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Old 02-10-2014, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Where would this statement fall in the atheism/agnosticism spectrum?

"I see no reason to behave as though there is a god."
I'd call it agnostic atheism where the subject believes a god highly unlikely.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I'd call it agnostic atheism where the subject believes a god highly unlikely.
Niggling.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:29 PM
 
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In the article, Plantinga states "The failure of arguments for God would be good grounds for agnosticism, but not for atheism"


But how then does he justify his own atheistic disbelief in Zeus and Amun-Ra?
Or Fairies and Leprechauns for that matter. All entities he believes with certainty do not exist rather than may/may not exist. And the reason he knows with certainty that Zeus, Amun-Ra, Fairies and Leprechauns do not exist is because 1.)there exists no evidnce of any and 2.) Their existence and traits contradict what he knows about the natural world and how it works.

The existence of Yahweh has not an iota more evidence than the things mentioned above and His traits and feats contradict what we know of how nature actually works every bit as much.

So then, the only reason he can possibly believe in one and not the others is due to childhood brainwashing and sentiment, rather than any sort of rational conclusion.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
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On a more general POV in psychology, how the vast majority view reality is considered normal.

With that said, 90% plus of all humans believe in God or some kind of deity. That would make atheists abnormal.

Perhaps even mentally ill by definition. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The inability to handle the daily tasks of life is what matters. One's belief system is fine as long as you can take care of yourself (do the activities of daily living( ADLs) and are not a danger to one's self or others (CA H&S legal code section 5150).

Last edited by Mr5150; 02-10-2014 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
With that said, 90% plus of all humans believe in God or some kind of deity. That would make atheists abnormal.
I agree. Atheists are abnormal. they are smarter than the 90% that believe in a God.

"The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
Abu Ala Al-Maarri (973-1057)

Cheers,
Aeroman

Last edited by Aeroman; 02-10-2014 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%CA%BFarri
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
On a more general POV in psychology, how the vast majority view reality is considered normal.

With that said, 90% plus of all humans believe in God or some kind of deity. That would make atheists abnormal.
You are confusing "(a)typical" with "(ab)normal".

If normalcy is defined as not believing in invisible beings that control the universe, your friendly neighborhood atheist should be the sanest person on the block.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
One's belief system is fine as long as you can take care of yourself (do the activities of daily living( ADLs) and are not a danger to one's self or others (CA H&S legal code section 5150).
Sometimes we accomplish ADLs in spite of rather than because of some of our beliefs and habits.

Sometimes we credit our beliefs for our success, simply because we can't imagine life without these talismans. I can tell you from personal experience that when life relieves you of your illusions, you discover that you can live without them and even do better because you're not expending energy propping the illusions up, making excuses for them to yourself and others, etc. I suppose some people would find otherwise ... like the drunk who swears off the bottle only to take up overeating or smoking. But one's metaphysics is rather different from that ... because belief is not voluntary. Some things, once known, cannot be unknown.

You do raise an interesting question though, which is if one's illusions seem to work for them, should you leave them undisturbed? I would actually say yes to that question. I argue against popular illusions in this space, but it's a special case. The environment here is specifically set up for debate by interested parties. In the Real World I can't remember the last time I probed anyone's worldview for weaknesses and tried to convince them to think differently. Nor do I remember the last time anyone did that to me. The closest I ever come to that is "being the change I want to see in the world". Alas, a good person doing good works is generally assumed to be godly [sigh].
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroman View Post

"The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
Abu Ala Al-Maarri

Cheers,
Aeroman
What about women?
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:51 PM
 
Location: South Africa
5,563 posts, read 6,325,062 times
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Ad populum ad nausium is the only vestige of reality for the theist. It is the lamest argument as that then has to embrace suicide bombers, the WBC as one of "their own"

The only reason agnostic gets mileage, it does not carry the baggage of atheist and wrongly infers that the agnostic is "unsure". BS, it refers to knowledge of whether a god or gods may exist. I am a staunch atheist and state emphatically that no gods exist at all. I am not one willing to evaluate new evidence as there is none to be had, just the same old lame offerings time and again. Furthermore, if there was a biblegawd and it presented itself to me in 3D, I would crap it out for a lousy job.

The only place gods exist are in people's brains and imagination. Exactly the same where people that have passed on exist (plus a digital footprint these days)
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:00 AM
 
39,227 posts, read 10,905,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I agree that this was not Plantinga's strongest presentation. But in a venue targeted at a lay audience it is virtually impossible to present the kind of arguments that are necessary to reveal the flaws in materialism and atheism. The wimpy emasculation of atheism by pretending it is some watered down lack of confidence in theism . . . has always struck me as puerile niggling. There is at least one atheist here in the forum who has the intellectual integrity to own his atheism completely.

I think Alvin inappropriately undermined his arguments by placing materialism in apposition to evolution as he did. Using absolute skepticism as a razor between them was extreme. I understand why he did it . . . but it was most unwise. The arguments from consciousness and intelligence are far stronger . . . though much more difficult to encapsulate for a lay audience . . . so that may have been his thinking.
I take your point, but the fact is that nothing that he said was with any merit, apart from perhaps the fine tuning argument.

Look -if some TV or newspaper reporter caught me in the street, I could still put together a reasonable rational argument for atheism, because that is what it is based on. I couldn't make an irrational argument for it, because I don't have one.

Now Plantinga of course wasn't arguing the Theist case but why atheism isn't rational. But then he should be able to put together a case against atheism that looked sound even if not dressed up in a load of philosophic waffle.

That he hasn't suggests that at basic, he can't. What I say is that, shorn of all the dressing up in Anselm's ontologicalities, Axia and formulaic theorems and a lot of jargon terms and hair splitting definitions out of Stanfords (and they couldn't get right what atheism actually is, anyway) this is the best argument against atheism that he has.

The case against atheist rationality is based on fallacy. That is what I have said all along, and Alvin has just proved it. I know as well as you do, Mystic me old mate - that the whole theist rationale is based on an assumption a priori of God's existence.

With that as a given, all the rest follows. If that is not a valid a priori assumption, NONE of it logically or rationally follows.

Our clashes have nearly always been on this question of whether the a priori 'God' is justified (1). If we take it as being so, then Alvin's response is ok, but stated simply for a lay audience, the argument did not look so good.

Of course the argument God = consciousness is probably the best way of making an a -priori god seem feasible. well..better leave it there or I shall have to go back and re- read the whole interview again, if we get into the detail. (limps away dragging one foot)

(1) the materialist default exchanges were also part of that. And the Hard Question related to the materialist default.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 02-11-2014 at 04:09 AM.. Reason: Yep -need a foopnote
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:25 AM
 
39,227 posts, read 10,905,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I'd call it agnostic atheism where the subject believes a god highly unlikely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Niggling.
I don't think so. I think that is eminently practical. I have so often had to point out that theism so often ignores the evidence and pretends that it is a faith matter. The weight of evidence seems to be given no...er..weight.

When dealing with doubts or questions about the existence of 'God' the bod in the street rarely thinks in terms of the logical default of 'If you can't prove it, don't believe it' which is rather the extreme denialist view of God doesn't exist' ascribed to atheism (1).

What we seem to get is a lot of people who really aren't sure (in a commonsense sorta way) whether a god exists or not, and few people really go into the arguments in detail. Some may be persuaded by the arguments that a god is probable and may buy -in in a Pascal's wager sorta way - which gets one into the faith position that can make his Faith by usage. That would be an agnostic theist.

On the other hand, they may not be persuaded by the arguments for and may opt to not believe it until some better arguments are produced. That would be an agnostic atheist, as mordant says.

i agree that this is not how I'd use the terms, but it is actually quite a sound definition on its own terms. I should explain that I would rather understand what people think through the terms they use, than tell them what they ought to think on the basis of (one of the) dictionary definitions of the terms they use.

(1) which we do often say, but we are talking of a personal, hands -on, here and now micromanaging and almost certainly Bible -related God. Not a possible creative Cosmic - consciousness.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 02-11-2014 at 04:48 AM.. Reason: usual tidy up.
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