Atheism is a belief.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Tht1Gy!, Nov 3, 2007.

?

I know how to use a dictionary.

  1. Yes, and I incorporate its info.

    57.1%
  2. Yes, but I still like to make up definitions as I go along.

    20.4%
  3. No, I believe in "Truthiness"

    34.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    If 1 doesn't know something, 1 cannot believe it.
    I have a need for certainty about everything but that very thing prevents me from pretending I know something.
    Gods can't exist & not exist.
     
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  3. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    Swarm,

    The only reason I bring in the gnostic part is because ultimately the question becomes, can you prove there is no god ? And the answer is no.

    If you are conversing with a theist and they bring up the question, are you just not going to answer the question ? Of course not. When you do the two of you do the swing your partner round and round for a few hours and nobody gets anywhere.

    The reality is, the atheist/agnostic argument is far more powerful than the atheist argument when dealing with a theist. Oh by the way thanks to Tdawg I am now an atheist/agnostic and not just an agnostic.

    The atheist v theist argument always revolves around the idea, belief in or not of God.

    The theist v agnostic argument cuts immediately after the first question to religion.

    This is the only thing that is involved. God is not involved. They can't prove it and you can't either and that is resolved on question number one.

    Goes like this, do you believe in god ? No, but I can't prove there is no god. Ok, then what do you believe ? I do not believe any religion of any kind or any person in the world knows jack sh*t about what happens to you after your gone and if they claim to can't prove it. Or take whatever avenue you want to bring up the real issue, religion which is what drives the belief in god.

    Now god is no longer the focus of the debate which is a futile debate. Religion on the other hand is another matter altogether.

    Religion is what is ultimately connected to their god or belief in the supernatural of somekind and that is where the mistake is.

    JA
     
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  5. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    Swarm,

    you stated:

    "I've no need for absolute cetainty about gods"

    Exactly, so why would you want to argue endlessly about a question you can not answer nor can be convinced of.
     
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  7. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    Stranger,

    "Gods can't exist & not exist."

    I agree but neither can be proven just as nobody can prove the toothfairy doesn't exist.

    We are pretty damned sure they don't but can't prove it.

    Agnosticism is the only thing that addresses that logical step to allow for the unknown, as ridiculous as they may be. Arguing points of likelihood is another matter.

    "I have a need for certainty about everything but that very thing prevents me from pretending I know something."

    I like that.

    ja
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    9,558
    Bear in mind that you can have people who are agnostic theists... i.e. they understand their God to be unknowable but still believe it exists. This might be through Pascal's wager - or through the psychological benefits that the act of "believing" might provide them, or due to something different - but these people do exist.

    So it is not as simple as "theist v agnostic". Agnosticism is not the "absence of belief" stance. It is merely a stance on the knowability (or not) of God, irrespective of one's stance on belief / non-belief in the existence or non-existence.
    However, from experience it tends to be agnosticism, coupled with rationality, that leads many to also being atheist (as in the absence of belief in the existence of God). But not all.
     
  9. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    Swarm,

    "I find atheists who claim a gnosis about the question have a difficult position because they forfiet the position of forcing the theist to support their original gnostic position in making their own claim of knowing. Personally I see no point in this."

    It's the exact opposite.

    Once they ask you if you believe in god and you say no, they ask you to prove there is no god. It's a simple ploy to avoid the hard questions which can't be left to the supernatural.

    But you can make sure you challenge their level of scrutiny about what they believe. Since the subject of god is a merry go round, I choose to agree to disagree there and focus my dis-belief on their religions which are full of absolute nonsense.

    I take away what they want to talk about and focus on what can be resovled in a discussion.

    Do you believe in god ? No, and I can't prove there is no god. Why do you believe in god ? Because the Bible says so. Oh really ?

    Ja
     
  10. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    Sarkus,

    Excellent points not to be overlooked. Thank you.

    I wonder if theist/agnostics would want to talk about religion or keep the discussion on god ?
     
  11. Balerion Banned Banned

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    8,596
    Your logic had been flawed in all of your posts until this one. This passage nails it, at least for the bulk of the paragraph. I get a little bored at the end at all the hair-splitting, but it still works. The bottom line is that you either do or you don't, and while your position can entirely be "I don't know" the simple fact is that you believe or you don't. You can't be in the middle. You either believe and know, don't believe and know, or don't believe and don't know.
     
  12. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    3,535
    Wow. So you guys have beliefs all the time. You are consistant in all moments with beliefs. You never waver in your beliefs of what you believe in. And you never have moments when you think other things might actually true. (I am speaking in general here about beliefs). It is black and white. If you believe you never doubt. If you do not believe, you never doubt.

    Let's take a political issue: corporations actually threaten democracy. You either believe this to be true or do not. Black and white. 24 hours a day, you just have the same belief or non-belief.

    That is fantastic! (in the old sense of the word)
     
  13. Balerion Banned Banned

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    8,596
    Did you read what I wrote? No, apparently not. I say it is totally possible to be one side or the other and to not be certain. But you ultimately either do or don't. There are shades of gray, but they exist on either side of the border, not between the border.
     
  14. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    3,535
    Phlog did several times.
    One example:
    JDawg did:
    And Phlog again, directly denying that it covers both those who believe there is no God and those who simply lack a belief

     
  15. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    Jdawg,

    "You can't be in the middle. You either believe and know, don't believe and know, or don't believe and don't know."

    Yes, and I choose "don't believe and don't know". During our discussions and because of our discussions I have evolved my thinking to an atheist/agnostic position. The don't know is simply due to the fact that nobody can claim that knowledge no matter how one tries. To claim otherwise is simply asking for a round and round discussion on god, which goes nowhere.

