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Ranting About Agnosticism and Atheism

SkepticalStardust
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6/16/2014 12:00:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
When did "I'm agnostic" become an acceptable answer for the question of whether or not someone believes in a god? You're being asked what you believe, not how certain you are of what you believe.

There are only two answers for the question "Do you believe in god(s)?"
Answer 1: Yes
Answer 2: No
(If you see a false dichotomy here, then you're an idiot.)

There are also only two answers to the question "Do you believe 'A' is a number?" If you don't actively believe it, then the answer is no. If you're answer is "I'm not sure; I haven't decided yet", then the answer is no, since you don't believe that "A" is a number. This is no different for the question "Do you believe in god(s)"?

If you're not a theist, you're an atheist. If you're not an atheist, you're a theist. Why is this? It's because the damned word "atheist" is a word that describes, by definition, everyone who is not a theist. Being an atheist does not mean that you believe that there is no god, but rather that you don't believe that there is a god. Atheism is a word that describes a lack of belief. Sure, there are atheists who do believe that there is no god, but that's fine. Belief in no god does not contradict a lack of belief in god(s). Believing that you can't be 100% certain of whether or not god(s) exist also does not contradict a lack of belief in god. The one and only thing that can contradict the lack of belief in god(s) is a belief in god(s). Put into words that more concisely convey what I'm trying to say, the only way you're not an atheist is is you're a theist.

Consider:
All theists are people who believe in god(s).

If you accept that as true and you have a basic understanding of logic, then you know this must be true:
All non-(people who believe in god(s)) are non-theists.

non-theist = atheist (complaints? I'm assuming not.)

Non-(people who believe in god(s)) = people who don't actively believe in god(s). (complaints? I'm assuming not, but please stop lying to yourself if you do have complaints with this.)

With our new definitions:

All people who don't actively believe in god(s) are atheists.

Oh, and in case you feel a strong urge to look up the definition of atheism or a few other things, I've done it for you.

Atheism:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a disbelief in the existence of deity

The follow up to that is disbelief:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real

Therefore, atheism is the feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept the existence of a deity.

Also, so that I don't appear dishonest, I'd like to say that atheist had a different definition:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a person who believes that God does not exist

Merriam-Webster's definition of atheism is inconsistent with its definition of atheist. I choose the former's definition not only because it makes my point, but also because it's how every self-identifying atheist I know would describe the term. I'm also sure that no self-identifying atheists on this site with have any complaints with that definition.

If you disagree with everything I've said, then fine. We don't have to fight over the word, which most theists only do because it means that there's no burden of proof on atheists (but not really; there's no burden of proof on the atheist ideology. the word is just a shortcut for explaining what you believe). If you refuse to accept the word I choose for part of my self-identity, then I'll change the word. If you still disagree with me, then you may from now on call me a lackingbeliefite.

My own definition of lackingbeliefite:
A person who does not accept the claim that god(s) exist(s). This person can claim that god(s) does/do not exist, but can also not accept the claim that god(s) does/do not exist. This person can accept literally any claim except that a god exists. This person can also accept literally no claims.

That's my definition. If you refuse to accept atheism as I've put it, feel free to call me a lackingbeliefite. Either way, if you're the kind of person that argues with atheists about the definition of atheism, stop. You're not defeating their ideas by attacking the word they choose to represent them. If you're a self-identifying agnostic and think that it's enough of an answer, realize that you also fall under my category of lackingbeliefite. Agnostic is an amount of knowing. It doesn't even have to be about god(s). I'm agnostic about simulation theory. I'm agnostic about whether or not my cat was abducted by aliens last night. I'm also agnostic about god(s). I'm agnostic about these things because there is no way I can know for sure. Anyone gnostic about anything unknowable is either a moron, a liar, or doesn't understand what the word means.

Important quote that should have gone somewhere else in here:
"Absence of belief is not belief in absence."
- I have no idea

I apologize for the lack of a clear direction in this rant. It was fueled by a few beers and boredom. Let me know what you all think.

P.S. If you're an agnostic(the kind that uses the word to explain their belief/lack of belief in god(s)) and you understand the definition as including "does not accept that a god exists" or "accepts that god exists" or "accepts that no god exists" or something, then you're forgiven. I don't know anyone who would use those definitions, but you're forgiven.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/16/2014 12:03:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I confess that I didn't proofread this. Please forgive me for any minor errors.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/16/2014 1:39:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 1:35:32 AM, Envisage wrote:
There's not a whole more to it than that...

It's not exactly a hard concept to grasp....

Most non-atheists I meet or talk to have a hard time grasping it. I won't try to change anyone's mind about anything if they can't grasp it. They're either too stupid or just unwilling.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/16/2014 10:35:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'd really like to know what someone who disagrees with my definition of atheism has to say about this.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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6/16/2014 12:41:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'll just call you an agnostic or a negative atheist to avoid loaded terms. We are discussing ontology not epistemology; God either exists or not.

Although I admire that you admit your failure to maintain a burden of proof despite occasionally spouting arguments against gods like the problem of evil.
Graincruncher
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6/16/2014 12:45:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
I'll just call you an agnostic or a negative atheist to avoid loaded terms. We are discussing ontology not epistemology; God either exists or not.

We're discussing whether someone claims to know what they believe to be true or whether they have some doubt. This is an epistemic claim. The doxastic (not ontological) claim deals with the belief, the epistemic with the knowledge claims attached to that belief.

I find it utterly absurd that anyone even argues this point anymore.
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/16/2014 1:50:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
I'll just call you an agnostic or a negative atheist to avoid loaded terms. We are discussing ontology not epistemology; God either exists or not.

Although I admire that you admit your failure to maintain a burden of proof despite occasionally spouting arguments against gods like the problem of evil.

The problem of evil doesn't claim that a god doesn't exist; the claim made by the PoE is that an all powerful, all knowing, all good god cannot exist in a world with evil. It's like saying a married bachelor can't exist. It only points out that a specific kind of god would be logically inconsistent.

Also, I acknowledge that the existence of a god can't be disproven, but the burden of proof doesn't fall on the lack of acceptance of a claim. Asking someone to prove that a god doesn't exist is like asking someone to prove that invisible, intangible, silent Martians don't exist. It's impossible, but it's unnecessary since the BoP lies on the party making the claim.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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6/16/2014 1:53:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
There have been a number of times when I tried to explain this to someone. I've used the court room guilty/not guilty analogy and a jar full of jelly beans odd/even analogy (both cribbed from Matt Dillahunty). Someone hell-bent on making atheists out to be jerks and somehow distinct from allegedly more honest/pleasant agnostics usually will not be swayed by any argument. So when I fail to change someone's mind, I simply say "fine, I'm an agnostic, then. I don't really care what the label is." But they will inevitably continue to call me an atheist in a pejorative sense. Some folks just want to tell you who you are and what you believe because it's so much easier to hate you when you're the demon they're imagining you to be.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/16/2014 3:49:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 12:00:50 AM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
When did "I'm agnostic" become an acceptable answer for the question of whether or not someone believes in a god? You're being asked what you believe, not how certain you are of what you believe.

There are only two answers for the question "Do you believe in god(s)?"
Answer 1: Yes
Answer 2: No
(If you see a false dichotomy here, then you're an idiot.)

There are also only two answers to the question "Do you believe 'A' is a number?" If you don't actively believe it, then the answer is no. If you're answer is "I'm not sure; I haven't decided yet", then the answer is no, since you don't believe that "A" is a number. This is no different for the question "Do you believe in god(s)"?

If you're not a theist, you're an atheist. If you're not an atheist, you're a theist. Why is this? It's because the damned word "atheist" is a word that describes, by definition, everyone who is not a theist. Being an atheist does not mean that you believe that there is no god, but rather that you don't believe that there is a god. Atheism is a word that describes a lack of belief. Sure, there are atheists who do believe that there is no god, but that's fine. Belief in no god does not contradict a lack of belief in god(s). Believing that you can't be 100% certain of whether or not god(s) exist also does not contradict a lack of belief in god. The one and only thing that can contradict the lack of belief in god(s) is a belief in god(s). Put into words that more concisely convey what I'm trying to say, the only way you're not an atheist is is you're a theist.


Consider:
All theists are people who believe in god(s).

