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I do not believe gods exist…but I do not believe there are no gods.

 
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 11:49 am
@joefromchicago,


Quote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
“I do not believe gods exist”….is NOT the same as “I believe gods do not exist.”

No, they're the same thing. Or rather, they're the same thing for those who use the words in those sentences in a commonly understood manner. Obviously, those statements are different for you, but that's largely because you're using the word "believe" in an idiosyncratic fashion.


No, Joe, in a discussion of this sort…especially after I did a complete explanation of what I was saying with these exact words…they DO NOT mean the same thing to anyone with an open mind. And it doesn't have to do with any "idiosyncratic" usage of "believe."

Change the word “believe” to “assert.”

I do not assert gods exist…at the same time, I do not assert gods do not exist.

There is no contradiction there…it is a logical construct.

So is the construct using the word “believe.”


Quote:
This isn't about my failure to understand. I understand your position just fine -- I just don't agree with it.


I see!

So essentially you are saying that if I am not willing to “believe” that gods exist…I must “believe” that they do not.

In your world, does that work with “know” also?

If I do not “know” that gods exist…am I then required to default to “therefore I know they do not exist?”

If I do not assert that gods exist...am I required to assert that they do not?

C’mon, Joe. You are off track on this one. Recover…and acknowledge that you are.
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Mon 14 May, 2012 01:10 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Change the word “believe” to “assert.”

Why would I want to do that? Those words don't mean the same thing. If you mean "assert," then you should say "assert." Don't say "believe" when what you really mean is "assert."

Frank Apisa wrote:
So essentially you are saying that if I am not willing to “believe” that gods exist…I must “believe” that they do not.

This is very simple:

The statement "I believe -A" is the equivalent of the statement "I do not believe A." That's because A and -A are contradictories. What you're positing, however, is something that is neither A nor -A. That possibility is foreclosed by the law of non-contradiction. Either you believe in a situation where there are gods or a situation where there are no gods. There's no third choice. And it's no solution to say "I don't believe at all," since that merely changes the terms of the original statement. That would be like saying: "I am holding a quarter in either my left hand or my right hand. But, in fact, I'm not holding a quarter at all, because I don't have any hands!"

Frank Apisa wrote:
In your world, does that work with “know” also?

In my world, words are not freely interchangeable with each other. If I want to say "know," I don't say "believe" or "assert" or anything else, because they don't all mean the same thing. I invite you to explore my world for a little while. You'll be surprised at how easily you can be understood there.

Frank Apisa wrote:
If I do not “know” that gods exist…am I then required to default to “therefore I know they do not exist?”

No, you're not required to maintain two contradictory positions simultaneously. I can't imagine why anyone would insist upon that requirement, but then I'm equally baffled by anyone, such as yourself, who takes on such mutually inconsistent positions voluntarily.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Mon 14 May, 2012 01:52 pm
@joefromchicago,
Joe, you have decided to hunker down on this issue. That is your right.

I stand by my statement.

I do not believe gods exist...a stand I share in common with the atheists of this forum.

I share something else in common with most of the weak atheists. Like them, although perhaps for different reasons, I am unwilling to assert (or believe) that gods do not exist. In other words, I do not "believe" there are no gods.

I am willing to leave it at: I do not believe gods exist. There is no inconsistency in my two part comment.

If you insist, Joe, that because I say "I do not believe gods exist" I must default to "therefore I must believe that gods do not exist"...that is your problem. It simply is not so.

I hope you put this much effort into doing battle with the weak atheists who suggest that it is enough to state that they do not believe gods exist.

My guess is you won't, though.

Setanta...you should be backing me in this. You use other wording for refusing the further move to "I believe there are no gods", but you know there is a difference between "I do not believe gods exist" and "I believe gods do not exist"... and you know the implications.

Hey, I guess this will not be resolved. I know I am on solid ground...and I will acknowledge that it disappoints me that I cannot get backing for my stand. But it is "my stand" and I will be delighted to continue discussion with anyone who wants to discuss it.

failures art
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 01:57 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank, I don't know what kind of validation you think you're going to get here. You should retire this stubborn position.

This is all an elaborate means to avoid the inevitable conclusion: You're an atheist by the most inclusive definition, and you aren't comfortable with that. I don't pretend to know why you aren't, but clearly this is the case. You're getting more and more defensive about this.

What is so objectionable to admitting you're an atheist? What's wrong with being an atheist?

Perhaps a better question to parse this out would be for you to clearly explain your understanding of what atheism is. What defines atheism in Frank's mind? Specifically.

A
R
T
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Mon 14 May, 2012 02:39 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
I stand by my statement.

