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Strong Atheism doesn't exist

Discussion in 'Atheism DIR' started by lewisnotmiller, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I define strong atheist as someone who has no belief in deities. They can talk about them in concept but as external or personified beings is against the natural laws of life and heavily influence by cultural and religious (aka human) definitions.

    A weak atheist, Id say is someone who doesnt believe in deities. However, he does not claim that as a "fact" as a strong atheist wouls.

    For the question, I dont have beliefa that make me an strong atheist. I just know Gods dont exist and I can find a pattern in psychology, history, and the like that makes up how we interpret God and His existence in our need to find who we are and were we come from.

    Outside of that, I cant find a way to see an external being without it relating to the needs of the people who believe in them.

    If I picked a term, it would be atheist. A weak atheist sound more agnostic side.

    n/a
     
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  2. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    I'm trying to become a strong atheist and it involves a positive knowledge claim; that "god does not exist" and that this statement is objectively true, irrespective of whether a persons believe it or not. But it is extremely confusing as there are few texts which deal directly with this claim. the (Marxist) books I'm reading imply it and take it for granted, so there isn't a clear exposition as to why this is true.
     
  3. Deidre

    Deidre Well-Known Member

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    ‘’Something’’ beyond our comprehension that might have ‘’created’’ the universe could very well be a real entity of some sort, but to dub it ‘God,’ worship it, or create a religion around it, is something that I won’t subscribe to. Atheism is merely a position of belief, whether weak, moderate or strong. It reminds me of the terms ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ when describing males…just random words thrown about to separate people, for humans love to do that on the silliest of subjects.

    You can call yourself a strong atheist, but it will still only be a position of belief, not knowledge.
     
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  4. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like it will require faith just like religions.
     
  5. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    The answer (to how the positive statement can honestly be made) doesn't lie in ideas about an alleged god, but in ideas about how we may know things, and what these "things" are that we know. Philosophy of mind.
     
  6. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    All the above points go to the fundamental difference between weak and strong atheism; that weak atheism is a personal belief, whilst strong atheism is a knowledge claim. Between weak atheism and strong atheism is a belief in "strong agnosticism", that atheism cannot be established as fact or based on poof or evidence. This form of agnosticism implies that atheism, and to some extent, science is a religion- a property of the mind which is based on faith.

    The main reason for a weak atheist taking an agnostic position is that they implicitly accept that god is beyond the reach of sense perception, and therefore of rational knowledge and scientific inquiry. In order to establish that atheism is an objective fact, it is necessary to argue that sense-perception is reliable, that objective knowledge cannot be derived from another source; hence the origin of religion is objective and the result of sense-perception and therefore subject to evidence.

    The question then come to establishing that the existence of god is an illusion; for this it relies heavily on the questions regarding the philosophy of mind and on the conflict between philosophical idealism and materialism about the relationship between thinking and being. God is an idea which logically developed from idealism (that thinking is prior to being) and therefore in seeking to explain the existence of the world, it is attributed to some dis-emobided consciousness. If it can be proven that consciousness cannot exist separately from matter and is a property of the brain and therefore proof of the validity of philosophical materialism; there can be no god and that can be established as objectively true irrespective of a person's belief or non-belief.
     
  7. Yerda

    Yerda Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit that with many people's idea of God I am a strong atheist. If it contains contradictions or runs counter to what we know I positively disbelieve it.

    Is that reasonable?
     
  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Sure, Lord Rama in Hinduism said:

    "Satyam eva ishwaro loke, satyam dharmah sadashrita;
    satya moolani sarvani, satyen nasti param padam."

    (Truth is God in the universe, in truth 'dharma' finds good refuge;
    all have their base in truth, there is no station higher than truth.)

    So, discard falsehood, follow truth (and one lands up in strong atheism). :)
    Is there any doubt about that? What is the medium in which this consciousness will exist?
     
  9. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    Eh, well I hit under the strong atheism of "God is not real".
    Not a disbelief, but a factually stated opinion.

    I of course can only provide as much proof of God being false as religions can of him being true.
    But it's easier for me to just not think about it at all and say God is a fake.
    Because to me God will always be fake, until proven otherwise.

    Sad thing is, it doesn't seem possible to prove otherwise.
    What a shame.
     
  10. Aletheia Athanatos

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    I think I've met a total of one person face to face, who described themselves as a strong atheist. They claimed they were 100% certain no supernatural deities exist.

    Whether they are justified in being that certain is questionable, but I wouldn't go as far as to say they were delusional. Just a bit given to absolutism. Bookie shops are full of punters who are certain a particular horse will win the next race. If you tried putting them all in asylums, you'd quickly run out of space.
     
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  11. Kfox

    Kfox Well-Known Member

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    So what in your view prevents someone from the ability of making such a claim?
     
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    #2 is too limited.
    Strong atheism can simply be the belief that there are no gods.
    It needn't be proven.
     
