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The default position...

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Deathbydefault, Jun 20, 2015.

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  1. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    So the default position has recently come to my attention in my long hours of surfing the web.

    It is to my research of the default position that I have discovered the atheistic default position is what prevents most atheists from having a BOP (Burden of Proof).
    It is most certainly and interesting idea that has received a high level of attention from me personally.

    The default position, in terms of atheism and skepticism, states that as an atheist or skeptic we only believe in what we know to be factual or true or what has a large amount of sufficient evidence, such as gravity. When someone tries to force in an idea, such as a God or set of Gods, they must first present the password aka the proof of existence. If such evidence cannot be presented then it cannot be accepted as reality.

    Note 1: This does not mean to say that atheist and skeptics say, "God(s) is not real". More along the lines of, "it cannot be proven".

    Note 2: A BOP is necessary for anyone making a claim, atheists and skeptics are not making a claim they are denying it.

    Note 3: Atheist: http://www.defineatheism.com/#atheist Skeptic: Skepticism | Definition of skepticism by Merriam-Webster

    So, finally, my question.

    Can the default position be used vice versa?

    I would like to know specifically if it would be possible for a theist to turn the default position in their favor.

    Thank you for viewing my thread, let the debates begin! :p
     
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  2. Bunyip

    Bunyip pro scapegoat

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    Of course it would be possible. In fact trying to shift the burden of proof by making the existence of God the default is about the last remaining erm.... trick in the apologists bag.

    It is of course possible, but is a failure of reasoning. It relies upon presupposing God's existence..and presupositionalism is the last chicken on the shelf of apologetics.
     
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  3. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    Haha, that's a statement I definitely agree with.
     
  4. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I think we know it is not provable or disprovable by now; so the burden of proof doesn't really mean anything in this case. In the end we each take our position as to what is the most reasonable belief considering all evidence and argumentation.
     
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  5. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    See that lines up with the default position though, we do not accept anything without sufficient reasoning and evidence.
    So when someone tries to add something without both of those to what we believe they have to fill in the blanks.
    They have to insert the evidence for us to insert the belief, if you understand what I'm saying?

    I have terrible soft skills sometimes....
     
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  6. 1137

    1137 Beloved of Set | O.S. Co-founder
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    Agnosticism, not atheism.
     
  7. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    It can classify with atheism as well, I've also been told that agnosticism is a form of atheism, so there could be that too.

    They are, at the very least, almost synonymous terms.
     
  8. Disciple of Jesus

    Disciple of Jesus Veteran Member

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    Not in this context.
     
  9. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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  10. Disciple of Jesus

    Disciple of Jesus Veteran Member

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    If you think that it is the same thing; I don't, personally. I guess there could be overlap of thought process, however, theism, can take different reasoning to be ''believed''; so I don't think that theism is actually ''non-skepticism'', if that makes sense
     
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  11. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    I understand, I'm not saying they are the same just that they are alike.
    Kind of how religions as big as Christianity have different sects with only slightly different beliefs.
     
  12. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Aesthetic Traditionalist

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    Even if we accept the claim that atheism itself claims only a 'lack of belief', I nonetheless question if it is even possible to simply 'lack a belief'. No matter how much you may insist otherwise, I find it hard to believe any halfway conscious person doesn't have have a definite position on the question. (Even if only implied). That definite position need not be utter certainty, but let's face it; most atheists are darn well sure that God is unlikely, and that's hardly a 'default position'. It's only a default position when you use semantics to stack the deck to absolve yourself of a 'position'. It may win you arguments, but it's still just a word game.

    If atheism (as they insist) is only a lack of belief in deity, why is it now being equivocated with philosophical scepticism and empiricism? It's like you want it both ways. We don't make any claims, as atheism is only a lack of belief in God, except you know, when it's also about x, y and z.

    And as far as your need for empirical data goes.
    Chronic Cubicle Syndrome - Funny Videos at Videobash

    I'm sure that you have never personally sat down and examined all the scientific data for gravity, evolution, ect, yet alone understand it. I'm confident you have taken all these things on the word of others. Not that accepting the scientific consensus is unjustifiable, but you do take it on a certain level of faith. Because whether you admit it or not, at some point you have to take things on trust. I know for certain that you have not personally and rigorously investigated all that you accept.
     
    #12 Musing Bassist, Jun 20, 2015
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  13. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Yes, both are true therefore equally valid to prove until the truth of one becomes excluded...see shrodinger...

    The default position deals with likelihood...evidence is put forth and discredited constantly...my question would be what type of likelihood are we dealing with that regardless of the "evidence" which is accepted or rejected leaves us at a perpetual default position? So, I don't think it is true that people actually stay at the default position. People may claim such, but I think we can all agree that we cannot choose what to believe. More than likely people claim they sit at the default position when they in fact fall to one side or the other. That is they either believe some God exists or they believe no gods exist.
     
  14. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    The default position is supposedly the set position, the stability, the provable, the objective, the most logically accepted.
    Anything outside of that is the kinetic position, the unstable, the improvable, the subjective, without logical stability.

    Also the way to have a 'lack of belief' is to not accept something but know it is possible, no matter how close to 0% it is.
    I most certainly do not believe in any deity or anything spiritual but I do accept that it is possible, hence my apatheism.

    So to hit on a couple points here.

    For one: Studying every single bit of scientific evidence for evolution could not be physically completed by me in three of my estimated lifetimes.
    However, I am very avid study of the sciences, for the last few years it has been a strict hobby of mine to read such things and study as a norm.
    I can tell you that I do not need to read all of that to believe it is true.
    There is a bear minimum for everyone and for the extremely religious it seems to be extremely low.
    I read more than I need to know that it is either true or believable.

    Things such as evolution and gravity classify within the default position, they provide sufficient enough proof to be.
    Enough to make 99% (guess) of all skeptics happy.

    For two: I have indeed rigorously, and happily, investigated my beliefs.
    I hold everything I believe to a high standard, I've even looked very deeply into my morals and changed what I believe from what I've been taught.
    It is wrong of you to just assume something like that of me, especially with me openly being on the side of skepticism.

    I think that anyone who does not look into what they believe, question it, are those who live in a form of ignorance.
    If you don't even know why you think what you think then how can you really know what you believe is what's true?
    But enough of introducing you to my mindset, it's not something many can understand anyways.

    Final point: Why do you say "yet alone understand it"?
    Why would I not understand it? It's actually quite easy to understand, honestly.
    You would have to have some sort mental disorder or childish mind to not be able to understand even the basics of it.
    For most people it's probably just terminology they aren't familiar with, in which case just google it...

    Actually atheism is a response to a claim that a God(s) is/are real.
    Because that is a claim.
    Atheism is just there to say, "I'll believe it when you prove it".
    Which is the correct response, IMO.

    But atheists also tend to cling to facts and proofs and things of the such as they are what atheists identify with.
    Facts.
    So to say that it's weird for an atheist to cling to science is like saying it's weird that most humans have 10 fingers.
    It's just a natural thing, not exactly something to question.

    Any other presumptions you would like to make, or are you willing to contribute something to the thread now?
     
  15. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Yes. Skepticism is only applicable to weak atheism in which the existence of god is considered too impluasbile, whereas strong atheism says gods existence is impossible. That's a very rough definition, as the distinction is pretty complex and the fact 'atheism' is not a homogenous body of beliefs is not well recognised as it is. There are alot of ways to be an atheist- not all of them by skepticism.

    The default positions means that philosophical materialism is considered a dogma. That affects all forms of 'strong atheism' which is closely associated with metaphysical naturalism, better known as 'scientific materialism' which was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It holds that only natural explanations are true. Marxism/Communism which rest entirely on philosophical materialism and questions regarding the nature of knowledge itself are not subject to scientific proof in a traditional sense. In Marxism, truth is established in 'practice' which can be seen as a self-fulfilling and unfasifiable approach to knowledge. The problem with this argument is that proof works for establishing knowledge cliams- it doesn't work for when your trying to establish what can and cannot be known. alot of sceptics, whilst saying there is no god will amend it by saying they cannot know for sure and that hesitation isn't present in the case of a 'strong' or militant atheist.
     
  16. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Aesthetic Traditionalist

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    And who decides what constituents the stable, provable, objective and most logically accepted? It's whatever you happen to accept?

    Then you don't lack a belief. An infant, lacks a belief. An ant, lacks a belief. You (and all self-described atheists) certainly have a belief, and that belief is that God (whatever God is) is exceedingly unlikely. Word games aside this is a definite position and it demands justification. I never claimed that an atheist must claim one hundred percent certainty, but I do claim they have a definite belief regarding God and denial of this by playing etymological games is, in my opinion, sophistry. You either believe in some notion of God or you do not.

    I agree, hence the necessity of taking most things by trust. I'm not saying that this trust is unreasonable. But it is still trust. It is still faith.

    No doubt you have investigated many of your beliefs, nearly all people have. But I guarantee you that like everyone, you're full of beliefs that don't lend themselves to empirical investigation. Moral, political, philosophical and all those hidden, deeply embedded cultural assumptions you're not even consciously aware of. You may have read about evolution, you may have thought about God and morality, but the idea that you run on purely rational motives and assumptions is nonsense. We all reason, but no one is rational alone. If you believe that you're completely rational, then frankly you're naive.

    I really doubt you have a deep technical understanding of all the empirical science that you accept. Yeah, sure, evolution is conceptually easy to grasp, but I doubt you can explain the math behind general relativity, even if you understand it conceptually. That's what I mean. There's understanding, then there's understanding.

    Sure, it's the negation of theism. Yet when it suits them, they deny that negation and claim an agnostic 'not applicable'. My contention is that even of we accept the atheist definition as a, lack of belief, such a lack of belief does not exist practically. I'm saying there's no such thing as a true agnostic, only varying degrees of certainty.

    No, atheism address only one question, the existence of God. Facts, reason and science have nothing to do with it. Some atheists may take a wordview which they claim is supposedly scientific, but now we're in the realm of ideology and not 'atheism'. To claim that atheism and philosophical naturalism are the same thing is an equivocation.
     
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  17. Marisa

    Marisa Well-Known Member

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    While being all inclusive is great if you're at a Sandals resort, I'm going to quibble with its use here. Some atheists do say god(s) do/don't exist. If you aren't familiar with him, google AronRa. In several of his podcasts he will state as much, and follow up with why he feels that way, which is course at the crux of the issue.


    I'm going to quibble here, as well. Atheists aren't denying a claim, they are asking for evidence. That's not quite the same, and it ought to be seen as completely rational.


    I don't have a problem with either of those definitions.

    I don't see how you could test this. The question seems to be if a baby is born and is never exposed to any religious belief, would it create its own, and how would it react as an adult to being exposed to religion for the first time? We can look around the world over history and notice that almost every culture that's ever existed had some god(s) belief. Theists may look at that as evidence that belief in deities is correct, while atheists may see that as evidence that no single god that man has created can possibly be correct.

    If you're interested, Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book which touches on this subject, Songs of Distant Earth. It doesn't go into great depth exploring the issue, but it is an entertaining read nonetheless.
    [/QUOTE]
     
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  18. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

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    Lack, as in, to be without.
    To be without belief is what may classify someone as an atheist.
    To lack, be without, a belief in God.
    To not to believe is to disbelieve, correct?

    Look at it this way, alright.
    So you and your buddy are in an ocean on earth and you see an island with some trees on it.
    Your buddy would say, "there's obviously animals on that island".
    You would say, "I'll believe it when I see it".

    Your buddy made the claim that "there's obviously animals on that island".
    You simply wanted proof for that.

    That's the basis of the default position to my understanding.
    There are people out there making ridiculous claims all the time so you would obviously want them to prove those claims right?
    Well when they say, "why don't you disprove them" it doesn't make too much sense does it?

    The atheist belief, definition wise anyways, is simply the statement of "if you can prove it I'll believe it" to a religion.

    To put it very simply I understand fact and opinion on an advanced level.
    The morals I follow I realize are just my opinions or opinions I agree with, I'm not above that.
    I doubt there are embedded cultural assumptions in me as I realize what an opinion is, and do not believe it to be a fact.
    Like how many people think the southern states in the USA are full of gun firing redneck republicans, and that is untrue.
    I never thought that way personally, I refrain from thinking about such things without any evidence.
    Like I said earlier, the way my head works is most certainly not normal. I tend to have more... control? Easiest word to use.

    I am not always a rational person.
    I get angry and happy about little things, and impulse buy stuff I never use, I can also be selfish and narcissistic.
    But I do make a physical, and sometimes visible depending on who, effort to be rational.
    It's just the type of person I am, simple as that.

    I am aware of the various levels of understanding.
    I only ever saw math as numbers created logically to deduce things.
    But one day I read an article on math being the "universal language".
    I've seen it a different way since then, how it breaks things down and shows you what variables mean what and where they go, why they go there.
    But that might not be the understanding you are talking about either.

    If you want me understand something of a spiritual nature then you're SoL, my friend.
    I don't have an affinity for anything spiritual in any way, it just doesn't process in my brain the way it might for you.

