Blob wrote: It is not an absolute claim because of the distinction between epistemology and ontology. There might be a god (ontological statement), but I don't believe it (epistemological statement). But I would never be so arrogant as to declare my humble opinion to be an absolutely true reality. Therefore my disbelief does not go so far as to exlcude the possibility that deities exist.
I'm afraid you have lost me here. According to Websters Dictionary:
Main Entry: epis·te·mol·o·gy
Etymology: Greek epistEmE knowledge, from epistanai to understand, know, from epi- + histanai to cause to stand -- more at STAND
: the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge
Main Entry: on·tol·o·gy
Etymology: New Latin ontologia, from ont- + -logia -logy
1 : a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being
and then I am aware of the ontological argument for the existence of God, but this is not what we are talking about. There can be absolute epistemological claims too.
Can you maybe explain a bit more how you reconcile your statement with the definition of ontology?
Also, if you are making an epistemological statement about your belief, you must know the underlying premise before you can make the statement. Or do you believe it is possible to believe something without knowing the premise? As I read it, your premise is that there is no God. I'm probably missing something in here, but I cannot for the life of me think of any other premise that would make sense in this context, except maybe the premise that we cannot know know if there is a God.
As for the statement of absolutes, I have argued that your statement:"I have no belief in God." already includes the absolute of your non-belief i.e. is your unbelief 100% or not? I don't see how you can claim that it does not make a knowledge claim, except if you are irrational, which I don't think you are. You also have an implied belief in the law of probability, which is also an absolute.
Do you believe that there is an absolute true reality?
That reminds me, I'm all out of lipgloss!
"There is no god" would be an absolutist (ontological) statement. "I have no belief in god" acknowledges there might be a god but I remain unconvinced by claims for his existance (epistemological).
I already asked above, but can you maybe explain how you conclude that ontological=absolutist? The ontological claim for God is the claim that He exists by proof from something other than observation. Is it your position that we can only know the truth through observation?
That is a false dichotomy. My atheism is neither absolute nor an idealogy (being a mere lack of belief about something).
The difference between me and Christians is the second statement in each of the following examples:
Theist: I believe in god. And I know I am right.
Atheist: I lack belief in god. But he might exist.
Ok, I understood a long time ago that you hold the so-called "weak" position on atheism, which you have defined several times on the forum already. Once again we argue about definitions. I have already expressed that I believe that you are making an absolute statement when you profess no belief, so I wil leave it at that. As far as ideology is concerned, there are several definitions, and I would agee that atheism does not fit all of them, it is not a political or economic system, but for that matter, neither is Christianity. If we assume a really weak definition, i.e. manner of thinking, then it applies to both atheism and Christianity.
As for your two examples, I would argue that your statement about the atheist is internally inconsistent. By which criteria do you differentiate between "I lack belief in God" vs "He might exist"? Your first statement is a statement of non-belief which you follow with a statement of belief.
The contradictory and illogical nature of the Christian god; the problem of suffering; the gruesome and incoherent content of the bible; the horrors of Christian nations past; the lack of correlation between "goodness" and "christianity" in practice in the world; Jesus' failure to show up again after 2000 years and counting; the historically specific nature of events and ideas in the bible; the similarity of Jesus and other biblical ideas to prior religions; the vagueness of claimed prophecies; the similarity of Christianity to all other religions many of which claim to be the only true one. And so on.
Almost all of those are value judgements, by what standard of value do you measure?