Stanfords new definition of atheism

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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#381  Postby romansh » Sep 10, 2017 4:19 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Fallible wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
Fallible wrote:Yay, yet more fruitless explanations of the simple concepts of knowledge and belief! I havent had such fun since the last time a theist troll rocked up here JAQing off about simple concepts. WEEEEEEEEEEE!

I am glad you are having so much fun. But are you an agnostic atheist, a negative atheist, a positive atheist, a humanist or a non-theist? Which box do you tick?


That's a very revealing question, Wortfish.


I don't know why atheists are so timid about not coming out and saying: "THERE IS (PROBABLY) NO GOD." Why hide behind a thinly veiled agnosticism with its lack of belief and profession of ignorance? I doubt many theists would be offended.


Just perhaps they are trying to describe their position accurately? As opposed to lumping people into one box.

While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Personally I describe myself as an agnostic ... in that, that (for me) is how I handle knowledge as opposed to god or God which as far as I can tell does not impact my life. Knowledge or perhaps its lack does impact my life. I am an atheist in the same way I am an aphilatelist.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#382  Postby BlackBart » Sep 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Wortfish wrote:
"Lack of belief" implies some sort of deficiency, like "lack of conscience" does.

Why don't you believe in pixies? Sounds like deficiency like a lack of morals.

See how that one works?
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#383  Postby Wortfish » Sep 10, 2017 10:28 pm

romansh wrote:
While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities. Theism means believing in one or more gods.

Personally I describe myself as an agnostic ... in that, that (for me) is how I handle knowledge as opposed to god or God which as far as I can tell does not impact my life. Knowledge or perhaps its lack does impact my life. I am an atheist in the same way I am an aphilatelist.

Traditionally, agnostics were people who genuinely didn't know if God existed whereas atheists were convinced that God did not and could not exist. Both lacked belief in God, but atheists were the more certain of their position. I don't see why many of the atheist posters here are behaving like politicians and are sitting on the fence.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#384  Postby Fenrir » Sep 10, 2017 11:32 pm

Wortfish wrote:
romansh wrote:
While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities. Theism means believing in one or more gods.

Personally I describe myself as an agnostic ... in that, that (for me) is how I handle knowledge as opposed to god or God which as far as I can tell does not impact my life. Knowledge or perhaps its lack does impact my life. I am an atheist in the same way I am an aphilatelist.

Traditionally, agnostics were people who genuinely didn't know if God existed whereas atheists were convinced that God did not and could not exist. Both lacked belief in God, but atheists were the more certain of their position. I don't see why many of the atheist posters here are behaving like politicians and are sitting on the fence.
I guessing it is largely a result of dishonest apologists.

Much like yourself.

Which is what attracted me to ignisticism in the first place.

If you can't even decide which imaginary characteristics are shared by the imaginary subclass of the imaginary supernatural set you call dieties then you really can't be taken seriously.

When you have something to support your bullshit someone might take interest.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#385  Postby romansh » Sep 11, 2017 12:19 am

Wortfish wrote:
romansh wrote:
While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities. Theism means believing in one or more gods.

I never said it did. But your behaviour towards that god would be very similar if not indistinguishable to that of an atheist.

Theism is a bit more tricky ... it has two broad meanings like atheism. It could mean anyone who believes in a god regardless of type. But it also has a specific definition of someone who believes in a personal god. For example I would have a lot more in common with a deist as opposed to a theist, at least in this sense.
Wortfish wrote:
Personally I describe myself as an agnostic ... in that, that (for me) is how I handle knowledge as opposed to god or God which as far as I can tell does not impact my life. Knowledge or perhaps its lack does impact my life. I am an atheist in the same way I am an aphilatelist.

Traditionally, agnostics were people who genuinely didn't know if God existed whereas atheists were convinced that God did not and could not exist. Both lacked belief in God, but atheists were the more certain of their position. I don't see why many of the atheist posters here are behaving like politicians and are sitting on the fence.


While agnostics have been around for at least two millennia, Huxley when he coined the term did not limit it specifically to god. He included other paranormal phenomena in the term. Again personally I am comfortable to use the term outside of the original framework. For example I could say I am agnostic about life out there in the universe in some other galaxy.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#386  Postby romansh » Sep 11, 2017 12:31 am

Wortfish wrote: I don't see why many of the atheist posters here are behaving like politicians and are sitting on the fence.

I think this analogy is backwards.
It is the strong atheists and perhaps theists who are sitting on the fence.

It is those that are agnostically inclined that are firmly on the ground examining the detail.

Also you may want to address Fenrir's ignosticism ... I think clarity about what type of god we are talking about is valuable.

I can dismiss a theistic god quite easily especially of the loving kind. A deistic god is a little harder to dismiss, but almost by definition that god has buggered off somewhere and I really don't need to worry about that class of god too much.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#387  Postby monkeyboy » Sep 11, 2017 4:58 am

Wortfish wrote:
romansh wrote:
While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities. Theism means believing in one or more gods.


So which single god do you believe in?

What's your belief position on Armazi? Does Armazi exist?

Similarly for Laib olmai. Do you believe he exists, ruling over the forest animals?
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#388  Postby Fallible » Sep 11, 2017 5:59 am

Wortfish wrote:
romansh wrote:
While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities. Theism means believing in one or more gods.

Personally I describe myself as an agnostic ... in that, that (for me) is how I handle knowledge as opposed to god or God which as far as I can tell does not impact my life. Knowledge or perhaps its lack does impact my life. I am an atheist in the same way I am an aphilatelist.

Traditionally, agnostics were people who genuinely didn't know if God existed whereas atheists were convinced that God did not and could not exist. Both lacked belief in God, but atheists were the more certain of their position. I don't see why many of the atheist posters here are behaving like politicians and are sitting on the fence.


You have a habit of being confused by things which never happened.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#389  Postby Pebble » Sep 11, 2017 6:26 am

Wortfish wrote:
Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities. Theism means believing in one or more gods.



How does that work?

Theism - may allow many gods for example so I presume you would regard Hindus as theists.

Monotheism - limits the offer to a single god by definition, so if you say that you believe in one god, what is the story with the other thousand off people have worshiped over time. Lesser Gods?, Ex Gods? Associate Gods? Aspects of the one true god mistakenly ascribed (e.g. Hades)?

I presume you know that Buddist's are Atheists. It is just your desire to fit all atheists into clean lines seems to cause confusion.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#390  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 11, 2017 7:15 am

Wortfish wrote:
romansh wrote:
While you might not be an atheist ... you do have similar atheistic positions to Greek and Roman gods and no doubt Norse one's too? Do you not? You likely think they are false gods, as I likely will think yours is.

Just because a person is a monotheist does not make him an atheist with respect to other deities.

That's exactly what it means.

Wortfish wrote: Theism means believing in one or more gods.

And monotheism means believing in only one god, thereby excluding the belief in other gods.
It's quite telling how much you have to mangle the English language to continue your vapid trolling.

Wortfish wrote:
Personally I describe myself as an agnostic ... in that, that (for me) is how I handle knowledge as opposed to god or God which as far as I can tell does not impact my life. Knowledge or perhaps its lack does impact my life. I am an atheist in the same way I am an aphilatelist.

Traditionally, agnostics were people who genuinely didn't know if God existed whereas atheists were convinced that God did not and could not exist.

Still making shit up on the spot I see.

Wortfish wrote: Both lacked belief in God, but atheists were the more certain of their position. I don't see why many of the atheist posters here are behaving like politicians and are sitting on the fence.

That's because you're not interested in the facts. Your only interest in trolling.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#391  Postby pelfdaddy » Sep 12, 2017 1:07 am

Wortfish,

You're still complaining about this?

Theists are making specific, positive assertions about things, information concerning which we cannot EVER access. They assert that there exists a being that is entirely incorporeal and yet is everywhere present, that is both invisible and inaudible and yet dispenses to certain select persons knowledge about itself, that is not detectable by any known means and yet is active and responsible for everything that has ever been.

Intelligent Humanity has long ago sentenced them to bear the burden of proof for the crime of conjuring this entity out of nothing.

Which brings us back to the opening post by Thomas Eshuis, who, alert as always, deserves credit for noticing the nuanced definition of atheism that has been proposed. The definition is nothing more than a judo move designed to flip the well-deserved burden of proof from off the creaky backs of those who make these utterly unfounded claims and painfully onto the broad shoulders of those who squint and say, "I think you're wrong about that."

The skeptics in this thread are merely playing the conservative role, advocating for the traditional definition athwart this novel expression, this judo maneuver disguised as an objective position. And you are still complaining about it.

I do not speak for anybody else when I express a strong position, but I am happy to report that there is no godamn God, and I'm certain that there cannot be; because I don't give a rat's ass about these fucking definitions, and the friendliest advice I can offer you is that you should stop worrying so much about what a non-existent, nosy, meddlesome Italian Grandmother in the sky thinks you should do, and live your life the way you want to. That's what I do. And guess how much sleep I lose giving a shit about whether I have missed something important.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#392  Postby Sendraks » Sep 12, 2017 10:35 am

pelfdaddy wrote: The definition is nothing more than a judo move designed to flip the well-deserved burden of proof from off the creaky backs of those who make these utterly unfounded claims and painfully onto the broad shoulders of those who squint and say, "I think you're wrong about that."


And this particular judo-move is nothing new. Theists have been trying to flip the definition of atheism on its head for thousands of years, because they simply want everyone to play by the same warped rules as them. This sort of thing is not new. It contains no revelations about the meaning of "atheism". This is simply more of the same old same old from those engaged in apologetics.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#393  Postby Tracer Tong » Sep 12, 2017 5:26 pm

Yeah, the author of the SEP article in question is just trying to flip the burden of proof. He must be a theist fundie apologist, or something.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#394  Postby VazScep » Sep 12, 2017 5:48 pm

The SEP have been doing this for literally thousands of years now.
Here we go again. First, we discover recursion.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#395  Postby Pebble » Sep 14, 2017 9:28 pm

Challenged SED on this:


Their reply:

Thank you for writing to us about the entry on atheism and
agnosticism.

The matter in question is not as clear cut as you suggest. While the
term "atheism" is used in a variety of ways in general discourse, our
entry is on its meaning in the philosophical literature. Section 1
(Definitions of "Atheism") is devoted to a discussion of this and
related issues.

Traditionally speaking, the definition in our entry--that 'atheism'
means the denial of the existence of God--is correct in the
philosophical literature. Some now refer to this standard meaning as
"strong atheism" and contrast it with weaker notions.

As described in the entry, the argument for weakening the notion of
atheism was introduced into the philosophical literature by Antony
Flew in "The Presumption of Atheism" (1972). In that work, he noted
that he was using a novel etymological argument to try to convince
people *not* to follow the *standard meaning* of the term. His goal
was to reframe the debate about the existence of God and to re-brand
"atheism" as a default position.

Not everyone has been convinced to use the term in Flew's way simply
on the force of his argument. For some, who consider themselves
atheists in the traditional sense, Flew's efforts seemed to be an
attempt to water down a perfectly good concept. For others, who
consider themselves agnostics in the traditional sense, Flew's efforts
seemed to be an attempt to re-label them "atheists" -- a term they
rejected.

In any case, the entry takes some time to discuss this history.

All the best,
Yours,
Uri

My reply to them:

Thank you for your well argued reply.

Perhaps I am being thick, but how can one deny the existence of that which does not exist? For example: Afariests?
Surely this is the definition only when viewed from a theistic standpoint.

As the existence of god is a positive claim requiring evidence or faith. Failure to make said claim cannot be reasonably regarded as denial other than in the minds of believers.

While I acknowledge the ‘history’ of your definition - that is simply a reflection of the zeitgeist when the atheism was defined by a majority of believers rather than a rational assessment of the actual meaning of the term.

I suppose the confusion arises from the term agnostic - but gnosticism and belief are different.

The agnostic does not know whether god exists or not, the atheist does not believe that god exists, thus two different but mutually compatible attitudes.


Any better ideas?
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#396  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 14, 2017 9:37 pm

Pebble wrote:Challenged SED on this:


Their reply:

Thank you for writing to us about the entry on atheism and
agnosticism.

The matter in question is not as clear cut as you suggest. While the
term "atheism" is used in a variety of ways in general discourse, our
entry is on its meaning in the philosophical literature. Section 1
(Definitions of "Atheism") is devoted to a discussion of this and
related issues.

Traditionally speaking, the definition in our entry--that 'atheism'
means the denial of the existence of God--is correct in the
philosophical literature. Some now refer to this standard meaning as
"strong atheism" and contrast it with weaker notions.

As described in the entry, the argument for weakening the notion of
atheism was introduced into the philosophical literature by Antony
Flew in "The Presumption of Atheism" (1972). In that work, he noted
that he was using a novel etymological argument to try to convince
people *not* to follow the *standard meaning* of the term. His goal
was to reframe the debate about the existence of God and to re-brand
"atheism" as a default position.

Not everyone has been convinced to use the term in Flew's way simply
on the force of his argument. For some, who consider themselves
atheists in the traditional sense, Flew's efforts seemed to be an
attempt to water down a perfectly good concept. For others, who
consider themselves agnostics in the traditional sense, Flew's efforts
seemed to be an attempt to re-label them "atheists" -- a term they
rejected.

In any case, the entry takes some time to discuss this history.

All the best,
Yours,
Uri

My reply to them:

Thank you for your well argued reply.

Perhaps I am being thick, but how can one deny the existence of that which does not exist? For example: Afariests?
Surely this is the definition only when viewed from a theistic standpoint.

As the existence of god is a positive claim requiring evidence or faith. Failure to make said claim cannot be reasonably regarded as denial other than in the minds of believers.

While I acknowledge the ‘history’ of your definition - that is simply a reflection of the zeitgeist when the atheism was defined by a majority of believers rather than a rational assessment of the actual meaning of the term.

I suppose the confusion arises from the term agnostic - but gnosticism and belief are different.

The agnostic does not know whether god exists or not, the atheist does not believe that god exists, thus two different but mutually compatible attitudes.


Any better ideas?

No, especially given that the above is virtually the same blind dismissal they gave people who objected to their previous definition of atheism article.
I mean this:
our entry is on its meaning in the philosophical literature.

Is just a fancy way of parroting Humpty Dumpty.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#397  Postby VazScep » Sep 14, 2017 9:45 pm

I cannot figure out how to get sufficiently worked up over this to care what the SEP have to say. I don't think there are any interesting nuances on the word "atheist" that aren't better fleshed out by talking directly about the nuances. And I don't care about it as a rallying political label either. Most of you folk smell, and I don't want to be seen in public with you.
Here we go again. First, we discover recursion.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#398  Postby Tracer Tong » Sep 14, 2017 10:49 pm

VazScep wrote:I cannot figure out how to get sufficiently worked up over this to care what the SEP have to say. I don't think there are any interesting nuances on the word "atheist" that aren't better fleshed out by talking directly about the nuances. And I don't care about it as a rallying political label either. Most of you folk smell, and I don't want to be seen in public with you.


In fairness, there's some creditable analysis going on here, and with Pebble's latest things have only got worse for the SEP/SED.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#399  Postby tuco » Sep 14, 2017 10:58 pm

VazScep wrote:I cannot figure out how to get sufficiently worked up over this to care what the SEP have to say. I don't think there are any interesting nuances on the word "atheist" that aren't better fleshed out by talking directly about the nuances. And I don't care about it as a rallying political label either. Most of you folk smell, and I don't want to be seen in public with you.


Neither do I. Let's say SEP accepted the default position argument. Then, you meet someone, say you are atheist and s/he goes: so you deny the existence of God .. and you go 20 pages of semantics. Then s/he goes: Oh ok I got you. And that is it.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#400  Postby scott1328 » Sep 14, 2017 11:24 pm

Suppose, on the other hand, someone asks: "are you an atheist?" And you respond: "what do you mean by the word 'atheist'?"
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