Why do atheists become atheists?
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13-01-2015, 11:26 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(13-01-2015 11:08 PM)Free Wrote:  
(13-01-2015 10:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  That is a falsifiable claim - not the same thing at all.

How is it any more falsifiable than saying the following:

There is one God.

???

Quote:The strongest valid statement we can make is that there is no evidence of any gods.

When there is no evidence, it does not exist. Existence always has evidence.

Black Swans.

Case in point, the Brits had never seen a Black Swan until the reached Australia, up until then they were probably 7.0 on the Black Swan question. A position of 6.9999 would have been the proper position to hold, ergo "never seen one, never heard of one but we haven't been everywhere yet."

A position of 7.0 on any topic (and let's try to keep the examples out of the realm of douchebaggery Wink )requires all encompassing knowledge so I allow for the most remote possibility of some sort of a creator being. After all we haven't been everywhere yet.

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14-01-2015, 12:59 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(13-01-2015 11:08 PM)Free Wrote:  When there is no evidence, it does not exist. Existence always has evidence.
When there is no evidence then we don't know whether it exists or not.
It might exist, but we just don't know. We have no knowledge.

There is no reason to suggest that it exists so it's probably not worth spending any time and effort trying to find it. We wouldn't even know where to look.

There are certainly many cases of things that have existed for which we have had no evidence for. Some of those things we have discovered and then realised that they have existed probably for millions of years, we just didn't know where to look for them.
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14-01-2015, 02:40 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(13-01-2015 04:53 PM)Free Wrote:  This philosophy seems silly to me. Do we not know that 1 + 1 = 2? Do we not know we exist? Are we not speaking right now?

We can know things, and we can determine things as either existing or not existing.

The things we imagine do not determine reality.

That is a tautology, that's the one area of knowledge I think is definitively explainable as something we know.

Imagining things doesn't make them true... nobody is concluding that. That's another illogical leap you make.

7.0 IS a positive claim. When you proclaim to be 7.0 you are in the position were burden of proof is upon you because you have made a definitive statement.

(13-01-2015 11:08 PM)Free Wrote:  When there is no evidence, it does not exist. Existence always has evidence.

If that statement was sound, 500 years ago electrons, protons, germs, blackholes, etc. Didn't exist. It's not true but it seemed so because we didn't have the ability to find the evidence. Currently we don't know what tools or knowhow we lack right now to find out information we could find 500 years from now and onward. Is it reasonable to believe these outlandish claims like a god exists, no... but it's not reasonable to insist we know them to not exist because we do not know everything.

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14-01-2015, 03:14 AM (This post was last modified: 14-01-2015 03:26 AM by The Polyglot Atheist.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(13-01-2015 08:51 PM)Free Wrote:  This is a classical Argument from Ignorance.

We cannot argue based upon what we do not know, but only upon what is known. Just because we do not know everything does not necessarily mean that what we do know is somehow invalidated.

We must proceed with the knowledge we have in hand, and not with another unsupported positive claim in which we cannot proceed because we do not have knowledge of something.

No-one here is saying that everything exists, only you are saying it. Besides, you're the one making claims.

(13-01-2015 04:53 PM)Free Wrote:  But it is obvious, and 300 pages to prove it only means they had some of the best pot in the world.

Big Grin

It's really not. It's just that you do not understand how mathematics work. Or you're joking, which doesn't help the discussion.

(13-01-2015 08:51 PM)Free Wrote:  Using your philosophy, can we make a claim that anything exists? This works for me, because if we cannot determine that anything exists, then obviously we cannot claim that a possibility exists, which means we cannot claim the existence of God is possible.

This could quickly turn into one big fat fucking vicious circle of utter stupidity.

Sadcryface

You can exclude a certain God because the more you give them features, the more you can use those to disprove it. But a deity with no features attached to it is harder to disprove. Sure, this doesn't automatically prove it. But you asserting that it certainly does not exist is wrong as well.

If you withheld belief, then we would be on the same page. The difference might seem subtle but is there.

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14-01-2015, 09:07 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(13-01-2015 11:26 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(13-01-2015 11:08 PM)Free Wrote:  How is it any more falsifiable than saying the following:

There is one God.

???


When there is no evidence, it does not exist. Existence always has evidence.

Black Swans.

Case in point, the Brits had never seen a Black Swan until the reached Australia, up until then they were probably 7.0 on the Black Swan question. A position of 6.9999 would have been the proper position to hold, ergo "never seen one, never heard of one but we haven't been everywhere yet."

Three problems with this:

1. To the Brits, Black Swans did not exist until observed.
2. Since other colors of swans were observed, this provides evidence to support the possibility that black swans could exist.
3. Black swans are a natural possibility; A supernatural God is not.

Quote:A position of 7.0 on any topic (and let's try to keep the examples out of the realm of douchebaggery Wink )requires all encompassing knowledge so I allow for the most remote possibility of some sort of a creator being. After all we haven't been everywhere yet.

Again, this argument must make assumptions, and does not provide evidence.

When you claim something as being "possible" you must provide evidence to support that possibility. Just because we say something is possible does not mean it is actually possible.

Look at my analysis of the Black Swan situation. I demonstrated why Black Swans were possible. Therefore, you must demonstrate with evidence how a God is possible, using the same standard.

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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14-01-2015, 09:11 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(14-01-2015 12:59 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(13-01-2015 11:08 PM)Free Wrote:  When there is no evidence, it does not exist. Existence always has evidence.
When there is no evidence then we don't know whether it exists or not.
It might exist, but we just don't know. We have no knowledge.

Not true:

When there is no evidence to either support the existence of something, and/or no evidence to support even the possibility of something existing, then we DO have knowledge of it's non existence.

Therefore, since we have knowledge of its non existence, we know it does not exist.

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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14-01-2015, 09:17 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
So Free, are you a gnostic atheist? Because that's a problematic position to sustain.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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14-01-2015, 09:44 AM (This post was last modified: 14-01-2015 09:50 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(14-01-2015 02:40 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(13-01-2015 04:53 PM)Free Wrote:  This philosophy seems silly to me. Do we not know that 1 + 1 = 2? Do we not know we exist? Are we not speaking right now?

We can know things, and we can determine things as either existing or not existing.

The things we imagine do not determine reality.

That is a tautology, that's the one area of knowledge I think is definitively explainable as something we know.

Imagining things doesn't make them true... nobody is concluding that. That's another illogical leap you make.

Hey, I did not make any illogical leap. The argument here is that just because people think there is a possibility that a god could exist does not, in any way whatsoever, demonstrate proof to support what they imagine to be true.

If people are going to "imagine" that there is a possibility that a god could exist, then that is not evidence that can be used to determine reality.

Quote:7.0 IS a positive claim. When you proclaim to be 7.0 you are in the position were burden of proof is upon you because you have made a definitive statement.

I'm happy you recognize that a negative claim is also a positive claim. When I say, "God does not exist," although it is a negative claim, it is also a positive claim because it's a claim of positive truth. It is impossible for any statement we make to not be a positive claim. Therefore, all claims are positive. But that is another issue.

Now, in regards to me having the burdern of proof, it is quite simple:

1. There is no evidence that any god exists.
2. There is no evidence to support any possibility that any god exists.

Therefore, the evidence I provide is, in fact, within the lack of evidence.

No evidence is, in fact, evidence. It is known as ...

Evidence of Absence

"Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. Per the traditional aphorism, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", positive evidence of this kind is distinct from a lack of evidence or ignorance of that which should have been found already, had it existed. In this regard Irving Copi writes:

"In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence."


Quote:
(13-01-2015 11:08 PM)Free Wrote:  When there is no evidence, it does not exist. Existence always has evidence.

If that statement was sound, 500 years ago electrons, protons, germs, blackholes, etc. Didn't exist. It's not true but it seemed so because we didn't have the ability to find the evidence. Currently we don't know what tools or knowhow we lack right now to find out information we could find 500 years from now and onward. Is it reasonable to believe these outlandish claims like a god exists, no... but it's not reasonable to insist we know them to not exist because we do not know everything.

Apples and Oranges:

Here is why that comparison fails:

Natural philosophy and methodology are sciences that deal with the nature of things. But the god we are speaking of here is regarded as a supernatural entity, of which there is not one shred of evidence for support.

Comparing the existence of natural with the possibility of the supernatural is fallacious.

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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14-01-2015, 09:53 AM (This post was last modified: 14-01-2015 09:58 AM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Your "breakdown" of the analogy doesn't actually work because it's not always a belief that God is only supernatural... And much of what humanity in the past described as supernatural was later determined to be understandable via natural laws. It just took refining tools beyond our humanly limited scope to see.. specifically glass and microscopes for understanding germs, atoms, etc.

Can you prove God is only described as something entirely supernatural and not potentially a natural concept we just can't understand yet? The likelyhood of it existing is infinitesimally small... but we don't know what the limits actually are on natural. Any indication of because it "seems that way to me" is often shown to be flawed. I'm gonna bet you'll not grasp this concept and change any position after seeing you repeatedly not understand it in your claims about the Universe working a way you see it... despite multiple understandings of how limited out knowledge is and how common sense makes no impact on the scientifically studied world when comparing quantum level and massive scale workings to our common mental grasps.

I also disagree "all claims are positive" then why would you of made a purpose in it of burden of proof. I don't know what if I know or don't know, and statements of unsure positions are not positive claims.

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14-01-2015, 09:55 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(14-01-2015 09:44 AM)Free Wrote:  Now, in regards to me having the burdern of proof, it is quite simple:

1. There is no evidence that any god exists.

So far there isn't any, true.

(14-01-2015 09:44 AM)Free Wrote:  2. There is no evidence to support any possibility that any god exists.

You have not proven this.

You're claiming that no Gods exist, but you have failed to prove it. And the whole playing with definitions is not going to help you.

If you can say with absolute certainty that there is no God, then you're making a claim, and since you have no evidence to support this, you're making an unsubstantiated claim. As Aron Ra said: if you can't show it, you don't know it.

You're claiming to have knowledge you have not. So let me ask you this and just answer with yes or no: Do you know for certain whether a God exists or not? Any God?

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