"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
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22-10-2010, 10:38 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:Ok. The idea that there are no Atheists out there that say, "there is no God," is utter crap.

If that is aimed at me, that's not what I said. Not sure how to respond beyond that.

Quote: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.

Sure he did. His 2nd paragraph reads as follows:
After discussing the issue with many... proclaimed Atheists, my understanding of Atheism is that they not only don’t believe in a God of any sort, they also don’t believe there is a God of any sort.

Basically, he's attributing an incorrect definition of "atheism" and attacking it.

Quote: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.

Ok. I'm not sure what your point is. Just because a theist will not say it does not mean an atheist will. And, while I will, I will say it under the conditions I set forth below. I don't know for an absolute fact that there is no God but I can reasonably infer there is not one. Same with gravity. Same with evolution.

Quote: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."

Yes, science has standards. One of those standards is you can't prove a negative. In absence of any actual evidence that there is a God, it's not unfair to say there is not one. Similar to my example of the monster in the closet. Note, again, that I don't say "there is no God and I'm absolutely sure of it" because I logically can't be. If God appears before me and parts a sea or performs a miracle, I'll obviously change my mind. In the meantime, drawing a conclusion based on all the available evidence, and lack thereof, is not in any way hypocrisy.

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22-10-2010, 02:10 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
BnW.

If it was aimed at you I would have said, "Hey, BnW," or "BnW," like I always do.

The full quote was:
Quote:After discussing the issue with many... proclaimed Atheists, my understanding of Atheism is that they not only don’t believe in a God of any sort, they also don’t believe there is a God of any sort. Many people get these two concepts confused and think they are the same with only different views on the matter. They are not the same and are actually completely different arguments. It is one thing to not believe in the Gods that other people claim, it is a completely different argument to think that all Gods are false, for the simple reason that there is no evidence or proof to validate either argument.

He wasn't redefining Atheism, he was saying what he's observed many Atheists doing.

Atheism is not-Theist. Ok. Great. Let's have a parade. But the idea that no Atheists think that 'there is no God' is TRUE is garbage. Spin it, hide it, sweep it under the rug, everyone knows it's true. I'm done pretending it's not. And I'm certainly done indulging the delusion that the fact that Atheist means not-Theist means that an Atheist can say whatever the hell they want and then hide behind, "I couldn't have said something. Atheism doesn't assert anything."

Like for real, it's ridiculously frustrating. Atheists say, Atheism doesn't assert anything. Then Atheists, the people, make assertions. Then others say, you just made an assertion. And then the Atheists say, no I didn't, I'm an Atheist. And then others say, well it sure as fuck wasn't the Theists saying it. And then Atheists say, well it wasn't us. So we're supposed to accept that no one said it. And then others say, OK, well maybe we should create another category that would describe this group of people who are not-Theists and that make similar assertions. And the Atheists say, can't do that. There's only Theists and Atheists. Fuck, it's madening. It leaves this fucking impenetrable bubble around Atheists and... well I said it. It's madening.

Quote:Ok. I'm not sure what your point is. Just because a theist will not say it does not mean an atheist will.

A Theist won't say it. Since the only other group of people are Atheists, they are the only ones capable of saying it. So either they're saying it or no one is. If no one is, what the hell are we discussing?

So no, it doesn't mean that all Atheists WILL say that but it does mean that many Atheists DO say that.

Quote:Yes, science has standards. One of those standards is you can't prove a negative.

Can you not see that that is the entire point?

You can't prove a negative. There is no God is the negative. Theists aren't saying it, Atheists are. If you can't prove it, you can't prove it (not you personally) and you shouldn't try to convince people that it's the truth. Some people do exactly that and hide behind science while doing it. That's hypocrisy. That is the ONLY thing being said here.

Science is great. It proves gravity and thermodynamics and hemoglobin and vitamin-C and orgasms. These are really great things. But if it is incapable of rendering judgement on a given subject it should stay the hell out of the way. It's all right if science can't tell us everything. It's all right.

Quote:HORATIO
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

HAMLET
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-The Bard

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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22-10-2010, 03:18 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
If Darwin had no confirmable, credible evidence for evolution. If his book 'On the Origin of Species' had hundreds of contradictions, many of them huge. If no credible, confirmable evidence supporting evolution had been gained in the one hundred and fifty years since. At a point like this, I would not wait until you proved that evolution is impossible anywhere in the universe to say it doesn't exist. I would say it doesn't exist, because there is no credible evidence over one hundred and fifty years of searching.

This is exactly how I can say there is no god. I AM using the SAME CRITERIA to say there is no god as I would to say there is no evolution if there was no evidence of evolution. This contrdicts your idea that I am using different standards.

1. Do you accept evolution because there are huge amounts of evidence to support it?
or
2. Do accept evolution because it is impossible to prove that it can't exist?

If you align with point one, then you can say god doesn't exist without being a hypocrite. If you align with point to, you can't.

If scientists created groups of believers to fund their research and then they spent the money chasing more money and none of it on research. If the groups of scientists fragmented into different denominations of evolutionists, each pushing their own ideas that contrasted with other the other denominations of evolution. If after centuries of millions of people believing in evolution without one shred of credible evidence, it would be safe to say that the idea of evolution would be a MAN-MADE idea, and being MAN-MADE it would be safe to say that evolution didn't exist, without absolute proof that evolution was universally impossible.

I think that before you can call me a hypocrite for saying there is no god, you have to prove that god is NOT a MAN-MADE idea.
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22-10-2010, 04:14 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:I think that before you can call me a hypocrite for saying there is no god, you have to prove that god is NOT a MAN-MADE idea.

I think this is exactly right.

Here's the problem, Ghost: there is a point when you can reach reasonably conclusions without having absolute proof. It is not contrary to the scientific method to take such a position. I understand the point you're making, but I really think it's just splitting hairs at this point. I can't absolutely prove there is not a monster in my son's closet but I can, based on the total lack of evidence that there is one, conclude that one does not exist. I can even say with authority that there is no monster in my son's closet. Now, if I happen to see a monster in his closet I'm obviously going to change my mind. If I see monster droppings or monster tracks I'll also probably change my mind. At minimum, I should consider the possibility that a monster is living in his closet and I'm being very close minded if I do not. But, absent any evidence that such a monster exists, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that no monster exists.

It's not any different with god. I see no evidence of god, no proof of god, no signs of good. It's not that I see evidence that he doesn't exist but that I don't see any that he does exist. Based on the complete lack of evidence, I can conclude that god does not exist. It's not a double standard and its not hypocrisy. You can try to dress it up like that as much as you want, and that's certainly your right, but I don't see it as a valid argument or concern.

Quote:Can you not see that that is the entire point?

You can't prove a negative. There is no God is the negative. Theists aren't saying it, Atheists are. If you can't prove it, you can't prove it (not you personally) and you shouldn't try to convince people that it's the truth. Some people do exactly that and hide behind science while doing it. That's hypocrisy. That is the ONLY thing being said here.

Yes, I understand the point you are making. I've understood it from the first. And my rebuttal has consistently been that the total lack of evidence can lead to a reasonable conclusion that something does not exist.

As for your "you shouldn't try to convince people that it's the truth", why shouldn't I? Religion has done exactly this most of the existence of the human race. it's lead to all kinds of tragedies and justifications for the most vilest of acts. Why am I prohibited from pointing out that the complete and utter lack of evidence for god provides near 100% probability that he does not exist? I've had his faith based existence thrown at me for most of my life so why am I held to a higher standard? You want to talk about hypocrisy, that's hypocrisy.

Finally, I know this is not really the point to our discussion but you're wrong in your interpretation of his comments. He very clearly states: "my understanding of Atheism is that they not only don’t believe in a God of any sort, they also don’t believe there is a God of any sort." (emphasis mine)

He is absolutely creating a definition of atheists that requires they meet both requirements. The fact the he distinguishes between the two does not change the fact that his definition of atheist means they believe both of those things. And, that is not the definition of an atheist. Yes, I understand your point that many atheists will move past this and go further and, regardless of whether or not that is true, that was not the argument made by the original poster. What he was doing was creating a definition and then attacking it.

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22-10-2010, 11:13 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
You cannot use natural laws to collect data on supernatural phenomenon because they are, by definition, exempt from the limits of natural laws and are therefore immeasureable.

So while it might be convincing and even accurate to say, "well if we didn't find any evidence to support evolution/eugenics/race supremacy etc... after 150 years, we could say it doesn't exist," it has nothing to do with this case.

You CAN'T find evidence of the supernatural. So of course you won't find any, no matter how long you look. 150 years, 1 500 years, or 150 000 years.

So you can't say a statement is supported by a lack of evidence when no one can ever find that evidence.

So saying, there's a total lack of evidence that earwigs climb into people's ears and shit icecream, is reasonable because there is a lack of evidence THAT COULD BE COLLECTED. But to say we can safely say that there is no God becuase of a lack of evidence THAT CANNOT EVER POSSIBLY BE COLLECTED is not.

Not having evidence that can never exist is not evidence.

So go ahead and disbelieve God. Have at it. Rip it apart. Enjoy. But if someone says, "there's no evidence for God so dismiss 'there is a God' ", then they have to accept a dismissal of "there is no God" for the same lack of evidence and they also have to accept that a refusal to do so is hypocritical.

Hey, BnW.

Quote:As for your "you shouldn't try to convince people that it's the truth", why shouldn't I? Religion has done exactly this most of the existence of the human race. it's lead to all kinds of tragedies and justifications for the most vilest of acts. Why am I prohibited from pointing out that the complete and utter lack of evidence for god provides near 100% probability that he does not exist? I've had his faith based existence thrown at me for most of my life so why am I held to a higher standard? You want to talk about hypocrisy, that's hypocrisy.

Because if you say that science has an obligation to the truth, not to what people want to believe, then you have to be honest. There is no God is not a scientific truth. The author is not trying to hold you to a higher standard. He's saying that if you hold yourself to a higher standard, to a scientific standard, a standard that says we don't just make shit up, you deserve to get called out if you make shit up.

Lastly, he's not redefining Atheism. He's saying that belief in the scientific method is widespread among Atheists. And it is.

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Matt
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24-10-2010, 02:33 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(22-10-2010 11:13 PM)Ghost Wrote:  You cannot use natural laws to collect data on supernatural phenomenon because they are, by definition, exempt from the limits of natural laws and are therefore immeasureable.

But if something supernatural exists, presumably, it can have some influence on the natural world. If it has no influence at all on the natural world, then its existence (or non-existence) would have no meaning within that world. The Abrahamic version of god is reputed to have done many supernatural things in the various "sacred" texts ... walking on water, parting the Red Sea, etc. If those things have a supernatural origin but are observed in the natural world, then evidence for their supernaturality must exist. The absence of credible supernatural occurrences can be seen as evidence in denial of that being's existence.

(22-10-2010 11:13 PM)Ghost Wrote:  So saying, there's a total lack of evidence that earwigs climb into people's ears and shit icecream, is reasonable because there is a lack of evidence THAT COULD BE COLLECTED. But to say we can safely say that there is no God becuase of a lack of evidence THAT CANNOT EVER POSSIBLY BE COLLECTED is not.

In this case, my previous point suggests strongly that your assumption that the supernatural cannot be detected in the natural world is not a valid dismissal of the arguments against an Abrahamic god.

Of course, there still might be some supernatural entity of some sort (STCBCG) that has not authored or caused to be authored some text making claims about its interference in the natural world. If STCBCG is interfering in the natural world, where is the credible evidence for its interference? If the entity has, for some reason of its own, chosen never to interfere in the natural world, then I agree we wouldn't be able to find evidence for or against its existence ... but in that case, who cares about such a being? For all practical purposes, in such a case, the null hypothesis (STCBCG doesn't exist) reigns supreme and the burden of proof falls on the believers.
(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Ok. The idea that there are no Atheists out there that say, "there is no God," is utter crap.

I don't believe that anyone here ever made such an assertion. I think we've said that some atheists might have said that. Are you completely deaf to the notion that we've tried to advance that many of us accept the evidence against the existence of god as sufficient to behave as if god doesn't exist? Do you not see this point at all?

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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."

But it's evident that his definition of "true atheist" is one who says "There is no god!" Do you not see that? And this is a straw man.

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  ... 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.

So ... what?

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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."

You seem to be dismissive of the notion of absolute proof, but it seems to me that this is the standard demanded by the author of the article for a "true atheist". Most of us understand that absolute proof is not possible (so we have conceded that point), but the evidence against the god hypothesis is strong enough for us to say that science has enabled us to conclude that at least the Abrahamic version of god doesn't exist. I've dealt with other supernatural beings (STCBCGs) elsewhere.

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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."

Sorry you're so put out about watching the video. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot. Opinions vary, I guess. You've correctly pointed out that Tyson doesn't say, in so many words, "God does not exist." But surely you couldn't watch that and not understand what I see as a clear implication. If god only exists in the gaps within scientific understanding, then the continuing expulsion of the god hypothesis from within those gaps offers more and more evidence that the hypothesis can be rejected in general, with high enough confidence to conclude the god hypothesis is not necessary at all in science.

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Before you waste my time again, I want to be clear.

Again, I regret your consternation with my suggestion. What did you think of the other - Carl Sagan, in "Cosmos"? Or did you not bother to track it down?

