Total Posts:53|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Some common misconceptions

SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:08:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Just want to bring up some common misconceptions that I am tired of hearing. If you disagree on any of these then we can discuss them, but do not act immature while doing so. I might make another forum topic with other misconceptions if I remember any others and actually feel like posting it. So, here we go.

1. I am sure people have heard the statement "Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence", but is that actually correct?

Let's say that I claim I have an Elephant in my garage and a skeptic comes in and takes a look, what does he find? Well, he does not see the Elephant there but that is absence of evidence. He looks around and sees no evidence for or against there being an Elephant in my garage. Is it still proper to claim that an Elephant is in my garage? No, it is not.

The statement is more accurate when said like this, "Absence of Evidence can be Evidence of Absence, but is not Proof of Absence."

You can not prove that the Elephant is not in my garage, but when you looked for evidence you found none. This means that that Absence of Evidence IS Evidence of Absence, even if it is not 100% proof.

So, when is Absence of Evidence Evidence of Absence?

It is important to state that only positive claims can be tested with Evidence of Absence. So, let's get to it.

Well, in order for a claim to be taken seriously it has to be testable and falsifiable. If the claim is not testable and is not falsifiable then the claim can be ignored, the claim cannot be said to be true.

When there exists a positive claim that can be testable and falsifiable then you must look for evidence of that claim. When you actually look for the evidence and find none, absence of evidence, then it becomes Evidence of Absence, but it is not proof of absence.

When evidence is found for the positive claim, and is shown to be real evidence, then the Evidence of Absence no longer exists.

So, what does this type of Evidence of Absence mean?

It means that the negative claim is supported, not proven. The key thing to remember is that this type of Evidence of Absence alone only supports the negative claim, it can never prove it.

2A. I am sure you heard it before, "Burden of proof is on all claims!", but that is not true either.

Do we have to provide evidence that the Loch Ness monster is not real? How about unicorns? The Easter Bunny? How about Odin? No, we do not. People are not usually even expected to. The Burden of Proof is on the ones saying that they exist, or the positive claim.

When does the negative claim have the Burden of Proof? When there is evidence for the Positive claim. If someone makes the claim that wolves do not exist then they have the Burden of Proof because of the empirical evidence that wolves do exist.

Some people might be wondering why the negative claims do not have the initial Burden of Proof. I will touch on that now.

If I say that there is a magical sky wizard named Steve and present no evidence for Steve to exist, why would anyone believe in Steve? I have to show that Steve does in fact exist, otherwise people will not believe in him. Can I expect you to prove that Steve does not exist? No, the negative claim does not have the Burden of Proof until evidence supports the positive claim.

2B. A misconception within the Burden of Proof is that people expect those of the negative claim to provide actual evidence that something does not exist, but is this the correct thing to do?

If something does not actually exist then what evidence would exist to say it does not? A non-existent thing cannot leave behind evidence for or against itself. There will not exist evidence that something does not exist, that is why the negative claim has a different format.

Those taking the negative claim have four jobs when they have the burden of proof.
1. Refute all the evidence of the positive claim
2. Evidence of Absence
3. Proof of impossibility (prove the positive claim is impossible or extremely improbable)
4. Show that something else that is just as likely or more likely can explain the evidence of the positive claim (the things brought up become positive claims for the one proposing them)

When the negative claimant does any, not all, of the above successfully then the Burden of Proof goes to the positive claim. In order to prove the positive claim you must do all the above successfully, and all of them must be kept.

As seen, the Burden of Proof initially rests on the positive claim. It can move to being on the negative claim during the debate, but it is still initially on the positive. The negative claimant also has a different set of standards as the positive claimant.

3. I know many people have heard this one before, "Agnosticism makes more sense than Atheism!" This is a very common misconception.

