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Tags atheism , atheism definitions

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Old 12th May 2018, 12:30 AM   #241
Egg
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
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).
But a moralist isn't a person who believes morals exist. How is that applying my reasoning?

Here are the dictionary definitions you point to:
Quote:
1 : one who professes the doctrine of amoralism
2 : one who lives amorally
They're both definitions where the "a-" prefix is already on the word before we go to the "-ist" suffix. It's not defined as "not a moralist".
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Old 12th May 2018, 01:03 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I'm saying "my" definition is the most "appropriate", not "correct".
You did say that the definition Fud was using was incorrect - so perhaps not technically, but it was implied. But appropriateness is probably better for discussion than correctness.

Quote:
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.
I've also seen a lot of self-identified atheists on boards such as this favour the broader definition too (and a fair few who don't). The problem I would see is that this definition includes swathes of people who don't use that definition and don't self-identify as "atheist". So we end up in the weird position that many (maybe most) of the people supporting the broad definition actually hold the narrow definition position themselves. In that light, perhaps it doesn't seem quite so appropriate.

I get the ulterior motive issue and theists just not getting non-belief. The ulterior motive on the other side (as has been stated by 2 or 3 people in these definition threads) is that it side-steps the burden of proof, even if that person's own position is that gods most probably don't exist. It seems to me that actually the position that should be defended is the idea that the default position in the face of non-compelling evidence (or a lack of compelling evidence) is to assume non-existence.
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Old 12th May 2018, 03:04 AM   #243
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From the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy:
atheism (from Greek a-, ‘not’, and theos, ‘god’), the view that there are no gods. A widely used sense denotes merely not believing in God and is consistent with agnosticism. A stricter sense denotes a belief that there is no God; this use has become the standard one.
Why prefer the broad definition -- which is more ambiguous -- to the classic standard definition?

I would like a precise and as simple answer as possible. Thank you.
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Old 12th May 2018, 12:04 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
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.
Mmm, yes. Point taken. Seems I defined something like Materialist instead.

Well ....

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Old 12th May 2018, 12:16 PM   #245
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The term "atheist" doesn't make sense to me. What should we call someone who doesn't believe the Earth is flat? What should we call someone who doesn't believe in aliens or bigfoot? "Atheist" suggests that theist is the default but this is an irrational belief so obviously it couldn't be the default.
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Old 12th May 2018, 01:07 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
From the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy:
atheism (from Greek a-, ‘not’, and theos, ‘god’), the view that there are no gods. A widely used sense denotes merely not believing in God and is consistent with agnosticism. A stricter sense denotes a belief that there is no God; this use has become the standard one.
Why prefer the broad definition -- which is more ambiguous -- to the classic standard definition?

I would like a precise and as simple answer as possible. Thank you.
Why do philosophers get to dictate what the "classic standard definition" is?

Regardless, from this why doesn't "atheist" mean "not god" (atheists are not gods)?

Perhaps we should invent a new word like "otheist" where "o" stands for "no" (no god). The "o" could also represent a zero "0theist" (not a theist).
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Old 12th May 2018, 01:10 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
The term "atheist" doesn't make sense to me. What should we call someone who doesn't believe the Earth is flat? What should we call someone who doesn't believe in aliens or bigfoot? "Atheist" suggests that theist is the default but this is an irrational belief so obviously it couldn't be the default.
I agree, no label is required and atheism gives theism an implied credibility it doesn't deserve. So should atheists (ooops) those that don't believe in gods refuse to be labelled as "atheists"?
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Old 12th May 2018, 01:32 PM   #248
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I’ve been arguing for a definition of “atheist” that covers all those that don’t have a belief in god(s). Those that aren’t theists regardless of why they aren’t. If “atheist” is defined as “believes there is no god(s)”, what word defines those that merely don’t have a belief in god(s)? I don’t think “agnostic” is valid because it has to do with knowledge, not belief.

From my personal perspective I don't care if "atheist" is defined as "believes or knows there's no god(s)", because I confidently claim I know there's no god(s).
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Old 12th May 2018, 05:00 PM   #249
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That 'I’ve been arguing for a definition of atheist that covers all those that don’t have a belief in god(s)", I'm effectively defining atheism.
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Old 13th May 2018, 12:03 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Why do philosophers get to dictate what the "classic standard definition" is?

Regardless, from this why doesn't "atheist" mean "not god" (atheists are not gods)?

Perhaps we should invent a new word like "otheist" where "o" stands for "no" (no god). The "o" could also represent a zero "0theist" (not a theist).
May be because this is a philosophical problem?

Because your proposal of "0theist" is confuse and I don't see any usefulness in it. What do you want?
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Old 13th May 2018, 01:57 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
May be because this is a philosophical problem?
Why do philosophers get to dictate that "this is a philosophical problem"?

Well I guess at least that would explain all the infinite hair-splitting and contorted semantics.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Because your proposal of "0theist" is confuse and I don't see any usefulness in it.
You don't think the use of "atheist" is "confuse"? You don't think my proposal of "0theist" has any usefulness as humour?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What do you want?
If you can wait until just before Xmas I'll send you a copy of the want-list I'll be sending to Santa.
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Old 13th May 2018, 10:03 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Why do philosophers get to dictate that "this is a philosophical problem"?
Is it not? What else?

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You don't think the use of "atheist" is "confuse"? You don't think my proposal of "0theist" has any usefulness as humour?
Not every use of "atheist" is confuse.

I don't quite understand your sense of humor. "0theist" was a joke? Wait I think a while about it.
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Old 14th May 2018, 06:26 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I’ve been arguing for a definition of “atheist” that covers all those that don’t have a belief in god(s). Those that aren’t theists regardless of why they aren’t. If “atheist” is defined as “believes there is no god(s)”, what word defines those that merely don’t have a belief in god(s)?

There already is a word for that. And that word is ‘atheist’!

That particular word means exactly what its philological word-roots suggest, and what you yourself want it to mean.

Yes, there are further nuances that are available, such as ‘soft atheist’, ‘hard atheist’, etc, etc : but if for whatever reason you do not want to concern yourself with those added nuances, nevertheless the core word ‘atheist’ is still available to you.

True, there are some who tend to implicitly attach a ‘hard’ emphasis to that word, but should you find someone take that view in some discussion, then it is easy enough to clarify your meaning, no? By simply qualifying “I’m using the philologically-derived meaning of the word Atheist’, or by simply explaining what you mean by that word.

I don’t see what the difficulty is, at all. The problem that you’re trying to address, it seems non-existent to me. The word that you’re searching for high and low, that word already exists! In those few (or not so few) cases where you find others use the word with a somewhat different connotation, it is easy enough to clarify one's meaning (rather than railing on against the laissez faire anarchy of the English lanugage, or dreaming about a world where words never carry multiple meanings, and where they always answer to the meanings we ourselves prefer).


Quote:
I don’t think “agnostic” is valid because it has to do with knowledge, not belief.

I have seen you say this repeatedly, as you say here, that “(Agnosticism) … has to do with knowledge, not belief”. This is patently and demonstrably not true. You have yourself started another thread to discuss the meaning of the word Agnostic, and there it has been shown, repeatedly, why you are wrong. Have you not been able to understand any of the reasons offered there, in that thread, to explain why you are plain wrong as regards that word, Agnosticism? (I have no intention of repeating all of that here, but hint : At least in English, philological word-roots do not dictate the ultimate meaning of some word ; usage does. And in this specific instance, the provenance of this term is fairly recent, and its intended meaning exceptionally clearly documented and explained by the person who coined this word.)
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Old 14th May 2018, 06:32 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
The term "atheist" doesn't make sense to me. What should we call someone who doesn't believe the Earth is flat? What should we call someone who doesn't believe in aliens or bigfoot? "Atheist" suggests that theist is the default but this is an irrational belief so obviously it couldn't be the default.

Unfortunately, theism is still a mainstream position in the world at large. And what is more, in many individual pockets -- that is, within some individual neighborhoods, or some individual cities, or some individual states, or some individual countries -- theism is still, to this day, not just mainstream but overwhelmingly mainstream. Given this unfortunate state of affairs, it often becomes necessary to take a position in relation to this mainstream idea. And since it -- often, but of course not always -- becomes, in practice, necessary to take a position in relation to theism, therefore it become necessary (or at least, it is convenient) to have individual word(s) that denote our position(s) in respect of theism.

If by some wild chance we found, twenty years down the line following some fantastic apocalyptic melt-down of civilization, that overwhelmingly large numbers of people have started believing that the Earth is flat (or that aliens walk among us, or that invisible bigfoots -- bigfeet? -- prowl around unobserved, punishing the immoral and rewarding the virtuous), then yes, then I suggest our language may well come up, organically, with words that reflect the position of someone who does not believe in a flat Earth, or someone who does not believe in invisible aliens or invisible bigfoots (bigfeet?) in our midst.


We don’t necessarily have to use that word, Atheism, if it makes us uncomfortable (or if we don’t move in circles where that word serves any real function). In that case, any ideas about God (or about bigfoot, or about invisible aliens) can be shot down simply by saying they’re “unscientific”, or “lacking in evidence”, instead of dealing separately with the God-issue.

But because in some cases a theism-centered word is not necessary, that does not mean that a theism-centered word is never necessary. Because some people find the word ‘atheism’ unnecessary in some/most situations, that does not mean that all people find that word unnecessary in all situations. That word is very much necessary, I would say, albeit not everyone has to use it if they, personally, do not need to or if they do not want to.
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Old 4th June 2018, 11:25 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Follow what? Seriously how does anyone follow "atheism"?
Atheism is the belief that there are no gods or at least that the contemporary gods are a false belief.

I know that in this forum, atheism is re-defined as a "lack of belief". It makes acting as if there are no gods seem more rational.
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Old 4th June 2018, 01:03 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Atheism is the belief that there are no gods or at least that the contemporary gods are a false belief.

I know that in this forum, atheism is re-defined as a "lack of belief". It makes acting as if there are no gods seem more rational.
Acting as if there are no gods is completely rational. Acting as if there are gods in the absence of any evidence, not so much.

In fact, I wonder how people would go about acting as if there are gods. How do they know that their activities are sanctioned by gods?
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Old 4th June 2018, 01:07 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Acting as if there are no gods is completely rational. Acting as if there are gods in the absence of any evidence, not so much.

In fact, I wonder how people would go about acting as if there are gods. How do they know that their activities are sanctioned by gods?

Everyone just seems to know (or have been told). For some folks, it's surprising how directly their personal views of a deity and the supposed commands of a deity coincide...
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:31 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Atheism is the belief that there are no gods ...
Incorrect.

While I accept that some dictionaries may state that, it is wrong. Etymologically and historically, atheism means a lack of belief.

Only the religious these days demand that atheism is a belief in there being no god/s.

Atheism cannot be a belief in anything.
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Old 4th June 2018, 06:56 PM   #259
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there are few beliefs so fervently held as some modern atheist's belief that the definition of atheist must not include even a hint that atheists believe there is no God
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Old 4th June 2018, 08:10 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
there are few beliefs so fervently held as some modern atheist's belief that the definition of atheist must not include even a hint that atheists believe there is no God
Does it ever concern you, that you're always wrong? That's rhetorical. I know it doesn't.
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Old 4th June 2018, 08:12 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Only the religious these days demand that atheism is a belief in there being no god/s.
As is demonstrated by the theist’s post below. Unfortunately however there are also some "philosophy afflicted" atheists as well. Some just have a problem understanding and accepting that defining “atheist” by type isn’t defining “atheism”.
Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
there are few beliefs so fervently held as some modern atheist's belief that the definition of atheist must not include even a hint that atheists believe there is no God
Who can spot the conflation?
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Old 4th June 2018, 08:21 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Incorrect.

While I accept that some dictionaries may state that, it is wrong. Etymologically and historically, atheism means a lack of belief.
Your own avatar belies this sentiment. It not only implies that there are no gods but that one can come to this conclusion through rational thought alone.
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Old 4th June 2018, 08:34 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Your own avatar belies this sentiment. It not only implies that there are no gods but that one can come to this conclusion through rational thought alone.
Complete waste of time, but . . .

Not sure if there’s gods or not = A type of atheist.
Believes there’s no gods = A type of atheist.
Knows there’s no gods = A type of atheist.
Lack of belief in gods = Atheism (applies to all atheists regardless of their type).
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Old 4th June 2018, 09:23 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
there are few beliefs so fervently held as some modern atheist's belief that the definition of atheist must not include even a hint that atheists believe there is no God
Only some then. So not a widely held belief. I can agree with that.

Not sure what makes a " modern" atheist. I am an atheist. I believe there are no gods. I know there are no gods. I have a lack of belief in any gods. Gods do not exist. I have no problem believing something based on compelling evidence. I think most atheists feel the same. Playing at competing definitions changes nothing.
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Old 4th June 2018, 09:43 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Complete waste of time, but . . .

Not sure if there’s gods or not = A type of atheist agnostic.
Believes there’s no gods = A type of atheist.
Knows there’s no gods = A type of atheist.
Lack of belief Disbelief in gods = Atheism (applies to all atheists regardless of their type).
Fixed according to my pet dictionary.

There are always degrees of belief. Some atheists are willing to change their belief in the face of overwhelming evidence and some are not.

"Agnostic" sounds kind of wishy-washy so in this forum, it has been re-defined to be exclusively about the belief in the provability of the existence of a god. This means that only the term "atheist" remains to describe the point half-way in between belief and disbelief.
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Old 4th June 2018, 09:47 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
there are few beliefs so fervently held as some modern atheist's belief that the definition of atheist must not include even a hint that atheists believe there is no God

Who is the "some modern atheist" you're talking about?
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Old 4th June 2018, 09:58 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Lack of belief Disbelief in gods
Synonym of disbelief: lack of belief.
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Old 4th June 2018, 10:56 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Fixed according to my pet dictionary.

There are always degrees of belief. Some atheists are willing to change their belief in the face of overwhelming evidence and some are not.

"Agnostic" sounds kind of wishy-washy so in this forum, it has been re-defined to be exclusively about the belief in the provability of the existence of a god. This means that only the term "atheist" remains to describe the point half-way in between belief and disbelief.
If you and others wish to accept a generic definition of atheism that doesn’t cover all types of atheist (disbelief in gods), rather than one that does (lack of belief in gods), then that’s your illogical choice.

What do you call a person that hasn’t decided to be a theist for any number of reasons other than disbelief, or is simply indifferent to or ignorant of theism?

My "degree of belief" in theism and all other paranormal beliefs is 0, and always has been.

Provide an example of your merely claimed "overwhelming evidence".
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Old 5th June 2018, 12:15 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
My "degree of belief" in theism and all other paranormal beliefs is 0, and always has been.
That means that your degree of disbelief is 100%.

"Lack of belief" would imply a lack of opinion and you have an opinion in spades.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:45 AM   #270
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That means that your degree of disbelief is 100%.

"Lack of belief" would imply a lack of opinion and you have an opinion in spades.
Assuming, as would seem reasonable given your statements, that you are a theist, how would you describe your level of belief in Zeus? Do you lack belief, or do you actively disbelieve in him? How about Krishna? Viracocha? Amaterasu Omikami? What about other gods you've not even heard of yet?
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Old 5th June 2018, 05:36 AM   #271
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Assuming, as would seem reasonable given your statements, that you are a theist . . .
That's a bit like saying that only somebody who was heavily invested in bitcoin would point out the lunacy that is supposed to pass as "critical thinking" (against bitcoin) in the bitcoin thread.

Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
how would you describe your level of belief in Zeus? Do you lack belief, or do you actively disbelieve in him? How about Krishna? Viracocha? Amaterasu Omikami? What about other gods you've not even heard of yet?
I believe that the gods listed and not listed by you don't exist. (Prove me wrong!)
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Old 5th June 2018, 06:41 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That's a bit like saying that only somebody who was heavily invested in bitcoin would point out the lunacy that is supposed to pass as "critical thinking" (against bitcoin) in the bitcoin thread.
Not sure I see the connection, but I guess you're entitled to your point of view, for whatever reason.
Quote:
I believe that the gods listed and not listed by you don't exist. (Prove me wrong!)
How do you manage to have an opinion on something you haven't even heard of?
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Old 5th June 2018, 08:32 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Not sure I see the connection, but I guess you're entitled to your point of view, for whatever reason.
I don't know the name of the fallacy but feigning ignorance ("I don't understand you therefore you must be talking nonsense") is definitely a fallacy.
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Old 5th June 2018, 04:16 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That means that your degree of disbelief is 100%.
No, my degree of non-belief (aka - lack of belief) is 100%. There's nothing for me to disbelieve.

Care to answer this? . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
What do you call a person that hasn’t decided to be a theist for any number of reasons other than disbelief, or is simply indifferent to or ignorant of theism?
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Old 5th June 2018, 07:43 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Care to answer this? . . .
You deleted the part of my post that dealt with this question.
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Old 5th June 2018, 08:13 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I don't know the name of the fallacy but feigning ignorance ("I don't understand you therefore you must be talking nonsense") is definitely a fallacy.
How about the question you didn't answer?
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Old 5th June 2018, 09:25 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
How about the question you didn't answer?
If you weren't more interested in being patronizing I might take your questions more seriously.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:59 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You deleted the part of my post that dealt with this question.
I guess you mean this . . .
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
"Agnostic" sounds kind of wishy-washy so in this forum, it has been re-defined to be exclusively about the belief in the provability of the existence of a god. This means that only the term "atheist" remains to describe the point half-way in between belief and disbelief.
If so then can I conclude that you call anyone/everyone that hasn’t decided to become a theist (isn’t a theist) an “atheist”?
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Old 5th June 2018, 11:33 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I guess you mean this . . .
Was that in the post you were responding to?
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Old 5th June 2018, 11:53 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Was that in the post you were responding to?
Well I don’t see how this . .
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
"Lack of belief" would imply a lack of opinion and you have an opinion in spades.
in any way “dealt with”, or in any way answered this . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
What do you call a person that hasn’t decided to be a theist for any number of reasons other than disbelief, or is simply indifferent to or ignorant of theism?
If you believe it does please explain how.
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