Ahteists Believe in Not Believing...

Thomathy
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Ahteists Believe in Not Believing...

aelf wrote:
To be atheist, you have to believe that there is no god. That is also a belief. There is no such thing as a no-belief... I believe I single-handedly became the first person to successfully argue that atheism is a religion.

Sharwood wrote:
Great Librarian, aelf has beaten me to it. There ARE contingent beliefs necessary to be an atheist. Non-belief is a belief. If I do not believe in Santa Clause, that is both a non-belief - in Santa Clause - and a belief - in the non-belief of Santa Clause. To say otherwise requires what I like to call, bullsh*t logic. That is, logic that is total bullsh*t.

Tell me whether Atheists have a belief in non-belief.  Also, tell me whether Atheists are members of the religion of Atheism.  These asshats (from another forum) seems to think so, and they seem to think my logic is shoddy.  I'm asking the kind people here to rebut their arguments, which literally consist of these few statements.  I actually took the time before becoming bored and disengaged to argue and even directed them here, to people who would care more and argue better than me, when I was that I had run away and that they, by default, had won.

Have fun!

 

Edit: added this in for more fun!

propagandist wrote:
It's been addressed, but let me try my hand at convincing GL.

Are you telling me you do not believe in God? But you don't not have a belief that there is no God? So,you lack a belief in God, yet you do not believe that there is no God?

I myself am an atheist. So, none of the members here are trying to convert you or anything. The point is, do Christians believe there is a God? Yes. Atheists believe that they are wrong. We believe that there is no God.

From a completely objective view, atheism could be wrong. Deity-worship may be wrong, on the other hand. So it is a matter of belief on both sides.

For example, you flip a coin. A religious person calls "tails" before it lands. You call "heads" before it lands. Due to some factors, you each believe, albeit in different outcomes, that the coin will land and lie with your respective sides up. Can the coin land on its edge? That's the position you are taking right now. You have chosen a non-choice. There is a "you believe in God" and a "you don't believe in God." There is no "you don't believe."

Or, take binary for example. You have 0 and 1. You cannot have anything else.

Or a true or false question. God is real. True or false? A Christian would answer true because he believes in God. Compare: God is fake. True or false? How would an atheist answer? And why? (Hint: parallel structure with the previous T/F question)

Obviously, I said I have a non-belief in god(s) and not any of the other stuff he's made up.  Is non-belief a belief?  And how can it be articulated accurately that it is not without getting retarded responses like this if it is not?

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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Quote:I believe I

Quote:

I believe I single-handedly became the first person to successfully argue that atheism is a religion.

Even given his premise, this is a non sequitor. He's moved from the assertion "atheism is a belief" to "atheism is a religion". While religious assertions may be a subset of possible beliefs about the nature of reality, a religion is not defined as "a belief". Religions has a much more tightly focused, it pertains to sets of rituals and such and so forth usually revolving, but not necessarily, around deity worship.

The only reason he is employing the term religion is because to call something a religion is an insult. I marvel at the number of highly religious people I meet who insist atheism is a religion (which is false) but consider this an insult. Well, at least it tells us what the religious really think of religion (not much, apparently!)

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

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Yes, but what about

Yes, but what about non-belief being a belief.  That's the most difficult thing for me to argue against.  I know somehow that it can't be but am unable to articulate this.  I believe there is some conflation of a belief with a knowledge claim going on... right?

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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That is a good

That is a good question.

Curiosity got me and here is something I found from About.com

"Logically speaking, mere disbelief in the truth of a proposition cannot be treated as equivalent to the belief that the proposition is false and that the opposite is true. If you make a claim and I disbelieve it, I am not necessarily saying that your claim is false. I may not understand it well enough to say one way or the other. Or I may lack enough information to test your claim. Or I may simply not care enough to think about it."

I hope this helps

 

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Thomathy wrote:Yes, but what

Thomathy wrote:

Yes, but what about non-belief being a belief. That's the most difficult thing for me to argue against. I know somehow that it can't be but am unable to articulate this.  I believe there is some conflation of a belief with a knowledge claim going on... right?

 

It looks like they got you caught up in one of those verbal loops. You said "believe" but you really ment "I KNOW there's no god". Their arguments would only hold up IF, IF, IF, IF, IF in fact there was even a possiblity that a god could even exist, which there isn't.

The whole point is that they BELIEVE, and we KNOW...

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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semantics semantics semantics

The problem is one of semantics and the various ways in which the word "belief" can be applied with understandable meaning. This in fact is an argument I have heard religious people using "against" atheism for years, and it is quickly ended when one points out that it is one which can be conducted only in English. In Norwegian, for example and just to complicate matters, the word "trohet" is used for both "belief" and "faith" (and even "superstition" quite often). Other languages swing in the opposite direction and provide etymologically distinct words to apply to the different nuances.

 

The notion therefore that "not believing" is equivalent to "believing it right not to believe" sounds clever, but really means nothing. I do not believe in sticking my hand into a food mixer as a cure for the common cold, but that absence of belief is predicated on a certainty that it is not - something which even the most semantically challenged theist must accept is a little stronger than simply "believing it right not to believe that it might cure my sniffles".