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  This argument has nothing to do with reasons for, or the reasonability of, disbelieving God, gods or intelligent design. Nothing.

So you assert. But I disagree.

(22-10-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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.

So you say. But I disagree.
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25-10-2010, 01:41 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(22-10-2010 11:13 PM)Ghost Wrote:  You cannot use natural laws to collect data on supernatural phenomenon because they are, by definition, exempt from the limits of natural laws and are therefore immeasureable.

1. There is no evidence to back this statement. It is conjecture. It has never been proven that the supernatural is inaccessable to natural experimentation.
2. In fact, there is no evidince to prove the existence of the supernatural. Many things believed to be supernatural have fallen into the natural world as scientific knowledge gets better. More will follow.
3. Many other things that remain in the supernatural are actually myths and human misunderstandings.
4. Everything that is left out of points two and three have no support for their supposed existence.

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26-10-2010, 10:30 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, 2buckchuck.

Quote:But if something supernatural exists, presumably, it can have some influence on the natural world.

Indeed it can. But here's the thing. Everything that you and I do is BOUND BY the laws of the natural universe. You and I can't fly or teleport or turn loaves into fishes, simply because we are naturally occuring and must conform to the rules that govern our existence.

The supernatural, by definition, is above the natural. It isn't bound by the laws of the natural universe by definition. The laws of the natural universe are subject to the supernatural. So something that is supernatural can affect the universe in ways that nothing bound by the laws of the natural universe ever could. For example, God could flood the planet, or make my penis three feet long, or wink five extra moons into Earth's orbit and not allow current tidal paterns to change despite their added mass, or even decide that 2+2=Jabba the Hutt.

Quote:If those things have a supernatural origin but are observed in the natural world, then evidence for their supernaturality must exist.

I can observe a burning bush. But how do I back up that claim? It can't be recreated. Ever. Unless the burning bush decides to show up again. Even then, even if everyone in the world saw it, there's no way to test it. Do bushes burn? No. Do they talk? No. The scientific evidence would point away from it because science cannot account for supernatural influence. The best science would be able to say is, "that burning bush is scientifically impossible," or, "we have no explanation for how that happened, but we're convinced it must have a natural explanation."

Hey, No. J.

Quote:Ghost Wrote:
You cannot use natural laws to collect data on supernatural phenomenon because they are, by definition, exempt from the limits of natural laws and are therefore immeasureable.

1. There is no evidence to back this statement. It is conjecture. It has never been proven that the supernatural is inaccessable to natural experimentation.
2. In fact, there is no evidince to prove the existence of the supernatural. Many things believed to be supernatural have fallen into the natural world as scientific knowledge gets better. More will follow.
3. Many other things that remain in the supernatural are actually myths and human misunderstandings.
4. Everything that is left out of points two and three have no support for their supposed existence.

1. It is true by definition. I can study the effect of gravity on an object falling in an atmosphere because the laws governing it work the same all the time. But if something can operate outside of those laws, which the supernatural can, I have no way to test it because the supernatural's effect on a falling object in an atmosphere is irrational. It could fall up. It could turn into a pumpkin. It could hover or move laterally. How do I measure what caused that? How do I measure the influence of whim? How do I use that data to make meaningful predictions? If the effect is rational, then it isn't supernatural influence, it's natural influence, making the source natural. In order for something to be defined as supernatural it has to have influence over the natural above and beyond what can be accounted for by the natural.

2. Of course there is no evidence. That's the point. I'm giving a reason why there is no evidence. It can never be obtained. Whether or not something was at one time considered the result of supernatural influence and has since been explained using natural laws is irrelevant to this point. That being said, if the supernatural exists, then we're discussing the qualities that it would have. If proof is ever found that it doesn't exist, then this entire argument is moot. But that's just it. That evidence will never be found.

3. Again, an irrelevancy. Just because we incorrectly attribute a phenomenon to supernatural influence doesn't disprove the existence of the supernatural.

4. I don't know how to respond to that.

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26-10-2010, 12:21 PM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
But if we define existence as something that can be validated with evidence (which I hope isn't a stretch), and evidence for the supernatural can, by definition, never be found, can we not say that the supernatural does not exist?
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26-10-2010, 12:58 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(26-10-2010 12:21 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  But if we define existence as something that can be validated with evidence (which I hope isn't a stretch)

Try "something that can in theory be validated with evidence". That way it includes stuff that we haven't proven yet. But yes, I think that's a good definition. After all, if something exists, it has an effect on the universe, and if it has an effect, we should theoretically be able to prove that it causes that effect.

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