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Cavemonster
9th December 2010, 10:56 PM
Why is it so hard for someone here to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".

Since more than one poster has identified themselves as agnostic atheist, and explained what that means in regards to being open to possible new evidence, and you've personally responded to those posts...

For you to post this can only be read as disingenuous.

MontagK505
9th December 2010, 10:56 PM
It must be nice not to have to justify your own beliefs.

Do you have a problem with "lack of belief"??? I don't believe in the "Tooth Farie" either.

elbe
9th December 2010, 10:58 PM
Look....I get it. It's a lack of belief. My problem is that there's absolutely no reason for it.

Is there equally no reason to believe in any gods? Cause I'd agree with that.

ETA: I guess there's something to be said that atheism only exists in reaction to theism. If the concepts of gods were completely unknown there would be no use for the label, but as it is the label is there to differentiate and explain one's position. It's what labels do - identify.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:01 PM
I could postulate an invisible being that hides behind the fabric of space-time manipulating everything. But whether the being exists or not doesn't matter.

So what would be the point of saying such a being might exist?
The point is that you haven't discounted the possibility before you know for certain.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:04 PM
Do you have a problem with "lack of belief"??? I don't believe in the "Tooth Farie" either.
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

nvidiot
9th December 2010, 11:05 PM
You can entertain crazy ideas like superpowerful-physics-suspending-universe-starting-omnipotent-awesome-guys-with-grey-beards all you want. Once you start suggesting this is a logical possibility you're going to be asked to back that up with some logic. If not evidence.

Science, by definition, doesn't discount ideas, it TESTS them. When an idea has no conceivable test we regard it as not being a scientific question.

tkmikkelsen
9th December 2010, 11:05 PM
Can someone here please explain to me why atheism is just not another religion?

Believing that there is no God seems as pointless as believing that there is one.

Atheism means that you don't believe in the existence of gods. Being religious means that you believe in a belief system that can or can not be based on the existence of gods.

Atheist can be religious, such as followers of Jainism, Buddhism and some variants of Hinduism is.
You can also believe in gods with out being religious. You can believe in your own personal god or gods, but you do not any particular belief system. In that case you are not religious, but you still believe in a god or gods.

The apposite of atheism is not religion, it is theism.
There is no opposite of religion as religion can mean both a personal or an institutionalized set of beliefs and practices. That means we all have a religion, but some of us have a religion that does not require theism, as we like to believe in us selves and the wonderful people around us.

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:05 PM
The point is that you haven't discounted the possibility before you know for certain.

Why can't you discount it? Writing it off as stupid and improbable doesn't mean you're making an absolute statement. Until evidence of an imaginary creature's existence show up we can safely ignore it and assume it doesn't exist. If it's existence is completely irrelevant than it's as good as nonexistent.

nvidiot
9th December 2010, 11:06 PM
The opposite of Religion is called "Thinking for yourself."

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:07 PM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

Are we know descending into the realm of "I can't believe anyone doesn't really believe in god, so I'll assume their lying"? It's childish.

I stopped believing in god around the same time I stopped believing in santa; neither made any logical sense.

MontagK505
9th December 2010, 11:09 PM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

Are you talking about the "Tooth Farie"? or god?

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:12 PM
Since more than one poster has identified themselves as agnostic atheist, and explained what that means in regards to being open to possible new evidence, and you've personally responded to those posts...

For you to post this can only be read as disingenuous.
Sorry. I'll amend that to:

Why is it so hard for someone here, except Cavemonster, to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".

BTW, Why not just call yourself an agnostic?

nvidiot
9th December 2010, 11:12 PM
And I think that you're an atheist for all gods except one Yig. Is that true?

As to agnostic/atheist, well, I'd suggest you look into the philosophy and definitions of the terms. Most people who self identify as Atheists would probably strictly be called "weak" atheists, AKA agnostics.

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:12 PM
Are you talking about the "Tooth Farie"? or god?

I assumed he was talking about his own position on atheism. He knows he's just fooling himself into believing gods exist.

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:14 PM
Sorry. I'll amend that to:

Why is it so hard for someone here, except Cavemonster, to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".

BTW, Why not just call yourself an agnostic?

You know, I haven't seen anyone post in this thread expressing gnostic atheist views, just agnostic atheist views.

You should stop making assumptions about people.

And, personally, I find "agnostic atheist" to be more accurate than just "agnostic".

MontagK505
9th December 2010, 11:15 PM
Are we know descending into the realm of "I can't believe anyone doesn't really believe in god, so I'll assume their lying"? It's childish.

I stopped believing in god around the same time I stopped believing in santa; neither made any logical sense.

What!! No Santa??? Dam! being an atheist is hard. :D:D

Cavemonster
9th December 2010, 11:16 PM
Sorry. I'll amend that to:

Why is it so hard for someone here, except Cavemonster, to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".

BTW, Why not just call yourself an agnostic?

I'm not the only one who has identified himself as an agnostic atheist.

A number of people have expressed the same sentiment, and you'll find the majority here share that view.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:17 PM
You can entertain crazy ideas like superpowerful-physics-suspending-universe-starting-omnipotent-awesome-guys-with-grey-beards all you want. Once you start suggesting this is a logical possibility you're going to be asked to back that up with some logic. If not evidence.

Science, by definition, doesn't discount ideas, it TESTS them. When an idea has no conceivable test we regard it as not being a scientific question.
I have backed up my logic..... numerous times.

It isn't a scientific question. You just thought it was.

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:19 PM
I have backed up my logic..... numerous times.

It isn't a scientific question. You just thought it was.

I remember you asking us to prove a negative - a no-no in logic, and I'm having a hard time drawing up any other examples.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:20 PM
And I think that you're an atheist for all gods except one Yig. Is that true?

As to agnostic/atheist, well, I'd suggest you look into the philosophy and definitions of the terms. Most people who self identify as Atheists would probably strictly be called "weak" atheists, AKA agnostics.
I they mean the same thing then why not simply call yourself an agnostic.

MontagK505
9th December 2010, 11:21 PM
I have backed up my logic..... numerous times.

It isn't a scientific question. You just thought it was.

Nor is the “Tooth Faerie” but that doesn't mean we have to treat the idea seriously.

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:22 PM
I they mean the same thing then why not simply call yourself an agnostic.

Because "agnostic" swings both ways. Atheist agnostic, or weak atheist, are more descriptive terms. Remember, good communication is your friend.

FattyCatty
9th December 2010, 11:27 PM
Can someone here please explain to me why atheism is just not another religion?

Believing that there is no God seems as pointless as believing that there is one.I think of atheism as a religion. I don't know that either belief is pointless. Many people find religion an important part of their lives.


it essentially is, thing is it's those who force their beliefs on others, be they baptist, atheist, republican, liberal, the word that is consistent is obnoxious.I agree that forcing one's beliefs on others is obnoxious. Not all religions or members of political parties do that, remember.


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion

Which definition would best fit atheism?1.b.2, 2, and 4.


Eh? You're conflating not believing in something with stating it does not and cannot exist.

An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in god, that's it. An agnostic atheist states god might exist but they have no evidence and /or have seen no reason to believe. A gnostic atheist states absolutely that god does not exist.

Virtually everyone where is an agnostic atheist.Just as many other religions have different denominations, so does the religion of atheism.

In the broadest sense, I don't discount any possibilities.

There may be some being that we would describe as a god somewhere, there may also be unicorns somewhere in the universe. Anything is possible.

What's relevant though, what influences my day to day behavior and my provisional, pragmatic assumptions, is what is probable, what the evidence suggests.

The evidence is very clear on the the Abrahamic god, on the Norse and Greek and Egyptian gods and everyone I've looked at. Their texts and claims are self contradictory and at odds with the world as it is observed, recorded and predicted.

Of course I'm always open to new evidence. I'm just not a fan of the same weak non-evidence being regurgitated again and again.

I am open to the possibility that there may be a god in the way I am open to the possibility I may be wrong about anything else.

I am an agnostic atheist.How can there be evidence that god(s) exist? And how could you prove a negative? God(s) are outside the realm of systematic, empirical testing/knowledge, an area not subject to science. Reported actions of god(s) can be tested, but not their existence. It is all belief, whether you think they exist, think they don't, or think variations in between those extremes. The skeptical conclusion is "we don't know," with an admission that "we can't know."

People keep mentioning evidence that god(s) don't exist. I don't see how that is possible. I can see where claims of people for their god(s) could be testable, but not the actual existence of god(s). Also, nobody ever gives links to their evidence of the absence of god(s). I'm curious to see it.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is a difference between statements that are verifiable and statements that are not. Your bottle of mountain dew is available for scientific analysis. A possible intelligent designer isn't.

If you think that it is not possible to disprove your claim then you must also acknowledge that it is not possible to disprove the existence of an intelligent designer.It would not be possible to find evidence for the existence of an intelligent designer. It is an area outside scientific scrutiny. It would be possible to test evidence of his actions if any were found.

How can I? You can't prove a negative. Now normally I can discount the incredibly unlikely but if I need to accept the possibility of gods than I, apparently, need to accept the possibility of other crazy improbable things.That would be the skeptical position on many things. We don't know about lots of things. Some of them we can't know (life after death, ghosts, etc.) Claims about those things can be shown to be false, but not the existence itself.

I have not claimed that it is. One does not need to disprove the existence of something to lack belief in it. How many people in the 15th century believed in black holes?

"Absurd" is subjective. Black holes were thought to be quite absurd by many astrophysicists when their existence was proposed.

It is simply about probability and evidence. No testable evidence of an intelligent designer has been presented.You can't "disprove the existence of something"; that would be proving a negative. Belief does not require evidence. Testable evidence is not possible on the question of the existence of an intelligent designer. It is not in the realm of science. The acts of an intelligent designer would be testable if found, but not the very existence. That is a matter of belief.

Your black holes example shows that belief without evidence is not necessarily wrong. When our understanding of how nature works increased, and our techniques for seeing and measuring improved, evidence was found. And those black holes existed all the time nobody knew about them or believed in them.

I think this is the crux of your argument.

Technically, you are correct. Whether I or you believe in anything that is unverifiable has absolutely no effect on whether that thing exists.

However, where your argument falls down is the societal impacts of such beliefs. Belief or non-belief in a deity may not matter, but people act on such beliefs and as such they have impact on the real world.

People fly planes into buildings because of it. How can it not matter?All religions are made up of people, with all the variation that implies. Every group has some crazy people. I think, however, that many times religion's impact on the real world has more to do with someone's desire for power or property than with the beliefs of the religion. Religion becomes a convenient horse to ride on the quest.

"Those who force their beliefs on others?" This is a version of a straw man. You are attributing a false characterization the group, atheists.Atheists were not the only group mentioned; heck, religions were not the only groups mentioned. I do think that some atheists (especially "New Atheists") proselytize. What else is Dawkins' book The God Delusion but proselytizing? And saying that people who believe otherwise are deluded, non-skeptical, silly, not using reason, etc., is a passive way of forcing your beliefs on others.

Agreed. So I'll make my point again:

When a concept extremely abstract, believing or not believing in it is irrelevant. There is no default position which is more logical than the other.It certainly isn't irrelevant to the believer. I agree that no position is more logical than another, but I think the default position is "we don't know."


Believing in something which you have no evidence for, and admit can never have evidence for, and makes no material or practical difference to any endeavour or field of knowledge known to man, is not logical.Atheism and theism are both based on deciding to believe something. Belief does not have to be based on evidence.


Because there is no intrisic difference between believing in something that does nothing and doesn't have any observable interaction with the universe as we can detect it the default position logically is to LACK belief. Belief is a positive process which requires reasonable evidence.I disagree. The logical, skeptical default position regarding god(s) is "we don't know." Belief does not require evidence. That's why it is belief and not knowledge. Some people decide to believe in god(s), some decide to disbelieve in them, some believe something in between, some don't know, some don't care.


As another poster put it, and many before them, would you regard not stamp collecting as a hobby? Does such a statement make any kind of logical sense?I don't think this is a good analogy. Stamp collecting is a physical activity, not a belief.


It is a waste of valuable time. If religious people actually got off their collective bums and did something practical, and stop doing wasteful things like praying, or giving tithes to tax free organisations, the world could be a far better place.

Why pray to a God to end hunger. Do something practical instead. It makes one feel far better in the long run.

Why go to Church, when one could actually spend that time doing something productive.

Why blow up Abortion Clinics, when educating people in reality is a fer better option.

I could go on...

NormI think you're over-generalizing. In my community, most of the food banks and similar operations are run by local churches. And according to this review (http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/6577) on Religious Faith and Charitable Giving,
The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.

KingMerv00
9th December 2010, 11:31 PM
Strong atheism, weak atheism, intermediate atheism, "whatever I want atheism to mean" atheism.....Who cares.

OK. You don't want to listen or learn. Conversation over.

I still recommend you learn what those terms mean. They are important.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:31 PM
I remember you asking us to prove a negative - a no-no in logic, and I'm having a hard time drawing up any other examples.
Contrary to what think you can "prove a negative". The people in these forums just like to say that you can't so they don't have to justify any beliefs that they have.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:35 PM
Nor is the “Tooth Faerie” but that doesn't mean we have to treat the idea seriously.
Yes...you are right, the philosophical importance of a intelligent designer is totally equivalent to that of the tooth fairy.

Yig
9th December 2010, 11:38 PM
OK. You don't want to listen or learn. Conversation over.

I still recommend you learn what those terms mean. They are important.
Yeah well...... neither do you. And no, they aren't important.

Ron_Tomkins
9th December 2010, 11:38 PM
Believing that there is no God seems as pointless as believing that there is one.

Define "pointless" in this context. Explain how it is more "useful", "practical" or "convenient" to believe in a God than to not believe in one.

elbe
9th December 2010, 11:39 PM
Contrary to what think you can "prove a negative". The people in these forums just like to say that you can't so they don't have to justify any beliefs that they have.

Science relies on positive claims. If the claim is "God exists" than there would need to be positive evidence to support that, not a demand for evidence to prove it wrong. That's an argument from ignorance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance).

So, still no logic from you.... at least non-fallacious logic

MontagK505
9th December 2010, 11:40 PM
Yes...you are right, the philosophical importance of a intelligent designer is totally equivalent to that of the tooth fairy.

I agree. They have the same level of evidence. :)

KingMerv00
9th December 2010, 11:41 PM
Yeah well...... neither do you. And no, they aren't important.

So instead of an actual conversation, you just say "Nuh-uh".

Yes they are important because you are assuming certainty when we don't have any.

fromdownunder
9th December 2010, 11:48 PM
[quote'"fromdownunder"
Why pray to a God to end hunger. Do something practical instead. It makes one feel far better in the long run.

Norm


I think you're over-generalizing. In my community, most of the food banks and similar operations are run by local churches. And according to this review (http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/6577) on Religious Faith and Charitable Giving,

The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.




I do 15 hours work a week in emergency Food Relief and other Material Aid services, and while the infrastructure which provides the services is Church based, essentually because the Churches have the infastructure available to provide the service, around 95% of our funds come from secular organisations, namely the Government and the local Community Chest.

Yes, we provide services from Church buildings, but there is no prayer, no Godding, and no requirement to be religious or preach anything to those in need. We do it as a Community service.

Norm

devnull
9th December 2010, 11:48 PM
Why disbelieve?

There is no evidence.

Next.

devnull
9th December 2010, 11:58 PM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

That is interesting, because I believe that you have fooled *yourself* into believing.

Here's my theory - the concept of the supernatural is a heavy burden for the intellect to carry - you constantly need reassurance and support to maintain the internal intellectual dishonesty that gnaws at you. No longer satisfied by the chorus of bleatings of agreement from those that surround you, you venture out for fresh support. If only you could make these nasty atheists believe, then that would temporarily satisfy you. If only! Why wont they just believe!?

Otherwise - why are you here? What do you hope to achieve?

MontagK505
10th December 2010, 12:05 AM
That is interesting, because I believe that you have fooled *yourself* into believing.

Here's my theory - the concept of the supernatural is a heavy burden for the intellect to carry - you constantly need reassurance and support to maintain the internal intellectual dishonesty that gnaws at you. No longer satisfied by the chorus of bleatings of agreement from those that surround you, you venture out for fresh support. If only you could make these nasty atheists believe, then that would temporarily satisfy you. If only! Why wont they just believe!?

Otherwise - why are you here? What do you hope to achieve?

You may be on to something.

laca
10th December 2010, 12:07 AM
I felt like having an argument.

Strong atheism, weak atheism, intermediate atheism, "whatever I want atheism to mean" atheism.....Who cares.

Smells like trolling to me... :rolleyes:

devnull
10th December 2010, 12:09 AM
I think its amusing that Yig cannot understand atheism, but he is by definition an atheist for all gods except for one. It should be very easy for a theist to understand atheism - all they have to do is ask themselves why they disbelieve Thor.

MarkCorrigan
10th December 2010, 01:48 AM
I see.... So the idea spontaneously came into existence, independent of any human's conception.

No. Did you do any research? Did you even go to school? This is all very very basic stuf that you're asking us, and then when we present the logical, rational answer, you either ignore us and make up what you think we're saying, or you just tell us we're wrong then complain that we aren't justifying our views!

Charles Darwin was looking for evidence of creation. He found the evidence for evolution and developed a theory to fit the evidence he found, and then, and here's the crucial bit, he went looking for more evidence to test his theory.


As to the "why not just call yourself an agnostic?" question, because you can have gnostic and agnostic theists as well, so the term agnostic on its own is pretty much useless. It isn't a descriptor of one's belief or lack of, merely of one's certainty.


Finally, I will ask you clearly, why do you consider an intelligent designer more realistic a proposal than the following:

a. Zeus

b. Leprechauns.

c. An invisible dragon that breaths fire.

Give a detailed, logical explanation. Provide any evidence you have.

Drachasor
10th December 2010, 01:58 AM
I think its amusing that Yig cannot understand atheism, but he is by definition an atheist for all gods except for one. It should be very easy for a theist to understand atheism - all they have to do is ask themselves why they disbelieve Thor.

I don't think that's quite a fair way to look at it, if you are trying to understand the religious/spiritual. Most of them would probably find it easier to comprehend someone worshiping Thor than nothing. There is a pretty significant different between something committed to reason and someone that believes in something of a religious or spiritual nature. There's a different way of thinking there, an acceptance of a certain kind of irrationality, that can make it hard to understand someone that doesn't do that. This is especially so since lack of any religious or spiritual belief is quite uncommon still.

Ironically, the idea that being rational is importance has kind of ingrained itself on our culture, thanks to a proud and long tradition stretching back to the Ancient Greeks. So the religious often contort themselves trying to come up with a rational reason to believe in things they fundamentally acknowledge as not being rational, but rather matters of religious faith.

Aepervius
10th December 2010, 02:41 AM
All arguments require a justification.

The number of entities which one can imagine or pretend exists , is infinite. Gods, unicorn, dragons, 3 boobed aliens, angels, djeen, earth elemental, tiamat, cthulhu, etc...etc... It is not possible to demonstrate logically the non existence of an entity. Therefore it is fully justified to require that a claimant pretending an entity positively exists, to show the demonstrate therefore, whereas it is fully unjustified to require somebody to demonstrate the non existence of an infinite list of entity.

My atheism is actually not really atheism per see, I don't believe in the existence of a great number of entity until there is a basis (evidence of rational) for their existence.

It jsut happen that gods are given a particular free pass and pedestal by human and thus people disbelieving in them given a special name.

In a rational word we would not need to have a word to disbelieve a special kind of entity not proven to exists. We don't have abigfootist, aunicornist, a-stamp-collectionist.

You are trying to say to us disbelief in any gods is different and kinda special to disbelief in any other entity. PROVE IT.

RossFW
10th December 2010, 02:51 AM
I reject the notion that God or Gods are "Unknowable" or a "Philisophical" idea, and therefore the difference between them existing and not is somehow unimportant.

Yig, you obviously believe in an entity that has real, physical interaction with the Universe. It changes things. It makes things happen.

That is not a "Philosophical" idea, thats reality!

And if that reality exists and does as you believe, there would be evidence of that interaction.

There isn't.

To me that's conclusive evidence that God as you concieve him doesn't exist.

Aepervius
10th December 2010, 02:54 AM
You know, that really is my problem with atheism, it makes no attempt to explain anything. Instead you just sit there pretending that all well accepted theories are Gospel, that the scientific method has reached some sort of end state and that you have the answers for everything. Open your mind.

So. many. Strawmen. In one. Sentence.

<insert irony detector exploding>

Aepervius
10th December 2010, 03:02 AM
Look....I get it. It's a lack of belief. My problem is that there's absolutely no reason for it.

Lack of belief should *ALWAYS* be the starting logic proposition. Then a claimant on the positive existence of an entity, be it gods, unicorn, or even a physicist with a NEW particle, is the one which has to provide evidence of it.

What you are essentially saying, is that one can start as a default proposition with plenty of non-evidenced entity as existing, and build reasoning on that. WRONG. If you do that, you are essentially almost certainly building your logic on sand, without foundation.

The point is, belief in something is usually not done in a vacuum. If really people only believed and it had no influence , YOU would be right. but it is obviously and definitively wrong.

belief in gods influence :
* the day to day live (prayer, ritual, ablution)
* the economic side (donation of wealth and time, construction, employment)
* the societal side (interhuman relationship, birth , death, marriage, politics)
* medicine (refusal of certain type of operation like transfusion)
* the language
and i pass many others.

