Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Aug, 2006 09:13 pm
Hey Dark Knight,

You may like to check out a project I foolishly undertook some time ago here at A2K.

I tried to "categorize non-theists" without even applying the labels, and even that ended in tears....( mostly mine as I recall Laughing )

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1267784#1267784
0 Replies
 
Dark knight
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Aug, 2006 11:07 pm
Eorl wrote:
Hey Dark Knight,

You may like to check out a project I foolishly undertook some time ago here at A2K.

I tried to "categorize non-theists" without even applying the labels, and even that ended in tears....( mostly mine as I recall Laughing )

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1267784#1267784


Thanks for the invitation; these are the "categories" right?

Theists

Non-Theist A : Has never heard of any gods and/or hasn't considered the matter

Non-Theist B : Has heard of gods but fails to be convinced of their existence.

Non-Theist C : Has heard of gods but thinks their existence is unlikely.

Non-Theist D : Has heard of gods but the nature of their existence is unknown to them, while their non-existence is unknowable.

Non-Theist E : Has heard of gods but claims to know that none exist.

Non-Theist F : Has heard of gods but has a belief system incompatible with the existence of gods.

Non-Theist G: Has heard of gods but has yet to reach any conclusions. Potentially Theists or Non-Theists


Although not quite my own words I would say I'm an "E".

I don't think I've read anybody else adopting such option so I'll explain myself:

I'm an atheist.

For a deity or divine concept to be denied or proved false; it must first be clearly defined; otherwise we'll be discusing the subject till kingdom comes.

Having stated that; even though it isn't possible to deny or prove false all gods; (a new one will always be invented) one can easily deny or prove false the gods we DO know now.

It is very easy to prove false the christian god.
It is very easy to prove false the jewish god.
Is is very easy to prove false the muslim god.

Zeus, Ra, Isis, Astarte, Tlaloc and all the "divine" rulers of all ages are all dead; I mean; their only use or purpose nowdays is to finish up crosswords right?

Are there any more gods out there?

I'll need their precise nature, origin and purpose too.

Please no claims that "gods could exist but we just don't notice them" for that would require some kind of description too; otherwise how could their existence have been considered?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 06:18 am
MegamanX, all of your blather does not alter that you are attempting to define the discussion in terms which you have yourself invented. It is not reasonable to expect that others can discuss a topic in your idiosyncratic terms. And yes, you very definitely did expand your defintion of a negative atheist from one post to the next. Initially, you wrote:

Those that have no idea of God cannot be positive atheists because they cannot actively reject the idea but they are certainly negative atheists because they lack belief in the idea.

Subsequently, however, you wrote:

One who knows of the idea of gods but makes no claim as to their existence or nonexistence because one merely lacks belief is a negative atheist.

Therefore, you expanded your definition of a negative atheist. My objections are not based upon your categories, but rather that you attempt to inject into this discussion categories which were not previously consensually acknowledged--you attempt to inject your idiosyncratic definitions and sets of terms, being positive and negative atheists. Your expansion of the definition of a negative atheist is significant because it shows how the idiosyncratic definition you provide obscures rather than clarifies the terms of the discussion--no one here can know when you will invent yet another category, or redefine the existing categories because we are not privy to your idiosyncratic views of the situation.

If you had acknowledged at the outset that your terms are personal and idiosyncratic, that they are particularist, then the discussion might have proceeded to a phase of attempting to determine the global character of your definitions (i.e., what is the complete range of the categories which you specify). However, you offered these personal definitions as though they were statements from authority, as though you were explaining to the ignorant what are timeless and (apart from those who are ignorant) universally acknowledged descriptions of categories of atheists. This is not the case however--you offered your opinion, and offered it as though it were settled fact.

Of far more use in such a discussion is the effort which Eorl offered, which was an attempt to provide categorizations, while acknowledging the particularist and idiosyncratic origin of the definitions. I suggest that you will find people more amenable to discussion when you don't offer opinion as a statement from authority--people don't know your mind, and will be disinclined to accept your statements as from authority when they are obviously personal opinion.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 06:31 am
megamanXplosion wrote:
While you're at it, look up atheism in Wikipedia and you'll see that the word atheism, which includes negative and positive atheists like the definition I have given, predates the very creation of the word theism.


While were at it, this is one of the most glaringly absurd statements that i've read at this site. You are attempting to suggest that the denial of an idea predates the concept of that idea. One patently cannot deny the belief in a god or gods before the concept of a god or gods exists.

