Question from a Theist
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07-04-2012, 07:00 AM
RE: Question from a Theist
(07-04-2012 06:58 AM)Logisch Wrote:  
(07-04-2012 06:54 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  If you told me you had a motorcycle in your garage but you never took it out and you can't show it to me, I will not believe you have a motorcycle in your garage. I can't be sure that you don't have a motorcycle in your garage, so I can't say: I believe you have no motorcycle in your garage. But I can just refuse to play your little game of faith and say: I don't believe you.

Does that answer your question?
But at least we can describe a motorcycle, we know how it interacts with the world and can describe it to the T. So it's at least more probable to believe LOL.

lol, I knew I should've gone with the Cthulu example.

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07-04-2012, 07:02 AM
RE: Question from a Theist
When in doubt...
Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
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07-04-2012, 07:04 AM
RE: Question from a Theist
I just don't believe in stuff. Either I know it or I don't.

I don't believe in bigfoot either. Doesn't mean that it isn't possible that he exists. Just isn't probable.

I don't think the existance of a god is very probable either. No one can prove that he exists, and no one can prove that he doesn't.

I just don't believe in any gods. To believe is to hold something true that there is no proof of. It is to think that there is something, not that there actually is something. I don't think there is a god. I have no belief. That does not mean that I believe that there is no god, either. I just simply have no belief.

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07-04-2012, 07:06 AM
RE: Question from a Theist
(07-04-2012 06:51 AM)Logisch Wrote:  My main point in saying what I did... is that if I am to shut off the possibility of evidence, then I am a hypocrite if I were to ever respond with: "You don't have any evidence" but refuse to review evidence.

I get lippy 'cause I have evidence - I remember the LC. I can see truth behind their lies, but to credit god does not benefit god but rather the believers in god, a thing I ain't doing. Wink

What I do do is argue, ain't telling you what to do. When Carlin said atheism was a non prophet organization, he didn't anticipate this crazy Gwynnite - cause he ain't that crazy. Insanity is the key in the issue of prophecy. Wink

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07-04-2012, 01:26 PM
RE: Question from a Theist
(07-04-2012 04:13 AM)SixForty Wrote:  I'd love to hear atheists' opinions on a question. I've heard the following statement numerous times in various different forms from a wide variety of atheists:

It's not that 'I believe there is NO God', it's just that 'I do not believe there IS a God'

This is usually given in response to someone claiming that atheism is a religion or belief system, or in response to a request to prove that there is no God. Regardless, I'm sure a number of you have heard something similar, and some of you may even say the same thing.

My question is this:

How is the statement "I believe there is no God" different from the statement "I do not believe there is a God"? How do they vary in a significant way? How are those two not logically equivalent?

I have my own ideas on this, and my own opinions about it, but I'd love to hear what atheists have to say on the matter.
This appears to be a strawman argument. You are saying that we say those things when, in fact, we don't.

An atheist doesn't need to deny the existence of gods, merely not accept their existence. There is no evidence of the existence of gods, faeries, gnomes, unicorns, Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny. I don't believe they exist since there is no evidence. I cannot - and need not - disprove their existence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-04-2012, 01:41 PM
RE: Question from a Theist
(07-04-2012 01:26 PM)Chas Wrote:  There is no evidence of the existence of gods, faeries, gnomes, unicorns, Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny. I don't believe they exist since there is no evidence. I cannot - and need not - disprove their existence.
I'm Eating a chocolate Easter Bunny right now! How dare you say it doesn't exist! ... well after i'm done with it .. it won't exist.... and... there is a gnome standing on my lawn in the back.... prove he doesn't exist either buster!

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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07-04-2012, 03:09 PM
RE: Question from a Theist
(07-04-2012 04:13 AM)SixForty Wrote:  "I believe there is no God"
This means, I don't require evidence, I believe that there is no god despite there being no evidence to prove that gods don't exist
Quote:"I do not believe there is a God"
This means that I recognise you have a theory about gods, but until you show some convincing evidence I will not believe this theory of yours.
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07-04-2012, 03:40 PM
RE: Question from a Theist
It all comes down to rational belief.

The theist position:
There is no evidence that God exists; therefore it is rational to believe that he does.

The atheist position:
There is no evidence that God exists; therefore it is rational to believe that he does not.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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07-04-2012, 03:42 PM
RE: Question from a Theist
(07-04-2012 04:13 AM)SixForty Wrote:  I'd love to hear atheists' opinions on a question. I've heard the following statement numerous times in various different forms from a wide variety of atheists:

It's not that 'I believe there is NO God', it's just that 'I do not believe there IS a God'

This is usually given in response to someone claiming that atheism is a religion or belief system, or in response to a request to prove that there is no God. Regardless, I'm sure a number of you have heard something similar, and some of you may even say the same thing.

My question is this:

How is the statement "I believe there is no God" different from the statement "I do not believe there is a God"? How do they vary in a significant way? How are those two not logically equivalent?

I have my own ideas on this, and my own opinions about it, but I'd love to hear what atheists have to say on the matter.

Okay, which one of these fit you better:
"I believe there is no Zeus"
or
"I do not believe there is a Zeus"?

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08-04-2012, 01:30 AM
RE: Question from a Theist
Thanks to everyone who responded. Especially to those who gave an answer to the question that was asked.

To those who thought I was trying to make a counter argument - I wasn't. I was just wanting opinions on what some people mean when they make claims like I listed. I wasn't trying to project these things onto any atheists in specific - these type of comments I actually do hear quite often. I wasn't trying to argue against them - I was wanting to get various different views on what people mean by statements like that.

Special thanks to Logisch who provided some very good insight that I found quite helpful.

And super special thanks to houseofcantor. Gwynnies aside, I think that this statement:

"To say I don't believe god exists is to draw a conclusion based upon another's perception of god, to say I believe no god exists is to go one step further and add one's own perception to the mix."

is probably the most simple, coherent, rational, and interesting answer I've ever heard to my question. My humble gratitude to you.
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