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Tags atheism , atheism definitions

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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:39 AM   #81
Hlafordlaes
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Many theists simply cannot comprehend that others don't believe in their god or any god.

Seems to be mainly theists* that most want “atheist” to be defined as “Believes there is no god or gods”. Obviously this definition better suits their purpose as they can counter “You merely believe a god exists” with “You merely believe a god doesn’t exist”. Which they quickly slam dunk with “You can’t prove a god doesn’t exist”. As if this makes the realistic odds of a god existing or not equally possible.

*Or psychowankists that speak with a heavily theistic accent.
Formally on topic: And what did you expect?

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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:49 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why try and complicate it. An atheist is someone who does not belive in a god. Doesn't matter then if you think a "god" might exist, or some other possibility belief.

If you don't believe in a god you are an atheist.
That.

Atheism: Lack of belief in a god.

Theists like to try to assign an element of belief to it (I'm not sure why), such as "belief that there is no god", but atheism does not exclude beliefs. Only belief in a god.

Atheists come in a wide range of flavors, from the dogmatic: "Convinced that no gods exist" to semi-superstitious: Believes in ghosts, numerology, etc, but not in an actual god.

I feel the wide majority simply assume that no gods exist, based on lack of evidence.

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Old 3rd May 2018, 12:23 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Theists simply cannot comprehend that others don't "believe in" stuff. It messes with their brains.
I know many theists who have no problem whatsoever understanding that people don't believe in their god.

Your stereotyping of theists is ignorant. Things like this make it easier for theists to dismiss atheists as arrogant wankers. Obviously we are right, but we don't need to be twats about it.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 01:24 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
I know many theists who have no problem whatsoever understanding that people don't believe in their god.

Your stereotyping of theists is ignorant. Things like this make it easier for theists to dismiss atheists as arrogant wankers. Obviously we are right, but we don't need to be twats about it.
Well there is some stereotyping on both sides, but you are right, most theists and atheists are not dogmatic about either.

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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:16 PM   #85
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Seems there’s two contenders . . .
  1. Has no/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)
  2. Believes/knows/claims no gods exist.
Have I missed any?

To the “Believes/knows/claims no gods exist” supporters I ask why they only include that atheist type and not also all other possible atheist types? Why not also “Don’t believe/know/claim no gods exist but don’t believe they do” or “I’m still deciding if gods exist or not” for instance?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:34 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Seems there’s two contenders . . .
  1. No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)
  2. Believes/knows/claims no gods exist.
Have I missed any?

To the “Believes/knows/claims no gods exist” supporters I ask why they only include that atheist type and not also all other possible atheist types? Why not also “Don’t believe/know/claim no gods exist but don’t believe they do” or “I’m still deciding if gods exists or not” for example?
Because those are not atheists. If you determine that you cannot evaluate, that does not mean you are atheist, as in non-believer. It means you are suspending judgment, lacking appropriate data. Trying to weasel agnostics into the athiest camp is goalpost moving. Non-believer =/= cannot determine.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:39 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
What is a person that's not sure if there's a god?
A person who is not allowed to participate in this thread.

What do I win?




ETA: Are you trying to derail your own thread?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:46 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Because those are not atheists. If you determine that you cannot evaluate, that does not mean you are atheist, as in non-believer. It means you are suspending judgment, lacking appropriate data. Trying to weasel agnostics into the athiest camp is goalpost moving. Non-believer =/= cannot determine.
Do you reject “No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ as well?

In other words, "Believes/knows/claims no gods exist." is the only one and true definition of "atheist"?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:52 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
A person who is not allowed to participate in this thread.

What do I win
ETA: Are you trying to derail your own thread?
If an agnostic was "a person that's not sure if there's a god?" then you might win something. But it isn't so you loose.

If you want to debate this further please do so in the "Define Agnostic" thread. Thanks.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 03:59 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
This thread is for the exclusive purpose of debating the meaning of the word “atheist”.
There's nothing but quagmire lurking, there are so many kinds of atheists:
1) those who have never thought of God or gods, never considered or heard of the issue
2) those who have deliberated and decided there is no God
3) those who have deliberated and decided there is unsufficient evidence to believe in God.
4) those who claim to believe in God, but whose definition / idea of God is totally incoherent
5) those who've heard of God but are too lazy to ponder the issue.

Are all of the above the same (atheist)?

And what about a believer - are they an atheist during the 99.99% of their lives when they are not believing? The assumption seems to be that being an atheist or believer is self-proclaimed - but do these 'titles' have to be earned?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:00 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Do you reject “No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ as well?

In other words, "Believes/knows/claims no gods exist." is the only one and true definition of "atheist"?
I think it is equivocal hairsplitting. For instance, 'believes no gods exist' is a faith evaluation, and 'knows no god exists' is a knowledge based assertion. Lumping them together is substantially blurring the meanings, while you are trying to determine an uber precise meaning.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:02 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
There's nothing but quagmire lurking, there are so many kinds of atheists:
1) those who have never thought of God or gods, never considered or heard of the issue
2) those who have deliberated and decided there is no God
3) those who have deliberated and decided there is unsufficient evidence to believe in God.
4) those who claim to believe in God, but whose definition / idea of God is totally incoherent
5) those who've heard of God but are too lazy to ponder the issue.

Are all of the above the same (atheist)?

And what about a believer - are they an atheist during the 99.99% of their lives when they are not believing? The assumption seems to be that being an atheist or believer is self-proclaimed - but do these 'titles' have to be earned?
Obviously they’re not all the same atheist. But if “you’re” looking for a generic definition of “atheist”, would you choose one or all types of possibly atheist types as that definition? Or would you choose the one thing that’s common to them all? Something perhaps like - “They don’t have a belief in gods and they therefore aren’t theists”

Are you suggesting we should be defining "atheisM" rather then "atheisT? If so then I may agree. Don't expect it would be any less of a quagmire however.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:05 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think it is equivocal hairsplitting. For instance, 'believes no gods exist' is a faith evaluation, and 'knows no god exists' is a knowledge based assertion. Lumping them together is substantially blurring the meanings, while you are trying to determine an uber precise meaning.
“No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ is NOT the same thing as "Believes no gods exist" (not even close!). Can you honestly not spot the difference?

Perhaps you merely missed or avoided the question? Here it is again . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Do you reject “No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ as well?

In other words, "Believes/knows/claims no gods exist." is the only one and true definition of "atheist"?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:09 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If an agnostic was "a person that's not sure if there's a god?" then you might win something. But it isn't so you loose.

If you want to debate this further please do so in the "Define Agnostic" thread. Thanks.
How many times (and threads) does the OP have to make until you people finally and completely agree with Ynot?!!
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:10 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Do you reject “No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ as well?

In other words, "Believes/knows/claims no gods exist." is the only one and true definition of "atheist"?
The definition should have something to do with cognition. Calling babies "atheists", while technically accurate, is a bit odd.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:19 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
“No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ is NOT the same thing as "Believes no gods exist" (not even close!). Can you honestly not spot the difference?
Right. One is having a belief, and one is not having a belief. These are two different things, actually two different questions. So pick, if you please: do you want to discuss beliefs, or thoughts? But you are lumping knows/believes/claims in the same grouping in the post I commented on. That is not seeking clarity; it is deliberately muddying the waters.

eta: why are you asking if I cannot spot the difference? I was calling you out for not spotting it and treating them the same.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:22 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
How many times (and threads) does the OP have to make until you people finally and completely agree with Ynot?!!
Don't know why you think I'm on a one-man crusade when many others (even most perhaps) share the same stance I do. Perhaps argumentum ad hominem is the best you can do?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:27 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Right. One is having a belief, and one is not having a belief. These are two different things, actually two different questions. So pick, if you please: do you want to discuss beliefs, or thoughts? But you are lumping knows/believes/claims in the same grouping in the post I commented on. That is not seeking clarity; it is deliberately muddying the waters.

eta: why are you asking if I cannot spot the difference? I was calling you out for not spotting it and treating them the same.
Okay you win.

Now please answer the question you responded to without an answer. I've changed it to just "claims" so you can choose whether that's "knows claims" or "believes claims" to suit yourself. If you don't want to do that then just answer the question in the first sentence.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Do you reject “No/lacks belief in a god or gods (aka – Not a theist)“ as well?

In other words, "Claims no gods exist." is the only one and true definition of "atheist"?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:35 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
The definition should have something to do with cognition. Calling babies "atheists", while technically accurate, is a bit odd.
Everything relating to theism is a bit odd (to say the least).
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:54 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I believe gods do not exist. I have posted the reasoning before. I don't simply lack a belief in gods, I believe the evidence is overwhelming there are none.

Time for the human species to evolve beyond primitive beliefs in gods.
There you go. I was tempted to correct TBD and say it's about of a lack of belief, but I also believe the evidence is overwhelming. Semantics i suppose.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 04:59 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
That you believe gods do not exist is a reason (definition) why you an atheist. It's not a definition of the word atheist. Defining the make of a car doesn't define what a car is.
I must be missing something. An atheist is defined as a person who lacks a belief in any gods. Or, does not believe in any gods.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:01 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
There's also a person that's not sure if there's gods.
That person is defined as agnostic.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:04 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Atheist: Someone with a godless religion.
This doesn't work, as a non-belief in Zeus, Santa Claus, pink unicorns, stamp collecting, would also have to be defined as a religion.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:09 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Theists just seem to not like that basic answer.
We have had a number of theists here who simply did not believe it. Their theory was, atheists knew that God existed, but were mad at God, so pretended not to Believe.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:33 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Because those are not atheists.
What are atheists then?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:42 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
That person is defined as agnostic.
You can define what you mean by "agnostic" in This thread if you like. Without definition, your use of the word means nothing to me.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:46 PM   #107
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If anyone concludes that “atheist” is far too complex and individualistic to be covered by a single generic definition, then I’m happy to change the debate to “Define Atheism”.

My preferred definition of “atheism” is very similar to my preferred definition of “atheist” . . .

Atheism = Not having a belief in a god or gods, therefore not theism.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 05:49 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
I must be missing something. An atheist is defined as a person who lacks a belief in any gods. Or, does not believe in any gods.
Neither of which is the same thing as "believe gods do not exist" . . .
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I believe gods do not exist.
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
That you believe gods do not exist . . .
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Old 3rd May 2018, 06:31 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Okay you win.

Now please answer the question you responded to without an answer. I've changed it to just "claims" so you can choose whether that's "knows claims" or "believes claims" to suit yourself. If you don't want to do that then just answer the question in the first sentence.
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
What are atheists then?
Yet again, the same equivocation. Dude, you can't just keep doing that Jabba-esque argument.

'I believe there is no god' is an entirely different statement than 'I know there is no god', although either could be expressed as 'I claim there is no god. 'Atheist' can equivocally be applied to either. I don't know which you are asking, but I am getting confident you are trying to keep it slippery to suit a foregone conclusion.

I'll try to answer: Viewing the atheism/theism dichotomy as a matter of belief, atheism is believing there is no god. Not believing there is a god is not the same, and is IMO not atheism. It could represent a couple different positions, however.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 07:17 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
An atheist is a person who believes there is no God
So close but no.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 07:23 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
So close but no.
Thermal say yes! Does that mean Thermal has a The Big Dog-esque argument?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 07:34 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
'I believe there is no god' is an entirely different statement than 'I know there is no god', although either could be expressed as 'I claim there is no god. 'Atheist' can equivocally be applied to either. I don't know which you are asking, but I am getting confident you are trying to keep it slippery to suit a foregone conclusion.
That they are entirely different statements is the very reason I used “claim” so you could attribute “know” or “believe” to suit your purpose. I’m merely wanting to know what your definition of “atheist or “atheism” is and isn’t.

Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I'll try to answer: Viewing the atheism/theism dichotomy as a matter of belief, atheism is believing there is no god. Not believing there is a god is not the same, and is IMO not atheism. It could represent a couple different positions, however.
Thanks! I now (only now) know what you definition of “atheism" (and "atheist"?) is in regard to belief (and what it isn't). Your definition is - Atheism is "Believing there is no god”. Can I safely assume that atheism in regard to knowledge would be “Knowing there is no god”? Or is theism/atheism purely a matter of belief?

Seems you also define atheism as being purely a matter of choice. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 07:50 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Oh, atheists worship all sorts of things.
Not in any sense the word worship actually means.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 08:24 PM   #114
Elagabalus
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Don't know why you think I'm on a one-man crusade when many others (even most perhaps) share the same stance I do. Perhaps argumentum ad hominem is the best you can do?

One-man crusade? No ... just wondering why you keep starting a new thread asking the same question. Were you expecting different results this time?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 08:35 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
That they are entirely different statements is the very reason I used “claim” so you could attribute “know” or “believe” to suit your purpose. I’m merely wanting to know what your definition of “atheist or “atheism” is and isn’t.


Thanks! I now (only now) know what you definition of “atheism" (and "atheist"?) is in regard to belief (and what it isn't). Your definition is - Atheism is "Believing there is no god”. Can I safely assume that atheism in regard to knowledge would be “Knowing there is no god”? Or is theism/atheism purely a matter of belief?
No, and this is why I preemptively harped on the distinction. A knowledge based atheism would be along the lines of 'I see no reason to think there is a god'. Saying 'I know there is no god' is irrational belief at its most extreme. Cutting to the chase, there is insufficient data to draw a meaningful conclusion regarding god's existence; 'knowing' is not an option.

All this, of course, assumes that there is some agreed definition of god to start with. That should certainly be cleared up first, before delving into further distinctions, no? What definition of god are you using, so that we can answer your OP question meaningfully?

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Seems you also define atheism as being purely a matter of choice. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Not choice, as in a decision picked from options. Belief, founded on evidence (not necessarily empirical). Experience, intuition, reason, gnosis...the basis would differ for each individual. But if I understand you correctly, then yes, I think a/theism is generally a matter of belief, and matters of reason generally fall on the spectrum of agnosticism. IMHO, anyway.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 08:55 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
One-man crusade? No ... just wondering why you keep starting a new thread asking the same question. Were you expecting different results this time?
What other threads? This thread is to define atheist. The other thread I started is to define agnostic. Different "questions". Are you confusing me with another member perhaps?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 09:13 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Saying 'I know there is no god' is irrational belief at its most extreme. Cutting to the chase, there is insufficient data to draw a meaningful conclusion regarding god's existence; 'knowing' is not an option.
Serious question (not playing a silly game). Is saying “I know dinosaurs are extinct” equally an irrational belief? Or perhaps “I know there is no Santa” might be more appropriate.

We frequently use complete lack of evidence that some things do exist to conclude that those things don't exist. Why do you claim this is irrational?
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Old 3rd May 2018, 10:06 PM   #118
Elagabalus
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
What other threads? This thread is to define atheist. The other thread I started is to define agnostic. Different "questions". Are you confusing me with another member perhaps?
You start a define atheist thread about 2 or 3 times a year.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...archid=4398276
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Old 3rd May 2018, 10:51 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
You start a define atheist thread about 2 or 3 times a year.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...archid=4398276
I thought you meant more recently. Even so, I find 2 or 3 times a year hard to believe. Also, when I click the link I get "Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms". I don't recognize your forum name so thought you were relatively new to the forum. But I see you've been a member for over 4 years. Bit strange that you remember me so well. Could be the avatar I guess. Until you provide a link that works I will just have to believe you I guess. Although I've only returned to posting on this forum relatively recently after quite a long break away.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:36 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
B1a, I can justify my belief that god(s) do not exist but its by the absence of evidence and absence of evidence isn't really evidence, but sometimes it's close enough.
Thank you. I agree almost completely. Whatever you decide to call yourself, we're on the same side.
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