In regards to atheism.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by garbonzo, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    You asked: "Do you think it impossible that a theist can perceive God, and an atheist can't?"
    To clarify my answer from above, which you seem to want spelled out: No, I do not think it impossible: a theist can perceive "God" whether God actually exists or not: if God does not exist then the "God" that the theist perceives and believes in is simply in his imagination. The perception is there and interpreted to be "God".
    Perception is the interpretation that we give to what we sense. It can be fooled and is often fooled. It can be shaped by our experience, our motivation and expectations. While what we sense exists, our perception is entirely subjective and thus what we perceive might not actually exist.
    If you disagree then feel free to browse the Internet for relatively simple optical illusions, where our perception can be demonstrably different to reality.
    So, in summary, you are wrong; and just because you perceive God does not mean that God actually exists.
    As said, you use the term in a restrictive sense not necessitated by the definitions.
    It may make no sense to you but then you have always struggled with the agnostic atheist viewpoint.
    No, just because I have an absence of evidence I do not conclude that this is evidence of absence. But if you wish to keep asserting what you think my position is, I can happily drop out of the conversation entirely and let you argue with your strawman?
    No, it does not mean that God does not currently exist. It means that God may exist but I just don't know.
    Yet you argue as if all atheists are the same, and then in the next breath treat your own brand of atheism differently. Consistency, Jan.
    So now you're equating an atheist to being not good and untrustworthy?
    The issue, though, is not with your analogy but with you arguing that "this is the way all not good and untrustworthy people behave..." (to continue the analogy) only to then say "but when I act not good and untrustworthy I am able to behave differently."
    Do you not see that you are special pleading from your own arguments?
    So clearly you think there IS a difference between them, rather than "nothing". Consistency, please, Jan.
    So then the question is why do some people require evidence and some don't? And your inevitable answer of "they are without God" is a non-answer for question-begging, so please don't offer it up as your response. Come up with something that actually moves the conversation forward, if you can.
    No, it is right to explore it in this thread. This thread is about atheism, and this seems to be a key difference between atheists and those that aren't atheists.
    So do you have an answer?
    The quotation marks were not intended to suggest you had said it, just that it is a phrase in the same manner as "without God" - and in this context to be taken as meaning the opposite of "without God".
    No, it's really not.
    If God exists.
    So are you going to actually respond to what I said with anything that moves the conversation forward?
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  3. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    As side from the fact they are repetative, I don't want get in unnecessarily long discussions.

    So why do you say... "the fool doth say in his heart, there is no God" is an insult to atheists?

    You're without God. That makes you atheist. Left to the modern definition of atheist, we'd be left tippy-toeing around terms.

    You can suggest what you like. It all comes under your atheist (without God) umbrella.

    It seems to me that you have to be in control over issues that are beyond your control. You think that because you claim something, and it is sanctioned by a community of like-minded, it is so.

    The one thing every single atheist have in common is that they are without God. Meaning God does not exist in their atheist mind-set.

    I didn't say anything about atheists being evil. That is your weak little tactic, to give the impression that I have something against atheists.

    That means nothing, and you know it.
    What you mean to say is God does not exist, but for some reason you can't. Probably you don't want to be labelled as the fool that hath said in his heart, there is no God, or something. But don't think for a moment that anyone is fooled by inserting "probably into the statement.
    It is not a position.

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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No True Scotsman. And who are you to judge?
    I refer you to Baldeee's post #546, which I see you have so far ignored.
    But not modern definition, and it be hooves you to use the modern meaning of words. As stated, by all means go to the linguistics forum and raise the matter of the etymology of the word, and by all means use the concept you have of "without God", but do not equivocate "without God" with the modern meaning of atheist when the modern meaning is used.
    So you are distinguishing between casual atheists (e.g. those theists who just happen to forget God every now and then) and strong atheists? Okay, but here, yet again, you show yourself unable and/or unwilling to discuss the agnostic atheist position, instead putting atheists (other than your casual atheists) all into the "there is no God" bucket.
    Strike your strawman, Jan. I'm sure when one actually gets up and strikes back it'll have been time well spent on your part.
    And yet again you assert what you think my position to be, not what it actually is. Ooh, that straw man's looking mighty fierce, Jan.
    Your belief in God is not dependent on whether God exists or not??? So you would believe in God even if you knew he did not exist? Seriously??
    No, Jan, that's not what it's about. It's merely a means of explaining to you why we are the way we are, You know, that thing you professed to be interested in. Yet all you do is see everything as an attack to be defended.
    Without being able to back up that claim, yes it is.
    So previously when you said that there was no difference (your answer was "nothing") you lied?
    So what is it that causes one person to accept and the other not to? And again, as previously, an answer along the lines of those that don't are "without God" is a non-answer due to question-begging.
    You should be well versed in what the no true Scotsman fallacy is, Jan, as you use it often enough here. Me calling you out on it is not the blocker... your use of it is.
    So you undoubtedly believe.

