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Why are you a Theist or Atheist?

Rational_Thinker9119
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7/9/2014 1:20:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I put this in the philosophy section because the reasons why someone is a Theist or Atheist probably deals with philosophy. I am a Theist because I believe Idealism is the best ontology regarding the mind, and it seems to imply Theism strongly. Why are you a Theist or Atheist?
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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7/9/2014 2:51:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 1:20:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I put this in the philosophy section because the reasons why someone is a Theist or Atheist probably deals with philosophy. I am a Theist because I believe Idealism is the best ontology regarding the mind, and it seems to imply Theism strongly. Why are you a Theist or Atheist?

I'm an atheist because:

1: If I don't find there to be sufficient reason to believe in the existence of god(s), then I don't believe in the existence of god(s).
2: I don't find there to be sufficient reason to believe in the existence of god(s).
3: I don't believe in the existence of god(s).

I believe there probably aren't any gods, but only because there are, in my opinion, acceptable ways of explaining the universe without adding god(s) into the mix, which serves only to complicate the issue by adding an unnecessary and unfounded step, a step that would require more of an explanation than the original problem. I also find the existence of gods from religions to be far less likely than the existence of a deistic god.

Anyway, that's all just my opinion. God(s) may or may not exist.

Also, I wouldn't phrase the question as "Why are you an atheist?", since I don't have a choice in the matter. It's not as if I can will myself to believe. For my kind of atheism, a more accurate way of phrasing the question would be "Why aren't you a theist?"

I don't speak for any other atheists.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/9/2014 3:45:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 1:20:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I put this in the philosophy section because the reasons why someone is a Theist or Atheist probably deals with philosophy. I am a Theist because I believe Idealism is the best ontology regarding the mind, and it seems to imply Theism strongly. Why are you a Theist or Atheist?

Realized my original reasons for believing in God were just bad reasons

Then took a step back and found how amusing it was for theists to (badly) attempt to justify their beliefs. Looked at the more sophisticated arguments and run into so many of the same problems.

Seems to be a case that they are starting with a conclusion and working to an argument, rather the other way round. That's not honest enquiry.

The most convincing arguments I see for theism are probably based off ontology, but I am definitely a physicalist (naturalist) at heart, it just has way too much explanatory power in my opinion and it seems that idealist assumptions are increasingly shaky as science progresses. Definitely examining my position on it, however.

Physicalism doesn't rule out God though, it just cuts out most the dualist takes on God out, when I see as rather laughable....
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/9/2014 4:43:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 1:20:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I put this in the philosophy section because the reasons why someone is a Theist or Atheist probably deals with philosophy. I am a Theist because I believe Idealism is the best ontology regarding the mind, and it seems to imply Theism strongly. Why are you a Theist or Atheist?

Because every argument I've ever seen for the existence of God seems incredibly weak, either because it's just a terrible argument, or because it's an argument that's based on other arguments and the link is weak, or the originating argument uncertain. (For example, and without finding fault, I think it's a big leap to get from "some mind" to a Theistic position, even if Idealism is accepted wholly, which is far from absolutely certain).

I don't actively assert no such thing as a god exists, but I fail to see any compelling reason to actually believe one does.
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neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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7/9/2014 6:16:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I believe what I believe because my beliefs seem far more logical and reasonable to me than the alternatives (so, in other words, probably the same reason that most people are theist OR atheist). I went from atheist to religious, and after leaving religion and further investigating for myself and after I had decided to stop taking theists and atheists word for it, I personally found that I felt that the arguments that theists AND atheists make suck (in my opinion) and I couldn't subscribe to either. I therefor came to my own conclusions instead (based not only on my own thoughts, but on many other people's ideas and philosophies). I am *technically* a theist (not an atheist), but I would NOT prefer to associate myself on the subject of spirituality with most theists OR atheists. Both leave a bad taste in my mouth. In fact, either one tastes like the worlds largest pile of bullsh*t flavored with @sshole opinions that are ASSumed to be truths (if that pile of bullsh*t and opinions could cover the whole d@mn Earth and was constantly spewing out of the mouths of theists and atheists alike). That's a whole lot of @ss flavor if you ask me. I'm still trying to dig my way out of all that bullsh*t, @sshole opinions, and ASSumptions and I feel like I'm starting to see the smallest little speck of light poking through. I don't know if my beliefs will ever stop maturing, but I feel a lot better about where they're headed than I ever did when I was religious OR when I was an atheist.
bulproof
Posts: 25,296
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7/9/2014 7:57:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Mankind has created millions of gods, there are millions of gods still worshiped today. All of whom were created by man.
Cavemen created gods and everyone since has done the same, cavemen were in awe of everything their developing brains began to be aware of, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, the sky, the rain, the lightening, the thunder, absolutely everything they encountered including death they wanted answers for.
A caveman who has only just started to develop the capacity for thought, for imagination wants to know what happens to the child they have invested so much time and care and love into goes when it stops being alive, for whatever reason, will come up with a chance perhaps that they can meet this child again in some way.

