Atheism is incoherent

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Atheism is incoherent

That got your attention, didn't it?

 

THis probably boils down to my lack of expertise in logic, but I am confused about the defintion of atheism. If the term "god" is incoherent, haw can anything the uses this term in its defintioin be coherent? And further, how can you define athiesm without using the incoherent term "god"?


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So one can't say that a

So one can't say that a belief makes no sense because we have to use the nonsensical term to deny it?

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I wonder who came up with

I wonder who came up with the term.

 

Sounds made up...
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god (gŏd) n. God A

god (gŏd) pronunciation
n.

  1. God
    1. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
    2. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
  2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
  3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
  4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
  5. A very handsome man.
  6. A powerful ruler or despot.
i don't see the words "coherent" or "incoherent" here..

 

a·the·ism (ā'thē-ĭz'əm) pronunciation
n.

  1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
  2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

i don't see them here, either...

 

in·co·her·ent (ĭn'kō-hîr'ənt) pronunciation
adj.

  1. Lacking cohesion, connection, or harmony; not coherent: incoherent fragments of a story.
  2. Unable to think or express one's thoughts in a clear or orderly manner: incoherent with grief.
hmmm. well it would seem that applying this adjective to the noun "god" would be a matter of opinion. but i fail to see how it could be used in any intelligent argument regarding the definition of atheism.

 

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wavefreak wrote: That got

wavefreak wrote:

That got your attention, didn't it?

 

THis probably boils down to my lack of expertise in logic, but I am confused about the defintion of atheism. If the term "god" is incoherent, haw can anything the uses this term in its defintioin be coherent? And further, how can you define athiesm without using the incoherent term "god"?

There is no need for there to be a coherent concept behind the term god for one to state that they hold no god belief. In fact, the very fact that the term is incoherent makes it necessary that one can not hold a god belief, therefor, in all honesty, everyone is atheist if the term god is indeed incoherent. 

 What we see in the normal theist however (though getting them to admit it is excruciatingly difficult) is one who believes in the idea that there is an unknown 'thing', which doesn't hold the properties they know all other things to hold, which is denoted by the term 'god'. This is the only way one can truly believe in an incoherent existence. It is actually a kind of secondary or removed belief. They actually seem to first believe that there is 'something' (non-specific) and through this belief allow themselves the ability to believe that the terms they use to describe this thing are meaningful as they are necessary to support the non-specific belief. 

This is the only way I have ever been able to make sense of anyone calling themself a theist and therefor the only way in which I can define the 'were it only unecessary there would be no confusion' label of atheist that I am forced to apply to myself.

 

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A snarfwidgit is an

A snarfwidgit is an invisable troll who lives under your bed and tickles your feet when you are asleep.

It is simple wave. "God" is incoherant, not in a coloquial sense. The claim of that type of "beyond nature" being has been around long before you bought your idea.

What makes it incoherant is lack of evidence. Just like merely typing "snarfwidget" is inchoherant. If in 1,000 years 1 million people believe in a snarfwidget the claim may be established but it is still a claim because it has no evidence to back it up.

There has never been a god concept in human history that has not died, in part or in full and yours will be no different.

Gravity is NOT incoherant. You jump off a roof of a skyscraper and you go splat. When any god claim has that kind of testable, repeatable and falsifiable replication then "god" will be coherant.

"God" is as coherant as Loc Ness, Big Foot, Ouiji Boards, disimbodied brains, and snarfwidgits and ganish.

All those claims are plyable, not because they are backed up by substantiated fact. They are plyable because the person buying the claim is more concerned about being right because they like what they beleive and that is what allows them to believe incoherant claims.

The magic of Harry Potter is not incoherant as being accepted for what it is, fiction BUT ONLY IN THE CONTEXT OF FICTION. But would be incoherant if someone litterally claimed that his acts were real and not fiction.

"God/deity/gods/super natural" are only coherant in the sense that people are used to claiming them. But they are absolutly NOT in any sense, nor ever were coherant in terms being real. Magical parents in the sky only coherant when called fiction.

"God" is a CLAIM. and that is all the coherance it deserves, everything else is made up by the believer. 

