Stanfords new definition of atheism

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Stanfords new definition of atheism

#1  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Aug 03, 2017 8:22 am

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

Atheism and Agnosticism
First published Wed Aug 2, 2017

The purpose of this entry is to explore how atheism and agnosticism are related to theism and, more importantly, to each other. This requires examining the surprisingly contentious issue of how best to define the terms “atheism” and “agnosticism”. Settling this issue, at least for the purposes of this entry, will set the stage for discussing an important distinction between global atheism and local atheism, which in turn will be helpful for distinguishing different forms of agnosticism. Examination of an argument in support of a modest form of agnosticism will ensue, followed by discussion of three arguments for atheism and one argument against a more ambitious form of agnosticism.
1. Definitions of “Atheism”

“Atheism” is typically defined in terms of “theism”. Theism, in turn, is best understood as a proposition—something that is either true or false. It is often defined as “the belief that God exists”, but here “belief” means “something believed”. It refers to the propositional content of belief, not to the attitude or psychological state of believing. This is why it makes sense to say that theism is true or false and to argue for or against theism. If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists and not the psychological condition of believing that there is a God, then it follows that atheism is not the absence of the psychological condition of believing that God exists (more on this below). The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”. Therefore, in philosophy at least, atheism should be construed as the proposition that God does not exist (or, more broadly, the proposition that there are no gods).
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#2  Postby zulumoose » Aug 03, 2017 9:45 am

If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#3  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Aug 03, 2017 10:14 am

zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.

Yup.
"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

#4  Postby tuco » Aug 03, 2017 10:21 am

As a classic says, meaning of word its in usage.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#5  Postby Rumraket » Aug 11, 2017 10:28 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.

Yup.

/thread.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#6  Postby Wortfish » Aug 12, 2017 1:26 am

zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.


So what do you call those who propose that God does not exist? Anti-theists?
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#7  Postby Fenrir » Aug 12, 2017 2:16 am

T: God exists

A: you have not shown that

T: burn the heretic!
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#8  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Aug 12, 2017 8:47 am

Wortfish wrote:
zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.


So what do you call those who propose that God does not exist? Anti-theists?

Nope, anti-theist are those who wish to get rid of theism (forcefully)
People who believe that a god or gods don't exist are gnostic atheists.
People who claim the Christian god does not exist would be gnositc a-christians.
"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

#9  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Aug 12, 2017 9:33 am

Antitheists are just people who oppose theism. I'm pretty antitheistic and would love to see theism done away with but I have no interest in enforcing such a thing.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#10  Postby Fallible » Aug 12, 2017 10:30 am

Wortfish wrote:
zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.


So what do you call those who propose that God does not exist? Anti-theists?


:what: Atheists.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#11  Postby LucidFlight » Aug 12, 2017 10:46 am

Anaesthetists.

Eh. Close enough.

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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#12  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 12, 2017 11:03 am

Wortfish wrote:
zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.


So what do you call those who propose that God does not exist? Anti-theists?


That is presuming a deity exists. The default is atheism. Atheists do not say it does not exist. If you are claiming it does then prove it. There is no evidence for its existence.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#13  Postby Wortfish » Aug 12, 2017 11:28 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:
That is presuming a deity exists. The default is atheism. Atheists do not say it does not exist. If you are claiming it does then prove it. There is no evidence for its existence.

The default proposition is that God exists, that a Creator exists. It is up to the atheist to refute the proposition and show that creation does not need a creator. Simply not endorsing the proposition shows indifference. You have to oppose it and falsify it.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#14  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 12, 2017 11:33 am

Wortfish wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
That is presuming a deity exists. The default is atheism. Atheists do not say it does not exist. If you are claiming it does then prove it. There is no evidence for its existence.

The default proposition is that God exists, that a Creator exists. It is up to the atheist to refute the proposition and show that creation does not need a creator. Simply not endorsing the proposition shows indifference. You have to oppose it and falsify it.


It is not a proposition. How can it be default if it is just a proposition. There is no proof of its existence so the default is nothing.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#15  Postby Fallible » Aug 12, 2017 12:28 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
That is presuming a deity exists. The default is atheism. Atheists do not say it does not exist. If you are claiming it does then prove it. There is no evidence for its existence.

The default proposition is that God exists, that a Creator exists.


You appear to be claiming that people are born believing in God. Show your workings out.

It is up to the atheist to refute the proposition and show that creation does not need a creator.


Someone doesn't understand the difference between holding a position in discourse and simply existing in a certain state. Or do you think that in order to not hold a belief in leprechauns you have to show how rainbows and cobbling happen without them? Give over.

Simply not endorsing the proposition shows indifference. You have to oppose it and falsify it.


No dear, you don't have to do anything in order to not have a belief in some crap. I wish you and your ilk would desist this tiresome wank.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#16  Postby Rumraket » Aug 12, 2017 12:33 pm

Fallible wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
zulumoose wrote:
If, however, “atheism” is defined in terms of theism and theism is the proposition that God exists


The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”.


then atheism is - NOT proposing that God exists

Problem solved, minus the idiotic wibble.


So what do you call those who propose that God does not exist? Anti-theists?


:what: Atheists.

:this:
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#17  Postby Rumraket » Aug 12, 2017 12:54 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
That is presuming a deity exists. The default is atheism. Atheists do not say it does not exist. If you are claiming it does then prove it. There is no evidence for its existence.

The default proposition is that God exists, that a Creator exists.

No, it is not.

Speaking ideally, a proper null hypothesis is a null hypothesis that can at least in principle be refuted with a single observation. The null hypothesis "There is a God" is therefore not a proper null hypothesis, because no single observation could falsify it given how the God hypothesis is usually constructed.

God can choose to hide from us. God does not interact with gravity or electromagnetic radiation. God can do anything He wants. God has a plan that justifies the evils we see in the world. God wanted you to have free will. You have to believe first, only then will God show himself to you. But if God doesn't show himself to you even if you believe, God has a plan for you still. And so on and so forth.

What all these typical theistic rationalizations about God means, is that God has become an unfalsifiable proposition. A practically irrefutable null hypothesis.

So the null hypothesis "There is a God that does not interact with gravity or electromagnetism, can deliberately choose to hide from us using His omnipotent will, and knows all actions and thoughts we will ever have" is a completely unfalsifiable proposition. As such, it can never ever become a proper null hypothesis.

On the other hand, the null hypothesis "There is no God" is easy to refute, as God merely has to work his omnipotent will and make himself appear.

It is up to the atheist to refute the proposition and show that creation does not need a creator.

Calling the world "creation" doesn't mean it is one. That's another unfalsifiable null hypothesis. Whatever property of the world we discover, you will always be able to rationalize away as what the omnipotent creator that is deliberately making himself invisible and works in mysterious ways, wanted creation to be like.

Simply not endorsing the proposition shows indifference. You have to oppose it and falsify it.

No, simply not endorsing a proposition is the proper way to respond to claims that have not met their burden of proof.

If I you and I come upon a jar with a large number of marble balls in it, and I then declare "there is an even number of balls in the jar", you do not have a duty to refute my claim. All you have to do is simply state that my claim has not met it's burden of proof. By not accepting my claim "there is an even number of balls in the jar", you have not somehow taken up the position that there is an odd number of balls in the jar.

So when we disbelieve your claim that there is a God, we are not therefore claiming there is not a God. We have just yet to be convinced.
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Re: Stanfords new definition of atheism

#18  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Aug 12, 2017 1:28 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
That is presuming a deity exists. The default is atheism. Atheists do not say it does not exist. If you are claiming it does then prove it. There is no evidence for its existence.

The default proposition is that God exists, that a Creator exists.

:lol: Sure it is. :crazy:


Wortfish wrote: It is up to the atheist to refute the proposition and show that creation does not need a creator. Simply not endorsing the proposition shows indifference. You have to oppose it and falsify it.

You clearly do not know how the burden of proof works.
The default position is to not accept a positive claim, until proven otherwise.
This includes the claim that a god exists.
"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

#19  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Aug 12, 2017 1:37 pm

Rumraket wrote:

If I you and I come upon a jar with a large number of marble balls in it, and I then declare "there is an even number of balls in the jar", you do not have a duty to refute my claim. All you have to do is simply state that my claim has not met it's burden of proof. By not accepting my claim "there is an even number of balls in the jar", you have not somehow taken up the position that there is an odd number of balls in the jar.

Someone's watched AXP. :thumbup:
"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

#20  Postby Wortfish » Aug 12, 2017 2:59 pm

Fallible wrote:
You appear to be claiming that people are born believing in God. Show your workings out.

No. I am claiming that the proposition that God exists has been proposed. Ignoring it means you have no say on the matter.

Someone doesn't understand the difference between holding a position in discourse and simply existing in a certain state. Or do you think that in order to not hold a belief in leprechauns you have to show how rainbows and cobbling happen without them? Give over.

Not talking about beliefs, we are talking about propositions. You can believe in lots of things, but that doesn't make them propositions.

No dear, you don't have to do anything in order to not have a belief in some crap. I wish you and your ilk would desist this tiresome wank.

If you don't try and refute the proposition then it becomes true by default.
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