So do you wish to move your position to something like "Asupernaturalism"?edwardmurphy wrote:I'm saying that those who believe in gods are the same as those who believe in god in the sense they they all believe in supernatural beings, which they do. They may be vastly different in all other ways, but they all have that one aspect in common, and its that one aspect that causes me to reject them all.Kurieuo wrote:Hi Ed,Like you feel it's a rhetorical trick for us for define Atheism a certain way.
I equally think it is a rhetorical trick to bundle Monotheists with Polytheists.
To bundle all beliefs together, you're saying something more than a mere absence of belief can provide.
In particular, you're saying those who believe in gods are the same as those who believe in God (likely due to some hidden beliefs/premises).
Such broad-stroking and generalising I think is evidently fallacious.
By "Atheism" (theo which relates to God or deities), I know you specifically intend the part in bold.
And that's just where I disagree for belief in God or gods are not the same.
"God" is that person whom no greater being can be conceived.
Belief in the Supreme Being, that which is non-contingent having always existed.
The foundational something from which lesser beings and things all find their existence.
"gods" are contingent beings, normally existing within our world.
Take a modern example of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Such an entirely abstract and contingent being, based upon reason and logic is clearly not God.
Same too Zeus, Hermes, Aphrodite or even Lucifer who is believed by many Christians to be the god of this world.
The two are clearly different.
God is considered a logically necessary Being.
gods are not logically necessary, and can often be abstract beings like the FSM.
I don't want to play a trump card, but maybe it takes someone schooled in philosophy of religion to understand this.
And once it is understood Atheism as "the lack of belief in God/gods" more clearly shows there are some hidden beliefs about what God/gods are. For example, you consider them to be the same type/category as "supernatural beings".
In other words, your absence of belief in gods/God is actually saying something about what you believe these gods/God conceivably are.
So it seems you're no longer holding an absence of belief in gods or God, but rather you believe something about "gods or God" (i.e., they're supernatural beings). This isn't an absence of belief about God/gods.
The only logically sound position as I see for "Atheism" to at least accept some concept of God/gods.
But, in so doing, Atheism moves from a position as simply being "an absence of belief in Theism (God/gods)" to a "belief that no god/Gods who fit this or that description (i.e, supernatural) exist."
Just because you replace your intended meaning with a term (i.e., "theism"), doesn't make it pass the argument once unpacked.edwardmurphy wrote:It seems to me that regarding atheism as the rejection of a claim made by theists meets your criteria.Kurieuo wrote:What does this mean?
Well, I think it means for "Atheism" to truly have merit as the absence of belief in God/gods,
that it needs to be define itself without any reference whatsoever to God/gods but in such a way that God/gods are ruled out.
That then too, would pass the formal logical argument that I presented previously.
First, you loosely defined Atheism as: "a person who does not accept the theistic proposition (that gods exist)."
I claimed that I also do not accept that gods exist, and pointed out that Christians were actually called Atheists by the Romans for not worshiping or going along with the many gods.
Then you expanded your definition of the theistic proposition to:
- When I use the word "theist"... I just mean people who believe in the existence of one or more gods. If I'm referring to members of a specific religion I use the name of that religion. I'm not an atheist with respect to the Christian god, I'm an atheist, period.
I believe in God, who is the greatest conceivable being. God I see is a logically necessary Being (in virtue of the fact that at the most foundational level of existence, there exists something non-contingent upon which everything else is contingent).
Now to re-reflect upon your Atheism being defined as "the rejection of a claim made by theists"...
Once unpacked this for you really translates into "the rejection of the existence of one or many gods or God."
Which ultimately still fails the pass the formal argument I previously presented.
Anyway, I don't really want to press the issue.
It seems clear to me however that Atheism as a positive denial of God or gods is at least internally sound and meaningful.
And really, why resist this anyway to say something logically unsound like "Atheism is a lack of belief in God or gods."
It's a small concession to make, and just means you do carry some burden of proof.
But, you know what? Christians still make a hell of a lot more claims to be put to the test.