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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29-01-2017, 09:17 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 09:28 AM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 08:58 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  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.

Yes, I realize many atheists don't "make a case" for "no X" and have no active belief, that's why I was so surprised to see how many people voted Yes in this poll, and that's why i'm trying to explain why the active belief for "no X" is a faith-based stance, so that people can reflect about that.

I once believed no god exists, it was not only until I dug deeper into skepticism that I realized this is a faith based belief, as we go deeper in epistemology concepts like belief and knowledge become debatable, I realize that, but I don't think that's why people voted Yes, I think they might not understand why this a faith-based stance.

Quote:Your "how can we rationally afford" is a form of Pascal's Wager.
Not at all, the thing is if you say arbitrarily "I believe there are no gods", you gotta realize that you are affording belief for the negative on a whole infinite number of things that could be a god; perhaps we would define god as the "first mover" on the causation chain, or simply a natural creator of universes, or even more simply, one who intently "planted" life on earth (supposing it was planted from another place in our universe) in that cases, a sufficiently advanced alien could be god, and could exist.

If you accept multiverse theory, things become even more complicated, anything from outside our universe that is able to provoke the start of new universes could be considered a god.

God is a very poorly defined concept most of the times, meaning that there's a truckload of things that could be a god, including a lot of things that we haven't conceived, nor will no one ever conceive, so if you believe "there is no God" you have an active belief about the non-existence of an infinite number of things we have no idea what they are (or could be) exactly... that is just not rational, it would be rational to suspend judgement, or dismiss the notion, both not leading to "I believe no gods exist".

But if we talk about specific gods, let's say, Allah, then we might be able, with help of the Quran (the alleged authority that describes what is Allah), to determine if the entity described in the Quran as Allah does exist, and we could make a case for its existence or for its non-existence based on his characteristics, especially if some of those characteristics are contrary to what we observe to be true by logic (that's why I spoke about the "round square").

One can have the rational belief that Allah, Yahweh or any specific god, perhaps even "all personal gods" do not exist, and try to make a case for the non-existence supporting it with absence of evidence in certain circumstances where evidence would be present in case of the existence, or, if accepted, using logical arguments that imply that such a being is impossible.

But one cannot afford belief that "no god does exist", simply, because then you would be speaking about infinite things at the same time, those things all unknown and some unknowable in nature, some yet unconceived by human imagination.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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29-01-2017, 09:35 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 09:17 AM)Velvet Wrote:  Yes, I realize many atheists don't "make a case" for "no X" and have no active belief, that's why I was so surprised to see how many people voted Yes in this poll, and that's why i'm trying to explain why the active belief for "no X" is a faith-based stance, so that people can reflect about that.

We don't have enough information to jump to your faith based stance that their stance is "faith-based".

Quote:I once believed no god exists, it was not only until I dug deeper into skepticism that I realized this is a faith based belief, as we go deeper in epistemology concepts like belief and knowledge become debatable, I realize that, but I don't think that's why people voted Yes, I think they just don't understand why this a faith-based stance.

I think I don't tell people what they think. You, (obviously) are very comfortable doing that.

Quote:Not at all, the thing is if you say arbitrarily "I believe there are no gods", you gotta realize that you are affording belief for the negative on a whole infinite number of things that could be a god.

I think not. They are dismissing the "usual" notion of a god, not all the various possibilities

Quote:Perhaps we would define god as the first mover, or a simply a creator of universes, or even more simply, one who intently "planted" life on earth (supposing it was planted from outside) in that cases, a sufficiently advanced alien could be god, and could exist.

Perhaps we should not talk about it at all until there is evidence for the non-concept. Your are granting value to a meaningless concept, by granting it a place at the table. It is not even on the table.

Quote:If you accept multiverse theory, things become even more complicated, anything from outside our universe that is able to provoke the start of new universes could be considered a god.

Great. Until something AT ALL is known, I refuse to grant the notion the VAST importance you give it by addressing it at all.

Quote:God is very poorly defined concept most of the times, meaning that there's a truckload of things that could be a god, including a lot of things that we haven't conceived, nor will no one ever conceive.

Preaching to the choir. Whatever we may discover, it probably won't be called "god".

Quote:So if you believe "there is no God" you have an active belief about the non-existence of an infinite number of things we have no idea what they are (or could be) exactly... that is just not rational.

Nope. You reflexively dump all sorts of nonsense and possibilities in your god box.
I don't have a god box.

Quote:But one cannot afford belief that "no god does exist", simply, because then you would be speaking about infinite things at the same time, those things all unknown and some unknowable in nature, some yet unconceived by human imagination.

I will decide what I can afford or not afford. If and when new things are discovered, I'll decide how to categorize them for myself. I have no "god category", so whatever is discovered, won't be categorized as a god.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-01-2017, 09:38 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  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.
Most atheists make no knowledge claim either way.
(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  ... 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"
You are forgetting what the rational default is in the absence of evidence. Which is not to afford belief to unsubstantiated things. Not affording belief IS a neutral stance. What would not be neutral is active disbelief, which quickly gets into knowledge claim territory (e.g., "that's clearly impossible"). Withholding belief is not the same as rejecting belief as an option. It is simply requiring some prerequisites that aren't yet in place.

All of this is philosophical technicalities, of course, and in fairness to people who don't understand those technical points, it's easy to conflate a practical position of acting AS IF one knows there are no deities, with actually formally making such a knowledge claim. And to conflate the default of not affording belief with anti-belief or being opposed to the possibility that one could afford belief if they encountered new information.
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29-01-2017, 09:41 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 09:17 AM)Velvet Wrote:  Yes, I realize many atheists don't "make a case" for "no X" and have no active belief, that's why I was so surprised to see how many people voted Yes in this poll, and that's why i'm trying to explain why the active belief for "no X" is a faith-based stance, so that people can reflect about that.
It is a semantically confusing question. If I had thought longer about it I would have voted the other way or not at all. Most likely not at all. The correct way to express it, I think, is that I see no reason to believe in the existence of any deities at this time, so I am withholding belief pending such a reason.
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29-01-2017, 09:47 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 12:51 PM by SYZ.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  [...] 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.

So you're claiming that we need empirical evidence to confirm our assertion that gods do not exist? This is logically untenable. Would you care to provide evidence proving that leprechauns don't exist?
... ... ... I thought not.

(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  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 [...]

I discern and accept that gods are mythical, supernatural entities born of fear, desire, and ignorance by primitive man. Supernatural entities do not exist other than in fiction; ergo gods do not exist.

(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  But speaking strictly in the possibility realm, the skeptic, in its default stance, does not naturally accept something to be impossible without evidence for its impossibility [...]

Nope. As a lifelong skeptic, I accept numerous things as being non-existent and/or impossible—without one iota of evidence. Such as ghosts, angels, an afterlife, water dowsing, telekinesis, mermaids, virgin birth, talking animals, astrology, levitation, engrams, acupuncture, bunyips etc. to name few. Presumably you consider that each of these—or at least some of them—may possibly exist?

(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  [...] 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.

Nope. Impossibility needs no evidence. And I have every reason to accept that gods don't exist.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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29-01-2017, 09:58 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 09:41 AM)mordant Wrote:  It is a semantically confusing question. If I had thought longer about it I would have voted the other way or not at all. Most likely not at all. The correct way to express it, I think, is that I see no reason to believe in the existence of any deities at this time, so I am withholding belief pending such a reason.

Yes, and yes to the previous things you said. All I'm doing is trying to explain this semantically confusing question to help people come to the same understanding (and therefore conclusion) that you just did.

I'm just not good at explaining it without inadvertently sounding like "you guys are all stupid, you should listen to me because I know better" (which is not what I think or intend to say)

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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29-01-2017, 10:00 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
If one is going to REDEFINE the word "god" to "anything-we-discover-in-the-future-which-may-have-a-causal-effect-on-this-universe", and then say that one is confident new information will come in, and then say that information MUST be labeled "god", then the purpose of the thread is destroyed.

The word "god" carries with it an actual learned meaning TODAY, in light of it's past and current popular use. I'm sure the historical (specific) meaning was what the poll was about.

The category "god" should be jettisoned from our vocabulary.
Catholics say "god is love".
The term carries no useful value, in 2016.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-01-2017, 10:09 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 09:17 AM)Velvet Wrote:  Yes, I realize many atheists don't "make a case" for "no X" and have no active belief, that's why I was so surprised to see how many people voted Yes in this poll, and that's why I'm trying to explain why the active belief for "no X" is a faith-based stance, so that people can reflect about that.

I once believed no god exists, it was not only until I dug deeper into skepticism that I realized this is a faith based belief, as we go deeper in epistemology concepts like belief and knowledge become debatable, I realize that, but I don't think that's why people voted Yes, I think they might not understand why this a faith-based stance.

Nope; my lack of belief in the existence of supernatural entities and/or paranormal phenomena has nothing at all to do with "faith". Your use of the word is in the religious sense (belief without evidence), whereas mine is in the scientific sense (justified belief). Also, science and religion do not share any common epistemological status.

(28-01-2017 11:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  But one cannot afford belief that "no god does exist", simply, because then you would be speaking about infinite things at the same time, those things all unknown and some unknowable in nature, some yet unconceived by human imagination.

Sorry, but this "infinite number of things could be a god" line of thinking is nonsensical. You also don't seem to understand that the entire notion of gods is man-made. [see my signature LOL]

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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29-01-2017, 10:13 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 09:58 AM)Velvet Wrote:  
(29-01-2017 09:41 AM)mordant Wrote:  It is a semantically confusing question. If I had thought longer about it I would have voted the other way or not at all. Most likely not at all. The correct way to express it, I think, is that I see no reason to believe in the existence of any deities at this time, so I am withholding belief pending such a reason.

Yes, and yes to the previous things you said. All I'm doing is trying to explain this semantically confusing question to help people come to the same understanding (and therefore conclusion) that you just did.

I'm just not good at explaining it without inadvertently sounding like "you guys are all stupid, you should listen to me because I know better" (which is not what I think or intend to say)
Yes, I understand. But I must say, the distinction, while real enough philosophically, has precious little practical meaning because there is no way for new information to arise to enable belief to be afforded. The simple reason: supernatural beings and realms are inherently unfalsifiable, so as posited, there is inherently no way for anyone to EVER make a knowledge claim of ANY kind about them. That is exactly why Huxley originally defined agnosticism as the claim that god not just isn't currently known, but CAN'T be known.

Now if theists want to propose a god that's part of the natural order, and who therefore has at least the potential to be observed and assessed, that's a horse of a somewhat different color. Such a god or demigod or superior being could potentially be proven. But it's a different question from an invisible supernatural god (whether or not interventionist / personal).
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29-01-2017, 10:18 AM (This post was last modified: 30-01-2017 09:32 AM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 09:47 AM)SYZ Wrote:  So you're claiming that we need empirical evidence to confirm our assertion that gods do not exist? This is logically untenable. Would you care to provide evidence proving that leprechauns don't exist?
... ... ... I thought not.
Have I made any assertion on leprechauns non-existence? I thought not.

Quote:I discern and accept that gods are mythical, supernatural entities born of fear, desire, and ignorance by primitive man. Supernatural entities do not exist other than in fiction; ergo gods do not exist.

Nope. As a lifelong skeptic, I accept numerous things as being non-existent and/or impossible —without one iota of evidence. Such as ghosts, angels, an afterlife, water dowsing, telekinesis, mermaids, virgin birth, talking animals, astrology, levitation, engrams, acupuncture, bunyips etc. to name few. Presumably you consider that each of these—or at least some of them—may possibly exist?
We actually have evidence for the non-existence of telekinesis, mermaids, talking animals, levitation, acupuncture and astrology, we test for human "superpowers" and we have enough surveillance coverage of earth surface to detect those "not magical mythical animals" if they existed, despite if it is conclusive, we have enough tests and data to rationally believe that does things are false.

But we don't have evidence for the non-existence of leprechauns, ghosts and angels because they are unfalsifiable (due to their magical bullshit nature), and no, I don't afford belief that they do not exist, but I dismiss the claims for their existence because I was not convinced due to lack of evidence.

Parthenogenesis exists and we have data to support it in scorpions, lizards, snails, etc and evidence suggests it is not impossible to happen in humans.

Quote:
Nope. Impossibility needs no evidence. And I have every reason to accept that gods don't exist.

Why should any assertion need no evidence?

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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