Strolling with a skeptical biochemist
[Hat Tip: Friendly Athiest: The Atheist Super Bowl Ad You Didn’t See]
Shame it wasn't the CultOfDusty edit that aired rather than the Church of Scientology original. Must have cost the Hubbard organisation a fortune even though it only went out in some regions. Must have cost North of $100,000 [wild guess]
How could I not heard of this guy before ?
I can't help but wonder... since when has atheism had the monopoly on knowledge? Since when did a relative viewpoint become logical? If a Bishop can beat Dawkins in a debate and WLC could cream Rosenburg this weekend what does it say about the stupid claim that atheism is knowledge and logical or even rational of your arguments make no sense? The arrogance of the general atheist has no bounds and its all to evident in the claims they so boldly assert of the things they think they have and the things they think they know... well how do you know? What is your objective standard for reason? What is your objective standard for logic? To make a claim that you know God does not exist is absurd, to know that you would have to be all-knowing... Well are you?
Andre, the ad is a hoax. Everything but the last two seconds or so, both narration and imagery, was from a Scientology ad.And yes, the arrogance of Ron L. Hubbard DID have no bounds.
Excellent dual demonstration of the Gish Gallop and the strawman argument. Or was that your intention? I especially enjoyed your essays in the form "if [false premise] then [my favorite conclusion]". But there was so much more, so much rich material. My hat is off, sir.
Gross: what does it say about the stupid claim that atheism is knowledgeWho said atheism IS knowledge? In general, atheists value knowledge more than theists do. On average. On average, theists value money and power more than atheists, which is why scientists are in general more likely to be atheists, and CEO's are more likely to be theists. There are exceptions to this general trend, there are LEFT-WING Christians and Jews who care about the poor. But on average, theists, at least in America, value money, power, domination, and raw authority more, in the name of the social order, and atheists value knowledge and logic more.There are some theists who are smarter than some atheists. But: 1. No theist has a logical proof of God's existence, and they all lie about that and pretend they do, dismissing their logical fallacies as irrelevant or as necessary for the control of society and domination of inferiors by superiors [see Leo Strauss' popularity]. They do not take logical fallacies seriously, therefore they do not value logic.2. No theist has a hypothesis about spooks or gods' specific interactions with matter that makes testable predictions about observable quantities, except for the many hypotheses that have been disproven, like Noah's Flood, dead cows caused by witches, diseases caused by demon possession.If you disagree, produce a hypothesis of God's interaction with matter that makes testable predictions confirmed by observation.
Gross: The arrogance of the general atheist has no boundsNO. Let me get this straight-- the ATHEISTS are arrogant now!? Uh, fundamentalists assert that their knowledge-claims are inerrant and irrefutable. Read AIG's statement of faith: no possible observation in any field could ever prove Ken Ham and AIG wrong. NO SIR. The arrogance of those who claim they have inerrant, infallible knowledge because their human tradition possesses supernatural power (but other human traditions don't) is infinite arrogance. Arrogance is proportional to your assertion of your infallibility.Many creationists have fake Ph.D.'s they gave themselves or got from diploma mills. Creationists invoke argument from authority and social domination far more often than scientists. More and more call themselves, or each other, "Professor" when they're not employed by colleges.Remember how Ann Gauger of the DI just posed in front of a green screen image of a laboratory where she never worked? That's arrogance and argument from authority.How many creationists pose in lab coats when they don't work in labs? Harry Rimmer, David Menton... John Pendleton in his youtube video wears a lab coat while reading the Bible to see how old the Earth is. Does he fear that the Bible will splash acid on him? No. He's invoking argument by fictional authority. That's arrogance.Kent Hovind, who insists he must be called "Doctor" (he got his degree in Christian Eduction from a diploma mill):“I have an IQ of about 160, I taught science for about fifteen years” [Source; also get Quacky Quotes of Kent Hovind at Wayback Machine]Here is fraudster Carl Baugh, who promoted the fake Flood giant fossil Humanus Bauanthropus [named after himself], calls creationist Ian Juby "Professor" and says:Baugh: "This audience should know that your IQ is off the chart, and we appreciate that." [Potholer54 debunks Ian Juby]
Gross: Since when did a relative viewpoint become logical?"Relative viewpoint"? Does he mean moral relativism? If Gross wants to go there, we can discuss the moral relativism and changing rules of Biblical Christianity.
Baugh: "This audience should know that your IQ is off the chart, and we appreciate that."Because it can only be expressed as an imaginary number?
No, because it is a negative number.
I take back my statement that Baugh is a fraudster. He aggressively promoted frauds perpetrated by others like the Paluxy Cretaceous man tracks, but he did not create those particular frauds. He is just grossly incompetent and dishonest and his fossils are fakes or grossly misidentified.
I take back my statement that Baugh is a fraudster.Boasting three PhDs issued by three different degree-mills doesn't count?
Piotr,good point, but do you have a link on Baugh claiming three Ph.D.'s?
DiogenesAnd your inflated responses show my point, think you
Gross,Back that up, genius. You take a quote from what I wrote and explain where it's more arrogant than shit written by egomaniac creationists like Dembski, Baugh, Ken Ham, Kent Hovind et al.Don't just say shit-- present some evidence or STFU.
So you got on your soapbox, foamed at the mouth and completely misunderstood my point. Since when did atheist own knowledge and logic I asked? Your subjective feelings on the subject manifested well in your ranting's and proved my point about relativism. Here is a news flash for you truth does not care how you feel. As for evidence the fact that you do not hold the monopoly on Knowledge, logic or even intelligence here you go!http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/hundred-scientists.pdf
Gross wrote: Gross: The arrogance of the general atheist has no boundsI presented evidence disproving this.Gross throws tantrum, presents no evidence. I repeat: Don't just say shit-- present some evidence or STFU.Gross make noises. Angry. Got no evidence.Gross wrote: The arrogance of the general atheist has no boundsI repeat again: Don't just say shit-- present some evidence or STFU.
good point, but do you have a link on Baugh claiming three Ph.D.'s?Perhaps not three at one time (he's got a CV that evolves retrospectively), but on various occasions he has claimed to have the following advanced degrees:Doctor of Philosophy in Theology ([year ?], California Graduate School of Theology;Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (College of Advanced Education, somwhere down in Texas, or mebbe in the Land of Oz);Doctor of Philosophy in Education (1989, Pacific College of Graduate Studies);Doctor of Theology (2005, Louisiana Baptist University).http://paleo.cc/paluxy/degrees.htm
Diogenes writes,"Gross wrote: Gross: The arrogance of the general atheist has no boundsI presented evidence disproving this."Please clarify. I don't really see how one CAN "disprove" an assertion like that. And not by a long shot do I see that you have. Seems to me that you are only making YOUR point that a religious viewpoint is by definition arrogant.
AB: YOUR point that a religious viewpoint is by definition arrogant.Straw man attack.I don't really see how one CAN "disprove" an assertion like that.Perhaps not "disprove", but I provided counter-examples, thus destroying correlation between atheism and arrogance. If A is correlated with not-B, then B cannot be the cause of A.
Gross said the arrogance of the general atheist has no bounds. What he clearly means is that the arrogance of atheists like you, and others who post here (ie, the run of the mill self-described atheist), has no bounds. Evidence? LOL, go look at almost everything written on this site about atheism vs religion. Most of it resembles a group wank where you all tell each other how smart you all are and how stupid everyone else in the world is. Also, fwiw, all you offered in response was an attack on what you perceived as the arrogance of others. Thus your argument was completely wrongheaded: a bit like saying shooting cannot be a cause of death because people can die from stabbing. Shit logic, shit argument, from a shithead. NEXT!
Professor Gasiorowski:[Note I have appointed you to a professorship at my Bible College of Christian Bio-Apologetics and Waffle House]You have missed Carl Baugh's claim, in 1989, to also have "Ph.D. candidacy in paleoanthropology from Pacific College."Granted, that was just Ph.D. candidacy. But considering that he is the president of Pacific College and is at least half of the faculty, it is likely he has granted himself his fifth Ph.D. by now.Germans would have to call him Herr Doktor Doktor Doktor Doktor Doktor Baugh. Maybe a Professor or Prezident thrown in there too.When will these punks realize doctorates are for chumps and start giving each other habilitations.Piotr, let us be creationist to each other. On a paper towel I have written a diploma for you, a doctorate in, oh, let's say, Christian education, from my Bible College of Christian Bio-Apologetics and Waffle House. I will send you your diploma if you send me one. I want an habilitation in something sciencey. What subject? Surprise me.By the way, Piotr, the audience needs to know, your IQ is off the charts! (Now you do me.)
Atheists value knowledge more on avarage?Citation please? Last time I checked the greatest scientific minds of all time were almost all theists, the illogical Christian sort, you love belittling most of the time. Please provide proof of the claim you sucked out of the vacuum between your ears that atheists cherish knowledge more....
Hey wait a second, I want a diploma from your Bible College of Christian Bio-Apologetics and Waffle House too! Professor T.W. Truth Ph.D. has a nice ring to it.
Rapey: Shit logic, shit argument, from a shithead.That's DR. Shithead to you.Most of it resembles a group wank where you all tell each other how smart you all are and how stupid everyone else in the world is.And yet, strangely, Rapey cannot provide any examples of us actually saying that!Nor can Rapey present examples where we grant ourselves diplomas from "colleges" we made ourselves president of; or go on about each other's high IQ's. Conservative Christians do that.Here Kent Hovind refers to Professor Massimo Pigliucci as “Mr.”, then demands he be called “Doctor”:Kent Hovind: “What Mr. Pigliucci [actually professor] wants, and I don't know why you are calling him Doctor and me Mister, [because he has a doctorate and you don’t, maybe?] so let's make it a level playing field. I have a Doctors degree also. [no you don't] although it is not from an accredited university, but I don't think that matters." [Then why are you arguing?] [Hovind/Pigliucci Debate www.infidelguy.com @ 9:47. See also Hovind Contradicts Himself, Archived at Wayback Machine]Nor have we named hoax fossil species after ourselves, as Carl Baugh has done [Humanus bauanthropus]-- which by the way, is against the rules of species naming.That egomaniacal shit is for fundamentalist Christians.Here Carl Baugh calls creationist Ian Juby "Professor" and says:Baugh: "This audience should know that your IQ is off the chart, and we appreciate that." [Potholer54 debunks Ian Juby]When creationists do not have other creationists around to compliment them on their high IQ's, they can compliment themselves:Kent Hovind: “I have an IQ of about 160, I taught science for about fifteen years” [Source; also get Quacky Quotes of Kent Hovind at Wayback Machine]Here is IDologue and sexist George Gilder complimenting Meyer and Dembski.Gilder: "The writings of the leading exponents of the concept, such as the formidably learned Stephen Meyer and William Dembski (both of the Discovery Institute), steer clear of any assumption that the intelligence manifestly present in the universe is necessarily supernatural." [Gilder at National Review]Here is William Dembski complimenting himself:Dembski: "The work itself is immensely satisfying and intellectually stimulating. Moreover, I see those who seek to shut it down as intolerant dogmatists who encapsulate a tyranny that I despise. So I get to see myself as both a scientific researcher and as a freedom fighter—-a rare combination.” – [An Interview with Dr. William A. Dembski]In reality, he is neither a scientist nor a freedom fighter. When Dembski suggested that Noah's Flood might not be global, the president of his seminary threatened to fire him for heresy, so William "Freedom Fighter" Dembski backed down and apologized for accidentally making a scientifically accurate statement.Plenty more conservative Christian egomania, but that's enough for now.
Do you not understand? Obviously not. Here it is again: it makes no difference whether Dembski is the most arrogant person in the world, or if some theists are very arrogant, the point being made here is that the arrogance of atheists such as yourself generally knows no bounds. You fancy yourselves as pursuers of truth and knowledge when in reality you're a bunch of feeble minded pricks with a superiority complex and a bad line in rhetoric. I therefore have zero interest in whether you can find examples of some people who were killed by stabbing, to use the previous analogy, my point here is that many people are killed by shooting. And they are.So, in summary, shit logic (twice), shit argument (twice) from a double shithead.
Rapey: in summary, shit logic (twice), shit argument (twice) from a double shithead.That's DR. Double Shithead to you.the point being made here is that the arrogance of atheists such as yourself generally knows no boundsBut it is not supported by any evidence! So your "point" is merely bullshit mountain. Buh-bye!
Dear Dr. Diogenes,Excuse my addressing you as "Dr." (if I have misspelt the title, Mr. Luther "Rapey" Flint will doubtless correct me), but this is only a temporary inconvenience. A professorial appointment is awaiting you at Mid-Atlantic Creation College, pending a successful conclusion of your habilitation process. Your thesis entitled Bayesian Trinitology and Its Ramifications for Divine Revelation Theory (Divo-Revo) has been enthusiastically approved by the reviewers. [quote: "Reviewing this book was a rare pleasure. It is clearly-written and well-reasoned, and the author is such a tremendous chap."] We shall ship your diploma together with some Creation College gadgets as soon as we receive the payment confirmation from out bank in the Cayman Islands. It should also please you to learn that your IQ has been officially measured and found to be off the scale, but at any rate longer than five inches.
It is supported by copious evidence - go read the mocking posts on this site. Or imagine, if you can contain your laughter (I certainly can't), the pomposity, the arrogance, and the ignorance of how it would be received, that was involved in the invention of the term "Bright". look at the names you call yourselves - freethinkers (lol), champions of reason (double lol). Virtually every word that falls from your lips involves trumpeting your own intellectual capacities and doing down everyone else's. And when one considers just how dumb you really are, such arrogance is mind-boggling. Bye bye, don't cry.
@Piotr-the-pederast People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
Rapey: @Piotr-the-pederastA pederast? You mean you have promoted Piotr to priest? No sir, I need him on the faculty of my Bible College of Christian Bio-Apologetics and Waffle House.
He is on your faculty, you only employ pederasts remember. And when you invent a college name as above, I take it you don't count that as arrogantly mocking the academic credentials of others in comparison to your own. That's the kind of thing that normal people see as arrogant (because it is). And it's the kind of thing that tumbles out in a constant stream whenever arrogant clowns like you open your mouth. NEHEXT!
I take it you don't count that as arrogantly mocking the academic credentials of others in comparison to your ownCredentials? We are talking of institutions that either don't exist at all, like "College of Advanced Education" or are diploma mills like this one: "The University had an administrative office but no campus, so did not offer physical classes on site. It offered correspondence education and franchised some of its degree programs to other colleges in Australia." Carl Baugh got all his fake degrees at places like those. Do you think it's arrogant to mock such practices? Why?
I know what you're talking about. You're point is about how clever you are with your proper academic credentials and how stupid those other people are with their pretend ones. It's standard stuff from the likes of you. And so yes, I do think it's arrogant - arrogant and largely irrelevant - and it's pretty much all you've got to offer.
Rapey: You're point is about how clever you are with your proper academic credentials and how stupid those other people are with their pretend onesNo. Our argument is that 1. Creationists are liars, and 2. They envy and covet the authority of science, while hating the work that goes into the scientific method, and3. They will lie to get the authority of science without doing ANY work at all!Rapey: , I do think it's arrogant - arrogant and largely irrelevant Oh ho! "Arrogance of atheists" was relevant, crucial, critical and important when you brought it up-- but not important enough for you to back it up with evidence and facts!But if we bring up the arrogance of creationists-- and back that up with facts and evidence-- then it becomes trivial, irrelevant and unimportant!You can dish it out but you can't take it. YOU raised the issue. YOU thought it was important when YOU brought it up! Now YOU live with the consequences!
One of the funniest things about atheists is that most self-described atheists can't even decide what "atheist" means. Watch...
Watch what, Rapey?
Watch pricks like you change the meaning of "atheist" about 20 times in as many minutes when asked to defend your position.
Watch pricks like youThat's DR. Prick to you.change the meaning of "atheist" about 20 times in as many minutesThis post has been up for 18 hours, so by your math, we should have changed the meaning of atheist 1,080 times by now. Instead, right now we're arguing about how many fake Ph.D.'s creationist Carl Baugh has claimed. La la la, back to discussions with sane people...
@Not very good at reading are you (see the rest of the half quote you mined), and I see you still can't spell "DR". And, it's just plain old prick.
True that, and evolution your mantra is as interchanable in its meaning like rechargeable batteries, for an atheist evolution literally means everything and anything..... Question is.... how did evolution cause evolution? I must be dumb if I can't even grasp what you think is logical......
Rapey: Watch pricks like you change the meaning of "atheist" about 20 times in as many minutesTell me, when will you get evidence for this? Ever?
What do you take "atheist" to mean? What are you willing to defend in term of the meaning of "atheist"? See my brief exchange with TWT below. Now, once you give your definition, I'll show why it's shite, and you'll change your tune. Watch...
On the topic of creationist egomania, here is an oldie but a goodie: Casey Luskin comparing IDologues to the Fellowship of the Ring, and evolutionists to Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor and his horde of sub-human orcs:Luskin: "An ominous force, lurking in the courts of kings, the halls of learning, and even the towers of wizards, threatens to dominate a society. Those who opposed the force have been systematically excluded from power. Some make peace with the force, advancing their personal interests, but are foolishly deceived into believing the force will not consume them and their descendants. Others refuse to acknowledge the force... pretending there is no impending threat to their way of life.Yet one small alliance, composed of brave souls with differing backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems realize the weakness of the force and have organized a fellowship to stop it. No, I'm not talking about The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien - I'm talking about the intelligent design (ID) movement, and the force of materialistic philosophy." [Casey Luskin (2004).]
More hilarious egomania! Here is blondofascist and ID proponent Ann Coulter telling a Jew that Jews need to "obey" Christianity and become "perfected" like Ann Coulter is, and the way you "obey" and get "perfected" is by believing self-contradictory propositions backed up by no evidence:COULTER: ...You walk past a mixed-race couple in New York, and it's like they have a chip on their shoulder. They're just waiting for somebody to say something, as if anybody would. And —DEUTSCH: ...I don't agree with that at all. Maybe you have the chip looking at them. I see a lot of interracial couples, and I don't see any more or less chips there either way. That's erroneous.COULTER: No. In fact, there was an entire "Seinfeld" episode about Elaine and her boyfriend dating because they wanted to be a mixed-race couple, so you're lying.DEUTSCH: Oh, because of some "Seinfeld" episode? OK.[...]DEUTSCH: ... you said I should not — we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then, or —COULTER: Yeah.DEUTSCH: Really?[...]COULTER: Yeah. You have to obey.DEUTSCH: You can't possibly believe that.COULTER: Yes.DEUTSCH: You can't possibly — you're too educated, you can't — you're like my friend --COULTER: Do you know what Christianity is? We believe your religion, but you have to obey.[...]DEUTSCH: [quoting Ahmadinejad] "Let's wipe Israel off the earth." I mean, what, no Jews?COULTER: No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?COULTER: Yes. That is what Christianity is... You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners...(BREAK)COULTER: ...I don't think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews....DEUTSCH: You said — your exact words were, "Jews need to be perfected." Those are the words out of your mouth.COULTER: No, I'm saying that's what a Christian is.[Fox News transcript]
On the topic of creationist egomania, here is an oldie but a goodie: Casey Luskin comparing IDologues to the Fellowship of the Ring, and evolutionists to Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor and his horde of sub-human orcs:Luskin: "An ominous force, lurking in the courts of kings, the halls of learning, and even the towers of wizards, threatens to dominate a society. Those who opposed the force have been systematically excluded from power. Some make peace with the force, advancing their personal interests, but are foolishly deceived into believing the force will not consume them and their descendants. Others refuse to acknowledge the force... pretending there is no impending threat to their way of life.Yet one small alliance, composed of brave souls with differing backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems realize the weakness of the force and have organized a fellowship to stop it. No, I'm not talking about The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien - I'm talking about the intelligent design (ID) movement, and the force of materialistic philosophy." [Casey Luskin (2004), http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?printerfriendly=1&ArtID=6665, dead link, search Wayback machine]
Yes, yes, and how does the arrogance of others lessen your arrogance. It doesn't. And so for the third and fourth time: shit logic, shit argument, from a shithead. Lol, what was it Einstein said about insanity?
Rapey: how does the arrogance of others lessen your arroganceIt doesn't-- but your inability to present evidence destroys your bare assertions. Fundamentalist Christianity is highly correlated with egomania. I backed it up with multiple examples.
@Paedo It doesn't. Exactly my point! Thus: shit logic, shit argument, from a shithead. Glad you agree. Re evidence, I presented evidence - much of this blog, and your post from a few minutes ago. NEXT!
I would define an atheist as not a theist. No belief in religion/god(s).I would define someone who is against theists/religion/god(s) as an anti-theist or anti-religion or anti-god(s).
Is there a need, in your book, for an atheist to have heard of the notion of God(s)?
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That's really funny, why do atheists now have their own churches? Is it to verify their non belief or is it to verify their belief? Just wondering.....
luther asked:"Is there a need, in your book, for an atheist to have heard of the notion of God(s)?"No.
And if you are wondering what I'm waffling about here you go....http://firstchurchofatheism.com/http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/01/atheist-church/Can anybody say religion? Because that is what atheism is, its just another religion....
Worse still its not even a good one because it copies everything from Christianity, just with a bit of its own spin....Kinda like a Strawberry Daiquiri with oranges.....
@TheWholeTruthIn your book, is it necessary for being an atheist to have the potential to believe in God)s.
andre asked:"That's really funny, why do atheists now have their own churches? Is it to verify their non belief or is it to verify their belief? Just wondering....."Hell if I know. Maybe they just like the camaraderie, or maybe the church has free coffee and cookies.
andre said:"Can anybody say religion? Because that is what atheism is, its just another religion...."So any gathering of people with something in common is a religious gathering?
luther asked:"In your book, is it necessary for being an atheist to have the potential to believe in God)s."No.
@The Whole Truth Do you need the potential to have beliefs to be an atheist, in your book?
Luther and Andre are perfectly entitled to their dumbass versions of what "atheism" entails. To myself, it simply means the absence of religious belief. See also: dark is the absence of light. If they prefer a definition of 'religious belief' that can never actually be absent, then bingo - they have defined themselves right. Well done boys, have a cigar.
But your definition is stupid. At least mine, once I give it will be seen to be not stupid, unlike your definition which is, as noted, stupid.Also, interesting you claim to know that my definition is dumbass before you've even seen what it is. (An arrogant assumption I would argue.)
Let me help you atheists with your very own definition of your actual atheism. It is not the absence of belief that you so gladly try and sell, its your rejection of belief, you see if it was an absence of belief you would not have an opinion about God, Jesus or religion. Rationally speaking how do you form an opinion on that which is absent from you? And since every single atheist on this blog knows exactly what God is not, it is clear that your atheism is based on rejection, not absence.
Stupid, you say? Yet curiously conventional. I have nonetheless gathered more information in support of my suspicion that your definition is, indeed, dumbass. Call me arrogant, but ... I am more certain of it in Andre's case, as he has revealed his cards, but since you chide me for bracketing you together, I will pull up a chair and await your demonstration that I am indeed the one brandishing the 'stupid' definition.
Pull up the chair close now, I'll tell you what's wrong with your definition and give you my definition when Larry outlines his as part of the challenge he said he was so looking forward to but now seems to have ducked. (If he doesn't provide one I'll provide one in a few hours.)
luther asked:"Do you need the potential to have beliefs to be an atheist, in your book?"Already answered.
No, you haven't answered that particular question. I take it you mean "no" though.
Since I don't see any relevant difference between..."In your book, is it necessary for being an atheist to have the potential to believe in God)s."And:"Do you need the potential to have beliefs to be an atheist, in your book?"...I don't see the need to answer it twice.
OK, I disagree, but wee'll run with your no answer. Can you give an example of someone/thing that lacks the potential to have beliefs and yet is an atheist?
Time for an analogy, maybe.Reptiles have scaly skin, more importantly they lay eggs. Theists? They are the reptiles. Subdivide as you wish (the Mormons and other recent splinterings can be monotremes if you like).Potentially, we could be looking at a future where Atheism is more widespread - the trends are already there. Atheists are the mammals. In contrast to the reptiles, they lay no eggs. Got past that.Crude but quite pleasing. Egg laying = theist; and vice versa.What especially appeals to me about this (otherwise rather silly) analogy, is that the mammals are amazingly diverse, coming in all shapes and sizes and occupying every conceivable habitat, which chimes with the way that it is hard to generalise about all the different kinds of atheists in the world we live in today.I you tried getting them to all function as a group, in pursuit of a common purpose, you would not find it easy (the phrase 'herding cats' comes to mind).(With apologies to any Buddhists reading this. I'll fit you in later).
luther asked:"Can you give an example of someone/thing that lacks the potential to have beliefs and yet is an atheist?"Define "beliefs".
@TWTUse the same definition you used above when answering "no" to the questions about beliefs. I'm using the same one now and you had no problem with it then.
Okay, by "beliefs" I take it that you mean any kind of beliefs, including but not limited to religious beliefs. In that case, to your question..."Can you give an example of someone/thing that lacks the potential to have beliefs and yet is an atheist?"...I'll say a corpse, and especially if it's the corpse of a person who was an atheist.
It's OK, your previous "rocks" confirmation was more than enough.
Twt go have a look at the atheist church format copied from your run of the mill Christian church..... hymns... a preach and brotherhood. Yep its a religion.....
andre, to me it looks more like a push-back against religion, and a way to provide some equal rights/privileges to atheists.
Above, the clown prince of prickishness says: "No theist has a hypothesis about spooks or gods' specific interactions with matter that makes testable predictions about observable quantities". LOL - No scientist has a hypothesis about how mind interacts with matter except for the falsified claim that it doesn't in the face of the obvious fact that it does. So I'd imagine God could interact in a similar way our minds do. Or, at the very least, the fact that our minds clearly interact with matter in a manner completely inexplicable in physical terms, suggests there is no problem postulating a similar type of interaction by God.
Rapey: LOL - No scientist has a hypothesis about how mind interacts with matterSo what? What evidence is there that "mind" is a thing as opposed to a function? What evidence is there that this thing interacts with matter?You have presented no hypotheses of spooks interacting with matter that make testable predictions!If mind is a function, then saying "mind interacts with matter" is like saying "ON interacts with a computer." It's a buzzing noise, has no scientific meaning. Science does not need to answer buzzing noises.except for the falsified claim that it doesn'tOh, bullshit. Falsified? You can't even define "mind", much less do an experiment to prove its interaction with matter.You have presented no hypotheses of spooks interacting with matter that make testable predictions!the fact that our minds clearly interact with matter "Clearly"? Why do idiots always write "clearly" in sentences whenever they have no evidence to back up the sentence?You have presented no hypotheses of spooks interacting with matter that make testable predictions!So I'd imagine God could interact in a similar way our minds do.Your wild imagination is not evidence! Fairy tales and allegations of supernatural cause are not evidence! You can imagine that the Prince kissed Snow White, but it's not evidence she's real!Your fairy tales do not make testable predictions about observable quantities!When a whale sings a song, is that proof that its "mind" interacts with matter? What about when a bee does a dance? Is that proof that its "mind" interacts with matter? You have presented no hypotheses of spooks interacting with matter that make testable predictions!
@Dickogenes This sentence types here is evidence that mind interacted with matter. And such a sentence being produced is inexplicable in any scientific and/or physical terms. The fact that this happens all the time and is observable on as regular basis as anything there is, does not mean that it can just be ignored, or worse, denied.And if it's a prediction you want - here: In about twenty seconds I'll write "Diogenes is an arsehole". Diogenes is an arsehole.There you go. A prediction of mind interacting with matter that has been confirmed and, which science could never ever match, and never ever explain. I'd imagine God might use a similar method as I just did when He interacts. Don't cry.
Rapey:Diogenes is an arsehole.That's Dr. Arsehole to you.This sentence types here is evidence your mind is a thing that interacted with matter. No, you have no evidence mind is a thing and not a function. This is like saying: a whale sang a song, that's proof its mind interacted with matter.This is like saying: a bee did a dance, that's proof its mind interacted with matter.This is like saying: a bird sang a song, that's proof its mind interacted with matter.This is like saying: a seal played a song on squeeze-horns, that's proof its mind interacted with matter.This is like saying: elephants communicate with subsonic vibrations, that's proof their minds interacted with matter.And such a sentence being produced is inexplicable in any scientific and/or physical terms.No, that is a bare assertion, not evidence. You are just saying "What's bad for science is good for me."This is like saying: a bee did a dance, that is inexplicable in any scientific and/or physical terms. Therefore its mind interacted with matter.You have no evidence for these claims, just "What's bad for science is good for me."But note that your logic is "God of the Gaps". If you can trick stupid people into thinking science can't solve a problem, that proves spooks exist. No. The interaction of spooks with matter is not the default hypothesis. Here is Rapey's logic.1. If I can trick stupid people into thinking that science has no explanation for a phenomenon, then a spook did it is the default hypothesis.2. I can I can trick stupid people into thinking that science has no explanation for Rapey writing insults on the internet.3. Therefore, Rapey writing insults on the internet can only be explained by an invisible, intangible spook interacting with matter, to produce insults on the internet.Same logic as: 1. my cow died; 2. I don't know about natural causes of cow diseases; 3. Therefore my neighbor's a witch.
The logic is very straightforward paedo. Just because you know nothing of logic and are ideologically committed to the contrary of what everyone can see every day of their lives doesn't mean anything. Humans (on account of what is called their minds) are able to bring stuff about in the world (ie, interact with matter) in a way that is completely inexplicable from any in-principle scientific standpoint. Burying your head in the sand (or up your arse) won't change that fact a jot. So unless you want to deny humans exist (I have no axe to grind over the word "mind"), just accept what has been proven and don't cry like a little baby.
I've reread your last post and decided to have some more fun showing what a dickhead you are.I said "This sentence types [should have been "typed" but hey ho] here is evidence that mind interacted with matter". You then lied about it and changed my sentence to "This sentence types [keeping the typo I see] here is evidence your mind is a thing that interacted with matter" and you put it in italics to pretend I had actually said that. You then attacked the very word you inserted (thing) as if it was any part of my argument that the mind is a thing and not a process. I actually couldn't care less what term you use since my argument works without even using the word mind - as my response above shows. So, you lied about what I said and attacked the very part of your lie that made it a lie. Conclusion: dishonest cunt. NEEEEXT!
Luther Flint speaks before thinking when he says,What do you take "atheist" to mean? What are you willing to defend in term of the meaning of "atheist"? See my brief exchange with TWT below. Now, once you give your definition, I'll show why it's shite, and you'll change your tune. Watch.I love a challenge.On Being a Sophisticated Atheist http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2011/11/on-being-sophisticated-atheist.html "Yes," "No," and "I Don't Know"http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2011/11/yes-no-and-i-dont-know.htmlFriendly Atheists and the Other Kind of Atheist http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2011/11/friendly-atheists-and-other-kind-of.htmlWhat Is the New Atheism?http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2008/12/what-is-new-atheism.html
If your definition is hidden somewhere in that yawn inducing morass why not fetch it and put it here for all to see.Here are the questions I asked TWT:Need an atheist have heard of notion of God(s)?Is the potential to believe in God necessary for being an atheist?Is the potential to have beliefs necessary for being an atheist?I ask in order to get clear about what you are wiling to defend so that when you change it I can have a laugh.
I must confess, sophisticated atheist is the best oxymoron I've heard this week, priceless!!!!
An atheist is a person who doesn't believe in any god(s).
OK, Luther, I think you have a pretty clear consensus amongst people who self-identify as atheists that this is what they mean when they say it.I do note that many online dictionaries tend to go for a more active 'believe there are no deities', rather than my own preference 'do not believe there are'. But I'm sure your argument is much more than mere hair-splitting. So ... here's my mush. Shove a grapefruit in it.
The problem with the mere lack of belief stuff that you and Larry favour is that it makes, eg, babies, brain dead people, people with severe lifelong mental illness who don't believe much at all, (presumably) everyone 50,000 years ago, and many others who are not atheists, atheists. A far better, more accurate, and less rhetorically disingenuous, definition would be something like: someone who has arrived, after having considered it, at the position of not believing in God(s). Or, as Wikipedia (slightly ambiguously has it), a person who rejects a belief in God(s).
OK, in order to be a- something, there has to be the something to be a- about. One would hardly be interested in self-identifying as a- that thing if one had no knowledge of it. But I think you can take it as read that people who self-identify are not being rhetorically disingenuous with themselves, by pretending they hadn't heard of the thing they are professing non-belief in. I was born without belief in anything much. Then people told me stuff. Lots of stuff, which I generally swallowed whole. Then I started thinking "hang on a minute ... ".There's this box marked "religious beliefs" and hair-splitters insist you have to tick one. "What's a religious belief?", you politely enquire. On explanation, you go for None Of The Above. "I'll put you down as atheist then, shall I?". "If you like".
Both Allan's/Larry's definition and Luther's definition are somewhat problematic, but in general terms, I would say Luther's is closer.In terms of Allan's definition, Luther is correct that it can be applied too broadly. I doubt that many people who self identify as atheists look at newborn babies, or chimpanzees for that matter, and think, 'hello, fellow atheist'. I know I didn't when I was an atheist, and I don't now either. So, if 'no belief in god(s)' is more or less the correct definition, it is a somewhat absurd definition and needs to be tweaked.Luther does a good job of 'tweaking' it, but the (slight) problem with it is that people raised by atheists, in a largely atheistic community, need never 'reject' the idea of god. They would become atheists without ever giving the matter much thought, in the same way that most people become Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. without fully thinking about it. They would (or have in the case of some people - Larry claims to be one) pretty much just inherit their atheism without the 'consideration' that Luther's definition requires.Perhaps the wiki version is best, after all. "Reject" in that sense could mean either after individual consideration or under the tutelage and upbringing of atheistic parents.
That's precisely what happened to Bertrand Russell when he was briefly imprisoned in 1918 for his pacifist activities:I was much cheered on my arrival by the warden at the gate, who had to take particulars about me. He asked my religion, and I replied "agnostic". He asked how to spell it, and remarked with a sigh: "Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God." This remark kept me cheerful for about a week.
(for clarity:) I was replying to Allan's coment.
In terms of Allan's definition, Luther is correct that it can be applied too broadly. I doubt that many people who self identify as atheists look at newborn babies, or chimpanzees for that matter, and think, 'hello, fellow atheist'.Why should they? I don't collect stamps, but I don't look at a newborn baby as a fellow non-collector of stamps. Not collecting them does not produce a sense of fellowship.
but Piotr, that is different, and I am sure you can recognize the difference. Unlike stamp collecting, the conflict/argument between theism and atheism is one of the most intellectually stimulating, and hotly debated, out there. Sites like this would not exist were that not so. So it is very likely that when you consider the term 'atheist' you are mindful of a certain type of person, whether consciously or subconsciously, in a way that you are not if you were to think of a 'non-stamp collector'.
Andy, there are atheists and atheists. I'm using the most encompassing definition, which doesn't require one to adopt an ideological stance. To tell the truth, on a site like this I enjoy discussing science more than engage in theological with random trolls (I don't mean you). If stamp collectors wanted to rule the world -- if they started attacking non-collectors and demanding that everyone should be required to collect something (preferably stamps) -- I would willy-nilly define myself as a conscious non-collector, and that would make me "a certain type of person" who rejects collecting things (preferably stamps).
Erratum: theological --> theological disputes
@PiotrThere may be atheists and atheists, but everyone here is one type of atheist and not the other type of atheist. And yet, you all use a definition which covers both, and the one you will at first defend in an argument is the part of the overall group you're not in. Why else would you be so reluctant to use a very loose definition of your position rather than a definition which far more accurately characterises it? That's why I say the definition you use is concocted for disingenuous rhetorical purposes.
"determined" rather than "reluctant"
No, that's how I see my own position. I don't think it's idiosyncratic: it's one of the formulations given in Wikipedia, as well as in many dictionaries. And I will object to any straw-man definition of atheism that "accurately characterises" something that I'm not. The reason for my reluctance is that the definition you have concocted fails to characterise me correctly.
So you're claiming your an atheist only in the sense of someone who has perhaps never even heard of God and simply lacks the belief in exactly the same way you lack the belief that I have a cat called Charlie? Nonsense! The fact is that you have heard of God, you have considered the issue of His existence, you talk about it almost every day, and you are most definitely someone who has actively arrived at the position you hold rather than just ended up without a belief. Thus you are indeed an example of the type of atheist covered by my definition - the one which, incidentally, is not only in wikipedia but is the first one given in wikipedia, ie, not a strawman at all. One wonders why you're so keen to use a far broader definition which fails to make important distintions. What are you afraid of?
I'm not afraid of anything. I'm only annoyed by your attempt to shoehorn me into your definition just because you have a point to make. It isn't my fault that I have heard of God. Or of Santa Claus, for that matter. Blame the adults who talked about them when I was a child. It did not affect the development of my world-view, but not as if I'd said, "Sorry, God, from now on I refuse to believe in you." I can't remember having ever taken the idea of a god seriously, not since I started distinguishing reality from fairy tales.
Nobody is attributing blame for what you believe about God. I am only attributing blame for your refusal to acknowledge an obvious distinction and your refusal to acknowledge on which side of that distinction you lie. Think of it this way: there is the superinclusive term "atheist" which includes people who have heard of God and who have considered His existence and who don't believe He exists, and also those who have never heard of God (perhaps those raised by wolves or some such thing), babies, people born with severe mental impairment such that they may not be said to have (m)any beliefs at all and so on; and then let us distinguish those who have heard of God in the normal way from those who have not for whatever reason (wolf-children, babies, brain damaged etc). This is a perfectly normal thing to do as can be seen by the way terms such as teetotaller, non-smoker etc are used (nobody, eg, calls a baby a teetoaller but they are at a stretch). So, which type of atheist are you?
I have already told you. I don't believe in (any) god the way non-smokers don't smoke (even if many of their family and friends do). I've have enough of this questioning. You can move on to someone else. EOT
But not all non-smokers are the same. There are those who choose not to smoke and there are babies who can't yet, and the seriously brain-damaged, and those who lived before cigarettes etc were invented. You are in the former camp and the latter (inclusive) camp only exists, if it all, in the minds of disingenuous clowns trying to argue shite.
So (I find myself wondering) bleeding (and Andy can chime in here if he wishes) what?So the 'correct' definition is "someone who has heard of one or more Gods and didn't buy it". That way we avoid people thinking we were talking about rocks or babies or people a million years ago. 'Cos otherwise, how on earth would they know? Glad we cleared that up. Disingenuous clowns and shite, indeed.
The point is this: since it's so obvious you don't need the woolly definition that might refer to rocks and babies (and many have claimed everyone is born an atheist remember), and since you would never dream of adopting that woolly definition for any disingenuous rhetorical purpose, you obviously will have no objection to adopting a proper definition since it's what you already meant anyway, eh. All we need now is Piotr to accept what you say and reject the mere "lack of belief" definition. Well, Piotr, and everyone else here, including you, because in about 15 seconds you'll be back to mere belief for some reason or other.https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=we're+born+atheists&rlz=1C1AFAB_enGB447GB447&aq=f&oq=we're+born+atheists&aqs=chrome.0.57j0j62l3.3810&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
All we need now is Piotr to accept what you say and reject the mere "lack of belief" definition.And then you will be able to accuse me of changing my definition twenty times in so many minutes, right? No, Luther, I'm not going to take anything back. If I did, the next thing you would do would be equivocating about "rejection". If a six-year-old realises that the stories told by some of the adults, the church service he/she is made to attend, and the prayers he's made to repeat every night make as much sense as the tooth fairy and letters to Father Christmas, do you classify that as an act of rejection (a deliberate choice after much consideration -- by a child)? The way I though about in when I was in primary school was "I don't believe it", not "I hereby identify myself as an Atheist". Do children who realise that Harry Potter is just a piece of fiction "reject magic and wizardry", or just use their intelligence? Of course a Potterian fanatic may claim that if you "reject" Dumbledore you automatically side with Voldemort. What can one say to that (except g.f.y/s.)?I am sure that even in times when most countries were repressive theocracies and everybody was subjected to massive indoctrination from the cradle to the grave, a sizeable proportion of people remained religiously indifferent and didn't buy any of the stuff. Howevetr, they had to feign religiousness in order to survive: openly declared atheism was a capital offence.
Sorry: The way I though about --> The way I thought about it
you obviously will have no objection to adopting a proper definition since it's what you already meant anyway, eh.Nope, my definition is fine. I'm stubborn that way. Atheism is a lack of belief in Gods. Similarly, 'apolitical' refers to someone "Having no interest in or association with politics". If some pedantic twat insisted that this definition could apply to anything - apolitical babies, apolitical trees, say - I'd probably say frigging grow up.
(Hopefully) in a lighter vein, I would like to suggest that, in place of Piotr's analogy of stamp collecting and not stamp collecting, we could liken the difference between belief and non-belief to nudism.Nudism is the default position. We are born nude, and we would remain so were it not for our upbringing, at least on hot days. All other animals are nudists. They are born so and remain so for the remainder of their lives.Furthermore, most of us get pretty close to public nudity when we go to a pool or a beach. So a nudist, mimicking an atheist, could say, "We just go one garb further".
Andy - :0)
Yes, Andy. And -- if you like analogies -- health, understood as the absence of illness, pain or injury, is the default condition of living things. If I'm healthy, I have one infection fewer than somebody who's in bed with flu. Or maybe I reject flu.
@MillerStrange how predictable you people are. Not one of you fall into the category of mere disbelievers and yet you all desperately cling to that definition. And it's clear, as the link I provided shows, that some actually use the very ambiguity you gloss over as irrelevant because, you claim, nobody thinks that, so that they can claim all people are born atheists. And now you've got Piotr chiming in with his "default condition/cognitive position" and yet you still don't see how that very ambiguity you think it's ridiculous top address is actually essential to some of the more ridiculous claims atheists make. So let's make some true statements about atheists. 1. Huge numbers of atheists can't count to ten.2. Atheists have a far lower average level of education than theists.3. Huge numbers of atheists are atheists simply because they are completely uninformed.4. Millions more atheists become theists every year that theists become atheists.Happy that all those claims are true?
@AndyThe analogy with nudists is a useful one. Nobody (almost nobody) showers or bathes wearing clothes and are not nudists. And even though no animals wear clothes no animals are nudists. And that's because, like atheists, to be a nudist needs something more than mere nudity, the deliberately ambiguous, and rhetorically disingenuous, protestations of atheists. And and, think what it says about the mental state of most atheists that they can't simply come clean about the belief system. The point being that here are a group of people (in the narrow sense of my definition) who refuse to really come clean about what they are. Dishonesty, then, it seems, is central to atheism. And that's because, by and large, as can be seen from this site, most self-described atheists are actually petty-minded fuckwits, who take refuge behind disingenuous arguments at every available opportunity.
So let's make some true statements about atheists."Atheists" can't be defined as a natural class, i.e. on the basis of something that they have (and not something they have not). So any general propositions about them, no matter how amusing you find them to be, are uninsightful. Theist/atheist is a false dichotomy, because you use different standards to define them. Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindus are relatively well-defined terms. You can just point to their articles of faith (I'm less sure if "theists" in general are easy to define properly, since "religion" and "god" are somewhat fuzzy concepts). Some people might be anti-theists with an explicit ideology, but that's a different problem. Atheists do not have to be anti-theists (some of course are, but many aren't).1. Huge numbers of atheists can't count to ten.2. Atheists have a far lower average level of education than theists.3. Huge numbers of atheists are atheists simply because they are completely uninformed.4. Millions more atheists become theists every year that theists become atheists.If you want to study the relative merits of X and Y, choose groups which are comparable in every respect except the one under investigation (like an equal number of adult humans with a similar sociological profile). You know you are cheating, don't you? Or are you really as stupid as you look?
@PiotrBut the points were not intended to be honest. The points were intended, in the same way your clinging to a loose definition for rhetorical gain is, to be dishonest. That is, they are points made because the definition of the term allows them to be made, not because they are the right points to be made. Just like the claim that all babies are atheists can be made because your deliberately chosen definition of the term allows it, and not because it is in any way an honest point to make.
Luther Flint says,The problem with the mere lack of belief stuff that you and Larry favour is that it makes, eg, babies, brain dead people, people with severe lifelong mental illness who don't believe much at all, (presumably) everyone 50,000 years ago, and many others who are not atheists, atheists.Oops! I did it again, didn't I? I mistakenly thought Luther was capable of having an intelligent conversation. I won't make that mistake again.
@LarryAh, the old non-answer answer. Anyway, is it your view, then, that babies are not atheists? Moreover, do you think the idea so ridiculous that the definition needs no adjustment because only a fool would take it to refer to babies. If so, then there are lots of fools around. Piotr, for one, and TWT, for another, who appear adamant that babies are atheists in exactly the way they are because that's just what the word means. As for you, where do you stand on this issue: Are babies atheists?
The problem with the mere lack of belief stuff that you and Larry favour is that it makes, eg, babies, brain dead people, people with severe lifelong mental illness who don't believe much at all, (presumably) everyone 50,000 years ago, and many others who are not atheists, atheists.It isn't a problem at all. Wikipedia goes on to say:Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.Atheism in this general sense is the default cognitive position. You apparently want to define it as an ideology, or a quasi-religious belief, which it is not. Rejecting a belief in the majority of gods is in fact what religious people have to do. A religious person normally choses one god or one set of gods to believe in, to the exclusion of others. Thus a Christian will reject Vishnu, Astarte, Mithra, Isis, Gitche Manitou, Athena, Odin, Ahura Mazda, Epona, Quetzalcoatl etc., not to mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
But the problem if it is merely the absence of belief is that fenceposts, monkeys, babies, the brain-dead, etc etc are then atheists. And they're not. That definition only being invented by some atheists for disingenuous rhetorical reasons - no justification needed for the mere lack of belief. And so the reason I'm defining it in the way I am is because that's actually what it means when used, and that's what people who self-describe as atheists actually are. These are not people who merely lack a belief in God in the way I currently lack the belief that Lady Gaga is sleeping at the moment. These are people who have given it thought (supposedly) and have come to adopt a position of non-belief. Moreover, if we go with your definition we can say that hundreds of millions of atheists worldwide at any given time can't even count to ten. Bright bunch eh.And who cares what religious people do. Can you not for just one minute stop trying to defend your garbage by pointing out what others do and believe. Have some dignity.
I don't define an atheist as "a bright person". True, most really bright people are atheists, but I accept the fact that there are lots of stupid atheists. For me, atheism is not a camp. I don't belong to any organised movement of atheists. I just don't happen to believe in (any) god. That despite having grown up in a country where 90+% of people are at least nominally Roman Catholics, having been told the usual stuff in my childhood, having religious people in my family etc. I somehow didn't catch the meme. But I can count to ten.
I never said you defined an atheist as a bright person the point was about under threes. And I completely disagree that most really bright people are atheists. And while you may not belong to an organised movement of atheists, you are definitely in the have-thought-about-and-not-accepted-it rather than the never-heard-of-it camp.
I was exposed to religious indoctrination earely in my life, and it had no effect on me. That doesn't place me in a camp. I was also exposed to communist propaganda and didn't buy it either, which doesn't make me an anti-communist as "a type of person".
You are in a camp - even by your own admission you're in a camp - you're in the camp of people who doesn't believe in God. All I'm pointing out is that you are also in a very particular subsection of the camp - which might be called the have-heard-of-thought-about-and-not-accepted part of the camp.
Whatever you say. I'm also in the camp of people who are not red-haired, and in the camp of people who are not called Theodore, and in lots of equally ill-defined camps: all by my own admission. Ah, and not only am I not-red-haired -- I'm also in the very specific subsection which might be called the have-heard-of-red-hair-but-rejected-the-option-of-dying-their-hair-red.
Yes, but why do you self-identify as an atheist and not an aredhairist. And why do you write your name as Piotr and not as NotTheodore. And, fwiw, the atheist camp you lie about not being in is not ill-defined at all. It's perfectly clear - that's why Wiki puts my definition before your defintion and why it has no article on non-red-haired people or people not called Theodore.
Yup I was correct, for a normal conscious thinking human being atheism is not an absence of belief in God its a rejection.
luther said:"But the problem if it is merely the absence of belief is that fenceposts, monkeys, babies, the brain-dead, etc etc are then atheists. And they're not."Sure they are, although I can't be certain about monkeys. It doesn't matter how or why someone is an atheist. Even if someone is exposed to 'the notion of god(s)' and they reject god(s), they're still an atheist if they have no belief in god(s). If someone has never been exposed to 'the notions of god(s)' or they don't imagine god(s) on their own, and they have no belief in god(s), they're an atheist.As I said before, I would define someone who's against god(s), religion, and/or theists, as anti-theist or anti-god(s), or anti-religion (take your pick or all of the above). Few words are defined exactly the same way by every person at all times. Like most or all words, atheist or atheism are sometimes defined or used very specifically and at other times they're defined or used more loosely. Atheism/anti-theism or religious beliefs can be said to have degrees. The degree to which someone believes in god(s) may be from just a little belief to full blown street corner fire and brimstone screaming religious zealot. To just call that person religious wouldn't specifically describe them but it might be enough for general purposes. Atheism is technically just lack of belief in god(s) but it can also be used to describe someone who lacks belief in certain god(s), although to be specific more descriptive words should be used. An example: I would describe myself as atheist and anti-theist, and I could add anti-religion and/or anti-god(s). However, I'm more anti than some people and less than others. For instance, I don't care all that much if someone believes in god(s) as long as they don't shove it in my face or try to control or harm my life or the lives of others with it. I've met lots of people who, when asked, will say that they believe in god(s) but, if not asked, say nothing about god(s). I've also met many people who came up to me and the first words out of their mouth were "Do you know Jesus?" and they went on and on trying to control and convert me. No atheist or anti-theist has ever come up to me or knocked on my door or called me on the phone or mailed me anything and tried to control and convert me. I've also never met an atheist or anti-theist who assumed that I must be an atheist or anti-theist, but lots of people have arrogantly assumed that I must be a god(s) believer. I have a close-by neighbor who is a Jehova's Witness. He's a real nice guy but he just won't shut up about "God" and associated fairy tales. I don't shove my atheism or anti-theism in his face. I don't mention it at all. He just assumes that I must be a believer like him and that I want to hear a sermon, even though we're talking about something totally unrelated to god(s). He tries to get me to read the bible (I've already read much of it) and some other religious stuff and he even said to me one day that the Earth should look like a well manicured golf course because "God" put humans here to take care of the world. He's a reformed alcoholic. He went from one crutch to another. The resistance and push-back from anti-theists (or just 'atheists' if they prefer to call themselves that) is largely, and maybe completely, because they have had god(s)/religion endlessly shoved in their faces and into their lives whether they like it or not, and in many cases theists have robbed, mistreated, coerced, threatened, raped, tortured, kidnapped, killed, etc., someone and/or their loved ones, so it's not surprising that some people are vocal anti-theists.
You're getting a bit carried away. This isn't about how much you hate theists, this is about the meaning of "atheist" and about why atheists feel the need to lie about what they are.
Oi DodgykneesThat's what I was talking about when I said "watch". ROFL
What, this? One of the funniest things about atheists is that most self-described atheists can't even decide what "atheist" means. Watch..."Lack of belief in Gods". Oh yeah, babies and trees. OK, "Lack of belief in Gods [clarification provided for the wilfully dumb]". ROFL.
It's something of an anticlimax when someone declares that all the definitions offered so far are stupid, then goes on to ask a lot of Socratic-sounding questions, then promises a really smart definition "in a few hours" -- and then, after all that foreplay serves us one taken from Wikipedia. Lo and behold!
@MillerThe willfully dumb you refer to is Piotr who really does believe babies are atheists. He thinks atheism is the default cognitive condition of humanity. And check the link I gave you, there you will see many people claiming everyone is born is an atheist. So it's not my simply closing of ambiguous nobody would ever exploit, it's me arguing against what appear to be a fairly central view within the atheist community. You're disingenuous means of dealing my argument being to close your eyes and pretend you can't see all the stuff that shows your analysis of the, in your eyes irrelevant, ambiguity is woeful. This ambiguity is a central feature of the definition and is used at every turn. And that's the real reason you won't adopt a proper definition - not because you think it unnecessary, but because you desperately need precisely that ambiguity for some of the more ludicrous statements made by your atheist brethren.
@PiotrIt's not an anti-climax when those, like you, refuse point blank to adopt a proper definition, and then reject the proper definition because it's both wrong (as you previously argued), and because it's too obviously right (as you now appear to be suggesting). The point here was never to provide some new flash definition of "atheist" but just to show how fundamentally dishonest you lot are about your own beliefs. And that has been done is spades.
Luther,What's dishonest about regarding atheism as (short version) 'lack of belief in gods'? Yes, I have followed your tedious (long version) "lack of belief in gods despite having been exposed to the Good News about 'em" (I paraphrase) argument. But as the point about 'apolitical' shows, it's just stupid pedantry - a particularly feeble attempt to make atheists/atheism look stupid because ... well, perhaps because they are a force for evil. Or summink. Not of your Chosen crowd, anyway. One could readily imagine a circumstance where it would be entirely possible to be an adult and an atheist without having ever heard of supernatural possibilities. How should we dub such beings, o humble teacher?
@MillerHow is it stupid pedantry when Piotr and others here are claiming atheism does refer to exactly those people you claim nobody would ever say it referred to. Let's get this clear - Piotr is claiming that atheism is the default cognitive position of humanity. And to do so he is exploiting exactly the ambiguity you say there's no need to clear up. Do you think babies are atheists?Re your question, it doesn't really matter whether we call that person an atheist as long as those who self-describe as atheists (unlike that person) don't pretend there isn't an important distinction that can be made between types of atheists. And that's really the point - are you able to admit that a clear distinction can be made, in the manner I describe, between types of atheists, and are you able to admit which sub-category all the atheists here are in?
luther, let's say that Professor T.W. Truth, Ph.D. and anthropologist/theologist extraordinaire (and a wonderful guy), is exploring a remote jungle and comes across a village of people who have never been exposed to the notion of god(s) and have never imagined god(s) on their own. When asked, the villagers don't have the slightest idea of what a 'god' is. Professor Truth writes in his notebook that the villagers are atheists. Is he wrong?
@TWTI'd have no problem with Professor Truth saying that, but if he then tried to claim that no meaningful distinction could be made between that type of atheist and the type of self-described atheists who post here, I'd say, in my best Harry Enfield voice, "Oi, Truth, nooooo!"
I don't know whether he would be, strictly, 'wrong' or not, but I am pretty sure if he were an 'anthropologist/theologist extraordinaire', he wouldn't write that. He would almost certainly write instead that they 'have no concept of god(s)'.
I believe twt's question makes Luther's point better than any comment that has been presented so far - sorry, Luther ;)Because a scholar and working-in-the-field scientist such as twt describes would be very unlikely to describe twt's hypothetical tribe as 'atheists'. As I wrote, he would almost certainly write something along the lines of 'have no concept of god(s)". The reasons are obvious: a.) he would do this to avoid confusion, knowing that in the vernacular most people have a working definition of atheists that is quite different and b.) as 'atheists' denotes people who don't 'believe in' gods, and one can't really be said to NOT believe in something that one has no former concept of, writing 'atheists' wouldn't really make a whole lot of sense.
andy, if the villagers are not theists, they can correctly be called atheists. You said:"...he would do this to avoid confusion, knowing that in the vernacular most people have a working definition of atheists that is quite different..."In other words, if he did write 'have no concept of god(s)' it would not be because "atheists" is wrong. It would more likely be because he realizes (if "most people" later read his notebook) that holier-than-thou religious zombies believe and assert that all "atheists" are evil, Hitler-esque, baby murdering, god hating devil worshipers, and that the villagers would be in danger of being slaughtered or at least brainwashed by god pushers.
What if Professor Truth wrote in his notebook that 'the villagers are not theists' instead of 'the villagers are atheists'?
twt, he probably wouldn't write that they are 'not theists', because as an anthropologist he would be likely to refer to the culture of the group, rather than refer to specific individuals unless he had some specific reason for doing so. So the closest he would get to your suggestion is something like, 'the village appears to practice no form of theism".But that's not really the point. If the tribe members were naked and used only handmade tools, would he refer to them as 'nudists' and 'Luddites'?Of course not. Both those terms are used to refer to people who are conscious of alternatives and make a sort of stance against them. They are not used for people who have no real concept of the alternative. For exactly that reason, your hypothetical prof would a;most certainly not write 'atheists' but would instead write something like I wrote above.
@AndyI agree (and it's good to see someone talking sense here). Lot's of words have similar implicit conscious rejections associated with their meanings: eg, non-smoker, teetotaler, non-conformist, celibate. We wouldn't call a baby any of these things even though babies don't smoke, don't drink, don't conform to anything much, and don't have sex. Now, none of this should really need stating because it's so obvious, but it's an interesting fact about atheists that they'll use every rhetorical trick in the book. Indeed, it seems to be something of a trademark of the New Atheism - something made all the more bizarre by their self-proclaimed love of rational argument. What they've missed, though, imo, is all the subtleties and ambiguities than need to be incorporated/treated with respect if an argument is to have any integrity once we leave behind the world of Ps and Qs and start operating with real words. Thus the constant arguments from etymology (a-theist) and the like. Who cares if it's a-theist any more than whether freelance is f-reelance or fre-elance or free-lance or freelanc-e. What matters is what freelance means now and it doesn't have anything to do with lances any more than babies are atheists. Anyway. That's my final word on this point. I'll let Larry digest the extraordinary good sense I've just talked and see if he can match it, and if not, at least learn something from it.
In summary:TWT thinks babies and rocks are atheists.Piotr thinks babies are atheist.Miller thinks there's no need to tighten up the definition because nobody would ever argue rocks or babies were atheists.LOL.
One of the funniest things about atheists is that most self-described atheists can't even decide what "atheist" means. See.
Ahh the age-old approach of trying to discredit atheism by bitching about the definition. Keep on shoveling yourself into irrelevancy, do my work for me. This is hilarious to behold.
Why not try to engage the argument rather than just launch into abuse because of the pwnings you've received in the past. Here's the argument - consider: We should resist the scurrilous attempts to do down Holocaust "deniers" by labeling them deniers, and should insist, quite rightly, that they merely lack a belief that the Holocaust occurred (which is, of course, the default cognitive position of the human race). Any objections to those claims?
@RumraketHere are some questions:1. Are babies atheists?2. Are rocks atheists?3. Are people badly brain damaged from birth, and who have no beliefs to speak of, atheists?4. If the answer is yes to any of the above, is there a reasonable distinction to be made between those types of atheist and the type of atheist you are?Let's see where you dishonestly stand.
Is there any atheist here that can speak about this in all honesty? I don't think so, as a former atheist myself I can answer because I regretably use to be one. When I was an atheist my default position was that God or gods do not exist, Evolution somehow evolved us into these religious beings that made us feel part of some group that could identify with each other. This meant that as a group our survival chances just hit the roof and we could fend better as a group, hunt better as a group and well you know evolution just did everything!!! In truth I was an atheist because I rejected God in my mind he was an arsehole, that killed people for fun. How can a God be all loving all caring if he messed with us.... So my "absence" of belief which I was selling to my friends was really an up yours God!!!!!Boy was I wrong about God, that however is a whole different story!
But believing that evolution was somehow the cause of God is a problem if you're an atheist and here is why..... Since Natural Selection and random mutation is the bees knees of everything how is it that you Mr. Atheist has somehow beaten Natural selection and random mutation by declaring there is no God? Since when did effects (you) become grater than your cause? That is impossible if you belief science to be true because science makes it very clear in everything we've ever observed, Effects can never be greater than their causes. It might as well just be that evolution is truly one fat lie if you can become greater than that which created you!
luther asked (and I'm answering only for myself):"1. Are babies atheists?"Yes."2. Are rocks atheists?"Technically, yes."3. Are people badly brain damaged from birth, and who have no beliefs to speak of, atheists?"Yes. "4. If the answer is yes to any of the above, is there a reasonable distinction to be made between those types of atheist and the type of atheist you are?"No. I lack belief in god(s) to the same extent as a baby or a rock. The 'a' in atheist means not, just as the 'a' in abiotic means not biotic. It doesn't mean antibiotic. To me, a distinction can be made between an atheist and an anti-theist (I'm both), and anti-theism has degrees of 'anti'.Some people would say that atheism has degrees, and that's not necessarily wrong. After all, definitions are ultimately a matter of opinion and there certainly are a lot of different opinions amongst humans. Most people are likely to think of or use what they perceive as the commonly used 'popular' word and definition. Think of the words 'gay' or 'queer' for instance. Also think of the word 'Christian'. How many versions or degrees of 'Christian' are there? How many versions or degrees of 'God' are there? Do all 'Christians' think of and use exactly the same definition of 'God'? What's your definition of 'God'?Something to consider is that most people are not necessarily trying to be absolutely specific with the words they choose to use in informal internet discussions/debates and the word 'atheist' is more likely to be thought of and used than anti-theist, even if anti-theist would be a better choice. It's like you using the word "beliefs", which I asked you to define. The word "beliefs" covers a lot of territory. Someone can have beliefs in god(s) or about what color of clothes they look best in, and a dog can have the belief that its owner won't mind if it jumps up on the bed.
andre said:"But believing that evolution was somehow the cause of God..."Huh? Who believes "that evolution was somehow the cause of God"?"Since Natural Selection and random mutation is the bees knees of everything how is it that you Mr. Atheist has somehow beaten Natural selection and random mutation by declaring there is no God? Since when did effects (you) become grater than your cause? That is impossible if you belief science to be true because science makes it very clear in everything we've ever observed, Effects can never be greater than their causes."So then, murder, hate, oppression, theft, rape, war, greed, cruelty, slavery, selfishness, destruction, 'sin', etc., which are thought of and carried out by "specially created in God's image" humans, are effects caused by the designer/creator/causer "God", right?
Atheists really have a hard time with evil, I know this from my own experience but let me help you.... Can evil exist in a perfect universe? How can there be free will if our only choice is to choose good.... You need to be able to show how this can be, lastly evil is actually a good indication that God does exist, because we as rational agents know what evil is.... In a materialist world there is nothing wrong with walking into a school to off some kids because if it was a pure materialistic world you would not know good from evil, for evolution everything goes......
Effects can never be greater than their causes."Really? See: 'cumulative' and 'chaos theory'. In a materialist world there is nothing wrong with walking into a school to off some kidsHmmm. False dichotomy. Either good/evil are God-given distinctions or they don't mean anything, you think?
You know that favorite evolutionist saying... you don't understand. Well Allan its clear you don't understand.
Atheists really have a hard time with evil, ...I usually think that most theists are pretty stupid but sometimes I forget why ...Thanks for reminding me.
andre said:"Atheists really have a hard time with evil, I know this from my own experience but let me help you.... Can evil exist in a perfect universe? How can there be free will if our only choice is to choose good.... You need to be able to show how this can be, lastly evil is actually a good indication that God does exist, because we as rational agents know what evil is.... In a materialist world there is nothing wrong with walking into a school to off some kids because if it was a pure materialistic world you would not know good from evil, for evolution everything goes......"Seems to me that you've got things a bit mixed up. According to you christians the world was good and perfect until adam and eve (who "God" specially created in his image) did something that pissed off "God" and "God" has been punishing the world ever since and will continue to do so, and "God" has been punishing and will continue to punish countless unrepentant sinners (whom "God" specially created in his image) by tossing them into a lake of fire for eternity. "evil is actually a good indication that God does exist"That's not a complimentary thing to say about an allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, moral, perfect, benevolent, loving, merciful "God". "In a materialist world there is nothing wrong with walking into a school to off some kids because if it was a pure materialistic world you would not know good from evil, for evolution everything goes......"If that's the case, please explain why people who believe in and promote a supernatural, immaterial "God" have harmed and killed so many other people, and also explain why the loving, supernatural, immaterial "God" killed/destroyed or commanded people to kill/destroy so many other people, and animals, plants, etc., according to the bible that describes that so-called "God". It is supernatural, immaterial, jealous, genocidal yhwh of the bible that you believe in and are pushing, right?
The most sensible position, of course, is "don't feed the troll".
@MillerAh, the fall-back position of the true champions of critical/rational thought: name-calling.
Something you'd never resort to, of course. But you have descended into obvious trolling, making it as much an observation as a slur.
@MillerI am making a very straightforward point that: a) is of clear relevance to the subject matter of the original post; b)is of clear relevance to the views of both the host and the commentators; and c) is a genuine point made for genuine reasons. It is therefore wrong to try to defend your abuse by claiming it is true when it patently isn't. The point is this: I claim that atheists use a deliberately ambiguous definition for rhetorical gain and will dishonestly defend this definition to the death. I am interested in exploring that issue. If you are not, fuck off!
I claim that atheists use a deliberately ambiguous definition for rhetorical gain and will dishonestly defend this definition to the death. I am interested in exploring that issue. Your 'exploration' is merely endless and unsupported repetition of those assertions - that atheists' definitions are deliberately ambiguous, because any two may differ subtly, and that their defence of those definitions is in any way dishonest. I don't know who you think I am trying to kid by favouring 'lack of belief in gods', while accepting that someone might legitimately interpret that as applying to infants. Myself, perhaps? Well, that's language for ya. So enjoy your trollery, and off I will gladly fuck.
@MillerThe evidence was provided in a link which showed a significant use of the ambiguity in exactly the way you deny exists. And the evidence can be seen in Piotr's claim where, contrary to everything you're saying, he claims the definition is not ambiguous because it rightly refers to babies. Perfectly straightforward if a touch unpalatable.
Maybe someone else will be interested in continuing this discussion with you. I'm not, so I'm leaving it for good now. I mean it, so it's no point trying to bait me back. Enjoy your troll fest. What a pity you can't hold it on your own blog!
@PiotrHere's another peculiar thing fanatical atheists such as yourself endlessly engage in. The grand farewell statement. Never able to just go, they (you) always have to make some grand announcement of why the argument is beneath them (you) when the truth is the argument is beyond them (you). Face facts: you are a different type of atheist from a baby (even though you pretend to be a baby very well), and you are a different type of atheist from a rock (even though your intellects are about on a par). Bye bye.
The evidence was provided in a link which showed a significant use of the ambiguity in exactly the way you deny exists.Yahoo Answers? You're getting the ammo for a general slur on what 'all/most atheists do dishonestly' from Yahoo Answers?. He includes children. It is a perfectly legitimate option to do so. Long as you're clear, in cases where ambiguity may confuse. Which he is; it's the whole point of his question.
It wasn't Yahoo answers, it was google search results which showed page after page after page (some serious, some less so) of people (atheists) arguing that everyone is born an atheist and others arguing that that point of view is nonsense (which it is). If you check the Wiki article - linked on that page - you can even find the argument goes back to 1772. Anyway, I thought you were fucking off.
"Anyway, I thought you were fucking off."I go, I come back, I go again ... I am but a hapless victim of a troll; what can I do? You post a link to a Google search, the first several of which are results from Yahoo answers, which expand into many pages ... Then we get to Wiki answers, into which you now invite me to delve for the nugget about 1772. Then ... well, frankly, I begin to get a general idea about the level of your scholarship. Bring back The Thought Criminal.
My point was that atheists regularly try to claim babies are atheists and now you blame me for not citing good sources for this. Those sources are good sources for that inasmuch as they are actual examples of it happening. What more would you like than me pointing you to numerous actual occurrences of the very phenomenon in the world I say exists and you say doesn't. I've just given you thousands of examples of the very thing you say doesn't exist. It does - there it is - see it with your own eyes.
Claiming babies are atheist is a perfectly reasonable position, if one chooses to include them in one's definition. An alternative definition may not. It doesn't make them 'knowing' atheists, which is what people usually mean. You are looking for some 'absolutist' version of 'atheist' that all must subscribe to in all circumstances, and if they don't, or if - horror of horrors - they flip, they are dishonest bastards. Hey ho. You can laugh at them when you are on the 'up' escalator and the end of your life. You can naturally provide links to people using the term in both senses, and, quite possibly, others. But if people say that by X they mean [expansion of X], then they aren't wrong, though they may (depending how many people follow that usage) be idiosyncratic.I was raised by wolves. English-speaking wolves. One day, a man thrust a Bible in my hand and explained that everything was made by God. "Get lost!" I tell him. "You know what you are? An atheist!". "Was I an atheist 5 minutes ago?" "No! ... I mean, yes! ... I mean ... oh, fuck off!" "Did I become an atheist when you told me about God, or when you told me about atheists?" "I said, fuck off!"
@MillerAh, so now instead of the very idea of claiming babies are atheists being so ridiculous that only a pedantic fool would grumble about the definition allowing that, you now support the idea - exactly as I predicted some time go. So, according to you: nobody ever does that, nobody would ever dream of doing that, you're being silly to even suggest someone would do that. And then me: here are many people doing it. And then you again: of course, that's alright.
My very first sentence in this thread indicated that you and Andre (and, unstated, everyone else in the world) is entirely free to favour their own definition. The pedant would be the one that grumbled, when I offered my own definition "absence of religious belief", that that would include children. Since I don't intend it to include children in all circumstances in which I might use the word, I simply averred that I would expect people to use a bit of intelligence depending on context, not (as you are trying to say) that no-one would ever, ever, EVER say that. Sarcastically rendered as: "So the 'correct' definition is "someone who has heard of one or more Gods and didn't buy it". That way we avoid people thinking we were talking about rocks or babies or people a million years ago. 'Cos otherwise, how on earth would they know? I could equally well include children if my intent was to convey (as well it might) that religion is something that appears to be superimposed upon the tabula rasa of the infant mind. I haven't changed a thing; meaning owes a little to context, my pedantic internet chum.
@MillerSo you think rocks are atheists too - mere lack of belief and all that. That's exactly why I said you definition was stupid. Remember? This is why you started saying no no no, nobody would take it to mean babies or rocks. Except you, here, now.
Is this it, is this what aimchair internet apologists have to offer these days? Quibbles about definitions? Holy shit if only I had known, I'd stayed a believer. Jesus H Christ, some people might have technical issues with the proper definitions. We better pack up and stop being atheists then. Luther, you're an embarassment to believers.
@RumraketI'm only quibbling about the definition because atheists are trying to make political capital out of adopting a preposterous definition in a very dishonest manner. It's not a huge point, just an obvious one.Re the subject of being a believer - I'm not a believer. I see you were though - so in your book, what kind of critical thinking capacities does that mean you have. LOL. I mean, at least I know under which circumstances snakes talk - you actually believed it happened as decscribed in some garden a while back.
Who said, "I love a challenge except when it's too challenging and then I run away"? a) Larry Moranb) Brave Sir Robinc) Both
Please stop responding to Luther Flint and andyboerger unless, by accident, they make a valid point. I don't want to ban trolls but if the rest of you continue to feed them then I will have no choice. The comment sections of my posts are becoming polluted with meaningless garbage. There are now 177 comments in this thread and almost all of them are not worth reading.
for the record, I would just like to point out that by referring to me (and Luther) as a 'troll', Larry has employed what is known as an ad hominem, which is generally referred to as an 'informal fallacy' and more precisely an 'irrelevance'. It is curious that someone who prides himself on his critical thinking course would so blatantly employ such a widely shunned rhetorical stunt, rather than ever actually countering a single argument I have employed against him.Pointing out the logical fallacies, inconsistencies, ad hominem attacks and sweeping generalizations that pass for argumentation in his posts and commentaries could be likened to picking ripe fruit. So I thank Larry, both for providing this forum without obtrusive moderation, and for making my task so implausibly easy.
Clearly (c) both.