Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 30, 31, 32  Next

Reply to topic
Talishi
First Post
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:24 pm  "Atheists believe there is no God" Reply with quote

Many Christians like to say, "Atheists believe there is no God." But atheism is not a belief there is no God because to have a belief is to hold a proposition. There are thousands of other things that Christians, like atheists, do not have a belief in, from Sasquatch to elves. If the mechanism is correct that the non-existence of God is a proposition held by atheists, then both Christians and atheists must also have matching propositions for the non-existence of all other imaginary things, which clearly we do not, since we can only name a few.

So for the record:

Christians believe in the existence of Yahweh and they do not believe in the existence of Zeus.

Atheists do not believe in the existence of Yahweh and they also do not believe in the existence of Zeus.


Perhaps the underlying motivation for some Christians to say atheists believe there is no God is a suspicion they have that believing in something is inferior to understanding something. And perhaps it is enabled by the same sloppy reasoning that results in some Christians saying evolution is “only a theory” as if that were a bad thing.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:22 pm
Reply

Like this post
SkyChief wrote:

IMO, the reason many Christians think Atheists believe that there is no god is because their dictionary may have the following definition for atheist:

Simple Definition of atheist
: a person who believes that God does not exist

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheist

Here's another:

noun
1. a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/atheist

Notice that both of these definitions require the atheist to take an active position on the existence of god(s).

We shouldn't wag our fingers at Christians for not understanding that an Atheist doesn't really need to believe there is no god.

The editors of these dictionaries are the ones who need to be schooled. Study


Merriam Webster is indeed out of line. Shirt-pocket dictionaries can use that definition because they are space-constrained. A web-based dictionary has no such excuse.

But dictionary.comm did just fine. It defines atheism as one who "denies or disbelieves." If you look up "denies" and "disbelieves" in that same dictionary, you find things like this:

Quote:

Disbelieve: to have no belief in ...


So it's not like dictionaries (except Merriam Webster) agree with the theists on this. It's that the theists are cherry-picking their definitions.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:23 am
Reply

Like this post
[Replying to post 21 by wiploc]

wiploc wrote:


So it's not like dictionaries (except Merriam Webster) agree with the theists on this. It's that the theists are cherry-picking their definitions.



It's extremely SAD that professional apologists make HAY out of the sad fact that a LOT of people don't understand how to use a dictionary or how words are given meanings.

These apologists prey and foster IGNORANCE. And then imagine that they have latched on to good arguments.

And that's how we get such regrettable word play with so many theists.

It's all very well to play with words, but not in SERIOUS discussions.
These pseudo-semantic discussions are on the level of clever 12 year olds.

And some of these silly word game players have PHDs.
What a waste.



Smile

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:27 am
Reply
Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Like this post
Talishi wrote:

Many Christians like to say, "Atheists believe there is no God." But atheism is not a belief there is no God because to have a belief is to hold a proposition. There are thousands of other things that Christians, like atheists, do not have a belief in, from Sasquatch to elves. If the mechanism is correct that the non-existence of God is a proposition held by atheists, then both Christians and atheists must also have matching propositions for the non-existence of all other imaginary things, which clearly we do not, since we can only name a few.

So for the record:

Christians believe in the existence of Yahweh and they do not believe in the existence of Zeus.

Atheists do not believe in the existence of Yahweh and they also do not believe in the existence of Zeus.


Perhaps the underlying motivation for some Christians to say atheists believe there is no God is a suspicion they have that believing in something is inferior to understanding something. And perhaps it is enabled by the same sloppy reasoning that results in some Christians saying evolution is “only a theory” as if that were a bad thing.


If I lack a belief in something, then I also believe it doesn't exist. The caveat here is that the latter statement ("I believe god does not exist") is really nothing more than a shortened and oversimplified version of: "I lack a belief in gods because of the paucity of evidence for them. As a consequence of this I do not believe gods are possible in our universe."

It is easier to say "I don't believe..." than it is to give a full explanation of what you lack a belief in and why. But this being easier also makes it easier for the meaning behind it to be corrupted. Which is where it often becomes misinterpreted (accidentally or on purpose) by theists to try and turn atheism into a belief system and ascribe faith to atheists.

Which I always find intriguing because in trying to assign faith to atheists while asserting that atheism is a religion, theists undermine the concepts of both religion and faith.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:04 am
Reply
Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Like this post (1): TheBeardedDude
[Replying to post 23 by TheBeardedDude]




Semantic bullying:
I laughed so much it hurt.



TheBeardedDude wrote:


Which I always find intriguing because in trying to assign faith to atheists while asserting that atheism is a religion, theists undermine the concepts of both religion and faith.



That's quotable.

If they think that faith can lead us atheists to a quite FALSE belief, it puts into question the reliability of faith as an epistemic method. If they say that they believe in their god DUE to "faith"... and we are wrong DUE to "faith"... oops. They might be wrong, too.

If anything that we believe can be said is a RELIGION, then their particular religion is just ANOTHER possibly fallacious belief system among many many other false belief systems.

You made a very good point.

Apologists trying to make a cogent argument by playing with words are using a rather childish tactic, as far as I'm concerned. They might as well be trying to tell us atheists:


"LOOK.... I'm going to TELL you what you actually mean by the word "atheist""


And then, the hilarity ensues.
Except that to some, it's not so funny after all.



Smile

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:43 pm
Reply
Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Like this post
TheBeardedDude wrote:

If I lack a belief in something, then I also believe it doesn't exist.


Is that a personal idiosyncrasy, or do you think it's how language works?

If I say "I don't believe X," I could be using a figure of speech, litotes, to mean "I believe not-X." Or I could be speaking literally, in which case you have no information about what I do believe. The listener gets to judge by context, and sometimes that can be hard.

Since "I don't believe X" can be ambiguous--specifically for that reason--the "I lack a belief" phrasing has come into use. The listener cannot hear "I lack a belief in X" and think she has heard "I have a belief in not-X."

The point and purpose of that phrasing is to avoid the confusion that you seem to be promoting.


Quote:

The caveat here is that the latter statement ("I believe god does not exist") is really nothing more than a shortened and oversimplified version of: "I lack a belief in gods because of the paucity of evidence for them. As a consequence of this I do not believe gods are possible in our universe."


No. You're just making things up. The category "People who believe that gods do not exist" includes some of those you describe, but it also includes every other person who believes gods do not exist. And the category does not include everybody you describe. I met a guy in Texas who claimed that science had proved gods don't exist. He wasn't an atheist because of any "paucity of evidence"; he believed gods' nonexistence was proven.

The category of "People who believes that gods do not exist," includes some people you have excluded, and doesn't include everybody you included.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 26: Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:10 pm
Reply
Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Like this post
[Replying to post 25 by wiploc]


Stuck on the labels instead of the ideas the labels represent.



TheBeardedDude wrote:

If I lack a belief in something, then I also believe it doesn't exist.


wiploc wrote:


Is that a personal idiosyncrasy, or do you think it's how language works?



Nope, normal language is often that ambiguous. Language is often very very messy. Philosophy is where we try to clean that mess UP.

That's why we have philosophy.. it sometimes takes a WHOLE lotta other words to explain even itsy bitsy ones. Try, for example to explain "love" in any complete way, and see how many words that will take ya.


wiploc wrote:


If I say "I don't believe X," I could be using a figure of speech, litotes, to mean "I believe not-X." Or I could be speaking literally, in which case you have no information about what I do believe. The listener gets to judge by context, and sometimes that can be hard.



If I say that I don't believe X, it says my belief status on X, but NOTHING ELSE. My disbelief in X says NOTHING, for example about Y, or A, or W.

If the person I am trying to explain something to doesn't understand the word I'm using, I can and do ELABORATE. Words like "atheist" are merely placeholders for LONG BORING SPEECHES.

If you don't know what I mean by "atheist", ask and you shall receive.
Don't be shy, either.

There are many variations on "atheism" possible, so it's better not to guess.


wiploc wrote:


Since "I don't believe X" can be ambiguous--specifically for that reason--the "I lack a belief" phrasing has come into use. The listener cannot hear "I lack a belief in X" and think she has heard "I have a belief in not-X."



Yeah, and apologists train some people to think that all ATHEISTS are expressing a belief. They can then claim that we do the same as they. This is a "Tu quoque" fallacy. Some atheists might use the word to mean they have a BELIEF that there is not gods, but not ALL of us do.

It's important to ask what people MEAN by their terms.

When I say that I'm an atheist I do NOT mean that I have a belief in a "NOT GOD". I just mean that I don't believe in any gods.


wiploc wrote:


The point and purpose of that phrasing is to avoid the confusion that you seem to be promoting.



I don't have a problem with how TheBeardedDude was expressing atheism. Both versions can mean the same darn thing, IF anyone cares to ask. What really IMPRESSES me is when theists ARGUE with me when I tell them what I mean by the term.

I mean.. they ARGUE with me !!
For crying out loud, that's so lame.


Quote:

The caveat here is that the latter statement ("I believe god does not exist") is really nothing more than a shortened and oversimplified version of: "I lack a belief in gods because of the paucity of evidence for them. As a consequence of this I do not believe gods are possible in our universe."



wiploc wrote:


No. You're just making things up.



And wiploc is the king of the English language?