That's fine. This stopped being about the substance of your position long ago. Really, this has been all about you. Indeed, I'm taken aback by the massive amount of narcissism you're displaying here. I'm with FArt on this one: this isn't about your claim, it's all about your personal baggage.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 03:10 pm
@failures art,
Quote:
Frank, I don't know what kind of validation you think you're going to get here. You should retire this stubborn position.

This is all an elaborate means to avoid the inevitable conclusion: You're an atheist by the most inclusive definition, and you aren't comfortable with that. I don't pretend to know why you aren't, but clearly this is the case. You're getting more and more defensive about this.

What is so objectionable to admitting you're an atheist? What's wrong with being an atheist?

Perhaps a better question to parse this out would be for you to clearly explain your understanding of what atheism is. What defines atheism in Frank's mind? Specifically.


I've got a much better idea, Art.

How about we go back to the point where I asked you a question you have not answered: http://able2know.org/topic/190405-5#post-4981842


Do you have any problem with the comment, "I do not believe gods exist?"

That is very straightforward. I DO NOT BELIEVE GODS EXIST.

It says absolutely nothing about what I DO believe about gods. It simply tells you that I do not believe they exist.

IT DOES NOT SAY: I believe they do not exist!

That is important.

So I ask again, do you have a problem with the comment, "I do not believe gods exist?"


C'mon. We'll take it slowly...piece by piece.

Respond to this...then I will ask you about the second part of my two part title.

Hey, this is getting exciting. I am really enjoying this. None of that name-calling stuff that goes on in so many other threads...this is real discussion with very well defined opposing sides.

Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 03:12 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
That's fine. This stopped being about the substance of your position long ago. Really, this has been all about you. Indeed, I'm taken aback by the massive amount of narcissism you're displaying here. I'm with FArt on this one: this isn't about your claim, it's all about your personal baggage.


That is nonsense, Joe. This is a discussion about what I wrote in the initial post. Let's stick with that, rather than doing the personal stuff. You are not qualified to analyze me and I really am interested in the subject of the thread.

0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 03:40 pm
@Frank Apisa,
So, I changed your words where they made logical sense, by adding meanings onto the end of them...

However, "believe".. To me is to be positive.. is it not? I believe that my friend will get better.. Would you, say " I don't believe that he will" if it was your friend? Just curious if you apply the thought belief into your whole life, as a non-believer of all things.
failures art
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 03:51 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

I've got a much better idea, Art.

I'm sure.

Frank Apisa wrote:

How about we go back to the point where I asked you a question you have not answered: http://able2know.org/topic/190405-5#post-4981842

You're calling the shots, so why not...

Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you have any problem with the comment, "I do not believe gods exist?"

Nope.

Frank Apisa wrote:

That is very straightforward. I DO NOT BELIEVE GODS EXIST.

Take it easy on the caps lock.

Frank Apisa wrote:

It says absolutely nothing about what I DO believe about gods. It simply tells you that I do not believe they exist.

Actually it does say something about your beliefs as they pertain to gods.

What statements of belief can be made about a class of beings you don't believe in?

This is like saying, "I don't believe in unicorns, but I'm not saying they're faster than a regular horse!"

Frank Apisa wrote:

IT DOES NOT SAY: I believe they do not exist!

It does. Give it a rest, Frank. You're beating a dead unicorn here.

Frank Apisa wrote:

That is important.

It's absurd.

Frank Apisa wrote:

So I ask again, do you have a problem with the comment, "I do not believe gods exist?"

Nope.

Frank Apisa wrote:

C'mon. We'll take it slowly...piece by piece.

Done.

Frank Apisa wrote:

Respond to this...then I will ask you about the second part of my two part title.

At what part do you answer my questions, Frank?

Frank Apisa wrote:

Hey, this is getting exciting. I am really enjoying this. None of that name-calling stuff that goes on in so many other threads...this is real discussion with very well defined opposing sides.

I don't think "well defined" is how I'd phrase what you're trying to accomplish here.

A
R
T
thack45
 
  4  
Mon 14 May, 2012 03:56 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Can you all see that the title assertion is logical and that it is not inconsistent in any way?

Is there anyone here who thinks it is illogical or inconsistent?

It seems perfectly logical to be undecided about the possibility of an existence of something which can be neither proved nor disproved to exist. But why are you making so much labor over the matter?

Was there a period in your life when you did have faith in a god or gods? (I only ask because that was the case for me and it is still troublesome at times.)
reasoning logic
 
  2  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:11 pm
@thack45,
Was there a period in your life when you did have faith in a god or gods?

Frank has faith in the possibility of Gods, unicorns, fairies and so on...
I think that as a child he had a very hard time letting go of them and has carried them into his ripe old age. 2 Cents
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:22 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
Found Soul...I simply do not use the words "believe" and "belief" because of the ambiguity of use of others.

