Believing That God Doesn't Exist
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16-11-2013, 09:31 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 09:19 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 08:33 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  There's a reading comprehension fail. What happened? No coffee yet? Big Grin

I think I read it right.

She was talking about her knowledge of the non-existence of the supernatural. And! You're a poopyhead. Big Grin

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16-11-2013, 09:33 AM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 09:39 AM by viole.)
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 09:19 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 08:33 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  There's a reading comprehension fail. What happened? No coffee yet? Big Grin

I think I read it right.

Almost.

I am not claiming that there is a God. I am actually claiming that there isn't any; slight difference Smile

But for the rest, I know what you meant. Or do I merely believe it? Tongue

Ciao

- viole
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16-11-2013, 10:17 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 09:33 AM)viole Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 09:19 AM)Chas Wrote:  I think I read it right.

Almost.

I am not claiming that there is a God. I am actually claiming that there isn't any; slight difference Smile

But for the rest, I know what you meant. Or do I merely believe it? Tongue

Ciao

- viole

And I am disagreeing with you. And the difference may be subtle, but it is not slight.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-11-2013, 10:24 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 03:48 AM)viole Wrote:  The reason why not many atheists take this stance is mainly due to the fact that atheists, in general, do not want the burden of proof shifted on them. And so you see innumerable semantic discussions concerning the difference between not believing in X vs. believing in not X.

In my opinion, this is due to an equivocation between what we mean with "knowledge" and what we mean with "absolute certainty".

Most, if not all, of science, history, etc. is based on knowledge about the world which is vulnerable to the "black swan" effect. A scientist must always be ready to revise her knowledge when evidence is presented that the previous knowledge was not accurate. But that, again, is not sufficient to declare agnosticism about the current findings of science without sounding weird.

So, if a theist asks me to justify my knowledge about the non-existence of the supernatural, I usually ask her what she knows about the world. If she insists that knowledge requires absolute certainty, then it is obvious that she does not know anything, either. Simple things like "it is raining outside" can be made uncertain (even if it is raining) by using some imagination.

The final result is that "knowledge" would become a meaningless word and we would skip into global skepticism.

Ciao

- viole
Yes, Viole you and I agree. I personally think if theists weren't around with their apologetic BS, many more atheists would probably have a gnostic stance on the issue. The agnostic or even the "lack of belief vs belief in no" stances can definitely be genuine, but sometimes it seems like they are forced out of a tip toe in order to "never say anything that can ever be wrong or put on me as making a logical fallacy of some sort".

Which is fine, whatever floats people's boats, I get that that is important to some people. To me, it isn't. I think knowledge is a subset of belief (knowledge = belief with personal certainty), and human knowledge is always going to be imperfect anyways. We try to know to the best of our abilities, but even things we thought we knew could be wrong. And that's fine. There is nothing bad about being wrong factually IMO, as long as you recognize and accept it when it is pointed out.

And Chas, Viole was speaking about the difference between a gnostic atheist stance ("I know there is no god") and one of the agnostic atheism stances "I don't know there if there is a god, but I don't believe there is one". She was saying that atheists tend to not approach the gnostic stance because they think that means they need to shoulder the burden of proof.
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16-11-2013, 01:46 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 10:24 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  And Chas, Viole was speaking about the difference between a gnostic atheist stance ("I know there is no god") and one of the agnostic atheism stances "I don't know there if there is a god, but I don't believe there is one". She was saying that atheists tend to not approach the gnostic stance because they think that means they need to shoulder the burden of proof.

Maybe I misunderstood her argument.

However, I disagree with your statement of it.

It is not a question of taking the agnostic position to avoid the burden of proof, it is taking the intellectually honest position of not making unsupportable statements.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-11-2013, 03:08 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 04:05 PM by viole.)
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 01:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 10:24 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  And Chas, Viole was speaking about the difference between a gnostic atheist stance ("I know there is no god") and one of the agnostic atheism stances "I don't know there if there is a god, but I don't believe there is one". She was saying that atheists tend to not approach the gnostic stance because they think that means they need to shoulder the burden of proof.

Maybe I misunderstood her argument.

However, I disagree with your statement of it.

It is not a question of taking the agnostic position to avoid the burden of proof, it is taking the intellectually honest position of not making unsupportable statements.

Chas,

I know that the law of gravitation is true. That means, I know that there is no object on earth, or on any other planet, that is repelled by gravitation. I might be wrong, but I cannot possibly claim to be agnostic about gravity just because I did not check the behavior of all objects on all planets of the Universe.

So...

