Should atheism be recognised?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by S.A.M., Mar 9, 2009.

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Should atheism be recognised?

  1. Yes, I want to be recognised for the stuff I don't believe in

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. No, its stupid to have a category for NOT believing in something

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Got better things to think about

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  4. My opinion, which is better than yours, is given in a post below

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    How would a blind man see again ?
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    He doesn't.
     
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  5. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    So then your analogy is flawed.
     
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  7. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure that's not an accurate analogy. Frankly, it sounds more like agnostic theism. Which is also a tenable position.

    But the analogy doesn't hold. "Having a favourite" is an ontological statement on what exists in my mind. Whereas "not having experienced colour" (being blind from birth) is an ontological statement on what exists in my brain. They are both ontological statements*, not one ontological and one epistemological.

    The appropriate analogy (using your subject) would be:

    Ontologically Without-Experience-Of-Colour: Whereby someone was blind from birth.
    Epistemologically Believing-Oneself-To-Have-Knowledge-Of(and furthermore, a preferred)-Colour: Whereby someone believes they can accurately picture, identify and use colour. (And furthermore, prefers one colour over all others.)


    *I used 'mind' for one and 'brain' for the other, but I only did so in order for any dualists among us to be satisfied. Brain and mind might indeed be one thing, but it's irrelevant to our current question, so we need not settle the dualist problem.
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Its your thesis. I personally think that perception and reality are two sides of the same coin.

    While the lack of perception would not confirm or deny the existence of any concept, without a position on the presence or absence of an object, its spurious to assign a perception to it.
     
  9. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    4,888
    I'm not too clear what you mean by perception. I'm also still not sure what you mean by "recognized".

    It's not a matter of being my thesis, it's just a true fact. And again, I've yet to read any philosopher who argued otherwise. Epistemology and Ontology are different things.

    In an atheists Set Of All Things That Exist, god or gods do not appear. In an Agnostics Set Of All Questions That Are Currently Answerable, whether or not there is a god(s) does not appear.

    You don't see how these two things are compatible? Really?

    Okay, try it with the alien exchange.

    Set Of All Things That Exist, aliens do not appear.
    Set Of All Questions That Are Currently Answerable, whether or not there are aliens does not appear.

    Could you please show that these two are inconsistent? If they are inconsistent - as you assert - can you tell me which ones you think most people would agree and disagree with?
     
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I mean that when you simultaneously hold a position of agnosticism, then your atheism is a belief system, not a position of knowledge or perception.

    Which contradicts your position on agnosticism. ie. if you believe there is no God, you cannot hold a position that he may or may not exist or that there is no way to know.
     
  11. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    You're half right. Atheism is indeed not a statement on what is knowable. But "perception" (in the sense of the 5 senses and any purported others) may well come into play in an ontology. One could be a complete realist and suggest that only those things which are immediately sensible can logically be in an ontology. One could be a complete cynic and suggest that only those things I personally have experienced through sense ought to be in my ontology. Or one could be extreme and suggest that nothing at all ought to be put into an ontology as the senses are doubtable.

    Your culture's very own Al-Ghazali would have recognized such differences.
     
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not a big fan of everything Ghazali wrote.

    IMO, if you say No Comment, then offer an opinion, you've negated your position on No Comment.
     
  13. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    I think you're confusing agnosticism with "no comment", or atheism with what has been dubbed "strong atheism".

    This is a rather natural confusion, especially around sciforums, given that most of the people who identify as one or the other are themselves not aware of the difference. (Please don't start the argument where "if enough people misunderstand a word, then the meaning has changed." I know... but in the world of academia we like to work by strong and well-defined definitions. If your beef is with the rabble who don't know what they're talking about, then I guess go ahead. But the technical meaning is all correct.)

    Agnosticism is not "no comment". Which is why your analogy, again, is wrong. It is a very firm comment that "this is not an answerable question" and requires a number of other epistemological - and possibly other ontological - positions before it can be reached. It is not at all a refrain, it is instead a rather forceful position.

    If, as I said, you simply mean to disagree with the people who think agnosticism means "no comment" and call themselves agnostics and atheists at the same time then, well, carry on. But I've never met someone who held those two positions.
     
  14. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    4,888
    Ghazali was a brilliant writer, if not always correct. But one thing you cannot dispute is that he had a fine understanding of the divide between epistemology and ontology.
     
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Generally, no comment means, this is not an answerable question [for whatever reason]

    Does it mean something else to you?

    I haven't read Ghazali for a long time and never with serious study, so I am not really qualified to answer that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  16. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    Sometimes it means "I don't want to say anything".

    But, if what you're saying is that "this is not an answerable question" and "this is not in my ontology" are inconsistent, there is no reason this is true.

    You seem to be unwilling to answer the questions I ask you, but I'd request you answer this one:

    Okay, try it with the alien exchange.

    Set Of All Things That Exist, aliens do not appear.
    Set Of All Questions That Are Currently Answerable, whether or not there are aliens does not appear.

    Could you please show that these two are inconsistent? If they are inconsistent - as you assert - can you tell me which ones you think most people would agree and disagree with?
     
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    even more bizzarre would be if he said

    "no, but you'll have to excuse me now since I am late for my sermon at the church"

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    for the purposes of discussion, yes
    It means you would cease to have any input to the discussion


    How do you propose to discuss something that is neither recognized nor heard?

    Or to cut to the car chase, just try and indicate something that is not subject to issues of social context (which brings in issues of category, label, etc)
     
  19. Bells Staff Member

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    24,166
    I think that is quite bizarre.

    A person can have an opinion without telling a bunch of strangers on an internet forum what his/her religious beliefs happen to be.
     
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    If that opinion never finds its avenue in social discourse (of which internet discussions are just a tiny fragment) in what ways can it be determined to exist?
    (feel free to give an example)
     
  21. Bells Staff Member

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    Okay. Lets say I join this forum and had given no indication of my religious beliefs or leanings. Would I therefore be barred from participating in discussions that deal with religion or atheism, because I cannot be boxed into whatever category you seem to need to have? Does that mean I would cease to exist if I do not pigeonhole myself into a safe little category for your comfort?
     
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    43,184
    Why does someone else need to determine if it exists ?
     
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    Well to begin with, it would be very difficult to understand how one could have (anti) religious beliefs or learnings that do not approach issues of category (Or to cut to the car chase, just try and indicate something that is not subject to issues of social context).
    Its not so much about the personal needs I have for personal categories .... rather it is about the need for social discourse to have categories (or text and context).

    I guess the only way around it is to have conversations that don't have nouns or pronouns

    eg " running away ...... indiscriminate ...... colourful ..... suppose"
    :crazy:

    It means you would be unable to participate in social discourse and there is no way for anyone to determine the existence of your opinions
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009

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