Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

The 'Nones' are taking over the country

11617192122

Posts

  • ArchArch Viruses are totally dependent on knowledge of every eternity. Renounce faith. Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    say that you're an "agnostic atheist"? or an "agnostic leaning towards atheism"?



    I dunno. I guess it seems silly to me to be afraid of other people thinking my position is weak, because I know it isn't, and I will happily back it up. When I tell people I'm an agnostic Jew, they ask how that works, and I tell them. No muss, no fuss.



    If you, personally, want to be called an atheist, I have no problem with that; I'm not trying to lable other people. My concern has to do with the mission creep that the word "atheist" experiences, whereas people with completely different theological views are suddenly ALSO "atheists".

    I can view myself as a goalpost, and say that by the time that I can be defined as an atheist, the word has crept too far.
    Evander, you never answered my questions from before.

    According to quantum mechanics, there is a very slight possibility that I will fall through the matter of my chair when I go to sit down. It could happen; it is within the realm of probability. It most likely won't, though. And so I do not modify my behavior to account for the possibility of it happening.

    For the italicized reason, I say "I do not believe I am going to fall through my chair." I might also say "I know I am not going to fall through my chair." Whatever word I use to state my position, however, is less important than the fact that I do not behave as if falling through my chair is something I even need to consider.

    Now, take someone who says they are an agnostic, who is "not sure about the existence of God." Well, okay. Does this person behave any differently from someone who says they are sure no gods exist? Does this person ever go to church "just in case they're wrong"? Do they erect hecatombs to Zeus because "Zeus may exist?" Do they ask for forgiveness from Jesus because, even though they aren't sure Christian-Yahweh exists, they might be wrong?

    I'm sure there are exceptions, but I don't know a single person who labels themself an "agnostic" who behaves this way. Every agnostic I know is functionally indistinguishable from an atheist.

    So this is how I think the word "atheist" should be used. If it walks like an atheist, quacks like an atheist, and looks like an atheist, it's an atheist—regardless of this person's metaphysical position on the nature of belief and certainty (which, for many people, is not even coherent to begin with).

    Evander, I would certainly call you an atheist (or a Jewish atheist to be charitable to your desire to self-identify Jewish). As far as I know, your behavior indicates you think Yahweh's existence is about as likely as Zeus's, or falling through your chair. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.


    Qingu, I see your argument and would direct you back one of my recent posts where I made the EXACT SAME FUCKING points but replaced "atheist" with "Christian" as YOUR muddling of THOSE terms was equally as infuriating to me and as detrimental to the discussion as what you are arguing now.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    say that you're an "agnostic atheist"? or an "agnostic leaning towards atheism"?



    I dunno. I guess it seems silly to me to be afraid of other people thinking my position is weak, because I know it isn't, and I will happily back it up. When I tell people I'm an agnostic Jew, they ask how that works, and I tell them. No muss, no fuss.



    If you, personally, want to be called an atheist, I have no problem with that; I'm not trying to lable other people. My concern has to do with the mission creep that the word "atheist" experiences, whereas people with completely different theological views are suddenly ALSO "atheists".

    I can view myself as a goalpost, and say that by the time that I can be defined as an atheist, the word has crept too far.
    Evander, you never answered my questions from before.

    According to quantum mechanics, there is a very slight possibility that I will fall through the matter of my chair when I go to sit down. It could happen; it is within the realm of probability. It most likely won't, though. And so I do not modify my behavior to account for the possibility of it happening.

    For the italicized reason, I say "I do not believe I am going to fall through my chair." I might also say "I know I am not going to fall through my chair." Whatever word I use to state my position, however, is less important than the fact that I do not behave as if falling through my chair is something I even need to consider.

    Now, take someone who says they are an agnostic, who is "not sure about the existence of God." Well, okay. Does this person behave any differently from someone who says they are sure no gods exist? Does this person ever go to church "just in case they're wrong"? Do they erect hecatombs to Zeus because "Zeus may exist?" Do they ask for forgiveness from Jesus because, even though they aren't sure Christian-Yahweh exists, they might be wrong?

    I'm sure there are exceptions, but I don't know a single person who labels themself an "agnostic" who behaves this way. Every agnostic I know is functionally indistinguishable from an atheist.

    So this is how I think the word "atheist" should be used. If it walks like an atheist, quacks like an atheist, and looks like an atheist, it's an atheist—regardless of this person's metaphysical position on the nature of belief and certainty (which, for many people, is not even coherent to begin with).

    Evander, I would certainly call you an atheist (or a Jewish atheist to be charitable to your desire to self-identify Jewish). As far as I know, your behavior indicates you think Yahweh's existence is about as likely as Zeus's, or falling through your chair. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.

