I don't need to believe, I know and think...
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02-02-2013, 11:45 AM
I don't need to believe, I know and think...
I think atheist should make a an effort to remove the words "I believe" from our vocabulary. To believe something is to accept a presupposition based on evidence lacking assumptions. We should either know or we should think, but never believe in something.
Now maybe you might be saying, "Well whats the big deal with being grammatically correct?" Well, people take inferences by what you say. If someone says they believe something that usually implies that their supporting ideas are based on perception. When you assert that you think something, you are not pushing that you are asserting it as the truth, but that in the thinking process you have come up with your own hypothesis and possibly even formed a theory. While knowing something is based on facts. The problem is people get these three words mixed up when speaking. They'll say "they know" that God is real or 9/11 was a conspiracy by the government based upon assumptions of perception. In reality, "they believe" is more accurate.
Anyway, let me finish this diatribe with a little philosophy. I'd like to outline the difference between believing and knowing or thinking. Racism is a good example. I do not believe in the principle ideology that one race is the chosen people yadda yadda yadda. That doesn't mean that I don't know what racism is and think that it is wrong. So the next time a Christian tells you that you can't have morals without "belief", you tell them "I don't need to believe, I know and think..."

Obama promised you change. Reach in your pocket, feel those coins? There's your change...
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02-02-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
I agree. I've had quite a few arguments with theists over the word belief. They insist that atheism is something I believe and I insist the fact gods don't exist is something I accept. And because of that, the theist label atheist is the term that best describes my position.

Oh and, grammar saves lives....

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02-02-2013, 01:03 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
Meh. Too much effort. Not my responsibility to keep their heads outta their asses. Long as I can keep mine outta my own I'll give myself credit for doing well. I don't see that *I* should have to be very careful about what I say when *they're* the ones being obtuse. If I care about them enough I might explain my meaning but otherwise... they can think what they like. But yeah, good call Smile If I wasn't so damn lazy I'd be right behind ya Tongue
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02-02-2013, 01:24 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
I have a hard enough time keeping my foot out of my mouth.

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02-02-2013, 01:36 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2013 02:00 PM by pxlgirl.)
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
I'm always bothered when religious folks ask if atheists "believe in" evolution. I rarely use this phrase, except for "believing in myself and my own capabilities", and evolution is something I know a bit about, not believe in.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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02-02-2013, 01:54 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
I pretty much avoid the word altogether when speaking... and probably in writing... especially when referring to the mind of someone else. The word belief has never loomed large in my vocabulary.

To "believe" is an assertion or an acceptance of "truth". I have to ask myself if I've stopped thinking... if the answer is yes, then I know I "believe". I'm pretty sure if I stop thinking... well, then I guess I'll be dead.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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02-02-2013, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2013 02:13 PM by Chaos.)
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
Yeah, it's a wise idea. I usually avoid using words that might confirm what others think (confirmation bias) and I try to replace them with something ambiguous lol.

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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02-02-2013, 05:29 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
To my understanding, isn't "I think" just another way of saying "I believe"? Because "I think" essentially means "It is my opinion", and opinions are just subjective beliefs.

What's more, when we say we "know" something, we are asserting an objective fact. There's no intellectual humility in "I know". I know that Evolution occurs, but what if evidence arises that discredits it? This objective fact of which I claimed knowledge will have been undermined, which means I never "knew" it in the first place. Isn't that why we call it a "theory"; to leave it open to the possibility of change?

I am of the opinion (i.e., I believe) that "I believe" is perfectly fine. Beliefs can be wrong, and I'm ok with adhering to something which may potentially be incorrect. Because at the moment, I hold belief X because it's currently the best position I can justify adhering to. If that changes at some point in the future, well, then I'll change my belief.

Instead of taking a perfectly benign (and descriptively accurate) word out of my vocabulary for the sake of theistic stupidity and assumption; I'm just gonna go ahead and stick to correcting them when an issue arises. (Ex.: "I don't believe in the process of Evolution. I accept it.") I find it's rather effective to expose a faulty move on their part (like a blind assumption), rather than preventing them from making that move to begin with. It shocks them when they realize they've made a mistake and it changes their perspective a bit. That's when the potential for intellectual change is at its highest.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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02-02-2013, 07:04 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
(02-02-2013 05:29 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  To my understanding, isn't "I think" just another way of saying "I believe"? Because "I think" essentially means "It is my opinion", and opinions are just subjective beliefs.

What's more, when we say we "know" something, we are asserting an objective fact. There's no intellectual humility in "I know". ...

Hmm, yes. If I actually do not know something, I might not feel informed enough to speculate about it and I'll just say, "I don't know that.". However, if I don't actually know something and I still do want to speculate about it, it's because I have an informed and reasoned idea about the subject, so I'll say, "I think I know something about that.... ______"

I'm pretty sure I'm not in the habit of saying, "I believe _____." I use the words "probably", "might", and phrases like "pretty sure" when I'm speculating... and it's always followed by some idea I've extrapolated out of something I've read and indeed thought about. I feel that if I'm informed, I've been thinking about something and I guess I'm just relating my thoughts about it. But yes that is correct, thinking is just opinion.

Ha - maybe I'm just warning people that I'm opinionated. Tongue

Stay back bitches --- I got a thought coming on!! Big Grin

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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02-02-2013, 11:52 PM
RE: I don't need to believe, I know and think...
The word "think" has 2 meanings, one to express an opinion, and another to refer to the cognitive process of thinking in the brain. So using the 2nd meaning, the title makes sense.

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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