Do I have this straight?.....
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23-07-2017, 12:09 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 12:00 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  String atheism

Please, god, no! We are barely survived the recent mega-whiny multiverse uber-idiot Drinking Beverage

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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23-07-2017, 12:59 PM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2017 01:08 PM by Simon Moon.)
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 07:54 AM)MorningStar Wrote:  I just introduced myself in the Introduction forum and received my license to post!

I've been reading the forum all night, mostly the thread started by DarthMarth's introduction. I think I have already learned a few things (definition-wise) about atheists and agnostics. Below are a couple of statements upon my understanding. Please correct me if I'm off target.

I'll pitch in my 2 cents.

Quote:Hard agnosticism - The existence of God is a question that cannot be studied scientifically so why bother with the question at all.
Hard agnosticism is the only position I can fully relate to from a purely scientific perspective along with my current ideas on at least some of God's qualities, if God exists.

Pretty close I guess.

Agnosticism for me, is the position that the existence of a god or gods, is unknown, and possibly unknowable.


Quote:On the other hand, soft atheism (at least as I currently understand it) accepts that God may exist and that it may be possible to study the question scientifically, but since no scientific evidence exists, soft atheists will not believe God exists.....which is somewhat different than straight up saying God does not exist, with certainty.

I have some problems with this.

I don't claim that gods don't exist with absolute certainty, but how am I supposed to discern whether the existence of gods is possible?

My atheism is a provisional position, not a dogmatic one. As long as there continues to be a lack of demonstrable evidence and valid and sound logic to support the claim that gods exist, my atheism will continue.

My atheism is a product of critical thinking and skepticism, when applied to the the god claim.

Quote:However, hard atheists believe that the question of God's existence can (and has) been studied scientifically and the overwhelming "evidence" is that God does not exist.

A hard atheist (gnostic atheist) may or may not have come to their position because of science.

Quote:All three positions require that the scientific method is the only method that can acquire "knowledge".

I am not sure this is fact.

All that is required to be an atheist, is lack belief in the existence of gods. It does not matter how they got there.

Here's a question for you. Besides the scientific method, what other method is there that is as good and reliable to discern truth from fiction?

Faith certainly isn't a reliable path to truth, since there doesn't seem to be any unevidenced claim that cannot be believed based on faith.

Quote:Am I on the right track?

You are close.

Maybe this will help.

Theists make the claim that a god or gods exist. Atheists simply are not convinced that this claim is true. We don't necessarily make the claim that the god claim is false, although some atheists do make that claim.

Quote:I know that a lot of this has probably been stated in other posts, but since I'm damn near delirious from lack of sleep, I'm hoping that I can get a quick affirmation or correction before heading to bed.
Thanks.

I for one, am truly grateful that you come here with an open mind on this. Almost every theist that ever comes to atheist forums, seem to want to define our position for us.

You lack of the usual theistic arrogance we see, is refreshing.
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23-07-2017, 01:26 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
In terms of science, I'd say the contribution to the debate is plenty.
  • The Bible (and other religious books) make wild claims about what God can do and has done.
  • Several of these claims can be checked and turn out to be false, at least if the scripture is taken literally. Things like the Great Flood should leave evidence and have not. Things like the age of the Earth should either be described in the Bible as many times more than the Bible actually does imply, or the actual geological record should match the dating implied in the Bible - to at least say 3 orders of magnitude.
  • Furthermore the Bible makes claims concerning God's actions on behalf of "His People" which we can generously interpret to be anyone who prays to Him (whatever praying is). However God in His form of medical miracles and the like seems to be notably absent from anywhere like warzones or regions affected by natural disasters, despite the fact that many well and truly God-fearing people tend to live in those areas.
  • Scientific thinking also puts us in a position of thinking in terms of probabilities. Specifically probability that religion is an elaborate confidence scheme to bamboozle chumps, versus probability that known laws of nature have been violated in some egregious fashion because some midget monkey on some forsaken ball of rock in a shitty neighbourhood of a massive galaxy pissed off the universe creator. The creator of uncountable BILLIONS of galaxies, that creator, is annoyed that Johnny tugs his penis from time to time while thinking "impure thoughts". Facepalm

Sure, one can draw distinctions based on semantic and logical stuff. It's not logical to claim that a God cannot exist because that implies that the one who makes the claim has omniscient knowledge, blah blah blah, but we can definitely claim (and I do) that God as described in the Bible is several times less likely to exist than a self-powered flying pig.

In other words weak atheism and strong atheism or whatever you want to call it is more or less a meaningless semantic distinction, unless you want to specifically draw attention to the fact that maaaaaaaaaaaybe God might exist, to the same degree of probability as that an old man really does live at the North Pole distributing goods to kids one night of every year (except not kids whose parents are too poor or who are of the wrong religion. He's a very conservative Santa).

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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23-07-2017, 02:20 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 07:54 AM)MorningStar Wrote:  In my opinion, atheists also hold a faith-based belief in the non-existence of God.

No.
The idea is dismissed as nonsensical, (and no further position implied or required), just as the existence of pink sparkly unicorns is dismissed.
There is no reason at all to take any position with respect to an incoherent idea, until the concept is defined coherently and demonstrated as having some value.
There are none of the gods that meet that criteria.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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23-07-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 07:54 AM)MorningStar Wrote:  In my opinion, atheists also hold a faith-based belief in the non-existence of God.

I don't believe in any gods is all. I don't believe they exist, and I don't believe they don't exist. I just lack belief. I don't care whether any gods exist or not.

[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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23-07-2017, 02:59 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 12:09 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  Agnostics fundamentally misunderstand what atheism is. I always hear them say that "no one knows a god doesn't exist", but you can not believe something exists while acknowledging that you can't know "for sure" that it doesn't exist. I don't believe I will die tomorrow- that doesn't mean I know I won't die tomorrow. They present a straw man of atheism.



Russel's teapot is a strong retort to agnosticism. Ridiculous claims cast so they cannot be in theory disproven aren't worth bothering with. So if God is cast in this sort of manner, it doesn't make God believable. For example, a lot of theologians take refuge in the claim God is so far beyond our understanding, God is incomprehensible. It's special pleading. Anytime we run into logical problems with the concept of God, trot out the old "God is incomprehensible" trope, and fail to draw the logical conclusion.

A big problem here is that if the Christians play this game, anybody else can also. Strategic agnosticism collapses under it's own sophistry.

Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Come back old ones! Yog Sothoth!

Cheerful Charlie
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23-07-2017, 03:27 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 12:59 PM)Simon Moon Wrote:  My atheism is a product of critical thinking and skepticism, when applied to the the god claim.

That's an important point that is often overlooked. Theists often seem to start with the belief that god exists and then use that to explain everything else. When you start with magic then it is easy to do that. I start with the assumption that the universe exists and that my experience of it is generally accurate because if those aren't true then I can proceed no further. From that I go looking to see what I can find to explain things and, so far anyway, the god conjecture has failed to support itself. Atheism is the conclusion based on the available evidence.

That doesn't mean I have answers for all the questions that I might like answers to but sometimes "I don't know" is the most honest, if not the most comfortable, position.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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23-07-2017, 03:55 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
One more thing I'd like to add on the distinction between "agnostic" and "atheist".

The technical definition of an atheist is "someone who is absent a belief in god". You can use the word "lacks" if you like. The technical definition of agnostic is "someone whose belief (or non-belief) on a particular subject is either undecided or provisional, or who does not claim to know".

I've noticed that this is not how most people, away from hangouts like these where we wax philosophical about definitions, use these words in everyday conversation.

I've noticed that most people who call themselves agnostics are also, technically, atheists, because they don't presently believe in a god. Similarly, most atheists are, technically, agnostics, because their non-belief is provisional and can be modified in light of good evidence.

The distinction in what people identify as in casual conversation, when both terms can apply, seems to be a matter of signalling more than anything else. Someone who self-labels as an atheist, rather than an agnostic, is often emphasizing their non-belief rather than their flexibility, even though both are applicable. An agnostic-atheist who self-labels as agnostic rather than an atheist is often emphasizing their flexibility rather than their state of non-belief.

Similarly, when others apply the labels to us, they seem to be trying to convey the same connotations ... though often to exclusive extremes, ie, a critic of atheists trying to brand the word atheism as meaning someone who is inflexible and decided, or a view of agnostics as wholly on the fence rather in a state of provisional unbelief. Sometimes these harsher variations of the words -- which exclude the agnostic-atheist state of unbelief modifiable by good evidence -- are internalized even by non-believers as a false dichotomy.

That disconnect between what one person means when they say a word and what another person hears is why these conversations often get frustrating.
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23-07-2017, 03:59 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
There are many paths to atheism. As many paths as there are people. Mine was simple - I filed the bible away as fairy tales when I was 10 and proceeded to ignore religion. I knew nothing about science. I just knew the bible made no sense except as fiction. And I didn't care if there were gods, and I still don't care, many decades later. No gods needed.

[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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23-07-2017, 04:10 PM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
And here all this time I thought a "hard" atheist was....
oh hell never mind.
Yeah I have the sense of humor of a 13-year-old boy.

In person it tends to surprise people when it's in a grandmother-type body.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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