    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.

    georgersig.jpg
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

  • ArchArch Viruses are totally dependent on knowledge of every eternity. Renounce faith. Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Arch wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Qingu, I see your argument and would direct you back one of my recent posts where I made the EXACT SAME FUCKING points but replaced "atheist" with "Christian" as YOUR muddling of THOSE terms was equally as infuriating to me and as detrimental to the discussion as what you are arguing now.

    specifically here

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    We have a guy in our group who's a Jewish atheist. That's a position I get, if only because Jewish certainly identifies a shared cultural history and identity (family/friends in Israel, the whole deal).

    Not to mention that, unlike god-centric religions like christianity, Judaism focuses on your adherence to a list of 613 laws, not your faith in the existance fo a higher power.

    To break down the core of each fo the Abrahamic religions would look like this:

    Judaism is about action/deed
    Christianity is about faith/belief
    Islam is about submission/devotion

    georgersig.jpg
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I agree with this fine

    others don't, though. they want to say that the 0 state is ALSO an atheist.

    being 0 state myself, I would tend to disagree


    If that were the case, the number of "athiest" in the world would be incredibly small.

    is that a bad thing?

    I mean, I'm part of a group that makes up about half of a percent of the world's population, myself.
    My problem with saying that I'm "agnostic" is that people seem to regard it as a very weak stance. If I say that I'm an "atheist" then people understand that I have substantial objections to religious faith.

    I still say that my set of semantics is the most useful that I've seen proposed.

    I'm an atheist and I have zero objection to religious faith. I have an objection to it's involvement in civic life and society.
    Also, being agnostic is very strong position to defend in an argument. I certainly wouldn't call it weak. I don't like it because I believe most agnostics are atheists who simply hate to think of the possibility of eventual offending others, but it's not an unreasonable stance.

    How is it a strong position? Everyone asked what they actually mean go on to define both having an ideology/morality defined in the same way as an atheist, and also believing...exactly the same things as an atheist.

    It becomes an argument of insistence, rooted correctly - as you observe - in the idea that by saying you're agnostic you don't offend people with religious faith. It's so you can always say "well I think you might be right". Which is stupid again, coz either there isn't a problem, or you're in a country where the correct answer also isn't "agnostic".

    I have trouble arguing against eventual existence of omnipotence(in our current understanding of the word) in the universe. I judge the odds of an intellect evolving and surpassing ours to a point where it is beyond our current understanding as unlikely enough for me to consider myself firm atheist, but I've never been good going against that in a discussion. Could be just me.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I agree with this fine

    others don't, though. they want to say that the 0 state is ALSO an atheist.

    being 0 state myself, I would tend to disagree


    If that were the case, the number of "athiest" in the world would be incredibly small.

    is that a bad thing?

    I mean, I'm part of a group that makes up about half of a percent of the world's population, myself.
    My problem with saying that I'm "agnostic" is that people seem to regard it as a very weak stance. If I say that I'm an "atheist" then people understand that I have substantial objections to religious faith.

    I still say that my set of semantics is the most useful that I've seen proposed.

    I'm an atheist and I have zero objection to religious faith. I have an objection to it's involvement in civic life and society.
    Also, being agnostic is very strong position to defend in an argument. I certainly wouldn't call it weak. I don't like it because I believe most agnostics are atheists who simply hate to think of the possibility of eventual offending others, but it's not an unreasonable stance.

    How is it a strong position? Everyone asked what they actually mean go on to define both having an ideology/morality defined in the same way as an atheist, and also believing...exactly the same things as an atheist.

    It becomes an argument of insistence, rooted correctly - as you observe - in the idea that by saying you're agnostic you don't offend people with religious faith. It's so you can always say "well I think you might be right". Which is stupid again, coz either there isn't a problem, or you're in a country where the correct answer also isn't "agnostic".

    except that, surprise surprise, I sit here as a VERY real agnostic.

    Believe me, I do not care about offending people. Were I an atheist, I would call myself one.

    The idea that anyone who questions the existence of god is automatically an atheist is INCREDIBLY absurd, and honestly removes all semblance of a useful meaning from the word "atheism"

    This is why I mentioned "argument of insistence". Because apart from saying that, how does your position distinguish you in anyway from an atheist, other then you going on - in this one very specific context - to type long paragraphs about how "you can't prove a negative".

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"



    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.

    georgersig.jpg
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    Calling myself an "agnostic atheist" is exactly what I do and exactly what I proposed earlier in the thread.

    I don't believe in a god, therefore I am an atheist. I recognize that I can't completely discount the possibility of the existence of something that could reasonably be called a god and that observing such a thing could be completely outside humanity's potential, therefore I'm agnostic.
    See, the problem with this is that you are using the word "agnostic" to indicate a generalized metaphysical position you hold about the nature of knowledge. You aren't just agnostic about religion; you're presumably agnostic about everything, at least to some degree. Or, at least you are agnostic about the existence of fairies, of unicorns, and any thing X that can be defined as "outside human observation capability" (fairies turn invisible when humans look at them).

    This is a problem because most people don't understand the word "agnostic" to indicate a generalized metaphysical position. They understand it to mean a specifically religious position—namely that you're on the fence. But you're not on the fence at all, functionally speaking.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I agree with this fine

    others don't, though. they want to say that the 0 state is ALSO an atheist.

    being 0 state myself, I would tend to disagree


    If that were the case, the number of "athiest" in the world would be incredibly small.

    is that a bad thing?

    I mean, I'm part of a group that makes up about half of a percent of the world's population, myself.
    My problem with saying that I'm "agnostic" is that people seem to regard it as a very weak stance. If I say that I'm an "atheist" then people understand that I have substantial objections to religious faith.

    I still say that my set of semantics is the most useful that I've seen proposed.

    I'm an atheist and I have zero objection to religious faith. I have an objection to it's involvement in civic life and society.
    Also, being agnostic is very strong position to defend in an argument. I certainly wouldn't call it weak. I don't like it because I believe most agnostics are atheists who simply hate to think of the possibility of eventual offending others, but it's not an unreasonable stance.

    How is it a strong position? Everyone asked what they actually mean go on to define both having an ideology/morality defined in the same way as an atheist, and also believing...exactly the same things as an atheist.

    It becomes an argument of insistence, rooted correctly - as you observe - in the idea that by saying you're agnostic you don't offend people with religious faith. It's so you can always say "well I think you might be right". Which is stupid again, coz either there isn't a problem, or you're in a country where the correct answer also isn't "agnostic".

    except that, surprise surprise, I sit here as a VERY real agnostic.

    Believe me, I do not care about offending people. Were I an atheist, I would call myself one.

    The idea that anyone who questions the existence of god is automatically an atheist is INCREDIBLY absurd, and honestly removes all semblance of a useful meaning from the word "atheism"

    This is why I mentioned "argument of insistence". Because apart from saying that, how does your position distinguish you in anyway from an atheist, other then you going on - in this one very specific context - to type long paragraphs about how "you can't prove a negative".

    And this is why I have been talking about the definition creep of the word "atheism"

    because there are some "athesists" who would say the exact same thing as me, but there are other "athesists" who believe that I am entirely full of shit for entertaining the idea that a god might exist.

    People use the word "atheist" to mean too much, and all it does is muddy discussion.

    georgersig.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I agree with this fine

    others don't, though. they want to say that the 0 state is ALSO an atheist.

    being 0 state myself, I would tend to disagree


    If that were the case, the number of "athiest" in the world would be incredibly small.

    is that a bad thing?

    I mean, I'm part of a group that makes up about half of a percent of the world's population, myself.
    My problem with saying that I'm "agnostic" is that people seem to regard it as a very weak stance. If I say that I'm an "atheist" then people understand that I have substantial objections to religious faith.

    I still say that my set of semantics is the most useful that I've seen proposed.

    I'm an atheist and I have zero objection to religious faith. I have an objection to it's involvement in civic life and society.
    Also, being agnostic is very strong position to defend in an argument. I certainly wouldn't call it weak. I don't like it because I believe most agnostics are atheists who simply hate to think of the possibility of eventual offending others, but it's not an unreasonable stance.

    How is it a strong position? Everyone asked what they actually mean go on to define both having an ideology/morality defined in the same way as an atheist, and also believing...exactly the same things as an atheist.

    It becomes an argument of insistence, rooted correctly - as you observe - in the idea that by saying you're agnostic you don't offend people with religious faith. It's so you can always say "well I think you might be right". Which is stupid again, coz either there isn't a problem, or you're in a country where the correct answer also isn't "agnostic".

    I have trouble arguing against eventual existence of omnipotence(in our current understanding of the word) in the universe. I judge the odds of an intellect evolving and surpassing ours to a point where it is beyond our current understanding as unlikely enough for me to consider myself firm atheist, but I've never been good going against that in a discussion. Could be just me.

    See the thing is though, this isn't even god. God is a word we use very specifically to refer to religious deities. Your generic omnipotent intelligence would be talking about some other concept entirely.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"



    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.