Claiming something doesnt automatically make it real. 

 

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Brian37 wrote:   What

Brian37 wrote:

 

What makes it incoherant is lack of evidence.

 I think this is incorrect. It is not incoherent because of lack of evidence. The term "god" is incoherent therefore there can be no evidence. This is essentially what non-cognitivism says. What yo're saying is if I delivered up evidence then "god" would become a coherent term. But a non-cogitivist position is that there will NEVER be evidence and that it is futile to look for it. 


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Let me try this

Let me try this again.

 

Let's talk about flarbles. What is a flarble? Well, unless I can give it a positive ontology, I really can't say what a flarble is. There is nothing to talk about. Now take blarfles. Again, without a positive ontology, there is no point in talking about blarfles. THere is NOTHING useful that can be said about flarbles or blarfles. I can't ask how is a flarble different from a blarfle because there is no basis for comparison. Without positive ontologies there is no context within which we can discuss the merits of flarbles and blarfles. I can't even ask if you believe in flarbles because I can't say what a flarble is. Theological non-cognitivism goes beyond the colloquial definition of atheism and states that the term "god" is completely lacking in a positive ontology and therefore there is nothing to even discuss. It is a non-thing. It is incorrect to say God does not exist because there is no evidence for god. God CAN'T exist because the very term "god" lacks a positive ontology.

 

So saying athiesm is non-belief in god is logically equivalent to saying atheism is non-belief in flarbles or non-belief in blarfles.


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wavefreak wrote: Brian37

wavefreak wrote:
Brian37 wrote:

 

What makes it incoherant is lack of evidence.

I think this is incorrect. It is not incoherent because of lack of evidence. The term "god" is incoherent therefore there can be no evidence. This is essentially what non-cognitivism says. What yo're saying is if I delivered up evidence then "god" would become a coherent term. But a non-cogitivist position is that there will NEVER be evidence and that it is futile to look for it.

Now you are just being a stick in the mud. I am quite sure that YOU would never say that their will NEVER be any evidence for my snarfwidgit claim.

It is futile to look for evidence of absurd claims. You can bang your head against the wall all you want, I dont care. Your "god" claim is as valid as ganish, ouji boards and snarfwidigts.

Just as futile as believing that the earth was flat and just as futile as believing that Apollo pulled the sun across the sky with a charriot. All those claims were fervantly and zeolously believed as much as what you fervantly want to believe today, and still those claims eventually got sent were they belonged, in the fiction section.

 

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wavefreak wrote: Let me

wavefreak wrote:

Let me try this again.

 

Let's talk about flarbles. What is a flarble? Well, unless I can give it a positive ontology, I really can't say what a flarble is. There is nothing to talk about. Now take blarfles. Again, without a positive ontology, there is no point in talking about blarfles. THere is NOTHING useful that can be said about flarbles or blarfles. I can't ask how is a flarble different from a blarfle because there is no basis for comparison. Without positive ontologies there is no context within which we can discuss the merits of flarbles and blarfles. I can't even ask if you believe in flarbles because I can't say what a flarble is. Theological non-cognitivism goes beyond the colloquial definition of atheism and states that the term "god" is completely lacking in a positive ontology and therefore there is nothing to even discuss. It is a non-thing. It is incorrect to say God does not exist because there is no evidence for god. God CAN'T exist because the very term "god" lacks a positive ontology.

 

So saying athiesm is non-belief in god is logically equivalent to saying atheism is non-belief in flarbles or non-belief in blarfles.

Exactly, this is why, when speaking of the non-cognitivist, it is unappropriate to say that they have a non-belief in god. It is however completely correct to state that they lack a god belief which is what I and most other non-cognitivists I know of would claim. As I explain above I would even go as far as to contend that theists don't actually have an active belief in god, even though they may believe they do.

Of course, saying that the non-cognitivist does not have a non-belief in god but simply lacks a god belief is not saying that they consider it possible that a god exists either as there is no way one can afford possible status to an incoherent existence. Thus the distinction you draw here in trying to show atheism incoherent is based on what is, for the non-cognitivist a useless definition of the word atheism, and what is for the non-non-cognitivist, based in a claim to which they do not adhere.

