ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags atheism , atheism definitions

Reply
Old 7th May 2018, 01:07 PM   #201
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Not having a belief in gods is what makes me an atheist. That I claim I know gods don’t exist describes what type of atheist I am. I was an atheist without a god belief long before I concluded that I know gods don’t exist.

Knowledge on which I base my “I know gods don’t exist” claim . . .

Knowledge that after thousands of years of intensive and desperate searching there hasn’t been a single piece of credible evidence found that establishes gods do actually exist.

Knowledge that there is no known method by which gods even could or might exist.

Knowledge of scientific discoveries that negate the need to use god beliefs to fill gaps in knowledge and understanding.

Knowledge that god beliefs are created by the minds of humans.

That’s a few “off the top of my head”, I’m sure I cloud come up with more.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 01:16 PM   #202
Steve
Illuminator
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,900
No gods exist. On the very rare occasion that is is necessary I find it convenient label myself Atheist. All others may label me as you wish. Makes absolutely no difference.
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 01:24 PM   #203
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
No gods exist. On the very rare occasion that is is necessary I find it convenient label myself Atheist. All others may label me as you wish. Makes absolutely no difference.
Given I started this thread and made it all about "atheist", I'm sorta committed to continue using it in this thread at least.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 08:47 PM   #204
Egg
Graduate Poster
 
Egg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,486
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
But atheists can point to the overwhelming lack of evidence for any specific god.
As an argument against that god's existence in a debate against theists? Sure. Explaining why it might be overwhelming, why particular evidence would be expected, why one should posit non-existence from a lack of evidence, that their evidence is worthless etc. But that's not dodging the burden of proof.

Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
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.
Well, obviously nobody is being compelled to debate anyone or prove anything. Really the burden of proof is on the one trying to assert that their position is correct or trying to persuade others. So I guess it would depend on what position you'd be taking when debating a Bigfooter. Is your argument just that what they present is unconvincing or are you arguing that they're wrong and there is no Bigfoot?
__________________

"That's the thing with eggs: It's all about chicks and getting laid." - Wuschel
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg" - Samuel Butler
“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” - African proverb
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” - Bernard Meltzer
Egg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 10:54 PM   #205
This is The End
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,414
A theist believes there is a creator without any proof.

An atheist believes there is not a creator without any proof.

Both are just as boneheaded.

An agnostic only believes in things (or not) based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs.



Anyone who tells you anything different than the above is either an atheist or a theist (even if they deny being either) and is letting tribal B.S. cloud their definitions.
__________________
________________________
This is The End is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 10:59 PM   #206
David Mo
Master Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 2,998
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
But atheists can point to the overwhelming lack of evidence for any specific god.
Of course, the "overwhelming lack of evidence", when any there should be, is in itself the opposite evidence. A few millennia trying to prove that at least one god exists without succeeding is highly significant.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 11:05 PM   #207
David Mo
Master Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 2,998
Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
I'm as curious as the next guy, and I'll argue that curiosity is useful. But I don't equate curiosity with belief.
True curiosity knows no bounds.
Of course I am not curious to know if God exists -this is too clear for me-, but to analyze the ways in which people justify their belief. The ways in which believers justify their beliefs are very interesting.

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto, you know.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th May 2018, 11:13 PM   #208
David Mo
Master Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 2,998
Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
Both are just as boneheaded.

(...)


Anyone who tells you anything different than the above is either an atheist or a theist (even if they deny being either) and is letting tribal B.S. cloud their definitions.
What's the next game? The game of provocations?

There is a clear proof that God does not exist: the only excuse he has for everything he has done is that he does not exist.

A conclusive test.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 12:51 AM   #209
BadBoy
Graduate Poster
 
BadBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,262
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
This thread is for the exclusive purpose of debating the meaning of the word “atheist”. It isn’t for debating other words like “agnostic”. Please don’t derail this thread.

Here’s my current definition of “atheist”. I’m happy to change it if anyone comes up with a better one.

An atheist is a person that is not a theist (doesn’t have a belief in a god or gods).

Why a person isn’t a theist isn’t what defines them as an atheist, it’s merely that they’re not a theist that does.
Didn't read the whole thread so sorry if this has already been pointed out.

This whole argument IMO about the meaning of atheism stems from constant shifting of the burden of proof. Theists claim Atheists believe gods don't exist as it puts the burden on the Atheist to prove it. However what they miss is even if an Atheist can't prove it, it doesn't mean by default that Gods do exist. that burden is still on the theist.

