It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Disingenuousness of "Weak" Atheism

page: 2
2
<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 09:38 PM
link   
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Pretty simple really: We can't rule out that there's a god, but at the same time, we have ZERO evidence that would support his/her/its existence.

Atheists don't believe in a deity just like they don't believe in pink unicorns...we have ZERO evidence that they exist. Agnostics only state that there is a REMOTE chance that there MIGHT be a deity. Both accept that as of yet, we lack evidence in support of the existence of a deity...which represents a FACT and REALITY.

Not sure how much clearer you can make this...




posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 12:03 AM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
Pretty simple really: We can't rule out that there's a god, but at the same time, we have ZERO evidence that would support his/her/its existence.


as I have said before myself, the evidence is there... there are just those who can not comprehend it, seemingly stuck on level #2

and it may be better if one did not have to visually "see" God, it is somewhat like trying to visualize a being from another dimension which is outside our spacetime, you can only see a piece of it at any given time and at our level of comprehension.

But if you "know" of God, therein lay the proof.



Sagan explains how one on level #2 "views" or "sees" a being from level #3

which is very ironic to me that he uses an apple for the representation of the being from level #3


flatland bites





edit on 1/15/2011 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 04:17 AM
link   
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


I dispute the last two sources as they appear to be related to apologetics and theology. The first two definitions I have no real issue with but again those are general definitions of atheism by itself. The position of agnostic-atheism deserves its own definition.


Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they claim not to know or be able to know whether any deity exists


Source

It may be important to note that this is merely a label and that I would have no issue identifying myself as both agnostic and an atheist however I think that if I left out the atheist part would be dishonest as atheism refers to my stance on belief and agnostic on my stance on knowledge. I don't have a belief in a deity but do not claim to KNOW that deities do not exist. I personally think that this position of uncertainty is the most logically tenable.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 05:27 AM
link   
First, my congratulations to BigWhammy for raising this thread from the dead.

Although I am in general sympathy with the points made so long ago in the OP, in the end, it is silly to play word lawyering games against full-time word lawyers. They will simply crowd you out. You will not win, and if you did win, it would be even more like winning the Special Olympics than is usual on the web.

As luck would have it, I am an agnostic. It is perfectly clear what agnostic means. But since clarity is the bane of word lawyers, there are web-specific alternative uses of the word to ensure that the straightforward is made crooked.

The "minority report" which people rely upon who wish to promote a false etymology ("not gnosis"... I have even seen "not Gnosis") or offer oxymoronic compounds of it (agnostic theist, agnostic atheist... nobody seems interested in being a theist atheist) is Flint's anti-Huxley book of woo, Agnosticism, published long after Huxley's death and longer still after its title word had already become a widely used part of the English language.

It is a rare distinction for a writer to place a word into the language. Huxley did it. Flint did not. Agnosticism is payback, the timeless complaint of mediocrity against genuine achievement.

I gladly make allowance for Titen-Sxull's usage, which features a hyphen, agnostic-atheist. So far as I can determine, his hyphen corresponds with standard (if obscure) punctuation's vel, and the string means "agnostic or atheist." That is fine, clearly expresses "not a theist," and simply declines to specify whether the speaker is atheist or agnostic.

Bigger picture, however, the only penalty for a meaningless self-descripton is that the speaker fails to communicate. So, if someone wishes to call themselves a theist atheist anyway, then that's their business.

It is also harmless. Your choice of label imposes no obligation on me to describe you using the same words. If it really matters to me what you believe (and usually, it doesn't, really not), then I can generally tease out where somebody is coming from. I will then describe them accordingly.

Since human self-knowledge is fallible, I am also not bound by anybody's self-report about their own belief states. "I take no position about whether God exists" contradicts "There is no difference between belief in God and belief in Santa Claus." Since I can see that the speaker is fully committed to the latter statement, I can simply discard the former. Yes, speaker, you do have a position about whether God exists. The ordinary and usual English word for that view is atheism.

If you would rather not use the a-word, but prefer to describe your view as Roman Catholic Luciferianism, well, isn't that special?

-

edit on 15-1-2011 by eight bits because: revision is its own reward.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 06:35 AM
link   
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 



Originally posted by Bigwhammy
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 



The simple counterargument is this: atheism has never been the definitive declaration that there isn't any deity, it's been the rejection of all current claims. Atheism is a lack of belief, it was never a positive belief. It is atheism, without theism.