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Vessel wrote:

Vessel wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Let me try this again.

 

Let's talk about flarbles. What is a flarble? Well, unless I can give it a positive ontology, I really can't say what a flarble is. There is nothing to talk about. Now take blarfles. Again, without a positive ontology, there is no point in talking about blarfles. THere is NOTHING useful that can be said about flarbles or blarfles. I can't ask how is a flarble different from a blarfle because there is no basis for comparison. Without positive ontologies there is no context within which we can discuss the merits of flarbles and blarfles. I can't even ask if you believe in flarbles because I can't say what a flarble is. Theological non-cognitivism goes beyond the colloquial definition of atheism and states that the term "god" is completely lacking in a positive ontology and therefore there is nothing to even discuss. It is a non-thing. It is incorrect to say God does not exist because there is no evidence for god. God CAN'T exist because the very term "god" lacks a positive ontology.

 

So saying athiesm is non-belief in god is logically equivalent to saying atheism is non-belief in flarbles or non-belief in blarfles.

Exactly, this is why, when speaking of the non-cognitivist, it is unappropriate to say that they have a non-belief in god. It is however completely correct to state that they lack a god belief which is what I and most other non-cognitivists I know of would claim. As I explain above I would even go as far as to contend that theists don't actually have an active belief in god, even though they may believe they do.

Of course, saying that the non-cognitivist does not have a non-belief in god but simply lacks a god belief is not saying that they consider it possible that a god exists either as there is no way one can afford possible status to an incoherent existence. Thus the distinction you draw here in trying to show atheism incoherent is based on what is, for the non-cognitivist a useless definition of the word atheism, and what is for the non-non-cognitivist, based in a claim to which they do not adhere.

 

So you're saying that non-belief in god is a form of god belief. Or that non-belief in god is not logically equivalent to lack of god belief.


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wavefreak wrote: So you're

wavefreak wrote:

So you're saying that non-belief in god is a form of god belief. Or that non-belief in god is not logically equivalent to lack of god belief.

Sort of. What I'm stating is that those who are not non-cognitivists do not claim that the term god is incoherent so for them it is completely reasonable to say that they don't believe in god 9however they think it 'god'is coherently defined). They seem to think that there is a coherent concept of god that they can specifically not believe in.

The non-cognitivist does not necessarily use the term atheist in this same way. The non-cognitivist has no specific god concept in which they disbelieve. They simply lack any god belief the same way one would lack belief in the actual existence of any entity or object for which there is no coherent definition. They can still know the term 'god' as an empty term (a token to which people attempt to place credit for such things as existence) and when they say they don't believe in any gods they are basically saying that there is nothing coherent to believe in denoted by the term 'god'. Therefor their atheism is lacking a belief in a god as opposed to not believing in some entity for which they think existence is a meaningful possibility or for which they think there is any actual meaning.

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wavefreak wrote: Vessel

wavefreak wrote:
Vessel wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Let me try this again.

 

Let's talk about flarbles. What is a flarble? Well, unless I can give it a positive ontology, I really can't say what a flarble is. There is nothing to talk about. Now take blarfles. Again, without a positive ontology, there is no point in talking about blarfles. THere is NOTHING useful that can be said about flarbles or blarfles. I can't ask how is a flarble different from a blarfle because there is no basis for comparison. Without positive ontologies there is no context within which we can discuss the merits of flarbles and blarfles. I can't even ask if you believe in flarbles because I can't say what a flarble is. Theological non-cognitivism goes beyond the colloquial definition of atheism and states that the term "god" is completely lacking in a positive ontology and therefore there is nothing to even discuss. It is a non-thing. It is incorrect to say God does not exist because there is no evidence for god. God CAN'T exist because the very term "god" lacks a positive ontology.

 

So saying athiesm is non-belief in god is logically equivalent to saying atheism is non-belief in flarbles or non-belief in blarfles.

