Why do atheists become atheists?
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17-01-2015, 07:55 AM (This post was last modified: 17-01-2015 08:04 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(16-01-2015 10:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-01-2015 07:39 PM)Free Wrote:  But once the possibility of the existence of God has been eliminated by the evidence of absence, then there is no possibility of God existing, and this is positive proof of non existence.

The absence of evidence is not proof, it is only indicative.

You cannot make up your own rules to suit your position, Chas.

And it's not the "absence of evidence," but rather "evidence of absence."

And evidence is proof.

We have all heard, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," but the same is true when it is said the other way:

"Evidence of absence is not an absence of evidence."

Why?

Because Evidence of absence is an absence of evidence.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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17-01-2015, 07:59 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Evidence piles up to equate proof.

I don't accept evidence of absence or absence of evidence as enough evidence of proof to proclaim I undoubtedly know. You Free have different standards of proof... It's fine by me.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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17-01-2015, 08:06 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 07:59 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Evidence piles up to equate proof.

I don't accept evidence of absence or absence of evidence as enough evidence of proof to proclaim I undoubtedly know. You Free have different standards of proof... It's fine by me.

These are not my standards of proof, but the standards used on a daily basis to determine the existence of evidence.

It's fine if you disagree with these standards, but you need to qualify the reasoning behind your disagreement.

Because Evidence of absence is an absence of evidence.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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17-01-2015, 08:14 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Anyways,

I have said all there needs to be said here to justify my stance of maintaining a 7.0 position. I have no problem accepting that most here are de facto atheists. I understand the reasoning why.

However, the evidence indicates that there is not a single shred of evidence to support either the existence of a supernatural entity, nor even the possibility of a supernatural entity in existence.

When all the evidence points to absolutely "nothing," then 7.0 is perfectly and intellectually honestly justified.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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17-01-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 08:06 AM)Free Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 07:59 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Evidence piles up to equate proof.

I don't accept evidence of absence or absence of evidence as enough evidence of proof to proclaim I undoubtedly know. You Free have different standards of proof... It's fine by me.

These are not my standards of proof, but the standards used on a daily basis to determine the existence of evidence.

It's fine if you disagree with these standards, but you need to qualify the reasoning behind your disagreement.

There is no reason to not always question the judgement and standards that are used everyday by people across all fields.

I've explained dozens of times the reasoning behind this... it's because we know our reasoning is fallible and history has shown time and time again when we are certain of proclamations: new studies, new tools, and new information gave us a wider understanding of the universe/nature.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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17-01-2015, 08:52 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 08:15 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 08:06 AM)Free Wrote:  These are not my standards of proof, but the standards used on a daily basis to determine the existence of evidence.

It's fine if you disagree with these standards, but you need to qualify the reasoning behind your disagreement.

There is no reason to not always question the judgement and standards that are used everyday by people across all fields.

I've explained dozens of times the reasoning behind this... it's because we know our reasoning is fallible and history has shown time and time again when we are certain of proclamations: new studies, new tools, and new information gave us a wider understanding of the universe/nature.

I understand your explanations of your reasoning, but you cannot take incidences of the past and apply them to this. Just because we know that reasoning is fallible does not mean that reasoning is fallible in every instance.

In fact, in most cases, reasoning is spot on.

However, many atheists I know actually employ "folk" logic, such as "You cannot prove a negative." The reality is that among professional logicians 100% "know" you can prove a negative. So yes, you can prove a negative, and the proof itself is evidence.

Here's a link to a short paper written by Stephen Hales, Professor of Philosophy from Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania.

You Can Prove A Negative.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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17-01-2015, 08:56 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 07:55 AM)Free Wrote:  
(16-01-2015 10:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  The absence of evidence is not proof, it is only indicative.

You cannot make up your own rules to suit your position, Chas.

And it's not the "absence of evidence," but rather "evidence of absence."

And evidence is proof.

We have all heard, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," but the same is true when it is said the other way:

"Evidence of absence is not an absence of evidence."

Why?

Because Evidence of absence is an absence of evidence.

You are trying to use 'proof' in two senses. The absence of evidence is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is not absolute proof.

Is there evidence of any gods? No.
Do I believe there are any gods? No.
Can I prove there aren't any gods? No.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-01-2015, 08:59 AM (This post was last modified: 17-01-2015 09:04 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 08:56 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 07:55 AM)Free Wrote:  You cannot make up your own rules to suit your position, Chas.

And it's not the "absence of evidence," but rather "evidence of absence."

And evidence is proof.

We have all heard, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," but the same is true when it is said the other way:

"Evidence of absence is not an absence of evidence."

Why?

Because Evidence of absence is an absence of evidence.


Can I prove there aren't any gods? No.

Yes. I have done it, and demonstrated how.

And welcome to the 7.0 Club.

Big Grin

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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17-01-2015, 09:11 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 08:52 AM)Free Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 08:15 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  There is no reason to not always question the judgement and standards that are used everyday by people across all fields.

I've explained dozens of times the reasoning behind this... it's because we know our reasoning is fallible and history has shown time and time again when we are certain of proclamations: new studies, new tools, and new information gave us a wider understanding of the universe/nature.

I understand your explanations of your reasoning, but you cannot take incidences of the past and apply them to this. Just because we know that reasoning is fallible does not mean that reasoning is fallible in every instance.

In fact, in most cases, reasoning is spot on.

However, many atheists I know actually employ "folk" logic, such as "You cannot prove a negative." The reality is that among professional logicians 100% "know" you can prove a negative. So yes, you can prove a negative, and the proof itself is evidence.

Here's a link to a short paper written by Stephen Hales, Professor of Philosophy from Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania.

You Can Prove A Negative.

You learn something everyday. To your point:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_proof
What the fallacy isn’t:

A common saying in pseudologic is "You can't prove a negative." That saying is not true. An absence of something can be proved in various ways, e.g., by a reductio ad absurdum or by proving something else that is inconsistent with the presence of that something (a very useful approach known in mathematics as proof by contradiction[wp]). For example, in law, a party may have the burden of proving nonreceipt of certain correspondence and may bear that burden of proof (at least by a preponderance of the evidence) by introducing into evidence a docket record in which the correspondence would have been noted. In mathematics, there are plenty of proofs of negative propositions, such as "there is no largest prime number"[1] or "there is no rational square root of 2".[2] One might also note that the saying itself is a negative.

and

You Can Prove a Negative
Can't prove a negative? Sure you can!
Published on September 15, 2011 by Stephen Law, Ph.D. in Believing Bull
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beli...e-negative

"Let's sum up. If "you can't prove a negative" means you can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that certain things don't exist, then the claim is just false. We prove the nonexistence of things on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, "you can't prove a negative" means you cannot prove beyond all possible doubt that something does not exist, well, that may, arguably, be true. But so what? That point is irrelevant so far as defending beliefs in supernatural entities against the charge that science and/or reason have established beyond reasonable doubt that they don’t exist."

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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17-01-2015, 09:18 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
There is also this:

http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences/p...-Proof.htm

Proof of a Negative Claim

So you simply cannot prove general claims that are negative claims -- one cannot prove that ghosts do not exist; one cannot prove that leprechauns too do not exist. One simply cannot prove a negative and general claim.

"Negative statements often make claims that are hard to prove because they make predictions about things we are in practice unable to observe in a finite time. For instance, "there are no big green Martians" means "there are no big green Martians in this or any universe," and unlike your bathtub, it is not possible to look in every corner of every universe, thus we cannot completely test this proposition--we can just look around within the limits of our ability and our desire to expend time and resources on looking, and prove that, where we have looked so far, and within the limits of our knowing anything at all, there are no big green Martians. In such a case we have proved a negative, just not the negative of the sweeping proposition in question.”-Richard Carrier, "Proving a Negative "(1999) by Richard Carrier at http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...heory.html



The unprovability of non-existence.

Here's what the The Objectivist Newsletter (April 1963) had to say on the logical fallacy of proving a negative:

"Proving the non-existence of that for which no evidence of any kind exists. Proof, logic, reason, thinking, knowledge pertain to and deal only with that which exists. They cannot be applied to that which does not exist. Nothing can be relevant or applicable to the non-existent. The non-existent is nothing. A positive statement, based on facts that have been erroneously interpreted, can be refuted - by means of exposing the errors in the interpretation of the facts. Such refutation is the disproving of a positive, not the proving of a negative.... Rational demonstration is necessary to support even the claim that a thing is possible. It is a breach of logic to assert that that which has not been proven to be impossible is, therefore, possible. An absence does not constitute proof of anything. Nothing can be derived from nothing." If I say, "Anything is possible" I must admit the possibility that the statement I just made is false. (See Self Exclusion) Doubt must always be specific, and can only exist in contrast to things that cannot properly be doubted. “

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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