"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
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20-10-2010, 02:14 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(19-10-2010 11:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, 2buckchuck.

Quote:The evidence for the validity of the law of gravity is sufficient for me to behave as if the law has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

The Law of Gravity is a LAW. It has been tested and proven. Massive objects are attracted to each other. It's scientifically proven. Are you really trying to get me to swallow the notion that science can't actually prove anything? If that's the case then the entire argument between Atheists and Theists is garbage because science is useless and neither group has any claim to truth whatsoever.

Any first-year physics student will claim, without blinking, that gravity is a scientifically proven law. NO scientist of any sort whatsoever will say, ever, that 'there is no God' is scientifically proven.

A first year physics student might consider it to be "proven" but ... so what? Is the opinion of a first year physics student a particularly compelling fact in this discussion? Read my lips, Matt: Science ... never ... provides ... absolute ... proof! What we can say about the law of gravity is that it has never been shown to fail. But there's no logic that says it couldn't fail in some situation not yet discovered. There's no absolute proof of the law of gravity ... only the enormous number of examples we know about where it hasn't failed. Read my statement that you quoted again ... I'm entitled to behave as if the law has been proven, but from a logical standpoint, it has not been "proven" in the absolute sense.

I assert that a comparable argument can be applied to the question of the existence of god - it doesn't depend on the existence of absolute proof at all. Rather, it's based on all the existing evidence, which includes the massive failures and contradictions of all the so-called "sacred" documents that are claimed to form the basis of virtually all organized religions.
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20-10-2010, 06:29 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
What 2Buck said. That was the point I was trying to make but, again, when I start talking physics I'm quickly out of my depth.

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20-10-2010, 07:10 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(20-10-2010 02:14 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  
(19-10-2010 11:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, 2buckchuck.

Quote:The evidence for the validity of the law of gravity is sufficient for me to behave as if the law has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

The Law of Gravity is a LAW. It has been tested and proven. Massive objects are attracted to each other. It's scientifically proven. Are you really trying to get me to swallow the notion that science can't actually prove anything? If that's the case then the entire argument between Atheists and Theists is garbage because science is useless and neither group has any claim to truth whatsoever.

Any first-year physics student will claim, without blinking, that gravity is a scientifically proven law. NO scientist of any sort whatsoever will say, ever, that 'there is no God' is scientifically proven.

A first year physics student might consider it to be "proven" but ... so what? Is the opinion of a first year physics student a particularly compelling fact in this discussion? Read my lips, Matt: Science ... never ... provides ... absolute ... proof! What we can say about the law of gravity is that it has never been shown to fail. But there's no logic that says it couldn't fail in some situation not yet discovered. There's no absolute proof of the law of gravity ... only the enormous number of examples we know about where it hasn't failed. Read my statement that you quoted again ... I'm entitled to behave as if the law has been proven, but from a logical standpoint, it has not been "proven" in the absolute sense.

This is true.

I haven't read the rest of the thread, so I'm missing context for the last paragraph and won't comment on it. Just wanted to voice my support for that bit of your post, 2buck. A very concise and understandable way of phrasing it.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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20-10-2010, 08:52 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
I stand corrected. Science does not offer absolute proof. Very well.

This in no way impacts a very simple premise. If you demand one standard of "proof" from one statement and another standard of "proof" from another, it's hypocrisy.

The question here is NOT, "is it reasonable to disbelieve the existence of God," because that is reasonable. No one, and I mean no one, the author and myself included, has said otherwise.

The question here is, "can the statement 'there is no God' stand up to scientific scrutiny?" The answer is NO. Plain and simple.

Whether anyone here believes the statement "there is no God" is irrelevant. Whether anyone here believes that others should believe the statement is irrelevant. Whether anyone here believes that the evidence is good enough is irrelevant. The question is, what is the standard? Does it meet it?

This nonsense about absolute proof is a red herring. Science functions. And if it doesn't offer absolute proof in one case, then it doesn't do it in any case. The standard is not absolute proof and it certainly isn't 'close enough'. The standard is whatever the scientific method demands of everything. Uniformly.

The question is repeatedly asked, "At what point do you still consider a possibility?" This isn't a question for us to debate, this is something that has been established by the scientific method for centuries. The scientific method will not allow anyone to say the existence or non-existence of God has been confirmed. To claim otherwise or to suggest that close enough is good enough is to hijack science, twist it and use it for political gain.

If someone can show me a statement, a paper, a text book, a lecture, anything that tells me otherwise, that shows me that some scientist somewhere has said that it does stand up to scientific scrutiny, that it is confirmed, and can explain why that is, then this issue is dead in the water and we can move on. I am 100% willing to accept that information if it exists. Unfortunately, I have yet to see anything remotely like that.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-10-2010, 09:14 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  This in no way impacts a very simple premise. If you demand one standard of "proof" from one statement and another standard of "proof" from another, it's hypocrisy.

