Why do atheists become atheists?
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27-01-2015, 10:08 AM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2015 11:01 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(27-01-2015 12:14 AM)Stevil Wrote:  One last try

Let's put this in a logic form.

If we start with the premise
1) Absence of evidence does not equal "evidence of absence".


Aaaaaand right here is where the fail starts.

Instead, you start with the premise "Evidence of Absence." It has absolutely nothing to do with "Absence of evidence does not equal "evidence of absence."

Your misunderstanding of Evidence of Absence has compelled you to completely misrepresent the position.

Thank you, that will be all.

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27-01-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 09:33 PM)Free Wrote:  Dude, in relation to this discussion, when you use the word impossible, you are saying it doesn't even exist. Hence, if the knowledge doesn't even exist for me to have, how then can you positively claim anyone can have knowledge that doesn't even exist?

You can't see this glaringly obvious contradiction?

I'm not going to play word games with you. You don't understand logic, probability, or epistemology, you don't understand the meanings of words, and half the time, you can't even be bothered with correct grammar and spelling ("I seen" -- "religious tenants" -- etc.). You are either being intellectually dishonest (if Chas won't say it, I will), or you are extremely stupid. Either way, it's a complete waste of time to argue with you, and I don't like to waste my time. Welcome back to my ignore list. You are in a very select company (only one other person, and he was a theist troll who repeatedly posted pages-long walls of text). Congratulations.
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27-01-2015, 11:31 AM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2015 12:02 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(27-01-2015 11:12 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 09:33 PM)Free Wrote:  Dude, in relation to this discussion, when you use the word impossible, you are saying it doesn't even exist. Hence, if the knowledge doesn't even exist for me to have, how then can you positively claim anyone can have knowledge that doesn't even exist?

You can't see this glaringly obvious contradiction?

I'm not going to play word games with you. You don't understand logic, probability, or epistemology, you don't understand the meanings of words, and half the time, you can't even be bothered with correct grammar and spelling ("I seen" -- "religious tenants" -- etc.). You are either being intellectually dishonest (if Chas won't say it, I will), or you are extremely stupid. Either way, it's a complete waste of time to argue with you, and I don't like to waste my time. Welcome back to my ignore list. You are in a very select company (only one other person, and he was a theist troll who repeatedly posted pages-long walls of text). Congratulations.

You seem to have this problem admitting you are incorrect about many things. For example, you are trying to redefine commonly accepted definitions of words such as "impossible" to prove whatever point it is that you are trying to make.

Since the very definition of "impossible" has been provided to you from multiple reputable sources, and it is very obvious that I am using those definitions properly to demonstrate my points, then there is no way you can be intellectually honest regarding your claims about me when the precise knowledge of those definitions has been given to you.

Therefore, you are intentionally denying the truth in regards to those definitions when the knowledge is so readily available.

Dude, THAT is the precise definition of "intellectual dishonesty."

Intellectual Dishonesty:

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

Since you cannot be honest in this conversation, perhaps it's better you do not engage.

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27-01-2015, 05:11 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(26-01-2015 08:37 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 08:28 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I think it was Chas who said something like "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence unless you were expecting to find evidence. Then it's absence is evidence."

Something like that. More like you'd need to know what kind of evidence it is that is absent, what evidence should be there.

I do like your phrasing, though.

"The dog didn't bark."

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27-01-2015, 06:59 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
I'm posting here because I mentioned in my introduction thread that I was a gnostic atheist and a member linked it to me. I'm not sure how far the discussion is going right now, but I'll leave the reasons for my position right here:

Before starting with the arguments let's define gnostic atheism --> Agnostic atheists argue that they lack belief in gods but don't claim that there isn't any god, so it's a claim of lack of belief and also lack of knowledge. Gnostic atheists claim that gods don't exist or that it is possible to know that gods don't exist, meaning both knowledge and an active belief; in this case belief can be defined as a justified, rational input, and not necessarily a dogmatic belief that will never change regardless of evidence

Not into my position

Starting with the basics - There are thousands of gods recorded throughout history, there are thousands of concepts for god, each believer in the world will probably have a different idea of what god is supposed to be, there is not one definition of god and different people argue that god is 'x' while others argue that god is 'y'. By this very reason, I could argue from the beginning that something that is still not defined cannot possibly exist

How can someone not claim knowledge and at the same time not believe? If someone doesn't believe in gods, that means there is some knowledge, some evidence or lack of thereof, that allows to make a judgement - An agnostic atheist supposedly claims to not possess knowledge on god, but by not believing you are necessarily making a fair use of current knowledge and rationality to dismiss the god hypothesis - You are basically "not believing that you don't believe". How can you not believe if you don't claim any knowledge?

I think refusing the possibility of knowledge when it comes to god is to recur to complete utter nihilism, far more than I have ever been - We can claim knowledge on everything else but god - Why treat god differently? This is a simple proposal - Just like I know unicorns, Santa Klaus and dragons don't exist, I know god doesn't exist. God has as much evidence for him as unicorns or leprechauns, yet I'm not saying I "lack belief in unicorns", I'm saying "they don't exist". Lack of evidence, in my opinion, is enough to assume something doesn't exist, if it hasn't been proven true, if there is no proof, then it doesn't exist until someone proves otherwise. If my kids asked me if Santa Klaus exists, and I wanted to tell them the truth, I'd say "No buddy", not "I don't believe he exists but I don't claim to know for a fact". Think about it using other method - Do you lack belief in Zeus, or do you know it's bullshit?? If you answered yes, then why treat other gods differently?

Moreover, this isn't about just lack of proof, it is that there is contradictory evidence against god. For example, the number of phenomenon that was attributed to god and science has proven that it's not really like that, or the illogical, incompatible characteristics between many gods, such as the Christian or Muslim ones. For me to be an agnostic, there could be no proof in favour and against god, but there is evidence that constitutes enough reason to deny the existence of almost every religion's god.

This reminds me of the deist god - A non interventive god that is not falsifiable... It's not really like that, if your claim is not verifiable, then it is bullshit. Anyone can claim something that is not verifiable but that doesn't mean others need to be agnostics regarding it. And moreover if your god doesn't have the ability to intervene then he isn't really a god and not worthy to be classified as such

In my opinion, for one to claim knowledge, there's no necessity to be 100% sure about anything, I'm not 100% sure that gods don't exist, just like I'm not 100% sure gravity exists, it could all be a complete unnoticeable illusion. However, in the present (and the future is irrelevant since we're not there already) there is no evidence for me to think that gravity doesn't exist and that god exists, therefore I know gravity exists and god doesn't. To claim knowledge, one needs to be certain beyond reasonable doubt, that's it. I'm certain beyond reasonable doubt that gods do not exist, have never existed and will never exist, and that's why I am a gnostic atheist. I am not close minded, I'm not going to deny someday someone can't bring evidence that gods exist - It can happen, it's a possibility, but given the current state of affairs there's no reason to not reject the existence of gods.

A small final note - Something that bugs me off is when agnostic atheists make use of their "lack of knowledge" to start a discussion on purpose with a theist and then sit back and demand evidence - Like "Oh you are mad? Then prove you are right, I only lack belief in gods, I don't need to prove anything" - This is not wrong, but it is a bad use of the agnostic position to mock theists and it serves no purpose.

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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27-01-2015, 07:28 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(27-01-2015 06:59 PM)Blackout Wrote:  I'm posting here because I mentioned in my introduction thread that I was a gnostic atheist and a member linked it to me. I'm not sure how far the discussion is going right now, but I'll leave the reasons for my position right here:

Before starting with the arguments let's define gnostic atheism --> Agnostic atheists argue that they lack belief in gods but don't claim that there isn't any god, so it's a claim of lack of belief and also lack of knowledge. Gnostic atheists claim that gods don't exist or that it is possible to know that gods don't exist, meaning both knowledge and an active belief; in this case belief can be defined as a justified, rational input, and not necessarily a dogmatic belief that will never change regardless of evidence

Not into my position

Starting with the basics - There are thousands of gods recorded throughout history, there are thousands of concepts for god, each believer in the world will probably have a different idea of what god is supposed to be, there is not one definition of god and different people argue that god is 'x' while others argue that god is 'y'. By this very reason, I could argue from the beginning that something that is still not defined cannot possibly exist

How can someone not claim knowledge and at the same time not believe? If someone doesn't believe in gods, that means there is some knowledge, some evidence or lack of thereof, that allows to make a judgement - An agnostic atheist supposedly claims to not possess knowledge on god, but by not believing you are necessarily making a fair use of current knowledge and rationality to dismiss the god hypothesis - You are basically "not believing that you don't believe". How can you not believe if you don't claim any knowledge?

I think refusing the possibility of knowledge when it comes to god is to recur to complete utter nihilism, far more than I have ever been - We can claim knowledge on everything else but god - Why treat god differently? This is a simple proposal - Just like I know unicorns, Santa Klaus and dragons don't exist, I know god doesn't exist. God has as much evidence for him as unicorns or leprechauns, yet I'm not saying I "lack belief in unicorns", I'm saying "they don't exist". Lack of evidence, in my opinion, is enough to assume something doesn't exist, if it hasn't been proven true, if there is no proof, then it doesn't exist until someone proves otherwise. If my kids asked me if Santa Klaus exists, and I wanted to tell them the truth, I'd say "No buddy", not "I don't believe he exists but I don't claim to know for a fact". Think about it using other method - Do you lack belief in Zeus, or do you know it's bullshit?? If you answered yes, then why treat other gods differently?

Moreover, this isn't about just lack of proof, it is that there is contradictory evidence against god. For example, the number of phenomenon that was attributed to god and science has proven that it's not really like that, or the illogical, incompatible characteristics between many gods, such as the Christian or Muslim ones. For me to be an agnostic, there could be no proof in favour and against god, but there is evidence that constitutes enough reason to deny the existence of almost every religion's god.

This reminds me of the deist god - A non interventive god that is not falsifiable... It's not really like that, if your claim is not verifiable, then it is bullshit. Anyone can claim something that is not verifiable but that doesn't mean others need to be agnostics regarding it. And moreover if your god doesn't have the ability to intervene then he isn't really a god and not worthy to be classified as such

In my opinion, for one to claim knowledge, there's no necessity to be 100% sure about anything, I'm not 100% sure that gods don't exist, just like I'm not 100% sure gravity exists, it could all be a complete unnoticeable illusion. However, in the present (and the future is irrelevant since we're not there already) there is no evidence for me to think that gravity doesn't exist and that god exists, therefore I know gravity exists and god doesn't. To claim knowledge, one needs to be certain beyond reasonable doubt, that's it. I'm certain beyond reasonable doubt that gods do not exist, have never existed and will never exist, and that's why I am a gnostic atheist. I am not close minded, I'm not going to deny someday someone can't bring evidence that gods exist - It can happen, it's a possibility, but given the current state of affairs there's no reason to not reject the existence of gods.

A small final note - Something that bugs me off is when agnostic atheists make use of their "lack of knowledge" to start a discussion on purpose with a theist and then sit back and demand evidence - Like "Oh you are mad? Then prove you are right, I only lack belief in gods, I don't need to prove anything" - This is not wrong, but it is a bad use of the agnostic position to mock theists and it serves no purpose.

I like to put it the other way round: OK, dear Christian, if you insist, your god exists. But what a monster must this god be! He is good and evil in one ´person´ because as god the all mighty he created good and evil. This point is crucial in discussion between theological´experts´: how can that be, if it is a ´loving god´. The monotheistic gods are the most cruel entities a human brain could invent. Most other gods like the Greece ones are not worth to be discussed - they do no harm to anybody, except maybe to Ulysses.

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
Thomas Paine
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27-01-2015, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2015 07:56 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(27-01-2015 06:59 PM)Blackout Wrote:  I think refusing the possibility of knowledge ... is to stipulate complete utter nihilism, ...

Fix't. So what? Don't mean nothing to the price of tea in China. Big Grin

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27-01-2015, 09:00 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2015 11:16 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
My Atheistic 7.0 Status


Here, in detail, is a logical examination of the following statement:

"You cannot prove God does not exist because you cannot prove a negative. Since you cannot prove God does not exist, then you do not have the knowledge to make the claim that God does not exist."

I will now propose definitions of key words in the above statement that are relevant to this discussion:

Negative:

Noun:

showing that a particular condition, disease, or substance is not present


Therefore, the word negative in this discussion will reflect "the absence of existence," with the substance referring to existence.

Knowledge

Noun:

1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation


So going forward with those definitions I will now take a look at the statement in question by asking some questions.

Q: What is the negative in the statement?
A: The negative is identified as "You cannot prove God does not exist."

Therefore, the words "You cannot prove God does not exist" are defined as a negative. Therefore, we will apply this negative with the definition of Negative listed above.

Quote:"You cannot conclusively prove the absence of the existence of God."

No conclusive proof is required or possible. Since the absence of existence necessarily implies nothingness, then there is nothing there to prove.

POINT: This demonstrates an impossibility, and since it is an impossibility, it is meaningless. This statement can only have validity if it was possible.

Now for the second part of the statement which says:

"Since you cannot prove God does not exist, then you do not have the knowledge to make the claim that God does not exist."

The statement above necessarily implies that if one could prove the non existence of God, then knowledge of the non existence of God would be available.

However, as previously demonstrated, since proving the non existence of God is impossible, then it follows that acquiring any knowledge of the non existence of God is equally impossible.

This makes this statement equally meaningless, since it is impossible to acquire any knowledge that God does not exist.

Now we will define the word "impossible" in relation to this discussion:

Impossible:

Adjective

not able to occur, exist, or be done.


POINT: In relation to this discussion, the proof of the non existence of God has no existence. Therefore it follows that there is also no existence of any knowledge available. The existence of either is impossible.

Now we go forward and examine the atheistic 7.0 claim of "There is no God."

Q: Is it a knowledge claim?
A: Yes.

Q: Is it a claim of absolute knowledge?
A: Yes.


So we examine how and why it is a claim of absolute knowledge. Firstly, lets us define the word "absolute" in relation to this discussion:

Absolute:

Adjective

positive; certain:


So how can the claim that "God does not exist" be validated as having absolute knowledge?

The reason is that the only complete knowledge possible is found in the Evidence of Absence. Since the proof of the non existence of God does not exist- and thereby the proof via knowledge also does not exist- then it is conclusively demonstrated that the absolute sum total of all knowledge regarding the non existence of God can only possibly be acquired from the Evidence of Absence.

POINT: The reason why the Atheistic 7.0 position can claim absolute knowledge is because the Evidence of Absence provides the only possible knowledge regarding the non existence of any supernatural god(s). No other knowledge exists. No other choices exist.

And that is why Atheism 7.0 is the most intellectually honest status to hold.

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27-01-2015, 10:06 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(27-01-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  And that is why Atheism 7.0 is the most intellectually honest status to hold.

Intellectual honesty is over rated. Drinking Beverage

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27-01-2015, 11:42 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(27-01-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
My Atheistic 7.0 Status


Here, in detail, is a logical examination of the following statement:

"You cannot prove God does not exist because you cannot prove a negative. Since you cannot prove God does not exist, then you do not have the knowledge to make the claim that God does not exist."

I will now propose definitions of key words in the above statement that are relevant to this discussion:

Negative:

Noun:

showing that a particular condition, disease, or substance is not present


Therefore, the word negative in this discussion will reflect "the absence of existence," with the substance referring to existence.

Knowledge

Noun:

1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation


So going forward with those definitions I will not take a look at the statement in question by asking some questions.

Q: What is the negative in the statement?
A: The negative is identified as "You cannot prove God does not exist."

Therefore, the words "You cannot prove God does not exist" are defined as a negative. Therefore, we will apply this negative with the definition of Negative listed above.

Quote:"You cannot conclusively prove the absence of the existence of God."

No conclusive proof is required or possible. Since the absence of existence necessarily implies nothingness, then there is nothing there to prove.

POINT: This demonstrates an impossibility, and since it is an impossibility, it is meaningless. This statement can only have validity if it was possible.

Now for the second part of the statement which says:

"Since you cannot prove God does not exist, then you do not have the knowledge to make the claim that God does not exist."

The statement above necessarily implies that if one could prove the non existence of God, then knowledge of the non existence of God would be available.

However, as previously demonstrated, since proving the non existence of God is impossible, then it follows that acquiring any knowledge of the non existence of God is equally impossible.

The makes this statement equally meaningless, since it is impossible to acquire any knowledge that God does not exist.

Now we will define the word "impossible" in relation to this discussion:

Impossible:

Adjective

not able to occur, exist, or be done.


POINT: In relation to this discussion, there is no existence of proving the non existence of God. There is also no existence of any knowledge available. Both are impossible of existing.

Now we go forward and examine the atheistic 7.0 claim of "There is no God."

Q: Is it a knowledge claim?
A: Yes.

Q: Is it a claim of absolute knowledge?
A: Yes.


So we examine how and why it is a claim of absolute knowledge. Firstly, lets us define the word "absolute" in relation to this discussion:

Absolute:

Adjective

positive; certain:


So how can the claim that "God does not exist" be validated as having absolute knowledge?

The reason is that the only complete knowledge possible is found in the Evidence of Absence. Since proving the non existence of God is impossible- and thereby acquiring knowledge is also impossible- then it is conclusively demonstrated that the absolute sum total of all knowledge regarding the non existence of God can only possibly be acquired from the Evidence of Absence.

POINT: The reason why the Atheistic 7.0 position can claim absolute knowledge is because the Evidence of Absence provides the only possible knowledge regarding the non existence of any supernatural god(s). No other knowledge exists. No other choices exist.

And that is why Atheism 7.0 is the most intellectually honest status to hold.

My Atheistic Status


I can prove gods do not exist. = False statement
I cannot prove gods do not exist. = True statement

I can prove gods exist. = False statement
I cannot prove gods exist. = True statement

Based on the above four statements that I perceive as being True:
We cannot prove or disprove that gods exist.
We cannot prove or disprove that gods do not exist.

Next:

Is there evidence for gods? = No
Is there evidence against gods? = Yes (absence of evidence)

Next:

Can gods not exist? = Yes
Can gods exist? = Unknown

This last question and answer is the crux. Even if all other statements above are correct what we are left with is an unanswerable question. Why? The concept itself is neither provable nor disprovable or, as you say, meaningless.

Can gods exist? = Meaningless

The more I think about the added descriptors of gnostic or agnostic to either theist or atheist the more I find them unnecessary to differentiate the two.
This is similar to the bit about being “a little pregnant” - you either are or you’re not.

Based on the above I consider myself atheist as I lack the belief in gods. Any further claim regarding to what extent I’m atheist is meaningless.

“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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