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How many posters here are Atheist?


Elessarina
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  1. 1. I am an...

    • Atheist
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      14
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Atheism

1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

 

Theism

1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).

2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).

 

So, yes, atheism and theism both require faith.

 

Any statement declaring something doesn't exist, like leprachauns, requires faith since they can't be proven. However, simply not believing in them does not.

 

Sounds like you fall in that latter sentence.

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Atheism

1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

 

Theism

1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).

2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).

 

So, yes, atheism and theism both require faith.

 

Any statement declaring something doesn't exist, like leprachauns, requires faith since they can't be proven. However, simply not believing in them does not.

 

Sounds like you fall in that latter sentence.

How about definition 2 of atheism?

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Atheism

1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

 

However, simply not believing in them does not.

 

"not believing" is the same as believing something does not exist. Still faith unless you can falsify the entity.

 

Oh, so my lack of belief in leprachauns, santa clauses, tooth fairies, etc requires faith? There's absolutely no evidence and no reason to believe in any of these.

 

Some of those require faith. You aren't really trying to falsify; just intellectual laziness. Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy can be falsified by data. Think about the statements regarding each and how they are tested and falsified.

 

The statements about leprechauns are such that leprechauns, to my knowledge, are unfalsifiable by science. Therfore if you "don't believe", you do so on faith. As it turns out, there are a lot of people who share your faith, including me. But from the pov of science, it's faith.

 

Remember, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

 

raise a burden of proof to prove they don't exist.

 

In science, that is EXACTLY the burden of proof for every entity. If you can't falsify, the entity stays on the table as possible. See below for examples.

 

I do not need faith to say I don't believe in God but I do think one needs faith to say I believe there is no God.

 

Same statement. This is just semantic sleight of hand. "I do not believe" is the same as saying "I believe there is not".

 

We wouldn't be having this conversation if some human hadn't dreamt up the whole hypothesis of God in the first place and not buying his theory for lack of evidence is not an act of faith.

 

How do you know the hypothesis isn't correct?

 

So, back to science and the examples I talked about.

 

"1. Tachyons: can we rule them out.

 

The special theory of relativity has been tested to unprecedented accuracy, and appears unassailable. Yet tachyons are a problem. Though they are allowed by the theory, they bring with them all sorts of unpalatable properties. Physicists would like to rule them out once and for all, but lack a convincing nonexistence proof. Until they construct one, we cannot be sure that a tachyon won't suddenly be discovered.

 

3. Time travel: just a fanstasy?

 

The investigation of exotic spacetimes that seem to permit travel into the past will remain an active field of research. So far, the loophole in the known laws of physics that permits time travel is very small indeed. Realistic time-travel scenarios are not known at the time of writing. But as with tachyons, in the absence of a no-go proof, the possibility has to stay on the agenda. So long as it does, paradoxes will haunt us.'' Paul Davies, About Time, 1994.

 

So, what's your position on tachyons. They are very similar to deity:

1. Allowed by theory.

2. Undetectable.

3. A pain in the ass if they exist.

 

Do you believe tachyons exist?

Do you believe they don't exist? How about you "don't believe" they exist? How is that different from believing tachyons don't exist? Do you not know whether tachyons exist or not.

 

If you are willing to entertain the possibility, how do you deal with the "lack of evidence" for tachyons?

 

How about definition 2 of atheism?

 

That's what atheists have tried to do with "weak" and "strong" atheism. They claim that "strong atheism" corresponds to "I believe deity does not exist". "Weak atheism is the "I don't belief that deity exists."

 

The problem is that, upon critical examination, weak atheism is unstable. It becomes either agnosticism or strong atheism.

 

Also, irregardless of whether you say "don't believe" or "believe that deity does not exist", atheism is still stuck with at least one statement of faith: "natural" process happen by themselves and are not dependent on deity.

 

No, I don't have the question at all. I have a claim, theory, hypotheses by theists that there is a God. I say I don't believe them.

 

You are making this personal in "I don't believe them". This isn't about people, but about an idea. Is it accurate or inaccurate? The question "Does deity exist?" is no different from saying "do atoms exist?" or "do quarks exist?" or "does natural selection exist?" Science is about testing the existence of entities. You don't decide that you are trusting an individual scientist, but rather whether an idea is correct.

 

I simply do not believe their claim.

 

Then you believe their claim is false. Right? So we are back to atheism being a belief. See how the "I do not believe in ..." becomes "I believe (the opposite)"? The "affirmative denial" is the same as "affirmative belief" when you say the same thing but use correct semantics.

 

Since this is a science forum, let me remind you all that science does not have the evidence to falsify the existence of deity or strongly support it to the point that we (provisionally) accept it as true. The reason science is agnostic. Your personal view on the question -- whether theist or atheist -- is equally reasonable.

 

What I see in some atheists trying to say that atheism is not a faith is to try to illegitimately give atheism an epistemological value it doesn't have. Of course, not all atheists do this. Many are honest with themselves:

 

"both "God did it" and "God didn't do it" fail as scientific statements.

Properly understood, the principle of methodological materialism requires neutrality towards God; we cannot say, wearing our scientist hats, whether God does or does not act. I could say, speaking from the perspective of my personal philosophy, that matter and energy and their interactions (materialism) are not only sufficient to understand the natural world (methodological materialism) but in fact, I believe there is nothing beyond matter and energy. This is the philosophy of materialism, which I, and probably most humanists, hold to. I intentionally added "I believe" when I spoke of my personal philosophy, which is entirely proper. "I believe," however; is not a phrase that belongs in science." Science and Religion, Methodology, and Humanism, Eugenie C Scott, NCSE Executive Director; Reports of the National Center for Science Education 18: 15-17, Mar/Apr. 1998.

 

"A famous scientific principle is "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" Carl Sagan Demon Haunted World, pg 8."

It may be famous, but it isn't true. How do you sleep at night with that elephant in the room?

 

Because I can test and falsify the statement "there is an elephant in the room".

 

Contrary to what you realize, there is actually evidence of absence.

 

If you look hard for evidence of something and there isn't any then you can start to justify the idea that the something doesn't exist.

 

1. You can do so if you can search the entire search space. For instance, I can say "there is a couch in my living room". If you can inspect the ENTIRE living room and find no couch, then you have searched the entire space possible and have, thus, falsified the statement. This is how unicorns get falsified.

 

BUT, notice that you have to search the entire search space. Remember coelencanths. People looked very hard for fossils of coelencanths more recent than 65 million years ago. They didn't find any. By your criteria, they could "justify" the idea that coelencanths didn't exist. But they couldn't search the entire search space and, in the 1930s, coelencanths were found.

 

2. You have to be able to do the search! This is where science gets into trouble. Science is simply incapable of finding direct evidence of deity. It's like using the Hubble telescope to look for evidence of mitochondria. You can say, by your criteria, "we looked very hard for mitochondria and couldn't find any evidence for them, therefore we can justify the statement that mitochondria don't exist." Of course, you would be completely wrong. You aren't justified in your conclusion because the Hubble telescope simply can't find the evidence.

 

Science is in the same boat when looking for evidence of deity. The methodology of science is incapable of directly detecting deity. It's called Methodologial Materialism (or Naturalism). Despite some claims about it, MM comes directly from how we do experiments.

 

The only way science can even approach the problem is to sneak deity in the backdoor. What you do is hypothesize a material method that you say deity works by. Then you test the method. You can easily see the problem here: all you've done is support or refute the mechanism. You haven't tested deity.

 

if i understand it correctly, weak atheist means you dont see a need for a diety and so you dont assume the existance of one. strong atheist means you specifically believe that there isnt a god for some reason.

 

Same thing. Explain how "don't assume the existence of one" is different from "does not exist".

 

BTW, in science, in order to test ANY and EVERY hypothesis, you assume it is correct. So, in order to test whether there is a need for deity, you are going to have to assume deity exists. :)

 

PS, "you don't see a need" is the Argument from Ignorance.

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You are making this personal in "I don't believe them". This isn't about people, but about an idea. Is it accurate or inaccurate? The question "Does deity exist?" is no different from saying "do atoms exist?" or "do quarks exist?" or "does natural selection exist?" Science is about testing the existence of entities. You don't decide that you are trusting an individual scientist, but rather whether an idea is correct.

 

So what you are effectively saying is that it takes faith to disbelieve in unsupported hypotheses? That anyone can put forth any cockamamie hypothesis and whomever lacks belief in their supposition does so on faith?

 

The question "Does deity exist?" is no different from saying "do atoms exist?" or "do quarks exist?" or "does natural selection exist?"

 

They are different. We have observable evidence of atoms, quarks and even natural selection. We have working hypotheses that make successful predictions for these entities and phenomenon. We've got zero proof to support any God hypothesis. I wouldn't necessarily agree that it even meets the requirements of a hypothesis since it makes no testable predictions that could be tested and observed.

 

Main Entry: 1faith

Pronunciation: 'fAth

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural faiths /'fAths' date=' sometimes 'fA[th']z/

Etymology: Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust -- more at BIDE

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY

b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>

 

Faith is a belief in something, not a disbelief...

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So what you are effectively saying is that it takes faith to disbelieve in unsupported hypotheses? That anyone can put forth any cockamamie hypothesis and whomever lacks belief in their supposition does so on faith?

 

You know, I had a problem with this implication earlier, (see post above), but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

 

I can dream up anything I want and if you can't prove it one way or the other then you disagree on faith or you agree on faith. How can it really be any other way? Don't misinterpret this to mean the onus is on you to prove it - unless of course you're trying to prove I'm wrong. The burden of proof is mine if I declare it as fact or whatnot.

 

I think Lucaspa also makes a great point about semantics concerning "belief that something doesn't exist" verses "disbelief that something exists". I'm still chewing on it, but it's compelling.

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Of course. Science does. Science is agnostic.
This depends on what you mean by "agnostic." In this case you're confusing agnosticism with weak atheism. See my above post,
Technically speaking people who call themselves agnostics are usually atheists (weak/agnositc atheists). There's this meme going around that agnosticism is sort of the middle between theism / atheism. But you can be an agnostic and a theist or atheist -- it really doesn't answer the question "do you believe in God." If you cant make up your mind whether you're an atheist or a theist then you're technically not an agnostic. I think it's called like noncognitivist ignosticism or something. But so many people misunderstand what agnosticism really is that it's hard to argue this point.

 

http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/atheism/definitions.html

 

Another point to illustrate is that the term "athiesm" is really unnecessary except when a large portion of the population are theists. [Weak] atheism is a default position. You only become a theist when you're indoctrinated as a child but when you're born you're actually an atheist. It's not like people go around calling themselves "a-astrologists" for lack of belief in astrology because astrology is a minority position. Not believing in astrology is a fairly normal thing. This is why science is technically "weak atheistic" towards the notion of gods instead of the popular definition of "agnostic" as some people erroneously think' date=' the popular definition of course that is confused with weak atheism.[/quote']

That "lacks belief" is a semantic dodge. You have the question: does deity exist? You've got 3 possible answers:

1. I believe deity exists.

2. I believe deity does not exist.

3. I do not know whether deity exists or not.

 

Now' date=' "lacks belief" cannot stand. It either reduces to 2 or 3. [/quote']Ahem,

 

1. The belief that there is a god (theism)

2. The lack of belief that there is a god (weak atheism)

3. The belief that there is no god (strong atheism)

It makes you an atheist. Period. The concept of "strong" vs "weak" atheism was invented by atheists to try to disguise that atheism is a faith.
So many people missunderstand what atheism is. I'm working on a post right now at bodybuilding.com for theists -- maybe I'll link to it latter.

 

But I think you should read this in the meantime. Nobody likes to address a straw man so you should educate yourself about what, exactly, atheism is before you start talking about it.

 

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/intro.html

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I can dream up anything I want and if you can't prove it one way or the other then you disagree on faith or you agree on faith.

 

Please point out the definition of faith that applies from my post above. It certainly isn't 2b(1), "firm belief in something for which there is no proof". For that definition those that lack belief in something for which there is no proof lack faith by definition....

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this bit's induction, which is never 100% reliable (which makes you're whole argument unreliable)*; espescially as if there did exist non-detectable eliphants, then we'd not have any evidence of them.

 

But then, all science is inductive. What you can do is make a statistical argument that nothing exists with the properties you are trying to detect.

 

If the elephant is indeed non-detectable, then there's not much point in scientific methods of detection — there's no interaction with any sensors, etc. But of the elephant interacts with anything, it's detectable. Then you have to worry about whether its interactions are discernable from background.

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So many people missunderstand what atheism is. I'm working on a post right now at bodybuilding.com for theists -- maybe I'll link to it latter.

 

But I think you should read this in the meantime. Nobody likes to address a straw man so you should educate yourself about what' date=' exactly, atheism is before you start talking about it.[/quote']

 

Complicating the uncomplicated. Here's what atheism means:

 

1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

 

 

That's what it means. You can link to as many websites as you want and they can try to "explain" atheism all they want, but it means a belief that there is no god. Period. You don't get to redefine it your own way. Maybe they should invent a new term, because this one's already taken.

 

Please point out the definition of faith that applies from my post above. It certainly isn't 2b(1), "firm belief in something for which there is no proof". For that definition those that lack belief in something for which there is no proof lack faith by definition....

 

It is 2b (1) - you have a firm belief in the lack of a god. You have faith there is no god. See (2) in the definition of faith. You have no proof - since you can't search the entire universe for evidence.

 

FAITH

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.

4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.

5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.

7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.

8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

—Idiom9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.

 

 

Perhaps you can answer this question yourself by telling me how you can disagree there are flying lions on neptune based on proof. If you can't prove it's wrong, then how can it be anything other than faith? It's simple logical deduction.

 

It doesn't change anything about absurdity. It's still just as absurd to assume unicorns formed the universe. It's just there is no proof unless you can search the entire universe and prove it. If you can't query the entire possible space, then how can you claim otherwise? Theists face the same dilema.

 

Faith is a belief in something, not a disbelief...

 

I really think this is the crux of this semantics argument. Tell me what is different about saying "I believe there is no god" from "I don't believe there is a god".

 

That said, my wife altered the subject matter a bit and retorted with this:

 

Is "I believe the children are our future" the same as "I don't believe the children aren't our future".

 

I think if we look at english like math and say that the two negatives cancel, then you're left with the first sentence - that "children" are being applied exlusively. However, intuitively, the second sentence seems to imply that "children" are not exclusive to our future.

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I really think this is the crux of this semantics argument. Tell me what is different about saying "I believe there is no god" from "I don't believe there is a god".

 

One relies on faith and one does not. By definition faith is a belief in something, not a belief in "not something". There is a reason that we have the word faith, to describe the belief people have in something even though there is no proof to support it. To distort the meaning to also include the people that do not believe in that same something negates the purpose for having this term in the first place. Atheists lack faith that God exists just the same as they lack belief in God.

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One relies on faith and one does not. By definition faith is a belief in something, not a belief in "not something".

 

But "something" is just the variable - x. The "x" itself can be a positive or negative value, but it doesn't change the equation. You're trying to change the equation by adding "not" in front of "something". "Something" is not an inherent positive, rather can be a negative or a positive.

 

From the link - http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...hew/intro.html:

 

"But isn't disbelieving in God the same thing as believing he doesn't exist?"

Definitely not. Disbelief in a proposition means that one does not believe it to be true. Not believing that something is true is not equivalent to believing that it is false; one may simply have no idea whether it is true or not.

 

If "one may simply have no idea whether it is true or not" then one wouldn't say they don't believe in it. Why does "disbelief in something" get interpreted as "not sure"? Disbelief is a "sure" statement that you do not believe something.

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Complicating the uncomplicated. Here's what atheism means:

 

1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

 

 

That's what it means. You can link to as many websites as you want and they can try to "explain" atheism all they want' date=' but it means a belief that there is no god. Period. You don't get to redefine it your own way. Maybe they should invent a new term, because this one's already taken.[/quote']There's no need to make it that complicated, either, by this note. Atheism is just the lack of belief in a God. An atheist is simply not-a-theist. An atheist can be someone who has never heard of the idea of God (like your cat, or a toddler), someone who is fairly certain God's don't exist, or someone who just disbelieves the existence of a supreme being.

 

Frankly I'll tell you that I'm a "strong atheist," on most days, but just as a matter of technicality there are two kinds of atheism and the distinction is important. On a purely logical level I know agnostic/weak atheism is the only kind that is really supported but I'm certain enough to be gnostic. You can say my position does require some amount of faith, which I would agree with, though I'd note ever here that the amount faith required to assume there aren't "flying lions on Neptune" is of a much lower caliber then of people who do believe that there really are flying lions on neptune. I'd even go so far as to note that we're talking about two separate kinds of faith here. The faith that there aren't lions on neptune is the same kind of faith that when you get up from your seat gravity is going to hold you down. The kind of faith required to believe in these lions is religious faith.

If "one may simply have no idea whether it is true or not" then one wouldn't say they don't believe in it. Why does "disbelief in something" get interpreted as "not sure"? Disbelief is a "sure" statement that you do not believe something.
Well quite to the contrary this is the popular definition of agnosticism. It was you earlier who was talking about agnosticism was it not? Saying you don't know really isn't a position of faith. If you have a propositions,

 

* God exists,

 

I can tell you that I simply don't think it really has merit but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's impossible that the proposition be true. It could be true, I just don't happen to believe that it is. Just like there could be an elephant in my back yard but you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you there was. Or you could say positively "no, you're lying to me. There's no way there's an elephant in your yard." I mean, I hope this makes sense to you.

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But "something" is just the variable - x. The "x" itself can be a positive or negative value, but it doesn't change the equation. You're trying to change the equation by adding "not" in front of "something". "Something" is not an inherent positive, rather can be a negative or a positive.

 

Again, your bottom line is that faith includes everyone that believes in something and those that don't. Faith doesn't distinguish anyone as being a member of the believers or not. It sounds to me like we might as well just strike it from the dictionary. What do you think?

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An atheist can be someone who has never heard of the idea of God (like your cat, or a toddler), someone who is fairly certain God's don't exist, or someone who just disbelieves the existence of a supreme being.

 

Someone who has never heard of the idea of god doesn't have a belief. So they are not an atheist. Disbelief is not a "default" condition. If I've never heard of the spaghetti monster, it doesn't mean I don't believe in it by default. Belief is a conscious decision - a conviction, or opinion. You can't have an opinion or conviction about that which you are unaware of.

 

Also, that would imply there are only two conditions available - belief or disbelief. Agnostics avoid a conviction, or opinion - belief - in a diety. The third condition of "I don't know" exists.

 

You can say my position does require some amount of faith, which I would agree with, though I'd note ever here that the amount faith required to assume there aren't "flying lions on Neptune" is of a much lower caliber then of people who do believe that there really are flying lions on neptune.

 

But you're still admitting to faith being required for atheism. That's the only point I was making.

 

Incidentally, as much as I've argued for agnosticism, and I did say that it describes me perfectly, I think I actually lean more towards atheism in the context of the popular definition of god. I say that because while I prefer the purely logical humility of agnosticism, deep down, I have to admit that I really don't believe god exists - as man as presented it.

 

So, I'm rejecting the belief in god as presented by man (faith), but accepting the possibility of "god / no god" in some other capacity - due to lack of present knowledge.

 

So what the hell am I really?

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I had to pick 'Other'.

 

What is the term for someone that does not believe in faeries?

 

The reason I ask is that I do not like the idea of a label being applied to me because I do not believe in something that does not exist; there would need to be a lot more labels. It seems to give a certain credibility to those that do believe in things that do not exist.

 

Non-delusional would, perhaps, be a better label.

 

that sounds sensible.

 

an Aghostic is someone who doesnt believe in ghosts.

 

an Afairist, or in UK spelling Afaerist is one who denies the existence of Fairies (Faeries).

 

You are right, we need many more labels to adequately describe people who disbelieve in all sorts of other things, like Mermaids and so forth.

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Perhaps you can answer this question yourself by telling me how you can disagree there are flying lions on neptune based on proof. If you can't prove it's wrong, then how can it be anything other than faith? It's simple logical deduction.

 

...

 

I really think this is the crux of this semantics argument. Tell me what is different about saying "I believe there is no god" from "I don't believe there is a god".

 

 

The difference is in where the burden of proof lies, and what the null hypothesis is. I can disagree that there are flying lions if you can't provide me with evidence of them; the null hypothesis is that there aren't. The latter case is not as clear, but the null hypotheses aren't the same, and the burden of proof (if evidence were to be offered) is different.

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long ago when Einsteins theory was new it was stated to prove that there was no "luminiferous ether". Some people clung to the old theory and said that Einstein had only proved that the ether could not be detected.

What's the difference between something that can never be detected and something that doesn't exist?

I can't detect the fairies at the bottom of my garden because they hide whenever (and however) I look for them thereby depriving me of evidence. On the other hand, people tell me that this absence of evidence is not evidence of absence so I should believe in them anyway.

Unfortunately, like the pixies, crop circle making aliens and the monsters of lots of cheap sci fi I have read, God comes into the same category as the fairies.

 

Whenever I say I'm an atheist people tell me that my explicit disbelief in God is a faith, so I'm not really an atheist.

They never mention my faith that C3PO isn't real in spite of the fact that it's just as valid a faith.

Sooner or later you realise that everything is "faith" - I can't prove to you that I'm real rather than a computer generated set of statements but I bet most of you believe in there being a real me.

Strictly this means that there are no atheists and, therefore, that the word has no meaning. In the limit, to say you are an atheist you must have faith in the idea that the word "atheist" has a meaning, but that means you have faith so you aren't one.

 

In the real world there are some things that are taken on trust to be so probable as to be regarded as facts, at least until proved otherwise and not something that you worry about or experiment on.

For example it's a "fact" that the sun will come up tomorrow.

 

As far as I'm concerned those who put the non existence of God in the same group of hypotheses as (for example) "grass is green", "the sun will rise tomorrow" and (from most people's point of view most people ) "gravity obeys an inverse square law" are called atheists. The ones who put the existence of God in that category are called theists and those who are not that sure are called agnostics.

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I can't detect the fairies at the bottom of my garden because they hide whenever (and however) I look for them thereby depriving me of evidence. On the other hand' date=' people tell me that this absence of evidence is not evidence of absence so I should believe in them anyway.

Unfortunately, like the pixies, crop circle making aliens and the monsters of lots of cheap sci fi I have read, God comes into the same category as the fairies.[/quote']

 

That's why science, as a disciplined construct, cannot acknowledge these fairy's existence. Science demands measurable, empirical evidence right?

 

And, as you've defined these particular fairies, we can only disagree on their existence on faith. As you've pointed out, we can't prove otherwise.

 

I believe the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence is more in reference to lack of complete verification. For example, saying we have no evidence of god and therefore he doesn't exist is wrong because we haven't searched the entire universe and with respect to all of time. So, that's like saying I can't find an elephant in my yard, so elephants don't exist. That would be incorrect, if I searched all of the earth (as per elephants have been defined) I would find elephants.

 

God, and your fairies, have definitions that science cannot prove, nor disprove - don't even have the ability to attempt it, at least at this time.

 

In the real world there are some things that are taken on trust to be so probable as to be regarded as facts, at least until proved otherwise and not something that you worry about or experiment on.

 

But not science, right? I agree in that some things seem so probable that I may be so convinced of them, it may as well be fact, but they aren't facts - they are beliefs based on faith since I can't prove them. I may have a great reason to believe this - but that doesn't magically make it fact.

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Someone who has never heard of the idea of god doesn't have a belief.
Exactly so they're an atheist. If you ask the question "does God exist" or "do they believe in God" and the answer is no then they're an atheist.
But you're still admitting to faith being required for atheism. That's the only point I was making.
No, you're missinterpreting my post with an equivocation. I said strong/gnostic atheism has an element of faith. As John Cuthber said, Sooner or later you realise that everything is "faith"

 

I'm only pointing out that there are a couple different kinds of faith.

So, I'm rejecting the belief in god as presented by man (faith), but accepting the possibility of "god / no god" in some other capacity - due to lack of present knowledge.

 

So what the hell am I really?

Sounds like you're a weak atheist. IMO this IS the only conclusion supported by logic, although like I said on most days I'm a strong atheist but I'll admit to this. And for those of you who don't like the fact that science is technically in the "weak atheism" position you can replace this with any word you like, including agnosticism seeing as how agnosticism (or what agnostics will tell is weak agnosticism lol) is commonly confused for this position.

 

It's the lack of belief in God but the acknowledgment that it is possible that God exists. There's no evidence to believe or disbelieve in God. Call it whatever you like.

You are right' date=' we need many more labels to adequately describe people who disbelieve in all sorts of other things, like Mermaids and so forth.[/quote']That's what I was talking about earlier. Theism is the popular position so people who aren't theists are described as atheists. If theism were in the minority there wouldn't be a need for the term atheist, although I'm sure from a historical context if theism were to in the future be the minority position the label atheism would still exist.

For example, saying we have no evidence of god and therefore he doesn't exist is wrong because we haven't searched the entire universe and with respect to all of time.
This isn't what anyone is saying though.
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. IMO this IS the only conclusion supported by logic, although like I said on most days I'm a strong atheist but I'll admit to this..

 

It may be your opinion. however, logic will support, their being a God or no God, faeries etc. It is all in the assumptions (often based on faith) you start with.

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that sounds sensible.

 

an Aghostic is someone who doesnt believe in ghosts.

 

an Afairist, or in UK spelling Afaerist is one who denies the existence of Fairies (Faeries).

 

You are right, we need many more labels to adequately describe people who disbelieve in all sorts of other things, like Mermaids and so forth.

 

 

when the vast majority of the people on the planet believe in some form of ghosts or fairies im sure well have terms exactly like that.

 

until then its a bad analogy.

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