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  1. #161
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    NO...it is not...and your link did not work, futureboy.

    And some would refer to them as being strongly atheistic with regard to that specific deity. Sorry.
    Don't be sorry. Anyone can be wrong.

    Dude, you literally just said that you can't have a rational discussion with me because you thought I was trying to re-define strong atheism. So, the actual content of the discussion I was forwarding was irrelevant to you just because you disagreed with my use of the term.
    Dude, I am telling you that if you are going to re-define "strong atheist" there is no way I can discuss this topic with you rationally.

    Not everyone here is going to re-define "strong atheist."

    First of all, your original remark in post # 88 made absolutely no reference to strong atheism.
    No it didn't. It said exactly what I intended to say. I stand by my remarks there.


    Second, my response to you in post # 148 didn't refer to strong atheism in any way either, and specifically brought up issues surrounding beliefs and the nature of beliefs vs. evidence, in general. Your response to that completely ignored the statements I made regarding beliefs vs evidence.
    Bottom line..."strong atheism" is defined as an assertion or belief that no gods exists.

    Deal with that.

    So while I understand that you now say your post # 88 was intended to refer to only strong atheists as commonly defined, my very first response to it had already introduced other topics related to the question of beliefs vs. evidence based on the statements you made referring to atheists in general, and not specifically strong atheists. I get that you wanted to clarify that post # 88 was about strong atheists, but in doing so you have completely ignored any further discussion about the topics introduced afterwards and the questions posed to you.
    Here is what I am saying: If an atheist asserts a "belief" that there are no gods...that "belief" is no more "rationally justified" than a theistic "belief" that a particular god exists.

    Like I said, please re-read my posts. If you want to continue the discussion I raised in my very first response to you, you should at least want to/be able to do that in order to understand what I was talking/asking you about.
    If you disagree with anything I have written here...tell me why you disagree and we can discuss it.

    I'm sorry, Frank, but the way in which you have ignored not only the general direction of the discussion I've been trying to have with you but also specific questions to you, as well as your terse and somewhat dogmatic dismissal of any further considerations of what it means to have strong atheistic positions really makes it seem like you're just out to bicker. Again, not everyone is out to argue with you.
    If you disagree with anything I have written here, futureboy, tell me why you disagree and we can discuss it.

    I suspect it might be better to pick one specific thing...and discuss that until we resolve it...and then move on to something else.

    I would choose the definition of "strong atheist" if I were you.

  2. #162
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    NO...it is not...and your link did not work, futureboy. Don't be sorry. Anyone can be wrong.
    I'm again sorry you're being so stubborn with this, but you said that the term isn't used as I described, and I simply provided you with an example where it is actually used in that way. The link works fine for me, but here is the text:
    Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    No it didn't. It said exactly what I intended to say. I stand by my remarks there.
    Again, in post 88 you refer to atheists in general using the term "atheists". You later clarified (twice) that your post refers only to strong atheists. Now you're saying that you said exactly what you intended to say, meaning your statements in post 88 are about atheists in general?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Bottom line..."strong atheism" is defined as an assertion or belief that no gods exists. Deal with that.
    I have - I've provided an example explaining the somewhat deeper considerations of the different types of theists with regard to how they reject claims and assert their antithesis. But again, the question about strong atheists is somewhat pointless and this is all really irrelevant to the further discussion I attempted to promote with my very first response to you, which you still seem to be ignoring. As I stated earlier, I think a meaningful discussion could be had by exploring the implications of denying the existence of certain deities such as Zeus, while maintaining that strong atheists who also deny the existence of all the other more main-stream deities are being irrational. Where does one draw the line? At what point does it become acceptable to take a strong atheistic stance and deny the existence of a modern deity just like we've long since done with those such as Zeus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Here is what I am saying: If an atheist asserts a "belief" that there are no gods...that "belief" is no more "rationally justified" than a theistic "belief" that a particular god exists.
    Then it's merely an issue of you not expressing yourself clearly, since post 88 makes no reference whatsoever to strong atheists' belief that there are no gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    If you disagree with anything I have written here...tell me why you disagree and we can discuss it.
    Well, at least you're no longer simply assuming incorrectly that I disagree with anything you've written, and are now asking whether that's the case, so I guess some progress there. Again, I'll simply direct you to and ask that you re-read my previous responses to you where I have clearly expressed the ideas I think are worth considering that have nothing to do with pointless bickering about what strong atheism is.

  3. #163
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm again sorry you're being so stubborn with this, but you said that the term isn't used as I described, and I simply provided you with an example where it is actually used in that way. The link works fine for me, but here is the text:
    Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all.
    I tried your link several times...to no avail. The link says something about "Thought.com." I have no idea of what that is and I am not interested in looking it up. But perhaps it is a site that decided to re-define strong atheism.

    Here is a link to Wikipedia that defines it:

    Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negati...sitive_atheism

    That is the only definition I've ever seen used...but whatever.

    Here is my original post. Let's start there...and let's take it sentence to sentence.


    Hi, Futureboy. New here. Gotta get started somewhere...and this was the first thread to catch my eye.
    I cannot imagine you have any problem with sentence number one.

    I agree with your initial premise..."theistic beliefs" truly are not rationally justified.
    I cannot imagine you have any problem with sentence number two.

    Neither, however, are atheistic "beliefs."
    If you have a problem with that...tell me what it is.

    Some atheists assert that they have no "beliefs"...but some do. The "beliefs" of those atheists are as suspect as the "beliefs" of theists.
    Here is the qualifier for that last sentence. I am stating that some atheists assert they have no beliefs. Obviously my previous statement does not apply to them. That previous statement does apply to "...but some do." And I assert that the "beliefs" of the atheists who have "beliefs" are as suspect as the "beliefs" of theists.

    What in the world can you disagree with on that?



    It seems to me to be important to recognize that in the context of "religion"...most, perhaps all, "beliefs" are not rationally justified. They are just "beliefs"...guesses, of a sort, about the true nature of the REALITY of existence.

    Do you agree?
    Okay...deal with this.

  4. #164
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    How does one measure the "weight of a claim?"

    I suspect, what you mean (given the rest of your post) is whether the claim runs counter to pre-existing assumptions, facts, or understanding. I would argue that that doesn't make the claim more weighty, it makes the "against" column larger.
    I see no reason evidence can have "weight" but a claim can't have "weight", but I'm not a word arguer, I argue ideas, so I go with your definition here (unless you are going to be "that guy again .......

    Now, a claim of supernatural something (for instance) has a "larger against column". Are we good so far?



    (actually, it sounds like the "against column" is weighing down the claim
    (just trying to keep a bit of humor in my argumentation)

    ---------- Post added at 05:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Underlying this is an implicit definition of "extraordinary" that says they are claims for which we already have disconfirming evidence. Those claims need strong confirming evidence for sure, not because they are extraordinary fundamentally, but because the positive evidence has negative evidence it needs to outweigh.
    Well, I tried to get away from the term "extraordinary".

    However, I don't believe there has been a documented case of the supernatural so that type of claim would need, as you say " strong confirming evidence for sure, not because they are extraordinary fundamentally, but because the positive evidence has negative evidence it needs to outweigh.",
    Do you agree?

    ---------- Post added at 05:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:08 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    In all of the examples of claims I think would fall into "extraordinary" in Sagan's mind, I can't think of one where the rational skepticism isn't based on pre-existing understanding or evidence, but on the nature of the claim itself.

    I suppose something like, "I met a married bachelor" today might be one because it is internally contradictory, but I think most of what we are talking about are claims that counter something we feel we already know or understand.

    Does that definition make sense? Am I missing something?
    Could you condense this down a bit please?

    ---------- Post added at 05:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:10 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    No, God has confirmed that He is who He says in numerous ways to my mind concerning His Word. Personally, He has also answered prayer and shown me grace and mercy by drawing me to His Spirit. After my father died, I was looking for meaning. I returned to Africa, and I continually had people who believed in God placed in my life - my uncle, my roomie at the place I worked, his friends, other work acquaintances. Then the accident. Then back to Canada. I was skeptical but decided to investigate further. That was over 38 years ago. That is my personal experience that you can doubt, but to me it is real.
    I truly believe you are being sincere and I appreciate your candor.

    The problem here is:
    Let's say I had decided God did exist and I wanted to worship in the manner God has chosen. I narrow my search to Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim. How to decide which is true, since they are mutually exclusive? You have spoken of a personal experience that confirmed your belief. I have actually spoken to Jewish people before, and they often have a similar personal experience that confirms their belief.
    Jews and Muslims were around the time of Christ, and they deny Jesus is God and that he rose from the dead. They have ancient text with prophecy and history as support just as Christians do.
    I realize you believe Christianity's text is stronger. I have read some of the other two religions text as well and submit the are very similar in strength.
    How am I to decide?

  5. #165
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    I tried your link several times...to no avail.
    Frank, I offered you the actual text from the website. It really seems as though sometimes you just scan over what is written and don't invest the time to take it all in...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Here is my original post. Let's start there...and let's take it sentence to sentence.
    I've already responded to your post. Please re-read my posts carefully, and if you'd like to answer the numerous questions I've now asked you or wish to discuss the topics/ideas I've raised further, feel free to do so.

  6. #166
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Quote Originally Posted by frank
    NO...it is not...and your link did not work, futureboy.
    First, I should note that the link did work for me, I think it is function of the way certain browsers truncate the display of links and our really old database.

    Second, the author of the "thoughtco" article does agree with future's definition. But let's be honest, the author is really just a blogger. He has no formal philosophy training that I can tell (he has a "Masters of Arts" but bizarrely doesn't say in what), and makes several fundamental mistakes in his article.

    Rather, we should accept for the purposes of this thread the more mainstream definition provided by Stanford's Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/a...cism/#DefiAthe

    Therefore, in philosophy at least, atheism should be construed as the proposition that God does not exist (or, more broadly, the proposition that there are no gods).





    Quote Originally Posted by Even
    He can’t summarily dismiss my beliefs and the process I went through, when his own experience with faith in science is similar.

    Well he isn't warranted in summarily dismissing your testimony, that is kind of the definition of summarily. Rather, he would need to provide some kind of rationale for why he would dismiss that testimony in order to justify a rejection of the claim.

    But his having done so with the scientific method doesn't really impact that at all, it seems a bit more of a tu quoque fallacy or a two wrongs make a right fallacy. I understand using that (frankly valid) example of him doing the same thing himself as a learning point, but not necessarily as a justification.





    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    I see no reason evidence can have "weight" but a claim can't have "weight", but I'm not a word arguer, I argue ideas,
    I ask because I'm legitimately curious here, I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say a claim has "weight."

    Evidence having weight (ie how much legitimate warrant it adds to a claim) seems intuitively reasonable to me. If you think of a scale with one side being "accept the claim" and the other being "reject the claim" the analogy seems to fit well.

    I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding what it would mean to say claim a has more weight than claim b. Is it something to do with the claim's impact? Sorry, could use a bit more elaboration here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    unless you are going to be "that guy again .......
    It happens sometimes. :-)


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    Now, a claim of supernatural something (for instance) has a "larger against column". Are we good so far?
    Hmm, I'm not quite prepared to accept that that is the case. What specific facts or understandings do we have that would be automatically placed against any claim of the supernatural?

    And to lay some of the cards on the table about that question, I definitely agree that we have some personal accepted philosophies that would make that true, but I think they more fall into that psychology category, rather than warrant category. Take a materialism bias or the semmelweis reflex for example.


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    However, I don't believe there has been a documented case of the supernatural
    Hmm, I think it really depends on what you mean by "documented case" here. If it means a case that everyone agrees was supernatural, sure I'd agree with you, but then we have a hard time agreeing on the moon (https://exemplore.com/misc/Is-the-Mo...ow-Moon-Theory).

    I guess it really is a matter of what we are talking about when we say documented or proven or whatever. There are certainly cases out there of proposed supernatural events with positive evidence in support and evidence against. I would wager that there are a few cases out there where the for evidence outweighs the against evidence if we just assess the case itself. I'm not sure that that makes it proven though.

    And that isn't that odd of a situation. We have a hard time with documenting a lot of what the Romans did. Heck, there were entire empires in the middle east that existed for thousands of years that we have only two or three clay tablets from later periods talking about.

    That doesn't mean we automatically accept them. I think they have to be taken on a case by case basis.



    Quote Originally Posted by Frank
    Could you condense this down a bit please?
    Hopefully.

    I think what Sagan meant by "extraordinary claim" was a claim that went against some set of accepted understandings on his part.

    Take Plato's Cave. The denizens of the cave would have a hard time accepting a claim that the figures they were watching were shadows because they had a large set of accepted understandings about their world.

    Or to take an example Sagan might have appreciated more; take tectonic forces in the Earth's surface (uggh, I can't believe I'm citing WSU as a UW alum ;-) ). When the theory that the continents moved was first proposed it was soundly rejected and (sadly) laughed at. There isn't really anything crazy about the theory or the proposal. Nothing about the claim itself is really that extraordinary.

    What caused that reaction was that there was a large set of existing "facts" and understandings that had to be invalidated. From archeological dating, to biology, to geophysics. There was a large set of scientific understanding based on deductions assuming the continents were more or less static. And a lot of findings supporting that hypothesis.

    IE there were a lot of supporting pieces of evidence to say the theory was wrong. So it took some very strong and conclusive evidence to overcome those pre-existing defenses.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  7. #167
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Various comments addressed to me.
    Not my comments, Squatch.

    I did read them from someone...cannot remember who.

    ---------- Post added at 10:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Frank, I offered you the actual text from the website. It really seems as though sometimes you just scan over what is written and don't invest the time to take it all in...
    As I said...I don't know who that person is, but Squatch seemed to cover that quite nicely in his last post.

    I've already responded to your post. Please re-read my posts carefully, and if you'd like to answer the numerous questions I've now asked you or wish to discuss the topics/ideas I've raised further, feel free to do so.
    I've read them carefully...and I really would prefer to start over so that we are not using a scattergun.

    My point was that "beliefs" whether theistic beliefs or atheistic beliefs are equally suspect (not rationally justified.)

    Not sure how you can think otherwise, but if you do...fine with me.

  8. #168
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    As I said...I don't know who that person is, but Squatch seemed to cover that quite nicely in his last post.
    He also forwarded a definition of atheism which implies that atheism in general means to hold that God doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    I've read them carefully...and I really would prefer to start over so that we are not using a scattergun.
    I stand by my responses and questions. You can quote them specifically and respond to individual parts, if you wish to avoid "scattergun". There is no need to start over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    My point was that "beliefs" whether theistic beliefs or atheistic beliefs are equally suspect (not rationally justified.)
    And since you again don't specify what kind of atheistic beliefs (whether specifically atheists' beliefs about deities or just any atheists' beliefs in general), I refer you to my original response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Not sure how you can think otherwise, but if you do...fine with me.
    Again, I don't understand why you keep implying that I've disagreed with you. If you'd just take the time to read my posts and respond to them, we would be able to have a discussion which wouldn't require that you make such assumptions.

  9. #169
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Apisa View Post
    Not my comments, Squatch.

    I did read them from someone...cannot remember who.
    Ohhh...Haha, yes you are right, I put you in there rather than Belthazor. Sorry.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


 

 
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