The thing is, Agnosticism and Atheism are not mutually exclusive, you can be both. There are 4 stances you can take when talking about your religious affiliation.
1. Gnostic Theist/Strong Theist- These people claim that a specific God(s) is real (positive claim) and they believe in him/her/them.
2. Agnostic Theist/Weak Theist- These people say that the existence or non-existence of God(s) has not, or can not, be proven, but they do believe that there is a God(s).
3. Agnostic Atheist/Weak Atheist- These people say that the existence or non-existence of God(s) has not, or can not, be proven, and choose to disbelieve in a God(s).
4. Gnostic Atheist/Strong Atheist- These people claim that God does not exist (negative claim) and they do not believe in a God.

These are the four types of religious affiliation. Agnostic and Gnostic are knowledge claims, Theist and Atheist are belief/disbeliefs.

Some people might ask about a middle ground, where you do not believe and do not disbelieve in God(s). This is a paradox, it is not possible. Why? Because the definition of disbelieve is literally no belief. That means that if you do not believe that you disbelieve, if you do not disbelieve then you believe. You cannot not believe while also not disbelieving, by definition it is impossible.

Thank you for reading, if you disagree with any of the above points then please comment about it in a polite manner so we can discuss it. Try not to make this a debate about the existence or non-existence of anything, keep on topic of the above points.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
You can be an agnostic. You just admit you don't know whether or not God exists. There are few atheists who have ever been modest enough to do this, because they treat themselves as gods.
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:31:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic. You just admit you don't know whether or not God exists. There are few atheists who have ever been modest enough to do this, because they treat themselves as gods.

Agnosticism is not only applicable to atheists. There are self-described agnostic deists, and a rare case of a self-described agnostic theist.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.

You just admit you don't know whether or not God exists.

That is only addressing a knowledge claim, not a belief/disbelief.

There are few atheists who have ever been modest enough to do this,

Most atheists are agnostic atheists, myself included, the only thing is that I also believe where evidence points. Since there is no evidence for a God(s) I feel it illogical to believe in one, especially since the Burden of Proof is on the theists right now.

because they treat themselves as gods.

I have not found an atheist that treats his/herself like a god, and I have met A LOT of atheists. I also asked for polite responses, that is not that polite of a response.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.


Except you just said there were 4 stances you could take on your religious affiliation.

Which is wrong.
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:52:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
Which is wrong.

Okay, let us discuss this then. Why is it wrong?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 1:59:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:52:52 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
Which is wrong.

Okay, let us discuss this then. Why is it wrong?

You can be a pure agnostic about the religious claims of the various religions, just like you an be an agnostic about any claim(s).
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:00:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.


Except you just said there were 4 stances you could take on your religious affiliation.

Which is wrong.

Gnostic theist
Agnostic theist
Agnostic atheist
Gnostic atheist

*counts on fingers*

That's 4.
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:02:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:00:43 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.


Except you just said there were 4 stances you could take on your religious affiliation.

Which is wrong.

Gnostic theist
Agnostic theist
Agnostic atheist
Gnostic atheist

*counts on fingers*

That's 4.

LOL so fahnny joke!!!!
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:06:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:59:42 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be a pure agnostic about the religious claims of the various religions, just like you an be an agnostic about any claim(s).

Yes, you can be agnostic about any claim, but as I pointed out in my original post, agnosticism is a knowledge position. It is saying you do not know one way or the other, it says nothing about what you believe in.

The definition of disbelieve is to not believe. That means you either believe or disbelieve, you cannot do both or neither.

Theism and Atheism say nothing about what you know or do not know, only what you believe or disbelieve.

Gnosticism and Agnosticism say nothing about what you believe or disbelieve, only what you know or do not know.

To say you are only agnostic is impossible since that requires you to both not believe and not disbelieve, causing a paradox.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:11:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:00:43 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.


Except you just said there were 4 stances you could take on your religious affiliation.

Which is wrong.

Gnostic theist
Agnostic theist
Agnostic atheist
Gnostic atheist

*counts on fingers*

That's 4.

