Who is an atheist?

Who is an atheist?

There are 9494 comments on the The Sydney Morning Herald story from May 30, 2010, titled Who is an atheist?. In it, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:

In my last blog there was a moderately spectacular blue between various parties .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9504 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
The Irony!
It's not irony if you post in such a way, that your intended meaning(s) never come through or are obscured.

Blame me, if you like, but I do find your writing style rather difficult to get through.

I will make an effort to do better.

Sorry.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9505 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
The ambiguity:
Is
Atheism= absence in the BELIEF in god
or is it
Atheism=(position of) ABSENCE OF GOD
(to believe= hold an arument as valid without need for supporting logic or empirical evidence)
The former describes **all** of the atheists I've ever read about, or have met here or otherwise.

I've never met anyone with your **second** position.

But.

The majority of **believers** I have met,**falsely** accuse me and other atheists [non-believers] with being in the **second** category.

It's why I get annoyed when I see incorrect usage of the word "atheist".

I and other non-believers like me, are fighting to change the meaning of the word to it's **proper** setting.

And in so doing, begin to **explain** our position to believers.

Once the majority of believers can understand that atheism is a position of **not** faith?

It is my hope that mutual understanding can result-- as a bare minimum.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9506 Aug 21, 2013
@Benjamin Frankly:

Both your forms of atheism are actually agnostism, as you yourself say.

My contention is the real problem (and a source of much confusion) here is in the deficiency of language and definitions (of words like atheism). My definitions are clear and I think that is how most people use them too.

So you too slip from atheism to agnosticism almost seemlessly and almost use them interchangeably.

Then the various positions you site can be debated on easily. And a lot of the challenges from theists will also just fade away. As well as any self proclaimed atheist will have to be forthcoming with proof of his position that "god does not exist" and on failure, know himself to be an agnostic (position of "dont know").

Re: strong atheism= the belief that god does not exist-
I am a rationalist. Which means I do no belief, period. Not in the position that there is a god or the position there is no god. Without proof, a rationalist has the only option to say I do not know (agnosticism). You say you believe there is no god, so that makes you an irrational atheist. ie you belief IN you say there is no god.
(unless you used the word 'believe' loosely, and have a reason to qualify your position, which case I humbly request you to share such reason proof).

I have conclusive proof that a god (as defined), can not exist, so it follows that it does not exist, which makes me a rational atheist.

That is, what ever position you take, you are still be a beliver of that position (if with no proof), or have sound supporting reason for your support of the position, in which case you KNOW. Both beloevers and rationalist can be atheist (hold that there is no god).

Seems to me, apart from the problem due to ambiguity from informalism of language and definitions, people take up strong positions where as they do not really have suffutient knowledge / proof to support the clear position "there is no god". So when they call themselves atheist, they are always incecure, have to hide behind inadequacies of language, much to the glee of the religious, who have no such problems. They are believers and have no onus to put forth any proof for their position of "god exists".

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9507 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
... They are believers and have no onus to put forth any proof for their position of "god exists".
Not true.

If they wish to convince non-believers to their cause? They must provide proof-- whatever form it may take.

This is not a trivial task, either-- more and more of the world is becoming secular, so convincing non-believers is becoming more and more something they **must** do.

The fact is?

Anytime someone **defines** a god with attributes, desires, behavior patterns, etc?

Then it becomes possible to test such a god for reality--or not.

So far?

All such **defined** gods have been shown to be myth; typically because the assigned attributes contradict each other, or contradict some established principle of the universe itself.

So it is quite possible to prove (a) given god(s) is(are) false, just using the definitions of said deity(ies).

All without resorting to faith or statements OF faith.

Once you show that the book-definition is a false definition? Then all justification for that god vanishes.