    Care to have a you got chocalate in my peanut butter, no you got peanut butter in my chocalate moment, it sounds like it is perfectly reasonable and logical for us both to be atheist/agnostics based on our discussions.

    But I won't speak for you.

    JA
     
  16. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    I think if you read your post again you will see that it is not so clear. I am glad you see shades of grey. And I get it now that you do.
     
  17. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    Jdawg,

    "There are shades of gray, but they exist on either side of the border, not between the border. "

    I agree with that almost completely. I don't know any agnostics that hold firmly to a middle position of somekind. In fact I don't know any theist/agnostics because that side tends to be believers.

    So for the most part to a high degree, people either believe or they don't. The only problem comes with trying to prove that gods do or don't exist. Nobody can and that is why the gnostic part comes in, to essentially avoid the impossible question because it is futile.

    As I tried to explain before, not taking that position gets to the real meat of the issue which is religion which is full of nonsense and is a subject that can be addressed with a logical end.

    So again I think we agree for the most part.

    Thanks again.
     
  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    15,396
    “ Originally Posted by StrangerInAStrangeLa
    "It shows that the word atheist has meant both those who do not believe in God and those who believe there is no God, for a long, long time." Neither Phlog nor JDawg nor I ever contradicted this. "Those who believe there is no god" is a subset of "Those who don't believe in gods". Atheist = no belief in gods. ”

    Phlog did several times.
    One example:

    “ Originally Posted by phlogistician
    Dictionaries record definitions, and usage. The word is most often used incorrectly. From an etymological pov the meaning is clearer; 'without faith in god'.

    As an atheist I want to claim the word back, and use it only in it's pure form.

    The supposed subdivision of the word are fallacious, you cannot have degrees of not having something. Like I have said, if you want a word for someone who holds the view that god does not exist, use 'anti-theist', as that is more correct. ”

    JDawg did:

    “ Originally Posted by JDawg
    No, it isn't. How many times must it be told to you that atheism is the lack of belief in god? It's not "there is no god", but "I don't believe in god". ”

    And Phlog again, directly denying that it covers both those who believe there is no God and those who simply lack a belief


    “ Originally Posted by Simon Anders
    No. I'm sorry, but common usage includes both uses.
    ”Phlog
    Common usage is incorrect.

    The word, etymologically, means 'without faith'.

    It is widely used incorrectly, and dictionaries record this misconception. There is a move amongst atheists to correct this. Soon, hopefully, once the public have been educated, and the correct usage is commonly used, dictionaries will record a more accurate usage.

    It seems the only obstacle to this correction are theists, oddly. "

    Stranger ======= WHERE in all that is anyone excluding either those who do not believe in God or those who believe there is no God???????????????

    I've never heard or heard of any atheist claiming someone isn't an atheist unless they believe there is no god or unless they believe there could be gods.

    Some atheists say there are no gods. I suspect most do so for convenience & expediency. I hate statements like that but I easily understand & sympathize.

    You & I & several others went round&round on this in vain. It didn't make any sense then, it doesn't make any sense now.
     
  19. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    Simon,

    "Wow. So you guys have beliefs all the time. You are consistant in all moments with beliefs. You never waver in your beliefs of what you believe in. And you never have moments when you think other things might actually true. (I am speaking in general here about beliefs). It is black and white. If you believe you never doubt. If you do not believe, you never doubt."

    I don't live this way. However, remember whatever fantastical thoughts you had at some moment about how things really are and that our understanding of reality is not real, then you need to create a theory and it needs to be subject to scrutiny.

    The grey areas are filled with the same thing, ignorance.

    We are very clear when we see an orange fall off a tree in front of us what it was that fell, but are not so sure about what just flashed across the sky. Doesn't mean there isn't an answer to what flashed across. If you don't know and you claim you do you are a fool and a liar. So I would admit that I don't know what it was but I wouldn't then make the leap to it was a alien craft and they lifted me off the ground with their mind powers.

    It's about being grounded in reality and going from there.
     
  20. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    Simon,

    I was responding to "speaking in general about beliefs".
     
  21. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

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    This was all you needed to say. The rest seemed to impliy things about me that are based on false assumptions and it seemed like you were taking a teacher role in relationship with me, which I'll be happy to ask for if the need arises, but it hasn't yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  22. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    4,207
    If only that were true things would be so simple. Alas most people just aren't into certain belief and are willing to sink into the depths of blind faith.

    I did say it was meaningless.
     
  23. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    4,207
    Actually that is not true. You can't empirically prove god doesn't exist because impirical proof doesn't work that way. But you can prove that categorically god as defined is impossible.

    But that is really an exercise for the bored atheist.

    Things are not accepted as having actual existence until there is actual physical evidence of their existence. The theists, as the ones claiming there is a god, have to present a god to back their claim up, or they are just blowing smoke out their asses. All the atheist is responsible for is saying: you haven't shown your claim to be supported. Show me your gods.

    The gnostic/agnostic debate is more a side bet on if the theists could actually succeed even if there was a god. But as long as the direct evidence remains at zero, that argument is kind of moot.

    I simple ask them to prove Thor doesn't exist cause Thor can beat up Jesus' punk ass any day.

    Only if you are going after the categorical impossibility prize [i.e. its impossible to know if god exists]. Personally I have trouble making claims about undefined entities.

    While I'm sympathetic and basically agree with your cause, don't think that it can't be ignored with the same ferocious ignorance the theist brings to everything.

    Its fun.
     

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