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Author Topic:   Does Atheism = No beliefs?
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6106
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


(2)
Message 211 of 414 (774607)
12-19-2015 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 210 by AZPaul3
12-19-2015 2:43 PM


AZPaul writes:

That does not preclude you from also being agnostic, from the Greek agnost or agnotos - not knowing or incapable of being known.

We've done this to death in another thread so I'll just say this: agnostic is an anachronism that has had no sensible meaning since the enlightenment. We now accept that no-one actually knows whether there's a god or not. RAZD calls himself a deist and an agnostic, ringo says there's no god but isn't an atheist he's agnostic. I say I'm an atheist but I know that the non-existence of god can't be proven so I too am an agnostic.

Agnosticism is defunct as a concept. Ringo and I are atheists and RAZD believes in god/s

I'll say no more. Probably.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 210 by AZPaul3, posted 12-19-2015 2:43 PM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 212 by Diomedes, posted 12-19-2015 4:32 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 360 by GDR, posted 01-25-2018 6:56 PM Tangle has responded

  
Diomedes
Member
Posts: 719
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 212 of 414 (774608)
12-19-2015 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by Tangle
12-19-2015 3:51 PM


We now accept that no-one actually knows whether there's a god or not. RAZD calls himself a deist and an agnostic, ringo says there's no god but isn't an atheist he's agnostic. I say I'm an atheist but I know that the non-existence of god can't be proven so I too am an agnostic.

And this correlates with my previous post regarding the distinction between belief and knowledge.

So if we want to effectively categorize, it would look something like this:

Faith: Gnostic Theist
RAZD: Agnostic Theist/Deist
Ringo: Agnostic Atheist
Tangle: Agnostic Atheist
Diomedes: Agnostic Atheist

In my dealings with Theists and Creationists, I often have been labeled a Darwinist as well. I've had discussions to itemize how theism/atheism classifications work, but in the end, I often just tell them I am a 'realist'. Some take offense to that saying I am being condescending. But in the end, what it means to me is that my viewpoints of the world are dictated by natural and physical laws and the data derived from effective experimentation.

Anything that cross into areas like 'metaphysics' or 'pseudoscience' have no veracity in my worldview since they do not adhere to the scientific method.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by Tangle, posted 12-19-2015 3:51 PM Tangle has responded

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 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 12-19-2015 4:48 PM Diomedes has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6106
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 213 of 414 (774610)
12-19-2015 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by Diomedes
12-19-2015 4:32 PM


Except that Faith is also agnostic, she believes that god exists, she even thinks that she knows: but she can't know, she can only believe.

If agnostic is on both sides of the equation, we can cancel it out - we don't need the concept - if both atheists and deists can claim to be one it's only use is to conflate and confuse.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by Diomedes, posted 12-19-2015 4:32 PM Diomedes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by NoNukes, posted 12-19-2015 9:49 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 214 of 414 (774615)
12-19-2015 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by ringo
12-19-2015 12:23 PM


ringo writes:


I personally don't believe that any gods exist but I don't self-identify as an atheist. I self-identify as an agnostic. I have no active unbelief. People who do self-identify as atheists may or may not be "sure". There's little to be gained by labelling people one way or the other.

This seems to be consistent with the normal usage of the terms "agnostic" and "atheist". An "agnostic" takes the essentially neutral position that he's not sure whether or not any god exists. A true agnostic could make the truth-claim: "I'm not sure whether or not any god exists", but he could not force this truth-claim on others. If his position is truly neutral, it should not bother him if others take the theist or atheist positions (claiming that a god DOES or does NOT exist).

As normally used, the term "atheist" does NOT describe a neutral position. An atheist makes the truth-claim that "no god exists". (Whether he is certain of this or not, he believes it to be true.). And this position that "no god exists" has logical consequences; it means that those who DO believe in the existence of a god must be deluded, or ignorant, or evil. This is not a neutral position.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 207 by ringo, posted 12-19-2015 12:23 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 215 by AZPaul3, posted 12-19-2015 9:24 PM kbertsche has responded

    
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


(1)
Message 215 of 414 (774617)
12-19-2015 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by kbertsche
12-19-2015 8:34 PM


An atheist makes the truth-claim that "no god exists".

