Sunday School

Sunday School August 21st 2022

This topic contains 32 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  _Robert_ 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 33 total)
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  • #44290

    jakelafort
    Participant

    As a kid i understood the definition of atheism to mean denial, negation of gods. I think that aligns with defintion of letter a as a prefix. In recent decades it seems to me most people use the word to mean absence of belief. I could care less how it is defined. The point is that belief in gods is infantile and a big steaming stack of dog crap.

    #44291

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg and Fellow Unbelievers,

    The articles on Rushdie hit the nail on the head and the article from The Nation was uncharacteristically great!

    While it is physically and fiscally impossible to have a police officer for every Citizen 24/7/365 (as well as undesired in a free society) Salman Rushdie, along with every citizen, has every right to legal recourse against all attackers and the right keep and bear arms or hire persons to do so, without asking “Big Brother May I?” and without any “duty to retreat” in the face of Life- and Liberty-threatening evil!

    And one thing governments of the West can do is stop giving taxdollars to the supporters of terrorism and murder against apostates like Rushdie:

    Chairman of a British-based Islamic Human Rights Commission – that has has received more than £1.4 million in charity cash – praised the fatwa on Sir Salman Rushdie less than a year ago 
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11130693/amp/Chairman-British-based-Islamic-Human-Rights-Commission-praised-fatwa-Sir-Salman-Rushdie.html?ito=smartnews1

    #44292

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    I wasn’t meaning to say that Atheists believe in nothing, simply that their Atheism wasn’t a belief. And I don’t even own a marmot, don’t have a roll-up carpet, and I don’t need National Socialism to have an ethos. 😁

    #44293

    @Encog, I know exactly what you meant. I was writing sarcastically about what theists claim about us not believing in anything rather than suggesting you were hinting at that. My bad 🙂

    Wait a minute……can atheists forgive each other if we don’t know the Jesus. Time for a hymn and to meet the real Jesus.

    #44294

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    I understood the sarcasm, of course.

    You do point out here yet another contradiction in Theists’ thoughts on Atheism. On one hand we believe in nothing, on the other hand we’ll fall for anything. So which is it, Theists? 😕

    As for virtue signaling, the best strategy of all is to do your good deed in secret so it goes unpunished. 🦸

    #44296

    Unseen
    Participant

    I wasn’t meaning to say that Atheists believe in nothing, simply that their Atheism wasn’t a belief.

    Don’t speak for me. I’m one of the atheists who believes that God/gods doesn’t/don’t/can’t exist. They are self-contradictory or impossible beings like round squares, jackalopes, or cosmic sorcerers, and so there can be no rational criticism for outright disbelief.

    Now can I be wrong in a world dominated by a cartesian super-deceiver? Absolutely.

    However, if I am wrong, it’s not a mistake. Rather, I am insane, delusional, or living in a dream world and am not really capable of asserting actual propositions. Furthermore, were someone to convince me in such a state that I was wrong, the fact of my becoming convinced would also be a delusion of some sort.

    I have no problem stating without qualification that there is no God nor anything like a god, for if I’m wrong about that, paradoxically I am actually not writing this.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #44298

    Strega
    Moderator

    @unseen  Now I’ve picked myself up from the floor where I was laughing, I have a question.
    Would you call (your) atheism an assertion rather than a belief?

    I think it’s an assertion for me, but an assumption for the people I grew up with.

    Assumption aligns more with an ‘apatheist’ which I gather is someone who doesn’t know or care about gods or religion. But then again, in the UK where I grew up, that pretty much sums up the general attitude to religion.

    I call it an assertion now, because I’m faced with a quite an enthusiastic theistic population here in the USA so it can’t easily be ignored. It’s also somewhat embedded in the way things are run. Example, used clothing is commonly dropped off at a church for those who need it. There’s nothing religious about getting free clothing – it’s just how it is, here.  Vermont is the least religious state in the USA – but it’s still religious.