 

What the argument deflects from (and intentionally so, the theist hopes) is the pathetic but true fact that the theist's faith is based on no empirical evidence, or even the likelihood of such evidence ever being found. The atheist's standpoint however is an intelligent deduction based on evidence to the contrary. In English both can indeed be summarily dismissed as shades of belief, but even in English we all recognise the difference between believing something for the sake of it and believing that which has been (or is in the process of being) proven as fact.

 

 

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Nordmann wrote:The problem

Nordmann wrote:

The problem is one of semantics and the various ways in which the word "belief" can be applied with understandable meaning.

 Get 'Em!!!!

Quote:

What the argument deflects from (and intentionally so, the theist hopes) is the pathetic but true fact that the theist's faith is based on no empirical evidence, or even the likelihood of such evidence ever being found. The atheist's standpoint however is an intelligent deduction based on evidence to the contrary. In English both can indeed be summarily dismissed as shades of belief, but even in English we all recognise the difference between believing something for the sake of it and believing that which has been (or is in the process of being) proven as fact.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!! I was thinking the same thing!

 

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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same ole thing

Basically going to reitterate what everyone has said.

 

Most of this is semantics.  There is a difference between "I don't believe in a god" and "I believe that no god exists".  This difference is one that most theists just can't seem to grasp.

To use the questions posed earlier:

Quote:
Or a true or false question. God is real. True or false? A Christian would answer true because he believes in God. Compare: God is fake. True or false? How would an atheist answer? And why? (Hint: parallel structure with the previous T/F question)

The logical atheist answer to such a questions is "I don't know, but the evidence does strongly suggest that your god doesn't exist"   Answering either True or False to such a question would be a positive belief.  "I don't know" isn't a belief.

 

Also, if they are going to use these kinds of semantics than the word religion quickly loses it's definition and becomes a completely worthless word.  I believe because of evidence that the New England Patriots were the best team in the AFC last year.  Does that mean I'm in a NE Patriots religion?  Religion isn't simply the belief in something, its:

m-w.com wrote:

1 a: the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1): the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices3archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
 Atheism is none of those things.

 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Obviously you can not hold a

Obviously you can not hold a particular belief without having to hold that its opposite is true. Are these theists trying to say that you cannot be in an undecided or ambiguous state of mind?

I show you a box. I tell you that there is a book inside the box. Then I ask you whether you also believe that there is a book inside the box. What is your response?

It is, of course, "I don't know." Out of politeness, you might claim to take my word for it, but inside you wouldn't assign anything more than a 50/50 chance to their actually being a book in the box without way more information.

So you don't hold a belief that there is a book in there and you don't hold a belief that there isn't a book in there. You are an atheist on the question, precisely because you hold no positive belief.

I suppose you could say that you hold a belief that you do not know but even this is a third way that doesn't involve holding one positive belief or another on the question at hand.

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Semantics and equivocation

I see the problem as this.

The English language has a word for belief without evidence, it is 'faith'. However, the word is often seen as semantically equivolent to the word 'belief'. They are NOT the same, but still, the common usage prevails. What we need is a word that expresses the concept of 'belief with evidence', in opposition to 'faith', until that time I simply use the word 'belief' with the 'with evidence' part as a given.

I have no faith. I purge my thought processes of any beliefs that have to be taken without a shread of evidence.

I still believe a lot of things, just none that nessesitate magic. I believe my wife loves me (evidenced by her words and actions) I believe my kids are basically good people (evidenced by their actions) I believe I'll get a paycheck every other Friday (evidenced by my continued employment and past experience.) etc. etc.

I believe evolution after chemical abiogenesisis the best explanation of life on this planet. If a better explanation comes along I may have to change my belief. Thus far, the evidence and arguments in favor are sufficient to sustain my belief.

It's been said before... Atheism is a belief like bald is a hair color, not collecting stamps is a hobby and not breaking and entering is a crime.

LC >;-}>

 

 

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Quote:I believe I

Quote:

I believe I single-handedly became the first person to successfully argue that atheism is a religion.

 

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Here's more. I just stopped

Here's more. I just stopped responding after this bout.  I was getting irritated and the dialogue began to break down.

 

Sharwood wrote:
Yep, I know the definition of each.  (Sharwood is referring to gnostic/agnostic and Atheism) If you read my link, you'll see me write the definition of atheism. And I hate wiki, didn't use it for any of those definitions. And if their correct definition is used, they are mutually exclusive. I'll accept that if one uses slightly variant definitions they may not be exclusive, but the fact is those definitions must be incorrect for them to not be exclusive. I did just read that wiki article, before you accuse me of not looking at it. It does nothing to change my mind, although it is interesting to see that 'agnostic atheists' date back much further than I thought.

That article you wrote was interesting, as etymology interests me, even if I don't have the time to research it so much, but doesn't add anything to the argument. If one does not believe in the existence of a god or gods, then one, by defintion, cannot be agnostic, as agnosticism holds that the existence of god cannot be logically proven or disproven. If you can't prove or disprove it, then you can't logically accept or reject it, and if you choose one or the other, it's a matter of belief. Atheists make a 'leap of faith,' when they decide that god doesn't exist.

Therefore, your argument fails. Please continue though, I'm enjoying this.

Thomathy wrote:

You're wrong. Rejecting the accepted definitions in place of your own for agnosticism and gnosticism does not make you correct. Agnostic and Atheist are not mutually exclusive terms and no variant definition of the terms was used. We appear to be at an impasse. I see no further point in continuing the dialogue if you're now simply going to reject the information I give you as well as resources that prove you wrong simply because you are mistaken but believe yourself to be correct.

Atheists do not make a leap of faith. That would be impossible. You're hardly making sense. Why don't you read some literature on the subject and educate yourself before you continue on. I'm not arguing any further, because as I stated, you simply are not responding to reason. I'm glad you're enjoying this though. That's nice.

Sharwood wrote:
If you come up with a decent, rational argument that proves me wrong, I'll accept it. I used to be quasi-religious, until atheism presented a better argument, then I became agnostci before I'd even heard of the term. But you are NOT coming up with intelligent, reasonable arguments. Everything you say only serves to strengthen my argument.

I'm making perfect sense. I sincerely believe I'm more educated on the subject than you are. Even if I'm not, my education was certainly better, if not as comprehensive.

The other person responding to me made a comment after this but only attacked my way of arguing, called me immature, and suggested that I was invalidated because I had to be pressured into actually arguing with them in the first place.  I'm interested in further thoughts regarding the conclusion of the dialogue.  Is Sharwood simply wrong and why?

For those interested the dialogue takes place on CivFanatics Forum.  It's among the larger forums online and presumably that explains the increased amount of stupidity.  Here's the link: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=272423&page=2

 

 

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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Belief: Anything that a

Belief: Anything that a person holds to be true.  Belief, in epistemology, is positive.  In other words, we must believe in something.  Therefore, it is improper to say that anyone believes in nothing, unless one is saying something like, "I believe there is nothing in that box."  In that case, nothing is something.  It's a vacuum, or an absence of solid objects, or perhaps the statement meant, "You won't find the murder weapon in that box."

There is a false dichotomy that theists often use with belief.  That is, they assert that either you believe something exists, or you believe it does not exist.  This is obviously not true, and can be proven rather easily.  I suggest to you that somewhere in Guam, at this very moment, there are two Swatch watches, stacked perfectly on top of each other, and the stack is resting on a poster advertising Rolex watches.  I admit to you that I have no evidence that this is true.  I'm just suggesting that it is true with no basis other than speculation.

This silly example demonstrates neutral disbelief.  Enough said.

Now, on to the god concept.  Todangst has mentioned this before, and it's important to notice that there's a distinction that we must make.  I can prove to you that any god with the word "supernatural" in it's definition does not exist.  I can prove it with deductive certainty, for the word "supernatural" is nonsensical and incoherent.  As defined, that god most certainly does not exist.  The belief that he does not exist is fully justified logically.

Is it possible that I have not been given an accurate description of god, and that it exists?  Absolutely.  I can only remain neutral because I can't think of a workable definition, and none has been provided for me, so like any other concept of which I am unaware, I can neither believe it nor disbelieve it.

So, theists are both right and wrong when they accuse atheists of a positive belief.  I gladly accept the epithet when it applies to Yahweh.  As long as he's defined as supernatural, I believe he does not exist.  However, I am completely neutral as to any god concepts that I have not heard of, or those which I know too little to make a decision.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit, I made that

Hambydammit, I made that exact argument to them.  You made it better.  It still didn't get across the point.  The people I'm arguing about are in denial.

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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I think your opponent is

I think your opponent is speaking based indeed on his own experience and knowledge acquired to date, but that he is expressing himself woefully and falling into his own semantic traps. It is a common occurrence in that kind of discussion, where the subject matter - belief in the existence or non-existence of a deity whose very definition includes the precept that the harder it is to define through empirical deduction the greater the likelihood therefore of its reality - invariably invites use of language tending towards the abstract. If it didn't then as a concept god would never have lasted as long as it did. Like the emperor's clothes, the first honest observational refutation of the premise's requirement to ignore reality would have destroyed it.

 

So, while I would cede that he is speaking with conviction, I would have to cede also that this conviction has led him into a form of expression that is, at least semantically, blatantly dishonest.

 

He thinks, for example, that he's summed up his definition of atheism and atheists with the statement "Atheists make a 'leap of faith,' when they decide that god doesn't exist."
 

 

Now, it doesn't take a semantics professor to point out the two fallacies in that sentence. A "leap of faith" is an expression used to indicate when a person takes an action which logic and reason does not support. Whatever you might say about atheism, that it defies logic is not one of them. Of all the stances one can take in relation to peoples' obvious tendency to apply a psedo-reality to a fiction, the atheist's, in refusing to admire the emperor's invisible clothes, is the one that not only embraces logic but could be said to be founded on little else. The other fallacy, that the atheist's committment to understanding reality using reason, deduction and proof is simply a "decision" - the implication being that the opposite viewpoint holds equal validity - does such violence to the English language that it serves merely to alert the listener to the fact that the speaker is suspect in all that he says, such is his ignorance of the meaning of the words he uses, or worse, his wilful manipulation of their meaning to make bad points sound like reasonable ones.

 

It is the language of the theistic apologist and it is dishonest. That it comes from a person who describes himself as an agnostic simply further confirms what I have always suspected about people claiming to be of that "opinion". They are still attracted to the possibilities that theism purports to offer them, and that this promise is made and justified through dishonest expression is something that they are blind to - through ignorance or with intent. The proof of this is that they will use the same language without a second thought (and I am being generous in assuming that there is even always a first).

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So, if you are a theist, do

So, if you are a theist, do you believe in god or do you believe in not believing in non-belief?


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Some thoughts:Belief is

Some thoughts:

Belief is holding some state of affairs to be true, AND 'believing' that one has good reasons for holding to that belief.

The 'reasons' may be:

1 what we would consider 'evidence', ie some observable data that one can point to, that should also be apparent to another person;

2. a personal (psychological) experience, which the believer probably considers to be evidence;

3. something other than 'evidence', perhaps a related 'belief' that holding to some particular idea without evidence, or even in spite of apparently contrary evidence, ie 'faith', is a fundamentally good thing in itself;

There are probably further variations one could describe.

It seems that there are at least two 'beliefs' involved: the primary belief, eg, that there is a God, plus a belief that one's reasons for that belief are adequate.

EDIT:

I personally incline to describe my state of mind about things where the evidence is not strong as 'assumptions', with varying degrees of justification. Many things require decisions based on little or no 'hard' evidence or justification, so one picks one which has some plausibility and maybe at least some hints that it is justified, so I have proceed on the assumption that it is true, and hope it all works out. 'Belief' seems to me to imply something stronger, and some people seem to unable or unwilling to hold a position in this weak, tentative mode, which obviously is why they have a problem getting their head around how Science works.

That said, I see the all but total lack of positive evidence for a 'higher (god-like) power', and the incoherence and/or vagueness of any 'definitions' of God I have seen to be very strong justification for assuming that there is none, and treating the whole idea as a nonsense.

When we see clear non-sequiters such as equating a belief to a religion, or referring to adopting some position as a 'leap of faith', we get a hint that there is an 'agenda' here, an un-voiced inclination that the God position has a strong appeal, as already observed.

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

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Ubermensch wrote:So, if you

Ubermensch wrote:

So, if you are a theist, do you believe in god or do you believe in not believing in non-belief?

EXACTLY!

Shifting the burden of proof is like watching a long volley in pro tennis on a looped tape.

"How do you no it isn't true. How do you know it is? How do you know it isn't. How do you know it is. How do you know it isn't........"

How do you know their isn't a giant invisible teapot orbiting Jupiter?

How do you know their isn't a pink elephant in the trunk of my car?

How do you know that I don't have a purple snarfwidget who makes kegs of beer under my bed for me on Sunday?

 

NOW, here it is plain and simple for those having a hard time understanding.

To default to something being a possibility because we can't disprove something would mean that any absurd claim in human history ever made would have to be believed. AND THAT IS ABSURD!

SO, if I claim I can fart a full sized Lamborginni out of my ass. It is not up to you to prove I cant, it is up to me to prove I can. If you call it absurd, because of current data, it would be up to ME to provide data to prove my claim. BUT my claim is not automatically true, or even a possibility, just because I utter it.

The idiot who buys the car from the used car salesman because of it's color, is a fool waiting to get ripped off. The wise person, kicks the tires, has the engine checked and the car inspected and compares prices.

So don't blame the skeptic for questioning. If you can prove your claim, we would be intelectually obligated to change our position.

 

 

 

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 So, what everybody else

 So, what everybody else said, and also point me at the forum. Give me a link or something. These guys need a spanking.

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Frustrating as hell, words

Frustrating as hell, words and language, so I fuck with them. Do I believe in "GOD and Jesus etc"? Yes without a doubt, in fact I AM God and Jesus, as I AM you, as I AM everything!

  Call it what you will, belief, faith, religion. Call me crazy, whatever ..... Who ain't crazy? My favorite study of god is science. My dogma is math. My religion is to be good, to love. God of abe is the devil .....

  Thomas Paine, "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

  .... and my god is everything, ummm, I am god as you ..... Didn't J/B say that, among others ?! .....      Why am I laughing, and Buddha too?  Geezzz, all the damn needless suffering and arguing .....  even war.   


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For the record

I am not an Ahteist. I firmly believe in tea, I have seen it, touched it, smelled it, and tasted it. Tea is REAL! You don't have to have a belief in tea to know it is real, because you can empirically know it is real.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Brian37 wrote:How do you

Brian37 wrote:

How do you know that I don't have a purple snarfwidget who makes kegs of beer under my bed for me on Sunday?