Your proposition that belief or non belief is equivalent is wrong, because the outcome and societal or individual influence is provably different and non zero.

Therefore, the fact that people believe, whether a god exists or not, is enough to have an influence on society, your proposition that it does not matter is false.

Gawdzilla
10th December 2010, 03:26 AM
I think its amusing that Yig cannot understand atheism, but he is by definition an atheist for all gods except for one. It should be very easy for a theist to understand atheism - all they have to do is ask themselves why they disbelieve Thor.

Problem. They might believe in Thor as much as Yahoo (sp?) but simply refuse to worship him. "Thou shallt have no god BEFORE me. After? Dude, I'm down with that."

Gawdzilla
10th December 2010, 04:40 AM
PZed does it better. (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/12/i_get_email_70.php)

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 05:13 AM
Look....I get it. It's a lack of belief. My problem is that there's absolutely no reason for it.

Why, because there is no evidence for gods? There's no evidence for a Jewish world domination conspiracy either. Are you saying that there is no reason to lack belief in such a conspiracy.

I suspect that you are making this up as you go along. You began with the assumption that atheism must involve active denial of the possibility that gods might exist. Having been shown that this is false, you are now attempting to invalidate atheism in other ways.

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 05:17 AM
I would argue that very little evidence could be called irrefutable. If there was evidence for religion, would you be able to accept it?

There's nothing to be lost by entertaining the idea of an intelligent designer.

There's nothing to be lost by entertaining the idea of psychic powers. But there is no evidence for the existence of such powers. I therefor lack belief in them. If someone can show scientifically verifiable evidence of psychic powers I will change my position.

Jack by the hedge
10th December 2010, 05:21 AM
Contrary to what think you can "prove a negative".

Can you supply an example?

Garrette
10th December 2010, 05:22 AM
I think its amusing that Yig cannot understand atheism, but he is by definition an atheist for all gods except for one. It should be very easy for a theist to understand atheism - all they have to do is ask themselves why they disbelieve Thor.I'm leaning more and more to the position that this is the most effective (not completely effective, but mostly) method for dealing with those who actively attack an atheist stance. It short circuits the fallacies--explanations of which they won't listen to--and it usually gets them to eventually give up. Not give in, mind you, just give up.

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 05:23 AM
It must be nice not to have to justify your own beliefs.

Are you being deliberately obtuse, or do you really not see the difference between negative belief and lack of belief?

Jack by the hedge
10th December 2010, 05:28 AM
I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

How depressingly often it comes down to this.

Do you have this feeling only with regard to religion, or does it affect your views on, say, politics too?

Do you find yourself thinking people who express political views diametrically opposed to yours are sincere, or do you think they are just being deliberately, dishonestly contrary either because they like to be provocative or for reasons of cynical self-interest?

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 05:51 AM
You can't "disprove the existence of something"; that would be proving a negative.
Yes, that was my point.

Your black holes example shows that belief without evidence is not necessarily wrong. When our understanding of how nature works increased, and our techniques for seeing and measuring improved, evidence was found. And those black holes existed all the time nobody knew about them or believed in them.
Black holes were not proposed as mythology. There was mathematical evidence that suggested that they should exist. Many astrophysicists questioned the accuracy of those mathematical models. But the predictive power of those models was demonstrated and they were shown to be accurate enough to use for further investigation of the universe.

So far, there is no evidence that suggests that there should be an intelligent force manipulating nature or that nature had to be designed by such a force in the first place. If such evidence is ever presented I will be willing to discuss it.

Resume
10th December 2010, 05:59 AM
Yeah well...... neither do you. And no, they aren't important.

Are you going to hold your breath next?

Until you turn purple?

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 06:02 AM
You know, that really is my problem with atheism, it makes no attempt to explain anything.
Neither does lack of belief in phlogiston. You are still making the assumption that atheism is some sort of substitute for theism, that it is an equal but opposite state and that it must attempt to do the same sorts of things as theism. This is not the case.

Instead you just sit there pretending that all well accepted theories are Gospel, that the scientific method has reached some sort of end state and that you have the answers for everything.
Yay! We can stop doing science!

Seriously, this is about as wrong as you can get.

Open your mind.
It is open. Your failure to demonstrate a reason why I should believe in an intelligent designer is not my fault.

John Jones
10th December 2010, 06:04 AM
The point I'm trying to make is that there is a difference between statements that are verifiable and statements that are not. Your bottle of mountain dew is available for scientific analysis. A possible intelligent designer isn't.

If you think that it is not possible to disprove your claim then you must also acknowledge that it is not possible to disprove the existence of an intelligent designer.


Of course it's not possible to disprove the existence of an intelligent designer. You think you're telling us something we don't know?

That's why the burden of proof is on those who make claims for the existence of said designer.

You shoulda lurked a while before posting.

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 06:05 AM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

Might I ask what your religious views are?

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 06:10 AM
I joined after you did.

Actually, Halfcentaur's join date is given as June 2010. Yours is given as March 2009.

Gawdzilla
10th December 2010, 06:12 AM
Actually, Halfcentaur's join date is given as June 2010. Yours is given as March 2009.

Maybe that's just the date when the human part was joined to the equine part?

RossFW
10th December 2010, 06:13 AM
Of course it's not possible to disprove the existence of an intelligent designer. You think you're telling us something we don't know?



I think it IS possible to very strongly infer the lack of such a designer.

When you are presented with an idea for which there is no evidece, PLUS the knowledge that this myth originated not from where it claims to, but from purerly Human constructs, it would be very unlikely that the people making the myth up just happened to make up the truth.

The fact that there is no sign of design in reality, and the fact that this notion was made up to present a "Scientifically Acceptable" excuse for Teism, tends to make the chanc of it being real very remote.

RoboTimbo
10th December 2010, 06:38 AM
Contrary to what think you can "prove a negative".

Can you supply an example?
It should have been, "You can't prove a universal negative." You can certainly prove a local negative. My Kindle is not pink. I can easily prove that. There are no pink Kindles. I cannot prove that.

I'm sure Yig knew what elbe was saying but wanted to avoid the implications of it.

Yig, why do you believe that a universal designer is more believable than an orbiting teapot? Also, do you believe in Thor? Ganesha? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or are you atheistic towards them?

Foster Zygote
10th December 2010, 07:15 AM
Yig, why do you believe that a universal designer is more believable than an orbiting teapot?

One can argue that the teapot is more likely than the intelligent designer. We know that teapots exist. We know that objects orbit the sun. Should anyone with the resources really desire to do so, it is possible to place a teapot in orbit about the sun. We have no such knowledge regarding the existence of a universal designer.

John Jones
10th December 2010, 07:23 AM
Any position is logical when you are talking about that which is unverifiable. This is my point.


Like a bottle of Mountain Dew in my refrigerator that is controlling the ultimate fate of the universe through mysterious means.

SumDood
10th December 2010, 07:29 AM
How can something which you cannot know anything about "contradict all human knowledge".

There is no default position.

But when someone claims to know the unknowable, why give it any weight just because it is unknowable? If someone makes the claim "there is dragon in my house. It cannot be detected in any way, but its there," you're saying it would be just as logical to believe him as to think he's lying? Is your position that it would make just as much sense to respond to that claim with either one of these statements:

"Well, I can't prove that there isn't a dragon in his house, so maybe there is"
"This guy is either lying or delusional"

RoboTimbo
10th December 2010, 07:31 AM
One can argue that the teapot is more likely than the intelligent designer. We know that teapots exist. We know that objects orbit the sun. Should anyone with the resources really desire to do so, it is possible to place a teapot in orbit about the sun. We have no such knowledge regarding the existence of a universal designer.

I know. That's why I wanted to know why he thought the intelligent designer was more believable.

SumDood
10th December 2010, 07:31 AM
Strong atheism, weak atheism, intermediate atheism, "whatever I want atheism to mean" atheism.....Who cares.

I can't ever remember which is which. I call myself a 'devout' atheist in that I go beyond not believing in gods, but go the extra step and believe that gods do not exist.

Why is it so hard for someone here, except Cavemonster, to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".

As an open minded, scientifically oriented individual, I can make the following statements:
An intelligent designer might exist.
We might be living in the matrix.
My entire existence might be contained in my brain in a vat.

All these things are possible, but none are very likely at all.

You know, that really is my problem with atheism, it makes no attempt to explain anything.
And your lack of belief in the Easter Bunny makes no attempt to explain anything.


Who cares what people believe? You can believe whatever you want as long as it's consistent with the facts at hand.
People believe all kinds of things that run counter to reality.

Atheism is consistent with the facts at hand: no evidence = no belief.

It must be nice not to have to justify your own beliefs.

Once again: no evidence = no belief. How is that not justified?

NewtonTrino
10th December 2010, 07:59 AM
Hey Yig, why don't you believe in Thor?

Sledge
10th December 2010, 08:08 AM
Of course there's no irrefutable evidence. It's a philosophical question.So there's no reason to believe it. Therefore: atheism.
Why is it so hard for someone here to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".
It isn't. Stop being blinded by your preconceptions and pay attention to what people say. No one has trouble saying "an intelligent designer might exist." We're saying there's no evidence for one, therefore no reason to believe in one.

I was going to edit this out because I've already responded to it and forgot, but I think it's stuff worth saying so I'll leave it.You know, that really is my problem with atheism, it makes no attempt to explain anything.
No, your problem is you don't understand atheism. It's not supposed to explain anything, hence my asking you what you think atheism is. It's the term applied to a lack of belief in god/s. Complaining that it doesn't explain anything either betrays a failure to understand atheism, or a disingenuous attempt to criticise it. Atheism doesn't offer any comment on the scientific method, it simply replies to the question "do you believe in a god or gods?" with the answer "no." An atheist could believe that the scientific method will one day answer all questions, or that some questions will be forever unanswerable, or that fairies remake the world from scratch every day, or we're all butterflies dreaming we're men in a world made of marshmallow.
Instead you
Who?
just sit there pretending that all well accepted theories are Gospel,No.
that the scientific method has reached some sort of end state and that you have the answers for everything.
Definitely not. See my signature for a quote from the atheist comedian Dara O'Briain on this very idea.
Open your mind.
To what? You've put forward nothing, merely an ill-informed objection to atheism. I've pointed out that your objection only makes sense if there is irrefutable evidence for religion and you've offered none. My mind is perfectly open TO IDEAS WITH EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEM. I'm not going to waste time pondering whether Allah exists any more than I'm going to wonder whether the Moon is a giant Malteser.

Marquis de Carabas
10th December 2010, 08:32 AM
I really should avoid this nonsense, but fools rush in...

Someone up above mentioned the key to this whole dilemma (I'm not scrolling back to remember who, but if it was you, feel free to claim your credit): the number of imaginable things is effectively infinite.

So, I'll make this as simple as I can. First to show that the number of imaginable things is infinite, just note that numbers are infinite, so you can always imagine a person with one more leg. Imagine one with three, and I'll imagine one with four. Imagine one with 7,436,201, and I'll imagine one with 7,436,202. We can build an infinite amount of imagined objects merely with humans and their legs, to say nothing of all the other types of things we can imagine.

There are only so many things that actually exist (let's call X the number of things that do). It doesn't really matter how many. However many things you think exist, infinitely more can be imagined to exist, but don't.

So, if you propose that something exists, then before you present any evidence or reasoning for its existence, our best guess to the reality of its existence is the probability that it is actual given that you have imagined it. That probability is the number of things that actually exist (X) divided by the number of things that we can imagine to exist (infinite). Now, we can't actually divide by infinity, it being a concept, not a number, but we can note that as we divide X by larger and larger numbers (approaching infinity), our answer tends to 0.

This leaves us with the conclusion that without evidence for something you propose the existence of, the chance that that something actually exists is as close to nothing as makes no difference.

Therefore, it is entirely rational to hold disbelief as the default position for any unsupported notion someone dreams up.

PixyMisa
10th December 2010, 09:27 AM
Jeez... you people...... does every idea you have need to be useful?
Yes.

Trent Wray
10th December 2010, 09:58 AM
Having not read all 8 pages of this thread ...... was the consensus that atheism is the default position, or that there is no default position?

When a baby is born, is it an atheist or simply "nothing" ..... ?

I almost want to start a poll because I'm always curious about this question, but I don't want to waste a poll on it if it was answered by consensus in this thread (more or less) ...

elbe
10th December 2010, 10:08 AM
Having not read all 8 pages of this thread ...... was the consensus that atheism is the default position, or that there is no default position?


Yig's default position for something of which there is no evidence is apparently "believe in it". Gods, invisible dragons, whatever.

Marquis de Carabas
10th December 2010, 10:10 AM
Having not read all 8 pages of this thread ...... was the consensus that atheism is the default position, or that there is no default position?

When a baby is born, is it an atheist or simply "nothing" ..... ?
Saying a baby is an atheist is just like saying a rock doesn't sneeze. It's true, but useless and uninteresting. The label atheist can be applied to anything that doesn't believe in God. Applying it to things that don't have the capacity to believe anyway isn't wrong, but it is silly.

Trent Wray
10th December 2010, 10:15 AM
Saying a baby is an atheist is just like saying a rock doesn't sneeze. It's true, but useless and uninteresting. The label atheist can be applied to anything that doesn't believe in God. Applying it to things that don't have the capacity to believe anyway isn't wrong, but it is silly. So this is actually an interesting point .... because rocks will never have the capacity to believe. But a baby will at some point .... hmm ....

So does that change things? Is a baby therefore an atheist by default (technically) or is it truly "nothing" because it lacks the capacity to make an informed choice at that point ? Can a baby be compared to a non-sneezing rock, considering the baby will eventually surpass the ability of the rock? lol

eta: A rock doesn't believe in god. A baby doesn't believe in god. Both are atheists. But saying either are atheists is pointless. Yet, a baby will eventually have the capacity to make an informed choice, where as the rock will not. Therefore ... what is the "true" default position? Perhaps another term is needed .... such as "uninformed ignorance" or something.

Because if you think about it, let's take a baby who grows up in a Baptist household and learns who god is through that method. They aren't really making an informed choice either ... they believe they are a sneezing rock because that is what they've been taught. But they haven't CHOSEN to believe what they wish to believe. They simply were taught something by default. So could they even be termed "believers" ... since they haven't chosen to believe on their own? Are they technically just as "default" as non-believers since they haven't been given the enlightenment of making an actual informed choice? Hmm ...

Ron_Tomkins
10th December 2010, 10:56 AM
So this is actually an interesting point .... because rocks will never have the capacity to believe. But a baby will at some point .... hmm ....

So does that change things? Is a baby therefore an atheist by default (technically) or is it truly "nothing" because it lacks the capacity to make an informed choice at that point ? Can a baby be compared to a non-sneezing rock, considering the baby will eventually surpass the ability of the rock? lol

eta: A rock doesn't believe in god. A baby doesn't believe in god. Both are atheists. But saying either are atheists is pointless. Yet, a baby will eventually have the capacity to make an informed choice, where as the rock will not. Therefore ... what is the "true" default position? Perhaps another term is needed .... such as "uninformed ignorance" or something.

Because if you think about it, let's take a baby who grows up in a Baptist household and learns who god is through that method. They aren't really making an informed choice either ... they believe they are a sneezing rock because that is what they've been taught. But they haven't CHOSEN to believe what they wish to believe. They simply were taught something by default. So could they even be termed "believers" ... since they haven't chosen to believe on their own? Are they technically just as "default" as non-believers since they haven't been given the enlightenment of making an actual informed choice? Hmm ...

I don't think anyone "chooses" to believe. The people who believe are the people who are basically doing "the best they can". They are following a faulty logic, completely unaware that they're in fact thinking inconsistently and illogically. They have not developed their critical thinking skills thoroughly. Somewhere in the way, their method of critical thinking became inconsistent and thus, they do not apply the same skepticism they would apply to buying a used car, to everything else. And they don't realize this.

Some people claim they used to be atheists but new, because of some idiotic new age book, they realized that God "makes sense" or something along these lines, and decide to follow that path. That is perhaps the closest thing to "choosing to believe", which I think is simply coming out of the woo closet.

Of course, there's also the merely delusional people and the demented ones.

Gawdzilla
10th December 2010, 11:06 AM
Yig? You comin' back? I have questions for you.

jakesteele
10th December 2010, 11:50 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_closure_%28psychology%29

The term cognitive closure has been defined as "a desire for definite knowledge on some issue and the eschewal of confusion and ambiguity."[1] Need for closure is a phrase used by psychologists to describe an individual’s desire for a firm solution as opposed to enduring ambiguity.

Need For Closure Scale (NFCS)
The need for closure varies across individuals, situations, and cultures. A person with a high need for closure prefers order and predictability, is decisive and closed-minded, and is uncomfortable with ambiguity.[2] Someone rating low on need for closure will express more ideational fluidity and emit more creative acts.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it’s atheism or religion or something else. They all fall under this umbrella. So when you’re talking about God, no God, “I don’t know, but it’s something” they all are ways of eliminating ambiguity and uncertainty which cause deep existential/ontological uneasiness and discomfort. Humans have a deep profound need to eliminate those. You see the same basic dynamics throughout all world views whatever it is espousing:

Immaculate Perception – Ours is the only one that sees reality exactly as it is unhindered by any human shortcomings. So therefore, to disagree with us is to disagree with reality itself.

Fundamentalism – varying degrees of absolute, and sometimes arrogant, certainty

Black and white/all or nothing thinking - varying degrees of absolute smug certainty

Ultimately, in the area of who are we, what are we, and why are we, it all boils down to this: “The only thing any of us know for sure is that we don’t know anything for sure.

With our current state of awareness and knowledge, atheists know no more or less than anybody else.

elbe
10th December 2010, 12:04 PM
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it’s atheism or religion or something else. They all fall under this umbrella. So when you’re talking about God, no God, “I don’t know, but it’s something” they all are ways of eliminating ambiguity and uncertainty which cause deep existential/ontological uneasiness and discomfort. Humans have a deep profound need to eliminate those.

I disagree. I'm not an atheist because of uncertainty, I'm an atheist in response to theists. Christians (et al) say there is a god, I find it illogical and that label describes it. I'm not looking for answers there, I'm not looking for closure. Even science, who I do look to for answers, isn't a quest for closure but instead for expanded knowledge.

Mister Agenda
10th December 2010, 01:00 PM
I they mean the same thing then why not simply call yourself an agnostic.

Because a person can be an agnostic theist. Someone who acknowledges that it can't be known in this life if a deity is real or not, but believes anyway. Agnostic/gnostic are positions on what knowledge is possible. Atheist/theist is is essentially the answer to the question 'do you believe in a deity'. If the answer is 'no', you're an atheist. If the answer is 'yes', you're a theist. If you're asking about both knowledge and belief, any combination is possible.

And an intelligent designer might exist. There's a difference between entertaining an idea and inviting it to take up permanent residence.

Weak Kitten
10th December 2010, 01:15 PM
Let's not forget the Ignostic position which is to ignore any question which does not actually effect your life and does not have enough information to make an informed conclusion about.

Come to that, I think many on these forums are Ignostic rather then Agnostic. They feel that while information MAY be available someday, it is NOT presently good enough to be compelling. They also feel that if the issue will not effect their lives either way then ignoring it is the sanest action to take.

tsig
10th December 2010, 02:14 PM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.


I don't believe that you believe you have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

Clive
10th December 2010, 02:44 PM
I really should avoid this nonsense, but fools rush in...

Someone up above mentioned the key to this whole dilemma (I'm not scrolling back to remember who, but if it was you, feel free to claim your credit): the number of imaginable things is effectively infinite.

So, I'll make this as simple as I can. First to show that the number of imaginable things is infinite, just note that numbers are infinite, so you can always imagine a person with one more leg. Imagine one with three, and I'll imagine one with four. Imagine one with 7,436,201, and I'll imagine one with 7,436,202. We can build an infinite amount of imagined objects merely with humans and their legs, to say nothing of all the other types of things we can imagine.

There are only so many things that actually exist (let's call X the number of things that do). It doesn't really matter how many. However many things you think exist, infinitely more can be imagined to exist, but don't.

So, if you propose that something exists, then before you present any evidence or reasoning for its existence, our best guess to the reality of its existence is the probability that it is actual given that you have imagined it. That probability is the number of things that actually exist (X) divided by the number of things that we can imagine to exist (infinite). Now, we can't actually divide by infinity, it being a concept, not a number, but we can note that as we divide X by larger and larger numbers (approaching infinity), our answer tends to 0.

This leaves us with the conclusion that without evidence for something you propose the existence of, the chance that that something actually exists is as close to nothing as makes no difference.

Therefore, it is entirely rational to hold disbelief as the default position for any unsupported notion someone dreams up.
Except of course that you haven't proven that your X is necessarily finite! I'm looking forward to seeing your proof that X is finite, or at least hearing what assumptions you wish to make in order to argue that X must be finite.

gph
10th December 2010, 03:03 PM
You know, that really is my problem with atheism, it makes no attempt to explain anything. Instead you just sit there pretending that all well accepted theories are Gospel, that the scientific method has reached some sort of end state and that you have the answers for everything. Open your mind.

Atheism != Science

You don't need to know anything about science, or believe any of its conclusions, to reject religious claims.

John Jones
10th December 2010, 03:11 PM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.


Alas! The 154 fallacy.

Yig, meet 154. 154, meet Yig.

