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Philosophical nonsense

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Philosophical nonsense
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Philosophical nonsense

I was recently in a discussion (VC) with someone around the topics of theism/atheism. Well, actually I was in a group chat and then said person decided to contact me directly to school my ass and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

The conversation, or rather - heated argument - quickly descended into a chaotic scrap over definitions, reminiscent of a recent thread here. Participants will know which thread I'm referring to.

His line of questioning being:

Q - Do you believe things based on evidence?
A - Yes

Q - Are you an atheist?
A - Yes

Q - What evidence do you have that you're an atheist?
A - I'm telling you I'm an atheist, unless you;re a mind reader then you are obliged to accept this

Q - So you lied, you said you believe things based on evidence and you have no evidence that you're an atheist
A - Atheist is defined as lack of / absent of / don't have a belief in any Gods (we'd already established I was using a normative definition of God)

Q - But you can't provide evidence of that
A - (rapidly losing patience at this point) Other than studying my behaviour over a long period of time, I don't know what evidence you'd expect to be offered, and even if you did that it still wouldn't be conclusive - move on.

Q - Do you know God doesn't exist
A - Not for certain, I'm agnostic. I don't claim absolute knowledge of anything really, but I don't want to get into solipsism because it's unfalsifiable and pointless

Q - So you're not an atheist?
A - I'm both, they aren't mutually exclusive

Q - So do you think there are agnostic theists?
A - Yes, I've met many such people. They believe but don't claim to know

Q - So they aren't theists then?
A - Yes, dopey, they are

Q - What about gnostic theists?
A - What about them? They believe AND they claim to know. I don't know if they really know, but I can't tell the difference between a theist that really does know and one that just claims they know.

At which point he brings out the S.E.P....

Not interested. At this point he's talking about something 99% of people aren't talking about when they use these terms and I'm not interested in mental gymnastics. The definitions I use are commonplace and hardly ever a problem, even when they are a little clarification seems to overcome that and they will go along with the definitions as they are reasonable and seem to cover everything that needs to be covered on this specific topic.

Anyone else been caught up in fudge like this? It's not the first time it's happened, but it's fairly rare for me.
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Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:57 am
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RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1260Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Q - Do you believe things based on evidence?
A - Yes

Q - Are you an atheist?
A - Yes

Q - What evidence do you have that you're an atheist?
A - I'm telling you I'm an atheist, unless you;re a mind reader then you are obliged to accept this

Q - So you lied, you said you believe things based on evidence and you have no evidence that you're an atheist
A - Atheist is defined as lack of / absent of / don't have a belief in any Gods (we'd already established I was using a normative definition of God)


At this point he has conclusively proven that he is an idiot who only wants to troll, not to listen to what you believe, or why, or to try to persuade you. He's just a trolling moron who wants to make himself feel good that he trolled an atheist.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:18 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Rumraket wrote:
Q - Do you believe things based on evidence?
A - Yes

Q - Are you an atheist?
A - Yes

Q - What evidence do you have that you're an atheist?
A - I'm telling you I'm an atheist, unless you;re a mind reader then you are obliged to accept this

Q - So you lied, you said you believe things based on evidence and you have no evidence that you're an atheist
A - Atheist is defined as lack of / absent of / don't have a belief in any Gods (we'd already established I was using a normative definition of God)


At this point he has conclusively proven that he is an idiot who only wants to troll, not to listen to what you believe, or why, or to try to persuade you. He's just a trolling moron who wants to make himself feel good that he trolled an atheist.


That's pretty much how I felt about it. I asked at one point what he was trying to demonstrate or persuade me of and he just bumbled and said something vague and incoherent.

I don't usually have trouble communicating what I mean, and the definitions I use are valid. Still don't know what point he was trying to make. Suffice it to say, I'm still an atheist.
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Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:23 pm
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SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Yes, he's intellectually challenged.

You don't 'believe' you're an atheist, therefore don't need evidence to support that you are an atheist. You are one, and your statements to that effect are the evidence that you are an atheist.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:06 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Greetings,

Typical MO for those who try to catch others in "gotchas".

Like dandan/leroy/back, in a earlier topic, who tried to get me to agree to something before showing his "evidence", I refused and told him to just show us the evidence, eventually he did and, as I'd told him, it didn't show what he thought it did.

He'd hoped I'd agree beforehand so he could then prove me "wrong" and/or "a liar" when I supposedly backtracked on my agreeing.

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
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:25 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

I think that Presuppositionalists just don't grasp that reasoned discourse exists within, for lack of a better description, certain social and logical parameters that are typically taken for granted and, as such, aren't the simplest things to explain when someone like them shows up and proceeds to question these parameters. I can't think of any other reason why they would act as if the discourse equivalent of snatching a tennis ball out of an opposing player's hand and slamming it on the ground in front of them is a revolutionary new tactic.
Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:47 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3491Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

*SD* wrote:Anyone else been caught up in fudge like this? It's not the first time it's happened, but it's fairly rare for me.


Rare? That seems like the only type of fudge left out there. The only type of theists I ever see are the type like this, who try to use slick logic to trap people with gotcha questions. They are like people that know how to checkmate people in five moves. It is impressive to see when one does not know the game. However, never works on me, because I have seen it a thousand times.
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Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:40 pm
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*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Yeah I know it's not rare in general, but it's not often I find my self talking to this particular brand of idiot. Then again, it was just a chance encounter.
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Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:22 pm
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Steelmage99Posts: 203Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 9:43 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

I usually explain to these people that we use labels for convenience.
If we find ourselves in a situation where the label becomes a burden or is a source of confusion, we simply switch to the long form version of our position.

Thus I don't care what label they use for me, as long as that label accurately and exclusively represents my position.

I do not believe in any gods. That is my position on gods.
They can use whatever label they like as long as the label represents that, and nothing else.

If they use a label that carries more information "built in" (like a certain position on abortion or morality or same sex marriage or how to properly boil cabbage), I will simply reject that definition as not being applicable to me.

I will make this exceedingly clear, and then see if any further conversation is possible.
Blunder that theists make all the time;

Pretending to know what other people think.
Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:52 am
Jason BoreuUser avatarPosts: 16Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 12:45 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
*SD* wrote:Anyone else been caught up in fudge like this? It's not the first time it's happened, but it's fairly rare for me.


Rare? That seems like the only type of fudge left out there. The only type of theists I ever see are the type like this, who try to use slick logic to trap people with gotcha questions. They are like people that know how to checkmate people in five moves. It is impressive to see when one does not know the game. However, never works on me, because I have seen it a thousand times.


Do you have any tips to offer for newbies like me on how to directly respond or how to gotcha them back or something? Because i struggle a bit when some dishonest theists bring up these kinds of gotcha games.
"God is <empty assertion> for morality but i don't have to <burden of proof> that he exist first"

"If free will doesn't exist then <insert falacious appeal to consequence>"

-Christian logic
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:05 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Psikh and Steel explain quite well. If you run into someone who only wants to use the S.E.P as a source and ignore all other sources, then unless that interests you my advice would be just don't. My OP is a very condensed paraphrase of the 2 hour long train wreck of an argument I was in. The guy I was talking to just outright rejected the definitions I use and wanted to replace them with his own, which I rejected on the grounds that it's not what I'm talking about. He was basically challenging a claim I didn't make. They do this a lot, which is why I actively avoid conversations of that nature. I was having those conversations for a number of years before it dawned on me that it's just not necessary.

If you're new to these subjects, my advice would be stick to the basic arguments and refutations/counterarguments for a while before jumping into the philosophical weirdness - and only then if you find your self interested in it. They'l usually come up with a load of other bullshit they don't understand as well. I asked him if he was drunk, because his replies didn't make sense and it seemed like he was forgetting a lot of what I'd said. He said this was ad-hom. Which it wasn't. Ad-hom (and most other fallacies) require a 'therefore' - asking a question is not ad-hom. He also said I was poisoning the well, which was bizarre as you'd normally do that at the beginning not near the end - he didn't understand that fallacy either.

I'd say just don't waste your time with people who want to argue nonsensical definitions, definitions that negate their own meaning, don't understand arguments or the nature of logical fallacies and are just generally obnoxious trolls :)
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Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:43 pm
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psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

I'm not even sure how one would go about this in this particular context, but the best approach I can think of would be something along the lines of Tracie Harris' M.O. from The Atheist Experience. They're primed to argue, so any actual arguments and explanations will be shot down through ad hoc rationalization or some response memorized beforehand, and I think it only gets worse when you start talking Presuppositionalism because it is difficult for most people (myself included) to properly explain the mistakes being made there, and as a result the person you're arguing with might not even understand any counter argument you make to begin with, either because it's malformed due to lack of experience explaining extremely basic precepts which form the cornerstone of intellectual conversation on your part or a lack of understanding of these basic precepts on their part. The only way I can think of approaching them that might end with some success is to be as non-confrontational as possible, to try and get them to take a step back, and to just think all of it through together.

Either that, or just outright derision. It's not like Presuppositionalism is deserving of a proper response.
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:25 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3491Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Jason Boreu wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:Rare? That seems like the only type of fudge left out there. The only type of theists I ever see are the type like this, who try to use slick logic to trap people with gotcha questions. They are like people that know how to checkmate people in five moves. It is impressive to see when one does not know the game. However, never works on me, because I have seen it a thousand times.


Do you have any tips to offer for newbies like me on how to directly respond or how to gotcha them back or something? Because i struggle a bit when some dishonest theists bring up these kinds of gotcha games.


Honestly, just play the game. You are going to lose a lot in the beginning. Seeing the gotcha questions in the wild is the best way to learn how to deal with them. There is no one correct answer for any of the gotcha questions theists will use, but the good thing is that they only have a limited number of them. That is due in part because theists have not had anything new to say for thousands of years.

As for gotcha questions back at them, I do not see a point in this. Just be direct with them. Ask direct questions about their position(s) and do not let them dodge the questions. Keep asking them the same question until they answer it directly. Since the theists, creationists, reality deniers, etc... position is inherently illogical, asking them enough direct questions about their position usually exposes the sand they are standing on.
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Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:56 pm
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CollecemallPosts: 393Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

You can't answer them because to do so you have to borrow from their worldview. or some such drivel
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:41 am
Jason BoreuUser avatarPosts: 16Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 12:45 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Thank you for the responses.

I remember some time ago i had a discussion on youtube comment section with a theist when he brought up the usual "timeless, spaceless, immaterial being" and then i asked him how a being being outside of time and space made any sense to which he responded by claiming that if i thought it didn't make sense i had to prove that it didn't, which was not my claim, i only asked how it did and then i explained how we only understood things from the space-time reference and he rebuffed with "that's not proof".

I sometimes wonder if apologists teach young theists or apologists wannabe to be this dishonest.
"God is <empty assertion> for morality but i don't have to <burden of proof> that he exist first"

"If free will doesn't exist then <insert falacious appeal to consequence>"

-Christian logic
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:10 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

claiming that if i thought it didn't make sense i had to prove that it didn't


Tell him if he thinks you have to prove that, that he has to first prove that you need to prove it ;)
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Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:51 am
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Greetings,

Typical of an apologist to (attempt to) shift the burden of proof to someone else.

Since they're making the claim for such a entity, it's up to them to provide evidence for their claim, not for others to prove they're wrong.

Quite often, they don't realize how the burden of proof works - those who do, however, tend to deliberately try to shift this burden, hence the impression that apologists are dishonest.

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
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:24 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

Jason Boreu wrote:Thank you for the responses.

I remember some time ago i had a discussion on youtube comment section with a theist when he brought up the usual "timeless, spaceless, immaterial being" and then i asked him how a being being outside of time and space made any sense to which he responded by claiming that if i thought it didn't make sense i had to prove that it didn't, which was not my claim, i only asked how it did and then i explained how we only understood things from the space-time reference and he rebuffed with "that's not proof".

I sometimes wonder if apologists teach young theists or apologists wannabe to be this dishonest.



I think it's worth remembering that they're not always being dishonest, per se, but rather they are benighted by inane bullshit that they lack the critical thinking capabilities to escape. Cherished ideas are often held too tightly, and consequently even the flimsiest support can be deemed vastly out of proportion to the glaring errors contained therein. It's a rare person who can escape their own bullshit, so it's worth keeping that in the forefront of one's mind when engaging with those unable to attain this distinction.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:04 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

carros wrote:philosofer... yooutuber


Socks. I call socks.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:41 am
*SD*User avatarPosts: 342Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 amLocation: Wales, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Philosophical nonsense

carros wrote:can God create a rock he cannot llift?


Well, you could ask that, yes. However, most modern theologians, and even the relatively clued up lay-preacher won't be using a definition of omnipotence that would allow this paradox to be a problem. They don't use all-powerful / unlimited power any more. They use something like maximally powerful, or "can do stuff that can be done" etc.
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Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:26 am
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