Again, no faith is invoked at any step of the process.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9508 Aug 21, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
The former describes **all** of the atheists I've ever read about, or have met here or otherwise.
I've never met anyone with your **second** position.
But.
The majority of **believers** I have met,**falsely** accuse me and other atheists [non-believers] with being in the **second** category.
It's why I get annoyed when I see incorrect usage of the word "atheist".
I and other non-believers like me, are fighting to change the meaning of the word to it's **proper** setting.
And in so doing, begin to **explain** our position to believers.
Once the majority of believers can understand that atheism is a position of **not** faith?
It is my hope that mutual understanding can result-- as a bare minimum.
Again, the position of "not faith", it just works out to be same as agnostic same as non belief same as position of no knowledge.

Which is a fine position to have for a rationalist,(when our big egos are not in the way).

That is different from the clear ('strong'according to Benjamin Frankly) position of atheists as in there is "no god" or absence of god. But I think my definitions leave no scope for any confusion. They are also already how mosr people use the words.

Yes, the position that a god does not exist is rare, and only those who can qualify themselves should take up that position. I can. So I am an atheist of the rationalist variety.

So now you have met one.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9509 Aug 21, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
It's not irony if you post in such a way, that your intended meaning(s) never come through or are obscured.
Blame me, if you like, but I do find your writing style rather difficult to get through.
I will make an effort to do better.
Sorry.
No need to apologise at all.

And perhaps I should be the one apologising. I know well of my inadequacies in conversation, and using informal languages like english. But let us blame it all on the dictionary compilers instead. And all the more reason why we need to rationalize language, remove ambiguities and double triple definations, which will propagate as you use those words further to define other words. Yes formalization of language will be immensely benifitial, help make better laws, deal with religions, prevent loopholes in policy, bring general clarity in every field being discussed under the sun.
.
.
.

I am also not familiar with religious terminology, and can't figure out any consistent way to use them, even when debating against them, which is not very often as it is like banging you head against the wall.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Leicester, UK

#9510 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
@Benjamin Frankly:
Both your forms of atheism are actually agnostism, as you yourself say.
No I did not say that! I said weak atheism is CAUSED by either weak agnosticism or strong agnosticism. As for strong atheism where I flat-out say I believe that God does not exist, how is that a plea to ignorance because that is what agnosticism is, an agnostic says "I am ignorant of any good evidence for X" most people then go on to state "because I'm ignorant of any good evidence for X I cannot believe in X, I must instead disbelieve".