    I do have a much deeper and much more technical understanding than most people can say.
    It's my hobby, it's what I'm learning in college, it takes up many hours of my free time.
    It has done so for almost 4 straight years, with very few days without.
    Like I said, I am a avid lover of the sciences.

    Well definitions are not dogmatic, it is a science so it may be changed to suit the times.
    But it is as it stands now.

    Only varying degrees of certainty, you could almost say only varying degrees of skepticism.

    Hm, but I wasn't talking "atheism" originally, I was talking "atheists".
    Atheists are the followers and practitioners of atheism, but while they may follow that it is not the only thing they do.
    I say that such atheists that had become atheist after some time being religious did so due to skepticism and their want for a "proof" you could say.
    So for many atheists, practicing science and what not is commonplace due to who they are as people.
    And who they are as people has also lead them to identify as atheist.

    (not gonna spell check just gonna yolo it or whatever idiots in social media say)
     
  19. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    The default position is relative. The default position changes. In some cultures the default position is to believe in God. In other cultures it's not. In both cases it is the most logically accepted, the most stable, and objectively provable within those relative systems of thought.

    Even the search for determining an objective reality that exists that we need to find in order to know what the truth is, is itself a relative position. It begins in the subjective, unstable, and improvable. This position itself, that this can be done, begs the question. It starts with the conclusion, and sets out to prove itself through logic and research, all the while not seeing the colored lenses it is looking through that it put on the eyes looking at the outset. It's what is known as the myth of the given.

    See article on Wilfrid Sellars (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) where the myth of the given concludes, "Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that no item of empirical knowledge can serve the function of a given." People assume the world is lying around out there just waiting to tell us it's secrets independent of the subjective, the relative. That is a presupposition, a subjective belief, that is ultimately a myth. The myth of some pre-given world. It is no more nor less functioning in the same way as a default position of theism is.

    Any argument for one way of seeing and understanding truth and reality is dependent on the default position of the context the questioner is part of. To a mythic worldview, the scientific reasoner is illogical. To the scientific reasoner, the mythic believer is illogical. It depends which set of glasses you have on, which ones you were raised with, or adopted somewhere along the line that determines how you see reality and how you determine what is valid or not in relation to that set criteria you bring with you into the questioning. The default position is contextual, not absolutistic.
     
  20. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    [Emphasis mine]

    I think you may be saying something here that sends waves of shudders over the ranks of atheists. Exactly what is entailed in being a "practitioner" of atheism? I know this plays straight into the hands of those who make the claim that modern atheism is actually a religion of sorts. Does this "practice" of atheism involve ritual forms and doctrinal beliefs, such as lighting candles in front of a photo of Richard Dawkins and a daily devotional reading of The God Delusion? Are you a "true follower"? :)

    The language itself here, of being a "follower and practitioner of atheism", makes it sound that atheism, at least in how you speak of it, is a replacement for Christian beliefs and practices. Atheism is not mere disbelief, but something you follow and practice. These are your words. Food for thought?

    But what led to skepticism, or to put it more correctly, what led to them questioning their beliefs to begin with? While they were content as a believer they didn't question. But then something changed that led them to question. The reason was not logical and rational, but in fact emotional or existential. I know a lot of folks that reject their previous beliefs like to imagine it was because they simply looked at the evidence and decided rationally to disbelieve. This is a very curious act of mythmaking in the process of writing out their own self-history. The data was there all along, but it was only because something inside them wanted to look, or chose to look that they did. It began with some internal discomfort at an emotional level, and it was a process of reexamining beliefs.

    It's like a divorce. The divorce happens long before the papers are signed. It begins in the personal relationship, which is not a logical proposition, but a subjective lived reality. You simply look for reasons to support the decision that was already made emotionally first. It was certainly not simply some "logical puzzle" of the mind that needed a logical resolution! There was a need internally not being met. It was a subjective decision that looked for reasons to support it. That's what losing one's faith is. It's far more than just "looking at the evidence". That's not where the decision lay.

    So bottom line, let's not create this sort of pure-logic mythology out of these things. It's perfectly reasonable and acceptable to look at why they chose to re-examine their beliefs. And it will always come back to the subjective. I personally think people are maybe uncomfortable acknowledging this, for some reason, probably personal distrust of their own internal voices, wanting to create some myth of external authority to put their trust in, whether that is God or Science and Reason. "I left the faith because of the evidence." Did they? Was that all there was to it, honestly?
     
    #20 Windwalker, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
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