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Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 18:47
Where did I say I might not exist?

I *know* I exist, I'm the entity that is doing my perceiving. I think, therefore, I am. I can't prove with absolute certainty that you exist.

The most I can do is conditionally accept the posit that you exist - in other words, I am *assuming* you exist up until the point at which I have some reason to think you don't. I do this not because such assumptions are automatically logically valid - but because it is consistent with what I'm perceiving. You *appear* to be an entity such as myself, that is percieving, and you *consistently* appear that way.

Are you denying that, for instance, schizophrenics can hallucinate entire people that appear completely real to them?

Are you denying that it's possible that you are a brain in a vat and all of your perception is false?

I have a fair amount of confidence that I am, because of the consistency of what I perceive - but there's always the possibility that all my perceptions are false.



Close enough?


Maybe we can put this to rest.

Do you believe with at least 95% certainty that you are competent and aware enough to continue?

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 18:50
Many theists will acknowledge there is no proof, and that they simply have faith that their deity exists.

It appears that at least one atheist will acknowledge that there is no proof, and that he has faith that no deity exists.

Further proof that atheism is a religion......? I think so.

NO. You really can not wrap your head around this. Saying it over and over does not make it so.

We booth agree there is no proof.

I come to the conclusion there is no god aka I know based on proof (there is none) there is no god.

You use FAITH and believe there is a god. Huge difference and it is childish circular talk to try and say I have to have faith to.

What kinda of proof I need? The same level that would require you not to need faith to believe it.

Lone Wolf8634
11-11-2010, 18:54
OK, other than chance vs. design, what other options are there?

It seems to be pretty basic to any explanation on how we came to be.

I accept the logical one. Already explained why.

I am still wondering why atheism must be a religion if its a lack of religion.

What is the mythology behind atheism?

What morals does it teach?

Where are the churches?

Prayers?

Offerings?

Priests? Shamans? Witch Doctors?

Ceremonies?

Scriptures?

I mean really Doc, by your definitions, FSM really is a religion. As would be just damn near anything that we cant yet explain. The Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot could be defined as a religion, even if you dont believe in them.

As to the origins of life, the universe and everything? I bet not one athiest here will tell you that they have complete faith in the Big Bang or evolution. What we will say is it makes a lot more sense than thinking an omnipotent, omniscient being out on a magical mystery tour just decided that he (she,it) needed to create everything so that..what? he-she-it could have a playground?

Its not faith, its not belief and its not religion. Its only logic and reason and a general unwillingness to go along with foolishness simply because so many others do.

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 18:55
If you have strong doubts in the existence of a deity, and admit that you have no proof, but are between 51% and 99% sure that no deity exists, that makes you an atheistic agnostic.

.

Please offer proof of something that does not exist anything I will wait. It is childish to ask me or anybody to prove something that they claim exist when they can't prove it exist.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:01
I accept the logical one. Already explained why.

I am still wondering why atheism must be a religion if its a lack of religion.

What is the mythology behind atheism?

What morals does it teach?

Where are the churches?

Prayers?

Offerings?

Priests? Shamans? Witch Doctors?

Ceremonies?

Scriptures?

I mean really Doc, by your definitions, FSM really is a religion. As would be just damn near anything that we cant yet explain. The Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot could be defined as a religion, even if you dont believe in them.

As to the origins of life, the universe and everything? I bet not one athiest here will tell you that they have complete faith in the Big Bang or evolution. What we will say is it makes a lot more sense than thinking an omnipotent, omniscient being out on a magical mystery tour just decided that he (she,it) needed to create everything so that..what? he-she-it could have a playground?

Its not faith, its not belief and its not religion. Its only logic and reason and a general unwillingness to go along with foolishness simply because so many others do.

It's a belief in that which cannot be proven, a faith that no deity exists, and therefore believes that the process of creation happened without an intelligent design.

Why can it not be religion?

Most religions have many different factions and denominations, some are centrally controlled, others are individual.

Maybe I can state it a different way.

Although I have no proof, I choose to disbelieve that atheism is not a religion.


Better?

Lone Wolf8634
11-11-2010, 19:02
Right. Disbelief = lack of belief. Hence, the statement that an atheist does not believe a deity exist, is true.

I know many devout christians that will admit that they have no proof that God, or a God exists.


Denial is unhealthy.



If you have strong doubts in the existence of a deity, and admit that you have no proof, but are between 51% and 99% sure that no deity exists, that makes you an atheistic agnostic.

Atheists believe that no deity exists.
Atheists do not believe that a deity exists.

You can't slide a **** hair in between the two sentences above. It's only the difference between active and passive speech.

Atheists dismiss all deity's as unrealistic.

Thats as far as atheism goes.

Dismissing deity's does not constitute belief or faith in anything else.

And there is a difference in accepting a theory and believing in it.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:05
Please offer proof of something that does not exist anything I will wait. It is childish to ask me or anybody to prove something that they claim exist when they can't prove it exist.

I've already stated that I have no proof either. I have no proof either way, but have seen evidence from both sides that support their arguments, that either a deity exists, or that no deity exists.

Without conclusive proof either way, I have landed in the position that maybe there is, maybe there isn't.

Atheists believe that no deity exists, or do not believe that a deity exists.

Same thing really. They have a firm belief, without conclusive proof, and adhere to that belief with a religious fervor.

void *
11-11-2010, 19:06
What sort of evidence would you require to change your mind, and believe that a deity exists?

Will you answer the same question?

For me it would be a matter of either revelation that I could somehow be confident was not hallucination or internally generated, or observable evidence - or the same kind of evidence that leads me to conditionally accept that *you* exist. Even though, at the bottom, I can't prove it with certainty - and you can't prove it to me with certainty.

However, if there were an omniscient, omnipotent deity, that deity would certainly know what it would take.

void *
11-11-2010, 19:10
Atheists believe that no deity exists, or do not believe that a deity exists.

Same thing really.

No, it is not the same thing.

They are two different affirmative statements which refer to one truth variable.

The only condition for being 'atheist' is the part of your sentence after the 'or'.

That is rejection of the affirmative statement 'A god or god exists'. Can you honestly say 'the statement "a god or gods exists" is true'? If not, you don't believe it.

The part before the 'or' is acceptance of the affirmative statement 'No god or gods exist'.

And, again, you yourself should recognize that they are two different statements, the acceptance of which is separate - because you, by your own statements, cannot accept either of them as true.

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 19:13
I've already stated that I have no proof either. I have no proof either way, but have seen evidence from both sides that support their arguments, that either a deity exists, or that no deity exists.

Without conclusive proof either way, I have landed in the position that maybe there is, maybe there isn't.

Atheists believe that no deity exists, or do not believe that a deity exists.

Same thing really. They have a firm belief, without conclusive proof, and adhere to that belief with a religious fervor.

If the question is either a deity exists, or that no deity exists, and there is no proof there is a deity that leads to the logical conclusion no deity. The conclusive proof is that there is no proof to the contrary. That took logic not faith.

If at some point proof comes along that logical leads to a deity at that point I will logically start to believe in a deity. No faith needed, you can have my share.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:14
Will you answer the same question?

For me it would be a matter of either revelation that I could somehow be confident was not hallucination or internally generated, or observable evidence - or the same kind of evidence that leads me to conditionally accept that *you* exist. Even though, at the bottom, I can't prove it with certainty - and you can't prove it to me with certainty.

However, if there were an omniscient, omnipotent deity, that deity would certainly know what it would take.

See, that's the fun of getting there first. :supergrin:

I promise, that I'll answer fully if you answer fully.

Let me add another question. Without proof, why are you so sure one way or the other? You are definitely leaning toward one conclusion.


Are you sure it's not faith?

void *
11-11-2010, 19:14
Do you believe with at least 95% certainty that you are competent and aware enough to continue?

Can you prove to me that you are? (Not so much the competence - which looks to me like a sideways jab, to avoid the point I'm making - but the aware part)

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 19:17
Reading Doc and Void argument while drinking got me wondering if im here.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:21
If the question is either a deity exists, or that no deity exists, and there is no proof there is a deity that leads to the logical conclusion no deity. The conclusive proof is that there is no proof to the contrary. That took logic not faith.

If at some point proof comes along that logical leads to a deity at that point I will logically start to believe in a deity. No faith needed, you can have my share.

Nope. Let me fix that for ya.

If the question is either a deity exists, or that no deity exists, and there is no proof there is a deity, AND THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THERE IS NOT A DEITY, that leads to the logical conclusion THAT I DON'T KNOW.

CONCLUSIVE PROOF DOES NOT EXIST, SO LOGICALLY, WE CANNOT REACH A CONCLUSION.


THAT took logic

Your position took a leap of faith. Which brings us back to the original question, why is it so hard to admit?

:dunno:

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:22
Reading Doc and Void argument while drinking got me wondering if im here.

Slow down a bit. Take some B complex and Vitamin D, drink plenty of water, and you'll feel better in the morning. :supergrin:

:cheers: sounds like a good idea, i think I have a couple in the fridge.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:24
Can you prove to me that you are? (Not so much the competence - which looks to me like a sideways jab, to avoid the point I'm making - but the aware part)

The predominate evidence is that I do exist. I think, therefore I am. It's a lot more than that, including recall, experience, and interaction with others that also believe they exist. It is at least enough evidence that it has convinced me.

void *
11-11-2010, 19:26
I promise, that I'll answer fully if you answer fully.

Well, I gave you two ways. I'll give examples of each (I've already given examples of one of them)

Internal revelation - say I start hearing a voice in my head that says it is God. My initial reaction would be that I am possibly hallucinating. But let's suppose this voice told me that, tomorrow, such and such an event would happen, and that event actually happened, and I could confirm with, say, my wife, that this event actually happened. This would convince me that the voice is, if not necessarily God, at least some kind of entity that has knowledge of future events.

If the voice then tells me to kill my kids - I'm going to think that voice is not God. (this is, tbh, starting to sound like the plot of a book ...)

The other is evidence. If, for instance, there were a deity running around being as actively involved with the world as deities are represented as being in, say, the Greek pantheon, or the Old Testament, there would be plenty of reason to accept that such gods exist. This goes back to the supernatural head popping out of thin air example I've given earlier.

I am not limiting the things that would convince me to solely the above two examples. They are just an attempt to convey what I meant when I previously answered.

Let me add another question. Without proof, why are you so sure one way or the other? You are definitely leaning toward one conclusion.


Are you sure it's not faith?

I'll tell you what - I can answer this, but the easiest way I can think of to answer it is if you actually consider the likelihood that there are invisible, incorporeal pixies in my backyard to be low.

I suspect that is true, but I'd like to have it confirmed, because it will help a lot to answer your question if this is actually the case.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:27
Atheists dismiss all deity's as unrealistic.

Thats as far as atheism goes.

Dismissing deity's does not constitute belief or faith in anything else.

And there is a difference in accepting a theory and believing in it.

Not according to Merriam-Webster.


Is it at least possible, that what you are describing is an atheistic agnostic?

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 19:34
Please offer proof of something that does not exist anything I will wait. It is childish to ask me or anybody to prove something that they claim exist when they can't prove it exist.

Nope. Let me fix that for ya.

If the question is either a deity exists, or that no deity exists, and there is no proof there is a deity, AND THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THERE IS NOT A DEITY, that leads to the logical conclusion THAT I DON'T KNOW.

CONCLUSIVE PROOF DOES NOT EXIST, SO LOGICALLY, WE CANNOT REACH A CONCLUSION.


THAT took logic

Your position took a leap of faith. Which brings us back to the original question, why is it so hard to admit?

:dunno:


I will accept that answer fully when you answer my question and "Please offer proof of something that does not exist anything I will wait."

Until that time I don't know how to give some kinda of proof for something that does not exist.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:35
Well, I gave you two ways. I'll give examples of each (I've already given examples of one of them)

Internal revelation - say I start hearing a voice in my head that says it is God. My initial reaction would be that I am possibly hallucinating. But let's suppose this voice told me that, tomorrow, such and such an event would happen, and that event actually happened, and I could confirm with, say, my wife, that this event actually happened. This would convince me that the voice is, if not necessarily God, at least some kind of entity that has knowledge of future events.

If the voice then tells me to kill my kids - I'm going to think that voice is not God. (this is, tbh, starting to sound like the plot of a book ...)

The other is evidence. If, for instance, there were a deity running around being as actively involved with the world as deities are represented as being in, say, the Greek pantheon, or the Old Testament, there would be plenty of reason to accept that such gods exist. This goes back to the supernatural head popping out of thin air example I've given earlier.

I am not limiting the things that would convince me to solely the above two examples. They are just an attempt to convey what I meant when I previously answered.

My honest answer is that I do not know now. But the moment I see it, I'll know what it is.




I'll tell you what - I can answer this, but the easiest way I can think of to answer it is if you actually consider the likelihood that there are invisible, incorporeal pixies in my backyard to be low.

I suspect that is true, but I'd like to have it confirmed, because it will help a lot to answer your question if this is actually the case.

If you are sure they are there, I would be skeptical, but not fully sure that there are not incorporeal pixies in your back yard. I guess that would make me an a-pixiestic agnostic. But not fully an apixiest.

void *
11-11-2010, 19:41
My honest answer is that I do not know now. But the moment I see it, I'll know what it is.

You cannot think of a single hypothetical example that, were it to happen to you, you would be convinced?

If you are sure they are there, I would be skeptical, but not fully sure that there are not incorporeal pixies in your back yard.

Does 'not fully sure that there are' mean the same thing to you as 'pretty sure there are not'?

Edit: that was badly worded. What I am trying to get at is, you say you would be skeptical, and that you would not be fully sure that there are. Does that mean that you assess the probability of their existence as low? In other words, do you think the probability is small?

The reason I am asking is that you say you would be skeptical - but 'not fully sure there are' could mean a *high* assessment of the probability and a *small* doubt.

But I think what you are getting at is there would be a lot of doubt (skeptical) .. so I want to be certain you actually mean you think probability(incorporeal backyard pixies exist) is a small number.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:50
I will accept that answer fully when you answer my question and "Please offer proof of something that does not exist anything I will wait."

Until that time I don't know how to give some kinda of proof for something that does not exist.

If you know that it does not exist, you cannot prove that it doesn't.

Place an empty bowl before you. With enough evidence, I can prove that no milk exists within that bowl.


THINKING TOOLS: YOU CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE (http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/proveanegative.pdf)

Steven D. Hales
Thinking Tools is a regular feature that introduces tips and pointers on thinking clearly and rigorously.
A principle of folk logic is that one can’t prove a negative. Dr. Nelson L. Price, a Georgia minister, writes on his website that ‘one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative.’ Julian Noble, a physicist at the University of Virginia, agrees, writing in his ‘Electric Blanket of Doom’ talk that ‘we can’t prove a negative proposition.’ University of California at Berkeley Professor of Epidemiology Patricia Buffler asserts that ‘The reality is that we can never prove the negative, we can never prove the lack of effect, we can never prove that something is safe.’ A quick search on Google or Lexis-Nexis will give a mountain of similar examples.
But there is one big, fat problem with all this. Among professional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative? That’s right: zero. Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too. For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non-contradiction. This law states that that a proposition cannot be both true and not true. Nothing is both true and false. Furthermore, you can prove this law. It can be formally derived from the empty set using provably valid rules of inference. (I’ll spare you the boring details). One of the laws of logic is a provable negative. Wait… this means we’ve just proven that it is not the case that one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative. So we’ve proven yet another negative! In fact, ‘you can’t prove a negative’ is a negative  so if you could prove it true, it wouldn’t be true! Uh-oh.

chilic82
11-11-2010, 19:52
What kinda of proof I need? The same level that would require you not to need faith to believe it.

I feel that this answer is a dodge at fully answering the question. What would have to happen that you wouldn't explain away to change your mind that a God exist?I would also like to know some of the "current" information that you have that is proof that a God doesn't exist.

Cavalry Doc
11-11-2010, 19:56
You cannot think of a single hypothetical example that, were it to happen to you, you would be convinced?


Here, I'll try: If I were to die, and just afterward, met god, and my existence continued even with the knowledge of my death, I'd have to at least consider that it'a much more likely than not that a deity exists.



Does 'not fully sure that there are' mean the same thing to you as 'pretty sure there are not'?

Edit: that was badly worded. What I am trying to get at is, you say you would be skeptical, and that you would not be fully sure that there are. Does that mean that you assess the probability of their existence as low?

As an apixiestic agnostic, I'd have to say that I would believe that it is more likely than not, that pixies don't exist in your back yard.

paperairplane
11-11-2010, 19:57
Nope. Let me fix that for ya.

If the question is either a unicorn exists, or that no unicorn exists, and there is no proof there is a unicorn, AND THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THERE IS NOT A UNICORN, that leads to the logical conclusion THAT I DON'T KNOW.

CONCLUSIVE PROOF DOES NOT EXIST, SO LOGICALLY, WE CANNOT REACH A CONCLUSION.


THAT took logic

Your position took a leap of faith. Which brings us back to the original question, why is it so hard to admit?

:dunno:

I don't think it takes a leap of faith for me to not believe in unicorns, nor do I see how non-belief in unicorns is a religion.

Also, we do not structure our thinking based on direct observation of all contingencies. To the point, the burden of proof is not on the atheist to show god does not exist - the only way to conclusively disprove god would be to examine every possible location god could exist simultaneously and not find him.

I believe the sun will rise tomorrow at about 7am. This does not require a leap of faith. I have a lifetime of direct experience to draw upon.

As to the question of what exact proof I would need in order to change my position - it is truly simple - god would have to change my very nature. He would make me incapable of doubting his existence. For the omnipotent, omnipresent creator and master of all that is and is not, this is a trifle.

void *
11-11-2010, 20:04
Here, I'll try: If I were to die, and just afterward, met god, and my existence continued even with the knowledge of my death, I'd have to at least consider that it'a much more likely than not that a deity exists.

So you at least have *some* idea, then. Did you see the movie "Evan Almighty"? If something roughly like that happened to you, would you change your mind? (I'm specifically thinking of the scenes where the main character was convinced that Morgan Freeman's character was God).

As an apixiestic agnostic, I'd have to say that I would believe that it is more likely than not, that pixies don't exist in your back yard.

Ok. Would you say that you think this because no one has given you any real reason to accept the idea that pixies exist in my backyard?

If so - then you lean one way for the pixie posit for the exact same reason that I lean one way on the question of a god or gods existing.

In other words - you can't prove they don't exist, but no one has given you a reason that convinces you they do.

I can't prove there are no gods - but nobody has given me a reason that convinces me that there are.

And I would also wager that you don't consider your comment that "I'd have to say that I would believe that it is more likely than not, that pixies don't exist in your back yard." as a reason for someone to say you have faith that they don't.

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 20:07
If you know that it does not exist, you cannot prove that it doesn't.

Place an empty bowl before you. With enough evidence, I can prove that no milk exists within that bowl.

Because milk in a bowl is not part of the supernatural, and is something that can be tested. The invisible FSM that drank the milk before you looked into the bowl can't be.

I feel that this answer is a dodge at fully answering the question. What would have to happen that you wouldn't explain away to change your mind that a God exist?I would also like to know some of the "current" information that you have that is proof that a God doesn't exist.

Simple at this time nobody can offer proof that there is a god, why should I jump to the conclusion that there is one.

chilic82
11-11-2010, 20:22
Simple at this time nobody can offer proof that there is a god, why should I jump to the conclusion that there is one.

I think you mean proof that you accept. Anthony Flew changed his mind, I'm sure you could yours.

RC-RAMIE
11-11-2010, 20:25
I think you mean proof that you accept. Anthony Flew changed his mind, I'm sure you could yours.

No. Proof where even those who believes would no longer need faith.

chilic82
11-11-2010, 20:38
No. Proof where even those who believes would no longer need faith.

Everyone is different on this. What might work for me wouldn't you, and so forth. I am really curious as to what kind of proof would have to be submitted to you for you to consider theism. I am still curious of the "current" information you have that proves God doesn't exist.

mikeflys1
11-11-2010, 20:46
I feel that this answer is a dodge at fully answering the question. What would have to happen that you wouldn't explain away to change your mind that a God exist?I would also like to know some of the "current" information that you have that is proof that a God doesn't exist.

Just to throw an answer in here....

How to convert an atheist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rqUsC2KsiI


This is the type of stuff we're looking for, "its true because you can't prove its not" or whatever the current mantra is no argument whatsoever.

void *
11-12-2010, 01:25
Here's a thought:

When you assess the probability of multiple mutually exclusive options that you do not know the truth value of, if the sum of those probabilities exceeds 1 (100% chance), you are doing something wrong.

So, pick at least three gods, that people have actually believed in, that have mutually exclusive characteristics. If you think the probability of one of those gods existing is exactly 0.5 (50%), then you cannot think that the probability of both of the other gods exist is also exactly 0.5 (50%) - because that would mean the sum of the probabilities of your options was 1.5 (150%).