    If you don't believe it is because you are without God.
    So to believe you need to be with God.
    But to be with God you need to believe.
    But for that you need to be with God.

    Joseph Heller has nothing on you, Jan.
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  7. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    That's all you needed to say.

    Immaterial. God does not currently exist for some, and does exist for some. You can only choose to look at it from your perspective if you like, but that's not the only perspective. I'm choosing to look at it from all perspectives.

    Irrelevant. From your perspective you are bound to say that about theism. You can't perceive God, therefore no one can. The discussion cannot progress if clog it up with sentiments like that.

    Why are we talking about existence as if it is the topic at hand. Why not assume that God exists, but atheists cannot perceive Him. I would say that is closer to the truth than all dancing around you and James seem to have a fondness for.

    You're talking nonsense Sarkus. How can you lack something that does not exist. Quit prancing around and explain yourself.

    No I haven't.

    agnostic : a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

    Agnosticism is a intellectual perspective. You are practical in your atheism. You donate time in defending it. You admit that you are without God, as God does not currently exist as far as you are aware. You insist that there is no evidence of God's existence, despite not having a clue as to what evidence would make one accept God. You go out of your way to quash anything that suggests. God's existence.

    What evidence are you absent of?

    That's not a position, Sarkus.
    Your position is, God does not exist, because He doesn't as far as you can tell.
    Sure you can say "I don't know if God exists, but you say that because God doesn't currently exist.

    It's not my own brand. It is based on the original, demonstrable, definition.
    I think what frightens you about the definition is its truthfulness.

    Are you really this desperate?

    No, because there is no special pleading.
    This is what you do when you are pinned, you start accusing folk of being illogical.
    Very weak.

    I recall saying : "if You were to ask YOURSELF that question...."

    In other words come up with something that suits your sensibilities and personal preference.
    No thanks, I'll call it as I see it.
    If you are without God, and other accept God, it is not surprising that you ask for evidence.

    So you'd like to think.

    It doesn't work like that.

    Theos = God
    A Theos = without God.

    It says nothing about being with God, so let's not confuse the issue.

    I think it is.

    How much further do you envisage?

  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Your position is, you are without God, Sarkus. Either that or you accept. God.
    Agnostic comes after.

    No it doesn't, especially if the modern meaning changes with every scenario, putting that particular atheist in the best possible light, by design.
    The original meaning applies to every, single, atheist.

    No my not being able to show God to you, is not dependent on whether or not God exists.

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    So you believe that Bible verse does not back up the claim? And you believe so because as far as you're concerned there is no evidence for God's existence. And there is no evidence for God's existence, because there is no God to leave evidence. And there is no God because there is no evidence of His existence, hence there is no God. Sorry, I mean there is PROBABLY no God.

    Previously you asked what enables me to accept God, to which I replied, nothing.
    "Acceptance" of God is the ingredient that makes an atheist become a theist.

    I'm getting tired of this dialogue. You have nothing to add but insults, and trying your best to catch me out.

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    Okay. Explain why it is a fallacy.

    I don't remember saying that, but what do you care, it fits your designer needs and sensibilities.

    I pity you, because you so desperately want to be right, you will claim illogic when there is none. Right out in the open.

  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Clearly not because you still fail to understand.
    God either exists or not, if God is anything more than a purely subjective matter. If so then our personal subjective view is irrelevant to the state of God's actual existence. There is no "currently exist for some" and "not exist for you" unless you are talking purely about subjective views. Is that what you're doing?
    You may be choosing that but you're not actually doing it, you're merely looking at through the caricatured strawman you've created.
    First, that's not the sentiment being expressed, and secondly you are still simply arguing your strawman version of atheism.
    Spoken against your strawman, Jan.
    This has been explained time and time again, Jan. The word "lack" does not necessitate that thing existing. It is therefore quite possible for the thing one is lacking to never have actually existed.
    I lack the ability to rearrange all my atoms at will. Has that ability ever existed? No. QED.
    On that we disagree.
    If you actually bothered to read and comprehend what I write, I defend both my agnosticism and my atheism as and when required. You fail to comprehend the agnostic position, even if you can trot out a definition, and focus on what you think you do understand, so it is no wonder you think I only defend my atheism.
    No, you assert I am without God. I admit I am not aware that God does exist but I can't say that I am therefore "without God". Have you even defined what you mean by "without God"? If you have, please point to the post number. If not, please can you define what you mean?
    I do not insist that there is no evidence of God's existence, only that there is no evidence that I am aware of that rationally leads me to conclude that God exists. If you have some evidence then by all means put it forth.
    I also do not go out of my way to quash anything that suggests God's existence. I simply apply what I consider to be a logical and rational thought process to the evidence presented. I'm sorry if you feel I should be convinced by something which convinces you... can you put it forth for further examination so that we can see where the differences lie?
    The thing is, Jan, while you accuse atheists of rejecting any evidence that you think might suggest that God exists, you have yet to put anything forward that convinces you that God does exist.
    Evidence that rationally leads me to conclude that God exists.
    Yes it is. It is my position.
    So once again you simply want to assert what you want my position to be, because you fail to comprehend my actual position. Go and play with your strawman, Jan, if that is all you are going to do.
    No, I say that because I don't know if God does exist or not.
    It may be the original, but it is not the one currently used by anyone but you in this discussion. Thus it is aptly considered your brand. Further, if you make a claim about atheists but then apply a different rule to you in your atheistic moment, then you are clearly not the same brand of atheist as those others.
    You can, and clearly do, think what you want, irrespective of what others actually say. So why should you be any different here.
    No, just a highlight of your subconscious workings.
    There is, Jan, whenever you make a rule about the way atheists behave but then allow yourself to behave differently.
    No, Jan, it is just a pity that you litter them throughout your responses. Eventually your responses become so tangled and fallacious that the only thing one can do is highlight them. And then you cry foul. Go figure.
    Yes, and if you think I would see a difference then clearly there is a difference, even if it is one you do not find that difference relevant but think that I would.
    So are you going to answer?
    All I ask is that you come up with an answer that will further the discussion, Jan. You claim to want to understand things but offer nothing to actually help advance your understanding, other than just stroke your strawman.
    Then provide it and we'll all be happy. Even just provide an example of what you consider to be evidence.
    I'd very much like to think you have an answer. Are you going to share it? Or don't you have one?
    So you think there's a middle way between being "with God" and "without God"? Care to express what that is? Or is this just mere fluster on your part?
    Then you must surround yourself with relative shallowness.
    That's up to you, Jan.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    And once again you assert your view of another's position as fact, without actually comprehending, or seeking to comprehend. GO stroke your strawman, Jan.
    That's not the issue. The issue is that not every person "without God" is an atheist (modern usage). You dogmatically refuse to even address this, instead always reverting to your view that modern atheist are all "without God".
    I never said it did. So why answer a strawman argument other than to avoid answering what was actually asked.
    You're asking me if I think the Bible verse you quoted does not back up the Bible verse you quoted?? Or are you asking if the Bible does not back it up? If the latter then the onus is still on you to support the claim that you made. As such it stands as an insult. If you feel the Bible supports the claim - put forward that support.
    None that I am aware of that rationally leads me to believe that God exists.
    Nope, that's not my view. Strawman again, Jan.
    Again, not my view, just the view of your strawman.
    There must be something, Jan. Or is it that you're just not aware of what that something is?
    And what do you mean by "acceptance"?
    Trust me, I'm not having to try very hard. And where have I insulted you?
    Because you dismiss any counter-argument against your claim as not being about a true example of that which you are claiming, but with no way to actually prove that the counter-argument is invalid.
    I don't want to be right, Jan, I simply would like to know the truth, not merely someone's perception of the truth.
    And I call you out on your fallacies when you are fallacious, Jan. If you are ever unclear on what your transgression is then you just have to ask.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Let's be clear about this.
    If one person believes God objectively exists, and another person believes God objectively does not exist, one of them is objectively wrong.

    If a theist asserts that God objectively exists, they are asserting that it exists in the same world where atheists live (i.e. that atheists are wrong).
    If an atheist asserts that God objectively does not exist, they are asserting that it does not exist in the same world where theists live (i.e. that atheists are wrong).
    i.e. objective means 'applies to all'.

    If, however, one talks about God does not exist "for a given person", then that is subjective.
    It also means one talks about God does exist "for a given person", then that too is subjective.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    But you are not looking at it from all perspectives. Even you must acknowledge that you are not looking at it from an atheist perspective.

    What you are doing is looking at an atheist from a theist's perspective.

    Surely you agree?
  13. Michael 345 In China - finding my way :) Valued Senior Member

    From a thesist satanists I would not be laying bets on you getting that surely agreed on

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  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    An alternate way of resolving this equivocation is to acknowledge that, by Jan's personal definition of atheism, we are not atheists.

    Jan insists that atheism means 'without (the God that actually exists)' And according to that - no, we are not atheists, since we at not without something that actually exists.

    The word, at least to Jan, cannot have any meaning unless God does exist.
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Best just to ignore Jan's nonsense, there's nothing to be gained there, except as an example of the deep dishonesty surrounding typical theist arguments, if they even bother to make one.
  16. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    To be fair, nothing has any meaning to Jan unless God exists - which is quite sad, in its own way...
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  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    You answered my question with a question again. Here's what I asked you:

    How can you be sure your internal gut instinct about God is reliable, Jan?

    Now, try again.

    I agree with Dave.

    None of the atheists posting here fit your definition of "atheist".

    You have your own idiosyncratic definition of that word, and nobody here who calls himself and atheist agrees with your definition.

    The thing is, Jan: you don't get to define us.

    What you have is a straw man conception of what an atheist is. And you're stubbornly sticking to it no matter how many atheists tell you that it doesn't apply to them.

    Why don't you crawl back into your box?

    This is a discussion about a label, Jan. You are dealing with a group of people who claim that label for themselves. They are the authorities on what the label means to them. You are not. You are trying to control issues that are beyond your control.

    Atheists don't believe in God. It's not a hard concept to get your head around Jan.

    God doesn't need to exist in order for atheists not to believe in him. You can't get your head around this because it has never occurred to you that God doesn't exist. You're living inside a box and you can't see outside.

    This is the crux of this entire dispute.

    To say "God probably does not exist" does not mean nothing. It means we're evaluating the chances of God's existence in the light of the available information, and deciding that the likelihood that God exists is small.

    Because you live in a box you have created for yourself, it doesn't occur to you that the chance that God exists could be anything less than 100%. This is why the idea of estimating the chances means nothing to you. This is why you have to deny that other people think that way. You don't think about it. You just believe with your gut.

    If you ever want to understand the atheist perspective, this is the start. Atheists (mostly) do not hold that God definitely does not exist. And that remains true regardless of how many times you claim the opposite.

    You haven't been reading my posts properly. The fact that there probably isn't a God isn't a big deal for me. I don't care whether you think I'm a fool because I don't just believe in your unevidenced God. I think your beliefs are groundless. And I also think you're a fool for not making the bare minimum effort required to understand the point of view of the people you are trying to hold a conversation with.

    1. God certainly exists.
    2. God might possibly exist.
    3. God certainly does not exist.

    You're seriously saying that you regard options 2 and 3 here as identical, are you? This is what you're asking us to accept.

    I'm sure you admit no further options lying on that scale between 1 and 2, either, even though some of your fellow theists would no doubt say their views fall somewhere in that region. No doubt you'd say they don't really believe in God properly, and that the only possible valid belief is option 1 because "God Is" and that's obvious to you. You know because of your magic gut feelings and your special connection to God that gives you magical knowledge that other people lack.
  18. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I thought so, too.

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    With Jan harking on about using the original meaning of the words, and avoiding answering any criticism that he is cherry-picking when he does this to suit himself...
    It seemed an appropriate response to drive home the ridiculousness of his position,
    So what did these words originally mean (I hear literally none of you ask):
    Nice - this used to mean simple, naive, stupid
    Silly - this used to mean worthy, or blessed
    Facetious - described someone who had urbane manners or who was polished
    Pedant - teacher or schoolmaster
    Awful - full of, or worthy of awe
    Artificial - full of artistic or technical skill
    Last - highest, utmost
    Villain - a farm labourer

    There are so many words that have gone through a semantic change that it is simply puzzling why someone would deliberately and stubbornly cling to the original meaning of just one word yet not others.
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  19. Michael 345 In China - finding my way :) Valued Senior Member

    Security blanket?

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  20. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Here's the thing, I didn't mention anything about "gut feeling". That hails from your atheist conception.

    You're all without God.

    You don't need to agree with it. It is you default position.

    I'm not defining you.

    You and all atheists are without God, James. That is why you don't believe He exists, let alone in Him. If you require external evidence to accept He exists, you do so because you are without.

    I'm not denying your labels.
    You are still without God, no matter what label you apply.

    So you get to say what you think about me, but I cannot say what I think about you?

    How are you evaluating it?

    Why would it be anything less than 100%?
    Your position dictates that you can't be sure because you are without God. You need physical data to decide whether or not God exists. That alone says it all.

    I'm not disputing what you think. Plus what I am proposing is not the opposite of what you think. I'm saying you're currently without God. A position every atheist occupies.

    Again it is alright for you to try and define me, and my belief, but it is not alright for me to do the same. This is a double standard.

    You can add anything you want to that list. You are still without God. You conclusion that God probably doesn't exist, is apparent because you are currently without God. It doesn't matter if you think God doesn't exist, that is your position.

    I can see why you'll think that, given your position.

  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    I'm a theist so I naturally look at it from my position. You're an atheist so you naturally look at it from your position.

    From my position God exists despite what I may think. From your position God does not exist despite what you might think.

  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Well, you are without logic.

    In 500 posts, you are still unable to look at the subject without assuming your case is a foregone conclusion.

    That is a failure in basic logic.
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    The difference is, I/we are capable of looking at the possibility that we are wrong. And do. The possibility that we are wrong is part of our view.

    You cannot say the same.

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