Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 57 (9175 total)
3 online now:
Newest Member: sirs
Post Volume: Total: 917,644 Year: 4,901/9,624 Month: 249/427 Week: 59/103 Day: 3/14 Hour: 1/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Atheists can't hold office in the USA?
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2459 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 706 of 777 (750974)
02-25-2015 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 703 by New Cat's Eye
02-24-2015 8:57 PM


Re: and ANOTHER opportunity for Tangle to review his position ...
Cat Sci writes:
Taking the position of just not believing that a god does exists is a piece of cake and is perfectly rational.
Depending on the qualities, taking the position of believing that a god actually does not exist is a little tougher, and takes a stronger rationale.
When, in a philosophical discussion, you are questioned whether you believe in a god - and that god's qualities are well defined - then its easier to reject certain ones and just say "No.".
But in ordinary life, when you are questioned whether you believe in a god - and that god's qualities are not well defined - then its easier to not reject them and just say "I don't know."
Better defined questions result in better defined answers. Simple as that. Well said.
JB

This message is a reply to:
 Message 703 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-24-2015 8:57 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 707 by Straggler, posted 02-25-2015 9:45 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(4)
Message 707 of 777 (750975)
02-25-2015 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 706 by ThinAirDesigns
02-25-2015 9:18 AM


Re: and ANOTHER opportunity for Tangle to review his position ...
Or pointlessly ambiguous questions result in accusations of being incoherent and non-cognitive to which ignosticism is the most valid response.
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.
What we find time and time again in these "atheism" threads is that a bunch of theists and deists bash on relentlessly about how unjustified the atheist position is as applied to some undisclosed concept of god that they are apparently keeping secret. Some of them (e.g. Cat Sci) will agree that most defined concepts of god are pretty unbelievable. But still talk about some undefined concept as demanding greater credence.
How they know that this concept they have in mind is even a "god" if they have no idea what it is - I don't know.
So I would suggest that if they are going to talk about god/s whose "qualities are not well defined" then they need to at least come up with a sensible set of qualities that something must possess in order to qualify as a "god" in the first place. Otherwise how do they know the thing they believe in is a "god" and that they are a "theist"?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 706 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-25-2015 9:18 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 715 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-25-2015 12:41 PM Straggler has not replied

  
dronestar
Member
Posts: 1425
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 708 of 777 (750983)
02-25-2015 10:46 AM


It's natural to be a naturalist . . .
I think Straggler's posts most reflect my position.
If I was to assert that I am an atheist when it comes to the belief in the Easter Bunny, axe-murderers in my house, leprechauns, etc., . . . no one would raise their eyebrow.
I think saying I am an atheist about Easter Bunnies is the most intelligent way of communicating my non-belief in Easter Bunnies. So why should there be special pleading for other non-evidenced entities?:
Specific gods or generic gods are in the EXACT same category as Easter Bunnies. Unevidenced.
However, I too have found the word "atheist" to be problematic in communication, particularly in america. It appears to have a negative edge. Sooo, instead of trying to describe what I am not, it seems much better to describe what I am. A "naturalist." To me, the laws of nature/science are more than adequate to describe/understand life.
Yet, when using the word "naturalist," I still find I need to expand my thoughts. And yes, even in Europe, I get the nearly latent rolling of the eyes after I am done, as if I am being artificially elitist in some manner.
So, even though it still has problems, does anybody concede that the term "naturalist" is the best term to use?

Replies to this message:
 Message 711 by RAZD, posted 02-25-2015 11:39 AM dronestar has replied
 Message 718 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-25-2015 2:13 PM dronestar has replied
 Message 722 by Jon, posted 02-25-2015 8:00 PM dronestar has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1490 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 709 of 777 (750986)
02-25-2015 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 704 by AZPaul3
02-24-2015 9:52 PM


When words get in the way ...
In your strictly logical sphere you are correct, but so what? That is not the usage by most of the public in informal discussion. You may want to piss and moan about the popular vernacular being wrong but that is not going to change. That's just a fact you are going to have to accept in public discussion.
On the other side I fail to see how anyone cannot understand and acknowledge the formal logic in the discussion. Someone who is a theist believes in their flavor of god. Anyone who cannot say they ascribe to a specific theism because they do not believe or (from the popular vernacular) they do not know, logically is not a theist. And in the formal logic sense anyone who is not a theist is an a-theist. One can piss and moan about the strictness of the logic and its resultant definition but that is also not going to change.
Words are a means to communication, words (and logic) are not reality.
Theories are words in a logical formulation, and when reality gets in the way, it is the words that are discarded by science. not the logic and not reality. It can be argued until the cow comes home that the words in the theory are to be understood one way and only one way, that any other interpretation of the words is a false representation of the theory, but it cannot rationally be argued that the words are correct and therefore that reality is false.
The logic of the theory may be impeccable, so the logical structure is not invalid, but the theory is still invalidated by the contrary evidence of reality. It is still wrong.
The fundamentalist theist (like Faith) believes their (interpretation of words) Bible is an important TRVTH, and when reality gets in the way, reality is discarded to maintain belief in the words.
Those words get in the way of seeing\understanding reality.
The fundamentalist atheist (Tangle, Straggler) believes their interpretations of words are an important TRVTH, and when reality gets in the way, reality is discarded to maintain belief in the words.
Those words get in the way of seeing\understanding reality.
If the words seem to generate a dichotomy that doesn't actually exist in reality, then it is because words are poor descriptors of reality, and the (false) dichotomy is an artifact of language\words and of the imperfect nature of words.
When words get in the way, understanding suffers.
Of course when the same pedantic logic was not applied to the sure v not-sure then it was apparent that special pleading was being employed to only apply to belief v not-belief.
What makes partial sureness different from partial belief? Do we argue that partial sureness is really not-sureness? or do we argue that partial sureness is really still sureness?
Take three people, two at the top of a cliff and one at the bottom. One (a base jumper with a parachute) jumps off.
To the observer at the top he starts as high as she is and then becomes increasingly not-high as he descends. To the observer at the bottom he starts high and becomes decreasingly high until he reaches the level she is at. To the jumper he is high the whole time () ...
When does the jumper become not-high, at the beginning of the jump or at the end?
Certainly not-high means anything that is not actually high, doesn't it? Isn't that what the words tell us?
Pretending that we all must bend down to an artifact of language and ignore reality is the height of hubris and closed-minded thinking.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : clrty
Edited by RAZD, : ..

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 704 by AZPaul3, posted 02-24-2015 9:52 PM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 710 by Straggler, posted 02-25-2015 11:37 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 713 by AZPaul3, posted 02-25-2015 11:53 AM RAZD has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 710 of 777 (750987)
02-25-2015 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 709 by RAZD
02-25-2015 11:28 AM


Re: When words get in the way ...
The definition Tangle is using is very arguably not the definition most commonly used at present. But it is a) widely used b) has a long history of use c) Is very far from being some sort of radical or individual usage as has been relentlessly asserted d) has the benefit of being philosophically consistent as applied to non-belief in most things most people don't believe in e) is true to etymological roots of language.
RAZ writes:
The fundamentalist atheist (Tangle, Straggler) believes their interpretations of words are an important TRVTH, and when reality gets in the way, reality is discarded to maintain belief in the words.
Except that this particular "fundamentalist" has repeatedly pointed out that in common everyday usage I use the terminology as is being advocated by Cat Sci.
Which rather pisses on your assertions of "fundamentalism" on my part.
It is you, rather than I, who is insisting that everyone subjugate themselves to your preferred definition regardless of any argument against that usage.
You old fundamentalist you.
Enjoy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 709 by RAZD, posted 02-25-2015 11:28 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1490 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 711 of 777 (750988)
02-25-2015 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 708 by dronestar
02-25-2015 10:46 AM


