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Old 1st October 2019, 08:20 AM   #361
Dave Rogers
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I think the answer to the question in the thread title is that atheists are inevitably pessimistic about the prospect of someone actually understanding that being an atheist simply means not believing in any gods.

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Old 1st October 2019, 09:02 AM   #362
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
So you know all about the things you don't believe? You know all the details of all the world religions?
Yeah, this is where I like that quote that goes like... uh.... google...

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” ― Stephen Roberts

Even taking into account Mo’s difficulty empathizing with NOT being in distress over leaving theism behind, he must still be able to imagine an atheist feeling the same indifference to their culture’s most mainstream religion, as any typical theist feels towards some other far away culture’s mainstream religion. Like, I’m pretty sure Mo never felt knotted up or cast out on rough seas alone, over not believing in Shinto practices or Kanaloa etc etc.
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Old 1st October 2019, 10:09 AM   #363
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David,


Hypothetically, if a person was raised in a society where there was no knowledge of any god, would you describe that person as an atheist, or would you use another description?
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Old 1st October 2019, 10:50 AM   #364
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Empty comment. You don't need write if you has nothing to tell.
Empty comment? ROFL

That would describe every post you have made in this thread. Non-stop philosophical absurd babble. Full of sound and noise meaning absolutely nothing. You keep repeating how we atheists must think and know and all the atheists are laughing at your posts because almost all of us dismiss this nonsensical babble EXACTLY like we do Thor, Spiderman, Yahweh and Allah.

Next.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:34 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
When I say that the atheist has to take into account the beliefs of the believer I mean that he should know and keep in mind those beliefs when defining his atheism
I don't think much about how my atheism is defined. All the god concepts I've come across are rubbish. I don't believe in any of them. Now that's out of the way, I have no need to take into account anyone's beliefs because my atheism is defined, albeit loosely so that's that.

Quote:
or trying to distinguish religion from other types of myths. The latter is what we were talking about.
Is it important for me to distinguish my atheism from other myths? I don't believe in any gods. A bunch of religions and myths have gods. That distinguishes my atheism from them. That's that. I see no point in dissecting the differences between a bunch of silly religions and gods and not believing in them. It's all rubbish, I don't buy into any of it. Why good does it do for "distinguishing" what I believe from all that nonsense?

This is what I meant by you overthinking nothing. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. I genuinely don't get your navel gazing about this issue.

Last edited by JesseCuster; 1st October 2019 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:33 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
So you know all about the things you don't believe? You know all the details of all the world religions? You know how to cast an I Ching, make an astrology chart?
Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
To describe doubting God's existence as "not knowing what it is" is, to say the least, sloppy wording. It would be more appropriate to say that one is or is not familiar with religious stories. And, as it turns out, atheists are actually quite familiar with religious stories, even more than the ones who supposedly "know what it is."
The text you quoted is a parody of the ideas of one of my opponents. It does not express my own ideas.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:46 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post

Any and all gods are included in atheism, not your imaginary "God". No god is specifically implied in atheism, any and all so-called "God"s are. Since there are many thousands of such so-called "God"s none of which are consistent with each other, let alone any reality, your insistence that atheists must define exactly which "God" they do not believe in is an astonishingly idiotic idea from it's inception.

For an atheist, "God"s belong in the same category as leprechauns or pixies. Imaginary the lot of them.
I didn't insist on giving a definition of God. You asked me for it. What I have given is not precisely a definition, but a description of the common points that are given in the beliefs of those who claim to believe in God. I may have left some. Obviously the ones I know.

For the purpose of what we are discussing I don't have to give up my atheism because some religions that I don't know or don't know enough about can exist. I can set limits to my atheism in the same way that if I declare myself a communist or a democrat I can qualify that definition. I've already told you that if you know of a religion that doesn't fit my definition of God, you explain it and we discuss it. But, you limit yourself to talking about hypothetical or imaginary religions. Get your feet on the ground and we'll argue.

The issue of burden of proof is outside of this issue.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:49 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
David, I can't speak for other atheists here but I rarely think of God unless I come across believers try to rationalise or justify their beliefs.
I already answered this. You don't have to be thinking about God all day. Neither do I. Just ask yourself when the time is right. For example, if you enter a forum on religion to defend your atheism. If you are.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:51 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
This is why I don't like the term "atheist". People draw such bizarre conclusions from it.

Not believing in God doesn't define me. It isn't my creed, my ideology or my identity.

It is just one of the many things I don't believe. Like astrology, flat-earth cosmology and politicians promises
There's not a single characteristic that defines a man. Not even atheism has to be the most important. But one defines oneself as atheist or theist or agnostic... when the question arises. For example, in this forum.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:57 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
David,


Hypothetically, if a person was raised in a society where there was no knowledge of any god, would you describe that person as an atheist, or would you use another description?
Depends on what you mean by atheist. For that hypothetical society, perhaps a hypothetical term should be invented.

I'm talking about what atheist means in our context. That is the only possible way to talk about how we use words.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 12:01 AM   #371
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
I don't think much about how my atheism is defined. All the god concepts I've come across are rubbish. I don't believe in any of them. Now that's out of the way, I have no need to take into account anyone's beliefs because my atheism is defined, albeit loosely so that's that.

Is it important for me to distinguish my atheism from other myths? I don't believe in any gods. A bunch of religions and myths have gods. That distinguishes my atheism from them. That's that. I see no point in dissecting the differences between a bunch of silly religions and gods and not believing in them. It's all rubbish, I don't buy into any of it. Why good does it do for "distinguishing" what I believe from all that nonsense?

This is what I meant by you overthinking nothing. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. I genuinely don't get your navel gazing about this issue.
It is important to define the difference between gods and comic book heroes because, although both are myths, they operate differently and have different consequences in our society. There are no believers or Spiderman worship. This is the topic we were discussing. It is not a trivial.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 02:42 AM   #372
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Wouldn't it be interesting if we could get a panel of theists to comment on David's definition.

Pounds to peanuts there would be considerable disagreement.

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Old 2nd October 2019, 02:59 AM   #373
David Mo
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
David,


Hypothetically, if a person was raised in a society where there was no knowledge of any god, would you describe that person as an atheist, or would you use another description?
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Depends on what you mean by atheist. For that hypothetical society, perhaps a hypothetical term should be invented.

I'm talking about what atheist means in our context. That is the only possible way to talk about how we use words.
Words are vehicles of meaning. This is what matters, not the conventional signs by which we refer to it. In order to fix a meaning the context is important because meaning is only the use we give to a word within a social and cultural context. In our societies, massively hegemonized by people who define themselves as believers and by other ideologies that derive from that situation, the question of God is unavoidable. That is why the concepts of atheism, agnosticism and the like include opposition to belief in God.

Now, this opposition can be lived in many ways. As absolute indifference and lack of response to the domination of religious and assimilated ideologies or as active militancy against those ideologies. These are the two poles. Our answer is a question of character and philosophy of life. There are those who believe that they can stay away from the social practices of believers and there are those who believe that they are practices of domination and that they must be actively resisted.

Around this, there is only one question that is of interest in this thread: how does the absence of God affect the atheist. Or, if you want to put it another way, how can you build a project of life in which God is absent. The first point in this question is to fix the consequences for a believer of believing in God in order to see the differences. And that's where we're stuck because there are people here who hold two positions:

That an atheist doesn't have to know believers' concept of God.
That people do not have a life plan.

Both positions seem absurd to me. I think they are maintained because there is a (wrong) suspicion that behind my position there is an attempt to positively value the belief in God. Or because the mere posing of the question can weaken their dogmatic position. Or both.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 06:38 AM   #374
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is important to define the difference between gods and comic book heroes because, although both are myths, they operate differently and have different consequences in our society. There are no believers or Spiderman worship. This is the topic we were discussing. It is not a trivial.
Seems to me that most of the debate here goes on the truth value of god-belief. Not about consequences.
When I asked about how consequences effect the truth value, you deflected the topic to the ateist's moral values, "that he has to figure out what values he holds that came from religion and that is an atheist project, a consequence of becoming atheist". Although your statement there sounded valid it was actually a deflection and avoidance of the question.
And I see that here you are resorting to the social consequences.. Ignoring or not wanting to engage about the truth value (how different it is than comic books characters as being real..)

But I admire your cool persistence and clever tactics in this forum. Many threads would go dead much sooner without you getting involved.

Last edited by winter salt; 2nd October 2019 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 06:38 AM   #375
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Are you saying that an atheist is someone who has to figure out what to do when Auntie Maggie goes to pray over supper?
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Old 2nd October 2019, 07:31 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
Are you saying that an atheist is someone who has to figure out what to do when Auntie Maggie goes to pray over supper?
If the question is directed to me, then I'd say that certain ideas about morality that came from religion does stick with an ex religious person and it would be good to review those.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 07:37 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
Seems to me that most of the debate here goes on the truth value of god-belief. Not about consequences.
I categorically deny that this is my case. I have repeated in many ways that belief in God seems to me to be an illusory consolation mechanism with undesirable consequences. Although the renunciation of belief in God may have a dramatic side, this does not invalidate the superiority of atheism in all aspects. At least of what I understand as atheism. I say the latter because sometimes I don't understand very well what some who claim to be atheists want.

Although the Superheroes of comic books also have a somewhat murky reading, religion wins by a landslide in this regard.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 07:52 AM   #378
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I categorically deny that this is my case. I have repeated in many ways that belief in God seems to me to be an illusory consolation mechanism with undesirable consequences. Although the renunciation of belief in God may have a dramatic side, this does not invalidate the superiority of atheism in all aspects. At least of what I understand as atheism. I say the latter because sometimes I don't understand very well what some who claim to be atheists want.

Although the Superheroes of comic books also have a somewhat murky reading, religion wins by a landslide in this regard.
1. Why "claim"? Do you think some people who claim to be atheists are actually theist?
2. Why do you think any atheist "wants" anything specifically connected to their atheism?
3. "Renunciation" of gods is not a requirement of atheism. I suspect, based on people I know, that it is very rare.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 10:05 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is important to define the difference between gods and comic book heroes because, although both are myths, they operate differently and have different consequences in our society. There are no believers or Spiderman worship. This is the topic we were discussing. It is not a trivial.
No it's not. Nothing is nothing is nothing.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 12:43 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I already answered this. You don't have to be thinking about God all day. Neither do I. Just ask yourself when the time is right. For example, if you enter a forum on religion to defend your atheism. If you are.
So what you're saying is that atheists must take into consideration theists beliefs when discussing those beliefs with theists? That's what you're driving at?

Did it really take so much sound and fury to say that? Overthinking nothing and dressing it up in pseudo-philosophical nonsense about vital projects and whatnot.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 12:46 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is important to define the difference between gods and comic book heroes because, although both are myths, they operate differently and have different consequences in our society. There are no believers or Spiderman worship. This is the topic we were discussing. It is not a trivial.
That has nothing to do with what I said. I said nothing about comic book heroes, that's someone else you're in a discussion with.

There's a few threads going on here, not just that discussion. Several of us are discussing other matters with you, such as my post that you responded to but didn't actually address in any manner.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 08:35 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
1. Why "claim"? Do you think some people who claim to be atheists are actually theist?
2. Why do you think any atheist "wants" anything specifically connected to their atheism?
3. "Renunciation" of gods is not a requirement of atheism. I suspect, based on people I know, that it is very rare.
1. I'd be surprised. I was thinking of behaviours and ideas that are proper to religion and inconsistent with atheism. For example, those who talk about founding an "atheistic church". Or those who adopt their atheism as a dogma of faith. Or those who try to found their atheism in absolute truths.

2.It was an expression literally translated from Spanish. I meant that I didn't understand those people.

3. I meant that to be an atheist you have to choose between believing in God or not believing. "Renounce" in the sense of not choosing that way.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 08:45 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
So what you're saying is that atheists must take into consideration theists beliefs when discussing those beliefs with theists? That's what you're driving at?
That was a fairly simple example that in order to be an atheist one must be aware of the concept of God used by the believer. At least the one you are debating with.

That was a fairly simple example that in order to be an atheist one must be aware of the concept of God used by the believer. At least the one you are debating with.

If you find it too evident, keep in mind that there are people here who strongly deny that the atheist has to take into account the believer's concept of God. I'm glad you agree with me. I am also amazed of this "pseudo-philosophical" position.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 09:04 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
That has nothing to do with what I said. I said nothing about comic book heroes, that's someone else you're in a discussion with.
I was explaining the terms of my discussion with acbytesla and some others. I don't remember if you was one of them.

Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Is it important for me to distinguish my atheism from other myths? I don't believe in any gods. A bunch of religions and myths have gods. That distinguishes my atheism from them. That's that. I see no point in dissecting the differences between a bunch of silly religions and gods and not believing in them. It's all rubbish, I don't buy into any of it. Why good does it do for "distinguishing" what I believe from all that nonsense?
Therefore, your questions have nothing to do with what we were discussing.

However, if you want to introduce a new topic, I do not know why you are addressing me. If you don't want to study the history of religions don't think twice. It is an interesting subject, but it is not indispensable. I suppose that in order to define yourself as an atheist you will have a more or less shallow idea of what means this "god" that you don't believe in. That's usually enough for everyday life. I've already said it several times, but if you want to get angry and talk about rubbish and such things, don't stop on my account.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 09:23 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
...snip...
3. I meant that to be an atheist you have to choose between believing in God or not believing. "Renounce" in the sense of not choosing that way.
I did not choose to not believe. I just did not believe any of the stories people told me. The stories made no sense on their face, and there was no supporting evidence presented.

I don't even understand how someone would go about choosing to believe. Either you are convinced a thing is real, or you are not.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 10:21 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
I did not choose to not believe. I just did not believe any of the stories people told me. The stories made no sense on their face, and there was no supporting evidence presented.

I don't even understand how someone would go about choosing to believe. Either you are convinced a thing is real, or you are not.
You chose not to believe because the belief in God seemed incredible to you. Choices are made for reasons. Just because they're reasonable doesn't mean you don't choose.
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Old 3rd October 2019, 10:25 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You chose not to believe because the belief in God seemed incredible to you. Choices are made for reasons. Just because they're reasonable doesn't mean you don't choose.
You should read the second half of the post you just quoted.
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Old 3rd October 2019, 10:58 AM   #388
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You chose not to believe because the belief in God seemed incredible to you. Choices are made for reasons. Just because they're reasonable doesn't mean you don't choose.

If there is nothing there it is difficult to choose it.

There is no god. Nothing there to not choose.

This bizarre fixation you have with choice is predicated on an empty assumption that there is something to choose.
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Old 3rd October 2019, 10:21 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
You should read the second half of the post you just quoted.
Why do you think I have not read it?
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Old 3rd October 2019, 10:31 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
If there is nothing there it is difficult to choose it.
You choose between beliefs based on the data you have. You will always have the choice of denying evidence or opposing faith. Dostoevsky: "Even if I have proof that God does not exist, I will continue to believe in God". Pascal: "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of". It is a radical option, but possible for you.
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Old 4th October 2019, 08:02 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You choose between beliefs based on the data you have. You will always have the choice of denying evidence or opposing faith. Dostoevsky: "Even if I have proof that God does not exist, I will continue to believe in God". Pascal: "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of". It is a radical option, but possible for you.

I wasn't referring to belief, as I am sure you know. I was referring to not-belief. Nothing there to choose.
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:11 AM   #392
David Mo
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
I wasn't referring to belief, as I am sure you know. I was referring to not-belief. Nothing there to choose.
That's a play on words. You choose between believing and not believing. For good or bad reasons, that's another matter.
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:26 AM   #393
JesseCuster
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
1. I'd be surprised. I was thinking of behaviours and ideas that are proper to religion and inconsistent with atheism. For example, those who talk about founding an "atheistic church". Or those who adopt their atheism as a dogma of faith. Or those who try to found their atheism in absolute truths.
You think those people aren't actually atheists and really believe in God?
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:28 AM   #394
JesseCuster
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You chose not to believe because the belief in God seemed incredible to you. Choices are made for reasons. Just because they're reasonable doesn't mean you don't choose.
I didn't choose to not believe in God. As time went by my belief in God became weaker and weaker until I realised I was an atheist. At no point did I make a choice to stop believing in God.

You have some odd ideas about atheism.
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:29 AM   #395
JoeMorgue
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
You think those people aren't actually atheists and really believe in God?
It's one of the standard lines we get. There's a few variations floating around; the "There's no atheists in foxholes," all the made up "Death Bed Conversions" stories about famous atheists, the "what well do you do if a dying person wants you to tell them there's a God" trap questions...
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:31 AM   #396
JesseCuster
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Therefore, your questions have nothing to do with what we were discussing.
At least make an effort to follow the thread. I was discussing something with you other than the topic of comic book heroes, which I explained to you. I didn't derail the discussion or introduce a new topic, I simply address something you posted and asked you about it.

What I said most definitely had to do with the discussion because I specifically addressed things you said in this thread and posted some thoughts on the matter.

The fact that I wasn't talking about comic book heroes (as most people in this thread aren't) does not mean what I posted "had nothing to do with what we were discussing". You're not following the thread.


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However, if you want to introduce a new topic
I didn't. I specifically responded to and addressed things you yourself have said in this thread. You shouldn't be so flippant about others being off topic when they're not, and you only think they are because you're not actually following the discussion.

Last edited by JesseCuster; 4th October 2019 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:35 AM   #397
JesseCuster
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's one of the standard lines we get. There's a few variations floating around; the "There's no atheists in foxholes," all the made up "Death Bed Conversions" stories about famous atheists, the "what well do you do if a dying person wants you to tell them there's a God" trap questions...
I'm perplexed by David's idea about those who "claim to be atheist" and his example as people who "claim to be atheist" (and therefore by implication aren't or mightn't be really atheists), are people who want to set up atheist churches.

They want to use their lack of belief in God as a foundation for a church (an unappealing idea I admit), therefore they're not actually atheists and believe in God? What kind of sense does that make?
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Old 4th October 2019, 01:42 PM   #398
JesseCuster
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
That was a fairly simple example that in order to be an atheist one must be aware of the concept of God used by the believer. At least the one you are debating with.
Can you think of other examples of how atheists must "take into account" theists beliefs other than the trivial example of taking those beliefs into account when discussing those beliefs?

It seemed that you were driving at some more general or important point about how atheists must take into account theistic beliefs, other than stating the obvious to people who aren't disagreeing with that trivial idea, but dressing it up in obtuse and philosophical language for some reason.

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If you find it too evident, keep in mind that there are people here who strongly deny that the atheist has to take into account the believer's concept of God.
Are there? Those (including me) who questioned your claim that atheists must take into consideration theists beliefs seemed to be more confused because it came across as some sort of general point about how atheists must go about their lives and were explaining how taking into account theists beliefs is not something we generally have to consider in our lives (several of us pointed out that it only comes into play when discussing theistic belief, and doesn't impact on our lives otherwise), not some trivial point about how you must take into account theists beliefs when discussing theists beliefs, which is a point not worth making and which you could have said in a single sentence with no controversy.

Instead you're making grand declarations about what atheists should do, which turn out to be rather empty or trivial ideas (like the vital project nonsense) when stripped of their verbiage.

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I am also amazed of this "pseudo-philosophical" position.
Don't be obtuse.

Last edited by JesseCuster; 4th October 2019 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 4th October 2019, 05:02 PM   #399
winter salt
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
That's a play on words. You choose between believing and not believing. For good or bad reasons, that's another matter.
David, Muslims believe that the Muslim god is the same as Christian and jewish god. They think Christians insulted him with the idea of him having a son and the trinity stuff. As an atheist do you "chose not believing" in the Christan understanding of god and then the Muslims' god Allah, or you see them as the same ? Do you sperate Yahweh from these ? "To choose not to believe" in these gods did you first resolve the issues in the descriptions of these gods ? Or you see them as the same god like Muslims think ? Can any atheist not choose disbelief in god/gods ?
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Old 4th October 2019, 11:17 PM   #400
David Mo
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
You think those people aren't actually atheists and really believe in God?
None of them believe in God. I don't know where you get that idea.
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