Now, this indicates that for *everyone*, there must be some god that they 'lean against'. Figure out which god that is, and then ask yourself if the fact that you 'lean against' the idea that that particular god exists means you have religious faith that particular god does *not* exist.

(Edit: A theist can just say they set the probability of their god existing as 1 and all others as 0, on faith, but anyone who says they are "agnostic" in a ternary "atheist, agnostic, theist" sense is in a position to get the point)

(Another edit: The quickest way I've come up with to select gods for this is to pick deities that have contradictory creation stories. If the Christian God created the world, then it cannot be the case that Vishnu told Brahma to create the world, for instance)

mikeflys1
11-12-2010, 02:56
The FSM can be 150% if he chooses to.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 03:14
I don't think it takes a leap of faith for me to not believe in unicorns, nor do I see how non-belief in unicorns is a religion.

Also, we do not structure our thinking based on direct observation of all contingencies. To the point, the burden of proof is not on the atheist to show god does not exist - the only way to conclusively disprove god would be to examine every possible location god could exist simultaneously and not find him.

I believe the sun will rise tomorrow at about 7am. This does not require a leap of faith. I have a lifetime of direct experience to draw upon.

As to the question of what exact proof I would need in order to change my position - it is truly simple - god would have to change my very nature. He would make me incapable of doubting his existence. For the omnipotent, omnipresent creator and master of all that is and is not, this is a trifle.


Faith is required because it is a profound question. Whether unicorns exist or not only has impact on hunting licenses and horse racing. Hmmm could you win by a horn?? That's probably another thread though.

If no deity exists (not just a single all powerful one) then that has impact on the very foundation of your being.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 03:24
So you at least have *some* idea, then. Did you see the movie "Evan Almighty"? If something roughly like that happened to you, would you change your mind? (I'm specifically thinking of the scenes where the main character was convinced that Morgan Freeman's character was God).



Ok. Would you say that you think this because no one has given you any real reason to accept the idea that pixies exist in my backyard?

If so - then you lean one way for the pixie posit for the exact same reason that I lean one way on the question of a god or gods existing.

In other words - you can't prove they don't exist, but no one has given you a reason that convinces you they do.

I can't prove there are no gods - but nobody has given me a reason that convinces me that there are.

And I would also wager that you don't consider your comment that "I'd have to say that I would believe that it is more likely than not, that pixies don't exist in your back yard." as a reason for someone to say you have faith that they don't.


The pixie thing is an argument you use to dismiss the possible existence if a deity, while poking a little fun at theists. It's cute at best. There has been no evidence, not even convincing testimony that anyone believes that pixies exist in your back yard. What evidence is there? The infinite complexity of life, at least raises the possibility of a creator. The complex symbiotic relationships necessary for you to remain conscious is all a little too orderly. Less than a milligram of some substances can bring it all to a screeching halt though.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 03:28
Here's a thought:

When you assess the probability of multiple mutually exclusive options that you do not know the truth value of, if the sum of those probabilities exceeds 1 (100% chance), you are doing something wrong.

So, pick at least three gods, that people have actually believed in, that have mutually exclusive characteristics. If you think the probability of one of those gods existing is exactly 0.5 (50%), then you cannot think that the probability of both of the other gods exist is also exactly 0.5 (50%) - because that would mean the sum of the probabilities of your options was 1.5 (150%).

Now, this indicates that for *everyone*, there must be some god that they 'lean against'. Figure out which god that is, and then ask yourself if the fact that you 'lean against' the idea that that particular god exists means you have religious faith that particular god does *not* exist.

(Edit: A theist can just say they set the probability of their god existing as 1 and all others as 0, on faith, but anyone who says they are "agnostic" in a ternary "atheist, agnostic, theist" sense is in a position to get the point)

(Another edit: The quickest way I've come up with to select gods for this is to pick deities that have contradictory creation stories. If the Christian God created the world, then it cannot be the case that Vishnu told Brahma to create the world, for instance)

How does one conclude that adding up an estimated digital value on the weight of an opinion is valid at all, let alone proven false if the number reaches greater that 100. On your model, wouldn't it be more logical to assume an incorrect method of assigning the percentage to the opinion?

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 08:01
If the question is either a deity exists, or that no deity exists, and there is no proof there is a deity that leads to the logical conclusion no deity. The conclusive proof is that there is no proof to the contrary. That took logic not faith.
Regarding logic (with apologies to Inigo Montoya):
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

What you are exhibiting, my friend, is what is commonly known as the LOGICAL FALLACY of argumentum ad ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance).

Think on the following phrase:
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

void *
11-12-2010, 08:24
How does one conclude that adding up an estimated digital value on the weight of an opinion is valid at all, let alone proven false if the number reaches greater that 100. On your model, wouldn't it be more logical to assume an incorrect method of assigning the percentage to the opinion?

You are not understanding the argument. It has nothing to do with proving any of the gods false. I am not saying any of the gods you pick are proven false, I am saying that it is impossible for someone to have an estimation of a 0.5 percent probability for all gods whose attributes are mutually exclusive if they understand probability correctly and there are at least three mutually exclusive gods. This holds no matter how you are assigning your probabilities - whether that method is correct or incorrect. The point being that if there are three or more mutually exclusive ideas of a supreme being (which is the case), if you are assigning a 0.5 probability to each one existing plus the idea that none of them exist, then your assessments don't make mathematical sense. If you are assigning a set of probabilities that sum up to 1 or less than one, then it has to be the case that you are assigning a probability of less than 0.5 to at least one of them.

The argument does not prove that any of the gods exist or don't exist, the argument shows that you have to be leaning away for *some* of the posits that particular gods exist. (well, either you have to be leaning away, or you are assigning probabilities in a manner that leads to a mathematical impossibility - which, if you are, then you should be doing a reassessment, right?)

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 08:50
But I have not assumed a probability. Maybe you are talking to someone else? I merely believe that it is within the realm of possibility that a deity or deities exist, and it is possible that none exist.

I don't pretend to know. But some here do, and among those religious beliefs are Atheists AND theists.

void *
11-12-2010, 08:54
To expound further:

Take three possibilities (I am not trying to be exhaustive):
1) A supreme being exists that created the universe, then started making things in that universe beginning by saying 'Let there be light'
2) A supreme being took a nap, woke up, created an assistant to create the universe, then told the assistant to get to work.
3) No supreme being exists.

Only *one* of these possibilities can be actually true. Any assessment of the probabilities of the each is wrong if the sum of the probability assignments is greater than one.

You following?

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 09:14
Each of the possibilities you propose is mutually exclusive. One or none may be the truth. If you believe one of them (or another) that is your religious belief.

I'm still not seeing any proof at all that atheism is not a religion. The definition fits, whether that view of the universe is correct or incorrect.

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 09:27
Regarding logic (with apologies to Inigo Montoya):
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

What you are exhibiting, my friend, is what is commonly known as the LOGICAL FALLACY of argumentum ad ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance).

Think on the following phrase:
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

It is when we are talking about mankind imaginary friends which over a course of a few thousand years has provide no evidence.

Think of the following phrase

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

void *
11-12-2010, 10:51
But I have not assumed a probability. Maybe you are talking to someone else? I merely believe that it is within the realm of possibility that a deity or deities exist, and it is possible that none exist.

Are you are saying that you have never asked yourself "If there is one or more gods, which one(s)?", and if someone asks you what you think the likelihood of, say, Vishnu existing is, you have absolutely no opinion whatsoever, even if it's as simple an answer as "I think it is more likely than not that Vishnu does not exist"?

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 10:59
It is when we are talking about mankind imaginary friends which over a course of a few thousand years has provide no evidence.

OK, I get it now. You feel that you are free to violate the rules of logic if it supports your beliefs.

Think of the following phrase

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Very good. That is an extraordinary claim in itself. Please prove it to be true. :whistling:

void *
11-12-2010, 11:05
One or none may be the truth. If you believe one of them (or another) that is your religious belief.

Well - and that's the point. I don't actively state a belief in any deity. It's a matter of having no reason to raise the probability assessment that one of them exists (and conversely lowering the probability assessment of the posits that the others exist) beyond a threshold level level that would mean I accept the posit as "probably" being true.

As I've said before, I don't consider anything as being absolutely certain if it depends on my perception - but I accept lots of things as being probable based on how consistent my perception has been.

That 'absolutely certain' assessment is *knowledge*, and I only consider things that are provable in a mathematical/logical sense as certain, because in those cases you are explicitly stating under what conditions the posits you are making are true - and there is no a-priori requirement that those conditions map to reality (you can build a non-Euclidean geometry that doesn't map to anything we see in reality, for instance, and any statements you discover and prove within that geometry will be mathematically true. As an example. the mathematical statements that have been proven within the geometry of a Klein bottle are true, but you're not going to find a bottle that meets that geometry in reality).

An assessment of probability that crosses that threshold is a *belief*, and there is no god for which I can honestly say 'I accept the posit that this god exists as probable'..

void *
11-12-2010, 11:18
Very good. That is an extraordinary claim in itself. Please prove it to be true. :whistling:

If I told you "The IBPPIF (Incorporeal Bureau of Pixie-drink, Pixie-smoke and Incorporeal Firearms) just raided my backyard because the pixies were manufacturing immaterial full-auto receivers", would you want to see a lot of evidence before you believed it? :whistling:

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 11:24
If I told you "The IBPPIF (Incorporeal Bureau of Pixie-drink, Pixie-smoke and Incorporeal Firearms) just raided my backyard because the pixies were manufacturing immaterial full-auto receivers", would you want to see a lot of evidence before you believed it? :whistling:
Does this response rise to the claim of extraordinary evidence? Really? Seriously? :rofl:

void *
11-12-2010, 11:28
Does this response rise to the claim of extraordinary evidence? Really? Seriously? :rofl:

No - I gave an example of an extraordinary claim. Your answer as to whether or not you would need a whole lot of convincing will determine whether or not you require extraordinary evidence.

Edit: And since you're :rofl:, that tends to indicate to me you would in fact require a whole lot of convincing to accept that posit (which is fine - so would I, in fact - but your actions are contradicting your whistling posts ...)

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 11:51
No - I gave an example of an extraordinary claim. Your answer as to whether or not you would need a whole lot of convincing will determine whether or not you require extraordinary evidence.
OK, fine. What you've provided is weak, anecdotal evidence, and you seem to think it sufficient. Interesting, but be mindful of the fact that this goes against the claim.

mikeflys1
11-12-2010, 12:27
Very good. That is an extraordinary claim in itself. Please prove it to be true. :whistling:

How in the world do you consider this to be an extraordinary claim? It's basic common sense...


If I claim to have a dollar bill in my pocket, you'll probably just take my word for it.

If I claim I can make myself invisible, you'd probably have to see me do it before believing.

If I claim to be the all-knowing, omnipotent creator of the universe......prooof is gonna need to be substantial.

void *
11-12-2010, 12:44
What you've provided is weak, anecdotal evidence, and you seem to think it sufficient.

The entire point is that I do *not* think it's sufficient - and neither do you.

I posited a hypothetical claim that would be nothing less than extraordinary, were it true.

Your responses indicate that you would not accept that claim without very strong evidence. I agree, I wouldn't accept that claim without very strong evidence, either.

Your argument claims that you want proof that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Your actions indicate you want extraordinary evidence to accept an extraordinary claim. Your argument and your actions are in opposition - you don't need proof of the posit that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, because you're already acting as though you expect an extraordinary claim to be supported by extraordinary evidence.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 13:01
Are you are saying that you have never asked yourself "If there is one or more gods, which one(s)?", and if someone asks you what you think the likelihood of, say, Vishnu existing is, you have absolutely no opinion whatsoever, even if it's as simple an answer as "I think it is more likely than not that Vishnu does not exist"?

Of course I asked that question. And came to the logical conclusion that there isn't enough evidence one way or the other to come to a conclusion. It's an unanswered question that I do not feel compelled to answer. Religious people have made a decision to have faith and believe whatever they chose to believe.

The question is simple, and so is the answer. It's ok, I don't begrudge people their right to have and practice their religion, not even Atheists.

My initial question remains unanswered though.

nmstew
11-12-2010, 13:03
I always thought that in order to be a religion, the entity in question had to have a uniform set of codified rules its practitioners had to follow. This mandatory set of behaviors seems to be common of religions of all sorts. Nonbeleivers don't have an ethos, so how can they be a religion?

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 13:04
The entire point is that I do *not* think it's sufficient - and neither do you.

I posited a hypothetical claim that would be nothing less than extraordinary, were it true.

Your responses indicate that you would not accept that claim without very strong evidence. I agree, I wouldn't accept that claim without very strong evidence, either.

Your argument claims that you want proof that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Your actions indicate you want extraordinary evidence to accept an extraordinary claim. Your argument and your actions are in opposition - you don't need proof of the posit that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, because you're already acting as though you expect an extraordinary claim to be supported by extraordinary evidence.
You're losing track of the argument, void *. I'd expect by your name that you would be able to handle 2 degrees of indirection :wavey:.

A claim was made that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." I asked for proof of this. You offered, as evidence for this extraordinary claim (it IS extraordinary since it posits a new rule of logic), an anecdote. Now, you're defending that anecdote, rather than showing how this is strong evidence to back up the first claim.

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 13:57
OK, I get it now. You feel that you are free to violate the rules of logic if it supports your beliefs.


Very good. That is an extraordinary claim in itself. Please prove it to be true. :whistling:

What claim? I made none.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 14:28
I always thought that in order to be a religion, the entity in question had to have a uniform set of codified rules its practitioners had to follow. This mandatory set of behaviors seems to be common of religions of all sorts. Nonbeleivers don't have an ethos, so how can they be a religion?

People that do not believe a deity exists have an understanding of the origins of the universe that is basic. There are many denominations, but they all believe no deity exists. An organized structure is unnecesary. It fits the definition of a religion, it is however very difficult to admit evidently, at least for those participating in this discussion.

void *
11-12-2010, 14:32
You're losing track of the argument, void *. I'd expect by your name that you would be able to handle 2 degrees of indirection :wavey:.

Well, a void * is a single degree of indirection, just like a normal pointer is. However, handling arrays of pointers, or pointers to pointers, or even more complex datastructures, is not a big deal once you understand pointers.

Although I would caution any new programmers to avoid multiple levels of indirection *just to have them*.

A claim was made that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." I asked for proof of this. You offered, as evidence for this extraordinary claim (it IS extraordinary since it posits a new rule of logic), an anecdote.

No. I did not offer an anecdote. I offered an extraordinary claim. I then used your response to that claim as evidence that you, yourself, are acting as though you want extraordinary evidence.

In other words, the evidence I am offering is not the hypothetical claim - but your response to it. That evidence is certainly not anecdotal, anyone can go read what you posted and note that your response is basically an indication that you would expect a *lot* of evidence before you would believe the statement.

Again, the evidence I submit is not my post positing the extraordinary claim, but your posts in response to my post.

Now, you're defending that anecdote, rather than showing how this is strong evidence to back up the first claim.

I don't defend the hypothetical posit at all - as has been noted, I too would require a lot of evidence before accepting it as true.

It is not a proof that extroardinary claims require extraordinary evidence - it is evidence towards the posit "Schabesbert acts in a manner consistent with his requiring extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim". I don't need to prove it, because you act as though you already accept it.

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 15:56
What claim? I made none.
You certainly did make a claim:
If the question is either a deity exists, or that no deity exists, and there is no proof there is a deity that leads to the logical conclusion no deity. The conclusive proof is that there is no proof to the contrary. That took logic not faith.

If at some point proof comes along that logical leads to a deity at that point I will logically start to believe in a deity. No faith needed, you can have my share.
Using a well-established logical fallacy (argumentum ad ignorantiam aka appeal to ignorance), you claimed a "logical" conclusion. I called you on that in post #287 (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16286252&postcount=287), and now you're denying that it is even a claim.

You made a subsequent claim:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Without any proof of THAT statement, so we have TWO claims, one arrived at using a classic logical fallacy (of the informal variety), and one without any backup whatsoever.

And you don't even realize it. :dunno:

Sarge1400
11-12-2010, 16:10
People that do not believe a deity exists have an understanding of the origins of the universe that is basic. There are many denominations, but they all believe no deity exists. An organized structure is unnecesary. It fits the definition of a religion, it is however very difficult to admit evidently, at least for those participating in this discussion.

Why do you keep insisting that lack of belief in deities has anything to do with understanding of the origins of the universe? It is simply a lack of belief in deities, nothing more. Your insistence that it is anything more leads me to believe that you have some egotistical desire that requires you prove your assertion to be correct.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 16:38
Why do you keep insisting that lack of belief in deities has anything to do with understanding of the origins of the universe? It is simply a lack of belief in deities, nothing more. Your insistence that it is anything more leads me to believe that you have some egotistical desire that requires you prove your assertion to be correct.

My assertion is correct. Without proof of whether deities exist or not, Atheists make the same logical error that theists make. Theists and atheists, if they are making an error in logic, are making the same error. Atheists have difficulty in admitting it.

The universe, and those within it exist. Theists propose that our existence is by intelligent design, Atheists propose that our existence is absent of intelligent design. Both are religious beliefs.

Lack of belief in either theory logically leads to agnosticism. It requires belief, without proof, to believe in atheism. It's a belief derived from faith.

Many theists will admit that they believe without proof, and that they have faith that they are correct, but very few, as evidenced here, Atheists will admit the same.

A true student of logic will admit there is no proof either way, and embrace no religion, including atheism.

Atheism is a religion, they just have a difficulty admitting it.

Why?

It seems to be that they are inclined toward contrarianism.

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 17:27
You certainly did make a claim:

Using a well-established logical fallacy (argumentum ad ignorantiam aka appeal to ignorance), you claimed a "logical" conclusion. I called you on that in post #287 (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16286252&postcount=287), and now you're denying that it is even a claim.

You made a subsequent claim:


Without any proof of THAT statement, so we have TWO claims, one arrived at using a classic logical fallacy (of the informal variety), and one without any backup whatsoever.

And you don't even realize it. :dunno:

That first statement was rewording of what I said earlier "We have proof that based on our current knowledge there is no god" Is there some current knowledge that was found I don't know about?

The second one was a quote in response to your quote of ""Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" not a statment.

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 17:30
My assertion is correct. Without proof of whether deities exist or not, Atheists make the same logical error that theists make. Theists and atheists, if they are making an error in logic, are making the same error. Atheists have difficulty in admitting it.

The universe, and those within it exist. Theists propose that our existence is by intelligent design, Atheists propose that our existence is absent of intelligent design. Both are religious beliefs.

Lack of belief in either theory logically leads to agnosticism. It requires belief, without proof, to believe in atheism. It's a belief derived from faith.

Many theists will admit that they believe without proof, and that they have faith that they are correct, but very few, as evidenced here, Atheists will admit the same.

A true student of logic will admit there is no proof either way, and embrace no religion, including atheism.

Atheism is a religion, they just have a difficulty admitting it.

Why?

It seems to be that they are inclined toward contrarianism.

Theists say hey a deity made everything.
Atheists say that sounds fishy I don't buy.
Atheists don't counter with anything.

NO FAITH. there is no way of breaking it down any easier than that.

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 17:51
Well, a void * is a single degree of indirection, just like a normal pointer is. However, handling arrays of pointers, or pointers to pointers, or even more complex datastructures, is not a big deal once you understand pointers.

Although I would caution any new programmers to avoid multiple levels of indirection *just to have them*.
I'm quite aware of pointers, and the hazards of their use, having programmed in C since 1980.

No. I did not offer an anecdote. I offered an extraordinary claim. I then used your response to that claim as evidence that you, yourself, are acting as though you want extraordinary evidence.

In other words, the evidence I am offering is not the hypothetical claim - but your response to it. That evidence is certainly not anecdotal, anyone can go read what you posted and note that your response is basically an indication that you would expect a *lot* of evidence before you would believe the statement.
Sounds pretty anecdotal to me.

Again, the evidence I submit is not my post positing the extraordinary claim, but your posts in response to my post.
Using YOUR characterization of different conditions.

It is not a proof that extroardinary claims require extraordinary evidence - it is evidence towards the posit "Schabesbert acts in a manner consistent with his requiring extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim". I don't need to prove it, because you act as though you already accept it.
Not quite.

From Mark Shea (http://markshea.blogspot.com/2009/07/extraordinary-claims-require.html):
There is no sliding evidentiary scale whereby claims of factuality require more and more astounding evidence until the biggest claim of all requires and infinite amount of stupefyingly awesome evidence to establish the claim. We do not require a tiny amount of evidence for petty theft, but virtually incredible evidence for murder.

What we requires is sufficient evidence. Produce the purloined necklace from the suspect's pocket with his prints on it and that's enough. Produce the corpse with the bullet from the .45 belonging to the suspect, give motive, and demonstrate that he was seen by witnesses shooting the guy and you've got a conviction. Nobody says, "The charge of murder is more extraordinary than the charge of petty theft, so in addition to this normal evidence we will need something extraordinary."

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 17:52
That first statement was rewording of what I said earlier "We have proof that based on our current knowledge there is no god" Is there some current knowledge that was found I don't know about?

The second one was a quote in response to your quote of ""Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" not a statment.
Thanks for explaining the origins of your claims.

They're still claims. TWO claims, one arrived at using a classic logical fallacy (of the informal variety), and one without any backup whatsoever.

void *
11-12-2010, 18:12
I'm quite aware of pointers, and the hazards of their use, having programmed in C since 1980.

The comment about new programmers was not directed at *you*. It was a general statement. If you took it as me saying that you were a new programmer - that is not at all how it was intended. I did not, in fact, know you were a programmer at all, nor did your comment make me think you were. I figured it's easy enough to google what a "void *" is that your statement about multiple indirection could not be taken one way or another (although to me, when I see 'void *' in code, I think 'pointer to unspecified type', not 'multiple indirection').

There is no sliding evidentiary scale whereby claims of factuality require more and more astounding evidence until the biggest claim of all requires and infinite amount of stupefyingly awesome evidence to establish the claim. We do not require a tiny amount of evidence for petty theft, but virtually incredible evidence for murder.

Petty theft and murder are not extraordinary claims. They happen all the time, and the evidence that they occur, and that petty thieves and murderers exist, is all over the place.

What we requires is sufficient evidence. Produce the purloined necklace from the suspect's pocket with his prints on it and that's enough. Produce the corpse with the bullet from the .45 belonging to the suspect, give motive, and demonstrate that he was seen by witnesses shooting the guy and you've got a conviction.

Yep. But that does not address the point.

When someone makes a claim that is completely outside of ordinary experience, people naturally want a lot of evidence that it happened/happens. This should be noncontroversial. A rebuttal that gives only ordinary claims as counterexamples misses the point entirely. An ordinary claim has a lot of evidence present, that is common to a lot of people's experience, that extraordinary claims do not.

If this were not the case, we'd all accept that flying saucers are real and making crop circles. After all, the crop circles are there - and there are plenty of claims of flying saucers, and claims of flying saucers around crop circles.

The point being that 'sufficient evidence' includes a backdrop of evidence from our ordinary, everyday experiences. The claim that there is a snail out on my front porch is going to be far easier for people to accept than the claim that there are incorporeal pixies in my backyard.

Schabesbert
11-12-2010, 18:45
The comment about new programmers was not directed at *you*. It was a general statement. If you took it as me saying that you were a new programmer - that is not at all how it was intended. I did not, in fact, know you were a programmer at all, nor did your comment make me think you were.
Don't do it much anymore. Any embedded programming I do now is just in support of, well, other skills and interests (such as DSP, motor control, various other algorithms).


Yep. But that does not address the point.

When someone makes a claim that is completely outside of ordinary experience, people naturally want a lot of evidence that it happened/happens.
Not really.
People are, or at least should be, interested in the evidence that best supports the known facts.

If this were not the case, we'd all accept that flying saucers are real and making crop circles. After all, the crop circles are there - and there are plenty of claims of flying saucers, and claims of flying saucers around crop circles.
No, because there are better, more plausible explanations for crop circles.

Cavalry Doc
11-12-2010, 19:22
Theists say hey a deity made everything.
Atheists say that sounds fishy I don't buy.
Atheists don't counter with anything.

NO FAITH. there is no way of breaking it down any easier than that.

Actually Atheists say that they have concluded that no deity exists.

There may be no way to break down your denial.


It's possible, that you are a closet agnostic.

void *
11-12-2010, 19:56
People are, or at least should be, interested in the evidence that best supports the known facts.

I agree.

But still, the posit that there is a snail crossing my porch does not require nearly as much *additional* evidence, beyond my mere stating that it has occurred, than acceptance of the posit of incorporeal pixies in my backyard has. You might decide to come look, or ask me for a picture, but you're certainly not going to roll on the floor laughing at the posit.

This is not because there is some kind of automatic evidence sliding scale.

This is because many people have already seen much of the evidence required to accept that there is a snail on my porch. Snails are a common creature, they're known to come out onto sidewalks and porches, etc. It is an ordinary claim.

Whereas the posit of incorporeal pixies does not have the same framework of preexisting experience and evidence to work with. There is a burden to show that the pixies exist, that the IBPPIF exists, that they were actually in my backyard, etc.

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 22:36
Actually Atheists say that they have concluded that no deity exists.

There may be no way to break down your denial.


It's possible, that you are a closet agnostic.


No I am a Atheist. :wavey:

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 22:39
Even using that argument. Sufficient evidence to prove a supernatural being that created every thing would be extraordinary to me.

RC-RAMIE
11-12-2010, 22:40
Schabesbert;16288884

What we requires is sufficient evidence.

[/INDENT]


Even using that argument. Sufficient evidence to prove a supernatural being that created every thing would be extraordinary to me.

Ogreon
11-13-2010, 03:09
So, to construct a dichotomy, we need a subcategory that is mutually exclusive with the definition we have agreed to for 'theist'.

So we take the definition we've agreed to, of theist, and are left with a definiton of 'someone who does not believe in a god or gods' for the other mutually exclusive subcategory forming the dichotomy.

In one category, you have 'believes in a god or gods', in the other, 'does not believe in a god or gods' - or, equivalently, 'disbelieves in a god or gods' - disbelief being lack of belief, lack of acceptance of the posit that a god or gods exist.

If we shift that to theism/atheism as a dichotomy, the same train of thought leads right to the dictionary definition I have been using for atheism - 'disbelief in the existence of a god or gods'.

Now, there are tons of other variables in play (the gnostic/agnostic dichotomy, for instance, or religious/irreligious) - but 'atheism', to me, is just a matter of not being able to accept the posit 'a god or gods exist'.

An atheist, is by definition, not a theist. Atheism can, however, take on a religious dogmatic tone. I don't believe that space aliens are zipping around our planet in flying saucers. I am not an anti-UFO zealot, however.

I suspect that many "religious" atheists, are not really atheists. Deep down, they do believe in and hate God.

weemsf50
11-13-2010, 05:22
I agree.

But still, the posit that there is a snail crossing my porch does not require nearly as much *additional* evidence, beyond my mere stating that it has occurred, than acceptance of the posit of incorporeal pixies in my backyard has. You might decide to come look, or ask me for a picture, but you're certainly not going to roll on the floor laughing at the posit.

This is not because there is some kind of automatic evidence sliding scale.

This is because many people have already seen much of the evidence required to accept that there is a snail on my porch. Snails are a common creature, they're known to come out onto sidewalks and porches, etc. It is an ordinary claim.

Whereas the posit of incorporeal pixies does not have the same framework of preexisting experience and evidence to work with. There is a burden to show that the pixies exist, that the IBPPIF exists, that they were actually in my backyard, etc.

Isn't the potential impact of the two statements what gives the demand for a certain level of evidence? In other words, a snail on your porch means nothing, but the existence of pixies would have significantly more importance.

Murder may be a "common" occurrence but it is by no means normal or ordinary.

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 08:06
An atheist, is by definition, not a theist. Atheism can, however, take on a religious dogmatic tone. I don't believe that space aliens are zipping around our planet in flying saucers. I am not an anti-UFO zealot, however.

I suspect that many "religious" atheists, are not really atheists. Deep down, they do believe in and hate God.

They do seem to be an antagonistic bunch, very abrasive about it too. Aggressive as any jehova witness I've come across while arguing that theirs is the only true belief system possible. Very unconstitutional.

Lampshade
11-13-2010, 08:09
13 pages in?

Fuggedaboutit.

void *
11-13-2010, 09:43
Isn't the potential impact of the two statements what gives the demand for a certain level of evidence? In other words, a snail on your porch means nothing, but the existence of pixies would have significantly more importance.

No. In fact, I'd argue that it's equally unimportant whether or not there is a snail on my porch or incorporeal pixies in my backyard, right up until there is a statement made that would make it somehow important. I haven't hypothetically posited that the pixies have any effect on humanity, for instance. In fact, the potential impact of the snail is probably greater than the potential impact that has thus far been attributed to the pixies - there's a ridiculously small chance that a visitor might step on it and somehow lose their balance and fall.

Murder may be a "common" occurrence but it is by no means normal or ordinary.

Framing it that way sort of misses the point. When someone alleges a murder occurred, most people already internally have a number of already accepted posits that are required to be accepted before the posit 'this murder occurred' can be accepted.

Not to say that the following example are the only such posits, but if I alleged that a person killed another person somewhere in my vicinity, we already accept that people exist, and we already accept that they sometimes kill each other. We're already some way up a hurdle to acceptance of the posit that someone murdered someone else near me.

Whereas if I alleged one pixie murdered another, we've got to establish that they exist at all first - and then we'd have to establish all the same things we'd need to establish for the posit of one human killing another. We're starting from scratch.

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 13:32
Discovery of a new never before seen snail might even make some trade press. Pixies would at least make the news at an international level.

Really think about the press if you captured a specimen.

void *
11-13-2010, 14:21
Really think about the press if you captured a specimen.

We tried, but we decided there was too much chance of crossing the streams. :supergrin:

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 14:58
We tried, but we decided there was too much chance of crossing the streams. :supergrin:

That's funny, I was thinking of using the exact same tool. :supergrin:

bleedingshrimp
11-13-2010, 15:33
Atheism does not imply any understanding of the universe. If this is your theory, it is incorrect.

I can believe any range of ideas regarding the universe and still be atheist..

1. I believe that our universe is simply excrement from extra-planetary crabs.

2. I believe that gods once existed and built the universe, now those gods are all deceased.

3. I believe that our universe is a disregarded snow globe.

Also, as an Atheist, I can have NO belief regarding the understanding of the universe.

Ex: I do not believe in a god or gods. I do not know how the universe came to be and I don't find it a particularly important piece of knowledge to have as it's irrelevant to daily life as we know it now.

The point is not that these posits are either right or wrong, but that as an Atheist I can have or not have them and still be an Atheist.

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 16:30
Atheism does not imply any understanding of the universe. If this is your theory, it is incorrect.

I can believe any range of ideas regarding the universe and still be atheist..

1. I believe that our universe is simply excrement from extra-planetary crabs.

2. I believe that gods once existed and built the universe, now those gods are all deceased.

3. I believe that our universe is a disregarded snow globe.

Also, as an Atheist, I can have NO belief regarding the understanding of the universe.

Ex: I do not believe in a god or gods. I do not know how the universe came to be and I don't find it a particularly important piece of knowledge to have as it's irrelevant to daily life as we know it now.

The point is not that these posits are either right or wrong, but that as an Atheist I can have or not have them and still be an Atheist.


#2 is a little interesting, the others seem related to the pixies discussed earlier. The seem intentionally absurd, but at least we've gotten to weighty matters about the origins of the universe, and how we came to be here, and Atheists do not simply "not believe", Atheists believe that there are (were) no deities.

Stating it in a passive way doesn't change the end result.
If you simply don't believe in deity, and don't really care one way or the other, and admit you don't know the truth, you would be an agnostic. Atheists know that there is not, nor has there been a deity.

You are correct, you can believe what you want. You can even believe that atheism is not a religion, even though it is a firmly held belief, without proof about the origins of the universe and life.

void *
11-13-2010, 16:47
Stating it in a passive way doesn't change the end result.

When you cannot accept an affirmative statement as true, you are not necessarily accepting the corresponding negative statement as being true.

Do you agree with the above statement, or do you disagree?

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 16:56
When you cannot accept an affirmative statement as true, you are not necessarily accepting the corresponding negative statement as being true.

Do you agree with the above statement, or do you disagree?

But in the case of an atheist, they have decided that the affirmative is true.

Agnostics have not.

weemsf50
11-13-2010, 17:33
Atheism does not imply any understanding of the universe. If this is your theory, it is incorrect.

I can believe any range of ideas regarding the universe and still be atheist..

1. I believe that our universe is simply excrement from extra-planetary crabs.

2. I believe that gods once existed and built the universe, now those gods are all deceased.

3. I believe that our universe is a disregarded snow globe.

Also, as an Atheist, I can have NO belief regarding the understanding of the universe.

Ex: I do not believe in a god or gods. I do not know how the universe came to be and I don't find it a particularly important piece of knowledge to have as it's irrelevant to daily life as we know it now.

The point is not that these posits are either right or wrong, but that as an Atheist I can have or not have them and still be an Atheist.

The overwheliming majority of non-theists believe in, accept as true, the theory of evolution. Though evolution does not expressly claim an understanding of the origins of the universe, it implies one.

void *
11-13-2010, 18:04
But in the case of an atheist, they have decided that the affirmative is true.

Agnostics have not.

Stop and consider, for a second, rather than pitching back your statement as a mantra.

If you cannot accept an affirmative statement as true, you are, by definition, lacking belief in that statement. Do you agree with that?

void *
11-13-2010, 18:24
The predominate evidence is that I do exist. I think, therefore I am. It's a lot more than that, including recall, experience, and interaction with others that also believe they exist. It is at least enough evidence that it has convinced me.

I missed this in the flurry of posts. Basically, what I'm asking is that you prove to me that you exist as a thinking, perceiving entity like myself.

Being convinced is not the same as proof.

Telling me "I think therefore I am" does not prove to me that you are a thinking, perceiving entity. If you perceive and think, that perception and self-awareness proves to *you* that *you* exist, but it can't prove it to anyone else. The same perception and self-awareness proves to *me* that *I* exist. But my stating "I think, therefore I am" to you doesn't give you knowledge that I'm not, say, just a really, really complex computer program that is completely deterministic and does not perceive itself at all - and likewise, you stating it to me doesn't give me the same knowledge with respect to you. I can consider it likely that you think and perceive (and I in fact do consider it likely), but I can't actually *prove* it.

Basically, what I am saying here is that there is no way for me to *directly examine* whether or not you think and perceive - and there is no way for me to let you *directly examine* whether or not I think and perceive. Which leaves us examining each other through sense mechanisms that appear to sometimes be faulty, besides it being a possibility that the perception is entirely false (i.e., people hallucinating entire other people, the possibility that I'm a brain in a vat being fed false perceptions, etc).

(Note that Descartes was basically arguing this when he stated "I think, therefore I am" - the point was that the only thing you cannot doubt is that you exist - making 'I exist', in a sense, the first principle)

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 21:49
Stop and consider, for a second, rather than pitching back your statement as a mantra.

If you cannot accept an affirmative statement as true, you are, by definition, lacking belief in that statement. Do you agree with that?

I agree that evidently we still do not agree on the definition of atheist.

I cannot accept the existence of of a deity as a certainty, but I'm not an atheist.

You do understand that there aren't only two answers to the question. The third being that there is insufficient evidence to be certain.

Fill in the blank instead of a true/false question.


We're going in circles here. The fact is that you are entitled to use whatever definition of atheism you want to, and I'm entitled to use the right one.

Cavalry Doc
11-13-2010, 22:05
I missed this in the flurry of posts. Basically, what I'm asking is that you prove to me that you exist as a thinking, perceiving entity like myself.

Being convinced is not the same as proof.

Telling me "I think therefore I am" does not prove to me that you are a thinking, perceiving entity. If you perceive and think, that perception and self-awareness proves to *you* that *you* exist, but it can't prove it to anyone else. The same perception and self-awareness proves to *me* that *I* exist. But my stating "I think, therefore I am" to you doesn't give you knowledge that I'm not, say, just a really, really complex computer program that is completely deterministic and does not perceive itself at all - and likewise, you stating it to me doesn't give me the same knowledge with respect to you. I can consider it likely that you think and perceive (and I in fact do consider it likely), but I can't actually *prove* it.

Basically, what I am saying here is that there is no way for me to *directly examine* whether or not you think and perceive - and there is no way for me to let you *directly examine* whether or not I think and perceive. Which leaves us examining each other through sense mechanisms that appear to sometimes be faulty, besides it being a possibility that the perception is entirely false (i.e., people hallucinating entire other people, the possibility that I'm a brain in a vat being fed false perceptions, etc).

(Note that Descartes was basically arguing this when he stated "I think, therefore I am" - the point was that the only thing you cannot doubt is that you exist - making 'I exist', in a sense, the first principle)


Actually "proof", legally speaking, is being convinced. Ask any lawyer, they'll tell you. Whether or not I exist is a little off topic.

But if it'll help, we can go ahead and use an advanced logic evaluation technique.


How much of your money would I have to spend in order to prove that I exist? Send me a PM with your address, I'll send you a self addressed stamped envelope, place that amount in the envelope, I'll send you pictures of me spending it. If the first few times doesn't work, add more to each future envelopes.

void *
11-13-2010, 22:39
Actually "proof", legally speaking, is being convinced. Ask any lawyer, they'll tell you. Whether or not I exist is a little off topic.

Actually, what proof is legally speaking has no bearing, because I am trying to make a point to you about epistemology, not law.

Whether or not I exist is a little off topic.

What we know and what we accept, and the distinction between the two, is a theme that has been running through the thread since the first page.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 05:43
Actually, what proof is legally speaking has no bearing, because I am trying to make a point to you about epistemology, not law.



What we know and what we accept, and the distinction between the two, is a theme that has been running through the thread since the first page.

You have to remember, you're communicating with an agnostic, I'm honestly of the opinion that everything doesn't necessarily have to be proven. There are mysteries that will always exist. I'm pretty sure I exist, and that others exist pretty much the way we perceive them. If not, how would I know, and how does it make a difference in what I believe?? Quite simply, it is what it is.


In order to have a common frame of reference, can we agree that we do exist, pretty much just how we perceive. If either we don't agree to this, or we actually do not exist, then this is sort of pointless, isn't it?

Same goes for the definition of atheism. You've blended a little agnosticism into what you would call atheism, and I am still of the opinion that is an error in language on your part.

Agreed?

creaky
11-14-2010, 06:33
Void * figures if he throws enough horsecrap into the works, the machinery stalls, his opponent gets frustrated at constantly having to clear the clog and gives up. He wins again!

Same animal, same stripes.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 09:02
Void * figures if he throws enough horsecrap into the works, the machinery stalls, his opponent gets frustrated at constantly having to clear the clog and gives up. He wins again!

Same animal, same stripes.

What am I saying that is crap. Void and I are simply disagreeing on what exactly an atheist is. IMHO, he's blended a little bit of agnosticism into his understanding of atheism.

Atheism is a belief that there are no deities, they have many explanations for the existence of the universe, but they are sure of one thing, there is no god or gods.

It's a religion. My one question is, why is it so hard to admit.





Maybe many atheists see themselves as "anti-religion", and therefore the admission is uncomfortable.

void *
11-14-2010, 09:18
You have to remember, you're communicating with an agnostic, I'm honestly of the opinion that everything doesn't necessarily have to be proven.

And I agree with that, in a sense, because I hold the position that in an epistemological sense, the only things we can really know are statements like "I exist", "I perceive", "In a Euclidean geometry, for a triangle with one right angle, the square of the length of the longest side is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two other sides", etc. Things that either do not depend on perception, or are so well defined that they are mathematically/logically true whether they map to reality or not.

The point is, for every posit that we accept that is not in that set of posits we can know, if we're doing things right, we accept them *conditionally*. So, you accept that I exist - but you can't know. If, for instance, this were all just a very, very vivid dream you are having, once you woke up, you'd no longer have a reason to accept that I exist.

Now, the critical point here is this: Do you consider that conditional acceptance of what you are perceiving as "faith"? I don't think you do. I don't, to me, it's just a matter of being aware that the acceptance is conditional - of holding a position where you operate as if all this stuff we are perceiving is objectively real, but being aware that sometimes it is not (hallucinations), and that ultimately, it might all be false (brain in a vat).

There are mysteries that will always exist.

I'm not disputing that.

The point here is that fundamentally, I look around, I don't see anything that leads me to accept the posit that gods exist or are active in the world. So I've got no reason to accept the posit 'a god or gods exist'. And since theists are by definition people who accept that posit, I am not a theist. And by the dictionary definition I gave - (I'm not going to quote again, but they are roughly atheism: 'disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings', disbelief: 'inability to accept or rejection of something as true'), I'm left looking at a statement that looks like 'inability to accept 'a god or gods exist' as true'.

And when I look at the statement, 'inability to accept the claim 'a god or gods exist' as true' - That statement applies to me. I am unable to accept that claim. So, by that, I disbelieve that there are a god or gods, and by definition, I am an atheist. But again, this is *conditional*, it's not a matter of faith. If tomorrow something happened that clearly demonstrated the existence of a god or gods, or an argument was presented that did not have issues - I would accept it, and switch from atheist to theist.

void *
11-14-2010, 09:20
Void and I are simply disagreeing on what exactly an atheist is.

