[Neo] Atheists: How Much Lack of Belief is Required to be an Atheist?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Kokomojojo, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. gfm7175

    gfm7175 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    4,803
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Then you're an atheist. You believe that God does not exist.

    Your reality IS the "real reality". So is my reality. So is everyone's reality. That's what "reality" IS. It is one's own model of the universe and how it works.

    Argument From Ignorance Fallacy. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Also, as I explained above, your reality IS the "real reality". "Real reality" is redundant language; it's just "reality", as defined above.

    Yup, it will be a circular argument at this point. However, it is a falsifiable theory.

    No, you accept it as a true (using a circular argument) until it gets falsified (by conflicting evidence).

    Your analogy was clumsy, like mine was. You are trying to compare a falsifiable theory (organ regeneration) with an unfalsifiable theory (existence of God).
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  2. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    10,833
    Likes Received:
    4,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    No, I have the organ regeneration theory in my head, but I don't believe it because I don't have evidence. If I already believed it, then I wouldn't need to look for evidence to believe it. I want to next run some trials to see if there is evidence for it.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  3. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    8,176
    Likes Received:
    1,075
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    They don't really compete. If you say "orange is a fruit" and I say "orange is a colour", that's not really a problem as long as we're clear about it. The problem comes if one person says "I like oranges" and someone sticks to the definition "orange is a colour" and offers the first person paint to drink. It is not the listeners business to decide which definition was intended (although it can be their business to inform speakers that their intentions aren't coming across if they are being confusing).

    I don't mind the idea as such, but it would need to be explained exactly what it means. In my reading of the thread, it has not been made clear.
     
    Lucifer likes this.
  4. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    23,464
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Trophy Points:
    113
    you dont understand the meaning of percentage and lack? I dont understand what your problem is?
     
  5. gfm7175

    gfm7175 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    4,803
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Science does not make use of supporting evidence. That is what religion does. Science, rather, makes use of conflicting evidence. You would instead be looking for evidence that would FALSIFY your theory (via internal and external testing).
     
  6. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    10,833
    Likes Received:
    4,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Science uses supporting evidence all the time. For example, we verified the theory of relativity by observing a solar eclipse. This supported the predictions made by the theory of relativity. Often times, testing a theory's prediction can both verifiy or falsify it depending on the outcome. For example, we can test evolution by digging into the fossil record and looking for ape-like human ancestors. If we don't find them, it could just be poor fossilization, but it does make evolution less likely. However, if we do find them, then that is strong supporting evidence.

    Another example is unicorns. Do you believe in unicorns? Now we have found goats with a single horn on their heads or some animals with deformities, but I mean a type of horse that has a horn on its head. Also, lets remove flying and magical powers from this question.

    Most people will say they don't believe in unicorns. If I ask them if they believe they don't exist, many will say they don't exist. But do we actually know that?

    How do you know there wasn't some extinct species of horse that had a horn on its head and maybe even inspired some of our art? There also could be life on other planets and one of the species is a horse with a horn on its head. Now, I double its probable horses evolved independently on both planets, but its possible something alien horse-like thing could have evolved, especially if evolution tends to happen the same general way on planets like ours. Or if God created modern life, or guided evolution, he made horses with horns on other planets.

    Some will counter that there is no evidence of unicorns, therefore they don't exist. But a lack of evidence doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We used to lack evidence of dinosaurs, but they are real.

    So there is a lack of evidence for unicorns and lack of evidence against them. Do I believe in unicorns? No, because of the lack of evidence. So I don't believe in unicorns and lack belief in them. But do I believe they don't exist? No, there is a reasonable hypothetical possibility they exist and there is nothing disproving their existence.

    I can apply the same reasoning to God. I can't show there isn't God hidden away in some unknown dimension. But I can't provide evidence there is a God either. So for now until I get evidence either way, then I don't believe in God, but don't believe he doesn't exist either.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  7. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    8,176
    Likes Received:
    1,075
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    I have a decent understanding of what each individual word means, so I didn't ask about those. You ask what % of belief or lack of belief is required for something, but it is not clear to me that any % of belief or lack of belief describes anything in particular. And if it doesn't describe anything in particular, then there isn't really an answer to the question.
     
    WillReadmore likes this.
  8. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    23,464
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Trophy Points:
    113
    wow, a chart topper! I never heard it explained in such a depressing manner as that before.
    yes the neoatheists combined the words as a self description to quantify their level of belief so we need to investigate how to understand this quantifying finding out the corresponding levels of 'not enough [belief]' (their language not mine), that qualifies one to claim atheist. Obviously absolute no doubt what so ever strong atheism total lack of belief is an athiest, but what about the rest?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  9. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    58,701
    Likes Received:
    16,030
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The god of the bible isn't calling for life to be depressing - far from it.

    Maybe you should ask a Christian if they are depressed by following god's will for them, for purpose, for god providing them with an afterlife, for the peace their religion brings them.

    Your statement makes me suspect you don't know jack about religion - which isn't surprising, as I think you have said you're not particularly religious.

    If you want to know what various individuals think about the question of there being a god, go ask them!

    But whatever they say does not modify the definition of "atheist". "Atheist" already has a definition, one definition. "Christian" has a number of definitions, as it is a family of religion closely related religions and thre are differences between. But, the important definitions are pretty strongly stated. Matthew 23:37 (I think) says "all your body, all your soul and all your mind". It doesn't say 50%.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  10. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    23,464
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Trophy Points:
    113
    wow, nice irrational generalization and ad hom!
    youre on a roll wanna go for a hat trick?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  11. Pisa

    Pisa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    Messages:
    4,058
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Female
    Sure, but the problem in this (and other similar) threads is that "orange" is neither a fruit nor a color, rather a combination between an orangutan and a Japanese ladybug, ridden with internal inconsistencies and completely absurd premises. For instance, belief and disbelief are, in the OP's wonderland of Oz, interchangeable and equivalent. Leading and loaded questions based on such dramatic soap-opera-ish reversals of reality are unanswerable, giving the OP and choir the impression that rational posters are dodging.

    Belief and lack thereof are emergent properties of the brain, therefore if anything about them can be quantified it must be related to brain activity. Can't see any other way. However, much of the brain activity occurs in the subconscious and unconscious mind, rendering any attempt at quantification moot at this point, me thinks.
     
    Ronald Hillman likes this.
  12. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    8,176
    Likes Received:
    1,075
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Can you refer me to where that's been said? I seem to recall you being the one who selected the "not having enough" part rather than the "not having" part of the definition. If as I suggest belief come in binaries, and you either have it or you don't, the other choice might be better suited. That being said, I haven't followed every post in this thread or others, I may just not have seen it. I'm also not sure if you suggest this applies to "neoatheism" as a whole, or it you created an entire thread to pick apart one careless comment that isn't consistent with what others would say.
    Here you refer to the strength of the belief. Do you suggest a 90% belief is a belief that is just not as strong as a 100% one? It seems to me that the presence of a belief is the only requirement (or the lack, whichever the case may be), the strength of it doesn't factor into the equation (unless it is so weak as to not qualify as a belief).
     
    Ronald Hillman likes this.
  13. usfan

    usfan Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    6,878
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    IMO, it is the 'special snowflake!' Syndrome, that is indoctrinated in State run religious propaganda outlets (aka, public schools).

    These religious ideologues would have you believe that THEIR beliefs are on some Higher Plane, and are different than the beliefs of all other human beings. So obfuscation, nebulous definitions, indignation, and smug superiority are the only tactics available, having abandoned reason, language, and science.

    Its just the age old human tendency to religious bigotry, nothing more.
     
  14. DubiousDan

    DubiousDan New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Daniel
    Sorry, mistake!
     
  15. gfm7175

    gfm7175 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    4,803
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Nope. It never does. RELIGION does, though.

    Observations are subject to the problems of phenomenology; they are not part of science. Observations are evidence only. An event as simple as a sunrise can result in ten different observations from ten different observers of it. This relates to how "reality" is defined (one's own model of the universe and how it works).

    No theory of science is ever "verified". Rather, the theory continues to survive internal/external testing ("has yet to be falsified").

    The Theory of Evolution (that current life forms resulted from the mutation of more primitive life forms) is not falsifiable. It is not science. It is a religion. We have no way to test this theory, as we do not have a time machine to go back in time to see what actually happened regarding the very first life forms (and to see if you and I are actually a result of such life forms or not). While evolution can and does naturally occur, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Theory of Evolution is true.

    No.

    You can add me to the list. I don't believe that unicorns exist.

    No, we don't. The belief that unicorns do not exist is a religious belief.

    We don't. That very well COULD be the case. This would be one of many arguments stemming from the initial circular argument of what I will subsequently refer to as the Unicorn Religion (the belief that unicorns exist in actuality).

    It's possible. This would be another such argument stemming from the initial circular argument of the Unicorn Religion.

    Possible. This is all religion. This is all making use of supporting evidence. This is not science. These theories are all unfalsifiable.

    ... and such people would be committing the Argument From Ignorance Fallacy, because absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. Attempts to prove or disprove religion WILL lead to logical fallacies such as this one.

    Correct. See, even blind squirrels can find nuts once in a while. The problem, however, is that you don't understand the logic behind why you are correct when you say this, thus you regularly end up committing this same fallacy yourself (whenever your religious beliefs that you don't even realize ARE religious beliefs come into question).

    Have you ever seen one? Fossils are not proof of anything; they are merely evidence. I do believe that dinosaurs are real, however. This is another religious belief.

    No, there is evidence both for the Unicorn Religion AND against the Unicorn Religion. You are simply choosing to reject the evidence for the unicorn religion.

    What you are failing to grasp here is the meaning of 'evidence' and its logical application. Evidence, simply put, is "any statement that supports an argument". Essentially, 'evidence' is a predicate. Your above-mentioned examples of "possibilities" regarding the Unicorn Religion ARE quite literally evidence FOR the religion. You are just choosing to reject the evidence that you have presented. You believe in the non-existence of unicorns. That is your religious belief.

    Whoopsie! Here, you commit the Argument From Ignorance Fallacy that I mentioned earlier. Remember, absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. Rather, it would be logically sound on your part if you would just simply just leave your religious belief regarding unicorns at the circular argument that it is.

    Yup. You are a Unicorn Denier.

    Now you are denying your own position. You just got done saying that you don't believe in unicorns (that you reject the Unicorn Religion). Recognizing the logical possibility that unicorns might actually exist is simply your choice to not be a fundamentalist-style believer in your A-Unicorn Religion faith. Take my belief in Christianity for example. I believe that the triune Christian God actually exists, yet I fully recognize the logical possibility that he might not exist. That doesn't suddenly make me into an agnostic or an atheist.

    It's flawed reasoning.

    Correct. You can't even show (prove) that he isn't hidden away somewhere ON EARTH amongst us.

    Actually, you can. Many people already have done so. See my above explanation of what 'evidence' is and how it logically functions. The existence of life itself is evidence for God. However, evidence is not a proof. The existence of life itself does NOT prove God's existence in any way/shape/form.

    You already have evidence BOTH ways. See above.

    So you reject both theism AND atheism?? You are an agnostic??
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
    usfan and Kokomojojo like this.
  16. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    23,464
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Trophy Points:
    113
    why do you continue to pretend I am talking about slicing up a single resultant belief when I made it perfectly clear several times I am talking about the resultant comprehensive belief?
     
  17. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    8,176
    Likes Received:
    1,075
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Can you give an illustrative example? What is a "resultant" belief? Resultant of what?
     
  18. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    23,464
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Trophy Points:
    113
    what is a resultant test score? the same.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  19. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    10,833
    Likes Received:
    4,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    So now we are talking about scientific theories and the theory of evolution. I'd like to stick to my unicorn example just to keep things simple and we can talk about some of the other things a bit later. I'm not sure what your beliefs are about unicorns from your response. Do you believe that unicorns exist? Do you believe they don't exist?
     
  20. gfm7175

    gfm7175 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    4,803
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Only because you brought those things up.

    I'm okay with that. Focusing solely on unicorns!!

    By "exist", I will assume that you mean "are real", akin to how both you and I are real.

    I believe that unicorns do not exist.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  21. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    10,833
    Likes Received:
    4,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ok, I'll give you that.

    Well, this is the internet right?

    You did admit that it is possible there could be an undiscovered unicorn species or an alien unicorn species. So I am curious why you are now asserting they don't exist. Do you have any evidence unicorns don't exist? I could ask the same question to an atheist who claims God doesn't exist.
     
  22. gfm7175

    gfm7175 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    4,803
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Indeed it is. :)

    Indeed I did.

    While I acknowledge the logical possibility of unicorns existing (in the same way that you and I currently exist), I believe that they don't. This is a religious belief on my part (a belief "based on faith").

    This theory (unicorns do not exist) is not falsifiable, so it cannot logically move beyond being a circular argument.

    Yes, I do.

    You could... and they indeed have evidence that God doesn't exist.
     
  23. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    10,833
    Likes Received:
    4,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Why do you have faith unicorns don't exist? That seems like a strange thing to have faith in.
     
  24. gfm7175

    gfm7175 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    4,803
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Because I do. It's as simple as that.

    You've expressed such faith in our prior dialogues. Are you now calling your own faith "strange"?
     
  25. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    58,701
    Likes Received:
    16,030
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There is nothing going on in public education that involves valuing or promoting one view of religion over others.
     
    Ronald Hillman and Lucifer like this.

Share This Page