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Author Topic:   Problems with being an Atheist (or Evolutionist)
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 34 of 276 (538281)
12-05-2009 6:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
12-08-2008 10:37 AM


There's the problem of trying to keep one's temper when confronted with banal and stupid arguments.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 12-08-2008 10:37 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 46 of 276 (538458)
12-07-2009 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by RAZD
12-06-2009 8:50 AM


Re: Should Atheists Logically be Evil?
Of course, in this respect, populations can act as a large computer in trying multiple schemes of cooperation and selectiing the one that works best.
I've simulate the evolution of strategies for the Iterated Prisoners' Dilemma on my computer. The gene pool converges rapidly on Tit-For-Tat style strategies.

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 Message 41 by RAZD, posted 12-06-2009 8:50 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 56 of 276 (538612)
12-08-2009 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by RAZD
12-07-2009 8:49 PM


Re: Should Atheists Logically be Evil?
One of the things that intrigues me, is the question of morals from the perspective of another species. If some moral precepts are derived from evolution (and then "explained" by moral codes), then it follows that different species with different social patterns would have evolved different moral precepts.
An interesting point. The female preying mantis eats her mate during sex. Do we think her wicked for doing so?
But humans are the ultimate eusocial species.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 86 of 276 (538964)
12-11-2009 11:07 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by AdminPD
12-11-2009 7:00 AM


Re: Off Topic
I'm not sure why this is off-topic. The OP, after all, was not about real problems that atheists actually have, but about imaginary problems that some dopey theist made up. I don't see, then, why it should be off-topic to discuss delusions of this nature.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 93 of 276 (543925)
01-21-2010 11:21 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Statman
01-21-2010 10:02 PM


Re: iterated dilemmas
Tit for Tat does NOT defect initially.
He didn't say that it did --- he said that Tat for Tit defects initially. Which it does.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Statman, posted 01-21-2010 10:02 PM Statman has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 132 of 276 (569261)
07-21-2010 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by Big_Al35
07-21-2010 7:19 AM


Re: Clarity
I am rarely asked for evidence of my name.
In those case where you are, as when you are applying for a passport or stopped by the police, I suggest that you should not try to shift the burden of proof. Neither bureaucrats nor policemen appreciate a smartass.
If anyone does ask I would only provide proof if I felt there was a legitimate reason to give them proof.
On debate forums, most participants prefer to produce evidence for their assertions (if they have it) then to fall under the odium of making stuff up. If you don't find this a "legitimate reason" to back your assertions with data, that's fine; but you can't object if people then mock both your assertions and your style of debate.
If you can't prove that my name isn't .... then shouldn't you assume that I am telling the truth until such time as you have evidence that I am lying.
The implausibility of a claim is evidence suggesting (though not proving) its falsehood. If you claimed that your parents had christened you Humpty Dumpty Haddock-Floss Wufflepuff T. Bone Steak, then I should be a little skeptical: more so than if you claimed to be called Peter Jenkins or Joe Schultz. Similarly your claim that:
The courts are full of cases which due to a "lack of evidence" are unsuccessfully prosecuted. More usually however, there is overwhelming evidence for a successful legal challenge but the perpetrator still goes acquitted due to technicalities, poor lawyers, costs, or a failure to interpret the evidence.
... seems to have aroused a similar skepticism in your audience.
I would suggest that it is your debating technique that is flawed.
I would suggest that you are suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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 Message 127 by Big_Al35, posted 07-21-2010 7:19 AM Big_Al35 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Big_Al35, posted 07-21-2010 9:27 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 133 of 276 (569263)
07-21-2010 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by Big_Al35
07-21-2010 8:41 AM


Re: Clarity
Yes, you are right. I did miss the entire point of your post. What was the point of your post again?
He's trying to explain the concept of "burden of proof" to you.
Whether or not this can be said to have a "point" depends on whether or not you are capable of understanding it. Perhaps it is as pointless as trying to explain the same concept to an eggplant. Only time will tell.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 139 of 276 (569312)
07-21-2010 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by Big_Al35
07-21-2010 9:27 AM


Re: Clarity
Are you suggesting that my claim that "the courts are full of cases which....." falls in the same category as the ridiculous name you give above! Some might agree but I would disagree.
Some people seem to find your claim highly implausible. As my own knowledge of the American legal system extends no further than watching old episodes of Law & Order, my position is more agnostic.
My point is that if you make the assertion that an opinion is false then you should supply evidence of this as you are accusing the contributor of lying.
Or just being wrong.
And no, it's generally your job to substantiate your claims (unless your claim takes the form of a universal, which in this case it didn't).
People are entitled to an opinion whether they have evidence or not for that opinion.
You're entitled to the opinion that you're a small purple giraffe called Gerald. It's a free country.
Other people are entitled to ask you for evidence, and to dismiss your claims if you don't present any.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 156 of 276 (575965)
08-22-2010 2:23 AM
Reply to: Message 155 by 0ut0f0rder
08-22-2010 2:09 AM


I don't believe in Atheists
Boo!

