Author Topic: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist  (Read 1139 times)

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #87 on: April 21, 2018, 04:36:13 PM »
How does his definition determine whether or not there is a God?  Does your existence depend on his definition?

can you show a god exists at all?  To do so, you need to define it.  IF you say "god exists" and I say "what is it?"  And you say "I don't know but it exists." this means nothing.  it becomes a variant of the dragon in your garage.  Define a god or your god, jst.  If you can't, then you believe in nothing.

This thread is not about me claiming that "god exists".   Pretend I am an atheist.  Now please tell me how you know that no gods exist.

Do you know of any god in human history that has been shown to actually exist?

If so, name that god, and tell us how it has been shown to exist. Show your work - put down your Bible for a few moments and lay out the facts and evidence. Show how it could be falsified. If that does not end in "no gods exist", then you can claim a victory. I would publicly denounce atheism right here.

Well some say things in nature are gods.  So their gods can definitely be shown to exist.

You are still missing the point.  If I go to prove there is no cereal in a bowl then I do not start out with "prove there is cereal in a bowl".  I can actually go about proving it without ever considering anyone else's claims.
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #88 on: April 21, 2018, 04:42:05 PM »
I can say by some definitions everyone zoodlekaps a smagmatfrog.   But until I can defined those terms, it is meaningless.

Yes, but that would be quite a foreign concept and you don't find it in a dictionary, like god.

Quote
and kevin,  if jst isn't willing to take down the walls to show the rats, then there is no reason to believe him.

Perhaps.  But to claim there are no rats in the walls requires you to prove it, not me.  To claim there are not rats doesn't mean you have no reason to believe, it means you actually have reason to believe there is not. 
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #89 on: April 21, 2018, 04:44:45 PM »
It's not my place to prove anything. I'm already in the best position on the matter.

theist: There is a god
atheist: Show me
theist: The Bible says...
atheist:
theist:
atheist: I'll wait...

Not in that instance but in this instance you do:

atheist:  There are no gods.
theist:  Show me.

Lacking a reason to believe isn't enough.  You must provide a reason to disbelieve.
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.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #90 on: April 21, 2018, 04:52:01 PM »
I can say by some definitions everyone zoodlekaps a smagmatfrog. But until I can defined those terms, it is meaningless.

Yes, but that would be quite a foreign concept and you don't find it in a dictionary, like god.

I remember an argument with you just a few days ago where you quoted a dictionary definition, and then claimed it wasn't the one you were using. Why are you being disingenuous by implying that a dictionary's definition is relevant?
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #91 on: April 21, 2018, 04:52:33 PM »
Since you are reluctant to come up with a concise minimum definition of what a god is, let us refer to Merriam Webster, ok?

I did.  It is someone or something worthy of worship.  Worship is something all gods have in common.

Quote
Do you agree that it is common to define god(s) in these ways? From your perspective: Is something important missing from these definitions? Should one (or all) of them be sufficient for me to hold my judgement about the existence of a god(s) back?

Sure, we can use those definition too.  I think you should reserve judgment based on an inability to thoroughly test it.  If you want to test for a supreme being then what is step 1?

Quote
Do you agree with these definitions of worship? From your perspective: Is something important missing?

Sure, those are fine.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 06:18:49 PM by Jstwebbrowsing »
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.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #92 on: April 21, 2018, 04:54:12 PM »
I can say by some definitions everyone zoodlekaps a smagmatfrog. But until I can defined those terms, it is meaningless.

Yes, but that would be quite a foreign concept and you don't find it in a dictionary, like god.

I remember an argument with you just a few days ago where you quoted a dictionary definition, and then claimed it wasn't the one you were using. Why are you being disingenuous by implying that a dictionary's definition is relevant?

No, I agreed with the disagreement about the use of a synonym.
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.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #93 on: April 21, 2018, 05:21:17 PM »
I can say by some definitions everyone zoodlekaps a smagmatfrog. But until I can defined those terms, it is meaningless.

Yes, but that would be quite a foreign concept and you don't find it in a dictionary, like god.

I remember an argument with you just a few days ago where you quoted a dictionary definition, and then claimed it wasn't the one you were using. Why are you being disingenuous by implying that a dictionary's definition is relevant?

No, I agreed with the disagreement about the use of a synonym.

No, you definitely quoted a dictionary definition of "faith" at me, then claimed it wasn't the definition you were using. Or are you saying that if I grab a dictionary definition of "god", no matter what it is, that's what you believe to be the definition of "god"? Were you being honest for once?
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #94 on: April 21, 2018, 06:18:23 PM »
I can say by some definitions everyone zoodlekaps a smagmatfrog. But until I can defined those terms, it is meaningless.

Yes, but that would be quite a foreign concept and you don't find it in a dictionary, like god.

I remember an argument with you just a few days ago where you quoted a dictionary definition, and then claimed it wasn't the one you were using. Why are you being disingenuous by implying that a dictionary's definition is relevant?

No, I agreed with the disagreement about the use of a synonym.

No, you definitely quoted a dictionary definition of "faith" at me, then claimed it wasn't the definition you were using. Or are you saying that if I grab a dictionary definition of "god", no matter what it is, that's what you believe to be the definition of "god"? Were you being honest for once?

Oh, you mean when I posted a complimentary definition because you were arguing about the use of adjectives?
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #95 on: April 21, 2018, 06:26:39 PM »
Scientists are trying to answer the question of "do aliens exist".  They do this without presupposing their existence.  If an unbeliever wants to come in and claim "aliens don't exist" then the burden of proof is not on scientists.  It's on the one making the claim.

In like manner, claiming that no gods exist does not put the burden of proof on anyone except the one making the claim.  The claim that no gods exist is not a response to a claim that gods do exist.  It's an answer to the question, "does god 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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #96 on: April 21, 2018, 09:01:30 PM »
What velkyn said.

This is more about people than about gods. I assert that anyone insisting that the existence of a god is a possibility that one should always be open to, do not know what this is supposed to mean anymore than I do. What is a god? Seriously, I have no idea what a god could be, therefore I can not be open to the possibility of it's existence.

And, before we start again, I am not going through my reasoning against the possibility of any specific god. Just so much: Looking at human physiological and cultural evolution and archeological history, the origins of religion and the evolution of god concepts and religious experiences is quite logical and trackable for all known religions, global, local, past and present. That's why I am as sure as humanly possible that it's all a cultural product assisted by brain structure and physiology. It is even kind of clear, when you put the pieces together, why all these concepts got subsummed under the label "god" even though  they are often vastly different from each other. But still, some people insist that - even though no single religion got it right - the ability or maybe even need for religion is a reflection of some inborn knowledge about "god", and therefore it's existence can not be totally ruled out. But to me - in the light of all historic or present religious expressions - the big question stays: What is a god? And without any minimum definition of it that all believers in a god can agree upon, I am not inclined to reserve my judgment on the question whether a god does somewhere, somehow, exist. It doesn't since it can not even theoretically be defined.

Alvin Plantinga's Ontological Argument argument goes like this:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.


Where a “God/god” is defined as:

Maximally excellent: Having omniscience, omnipotence, and moral perfection.
Maximally great: Having maximal excellence in all possible worlds.

Can you eliminate the possibility of such a "God/god" existing?

Problem is you can substitute "maximally great being" with literally anything and arrive at the same conclusion.

Also given the Bible, if we go by that I'd hardly call it "moral perfection".
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #97 on: April 21, 2018, 10:35:09 PM »
It's not my place to prove anything. I'm already in the best position on the matter.

theist: There is a god
atheist: Show me
theist: The Bible says...
atheist:
theist:
atheist: I'll wait...

Not in that instance but in this instance you do:

atheist:  There are no gods.
theist:  Show me.

Lacking a reason to believe isn't enough.  You must provide a reason to disbelieve.

I don't use believe/disbelieve. I accept/reject claims. I reject all god claims because they lack definition and substance outside of words. They lack facts and evidence, their very nature of being supernatural means they cannot be falsified. I know that trees and the sun, or water and wind , or fire are not gods - and you know this too. Your god is apparently a supernatural, invisible, omni being that created everything, yes?

What is a god, jst? Be specific, show your work. It seems to me that a god is whatever a human wants it to be. How is that something I have to disprove?


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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #98 on: April 22, 2018, 02:37:58 AM »
Oh, you mean when I posted a complimentary definition because you were arguing about the use of adjectives?

No, I mean when you posted a different definition than the one you'd previously used because I showed it was nonsense.
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #99 on: April 22, 2018, 03:56:32 AM »
Since you are reluctant to come up with a concise minimum definition of what a god is, let us refer to Merriam Webster, ok?

I did.  It is someone or something worthy of worship.  Worship is something all gods have in common.

Ok, you did come up with a definition. But since, by that definition literally anything could be "god" depending on what one would consider "worthy of worship", it is useless. And, more importantly, it is a definition that depends upon an external action towards the proposed "god", it does not define "god" as independently existing.

Quote
Do you agree that it is common to define god(s) in these ways? From your perspective: Is something important missing from these definitions? Should one (or all) of them be sufficient for me to hold my judgement about the existence of a god(s) back?

Sure, we can use those definition too.  I think you should reserve judgment based on an inability to thoroughly test it.  If you want to test for a supreme being then what is step 1?

Step one should always be a definition of the test subject. Since you agreed on the usability of the dictionary definitions, let's look at them again:

Quote from: Merriam Webster
Definition of god
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: such as
a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality - Greek gods of love and war
3 : a person or thing of supreme value - had photos of baseball's gods pinned to his bedroom wall
4 : a powerful ruler - Hollywood gods that control our movies' fates
emphases mine

What strikes me at first sight in these definition of god is that most of them are not definitions in terms of independent characteristics of a god but definitions based on human behavior towards a being or thing regarded as god. That is the case for the three definitions in which I bolded the parts dependent on "human input". This definition, while valid descriptions of the cultural concept of "god" or "gods" do not actually inform me about any independent characteristics of that said god. As I said before, I am no atheist in regard to the cultural concept of god. I acknowledge that humans worship things, persons and beings (or conceptual beings) as "gods" and I acknowledge that such things or beings are "gods" in the sense of the definition. In that sense I am not only strong theist but a strong polytheist: I know that many things humans refer to as gods exist and existed in human history.
I am only strong atheist towards the existence of gods independent of human culture or practice.

Only definitions 1b and 4 do not explicitly require humans to work. Definition 2b is very hard to penetrate. Here we would have to look for the definitions of "Principle", "spirit" and "mind" as well as a thorough discussion of the teachings of Christian Science. I would accept, that some unique principle governs all existence, but I do not agree that there is any indication that a principle can posses a mind, at least in the sense that CS postulates. I actually rule that out based on the neuroscience of consciousness and the contextual definition of mind. Regardless of that all, even though the definition does not to include any human cultural practice or concepts at superficial sight, Christian Science is a human organization and the definition is based on their teachings and practice, so again, human culture is needed to make the definition work. As for definition 4: it is so vague that I would again assert that by it almost anything could be defined as god depending on the perspective. And the example given backs that view up. In that, it is again something that has to be judged on human behavior or perception.

Quote
Do you agree with these definitions of worship? From your perspective: Is something important missing?

Sure, those are fine.

Ok, let's look again:

Quote from: Merriam Webster
Definition of worship
worshipped also worshiped; worshipping also worshiping
transitive verb
1 : to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
2 : to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion - a celebrity worshipped by her fans
intransitive verb
: to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship
emphases mine

The bolded parts are what makes the definition you introduced worthless in my opinion. If we are going to use 1 this would mean that we have an empty (or circular) definition: "a devine being is a being that is worthy of being honored as divine being"
Sorry, but I'm not going to hold my judgement simply based on the fact that nonsense can be put into a grammatically correct sentence. :P
It works better with 2: "a divine being is a being worthy of being regarded great respect, honor or devotion" Two things: One thing is, that this again tells me nothing about the characteristics of the god itself. Anything could be worthy of great respect or devotion. This is again defined from the human end, not from god's end. The other thing is that I personally do not think that any being is in itself worthy of respect, honor or devotion. Actions of a being are what make the being worthy. Therefore we still lack a definition of the being that tells us what makes the being worthy of worship.

And finally:

I think you should reserve judgment based on an inability to thoroughly test it.

I understand that sentiment, but I already stated in the OP that I don't think that we can know anything with absolute certainty, but this is nothing to worry about in everyday life. There are things that we - for all intends and purposes - "know". And in that very sense I know that elves, unicorns, dragons, monsters, dwarfs, ghosts and gods don't exist. If you disagree that it is possible to know any of these things, then it is your right and privilege. That than means that our outlook on reality is slightly different. That is ok. But then let's not discuss about knowledge of the non-existence of god, but rather about knowledge of nonexistence in general.
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #100 on: April 22, 2018, 08:59:07 AM »
Emergence

Now you have their attention using this fly paper topic, you should change the topic to Christianity. Watch them all fly away.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #101 on: April 22, 2018, 09:03:38 AM »
Problem is you can substitute "maximally great being" with literally anything and arrive at the same conclusion.

Also given the Bible, if we go by that I'd hardly call it "moral perfection".

You might be confusing it with Anselm's ontological argument.  The one above seems to be a parallel universe argument that a maximally great being must exist in one universe, because you know, it must. And that being must be able to find a way into all the other universes, because it has a Stargate. Therefore the argument only applies to something that can use a Stargate. Unicorns can't.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #102 on: April 22, 2018, 10:02:47 AM »
Emergence

Now you have their attention using this fly paper topic, you should change the topic to Christianity. Watch them all fly away.

 ;D

Or let me try this: Boooo!!!  :P
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #103 on: April 22, 2018, 10:19:03 AM »
But since, by that definition literally anything could be "god" depending on what one would consider "worthy of worship", it is useless.

I always have to roll my eyes when someone says "There could be some higher power".  Like, what does that even mean?  Is gravity a candidate?
When you look at the universe, with its black holes, quasars, pulsars, indifferent cruelty as in mass extinctions, diseases, plagues, asteroid strikes etc etc etc, it looks exactly like no god exists.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 12:37:12 PM by Star Stuff »
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #104 on: April 22, 2018, 10:59:01 AM »
with it's black holes, quasars, pulsars, indifferent cruelty as in mass extinctions, disease, asteroid strikes etc etc etc, it looks exactly like no god exists.

It looks like no meddling god exists, but it could be a natural simulation that has consequences for your soul, when you wake up from the VR. So hedge your bets and don't go on a raping rampage.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #105 on: April 22, 2018, 11:01:14 AM »
Unless you are really supposed to go on a raping rampage, because it builds character and life experiences. Maybe you get extra points for going against religions, because it proves you are not a lemming.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #106 on: April 22, 2018, 12:19:24 PM »
I would like to add that reading the intro to this thread by Emergence, I was surprised to find that I completely independently reached exactly the same conclusions about the poor definition and the social nature of the word "god".

That is indeed interesting and I appreciate hearing that. Although I sometimes wonder why it is not more common to express these thoughts more explicitly. Because, at the end of the day it is pretty obvious that "god" of its own is a pretty un- or at least ill-defined term, while it is quite well defined in the human context.
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #107 on: April 22, 2018, 06:53:49 PM »
Since you are reluctant to come up with a concise minimum definition of what a god is, let us refer to Merriam Webster, ok?

I did.  It is someone or something worthy of worship.  Worship is something all gods have in common.

Ok, you did come up with a definition. But since, by that definition literally anything could be "god" depending on what one would consider "worthy of worship", it is useless. And, more importantly, it is a definition that depends upon an external action towards the proposed "god", it does not define "god" as independently existing.

Quote
Do you agree that it is common to define god(s) in these ways? From your perspective: Is something important missing from these definitions? Should one (or all) of them be sufficient for me to hold my judgement about the existence of a god(s) back?

Sure, we can use those definition too.  I think you should reserve judgment based on an inability to thoroughly test it.  If you want to test for a supreme being then what is step 1?

Step one should always be a definition of the test subject. Since you agreed on the usability of the dictionary definitions, let's look at them again:

Quote from: Merriam Webster
Definition of god
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: such as
a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality - Greek gods of love and war
3 : a person or thing of supreme value - had photos of baseball's gods pinned to his bedroom wall
4 : a powerful ruler - Hollywood gods that control our movies' fates
emphases mine

What strikes me at first sight in these definition of god is that most of them are not definitions in terms of independent characteristics of a god but definitions based on human behavior towards a being or thing regarded as god. That is the case for the three definitions in which I bolded the parts dependent on "human input". This definition, while valid descriptions of the cultural concept of "god" or "gods" do not actually inform me about any independent characteristics of that said god. As I said before, I am no atheist in regard to the cultural concept of god. I acknowledge that humans worship things, persons and beings (or conceptual beings) as "gods" and I acknowledge that such things or beings are "gods" in the sense of the definition. In that sense I am not only strong theist but a strong polytheist: I know that many things humans refer to as gods exist and existed in human history.
I am only strong atheist towards the existence of gods independent of human culture or practice.

Only definitions 1b and 4 do not explicitly require humans to work. Definition 2b is very hard to penetrate. Here we would have to look for the definitions of "Principle", "spirit" and "mind" as well as a thorough discussion of the teachings of Christian Science. I would accept, that some unique principle governs all existence, but I do not agree that there is any indication that a principle can posses a mind, at least in the sense that CS postulates. I actually rule that out based on the neuroscience of consciousness and the contextual definition of mind. Regardless of that all, even though the definition does not to include any human cultural practice or concepts at superficial sight, Christian Science is a human organization and the definition is based on their teachings and practice, so again, human culture is needed to make the definition work. As for definition 4: it is so vague that I would again assert that by it almost anything could be defined as god depending on the perspective. And the example given backs that view up. In that, it is again something that has to be judged on human behavior or perception.

Quote
Do you agree with these definitions of worship? From your perspective: Is something important missing?

Sure, those are fine.

Ok, let's look again:

Quote from: Merriam Webster
Definition of worship
worshipped also worshiped; worshipping also worshiping
transitive verb
1 : to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
2 : to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion - a celebrity worshipped by her fans
intransitive verb
: to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship
emphases mine

The bolded parts are what makes the definition you introduced worthless in my opinion. If we are going to use 1 this would mean that we have an empty (or circular) definition: "a devine being is a being that is worthy of being honored as divine being"
Sorry, but I'm not going to hold my judgement simply based on the fact that nonsense can be put into a grammatically correct sentence. :P
It works better with 2: "a divine being is a being worthy of being regarded great respect, honor or devotion" Two things: One thing is, that this again tells me nothing about the characteristics of the god itself. Anything could be worthy of great respect or devotion. This is again defined from the human end, not from god's end. The other thing is that I personally do not think that any being is in itself worthy of respect, honor or devotion. Actions of a being are what make the being worthy. Therefore we still lack a definition of the being that tells us what makes the being worthy of worship.

And finally:

I think you should reserve judgment based on an inability to thoroughly test it.

I understand that sentiment, but I already stated in the OP that I don't think that we can know anything with absolute certainty, but this is nothing to worry about in everyday life. There are things that we - for all intends and purposes - "know". And in that very sense I know that elves, unicorns, dragons, monsters, dwarfs, ghosts and gods don't exist. If you disagree that it is possible to know any of these things, then it is your right and privilege. That than means that our outlook on reality is slightly different. That is ok. But then let's not discuss about knowledge of the non-existence of god, but rather about knowledge of nonexistence in general.

Thank you for the explanation.

But your insistence that God must identified as being a certain time of being doesn't make any sense.  God is a position not the identification of a specific type of being.   I think a lot of people make this same mistake with angels.  They talk as if "angel" is a specific type of being.  That's partly why many object to JWs saying Christ is the archangel.  They think that makes him a lesser type of being.  However the word angel literally means messenger.  Being a messenger, or angel, isn't the identification of a specific type of being it's a position that's held.   That's why the Bible even sometimes applies the word to humans.  God also isn't God because he's a specific type of being.  God is not what he is, it's what he does.

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The bolded parts are what makes the definition you introduced worthless in my opinion. If we are going to use 1 this would mean that we have an empty (or circular) definition: "a devine being is a being that is worthy of being honored as divine being"
Sorry, but I'm not going to hold my judgement simply based on the fact that nonsense can be put into a grammatically correct sentence.
It works better with 2: "a divine being is a being worthy of being regarded great respect, honor or devotion" Two things: One thing is, that this again tells me nothing about the characteristics of the god itself. Anything could be worthy of great respect or devotion. This is again defined from the human end, not from god's end. The other thing is that I personally do not think that any being is in itself worthy of respect, honor or devotion. Actions of a being are what make the being worthy. Therefore we still lack a definition of the being that tells us what makes the being worthy of worship.

Worshipping them as a divine being doesn't mean that's why you are worshipping them.  I believe in the Bible a divine being is simply a heavenly (spirit) being.  So God is not worshipped simply by virtue of him being a divine being. 

For me, I can't answer the question of what type of being makes something a god.  I could try to explain Jehovah's being, such as him being a spirit, but being a spirit in itself is not what makes him God.  God is not what he is but what he does.

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I understand that sentiment, but I already stated in the OP that I don't think that we can know anything with absolute certainty, but this is nothing to worry about in everyday life. There are things that we - for all intends and purposes - "know". And in that very sense I know that elves, unicorns, dragons, monsters, dwarfs, ghosts and gods don't exist. If you disagree that it is possible to know any of these things, then it is your right and privilege. That than means that our outlook on reality is slightly different. That is ok. But then let's not discuss about knowledge of the non-existence of god, but rather about knowledge of nonexistence in general.

For me it's not possible to liken a god to elves, unicorns, etc. because I can go observe where they are supposed to be and note their absence.  I think a better analogy is alien life.  It cannot be proven to not exist.  If we can't prove the nonexistence of aliens how could be possibly be equipped to prove the nonexistence of a God?
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #108 on: April 22, 2018, 07:32:41 PM »
It's not my place to prove anything. I'm already in the best position on the matter.

theist: There is a god
atheist: Show me
theist: The Bible says...
atheist:
theist:
atheist: I'll wait...

Not in that instance but in this instance you do:

atheist:  There are no gods.
theist:  Show me.

Lacking a reason to believe isn't enough.  You must provide a reason to disbelieve.

I don't use believe/disbelieve. I accept/reject claims. I reject all god claims because they lack definition and substance outside of words. They lack facts and evidence, their very nature of being supernatural means they cannot be falsified. I know that trees and the sun, or water and wind , or fire are not gods - and you know this too. Your god is apparently a supernatural, invisible, omni being that created everything, yes?

What is a god, jst? Be specific, show your work. It seems to me that a god is whatever a human wants it to be. How is that something I have to disprove?

That to me is at least a rational position.  But holding that position is not the same position as claiming that no gods exist.  To do that you must go beyond even all the claims of believers.

A god is something or someone you worship.  For me, worship means to obey as supreme ruler.  So I can't answer the question beyond that.  I can answer the question of what Jehovah is by relating what the Bible teaches.  But that is only who I define as being my god.  Yes, he is a type of being, at least in some sense of the word or perhaps he is something entirely inconceivable.  But I relate to him as a being.

The Bible says God is a spirit.  What is a spirit?  There is no brief explanation and the Bible uses the word in different ways.  May I please refer you to here:

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200004211

My own understanding and comprehension of spirits is limited.  Myself I perceive a spirit as an impersonal and unintelligent force that affects our mental attitudes.  An angry person is  reflecting a spirit of anger.  A happy person is reflecting a happy spirit.  A loving person is reflecting a loving spirit.  A holy person is reflecting holy spirit.  And spirit appear to be contagious.  It's hard to be happy in a room full of angry people.  It's hard to be angry in a room full of joy.



 
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #109 on: April 22, 2018, 07:35:01 PM »
Oh, you mean when I posted a complimentary definition because you were arguing about the use of adjectives?

No, I mean when you posted a different definition than the one you'd previously used because I showed it was nonsense.
Dishonesty and theism go hand-in-hand...

No.  You split hairs and argued instead of using common sense.
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #110 on: April 23, 2018, 01:27:56 AM »
Oh, you mean when I posted a complimentary definition because you were arguing about the use of adjectives?

No, I mean when you posted a different definition than the one you'd previously used because I showed it was nonsense.
Dishonesty and theism go hand-in-hand...

No. You split hairs and argued instead of using common sense.

Common sense is understanding that "faith" is not the same as "trust" or "confidence", but you argued for that. You also specifically said that "faith" was "complete trust or confidence", then went back on your word and implied "faith" is interchangeable with "trust" or "confidence", which it is not.
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #111 on: April 23, 2018, 08:14:23 AM »
Oh, you mean when I posted a complimentary definition because you were arguing about the use of adjectives?

No, I mean when you posted a different definition than the one you'd previously used because I showed it was nonsense.
Dishonesty and theism go hand-in-hand...

No. You split hairs and argued instead of using common sense.

Common sense is understanding that "faith" is not the same as "trust" or "confidence", but you argued for that. You also specifically said that "faith" was "complete trust or confidence", then went back on your word and implied "faith" is interchangeable with "trust" or "confidence", which it is not.

No, they are the same thing.  The only problem is that you don't understand that by adding the adjective "weak" before "faith" means you must change the adjective "complete" in it's definition.  Having faith in someone means you have trust or confidence in them.
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #112 on: April 23, 2018, 08:18:53 AM »
No, they are the same thing. The only problem is that you don't understand that by adding the adjective "weak" before "faith" means you must change the adjective "complete" in it's definition. Having faith in someone means you have trust or confidence in them.

An adjective doesn't change the meaning of a noun. Anyway, faith and trust/confidence are not the same thing. Trust is earned. Confidence is derived from trust. Faith is given without just cause. You can equivocate the three if you wish, but that's not how the words are used, and you know it.
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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #113 on: April 23, 2018, 08:28:28 AM »
No, they are the same thing.

They are not the same thing, no matter how you insist that they are. While in the everyday use of the English language, the words faith and trust do get used synonymously, but that's just sloppiness.  In the context of the topic of religion, faith is by definition "belief without evidence"; if you had evidence, you wouldn't need faith.  There is no position that anyone could not hold based on faith, therefore, it is clearly not a way to truth.



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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #114 on: April 23, 2018, 08:49:16 AM »
No, they are the same thing.

They are not the same thing, no matter how you insist that they are. While in the everyday use of the English language, the words faith and trust do get used synonymously, but that's just sloppiness.  In the context of the topic of religion, faith is by definition "belief without evidence"; if you had evidence, you wouldn't need faith.  There is no position that anyone could not hold based on faith, therefore, it is clearly not a way to truth.

Atheists say there is no evidence, but that doesn't make it so.  For example, because atheists say that the Bible is not evidence doesn't make it so.

And I know very well what I mean when I say I have faith in God.  It means I trust and have confidence in him.  This is based on knowledge I have acquired through experience.  I didn't just  wake up one morning and arbitrarily decide to have faith in God.  It just doesn't work that way.
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

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Re: Why I consider myself justifiably a "strong" atheist
« Reply #115 on: April 23, 2018, 08:57:42 AM »
Atheists say there is no evidence, but that doesn't make it so.  For example, because atheists say that the Bible is not evidence doesn't make it so.

Wrong again. The bible is the claim, not the evidence.

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And I know very well what I mean when I say I have faith in God.  It means I trust and have confidence in him.

Yes, but what you fail to appreciate is that your trust and confidence could be erroneous, just like you view the trust and confidence that other people have in their false, imaginary gods or beliefs wrongly placed.

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This is based on knowledge I have acquired through experience.

Wrong again. You are a victim of childhood indoctrination, and your investment level now in the cult of JW is so great, and the cost of shunning so high, that you don't have the courage to admit that it's all a huge, steaming pile of BS.


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I didn't just  wake up one morning and arbitrarily decide to have faith in God.  It just doesn't work that way.

That is true (see above).

"There is no absurdity, however palpable, which cannot be firmly implanted in the minds of all, if only one begins to inculcate it before the early age of six by constantly repeating it to them with an air of great solemnity. For the training of man, like that of animals, is completely successful only at an early age."  (Arthur Schopenhaur)

« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 09:13:27 AM by Star Stuff »
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