Why do atheists become atheists?
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26-01-2015, 05:00 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2015 05:03 PM by Chas.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 04:53 PM)Free Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 04:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  I not only didn't accuse you of intellectual dishonesty, I have never even used that phrase in this thread. So, there's that.

And I never made the claim about "not proving a negative", either. So, there is also that.

Are you simply mistaken when you try to tar me with that brush? Or...

I dunno Chas, what do you think the following implies?

Quote:"You can only honestly be 7.0 if you can prove there are no gods."

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid719733

Quote:"Oh, I could answer that, but you just did.

Since one cannot prove non-existence, one cannot honestly be a 7.0 on the Dawkins scale.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid721817

If you want to interpret that as a claim of "intellectual dishonesty", then you are a cry-baby.

"Intellectual dishonesty is a failure to apply standards of rational evaluation that one is aware of, usually in a self-serving fashion."

I never accused you of that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-01-2015, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2015 05:43 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 05:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 04:53 PM)Free Wrote:  I dunno Chas, what do you think the following implies?


http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid719733


http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid721817

If you want to interpret that as a claim of "intellectual dishonesty", then you are a cry-baby.

A cry baby for pointing out that you consider my 7.0 position to be dishonest?

No, not at all. You can say what you like, and I actually don't mind all that much, although slightly offended. I was asked why we were fighting about this so hard, and gave my reasons.

It's not like I don't expect it. After all, it's ME you are talking to.

Quote:"Intellectual dishonesty is a failure to apply standards of rational evaluation that one is aware of, usually in a self-serving fashion."

Since you've accused me of dishonesty, and constantly voiced how my reasoning and logic are somehow incorrect, then yes, we can say you were consistently saying it.

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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26-01-2015, 05:29 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 04:57 PM)Free Wrote:  Please for the love of the FSM go learn something about positive and negative evidence.

Both are considered valid forms of evidence.

Here it is from Oxford:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defini...e-evidence

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_evidence
Quote:Negative evidence is a significant gap in expected knowledge or evidence for a phenomenon. If a proposed theory would logically produce a certain kind of evidence, then the absence of that evidence, or the negative evidence, is suggestive that the theory is mistaken.
Where are you expecting evidence of god to be?
How have you proven that this evidence is not there?

See the example provided on the web page
Quote:If your neighbor claimed that teenagers were racing their cars outside of his house, the absence of teenagers, cars and tire marks on the street would be negative evidence against his claim.
If teenagers were racing cars outside this house then you would expect to see teenagers and cars outside the house, you would expect to hear teenagers and racing cars outside his house. If you go there at the appropriate time and see an empty street, and do not hear any roaring engines, then this is evidence of absence.

What expectations do you have with regards to god/s? What evidence do you expect to see if gods exist but which you have found is not there?
Do you expect a picture of Jesus to appear on your toast, but when you make your toast you find that there is no picture of Jesus? Is this the negative evidence you would like to present. Are you going to present a photo of your toast as your "evidence of absence"?

Or is there some other evidence you would like to present?
You fall into the below (taken from the website)
Quote:Taken too far, negative evidence becomes an appeal to ignorance, the mistake of believing that because we have not found evidence, it must not exist.
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26-01-2015, 05:32 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 04:37 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  All I can say further is that Free must possess greater self-esteem than I. Thumbsup

You know me ... GIVE ME ATHEISM OR GIVE ME DEATH!

And a ball of yarn to play with ... and some cookies ... yeah cookies ... not the small crunchy ones either but the soft chocolate chip large ones.

FUCK! Now i gotta run to the store!

Fucking cookies ...

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, 06:00 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 05:29 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 04:57 PM)Free Wrote:  Please for the love of the FSM go learn something about positive and negative evidence.

Both are considered valid forms of evidence.

Here it is from Oxford:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defini...e-evidence

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_evidence
Quote:Negative evidence is a significant gap in expected knowledge or evidence for a phenomenon. If a proposed theory would logically produce a certain kind of evidence, then the absence of that evidence, or the negative evidence, is suggestive that the theory is mistaken.
Where are you expecting evidence of god to be?

In a positive way, such as an observable way. That which exists can be observed. That is positive evidence.

Quote:How have you proven that this evidence is not there?

In a negative way, such as no observation or detection of anything. That which does not exist cannot be observed. That is negative evidence.

Quote:
Quote:If your neighbor claimed that teenagers were racing their cars outside of his house, the absence of teenagers, cars and tire marks on the street would be negative evidence against his claim.
If teenagers were racing cars outside this house then you would expect to see teenagers and cars outside the house, you would expect to hear teenagers and racing cars outside his house. If you go there at the appropriate time and see an empty street, and do not hear any roaring engines, then this is evidence of absence.

Yes, and just like the non existence of any supernatural god, you have the non existence of any teenagers. Both are evidence of absence.

In the scenario above, a claim was made that teenagers were racing their cars outside the house. This claims says that teenagers were existing outside the house, racing cars. But upon investigation, it became knowledge that the teenagers were not outside the house racing cars.

In regards to God, a claim is also made for existence. But upon investigation, it became knowledge that God does not exist.

Just like you would know that the teenagers were not existing outside racing cars, you can also know that God does not exist. You look for positive evidence, and if it doesn't exist, the claim is false.

Quote:What expectations do you have with regards to god/s?

None, since they do not exist.

Quote:What evidence do you expect to see if gods exist but which you have found is not there?

The only acceptable evidence is positive evidence that we can observe.

Quote:Taken too far, negative evidence becomes an appeal to ignorance, the mistake of believing that because we have not found evidence, it must not exist.

I have not taken it any further than the very basics of demonstrating Evidence of Absence. After all, one cannot take it any further because there's nothing else.

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, 06:09 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 05:27 PM)Free Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 05:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  If you want to interpret that as a claim of "intellectual dishonesty", then you are a cry-baby.

A cry baby for pointing out that you consider my 7.0 position to be dishonest?

No, not at all. You can say what you like, and I actually don't mind all that much, although slightly offended. I was asked why we were fighting about this so hard, and gave my reasons.

It's not like I don't expect it. After all, it's ME you are talking to.

"Honestly hold" is a common expression. I'm sorry you are interpreting it in such a petulant manner.

Quote:
Quote:"Intellectual dishonesty is a failure to apply standards of rational evaluation that one is aware of, usually in a self-serving fashion."

Since you've accused me of dishonesty, and constantly voiced how my reasoning and logic are somehow incorrect, then yes, we can say you were consistently saying it.

Big Grin

I claim you are wrong, not dishonest.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-01-2015, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2015 06:47 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 06:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 05:29 PM)Stevil Wrote:  http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_evidence
Where are you expecting evidence of god to be?

In a positive way, such as an observable way. That which exists can be observed. That is positive evidence.
You need to be specific. Where do we need to look in order to confirm or reject the god claim?
(26-01-2015 06:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:How have you proven that this evidence is not there?

In a negative way, such as no observation or detection of anything. That which does not exist cannot be observed. That is negative evidence.
No, this is lack of evidence which relies on your own ignorance.
If you answer the first question in a specific fashion, then it will tell you where to look for the specific evidence. If the evidence isn't there, where it is expected to be, then this is strong evidence for the converse (being that god doesn't exist).

Take a look online at all examples of negative evidence, all examples of "evidence of absence" notice that they are specific. They do not also fit into the "absence of evidence" category.
Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

(26-01-2015 06:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:If teenagers were racing cars outside this house then you would expect to see teenagers and cars outside the house, you would expect to hear teenagers and racing cars outside his house. If you go there at the appropriate time and see an empty street, and do not hear any roaring engines, then this is evidence of absence.

Yes, and just like the non existence of any supernatural god, you have the non existence of any teenagers. Both are evidence of absence.
But we have been told where to look for them. We have a specific and falsifiable claim. We can falsify the claim by looking at the specific street and seeing that the teenagers aren't there.
The teenage example is specific and falsifiable and the evidence (empty street) is contradictory to the claim (teenagers on the street). The evidence falsifies the claim because we can't possibly have an empty street as well as the street being occupied by teenagers.

Your god claim is very different. It gives no specifics on where you looked and how your evidence falsified the "existence of god" claim.
Your claim is an "absence of evidence" claim. It is not an "evidence of absence" claim.
Quote:Taken too far, negative evidence becomes an appeal to ignorance, the mistake of believing that because we have not found evidence, it must not exist.


(26-01-2015 06:00 PM)Free Wrote:  In regards to God, a claim is also made for existence. But upon investigation, it became knowledge that God does not exist.
Where specifically did you look?
How does this prove all god claims to be false?

(26-01-2015 06:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:What expectations do you have with regards to god/s?

None, since they do not exist.
How do you know they do not exist? Where is your proof?

(26-01-2015 06:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:Taken too far, negative evidence becomes an appeal to ignorance, the mistake of believing that because we have not found evidence, it must not exist.

I have not taken it any further than the very basics of demonstrating Evidence of Absence. After all, one cannot take it any further because there's nothing else.
In your desperation to prove yourself right, you are stretching definitions, and ignoring basic logic.
You are appealing to ignorance because you have no evidence. You do not have any evidence of absence because you don't know where to look. You assert that gods don't exist. You use that as an excuse to claim that you don't need evidence to prove that gods don't exist.
You're logic is circular, you invoke ignorance, you ignore alternatives.

I could easily state that mammals with bills do not exist because only birds have bills. I could claim that since it is fact that only birds have bills and that there is no positive evidence that mammals can have bills then I have proof that mammals don't have bills.

But then along comes an Australian carrying a platypus.
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26-01-2015, 07:08 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
For what it's worth... I agree with Chas, Stevil, and just about everyone in the thread other than Free. Free is claiming to have knowledge that he can't possibly have.

I see only two possibilities here:

(1) It is impossible for anyone to have absolute knowledge concerning the existence or non-existence of God(s). This is my position. If Free claims to have such knowledge, he is mistaken.

(2) Free actually does have such knowledge, which means he is omniscient, which means he is God. Therefore God exists, and Free is wrong.

#2 is self-contradictory. Therefore #1.

It is possible for someone to believe that he/she is 1.0 or 7.0 on the Dawkins scale, but it is not possible to actually have that degree of knowledge. Therefore, these people are mistaken. Everyone is an agnostic. Some of us admit it.
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26-01-2015, 07:23 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Also, I don't necessarily buy into the "born atheist" concept. We are certainly not born as "strong atheists" or "gnostic atheists". We are born agnostic, with no knowledge one way or the other about anything, including the existence or non-existence of God. Any strong "yes" or "no" answer on that question has to be learned or reasoned out.

The motivation of the "born atheist" concept seems to be that the only way to acquire religious belief is by indoctrination, but if that were strictly true, there would be no such thing as religion. Someone at some point in the distant past must have developed religious beliefs without being indoctrinated. Religion had to start somehow. And if it could happen once, it could happen again.
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26-01-2015, 07:27 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2015 07:31 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 03:52 PM)Free Wrote:  But since nothing supernatural has ever been determined to exist, there's no precedent to support a future possibility.

This is clear and concise. Inductive reasoning would maintain that in the future we will continue to find no evidence of the supernatural.

In the meantime I will continue saying, “I have seen no evidence for gods or the supernatural. If you think you have some let’s see it.”

“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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