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Featured A Serious Question To Self-Proclaimed Atheists ...

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by PureX, Oct 24, 2021.

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  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Religion:
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    Theism - God/gods exist.
    Atheism - the antithetical - either can't decide or don't exist.

    Since the undecided option is already called agnosticism, that leaves the don't exist option alone to be called atheism.
     
  2. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    Your mistake is in that you think that "agnosticism" is some "third choice" to the binary question "do you believe".

    It is not.

    (a)gnoticism does not deal with the same subject matter as (a)theism does.

    (a)gnosticism pertains to knowledge. (a)theism pertains to belief.

    They are not mutually exclusive. If anything, they are complementary.

    Hi, I am an agnostic atheist.
    I don't believe the claim that a god exists and I don't know if there is such a thing as gods.
    Which incidently is exactly the reason why I don't believe one exists. I have no reason to.

    I'm agnostic about unicorns and centaurs also for the same reason.

    I'ld say that it is the default. Always. On all matters.
    The default answer to "do you believe X is true", will always be "no" unless there is sufficient reason to say "yes". What reasons would be sufficient, would off course depend on the definition of X.

    But the point is that extra information is required to inform and justify believing the statement.

    When it comes to the god question, it's not the case at all that I'm "choosing" to say "no". Instead, I have insufficient reason to say "yes". So, rather then "choosing", I am sticking to the default "no".

    And if you don't agree that the default stance is always one of disbelief, then I promise to give you 100k worth in gold if you wire me only 1000 bucks first.


    But the main point here.....
    Atheism - theism is a binary position on a single issue. agnosticism is, at best, a qualifier of whatever position you find yourself in.

    upload_2021-10-25_15-13-3.png

    Because your question isn't logical in that it is loaded with false assumptions.

    In summary: atheism is the default. It's theism that requires you to do something extra, which is believing certain claims.

    You have to actually do something to be a theist.
    NOT doing that thing, means you are an atheist by default.

    It's one or the other.
    Agnosticism is not some third choice between them.
     
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  3. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    Atheism is answering "no" to the question "do you believe a god exists?"
    Atheism is NOT the claim "there are no gods".
     
  4. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    Since I quite specifically said I was using the primary dictionary definition, and not an old disused version, I can't see the problem sorry? When someone uses a word, if they don't state otherwise the assumption must be they are talking about the primary definition currently in the dictionary. The thread author seems to me to be trying to force all atheist into a definition that suits his own beliefs, and had little to do with how the dictionary defines the word atheism.

    Since dictionaries reflect common usage, it's dishonest to assign definitions that don't reflect this as if they are the primary definition, rather than what you mean by it, or if you are using an archaic definition that no longer reflects what common usage of the words means. That's why we have dictionaries, and while etymology is fascinating, dishonest semantics is just tiresome.

    It's clear the author is a theist, it's clear from his own posts he isn't an agnostic, unless he doesn't know what it means, as he has made assertions about what he believes the nature of a deity to be, which is negated by agnosticism.

    I don't see this about winning or losing, but about using a reference tool like a dictionary correctly. We have common usage definitions in dictionaries for a reason, if you are deviating from that, which anyone is entitled to do, whether it is a secondary definitions or utilising etymology to make a point, then the honest thing to do is specify this. The author of the thread has not been honest here. IMHO.

    Indeed, and that is why we have dictionaries for reference, if we are deviating from those definitions, as the author has done repeatedly, then it is disingenuous of him to pretend he is speaking for an entire demographic, or even broadly for a significant number of atheists. As beyond my lack of belief in any deity or deities, which is what the primary dictionary definition of that word currently tells us, he can't know what I do or do not believe until I tell him, yet he has posted erroneous assumptions about atheists and atheism throughout this discourse. he has also dishonestly implied that agnosticism and atheism are somehow mutually exclusive, which they clearly are not.

    Unfalsifiable claims are easy to create, but nothing can be asserted from not knowing something. This is the very definition of an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy. i have seem many theists attempt to reverse the burden of proof using this fallacy.

    If a claim is unfalsifiable I consider it to be meaningless, as I can know nothing about it, I must therefore remain agnostic, i cannot do otherwise. Now I can either believe all unfalsifiable claims, whish is impossible as it will inevitably lead to believing contradictory claims, or i can believe one or some of them, which is clearly biased as there is no objective difference. So I am left with rational and epistemologically consistent position of disbelieving them all. This then is my position.

    So i am an atheist, as I do not believe in any deity or deities as no one has ever demonstrated any objective evidence for any deity. if the deity being imagined is also an unfalsifiable concept, then I also must remain an agnostic.

    The author keeps telling me I can't do this, and has yet to address the fact that I am both an agnostic, at least where deities imagined are unfalsifiable concepts, and an atheist.

    In my experience when a debate starts with someone dishonestly misrepresenting a basic word definition, there is little hope they will be diverted from their agenda with facts or reason.
     
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  5. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    Exactly correct, and I am astonished how many theists and sometimes atheists make this basic error in semantics.
     
  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    Again you are precisely correct, and a cursory look at the dictionary definition demonstrates this is true.
     
  7. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    Wrong.

    Theism
    noun
    1. belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.
    Atheism
    noun
    1. disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
    Again consult a dictionary.
    Sigh, wrong...

    Agnostic
    noun
    plural noun: agnostics
    1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
    Atheism has a definition that is derived from common usage, it's just dishonest semantics you are using here to pursue your own agenda as a theist, and I am starting to wonder how much of this refusal on your part to acknowledge obvious facts is trolling?

    You also keep making assertions about the nature and existence of a deity you believe exists, that means you are not an agnostic.
     
  8. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    For the record, I disbelieve in all deities for the same reason I disbelieve in mermaids and unicorns, because no one can demonstrate any objective evidence to support their existence.
     
  9. AlexanderG

    AlexanderG Active Member

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    So really, this entire thread is about how to define a word, and your complete evasion of the reasons why people don't believe in gods. You ask for reasons, and then you refuse all the reasons we give as not relevant.

    Do you think redefining atheism will let you win, because now there are fewer atheists?
    Do you think the accelerating rate of deconversions from Christianity to a non-belief in the Western world and particularly in the US, will slow down or stop because you narrowly redefine a word?
    Do you think there is a functional difference in how people behave, if one group believes there are no theistic gods, versus another group who tentatively believes it 99.999% likely that there are no theistic gods, but are open to new evidence changing their mind?
    Do you think we should only believe claims once there is enough good evidence, or that we should believe all claims until enough good evidence proves it wrong?
     
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  10. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Well written.
     
  11. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    This is not a good analogy for theists who believe their god exists outside of human imagination. Rights, laws, borders are all human constructs that don't do anything independently of humans.

    Right, we are very consistent in what we think Santa Claus is. We are probably more consistent in what we think Santa is than Christians think their god is. Christians can't agree if Jesus is God, if the Trinity is three properties of one God, if it hates gays or not, if it allows slavery, etc.

    Even wars couldn't settle the disagreements of what the one true God is.
     
  12. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Atheism or non-theism is just not believing in any god or gods.

    Atheism is already defined. It's not believing in a god or gods.

    Everyone is agnostic about gods because no one has any evidence or knowledge of any gods.
     
  13. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't meant as such. It is just a counterargument to demanding physical evidence for an immaterial god.
    If a theist claims an immaterial god, no evidence is necessary. Prove of consensus about the construct would suffice.
    It is just so that almost all theists I debated claim an immaterial god to avoid the burden of proof and claimed physical interaction in the next paragraph. (And of course prove of consensus couldn't be given either.)
     
  14. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Some, if not most, do. But it's apparent they are confusing their tradition of religious dogma as knowledge of God. That would be more like a literary class has knowledge of Hobbits if they focus on the TLOTR series of books.

    This is the blurry line that theists and atheists dispute. Theists believe what they learn from religion is evidence of their God while atheists observe what is happening is that theists learn about the characterization of any given God (depending on the religion, or even sects). Hindus don't learn about the God Muslims believe in. Theists learn about characterizations, and this belief is confused as knowledge of an actual God, because that is part of what they learn.
     
  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    It seems that you agree with my view that theists
    "claim" rather than "have" knowledge of their gods.
     
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  16. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    It still doesn't work.

    No evidence is possible. But then the next question is: how does a material being (human) claim to know an immaterial God exists at all? Are they lying? Bluffing? Confused? Just adopted an absurd belief without thinking? Have special abilities or powers?

    For the theist to be correct they need to answer HOW they know.

    Consensus of a set of believers means nothing if there still isn't any rational basis for what they believe.

    Right. Theses claimants are in over their heads and fail to understand what it is they are claiming. They trap themselves. All their opponent has to do is point out the errors.
     
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  17. AppieB

    AppieB Member

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    Ehh... No.

    Theism is not: God/gods exist
    Theism is: The belief God/gods exist

    Logically it is either p or not p (p or -p)

    The negation of Theism is: Not Theism
    or: Not belief God/gods exist

    Logic doesn't really help your case.
     
  18. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Yes, all well and fair.
    Fact - religion is wrong in a certain non-moral sense. What ought we do about that?
     
  19. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Right. Theists tend to not understand the precision of words and definitions. It's really not to their advantage to get them right.
     
  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    The advantage (or disadvantage?) to poetic thinking, eh.
     
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