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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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #261

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William wrote: Thu Dec 16, 2021 5:12 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #256]
Why don't you know?
Because nobody has presented any decent evidence for it.
Given that materialism is the number one belief in today's modern age, that should not surprise anyone, least of all any practicing materialist.

What have you done in the way of science to investigate for yourself?
What evidence do you have for supposing that it's so?
That which I have subjectively gathered over the course of my 59 years on this planet, which would be no use to you or any other person, materialist or theist...although theists are more likely to incorporate my findings with their own, unless they are already snared in religiosity.

[Religious folk just refer to me as a blasphemous devil :shock: while materialist folk just say I have brain damage. :shock: either way, I am fringe as a result...]
Hint.. natural physical and biological processes which work perfectly well without any (demonstrable) intelligent direction or intent is not decent evidence for it.
Yes. That is the only real difference you and I have regarding the view of the world.

I see the actual evidence being demonstrated through the creation itself, and would expect to find it therein, first and foremost.

You see that same demonstration as the act of a mindless thing, because - as with most materialists - you struggle with the hard problem of consciousness.

But there It Is - in amongst it all - demonstrably speaking.

Mysticism knows full well the mind behind creation is thoroughly involved, even to the human level - and beyond beyond beyond...

Materialism presents [demonstrates] as just another religion, lacking the 'god' bit.

Trekking...

Well, we are seeing here pretty ,much what you got. You have nothing and want to blame 'materialists'for you having nothing. Do I need to point out the cheap groinkick of asking what science research I have done myself? Like nobody is entitled to refer to the findings of others but they have had to do the work themselves? The evidence is in the creation itself. Where? It exists thus a cosmic mind?

consciousness is one of the Big Three gaps for God. Of which Life is pretty much explained, but not proven, true. Consciousness (including the Hard Problem of perception experience) I think an explanation may be possible in quite a short time, but it's a gap. Same with cosmic origins. Still an explanation gap. And there's the difference between you and me. I say 'we (human knowledge) don't know, so it's unknown. say a cosmic Mind must be the answer. The problem is not materialism, it's irrationality, and that is using the god of the gaps fallacy. The question is there amongs all of us, but the answer really isn't.

Mysticism?At leas philosophy can point the hard question and science has to answer it - even though one or two philosophers have rather oddly tried to insist that they can't answer it 8-) Philosophy, I'm obliged to say seems to fall into irrationality of itself, when it tried to say what is or is not possible for science.

I am even less impressed by Mysticism. And even less with the accusations of materialism being a 'religion'. It is not. It is a rational response to what is known and what is not known. Theism (including the various shades of Mystical thought and the belief in 'Karma') is the irrational response. And we have seen them all. 'We don't know, therefore God', we have funny feeling, must be God', 'You won't accept by Faith -claims without evidence,so you are the denialist'. That's what you're doing here. Accusing someone who won't buy into unvalidated superstition, of being closed minded.

Well, at least you aren't being exploited by any particular religion and I hope that no cult or mystical book club is taking your money. So faith claims and illogical reversal of burden of proof is your own affair as you have nothing more than that, or you would have shown it.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #262

Post by William »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #261]
The question is there amongs all of us, but the answer really isn't.
This is because rather than do any research for yourself, you rely on the research of others, and only the research of others which confirm your own bias.

How you attempt to put that on me delivering "the cheap groinkick " is irrational...and of course materialism is religious. It is just another platform for its adherents to preach from, their particular brand of faith.

It is logical when one thinks about it. These opposing world-views mirror one another. The attachments are different but are attachments nonetheless. One cannot easily convince the religious nor the materialist to place their faith in their precious beliefs aside and the tragic consequence of that, is the world we currently exist in, it being created through opposing images intent on being the side that is right.

To believe as you do, that materialism is a rational response to what is known and what is not known, is an act of blind devotional faith.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #263

Post by TRANSPONDER »

William wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:22 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #261]
The question is there amongs all of us, but the answer really isn't.
This is because rather than do any research for yourself, you rely on the research of others, and only the research of others which confirm your own bias.

How you attempt to put that on me delivering "the cheap groinkick " is irrational...and of course materialism is religious. It is just another platform for its adherents to preach from, their particular brand of faith.

It is logical when one thinks about it. These opposing world-views mirror one another. The attachments are different but are attachments nonetheless. One cannot easily convince the religious nor the materialist to place their faith in their precious beliefs aside and the tragic consequence of that, is the world we currently exist in, it being created through opposing images intent on being the side that is right.