Because if you did, I would have stolen it already.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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Quote:It's been addressed,

Quote:

It's been addressed, but let me try my hand at convincing GL.

Are you telling me you do not believe in God? But you don't not have a belief that there is no God? So,you lack a belief in God, yet you do not believe that there is no God?

I myself am an atheist. So, none of the members here are trying to convert you or anything. The point is, do Christians believe there is a God? Yes. Atheists believe that they are wrong. We believe that there is no God.

From a completely objective view, atheism could be wrong. Deity-worship may be wrong, on the other hand. So it is a matter of belief on both sides.

For example, you flip a coin. A religious person calls "tails" before it lands. You call "heads" before it lands. Due to some factors, you each believe, albeit in different outcomes, that the coin will land and lie with your respective sides up. Can the coin land on its edge? That's the position you are taking right now. You have chosen a non-choice. There is a "you believe in God" and a "you don't believe in God." There is no "you don't believe."

Or, take binary for example. You have 0 and 1. You cannot have anything else.

Or a true or false question. God is real. True or false? A Christian would answer true because he believes in God. Compare: God is fake. True or false? How would an atheist answer? And why? (Hint: parallel structure with the previous T/F question)

Let's take a look at this one, since it's a terrific example of a false dichotemy.

You flip a coin. You call 'heads', your gambling partner calls 'tails'. You turn and ask me for my wager.

I do have a third option, which this fellow neglects to mention: I can abstain from wagering. In otherwords, I say, "I don't know which side of the coin will wind-up being face-up."

When dealing with an unknowable variable, that's the most intellectually honest answer.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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 Yeah,  The "middle" said

 Yeah,  The "middle" said a Buddha ..... as kevin just did .....


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Quote: I do have a third

Quote:

 

I do have a third option, which this fellow neglects to mention ...

 

 

And even a fourth, Kevin, at least in my book. You can ask the person who posited the analogy of coin tossing why he subjectively picked one with only (as he thought) two possible options which can be presented as an answer. And this to illustrate (badly) that the "God is real/God is fake" argument is equally subject to the limitation of only two possible answers. (His "binary" analogy isn't even an analogy since the base of two is simply one numeric expression of quantity that can just as accurately be presented using any base, be it two , ten or whatever takes your fancy).

 

It is really tiresome to argue with sloppy thinkers but in this case the positor needs to be asked why he subjectively buys into the concept of god in order to posit the negative viewpoint? What does he mean by god if he is an atheist? How on earth can an atheist, or any intelligent person, disprove that which cannot exist? For that matter how does he define what is real in the context of a discussion about fantasy? Belief in god is a real phenomenon. The word "god" is real. Many of the traits attributed to the Judaeo-Christian deity are real human traits.

 

Or has he subconsciously acknowledged the validity of the absurd proposition that these semblances of reality are enough to prove that their composite represents a real entity in the person of a divine entity? Personally I'd tell him to keep his coin in his pocket until he'd sorted out first why on earth he's insisting I toss it.

 

It seems it is not only the religious mind that has a problem with distinguishing faith in fantasy from knowledge of reality.

 

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HisWillness wrote: So, what

HisWillness wrote:

 So, what everybody else said, and also point me at the forum. Give me a link or something. These guys need a spanking.

Hey, what the Hell? You guys are going-in without back-up?

That breaks the first law of Ghostbusting!

 

Toss that link my way.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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This is the thread on Civ

This is the thread on Civ Fanatics' Forums where the idiocy is taking place.  Please, feel free to sign up and upbraid these people.

The place:  http://www.civfanatics.com/

The thread: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=272423&page=3

You might not be able to view the thread if you do not sign up.

I'm almost angry at my brother for asking me to sign up to that forum, because so far I either get no responses when I post or I get attacked with lunacy and that non-corporeal weapon sure hurts a lot for something lacking physicality.

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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I like to use math when

I like to use math when addressing this particular claim.  Let's put it this way--negative is nonbelief, positive is belief, and the context is existance of gods.

Atheism = -1

Theism = 1

Now, saying that atheism is a belief in a lack of belief is like saying

Atheism = 1 * -1

And then saying that because there is a belief in the non-belief, it can be simplified to

Atheism = 1, or belief

Which is simply not the case.


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Coprolal1an wrote:I like to

Coprolal1an wrote:

I like to use math when addressing this particular claim.  Let's put it this way--negative is nonbelief, positive is belief, and the context is existance of gods.

Atheism = -1

Theism = 1

Now, saying that atheism is a belief in a lack of belief is like saying

Atheism = 1 * -1

And then saying that because there is a belief in the non-belief, it can be simplified to

Atheism = 1, or belief

Which is simply not the case.

 

Hwut? I think I got that! Awesome, Coprolal!

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Tell them by that logic they

Tell them by that logic they have many religions.

Assuming they are Christian, they have a belief in that god.

They have a non-belief in Allah

They have a non-belief in the greek gods.

They have a non-belief in Mithra, the Indian gods, Thor, etc

They have a non-belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster....

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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Not this again!If atheism is

Not this again!