Where have I done that?

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The question here is NOT, "is it reasonable to disbelieve the existence of God," because that is reasonable. No one, and I mean no one, the author and myself included, has said otherwise.

The question here is, "can the statement 'there is no God' stand up to scientific scrutiny?" The answer is NO. Plain and simple.

On the contrary. Scientific scrutiny involves weighing the logic and the evidence. The fact that so many scientists are atheists, compared to the general public, ought to count for something.

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Whether anyone here believes the statement "there is no God" is irrelevant. Whether anyone here believes that others should believe the statement is irrelevant. Whether anyone here believes that the evidence is good enough is irrelevant. The question is, what is the standard? Does it meet it?

And just what is this standard to which you refer? I think I know a thing or two about science, and you haven't given me much to go on, here. What are you getting at with this line?

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  This nonsense about absolute proof is a red herring. Science functions.

I disagree. Science functions, of course, and quite well, thanks, but it doesn't ever do so on the basis of absolute proof. That's a very important distinction that few non-scientists appreciate.

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  And if it doesn't offer absolute proof in one case, then it doesn't do it in any case. The standard is not absolute proof and it certainly isn't 'close enough'. The standard is whatever the scientific method demands of everything. Uniformly.

Which is precisely what I was getting at. So what are you going on about?

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The question is repeatedly asked, "At what point do you still consider a possibility?"

Who asked this question repeatedly?

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  This isn't a question for us to debate, this is something that has been established by the scientific method for centuries. The scientific method will not allow anyone to say the existence or non-existence of God has been confirmed. To claim otherwise or to suggest that close enough is good enough is to hijack science, twist it and use it for political gain.

I disagree. No scientist would claim that s/he has absolute proof, but I think many scientists, including yours truly, are willing to say that it's reasonable to behave as if the non-existence of god has been "proven". Just like the law of gravity.

(20-10-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If someone can show me a statement, a paper, a text book, a lecture, anything that tells me otherwise, that shows me that some scientist somewhere has said that it does stand up to scientific scrutiny, that it is confirmed, and can explain why that is, then this issue is dead in the water and we can move on. I am 100% willing to accept that information if it exists. Unfortunately, I have yet to see anything remotely like that.

You could start with Carl Sagan (in "Cosmos"), or Neil deGrasse Tyson ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vrpPPV_y...re=related
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22-10-2010, 12:01 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
The idea that we are hypocrites if we say "there is no god" has got to be the greatest piece of irony in human history.
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22-10-2010, 06:53 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Ghost

Been busy and have not been able to get back on this one previously. Anyway...

Quote:This in no way impacts a very simple premise. If you demand one standard of "proof" from one statement and another standard of "proof" from another, it's hypocrisy.

It may be but it doesn't have to be. I require proof to support the theory of evolution. I can make a judgment on "the dog ate my homework", however, without having done an research. I'm not poking fun here, but to say that the only way to avoid being a hypocrite is to hold one standard for judging all statements is not only logically incorrect but not required by the definition of the word "hypocrite".

Getting to the initial point here, though, there are two things you are missing or avoiding. The first is that the initial article that kicked this off makes a wrong assumption. Atheism does not mean you say there is no god. Atheism means that you do not believe in a God. As you pointed out earlier those are not the same things. The original argument attributes an incorrect definition to atheism and then proceeds to attack that definition. That's certainly a valid debating and negotiating technique and I've seen it used very effectively in my professional life. However, the best defense is to simply correct the definition. Here, the definition being used to define "atheist" is simply wrong.

The second thing you're missing .. well, maybe not missing, but avoiding .. is that, generally speaking, atheists are holding God to the same standard they hold gravity. To 2Bucks point, science does not deal in absolutes. And yet for clarity we speak in absolutes. We talk about gravity, evolution, etc. in absolute terms although we know that these things are subject to ever changing and evolving interpretations and discoveries.

I don't believe in God so therefore I believe there is no God. I'm not a hypocrite for phrasing it the latter way instead of the former way because I hold evolution and gravity to the same standard. I believe in evolution and gravity but I realize that what these things are and mean can be changed, or the theories eliminated, with new evidence. But, based on current understanding and the best knowledge available to me, that is what I believe.

Now, if I said "I don't believe in God and I know for an absolute fact that there is no God", then you, and the original author, would have a point about hypocrisy. There are probably atheists who think that way, maybe, and, depending on their views on science perhaps you can call them hypocrites. But, the statement that "true atheists are hypocrites" based on the argument put forth in blog is simply incorrect.