If you accept that as true and you have a basic understanding of logic, then you know this must be true:
All non-(people who believe in god(s)) are non-theists.

non-theist = atheist (complaints? I'm assuming not.)

Non-(people who believe in god(s)) = people who don't actively believe in god(s). (complaints? I'm assuming not, but please stop lying to yourself if you do have complaints with this.)

With our new definitions:

All people who don't actively believe in god(s) are atheists.


Oh, and in case you feel a strong urge to look up the definition of atheism or a few other things, I've done it for you.

Atheism:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a disbelief in the existence of deity

The follow up to that is disbelief:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real

Therefore, atheism is the feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept the existence of a deity.

Also, so that I don't appear dishonest, I'd like to say that atheist had a different definition:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a person who believes that God does not exist

Merriam-Webster's definition of atheism is inconsistent with its definition of atheist. I choose the former's definition not only because it makes my point, but also because it's how every self-identifying atheist I know would describe the term. I'm also sure that no self-identifying atheists on this site with have any complaints with that definition.

If you disagree with everything I've said, then fine. We don't have to fight over the word, which most theists only do because it means that there's no burden of proof on atheists (but not really; there's no burden of proof on the atheist ideology. the word is just a shortcut for explaining what you believe). If you refuse to accept the word I choose for part of my self-identity, then I'll change the word. If you still disagree with me, then you may from now on call me a lackingbeliefite.

My own definition of lackingbeliefite:
A person who does not accept the claim that god(s) exist(s). This person can claim that god(s) does/do not exist, but can also not accept the claim that god(s) does/do not exist. This person can accept literally any claim except that a god exists. This person can also accept literally no claims.

That's my definition. If you refuse to accept atheism as I've put it, feel free to call me a lackingbeliefite. Either way, if you're the kind of person that argues with atheists about the definition of atheism, stop. You're not defeating their ideas by attacking the word they choose to represent them. If you're a self-identifying agnostic and think that it's enough of an answer, realize that you also fall under my category of lackingbeliefite. Agnostic is an amount of knowing. It doesn't even have to be about god(s). I'm agnostic about simulation theory. I'm agnostic about whether or not my cat was abducted by aliens last night. I'm also agnostic about god(s). I'm agnostic about these things because there is no way I can know for sure. Anyone gnostic about anything unknowable is either a moron, a liar, or doesn't understand what the word means.



Important quote that should have gone somewhere else in here:
"Absence of belief is not belief in absence."
- I have no idea


I apologize for the lack of a clear direction in this rant. It was fueled by a few beers and boredom. Let me know what you all think.


P.S. If you're an agnostic(the kind that uses the word to explain their belief/lack of belief in god(s)) and you understand the definition as including "does not accept that a god exists" or "accepts that god exists" or "accepts that no god exists" or something, then you're forgiven. I don't know anyone who would use those definitions, but you're forgiven.

I hear stuff like this before. To enlarge your numbers I have seen Atheist make arguments to include in their position Agnostics, Deists, Buddhist, Satanist, Scientology...

Your right not reason to argue with you. You have proven yourself to be irrational.

there's no burden of proof on the atheist ideology. So Atheist claims are meaningless.

My own definition of lackingbeliefite: Par of the course with Atheists to make their own definitions to words like proof, evidence, god, universe, logic, metaphysical, energy, physical, etc... etc... I give you props you created a word to go with your created definition.

You clearly have identified a problem. Atheists are not well defined. They hold onto the broadest definition because it makes arguing for stuff easier.

Atheist arguments mostly fall back on semantics. Cause the dictionary apparently is fact and the real world.
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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6/16/2014 5:38:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 1:50:43 PM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
At 6/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
I'll just call you an agnostic or a negative atheist to avoid loaded terms. We are discussing ontology not epistemology; God either exists or not.

Although I admire that you admit your failure to maintain a burden of proof despite occasionally spouting arguments against gods like the problem of evil.

The problem of evil doesn't claim that a god doesn't exist; the claim made by the PoE is that an all powerful, all knowing, all good god cannot exist in a world with evil. It's like saying a married bachelor can't exist. It only points out that a specific kind of god would be logically inconsistent.

