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  1. #201
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Really? Then why didn't he say as much? If that is indeed what Zhavric meant to say then he could have said plainly rather than abuse the English language by writing something that has a completely different meaning then the one you are positing now.
    I'll make sure I use smaller words next time.

    If you are correct, then the irony of Zhav's previous accusations:

    We've gone back and forth on this too many times and I'm bloody sick to death of watching you wallow in intellectual bankruptcy while abuse the English language.

    is not lost on me.
    Clearly, you haven't been keeping up with the back and forths I've had with Mican over this issue.

    Wonderful, you have just given a description of the mechanistic underpinnings of human intelligence. You do not have to dig for sources for something that I already know.

    However, that completely fails to describe what intelligence is. It also does not support the claim that this is the only framework, the only template upon which intelligence can work or exist and that is the heart of Zhavrics argument in this instance.
    Look, Chad, this isn't that complicated. If you think there is some evidence that intelligence can exist beyond a biological construct (like the brain) or something fabricated by an existing intelligence (like a computer AI) then present it. Consider that a Challenge to support a claim.. Yes, we all get that there is a concept of intelligence without these things, but without evidence that's all it is. A concept. It's like any other unsupported claim that we know isn't true... like "Microsoft Excel can function without any hardware."

    You see Zhavric asserts that this neurological framework is absolutely necessary for intelligence and as a result is synonymous with intelligence (hence his previous definition). However, this is nonsense. Intelligence is understood as the ability to process information, to respond to information, to create information, etc. It is independent of the specific framework that does all this processing. Thus it is possible for intelligence to exist within different frameworks, including those that we have yet to conceive.
    No, Chad. What you just stated is nonsense. Without evidence, intelligence existing anywhere except where we've seen it is nonsense. If we took your above statement to be true we could make absurdist claims like "rocks could be intelligent because we A) don't need any framework and B) haven't proven they're not intelligent". If you honestly believe that to be a cogent statement, then I submit my worldview is more honest than yours.

    Nothing in our scientific understanding supports the claims that Zhavric has made. There is absolutely no reason why intelligence, itself, must be dependent upon the brain, absolutely no reason why it must either be created or evolved.
    Nothing in our scientific understanding supports the claims that Chad has made. There is absolutely no reason why software like Microsoft Excel, itself, must be dependent upon hardware, absolutely no reason why it must either be created or evolved... See how that fails utterly?

    Again, see the challenge above.

    At the basis of your argument, Chad, is a highly dishonest concept: "It's okay to contradict what we know to be true and embrace unsupported claims so long as it furthers my 'god is real' agenda." We both know the idea of Excel existing without a computer is laughable, yet if we apply your logic then it's perfectly acceptable to think of it that way. Someday, (I hope) you'll see that reason and intellectual honesty trump supernaturalism.

  2. #202
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by PerVirtuous
    I was not listing my belief's I was listing all of the positions that are considered atheist positions. I have no idea what you are getting at here.
    I'm so sorry. I misunderstood what you were stating. However, I believe you are still wrong. You claim as Athiestic positions three statements.
    1)There is no God. (I agree completely. This is atheism.)
    2)I do not believe in God. (You mean to say the person knows there is a God, but refuses to recognize him?)
    3)I have no opinion of God. (Here is where we diverge. I claim this as agnosticism.)

    If you do not consider number three to be agnosticism, what do you consider agnosticism to be?
    Not deciding is an atheist position.
    Again, I consider this to be agnosticism.
    Both the position that "God does not exist" and "I don't know" are atheist positions.
    I believe that the problem is the definition of agnosticism. Please define agnosticism PerVirtuous. I believe it to be a state of indecision or a state of apathy toward the entire concept. Let us establish a definition before proceeding. Okay?
    I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. - Albert Einstein
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  3. #203
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Saved by Grace View Post
    I'm so sorry. I misunderstood what you were stating. However, I believe you are still wrong. You claim as Athiestic positions three statements.
    1)There is no God. (I agree completely. This is atheism.)
    2)I do not believe in God. (You mean to say the person knows there is a God, but refuses to recognize him?)
    3)I have no opinion of God. (Here is where we diverge. I claim this as agnosticism.)

    If you do not consider number three to be agnosticism, what do you consider agnosticism to be?

    Again, I consider this to be agnosticism.

    I believe that the problem is the definition of agnosticism. Please define agnosticism PerVirtuous. I believe it to be a state of indecision or a state of apathy toward the entire concept. Let us establish a definition before proceeding. Okay?
    Agnostic definition
    Agnostic definition as was defined by T.H. Huxley, the man who coined the term that means one should not profess to a belief in something that cannot be proven.


    Thus, an Agnostic does not believe in God because he believes God cannot be proven. This makes him a non believer, and therefore, and Atheist. Rather than say God does not exist, he says God cannot be proven so I will not believe. I fail to see how this is not Atheism. Non-belief is non-belief. The reason is unimportant.
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  4. #204
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    I've always thought I was an agnostic for having "no knowledge" of the existence or non-existence of "God." God as a concept, I believe it's possible. God as a "person," or personified deity, or intelligent force, or personal savior, I do not hold that belief.... but I do not rule it out.

    As there are things we still don't know of in this universe, it's entirely plausible that there IS or IS NO God in the Prime Mover sense. If it's at least possible that a concept of god, such as a prime mover or other "entity" (I use that word loosely here, as I'm also applying what some would term "a force" here), then it is possible that said force may in fact be a deity. Theories are being refuted all the time, and so is some of what we know to be "science" and "physics." Aristotleian Physics was pretty much the only "scientific fact" or law back in his day, and a good bit of what he said was right, was wrong. The earth used to be flat. The sun revolved around the earth. The earth was the center of the universe. We didn't know what germs were until >200 years ago. Spontaneous Generation was a prevalent theory on how fruit flies propagated.

    If we choose to believe in the big bang, that's is exactly what we are doing- choosing to believe. None of us were there, so none of us really knows what happened (if it happened at all). So, to say, definitively, that there Is No God, an atheist is implying one of two things:

    1. All of the definitive evidence is in, and no more will ever be forthcoming, because no more evidence exists or ever will exist.

    Or

    2. There is nothing plausible about God, therefore I do not believe.

    Atheists profess a belief in a non-God scenario. Theists profess a belief in a there-is-a-God scenario.

    If I say I am agnostic, doesn't that just mean "I don't know enough to believe either way""? I profess no belief. Theists profess belief in god. Atheists profess a belief in a godless universe.

    I don't know what Huxley had in mind when he wrote that definition, but I think he got it a little bent. It's not that I don't believe in a god, it's that I don't know. Atheists (non-theists, or those who do not believe in a god) BELIEVE there is no God, because they've never been presented with an argument that holds up to scientific scrutiny. There is no catalyst to suggest to them that there is one.

    So, if I'm not a definition-Agnostic, what the hell am I? It seems the definition lends itself to saying "you're one or the other" when I don't really believe that to be true.

    EDIT: When I said "I profess no belief" in the middle, I was referring to the specific question "Is there a god, yes or no" and not in fact contradicting myself for having the belief that anything is possible, which is what I was trying to say in the first paragraph.
    Last edited by Dr Gonzo; September 8th, 2008 at 05:44 PM.
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  5. #205
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    PerVirtuous,
    I feel we can no longer debate upon the subject. You are committed to the definition of atheism that encompasses agnosticism and thus it cannot apply to this debate due to the lack of ramifications coming from it. However, if there is some way I can convince you that the commonly accepted definition of Atheism excludes Agnosticism, then we can continue with our debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo
    Atheists profess a belief in a non-God scenario. Theists profess a belief in a there-is-a-God scenario.
    If I say I am agnostic, doesn't that just mean "I don't know enough to believe either way""? I profess no belief. Theists profess belief in god. Atheists profess a belief in a godless universe.
    Thank you. This is the definition most of the world professes. I also agree with you that there must be a middle ground, regardless of what we call it. Thank you for stepping in when you did.
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  6. #206
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I've always thought I was an agnostic for having "no knowledge" of the existence or non-existence of "God." God as a concept, I believe it's possible. God as a "person," or personified deity, or intelligent force, or personal savior, I do not hold that belief.... but I do not rule it out.

    As there are things we still don't know of in this universe, it's entirely plausible that there IS or IS NO God in the Prime Mover sense. If it's at least possible that a concept of god, such as a prime mover or other "entity" (I use that word loosely here, as I'm also applying what some would term "a force" here), then it is possible that said force may in fact be a deity. Theories are being refuted all the time, and so is some of what we know to be "science" and "physics." Aristotleian Physics was pretty much the only "scientific fact" or law back in his day, and a good bit of what he said was right, was wrong. The earth used to be flat. The sun revolved around the earth. The earth was the center of the universe. We didn't know what germs were until >200 years ago. Spontaneous Generation was a prevalent theory on how fruit flies propagated.

    If we choose to believe in the big bang, that's is exactly what we are doing- choosing to believe. None of us were there, so none of us really knows what happened (if it happened at all). So, to say, definitively, that there Is No God, an atheist is implying one of two things:

    1. All of the definitive evidence is in, and no more will ever be forthcoming, because no more evidence exists or ever will exist.

    Or

    2. There is nothing plausible about God, therefore I do not believe.

    Atheists profess a belief in a non-God scenario. Theists profess a belief in a there-is-a-God scenario.

    If I say I am agnostic, doesn't that just mean "I don't know enough to believe either way""? I profess no belief. Theists profess belief in god. Atheists profess a belief in a godless universe.

    I don't know what Huxley had in mind when he wrote that definition, but I think he got it a little bent. It's not that I don't believe in a god, it's that I don't know. Atheists (non-theists, or those who do not believe in a god) BELIEVE there is no God, because they've never been presented with an argument that holds up to scientific scrutiny. There is no catalyst to suggest to them that there is one.

    So, if I'm not a definition-Agnostic, what the hell am I? It seems the definition lends itself to saying "you're one or the other" when I don't really believe that to be true.

    EDIT: When I said "I profess no belief" in the middle, I was referring to the specific question "Is there a god, yes or no" and not in fact contradicting myself for having the belief that anything is possible, which is what I was trying to say in the first paragraph.
    This is not a difficult concept. A theist believes in a higher power or powers. Within that group are Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. An atheist does not believe in a higher power. Within that group are those who disbelieve and those who simply lack belief. They are sub-classifications of atheist, just like Mormon is a sub classification of theist. Not all theists are Mormons and not all atheists are agnostics, but some are.

    Why do we need to distinguish why people do not believe in God? "My grandma told me not to." Do we need a new category for that? No. Atheist means not-theist. If you do not actively believe in God you are an atheist. Within that group of atheists are sub groups, just like theists have sub groups.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Saved by Grace View Post
    PerVirtuous,
    I feel we can no longer debate upon the subject. You are committed to the definition of atheism that encompasses agnosticism and thus it cannot apply to this debate due to the lack of ramifications coming from it. However, if there is some way I can convince you that the commonly accepted definition of Atheism excludes Agnosticism, then we can continue with our debate.
    You fail to understand. The scientific position, materialism, is the agnostic position and makes up the highest percentage of atheists. Only calling those who actively disbelieve 'atheists' is like calling only Muslims 'theists'. Why would you exclude the others?

    You are simply using the words incorrectly. If you want to make that distinction use the term "strong atheism" which is disbelief as opposed to "weak atheism" which is lack of belief. Here are some scholarly opinions for you to consider. From this link: http://atheism.about.com/od/definiti...sts_modern.htm

    A few contemporary atheists restrict the definition of atheism to just the sense of 'strong' atheism, but most do not. Most have, instead, pointed out the difference between 'weak' atheism and 'strong' atheism, arguing that the former is the broader and more commonly found form of atheism. Included here are quotes and definitions from nonbelievers from the latter part of the 20th century and later.

    A former fundamentalist preacher who has become an activist for atheism, freethought, and the separation of church and state. He wrote in his 1992 book Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist that,

    It turns out that the word atheism means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism [...] Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god — both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter [...].




    B.C. Johnson:
    The author of The Atheist Debater's Handbook, Johnson explains why the theist has the initial burden of proof in any argument by explaining that, "The atheist, for his part, does not necessarily offer an explanation; he simply does not accept the theist's explanation. Therefore, the atheist need only demonstrate that the theist has failed to justify his position."




    Antony G. N. Flew:
    An atheist philosopher from Britain, Flew has written quite a lot on the nature of atheism and theism. In his 1984 book God, Freedom and Immortality, he said that

    The word 'atheism,' however, has in this contention to be construed unusually. Whereas nowadays the usual meaning of 'atheist' in English is 'someone who asserts there is no such being as God,' I want the word to be understood not positively but negatively. I want the originally Greek prefix 'a' to be read in the same way in 'atheist' as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as 'amoral,' 'atypical,' and 'asymmetrical'. In this interpretation an atheist becomes: someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.



    Valerii A. Kuvakin:
    Professor and chair of the Department of Russian Philosophy at Moscow State University, Kuvakin writes in his book In Search of our Humanity:

    Atheism ... goes back to the Ancient Greek (a — a negative prefix, theos — god), evidencing the antiquity of the outlook of those who saw no presence of God (or gods) in their everyday lives, or who even denied the very existence of God (or gods). There are different types of atheism, but atheism in one form or another has existed in every civilization.

    [T]he concept "atheist" partially coincides with such notions as "skeptic," "agnostic," and "rationalist" and it borders with such notions as "anticlerical," "God fighter" (theomachist), and "God abuser" (blasphemer).

    It is wrong to identify an atheist as one who denies God, though this is what opponents of atheism usually claim. If such people exist, it would probably be more correct to call them the "verbal" murderers of God, for the prefix a- means denying as elimination. ... I would like to stress that the prefix a- does not necessarily mean rejection. It can mean "absence of." For example, "apathy" means "absence of passion." Thus, the concept "atheist" does not necessarily mean nihilism.



    I hope I have made my case. The atheist does not need to support his position and can stand on his rejection of the theist position, as I stated in the beginning.
    Last edited by PerVirtuous; September 8th, 2008 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  7. #207
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Agnostic= from greek a, without, and gnosis, knowledge.

    If agnosticism is a sub-set of atheism, then agnostic is a misnomer. Theism and atheism deal with beliefs, agnosticism with knowledge. If I believe there is something out there, prime mover, force of nature (well, physical universe), don't know what, but something, and I make no claims to said force's "intelligence" or lack there of... but I don't call it god. That doesn't make me an atheist, although I do not profess a belief in a "god" as is described by any religion.

    By the supplied definition, all people who have ever existed are agnostic, theists and atheists alike. Who has actual knowledge? When you say "I know" to anything, you are professing a belief. I know I was born in Traverse City, MI... however, I can't recall the day specifically. I believe I was born there, because I have no reason to believe a huge conspiracy involving my parents, the hospital that printed my birth certificate, the state that archives the records of it, and the doctor who delivered me who then was my pediatrician until I was 10 (of which I have a memory), all decided to lie to me.

    I say "I know" I was born there, but I don't have a recollection of it. But, do I really know it to be true, in the fundamental sense?

    I suppose theism and atheism are actually subsets of agnosticism themselves, as neither side can "know" until all evidence in existence is revealed, and known to be all inclusive, without the chance new evidence ever existing.

    While I don't believe in a god they way you do, or maybe anyone else, but I don't not believe in a god either. Just by saying "I do not know" is not a concession that I don't have any belief on the matter, one way or the other.

    In order to say agnosticism is a sub-set of atheism, we have to conclude there is only one model for what you consider to be "god," and you have to believe in it (theistic) or not believe in it (atheistic).

    Really, it's splitting hairs. I will continue to call myself an agnostic, and will refute claims to being an atheist. I will persevere in my quest to right the wrongs of language injustice!
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Agnostic= from greek a, without, and gnosis, knowledge.

    If agnosticism is a sub-set of atheism, then agnostic is a misnomer. Theism and atheism deal with beliefs, agnosticism with knowledge. If I believe there is something out there, prime mover, force of nature (well, physical universe), don't know what, but something, and I make no claims to said force's "intelligence" or lack there of... but I don't call it god. That doesn't make me an atheist, although I do not profess a belief in a "god" as is described by any religion.

    All knowledge, according to skeptics, is belief. The question is not do people believe anything, but do they believe in a named creator. If the answer is not yes, they are atheists.


    By the supplied definition, all people who have ever existed are agnostic, theists and atheists alike. Who has actual knowledge? When you say "I know" to anything, you are professing a belief. I know I was born in Traverse City, MI... however, I can't recall the day specifically. I believe I was born there, because I have no reason to believe a huge conspiracy involving my parents, the hospital that printed my birth certificate, the state that archives the records of it, and the doctor who delivered me who then was my pediatrician until I was 10 (of which I have a memory), all decided to lie to me.
    Theists believe. Agnostics want to know. Belief is not enough for them. That is why they are non-believers. The problem is one of equivocation. In the context of "belief in God" belief has one meaning. It means a faith in a doctrine. Then there is knowledge. This is belief in what our senses tell us. It is not the same thing. Just because the word "belief" is used twice does not mean the word had the same context both times. Once it means a faith based religion and another time it means trusting your own judgment.

    I say "I know" I was born there, but I don't have a recollection of it. But, do I really know it to be true, in the fundamental sense?
    No. All knowledge is belief in the most rudimentary sense.

    I suppose theism and atheism are actually subsets of agnosticism themselves, as neither side can "know" until all evidence in existence is revealed, and known to be all inclusive, without the chance new evidence ever existing.
    But this is the atherist position, not the theist position.

    While I don't believe in a god they way you do, or maybe anyone else, but I don't not believe in a god either. Just by saying "I do not know" is not a concession that I don't have any belief on the matter, one way or the other.
    Then one without belief is, by definition an atheist. You are an agnostic as well, but still an atheist.


    In order to say agnosticism is a sub-set of atheism, we have to conclude there is only one model for what you consider to be "god," and you have to believe in it (theistic) or not believe in it (atheistic).
    The "God" can take many forms or manifestations. both subsets are huge.



    Really, it's splitting hairs. I will continue to call myself an agnostic, and will refute claims to being an atheist. I will persevere in my quest to right the wrongs of language injustice!
    That is like saying you refuse to be considered dead or alive. There is no third category. You live or you don't.
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  9. #209
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Now I'm having an identity crisis.

    What the hell am I?

    I believe in something, but I just don't know what it is. The Universe? Is that a named god? Science? Is that a named god? The Flying Speghetti Monster? Is that a named god?

    What is a "named god" exactly, and how does one rule out a "not-named god."

    Is the theist position professing a belief specifically in an intelligent, personal, reasoning deity, or maybe something even more specific than that? Can I say "I believe in god, and am a theist, but I believe that god to be the universe. The universe itself is god, and we are all a part of it."? What did I just do right there?

    I'm seriously asking this. Not out of a personality crisis or anything, but I really want to know specifically what it means to "have a belief in god." I find sarcasm helps me find my inner-Devil's advocate, so that's why I type like this.
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Now I'm having an identity crisis.

    What the hell am I?

    I believe in something, but I just don't know what it is. The Universe? Is that a named god? Science? Is that a named god? The Flying Speghetti Monster? Is that a named god?

    What is a "named god" exactly, and how does one rule out a "not-named god."

    Is the theist position professing a belief specifically in an intelligent, personal, reasoning deity, or maybe something even more specific than that? Can I say "I believe in god, and am a theist, but I believe that god to be the universe. The universe itself is god, and we are all a part of it."? What did I just do right there?

    I'm seriously asking this. Not out of a personality crisis or anything, but I really want to know specifically what it means to "have a belief in god." I find sarcasm helps me find my inner-Devil's advocate, so that's why I type like this.
    You are just being silly now.



    Main Entry:
    god
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈgäd also ˈgȯd\
    Function:
    noun
    Etymology:
    Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
    Date:
    before 12th century

    1capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.

    Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind

    2: a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality

    3: a person or thing of supreme value

    4: a powerful ruler



    The definition of God that a theist uses is; 'Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.' The universe itself is not God, because it was created by God.

    theism Definition

    the·ism (t̸hē′iz′əm)

    noun

    1. belief in a god or gods
    2. belief in one God; monotheism
    3. belief in one God viewed as creator and ruler of the universe and known by revelation


    You have not demonstrated the necessary belief to be a theist.


    I believe in something, but I just don't know what it is.


    be·lief (bə lēf′, bē-)

    noun

    1. the state of believing; conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real
    2. faith, esp. religious faith
    3. trust or confidence; "I have belief in his ability"
    4. anything believed or accepted as true; esp., a creed, doctrine, or tenet
    5. an opinion; expectation; judgment my belief is that he'll come


    In the context of the above quote, you are using the 5th definition of 'believe'. This is not the same definition of 'believe' that a theist uses. One cannot say, "...I don't know what it is." and call that conviction. The theist has a religious belief, faith. One can not have faith in ,"I don't know what it is." Therefore, your argument is one of equivocation. The "belief" that atheists have is a different definition of the word than the "belief" that theists have. It is two different words.

    You are an atheist. A non-believer. All that is required to be a non-believer is a tinge of doubt. The materialist, therefore, only ever uses the word 'belief' to reference his opinions and not his faith, as he has none.


    Let's try to make this really simple. X represents the belief in God.

    Theist Position: X is true. They have unshakable faith that X is true.

    Atheist positions: X is false or unproven The requirement of proof as opposed to faith makes one an atheist. All positions that do not accept the claim X is true on faith alone are atheists. That is the definition of the word.

    The agnostic position; X is unknown is not the position X is true. It is, therefore, an atheist position. All positions that do not claim X is true. are atheist positions. Agnosticism is a subset of atheism.

    Just because we have a bunch of people running around claiming that "There is no God." and calling themselves atheists does not prove that all atheists think like they do any more than the Christians claiming there is a God means all theists are Christian.
    Last edited by PerVirtuous; September 9th, 2008 at 04:29 AM.
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  11. #211
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    I'm not trying to be silly, it's just an attitude I develop to try to see what the other side is trying to say.

    I get what you're saying. X=1, and it you aren't x, then you aren't 1.

    What I am trying to say is that in order to say someone definitively believes in god (x) or not depends on their view of what god is or entails. For example:

    I believe the universe to fit the idea of "god."

    1.
    1capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.
    The universe is the supreme or ultimate reality, as it encompasses everything. It is a being (as it doesn't not exist) perfect in power (as nothing compares to it... it is everything), wisdom (as all things that can be known are known in it, and through it,), and can in fact be worshiped as creator of itself. For some clarity on the term "worship":

    wor·ship Audio Help /ˈwɜrʃɪp/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[wur-ship] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -shiped, -ship·ing or (especially British) -shipped, -ship·ping.
    –noun
    1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
    2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
    3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
    4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.
    5. (initial capital letter) British. a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually prec. by Your, His, or Her).
    –verb (used with object)
    6. to render religious reverence and homage to.
    7. to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
    –verb (used without object)
    8. to render religious reverence and homage, as to a deity.
    9. to attend services of divine worship.
    10. to feel an adoring reverence or regard.
    Reverent honor or homage can be paid by following it's laws, the Laws of Physics. I'll go one further and say that reverence can be paid to it merely by being alive. You are at once following it's laws and doing "it's purpose" if you can call it that, and whatever that may be, by existing.

    2.
    2: a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
    A being (it exists, so I say it could be called a "being") or an object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers. It's not natural for me to say "gravity OFF" and look! You're floating! It would be supernatural. I claim the universe did just that, by saying "gravity ON". The act of setting the laws of nature in motion is in itself supernatural, as the ability to do that is "beyond" nature. The laws of nature, or the physical universe to be more specific, require that we follow them. By being alive and not flying through the air by thought alone, you are worshiping the universe. The universe controls ALL aspects and parts of reality, as you can't do anything not in the universe.

    3.
    3: a person or thing of supreme value
    Since you and I and everyone else on ODN, their kids, their homes, the beach, sunsets, beer, and boobs are all in the universe, I would say the universe is a thing of supreme value. It's literally "all we have."

    4.
    4: a powerful ruler
    Go ahead and break the laws of the universe, and I'll concede that the universe is not a powerful ruler.

    So, by the definitions supplied by you, I feel I have made the case that the Universe itself is god. Not a personal, deified, caring, savior-esque, pray towards Mecca 5 times a day god, but a god by definition none the less.

    By my interpretation, doesn't that make everyone a theist by default? Unless you don't believe that you, or anything else, exists...

    I don't consider myself a traditional theist, because I don't believe in a cosmic ruler that throws plagues and babies at the earth. I don't consider myself an atheist because I do believe in a higher power of some sort, in something that determined what the rules of the physical universe entail, whether it gave it any "thought" to it or not, even if it was created itself, or always was, or flashed into existence by itself, or was created by something even "higher" that we'll never be able to comprehend as it would have to lie beyond our realm of understanding (existence).

    That thing may be self perpetuating, or not. That thing may have a personality, or not. That thing may have a sense of humor, or not. I don't know, nor do I really care.

    I guess I still don't understand how one can equivocate a belief in "something," when that something isn't clearly identifiable. I believe in the Universe, I believe in existence, therefore, I am a theist. An agnostic one at that, for I only believe- I do not know.
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    [Edited By Mod]
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    It's fun debate, though. I had fun writing that post. Did I make any sense with it? I'm still kind of new at this structured debate thing.
    Do not take Zhav too seriously. He didn't understand that other argument and couldn't win it there so he takes pot shots everywhere he can. He is devoid of principle and refuses to debate using support. He just states what he thinks as facts and expects everyone to believe it or he runs away.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I'm not trying to be silly, it's just an attitude I develop to try to see what the other side is trying to say.

    I get what you're saying. X=1, and it you aren't x, then you aren't 1.

    What I am trying to say is that in order to say someone definitively believes in god (x) or not depends on their view of what god is or entails. For example:

    I believe the universe to fit the idea of "god."

    1.

    The universe is the supreme or ultimate reality, as it encompasses everything. It is a being (as it doesn't not exist) perfect in power (as nothing compares to it... it is everything), wisdom (as all things that can be known are known in it, and through it,), and can in fact be worshiped as creator of itself. For some clarity on the term "worship":



    Reverent honor or homage can be paid by following it's laws, the Laws of Physics. I'll go one further and say that reverence can be paid to it merely by being alive. You are at once following it's laws and doing "it's purpose" if you can call it that, and whatever that may be, by existing.

    2.

    A being (it exists, so I say it could be called a "being") or an object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers. It's not natural for me to say "gravity OFF" and look! You're floating! It would be supernatural. I claim the universe did just that, by saying "gravity ON". The act of setting the laws of nature in motion is in itself supernatural, as the ability to do that is "beyond" nature. The laws of nature, or the physical universe to be more specific, require that we follow them. By being alive and not flying through the air by thought alone, you are worshiping the universe. The universe controls ALL aspects and parts of reality, as you can't do anything not in the universe.

    3.

    Since you and I and everyone else on ODN, their kids, their homes, the beach, sunsets, beer, and boobs are all in the universe, I would say the universe is a thing of supreme value. It's literally "all we have."

    4.

    Go ahead and break the laws of the universe, and I'll concede that the universe is not a powerful ruler.

    So, by the definitions supplied by you, I feel I have made the case that the Universe itself is god. Not a personal, deified, caring, savior-esque, pray towards Mecca 5 times a day god, but a god by definition none the less.

    By my interpretation, doesn't that make everyone a theist by default? Unless you don't believe that you, or anything else, exists...

    I don't consider myself a traditional theist, because I don't believe in a cosmic ruler that throws plagues and babies at the earth. I don't consider myself an atheist because I do believe in a higher power of some sort, in something that determined what the rules of the physical universe entail, whether it gave it any "thought" to it or not, even if it was created itself, or always was, or flashed into existence by itself, or was created by something even "higher" that we'll never be able to comprehend as it would have to lie beyond our realm of understanding (existence).

    That thing may be self perpetuating, or not. That thing may have a personality, or not. That thing may have a sense of humor, or not. I don't know, nor do I really care.

    I guess I still don't understand how one can equivocate a belief in "something," when that something isn't clearly identifiable. I believe in the Universe, I believe in existence, therefore, I am a theist. An agnostic one at that, for I only believe- I do not know.

    This is a good attempt, however, it relies on the fallacy of equivocation once again. It is all right there in the last paragraph.

    I believe in the Universe, I believe in existence, therefore, I am a theist.
    No. The use of the word believe in this context means you assess it to be true. It does not mean that you have unshakable faith, specifically unshakable religious faith.



    An agnostic one at that, for I only believe- I do not know.
    The theist considers his faith knowledge. To him, it is a fact that God exists, not just an opinion derived from his assessments. He is a believer. You are not a believer, or you would refrain from saying, "I do not know".

    A theist considers his belief knowledge. He has no room for doubts or proofs. His decision is made and it is final. That is why he is a believer and you are not. You are a doubter who wants proof. If you want proof, you are an atheist. Theists don't need proof as they have belief.
    Last edited by ladyphoenix; September 10th, 2008 at 05:07 AM. Reason: Edited to remove flame and reference to spam
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  13. #213
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by PerVirtuous View Post
    The theist considers his faith knowledge. To him, it is a fact that God exists, not just an opinion derived from his assessments. He is a believer. You are not a believer, or you would refrain from saying, "I do not know".

    A theist considers his belief knowledge. He has no room for doubts or proofs. His decision is made and it is final. That is why he is a believer and you are not. You are a doubter who wants proof. If you want proof, you are an atheist. Theists don't need proof as they have belief.
    I believe in the Universe. I believe the Universe exists. I believe the Universe is God. My idea of god may not equal a traditional theists interpretation of god, but then again, you'd be hard pressed to find consensus among theists of different religions about their idea of god.

    Is a Muslim an atheist? Is a Buddhist an atheist? Is a Pagan an atheist? If you answer no to these, then neither am I.

    My faith in the Universe as God is unshakable. I believe it without knowing it, but I don't believe you will be able to convince me otherwise, therefore, it is practical knowledge that I posses. Unswerving, undoubting knowledge, based on my belief.

    By your first string of definitions, and by your definitions in this post, I am a theist.

    Unless you define exactly what it is that constitutes "God," my claim to theism is justified. It's just not your god that I believe in.

    Good luck finding a definitive approach to explain God (for the basis of comparing belief to non-belief, not the existence of said god) and not have it thrashed within one post.
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I believe in the Universe. I believe the Universe exists. I believe the Universe is God. My idea of god may not equal a traditional theists interpretation of god, but then again, you'd be hard pressed to find consensus among theists of different religions about their idea of god.

    Is a Muslim an atheist? Is a Buddhist an atheist? Is a Pagan an atheist? If you answer no to these, then neither am I.

    My faith in the Universe as God is unshakable. I believe it without knowing it, but I don't believe you will be able to convince me otherwise, therefore, it is practical knowledge that I posses. Unswerving, undoubting knowledge, based on my belief.
    equiv·o·cate
    Pronunciation:
    \i-ˈkwi-və-ˌkāt\
    Function:
    intransitive verb
    Inflected Form(s):
    equiv·o·cat·ed; equiv·o·cat·ing
    Date:
    1590

    1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
    2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says



    You are using equivocation once again. "...I don't believe you will be able to convince me" This is a different use of the word believe. You change the word to mean what you want each time you say it, yet logically expect it to mean the same in your proofs you offer. In order for your argument to work your uses of the word believe must match. Calling the universe "God" is simply a new interpretation of the word "God". If you want to be a theist, by all means be one. It simply means you have chosen to believe on faith and are no longer an agnostic atheist.

    By your first string of definitions, and by your definitions in this post, I am a theist.

    Unless you define exactly what it is that constitutes "God," my claim to theism is justified. It's just not your god that I believe in.
    If you want to play word games and redefine "God" that is your business. It does not change the fact that the position of "I don't know" which you are now refusing by accepting on belief that the universe is God, is still an atheist position. Redefining your own personal beliefs simply makes you a theist and in no way alters the arguments pur forth. It simply means you made a personal decision that differs from agnosticism and atheism.

    Good luck finding a definitive approach to explain God (for the basis of comparing belief to non-belief, not the existence of said god) and not have it thrashed within one post.
    I don't have to. I am defining the position of atheist. You have claimed you have a belief in God, therefore, your personal views no longer concern this argument. It is about the atheists supporting their views.
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    I also claim that the Universe encompasses all of existence, and as "Universe as God" is a valid theist position, I claim that there are no atheists (unless, of course, someone doesn't believe in themselves or anything else).

    You can be as deceptive with language as you want, to say that I do not believe in god without stipulation of what God can definitively entail. I am not equivocating (1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
    2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says) by defining a concept of god on my own terms. I am not deceiving anyone by saying I believe something, a higher power if you will, that I don't know for sure exists about.

    That was pretty deceptive on your part, if you really look at it. You said a theist's belief equates to knowledge, as they believe it to be true, completely disregarding what "knowledge" means.

    Who was the one equivocating?
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I also claim that the Universe encompasses all of existence, and as "Universe as God" is a valid theist position, I claim that there are no atheists (unless, of course, someone doesn't believe in themselves or anything else).

    You can be as deceptive with language as you want, to say that I do not believe in god without stipulation of what God can definitively entail. I am not equivocating (1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
    2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says) by defining a concept of god on my own terms. I am not deceiving anyone by saying I believe something, a higher power if you will, that I don't know for sure exists about.

    That was pretty deceptive on your part, if you really look at it. You said a theist's belief equates to knowledge, as they believe it to be true, completely disregarding what "knowledge" means.

    Who was the one equivocating?
    You said this:


    My faith in the Universe as God is unshakable. I believe it without knowing it...



    and this:

    I am not deceiving anyone by saying I believe something, a higher power if you will, that I don't know for sure exists about.



    It is impossible to have unshakable faith in something you do not know for sure exists. That is equivocation. You are claiming two vastly differing positions at once. You cannot hold both positions. Either you have unshakable faith or you don't know. It is impossible to do both.

    That was pretty deceptive on your part, if you really look at it. You said a theist's belief equates to knowledge, as they believe it to be true, completely disregarding what "knowledge" means.

    No. It is deceptive on the theist's part to consider belief knowledge. They do not care. Their belief tells them that it is knowledge and they accept this without needing proof. They are believers. They do not need proof to consider the answers known. That is the very definition of believer.

    You then take the other definition of belief, that something makes logical sense to you, and substitute that form of belief as if it means the same thing as when a theist believes. It does not. One belief is a life-altering decision upon which all other thoughts are based. The other is an opinion that you consider makes sense. Not the same thing.

    The problem is that the term agnostic has nothing to do with belief. Theist and atheist are terms that relate only to belief or lack thereof. Agnostic is a term that relates to knowledge or lack thereof. It is like claiming there are three political parties, Democrat, Republican, and vegetarian. It makes no sense. Vegetarian is not a political party. You could get some vegetarians together to form such a party, but then the word would be used differently. The word Vegetarian would then mean those specific people who formed the party and not the general group of people who eat no meat. To continue to use the word to mean both things would be equivocation.

    So, there are not three differing beliefs regarding the existence of God. You either believe or you do not. The agnostic's claim to belief is knowledge based, and therefore, not the same definition of belief. To confuse the definitions is equivocation.
    Last edited by PerVirtuous; September 10th, 2008 at 01:53 AM.
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    I can so have an unshakable belief in something I have no "knowledge" of. I have never been to the moon... I have never been out of the atmosphere, but I believe the moon is up there. It makes sense. You will never be able to convince me that the moon isn't a round object 1/6th the size of the earth and orbits the earth influencing tides. I can only look up and see a round, 2d disc that moves in the sky, but I'm pretty certain that it's a ball.

    Yours is a belief without knowledge. An atheists belief is a belief without knowledge. My belief is a belief without knowledge.

    So, tell me, what exactly is God?
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I can so have an unshakable belief in something I have no "knowledge" of. I have never been to the moon... I have never been out of the atmosphere, but I believe the moon is up there. It makes sense. You will never be able to convince me that the moon isn't a round object 1/6th the size of the earth and orbits the earth influencing tides. I can only look up and see a round, 2d disc that moves in the sky, but I'm pretty certain that it's a ball.
    That is fact based belief, or knowledge. It has nothing to do with the theist/atheist argument. Belief in factual observation does not mean the same thing as belief in the context of an unprovable religious doctrine. It is the old apples/oranges metaphor.



    Yours is a belief without knowledge. An atheists belief is a belief without knowledge. My belief is a belief without knowledge.
    This is complete equivocation. You just said, "It makes sense. You will never be able to convince me that the moon isn't a round object 1/6th the size of the earth and orbits the earth influencing tides. I can only look up and see a round, 2d disc that moves in the sky, but I'm pretty certain that it's a ball."

    By listing supporting information, it is no longer the belief of a theist, as it is a supported argument and "belief" in that context is belief based upon data. The belief required to be a theist is one that requires no data. You are confusing belief in knowledge with belief in faith.

    So, tell me, what exactly is God?
    Why? That is the theist's job, not mine. I am simply defining the difference between theist and atheist which is based upon their belief or lack thereof in the context of religious faith. You simply keep trying to confuse that belief in faith with belief in knowledge, which is not the same definition of belief.

    You act like I am changing the terminology. This is simply not true. The terms mean exactly what I say they do. I have included the definitions as well as scholarly writings supporting the definitions. All you have done is to try to find a way to redefine "God" and "belief" so that you can stretch the definitions beyond recognition. This does not really make an argument.

    Now you want me to tell you what God is. OK.

    From Webster's:


    Main Entry:
    god
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈgäd also ˈgȯd\
    Function:
    noun
    Etymology:
    Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
    Date:
    before 12th century

    1capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe bChristian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind 2: a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality3: a person or thing of supreme value4: a powerful ruler


    Definitions 3 and 4 are not the proper definitions for debating Theism.
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  19. #219
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    I already used all four definitions to define the Universe as god.

    I really hate to say this, as the debate has been pretty civil so far, but it appears Zhav was right. I don't think there's any point going back and forth with you, as it's really just splitting hairs on both sides.

    I am stepping out, sadly unconvinced.
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    Re: Evidence for Atheism

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I already used all four definitions to define the Universe as god.
    Then you can be a theist. How does that change anything except what you believe? You did not PROVE the universe was God. You said you BELIEVED the universe was God. What, if anything, does that prove in the context of the argument.

    I don't think there's any point going back and forth with you, as it's really just splitting hairs on both sides.

    I am stepping out, sadly unconvinced.
    Unconvinced of what? All I have ever claimed is that one does not have to make any claim whatever to be an atheist. If one simply rejects all claims, one is an atheist. I never really understood what point you were trying to make.

    The true agnostic view is: "I only believe that which I can prove." Meaning they take nothing on blind faith. That is also an atheist position. They use the term believe to mean the same as know, to be proven. Therefore, they are not believers in faith and not theists.

    It is entirely possible to have convoluted religious views. If you think the universe is God, then you are a theist. All it requires is belief in God. If you then say you don't know but you believe and you are an agnostic. Then you simply are confusing your terminology.
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