    That's wrong. I haven't followed your argument, but that last part is VERY wrong. If you can't construct your problem within a scientific framework, lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credibility.

    ellm, I'd agree with you, but I believe too many people equate "omnipotent" as god.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.
    Hey guys "you can't prove a negative!" *cue smugness*.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    Of course and I never said that. My post was not "I'm an atheist, because....".
    I was looking to correct the bolded in the post i quotedpart, where he implied that for people atheism should automatically mean objections to religious faith.
    Maybe I should have worded that differently. If people want to believe in gods then that's cool as long as they keep it to themselves. I don't, however, think that it's a particularly intelligent position for them to hold.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.
    Uh, no. See the orbiting teacup / Glenn Beck rape and murder example. The burden of proof is necessarily on the positive claim. I don't really want to retread this again; it's been discussed pretty thoroughly in previous posts.

  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Calling myself an "agnostic atheist" is exactly what I do and exactly what I proposed earlier in the thread.

    I don't believe in a god, therefore I am an atheist. I recognize that I can't completely discount the possibility of the existence of something that could reasonably be called a god and that observing such a thing could be completely outside humanity's potential, therefore I'm agnostic.
    See, the problem with this is that you are using the word "agnostic" to indicate a generalized metaphysical position you hold about the nature of knowledge. You aren't just agnostic about religion; you're presumably agnostic about everything, at least to some degree. Or, at least you are agnostic about the existence of fairies, of unicorns, and any thing X that can be defined as "outside human observation capability" (fairies turn invisible when humans look at them).

    This is a problem because most people don't understand the word "agnostic" to indicate a generalized metaphysical position. They understand it to mean a specifically religious position—namely that you're on the fence. But you're not on the fence at all, functionally speaking.
    Right, which is why I favor "atheist" when going for a brief descriptor of my views. I very much do not want people to think that I'm on the fence.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.

    That's wrong. I haven't followed your argument, but that last part is VERY wrong. If you can't construct your problem within a scientific framework, lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credibility.

    lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack

    occam's razor isn't scientific fact, it is a tool of probability

    georgersig.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.
    Uh, no. See the orbiting teacup / Glenn Beck rape and murder example. The burden of proof is necessarily on the positive claim. I don't really want to retread this again; it's been discussed pretty thoroughly in previous posts.

    the difference with those examples is that they were formulated for the PURPOSE of being false.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.
    Uh, no. See the orbiting teacup / Glenn Beck rape and murder example. The burden of proof is necessarily on the positive claim. I don't really want to retread this again; it's been discussed pretty thoroughly in previous posts.

    the difference with those examples is that they were formulated for the PURPOSE of being false.

    that isn't a meaningful difference

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'let's all get high, from the income angle'
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I agree with this fine

    others don't, though. they want to say that the 0 state is ALSO an atheist.

    being 0 state myself, I would tend to disagree


    If that were the case, the number of "athiest" in the world would be incredibly small.

    is that a bad thing?

    I mean, I'm part of a group that makes up about half of a percent of the world's population, myself.
    My problem with saying that I'm "agnostic" is that people seem to regard it as a very weak stance. If I say that I'm an "atheist" then people understand that I have substantial objections to religious faith.

    I still say that my set of semantics is the most useful that I've seen proposed.

    I'm an atheist and I have zero objection to religious faith. I have an objection to it's involvement in civic life and society.
    Also, being agnostic is very strong position to defend in an argument. I certainly wouldn't call it weak. I don't like it because I believe most agnostics are atheists who simply hate to think of the possibility of eventual offending others, but it's not an unreasonable stance.

    How is it a strong position? Everyone asked what they actually mean go on to define both having an ideology/morality defined in the same way as an atheist, and also believing...exactly the same things as an atheist.

    It becomes an argument of insistence, rooted correctly - as you observe - in the idea that by saying you're agnostic you don't offend people with religious faith. It's so you can always say "well I think you might be right". Which is stupid again, coz either there isn't a problem, or you're in a country where the correct answer also isn't "agnostic".

    I have trouble arguing against eventual existence of omnipotence(in our current understanding of the word) in the universe. I judge the odds of an intellect evolving and surpassing ours to a point where it is beyond our current understanding as unlikely enough for me to consider myself firm atheist, but I've never been good going against that in a discussion. Could be just me.

    See the thing is though, this isn't even god. God is a word we use very specifically to refer to religious deities. Your generic omnipotent intelligence would be talking about some other concept entirely.

    did you move those heavy goalposts all by yourself?

    georgersig.jpg
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.

    That's wrong. I haven't followed your argument, but that last part is VERY wrong. If you can't construct your problem within a scientific framework, lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credibility.

    lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack

    occam's razor isn't scientific fact, it is a tool of probability


    Mmmmm....that's not what you were saying? Lack of evidence is not "impossible to have evidence" either.(as I said, I haven't followed your argument, so if you meant something else, sorry.)

