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Clarifying the atheist position

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Clarifying the atheist position
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Nesslig20User avatarPosts: 208Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:44 pm Gender: Male

Post Clarifying the atheist position

Not long ago, I noticed this video made by someone I just recently have known.



There are a few things I disagree with Steve and I tried to explain my position to him. So did several others apparently, which he wasn't quite happy about it. He calls the atheist who disagree with him "militant lack theist atheist" in the descriptions (here below) of this video above and he calls responses hate mail (don't know if he considers my response to be hate mail too). Later I joined a hangout with him as I wanted to clarify what he was wrong about. But I was busy and I had to leave soon and I didn't get enough time since more people where on that hangout. During the hangout however, Steve says that those people who are disagreeing with him practically are getting an aneurysm over this issue.

Steve McRae's video description wrote:
Before all the militant lacktheist atheist out there in the Great Debate community thumbs down this video, I recommend you actually watch it first and try to understand what is being presented.
Regardless of what you believe I have made a very strong logical argument here for what I have been saying for the past few days.
If you are an atheist YOU SHOULD LIKE THIS VIDEO as it is telling you that it is a MUCH MUCH MUCH STRONGER position to ASSERT that God does not exist, than just say you lack a belief! Be a strong atheist and not a weak one is all I am saying as if you just say you lack of belief you are honestly only saying you are a non-theist and not an atheist by definition and theist will pick up on that and think you are weak philosophically speaking. While you can be a lacktheist and call yourself an atheist why not actually BE an atheist by formal definitions and state you believe God does not exist???
This is to HELP ATHEIST better their position and yet they seem to be the most confused as to why asserting God does not exist is stronger than just saying you lack of belief.
Please THUMBS UP if you LIKE it (even if you still disagree as the content is sound).
Thanks!


Steve McRae's hangout description wrote:
Since day one my channel has been fighting against Young Earth Creationism and everyone loved that...but when I use a fair, honest, and accurate presentation of atheists just claiming a lack of belief as being technically wrong I am lambasted and showered with hate mail and messages FAR greater than I ever did in a single period from creationists. I am beginning to wonder are their more irrational atheists than irrational creationists?


First the good stuff. Disclaimer, I'm not saying that I don't like Steve, because I do like him very much. He is entertaining and honest. I just think he is wrong on some issues.
I don't think that atheists should make the "stronger" position to assert that no gods exist. If they don't feel they can make the case to make that assertion, they are free to not do that.
And people who are lack-theists (as he calls people who only say they lack a belief in a god) are also atheists. Atheism and non-theism are synonymous as I will explain in a moment.

But first take back to Steve's video. He posits the question "Does god exists?" And he clarifies that he means it as a doxastic question, meaning about belief. But the question isn't asking for belief. It asks about the existence of god, thus the question must be formulated as thus:

Do you belief that a God or gods exist?

Now the question asks for belief. And we also need to clarify what a belief is. A belief is the acceptance of a proposition. Thus the question can also be formulated this way.

Do you accept that a God or gods exist?
But both mean the same thing.

NOTE that saying no, I don't accept that a god exists, doesn't mean you accept the claim that no gods exists. This is the error Steve made when he asked me wether I believed "something about waffles" during the hangout. I said no (meaning I don't hold the belief that they do exist) but he took that as if I meant I believed they don't exists.

This confusion of realizing the difference between
"not believing X exists" and "believing X don't exists"
Is a very prominent one that I find best explained by Matt Dillahunty in this video.

Take the coin analogy. With regard to the coin there are two claims.

1. The coin is tails up.
2. The coin is heads up.


It is a fact that one of these two propositions has to be true. They cannot be both true and false at the same time. Now what you believe about those claims can be different.

Queston: Do you accept claim 1 meaning "Do you believe the coin is tails up?"

Now it is a fact that you either accept that claim or you don't accept the claim. That is a true dichotomy. So this is a yes or no question.
So yes you do believe the coin is tails up or No you don't. If you don't that doesn't mean you accept claim 2. It is possible to not accept both claims. It is the same with the God claims.

1. God(s) does exists. (multiple gods included)
2. No God(s) exists.


True dichotomy. Now belief questions.

Do you accept claim 1: Do you believe that God(s) exists?
Do you accept claim 2: Do you believe that no God(s) exists?


If you answer with the first question is no that doesn't mean your answer to the other question is yes. But let's look at the first question in more detail.

Do you believe that God(s) exists?

It is a fact that you either do accept claim X or don't accept claim X, you do believe or you don't believe, true dichotomy. Thus it is a yes or no answer.

Yes = I do believe that God(s) exists.
No = I don't believe that God(s) exists.


If you say yes, you are someone who does believe that God(s) exists meaning you are a theist. If you say no, you are someone who does not believe that God(s) meaning you are atheist.

This is when people get quite upset especially those who want to call themselves agnostic rather then atheists (which I can relate to, nobody likes to be labeled), because this makes it look like someone is either a theist (does believe that God exists) or an atheist (does not believe that God exists), which is true.
This is where Steve and I disagree.
I think atheism is simply the absence of belief in a god, which would make it the same as non-theism.
Steve thinks that atheism is the assertion that no gods exist and that all atheists who just claim to lack a belief in a god are not really atheists, just non-theists or lack-theists, which (Sorry Steve) sounds really like a no true scotsman.

Let's bear in mind what the "a-" of atheism stands for. The greek prefix "a-" and the english prefix "non-" are equivalent. They have the same meaning. But we don't need to go only on etymology. We can also ask what do atheists define the word. What do they mean when they say "I'm an atheist". I have come across several websites by atheists who define that word, but one in particular (the first one) makes a good point.
atheists.org wrote:WHAT IS ATHEISM?

No one asks this question enough.

The reason no one asks this question a lot is because most people have preconceived ideas and notions about what an Atheist is and is not. Where these preconceived ideas come from varies, but they tend to evolve from theistic influences or other sources.

Atheism is usually defined incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Older dictionaries define atheism as "a belief that there is no God." Some dictionaries even go so far as to define Atheism as "wickedness," "sinfulness," and other derogatory adjectives. Clearly, theistic influence taints dictionaries. People cannot trust these dictionaries to define atheism. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as "there is no God" betrays the (mono)theistic influence. Without the (mono)theistic influence, the definition would at least read "there are no gods."

Why should atheists allow theists to define who atheists are? Do other minorities allow the majority to define their character, views, and opinions? No, they do not. So why does everyone expect atheists to lie down and accept the definition placed upon them by the world’s theists? Atheists will define themselves.

Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion. While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. Two commonly used retorts to the nonsense that atheism is a religion are: 1) If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color, and 2) If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease. A new one introduced in 2012 by Bill Maher is, "If atheism is a religion, then abstinence is a sexual position."

The only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Some of the best debates we have ever had have been with fellow atheists. This is because atheists do not have a common belief system, sacred scripture or atheist Pope. This means atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas. Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.


It is a good point. Why should atheists let other people (like Steve) define who they are? Atheists define themselves.

infidels.org wrote:What is an Atheist?

An atheist is a person who does not believe that any gods exist.

atheistrev.com wrote:Simply put, atheism means the absence of theistic belief. That's it. It doesn't mean anything else. Atheism is not a religion, a philosophy, a worldview, or anything similar. It is not the conviction that there are no gods, ghosts, angels, etc. Rather, it is the absence of a belief that these things are real...Atheism is nothing more than the lack of belief in a god or gods.

positiveatheism.org wrote:The definition for atheism that we use, put simply, says that atheism is the lack of a god-belief, the absence of theism, to whatever degree and for whatever reason. The one thing that all atheists have in common, according to this definition, is that they are not theists. One either believes one or more of the various claims for the existence of a god or gods (is a theist) or one does not believe any of those claims (is an atheist). Though we do not recognize any “middle ground,” we do acknowledge the agnostic position, which spans both theism and atheism: a theistic agnostic thinks one or more gods exist but can say no more on the subject than this (is a theist); an atheistic agnostic doesn’t know if any gods exist (lacks a god belief, and is thus an atheist). Noncognitivists think all god-talk is meaningless, and thus lack any god beliefs (are atheists).

argumentsforatheism.com wrote:Atheism (or non-theism, which is broadly synonymous) is the lack of belief in the existence of God or gods or, more strongly, the belief that there is no such thing as God or gods. It may involve the outright rejection of any kind of theism (which can be generally defined as the belief in one or more gods); or it may be the rejection of belief in a specific god or gods (e.g. the Christian God); or it may be just a general feeling that humans can explain the universe and devise suitable moral codes to live by without the aid of Gods or scriptures; or it may a more passive lack of belief in the existence of gods, due to ignorance or apathy.


Thus atheists use this definition almost all the time. There is one website which says people who define themselves as atheist almost non of them profess a belief that no gods exists. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... -atheists/

Steve argues that the word atheism has been used as a belief that no gods exists in all academy of philosophy and throughout history. I looked some up and found that some did use it the way Steve used the word, but I also found other sources that define atheism as such.

IEP wrote:The term “atheist” describes a person who does not believe that God or a divine being exists. Worldwide there may be as many as a billion atheists, although social stigma, political pressure, and intolerance make accurate polling difficult.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/atheism/

The Oxford Handbook of Atheism: the conclusion wrote:The purpose of this chapter has been to explore the troublesome question of what atheism actually means, and to elucidate and justify the specific way in which it is being used in this volume. After introducing a number of background issues — the variability of word’s historical and contemporary usage, and the benefits of a generally agreed-upon scholarly definition — the task was broken down into its two constituent parts: the definition of a-, and the definition of -theism. It was argued that the former is best interpreted in the privative sense of an ‘absence’. This permits atheism to function as an umbrella concept, uniting a wide (but coherent) set of positions and phenomena. It is then possible to construct a systematic taxonomy of different types of atheism — the most basic division being between negative (simple absence) and positive (specific denial) — to bring clarity to further researches. The discussion regarding -theism was more complicated, with a broader range of credible options. Here it was argued that the central idea should be ‘belief in the existence of a God or gods’ (without needing to define too sharply what does or does not count as a ‘god’, a concept lacking a certain clarity in the field of religious studies). This steers a course between confining theism to only a specific form of it (e.g., Abrahamic monotheism), and needlessly coupling atheism itself to a particular metaphysical or ethical worldview. The resulting union of these two decisions gives us the following definition of atheism: an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods. Since it has been a key contention in this chapter that the definition of atheism is to be guided by the principle of scholarly utility — and not least the extent to which it helps, or hinders, the pursuit of interesting and genuinely illuminating research — then this particular one can, to a significant degree, be judged by its fruits in the rest of this Handbook.


But I submit that the stronger argument in favor of defining atheism as "the absence of belief in the existence of any god" and not necessarily the belief that no gods exists is the fact that most people who use atheism as their label define the word this way. Atheists should define who they are. Not someone else.

(Added later) I do agree that there is a bit of semantics involved here. There is no absolute standard on what a term means. However in order to avoid confusion we need to understand what we mean by the terms, especially when it involves a persons beliefs. Making the wrong assumption on what an atheist means with the word "atheist", leads to straw man. Most of the time when you meet someone and you ask "are you an atheist?" and that person responds, yes I'm an atheist, that person just lacks a belief in the existence of god and doesn't hold the belief that no gods exist.
Another good way to respond to someone saying "I'm an atheist" is to ask what that person means with that term rather then assume they belief no gods exist. And if they say "I lack the belief that god exists, but I also don't hold the belief that no gods exist" don't get all "you're not a real atheist then, you're agnostic".

(Added still later) I also like to say that if you don't believe that any god exists (thought I think you technically are one) you don't have to use "atheist" as your label. Use Non-theism, agnosticism, apatheism, or whatever you want.

Also Steve makes a point that atheists who just claim a lack of belief in the existence of any god and don't make the assertion that no gods exists are just trying to escape the burden of proof just like creationists (like Nephilimfree) are doing when they say they are just "skeptical" about evolution and don't have any burden of proof that way.

Which would be true if they are only being skeptical. If someone comes up to me and says he/she doesn't believes that evolution happens, I would take the full burden of proof to explain and show him or her the evidence. But creationists aren't doing that. They make many claims that the earth and the universe is young (excluding OEC) and that amongst scientific academia there are many conspiracies conducted trying to fool everyone in evolutionism. Also claims as any transitional fossil is fake or not really transitional fossil. No macro evolution have been observed. Geological column isn't real, radiometric dating doesn't work and more. All these claims puts a burden of proof on them.
This is the difference with the atheist who just lack a belief in a god and don't assert that no gods exist. They don't make any claim concerning the existence of god. When and only when they made claims, they would have the burden of proof.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Nesslig20 on Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:15 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3149Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

This is such a boring argument to have.

First off, philosophically speaking Steve McRae is correct. Atheist has been defined as the rejection or denial of god(s) for centuries, but most of philosophy is just naval gazing anyways. I will say that stating anything is "rejection or denial of X" is already seeding X to much, but I look at everything as a skeptic first. One would not say they reject fairies or manicorns. This goes to show that our whole way of thinking has been influenced by theism for too long.

I believe in operational definitions. That means a word can have tons of different definition, but the correct ones to use are depended on context. For example, in everyday conversation, it would be fine to say, "Stars evolve throughout their life time." Say that in a biology class and you might get your head knocked off.

I call myself an atheist. When I say atheist, I mean one who lacks belief in a god(s). It is as simple as that. If Steve McRae wants to point out that I am not an atheist based on the philosophical definition, than that is fine too. I will be a apitheist (better term than lack-theist) when talking to Steve McRae. This discussion is semantics in its purest form and pointless at the end of the day.
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Nesslig20User avatarPosts: 208Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:44 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

he_who_is_nobody wrote:This is such a boring argument to have.

First off, philosophically speaking Steve McRae is correct. Atheist has been defined as the rejection or denial of god(s) for centuries, but most of philosophy is just naval gazing anyways. I will say that stating anything is "rejection or denial of X" is already seeding X to much, but I look at everything as a skeptic first. One would not say they reject fairies or manicorns. This goes to show that our whole way of thinking has been influenced by theism for too long.

I believe in operational definitions. That means a word can have tons of different definition, but the correct ones to use are depended on context. For example, in everyday conversation, it would be fine to say, "Stars evolve throughout their life time." Say that in a biology class and you might get your head knocked off.

I call myself an atheist. When I say atheist, I mean one who lacks belief in a god(s). It is as simple as that. If Steve McRae wants to point out that I am not an atheist based on the philosophical definition, than that is fine too. I will be a apitheist (better term than lack-theist) when talking to Steve McRae. This discussion is semantics in its purest form and pointless at the end of the day.


I agree it is a boring argument. But it s an argument that has to be made in order to avoid atheists being straw manned as people who assert no gods exists.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
Charles Darwin
Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:30 am
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 4985Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

If you are an atheist YOU SHOULD LIKE THIS VIDEO


I don't take orders from anyone, so Steve can go and play with himself.


Some more.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

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Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:31 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 666Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Nesslig20 wrote:I agree it is a boring argument. But it s an argument that has to be made in order to avoid atheists being straw manned as people who assert no gods exists.

As they are fequently, at least according to youtube peoplez.

Personally I like the atheist definition of lack of belief in god or gods because it bunches up all the non-theists and leaves you room for you to clarify your position when needed. After all I consider myself a "lack-theist" when it comes to some god claims and a anti-theist others (meaning I do not believe in the existance of that particular deity).

EDIT: I found our own Hackys blog post about generally this same subject shortly after writing my reply and found it interestin Are Babies Atheists? Semantics and Communication.
Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:57 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2935Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

I think it is somewhat counter productive to assume what anyone's position is based upon the name that they use for it. It can give you some inclinations for sure, but really the most productive discussions are prefaced by each participant describing their position in their own words.

Too many people jump to "that means you must believe such and such" when they hear a term like 'atheist'. It's way more productive to just ask people what their position is rather than just assuming based on preconceptions.

Unfortunately the level of consciousness that most Internet debate operates upon doesn't seem to allow much space for things like listening to each other.
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Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:01 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2775Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Greetings,

As I've argued before, identifying oneself as an atheist is unhelpful - it tells people what you're not, not what you are.

When asked, I reply: "What I am is a humanist, specifically a secular humanist - what I'm not is a theist". If they then say "You're an atheist", I point out, "I'm agnostic as to whether gods exist or not".

My point being, what I believe in - humanism - is what's important, not what I don't believe in. Objectively, no-one knows whether gods exist or not - belief in this case is irrelevant, since we can't know one way or the other.

@Visaki, I'd be wary of using the term "anti-theism/t" as this is how/why theists claim that atheists "hate" gods.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:40 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2202Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

I've treated this at length HERE.
Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:53 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3149Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

hackenslash wrote:I've treated this at length HERE.


Visaki wrote:EDIT: I found our own Hackys blog post about generally this same subject shortly after writing my reply and found it interestin Are Babies Atheists? Semantics and Communication.


;)
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hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2202Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

That's what I get for not reading the whole thread... :oops:
Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:10 am
Grumpy SantaPosts: 363Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

OK, I went and watch that Steve video. The biggest problem I see, and I would like opinions on this line of thought, is that by trying to redefine atheism as a positively asserted negative belief (I believe god does not exist) he's shifting the burden of proof onto atheism and forcing us into the "prove a negative" fallacy. If you say "I do not believe a god exists" and then are challenged for evidence to support that belief... then what? It ultimately reduces atheism to what Aron Ra would define as "faith", belief without evidence.

Atheism *MUST* be passive. The burden of proof is on those claiming a god exists to demonstrate that it does, not the other way around.
Scientists don't believe. They conclude based on evidence.
Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:56 pm
Grumpy SantaPosts: 363Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

I think I'm starting to annoy Steve. <giggle>
Scientists don't believe. They conclude based on evidence.
Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:33 pm
Grumpy SantaPosts: 363Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

And now the threats of being banned and blocked... :lol:
Scientists don't believe. They conclude based on evidence.
Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:47 pm
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 666Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Grumpy Santa wrote:And now the threats of being banned and blocked... :lol:

Have you asked them what for you should be banned and blocked?

@Dragan Glas; You probably have a point. I'm not married, so to speak, to that term as my indicator that I actively don't believe in the extistence of one particular god hypothesis. Though in some cases I do hate their god, as much as anyone can hate a fictional character.
Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:42 am
Grumpy SantaPosts: 363Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Visaki wrote:
Grumpy Santa wrote:And now the threats of being banned and blocked... :lol:

Have you asked them what for you should be banned and blocked?


You may need to go through the discussion, it's at the top, but he ended it this way:

"Atheism has been a belief (position) for hundreds of years, only until these new atheists in YouTube have tried to make it just a lack of belief contrary to established historical context and philosophical atheism. The only thing I shall be be igoring now is you by blocking you and banning you from my videos as you clearly can not even follow simple directions as I said please do not respond to me again as you have just drank too much of the YouTube cool aid for me to even deal with. Take care and goodbye."

Basically, I refused to accept from a non-atheist that atheism is a belief system. To form a "belief" that there is no god would either require evidence to support that belief (I don't accept his argument that 'having good reasons is good enough') or it would be a faith-based belief. He didn't take being questioned well at all.
Scientists don't believe. They conclude based on evidence.
Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:44 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2775Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Greetings,

HIs claim that it's only since the New Atheists that the term has been redefined as "lack of belief" is clearly untrue - look up any dictionary prior to the their arrival and you'll see that one of the definitions of the term is lack of belief.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:57 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3149Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Grumpy Santa wrote:You may need to go through the discussion, it's at the top, but he ended it this way:

"Atheism has been a belief (position) for hundreds of years, only until these new atheists in YouTube have tried to make it just a lack of belief contrary to established historical context and philosophical atheism. The only thing I shall be be igoring now is you by blocking you and banning you from my videos as you clearly can not even follow simple directions as I said please do not respond to me again as you have just drank too much of the YouTube cool aid for me to even deal with. Take care and goodbye."

Basically, I refused to accept from a non-atheist that atheism is a belief system. To form a "belief" that there is no god would either require evidence to support that belief (I don't accept his argument that 'having good reasons is good enough') or it would be a faith-based belief. He didn't take being questioned well at all.


I always love it when outsiders try to define a group. In addition, I did not know Dawkins was a YouTube atheist. When did that happen?

As I have said before, philosophy is mostly naval gazing and I believe saying "I do not believe in X" is already seeding X to much ground. If philosophical atheism is "do not believe in god(s)", than I am glad I am not a philosophical atheist.
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Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:34 pm
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 666Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

HIs claim that it's only since the New Atheists that the term has been redefined as "lack of belief" is clearly untrue - look up any dictionary prior to the their arrival and you'll see that one of the definitions of the term is lack of belief.

Kindest regards,

James

One might remind him that (if he is a christian) if we go by definitions in place for the most of his religions history he is probably not a true christian, but a heretic. If he claims definitions do not or can not change we might as well do that too.
Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:55 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2775Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Greetings,

+1

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:38 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3149Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Clarifying the atheist position

Visaki wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

HIs claim that it's only since the New Atheists that the term has been redefined as "lack of belief" is clearly untrue - look up any dictionary prior to the their arrival and you'll see that one of the definitions of the term is lack of belief.

Kindest regards,

James

One might remind him that (if he is a christian) if we go by definitions in place for the most of his religions history he is probably not a true christian, but a heretic. If he claims definitions do not or can not change we might as well do that too.


He is not a Christian, he is agnostic.
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