Why do atheists become atheists?
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17-01-2015, 09:18 AM (This post was last modified: 17-01-2015 09:23 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 09:11 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 08:52 AM)Free Wrote:  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."

And if you were 6.999 % positive towards the non existence of God, then hopefully this conversation may have raised you a few 9s to something like 6.99999999.

Smile

I named myself "Free" for the simple reason that I am 100% free of any beliefs in gods or the possibility of any supernatural gods existing.

Now you know. Smile

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17-01-2015, 09:53 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 08:56 AM)Chas Wrote:  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

No, you haven't proved it logically.

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, 09:53 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 09:18 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  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. “

Unfortunately most of this is very old, and is deemed obsolete in the face of modern logic.

Modern logicians are in 100% agreement that you can indeed prove a negative. A real actual law of logic is, in fact, a negative.

The existence and possible existence of a supernatural entity known as "god" has been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt, and beyond any doubt whatsoever.

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17-01-2015, 09:56 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 09:53 AM)Free Wrote:  Unfortunately most of this is very old, and is deemed obsolete in the face of modern logic.

Modern logicians are in 100% agreement that you can indeed prove a negative. A real actual law of logic is, in fact, a negative.

The existence and possible existence of a supernatural entity known as "god" has been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt.

Citation needed. Drinking Beverage

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, 09:56 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 09:56 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 09:53 AM)Free Wrote:  Unfortunately most of this is very old, and is deemed obsolete in the face of modern logic.

Modern logicians are in 100% agreement that you can indeed prove a negative. A real actual law of logic is, in fact, a negative.

The existence and possible existence of a supernatural entity known as "god" has been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt.

Citation needed. Drinking Beverage

Read up. All citations are there.

Smile

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17-01-2015, 10:47 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 09:53 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  Yes. I have done it, and demonstrated how.

And welcome to the 7.0 Club.

Big Grin

No, you haven't proved it logically.

If you cannot see it, perhaps you need to upgrade your understanding of modern logic and reasoning?

I'm not saying this to offend you, but old school logic and reasoning are now becoming obsolete and fallacious.

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17-01-2015, 11:28 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 09:18 AM)Free Wrote:  I named myself "Free" for the simple reason that I am 100% free of any beliefs in gods or the possibility of any supernatural gods existing.

Now you know. Smile
Well actually, you do have a god belief. You have a belief that god doesn't exist.


Most of us don't have such beliefs, we are free from belief.

We don't need belief to decide that it is ridiculous to entertain the idea of various gods without a shred of supporting evidence. Our position is that of disbelief.
It's the honest way to go.
It doesn't mean that we entertain the idea of gods. It doesn't mean that we worry about whether we are going to hell. There are an infinite ways to come up with incorrect beliefs and only 1 way to come up with the truth. Without supporting evidence it is highly unlikely that someone has stumbled onto the truth about an actual god.

Anyway, I'm free from belief 100% free. I disbelieve the theist's ideas and I disbelieve your idea.
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17-01-2015, 12:19 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 11:28 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 09:18 AM)Free Wrote:  I named myself "Free" for the simple reason that I am 100% free of any beliefs in gods or the possibility of any supernatural gods existing.

Now you know. Smile
Well actually, you do have a god belief. You have a belief that god doesn't exist.

No, YOU have a belief that God does not exist.

I state as absolute fact, "God does not exist."

If you are not 7.0, you are harboring the belief that it is possible that god exists. If you had no doubts whatsoever that God did not exist, you would be 7.0

Tongue

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17-01-2015, 01:02 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 10:47 AM)Free Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 09:53 AM)Chas Wrote:  No, you haven't proved it logically.

If you cannot see it, perhaps you need to upgrade your understanding of modern logic and reasoning?

I'm not saying this to offend you, but old school logic and reasoning are now becoming obsolete and fallacious.

Excuse me? What modern logic are you referring to?

Quote: If someone claims that X exists and then there is a search for X but the more people look in places where X "ought to be" in ways and at times that X "should be likely to be there," and there is no evidence of X found, then the more confidence you can have that there is no "X".

Even if absence of evidence really is evidence of absence in some few well defined cases of very finite extension (e.g., there is no elephant in this desk drawer because there is an absence of evidence of an elephant being in the desk drawer), ignorance of evidence is neither one of those things and shouldn't be mistaken to imply either one. Ignorance of evidence is evidence of ignorance and that is all that it is.

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, 01:03 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(17-01-2015 12:19 PM)Free Wrote:  
(17-01-2015 11:28 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Well actually, you do have a god belief. You have a belief that god doesn't exist.

No, YOU have a belief that God does not exist.

I state as absolute fact, "God does not exist."

If you are not 7.0, you are harboring the belief that it is possible that god exists. If you had no doubts whatsoever that God did not exist, you would be 7.0

Tongue

Nope. Being a 7.0 requires knowledge. That is knowledge you do not have.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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