Where is the Evidence for Atheism?

Where is the Evidence for Atheism?

There are 305 comments on the News24 story from Feb 25, 2013, titled Where is the Evidence for Atheism?. In it, News24 reports that:

Christians hear it all the time in one form or another from atheists and sceptics.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at News24.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#101 Mar 4, 2013
Babylon wrote:
<quoted text>
There is a general consensus that:
A person who believes in a specific God is a Theist.
A person who actively denies the existence of God is an Atheist.
A person who feels that we have no method by which we can conclude whether a deity exists is an Agnostic.
A "general consensus" is not evidence. Not to mention, there are millions of gods, and people who believe in a lot of different ones, they don't all believe in the same one, thus they are all different.
SupaAFC

Kilmarnock, UK

#103 Mar 4, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Try one more time to grasp this.
A Positive Argument is an argument for your particular position.
"Positive" arguments are exactly what arguments are.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
A Negative Argument is an argument against an opposing position.
Arguments against arguments are just that - arguments. "Negative arguments" do not exist.

Again, refer back to your foot size analogy. The "negative argument" is not "negative" in the slightest; it was a positive claim that the shoe size was 17.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
So, if the opposing position is that "the sky is not blue", the negative argument is "the sky is blue".
The argument against a blue sky would be akin to arguing that the sky is green, purple, yellow, whatever. Positive arguments.

Let's play an example here.

Manchester Utd fans believe that their team will win tomorrow. Real Madrid fans believe Madrid will win.

Which is the positive and which is the negative?
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
If the opposing statement is "the sky is blue", then the opposing negative statement is "the sky is not blue".
Then you have just contradicted yourself. You are literally saying that all arguments are both positive and negative. It makes no logical sense.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Being a positive or negative assertion or argument has nothing to do with the internal wording of the opposing statement or your statement.
If wording does not matter then our language loses meaning. If I say "the light is on", which by your logic is both a positive and negative statement, then nobody would have a clue whether the light is actually on or not.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It has to do with whether you are opposing a previous statement, or offering your own statement.
Finally, to the point.
It has to do with the claim being made. If someone is claiming that X exists, then the burden is on them to back this assertion.

There is nothing, whatsoever, negative in making a positive claim.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
"Atheism is the belief that no god exists."
This is a positive assertion, because it states the position of the person holding the position.
:-

"no god exists."

"no god"

"no"

It is a negative position. Period.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It could become a negative assertion in discussion.
It -is- a negative assertion. You believe that rephrasing the statement makes it so.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
As a definition, it is a positive assertion.
If your definition is correct then distinctions lose their meaning.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It presents the position of the person holding it as "no god exists", which is a positive claim to a set of facts that make the statement true.
Are you genuinely arguing that "no" is a positive word?
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
If you can't understand this as I have spoon-fed it to you, you will never understand it.
I understand it perfectly fine. You, like many theists, are intent on transforming atheism into a positive, religious belief system to make it on a par with religions - even though it is based on entirely different premises.
SupaAFC

Kilmarnock, UK

#104 Mar 4, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Wonderful.
And that has nothing to do with whether an assertion or argument is a positive or negative one.
Not even if you have 50 negatives. Or 51.
Of course it does. Here is what you said earlier:

"You are hopeless.
According to your reasoning:
"The light is off" is a negative claim.
"The light is not off" is a positive claim."

"The light is not off" -is- a positive claim. A double negative removes the negative and becomes a positive. It is something you learn in basic writing classes in primary school.

That is why your attempts to use double negatives to turn positives into negatives fail really, really badly.
SupaAFC

Kilmarnock, UK

#105 Mar 4, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
There is no positive position on the heads or tails until someone makes a statement about it.
When they do, that is the positive assertion.
If another disagrees, that is a negative assertion.
It matters none at all which side is up, or which way the person calls it.
The point is that just like you are trying to make assertions both positive and negative, it is like arguing that two sides of a coin are the same.

When people debate, there is not necessarily a "positive versus negative" side. In fact it is mostly non-existent. When people debate, they refute other arguments with their own positive arguments.

A theist may argue that a religious text is proof of God.

An atheist will in turn issue a rebuttal - a "positive" argument - that all texts are written by men.