Creaky likes to jump in and take swipes at me. Don't worry about it. He's also not saying what you are saying is crap - he's saying what I'm saying is crap.

void *
11-14-2010, 09:52
I guess the ultimate point I'm trying to make, Cavalry Doc, is this:

You are saying there is a definition of "atheism" that is "the doctrine that there is no deity".

And there is.

I am saying there is also a definition of atheism that is "a disbelief in the existence of deity"

Both of these definitions are in Merriam-Webster.

You look at the first definition and make the statement that all atheists are therefore holding a religious belief.

I am countering that, to the contrary, there are a large number of people that label themselves "atheist" by the second definition, not the first, and under that definition, it's a matter of not accepting the posit 'a god or gods exist'. By that definition, there is no logical requirement that anyone accept the corresponding posit 'no god or gods exist' as a matter of doctrine (or dogma).

I agree that if any particular person is actually dogmatically stating that no god or gods exist, they are not justified in that. However, I also think that you are telling people (like me) that they hold such a dogmatic view when they actually don't. If there is something that would convince someone to accept the posit, the disbelief is conditional, not dogmatic.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 12:41
I guess the ultimate point I'm trying to make, Cavalry Doc, is this:

You are saying there is a definition of "atheism" that is "the doctrine that there is no deity".

And there is.

I am saying there is also a definition of atheism that is "a disbelief in the existence of deity"

Both of these definitions are in Merriam-Webster.

You look at the first definition and make the statement that all atheists are therefore holding a religious belief.

I am countering that, to the contrary, there are a large number of people that label themselves "atheist" by the second definition, not the first, and under that definition, it's a matter of not accepting the posit 'a god or gods exist'. By that definition, there is no logical requirement that anyone accept the corresponding posit 'no god or gods exist' as a matter of doctrine (or dogma).

I agree that if any particular person is actually dogmatically stating that no god or gods exist, they are not justified in that. However, I also think that you are telling people (like me) that they hold such a dogmatic view when they actually don't. If there is something that would convince someone to accept the posit, the disbelief is conditional, not dogmatic.



It's a pretty thin line that divides us. I think that "disbelief" is a little more than admitting that you don't know for sure. If one considers it possible that a deity exists, that sort of negates the correct use of the term Atheist for me.

dis·be·lief (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelief)
noun \ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf\
Definition of DISBELIEF
: the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue


It looks like we are going to have to agree to disagree. http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs15/f/2007/068/3/c/_handshake__revision_by_Kermodog.gif

void *
11-14-2010, 12:57
I think that "disbelief" is a little more than admitting that you don't know for sure.

Saying that you don't know for sure requires only that you have some reason to think that you could be wrong. You both "don't know for sure" and are, apparently, taking the position that you have no internal idea of what you think the probability of the statement "a god or god exists" is - noting that it's understood that such assessments can be inaccurate.

"disbelief" is not 'admitting you don't know for sure', "disbelief" is not being able to say "I believe X". If disbelief implied certainty about 'not X' then belief would also imply certainty about 'X'.

void *
11-14-2010, 13:04
Cavalry Doc,

Is the statement "Cavalry doc does not believe that the statement 'A god or gods exist' is true, and he also does not believe the statement 'No god or gods exist' is true" a true statement?

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 13:17
Cavalry Doc,

Is the statement "Cavalry doc does not believe that the statement 'A god or gods exist' is true, and he also does not believe the statement 'No god or gods exist' is true" a true statement?

I'd simply point out that I refuse to have words put into my mouth, and that I'll make my own statement of what I believe, instead of being roped into a digital answer.

It's an analog situation.

I don't know. And it does not bother me not to know. You don't have to take an extreme position on the issue. There is middle ground.

In my own humble opinion, without convincing evidence either way, I have reserved the act of judgment.

I'll let you know if I change my mind.

void *
11-14-2010, 13:22
I'd simply point out that I refuse to have words put into my mouth, and that I'll make my own statement of what I believe, instead of being roped into a digital answer.

I'm not putting words into your mouth. I'm asking you a question, with the end view of getting you to recognize that there is a distinction between not being able to say 'I believe x' and saying 'I believe not x'.

'Don't know' means you can't say you know it is, and you can't say you know it isn't, doesn't it? That's the very definition of not knowing, not being able to say 'It is true' and not being able to say 'It is false' (or, if that's too digital for you, saying 'I don't know' is equivalent to saying 'I can't say I know that *any* of the possible values is the correct value')

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 13:31
Saying that you don't know for sure requires only that you have some reason to think that you could be wrong. You both "don't know for sure" and are, apparently, taking the position that you have no internal idea of what you think the probability of the statement "a god or god exists" is - noting that it's understood that such assessments can be inaccurate.

"disbelief" is not 'admitting you don't know for sure', "disbelief" is not being able to say "I believe X". If disbelief implied certainty about 'not X' then belief would also imply certainty about 'X'.

Now we are mixing a little "uncertainty" in the definition of the word "disbelief".

ag·nos·tic (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic)
noun \ag-ˈnäs-tik, əg-\
Definition of AGNOSTIC
1
: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2
: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>
— ag·nos·ti·cism\-tə-ˌsi-zəm\ noun

athe·ist (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheist)
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity



Apparently, we aren't speaking the same language, which will only cause us to cover the same ground again, and again. We can disagree into infinity, or move on. I take the stance that the words are defined as above, Merriam-Webster agrees with me. You have another opinion, so lets just call it best two out of three, and move on.


With all the following words meaning exactly what they are defined to mean as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I ask the following question:

Why is it so hard to admit Atheism is a Religion?

void *
11-14-2010, 13:35
Why is it so hard to admit Atheism is a Religion?

I guess I can only respond with:

Why is it so hard for you to understand that people use the word "atheism" and "atheist" in a context that is other than the one, single, definition that you have decided to globally apply, despite the fact that other definitions are perfectly acceptable and, in fact, accepted?

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 13:35
I'm not putting words into your mouth. I'm asking you a question, with the end view of getting you to recognize that there is a distinction between not being able to say 'I believe x' and saying 'I believe not x'.

'Don't know' means you can't say you know it is, and you can't say you know it isn't, doesn't it? That's the very definition of not knowing, not being able to say 'It is true' and not being able to say 'It is false' (or, if that's too digital for you, saying 'I don't know' is equivalent to saying 'I can't say I know that *any* of the possible values is the correct value')

You have one bullet in your gun, The bad guy is holding two dead man switches in his hand, each is attached to an explosive vest, one explosive vest is tied to you mother, the other to your wife, and he wants you to choose which one to blow up.

Choose who lives, your mother or your wife.
































One could choose to shoot the bad guy. In fact, one could argue that is the most logical choice.



Bottom line, I would not make a statement worded in that way, or after 13 or so pages, you might be able to find a quote or two..... :supergrin:

void *
11-14-2010, 13:41
One could choose to shoot the bad guy. In fact, one could argue that is the most logical choice.

You specified a dead man switch to each bomb. If you shoot him, the most probable result is that both bombs will go off - and both mother and wife will die. That's the most logical choice?

Can you admit that, regardless of whether or not you know or can know what the value is, it is the case that the statement 'A god or gods exist' has an *actual* value that is either true or false?

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 13:41
I guess I can only respond with:

Why is it so hard for you to understand that people use the word "atheism" and "atheist" in a context that is other than the one, single, definition that you have decided to globally apply, despite the fact that other definitions are perfectly acceptable and, in fact, accepted?



I understand it, I just don't agree with, or condone it. The American educational system isn't the best in the world, and slang is a popular oddity in America, so I don't harbor any bad feelings toward people that alter definitions.





It's cool. Really, not cold, just cool. 62 degrees out at 2:40 in the afternoon.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 13:53
You specified a dead man switch. If you shoot him, both bombs will go off - and both mother and wife will die. That's the most logical choice?


Look deeper, and consider the outcome. Just because you are offered only two choices, that does not mean that there are ONLY two choices. I'm not trusting any guy willing to strap a bomb onto a lady that he will let one live. If he were, one very plausible reason that he would do that, is to cause you, and your surviving lady, great distress and sadness.

More likely, after watching you grieve for your loss, he'll kill the other one, and then you too, and/or attempt to escape.

The guy's an obvious jerk, he's an obvious threat, shoot him in the head. In situations like that, it's best to resist, strongly.



Can you admit that, regardless of whether or not you know what the value is, it is the case that the statement 'A god or gods exist' has an *actual* value that is either true or false?


Nope. What if one or more did exist, but now have died of old age?
To what level could a god or gods exist. Maybe not even conscious, all the way to omniscient and omnipresent, good, bad or neutral. All are possibilities, and the levels to which one may exist are numerous. Not having ever existed at all is a pretty definite value.

On a numerical scale, the possible choices are from zero to infinity, in all directions simultaneously. Each possible aspect or trait is also just as possible. Infinity to the power of infinity. Analog.

Not just A. or B. Digital.

void *
11-14-2010, 13:53
I understand it, I just don't agree with, or condone it. The American educational system isn't the best in the world, and slang is a popular oddity in America, so I don't harbor any bad feelings toward people that alter definitions.

It's not an alteration of definitions, and it's not slang. I've documented that there are definitions other than the one you are using, that are accepted and documented by dictionaries. Way back when, "atheism" and "atheist" was used solely as a pejorative - if someone argued to you that because of that, *you* are altering the definition, would you agree?

Atheism has three definitions in Merriam Webster - 1, 2a and 2b. I'm using 2a, you're using 2b, are we both "altering the definition" because definition 1 exists?

No - it's a matter of what the context is.

void *
11-14-2010, 14:04
Look deeper, and consider the outcome. Just because you are offered only two choices, that does not mean that there are ONLY two choices.

And I'm not saying it is always the case that there are only two choices. I am saying that existence and nonexistence are actually a true dichotomy.

Nope. What if one or more did exist, but now have died of old age?

Then they do not exist. Their remains may or may not exist, depending on how gods die of old age, but if they used to exist, is not true that *right now* they exist.

To what level could a god or gods exist. Maybe not even conscious, all the way to omniscient and omnipresent, good, bad or neutral. All are possibilities, and the levels to which one may exist are numerous.

Sure - but having a 'level of exist' means that you exist. There are similar levels of being alive - but that doesn't change that once you are dead, you are no longer alive. Being in a coma, for instance, is still being alive - you are not 'not alive'.

There is either a Glock in my safe, or there isn't. There is a snail on my porch, or there isn't. If that snail has 50% of his body on my porch, it is still true that the snail is on my porch, even if it is *also* true that the snail is on the grass. If the snail was on the porch yesterday, and not today, the statement "There is a snail on my porch" is *not* true to some degree today just because it was actually true yesterday.

On a numerical scale, the possible choices are from zero to infinity, in all directions simultaneously. Each possible aspect or trait is also just as possible. Infinity to the power of infinity. Analog.

Please explain what it means, in reality, for the posit 'a god or god exists' to have a value of -472,333.57

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 14:10
And I'm not saying it is always the case that there are only two choices. I am saying that existence and nonexistence are actually a true dichotomy.



Then they do not exist. Their remains may or may not exist, depending on how gods die of old age, but if they used to exist, is not true that *right now* they exist.



Sure - but having a 'level of exist' means that you exist. There are similar levels of being alive - but that doesn't change that once you are dead, you are no longer alive. Being in a coma, for instance, is still being alive - you are not 'not alive'.

There is either a Glock in my safe, or there isn't. There is a snail on my porch, or there isn't. If that snail has 50% of his body on my porch, it is still true that the snail is on my porch, even if it is *also* true that the snail is on the grass. If the snail was on the porch yesterday, and not today, the statement "There is a snail on my porch" is *not* true today just because it was yesterday.



Please explain what it means, in reality, for the posit 'a god or god exists' to have a value of -472,333.57

I don't think it can have a numerical value at all, unless that value is zero.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 14:16
It's not an alteration of definitions, and it's not slang. I've documented that there are definitions other than the one you are using, that are accepted and documented by dictionaries. Way back when, "atheism" and "atheist" was used solely as a pejorative - if someone argued to you that because of that, *you* are altering the definition, would you agree?

Atheism has three definitions in Merriam Webster - 1, 2a and 2b. I'm using 2a, you're using 2b, are we both "altering the definition" because definition 1 exists?

No - it's a matter of what the context is.

But Meriam-Webster only has one definition for "Athiest".

athe·ist
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity

athe·ism
noun \ˈā-thē-ˌi-zəm\
Definition of ATHEISM
1
archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2
a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

dis·be·lief
noun \ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf\
Definition of DISBELIEF
: the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue


2a is "active" not "passive", and it is not a description of people that are unsure about their beliefs.


How many more loops around the track do you want to take?

void *
11-14-2010, 14:28
I don't think it can have a numerical value at all, unless that value is zero.

You are the one that stated it can hold any value from 0 to infinity in any directions on a numerical scale.

The point I am trying to make is that you can say that all you like, but unless you have a model of what that *means*, it doesn't mean anything.

For instance, if we look at whether or not someone owes someone money - let's call these hypothetical people Jack and Diane - either Jack owes Diane money, or he doesn't.

You can look at the amount of money owed, which is certainly an analog variable - but no matter what the value of that analog variable, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is either true or false.

Let's call a variable 'moneyowed', define it as the net amount of money that should transfer between Jack and Diane due to debt between them, and let it take any value in either direction to infinity. If it holds a positive value, then money should flow from Jack to Diane. If it's negative, then money should flow from Diane to Jack.

If it's positive, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is true, and the statement 'Diane owes Jack money' is false.
If it's zero, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is false and the statement 'Diane owes Jack money' is false.
If it's negative, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is false and the statement 'Diane owes Jack money' is true.

No matter the value of that variable, there is no case in which the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is not either true or false. You may not know what the value of the analog variable is, but no matter what it is, you know that the posit "Jack owes Diane money" is either true, or false.

In this example, we have an analog value, and we have a means of relating that analog value to reality.

You are asserting that 'a god or gods exist' is likewise an analog variable - but you can't provide an explanation of what that actually means. Without a defined means of relating your statement to reality, "On a numerical scale, the possible choices are from zero to infinity, in all directions simultaneously" doesn't have any usefulness whatsoever as a definition of the variable.

void *
11-14-2010, 14:36
How many more loops around the track do you want to take?

As many as it takes for you to realize that that there are other accepted and acceptable definitions?

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 14:42
You are the one that stated it can hold any value from 0 to infinity in any direction.

The point I am trying to make is that you can say that all you like, but unless you have a model of what that *means*, it doesn't mean anything.

For instance, if we look at whether or not someone owes someone money - let's call these hypothetical people Jack and Diane - either Jack owes Diane money, or he doesn't.

You can look at the amount of money owed, which is certainly an analog variable - but no matter what the value of that analog variable, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is either true or false.

Let's call a variable 'moneyowed', define it as the net amount of money that should transfer between Jack and Diane due to debt between them, and let it take any value in either direction to infinity. If it holds a positive value, then money should flow from Jack to Diane. If it's negative, then money should flow from Diane to Jack.

If it's positive, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is true, and the statement 'Diane owes Jack money' is false.
If it's zero, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is false and the statement 'Diane owes Jack money' is false.
If it's negative, the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is false and the statement 'Diane owes Jack money' is true.

No matter the value of that variable, there is no case in which the statement 'Jack owes Diane money' is not either true or false. You may not know what the value of the analog variable is, but no matter what it is, you know that the posit "Jack owes Diane money" is either true, or false.

In this example, we have an analog value, and we have a means of relating that analog value to reality.

You are asserting that 'a god or gods exist' is likewise an analog variable - but you can't provide an explanation of what that actually means.



It's not a digital situation. Digits fail here.

The last bold statement is incorrect. I have only said that it is possible, and further stated that I do not know the answer.



I do think that I have found some evidence, that at least in this very small sample (GTRI), after 14 pages, it is actually difficult for atheists to admit that their belief system is a religion.

void *
11-14-2010, 14:48
The last bold statement is incorrect. I have only said that it is possible, and further stated that I do not know the answer.

It is?


On a numerical scale, the possible choices are from zero to infinity, in all directions simultaneously. Each possible aspect or trait is also just as possible. Infinity to the power of infinity. Analog.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 14:49
As many as it takes for you to realize that that there are other accepted and acceptable definitions?

I asked the question, and for the last several or sop pages, you've been trying to redefine the words in the question, regardless of how many times I explain what they meant to me (and merriam-webster).


If you can't answer the question in the way it was asked, it's not a failure to admit it.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 14:51
It is?

All things are possible.


We are spinning in so many circles so fast, I'll restate my position clearly:


I don't know whether there is or is not a deity or deities.


That's it.

void *
11-14-2010, 14:57
We are spinning in so many circles so fast, I'll restate my position clearly:


I don't know whether there is or is not a deity or deities.


That's it.

Ok. Do you recognize that the question "Is there a deity or deities?" must have an answer of "Yes" or "No", whether or not we can know what the answer is? (this is not to say that the answer can't change over time).

void *
11-14-2010, 14:59
I asked the question, and for the last several or sop pages, you've been trying to redefine the words in the question, regardless of how many times I explain what they meant to me (and merriam-webster).

No - I perfectly accept that you view it in terms of "atheist, agnostic, theist".

I am asking you to recognize that I do not - I treat agnostic/gnostic and atheist/theist as separate variables in a well defined, precise manner - and furthermore, that your view is not the only view, and also, not the only *acceptable* view.

I've shown multiple definitions from multiple dictionaries, you throw them all out and say that only the one you want is valid.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 15:08
Ok. Do you recognize that the question "Is there a deity or deities?" must have an answer of "Yes" or "No", whether or not we can know what the answer is?

When asked that question, another reasonable answer is: I don't know.

So, no, I do not agree that it "must" have an answer of yes or no. Yes and no are only some of the possible answers. I could answer by asking multiple questions about what would or would not constitute a deity, or even asking how you define "Is".


"I don't know" is my personal answer, and I'm comfortable with it.

An atheist, by definition, would answer your question "no". The definition of atheist is quite clear.


Maybe we can start by concluding that you are using an "unconventional" definition of "atheist" and "atheism".

You still have not taken a stab at the original question, but have given plenty of evidence that it is true. Look at all the mental gymnastics we have gone through so that you could find a way to claim that atheism is not a religion.



:wavey:

nmstew
11-14-2010, 16:03
CavalryDoc,
Why do you say organization is not required for a group to be considered a religion?

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 16:22
CavalryDoc,
Why do you say organization is not required for a group to be considered a religion?

Because an individual can have a religious belief, shared by no one else.

Why would an organization be necessary.



But atheists are organized. www.atheist.org They get together and don't pray. But they do have a belief system, a set of mores and ethics.


Looks like I even agree with them on the definition of atheism (http://www.atheists.org/atheism).

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 16:33
No - I perfectly accept that you view it in terms of "atheist, agnostic, theist".

I am asking you to recognize that I do not - I treat agnostic/gnostic and atheist/theist as separate variables in a well defined, precise manner - and furthermore, that your view is not the only view, and also, not the only *acceptable* view.

I've shown multiple definitions from multiple dictionaries, you throw them all out and say that only the one you want is valid.

I'm not alone, atheists agree.

What is Atheism (http://www.atheists.org/atheism)

Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity, which implies that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are “super” natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.

http://www.atheists.org/atheism



Since www.atheists.org, Merriam-Webster, and I all agree, looks like you're the odd man out on your definition. Why don't you start using ours?

void *
11-14-2010, 17:21
When asked that question, another reasonable answer is: I don't know.

Yes. That is a reasonable answer when *you* are asked the question.

That does not address what the actual, possible values of truth are.

You appear to not recognize the difference.

void *
11-14-2010, 17:27
I'm not alone, atheists agree.

Not all atheists agree.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist

An atheist is a person who does not believe in any gods. Atheism is the corresponding philosophical position. This commonly used definition does not assume any positive claim of the nonexistence of a god.


In fact, the very same "American Atheists" website you cite gives a further espousal that agrees more with me than it does with you:

http://www.atheists.org/atheism/about_atheism

Is Atheism a belief system or religion?

Theists usually define atheism incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a belief system. Atheism is not a religion.

Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, from the original Greek meaning of "without gods." That is it. There is nothing more to it. If someone wrote a book titled "Atheism Defined," it would only be one sentence long.

Let us look at the different definitions of religion and see if atheism belongs in any of them.

1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

No atheism resides in that definition. Atheists do not believe in a supernatural power or powers.

2. Beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

Atheism does not have a spiritual leader and atheism does not have any rites or rituals (practices) around such a spiritual leader. Atheism requires no initiation, no baptism, there is no Atheist Bible (Koran, Vedas, etc) to read, no rituals that atheists must go through to join an Atheist Church (temple, mosque, synagogue, sect, etc), and no central beliefs that all atheists must adhere to in order to be "true atheists."

The common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Every atheist is as unique as a fingerprint when it comes to his or her individual philosophy, convictions, and ideals.

So - when asked if atheism is a religion, they *also* say no, and they also define the single criteria of 'a lack of belief in gods'.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 17:34
The original Greek meaning interesting. "without gods".

We simply cannot agree on this. I'm cool with that.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 17:37
Yes. That is a reasonable answer when *you* are asked the question.

That does not address what the actual, possible values of truth are.

You appear to not recognize the difference.

Ok. I give, what are the possible values?

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 17:39
Not all atheists agree.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist




In fact, the very same "American Atheists" website you cite gives a further espousal that agrees more with me than it does with you:

http://www.atheists.org/atheism/about_atheism



So - when asked if atheism is a religion, they *also* say no, and they also define the single criteria of 'a lack of belief in gods'.


Just goes to show you, it's hard to admit. There were also a lot of active anti religious sentiment. Who knew it was a civil right to be free from being within sight or sound of religious prayer.

void *
11-14-2010, 17:47
Yes. That is a reasonable answer when *you* are asked the question.

That does not address what the actual, possible values of truth are.

You appear to not recognize the difference.

To expound on this further: Say you and I are in the same room. I show you a box, open the lid and show you it's empty.

I then take the box and step into a side room. I come back with the box, but now the lid is locked.

I ask you, "Is there something in the box"? You might respond, perfectly reasonably, "I don't know".

But there is still either something in the box, or there is *not* something in the box. The truth value of the posit 'There is something in the box' cannot actually be any other value than 'true' or 'false'. If I destroy the key and forget whether or not I put something in it, and it is impossible for anyone to know whether there's something in it (because this is a GT manufactured impossible to defeat lock) - there will *still* either be something in it, or not.

Cavalry Doc
11-14-2010, 18:43
To expound on this further: Say you and I are in the same room. I show you a box, open the lid and show you it's empty.

I then take the box and step into a side room. I come back with the box, but now the lid is locked.

I ask you, "Is there something in the box"? You might respond, perfectly reasonably, "I don't know".

But there is still either something in the box, or there is *not* something in the box. The truth value of the posit 'There is something in the box' cannot actually be any other value than 'true' or 'false'. If I destroy the key and forget whether or not I put something in it, and it is impossible for anyone to know whether there's something in it (because this is a GT manufactured impossible to defeat lock) - there will *still* either be something in it, or not.

I'd answer that it is much more likely than not, that something is in the box.

Air.

These little brain teasers are much more mundane than a belief system that means so much to it's faithful.

That site is real interesting.


http://www.atheists.org/law

Your Rights

* You have the right to say no to mythology and religion, and to realize they are one and the same.
* You have the right to all the information you need to make an informed decision about mythology.
* You have the right to raise your child as an Atheist, free of shame, fear, or embarrassment [aside:
There are several non-constitutional rights up there. Shame or embarrassment is an individual responsibility. The individual decides, consciously or subconsciously whether they feel shame.]
* You have the right to send your children to public schools knowing they will not be taught mythology as truth or science.
* You have the right NOT to pay higher taxes to compensate for those with religion-based Tax Exempt Status (every church, synagogue, and mosque in the country, scientologists and Moonies, too). [aside : but christians, jews and muslims have to pay extra taxes for abortions...?]
* You have the right to a voice in politics, and for your elected officials to hear you LOUD AND CLEAR
* You have the right to any job in our government, from School Board to President. [aside: really, Chaplain?]
* You have the right to a secular government that takes no stand on religion except to prohibit religion's intrusion into itself or your life. [aside: Hmmm. It depends on how you define intrusion. ]
* You have the right to a government that does not advance religion, fund religion, or depend on religion for guidance. [ aside: If Barry wants to pray and seek guidance, isn't that HIS right?]
* You have the right to be an American Atheist.






There are several non-constitutional rights up there.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Their "Politics section" barely mentions that portion of the first amendment.


It's the anti-religion religion. It's just very difficult for them to see it. I imagine that many atheists have the same feeling I'm having now arguing with the faithful of another religion.

void *
11-14-2010, 18:48
Who knew it was a civil right to be free from being within sight or sound of religious prayer.

I don't think it is. Common sense would indicate that if people have the right to believe or not believe, and a right to pray or not pray, etc, then there may be situations in which someone might hear or see someone praying.

void *
11-14-2010, 18:57
I'd answer that it is much more likely than not, that something is in the box.

Air.


I restate the posit as 'There is something other than air in the box'. Please go back and consider the question now.

These little brain teasers

It's not a brain teaser. You ought to be able to readily and easily admit that a posit such as 'At least one god exists' has to have an actual value of 'true' or 'false', whether you can know what that actual value is or not.

That site is real interesting.

There are certainly things on that site I do not agree with. For instance, whether or not someone feels embarrassment and shame is not something the government can control whatsoever.

The government can, however, prohibit assaults and harassment, no matter what the reason the person committing the assault or harassment is.

This just brings the point that "Apart from not believing in any gods, there is no official atheist doctrine".

nmstew
11-14-2010, 20:27
Because an individual can have a religious belief, shared by no one else.

Why would an organization be necessary.


That's the distinction I was going to make. An individual person can have beliefs about subjects of a spiritual nature, but those are not all recognized as different religions. There are 6 Billion people on the planet, but not 6 billion religions. I posit that what makes them have the status we refer to as "religion" is some unifying declaration of faith (like the nicean creed for example), a set ethos they all are expect by others within the group to live by (sharia for example) and yes, organizing into a group on recurring intervals. Anything else is just individual belief.

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 04:29
That's the distinction I was going to make. An individual person can have beliefs about subjects of a spiritual nature, but those are not all recognized as different religions. There are 6 Billion people on the planet, but not 6 billion religions. I posit that what makes them have the status we refer to as "religion" is some unifying declaration of faith (like the nicean creed for example), a set ethos they all are expect by others within the group to live by (sharia for example) and yes, organizing into a group on recurring intervals. Anything else is just individual belief.

Over the centuries, a few cultures and religions have ceased to exist actively. The last believer left, still had a religion. It's just a minor difference of opinion though. I think an individual can have his own religion.

Main Entry: re·li·gion
Pronunciation: \ri-ˈli-jən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back — more at rely
Date: 13th century
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 observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
— re·li·gion·less adjective

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 04:39
I restate the posit as 'There is something other than air in the box'. Please go back and consider the question now.



It's not a brain teaser. You ought to be able to readily and easily admit that a posit such as 'At least one god exists' has to have an actual value of 'true' or 'false', whether you can know what that actual value is or not.



There are certainly things on that site I do not agree with. For instance, whether or not someone feels embarrassment and shame is not something the government can control whatsoever.

The government can, however, prohibit assaults and harassment, no matter what the reason the person committing the assault or harassment is.

This just brings the point that "Apart from not believing in any gods, there is no official atheist doctrine".


But in atheism, there is a system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.

Let's get back to your box. Dust, microbes, mites. The world is a messy place when you look at it from a microscope. Whether there is now a thimble in the box or not doesn't lead to a system of beliefs about the very nature of life as we know it. Instead of the back and forth, why don't you posit responses from a hypothetical agnostic and get to the moral of your story.

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 04:44
I don't think it is. Common sense would indicate that if people have the right to believe or not believe, and a right to pray or not pray, etc, then there may be situations in which someone might hear or see someone praying.

Glad to hear that. Some of the statements on that site are rather intolerant.


Personally, I don't mind hearing a prayer or a moment of silence prior to a meeting or sporting event. I don't mind seeing crosses on the side of the road. Why would I care? It does not offend my religion.... As it does to some of the Atheists.

void *
11-15-2010, 07:59
Let's get back to your box. Dust, microbes, mites. The world is a messy place when you look at it from a microscope.

If we open the box, and there are dust, microbes and mites in it - it is the case that there is *something* in the box. The truth value in that situation is not something besides 'true' or 'false'.

You've no idea what I did while I was in the other room. I may have sanitized and vacuum sealed it. I may have even sucked all the air out of it. Either way, there either is something in the box, or there isn't. If I was in the other room trying to make sure there was nothing in the box, and a bug slips in that I don't know about - the actual truth value of the posit can still only be one of 'true' or 'false'.

But to be honest, I'm pretty sure that you know what I mean, and you're getting hyperspecific for a reason - I think it may be that you're pulling my chain a bit when you refuse to see the distinction between what *you* know and what is *actually true*, and how the truth value still has to be 'true' or 'false' for a posit like 'a god or gods exists' whether you or I or anyone can actually know what that truth value is.

Schabesbert
11-15-2010, 08:25
Not all atheists agree.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheist
An atheist is a person who does not believe in any gods. Atheism is the corresponding philosophical position. This commonly used definition does not assume any positive claim of the nonexistence of a god.
All this is is a preemption against legitimate arguments. They might as well have stated (without proof) that "Atheists do not bear any burden of proof."

Kind of a cop-out.

void *
11-15-2010, 09:09
All this is is a preemption against legitimate arguments. They might as well have stated (without proof) that "Atheists do not bear any burden of proof."

Kind of a cop-out.

Who has the burden of proof for an affirmative claim, Schabesbert?

If you are claiming God exists, who has the burden of proof for that claim? Does everyone else have to show it's not true? Or is it on you to bring some evidence that it is true before the burden of proof shifts?

Claiming that there's automatically a burden of proof to disbelieve a claim doesn't make any sense at all. If I said I have found the Philosopher's Stone, you are *perfectly* justified in not believing me, and putting the burden of proof on me, until I show some evidence that I actually have.

The same is true for any affirmative claim - and to pretend that for claims about gods there is somehow automatically a burden of proof to not believe is inconsistent with how we treat affirmative claims generally.

If someone who actually believed it came up to you and said "Odin hung himself from the world tree for nine days", would you accept the argument that you have a burden of proof to *not* believe the claim?

Schabesbert
11-15-2010, 09:59
Who has the burden of proof for an affirmative claim, Schabesbert?

If you are claiming God exists, who has the burden of proof for that claim? Does everyone else have to show it's not true? Or is it on you to bring some evidence that it is true before the burden of proof shifts?
My point exactly. This is precisely WHY the atheist group is saying that they aren't making an affirmation, whilst doing precisely that. And that's why I'm saying its a cop-out.

Edited to add:
I think that this very point is the most complete, most honest answer, to Doc's original question. IF they admitted it, then they would bear some burden of proof.

void *
11-15-2010, 10:17
My point exactly. This is precisely WHY the atheist group is saying that they aren't making an affirmation, whilst doing precisely that. And that's why I'm saying its a cop-out.

You are implying that not believing any claim at all puts a burden of proof on the person who does not believe.

I am trying to point out that, were this true, this leads us to not being able to not believe *any* claim made.

And that makes no sense. If I say I have the philosopher's stone, it does not lay a burden of proof on you to show that I don't merely because I claim I do. It is *perfectly* reasonable for anyone to say 'I don't believe that, you'll have to show some evidence if you want me to'.

If I responded 'No, no - you are denying any burden of proof', that'd get laughed right out the door.

Again, if someone who actually believed it came up to you and said "Odin hung himself from the world tree for nine days", would you accept the argument that you have a burden of proof to *not* believe the claim?

Basically, that leads to a situation where saying 'I don't accept that claim' requires proof that it's not when it's the atheists making the claim - but I doubt you'd accept the same in your direction when an atheist actually *did* make an affirmative claim.

Which is kind of like having the net down when you serve, but up when they do, don't you think?

Edited: I.E., I see this as leading to a situation where, when you make an affirmative claim, and I say 'I don't accept that as true', you want me to have the burden of proof that it is *not* true ...
But if I make an affirmative claim ... you want me to have the burden of proof that it *is* true.

On what basis can you say that you never have a burden of proof?

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 18:49
If we open the box, and there are dust, microbes and mites in it - it is the case that there is *something* in the box. The truth value in that situation is not something besides 'true' or 'false'.

You've no idea what I did while I was in the other room. I may have sanitized and vacuum sealed it. I may have even sucked all the air out of it. Either way, there either is something in the box, or there isn't. If I was in the other room trying to make sure there was nothing in the box, and a bug slips in that I don't know about - the actual truth value of the posit can still only be one of 'true' or 'false'.

But to be honest, I'm pretty sure that you know what I mean, and you're getting hyperspecific for a reason - I think it may be that you're pulling my chain a bit when you refuse to see the distinction between what *you* know and what is *actually true*, and how the truth value still has to be 'true' or 'false' for a posit like 'a god or gods exists' whether you or I or anyone can actually know what that truth value is.

However, even if every single atom and particle could be removed from a volume, it would still not be "empty" due to vacuum fluctuations, dark energy, and other phenomena in quantum physics. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum)

If you can create a perfect vacuum in a box you can walk in and out of a room with, you're good. :wavey:

Odds are, there will be more than nothing in the box you bring back.

But that isn't the answer you were looking for. Just go ahead and make your point.

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 18:53
All this is is a preemption against legitimate arguments. They might as well have stated (without proof) that "Atheists do not bear any burden of proof."

Kind of a cop-out.

I agree completely. :wavey:


It is evidently VERY hard to admit that atheism is a religion, a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.


Words mean things, at least until you point out an inconvenient truth.

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 18:59
You are implying that not believing any claim at all puts a burden of proof on the person who does not believe.

I am trying to point out that, were this true, this leads us to not being able to not believe *any* claim made.

And that makes no sense. If I say I have the philosopher's stone, it does not lay a burden of proof on you to show that I don't merely because I claim I do. It is *perfectly* reasonable for anyone to say 'I don't believe that, you'll have to show some evidence if you want me to'.

If I responded 'No, no - you are denying any burden of proof', that'd get laughed right out the door.

Again, if someone who actually believed it came up to you and said "Odin hung himself from the world tree for nine days", would you accept the argument that you have a burden of proof to *not* believe the claim?

Basically, that leads to a situation where saying 'I don't accept that claim' requires proof that it's not when it's the atheists making the claim - but I doubt you'd accept the same in your direction when an atheist actually *did* make an affirmative claim.

Which is kind of like having the net down when you serve, but up when they do, don't you think?

Edited: I.E., I see this as leading to a situation where, when you make an affirmative claim, and I say 'I don't accept that as true', you want me to have the burden of proof that it is *not* true ...
But if I make an affirmative claim ... you want me to have the burden of proof that it *is* true.

On what basis can you say that you never have a burden of proof?

It's more than not believing any claim, it's stating as an absolute that all other claims are false.

We can play the passive aggressive game were milk-toast atheistic agnostics claim that they aren't making any assertion all day long..... and it still sounds so much less than logical.

If you are truly of the belief that you really don't know whether a deity or deities exist or not, and you've chosen to be an ATHEIST, as defined by Merriam-Websters, then you've got religion. You're just as full of faith and religious ardor as any devout catholic.




It's painful to hear, but the truth is the truth. My hope is, that maybe by hearing and knowing that, that you may be more tolerant of the religious belief of others.




Hypocrisy is rampant among many atheists. Especially those that feel a need to post religion bashing posts in non-religious threads.

void *
11-15-2010, 19:11
It's more than not believing any claim, it's stating as an absolute that all other claims are false.

Please quote me doing such.

If someone comes up to me, and says 'Such and such a god exists', I will not believe them merely because they *posit* it. I'd want to see some evidence that would lead me to conclude that the claim is true. That is not an absolute statement that all god claims are false, that's a statement of what I would require to accept such a claim as true (and, in fact, *any* claim as true, although, as I have talked about a bit before, I think that there are a set of claims that people more or less have an evidential baseline to accept in their experience - you tell me you made some toast this morning, I'll accept that at face value, because I already have evidence that bread, electricity, and machines that make toast - or alternatively, ovens, or a campfire, depending on how you like to make toast - exist. Namely, that these are all things I've seen and done myself).

That is not actively rejecting all claims of all gods, that's saying 'any god you make a claim for - I'm going to want to see some evidence for it'.

It's impossible for anyone to have actually looked at and actively rejected every single claim of a deity.

Not accepting a claim is pretty much the default position.

void *
11-15-2010, 19:22
Odds are, there will be more than nothing in the box you bring back.

But that isn't the answer you were looking for. Just go ahead and make your point.

Yeah. I think you're pulling my chain, and you know exactly what I'm trying to get at.

Let me put it another way.

I put a quarter on a table. I then drop a mat over the table, thick enough that you can't discern a bump if there's a quarter on the table between the mat and the table.

I then flip the lights off, you hear me messing around with the mat and the table, the lights come back on. You can't directly examine the table or the mat - you just see the mat in the same spot.

You know I did something, but you don't know what I did. If I ask you 'Is there a quarter on the table?', "I don't know" may be a perfectly acceptable answer, and I may have glued the mat down and forgotten whether I pulled the quarter out first - but either there is really a quarter on the table, or there really isn't a quarter on the table.

Just like how, even though we can't know whether the posit 'Does a god or gods exist' is true or false, in reality, either there are one or more gods that are actual real supernatural beings and not just concepts - or there aren't.

If you're not just pulling my chain and you can't grok a simple distinction between you being able to answer "I don't know" and the real value of the posit having possible values of 'true', 'false', what's the point of trying to have a philosophical conversation with you?

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 19:29
Please quote me doing such.

If someone comes up to me, and says 'Such and such a god exists', I will not believe them merely because they *posit* it. I'd want to see some evidence that would lead me to conclude that the claim is true. That is not an absolute statement that all god claims are false, that's a statement of what I would require to accept such a claim as true (and, in fact, *any* claim as true, although, as I have talked about a bit before, I think that there are a set of claims that people more or less have an evidential baseline to accept in their experience - you tell me you made some toast this morning, I'll accept that at face value, because I already have evidence that bread, electricity, and machines that make toast - or alternatively, ovens, or a campfire, depending on how you like to make toast - exist. Namely, that these are all things I've seen and done myself).

That is not actively rejecting all claims of all gods, that's saying 'any god you make a claim for - I'm going to want to see some evidence for it'.

It's impossible for anyone to have actually looked at and actively rejected every single claim of a deity.

Not accepting a claim is pretty much the default position.

I offer a quote from Merriam Websters instead.

athe·ist
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity

It is what it is. I didn't create the definition, I didn't alter it, it simply is what it is.

In order to be an atheist, one hast to go beyond simply not believing in a deity, and embrace the concept that "there is no deity".


That is a system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith, as none of them can prove that no deity exists any more than someone that believes that a deity or deities exist.


Atheism is a religion. All four words are used using the dictionary definition, and when placed together, in that order, form a true statement.


So, why is it so hard to admit?

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 19:31
Yeah. I think you're pulling my chain, and you know exactly what I'm trying to get at.

Let me put it another way.

I put a quarter on a table. I then drop a mat over the table, thick enough that you can't discern a bump if there's a quarter on the table between the mat and the table.

I then flip the lights off, you hear me messing around with the mat and the table, the lights come back on. You can't directly examine the table or the mat - you just see the mat in the same spot.

You know I did something, but you don't know what I did. If I ask you 'Is there a quarter on the table?', "I don't know" may be a perfectly acceptable answer, and I may have glued the mat down and forgotten whether I pulled the quarter out first - but either there is really a quarter on the table, or there really isn't a quarter on the table.

Just like how, even though we can't know whether the posit 'Does a god or gods exist' is true or false, in reality, either there are one or more gods that are actual real supernatural beings and not just concepts - or there aren't.

Actually, I'm avoiding getting my own chain pulled, and asking you to make your point without attempting to draw me into some imagined pickle.

void *
11-15-2010, 19:39
Actually, I'm avoiding getting my own chain pulled, and asking you to make your point without attempting to draw me into some imagined pickle.

I'm not trying to trap you. Like I said before, anyone ought to be able to easily and readily admit that a posit like 'At least one god exists' will have a value in the set { true, false } - even if they don't or can't know what that actual value is.

That you refuse to admit this indicates to me that you're not interested in having a basic foundation on which we can have a discussion. I might be wrong on that, but it sure *seems* like you'd rather just say things like 'It's all analog!', even when there's no definition of what that means, than agree to a posit that is fairly obvious, like 'Either there are supernatural being(s) that are real, or there aren't'

Cavalry Doc
11-15-2010, 19:43
Said the spider to the fly.


Atheists believe in the digital. There either is or is not a deity. They have chosen the position that there is not one (or more).

They cannot prove it. But they believe it none the less, and hold to that belief with ardor and faith.


Why, oh why is it so hard to admit?

Anyone ought to be able to easily and readily admit that atheists are religious, in their own way.

void *
11-15-2010, 19:51
It is what it is. I didn't create the definition, I didn't alter it, it simply is what it is.