:D

Olowkow
10th December 2010, 05:12 PM
I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

I'm guessing someone told you this will come across as a mighty clever way to approach the viewpoint of a random atheist on an internet forum, and you bought into it. Ask for your money back. I know it is difficult to understand that some of us have been there, and reject such beliefs, but it remains a simple fact. 29 years is not enough time to have come up with something this foolish on your own, so you were inculcated with a mistaken belief in your formative years, no doubt. It takes a longer while to grasp on one's own what the implications of a real supernatural being would be for the real world, or to invent a silly notion that anyone would "fool themselves" into disbelieving something that is in good conscience true. I recommend you merely believe me when I tell you I don't believe in any gods, but you are welcome to believe in whatever you wish, and I am more than willing to consider any evidence that such entities may exist.

devnull
10th December 2010, 05:33 PM
Most of them would probably find it easier to comprehend someone worshiping Thor than nothing.

Sure, but the point is that they *don't* believe in Thor. Why not?

jakesteele
10th December 2010, 07:15 PM
I disagree. I'm not an atheist because of uncertainty, I'm an atheist in response to theists. Christians (et al) say there is a god, I find it illogical and that label describes it. I'm not looking for answers there, I'm not looking for closure. Even science, who I do look to for answers, isn't a quest for closure but instead for expanded knowledge.

You, like everybody, is trying to find meaning and understanding. Atheism/materialism is the world view you have chosen because it does a much better job of eliminating or at least diminishing ontological dis-ease.

Gawdzilla
10th December 2010, 07:35 PM
I don't believe that you believe you have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

I believe he believes seven impossible things before breakfast, and lives them all.

Gawdzilla
10th December 2010, 07:38 PM
1. You kill a man because god tell you to.
2. You kill a man because he'll kill you if you don't.

Which one holds up in court?

Why do people who demand ID from you before they'll cash a check, to prove you are you and you actually exist, allow something with no proof at all to run their lives? They check in with an imaginary friend before going to bed each night, they ask that imaginary friend to resolve problems for them rather than actually DOING something about the problem. This is totally bizarre when you think about it. Unfortunately, most of them don't think about it.

X
10th December 2010, 08:58 PM
Except of course that you haven't proven that your X is necessarily finite! I'm looking forward to seeing your proof that X is finite, or at least hearing what assumptions you wish to make in order to argue that X must be finite.


I guarantee you I am finite.

And if it's all the same, I'd rather not be divided.

Marquis de Carabas
10th December 2010, 09:17 PM
Except of course that you haven't proven that your X is necessarily finite! I'm looking forward to seeing your proof that X is finite, or at least hearing what assumptions you wish to make in order to argue that X must be finite.
Ha! I was wondering if someone would call me on that. Good show.

Very well, then, my assumptions (some of which I would be so bold as to claim as facts, but whatever).

1. A finite amount of space contains a finite amount of things.
2. The observable universe is finite.
3. Anything outside the observable universe has no discernible effect on us.
4. Anything with no discernible effect on us is as good as non-existent, so far as we ourselves are concerned.

Trent Wray
10th December 2010, 09:26 PM
I don't think anyone "chooses" to believe. The people who believe are the people who are basically doing "the best they can". They are following a faulty logic, completely unaware that they're in fact thinking inconsistently and illogically. They have not developed their critical thinking skills thoroughly. Somewhere in the way, their method of critical thinking became inconsistent and thus, they do not apply the same skepticism they would apply to buying a used car, to everything else. And they don't realize this.

Some people claim they used to be atheists but new, because of some idiotic new age book, they realized that God "makes sense" or something along these lines, and decide to follow that path. That is perhaps the closest thing to "choosing to believe", which I think is simply coming out of the woo closet.

Of course, there's also the merely delusional people and the demented ones. I'm not sure ....

I think people ultimately operate off of "belief" every moment of every day. So while a person might devote a good amount of skeptical thought to which vehicle they purchase, at some point, they are driving it off the lot "hoping" it was a good choice. However there are the unknown variables they cannot account for which could sneak up and make the purchase a horrible choice.

Other areas of life we are more lazy when it comes to belief, or we take for granted the unknown variables. For example, when I'm hungry for pizza, I don't feel a pang of terror over poison before I purchase a pie from Pizza Hut. Having that fear isn't practically rational, although it is logical. It is possible I could swallow a piece of pizza laced with some poisonous substance either purposefully or accidentally. However, to think about this logically isn't practical or HEALTHY .... because if I thought about everything like that I would become paranoid. So to that end ... questioning everything skeptically just isn't practical. And so taking some things "on faith" without having looked deeply into it is sometimes just practical, and sometimes it's also just the result of laziness and a lack of care for what you actually believe.

An example of laziness might be picking who is going to win a sporting event you don't give two flips about. Picking one and sticking with it is based on a whim.

In all these examples, a person is choosing to believe and stop examining at some point ... for a variety of reasons. Some practical, some because either choice has seemingly no consequence, etc and so forth.

So I think some people make choices to believe in a God, and do so after what they perceive to be practical, rational thought. But at some point, they do suspend logic. I think it's the suspension of logic that they don't realize they are doing. However, suspending logic is something we basically do all the time, everyday, on varying degrees. So for a believer to say their choice is based on "logic" .... is a fallacy I think. It's no more logical to believe in a god, than it is to love your spouse :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_closure_%28psychology%29

The term cognitive closure has been defined as "a desire for definite knowledge on some issue and the eschewal of confusion and ambiguity."[1] Need for closure is a phrase used by psychologists to describe an individual’s desire for a firm solution as opposed to enduring ambiguity.

Need For Closure Scale (NFCS)
The need for closure varies across individuals, situations, and cultures. A person with a high need for closure prefers order and predictability, is decisive and closed-minded, and is uncomfortable with ambiguity.[2] Someone rating low on need for closure will express more ideational fluidity and emit more creative acts.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it’s atheism or religion or something else. They all fall under this umbrella. So when you’re talking about God, no God, “I don’t know, but it’s something” they all are ways of eliminating ambiguity and uncertainty which cause deep existential/ontological uneasiness and discomfort. Humans have a deep profound need to eliminate those. You see the same basic dynamics throughout all world views whatever it is espousing:

Immaculate Perception – Ours is the only one that sees reality exactly as it is unhindered by any human shortcomings. So therefore, to disagree with us is to disagree with reality itself.

Fundamentalism – varying degrees of absolute, and sometimes arrogant, certainty

Black and white/all or nothing thinking - varying degrees of absolute smug certainty

Interesting. Hmm .....

elbe
10th December 2010, 09:28 PM
You, like everybody, is trying to find meaning and understanding. Atheism/materialism is the world view you have chosen because it does a much better job of eliminating or at least diminishing ontological dis-ease.

I may be trying to find meaning and understanding, but that's not why I'm an atheist. You shouldn't assume things about other people.

Kensington Bailey
10th December 2010, 09:57 PM
Intelligent design? Hmm. What about sadistic design? Seems sadism fits the observation more than intelligence. Intelligence appears to be a coping mechanism.

jakesteele
11th December 2010, 04:54 AM
I may be trying to find meaning and understanding, but that's not why I'm an atheist. You shouldn't assume things about other people.

I didn't say that's why you are an atheist. I said atheism, like any other world view, is a way of seeking explanations for the ultimately questions of existence: who are we, what are we and why are we? How did all this come to be and why? Atheism addresses these unsettling questions like all other world views.

Mind you, I'm not criticizing atheism at all. I think it is a much more logical and rational explanation that religions by far. I call myself a 'strong agnostic' because I just don't know. It's just a personal preference.

edge
11th December 2010, 05:14 AM
wrong...you can not prove that there have never been unicorns.

Really!http://forums.randi.org/imagehosting/22284d037902df692.jpg (http://forums.randi.org/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=21905)
It happens...

Garrette
11th December 2010, 05:53 AM
I said atheism, like any other world view, is a way of seeking explanations for the ultimately questions of existence: who are we, what are we and why are we? How did all this come to be and why? Atheism addresses these unsettling questions like all other world views.
Can't say I agree. Atheism may be the end point of a search for meaning, but it is not a search itself. It is a description.

dlorde
11th December 2010, 07:03 AM
Why is it so hard for someone here to say "Yeah, an intelligent designer might exist".

It's not hard - intelligent designers do exist - there are plenty of them around, we use products based on their designs all the time.

Does that answer your question? If not, why not?

dlorde
11th December 2010, 07:13 AM
... I said atheism, like any other world view, is a way of seeking explanations for the ultimately questions of existence: who are we, what are we and why are we? How did all this come to be and why? Atheism addresses these unsettling questions like all other world views.

Um, no. Atheism is a lack of belief in a deity or deities. Sam Harris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Harris_(author)) put it nicely:In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.

Natural philosophy, i.e. science, is a way of seeking explanations about the observable world, and other branches of philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#Branches_of_philosophy) address questions of existence and meaning, etc.

Foster Zygote
11th December 2010, 08:02 AM
Really!http://forums.randi.org/imagehosting/22284d037902df692.jpg (http://forums.randi.org/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=21905)
It happens...

And I hear that they've found real dragons on the island of Komodo. I wonder if they fly and breath fire?

Gawdzilla
11th December 2010, 09:14 AM
And I hear that they've found real dragons on the island of Komodo. I wonder if they fly and breath fire?

Ahem. *cough*

edge
11th December 2010, 02:18 PM
And I hear that they've found real dragons on the island of Komodo. I wonder if they fly and breath fire?

In their next evolution they will, give em a few years?:rolleyes:

MontagK505
11th December 2010, 02:51 PM
Yig? You comin' back? I have questions for you.

It would appear he doesn't like the way he's being treated on his own OP.
Too bad, I was so looking forward to his explanation as to why the “Tooth Faerie” is philosophically different from “Intelligent Designer”.

John Jones
11th December 2010, 02:54 PM
In their next evolution they will, give em a few years?:rolleyes:

So you believe that there is a direction to evolution?

Gawdzilla
11th December 2010, 02:56 PM
So you believe that there is a direction to evolution?

I do, it's directly toward me. Bow, suckers!

MontagK505
11th December 2010, 03:13 PM
I do, it's directly toward me. Bow, suckers!

This illustrates that evolution definitely has no purpose! :):)

Just kidding! NOT

Clive
11th December 2010, 05:04 PM
Ha! I was wondering if someone would call me on that. Good show.

Very well, then, my assumptions (some of which I would be so bold as to claim as facts, but whatever).

1. A finite amount of space contains a finite amount of things.
2. The observable universe is finite.
3. Anything outside the observable universe has no discernible effect on us.
4. Anything with no discernible effect on us is as good as non-existent, so far as we ourselves are concerned.
If a brain occupies a finite amount of space and therefore (using your assumptions) contains a finite amount of things, and if what can be imagined by a brain is related to the finite number of ways those things can be arranged, plus the sequence and and timing of those possible arrangements, and if there is also only a finite amount of time to do all this imagining, then it sounds to me that what you are really saying is that only a finite number of finite things can be imagined by a finite number of beings!

In any case, you suggested you can imagine a person with 7,436,202 legs (or something like that). Really? I doubt you could even draw something like that let alone truly imagine it. Writing the words is one thing, actually doing it is another.

I say your argument is shot to hell, even if I agree that some or all of your assumptions are facts (which I don't). :D

Sledge
11th December 2010, 05:32 PM
In any case, you suggested you can imagine a person with 7,436,202 legs (or something like that). Really? I doubt you could even draw something like that let alone truly imagine it. Writing the words is one thing, actually doing it is another.
Maybe your imagination is lacking. Mine, sadly, isn't. Picturing such a thing is quite disturbing and I had to work quite hard to distract myself from it.

Marquis de Carabas
11th December 2010, 08:00 PM
If a brain occupies a finite amount of space and therefore (using your assumptions) contains a finite amount of things, and if what can be imagined by a brain is related to the finite number of ways those things can be arranged, plus the sequence and and timing of those possible arrangements, and if there is also only a finite amount of time to do all this imagining, then it sounds to me that what you are really saying is that only a finite number of finite things can be imagined by a finite number of beings!
Yes, finite brains will never imagine every imaginable thing, just as they will not count every countable number. Finite brains can recognize the infinite potential of both numbers and the imagination.

In any case, you suggested you can imagine a person with 7,436,202 legs (or something like that). Really? I doubt you could even draw something like that let alone truly imagine it. Writing the words is one thing, actually doing it is another.
Writing it down is actually good enough. I can only assume this objection is based on some silly semantic argument that the root of "imagine" is "image", so I must be able to form an accurate mental image of something to say I imagined it. If that is how you want it, so be it. Change "imagine" to "postulate" and the argument remains the same. There is an infinite number of things which may be postulated, but only a finite number of things that exist.

I say your argument is shot to hell, even if I agree that some or all of your assumptions are facts (which I don't). :D
I say you over-estimate either your aim or your firepower, possibly both.

Gawdzilla
11th December 2010, 08:04 PM
This illustrates that evolution definitely has no purpose! :):)

Just kidding! NOT

Just for that I'm making you head of my fan club.

slingblade
12th December 2010, 01:00 AM
Really!http://forums.randi.org/imagehosting/22284d037902df692.jpg (http://forums.randi.org/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=21905)
It happens...


Only if you're fudging the definitions.

While "unicorn" can indeed mean any animal having but one horn, the mythical unicorn is not simply a horse with a horn. It is a chimeric beast, comprised of a horse's body, the tail of a lion, and the beard and hooves of a goat. And the one horn, of course.

Now, if that's the beast we're talking about, then I know they not only don't exist, but have never existed, and in all likelihood will never exist. Simple biology suffices for that.

devnull
12th December 2010, 02:59 AM
In their next evolution they will, give em a few years?:rolleyes:

What's a "next evolution"?

Safe-Keeper
12th December 2010, 03:36 AM
Never played Pokemon, have you:D?

Gawdzilla
12th December 2010, 05:19 AM
Needs more Yig. How long since he was here?

edge
12th December 2010, 05:22 AM
What's a "next evolution"?

You know, when the third eye really developes!:eye-poppi

bikerdruid
12th December 2010, 10:35 AM
You know, when the third eye really developes!:eye-poppi

i'll take it that you don't believe in evolution.

Aepervius
12th December 2010, 10:58 AM
i'll take it that you don't believe in evolution.

Edge, if he is a creationist or similar, probably think of his god as "human" like, and limited. Not omnipotent. So you know, that poor limited god could not lay the law of evolution, and get the results he wwants, no, nope, nieta. That limited gods had to create the world 6000 years ago, with all the sign of evolution happening over million year to hide his pityful handicap of not being able to start evolution do its bidding. I know, I know, I should not mock the limitation of non-omnipotent being, but somebody had to say it.

Jack by the hedge
12th December 2010, 12:53 PM
Needs more Yig. How long since he was here?

I suspect he's done enough to get his merit badge and gone back to Biblethumper College.

Foster Zygote
12th December 2010, 12:54 PM
Needs more Yig. How long since he was here?

Well Yig's first three posts were in March of 2009, then nothing for 21 months.

MontagK505
12th December 2010, 12:55 PM
Needs more Yig. How long since he was here?

Last Post for Yig. Dec 9 11:38PM. I hope he's not too upset with us.

Jack by the hedge
12th December 2010, 12:57 PM
Well Yig's first three posts were in March of 2009, then nothing for 21 months.

Oh. Well in that case I take it back. He probably just has a highly elliptical orbit. He'll reappear around September 2012.

MontagK505
12th December 2010, 01:01 PM
Oh. Well in that case I take it back. He probably just has a highly elliptical orbit. He'll reappear around September 2012.

Are you suggesting Yig follows Kepler's laws?

Gawdzilla
12th December 2010, 02:10 PM
Oh. Well in that case I take it back. He probably just has a highly elliptical orbit. He'll reappear around September 2012.

That's cutting it close to the December Lights Out, isn't it?

Skeptic Ginger
12th December 2010, 02:20 PM
I can tell by your reasoning skills that you were once religious.

An explanation is needed for the origins of the universe. An intelligent designer is one such explanation. There is no evidence to disprove the existence of an intelligent designer.I was told God was real when I was a child. I believed it at the time. It was not a major focus in our family. I don't recall thinking about God as a teenager one way or the other except for a single incident. A friend was murdered and my girlfriend and I went to a local church. It was her idea. Neither of us had been to the church we chose to go to before. It turned out to be a Pentecostal church and people flailed on the floor and spoke in tongues. We both thought it was totally bizarre. And as an adult I can only recall being an atheist.

So your assumptions my "reasoning skills" have anything whatsoever to do with once being religious are wrong. My reasoning skills are mostly genetic. I have been an extremely logical person my entire life.

Your God of the gaps reasoning does nothing for me. It is entirely unsatisfying and certainly not logical.

dafydd
12th December 2010, 02:42 PM
It's not the same thing. That possibility is easily disproved.

Go on then.

Jack by the hedge
12th December 2010, 02:44 PM
Are you suggesting Yig follows Kepler's laws?
Well it's barely a hypothesis so far, but the alternative would be that he acts independently gravity, which seems unlikely.
That's cutting it close to the December Lights Out, isn't it?
Hmm. Maybe he's really an acolyte of the Great Prophet Zarquon.

John Jones
12th December 2010, 02:52 PM
Yig?

Gawdzilla
12th December 2010, 02:57 PM
Yig?

Yeah, Yig Soggoth.

The Norseman
12th December 2010, 03:54 PM
Maybe your imagination is lacking. Mine, sadly, isn't. Picturing such a thing is quite disturbing and I had to work quite hard to distract myself from it.

So you're not a leg man, eh?

Sledge
12th December 2010, 03:59 PM
...




... sorry, I was imagining breasts.

The Norseman
12th December 2010, 04:20 PM
Exactly. Why do you think I've got such a concentrated look on my face?





<----------



It certainly ain't about how many logical fallacies I can count...

edge
12th December 2010, 07:55 PM
i'll take it that you don't believe in evolution.

Evolution had to happen just to fuel us today and the fuel we use today took millions of years to develop so that we are at a place in time for fulfillment.

The next few years in energy development will be interesting.

dafydd
13th December 2010, 07:13 AM
I believe he believes seven impossible things before breakfast, and lives them all.

Six.

dafydd
13th December 2010, 07:14 AM
Evolution had to happen just to fuel us today and the fuel we use today took millions of years to develop so that we are at a place in time for fulfillment.

The next few years in energy development will be interesting.

Any chance of a real answer?

KingMerv00
13th December 2010, 01:41 PM
Evolution had to happen just to fuel us today and the fuel we use today took millions of years to develop so that we are at a place in time for fulfillment.

The next few years in energy development will be interesting.

Any chance of a real answer?

Hell, I'd be satisfied with a fake answer that makes sense.

Gawdzilla
13th December 2010, 05:56 PM
Six.

I don't do maffs.

edge
13th December 2010, 10:15 PM
Only if you're fudging the definitions.

While "unicorn" can indeed mean any animal having but one horn, the mythical unicorn is not simply a horse with a horn. It is a chimeric beast, comprised of a horse's body, the tail of a lion, and the beard and hooves of a goat. And the one horn, of course.

Now, if that's the beast we're talking about, then I know they not only don't exist, but have never existed, and in all likelihood will never exist. Simple biology suffices for that.Bolding mine

So then a deer is closer than a horse, cloven hooves?

edge
13th December 2010, 10:41 PM
Hell, I'd be satisfied with a fake answer that makes sense.

Don't get it?
If this creation is for us, then so is all the oil underground which took millions of years to make, what's not to get?
Except for the fact that it is getting more rare to find.
All the animals/plants are and where here for us to use.

Many people think the Peak is imminent (within 10 years) or has already happened. Coal reserves can be expected to peak later, in the next 20 - 50 years, but as the world's population keeps growing and consumption of fossil fuels increases (despite the known effects to the climate), it is difficult to predict. Of crucial importance is the fact that the development of alternative, renewable energy sources (wind, solar, nuclear fusion) are reliant on oil use.
Estimate 1: Assume that the rate of fossil fuel energy use remains the same as in 1995 (327.3 EJ/year) for every year thereafter. Then the fossil fuel energy resources known as of Jan. 1, 1996 will be exhausted in year 2111.


Estimate 2: Assume that the rate of fossil fuel energy use continues to increase linearly, as it has (approximately) between 1973 - 1995, for every year after 1995. Then the world's fossil fuel energy reserves (as estimated on Jan. 1, 1996) will be used up in year 2074.
http://www.cpast.org/Articles/fetch.adp?topicnum=14

We will need some kind of new energy, which will surpass what nuclear fusion/fission can produce?
If we do find it what will it's capability to turn into a weapon be?
It will probably be more dangerous than nuclear fusion/fission.

edge
13th December 2010, 10:47 PM
I believe that evolution was for our benefit and that the benefit will run out soon when that happens we will develop a brand new source but we aren't ready for it till we get rid of the corruption and our need to kill each other off.

Skeptic Ginger
14th December 2010, 12:19 AM
I think of atheism as a religion. I don't know that either belief is pointless. Many people find religion an important part of their lives.

...
I do think that some atheists (especially "New Atheists") proselytize. What else is Dawkins' book The God Delusion but proselytizing? And saying that people who believe otherwise are deluded, non-skeptical, silly, not using reason, etc., is a passive way of forcing your beliefs on others. You might think of it as a religion, but that doesn't make it so.

Is having drawn the conclusion that evolution theory is correct a religion? Is physics a religion? You really are confused about the difference between dogmatic and/or faith based beliefs and conclusions about the Universe one comes to based on using the scientific process to evaluate evidence.

Even if someone just decides there are no gods based on some meme they picked up, that's akin to saying superstitions constitute a religion.


