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PLZ READ OP FIRST! The Atheist Delusion

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posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:23 AM
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Two things I wanted to add to things that I've seen in this thread.

First, there is a huge difference between me making these three statements:

1) There is no God
2) I find no evidence for God, therefore there is no God
3) I don't believe there is a God

The first is a statement of fact, and is fallacious. It is an absolute statement (the conclusion that there is no God) based on non-absolute observations (an incomplete view of reality.)

The second statement is also a statement of fact, but the fact is in the first part, and the second is a conclusion, aka: an opinion derived from the results. This resolves the first, because your absolute "I find no evidence" is based on an absolute observation. However, the only point you can really make is about yourself, so it's not very helpful.

The last statement, obviously, is an opinion, a belief.

I suspect the reason that many atheists tend to gravitate, rather fiercely, to the first statement is that they view it as adding credibility to their point of view (which, if it was logically possible to make that statement, very much would,) but I have yet to see anyone who can explain how non-absolute observations can validate an absolute statement.

The second point that I wanted to make is in regards to the occasional remark regarding "hedging your bets", which is along the lines of Pascal's Theorem. I'm not aware of any religion that says solely belief in God is your ticket to salvation. Even in the deepest Protestant faiths, you can't just go on living your life the way you want to.

A hollow faith is not much better than no faith at all (and the only reason it's slightly better, is that it opens the door to growth that a non-believer blocks.) Agnostics state that they honestly have no idea about God or not God, but I doubt that many of them are actually atheists who want to cover their bases -- my experience is that most serious atheists know more about God than many theists do, and understand the whole "have to do more than pay lip service."




posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 



Like I wrote before, it doesn't matter how you label 4 objects


Precisely. Here is the problem. Yes you are correct that the addition of a number of objects increases the number of objects. The problem is the assignation of a label that is referring to the decimal system in his eyes.

You say it is 4 (decimal) and he says it is 11 (ternary? haven't worked that one out yet). It is of course just a label.

In actuality you could say it is a clutch, or a few etc all of which are simply labels but none of which deny that the number of objects has increased.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 



You can't say, "I have nothing to say in regard to whether or not God exists," and then call yourself an atheist.


You can when atheism is take to mean a lack of belief.

I am an atheist because I have no way of knowing whether or not there is a god and there is thus no reason to be a theist though also no reason to firmly reject the possibility of a god or gods.

That position says nothing about the actual existence of a god.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:26 AM
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Maybe this image sheds some light on it:

scienceblogs.com...

Or a similar one, defining agnostic as uncertain, and gnostic as certain:

commonsenseatheism.com...

[edit on 30-7-2010 by -PLB-]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by PuterMan
 

Is a person who lacks a belief in a god(s) not exactly the same as a person who does not believe in the existence of God or god?


Personally I would have said that they were not the same.

A person who denies the existence of any God(s) - an atheist - is not the same as a person who does not believe in the existence of God(s) BUT DOES NOT DENY the possibility - an agnostic.

I agree it is difficult to see how you can not believe yet not deny.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by ChickenPie
 



You can't say, "I have nothing to say in regard to whether or not God exists," and then call yourself an atheist.


You can when atheism is take to mean a lack of belief.


So you believe the existence of God is improbable?



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by -PLB-
 


Sorry, have to take issue with the second one you just added as that states that an atheist has no belief, and the whole purpose of the OP in this thread is stating that an atheist does have a belief. A belief that God does not exist.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by PuterMan
reply to post by -PLB-
 


Sorry, have to take issue with the second one you just added as that states that an atheist has no belief, and the whole purpose of the OP in this thread is stating that an atheist does have a belief. A belief that God does not exist.


I see your point. IMO you should interpret it as "No belief in god".

But equally you can argue that when you are certain, you also no longer believe. Maybe I will draw my own diagram
.

[edit on 30-7-2010 by -PLB-]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by PuterMan
 



A person who denies the existence of any God(s) - an atheist –


Your definition didn’t say that an atheist is a person who denies the existence of any god(s) it said that it is a person “who does not believe in the existence of God or gods”. Not believing is not the same as denying.

reply to post by ChickenPie
 



So you believe the existence of God is improbable?


No, there is no way of assigning a probability to the existence of one or more gods.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
This is one of the biggest challenges Theists are yet to confront. What makes the "God" you believe in the right one?


Faith. I've sorted through all of the options that I've come across, including the atheist and agnostic views, thought about them a lot, and Christianity is the correct faith for me. The doctrines of Christianity says that Christ is necessary for salvation, so I have no idea what the prospects are for Muslims, Buddhists and all the rest, but that has no impact on my personal faith.

My faith is between me and God. The Muslim's faith is between him and God. An atheist's non-faith is between him and God. Once you're aware of the option that Christianity offers, and understand it clearly, your decision is not my concern.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
Your definition didn’t say that an atheist is a person who denies the existence of any god(s) it said that it is a person “who does not believe in the existence of God or gods”. Not believing is not the same as denying.