Whenever I have descended into this hole with a theist they claim I am just an Agnostic, which to them for some reason means they win the argument. No idea why.

For me and from what I can make out most atheists generally prefer to say the word means a lack of belief. To call a dude who lacks a belief in a God or Gods an Agnostic makes no sense if you understand what the term Agnostic means which is about knowledge - or what is known, and not a dudes position on if they have a belief in a deity.

Sam Harris thinks he word is bad news. Better to just say "I don't believe in God because I have not seen enough good evidence to convince me" (paraphrased)
__________________
Go sell crazy someplace else we're all stocked up here

Last edited by BadBoy; 8th May 2018 at 12:57 AM.
BadBoy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 03:06 AM   #210
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by BadBoy View Post
Didn't read the whole thread so sorry if this has already been pointed out.

This whole argument IMO about the meaning of atheism stems from constant shifting of the burden of proof. Theists claim Atheists believe gods don't exist as it puts the burden on the Atheist to prove it. However what they miss is even if an Atheist can't prove it, it doesn't mean by default that Gods do exist. that burden is still on the theist.

Whenever I have descended into this hole with a theist they claim I am just an Agnostic, which to them for some reason means they win the argument. No idea why.

For me and from what I can make out most atheists generally prefer to say the word means a lack of belief. To call a dude who lacks a belief in a God or Gods an Agnostic makes no sense if you understand what the term Agnostic means which is about knowledge - or what is known, and not a dudes position on if they have a belief in a deity.

Sam Harris thinks he word is bad news. Better to just say "I don't believe in God because I have not seen enough good evidence to convince me" (paraphrased)
See THIS POST in the correct thread to "Define Agnostic".
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 8th May 2018 at 03:09 AM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 05:44 AM   #211
Egg
Graduate Poster
 
Egg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,486
Originally Posted by BadBoy View Post
Didn't read the whole thread so sorry if this has already been pointed out.

This whole argument IMO about the meaning of atheism stems from constant shifting of the burden of proof. Theists claim Atheists believe gods don't exist as it puts the burden on the Atheist to prove it. However what they miss is even if an Atheist can't prove it, it doesn't mean by default that Gods do exist. that burden is still on the theist.

Whenever I have descended into this hole with a theist they claim I am just an Agnostic, which to them for some reason means they win the argument. No idea why.

For me and from what I can make out most atheists generally prefer to say the word means a lack of belief. To call a dude who lacks a belief in a God or Gods an Agnostic makes no sense if you understand what the term Agnostic means which is about knowledge - or what is known, and not a dudes position on if they have a belief in a deity.
You must have missed the memo. "Theism" is now defined as "a lack of belief in the non-existence of deities".
__________________

"That's the thing with eggs: It's all about chicks and getting laid." - Wuschel
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg" - Samuel Butler
“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” - African proverb
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” - Bernard Meltzer
Egg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 06:58 AM   #212
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 8,197
Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
A theist believes there is a creator without any proof.

An atheist believes there is not a creator without any proof.

Both are just as boneheaded.

An agnostic only believes in things (or not) based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs.

Anyone who tells you anything different than the above is either an atheist or a theist (even if they deny being either) and is letting tribal B.S. cloud their definitions.
The method employed for making sense of the natural world, as well as arguments in the court room, all rely on sticking to demonstrable fact and good reasoning. What would you call someone who simply never comes across a fact or reason to subscribe to something? A lucky person.

Your definition of atheist requires there to be theists making claims in order to provoke any statement regarding their lack of support in the data. As those claims together comprise a theism, then anyone finding the claims unsupported is free to consider theism as lacking value. The term for that? An atheist. Not so much lucky anymore, as he/she is constantly bothered by crazy wild people holding swords and/or demanding full sway.

Tribalism has little bearing on the case, other than to reinforce the influence of cultural totems.
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion. Spends that time swapping avatars if in August.
Summer penance for overeating: His real name is Count Douchenozzle von Stenchfahrter und Lichtendicks. - shemp

Last edited by Hlafordlaes; 8th May 2018 at 07:00 AM.
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 08:47 AM   #213
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 827
Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
An agnostic only believes in things (or not) based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs.
That is utter nonsense, whether interpreted as a definition of agnostic or as a description of agnostics.

That's not what the word 'agnostic' means and it's really silly to think that agnostics actually only believe things "based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs."

