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Atheists: why aren't you agnostic?

Benshapiro
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4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?
dhardage
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4/14/2015 9:50:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive terms. Your question is therefore meaningless since one of it's basic premises is invalid.

I am an agnostic atheist, Ben. That means that I have no belief in any deity because no valid evidence has been presented. I reject assertions that any god exists because there has been no factual support for any of them. I don't deny the possibility of some kind of god but so far none has been evidenced. Until it is I will continue to have no belief either way. I will act on my own accord and allow no unsupported assertion to influence my thinking.
PureX
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4/14/2015 10:09:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's the difference between what one chooses to believe is true, and what one can know to be true.

An atheist may choose to believe that gods do not exist even though he cannot know this to be so.

Just as a theist may choose to believe that gods do exist even though he cannot know that this is so.
TBR
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4/14/2015 10:13:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

While not a tough distinction, it is easy to get muddled. As an atheists, I don't "believe" in any form of supernatural - call it anything you like.

You may rework that a number of different ways, but it still comes out the same. I have NO belief in God, gods, universal power, anything.

Agnosticism just looks at the question the other way. Can I prove there is no mysticism. Someone who identifies as such would say, NO I cant.

Given conditions of the discussion, I could fall into either term. Since the label is as meaningless to me as God, I can't get riled up about being called either. Its not like someone saying "Christian Muslim, they are about the same".
Burzmali
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4/14/2015 11:09:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

The vast majority of atheists are agnostic atheists. It seems silly to point out the agnostic part, especially because so many theists seem to think there's an exclusivity to the two terms. I personally identify just as an atheist because it shuts people up pretty quickly when it comes up in real life, as opposed to having to draw Venn diagrams and get out some dictionaries if I were to fully identify as an agnostic atheist.
bulproof
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4/14/2015 11:11:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

So little understanding yet so much noise.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
TBR
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4/14/2015 11:21:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 11:09:24 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

The vast majority of atheists are agnostic atheists. It seems silly to point out the agnostic part, especially because so many theists seem to think there's an exclusivity to the two terms. I personally identify just as an atheist because it shuts people up pretty quickly when it comes up in real life, as opposed to having to draw Venn diagrams and get out some dictionaries if I were to fully identify as an agnostic atheist.

I think I may have hit on why its hard for Christians. They think of it like my example.

"Christian or Muslim, they are about the same".

I could make the argument that they are both Abrahamic religions, so... whats the big deal? To a Christian it is a big deal, as it is with a Muslim. So, they think an atheists MUST not be a agnostic or the other way around.
bornofgod
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4/14/2015 11:34:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism? : :

The world has all kinds of names for the various groups of this world. God knows they're all deceived by what they observe and read in this world. There is no difference between a theist and atheist because neither one of them have any proof that God exists. The only ones who know our Creator are us saints, prophets and a few chosen believers who only know Him indirectly. All the rest of God's people are either ignorant to the gospel we saints preach or they reject it. Those who reject the true gospel ( the knowledge of God, or Christ ) are called antichrists.
DanneJeRusse
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4/14/2015 11:54:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

A theist who says they know God exists cannot imagine a world without God, hence their claims and opinions on God are based entirely on that premise. It's like a person knows they will fall to their deaths if they try to flap their arms and fly while jumping off a cliff. In other words, they cannot imagine flapping their arms and flying to be a valid action regardless if anyone else tries to convince them otherwise.

So, when a theist makes a claim about God's existence, they are doing so in the same way they know they'll fall to their deaths if they jump off a cliff.

That is why theists cannot comprehend a world without God, hence they cling to the idea that non-believers don't believe God exists. They think the argument goes like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "No, God does not exist"

So, it's not that the non-believer simply doesn't believe God exists, they are basing their non-belief on what theists claim because the non-believer is quite capable of comprehending a world where gods don't exist. Therefore, the argument goes more like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "Do you have any evidence God exists? If not, then I cannot accept your claim as valid. If you get some evidence, we can then discuss your Gods existence as being potentially valid"
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
dhardage
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4/14/2015 12:14:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 11:54:32 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

A theist who says they know God exists cannot imagine a world without God, hence their claims and opinions on God are based entirely on that premise. It's like a person knows they will fall to their deaths if they try to flap their arms and fly while jumping off a cliff. In other words, they cannot imagine flapping their arms and flying to be a valid action regardless if anyone else tries to convince them otherwise.