    My favourite wikipedia link, not needed but I like to pimp it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    for the record, if you ask google to define atheism, you WILL get both definitions, but the first one (which in definition terms means the most widely accepted one) is "the doctrine or belief that there is no God".

    which is why there strong/weak/whatever qualifiers exist?

    except that those qualifiers serve to confuse discussion, in my opinion. because they suggest that states 0 and 2 exist on a spectrum together, but that spectrum is seperate from state 1 (theism)

    when, in reality, it could be said EITHER that all three states are seperate, or else that all three states exist on the same spectrum.


    I disagree. If theism means "I hold a belief in god," and atheism at its most basic means the opposite of that, "I do not hold a belief in god," then your state 0 is, I think, absolutely a type of atheism. If you can't decide whether or not you hold a belief in something, then you don't hold a belief in that something. Maybe you will in the future, but you currently don't.

    Imagine theism as a club. The bouncer only admits people who say that they believe in god. You get to the door and he asks you, "Do you believe in god?" If you say "I don't know," you'll be out on the street along with the people who answered "No I don't" and "Of course not, because there is no god." You'll be an atheist, because you're not in the club.

    your definition of atheism is NOT the opposite of theism, it is the ABSCENCE of theism.

    There is a distinct difference between "I don't believe" and "I believe against"


    Of course. That's why I distinguished between what's commonly called Soft Atheism (I don't believe) and Hard Atheism (I believe against).

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.
    Uh, no. See the orbiting teacup / Glenn Beck rape and murder example. The burden of proof is necessarily on the positive claim. I don't really want to retread this again; it's been discussed pretty thoroughly in previous posts.

    the difference with those examples is that they were formulated for the PURPOSE of being false.

    that isn't a meaningful difference

    it absolutely is

    we know those things are false because they were manufactured for that purpose. That absolutely makes a difference.



    the absurdity of bringing up the beck example, of course, is because of just how many liberals who, knowing full well it was manufactured, still wish secretly that it will one day turn out to be true.

    georgersig.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    for the record, if you ask google to define atheism, you WILL get both definitions, but the first one (which in definition terms means the most widely accepted one) is "the doctrine or belief that there is no God".

    which is why there strong/weak/whatever qualifiers exist?

    except that those qualifiers serve to confuse discussion, in my opinion. because they suggest that states 0 and 2 exist on a spectrum together, but that spectrum is seperate from state 1 (theism)

    when, in reality, it could be said EITHER that all three states are seperate, or else that all three states exist on the same spectrum.


    I disagree. If theism means "I hold a belief in god," and atheism at its most basic means the opposite of that, "I do not hold a belief in god," then your state 0 is, I think, absolutely a type of atheism. If you can't decide whether or not you hold a belief in something, then you don't hold a belief in that something. Maybe you will in the future, but you currently don't.

    Imagine theism as a club. The bouncer only admits people who say that they believe in god. You get to the door and he asks you, "Do you believe in god?" If you say "I don't know," you'll be out on the street along with the people who answered "No I don't" and "Of course not, because there is no god." You'll be an atheist, because you're not in the club.

    your definition of atheism is NOT the opposite of theism, it is the ABSCENCE of theism.

    There is a distinct difference between "I don't believe" and "I believe against"


    Of course. That's why I distinguished between what's commonly called Soft Atheism (I don't believe) and Hard Atheism (I believe against).

    except that it is unnecisarily confusing to take two very different beliefs (soft atheism is just as distinct from hard atheism as it is from theism itself) and to put them both under the same moniker.

    or, to put it another way, what would you call some one who "doesn't not believe in god"?

    georgersig.jpg
  • HounHoun Jump In Save the WorldRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm not a fan of the term "agnostic". It always struck me as "I'm too lazy to make a decision here". Of course, I've always heard the terms defined as:

    atheist: Does not believe in the existence of a God
    agnostic: Is uncertain if there is a God or not

    I consider myself an atheist because you cannot prove a God to exist. I have seen no evidence that the universe has any need for any sentient designer or controller. The universe is pretty damn awesome all by itself. Thus, I do not believe in a God.

    Does this mean I completely disallow for the existence of God? No. If a God exists, and the means of measuring and quantifying are simply beyond our current means, and one day we DO find evidence, or even proof, cool. I'm a flexible creature. I'm capable of adjusting my world view and philosophies when new data becomes available. Hell, I'm even ok with being wrong. I'm reasonably certain I'm right, but hey, I'm human, and making mistakes is practically our number one past time.