The theist may reply by claiming their religious text is different to others and was divine.

The atheist may respond with another "positive" argument and point towards documents that may contradict the origin of that particular text.

And on and on it goes. People debate using alternative "positive" arguments"; "negative" arguments simply do not exist. It is logically impossible to do.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It also matters none at all if one uses the word "no", "not", or "off" in the statement.
It is totally irrelevant.
Then if Larry tells his wife that he has turned the lights off, does that mean the lights are actually off or has he switched them on?
SupaAFC

Kilmarnock, UK

#106 Mar 4, 2013
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
No, it isn't. An alibi is not required.
Yes it is. If the accused is guilty then he/she must explain what he/she was doing at the time of the crime which involves an alibi.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
A set of facts asserted to be true supports the "not guilty".
That is a positive claim.
You are again conflating alibi with the plea.

The pleas do not change. One is positive, the other negative.

The arguments are all positive. The pleas remain different.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
The facts prove not guilty in thousands of cases where no alibi exists.
You don't understand what an alibi is.
al·i·bi
Noun
"A claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place."
That is exactly how I have been describing an alibi. What do you think I have been meaning all this time?
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
An alibi is good evidence of innocence, but not required and often not present. Defense relies on other facts. Sometimes they prove convincing, sometimes not.
Those facts would be?...
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Pick up a book.
I have picked up many. I understand that positive and negative are polar opposites and cannot be the same.

Perhaps you can heed your own advice and read up on double negatives and why they damage your cause.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#107 Mar 4, 2013
Hitchens: "I don't have to prove asantaclausism, I don't have to prove awitchism. It's just--I have to say I think that those who do believe in these things have never been able to make a plausible or intelligible case for doing so. That's not agnosticism because it seems to me that if you don't think that there is any evidence, you're wrong to take refuge in saying that you're neutral. You ought to have the courage to answer the question that one is regularly asked : "Are you and atheist or not?" "Yes,", I will say.



So Hitchens simply believes that there is no plausible or intelligible case for belief in God or other deities. Dawkins likewise believes that no credible evidence for God exists, putting him in the same position. But he has stated in interviews and debates that, while he finds God's existence massively improbable, as a scientist, he can't rule it out entirely. Thus he is both agnostic and atheist.

Sam Harris:“The faith of religion is belief on insufficient evidence.”

For all three men, the crux of the matter is evidence or, rather, the lack of it.

What really places them together, though, is that they agree that religion does too much harm to be tolerated or ignored, and while I can see their point in many respects, here is where I part company with them. I think that working to remove religion from our society by trying to make people feel foolish for believing it is at least as harmful because of the fissures in society that it creates along with barriers to friendship and respect between individual people. I don't think either point of view should so dominate society that the other is comprised of despised outcasts.

Up until recent times, that has been the case. It still is to a lesser extent. But the public focus on the issue is bound to change that. Such focus has raised the stature of other oppressed groups to near parity in the past, and there's no reason to think that the same won't happen with atheists as well. Recent polls show, for instance, that atheists are now acceptable as political candidates to more than 50% of the general population for the first time in American history, and, over the past century, many laws that have no basis outside of religion have been overturned or removed from the books.

I see no use in contributing to the animosity between atheists and believers. We see so much of that in this forum, and I can't help but believe that the same sentiments run through society as a whole even if they are rarely expressed with such candor or as much venom as they are here. I'm a bit puzzled about that--why do so many make the issue so personal that they allow petty squabbles to so dominate our discussions that real ideas have to take a back seat to the trading of insults?

The real questions that emerge from this rambling, then, are: How can atheists and believers form a balanced society that works reasonably well for everyone? What arrangements will allow us to relax and enjoy each other as people in spite of our differences. What can we do to make peace with each other?

The first step is to want that. I do. Am I alone?

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#108 Mar 4, 2013
Again agnostic and atheist are not exclusive terms are they both deal with separate issues no matter how much you stamp your feet and scream.

The term agnostic deals with not knowing if a god exists.
The term atheist deals with not believing a god exists.

So you can say I do not know if a god is there and decide you won't believe because of that and be an agnostic atheist.

Or you can say I do not know if a god is there but I will believe anyways and be an agnostic theist.