  13. Kfox

    Kfox Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know what a strong atheist is. My view is that whatever it is you choose to call God, describe it to me and I will tell you if I believe if it exist or not. It would be absurd to make claims about your particular God without knowing which one you are talking about; it would be absurd to claim people like Halle Selassie, or Kumari of Nepal doesn’t exist simply because there are those who choose to call them God; I call them people just like anyone else. It would be absurd to suggest the Sun doesn’t exist simply because there are those who call it God. As an atheist I might recognize your God may exist, but because I don’t call it God, (I may call it something else) I am atheist towards your God; and because there is nothing that exists that I call God, I am an atheist to all God beliefs. Now does this make me a strong or weak atheist according to your definition?
     
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  14. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

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    I do think that some models of God are either self-refuting or implicitly make some sort of testable hypothesis.

    For instance, Christian Trinitarianism violates the Law of Identity. It is literally impossible. Given that we use inductive reasoning most of the time, where things can only merely be probable or improbable, it is actually very rare for something to be genuinely completely impossible. However, Trinitarianism violates deductive reasoning and cannot be true. It's self-refuting.

    On the other hand, we have the Deist model of God that was used a few centuries ago where life's apparent design was used as evidence for some sort of Creator. To be fair, I may have been able to be convinced of this argument back then. Biodiversity and adaptation looked like evidence of some form of divine teleology or craftsman.

    However, we now find it very likely that life was not designed but came about through naturalistic processes like evolution and abiogenesis so the original Deist model of God has been more-or-less falsified. Some people scramble to redefine this model in the light of evolution but their new models like Intelligent Design rarely make implicitly testable hypotheses.

    So I can claim to "know" (in the sense of seeing something as highly likely to be true) that the Christian God and the Deist God do not exist. In America, these are the the models of God that most people are referring to when they ask me if I believe in God. To them, I am a Gnostic Atheist. Even if there are many other models of God that I am more agnostic about, those other models aren't what the average Jane means when she uses the word "God." Their heads spin when you say that God might not be a conscious agent or might not be omnipotent.
     
  15. Kfox

    Kfox Well-Known Member

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    If a strong atheist is a person claiming the ability to disprove God, the question becomes; by whose standards? If I am a strong atheist, must I disprove God to your standards? Must I disprove God to the standard of every person on Earth? Or must I only be able to disprove God to my standards.
    I think it would be unfair to say I have to disprove God’s existence in a way that meets the standard of 100% of the worlds population (especially when the fact that the world is not flat has not been proven to 100% of the worlds population). I would find it absurd for me to have to disprove God in a way to meet your standards, but not anyone else’s, so that leaves my standard. If being a strong atheist just means I have the ability to disprove God to my standards, my standards could be something as easy to meet as…. absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Yeah that might not do it for you, but as explained before, your satisfaction is not necessary, just mine.
     
    #155 Kfox, Jul 16, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
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  16. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

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    I have changed my position somewhat from my earlier post. I think "god" almost inevitably refers to some kind of disembodied agency, in basically all of its definitions.

    Even models of God that are Pantheistic, polytheistic, or mystical often mean this.

    Insofar as a "god" can be said to "exist," and by that I mean that it has concrete reality, I think that's nomologically impossible. As in, I think it would violate several laws of physics, so under epistemic logic I can say that I know it's not true because it's impossible. It's necessarily false.

    Now, are our physical laws possibly wrong? I don't know. I think you would have to demonstrate that it's even possible that they're different from what we think they are, and that leaves the burden of proof back on the believer. In absence of evidence that gods are even possible, we have statistical proof for the physical laws that render them nomologically impossible. And I'm highly certain that there will never be evidence for the existence of any god.

    Thus, gods themselves have been disproven.

    The only exception might be the definition of "God" used in Scientific Pantheism, where it's used to refer to the whole of the universe, but I would still say that their God isn't real in the same way that the Grim Reaper isn't real. They're both personifications of real things, but they aren't real in and of themselves.
     
    #156 Ella S., Jul 17, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  17. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I think you make some good points. Just wanted to clear up a couple of things, though.

    1) This thread is somewhat old. Like me! No dramas picking it up, and I'm happy to discuss the topic, but for me the OP was...how to describe...trying to elicit a response. A little playful. I just wanted to get a decent discussion on the topic, so tweaking some virtual nipples in the OP seemed an effective way to generate that (and it mostly worked).

    2) I don't expect you to have read the entire thread, but some people posting in this thread helped me develop my thoughts a little. And I thank them for that.

    3) Part of that development was that I decided splitting atheist up into groupings (strong/weak in particular) was of no utility.

    4) I miss @Alceste . People I can have long, and articulate disagreements with in one thread, long and articulate agreements with in another, and drunk posting ramble in a third are worth their weight in gold. *Sighs*
     
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