As for the proselytizing, you would have to also include teaching in your definition to make it apply to a professor who wrote a book about the non-existence of gods.

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 10:35 AM
You might think of it as a religion, but that doesn't make it so.

Is having drawn the conclusion that evolution theory is correct a religion? Is physics a religion? You really are confused about the difference between dogmatic and/or faith based beliefs and conclusions about the Universe one comes to based on using the scientific process to evaluate evidence.

Even if someone just decides there are no gods based on some meme they picked up, that's akin to saying superstitions constitute a religion.


As for the proselytizing, you would have to also include teaching in your definition to make it apply to a professor who wrote a book about the non-existence of gods. I don't think atheism is a religion ... but a person claiming to be an atheist is doing so based on faith. It's a faith based claim.

Garrette
14th December 2010, 10:38 AM
I don't think atheism is a religion ... but a person claiming to be an atheist is doing so based on faith. It's a faith based claim.I know this has been endlessly discussed, but as it is relevant to the OP, I must ask: How?

How, exactly, is it faith based for me to tell you that I have no beliefs in any gods?

SumDood
14th December 2010, 10:46 AM
I don't think atheism is a religion ... but a person claiming to be an atheist is doing so based on faith. It's a faith based claim.

And for the 1,050,232nd time: Is not believing in unicorns a faith based claim?

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 11:10 AM
I know this has been endlessly discussed, but as it is relevant to the OP, I must ask: How?

How, exactly, is it faith based for me to tell you that I have no beliefs in any gods? Because anecdotes aren't evidence. Prove that you are an atheist without any anecdotes or mention of thoughts and feelings.

And for the 1,050,232nd time: Is not believing in unicorns a faith based claim? Yes it is .... because how do I know you aren't lying if you claim to not believe in unicorns? Is personal testimony now evidence all of a sudden? For all I know you do believe in unicorns ....

Atheism isn't faith based .... it's the claim a person makes about being an atheist which is faith based. The claim itself .... because the claim itself has no way of being proven. Unless of course we now accept "it's true because I said so," as objective evidence.

SumDood
14th December 2010, 11:51 AM
And for the 1,050,232nd time: Is not believing in unicorns a faith based claim?
Yes it is .... because how do I know you aren't lying if you claim to not believe in unicorns? Is personal testimony now evidence all of a sudden? For all I know you do believe in unicorns ....

Atheism isn't faith based .... it's the claim a person makes about being an atheist which is faith based. The claim itself .... because the claim itself has no way of being proven. Unless of course we now accept "it's true because I said so," as objective evidence.

Sounds like your confusing the faith of believing me with my claim being based on faith. Two different things, IMHO.

Whether I'm lying or not has nothing to do with my claim being faith based or not. And you believing my claim has nothing to do with my claim being faith based or not.

Otherwise, everything would be a faith based claim. If I claim "I believe 1+1=2", "because the claim itself has no way of being proven", one could say its a faith based claim because I could be lying and I might actually think that 1+1=ketchup.

Sure, I'll accept that your belief in my claim is based on faith, in that you must decided for what ever reason if I am being truthful or not.

HghrSymmetry
14th December 2010, 12:06 PM
Hell, I'd be satisfied with a fake answer that makes sense.

I'm afraid you'll have to settle for one out of two.

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 12:31 PM
Sounds like your confusing the faith of believing me with my claim being based on faith. Two different things, IMHO. Two different things, but related to the same root issue I think.

You making the claim about yourself, and believing it about yourself .... is also faith based. Part of that reason being that a person cannot always accurately perceive objectively their own judgements and opinions and motives absolutely.

For example, if you claim on the witness stand that you never hit a person out of anger .... in your eyes you might not have been angry, but in reality, your actions might allude to anger for the average person acting as an impartial judge.

Similarly, if you claim you "love" someone .... ten years from now you might look back and admit, "looking back now, I never really loved that person. What I thought was love, wasn't," etc and so forth.

Belief isn't tangible ... the concept of it is based upon ideas and opinions, even if the focus of the belief tries to consider evidence. Because although you may logically think one thing, perhaps you emotionally and physically respond another way. Or perhaps you are in denial.

These same points apply to the believer as well I think. Although they may think they belive in a supereme deity, perhaps their deity is actually their own opinions and feelings .... or a book full of words rather than a supernatural daddy in heaven. So for an atheist to say they believe in no gods .... perhaps they actually do believe in some form of god-like authority which they don't recognize.

Either way, it's not provable. A person's personal psychology plays a role and that changes things. A person's actions and choices might allude and give credence to the claimed belief .... however, who is the judge? More people who are in the same boat? So while it takes my faith in you to believe you, it also takes YOUR faith in your own ability to reason and "know thyself" as well. Even if it's the slightest bit of doubt ..... that's all it takes.

And a perfect example is an adolescent who thinks they know their own intellectual truth, only to change their perspective on the same truths later in life. The same goes for "belief" .... there is that possibility you don't know yourself as well as you think you do. And neither can I know you as well as I think I can ... therefore, we are both operating on faith in each other and ourselves in certain issues.

Whether I'm lying or not has nothing to do with my claim being faith based or not. And you believing my claim has nothing to do with my claim being faith based or not.

Otherwise, everything would be a faith based claim. If I claim "I believe 1+1=2", "because the claim itself has no way of being proven", one could say its a faith based claim because I could be lying and I might actually think that 1+1=ketchup.

Sure, I'll accept that your belief in my claim is based on faith, in that you must decided for what ever reason if I am being truthful or not. And perhaps most things that begin with "I believe" are faith based claims if we're talking literally. Even the 1+1=ketchup bit. What isn't faith based, is whether 1+1=2 however. 1+1=2 regardless of what I believe. However, when talking about "god", we have no universal concensus on what a "god" is. And so I might think money is your god, even though you claim you have no gods. Or perhaps your appetite. Or perhaps your spouse. Or perhaps you actually fear and respect and honor your boss as god, when you don't even realize it .... even by your own definitions. And again, there is the lying bit. And lying is relevent when it comes to beliefs .... not necessarily objective facts based on neutral evidence. Lying about 1+1 equalling ketchup doesn't make it so. The evidence shows otherwise. There is proof to back up what 1+1 equals. What proof does an atheist or a believer have to back up their own claims about their own core belief?

Gawdzilla
14th December 2010, 12:43 PM
I know this has been endlessly discussed, but as it is relevant to the OP, I must ask: How?

How, exactly, is it faith based for me to tell you that I have no beliefs in any gods?

Because the faithers don't want to acknowledge that someone can live without faith. "I can't, so you can't."

catsmate1
14th December 2010, 12:52 PM
What is the difference between a god whose existence cannot be detected and a god that does not exist?
A duck.

SumDood
14th December 2010, 12:56 PM
Two different things, but related to the same root issue I think.

You making the claim about yourself, and believing it about yourself .... is also faith based. Part of that reason being that a person cannot always accurately perceive objectively their own judgements and opinions and motives absolutely.

For example, if you claim on the witness stand that you never hit a person out of anger .... in your eyes you might not have been angry, but in reality, your actions might allude to anger for the average person acting as an impartial judge.

Similarly, if you claim you "love" someone .... ten years from now you might look back and admit, "looking back now, I never really loved that person. What I thought was love, wasn't," etc and so forth.

Belief isn't tangible ... the concept of it is based upon ideas and opinions, even if the focus of the belief tries to consider evidence. Because although you may logically think one thing, perhaps you emotionally and physically respond another way. Or perhaps you are in denial.

These same points apply to the believer as well I think. Although they may think they belive in a supereme deity, perhaps their deity is actually their own opinions and feelings .... or a book full of words rather than a supernatural daddy in heaven. So for an atheist to say they believe in no gods .... perhaps they actually do believe in some form of god-like authority which they don't recognize.

Either way, it's not provable. A person's personal psychology plays a role and that changes things. A person's actions and choices might allude and give credence to the claimed belief .... however, who is the judge? More people who are in the same boat? So while it takes my faith in you to believe you, it also takes YOUR faith in your own ability to reason and "know thyself" as well. Even if it's the slightest bit of doubt ..... that's all it takes.

And a perfect example is an adolescent who thinks they know their own intellectual truth, only to change their perspective on the same truths later in life. The same goes for "belief" .... there is that possibility you don't know yourself as well as you think you do. And neither can I know you as well as I think I can ... therefore, we are both operating on faith in each other and ourselves in certain issues.

And perhaps most things that begin with "I believe" are faith based claims if we're talking literally. Even the 1+1=ketchup bit. What isn't faith based, is whether 1+1=2 however. 1+1=2 regardless of what I believe. However, when talking about "god", we have no universal concensus on what a "god" is. And so I might think money is your god, even though you claim you have no gods. Or perhaps your appetite. Or perhaps your spouse. Or perhaps you actually fear and respect and honor your boss as god, when you don't even realize it .... even by your own definitions. And again, there is the lying bit. And lying is relevent when it comes to beliefs .... not necessarily objective facts based on neutral evidence. Lying about 1+1 equalling ketchup doesn't make it so. The evidence shows otherwise. There is proof to back up what 1+1 equals. What proof does an atheist or a believer have to back up their own claims about their own core belief?

You're using semantics to twist the definition of 'faith based claim'. To me, that means a claim based on faith, with faith being that which is believed without evidence. Whether I or you believe the claim or if the claim is true or not has NOTHING to do with if the claim is based on faith.

To simplify, lets leave out the 'I believe' for the claims:

"There are no gods."
"There are no unicorns."
"1+1=2."
"1+1=ketchup."
"I am not a brain in a vat."

Are these faith based claims or not?

I think the problem might be our definition of 'faith'. You seem to use it as belief in something that cannot be proven. I say it is belief in something for which there is no evidence. Slight difference, but important. I can't prove that I'm not a brain in a vat. I certainly don't believe it. I accept the universe to exists as it is presented to me. Does that mean I have 'faith' that I'm not a brain in a vat? By your definition, sure. Can I prove a leprechaun doesn't turn off my refrigerator light when I shut the door? No, but I know that is not the case. I have weighed the evidence and have made an informed decision.

Garrette
14th December 2010, 02:23 PM
Because anecdotes aren't evidence. Prove that you are an atheist without any anecdotes or mention of thoughts and feelings.SumDood beat me to it, but since it was addressed to me, I'll chime in anyway.

You may have to believe me based on faith, but my status as an atheist is not dependent at all upon your belief or lack of it.

That's like saying that having brown hair is a matter of faith. It is not. I may, perhaps, be lying to you if I tell you I have brown hair, and you may or may not believe me when I tell you I have brown hair, but the fact is that I either have brown hair or I do not.

Such my lack of belief in any gods. I have a complete lack of faith. If you choose not to believe me, or even if you do, it matters exactly zero to the veracity of my claim of having no faith.

And then, of course, we can turn this right back on you: You do not believe in Vishnu; that lack of belief is purely a matter of faith. According to your logic, that is.


Yes it is .... because how do I know you aren't lying if you claim to not believe in unicorns? Is personal testimony now evidence all of a sudden? For all I know you do believe in unicorns ....So you admit that your are conflating your belief in my claim with the claim itself.

Atheism isn't faith based ....Excellent. We agree.


it's the claim a person makes about being an atheist which is faith based. The claim itself .... because the claim itself has no way of being proven. Unless of course we now accept "it's true because I said so," as objective evidence.And now you're back to conflating your belief in my claim and the claim itself.

Garrette
14th December 2010, 02:25 PM
Hmmmm.....

How about this: My words and actions are indistinguishable from someone who has no belief in a god. Therefore, there is no reason to think I have a belief in a god.

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 05:31 PM
Because the faithers don't want to acknowledge that someone can live without faith. "I can't, so you can't."

You're using semantics to twist the definition of 'faith based claim'. To me, that means a claim based on faith, with faith being that which is believed without evidence. Whether I or you believe the claim or if the claim is true or not has NOTHING to do with if the claim is based on faith.

To simplify, lets leave out the 'I believe' for the claims:

"There are no gods."
"There are no unicorns."
"1+1=2."
"1+1=ketchup."
"I am not a brain in a vat."

Are these faith based claims or not? Yes I am playing a tight game of semantics here .... so let me reitterate what I'm trying to say by using your examples.

None of those claims are based on faith .... they are based on evidence. And the evidence will show that you are either a brain in a vat, unicorns and gods exist, and what exactly 1+1 equals. The evidence is what those claims are based on, and is independent of what you believe.

Now, if you say that you believe you are a brain in a vat .... THEN that is faith based. Because of what you are choosing to believe ..... and again, this is irregardless of the evidence.

So if you say that you believe unicorns don't exist .... and unicorns don't exist .... it just so happens that your belief is in line with what the evidence shows. However, you are still choosing to believe what you believe, even if it's correct. And this is where I'm twisting it even more to include the idea that you might not even believe what you claim to believe. And again ... this has nothing to do with whether or not 1+1=2 or ketchup, or there are gods or not. It only has to do with whether or not ITS TRUE THAT YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

So then I'm asking myself, how can a person prove that they actually believe something? Because even if your actions are in line with what the majority thinks you should be doing based on your belief ..... it's almost irrelevent. Both a believe and atheist are still just homo sapiens doing what homo sapiens do ..... any and all other labels based on belief are irrelevant I'm thinking. Because beliefs are in our minds, and all our actions are limited to the same sphere of possibility.

IOW .... believers and atheists all do the same human sh*t. So just looking at actions doesn't show us what a person truly believes. Dressing up in garb and kneeling down and praying ... anyone can do that. Screaming that you love the Lord or that there are no gods .... anyone can do that. That isn't proof of what is going on in your actual mind.

So I'm thinking our semantic issue boils down to how we are defining the term "belief". And since being an atheist involves a person's beliefs ..... I'm saying a person cannot prove they are an atheist anymore than a believer can prove they are a believer ..... because you cannot examine "belief" in it's raw form so to speak.

If you say you are a cancer patient .... this we can examine. If you say you are a Brit .... we can find out where you were born. If you say you are born again of the Holy Spirit .... what can we look at? Clothes and actions and falling down when Benny Hinn touches your head? If you say you are an atheist ... what do we look at? Clothes and actions and NOT falling down when Benny Hinn touches your head?

IOW ... we can only guesstimate based on a person's actions and choices and words, but never know for certain what they believe 100%. And I'm further saying that a person cannot fully trust their own understanding 100% without any doubt, because it's obvious that throughout our lives we are too biased to our own psyche to fully discern it objectively and impartially. Plus, we change our minds throughout our lives as our ability to comprehend and understand changes. So this only makes it even more complicated how to "prove a belief".

So I'm separating the idea that a person THINKS they believe something ... from what is actually true in the world. 1+1=2 and that's based on evidence, not faith. However .... if you choose to believe it doesn't equal two, that is based on your faith that you are correct. If you choose to believe that it DOES equal two, that is still based on your faith that you are correct ... and the evidence is in line with what you are CLAIMING you believe. But how can I know for sure you actually believe it? I can't examine your belief like it's a thing .... see?

I think the problem might be our definition of 'faith'. You seem to use it as belief in something that cannot be proven. I say it is belief in something for which there is no evidence. Slight difference, but important. I sort of see the difference you are pointing out, but not completely. I wouldn't limit faith to believing in something that cannot be proven ... because you might be believing in something that can be proven AND is backed by evidence. But it's still faith if you have to choose to believe.

Now, if you're not choosing to believe something ... but rather, you understand something by default and not with conscious choice, then I don't think that's faith. For example, if your whole life you've believed the world was flat and never heard any different .... EVER .... so this idea was never challenged at all, then you're not choosing to believe it. You believe it by default. It doesn't require faith. It's just knowledge you have .... regardless of whether it's correct or not. Because you haven't been exposed to an alternative, it "just is" in your personal frame of reference. However, if you are given an alternative, and then choose to believe, you are acting on faith. And that faith might be based on fact with evidence .... or perhaps something with no evidence and cannot ever be proven.

I think the word "faith" is so anathema to most skeptics and non-believers that when they hear it, they get defensive and equate it immediately with spirituality or religion and then the slippery game of semantics comes into play. When I use the term faith, I'm speaking of it on a basic everyday level ...... for example, when I drive my car I have faith I won't get into an accident. If I believed I truly was going to get into an accident, I wouldn't drive my car that day. Etc and so forth. This is an example of a faith we all utilize and take for granted because we base that faith on the evidence that all the days before this day, I didn't get in an accident ... so I'm not likely to get into one now. Although it's just a calculated risk ..... it's based on a hope and guess as to what is going to happen. It's faith imo.

I can't prove that I'm not a brain in a vat. I certainly don't believe it. I accept the universe to exists as it is presented to me. Does that mean I have 'faith' that I'm not a brain in a vat? By your definition, sure. Can I prove a leprechaun doesn't turn off my refrigerator light when I shut the door? No, but I know that is not the case. I have weighed the evidence and have made an informed decision. And again ..... you claim you have weighed the evidence and made an informed decision. But it doesn't matter. That's an anecdote. How do I know that you have done that? How do I know you really don't believe in leprechauns?

Now, it's obviously practical to take you at your word. It's a faith in you I would take for granted. However, it's still faith in your claim ABOUT YOURSELF. It's not about the leprechauns. It's about you. Atheism is about the lack of gods. An atheist is one who believes there is no god. A person claiming to be an atheist is making a claim about THEMSELF and their belief as well as what their view on atheism and gods are. It's that claim about themself that I'm saying cannot be proven. And as such, it unravels the rest to a degree .... making it pointless to claim any stance ultimately. To believe each other has a certain stance, is to believe in each other's intellecual honesty. Which is to say, we are trusting each other's words ... and imo that's a form of faith in each other.

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 05:36 PM
SumDood beat me to it, but since it was addressed to me, I'll chime in anyway.

You may have to believe me based on faith, but my status as an atheist is not dependent at all upon your belief or lack of it.

That's like saying that having brown hair is a matter of faith. It is not. I may, perhaps, be lying to you if I tell you I have brown hair, and you may or may not believe me when I tell you I have brown hair, but the fact is that I either have brown hair or I do not.

Such my lack of belief in any gods. I have a complete lack of faith. If you choose not to believe me, or even if you do, it matters exactly zero to the veracity of my claim of having no faith.

And then, of course, we can turn this right back on you: You do not believe in Vishnu; that lack of belief is purely a matter of faith. According to your logic, that is.


So you admit that your are conflating your belief in my claim with the claim itself.

Excellent. We agree.


And now you're back to conflating your belief in my claim and the claim itself. Let's take the brown hair thing. Your belief about your hair color and my belief about it is irrelevant as to your actual hair color. So your hair being brown or not is going to be a fact based on evidence or it's not.

What isn't provable, is what you actually believe. I can only take you at your word. It might be petty, but it's just petty and ridiculous enough that it shows that to take you at your word involves a level of trust and faith in you and your honesty.

Now ..... this might be where I'm conflating. For you to believe even yourself ... what you THINK you believe about your hair, you are trusting your instincts, reasoning, perception, etc. You are having faith in your own ability to reason and be intellectually honest about your hair color. So in a very small sense, you are having faith in your own belief ... that you actually believe what you think you believe.

It's taking the concept far .... but it's showing that a level of "hoping I'm correct" is still there. It's independent of the actual hair color. If it is in alignment with it ... great. If not ..... it's not. Both outcomes are still based on faith.

Hmmmm.....

How about this: My words and actions are indistinguishable from someone who has no belief in a god. Therefore, there is no reason to think I have a belief in a god. You are a Scotsman because you act like all other Scotsman. Not good enough.

I could say fundamental goodness is indistinguishable from god, therefore fundamental goodness is god.

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 05:52 PM
Here is another way of looking at it perhaps .....

When a believer says they believe in a god, what are they actually placing their faith in? You can say, "nothing" ... but there is obviously a focus of something. A mental construct, a feeling, an idea, an illusion ... or perhaps a physical object (bible, icon, etc) or an experience. Perhaps they are simply going with the status quo of their culture. But there is a focus. Even if it's just an idea.

So when they claim they believe in god, there is an actual focus elsewhere on some social or psychological level. The atheist has a focus on the lack of something. And arguably, that something doesn't exist.

So if we could look at the "belief focus" of both an atheist and a believer, how would we tell them apart .... and how could we be 100% certain that we had correctly identified the belief focus in it's entirety? So long as there is room for error, I'm saying it's still a faith based belief in the person's claim on themselves ..... not the actual focus or it's existence.

John Jones
14th December 2010, 06:43 PM
Because anecdotes aren't evidence. Prove that you are an atheist without any anecdotes or mention of thoughts and feelings.

Yes it is .... because how do I know you aren't lying if you claim to not believe in unicorns? Is personal testimony now evidence all of a sudden? For all I know you do believe in unicorns ....



Oh good grief. This is one of the most idiotic arguments I've ever seen in a field of discussion renowned for idiotic arguments.


How do I know you aren't lying if you claim to not believe in arguments against a belief in unicorns? ...

If you were being facetious, give us a clue. :)

John Jones
14th December 2010, 06:46 PM
Here is another way of looking at it perhaps .....

When a believer says they believe in a god, what are they actually placing their faith in? You can say, "nothing" ... but there is obviously a focus of something. A mental construct, a feeling, an idea, an illusion ... or perhaps a physical object (bible, icon, etc) or an experience. Perhaps they are simply going with the status quo of their culture. But there is a focus. Even if it's just an idea.

So when they claim they believe in god, there is an actual focus elsewhere on some social or psychological level.

The atheist has a focus on the lack of something. And arguably, that something doesn't exist.