    Which is why agnostics, as defined above, irritate me. Are they afraid of commitment? Do they fear being wrong if they choose a side? Or are they simply too lazy to do any examination on the subject and come to a conclusion?

    "What makes a man turn neutral? Gold? Lust for power? Or is he simply born with a heart full of neutrality?"

    camo_sig2.png
    Steam: DigitalArcanist | PSN: DigitalArcanist | NNID: DigitalArcanist | Backloggery: Houn
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    If you can't construct your problem within a scientific framework, lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credibility.

    Could you expand on this? Is "lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credit" somehow contingent on the hypothesis being articulated within a scientific framework? So, if I operate outside of a scientific framework I do not need evidence?

    That is what I take you to be saying.

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Not to mention that, unlike god-centric religions like christianity, Judaism focuses on your adherence to a list of 613 laws, not your faith in the existance fo a higher power.
    But you don't do this either.

    @Arch, I looked back at some of your posts, but I'm not really sure what you mean. Are you saying that I define atheists functionally, but not Christians?

    Well, you have a point. On one hand, I think it's fair to call someone whose beliefs are basically Deist, but who nevertheless goes to church on Easter and Christmas, a "Christian."

    On the other hand, I think there is a strong benefit to limiting the definition of Christian in a clear way, just to avoid confusion with other religious traditions like Deism and Unitarianism. I prefer to limit "Christians" to people who believe, at minimum, that Jesus is the son of Yahweh rose from the dead and this act was salvific in nature. I don't think it's beneficial to include "fans of Jesus' philosophy" as Christians because then Christianity becomes a philosophical position, like Platonism, and not a religion.

    But really, when it comes down to it, I'm willing to call people whatever they want to be called, and I don't have problems calling people "Jewish atheists" or "Christian Deists." Oftentimes when I'm writing about this stuff on here, I'm trying to get someone who self-identifies as Christian to realize that, belief-wise, he's an atheist and so maybe shouldn't even bother.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    doesn't not believe in god

    Not a defining quality. Not green.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    If you can't construct your problem within a scientific framework, lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credibility.

    Could you expand on this? Is "lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credit" somehow contingent on the hypothesis being articulated within a scientific framework? So, if I operate outside of a scientific framework I do not need evidence?

    That is what I take you to be saying.

    It's a fuck up. "Lack of evidence" should be "impossibility to get evidence". My bad, I apologize. Thank you for pointing that out, it was probably why Evander replied that way too, I hadn't noticed.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.
    Uh, no. See the orbiting teacup / Glenn Beck rape and murder example. The burden of proof is necessarily on the positive claim. I don't really want to retread this again; it's been discussed pretty thoroughly in previous posts.

    the difference with those examples is that they were formulated for the PURPOSE of being false.

    that isn't a meaningful difference

    it absolutely is

    we know those things are false because they were manufactured for that purpose. That absolutely makes a difference.



    the absurdity of bringing up the beck example, of course, is because of just how many liberals who, knowing full well it was manufactured, still wish secretly that it will one day turn out to be true.

    I could just as easily claim that religion was formulated for the purpose of being false. Opiate of the masses etc.

    For that matter, what about Santa Claus?
    except that it is unnecisarily confusing to take two very different beliefs (soft atheism is just as distinct from hard atheism as it is from theism itself) and to put them both under the same moniker.

    or, to put it another way, what would you call some one who "doesn't not believe in god"?

    If we decide we aren't comfortable with qualifiers, you just need to make up another word.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'let's all get high, from the income angle'
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I know that I'm not going to fall through my chair because I've seen very strong evidence that my chair will support my weight. I know that on a theoretical level, it might not, but I've run a CBA, and decided it was worth sitting.

    I have yet to see any evidence for or against the existence of God.
    I'm pretty sure we've been over the fallacy inherent in this statement (there is no such thing as "evidence" for a negative), and this doesn't really interact with the main thrust of my post.

    Whatever you claim to believe about the possibility of God's existence (specifically Yahweh's), you do not modify your behavior in a way that indicates you think the possibility is remotely likely.

    there's no fallacy, dude.

    the fallacy is when you say "it's impossible to have evidence that I'm right, so the lack of evidence must mean that I'm right"

    Sometimes it's okay for there to not be a clear answer.

    That's wrong. I haven't followed your argument, but that last part is VERY wrong. If you can't construct your problem within a scientific framework, lack of evidence does mean that the hypothesis does not deserve any credibility.

    lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack

    occam's razor isn't scientific fact, it is a tool of probability


    Mmmmm....that's not what you were saying? Lack of evidence is not "impossible to have evidence" either.(as I said, I haven't followed your argument, so if you meant something else, sorry.)

