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  1. #31
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    This whole discussion seems contingent on some generally accepted, coherent definition of the word "God"
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  2. #32

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    Athiests who claim there's a god?

    Well there's that basic misunderstanding of key concepts featured in the topic discussion.

    Gotta keep up the traditions I guess.

  3. #33
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    yeah, this thread needs to be strained with cheesecloth. you can't prove it doesn't need to be strained.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I'm not sure what to say to make my position more clear. Yes, most often the two terms are used to mean the exact same thing; but when someone says "I don't like it, but I don't dislike it." the implication is that the two terms do not mean the same thing (at least in that particular usage). My example above was referencing that one particular usage, and not the common one. I regret using that as an example because this conversation is very much off topic; and even though a majority of other people understand what I'm talking about, the fact that there is one person who is so confused means I've failed at communication.
    I understand that and I agree with your final point that "I don't like it, but I don't dislike it" doesn't make sense. It's a stupid, caddy whompus way of saying "I'm neutral."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    Looking specifically at belief again: It is reasonable to assume that a newborn baby doesn't believe in God, since he or she doesn't really believe in anything. However, it wouldn't be correct to assume that a newborn baby believes that God does not exist.
    I don't think it's accurate to say "a newborn baby doesn't believe in God." However, it may be accurate to say that "a newborn baby doesn't have any knowledge of God." "Belief" and "disbelief" are mental acts that, as far as I know, are beyond a newborn baby's capacity.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Can we stop arguing about little terms. He meant Indifference, and caring( in this case, negatively).
    Once you step into the semantics bog, it sucks you in.

  6. #36
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    I had to stop at the "burden of proof" bit.

    "Since it is impossible to empirically verify that every single thing is not God, then one cannot prove that no thing is God. "

    ^is just a flawed statement. God is a specific thing, a shoe on your head is a specific thing. It's quite easy to disprove most definitions of god, just like you can disprove a shoe on your head (though not that easily with god, usually). It only takes a small number of observations to disprove most definitions of god (e.g. an omnipotent god that gives a sign, absence of that sign), it sometimes takes more than that to prove them (e.g again, a god that gives a sign, as the sign could have come from a different source), and the rest tend to be unprovable definitions (e.g. "god is outside the visible universe entirely") or definitions without a proposition (e.g. "god is the universe").

    It simply does not follow that checking a single object to see whether it is a god, affects the probability of a god existing. Whether the universe is finite or not, one does not have access to the probability of god existing based upon how many objects they have already observed, even if you knew how many objects were left to observe. Access to the probability usually comes from specific observations and knowledge of the nature of that god.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    There is a difference between

    atheist = somebody who believes there is no god

    and

    atheist = somebody who does not believe there is a god.

    The two definitions are often used alongside, but the difference is vital to this discussion!
    The point you and Jonny make regarding this is fine. I'd say though, that those two sentences you chose do not differentiate between the two types of Atheism put forward. So, if you said one of those sentences to someone, they would not be able to tell which type of Atheism you meant. I could tell because the point was already familiar to me, and I could read your sentences in a formal manner, but in general English those sentences say the same thing.

    "Absence of belief" and "belief in absence" are more clear, I find.

    An Agnostic does not say it is impossible to prove one way or the other. That is only a specific type of Agnostic.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    There is a difference between

    atheist = somebody who believes there is no god

    and

    atheist = somebody who does not believe there is a god.

    The two definitions are often used alongside, but the difference is vital to this discussion!
    @erm is correct, "in general English those sentences say the same thing." I discussed something similar with Jonny earlier. Hopefully, by now folks understand why the above bolded statement is erroneous? The two definitions, *do* in fact, mean the same thing.

    If I can ever get through all of the weeds, I'll reply to the original post, which appears to need a John Deer. :\

  8. #38
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    I think what Red was trying to get at was the distinction between positive and negative atheism.

  9. #39
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    Well to distinguish the types:

    One is someone who believes "there is no god". Simple enough. Usually called Strong, Hard or Positive Atheism.

    The other is merely the absence of a belief in "there is a god". So the first type fits this definition, but people who have no opinion on the existence of god also fit, as well as most Agnostics, Ignostics and Theological non-Cognitivists. Usually called Weak, Soft or Negative Atheism.

    This has caused some confusion, as the Strong Atheism is often assumed to be one who is certain that "there is no god", whilst Weak Atheism those who are not. Neither definition actually contains the level of certainty though. It's quite possible to be a Strong Atheist and yet be far from certain in your belief that "there is no god".

  10. #40
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    Default re: OP

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Thus, by atheists own standards, they have no right to say that the evidence does not support the existence of God. In fact, every time they observe something and it is not God, the evidential support for the conclusion that some thing is God keeps growing even while its probability is decreasing. It's counter-intuitive but true: higher probability reduces evidential (or inductive) support!
    ...
    Wowz, I always wondered what went on at a Mensa nerd-fest; now I know.

    The formulas leave a lot to the imagination, despite the obvious copy & paste conversion fail on the special characters. For instance, you leave out the interesting part about what qualifies as sufficient evidence to support God's existence. Do you know?

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