I believe there's no rhinoceros in my coat closet

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  • #4696

    Unseen
    Participant

    It’s a belief, not a lack of belief. And I can defend it: My coat closet is simply way too small to house a rhinoceros. Now, let’s stay away from silly distractions like a rhino cut into pieces or a fetal rhino, please. If you want to argue, stay in the spirit of it.

    Likewise…

    I believe there is no God. It’s not a lack of any belief related to God, it’s a positive, affirmative disbelief. And, like my affirmative disbelief that there’s a rhinoceros in my coat closet, it’s based on impossibility.

    The common notion of God is, quite simply, according to everything we know about the universe and its operation, an impossibility. It’s okay to believe there is no God.

    Apparently, this isn’t atheism, because nowadays most atheists insist that atheism isn’t a belief in the nonexistence of God, it’s simply having no belief as regards God. In other words, they haven’t given it any thought. I think that’s nuts.

    #4699

    Strega
    Moderator

    I agree, Unseen.  I have an affirmative notion on the absence of gods.  I disbelieve in them.  The definition of atheism as simply an absence of belief in gods is the basic dictionary definition as translated from Latin. It doesn’t really encompass my atheism, nor apparently yours.

    However, in London for example, most people genuinely don’t consider the issue – they don’t think about gods nor take any position about them.  If you ask, they will say, “I’m not really religious” and move on to another subject.  That’s probably the atheism you’re referring to as a bit wishy washy.  It seems to me that there’s a bigger fight in the USA over the god thing, and consequently a more assertive denial seems necessary

    #4701

    Andrew Brown
    Participant

    You’re correct, the common notion of God (Abrahamic concept) is impossible.

    Good thing there is more than one concept. Julius Caesar was a great God after all.

    #4716

    _Robert_
    Participant

    It’s a fine point but don’t you have to define something to believe it doesn’t exist? I know what a closet and a rhino are. I don’t know what god is…. everyone seems to have a different idea about that. Thus I simply lack belief…really can’t say more than that.

    #4718

    Unseen
    Participant

    It’s a fine point but don’t you have to define something to believe it doesn’t exist? I know what a closet and a rhino are. I don’t know what god is…. everyone seems to have a different idea about that. Thus I simply lack belief…really can’t say more than that.

    God as normally understood (and I’m doing plain language philosophy here) is a spirit with magical powers such as creating stuff (universes, burning bushes, etc.) ex nihilo (excuse me for the latin: “out of nothing”).

    A spirit, as normally understood, is a noncorporeal consciousness able to interact with the material world without the need of invoking the physical laws. I view that as impossible, and if not impossible, a meaningless and useless idea based on Occam’s Razor. In other words, we don’t need it and it doesn’t really explain anything or contribute to our knowledge.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #4720

    Unseen
    Participant

    I agree, Unseen. I have an affirmative notion on the absence of gods. I disbelieve in them. The definition of atheism as simply an absence of belief in gods is the basic dictionary definition as translated from Latin. It doesn’t really encompass my atheism, nor apparently yours. However, in London for example, most people genuinely don’t consider the issue – they don’t think about gods nor take any position about them. If you ask, they will say, “I’m not really religious” and move on to another subject. That’s probably the atheism you’re referring to as a bit wishy washy. It seems to me that there’s a bigger fight in the USA over the god thing, and consequently a more assertive denial seems necessary

    Many members of ThinkAtheist argued that atheism is a lack of belief in God (or any theistic deity). I believe they did this to avoid the accusation that atheism is, like religion, a belief system, just like Christianity or any other religion.

    Well, it’s okay, to my mind, to have beliefs if you can defend them with reasons and evidence (or lack of evidence).

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #4722

    Dang Martin
    Participant

    I can only speak for myself and note that I do not have a belief. I just see no reason why I should believe the claims that are made.

    In a brief recap of my story, I was not taught about gods as a child. No bible, no religion, no indoctrination. Nothing. When I’m approached and asked if I believe in this god, I let them know that I’ve not heard of this before. Later in life, I investigate it, and see no compelling reason why I should believe that any of it is true.

    With that, I dismiss it and move on, having no burden of belief that there are no gods. It does not seem to call for my belief, and does not require it. It’s basically nothing.

    #4724

    Unseen
    Participant

    I gather you don’t believe in any deity based on not seeing any reason to accept such a belief. Not believing is disbelief, and a disbelief is a belief.

    #4725

    .
    Spectator

    It’s really an argument that is meaningless. For anyone who studies grammar that is plain as day lol.

    Thats another thing that I find super petty. It doesn’t fucking matter how you restructure the sentence!!!!

    #4726

    “Disbelief is a belief”. Ok and not collecting stamps is a hobby. I am finding it difficult to remember all the hobbies I don’t have or should I say all the non-hobbies I do have?

    If I say it is my understanding that there is no rhino in the closet I am talking in terms of my intellectual comprehension of the concept. It is a concept I can grasp because it is definable insofar as it can be built as a logical concept and then dismissed given that it is logically impossible once the dimensions (or attributes) of the rhino and the closet are taking into account.

    I don’t disbelieve it, I just understand it not to be possible and dismiss it. I don’t carry around a set of beliefs that are my disbeliefs in all the animals that could not be in the closet.

    It is like Evolution. It is not a matter of belief or disbelief as theists (and some atheists) would argue. It is a matter of understanding a subject that is based upon facts.

    Gods are concepts. I know we have been here before but “A concept is a concept”. It is nothing more than an idea. It has not physically demonstrable because it a supernatural construct. Therefore it is not definable in terms that do not logically contradict each other upon simple investigation.

    OK, some word play there. Belief is a good one for word play. Theists often give the same weighting to the word to give statements equivalence. They believe their god is real and say that because I “believe” Evolution is real, that somehow both beliefs are equally valid. This is nonsense that hardly needs to be explained.

    I don’t “believe” theists have a common notion of God. That would make them Deists, in the sense Spinoza was. The theists I meet have very specific ideas about the personal interventionist god that they are in telepathic communication with. I find it difficult to hold a disbelief in something I find so unbelievable. I also do not hold a disbelief in the existence of Laufarsox. It is my understanding that she does not exist.

    Ok coffee break over, back to work.

    #4727

    .
    Spectator

    When you have to split hairs like that there’s a bigger issue, lol…

    #4728

    Strega
    Moderator

    I’m with Dang on this.  I also had zero indoctrination – in my case coupled a little later on, with an exploration of the divers religions and their accoutrements.  When I was seventeen I was investigating Hinduism and went vegetarian to see what it was like.  17 months later, faced with a delicious-looking meat dish in Greece, I tucked in with gusto and that was that.  It was an interesting experiment, because I found I felt healthier – but not so interesting that a Mousaka couldn’t outplay it.  I see the religions as traditions – most people I’ve met across the world don’t question their traditions and beliefs. – and only the fringe hotheads actually try to force strangers into their cults.

    I don’t think anyone can define what they see as God.  They simply attribute ‘everything else’ to god that they can’t easily or simply accept.  There appears to be a comfort in being part of somethings Plan, that removes the element of randomness in events that may generate fear.

    God is a comfort blanket, like the one Linus totes around in Peanuts.  Keep your comfort blanket if it makes you happy, but don’t try to tell me it’s anything else 🙂

    #4729

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @strega – God also represents a plan for living.  I think Belle would be more of an expert on this than me.

    #4730

    How did Belle get to be an expert?

    #4731

    Dang Martin
    Participant

    @strega – God also represents a plan for living.

    I might be completely confused here. I thought you said in another thread that you were an Atheist.

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