Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
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11-08-2015, 03:25 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(10-08-2015 04:25 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 02:29 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  The point is that if Tomasia and drewpaul don't consider themselves to be 100% certain of god's existence, and only lean heavily towards there being a god, then they are actually admitting that they are agnostic about the existence of god, which makes them atheists.

You don't think there can be agnostic theists who do believe that god exists but don't claim to know?

I think that once you admit to yourself that you don't know whether or not god exists, then you are agnostic and do not believe that god exists. Definition of atheist = does not believe that god exists. You still might think it's probable that god exists, but when your stance is "I don't know," then you have to be agnostic, and all agnostics are atheists.
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11-08-2015, 04:04 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
Some of this hinges on the definition of knowledge.

Different disciplines use different definitions but the generally accepted definition in Philosophy is "a justified true belief". Therefore knowledge is a subset of belief.

I prefer the IT definition but hey-ho, we're talking flossfy here.

So by this definition one can hold a belief (either way) without it being a justified, true belief (yet) ... so one can legitimately say "I don't know but I still believe that something does / does not exist".

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11-08-2015, 04:42 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 04:04 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Some of this hinges on the definition of knowledge.

Different disciplines use different definitions but the generally accepted definition in Philosophy is "a justified true belief". Therefore knowledge is a subset of belief.

I prefer the IT definition but hey-ho, we're talking flossfy here.

So by this definition one can hold a belief (either way) without it being a justified, true belief (yet) ... so one can legitimately say "I don't know but I still believe that something does / does not exist".

In that case, they would have to admit to holding an unjustified belief, which is really the only thing the atheists have been arguing for.

If one holds a belief that he considers not to be knowledge, then he must believe that the belief is either unjustified or false. Obviously he can't believe that his belief is false, so he must believe that it is unjustified. All we need to do is point out how silly it is to hold unjustified beliefs.
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11-08-2015, 04:57 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 03:25 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  You still might think it's probable that god exists, but when your stance is "I don't know," then you have to be agnostic, and all agnostics are atheists.

Wrong. Agnostic theism.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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11-08-2015, 04:57 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(10-08-2015 05:15 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-08-2015 04:55 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  That'd be an unconventional use of language. If you asked me if I believed Mercury's core had more iridium than Earth I would not answer "No", I would answer "Beats me". If pressed for my belief on the matter I'd say "I haven't any".

The first question renders the second question superfluous anyway. Answering the first question either with a flat yes or no requires a belief; a don't know answer reflects no belief because if a belief were held the answer would be either yes or no.

In your case the answer to "do you believe that Mercury's core has more iridium than Earth" can logically be No because you do not hold that belief. You can also answer No to the question "do you believe Mercury's core does not have more iridium than Earth" because you do not hold that belief either. Answering Yes to either question requires a belief; answering No to both requires that you do not hold a belief. Answering "I don't know" is attempting to answer both questions at the same time which ends up being the same as matching No responses.

Answering "no" to the first question is not a position of agnosticism. A "no" in the first question requires a belief that god does not exist, and is therefore incompatible with agnosticism. All agnostics would have to answer no in the second question though. The first question gives us all the information we need, but I just added the second question to illustrate that an "I don't know" in the first question requires a "no" in the second question, and everyone who answers "no" in the second question meets the definition of atheist. Likewise, everyone who doesn't answer the first question with a "yes", meets the definition of atheist.
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11-08-2015, 05:01 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 04:42 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 04:04 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Some of this hinges on the definition of knowledge.

Different disciplines use different definitions but the generally accepted definition in Philosophy is "a justified true belief". Therefore knowledge is a subset of belief.

I prefer the IT definition but hey-ho, we're talking flossfy here.

So by this definition one can hold a belief (either way) without it being a justified, true belief (yet) ... so one can legitimately say "I don't know but I still believe that something does / does not exist".

In that case, they would have to admit to holding an unjustified belief, which is really the only thing the atheists have been arguing for.

If one holds a belief that he considers not to be knowledge, then he must believe that the belief is either unjustified or false. Obviously he can't believe that his belief is false, so he must believe that it is unjustified. All we need to do is point out how silly it is to hold unjustified beliefs.

Indeed. Although I wouldn't put it past a theist to claim that it's reasonable to hold a justified false belief.

What one usually finds is quibbling over the definition of 'true'.

Rolleyes

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11-08-2015, 05:05 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 04:57 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 03:25 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  You still might think it's probable that god exists, but when your stance is "I don't know," then you have to be agnostic, and all agnostics are atheists.

Wrong. Agnostic theism.

I would argue that that term is an oxymoron.

If someone believes that god exists, then they are not agnostic about the existence of god. Sure they can be agnostic about the properties of god, but it is impossible to believe that god exists and also be agnostic about the existence of god, unless you're willing to admit that you hold completely unjustified beliefs, and anyone who's willing to admit to that should be laughed out of the room right off the bat.
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11-08-2015, 05:07 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 05:01 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(11-08-2015 04:42 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  In that case, they would have to admit to holding an unjustified belief, which is really the only thing the atheists have been arguing for.

If one holds a belief that he considers not to be knowledge, then he must believe that the belief is either unjustified or false. Obviously he can't believe that his belief is false, so he must believe that it is unjustified. All we need to do is point out how silly it is to hold unjustified beliefs.

Indeed. Although I wouldn't put it past a theist to claim that it's reasonable to hold a justified false belief.

What one usually finds is quibbling over the definition of 'true'.

Rolleyes

They can't believe it's false though. It is impossible to believe that a belief is both true and false.
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11-08-2015, 06:11 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 04:57 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Answering "no" to the first question is not a position of agnosticism. A "no" in the first question requires a belief that god does not exist, and is therefore incompatible with agnosticism.

In understand your position but do not agree. Not believing a claim is not the same as believing the opposite claim. Answering No to the first question does not require any beliefs at all. The question only addresses a single belief and whether or not it is held. The simplest answer is No and any elaboration beyond that is addressing additional possible beliefs.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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11-08-2015, 06:16 AM
RE: Questions for Tomasia and drewpaul
(11-08-2015 05:05 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I would argue that that term is an oxymoron.

If someone believes that god exists, then they are not agnostic about the existence of god. Sure they can be agnostic about the properties of god, but it is impossible to believe that god exists and also be agnostic about the existence of god, unless you're willing to admit that you hold completely unjustified beliefs, and anyone who's willing to admit to that should be laughed out of the room right off the bat.

It depends on what definition you are using. The most useful one I've found is to apply theism/atheism to what is believed and gnostic/agnostic to what there is evidence for. It allows for a finer gradation and points out that the belief is often not based on the evidence.

From here
[Image: Agnostic-Atheist-Quadrants.jpg]

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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