Rejection of a claim
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03-02-2018, 12:18 AM
Rejection of a claim
I was watching a debate take place on instagram and it started with a theist asking the question “what makes atheism true?”. It was explained that atheism is the rejection of a claim, not a belief. The theist countered by saying “rejecting a claim is itself a claim. You literally claimed that Christianity did not meet its burden of proof”. This threw the atheist off, it threw me off too.

Logically, is this possible? Is rejecting a claim, making a claim? I guess if I were to say “I reject your claim of a god due to lack of evidence”, and the theist countered that I was making a claim by saying that, what would be a good response?
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03-02-2018, 12:33 AM
RE: Rejection of a claim
Welcome to TTA.

"I'm not persuaded by your arguments"
"That's a claim!!!"
"Yeah, OK. I claim that I'm not persuaded by your arguments"
"Support your claim!!"
Huh
Blink
"OK. Here's me, here, being not persuaded by your arguments because, like, I'm still an atheist?"

Unsure


Big Grin

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03-02-2018, 01:34 AM
RE: Rejection of a claim
(03-02-2018 12:18 AM)Zink Wrote:  I was watching a debate take place on instagram and it started with a theist asking the question “what makes atheism true?”. It was explained that atheism is the rejection of a claim, not a belief. The theist countered by saying “rejecting a claim is itself a claim. You literally claimed that Christianity did not meet its burden of proof”. This threw the atheist off, it threw me off too.

Logically, is this possible? Is rejecting a claim, making a claim?

Rejecting a claim is not making a claim. Talking with someone dense enough to think otherwise is just a waste of time.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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03-02-2018, 02:45 AM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2018 03:35 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Rejection of a claim
No, atheism is not a claim. It's a description of your own state of mind. You don't need to "claim" what you believe and what you don't. You have direct access to this information. You are unconvinced that gods exist. You're not necessarily convinced they don't exist either, that is optional. The explanation for why you're unconvinced could well be, like you say, that there is a lack of credible evidence that convinces you.

This is a personal position. It's not making any general claims about the evidence presented, necessarily. So no, it's not saying, "Christianity hasn't met its burden of proof" as a categorical statement. That would be stating that it's objectively the case that everyone should rationally disbelieve it. Of course, any particular atheist may make that claim, and can then be reasonably expected to back it up. This isn't hard to do by simply pointing to the woeful lack of credible evidence Christianity presents, but everyone has their own standard of evidence, so saying what people should conclude is rather pointless.

There would be no need for theists to keep shifting the burden of proof onto atheists if they actually had any kind of case. It's a deflection tactic, like much of apologetic ramblings. They should be getting on with presenting their evidence, and if they don't have any, it's tough cookies.

(Also, even if you did say Christianity hasn't met its burden of proof, that's not necessarily saying its "false", either; just that it doesn't yet have enough evidence to be considered true. This distinction is subtle and a lot of people can't understand it, or pretend not to.)

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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03-02-2018, 03:37 AM
RE: Rejection of a claim
They are basically employing the argument from ignorance: if you can't show my claim is false, then it's (reasonable to believe that it's) true. This isn't valid. It's up to the person making the claim to back up their case. If they can't/won't, then their claim deserves no attention.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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03-02-2018, 05:37 AM
RE: Rejection of a claim
(03-02-2018 12:33 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome to TTA.

"I'm not persuaded by your arguments"
"That's a claim!!!"
"Yeah, OK. I claim that I'm not persuaded by your arguments"
"Support your claim!!"
Huh
Blink
"OK. Here's me, here, being not persuaded by your arguments because, like, I'm still an atheist?"

Unsure


Big Grin

This.

When an atheist says "I don't believe your god claim because I haven't seen sufficient evidence" that is only a claim about their own mental state. The evidence for that is that reasons to doubt all the "evidence" presented for the god claim can be provided. Further evidence involves watching the actions of the atheist and noticing that they never pray or attend services or wear religious icons or do any of the other things expected of believers.

Absence of evidence where it would be expected can be evidence of absence and, in this case, supports the conclusion that belief is absent.

The believer is trying to conflate "I don't believe your claim that god exists" with "I believe that god does not exist" and, while I think that can be supportable (definitively in the case of Yahweh/Jehovah/Zeus/Thor/etc and at least tentatively in the case of more nebulous gods), equivocation and bait-and-switch are not honest debate tactics.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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03-02-2018, 06:00 AM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2018 07:55 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Rejection of a claim
They are atheistic concerning all thousands of gods, except their one.
They claim their atheism is true. Do they have to justify their atheism ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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03-02-2018, 08:06 AM
RE: Rejection of a claim
(03-02-2018 12:18 AM)Zink Wrote:  I was watching a debate take place on instagram and it started with a theist asking the question “what makes atheism true?”. It was explained that atheism is the rejection of a claim, not a belief. The theist countered by saying “rejecting a claim is itself a claim. You literally claimed that Christianity did not meet its burden of proof”. This threw the atheist off, it threw me off too.

Logically, is this possible? Is rejecting a claim, making a claim? I guess if I were to say “I reject your claim of a god due to lack of evidence”, and the theist countered that I was making a claim by saying that, what would be a good response?

If you say that religious claims don’t meet the burden of proof, or that there's a lack of evidence, then of course you’re making a claim.

You’re claiming that religious claims don’t meet the burden of proof, or that there's a lack of evidence. Obviously.

When you claim these, there are a number of things involved, that you can argue with religious people about (if you’re not too bored).

~ There are knowable standards by which we can judge truth claims.

~ These are applicable to religious claims.

~ I know what those standards are.

~ I have considered religious claims according to my standards and judged that they don’t meet sufficient standards to believe them.

Atheism per se isn’t a claim. But all thinking atheists have heard the claims made by religion, considered them, and rejected them. When we reject them we do so according to certain standards. Though these standards may seem obvious or even trivial (e.g. that science tends to tell us the truth and revelation doesn’t) they are still claims about which people may disagree.

Anyone who rejects a religious assertion without claiming that he has good standards of judgment is in effect saying that he has no good reason to be an atheist.

So yes, all thinking atheists make claims about religion, and we should be prepared to explain and defend the claims we make.
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03-02-2018, 08:12 AM
RE: Rejection of a claim
(03-02-2018 08:06 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  So yes, all thinking atheists make claims about religion, and we should be prepared to explain and defend the claims we make.

Please explain how to defend the *claim* that you dont accept someone elses claim.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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03-02-2018, 08:19 AM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2018 09:49 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Rejection of a claim
Not exactly.
Dismissing nonsense is not making a claim. Making an observation about the lack of evidence for a claim is not making a "counter claim".
It's not saying "there are no gods". It's a *discussion* about evidence for the original claim.

Belaqua thinks he has to justify dismissing the concept of pink sparkly unicorns.

Refusing to accept that there are reasonable assertions and unreasonable assertions, (ones that are self-evidently false) and ones that merit consideration is simple-minded childishness.
The notion that theism merits consideration (at all) can be considered as unreasonable, as there exists along WITH the claim, no evidence for it, and no coherent definition for a *god*.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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