I made it quite clear what I meant, I don't care about the vagueness of the words I used when you start to get other people's definitions, I made my own clear definitions I don't want to know about other peoples definitions unless they argue that they are better than mine.
Pro tip read someone's post thoroughly instead of picking out keywords only and giving your own textbook answer.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9511 Aug 21, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Not true.
If they wish to convince non-believers to their cause? They must provide proof-- whatever form it may take.
This is not a trivial task, either-- more and more of the world is becoming secular, so convincing non-believers is becoming more and more something they **must** do.
Well their agenga is theirs to decide.
.
Then again, I have met some theologicians who remarkably fall silent when you really corner them, which makes me think they are really not staunch theists but really practitioners of the 'art of double think". And they just will emphasise strongly that god fear is the only source of morals (reasons for being good in personal life) today. Seems like they are saying if and when we can replace god by something more viable, we all can let god slowly go into a long sleep.
The fact is?
Anytime someone **defines** a god with attributes, desires, behavior patterns, etc?
Then it becomes possible to test such a god for reality--or not.
So far?
All such **defined** gods have been shown to be myth; typically because the assigned attributes contradict each other, or contradict some established principle of the universe itself.
So it is quite possible to prove (a) given god(s) is(are) false, just using the definitions of said deity(ies).
All without resorting to faith or statements OF faith.
Once you show that the book-definition is a false definition? Then all justification for that god vanishes.
Again, no faith is invoked at any step of the process.
Exactly.( now you are talking!)
.
For eg:
If god is defined as an entity with the attribute of omniscience, then it is not difficult for the average undergraduate student of physics conversant in SToR, or even the uncertainty principle taught in high school here, to disprove that any such entity can even exist.
.
PROOF: GOD CAN NOT EXIST-
For example, ToR (theory of relativity) shows clearly that information can never be transmitted at a speed faster than the speed of light. And this has also been experimentally proved and every communucation satellite uses relativistic correction, hence every long distence call we make is proof of this concept.
**
So, in a universe that is many billions of light years big, no entity can exist with current knowledge of a region of space any distance away.(If a star explode in Andromeda galaxy, a god, along with the rest of us, will have to wait 300 million years for the information to reach him).
.
Hence omniscience is just not possible. So a god as defined, CAN NOT EXIST.
**
.
.
.
Which is why you had Einstein famously say he did not believe in a personal god!
.
So that leaves the staunch theist with the option of a much stupider god.(and scurry to fudge definitions, and the absence of formalism of lang. allowes him that. Else he would have had to let go of the word 'god' altogether as redefining is not allowed, take up some other symbol.)
.
[Again, the need for formal rational languages where it is a necessary constraint that all words be well defined]
.
Then god will really be on the run.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9512 Aug 21, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
No I did not say that! I said weak atheism is CAUSED by either weak agnosticism or strong agnosticism. As for strong atheism where I flat-out say I believe that God does not exist, how is that a plea to ignorance because that is what agnosticism is, an agnostic says "I am ignorant of any good evidence for X" most people then go on to state "because I'm ignorant of any good evidence for X I cannot believe in X, I must instead disbelieve".
I made it quite clear what I meant, I don't care about the vagueness of the words I used when you start to get other people's definitions, I made my own clear definitions I don't want to know about other peoples definitions unless they argue that they are better than mine.
Pro tip read someone's post thoroughly instead of picking out keywords only and giving your own textbook answer.
Again you use words like faith and belief to declare you position, a rationalist should never do that (as in that is very disconcerting to a rationalist like me). Since to believe or have faith is to hold to a position with no care for logical or empirical evidence.

You keep saying you believe that a god does not exist. I rather you say you KNOW that god does not exist. So immediately you would expose your position to requests for qualification (which I have already asked for assuming you meant 'know' in place of 'believe') failing which you would have to give up your position, take up agnostic positions perhaps.(weak strong whatever).

And again, the state of disbelief is the same as the position of an agnostic. You are more difficult than those religious €¥&#8361;÷@^& (trying desperately not be rude to them these days, and you wouldn't have wanted to meet me a just a few years ago).

Also how can agnosticism CAUSE! atheism (weak or strong). The position of "dont know" does not by itself proffer any support to the position of "does not exist".(I had let that one go).

Maybe I am not getting you! Again I blame the absence of properly defined words. You gave your own definations and that is the approach of all rationalists and as did I. Maybe I am not getting you (yet).

Is the distinction between 'can not exist' and 'does not exist' what you are alluding to?. I say that the position 'does not exist' automatically follows from 'can not exist'.(Anyone well versed in Temporal Logic can jump in here).

I also used this logic in the PROOF THAT A GOD CAN NOT EXIST, I presented in my reply to Bob of Quantum faith. I proved the later ie A god can not exist, the former is just a natural follow, ie a god does not exist.

Which is why I am a rational atheist.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9513 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
No need to apologise at all.
Yes-- there was. I falsely misrepresented you in my mind, and on here, in a way that I now see was wrong.

For that, I am sorry-- I really should be more careful.

Since you and I,(non-believers of various stripe) are in the minority with respect to the world at large, it behooves me to avoid making an enemy of someone who is an ally.

:)

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9514 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
No need to apologise at all.
And perhaps I should be the one apologising. I know well of my inadequacies in conversation, and using informal languages like english.
Again-- my fault-- I really should have looked at your location, and recognized that English wasn't your native language.

My arrogance as an American, here-- it's a common fault-- I get used to most posters being either UK/Australia or in the USA. Which share a common root-language.
one cube parsec wrote:
But let us blame it all on the dictionary compilers instead.
Yes, let's. Those b*stards! They killed Kenny!

