm sure more that I haven't written down. What you cannot be is not a theist/deist and not not Atheist. it is not a position at all. It does not exist. If you don't believe in something, you don't believe in something. It cannot be that you don't believe in something and also don't believe that you don't believe.

Fisherfully wrote:

I'm not entirely sure what the point of saying that Agnostics and Atheists are compatible is, Agnostics and Theists have the same amount of compatibility.

I don't know what the point in writing anything you've written so far is. But, wow! You're right. There can be agnostic theists!

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Visual_Paradox wrote: (1)

Visual_Paradox wrote:
(1) The prefix a- in the English language means "not"
(2) Atheism is a combination of the word theism and the prefix a-
(3) Atheism means not-theism (from 1-2)
(4) If atheism means not-theism, any position pertaining to deity belief that is not-theism is atheism
(5) Any position pertaining to deity belief that is not-theism is atheism (from 3-4)
(6) If premises 1 and 2 are true, the conclusion in premise 3 necessarily follows
(7) Premise 1 is true
(Cool Premise 2 is true
(9) Therefore, the conclusion in premise 3 necessarily follows (from 6-8).
(10) If the conclusion in premise 3 necessarily follows, premise 3 is true.
(11) Premise 3 is true (from 9-10)
(12) Premise 4 is true
(13) If premises 3 and 4 are true, the conclusion in 5 necessarily follows
(14) The conclusion in 5 necessarily follows
(15) If the conclusion in 5 necessarily follows, the conclusion in 5 is true.
(16) The conclusion in 5 is true (from 14-15)
(17) Any position pertaining to deity belief that is not theism is atheism (from 16)

Period.

In 'spirit' you're right, but you're entirely wrong with (1) through (5) because Atheism is not an affix plus a root.  It is a root.  Read above.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Aerik wrote: * Oh gee,

Aerik wrote:

* Oh gee, you've studied philosophy. That's nice. And that bolsters your arguments how? If you're so insistent that somebody was wrong for dismissing you based off of credibility or something, why do you keep trying to fix it?

I believe he's studied philosophy, I also believe he doesn't understand it.  Studying philosophy doesn't make one a philosopher just like going to a garage doesn't make you a car.

 

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Fiserfully

Fiserfully wrote:

Visual_Paradox...okay, so the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is mistaken and you just happen to be right...okay. I would like to see some links or sources for this, but I think you'll find most of the philosophical community uses the same idea of Agnosticism and Atheism as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, but if you want to reject that...fine.

Use the OED, not a Philosophy dictionary.  Furthermore you already had the source, I believe you've been shown it at a minimum of three times, but since you are a dogmatic adherent, you have avoided it as it doesn't fit your preconceived misinformed worldview.

 

Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition

Here is how the OED defines atheism:

atheism Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god.

disbelieve 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the truth or reality of.

deny

  1. To contradict or gainsay (anything stated or alleged); to declare to be untrue or untenable, or not what it is stated to be.
  2. Logic. The opposite of affirm; to assert the contradictory of (a proposition).
  3. To refuse to admit the truth of (a doctrine or tenet); to reject as untrue or unfounded; the opposite of assert or maintain.
  4. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge (a person or thing) as having a certain character or certain claims; to disown, disavow, repudiate, renounce.

Note that the OED definition covers the whole spectrum of atheist belief, from weak atheism (those who do not believe in or credit the existence of one or more gods) to strong atheism (those who assert the contrary position, that a god does not exist).

Here is the OED's definition of 'agnostic':

agnostic A. sb. One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing.

It is interesting to compare this to Huxley's definition.

Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary Unabridged

Here is Webster's definition of atheism:

atheism n 1 a: disbelief in the existence of God or any other deity b: the doctrine that there is neither god nor any other deity--compare AGNOSTICISM 2: godlessness esp. in conduct

disbelief n: the act of disbelieving : mental refusal to accept (as a statement or proposition) as true

disbelieve vb vt : to hold not to be true or real : reject or withold belief in vi : to withold or reject belief

Note that again, both strong (1b) and weak (1a) atheism are included in the definition.

