Posted: Dec 17, 2011 1:15 am
by Mick
Moonwatcher wrote:jlowder wrote:
Those are silly arguments. And probably the average theist on the street uses them. But not all theistic arguments can be dismissed as silly. Richard Swinburne's book, The Existence of God, would be exhibit A. I don't agree with him at all, but the man clearly knows what he is talking about and is not offering silly arguments.

I tried to find a quick summary of the book. Much of it consists of mathematical arguments. It also includes some rehashings of old philosophical arguments. I'll leave it to others more qualified to evaluate the math.

Moonwatcher wrote:
8. The people who primarily use atheism as other than a lack of belief in "God" are primarily people who are trying to put believing in something without evidence on the same level as not believing it without evidence.

JLowder wrote:
I don't understand what you mean.

I was saying that it is primarily religious people who try to define atheism as a belief rather than a lack of one from a desire to imply that not believing something minus evidence is somehow the same thing as believing things minus empirical evidence and hence imply that atheism is a religion.

Of course, there are "angry atheists" in the sense that we are all human beings with histories and issues, many of them with religion in our pasts and upbringings. But that is an aside from the core issue that, for most atheists here, it is a matter of not accepting things that have no supporting evidence. Any other issues stem from that.

That's silly. The motivation to understand atheism in this way is rooted in the conventions of English speakers. The distinction between denying and not believing is an esoteric one not commonly appreciated and understood by common speakers.

Atheism is understood in this way within most present day scholarship.