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Old 12-18-2011, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,500,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Whereas agnostics consider this sort of absolute position to be just as absurd and unsupportable
(asserting a negative) as the underlying assertions within any of the various religions are.
And those agnostics don't understand what the position of most atheists are.

One can be considered an atheist if one holds either of these two positions:
1) Making the positive assertion that there is no god; or
2) Simply believing that in all likelihood there is no god.

Do you see the difference? The first is declaring something that cannot be known. No one can prove there is no god. There in fact could be a god, out there somewhere. Fairies might exist too, but we have just never seen them. The vast majority of atheists do not hold position number 1. They are smart enough to know that it cannot be known that there is no god. This is why the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) and the Invisible Pink Unicorn (IPU) were invented, to show that like god, it is impossible to prove and thus completely rule out the non-existence of the FSM and IPU.

So, since the vast majority of atheists don't hold position number 1, it is a strawman logical error to try to discredit atheism on that basis.

The vast majority of atheists hold stance number 2. While acknowledging that the non-existence of god cannot be known for a certain fact, they really don't believe there is a god. Similarly, we can't prove the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist, but we really don't think it does. This position is reasonable and entirely defensible.

From dictionary.com:
Quote:
atheism:

1.
the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:25 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,538 posts, read 62,270,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
One can be considered an atheist if one holds either of these two positions:
1) Making the positive assertion that there is no god...
Do you see the difference?
What I see is an attempt at something akin to a clumsy double negative.
Positively assert a negative position?

hth

Last edited by MrRational; 12-18-2011 at 07:36 AM..
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:36 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,026,515 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post

Quote:
One can be considered an atheist if one holds either of these two positions:
1) Making the positive assertion that there is no god...
Do you see the difference?
What I see is an attempt at something akin to a clumsy double negative.
Positively assert a negative position?

hth
Akin to a clumsy double negative? Where did you come up with that? And what do you not "get" about someone explicitly stating that there is no god?
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:16 AM
 
16,611 posts, read 14,094,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EyesWideOpen219 View Post
Ok to start this is not an attack on athiests or anyone for that matter so lets try and keep it polite

Iv always kinda assumed that athiest's generally believe in nothing, not only when it comes to god but also aliens and life exhisting in the universe but the more i think about it im sure thats not the case, so my question is to the athiests, what exactly are your beliefs when it comes to god and aliens etc..do you believe in one and not the other or niether?
Belief implies faith, so you are correct I do not believe in very many things.

Now for "aliens". First, not the correct term but ignoring that I would leave room for the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Until there is some direct evidence tho, no, not something I am going to assume exists.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:50 AM
 
31 posts, read 27,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe90 View Post
I wouldn't regard them as useless points. They are useful points.
i see like them u made your comment and never actual contributed to the question....birds of a feather i guess
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:02 PM
 
39,203 posts, read 10,880,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
Being an atheist does not preclude one from believing in the supernatural in general....just not gods. Atheists can believe in all sorts of off the wall things such as ghosts, big foot, aliens, reincarnation, esp, etc. For example, many buddhists are atheists, and they believe in reincarnation. I have a family member (an uncle) who is a lifelong atheist, but believed in ghosts up until a few years ago (and he is 67).
This is correct. While the rationale which atheists apply to god - beliefs is the same rationale that one would expect them to apply to everything else - including the claims for ghosts, the Loch Ness monster and UFO's, atheism is simply a logical non - belief based on a critical rationale as applied to god - claims.

While it's true that many atheists don't reason it out that far and simply look at it and can't believe it, those who do find that the lack of sound evidence holds up and in fact gets more lacking the deeper one looks.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,311 posts, read 11,237,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
Being an atheist does not preclude one from believing in the supernatural in general....just not gods. Atheists can believe in all sorts of off the wall things such as ghosts, big foot, aliens, reincarnation, esp, etc. For example, many buddhists are atheists, and they believe in reincarnation. I have a family member (an uncle) who is a lifelong atheist, but believed in ghosts up until a few years ago (and he is 67).
You're right, it doesn't preclude it. Still, you'd have to be pretty softheaded to reject any claims of god for lack of evidence but still believe in ghosts or reincarnation.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:40 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,026,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
You're right, it doesn't preclude it. Still, you'd have to be pretty softheaded to reject any claims of god for lack of evidence but still believe in ghosts or reincarnation.
How many people do you know that came to believe in god based on a personal experience which convinced them of His existence? I personally know many. Who's to say that if I ever had a personal experience that it would not convince me? Right now, that has not happened, but I am always open to the possibility. I lack belief because I have not found any convincing evidence which has led me to cross the threshold to belief.

The same goes for any such thing as ghosts, reincarnation, etc. For example, my uncle (an atheist) believed in ghosts/spirits he said up until a few years ago. His belief was based on two experiences he had which made him believe in ghosts/spirits. He later chalked it up to his mind playing tricks on him because his desire to see his sister again was so strong that he was convinced that he was visited by her (she had died when he was 9 years old).

My uncle believed in spirits due to a personal experience- similar to the claims of some theists with what they perceive to be a personal experience of god. As atheists, we believe that others believe in god. We just are not convinced to believe in god ourselves based on their "personal" experience. If I had a personal experience of god which was convincing to me, then I could very well believe in gods too. But as of now, that has not happened.

It does not necessarily boil down to dependence on scientific evidence (or the lack thereof), as the determining factor as to why someone remains without belief.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,379,377 times
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Default All nonsense, right from the Git-Go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Atheists don't believe in god(s). There are no other beliefs that could be considered "atheist". Atheism doesn't have a stance on aliens, or really anything other than not believing in god(s). Individual atheists have their own differing beliefs and opinions on everything else.
And yet... this statement ["Individual atheists have their own differing beliefs and opinions on everything else."] seems to fly right over the heads of so many theists, since in their world, they have to denigrate all atheists.

"They believe in Nothing????"

NOTHING? Not even in gravity, the Scientific Method, the time schedule for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, my mother's birthday, and so on? NOTHING?

What The Frick is that about?

OK then: Lemmee see: All Christians believe in Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny. All Christians all believe in ghosts. All Christians believe in counting Rosary Beads. All Christians believe ........

Right?
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,311 posts, read 11,237,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
How many people do you know that came to believe in god based on a personal experience which convinced them of His existence? I personally know many. Who's to say that if I ever had a personal experience that it would not convince me?
None that I know of. It's pretty much people who had it drilled into them in their childhood and never thought about it enough to reject what they'd been told.

Personal experience is among the worst reasons to believe in any factual proposition.
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