The word "atheist" has some common definitions that are found in general dictionaries, however, not everyone uses the term the same WAY. There are quite a FEW KINDS of atheists out there... Let them describe what they mean by the term. You may be surprised what people believe and don't believe.

Some dictionaries just don't reflect my usage of certain terms..

Now, if you are saying that "he is making it up " you are ARGUING with him just like the lame apologists do. It's his meaning.. he GETS to make that up..... He GETS to use the word he wants to use.

___________________

Boring Philosophy Lecture Alert:

Define your terms


____________________

No dictionary police is going to come down from Oxford to arrest TheBeardedDude for defining his terms. You WILL notice that some BIGGER dictionaries describe more usages than the smaller dictionaries. And you will notice that philosophical dictionary entries are longer than most non-technical dictionaries. There's a reason for that.

When it comes to philosophical discussions, we MUST define our terms. There are no RULES about what word means what. As long as we KNOW what the person is talking about is what's important. The IDEA the words represent is whats important.. NOT THE LABEL ( the word ) we choose to represent the idea.


wiploc wrote:


The category "People who believe that gods do not exist" includes some of those you describe, but it also includes every other person who believes gods do not exist.



There is no WORD POLICE.

But the term "atheist" pretty much covers people who believe that gods don't exist, AND those that don't believe that gods exist.


wiploc wrote:


And the category does not include everybody you describe. I met a guy in Texas who claimed that science had proved gods don't exist. He wasn't an atheist because of any "paucity of evidence"; he believed gods' nonexistence was proven.



He is an atheist, by not believing in gods.
It doesn't MATTER how he arrived at the conclusion.

As long as he doesn't believe in any god, he is an ATHEIST. He can be completely off his rocker, but that doesn't MATTER.


wiploc wrote:


The category of "People who believes that gods do not exist," includes some people you have excluded, and doesn't include everybody you included.



People who believe that gods do not exist = People who do not believe that gods exist.

Get over it.
If you don't understand someone's incredibly nuanced position, ASK.
Don't get stuck on their LABELS.


Smile

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 27: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:29 pm
Reply
Re: "Atheists believe there is no God"

Like this post
Blastcat wrote:

He is an atheist, by not believing in gods.
It doesn't MATTER how he arrived at the conclusion.


That was my point.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 28: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:26 am
Reply

Like this post
[Replying to post 18 by Blastcat]

"Why would we assume that a non-belief in something was arrived at by way of a RATIONAL approach? Creationists are "non-believers" in the theory of evolution. "

Non-belief does not have to be rational at all.

I did not believe untill my later years when the RATIONAL kicked in Very Happy

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 29: Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:20 am
Reply

Like this post
[Replying to post 28 by Monta]



Just because reason "kicked in", doesn't mean it was good reasoning.



Monta wrote:


"Why would we assume that a non-belief in something was arrived at by way of a RATIONAL approach? Creationists are "non-believers" in the theory of evolution. "

Non-belief does not have to be rational at all.

I did not believe untill my later years when the RATIONAL kicked in Very Happy




____________________


It's important to state both cases:


Non-belief or belief does not have to be rational at all.


_____________________


Of course, it's way better to believe in things that are not just rational, but TRUE. And that's where apologists fail. Their beliefs might make perfect SENSE to them, but there is no way to verify the truth of their wonderfully rational ideas.

And skeptics really QUESTION the validity of their ideas.
It's not as if their "logic" wasn't controversial.

The reason that I am an atheist after all these years is because NONE of the apologist's arguments demonstrate that any god beliefs are true. If apologetic arguments were in any way CONVINCING, I'd be a theist. No question about that.

So, maybe, Monta, you didn't believe until the RATIONAL kicked in, but it's possible that the rational fails to do the job that you really wanted it to do. Welcome to debates.

Your "rational" is what it's all about.

I would love, if it were possible to have a one on one discussion about what "rational" kicked in that convinced you that a god exists.



Smile

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 30: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:49 am
Reply

Like this post
[Replying to Blastcat]


"So, maybe, Monta, you didn't believe until the RATIONAL kicked in, but it's possible that the rational fails to do the job that you really wanted it to do. Welcome to debates."

I know this is debate forum but no, I am not good at debating.
I just drop in here and there with my current conviction.
It makes me think sharpens my personal views and of course pick up few gems from contributors.

You say you'd be a theist if there was someone to convince you.
Perhaps talk to most unlkely people.....
read most unlikely books...
All you/we need is one line one sentance that makes sense to us.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 30, 31, 32  Next

Jump to:  
Facebook
Tweet

 




On The Web | Ecodia | Hymn Lyrics Apps
Facebook | Twitter

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.   Produced by Ecodia.

Igloo   |  Lo-Fi Version