Believing That God Doesn't Exist
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
16-11-2013, 04:36 PM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 04:24 PM)viole Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  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, with the potential to kill all we know about gravitation.

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

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

Ciao

- viole

I wouldn't claim that it cannot exist. I would only say that there is no reason to believe that it does, or even could exist.

And I would base that on the utter lack of evidence for either the existence of anything like that or a mechanism for it.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-11-2013, 12:46 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(14-11-2013 04:30 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No, I disagree. Having a belief that Santa doesn't exist doe not mean that you are anti-Santa.

Look, I agree with you. I don't believe that fairies exist and that doesn't make me a fairy atheist. This is the same for the easter rabbit. The point I'm making is we have these idiotic labels. Well they exist and we use them as identifiers.

(14-11-2013 04:30 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No, all an atheist needs is a lack of belief in the existence of gods.
A belief that there aren't gods is merely a subset of atheism.

No, you're absolutely wrong. As atheists we do not make a claim that gods exist. We merely reject the claim that the theists make for their gods. When a CLAIM is made, that claimer is saddled with a burden of proof. Atheism is a neutral position. It makes no claims. The anti-theism that the OP describes would require proof to be furnished to that end for a claim has been made. Look up what the null hypothesis is. Atheism takes the null hypothesis. This is something that can't be proved. It is neutral. The null hypothesis can either be accepted or rejected.


(14-11-2013 04:30 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I don't think anyone with a belief has a burdon of proof. Belief is acceptance that there is no conclusive prove and acceptance that there are plausible alternatives.
In my opinion, believers do not require proof, they can merely choose to believe.

Having a belief does not saddle you with a burden of proof. Belief is like an oppinion. You are entitled to your oppinion. I personally believe that an oppinion can be questioned as to whether it is reasonable or not. But thats another story. No burden of proof required though since it is understood that it is merely an oppinion.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-11-2013, 03:02 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
There seems to be a huge misuse of the term antitheist among atheists. The term is not used for hard atheism or gnostic atheism.

antitheism = the active opposition of theism (usually of religion specifically). I am an antitheist because I think the world would be better without religion and I am against the spread and existence of religion (another note to make is that I am against religion as a practice/force, but not the religious as people).

So..to recap, an antitheist is the nemesis of religion.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-11-2013, 03:32 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 12:46 AM)BlackMason Wrote:  
(14-11-2013 04:30 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No, all an atheist needs is a lack of belief in the existence of gods.
A belief that there aren't gods is merely a subset of atheism.

No, you're absolutely wrong. As atheists we do not make a claim that gods exist. We merely reject the claim that the theists make for their gods. When a CLAIM is made, that claimer is saddled with a burden of proof. Atheism is a neutral position. It makes no claims. The anti-theism that the OP describes would require proof to be furnished to that end for a claim has been made. Look up what the null hypothesis is. Atheism takes the null hypothesis. This is something that can't be proved. It is neutral. The null hypothesis can either be accepted or rejected.

Strong Atheism posits a belief that no god/s exist.

Weak Atheism is a disbelief in god/s.

Both are atheists, though the latter seems to be the most common form on the forum, and likely the western world.. Thumbsup

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dark Light's post
17-11-2013, 05:26 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(16-11-2013 04:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:24 PM)viole Wrote:  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, with the potential to kill all we know about gravitation.

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

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

Ciao

- viole

I wouldn't claim that it cannot exist. I would only say that there is no reason to believe that it does, or even could exist.

And I would base that on the utter lack of evidence for either the existence of anything like that or a mechanism for it.

Yeap. Bad choice of words on my side.

But isn't the amount of evidence we require proportional to our KNOWLEDGE about the state of affairs of the world?

After all, the saying "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" would not make any sense without a-priori knowledge of what ordinary means.

If I did not know anything about the world, I would definitely have less problems to accept the possibility that apples can convert magically into elephants than I would have by knowing that these things do not happen.

And how is my knowledge about the properties of apples and elephants any different from my knowledge that the supernatural is not part of this world?

Ciao

- viole
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-11-2013, 07:38 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 05:26 AM)viole Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  I wouldn't claim that it cannot exist. I would only say that there is no reason to believe that it does, or even could exist.

And I would base that on the utter lack of evidence for either the existence of anything like that or a mechanism for it.

Yeap. Bad choice of words on my side.

But isn't the amount of evidence we require proportional to our KNOWLEDGE about the state of affairs of the world?

After all, the saying "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" would not make any sense without a-priori knowledge of what ordinary means.

