Poll: If you are an atheist, how do you define atheist?
1) Gods do not exist.
2) No gods exist.
3) Do not accept the claims that gods exist.
4) Do not accept the claims that gods exist due to lack of evidence.
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What do you mean by "Atheist"?
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29-08-2015, 03:45 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
Let's get back to the main, original point, and let agnostic Bertrand Russell tell it in his own words:




"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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30-08-2015, 08:14 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(29-08-2015 01:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  What the fuck are you talking about? I'm not "seeming" to say anything, other than your psychological projection problem. I'm saying that I don't need to formulate imaginary beliefs; I can see for my damned self how things work, more than clearly enough to recognize the way the universe operates, and we have long passed the level of understanding (even though there are still many things we don't yet fully understand) it takes to convince me fully of the natural order of the universe.

I'm talking the laws of physics. You're talking magic. You can call it God, even the Desist version, but it's still magic. Magic is not a viable explanation anymore, it is insanity. We just give religious-magic insanity a pass out of cultural tradition.

It seems the question I'm asking is not being understood. Perhaps we can start fresh for a minute.

My questions revolves term the "belief". And the reluctance by atheists such as yourself to say things like "I believe the universe is uncreated; I believe the the human life was not inevitability, that the our appearance in the cosmos was a fluke, etc...

Where as I would I say I believe there are no invisible dragons in the closet, and I believe there is no tea pot orbiting the Sun, it appears than many unbelievers are uncomfortable doing the same, uncomfortable saying they believe as opposed to lacking a belief. I don't understand that, and that's the question I'm trying to get to the bottom of.

When it comes to Russell's tea pot, I believe there is no pot orbiting the Sun. And if someone asked me why do i believe this? I'd respond, as Plantinga did, that as far as I know "the only way a teapot could gotten unto orbit around the sun would be if some country country with sufficiently developed space-shot capabilities had shot this pot into orbit. No country with such capabilities is sufficiently frivolous to waste its resources by trying to send a teapot into orbit. Furthermore, if some country had done so, it would have been all over the news; we would certainly have heard about it. But we haven’t. And so on"

Where as you and others here, are more inclined to state you, "lack a belief", and justify that based on a lack of evidence, etc....

If I believed that the universe was uncreated, was a product of series of physical forces, void of any foresight, or planning. The human existence was not an inevitability, but just a fluke, or that the physicalist view is true, or some iteration of this, the reality in which I believe in would negate the existence of not just the Christian God, but also a deistic prime mover as well.

Believing doesn't require knowing, or being absolutely certain, so why the unwillingness to declare the same? That you believe there is no tea pot orbiting the sun?
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30-08-2015, 08:17 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(30-08-2015 08:14 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(29-08-2015 01:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  What the fuck are you talking about? I'm not "seeming" to say anything, other than your psychological projection problem. I'm saying that I don't need to formulate imaginary beliefs; I can see for my damned self how things work, more than clearly enough to recognize the way the universe operates, and we have long passed the level of understanding (even though there are still many things we don't yet fully understand) it takes to convince me fully of the natural order of the universe.

I'm talking the laws of physics. You're talking magic. You can call it God, even the Desist version, but it's still magic. Magic is not a viable explanation anymore, it is insanity. We just give religious-magic insanity a pass out of cultural tradition.

It seems the question I'm asking is not being understood. Perhaps we can start fresh for a minute.

My questions revolves term the "belief". And the reluctance by atheists such as yourself to say things like "I believe the universe is uncreated; I believe the the human life was not inevitability, that the our appearance in the cosmos was a fluke, etc...

Where as I would I say I believe there are no invisible dragons in the closet, and I believe there is no tea pot orbiting the Sun, it appears than many unbelievers are uncomfortable doing the same, uncomfortable saying they believe as opposed to lacking a belief. I don't understand that, and that's the question I'm trying to get to the bottom of.

When it comes to Russell's tea pot, I believe there is no pot orbiting the Sun. And if someone asked me why do i believe this? I'd respond, as Plantinga did, that as far as I know "the only way a teapot could gotten unto orbit around the sun would be if some country country with sufficiently developed space-shot capabilities had shot this pot into orbit. No country with such capabilities is sufficiently frivolous to waste its resources by trying to send a teapot into orbit. Furthermore, if some country had done so, it would have been all over the news; we would certainly have heard about it. But we haven’t. And so on"

Where as you and others here, are more inclined to state you, "lack a belief", and justify that based on a lack of evidence, etc....

If I believe that the universe was uncreated, was a product of series of physical forces, void of any foresight, or planning. The human existence was not an inevitability, but just a fluke, or that the physicalist view is true, or some iteration of this, the reality in which I believe in would negate the existence of not just the Christian God, but also a deistic prime mover as well.

Believing doesn't require knowing, or being absolutely certain, so why the unwillingness to declare the same? That you believe there is no tea pot orbiting the sun?

DO YOU NOT FUCKING UNDERSTAND WHAT A STRAW MAN IS?

This "And the reluctance by atheists such as yourself to say things like "I believe the universe is uncreated; I believe the the human life was not inevitability, that the our appearance in the cosmos was a fluke, etc..." is a fucking straw man. Jesus tap dancing christ.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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30-08-2015, 10:54 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
What TheBeardedDude is trying to tell you is that we recognize your "but you Believe things, too" argument from a million other conversations with theists.

It starts well, with the seemingly-reasonable supposition, asking if my concept of the teapot is a belief or certain knowledge.

It ends badly, with a massive leap to saying "since we both believe things..." and then an Interstate high-speed pileup car wreck of horrible illogic and semantic fuckery.

We are "reluctant" because we don't like to be drawn in, yet again, to another of those ever-so-reasonable bullshit discussions. Yes, I believe things, but the question that is relevant is not "do I believe" but "why do I believe ___".

I believe that when I let go of an object in a vacuum at sea level, it will immediately begin to accelerate toward the center of the earth at 9.8 m/s^2. That does not make my belief in any way synonymous with the idea that there is an invisible, undetectable, and magical being outside of spacetime that caused everything to be, or interacts (somehow in a way that is methodologically indistinguishable from its non-existence) with the world to cause things to happen, or has plans and desires for my life.

So we are "reluctant" to use a word with loaded meaning for reasons that would be obvious to you if you were a more-honest person. Sorry, I'm not trying to be insulting; that's just how I see it.

Now I'm going to believe that when I click "Post Reply", the message will appear on the forum and you'll read and understand it. I could be wrong. I believe things only to the degree of certainty that is warranted.

"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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30-08-2015, 11:13 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
Some theist believe God is a divine this or that.

Di is greek for two.

Bi is latin for two.

vine is a woody plant that travels along the surface of Earth or just under the surface and often climbs a tree towards sun, tho it may rise vertically for other reasons also.

For me di-vine is two vines, male and female the intertwine in a cosmic dance, as they access mind/intellect and approach absolute truths via their relative truth experiences.

Humans are genetically closer to fungus than plants. So to get beyond the asssociation of the plant based word divine to some alledged cosmically divine God, we would need a word from fungus family.

Mycelium?

:heart:q3 Drinking Beverage
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30-08-2015, 11:16 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(30-08-2015 10:54 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  What TheBeardedDude is trying to tell you is that we recognize your "but you Believe things, too" argument from a million other conversations with theists.

It starts well, with the seemingly-reasonable supposition, asking if my concept of the teapot is a belief or certain knowledge.

It ends badly, with a massive leap to saying "since we both believe things..." and then an Interstate high-speed pileup car wreck of horrible illogic and semantic fuckery.

We are "reluctant" because we don't like to be drawn in, yet again, to another of those ever-so-reasonable bullshit discussions. Yes, I believe things, but the question that is relevant is not "do I believe" but "why do I believe ___".

I believe that when I let go of an object in a vacuum at sea level, it will immediately begin to accelerate toward the center of the earth at 9.8 m/s^2. That does not make my belief in any way synonymous with the idea that there is an invisible, undetectable, and magical being outside of spacetime that caused everything to be, or interacts (somehow in a way that is methodologically indistinguishable from its non-existence) with the world to cause things to happen, or has plans and desires for my life.

So we are "reluctant" to use a word with loaded meaning for reasons that would be obvious to you if you were a more-honest person. Sorry, I'm not trying to be insulting; that's just how I see it.

Now I'm going to believe that when I click "Post Reply", the message will appear on the forum and you'll read and understand it. I could be wrong. I believe things only to the degree of certainty that is warranted.

"noncreated" "unintentional" etc etc ad nauseum

And then the complete and utter lack of understanding for words like "fluke" or "random" and the inevitable mental masturbation to turns those terms into variations of straw men.

The theistic dishonesty is downright exhausting. Hence the reason many of us choose to frequent an atheist forum to get away from twits like Tomasia.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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30-08-2015, 11:39 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(30-08-2015 10:54 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  What TheBeardedDude is trying to tell you is that we recognize your "but you Believe things, too" argument from a million other conversations with theists.

It starts well, with the seemingly-reasonable supposition, asking if my concept of the teapot is a belief or certain knowledge.

It ends badly, with a massive leap to saying "since we both believe things..." and then an Interstate high-speed pileup car wreck of horrible illogic and semantic fuckery.

We are "reluctant" because we don't like to be drawn in, yet again, to another of those ever-so-reasonable bullshit discussions. Yes, I believe things, but the question that is relevant is not "do I believe" but "why do I believe ___".

I believe that when I let go of an object in a vacuum at sea level, it will immediately begin to accelerate toward the center of the earth at 9.8 m/s^2. That does not make my belief in any way synonymous with the idea that there is an invisible, undetectable, and magical being outside of spacetime that caused everything to be, or interacts (somehow in a way that is methodologically indistinguishable from its non-existence) with the world to cause things to happen, or has plans and desires for my life.

So we are "reluctant" to use a word with loaded meaning for reasons that would be obvious to you if you were a more-honest person. Sorry, I'm not trying to be insulting; that's just how I see it.

Now I'm going to believe that when I click "Post Reply", the message will appear on the forum and you'll read and understand it. I could be wrong. I believe things only to the degree of certainty that is warranted.

I have no need for believing - I do not believe that train will arive on time, I conclude that it will based on prior experience and timetable I just checked. No need for believing

Same with god - obviosuly I do not believe in his existence as I'm atheist, but neither I believe in his non-existence. There is simply no convincing proof to make me think that such vaguely - at best - defined being can exist.

Belief especially in conversations with believers is very dangerous word to use.

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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30-08-2015, 11:51 AM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(30-08-2015 10:54 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  What TheBeardedDude is trying to tell you is that we recognize your "but you Believe things, too" argument from a million other conversations with theists.

It starts well, with the seemingly-reasonable supposition, asking if my concept of the teapot is a belief or certain knowledge.

It ends badly, with a massive leap to saying "since we both believe things..." and then an Interstate high-speed pileup car wreck of horrible illogic and semantic fuckery.

We are "reluctant" because we don't like to be drawn in, yet again, to another of those ever-so-reasonable bullshit discussions. Yes, I believe things, but the question that is relevant is not "do I believe" but "why do I believe ___".

I believe that when I let go of an object in a vacuum at sea level, it will immediately begin to accelerate toward the center of the earth at 9.8 m/s^2. That does not make my belief in any way synonymous with the idea that there is an invisible, undetectable, and magical being outside of spacetime that caused everything to be, or interacts (somehow in a way that is methodologically indistinguishable from its non-existence) with the world to cause things to happen, or has plans and desires for my life.

So we are "reluctant" to use a word with loaded meaning for reasons that would be obvious to you if you were a more-honest person. Sorry, I'm not trying to be insulting; that's just how I see it.

Now I'm going to believe that when I click "Post Reply", the message will appear on the forum and you'll read and understand it. I could be wrong. I believe things only to the degree of certainty that is warranted.

I know that it comes with the terorritory, that atheists such as yourself will make a variety of assumptions, many of them wrong, as to what motivates a question I pose, based on their past experiences with other theist. But I’m not trying to go down the silly rabbit hole you imagine, in which the end is where I go, "tada, see I believe that a tea pot orbiting the sun, and you believe there is no pot orbiting the sun. So we’ll really both just believers. You believe one thing, and I believe another thing, that’s all."

But you think if I was honest I would know the answer to why you and others are reluctant already. I’ve never really been confident in my assumptions. But let me try and provide you what I think the reason is, in a way that should be fair to you, in consideration of what you said here. And you can tell me if it’s right.

That in reality when I say:

“When it comes to Russell's tea pot, I believe there is no pot orbiting the Sun. And if someone asked me why do i believe this? I'd respond, as Plantinga did, that as far as I know "the only way a teapot could gotten unto orbit around the sun would be if some country country with sufficiently developed space-shot capabilities had shot this pot into orbit. No country with such capabilities is sufficiently frivolous to waste its resources by trying to send a teapot into orbit. Furthermore, if some country had done so, it would have been all over the news; we would certainly have heard about it. But we haven’t. And so on"

I'm assuming you and I likely see eye to eye here. You only hesitate to say, “you believe there is no pot orbiting the sun”, because I’m a theist, and you think that I’m going draw you not some bullshit discussion that you’ve encountered in the past, that treat all beliefs as synonymous, or equal.

Where as if you were talking to an atheist about a tea pot orbiting the sun, you’d likely not hesitate to say something along the lines of what I said?

Is that accurate?
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30-08-2015, 12:08 PM
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
That's fair, yeah.

I wouldn't say that it's the "only" way it could have gotten into orbit, but yeah I dig what you're saying.

I also agree with Szuchow, as a fair summation of how I see things.

Belief is one of those words with many hazy definitions, and it makes it rhetorically a dangerous phrasing in a context where people with some very different views on the nature of "that which is undetectable and inherently unknowable" are concerned.

The example used earlier was the Dawkins notion of "supermorality", which he said doesn't find direct support in the evolutionary evidence, but which is inferred intuitively from other things we do know about science, but (being nonscientific in origin) should be held to a high degree of skepticism and checked to make sure it doesn't run afoul of what we do know about the data. In other words, guess away, so long as you're aware it's a guess and it doesn't conflict with known things.

That's why we get frustrated with Believers, who come here and push their guesses, but won't listen to that last part, about where it DOES conflict with known things.

I'm not saying that to berate you in-advance, only to point out that this is a recurring problem for arguments between believers and nonbelievers.

"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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30-08-2015, 12:53 PM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2015 12:59 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: What do you mean by "Atheist"?
(30-08-2015 12:08 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  That's fair, yeah.

I wouldn't say that it's the "only" way it could have gotten into orbit, but yeah I dig what you're saying.

I also agree with Szuchow, as a fair summation of how I see things.

Belief is one of those words with many hazy definitions, and it makes it rhetorically a dangerous phrasing in a context where people with some very different views on the nature of "that which is undetectable and inherently unknowable" are concerned.

The example used earlier was the Dawkins notion of "supermorality", which he said doesn't find direct support in the evolutionary evidence, but which is inferred intuitively from other things we do know about science, but (being nonscientific in origin) should be held to a high degree of skepticism and checked to make sure it doesn't run afoul of what we do know about the data. In other words, guess away, so long as you're aware it's a guess and it doesn't conflict with known things.

That's why we get frustrated with Believers, who come here and push their guesses, but won't listen to that last part, about where it DOES conflict with known things.

I'm not saying that to berate you in-advance, only to point out that this is a recurring problem for arguments between believers and nonbelievers.

And this is my problem, not in regards to what you do or not believe in, but just in regards to communication.

Quote:Belief is one of those words with many hazy definitions, and it makes it rhetorically a dangerous phrasing in a context where people with some very different views on the nature of "that which is undetectable and inherently unknowable" are concerned.

Belief doesn’t imply knowing though. Something quite apparent in the Dawkins' scale, explicitly noted in the difference between gnostic and agnostic theist, in particular 1 and 2.

Let’s draw a rough scale of confidence here:

Knowing/Absolutely certain….....believe……..…sure why not…….guessing………can’t say or guess one way or the other.


If it’s kind already acknowledged that when you say you believe that this doesn't imply that you're absolutely certain, or that you know, so there should be no reason to remove it from your vocabulary. And not just that, but the substitutes that are often used for "belief" tend to be poor ones. When I say I believe there is no tea pot orbiting the sun. This is not synomous with me saying “I guessing there’s no tea pot orbiting the sun”.

While the term believe implies less confidence that knowing, it still implies more confidence than guessing.

If you were to tell me "I believe the universe was uncreated", and then express the reasons for why you believe, like the sciences suggest that universe exists and thrives on it own, without any sort of tinkering by any intentional agents, that human life wasn’t a predawn conclusion, it wasn’t inevitable, we’re just a product of rare series of fortuitous outcomes, arose out of some extremely unlikely odds, a fluke. That the sciences suggest that we’re just a series of neurochemical reactions, governed by the laws of physics, that it’s all just molecules in motion, etc...etc.... (or some other iteration of you own), I wouldn’t have to ask why do you not believe in God? Because it’s already implicit by what you believe, and the reasons for that, as to why you don’t.

In my experience a most atheists that I interact with, possess a series of beliefs like this, though their degree of confidence varies. Some might not even see it as belief, but just a guess, a shot in the dark, with some modicum of confidence that it was in the right direction. The frustrating part is, to get to the core of that, you have to dig past the cliche slogan “lacking belief”, and even after that, it takes a great deal of teeth pulling to get a sense of what those beliefs are and amount to, which varies between any given unbeliever.

Now, I may believe in alternative picture, and can provide reasons as to why I believe this alternative picture. But that’s not to suggest that all beliefs are on equal footing, equally as reasonable. Perhaps yours are the product of clear thinking, unbiased and objective reflections, and mines are the product of a long chain of indoctrination, and emotional biases, are delusional, are held because they provide a comfort blanket, that I’m unwilling to acknowledge. And that if let all that go, I can see the validity and accuracy of your perspective, and perhaps finally be able recognize that mines were wrong.
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