Do you think that they may have envisioned an afterlife where their child was always happy, never hungry, never cold in fact living in a world of bliss that eventually the parent would join them? After all, these images would not have bloomed into totality, but would have been passed down and enhanced and embellished over generations as the brain also developed in synchronicity.
Eventually the stories would require a reason for this "afterlife" and a deity for the afterlife would come into existence. Over the time we have discussed, many of our other questions have been answered by the gods we have supplied to answer them.
Somewhere in a place that was called canaan a priest or powerful person decided that one of these gods would provide the power he was desperate for and he would make that one god his god. He would produce stories of great feats and conquests and power for this god (and his consort) and produce a new "monotheistic" tsk religion using the god he recruited from the pantheon. Later some salesmen used the same technique to evolve that religion into another, but this religion really did have the power to kill and destroy and coerce the population to abide.

Fast forward and we have christianity now being challenged for their deceptions, inhumanity and abuse of human rights desperately trying to prove their validity to those who understand the earliest part of this monologue.

To the haters, go ahead and insult, I know that you have nothing else, go for it.
popculturepooka
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7/9/2014 9:28:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Because most atheist arguments are bad. (Especially the one about why atheists don't have to provide arguments prima facie because theirs is the "default position".)

To be fair, most theist arguments are too, but I find the good ones, on balance, out weigh the good atheist arguments for me.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Envisage
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7/9/2014 9:48:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 9:28:01 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Because most atheist arguments are bad. (Especially the one about why atheists don't have to provide arguments prima facie because theirs is the "default position".)

To be fair, most theist arguments are too, but I find the good ones, on balance, out weigh the good atheist arguments for me.

We should debate the existence of God sometime with a shared BoP....
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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7/9/2014 10:32:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 1:20:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I am a Theist because I believe Idealism is the best ontology regarding the mind, and it seems to imply Theism strongly.

What does this even mean?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
bulproof
Posts: 25,296
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7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.
dylancatlow
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7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/9/2014 11:11:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 9:28:01 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Because most atheist arguments are bad. (Especially the one about why atheists don't have to provide arguments prima facie because theirs is the "default position".)

Why do you take issue with that? Do you believe that the default position should be that of belief?

To be fair, most theist arguments are too, but I find the good ones, on balance, out weigh the good atheist arguments for me.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
bulproof
Posts: 25,296
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7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/9/2014 11:20:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?

Actually, I was an atheist up until about 18. I was an atheist because I thought God was unnecessary to explain the universe, and saw no reason why one should exist. Now I know better.
bulproof
Posts: 25,296
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7/9/2014 11:26:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:20:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?

Actually, I was an atheist up until about 18. I was an atheist because I thought God was unnecessary to explain the universe, and saw no reason why one should exist. Now I know better.

So you were like every other pretend was atheist on these sites. You had no idea what you thought. You didn't even know about all the gods that man has invented, your little school friends thought the same as you. That was nothing.

Now as an atheist why did you reject the claim that gods exist?
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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7/9/2014 11:28:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:26:02 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:20:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?

Actually, I was an atheist up until about 18. I was an atheist because I thought God was unnecessary to explain the universe, and saw no reason why one should exist. Now I know better.

So you were like every other pretend was atheist on these sites. You had no idea what you thought. You didn't even know about all the gods that man has invented, your little school friends thought the same as you. That was nothing.

Now as an atheist why did you reject the claim that gods exist?

He also wasn't a true scotsman. lol
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/9/2014 11:31:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:26:02 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:20:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?

Actually, I was an atheist up until about 18. I was an atheist because I thought God was unnecessary to explain the universe, and saw no reason why one should exist. Now I know better.

So you were like every other pretend was atheist on these sites. You had no idea what you thought. You didn't even know about all the gods that man has invented, your little school friends thought the same as you. That was nothing.

