Atheism and certainty | INFJ Forum

Atheism and certainty

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Quinlan, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    I have heard some people represent atheism as a certainty of god's non-existense, this seems like a strawman to me.

    I thought atheism was more of a "as far as I (we) know so far, god does not exist" rather than "I am 100% certain that god does not exist".
     
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    #1 Quinlan, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. Phoenix Down

    Phoenix Down Permanent Fixture

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    I thought it was "Since there is no proof god exists, god cannot exist"

    :m058:
     
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  3. Jack

    Jack Community Member

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    I thought it was... "I do not see enough evidence to convince me of God's existence."

    I think you are looking at a distinction between strong and weak atheism. Although I would think a Dawkinsish version "God probably does not exist" or "There almost certainly is no God" leans more toward strong atheism.
     
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  4. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    I thought it was "I don't believe in God."
     
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  5. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    I'm thinking agnosticism.
     
  6. Faye

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    I thought atheism was an absence of a belief in divinity independent of the question of evidence; however, most atheists will use the question of evidence to justify their beliefs. Atheism doesn't need any more evidence or emphasis on a lack of evidence than does any other religious orientation, IMO.

    I still think it is dumb.
     
  7. Jack

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    I'm thinking... Arby's?

    Most of the people I find using the "absence of Belief in a God" point though tend to be strong atheists looking for a rhetorical out for being so cocksure, or because they really think it is weak atheism.

    Though I would think that there is a difference between say a college student who forestalls the question until more evidence has been made available to him and an atheist who has decided there probably isn't a God. I think the former simply "lacks belief" while the latter has made what he or she would consider an informed decision, and decided against it, which would be more than a simple "lack of belief".

    Thoughts?
     
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    #7 Jack, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  8. Poetic Justice

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    Atheism means you believe there is no god and when you die thats it, you're dead.

    Agnosticism means you don't know, not enough evidence

    However, most people don't know the word "agnostic" and assume that if they don't believe in god - even if they don't have an opinion on what happens when you die - then they must be atheists.

    Many who claim to be atheists are actually agnostic
     
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  9. Faye

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    So what is the difference between an asserted lack of belief and an asserted disbelief? The assertion being the label, of course.
     
  10. invisible

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    i don't fully understand the complexity of belief systems in general. atheism always seemed to me to be an insistence on the nonexistence of god.

    i consider myself to be an atheist. for reasons of personal feeling about the magnitude of harm and pain done in the world and my estimation of the nature of that harm and pain as without any intrinsic meaning, i have a strong belief that there is not a god. (to clarify, i further think that even if there was a god, this pain and hurt is so far beyond measurement that our feelings must not be a meaningful part of god's plan, to a degree at which there is not even any point in us concerning ourselves with god's existence or nonexistence, or his/her purpose for us as a species.) i consider that to be my personal belief.

    however from any sort of "objective" perspective i think it's basically just an hypothesis, being, "potentially falsifiable". so my intellectual position, as opposed to my position of belief, is agnosticism.

    i don't think we must be one or the other necessarily.
     
  11. 88chaz88

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    Atheist means godless. Agnostic means you're undecided on religion but you do believe in something.

    I don't believe in god, but neither do I totally deny the existance of a higher power. This does however still make me an atheist in the truest sense.

    I don't like labeling myself as such though.

    Edit: Found this interesting:

    [​IMG]

    Lol America, go Vietnam!
     
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    #11 88chaz88, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  12. Poetic Justice

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    What does that represent?
     
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  13. 88chaz88

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    Oh right, it's the percentage of atheism in each country... apparently.
     
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  14. Poetic Justice

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    There's a few surprises there. Japan for one. Also I thought Canada would be much the same as america. I'm surprised we're about in the middle. I only know one English person who believes in god. Even my parents don't

    Edit: actually thats not true I know some priests through work
     
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  15. DefectiveCreative

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    That would be agnostic theism.

    Agnosticism is essentially the position that there are certain things that are either currently unknown ("weak" agnosticism) or inherently unknowable ("strong" agnosticism), and that therefore a position of certainty on those matters is unwarranted.
     
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    #15 DefectiveCreative, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  16. 88chaz88

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    For us I think it's probably accurate. We have a lot of ethnicities here and a good percentage are religious. Even amongst us white British there's a surprising amount that believe in god. We also include the Northern Irish which are believers more often than not. It differs upon area but I think 30-40% is generally a realistic figure.

    Canada is far more secular than the U.S. It also includes French Canada and as the French themselves show stronger atheism than most of western Europe I wouldn't be surprised that they're bringing the average down (or up as it were).
     
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  17. Poetic Justice

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    I think it's funny that we're debating the meaning of a word in this thread whilst discussing if there is such a thing as a proper meaning of a word in a different thread

    Ironic.... whatever that means to you
     
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  18. 88chaz88

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    It is a word that annoys me as it has so many meanings now and they've been twisted. In this case I go back to the origins, which is Greek, and means godless.

    Some may call me agnostic but as a deity takes no place in my life I am essentially godless and therefore atheist.

    Interestingly enough you can be athiest and agnostic at the same time. This is me.
     
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  19. Jack

    Jack Community Member

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    Lack of belief does not imply a conclusion. Every atheist I have met online has come to the conclusion there is no God. Now while they do lack belief, they do not merely lack belief. Holding atheism as a worldview is the personal assertion or claim that a God doesn't exist. One who merely "lacks belief" would be better classed as agnostic.
     
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    #19 Jack, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  20. myself

    myself Permanent Fixture

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    maybe all the pain and suffering does have meaning

    perhaps it is an essential part of existing as human beings in this time

    we process a whole lot of thoughts and feelings as we go through life

    are any of these significant?

    depends on how you look at it
     
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