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Tags atheism , atheism definitions

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Old 5th May 2018, 01:04 AM   #161
Darat
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am interested in the definition of atheist'. But not in your personal opinion that you present as the only possible one. I'm trying to unblock the subject.


So what, then? So much theistic is the one who believes in one god as the other who believes in fifty. Or is it not?
As I keep going back to - we have a whole slew of "god" and "gods" that theists say they believe in, so I say lets deal with the gods that people actually believe exist when we talk about atheism. It really makes no kind of sense to create a definition of god that excludes the gods that the vast majority of the theists say they believe in and define atheism in regards to that.
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Old 5th May 2018, 03:25 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As I keep going back to - we have a whole slew of "god" and "gods" that theists say they believe in, so I say lets deal with the gods that people actually believe exist when we talk about atheism. It really makes no kind of sense to create a definition of god that excludes the gods that the vast majority of the theists say they believe in and define atheism in regards to that.
There is no point in waiting for the twenty thousand religions that exist in the world to manifest here what they think a god is to discuss atheism and theism. We'd never get started that way.
Let's start with what we here understand by "god" and if anyone understands something different let them say it.

Someone is a theist if he affirms that at least a god exists. Go on.
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Old 5th May 2018, 03:52 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
There is no point in waiting for the twenty thousand religions that exist in the world to manifest here what they think a god is to discuss atheism and theism. We'd never get started that way.
Let's start with what we here understand by "god" and if anyone understands something different let them say it.

Someone is a theist if he affirms that at least a god exists. Go on.
And someone is an atheist if they don't affirm at least a god exists.

Seems like we've got it all sorted!
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:54 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Fossil evidence is only evidence that dinosaurs did and can exist. Nothing to do with whether they still exist or not. Much more than can be said about gods.

If all dinosaurs have evolved into birds then dinosaurs aren’t extinct. Are you claiming all dinosaurs evolved into birds and “Dinosaurs are extinct” is false? If not, is saying “Dinosaurs that didn’t evolve into birds are extinct” equally as irrational as saying “Gods don’t exist”?

Replace “Dinosaur” with “Dodo” if it helps.


Santa is known to be a myth created for people. "It is known to be contrived and his literal existence is never entertained by adults" is irrelevant, and at best is an "argument ad (adult) populum" fallacy. The analogy is sound. Where’s my cigar? (not that I’ve ever smoked).

Replace “Santa” with “Bigfoot“ if it helps. Many adults very much entertain their literal existence.


To claim belief in the existence of gods is a unique (special) argument with a unique (special) status very much special pleading. Your examples of unique (special) arguments could apply to all things for which there's no evidence.


Which god belief do you want defined, and why do you ignore all the others? I not only don't believe/reject all god beliefs, I also don't believe/reject all other paranormal beliefs. The only definition of gods beliefs I need to not believe/reject them all is that they are all paranormal beliefs.
You appear to be having an entirely different discussion.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:45 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And someone is an atheist if they don't affirm at least a god exists.

Seems like we've got it all sorted!
And in only 163 posts! Quite amazing.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:01 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And someone is an atheist if they don't affirm at least a god exists.

Seems like we've got it all sorted!
And what do you call a person who claims that no god exists?
And what do you call a person who claims that you can't tell if there is a god or not?
Both are atheists according your definition because neither of them affirms that a god exists. Are they two different kinds of atheists?

Last edited by David Mo; 5th May 2018 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:03 AM   #167
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"The chair is blue"

Whoa whoa whoa there cowboy. Are you saying you affirm the chair is blue? Are you saying that you claim the chair is blue? Are you saying you believe the chair is blue? Are you saying that you don't affirm that the chair isn't blue? Are you saying...

Who the hell cares? This is pedantics with an ulterior motive.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:04 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
And in only 163 posts! Quite amazing.
It doesn't matter. We have some time ahead of us. Or so it seems.
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Old 5th May 2018, 09:08 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Also, since it is apparent that you would not put babies in the atheist category, how would you classify them?
I find this a genuinely bizarre question.

