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Lack of belief = belief? Don't make me giggle

DakotaKrafick
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7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?
Fruitytree
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7/4/2013 1:24:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In the perspective that: if you don't believe , then you believe in nothing, you'd then be a nothing believe.

But I do know a lot of atheist are just agnostic.
DakotaKrafick
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7/4/2013 1:51:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:09:21 PM, stubs wrote:
Can you expand on why you do not believe they are the logical equivalent?

I certainly will in the debate, if I find any takers.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/4/2013 1:57:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
They are the same. I get annoyed when people get confused because something is reworded and think that rewording has a different meaning.

I believe God does not exist = I do not believe God exists. I know some people think the former is a positive assertion of fact whereas the latter is the absence of a positive assertion of fact, but we really need to learn how to distinguish linguistic presentation from logical consequence. In asserting a lack of believe in God, you are asserting a disbelief.

These two statements are syntactical permutations of the same concept. They. are. the same.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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7/4/2013 2:00:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:51:58 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:09:21 PM, stubs wrote:
Can you expand on why you do not believe they are the logical equivalent?

I certainly will in the debate, if I find any takers.

I will cautiously take you up on that.... remembering what happened last time lol
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
DakotaKrafick
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7/4/2013 2:10:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:00:12 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:51:58 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:09:21 PM, stubs wrote:
Can you expand on why you do not believe they are the logical equivalent?

I certainly will in the debate, if I find any takers.

I will cautiously take you up on that.... remembering what happened last time lol

Wow, I wasn't expecting you of all people to take me up on this; I'd be more than happy to debate you again. I'll send the debate challenge within a couple days if that is convenient for you as well.
000ike
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7/4/2013 2:12:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:10:41 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:00:12 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:51:58 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:09:21 PM, stubs wrote:
Can you expand on why you do not believe they are the logical equivalent?

I certainly will in the debate, if I find any takers.

I will cautiously take you up on that.... remembering what happened last time lol

Wow, I wasn't expecting you of all people to take me up on this; I'd be more than happy to debate you again. I'll send the debate challenge within a couple days if that is convenient for you as well.

not a problem.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
PureX
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7/4/2013 2:32:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?

Well, since gods either exist or they do not, there can be only two possible beliefs regarding the question of the existence of gods: one must either believe that they exist, or one believes that they do not exist.

The agnostic position is not about belief, it's about what one knows, or rather does not know. So that one does not 'believe" in agnosticism, one either knows or does not know enough to make the determination for himself. The latter case for the agnostic.

This being understood, the claim of "unbelief" must then either be the equivalent of belief in the only other option, or it is simply irrelevant nonsense.

There's nothing here to "debate".
DakotaKrafick
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7/4/2013 3:00:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:32:02 PM, PureX wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?

Well, since gods either exist or they do not, there can be only two possible beliefs regarding the question of the existence of gods: one must either believe that they exist, or one believes that they do not exist.

The agnostic position is not about belief, it's about what one knows, or rather does not know. So that one does not 'believe" in agnosticism, one either knows or does not know enough to make the determination for himself. The latter case for the agnostic.

This being understood, the claim of "unbelief" must then either be the equivalent of belief in the only other option, or it is simply irrelevant nonsense.

There's nothing here to "debate".

On the contrary, ike and I will debate it shortly.
tkubok
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7/4/2013 10:59:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:32:02 PM, PureX wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?

Well, since gods either exist or they do not, there can be only two possible beliefs regarding the question of the existence of gods: one must either believe that they exist, or one believes that they do not exist.

The agnostic position is not about belief, it's about what one knows, or rather does not know. So that one does not 'believe" in agnosticism, one either knows or does not know enough to make the determination for himself. The latter case for the agnostic.

This being understood, the claim of "unbelief" must then either be the equivalent of belief in the only other option, or it is simply irrelevant nonsense.

There's nothing here to "debate".

But thats the point.

There is no logical contradiction between disbelief of both positions and claiming "I Cannot believe either claim". So there isnt necessarily anything wrong with disbelieving both claims and being non-committal to either claim.

But all in all, im fine with claiming that i believe there are no Gods, because to me, its the same as saying I believe there are no unicorns.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/4/2013 11:21:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:09:21 PM, stubs wrote:
Can you expand on why you do not believe they are the logical equivalent?

