Degrees of Certainty
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22-04-2017, 11:39 AM
Degrees of Certainty
Hi

There was a question on Quora, "Are babies born atheists?"

I answered, basically saying that they were because they lack a belief in any deities.

This guy commented on my question saying it was impossible to disbelieve something that you are not aware of, so babies are not atheists because they have no position whatsoever on the god claim.

We went back and forth on that for a little bit, and I felt like my position was reasonable on this, although to be honest it's kind of a semantic argument more than anything and whether babies are technically atheists or not makes no difference.

Then he introduced the concept of degrees of certainty, which stumped me. I always say that you are either convinced God exists, or you are not. If you are not, you are an atheist... But this concept has made me doubt that position.

There are lots of examples of things where I feel 50% sure, or 75% sure, and I could apply degrees of certainty to everything that I know.

In that way of looking at things, you don't either believe in god or not believe in god.

Is someone who is 25% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is someone who is 75% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is there a line where suddenly you're not a theist anymore because the degree to which you are convinced of the God claim has dropped below, say, 80%?

This is a genuine question from an atheist who feels as if they might have been looking at this particular issue in the wrong way.

Cheers. Smile[/i]
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22-04-2017, 11:49 AM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
As per usual, theists seem completely oblivious to the OBVIOUS difference between ACTIVELY disbelieving something and LACKING, passively, as it were, a belief in it.

Frankly, the whole Babies: Inherently Atheistic or Not debate seems like such a pointless waste of time.

Then again, so is religion Drinking Beverage

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22-04-2017, 12:27 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
Theism is a positive position.
The absence of THAT positive position, whether by dismissal (as adults do) or by virtue of a lack of indoctrination *yet* (babies), the lack is still the lack. Yeah, babies lack a positive position on deities.

The degree of certainty is a Red Herring. I am 100% sure I dismiss the notion of deities. There is NO evidence it's a coherent idea.

It's hilarious. Theism is good-better because babies with no grasp of reality share it ?
Facepalm
ANYTHING to make bullshit sound reasonable.

Now, if ALL babies woke up and drew Sparkly Pink Unicorn on the walls of their nurseries, THEN i would start going to Unicorn Church. Yes Facepalm

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22-04-2017, 12:34 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
Well, you have agnostics who are not sure, they allow the possibility of a god.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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22-04-2017, 12:40 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
A theist who insists that babies are not natural atheists also believe that all atheists profess a disbelief in THEIR God...

And no other....

Dodgy

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22-04-2017, 01:01 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
There are all kinds of definitions of agnosticism. In Classical Agnosticism the position was "we are UNABLE to determine, and we are UNABLE to know if there is a god". In Contemporary Agnosticsm, it's morphed to simply "I don't know if there is a god", with ability (possibly) preserved.

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22-04-2017, 01:44 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
(22-04-2017 11:39 AM)noodlecake Wrote:  Hi

There was a question on Quora, "Are babies born atheists?"

I answered, basically saying that they were because they lack a belief in any deities.

This guy commented on my question saying it was impossible to disbelieve something that you are not aware of, so babies are not atheists because they have no position whatsoever on the god claim.

We went back and forth on that for a little bit, and I felt like my position was reasonable on this, although to be honest it's kind of a semantic argument more than anything and whether babies are technically atheists or not makes no difference.

Then he introduced the concept of degrees of certainty, which stumped me. I always say that you are either convinced God exists, or you are not. If you are not, you are an atheist... But this concept has made me doubt that position.

There are lots of examples of things where I feel 50% sure, or 75% sure, and I could apply degrees of certainty to everything that I know.

In that way of looking at things, you don't either believe in god or not believe in god.

Is someone who is 25% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is someone who is 75% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is there a line where suddenly you're not a theist anymore because the degree to which you are convinced of the God claim has dropped below, say, 80%?

This is a genuine question from an atheist who feels as if they might have been looking at this particular issue in the wrong way.

Cheers. Smile[/i]

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Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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22-04-2017, 02:19 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
(22-04-2017 11:39 AM)noodlecake Wrote:  Is someone who is 25% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is someone who is 75% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is there a line where suddenly you're not a theist anymore because the degree to which you are convinced of the God claim has dropped below, say, 80%?

If you believe in a God, you are a theist. If you don't believe in any gods, you're an atheist. I am 100% sure I am an atheist, since I don't believe in any gods. My degrees of certainty are a separate issue, and depend on the god in question.

I am 100% sure none of the Roman, Greek, Egyptian and other similar gods don't exist.

I am 100% sure the God of the Bible doesn't exist (either the Old Testament version or the New Testament version).

Rough estimates:

I am 90% convinced the God of Islam doesn't exist.

I am 75% convinced a pantheistic God doesn't exist.

I am a probability atheist rather than a hard atheist about these last two concepts.
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22-04-2017, 02:23 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
(22-04-2017 11:39 AM)noodlecake Wrote:  This guy commented on my question saying it was impossible to disbelieve something that you are not aware of, so babies are not atheists because they have no position whatsoever on the god claim.
To be an atheist you don't have a requirement of having to hear, understand and disregard a god claim.

All that you need to be an atheist is to lack a belief in gods.
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22-04-2017, 06:47 PM
RE: Degrees of Certainty
(22-04-2017 02:19 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(22-04-2017 11:39 AM)noodlecake Wrote:  Is someone who is 25% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is someone who is 75% sure a god exists a theist or an atheist? Is there a line where suddenly you're not a theist anymore because the degree to which you are convinced of the God claim has dropped below, say, 80%?

If you believe in a God, you are a theist. If you don't believe in any gods, you're an atheist. I am 100% sure I am an atheist, since I don't believe in any gods. My degrees of certainty are a separate issue, and depend on the god in question.

I am 100% sure none of the Roman, Greek, Egyptian and other similar gods don't exist.

I am 100% sure the God of the Bible doesn't exist (either the Old Testament version or the New Testament version).

Rough estimates:

I am 90% convinced the God of Islam doesn't exist.

I am 75% convinced a pantheistic God doesn't exist.

I am a probability atheist rather than a hard atheist about these last two concepts.

What possible reason do you have for being at all uncertain about the god of Islam? Facepalm

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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