Why do atheists become atheists?
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26-01-2015, 02:36 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 01:41 PM)Free Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 01:17 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  When I use the term “Black swan”, I am using it in the same vein as Taleb uses it, i.e. “First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.”

So when Taleb says, “The importance of the metaphor lies in its analogy to the fragility of any system of thought” I take this to mean that our (human) abilities to arrive at precise/perfect/complete/total/all-encompassing knowledge is fragile, I prefer to think of it as open to further corrections.

This doesn't indicate that because it is fragile it means that it is necessarily broken, nor that it is fragile in all situations. He uses the metaphor/analogy of a particular example regarding Black Swans with particular circumstances.

Can he say this is true with all situations in all circumstances?

Quote:As unlikely the existence of anything supernatural (and so far totally unobserved) phenomena may be it seems a leap of hubris to claim definitive knowledge NOT for any other reason than our constant refinement of our collective human knowledge.

Firstly, defining what constitutes "knowledge" needs to be addressed.

Knowledge:

"Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning."

Therefore, regarding the question of the existence or possible existence of God, we need to ask whether or not any knowledge or possible knowledge exists.

1. Can we know if God exists?

2. Can we know if God does not exist?

Now we go to a previous post of mine and place it here:

Some people here say they are not 7.0 because they think that a 7.0 position means that it is a proclamation of knowledge that "God does not exist, " and then use the "You can't prove that God doesn't exist" to dispute the proclamation.

This can easily be dealt with logically. All that is required is to ask a couple of questions, and the house of cards comes tumbling down.

"Why can't we prove that God doesn't exist?"

The answer will be, "Because you cannot prove a negative."

What is the negative? "God doesn't exist."

1. If "God doesn't exist" is negative, then there's nothing to prove, and no knowledge in existence

2. If there's "nothing" to prove and no knowledge in existence, then God does not exist.

What this demonstrates is that since all available evidence clearly indicates that there is absolutely no positive evidence supporting the existence of God, then there is also no knowledge regarding the existence of God.

But what it also demonstrates is that by using the Evidence of Absence, then it shows that there is evidence of a negative presence of any kind of a supernatural god. This Evidence of Absence provides knowledge supporting the non existence of both a supernatural god, and the possibility of a supernatural god.

Hence, when you look at both questions 1 & 2 above, the first question is answered that there is no knowledge available to know.

But the second question above demonstrates that in regards to non existence, we do indeed have knowledge to know via the Evidence of Absence.

Therefore, since the Evidence of Absence supplies the only knowledge available, and it demonstrates non existence, then it is intellectually honest to go with what we know and claim, "God does not exist."

That is why I say it is intellectually dishonest to not be 7.0, because anyone sub 7.0 is denying themselves this knowledge.

I dunno, Free. I had always heard/read that one cannot prove a negative. Because there is nothing to prove -quite literally.
so.....

this is where I always drop out. All the back & forth with people arguing "evidence" (when there is absolutely none) just all turns into word salad to me.

that or....
I just cease caring after awhile.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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26-01-2015, 02:43 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 02:36 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 01:41 PM)Free Wrote:  This doesn't indicate that because it is fragile it means that it is necessarily broken, nor that it is fragile in all situations. He uses the metaphor/analogy of a particular example regarding Black Swans with particular circumstances.

Can he say this is true with all situations in all circumstances?


Firstly, defining what constitutes "knowledge" needs to be addressed.

Knowledge:

"Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning."

Therefore, regarding the question of the existence or possible existence of God, we need to ask whether or not any knowledge or possible knowledge exists.

1. Can we know if God exists?

2. Can we know if God does not exist?

Now we go to a previous post of mine and place it here:

Some people here say they are not 7.0 because they think that a 7.0 position means that it is a proclamation of knowledge that "God does not exist, " and then use the "You can't prove that God doesn't exist" to dispute the proclamation.

This can easily be dealt with logically. All that is required is to ask a couple of questions, and the house of cards comes tumbling down.

"Why can't we prove that God doesn't exist?"

The answer will be, "Because you cannot prove a negative."

What is the negative? "God doesn't exist."

1. If "God doesn't exist" is negative, then there's nothing to prove, and no knowledge in existence

2. If there's "nothing" to prove and no knowledge in existence, then God does not exist.

What this demonstrates is that since all available evidence clearly indicates that there is absolutely no positive evidence supporting the existence of God, then there is also no knowledge regarding the existence of God.

But what it also demonstrates is that by using the Evidence of Absence, then it shows that there is evidence of a negative presence of any kind of a supernatural god. This Evidence of Absence provides knowledge supporting the non existence of both a supernatural god, and the possibility of a supernatural god.

Hence, when you look at both questions 1 & 2 above, the first question is answered that there is no knowledge available to know.

But the second question above demonstrates that in regards to non existence, we do indeed have knowledge to know via the Evidence of Absence.

Therefore, since the Evidence of Absence supplies the only knowledge available, and it demonstrates non existence, then it is intellectually honest to go with what we know and claim, "God does not exist."

That is why I say it is intellectually dishonest to not be 7.0, because anyone sub 7.0 is denying themselves this knowledge.

I dunno, Free. I had always heard/read that one cannot prove a negative. Because there is nothing to prove -quite literally.
so.....

this is where I always drop out. All the back & forth with people arguing "evidence" (when there is absolutely none) just all turns into word salad to me.

that or....
I just cease caring after awhile.

What is "negative" other than nothing?

If there is nothing to prove, well then obviously the statement of "You can't prove a negative" is identical with "You can't prove a nothing."

If there's nothing, then there's nothing to prove. Hence, "You can't prove a negative" is absurd, and there is a reason why it is considered logically fallacious.

The very statement itself is meaningless.

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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26-01-2015, 02:43 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Read the following, try to understand, and than try to find back to the original task of this thread
Wikipedia:
Argument from ignorance (Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance stands for "lack of evidence to the contrary"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to prove the proposition satisfactorily to be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,
1.true
2.false
3.unknown between true or false
4.being unknowable (among the first three).[1]
In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used to shift the burden of proof.
The fallaciousness of arguments from ignorance does not mean that one can never possess good reasons for thinking that something does not exist, an idea captured by philosopher Bertrand Russell's teapot, a hypothetical china teapot revolving about the sun between Earth and Mars; however this would fall more duly under the arena of pragmatism[vague], wherein a position must be demonstrated or proven in order to be upheld, and therefore the burden of proof is on the argument's proponent.[citation needed] See also Occam's razor ("prefer the explanation with the fewest assumptions").

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
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26-01-2015, 02:45 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 02:36 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  I dunno, Free. I had always heard/read that one cannot prove a negative. Because there is nothing to prove -quite literally.
so.....

But there is one big, fat problem with all this. Among profes- sional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative? That’s right: zero. Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too. For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non-contradiction. This law states that that a proposition cannot be both true and not true. Nothing is both true and false. Furthermore, you can prove this law. It can be formally derived from the empty set using provably valid rules of inference. (I’ll spare you the boring details). One of the laws of logic is a provable negative. Wait... this means we’ve just proven that it is not the case that one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative. So we’ve proven yet another negative! In fact, ‘you can’t prove a negative’ is a negative  so if you could prove it true, it wouldn’t be true! Uh-oh.

~http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy...gative.pdf

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26-01-2015, 02:45 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2015 02:58 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(Formatting issues, post too long, my responses in red.)

This doesn't indicate that because it is fragile it means that it is necessarily broken, nor that it is fragile in all situations. He uses the metaphor/analogy of a particular example regarding Black Swans with particular circumstances.

Can he say this is true with all situations in all circumstances?

Interestingly Taleb coined the phrase in respect to monetary markets but since he published the book in 2007 it has grown to encompass anything that can be regarded as not forseeable.


Firstly, defining what constitutes "knowledge" needs to be addressed.

Knowledge:

Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning."

No issues there.
I suspect that as long as the human race exists we will be discovering new things.



Therefore, regarding the question of the existence or possible existence of God, we need to ask whether or not any knowledge or possible knowledge exists.

1. Can we know if God exists? Unknown

2. Can we know if God does not exist? The crux of the discussion


Now we go to a previous post of mine and place it here:

Some people here say they are not 7.0 because they think that a 7.0 position means that it is a proclamation of knowledge that "God does not exist, " and then use the "You can't prove that God doesn't exist" to dispute the proclamation.

This can easily be dealt with logically. All that is required is to ask a couple of questions, and the house of cards comes tumbling down.

Why can't we prove that God doesn't exist?" Unknown

The answer will be, “Because you cannot prove a negative.” That isn’t my position. Supernatural phenomena might be beyond our (current) abilities to prove.



What is the negative? "God doesn't exist."

1. If "God doesn't exist" is negative, then there's nothing to prove, and no knowledge in existence

2. If there's "nothing" to prove and no knowledge in existence, then God does not exist.

What this demonstrates is that since all available evidence clearly indicates that there is absolutely no positive evidence supporting the existence of God, then there is also no knowledge regarding the existence of God.

But what it also demonstrates is that by using the Evidence of Absence, then it shows that there is evidence of a negative presence of any kind of a supernatural god. This Evidence of Absence provides knowledge supporting the non existence of both a supernatural god, and the possibility of a supernatural god.
It does, but only in the present.

Hence, when you look at both questions 1 & 2 above, the first question is answered that there is no knowledge available to know.

But the second question above demonstrates that in regards to non existence, we do indeed have knowledge to know via the Evidence of Absence.

Therefore, since the Evidence of Absence supplies the only knowledge available, and it demonstrates non existence, then it is intellectually honest to go with what we know and claim, “God does not exist.”
I would rephrase as “God does not seem to exist.”

I think attempting to prove one way or another what is, by definition, not provable within the natural world a fruitless exercise. One man’s opinion.


That is why I say it is intellectually dishonest to not be 7.0, because anyone sub 7.0 is denying themselves this knowledge.
Perhaps my issue with this stems from a closing of the book on future knowledge as I have said before. So far I find no intellectual dishonesty on my part by describing myself less than a 7.
From where I sit your position is one of “It will never be proven that supernatural phenomena (I prefer this term rather than ‘god’ because it is more encompassing) exists.” That is my main issue, our known human limitations.


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“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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26-01-2015, 03:00 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 02:45 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Perhaps my issue with this stems from a closing of the book on future knowledge as I have said before. So far I find no intellectual dishonesty on my part by describing myself less than a 7.
From where I sit your position is one of “It will never be proven that supernatural phenomena (I prefer this term rather than ‘god’ because it is more encompassing) exists.” That is my main issue, our known ?
( edit fail)
It is not our job as atheists to debunk every imagined God, rather, the gods presented to us.

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26-01-2015, 03:06 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Quote:
Quote:The answer will be, “Because you cannot prove a negative.”

That isn’t my position. Supernatural phenomena might be beyond our (current) abilities to prove.

You must demonstrate this as being a possibility with evidence. As I have said before, things are not possible just because we say they are. For something to be possible, there needs to be evidence to support that possibility.

Too many people buy into the saying, "Anything is possible." This can easly be discredited with asking a couple of questions:

Is it possible that 1 + 1 will ever be any number greater or less than 2? Demonstrate this if you think it is true.

Is it possible when counting numbers 1 ... 2 ... 3... that anyone will ever count the last available number? Demonstrate this if you think it is true.

Hence, not everything is possible.



Quote:
Quote:But what it also demonstrates is that by using the Evidence of Absence, then it shows that there is evidence of a negative presence of any kind of a supernatural god. This Evidence of Absence provides knowledge supporting the non existence of both a supernatural god, and the possibility of a supernatural god.
It does, but only in the present.

This insinuates that in the future it would be possible. Again, please demonstrate evidence to support that possibility.


Quote:
Quote:Therefore, since the Evidence of Absence supplies the only knowledge available, and it demonstrates non existence, then it is intellectually honest to go with what we know and claim, “God does not exist.”
I would rephrase as “God does not seem to exist.”

That would be intellectually dishonest. When something demonstrates non existence, and nothing demonstrates existence, and nothing contests non existence in any way, then the only truth that remains is that God does not exist.


Quote:
Quote:That is why I say it is intellectually dishonest to not be 7.0, because anyone sub 7.0 is denying themselves this knowledge.


Perhaps my issue with this stems from a closing of the book on future knowledge as I have said before. So far I find no intellectual dishonesty on my part by describing myself less than a 7.
From where I sit your position is one of “It will never be proven that supernatural phenomena (I prefer this term rather than ‘god’ because it is more encompassing) exists.” That is my main issue, our known human limitations.

Firstly, you must prove that the book of future knowledge even has a possibility of existing.

Smile

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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26-01-2015, 03:20 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 02:45 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy...gative.pdf

OK, I’ve read that article before and inductive reasoning is what I believe goes to the heart of my point of view.

"So why is it that people insist that you can’t prove a negative? I think it is the result of two things. (1) an acknowledgement that induction is not bulletproof, airtight, and infallible...”

“If we’re going to dismiss inductive arguments because they produce conclusions that are probable but not definite, then we are in deep doo-doo. "

And that’s it...these two statements may say it better than I have been, our inductive reasoning is “not infallible” and “not definite”. Knowing this point is my Waterloo to a 7.


PS In the paper the author says “Why do you think that if you turn on the kitchen tap that water will come out instead of chocolate?”
See below for a good laugh, wish I had these friends.



“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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26-01-2015, 03:22 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 03:00 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  ( edit fail)
It is not our job as atheists to debunk every imagined God, rather, the gods presented to us.

I agree.

As for my edit fail Weeping

“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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26-01-2015, 03:23 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 03:20 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 02:45 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy...gative.pdf

OK, I’ve read that article before and inductive reasoning is what I believe goes to the heart of my point of view.

"So why is it that people insist that you can’t prove a negative? I think it is the result of two things. (1) an acknowledgement that induction is not bulletproof, airtight, and infallible...”

“If we’re going to dismiss inductive arguments because they produce conclusions that are probable but not definite, then we are in deep doo-doo. "

And that’s it...these two statements may say it better than I have been, our inductive reasoning is “not infallible” and “not definite”. Knowing this point is my Waterloo to a 7.
I'd hafta wonder why you're surrendering to theistic bullshit?

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