So the issue is that we have two definitions for atheism:

A) Athe-ism - God does not exist

B) A-theism - Person X lacks belief in God


No, there's gnostic and agnostic atheism. I've yet to meet a gnostic atheist, though I'm guessing there are a few who claim to be.



While you can use B to describe yourself as "lacking belief in God" if you like, just so long as you realize that this is not the established academic definition:


No, it definitely is. I'm going to just highlight the Stanford source, because the second source is from a random website, thus not an academic source, the third source is from an apologetics book and thus not an academic source, and the last source is from a theology book and not exactly expected to be impartial on the subject of atheism.




Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God.

plato.stanford.edu...




I'm going to simply say that I don't like the phrasing of the second part of that sentence, as it assumes the existence of a deity and makes any non-monotheist an atheist. But let's say in this case "denial of the existence of God" is synonymous with "denial of all conceptions of deities", mainly because atheists don't just reject a single being.

So negation, that's the key word. Negative position.

Positive:
I (do) believe.
Negation:
I do not believe.




I could go on, but all serious scholarly sources agree.


You only presented a single scholarly source, though I wouldn't refer to it as the most serious. And now you're just perpetuating an argument from authority in favor of a semantical position.



There's a good reason that no one serious uses B. It makes you the object of attention, not God (fitting really).


Nobody serious? What about Bertrand Russel, Jean-Paul Sartre, Karl Popper, John Stuart Mill... I could go on. I mean, I actually study philosophy, so I know quite a lot about the subject. These are all considered to be great minds of philosophical thought, amongst the greats. I could list a lot more if I just went with contemporary philosophers, but I wanted to go with big names.



Philosophers, of all kinds, use "A" when they speak of atheism as the propositional state of reality not including a God.


Except that they don't. Please show me a philosophical work that actually defines atheism as such from an atheist philosopher. I'm not going to allow for a theistic philosopher to define atheism, or an apologist or theologian.



You, however, are using "B" which says nothing about God.


I'm rejecting all deities, not just yours. My personal position doesn't have to say anything about your deity, monotheism, or anything else. I'm skeptical of the idea and all others like it. I'm not going to accept the premise. I live my life as if there are no deities because I have no evidence for any deity. I'm not epistemologically certain, but that's an impossibility.



It's merely an autobiographical comment about your own psychology. Instead of talking about God, we're talking about the belief content of madnessinmysoul's head.


It's not belief content, it's evidence burden. And I'm not making any reality claims, you're the one doing that.



So what if you don't believe in God? It’s entirely compatible with God existing!


And yet there's still no evidence. My position isn't that of a reality claim. That's what you don't seem to understand. Gnostic positions are reality claims. You make a reality claim, I make a rejection of that claim because it contains insufficient evidence.

So what if you believe in God? That's entirely compatible with Krishna existing.



An argument against God however, in the form of "A"s meaning, is incompatible with God existence, if sound.


Except that my positions against the logical consistency of a universe in which a deity exists aren't central to my atheism. I reject the claim initially due to lack of evidence and then I further point out that the claim is inconsistent on a logical level. You're basically saying that all personal positions must be reality claims, must be based in absolute knowledge, and must not allow for the possibility of being wrong.

I'm sorry, but I'm intellectually honest, I think that I'm right, but I know there's no way I can be certain. Why? Because I understand epistemology.



But you don’t bother with coherence. You prefer to criticize theism from the sidelines with no epistemological basis for your own position.


Because there is no epistemological basis for any claim on the existence of unfalsifiable entities. You cannot make an epistemological claim about Russel's teapot, neither can I. You cannot make an epistemological claim about the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, neither can I. You cannot make an epistemological claim about the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, neither can I. You cannot make an epistemological claim about the existence of Odin, neither can I. ETC.



Basically, you're picking the lazy "B" side of atheism.


Ah, poisoning the well. I've seen it so much around here lately. I'm not picking the lazy side, I'm picking the intellectually honest side.



You're not addressing the question of God, you're sharing a piece of your own life story.


It's not a question, it's an assertion. You don't seem to get that. It's not the question of "Does God exist?" it's the assertion by theists: "GOD EXISTS!" that needs to be addressed. Why? Because the question is an unanswerable question, as the very nature of such a being makes it unfalsifiable. The assertion of theists that a deity exists is something I can refer to and reject because their claim is unsupportable.



I'm sure if we were hanging out at a coffee shop you might share more of yourself (your family history, your job, your favorite color etc) but that's just as much an irrelevance. Your type of "a-theism" offers nothing and has no influence over anybody who believes in God. Your "lack of belief" offers no more challenge than yesterday’s flattened road kill - which also lacks belief!


Alright, so you're basically insulting me because you don't have a proper understanding of epistemology or the most basic conceptions of general reason.



Of course, you've already let it slip around here that you do affirm that God does not exist ("spaghetti monster" "imaginary friend" etc) so I say man up and give us arguments.


No, I've said that I don't believe...and don't lump in the Flying Spaghetti Monster with Yahweh, they're two separate things. I'm of the position that your deity probably doesn't exist, though I'm in no position to make an epistemologically certain claim. You cannot know, I cannot know. But I can reject your claim as it is the positive position. You have to use critical thinking in all things and in critical thinking you start from a null hypothesis, that the affirmed item doesn't exist. Then you build up a case for it.



It's a myth that negative claims have no burden of proof, and you're trying to sell us the further fairytale that you're not making a negative claim!


No, it's the basis for all modern logic, science, and advancement. Negative positions only require the critique of positive claims. That critique can be to highlight the inconsistency of a position, point to the entire lack of evidence for the claim, or a counter-claim can be made, which puts the individual in both a negative position in regards to one claim and a positive position with regard to their own claim

A negative position is regarded as a 'null hypothesis', that the item in question doesn't exist is used as the starting point. We then use all sorts of means to prove that the item exists, in refutation of then null hypothesis. This is how science works. Einstein had to prove relativity, he didn't have to tell all the other scientists to disprove it. So prove your position please.

I'm sorry, but you should really bone up on your philosophy.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 08:39 AM
link   

Originally posted by Bigwhammy
Thanks for your reply but it really seems to me that it is you that is just making things up, as you did not document a single one of your asserted definitions.


Gnostic


possessing intellectual or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things


Theist


one who believes in the existence of a god or gods


Agnostic


a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable


Atheism


disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.


See? I can find things on the web that support my position, too!


I hold that the existence of the ultimate cause and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable. I am agnostic. I also do not believe in a deity. I am an atheist.

Bottom line. YOU do not get to tell me what I am.
I define myself. And if that threatens you in some way, that is YOUR problem. I have spent many years in self-reflection and studying theism and I have come to my current position on this subject. You are free to have your position, but it does not apply to me, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot MAKE it apply to me. You're spinning your wheels. But if that's what you wish to do, argue away.


It doesn't change that I am an agnostic atheist.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 08:43 AM
link   
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Again, you don't understand what scientific evidence is. You posting a video of flatland isn't proof of god's existence...you can't prove there's anything beyond "flatland" in reality, assuming flatland is a metaphor for us.

You are filling gaps in knowledge with god...and on the other side of the world someone is doing it in Hinduism, Islam, and the mighty jungle god of Zluzlugluglu. You and they all have the same amount of scientific evidence, NONE.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 08:58 AM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Again, you don't understand what scientific evidence is. You posting a video of flatland isn't proof of god's existence...you can't prove there's anything beyond "flatland" in reality, assuming flatland is a metaphor for us.


you might be partially correct... I can only prove there are those who can not perceive the proof.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 09:03 AM
link   
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Which makes your entire belief SUBJECTIVE and not backed up in science in any shape or form...which is why it's called blind belief



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 09:15 AM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Which makes your entire belief SUBJECTIVE and not backed up in science in any shape or form...which is why it's called blind belief


the same can be said about atheists...

they have "faith" and believe a deity does not exist.

what was that about subjective again ?



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 09:21 AM
link   

Originally posted by Cosmic.Artifact

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Which makes your entire belief SUBJECTIVE and not backed up in science in any shape or form...which is why it's called blind belief


the same can be said about atheists...

they have "faith" and believe a deity does not exist.

what was that about subjective again ?


Atheists position is rational in the absence of any evidence that would prove god's existence...just like it makes sense to say pink unicorns don't exist. Sure, there's a tiny chance, but we have no evidence to support that claim, so to our current KNOWLEDGE, god doesn't exist...any claims you make regarding god are based on blind belief and your upbringing. If you were born in Saudi Arabia, you would have become Muslim...



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 10:18 AM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
Atheists position is rational in the absence of any evidence that would prove god's existence.


let me attempt to explain yet again...

the "facts" are, and being established by the majority says that there is only a "minority" who can not perceive the proof, or better yet, the "truth"

just as our average man can not do or perceive the way in which say Einstein did his math, or how he came to do his reasoning in the first place.

but there are those now who have a better grasp of his logical reasoning...


edit on 1/15/2011 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 10:22 AM
link   
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


And like I explained to you in the other thread, the opinion of the majority is WORTHLESS. In the past, the majority believed the earth is flat...guess what, that was WRONG!

