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Difference between weak and strong atheism

SNP1
Posts: 2,407
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4/17/2015 9:21:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Most atheists are weak atheists. There are some that are strong atheists. The difference will be shown here.

In a courtroom you are ruling whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
In this case, not guilty does not mean innocent, it means there is not enough evidence to be convinced of his/her guilt.
If one were to try and also prove the innocence of the defendant, then there is a different path that one must take.

With god, it is the same.
A weak atheist is similar to the not guilty verdict.
There is not enough evidence to be convinced of the existence of god(s).
A strong atheist is like someone who says the person is innocent.

Because of this, weak atheists do NOT have a burden of proof.
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JJ50
Posts: 2,144
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4/17/2015 9:26:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 9:21:06 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Most atheists are weak atheists. There are some that are strong atheists. The difference will be shown here.

In a courtroom you are ruling whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
In this case, not guilty does not mean innocent, it means there is not enough evidence to be convinced of his/her guilt.
If one were to try and also prove the innocence of the defendant, then there is a different path that one must take.

With god, it is the same.
A weak atheist is similar to the not guilty verdict.
There is not enough evidence to be convinced of the existence of god(s).
A strong atheist is like someone who says the person is innocent.

Because of this, weak atheists do NOT have a burden of proof.

It is people who believe in a deity/afterlife on which rests the burden of proof, as there is no verifiable evidence to support the notion.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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4/17/2015 9:42:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 9:21:06 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Most atheists are weak atheists. There are some that are strong atheists. The difference will be shown here.

In a courtroom you are ruling whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
In this case, not guilty does not mean innocent, it means there is not enough evidence to be convinced of his/her guilt.
If one were to try and also prove the innocence of the defendant, then there is a different path that one must take.

With god, it is the same.
A weak atheist is similar to the not guilty verdict.
There is not enough evidence to be convinced of the existence of god(s).
A strong atheist is like someone who says the person is innocent.

Because of this, weak atheists do NOT have a burden of proof.

While I dislike the term 'weak' and prefer the term 'agnostic', I agree with your thesis. I cannot disprove the existence of some form of supernatural being, all gods being supernatural fall into this category. Nor are they demonstrated by evidence, therefore I will function as I always have without considering any dogma or rules that are the result of unfounded faith in these undemonstrated deities.
SNP1
Posts: 2,407
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4/17/2015 9:44:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 9:42:58 AM, dhardage wrote:
While I dislike the term 'weak' and prefer the term 'agnostic', I agree with your thesis. I cannot disprove the existence of some form of supernatural being, all gods being supernatural fall into this category. Nor are they demonstrated by evidence, therefore I will function as I always have without considering any dogma or rules that are the result of unfounded faith in these undemonstrated deities.

I personally prefer the terms negative (weak, agnostic, etc.) and positive (strong, gnostic, etc.)
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joetheripper117
Posts: 284
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4/18/2015 7:14:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 9:21:06 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Most atheists are weak atheists. There are some that are strong atheists. The difference will be shown here.

In a courtroom you are ruling whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
In this case, not guilty does not mean innocent, it means there is not enough evidence to be convinced of his/her guilt.
If one were to try and also prove the innocence of the defendant, then there is a different path that one must take.

With god, it is the same.
A weak atheist is similar to the not guilty verdict.
There is not enough evidence to be convinced of the existence of god(s).
A strong atheist is like someone who says the person is innocent.

Because of this, weak atheists do NOT have a burden of proof.
It is true, the idea of god cannot be dis proven, but this is not a reason to believe it. The burden of proof lies on the theist, and since I have yet to have seen anyone meet this burden of proof, it is logical to assume that the claim is untrue, in the same way that we can conclude that unicorns and fairies do not exist.
"By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out."
-Richard Dawkins
"The onus is on you to say why; the onus is not on the rest of us to say why not."
-Richard Dawkins
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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4/18/2015 9:40:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 9:21:06 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Most atheists are weak atheists. There are some that are strong atheists. The difference will be shown here.

I tend to disagree. I think most atheists are strong. That doesn't mean they are 100% certain that gods don't exist, but sure enough that it makes little practical difference. I've never liked the term weak atheist or agnostic atheist because it implies that the existence of gods is a 50-50 proposition. I'm betting that most atheists find it very far from being an even money bet.

