Belief in a Lack of Belief
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27-12-2017, 08:48 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 08:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-12-2017 08:36 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  These are pretty convoluted questions, but I'll answer them as best I can.

Yes. I don't know what Gods are meant to be, so I have no beliefs about how likely they are to exist. You're welcome to tell me what you define them as.

Yes. I have no idea how likely it is that the universe was created.

Here's a question for you. I've thought of a number between 1 and 10. Do you believe it is even? Yes or no. If no, does that mean you believe it isn't even?


No I don’t believe it’s even. And no that doesn’t mean that I believe it isn’t even.

I’m 50/50 on the question. I lack a belief one way or the other, because I have no basis or reason to assume one or the other.

If you’re 50/50 on the god question, like I am about the number being even or odd, then I’d expect the answer to be yes



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So you have a lack of belief without having to have a belief. That's exactly my point.

No, I'm not 50/50 on god, I'm ?/?. I have no idea what it is meant to be, at all. Therefor, I have no data with which to work with, so I can't possibly have any idea how likely it is. Again, you're welcome to tell me what it is.

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27-12-2017, 08:48 AM (This post was last modified: 27-12-2017 08:54 AM by Full Circle.)
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 07:39 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I lack a belief on whether you’re likely single...

For all your friends out there lets properly phrase these ill-formed questions.
What you should say is:

I can’t say what the likelihood of you being single or not is because...
And then you explain why.

What you could intelligently say is,
“I don’t know if you are single or not, but based on the observation that you don’t wear a wedding ring I think you are.”

Then, instead of making the following weird-ass, convoluted declaration;
(27-12-2017 07:56 AM)‘Tomasia Wrote:  "I lack a belief in whether you likely don’t have children.

What you should simply say is:
I don’t know if you have children.

You could properly say,
“I don’t know for a fact that you have children, but based on all the toys in your front yard I believe that you do.”

Then there’s this gem:
(27-12-2017 07:39 AM)‘Tomasia Wrote:  I lack a belief in this case, because I have to reason or basis to assume one way or the other.
Blink

No. You don’t lack belief, what you lack is evidence or information.

You are playing stupid word games with yourself and you are losing. Drinking Beverage

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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27-12-2017, 08:51 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 08:41 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Some atheists like me believed in God for a long time before we stopped.

Other atheists never believed in God to begin with.

The first group might accurately be described as believing no God exists, or disbelieving in God. What was belief became disbelief.

The second group might most accurately be described as merely lacking any belief in God.
My current belief and knowledge positions on this topic are not a mere abreaction to my former faith, though it's inevitably colored by that. It is a philosophically considered position: I can't take a defensible knowledge claim for OR against an invisible god that's deliberately framed as an unfalsifiable hypothesis. But I do not believe the unsubstantiated, and I see no valid substantiation for the claim that there's an invisible god of any sort -- most particularly the specific interventionist god of Christianity.

The part where my former theism comes in, is that I used to believe in the unsubstantiated and it caused me a lot of pain -- from cognitive dissonance, poorly set expectations, magical thinking, knock-on effects from bad decisions rooted in religious faith, and ultimately, disillusionment. It was (and is) a great relief to me to be free of this pain and confusion. But today my fundamental positions WRT gods is no different than that of any thinking lifelong atheist.

The way I always put it is that there were proximal causes that initially caused me to realize that my former beliefs were unworkable -- but far better reasons that I eventually came to see, that are now front-and-center for me.
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27-12-2017, 08:51 AM (This post was last modified: 27-12-2017 08:56 AM by Tomasia.)
Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 08:44 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Let me make it simple. There are two questions, which result in three positions.

1) Do you believe gods exist? Y/N

2) Do you believe gods don't exist? Y/N

Y,N is a theist

N,N is an atheist who has no belief for or against gods

N,Y is an atheist who also holds a positive, stronger belief that there are no gods

If you want to personally redefine atheism so that it doesn't include the second position here, that's up to you. You'd have to come up with a different name for it. But it wouldn't stop some people taking that position, whatever you call it.


There’s generally been a distinction between atheism and agnosticism. It’s why surveys often separate the two.

It’s only recently been defined to merge the two.

But it doesn’t interest me to dictate how you define yourself, whether you want to define yourself as an Agnostic, or an Agnostic atheist. It’s only interesting to me to decipher what you mean by it.

The new labels (Agnostic/Gnostic Atheist) don’t draw the distinction between believing and not believing, if they did there would be no reason for me to ask the question


I don’t mind your distinctions though i’d classify N, Y, as a strong or even weak belief that there are no god/s. The strength of the belief is no interest to the question being posed.


People with a strong belief have the tendency to define that as knowing.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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27-12-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
Knowing what I know about human nature and the nature of the "story" of god I would conclude that it is an invention of the human mind.
As is heaven and hell and all the other childish fairy tales that people have invented to make themselves feel better or to make others do as what they want them to do.

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27-12-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 08:41 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Some atheists like me believed in God for a long time before we stopped.

Other atheists never believed in God to begin with.

The first group might accurately be described as believing no God exists, or disbelieving in God. What was belief became disbelief.

The second group might most accurately be described as merely lacking any belief in God.
I see the point you are making, but I disagree. I think either group can lack a belief or believe no god exists.

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27-12-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 08:43 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Consider

It is odd my previous post trying to clarify word usage seems to have been lost.

Sad

I believe they could have possibly disappeared down the same bottomless pit of poor syntax, convoluted sentences and disingenuous questions from TommyBoy.


Big Grin

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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27-12-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 07:16 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  A questions for atheists:

Do you lack a belief that God/s likely do not exist?

Do you lack a belief that the universe is unlikely to have been created?


I ask that you respond with a yes or no, to the above questions, which you can then explain or justify if you choose to.

The concept of God has so many self contradictions, problems, puzzles, and impossibilities it is obvious that God does not exist. All secondary God beliefs, that God created anything etc are therefore obviously false also.

“It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.”
― Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit

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27-12-2017, 08:56 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
(27-12-2017 08:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  No I don’t believe it’s even. And no that doesn’t mean that I believe it isn’t even.

I’m 50/50 on the question. I lack a belief one way or the other, because I have no basis or reason to assume one or the other.

If you’re 50/50 on the god question, like I am about the number being even or odd, then I’d expect the answer to be yes

There's no 50/50. It's called having no position; or no belief. No means zero. So it's more like 0/0.

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27-12-2017, 09:00 AM
RE: Belief in a Lack of Belief
If someone refuses fo define what a God is, I can't answer any questions about it with respect to their idea of God. It leaves me with two possibilities:

1) They won't tell me. This is a pretty annoying and pointless kind of person who presumably enjoys playing silly games with people. They want to be able to manipulate whatever answer is given by not being at all specific about what the actual question is.

2) They can't tell me. Why would this be? Maybe the thing they are discussing is very difficult to put into words. This isn't my problem, though. I still can't give a reasonable opinion on it, if I'm given no information, and I don't understand how anyone could expect otherwise.

What can I conclude? I can't know which of the above applies if they won't tell me which. But either way, I've been asked a question I can't give a sensible answer to, and that's that.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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