There are some people who reject the use of agnostic to be applied to knowledge claims only.

As Huxley himself said:

"When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,""had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ...
So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. ... To my great satisfaction the term took."

He felt it occupied a middle-ground position. Now, in terms of modern usage and etymologically speaking, I too prefer the gnosis/agnosis, theist/atheist foursquare. But a lot of folks who may be unaware of the history and etymology involved may reject using it in such a way rather out of hand. And in the end, the terms don't matter as much as the ideas the terms convey.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:15:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:02:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
LOL so fahnny joke!!!!

It isn't a joke, it's the accepted terminology. Your ignorance of it doesn't change that fact.
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:15:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:11:34 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:00:43 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.


Except you just said there were 4 stances you could take on your religious affiliation.

Which is wrong.

Gnostic theist
Agnostic theist
Agnostic atheist
Gnostic atheist

*counts on fingers*

That's 4.

There are some people who reject the use of agnostic to be applied to knowledge claims only.

As Huxley himself said:

"When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,""had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ...
So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. ... To my great satisfaction the term took."

He felt it occupied a middle-ground position. Now, in terms of modern usage and etymologically speaking, I too prefer the gnosis/agnosis, theist/atheist foursquare. But a lot of folks who may be unaware of the history and etymology involved may reject using it in such a way rather out of hand. And in the end, the terms don't matter as much as the ideas the terms convey.

The problem lies in the definitions of believe and disbelieve though. By definition you must either believe or disbelieve, there are no other options. That does not mean you are claiming there is no God or that there is a God, just that you believe or disbelieve in God(s). Any middle ground is paradoxical.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:17:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:15:19 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:02:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
LOL so fahnny joke!!!!

It isn't a joke, it's the accepted terminology. Your ignorance of it doesn't change that fact.

Be a little more polite on this thread please. I would prefer an avoidance of arguments and instead have more mature conversations.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:19:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:15:58 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:11:34 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:00:43 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:44:46 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:36:05 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 1:14:06 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
You can be an agnostic.

Never said you could not be.


Except you just said there were 4 stances you could take on your religious affiliation.

Which is wrong.

Gnostic theist
Agnostic theist
Agnostic atheist
Gnostic atheist

*counts on fingers*

That's 4.

There are some people who reject the use of agnostic to be applied to knowledge claims only.

As Huxley himself said:

"When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,""had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ...
So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. ... To my great satisfaction the term took."

He felt it occupied a middle-ground position. Now, in terms of modern usage and etymologically speaking, I too prefer the gnosis/agnosis, theist/atheist foursquare. But a lot of folks who may be unaware of the history and etymology involved may reject using it in such a way rather out of hand. And in the end, the terms don't matter as much as the ideas the terms convey.

The problem lies in the definitions of believe and disbelieve though. By definition you must either believe or disbelieve, there are no other options. That does not mean you are claiming there is no God or that there is a God, just that you believe or disbelieve in God(s). Any middle ground is paradoxical.

I understand. But many people see atheism as being the negative claim (not: "I lack belief in god", but "I believe god does not exist").

If they think that theism is "I believe god exists" and atheism is "I believe god does not exist", then, if they don't want to take either position, they see agnostic as that middle ground ("I don't have a position on the existence of god/I lack belief, but don't have belief in the negation"). It's a terminology issue. You can defend the use of the agnostic/gnostic, atheist/theist thing all you want, and I'll agree. I'm just saying that the other way is how they're USING it.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:20:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:11:34 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
There are some people who reject the use of agnostic to be applied to knowledge claims only.

Those people are wrong, though. I'd expect anyone interested in discussing the topic to be at least familiar with the accepted terminology, which is what I just laid out. I concede it is likely to be more widely known in academia, but it is not a guarded secret and if someone wants to discuss these matters it would be wise for them to bother checking such things.

He felt it occupied a middle-ground position. Now, in terms of modern usage and etymologically speaking, I too prefer the gnosis/agnosis, theist/atheist foursquare. But a lot of folks who may be unaware of the history and etymology involved may reject using it in such a way rather out of hand. And in the end, the terms don't matter as much as the ideas the terms convey.

He did, but he was wrong; you either claim to know or not know and you either believe or disbelieve. There's no 'middle ground' as such, as you have to be one of each of those things. You can't be just 'agnostic', 'gnostic', 'atheist' or 'theist'; if you bring in terminology from either pair then the only coherent solution is to bring in all the terms in the above way.
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:22:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:17:28 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:15:19 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:02:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
LOL so fahnny joke!!!!

It isn't a joke, it's the accepted terminology. Your ignorance of it doesn't change that fact.

Be a little more polite on this thread please. I would prefer an avoidance of arguments and instead have more mature conversations.

I can only assume you meant to quote just Installgentoo, as I was making an observation of fact in response to his rather childish response...
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:23:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:20:45 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:11:34 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
There are some people who reject the use of agnostic to be applied to knowledge claims only.

Those people are wrong, though. I'd expect anyone interested in discussing the topic to be at least familiar with the accepted terminology, which is what I just laid out.

Eh, your expectations are likely to be dashed.

I believe even Plantinga used it in basically that way in an interview I read.

I concede it is likely to be more widely known in academia, but it is not a guarded secret and if someone wants to discuss these matters it would be wise for them to bother checking such things.

He felt it occupied a middle-ground position. Now, in terms of modern usage and etymologically speaking, I too prefer the gnosis/agnosis, theist/atheist foursquare. But a lot of folks who may be unaware of the history and etymology involved may reject using it in such a way rather out of hand. And in the end, the terms don't matter as much as the ideas the terms convey.

He did, but he was wrong; you either claim to know or not know and you either believe or disbelieve.

Well, in his defense he invented the term...

There's no 'middle ground' as such, as you have to be one of each of those things. You can't be just 'agnostic', 'gnostic', 'atheist' or 'theist'; if you bring in terminology from either pair then the only coherent solution is to bring in all the terms in the above way.

I think that the point is most of these people aren't using "gnostic"--they think it's inherently applied to "theist" and "atheist", and so by not taking a definitive position, they're left with "agnostic".
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:28:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, but these people are wrong. If that's the first obstacle they're coming up against, it needs to be corrected because it rather underpins the entire atheist/theist dialogue in terms of who is claiming what and why.

Our friend here is of the kind who likes to tell people what they believe rather than ask them in order to find out. On that basis, I'm not inclined to cut him any slack because it's all slippery slopes and feet in doors from there on out, otherwise.
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:40:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:15:19 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:02:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
LOL so fahnny joke!!!!

It isn't a joke, it's the accepted terminology. Your ignorance of it doesn't change that fact.

Yes, accepted by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion". Funny how atheists hate people for taking the Bible as Gospel, then turn round and do the exact same fvcking thing with the latest gaytheist guide-book. But then that's internet atheism for you.
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:46:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:40:55 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:15:19 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 2:02:39 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
LOL so fahnny joke!!!!

It isn't a joke, it's the accepted terminology. Your ignorance of it doesn't change that fact.

Yes, accepted by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion". Funny how atheists hate people for taking the Bible as Gospel, then turn round and do the exact same fvcking thing with the latest gaytheist guide-book. But then that's internet atheism for you.

Accepted by academic philosophers the world around, too. Which is what I was referring to. I think Dawkins over-rated and irritating when he's on his god-spiel, so only managed about 4 chapters of The God Delusion before I got bored and abandoned it.

It is interesting that you assume everyone must have some sort of prophet and scripture though. It suggests you're not very good at seeing things from any perspective other than your own.
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:51:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:40:55 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
Yes, accepted by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion".

Richard Dawkins was not even the first to accept it, so that means nothing.That is a straw man argument.

Funny how atheists hate people for taking the Bible as Gospel, then turn round and do the exact same fvcking thing with the latest gaytheist guide-book.

None of us brought up the God Delusion, you did. Also, use manners. I said to be polite, you are being far from it right now.

But then that's internet atheism for you.

Really? None of us brought up Richard Dawkins or the God Delusion, you did. The 4 types of religious affiliation have been around a lot longer than The God Delusion, a lot longer than Richard Dawkins accepted it. This is a straw man argument, you also have not addressed WHY the structure is wrong.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 2:58:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:28:36 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
Yes, but these people are wrong. If that's the first obstacle they're coming up against, it needs to be corrected because it rather underpins the entire atheist/theist dialogue in terms of who is claiming what and why.

Our friend here is of the kind who likes to tell people what they believe rather than ask them in order to find out. On that basis, I'm not inclined to cut him any slack because it's all slippery slopes and feet in doors from there on out, otherwise.

Fair enough.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 1:08:02 PM, SNP1 wrote:
Just want to bring up some common misconceptions that I am tired of hearing. If you disagree on any of these then we can discuss them, but do not act immature while doing so. I might make another forum topic with other misconceptions if I remember any others and actually feel like posting it. So, here we go.


1. I am sure people have heard the statement "Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence", but is that actually correct?

Let's say that I claim I have an Elephant in my garage and a skeptic comes in and takes a look, what does he find? Well, he does not see the Elephant there but that is absence of evidence. He looks around and sees no evidence for or against there being an Elephant in my garage. Is it still proper to claim that an Elephant is in my garage? No, it is not.

The statement is more accurate when said like this, "Absence of Evidence can be Evidence of Absence, but is not Proof of Absence."

You can not prove that the Elephant is not in my garage, but when you looked for evidence you found none. This means that that Absence of Evidence IS Evidence of Absence, even if it is not 100% proof.

So, when is Absence of Evidence Evidence of Absence?

It is important to state that only positive claims can be tested with Evidence of Absence. So, let's get to it.

Well, in order for a claim to be taken seriously it has to be testable and falsifiable. If the claim is not testable and is not falsifiable then the claim can be ignored, the claim cannot be said to be true.

When there exists a positive claim that can be testable and falsifiable then you must look for evidence of that claim. When you actually look for the evidence and find none, absence of evidence, then it becomes Evidence of Absence, but it is not proof of absence.

When evidence is found for the positive claim, and is shown to be real evidence, then the Evidence of Absence no longer exists.

So, what does this type of Evidence of Absence mean?

It means that the negative claim is supported, not proven. The key thing to remember is that this type of Evidence of Absence alone only supports the negative claim, it can never prove it.


2A. I am sure you heard it before, "Burden of proof is on all claims!", but that is not true either.

Do we have to provide evidence that the Loch Ness monster is not real? How about unicorns? The Easter Bunny? How about Odin? No, we do not. People are not usually even expected to. The Burden of Proof is on the ones saying that they exist, or the positive claim.

When does the negative claim have the Burden of Proof? When there is evidence for the Positive claim. If someone makes the claim that wolves do not exist then they have the Burden of Proof because of the empirical evidence that wolves do exist.

Some people might be wondering why the negative claims do not have the initial Burden of Proof. I will touch on that now.

If I say that there is a magical sky wizard named Steve and present no evidence for Steve to exist, why would anyone believe in Steve? I have to show that Steve does in fact exist, otherwise people will not believe in him. Can I expect you to prove that Steve does not exist? No, the negative claim does not have the Burden of Proof until evidence supports the positive claim.

2B. A misconception within the Burden of Proof is that people expect those of the negative claim to provide actual evidence that something does not exist, but is this the correct thing to do?

If something does not actually exist then what evidence would exist to say it does not? A non-existent thing cannot leave behind evidence for or against itself. There will not exist evidence that something does not exist, that is why the negative claim has a different format.

Those taking the negative claim have four jobs when they have the burden of proof.
1. Refute all the evidence of the positive claim
2. Evidence of Absence
3. Proof of impossibility (prove the positive claim is impossible or extremely improbable)
4. Show that something else that is just as likely or more likely can explain the evidence of the positive claim (the things brought up become positive claims for the one proposing them)

When the negative claimant does any, not all, of the above successfully then the Burden of Proof goes to the positive claim. In order to prove the positive claim you must do all the above successfully, and all of them must be kept.

As seen, the Burden of Proof initially rests on the positive claim. It can move to being on the negative claim during the debate, but it is still initially on the positive. The negative claimant also has a different set of standards as the positive claimant.


3. I know many people have heard this one before, "Agnosticism makes more sense than Atheism!" This is a very common misconception.

The thing is, Agnosticism and Atheism are not mutually exclusive, you can be both. There are 4 stances you can take when talking about your religious affiliation.
1. Gnostic Theist/Strong Theist- These people claim that a specific God(s) is real (positive claim) and they believe in him/her/them.
2. Agnostic Theist/Weak Theist- These people say that the existence or non-existence of God(s) has not, or can not, be proven, but they do believe that there is a God(s).
3. Agnostic Atheist/Weak Atheist- These people say that the existence or non-existence of God(s) has not, or can not, be proven, and choose to disbelieve in a God(s).
4. Gnostic Atheist/Strong Atheist- These people claim that God does not exist (negative claim) and they do not believe in a God.

These are the four types of religious affiliation. Agnostic and Gnostic are knowledge claims, Theist and Atheist are belief/disbeliefs.

Some people might ask about a middle ground, where you do not believe and do not disbelieve in God(s). This is a paradox, it is not possible. Why? Because the definition of disbelieve is literally no belief. That means that if you do not believe that you disbelieve, if you do not disbelieve then you believe. You cannot not believe while also not disbelieving, by definition it is impossible.


Thank you for reading, if you disagree with any of the above points then please comment about it in a polite manner so we can discuss it. Try not to make this a debate about the existence or non-existence of anything, keep on topic of the above points.

Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:38:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?

Isn't that being a bit rude? Try being more polite. Also, how are unbelievers making a big deal out of nothing?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:39:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 3:38:26 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?

Isn't that being a bit rude? Try being more polite. Also, how are unbelievers making a big deal out of nothing?

Reread your post to see how much effort you put into something that will burn up soon.
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:42:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 3:39:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:38:26 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?

Isn't that being a bit rude? Try being more polite. Also, how are unbelievers making a big deal out of nothing?

Reread your post to see how much effort you put into something that will burn up soon.

How is it nothing?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:45:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 3:42:17 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:39:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:38:26 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?

Isn't that being a bit rude? Try being more polite. Also, how are unbelievers making a big deal out of nothing?

Reread your post to see how much effort you put into something that will burn up soon.

How is it nothing?

Borno thinks he's god's prophet on Earth, so don't expect a lot of sense.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:48:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 3:45:00 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:42:17 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:39:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:38:26 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?

Isn't that being a bit rude? Try being more polite. Also, how are unbelievers making a big deal out of nothing?

Reread your post to see how much effort you put into something that will burn up soon.

How is it nothing?

Borno thinks he's god's prophet on Earth, so don't expect a lot of sense.

I'm not an illusion called a prophet or saint. I'm the invisible voice of God that the visible illusion called a saint is testifying to in this forum.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/2/2014 3:50:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 3:42:17 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:39:50 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:38:26 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/2/2014 3:34:36 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Unbelievers sure can make a big deal out of nothing, can't they?

Isn't that being a bit rude? Try being more polite. Also, how are unbelievers making a big deal out of nothing?

Reread your post to see how much effort you put into something that will burn up soon.

How is it nothing?

What you see is nothing but an illusion that will go away soon. It won't be long before your post is buried beneath the rest of the illusions that seemed important in the past.