I didn't alter or create any definitions, either. I simply recognize that word usages are wider than the one definition from a single dictionary that happens to agree with the argument I want to make.

Oxford English:
a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods

Dictionary.com
atheist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.


To precisely state which definition I mean, among a selection of definitions that are all used and accepted, is not modifying the definition.

Simply put: If you posit that one or more supreme beings exist, and I say 'I can't accept that posit without sufficient evidence', I disbelieve it. That is what I mean when I say I am atheist, it does not automatically imply active acceptance of the contrary affirmative statement "No god or gods exists", and if you're simply going to argue that the single dictionary you picked out defines it the way you want it to be defined, well, sure. You picked a dictionary that defines it exactly how you want it defined.

That means you're not willing to recognize other common and documented definitions, and your argument requires that you dictate to other people what they mean when using particular terms - rather than trying to understand what they actually mean.

void *
11-15-2010, 19:54
Said the spider to the fly.

You have yourself admitted that your analog value has no meaning, and directly contradicted yourself - stating that it's somehow both something that is a numerical value from 0 to infinity in all directions and following that with a statement that it can't have any numerical value unless it's zero.

If anyone is trapping you, it's you.

paperairplane
11-15-2010, 20:00
.....

That is a system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith, as none of them can prove that no deity exists any more than someone that believes that a deity or deities exist.


Atheism is a religion. All four words are used using the dictionary definition, and when placed together, in that order, form a true statement.


So, why is it so hard to admit?
Doc - as a christian, would you agree that you then have two religions?
1. Your christian religion
2. Your atheist religion with regard to all other gods (Buddha, Odin, Zeus...)

paperairplane
11-15-2010, 20:09
...
Atheists believe in the digital. There either is or is not a deity. ...

They cannot prove it. But they believe it none the less, and hold to that belief with ardor and faith.


Why, oh why is it so hard to admit?
...
I went in my garage and looked for a Buick. I did not find one. So it does not require any ardorous belief or faith for me to believe that there is no Buick in my garage. I certainly do not have an atheist religion with regard to Buicks in my garage.

In the same way, there is no leap of faith required for my non-belief in god. I looked and did not find evidence of his existence. I satisfied myself that I had made a reasonable search and considered the case closed.

In the same vein that my hobbies are not "shooting Glocks" and "not stamp collecting" - my religion is not "atheist" it is "none". My faith is not "non-belief in god" it is "absent".

void *
11-15-2010, 20:17
Doc - as a christian, would you agree that you then have two religions?

He's identified himself as an agnostic in the sense of a multivalued variable with possible values { atheist, agnostic, theist }.

Although, I made the same probabilistic assessment of his likely belief, based on the belief of people I've had conversations like this in the past, and I initially came to the same conclusion (that he was likely a theist).

Cavalry Doc
11-16-2010, 05:00
Doc - as a christian, would you agree that you then have two religions?
1. Your christian religion
2. Your atheist religion with regard to all other gods (Buddha, Odin, Zeus...)

As an agnostic, it wouldn't bother me in the least is someone made an argument that I was also practicing a religion.

Cavalry Doc
11-16-2010, 05:03
I went in my garage and looked for a Buick. I did not find one. So it does not require any ardorous belief or faith for me to believe that there is no Buick in my garage. I certainly do not have an atheist religion with regard to Buicks in my garage.

In the same way, there is no leap of faith required for my non-belief in god. I looked and did not find evidence of his existence. I satisfied myself that I had made a reasonable search and considered the case closed.

In the same vein that my hobbies are not "shooting Glocks" and "not stamp collecting" - my religion is not "atheist" it is "none". My faith is not "non-belief in god" it is "absent".

But you don't know for sure, nor do you have proof, but you chose to believe that no deity exists, instead of leaving the question that you could not answer, unanswered, you made a leap of faith to arrive at your destination.

void *
11-16-2010, 05:55
But you don't know for sure, nor do you have proof, but you chose to believe that no deity exists, instead of leaving the question that you could not answer, unanswered, you made a leap of faith to arrive at your destination.

Neither does he have proof that there is not a supernatural Buick in his garage.

We can only look, see that we observe no evidence of such a supernatural Buick is in the garage, and come to the reasonable conclusion that, whether or not we can prove there is, or is not, a supernatural Buick in the garage, there is no evidence to support the posit that there is.

That is not a leap of faith. That is simple admission of insufficient support for a posit. Find a test that shows supernatural Buicks, we can then perform that test, and if it comes back that there is a supernatural Buick - then there will be support for the posit.

Cavalry Doc
11-16-2010, 06:34
Neither does he have proof that there is not a supernatural Buick in his garage.

We can only look, see that we observe no evidence of such a supernatural Buick is in the garage, and come to the reasonable conclusion that, whether or not we can prove there is, or is not, a supernatural Buick in the garage, there is no evidence to support the posit that there is.

That is not a leap of faith. That is simple admission of insufficient support for a posit. Find a test that shows supernatural Buicks, we can then perform that test, and if it comes back that there is a supernatural Buick - then there will be support for the posit.

Buick's, pixies and other re herrings aside. If thermos a lack of evidence that posit A exists, that does not mean that the opposite of positive A is the answer.

It's faith. We've been over this before. I can't help you if you also choose to believe that I'm using acceptable and conventional definitions if the words we are using in the discussion.

void *
11-16-2010, 07:59
Buick's, pixies and other re herrings aside. If thermos a lack of evidence that posit A exists, that does not mean that the opposite of positive A is the answer.

And as we have also been over before, I am not stating that a lack of evidence for the statement 'Posit A' means that the converse statement 'not Posit A' is true.

What I am stating is, if there is a lack of evidence that posit A is true, I have no reason to accept that posit A is true. If I do not accept posit A is true, the statement 'I do not believe posit A is true' is true.

That is all I mean when the posit is 'At least one god exists' and I say I am atheist - I am saying "I do not believe the posit 'At least one god exists' is true". I am not saying "I believe the posit 'No gods exist' is true". When you can recognize that, instead of trying to shove your view of what I am saying down my throat, maybe we can get somewhere.

Cavalry Doc
11-16-2010, 17:50
And as we have also been over before, I am not stating that a lack of evidence for the statement 'Posit A' means that the converse statement 'not Posit A' is true.

What I am stating is, if there is a lack of evidence that posit A is true, I have no reason to accept that posit A is true. If I do not accept posit A is true, the statement 'I do not believe posit A is true' is true.

That is all I mean when the posit is 'At least one god exists' and I say I am atheist - I am saying "I do not believe the posit 'At least one god exists' is true". I am not saying "I believe the posit 'No gods exist' is true". When you can recognize that, instead of trying to shove your view of what I am saying down my throat, maybe we can get somewhere.

Your argument is with Merriam Webster, not me.

athe·ist
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity

void *
11-16-2010, 17:58
Your argument is with Merriam Webster, not me.

And there you go - again refusing to admit that there are other dictionaries, with other meanings, and that it's blatantly obvious that "atheism" and "atheist" is used in the sense I am presenting.

Ignoring all the definitions that I provided from various different, commonly accepted dictionaries.

Here's another one, from the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy:
"Atheism. Either the lack of belief in a god, or the belief that there is none"

Simple enough, right? You can use it one way, or the other, depending on context.

Wikipedia describes it as having possibly three different meanings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3]

So, no, I am not arguing with Merriam-Webster. I accept that there are contexts within which the MW definition is what is intended and meant.

I am arguing with you, the guy who refuses to acknowledge that any other definitions even exist.

Cavalry Doc
11-16-2010, 20:16
Really, if you don't agree, I'll get over it.


But why are you so uncomfortable with the question?

void *
11-16-2010, 21:20
But why are you so uncomfortable with the question?

I'm not uncomfortable with the question.
I just don't view atheism in terms that would mandate it being a religion. Noting that, conditionally (i.e. if further evidence supports the posit, I'm free to change my mind), I currently do not accept the posit that there is a god or gods, is not the same thing as actively accepting the converse posit - and it's certainly not certainty, nor is it religiously held in the sense of some theists, who reject lots of things because they contradict deeply held beliefs.

Why are you uncomfortable with admitting that there are other definitions that are perfectly valid, and that when people explicitly say 'I'm using this particular definition' (which, btw, various philosophers have in fact used), you can't just work within that context, if you're really looking for an answer to the question?

I honestly think you're being sort of intentionally stubborn here. I could be wrong, I suppose.

paperairplane
11-17-2010, 07:35
There is a very large difference between having no evidence and not having 100% of all possible evidence.

I have spent at least 2 decades looking for evidence of god - any god. All of that combined experience, research and thought has led me to determine that there is no god.

There is no leap of faith involved. I have a chart, one side is god and the other is no god. I have decades of education, experience and direct observation all on the no god side. There is nothing on the god side.

Philosophically, you can state that nothing can ever be truly known. However, that is not how we live our lives - every day of my life the sun has risen. I can safely make the assumption that it will rise tomorrow. For over 13,000 days I have not found god, so tomorrow I assume I will not find him either. That is not faith. It is empiricism and rationalism. I do not need faith to assume gravity will continue to work, that spring follows winter.

Schabesbert
11-17-2010, 08:37
There is no leap of faith involved. I have a chart, one side is god and the other is no god. I have decades of education, experience and direct observation all on the no god side. There is nothing on the god side.
Really? Nothing? Nothing at all?
Do you really think that you've given this a fair and balanced look?

I'd have to submit to you that if you have nothing on the "god side" that you've really not done an honest job, but instead have followed an agenda.

weemsf50
11-17-2010, 08:59
There is a very large difference between having no evidence and not having 100% of all possible evidence.

I have spent at least 2 decades looking for evidence of god - any god. All of that combined experience, research and thought has led me to determine that there is no god.

There is no leap of faith involved. I have a chart, one side is god and the other is no god. I have decades of education, experience and direct observation all on the no god side. There is nothing on the god side.

Philosophically, you can state that nothing can ever be truly known. However, that is not how we live our lives - every day of my life the sun has risen. I can safely make the assumption that it will rise tomorrow. For over 13,000 days I have not found god, so tomorrow I assume I will not find him either. That is not faith. It is empiricism and rationalism. I do not need faith to assume gravity will continue to work, that spring follows winter.

In all reality, doesn't this make you your own god? You determine right and wrong and the destiny/direction of your life without any deference to the God of the Bible, or any other proclaimed god. Man has longed for centuries to be the controller of his own destiny. Your chart, will all due respect, is a sign of that.

RC-RAMIE
11-17-2010, 09:26
Really? Nothing? Nothing at all?
Do you really think that you've given this a fair and balanced look?

I'd have to submit to you that if you have nothing on the "god side" that you've really not done an honest job, but instead have followed an agenda.

Then please point out the creditable items that should go on the "god side" thats all we ever asked for.

Cavalry Doc
11-17-2010, 19:25
I'm not uncomfortable with the question.
I just don't view atheism in terms that would mandate it being a religion. Noting that, conditionally (i.e. if further evidence supports the posit, I'm free to change my mind), I currently do not accept the posit that there is a god or gods, is not the same thing as actively accepting the converse posit - and it's certainly not certainty, nor is it religiously held in the sense of some theists, who reject lots of things because they contradict deeply held beliefs.

Why are you uncomfortable with admitting that there are other definitions that are perfectly valid, and that when people explicitly say 'I'm using this particular definition' (which, btw, various philosophers have in fact used), you can't just work within that context, if you're really looking for an answer to the question?

I honestly think you're being sort of intentionally stubborn here. I could be wrong, I suppose.

So let's agree to disagree. I think it fits quite nicely within the definition of religion.

I think it's OK if you or others disagree. I hope it's OK if I (and Merriam-Webster) respectfully continue to disagree with you.

Cavalry Doc
11-17-2010, 19:28
There is a very large difference between having no evidence and not having 100% of all possible evidence.

I have spent at least 2 decades looking for evidence of god - any god. All of that combined experience, research and thought has led me to determine that there is no god.

There is no leap of faith involved. I have a chart, one side is god and the other is no god. I have decades of education, experience and direct observation all on the no god side. There is nothing on the god side.

Philosophically, you can state that nothing can ever be truly known. However, that is not how we live our lives - every day of my life the sun has risen. I can safely make the assumption that it will rise tomorrow. For over 13,000 days I have not found god, so tomorrow I assume I will not find him either. That is not faith. It is empiricism and rationalism. I do not need faith to assume gravity will continue to work, that spring follows winter.

Absolute proof = absolute understanding.


Without proof? There has to be a little faith involved.


Why not simply reserve judgment? Admit that we don't know, and go with that?

paperairplane
11-19-2010, 08:57
In all reality, doesn't this make you your own god? You determine right and wrong and the destiny/direction of your life without any deference to the God of the Bible, or any other proclaimed god. Man has longed for centuries to be the controller of his own destiny. Your chart, will all due respect, is a sign of that.
Just for the record, I am not god, a god or the god.

Man has always had control of his own destiny - some men are just more willing to compromise their control (freedom) for security, conformity, money, what have you.

paperairplane
11-19-2010, 09:00
Absolute proof = absolute understanding.
.....

There is no absolute proof of anything. Guess we are all nihilists.

creaky
11-19-2010, 09:24
He's identified himself as an agnostic in the sense of a multivalued variable with possible values { atheist, agnostic, theist }.

Although, I made the same probabilistic assessment of his likely belief, based on the belief of people I've had conversations like this in the past, and I initially came to the same conclusion (that he was likely a theist).

Well now....

Considering the high pitched howl that came from your general direction when I made an informed assessment of your likely beliefs, how is it that you feel comfortable reading minds and telling others what they believe?

I came to the conclusion long ago that you really don't like Christianity. You may have no special love for any other religions, but you harbor a special distaste for Christians and Christianity.

Why would your assessment be ok and my assessment be not ok?

This kind of thing is normally referred to as hypocrisy.

void *
11-19-2010, 11:02
Well now....

Considering the high pitched howl that came from your general direction when I made an informed assessment of your likely beliefs, how is it that you feel comfortable reading minds and telling others what they believe?

What happened when he stated his belief?

Did I come back and say 'No, no, you *really* *really* believe in gods?'

No, I did not. I took him at face value.

When he presented creationist statements in a post in a first person manner, did people tell him 'Ahah! You really are a theist!', or did it pop up and he explained that he was just showing it, not that he *meant* to state it in that first person manner - did I state that he was wrong, that he didn't mean it that way?

No, I did not. I just said 'It seemed kind of weird' and wrote it off.

What do *you* do when I say 'no, that's not what I think'?

You basically call me a liar.

See the difference? He's stating that he's agnostic, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary - I take him at his word.

You tell me I hate Christians - I explain to you that I don't, and why - then you tell me that I hate Christians.

Again, see the difference?

Being wrong once in a while is not an issue. Bringing it up over and over and over again, when you've been told multiple times, is.

Why would your assessment be ok and my assessment be not ok?

When he came back and told me I was incorrect, I changed my assessment.

Which is something that you have not, as far as I remember, done. Even when provided direct evidence, such as previous posts I've made - such as how I agree that a school should not prohibit a student from bringing a personal Bible, etc.

Basically, if you hadn't kept claiming that you knew better than I do what I think, *after* I had come back and said 'no, that's not it' - there would be no problem.

If I pop up a month from now, or six months, or a year, and start calling CD a theist, as you have done towards me with the claim that I hate Christians - then you've got a case for hypocrisy. Until then ... maybe you should think about the difference for a bit. Your assessment is 'not ok' not because you initially made it - but because when provided with *direct* feedback, instead of modifying your assessment, you just keep sticking to the first assessment you made.

In other words, creaky, people will misunderstand each other and make bad assessments. It's a fact of life.

When that happened between myself and CD
I was provided with a direct statement by CD that he was agnostic
I said, basically, 'Ok, my bad', and thereafter accepted his statement he was an agnostic. Up to and including pointing out that he's said he is an agnostic, when other people made the same mistake I did.

When it happened between yourself and myself ->
You have been provided with direct statements by me that you are wrong and that is not my position towards Christians or Christianity.
You have been provided links to posts that any reasonable person ought to recognize mean I do not hate people just because they profess Christian beliefs.
You turn around a few posts, or a day, or a week, or a months/years later and tell me that I hate Christianity/Christians.

It is your behavior in that regard that makes all the difference.

Cavalry Doc
11-19-2010, 18:41
There is no absolute proof of anything. Guess we are all nihilists.

I could be wrong, but 2+2 = 4. Absolutely provable?

Cavalry Doc
11-19-2010, 18:57
What happened when he stated his belief?

Did I come back and say 'No, no, you *really* *really* believe in gods?'

No, I did not. I took him at face value.

When he presented creationist statements in a post in a first person manner, did people tell him 'Ahah! You really are a theist!', or did it pop up and he explained that he was just showing it, not that he *meant* to state it in that first person manner - did I state that he was wrong, that he didn't mean it that way?

No, I did not. I just said 'It seemed kind of weird' and wrote it off.

What do *you* do when I say 'no, that's not what I think'?

You basically call me a liar.

See the difference? He's stating that he's agnostic, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary - I take him at his word.

You tell me I hate Christians - I explain to you that I don't, and why - then you tell me that I hate Christians.

Again, see the difference?

Being wrong once in a while is not an issue. Bringing it up over and over and over again, when you've been told multiple times, is.



When he came back and told me I was incorrect, I changed my assessment.

Which is something that you have not, as far as I remember, done. Even when provided direct evidence, such as previous posts I've made - such as how I agree that a school should not prohibit a student from bringing a personal Bible, etc.

Basically, if you hadn't kept claiming that you knew better than I do what I think, *after* I had come back and said 'no, that's not it' - there would be no problem.

If I pop up a month from now, or six months, or a year, and start calling CD a theist, as you have done towards me with the claim that I hate Christians - then you've got a case for hypocrisy. Until then ... maybe you should think about the difference for a bit. Your assessment is 'not ok' not because you initially made it - but because when provided with *direct* feedback, instead of modifying your assessment, you just keep sticking to the first assessment you made.

In other words, creaky, people will misunderstand each other and make bad assessments. It's a fact of life.

When that happened between myself and CD
I was provided with a direct statement by CD that he was agnostic
I said, basically, 'Ok, my bad', and thereafter accepted his statement he was an agnostic. Up to and including pointing out that he's said he is an agnostic, when other people made the same mistake I did.

When it happened between yourself and myself ->
You have been provided with direct statements by me that you are wrong and that is not my position towards Christians or Christianity.
You have been provided links to posts that any reasonable person ought to recognize mean I do not hate people just because they profess Christian beliefs.
You turn around a few posts, or a day, or a week, or a months/years later and tell me that I hate Christianity/Christians.

It is your behavior in that regard that makes all the difference.

Much in the same way, I have not tried to convince theists that a god does not exist, nor have I tried to convince atheists that a deity exists.


Fact is, none of us know for sure. Those that choose to believe in a deity, great, I hope that belief brings you peace. Those that choose to not believe in a deity, great, I hope that belief brings you peace.

If you're cool with admitting you don't know, that's OK too.

I'm not judging. I started this thread after witnessing an atheist drive by trolling attempt, in a thread that had nothing to do with religion.

You'll never come up with a bigger conspiracy than Religion, and that conspiracy has taken more money than any business ever created.

You can't go anywhere and not find a "nut" who believes in imaginary old man floating in the sky.

:rofl:


It just struck me that this guy was just as religious as the rest. If you believe you know the truth, and you admittedly have no proof, that is faith. If you are attached to those beliefs strongly, that is ardor.

HEY, what do you know, at least in the English language, atheism is a religion.

re·li·gion
noun \ri-ˈli-jən\
Definition of RELIGION
1a : 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 observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

The irony was too much not to share. And it's really true. The fact that it makes radical atheists uncomfortable, isn't my concern. I'm just stating a simple fact, "atheists" :

athe·ist
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity

believe in something that is not provable, they adhere to this belief with ardor and faith and are therefore religious.



They are only words, but they mean what they mean, and I have not altered their definitions, only pointed them out to people.

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p158/CavalryDoc/CavDoc-3.gif

Blast
11-19-2010, 21:31
Stand by for the smoke screens, mirrors, twisting, and sidesteps, Doc.:popcorn:

Cavalry Doc
11-20-2010, 03:25
Stand by for the smoke screens, mirrors, twisting, and sidesteps, Doc.:popcorn:

The definition DOES fit, and it's an accurate use of the words, but for some reason, it's hard to admit that it's a religion too.

StarShip2100
11-20-2010, 08:14
:rofl:

back on this again.....

some will never learn.

Cavalry Doc
11-21-2010, 03:11
:rofl:

back on this again.....

some will never learn.

Just doing my part to "defend the truth".

SDGlock23
11-21-2010, 06:57
Its really easy, they don't want it labeled religion because they're so anti-religion that to call it such would force them to change how they act. Atheism has all the tenets required to be considered a bona fide religion. They're packed full of faith, just the wrong kind, but they'd never admit it.

void *
11-21-2010, 20:08
The definition DOES fit, and it's an accurate use of the words, but for some reason, it's hard to admit that it's a religion too.

Being willing to change a conditional rejection of an affirmative posit, should solid evidence to support that affirmative posit present itself, is decidedly neither 'faith' nor 'religious belief'.

Cavalry Doc
11-22-2010, 08:35
Its really easy, they don't want it labeled religion because they're so anti-religion that to call it such would force them to change how they act. Atheism has all the tenets required to be considered a bona fide religion. They're packed full of faith, just the wrong kind, but they'd never admit it.

I've noticed that too. It's like they tried to come up with the most anti-religious doctrine, and missed. Non-belief in something is a passive thing, but active belief that no deity exists, seems to drive them to confront any believer (especially Christians) in rude ways.

A passive non-belief would not be so vehemently and abrasively defended. If they were passive about it, why worry about other religions at all? Many American Atheists scream like gay emo vampires at the sight of a cross.

Live and let live is not a tenet of american atheism.

weemsf50
11-22-2010, 09:34
I've noticed that too. It's like they tried to come up with the most anti-religious doctrine, and missed. Non-belief in something is a passive thing, but active belief that no deity exists, seems to drive them to confront any believer (especially Christians) in rude ways.

A passive non-belief would not be so vehemently and abrasively defended. If they were passive about it, why worry about other religions at all? Many American Atheists scream like gay emo vampires at the sight of a cross.

Live and let live is not a tenet of american atheism.

Dawkins and Hictchens have been called "evangelical atheists," because of the fervor with which they attack Christianity and other faiths.

void *
11-22-2010, 10:18
A passive non-belief would not be so vehemently and abrasively defended.

Do you hold it to be the case that the only reason anyone ever vehemently and/or abrasively defends a position, is that they hold it as a religion?

That seems to me to be a ridiculous position to hold - people vehemently defend positions for lots of reasons. Including people attempting to say that the position they hold is not the position they hold.

It would also mean that it is your religion that atheism is a religion, because you have vehemently and at times abrasively defended that position.

Cavalry Doc
11-22-2010, 16:13
Dawkins and Hictchens have been called "evangelical atheists," because of the fervor with which they attack Christianity and other faiths.

It sure seems like the predominant religions are attacked more aggressively. Probably because they can upset a larger number of people.

I often wonder if most Atheists are "live and let live" people, or are most if them a little more zealous, like the guys and gals over at www.atheism.org.

Definitely one of those sites that promotes freedom FROM religion rather than freedom OF religion. It's very ironic. True agnostic should never dis someone else for the way they believe, heck, they could be right. I think that Atheists should be free to practice their religion, right up to the point that they interfere with someone's right to practice their religion. Then they should be respectful of others belief systems, and go on about their day.

void *
11-22-2010, 17:42
I
Definitely one of those sites that promotes freedom FROM religion rather than freedom OF religion.

Do you think that freedom of religion implies the freedom to not believe *any* religion?.

If I remember correctly, "freedom from religion" was coined to emphasize that point - not to say that there is an absolute right to not come in contact with anything religious whatsoever.

See, for instance, http://atheism.about.com/od/churchstatemyths/a/freedomfrom.htm

What freedom from religion does mean, however, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Thus, we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion because they are two sides of the same coin.

Cavalry Doc
11-22-2010, 19:47
Live and let live, let others worship the way they want. If they choose to pray, or display a manger scene in the town hall, who cares?

There is no freedom from evidence of other people practicing their religion guaranteed in the constitution.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Congress is prohibited from making a law establishing an official religion, or prohibiting people from practicing their religion.

So why do so many act like emo vampires at the sight of a cross on public land?
If it was a star of David, or a Wicca symbol, or a crescent moon, I'd be ok with it. I don't get upset when others pray.

void *
11-22-2010, 19:54
It appears you did not read what I posted.

If I remember correctly, "freedom from religion" was coined to emphasize that point - not to say that there is an absolute right to not come in contact with anything religious whatsoever.

In other words, the term was coined to say things like 'I shouldn't have to say 'God' in the enlistment oath' (which I in fact did *not* have to say, we were explicitly told we could drop it), not 'I shouldn't have to hear other people say God ever'. It was coined to say 'schools shouldn't be able to force people to pray', not 'people can't pray around me'.

It's two sides of the same coin. For there to truly be freedom *of* religion, then people should not *have* to say or do things that any particular religion mandates. Dictates of your own conscience, up to and including not believing at all.

void *
11-22-2010, 20:08
So why do so many act like emo vampires at the sight of a cross on public land?
If it was a star of David, or a Wicca symbol, or a crescent moon, I'd be ok with it. I don't get upset when others pray.

It depends, really. In most cases, it doesn't bother me. When it's a matter of a particular religion being supported by the government, that's when I'd object.

The idea that a cross - which is a Christian symbol - somehow honors war dead of all faiths - You'd think that Jewish people might want a Star of David, no? And in fact, I believe in that particular case there were Jewish people who came in and said 'That symbol can't honor us, because it's the symbol of another religion'. So to me, in that case, there's a point - if it's a war memorial, why have a Christian symbol? Why not have a statue or other memorial that covers *everybody*?

At a place like Arlington, where all the resting places have a symbol appropriate to the religion of the particular person ... it's no worries.

Cavalry Doc
11-23-2010, 04:12
Maybe you aren't one so religiously committed to atheism that you strive for the removal of all sign of religion. I believe that religion, even atheism, can be a good thing, but that all religions should be respectful of one another. I deal with a lot of people that are dying, and many are comforted by their beliefs. I would not dream of trying to take that away from them. If they are wrong, what injury do I sustain if they want to pray.


Live and let live is not the way of life for many Atheists on the Internet. Some inject their beliefs into any conversation, whether appropriate or not, and generally act like poorly mannered beasts. Why is that?

void *
11-27-2010, 08:58
Maybe you aren't one so religiously committed to atheism that you strive for the removal of all sign of religion.

Can you admit that there are people that are not religiously committed to atheism at all? That it's a matter of 'I don't see any evidence for it, so I don't believe it, show me convincing evidence, I'll change my mind?" (note that is a decidedly nonreligious statement).


Live and let live is not the way of life for many Atheists on the Internet. Some inject their beliefs into any conversation, whether appropriate or not, and generally act like poorly mannered beasts. Why is that?

I can't speak for the people you're talking about. However, you are certainly attempting to blanket statement - 'many' is not all, and you really have no means of determining how many don't.

As far as injecting their beliefs into any conversation - your post that kicked all this off was in a thread that really had nothing to do with religion. Shall we start saying that it's your religion that atheism is a religion?

mikeflys1
11-27-2010, 16:11
...show me convincing evidence, I'll change my mind?" (note that is a decidedly nonreligious statement).



Amen to that :whistling:

ksg0245
11-29-2010, 13:37
Your argument is with Merriam Webster, not me.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism
1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

It seems kind of dishonest to leave out 2a. Unless Merriam-Webster is also saying that atheists are wicked.

ksg0245
11-29-2010, 13:44
HEY, what do you know, at least in the English language, atheism is a religion.

re·li·gion
noun \ri-ˈli-jən\
Definition of RELIGION
1a : the state of a religious b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

What is the atheist "cause"? What is the atheist "principle"? What is the atheist "system of beliefs"? And if they can be changed with objective, verifiable evidence, how are they "held to with ardor and faith"?

Cavalry Doc
11-29-2010, 19:51
What is the atheist "cause"? What is the atheist "principle"? What is the atheist "system of beliefs"? And if they can be changed with objective, verifiable evidence, how are they "held to with ardor and faith"?

Punctuation is important to learn. A series of items, separated by commas, followed by the conjunction "OR" does not require the inclusion of all of the items in order to be a true statement.


Maybe colors will help you.

4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.


Does that make it more clear?


If not, let me know, and I'll try again.

Cavalry Doc
11-29-2010, 19:53
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism
1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

It seems kind of dishonest to leave out 2a. Unless Merriam-Webster is also saying that atheists are wicked.

It seems kind of dishonest to pretend that the proper use of the term "Religion" requires that 1, 2a & 2b must all be met in order to use the term. Especially when in reality, only one of the three must be met.


:wavey:

Cavalry Doc
11-29-2010, 20:00
Can you admit that there are people that are not religiously committed to atheism at all? That it's a matter of 'I don't see any evidence for it, so I don't believe it, show me convincing evidence, I'll change my mind?" (note that is a decidedly nonreligious statement).

Not really. If one is committed to the belief that there are no deities, unless they have proof, then it is a religious belief.

I didn't make up the definition, and if it fits, why wriggle and squirm so much? :dunno:


I can't speak for the people you're talking about. However, you are certainly attempting to blanket statement - 'many' is not all, and you really have no means of determining how many don't.

Blanket statement? That would attempt to cover all, I merely said that many are that way. Maybe if you read it again, S-L-O-W-L-Y it'll make sense.

"Live and let live is not the way of life for many Atheists on the Internet. Some inject their beliefs into any conversation, whether appropriate or not, and generally act like poorly mannered beasts. Why is that? "


As far as injecting their beliefs into any conversation - your post that kicked all this off was in a thread that really had nothing to do with religion. Shall we start saying that it's your religion that atheism is a religion?

The post that "kicked" all of this off, was by a drive by atheist troll. It's linked to somewhere back there.

I don't personally believe that it is a religious belief that allows me to apply the acceptable definition of the American English word "religion" to atheism.

But if you want to classify it that way, I'm cool with that.

void *
11-29-2010, 20:00
It seems kind of dishonest to pretend that the proper use of the term "Religion" requires that 1, 2a & 2b must all be met in order to use the term. Especially when in reality, only one of the three must be met.


:wavey:


Nobody is saying all three must be met. As has been stated multiple times in the thread, you appear to be ignoring the very existence of 2a.

void *
11-29-2010, 20:03
Not really. If one is committed to the belief that there are no deities, unless they have proof, then it is a religious belief.

I didn't make up the definition, and if it fits, why wriggle and squirm so much? :dunno:

There's no wriggling or squirming - there's merely attempts to get you to understand that conditional rejection of an affirmative statement is not the same thing as religious faith in the negation of that statement.

Blanket statement? That would attempt to cover all, I merely said that many are that way. Maybe if you read it again, S-L-O-W-L-Y it'll make sense.

You deny that you are saying, and have been saying the entire thread, that atheism is a religion? That's what I mean by blanket statement - and in the context of the thread, your qualified 'many' doesn't get you out of the implication you were making.

You, for instance, earlier stated you would do thread searches to see if you could find posts where I was rude - as if that would somehow prove I was religious. You then make this 'many' statement - why shouldn't I interpret that in the context you yourself have set up?

Cavalry Doc
11-29-2010, 20:18
Nobody is saying all three must be met. As has been stated multiple times in the thread, you appear to be ignoring the very existence of 2a.

X= A or B or C.


2a is acceptable, and so is 2b.

2a does not exclude 2b.

Now look at the definition of an atheist.

athe·ist
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity


It all fits. It's a religion just like all the rest, except that "no deity" is the deity.

void *
11-29-2010, 20:22
X= A or B or C.


2a is acceptable, and so is 2b.

2a does not exclude 2b.

Neither does 2a require that 2b be met - which is akin to the the very objection you made that led to this particular subthread. Since you understood it when you made it, perhaps you'll understand it the other way as well. 2a and 2b may intersect but that does not require that 2a be a proper subset of 2b.

Now look at the definition of an atheist.

Again, you ignore that there are other definitions that apply, and that people in this thread are telling you very specifically which definitions they are using.

Cavalry Doc
11-29-2010, 20:22
There's no wriggling or squirming - there's merely attempts to get you to understand that conditional rejection of an affirmative statement is not the same thing as religious faith in the negation of that statement.



You deny that you are saying, and have been saying the entire thread, that atheism is a religion? That's what I mean by blanket statement - and in the context of the thread, your qualified 'many' doesn't get you out of the implication you were making.

You, for instance, earlier stated you would do thread searches to see if you could find posts where I was rude - as if that would somehow prove I was religious. You then make this 'many' statement - why shouldn't I interpret that in the context you yourself have set up?

Stating a positive belief in a passive way is just a lack of manliness.

If you really are comfortable in the belief, state it clearly.

Agnosticism is a belief where one admits that they don't know. Atheists know. I think many agnostics mistakenly classify themselves as atheists.

If you are unsure, then you are unsure. But if you are an atheist, and you are sure, then it is a system of beliefs held to with ardor and FAITH.



American English is a muther sometimes, but in this case, the definition fits quite nicely.


And, I really hate to point this out, but in the common usage of the term, the last several pages could be accurately described as squirming.


:dunno:

Cavalry Doc
11-29-2010, 20:26
Neither does 2a require that 2b be met - which is akin to the the very objection you made that led to this particular subthread. Since you understood it when you made it, perhaps you'll understand it the other way as well. 2a and 2b may intersect but that does not require that 2a be a proper subset of 2b.



Again, you ignore that there are other definitions that apply, and that people in this thread are telling you very specifically which definitions they are using.

If the term Jackass can be applied to a male donkey, AND to a human behaving poorly.

Just because a human behaves badly, does not mean that male donkey is not a jackass.

void *
11-29-2010, 20:28
In other words, I agree that all multiple do not have to be met in a particular context.

I further noted that nobody has been claiming that multiple definitions have to be met in a particular context.

I also note that you are the only one claiming that one specific definition has to be met in all contexts.

The context defines the definition - when I tell you I'm atheist by "atheism" as in 2a, you ought to say "Ok, no worries", yet you continue to demand that I have to somehow meet 2b.

void *
11-29-2010, 20:36
Stating a positive belief in a passive way is just a lack of manliness.


The making of a particular philosophical point is not lack of manliness - it's the making of a particular philosophical point. The burden of proof lies on those making an affirmative statement. Nobody has to prove "not x" to say "I don't believe x". In response to that, you use an ad-hom.

You were the one objecting to rudeness, right?

Agnosticism is a belief where one admits that they don't know. Atheists know. I think many agnostics mistakenly classify themselves as atheists.

Yet you have multiple people who label themselves as atheist, by a particular quite well defined - and furthermore, actually used in philosophy, definitions, which splits agnosticism and atheism into two true dichotomies.

This is not a matter of usage of language - you have been given the specific definitions, you have been shown they are valid, you have been provided the evidence they are actually used this way in particular philosophical contexts.

This is a matter of you simply refusing to admit that any definition other than the specific one you want to apply has any validity.

void *
11-29-2010, 20:43
Just because a human behaves badly, does not mean that male donkey is not a jackass.

Neither does it mean that the male donkey is a human behaving badly.

Which is exactly the point that we are trying to get across to you. Meaning and meeting 2a does *not* require that 2b be met (although it may sometimes be the case that both are - it is not mandatory that they always be).

Sarge1400
11-29-2010, 20:52
Stating a positive belief in a passive way is just a lack of manliness.


Somehow, in the back of my mind, I suspected this was a "my dick is bigger than yours" thing. CD just HAS to be correct, and others wrong, for SOME reason. I guess we found it.

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 04:37
Somehow, in the back of my mind, I suspected this was a "my dick is bigger than yours" thing. CD just HAS to be correct, and others wrong, for SOME reason. I guess we found it.

I've been wrong many times in the past. I've admitted it at the time freely. I believe in the imperfection of all creatures.

I have also stated many times in the thread that if one chose to believe that the atheist belief system is not a religion, then they can think that if they want to, but I've pointed out that in American English, the term "religion" can accurately be applied to atheism.

Atheism is a religion. That's a simple observation. It should not cause any discomfort to it's believers, but it does for some reason. I've been trying to find out why.

Is it because some Atheists have committed themselves to more than simply not believing in deities, and now actually dislike or hate anyone that does? That's only one possibility.

Is it because they dislike all religion so fiercely, that the realization that atheism is a religion is akin to some blasphemy or another?


I'm not sure, so I've been asking for a while, and most of what I've gotten is a lot of denials claiming it's not a religion, even though it contains all the necessary elements within the definition.

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 04:41
Neither does it mean that the male donkey is a human behaving badly.

Which is exactly the point that we are trying to get across to you. Meaning and meeting 2a does *not* require that 2b be met (although it may sometimes be the case that both are - it is not mandatory that they always be).

Well, there is a difference in the examples. One is a difference between an active and passive statement, the other is the difference between two species, which is more exclusive. I guess I chose bad example with the donkey.

ksg0245
11-30-2010, 12:30
It seems kind of dishonest to pretend that the proper use of the term "Religion" requires that 1, 2a & 2b must all be met in order to use the term. Especially when in reality, only one of the three must be met.

I don't understand what point you're trying to make. My point was that you were apparently ignoring the part of the definition of atheism that doesn't fit your theory, but in terms of atheism, the only requirement is lack of belief in deities; anything else is extra.

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 12:37
I don't understand what point you're trying to make. My point was that you were apparently ignoring the part of the definition of atheism that doesn't fit your theory, but in terms of atheism, the only requirement is lack of belief in deities; anything else is extra.



And if that lack of belief in deities is believed with ardor and faith, then it qualifies under the Merriam-Websters definition of a religion. It is a belief based on faith, as there is no proof either way.

It is a statement of fact that Atheism is a religion, my question throughout this thread is why is it so hard to admit that?

David Armstrong
11-30-2010, 12:38
from C.D.:
Atheism is a religion. That's a simple observation.
No. That is YOUR observation that ONE definition of atheism allows it to be looked at as a religion. Others observe that other definitions of atheism, definitions that are equally valid and common, allow it to be looked at as not a religion. Atheism as a belief can actually fit into certain religions, but it is not necessarily a religion in and of itself.

ksg0245
11-30-2010, 12:40
Punctuation is important to learn. A series of items, separated by commas, followed by the conjunction "OR" does not require the inclusion of all of the items in order to be a true statement.

Maybe colors will help you.

4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.


Does that make it more clear?


If not, let me know, and I'll try again.

Yes, please try again, since I was asking you to identify ANY ONE of the aspects in your definition that you claim makes atheism a religion. I'm sure you just forgot in your zeal to teach me about punctuation and conjunctions. I'm an atheist, and I'm not aware of "an atheist cause" OR "an atheist principle" OR "an atheist system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." Since you're obviously much better informed and educated than li'l ol' me, maybe you can point them out for me.

ksg0245
11-30-2010, 12:46
And if that lack of belief in deities is believed with ardor and faith, then it qualifies under the Merriam-Websters definition of a religion. It is a belief based on faith, as there is no proof either way.

Well, since atheism is a lack of belief based on a lack of evidence, it isn't a belief held to with ardor and faith. It isn't a matter of faith to say "I see no convincing evidence to persuade me to accept the assertion of deities." And if convincing evidence IS presented and the atheist accepts it, then the belief wasn't held with "ardor and faith."

How can a "lack of something" be the equivalent of "something"?

It is a statement of fact that Atheism is a religion, my question throughout this thread is why is it so hard to admit that?

Because it isn't a religion. Why is it so hard to admit that?

ksg0245
11-30-2010, 12:54
I've been wrong many times in the past. I've admitted it at the time freely. I believe in the imperfection of all creatures.

I have also stated many times in the thread that if one chose to believe that the atheist belief system is not a religion, then they can think that if they want to, but I've pointed out that in American English, the term "religion" can accurately be applied to atheism.

Atheism is a religion. That's a simple observation. It should not cause any discomfort to it's believers, but it does for some reason. I've been trying to find out why.

Is it because some Atheists have committed themselves to more than simply not believing in deities, and now actually dislike or hate anyone that does? That's only one possibility.

Is it because they dislike all religion so fiercely, that the realization that atheism is a religion is akin to some blasphemy or another?


I'm not sure, so I've been asking for a while, and most of what I've gotten is a lot of denials claiming it's not a religion, even though it contains all the necessary elements within the definition.

The most likely answer is that people don't like being told they don't understand their own position by someone who doesn't seem to understand, or even want to understand, that position.

RC-RAMIE
11-30-2010, 18:19
Well, since atheism is a lack of belief based on a lack of evidence, it isn't a belief held to with ardor and faith. It isn't a matter of faith to say "I see no convincing evidence to persuade me to accept the assertion of deities." And if convincing evidence IS presented and the atheist accepts it, then the belief wasn't held with "ardor and faith."

How can a "lack of something" be the equivalent of "something"?



Because it isn't a religion. Why is it so hard to admit that?
:goodpost:

chilic82
11-30-2010, 19:21
It isn't a matter of faith to say "I see no convincing evidence to persuade me to accept the assertion of deities." How can a "lack of something" be the equivalent of "something"?