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22-10-2010, 08:29 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(22-10-2010 06:53 AM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:This in no way impacts a very simple premise. If you demand one standard of "proof" from one statement and another standard of "proof" from another, it's hypocrisy.

It may be but it doesn't have to be. I require proof to support the theory of evolution. I can make a judgment on "the dog ate my homework", however, without having done an research. I'm not poking fun here, but to say that the only way to avoid being a hypocrite is to hold one standard for judging all statements is not only logically incorrect but not required by the definition of the word "hypocrite".

Good point! But ... I hate to put words in anyone's mouth .. it seems to me that he's saying we have to judge the validity of the two "absolute" statements:

(1) God exists, and
(2) God does not exist

by the same standards of "proof". If we can "prove" one, we automatically negate the other (assuming we consider it illogical to believe in both at the same time, per another thread).

(22-10-2010 06:53 AM)BnW Wrote:  Now, if I said "I don't believe in God and I know for an absolute fact that there is no God", then you, and the original author, would have a point about hypocrisy. There are probably atheists who think that way, maybe, and, depending on their views on science perhaps you can call them hypocrites. But, the statement that "true atheists are hypocrites" based on the argument put forth in blog is simply incorrect.

Weeeeellll ... strictly speaking, if the author of the article defines "true atheists" as those who say "I don't believe in God and I know for an absolute fact that there is no God.", as he apparently does, then I suppose he's making a valid point. But this is because he set up his definition of "true atheist" as a strawman just so he could knock it down. I imagine most of us on this forum consider ourselves to be "true atheists" even though many of us would choose not to make such a statement. Thus, according to his bogus definition, we aren't "true atheists"! So we have the choice, according to the article's author: we can be either hypocrites or "false atheists"! Thus, I reject his definition and the argument crumbles to dust.
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22-10-2010, 08:54 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:Weeeeellll ... strictly speaking, if the author of the article defines "true atheists" as those who say "I don't believe in God and I know for an absolute fact that there is no God.", as he apparently does, then I suppose he's making a valid point. But this is because he set up his definition of "true atheist" as a strawman just so he could knock it down. I imagine most of us on this forum consider ourselves to be "true atheists" even though many of us would choose not to make such a statement. Thus, according to his bogus definition, we aren't "true atheists"! So we have the choice, according to the article's author: we can be either hypocrites or "false atheists"! Thus, I reject his definition and the argument crumbles to dust.

I thought that was the point I made in my first point to Ghost. Perhaps I "O'Donnelled" it and did not articulate it properly.

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22-10-2010, 10:00 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Ok. The idea that there are no Atheists out there that say, "there is no God," is utter crap. The author never said that that was the definition of Atheist. He meticulously pointed out that "I don't believe in God," is NOT the same argument as "There is no God." He said if someone believes the former, there is no issue. It is ONLY when someone asserts the latter that there is an issue. So while asserting that there is no God might not be a defining characteristic of Atheism, suggesting that no Atheist in the world would ever say that is a dodge of epic proportions.

And by your rationale, not mine, there are only two categories, Theist and Atheist. By definition, no Theist will ever say, there is no God. So the only people that will ever say that are Atheists.

Judgement and belief have nothing to do with any of this. The only question is, "What is required to meaningfully assert that reality is a certain way, period."

If I say, "the moon is made of cream cheeze," I have to support that statement. If I say, "there is no moon," I have to support that statement. If I say, "there is no God," I have to support that statement. If you say that the onus is on Theists to prove their statement, "there is a God," then the onus is similarly on anyone that says, "there is no God," to prove their statement.

So lets drop this idea of absolutes which I already did several posts ago. Science has standards. You have to support a statement to a reasonable degree. That's reasonable. It's a reasonable thing to demand of people that say "there is a God" and it's a reasonable thing to demand of people that say "there is no God."

Hey, 2buckchuck.

You made me watch a 27 minute video wherein Neil deGrasse Tyson nowhere says, there is no God. Nowhere. It's an argument that God theory halts scientific progress and an argument against Intelligent Design, not as an idea, but as something to be taught alongside science (but as something that should still be taught), not at all an argument in support of the statement, "there is no God."

Before you waste my time again, I want to be clear. This argument has nothing to do with reasons for, or the reasonability of, disbelieving God, gods or intelligent design. Nothing. No one here, not you, not me, not the author has said it's unreasonable. This argument is simply about one thing. Is the statement, "there is no God," supported by science? The answer is no. And this isn't a matter of Theists saying, "your evidence is crap cause we don't like it," the very scientists leading the charge for disbelieving "there is a God" will not claim that such evidence exists because the statement "there is no God" is not supported scientifically.

If "there is a God" is to be disbelieved on the basis of a lack of scientific support, then "there is no God" should be disbelieved on the basis of a lack of scientific support as well. To say otherwise is hypocrisy.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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