Again we really shouldn't have to explain this again and again and again and again.
Babylon wrote:
<quoted text>
There is a general consensus that:
A person who believes in a specific God is a Theist.
A person who actively denies the existence of God is an Atheist.
A person who feels that we have no method by which we can conclude whether a deity exists is an Agnostic.

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#109 Mar 4, 2013
The simple fact that theists like Buck have to argue and fight so hard to escape the burden of proof for a god pretty much sums the story up yes? If a god existed they would be pleased to provide evidence.
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
Because it's not a claim, and atheists disagree all the time on matters, especially existential matters. An atheist Buddhist thinks there is reincarnation, and atheist agnostic will likely think that's crazy, I know, I think it's crazy. A gnostic atheist would think anyone who even leaves the possibility of a god existing open for debate is insane, they're a bit dishonest on that matter but hey, you're allowed to be delusional so they're allowed to be extreme.
Proof of Evidence

United States

#110 Mar 4, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>A "general consensus" is not evidence. Not to mention, there are millions of gods, and people who believe in a lot of different ones, they don't all believe in the same one, thus they are all different.
Can you name them?

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#111 Mar 4, 2013
If someone had to fight and argue this hard if say the matter was do they have a corvette in their garage but refuse to show anyone, anytime, ever what would the natural conclusion for any reasonable person be?
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
No, it isn't. An alibi is not required.
A set of facts asserted to be true supports the "not guilty".
That is a positive claim.
The facts prove not guilty in thousands of cases where no alibi exists.
You don't understand what an alibi is.
al·i·bi
Noun
"A claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place."
An alibi is good evidence of innocence, but not required and often not present. Defense relies on other facts. Sometimes they prove convincing, sometimes not.
Pick up a book.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#112 Mar 4, 2013
SupaAFC wrote:
<quoted text>
Of course it does. Here is what you said earlier:
"You are hopeless.
According to your reasoning:
"The light is off" is a negative claim.
"The light is not off" is a positive claim."
"The light is not off" -is- a positive claim. A double negative removes the negative and becomes a positive. It is something you learn in basic writing classes in primary school.
That is why your attempts to use double negatives to turn positives into negatives fail really, really badly.
"Off" is not negative.

"On" is not positive.

"Down" is not negative.

"Up" is not positive.

"Dark" is not negative.

"Light" is not positive.

And it doesn't matter anyway. Expression of a negative word in a claim tells you nothing about whether it is a positive claim.

The truth of the same set of facts can be claimed with negative language or positive language, and both can be a positive claim, as both are claiming THE SAME SET OF FACTS.

You can't be this dumb. I think you are just needling me.

So forget it.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#113 Mar 4, 2013
SupaAFC wrote:
<quoted text>

"Negative arguments" do not exist.
Wow. Given a resolution, then, there can only be an affirmative side. No negative arguments, because they do not exist. Man, I guess it's best to take the affirmative, huh?

You are a moron.

Introduction to Policy Debate
Copyright © 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002 John R. Prager

"How does the Affirmative refute Negative arguments?
Refer to the chapter on 1NC to see how refutation is done. The 2AC speaker uses the same techniques. Challenge the evidence or reasoning offered by the Negative. Read counter-evidence, to show that the Negative position is simply not true. Or show that, even if the Negative is correct in it&#65533;s position, the argument simply does not apply to your Affirmative case."

Why does the author instruct on how to refute negative arguments when they don't exist?

Apparently, your announcement that "negative arguments do not exist" hasn't gotten around.

Hilarious.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#114 Mar 4, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
The simple fact that theists like Buck have to argue and fight so hard to escape the burden of proof for a god pretty much sums the story up yes? If a god existed they would be pleased to provide evidence.
<quoted text>
Theists accept the burden.

Atheists attempt to shirk it by redefining atheism as a lack of belief.

The burden is the same on both.

You are the coward, Liverspot.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#115 Mar 4, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
Again agnostic and atheist are not exclusive terms are they both deal with separate issues no matter how much you stamp your feet and scream.
The term agnostic deals with not knowing if a god exists.
The term atheist deals with not believing a god exists.
So you can say I do not know if a god is there and decide you won't believe because of that and be an agnostic atheist.
Or you can say I do not know if a god is there but I will believe anyways and be an agnostic theist.
Again we really shouldn't have to explain this again and again and again and again.
<quoted text>
No.

Atheist and agnostic are mutually exclusive.

Atheists believe no god exists. Agnostics claim lack of knowledge available to know if god exists or not.

From "Agnostic Review":

"The English term "agnostic" is derived from the Greek "agnostos," which means, "to not know." An agnostic is one who admits, "I don't know." The term is applied specifically to those who don't know for certain whether or not God exists. An agnostic is one who believes that the existence of God is unknown and most likely beyond human ability to discover."

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#116 Mar 4, 2013
They are not mutually exclusive blob. One deals with knowledge of god the other deals with actively believing in god.

The whole reason you waste your time with this argument fatboy is because you are desperately trying to redirect the conversation away from the theists lack of proof.

I have yet to see evidence in any god so I have no knowledge that one exists: agnostic. But now that I have established that I do not have this knowledge do I believe (theist) or not believe (atheist) hmmm no knowledge no belief for me hence agnostic atheist.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
No.
Atheist and agnostic are mutually exclusive.
Atheists believe no god exists. Agnostics claim lack of knowledge available to know if god exists or not.
From "Agnostic Review":
"The English term "agnostic" is derived from the Greek "agnostos," which means, "to not know." An agnostic is one who admits, "I don't know." The term is applied specifically to those who don't know for certain whether or not God exists. An agnostic is one who believes that the existence of God is unknown and most likely beyond human ability to discover."

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#117 Mar 4, 2013
Fatboy you are really getting desperate. Sorry but an atheist doesn't believe in any god. The theists have failed to present evidence or even a compelling case for us to believe so hence we aren't buying it.

Now since the theist has no observable evidence whatsoever beyond their imagination thy should keep their faith in the church and home and stop trying to legislate the rules of their imaginary friend to the rest of us.
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
"Off" is not negative.
"On" is not positive.
"Down" is not negative.
"Up" is not positive.
"Dark" is not negative.
"Light" is not positive.
And it doesn't matter anyway. Expression of a negative word in a claim tells you nothing about whether it is a positive claim.
The truth of the same set of facts can be claimed with negative language or positive language, and both can be a positive claim, as both are claiming THE SAME SET OF FACTS.
You can't be this dumb. I think you are just needling me.
So forget it.

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#118 Mar 4, 2013
One cannot prove or disprove the existence of God using the scientific method. Therefore your thoughts and beliefs are simply that. Your own. You, like all other people, have no right to impose said thoughts or beliefs upon your fellow man. Or to condemn them for having thoughts or beliefs of their own.

Since: Mar 11

Scottsburg, IN

#119 Mar 4, 2013
You have already posted this confession that god is merely a figment of the imagination.

That being said the only rational thing to do is for believers to worship in the church and home, keep the wall of separation between church and state and the believer not try to legislate the rules of their imaginary friend upon others.
01Justsayin wrote:
One cannot prove or disprove the existence of God using the scientific method. Therefore your thoughts and beliefs are simply that. Your own. You, like all other people, have no right to impose said thoughts or beliefs upon your fellow man. Or to condemn them for having thoughts or beliefs of their own.

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#120 Mar 5, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
<quoted text>You have already posted this confession that god is merely a figment of the imagination.

That being said the only rational thing to do is for believers to worship in the church and home, keep the wall of separation between church and state and the believer not try to legislate the rules of their imaginary friend upon others.
Nor do you have the right to legislate your own personal beliefs (which you cannot prove via the scientific method of which you are so very proud) upon others. I have no problem with you thinking or believing the way you do. Go on wit yo bad self! However, you cannot logically call my beliefs "fairy tales" when you cannot use the scientific method to disprove that God exists. That is simply your opinion of which you are entitled. As am I. As are we all. So, by all means, let every man worship in the manner of his choosing. Allow him to explore and understand the world around him in his own way. What difference does it make to you? As long as his beliefs aren't illegal, immoral, or cause harm to his fellow man, I fail to see why you should even put your two cents in at all. Live and let live.
Jimmy

Hove, UK

#121 Mar 5, 2013
These fairy tale believers are really immature.

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