Is atheism lacking?

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historia
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Is atheism lacking?

Post #1

Post by historia »

This is an oft made point on this forum, but one I want to explore in a bit more depth:
Tcg wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:37 pm
We_Are_VENOM wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:23 pm
If you don't believe that God exists, then that itself is a belief.
I lack belief in god/gods. Lack of belief is quite clearly not a belief.
I think we can all appreciate the case where a person might be ignorant of a particular topic and thus have no beliefs about it. That seems straight-forward.

But, if a person previously believed in X but now no longer believes in X, while spending time on an online forum debating X, it seems less straight-forward (to me anyway) to say that they simply "lack" belief in X. Even if that person is merely contending that there is insufficient evidence (for them, at least) to believe in X, surely we must conclude that constitutes a belief about X.


Question for debate: Is it accurate to say that atheists debating the existence of God on an online forum lack belief in God (or gods), or is there a more accurate way to describe their beliefs vis-a-vis God (or gods)?

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historia
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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #51

Post by historia »

Tcg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:22 am
I'm addressing the fact that lack of belief is not a belief. If you can present evidence that lack of belief is a belief please do so.
Nobody here has claimed that lack of belief is a belief.

The question under consideration is whether an atheist who has rejected (or at least chosen not to accept) the proposition that God exists can rightly be said to "lack" belief.
Tcg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:22 am
I'm not addressing what you consider to be the "pertinent question."
The questions I posed in post #48 are simply a reformulation of the question in the OP. That is the topic under discussion.

If you want to make a meaningful contribution to the thread, you can start with those question.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #52

Post by historia »

nobspeople wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:49 pm
The word 'lacking' caught my eye. Lacking: "to be deficient or missing; to be short or have need of something; to stand in need of : suffer from the absence or deficiency of"
I don't see any reason for everyone to 'need' to believe in any god.
"Lack" here just means missing or absent.
nobspeople wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:49 pm
To think one doesn't hold something 'worthy', this seems to mean they consider the 'thing' to be real and actual.
I don't think that's true at all. If a proposition concerns something that is unreal, then you can (and likely should) deem it unworthy of being believed.
nobspeople wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:49 pm
As far as 'positions' go, I'm not sure that matters: passive, neutral, assertive...it all nets the same end result: no god (in their belief)
It doesn't matter concerning their belief, I agree. But it does matter in an online forum when someone claims their position is neutral when it isn't.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #53

Post by historia »

Tcg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:17 am
historia wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:29 pm
nobspeople wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:44 am
For some, it comes from a 'once believed in now no longer do because of XYZ' while others simply don't see any evidence. Thus, saying 'lack of a belief in god' is accurate.
Would it not be more accurate to say they disbelieve in God?
Hey, look at that, yet another Straw Man argument.
Asking a question is not a straw man argument.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #54

Post by TRANSPONDER »

These discussions always go a bit wider and it is inevitable that Some Theists will say that atheists have beleif too (translates as 'Atheists have Faith as much as God - believers' do. Equivocation, of course. belief based on evaluation of the evidence leading to lack of the god -belief (but belief that the conclusions based on evaluation of the evidence are sound is a different thing) is not the same thing as a belief without the evidence or in spite of it. Of course a person who never heard about the god -claim (or any other) would be technically atheist without having heard the apologetic and would simply lack faith.

It's all incredibly picky and it wouldn't even matter if Some theist apologists didn't keep trying to argue that atheist rejection of the god -claim (on the evidence) is Faith just as much as a god -belief without evidence or in spite of it. Of course Some theist apologists try to make the evidence support the Faith, which is why we have to keep of debunking this - that the resurrection - account is reliable, that geology supports Genesis, that Cosmic origins argues for a Creator and that there would be no morality without God.

All false, and we have to keep presenting the rebuttals, unfortunately atheism doesn't have a multi -billion dollar mechanism behind it and we have to do it all unpaid in our own time.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #55

Post by historia »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #54]

I appreciate your attempt to offer an explanation as to why some atheists might claim they simply lack belief. I think your assertion here that it is more of a rhetorical stance than an accurate epistemological description may be correct.

But, before we go there, I want to give those folks who disagree with the assertion that rejecting (or choosing not to accept) a proposition constitutes a belief a chance to make an actual argument. So far, they're just stamping their feet and insisting it ain't so.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #56

Post by TRANSPONDER »

historia wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:50 am
Tcg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:17 am
historia wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:29 pm
nobspeople wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:44 am
For some, it comes from a 'once believed in now no longer do because of XYZ' while others simply don't see any evidence. Thus, saying 'lack of a belief in god' is accurate.
Would it not be more accurate to say they disbelieve in God?
Hey, look at that, yet another Straw Man argument.
Asking a question is not a straw man argument.
It isn't. But it's a fair point. Not knowing of the god - claim would be lack of a belief (based on lack of knowledge - atheism based on agnosticism). But, once explained and it isn't convincing one rejects the argument and the claim. One has indeed disbelieved in the god -claim but lacks belief in a god pending any other convincing claims. It's a picky point but a valid one, I think.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #57

Post by TRANSPONDER »

historia wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:27 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #54]

I appreciate your attempt to offer an explanation as to why some atheists might claim they simply lack belief. I think your assertion here that it is more of a rhetorical stance than an accurate epistemological description may be correct.

But, before we go there, I want to give those folks who disagree with the assertion that rejecting (or choosing not to accept) a proposition constitutes a belief a chance to make an actual argument. So far, they're just stamping their feet and insisting it ain't so.
Sure. I'm just thinking that - yes there's belief in there but what the belief is about - the god -claim or the conclusions about the evidence are not the same thing.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #58

Post by JoeyKnothead »

historia wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:14 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:25 pm Lacking belief is, by definition, NOT A BELIEF.
Sure, but as already noted in post #21, to hold an opinion or stance with regard to a proposition -- even if your opinion is to reject or not affirm the proposition -- is a belief. In that case you are not lacking a belief.
Parse it how it comforts ya, atheism is a lack of belief in gods.

That you try to put a belief on me doesn't make it a belief, it exposes you as being incapable of understanding a simple truth...

A lack of belief is, by definition, now follow me, a lack of belief.


Just be happy we ain't pointing and laughing at all y'all god botherers.
Some theists want to define your beliefs for you.

Not unlike those who seek to infect government and laws in the name of a god they can't show exists.

A- non
Theist- belief in the existence of a god or gods

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #59

Post by Tcg »

[Replying to Tcg in post #42]

Here's a lady with her Doberman:

Image

Here's a lady who doesn't own a Doberman:

Image

Here's Wally hunting for the second lady's Doberman:

Image

Wally's not going to find that which doesn't exist.


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #60

Post by William »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:44 pm
historia wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:14 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:25 pm Lacking belief is, by definition, NOT A BELIEF.
Sure, but as already noted in post #21, to hold an opinion or stance with regard to a proposition -- even if your opinion is to reject or not affirm the proposition -- is a belief. In that case you are not lacking a belief.
Parse it how it comforts ya, atheism is a lack of belief in gods.

That you try to put a belief on me doesn't make it a belief, it exposes you as being incapable of understanding a simple truth...

A lack of belief is, by definition, now follow me, a lack of belief.


Just be happy we ain't pointing and laughing at all y'all god botherers.
I think this all stems from the confusion as to what an atheist can be. [or become - and apparently usually do become]

Atheism is the position of lacking belief in gods.
However, non-theism and anti-theism are branches coming from out of atheism.

Thus the confusion.

Not-theists and anti-theists, while still technically atheists, have develop what could be seen as 'beliefs', which they use in counter-argument to all theistic notions - even the notion I have, in that we exist within a Creation and there is a Mind Behind Creation.

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