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

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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

#101  Postby Fallible » Aug 14, 2018 11:35 am

Why would I try that?

And would you like to answer my question?
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#102  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 11:36 am

Fallible wrote: how do you reconcile your raft of beliefs with your claim to dislike every belief you have so far come across?


I slipped into the trap, which it would appear you yourself are currently languishing in, of equating the word belief/believe, in all contexts with woo.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#103  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 14, 2018 11:41 am

I dont believe that there are not any fairies but I cant see any evidence of their existence. The same is true of deities. There is no proof of their existence.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#104  Postby Fallible » Aug 14, 2018 11:52 am

Keep It Real wrote:
Fallible wrote: how do you reconcile your raft of beliefs with your claim to dislike every belief you have so far come across?


I slipped into the trap, which it would appear you yourself are currently languishing in, of equating the word belief/believe, in all contexts with woo.


No, what's happening here is that you're trying to read my mind and failing, after having failed to trip me up by more conventional means. I don't believe things because to do so is of no use to me. There's no noble principle behind it. If I can't know if something exists or not, I don't bother trying to fill in the gaps, take a leap into the unknown or whatever. It's just one more in an unending list of pointless exercises.

So it appears I was right - beliefs are only OK when they are held by you.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#105  Postby Hermit » Aug 14, 2018 11:54 am

BWE wrote:We can empirically examine beliefs as generated from something. Any attributes pinned to a god were put there by a human and presumably were attempts to explain empirical experience.

This is true. However, the question asked in this thread is: "Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?"

Historically, theists have this tendency to redefine god when challenged about his existence. Wisdom's parable is quite a fitting description of that. Every time an atheist makes an empirically based objection, theists will reply with something that diminishes what their god is. They become invisible, inscrutable, wise beyond mere human comprehension, and so forth. In the end their god(s) are impervious to empirical examination. Every . fucking . time. And it does not matter if you argue with some namby pamby Catholic who does not object to contraception, abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism and whatnot, or some died in the wool brimstone and hellfire fundamentalist.

Once transmogrified from a real, personally meddlesome god to an incomprehensible, vague creator of everything and uncaused cause not a million miles distant from the Divine Watchmaker, I tend to let their new what god is not type definition stand and simply comment that I recognise gods by what they do an until I see evidence of their agency I lack a belief in their existence. Such evidence would of course entail proof that the garden would definitely look different were it not for the work of the invisible gardener.

This approach places the onus of proof for the existence of god(s) on theists, and they have no escape to non-empirical "explanations". It also relieves me of having to disprove the existence of a do-nothing Divine Watchmaker, should they be tempted to shift the onus on to me.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#106  Postby Sendraks » Aug 14, 2018 12:16 pm

Keep It Real wrote:But you refuse to answer the question with a yes or no. Ever thought of taking up politics?


Why should I answer the question in such a way? Such an answer lacks clarity or precision.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#107  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 12:17 pm

Yes or no, minister..
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#108  Postby Sendraks » Aug 14, 2018 12:18 pm

Why should I answer the question in such a way? Such an answer lacks clarity or precision.

Same with politics, you see lazy politicians and lazy media trying to pressure ministers into giving yes or no answers, purely for the purposes of misinterpretation.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#109  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 3:29 pm

Fallible wrote: I don't believe things because to do so is of no use to me. There's no noble principle behind it. If I can't know if something exists or not, I don't bother trying to fill in the gaps, take a leap into the unknown or whatever.


I take it you're not a fan of William Hill then :lol:
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#110  Postby BWE » Aug 14, 2018 3:48 pm

Fallible wrote:
BWE wrote:Meh. Have no belief is inaccurate in most cases.


[citation needed]

I suppose this whole thread should be titled, "my personal opinion regarding this inane topic " but since it isn't, let's just remember that the phrase prefaces all the posts in it. My feeling is that it's pretty disingenuous to avoid the direct statement since gods are only proposed by humans and not believing in them requires a rejection of those proposals. But, you do you.


Mostly someone proposes a belief and we decide whether to believe it.


What are you referring to here? Who is 'someone'? who is 'we'? Are you referring to just this forum?
we refers to humans in this case.

It's more accurate for most people to say, no, I actively do not believe in the dumbass thing you are proposing.


Really? Because from here, it just looks like you're playing with words. What do you mean 'actively do not believe'? How is that substantially different from 'I have no belief'? Belief in not-god is active belief.

Um. The point being that not believing in God is a claim about a proposal, namely that the person who doesn't believe the proposal believes that the proposal is false. God is a claim. Either you accept the claim of you reject the claim. That's how the logic works for me. Ymmv.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#111  Postby BWE » Aug 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Hermit wrote:
BWE wrote:We can empirically examine beliefs as generated from something. Any attributes pinned to a god were put there by a human and presumably were attempts to explain empirical experience.

This is true. However, the question asked in this thread is: "Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?"

Historically, theists have this tendency to redefine god when challenged about his existence. Wisdom's parable is quite a fitting description of that. Every time an atheist makes an empirically based objection, theists will reply with something that diminishes what their god is. They become invisible, inscrutable, wise beyond mere human comprehension, and so forth. In the end their god(s) are impervious to empirical examination. Every . fucking . time. And it does not matter if you argue with some namby pamby Catholic who does not object to contraception, abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism and whatnot, or some died in the wool brimstone and hellfire fundamentalist.

Once transmogrified from a real, personally meddlesome god to an incomprehensible, vague creator of everything and uncaused cause not a million miles distant from the Divine Watchmaker, I tend to let their new what god is not type definition stand and simply comment that I recognise gods by what they do an until I see evidence of their agency I lack a belief in their existence. Such evidence would of course entail proof that the garden would definitely look different were it not for the work of the invisible gardener.

This approach places the onus of proof for the existence of god(s) on theists, and they have no escape to non-empirical "explanations". It also relieves me of having to disprove the existence of a do-nothing Divine Watchmaker, should they be tempted to shift the onus on to me.

This makes the whole question weird to me. The onus of proof is not particularly urgent in this case afaict outside the individual weighing it to personally evaluate the claim. Paradigms change when people die. This one is changing. If we survive another 400 years as a species, and maintain a scientific economy, I bet a million dollars religion as it's practiced today will be an anachronism. I will be waiting in 2418 to collect my money.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#112  Postby laklak » Aug 14, 2018 3:57 pm

Hermit wrote:
Historically, theists have this tendency to redefine god when challenged about his existence.


He's a pale imitation of His old self, ain't he? You never hear of any city-wide smitings these days, and talking donkeys haven't been around in, well, donkey's.

If they don't redefine god they decide that unbelievers are defectives. They lack that good old sensus divinitatis. Actually, John Calvin came up with the idea and thought everybody had it, atheists just refused to use it. It was a choice, and therefore they were guilty, guilty, guilty! I'd imagine he felt the same way about LBGTQRSTUV people.

But that idea has changed - "Analytic philosopher Alvin Plantinga of the University of Notre Dame posits a modified form of the sensus divinitatis whereby all have the sense, only it does not work properly in some humans, due to sin's noetic effects." (from Wiki)

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

#113  Postby BWE » Aug 14, 2018 4:01 pm

The whole idea of god as a thing is horribly mixed up.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#114  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 14, 2018 4:44 pm

Hermit wrote:This approach places the onus of proof for the existence of god(s) on theists, and they have no escape to non-empirical "explanations". It also relieves me of having to disprove the existence of a do-nothing Divine Watchmaker, should they be tempted to shift the onus on to me.


So does the question, asked of a theist, "Why should anyone suppose there is a god?" This doesn't ask for evidence, so it eliminates that extra amount of busy-work for everybody. You get arguments that belief in god is the default, which is really the argument from popularity, if you're really dead set on having rhetorical contests with them. Somebody wants to pursue the prime mover argument, ask them how it is different from the ignorant goat-roasters' creator god. is it different just because we know some cosmology, now? No, it's the old creator god with new face-paint. Asking for the first cause gets you back to asking why they should suppose there is such a notion, and they pay their respects to some old theologian. Tell them it's their lizard brain talking. It's not about taking it very seriously at all.

The bottom line is that nobody really has an original thought about deities any more, and the rest of the game is just about the way people try to hide their sources so they can appear creative to themselves. That is most of my point in focusing on the ignorance of the goat-roasters who thought up the concept upon which every other theologian ever templated. You could call it "wicked object-oriented theology", or WOOT. The goat-roasters' deity is the "base class" and the Divine Watchmaker is a derived class with a lot of the instance variables set to point to nothing.

In the end, it's understandable that somebody might try the labor-saving ploy of suspending belief, rather than adopting disbelief, but that misses out on the Joy of WOOT. If you don't know that you know better than that, and that there aren't any flashy new god-ideas, then you don't. But you know you've heard it all, before. Instead, try telling them that you lack a theology, rather than that you lack belief in a deity. If turning over every stone is your thing, you can still hold out for some miracle theology to come to the rescue.

laklak wrote:If they don't redefine god they decide that unbelievers are defectives.


They're trying to blame someone else for the deficiencies in their theology. If they say "there's a God; I just know it!" they're talking about the goat-roasters' god, no mistake.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#115  Postby BWE » Aug 14, 2018 5:00 pm

I have an original thought about god.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#116  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 14, 2018 5:04 pm

BWE wrote:I have an original thought about god.


That's OK. I have a vaginal thought about god. Not necessarily in the anatomical sense, but you can go there if you like, because lots of folks have been known to worship vaginas. My thought is likely more original than yours is, but you could easily prove me wrong by upping the ante, here.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#117  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 5:06 pm

God is...erm...copulated?
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#118  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 14, 2018 5:09 pm

Keep It Real wrote:God is...erm...copulated?


No, really, i'm just referring to concavity. You might prefer a god that is more convex.

God is virtually indestructible. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking, like that Timex watch they used to advertise.
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#119  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 5:18 pm

It's the cathedrals that've got me stumped - nobody's brave enough to call for the destruction of such towering aesthetically unique spectacular creations and so they lord it over us (not to anthropomorphise cathedrals much) constantly insisting Xtianity literally from on high :dunno:
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Re: Lack of belief in gods =/= believing there are no gods?

#120  Postby aban57 » Aug 14, 2018 5:20 pm

What the hell are you talking about ?????
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