 

 

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Thanks, Sapient. It's also

Thanks, Sapient. It's also important to note in Sapient's posts and in the definitions anyone will find in a credible dictionary that Atheism/Atheist is never defined as a 'lack' of (theistic) belief. That sort of definition should be an instant indicator that the source is ascribing to a false etymology of the terms and is, as such, entirely incorrect. I believe there are also important implications philosophically when there is a 'lack' of belief as opposed to a disbelief in or a non-belief in or a denial of X.

edit:

I'm working on something that I'll post either as a blog or as a thread that will be a complete etymology of atheist, atheism and related terms as well as their accepted definitions and historical uses.  Hopefully it will be a useful resource to avoid these kinds of debates, or at least make them more efficient to fight.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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exactly.

exactly.


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Fiserfully

Fiserfully wrote:

Natural,

Wow, okay. Knowledge is generally defined (within a philosophical context) as a Justified True Belief. The Truth value (which is a binary value) is hard to come by

I notice you put capital letters on those words. That's very telling. 

Quote:
, and it's also hard to figure out how a belief can be justified. Many people have tried to explain knowledge in a way that allows for uncertainty, but they've always ran into problems, generally huge problems.

Not pragmatists. Capital T Truth cannot be known, since it presumes absolute certainty, but little t truths can be known. Instead of thinking of truth as being writing in stone, think of truth like an arrow. If an arrow is true, and it is aimed properly, it will strike its target with some good reliability. However, if the arrow is not true, then no matter how well you aim, the arrow is unlikely to strike its target.

Truth is about predictions (targets). I can predict with incredible accuracy the time that the sun will rise tomorrow, if I follow the calculations (aim) correctly. The arrow/theory which allows the most accurate predictions is the most true. This is the fundamental idea behind science. The heliocentric theory of the solar system is therefore more true than the geocentric theory, since the heliocentric theory makes better predictions. 

Quote:
I believe knowledge cannot be had with certainty, so whereas I think there is a thing as knowledge I don't think it's very reliable

If you think there's such a thing as knowledge, however uncertain, you're not a nihilist.

Quote:
(so to the layman I don't believe knowledge is attainable, because most peoples definition inlcludes some form of certainty).

Most laypeople haven't thought about it much. 

Quote:
I do believe things can be more or less likely, but one can only gauge that with a shotgun blast and even then it's unlikely we're anywhere near right (because of all we can "know" is what we perceive and there could be many more factors than we perceive). So, in essence, the astute philosopher has no real certainty of anything, or anything near that.

This line of reasoning is easily beaten by the incredible accuracy of many scientific predictions.  

Quote:
I know something exists on some level because I perceive things, but I could be puppet of someone else (and thus no real me exists), or this could be a dream and you're just in my head.

This is where Occam's Razor comes in. The theory with the fewest unnecessary assumptions is to be preferred. 

Quote:
I don't know if this world exists, but I still play by the rules because it "seems" to exist. I would suggest reading Metaphysics texts, Kant, and many many other philosophers for more information about uncertainty.

I would suggest reading someone more current, like Karl Popper. 

Quote:
So, yes, on some level I do know things, such as, in this world, whatever it is, most of the time when I drop a ball it falls. I trust in that on some level, but I don't know with certainty that the ball exists or that it must fall everytime I drop it.

So, you are a pragmatist, not a nihilist. 

Quote:
To claim such knowledge is ignorance.

Pragmatists don't claim absolute knowledge.

Quote:
Though it sounds like you have a fairly limited understanding of logic.

Riiiiight. You're the one who thinks he's a nihilist.

Quote:
I would imagine that you're basing most of what your talking about on empirical data, which (as I hope you know) is based on perceptions which are easy to distrust (just think of dreams, halucinigens, or in general that we're limited to only perceiving a few dimensions).

Nope, I'm basing it on predictions.

Quote:
I think you have a fair amount of pride, or ignorance, to think you know anything with 99.99999% accuracy.

Scientists regularly make predictions with more accuracy than that. It takes a fair amount of ignorance not to know that.

Quote:
As for your comment on searching for knowledge...I'd suggest you reread what I wrote. As I said, my belief in uncertainty precludes me from being certain of my belief. So, though I doubt sure knowledge can be attainable I still look in the off chance that it is. Because I'd hate to miss out. Of course some uncertain knowledge can help me interact with what I perceive to be real right now, so that's good also.

My comment about searching for knowledge was to show that you're really a pragmatist, and your last sentence just confirms that. 

Quote:
Finally, I know there are many bs nihilists (and might I add I have specifically said I'm and epistemilogical nihilist, I am not any other form of nihilist), I'm not even a complete Epistemilogical Nihilist, I believe there is some certain knowledge (namely A Priori, or pure logic). Unfortunately it's hard to prove much but mathematical principles and numbers using A Priori logic. Either way though, just because you have some inflated view or how much you know, or you have met some flaky nihilists, that doesn't mean the tenets aren't valid.

You haven't changed my opnion about nihilists at all. You've only confirmed it.

Quote:
What I have found, is that the more I learn about thinking and knowledge, the more I read about Metaphysics and Epsitemology, the more I realize how little I know and how little surety I can have (hence the post-modern era). I think that if you took any of your beliefs in which you have 99.9999% certainty and really examined them, included factors for things beyond your perceptions and the other possibilities, that you'd find you'd be lucky to have 50% certainty.

You really are confused. Ever heard of a margin of error? Seriously, read some philosophy of science instead of whatever crap you've been reading. We are WAAAY beyond 50% certainty. Even playing a game of poker should teach you that. Get back in the real world instead of your nihilist fantasy.

Quote:
This, of course, precluding certainty in certain abstract concepts (such as math and numbers). I think that if you took some time to think over it you'd find the mind-bending was more in believing you have certainty than accepting that you have none.

I don't believe I have certainty (absolute anyway). And if you want mind-bending, try learning some quantum physics or relativity or evolution. Far more amazing than your brain-in-a-vat thought experiments. 

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Thomathy wrote: In 'spirit'

Thomathy wrote:
In 'spirit' you're right, but you're entirely wrong with (1) through (5) because Atheism is not an affix plus a root. It is a root. Read above.


The English atheism is derived from the French atheisme, which was coined by conjoining the Greek root word theos with the two Greek affixes a- and -isma. The English theism was coined by conjoining the Greek root word theos with the Greek affix -isma. Ultimately, they both go back to the same Greek but atheism has an additional affix. My argument only concerned that additional affix, so I see no problem with the argument in that respect besides poor wording.



A graver problem with my argument (besides its redundancy) was a use of the etymological fallacy. I needed to establish that the current meaning agrees with the etymological meaning for my argument to be valid. Providing that many citations would make the argument itself completely redundant and pointless though. As such, throw that argument in the trash.

I'll just present the definition of atheism I use and provide citations that agree with it: Atheism means Without Deity Belief [1-23].

[1] Good Sense (1772) by Baron d'Holbach. "All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God." This isn't a dictionary or encyclopedia but Baron d'Holbach was one of the first self-avowed atheists in the world, a philosopher, an encyclopedist who helped create the French Encylopedie which would inspire the creation of Encyclopedia Britannica, and was known as one of the most virtuous of men by people like Thomas Jefferson. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a more trust-worthy and authoritative source for this time period.

 2] A Biblical and Theological Dictionary (1856)
 3] Webster's International Dictionary of the English Language (1903)
 4] Everybody's Dictionary (1912)
[5] Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
[6] The New Century Dictionary (1927)
[7] Wester’s 20th Century Dictionary (1933)
[8] Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary (1942)
[9] Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary (1943)
[10] The Winston Dictionary (1943)
[11] Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language (1947)
[12] Webster's Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary (1957)
[13] Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary (1980)
[14] New Dictionary of Religions (1995)
[15] The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion (1995)
[16] Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2001)
[17] Microsoft Encarta 2008 Dictionary (2007)
[18] Oxford English Dictionary (2007)
[19] Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (2007)
[20] Yourdictionary.com (2007)
[21] Dictionary.com (2007)
[22] Dict.org (2007)
[23] M-W.com (2007)

 

http://atheism.about.com/od/definitionofatheism/a/dict_online.htm
http://atheism.about.com/od/definitionofatheism/a/reference_books.htm
http://atheism.about.com/od/definitionofatheism/a/dict_standard_4.htm
http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/gsens10.txt (complete translation of "Good Sense" by Baron d'Holbach, fairly large)

 

Thomathy wrote:
I'm working on something that I'll post either as a blog or as a thread that will be a complete etymology of atheist, atheism and related terms as well as their accepted definitions and historical uses. Hopefully it will be a useful resource to avoid these kinds of debates, or at least make them more efficient to fight.


I would love such an article, assuming that it's thorough. I have a very short article on my blog about it but it's not thorough at all and has a factual error in it that I simply haven't gotten around to fixing. To provide some help, I've translated a part of the French Wikipedia:Atheism article good enough that it's meaning can be comprehended without much effort because it contains some information that the English article doesn't have...