The only way to know the truth is to be OBJECTIVE...and scientific method is the best attempt to stay objective as peer review and the way hypothesis/theories are defined make it clear that they have to remain objective to be valid.

Objectively, there's no proof of god's existence. Also, don't pretend those believers are all one united front, lol. Tons of them despise eachother and totally disagree on fundamental stuff.

So to sum up:

1) Subjective "evidence" is VERY unreliable and definitely not proof of anything.
2) Objective proof is the best way to assess something...according to scientific method.

Now, if you want to show that your religion is logical/rational, you have to present objective evidence...we're waiting



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 12:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


And like I explained to you in the other thread, the opinion of the majority is WORTHLESS.


exactly... like I have also explained to you in another thread, something that is "fact"

Majority rules, and what establishes "fact" is (Majority)

hence the "majority" believes the sky is blue, therefore it is blue...

the "majority" established that an apple is not an orange. therefore an apple is a apple.

not big on philosophy ? the weak atheists must be...


edit on 1/15/2011 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 12:43 PM
link   
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Wait, so now you're trying to argument using philosophy? Seriously??

In our real lives, the majority doesn't decide what's fact, they might only decide actions (which might or might not be based on facts) if they live in a democracy. For example, if the majority decided what was fact and what not, we'd still believe the earth to be flat.

In order to know facts, you have to be objective...something religion utterly fails at.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 02:14 PM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Wait, so now you're trying to argument using philosophy? Seriously??

In our real lives, the majority doesn't decide what's fact


science is but a philosophy... and yes I do not know how many times some need to hear the fact that "fact" itself is indeed established by majority.

and the Majority of planet Earth are theistic, always have been and quite possibly always will be...

see a wiki link... or better yet something like the plato.stanford.edu...



edit on 1/15/2011 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 02:19 PM
link   
experiment as presented by science is only 1 method of presenting "fact" to the majority, which then establishes it as true or false.

the truth and fact remains that Atheism "can not" prove God does not exist.

even given scientific experiment or philosophical thought experiment to the Atheists.

I for one will be waiting...

I am also waiting on video evidence that Atheists do not only attack the God of Christianity or Jesus, but you must have overlooked that too in favor of speculation ?


edit on 1/15/2011 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 05:08 PM
link   
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 




the truth and fact remains that Atheism "can not" prove God does not exist.


The truth and fact remains that atheism, aside from Gnostic-Atheism, has absolutely no cause to disprove god(s). Dedicating time to disproving god(s) entirely would be pointless as one would need to possess all knowledge of the entirety of reality in order to 100% prove there were no gods (at the point you possess all that knowledge you may as well BE god
).

Agnostic-Atheism has nothing to prove, it is merely a skeptical but open-minded position on deities. Gnostic-atheism and gnostic-theism on the other hand both make claims to knowledge.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 06:39 PM
link   
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Islam:

US Citizen


US Citizen


British Citizen

Um...is that enough for you. I mean, just one data point would have gotten rid of your claim, but several should do a lot more.

The issue is that atheists in countries that are predominantly Christian will talk about...Christianity. Atheists in countries that are predominantly Muslim...don't really have a say because their societies tend to not be secular enough. Atheists that live in India do speak out, though they're not as popular. Atheists exist who criticize religions of all types, but it should be surprising that the world's largest religion gets the most criticism.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 10:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Pretty simple really: We can't rule out that there's a god, but at the same time, we have ZERO evidence that would support his/her/its existence.

Atheists don't believe in a deity just like they don't believe in pink unicorns...we have ZERO evidence that they exist. Agnostics only state that there is a REMOTE chance that there MIGHT be a deity. Both accept that as of yet, we lack evidence in support of the existence of a deity...which represents a FACT and REALITY.

Not sure how much clearer you can make this...



I agree with you somewhat, But atheists still have to provided evidence for their belief that God does not exist. The thing I am objecting to is the lie that they are not making a claim because they are, "God does not exist."
You admit it plainly "Atheists don't believe in a deity just like they don't believe in pink unicorns" so provide evidence for your view.

If they do not claim that, then they must be agnostics.
edit on 1/15/2011 by Bigwhammy because: typo



new topics

top topics



 
2
<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in

join