Also, I acknowledge that the existence of a god can't be disproven, but the burden of proof doesn't fall on the lack of acceptance of a claim. Asking someone to prove that a god doesn't exist is like asking someone to prove that invisible, intangible, silent Martians don't exist. It's impossible, but it's unnecessary since the BoP lies on the party making the claim.

Because atheists have no evidence to support the position that there is no god, that position also is dismissible per Hitchen's paradoxical words. According to you, the atheist makes no claim other than the claim that all the theist claims are invalid; thus the atheist needs no proof for the validity of his own claim. Gimme a break.
I mean seriously, can you cut off your special pleading fallacy and category error? Apply the same criteria of evidence you demand to your position.

Let me make things easier for you:

"If not Q, then I am unconvinced about the existence of a deity".
"If no P, then the theists have not proven their case".

Define what is Q and what is P.
True skepticism requires a brain in a vat scenario, it's definition is self-destructive: "Believing in totally disbelieving everything". However so called atheist skepticism are only religious skeptics. They don't question skepticism, materialism, random chaos being a cause, abiogenesis, a material mind, the claim that the claims of theists are false.

They choose what they be skeptic of and what to believe in based on authority. This is called Dogma. If you throw around red herrings like redefining terms and not give us any clue about what would convince you, then I have to assume that the basis for your belief is emotional rather than logical or scientific, thus you will always remain "unconvinced" regardless of what is presented.

Regarding the invisible, intangible, silent Martians, well that is original. Unfortunately, the trite fallacy is the antonym of originality. Mixing absurd claims and using them as a false analogy toward a rational claim is called an association fallacy. We are talking about a first cause that necessarily exists.

Atheism is empty, you have no rational arguments or material empirical evidence to offer or present in either prove of atheism or disprove theism.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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6/16/2014 6:50:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 5:38:03 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
Because atheists have no evidence to support the position that there is no god, that position also is dismissible per Hitchen's paradoxical words. According to you, the atheist makes no claim other than the claim that all the theist claims are invalid; thus the atheist needs no proof for the validity of his own claim. Gimme a break.
I mean seriously, can you cut off your special pleading fallacy and category error? Apply the same criteria of evidence you demand to your position.

Let me make things easier for you:

"If not Q, then I am unconvinced about the existence of a deity".
"If no P, then the theists have not proven their case".

Define what is Q and what is P.
True skepticism requires a brain in a vat scenario, it's definition is self-destructive: "Believing in totally disbelieving everything". However so called atheist skepticism are only religious skeptics. They don't question skepticism, materialism, random chaos being a cause, abiogenesis, a material mind, the claim that the claims of theists are false.

They choose what they be skeptic of and what to believe in based on authority. This is called Dogma. If you throw around red herrings like redefining terms and not give us any clue about what would convince you, then I have to assume that the basis for your belief is emotional rather than logical or scientific, thus you will always remain "unconvinced" regardless of what is presented.

Regarding the invisible, intangible, silent Martians, well that is original. Unfortunately, the trite fallacy is the antonym of originality. Mixing absurd claims and using them as a false analogy toward a rational claim is called an association fallacy. We are talking about a first cause that necessarily exists.


Atheism is empty, you have no rational arguments or material empirical evidence to offer or present in either prove of atheism or disprove theism.

There appears to be some misunderstanding of atheists here. We all have different reasons for why we're skeptical of religion. I'm fairly sure we're all also skeptical of other subjects. I won't presume to speak for all atheists with regard to specifically what we're skeptical of, but this is my general thought process for pretty much everything: some phenomenon A is observed; there are some competing explanations for it, A, B, and C; I have to continue living as though one or none of these is true; I will live as though the one that best explains the available evidence is true, provided at least one of them is an explanation that does not directly contradict some other aspect of what I know with more certainty. And if something changes with that explanation, I will reassess.

To use an example, where applicable, I live in accordance with an acceptance of evolution as the explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. I find that it best explains the available evidence (fossils, DNA, observed genetic drift) compared to other proposed explanations and it does not conflict with anything that I know with more certainty. But I happily read about changes or challenges to evolutionary theory and reassess as necessary.