Non sequitur.

Garrette
14th December 2010, 07:11 PM
Let's take the brown hair thing. Your belief about your hair color and my belief about it is irrelevant as to your actual hair color. So your hair being brown or not is going to be a fact based on evidence or it's not.

What isn't provable, is what you actually believe. I can only take you at your word. It might be petty, but it's just petty and ridiculous enough that it shows that to take you at your word involves a level of trust and faith in you and your honesty.I was going to say that you've shifted goal posts. Originally it was that I couldn't prove to you that I am an atheist. Now you've changed it to that I can't prove to myself that I am an atheist.

That remains true, but becomes less relevant because you wrote this:


Now ..... this might be where I'm conflating. For you to believe even yourself ... what you THINK you believe about your hair, you are trusting your instincts, reasoning, perception, etc. You are having faith in your own ability to reason and be intellectually honest about your hair color. So in a very small sense, you are having faith in your own belief ... that you actually believe what you think you believe.

It's taking the concept far .... but it's showing that a level of "hoping I'm correct" is still there. It's independent of the actual hair color. If it is in alignment with it ... great. If not ..... it's not. Both outcomes are still based on faith.So you're simply someone who believes that nothing necessarily is. In that case we have nothing to discuss because you cannot prove we are having this discussion as opposed to me simply dreaming it or you dreaming me dreaming it.

In the most trivial of senses you may be accurate, but this stance advances nothing, adds no value, and--semantic arguments aside--detracts from no position, either.


You are a Scotsman because you act like all other Scotsman. Not good enough.Of course it is. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence of being Scottish is plenty good enough.


I could say fundamental goodness is indistinguishable from god, therefore fundamental goodness is god.If that is how you define it, but then you have simply defined god away. Have at it.

Garrette
14th December 2010, 07:16 PM
Here is another way of looking at it perhaps .....

When a believer says they believe in a god, what are they actually placing their faith in? You can say, "nothing" ... but there is obviously a focus of something. A mental construct, a feeling, an idea, an illusion ... or perhaps a physical object (bible, icon, etc) or an experience. Perhaps they are simply going with the status quo of their culture. But there is a focus. Even if it's just an idea.

So when they claim they believe in god, there is an actual focus elsewhere on some social or psychological level. The atheist has a focus on the lack of something. And arguably, that something doesn't exist.

So if we could look at the "belief focus" of both an atheist and a believer, how would we tell them apart .... and how could we be 100% certain that we had correctly identified the belief focus in it's entirety? So long as there is room for error, I'm saying it's still a faith based belief in the person's claim on themselves ..... not the actual focus or it's existence.Besides this being completely different from your previous argument, it is absolutely incorrect. The highlighted part is simply wrong. There is no focus for non-belief. Sam Harris was right. "Atheist" shouldn't even be a word.

You may as well say I focus on the non-existence of satyrs.

Or must we now define which type of atheist I am? Since I was raised Catholic before dropping my belief, am I now a Papist-Atheist? But if I had started as a Muslim I would now be a Mohammeden-Atheist? Heck, since I know about Horus and Vishnu and Odin and a thousand others, am I a Pan-Atheist, far more advanced than someone who hasn't heard of Set?

Trent Wray
14th December 2010, 09:30 PM
Oh good grief. This is one of the most idiotic arguments I've ever seen in a field of discussion renowned for idiotic arguments.


How do I know you aren't lying if you claim to not believe in arguments against a belief in unicorns? ...

If you were being facetious, give us a clue. :) Idiotic huh? So why respond then if it's idiotic .... what do you gain by calling my thoughts idiotic?

If you are trying to joke around with me ... I'm not much in the mood. My entire argument is "thinking outloud" and yes, parts of it actually are somewhat facetious but to show a point which I'll make below.

So do you actually have something to add other than "what you're saying is stupid" ? If so ... have at it. Otherwise, feel free to not respond ;)

I was going to say that you've shifted goal posts. Originally it was that I couldn't prove to you that I am an atheist. Now you've changed it to that I can't prove to myself that I am an atheist.

So you're simply someone who believes that nothing necessarily is. In that case we have nothing to discuss because you cannot prove we are having this discussion as opposed to me simply dreaming it or you dreaming me dreaming it.

In the most trivial of senses you may be accurate, but this stance advances nothing, adds no value, and--semantic arguments aside--detracts from no position, either.

Besides this being completely different from your previous argument, it is absolutely incorrect. The highlighted part is simply wrong. There is no focus for non-belief. Sam Harris was right. "Atheist" shouldn't even be a word.

You may as well say I focus on the non-existence of satyrs.

Or must we now define which type of atheist I am? Since I was raised Catholic before dropping my belief, am I now a Papist-Atheist? But if I had started as a Muslim I would now be a Mohammeden-Atheist? Heck, since I know about Horus and Vishnu and Odin and a thousand others, am I a Pan-Atheist, far more advanced than someone who hasn't heard of Set? You actually nailed the point I was building up to ..... and that is that there shouldn't even be a word "atheist".

And in a very similar fashion, there shouldn't even be a word "god".

The reason being, is because there is no consensus on who or what a god is or would be .... even if god existed. It's one of those terms that doesn't really describe much of anything at all because it encompasses WAY too much. To some a god might be a supernatural being, to others it might be their boss at work. It's a label that is heavily personalized and subjective.

Likewise, an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods. It's almost like saying, "I don't have something for nothing." THAT is non sequiter. Why even say that? How can you prove you don't have belief ... especially if you don't have it for something that you don't believe exists? How can you believe that you don't have any belief? You see what I'm saying? Again ... it's like saying, "I forgot what I remembered to forget," or something.

So not only is it pointless to claim it ... it requires belief to actually believe that you have no belief. Because if you have no belief ... how would you be able to recognize it? It's like saying you are blind and can see no color .... but you are able to recognize all the different colors of the visible spectrum. How would you know them if you don't see them or even have the capacity to see them?

It would require some act of faith that you can differentiate color .... considering that you believe you can't see color because you would recognize it if you saw it. That's partially what the ultimate end of the argument is .... it's a circle that goes nowhere.

I think what the average atheist does is stop walking the circle halfway, and they stop at a midpoint somewhere. That's where they can say, "I believe that I have no belief because there is nothing to believe in ..." and somehow that is good enough without further examination. But walk the rest of the circular argument, and perhaps you'll find it's a circle that's not even worth walking in the first place because you can't believe something if you lack belief.

Now, what you can say in response, is that "it's not that an atheist lacks belief in EVERYTHING .... they simply do not believe in one thing .... god(s)." Yet so many here vehemently take their clothes off and throw tantrums at even the thought that they operate by faith in any other area of their lives ... be it trusting a spouse, the pilot of an airplane, or the slot machine they are dropping their money into, or some statistic they have calculated, for example. And my point, is that the definitions of god(s) and faith/belief are so subjective and there isn't a general practical consensus .... therefore it requires a certain amount of faith to even believe in your own definitions. Not even all atheists can agree with each other whether atheism is a philosophical stance or not (and that thread sparked this train of thought I'm having). So not only do believers not agree on who or what god is and isn't, but atheists can't agree completely on the nature of atheism. The wikipedia defition for faith and atheism is one thing ... the practical application and claims of the ones who claim to be faith walkers and atheists is another. And this forum is a fine example of that.

So yes ... I'm still saying that it takes a certain amount of faith not just to trust another's personal claims (which skeptics claim isn't evidence anyway ... mere personal claims with no tangible proof of anything) .... but to trust your own claims in regards to your BELIEFS .... especially if you are claiming to lack belief and the other "scotsman" can't all agree on what a true scotsman is anyway.

And yes ..... you point out the other ultimate end of my argument ..... the trivial idea that a person could walk around believing that "nothing is" so to speak. "I can't trust anything because every single thing period requires faith to believe in ..... everything." The ultimate end of that is essentialy solipsism. And that is a nonsensical argument which is impossible to prove or disprove. And the solipsistic argument is actually one of the reasons I was being somewhat facetious .... to lead up to it. Because if my reasoning actually stands up on any level, then yes ..... every single aspect of how we relate to each other is based on "faith in what we are experiencing" yada yada, and nothing really is as it seems, and the only thing I can really trust is my own existence. And although I don't believe in solipsism (lol) ...... it's one extreme way to interpret reality. It's one of those extremes that you couldn't prove.

Like god .... or the atheist .... because they are somewhat extremes of the same coin. God is not possible to prove 100% because there would have to be a small percentage of faith that god's claims on being god were actually true (since we have no reference point) ... and likewise the atheist claiming they lack complete belief would require faith on the part of the believer in the atheist .... because for someone to lack complete belief in an area and be cognicent of it is unprovable. You have to place faith in experiences and thoughts and feelings and anecdotes. And if those become admissable ... then so does all of life, the universe, morality, bible stories, and anything else the believer in woo wants to claim is "of god" or the supernatural. How can you prove they are lying? Esp if the defition of god changes to suit the person? And since belief is so subjective .... I'm simply applying the concept that it requries faith to believe in even in your own opinions on matters which are focussed already on things which are extreme and unknowable for 100% certainty. And the solpsistic angle is the end of yet another extreme linked to the entire argument of faith and belief or the lack of belief .... because it rests on the trusting of our own ability to perceive reality on any and every level.

Anyway .... I'm starting to get tired of talking about this now because my attention span is wretched and I typically bounce from one thing to the next anyway .... so for the few who might have actually taken an interest in the convo don't be offended if I start to trail off ..... You all have made some decent points for the most part ... thanx :) If no one wants to respond from here on out ... no worries :) But I can already tell I'm not thinking about this as deeply as I was initially ..... so I'm starting to babble more than usual :)

Marduk
14th December 2010, 09:35 PM
You actually nailed the point I was building up to ..... and that is that there shouldn't even be a word "atheist".
You know you can't spell Atheist without spelling an anagram of "A She Tit"

And in a very similar fashion, there shouldn't even be a word "god".

Its an alien acronym for
Genetic
Operations
Director

;)

Garrette
15th December 2010, 04:24 AM
You actually nailed the point I was building up to ..... and that is that there shouldn't even be a word "atheist".

And in a very similar fashion, there shouldn't even be a word "god".

The reason being, is because there is no consensus on who or what a god is or would be .... even if god existed. It's one of those terms that doesn't really describe much of anything at all because it encompasses WAY too much. To some a god might be a supernatural being, to others it might be their boss at work. It's a label that is heavily personalized and subjective.

Likewise, an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods. It's almost like saying, "I don't have something for nothing." THAT is non sequiter. Why even say that? How can you prove you don't have belief ... especially if you don't have it for something that you don't believe exists? How can you believe that you don't have any belief? You see what I'm saying? Again ... it's like saying, "I forgot what I remembered to forget," or something.

So not only is it pointless to claim it ... it requires belief to actually believe that you have no belief. Because if you have no belief ... how would you be able to recognize it? It's like saying you are blind and can see no color .... but you are able to recognize all the different colors of the visible spectrum. How would you know them if you don't see them or even have the capacity to see them?

It would require some act of faith that you can differentiate color .... considering that you believe you can't see color because you would recognize it if you saw it. That's partially what the ultimate end of the argument is .... it's a circle that goes nowhere.

I think what the average atheist does is stop walking the circle halfway, and they stop at a midpoint somewhere. That's where they can say, "I believe that I have no belief because there is nothing to believe in ..." and somehow that is good enough without further examination. But walk the rest of the circular argument, and perhaps you'll find it's a circle that's not even worth walking in the first place because you can't believe something if you lack belief.

Now, what you can say in response, is that "it's not that an atheist lacks belief in EVERYTHING .... they simply do not believe in one thing .... god(s)." Yet so many here vehemently take their clothes off and throw tantrums at even the thought that they operate by faith in any other area of their lives ... be it trusting a spouse, the pilot of an airplane, or the slot machine they are dropping their money into, or some statistic they have calculated, for example. And my point, is that the definitions of god(s) and faith/belief are so subjective and there isn't a general practical consensus .... therefore it requires a certain amount of faith to even believe in your own definitions. Not even all atheists can agree with each other whether atheism is a philosophical stance or not (and that thread sparked this train of thought I'm having). So not only do believers not agree on who or what god is and isn't, but atheists can't agree completely on the nature of atheism. The wikipedia defition for faith and atheism is one thing ... the practical application and claims of the ones who claim to be faith walkers and atheists is another. And this forum is a fine example of that.

So yes ... I'm still saying that it takes a certain amount of faith not just to trust another's personal claims (which skeptics claim isn't evidence anyway ... mere personal claims with no tangible proof of anything) .... but to trust your own claims in regards to your BELIEFS .... especially if you are claiming to lack belief and the other "scotsman" can't all agree on what a true scotsman is anyway.

And yes ..... you point out the other ultimate end of my argument ..... the trivial idea that a person could walk around believing that "nothing is" so to speak. "I can't trust anything because every single thing period requires faith to believe in ..... everything." The ultimate end of that is essentialy solipsism. And that is a nonsensical argument which is impossible to prove or disprove. And the solipsistic argument is actually one of the reasons I was being somewhat facetious .... to lead up to it. Because if my reasoning actually stands up on any level, then yes ..... every single aspect of how we relate to each other is based on "faith in what we are experiencing" yada yada, and nothing really is as it seems, and the only thing I can really trust is my own existence. And although I don't believe in solipsism (lol) ...... it's one extreme way to interpret reality. It's one of those extremes that you couldn't prove.

Like god .... or the atheist .... because they are somewhat extremes of the same coin. God is not possible to prove 100% because there would have to be a small percentage of faith that god's claims on being god were actually true (since we have no reference point) ... and likewise the atheist claiming they lack complete belief would require faith on the part of the believer in the atheist .... because for someone to lack complete belief in an area and be cognicent of it is unprovable. You have to place faith in experiences and thoughts and feelings and anecdotes. And if those become admissable ... then so does all of life, the universe, morality, bible stories, and anything else the believer in woo wants to claim is "of god" or the supernatural. How can you prove they are lying? Esp if the defition of god changes to suit the person? And since belief is so subjective .... I'm simply applying the concept that it requries faith to believe in even in your own opinions on matters which are focussed already on things which are extreme and unknowable for 100% certainty. And the solpsistic angle is the end of yet another extreme linked to the entire argument of faith and belief or the lack of belief .... because it rests on the trusting of our own ability to perceive reality on any and every level.

Anyway .... I'm starting to get tired of talking about this now because my attention span is wretched and I typically bounce from one thing to the next anyway .... so for the few who might have actually taken an interest in the convo don't be offended if I start to trail off ..... You all have made some decent points for the most part ... thanx :) If no one wants to respond from here on out ... no worries :) But I can already tell I'm not thinking about this as deeply as I was initially ..... so I'm starting to babble more than usual :)Still can't say I agree with your thought process, and the highlighted portion is the major reason why.

Me saying "I do not believe in your undefined god or any other god" does not equate to "I have something for nothing."

And saying "I am an atheist" is simply shorthand for saying "I do not believe in your undefined god or any other god."

From your comments I see that this is really just an academic exercise for you, but you have not shown what you claim to have shown, i.e., that atheism is faith-based. Everything you have shown is old hat and hinges on theism being faith-based which is not in dispute, except by the occasional DOC-like or edge-like poster.

SumDood
15th December 2010, 07:01 AM
Yes I am playing a tight game of semantics here .... so let me reitterate what I'm trying to say by using your examples.

None of those claims are based on faith .... they are based on evidence. And the evidence will show that you are either a brain in a vat, unicorns and gods exist, and what exactly 1+1 equals. The evidence is what those claims are based on, and is independent of what you believe.

Now, if you say that you believe you are a brain in a vat .... THEN that is faith based. Because of what you are choosing to believe ..... and again, this is irregardless of the evidence.

So if you say that you believe unicorns don't exist .... and unicorns don't exist .... it just so happens that your belief is in line with what the evidence shows. However, you are still choosing to believe what you believe, even if it's correct. And this is where I'm twisting it even more to include the idea that you might not even believe what you claim to believe. And again ... this has nothing to do with whether or not 1+1=2 or ketchup, or there are gods or not. It only has to do with whether or not ITS TRUE THAT YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT.
I really don't see where you're going with this and what it brings to this discussion.


So then I'm asking myself, how can a person prove that they actually believe something? Because even if your actions are in line with what the majority thinks you should be doing based on your belief ..... it's almost irrelevent. Both a believe and atheist are still just homo sapiens doing what homo sapiens do ..... any and all other labels based on belief are irrelevant I'm thinking. Because beliefs are in our minds, and all our actions are limited to the same sphere of possibility.

IOW .... believers and atheists all do the same human sh*t. So just looking at actions doesn't show us what a person truly believes. Dressing up in garb and kneeling down and praying ... anyone can do that. Screaming that you love the Lord or that there are no gods .... anyone can do that. That isn't proof of what is going on in your actual mind.

So I'm thinking our semantic issue boils down to how we are defining the term "belief". And since being an atheist involves a person's beliefs ..... I'm saying a person cannot prove they are an atheist anymore than a believer can prove they are a believer ..... because you cannot examine "belief" in it's raw form so to speak.

If you say you are a cancer patient .... this we can examine. If you say you are a Brit .... we can find out where you were born. If you say you are born again of the Holy Spirit .... what can we look at? Clothes and actions and falling down when Benny Hinn touches your head? If you say you are an atheist ... what do we look at? Clothes and actions and NOT falling down when Benny Hinn touches your head?

IOW ... we can only guesstimate based on a person's actions and choices and words, but never know for certain what they believe 100%. And I'm further saying that a person cannot fully trust their own understanding 100% without any doubt, because it's obvious that throughout our lives we are too biased to our own psyche to fully discern it objectively and impartially. Plus, we change our minds throughout our lives as our ability to comprehend and understand changes. So this only makes it even more complicated how to "prove a belief".
I definitely think we need to separate proving WHAT one believes from proving THAT one believes something. I don't remember exactly how we got on the subject of proof. I thought we were talking about atheism being faith based or not. I can't prove gods don't exists any more than anyone can prove they do.

So I'm separating the idea that a person THINKS they believe something ... from what is actually true in the world. 1+1=2 and that's based on evidence, not faith. However .... if you choose to believe it doesn't equal two, that is based on your faith that you are correct. If you choose to believe that it DOES equal two, that is still based on your faith that you are correct ... and the evidence is in line with what you are CLAIMING you believe. But how can I know for sure you actually believe it? I can't examine your belief like it's a thing .... see?
Again, what does this bring to the conversation? I can't prove to you that I believe something. I can't prove to myself that I truly believe something. I can't prove I'm not a brain in a vat. I can't prove we're not in the Matrix

I sort of see the difference you are pointing out, but not completely. I wouldn't limit faith to believing in something that cannot be proven ... because you might be believing in something that can be proven AND is backed by evidence. But it's still faith if you have to choose to believe.
(bolding mine)
I think I'm going to have to disagree with the bolded line. Do I choose to not believe in unicorns? Do I choose to believe 911 wasn't an inside job? Do I choose to believe I'm not a brain in a vat? One weights the facts and makes an informed decision. I suppose that is 'choosing' to believe something, but I don't see how it can be classified as 'faith'.

Now, if you're not choosing to believe something ... but rather, you understand something by default and not with conscious choice, then I don't think that's faith. For example, if your whole life you've believed the world was flat and never heard any different .... EVER .... so this idea was never challenged at all, then you're not choosing to believe it. You believe it by default. It doesn't require faith. It's just knowledge you have .... regardless of whether it's correct or not. Because you haven't been exposed to an alternative, it "just is" in your personal frame of reference. However, if you are given an alternative, and then choose to believe, you are acting on faith. And that faith might be based on fact with evidence .... or perhaps something with no evidence and cannot ever be proven.
(bolding mine)
If it is based on fact with evidence, it ceases to be faith. And of course we can have a discussion on what constitutes 'evidence'.

I think the word "faith" is so anathema to most skeptics and non-believers that when they hear it, they get defensive and equate it immediately with spirituality or religion and then the slippery game of semantics comes into play. When I use the term faith, I'm speaking of it on a basic everyday level ...... for example, when I drive my car I have faith I won't get into an accident. If I believed I truly was going to get into an accident, I wouldn't drive my car that day. Etc and so forth. This is an example of a faith we all utilize and take for granted because we base that faith on the evidence that all the days before this day, I didn't get in an accident ... so I'm not likely to get into one now. Although it's just a calculated risk ..... it's based on a hope and guess as to what is going to happen. It's faith imo.

And again ..... you claim you have weighed the evidence and made an informed decision. But it doesn't matter. That's an anecdote. How do I know that you have done that? How do I know you really don't believe in leprechauns?

If we're going to get anywhere with this, we need to decide what we're talking about. "Faith" as in "when I sit down I have faith that this chair will support my weight" is one thing. When you add discussions about having "faith" that we're not brains in vats or "You have to take everything everyone says on faith because you don't know if their lying", it just muddies the water. Can we agree to leave the solipsism and the like out of this discussion?


Now, it's obviously practical to take you at your word. It's a faith in you I would take for granted. However, it's still faith in your claim ABOUT YOURSELF. It's not about the leprechauns. It's about you. Atheism is about the lack of gods. An atheist is one who believes there is no god. A person claiming to be an atheist is making a claim about THEMSELF and their belief as well as what their view on atheism and gods are. It's that claim about themself that I'm saying cannot be proven. And as such, it unravels the rest to a degree .... making it pointless to claim any stance ultimately. To believe each other has a certain stance, is to believe in each other's intellecual honesty. Which is to say, we are trusting each other's words ... and imo that's a form of faith in each other.
Please, lets start this exchange over with the caveat that I believe what you say and I believe that you believe what you say and vice versa and reality exists.

