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The Delusional Atheist
Posted: 19 December 2010 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The name of a Strong Atheist should be changed to the Delusional Atheist. A person who claims to have absolute knowledge that a God doesn’t exist, to me, is equally blind to the Christian who insists that he KNOWS that a God does exist. Do Delusional Atheists really think that their points on their beliefs are more valid due to the fact that they refuse to accept the remote possibility that a Deity could exist? Because regardless of what people think, it in no way changes what the truth really is.

Now on the flip side, I think that Weak Atheist should be changed to Rational Atheism. I’m not really sure who coined the terms weak Atheist. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be derogatory, but it certain reeks to make their pov sound less valid.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think one has to be careful to define what one means by such terms as “strong atheist”, “delusional atheist,” “weak atheist,” and “rational atheist”.  I see a spectrum of belief from “absolute atheist” (which seems to fit your definition of “strong”) whose belief about the non-existence of any god pretty well matches a fundamentalist’s belief in the existence of a god, all the way to an absolute agnostic who really not only feels s/he has no evidentiary justification in believing or disbelieving n a god, but doesn’t even have an opinion about it. 

I think most strong atheists, if challenged would admit that while they have quite a few reasons and indications that argue strongly against the existence of a god, fundamentally their belief is based on faith. 

I think there are subcategories of strong atheist—while some are quite willing to defend their beliefs when criticized, others are the evangelical ones who go out of their way to lecture and attack theists.  I guess some of these have even convinced themselves to be absolute atheists.

Weak atheists, on the other hand, as I see them, are usually unwilling to respond when challenged by theists but quietly disbelieve in the existence of any god. 

Occam

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Posted: 19 December 2010 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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ExMachina - 19 December 2010 04:47 PM

The name of a Strong Atheist should be changed to the Delusional Atheist. A person who claims to have absolute knowledge that a God doesn’t exist, to me, is equally blind to the Christian who insists that he KNOWS that a God does exist. Do Delusional Atheists really think that their points on their beliefs are more valid due to the fact that they refuse to accept the remote possibility that a Deity could exist? Because regardless of what people think, it in no way changes what the truth really is.

Now on the flip side, I think that Weak Atheist should be changed to Rational Atheism. I’m not really sure who coined the terms weak Atheist. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be derogatory, but it certain reeks to make their pov sound less valid.

I use the term, Gnostic Atheist for your “Strong Atheist” and Agnostic Atheist for your “Weak Atheist”. They describe better whether you know or don’t know (and their certainty) arguments for the non-existence of God. I think you can claim knowledge that a God does not exist by reason alone. I think its best approach is to challenge what one even means by God and show that the person who is using it is usually basing it on something non-descript or from a source that can be ruled out as admissible as evidence. But there are many methods.

I could say that Angelina Jolie is over at my place right now having coffee with me and you can deny it. You would be right if you said that you could only be agnostic about that because it is possible and potentially believable, even if it was far fetched. But if I said that there is a ghost sitting beside me named Sarah right now eating potato chips, what are you going to tell me? What if I told you she was sitting beside you too? Are you certain that you can claim that Sarah doesn’t exist?

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Posted: 19 December 2010 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Also, I change my title depending on who I talk to according to language that helps certify my position without leaving it derogatory.
For instance, in many circles, atheist is a derogatory term. So I prefer to use the term non-religious. And in religious circles, never should an atheist allow themselves to be called an unbeliever unchallenged. The term implies that you have reversed the normal position of belief. Demand them to refer you as a non-believer and explain the difference.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think that all of this concern over proper titles is not appropriate.  I’ll call myself an atheist, and if someone wants clarification, I don’t say “oh, I’m a strong atheist” or “I’m a weak atheist”; I tell them what I actually think.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 19 December 2010 06:44 PM

I think that all of this concern over proper titles is not appropriate.  I’ll call myself an atheist, and if someone wants clarification, I don’t say “oh, I’m a strong atheist” or “I’m a weak atheist”; I tell them what I actually think.

Let’s get out the colored markers and the folder tabs. Basically let’s come up with a whole strata of classifications.
No let’s not! One either believes that a god is possible or could exist, or one doesn’t.
Like I said even a jew or a muslim believes that it is possible that a god exists. I can guarantee you that even the pope has had doubts…just like agnostics.
I don’t know what you think Trombone..tell us what you actually think.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think that you sound rather confused.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 19 December 2010 07:24 PM

I think that you sound rather confused.

How so?

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Posted: 19 December 2010 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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ExMachina - 19 December 2010 04:47 PM

The name of a Strong Atheist should be changed to the Delusional Atheist. A person who claims to have absolute knowledge that a God doesn’t exist, to me, is equally blind to the Christian who insists that he KNOWS that a God does exist.

EM,  read again what I wrote. I did not say I absolutely knew, I said I saw NO PROOF. There is a BIG difference. I am not agnostic about Krishna or Brahman, or Thor, or Zeus. I simply see no evidence in their existence. Are you equally ‘agnostic’ to the existence of all of the other 10,000 or so gods AND the existence of fairies, dragons, leprechauns and Rocs? I am open to proof, but no one has offered compelling evidence of the existence of ANY of these beings.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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VYAZMA - 19 December 2010 07:32 PM
TromboneAndrew - 19 December 2010 07:24 PM

I think that you sound rather confused.

How so?

So that’s it then? You’re not going to tell me what you actually think concerning atheism or your beliefs?
Also I was hoping you could tell me why I sound confused.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I think there is a pragmatic approach to strong atheism that is legitimate, which would be that of assuming that everything doesn’t exist, and then individually correcting those categories that actually do exist based on evidence and logic, from that starting point.  In practical terms, it’s unclear what the benefit of holding the “I don’t know” position is, so it can make sense to start directly with “I know there isn’t” in this sense.

Alternatively, a strong atheist could say that the standard of proof for the non-existence of verifiable gods has been met after thousands of years of testing, and the result is that there are no such gods.  As for unverifiable gods, it apparently makes no difference whether you believe in them or not.  So don’t.

There may be flaws in these reasons, but I think they require much less faith than belief in only one particular god or set of gods.

The terms strong and weak atheists do not technically relate to anti-theism, but rather to agnosticism.  I suspect an inverse relationship, where the majority of noted anti-theists are weak/agnostic atheists.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Occam. - 19 December 2010 06:14 PM

I think most strong atheists, if challenged would admit that while they have quite a few reasons and indications that argue strongly against the existence of a god, fundamentally their belief is based on faith. 

This makes no sense.

Declaring something as non-existent until evidence is provided is the exact opposite of faith. It’s not a belief, it’s an assertion.

Are you saying that, if someone came up to me and told me they had an invisible unicorn named Bubbles as a pet, my assertion that their unicorn isn’t real requires some sort of special belief or leap of faith? Of course, you could go on a million tangents from here regarding what’s real to whom, and what it means to be real, blah blah blah…but you get my point (I hope).

Making assertions like, “There is no god,” or “Your unicorn isn’t real,” isn’t professing a belief, or a faith in something. But to be clear, it’s not a profession of certainty. The key here is evidence. One doesn’t need to “have faith” or “profess belief” when they have cold, hard evidence. Which, in these cases, is non-existent. Just like the things they would otherwise provide proof for.

[ Edited: 19 December 2010 08:24 PM by cmbf117 ]
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Posted: 20 December 2010 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Randy:

There may be flaws in these reasons, but I think they require much less faith than belief in only one particular god or set of gods.

Okay, Jack believes in 2 things. Jill believes in 10 things.

Therefore, Jill believes in more things than Jack.

Does she require more faith to believe in things than Jack?


Hint: Jack believes in God and Santa Claus. Jill believes in 10 close family and friends.

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Posted: 20 December 2010 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Randy - 19 December 2010 08:07 PM

  As for unverifiable gods, it apparently makes no difference whether you believe in them or not.  So don’t.
There may be flaws in these reasons, but I think they require much less faith than belief in only one particular god or set of gods.

Not sure about that (perhaps I misunderstand), obviously any belief that is founded on knowledge of what can be known and is observably true, is more reliable than a belief in a vague identification of a spiritual entity (intentional to boot). I keep coming back to the question of what possible motive would an eternal supernatural intentional entity have for creating an event which was so violent that its future was completely uncertain in outcome? Fireworks?? Boredom? Perhaps this god was destroyed in the very creation of the universe. There is no evidence of any kind that fundamentally supports the knowable existence of “something else, which is intelligent and intentional” and which preceded Creation.

[ Edited: 20 December 2010 05:19 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 20 December 2010 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Well, I have no idea what “absolute knowledge” is, so perhaps I’m not a “strong atheist” by this definition. But I know there are no teapots in orbit around Mars, and by the same token I know there’s no God.

Sure, I could be wrong about that. I could also be wrong that I’m sitting in front of my computer right now (something else I claim to know).  I could be dreaming.

The problem with nonsense ideas like “absolute knowledge” is that they bear no resemblance to how we actually use words like “know”. We claim to know things all the time that we aren’t absolutely, literally 100% certain of. Or perhaps more accurately, we claim to know things that if asked we would claim we knew absolutely 100%, but that really we understand we could be wrong about if we were dreaming, or if the world were really strange in some way which we have neither reason nor evidence to believe is true.

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Posted: 20 December 2010 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith,
Sure, I could be wrong about that. I could also be wrong that I’m sitting in front of my computer right now (something else I claim to know).  I could be dreaming.

Hehe..shades of the movie Matrix… cool mad

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