So, when a theist makes a claim about God's existence, they are doing so in the same way they know they'll fall to their deaths if they jump off a cliff.

That is why theists cannot comprehend a world without God, hence they cling to the idea that non-believers don't believe God exists. They think the argument goes like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "No, God does not exist"

So, it's not that the non-believer simply doesn't believe God exists, they are basing their non-belief on what theists claim because the non-believer is quite capable of comprehending a world where gods don't exist. Therefore, the argument goes more like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "Do you have any evidence God exists? If not, then I cannot accept your claim as valid. If you get some evidence, we can then discuss your Gods existence as being potentially valid"

In short:
Theist "God exists!"
Non-believer "Show Me"
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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4/14/2015 1:07:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

You've probably been told this many times and ignored it each time, but most of us atheists ARE agnostic.
Fkkize
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4/14/2015 1:18:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
First of all agnostic is a vague term, an agnostic could hold that we cannot have knowledge of God or that we just currently don't know but maybe we will.
However the problem of evil makes an omnibenevolent/scient/potent impossible and as such this doubt is not really appropriate.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Skepticalone
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4/14/2015 2:56:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

I am an agnostic atheist. I reject the gods of religion, but I am agnostic to a deistic god. It's not really that complicated, Ben.
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
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4/14/2015 2:59:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 10:09:48 AM, PureX wrote:
It's the difference between what one chooses to believe is true, and what one can know to be true.

An atheist may choose to believe that gods do not exist even though he cannot know this to be so.

Just as a theist may choose to believe that gods do exist even though he cannot know that this is so.

Atheists do not "choose" to disbelieve - it was a realization for me as I suspect it is for most.
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
RuvDraba
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4/14/2015 3:51:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.
Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you?
Ben, I think agnosticism as originally intended means 'having no knowledge', while atheism in its etymological meaning is 'without gods'. So I agree: you could potentially be both.

I've explained in other threads that as a young man I viewed myself as agnostic but not atheistic. Now I view myself as atheistic, and take knowledge-based positions on some religious claims, and agnostic positions on others.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you?
I think that over-all, it's bad to worship supernatural beings, and evil to insist that one should.

Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God?
No. Believing in supernatural a creator doesn't mean you have to worship it. But asserting that supernatural beings exist and should be worshiped places the burden of proof on the claimant. That's true regardless of whether I were theist, agnostic or atheist.

Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods?
No. I reject worship of supernatural beings, and the right to treat evil beliefs lacking evidence as false.

Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?
No. Agnosticism is an epistomological position. I view atheism as a moral position.
Graincruncher
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4/14/2015 4:20:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

I am an agnostic atheist. Pretty much all atheists I've ever spoken to are also. Even the likes of Dawkins do.

The thing is, you can't be just agnostic; it's an epistemic position, not doxastic. You have to be agnostic about something - namely a belief. Since anyone who isn't an atheist is by definition a theist, you have the choice of being agnostic atheist or agnostic theist, but not just 'agnostic'.
RuvDraba
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4/14/2015 5:41:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 4:20:07 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
I am an agnostic atheist. Pretty much all atheists I've ever spoken to are also. Even the likes of Dawkins do.

I'm definitely agnostic on the origin of the universe, though I don't think creation leads automatically to theology.

However, I don't think I'm agnostic on the supernatural. To be agnostic I'd have to think that the supernatural is a meaningful term, yet be unsure whether it exists.

But I don't think that. I believe it's a term without clear meaning. And if it lacks meaning then all the terms defined supernaturally -- like god, angel, demon, heaven, hell, soul, sin, redemption, saviour -- don't warrant a truth-value. So they can be rejected for inadequate reference, without asserting that any things they're supposed to refer to are impossible.