    My favourite wikipedia link, not needed but I like to pimp it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

    you should go back and read my argument (or, if you like, ask me some specific questions to feel out my position) because I feel like you really aren't quite getting me.

    I do not believe in the existence of a God. I do not disbelieve in the existence of a God. I find the existence of a god to be less likely, but still possible. I also come from a religion where belief in God, while expected, isn't strictly required, so I still consider myself to be a religious man, while not believing in God. (This is the one that really pisses Qingu off, I think.)

    georgersig.jpg
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    that isn't a meaningful difference

    it absolutely is

    we know those things are false because they were manufactured for that purpose. That absolutely makes a difference.[/QUOTE]
    Okay, Evander. Would you say that you feel the same way about God as you do about the existence of Santa Claus, Bigfoot, fairies, UFOs, demons, and secretive, economy-controlling Jewish conspiracies?

    These aren't reducto-ad-absurdums made up for rhetorical purposes. People actually believe in them, like people actually believe in God.

    And like God, there is no evidence to support their existence. But you can't prove they don't exist, so....?

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I agree with this fine

    others don't, though. they want to say that the 0 state is ALSO an atheist.

    being 0 state myself, I would tend to disagree


    If that were the case, the number of "athiest" in the world would be incredibly small.

    is that a bad thing?

    I mean, I'm part of a group that makes up about half of a percent of the world's population, myself.
    My problem with saying that I'm "agnostic" is that people seem to regard it as a very weak stance. If I say that I'm an "atheist" then people understand that I have substantial objections to religious faith.

    I still say that my set of semantics is the most useful that I've seen proposed.

    I'm an atheist and I have zero objection to religious faith. I have an objection to it's involvement in civic life and society.
    Also, being agnostic is very strong position to defend in an argument. I certainly wouldn't call it weak. I don't like it because I believe most agnostics are atheists who simply hate to think of the possibility of eventual offending others, but it's not an unreasonable stance.

    How is it a strong position? Everyone asked what they actually mean go on to define both having an ideology/morality defined in the same way as an atheist, and also believing...exactly the same things as an atheist.

    It becomes an argument of insistence, rooted correctly - as you observe - in the idea that by saying you're agnostic you don't offend people with religious faith. It's so you can always say "well I think you might be right". Which is stupid again, coz either there isn't a problem, or you're in a country where the correct answer also isn't "agnostic".

    I have trouble arguing against eventual existence of omnipotence(in our current understanding of the word) in the universe. I judge the odds of an intellect evolving and surpassing ours to a point where it is beyond our current understanding as unlikely enough for me to consider myself firm atheist, but I've never been good going against that in a discussion. Could be just me.

    See the thing is though, this isn't even god. God is a word we use very specifically to refer to religious deities. Your generic omnipotent intelligence would be talking about some other concept entirely.

    did you move those heavy goalposts all by yourself?
    I don't know, was it fun putting them somewhere where people would assume we were playing soccer and not rugby?

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    I could just as easily claim that religion was formulated for the purpose of being false. Opiate of the masses etc.

    For that matter, what about Santa Claus?

    do you have any evidence of the fabrication of god? it's absurd to think you would, due to the fact that it was done many thousands of years ago, but that's kind of the point. Since we can't know for sure, I see nothing wrong with simply accepting the small possibility, keeping an eye out for evidence in EITHER direction, and moving on with our lives.

    As for Santa Claus, I was never raised to believe in him, so it wasn't much of a question for me.
    If we decide we aren't comfortable with qualifiers, you just need to make up another word.

    That's all I've ever wanted to do. People fight against it, surprisingly.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    except that it is unnecisarily confusing to take two very different beliefs (soft atheism is just as distinct from hard atheism as it is from theism itself) and to put them both under the same moniker.


    No, hard atheism is a subset of soft atheism. Soft atheism is simply lack of a belief in god. It's the position that encompasses everything that's not actually positive belief in god. Hard atheists, by definition, lack a belief in god. The only difference is that hard atheists have an additional belief that there is no god. Hard atheism is soft atheism plus a specific belief.
    or, to put it another way, what would you call some one who "doesn't not believe in god"?


    If by your double negative you mean that he does believe in god, he's a theist. If you mean that he's undecided, he's a soft atheist, because he lacks a belief in god. Indecision about god =/= belief in god.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    for the record, if you ask google to define atheism, you WILL get both definitions, but the first one (which in definition terms means the most widely accepted one) is "the doctrine or belief that there is no God".

    which is why there strong/weak/whatever qualifiers exist?

    except that those qualifiers serve to confuse discussion, in my opinion. because they suggest that states 0 and 2 exist on a spectrum together, but that spectrum is seperate from state 1 (theism)

    when, in reality, it could be said EITHER that all three states are seperate, or else that all three states exist on the same spectrum.