Now as an atheist why did you reject the claim that gods exist?

No, I simply saw no reason to cling to their childish pictures of the world any longer.
bulproof
Posts: 25,296
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7/9/2014 11:32:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Just so you know.
Atheists reject the manmade claim that gods exist.
Were you an atheist. Or just a little girl who knows nothing. Just as you are now, but you have some salesman telling you to buy an afterlife that he doesn't have to sell?

I have a fantastic bridge in Australia that I can sell you, you'll love it. Ya can see pictures of it everywhere. Do you wanna buy it?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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7/9/2014 11:46:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:32:18 AM, bulproof wrote:
Just so you know.
Atheists reject the manmade claim that gods exist.
Were you an atheist. Or just a little girl who knows nothing. Just as you are now, but you have some salesman telling you to buy an afterlife that he doesn't have to sell?

I have a fantastic bridge in Australia that I can sell you, you'll love it. Ya can see pictures of it everywhere. Do you wanna buy it?

Just so you know

V
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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7/9/2014 11:48:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:11:48 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/9/2014 9:28:01 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Because most atheist arguments are bad. (Especially the one about why atheists don't have to provide arguments prima facie because theirs is the "default position".)

Why do you take issue with that?

Because the reasons given for the aren't good. The typical justification(s) I hear are "well, the positive statement has the BOP" mixed in with a "well, the default position isn't that unicorns, gremlins, fairies exist, so it should be the same with God." which is supposedly to pump intuitions about the "obviousness" of negative postion being the default.

1) As anyone who's taken a logic course knows any negative statement can be turned into a positive statement. A positive statement is logically equivalent to a double negative statmeent. The implication is that I can change an epistemic BOP just by semantical trickery.

2) I don't believe that in the first place. I can easily flip it around. It seems "obvious" to me that the position "there are no composite objects" has the bop (because that implies there are no such things as tables, chairs, stars, or rocks). Or there are no external minds, or....etc

Do you believe that the default position should be that of belief?

If anything, it's agnosticism. But cognitive science (although it is admittedly a very young science) has consistenly borne out the results that humans are born with a heavy predisposition towards general religious/"supernaturalistic" belief. Just as they are born with a heavy predispostion towards believing in external minds That doesn't mean it's the correct position, but I'm a common sensical epistemologist. You should take things as they seem to be unless given good reason not to. . So if not, agnositicism, that.


To be fair, most theist arguments are too, but I find the good ones, on balance, out weigh the good atheist arguments for me.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/9/2014 11:58:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:48:43 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:11:48 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/9/2014 9:28:01 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Because most atheist arguments are bad. (Especially the one about why atheists don't have to provide arguments prima facie because theirs is the "default position".)

Why do you take issue with that?

Because the reasons given for the aren't good. The typical justification(s) I hear are "well, the positive statement has the BOP" mixed in with a "well, the default position isn't that unicorns, gremlins, fairies exist, so it should be the same with God." which is supposedly to pump intuitions about the "obviousness" of negative postion being the default.

1) As anyone who's taken a logic course knows any negative statement can be turned into a positive statement. A positive statement is logically equivalent to a double negative statmeent. The implication is that I can change an epistemic BOP just by semantical trickery.

Well, you can--because it depends on what the claim under consideration is. But regarding the existence of a thing, it seems like the default position would be agnostic A-thingery, that is, you don't believe in the thing, but you don't know one way or the other.

2) I don't believe that in the first place. I can easily flip it around. It seems "obvious" to me that the position "there are no composite objects" has the bop (because that implies there are no such things as tables, chairs, stars, or rocks). Or there are no external minds, or....etc

But BoP can also shift--in the absence of ANY evidence, then the position that there ARE composite objects DOES have the BoP, I would argue. Solipsism, and all that. But once you've got prima facie evidence of a thing, it would seem to me that the burden is on the one trying to refute it--in the case of composite objects, since we have obvious evidence of composite objects, one would have to give justification for why that evidence ISN'T evidence for composite objects. I don't think the evidence for other claims has such obvious grounding, though.

Do you believe that the default position should be that of belief?

If anything, it's agnosticism.

Well, of course, that depends on you're defining and using the terms, dunnit?

It seems the common usage these days, particularly among the non-believing group (since theirs is the one which is expanding itself philosophically and working out the kinks) is to differentiate knowledge claims from belief claims. Most people claiming atheism as the default, in my experience, are claiming that the default is "agnostic atheism". You may take issue with those terms, but I question whether you have a compelling reason to argue against the ideas those terms are representing?

