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why are you an atheist?

Started by randomvim, September 11, 2016, 03:14:56 AM

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Sal1981

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Mr.Obvious

#61
Quote from: randomvim on September 15, 2016, 07:55:02 PM
Even disbelief or the lack there of is a belief in something. If I were to say you are not possess by a ghost of Napoleon (of whom I would guess you refer to the historical figure) : there are three stances I could take.

Either
a. I believe you
b. I don't believe you
c. I'm neutral and don't know what to believe.

both b. and c. lack belief but both are still different. agree?

if I am to say you are not catrering to a French war general and emperor, then it is because I refuse the statement and take a stance opposite or in opposition to yours. I tell myself and provide my own support as to why. Regardless to what those reasons are I must rely on my own support in order to make a decision - otherwise I remain neutral. that is logical.

I do agree that my stance against your spiritual embodiment may not be due to evidence against your statement, but I would still try to think it out.

It wouldn't really make a difference if it's either the old French warmonger or the dude with the 'fro, now would it? :D

A lack of beliefs is just that; a lack of beliefs. You ask why I, amongst others, am an atheist. And you agree that your 'stance against my spiritual embodiment may not be due to evidence against my statement'. So you understand what I'm saying, don't you? You're more than welcome to spend your time actively thinking about reasons why Napoleon isn't in my body. But you seem to agree that you don't need to in order to be justified in your position of disbelief regarding my claim and whatever shoddy evidence I may try to enforce it with.

For instance, you might believe I'm clinically insane. And to prove that, you may point to the long, hypothetical list of psycho-social illness in my family. Or to the years I spent in a mental hospital. Or to the shitload of heroin I inject daily. You may present that as 'evidence' for a belief you posit: me being high or me being insane or ... You can't prove the negative claim that Napoleon isn't haunting me with these evidences, but you can certainly lend credence to your beliefs.
But you don't have to have such an alternative explanation to my claim of spiritual emporial unification to be justified in not taking my word for it, now do you? Nor if I present my evidence; which would be that I often find myself putting my hand across my stomach in Napoleon's fashion. Your belief may be that I'm insane. Another's belief may be that I'm doing too much drugs. Another's belief may be that I'm just a dumb-as-a-rock guy with digestion-burn-problems. And another may just say; that's just stupid evidence that doesn't lead any credence to your claim. You and the others may agree with this last guy and still dissagree amongst yourselves. But you are all justified to the last guy's lack of belief, but are only justified in your own specific belief if you can prove it.

An other example, staying on the topic of emperors, would be the emperor's clothes. I assume you are familiar with the fairytale.
Seeing as people can't measure the emperor's clothes. And they can't scientifically examine the emperor's clothes. And they can't test the emperor's clothes... In other words simply no one can prove the emperor's clothes are actually there, are you not justified in lacking the belief that the clothes are there despite that all the others around you show the belief the clothes are there? (Let alone on the fact that no-one can agree what the clothes exactly look like.)
As soon as someone tries to convince you, let's say by saying obviously the emperor is wearing clothes because everyone else can see them, one may point out that if they can't physically prove them this all could very well be a form of mass-delusion or an attempt to not look stupid; showing why their 'evidence' isn't 'evidence'. If you don't believe the clothes are there, that's all you need to do to be justified in your position. If you believe the clothes aren't there, you need to go ahead and prove it. But why take that stance and take on that daunting task of proving a negative if you are justified by the opposition's lack of evidence?

Now, let's flip the scenario back to the god-claim. There are arguments one can make against the probability of the existance of a deity and definitely any known specific hypothetical deity. I agree. Many do that here often. Heck, I could do that. And it's fine. It can be a good thinking-exercise. But that wouldn't be the bedrock of my atheism. Which is what you yourself inquired after. When people make a god-claim and offer their evidence, we see the holes in their fabric and manage to point them out. That alone, until good evidence comes forth, is enough to justify the atheist position.
I don't believe there is a god. That's as far as I can go with this. I could say I believe there is no God, but I would not really be able to prove said negative claim. Ever. So why do it? It would only feed the god-claiment's mistaken assumption that both positions need evidence to work. But only one does, because the other can just be nothing more than a justified refusal of a weak claim and it's shoddy evidence.


"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, last night, requesting 69.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

SGOS

#62
Quote from: randomvim on September 15, 2016, 07:55:02 PM

b. I don't believe you
c. I'm neutral and don't know what to believe.

both b. and c. lack belief but both are still different. agree?

No, they are actually the same.  And to truly understand atheism, you need to be able to see why.  Ready to listen?  First, throw out all preconceptions, most of all what your pastor says.  Don't cling to what you think you have learned.