    I disagree. If theism means "I hold a belief in god," and atheism at its most basic means the opposite of that, "I do not hold a belief in god," then your state 0 is, I think, absolutely a type of atheism. If you can't decide whether or not you hold a belief in something, then you don't hold a belief in that something. Maybe you will in the future, but you currently don't.

    Imagine theism as a club. The bouncer only admits people who say that they believe in god. You get to the door and he asks you, "Do you believe in god?" If you say "I don't know," you'll be out on the street along with the people who answered "No I don't" and "Of course not, because there is no god." You'll be an atheist, because you're not in the club.

    your definition of atheism is NOT the opposite of theism, it is the ABSCENCE of theism.

    There is a distinct difference between "I don't believe" and "I believe against"


    Of course. That's why I distinguished between what's commonly called Soft Atheism (I don't believe) and Hard Atheism (I believe against).

    Eh. Hard atheism is a matter of words. We use it for the same reason others use agnosticism - so we can discriminate against people we find offensive by putting them in another group.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Eh. Hard atheism is a matter of words. We use it for the same reason others use agnosticism - so we can discriminate against people we find offensive by putting them in another group.



    Not at all. "There is no such thing as god" is a positive statement that requires evidence to support. "I lack a belief in god" is not (unless you're arguing with a real stickler who demands evidence that you do not, in fact, have a belief in god).

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Eh. Hard atheism is a matter of words. We use it for the same reason others use agnosticism - so we can discriminate against people we find offensive by putting them in another group.



    Not at all. "There is no such thing as god" is a positive statement that requires evidence to support. "I lack a belief in god" is not.
    "I will not fall through my chair" is a positive statement that requires evidence to support.

    So is "There is no such thing as elves."

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    As for Santa Claus, I was never raised to believe in him, so it wasn't much of a question for me..

    Don't dodge the issue. There are any number of completely unsubstantiated myths we have that weren't created "for the purpose of being false," but no one is making the claim that since we can't disprove their existence, we have to treat it as an equally possible case.

    edit: and as far as the fabrication of God, that's pretty easy. There are a bunch of religions with contradictory, mutually exclusive religious positions. Someone has certainly fabricated something.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'let's all get high, from the income angle'
  • ArchArch Viruses are totally dependent on knowledge of every eternity. Renounce faith. Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Not to mention that, unlike god-centric religions like christianity, Judaism focuses on your adherence to a list of 613 laws, not your faith in the existance fo a higher power.
    But you don't do this either.

    @Arch, I looked back at some of your posts, but I'm not really sure what you mean. Are you saying that I define atheists functionally, but not Christians?

    Well, you have a point. On one hand, I think it's fair to call someone whose beliefs are basically Deist, but who nevertheless goes to church on Easter and Christmas, a "Christian."

    On the other hand, I think there is a strong benefit to limiting the definition of Christian in a clear way, just to avoid confusion with other religious traditions like Deism and Unitarianism. I prefer to limit "Christians" to people who believe, at minimum, that Jesus is the son of Yahweh rose from the dead and this act was salvific in nature. I don't think it's beneficial to include "fans of Jesus' philosophy" as Christians because then Christianity becomes a philosophical position, like Platonism, and not a religion.

    But really, when it comes down to it, I'm willing to call people whatever they want to be called, and I don't have problems calling people "Jewish atheists" or "Christian Deists." Oftentimes when I'm writing about this stuff on here, I'm trying to get someone who self-identifies as Christian to realize that, belief-wise, he's an atheist and so maybe shouldn't even bother.

    Yes, that is what I am saying exactly. It may not have ever been explicitly stated, but it was heavily implied.

    Now here is a nice avenue for debate- I believe that in order for Christianity (and other religions) to flourish in the diminishing social sphere they (apparently, to keep with the thread) occupy they NEED to undergo memetic evolution to become more of a personal philosophy influenced by certain works and less of a religion that takes those works literally.

    I have implied this a lot, and it seemed to me that you take contention with this (as evidenced by your ideas decrying the Bible being treated as "metaphor"). I am now directly posing this statement to you and others(instead of asking you to read between the lines, which is an unhelpful tool for debate, and I apologize)

    To this end and following this idea I feel that both scientific thought and religions are perfectly compatible, and in some ways this newfound malleability to common religious dogma can lead to interesting avenues of insight and personal growth even among "SCIENCE". For example, a more liberal Christian dogma could claim that the emergence of consciousness in the primate that became Man was their God "making" man in his image i.e. sapient.

This discussion has been closed.