Rejecting a poor definition is a knowledge-based position. So I believe I'm an atheist who rejects gods, and is not agnostic about them.

[Does that make me a stronger atheist than Dawkins, or just a bigger pedant? ;)]
SNP1
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4/14/2015 7:20:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Gnostic theist: Knows there is a god.
Agnostic theist: believes in a god, doesn't know if there is a god.
Agnostic atheist: Doesn't believe in a god, doesn't know if there is or isn't one.
Gnostic atheist: Knows there is no god.

Most atheists are agnostic atheists (by the above definition), they just don't feel like saying both agnostic and atheist when describing themselves.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
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Mhykiel
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4/14/2015 8:14:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 12:14:08 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 4/14/2015 11:54:32 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

A theist who says they know God exists cannot imagine a world without God, hence their claims and opinions on God are based entirely on that premise. It's like a person knows they will fall to their deaths if they try to flap their arms and fly while jumping off a cliff. In other words, they cannot imagine flapping their arms and flying to be a valid action regardless if anyone else tries to convince them otherwise.

So, when a theist makes a claim about God's existence, they are doing so in the same way they know they'll fall to their deaths if they jump off a cliff.

That is why theists cannot comprehend a world without God, hence they cling to the idea that non-believers don't believe God exists. They think the argument goes like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "No, God does not exist"

So, it's not that the non-believer simply doesn't believe God exists, they are basing their non-belief on what theists claim because the non-believer is quite capable of comprehending a world where gods don't exist. Therefore, the argument goes more like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "Do you have any evidence God exists? If not, then I cannot accept your claim as valid. If you get some evidence, we can then discuss your Gods existence as being potentially valid"

In short:
Theist "God exists!"
Non-believer "Show Me"

But it's not. Earlier you said "That means that I have no belief in any deity because no valid evidence has been presented. I reject assertions that any god exists because there has been no factual support for any of them"

So you make the claim that no valid evidence has been presented for a deity. Can you show me how you justify this lack of evidence. Any one can claim all the evidence they see is invalid, that doesn't make it so.

By what standard must evidence meet to be considered valid?

Is it less than a face to face with God?
DanneJeRusse
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4/14/2015 8:35:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 8:14:56 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 4/14/2015 12:14:08 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 4/14/2015 11:54:32 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

A theist who says they know God exists cannot imagine a world without God, hence their claims and opinions on God are based entirely on that premise. It's like a person knows they will fall to their deaths if they try to flap their arms and fly while jumping off a cliff. In other words, they cannot imagine flapping their arms and flying to be a valid action regardless if anyone else tries to convince them otherwise.

So, when a theist makes a claim about God's existence, they are doing so in the same way they know they'll fall to their deaths if they jump off a cliff.

That is why theists cannot comprehend a world without God, hence they cling to the idea that non-believers don't believe God exists. They think the argument goes like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "No, God does not exist"

So, it's not that the non-believer simply doesn't believe God exists, they are basing their non-belief on what theists claim because the non-believer is quite capable of comprehending a world where gods don't exist. Therefore, the argument goes more like this:

Believer: "God exists"
Non-believer: "Do you have any evidence God exists? If not, then I cannot accept your claim as valid. If you get some evidence, we can then discuss your Gods existence as being potentially valid"

In short:
Theist "God exists!"
Non-believer "Show Me"

But it's not. Earlier you said "That means that I have no belief in any deity because no valid evidence has been presented. I reject assertions that any god exists because there has been no factual support for any of them"

So you make the claim that no valid evidence has been presented for a deity. Can you show me how you justify this lack of evidence. Any one can claim all the evidence they see is invalid, that doesn't make it so.

By what standard must evidence meet to be considered valid?

Is it less than a face to face with God?

That would be perfectly acceptable.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
RuvDraba
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4/14/2015 9:07:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 8:14:56 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
So you make the claim that no valid evidence has been presented for a deity. Can you show me how you justify this lack of evidence. Any one can claim all the evidence they see is invalid, that doesn't make it so.
While true, that shifts some responsibility, Mhykiel. Before you can claim existence, you need to define what you're talking about.

A definition requires recognition critieria. From the recognition criteria we can derive criteria for evidence. But you have to supply the recognition criteria to prove you know what you're talking about.

Suppose I claimed I'd seen a unicorn. I might tell you that it was white, and looked much like a horse, but had slender legs with feet like a goat, and moved differently to a horse. I might say that it had a fluted gold horn in the middle of its forehead, and that all of it looked real and part of the animal, and none of it looked cosmetic.

I've now proposed my recognition criteria, and from that we can derive evidence. But I have to propose it, since I'm making the claim for its existence. And then we're free to discuss whether my criteria are testable, and eliminate other reasonable possibilities (like a big goat with a party-hat. :D)

But what are your recognition criteria for the god of Abraham? How could anyone tell that it was a supernatural being, that it created the universe, that it previously had interactions with the people of Israel, that it was unique, that it was wise, just, honest and kind, that it wasn't some other being, or part of some species of beings?

I don't see that anyone can supply such recognition criteria. If they can't, there's no standard of evidence to meet key Christian claims. Absent a standard of evidence, Christian theology will only ever be based on poorly-defined conjecture.

And from a poorly-defined conjecture, Christians have no right to claim moral, intellectual or political authority over others.

That's not a problem with atheism, but with Christian theology. You'll have just as much trouble convincing a rational Hindu as me.

I don't think this problem is fixable, Mhykiel. It's why I don't say my atheism is agnosticism. I think it's also why so many Christians try to shift the burden of proof back to unbelievers: having claimed a unique, kind, good, transcendental deity, they haven't the slightest idea how to define what it's actually like, or how to demonstrate it exists.
Illegalcombatant
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4/14/2015 9:38:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

I find most believers just assume other Gods other than their own don't exist. They seem quite content with that.

If "atheists" are guilty of making a wrong move in just assuming various Gods do not exist then so does a one true God believer.

We are all non believers in the other guys God and like wise so it is for those who have no God at all.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Mhykiel
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4/14/2015 9:56:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:07:49 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/14/2015 8:14:56 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
So you make the claim that no valid evidence has been presented for a deity. Can you show me how you justify this lack of evidence. Any one can claim all the evidence they see is invalid, that doesn't make it so.
While true, that shifts some responsibility, Mhykiel. Before you can claim existence, you need to define what you're talking about.

A definition requires recognition critieria. From the recognition criteria we can derive criteria for evidence. But you have to supply the recognition criteria to prove you know what you're talking about.

Suppose I claimed I'd seen a unicorn. I might tell you that it was white, and looked much like a horse, but had slender legs with feet like a goat, and moved differently to a horse. I might say that it had a fluted gold horn in the middle of its forehead, and that all of it looked real and part of the animal, and none of it looked cosmetic.

I've now proposed my recognition criteria, and from that we can derive evidence. But I have to propose it, since I'm making the claim for its existence. And then we're free to discuss whether my criteria are testable, and eliminate other reasonable possibilities (like a big goat with a party-hat. :D)


Agreed. dhardage would you please define what "god" you state there is no valid evidence for?

But what are your recognition criteria for the god of Abraham? How could anyone tell that it was a supernatural being, that it created the universe, that it previously had interactions with the people of Israel, that it was unique, that it was wise, just, honest and kind, that it wasn't some other being, or part of some species of beings?

I don't see that anyone can supply such recognition criteria. If they can't, there's no standard of evidence to meet key Christian claims. Absent a standard of evidence, Christian theology will only ever be based on poorly-defined conjecture.

dhardage asserted a position. I asked him to provide the definition for "god".

Without recognition criteria no measure of evidence is possible. This includes concluding zero evidence.


And from a poorly-defined conjecture, Christians have no right to claim moral, intellectual or political authority over others.

That's not a problem with atheism, but with Christian theology. You'll have just as much trouble convincing a rational Hindu as me.

I don't think this problem is fixable, Mhykiel. It's why I don't say my atheism is agnosticism. I think it's also why so many Christians try to shift the burden of proof back to unbelievers: having claimed a unique, kind, good, transcendental deity, they haven't the slightest idea how to define what it's actually like, or how to demonstrate it exists.

To recognize "god" for "god" and subsequent arguments for god's existence there would need to be a set of attributes assigned to "god". This is not an impossible ask you already suggested candidate traits (unique, transcendental, ect..)

When you say how "god" is actually like, that set of likenesses or attributes is narrowed by argument and testing.

If you are refer to what "god" is actually like as in descriptors of a physical nature, you have the implicit premise that "god" is familiar to something in human experience, or similar to something already accepted as natural.

But "god" when described as transcendental you already know a demonstration in accordance to your implicit premise is unlikely.

It's as if I said the only valid evidence for a murder is DNA. Yet there were eye witnesses, motive, footprints, ect...

As someone who states they know science then you know you don't get to choose what kind of evidence you want to find. You look for the kind of evidence you are most likely to detect or is already available.

So I'll await dhardage to define "god" and support his claim.
Bennett91
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4/14/2015 9:59:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:38:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
If atheism is defined as "lack of belief in God" then one could simultaneously identify themselves as an agnostic.

Why does atheism have preference over agnosticism to you? Do you identify with the term "atheist" because it allows you to shift the burden of proof between rejecting and lacking belief in God? Do you identify with the term because you reject belief in all Gods? Do you consider it to be synonymous with agnosticism?

Being an atheist doesn't shift the burden of proof, theism has always had the BoP. But to answer your question, even though atheism and agnosticism can be functionally identical I prefer the term atheism because when telling others it lets them know I don't believe, as appose to being an agnostic theist. There's more political and controversy behind atheism, I prefer that over the seemingly tepid fence sitting stance that agnosticism may convey.

Why are you so obsessed with atheism? It seems like every thread you start is is about atheism.
RuvDraba
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4/14/2015 10:59:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 9:56:00 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Without recognition criteria no measure of evidence is possible. This includes concluding zero evidence.
This seems an evasion, Mhykiel. Christians can't supply evidence without establishing recognition criteria, so it's fair to say that the Christian burden of proof hasn't been met, and that Christians have no idea how to ever meet it.

I think most atheists understand this. They're not just skeptics waiting for sufficient evidence. They know at some level that the religious can never supply evidence for all of their claims, and never mean to.

To recognize "god" for "god" and subsequent arguments for god's existence there would need to be a set of attributes assigned to "god". This is not an impossible ask you already suggested candidate traits (unique, transcendental, ect..)
It's actually worse than that, Mhykiel. If three disembodied voices talked to you, each quite awesome, each with full knowledge of scripture, world history and your life, each claiming to be the God you've been praying to, how can you tell which (if any) is the God you've been praying to?

This illustrates a definitional problem. Christians can't tell their God apart from other disembodied beings. They can't even define what 'unique' means, outside their own universe.

That problem isn't in the demand for evidence. It's actually in the idea.

And protesting that your idea is special doesn't absolve you of the burden of proof. (That's called the Fallacy of Special Pleading.) Rather, it owns that philosophically, the concept itself is so irreparably flawed, it's unusable.

Do you know how many supreme transcendental beings are posited in religion? Not one, nor hundreds, but tens of thousands -- each with different behaviour, different histories of interaction, different wishes and motives, different temperaments, some with the same name, some with different names, some with multiple names. But each otherwise indistinguishable, and each with adherents claiming absolute intellectual and moral authority.

The concept has collapsed. It's embarrassingly degenerate now.
Mhykiel
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4/14/2015 11:48:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 10:59:14 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/14/2015 9:56:00 PM, Mhykiel wrote:

I hope dhardage answers my question. But Ruv wants to run smoke screen.

Without recognition criteria no measure of evidence is possible. This includes concluding zero evidence.
This seems an evasion, Mhykiel. Christians can't supply evidence without establishing recognition criteria, so it's fair to say that the Christian burden of proof hasn't been met, and that Christians have no idea how to ever meet it.

I think most atheists understand this. They're not just skeptics waiting for sufficient evidence. They know at some level that the religious can never supply evidence for all of their claims, and never mean to.


Doubt doesn't confirm anything. If an atheist is content to settle for no-discernment on the question of god's existence then fine. But if they want to be stronger and assert there is no god, it is up to them to substantiate such a claim. And bad arguments from Christians isn't sufficient to conclude non-existence.

So if the Atheist wants to demonstrate god does not exist, or at least not likely exist, then the atheist can go ahead and define god, perform an experiment, look for evidence, construct a null hypothesis and confirm the null.

So Atheist don't shout personal opinion ad nausea making no claim, they are also lazy.

To recognize "god" for "god" and subsequent arguments for god's existence there would need to be a set of attributes assigned to "god". This is not an impossible ask you already suggested candidate traits (unique, transcendental, ect..)
It's actually worse than that, Mhykiel. If three disembodied voices talked to you, each quite awesome, each with full knowledge of scripture, world history and your life, each claiming to be the God you've been praying to, how can you tell which (if any) is the God you've been praying to?

This illustrates a definitional problem. Christians can't tell their God apart from other disembodied beings. They can't even define what 'unique' means, outside their own universe.

That problem isn't in the demand for evidence. It's actually in the idea.


The universe as a whole is unique, one of a kind as far as we can tell. Time is a unique dimension compared with the others. Massive all encompassing entities have a tendency to be unique.

And protesting that your idea is special doesn't absolve you of the burden of proof. (That's called the Fallacy of Special Pleading.) Rather, it owns that philosophically, the concept itself is so irreparably flawed, it's unusable.

Special pleading is that entity X does not have to follow the general rule Y. I assume the entity in question is "god" what is the general rule I wish an exception for?


Do you know how many supreme transcendental beings are posited in religion? Not one, nor hundreds, but tens of thousands -- each with different behaviour, different histories of interaction, different wishes and motives, different temperaments, some with the same name, some with different names, some with multiple names. But each otherwise indistinguishable, and each with adherents claiming absolute intellectual and moral authority.


Do you know how many different string theory models there are? Well not hundreds or thousands string theory hasn't been around since the dawn of mankind. But the point is most are wrong, some are marginally right, and maybe just maybe one is correct.

You can't lump vastly different claims together and deduce that because not all can be right none are. That's not logical.

The concept has collapsed. It's embarrassingly degenerate now.

Would you address my comments about the evidence you wanted:

"If you are refer to what "god" is actually like as in descriptors of a physical nature, you have the implicit premise that "god" is familiar to something in human experience, or similar to something already accepted as natural.

But "god" when described as transcendental you already know a demonstration in accordance to your implicit premise is unlikely.

It's as if I said the only valid evidence for a murder is DNA. Yet there were eye witnesses, motive, footprints, ect...

As someone who states they know science then you know you don't get to choose what kind of evidence you want to find. You look for the kind of evidence you are most likely to detect or is already available.

So I'll await dhardage to define "god" and support his claim."
Mhykiel
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4/14/2015 11:58:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
All this talk by Atheist about it's a Christian claim you prove it. It you really don't care whether god exists or not, leave this forum.

If you want to announce god is not real, justify it.

New Atheist are so lazy. Do some foot work. Even your best argument the problem of evil is over 2,000 years old and hasn't changed at all. And Epicurus wasn't an Atheist.

You want to show God doesn't exist, then show it.

If you aren't claiming God doesn't exist then why the incessant hounding?
Bennett91
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4/15/2015 12:16:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 11:58:47 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
All this talk by Atheist about it's a Christian claim you prove it. It you really don't care whether god exists or not, leave this forum.

If you want to announce god is not real, justify it.

New Atheist are so lazy. Do some foot work. Even your best argument the problem of evil is over 2,000 years old and hasn't changed at all. And Epicurus wasn't an Atheist.

You want to show God doesn't exist, then show it.

If you aren't claiming God doesn't exist then why the incessant hounding?