I find other ways of saying those things that some use those words to express.

I hope a friend will get better.

As for the negative aspect, I have heard people say, "I don't believe the Giants will repeat as World Champs." I have no problem with that, although I would use estimate there.

I simply avoid the use of the words. I understand that other people don't...and when they are used in conversation with me, if there is any chance of ambiguity, I reword the comment and ask if that is what was meant.
Thomas
 
  3  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:25 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
The statement "I believe -A" is the equivalent of the statement "I do not believe A." That's because A and -A are contradictories. What you're positing, however, is something that is neither A nor -A. That possibility is foreclosed by the law of non-contradiction. Either you believe in a situation where there are gods or a situation where there are no gods.

You are assuming that he has to believe something concerning A. What if he doesn't? Suppose he holds no beliefs at all in the matter. Is that illogical? And if not, how is that inconsistent with "I don't believe A AND I don't believe (NOT A)"? If he doesn't believe in anything, he doesn't believe in anything, and that's it. Who says he has to?
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:29 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Thanks for the explanation Frank..

We are different there. Hope to me means I don't believe it will happen Smile

To me, if all I did was hope, I'd live in fear. I'd rather believe and if it didn't happen, what ever that was, I'd look for another positive in it. Fear is negativity and negativity breeds fear.. Why would someone want to live like that for the rest of their lives.

Maybe change the word to "think" that at least is half belief Smile
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:32 pm
@failures art,
Hey Art...thanks for the reply.

You wrote:

Quote:
Actually it does say something about your beliefs as they pertain to gods.


Damn, you were so close. You only missed the truth by one word..."not."

Actually, IT DOES NOT say anything about what I DO "believe." It strictly is a statement about what I do not believe.

Actually, I do not do "believing" at all...but in this particular case, the comment, "I do not believe gods exist" IS NOT SAYING "I believe gods do not exist." I've explained that several times in the thread...you really should be able to understand it by now.

Let's see if I can get it across in another way...and since you are so obsessed with unicorns, I will use them in my next comments out of respect and affection for you, a delightful debating partner:

I do not believe there are unicorns living on any of the planets circling the nearest two stars to Sol...and I do not believe there are no unicorns living on any of the planets circling the nearest two stars to Sol.

Ya see, Art? I am not "believing" either way. There is no contradiction. Not sure why you want to insist there is, but truly, there isn't. The same thing holds with the title comment.

You will feel much better if you finally recognize that there is no contradiction...and acknowledge it. Really!
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:35 pm
@thack45,
Quote:
It seems perfectly logical to be undecided about the possibility of an existence of something which can be neither proved nor disproved to exist. But why are you making so much labor over the matter?


For one thing, because I started this thread...and it would be rude not to follow up on the responses.

Quote:
Was there a period in your life when you did have faith in a god or gods? (I only ask because that was the case for me and it is still troublesome at times.)


Actually, I thought about becoming a priest at one time in my life. But something happened...and I decided to give that idea up and gave up religion in general in favor of what I now describe as "an agnostic philosophy."
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:37 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
You are assuming that he has to believe something concerning A. What if he doesn't? Suppose he holds no beliefs at all in the matter. Is that illogical? And if not, how is that inconsistent with "I don't believe A AND I don't believe (NOT A)"? If he doesn't believe in anything, he doesn't believe in anything, and that's it. Who says he has to?


Thank you, Thomas. You said that much better than I have been able to do.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Mon 14 May, 2012 04:39 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
Thanks for the reply, Found Soul.

I am a very happy individual...and I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on the planet. I avoid fear as best I can...and I do a good job of it.

I wish you the best.

Gotta go. Wife just got home...and since she works and I play golf...I make dinner. Dinner is served!
0 Replies
 
thack45
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 05:06 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Thank you, Thomas. You said that much better than I have been able to do.

And much better than I stated it as well. Thomas is good at this sort of thing
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Mon 14 May, 2012 06:05 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
You are assuming that he has to believe something concerning A. What if he doesn't?

There's an easy way to say "I don't believe in the existence of gods." It's to say something along the lines of "I don't believe in the existence of gods." Frank, however, didn't say that. Instead, he simultaneously expressed a disbelief in contradictory statements. That's where the logical problems arise.*

In any event, Frank doesn't even want to say that he doesn't believe in the existence of gods. He wants to say "I take no position on the existence of gods." Why he insists on a convoluted and misguided way of stating his position is, I think, fundamentally narcissistic. He doesn't want agreement, he wants attention.


*I'll take this opportunity to correct something I wrote previously. I said that simultaneously taking the positions "I believe A" and "I believe -A" violates the law of non-contradiction. It doesn't. It violates the law of the excluded middle. My sincerest apologies to anyone who was misled by my error.
 

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