Do you think that the statement: there is not a single stone in the Universe which is gravitational repelled by its planet is unsupported?

If it is, isn't that equivalent to saying What we know about gravity is unsupported ?

And in the latter case, isn't that equivalent to saying: No matter what we know about gravity, this knowledge is unsupported?

You see? My knowledge that there are no violations of the law of gravity is not different from my knowledge that there are no supernatural events. Both claims have the same evidence.

Can I exclude the occurrence of miracles, i.e. the suspension of natural laws? Nope. Can I exclude local natural violations of the law of gravity? Nope.

So, if I am intellectually honest, I either claim agnosticism for the existence of the supernatural AND the consistency of gravitation, or I claim knowledge that there is no supernatural world and that gravity is consistent. I will go for the latter Wink

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- viole
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16-11-2013, 04:04 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
A simple reason I find it unnecessary (for me) to take the agnostic position on deities is because I can't find the shame in declaring that I know there are no magicians/sorcerers in existence.

I ADMIT that knowledge is not perfect. But according to my present knowledge, magic does not exist. Gods are a subset of magic.
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16-11-2013, 04:04 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 03:08 PM)viole Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 01:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  Maybe I misunderstood her argument.

However, I disagree with your statement of it.

It is not a question of taking the agnostic position to avoid the burden of proof, it is taking the intellectually honest position of not making unsupportable statements.

Chas,

I know that the law of gravitation is true. That means, I know that there is no object on earth, or on any other planet, that is repelled by gravitation. I might be wrong, but I cannot possibly claim to be agnostic about gravity just because I did not check the behavior of all objects on all planets of the Universe.

So...

Do you think that the statement: there is not a single stone in the Universe which is gravitational repelled by its planet is unsupported?

If it is, isn't that equivalent to saying What we know about gravity is unsupported ?

And in the latter case, isn't that equivalent to saying: No matter what we know about gravity, this knowledge is unsupported?

You see? my knowledge about the consistent behavior of gravity is not different from my knowledge that there is not a supernatural world. Both claims have the same evidence.

Can I exclude the occurrence of miracles, i.e. the suspension of natural laws? Nope. Can I exclude local natural violations of the law of gravity? Nope.

So, if I am intellectually honest, I either claim agnosticism for the existence of the supernatural AND the consistency of gravitation, or I claim knowledge that there is no supernatural world and that gravity is consistent. I will go for the latter Wink

Ciao

- viole

We have evidence of gravity throughout the observable universe and absolutely no evidence for anything supernatural.

The claims have very different evidential bases; your argument is illogical.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-11-2013, 04:19 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
And like I said, knowledge is imperfect anyways and relative to what information we have access to. I can say I'm agnostic about anything that I think I know, just because somewhere out there I might be wrong.
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16-11-2013, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 04:37 PM by viole.)
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 04:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 03:08 PM)viole Wrote:  Chas,

I know that the law of gravitation is true. That means, I know that there is no object on earth, or on any other planet, that is repelled by gravitation. I might be wrong, but I cannot possibly claim to be agnostic about gravity just because I did not check the behavior of all objects on all planets of the Universe.

So...

Do you think that the statement: there is not a single stone in the Universe which is gravitational repelled by its planet is unsupported?

If it is, isn't that equivalent to saying What we know about gravity is unsupported ?

And in the latter case, isn't that equivalent to saying: No matter what we know about gravity, this knowledge is unsupported?

You see? my knowledge about the consistent behavior of gravity is not different from my knowledge that there is not a supernatural world. Both claims have the same evidence.

Can I exclude the occurrence of miracles, i.e. the suspension of natural laws? Nope. Can I exclude local natural violations of the law of gravity? Nope.

So, if I am intellectually honest, I either claim agnosticism for the existence of the supernatural AND the consistency of gravitation, or I claim knowledge that there is no supernatural world and that gravity is consistent. I will go for the latter Wink

Ciao

- viole

We have evidence of gravity throughout the observable universe and absolutely no evidence for anything supernatural.

The claims have very different evidential bases; your argument is illogical.

Yes, I agree (with the possible exception of the "illogical" part). But this is not my point.

If I played the angel's advocate, I could posit that there is the possibility of a small, local gravitational anomaly in a distant planet whose effect is completely undetectable for our current instruments but, nevertheless, has the potential to kill all we know about gravitation. A black swan, so to speak.

It could also be that this anomaly is so undetectable as the occurrence of possible local, small, supernatural interventions.

How do you know that this natural anomaly cannot exist? And if you know that, somehow, what prevents you from claiming knowledge that the small supernatural interventions did not occur, either?

Ciao

- viole
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