Attitudes Toward Atheists & Beliefs About Atheists

Discussion in 'Religion' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Bearing in mind that the entire thread is about theism/ atheism is it not sorta obvious what the "belief" in question is about?

    Doesn't explain why my statement is (allegedly) a fallacy.
    One either believes in "god" or one doesn't. If you haven't made your mind up (supposedly the "agnostic" position in Dinosaur's post) then you do not actively hold a belief in "god".
     
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  3. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    And it applies to any belief.

    <>
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Do enlighten me, please.

    I also find it fallacious that you should need to write my argument for me. Then again, I also understand that some people can only have a rational argument if everyone else obeys their irrationality.

    • • •​

    I don't actually believe you know what you're talking about.

    After all—

    —at no point—

    —do you actually tell us.

    So, is that because you are unwilling, or unable?
     
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  7. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    One either believes in "god" or one doesn't. Better?

    But, apparently, YOU can't explain what you mean.
    All I've done is repeat what you claimed was fallacy - I don't see how that shows it's a fallacy.
     
  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    Is this Tiassa or Jan???

    <>
     
  9. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    This is unlike you (or at least the you I "knew" back when I was more regular here).
    Rather than showing where/ how my statement is a fallacy you've decided to resort to insults. I don't get it.
    Accusations of "irrationality" without providing any supporting argument...

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  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I already have, twice. It's one thing if you disagree or disdain, but quite another if you can't be bothered to address it. Since you haven't, I will simply remind your bravado isn't working.

    Your failure to address the argument is the key. Just because you don't want to deal with it doesn't mean you get to duck out on it.

    Except you have, because you want the answer:

    The attitude would serve you better if you actually had a point.

    Pay attention:

    There is either a belief or there isn't. Zero is zero. Belief or nonbelief thus formulated still results in essentially nothing, as it is akin to multiplying a variable by zero.

    The sad thing is we could have shared the superficial joke of assigning "God" a value of zero, but apparently you didn't or couldn't think through that implication because ... why?

    So, let us return, then, to your pretentiousness:

    • "One either believes in "god" or one doesn't."

    → What does it mean to believe in "God"?

    ↳ That is to say, "God", as such, remains undefined.​

    Try it this way: See that religious person over there? Yeah, he believes in God. Unreliable. Right? Okay, so, why do you let him define "God"?

    (The answer to that last is that you're making a political argument, but if you wish to try a more appropriate context, yes, actually think for a moment about the definition of the word "God".)​

    It just seems to me that if you let stupid people define God, then the satisfaction you find in playing these weird word games is the satisfaction of outwitting the stupid.

    One of the things that happens if one actually takes the time to study and learn about religion is recognition not so much that, as Lennon put it, "God is a concept that causes us pain", but, rather, that "God is a concept".

    I forget precisely how it is phrased, but the only proper tautalogy about God, as I think Karen Armstrong put it, states, "God is". Not that God exists or doesn't exist; all of that is far too limiting for what the word represents. Anything you say about God beyond that, that God is good, or God is love, starts excluding aspects of reality from what is infinite. And maybe that last sounds strange to you, like a religious statement, but it's actually a philosophical result of the necessity of a monotheistic godhead; if that godhead is incomplete, it is not the godhead.

    The "zero" comes from the fact of an undefined value, and remains because that value does not resolve to definition. What you are considering, then, is belief or disbelief in an abstract absence of value. It's a "nothing" joke, sort of. Because that's how it works. There is nothing there to compare that belief or disbelief to, and not as any sly nod and wink about there being no God: Without definition of the godhead, what does one believe in or not?

    What it comes down to is whether one believes or disbelieves according to your definition; your habit of requiring dualisms is much like a religious zealot. Whether you accept this fact or not, you have a definition of God and either will not or simply cannot tell me what it is in any functional manner addressing your underlying fallacy. Now, don't get me wrong; I don't actually care what it is any more than I do that religious person over there.

    To the one, you don't have a clue what you're on about; to the other, that makes you pretty much human on this occasion. And, for the most part, as long as it's just religionists and atheists having their supremacist sausage fight, there's not much to be done.

    Your fallacy depends on requisite definitions; without those, the argument either has no meaning or becomes wrong.

    It doesn't matter whether or not God exists unless you want it to matter.

    No, you don't get to whine like that.

    Go back and check the record. No, really, fuck, why do I always have to do this?

    • Your post at #54↑ includes a statement I challenge as fallacy (#55↑), to which you only offer inquiry (#56↑) for clarification, as you might, and yes, I note that because what you lack will be part of what comes next. I do, in fact, respond and explain the problem (#57↑). StrangerInAStrangeLand checks in to troll the discussion (#58↑), so I reiterate the point and address his provocation (#59↑). Our neighbor responds by offering nothing useful to the discussion (60↑).

    You respond to me by asserting presupposition and apparently trying to refine the fallacy (#61↑). Stranger comments on your post (#62↑). My response (68↑) addresses both you and our neighbor. You retort with a reiteration of the fallacy, and then complain that I haven't done enough with a discussion you won't have.

    If the explanation doesn't explain, but you can't tell me anything about what's wrong with it (#61) there is not much I can do but ask for clarification (#63), so stop complaining.

    No, really, in all that you gave me nothing to work with. So stop complaining.

    (Hey, let's try this one: Should I match you with something about expecting better? Or should I zing by pointing to your fallacy and expressing my disppointment in myself for having thought you smarter? More directly, I'm rather quite curious what you expected with that post?)​

    • • •​

    I'm sorry, who are you?
     
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    You are not making sense to me. Evidently, I am not making sense to you.
    Yet there is no damn reason to call me a troll.
    I do not believe you are sober.

    <>
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    34,677
    I'm sorry, who are you?
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    No "bravado" involved.

    And no "don't want to deal with it" either.

    I have no idea what this means. It's that simple.


    It doesn't matter whether or not "god" is defined: there's belief or not. Each believer decides for him/ herself exactly what"god" means to them (so far as I can tell, usually with some "guidance" from "holy books" or whatever).​


    Again, you've lost me completely.

    Not that I'm aware of.

    I wasn't aware that I was saying anything about "god", nor that I was making a point (or comment) about his/ her/ its existence: I was simply talking about belief in "whatever it is".

    So we're back to it being a fallacy while you still haven't actually addressed the question of belief. What, as specifically as you can, is the "middle position"?

    Nope.
    No more than "Do you believe Manchester United is the best football team in the world?"
    No I don't because I've seen nothing to convince me that that is so.
    I lack that belief. I do not hold that belief.
     
  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    OK. I now know not to reply to you.

    <>
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Well, you're not even trying.

    (No, seriously: I'm not making sense? Okay, can you try doing something constructive, or is that too much to ask? I can't help you if you won't tell me what the problem is.)

    Well, you're not even trying.

    Well, you're not even trying.

    I do not believe you are posting in good faith.

    Like this:

    Seriously, quit wasting my time. You've made it perfectly clear that you have nothing to say and no intention of discussing anything in good faith, so just fucking stop.
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    34,677
    That fallacy has nothing to do with this fluff:

    Which is part of the problem with your statement. You're focused on the believers, then, and not "God".

    Yeah, well, like I said, it's something that happens when you take the time to study and learn about religion; that you are unequipped to deal with this part of the explanation is your own problem.

    Wow, that was really dishonest on your part, Dywyddyr.

    The "zero" comes from the fact of an undefined value, and remains because that value does not resolve to definition. What you are considering, then, is belief or disbelief in an abstract absence of value. It's a "nothing" joke, sort of. Because that's how it works. There is nothing there to compare that belief or disbelief to, and not as any sly nod and wink about there being no God: Without definition of the godhead, what does one believe in or not?

    What was that you said about the question of belief?

    It doesn't matter whether or not God exists unless you want it to matter.

    What was that you said about the middle position?

    Then again, maybe it's not dishonesty; maybe I need to figure out how to dumb it down that much.

    Seriously ... that was just ....

    I mean, fuck, Dywyddyr, really?

    What's the point if you can't be bothered to address anything, even when people are trying to give consideration to your sniveling demands?

    Changing the subject is its own fallacy. So, yeah, let me see if I can mash it up into pabulum for you.
     
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    I give up.
    You've changed - considerably. Or maybe you're just having a bad day, but you've apparently decided that I'm being insincere here so I see no point continuing.
     
  18. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    I'm quite curious as well...
    Let's assign "God" a value of "Omnipotent, omniscient creator of all there is" - that would be in the ballpark for a lot of theists...

    Do you, or do you not believe in God (as defined) T? Or do you "sort of" believe in this instantiation of "God"?

    And if you don't like that definition of "God", provide another. At which point, I will ask: "Do you believe in that "God" or not? Or sort of? See where this is going?

    As others seem to be wrestling with, how does one "sort of" believe in something?
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Slander is not only, or even primarily, a legal term. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/slander

    If I were posting a legal brief, your post would be libel rather than slander. But I am not posting a legal brief.

    Most atheists allow for the chance of being wrong in their judgments and lacking in their beliefs. Certainty is not a defining characteristic of any of these categories.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Possibility: One may harbor the belief that there is something to this God business, some obscure or suggested but very important truth or insight that is or appears to be misrepresented by all available descriptions or attributions of deity and is difficult or impossible to describe for oneself.
     
  21. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    That could be but still 1 either believes or does not believe.

    <>
     
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    I see no good evidence for god(s) therefore I cannot believe there is a god. There is absolutely no chance that could be wrong.
    IF some god comes out of hiding & shows itself, I yet will not be wrong for not believing until that point.
    I cannot be certain there are no gods yet I am certain I find no good evidence. I am certain that believing without good evidence is superstition & I cannot do it.
    I am certain that punishing anyone for such would be cruel.
    I am certain that no god has revealed itself to me by nature or any other means. I am certain that a god revealing itself to some yet not to others while being pissed off at the 1s it has left out is stupid. I am certain that people who try to tell me I know or believe there is a god are arrogant fools.
    I am certain the vast majority of people believe many things without good reason & I cannot do that.

    I am certain that if there is a god, it is not omnipotent or it does not want me to know or it does not care whether I know.

    May as well say there is a chance I could be wrong for not believing in Donald Duck.

    <>
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    34,677
    Why, thank you.

    In this case, we return to the following proposition, which is apparently confusing, or so I'm told:

    See that religious person over there? Yeah, he believes in God. Unreliable. Right? Okay, so, why do you let him define "God"?

    For most of us, arguing that God doesn't exist is, functionally, a political argument. What we are actually arguing is whether this or that poseur deity exists, and therein lies the hook: Why?

    Let's try a different definition for a moment, but it leads right back to what we're discussing: It is pointless for me to remind someone like Kim Davis, the infamous county clerk from Kentucky, to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's (Mt. 22.16-22↱); for many people, basic function is shunted to the back of the bus if it's allowed on at all, so they will define according to aesthetics. To wit, there are many conservatives for whom Caesar is the pompous dictator they would caricaturize pretty much any Democratic president to be, but we have an actual, objective Caesar in the United States of America. And that's the difference. Railing against Caesar often seems attractive if denouncing the opposition leader who won, but it's a lot harder to get a thrill out of being seen denouncing the Constitution itself. Naturally, the bulk of these went on to elect a president who wants to be a dictator.

    (No president wants to be Caesar, and we might wonder which of our neighbors needs the spoiler alert.)

    There is a functional definition: We have an asserted and recognized supreme law of the land↱. Shall we render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's? We can focus all we want on defining rendering or that which is Caesar's, but who or what is Caesar? It makes a difference.

    Just like the question of belief or disbelief is what it is, but what do we mean by "God"?

    Why would I let Kim Davis define God?

    There is also a question, according to the dualistic proposition at hand—

    • There's either a belief or there isn't - you can't have a middle position. (#54↑)

    • One either believes in "god" or one doesn't. (#64↑)​

    —of why anyone would let an atheist define God, but perhaps more important is the point that even still, I mean, what? Whether or not you or I or anyone else believes in something that this other person over here has precisely no comprehension of is actually irrelevant to anything on any given day. The only reason it becomes relevant is if someone insists.

    Thus, for our purposes, the absolutist dualism I call fallacious. What you've done, trying to corral all the miniscule godlings of earthbound religion under particular paradigm, is, indeed, a pretty common starting point.

    Now, then, I need to clear something up, first:

    Believe it or not, the question is irrelevant. That the answer is, of course not, not so much permits, but, rather, obliges me to point out that there really is no point in saying so since there was never any reason to doubt in the first place except for the fact that nobody ever really pays attention to anything when discussing these subjects. (Or, just to be fair, there is obvious reason, since I violated the creed, code, and cult of evangelical Atheism by challenging an article of faith and failing to recite the proper stations.)

    This "sort of" bit people wrestle with is, to the one, answered reasonably and comprehnsibly enough by our neighbor Iceaura↑.

    To the other, and this is the general answer to this issue: The word for what you're describing—

    Let's assign "God" a value of "Omnipotent, omniscient creator of all there is" - that would be in the ballpark for a lot of theists...

    —is "monotheism", though, in truth, I'm pretty sure that, quite technically, you already knew that. And here is a random thesis more general than you in particular: Actually, in the context of people who would claim, as Dywyddyr suggests, to know my record, perhaps some instinctively dodge direct address of monotheism. I can't actually say that's what happens, but the thing is that these are among the only relevant religion-related pronouncements I've made over the course of recent years, so it's always weird when people precisely miss what is at the heart of what we're all supposedly able to recognize so simply. Believe in God? What do we mean by God? Should I be surprised if an evangelical atheist can't answer that question? To the other, most believers in monotheism don't actually believe in a monotheistic godhead; they abide a subject deity, one constricted by rules, i.e., an authority greater than the subject godhead. What do we mean by God? It makes a difference.

    There are a couple times in the preceding discourse I used a line about studying and learning about religion. It really is important, because, while there are many ways to define religion, one inevitable aspect is communal expression, and we generally only remember to think about that when making political complaints about religion. You're familiar with dialectics, and, yes, I do find it strange how there seems to be a tendency to shy away from the word in my society even while people engage, and also seek to understand, the processes. But they stay away from the fundamentals for two reasons: Hegel is long and boring, even in the short volumes; Communists love dialectics beyond love, and we might suggest, as a generalized prejudice, an abusive relationship. American society, for instance, pretends to not like Communists, so we're constantly rediscovering what we refused to pay attention to the first time around. Or, you know, the most recent; I personally believe the historical cycles are accelerating, the periods contracting. (It's a mass media thing, and I keep foolishly expecting some manner of stabilization.)

    Aside from dialectics, you might be one who remembers me using the phrase, "psychoanalytic meaning of history", a post-Freudian concept derived by classicist Norman O. Brown in the mid-1950s.

    And in either case, it's something pretty much everyone does, anyway: When we consider history, a significant portion of our analysis is given to interpretation. Here are four important words: monotheism, henotheism, kathenotheism, panentheism.

    Sometimes it is hard to see monotheism in henotheistic or kathenotheistic expressions, but that's part of the point; if one is a monotheist, henotheism and kathenotheism can be very, very easy. Judaism and Islam alike account for this. What most recognize as the First Commandment can serve for persecuted Jews as dissimulation (al taqiyya) provides for Muslims. Christians, at least in my lifetime, don't seem to recognize this, and weirdly enough it all revolves around our metaphorical hearts: The First Commandment is to keep God in your heart: Do what one must, but don't dare forget Him for a moment. No, really, that's the point of the words "before me". And dissimulation? Imagine hiding all your outward symbols but reciting your prayers inwardly and maintaining your appropriate observations internally. There is actually an important story in American literature exploring notions of inward religious ritual, but in a manner similar to Twain, the reader is not so much instructed in the volume, but advised in another story, to not treat such stories in that way. That is, while I generally hew to the advice, neither am I allowed to make the rule that the one thing I'm not supposed to say here is anything that refers to Franny.

    The Sufi, incidentally, would agree that I probably shouldn't say anything. But that's beside the point. What I'm after is that I don't think I'm actually raising any extraordinary issues. But the Sufi does purport to pursue a particular context of truth and reality; the rest, as the saying goes, is the balance of religion. And here we come back to Iceaura:

    My version is that it simply doesn't matter if God exists or not. These petty godlings could, if we wish to entertain fantastic speculation, be derivative of extraterrestrials, but generally speaking, we humans invent them for the sake of our own necessity.

    (To assuage the religious Atheists, we might make the specific point that if one of the gods earthlings do or have worshipped actually is an extraterrestrial intelligence, there is no direct evidence to properly suggest the possiblity regardlesss of our lacking direct evidence to properly suggest extraterrestrial intelligence. Wow, what a wasted sentence.)​

    ―End Part I―
     

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