Wikipedia is a wonderful place to begin the process of fact checking. I use it most frequently to check the spellings of words or names, and to refresh my memory of dates and sequences of events. It is not at all, however, to be considered an oracular source of information. If what i find at Wikipedia is at odds with my recollection of a subject, it leads to to check further into a subject. At no time would i consider Wikipedia to be the final and authoritative source for any information.

In fact, though, i don't for a moment believe that Wikipedia claims that the concept of atheism predates the concept of theism. I'm not going to waste my time look for whatever sentence or sentences you found there that you have tortured into this ludicrous statement. If you wish to link the portion of Wikipedia which you claim makes this assertion, i'd be willing to look at it--otherwise, i'm not going to waste my time.
0 Replies
 
megamanXplosion
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 11:20 am
Quote:
MegamanX, all of your blather does not alter that you are attempting to define the discussion in terms which you have yourself invented.


Did JLNobody, in his mention of active and passive atheism, also invent the distinction? Did ossobuco, in his/her agreement with my etymology and specifying that there is a distinction between atheists in that some take a "secondary step" (positive/explicit/active/strong), also invent the distinction? Did I use my powers of telepathy and transmit the distinction to their brains?

Quote:
And yes, you very definitely did expand your defintion of a negative atheist from one post to the next. Initially, you wrote:

Those that have no idea of God cannot be positive atheists because they cannot actively reject the idea but they are certainly negative atheists because they lack belief in the idea.

Subsequently, however, you wrote:

One who knows of the idea of gods but makes no claim as to their existence or nonexistence because one merely lacks belief is a negative atheist.

Therefore, you expanded your definition of a negative atheist.


You are confusing definitions with scenarios. The definition of negative atheism I provided on page 45 up until now has been the same and has always applied to the two scenarios you quoted.

Quote:
My objections are not based upon your categories, but rather that you attempt to inject into this discussion categories which were not previously consensually acknowledged--you attempt to inject your idiosyncratic definitions and sets of terms, being positive and negative atheists. Your expansion of the definition of a negative atheist is significant because it shows how the idiosyncratic definition you provide obscures rather than clarifies the terms of the discussion--no one here can know when you will invent yet another category, or redefine the existing categories because we are not privy to your idiosyncratic views of the situation.


The distinction between positive and negative goes back hundreds of years. The most recent distinctions are known as weak and strong, passive and active, and implicit and explicit. They are all the same thing, merely different labels. They all make the same distinction. If positive and negative atheism isn't consensually acknowledged then weak and strong, implicit and explicit, and passive and active are all unacknowledged distinctions. Are you willing to go so far as to say those are all unacknowledged?

Quote:
If you had acknowledged at the outset that your terms are personal and idiosyncratic, that they are particularist, then the discussion might have proceeded to a phase of attempting to determine the global character of your definitions (i.e., what is the complete range of the categories which you specify). However, you offered these personal definitions as though they were statements from authority, as though you were explaining to the ignorant what are timeless and (apart from those who are ignorant) universally acknowledged descriptions of categories of atheists. This is not the case however--you offered your opinion, and offered it as though it were settled fact.


I never said they are universally acknowledged. What I have said, however, is that the other definition, the one that only includes the positive/strong/active/explicit atheists and casts the others aside, is incorrect. The more narrow definition is usually spouted by theists who fabricate a basis to hang their "atheists are immoral" arguments on (the narrow definition also isn't used by many catholics because newly born children would be considered atheists and that would "be perverse," according to the Catholic Encyclopedia) or those who have no idea of what they're talking about. It is also the narrow definition that is most commonly given by agnostics who vehemently reject the broader definition because they don't want to be attached to the stigma of atheism that is entirely fabricated by theists. I made it perfectly clear since I jumped into this discussion that the broader definition of atheism, and consequently the distinctions that would have to be made between the two major groups contained in the broader definition, is not "consensually acknowledged." I have never, not once in my entire life, claimed the distinction I've used is universally acknowledged nor that the labels I have used for the distinction are universally acknowledged. I claimed it was correct--the earth being round was correct but is wasn't universally acknowledged either. Any interpretation of universal acknowledgement is a failing on the part of the interpreter, not my failing.

Quote:
While were at it, this is one of the most glaringly absurd statements that i've read at this site. You are attempting to suggest that the denial of an idea predates the concept of that idea. One patently cannot deny the belief in a god or gods before the concept of a god or gods exists.


Atheism in the English language predates Theism and Deism by ~90 years. Atheism entered the English language in 1587, theism in 1678, and deism in 1682. In the 1700s the definitions of deism and theism switched places--deism, when it was first introduced, had the same definition as theism now has and vice versa. The reason atheism entered the English language first is because it wasn't a philosophical position at the time and was merely an insult--godless heathen! The opposite position wasn't needed until Pagans and Christians were calling eachother atheists and all hell broke loose.

Quote:
Wikipedia is a wonderful place to begin the process of fact checking. I use it most frequently to check the spellings of words or names, and to refresh my memory of dates and sequences of events. It is not at all, however, to be considered an oracular source of information. If what i find at Wikipedia is at odds with my recollection of a subject, it leads to to check further into a subject. At no time would i consider Wikipedia to be the final and authoritative source for any information.


Wikipedia's article on atheism has many references. Feel free to get ahold of the references and check out their information for yourself. Public libraries will usually grant each member the ability to order a few books so it will not cost you anything. (My public library allows 10 orders, for example.)

Quote:
In fact, though, i don't for a moment believe that Wikipedia claims that the concept of atheism predates the concept of theism. I'm not going to waste my time look for whatever sentence or sentences you found there that you have tortured into this ludicrous statement.


"In English, the term atheism is the result of the adoption of the French athéisme in about 1587... Atheist in the sense of practical godlessness was first attested in 1577... The words deist and theist entered English after atheism, being first attested in 1621 and 1662, respectively, with theism and deism following in 1678 and 1682, respectively."

Yeah, I really tortured those sentences into my "ludicrous" statement.

Quote:
If you wish to link the portion of Wikipedia which you claim makes this assertion, i'd be willing to look at it--otherwise, i'm not going to waste my time.


You waste your time calling my position ludicrous without even attempting to understand it. You waste more of your time accusing me of being purposely deceiving through the act of torturing sentences. Then you are afraid of wasting your time to provide evidence for all your accusations? So, stating your position more bluntly: I am too lazy to put up evidence but I refuse to shut up, because running my mouth isn't a waste of time but substantiating my blatant blathering is a waste of time. That's an excellent position to have Setanta.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Etymology
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 11:37 am
I did "invent" the distinction, insofar as I figured out that what I thought myself didn't fit with what I was seeing on a2k, at that time, as definition(s) of atheism. It turned out that a few others agreed with me, and some who agreed with me used words like negative, or passive, as distinguised from positive or active. Before I took on the use of those words myself, I just said that I was void of theism. That is my self description; based on that self description, I chose the word atheist instead of agnostic primarily because of my understanding - as a person who took four years of latin - of the word a-theism.
I thought all that before I ever had a clue what etymology meant.

I assure you I don't care how others describe themselves. I'd just prefer they not mis-describe me. (Hi, Frank!)
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 11:41 am
megamanXplosion wrote:
... Did ossobuco, in his/her ...

Can't let the really important stuff slide by. Just to clarify, osso is a her - and a darling one at that.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 11:43 am
(smooch!)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 12:06 pm
You're a fool, MegamanXaggeratedego, if you think i don't understand your position. I have simply pointed out that you have introduced into the discussion terms which are idiosyncratic unless and until they are understood by everyone in the discussion. Your references to when the word "atheism" entered the English language is meaningless to the issue of a statement which otherwise without qualification states that the concept of atheism predates that of theism. Once again, your sloppy work is no excuse for accusing others in a snotty manner of failing to understand you. You have expressed yourself poorly; you have relied upon someone else's particularist views (it doesn't matter whether you invented the concepts or not) to inject definitions into the dicussion which were not previously agreed upon; you have tortured a largely insignificant discussion of when the word atheist enters the English language into an assertion that the concept of atheism is older than the concept of theism--that part is hilarious, it's like the priest at Joan of Arc's trial claiming the Saints ought to have spoken English to Joan rather than French.

All in all you do a very poor job, and then have the gall to claim that others cannot understand you. If your understanding were as large as your ego apparently is, i wouldn't need to explain any of this to you.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 12:10 pm
ossobuco wrote:
I did "invent" the distinction, insofar as I figured out that what I thought myself didn't fit with what I was seeing on a2k, at that time, as definition(s) of atheism. It turned out that a few others agreed with me, and some who agreed with me used words like negative, or passive, as distinguised from positive or active. Before I took on the use of those words myself, I just said that I was void of theism. That is my self description; based on that self description, I chose the word atheist instead of agnostic primarily because of my understanding - as a person who took four years of latin - of the word a-theism.
I thought all that before I ever had a clue what etymology meant.

