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, 04:00 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 04:42 PM by Matt Finney.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 02:34 PM)Agnostic Shane Wrote:  Velvet:
This poll does not apply to Agnosticism but it is addressing the Atheist community only.
Agnosticism is a part of Atheism. I being an Agnostic Atheist am unable to participate in this poll even though it is addressed to all Atheists.
So my question to you Velvet is:
Why do I "have to be ready to defend a faith based stance" when I have no belief in either of the two choices presented?
I "have to" defend someone else's stance? Is this what you are saying?
That's like me saying if you are a Theist then you have to defend the existence of Zeus.

I think you are misunderstanding the 2 options. Choosing option 2 doesn't mean that one believes that god(s) exist. I chose option 2 because I don't hold a belief that god(s) do not exist. I also don't believe that god exists. I reject the claim that god(s) exist and I also reject the claim that god(s) don't exist.

One of the 2 options will apply to everyone. Either you hold a belief that there are no god(s) or not. If you don't subscribe to the belief that god(s) do not exist, then option 2 would apply to you. If you do subscribe to the belief that god(s) do not exist, then option 1 would apply to you.

Believing in the non-existence of something simply because there is a absence of evidence for its existence is conducive to holding beliefs that aren't true. For example, the ruby-eyed pit viper was recently discovered. Before its discovery, there was absence of evidence for its existence, but if one was to hold the belief that the ruby-eyed pit viper does not exist, then they would be holding a false belief, even though at the time there was no evidence for its existence. Those who subscribe to scientific skepticism would simply withhold belief about such things until there is some kind of evidence to move them from the default position of no belief.

Again, if you withhold belief regarding god's(s) existence, then option 2 would apply to you.
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29-01-2017, 04:45 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 05:47 PM by Agnostic Shane.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 04:00 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(29-01-2017 02:34 PM)Agnostic Shane Wrote:  Velvet:
This poll does not apply to Agnosticism but it is addressing the Atheist community only.
Agnosticism is a part of Atheism. I being an Agnostic Atheist am unable to participate in this poll even though it is addressed to all Atheists.
So my question to you Velvet is:
Why do I "have to be ready to defend a faith based stance" when I have no belief in either of the two choices presented?
I "have to" defend someone else's stance? Is this what you are saying?
That's like me saying if you are a Theist then you have to defend the existence of Zeus.

I think you are misunderstanding the 2 options. Choosing option 2 doesn't mean that one believes that god(s) exist. I chose option 2 because I don't hold a belief that god(s) do not exist. I also don't believe that god exists. I reject the claim that god(s) exist and I also reject the claim that god(s) don't exist.

One of the 2 options will apply to everyone. Either you hold a belief that there are no god(s) or not. If you don't subscribe to the belief that god(s) do not exist, then option 2 would apply to you. If you do subscribe to the belief that god(s) do not exist, then option 1 would apply to you.

Believing in the non-existence of something simply because there is a absence of evidence for its existence is conducive to holding beliefs that aren't true. For example, the ruby-eyed pit viper was recently discovered. Before its discovery, there was absence of evidence for its existence, but if one was to hold the belief that the red-eyed pit viper does not exist, then they would be holding a false belief, even though at the time, there was no evidence for its existence. Those who subscribe to scientific skepticism would simply withhold belief about such things until there is some kind of evidence to move them from the default position of no belief.

Again, if you withhold belief regarding god's(s) existence, then option 2 would apply to you.
Ok. I see what you are getting at, but the choices are improperly worded.
This is the question:
Do you believe no god(s) exist?
This is how I interpret the question:
"No God(s) exist" is a claim. The questioner wants to know if I believe this claim or not.

Based on the original question I can either respond:
Yes to the claim "No God(s) exist"
Or
No to the claim "No God(s) exist"

It was not asked "Do you NOT believe no god(s) exist?"
So why is this one of the choices?

Every Agnostic knows that not believing in something does not mean you believe in it's non existence.

This is the reason why this poll cannot apply to an Agnostic:
It's a Rhetorical Question for an Agnostic.
Agnostics do not "believe" in anything about God by default.
Do you believe that/in/if/why/how God... No
Do you not believe that/in/if/why/how God... Yes

This poll is a deliberately vicious attempt to confuse the common Atheist
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29-01-2017, 05:10 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2017 05:34 PM by Velvet.)
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 01:31 PM)SYZ Wrote:  You just don't get it do you? The notion of a "God" and/or "gods" is nothing more than an ancient and ignorant human construct, fabricated thousands of years ago—and well before the scientific revolution. In an enlightened 21st century this notion has zero relevance, and should be discarded ASAP.

You are clearly the one who is not getting it, if you read what I'm saying without presupposing that I'm a theist (which i'm not) who is making some kind of twisted argument for god (which I'm certainly not) perhaps you could understand it.

This is a philosophical debate about the people's error in conflating "believing not X" with "not believing X".

And by the way, no idea should be discarded just because its origin is extremely questionable, we have very good reasons to not be convinced by the theist proposition but this ain't one of them.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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29-01-2017, 05:48 PM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 04:45 PM)Agnostic Shane Wrote:  
(29-01-2017 04:00 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I think you are misunderstanding the 2 options. Choosing option 2 doesn't mean that one believes that god(s) exist. I chose option 2 because I don't hold a belief that god(s) do not exist. I also don't believe that god exists. I reject the claim that god(s) exist and I also reject the claim that god(s) don't exist.

One of the 2 options will apply to everyone. Either you hold a belief that there are no god(s) or not. If you don't subscribe to the belief that god(s) do not exist, then option 2 would apply to you. If you do subscribe to the belief that god(s) do not exist, then option 1 would apply to you.

Believing in the non-existence of something simply because there is a absence of evidence for its existence is conducive to holding beliefs that aren't true. For example, the ruby-eyed pit viper was recently discovered. Before its discovery, there was absence of evidence for its existence, but if one was to hold the belief that the red-eyed pit viper does not exist, then they would be holding a false belief, even though at the time, there was no evidence for its existence. Those who subscribe to scientific skepticism would simply withhold belief about such things until there is some kind of evidence to move them from the default position of no belief.

Again, if you withhold belief regarding god's(s) existence, then option 2 would apply to you.
Ok. I see what you are getting at, but the choices are improperly worded.
This is the question:
Do you believe no god(s) exist?
This is how I interpret the question:
"No God(s) exist" is a claim. The questioner wants to know if I believe this claim or not.
He did not ask me "Do you NOT believe no god(s) exist?"


Based on the original question I can either respond:
Yes to the claim "No God's exist"
Or
No to the claim "No God's exist"

The question never asked me if I "did not believe" in something.
Eg. Do you NOT believe no god(s) exist?"
So why is my 2nd choice about something I do not believe in?

Every Agnostic knows that not believing in something does not mean you believe in it's non existence.

This poll is a deliberately vicious attempt to confuse the common Atheist.

This is the reason why this poll cannot apply to an Agnostic:
It's a Rhetorical Question for an Agnostic.
Agnostics do not "believe" in anything about God by default.
Do you believe that/in/if/why/how God... No
Do you not believe that/in/if/why/how God... Yes

IDK, to each his own I guess. I thought he did a pretty good job of explaining things in the OP, and I enjoy threads like these that might cause people to question their beliefs a bit. I certainly didn't interpret it to be vicious.... anyways, peace out....
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29-01-2017, 07:39 PM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 05:48 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(29-01-2017 04:45 PM)Agnostic Shane Wrote:  Ok. I see what you are getting at, but the choices are improperly worded.
This is the question:
Do you believe no god(s) exist?
This is how I interpret the question:
"No God(s) exist" is a claim. The questioner wants to know if I believe this claim or not.
He did not ask me "Do you NOT believe no god(s) exist?"


Based on the original question I can either respond:
Yes to the claim "No God's exist"
Or
No to the claim "No God's exist"

The question never asked me if I "did not believe" in something.
Eg. Do you NOT believe no god(s) exist?"
So why is my 2nd choice about something I do not believe in?

Every Agnostic knows that not believing in something does not mean you believe in it's non existence.

This poll is a deliberately vicious attempt to confuse the common Atheist.

This is the reason why this poll cannot apply to an Agnostic:
It's a Rhetorical Question for an Agnostic.
Agnostics do not "believe" in anything about God by default.
Do you believe that/in/if/why/how God... No
Do you not believe that/in/if/why/how God... Yes

IDK, to each his own I guess. I thought he did a pretty good job of explaining things in the OP, and I enjoy threads like these that might cause people to question their beliefs a bit. I certainly didn't interpret it to be vicious.... anyways, peace out....
Ok the vicious part was just my opinion.
I have a question for you, if you don't mind.me asking.
A thread aimed specifically at non believers in God might help them question their beliefs in what exactly?
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29-01-2017, 07:51 PM
For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 03:52 PM)mordant Wrote:  So you are appealing to us to at least believe in a deadbeat dad, just not to disbelieve in dad at all.

I'm not appealing to you to believe anything, not sure why this seems to be a common accusation. I'm being descriptive not prescriptive.

Quote:But there is no practical difference between a truly absent father, a truly indifferent father, and a dead or never-existing father. All of them "behave" the same toward the "child".

In terms of an actual proactive relationship to the child there is no difference. But in terms of how the child came to be, there's an extreme difference. It's the difference between someone who might imagine were a product of some cosmic accident, and someone who imagines we were product of intention. Or the difference between a physicalist, and Aristotle, or Spinoza.

Quote:So to my mind, a deist is simply a person who can't bring themselves to the logical conclusion that god is never going to put in an appearance, and what the most likely explanation for that is.

A deist is merely a person who believes in a non-intervening, impersonal god. Whether he believes God might appear at some point or not, is unrelated to his deism.

Quote:As to the kinship between deists / liberal Christians and atheists, it is mostly down to our agreement that the scriptures are not inerrant or to be taken in a primarily literal fashion, our agreement that proselytization is misguided, impertinent and disrespectful, and agreement that fundamentalism is toxic and harmful to society. As well as that we have a lot of common ground because we recognize each other as fellow human beings, with similar humanist impulses.

Now you're applying things to atheism/deism that are not about either atheism or deism, such as a liberal political philosophy, a particular stance against religious funfamentalism etc. As if those atheist and deist who don't share such leanings are any less of an Atheist or a deist.




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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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30-01-2017, 08:22 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(29-01-2017 07:51 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(29-01-2017 03:52 PM)mordant Wrote:  So you are appealing to us to at least believe in a deadbeat dad, just not to disbelieve in dad at all.
I'm not appealing to you to believe anything, not sure why this seems to be a common accusation. I'm being descriptive not prescriptive.
I didn't say you were demanding that we believe in a deadbeat dad, not was it an accusation I made. It was a simple statement of fact. You said it's better in your view to believe in a deadbeat dad, than in no dad at all. This is making an appeal for the benefits of one belief over another. I do not think I mischaracterized it at all.
(29-01-2017 07:51 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:But there is no practical difference between a truly absent father, a truly indifferent father, and a dead or never-existing father. All of them "behave" the same toward the "child".
In terms of an actual proactive relationship to the child there is no difference. But in terms of how the child came to be, there's an extreme difference. It's the difference between someone who might imagine were a product of some cosmic accident, and someone who imagines we were product of intention. Or the difference between a physicalist, and Aristotle, or Spinoza.
What is so unthinkably horrible about realizing that you are not the product of intentionality? Indeed, although the tired hyperbolic label "cosmic accident" is a complete misrepresentation of, and a false dichotomy to, being a created being ... what is so terrible about that? It doesn't change one whit what it is like to be you or I, it does not change how we derive meaning or purpose.
(29-01-2017 07:51 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:So to my mind, a deist is simply a person who can't bring themselves to the logical conclusion that god is never going to put in an appearance, and what the most likely explanation for that is.
A deist is merely a person who believes in a non-intervening, impersonal god. Whether he believes God might appear at some point or not, is unrelated to his deism.
I wasn't speaking to technical definitions, so there was no need for you to deflect. I was speaking to motivation. Since there is no practical difference in how my life is experienced if god is non-intervening or non-existent, then clinging to the existence of god is simply a preference. I was speaking to one probable reason a person would prefer one over the other. There are other reasons: cultural inertia for example.
(29-01-2017 07:51 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:As to the kinship between deists / liberal Christians and atheists, it is mostly down to our agreement that the scriptures are not inerrant or to be taken in a primarily literal fashion, our agreement that proselytization is misguided, impertinent and disrespectful, and agreement that fundamentalism is toxic and harmful to society. As well as that we have a lot of common ground because we recognize each other as fellow human beings, with similar humanist impulses.
Now you're applying things to atheism/deism that are not about either atheism or deism, such as a liberal political philosophy, a particular stance against religious funfamentalism etc. As if those atheist and deist who don't share such leanings are any less of an Atheist or a deist.
I was doing no such thing. I wasn't speaking to definitions, but to typical common ground we have in the real world. A person is no less a deist if they voted for Trump and read Brietbart. A person is no less an atheist if they do those things. However it is a simple fact that atheists and liberal Christians do in fact most often have quite a bit of practical views in common, and in fact, the views I gave examples of are rather apolitical, with the arguable exception of humanism (and note, I did not say "secular humanism").

I wonder why you are so averse to my observations and so invested in describing a "gulf" between, say, deism and atheism? The simple fact is that it is deists and very liberal Christians who are able to say that their beliefs positions are personal and non-binding on others, and it is atheists who are generally able to say the same thing. There are differences in their beliefs, but similarities in how they hold them and argue for them.
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30-01-2017, 08:33 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
If I lack a belief that something exists, then I believe that thing does not exist. These two statements are not mutually exclusive and, in fact, I would say the latter logically follows from the first.

So an atheist might simplify their views to "I believe god does not exist" even if a more long-winded explanation would better explain their position.

Example: I lack a belief in any god(s) because of a paucity of evidence to substantiate the claims.
^This is a better and more descriptive summation of my atheist, but I would probably tell most people that I believe god doesn't exist, for several reasons. 1) It is shorter, 2) it is still technically correct, 3) they would probably misconstrue the longer statement into the shorter statement anyways to try and erect some sort of anti-atheist straw man.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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30-01-2017, 08:43 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(30-01-2017 08:33 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Example: I lack a belief in any god(s) because of a paucity of evidence to substantiate the claims.
^This is a better and more descriptive summation of my atheist, but I would probably tell most people that I believe god doesn't exist, for several reasons. 1) It is shorter, 2) it is still technically correct, 3) they would probably misconstrue the longer statement into the shorter statement anyways to try and erect some sort of anti-atheist straw man.
Lacking a belief in anything due to lack of evidence is really in my view having decent evidentiary and epistemological standards concerning what you will afford belief to. I do not afford belief to deities for that reason and that reason only. It has nothing to do with whether I have distaste for god-belief or have had negative experiences with it. I believe there IS an important difference between putting it that way and saying I disbelieve in deities. The latter implies an active bias against affording belief to deities, the former implies a neutral stance that awaits new information (however unlikely or inherently impossible that might be, given the unfalsifiable nature of invisible supernatural beings and realms).

It is a question of how one holds a position, and I prefer to hold all my views loosely so as not to identify with them in a way that I succumb to the well-known bias in all humans to confuse belief with identity, and largely as a result to that, to be lacking in epistemological humility.

So while everything you say is true on a certain level, and like you I might take the semantic shortcut "I do not believe in gods", I think it is a mistake to totally equate lack of belief with unbelief with no nuance at all.
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30-01-2017, 08:50 AM
RE: For Atheists: Do you believe no god(s) exist?
(30-01-2017 08:43 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(30-01-2017 08:33 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Example: I lack a belief in any god(s) because of a paucity of evidence to substantiate the claims.
^This is a better and more descriptive summation of my atheist, but I would probably tell most people that I believe god doesn't exist, for several reasons. 1) It is shorter, 2) it is still technically correct, 3) they would probably misconstrue the longer statement into the shorter statement anyways to try and erect some sort of anti-atheist straw man.
Lacking a belief in anything due to lack of evidence is really in my view having decent evidentiary and epistemological standards concerning what you will afford belief to. I do not afford belief to deities for that reason and that reason only. It has nothing to do with whether I have distaste for god-belief or have had negative experiences with it. I believe there IS an important difference between putting it that way and saying I disbelieve in deities. The latter implies an active bias against affording belief to deities, the former implies a neutral stance that awaits new information (however unlikely or inherently impossible that might be, given the unfalsifiable nature of invisible supernatural beings and realms).

It is a question of how one holds a position, and I prefer to hold all my views loosely so as not to identify with them in a way that I succumb to the well-known bias in all humans to confuse belief with identity, and largely as a result to that, to be lacking in epistemological humility.

So while everything you say is true on a certain level, and like you I might take the semantic shortcut "I do not believe in gods", I think it is a mistake to totally equate lack of belief with unbelief with no nuance at all.

People have a variety of reasons for picking what statement they use to express their opinions on god beliefs. I get tired of the semantics argument around it though with theists because most of the time I engage with them over this, they take any and every statement and contort it into a straw man anyways. It is (to them) always about atheists having a "distaste" for a god or that we "hate god" or some other such drivel. At some point, it isn't worth it to try and explain the nuances to them.

It typically goes something like this:
A: "I lack a belief in a god because of the lack of evidence to support the god claim."

T: "So you just hate god then and have a religious belief that he doesn't exist."

A: *sigh* "I don't believe in your god. That's it. That's all."

T: "What happened in your life to make you so angry with god?"

A: "He didn't exist..."

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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