First, look at it this way.  If you are neutral and don't know what to believe, then by definition, combined with the sentence construction used, you DO NOT BELIEVE.  In other words you only believe if you can actually say you believe.  If you argue that you could believe in spite of not knowing what to [you] believe, you are arguing an absurdity ([I don't know if I believe in God, but I believe in God]).  I know you don't think it is [an absurdity], and I thought that at one time too, but I was wrong.

Second, try this way.  If you cannot assert that YOU BELIEVE, then by deduction, YOU DON'T BELIEVE.

This is the definition of atheism.  Many dictionaries define atheism as a bold assertion, but that definition is used because most theists (the majority) have come to understand atheism incorrectly as an assertion against the existence of gods.  It's an idiosyncratic definition that is problematic, and actually only addresses a small minority of the atheist population.  I think theists mitigate the problematic definition by lumping the neutrals into the set of agnostics, but while we could debate the semantics of atheist, calling the neutrals "agnostic" is totally wrong.  The actual definition of agnostic is simply a person who believes there is no way of knowing.  It does not dictate that a person cannot be a theist or an atheist.  It does not dictate a belief state.  Only that there can be no knowledge.

In believing, the neutral option is still a state of not believing.  It makes no difference that it's neutral as contrasted to a bold assertion that the belief is wrong.  It's an empty state without any assertion, but there is still no belief.  And that's the definition of atheist.  The "a" in atheist means without [gods], but not against, and not opposed, and certainly not morally bankrupt and vile to his rotten core.  It just means "without".  It's the neutral default state.

Gawdzilla Sama

Man walks into a bar. Sees me with my atheist t-shirt on sitting at the bar. He walks over and sits down next to me.

"Tell me, why are you an atheist?"

I pull a gun and shoot him twice in the forehead.

"Damn stupid question."

Bartender dumps body in the pit out back.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

SGOS

Quote from: Gawdzilla Sama on September 16, 2016, 03:23:04 PM
Man walks into a bar. Sees me with my atheist t-shirt on sitting at the bar. He walks over and sits down next to me.

"Tell me, why are you an atheist?"

I pull a gun and shoot him twice in the forehead.

"Damn stupid question."

Bartender dumps body in the pit out back.

You do have a way with distilling things down to their essence.

Gawdzilla Sama

Quote from: SGOS on September 16, 2016, 04:28:17 PM
You do have a way with distilling things down to their essence.
Communicating in battle leads to terseness.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Baruch

Quote from: Gawdzilla Sama on September 16, 2016, 03:23:04 PM
Man walks into a bar. Sees me with my atheist t-shirt on sitting at the bar. He walks over and sits down next to me.

"Tell me, why are you an atheist?"

I pull a gun and shoot him twice in the forehead.

"Damn stupid question."

Bartender dumps body in the pit out back.

Extended paraphrase on my "believing gravity" comment on the previous page?
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ Å,a’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Gawdzilla Sama

Quote from: Baruch on September 16, 2016, 05:37:56 PM
Extended paraphrase on my "believing gravity" comment on the previous page?
Didn't read it, sorry.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers


Sal1981

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Gawdzilla Sama

Quote from: randomvim on September 16, 2016, 06:06:33 PM
Does anyone here?
Seriously? You don't know the bible like some atheists do. Especially those in the Clergy Project.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

randomvim

#71
Quote from: Mr.Obvious on September 16, 2016, 12:30:20 PM
It wouldn't really make a difference if it's either the old French warmonger or the dude with the 'fro, now would it? :D

A lack of beliefs is just that; a lack of beliefs. You ask why I, amongst others, am an atheist. And you agree that your 'stance against my spiritual embodiment may not be due to evidence against my statement'. So you understand what I'm saying, don't you? You're more than welcome to spend your time actively thinking about reasons why Napoleon isn't in my body. But you seem to agree that you don't need to in order to be justified in your position of disbelief regarding my claim and whatever shoddy evidence I may try to enforce it with.
well doing and being justified for what I am doing is different. or so I would consider it to be.  anyone can think this or that with out having a reason to think it or to be "justified" for thinking it.

a person that is justified in their action or thinking would carry some support for their thought or action.

though a person can be absent of all evidence and still have a  belief or disbelief - would that not be an appeal to ignorance?

QuoteFor instance, you might believe I'm clinically insane. And to prove that, you may point to the long, hypothetical list of psycho-social illness in my family. Or to the years I spent in a mental hospital. Or to the shitload of heroin I inject daily. You may present that as 'evidence' for a belief you posit: me being high or me being insane or ... You can't prove the negative claim that Napoleon isn't haunting me with these evidences, but you can certainly lend credence to your beliefs.
But you don't have to have such an alternative explanation to my claim of spiritual emporial unification to be justified in not taking my word for it, now do you? Nor if I present my evidence; which would be that I often find myself putting my hand across my stomach in Napoleon's fashion. Your belief may be that I'm insane. Another's belief may be that I'm doing too much drugs. Another's belief may be that I'm just a dumb-as-a-rock guy with digestion-burn-problems. And another may just say; that's just stupid evidence that doesn't lead any credence to your claim. You and the others may agree with this last guy and still dissagree amongst yourselves. But you are all justified to the last guy's lack of belief, but are only justified in your own specific belief if you can prove it.
1.good use of "spiritual emporial unification" I smiled a bit.

2. even with the last man being correct in his statement. the truth to the situation may still be unknown or in your favor. myself and the others may still be incorrect and you correct just because the support you provided was found to be unreliable by opinion. where as the evidence that supports your situation ... supports your claim would still be unknown.

That last man can still hold a neutral stance on the situation as to whether or not you would pertain a ghostly appetite for conquest.

Sorry Edit: that one man can call out all support for or against your claim as b.s. but still logically only hold one stance because of his inability to make a positive or negative claim. that stance is neutral.  no opinion.

3. I almost want to start a thread just for sarcastic descriptions of a ghost inhabiting a human.

QuoteAn other example, staying on the topic of emperors, would be the emperor's clothes. I assume you are familiar with the fairytale.
Seeing as people can't measure the emperor's clothes. And they can't scientifically examine the emperor's clothes. And they can't test the emperor's clothes... In other words simply no one can prove the emperor's clothes are actually there, are you not justified in lacking the belief that the clothes are there despite that all the others around you show the belief the clothes are there? (Let alone on the fact that no-one can agree what the clothes exactly look like.)
As soon as someone tries to convince you, let's say by saying obviously the emperor is wearing clothes because everyone else can see them, one may point out that if they can't physically prove them this all could very well be a form of mass-delusion or an attempt to not look stupid; showing why their 'evidence' isn't 'evidence'. If you don't believe the clothes are there, that's all you need to do to be justified in your position. If you believe the clothes aren't there, you need to go ahead and prove it. But why take that stance and take on that daunting task of proving a negative if you are justified by the opposition's lack of evidence?
sorry this one doesn't work for me. I heard this story which adds to why it doesn't work.  the example also describes a physical thing that can only be portrayed or examined in a limited way. either you feel it or you don't.

QuoteNow, let's flip the scenario back to the god-claim. There are arguments one can make against the probability of the existance of a deity and definitely any known specific hypothetical deity. I agree. Many do that here often. Heck, I could do that. And it's fine. It can be a good thinking-exercise. But that wouldn't be the bedrock of my atheism. Which is what you yourself inquired after. When people make a god-claim and offer their evidence, we see the holes in their fabric and manage to point them out. That alone, until good evidence comes forth, is enough to justify the atheist position.
I don't believe there is a god. That's as far as I can go with this. I could say I believe there is no God, but I would not really be able to prove said negative claim. Ever. So why do it? It would only feed the god-claiment's mistaken assumption that both positions need evidence to work. But only one does, because the other can just be nothing more than a justified refusal of a weak claim and it's shoddy evidence.
I roll off what I propose above. I believe there is misunderstanding as to why a person is as they say they are.

swell to see a comment towards why a person is as they think they are, but I would not consider provided explanation as justification for a negative claim.

oh well. swell talking.

randomvim

Quote from: Gawdzilla Sama on September 16, 2016, 06:10:19 PM
Seriously? You don't know the bible like some atheists do. Especially those in the Clergy Project.
Some atheists don't know the Bible as well as they think they do.  Same may be said for clergy and practicing religious. this is why it should be studied with an open mind.

Edit: too many as well. anyways what is this clergy project?

Gawdzilla Sama

Quote from: randomvim on September 16, 2016, 06:38:31 PM
Some atheists don't know the Bible as well as they think they do.  Same may be said for clergy and practicing religious. this is why it should be studied with an open mind.

Edit: too many as well. anyways what is this clergy project?
You are talking out your ass.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Johan

Quote from: randomvim on September 15, 2016, 08:00:11 PM
I know of no such circumstances. by your mannerism expressed, I sense false pretenses based on loose understandings. no worries. I do carry my own loose understandings as well. it is why I focus on  study.

So you've decided to leave deuteronomy off your biblical buffet plate then?
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful