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

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

  1. usfan

    usfan Banned

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    ..i lack belief in this assertion..

    ;)

    The evidence says otherwise.
     
    Kokomojojo likes this.
  2. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I don't understand. Can't you just give some examples of what you mean? Why does there need to be a percentage answer? A belief is a thing, you either have it or you don't.
     
  3. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    I already did, like 3 different times, highly unlikely one more will make a difference.
    Whats your problem with a percentage? So you believe that its all in all out, nothing inbetween.
    So in your mind you only have one belief?
     
  4. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Well, would you explain what they mean? When you suggest 50% belief, what does that mean?

    Basically yes. Strengths of beliefs may vary, but that's not to say that it's not a full belief.

    No, I can have different beliefs, but for each proposition, you either hold that as a belief, or you do not.
     
  5. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    define 'full' belief as it applies to what you just said
     
  6. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Holding/accepting that a proposition is true.
     
  7. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    So, cite it.
     
  8. rahl

    rahl Banned

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    what evidence?
     
  9. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    if thats the case you cant factor in
    you need to adjust your theory
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  10. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    What's the problem with it? I have a belief that I have a carrot in the fridge, it's 100% a belief, and it't not very strong. I have a belief that I have two arms, it's 100% a belief, and it's really quite strong. I can factor the strengths in, and my "theory" seems to work just fine.
     
  11. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    Strong? Weak?
    Doesnt tell me much.
    How strong is strong?
    How strong is weak?
    How weak is strong?
    How weak is weak?

    I really cant imagine how much strong is, or how much weak is, care to explain so I can get a clearer perspective?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  12. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I don't know that there is a "how much" concept.

    How strong is strong, well one example might be that I have two arms. That's a pretty strong belief. When I put my hands behind my back, I still believe I have two arms. If you told me that I have only one arm, I would probably not be convinced by you.
    How strong is weak, well, an example might be that I have a carrot in the fridge. That belief is not very strong, I sometimes have carrots, sometimes I do not. At the moment when I wrote this, I believed it, but if you told me you looked in the fridge and there weren't carrots, I might change my mind.

    Both these examples seem to me to be 100% beliefs, though. "How much" doesn't seem to me to be a meaningful way to think about it.
     
  13. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    well if not 'how much' then what are you talking about? Does it smell strong maybe? Strong and weak really has no meaning for me, I need something a bit clearer so I dont have to conjure up in my imagination what strong and weak is when those terms are used to describe your beliefs?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  14. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    BTW, If 'lack' of belief does not describe a 'quantity' of belief then whats its purpose in the sentence?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  15. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I'd say that strength is how likely or how easily a belief is to be shaken, but I'm open to other interpretations too. There are other contexts in which strong and weak has to do with how fundamental a conclusion is, for instance, the strong anthropic principle. Either way, it's not what makes something into a 100% belief, so the difference shouldn't matter too much.

    I think it is in the stuff you greyed out here:

    [QUOTE="Kokomojojo, post: 1071583130, member: 28583]lack
    noun
    noun: lack; plural noun: lacks

    1. the state of being without or not having enough of something.
    verb
    be without or deficient in.
    [/QUOTE]

    For things that come in percentages, or other non-granular measurements, lack may indeed mean to not have enough of something, but for stuff that one either has or don't have, I would use the "state of being without"/"be without" part of the definition. Now, I'm not 100% on which sentence you're referring to, but this might be what the word refers to.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  16. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    For things that come in percentages, or other non-granular measurements, lack may indeed mean to not have enough of something, but for stuff that one either has or don't have, I would use the "state of being without"/"be without" part of the definition. Now, I'm not 100% on which sentence you're referring to, but this might be what the word refers to.[/QUOTE]

    How much it matters to you is not relevant, and not the topic under discussion.

    Ok so 'without', that is zero belief, or 100% lack of belief, nothing in th emiddle?
     
  17. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I agree. I don't think my answer there is important for the discussion, but I didn't want to leave it unanswered in case you had some angle I had not thought about.

    Yes. I worry that you will misconstrue what I'm saying in some way, like mixing up "without" a particular belief with "without any belief", etc. but yes, a belief is one conceptual object, which you might have or not have.
     
  18. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    so then its binary and self destructs because its all in or all out, no different than disbelief.

    Therefore you cannot have strong and weak atheism, because its binary and always 100% in or out.

    strong and weak atheism is not binary, so you can argue that you have 100% of whatever it is you chooe to believe, however if 'what' you believe is weak you have 100% belief that your level of belief is weak

    strong and weak cease to exist now.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  19. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    how then do you consider it measurable?

    neoatheists claim weak and strong, neither are 100% in 100% out condition, weak and strong represents something in between all in all out, Like the rest here you just wiped out weak and strong if its not measurable.
     
  20. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I don't see why that self-destructs. There can be a proposition, like "Socrates is a man". I might believe it, or I might not. Doesn't seem to be a problem.

    Well, first, strong/weak here is not the same strong/weak as I was describing it (I'm not sure if you suggest they are the same). The strong/weak as I first described it is just a manner of degree of the strength of the belief. In the case of strong and weak atheism, weak is used in the sense "Having a narrow range of logical consequences; narrowly applicable. (Often contrasted with a strong statement which implies it.)". The weak/strong in that sense does not refer to the strength of the belief in the statement, but the implications of the statement.

    In fact, strong statements tend to carry weaker beliefs. For instance, "All men have beards" is a stronger statement than "Some men have beards", however I believe "Some men have beards" much more strongly than "All men have beards" (which I do not believe at all).

    In the particular case of atheism, it is usually argued that weak atheism isn't a statement in itself.

    I'm not sure what you mean by binary. There is strong atheism and there is weak atheism, they're two different notions. As two different notions, you can have both, neither or one of them. In this particular case, it is impossible to have strong atheism while at the same time not having weak atheism. Whichever ones you have, I guess you can say you have 100% of it (I find it weird to put a percentage on it, but not necessarily incorrect).

    How so? There is a difference between a distinction not existing and a distinction not being captured by a work. Describing someone as "a man" doesn't tell you whether he's bearded or not, that doesn't mean beards don't exist.
     
  21. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    yes 100% in 100% out, belief/disbelief
    So is percentage.
    but thats not what we are discussing, or are you trying to switch horses?
    again nothing I brought into this.
    Ok so then you dont wish to wipe out strong and weak after all?
    nonsequitur, you keep arguing your strawman, not part of this conversation,

    so here we are full circle right back to how much does one need to lack to be a neoatheist?
     
  22. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    ?? I said I don't consider it measurable.

    Also, I don't know this group you call "neoatheists" that you claim exists You assert that this group claims something. But, I don't even know who you are talking about. I know you have made claims about this group in the past - but, I haven't seen anything to convince me that the group exists, let alone that they share a perspective.
     
  23. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    ah ok got it, thanks.
     
  24. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I agree. I don't see how that means it self-destructs though.

    So, by different percentages of beliefs, what you tried to convey was the strength of that belief? I asked you times and times again what you meant by that percentage, this would have been the answer (if that is indeed what you mean). The definition of belief concerns only whether you hold something as true, and that only comes in 1s or 0s. The strength of a belief is a different quantification. I guess it can be quantified in some way, but you'd have to spell it out too.

    When most people talk about "weak atheism", that is what they are discussing. You brought in weak and strong atheism. If you want to talk simply about various strengths of certain beliefs, you'll have to make that clear.

    I'm not exactly sure in what sense you suggest I wipe them out, but no I don't think so. They are two different things which you can have. There are just some categories that they both fall into.

    Well, I'm still struggling to see what you mean by strong and weak ceasing to exist. Since you won't tell me when I ask you, I'm stuck with trying a few different things and see if you recognise it.

    I thought we went through that, if you hold something as true, you hold that belief, call that a 1 or a 100% if you want. There may be a strength at which you start holding something as true, but I imagine it differs from person to person and belief to belief, as well as other things.

    It is also not clear how the strengths are described by percentages. I would say if you're convinced, that 1, i.e. 100%, if you're not convinced that's 0, i.e. 0%. Judging from previous discussions, you might argue that 100% is convinced, 50% is unconvinced and 0% is believing some opposite. It seems to me that has some weird implications, like having an unconvinced person, even a person who is not aware of the question, still carry a sizeable chunk of belief. It also breaks down when there are more than two options, and the "opposite" is not clear cut (not believing that an apple is green is not the same as committing to the apple being yellow or to the apple being red).

    I would say "there is a god" and "there is no god" are two beliefs. You can have one [1,0], you can have the other [0,1]. An agnostic has neither [0,0]. Given that the two statements are contradictory, [1,1] is probably impossible. To be an atheist in the weak sense, you are required to have [0,X], where X is anything.
     
  25. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    ironically that just happens to be (in greater part) what this thread is about, took you long enough.
    Its already been reduced as far as it can, time for you to think it through, extremely simple matter.
    A light switch is binary, and does not function as a dimmer.
     

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