DakotaKrafick is correct. I find it bizarre that you, an informed theist, actually need a reason. A rock cannot believe anything. It lacks all belief. Thus, it lacks the belief God exists. A Rock can lack belief that God exists, but it cannot believe God does not exist. Thus, they cannot be the same thing.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/4/2013 11:26:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If the two were logically equivalent, then the rock would either have to have to entail both qualities on context, or none of them. However, the rock has results in one quality pertaining to itself, but not the other. This means it is logically necessary, that the two are not logically equivalent.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/4/2013 11:29:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Anybody who debates DakotaKrafick on this is engaging in suicide. Would someone like to debate me on this? I wouldn't mind a shameless easy win :)
bladerunner060
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7/4/2013 11:31:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think the problem here is that there are some who think you can't lack a belief in a concept that you've been exposed to, you either don't understand it (and haven't REALLY been exposed to it yet, since you do not comprehend), or you take a position on the claim that it is either true or false. I do not agree with it, but it seems that exposure is the demarcation point?
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Rational_Thinker9119
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7/4/2013 11:38:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:31:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think the problem here is that there are some who think you can't lack a belief in a concept that you've been exposed to, you either don't understand it (and haven't REALLY been exposed to it yet, since you do not comprehend), or you take a position on the claim that it is either true or false. I do not agree with it, but it seems that exposure is the demarcation point?

It's a false-dichotomy. You don't have to believe in x, or believe in -x. You can lack belief in x, and lack belief in -x, while not believing in x, or believing in -x.
bladerunner060
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7/4/2013 11:47:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:38:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:31:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think the problem here is that there are some who think you can't lack a belief in a concept that you've been exposed to, you either don't understand it (and haven't REALLY been exposed to it yet, since you do not comprehend), or you take a position on the claim that it is either true or false. I do not agree with it, but it seems that exposure is the demarcation point?

It's a false-dichotomy. You don't have to believe in x, or believe in -x. You can lack belief in x, and lack belief in -x, while not believing in x, or believing in -x.

I agree...part of the problem is probably that you can't lack belief in X and HAVE belief in -X, and some folks (prolly myself included) don't do a good enough job asserting that lack in -X. Maybe?
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bladerunner060
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7/5/2013 1:12:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 1:05:18 AM, stubs wrote:
Essentially they are still two ways to say you're not a theist right?

But that's like saying that a motorcycle and a bicycle are two ways to say "not a car"
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Rational_Thinker9119
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7/5/2013 1:30:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 1:05:18 AM, stubs wrote:
Essentially they are still two ways to say you're not a theist right?

Hahah Yes, but two very different ways stubs.
AlbinoBunny
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7/5/2013 4:15:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?

They aren't the same.

"I do not believe gods(s) exist. Not = N; Belief = B; exist = E.

This would be NB>E

"I do not believe god(s) do not exist" This would be NB>NE

Does NB>NE mean that they are theists?

If not, and it just means they don't take the believe that god(s) don't exist, they probably just don't know, then one could say that NB>E and NB>NE are not mutually exclusive. *This is the crux of the matter, I believe*

Is NB>NE the same as B>E, in some cases, two negatives do make a positive, but not all cases. It doesn't seem to be the same to me, but I'll leave others to argue for this for now, and just assume they aren't the same here.

Someone could not have the belief that god(s) exist or don;t exist, they may not know. So if someone can believe NB>NE + NB>E, can that be the same as "I believe god(s) do not exist"?

B>NE is the last statement, and one of the statements of our hypothetical person is NB>NE. This means that to hold both of these positions is contradictory.

So if it can be contradictory to "not have the belief that god(s) exist" and to "believe god(s) don't exist" in some circumstances, they can't be the same thing.
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PureX
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7/5/2013 7:00:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 10:59:26 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:02 PM, PureX wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?

Well, since gods either exist or they do not, there can be only two possible beliefs regarding the question of the existence of gods: one must either believe that they exist, or one believes that they do not exist.

The agnostic position is not about belief, it's about what one knows, or rather does not know. So that one does not 'believe" in agnosticism, one either knows or does not know enough to make the determination for himself. The latter case for the agnostic.

This being understood, the claim of "unbelief" must then either be the equivalent of belief in the only other option, or it is simply irrelevant nonsense.

There's nothing here to "debate".

But thats the point.

There is no logical contradiction between disbelief of both positions and claiming "I Cannot believe either claim". So there isnt necessarily anything wrong with disbelieving both claims and being non-committal to either claim.

But all in all, im fine with claiming that i believe there are no Gods, because to me, its the same as saying I believe there are no unicorns.

What one "doesn't believe" is irrelevant to a question about belief. If one "doesn't believe" gods exist, or do not exist, then their non-belief becomes a non-issue regarding the question of the existence of gods. So that stating one's "non-belief" in the existence of gods is both pointless and irrational.

It's all just irrelevant nonsense. No one cares about what someone doesn't believe, and no one has asked.
000ike
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7/5/2013 7:19:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:38:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:31:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think the problem here is that there are some who think you can't lack a belief in a concept that you've been exposed to, you either don't understand it (and haven't REALLY been exposed to it yet, since you do not comprehend), or you take a position on the claim that it is either true or false. I do not agree with it, but it seems that exposure is the demarcation point?

It's a false-dichotomy. You don't have to believe in x, or believe in -x. You can lack belief in x, and lack belief in -x, while not believing in x, or believing in -x.

disbelief is the linguistic description of "lack of belief" just because it's shortened to one word doesn't suddenly give it a new meaning. lol

It's a linguist distinction with equivalent logical consequences. I wouldn't be so confident against this if I were you.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
tkubok
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7/5/2013 10:34:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 7:00:43 AM, PureX wrote:
At 7/4/2013 10:59:26 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:02 PM, PureX wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:42:55 AM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Does anyone else here believe the statement "I do not believe god(s) exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "I believe god(s) do not exist"? The topic came up in a conversation between me and T-Bone, but since he is uninterested in debating it, I'd be happy to take on someone else. Any takers?

Well, since gods either exist or they do not, there can be only two possible beliefs regarding the question of the existence of gods: one must either believe that they exist, or one believes that they do not exist.

The agnostic position is not about belief, it's about what one knows, or rather does not know. So that one does not 'believe" in agnosticism, one either knows or does not know enough to make the determination for himself. The latter case for the agnostic.

This being understood, the claim of "unbelief" must then either be the equivalent of belief in the only other option, or it is simply irrelevant nonsense.

There's nothing here to "debate".

But thats the point.

There is no logical contradiction between disbelief of both positions and claiming "I Cannot believe either claim". So there isnt necessarily anything wrong with disbelieving both claims and being non-committal to either claim.

But all in all, im fine with claiming that i believe there are no Gods, because to me, its the same as saying I believe there are no unicorns.

What one "doesn't believe" is irrelevant to a question about belief. If one "doesn't believe" gods exist, or do not exist, then their non-belief becomes a non-issue regarding the question of the existence of gods. So that stating one's "non-belief" in the existence of gods is both pointless and irrational.

It's all just irrelevant nonsense. No one cares about what someone doesn't believe, and no one has asked.

Actually, if youre going to ask or tell me that i believe that no Gods exist, then yes, someone has asked what i do or do not believe, and therefore saying "No, thats not what atheism necessarily is" is a valid point to make. Especially if someone, as per the OPs post, is going to equate "I dont believe that God exists" with "I believe that No Gods exist", then its an even more valid point to make.
000ike
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7/5/2013 11:17:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 7:19:05 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:38:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:31:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
I think the problem here is that there are some who think you can't lack a belief in a concept that you've been exposed to, you either don't understand it (and haven't REALLY been exposed to it yet, since you do not comprehend), or you take a position on the claim that it is either true or false. I do not agree with it, but it seems that exposure is the demarcation point?

It's a false-dichotomy. You don't have to believe in x, or believe in -x. You can lack belief in x, and lack belief in -x, while not believing in x, or believing in -x.

disbelief is the linguistic description of "lack of belief" just because it's shortened to one word doesn't suddenly give it a new meaning. lol

It's a linguist distinction with equivalent logical consequences. I wouldn't be so confident against this if I were you.

and keep in mind that you were equally confident on our flaws debate that flaws were objective, and you lost that.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
tBoonePickens
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7/5/2013 11:38:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There are 2 options to this:

1) They are the same.

2) They are not the same BUT only one of them can be used to define a position on belief: I believe God(s) doe not exist.

Although atheists have every right to define their term, they are quite limited in scope because they either hold the same belief as theists (ludicrous, of course) or they hold the contraposition belief in no God(s). There are no other alternatives left that describe belief. "Lack of belief" cannot answer the question of belief no more than a color can describe a sound. "Lack of belief" is essentially anything in the entire Universe other than belief. That is an extremely ambiguous thing, if one can call it that.

This problem arise because of a poor choice in defining; however, what if theists took that method of defining? If theists define their position as "not atheist" we run into the problem that all those that "lacked belief" and were atheists by default BEFORE are NOW theists by default! Of course, neither of these are acceptable definitions of terms that answer the question of belief.

In the end, "lack of belief" is not a position on belief. The funny thing is that everyone (so far) that defend this point can NEVER answer the question what is "lack of belief" a position on?
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: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
PureX
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7/5/2013 12:52:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 10:34:31 AM, tkubok wrote:
At 7/5/2013 7:00:43 AM, PureX wrote:

What one "doesn't believe" is irrelevant to a question about belief. If one "doesn't believe" gods exist, or do not exist, then their non-belief becomes a non-issue regarding the question of the existence of gods. So that stating one's "non-belief" in the existence of gods is both pointless and irrational.

It's all just irrelevant nonsense. No one cares about what someone doesn't believe, and no one has asked.

Actually, if youre going to ask or tell me that i believe that no Gods exist, then yes, someone has asked what i do or do not believe, and therefore saying "No, thats not what atheism necessarily is" is a valid point to make.

Well, if someone is telling you what you believe, then they aren't asking you, are they.

And if someone is asking you what you believe, then they aren't asking you what you DON'T believe, are they.

So that in either case, I can't see any logical reason to respond by telling them what you don't believe.

If they ask you, or tell you what the term "atheist" means, and you disagree, then by all means feel free to argue with them about the meaning of the term. But beware that these arguments often come down to "I say/you say", and resolve nothing. And anyway, this argument has little to do with the question of the existence or non-exoiostence of God.