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Author Topic:   Atheists can't hold office in the USA?
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 124 of 777 (747970)
01-21-2015 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by New Cat's Eye
01-21-2015 1:34 PM


Re: agnostic anyone?
This seemed relevant....
quote:
There is, unfortunately, some disagreement about the definition of atheism. It is interesting to note that most of that disagreement comes from theists - atheists themselves tend to agree on what atheism means. Christians in particular dispute the definition used by atheists and insist that atheism means something very different.
The broader, and more common, understanding of atheism among atheists is quite simply "not believing in any gods." No claims or denials are made - an atheist is just a person who does not happen to be a theist. Sometimes this broader understanding is called "weak" or "implicit" atheism. Most good, complete dictionaries readily support this.
There also exists a narrower sort of atheism, sometimes called "strong" or "explicit" atheism. With this type, the atheist explicitly denies the existence of any gods making a strong claim which will deserve support at some point. Some atheists do this and others may do this with regards to certain specific gods but not with others. Thus, a person may lack belief in one god, but deny the existence of another god.
Link
This is the "'We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further" approach.......
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-21-2015 1:34 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-21-2015 3:03 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 129 of 777 (747989)
01-21-2015 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by New Cat's Eye
01-21-2015 3:03 PM


Re: agnostic anyone?
Are there any gods that you would describe yourself as an atheist with regard to?
What gods would you describe yourself as agnostic towards?
What god(s) are you theistic towards?
I think some examples might aid understanding here. But the point I was making previously was simply that what Tangle is saying is hardly new or some crazy revolutionary left field idea. The infamous quote about all children being born atheists was made in the 18th century for heavens sake.
You may disagree. I may disagree. But you can't say that it is some new fangled idea.
As for the elephant.... show me (or place my hands upon) god's metaphorical "trunk"/"leg"/"tail"/whatever. Without such it is a pointless analogy.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-21-2015 3:03 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by Minnemooseus, posted 01-21-2015 9:38 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 133 by Tangle, posted 01-22-2015 3:12 AM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 138 of 777 (748040)
01-22-2015 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by Minnemooseus
01-21-2015 9:38 PM


Re: agnostic anyone?
In the context of the original question as to whether "Atheists" can hold office in the USA.
Would anyone who answers "No" to the question "Do you believe in God?" qualify as an "atheist".
If so, whatever the more subtle nuances there may be, Tangle is correct in this context at least.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by Minnemooseus, posted 01-21-2015 9:38 PM Minnemooseus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by Minnemooseus, posted 01-22-2015 11:01 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 154 by dwise1, posted 01-23-2015 1:27 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 139 of 777 (748044)
01-22-2015 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by New Cat's Eye
01-22-2015 12:46 AM


Re: agnostic anyone?
cat Sci writes:
I go to the theist triangle.
Straggler goes to the atheist square.
Well it depends what we are talking about.
Are there any gods that you would describe yourself as an atheist with regard to?
What gods would you describe yourself as agnostic towards?
What god(s) are you theistic towards?
I think some examples might aid understanding here.
Because I think that as far as common usage is concerned most people would be happy to be described as 'atheists' towards Thor and Apollo and Zeus et al and that the "I go one god further" approach is perfectly valid in that context without any need to start blathering on about elephants.
CS writes:
And of course, children are not-triangle.
Obviously it depends how one defines the triangle/circle/square.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-22-2015 12:46 AM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by AZPaul3, posted 01-22-2015 1:22 PM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(2)
Message 164 of 777 (748163)
01-23-2015 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by Minnemooseus
01-22-2015 11:01 PM


Re: Yes, no, or "I don't understand the question"
Don't forget our old friend ignosticism.
ignostic (plural ignostics)
1. one who holds to ignosticism.
2. one who requires a definition of the term God or Gods as without sensible definition they find theism incoherent and thus non-cognitive.
ignostic - Wiktionary
But even as an ignostic the answer to the question "Do you believe in God?" is still strictly "No". As it is for anyone who isn't actually a believer.
But - again - In the context of people being allowed to hold office all this is largely irrelevant. These stipulations weren't devised so that a bunch of navel gazing online debaters could wrangle over the nuances of atheism in it's different forms. They were simply put in place to ensure that godless heathens weren't allowed to hold positions of influence over the good God-fearing people of the blessed US of A.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Minnemooseus, posted 01-22-2015 11:01 PM Minnemooseus has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 165 of 777 (748166)
01-23-2015 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by dwise1
01-23-2015 1:27 AM


Re: agnostic anyone?
If you ask the question verbally it won't be possible for people to read too much into, and get hung up on, any capitalisation or the lack thereof.....
Hindus could answer "Yes. Lots of them". Thus obviously not qualifying as atheists.
dw writes:
But to Christians, believing in another god is the same thing as believing in none?
No. It obviously isn't atheism.
Although I suspect people of other non-Christian faiths would in many cases face similar challenges to achieving the sort of public office under discussion as those of no faith.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by dwise1, posted 01-23-2015 1:27 AM dwise1 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by dwise1, posted 01-23-2015 12:32 PM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 167 of 777 (748172)
01-23-2015 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by dwise1
01-23-2015 5:06 AM


Re: Find me a gnostic atheist
This is what is being referred to:
quote:
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins posits that "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other." He goes on to propose a continuous "spectrum of probabilities" between two extremes of opposite certainty, which can be represented by seven "milestones". Dawkins suggests definitive statements to summarize one's place along the spectrum of theistic probability. These "milestones" are:
1 Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."
2 De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."
3 Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."
4 Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."
5 Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."
6 De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
7 Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."
Dawkins argues that while there appear to be plenty of individuals that would place themselves as "1" due to the strictness of religious doctrine against doubt, most atheists do not consider themselves "7" because atheism arises from a lack of evidence and evidence can always change a thinking person's mind.

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 Message 161 by dwise1, posted 01-23-2015 5:06 AM dwise1 has not replied

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Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(2)
Message 179 of 777 (748264)
01-24-2015 4:40 AM
Reply to: Message 178 by Tangle
01-24-2015 3:25 AM


Re: agnostic anyone?
Tan writes:
If he believes in ONE he is not an atheist
You have said "he". In the name of absolute clarity I must insist that you revise your comments to make clear that girls, ladies, women, transsexuals, hermaphrodites and anyone else of a gender that does not or may not qualify one as a "he" can also be an atheist if the person in question does not hold a belief in the existence of any God/god/gods/goD/GOD/GODs/GODS/gOd/gOdS/Gods/GoDs/etc.
Furthermore can you please make it clear that a belief in the existence of dogs is perfectly acceptable

This message is a reply to:
 Message 178 by Tangle, posted 01-24-2015 3:25 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 182 of 777 (748268)
01-24-2015 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by petrophysics1
01-24-2015 4:54 AM


Re: The Foundation of the Rights of Man
Given that the British monarch rules by divine right (AKA By The Grace of God) proclaiming independence from said monarch is practically an act of atheism in and of itself.
The U.S. is hardly alone in proclaiming it's constitutional underpinnings as having Godly origins. But of course people pick and choose God's will to suit their own political ends....

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 Message 180 by petrophysics1, posted 01-24-2015 4:54 AM petrophysics1 has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 215 of 777 (748455)
01-26-2015 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 213 by Tangle
01-26-2015 3:12 AM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
Tan writes:
I don't know that there isn't an axe murderer waiting for me in my home. But you know what? I believe that there isn't so I'm going in anyway.
Which would make you an a-axemurdererinmyhouse-ist as opposed to an axemurdererinmyhouse-ist. Where an axemurdererinmyhouse-ist is someone who does indeed believe that there is an axe murderer waiting for them in their home and the 'a' prefix denotes those that do not believe this, such as yourself.
Without any basis for believing that there is an axe murderer waiting for them those who do believe this (i.e. the axemurdererinmyhouse-ists) are paranoid delusionists and those that don't (i.e. the a-axemurdererinmyhouse-ists) are just people going about their everyday lives unconcerned by such irrational nonsense.
Now swap in the terms 'theist' and 'atheist' into the appropriate places and voila, all should become clear to those still struggling here.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 01-26-2015 3:12 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by Tangle, posted 01-26-2015 10:49 AM Straggler has not replied
 Message 260 by 1.61803, posted 01-28-2015 2:44 PM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 225 of 777 (748474)
01-26-2015 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 220 by Jon
01-26-2015 11:02 AM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
Jon writes:
But that is more a reflection of the need for such terminology vis--vis the frequency with which people discuss (and the importance they place on the topic of) god, God, GOD, gods, Gods, and GODs vs. the frequency with which they discuss (and the importance they place on the topic of) axe murderers, fairies, etc.
I agree with you that the subjective importance people place on God is the basis for the special pleading in question.
But special pleading it remains.
Anyone who lacks the belief that there is an axe murderer waiting for them at home is an a-axemurdererinmyhouse-ist in exactly the same way that anyone who lacks a positive belief in any gods can accurately be described as an atheist.
If one talks logically with all special pleading absented.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 11:02 AM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 226 by Tangle, posted 01-26-2015 11:53 AM Straggler has not replied
 Message 228 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 12:34 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 229 of 777 (748491)
01-26-2015 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 228 by Jon
01-26-2015 12:34 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
I guess the people who might care are those who are being denied access to certain positions within US society based on their lack of belief via terminology that embraces religionist special pleading.
More generally anyone attempting to make a logical argument about theism might object to being hampered by the use of terminology that incorporates special pleading at it's heart.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 12:34 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 1:58 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 237 of 777 (748552)
01-26-2015 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by Jon
01-26-2015 1:58 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
You asked who cares. I provided an answer as to who might indeed care. Apparently you didn't like the answer provided. Ho hum.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 231 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 1:58 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 239 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 8:28 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 242 of 777 (748576)
01-27-2015 6:22 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by Jon
01-26-2015 8:28 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
Anyone who is required to justify their atheism but not their a-axemurdererinmyhouse-ism may care for reasons of pure logical consistency.
Anyone who wants to hold public office in the US who fears that being branded an atheist will be a barrier to that.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by Jon, posted 01-26-2015 8:28 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 243 by Jon, posted 01-27-2015 9:09 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 244 of 777 (748598)
01-27-2015 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 243 by Jon
01-27-2015 9:09 AM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
EvC is full of instances where exactly that is requested.
And a more logical use of terminology, devoid of innate fallacies, may well lead to better logical arguments on the subject.
One can only hope....

This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by Jon, posted 01-27-2015 9:09 AM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 246 by Jon, posted 01-27-2015 4:09 PM Straggler has replied

  
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