My suspicion is that many atheists choose agnostic atheist as a label because of intellectual embarrassment at putting forward a stronger position which they might not wish to defend. I have no problem with that. I can't prove that gods don't exist but I am as certain of their non-existence as you can be about anything. I don't call myself an agnostic afairyist. I'm an afairyist and a strong one.
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,206
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4/18/2015 10:13:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 9:21:06 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Most atheists are weak atheists. There are some that are strong atheists. The difference will be shown here.

In a courtroom you are ruling whether the person is guilty or not guilty.
In this case, not guilty does not mean innocent, it means there is not enough evidence to be convinced of his/her guilt.
If one were to try and also prove the innocence of the defendant, then there is a different path that one must take.

With god, it is the same.
A weak atheist is similar to the not guilty verdict.
There is not enough evidence to be convinced of the existence of god(s).
A strong atheist is like someone who says the person is innocent.

Because of this, weak atheists do NOT have a burden of proof.

In discussion of belief systems core beliefs are axioms.
An individual has no burden of proof to others, or to himself, it is really a moot point. This is what they believe, this is how they choose to live, and so it is.

In a court of law circumstantial evidence can convict a person of a felony. This is not what we would call scientific evidence, but it is legal evidence, and so it convicts.
It convicts the mind of jury members, and it convicts the accused.

In a court of law you are innocent until proven guilty.
If there is no evidence, there is no guilt.
So comparing the issue of the existence of god to a court of law, who/what is 'the accused'?
The prosecution is trying to prove there is a god, or there is no-god.
The defense is trying to prove the existence of god, or to prove the reality of no-god.
It seems to me these are the choices.

So which is it?
How is the 'reasonable' trial framed?
Historically mankind has said there is a god.
On this day in history, most of mankind believes there is a god.
This is an axiom of their belief system, they do not need to prove it to others.

But we will suppose mankind has decided the issue needs to be settled, and there will be a trial.
Will the prosecution take the position "There is a god, and now it is up to the defense to prove there is not."
I think not. If the status quo needs changed, the prosecution will challenge the defense to show there is no-god.
"Presumed innocent", in this case means "presumed there is a god".
The default position is there is a god. That is what mankind has believed.

History and mankind says there is a god, no need for any trial, but the 'state', the prosecution, says, we doubt it, it needs to be settled, there will be a trial to prove the existence of god.
No one had to prove the world was flat, it was up to others to prove it was global.
It seems to me that is how it would happen.

So the judge instructs the jury :
"You are not allowed to apply your own belief system here, axioms that you accept as true will not stand.
If you believe there are no supernatural explanations of events, you must suspend that belief, and consider that such things are possible.
If you believe that supernatural explanations are factual, you must suspend that belief and consider that there is no such thing.
In short, you must let the evidence convict your mind of the truth of the matter.
As an impartial observer, is there a god, or not."

Prosecution: There is no god. We can prove that,
Defense: We will show there is a god, or certainly reasonable doubt that there is.

Scientists -as provided by the prosecution - will say they can offer natural explanations for the Laws of science, no god or supernatural is necessary.
The prosecution will have many credible witnesses who say they have never experienced anything supernatural.

The defense will provide many individuals, from many cultures and religions, who have experienced supernatural events that they consider attributable to god.

The defense will bring other equally credible scientists who say that they have seen things in their lives that they attribute to god, not at work, as at work they assume there are no supernatural explanations.
Doctors for the defense who have seen 'miraculous' cures will say that professionally they have no natural explanations, sometimes these things just happen, but personally they will say it is an act of god.
Doctors for the prosecution will agree that sometimes these things just happen, with no apparent explanation.

So after all or the circumstantial evidence, which is the only kind that will be presented from either side, the jury deliberates.
Some will say, 'The prosecution did not convince me there is no-god.' These will be Theists, Agnostics, and soft Atheists.
Others will say 'I was convinced there is no-god.', and these will be strong Atheists.

~ ~ ~

Now lets look at the prosecution taking the side of "There is a god, and we need to convince these Atheists of there mistaken beliefs, so we will put their no-god beliefs on trial."

Prosecution: There is a god.
Defense: We will show this god belief is mistake, or at a minimum there is reasonable doubt to believe it.

The prosecution puts many of the god believers on the stand, and they recount things they have experienced that convinces them there is a god.
Many educated scientists and professionals, and others.
Many cultures, many religions, all with a common belief in god. The prosecution will point out that it does not seem to be the same god, but the witnesses will be steadfast in there insistence there is a god.

The defense will have just as many credible witnesses who have a strong belief in no-god. They will say they have not experienced such things. The prosecution will not be able to ask if they personally believe in god, as core beliefs are not relevant.
Witness after witness say they have never experienced a god event, and that those who say they did must be mistaken.

So all of the circumstantial evidence will be presented.
The prosecution will point out that science has been silent on the issue, there is no scientific evidence for or against. There are many things Science does not understand, and that many random events occur which seem to defy Science, and could be 'miraculous' in nature.
The defense will respond, explaining that the supernatural is not the concern of Science, and all Scientific laws can be explained without the supernatural.
Random events do occur, which seem to have no natural explanation, but we probably just do not know all of the facts. In other words, we can assume there is a natural explanation, we just do not know what it is.

So, the jury deliberates.
Some will say, the prosecution convinced me. Their evidence was strong enough that I can see that these believers of no-god have it right. I am now a believer as well. There is no-god,.
They would the Strong Atheists.

Others will say, the prosecution did not fulfill their burden of proof.
I was not convinced of no-god.
They will be Theists, Agnostics, and soft Atheists.

~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
So, based on circumstantial evidence, what do we think would be the outcome?
In either scenario, would the 'wining side' favor the Strong Atheist, whose only evidence is negative belief in god?

What I find worth noting, is that the weak Atheists will be on the same side of the fence as Theists and Agnostics.
Some of their Strong Atheist friends will be stand offish.
This is one reason why many such as myself believe the term 'weak Atheist' is misleading, not fairly descriptive of the position. As a group they are closer to Theists than Atheists, if they have considered the matter in the slightest.
Agnostic on the other hand, is descriptive, for those who might be faced with the question in a court of law.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,652
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4/18/2015 10:53:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 10:13:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:

The defense will provide many individuals, from many cultures and religions, who have experienced supernatural events that they consider attributable to god.

Objection, your honor. The defense has not yet established that what they experience has anything to do with the supernatural or can be attributed to any gods. If the supernatural is considered that which is beyond the natural, then the defense has no way of knowing that, there are no points of reference, no observations, nothing that can establish that any event is supernatural. It is a subjective guess, at best and cannot even be considered circumstantial.

Great post, btw, WW.
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
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,206
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4/18/2015 12:05:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 10:53:25 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/18/2015 10:13:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:

The defense will provide many individuals, from many cultures and religions, who have experienced supernatural events that they consider attributable to god.

Objection, your honor. The defense has not yet established that what they experience has anything to do with the supernatural or can be attributed to any gods. If the supernatural is considered that which is beyond the natural, then the defense has no way of knowing that, there are no points of reference, no observations, nothing that can establish that any event is supernatural. It is a subjective guess, at best and cannot even be considered circumstantial.

Great post, btw, WW.

It is by experience than any of us know anything.
Their testimony is that it was supernatural, that is their experience.
It is up to the jury to decide.
The judge has told us that core beliefs must be suspended.
We must assume that the supernatural may/can exist.
If the first hand accounts of (many) witnesses claim that it was supernatural, it is up to the prosecution to show they are incorrect. If the prosecution can show that all the events do have natural explanations - not just could have, but do have - then the jury will see that.
No one expects scientific evidence.
Circumstantial, eye witness accounts is all that is expected.

Q; How do you know it was my client who shot the gun, maybe it as an actor.
A: it was my her, I just know.

The validity of any first hand experience can be questioned by the prosecution.
I do not see any judge saying 'Inadmissible'.
It is up to the jury to decide.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,652
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4/18/2015 12:25:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 12:05:59 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 4/18/2015 10:53:25 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/18/2015 10:13:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:

The defense will provide many individuals, from many cultures and religions, who have experienced supernatural events that they consider attributable to god.