The French Wikipedia Article wrote:
The word atheism appears in the 16th century. The first mention is made in the text of François de Billon in the impregnable Fort of the honor of the female sex in 1555. It then indicates the unbelief of people. It derives from the atheistic word and the suffix -ism and thus qualifies as "the doctrines of the atheist." The atheistic word (in its French version) also stretches back to the 16th century. The first mention was by François Rabelais in Letter with Erasme on December 1532. The word is composed of the privative prefix a, meaning without, and the Greek radical théos, meaning god, and comes from the meaning at Plato of the Greek adjective atheos [?? (Anger décl.)] "which does not believe in the gods [of the Greeks]." It would later be taken again in Christian Latin as atheos, "which does not believe in the God [of the Bible]." Pay attention to how "atheist" wasn't written or said because the word didn't exist yet.

Before acquiring its current direction, the atheistic word had a number of different uses, which are not used anymore. According to Emile Littré, "the Greeks distinguished the atheistic first names (Plato, for example) and the first names of théophores (for example Dionysos)". An "atheistic" first name is thus simply a "laic" first name which does not refer to the religion. Formerly, in Europe, the Christian Church called atheists those who did not completely respect its dogmas. The term, then, is obviously pejorative, a connotation which it officially lost since, although one observes a resurgence of anti-atheism at some believing (?) 1. In Smyrna in 167 C.E., a Christian named Polycarp, refusing to pay homage to the emporer then divinized, lives himself to propose the choice between roughing-hew it or shouting publicly, "Dead with the atheists." Polycarp was carried out, but by stating clearly that these were its indicters it clearly was pejorative.

The diversity of the possible definitions of the divinity generates ambiguities in the field of the concept of atheism: a belief will be compatible or not with the atheism according to whether its object is or considered as a divinity. According to authors', the phenomena rejected by the atheists will be able to go from the figure of personified God, like that of the Christian religion, with the existence of any spiritual, supernatural reality or transcendantale, as one can find some in the hindouism or Buddhism. Atheism can be definite A minimum like the absence of belief in gods. This negative definition also includes those which do not have this belief by defect, like the new born ones for example. Of holbach in 1722 noted that "all the children are born atheistic; they do not have an idea of God ". This simple absence of belief is described as implicit atheism. Conversely, explicit atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of any divinity whereas one is informed of the existence of such beliefs. In this article, the atheism term generally refers to explicit atheism. Lastly, one speaks sometimes about positive atheism to indicate the assertion of the inexistence of any divinity, and negative atheism when it acts of a simple absence of belief. In this direction, agnosticism is a form of negative atheism.


The Polycarp information was taken from "The Martyrdom of Polycarp": http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/martyrdompolycarp.html 

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adams_antics
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This is an amazingly long

This is an amazingly long discussion which could have ended with only a few rational responses.  This is really over semantics.  If you think of "atheism" is the disbelief in god, then fiser is right.  If you think of "atheism" as not believing in god, fiser is wrong.  it's that simple.

I consider atheism to be a branch in a tree structure.  For example, you have theists and atheists.  Under theists, you have abrahamic and non-abrahamic.  Under atheists, you have agnostics, nihilists, etc.. like this:

1. Theist

    a. Abrahamic

        1. Christians

        2. Muslims

        3. Jews

    b. Non-abrahamic 

        1. other crap here

2. Atheist 

    a. Agnostic

    b. Nihilist

        1. Epistemological Nihilist

...etc.. 

If you examine closely, you will see that fiser is in fact an atheist, but prefers to be more accurately classified.  Of course this is just my opinion, so my only reference is that i said it and i'm smart .

 I was one who claimed to be "agnostic" for a while because I could not prove god did not exist.  I was also afraid to consider myself atheist because the negative connotation.  Now I realize that I do not believe in god, therefore i'm atheist.  I am still somewhat agnostic, humanist, and nihilist, but I prefer atheist as an easy  generalization.


dave805
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My Rational Responce to

My Rational Responce to this.... Tool

 

If your going to argue symantics stop wasting our time, People with much higher IQ then you have tried it before and failed.  


Visual_Paradox
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Quote: If you think of

Quote:
If you think of "atheism" is the disbelief in god, then fiser is right. If you think of "atheism" as not believing in god, fiser is wrong.

 "Not believing" is disbelieving.

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!