Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
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17-08-2014, 11:55 AM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 11:25 AM)phil.a Wrote:  Secondly, a few people have said they are strong atheists because they actually define god in a way that makes god's existence impossible. This does seem to leave the consistency of your position nicely intact, but it does make me wonder - why do you even do it? What value does it do to identify a non-existent something and then assert disbelief in it?

We who do not believe in God are not the ones defining God so that its existence is impossible, it is theist who do this. I don't have a definition of God since I don't believe it exists. I define the concept of God which others propose as an invalid concept which is the product of the imagination.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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17-08-2014, 11:58 AM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
What Evokills said.

[Image: 0013382F-E507-48AE-906B-53008666631C-757...cc3639.jpg]
Credit goes to UndercoverAtheist.
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17-08-2014, 12:03 PM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 11:25 AM)phil.a Wrote:  Secondly, a few people have said they are strong atheists because they actually define god in a way that makes god's existence impossible. This does seem to leave the consistency of your position nicely intact, but it does make me wonder - why do you even do it? What value does it do to identify a non-existent something and then assert disbelief in it?

The strong atheists don't define God in that way, but many theists do. For example, an eternal omniscience, omnipresent and omnipotent god.

And for all other limited gods, were they to exist, there would be a better definition that you could use.

Any one of us would be a god to ancient people if we could bring any modern technology with us, or perhaps some tribe living in a rainforest that has never encountered society. But in that case there is always a better definition than go, i.e. 21st century human

As someone has pointed out earlier, atheism wouldn't exist if other people didn't already believe in gods. This is why you do not get people calling themselves a-leprechauns.
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17-08-2014, 12:41 PM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is ..
OK I noticed that quite a few people referenced "The problem of Evil". Definitely that needs to be addressed, if looking at theistic concepts!

Since it's quite a big and interesting topic in it's own right, I started another thread in the Philosophy section to refute the "Problem of Evil" argument.

Phil
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17-08-2014, 12:56 PM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which...
(17-08-2014 05:06 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  For the purposes of debate I call myself a strong atheist or gnostic atheist.

I don't care about Godel's incompleteness theorem. It is irrelevant. I care about the weight of evidence.

I call on the body of scientific theories which have overwhelming evidence backing them where competing theories have a negligible chance of being true.

There is overwhelming evidence for Darwinian evolution. We have theories for this that can be applied in practice. There is very little evidence for intelligent design, all of which can be better explained by Darwinian evolution. What's more, theories of intelligent design aren't actually useful. They have little explanatory power. We can't use the theory of intelligent design to create medicines, perform search techniques or understand the world better.

We also have the apparently universal laws of Thermodynamics and astronomical observations of the scale and history of the universe. We are fast developing an understanding of abiogenesis and self organisation at all levels, from the micro to the macro level.

But this by itself does not show that God does not exist. All this means is that the gap in which a god can fit into is growing so small that if a monotheistic god did exist then it would most likely so be irrelevant to our lives that we can ignore the concept.

The final nail in the coffin is to ask what a monotheist defines as being God and show how the concept is both logically inconsistent and totally at odds with our understanding of Physics.

OK and this pre-supposes that scientific truth claims and religious truth claims are necessarily mutually exclusive from an absolute perspective.

Is that what you think?

Sure many human truth claims are mutually exclusive from a relative perspective but all relative perspectives have givens and the contradiction occurs from different people holding different givens.

Phil
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17-08-2014, 01:02 PM
is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 05:27 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 04:45 AM)phil.a Wrote:  e.g based on direct personal experience. Do we have any strong atheists in the room? :-)

As an aside, I'd like to point out that direct personal experience is not the same as fact derived from evidence.

Agreed!

Quote:Also, how can you have direct personal experience of something not existing?

Well - this is what I struggle with, r.e. strong atheism.

Although to play devil's advocate, I have had experiences of seeing through my own delusions, so in a sense I guess that's an direct personal experience of seeing that something (previously believed in) does not in fact exist.

Phil
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17-08-2014, 01:24 PM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 12:56 PM)phil.a Wrote:  OK and this pre-supposes that scientific truth claims and religious truth claims are necessarily mutually exclusive from an absolute perspective.

Is that what you think?

I don't know what that means.

What is an absolute perspective?
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17-08-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 01:02 PM)phil.a Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 05:27 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Also, how can you have direct personal experience of something not existing?

Well - this is what I struggle with, r.e. strong atheism.



As has already been pointed out to you, that's not what gnostic, or strong atheism is.

(17-08-2014 11:30 AM)Chas Wrote:  Around these parts, 'gnostic atheist' is one who claims certainty of the non-existence of gods or claims he/she can prove it.
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17-08-2014, 02:05 PM
... is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 07:37 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Yes. God does exist, as a an invalid concept in the minds of believers and that's it. In reality the concept of gods violates the primacy of existence principle and is logically impossible, which is why there has never been a successful argument for God and believers have to rely on faith.

OK I am not an Ayn Rand expert, although I have found this page on the primacy of existance principle.

I understand the claim as described on the above page and can see the relative truth of it.

However - it takes as a given the idea that the cosmos is necessarily possible without consciousness, and I would question the reasonableness of that given. If we take as a different axiom that consciousness is some sort of absolute (a conclusion of most mainstream primacy of consciousness philosophies) then consciousness is necessarily a fundamental attribute of all matter and it could be said that even atoms have some sort of extremely dilute proto-awareness which perhaps is involved in their maintaining their physical identity and interactions with other atoms to form chemical molecules in the ways described by the laws of physics and chemistry.

Ideas that matter cannot arise without consciousness clash with Ayn's claim that existence of matter is a necessarily prior condition for the appearance of consciousness.

It might be interesting to debate the relative merits of either perspective, In my opinion matter and the consciousness of matter dependently co-arise (e.g. you can't meaningfully separate subject from object in an absolute sense).

In my opinion, Ayn Rand has conflated "consciousness" with "mind", or "perspective". Obviously these two things are very similar and highly related, they are not quite the same thing however. If I take her truth claims to be about mind, or perspective (rather than about consciousness) then I think what she is saying is perfectly reasonable.

Phil
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17-08-2014, 02:13 PM
RE: Strong Atheists: do any of u have a position on god's existence which is facts-based?
(17-08-2014 08:07 AM)Impulse Wrote:  What exactly is "God" just so we all know what we're discussing in this thread?

Very good question. I'm less interested in defining it, and more interested in understanding other people's definitions of it on their terms.

One thing is for sure - it does seem to mean extremely different things to different people.

Phil
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