Objection, your honor. The defense has not yet established that what they experience has anything to do with the supernatural or can be attributed to any gods. If the supernatural is considered that which is beyond the natural, then the defense has no way of knowing that, there are no points of reference, no observations, nothing that can establish that any event is supernatural. It is a subjective guess, at best and cannot even be considered circumstantial.

Great post, btw, WW.

It is by experience than any of us know anything.
Their testimony is that it was supernatural, that is their experience.

I understand that, but they have jumped to an erroneous conclusion that would never be used in any court of law as there is no precedence. Establishing precedence requires hard evidence. Therefore, the supernatural should have some precedence if it can be used in a trial, otherwise it's pure speculation and would be thrown out.l

It would be the same as saying a bowling ball is round, therefore fairies exist at the bottom of a pond. There is no connection between the two, nothing to reference a link.

It is up to the jury to decide.
The judge has told us that core beliefs must be suspended.
We must assume that the supernatural may/can exist.
If the first hand accounts of (many) witnesses claim that it was supernatural, it is up to the prosecution to show they are incorrect. If the prosecution can show that all the events do have natural explanations - not just could have, but do have - then the jury will see that.
No one expects scientific evidence.
Circumstantial, eye witness accounts is all that is expected.

Q; How do you know it was my client who shot the gun, maybe it as an actor.
A: it was my her, I just know.

That would thrown out immediately.

The validity of any first hand experience can be questioned by the prosecution.
I do not see any judge saying 'Inadmissible'.
It is up to the jury to decide.

It's often said, if it quacks like duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck. Of course, if a person has never seen nor heard of a duck before because they have no reference to what a duck is, they can never know it is a duck.
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
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,206
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4/18/2015 1:08:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 12:25:27 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/18/2015 12:05:59 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 4/18/2015 10:53:25 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/18/2015 10:13:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:

The defense will provide many individuals, from many cultures and religions, who have experienced supernatural events that they consider attributable to god.

Objection, your honor. The defense has not yet established that what they experience has anything to do with the supernatural or can be attributed to any gods. If the supernatural is considered that which is beyond the natural, then the defense has no way of knowing that, there are no points of reference, no observations, nothing that can establish that any event is supernatural. It is a subjective guess, at best and cannot even be considered circumstantial.

Great post, btw, WW.

It is by experience than any of us know anything.
Their testimony is that it was supernatural, that is their experience.

I understand that, but they have jumped to an erroneous conclusion that would never be used in any court of law as there is no precedence. Establishing precedence requires hard evidence. Therefore, the supernatural should have some precedence if it can be used in a trial, otherwise it's pure speculation and would be thrown out.l

At some point here we have to recognize that there is no precedent for this type of 'trial'. Not that I could find.
So, before the evidence can never be presented, I would have to say the trail would never occur.
It seems to me you are taking our hypothetical a little too serious.

I equate this trial with a 'block box' thought experiment in philosophy.
If I start by saying 'Suppose we put two Australian aborigines in a N.Y apartment with Crocodile Dundee and see if he can convince them to stay a fortnight."
And you respond by saying, 'I don't think he can get visas for them under that pretense. And besides, Crocodile Dundee is not a real person, so 'he' is not getting any visa for any body, with any pretense.'

So I will agree with you, I can't get there from here.

It would be the same as saying a bowling ball is round, therefore fairies exist at the bottom of a pond. There is no connection between the two, nothing to reference a link.

It is up to the jury to decide.
The judge has told us that core beliefs must be suspended.
We must assume that the supernatural may/can exist.
If the first hand accounts of (many) witnesses claim that it was supernatural, it is up to the prosecution to show they are incorrect. If the prosecution can show that all the events do have natural explanations - not just could have, but do have - then the jury will see that.
No one expects scientific evidence.
Circumstantial, eye witness accounts is all that is expected.

Q; How do you know it was my client who shot the gun, maybe it as an actor.
A: it was my her, I just know.

That would thrown out immediately.

The validity of any first hand experience can be questioned by the prosecution.
I do not see any judge saying 'Inadmissible'.
It is up to the jury to decide.

It's often said, if it quacks like duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck. Of course, if a person has never seen nor heard of a duck before because they have no reference to what a duck is, they can never know it is a duck.