Re: It's natural to be a naturalist . . .
However, I too have found the word "atheist" to be problematic in communication, particularly in america. It appears to have a negative edge. Sooo, instead of trying to describe what I am not, it seems much better to describe what I am. A "naturalist." To me, the laws of nature/science are more than adequate to describe/understand life.
Yet, when using the word "naturalist," I still find I need to expand my thoughts. And yes, even in Europe, I get the nearly latent rolling of the eyes after I am done, as if I am being artificially elitist in some manner.
Why not "skeptic"?
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, :

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 708 by dronestar, posted 02-25-2015 10:46 AM dronestar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 712 by Straggler, posted 02-25-2015 11:51 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 714 by dronestar, posted 02-25-2015 12:11 PM RAZD has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 712 of 777 (750990)
02-25-2015 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 711 by RAZD
02-25-2015 11:39 AM


Skeptics....

This message is a reply to:
 Message 711 by RAZD, posted 02-25-2015 11:39 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8593
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 713 of 777 (750992)
02-25-2015 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 709 by RAZD
02-25-2015 11:28 AM


Re: When words get in the way ...
Bull.
Both side discard reality in not acknowledging there exists the alternative.
The "reality" is that the logic exists as well as the popular vernacular. Each is appropriate within their spheres.
While the others want to straight jacket their definition into reality, you want to straight jacket yours in the same way.
Words are a means of communication. Word definitions are also flexible and are totally dependent on context.
The "reality" here, RAZD, is that neither side has a lock on that reality.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 709 by RAZD, posted 02-25-2015 11:28 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 731 by RAZD, posted 02-26-2015 12:09 PM AZPaul3 has seen this message but not replied

  
dronestar
Member
Posts: 1425
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 714 of 777 (750993)
02-25-2015 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 711 by RAZD
02-25-2015 11:39 AM


Re: It's natural to be a naturalist . . .
Hi RAZD,
RAZD writes:
Why not "skeptic"?
If I asked you: Are you skeptical or atheist about Easter Bunnies that created the universe, I suspect you would say you are atheist about those entities. To say you were merely skeptcal would mean to me that you were earnestly keeping an open mind to such entities such as universe-tampering Easter Bunnies.
If scientists kept an infinitely open mind to all possibilities, I would think science wouldn't progress too quickly. I would prefer scientists who are working on cancer and environmental problems to not keep an open mind and consider/hypothesise/test that Easter Bunnies are possibly tampering with the universe.
Not with my tax money, thankyou.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 711 by RAZD, posted 02-25-2015 11:39 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 728 by RAZD, posted 02-26-2015 10:13 AM dronestar has replied

  
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2459 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 715 of 777 (750997)
02-25-2015 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 707 by Straggler
02-25-2015 9:45 AM


Re: and ANOTHER opportunity for Tangle to review his position ...
Straggler writes:
So I would suggest that if they are going to talk about god/s whose "qualities are not well defined" then they need to at least come up with a sensible set of qualities that something must possess in order to qualify as a "god" in the first place. Otherwise how do they know the thing they believe in is a "god" and that they are a "theist"?
And with this I also agree. This is why my common response to the question "Do you believe in god?" is "Define your god -- only after that can I rationally assert a position."
JB

This message is a reply to:
 Message 707 by Straggler, posted 02-25-2015 9:45 AM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 721 by Tangle, posted 02-25-2015 7:23 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

  
ThinAirDesigns
Member (Idle past 2459 days)
Posts: 564
Joined: 02-12-2015


Message 716 of 777 (750999)
02-25-2015 12:52 PM


IMHO, the primary (only?) purpose of language is to accurately update your knowledge to include my position.
If I know that you are aware of a word definition that fits my position close enough to satisfy my, I might choose to just use your definition even if it's not my preferred one (because it works, mate!). That doesn't need mean that I must use the exact same word in my next conversation with an entirely different person.
Call the space at the rear of a car the "boot" in the US and confusion ensues. Call it a "trunk" in the UK and the same. I just can't figure out what seems to be the problem with allowing for both regional and even individual definitions as long as the particular definition is understood between the parties.
JB

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 717 of 777 (751001)
02-25-2015 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 705 by Straggler
02-25-2015 9:13 AM


Re: and ANOTHER opportunity for Tangle to review his position ...
So you are not insisting that your definition be used, but there is no context in which you won't object and resist the alternative definition being applied....
I honestly think there is a better way, why would I not advocate for it?
There's even issues on the theist side...
When asked the question: "Does god exist?", some people will go: "Yes, god does exist."
Others, like myself, will refrain from taking that positive position. My response would be more along the lines of: "Well, I really don't know, but I do think that a god exists. I believe it, but I won't claim that one does."
I've had conversations in RL with hardcore True ChristiansTM where I've just told them I was agnostic. They were so sure of god's existence that I knew that I couldn't be grouped with them, and I wasn't willing to say that god did exist even though I'm technically a christian. It was a lot easier to just say that I was an agnostic than go through the details of my position on the matter - partly because of what I know about those types of people and how they would react.
But if that was here, in an online philosophical discussion, then I'd still object and resist their alternative definition being applied - where you're either a theist or you're not and you're an atheist - because I do think that dichotomy is false and that it is more complicated than that, and that there is a better way to describe the whole situation.
If I truely believe that it is a better way, then why shouldn't I argue for it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 705 by Straggler, posted 02-25-2015 9:13 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 723 by Tangle, posted 02-26-2015 3:40 AM New Cat's Eye has not replied
 Message 747 by Straggler, posted 03-04-2015 2:20 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 718 of 777 (751002)
02-25-2015 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 708 by dronestar
02-25-2015 10:46 AM


Re: It's natural to be a naturalist . . .
Specific gods or generic gods are in the EXACT same category as Easter Bunnies. Unevidenced.
That's not all of it, there's more to it than that.
I don't reject the Easter Bunny just because it is unevidenced. I reject it because of all the evidence that we have that shows that it is not real.
Not all gods are in that exact same category - where we have a bunch of evidence showing that they are not real.
As the details of the concept, regardless of whether it is a god or not, get less defined then it gets harder to make a rational rejection of it.
You can easily remain unconvinced of its existence because it is unevidenced, but to go into a position of active rejection is going to take some evidence if you want to remain rational. Or if not, ya know, reject all the things. IDGAF

This message is a reply to:
 Message 708 by dronestar, posted 02-25-2015 10:46 AM dronestar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 719 by dronestar, posted 02-25-2015 4:46 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
dronestar
Member
Posts: 1425
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 719 of 777 (751006)
02-25-2015 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 718 by New Cat's Eye
02-25-2015 2:13 PM


Re: It's natural to be a naturalist . . .
I think Straggler has already covered this. Let me try in my words . . .
It seems you are special-pleading. There is no difference between the Easter Bunny and god(s):
All gods and the Easter Bunny are correctly placed together in two categories:
1. Both are un-evidenced
2. Both were originally created from man's imagination. (Where else?)
Easter Bunny: A child believes in the un-evidenced Easter Bunny because the child does not realize it was made-up by adults. Through today's education, science, and critical-thinking, he will quickly learn that the Easter Bunny was deliberately made-up.
Christian god: A bronze-age caveman believed in an un-evidenced god(s) because he did not realize it was made-up a few minutes earlier by another bronze-age caveman. Unfortunately, the bronze-age caveman had no education, no science, no critical-thinking, thus, he never learned that the un-evidenced god(s) was deliberately made-up. Through millennia, a less clear construct of the god concept grew out of indoctrination and personal bias. An enduring false patina of believability helped support the fabricated entity. The relative believability of the Easter Bunny is at an extreme disadvantage here. None-the-less . . .
Man had forgotten that at one time, a long time ago, the creation of god, exactly like the Easter Bunny, was only through the imagination of man.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 718 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-25-2015 2:13 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 720 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-25-2015 5:00 PM dronestar has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 720 of 777 (751007)
02-25-2015 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 719 by dronestar
02-25-2015 4:46 PM


Re: It's natural to be a naturalist . . .
2. Both were originally created from man's imagination. (Where else?)
Ah, so you decided to go the irrational route. Thanks for sharing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 719 by dronestar, posted 02-25-2015 4:46 PM dronestar has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024