Exactly, this is why, when speaking of the non-cognitivist, it is unappropriate to say that they have a non-belief in god. It is however completely correct to state that they lack a god belief which is what I and most other non-cognitivists I know of would claim. As I explain above I would even go as far as to contend that theists don't actually have an active belief in god, even though they may believe they do.

Of course, saying that the non-cognitivist does not have a non-belief in god but simply lacks a god belief is not saying that they consider it possible that a god exists either as there is no way one can afford possible status to an incoherent existence. Thus the distinction you draw here in trying to show atheism incoherent is based on what is, for the non-cognitivist a useless definition of the word atheism, and what is for the non-non-cognitivist, based in a claim to which they do not adhere.

 

So you're saying that non-belief in god is a form of god belief. Or that non-belief in god is not logically equivalent to lack of god belief.

You are trying to say that when someone outside your particular claim objects to the validity of it that they are being close minded.

If you are 50 years old and still believe that a man in a red suit manages to get 8 reindeer to land on every roof of every house in the world in on night, that somehow the person saying "there will never be any truth to that" is being close minded.

Absurd is absurd. Using a trash can is what people do with useless  things, and claims are no different.

The emotional person clings to claims merely "because". The practical person looks at the claim and examines it. If it is valid they retain it, if it isnt they discard it. 

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I'm so confused, wave!

I'm so confused, wave! It's been too long since I studied logic, but there's a fallacy so huge in your premise that I'm not even sure what to call it, or how to approach it.

You're suggesting that the concept to which logic is applied can somehow alter the validity of the logic? That's absurd! The whole point of logic is to establish validity. How could the existence of invalid logic invalidate valid logic? It flips my brain over trying to comprehend it.

If what you say is true, then the existence of any incoherent concept would invalidate logic, and everything would be incoherent. Ridiculous!

Quote:
If the term "god" is incoherent, haw can anything the uses this term in its defintioin be coherent?

Simple. The incoherent concept, god, is part of a coherent syllogism. The concept of incoherence has positive ontology. "God" is not in the syllogism. The concept of incoherence is. That is a coherent conept.

1) "God" is incoherent.

2) The concept of "god's incoherence" is coherent.

3) The statement, "I believe that the statement 'god is incoherent'" is coherent.

See where I'm going with this?

You're conflating the concept of god with the concept of the concept of god, to put it simply.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: I'm so

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm so confused, wave! It's been too long since I studied logic, but there's a fallacy so huge in your premise that I'm not even sure what to call it, or how to approach it.

Hence the way I started this thread ...

"THis probably boils down to my lack of expertise in logic, but I am confused about the defintion of atheism. "

Quote:

You're suggesting that the concept to which logic is applied can somehow alter the validity of the logic? That's absurd! The whole point of logic is to establish validity. How could the existence of invalid logic invalidate valid logic? It flips my brain over trying to comprehend it.

 

Brain flips are fun!

 

Quote:

If what you say is true, then the existence of any incoherent concept would invalidate logic, and everything would be incoherent. Ridiculous!

 

Uh. Definately not trying to overturn logic. Of course that would cause more than a few other brains to flip.

 

Quote:

1) "God" is incoherent.

2) The concept of "god's incoherence" is coherent.

3) The statement, "I believe that the statement 'god is incoherent'" is coherent.

 

This makes sense. Now if you add a few sentences that include atheist it would help me tie it all together.

 


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4) An incoherent thing

4) An incoherent thing cannot exist, by definition.

5) Since the concept of god is incoherent, and the belief in the incoherence of god is coherent, one who holds this belief holds a coherent belief.

6) Atheists who believe that the concept of god is incoherent believe in a coherent concept.

7) Atheists who believe that because the concept of god is incoherent, god therefore does not exist, believe in a coherent concept.

 

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oops... one more thing. 

oops... one more thing.  In logic, incoherent means nonsensical or lacking validity.  In terms of ontology, it means simply that something lacks a positive ontology, and therefore, cannot exist.

The definition quoted above is more of a cultural definition, and doesn't really apply to this discussion.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: 4) An

Hambydammit wrote:

4) An incoherent thing cannot exist, by definition.

5) Since the concept of god is incoherent, and the belief in the incoherence of god is coherent, one who holds this belief holds a coherent belief.

6) Atheists who believe that the concept of god is incoherent believe in a coherent concept.

7) Atheists who believe that because the concept of god is incoherent, god therefore does not exist, believe in a coherent concept.

 

 

Thanks for indulging me. If you can hold on to your patience ...

 

 I still don't see a definition of an atheist. Can't you change the last to to:

6) People who believe that the concept of god is incoherent believe in a coherent concept.

7) People who believe that because the concept of god is incoherent, god therefore does not exist, believe in a coherent concept.

 There is no atheism here.

I know I'm splitting hairs, but I'm a theist and can accept number 6 when applied to any traditional definition of god (isn't this why you prefer to not use the word god - because of all the implicit cultural meaning?) . The same goes for number 7. Would it be accurate to say that an athiest believes that no coherent conceptualization of god is ever possible, eliminating not just the traditional concept but any possible variants? 


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Quote: I still don't see a

Quote:
I still don't see a definition of an atheist.

I didn't define it because there are multiple varieties of atheists, and this discussion doesn't necessarily apply to all of them.

To be more precise, I can break down atheists a bit:

1) All atheists lack a belief in "god." That's the definition, of course.

2) Some atheists have a positive belief that there are no gods, by any definition.

3) Some atheists hold that there is nothing supernatural, and that any god defined as supernatural does not (and cannot) exist.

4) Some atheists believe that it is possible for a god to exist, but due to a total lack of evidence, they do not believe that one does.

5) Some atheists, believe it or not, don't dismiss the supernatural. They simply don't believe in any gods, though they believe that other, non-god supernatural things can or do exist.

I might have left some variants off this list, but I hope you can see where I'm going. Atheists simply share a lack of belief in "god," whatever that concept means to them.

For our discussion, the only atheists who fit are those who hold that the concept of the supernatural is incoherent, and that the definition of god is necessarily supernatural, and therefore, incoherent.

Quote:
6) People who believe that the concept of god is incoherent believe in a coherent concept.

I have no problem with this.

Quote:
7) People who believe that because the concept of god is incoherent, god therefore does not exist, believe in a coherent concept.

I'm also fine with this one.

The thing is, regardless of its inclusion in the discussion, there is:

1) An atheist, by definition, is anyone who does not believe in god.

by adding:

2) People who believe that because the concept of god is incoherent, god therefore does not exist, believe in a coherent concept.

3) People who believe said concept do not believe in god.

4) These people are atheists.

5) Atheists believe in a coherent concept.

QED

 

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Oops... forgot one of your

Oops... forgot one of your questions...

Quote:
Would it be accurate to say that an athiest believes that no coherent conceptualization of god is ever possible, eliminating not just the traditional concept but any possible variants?

Yes, but it would be wildly inaccurate to say that all atheists believe that.

 

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When you use the word

When you use the word 'chair' you could be referring to an object or you could be referring to the concept of chair.
"That chair is blue" - is referring to an object.
"Chairs are what we sit on" - is referring to the concept of 'chair'.

If the God concept is incoherent then to try an use the word 'God' as referring to a 'thing' is meaningless. To say that God doesn't exist doesn't need to refer to God as an 'object'. You can point out that the God concept is incoherent and that rules out existence.
I think that this is obviously wordplay! Smiling


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Strafio, thank you for

Strafio, thank you for saying in one paragraph what it took me a whole evening to get around to.

 

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Strafio wrote: When you use

Strafio wrote:
When you use the word 'chair' you could be referring to an object or you could be referring to the concept of chair. "That chair is blue" - is referring to an object. "Chairs are what we sit on" - is referring to the concept of 'chair'. If the God concept is incoherent then to try an use the word 'God' as referring to a 'thing' is meaningless. To say that God doesn't exist doesn't need to refer to God as an 'object'. You can point out that the God concept is incoherent and that rules out existence. I think that this is obviously wordplay! Smiling

 

Not word play. I really was confused. I'm better now. 


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lol wave... you really do

lol wave... you really do crack me up sometimes.

Glad you're feeling better.

 

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism