Author Topic: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist  (Read 1302 times)

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Offline Emergence

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Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« on: April 15, 2018, 04:49:44 AM »
Being raised catholic I found irreconcilable problems with the god of the bible and therefore stopped believing in that god around the time of 1st holy communion. I still believed in some god after that, but more in a deistic way. By the time I arrived at WWGHA 1.0 more than 10 years ago as Peter B. I considered myself an agnostic. It was Red McWilliams who then demonstrated to me that my position back than was rather that of an agnostic atheist. I was shocked by that revelation at first, because I always as atheism as a too strong position to defend, but there was no denying that an atheist was exactly what I was at that point.

Then I was quite active in the discussions at WWGHA 1.0 and then at HAL`s ATT for a while after that and thus reflected on my own beliefs and nonbeliefs a bit more and came to much better understanding of my own philosophical position and my problems with religion in general and with theistic religions in particular.
One thing that became very apparent to me over time was that “god” is an empty word without concise or even agreed upon definition. What is it that Allah, Yahweh, Vishnu, Odin, Zeus and Jupiter have in common? By what definition does it become clear that Minerva, Dellingr and Malsumis belong to the same category of “being” while Satan or Nótt do not belong to this category? It`s not immortality, it’s not uncreatedness, it’s not even the ability to create.

The only thing that all those “gods” have in common in my opinion is, that they were personifications of principles observed in nature or in the human psyche that were either universal enough or important enough to fear or venerate them and they were hierarchically ordered, probably because the efficiency of an hierarchically structured society was one of the earliest discoveries of (modern) humans. Well, actually it can be observed in principle for many social animals. Maybe the ability to think about the equity of this structure combined with the fact that it was no longer coupled to bodily abilities or age, facilitated the need to manifest this hierarchical structure as something reflecting a higher authority than humanity alone. Therefore, gods became the universal and eternal equivalent of royalty or nobility, sometimes as whole “clans” sometimes as single “kings” depending on the time and the society that formed them.

Anyways, I found that this lack of a standalone (without human cultural context) definition of the word “god” is not sufficient to uphold any reservation about the existence of god or gods in general. All gods are anthropomorphic personifications of nature, human psyche or philosophical principles to be seen in human cultural context and thus have no existence of their own. Period.

Actually, these considerations would be sufficient for me to call myself now a gnostic or strong atheist. But I also came to conclude that this will not be sufficient to justify my philosophical position to any specific believer (or even unbeliever), because those who attack my position will, without exception in my experience, have a certain minimum definition of “god” on their mind even though only a minority is really able to formulate it succinctly. From all I see this minimum definition is “creator/source/reason for/of all reality/existence”. So what is criticized in reality is not that I consider myself a strong “atheist” but rather that I – by proxy – consider myself a strong “acreationist”, because, after all, I can not know who or what is responsible for all existence, or can I?

I have no illusions about what littel I know and about everything I don`t know. Infact I think that everything is inherently “unknowable” upon scrutiny. We are limited in so many ways that it is impossible to be 100% sure about anything. So what? Since I see no way of alleviating this unfortunate situation, I see no way of pondering about it to much. I am convinced that that way lies madness.

Despite all uncertainty growing from the very nature of knowledge, I still consider some assumtions to be more logical and more useful than others. From all my personal observations, I consider it logical and useful that what we call “consciousness” emerges from a physical reality. I do not consider “dualism” to be very probable. All what I perceive points to a strong and direct connection between physical reality and the development of a consciousness. Even more: I consider “time” to be necessary for “consciousness”. Therefore a timeless (in the sense of “outside of time”) consciousness outside of reality (or existence!!) does not seem to be a logical assumption. Therefore, a personal creator (as minimum definition of “god”) does not appear to be any good description of what ever the source or origin of reality or existence may be. By that I conclude that a “god” in any definable sense exists. I do not leave the door open for any such possibility, because the only logically conceivable, possibilities necessarily lack the minimum requirement of a consciousness (which in contrast to “god” has a resilient minimum definition, I think).

Now someone could come and assert that I just work on the wrong definition of consciousness, I can not fathom the nature of god’s personality, or have the wrong idea of an existence outside of reality. While that may be true, I never saw any speck of evidence that may lead me to reconsider any of the concepts.
Therefore, within the limitations of human knowledge, I know that no gods exist or ever existed.
So, there.

That leaves the question: Why attribute any label to myself at all? Well, I do not need this for myself at all. I do not wake up in the morning with the thought “there is no god”. Rather there is no event in my life where I would consider “god” as a factor in any way. But in a discussion about religions it helps to keep it fair. I know that no gods exist, because  no really reliable definition exists. If anyone would like me to reconsider my position, I would need a good definition first. Then I can either proceed to identify the problems associated with that specific definition or I can see it’s value and therefore reconsider my position. I am not inclined to discuss “god” in a way that would imply that I know what that word is supposed to mean.
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline Nick

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 07:41:33 AM »
Sounds good to me.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline jetson

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 08:47:54 AM »
I go back and forth on how and when to use "god" in a discussion from an atheist perspective. It usually comes down to who I am talking to, and what I know about their beliefs (what they have stated to me about it.) There have been threads and discussions over the years on defining "God", but the only outcome I have ever seen is the apparent agreement that this god is a creator, and to a lesser extent, gets involved in human affairs. That is not much to go on when you compare each sect's brand of what their god is, or is not.

I suspect that you would have no reason at all to deny the existence of a god that were demonstrated to exist. That is the case with me as well. I'm not inclined to use my time on this earth bowing and worshiping something that works only through the words and beliefs of other humans. I don't think my brain is capable of giving up like that. I prefer to consider the findings and theories of science as they continue to discover and explain various phenomenon and use that new information to improve the lives of humans, and the human condition as we evolve.

I would say the only good reason to remain a theist is the inability to overcome the fear and the willingness to suspend disbelief, based purely on what one is told by another. Not unlike the Santa Claus model - your parents give you the scoop as a child, and you believe it because you are not mature enough to be skeptical. With religion, you are born into it, and in many cases it comes with huge piles of fear, guilt, and shame if you even hint at being skeptical. And of course, in some societies it is far more dangerous to be skeptical. I guess we are lucky in that many "theists" in the U.S. are actually just lazy about their religion and its requirements. Without a parent or other loved ones beating God into you every day, some of us are free to escape the clutches of our respective religions.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 10:02:48 AM »
I know that no gods exist, because  no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

How do you know that no reliable definition exists?  How would you know if you heard it?

How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist?  Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline jetson

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 10:31:26 AM »
I know that no gods exist, because  no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

How do you know that no reliable definition exists?  How would you know if you heard it?

How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist?  Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?

Go right ahead. Define it.

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 11:08:11 AM »
I know that no gods exist, because  no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

Ok.

Quote
How do you know that no reliable definition exists?  How would you know if you heard it?

I have never heard something like even a halfway conclusive definition that would be agreed upon by every person using that word. Sure, that's probably a lot to ask, since semantics and dialectics are a huge hobby of humanity, but for most things that can be experienced in reality, there will at least be a broad consensus on a minimum definition. Show me a definition that will be agreed upon by most persons and where the word "god" cannot be replaced by something else without loss, and I will reconsider.

Quote
How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist?  Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?

As I see it, something that can not be defined, cannot be conceived or deduced on it's own from experience and vice versa. If the word "god" wouldn't exist, I would never get to the idea that there even is something to define in that direction. I would e.g. never infer or deduce that a personal force governs reality. Therefore I agree that the word exists, I agree that it comprises a complex network of philosophical concepts accumulated throughout human history, but I do not accept that it describes any existence indipendent of human imagination and inventiveness. Hence I am as sure as posdible that no god(s) exist(s).
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:25:57 AM »
in that theists themselves keep making their own definition of gods vaguer and vaguer, I think that jst's posulation of a definition ridiculous and am waiting for him to come up with one if he thinks it exists.  I'm going to guess that he'll plead that it isn't up to him to come up with this definition, yet one more variation f the god of the gaps argument.
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 03:28:16 PM »
I know that no gods exist, because  no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

How do you know that no reliable definition exists?  How would you know if you heard it?

How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist?  Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?

Go right ahead. Define it.

I've had nothing to do with his decision.  If he knows that there is no God that means he's already defined it and determined it doesn't exist.

And how does your post answer the question you quoted?  God's existence does not depend on my ability to define him.  Does reality depend on my ability to define it?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 03:31:03 PM »
I know that no gods exist, because no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

How do you know that no reliable definition exists? How would you know if you heard it?

How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist? Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?

Go right ahead. Define it.

I've had nothing to do with his decision. If he knows that there is no God that means he's already defined it and determined it doesn't exist.

And how does your post answer the question you quoted? God's existence does not depend on my ability to define him. Does reality depend on my ability to define it?

You're the one who challenged his view that there is no reliable definition of "God". Now you're backing out of putting your money where your mouth is. Why am I not surprised?
My names are many, yet I am One.
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Religions need books because they don't have gods.

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 04:01:10 PM »
I have never heard something like even a halfway conclusive definition that would be agreed upon by every person using that word. Sure, that's probably a lot to ask, since semantics and dialectics are a huge hobby of humanity, but for most things that can be experienced in reality, there will at least be a broad consensus on a minimum definition. Show me a definition that will be agreed upon by most persons and where the word "god" cannot be replaced by something else without loss, and I will reconsider.

I'm not sure I understand.  The dictionary says, "(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being."

Are you looking for something more than that?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 04:03:29 PM »
I know that no gods exist, because no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

How do you know that no reliable definition exists? How would you know if you heard it?

How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist? Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?

Go right ahead. Define it.

I've had nothing to do with his decision. If he knows that there is no God that means he's already defined it and determined it doesn't exist.

And how does your post answer the question you quoted? God's existence does not depend on my ability to define him. Does reality depend on my ability to define it?

You're the one who challenged his view that there is no reliable definition of "God". Now you're backing out of putting your money where your mouth is. Why am I not surprised?

I don't have to make the opposite position to challenge a claim.  If you claim something is black I don't have to claim it's white in order to challenge the claim.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 04:22:30 PM »
I don't have to make the opposite position to challenge a claim. If you claim something is black I don't have to claim it's white in order to challenge the claim.

Really? Because that's not what you said here, at least implicitly, since it's not possible to tell the difference between those two positions based on your actions.

Assuming what you said now is what you really think (hard to tell, with all your compartmentalization issues...), then congrats, you've found out what atheism is.
My names are many, yet I am One.
-Orion, son of Fire and Light, Sol Invictus.

Religions need books because they don't have gods.

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Offline jetson

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2018, 05:47:53 PM »
I know that no gods exist, because  no really reliable definition exists.

I would like to challenge this.

How do you know that no reliable definition exists?  How would you know if you heard it?

How does it logically follow that even if there is no reliable definition that no gods exist?  Why does an inability to define something mean it's doesn't exist?

Go right ahead. Define it.

I've had nothing to do with his decision.  If he knows that there is no God that means he's already defined it and determined it doesn't exist.

And how does your post answer the question you quoted?  God's existence does not depend on my ability to define him.  Does reality depend on my ability to define it?

It's actually pretty simple and straightforward jst - just share a reliable definition of your god. Assuming you have one?

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 01:16:15 AM »
It's actually pretty simple and straightforward jst - just share a reliable definition of your god. Assuming you have one?

In fairness, Jst has given a dictionary (minimum) definition for the Christian god:

I'm not sure I understand.  The dictionary says, "(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being."

Are you looking for something more than that?

Thing is, this is not what I am looking for, and most people replying here fall into the same trap. I am not looking for a specific definition of a specific god, but of a definition of a category of being called "god", so that I would be able to consider whether some being, at the moment unknown and unexperienced by me is a god as soon as I happen upon it.

Or, said another way, as I implied in my post, I have already concluded that the god as per Jst's definition does not exist. Not only because there's no convincing evidence to its existence, rather because there is very convincing and conclusive evidence that it is a human made, cultural product. I'm not inclined to leave the door open for its existence in any way. You may call me closed-minded or arrogant or whatever, but in the same way I do not leave the door open for the "real-life" existence of "Hulk" I do not leave the door open for the Abrahamic god or Thor or Vishnu or Poseidon as having an existence that goes beyond human cultural concepts. That is totally not the question to me.

The question to me is: Should I consider myself agnostic to any type of god that has not yet been specifically defined to me? And here the lack of definition comes in: How would I know that a being is a god? On what general definition of the category "god" could I base a decision about that? And I say, no such general, categorical definition exists, or can even exist[1], therefore I see no reason not to consider myself a gnostic or strong atheist. There are no gods because it is an undefined category of being.

If anyone thinks otherwise, I would like to hear a definition of the category "god" that everyone believing in some "god(s)" would agree on and that warrants to reserve an open backdoor in my atheism.  ;) 
 1. Maybe with the exception of the creator of the universe, that is itself not part of the universe. But besides causing logical problems like e.g. a "will" outside of "time", I also see the possibility that such a creator is just an "extradimensional alien" without the need for the word "god".
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Offline jetson

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2018, 07:43:05 AM »
Emergence - thanks for the clarification. The term "god" itself is fairly ambiguous.

As I dig around the internet, I find similar attempts to break the definition into areas based on the type of religion. "God" by itself seems particularly elusive in terms of a basic definition.

For practical purposes, could it be "something revered/feared/worshiped by humans"?

"Beings", "entities" and "natural phenomenon" have been considered gods over time. The sun, Thor, YHWH, Allah, wind, fire, water, Jesus, etc.

I do realize that such a broad definition leaves a lot of gaps and room for almost anything.

god - something revered/feared/worshiped by humans.

The verbs can come in any combination, and I am definitely leaving out some nuances. The use of "something" is a large leap, but if we really dig in, I would bet that it's fairly digestible. If it is not an imagined being with mythical/mystical properties, mostly anthropomorphized, then it is usually something from nature.

Thoughts?

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2018, 09:01:24 AM »
Thoughts?

Mmhh, yes always...  :P

god - something revered/feared/worshiped by humans.

While, yes, this could serve as some definition of what a "god" is as cultural construct[1], this definition still would not help me. I am no "atheist" of any kind against the cultural construct of "god". For that all doors - front and back - are wide open. I am really more looking for a class of "being" in the sense of "independent entity". Something or someone that/who could step up to me and say "Hello, I'm a god" and I would immediately go "Yes, indeed, as per definition, you are" without having my tounge firmly in cheek...  :)
 1. Even though it is not clearly deliniated against "spirit", "force", "king" or "superstar" in certain contexts. The term "god" seems to be not the only one fitting that definition.
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 10:02:44 AM »
Thoughts?

Mmhh, yes always...  :P

god - something revered/feared/worshiped by humans.

While, yes, this could serve as some definition of what a "god" is as cultural construct[1], this definition still would not help me. I am no "atheist" of any kind against the cultural construct of "god". For that all doors - front and back - are wide open. I am really more looking for a class of "being" in the sense of "independent entity". Something or someone that/who could step up to me and say "Hello, I'm a god" and I would immediately go "Yes, indeed, as per definition, you are" without having my tounge firmly in cheek...  :)
 1. Even though it is not clearly deliniated against "spirit", "force", "king" or "superstar" in certain contexts. The term "god" seems to be not the only one fitting that definition.

lol - good luck with that. Which is likely your entire point!

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 10:03:56 AM »
lol - good luck with that. Which is likely your entire point!

Who knows?  :blank:
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 10:36:09 AM »
But in all honesty: My point is that I do not believe it is possible to leave the door open for some generic "god" after concluding that one does not believe in any of the specific ones that have been defined, except acknowledging that they exist conceptually. Anyone insisting - theist and unbeliever alike - that an atheist is at least supposed to to leave the door open for some kind of god in order not to be an idiot, does so with a certain definition of god on mind. That means that this whole insitence is nothing but a wedge argument in order to open up the possibility for whatever "god concept du jour" one holds in mind, and then trying to push that point.

I mean, I do not at all deny the possibility that this universe had its origin somewhere. Maybe, even a personal, independet entity was involved alla "Deism", but I am not automatically going to call the entity "god" because the word is loaded appears to be useless to me. Just because a word exists does not mean there's real equivalent to it in existence and just because the word is forced upon us from early youth does not mean that we have to agree that it really describes something.

Therefore, with certainty, no god(s) exist.  :laugh:
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2018, 02:57:46 PM »
I am really more looking for a class of "being" in the sense of "independent entity"

I think you may be making a categorical error.  God is a title like President, not a type of being.

Quote
I have already concluded that the god as per Jst's definition does not exist. Not only because there's no convincing evidence to its existence, rather because there is very convincing and conclusive evidence that it is a human made, cultural product.

What is the evidence?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2018, 03:32:24 PM »
I am really more looking for a class of "being" in the sense of "independent entity"

I think you may be making a categorical error.  God is a title like President, not a type of being.

Semantics of a Christian. You have your god in mind, not a good, since you do not consider any god but your god to be god. It's not what I am asking .

Quote
Quote
I have already concluded that the god as per Jst's definition does not exist. Not only because there's no convincing evidence to its existence, rather because there is very convincing and conclusive evidence that it is a human made, cultural product.

What is the evidence?

I am so not interested in discussing this anymore, it's not even funny. It is self-evident that the Abrahamic god is a cultural product. If you disagree, fine.  :)
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2018, 05:38:00 PM »
I am really more looking for a class of "being" in the sense of "independent entity"

I think you may be making a categorical error.  God is a title like President, not a type of being.

Semantics of a Christian. You have your god in mind, not a good, since you do not consider any god but your god to be god. It's not what I am asking .

Not just Christian but other monotheistic religions. 

You have set up your own semantics in expecting God to be a type of being.  So you are defining god and then observing that it doesn't exist.  So god, as you define it, does not exist.

So you have determined there is no Abrahamic god.  Have you also determined there is no creator and ruler of the universe?     

Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2018, 08:46:12 PM »

So you have determined there is no Abrahamic god.  Have you also determined there is no creator and ruler of the universe?   

well, we're waiting for you to show that there is one.  You've claimed there is, so it is your problem to show this to be true. 
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Offline jetson

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2018, 10:24:32 PM »
I am really more looking for a class of "being" in the sense of "independent entity"

I think you may be making a categorical error.  God is a title like President, not a type of being.

Semantics of a Christian. You have your god in mind, not a good, since you do not consider any god but your god to be god. It's not what I am asking .

Not just Christian but other monotheistic religions. 

You have set up your own semantics in expecting God to be a type of being.  So you are defining god and then observing that it doesn't exist.  So god, as you define it, does not exist.

So you have determined there is no Abrahamic god.  Have you also determined there is no creator and ruler of the universe?   


So you are defining god and then observing that it does exist.  So god, as you define it, does exist.

And your approach is different how, exactly?

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2018, 12:00:16 AM »
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
You have set up your own semantics in expecting God to be a type of being.

Or something else. I am saying that people are using the word god as if I am supposed to know what a god is. But the word doesn't tell me that, as you also impressively demonstrate here: The way you formulate here shows me that you of course consider it wrong to expect a god to be a being or entity. Yet you do not provide what to expect. I mean even "creators" and "rulers" are usually beings or entities, no?

Quote
Have you also determined there is no creator and ruler of the universe?   

Yes.
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2018, 09:44:27 AM »
So what is criticized in reality is not that I consider myself a strong “atheist” but rather that I – by proxy – consider myself a strong “acreationist”, because, after all, I can not know who or what is responsible for all existence, or can I?

I visit this forum pretty regularly just to see what discussions are taking place. I must say, the position you have described here baffles me. I have read your posts herein a number of times and I cannot seem to get my head around how you logically arrived at your conclusion. I’ve even tried to formulate your position into a formal argument using premises and a conclusion and I can’t get to a “strong atheism.”

I understand your argument relative to defining a category of “god” but the absence of a definition that you find sufficient does not lead logically to “there is no God/god.” In fact, you admirably stated that you “have no illusions about what littel [you] know and about everything [you] don`t know" which necessarily means that you remain open to the possibility that something you do not currently understand or have knowledge about may, in fact, exist.

Furthermore, the fact that you have determined for yourself that Allah or Yahweh are nothing more than “personifications of principles observed in nature or in the human psyche” is unverifiable by the methods I assume you deem exclusive and 100% reliable for the gathering of facts.

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Anyways, I found that this lack of a standalone (without human cultural context) definition of the word “god” is not sufficient to uphold any reservation about the existence of god or gods in general. All gods are anthropomorphic personifications of nature, human psyche or philosophical principles to be seen in human cultural context and thus have no existence of their own. Period.

The ”standalone” definition you require seems as though it would necessitate that God/god can be observed, tested, and/or experienced empirically, no? If so, then you’re position as a “strong atheist” is not convincing because you have no evidence to support the inherently necessary foundational belief that only the physical universe exists. In other words, you are taking a position that, at best, you might be able to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt - but certainly not with the certainty that "God/god does not exist."

Perhaps you have a definition of “strong atheism” that supports what you have laid out and I'm just missing it???
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 09:46:27 AM by BibleStudent »

Offline Emergence

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2018, 10:40:27 AM »
I visit this forum pretty regularly just to see what discussions are taking place. I must say, the position you have described here baffles me. I have read your posts herein a number of times and I cannot seem to get my head around how you logically arrived at your conclusion. I’ve even tried to formulate your position into a formal argument using premises and a conclusion and I can’t get to a “strong atheism.”

It's ok, you don't have to get your head around it.  :-*

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Perhaps you have a definition of “strong atheism” that supports what you have laid out and I'm just missing it???

A definition other than "certainty that no god(s)" exist(s)? No, I am afraid I haven't. 
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2018, 11:33:17 AM »
Or something else. I am saying that people are using the word god as if I am supposed to know what a god is. But the word doesn't tell me that, as you also impressively demonstrate here: The way you formulate here shows me that you of course consider it wrong to expect a god to be a being or entity. Yet you do not provide what to expect. I mean even "creators" and "rulers" are usually beings or entities, no?

I am not asserting you are wrong.  I just have no reason to think there is a specific type of being that qualifies as a god such that every being of that type would be a god.  I am asking for your reasoning.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2018, 12:34:59 PM »
I visit this forum pretty regularly just to see what discussions are taking place. I must say, the position you have described here baffles me. I have read your posts herein a number of times and I cannot seem to get my head around how you logically arrived at your conclusion. I’ve even tried to formulate your position into a formal argument using premises and a conclusion and I can’t get to a “strong atheism.”

that's interesting since BS claims he comes here often.  I wonder why he doesn't continue to particpate in conversations when they present problems with his claims. 

BS, can you define what a god is and why we should believe one exists?
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/