If atheism is a religion because of atheits' belief in the non-existence of something then every belief in the non-existence should be considered a religion.

So, belief that Santa does not exist must be an Anti-Santa religion.

Belief that there is no such thing as flying reindeer must be a Grounded-Reindeer religion.

Belief in the non-existence of a flat Earth must be a Round Earth religion.

Need I go on?

There are thousands of things most people believe do not exist. If the belief in the non-existence of something is a religion than we all belong to thousands of religions. So Christians must also belong to the religious group of non-believers in Santa, and isn't that against Christian religion to belong to more than one religion? Yet, by their own reasoning, they must belong to many.

This is the dumbest argument theists want to keep bringing and all it does it continue to show how illogical their thinking is. Will you theists just give up this dumb idea? It's an argument that DOES NOT WORK!

 

 

 

"The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs" - Bill Maher


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MattShizzle wrote:Tell them

MattShizzle wrote:

Tell them by that logic they have many religions.

Assuming they are Christian, they have a belief in that god.

They have a non-belief in Allah

They have a non-belief in the greek gods.

They have a non-belief in Mithra, the Indian gods, Thor, etc

They have a non-belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster....

Haha...we were typing the same thing at the same time.

"The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs" - Bill Maher


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OCD much?

I've always wondered about the seeming obsession some theists seem to have over wheedling some kind of admission of 'belief' from an atheist...

I believe a lot of things myself...

I believe my wife loves me, I believe my kids are basically good people, I believe I'll get a paycheck on time...

I believe my car will start in the morning, the sun will rise etc.

It's as though they see some magical power to the word itself or, they simply can't grasp that just because we don't believe their superstitions, doesn't mean we do not believe ANYTHING...

 

LC >;-}>

 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


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I AM an atheist preacher,

I AM an atheist preacher, not a "god" debater. ( because me is god)


 


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[quote-aelf]Right, seeing

 

Originally Posted by aelf View Post Right, seeing that you are so vehement, do you still believe that you have no belief?

What an interesting segue into a discussion that I had abandoned. I fail to see how my disapproval of the Vatican and its actions and the reverence it has world wide has led you to bring that up, but I'm not about to enter into an argument with you. That is what it would be, right? Because you won't bend even a little bit to the possibility that you're simply misinformed and incorrect. You won't admit that you lack an understanding of what it is to believe in something and what it is not to believe in something. Your semantic game of calling disbelief or non-belief a belief is dishonest, unconvincing and should be utterly transparent to everyone. For the sake of answering your question one last time, read below because it's as good as your going to get, you dishonest charlatan.

 

Spoiler: Disbelief is not a belief, look the bloody word up.

I disbelieve in god(s).
I have a non-belief in god(s).
I don't believe in god(s).
I believe there is no god(s).

These sentences all say the same thing. They mean that the person does not believe. Does this person believe that he doesn't believe? Presumably, or else his position would be untenable. Does a believer believe that he believes? Yes, and for the same reasons. What are the differences between someone who does not believe and someone who does? The belief, in god. Very simply on has a belief in god and the other person doesn't.

What you would propose is that any position a person has on something whether active or not is a belief. It would not be possible for a person to keep track of every belief they had if belief were so defined. It isn't and it isn't treated that way. You do not actively count your disbelief in the tooth fairy as a belief that you must remind yourself of and it isn't something that's temporarily suspended until the next time you think of it; it just isn't there, you just don't believe. And before you try it, don't equate belief with faith. A belief doesn't have to be analogous with faith and faith is not always analogous with belief. What the religious person really has might be better described as faith rather than belief and that's where the terms' meanings cross over. The Atheist doesn't have faith, the Atheist disbelieves because of the nature of faith. Faith is literally belief without evidence and people who believe in god have no evidence worthy of the name and no evidence that could convince me, anymore than a Muslim can convince a Christian of the existence of their god and last prophet than can a Christian convince a Muslim of the existence of their god and saviour, that their god does exist. They simply don't have evidence.

And before an 'agnostic' comes here and tries to redefine that word agnostic means:

1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
–adjective
3. of or pertaining to agnostics or agnosticism.
4. asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge.

It is a position of knowledge and not a position of belief. Very clearly a theist can claim to believe in god, to have faith and still claim to be agnostic about god, or to say that god is unknowable.

An Atheist can likewise be agnostic claiming that knowledge of god cannot be had.

Either of the two could claim to be gnostic, or to have knowledge. I propose that supernatural gods cannot exist. I know this because of the very nature of the word supernatural. Some theists claim to know god, to be intimate with god and thus believe. Their anecdotal evidence does not stand up to scientific enquiry, it is not permissible.