I think what CavalryDoc is saying is that just because you don't see evidence,doesn't mean that their isn't any.It also doesn't mean that there is.Each of us are moved by different kinds of evidence.Some it takes alot to accept it, and others not so much. Therefore, you go on with "faith" that the evidence you have and the way you interpret it is correct. I think what he is getting at is that your "lack of something" is "something" because you don't have, or haven't shown your justification/evidence for accepting it, and not the other. Would one be considered religious if he stated I see convincing evidence to persuade me to accept the assertion of deities? Just what I have observed from reading some of the thread.

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 20:21
No. That is YOUR observation that ONE definition of atheism allows it to be looked at as a religion. Others observe that other definitions of atheism, definitions that are equally valid and common, allow it to be looked at as not a religion. Atheism as a belief can actually fit into certain religions, but it is not necessarily a religion in and of itself.



Actually, either way, it is still a religion, as long as it is a system of belief that is held to with ardor and faith.

Whether stated actively: " I believe there are no deities"
or passively: I do not believe in deities"

It's still pretty much the same thing. Passive or active, an atheist does not believe in the existence of any deity.

They are pretty sure about this, otherwise they would be agnostics. That is the ardor part. They have no proof one way or the other, so it is a belief based on faith.

It's the definition of religion that is most important when calling atheism a religion.

re·li·gion
noun \ri-ˈli-jən\
Definition of RELIGION
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 observance
2
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith


But why is it so hard to admit that it is accurate to call atheism a religion, and just move on? It's not like realizing that fact makes it mandatory for atheists to believe in a deity.

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 20:28
The most likely answer is that people don't like being told they don't understand their own position by someone who doesn't seem to understand, or even want to understand, that position.

I have an adequate understanding of the atheist belief system, being an agnostic myself, I'm half way there. I just stopped before I jumped to a conclusion without any proof. Atheists are unencumbered with my sense of uncertainty.

I also understand, that using the English definition of the word "religion", atheism is one too.

I suspect that many agnostics, have mistakenly labeled themselves as atheists.


There are those that believe they know the answer to the question, and those that admit they don't know. The ones that believe they know the answer, are the religious ones.

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 20:33
Well, since atheism is a lack of belief based on a lack of evidence, it isn't a belief held to with ardor and faith. It isn't a matter of faith to say "I see no convincing evidence to persuade me to accept the assertion of deities." And if convincing evidence IS presented and the atheist accepts it, then the belief wasn't held with "ardor and faith."

How can a "lack of something" be the equivalent of "something"?



Because it isn't a religion. Why is it so hard to admit that?

Atheists have no evidence that a deity exists, and have decided that none exists. They have passed judgment.

Agnostics aren't convinced either, but have admitted that there is not enough evidence to conclusively state which deity exists, or whether any deity exists, and not needing an answer, failed to make one up.


You don't know everything. Neither do I. You don't know that there is no deity. But what do you believe?

Cavalry Doc
11-30-2010, 20:42
Yes, please try again, since I was asking you to identify ANY ONE of the aspects in your definition that you claim makes atheism a religion. I'm sure you just forgot in your zeal to teach me about punctuation and conjunctions. I'm an atheist, and I'm not aware of "an atheist cause" OR "an atheist principle" OR "an atheist system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." Since you're obviously much better informed and educated than li'l ol' me, maybe you can point them out for me.

You don't have to take my word for it.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/atheism.html

http://www.atheists.org/atheism

void *
11-30-2010, 21:21
I think what he is getting at is that your "lack of something" is "something" because you don't have, or haven't shown your justification/evidence for accepting it, and not the other.


And this leads to the point that I think the people arguing 'atheism as religion' actually understand, but don't want to admit understanding of.

There is no need to show justification or evidence for *rejecting* a posit that doesn't have sufficient evidence.

Would you tell someone they have to show evidence to be justified in *not* believing in leprechauns? Or would a simple 'Show me solid evidence that supports the posit leprechauns exist, until then, I'm not buying it' suffice?

If you don't believe in leprechauns, do you not believe it with the equivalent of religious faith?.

void *
11-30-2010, 21:26
Agnostics aren't convinced either, but have admitted that there is not enough evidence to conclusively state which deity exists, or whether any deity exists, and not needing an answer, failed to make one up.

Another way of looking at that is "failed to admit that they meet the criteria of 'not believing in gods'".

void *
11-30-2010, 21:31
I've been wrong many times in the past. I've admitted it at the time freely. I believe in the imperfection of all creatures.

Speaking of which - are you going to man up regarding your ad-hom?

void *
11-30-2010, 21:32
Well, there is a difference in the examples. One is a difference between an active and passive statement, the other is the difference between two species, which is more exclusive. I guess I chose bad example with the donkey.

Logically, 2b implies 2a, but 2a does not imply 2b. You are arguing that 2a is a subset of 2b when the converse is true.

chilic82
11-30-2010, 21:43
There is no need to show justification or evidence for *rejecting* a posit that doesn't have sufficient evidence.
Sufficient evidence is subjective. Like I said earlier, what is sufficient for me & others, might not be for you.Just because something can be dismissed or explained away by you doesn't mean it's not sufficient evidence for someone else.

Would you tell someone they have to show evidence to be justified in *not* believing in leprechauns? Or would a simple 'Show me solid evidence that supports the posit leprechauns exist, until then, I'm not buying it' suffice?.
While I believe there is much more evidence that points to a supernatural being than leprechauns, I would say that if leprechauns existed we should see things that pertain to their existence. If these things exist, and I don't have proof that they don't exist then I have faith that they(leprechauns) don't exist. If you believe or disbelieve something, and don't have irrefutable evidence, then you have to have faith in your assesment.

Cavalry Doc
12-01-2010, 04:36
Another way of looking at that is "failed to admit that they meet the criteria of 'not believing in gods'".

That's the difference. I believe it is entirely possible that a deity or deities exist, just as I believe it is possible that none exists.

Deep down, do you seriously consider each possibility really might exist, or are you personally convinced one way or the other?

Be honest.

Cavalry Doc
12-01-2010, 04:39
Speaking of which - are you going to man up regarding your ad-hom?

Could you let me know what you considered an ad hom?

Cavalry Doc
12-01-2010, 04:49
Logically, 2b implies 2a, but 2a does not imply 2b. You are arguing that 2a is a subset of 2b when the converse is true.

Actually, 2a and 2b are similar. Passive and active ways of generally saying the same thing.

It's your life, and your mind. You can spin it any way you want too, but the fact remains that it is a belief system, one which affects a persons perspective in many things.

Atheism us a religion. So what? That little quirk of the English language is what it is, and using the definition of "religion" it fits.

So let's get past whether it does or does not fit and explore why it is so hard to think of atheism as a religion.

void *
12-01-2010, 06:01
Could you let me know what you considered an ad hom?

The unrelated to the argument accusation of unmanliness.

void *
12-01-2010, 06:03
That's the difference. I believe it is entirely possible that a deity or deities exist, just as I believe it is possible that none exists.

Believing it is possible is not the same thing as believing it is true.

Pretty much every time you're asked if you believe it, you state something like 'I believe that I don't know' or 'I believe it is possible' ... and you don't answer the actual question being asked.

I suspect this is because you know that if you answered the question "Does Cavalry Doc believe gods exist", you'd either have to say "No" or contradict yourself. So you go with the third option of answering some other question (like "Does Cavalry Doc believe it is possible gods exist") - as saying no would undermine your argument.

void *
12-01-2010, 06:05
Actually, 2a and 2b are similar.

Of course they are - if they weren't, 2b wouldn't be fully encompassed by 2a.

You're avoiding the point - which is, again, that while meeting 2b requires meeting 2a, meeting 2a does *not* require meeting 2b.

void *
12-01-2010, 07:24
Sufficient evidence is subjective. Like I said earlier, what is sufficient for me & others, might not be for you.Just because something can be dismissed or explained away by you doesn't mean it's not sufficient evidence for someone else.

It is and it isn't. There are people who think they have sufficient evidence that magnets have healing powers. No study that I know of has ever shown anything other than a placebo effect.

So yes, to them, they have what they consider "sufficient evidence" - but there is actually not much out there showing that the posit that magnets have healing powers is true, other than paid advertising.

There's an evidentiary level beyond which nobody rational can say "that's not sufficient". The posit of a deity is well below that bar.

Another way of saying this is, yes, obviously different people will accept posits as 'true' with different levels of evidence - up to and including having nothing other than some people saying it is true. However, we have *known* way of doing better than that, and that includes not accepting a posit until supporting evidence has been provided.

If you believe or disbelieve something, and don't have irrefutable evidence, then you have to have faith in your assesment.

No, you do not have to have faith in your assessment. You can change your assessment as necessary as more data comes in. All saying 'not believing something is true without proving it's not true is faith' is doing is reversing the burden of proof without actually providing the evidence required to shift that burden. Nobody needs any justification to *not* accept a posit as true until there is evidence the posit is true. You don't have to run around saying 'Leprechauns are real' until somebody proves they aren't.

In other words, if I came to you, in t-shirt and jeans, and said 'I own a Ferrari', you are absolutely justified in not believing me ... right up until I provide evidence I owned a Ferrari. You don't have to pull my registrations and say 'there's not a Ferrari here ...'.

Once I have provided such evidence - say, I pull up in a Ferrari, and you see some other evidence that indicates I actually could afford a Ferrari, along with other indicators (say, you see strong evidence that I'm a generally honest person rather than a bser) ... then the burden of proof would shift. Not before.

(Note: I actually don't own a Ferrari, nor could I afford one. TBH, I probably wouldn't buy one if I could afford one - It's just an example).

ksg0245
12-01-2010, 09:06
I have an adequate understanding of the atheist belief system, being an agnostic myself, I'm half way there.

Given that you've repeatedly misstated what agnosticism and atheism are, I don't think you are. Agnosticism is about knowledge; atheism is about belief. Agnosticism isn't about belief; atheism isn't about knowledge.

I just stopped before I jumped to a conclusion without any proof. Atheists are unencumbered with my sense of uncertainty.

Which indicates your misunderstanding of what atheism is; it doesn't require certainty.

I also understand, that using the English definition of the word "religion", atheism is one too.

You keep claiming that, and yet haven't defined what an atheist cause, principle, or system of beliefs is. If atheism doesn't have a cause, principle, or system of beliefs, how can it be a religion?

I suspect that many agnostics, have mistakenly labeled themselves as atheists.

I suspect many people don't actually know what the terms mean.

There are those that believe they know the answer to the question, and those that admit they don't know. The ones that believe they know the answer, are the religious ones.

How many atheists claim to know? Is it all of them? Most of them? Is "claiming to know" or "believing to know" required to be an atheist?

ksg0245
12-01-2010, 09:14
Atheists have no evidence that a deity exists, and have decided that none exists.

Incorrect. Atheists have no evidence that a deity exists, and have rejected the assertion of deities pending evidence.

They have passed judgment.

Only in the sense that they have rejected an unsupported assertion.

Agnostics aren't convinced either, but have admitted that there is not enough evidence to conclusively state which deity exists, or whether any deity exists, and not needing an answer, failed to make one up.

Agnosticism isn't "fence sitting." It's the position that ultimate knowledge of deities can't be had. Either way, one either believes, or doesn't. That belief may be strong or weak, but it's there.

You don't know everything. Neither do I. You don't know that there is no deity.

Have any atheists here claimed to know? Is claiming to know a deity exists required to be an atheist?

But what do you believe?

That seems an ironic question, given that you've been asked several times whether you believe deities exist, and have so far dodged that question.

ksg0245
12-01-2010, 09:19
You don't have to take my word for it.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/atheism.html

Are you claiming this is the required "atheist system of beliefs"?

http://www.atheists.org/atheism

Are you claiming this is the required "atheist system of beliefs"?

ksg0245
12-01-2010, 09:24
Actually, 2a and 2b are similar. Passive and active ways of generally saying the same thing.

It's your life, and your mind. You can spin it any way you want too, but the fact remains that it is a belief system, one which affects a persons perspective in many things.

Atheism us a religion. So what? That little quirk of the English language is what it is, and using the definition of "religion" it fits.

So let's get past whether it does or does not fit and explore why it is so hard to think of atheism as a religion.

Why should we "get past whether it does or does not fit," when that's the crux of the question?

ksg0245
12-01-2010, 09:30
That's the difference. I believe it is entirely possible that a deity or deities exist, just as I believe it is possible that none exists.

Your position on possibilities aside, do you believe deities exist? It's a yes or no question.

Deep down, do you seriously consider each possibility really might exist, or are you personally convinced one way or the other?

Be honest.

Deep down, do you believe any deities exist? Be honest.

Cavalry Doc
12-01-2010, 13:58
The unrelated to the argument accusation of unmanliness.

Going back and looking at it now, it does seem a bit curt.

I could have used better words. Sorry that you were offended.

Stating it in a passive way is a lack of assertiveness.

David Armstrong
12-01-2010, 15:45
from C.D.
Actually, either way, it is still a religion, as long as it is a system of belief that is held to with ardor and faith.
No. It CAN be a religion, but it does not have to be a religion. SOme atheists may hold that belief with ardor and faith, others might be fairly low-key about it. There are many things one can have a belief in with ardor and faith, but that does not make those things a religion. Having to dive down below the tertiary definition level pretty much indicates that definition is not the best. I cling to a belief in the Green Bay Packers and Oklahoma Univ. football with ardor and faith. But that is certainly not my religion.
But why is it so hard to admit that it is accurate to call atheism a religion, and just move on?
Because it is not accurate. Why is it so hard to admit that and jsut move on?

void *
12-01-2010, 15:56
Stating it in a passive way is a lack of assertiveness.

You're dialing down the level of the ad-hom - but it's still an ad-hom.

Calling it 'lack of assertiveness' still does not address the point

It's not a matter of taking offense - although it did look to me like a possible attempt to anger me into making a statement you could attack. It's a matter of, accusations of lack of manliness and/or lack of assertiveness have nothing to do with the point being made, and are effectively just personal attacks.

Cavalry Doc
12-08-2010, 05:25
You're dialing down the level of the ad-hom - but it's still an ad-hom.

Calling it 'lack of assertiveness' still does not address the point

It's not a matter of taking offense - although it did look to me like a possible attempt to anger me into making a statement you could attack. It's a matter of, accusations of lack of manliness and/or lack of assertiveness have nothing to do with the point being made, and are effectively just personal attacks.

It's my opinion based of an observation of a behavior pattern.



Do you lead your life comfortable in the knowledge that there are no deities or not?

Plain speech is always best if clarity is the goal.

Careby
12-08-2010, 06:48
Life is simply too complex to have happened without a design. Several organs and even simple structures require too many things to be in just the right place in order to function. A simple flagella requires several atoms to be arranged into molecules, those molecules into compounds, those compounds to be arranged in symmetrical structures with the remainder being suddenly apparent...
...If not a deity, what explains the nature of the universe...
There is an inconsistency here. How is the complexity of life evidence of the existence of a deity? "Life, the universe, and everything" is bafflingly complex, and begs the question of how it all came to be. Attributing it to the work of a supreme being only kicks the can down the road. Any being capable of creating such a complex world would itself necessarily be an entity of considerable complexity. So how did this complex supreme being come to be? Is that not just as troubling a question as the origin of flagella? Or because it is a supreme being are we willing to accept on faith that it has always existed and needs no explanation of origin? And if that premise is acceptable, then why not just go back to the simple flagella and say that they have always existed and need no explanation? Perhaps flagella are the supreme beings, and we insult them by suggesting they are the work of another.

The origin of life is a tough one. It compels some to embrace religion and others to devote their lives to science. It is human nature to want to be right, to share knowledge, and to try to convince others. It is also human nature to categorize and label others, and to discriminate against those we categorize as different. Those with faith in something do not take kindly when others are dismissive of it.

We have "religious wars" over what caliber is best for self defense. Even though atheism is not an organized religion, and as such there is no calling to proselytize, some atheists are very active in expressing their views, and some do seem to take every opportunity to poke holes in the belief systems of others. In that respect, some atheists are "religious" about the non-existence of God. Others avoid discussions about it like the plague. I seriously doubt anyone on either side has been persuaded to jump ship by these discussions, so if anything they are just arguments for the sake of argument. Which can be entertaining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

DeltaNu1142
12-08-2010, 06:57
Oooh, I want to play...

At the end of the day, I don't care what you call it. You can call my dog a donkey; that doesn't make it so.

These are the sort of things I'm granted time to participate in when Delta is running a free Christmas special on wifi access. Postwhoring at 30,000 ft FTW!

bowtie454
12-08-2010, 07:13
Definition of RELIGION

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 observance

2
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

3
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conscientiousness)

4
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

— re·li·gion·less adjective

Atheism, as in the lack of belief in any/all gods, does not fit into any of the above definitions. A lack of belief does not constitute a system of beliefs and a lack of belief in something is not a subset of a group of those somethings. If I don't root for the U.S. World Cup team because I have zero interest in soccer and know nothing about it, does that make me a fan of another team or does it just make me indifferent? Not being a soccer fan doesn't automatically make me a fan of something else.

DeltaNu1142
12-08-2010, 07:27
Hey BT, you'll get no argument from me. There are those, however, that will argue with that definition. Ultimately, it was written by man and therefore subject to scrutiny... *whistle*

bowtie454
12-08-2010, 15:59
Hey BT, you'll get no argument from me. There are those, however, that will argue with that definition. Ultimately, it was written by man and therefore subject to scrutiny... *whistle*


Good point.

Cavalry Doc
12-09-2010, 21:01
There is an inconsistency here. How is the complexity of life evidence of the existence of a deity? "Life, the universe, and everything" is bafflingly complex, and begs the question of how it all came to be. Attributing it to the work of a supreme being only kicks the can down the road. Any being capable of creating such a complex world would itself necessarily be an entity of considerable complexity. So how did this complex supreme being come to be? Is that not just as troubling a question as the origin of flagella? Or because it is a supreme being are we willing to accept on faith that it has always existed and needs no explanation of origin? And if that premise is acceptable, then why not just go back to the simple flagella and say that they have always existed and need no explanation? Perhaps flagella are the supreme beings, and we insult them by suggesting they are the work of another.

The origin of life is a tough one. It compels some to embrace religion and others to devote their lives to science. It is human nature to want to be right, to share knowledge, and to try to convince others. It is also human nature to categorize and label others, and to discriminate against those we categorize as different. Those with faith in something do not take kindly when others are dismissive of it.

We have "religious wars" over what caliber is best for self defense. Even though atheism is not an organized religion, and as such there is no calling to proselytize, some atheists are very active in expressing their views, and some do seem to take every opportunity to poke holes in the belief systems of others. In that respect, some atheists are "religious" about the non-existence of God. Others avoid discussions about it like the plague. I seriously doubt anyone on either side has been persuaded to jump ship by these discussions, so if anything they are just arguments for the sake of argument. Which can be entertaining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

The complexity within single celled lifeforms is complex. The complexity of organs, and their structure and dependency on other organs within the same complex life form is monumentally complex. The interdependency of markedly different life forms, with independently complex metabolisms and genetics is unimaginably complex. The fact that all of this occurs in an environment that is highly unlikely and relatively unique, and that at least one life form has gown to accomplish all that man has accomplished, in science, art, and emotion, is difficult to comprehend as random chance.


Given enough time, it is still possible that all of us occurred because of a lucky set of billions of interdependent occurrences.

But if you are honest, the truth of the matter is, neither of us knows for sure. Just like all other religions, some seem more sure about things than others.

Cavalry Doc
12-09-2010, 21:04
Oooh, I want to play...

At the end of the day, I don't care what you call it. You can call my dog a donkey; that doesn't make it so.

These are the sort of things I'm granted time to participate in when Delta is running a free Christmas special on wifi access. Postwhoring at 30,000 ft FTW!



I'd never dream of calling your doggie a donkey. But a donkey is a mammal, just as much as atheism is a religion.

Cavalry Doc
12-09-2010, 21:09
Definition of RELIGION

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 observance

2
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

3
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conscientiousness)

4
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

— re·li·gion·less adjective

Atheism, as in the lack of belief in any/all gods, does not fit into any of the above definitions. A lack of belief does not constitute a system of beliefs and a lack of belief in something is not a subset of a group of those somethings. If I don't root for the U.S. World Cup team because I have zero interest in soccer and know nothing about it, does that make me a fan of another team or does it just make me indifferent? Not being a soccer fan doesn't automatically make me a fan of something else.

athe·ist
noun \ˈā-thē-ist\
Definition of ATHEIST
: one who believes that there is no deity


The passive statement is simply a less than assertive way to say the same thing.

You either believe they exist, believe that they do not exist, or admit you don't know.

Theist, Atheist, Agnostic.


It's really rather simple.