No, kbertsche. You attribute false claims to those you do not, you can not, know. Unacceptable. While the activist atheist, such as myself, will approach the "no god exists" idea, many do not and more do not care. The only commonality is that we do not follow a theistic path.

... it means that those who DO believe in the existence of a god must be deluded, or ignorant, or evil.

Me, personally (and ,no, I do not speak for all), since you brought it up, I could go with that.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by kbertsche, posted 12-19-2015 8:34 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by kbertsche, posted 12-19-2015 10:06 PM AZPaul3 has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 216 of 414 (774618)
12-19-2015 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Tangle
12-19-2015 4:48 PM


Except that Faith is also agnostic, she believes that god exists, she even thinks that she knows: but she can't know, she can only believe.

Perhaps there is some sense in which your definitions make sense. The problem with them is that people the rest of us call atheists, Christians, and agnostics definitely have different mental states that they present in reaction to the question is God real. Adopting your definitions simply means that we no longer have words to describe those mental states. No thanks.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 12-19-2015 4:48 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 217 of 414 (774620)
12-19-2015 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by AZPaul3
12-19-2015 9:24 PM


AZPaul writes:

kbertsche writes:

An atheist makes the truth-claim that "no god exists".


No, kbertsche. You attribute false claims to those you do not, you can not, know. Unacceptable. While the activist atheist, such as myself, will approach the "no god exists" idea, many do not and more do not care. The only commonality is that we do not follow a theistic path.

Your claim disagrees not only with my own personal experience in talking with atheists, it disagrees with the definition of "atheism" per dictionary.com:
quote:

1.
the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2.
disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Note that the first definition agrees with me: atheism is the "belief that there is no God". The second definition is more neutral, and would be consistent with your claim above, that atheists simply "do not follow a theistic path".

Except that this is not really your position, as you reveal:

AZPaul writes:

kbertsche writes:


... it means that those who DO believe in the existence of a god must be deluded, or ignorant, or evil.


Me, personally (and ,no, I do not speak for all), since you brought it up, I could go with that.

This is inconsistent with your claimed position above, of course. If you simply "do not follow a theistic path", or if you take a neutral position of "disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings", it shouldn't matter to you if others DO choose to follow a theistic path or DO believe in the existence of a supreme being. The fact that you have a negative view of theists suggests that you truly believe that there is no god.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by AZPaul3, posted 12-19-2015 9:24 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-19-2015 10:28 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 220 by AZPaul3, posted 12-20-2015 1:50 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(2)
Message 218 of 414 (774621)
12-19-2015 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 217 by kbertsche
12-19-2015 10:06 PM


For the life of me I don't understand why this endless argument goes on and on.

And why believers feel they must try and fit those who don't believe into their predefined niches.

In my mind, there is a distinct difference between "I do not believe in a god or gods" and "I believe god or gods do not exist."

I am an atheist and I do not believe in a god or gods or anything supernatural.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by kbertsche, posted 12-19-2015 10:06 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by kbertsche, posted 12-20-2015 12:18 AM Tanypteryx has responded

    
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 219 of 414 (774624)
12-20-2015 12:18 AM
Reply to: Message 218 by Tanypteryx
12-19-2015 10:28 PM


Tanypteryx writes:

In my mind, there is a distinct difference between "I do not believe in a god or gods" and "I believe god or gods do not exist."

I am an atheist and I do not believe in a god or gods or anything supernatural.


Agreed; there is a distinct difference between these two positions. But how realistic is it to hold the first position without also holding the second? How common is this among atheists?

For example, I can say that "I do not believe in the tooth fairy." But my belief goes further; I am also convinced that the tooth fairy does not exist. It would be nearly impossible for me "not to believe in the tooth fairy" without also "believing that the tooth fairy does not exist."

What about the atheists here? Can you honestly say that you "do not believe in a god or gods" without also taking the position that you "believe god or gods do not exist"?


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-19-2015 10:28 PM Tanypteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 222 by PaulK, posted 12-20-2015 4:00 AM kbertsche has not yet responded
 Message 232 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-20-2015 11:19 AM kbertsche has responded
 Message 234 by Diomedes, posted 12-20-2015 11:25 AM kbertsche has responded

    
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


(3)
Message 220 of 414 (774626)
12-20-2015 1:50 AM
Reply to: Message 217 by kbertsche
12-19-2015 10:06 PM


The evidence indicates that the supernatural does not, and further, cannot, exist in this universe. That is not the same as the "truth-claim" (no god exists) you keep insisting all atheists must believe. One is tentative. The other is absolute. I understand the theist mindset has difficulty with the nuance of these statements even when explained to them by atheists. I cannot help you further.

The only "truth-claim" most atheists make, regardless of what you want to hear or think you hear or what some dictionary with definitions woefully inadequate for the reality say, is this: Whether some god or gods exist or not they do not affect my existence and I follow no theist path.

Note the "most atheists" in that sentence.

I am not like most atheists. I am actively anti-theist. So, don't try to point up some self-conjured inconsistencies between what I said about most atheists and what I know about myself.

And, if it isn't too far a stretch for you, I can still claim that theists must be deluded, or ignorant, or evil, while maintaining that god(s) existence or not matters not one bit to me.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by kbertsche, posted 12-19-2015 10:06 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 29590
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


(1)
Message 221 of 414 (774628)
12-20-2015 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 220 by AZPaul3
12-20-2015 1:50 AM


The evidence indicates that the supernatural does not, and further, cannot, exist in this universe.

How silly. What "evidence?" What evidence could there possibly be against nonphysical beings? Against a Universal Mind that permeates space but can't be detected by physical instruments of any sort? I believe there is plenty of evidence FOR such a Being and many lesser nonphysical or spiritual beings as well, but it's not the sort of evidence you have in mind.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by AZPaul3, posted 12-20-2015 1:50 AM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14349
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 222 of 414 (774640)
12-20-2015 4:00 AM
Reply to: Message 219 by kbertsche
12-20-2015 12:18 AM


Many self-identified agnostics claim to take no position on whether God exists. Therefore it seems perfectly possible to not believe that God exists without believing that God does not exist.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by kbertsche, posted 12-20-2015 12:18 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 223 by Tangle, posted 12-20-2015 4:07 AM PaulK has responded
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6106
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 223 of 414 (774641)
12-20-2015 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by PaulK
12-20-2015 4:00 AM


Paul writes:

Therefore it seems perfectly possible to not believe that God exists without believing that God does not exist.

You see the mess this kind of word acrobatics get you into? If you don't believe in god, youre a friggin' atheist! End.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by PaulK, posted 12-20-2015 4:00 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 224 by PaulK, posted 12-20-2015 4:31 AM Tangle has acknowledged this reply
 Message 226 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-20-2015 5:29 AM Tangle has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14349
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 224 of 414 (774644)
12-20-2015 4:31 AM
Reply to: Message 223 by Tangle
12-20-2015 4:07 AM


I'm not engaging in any word acrobatics which is why I'm not in a mess. In fact I carefully avoided it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by Tangle, posted 12-20-2015 4:07 AM Tangle has acknowledged this reply

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 225 of 414 (774647)
12-20-2015 5:25 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by PaulK
12-20-2015 4:00 AM


That's pretty much my position. It's obviously impossible to prove the non-existence of something that doesn't exist, rather we can say whether something is more or less improbable. The contention rather is in disproving specific aspects of a theology that either cannot be true when juxtaposed by known facts or is internally inconsistent. But to say whether or not "God" exists leaves so much to be desired since it's really a vague and unspecified thing. Ask 100 people what God is and get 100 different answers. So it's just easier to take an agnostic position -- neither in the business of proving or disproving the existence of something that cannot be determined in either direction just by the nature of itself.

"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

This message is a reply to:
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