Babies have no concept of god or religion. In fact they lack the intellectual capacity to have any concept of such things.

Trying to classify the religious beliefs of babies is almost a category error.

Bananas don't believe in God. Therefore they lack a belief in God. Are bananas therefore atheists or agnostics or some other type of non-believer? It's a rather daft question, isn't it?

That said, I've never understood the fascination and effort that so many atheists have with these endless and pointless arguments over the minutiae of how the word 'atheist' is defined. Semantics, etymology, purely academic philosophical arguments, etc.

There's endless lists of things people don't believe in. Does any of the other nonsense we don't believe in need to be similarly sliced and diced and quantified, or is religion special because so many people happen to take it seriously?
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Old 5th May 2018, 09:47 AM   #170
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Theist have strong motivation to make sure discussions about the existence of God never operate on the same rules as other discussions because talking about God differently becomes one of the proofs that God is different, which thing strengthens their argument that he has to be talked about differently, which requires even more pointless hairsplitting which strengthens their argument further and 20 goto 10.

And this works because people don't understand that language inexactly describes reality it doesn't create it literally and argue that "Well these two words have some technical dictionary difference so they have to be describing some valid distinction we have to acknowledge" and we don't. You can call the bottle of tomato based condiment in my fridge catsup or ketchup, it's still the same thing. Those two distinct words don't force us into a real world practical distinction we have to acknowledge.

By forcing non-theistic people to argue their stances and opinions across this huge swath of distinctions without difference theist have make it so we're arguing nothing.

I and the language I use is not beholden to nuance that other people are making up just so their argument is harder to argue against.

"Is a baby an atheist or an agnostic?" That's the dumbest question ever asked. We don't hairsplit any distinction between "Negative opinion and lack of ability/context to from an opinion yet" in anyway equivalent to that anywhere else. We don't have crisis of faith over whether a baby is a Democrat or a Republican or if there lack of ability to form an opinion puts them into some magical third special category.

As we sit here and hairsplit meaningless minutia about level of disbelief and strong v weak disbelief... context which are 100% meaningless when discussing anything else, we just force ourselves into position where nothing we say has any meaning or strength behind it.

And I refuse to do it. "There is no God." I refuse to rewrite that to frame it the theisticly preferred version.
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Old 5th May 2018, 10:35 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
...

And I refuse to do it. "There is no God." I refuse to rewrite that to frame it the theisticly preferred version.
I don't care if there is a God or not. I have found out, that I don't know if there is a God or not and that I can have a life without believing in God.
So again I don't care if there is a God or not.

As to the theists and what not, who need to box me in as though I am religious, then here is the God, that I don't believe in.

God is all powerful, but bored. She created Satan and asked Satan what she should do for fun. Satan said: "Since you are the source of everything and all powerful, create a materialistic universe without souls, heaven and hell and the humans in it will die, when they die.
God answered: I like it. Let there be light!


Stop claiming knowledge, evidence or what ever for something you don't know. You don't know if there is at least one god and or not. So live your life as you!

With regard
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Old 5th May 2018, 11:15 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"The chair is blue"

Whoa whoa whoa there cowboy. Are you saying you affirm the chair is blue? Are you saying that you claim the chair is blue? Are you saying you believe the chair is blue? Are you saying that you don't affirm that the chair isn't blue? Are you saying...

Who the hell cares? This is pedantics with an ulterior motive.
This has a familiar ring to it. Reminiscent of "Quite obvious to anyone the Sun orbits the Earth, by golly."

Meaning, there is a time and a place even for cowboys to wonder if their foundational postulates are showing, if only once in a blue... moon.
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Old 5th May 2018, 11:19 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
This has a familiar ring to it. Reminiscent of "Quite obvious to anyone the Sun orbits the Earth, by golly."
Not even close but whatever...
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Old 5th May 2018, 11:21 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Not even close but whatever...
How is it going in objective reality? How are you feeling? Sorry, that is subjective! So you don't feeling anything, right? Because you are in objective reality???

Care to give evidence for the fact of objective reality?
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Old 5th May 2018, 02:04 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post

And I refuse to do it. "There is no God." I refuse to rewrite that to frame it the theisticly preferred version.
Welcome to the club .
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Old 5th May 2018, 02:07 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
I don't care if there is a God or not. I have found out, that I don't know if there is a God or not and that I can have a life without believing in God.
So again I don't care if there is a God or not.

As to the theists and what not, who need to box me in as though I am religious, then here is the God, that I don't believe in.

God is all powerful, but bored. She created Satan and asked Satan what she should do for fun. Satan said: "Since you are the source of everything and all powerful, create a materialistic universe without souls, heaven and hell and the humans in it will die, when they die.
God answered: I like it. Let there be light!


Stop claiming knowledge, evidence or what ever for something you don't know. You don't know if there is at least one god and or not. So live your life as you!

With regard
Getting close, but not quite close enough to join the club yet. Keep trying.
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Old 5th May 2018, 02:13 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Getting close, but not quite close enough to join the club yet. Keep trying.
I don't need to join your club to have a life. I have a life without being religious and without being a strong atheist.
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Old 5th May 2018, 02:33 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
I don't need to join your club to have a life. I have a life without being religious and without being a strong atheist.
Club membership doesn't require that you need to join the club. You just need to stop using terms like "strong atheist" because that's merely a label that's open to the abuse of misinterpretation. You merely self-proclaim that you "don't believe in any god or gods", and that's all you need to do in response to theism. If you want to go further and explain that you also "don't claim there isn't a god" that's fine, but it isn't necessary. Club members wouldn't label that as being a "weak atheist" however.

ETA - Club membership has nothing to do with "having a life", other than it's hard to be an active member without "having a life".
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Old 5th May 2018, 02:49 PM   #179
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The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.

I'm not sure where I fit in on the spectrum, but this Kurt Vonnegut construction has stuck in my mind for 40 years.
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Old 5th May 2018, 03:01 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.

I'm not sure where I fit in on the spectrum, but this Kurt Vonnegut construction has stuck in my mind for 40 years.
The club is looking for a catchy name. "Thank God I'm an Atheist" was briefly considered, but quickly rejected because it contains the "atheist" label. "Thank god I don't believe in a god" perhaps?
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Old 5th May 2018, 03:12 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And what do you call a person who claims that no god exists?
Correct.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And what do you call a person who claims that you can't tell if there is a god or not?
Incorrect.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Both are atheists according your definition because neither of them affirms that a god exists. Are they two different kinds of atheists?
They are two different people, neither of which has a belief that gods actually exist.
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Old 5th May 2018, 04:36 PM   #182
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Rather than defining “atheist” by applying types to labels, it would be more appropriate and meaningful to apply labels to types . . .

Default-Type = “I have no belief in god(s)”
Label = “Atheist”.

Sub-Type = “I also believe god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Belief-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I also know god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Gnostic/knowledge-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I can’t know if god(s) exists or not but I either also lack belief in god(s) or also believe god(s) don’t exist”.
Label = “Agnostic-atheist”
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Old 5th May 2018, 04:50 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Rather than defining “atheist” by applying types to labels, it would be more appropriate and meaningful to apply labels to types . . .

Default-Type = “I lack belief in god(s)”
Label = “Atheist”.

Sub-Type = “I also believe god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Belief-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I also know god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Gnostic/knowledge-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I can’t know if god(s) exists or not but I either also lack belief in god(s) or also believe god(s) don’t exist”.
Label = “Agnostic-atheist”
Aren't you just the label king.

No thank you.
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Old 5th May 2018, 04:53 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
Aren't you just the label king.

No thank you.
Do you even know for sure I'm not a queen?
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Old 5th May 2018, 05:45 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Getting close, but not quite close enough to join the club yet. Keep trying.
I think I'll have a club soda.
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Old 5th May 2018, 05:59 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
I think I'll have a club soda.
Mitch Hedberg
Quote:
I order the club sandwich all the time, but I'm not even a member, man. I don't know how I get away with it. How'd it start anyway? I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread. So do I! Well let's form a club then. Alright, but we need more stipulations. Yes we do; instead of cutting the sandwich once, let's cut it again. Yes, four triangles, and we will position them into a circle. In the middle we will dump chips. Or potato salad. Okay. I got a question for ya, how do you feel about frilly toothpicks? I'm for 'em! Well this club is formed; spread the word on menus nationwide. I like my sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts. Well then you're not in the ****in' club!
How do YOU feel about frilly toothpicks?
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:41 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Mitch Hedberg


How do YOU feel about frilly toothpicks?
Those frills? They give to much opportunity for the Theists to claim the sandwich. Like it's God that creates the frills.

But I think I'll take the frillies, but hold the sprouts. I've got to have some dignity.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:44 PM   #188
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An atheist does not believe a god is necessary to explain anything, therefore sees no utility in belief in a god.

I positively disbelieve in the versions I find personally disgusting. For me, personal dislike of a supernatural creep is the clincher - there is no reason to believe the creep exists, and there is nothing I can do about it if it does exist, since I can't kill it and don't seem to have a "like" button. So the entire question becomes moot.
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Old 5th May 2018, 10:56 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Rather than defining “atheist” by applying types to labels, it would be more appropriate and meaningful to apply labels to types . . .

Default-Type = “I have no belief in god(s)”
Label = “Atheist”.

Sub-Type = “I also believe god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Belief-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I also know god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Gnostic/knowledge-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I can’t know if god(s) exists or not but I either also lack belief in god(s) or also believe god(s) don’t exist”.
Label = “Agnostic-atheist”
I think we're in agreement. According to your terminology there are two types of atheistic positions:
Those who believe or claim that gods do not exist. "Gnostic"
Those who don't know if gods exist or not. "Agnostic".
In both cases we can say that they do not believe that the gods exist.

Just for your information and without wishing to start the names war again, I will tell you that in philosophy the first position is commonly called "atheism" and the second "agnosticism". If atheism and agnosticism were to be given a common name, we would say that they are non-believers or unbelievers. But I say this only to warn you in case you read a philosophical article.

What is the main consequence of our agreement?
Disbelief or atheism, as you call it, does not exist as an independent position in the debate with the theist. An atheist -according to your definition- will be gnostic or agnostic.

If he's a gnostic atheist , he will have to show his reasons. If you are atheistic-agnostic you can wait the theists and atheists-gnostics to give theirs and then show why they are not convincing. None of the positions can claim that is exempt from reasoning its position. The most the agnostic atheist can do is wait for others to give theirs first and then counter-attack. In other words, the burden of proof is on the one who claims that something exists, but the other participants in the debate must make their own arguments sooner or later.

All this seems very obvious, but the fact that there is so much discussion about it suggests that something strange is happening.
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Old 5th May 2018, 11:05 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
An atheist does not believe a god is necessary to explain anything, therefore sees no utility in belief in a god.

I positively disbelieve in the versions I find personally disgusting. For me, personal dislike of a supernatural creep is the clincher - there is no reason to believe the creep exists, and there is nothing I can do about it if it does exist, since I can't kill it and don't seem to have a "like" button. So the entire question becomes moot.
Philosophers and mathematicians share the same impulse: curiosity.
Whether curiosity is useful or not is a question that comes later.
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Old 6th May 2018, 04:18 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Rather than defining “atheist” by applying types to labels, it would be more appropriate and meaningful to apply labels to types . . .

Default-Type = “I have no belief in god(s)”
Label = “Atheist”.

Sub-Type = “I also believe god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Belief-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I also know god(s) don’t exist”
Label = “Gnostic/knowledge-atheist”

Sub-Type = “I can’t know if god(s) exists or not but I either also lack belief in god(s) or also believe god(s) don’t exist”.
Label = “Agnostic-atheist”
Why are those labels "appropriate and meaningful"?

Is there some problem in need of a solution that you're addressing with all this? I don't get it.
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Old 6th May 2018, 10:24 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
...
Just for your information and without wishing to start the names war again, I will tell you that in philosophy the first position is commonly called "atheism" and the second "agnosticism". If atheism and agnosticism were to be given a common name, we would say that they are non-believers or unbelievers. But I say this only to warn you in case you read a philosophical article.

What is the main consequence of our agreement?
Disbelief or atheism, as you call it, does not exist as an independent position in the debate with the theist. An atheist -according to your definition- will be gnostic or agnostic.

If he's a gnostic atheist , he will have to show his reasons. If you are atheistic-agnostic you can wait the theists and atheists-gnostics to give theirs and then show why they are not convincing. None of the positions can claim that is exempt from reasoning its position. The most the agnostic atheist can do is wait for others to give theirs first and then counter-attack. In other words, the burden of proof is on the one who claims that something exists, but the other participants in the debate must make their own arguments sooner or later.

All this seems very obvious, but the fact that there is so much discussion about it suggests that something strange is happening.
While I think there are some contributing factors involved which pertain to the particular subject of god(s) (non-strict definitions of god(s), some theists not grasping disbelief at all, anti-theistic agendas etc.), much of the strange thing that is happening seems to me a language issue.

While technically "I don't believe in X" can mean merely lacking a belief, it's generally taken as some kind of active disbelief. Telling someone that you don't believe them suggests that you think they're either mistaken or lying.

So for many (probably most) listeners, "I don't believe in god" is functionally identical to "I believe there is no god" and therefore describing quite a different position to "I'm unconvinced".

I don't think this is specific to god beliefs, we could exchange in ghosts, climate change or whatever and essentially see 3 conclusions (it's true, it's not true, not convinced either way) and the position of not having any conclusion, which I would separate from concluding that a claim is unconvincing. And while this is a scale and people can be at various positions along that scale, ultimately it would come down to what factors into someone's reasoning or behaviour. So, someone unconvinced by climate change might be fine with clean energy regulations (just in case), whereas someone who thinks it's probably untrue may be opposed.

What David Mo' describes here as definition for atheist and agnostic in philosophy, in my experience also represents most people's understandings of the terms. Those who are merely unconvinced often see the term "atheist" as describing a position they don't hold and "agnostic" as a more useful label.
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Old 6th May 2018, 10:41 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
While I think there are some contributing factors involved which pertain to the particular subject of god(s) (non-strict definitions of god(s), some theists not grasping disbelief at all, anti-theistic agendas etc.), much of the strange thing that is happening seems to me a language issue.

While technically "I don't believe in X" can mean merely lacking a belief, it's generally taken as some kind of active disbelief. Telling someone that you don't believe them suggests that you think they're either mistaken or lying.

So for many (probably most) listeners, "I don't believe in god" is functionally identical to "I believe there is no god" and therefore describing quite a different position to "I'm unconvinced".

I don't think this is specific to god beliefs, we could exchange in ghosts, climate change or whatever and essentially see 3 conclusions (it's true, it's not true, not convinced either way) and the position of not having any conclusion, which I would separate from concluding that a claim is unconvincing. And while this is a scale and people can be at various positions along that scale, ultimately it would come down to what factors into someone's reasoning or behaviour. So, someone unconvinced by climate change might be fine with clean energy regulations (just in case), whereas someone who thinks it's probably untrue may be opposed.

What David Mo' describes here as definition for atheist and agnostic in philosophy, in my experience also represents most people's understandings of the terms. Those who are merely unconvinced often see the term "atheist" as describing a position they don't hold and "agnostic" as a more useful label.
All the discussions about the names of something are hiding various concepts about what this something actually is. In my opinion, the war of names over the concept of atheism includes two hidden agendas:
(a) The burden of proof.
(b) Criticism of atheism as a mere belief.

The theists argue that if atheism is a belief, it must be demonstrated in the same way as belief in God.
They also argue that if atheism is a belief, it is worth the same as belief in God.

A discussion of what atheism is should leave the endless name wars and devote itself to discussing these two theistic agendas, which in my opinion are wrong.

The question is: is the absence of belief in God a mere non-belief or should it present some kind of justification that fights theism? In my opinion, the convinced atheist must criticize theists' beliefs and put forward some kind of argument to reinforce his belief that there are no gods. That's why I consider myself an atheist and not an agnostic, atheist-agnostic, or whatever you want to call it. We must enter into the debate forcefully and not pass the buck.
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Old 6th May 2018, 11:48 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Why are those labels "appropriate and meaningful"?

Is there some problem in need of a solution that you're addressing with all this? I don't get it.
The problem is theists and psychowankers making up labels and applying them atheists without their agreement how those labels should be appropriately defined. It's as dishonest and immature as one forum member repeatedly calling another member "Trump-like"

There are boxes that are each filled with a different type of fruit. Your job is to write fruit types on labels and stick them on the fruit boxes. Will the labels be more appropriate and meaningful if you write and stick the labels before or after you know what types of fruit are in each box?
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Old 7th May 2018, 04:54 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
...

The question is: is the absence of belief in God a mere non-belief or should it present some kind of justification that fights theism? In my opinion, the convinced atheist must criticize theists' beliefs and put forward some kind of argument to reinforce his belief that there are no gods. That's why I consider myself an atheist and not an agnostic, atheist-agnostic, or whatever you want to call it. We must enter into the debate forcefully and not pass the buck.
Well nothing compels a convinced atheist to enter the debate at all, but I agree, that if they are going to debate theists, hiding behind the broad definition of "atheism" as a shield from the burden of proof, when the actual position held is that there are most probably no gods and theists are mistaken/delusional, is pretty disingenuous.
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Old 7th May 2018, 05:07 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Well nothing compels a convinced atheist to enter the debate at all, but I agree, that if they are going to debate theists, hiding behind the broad definition of "atheism" as a shield from the burden of proof, when the actual position held is that there are most probably no gods and theists are mistaken/delusional, is pretty disingenuous.
But atheists can point to the overwhelming lack of evidence for any specific god.
Just like it's up to Bigfooters to provide evidence for Bigfoot, and the rest of us aren't compelled to go out and prove definitively that such a creature could never exist before we're allowed to say we don't think Sasquatch roams the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 7th May 2018, 05:08 AM   #197
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Old 7th May 2018, 06:14 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Philosophers and mathematicians share the same impulse: curiosity.
Whether curiosity is useful or not is a question that comes later.
I'm as curious as the next guy, and I'll argue that curiosity is useful. But I don't equate curiosity with belief.
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Old 7th May 2018, 07:45 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As I keep going back to - we have a whole slew of "god" and "gods" that theists say they believe in, so I say lets deal with the gods that people actually believe exist when we talk about atheism. It really makes no kind of sense to create a definition of god that excludes the gods that the vast majority of the theists say they believe in and define atheism in regards to that.
Makes no sense - many folks believe that climate change is a Chinese hoax, or the earth is flat, or the universe is 7,000 year old, etc. . . . that does not mean these beliefs are worth considering.
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Old 7th May 2018, 07:48 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As I keep going back to - we have a whole slew of "god" and "gods" that theists say they believe in, so I say lets deal with the gods that people actually believe exist when we talk about atheism. It really makes no kind of sense to create a definition of god that excludes the gods that the vast majority of the theists say they believe in and define atheism in regards to that.
The fact that there is as much objective evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn or Cthlulhu or Q from Star Trek as there is for God is sort of the point though.
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