To believe as you do, that materialism is a rational response to what is known and what is not known, is an act of blind devotional faith.
O:) I must say you don't give up easy. Considering you have not a scrap of decent evidence for your claim (not to say Faith) but have to go on the attack in hopes to discredit the opposition and all their evidence. Which is a hoot because even if you did that, logically (Faith Not being Logical) you would still not have proven you case, just made everything 'Nobody knows' which - logically again - makes believing anything at all irrational.

But we do know because of science - the science you rely on every day. My old posting mate Raffius came up with what I call, admiringly, Raff's Law, which essentially says that Theists are Good with all scientific theories - apart from the ones that conflict with their Faith, and then those are denied as the biased opinion of closed - minded atheists.

We almost all rely on the research of others for our verified data. so, apart from being yet another grubby groinkick from you, it is irrelevant. But not an unusual fallacy by theism. 'If you didn't verify this yourself, it is only the opinion of others'. But almost everyone who came up with discoveries or new insights, did it on the basis of the work of others. So your point is as worthless as trying to smear science as a 'religion'. Even if it was :) it would still be more validated than any Faith or theism of yours, because the evidence supports it and it doesn't support the Other religions. And moreover.

"There are many religions; there is only one science". Mark that out with thumbtacks on your bedroom plaster wall, and wear it as a symbol on thy forehead. If the world that can't agree on anything can agree on science, that's a religion worthy of bias. Faith in a Cosmic mind...I wouldn't say irrational. On a discussion on a former board I opined to a philosopher who though a Comic Mind 'logically impossible', that I though a perpetuated mind of interconnected electrons was not impossible, but thought it would have had to be based on a material body to give it initial formation. So I'm just saying that none of this is impossible, but there is no reason to believe it as probable just yet, and you certainly haven't given any good reason or evidence, but just engaged in a lot of Faithclaims, accusations and dirty low blows which frankly just make you look bad, not me.

Which I am truly sorry for, as you 'Deist -goddissts'/Deists or irreligious Theists are 'Next in Love' to atheists, but it is their bias and Faith in their own...Theism and their hatred of the name of atheism that makes them regard us as enemies.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #264

Post by historia »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:58 am
historia wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:23 pm
Have I argued that believing that God exists is the "default" and that the burden of proof lies with non-believers?
I really don't know, or can't remember.
Okay, I'm just going to assume, then, that your wild speculations about what motivates people have nothing to do with me.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:58 am
I think that atheist non -belief in a 'god' (or god -claim) is not a Belief, but a reservation of belief, pending proof.
That seems to contradict what you said earlier:
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:12 pm
historia wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:05 pm
For both the theist and the atheist there is only one thing under consideration here: the proposition that God exists. Generally speaking, the theist agrees with the proposition, while the atheist rejects (or at least withholds agreement to) the proposition. Since each of those positions constitute a stance or opinion regarding the proposition, they are definitionally beliefs (see post #21).

Either the theist or atheist might look to explain or justify their belief by making an appeal to evidence (or lack thereof), tradition, or some other reason, but that doesn't change what the belief is directed to -- namely, the proposition that God exists.
That's true. Both are beliefs, and both beliefs about God.
Perhaps you can clarify.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #265

Post by William »

Generally speaking, the theist agrees with the proposition, while the atheist rejects (or at least withholds agreement to) the proposition.
No the materialist rejects the proposition and the agnostic withholds agreement to the proposition.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #266

Post by TRANSPONDER »

William wrote: Sat Dec 18, 2021 5:06 pm
Generally speaking, the theist agrees with the proposition, while the atheist rejects (or at least withholds agreement to) the proposition.
No the materialist rejects the proposition and the agnostic withholds agreement to the proposition.
I get that - even if not using Metaphysical rather than mechanical materialism. But that's a reasonable skeptical position until the believers in Something more; a supernatural element., or a Cosmic Mind provide some decent evidence for it. Tinkering about with semantics doesn't alter the fact (or logic) that the burden of proof falls on the Cosmic Mind -claimant and not on the materialist, or indeed agnostic. So far the best efforts of ID, Cosntants or fine -tuned universe have not made a convincing case for this sorta -god.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #267

Post by TRANSPONDER »

historia wrote: Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:44 pm
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:58 am
historia wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:23 pm
Have I argued that believing that God exists is the "default" and that the burden of proof lies with non-believers?
I really don't know, or can't remember.
Okay, I'm just going to assume, then, that your wild speculations about what motivates people have nothing to do with me.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:58 am
I think that atheist non -belief in a 'god' (or god -claim) is not a Belief, but a reservation of belief, pending proof.
That seems to contradict what you said earlier:
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:12 pm
historia wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:05 pm
For both the theist and the atheist there is only one thing under consideration here: the proposition that God exists. Generally speaking, the theist agrees with the proposition, while the atheist rejects (or at least withholds agreement to) the proposition. Since each of those positions constitute a stance or opinion regarding the proposition, they are definitionally beliefs (see post #21).

Either the theist or atheist might look to explain or justify their belief by making an appeal to evidence (or lack thereof), tradition, or some other reason, but that doesn't change what the belief is directed to -- namely, the proposition that God exists.
That's true. Both are beliefs, and both beliefs about God.
Perhaps you can clarify.

You may assume whatever you like, and my arguments about how and why people think or reason may indeed be wild speculation. Though obviously I think I have got onto something. But I don't think that you can credibly deny the various meanings that can be assigned to 'Belief' and how they can be equivocated and thus false meanings can be attributed to atheism without the permission or consent of atheists, which suits theist apologetics very well . What the 'belief' of the atheist or atheism is directed to isn't really relevant. What is relevant is talking about what Belief means in the context, not what the belief is directed towards. Which is the god -claim and even less what 'God' is supposed to mean in the context. The actual point is whether a claim is being made by atheist as a belief - position, or whether it us reservation of belief, which is not a belief Other than beleiving that it is logically and evidentailly valid to withold the belief. Thus the beliefs can be said to be about the god claim but are not beliefs in or against a god, whereas theism is belief in a god, and all that is to be discussed in what they mean by that
Does that clarify the matter sufficiently? O:)

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #268

Post by David the apologist »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #261]

You say:
consciousness is one of the Big Three gaps for God. Of which Life is pretty much explained, but not proven, true. Consciousness (including the Hard Problem of perception experience) I think an explanation may be possible in quite a short time, but it's a gap. Same with cosmic origins. Still an explanation gap. And there's the difference between you and me. I say 'we (human knowledge) don't know, so it's unknown. say a cosmic Mind must be the answer. The problem is not materialism, it's irrationality, and that is using the god of the gaps fallacy. The question is there amongs all of us, but the answer really isn't.
First of all, Consciousness is a bit different from everything else, insofar as it's the rug under which the Early Moderns swept everything that wouldn't fit the new Mechanical Philosophy. So, unlike the Scholastics that came before them, the Early Moderns denied the objective existence of so-called "secondary qualities," formal causes, and final causes. Nature was just stuff, with shape, size, number, and motion. We've added to the list: charge, mass, energy, momentum, and temperature - but the basic principle is the same: only those things which can be given a precise mathematical description count as scientifically respectable, and thus mind-independent. Which means that all the obviously non-mathematically describable stuff - qualia, semantic content, purposes, intentions, etc. - have to be the domain of the mind alone, and cannot be in the domain of science.

The Early Moderns saw that this entailed dualism, which, for the most part, they embraced. Moderns, however, thinking that the scientific method has made basic logic irrelevant, don't see this fact.

Second, we use "X of the gaps" reasoning all the time. Can't explain why light from distant galaxies gets bent the way it does? There must be matter we can't see. Call it "dark matter." Distant galaxies more redshifted than they should be? There must be energy in space itself. Call it "dark energy." Any time we believe in something rationally, it's because there's a gap in our understanding that needs to be filled. The process of explaining things just is filling in "gaps" in our understanding. Inference to the best explanation is a valid mode of reasoning, not a fallacy, and it doesn't magically become a fallacy when you don't like the Explanation that stands head and shoulders above all competitors.

