Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

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Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#1  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 3:37 pm

I predict the input of Thomas Eshuis at this juncture...


I know this has been done to death here in many ways but it still doesn't sit well with me so largely here we go again in it's very own dedicated thread...

If I lack belief in there being margarine in the fridge, because I remember throwing the empty tub out yesterday and don't remember buying any more yet, is it not fair, rational and inevitable to believe there is no margarine in the fridge?
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#2  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 25, 2018 3:43 pm

What type of margarine? Invisible pink margarine?

In a totally relevant attempt to make this thread worthwhile:
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#3  Postby Sendraks » Jul 25, 2018 3:49 pm

Keep It Real wrote:If I lack belief in there being margarine in the fridge, because I remember throwing the empty tub out yesterday and don't remember buying any more yet, is it not fair, rational and inevitable to believe there is no margarine in the fridge?


You have an evidence base for there being no margarine in the fridge. You can say that there is no margarine there, because you removed it from the fridge.

If there is no evidence base for something existing, then there is no grounds for having belief. I don't believe things for which there is no evidence. I don't believe there is an invisible intangible pink unicorn in my garage, because there's no evidence that any such thing is there. I don't need to go any further than that and assert the negative that there are "no invisible intangible pink unicorns" in my garage. After all I can prove that (what with them being invisible and intangible) and it adds no value to the initial position of non-belief.

There is no Loch Ness monster is again an evidenced position. The loch exists. It has been scoured from top to bottom. There is nothing there that fits the description of the Loch Ness monster. The positive claim of the monsters existence is disproven.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#4  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 3:52 pm

You believe there is no Loch Ness monster?
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#5  Postby Sendraks » Jul 25, 2018 3:54 pm

Yes, it is shown that there is no Loch Ness monster.

The only rational grounds on which to believe anything, is if there is an evidence base. Without evidence, lack of belief/non-belief should be the default position unless one wants to stray into the territory of being delusional.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#6  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 25, 2018 3:56 pm

Keep It Real wrote:I predict the input of Thomas Eshuis at this juncture...

On this particular subject you know me well.

Keep It Real wrote:
I know this has been done to death here in many ways but it still doesn't sit well with me so largely here we go again in it's very own dedicated thread...

If I lack belief in there being margarine in the fridge, because I remember throwing the empty tub out yesterday

At this point you don't just lack belief, you have positive knowledge that you ran out and did not restock.

I do not know that there is no god nor do I know there is, therefore I lack belief in the existence of such deities.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#7  Postby Thommo » Jul 25, 2018 4:02 pm

- I lack the belief that there is intelligent life somewhere within our galaxy outside our solar system.
- I lack the belief that there is not intelligent life somewhere within our galaxy outside our solar system.

Both statements are true, and as a consequence the statement "I believe there is not intelligent life somewhere within our galaxy outside our solar system" is not true.

If "I lack the belief that there is intelligent life somewhere within our galaxy outside our solar system." meant the same as "I believe there is not intelligent life somewhere within our galaxy outside our solar system" this would not be possible. In short believing something is not true implies lacking belief it is true, but lacking belief something is true does not imply believing something is not true - you may simply have no basis on which to form a judgement.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#8  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 4:03 pm

Sendraks wrote:Yes, it is shown that there is no Loch Ness monster.


Right then; so what's the difference between believing there is no Loch Ness monster and believing there is no god? ie:

KIR wrote:
There is no god is again an evidenced position. The planet earth and it's astronomic neighbourhood exists. It has been scoured from top to bottom (NB to any reasonable level of resolution; much as with the "top to bottom" scouring of Loch Ness). There is nothing there that fits the description of god, nor any evidence of god's (Nessie's) actions. The positive claim of god's existence is disproven.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#9  Postby Sendraks » Jul 25, 2018 4:04 pm

Keep It Real wrote:Right then; so what's the difference between believing there is no Loch Ness monster and believing there is no god? ie:


Which part of what I wrote did you not understand?

Keep It Real wrote:There is no god is again an evidenced position.

Incorrect.

Keep It Real wrote: The planet earth and it's astronomic neighbourhood exists. It has been scoured from top to bottom (NB to any reasonable level of resolution; much as with the "top to bottom" scouring of Loch Ness). There is nothing there that fits the description of god, nor any evidence of god's (Nessie's) actions. The positive claim of god's existence is disproven.

Currently we have only studied a tiny fraction of the universe. We are in no position to say with any certainty whether entities exist out there which could qualify as deities. Comparing the universe to a localised body of water in Scotland is stupid at best.

What can be said with certainty is that the claims made for the various actions of deities referred to in various scriptures, are not evidenced as having occurred or indeed are possible within our understanding of science. I would go further that if one is going to hinge the existence of a deity on the basis of those acts, then that deity cannot be shown to exist. However, most theists don't hinge their beliefs in that way.

From the atheist perspective, the glaring lack of evidence to support the claims of the various acts of deities, does allow for a position of gnostic atheism.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#10  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 25, 2018 4:29 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
I know this has been done to death here in many ways but it still doesn't sit well with me


Some people keep the flame alive, in several senses of the word. The concept of deities has been bequeathed us by ignorant and superstitious people of long ago, and not one theologian or philosopher of more recent times has managed to create an all-new concept of deities at which we do not grin derisively.

Anyone who says he has nothing (flat nothing, zero, zilch) on which to base a judgement is forgetting this, in order to keep the flame alive, or in order to avoid the taint of belief, but that taint would only pertain if one really had nothing on which to base his judgement.

One may, of course, hope that a suitable description be forthcoming, and in the meantime stick with "lacking belief in deities" in the sense of Thommo, above, where lacking belief is not taken to become a belief in a lack of deities. Patty-cake, patty-cake...
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#11  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 4:41 pm

If only that "flame" were a mere tower block ablaze. It would die forever within 24 hours.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#12  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 4:47 pm

How about: "I believe there is no god as any remotely well known religious movement describes ze."
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#13  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 25, 2018 5:13 pm

Keep It Real wrote:How about: "I believe there is no god as any remotely well known religious movement describes ze."


This is something that might be more useful in conversation with those who believe in well-described deities. Since you seem to want to tackle this with set theory, this would also work great as a street-corner symphony, doo-wop style:



Keep It Real wrote:If only that "flame" were a mere tower block ablaze. It would die forever within 24 hours.


Let anyone without shame profess such hope (that the universe might mean something beyond our version of what it means). People have rich fantasy lives, including the notion that there are any metaphysical ideas worth preserving.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#14  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 5:35 pm

All my local street corners seem to be occupied by multi-national JWs these days....or maybe they're just the ones I'm interested in :naughty2:
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#15  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 25, 2018 6:01 pm

So you're open to a deity if it's not remotely well known? Popularity seems like a poor way to decide something like that. I'd rather just focus on the total lack of evidence for any of them, and the unending mountains of evidence that people will make up and accept any old thing to believe in the one they prefer.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#16  Postby Fallible » Jul 25, 2018 6:35 pm

Is it 2011 again already?
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#17  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 25, 2018 6:40 pm

Pining for the good times.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#18  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 25, 2018 9:45 pm

Here we go again ...

Quite simply, god type entities are asserted to exist, the assertions in question usually arising from mythologies. Treating assertions about a particular god type entity as true, simply because said assertions are presented in a particular mythology, is in effect what supernaturalist belief consists of.

I am an atheist because I treat those assertions, like all other assertions, with suspicion. That is it. I take the position that these assertions should be treated like all other assertions, and regarded as discardable, until a proper, rigorous test of those assertions informs me otherwise. I don't regard those assertions as possessing a special, privileged status, the way supernaturalists do, with regard to the need for a proper, rigorous test, or the discardability of those assertions in the absence thereof.

This does not mean that I "reject" the requisite god-type entity, so let's get that piece of duplicitous supernaturalist mischief out of the way and tossed into the bin right at the start. What it means is that I regard the assertions in question, at the point of presentation, as possessing the status "truth value unknown", just like every other assertion at the point of presentation.

If I alight subsequently upon data informing me that the assertions in question are either collectively inconsistent, or involve manifest absurdities, then this is a separate issue. But accepting the conclusions from that data does not equate to the supernaturalist misrepresentation of "you reject my god". I could hold the view that said entity does indeed exist, but that the assertions about this entity are wrong. This isn't rejection of the entity, it's rejection of the assertions. I do wish supernaturalists would learn this elementary distinction.

Indeed, I'm on public record here as stating that I regard mythologies as woefully incompetent, with respect to the matter of answering the question "does a god type entity exist?". That's because mythologies are little more than collections of blind assertions on the matter. They have no substance to offer. That doesn't mean I dismiss summarily the idea that a god type entity could exist. I simply think mythologies are a waste of time, if one wants proper, substantive answers to the requisite questions, questions which I currently regard as unanswered in the general case. The only useful information mythologies provide, at bottom, is data on the nature of the various fantasies the authors thereof entertained. If you want actual data, you look elsewhere. In the case of assertions involving purportedly 'historical' events, you look for a properly trained archaeologist, or, in the case of prehistory, a properly trained palaeontologist. If your interest lies in such matters as the origin of life, then the biology and chemistry departments are that way. Origin of the universe? Physics department.

That's the distinction supernaturalists routinely fail to make - the distinction between their beloved magic entities, and the assertions presented about said entities. Tossing the assertions into the bin doesn't mean "rejecting" those entities, because, wait for it, those entities could actually exist, but the assertions presented about them could be completely wrong. I advise supernaturalists to read that last sentence repeatedly, slowly if necessary, until the requisite elementary concepts sink in.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#19  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 25, 2018 11:06 pm

Fucking hell...(words - oh we cursed/enlightened creatures)
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#20  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jul 25, 2018 11:54 pm

Let's modify your example so it's more relevant.

Someone has told you that there's margarine in your fridge. As far as you know you've never put margarine in your fridge, and nobody else has had the chance to put anything in there since the last time you checked. But to be fair, you've never actually seen or interacted with margarine, you're just going by what that someone described to you. You also know that this someone is heavily invested in there being margarine in your fridge. What's more, other somebodies have told you that a different brand of margarine which they prefer is in your fridge, and that the other people were either lying or deluded about their types being in your fridge.

You'd be perfectly justified in thinking they're all full of shit. But there's no shame in admitting that there is the possibility, however unlikely it seems, that margarine has somehow made it into your fridge, though you'd note that admitting this is not in any way evidence that there is margarine in your fridge. But you're not obliged to go check the fridge every time one of these boneheads wants to tell you their favorite brand is in your fridge. You'd be perfectly justified in feeling that it's their job to do the work of supporting their claim. And after a few hundred times of them opening your fridge and saying "It was just here, I swear!", you shouldn't feel too bad about wishing they'd just go away.
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