It's funny you criticize new atheists for being lazy, as if it's the old atheists who've done all the leg work debunking theism (in which case why must new atheism defend itself when the negative claim as been supported?). Any atheist worth his salt will tell you there's no evidence for God therefore belief is unwarranted. But in the end you're just bitter that you can't back up your positive claim, that's why we incessantly hound because you continue to make the claim God exists with no real evidence. Until you actually prove your God exists we can reasonably say your God doesn't exist. Just like Santa and the tooth fairy.
RuvDraba
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4/15/2015 12:59:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 11:48:22 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 4/14/2015 10:59:14 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
I hope dhardage answers my question. But Ruv wants to run smoke screen.
No. I find your arguments evasive, and would like you to be more accountable for them.

Doubt doesn't confirm anything. If an atheist is content to settle for no-discernment on the question of god's existence then fine.
Rejection of bad philosophy isn't doubt. If your claim is philosophically flawed then it can be rejected, not on the balance of probability, but because it's wrong.

Moreover, it's disingenuous for a Christian to use his own god as the bone of contention throughout an argument, ignoring all other gods even to the point of saying an atheist doesn't believe in God, and then ask "Which god don't you believe in?"

The correct question is "Which god are you as a Christian claiming?" If you can't define it, then there's no claim of existence to consider.

So Atheist don't shout personal opinion ad nausea making no claim, they are also lazy.
I would say that intellectual laziness is to so claim authority over the desires of a being you cannot define or even recognise, that you threaten others with metaphysical menaces to make them copy you.

This illustrates a definitional problem. Christians can't tell their God apart from other disembodied beings. They can't even define what 'unique' means, outside their own universe.
The universe as a whole is unique, one of a kind as far as we can tell. Time is a unique dimension compared with the others. Massive all encompassing entities have a tendency to be unique.
I'm not sure we can claim any of that. Constructively, the universe can be defined by the information it gives us. While we might conceive of other universes that don't give us information, by definition we can't know anything about them, including whether they exist.

In such a manner, we might conceive of our universe being created by something outside our information, but the conclusion does not follow that such a being is unique, benign, manlike, supervisory, or worthy of worship.

But for this reason, I'm agnostic about the early history of the universe, yet remain atheistic with respect to claims of religious authority.

Protesting that your idea is special doesn't absolve you of the burden of proof. (That's called the Fallacy of Special Pleading.) Rather, it owns that philosophically, the concept itself is so irreparably flawed, it's unusable.
Special pleading is that entity X does not have to follow the general rule Y. I assume the entity in question is "god" what is the general rule I wish an exception for?
The entity in question is the claim of religious authority. The rule is that you must supply evidence for such a claim, regardless of what the claim contains.

Do you know how many supreme transcendental beings are posited in religion? Not one, nor hundreds, but tens of thousands -- each with different behaviour, different histories of interaction, different wishes and motives, different temperaments, some with the same name, some with different names, some with multiple names. But each otherwise indistinguishable, and each with adherents claiming absolute intellectual and moral authority.
You can't lump vastly different claims together and deduce that because not all can be right none are. That's not logical.
That's not what I did. I said your concept of god is so ill-defined, you can't hold it fixed or even distinguish it from other concepts. Thus, because you don't know what you're talking about, it doesn't deserve a truth-value. It's FAIL rather than FALSE.

Would you address my comments about the evidence you wanted:
"If you are refer to what "god" is actually like as in descriptors of a physical nature, you have the implicit premise that "god" is familiar to something in human experience, or similar to something already accepted as natural.
No. It's actually that anyone claiming moral, intellectual or metaphysical authority must demonstrate their right and competence to hold it.

What's the demonstration? There are many falsifications of such authority.

So I'll await dhardage to define "god" and support his claim.
DHardage can of course speak for himself, but you're still playing a disingenuous game: claiming moral and metaphysical authority from a vague and badly-supported premise, then criticising others for rejecting your claim to authority, on grounds that your claim to it is badly-supported and vague.
bulproof
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4/15/2015 1:19:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/14/2015 11:48:22 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
The universe as a whole is unique, one of a kind as far as we can tell. Time is a unique dimension compared with the others. Massive all encompassing entities have a tendency to be unique.
This is a joke isn't it?
This universe is unique in comparison to what?
How many all encompassing entities do you know and can you explain their uniqueness?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin