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.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Leicester, UK

#9524 Aug 22, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
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?
<quoted text>
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)
<quoted text>
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!)
<quoted text>
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
This made me give up "And when you say "I believe god does not exist", you meant "I THINK god does not exist"." I already said that when you're trying to make definitions it should be from a third person perspective it should be noncommittal it shouldn't be based on one persons view. And here you are still trying to make me say in my definition of my position for everyone to use "think" instead of "believe", what part of this do you not understand I wasn't trying to have my position of atheism the main part of my original post, it was a noteworthy off shot that's it.
I give up and despair.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9525 Aug 22, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
I think there are two forms of atheism and three ways to arrive at them.
First there is weak atheism, it is the disbelief in the existence of God due to either no good evidence for God (weak agnosticism) or no way to get good evidence for God (strong agnosticism).
The former weak atheism due to weak agnosticism makes a negative claim, a claim which requires no evidence just like the evidence from the other side. Where as the latter weak atheism due to strong agnosticism, makes a positive claim that there is a boundary to human knowledge, and thus must prove it's self through evidence of its truth and not the absence of falsifying evidence.
Second there is strong atheism the atheism of my preference, it is the belief that God does not exist.
Finally a point which must be repeatably shoved down the throat a fundamentalists and lying apologists, the majority of people who call themselves atheists are atheists due to weak agnosticism. Do not say that all atheists believe that God does not exist you can say it about me, but I am a minority in a minority do not paint everyone with the same brush, don't get me wrong I know you won't listen and you'll try to anyway just don't cry to me when people call you a liar. Thank you.
I may be wrong, but I think you have been sort of saying it both in third person AND first person here - when you say "atheism of my preference is the belief that god does not exist"

(This it the relevent post I think?)

Anyway, let us let it go already. I got you point, and that is what matters - you were defining, not taking positions. OK.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9526 Aug 22, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
If we are going to agree on everything, this is going to get very boring.
I'm sure something Interesting will come up -- if it must be from someone else, even, that's good enough for me.

<grin>
one cube parsec wrote:
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??).
That coward-- he **never** answers a question--ever. It's no wonder he ran off, if you were being nice to him, he has no excuse to not answer your queries...
one cube parsec wrote:
Is this the UK forum or the religious forum, like which forum/section are you posting in?
Atheism forum is where I hang out, with a couple of occasional forays into the Top Stories.

But the robots of Topix do cross-post things into multiple threads, so occasionally by random chance, I appear in other places.

But **never** by intent-- my **intent** is to remain in Atheism.
one cube parsec wrote:
Lots of theories out there. I have my own (half baked) model of the universe based on a state transition system/machine.
<grin> Anyone with a working brain, and an insatiable curiosity of the universe likely does as well.

<bigger grin>
The real trick is to figure out a way to **test** the ideas, isn't it?

That's been the conundrum since people first grabbed up a flaming log, and ran out into the darkness from the safety of the campfire...
one cube parsec wrote:
Infinity of infinity = infinity.(simple math)
Not according to my math gurus it ain't.

As it turns out? In math, it's possible to show that certain types of infinity are "more" than other types-- provably so (within math, of course).

So, at least according to math, an infinity of infinities is a greater infinity than just a singular infinity.

If that makes sense to you? No? Me neither, but my math superiors assure me that it does-- in **math**.

<grin>
one cube parsec wrote:
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)
Yes, from your expanded definition of 'universe'.

But if the individual universes are pretty much dissociated from each other? Then they **can** be considered as as separate individual entities.

Even if there are an infinity of them "side by side" on some greater level of measurement we are not currently privy to.

But some hypothesis seem to show that **gravity** can cross over between the various individual universe-spaces.

If this turns out to be the case? It could explain dark matter and dark energy.

“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Leicester, UK

#9529 Aug 22, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
I may be wrong, but I think you have been sort of saying it both in third person AND first person here - when you say "atheism of my preference is the belief that god does not exist"
(This it the relevent post I think?)
Anyway, let us let it go already. I got you point, and that is what matters - you were defining, not taking positions. OK.
read it in full "Second there is strong atheism the atheism of my preference, it is the belief that God does not exist." it is in alone third person with the note that I adhere to this.
P.S. that fact that you went back to read the first is what made me reply you now at lest get what I am saying.
spider

Newmarket, UK

#9530 Aug 23, 2013
Im an atheist,,, have been since around nine years old, no qauntum physics taught at that age, so I just applied common sence. according to the stuff Im reading here that doesen't seem to be good enough in some peoples view's. As the level of education for most people world wide does not include the higher sciences, or indeed any science at all,,, then perhaps that is why so many follow or need a god, or it could of course be fear of the unknown,, a crutch, a bigger brother to fall back on when they can't cope.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9531 Aug 23, 2013
spider wrote:
Im an atheist,,, have been since around nine years old, no qauntum physics taught at that age, so I just applied common sence. according to the stuff Im reading here that doesen't seem to be good enough in some peoples view's. As the level of education for most people world wide does not include the higher sciences, or indeed any science at all,,, then perhaps that is why so many follow or need a god, or it could of course be fear of the unknown,, a crutch, a bigger brother to fall back on when they can't cope.
It can also address the deeply-rooted fear of **not** existing.

That's the deep-down **ape** gibbering at the idea that eventually everyone ceases to be.

So some soothing (if fake) balm for this condition in the form of empty promises of "life after death".

That's a lure that has wide appeal.

One I can well understand, even as I realize it's not a sustainable plea.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9532 Aug 23, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sure something Interesting will come up -- if it must be from someone else, even, that's good enough for me.
<grin>
<quoted text>
That coward-- he **never** answers a question--ever. It's no wonder he ran off, if you were being nice to him, he has no excuse to not answer your queries...
LOL
Not according to my math gurus it ain't.
As it turns out? In math, it's possible to show that certain types of infinity are "more" than other types-- provably so (within math, of course).
So, at least according to math, an infinity of infinities is a greater infinity than just a singular infinity.
If that makes sense to you? No? Me neither, but my math superiors assure me that it does-- in **math**.
<grin>
Yes, from your expanded definition of 'universe'.
But if the individual universes are pretty much dissociated from each other? Then they **can** be considered as as separate individual entities.
Even if there are an infinity of them "side by side" on some greater level of measurement we are not currently privy to.
But some hypothesis seem to show that **gravity** can cross over between the various individual universe-spaces.
If this turns out to be the case? It could explain dark matter and dark energy.
I thought infinity was defined as 'a concept of endless', so if you add endless number of entities to another endless number of entities, you still have endless number of entities.

So infinity + infinity = infinity
and infinity x infinity = infinity (adding repetitively)

So of course one set of endless objects may be more than another.(which is why infinity -infinity = UNDEFINED; and not 0)
But still always add up to endless yet again.

Frankly the universe is not a set of infinite set of entities, but "the set of ALL entities in existence", including space, all of matter, energy, and anything else yet unknown,(as I define it). Only space(3D) has infinite dimension ie endless like also a line(1D) or a plane(2D).

So one infinity can be more than the other, but still many universes will add up to one universe,(making many universes impossible)

[I take the position tentatively]
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9533 Aug 23, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
read it in full "Second there is strong atheism the atheism of my preference, it is the belief that God does not exist." it is in alone third person with the note that I adhere to this.
P.S. that fact that you went back to read the first is what made me reply you now at lest get what I am saying.
OK.

Thanks for the reply.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9534 Aug 23, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
Not according to my math gurus it ain't.
As it turns out? In math, it's possible to show that certain types of infinity are "more" than other types-- provably so (within math, of course).
So, at least according to math, an infinity of infinities is a greater infinity than just a singular infinity.
If that makes sense to you? No? Me neither, but my math superiors assure me that it does-- in **math**.
<grin>
First, let's look at what it means for two sets to the 'same size' as sets. One way (the standard way, in fact) to define this is that two sets have the same size if they can be paired off with each other: each element of one set corresponding to one element of the other set. We say the two sets have the same 'cardinality'.

So, for example, the set {1,2,3,4,5} can be paired off with the set {2,4,6,8,10} by pairing 1<->2, 2<->4, 3<->6, 4<->8, and 5<->10, so they have the same size as sets (five elemts each).

But when we apply thise definition to infinite sets, we can get some counter-intuitive results. For example, the set of positive integers {1,2,3,4,5,...} and the set of even integers {2,4,6,8,10,...} can be paired off in this way (as above), even though the second has 'more' things in it than the first. So these sets have the same cardinality even though the second is a proper subset of the first. This can only happen for infinite sets and is even sometimes used as the *definition* of infinite for sets.

Now, sets that can be paired with the set of positive integers {1,2,3,4,5,..} are called 'countably infinite'. But it turns out there are sets that are infinite and not countably infinite. The set of all decimal numbers is such a set. This set is an infinite set *larger* than the infinite set of positive integers. In fact, it turns out that there is an infinite heierarchy of 'sizes' of infinite sets.

Now, the collection of decimal numbers between 0 and 1 is infinite: examples are .1,.01,.001,.0001, etc. But the set is bounded. What is happening is a playoff between two different ideas of size: cardinality as above, and length. The interval between 0 and 1 is infinite in cardinality and finite in length. Because of things like this, it is crucial to be clear which of many different ideas of size are used in any given context.

Now, when we define addition and multiplication of infinite sizes, we generalize off the finite definitions. So, to add two infinite sizes, we take sets of those sizes that do not overlap and put them together. The sum of the sizes is the size of the resulting set. For multiplication, we have a copy of one of the sets for each element of the other, etc. I tturns out that addition and multiplcation of cardinalities is easy: the sum or product of two infinite cardinalities is just the larger of the two (so it will be infinite also).

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#9535 Aug 23, 2013
one cube parsec wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL
<quoted text>
<quoted text>
I thought infinity was defined as 'a concept of endless', so if you add endless number of entities to another endless number of entities, you still have endless number of entities.
So infinity + infinity = infinity
and infinity x infinity = infinity (adding repetitively)
So of course one set of endless objects may be more than another.(which is why infinity -infinity = UNDEFINED; and not 0)
But still always add up to endless yet again.
You have to be very careful about the concept of 'endless'. For example, the collection of decimal numbers between 0 and 1 inclusive has an infinite number of things, but has two ends and is of finite length.
Only space(3D) has infinite dimension ie endless like also a line(1D) or a plane(2D).
So one infinity can be more than the other, but still many universes will add up to one universe,(making many universes impossible)
[I take the position tentatively]
Well, technically, the dimension of 3D space is, well, 3. The *volume* is infinite. Again it is crucial to be very precise because there are different notions of size that can disagree. The length of a line is infinite, but the volume is zero (so is finite).

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9537 Aug 23, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
First, let's look at what it means for two sets to the 'same size' as sets.
Thanks, Poly!

Fascinating, as always. And you manage to bring it down to normal earthling levels of comprehension.

Brilliant!

:)
spider

Saint Ives, UK

#9538 Aug 23, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
It can also address the deeply-rooted fear of **not** existing.
That's the deep-down **ape** gibbering at the idea that eventually everyone ceases to be.
So some soothing (if fake) balm for this condition in the form of empty promises of "life after death".
That's a lure that has wide appeal.
One I can well understand, even as I realize it's not a sustainable plea.
I hadn't considered the gibbering ape angle,, but it's a good point . Truth is they have nothing to worry about, all that lives and breaths has done so before in one form or another. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust , does have some merit as we are all recycled.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9539 Aug 23, 2013
spider wrote:
<quoted text>
I hadn't considered the gibbering ape angle,, but it's a good point . Truth is they have nothing to worry about, all that lives and breaths has done so before in one form or another. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust , does have some merit as we are all recycled.
As one observer quipped?

We are made of star ashes, after all.

:)
spider

Saint Ives, UK

#9540 Aug 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
As one observer quipped?
We are made of star ashes, after all.
:)
Simple logical observations such as this, help to clarify the feelings of Deja vu as suffered by many folk. ;-) I have allways been around one way or anothert, no one will ever be truly rid of me, lol.
spider

Saint Ives, UK

#9541 Aug 24, 2013
Immortality in one form or another,,, kind of gives me a cosy glow :-)
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9542 Aug 24, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
You have to be very careful about the concept of 'endless'. For example, the collection of decimal numbers between 0 and 1 inclusive has an infinite number of things, but has two ends and is of finite length.
Was I wrong somewhere?

Yes agree we got to be careful. What is important is WHAT is endless, lest we start confusing apples with oranges. Like the the numbers of different fractional no. between 0 and 1 would be endless, even as they have a lower and upper bound. Same as the infinite number of points on a line segment.

Also, a line segment 1 meter long has bounded finite length, but infinite number of points on it, length is finite, number of points is infinite.

Further, another line segment 2 meter long will also have infinite no. of points on it. But possiblly the longer line segment has more points on it, hence one infinity can be larger than the other.
Well, technically, the dimension of 3D space is, well, 3. The *volume* is infinite. Again it is crucial to be very precise because there are different notions of size that can disagree. The length of a line is infinite, but the volume is zero (so is finite).
Oops, did not mean number of dimensions is infinite, by infinite dimension I meant the lengths along the three axis are endless. My bad. 3D means 3 dimensions.

In apriori math, number of Dimensions CAN be infinite, all we got to doing is keep integrating from one onto the other. But in the universe as we know it, that is very meaningless beyond 3.(But I have some ideas on what the fourth dimension is (((hushhh, but it is not quite physical as we understand physical)))).

Hope I got things right?
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9543 Aug 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
As one observer quipped?
We are made of star ashes, after all.
:)
We are all stardust - Carl Sagan.
one cube parsec

Delhi, India

#9544 Aug 24, 2013
I just might have found the illusive quadruple integral!

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9546 Aug 24, 2013
spider wrote:
<quoted text>
Simple logical observations such as this, help to clarify the feelings of Deja vu as suffered by many folk. ;-) I have allways been around one way or anothert, no one will ever be truly rid of me, lol.
Indeed-- I just yawned (I so need some coffee), and there is a very good chance that some of the air molecules I exhaled once went in and out of Shakespeare's lungs...

:D

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9547 Aug 24, 2013
spider wrote:
Immortality in one form or another,,, kind of gives me a cosy glow :-)
We are stardust...

;)

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Atheism Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News "Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really T... (Jan '12) 7 min IB DaMann 61,492
News Nonsense of a high order: The confused world of... 4 hr Dogen 2,699
News Atheism, for Good Reason, Fears Questions (Jun '09) 5 hr Dogen 28,323
The Dumbest Thing Posted by a Godbot (Jun '10) Mar 24 IB DaMann 5,970
Atheist Humor (Aug '09) Mar 22 Eagle 12 452
Deconversion Mar 20 Eagle 12 138
News Quotes from Famous Freethinkers (Aug '12) Mar 18 Eagle 12 2,043
More from around the web