If I did not know anything about the world, I would definitely have less problems to accept the possibility that apples can convert magically into elephants than I would have by knowing that these things do not happen.

And how is my knowledge about the properties of apples and elephants any different from my knowledge that the supernatural is not part of this world?

Ciao

- viole

There is essentially no difference - for neither does evidence for nor mechanism for exists.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-11-2013, 07:56 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(12-11-2013 05:14 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Those of you who have heard me speak about the belief and/or lack of belief in gods are probably familiar with my views. Reasonably-held beliefs/lack of beliefs should be based upon the available evidence either for or against them. A belief that unicorns exist is unjustified because we have no evidence that they exist. Thus, the belief in unicorns is not reasonable. The same goes with deities. We have no discernible evidence that any deity exists. Thus, the belief in deities is unjustified and not reasonable.

But as of late, I've been wondering a little more about the belief, as opposed to a lack of a belief, that these things don't exist.

I'm a reasonable person. This means that I do not adhere to beliefs without sufficient supporting evidence. When someone informs me of something, I seek validation. I check to ensure that the evidence supports the claim before investing a belief in it. But when it comes to the existence of a deity, as I stated, we have zero evidence that one exists. Now, this is where I'm getting hung-up. Instead of evidence for the existence of deities, we have a blatant lack of discernible evidence for the existence of deities. When a believer tells me they believe God exists, they are basically pointing to empty space and saying "There is a thing there." But all I (and any other clear-sighted individual) am seeing is empty space.

Does this lack of evidence, in itself, serve as enough evidence to justify a positive belief that God does not exist? Being reasonable, (and oh-so humble) I'm concerned that maybe my increasing tendency toward a belief that God doesn't exist is not sufficiently justified. For a long time, I've been of the "I don't believe God doesn't exist, I just lack a belief that he does" camp. It seems reasonable. But when I look out at the empty space, I'm inclined to deduce that absence of evidence is, in fact, evidence of absence.

Again, because I tend to ramble: Does this lack of evidence, in itself, serve as enough evidence to justify a positive belief that God does not exist?

The first question should be "what do you mean by God."
For example, if we define "God=Nature" then I believe that God exists,
but that would be a stupid definition. So my position is that the is no USEFUL
concept for God. All the definitions of God I know of, are either stupid
(not falsifiable "God is unknowable", too abstract so that God basically means nature etc.) or they clearly can be proven to be incorrect (God created the earth
6000 years ago).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes black_squirrel's post
17-11-2013, 11:28 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 03:02 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  There seems to be a huge misuse of the term antitheist among atheists. The term is not used for hard atheism or gnostic atheism.

antitheism = the active opposition of theism (usually of religion specifically). I am an antitheist because I think the world would be better without religion and I am against the spread and existence of religion (another note to make is that I am against religion as a practice/force, but not the religious as people).

So..to recap, an antitheist is the nemesis of religion.

" Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all. Strong atheism is sometimes called “gnostic atheism” because people who take this position often incorporate knowledge claims into it — that is to say, they claim to know in some fashion that certain gods or indeed all gods do not or cannot exist.

Because knowledge claims are involved, strong atheism carries an initial burden of proof which does not exist for weak atheism. Any time a person asserts that some god or any gods do not or cannot exist, they obligate themselves to support their claims. This narrower conception of atheism is often thought by many (erroneously) to represent the entirety of atheism itself."

" Antitheism is the belief that theism and religion are harmful to society and people, and that if theistic beliefs were true, they would be undesirable. Antitheism, which is often characterized as outspoken opposition to theism and religion, asserts that religious and theistic beliefs are harmful and should be discarded in favor of humanism, rationalism, and other alternatives."

I stand corrected. I confused the two. Both position require a burden of proof and so I screwed it up.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes BlackMason's post
17-11-2013, 11:43 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
(17-11-2013 11:28 AM)BlackMason Wrote:  Both position require a burden of proof and so I screwed it up.
If a person has a position "I believe god exists, my belief is not based on evidence or proof, my belief is based on faith"
Then this person isn't making a verifiable claim.
You could challenge them and say "show me the proof"
But they would likely show you the finger and say "I have faith"

so in my opinion this person doesn't have a burden of proof.

A strong atheist can have a similar claim.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-11-2013, 11:54 AM
RE: Believing That God Doesn't Exist
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but an alternative approach when faced with a discussion of this kind might be that used by Peter Boghossian in "A Manual for Creating Atheists". Ask what it would take to undo a person's "faith" that god is real.
Be prepared to answer the same question about your own conclusion that god does not exist.

If they say there is nothing that would change their conclusion, then the conversation is pretty much over.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: