I believe there's no rhinoceros in my coat closet

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  • #4750

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @bellerose – do you feel that God represents a plan for living?  You’ve mentioned “God’s way” or something similar.

    #4751

    .
    Spectator

    “All thing are lawful but not all things are profitable…”…..
    So yeah you can do whatever the fuck you want. But that doesn’t mean it will bring you a good life.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Strega. Reason: Tidying code
    #4752

    @Belle – That is exactly the words “some Christians” say to me. Not “most Christians”, just some.  I am thinking of the J.W’s who constantly say to me “I am not religious, I just have a personal relationship with Jesus”.

    #4753

    .
    Spectator

    Being “religious” means you follow a religion. I don’t consider myself religious.

    #4754

    _Robert_
    Participant

    @unseen, that’s an adequate definition for us, doubt many Christians would care accept that.

     

    #4755

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    This is mere wordplay. Lacking faith is not having faith. Even when I was a deist I would not bother with such an argument. Where is it going anyway?

    My impression from this argument is that it is to translate atheism to religious terms. Atheism is without theism and by definition is not a religion or a faith. We can however have additional beliefs separate from atheism.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Nerdy Keith. Reason: typo
    #4759

    .
    Spectator

    My impression from this argument is that it is to translate atheism to religious terms. Atheism is without theism and by definition is not a religion or a faith. We can however have additional beliefs separate from atheism.

    This. I really think it’s the crux of the issue. I really think it is an argument rooted in the fact that atheists do not want to be placed in the “believer” category, but want to resist being stereotyped into the “atheism is a religion” BS. That (to me) is why atheists insist on beating the semantics like a dead horse. Let’s talk about the heart of the issue. I think that’s why it’s important. But no matter how you say it – it all means the same thing. And using arguments like “I don’t have to state my lack of belief in flying polka dot octopuses on pluto” type of stuff is to me a little childish. I don’t think it’s intellectually honest. I think honestly – it’s a matter of resisting something deeper. Everyone has to square that away for themselves.

    #4767

    Unseen
    Participant

    “What do you mean by ‘believe’” would be a fair question. But it’s better to leave those words out of the discussion, beyond citing whether or not a person has “religious belief.”

    “I believe I’ll have another beer.”

    #4768

    Dang Martin
    Participant

    “What do you mean by ‘believe’” would be a fair question. But it’s better to leave those words out of the discussion, beyond citing whether or not a person has “religious belief.”

    “I believe I’ll have another beer.”

    Now we’re talkin’.

    #4770

    Unseen
    Participant

    “What do you mean by ‘believe’” would be a fair question. But it’s better to leave those words out of the discussion, beyond citing whether or not a person has “religious belief.”

    “I believe I’ll have another beer.”

    Now we’re talkin’.

    Just pointing out another use of the word “believe.”

    #4774

    Dang Martin
    Participant

    It’s a damned tricky word, which is why I avoid it. Beer is easier.

    #4775

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    It’s a damned tricky word, which is why I avoid it. Beer is easier.

     

    Agreed. It’s better to simply say “I don’t believe in this.” etc.

     

    #4777

    Dang Martin
    Participant

    It’s a damned tricky word, which is why I avoid it. Beer is easier.

    Agreed. It’s better to simply say “I don’t believe in this.” etc.

    Even then, I avoid the word “believe.” It’s too complex and loaded. “I see no reason why I should accept that this is true,” is more where I go.

    I know it sounds like picky word shit, because on the surface it is, but I actually had some instances where some people in another forum wanted to get all pedantic about what “Atheist” means. You know, like the “dictionary definition” type of person. It was this guy who was fighting with me over a variety of things, including his assertion that, “If you are an Atheist, then you believe there is no god. You have belief, and therefore you have faith. THIS is the definition that I know, and therefore, THIS is what you believe.”

    It was annoying to have someone telling me that I do have belief, and that THIS was what I believed. He even said, “It must take a LOT of faith to believe there is no god.”

    His argument got old, so I told him, “If it will help you feel any better, I can drop the label of ‘Atheist’ completely, and go by ‘that guy who isn’t buying what you are selling.’ Can you drop YOUR label, too?”

    The strangest part of his arguments was that, to him, the act of belief and having faith are bad things. To me, he was full of nothing BUT belief and faith. But to him, it’s everyone else who is wrong who has belief and faith, for he’s got something better than belief and faith.

    He’s got “The Truth,” and “a personal relationship.” Belief and faith are for those other so-called Christians, to him. He asserted that he actually “knows” god.

    It didn’t take long for me to figure out that the conversation was pointless. Since then, I’ve had a problem with words like believe, faith, and other words that are part of the loaded language, mostly because of the dishonest use of the words.

    #4779

    It is important to define what we mean by “I believe”. It is a loaded term that has different meanings that depend on the context it is used in. The theist will argue that we are engaging in semantics (or pedantic semantics even!) and often try to infer that the term only has one meaning.

    To say “I believe I will have a beer” is to indicate a personal preference that most reasonable people would take to mean “I want a beer” (You might by the end of this post!)

    “I believe North Korea will not launch a bomb against Seoul. They have had the capability to do so for 70 years but have not done so. The reason I believe this because there are over 10,000 Chinese citizens living there” In this case I am offering my subjective opinion. If it turns out I am a 60 year old professor of Political Science from South Korea, I could expect my belief (opinion) to hold more gravitas than if I was a fake news editor from click bait news. I am supporting my belief with verifiable evidence and not just appealing to authority. I should be prepared to alter my belief based upon future information that comes my way.

    When someone says “I believe in God” they are informing us that they have giving their cognitive assent to the proposition that “I understand that (a specific) God exists”. They are making a knowledge based claim because they are, by default, asserting that their statement is “True”.

    There are more honest theists (like Belle Rose) who will admit that such a belief is held only on faith and subjective opinion (i.e. personal opinion). But most Christian I meet (Yes, “most Christians, over 95% of them) will not. They will claim that they are justified in making such a statement and that is more than just their subjective opinion. Many will assert their belief to be the “Truth”. That is, they are claiming that their belief based on objective. They are making a knowledge based claim, i.e. it is more than just opinion.

    I am using the word “Truth” here in the sense that it is knowledge that that been justified. It has undergone a process of verification that happened independently of the person making the claim.

    However, if someone makes such a claim but refuses to “justify” this “knowledge” then all they are doing is revealing their state of mind. They are not telling me anything of value to warrant taking their belief seriously. They can only justify such (extraordinary) claims with objective evidence. If they cannot move beyond their subjective evidence then it remains a personal belief that I find unbelievable.

    Objectivity will award beliefs with respect. If that objective process does not happen then “I believe in God” remains a report on ones state of mind. Theists (or political commentators) who cannot justify their beliefs or get annoyed when we subject them to critical analysis, then they should keep them to themselves. That is my belief but I am open to persuasion.

    #4780

    .
    Spectator

    @regthefronkeyfarmer

    “I believe in God” they are informing us that they have giving their cognitive assent to the proposition that “I understand that (a specific) God exists”. They are making a knowledge based claim because they are, by default, asserting that their statement is “True”.

    It’s the same thing when you say you see no evidence for any gods. You are also making a knowledge claim by asserting your statement to be true, and yet you cannot define what you mean by “evidence.”

    So no matter how you slice it – if you “believe” in God or you don’t, we are all deciding that based on our subjective opinions. Atheists just want to look like they have some sort of elite knowledge of the subject but really – NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. So therefore all we ALL have is our subjective evidence based on OUR personal life knowledge and experiences.

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