Poll: Atheists only: Do you believe no god(s) exists?
Yes, I believe no god(s) exists
No, I do not believe no god(s) exists
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For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
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28-01-2017, 11:13 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2017 11:17 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 11:00 PM)Velvet Wrote:  Yes, Bucky it is exactly the same, but philosophically speaking we also don't know that there are no pink sparkly unicorns, if they don't conflict with logic by being "round squares" then they are possible, and actively believing they do not exist is irrational.

You can't be serious. Your "philosophy" is hysterical. We "know" very little *philosophically". This universe has been proven to be non-intuitive. (Uncertainty, Relativity and the math of Dirac are not "logical"), and philosophy never discovered ANYTHING about the ultimate nature of Reality. Science did.

Dismissing an undefined, incoherent notion (which is what the idea of "god" is), as not worthy of consideration, is not "actively believing something does not exist". You can't even tell us what it is you're telling us we "actively don't believe in".

BTW, logic is not a reliable test for anything. It's necessary, but not sufficient.
Sorry to disappoint you, (since you obviously never studied Logic) but there are many logical systems which are totally internally consistent and correct, but do not obtain in Reality.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic

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28-01-2017, 11:28 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2017 11:58 PM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 07:55 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(28-01-2017 04:53 PM)Velvet Wrote:  Yes, but not all things that would qualify as a god are necessarily self-contradictory, those who aren't could possibly exist.

If you are talking about some vague, poorly defined or undeclared God then why would anyone feel the need to even consider it and if there is no evidence other than someone's claim that such a thing is impossible, it must be rejected on the grounds that it is arbitrary. Remember it is the claim that a universe creating and altering god exists that is self contradictory, not a god because in order to be anything it would have to first exist. Theist's can not even make the claim that such a thing exists without contradicting themselves so there is no need or obligation to prove that such a thing does not exist. There's no obligation to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist.

And if you grant that the arbitrary is possible then you follow a very different and I think flawed theory of knowledge than I do.

No one would need to consider it, you just have to realize that it is not impossible and therefore you can't know it doesn't exist.

Theists make claims for personal gods who happen to be self-contradictory as you observed, you are not irrational to believe that a god like that is impossible to exist, as I said, I myself believe Yahweh in particular does not exist, but believing "gods" in general do not exist is something we just don't have any reason to believe as we have no evidence that any god (including those that we can not even comprehend and/or define) are all impossible to exist.

The arbitrary is certainly possible, although I will readily grant it is useless to discuss it. In any case, unless you understand something enough to have a clear reason to believe it can't exist, then you must not hold the belief that it doesn't; you should suspend judgement, standing in the the "I do not hold belief for X existence because of the lack of evidence", never going into the "I believe there is no X"

(28-01-2017 07:55 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  By the way, can you point to any entity which would qualify as a god as the term is generally understood. By that I mean an entity possessing consciousness that can create,alter or maintain reality by an act of conscious will? Can you provide a single shred of evidence for such a thing. If you can I'd love to see it. if you can't then on what objective basis do you claim that such a thing is possible? Because to claim such a thing exist is to performatively contradict one's self. You would have to affirm the primacy of existence to do so but in the content of the claim you would deny the primacy of existence. This is the inescapable problem that theists face and why it commits the fallacy of the stolen concept. I need to do a post about this fallacy in the philosophy sub-forum. It is the key to understanding why we need not hold out for the possibility that gods exist.

Perhaps, not entirely sure tho, the Evil Demon (Deus deceptor) from Descartes is allegedly possible to exist, all we can offer are reasons for it to not matter, reasons that it would be wise to ignore its possibility, but no way to imply that it is not possible to be the case.

In any case, I can't provide evidence for any god concept (neither should I need to, because I'm not claiming it does exist).

But speaking strictly in the possibility realm, the skeptic, in its default stance, does not naturally accepts something to be impossible without evidence for its impossibility, therefore if a claim is to be made about something being impossible evidence should be provided, we have no reasons to believe such god exist, but we have no reasons to believe they are impossible as well.

