Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
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29-10-2016, 01:58 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 01:32 PM)Velvet Wrote:  I can't stop myself from feeling a bit of intellectual dishonesty in the way atheist debaters put themselves in neutral position when they obviously not only reject Theism but also hold the belief that Yahweh doesn't exist very dearly, just enough to avoid the burden of proof.

Is not like we don't have evidence in the bible that Yahweh can't be real anyway, we could accept the burden of proof, maybe they do that not to avoid the burden of proof but to avoid the Theist implying their position its a neutral one.

It may be pretentious and hypocritical of my part to imply dishonesty on the most brilliant debaters I know tho *bites tongue*

Its not intellectually dishonesty, its the necessary result of rejecting the belief in the existence of anything until there is enough evidence to justify belief. The default positon comes naturally with the rejection of any claim of existence. You dont have to provide evidence for the default position or justify it, you also dont have to profess an explicit belief in the default position.

You will also notice that many of those who claim that Yahweh does not exist, do so based mainly due to the fact that his (sloppy, nebulous) definition is even self contratictory (the omnis for example). You dont need evidence against someting self contradictory, do you?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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29-10-2016, 02:19 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 11:08 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  If someone holds a belief about anything, they are aware of it.

If you don't know if you hold a belief, then it would seem logical that you don't hold the belief.

Velvet brought up that some understandings of belief require intent in order for a thought to be a belief. In that sense, you couldn't subconsciously believe something, because even if you think it, you aren't aware. I'm going to argue that that isn't a useful meaning of belief in this context.

To quote Matt Dillahunty: "Beliefs inform actions". What is important about one's thought processes is how it affects their behavior and mind. A thought without intent or a subconscious thought can still influence behavior as Velvet pointed out with his example. Therefore, I think it is more accurate to describe belief as something that your brain accepts as true, even if you aren't aware of it.

Now, if belief in something did require awareness, which requires knowledge/intent, then lack of knowledge/intent of a thought would imply lack of awareness which would imply lack of belief. Given "something" = "God" and "atheism" = "lack of belief in God", then not knowing your own belief in God would make you an atheist.

However, if your first statement is false, then the logic doesn't follow because belief doesn't require awareness. Rather, the logic would be "If you don't know if X is true (I do hold a belief) or false (I don't hold a belief), then X is false (I don't hold a belief)", which is clearly nonsensical.

If you don't know if X is true or false, then that means X is unknown, and so you wouldn't be able to answer the question of whether or not you believe. That allows you to say "I don't know."
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29-10-2016, 02:37 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 11:42 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Don't make me laugh. You believe god does not exist. I reject the notion of something called god existing cause there are no evidence for such. I need no belief when lack of evidence speak for itself.

I don't have anything to do with your beliefs/non-beliefs.

It's true that non-belief in X does not necessarily mean belief in NOT X. However, you said yourself that you believed NOT X.

Quote:Based on lack of evidence, I think that such a vaguely defined thing does not exist.
(quoted with modified grammar)

Saying "I think that X" means "I believe that X". If you actively think something to be true or false(which requires awareness so it includes such definitions of belief) that means you believe it is true or false respectively. When you say "such a vaguely defined thing", you refer to "a god". Reworking your sentence, then, you state:

"Based on lack of evidence, I believe that a god does not exist."

So either you don't understand what you're talking about or you misspoke. Given the sensitive nature of this discussion, and the fact that you didn't identify your mistake, I'm inclined to believe the former. That or I'm mistaken somewhere. I don't think so though, obviously.

By the way, I don't think I fully understood the logic behind belief myself until fairly recently, so I don't blame you for being mistaken.
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29-10-2016, 02:48 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 02:37 PM)unknowndevil666 Wrote:  
(29-10-2016 11:42 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Don't make me laugh. You believe god does not exist. I reject the notion of something called god existing cause there are no evidence for such. I need no belief when lack of evidence speak for itself.

I don't have anything to do with your beliefs/non-beliefs.

It's true that non-belief in X does not necessarily mean belief in NOT X. However, you said yourself that you believed NOT X.

Quote:Based on lack of evidence, I think that such a vaguely defined thing does not exist.
(quoted with modified grammar)

Saying "I think that X" means "I believe that X". If you actively think something to be true or false(which requires awareness so it includes such definitions of belief) that means you believe it is true or false respectively. When you say "such a vaguely defined thing", you refer to "a god". Reworking your sentence, then, you state:

"Based on lack of evidence, I believe that a god does not exist."

So either you don't understand what you're talking about or you misspoke. Given the sensitive nature of this discussion, and the fact that you didn't identify your mistake, I'm inclined to believe the former. That or I'm mistaken somewhere. I don't think so though, obviously.

By the way, I don't think I fully understood the logic behind belief myself until fairly recently, so I don't blame you for being mistaken.

You know better what I (don't) believe, sure.

When you were atheist you may have believed in non-existence of god, I care not. I'm however absent belief in existence of god and since I already said my piece in earlier posts I won't be repeating myself.

You may think that I believe that god does not exist, but it is belief we don't share.

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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29-10-2016, 04:04 PM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2016 04:39 PM by Velvet.)
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 01:58 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Its not intellectually dishonesty, its the necessary result of rejecting the belief in the existence of anything until there is enough evidence to justify belief. The default positon comes naturally with the rejection of any claim of existence. You dont have to provide evidence for the default position or justify it, you also dont have to profess an explicit belief in the default position.