'Agnostics' usually say, "But I don't disbelieve, I just don't believe!" If you literally "don't disbelieve" - then you would believe. Even if the jury is out on whether god is real or not you are either living your life as if god is or as if god isn't and if you are truly agnostic, then the answer can't be had. Not disbelieving is believing and belief and disbelief are binary concepts. If you do not believe it necessarily follows that you do not believe. You cannot not disbelieve and disbelieve at the same time, it is the same as believing and not believing simultaneously (both statements are expressed in sentential logic as (~~P&~P)|(P&~P) which is just gibberish as the negation of something and that something cannot both be true) which is simply not possible on matters of belief, even if the truth or untruth of that belief cannot be known. Edit, I added this on: While I'm at it: for those who think they've proved that Atheism is a religion. It's not. Sharwood, specifically wrote this steaming pile:
Spoiler:
Religion: a system of thought, feeling and action that is shared by a group and gives the members of that group an object of devotion; a code of behaviour by which an individual may judge the personal and social consequences of his actions; and a frame of reference by which an individual may relate himself to his group and his universe.

Atheism: the denial of the existence of God or gods and of any supernatural existence.

Notice that nowhere in the definition of religion is it mentioned that there must be a god or gods. If religion is a system of thought that gives one an object of devotion, then atheism is in a grey area, since there isn't any object of devotion involved - unless one considers science and modernism as objects of devotion, which in my experience many atheists do. I'm not saying you do, merely making a point there. But the final definition of religion, that of a frame of reference through which individuals relate themselves to a group and the universe, squarely places atheism, and my belief system, agnosticism, squarely in the realm of religion, whether we wish to admit it or not. Atheism is the opposite of theism, the belief in a god or gods, not religion.

You say that agnosticism is dodging the question. I look at it more from a more scientific point of view. Until there is a way of proving whether or not there is a god, both the belief in and disbelief in gods are theories, and as such one should keep an open mind and not subscribe to either of these beliefs. Or perhaps it's better to look at it as a courtcase. At the moment, there is only circumstantial evidence in favour of the defendant having committed or not committed the crime. Therefore you can't find himm guilty, but you're also not sure he's innocent. So the best course of action is to state that you cannot reach a verdict.

If people do choose to subscribe to one of these beliefs, either theism or atheism, that's their decision, and unless it is dangerous to oneself or others, such as Anti-Semitism, people should be free to practice these beliefs as they wish. There is nothing wrong with debating these things, after all, from the standpoint of every religion, including mine and yours, the more converts the better, as it improves our chances of survival, reproduction, power, etc.. But merely stating that one belief system is wrong, and yours is right, is not a debate. Stating that "theism should be confined humiliated secrecy" reeks of a pogrom.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the use of the word tolerance. Tolerance is something I built up to being slammed on my back repeatedly in my wrestling days. Tolerance is not something that you have for people of other beliefs or skin colours. You accept them where they are no threat, and do not accept them where they are. An example of both would be having no problem with a group of black teenagers during the day in the Solomon Islands, yet having reason to fear from a group of black teenagers at night in Southern Los Angeles. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I believe that's the location of street gangs like the Crips and the Bloods, and therefore one would be perfectly within their rights to be frightened at the sight of a group of black teenagers walking towards them in that place and time, whether there is actually any chance of something bad happening to them or not.

You're right, many of the phrases and thoughts that are tossed around on a daily basis are total bs. I don't believe I ever said otherwise. I said it was wrong to ridicule the beliefs of others, which is what you were doing. Notice, I never said you were wrong, because atheism is no more wrong than theism is. It's simply a matter of faith.

If you bothered to read that, Sharwood thinks Atheism is a religion. Sharwood also incorrectly defines Atheism and incorrectly defines religion.

Religion is this:
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
7. religions, Archaic. religious rites.
8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.
—Idiom
9. get religion, Informal.
a. to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.
b. to resolve to mend one's errant ways: The company got religion and stopped making dangerous products.

Even by Sharwood's definition Atheism is not a religion because no one can claim that Atheism is this, '...an object of devotion; a code of behaviour by which an individual may judge the personal and social consequences of his actions...'. It is not. It is simply disbelief in god. Atheism is not something that gets devotion, do you give devotion to your disbelief in santa clause? It describes no code of behaviour, only disbelief. There is no way that the disbelief in god can allow someone to judge the personal and social consequences of their actions. Atheism does not prescribe a morality or a code of behaviour and it isn't an object of devotion. Sharwood, you are stupid if you think that Atheism fits into even your definition of religion. In the case of your definition if Atheism is a religion so is Humanitarianism, Secularism, in fact anything could be a religion is we ignore that they aren't objects of devotion, that they don't necessarily prescribe a code of behaviour or a morality. Your so-called 'proof' is laughable. The only thing necessary to be Atheist is a disbelief in gods. It does not mean a disbelief in the supernatural. It does not mean that a person must be rational or logical. It does not mean that the person must be secular. It does not mean that the person needs to be pacifist. It means nothing except disbelief in god.

Sharwood also writes that agnosticism is not dodging the question, it's not, it's a totally different thing than the matter of belief in god. Sharwood suggests that to look at it from a scientific point of view would be helpful okay. Sharwood then relates it to court, which is definitely not scientific. Sharwood essentially says that, like a court case because the believers have no evidence and the Atheists can't prove them wrong because there's no evidence, the jury should be out. Well, court cases don't work like that and incidentally neither does science. People are presumed innocent until proved guilty. Until evidence comes around that supports the god hypothesis, then the jury isn't out, it's not there, because the default position is innocence, or in this case, disbelief. As with science, when something can't be proved, it is disbelieved.

You have been dishonest. You are a complete fool and you are annoying.

 

I frankly don't care about how dishonest you want to be, but please, don't try to drag me into an argument with you, because I have neither the time nor the desire and if what I've written here doesn't convince you of your error, I'm afraid that no amount of reasoning can.

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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Sorry for the really long post above

Anyone think I pwned them?  I'm pretty sure I did, but heck, they could be complete assholes.


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To play 'angels advocate'

To play 'angels advocate' for a moment, I think that some people could become far too stubborn in the idea that there is no God in the universe.  I feel comfortable in my atheism in that I am always open to reasonable proof if it were ever to come along.  So far I say this to theists.  There is a lot of corners of the universe that we have yet to explain, but embracing your Iron Age notions are just silly.  What you are doing is anthropomorphizing nature out of total ignorance.  Is there some kine of Deist's 'prime mover'?  I have no idea, but I am not going to jump to such flighty conclusions to make myself feel better about my fragmented and imperfect understanding of the universe.

 

My atheism has nothing to do with "the belief of non-belief", my ear is always open for a reasonable argument, but so far theists have failed to do so.

To go beyond your limits you must first find them.


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Nicely said JamCham ....

Nicely said JanCham ....


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JanCham wrote:To play

JanCham wrote:

To play 'angels advocate' for a moment, I think that some people could become far too stubborn in the idea that there is no God in the universe.  I feel comfortable in my atheism in that I am always open to reasonable proof if it were ever to come along.  So far I say this to theists.  There is a lot of corners of the universe that we have yet to explain, but embracing your Iron Age notions are just silly.  What you are doing is anthropomorphizing nature out of total ignorance.  Is there some kine of Deist's 'prime mover'?  I have no idea, but I am not going to jump to such flighty conclusions to make myself feel better about my fragmented and imperfect understanding of the universe.

 

My atheism has nothing to do with "the belief of non-belief", my ear is always open for a reasonable argument, but so far theists have failed to do so.

I hope you don't mean me.  I hope you're talking about the people I'm responding to.

I did get a response to what I wrote.  The person had all this to say to me:

aelf wrote:
I love how you call your opponents 'dishonest charlatans' and 'annoying fools'. It's not often that one gets such plain display of bluntness in the adult world. I really do think it's quite funny and reminiscent of childhood days Laughing out loud

Anyway, seeing that you were told in no uncertain terms that you were wrong by a number of people who have read more than you, and that you subsequently left that discussion with tail between legs after some customary barking, I can only admire your persistence and ability to delude yourself. I need only to pronounce a few sentences before you again have to suffer the same ignominious fate: Disbelief in god and believing that there is no god, what is the difference? If you believe there is no god, do you not then hold a belief? How do you believe that you have no belief?

And after one last post, I'm not responding to this guy again.

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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Why is belief an issue at

Why is belief an issue at all? The word no more implies being religious or irreligious than it does being a human being, something else we all here believe ourselves to be (albeit based on more evidence than the god-believers can produce).

 

The religious person in fact has an unsupported belief - and thinks that maintaining this belief is a virtue. But he doesn't own the word and merely demonstrates a form of dishonesty when he habitually forgets to place the "blind" bit before the term when talking about himself. Nor does he say anything meaningful when he accuses an atheist of "believing that there is no god" except to demonstrate that he misunderstands the crucial difference between belief based on evidence and belief for the sake of it.

 

But then "evidence" is another term he has a problem with too. To an atheist, and indeed to any rational person, if a claim is unsupported by evidence then it is a false or dubious claim. In fact the absence of any credible evidence supporting the claimant's hypotheis is evidence in its own right that his claim is unfounded. To the religious person however, whose need to believe in an unsupported claim outweighs his respect for reality or language, the absence of evidence is no obstacle whatsoever since his aim is not to produce any anyway. And so we get the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" assertion, failing to appreciate that the atheist is in fact using quite credible and sturdy evidence to support his own contra-assertion.

 

His dishonesty is required to hide a basic flaw in his thinking, and one moreover that he knows well exists since he cannot use the same rationale in any other area of his life without risking being dead. The truth he avoids - intentionally - is self-evident in itself. Since a complete absence of evidence must rationally mean a huge probability that any claim is false then it is the claimant's responsibility to produce some - or as with any other false theory it must be regarded as a hindrance to understanding rather than an aid. In every other field and in every other application of the concept such is the role of evidence and the process of which it is a crucial part, and for the religious person to choose otherwise is to admit that understanding and knowledge mean nothing to him. Either he gets busy producing some evidence to support his tenet or he admits his apparent gullibility, irrationality and wilful ignorance.

 

Or so I believe (based on quite substantial evidence).

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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I believe in humans, so it

I believe in humans, so it seems I am rather humanist then worshipper of non-religion. I think it is quite popular trend between atheists.

Ecrasez l'infame!