I understand your implied contradiction on the "existence" concept, but that's easily dodged by all gods that "exist" in any way outside our "sphere of existence" or even our comprehension, you can't also account for any deity that exists while we don't actually exist (like some versions of the evil genius), making the existence concept somewhat obsolete.

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28-01-2017, 11:48 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2017 11:55 PM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You can't be serious. Your "philosophy" is hysterical. We "know" very little *philosophically". This universe has been proven to be non-intuitive. (Uncertainty, Relativity and the math of Dirac are not "logical"), and philosophy never discovered ANYTHING about the ultimate nature of Reality. Science did.
There is nothing hysterical in being skeptical, and the scientific method, the skepticism as a way to find the truth and of course, the various definitions of truth and knowledge, including the ground-breaking "beyond reasonable doubt" concept are all "gifts" from philosophy that we use as a way to understand "the ultimate nature of reality".

It is true that we "know" very little *philosophically*, but well, where were you going with this? trashing philosophy is not a very wise thing to do since all our way of thinking comes from it.

(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Dismissing an undefined, incoherent notion (which is what the idea of "god" is), as not worthy of consideration, is not "actively believing something does not exist". You can't even tell us what it is you're telling us we "actively don't believe in".

The pool was not about what you dismiss as unworthy of consideration, it is about what belief you hold.

Yes those 2 things are completely different.

I'm not telling you what you "actively don't believe in", you guys voted the damn pool so you guys (that voted the pool), according to yourselves, hold the belief that god(s) do not exist, which is an active belief.

(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  BTW, logic is not a reliable test for anything. It's necessary, but not sufficient.
Sorry to disappoint you, (since you obviously never studied Logic) but there are many logical systems which are totally internally consistent and correct, but do not obtain in Reality.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic

I will insist that you don't make any assumptions on what I did or didn't (obviously) study, as this is not what is been discussed in this thread, if you are unable to state your opinions without being rude and/or hostile I will not have interest in continuing the exchange, see as a condition for debating with me, some people are ok with debating people who like to ad hominem (or just being unnecessarily hostile) in between every argument they make, I'm not.

Yes while logic is not a reliable test for existence it is the best thing we have for now and we are willing to confine our understand of reality within those boundaries in order to be able to advance it.

Is a concession that needs to be made in order to advance (until we have something better than logic as a way to test things for reality).

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
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29-01-2017, 12:00 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 11:48 PM)Velvet Wrote:  
(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You can't be serious. Your "philosophy" is hysterical. We "know" very little *philosophically". This universe has been proven to be non-intuitive. (Uncertainty, Relativity and the math of Dirac are not "logical"), and philosophy never discovered ANYTHING about the ultimate nature of Reality. Science did.
There is nothing hysterical in being skeptical, and the scientific method, the skepticism as a way to find the truth and of course, the various definitions of truth and knowledge, including the ground-breaking "beyond reasonable doubt" concept are all "gifts" from philosophy that we use as a way to understand "the ultimate nature of reality".

It is true that we "know" very little *philosophically*, but well, where were you going with this? trashing philosophy is not a very wise thing to do since all our way of thinking comes from it.

(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Dismissing an undefined, incoherent notion (which is what the idea of "god" is), as not worthy of consideration, is not "actively believing something does not exist". You can't even tell us what it is you're telling us we "actively don't believe in".

The pool was not about what you dismiss as unworthy of consideration, it is about what belief you hold.

Yes those 2 things are completely different.

I'm not telling you what you "actively don't believe in", you guys voted the damn pool so you guys (that voted the pool), according to yourselves, hold the belief that god(s) do not exist, which is an active belief.

(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  BTW, logic is not a reliable test for anything. It's necessary, but not sufficient.
Sorry to disappoint you, (since you obviously never studied Logic) but there are many logical systems which are totally internally consistent and correct, but do not obtain in Reality.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic

I will insist that you don't make any assumptions on my character on what I did or didn't (obviously) study, as this is not what is been discussed if you are unable to tell your opinions without being rude and/or hostile I will not continue the exchange.

Yes while logic is not a reliable test for existence it is the best thing we have for now and we are willing to confine our understand of reality within those boundaries.

Is an assumption that needs to be made in order to advance (until we have something better than logic as a way to test things for reality).

We do have a better way now. It's called EVIDENCE. Which logical system are you even talking about ?

It's a *poll*, not a pool. I didn't vote in it. Your assumptions are erroneous, but thanks for the patronizing sermon.

Your insistence on how we MUST think is obnoxious, so don't talk about "hostile". You don't get to tell anyone how they *should think* or what works for them. You can say what works for YOU.
Igtheism is recognized as a valid position. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic
regardless of what you say.

The field of Epistomology recognizes a number of valid positions on what people do or do not hold or value is truth, and what is knowable, and why that view might be valid or not valid.
Not just one. I think we are perfectly capable of deciding what makes sense for ourselves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology

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29-01-2017, 12:18 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 12:39 AM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 12:00 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  We do have a better way now. It's called EVIDENCE. Which logical system are you even talking about ?

It's a *poll*, not a pool. I didn't vote in it. Your assumptions are erroneous, but thanks for the patronizing sermon.

Your insistence on how we MUST think is obnoxious, so don't talk about "hostile". You don't get to tell anyone how they *should think* or what works for them. You can say what works for YOU.
Igtheism is recognized as a valid position. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic
regardless of what you say.

The field of Epistomology recognizes a number of valid positions on what people do or do not hold or value is truth, and what is knowable, and why that view might be valid or not valid.
Not just one. I think we are perfectly capable of deciding what makes sense for ourselves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology

I didn't said you vote in specifically, my whole point was directed to those who did.

Quote:...you guys voted the damn poll* so you guys (that voted the poll*), according to yourselves...

*grammar.

I have no fault that some people who think themselves skeptics don't notice when they have faith-based stances, I point that as a friend, so they can reflect on the subject themselves.

But yes, whatever floats your boat.

Just don't expect me to swallow this whole "other logics exists!" in order to preserve flawed reasoning, I expect people to be genuinely concerned if they are really thinking the way they want to think and the way they believe they think (instead of what I WANT, like you said)

In any case if I sound obnoxious I apologize, It wasn't my intention to be judgmental, and if someone genuinely champions any not classical logical system or isn't a skeptic at all, then hey, cool, I guess.

EDIT: Valuing evidence does not supersede philosophy or classical logic, and we only value evidence because we decided to do it according to skepticism, which is a philosophical stance/branch.

EDIT2: I'm not championing any logic model, I'm saying that according to skepticism we should not hold the belief that something does not exist just because we have no evidence for its existence, we should be skeptical of both the positive and the negative claim until any of those is supported by evidence, if someone wants to claim the negative (and say it is not a faith-based stance) then yeah, we would have to discuss methods, including logic as a way to know what is truth, what is reality, and what is knowable.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
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29-01-2017, 01:00 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 01:39 AM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 11:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  BTW, logic is not a reliable test for anything. It's necessary, but not sufficient.
Sorry to disappoint you, (since you obviously never studied Logic) but there are many logical systems which are totally internally consistent and correct, but do not obtain in Reality.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic

Igtheism is recognized as a valid position. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-classical_logic
regardless of what you say.

Reading it one more time I noticed that you talking about alternative logic was possibly an objection to me saying that "unless is a round square".

I'm not saying that everything not logically contradictory is automatically proved possible, instead, things are to be considered possible "just because" is the default skeptical stance to consider them possible until they are supported by evidence to be impossible, in the exact same way, we consider extraordinary things not real until they are supported by evidence to be real.

What I said about logic and the "round square" was only an example of how something could be proved to be impossible, if someone rejects this, that is, rejects logical arguments for the impossibility of something based on their conflicting characteristics, it would only make even more difficult to prove something to be impossible, meaning the skeptic should be in default stance about even more gods, not holding the belief that they don't exist.

EDIT: (answering one last thing to Bucky): Ignosticism does not claim no gods exist, not even that no "vaguely defined gods" exist, it just says they are irrelevant. This doesn't in any way means they hold the belief that no gods exist, they suspend judgment on those gods concepts until they are clearly defined, while it is indeed a valid stance, it doesn't conflict with my points in any way.

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29-01-2017, 07:02 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 07:51 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 12:18 AM)Velvet Wrote:  I didn't said* you vote in specifically, my whole point was directed to those who did.
Quote:*didn't say (grammar)
You replied and characterized a group, incorrectly, and generalized incorrectly.

[quote]
I have no fault that some people who think themselves skeptics don't notice when they have faith-based stances, I point that as a friend, so they can reflect on the subject themselves.

You have no "fault" ?
And here you are to enlighten us and tell us how to think "properly".
What would we do without such vast wisdom ?
What a pompous jerk.
It is YOUR OPINION that YOU understand them as "faith based".
"Reflect on" ? Bullshit. You are saying how some understand themselves is FALSE, and you know it. You are dishonest. Stop trying to put "lipstick on a pig".


[quote]
Just don't expect me to swallow this whole "other logics exists!" in order to preserve flawed reasoning, I expect people to be genuinely concerned if they are really thinking the way they want to think and the way they believe they think (instead of what I WANT, like you said)

I merely pointed out there are other logics than Classical logic, and logic alone is insufficient. I could care less what you swallow. I don't tell other people how they much think "properly", Your Holiness.

Quote:In any case if I sound obnoxious I apologize, It wasn't my intention to be judgmental, and if someone genuinely champions any not classical logical system or isn't a skeptic at all, then hey, cool, I guess.

You missed the point. The examples I provided demonstrates logic alone is insufficient.

Quote:EDIT: Valuing evidence does not supersede philosophy or classical logic, and we only value evidence because we decided to do it according to skepticism, which is a philosophical stance/branch.

There you go again. It's not "we". You speak for no one other than yourself, you patronizing ass.

Quote:Reading it one more time I noticed that you talking about alternative logic was possibly an objection to me saying that "unless is a round square".

It was not. I was simply pointing out logic alone is insufficient.

Quote:I'm not saying that everything not logically contradictory is automatically proved possible, instead, things are to be considered possible "just because" is the default skeptical stance to consider them possible until they are supported by evidence to be impossible, in the exact same way, we consider extraordinary things not real until they are supported by evidence to be real.

There you go again, preaching and tell us how we must think.
There is a vast range of "not proved possible", from the very highly improbable to highly probable. Your lumping them all into the same category is totally ignorant.
The dismissal of extremely highly improbable is in no way equivalent "improbable". You have your default You don't get to decree what the default is for anyone else, Your Majesty.

Quote:What I said about logic and the "round square" was only an example of how something could be proved to be impossible, if someone rejects this, that is, rejects logical arguments for the impossibility of something based on their conflicting characteristics, it would only make even more difficult to prove something to be impossible, meaning the skeptic should be in default stance about even more gods, not holding the belief that they don't exist.

Another sermon. You really can't help yourself, can you ?
Who made you the master of skeptics ?

Quote:EDIT: (answering one last thing to Bucky): Ignosticism does not claim no gods exist, not even that no "vaguely defined gods" exist, it just says they are irrelevant.

Nice try. FAIL. You really don't get it.
Ignosticism says that there is no need to take ANY stance AT ALL ("dismissal"...just as I said above) towards a notion of the gods, as it is MEANINGLESS. It is neither "holding that they may be possible" OR "denying they are possible" .... it is neither. The notion is dismissed from consideration AT ALL, with NO position AT ALL taken.
It says NOTHING. It does *not even* say they are "irrelevant".

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29-01-2017, 07:32 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 07:39 AM by Agnostic Shane.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 07:02 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(29-01-2017 12:18 AM)Velvet Wrote:  I didn't said* you vote in specifically, my whole point was directed to those who did.
Quote:*didn't say (grammar)
You replied and characterized a group, incorrectly, and generalized incorrectly.

[quote]
I have no fault that some people who think themselves skeptics don't notice when they have faith-based stances, I point that as a friend, so they can reflect on the subject themselves.

You have no "fault" ?
And here you are to enlighten us and tell us how to think "properly".
What a pompous jerk.

[quote]
Just don't expect me to swallow this whole "other logics exists!" in order to preserve flawed reasoning, I expect people to be genuinely concerned if they are really thinking the way they want to think and the way they believe they think (instead of what I WANT, like you said)

I merely pointed out there are other logics than Classical logic, and logic alone is insufficient. I could care less what you swallow. I don't tell other people how they much think "properly", Your Holiness.

Quote:In any case if I sound obnoxious I apologize, It wasn't my intention to be judgmental, and if someone genuinely champions any not classical logical system or isn't a skeptic at all, then hey, cool, I guess.

You missed the point. The example I provided demonstrates logic alone is insufficient.

Quote:EDIT: Valuing evidence does not supersede philosophy or classical logic, and we only value evidence because we decided to do it according to skepticism, which is a philosophical stance/branch.

There you go again. It's not "we". You speak for no one other than yourself, you patronizing ass.

Quote:Reading it one more time I noticed that you talking about alternative logic was possibly an objection to me saying that "unless is a round square".

It was not. I was simply pointing out logic alone is insufficient.

Quote:I'm not saying that everything not logically contradictory is automatically proved possible, instead, things are to be considered possible "just because" is the default skeptical stance to consider them possible until they are supported by evidence to be impossible, in the exact same way, we consider extraordinary things not real until they are supported by evidence to be real.

There you go again, preaching and tell us how we must think.
There is a vast range of "not proved possible", from the very highly improbable to highly probable. Your lumping them all into the same category is totally ignorant.
The dismissal of extremely highly improbable is in no way equivalent "improbable". You have your default You don't get to decree what the default is for anyone else, Your Majesty.

Quote:What I said about logic and the "round square" was only an example of how something could be proved to be impossible, if someone rejects this, that is, rejects logical arguments for the impossibility of something based on their conflicting characteristics, it would only make even more difficult to prove something to be impossible, meaning the skeptic should be in default stance about even more gods, not holding the belief that they don't exist.

Another sermon. You really can't help yourself, can you ?
Who made you the master of skeptics ?

Quote:EDIT: (answering one last thing to Bucky): Ignosticism does not claim no gods exist, not even that no "vaguely defined gods" exist, it just says they are irrelevant.

Nice try. FAIL. You really don't get it.
Ignosticism says that there is no need to take ANY stance AT ALL ("dismissal"...just as I said above) towards a notion of the gods, as it is MEANINGLESS. It is neither "holding that they may be possible" OR "denying they are possible" .... it is neither. The notion is dismissed from consideration AT ALL, with NO position AT ALL taken.
It say NOTHING. It does *not even* say they are "irrelevant".
You have changed a lot since the first time I met you here (always room for improvement though).
I actually enjoy reading your replies now. Very logical & you keep the character assassination out of it these days (most times, although I some cases it just cannot be helped lol).
Your opponents spends less time defending their character and more time thinking about the core of your arguments.
I probably pushed your buttons a lot back then too. Sorry about that.
Keep it up bro.
I hope many others can take a page from your book as well.
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29-01-2017, 08:24 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 08:51 AM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 07:02 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You replied and characterized a group, incorrectly, and generalized incorrectly.
I was merely speaking about to those who voted Yes about those who voted Yes.

Quote:You have no "fault" ?
And here you are to enlighten us and tell us how to think "properly".
What would we do without such vast wisdom ?
What a pompous jerk.
It is YOUR OPINION that YOU understand them as "faith based".
"Reflect on" ? Bullshit. You are saying how some understand themselves is FALSE, and you know it. You are dishonest. Stop trying to put "lipstick on a pig".
I'm pointing how some people are failing to reason as properly as they might think they are, yes, for them to reflect upon it, on good intentions and not dishonestly, is not all that different from when Unfogged, DLJ and yourself pointed me I was not reasoning properly in regards to morality, and I wasn't.

I'm genuinely concerned with my own faulty reasoning, and I expect other skeptics to be too, that why I'm not hesitant to point out those flaws, while that might sound all high and mighty, is a position we all hold from time to time: "telling people they are wrong"

Quote:There you go again. It's not "we". You speak for no one other than yourself, you patronizing ass.

Well Bucky we can not all make our own versions of skepticism and think that we are all right at all times, skepticism is not the bible.

Quote:There you go again, preaching and tell us how we must think.
There is a vast range of "not proved possible", from the very highly improbable to highly probable. Your lumping them all into the same category is totally ignorant.
The dismissal of extremely highly improbable is in no way equivalent "improbable". You have your default You don't get to decree what the default is for anyone else, Your Majesty.

I didn't lump them all in the same category, as I spoke in objection to Matt when he said "atheists fundamentalist are just as nutty", you are right and I said this myself, some beliefs are way more distant from rational than others.

The default stance is the neutral stance, is "not holding belief", is "not being convinced", and it can't be "I believe X." I'm not making a decree to everyone's default but skepticism does that to safeguard us from our own biases, is the whole point of skepticism not affording belief unless the evidence supports it, we can't afford to change the default stance to "I believe X" and that includes "X = There's no god".

Quote:Another sermon. You really can't help yourself, can you ?
Who made you the master of skeptics ?

Of course that I... I'm sure that... that I... Weeping
[Image: reSDNcEl-310x227.jpg]

Quote:Nice try. FAIL. You really don't get it.
Ignosticism says that there is no need to take ANY stance AT ALL ("dismissal"...just as I said above) towards a notion of the gods, as it is MEANINGLESS. It is neither "holding that they may be possible" OR "denying they are possible" .... it is neither. The notion is dismissed from consideration AT ALL, with NO position AT ALL taken.
It say NOTHING. It does *not even* say they are "irrelevant".

Err, it dismisses them for a reason, and the reason is that those concepts are (until clarified) meaningless, as you said. This is exactly what I meant when I say they are "irrelevant" (meaningless), they are not considered until they are at the very least properly defined, but this still doesn't conflict with the fact that believing "there is not X" is an active belief that, unless supported by evidence of "no X" is a faith-based belief.

The "absence of evidence for X" doesn't support the belief in "no X".

And while we can make cases for "no X" if X is a very specific and well-defined god that can be challenged by the "absence of evidence for X when X would surely mean evidence for X", (like Yahweh case) we can't expand that to all gods, we have not even imagined and conceived (let alone defined) all items in the "god" category, so how could we rationally afford a belief for the negative of them all?

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29-01-2017, 08:58 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 08:24 AM)Velvet Wrote:  And while we can make cases for "no X" if X is a very specific and well-defined god that can be challenged by the "absence of evidence for X when X would surely mean evidence for X", (like Yahweh case) we can't expand that to all gods, we have not even imagined and conceived (let alone defined) all items in the "god" category, so how could we rationally afford a belief for the negative of them all?

Igtheists (and many atheists) don't "make a case" for "no X" and have no "belief for a negative".
The entire notion is NOT ADDRESSED, AT ALL.
There is no reason to have a position with respect to an undefined meaningless idea.

Your "how can we rationally afford" is a form of Pascal's Wager.

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