SumDood
15th December 2010, 07:41 AM
You actually nailed the point I was building up to ..... and that is that there shouldn't even be a word "atheist".

And in a very similar fashion, there shouldn't even be a word "god".

The reason being, is because there is no consensus on who or what a god is or would be .... even if god existed. It's one of those terms that doesn't really describe much of anything at all because it encompasses WAY too much. To some a god might be a supernatural being, to others it might be their boss at work. It's a label that is heavily personalized and subjective.
Really? You honestly think when asked "is there a God?" someone would answer "my boss is God"? And I don't mean a joke like "my boss is God of the Jerks".


Likewise, an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in gods. It's almost like saying, "I don't have something for nothing." THAT is non sequiter. Why even say that? How can you prove you don't have belief
Why on earth would anyone need or want to prove whether or not they believe something?

... especially if you don't have it for something that you don't believe exists? How can you believe that you don't have any belief?
Do you believe that unicorns exist? If not, how can you believe that you don't have any belief?


You see what I'm saying?
Not really, but I'm pretty bored and I'm trying.


Again ... it's like saying, "I forgot what I remembered to forget," or something.

So not only is it pointless to claim it ... it requires belief to actually believe that you have no belief.Sure. YAY! Everyone has faith about everything and every-NON-thing ever! It requires belief to actually believe that you don't believe that I'm an alien from another galaxy. [/quote]


Because if you have no belief ... how would you be able to recognize it? It's like saying you are blind and can see no color .... but you are able to recognize all the different colors of the visible spectrum. How would you know them if you don't see them or even have the capacity to see them?

It would require some act of faith that you can differentiate color .... considering that you believe you can't see color because you would recognize it if you saw it. That's partially what the ultimate end of the argument is .... it's a circle that goes nowhere.

I think what the average atheist does is stop walking the circle halfway, and they stop at a midpoint somewhere. That's where they can say, "I believe that I have no belief because there is nothing to believe in ..." and somehow that is good enough without further examination. But walk the rest of the circular argument, and perhaps you'll find it's a circle that's not even worth walking in the first place because you can't believe something if you lack belief.

Now, what you can say in response, is that "it's not that an atheist lacks belief in EVERYTHING .... they simply do not believe in one thing .... god(s)." Yet so many here vehemently take their clothes off and throw tantrums at even the thought that they operate by faith in any other area of their lives ... be it trusting a spouse, the pilot of an airplane, or the slot machine they are dropping their money into, or some statistic they have calculated, for example.
I don't think anyone will dispute that fact if you want to use 'faith' that way. I'm pretty sure when I type the 'X' key on my keyboard, then an 'X' will appear on my monitor. I know it might not happen. If you want to call that 'faith', have at it.

And my point, is that the definitions of god(s) and faith/belief are so subjective and there isn't a general practical consensus ....
Nonsense. When one says 'faith in God', everyone one has a pretty good idea what their talking about. Yes, it could be Allah, the Christian god, Jehovah and different believers believe different things about God, but its usually some sort of self aware, supernatural entity that created the universe and has effect on everyday life.

<SNIP>
You have to place faith in experiences and thoughts and feelings and anecdotes.
If you mean my own experiences and thoughts and feelings and anecdotes, sure.

And if those become admissable ... then so does all of life, the universe, morality, bible stories, and anything else the believer in woo wants to claim is "of god" or the supernatural.
Absolutely not. I have much greater faith in my own memories than the claims of others. To put equal weight on both would be ridiculous. We are all bias towards our selves.

How can you prove they are lying?
I don't have to prove they are lying. I only have to weigh what they are claiming against what I know about reality and make an informed decision.


Esp if the defition of god changes to suit the person? And since belief is so subjective .... I'm simply applying the concept that it requries faith to believe in even in your own opinions on matters which are focussed already on things which are extreme and unknowable for 100% certainty. And the solpsistic angle is the end of yet another extreme linked to the entire argument of faith and belief or the lack of belief .... because it rests on the trusting of our own ability to perceive reality on any and every level.

Anyway .... I'm starting to get tired of talking about this now because my attention span is wretched and I typically bounce from one thing to the next anyway .... so for the few who might have actually taken an interest in the convo don't be offended if I start to trail off ..... You all have made some decent points for the most part ... thanx :) If no one wants to respond from here on out ... no worries :) But I can already tell I'm not thinking about this as deeply as I was initially ..... so I'm starting to babble more than usual :)

I do appreciate the effort and thought you have put into this exchange. It would be better over some beers, but I still enjoy it.

I believe there is nothing supernatural in our world. If you want to accept that statement as truth, I would be glad to discuss my rationale and hear any opposing views.

I Am The Scum
15th December 2010, 09:13 AM
Trent, I'd love to correct your myriad of errors, but there's only so many hours in the day. Just a few quick questions:

You seem to be saying that it is possible for one to feel like they believe something, even if they actually don't. Let's suppose that Bob believes he is suffering from a headache at the moment. Are you saying that Bob might actually not be suffering from a headache? How do you believe this is possible?

None of those claims are based on faith .... they are based on evidence. And the evidence will show that you are either a brain in a vat, unicorns and gods exist, and what exactly 1+1 equals. The evidence is what those claims are based on, and is independent of what you believe.

What evidence could one provide, even hypothetically, that they are not a brain in a vat?

Marduk
15th December 2010, 12:01 PM
You seem to be saying that it is possible for one to feel like they believe something, even if they actually don't.

thats actually quite normal, if it wasn't "confirmation bias" would be a meaningless phrase
;)

sadhatter
15th December 2010, 01:19 PM
Can someone here please explain to me why atheism is just not another religion?

Believing that there is no God seems as pointless as believing that there is one.

So this is what GWAR was talking about when they wrote the horror of Yig. It makes so much more sense now.

Gawdzilla
15th December 2010, 01:20 PM
So this is what GWAR was talking about when they wrote the horror of Yig. It makes so much more sense now.

Yig Soggoth lives.

As for the OP, he could be right. Why bother talking about the Great Sky Fairy at all. It's pointless.

catsmate1
15th December 2010, 01:30 PM
Alas! The 154 fallacy.

Yig, meet 154. 154, meet Yig.

:D
It's quite common amongst xians and others suffering from religion; they are simply unable (or unwilling) to accept that others do not share their delusions. Thus they believe that atheists really do believe in a god but deny it.
It's an interesting part of their illness.


And I hear that they've found real dragons on the island of Komodo. I wonder if they fly and breath fire?
Enough resources, a few decades and a mad geneticist and they might just do that...........


I suspect he's done enough to get his merit badge and gone back to Biblethumper College.
Yep. A pity they're so unwilling to actually think for themselves.

Trent Wray
15th December 2010, 03:22 PM
Lots of thoughts to respond to .... so forgive me if I miss one or two ....

You know you can't spell Atheist without spelling an anagram of "A She Tit"

Its an alien acronym for
Genetic
Operations
Director

;) I have faith she tit's exist :)

Still can't say I agree with your thought process, and the highlighted portion is the major reason why.

Me saying "I do not believe in your undefined god or any other god" does not equate to "I have something for nothing." In some ways I still think it does .... would "I have nothing for nothing" be closer?

And saying "I am an atheist" is simply shorthand for saying "I do not believe in your undefined god or any other god."

From your comments I see that this is really just an academic exercise for you, but you have not shown what you claim to have shown, i.e., that atheism is faith-based. Everything you have shown is old hat and hinges on theism being faith-based which is not in dispute, except by the occasional DOC-like or edge-like poster. Well yes, the whole thing was an academic exercise. I'm not even sure what I ultimately think about my own words .... but I decided to pick a side and stick with it to see where it lead. That's often how I explore things .... by trying to believe them and then tossing it out the window if it doesn't wash. I'm still on the fence about this ...

BUT ... I never claimed atheism was faith based. I've said over and over again that it isn't ... what I have said, is that for an atheist to claim they are an atheist is faith based ... IOW, the claim they are making about themselves. And the reason being is that you can't really prove belief. And the same goes for a believer. What you can do is hint at belief, or provide a good argument ..... but to prove 100% what you believe or don't believe is like trying to prove 100% what you love or don't love. All you can do is hope you are actually being loving. All you can do is hope you are actually believing or not believing.

People are self-deluded psychologically all the time ... and while rationally you might not recognize a belief in something, perhaps philosophically you do without realizing it. It's hard for a person to "know thyself" 100% with no errors :)

So I'm not saying atheism is a faith based concept .... to the contrary. It's based on evidence. But the ATHEIST is faith based when they claim they lack COMPLETE AND TOTAL BELIEF in something ... because how can they know with absolute certainty they lack 100% belief? 100%? Not 99.9 .... but 100. See my point? It's that sliver of doubt that makes belief in your own claim about the lack of belief ... a sort of faith based belief.

I really don't see where you're going with this and what it brings to this discussion.


I definitely think we need to separate proving WHAT one believes from proving THAT one believes something. I don't remember exactly how we got on the subject of proof. I thought we were talking about atheism being faith based or not. I can't prove gods don't exists any more than anyone can prove they do.
AGain ... it's not about atheism being faith based or not. I don't think it is. It's evidence based. But that's mostly irrelevant to a person's belief about their absolute lack of belief.

Consider a person who claims they believe in a god without a doubt. That's not possible to prove ... because how can they prove they believe in a god 100%? Perhaps they believe in god 98% of the time, but in reality ... there is a 2% of their psyche that actually lacks belief. Or they have a threshold and when their entire family gets wiped out by a hurricane, they will stop believing. See my point? It takes faith in oneself and ability to believe to make that claim.

Likewise, it takes faith in one's own ability to NOT believe. How do you know all your belief thresholds? How do you know that one day you won't simply change your mind due to some erroneous feeling or thought ... and forgo the path of evidence for the path of woo? So what I'm saying, is that atheism is describing a sort of absolute .... a complete and total lack of belief.

And sure .... using the lack of belief in unicorns is another example. It's a ridiculous one, but it still applies ... because perhaps your lack of belief in unicorns is 99.9 percent. Perhaps your lack of belief in a fake moon landing is 89%. There are thresholds that, given the right circumstances, might cause you to think otherwise for even a moment and consider the alternatives. Perhaps there are gods if ______ happens. Perhaps that was a unicorn that was discovered in Uganda. Perhaps there is a global conspiracy if we now know that ______ is happening in a section of the government. See? You can't know 100% of what your response will always be .... so to claim you have a complete lack of belief, at all times .... requires faith in your own claim and ability to maintain that lack of belief now and forever so to speak.


Again, what does this bring to the conversation? I can't prove to you that I believe something. I can't prove to myself that I truly believe something. I can't prove I'm not a brain in a vat. I can't prove we're not in the Matrix
This is exactly my point. And what it brings to the conversation is exactly what I was saying ... that you can't prove you are a "true atheist" 100%. All you can do is tell me, and show me with your actions ... and on some level I will have to have faith you are what you say you are. It's a faith we all take for granted .... and you could substitue the word faith with belief or even trust if you like. But regardless, we mostly have no evidence we are all brains in vats .... but still, there is a sliver of possibility ... yes? Albeit a small one.

So here you are actually pointing out what I am pointing out. And the reason I was pointing it out should be obvious ..... a skeptical thinker who takes pride in their own skepticism makes a claim which involves an absolute .... "I have a complete lack of belief in ________" ... and that claim about themselves is based on anecdotes, thoughts, feelings .... subjective "evidence" and not objective evidence. Their stance is based on evidence .... their claim about that stance is not. It's a small difference I'm pointing out ....


(bolding mine)
I think I'm going to have to disagree with the bolded line. Do I choose to not believe in unicorns? Do I choose to believe 911 wasn't an inside job? Do I choose to believe I'm not a brain in a vat? One weights the facts and makes an informed decision. I suppose that is 'choosing' to believe something, but I don't see how it can be classified as 'faith'.
Yes it is choosing to believe in something .... and I'm classifying it as faith because you are hoping you are correct when there is a chance you are not, regardless of how small that chance is.

And the thing is .... even if there is absolutely no way whatsoever you are a brain in a vat ... so long as that idea is in your head, you cannot prove that you believe or disbelieve it 100%. You can say you don't believe it, and live like you don't believe it .... but there is no concrete absolute objective way to prove 100% that there isn't a single part of you that doesn't or won't believe it given the right circumstance.

(bolding mine)
If it is based on fact with evidence, it ceases to be faith. And of course we can have a discussion on what constitutes 'evidence'.


If we're going to get anywhere with this, we need to decide what we're talking about. "Faith" as in "when I sit down I have faith that this chair will support my weight" is one thing. When you add discussions about having "faith" that we're not brains in vats or "You have to take everything everyone says on faith because you don't know if their lying", it just muddies the water. Can we agree to leave the solipsism and the like out of this discussion?
It does muddy the water and it isn't practical to have the solipsistic monkey on your shoulder in a discussion. So we can leave it out ... however, it is part of the backbone of the "rabbit hole" that is leading to my conclusion that a person claiming a personal trait is absolute within themselves ("I have a complete lack of belief or faith in god(s)") is not a 100% knowable thing. Because it's not backed by objective evidence ... and it's a claim that is akin to a solipsistic claim, for example. So we can leave it out, because it's not practical .... and it's not really practical to question an atheist and say, "well ... in a sort of philosophical reality, your own belief about yourself is faith based ...." because it's easier to take for granted that the person is being intellectually honest. But realisitcally .... you just can't know 100% for certain. And that's why ultimately, believing a person is an atheist, or a believer, or a god, or whatever sort of absolute thing they claim about themself ... involves a certain level of faith. NOT THE STANCE ITSELF, but the belief that you have that stance without any room for error.

And honestly what started this whole line of thought, was the discussion as to whether or not atheism is a philosophical stance or not. I think it is, obviously lol. It is because it's link to so much subjective "proof" .... basically one's own words about one's thoughts.


Please, lets start this exchange over with the caveat that I believe what you say and I believe that you believe what you say and vice versa and reality exists. We could, and I've been somewhat a devil's advocate ..... but it's to make yet another point:

When a believer and a skeptic engage in discussion on this board, often times the skeptic will simply discredit the believers claims even about themselves simply because the skeptic is already believing in bits and pieces of what is assumed by the skeptic to be illusional realities and fantasies. So ... the believer is often corned with their choices of words, and even their thoughts and feelings about themselves are discredited and tossed out becasue they aren't "Evidence".

Yet what you are asking here, is essentially what many believers want .... to be taken at their word on certain things. "I'll believer what you say, you believe what I say .... let's assume we are both trying to be honest people."

See what I'm saying? IT's a double standard that the skeptic often hides behind .... cornering and trapping woos by their words, but expecting the freedom to speak your mind as you wish and not be cornered for your own thoughts and feelings on matters.

Believing you are an atheist is so only because you think and feel it about yourself, and others take you at your word.

I think many more discussions would go farther and things would actually be accomplished after pages of threads if both sides generally agreed to do what you just asked ;)

Really? You honestly think when asked "is there a God?" someone would answer "my boss is God"? And I don't mean a joke like "my boss is God of the Jerks".
Yes ..... and a perfect example is the group one of my ex wives .... (ahum) ..... attended in her church for several years. One of their common topics was "who is really your god" .... and often times people would confess that money was their god, or their own self image, or their view on authorities, etc and so forth. The goal of those believers was to eliminate the "false worship" of material gods and refocus it on the supernatural entity.

So yes ... I think some might say, "my boss is my god" if they believe that about themselves. It might sound ridiculous to a non believer, but to a believer who is trying so hard to not sin, etc and so forth .... they want to eliminate the obstacles that are standing in their way of haivng a more "perfect faith".

And besides ..... there are some decent psychological points being made in those concepts. Consider a servent who never stands up to their oppressive "master" or something along those lines. Like an oppressed wife, or an emotionally abused child. It is almost like empowering a tyrant or a god like figure, and identifying that oppressive aspect as such might be a therapeutic step to break free from living under a type of fear of the oppressor, etc and so forth. So philosphically and psychologically, it's possible that people live as though they have a "god" when they don't even believe in god(s). It's subjective since we can't all agree on what a "god" is.


Why on earth would anyone need or want to prove whether or not they believe something?Seriously?

To earn trust, command respect, self-assurance, etc and so forth. Just to name a few.

The average voter wants to know what their candidates believe ... and they want to see proof.

I believe it's fairly important to skeptics and believers who believes what ... and they are always looking at each other for proof. I think this question you just asked is self evident by the existence of this forum ....

Sure. YAY! Everyone has faith about everything and every-NON-thing ever! It requires belief to actually believe that you don't believe that I'm an alien from another galaxy. Once confronted with the choice, yes it does ... no matter how ridiculous the choice is. Isn't this simply how we process information? We make a choice, hoping it is correct ... and overtime, that choice get's reinforced. Hopefully, again, in a beneficial way based on reality and fact. Some stay in delusion in certain areas while others venture into more fact based and reliable areas.

I don't think anyone will dispute that fact if you want to use 'faith' that way. I'm pretty sure when I type the 'X' key on my keyboard, then an 'X' will appear on my monitor. I know it might not happen. If you want to call that 'faith', have at it.
Perfect example. Yes ... it's faith to a small degree.

Nonsense. When one says 'faith in God', everyone one has a pretty good idea what their talking about. Yes, it could be Allah, the Christian god, Jehovah and different believers believe different things about God, but its usually some sort of self aware, supernatural entity that created the universe and has effect on everyday life. Yeah everyone pretty much knows what they are talking about when they talk about faith in god. That's obvious. History shows that to be the case.

I'm being facetious.

Absolutely not. I have much greater faith in my own memories than the claims of others. To put equal weight on both would be ridiculous. We are all bias towards our selves.
An excellent point that supports what I'm saying.


I don't have to prove they are lying. I only have to weigh what they are claiming against what I know about reality and make an informed decision.
Exactly what I'm saying as well.

I do appreciate the effort and thought you have put into this exchange. It would be better over some beers, but I still enjoy it.
You weren't already drinking? You did it wrong then from the start :)

No I've appreciated it as well actually .... it was a decent thought I think that I had initially, and I'm glad so many decided to tear into it because that's the way I like things examined ... from multiple angles and opposing views. It reveals the meat of an idea much better that way ...

I believe there is nothing supernatural in our world. If you want to accept that statement as truth, I would be glad to discuss my rationale and hear any opposing views. I have faith you beleive that lol :)

Garrette
15th December 2010, 04:01 PM
Trent Wray,

Even with all the verbiage above you have still not demonstrated your point that claiming to be an atheist is faith-based except in a matter that means nothing.

If (a big if) you have demonstrated it, it is only because you have demonstrated that claiming anything is faith-based. Hence, claiming to be an atheist is exactly the same as claiming to be or know anything.

So as SumDood says, it brings nothing to the table. Even if true, we gain exactly zero by acting as if it's true except adding one more layer to every discussion--a layer that adds no clarity or explanatory power.

If we act is if it is not true, we reach the same conclusions without the separate layer.

Trent Wray
15th December 2010, 09:00 PM
Trent Wray,

Even with all the verbiage above you have still not demonstrated your point that claiming to be an atheist is faith-based except in a matter that means nothing.

If (a big if) you have demonstrated it, it is only because you have demonstrated that claiming anything is faith-based. Hence, claiming to be an atheist is exactly the same as claiming to be or know anything.

So as SumDood says, it brings nothing to the table. Even if true, we gain exactly zero by acting as if it's true except adding one more layer to every discussion--a layer that adds no clarity or explanatory power.

If we act is if it is not true, we reach the same conclusions without the separate layer. A couple of things:

* In another thread which delves into this same discussion, it's mentioned that it's really not possible to prove what is "in the mind" of another individual except for possibly that individual themselves. Because we just can't look into someone's mind and see for ourselves. And this really touches the bottom line of my argument ..... we can't see what is going on in each other's minds with 100% accuracy definitively.

Now, we are more able to monitor and examine certain aspects of brain function to determine what is actually going on in the mind, and what part controls what ... even to the degree that sometimes we can predict when a person is going to answer a question incorrectly on a test. Or we can somewhat accurately gauge whether a person is lying. And with psychological skills, we can manipulate and expose motives within a person that can be documented and held up to scrutiny by examining data collections, etc and so forth. However, we cannot just run a blood test and see if the "belief hormone" is produced when a person is asked whether or not they believe in god.

So when we have actual objective proof that a person either lacks belief or has belief, then that question will be answered definitively I imagine .... despite what a person claims or thinks about themselves.

* Now, you make a good point that my argument brings nothing to the table, even if it follows and is philosophically "sound" so to speak. However, it might not bring anything to your table. It might bring something to someone elses table. It's relevance is dependent upon the questions being asked and the one asking the questions.

For someone who views belief as philosophically based, my argument might be extremely relevent. For someone who is considering solpsism ... it might be relevant. For someone who views faith upon evidence only, it will most likely have little to no relevance except to add upon a pile of subjective fluff which is already a mile high.

But consider this ..... one of the biggest questions our culture asks right now concerns the nature of homosexuality. Is it a preference? Is it genetic? Is it a moral issue? Is it morally irrelevant? Is it an evolutionary advantage or disadvantage? What are the philosophical implications of practicing it? Is it something that is even "practiced"? What is it and why is it there? Etc and so forth.