Not liking the best answer anyone's come up with doesn't magically make the answer "not count."
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And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #269

Post by TRANSPONDER »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:03 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #261]

You say:
consciousness is one of the Big Three gaps for God. Of which Life is pretty much explained, but not proven, true. Consciousness (including the Hard Problem of perception experience) I think an explanation may be possible in quite a short time, but it's a gap. Same with cosmic origins. Still an explanation gap. And there's the difference between you and me. I say 'we (human knowledge) don't know, so it's unknown. say a cosmic Mind must be the answer. The problem is not materialism, it's irrationality, and that is using the god of the gaps fallacy. The question is there amongs all of us, but the answer really isn't.
First of all, Consciousness is a bit different from everything else, insofar as it's the rug under which the Early Moderns swept everything that wouldn't fit the new Mechanical Philosophy. So, unlike the Scholastics that came before them, the Early Moderns denied the objective existence of so-called "secondary qualities," formal causes, and final causes. Nature was just stuff, with shape, size, number, and motion. We've added to the list: charge, mass, energy, momentum, and temperature - but the basic principle is the same: only those things which can be given a precise mathematical description count as scientifically respectable, and thus mind-independent. Which means that all the obviously non-mathematically describable stuff - qualia, semantic content, purposes, intentions, etc. - have to be the domain of the mind alone, and cannot be in the domain of science.

The Early Moderns saw that this entailed dualism, which, for the most part, they embraced. Moderns, however, thinking that the scientific method has made basic logic irrelevant, don't see this fact.

Second, we use "X of the gaps" reasoning all the time. Can't explain why light from distant galaxies gets bent the way it does? There must be matter we can't see. Call it "dark matter." Distant galaxies more redshifted than they should be? There must be energy in space itself. Call it "dark energy." Any time we believe in something rationally, it's because there's a gap in our understanding that needs to be filled. The process of explaining things just is filling in "gaps" in our understanding. Inference to the best explanation is a valid mode of reasoning, not a fallacy, and it doesn't magically become a fallacy when you don't like the Explanation that stands head and shoulders above all competitors.

Not liking the best answer anyone's come up with doesn't magically make the answer "not count."
It's a funny coincidence that I have replied to this argument on another thread, re 'god of the gaps'. No you criticism of science or materialist science may have been true once but that isn't the case now. But it is the case that what we call 'matter' works in understood ways and nothing 'supernatural' (meaning some needed extra unknown entity) is demonstrated or needed. Unknowns are simply that and are not gaps for a god as a default explanation, which is a logical fallacy.

Now theists or science -skeptics have talked of a 'science of the gaps' where it is hoped that science will in time explain the unknowns. Well, science has done so many times and should have earned some credit while theism has seen its gaps for god close and has lost ground rather than gained it. Science however has an established material world of known physical effects as a default explanation as a first hypothesis (accepting that it is hypothetical where there are unknowns). Theism has no such credibility as an equal, never mind a default. To suppose that theism is supported by evidences or has it is simply a Faith -claim without anything but appeal to unknowns - gaps for God, in fact, which is a logical fallacy.

On an evidential and logical level, therefore, Theism fails.

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Re: Is atheism lacking?

Post #270

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William wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:52 am [Replying to Bust Nak in post #61]
That's the point, atheism IS the neutral or passive position.
That is a claim but is it the truth?

I think agnosticism is the neutral or passive position.

Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, the divine, or the supernatural is not known or knowable with any certainty. If the question is "Does God exist?", "yes" would imply theism, "no" would imply atheism, and "I'm not sure" would imply agnosticism—that God possibly can or cannot exist. [Source]

Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist.[Source]


Atheists present the type of argument that clearly shows they feel justified in believing gods do not exist.

They still retain the Agnostic position of lacking belief in gods but justify being atheists with reasons as to why they choose to be atheists rather than remain agnostic.

An agnostic atheist aka weak atheist is passive and neutral in respect to both knowledge and belief. Claims not to know if there is a god or gods and and lack a belief in god or gods.
An gnostic atheist aka hard atheist is active in respect to both knowledge and belief. Does both claim to know and believes there are no god or gods.
An agnostic theist is passive in respect to knowledge but active in term of belief. Claims not to know if there is a god or gods but believes there is/are a god or gods.
An gnostic theist is active in respect to knowledge and belief. Does both claim to know and believe there is/are a god or gods.

I am for example an agnostic atheist in respect to there being a god in general but gnostic atheist in respect to Yahweh-Jesus.

When in comes to god in general one can lack a belief(passive stance) because of lack of compelling evidence.
When in comes to Yahweh-Jesus I for example have a disbelief(active stance) and claim I know its non-existent because its existence its logically impossible, contradicts reality(physics, genetics, geology, cosmology, biology, psychology, history, archeology, paleontology).
Last edited by alexxcJRO on Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:32 am, edited 8 times in total.
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