    So now I’m an assertive atheist

     

    #44299

    Unseen
    Participant

    @strega

    A belief is something you have. An assertion is a deed, something you do or, more colloquially, make.

    #44300

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Don’t speak for me. I’m one of the atheists who believes that God/gods doesn’t/don’t/can’t exist. They are self-contradictory or impossible beings like round squares, jackalopes, or cosmic sorcerers, and so there can be no rational criticism for outright disbelief.

    Now can I be wrong in a world dominated by a cartesian super-deceiver? Absolutely.

    However, if I am wrong, it’s not a mistake. Rather, I am insane, delusional, or living in a dream world and am not really capable of asserting actual propositions. Furthermore, were someone to convince me in such a state that I was wrong, the fact of my becoming convinced would also be a delusion of some sort.

    I have no problem stating without qualification that there is no God nor anything like a god, for if I’m wrong about that, paradoxically I am actually not writing this.

    I wasn’t claiming to speak for anyone else, of course, but a positive assertion that “There is no God” is still a lack of belief in a God. It is just a lack of belief that is coupled with and stemming from a positive assertion. This is what’s called Positive, Affirmative, or Active Atheism, as distinguished from Negative or Passive Atheism, the latter being a mere lack of belief in a God, whether asserted or by default at birth.

    I, too, would consider myself a Positive Atheist. And from the looks of my sink of dishes I need to get to, the world I’m in is all too real and no Cartesian evil genius is going to help. 😁

    #44301

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Don’t speak for me. I’m one of the atheists who believes that God/gods doesn’t/don’t/can’t exist. They are self-contradictory or impossible beings like round squares, jackalopes, or cosmic sorcerers, and so there can be no rational criticism for outright disbelief. Now can I be wrong in a world dominated by a cartesian super-deceiver? Absolutely. However, if I am wrong, it’s not a mistake. Rather, I am insane, delusional, or living in a dream world and am not really capable of asserting actual propositions. Furthermore, were someone to convince me in such a state that I was wrong, the fact of my becoming convinced would also be a delusion of some sort. I have no problem stating without qualification that there is no God nor anything like a god, for if I’m wrong about that, paradoxically I am actually not writing this.

    I wasn’t claiming to speak for anyone else, of course, but a positive assertion that “There is no God” is still a lack of belief in a God. It is just a lack of belief that is coupled with and stemming from a positive assertion. This is what’s called Positive, Affirmative, or Active Atheism, as distinguished from Negative or Passive Atheism, the latter being a mere lack of belief in a God, whether asserted or by default at birth. I, too, would consider myself a Positive Atheist. And from the looks of my sink of dishes I need to get to, the world I’m in is all too real and no Cartesian evil genius is going to help. 😁

    Yes, in general, the lack of evidence is just so much weaker than evidence. A lack of evidence may spawn belief in an assertive claim but cannot back-up a positive claim of fact; that there is no god.

    #44303

    Unseen
    Participant

    Yes, in general, the lack of evidence is just so much weaker than evidence. A lack of evidence may spawn belief in an assertive claim but cannot back-up a positive claim of fact; that there is no god.

    You can’t prove anything to a dead certainty. Hell, even in mathematics, which is based proof even more than the sciences, we can no longer know anything with that kind of certainty, we don’t get that thanks to Kurt Gödel.

    There is no African elephant in my coat closet. My coat closet is not nearly big enough to accommodate an African elephant, which should be proof enough to a certainty any fully rational person should be able to accept. (Note, too, that it proves a negative, which is something many people are fond of saying is impossible.)

    There are so many claims related to the true nature of God (Yahweh or Allah in this case) that are inconsistent or contradictory with each other. Example: God is omniscient, knowing everything from the past, present, and future, but God is also omnipotent, able to do anything without restriction. Well, if the future is all set and done, God is helpless to change it despite his omniscience. Also, there goes God’s delegation of free will to mankind. If mankind is truly free, then God must wait to see what people do and the future isn’t already laid out before him.

    I could go on. So, in much the same way I know there’s no African elephant in my coat closet, I know there’s no God. Too many absurdities and, worse, contradictions.

    Of course, the believers have recourse to the magical solution (“In God, all is possible”), but I ain’t buyin’. Are you?

    #44304

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Yes, in general, the lack of evidence is just so much weaker than evidence. A lack of evidence may spawn belief in an assertive claim but cannot back-up a positive claim of fact; that there is no god.

    You can’t prove anything to a dead certainty. Hell, even in mathematics, which is based proof even more than the sciences, we can no longer know anything with that kind of certainty, we don’t get that thanks to Kurt Gödel. There is no African elephant in my coat closet. My coat closet is not nearly big enough to accommodate an African elephant, which should be proof enough to a certainty any fully rational person should be able to accept. (Note, too, that it proves a negative, which is something many people are fond of saying is impossible.) There are so many claims related to the true nature of God (Yahweh or Allah in this case) that are inconsistent or contradictory with each other. Example: God is omniscient, knowing everything from the past, present, and future, but God is also omnipotent, able to do anything without restriction. Well, if the future is all set and done, God is helpless to change it despite his omniscience. Also, there goes God’s delegation of free will to mankind. If mankind is truly free, then God must wait to see what people do and the future isn’t already laid out before him. I could go on. So, in much the same way I know there’s no African elephant in my coat closet, I know there’s no God. Too many absurdities and, worse, contradictions. Of course, the believers have recourse to the magical solution (“In God, all is possible”), but I ain’t buyin’. Are you?

    Yet my statement stands. Lack of evidence is not evidence of absence.  It could be, mind you.

    There are many dead certain proofs in mathematics and physics unless you are gonna start with that solipsism nonsense.

    I can think of 100 ways I could start believing in a god or Alien Supreme Being in about 30 seconds from now, but I can’t imagine any way I would ever believe 1+1 = 3.

    #44305

    jakelafort
    Participant

    However, it is easy to imagine scenarios where lack of evidence is evidence of absence.

    Lets suppose AI springs to life with super duper intelligence that exceeds the combined cognitive sum of all humanity. Further lets suppose a confined area (Unseen’s messy closet with that distinct smell of moth balls) is being examined for pink elephants in Unseen’s messy closet. The A I utilizes the ultimate finder technology that unfailingly perceives anything and everything in confined spaces even those much greater than Unseen’s closet. Sure enough ain’t nothing unusual in his closet. Absence of evidence is evidence of Pinky’s absence.

    #44307

    Unseen
    Participant

    I can think of 100 ways I could start believing in a god or Alien Supreme Being in about 30 seconds from now, but I can’t imagine any way I would ever believe 1+1 = 3.

    But none of them, I’m sure, would involve magic (some sort of exception to the laws of physics) or contradictions. I’m not saying I know there isn’t some kind of god I could believe in, but it would have to meet minimum standards starting with making sense rather than embodying a contradiction or obvious impossibility.

    In the meantime, and recognizing that I might be delusional or dreaming, there is every reason for stating and believing there is no Yahweh/Allah.

    #44308

    _Robert_
    Participant

    However, it is easy to imagine scenarios where lack of evidence is evidence of absence. Lets suppose AI springs to life with super duper intelligence that exceeds the combined cognitive sum of all humanity. Further lets suppose a confined area (Unseen’s messy closet with that distinct smell of moth balls) is being examined for pink elephants in Unseen’s messy closet. The A I utilizes the ultimate finder technology that unfailingly perceives anything and everything in confined spaces even those much greater than Unseen’s closet. Sure enough ain’t nothing unusual in his closet. Absence of evidence is evidence of Pinky’s absence.

    Except that would be evidence. Not investigating the entire closet would be a lack of evidence. And that is where we stand on all things “supernatural”. It’s a big universe. Bear in mind that things we do today would have been deemed to be supernatural or magic just a few hundred years ago.

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