Personally, it is not one of those topics I ever think about at length, because I'm not a homosexual, I'm not homophobic, and so I have an opinion on it about as strongly as I have an opinion on whether or not to buy Lucky Charms or Trix. BUT .... one of the reasons we have so many opinions on it, is because we don't have definitive objective proof of it's "origins". The "gay gene" if you will. Essentially, we rely upon the testimony of homo and hetero sexuals with their thoughts, opinions, and personal anecdotes.

So whilst trying to decide whether or not one's own claims about oneself are faith based or fact based, it can be an extremely relevant question depending on the circumstance and/or the one asking the question. It can bring a great deal of clarity and explanatory power depending on your POV at the time and/or the audience. On the JREF, the idea a skeptic utilizes anything other than fact based thinking will raise the alarm bells. There is a non-impartial aspect here of course, due to the majority and what causes a skeptic to get defensive or alert their prejudice muscle. It's the same anywhere a group of people feel so strongly about something.

Talking at length about whether God likes Texas Hold Em and concubines or not won't be very relevant here. It will stir up pages and pages of conversation in certain other places however ...

So thanx again for your participation. Good stuff to think about. It's been relevent to me and brought something to my table .... perhaps my word on that will be good enough as evidence? lol :)

Yig
15th December 2010, 10:54 PM
My question was, in a previous thread; Why bother calling yourself an atheist, since believing in God and not believing in God yields the same effect...none.

The response to this question was "Atheism is not believing that God does not exist, it's a lack of believing". The question then became "Why do you lack belief?" The response was that this is the default position since there is "no evidence" of God and the justification was Occam's razor.

For the purposes of this discussion I choose to define God as an intelligent designer and to make things more clear lets refer to a belief in something as a theory that the given something exists.

My question now is, "What is evidence without a theory?"

Here's what I'm saying. What I'm allowed to theorize when it comes to non-verifiable claims is pretty much whatever I want, given that it is consistent with facts I already have. Now, I want to theorize that the universe was created by an intelligent designer. What is stopping me from doing this? No evidence? I'm sorry, but lack of evidence of an intelligent designer does not instantly disprove the theory. Occam's razor then? Occam's razor can only be applied in situations where one is trying to explain something, since it states that when one is selecting among competing hypotheses, one should pick the hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions. It seems to me that any theory or hypothesis about something like the origin of the universe or the existence of an intelligent designer is making the same amount of assumptions. I mean, saying that the universe spontaneously came into existence makes the same amount of assumptions as saying that it was intelligently designed. Then again, I guess I could take the same common road you all do which is to not theorize about anything and just wait for the answer in the form of the "indisputable evidence" that I keep being asked for, because to you people theorizing about something and asserting that it exists are the same thing. So this brings me to my original point, why atheism? Why choose a position that makes no attempt to explain god or the origin of the universe when there is nothing to be lost by making that attempt? Why should one "lack belief"?

I can think of one answer to this question. It is:

"We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes. "

This is a scientific response. It pertains only to verifiable scientific theories. So does this mean that we cannot have beliefs? What if we applied the tools of logic and reason to those beliefs? Is it not interesting to see where such a process would take us? Is this not what philosophy is? The question of an intelligent designer is not a scientific question, it is a philosophical one and as such is not subject to the same scrutiny. For those of you believe that atheism is at the core the same idea as that expressed in the above quote, I ask you this, What is the point of of calling yourself an atheist? Why not just call yourself an scientist? What do you get out of atheism?

I'll start you off by giving my answer to this question. I think that it's strictly emotional. I think that some of you gain a sense of belonging, a sense of security in knowing that there are like minded people out there who think the same things that you do. I think that some of you even get a feeling of superiority, a feeling that you somehow "know something" that others do not and a sense that you are fighting the good fight against the ignorance of "them". Sound familiar?

This is my problem with atheism. I see the same kind of group think mentality that I see in most religions.

nvidiot
15th December 2010, 10:58 PM
Can I ask why you abandoned the other thread?

And what would you refer to yourself as? Agnostic? Theist? Deist?

Marquis de Carabas
15th December 2010, 11:01 PM
All right, you got me. I need the validation of lots of people agreeing with me. That is why I'm not a Christian.

Achán hiNidráne
15th December 2010, 11:09 PM
This is my problem with atheism. I see the same kind of group think mentality that I see in most religions.

When ever I hear the atheism-is-just-as-bad-as-religion fallacy, the following xkcd comic comes to mine.
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/atheists.png

Could you provide some examples of this "group mentality," please? I mean, other than the bald-faced assertions you've just pulled out of your rectal orifice.

The only qualification you need to be an atheist is a disbelief in a deity. Otherwise an atheist can range for left-wing to right-wing, capitalist to socialist, loud "New Atheist" to hide-under-your-bed "Accommodationists," Coke or Pepsi, Elvis or Beatles, gay or straight, etc.

Dunstan
15th December 2010, 11:12 PM
My question was, in a previous thread; Why bother calling yourself an atheist, since believing in God and not believing in God yields the same effect...none

Gee, I'm sorry I missed your previous thread. I would have asked why I should bother calling myself a Holocaust-believer, since the universe yields the same effects either way.

This is my problem with atheism. I see the same kind of group think mentality that I see in most religions.

Yeah, that's the same problem I have with people who believe that the Holocaust happened. They all agree on that. It's so group-thinky. They should be free spirits like me, don't you agree?

Drachasor
15th December 2010, 11:12 PM
Intellectual integrity.

Sun Countess
15th December 2010, 11:16 PM
My question was, in a previous thread; Why bother calling yourself an atheist, since believing in God and not believing in God yields the same effect...none. Ummmm, no. I don't spend my free time and thoughts the same way that a theist does. Neither of our beliefs will influence objective reality, but our beliefs inform our own lives and choices.

<snipped word salad> So this brings me to my original point, why atheism? Why choose a position that makes no attempt to explain god or the origin of the universe when there is nothing to be lost by making that attempt? Why should one "lack belief"?
Why woud I choose a position that attempts to explain gods, when there's no evidence that they exist? There's all the evidence in the world that god beliefs are created by men to exercise control over others and to answer questions that science could not yet answer. I'm not going to posit a magical explanation when there's no reason to. Does your theory of the origins of the universe involve turtles or chocolate or bedroom slippers? At least those things are real. You think atheists should start to explain the universe using magical men with magical powers because.....I have no clue.

The reason I "lack belief" is because there's no basis to adopt those beliefs. Other people believe in magic.....oooh ahhh maybe the magic is real!!!11!
I can think of one answer to this question. It is: This is gonna be good. As an atheist, I'm always so appreciative when a theist tells me why I believe something instead of just asking me and accepting my answer. :rolleyes:

"We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes. " Okay. I wasn't expecting that. I wouldn't say it because I don't even understand it. The simple answer is: There's no evidence that magical beings are needed to explain the universe, including its origins.

<snipped more salad> , I ask you this, What is the point of of calling yourself an atheist? Why not just call yourself an scientist? What do you get out of atheism? I'm not a scientist. I was never particularly good at science. I only have to call myself an atheist because other people group themselves theistically. If they ask where I fit in, that answers the question. I don't subscribe to any religious mumbo-jumbo, so I guess that makes me an atheist.

I'll start you off by giving my answer to this question. I think that it's strictly emotional. I think that some of you gain a sense of belonging, a sense of security in knowing that there are like minded people out there who think the same things that you do. I think that some of you even get a feeling of superiority, a feeling that you somehow "know something" that others do not and a sense that you are fighting the good fight against the ignorance of "them". Sound familiar? Not at all. I was raised without religious beliefs. Most of my friends were either Christians of some stripe or Jewish. I know they had beliefs, and I had to stand alone in my atheism. I was never ostracized because of it, but I certainly didn't "belong" anywhere for much of my life. I'm fortunate now to live somewhere that I'm able to meet other atheists. We don't get together and talk about our atheism, or laugh at theists. (Yes, I think that most theistic beliefs are ridiculous, but I don't say that to people I meet as long as they keep those beliefs to themselves.)

This is my problem with atheism. I see the same kind of group think mentality that I see in most religions.
I don't see that at all. I think you're just seeing what you want to see. I'll add that I know people of many religious beliefs and most are just like me, and don't let other people's different religions get in the way of acting civilly and becoming friendly acquaintances. If I lived in a place where fundamentalist christians were trying to force their viewpoints through legislation, I might have to adopt an "us against them" attitude, but I don't have to do that here. It's all live and let live.

Achán hiNidráne
15th December 2010, 11:20 PM
Yeah, that's the same problem I have with people who believe that the Holocaust happened. They all agree on that. It's so group-thinky. They should be free spirits like me, don't you agree?

Yeah, and don't forget those cultish mathematicians who stringently insist that 2+2=4. I mean, what a bunch of mind-numbed robots! They've really drank the Addition Kool-Aid!

Madalch
15th December 2010, 11:26 PM
My question was, in a previous thread; Why bother calling yourself an atheist, since believing in God and not believing in God yields the same effect...none.

Believing in God and not believing in God would not have the same effect on me. If I believed in God, I would constantly be wondering what His opinion on things would be, and I'd spend a lot of time praying, etc. I can use that time more productively without this belief.

The only alternative to atheism is a religion of some sort. If religions are pointless, then atheism is then the only reasonable position.

Lukraak_Sisser
15th December 2010, 11:27 PM
There might be atheists who feel that, but the majority I know just are not convinced by any religious evidence and leave it at that. No 'secret knowledge' implied at all. That is more religions province.

As for the intelligent designer bit, you'd be right IF looking at life and nature would indeed make no more assumptions from natural origins than from design. But looking at life and how it functions from a design standpoint shows a large number of bad, cumbersome and outright dumb designs. They make sense in the theory of evolution as that does not assume a direction, merely adaptation. Therefore ID must make the extra assumption that while life was designed by some higher intelligence, this intelligence then decided to put in a large number of extremely stupid design flaws.
If you assume the universe itself was designed and created up to the big bang, you have to assume a designer that then never interfered in his creation.
Both make more assumptions than natural creation, without providing any evidence.

There is also the fact that ID in science is useless as the theory itself has no predictive value at all as it is right now. Someone created all this. We don't know how, we don't know why and he/she/it won't do it again to show us what happens, is not exactly something that drives new inventions.

Yig
15th December 2010, 11:36 PM
Can I ask why you abandoned the other thread?

And what would you refer to yourself as? Agnostic? Theist? Deist?
I got tired of having separate arguments with 12 different people.

Yig
15th December 2010, 11:46 PM
When ever I hear the atheism-is-just-as-bad-as-religion fallacy, the following xkcd comic comes to mine.
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/atheists.png

Could you provide some examples of this "group mentality," please? I mean, other than the bald-faced assertions you've just pulled out of your rectal orifice.

The only qualification you need to be an atheist is a disbelief in a deity. Otherwise an atheist can range for left-wing to right-wing, capitalist to socialist, loud "New Atheist" to hide-under-your-bed "Accommodationists," Coke or Pepsi, Elvis or Beatles, gay or straight, etc.
I know..... It's arrogant of me to question atheism, just like it's arrogant of a mere mortal to question the will of God..... but I do it anyways.

Some examples eh? Well, besides this entire forum, here's a jem from everyone's favorite atheist fanatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg

Yig
15th December 2010, 11:51 PM
Gee, I'm sorry I missed your previous thread. I would have asked why I should bother calling myself a Holocaust-believer, since the universe yields the same effects either way.



Yeah, that's the same problem I have with people who believe that the Holocaust happened. They all agree on that. It's so group-thinky. They should be free spirits like me, don't you agree?
This again? Do you really think the question of an intelligent designer is in the same realm as the question of whether or not the holocaust happened?

Trent Wray
15th December 2010, 11:52 PM
I think all people are pretty much variations on a theme of each other, regardless of beliefs. In every group you will have cowards and heros, admirals and a-holes. Atheist, theist .... both are humans subject to the same things. Both get angry, sad, happy, depressed, in love, hurt, emotional, intelligent. Both are capable of charity, evil, subjective and objective outcomes. Both defend what they think is worth defending. Blah blah blah. Cultural and social identities will obviously play a role as well. Nothing new worth reporting there.

Where there is a majority, group think will be more likely for that majority. Whatever. Deal with it or change the channel. And as much as people would individually like to be treated with dignity and respect anywhere and everywhere they go by everyone .... we just don't do that for each other. We don't like each other equally, and we never have. Even when we believe the same things, or live in the same household for god's sakes. No laws or rules will change that, whether they come from godless ethics or religious filled morality.

I don't think world peace is possible :) Atheist, theist, doesn't matter, etc. And while all sides think they have some insider information to their advantage that the other side doesn't have (so to speak) and that they have got a leg up on the other in certain areas .... when a "woo" or a "skeptic" speaks, I always hear two different languages, but the same voice. The human voice.

Whatever the hell that means ...

Now if you could prove somehow that having different opinions on certain things is actually proof we are different species from each other ... and that not only DNA and other factors define us but also our intellect puts us into further sub-species categories :) ....... then there might be even more of a reason for all the labels we want everyone to know we have on ourselves. But thats racism and ignorant prejudicial thinking.

And everyone knows that both the skeptic and the theist are above racism or superior and prejudicial thinking :)

nvidiot
15th December 2010, 11:53 PM
I did ask another question in that quote, care to address it? It would help to know where you're coming from.

Atheism is not a religion, it is a description of a distinct lack of religion.

Madalch
15th December 2010, 11:54 PM
Yig- do you sacrifice goats to your deity?

If not, what is the point in not sacrificing goats?

Kid Eager
15th December 2010, 11:56 PM
I know..... It's arrogant of me to question atheism, just like it's arrogant of a mere mortal to question the will of God..... but I do it anyways.

Some examples eh? Well, besides this entire forum, here's a jem from everyone's favorite atheist fanatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg

What's so arrogant about questioning either an absence of belief in an imaginary friend, or belief in same? I see no arrogance whatsoever.

Constructing a box of your own specification and attempting to cram everybody into it according to your pidgeonholing of them into groups based on your own perceptions, now THAT'S arrogant....

Andrew Wiggin
15th December 2010, 11:57 PM
Believing in God and not believing in God would not have the same effect on me. If I believed in God, I would constantly be wondering what His opinion on things would be, and I'd spend a lot of time praying, etc. I can use that time more productively without this belief.

The only alternative to atheism is a religion of some sort. If religions are pointless, then atheism is then the only reasonable position.

This. Following a religion has an opportunity cost. It's not equivalent to not following a religion, because of the time wasted following the rules of whatever religion.

roger
16th December 2010, 12:00 AM
I call myself an atheist because that is the English word we use for a theism - lacking theism. I don't use "scientist" because that's a job description, and because plenty of scientists are theistic.

elbe
16th December 2010, 12:00 AM
I got tired of having separate arguments with 12 different people.

...and you think a new thread will resolve that problem?

Personally, I think once you used the "atheists really believe but are just fooling themselves" argument it shows you aren't even willing to try to understand atheists.

Drachasor
16th December 2010, 12:01 AM
I know..... It's arrogant of me to question atheism, just like it's arrogant of a mere mortal to question the will of God..... but I do it anyways.

Some examples eh? Well, besides this entire forum, here's a jem from everyone's favorite atheist fanatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg

I don't think Dawkins really has a group mentality thing. He frankly is just statement a simple fact about good reasoning. The case is very much similar to asking a biologist "what if you're wrong about evolution?" Atheism is certainly the simplest way to go as far as Occam's Razor entails. Both theist and atheist suppose the Universe came into existence "somehow", but the theist adds a bunch of properties to that "somehow" such as intelligence (which requires a great deal of order and begs the question of where such an intelligence came from -- it doesn't really explain anything). An average atheist would probably be quite fine at "somehow" and admitting we can't really know at the present time, and might never know.

That said, I've certainly noticed some group mentality going on. When people on here suspect I'm some kind of secret theistic infiltrator because I think there was a historical Jesus (because that's what consensus in the historical field indicates), then there's something a bit messed up.

That said, most atheists I've met have not been like that, but there definitely are some.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:02 AM
There might be atheists who feel that, but the majority I know just are not convinced by any religious evidence and leave it at that. No 'secret knowledge' implied at all. That is more religions province.

As for the intelligent designer bit, you'd be right IF looking at life and nature would indeed make no more assumptions from natural origins than from design. But looking at life and how it functions from a design standpoint shows a large number of bad, cumbersome and outright dumb designs. They make sense in the theory of evolution as that does not assume a direction, merely adaptation. Therefore ID must make the extra assumption that while life was designed by some higher intelligence, this intelligence then decided to put in a large number of extremely stupid design flaws.
If you assume the universe itself was designed and created up to the big bang, you have to assume a designer that then never interfered in his creation.
Both make more assumptions than natural creation, without providing any evidence.

There is also the fact that ID in science is useless as the theory itself has no predictive value at all as it is right now. Someone created all this. We don't know how, we don't know why and he/she/it won't do it again to show us what happens, is not exactly something that drives new inventions.
One makes assumptions in all cases. Like I already said, it's a philosophical question, not a scientific one.

Sledge
16th December 2010, 12:03 AM
For the purposes of this discussion I choose to define God as an intelligent designer and to make things more clear lets refer to a belief in something as a theory that the given something exists.
No. You can't wander around casually redefining words, it results in nonsense. As was pointed out in your previous thread, defining "God" as "an intelligent designer" is ridiculous. I believe in an intelligent designer, in fact I believe in many. The ones who designed my computer, the ones who designed my mobile phone, the ones who designed my television, etc, etc.

Similarly, a "belief" is not "a theory that the given something exists." What dictionary are you using?

phantomb
16th December 2010, 12:07 AM
The word "atheist" has a definition. That definition applies to me. So, when people ask me "are you religious or are you an atheist?", the answer I give is "I am an atheist".

I'll start you off by giving my answer to this question. I think that it's strictly emotional. I think that some of you gain a sense of belonging, a sense of security in knowing that there are like minded people out there who think the same things that you do. I think that some of you even get a feeling of superiority, a feeling that you somehow "know something" that others do not and a sense that you are fighting the good fight against the ignorance of "them". Sound familiar?



Are there some atheists who are emotionally invested in their atheism to the point that they trumpet the term around? Sure. But it's a pretty small number, and that definitely doesn't describe many posters here on this site.

This is my problem with atheism. I see the same kind of group think mentality that I see in most religions.


If atheists display such groupthink, then why are atheists known to be notoriously difficult to organize (often likened to herding cats)? This is demonstrated by the fact that atheists are one of the weakest represented groups politically.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:07 AM
I think all people are pretty much variations on a theme of each other, regardless of beliefs. In every group you will have cowards and heros, admirals and a-holes. Atheist, theist .... both are humans subject to the same things. Both get angry, sad, happy, depressed, in love, hurt, emotional, intelligent. Both are capable of charity, evil, subjective and objective outcomes. Both defend what they think is worth defending. Blah blah blah. Cultural and social identities will obviously play a role as well. Nothing new worth reporting there.

Where there is a majority, group think will be more likely for that majority. Whatever. Deal with it or change the channel. And as much as people would individually like to be treated with dignity and respect anywhere and everywhere they go by everyone .... we just don't do that for each other. We don't like each other equally, and we never have. Even when we believe the same things, or live in the same household for god's sakes. No laws or rules will change that, whether they come from godless ethics or religious filled morality.

I don't think world peace is possible :) Atheist, theist, doesn't matter, etc. And while all sides think they have some insider information to their advantage that the other side doesn't have (so to speak) and that they have got a leg up on the other in certain areas .... when a "woo" or a "skeptic" speaks, I always hear two different languages, but the same voice. The human voice.

Whatever the hell that means ...

Now if you could prove somehow that having different opinions on certain things is actually proof we are different species from each other ... and that not only DNA and other factors define us but also our intellect puts us into further sub-species categories :) ....... then there might be even more of a reason for all the labels we want everyone to know we have on ourselves. But thats racism and ignorant prejudicial thinking.

And everyone knows that both the skeptic and the theist are above racism or superior and prejudicial thinking :)
Well said.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:11 AM
I did ask another question in that quote, care to address it? It would help to know where you're coming from.

Atheism is not a religion, it is a description of a distinct lack of religion.
Sorry.

I guess I would refer to myself as simply an agnostic..... or someone who enjoys philosophy.

elbe
16th December 2010, 12:15 AM
Sorry.

I guess I would refer to myself as simply an agnostic..... or someone who enjoys philosophy.

How do you reconcile that with this claim that we are all believers?

I do in that I don't believe that you actually lack belief. You have just fooled yourself into thinking that you do.

CMacDady
16th December 2010, 12:16 AM
Chain of events:
Learned about deities -> chose not to believe -> someone later called me an atheist -> I looked up the definition and agreed, that was that.
Via definition I was an atheist, am an atheist and can never not be one until I start believing.

The only time I have ever categorized myself as one is when someone who believes in deities has asked me my stance. At that time I am forced to use the word 'atheism' to state what I believe in. Somehow, however, for whatever reason they always stereotype me with this "Atheist group"...whatever that is.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:17 AM
I call myself an atheist because that is the English word we use for a theism - lacking theism. I don't use "scientist" because that's a job description, and because plenty of scientists are theistic.
Are you open to the idea of an intelligent designer?

elbe
16th December 2010, 12:19 AM
Can I admit that I think atheism is pointless? I don't think it should exist at all, but all those silly religious folk keep believing in ridiculous things and it's a useful way to differentiate between those that do and those that don't. Some day, I can hope, we'll all be atheists and the word will be irrelevant.

Alan
16th December 2010, 12:21 AM
yig- do you sacrifice goats to your deity?

If not, what is the point in not sacrificing goats?
10/10. :)

PixyMisa
16th December 2010, 12:22 AM
Are you open to the idea of an intelligent designer?
Once you present a coherent definition and compelling evidence, sure.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:27 AM
No. You can't wander around casually redefining words, it results in nonsense. As was pointed out in your previous thread, defining "God" as "an intelligent designer" is ridiculous. I believe in an intelligent designer, in fact I believe in many. The ones who designed my computer, the ones who designed my mobile phone, the ones who designed my television, etc, etc.

Similarly, a "belief" is not "a theory that the given something exists." What dictionary are you using?
I find it amusing how you pretend to not understand what I'm saying.

nvidiot
16th December 2010, 12:28 AM
Sorry.

I guess I would refer to myself as simply an agnostic..... or someone who enjoys philosophy.

Thanks. :)

Philosophy has nothing to do with it. Atheism isn't a philosophical view, it's an evidence based provisional opinion, which would be instantly discarded should there be compelling evidence for the existence of a deity or deities. (Is that the plural?)

Heck I don't even know if theism could be regarded as a philosophy either.

Sledge
16th December 2010, 12:28 AM
Are you open to the idea of an intelligent designer?

Again: As was pointed out in your previous thread, defining "God" as "an intelligent designer" is ridiculous. I believe in an intelligent designer, in fact I believe in many. The ones who designed my computer, the ones who designed my mobile phone, the ones who designed my television, etc, etc.

Drachasor
16th December 2010, 12:28 AM
I'll start you off by giving my answer to this question. I think that it's strictly emotional. I think that some of you gain a sense of belonging, a sense of security in knowing that there are like minded people out there who think the same things that you do. I think that some of you even get a feeling of superiority, a feeling that you somehow "know something" that others do not and a sense that you are fighting the good fight against the ignorance of "them". Sound familiar?

Personally I grew up, didn't go to Church, and as best we can determined had some sort of theistic belief at the age 4. I don't remember that. I only remember not having such a belief (my parents are both theists, btw). I didn't even think about it until Middle School and I didn't encounter anyone likeminded for a long time.

Do people believe in Evolution because they want to "lord it over" the people that don't? No. That's based on sound reasoning. I don't think atheism is inherently any different. That doesn't mean there aren't particular people that aren't like this, but I don't believe most are as you describe them.

This is a scientific response. It pertains only to verifiable scientific theories. So does this mean that we cannot have beliefs? What if we applied the tools of logic and reason to those beliefs? Is it not interesting to see where such a process would take us? Is this not what philosophy is? The question of an intelligent designer is not a scientific question, it is a philosophical one and as such is not subject to the same scrutiny.

Philosophical questions that aren't open to scientific scrutiny are rather pointless, imho, and I say this as a big fan of philosophy. Btw, the idea of an intelligent designer is most certainly open to scientific inquiry in principle.

Sledge
16th December 2010, 12:30 AM
I find it amusing how you pretend to not understand what I'm saying.

I find it amusing how you pretend you've said something of value. "Hurr durr, you don't really mean that" is not a useful debating technique.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:37 AM
...and you think a new thread will resolve that problem?

Personally, I think once you used the "atheists really believe but are just fooling themselves" argument it shows you aren't even willing to try to understand atheists.
I wanted to start fresh.....ok.

I do think that on some level atheists believe something about God and the origins of the universe. How could and why would anyone lack belief?

roger
16th December 2010, 12:40 AM
Are you open to the idea of an intelligent designer?
In what sense? Sure, it's possible. Why not? But I don't go around believing things with no evidence. Which is entirely different from asserting something isn't true.

For example, I lack belief in bigfoot. I have hella good reasons, given the number of hikers, trail cams, hunters, roads going through forests (think # of deer and pedestrians killed by cars vs the # of bigfoot killed by cars), etc. But, who knows, there could be a large humanoid wandering around. Seems made up to me, and the lack of evidence means I am just not going to believe in big foot. But pull a live one out of the forest tomorrow and I'll then believe. Until then, if anyone asks if I believe in big foot, I'll say no.

In my day to day life atheism is no different (almost). I go about making decisions based on that lack of belief. I don't pray for people to get better, or a tornado to miss my sister's house in Kansas, whereas my mother, a believer, did both. The only reason i said "almost" is of course religion impinges on us a lot more than big foot does. States pushing for teaching bad science in the classrooms, endless priest scandals, that sort of thing, makes it a fairly frequent topic of thought or conversation. But if that stuff didn't happen in the news theism would never cross my mind. Why would I speculate so specifically about things I know nothing about? Such speculation is nearly guaranteed to be utterly wrong. So while I'm "open" to the idea in the sense that I credit it is possible, I'm strenuously against such made up ideas being taught in science classes, or being presented as anything other than idle speculation. I'm open to a unicorn existing, but don't teach my kids in class they do exist, or that it is a reasonable expectation that they exist.

BTW, I don't really go around saying "I'm an atheist" in real life. The word, like "theist" doesn't really get used much in day to day conversation, at least in my neck of the woods. Someone will say "what religion are you" and my answer is almost always "none." That let's them drop the subject if they feel they just transgressed boundaries a bit. Or, if they are interested, they ask me to elaborate, and my wording is usually "I don't believe in God".

zooterkin
16th December 2010, 12:40 AM
I got tired of having separate arguments with 12 different people.

Perhaps you should start a blog, rather than post on a discussion forum?

nvidiot
16th December 2010, 12:41 AM
I wanted to start fresh.....ok.

I do think that on some level atheists believe something about God and the origins of the universe. How could and why would anyone lack belief?

Well I just have to disagree. I can't believe anything about a non-existent entity that no-one can provide evidence for which isn't either a basic assertion or logical fallacy.

I DO NOT BELIEVE. Full stop, end of sentence.

The origin of the universe is completely separate from the concept of an interventionist god. Even if "god" was just the guy who got it all started, the hypothesis makes no predictions, no tests are possible, and in the end parsimony would point you towards lack of belief unless you can show evidence otherwise. I think you're coming at this entirely ass-backwards. Theism is a positive claim about the universe, where atheism/agnosticism makes no claims. You seem to think that the "God hypothesis" for lack of a better term, is the default position. "Intelligent Designer" is not the correct terminology for the kind of deity I think you're trying to describe. If you look up the term and read a few definitions of the term you'll see that's the case. What I think you're attempting to describe and assert is just as logical as atheism is called a non-interventionist God.

Do you think children are born theists?

John Jones
16th December 2010, 12:42 AM
I wanted to start fresh.....ok.

I do think that on some level atheists believe something about God and the origins of the universe. How could and why would anyone lack belief?


That's a logical fallacy known as an appeal to personal incredulity - a form of the appeal to ignorance fallacy.

You're not making an auspicous new start.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:42 AM
The word "atheist" has a definition. That definition applies to me. So, when people ask me "are you religious or are you an atheist?", the answer I give is "I am an atheist".




Are there some atheists who are emotionally invested in their atheism to the point that they trumpet the term around? Sure. But it's a pretty small number, and that definitely doesn't describe many posters here on this site.




If atheists display such groupthink, then why are atheists known to be notoriously difficult to organize (often likened to herding cats)? This is demonstrated by the fact that atheists are one of the weakest represented groups politically.
There seem to be a lot of atheists on this forum and they all seem to like to use whatever definition of atheism suits them at the moment.

Sledge
16th December 2010, 12:42 AM
I wanted to start fresh.....ok.

I do think that on some level atheists believe something about God and the origins of the universe. How could and why would anyone lack belief?

Atheists don't believe in God, god or gods. That's what the word means. They may believe anything or nothing about the origins of the universe, it's not part of being an atheist. If you'd pay attention to what people actually think and words actually mean, instead of assuming what you already think is true and everyone else is lying, you'd know this already.

Drachasor
16th December 2010, 12:43 AM
I wanted to start fresh.....ok.

I do think that on some level atheists believe something about God and the origins of the universe. How could and why would anyone lack belief?

Let's be precise in what we're talking about here, as I think you are being a bit fuzzy (and this is confusing some people).

A. You can have beliefs in a God or Gods.

B. You can have beliefs relating TO God or Gods.

C. You can have no beliefs about the topic at all.

(A) is a theist, of course. (B) Can be a theist or atheist who is familiar with theism (e.g. he has beliefs regarding the beliefs of others). (C) can happen if someone is never exposed to the concept of a god, and they are obviously atheists by default. Btw, an agnostic could be (A) or (B), or I suppose arguably (C) if they are familiar with the concept of agnosticism but have never encountered the concept of god.

But what's the big deal about any of that? Pick any insane theory you've ever heard of, such as 9/11 Truthers. You have beliefs ABOUT that, certainly. So?

phantomb
16th December 2010, 12:44 AM
How could and why would anyone lack belief?

I don't understand this question. If someone is never ever exposed to even the concept of God or gods, that person will have no beliefs about God or gods. Do you disagree with this?

roger
16th December 2010, 12:46 AM
I wanted to start fresh.....ok.

I do think that on some level atheists believe something about God and the origins of the universe. How could and why would anyone lack belief?

I think that on some level you are homosexual. How could you not enjoy sexual pleasure where ever you find it. You just deny it because you want to fit in with your group. (if you are homosexual, I mean no offense, just change that to "I think that on some level you are straight").

Not a terribly productive way to either debate or find out what people think, is it?

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:48 AM
Chain of events:
Learned about deities -> chose not to believe -> someone later called me an atheist -> I looked up the definition and agreed, that was that.
Via definition I was an atheist, am an atheist and can never not be one until I start believing.

The only time I have ever categorized myself as one is when someone who believes in deities has asked me my stance. At that time I am forced to use the word 'atheism' to state what I believe in. Somehow, however, for whatever reason they always stereotype me with this "Atheist group"...whatever that is.
I like you. You openly admit that you don't believe that God exists. You don't make up ridiculous definitions of atheism like "weak atheism" or "strong atheism" or "agnostic atheist" or "atheist theist".

John Jones
16th December 2010, 12:49 AM
There seem to be a lot of atheists on this forum and they all seem to like to use whatever definition of atheism suits them at the moment.

And all of these definitions include a lack of belief in gods.

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:49 AM
Can I admit that I think atheism is pointless? I don't think it should exist at all, but all those silly religious folk keep believing in ridiculous things and it's a useful way to differentiate between those that do and those that don't. Some day, I can hope, we'll all be atheists and the word will be irrelevant.
Those silly religious folk, if only they'd stop being so stupid.

Drachasor
16th December 2010, 12:50 AM
I like you. You openly admit that you don't believe that God exists. You don't make up ridiculous definitions of atheism like "weak atheism" or "strong atheism" or "agnostic atheist" or "atheist theist".

You say you are an agnostic, yet you don't think there's validity to specifying the degree of certainty you have in a position?

chris epic
16th December 2010, 12:50 AM
The questions "why do you not believe in god" is a circular argument. thanks for being mundane.

Love,

Chris E[pic

nvidiot
16th December 2010, 12:50 AM
It is becoming rapidly apparent that you don't know what atheism is.

Start here:

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

And then follow the resources below it to learn more. Once you actually understand the terms involved, then you can perhaps critique them.

Achán hiNidráne
16th December 2010, 12:50 AM
I know..... It's arrogant of me to question atheism, just like it's arrogant of a mere mortal to question the will of God..... but I do it anyways.

I seriously doubt that.

Some examples eh? Well, besides this entire forum, here's a jem from everyone's favorite atheist fanatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg

And how is Dawkin's reply evidence of "fanaticism?"

Oh yes. That's right. He has the temerity to challenge stone age superstition and bronze age stupidity in public rather than cowering under his bed and keeping quiet.

John Jones
16th December 2010, 12:52 AM
You openly admit that you don't believe that God exists.

And you have openly admitted that you don't believe him.

What's the point of this pseudo intellectual palaver then?

Yig
16th December 2010, 12:55 AM
Once you present a coherent definition and compelling evidence, sure.
Don't ask for evidence. It's a philosophical discussion. Complexity creates intelligence, intelligence creates complexity. How do you think the universe came into existence?

Achán hiNidráne
16th December 2010, 12:55 AM
I guess I would refer to myself as simply an agnostic...

Are you open to the idea of an intelligent designer?

<Singing>One of these things is not like the other...

nvidiot
16th December 2010, 12:58 AM
It is NOT a philosophical point to ask how the universe begain. It is inherently a scientific question.

John Jones
16th December 2010, 12:58 AM
Don't ask for evidence. It's a philosophical discussion. Complexity creates intelligence, intelligence creates complexity. ...


Don't make bare assertions.

roger
16th December 2010, 12:59 AM
Don't ask for evidence. It's a philosophical discussion. Complexity creates intelligence, intelligence creates complexity. How do you think the universe came into existence?How do you think an intelligent designer came into existence (or always existed, if that is your spin on things)

nvidiot
16th December 2010, 01:00 AM
And just to add, there must some special kind of weirdness which compels someone to come to a skeptics forum and demand that there be no evidence entered into a discussion.

phantomb
16th December 2010, 01:04 AM
There seem to be a lot of atheists on this forum and they all seem to like to use whatever definition of atheism suits them at the moment.

Yes, I know. If you like, I can link you to a few threads where the issue of conflicting definitions of "atheist" has been discussed here in the past. Regardless, are you seriously trying to argue that the word "atheist" has no common usage definition? That when I say to someone "I am an atheist" they do not gain any new information about me from the exchange? Because that's incredibly silly.

You've ignored the meat of my post. If it's true that atheism is fraught with groupthink, why are atheists known to be diverse and difficult to organize? Why are atheists one of the weakest represented groups politically?

Achán hiNidráne
16th December 2010, 01:05 AM
Don't ask for evidence. It's a philosophical discussion.

You can't have a philosophical discussion and NOT demand evidence. Unless, of course, you define "philosophy" as stringing together a bunch of truthy-sounding logical fallacies to justify an unjustifiable position.

roger
16th December 2010, 01:08 AM
And just to add, there must some special kind of weirdness which compels someone to come to a skeptics forum and demand that there be no evidence entered into a discussion.It's not just that, the poster also refuses to believe what we say.

"Don't give evidence, and I'm not going to believe what you say anyway".

And we are the ones that have an axe to grind. :boggled:

John Jones
16th December 2010, 01:09 AM
I got tired of having separate arguments with 12 different people.


You have reached and exceeded your limit of 12 interlocutors on this thread. Does that mean you're going to abandon this one too?

jakesteele
16th December 2010, 01:12 AM
My question was, in a previous thread; Why bother calling yourself an atheist, since believing in God and not believing in God yields the same effect...none.

The response to this question was "Atheism is not believing that God does not exist, it's a lack of believing". The question then became "Why do you lack belief?" The response was that this is the default position since there is "no evidence" of God and the justification was Occam's razor.

For the purposes of this discussion I choose to define God as an intelligent designer and to make things more clear lets refer to a belief in something as a theory that the given something exists.

My question now is, "What is evidence without a theory?"

Here's what I'm saying. What I'm allowed to theorize when it comes to non-verifiable claims is pretty much whatever I want, given that it is consistent with facts I already have. Now, I want to theorize that the universe was created by an intelligent designer. What is stopping me from doing this? No evidence? I'm sorry, but lack of evidence of an intelligent designer does not instantly disprove the theory. Occam's razor then? Occam's razor can only be applied in situations where one is trying to explain something, since it states that when one is selecting among competing hypotheses, one should pick the hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions. It seems to me that any theory or hypothesis about something like the origin of the universe or the existence of an intelligent designer is making the same amount of assumptions. I mean, saying that the universe spontaneously came into existence makes the same amount of assumptions as saying that it was intelligently designed. Then again, I guess I could take the same common road you all do which is to not theorize about anything and just wait for the answer in the form of the "indisputable evidence" that I keep being asked for, because to you people theorizing about something and asserting that it exists are the same thing. So this brings me to my original point, why atheism? Why choose a position that makes no attempt to explain god or the origin of the universe when there is nothing to be lost by making that attempt? Why should one "lack belief"?

I can think of one answer to this question. It is:

"We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes. "

This is a scientific response. It pertains only to verifiable scientific theories. So does this mean that we cannot have beliefs? What if we applied the tools of logic and reason to those beliefs? Is it not interesting to see where such a process would take us? Is this not what philosophy is? The question of an intelligent designer is not a scientific question, it is a philosophical one and as such is not subject to the same scrutiny. For those of you believe that atheism is at the core the same idea as that expressed in the above quote, I ask you this, What is the point of of calling yourself an atheist? Why not just call yourself an scientist? What do you get out of atheism?

I'll start you off by giving my answer to this question. I think that it's strictly emotional. I think that some of you gain a sense of belonging, a sense of security in knowing that there are like minded people out there who think the same things that you do. I think that some of you even get a feeling of superiority, a feeling that you somehow "know something" that others do not and a sense that you are fighting the good fight against the ignorance of "them". Sound familiar?

This is my problem with atheism. I see the same kind of group think mentality that I see in most religions.

http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/trouble_with_atheism.php

I always enjoy posting this link because it shows a very rational, reasonable scientist giving both the "fine tuning" and what atheists will sometimes lean toward, The Multi-verse. Go to 19.37 minutes in. It's a breath of fresh air on this forum.

Achán hiNidráne
16th December 2010, 01:15 AM
And just to add, there must some special kind of weirdness which compels someone to come to a skeptics forum and demand that there be no evidence entered into a discussion.

I suspect that Yig doesn't have the scientific wherewithal to stand up to an actual evidence-based discussion, so he'll stick to what he believes to be "philosophy:" Spouting navel-gazing platitudes designed to obfuscate, confuse, and annoy.

Yig
16th December 2010, 01:17 AM
Well I just have to disagree. I can't believe anything about a non-existent entity that no-one can provide evidence for which isn't either a basic assertion or logical fallacy.

I DO NOT BELIEVE. Full stop, end of sentence.

The origin of the universe is completely separate from the concept of an interventionist god. Even if "god" was just the guy who got it all started, the hypothesis makes no predictions, no tests are possible, and in the end parsimony would point you towards lack of belief unless you can show evidence otherwise. I think you're coming at this entirely ass-backwards. Theism is a positive claim about the universe, where atheism/agnosticism makes no claims. You seem to think that the "God hypothesis" for lack of a better term, is the default position. "Intelligent Designer" is not the correct terminology for the kind of deity I think you're trying to describe. If you look up the term and read a few definitions of the term you'll see that's the case. What I think you're attempting to describe and assert is just as logical as atheism is called a non-interventionist God.

Do you think children are born theists?
Yeah....just keep spewing the dogma.......

Warmer1
16th December 2010, 01:18 AM
"If atheists display such groupthink, then why are atheists known to be notoriously difficult to organize"

Just for fun let's consider what our groupthink would be like. Imagine that we all gather in a big room to have our first atheist "groupthink". Will someone need to wear a big silly hat in order to address the crowd?

The sermons would be boring.
Speaker- "Well since we all don't believe in any supernatural fantasies I don't have anything to say".

Atheist audience is quiet

Speaker- "Well since I don't have anything to say are there any atheists here that are having any delusional fantasies this week?"

Atheist audience- "nope"

Speaker - "Would anyone like to spend time discussing why something we have no evidence of doesn't exist?"

Atheist audience - "nope"

Speaker "Well that about wraps it up then. If anyone has any questions please refer to our bible at http://www.400monkeys.com/God/ ".

:)

Yig
16th December 2010, 01:19 AM
Again: As was pointed out in your previous thread, defining "God" as "an intelligent designer" is ridiculous. I believe in an intelligent designer, in fact I believe in many. The ones who designed my computer, the ones who designed my mobile phone, the ones who designed my television, etc, etc.
Why is it ridiculous?

Achán hiNidráne
16th December 2010, 01:24 AM
Yeah....just keep spewing the dogma.......

How was anything nvidiot wrote "dogma?"

Yig
16th December 2010, 01:28 AM
I find it amusing how you pretend you've said something of value. "Hurr durr, you don't really mean that" is not a useful debating technique.
When a belief is "true" and the truth can be justified, then it becomes knowledge. This makes having a belief that X exists something like having a theory that X exists.

There.... happy now?

devnull
16th December 2010, 01:29 AM
Those silly religious folk, if only they'd stop being so stupid.

At least we agree on something.

Yig
16th December 2010, 01:30 AM
Perhaps you should start a blog, rather than post on a discussion forum?
This is more fun.

Yig
16th December 2010, 01:31 AM
That's a logical fallacy known as an appeal to personal incredulity - a form of the appeal to ignorance fallacy.

You're not making an auspicous new start.
Touche.

devnull
16th December 2010, 01:34 AM
I just wanna know Yig, as an atheist myself, what would you have me do at this point?

Yig
16th December 2010, 01:35 AM
Atheists don't believe in God, god or gods. That's what the word means. They may believe anything or nothing about the origins of the universe, it's not part of being an atheist. If you'd pay attention to what people actually think and words actually mean, instead of assuming what you already think is true and everyone else is lying, you'd know this already.
Ok......good............ we have a definition. Now what is your justification for not believing that God exists?

dafydd
16th December 2010, 01:36 AM
Yeah....just keep spewing the dogma.......

Dogma? Don't be so daft.

nvidiot
16th December 2010, 01:40 AM
Care to adress my points or is that going to be your answer?

ETA and I think you'll find you've been given essentially that same definition several times now... Is this a bonafide troll we have here?