July 14, 2011

Atheism, A Viable Position?

Matthew 18:19-20
Let's ask Gary, who responds with,

Atheism is not a viable position: Why?

1) It is impossible to prove there is no being having the attributes of power, intellect and morality commonly attributed to the supreme being we call God.

Atheists themselves admit this. Thus having no possible proof of their position, it requires blind faith alone to sustain it. Incredible arrogance is also within them to assume there is no God.

2) It is impossible to use anything at all in the known universe as evidence of no God.

This is self-evident.
Thus atheism has no evidential foundations and cannot by any artifice of language be logical.

3) To claim there is no God requires infinite knowledge of all things, or, sufficient knowledge of the entire universe (and/or multiverse, if true) -which is impossible to obtain in one human life time- to be able to point to reasonable proof.

4) The belief that there is no God is thus based on blind faith alone since no evidence of his non-existence exists.

Yet atheists refuse to believe all evidence of any kind for his existence, therefore they live in perpetual, willful denial of 10s of 1000s of observed realities.


5) Atheism claims there are no absolutes, logical or other.

But they are absolutely sure of this, thus creating an absolute of their own and contradicting themselves henceforth at every turn - as we also see here at every post Dan submits.

Without logical absolutes, nothing can ever be proved.

But, we have proof of many things therefore logical absolutes exist.


"If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. Similarly if nothing is obligatory for its own sake, nothing is obligatory at all." ~The Abolition of Man

6) Moral absolutes exist.

Values that are always true transcendent, independent of anyone's opinion and independent of time or place.

But, atheists are obliged to deny this.

Yet, in spite of this, they persist, every moment as we have already witnessed here, in assuming the existence of moral absolutes by criticizing things they believe are morally wrong.

They are, in every case, appealing to a moral law they assume exists, and that they assume is absolutely true every single time they do this.

7) Atheism thus requires, by default, the denial objective truth.

They often say, "There is no truth".

But if the statement, "there is no truth" is true, then it cannot be true!

For if there is no truth, then nothing anyone ever says or thinks is ever true, including the statement "THERE IS NO TRUTH".

Thus atheists live in cognitive dissonance believing things that are obligatorily self-contradictory.

Worse, as we witness here, they are constantly making statements they believe are objectively true! All while denying objective truth. Amazing.

Relativism is thus the only morality atheists can have. Relativism unfortunately, is self defeating since relativism itself must be relative. Relativism is thus, itself, a position with no meaning.

Therefore, atheists are indeed "imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly".

And so, "Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

Atheism is thus deep foolishness and escapism and nothing more.

Curiously enough God still loves atheists, despite their utterly insufferable blindness.

82 comments:

  1. TL:DR - Circular Presup Garbage, proving nothing at all.

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  2. Now D.A.N ( an intellectually dishonest person) is using "arguments" from Gary H. (another intellectually dishonest person) in order to validate his worldview and to give more misinformation about atheism. That's when you know D.A.N reached rock bottom of his ignorance and intellectual dishonesty.

    D.A.N, this only means 2 things: you are hopeless and beyond help/understanding. lol

    In a way, I feel sorry for you...really.

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  3. 1. Its impossible to prove that there is no Flying Spagetti Monster, or Invisible Pink Unicorn. It is impossible to disprove the existence of Brahma, Zeus, Thor, Allah, or Amaterasu. Unless you accept every single religion as true, this point can be dismissed.

    2.It is impossible to use anything in the universe to disprove Brahma, Zeus, Thor, Allah, or Amaterasu. Again, unless you accept every religion as true on the grounds that its unfalsifiable, this point can be dismissed as well.

    3. Okay, fair point, its impossible to say that there is no God. Instead the default position is to doubt a claim until some evidence can be provided, not assume that its true for no reason.

    4.This point is just a conclusion based on the previous 3 points which have already been addressed.

    5.Who said they were absolutely sure that there is no absolute truth? If someone says that its pretty arrogant. Most people admit the possibility of being wrong, and thus not absolutely certain of their position.

    6. Morality is not absolute, it varies from culture to culture as well as from time to time. Christians used to think it was moral to destroy temples of different religion, burn their literature and torture and kill heretics. Now mainstream Christianity has adopted the morality of the enlightenment, they tend to let people have the right to life and property, even if they have a different religion. Morality has changed and continues to change.

    7. Is just a conclusion from the previous points.

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  4. Dishonest Dan then claimed it {edit: the non-existence of God} requires blind faith alone

    Bzzzt. That faith isn't blind. It's supported by empirical evidence: Ask every theist on the planet to show us this deity, and they will all point in different directions.

    Ergo, the atheist's position is supported.
    The theist's is not.

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  5. Michelle,

    >>Now D.A.N ( an intellectually dishonest person) is using "arguments" from Gary H. (another intellectually dishonest person) in order to validate his worldview and to give more misinformation about atheism.

    Thanks for confirming number 6 to the affirmative.

    In case you misunderstand the point, I will repeat it.

    "Yet, in spite of this, they persist, every moment as we have already witnessed here, in assuming the existence of moral absolutes by criticizing things they believe are morally wrong.

    They are, in every case, appealing to a moral law they assume exists, and that they assume is absolutely true every single time they do this."

    Check!

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  6. D.A.N., where does the Bible lay out your presup ideas? Having read it from cover to cover several times I've never found it....

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  7. Max,

    1. OK so first point is confirmed. Since you have no possible proof of their position, it requires blind faith alone to sustain it.

    2. Point 2 is CONFIRMED then, not "dismissed" as you say. Thus atheism has no evidential foundations.

    3. Progress!

    4. CONFIRMED by default.

    5. Atheists do claim there are NO absolutes, certainty, or knowledge. They must to be consistent with their worldview. Otherwise they would have to account for absolutes, which they cannot of course. How do you account for ANY absolutes in your worldview? How can you know ANYTHING to be absolutely true?

    6. >>Morality is not absolute

    This is a perfect example of a knowledge claim for us to examine. You speak as if you are certain that morality is not absolute. Are you?

    >>Morality has changed and continues to change.

    There's another knowledge claim. Are you certain that morality changes?

    Maybe you are confusing a feeling of certainty with actual certainty. One cannot BE certain of something which is not true.

    7. But still confirmed.

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  8. D.A.N.

    Where is this in the Bible? Where did Jesus say 'You must have faith, but you can prove my father exists by first believing that he does and then building an argument that presupposes this to prove itself'?

    Are you deliberately ignoring my question because you KNOW it's NOT in the Bible?

    Please explain how a circular word game that says nothing at all about reality 'proves' anything.

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  9. Alex,

    Work from Proverbs 26:4-5 and go from there. There are too many to count though as the ENTIRE Bible is based on it. In Acts 17 Paul argued prepositionally, as He presupposed Christ as Lord... etc.

    A great book, Always Ready is in my book store. Its worth the read if you are interested. It has every verse you could possibly want to make the case for presuppositional apologetics.

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  10. D.A.N,

    >> Me: Now D.A.N ( an intellectually dishonest person) is using "arguments" from Gary H. (another intellectually dishonest person) in order to validate his worldview and to give more misinformation about atheism.

    Are you that stupid since birth or for majority of votes? Point out to me where did I mention anything about morality in the sentence above.

    There’s no such thing as objective morality. You are the living proof of that. You morality is subjective when you accuse human beings of doing the same evil your god does/orders to be done. You – probably – are against the genocide in Rwanda and the genocide in WWII during Hitler’s dictatorship but you are not against the genocide against the Canaanites because it was ordered by your god. You even tried to minimize this horrible act by saying it was capital punishment.

    In fact, do you remember about something you said about your father being successful in his mind (because he thinks is correct and justifiable to take advantage of people), but being morally corrupted in yours? If this is not you being relative in the morality department…

    About morality; it’s subjective. In modern societies, specially in the western world, is completely immoral to whip a woman in the middle of the street for whatever reason. But in Islamic theocracies it’s completely moral and justifiable to whip a woman 52 times in the middle of the street because she was wearing jeans – which according to them – is against the Sharia Law.

    It’s immoral to kill, to steal, to kidnap, to rape, etc. There was a time where nobody really cared about all that stuff. But – since mankind started to live in societies – they realized that a set of rules was necessary to guarantee the safety and harmony of those societies. So – killing, stealing, raping, kidnapping, etc – became immoral acts and also illegal. This happened way before your religion existed. Besides – in world history – those set of rules weren’t enough to keep your religion from being responsible for the killing of millions of people. The 10 commandments you follow weren’t enough to keep Israelite soldiers to slaughter the Canaanites. Your own god just tossed those 10 commandments when fit his nasty purposes.

    When I consider something to be immoral, it’s going to be immoral it doesn’t matter who does it or commands it to be done.

    If my father was a thief I wouldn’t consider stealing morally justifiable and correct when my father does/orders to be done using the lame excuses like “my father knows best; his will should never be questioned because he is always right even he does something wrong/because he’s an authority” and immoral and wrong when someone else does it/orders to be done

    When we live in society we are accountable to others and we need them in order to survive; there’s no gain for society in general in doing immoral acts against each other.

    Before you go saying the only reason I don’t commit crimes because I don’t want to go to jail and because is illegal in my country; even though rape and murder, stealing and kidnapping, slavery and other crimes were legal in Brazil I would never do it because it goes against my moral standards and conscience.

    But – of course – you’re just going to ignore all that because in your head atheists can’t be accountable to such things because our morality doesn’t come from your god.

    In fact, you’re the one who can’t be accountable to morality and you can’t be against rape, murder, infanticide, genocide, abortion, slavery, mass murder, incest, death by stoning (which you said yourself not to be against it when it’s about raising your children) since your bible/god incites and endorses all that.

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  11. So in other words any claim which is unfalsifiable must be believed? You believe every religion ever written? You believe in fairies, elves and leprechauns? None of it can be disproved but the default position is to doubt a claim until you produce evidence for it. Does it require faith to doubt the existence of Zeus or any other mythological being?

    And I believe I just said that only an arrogant person would claim absolute certainty, without the possibility of being wrong. For example, I know that my laptop will sit on my desk until I move it. I'm not certain, maybe the laws of physics will suddenly change, and my laptop will float away or disappear. However my certainty in the laws of physics is not required for them to work. They are independent of human mind. I could be completely wrong about physics, but believing or not believing, being certain or not certain, does not change them. In the same way we use past observations to make educated guesses about how the world works. We could be wrong, but as long as our past experience continues to match what happens in the future, no certainty is required, we can still use our subjective knowledge to help us interact with the world.

    And to answer your question on whether I'm certain that morality changes, I'll say this. It's very probable that it has. But in the very small chance that all of recorded history is a lie, than there that would mean morality, might be unchanging, but there's no particular reason to believe that it is.

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  12. Okay I'll try to explain this a different way. Suppose I'm walking down the street, an average man walks up and says he used to be 500 feet tall and the government covered it up, and he shrunk due to experiments performed on him. I have no means at my disposal to disprove his claim. Does it take more faith to believe an unproven claim that violates all experience and known science, simply because I have no means to disprove it, or does it take more faith to doubt a claim that has no evidence?

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  13. Max,

    >>or does it take more faith to doubt a claim that has no evidence?

    What if that same man was your own Daddy. You have always trusted him because he made it a point in his life to NEVER lie to you. He even was truthful to you about Santa and the tooth fairy. He is a very stand up guy and a beacon of hope in your community. Without even running, all the people of the town wrote him in as mayor of the city because they just love him so much. When people talk about him they literally break down with happy tears. He spends time with you every day and pushes all his work aside to just be there for you and all your questions about life. He comforts you. Now, would that be more difficult to doubt that claim that has no evidence; Would you trust the man, until it could be proven with more evidence; OR would you scream Liar and run to your mommy?

    From my heart, that is what we're dealing with. I trust God until evidence will be revealed to me. From what I read, it will. I trust Him, for that glorious day, as a Good God.

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  14. If he was someone I knew and trusted, then I would believe the sincerity, but I would doubt the sanity of the claim. Unlike a stranger who I would simply dismiss the claim, if it was somebody I cared about, I'd want their sanity checked out for their own safety. If he was the mayor, and everyone loved him so much, and his declining sanity was very gradual people might believe he was just fine, and ignore the signs, people can be blind to the failings of those they love. The fact that he is the leader of so many, doesn't make it easier to trust his claim, it makes it more important to doubt it, and test it. Its very dangerous to have an insane man as unopposed leader of many people.

    At minimum a drug test and psychiatric evaluation. If that checks out, I would tentatively accept his claim, but I would also tell everyone in the town about his claim, and try to convince them to watch him closely for signs that he's acting out of the ordinary. Its for his good as well as our own that we make sure nothing is wrong with him.

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  15. D.A.N,

    >> I trust God until evidence will be revealed to me. From what I read, it will. I trust Him, for that glorious day, as a Good God.

    So you have no evidence whatsoever about your god? If you don't, thank you for finally admitting that!

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  16. Atheism, A Viable Position?

    Simple answer, yes.

    Let's ask Gary, who responds with,

    Let's not, he's an idiot ... oh well, if you insist.

    Atheism is not a viable position: Why?

    1) It is impossible to prove there is no being having the attributes of power, intellect and morality commonly attributed to the supreme being we call God.

    Atheists themselves admit this.


    Some atheists will, others may disagree, your mileage may vary, especially if you're talking about a specific god.

    Thus having no possible proof of their position, it requires blind faith alone to sustain it.

    And what position is that Gary? If you're claiming that the atheist position is "There absolutely is no God" then you have once again redefined atheism to suit your argument rather than forming your argument based on what atheism actually is. That would make the rest of your post one giant strawman. If that's not the position you claim atheism holds then your conclusion that "it requires blind faith alone to sustain it" is not supported by the premises.

    Incredible arrogance is also within them to assume there is no God.

    There's no arrogance in living your life in a way that comports with reality. You should try it some time.

    2) It is impossible to use anything at all in the known universe as evidence of no God.

    This is self-evident.


    And? This may be a problem if we were using your redefinition of atheism, unfortunately for you we're not, so it's irrelevant.

    Thus atheism has no evidential foundations and cannot by any artifice of language be logical.

    Lol, "I say atheism is this and, because I've redefined it to suit myself, it doesn't meet conditions I know the redefinition cannot meet therefore I've proven atheism to be an invalid position". I almost feel sorry for people with this level of reasoning ability.

    3) To claim there is no God requires infinite knowledge of all things, or, sufficient knowledge of the entire universe (and/or multiverse, if true) -which is impossible to obtain in one human life time- to be able to point to reasonable proof.

    Then it's a good thing that atheism doesn't make a knowledge claim that there is no God. Good for me anyway, not so good for your 'argument' of course.

    4) The belief that there is no God is thus based on blind faith alone since no evidence of his non-existence exists.

    This point doesn't follow from your original 3 which were all based on knowledge claims and not claims of belief. Plus my belief that there isn't a God is based on evidence that contradicts religious claims as well as arguments which demonstrate the likelihood of a God existing is very low.

    Yet atheists refuse to believe all evidence of any kind for his existence, therefore they live in perpetual, willful denial of 10s of 1000s of observed realities.

    If only you could produce these "10s of 1000s of observed realities" that you claim exist. It's no surprise that every claim of evidence for God from the religious can be easily explained by a wholly natural process - it's almost as if the claimed evidence for God isn't evidence for God at all.

    cont'd...

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  17. cont'd...

    5) Atheism claims there are no absolutes, logical or other.

    It does? Where?

    Personally I don't know whether absolutes exist - I've asked various theists for examples to demonstrate their existence but, so far, none have managed to answer my request, maybe you could give it a go?

    But they are absolutely sure of this, thus creating an absolute of their own and contradicting themselves henceforth at every turn - as we also see here at every post Dan submits.

    Never having claimed to be absolutely sure of this I'm wondering what on Earth you're jabbering on about here. If you have an example of an absolute, present it and show how it is absolute.

    Without logical absolutes, nothing can ever be proved.

    Strange, the dictionary entries I've read for the word 'proved' seem to suggest you can also prove things via evidence so I suspect you're using a defintion that doesn't match the commonly accepted one.

    But, we have proof of many things therefore logical absolutes exist.

    Ignoring your affirming the consequent fallacy for a moment, name a logical absolute and show how it is absolute?

    "If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. Similarly if nothing is obligatory for its own sake, nothing is obligatory at all." ~The Abolition of Man

    Of course there are epistemologists who will deny that any proposition can be self-evident, I'm wondering what special authority C.S. Lewis has in determining who is right?

    6) Moral absolutes exist.

    Name one and show how it is absolute.

    Values that are always true transcendent, independent of anyone's opinion and independent of time or place.

    And just here you remove the need for any God - for morality to be truly objective it cannot be rooted in conciousness, inclding the conciousness of a God. If morality can exist apart from God, as it must in order to be truly objective, then we have no need for a God at all. Thanks for demostrating the viability of atheism Gary.

    But, atheists are obliged to deny this.

    We are not obliged to deny this at all - in fact I wholeheartedly agree that objective morality cannot be founded on an inherently subjective worldview such as the Christian one.

    Yet, in spite of this, they persist, every moment as we have already witnessed here, in assuming the existence of moral absolutes by criticizing things they believe are morally wrong. They are, in every case, appealing to a moral law they assume exists, and that they assume is absolutely true every single time they do this.

    Incorrect again. a) Appealing to morality does not assume moral absolutes and, as long as we can demonstrate an objective reason as to why an action is wrong in the context in which it's being judged then no moral absolutes are required and b) Pointing out how your own actions run contrary to the absolute moral law you profess to believe in merely shows you for the hypocrites you are rather than accepting that such a law exists.

    7) Atheism thus requires, by default, the denial objective truth.

    Lol, of course it doesn't, all it 'requires' is that you do not believe in the existence of god(s). Also, it's always amusing to see Christians claim the atheist has no recourse to objectivity when it's those very same Christians who can't even account for objectivity from within their inherently subjective worldview.

    cont'd...

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  18. cont'd...

    They often say, "There is no truth".

    Who is they? And what does this have to do with atheism as a viable position? Unless you're claiming that "they" == "all atheists" :. "atheism says" which is, of course, utter rubbish.

    But if the statement, "there is no truth" is true, then it cannot be true!

    For if there is no truth, then nothing anyone ever says or thinks is ever true, including the statement "THERE IS NO TRUTH".


    Fun with semantics w00t. Just wondering what this has to do with your argument though? Nothing? OK we'll move swiftly on then...

    Thus atheists live in cognitive dissonance believing things that are obligatorily self-contradictory.

    Conclusion based on demonstrably false premises.

    Worse, as we witness here, they are constantly making statements they believe are objectively true! All while denying objective truth. Amazing.

    Conclusion based on demonstrably false premises.

    Relativism is thus the only morality atheists can have.

    Conclusion based on demonstrably false premises. As a worldview not rooted in the primacy of conciousness the atheist has a route to objectivity not open to the theist who is trapped in a purely subjective morality based on might makes right.

    Relativism unfortunately, is self defeating since relativism itself must be relative. Relativism is thus, itself, a position with no meaning.

    Like that sentence you just wrote. Simply repeating a word and its derivatives doesn't make a point, in this case it just makes a mess.

    Therefore, atheists are indeed "imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly".

    Conclusion based on demonstrably false premises.

    And so, "Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

    I thought idolatry was 'verboten' in Christianity. Why do you give such authority to C.S. Lewis?

    Atheism is thus deep foolishness and escapism and nothing more.

    So you say but, as we've seen, this is yet another conclusion based on demonstrably false premises.

    Curiously enough God still loves atheists, despite their utterly insufferable blindness.

    He loves us so much He's willing to torture us for all eternity in a lake of fire for our inability to do anyhing other than that which He has already foreseen. Gary, you have a truly bizarre definition of love, but then I'm not surprised given some of the other words you've redefined into absurdity.

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  19. Wait..you're using "Moral absolutes" to "prove" the existence of your god? Yeah, so it's morally wrong to kill babies right? Unless your god orders it.

    Yeah, that's a good example of a "moral absolute" right fucking there, Dan.

    Try again.

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  20. Hey, here's an example of insufferable arrogance: To blindly (yes, I said blindly) assume that this we all actually do believe in this "god" but don't want to, simply because we want to keep sinning. You know, that whole "suppressing the truth in unrighteousness" bullshit.

    Even though the believer has never met everyone who is an atheist, just because their holy book says something bad about those who don't believe it (duh, what would you expect, really?) that gives these believers the belief that they can guess our "motive" for not "accepting" this god of theirs, even if they've never met a particular atheist.

    They blindly assume that we all "know" that their god exists, yet we just love sinning to much to accept him.

    Now, THAT is arrogance!

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  21. "Work from Proverbs 26:4-5 and go from there. There are too many to count though as the ENTIRE Bible is based on it. In Acts 17 Paul argued prepositionally, as He presupposed Christ as Lord... etc.

    A great book, Always Ready is in my book store. Its worth the read if you are interested. It has every verse you could possibly want to make the case for presuppositional apologetics. "

    OMFG....D.A.N., you're such a dick. You've now reached the point where you see EVERYTHING as evidence (and evidencing) the TAG??

    You are the definition of blind faith.

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  22. Max,

    >>If that checks out, I would tentatively accept his claim, but I would also tell everyone in the town about his claim, and try to convince them to watch him closely for signs that he's acting out of the ordinary.

    That would be fair enough. So why do you not trust God then? You can trust Him the same way you would trust your Dad. Point is we all have questions and wonder, the difference is that I trust what He says and does. You merely doubt and question which is inconsistent to your trust in your Dad. It appears you have some beef with God in doubting Him. Trust until you fully KNOW. God promises that He will reveal everything to you in short order.

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  23. Michelle,

    >>So you have no evidence whatsoever about your god? If you don't, thank you for finally admitting that!

    That is NOT what I said at all. Are these games of your effective somewhere else? I said I trust God, who I KNOW exists, about the things I do not FULLY know about or question. I trust His choices and direction for me, and us as a whole. But yes there are things that I do not fully understand or question. The difference is that, unlike you, I do not throw that baby out with the bathwater.

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  24. D.A.N., I think we need some definitions here....

    What IS your god? By that I mean - what species is it? What form does it take? Does it live somewhere? The Bible claims we're made in its imagine, so why does your god look like he evolved on Earth?

    You need to tell me what your god is....and, no, a list of its supposed traits will not suffice.