You are nit picking.

Not believing in the existence of something is the same as denying something exists, whereas not believing in something is NOT.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by -PLB-
 


This lack of belief crap is rhetoric.

If you lack belief then you do not believe, so if you lack belief in God, then you do not believe in God. But believing and not believing both deal with believing. I can say I don't believe in the existence of unicorns, but that's still a belief in itself. The belief being unicorns don't exist. The same holds true when you say you lack belief in God (do not believe in God). When you say you do not believe in God, you're saying you believe God does not exist.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



An atheist's non-faith is between him and God.


No, because an atheist does not believe in the existence of God so it is not between him and God. All you can say is that you believe that his non-belief is between him and the God you happen to believe in. You cannot state it as a fact.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 


Actually I do see where you are coming from. Maybe the term belief should instead be faith. In that manner an atheist can believe God does not exist, and agnostic can not have faith in God without denying his existence, and a believer can believe God exists and have faith.

Compromise or what!


[edit on 30/7/2010 by PuterMan]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by PuterMan

Originally posted by Mike_A
Your definition didn’t say that an atheist is a person who denies the existence of any god(s) it said that it is a person “who does not believe in the existence of God or gods”. Not believing is not the same as denying.


You are nit picking.

Not believing in the existence of something is the same as denying something exists, whereas not believing in something is NOT.


I'd hope so because why would one go as far as to say they don't believe something exists, but then in the same breath say I will not deny that it exists. Isn't that a contradiction? If you don't believe something exists, then why wouldn't you deny its existence?



[edit on 30-7-2010 by ChickenPie]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:02 AM
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You can when atheism is take to mean a lack of belief.

Which is reasonable until someone in the conversation says "I would like to distinguish between atheism and agnosticism."

At which point, using atheism to include agnostics is solecist.

Which nobody can stop you from being, but you will be called on it, and you will be misunderstood.


I am an atheist because I have no way of knowing whether or not there is a god and there is thus no reason to be a theist though also no reason to firmly reject the possibility of a god or gods.

That position says nothing about the actual existence of a god.

Well, you can call your own beliefs caesar salad pizza if you'd like. Again, the penalty for solecism is finite: you will be called on it, and you will be misunderstood.

As long as you pay the price, however, you can say whatever floats your boat. It is your boat.

Many atheists won't object. They welcome wannabes. They can use all the warm bodies they can get.


Agnosticism does not exclude that you believe in a god.

Agnosticism is an unusual word in that we have a complete etymology for it. It has always meant, from its very first appearance in English prose, a specific way to be "not (a)theist."

English provides a mechanism for oxymoronic usage (jumbo shrimp, agnostic atheist). You just define the otherwise meaningless string, and you are all set.

The oxymoron may catch on (jumbo shrimp is well understood, and understood not to mean "the sum of its parts," which are incompatible). Or, it remains peculiar to the specific occasion on which it was defined.

There is no general usage of the oxymorons "atheist agnostic," "theist agnostic," nor "theist atheist." They are simply contradictions in terms, equally meaningless in general use, equally eligible to be defined on a particular occasion, and equally impossible for that meaning to be inferred from the component words' meanings.



[edit on 30-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:03 AM
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Maybe we can agree to these definitions:

Certain Atheist: Claiming to know that god(s) don't exist.
Believing Agnostic Atheist: Believing god(s) do not exist but not claiming it to be the truth.
Agnostic Atheist: Not believing god(s) exist but not claiming they don't exist.
Agnostic Theist: Believing god(s) exists but not claiming it to be the truth.
Certain Theist: Claiming to know that god(s) exist.

The first and last one lack believe, but IMO are delusional positions. The second and forth both include believe. The third does not include believe. To make it clear, only the bold ones encompass believe.

If anyone disagrees, please state why.

[edit on 30-7-2010 by -PLB-]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:04 AM
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Originally posted by ChickenPie
But believing and not believing both deal with believing. I can say I don't believe in the existence of unicorns, but that's still a belief in itself. The belief being unicorns don't exist.


Then following the same logic, not existing deals with existing, therefore non-existence is existence. This is patently absurd.

"Not A" does not equal "A".



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by -PLB-
Or a similar one, defining agnostic as uncertain, and gnostic as certain


Unfortunately, the term "gnostic" was appropriated a long time ago by a specific belief, so "agnostic" and "gnostic" are not related terms -- agnosticism is not a disbelief in gnosticism.

Which is a bummer, I thought for a while there I could refer to myself as a "Christian Agnostic", lol.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by -PLB-
Or a similar one, defining agnostic as uncertain, and gnostic as certain


Unfortunately, the term "gnostic" was appropriated a long time ago by a specific belief, so "agnostic" and "gnostic" are not related terms -- agnosticism is not a disbelief in gnosticism.

Which is a bummer, I thought for a while there I could refer to myself as a "Christian Agnostic", lol.


Oh, well my knowledge of English is lacking here. It is also the reason I think the term agnostic is a bit vague. Anyway, I will edit my post above.



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