Strong and weak Atheism.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by aaqucnaona, Dec 14, 2011.

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Please read OP first. Where do you stand on the Scale?

  1. 0-10

    25.0%
  2. 10-20

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 20-30

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 30-40

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 40-50

    12.5%
  6. 50-60

    12.5%
  7. 60-70

    12.5%
  8. 70-80

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 80-90

    25.0%
  10. 90-100

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. 100

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. I don't want to vote. Show me the results.

    12.5%
  1. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,620
    I am incited to write this coz yesterday, a discussion on what is atheism went from discussing Sam's panties to me tearing my hair out over her inability to distinguish strong and weak atheism.

    What theism and atheism is [when we generally discuss it], is that its a stance on the one or both of these statements:

    A : There is a God.

    B : There is no God.

    Now, a strong Theist is the one who rejects B, thereby choosing A. Note here that the emphais is on what the person thinks about the other statement than the one he/she holds.

    A weak theist would be one who accepts A, but doesnt reject B.

    Similiarly, a strong Atheist rejects A, therfore he chooses B. However, a weak atheist accepts B, but leaves A open.

    Now, how can someone who accepts one not reject the other?
    Coz this is informal logic, the answers arent mutually exculsive, they depend on the probalility of the existence of God.

    Thus, if the top end is Statement B and the lower end is Statement A, here how the stances divide:

    Statement | Probability | Stance
    ..............B|......0...........|Total Atheist
    ................|...................|Strong Atheist
    ................|...................|Weak Atheist
    ................|...................|Tea pot agnostic
    ................|.......50........|True Agnostic
    ................|...................|Weak/Temp. Agnostic
    ................|...................|Weak Theist
    ................|...................|Strong Theist
    ..............A|......100......|Total Theist


    Thats how it really is, in people's discussions and their minds.

    Ps. I suggest a few things [to moderators]:
    If something like this doesnt already exist, lets call it the "Sciforumer's Scale of Belief in God".
    On a more serious note, can u pls atleast make this a sticky so that people dont debate on the definition of atheism and fall into long and painful discussions of semantics, ontology and epistemology?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
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  3. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm... I cant change the title from Strong weak Atheism to Strong and weak Athiesm.
     
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  5. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    Oh crap! I cant believe I f*cked up on my own post. I meant to vote 10-20.
     
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    These are "dictionary atheism" and "dictionary theism."

    Real people don't live in dictionaries.
     
  8. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    4,365
    I am a true agnostic, as we all are, but I am certain of my faith in God, which tells me there certainly is a God, and I do not question this. The simple fact is I can, nor any man be certain of the existence of God. I am more firm of the existence of Heaven, than I am of God, but I am certain of my faith.
     
  9. Enmos Registered Senior Member

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    43,184
    Fixed.

    Fixed.
     
  10. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    1,620
    OMG. Thanks! But, if administrators can change poll results, how can their validity be ensured?
     
  11. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    It doesnt matter if u state ur beliefs in those words or in that sense. U need not even define ur mentality on god based on these statements. The only thing required for the scale to be valid is that U have some stance on those statements, which any person who has heard of god and given any amount of thought to it would have.

    For the sake of argument, pray tell me what other and somewhat simple description would you give of 'theism' and 'atheism'
     
  12. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    1,620
    @Enmos. What are ur thoughts on this post? U have neither written about that nor have u voted!
     
  13. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    4,416
    The polls have no real validity anyway, it's a self-selected opinion poll.
    AKA SSLOP.
    Super-nono in your social sciences.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Only those who A-come to sciforums, B-notice this, and C-bother to vote. Self-selected 3x over.

    Pretty sure there's some sort of deity. Meh, mostly. I tend to believe in many of them in a wishy-washy way, unless I'm working on something.:shrug:
     
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    I don't believe there is any supernatural being that makes everything happen and watches over humanity to "judge" them. I do think others that do believe in such myths have that right to do so. Don't forget one out of three people suffer from some sort of mental health issues today.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    4,416
    Hey, you leave my happy pills out of this and I'll leave out all those bongs...
    *Considers putting the batteries back in Cosmic's smoke detectors secretly*
     
  16. Enmos Registered Senior Member

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    43,184
    No problem

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    I guess you're just going to have to trust the mods/admins.

    I consider myself an agnostic atheist. While I can't say that a god definitely does not exist, I think the probability of a god existing is so small it is negligible.
    So I'm not too sure what option I should vote for.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  17. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,785
    I think that virtually all theists direct their attention to God (or whatever it is) and embrace A. They reject B pretty much by default, since A and B appear to be logical contradictories.

    ('Contradictories' are two propositions where one must be true and the other false. That's in distinction with 'contraries', where while it's impossible for both contrary propositions to be true at the same time, it does remain possible for both of them to simultaneously be false.)

    How is it possible to accept A without at least implicitly rejecting B? (I've never heard of the term 'weak theist'.)

    I think that the two alternatives A and B are going to remain logically contradictory, even if we adopt a probabilist approach to the question. (I'm an epistemological probabilist.)

    Where the probabilities typically arise is in our epistemological certainty about which of the two alternatives is true and which false.

    There's no suggestion there that God can actually 75% exist and 25% not exist. God either exists or else God doesn't. (We could probably attack that one by defining the word 'God' in non-traditional ways, but that's another discussion.)

    But even if God exists or doesn't exist, without any middle ground, any of us might lack total certainty about whether or not God exists and might choose to place some probability figure on our degree of confidence. In that case, a 75% figure would kind of suggest leaning towards the idea that God exists, while leaving open a significant possibility that the belief might be wrong.

    In my own case, I consider myself an agnostic because I don't know of any way for human beings to acquire reliable knowledge of transcendent things. But I'm also an atheist, at least by default, because I have a reasonably high confidence that the gods of the major religious traditions (Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu and so on) don't actually exist, whatever the unknowable transcendental facts ultimately turn out to be.

    Generally speaking, the distinction between strong and weak atheism is between actually denying the existence of God, and simply lacking any belief in God. In other words, somebody who has never heard of God and has no beliefs about God one way or another would be a weak atheist according to this definition. Hence we periodically see atheists crowing that all babies are born atheist.

    I don't think that would be a very good idea.

    The discussions of semantics, ontology and epistemology are precisely where the intellectual interest in all this stuff arises. The atheism/theism arguments are little more than noisy posturing, unless they succeed in illustrating interesting philosophical issues.
     
  19. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    6,493
    I have to disagree with this thread altogether. When it comes to being an atheist you either are or your not. There is no in between or shades of gray here. However that's not the case with theist.
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    7,630
    If you mean to prevent debate here on the definition of atheism then it would behoove you to actually understand the distinction between atheism and agnosticism, and how it is inaccurate to put them on the same scale, with agnosticism slap bang between atheism and theism.

    But since you don't seem to then I'll just point out, as others have/will, that your poll is flawed from the outset and your thread somewhat pointless.
     
  21. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    1,620
    KK. I can see i have pissed off some people. Tell me what ur opinions are. How do u define the term. How would u explain them. I am putting out my view and I want to know urs. I have only been a atheist for a fortnight, my philosophy is upside down and I am trying to reorganise and understand things. Help me out.
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,630
    Theism is an ontological position.... belief in one or more gods.
    Atheism is, in its broadest sense, a lack of this belief.
    There is a tendency to distinguish between those who merely lack belief (weak atheists) from those who also believe god does not exist (strong atheists) - but both are atheists.
    Others see atheism as requiring some rejection of belief... i.e. to have been presented with and understand to some degree the idea/concept of God and to have then rejected it - which would separate them from those who have not, such as toddlers. This distinction is between explicit atheism and implicit atheism.

    So yes, there's a wide variety of atheisms, but at their core they all just lack belief in god(s), and the variation is not really in the strength of their (a)theism (which many see as digital: you either are or you are not) but in the various other philosophies they have.


    Agnosticism, however, is an epistemological position... whether you think God is knowable or not, whether you have personal knowledge or not.

    It is quite often that the same thought process that leads to Agnosticism also leads to Atheism... and so you get Agnostic Atheists... and due to their agnosticism they tend to be "weak" atheists. But they are agnostic. And they are atheist.

    There are also some who are agnostic (i.e. hold God to be unknowable) and argue that that is sufficient for God to be considered non-existent - and these would be agnostic atheists but "strong" atheists: they believe god does not exist, precisely because they hold any such god is unknowable.

    There are likewise some agnostic theists - people who believe but also accept that God is unknowable. Yet they believe, and they believe 100% that God exists.

    So I hope you can see that by combining both epistemological and ontological issues on the same axis leads to confusion and inaccuracy.

    It's like combining engine-power and colour on the same axis to describe a car.
     
  23. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    3,714
    Atheism would be the correct spelling. FYI.
     

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