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Author Topic:   Problems with being an Atheist (or Evolutionist)
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 185 of 276 (582071)
09-19-2010 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by riVeRraT
09-15-2010 7:43 AM


riVeRraT writes:
quote:
I am well aware of the atheists stance on "the lack of belief".
You just think they're liars.
quote:
However, atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something. Atheism, in a narrow sense is specifically the position that there are no deities. That is a belief. You cannot dis-prove God's existence, so you believe there are no gods. Don't be hypocrites.
Not holding the position that god exists is a "belief" the way that not collecting stamps is a "hobby."
Tell us: Do you have the hobby of aphilately? What about anumismatism? Do you spend your weekends pursuing your passion of not quilting? Are you gearing up for the great big no-model-trains show? Do you never pass a chance to not see a dog show?
To pretend that the absence of something is actually a presence of the very thing that is absent is disingenuous at best.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by riVeRraT, posted 09-15-2010 7:43 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 196 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:03 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 192 of 276 (582110)
09-19-2010 8:50 PM
Reply to: Message 188 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 8:34 PM


riVeRraT writes:
quote:
They refuse to admit that the concept of no-God is a belief.
And since atheists are the ultimate authority on atheism, wouldn't it be best to listen to them?
But if you won't, you're still going to have to explain how the absence of something can be an example of the presence of the very thing that is absent.
Not holding the position that god exists is a "belief" the way that not collecting stamps is a "hobby."
Tell us: Do you have the hobby of aphilately? What about anumismatism? Do you spend your weekends pursuing your passion of not quilting? Are you gearing up for the great big no-model-trains show? Do you never pass a chance to not see a dog show?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 8:34 PM riVeRraT has not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 211 of 276 (582146)
09-20-2010 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:03 PM


riVeRraT responds to me:
quote:
This whole conversation with you, would go much better if you left emotions out of it, and accusations.
What emotions? Remember: You don't know what my personal beliefs are. I have never revealed them to you and it would behoove you to avoid trying to psychoanalyze me over the internet.
As for accusations, well, when you make statements like:
However, atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something.
Which is a direct contradiction of what actual atheists tell you, what is the logical conclusion? Are we not to trust atheists to understand their own philosophy? We've already seen that you are willing to misquote your own source with regard to what atheism is. Why on earth should we not expect you to misrepresent what atheists actually say about themselves?
When an atheist tells you that their philosophy is based on the lack of belief and not the belief of lack, who are you to tell them otherwise?
quote:
I cannot judge if someone is a liar, because I cannot see into their hearts.
Then why do you think you know more about atheism than atheists? Why did you say:
However, atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something.
That is in direct contradiction to what atheists and your own source say atheism is. Do you have a justification for why your claim of what atheism is has been disavowed by actual atheists? Why is your claim more valid?
quote:
Let's stick with the word belief, as hobbys are not beliefs.
A hobby is a belief as it is an emotional connection to a concept. People are motivated to engage in the activity as it provides emotional benefits they find desirable.
So do please respond to the issue: How is the lack of something proof positive of its presence? If not collecting stamps isn't a hobby, how is not holding the position that god exists a belief? The entire concept of "god" is something that can only be defined by theists, not atheists. Ergo, how can atheists possibly have a "belief" about it that isn't necessarily a reaction to something theists create? "God" is not within the realm of atheistic thought. If there weren't any theists around, it would never occur to atheists to consider the matter in the first place just as you have no reason to consider the matter of the object on my bathroom counter. Until I brought it up just now, you had no reason to consider it. But now that I have brought it up, do you have a "belief" about it? After all, the only thing you know about it is what I have told you and why on earth should you believe anything I say about it? For all you know, I don't have a bathroom let alone a counter in it or an object to be upon it.
Have you suddenly developed all the trappings of a religion simply because you've had a thought introduced to you by somebody else?
If not, then why does your special concept of "god" get to be different from the object on my bathroom counter? If you can avoid things like "belief" and "religion" over this other thing, why are atheists incapable of getting the same results?
But if so, if you do now have a "belief," then that necessarily means you are a massive polytheist regarding every random thought you ever have. Is that what you're arguing? That you actually worship multiple religions simultaneously?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:03 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:50 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 212 of 276 (582148)
09-20-2010 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 197 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:19 PM


riVeRraT responds to Theodoric:
quote:
I am sure an atheist wrote that.
Ah, there you go again calling atheists liars. See, you keep saying you don't mean that, but then you say things that indicate you seem to think you know better than actual atheists as to what atheism is. Please tell us, what was the point of your sneering little comment if not to say that this "atheist" who wrote that was trying to be something other than completely honest?
quote:
In other words, they believe no God exists.
Atheists deny that. Who are you to tell them otherwise?
quote:
I'll make it very simple:
Theist: someone who believes in the existence of a god
Atheist: someone who believes there are no gods.
Atheists deny that. Who are you to tell them otherwise?
quote:
You see, theism, and atheism are antonyms.
Yes, but you are applying the negation to the wrong part. Instead of applying it to the noun, you need to apply it to the verb. Atheism is lack of belief, not belief of lack.
quote:
Belief, is faith.
And atheists have no faith. That's the entire point. Who are you to tell them otherwise?
quote:
Atheism IS a faith. It doesn't have a religion, but it is a faith.
And atheists deny that. Who are you to tell them otherwise?
quote:
But I bet you if I started a web-site called atheism.com, a bunch of people would join, and it could become religious in a way.
And thus, you equate religion with football. Is that what you're arguing? Belief in Jesus Christ is the same thing as Fantasy Football?
quote:
Try to understand something, I am not putting down atheism by saying it is a belief.
Who said anything about "putting down" anything? Do not project your personal emotional reaction to being told you are wrong onto others. The reaction you are getting has nothing to do with anybody feeling insulted. It is simply because you have made a factual error, akin to you claiming that black is white. That is hardly an "insult" to the color white to say so. It is simply factually wrong.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 197 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:19 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 222 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:54 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 213 of 276 (582150)
09-20-2010 3:15 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:35 PM


riVeRraT writes:
quote:
You don't believe in gods. That definition works for purposes of this conversation. What are you guys getting all huffy about?
Because you are equivocating "don't believe in god" with "belive in no god."
Those are not the same thing.
quote:
Do atheist think there is a possibility of god or not?
Will you accept their answer or tell them that they don't understand their own philosophy?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:35 PM riVeRraT has not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 245 of 276 (584476)
10-02-2010 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 221 by riVeRraT
09-20-2010 1:50 PM


riVeRraT responds to me:
quote:
LOL, hypocrite.
(*chuckle*)
I think I still have my quote file on you lurking on one of my old computers. Do you really want me to post your history here?
Let it go.
quote:
I have not mis-quoted anything.
Then why were you called out on it? Why did someone else have to provide the full Wikipedia quote? Or are you saying you provided the full Wikipedia quote?
quote:
I said in a narrow sense. Some people have graciously explained what that means. You haven't.
That's because you and I aren't speaking in a vacuum. We have a long history of discussion on this topic and it would be helpful if you would not play dumb. Since my very first post to you in this discussion was detailing the concept that a lack of belief is very different from a belief of lack, I am wondering why you are pretending that you're hearing something new.
quote:
People get definitions wrong all the time.
Indeed. But since all of the atheists here have told you that you're definition is wrong and since your own source contradicted you as to what atheism is, don't you think that perhaps you should reconsider?
quote:
Because you cannot dis-prove the existence of God.
Why not? It certainly isn't because "you can't prove a negative." Of course you can. We do it all the time. It's how science works: You can never prove something to be true. You can only prove something to be false. And if you prove enough things false, what is left becomes more and more accurate.
Now, that requires a solid definition of "god," which always seems to be difficult to provide, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.
But even so, that's irrelevant. It is not up to the atheist to prove that god doesn't exist. That's the default position. The null-hypothesis is always true until information comes along that shows it to be false. It is up to those who claim that god exists to show that he does just as we demand those who claim that light is carried by photons show their work, that gravity is curvature of space-time show their work, that the atom is more like a solar system than a plum pudding show their work, etc., etc.
It is not enough to simply observe that something happened. You have to show that it was "god" that did it.
quote:
I am challenging it. It is my problem with atheists.
Then your problem is not with atheists but rather with the nature of reality: Atheism is the default position for which you have to provide evidence to counter it. Atheism does not need to prove the non-existence of god.
quote:
I was an atheist for 38 years. (by definition)
OK. And did you go around consciously thinking, "I don't believe in god"? Or did you just life your life without giving it any thought at all unless somebody else brought it up?
quote:
What??? A hobby is not a belief.
I didn't say it was. I said that hobbies are carried out due to the emotional connection they have to the person who engages in them. But at any rate, you're missing the point:
The absence of something is not equivalent to its presence. "Not collecting stamps" is not a "hobby" because a "hobby" requires you to actively engage in an activity. When you have a lack of engagement, then you do not have a "hobby" despite the fact that you may talk about "hobbies" and pontificate about their value.
Similarly, "not believing in god" is not a "belief" because a "belief" requires you to actively engage with the concept. When you have a lack of engagement, then you do not have a "belief" despite the fact that you may talk about "beliefs" and pontificate about their value.
quote:
There is nothing true or false about stamp collecting. Stamp collecting is not a proposition.
I never said it was. I said a hobby was an activity.
Just as a belief is an activity.
If you do not engage in the activity, then you do not have the trait that engaging in the activity implies.
Do you "believe" that Santa Claus doesn't exist? Or do you have a lack of belief in the existence of Santa Claus? The Tooth Fairy? The Easter Bunny? The Invisible Pink Unicorn (BBHH)? The dragon sneaking up behind you right now? Because if you are going to say that those are "beliefs," then you are insisting that everybody is a massive polytheist.
Is that what you're saying?
quote:
Hobbies, are not beliefs. Stop making invalid comparisons.
Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is invalid. A hobby is an activity. You cannot be said to "have a hobby" unless you engage in the activity. If you have a distinct lack of engagement in the activity, then you do not have it as a "hobby." So unless you are saying that everybody has absolutely everything as a "hobby" because the lack of engagement is just as much of a "hobby" as the active engagement is, then it is the same with a "belief": A "belief" is an activity. You cannot be said to "have a belief" unless you engage in the activity. If you have a distinct lack of engagement in the activity, then you do not have it as a "belief."
Are you saying everybody is a massive polytheist since every concept necessarily carries a "belief"? God is the same as Fantasy Football?
quote:
It would be nice if you could explain it, without relating it to something completely different.
Perhaps, but the problem is not the comparison but rather your dislike of the implication. You have a need for atheists to be just like you so that you can try to turn their criticisms of your position around on them. You need for them to have a "belief" so that their analysis of your "belief" applies equally to them and you can call them hypocrites.
But reality doesn't bend itself to your wishes. The lack of something is not evidence of its presence.
Atheism is the lack of belief.
How can the lack of belief be a "belief"?
quote:
So your analogy isn't worth responding to.
Read, "I don't know how to respond, so I won't."

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:50 PM riVeRraT has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 248 by nator, posted 10-14-2010 7:53 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 246 of 276 (584477)
10-02-2010 2:34 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by riVeRraT
09-20-2010 1:54 PM


riVeRraT responds to me:
quote:
Atheists do have faith, and beliefs.
Then why have all the atheists here been denying that?
Are they incapable of understanding their own position?
quote:
There is no "default position", the default position is not "0", since "0" cannot be defined or proven.
Except there is: Non-existence is the default position. Burden of proof is always on the one making the claim. Since the people who have a belief in the existence of god are the ones making the claim, it is there responsibility to justify it. Atheists have no such burden because they aren't the ones claiming something.
I do not need to show that 2 + 2 = 4 in order to show that 2 + 2 <> 5.
quote:
There is no such thing as lack of belief, as we have already determined through several conversations on the subject. We are humans, not computers.
And yet, the atheists here are telling you that you're wrong.
Why do you think you know better than they do what they do or do not believe?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:54 PM riVeRraT has not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 247 of 276 (584480)
10-02-2010 3:10 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by onifre
09-20-2010 5:09 PM


onifre writes:
quote:
What religion do suicide bombers come from?
All of them.
Or have you forgotten about Pearl Harbor, the IRA, the various Christian terrorists here in the US, the war between India and Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, etc.
Or do Shinto, Catholics, Protestants, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. count as "Muslim" in your eyes?
Was Andrew Joseph Stack III a Muslim?
Were the German pilots of the Leonidas Squadron Muslim?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by onifre, posted 09-20-2010 5:09 PM onifre has seen this message but not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(1)
Message 250 of 276 (586819)
10-15-2010 1:55 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by nator
10-14-2010 7:53 PM


nator responds to me:
quote:
You can disprove a positive claim that something exists, but you can't prove the claim of the nonexistence of something.
I most certainly can.
There is no largest prime number.
Assume there is one. We'll call it pn.
Because there is a largest prime, we can create a list of all prime numbers (Sieve of Eratosthenes will do):
2, 3, 5, ... pn - 2, pn - 1, pn
We can then construct a new number, q:
q = 2 * 3 * 5 * ... * pn - 2 * pn - 1 * pn + 1
Now, is q prime?
Well, we have a list of all the primes. If q is not prime, it should be divisible by one of them and yet, it always leaves a remainder of 1.
Now, this doesn't prove that q is prime (after all, if pn = 13, then 2 * 3 * 5 * 7 * 11 * 13 + 1 = 30031 = 59 * 509), but since q > pn, this means that either q is prime or there is a number between pn and q that is.
And thus, right before your very eyes, I have proven the non-existence of something.
Now, this requires well-defined objects behaving in well-defined ways. I never said it was easy to prove the non-existence of something. Not all objects avail themselves of systematic methods of disproof but instead, given our current abilities, would only be amenable to brute force methods such as direct observation of all possibilities which is prohibitive.
But that doesn't deny the fact that you can prove a negative. The problem when it comes to "god," from what I have seen, is that there is no good definition of what "god" is. But all that means is that just as it is difficult to prove the non-existence of something that cannot be defined, it is at least as hard to justify the claim of its existence.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by nator, posted 10-14-2010 7:53 PM nator has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by Damouse, posted 10-20-2010 7:18 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(3)
Message 270 of 276 (589386)
11-02-2010 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 251 by Damouse
10-20-2010 7:18 PM


Damouse responds to me:
quote:
You are twisting examples to sure your own point.
Logical error: Shifting the goalposts.
The fact that you don't like that I proved your claim to be false doesn't mean it's "twisting examples." It simply means that you didn't think through your claim.
And notice: I just did it again. And this time, without using math. You made a claim. I provided a counterexample that proves it false, thus proving another negative. It doesn't require math to prove a negative. In fact, that's how most of science works: You spend all your time in the lab with failure after failure after failure until you finally find something that shows some promise. All of those failures are negative proofs: X does not cause effect Y.
In fact, rather than "You can't prove a negative" being the case, it is the exact opposite that is the problem in science: You can't prove a positive. Science by its very nature is an observational process and it is impossible to observe absolutely everything about a phenomenon. You can set up all the controls you wish, but there are always factors that you haven't thought about or sensitivities in the instrument that are too gross to pick up on subtle effects.
It's why we shifted from Aristotelian to Newtonian to Einsteinian mechanics: We proved the previous kinematic framework to be false. The fact that Newtonian mechanics was more accurate than Aristotelian mechanics didn't make the Newtonian version right. It simply made it more accurate. As we soon learned, the instruments we had available for measuring tiny discrepancies were insufficient to see the error terms that are always present at every level of Newtonian theory. Einsteinian mechanics provides more accuracy but again, that doesn't make it right: Just more accurate. There may be something else involved that we need to take into account for which we don't have instruments sufficiently sensitive enough to detect.
But notice, every time we move from a less accurate to a more accurate model, we still need to take into account all of the observations that came before. When I slide a book along the table, it comes to a stop. Aristotle would claim that is because "rest" is the "natural state" of the book and all objects return to their natural state. With Newton, we learned better: Instead, that book would have kept on going were it not for friction: An object in motion remains in motion until acted upon by an outside force. In the case of a book sliding along a table, it is the force of friction that bleeds off the kinematic energy of the book and brings it to a stop.
But even then, that doesn't tell the entire picture. Because "stop" is not well-defined. It only makes sense within the frame of reference of the table. The book has stopped moving with respect to the table but if the table is on a train that is trundling down the tracks, then it is still moving with respect to the tracks. There is no such thing as "rest."
Does that make any sense to you at all? We prove negatives all the time in science. It's one of the grandest things ever: To overturn a dominant paradigm. You do that and they award you the Nobel Prize and the world beats a path to your door begging you to join their team or hoping to join yours.
And it doesn't require "math." It simply requires logic: Well-defined objects behaving in well-defined ways.
quote:
As it pertains to the discussion, you cannot prove the lack of existence of am omnipotent entity. Done.
I most certainly can.
However, it is up to you to provide the definition of "an omnipotent entity." If you leave it up to me, I doubt you'll like the definition I put forward.
Of course, if your definition is vague and incapable of being examined, then I will handily admit that it will be difficult if not impossible to disprove its existence, but that is more due to failure of the description of the entity, not failure of the process.
For example, if the definition of the "supernatural entity" includes the claim that it created a world-wide flood that wiped out all human existence save for 8 individuals upon a single wooden craft approximately 4500 years ago and that this entity does not lie or obfuscate, then that can be easily disproven by examining the earth for the signs of this flood. If they are not there, then the flood did not happen. If the flood did not happen, then the entity that necessarily created the flood does not exist for the two go together.
That is something specific: A well-defined object behaving in a well-defined way.
If the defintion is vague and without specificity such as the "primal cause," then of course it will be difficult to disprove the exidstence of such an object precisely because there is no way to say anything about such an object, positive or negative. The definition doesn't actually define anything but rather shifts things to other, undefined terms: What is meant by "primal"? How does one determine what a "cause" is?
This, given no actual definition that is of any use, we are left with the null hypothesis: The object doesn't exist. It doesn't have a definition, therefore how can it possibly exist?
Here's another example that might help you understand:
Suppose I told you that I'm thinking of an object that is sitting on my bathroom counter. Well, there's a glaringly obvious method to determine if that object actually exists: Go look at my bathroom counter. But there are a couple problems with this:
The first is that you don't know anything about the object other than its location. You could examine and prod my bathroom counter all you like but you'll never be able to say if the object is there or not because the definition of the object is so vague as to be of no use.
But there's a subtler point: It is a huge assumption that there is a bathroom counter to examine in the first place. What if I don't actually have a counter? Suppose I only have a pedestal sink and a medicine chest? Then no matter how well I define the object, it still doesn't exist because the location in which it is supposed to exist doesn't exist.
This is what I mean by "well-defined objects behaving in well-defined ways." It doesn't require any math at all. It simply requires logic and definitions sufficiently powerful enough to be able to make distinctions.
quote:
There is no logical, philosophical way to do it. If you choose to argue against this, you're not of a different opinion, you are WRONG.
And yet, I just did what you claimed was impossible.
I guess I proved yet another negative.
quote:
Because you believe there is no omnipotent entity.
I haven't said anything about what I believe. I challenge you to show anywhere where I have done so. Chapter and verse, please. I am very careful to leave my personal feelings out of these discussions precisely because of your reaction: You are responding as if I were an atheist, ignoring what I actually say in favor of the pretended words you wish I would say. I respectfully request that you stop.
quote:
By not having a belief in a god of any flavor, you form a belief pertaining to a lack of god.
That makes no sense. How can "not having a belief" suddenly become "a belief"? You just said no belief is held, so how can there be a belief? How can the lack of belief be a belief?
By your logic, you are a massive polytheist for there are many things you do not have a belief in: The object on my bathroom counter (you've got your doubts, don't you?), a diet soda that tastes just as good as the real thing, the Cubs ever winning the World Series. If you are going to claim that the lack of belief is actually a belief, then just how many things do you believe in?
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You are arguing silly semantics.
Said the person who still hasn't provided a definition of an "omnipotent entity" that might be examined for existence. I hereby make a formal request. What is your definition of "god"?
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An atheist holds to the belief that theistic conclusions are wrong
Incorrect. An atheist holds to the conclusion that the claims made by theists have not borne any fruit.
You do understand that a conclusion is different from a belief, yes? All you need to do is provide more evidence and the conclusion will change. It is not up to the atheist to take on your burden. The burden of proof is always on the one making the claim: Those who claim the existence of god are always the ones who need to provide the evidence to support that claim.
Oh, it would be awfully nice if atheists could come up with a logical pathway such that the existence of "god" could be done away with, but there are two problems with that:
First, there is no agreed-upon definition of "god." Just because the atheist can claim that Zeus doesn't exist doesn't mean that Thor sulks off to join him. This is the source of the joke:
What's the difference between a believer and an atheist?
The believer claims that of the 1000 gods out there, 999 of them are false.
The atheist doesn't make an exception for that last one.
There are plenty of gods that you claim don't exist. You don't describe yourself as an a-Mayan or an a-Aboriginal. It would take way too long to run through all the equivalent "beliefs" of lack. Instead, you are defined by what you actually believe in. So why are you so hung up about others applying the exact same process to yours? Why is it that you don't have beliefs regarding all those other gods but anybody who manages to reduce the circle to nothingness doesn't make it vanish?
The other problem is that it is not necessary to prove something true in order to prove something else is false. I know this example is mathematical in nature, but it is simple and easily understandable:
I don't have to prove that 2 + 2 = 4 in order to show that 2 + 2 <> 5. Oh, it would certainly be nice if I did and it would shut down all the other claimaints who are going to insist that they equal 3 or 6 or pipe up with "for large values of '2' and small values of '5,' they are." In terms of logic, it would be "sufficient" but not "necessary."
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and therefor holds to the belief that there is no god.
Incorrect. Atheists do not "believe" anything about god for there is nothing to "believe" about.
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The definition does not detail this, but this must follow from the definition.
Except it doesn't.
Or don't atheists get to be the final authority on their own philosophy? Are you so powerful that you can read people's minds and delve their souls?
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You cannot have an opinion about something and not have a belief about it.
Except I just showed that you can.
I guess I proved another negative.
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ABE: from dictionary.com
Argumentum ad dictionary? Really? That's your final defense?
You do realize that dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive, yes? That is, they indicate how words are used, but they do not indicate that the definitions provided are the only ways in which the words can be used.
One way to notice this is that words often have multiple meanings. Take "inflammable," for example. One definition of it is, "capable of catching fire." Another definition of it is, "incapable of catching fire."
So which is it? If I say something is "inflammable," am I saying you should worry about keeping it near the water heater in case there's a gas leak and the pilot light causes a spark? Or am I saying it's what you should coat your kids pajamas in to protect them fire?
Well, context will tell you. The way in which I use the word will tell you which definition I am actually intending.
You see, the logical error you just committed is called "equivocation." It's when you use a word that has multiple meanings and insist upon a secondary, inappropriate meaning instead of the one that actually makes sense.
Take "theory," for example. One definition of a "theory" is "an educated guess." Another definition of a "theory" is "an analysis of a set of facts in relation to one another." I would hope you would not be surprised to learn that creationists often claim that evolution is "just a theory," as if the word "theory" meant the former definition rather than the latter.
Given that the vast majority of people who are using the word "atheist" and "atheism" are not actually atheists due to their sheer number, would it not be surprising to find that the common definitions of atheism and atheist don't really describe how actual atheists view the world? Isn't the fact that you are getting tremendous push-back from actual atheists over your definition of atheism telling you that perhaps you shouldn't be looking to dictionaries for answers?
Or are atheists incapable of correctly describing their own philosophy? You are so powerful that you can read other people's minds and delve their souls?
If the atheist tells you that your description of atheism is faulty, who are you to claim otherwise?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 251 by Damouse, posted 10-20-2010 7:18 PM Damouse has not replied

  
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