But cognitive science (although it is admittedly a very young science) has consistenly borne out the results that humans are born with a heavy predisposition towards general religious/"supernaturalistic" belief. Just as they are born with a heavy predispostion towards believing in external minds That doesn't mean it's the correct position, but I'm a common sensical epistemologist. You should take things as they seem to be unless given good reason not to. . So if not, agnositicism, that.

We also have a predisposition to see patterns where there are none. That we have a predisposition to believe is a thing that seems as it is, but has no bearing on the truth of the predisposition. That just sort of seems a justification for bias. I mean, we're predisposed to LOTS of things. Also, I don't think the predisposition is universal--otherwise, there wouldn't be atheists who claim never to have been theists (I was raised in a church, and got confirmed and everything, but I never really believed, which is not an attempt to make any broader point, but merely to say that I seem to lack that predisposition).
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bulproof
Posts: 25,296
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7/9/2014 12:08:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:31:23 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:26:02 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:20:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?

Actually, I was an atheist up until about 18. I was an atheist because I thought God was unnecessary to explain the universe, and saw no reason why one should exist. Now I know better.

So you were like every other pretend was atheist on these sites. You had no idea what you thought. You didn't even know about all the gods that man has invented, your little school friends thought the same as you. That was nothing.

Now as an atheist why did you reject the claim that gods exist?

No, I simply saw no reason to cling to their childish pictures of the world any longer.

So you didn't have any idea of the claim that gods existed and as soon you did and they told you that you would live forever you decided to believe in just one of those gods.

You weren't an atheist, just like you are not now a theist. You haven't ever made the choice. But then you're just a kid and you might get the chance.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,134
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7/9/2014 12:10:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 7:57:37 AM, bulproof wrote:
Mankind has created millions of gods, there are millions of gods still worshiped today. All of whom were created by man.
Cavemen created gods and everyone since has done the same, cavemen were in awe of everything their developing brains began to be aware of, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, the sky, the rain, the lightening, the thunder, absolutely everything they encountered including death they wanted answers for.
A caveman who has only just started to develop the capacity for thought, for imagination wants to know what happens to the child they have invested so much time and care and love into goes when it stops being alive, for whatever reason, will come up with a chance perhaps that they can meet this child again in some way.

Do you think that they may have envisioned an afterlife where their child was always happy, never hungry, never cold in fact living in a world of bliss that eventually the parent would join them? After all, these images would not have bloomed into totality, but would have been passed down and enhanced and embellished over generations as the brain also developed in synchronicity.
Eventually the stories would require a reason for this "afterlife" and a deity for the afterlife would come into existence. Over the time we have discussed, many of our other questions have been answered by the gods we have supplied to answer them.
Somewhere in a place that was called canaan a priest or powerful person decided that one of these gods would provide the power he was desperate for and he would make that one god his god. He would produce stories of great feats and conquests and power for this god (and his consort) and produce a new "monotheistic" tsk religion using the god he recruited from the pantheon. Later some salesmen used the same technique to evolve that religion into another, but this religion really did have the power to kill and destroy and coerce the population to abide.

Fast forward and we have christianity now being challenged for their deceptions, inhumanity and abuse of human rights desperately trying to prove their validity to those who understand the earliest part of this monologue.

To the haters, go ahead and insult, I know that you have nothing else, go for it.

Who knew Bulproof could say SO many words at one time....
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,134
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7/9/2014 12:13:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:28:22 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:26:02 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:20:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:17:56 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:01:59 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:59:00 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:43:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'm a theist because I acknowledge that reality is a self-referential system, and all the theological implications that this implies.
You are a theist because of post #9.
Build a bridge and get over it.

Is that why I used to be an atheist?

I love these.
As a 16yr old atheist, what was your reason for rejecting the claim that gods exist?

Actually, I was an atheist up until about 18. I was an atheist because I thought God was unnecessary to explain the universe, and saw no reason why one should exist. Now I know better.

So you were like every other pretend was atheist on these sites. You had no idea what you thought. You didn't even know about all the gods that man has invented, your little school friends thought the same as you. That was nothing.

Now as an atheist why did you reject the claim that gods exist?

He also wasn't a true scotsman. lol

Lol, touch"!
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
popculturepooka
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7/9/2014 12:25:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 11:58:53 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:48:43 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/9/2014 11:11:48 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/9/2014 9:28:01 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Because most atheist arguments are bad. (Especially the one about why atheists don't have to provide arguments prima facie because theirs is the "default position".)

Why do you take issue with that?

Because the reasons given for the aren't good. The typical justification(s) I hear are "well, the positive statement has the BOP" mixed in with a "well, the default position isn't that unicorns, gremlins, fairies exist, so it should be the same with God." which is supposedly to pump intuitions about the "obviousness" of negative postion being the default.

1) As anyone who's taken a logic course knows any negative statement can be turned into a positive statement. A positive statement is logically equivalent to a double negative statmeent. The implication is that I can change an epistemic BOP just by semantical trickery.

Well, you can--because it depends on what the claim under consideration is. But regarding the existence of a thing, it seems like the default position would be agnostic A-thingery, that is, you don't believe in the thing, but you don't know one way or the other.


Doesn't seem like the default position to me. It seems like the BOP is heavily context dependent. It can be either on the positive or negative claim depending on the context in which the claim is asserted. If I say saturn doesn't exist the BOP will certainly be on me given our background knowledge.

2) I don't believe that in the first place. I can easily flip it around. It seems "obvious" to me that the position "there are no composite objects" has the bop (because that implies there are no such things as tables, chairs, stars, or rocks). Or there are no external minds, or....etc

But BoP can also shift--in the absence of ANY evidence, then the position that there ARE composite objects DOES have the BoP, I would argue.

I say the prima facie evidence, i.e. "it certainly looks like tables, chairs, stars and rocks, exist" is quite enough. It may be the case that there isn't. But it'd be up the mereological nihilist to give good reasons of why I shouldn't trust my perception. Just like scientsits gave good reasons to why I don't trust my perception of the earth looking flat and feeling like it's stationary.

Solipsism, and all that. But once you've got prima facie evidence of a thing, it would seem to me that the burden is on the one trying to refute it--in the case of composite objects, since we have obvious evidence of composite objects, one would have to give justification for why that evidence ISN'T evidence for composite objects. I don't think the evidence for other claims has such obvious grounding, though.


I just realized I said what you said after reading this. lol Nevermind then. And I meant to say earlier that I think the comparison between gremlins, faeries, and unciorns to God doesn't even get off the ground to me. It's very obvious to me that even if God doesn't exist they aren't on the same evidential grounding. I don't see the same sort of sophisticated arguments for the existence unicorns for example.

Do you believe that the default position should be that of belief?

If anything, it's agnosticism.

Well, of course, that depends on you're defining and using the terms, dunnit?

It seems the common usage these days, particularly among the non-believing group (since theirs is the one which is expanding itself philosophically and working out the kinks) is to differentiate knowledge claims from belief claims. Most people claiming atheism as the default, in my experience, are claiming that the default is "agnostic atheism". You may take issue with those terms, but I question whether you have a compelling reason to argue against the ideas those terms are representing?

But cognitive science (although it is admittedly a very young science) has consistenly borne out the results that humans are born with a heavy predisposition towards general religious/"supernaturalistic" belief. Just as they are born with a heavy predispostion towards believing in external minds That doesn't mean it's the correct position, but I'm a common sensical epistemologist. You should take things as they seem to be unless given good reason not to. . So if not, agnositicism, that.

We also have a predisposition to see patterns where there are none. That we have a predisposition to believe is a thing that seems as it is, but has no bearing on the truth of the predisposition. That just sort of seems a justification for bias. I mean, we're predisposed to LOTS of things. Also, I don't think the predisposition is universal--otherwise, there wouldn't be atheists who claim never to have been theists (I was raised in a church, and got confirmed and everything, but I never really believed, which is not an attempt to make any broader point, but merely to say that I seem to lack that predisposition).

Predisposition isn't determination. I may be genetically predisposed towards alcholism but I certainly am not one. Humans are also predisposed to being social animals but that doesn't mean there won't be asocial or antisocial people. Any predisposition towards general sorts of beliefs (like children being predisposed to trust authority figures) can be overcome if you recognize good reasons to not trust your predispositions.

I don't see how it's a justifciation for bias. I'm just saying I have a predisposition to believe things are they seem they are, and that counts as evidence, but that evidence is defeasible and can obviously be overcome. I find G.E. Moore's approach to skepticism perfectly reasonable.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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