(sorry-- reference to an American TV show, called South Park)

<grin>
one cube parsec wrote:
And all the more reason why we need to rationalize language, remove ambiguities and double triple definations, which will propagate as you use those words further to define other words. Yes formalization of language will be immensely benifitial, help make better laws, deal with religions, prevent loopholes in policy, bring general clarity in every field being discussed under the sun.
That is a very laudable goal. It's been tried in the past-- with little or no success.

Google the history of Esperanto for an example of such an attempt, and perhaps some reasons why it failed as an idea.

I suspect that humans are simply too chaotic.

In fact? The only real strictly formalized, zero ambiguity languages that humans engage in?

Is mathematics: the completely artificial and symbolic representation of mathematical principles.

Alas, it's nearly impossible to communicate **emotional** content, just using maths...

<grin>
one cube parsec wrote:
I am also not familiar with religious terminology, and can't figure out any consistent way to use them, even when debating against them, which is not very often as it is like banging you head against the wall.
Thank the random nature of the Cosmos, that you are **not**.

You are fortunate to not have been exposed to this ugliness when you were small.

I was, alas, and it taints my thinking even today-- I must be on constant guard against falling into "religious-think", even now.

What's worse? There **IS** no consistent terminology from one religion to the next-- not even among similar brands.

... meh.

About the only common word they each have? Is the word "god".

But-- that does not mean that they all think the **definition** of this word is the same-- it's not even close.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9515 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Well their agenga is theirs to decide.
.
Then again, I have met some theologicians who remarkably fall silent when you really corner them, which makes me think they are really not staunch theists but really practitioners of the 'art of double think". And they just will emphasise strongly that god fear is the only source of morals (reasons for being good in personal life) today. Seems like they are saying if and when we can replace god by something more viable, we all can let god slowly go into a long sleep.
<quoted text>
Exactly.( now you are talking!)
.
For eg:
If god is defined as an entity with the attribute of omniscience, then it is not difficult for the average undergraduate student of physics conversant in SToR, or even the uncertainty principle taught in high school here, to disprove that any such entity can even exist.
.
PROOF: GOD CAN NOT EXIST-
For example, ToR (theory of relativity) shows clearly that information can never be transmitted at a speed faster than the speed of light. And this has also been experimentally proved and every communucation satellite uses relativistic correction, hence every long distence call we make is proof of this concept.
**
So, in a universe that is many billions of light years big, no entity can exist with current knowledge of a region of space any distance away.(If a star explode in Andromeda galaxy, a god, along with the rest of us, will have to wait 300 million years for the information to reach him).
.
Hence omniscience is just not possible. So a god as defined, CAN NOT EXIST.
**
.
.
.
Which is why you had Einstein famously say he did not believe in a personal god!
.
So that leaves the staunch theist with the option of a much stupider god.(and scurry to fudge definitions, and the absence of formalism of lang. allowes him that. Else he would have had to let go of the word 'god' altogether as redefining is not allowed, take up some other symbol.)
.
[Again, the need for formal rational languages where it is a necessary constraint that all words be well defined]
.
Then god will really be on the run.
Brilliant! I agree totally, here-- the current human understanding of the Universe precludes an omniscient deity.

Your explanation is quite valid, and one I hadn't considered-- excellent.

The one I most often use?

Is based on Quantum Mechanics-- at the quantum level of our universe, particles exist in multiple states simultaneously-- indeed, this is a **requirement** for QM to function as we understand it.

It's essential that for any given sub-atomic particle, it's state is not known--

-- for once known, all the simultaneous states collapse into a single state, typically rendering the particle non-viable as an active particle: it is either destroyed, or changes into something else.

The **consequences** of that? If we had an all-knowing god?

Such a deity would cause the universe to **collapse** into a singularity, no longer existing as it is now.

----------

That is **two** proofs that you cannot have an omniscient god in the present universe.

And a god that is **not** in the universe? The old dodge "god is outside the universe"?

Does not work either-- if god is **outside**, then god cannot-- by definition-- interact with the universe at all. May as well not exist, then.

To interact with the universe, god **must**(at least in part) be **inside** the universe-- which puts it's limitations (no omniscience) back into place.

"And **poof** god vanishes in a puff of logic."

(to quote Douglas Adams)

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9516 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Again you use words like faith and belief to declare you position, a rationalist should never do that (as in that is very disconcerting to a rationalist like me). Since to believe or have faith is to hold to a position with no care for logical or empirical evidence.
Both faith and belief in English have multiple meanings.

There is **religious** faith/belief.

And there is **evidential** faith/belief.

The former is what all religions use: they have zero facts, so they just **wish** or decide something is "real".

Often, religions also refer to books-- the **sole** justification being that the books are ... old. As if being old magically transforms them somehow.

But so far? All such books can be examined with a critical eye, and found to be quite flawed.

I would expect a book either written by, or inspired by an actual **god** to be....

.... of superior quality.

None of these books comes even close; all are poorly written and clearly just a mish-mash of conflicting ideas and stories.

Not godly.

----------

The **second** sort of faith? Is based on **experience** and **facts**.

For example:

I could say I have faith in chairs and chair-like objects. My faith is such, that I willingly sit down in a chair, never considering if it can actually hold me up-- that's faith.

But it is faith based in lots and lots of chair sitting, coupled with lots and lots of observation of other people's chair sitting.

In short? My faith in chairs and chair-shaped objects is based in my own experiences in the real world.

I can **verify** my faith in chairs at any time, too-- by testing a chair to see if it will hold me up.

That is a faith of a different stripe than **religious** faith--which is 100% authority-based.

Some authority has **declared** that X is "true".

There can be no real testing of X-- you must blindly accept that X is true.

A very **very** dangerous game to play, too...

... because X can be ...

.......... anything!

Up to and including MURDER!

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9517 Aug 21, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
In fact? The only real strictly formalized, zero ambiguity languages that humans engage in?
Is mathematics: the completely artificial and symbolic representation of mathematical principles.
Alas, it's nearly impossible to communicate **emotional** content, just using maths...
Just a quibble or two here. First, mathematics as it is done by mathematicians is frequently ambiguous. That is because the purely symbolic representation is too unwieldy to actually use in practice. So, while we do attempt to minimize the ambiguities, the re-use of terminology is present in math, just like it is in ordinary languages.

Second, mathematics conveys little content until a correspondence between the symbols and observation is set up. And that is the realm of physics. mathematics and logic are both more abstract and allow more variation than most people realize.

Like I said, merely a quibble.
one cube parsec

New Delhi, India

#9518 Aug 21, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Brilliant! I agree totally, here-- the current human understanding of the Universe precludes an omniscient deity.
Your explanation is quite valid, and one I hadn't considered-- excellent.
The one I most often use?
Is based on Quantum Mechanics-- at the quantum level of our universe, particles exist in multiple states simultaneously-- indeed, this is a **requirement** for QM to function as we understand it.
It's essential that for any given sub-atomic particle, it's state is not known--
-- for once known, all the simultaneous states collapse into a single state, typically rendering the particle non-viable as an active particle: it is either destroyed, or changes into something else.
The **consequences** of that? If we had an all-knowing god?
Such a deity would cause the universe to **collapse** into a singularity, no longer existing as it is now.
----------
That is **two** proofs that you cannot have an omniscient god in the present universe.
Thank you for the compliments {I am in my polite phase, a promise (to be more polite and social) I am being forced to uphold by the WOMEN in my life}.

Or you could simply have stated the uncertainty principle, the simple statement itself is sufficient proof that omniscience is not possible. AND experimental proof is very available, which is important to the religious.

[It states that there is a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties such as position and momentum of a particle can be known simultaneously.]