It is intellectually dishonest if your true stance is not the honestly the default, understand?

Elaborating and using myself as an example: I would be dishonest if I say i'm neutral on Yahweh existence when I'm actually pretty much convinced (as much as one could possibly be) that he doesn't exist at least in the way the bible describes him.

So, honestly my stance is NOT really the default, I'm actually convinced enough of Yahweh's improbability in way that to honestly represent my view would be to make a claim myself, the claim that ''Yahweh does not exist'' but then, realizing that this claim would maybe not meet the burden of proof, and obviously is not as defensible as the default position I decide to withdraw, saying that I do not hold this belief, and that I'm actually in default stance.

And then I proceed to use arguments that show why Yahweh could not exist (defeding my real stance), instead of refuting my opponents arguments addressing the proposition that he does exist (his honest stance), and when he perceives i'm attacking Yahweh plausibility instead of just refuting as a neutral should do, he asks for my burden of proof, and I then withdraw again to neutral.

So I keep jumping between the stances to fit my agenda, I attack as an anti-theist and defend myself as a Atheist.

How this is not dishonest?

Quote:You will also notice that many of those who claim that Yahweh does not exist, do so based mainly due to the fact that his (sloppy, nebulous) definition is even self contratictory (the omnis for example). You dont need evidence against someting self contradictory, do you?

Actually yes, while you don't need evidence to dismiss Yahweh, you do need evidence if you intent to deny Yahweh existence.

Fortunately he being, as you said, self-contradictory and nebulous, offers enough defensibility to this stance, and for some it meets its burden of proof, making Yahweh non-existence a beyond reasonable doubt fact, at least as far as I'm concerned.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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29-10-2016, 04:05 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
It is both. Atheism is the statement that none of the god-story-tellers have made their case, and we have no reason to believe any of them. There are a number of reasons (self-contradictory, poorly-defined terms, lack of evidence) to not take their claims seriously, or to feel they do not meet the burden of proof.

If I then go beyond that, and say something like, "I can demonstrate that your religion cannot be true", then the burden or proof shifts to me, because I am making a positive assertion.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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29-10-2016, 04:28 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
Also would like to add that while is not rational to believe that Yahweh doesn't exist based only on lack of evidence of his existence, is still feasible to use his own self-contradiction and conflictual morality to make a case for his non-existence.

And also add that my critique to Atheist debaters doesn't limit to them ofc, the Theists are usually even more dishonest, all Theist debaters that I've seen do exactly the same, but with Deism stance.

They attack as Theists and defend themselves as Deists, while doing a myriad of other dishonest strategy at the same time.

As Sam Harris said once during on radio interview: ''they make a huge mess of very weak but well packed arguments that you really would need to refute, and then you waste your whole time cleaning his mess, and on his time he will say ''you haven't addressed arguments X,Y and Z, and make another huge mess on top of it, so when you realize they are doing this you have to ignore them and present your case as a separated lecture instead of a actual debate''

(quoted from memory)

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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29-10-2016, 04:41 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
I always thought atheism meant "without god(s)". When did that change? I missed another memo.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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29-10-2016, 04:59 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 04:41 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I always thought atheism meant "without god(s)". When did that change? I missed another memo.

Most likely when people started putting it in dialect's perspective of propositions in order to apply formal logic's concepts to debates.

Now it usually means rejection/unconvinced of/by ''Theism Proposition''. (Source: me and my gut feeling)

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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29-10-2016, 06:18 PM
RE: Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism
(29-10-2016 04:28 PM)Velvet Wrote:  They attack as Theists and defend themselves as Deists, while doing a myriad of other dishonest strategy at the same time.

As Sam Harris said once during on radio interview: ''they make a huge mess of very weak but well packed arguments that you really would need to refute, and then you waste your whole time cleaning his mess, and on his time he will say ''you haven't addressed arguments X,Y and Z, and make another huge mess on top of it, so when you realize they are doing this you have to ignore them and present your case as a separated lecture instead of a actual debate''

(quoted from memory)

In debates about evolution/Creationism, the tactic is called the "Gish Gallop", after Duayne Gish, one of the founders of the "Institute for Creation Research", later known as the Discovery Institute, the major Young Earth Creationism propaganda center, who was known for routinely employing this tactic. It is also popular with many/most of the debaters on their side, such as Ken Ham and Kent Hovind.

I call it the "Machine Gun Tactic", in which they fire a spray of "You can't show/prove/disprove ______!!!" assertions at you, and when you address 49 of the 50 things they brought up, they will simply say "Well you didn't address #50! Aha!!" and start adding #51-99 to their list of "gotcha!" accusations/questions. They completely ignore and gloss over the fact that your firm and complex answers to #1-49 showed that they have no idea what they're talking about.

They ask questions that take two seconds to state but two minutes to answer. Essentially, they're taking advantage of people's short attention span and tendency to listen to the confidence level (body language and tone) of the speaker far more than the actual words/ideas being spoken. The biologist wins the debate hands-down, but because of the tactics employed by these charlatans, people often leave the debates thinking the Creationist "made some good points", when they did no such thing.

As I've watched more of the work of apologists like Banana Man, it seems to almost be a Standard Dishonest Practice for them... like they're getting their training (and ethics) from the same factory. Undecided

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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