Nobody "only believes in things (or not) based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs".
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 12:55 PM   #214
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
That is utter nonsense, whether interpreted as a definition of agnostic or as a description of agnostics.

That's not what the word 'agnostic' means and it's really silly to think that agnostics actually only believe things "based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs."

Nobody "only believes in things (or not) based on scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs".
It’s important to distinguish between belief and knowledge. Agnostics don’t want to believe gods exist they want to know, same as all atheists. Knowledge (not belief) is gained from scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs.

ETA - Also important to remember we're talking specifically about god belief (paranormal belief).
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 8th May 2018 at 01:48 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 09:09 PM   #215
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 827
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Agnostics don’t want to believe gods exist they want to know, same as all atheists.
Is that a fact? I'm an atheist and I don't "want to know" about God. I'm happy and confident in my viewpoint about God. There seems to be a lot of blanket declarations in this thread about the beliefs of agnostics and atheists that don't seem to actually correspond to what agnostics and atheists believe in real life.

Quote:
Knowledge (not belief) is gained from scientific proofs, evidentiary proofs, and logical proofs.
So what?

Quote:
ETA - Also important to remember we're talking specifically about god belief (paranormal belief).
Was there some confusion about this? The thread is titled 'define Atheist' so it goes without saying that it's about god belief. Am I missing something?

More to the point, what does any of what you just posted have to do with the post of mine you quoted? It doesn't seem like a response to what I actually said.
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th May 2018, 10:10 PM   #216
David Mo
Master Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 2,998
Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Is that a fact? I'm an atheist and I don't "want to know" about God. I'm happy and confident in my viewpoint about God. There seems to be a lot of blanket declarations in this thread about the beliefs of agnostics and atheists that don't seem to actually correspond to what agnostics and atheists believe in real life.

So what?
It is one thing for you to be tired of the debate or displeased with the way it is going on and other different thing is to have reasons not to believe that God exists or to deny that he exists. I suppose that if you say you are sure of your view about God it is because you have some kind of compelling reason. Isn't that right?
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th May 2018, 02:54 PM   #217
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 827
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is one thing for you to be tired of the debate or displeased with the way it is going on and other different thing is to have reasons not to believe that God exists or to deny that he exists.
Yes, those are indeed different things. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything I said or to do with anything a all.

Quote:
I suppose that if you say you are sure of your view about God it is because you have some kind of compelling reason. Isn't that right?
Yes, I suppose that's right. I don't see the connection between this and my point that it's incorrect to say that "atheists want to know" about God. Saying the atheists "want to know" seems to imply that they're involved in a continuous search for the truth about this elusive God character. I dispute that idea, but I'm not getting the gist or point of this post of yours. It seems disconnected what I was saying.
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th May 2018, 03:29 PM   #218
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Is that a fact? I'm an atheist and I don't "want to know" about God. I'm happy and confident in my viewpoint about God. There seems to be a lot of blanket declarations in this thread about the beliefs of agnostics and atheists that don't seem to actually correspond to what agnostics and atheists believe in real life.
If you gave as much time and effort to understanding the gist of conversation rather than the literal meaning of individual words you may have better understood what I was saying.

All atheists don’t have a belief in god(s). Atheists don’t reject gods that actually exist, they reject/don't accept adopting a belief that gods actually exist. If they didn't they would become theists. If gods actually exist atheists “want to know” (require knowledge from evidence) that gods actually exist. This doesn’t mean atheists are searching for such evidence and knowledge, it means it doesn’t exist, and all theism can offer therefore is “Just believe”. Atheists "want to know" because they don't "want to just believe". Is that any clearer?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 9th May 2018 at 03:58 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th May 2018, 04:07 PM   #219
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 3,806
Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Is that a fact? I'm an atheist and I don't "want to know" about God. I'm happy and confident in my viewpoint about God. There seems to be a lot of blanket declarations in this thread about the beliefs of agnostics and atheists that don't seem to actually correspond to what agnostics and atheists believe in real life.
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If you gave as much time and effort to understanding the gist of conversation rather than the literal meaning of individual words you may have better understood what I was saying.

All atheists don’t have a belief in god(s). Atheists don’t reject gods that actually exist, they reject/don't accept adopting a belief that gods actually exist. If they didn't they would become theists. If gods actually exist atheists “want to know” (require knowledge from evidence) that gods actually exist. This doesn’t mean atheists are searching for such evidence and knowledge, it means it doesn’t exist, and all theism can offer therefore is “Just believe”. Atheists "want to know" because they don't "want to just believe". Is that any clearer?

Perhaps Jesse is one of those atheists some theists talk about? You know ... the ones that believe in God and hate him.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th May 2018, 04:18 PM   #220
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Perhaps Jesse is one of those atheists some theists talk about? You know ... the ones that believe in God and hate him.
I think more likely perhaps an atheists that might claim “I don’t want to know about gods” even if there was irrefutable evidence that gods actually do exist .

Or perhaps even more likely it was merely a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of my words that was blown out of meaning and proportion (I've done that myself more than once).
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 9th May 2018 at 04:23 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th May 2018, 10:50 PM   #221
David Mo
Master Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 2,998
Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
(...) I'm not sure what that has to do with anything I said or to do with anything a all.

Yes, I suppose that's right. I don't see the connection between this and my point that it's incorrect to say that "atheists want to know" about God. (...)
It seems that I'm not the only one who doesn't understand your deep thoughts. I subscribe to what Ynot says: "If you gave as much time and effort to understanding the gist of conversation rather than the literal meaning of individual words you may have better understood what I was saying".

You should pay less attention to individual phrases of what is told and more to the general sense. No one says atheists are worried to know about God. I told you about it in my previous post.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th May 2018, 08:31 AM   #222
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 8,197
Breaking News: Mean-spirited faithists have started worshipping a new deity, Athe.

In Other News: Athe-ists are panicking and dropping iPhones the world over, as Google and Apple's Siri now spam them with everything intended for the deeply faithful.
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion. Spends that time swapping avatars if in August.
Summer penance for overeating: His real name is Count Douchenozzle von Stenchfahrter und Lichtendicks. - shemp
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 11:29 AM   #223
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,334
After reading the thread, and other similar threads, and giving it some thought, I have decided to give it a go.

- An atheist is someone who does not believe in god.

- So define god. Well, it will appear that god defies definition, which makes good sense, because if god could be defined, it would be science (even if it turned out to not exist).

- Obviously this means that you cannot define the god that atheists do not believe in.

- Instead, I offer this definition: An atheist assumes that the world is ultimately definable. Thus, an atheist rejects anything that is intrinsically undefinable as part of reality.

.... Yep ...!

Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 11:39 AM   #224
The Big Dog
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Big Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25,340
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post

- Instead, I offer this definition: An atheist assumes that the world is ultimately definable. Thus, an atheist rejects anything that is intrinsically undefinable as part of reality.

.... Yep ...!

Hans
Undefinable like love, beauty, grace, etc? Ok, but if I were an "atheist" I'd be bummed out.
__________________
"Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility. In 2014, for example, he denied to Congress that CIA officials under his supervision had improperly accessed the computer files of congressional staffers... The CIA’s Inspector General, however, contradicted Mr. Brennan directly"
The Big Dog is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 12:10 PM   #225
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,334
Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Undefinable like love, beauty, grace, etc? Ok, but if I were an "atheist" I'd be bummed out.
Really, you are smarter than that. You can assign some attributes to the god, but you cannot define the god. And even those attributes are not really defined:

Love? So did your god love Jeremiah? Strange way to show it.
Is your god beautiful? Undefined.
Grace? Tell that to the wretched people of the world.

But ... in another thread. Let's stay on topic.

Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 12:15 PM   #226
The Big Dog
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Big Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25,340
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Really, you are smarter than that. You can assign some attributes to the god, but you cannot define the god. And even those attributes are not really defined:

Love? So did your god love Jeremiah? Strange way to show it.
Is your god beautiful? Undefined.
Grace? Tell that to the wretched people of the world.

But ... in another thread. Let's stay on topic.

Hans
I was referring to other things that are part of our reality and are undefinable as a method of explaining the flaws in your definition of "atheist." I was not attributing those to a a God.
__________________
"Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility. In 2014, for example, he denied to Congress that CIA officials under his supervision had improperly accessed the computer files of congressional staffers... The CIA’s Inspector General, however, contradicted Mr. Brennan directly"
The Big Dog is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 12:38 PM   #227
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,334
Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I was referring to other things that are part of our reality and are undefinable as a method of explaining the flaws in your definition of "atheist." I was not attributing those to a a God.
Ah, pardon me, then. I think they can be defined. Not without reference to feelings, but feelings are also part of reality.

Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 12:44 PM   #228
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
After reading the thread, and other similar threads, and giving it some thought, I have decided to give it a go.

- An atheist is someone who does not believe in god.

- So define god. Well, it will appear that god defies definition, which makes good sense, because if god could be defined, it would be science (even if it turned out to not exist).

- Obviously this means that you cannot define the god that atheists do not believe in.

- Instead, I offer this definition: An atheist assumes that the world is ultimately definable. Thus, an atheist rejects anything that is intrinsically undefinable as part of reality.

.... Yep ...!

Hans
Sorry but .... Nope ...! (IMO)

- Atheist definition correct! (although it should be “in any god or gods”)

- Defining gods they don’t believe in has nothing to do with atheism or atheists.

- Some atheists believe in things (other than gods) that are intrinsically undefinable as part of reality.

Atheism/atheist doesn't need to be defined beyond your first definition. To do so is to define types of atheist. The only thing common to all atheists is that they lack belief in a god or gods.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 01:17 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 02:05 PM   #229
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I must confess to being somewhat agnostic as to the correctness of your definition of "atheist".

If you care to explain why your definition is The Truth® and why anyone with other ideas must be merely "theists/philosowankers", I believe someone started a thread for that.
Spot the mistake . . .
Atypical = Not typical
Asymmetrical = Not symmetrical
Apolitical = Not political
Atheist = Believes there is no God(s)
Amoral = Not moral
Asexual = Not sexual
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 02:15 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 02:20 PM   #230
Egg
Graduate Poster
 
Egg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,486
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Spot the mistake . . .
Atypical = Not typical
Asymmetrical = Not symmetrical
Apolitical = Not political
Atheist = Believes there is no God(s)
Amoral = Not moral
Asexual = Not sexual
Well, I could argue that the mistake is not including any other "a-" words with an "-ist" suffix. I agree the "a-" is "not", but is it prefixing god(s) or god belief?
__________________

"That's the thing with eggs: It's all about chicks and getting laid." - Wuschel
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg" - Samuel Butler
“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” - African proverb
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” - Bernard Meltzer
Egg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 02:26 PM   #231
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Well, I could argue that the mistake is not including any other "a-" words with an "-ist" suffix. I agree the "a-" is "not", but is it prefixing god(s) or god belief?
When "a" is specifically prefixing "theist", and "theist" specifically means "a person that believes in god(s)", why would "atheist" not mean "not theist" ("not a person that believes in god(s)")? Are you claiming another definition of "theist" as well? If so I'd like to see it.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 02:39 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 02:34 PM   #232
Egg
Graduate Poster
 
Egg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,486
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
When "a" is specifically prefixing "theist", and "theist" specifically means "belief in god(s)", why wouldn't "atheist" not mean "not theist"? Are you claiming another definition of "theist" as well? If so I'd like to see it.
We have a prefix and a suffix. How is the "a" specifically prefixing "theist" and not the "ist" specifically suffixing "athe"? Seems to me that either could be legitimate.
__________________

"That's the thing with eggs: It's all about chicks and getting laid." - Wuschel
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg" - Samuel Butler
“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” - African proverb
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” - Bernard Meltzer
Egg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 02:45 PM   #233
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Egg View Post
We have a prefix and a suffix. How is the "a" specifically prefixing "theist" and not the "ist" specifically suffixing "athe"? Seems to me that either could be legitimate.
So what? How does the "ist" suffixing the "athe" ("not")" make "atheist" mean "Is a person that believes there is no god(s)", rather than "Not a person that believes there is god(s)"?

Do you have any problem with the definition of "theist" because "ist" suffixes "the"?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 04:03 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 03:03 PM   #234
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Oooops again
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 03:04 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 03:51 PM   #235
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Well, I could argue that the mistake is not including any other "a-" words with an "-ist" suffix. I agree the "a-" is "not", but is it prefixing god(s) or god belief?
Perhaps the word "atheal" might be more appropriate?

Or perhaps as you suggest . . .

Spot the mistake . . .
Atypicalist = Not a typicalist
Asymmetricalist = Not a symmetricalist
Apoliticalist = Not a politicalist
Atheist = Believes there is no God(s)
Amoralist = Not a moralist
Asexualist = Not a sexualist

Better?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 04:04 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 04:11 PM   #236
Egg
Graduate Poster
 
Egg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,486
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
So what? How does the "ist" suffixing the "athe ("not")" make "atheist" mean "Is a person that believes there is no god(s)", rather than "Not a person that believes there is god(s)"?
Because it becomes somebody who believes in "not god" instead of someone who is not a god believer.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Do you have any problem with the definition of "theist" because "ist" suffixes "the"?
The "the" bit is the base word, not a prefix.

I don't have a problem with the definition of "atheist" either - it clearly has more than one definition though. If I have any "problem" it might be with someone insisting their definition is the correct one, when many others use the same word to mean something different (words are defined by common usage). I'm fine with either definition, as long as all parties in a discussion are sharing the same definition and nobody skips between definitions when it suits.
__________________

"That's the thing with eggs: It's all about chicks and getting laid." - Wuschel
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg" - Samuel Butler
“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” - African proverb
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” - Bernard Meltzer
Egg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 04:14 PM   #237
Egg
Graduate Poster
 
Egg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,486
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Perhaps the word "atheal" might be more appropriate?

Or perhaps as you suggest . . .

Spot the mistake . . .
Atypicalist = Not a typicalist
Asymmetricalist = Not a symmetricalist
Apoliticalist = Not a politicalist
Atheist = Believes there is no God(s)
Amoralist = Not a moralist
Asexualist = Not a sexualist

Better?
I don't think this works - is an atypicalist merely not a typicalist or is it someone who is atypical. My spell-checker doesn't like those words, by the way

ETA: Actually, looking again, I think this probably reinforces my point. The prefix generally modifies the base word before the suffix (in meaning, not just position). I'm looking at this list of a-X-ist words and now think that if we are to base the definition of "atheist" on how the word is put together, it probably would be someone who holds the position that there is no god(s). But, as I said, words are defined by common usage - so, the definition you prefer would be included in the dictionary by that standard.
__________________

"That's the thing with eggs: It's all about chicks and getting laid." - Wuschel
"A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg" - Samuel Butler
“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” - African proverb
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” - Bernard Meltzer

Last edited by Egg; 11th May 2018 at 04:40 PM.
Egg is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 05:06 PM   #238
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Because it becomes somebody who believes in "not god" instead of someone who is not a god believer.

The "the" bit is the base word, not a prefix.

I don't have a problem with the definition of "atheist" either - it clearly has more than one definition though. If I have any "problem" it might be with someone insisting their definition is the correct one, when many others use the same word to mean something different (words are defined by common usage). I'm fine with either definition, as long as all parties in a discussion are sharing the same definition and nobody skips between definitions when it suits.
I'm saying "my" definition is the most "appropriate", not "correct". In my experience of common usage, most atheists say "my" definition is the most "appropriate". Those that prefer that "atheist" should be defined as a belief are usually those that have an ulterior motive for wanting it to be a belief. That ulterior motive is usually something like they can counter "You merely believe god(s) exist" with "Well you merely believe they don't". Many god believers really seem to have a big problem accepting anyone can have no beliefs regarding gods. More specifically, no belief that god(s) either do or don't exist. It's an "Either you're with us, or you're against us" thing.

Trouble with modern dictionary definitions is some (especially religious) seem to reflect more group belief biases than common usage by whole societies. Perhaps it's always been that way.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 05:30 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 06:20 PM   #239
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,766
Originally Posted by Egg View Post
I don't think this works - is an atypicalist merely not a typicalist or is it someone who is atypical. My spell-checker doesn't like those words, by the way

ETA: Actually, looking again, I think this probably reinforces my point. The prefix generally modifies the base word before the suffix (in meaning, not just position). I'm looking at this list of a-X-ist words and now think that if we are to base the definition of "atheist" on how the word is put together, it probably would be someone who holds the position that there is no god(s). But, as I said, words are defined by common usage - so, the definition you prefer would be included in the dictionary by that standard.
If we apply your reasoning to "amoralist" (in dictionary) then that would definite it as "Believes morals don't exist", which isn't what being an "amoralist" means (not in any dictionaries I've read or common usage I've heard anyway).
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.

Last edited by ynot; 11th May 2018 at 06:30 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th May 2018, 10:41 PM   #240
David Mo
Master Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 2,998
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post

- So define god. Well, it will appear that god defies definition, which makes good sense, because if god could be defined, it would be science (even if it turned out to not exist).
Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Undefinable like love, beauty, grace, etc?
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
You can assign some attributes to the god, but you cannot define the god.
All that can be defined. Starting with "god". Take a dictionary and you'll see the most common use(s) of these words. That's the definition of a word that allow us to speak a common language.
Or is it not? What else is a definition?

Last edited by David Mo; 11th May 2018 at 10:44 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:03 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.