I like to think that most people go through this process, but that some folks exclude their personal religious ideals from it. I imagine you think atheists are selectively skeptical simply because we don't specifically point out that we also scrutinize whatever argument we're making. Posts get long enough on forums. Adding "which I also question, but find much more convincing than the thing I'm arguing against" would just be ridiculous, and unnecessary.
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/16/2014 8:03:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 5:38:03 PM, Dragonfang wrote:

Because atheists have no evidence to support the position that there is no god, that position also is dismissible per Hitchen's paradoxical words.

This is what my post was originally about. Atheism doesn't have a position of "There is no god." It has a position of "There isn't sufficient reason to believe there is a god, thus I don't." Individual atheists might have a position of "There is no god," but they're idiots because the existence of a deity is unfalsifiable.

According to you, the atheist makes no claim other than the claim that all the theist claims are invalid; thus the atheist needs no proof for the validity of his own claim. Gimme a break.

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by invalid. If you're talking about validity in formal logic, then something is valid if, assuming all premises are true, the conclusion necessarily follows. It's invalid if the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow. There are no opinions in formal logic. If something in formal logic in invalid, it can be shown to be invalid even if you replace terms with symbols. Also, a claim can't be valid or invalid in formal logic; only arguments can. Because of this, I'll assume you're using the concept of validity in the more common way. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Assuming all of this, I see what you said as "According to you, atheists argue that theist's claims are wrong, therefore atheists need nothing to support their own claim. Gimme a break." Individual atheists may say things like this, but atheism does not. Atheism is the position of not accepting the claim that there's a deity. Atheism does not claim that there is no god. Atheism doesn't claim that theists are wrong, only that there isn't enough reason for the individual atheist to believe that a god or gods exist.

Think of it this way: Do you believe Barrack Obama paints himself nude once a month? I'm assuming you don't. Do you believe that he definitely doesn't? I'm assuming you don't again. You refuse to accept the claim that Obama paints himself nude once a month, but you're not accepting the claim that he doesn't. Why? Because there's no way for you to know if either are true at this time. Your absence of belief is not a belief in absence. The mindset here is identical to the mindset of my atheist position and the opinion of many atheists.

I mean seriously, can you cut off your special pleading fallacy and category error? Apply the same criteria of evidence you demand to your position.

There's no special pleading fallacy or category error. My position is "I don't accept your claim." I'm not claiming that there is no god, only that there isn't sufficient reason (in my opinion) to believe there is one. I would happily debate an atheist claiming that there is no god. Like I said earlier, the existence of a god is unfalsifiable. It's impossible for anything or anyone to ever prove that a god doesn't exist, so claiming that one doesn't exist is idiotic. This is true for Allah, Yahweh, ghosts, aliens, etc.


Let me make things easier for you:

"If not Q, then I am unconvinced about the existence of a deity".
"If no P, then the theists have not proven their case".

Define what is Q and what is P.
True skepticism requires a brain in a vat scenario, it's definition is self-destructive: "Believing in totally disbelieving everything". However so called atheist skepticism are only religious skeptics. They don't question skepticism, materialism, random chaos being a cause, abiogenesis, a material mind, the claim that the claims of theists are false.

I'm not skeptical of skepticism because that doesn't make sense. Being skeptical of skepticism is still skepticism. On materialism and the material mind, you may be referring to people who say that they are definitely the only things that exist. I'm not saying that. The material world and the material mind exist. You also accept this, assuming you're not a solipsist or something. I just don't accept claims that anything beyond the material world and mind exist. I'm not saying they don't exist, only that I don't personally have sufficient evidence to believe that they do. Random chaos being a cause of what? Life? No one says that. I'm open to possibility that abiogenesis or panspermia are wrong. I wouldn't jump to a supernatural conclusion, but I have no problem with them being wrong. I don't claim that theists claims are false; I just don't personally have sufficient reason to believe that they're true.

By the way, the only qualification for being an atheist is the lack of belief in a god or gods. An atheist can believe without skepticism in a supernatural world guided by supernatural dragons who pulled in life from another dimension and that that life has a soul and that theists might be right. None of what you said has anything to do with atheism. Plenty of atheists, not me, believe in an afterlife.


They choose what they be skeptic of and what to believe in based on authority. This is called Dogma. If you throw around red herrings like redefining terms and not give us any clue about what would convince you, then I have to assume that the basis for your belief is emotional rather than logical or scientific, thus you will always remain "unconvinced" regardless of what is presented.


I would much rather believe in an afterlife than not, whether it's the Christian afterlife in heaven or any pleasant afterlife. I don't believe because I don't personally see sufficient reason to believe. An afterlife being a nice idea isn't enough to make me believe it it no matter how much I could ever want to. Something that would convince me is specific predictions coming true multiple times. Predictions that aren't open to interpretation, possibly self-fulfilling, or things that happen on and off throughout time. I could write predictions like those. The point of most religions, however, is that you must believe on faith without evidence. That's not something I can force myself to believe in.

Anyway, what does this have to do with the original discussion?

Regarding the invisible, intangible, silent Martians, well that is original. Unfortunately, the trite fallacy is the antonym of originality. Mixing absurd claims and using them as a false analogy toward a rational claim is called an association fallacy. We are talking about a first cause that necessarily exists.

It's not a false analogy. The analogy was between the inability to disprove the two and nothing else. The same can be said for ghosts, aliens, leprechauns, or every god that isn't the one you believe in. You can't disprove any of those things, but that doesn't make them any truer.



Atheism is empty, you have no rational arguments or material empirical evidence to offer or present in either prove of atheism or disprove theism.

Again, I'm not making a claim. Individual atheists can make claims, but atheism doesn't make any claims. Atheism simply doesn't accept the claim that a god or gods exist. That's all. What is it that I should try to prove? That it's true that I don't accept a claim? It's possible that theists are right, but I don't believe they are. I'm not saying there is no god, I simply don't accept that there is one. Absence of belief is not belief in absence. Not accepting A is not accepting not A.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
jh1234l
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6/17/2014 2:02:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 10:35:05 AM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
I'd really like to know what someone who disagrees with my definition of atheism has to say about this.

Your definition is that anyone who is not a theist must be an atheist. This has a flaw, in my opinion.

There are non-theist religions, like Buddhism. Some religions do not have a creator god/gods.

If your definition is correct, then Buddhists are also atheists.
My political compass:
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1 square right of Nelson Mandela, 2 squares down from Francois Hollande
bebil10
Posts: 139
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6/17/2014 2:12:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What I always find funny is the person who doesn't grasp this always seems to grasp that:
gnostic means: to know there is a god

adding the "a" does not mean: Knowing there is no god.

Yet, they completely lose any consistency when they add the "a" to theist.

Its either intentional or pure stupidity.
Conservative101
Posts: 191
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6/17/2014 3:08:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 12:00:50 AM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
When did "I'm agnostic" become an acceptable answer for the question of whether or not someone believes in a god? You're being asked what you believe, not how certain you are of what you believe.

There are only two answers for the question "Do you believe in god(s)?"
Answer 1: Yes
Answer 2: No
(If you see a false dichotomy here, then you're an idiot.)

There are also only two answers to the question "Do you believe 'A' is a number?" If you don't actively believe it, then the answer is no. If you're answer is "I'm not sure; I haven't decided yet", then the answer is no, since you don't believe that "A" is a number. This is no different for the question "Do you believe in god(s)"?

If you're not a theist, you're an atheist. If you're not an atheist, you're a theist. Why is this? It's because the damned word "atheist" is a word that describes, by definition, everyone who is not a theist. Being an atheist does not mean that you believe that there is no god, but rather that you don't believe that there is a god. Atheism is a word that describes a lack of belief. Sure, there are atheists who do believe that there is no god, but that's fine. Belief in no god does not contradict a lack of belief in god(s). Believing that you can't be 100% certain of whether or not god(s) exist also does not contradict a lack of belief in god. The one and only thing that can contradict the lack of belief in god(s) is a belief in god(s). Put into words that more concisely convey what I'm trying to say, the only way you're not an atheist is is you're a theist.


Consider:
All theists are people who believe in god(s).

If you accept that as true and you have a basic understanding of logic, then you know this must be true:
All non-(people who believe in god(s)) are non-theists.

non-theist = atheist (complaints? I'm assuming not.)

Non-(people who believe in god(s)) = people who don't actively believe in god(s). (complaints? I'm assuming not, but please stop lying to yourself if you do have complaints with this.)

With our new definitions:

All people who don't actively believe in god(s) are atheists.


Oh, and in case you feel a strong urge to look up the definition of atheism or a few other things, I've done it for you.

Atheism:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a disbelief in the existence of deity

The follow up to that is disbelief:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real

Therefore, atheism is the feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept the existence of a deity.

Also, so that I don't appear dishonest, I'd like to say that atheist had a different definition:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a person who believes that God does not exist

Merriam-Webster's definition of atheism is inconsistent with its definition of atheist. I choose the former's definition not only because it makes my point, but also because it's how every self-identifying atheist I know would describe the term. I'm also sure that no self-identifying atheists on this site with have any complaints with that definition.

If you disagree with everything I've said, then fine. We don't have to fight over the word, which most theists only do because it means that there's no burden of proof on atheists (but not really; there's no burden of proof on the atheist ideology. the word is just a shortcut for explaining what you believe). If you refuse to accept the word I choose for part of my self-identity, then I'll change the word. If you still disagree with me, then you may from now on call me a lackingbeliefite.

My own definition of lackingbeliefite:
A person who does not accept the claim that god(s) exist(s). This person can claim that god(s) does/do not exist, but can also not accept the claim that god(s) does/do not exist. This person can accept literally any claim except that a god exists. This person can also accept literally no claims.

That's my definition. If you refuse to accept atheism as I've put it, feel free to call me a lackingbeliefite. Either way, if you're the kind of person that argues with atheists about the definition of atheism, stop. You're not defeating their ideas by attacking the word they choose to represent them. If you're a self-identifying agnostic and think that it's enough of an answer, realize that you also fall under my category of lackingbeliefite. Agnostic is an amount of knowing. It doesn't even have to be about god(s). I'm agnostic about simulation theory. I'm agnostic about whether or not my cat was abducted by aliens last night. I'm also agnostic about god(s). I'm agnostic about these things because there is no way I can know for sure. Anyone gnostic about anything unknowable is either a moron, a liar, or doesn't understand what the word means.



Important quote that should have gone somewhere else in here:
"Absence of belief is not belief in absence."
- I have no idea


I apologize for the lack of a clear direction in this rant. It was fueled by a few beers and boredom. Let me know what you all think.


P.S. If you're an agnostic(the kind that uses the word to explain their belief/lack of belief in god(s)) and you understand the definition as including "does not accept that a god exists" or "accepts that god exists" or "accepts that no god exists" or something, then you're forgiven. I don't know anyone who would use those definitions, but you're forgiven.

Oh, semantics.
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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6/17/2014 4:12:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/17/2014 2:02:19 PM, jh1234l wrote:
At 6/16/2014 10:35:05 AM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
I'd really like to know what someone who disagrees with my definition of atheism has to say about this.

Your definition is that anyone who is not a theist must be an atheist. This has a flaw, in my opinion.

There are non-theist religions, like Buddhism. Some religions do not have a creator god/gods.

If your definition is correct, then Buddhists are also atheists.

Pretty much. The flavors of Buddhism that do not recognize the existence of a god or gods are atheistic forms of the religion.
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/18/2014 8:34:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/17/2014 2:02:19 PM, jh1234l wrote:
At 6/16/2014 10:35:05 AM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
I'd really like to know what someone who disagrees with my definition of atheism has to say about this.

Your definition is that anyone who is not a theist must be an atheist. This has a flaw, in my opinion.

That's exactly what the definition is. A theist is a person who believes a god or gods exist. An atheist is a person who does not believe that a god or gods exist. Being an atheist is being not a theist.

There are non-theist religions, like Buddhism. Some religions do not have a creator god/gods.

If your definition is correct, then Buddhists are also atheists.

Yes. Buddhism is an atheistic religion. Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god or gods, not a religion.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/30/2014 8:38:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/17/2014 3:08:44 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
At 6/16/2014 12:00:50 AM, SkepticalStardust wrote:
When did "I'm agnostic" become an acceptable answer for the question of whether or not someone believes in a god? You're being asked what you believe, not how certain you are of what you believe.

There are only two answers for the question "Do you believe in god(s)?"
Answer 1: Yes
Answer 2: No
(If you see a false dichotomy here, then you're an idiot.)

There are also only two answers to the question "Do you believe 'A' is a number?" If you don't actively believe it, then the answer is no. If you're answer is "I'm not sure; I haven't decided yet", then the answer is no, since you don't believe that "A" is a number. This is no different for the question "Do you believe in god(s)"?

If you're not a theist, you're an atheist. If you're not an atheist, you're a theist. Why is this? It's because the damned word "atheist" is a word that describes, by definition, everyone who is not a theist. Being an atheist does not mean that you believe that there is no god, but rather that you don't believe that there is a god. Atheism is a word that describes a lack of belief. Sure, there are atheists who do believe that there is no god, but that's fine. Belief in no god does not contradict a lack of belief in god(s). Believing that you can't be 100% certain of whether or not god(s) exist also does not contradict a lack of belief in god. The one and only thing that can contradict the lack of belief in god(s) is a belief in god(s). Put into words that more concisely convey what I'm trying to say, the only way you're not an atheist is is you're a theist.


Consider:
All theists are people who believe in god(s).

If you accept that as true and you have a basic understanding of logic, then you know this must be true:
All non-(people who believe in god(s)) are non-theists.

non-theist = atheist (complaints? I'm assuming not.)

Non-(people who believe in god(s)) = people who don't actively believe in god(s). (complaints? I'm assuming not, but please stop lying to yourself if you do have complaints with this.)

With our new definitions:

All people who don't actively believe in god(s) are atheists.


Oh, and in case you feel a strong urge to look up the definition of atheism or a few other things, I've done it for you.

Atheism:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a disbelief in the existence of deity

The follow up to that is disbelief:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real

Therefore, atheism is the feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept the existence of a deity.

Also, so that I don't appear dishonest, I'd like to say that atheist had a different definition:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
a person who believes that God does not exist

Merriam-Webster's definition of atheism is inconsistent with its definition of atheist. I choose the former's definition not only because it makes my point, but also because it's how every self-identifying atheist I know would describe the term. I'm also sure that no self-identifying atheists on this site with have any complaints with that definition.

If you disagree with everything I've said, then fine. We don't have to fight over the word, which most theists only do because it means that there's no burden of proof on atheists (but not really; there's no burden of proof on the atheist ideology. the word is just a shortcut for explaining what you believe). If you refuse to accept the word I choose for part of my self-identity, then I'll change the word. If you still disagree with me, then you may from now on call me a lackingbeliefite.

My own definition of lackingbeliefite:
A person who does not accept the claim that god(s) exist(s). This person can claim that god(s) does/do not exist, but can also not accept the claim that god(s) does/do not exist. This person can accept literally any claim except that a god exists. This person can also accept literally no claims.

That's my definition. If you refuse to accept atheism as I've put it, feel free to call me a lackingbeliefite. Either way, if you're the kind of person that argues with atheists about the definition of atheism, stop. You're not defeating their ideas by attacking the word they choose to represent them. If you're a self-identifying agnostic and think that it's enough of an answer, realize that you also fall under my category of lackingbeliefite. Agnostic is an amount of knowing. It doesn't even have to be about god(s). I'm agnostic about simulation theory. I'm agnostic about whether or not my cat was abducted by aliens last night. I'm also agnostic about god(s). I'm agnostic about these things because there is no way I can know for sure. Anyone gnostic about anything unknowable is either a moron, a liar, or doesn't understand what the word means.



Important quote that should have gone somewhere else in here:
"Absence of belief is not belief in absence."
- I have no idea


I apologize for the lack of a clear direction in this rant. It was fueled by a few beers and boredom. Let me know what you all think.


P.S. If you're an agnostic(the kind that uses the word to explain their belief/lack of belief in god(s)) and you understand the definition as including "does not accept that a god exists" or "accepts that god exists" or "accepts that no god exists" or something, then you're forgiven. I don't know anyone who would use those definitions, but you're forgiven.

Oh, semantics.

Yes. This post is entirely about semantics. It's difficult to know over the internet, but it seems to me like your post was trying to diminish the relevance of my post. Semantics are important when a large group of people misunderstand the meaning of a word they continue to use in arguments.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens