Hmmm...
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18-09-2014, 03:59 AM
Hmmm...
So normally I like Hemant Mehta's stuff - but occasionally I think he goes up the wrong tree...anyone got any thoughts on this one?





"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



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18-09-2014, 04:25 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2014 04:33 AM by pablo.)
RE: Hmmm...
I have to say I agree with him for the most part. I think a baby would be more accurately described as a non-believer rather than an atheist. Atheism implies knowledge of theism. Non-belief (or lack of belief) could imply ignorance of theism, at least in this context.
Maybe a better term would be uninformed non-theist?
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18-09-2014, 05:24 AM
RE: Hmmm...
See to me the idea that to be an atheist one has to make a conscious decision is something of a 'No True Scotsman' fallacy...however desirable that scenario may be.


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



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18-09-2014, 05:30 AM
RE: Hmmm...
I was looking at it as I can't reject religion if I don't know what it is.
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18-09-2014, 06:23 AM
RE: Hmmm...
I do not think babies have the ability to be anything other than a needy being that has to be fed, cleaned and comforted.

While I do not think you need to be exposed to religion to be an atheist I think you at least have to be aware of the world around you and able to form rational thoughts to "be" anything. Babies do not have that ability.
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18-09-2014, 06:28 AM
RE: Hmmm...
See - to me atheism is the default position so they automatically fall into that category...


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



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18-09-2014, 06:29 AM
RE: Hmmm...
(18-09-2014 04:25 AM)pablo Wrote:  I have to say I agree with him for the most part. I think a baby would be more accurately described as a non-believer rather than an atheist. Atheism implies knowledge of theism. Non-belief (or lack of belief) could imply ignorance of theism, at least in this context.
Maybe a better term would be uninformed non-theist?

No, it doesn't. Atheism is not having a belief in gods. Not having that belief due to an informed decision or a lack of knowledge isn't part of the issue.

Now, you can divide atheism up into sub-groups depending on how you want to chop it. One such distinction is between explicit and implicit atheists. People who simply lack the concept of gods are implicit atheists.
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18-09-2014, 06:33 AM
RE: Hmmm...
I agree with him.

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18-09-2014, 06:43 AM
RE: Hmmm...
See also:




Though this definition is not without its problems, eg:
1. So.... define G
2. Is the proposition knowable with respect to every G?
3. What happens if the conclusion "x is an atheist" differs wildly depending on a particular G?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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18-09-2014, 06:47 AM
RE: Hmmm...
I agree with him. Babies may technically be atheists but I think it takes away from the meaning of the word to use it that pedantically. When I say I don't believe in any gods it is because I've looked at many god claims, both specific and general, and concluded that there isn't enough evidence. If somebody asks me if I believe that frizbin works I'd say I have no concept of what frizbin is so I'd need information. If I am forced to declare yes or no, the answer is no because without any knowledge I can't honestly say that I believe it is real but that's not the same "flavor" of not believing as my non-belief of god claims. To say that a baby doesn't believe in god is not much different than saying a rock or a tree doesn't believe in god. Perhaps technically true, but not very meaningful or useful.

I've heard some use the term igtheist to describe a person with no god concept at all. A term like that seems more appropriate for babies than atheist.

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