That negates all possibility of an omniscient entity DIRECTLY.(I did mention Uncertainty Principle in the earlier post too so we already had TWO proofs)

For Experimental Proof (macro level)-
http://phys. org/news/2013-02-heisenberg-un certainty-principle-macro. html
[remove blanks]

=====

As for your proof, all the religious have to do is point you towards Schrodinger cat, quickly kick the cat out of the window, and scream at you, "where is the experimental proof?", without which, "it is just a theory!". So is there an experimental proof? Also this one is a little fuzzy to me, not the singularity part, but the concept on indeterminacy itself.(My knowledge of QM is itself fuzzy).
And a god that is **not** in the universe? The old dodge "god is outside the universe"?
Does not work either-- if god is **outside**, then god cannot-- by definition-- interact with the universe at all. May as well not exist, then.
To interact with the universe, god **must**(at least in part) be **inside** the universe-- which puts it's limitations (no omniscience) back into place.
"And **poof** god vanishes in a puff of logic."
(to quote Douglas Adams)
Valid.

Universe is defined as ALL of existence, so outside of the universe is non existence.

And yes, the universe by virtue of its infiniteness, must therefore be a perfectly closed physical system (only one possible in nature),(since nothing can exist out of it - by definition of universe that includes ALL). Hence nothing from outside can influence anything inside it. So god has been reduced from omnipotent entity to absolutely powerless (when thrown out of the universe). Getting a little muddled though.

Bye for now. Be back later.
[3 AM here, have to try get back to sleep]

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9519 Aug 21, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Just a quibble or two here. First, mathematics as it is done by mathematicians is frequently ambiguous. That is because the purely symbolic representation is too unwieldy to actually use in practice.

So, while we do attempt to minimize the ambiguities, the re-use of terminology is present in math, just like it is in ordinary languages.
Second, mathematics conveys little content until a correspondence between the symbols and observation is set up. And that is the realm of physics. mathematics and logic are both more abstract and allow more variation than most people realize.
Like I said, merely a quibble.
I humbly bow to your superior knowledge on the subject.

:)

I am but a novice, looking in from the outside-- the best I was able to achieve was elementary Calculus.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9520 Aug 21, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you for the compliments {I am in my polite phase, a promise (to be more polite and social) I am being forced to uphold by the WOMEN in my life}.
Or you could simply have stated the uncertainty principle, the simple statement itself is sufficient proof that omniscience is not possible. AND experimental proof is very available, which is important to the religious.
[It states that there is a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties such as position and momentum of a particle can be known simultaneously.]
That negates all possibility of an omniscient entity DIRECTLY.(I did mention Uncertainty Principle in the earlier post too so we already had TWO proofs)
For Experimental Proof (macro level)-
http://phys. org/news/2013-02-heisenberg-un certainty-principle-macro. html
[remove blanks]
=====
As for your proof, all the religious have to do is point you towards Schrodinger cat, quickly kick the cat out of the window, and scream at you, "where is the experimental proof?", without which, "it is just a theory!". So is there an experimental proof? Also this one is a little fuzzy to me, not the singularity part, but the concept on indeterminacy itself.(My knowledge of QM is itself fuzzy).
<quoted text>
Valid.
Universe is defined as ALL of existence, so outside of the universe is non existence.
And yes, the universe by virtue of its infiniteness, must therefore be a perfectly closed physical system (only one possible in nature),(since nothing can exist out of it - by definition of universe that includes ALL). Hence nothing from outside can influence anything inside it. So god has been reduced from omnipotent entity to absolutely powerless (when thrown out of the universe). Getting a little muddled though.
Bye for now. Be back later.
[3 AM here, have to try get back to sleep]
Yes-- I agree, re: god comments. Thanks for the link.

And yes, I do agree the word "universe" should encompass everything.

The only reason I mentioned what I did, is because it's often used as an excuse by The Religious to try to excuse their god from following the rules.

The situation is further compounded by current hypothesis that postulate multiple "membranes", or "universes" all held within a greater, infinite universe. Things get tricky to speak of, when you are talking about an infinity of infinities.

Of course-- your average theist cannot comprehend that you **can** have an infinite space bounded by a finite scope. A bounded infinity. A little beyond their experience/training.:)

You can also have a finite space but without boundaries-- a nice 2 dimensional example is the surface of a sphere-- no boundaries (in 2 space) but finite in scope.

But I'm getting farther from the original points, here.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Leicester, UK

#9521 Aug 22, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
Again you use words like faith and belief to declare you position, a rationalist should never do that (as in that is very disconcerting to a rationalist like me). Since to believe or have faith is to hold to a position with no care for logical or empirical evidence.
You keep saying you believe that a god does not exist. I rather you say you KNOW that god does not exist. So immediately you would expose your position to requests for qualification (which I have already asked for assuming you meant 'know' in place of 'believe') failing which you would have to give up your position, take up agnostic positions perhaps.(weak strong whatever).
And again, the state of disbelief is the same as the position of an agnostic. You are more difficult than those religious €¥&#8361;÷@^& (trying desperately not be rude to them these days, and you wouldn't have wanted to meet me a just a few years ago).
Also how can agnosticism CAUSE! atheism (weak or strong). The position of "dont know" does not by itself proffer any support to the position of "does not exist".(I had let that one go).
Maybe I am not getting you! Again I blame the absence of properly defined words. You gave your own definations and that is the approach of all rationalists and as did I. Maybe I am not getting you (yet).
Is the distinction between 'can not exist' and 'does not exist' what you are alluding to?.
"Again you use words like faith and belief to declare you position, a rationalist should never do that (as in that is very disconcerting to a rationalist like me). Since to believe or have faith is to hold to a position with no care for logical or empirical evidence." It is usually good practice when defining your position to do it in a "third person" manner an hence why I said belief when describing my position, of course I would say I know that God does not exist after presented my arguments but to have know in definition that should be able to be used by all it's out of the question. And when did I ever say anything that shared characteristics with faith, belief isn't one of them by the way it is simply a shorthand of "X thinks Y", to use the word believe or thinks it is a noncommittal way to describe someone with nothing more.

"And again, the state of disbelief is the same as the position of an agnostic." Again I don't care about anyone else's definitions unless the given argument about why their definitions are better, and you are using your definition of agnosticism against me without an argument stop it. The reason why I define agnosticism as a position of ignorance and not of disbelief, is because a position of ignorance is a very common thing for example is A in the centre of a black hole. Because there is no way so far to get an answer you are ignorant, and thus you must be agnostic and disbelieve as a logical consequence. Ignorance it is a very common thing and so the word agnosticism should be used in every field which one can be ignorant in, and not just the God debate.

"You are more difficult than those religious €¥&#8361;÷@^& (trying desperately not be rude to them these days, and you wouldn't have wanted to meet me a just a few years ago)." You use points it without an argument, and you're trying to make me say "I know God doesn't exist" when I'm trying to define my position and not make the case for it. You are as difficult as the religious never-mind me.

"Is the distinction between 'can not exist' and 'does not exist' what you are alluding to?" I am trying to define things not argue for position I'm not alluding to anything.

You are reading into things that don't yet need to be read into, I said I want to define things, I want to make labels that can be used by everyone. I don't want to make an argument for stronger atheism on a topic title "Who is an atheist?" unless someone asks why I am a strong atheist, I want to stay on topic as much as possible.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9522 Aug 22, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
It is usually good practice when DEFINING YOUR POSITION???? to do it in a "third person" manner an hence why I said belief when describing my position, of course I would say I know that God does not exist after presented my arguments but to have know in definition that should be able to be used by all it's out of the question. And when did I ever say anything that shared characteristics with faith, belief isn't one of them by the way it is simply a shorthand of "X thinks Y", to use the word believe or thinks it is a noncommittal way to describe someone with nothing more.
Totally agree that we should declare and agree on definitions (of words not positions / propositions) before we can use them to take up positions, and so have sensible debate. Or it is going to be a "comedy of errors like situation" and a series of miscommunications. Just general waste of time even when we agree on something (cause that something may mean different to both of us)

A lot of people use the words believe and faith but they have ambiguous usage (many meanings). I use the word 'belief' strictly by one definition ONLY ie "hold argument as valid without proof", which is irrational. SO in my book, the opposite (mutually exclusive) of a "believer" is a "rationalist" who must always have reason for his position

Yes you do not post like you share characteristics of those prone to faith/belief.
And when you say "I believe god does not exist", you meant "I THINK god does not exist". Does throw people like me off tho. Why cant english be more formal already :( One word one meaning, how difficult is that?

[QUOTE}
Again I don't care about anyone else's definitions unless the given argument about why their definitions are better, and you are using your definition of agnosticism against me without an argument stop it. The reason why I define agnosticism as a position of ignorance and not of disbelief, is because a position of ignorance is a very common thing for example is A in the centre of a black hole. Because there is no way so far to get an answer you are ignorant, and thus you must be agnostic and disbelieve as a logical consequence. Ignorance it is a very common thing and so the word agnosticism should be used in every field which one can be ignorant in, and not just the God debate.[/QUOTE]
Yes agree, I am using 'my' definitions. I thought they are the prevalent definitions (not better). Not here apparently.

Yes we are ignorant of so many things. But Agnosticism is not simple ignorance, it is the knowledge of our ignorance. A position that WE KNOW THAT WE DON'T KNOW. From there starts the search for all knowledge.
(not formal def. of agnosticism, just trying good rhetoric)
You use points it without an argument, and you're trying to make me say "I know God doesn't exist" when I'm trying to define my position and not make the case for it. You are as difficult as the religious never-mind me.
Yes I was trying to get you to say that (naughtily?), or concede position of atheist. Either you got proof or you don't. I say take up a position and defend like a man (rationalist worth his salt..) or piss off. Sorry! I am slipping back into my ruder self,(call it being direct, but apparently that is rude!)

[QUOTE}
I am trying to define things not argue for position I'm not alluding to anything.
You are reading into things that don't yet need to be read into, I said I want to define things, I want to make labels that can be used by everyone. I don't want to make an argument for stronger atheism on a topic title "Who is an atheist?" unless someone asks why I am a strong atheist, I want to stay on topic as much as possible.[/QUOTE]
Yes AGREE, very necessary to first define things, then agree on definitions, or at least declare YOUR definitions before presenting your position (or not, for others...). RATIONAL
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9523 Aug 22, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes-- I agree, re: god comments. Thanks for the link.
And yes, I do agree the word "universe" should encompass everything.
The only reason I mentioned what I did, is because it's often used as an excuse by The Religious to try to excuse their god from following the rules.
If we are going to agree on everything, this is going to get very boring.

We need Ben Masada back. I had a thing or two to say on defining 'cause'. But he seems to have run away. And I was not even being rude/direct,(unless I was??).

Is this the UK forum or the religious forum, like which forum/section are you posting in?
The situation is further compounded by current hypothesis that postulate multiple "membranes", or "universes" all held within a greater, infinite universe. Things get tricky to speak of, when you are talking about an infinity of infinities.
Of course-- your average theist cannot comprehend that you **can** have an infinite space bounded by a finite scope. A bounded infinity. A little beyond their experience/training.:)
You can also have a finite space but without boundaries-- a nice 2 dimensional example is the surface of a sphere-- no boundaries (in 2 space) but finite in scope.
But I'm getting farther from the original points, here.
Lots of theories out there. I have my own (half baked) model of the universe based on a state transition system/machine.

Infinity of infinity = infinity.(simple math)
So it follows many universes still equal ONE universe, hence many universes not possible.

Agree with rest.(Need Ben Masada Back to make things interesting)

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