Semantics of "I don't believe in God".

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by lixluke, Aug 19, 2008.

?

Which one is correct?

  1. A

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. B

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. C

    8 vote(s)
    44.4%
  1. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    A person makes the statement: "I don't believe in God".

    What is this person implying?
    A. "There is no God. I require sufficient evidence to believe there is a God."

    B. "I don't know if there is a God or not. I require sufficient evidence to beleive either way."

    C. This person must be implying either A or B only, but it is impossible to tell which one.
     
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  3. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    1,434
    Ask the person making the statement. What is the point of a poll?
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    As a member of a family whose members have been saying that for three generations, I can speak with some authority.

    It means, "I don't believe in the existence of gods or a god." There are no implications about evidence or the lack of it, and there's certainly no ambiguity. I was raised in a home where the existence of a god was never discussed, any more than your parents would have brought up the possibility of the existence of Klingons. I was about seven when one of the kids at school started talking about a god, and I laughed uproariously because I quite reasonably assumed he was joking.

    It was many years before I got a glimmer of understanding of how and why adults could believe in such a fairytale. By then I was taking science classes in high school and had some comprehension of the scientific method. I was finally able to put my skepticism into words: How can you believe something for which there is no evidence? Wouldn't it be just as "reasonable" to believe that a bucket of money will fall out of the sky and land in your yard?

    It was decades later that I learned the Rule of Laplace and was able to defend my skepticism: Extraordinary assertions must be accompanied by extraordinary evidence before anyone is obliged to treat them with respect, so I choose to exercise my right to not treat this most extraordinary hypothesis with respect.
     
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  7. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    meh. this goes in religion
     
  8. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    13,406
    It depends on who is making the statement.
     
  9. buckybeam Registered Member

    Messages:
    272
    doesnt everyone believe in god during sex?
     
  10. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    So then it is A?
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Huh ? No.. lol
     
  12. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    The poll is loaded Lix.
     
  13. buckybeam Registered Member

    Messages:
    272
    sure i hear it all the time.

    oh god

    oh god

    yes yes

    oh god yes

    jesus god yes.
     
  14. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    lol

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  15. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,811
    Hard to speak for others.
    My first thought at "I don't believe in God" is "I do not believe God will help me, I am certain God will leave me to rot in misery". Considering some fire and brimstone ideas of what God is like, this is a justified intepretation.
     
  16. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    It means: "I do not accept that God is a real entity. I see no reason to believe that God is a real entity because of the lack of any sort of evidence and because the concept evades reality".
    It does not mean: "God does not exist" or "I believe that God does not exist".
     
  17. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,529
    Enmos, the concept itself doesn't "evade reality"

    I chose b
     
  18. Enmos Staff Member

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    43,184
    No the concept itself doesn't.
     
  19. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,529
    It doesn't. Wait, what? Are you agreeing with me?
     
  20. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Yea, I didn't know how to word it to be honest.
     
  21. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    If I say God evades reality someone might take it the wrong way.
     
  22. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,529
    When you say "God evades reality", I take it that you are saying the concept is irrational. I don't think so.

    See my "God is rational" thread in the religion subforum.
     
  23. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Well how suppose God does not evade reality ?
     

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