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  25. Freddies Dead,

    >>Let's not, he's an idiot

    Another bare assertion? I see evidence of no such a thing. Pretty hypocritical of you to just inject without evidence to back it up. You know, the thingy you complain about all the time. *pshaw

    >>If you're claiming that the atheist position is "There absolutely is no God" then you have once again redefined atheism to suit your argument rather than forming your argument based on what atheism actually is.

    Wrong! As evidenced by the previous post. It is YOU who is redefining "Atheism" to suite your need or arguments. Its very obvious that you are doing this. Otherwise you would not be here. Gary was spot on, "Atheism is a chosen metaphysical position, therefore a religious position." Its YOUR stance on this matter. It CANNOT be anything but, as it has been explained and you're fully aware.

    Remember what Pvblivs said "In actual common usage, atheism means the specific belief that there is no god. Simply put, some people want to broaden the category of atheism so as to make the category to which people want to refer in such discussions too cumbersome to specify. If, for some reason, one wishes to identify himself only as not a theist, the term non-theist will suffice. But the term is not often used, as the category is useless to discussion. And that is why I regard the attempt to broaden "atheist" to be synonymous with "non-theist" to be dishonest. "

    There is a HOST of reasons why you have faith in a religion, called Atheism. You certainly cannot claim there is no evidence for the existence of God, because there is. But because you deny said evidence, its what makes you follow a dogma, called atheism.

    I hope this has been informative and helpful! (too busy to continue, bbl)

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  26. Atheism isn't a religion, even if an endless stream of dicks keep trying to claim it is.

    So, about your god - what is it?

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  27. Well? I'm waiting D.A.N., what is you god?

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  28. Alex,

    I am not sure what you are seeking.

    >>what is you god?

    A non physical being that we were created after, and from.

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  29. i made it clear in my first request. What IS your god? What species? How does it eat? Where does it live? What does it look like (are we to assume 'basically human' due to our being made in its image?)? If we do look like it, then why does your god look like it evolved on Earth? Does your god have genitals, and if so, why?

    Come on, i want to know what it is you believe in.i made it clear in my first request. What IS your god? What species? How does it eat? Where does it live? What does it look like (are we to assume 'basically human' due to our being made in its image?)? If we do look like it, then why does your god look like it evolved on Earth? Does your god have genitals, and if so, why?

    Come on, i want to know what it is you believe in.

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  30.      It is, indeed impossible to prove that there is no god. It is also impossible to prove that there are no fairies, no leprechauns, and no unicorns. All of these things could just be hiding really well. However, the onus is on Dan to show that there is one. As soon as he lays claim to the fact that, if there are no gods, the fact is impossible to prove, he admits that he has no evidence to support his position. Anyone who thinks he has evidence of a god will simply show that evidence and will not play the "impossible to prove otherwise" game. As soon as Dan makes his point 1, he is done. He willingly forfeits.

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  31. Dan, I don't think that you got MaxFF's points.

    When you went and on here where you tacitly admitting that every religion is valid?

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  32. D.A.N. seems to be rather quiet on the subject of just *what* his god is. I'm going to guess it's because he has no idea what he actually believes in

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  33. Oh, he knows. He's just unwilling to state it explicitly, because he knows that no matter the strength of the atheists' position, his position is much less viable.

    And that's why he dances and evades and misdirects and lies.

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  34. #8. They refuse to honestly consider the evidence against their positions.

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  35. Norman:

         Neither you nor Dan have ever presented any evidence. At least Dan doesn't pre-screen his comments and doesn't ban people for being too convincing in disagreeing with him.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Stormy seems to think that marking non-spam messages as spam on his sorry little blog will get me banned. Here's a news flash for you Bob, google review accusations of spamming to see if they're genuine, and sometimes take action AGAINST the person making the false accusation if they're not.

    The latest reply you blocked and marked as spam from me was one pointing out that a post you'd written was inaccurate, and linking you to another blog explaining why. You blocked that purely because you can't stand that I show you up over and over again.

    So, D.A.N., Stormbooger, let's have a description of the being you worship.

    ReplyDelete
  37. D.A.N. said...

    Freddies Dead,

    >>Let's not, he's an idiot

    Another bare assertion? I see evidence of no such a thing. Pretty hypocritical of you to just inject without evidence to back it up. You know, the thingy you complain about all the time. *pshaw

    It's an opinion Dan, formed from what I've read so far on this blog. You disagree, that's fine.

    >>If you're claiming that the atheist position is "There absolutely is no God" then you have once again redefined atheism to suit your argument rather than forming your argument based on what atheism actually is.

    Wrong! As evidenced by the previous post.

    Argumentum ad blogpostium Dan? Pretty low, even for you. Not to mention that, in that post, you failed to show that atheism == there absolutely is no god. Or are you denying the existence of other commonly accepted definitions?

    It is YOU who is redefining "Atheism" to suite your need or arguments.

    I didn't need to redefine anything. It's a definition already found in several dictionaries. Are you suggesting I've changed all the dictionaries to suit my argument?

    Its very obvious that you are doing this.

    Pop your tinfoil hat back on and take your meds Dan...

    Otherwise you would not be here.

    Of course I wouldn't be here if the dictionary actually supported Gary's claim. It doesn't, so I am.

    Gary was spot on, "Atheism is a chosen metaphysical position, therefore a religious position."

    Metaphysics == religious now? So you're swallowing Gary's semantic game just like you swallowed Sye's TAG?

    Its YOUR stance on this matter. It CANNOT be anything but, as it has been explained and you're fully aware.

    And here you go again, telling me what I believe as if you have any justification.

    Remember what Pvblivs said "In actual common usage, atheism means the specific belief that there is no god. Simply put, some people want to broaden the category of atheism so as to make the category to which people want to refer in such discussions too cumbersome to specify. If, for some reason, one wishes to identify himself only as not a theist, the term non-theist will suffice. But the term is not often used, as the category is useless to discussion. And that is why I regard the attempt to broaden "atheist" to be synonymous with "non-theist" to be dishonest. "

    And Pvblivs is an authority why? Why is his definition of atheism somehow more valid than the definitions to be found in several dictionaries? Quite simply, I have made no attempt to broaden a the definition of atheism beyond the definition it already holds.

    There is a HOST of reasons why you have faith in a religion, called Atheism.

    You have yet to demonstrate that atheism is a religion. But those reasons you mention, they're why I don't need faith, they're evidence that supports my position.

    You certainly cannot claim there is no evidence for the existence of God, because there is.

    I can, because so far, every piece of evidence you have presented has been shown to either a) be false or b) have a purely natural explanation.

    But because you deny said evidence, its what makes you follow a dogma, called atheism.

    Your conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.

    I hope this has been informative and helpful! (too busy to continue, bbl)

    I also hope that some of the folks reading this can see the dishonesty of TAG as an argument for God.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Freddies_dead:

         You will find that my definition appears before yours in those same dictionaries. The definitions tend to be listed most frequently used first. Indeed, Mhich was complaining that Dan stopped at the first definition.
         From my own observations, even those atheists who want to push the broader definition will use the narrower definition for making general statements themselves. Simply put, the broader definition is designed to block general statements about atheists. (They have become more careful recently, after having been caught out.) And just because you did not invent the broader phoney definition yourself does not mean that you are honest when you try to impose it on others any more than Dan's use of Presuppositional Baloney is honest because he wasn't the one to make it up.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Pvblivs said...

    Freddies_dead:

    You will find that my definition appears before yours in those same dictionaries. The definitions tend to be listed most frequently used first.


    Utterly irrelevant to the conversation of course. The claim was that some of us were making definitions up to suit our argument. As the definitions already exist it's patently obvious that we haven't just made them up. As for which definition comes first, simply, lol, some dictionaries go for most common usage first, others go with historical order - oldest first. It's also irrelevant to this discussion. As long as the definition "lack of belief" exists, and it does, then I have every right to self identify with it and to argue against those who wish to impose a different definition upon me.

    Indeed, Mhich was complaining that Dan stopped at the first definition.

    And? Does this mean we aren't allowed to utilise the other definitions of words? If not then why are they even listed?

    From my own observations, even those atheists who want to push the broader definition will use the narrower definition for making general statements themselves.

    I haven't, so I don't see how this applies to the conversation I'm having with Dan/Gary.

    Simply put, the broader definition is designed to block general statements about atheists. (They have become more careful recently, after having been caught out.)

    At the risk of sounding like Dan, how do you know this? As far as I'm aware there's no secret atheist conspiracy to get word definitions changed. Maybe I missed the memo?

    And just because you did not invent the broader phoney definition yourself does not mean that you are honest when you try to impose it on others any more than Dan's use of Presuppositional Baloney is honest because he wasn't the one to make it up.

    I'm hugely sceptical of your claim that they are phoney definitions. Maybe you have some evidence showing how atheists have worked to invent and then insert phoney definitions into several different dictionaries in order to win arguments?

    ReplyDelete
  40.      "Utterly irrelevant to the conversation of course."
         Not at all. Dan had brought up my assertion that the definition of atheist as someone who believes there are no gods and you dismissed it on the grounds that I am not an authority. Dictionaries reflect the frequency of usage. Therefore, the various dictionaries serve as witness to the correctness of my statement.
         "I'm hugely sceptical of your claim that they are phoney definitions."
         Well, then, let's put it to the test. Complete the following sentence: "Atheists believe _______." Now, under my definition, it's easy to complete it. "Atheists believe there are no gods." My claim that it is a phoney definition comes from the fact that it is not useful for anything but saying something like "really? Even babies?" in response to a general claim about atheists.
         As for inserting a definition into dictionaries: If enough people claim a definition, dictionaries will simply reflect the claim. If enough people insist that "atheist" means "someone who believes in god but suppresses the knowledge," dictionaries will reflect that too. But the definition will show up at the end indicating infrequent use. That's the way dictionaries work.
         "Does this mean we aren't allowed to utilise the other definitions of words?"
         The only way I have seen that definition used is as I have stated -- to impede communication. It's rather useless for the purpose of facilitating communication. But I've seen "really? Even babies?" a lot.
         "At the risk of sounding like Dan, how do you know this?"
         That's okay. You can sound like Dan. I will sound like one of his detractors. Observation and experience. And no direct conspiracy is needed. There doesn't need to be a meeting anywhere. All that is required is what happened. One person started silencing people making claims about atheists by inventing the phoney definition and saying "really? Even babies?" Others saw the tactic, decided it was effective and emulated it. And, when there were enough such people, dictionaries (being reflective) started listing the phoney definition -- last, of course, because it was still the least frequent use of the term.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Pvblivs said...

    "Utterly irrelevant to the conversation of course."

    Not at all. Dan had brought up my assertion that the definition of atheist as someone who believes there are no gods and you dismissed it on the grounds that I am not an authority.

    I didn't. I questioned why your definition should be used over that found in several dictionaries. It's still irrelevant. The definition exists so there's no reason why I cannot use it.

    Dictionaries reflect the frequency of usage. Therefore, the various dictionaries serve as witness to the correctness of my statement.

    As I said, some do, some reflect historicity instead. However, they also include my definition so serve as witness to the correctness of my statement "Atheists lack belief in Gods" too.

    "I'm hugely sceptical of your claim that they are phoney definitions."

    Well, then, let's put it to the test. Complete the following sentence: "Atheists believe _______." Now, under my definition, it's easy to complete it. "Atheists believe there are no gods." My claim that it is a phoney definition comes from the fact that it is not useful for anything but saying something like "really? Even babies?" in response to a general claim about atheists.

    So you claim they're phoney, then devise a test which supports your argument. If that's all we need then they're not phoney, as, under my definition, it's just as easy to complete the following sentence "Atheists ______" with "lack belief in God(s)." It's useful as it describes my position. Whether it describes the position of babies is a whole different discussion but, for clarity, I don't consider babies as religious, athesist, agnostic, whatever. When they are able to express their beliefs in a coherent manner then they can choose a label (or not if they don't want to) of their own.

    As for inserting a definition into dictionaries: If enough people claim a definition, dictionaries will simply reflect the claim. If enough people insist that "atheist" means "someone who believes in god but suppresses the knowledge," dictionaries will reflect that too. But the definition will show up at the end indicating infrequent use. That's the way dictionaries work.

    So it's fine for dictionaries to reflect the fact that "lack of belief in god(s)" is a commonly held definition? Great, we agree then.

    "Does this mean we aren't allowed to utilise the other definitions of words?"

    The only way I have seen that definition used is as I have stated -- to impede communication.

    Well I'm only using it to demonstrate my position on god(s), so now you've seen it used in another way.

    It's rather useless for the purpose of facilitating communication.

    Only if one side insists that it's not actually the position the other side holds.

    But I've seen "really? Even babies?" a lot.

    I haven't, but then, in most of the discussions I have had, people haven't been so determined as Dan/Gary to tell me I'm something I'm not.

    cont'd...

    ReplyDelete
  42. cont'd...

    "At the risk of sounding like Dan, how do you know this?"

    That's okay. You can sound like Dan. I will sound like one of his detractors. Observation and experience.

    You observed and experienced the design of the definition "lack belief in god(s)" to block general statements about atheists? Or you've observed and experienced athesists using that meaning to block general statements about atheists? The former would back up your claim that it's a phoney definition. The latter just sounds like atheists are tired of having to respond to overly general statements but doesn't mean the definition is phoney.

    And no direct conspiracy is needed. There doesn't need to be a meeting anywhere. All that is required is what happened. One person started silencing people making claims about atheists by inventing the phoney definition and saying "really? Even babies?" Others saw the tactic, decided it was effective and emulated it. And, when there were enough such people, dictionaries (being reflective) started listing the phoney definition -- last, of course, because it was still the least frequent use of the term.

    So this is actually what happened? When? Who was the first person to come up with it? In what context was it used? Did someone say "really? Even babies?" at the time? Is it always last in the dictionary definitions? Is that because the dictionary compilers know it's phoney? Sheesh, it's a valid definition, present in several dictionaries. You can argue about how people use the definition in a discussion but please stop trying to make out it's somehow phoney simply because you've seen it used as a blocking tactic.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Freddies_dead:

         No, your definition is still phoney. Let me explain. You can complete "Republicans believe ______." You can complete "Democrats believe ______." You can complete "wiccans believe ______." In the context "atheist" pretends to be an ideological category and my statement should be completeable. Instead, it is a phoney. You cannot make any affirmative statement using your definition because it is designed to block any attempt to make one. But thanks for playing.
         It is also important to note that a genuine term can be used in a manner other than restating the definition. I can say that atheists consider prayer to be useless. That is not a restatement of the definition also it is implied by the definition. If there is no god, there is no one to hear any prayers, and so, prayer is useless. You can't do that with your definition of atheist because it is a phoney catch-all category used only as a blocking tactic.
         "So it's fine for dictionaries to reflect the fact that 'lack of belief in god(s)' is a commonly held definition?"
         Not that common. Maybe 1% of people pretend to use it. It's just that the pretense is frequent enough for the dictionaries to reflect it.
         "Well I'm only using it to demonstrate my position on god(s), so now you've seen it used in another way."
         No, I haven't. It is also my experience that only people who believe there are no gods (and not all of those) claim that that definition is useful. I can reasonably infer that you actively believe there are no gods rather than merely lacking belief. My difinition is a better fit than yours. Furthermore, if you are really trying to express your position, you want to distinuish between whether you think there is no god or whether you have no idea one way or another. Otherwise, you haven't stated what your position is; you have only stated one thing that it is not.
         "The former would back up your claim that it's a phoney definition. The latter just sounds like atheists are tired of having to respond to overly general statements but doesn't mean the definition is phoney."
         No, the latter means it is phoney. You make a big deal about "why can't [you] use the definition [you] prefer." But the definition clash always comes in with someone trying to impose your definition on someone who is using the one that I use -- usually with "really? Even babies?" So let me turn your question back on you. Since my definition is the more common one, why can't I, Dan, and anyone else use it? Well, I have consistently seen your definition trotted out in a claim that it is the "correct" one and that people shouldn't be using the more common one -- yes, conversation blocking.
         "Is it always last in the dictionary definitions?"
         I've always seen it come in last.
         "Is that because the dictionary compilers know it's phoney?"
         No, it's because they know it is very rarely used. It barely makes their radar, so to speak. It is used so rarely because it is phoney, and useless save as a blocking tactic.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Pvblivs said...

    Freddies_dead:

    No, your definition is still phoney.


    Lol, it's still not.

    Let me explain.

    Explain what? Why you think it's phoney? Why bother, I don't agree and you have no substantive argument to define it as such.

    You can complete "Republicans believe ______." You can complete "Democrats believe ______." You can complete "wiccans believe ______." In the context "atheist" pretends to be an ideological category and my statement should be completeable.

    Just because you insist that it must pass your test does not make it so. However, "atheists believe it's unlikely that God(s) exist." There, I've completed your sentence and you're still no closer to a definition of atheism that == a belief that no God(s) exist.

    Instead, it is a phoney.

    So you keep saying, I disagree.

    You cannot make any affirmative statement using your definition because it is designed to block any attempt to make one.

    Look up, I completed your sentence in the affirmative.

    But thanks for playing.

    It was a little easy but it was mildly diverting.

    It is also important to note that a genuine term can be used in a manner other than restating the definition. I can say that atheists consider prayer to be useless. That is not a restatement of the definition also it is implied by the definition. If there is no god, there is no one to hear any prayers, and so, prayer is useless.

    And? We're not talking about things implied by atheism or being an atheist, we're discussing the very definition of atheism/atheist itself.

    You can't do that with your definition of atheist because it is a phoney catch-all category used only as a blocking tactic.

    Except that it isn't as I've demonstrated.

    "So it's fine for dictionaries to reflect the fact that 'lack of belief in god(s)' is a commonly held definition?"

    Not that common. Maybe 1% of people pretend to use it.

    You've got the facts and figures to prove this?

    It's just that the pretense is frequent enough for the dictionaries to reflect it.

    How many do you need for it to stop being a pretense and start being valid? The simple fact that it's widespread enough to be listed as a defintion in dictionaries would seem like a decent level to me.

    "Well I'm only using it to demonstrate my position on god(s), so now you've seen it used in another way."

    No, I haven't.

    You said you'd seen it used as a blocking mechanism and I used it to state my position so, either you've seen it used in more than one way, or you're claiming to know better than me how I intended its use. Which is it?

    It is also my experience that only people who believe there are no gods (and not all of those) claim that that definition is useful.

    Probably because the ones who do believe in God(s) find it doesn't represent their position so have no use for it? And those actively arguing against atheism find it very difficult to argue against? A real shame for them but that still doesn't make it a phoney definition.

    I can reasonably infer that you actively believe there are no gods rather than merely lacking belief.

    Then you need to do something about your inferring skills because I've stated my position quite clearly on several occasions. I do not believe that god(s) exist but I do not claim to know for certain. I do not actively believe that no god(s) exist because I do not feel I have sufficient evidence to support such a position.

    My difinition is a better fit than yours.

    Better fit to what? Me? Not at all. To atheism in general? Not really, atheism has several definitions, yours is one and mine is another.

    cont'd...

    ReplyDelete
  45. cont'd...

    Furthermore, if you are really trying to express your position, you want to distinuish between whether you think there is no god or whether you have no idea one way or another.

    Which bit of "I do not believe that God(s) exist but do not claim to know for certain" is ambiguous? I think it's highly unlikely that any god(s) exist but that doesn't mean that I've concluded that they don't. It also doesn't mean that I have no idea.

    Otherwise, you haven't stated what your position is; you have only stated one thing that it is not.

    I've stated what it is.

    "The former would back up your claim that it's a phoney definition. The latter just sounds like atheists are tired of having to respond to overly general statements but doesn't mean the definition is phoney."

    No, the latter means it is phoney.

    It's not.

    You make a big deal about "why can't [you] use the definition [you] prefer."

    Why shouldn't I? It's a perfectly valid position after all.

    But the definition clash always comes in with someone trying to impose your definition on someone who is using the one that I use -- usually with "really? Even babies?"

    Nope, in this case the definition clash comes because someone is attempting to invalidate a very general position (that of atheism) with a very specific argument. If Gary had chosen to state that "Gnostic Atheism" isn't a valid position to hold then I may well have agreed with several of his points. Instead he chose the much broader category of atheism as a whole. Well, I consider myself to be an atheist and the definition he chose to argue against didn't represent me (or other like me).

    So let me turn your question back on you. Since my definition is the more common one, why can't I, Dan, and anyone else use it?

    I didn't say you couldn't, I'd just like something more than an argument from more common usage and an unsubstantiated claim to 'phoneyness' as to why I should accept the definition.

    Well, I have consistently seen your definition trotted out in a claim that it is the "correct" one and that people shouldn't be using the more common one -- yes, conversation blocking.

    I've never claimed mine to be the 'correct' definition, I've pointed out that it is the one that I identify with and that it is a valid definition of the term atheism. If Gary wants to make such a generalised statement he should be more careful to phrase his argument so that it covers the possibilities.

    cont'd...

    ReplyDelete
  46. cont'd...

    "Is it always last in the dictionary definitions?"

    I've always seen it come in last.

    Merriam-Webster online has it second ahead of your definition.
    The Wordnet Search at Princeton has it as the only definition
    The Free Dictionary Combines the definitions but puts disbelief first.
    Websters International Dictionary of the English Language, 1903 also combined the terms with disbelief being the first term used.
    Everybody's Dictionary of 1912 has only disbelief whilst The New Century Dictionary of 1927 gives denial before disbelief. Wester’s 20th Century Dictionary, 1933 is back to disbelief as the only definition.
    Similarly Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1942. and Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary the following year. The Winston Dictionary, 1943 has disbelief and denial combined in that order. While Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language, 1947 has it the other way around.
    Webster's Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1957 goes into more depth but kicks off with disbelief while Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictgionary of 1980 sticks to it's guns, denial is first. Dan's favourite, the Oxford English Dictionary, maintains disbelief before denial while Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, now separates the terms, disbelief comes first if you were wondering. Finally the Canadian Oxford Dictionary of 2001 weighs in with - atheism: disbelief in the existence of God or gods.

    "Is that because the dictionary compilers know it's phoney?"

    No, it's because they know it is very rarely used. It barely makes their radar, so to speak. It is used so rarely because it is phoney, and useless save as a blocking tactic.

    It seems from just a cursory bit of research that your claim doesn't really hold. As far back as 1903 dictionaries were already putting disbelief as the first definition of atheism. I hope this will end your claims of "more common usage" and "phoney".

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sometimes I wonder if Pvblivs is a reverse Poe....

    ReplyDelete
  48. Alex,

    >>Sometimes I wonder if Pvblivs is a reverse Poe....

    Honest assessments must mean Poe? Whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Pvblivs,

    >> I can say that atheists consider prayer to be useless. That is not a restatement of the definition also it is implied by the definition. If there is no god, there is no one to hear any prayers, and so, prayer is useless. You can't do that with your definition of atheist because it is a phoney catch-all category used only as a blocking tactic.

    It’s ineffective a person prays to some god, to a statue of some saint or to a pair of scissors to help her to pass the SAT’s. I don’t know if you ever seen it, but I saw in many places both in real life and on the internet that praying is way of people thinking they are helping without actually doing anything.

    That happens every time in Brazil when the rain season comes in the summer and a lot of landslides happen destroying houses and leaving a lot of families homeless. What I see the most on TV news is people telling they’re going to pray for the victims. Praying to whoever/whatever is going to make those homeless people get their house back – or better yet – get a new house or make their loved ones who are buried under tons of mud and debris to magically appear safe and sound? Of course not.

    >> No, I haven't. It is also my experience that only people who believe there are no gods (and not all of those) claim that that definition is useful. I can reasonably infer that you actively believe there are no gods rather than merely lacking belief. My definition is a better fit than yours. Furthermore, if you are really trying to express your position, you want to distinguish between whether you think there is no god or whether you have no idea one way or another. Otherwise, you haven't stated what your position is; you have only stated one thing that it is not.

    I agree with atheism’s definition “lack of belief in gods” more than the other definitions because is the one I identify myself with. The same way you agree with atheism’s definition “belief there are no gods” more than the other ones because – maybe – it’s the one you identify yourself with. But the agreement and disagreement about the several definitions of atheism are more based on personal opinions/viewpoints than on anything else.

    I don’t dismiss other definitions of atheism brought by D.A.N. They just don’t represent me. If I dismissed those definitions “just because I don’t feel represented by them” then I would have to agree with you I was being dishonest.

    D.A.N – on the other hand – was doing exactly that. I was just showing to him (not pushing) an alternative definition for atheism and he dismissed it because it opposed the definitions of atheism he agrees; the definitions he brought are the ones who fit his viewpoint and therefore – for D.A.N - there are the only ones who matter.


    >> Maybe 1% of people pretend to use it. It's just that the pretense is frequent enough for the dictionaries to reflect it.

    And you know this how? Do you have any concrete data that proves this claim of yours to be true or this is something based on your personal opinion only?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Alex:

         A reverse Poe would embrace the definition I identified as phoney and would probably insist that "everybocy knows it is the correct one."

    Bellecherie:

         "And you know this how?"
         I know that I very seldom see it used. Based on my person experience, I consider 1 percent to be an upper bound on the number of people that actually use it.
         "The same way you agree with atheism’s definition 'belief there are no gods' more than the other ones because – maybe – it’s the one you identify yourself with."
         I don't identify myself as an atheist. I am naturally adverse to a definition of the term that attempts to include me. I am especially adverse when I think the definition is being used deliberately dishonestly. It would be correct to call me an agnostic as I don't know whether or not some hidden god is out there. I just know that the christian god is fictitious.
         " I hope this will end your claims of 'more common usage' and 'phoney'"
         My claim that the definition I use has more common usage is correct from simple observation. I'm sorry if you don't like the truth. My claim of "phoney" is also based on observation. Consider this: This very post of Dan's responds to the fact that several times Dan has made general statements about atheists (the merits of which I am not going to get into here) only to have someone come back with your definition and insisting it is the only correct one. So, I'll tell you what. When people stop using the "really? Even babies?" tactic. I'll stop saying the definition is phoney.
         "Look up, I completed your sentence in the affirmative."
         And you contradicted your own definition in the process. Wven without resorting to the inclusion of infants, not everyone who lacks belief holds a stance on the likelihood of existence. In fact, I will go further. People who think it unlikely that gods exists will (at least in most cases) proceed to a belief that they don't. This doesn't mean that they won't accept evidence if presented and that their minds are unchangeable. It just means that they come to a belief based on the best evidence they have available.

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  51. Pvblivs,

    >> I know that I very seldom see it used. Based on my person experience, I consider 1 percent to be an upper bound on the number of people that actually use it.

    Since when personal experience is evidence for something? Based on your personal experience you consider 1% of people use that definition. Do you know every single atheist in the world? Obviously not. So how can you know if most atheists uses definition A instead of definition B for atheism? Maybe based on the atheists you know or talked to they use one definition more than the other, but they don’t reflect the views of all the atheists in the world, do they?

    >> I don't identify myself as an atheist. I am naturally adverse to a definition of the term that attempts to include me.

    I said "maybe", remember?

    >> I am especially adverse when I think the definition is being used deliberately dishonestly.

    Because – maybe – is the one you don’t agree with. If that’s the truth, fine. But it’s not going to change the fact atheism’s definition is also lack of belief in gods and is not going to change the fact some atheists identify themselves by that definition than any other, you like it or not.

    >> My claim that the definition I use has more common usage is correct from simple observation. I'm sorry if you don't like the truth. My claim of "phoney" is also based on observation.

    But you observed all atheists in the world? No. Maybe you just observed some atheists and it happens most of the atheists maybe you observed agrees with one definition more than the other. The definitions of some dictionaries you looked give more preference to one definition than the other. So what? Does it mean all atheists think alike when is about the definition of atheism and all atheists identify themselves by the definition you don’t consider “phony”? Does it mean all the dictionaries that have the definition you agree with represents all the atheists in the world? No.

    I don’t consider the definition of atheism you agree with to be phony and I don’t dismiss it; as I said before the definition lack of belief in gods is the one that I identify myself with. That’s all. I don’t claim all atheists agree with me in that department; some will and some won’t. I’ve met atheists who agree more with the definition ”lack of belief in gods and those who agree more with the definition D.A.N mentioned. Does it mean both of those definitions are phony or are less valid depending on who disagrees or are not identified by them?


    >> Consider this: This very post of Dan's responds to the fact that several times Dan has made general statements about atheists (the merits of which I am not going to get into here) only to have someone come back with your definition and insisting it is the only correct one.

    I never insisted or even said once the definition I brought “is the most correct one just because is the one that represents me. I just gave an extra/alternative definition of atheism mentioned in some dictionaries I found. That’s all I did. If people here agree with me or not it’s another thing and it’s not my problem. Each one on his own.


    The thing with D.A.N is that he’s dismissing the alternative definition I showed him because it’s the one which opposes his viewpoint. Does he have to agree with that definition? No; but his disagreement is not going to change the fact some dictionaries have that definition and some atheists identify themselves with the definition lack of belief in gods instead of the one he showed.

    PS: I didn't post “I hope this will end your claims of 'more common usage' and 'phoney’” or ”Look up, I completed your sentence in the affirmative” It was freddies_dead who said it and I guess you forgot to address it to him or something.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Pvblivs said..,

    "I hope this will end your claims of 'more common usage' and 'phoney'"

    My claim that the definition I use has more common usage is correct from simple observation.

    Lol, and yet I have demonstrated that it's not.

    I'm sorry if you don't like the truth.

    I've no problem with the truth especially as it agrees with me on this issue.

    My claim of "phoney" is also based on observation.

    But your observation has been shown to be incorrect. The dictionaries (at least the ones I've noted above) have been including my definition for over 100 years and the majority of them put my definition ahead of yours in the list. Your claim is that your definition came first due to it being the more common. As I've now shown mine to be more likely to be listed first then by your rule mine is the more common definition and it must be yours that's phoney (of course I've never claimed your definition to be phoney just not applicable to me or particularly viable when talking about atheism in general).

    Consider this: This very post of Dan's responds to the fact that several times Dan has made general statements about atheists (the merits of which I am not going to get into here) only to have someone come back with your definition and insisting it is the only correct one.

    And as I've already said, if people self identify with the more general definition then Dan should tailor his argument toward them instead of making the more specific argument and then incorrectly applying it to everyone.

    So, I'll tell you what. When people stop using the "really? Even babies?" tactic. I'll stop saying the definition is phoney.

    Well, if/when I see that argument being used I'll be sure to let them know how you feel about it.

    "Look up, I completed your sentence in the affirmative."

    And you contradicted your own definition in the process.

    Didn't. There still isn't any belief that no God(s) exist in that sentence.

    Wven without resorting to the inclusion of infants, not everyone who lacks belief holds a stance on the likelihood of existence.

    And? You asked for an affirmative sentence, I gave you one. I never claimed it covered everyone who calls themselves 'atheist'. Your definition doesn't either but I don't think that necessarily makes it invalid or phoney either.

    In fact, I will go further. People who think it unlikely that gods exists will (at least in most cases) proceed to a belief that they don't. This doesn't mean that they won't accept evidence if presented and that their minds are unchangeable. It just means that they come to a belief based on the best evidence they have available.

    Again, and? Until they are presented with that evidence they remain in the 'unlikely' camp and so can be included under the sentence I gave. Just because some people change their minds it doesn't necessarily follow that they all will and then there are those who may change their minds the other way.

    Any attempt to force people to accept a very narrow definition is likely doomed to failure - you, yourself, refuse to accept any tag of atheism, why should I (or anyone else) accept one which patently does not represent me? Especially when there is a definition which I already readily accept.

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  53. Pvb,

    Although I am glad that you "get it" as far as the definition of atheism goes, I must side with the atheists here on one narrow point.

    Freddies Dead sparked a valid point with this:

    >>Any attempt to force people to accept a very narrow definition is likely doomed to failure - you, yourself, refuse to accept any tag of atheism, why should I (or anyone else) accept one which patently does not represent me? Especially when there is a definition which I already readily accept.

    So how is it perfectly acceptable for you to deny Atheism because it does not fit your narrow beliefs of it, YET, you chastise the other Atheists for not conforming to the definition themselves? DO you believe there is a God or not? If not, your worldview is certainly atheistic. What do you label your worldview anyway?

    Out of everyone here your worldview intrigues me the most, Non Christian, Non Atheist, Non evolution = nonsense?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Pvblivs,

    >> I know that I very seldom see it used. Based on my person experience, I consider 1 percent to be an upper bound on the number of people that actually use it.

    Since when personal experience is evidence for something? Based on your personal experience you consider 1% of people use that definition. Do you know every single atheist in the world? Obviously not. So how can you know if most atheists uses definition A instead of definition B for atheism? Maybe based on the atheists you know or talked to they use one definition more than the other, but they don’t reflect the views of all the atheists in the world, do they?

    >> I don't identify myself as an atheist. I am naturally adverse to a definition of the term that attempts to include me.

    I said maybe, remember?

    >> I am especially adverse when I think the definition is being used deliberately dishonestly.

    Because – maybe – is the one you don’t agree with. If that’s the truth, fine. But it’s not going to change the fact atheism’s definition is also lack of belief in gods and is not going to change the fact some atheists identify themselves by that definition than any other, you like it or not.

    >> My claim that the definition I use has more common usage is correct from simple observation. I'm sorry if you don't like the truth. My claim of "phoney" is also based on observation.

    But you observed all atheists in the world? No. Maybe you just observed some atheists and it happens most of the atheists maybe you observed agrees with one definition more than the other. The definitions of some dictionaries you looked give more preference to one definition than the other. So what? Does it mean all atheists think alike when is about the definition of atheism and all atheists identify themselves by the definition you don’t consider “phony”? Does it mean all the dictionaries that have the definition you agree with represents all the atheists in the world? No.

    I don’t consider the definition of atheism you agree with to be phony and I don’t dismiss it; as I said before the definition lack of belief in gods is the one that I identify myself with. That’s all. I don’t claim all atheists agree with me in that department; some will and some won’t. I’ve met atheists who agree more with the definition ”lack of belief in gods and those who agree more with the definition D.A.N mentioned. Does it mean both of those definitions are phony or are less valid depending on who disagrees or are not identified by them?


    >> Consider this: This very post of Dan's responds to the fact that several times Dan has made general statements about atheists (the merits of which I am not going to get into here) only to have someone come back with your definition and insisting it is the only correct one.

    I never insisted or even said once the definition I brought “is the most correct one just because is the one that represents me. I just gave an extra/alternative definition of atheism mentioned in some dictionaries I found. That’s all I did. If people here agree with me or not it’s another thing and it’s not my problem. Each one on his own.

    PS: I didn't post “I hope this will end your claims of 'more common usage' and 'phoney’” or ”Look up, I completed your sentence in the affirmative” It was freddies_dead who said it and I guess you forgot to address it to him or something.

    ReplyDelete
  55. 6) Moral absolutes exist.


    Is it always wrong to slaughter women, children, and old people?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Freddies_dead:

         "Lol, and yet I have demonstrated that it's not."
         You have made no such demonstration. You are (falsely) claiming that you have demonstrated that your (phoney) definition is used at least as often as my definition. The fact is that your definition is used only by atheists and by a minority of them at that. All you have demonstrated is that the phoney definition has been around longer than I previously thought.
         "Didn't. There still isn't any belief that no God(s) exist in that sentence."
         That would be the same as taking the sentence "John was caught entirely between the flat surfaces of the ground and a 5-ton weight that had fallen from 10,000 feet." and saying it didn't specifically say John died. It follows naturally. As I believe that it is unlikely that faries exist, I actively believe that they do not exist. Now, I could be wrong. If confronted with an actual fairy, I could change my belief.
         "But your observation has been shown to be incorrect."
         No, it hasn't. The fact that a definition makes its way into the dictionary does not mean that it is not phoney. My example still stands. If enough of Ray Comfort's followers were to press the definition of "atheist" as "someone who believes in god but suppresses the truth," it would find its way into dictionaries. That's how dictionaries work. They are not authorities. They reflect observed usages. Do you think that would make Ray's definition any less phoney?

    Dan:

         "So how is it perfectly acceptable for you to deny Atheism because it does not fit your narrow beliefs of it, YET, you chastise the other Atheists for not conforming to the definition themselves?"
         I think you are confused. Or at least that your words do not convey your intent. I do not deny (or affirm) atheism as I do not know whether or not it is correct. I deny being an atheist because I do not affirm atheism. Furthermore, I do not chastise atheists for not conforming to the definition. They do conform to the definition. They actively believe there are no gods. I criticize them for saying that people must be using their phoney definition to open the "really? Even babies?" line.
         "DO you believe there is a God or not?"
         I do not know whether there is a god or not. To the extent that I can be categorized, that makes me an agnostic. I do, however, believe that, if there is a god, he is not the one found in the bible.
         "What do you label your worldview anyway?"
         I don't label my worldview.

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  57. Mhich:

         I apologize for the incorrect attribution.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Pvblivs said...

    Freddies_dead:

    "Lol, and yet I have demonstrated that it's not."

    You have made no such demonstration.

    I have.

    You are (falsely) claiming that you have demonstrated that your (phoney) definition is used at least as often as my definition.

    There's nothing false about my claim, just like there's nothing phoney about my definition. It was you who said that, as your definition came first in the dictionary, it was the most commonly used. I have shown that it is actually my definition that is usually listed first in the dictionaries, ergo it is my definition that is the more commonly used one using that measurement. Or has "more commonly used" now changed to mean whichever one you say is more common?

    The fact is that your definition is used only by atheists and by a minority of them at that.

    Another claim you'll fail to substantiate no doubt. We're using one of your original claims here - that dictionaries list definitions in order of usage, most common listed first - and, by that measurement, my definition is the more commonly used. So, if my definition is only used by a minority of atheists and yet still comes before yours in the dictionary, then we can safely assume that your defintion is used by an even smaller group of people i.e. you and the presuppers who require such a narrow definition because they're unable to argue against anything more substantive.

    All you have demonstrated is that the phoney definition has been around longer than I previously thought.

    And that it's more commonly used than your definition ... oh, and that youve failed to show it to be phoney.

    "Didn't. There still isn't any belief that no God(s) exist in that sentence."

    That would be the same as taking the sentence "John was caught entirely between the flat surfaces of the ground and a 5-ton weight that had fallen from 10,000 feet." and saying it didn't specifically say John died. It follows naturally.

    Not really, I'm unaware of any "laws of belief" which cause it to act in a similar manner to physics and human physiology.

    As I believe that it is unlikely that faries exist, I actively believe that they do not exist.

    That's nice for you, why do you seem to think that all people must think/act the same as you do? I lack belief in God(s), however, I do not actively believe that they do not exist because I don't feel I have seen evidence enough to fully support such a claim.

    Now, I could be wrong. If confronted with an actual fairy, I could change my belief.

    And I could be caused to develop an active belief (whether it be positive or negative) if confronted with viable evidence for the (non)existence of God(s).

    cont'd...

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  59. cont'd...

    "But your observation has been shown to be incorrect."

    No, it hasn't.

    It really has.

    The fact that a definition makes its way into the dictionary does not mean that it is not phoney.

    It does not mean that it is phoney either. All we have so far is your claim that it's phoney due to a) it's lack of usage - evidenced by your claim as to its position in the dictionary definition list and b) its only usage being to block discussion. However, I have shown that a) it's not an uncommon usage - evidenced by it being listed before your definition in most of the dictionaries I checked and b) I'm not using it to block discussion but, instead, to state my position.

    My example still stands.

    What example?

    If enough of Ray Comfort's followers were to press the definition of "atheist" as "someone who believes in god but suppresses the truth," it would find its way into dictionaries.

    Mmmm, this is actually a different slant on the discussion. Previously we had 2 meanings which, in essence, meant much the same thing i.e. 'Lack of belief' may be a much broader definition than one which specifies a belief in the nonexistence of God(s) but at least they both agree on the whole "no God" thing. You've now introduced a definition which actively contradicts the etymology of atheist/atheism, one that includes a positive belief in the existence of God(s). I'd be happy to accept your claim that just such a defintion is 'phoney' on that basis.

    However, I have to say that I find it difficult to imagine any reputable dictionary adding such a definition to it's list ... unless, of course, the other definitions had somehow ceased to be used, making it the only option.

    That's how dictionaries work.

    Somehow I don't think they simply just accept popular opinion on word meanings. Indeed, the OED is based on a £35m research programme known as the Oxford English Corpus which utilises a massive library of literary works which allows its dictionary compilers to better understand how words are being used in context. Merriam-Webster handles the process of adding/amending words/meanings in a similar way.

    They are not authorities. They reflect observed usages.

    I could point out that the word authority includes a definition which does indeed make dictionaries authoritative. However, I accept that they aren't arbiters of the 'one true meaning' of any word - they are descriptive, not prescriptive - and, if modern usage changed susch that the dictionary definition of atheist then changed so I could no longer identify with it - or it was indeed usurped by a Comfortism - then I would no longer call myself an atheist.

    Do you think that would make Ray's definition any less phoney?

    Ray's definition, no.

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  60. Dan, my question was for you. . .

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  61. >>Is it always wrong to slaughter women, children, and old people?

    Yes Rufus. Always.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Then it was wrong for the Israelites to slaughter the Midianites and the others on God's direct orders. But I'm sure you'll come up with something like God doesn't murder people so it wasn't murder or the adults deserved it and the children were beyond saving so they were better off or some such similar monstrous defense of it. That's why nothing a Christian says matters to me, particularly if it's about morality.

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  63. Freddies_dead:

         "There's nothing false about my claim, just like there's nothing phoney about my definition."
         Then we are actually done. You have just conceded that your definition is phoney. As I have pointed out, you have made no demonstration that your definition is in as common of use as mine. You have only said, "see,it's in the dictionary." But dictionaries list definitions that are used infrequently. They just put them at the end of the list. In fact, I defy you to show where you have given a demonstration based on actual usage rather than mere appearance in a dictionary. And your definition appears last, just like a definition that is noticed by the compilers but whose usage is rare. Still, I will address other comments.
         "However, I have to say that I find it difficult to imagine any reputable dictionary adding such a definition to it's list ... unless, of course, the other definitions had somehow ceased to be used, making it the only option."
         Then you do not understand how dictionaries operate. They are not commands of "this is how you will use the word." They are reflections of "this is how we have found the word being used." No doubt, you also think that no reputable dictionary would list a definition for "gay" as meaning "homosexual." It was clearly a synonym for happy. And that new definition was invented by an underground movement.
         "Another claim you'll fail to substantiate no doubt. We're using one of your original claims here - that dictionaries list definitions in order of usage, most common listed first - and, by that measurement, my definition is the more commonly used."
         No, yours is listed last. From Webster's Unabridged: "atheism 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no god. 2. disbelief in the existence of god or gods" "atheist one who denies or disbelieves the existence of god or gods" "disbelieve to refuse or reject belief in" As of 1989, your definition did not make Webster's.
         "Somehow I don't think they simply just accept popular opinion on word meanings."
         I didn't say popular opinion. However, people's opinion of what a word means will be reflected in how they use that word (human nature.) So, I suppose you could interpret my claim as that, one step away. What I did say was that dictionary compilers wrote their definitions based on observed usage.
         "Ray's definition, no."
         Which reinforces my point. My determination that the "lacks belief" is phoney is not undermined by the fact that it appears in dictionaries.

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  64. Pvblivs said...

    Freddies_dead:

    "There's nothing false about my claim, just like there's nothing phoney about my definition."

    Then we are actually done.

    Hooray! Oh, you didn't actually mean it...

    You have just conceded that your definition is phoney.

    By saying that it's not phoney? I'm struggling with that one. Did you, perchance, borrow Dan/Gary's "Change definitions at will" card?

    As I have pointed out, you have made no demonstration that your definition is in as common of use as mine.

    You never supported your claim of common use in the first place. You asserted that your definition was more common and, when I questioned what authority you had to make that claim, you said that it came first in the dictionary. Based on that measurement, I have definitely shown that my definition is at least as common as yours, if not moreso.

    You have only said, "see,it's in the dictionary."

    Actually I've said "see, it comes before yours in the majority of dictionaries I've checked". Remember, it was your origninal claim that your defintion was more commonly used based on its position in the dictionary definition list.

    But dictionaries list definitions that are used infrequently.

    Never said they didn't. I just pointed out that some do, others list in chronological order. You ignored that and insisted on stating that they list in usage order. I don't mind though, as that still supports my definition more than it does yours.

    They just put them at the end of the list.

    Like they do with your definition, yes.

    In fact, I defy you to show where you have given a demonstration based on actual usage rather than mere appearance in a dictionary.

    This was never a discussion based on actual usage. You said that your defintion was more common based on your personal experience, my experience disagrees. You also claimed that your definition came first in the dictionary. I've shown that that claim was unfounded by listing a series of dictionaries, covering 100+ years of language usage, most of which listed my definition before yours.

    And your definition appears last, just like a definition that is noticed by the compilers but whose usage is rare.

    Except that I've shown how my definition tends to come before yours. You can check back if you like - my comment of July 20, 2011 8:42 AM lists the dictionaries and the relative positions of the 2 definitions.

    Still, I will address other comments.

    "However, I have to say that I find it difficult to imagine any reputable dictionary adding such a definition to it's list ... unless, of course, the other definitions had somehow ceased to be used, making it the only option."

    Then you do not understand how dictionaries operate.

    On the contrary, I gave a link to how Merriam-Webster decides on which words/definitions are chosen and how.

    They are not commands of "this is how you will use the word."

    I never said they were.

    They are reflections of "this is how we have found the word being used."

    As that link I gave confirms.

    cont'd...

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  65. cont'd...

    No doubt, you also think that no reputable dictionary would list a definition for "gay" as meaning "homosexual." It was clearly a synonym for happy. And that new definition was invented by an underground movement.

    Wrong, I have no reason to think dictionaries wouldn't add a entirely novel usage of a word to the list of definitions if it becomes widespread in its usage. After all, it's not uncommon for words to have 2 or more entirely different definitions. However, that's nothing like your example of someone deliberately coming up with a definition of atheism which actively contradicts previous definitions, in order to redefine the word for their own ends. Maybe if the homosexual movement had tried to add an extra definition to heterosexual, such as "one who is attracted to the same sex, but suppresses the truth", in order to claim that, actually, everyone is homosexual, you might have a point.

    "Another claim you'll fail to substantiate no doubt. We're using one of your original claims here - that dictionaries list definitions in order of usage, most common listed first - and, by that measurement, my definition is the more commonly used."

    No, yours is listed last.

    Not in the majority of dictionaries I listed earlier it isn't.

    From Webster's Unabridged: "atheism 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no god. 2. disbelief in the existence of god or gods" "atheist one who denies or disbelieves the existence of god or gods" "disbelieve to refuse or reject belief in" As of 1989, your definition did not make Webster's.

    So now, not only are dictionaries athoritative (contradicting your last post), we're supposed to accept this dictionary as THE dictionary on your say so, lol, brilliant.

    You do realise that Webster's is a generic name? Anyone can call their dictionary "Webster's"?

    So, in response, Merriam-Webster's online edition of it's Collegiate dictionary has:
    1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
    2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
    b : the doctrine that there is no deity

    Mine before yours, making yours the less common use.

    Are you going to go back to dictionaries not being authoritative now?

    "Somehow I don't think they simply just accept popular opinion on word meanings."

    I didn't say popular opinion. However, people's opinion of what a word means will be reflected in how they use that word (human nature.) So, I suppose you could interpret my claim as that, one step away. What I did say was that dictionary compilers wrote their definitions based on observed usage.

    And I agreed ... to a point. They don't simply count up the number of times a word is used in a certain way, they also check how widespread a usage becomes i.e. is it referenced a lot in only one certain type of publication (be it magazine, newspaper or blog). If the usage is restricted solely to fundamentalist Christian publications then that would be taken into account when deciding on adding the definition.

    "Ray's definition, no."

    Which reinforces my point.

    So, because I accept that a deliberately concocted example of a phoney definition, is phoney, that means you've shown that my definition is phoney? Lol, brilliant once again Pvb.

    My determination that the "lacks belief" is phoney is not undermined by the fact that it appears in dictionaries.

    No, it's undermined by your singular inability to demonstrate that it's phoney. Do you have anything other than deliberately phoney examples and your personal belief that my definition is phoney? If not then we truly are done here.

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. Rufus,

    D.A.N will say this genocide was actually capital punishment and about the slaughtering of children D.A.N is going to say god was actually being merciful by taking the children home so they would stay with him in heaven forever.

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  68. The definition of atheism mentioned in the Webster's dictionary and in the Merrian-Webster is a little bias since Noah Webster was an outspoken christian...

    ReplyDelete
  69.      "By saying that it's not phoney? I'm struggling with that one."
         You said that your definition not being phoney was just as true (no more, no less) as a known falsehood. That is a concession that it is false. I have accepted that concession.
         "Based on that measurement, I have definitely shown that my definition is at least as common as yours, if not moreso."
         No, you have not; but keep telling yourself that. At the time you made your original claim, you had presented precisely zero dictionaries that list your definition first.
         "So now, not only are dictionaries athoritative (contradicting your last post), we're supposed to accept this dictionary as THE dictionary on your say so, lol, brilliant."
         Nice attempt at twisting, really. However, the reality is that I did not use it as evidence that no one had claimed the definition you claimed before that point. I only used it to show that the people who compile Webster's had not (at the time of printing of the particular dictionary that I normally use) yet noticed its use. Remember< I said that dictionaries reflect usage rather than dictate it. And, if I considered it to be an authority, I would say that it dictated it.
         "So, because I accept that a deliberately concocted example of a phoney definition, is phoney, that means you've shown that my definition is phoney? Lol, brilliant once again Pvb."
         No, my next sentence identifies the point that I am asserting that you reinforced. But, since you are imposing a phoney definition to suit your purposes, I should not be surprised that you are trying to make out that I claimed you reinforced something other than what I actually said you reinforced.

    Mhich:

         "The definition of atheism mentioned in the Webster's dictionary and in the Merrian-Webster is a little bias since Noah Webster was an outspoken christian."
         I disagree. A definition like "one who practically denied god by refusing the moral obligation due to him" (my wording is probably off) would be a biased definition. Guess where that one appears.

         Incidentally, outside of these discussions, I have never seen anyone use the word disbelieve in any sense other than to believe something to be false. So, to disbelieve in a god is to believe that he is not there. But that word is what people here are using to support "merely lacks belief."

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  70. Pvblivs said...

    "By saying that it's not phoney? I'm struggling with that one."

    You said that your definition not being phoney was just as true (no more, no less) as a known falsehood. That is a concession that it is false. I have accepted that concession.

    Lol, now you're just talking shit.

    I've said no such thing. I responded that, because dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive, there's a possibility that a deliberately phoney definition (your Ray Comfort example) could enter the dictionary and that it's inclusion would have no bearing on it's phoneyness. I certainly didn't (and don't) accept that my definition was included on the same grounds. In fact the whole point of this discussion is for you to show that it was yet you've done nothing to show the original intent behind the definition I use was at all dishonest. Indeed, you even conceded that I had shown my definition has been around a lot longer that you thought, meaning you are unlikely to be aware of the intent of it's originators.

    "Based on that measurement, I have definitely shown that my definition is at least as common as yours, if not moreso."

    No, you have not;

    Lol. If I accept that dictionaries list by common usage - I have stated that this isn't necessarily true but am happy to accept it for the sake of this argument - and I can give a list of dictionaries where my definition is listed before yours - which I have - then I am right when I say that "I have definitely shown that my definition is at least as common as yours".

    but keep telling yourself that.

    I don't need to, I can just look back at the thread to see it's true.

    At the time you made your original claim, you had presented precisely zero dictionaries that list your definition first.

    You made the original claim about a definition's dictionary listing position, not me. Back on July 18, 2011 at 8:15 PM you said: "You will find that my definition appears before yours in those same dictionaries." in response to me simply pointing out that my definition is listed. You offered no evidence to support your claim. You then later claimed that my definition always came last in dictionaries. Again you offered no evidence to support your claim and, when I responded with a list of dictionaries where your definition came after mine, you ignored it and simply repeated your falsified claim.

    cont'd...

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  71. cont'd...

    "So now, not only are dictionaries athoritative (contradicting your last post), we're supposed to accept this dictionary as THE dictionary on your say so, lol, brilliant."

    Nice attempt at twisting, really.

    There was no need to twist. You made the statement that dictionaries aren't athoritative. You also keep insisting that your definition being listed first in the dictionary (specifically the Webster's dictionary you use) makes your definition the most common. This implies dictionaries have an authority (contrary to your earlier claim). When I subsequently use that authority to show that your claim is false - by showing that, in actuality, my definition comes before yours in several dictionaries - all of a sudden that authority doesn't exist again. It's a poor double standard on your part.

    However, the reality is that I did not use it as evidence that no one had claimed the definition you claimed before that point. I only used it to show that the people who compile Webster's had not (at the time of printing of the particular dictionary that I normally use) yet noticed its use.

    Which, of course, doesn't change the fact that several other dictionaries had not only noticed it's use, but had listed it first. This, by your method of measurement, makes mine the more common usage of the word, and your argument that my definition isn't more common is shown to be false.

    Remember< I said that dictionaries reflect usage rather than dictate it. And, if I considered it to be an authority, I would say that it dictated it.

    Then stop claiming that your definition is more common based on it's position in the dictionary listings. Not only is it a false claim, it's an attempt to force an authority you won't accept when it's used in response.

    "So, because I accept that a deliberately concocted example of a phoney definition, is phoney, that means you've shown that my definition is phoney? Lol, brilliant once again Pvb."

    No, my next sentence identifies the point that I am asserting that you reinforced.

    I've never disagreed that a definition, even when listed in the dictionary, could be phoney. I do, however, keep asking you to demonstrate that my definition of atheism is phoney ... and you haven't even tried yet. You've claimed it's uncommon based on it's position in the definition list - I've shown that claim to be false. You've also asserted that it's phoney based on your observation of it's use - I've seen it used too and my conclusion differs from yours. So we need something other than a false claim of common usage and differing observations to determine if the definition is indeed phoney. Do you have anything substantive that would support the claim that the definition's originators were being dishonest in their uage of the definition?

    But, since you are imposing a phoney definition to suit your purposes, I should not be surprised that you are trying to make out that I claimed you reinforced something other than what I actually said you reinforced.

    Still not phoney.

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  72.      "I responded that, because dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive, there's a possibility that a deliberately phoney definition (your Ray Comfort example) could enter the dictionary and that it's inclusion would have no bearing on it's phoneyness. I certainly didn't (and don't) accept that my definition was included on the same grounds."
         You argued that I should accept your definition as not phoney because it appears in some (unspecified) dictionary. Since a phoney definition could just as easily appear and (by your own assertion) it would not make the definition any less phoney, your argument is without merit as you don't believe it.
         "Indeed, you even conceded that I had shown my definition has been around a lot longer that you thought, meaning you are unlikely to be aware of the intent of it's originators."
         I have not conceded that you have shown it. I took you at your word (maybe that was a mistake) that there was some dictionary (I am, as yet, not aware of it) that listed it earlier. And I conceded that, if this is so, then it has been around longer than I thought.
         "At the time you made your original claim, you had presented precisely zero dictionaries that list your definition first." [Mine]
         "I have definitely shown that my definition is at least as common as yours" [That original claim, emphasis mine]
         Now, you assert that you can produce a dictionary that lists your definition before mine. I have yet to see a dictionary that directly lists your defintion at all. You sort of make a case for it by using "disbelieve" to mean lacking belief. But until you have actually produced the evidence you claim to have, you haven't shown anything. Your claim was to have shown that your definition appeared first; and that claim was and is false.
         "...and I can give a list of dictionaries where my definition is listed before yours - which I have..."
         Actually, you skipped over that part.
         "Which, of course, doesn't change the fact that several other dictionaries had not only noticed it's use, but had listed it first."
         Perhaps, but I haven't seen one yet. For that matter, I haven't seen one that lists your definition at all without requiring some interpretation on your part.
         "There was no need to twist."
         And yet you did anyway. I said that dictionaries weren't authoritative. I further clarified this (because some people like to conflate different definitions) to state that do not decree what "proper" usage shall be but rather only reflect what usage the compilers have found. They serve as witness, not as lawgiver. In effect, you have told me that if I do not accept them as lawgiver then I cannot use them as witness. So you are twisting. I identified what definition I was using and you insisted that I have to be using a different one instead because it suits your purposes.
         "I do, however, keep asking you to demonstrate that my definition of atheism is phoney."
         I have shown it through both my witness as to how I have seen it used (to enforce it on someone who was making a statement using the more common definition and then saying "really? Even babies?" and through my observation that it cannot effectively be used except in that manner. I have seen a bit of lip-service on your part to claim that you use it without resorting to that. But when you twist my words and quote-mine me in your argument against me, I find it hard to believe that you are being honest about your usage. I don't know if you will read this. I do know that you will ignore the evidence I have presented of your definition's phoniness. But then, I have no reason to believe that you will be honest.
         I am done. Your definition is phoney. Your tactics are dishonest. And you claim to have demonstrated things by virtue of evidence to which you allude but never present.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Pvblivs said...

    "I responded that, because dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive, there's a possibility that a deliberately phoney definition (your Ray Comfort example) could enter the dictionary and that it's inclusion would have no bearing on it's phoneyness. I certainly didn't (and don't) accept that my definition was included on the same grounds."

    You argued that I should accept your definition as not phoney because it appears in some (unspecified) dictionary.

    No, I asked you demonstrate your claim that it was phoney. Instead of doing that you have claimed that it is uncommon based on it's position in the dictionary definition listing and you have claimed it was phoney based on your observation of it's use in conversations you have witnessed. I've shown your first claim to be false and countered your observation with one of my own. Like I asked at the end of my last response, do you have anything substantive to support your claim of phoneyness? If not this is all just sound and fury signifying nothing on your part.

    Since a phoney definition could just as easily appear and (by your own assertion) it would not make the definition any less phoney, your argument is without merit as you don't believe it.

    Horseshit, but you're right that I don't believe your strawman version of my argument. I accepted your example that a phoney definition could be included in a dictionary, however, you've done nothing to show that that's what happened with my definition. Any chance you'll try?

    "Indeed, you even conceded that I had shown my definition has been around a lot longer that you thought, meaning you are unlikely to be aware of the intent of it's originators."

    I have not conceded that you have shown it. I took you at your word (maybe that was a mistake) that there was some dictionary (I am, as yet, not aware of it) that listed it earlier. And I conceded that, if this is so, then it has been around longer than I thought.

    Oh the list of dictionaries is there alright. So, as I said, you conceded that I'd shown that my definition has been around longer than you thought and, as it has been around longer than you thought, can you explain how you know what the intent was behind it's original usage, when you weren't actually aware of when that was?

    "At the time you made your original claim, you had presented precisely zero dictionaries that list your definition first." [Mine]

    "I have definitely shown that my definition is at least as common as yours" [That original claim, emphasis mine]

    Now, you assert that you can produce a dictionary that lists your definition before mine.

    I gave a list of them earlier in the conversation.

    I have yet to see a dictionary that directly lists your defintion at all.

    You couldn't even be bothered to read my responses to you properly, that's disrespectful IMO.

    You sort of make a case for it by using "disbelieve" to mean lacking belief.

    Because it does, lol. 'Dis' does actually have 'lack' as one of it's definitions ... or are you going to claim that that's phoney too?

    cont'd...

    ReplyDelete
  74. cont'd...

    But until you have actually produced the evidence you claim to have, you haven't shown anything. Your claim was to have shown that your definition appeared first; and that claim was and is false.

    Nope. Evidence was given ages ago. My claim stands.

    "...and I can give a list of dictionaries where my definition is listed before yours - which I have..."

    Actually, you skipped over that part.

    No I didn't, the list is earlier in the conversation.

    "Which, of course, doesn't change the fact that several other dictionaries had not only noticed it's use, but had listed it first."

    Perhaps, but I haven't seen one yet.

    Perhaps you could try actually reading the responses to you.

    For that matter, I haven't seen one that lists your definition at all without requiring some interpretation on your part.

    Lol, so now, me taking disbelief to mean a lack of belief is wrong? Why? Because it doesn't suit your argument? Or are you going to claim that the 'lack' definition of the prefix 'dis' is phoney too?

    "There was no need to twist."

    And yet you did anyway.

    No, I didn't.

    I said that dictionaries weren't authoritative. I further clarified this (because some people like to conflate different definitions) to state that do not decree what "proper" usage shall be but rather only reflect what usage the compilers have found. They serve as witness, not as lawgiver.

    And I have agreed that they aren't 'lawgivers' (prescriptive) and merely bear 'witness' to (describe) the definitions.

    In effect, you have told me that if I do not accept them as lawgiver then I cannot use them as witness. So you are twisting.

    Talk about twisting ... sheesh. I have done no such thing, I have simply pointed out that you are using the position on that definition list to claim that your definition is the more commonly used one - this implies that dictionaries have an authority when it comes to determining common usage of definitions. I've then given examples of dictionaries where my definition appears before yours in the list, meaning that, BY YOUR OWN MEASUREMENT, my definition is witnessed to be more common than yours, at which point, you go back to stating dictionaries have no authority. You want it both ways. Tough, you can't.

    I identified what definition I was using and you insisted that I have to be using a different one instead because it suits your purposes.

    Bollocks. You're the one that has problems with other people using definitions you don't agree with.

    cont'd...

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  75. cont'd...

    "I do, however, keep asking you to demonstrate that my definition of atheism is phoney."

    I have shown it through both my witness as to how I have seen it used (to enforce it on someone who was making a statement using the more common definition and then saying "really? Even babies?" and through my observation that it cannot effectively be used except in that manner.

    And I have given examples of it being used otherwise - on this thread to describe my position for one - and, as my discussion with Dan/Gary attests too, it's perfectly effective to use it to argue against an overly narrow definition being used to try and discredit a much broader group of people.

    I have seen a bit of lip-service on your part to claim that you use it without resorting to that.

    It's not lip service when it's exactly how I was using it against Gary/Dan's argument.

    But when you twist my words and quote-mine me in your argument against me, I find it hard to believe that you are being honest about your usage.

    Lol, I didn't need to twist your words and I haven't quote-mined anything. Indeed, I've responded to every single word you've written whilst it is you that only chooses snippets of my responses to concentrate on.

    I don't know if you will read this.

    I've read every word you've said to me so far, it's a shame that it seems you haven't had the common courtesy to do the same.

    I do know that you will ignore the evidence I have presented of your definition's phoniness.

    Rubbish. I've addressed both of the arguments you've made and you've still not come close to showing the originators of the definition devised it specifically to block disussion, as was your original claim.

    But then, I have no reason to believe that you will be honest. I am done.

    Thank fuck for that. It was starting to get a bit boring watching you desperately swinging away at your argument in an attempt to raise something that wasn't just dead, it had never had life to begin with.

    Your definition is phoney.

    Lol, and you still haven't shown it to be. I believe it's because you can't.

    Your tactics are dishonest.

    Answering every assertion you've made to show your argument has no merit is dishonest now? Lol, that's just brilliant.

    And you claim to have demonstrated things by virtue of evidence to which you allude but never present.

    And now you're just lying. The evidence was presented days ago, it seems you just couldn't be arsed to read my responses properly, which is your problem, not mine.

    ReplyDelete
  76. To get past this argument over semantics, some Internet fora use the specific terms “strong atheism” or “hard atheism” for belief there is no god, vs. “weak atheism” or “soft atheism” for lack of belief in gods.

    Another distinction is made between “explicit” atheists (aware of the proposition of deities, but who do not believe it) and “implicit” atheists (those who have never heard of or thought about deities). Babies would be implicit atheists.

    Perhaps an agreement on all sides to use this terminology will help advance the discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  77. So, here’s my hard atheist’s reaction:

    1) Some deities could be disproven. Maoris say a baby god Ru grows in Mother Earth's belly, whose kicks cause earthquakes, for example.

    Whether what Gary calls “God” is falsifiable depends how he defines “God”.

    2) We can use evidence to disprove gods. For example, to disprove Ru is under the crust causing earthquakes, we might do a complete seismic survey like oil prospectors do, and sound the earth like we did Loch Ness to find no giant reptiles therein.

    Furthermore, absence of evidence, where evidence would be expected, is evidence of absence. The absence of scientific evidence that would be present if Noah’s great flood had actually happened, is evidence it never happened.

    3) You don’t need proof to claim there are no gods. We both have rational reasons to believe leprechauns are completely fictional, even though neither of us can prove that at no time in no place anywhere in the universe did a leprechaun exist.

    4) Speaking only for myself, I take nothing on blind faith. I base my belief that no gods exist on reason and evidence.

    5) No, atheism has no position about absolutes. Atheism concerns only belief in deities, nothing else.

    6) No, moral absolutes do not exist. Before conscious beings with values existed, there was no morality in the universe.

    7) No, atheism has no position about objective truth. Again, atheism concerns only belief in deities, nothing else.

    Furthermore, I am a counterexample. I believe there is an objective reality apart from our subjective perceptions, and that objective reality determines whether our perceptions are objectively true or objectively false.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Robin Lionheart said...

    To get past this argument over semantics, some Internet fora use the specific terms “strong atheism” or “hard atheism” for belief there is no god, vs. “weak atheism” or “soft atheism” for lack of belief in gods.

    Another distinction is made between “explicit” atheists (aware of the proposition of deities, but who do not believe it) and “implicit” atheists (those who have never heard of or thought about deities). Babies would be implicit atheists.

    Perhaps an agreement on all sides to use this terminology will help advance the discussion.


    It's a nice thought but unfortunately Dan/Gary aren't really interested in advancing the discussion.

    They don't want to distiguish between 'types' of atheism. They think that an argument against one type can simply be extended to cover all types.

    They then get all upset when someone points out that they haven't actually debunked atheism in general.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Freddies Dead,

    >>They think that an argument against one type can simply be extended to cover all types.

    Said the Atheist, about Christians. Irony meter peaking.

    >>They then get all upset when someone points out that they haven't actually debunked atheism in general.

    Not even the name of the blog, or our intention, please try again.

    ReplyDelete
  80. D.A.N. said...

    Freddies Dead,

    >>They think that an argument against one type can simply be extended to cover all types.

    Said the Atheist, about Christians. Irony meter peaking.

    Said the atheist about a specific set of Christians i.e. you and Gary. You should get your irony meter looked at Dan, it appears to be faulty ... or it's just going off because it's near to you?

    >>They then get all upset when someone points out that they haven't actually debunked atheism in general.

    Not even the name of the blog, or our intention, please try again.

    It's not your intention but this post is called "Atheism, A Viable Position?" and is Gary's attempt to show that it isn't? Lol, you're funny Dan.

    ReplyDelete

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