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 183 of 276 (581916)
09-18-2010 5:50 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by riVeRraT
09-15-2010 7:43 AM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
I am not going to reply to everyone individually. I see no need for you people to repeat answers. I am well aware of the atheists stance on "the lack of belief". However, atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something. Atheism, in a narrow sense is specifically the position that there are no deities. That is a belief. You cannot dis-prove God's existence, so you believe there are no gods. Don't be hypocrites.
You seem to be (rightly) drawing a distinction between saying "I don't believe in God" (known as "weak" or "negative" atheism) and saying "I believe that there is no God" (known as "strong" or "positive" atheism.
You then (wrongly) say that an atheist, "by definition", is someone who says the second.
You then, and this is where it gets really weird, go on to imply that an atheist who affirms the negative atheism but rejects postive atheism is a liar and a hypocrite because they must really affirm positive atheism.
This relies on a vast and stupid fallacy of equivocation. On the one hand, you class as atheists those people who call themselves atheists. On the other hand you redefine "atheists" as positive atheists. Then you complain that negative atheists are being dishonest for being atheists (which they are in the normal Enlish-language sense that they are atheists) but for not admitting that they have the opinions which define atheists (according to your redefinition of "atheist" which actually precisely excludes the people you're accusing of hypocrisy).
They would be hypocrites if they were atheists by your definition of the word athiest and yet pretended that they weren't atheists by your definition of the word athiest. But this is not the case.
Back in reality the most your redefinition could do (if it was generally accepted, which it isn't) is prove that negative atheists shouldn't call themselves atheists and should call themselves something else. But it cannot prove that they are "hypocritical" for not advocating views which they do not in fact believe.

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 Message 173 by riVeRraT, posted 09-15-2010 7:43 AM riVeRraT has replied

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 209 of 276 (582144)
09-20-2010 2:02 AM
Reply to: Message 197 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:19 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
I'll make it very simple:
Theist: someone who believes in the existence of a god
Atheist: someone who believes there are no gods.
You see, theism, and atheism are antonyms.
I'll make it very simple and accurate:
Theist: someone who believes in the existence of a god
Atheist: someone who does not believe in the existence of a god.
You see, theism and atheism are antonyms. And according to this definition, they are. Under your definition, they're not: they would, for example, not cover the case of someone who had never had the concept of "god" explained to him and had never considered it in any way.
Not one single person alive can prove anything with 100% certainty. And you certainly not prove the non-existence of god. So you believe there are none.
* sighs *
A positive atheist thinks that he has evidence that there is no god, and so believes there are none.
A negative atheist thinks that he has no evidence that there is a god, and so doesn't believe in any.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 210 of 276 (582145)
09-20-2010 2:41 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by riVeRraT
09-19-2010 9:35 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
What's the difference? You don't believe in gods. That definition works for purposes of this conversation.
And is not the one you advanced. In fact, you explicitly said that "atheism by definition is not someone who doesn't believe in something" (my italics).
What are you guys getting all huffy about?
"Huffy"? No, we just have a general tendency to correct errors.
Do atheist think there is a possibility of god or not?
That would depend on the atheist.
Wait, I think I may have the definition of being agnostic wrong. I was always under the impression that being agnostic was someone who was unsure, and thinks there could be a possibility. At least that was what I was taught for years, am I wrong about that? I am reading the definition in wikipedia, and questioning my understanding of being agnostic.
Well it depends on the degree of possibility.
If you ask me whether it's possible that former President Bush is a lizard disguised in a human suit, as maintained by David Icke, I should say: Well, I suppose anything's possible. But in the current absence of any supporting evidence for it, I'd say that anyone who believes it must be off his head.
If, on the other hand, you ask me whether it's possible that there's life on Europa then I might reply: Possible? Oh yes, it has liquid water and (obviously) an energy source sufficient to produce liquid water ... of course there is much we don't know about the origins of life, and no-one has been to check directly, but I should certainly call it possible based on what we do know. But in the light of the kind and degree of evidence we have on the subject, anyone making a positive assertion either way is guilty at least of overconfidence.
---
I should say that the negative atheist's attitude towards god is more like the first and the agnostic's attitude is more like the second.
There may exist a sort of gray area between the two where it would be genuinely hard to think how someone should be classified. In such cases I would suggest that you ask him which he thinks he is.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by riVeRraT, posted 09-19-2010 9:35 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by riVeRraT, posted 09-20-2010 1:41 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 234 of 276 (582266)
09-20-2010 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by riVeRraT
09-20-2010 1:41 PM


Re: Atheism IS a belief
There is tons of evidence.
That's as may be. I am not presently trying to justify the opinions of the negative atheist, just to explain to you what they are.
I keep telling you guys, and we have been through this in another thread, lack of objective evidence does not proof the non-existence of something.
And we keep telling you that we agree with you on that without reservation.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 256 of 276 (587821)
10-21-2010 1:42 AM
Reply to: Message 255 by Damouse
10-20-2010 9:33 PM


That the video refers to people that believe there are no gods as "strong" atheists is a telling point. If the word atheist had no connotations that related to believing there is no god(s), then a strong atheist would simply be an atheist that decidedly has no belief, not one with a counter belief. Instead, a strong atheist has a decidedly pronounced rejection of gods. This is part of the word, as evidenced by the conflicting definitions.
Well this is nonsense. Think about it for a moment.
The reason that it is necessary to call some atheists "strong" atheists is precisely because not all of them are.
Is the existence of the phrase green hat a "telling point" on the side of the argument that all hats are green?

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 397 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 257 of 276 (587822)
10-21-2010 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 253 by Damouse
10-20-2010 8:20 PM


I again state that this a silly conversation about semantics.
In which you are peculiarly eager to participate.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by Damouse, posted 10-20-2010 8:20 PM Damouse has replied

Replies to this message:
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