I assure you I don't care how others describe themselves. I'd just prefer they not mis-describe me. (Hi, Frank!)


Similarly, i usually refer to myself as a functional atheist--to the extent that i do not know any god to exist, i functionally live without any god. However, i make the effort to explain the position to people, as you have done, rather than just springing it on others and then accusing them of stupidity for not knowing what i was talking about.
0 Replies
 
megamanXplosion
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 01:21 pm
Setanta wrote:
You're a fool, MegamanXaggeratedego, if you think i don't understand your position.


If you understood my position you would not have claimed I expanded upon the definitions I provided earlier. If you understood my first position then you would have known that the posts that followed did not indicate any change in my position whatsoever.

Quote:
I have simply pointed out that you have introduced into the discussion terms which are idiosyncratic unless and until they are understood by everyone in the discussion.


Negative, weak, implicit, and passive atheism are all the same thing. Are you honestly saying there is someone in this discussion that does not understand what any of those terms mean? Even after I explained them? Even after I explained them a second time? And the third? And...

Quote:
Your references to when the word "atheism" entered the English language is meaningless to the issue of a statement which otherwise without qualification states that the concept of atheism predates that of theism.


Where did I say the concept of atheism predates that of theism? I said the word, not the concept. You are blatantly making things up. Did I express myself poorly?

Quote:
Once again, your sloppy work is no excuse for accusing others in a snotty manner of failing to understand you.


It was, absolutely, posted in a snotty manner. I don't deny that one bit. How did you expect someone to respond to you? If you were accused of fabrication (inventing) and purposely deceiving others (torturing sentences to fit into a ludicrous statement) and then the person basically says "I'm too lazy to provide proof of these accusations," how the heck would you respond? My guess is that your response would be snotty--something along the lines of "you're a fool." Do you disagree?

Quote:
You have expressed yourself poorly; you have relied upon someone else's particularist views (it doesn't matter whether you invented the concepts or not) to inject definitions into the dicussion which were not previously agreed upon;


My position on the issue of negative atheism: if one doesn't believe in the existence of gods but also does not believe they are nonexistent, regardless of how one arrives at this position such as study or through ignorance of the concept, is a negative atheist. I think I have made this perfectly clear throughout the discussion. I even provided scenarios that illustrated that study is irrelevant to who the label applies to. I certainly expressed myself clearly enough that others were able to say my explanation parallels the same explanations that are put under different umbrella terms.

Quote:
you have tortured a largely insignificant discussion of when the word atheist enters the English language into an assertion that the concept of atheism is older than the concept of theism--that part is hilarious, it's like the priest at Joan of Arc's trial claiming the Saints ought to have spoken English to Joan rather than French.


Most fabricated stories can be hilarious.

Quote:
All in all you do a very poor job, and then have the gall to claim that others cannot understand you. If your understanding were as large as your ego apparently is, i wouldn't need to explain any of this to you.


I never said others "cannot" (it would be impossible) understand me.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 01:36 pm
Yes, your original position only referred to those who were unaware of the concept of gods, but you subsequently expanded your statement to descibe as negative atheists those aware of the concept of gods who simply don't accept the contention. Once again, your poor ability to express yourself makes a hash of your claims about what is or is not implicit in your definition. The problem is that you dumped your ideas into the discussion and were questioned on it. I understood what you meant, but pointed out that you had not made your meanings explicit and that they don't form a part of the consensual definition of atheism. You have only explained it again and again and again in your silly melodramatic characterization since you were challenged. As for your word game about the introduction of the words theism and atheism into English from French, it appears that the entire objection went right over your head. Atheism does not, as a word, predate theism in the French langauge--do you purport that ideas don't count until they become words in the English language. That is naive in a puerile manner.

Yes, i do disagree that your snottiness is justified. Nothing which had been raised as an objection to your torturing of language and the poor quality of your expressive abilities warrants an assumption that you were misunderstood. I understood you--only too well. I also understood that you muddied your own meanings by the poor quality of your expression and your exercises such as torturing the significance of when you purport words entered the English langauge.

Your insistence on idiosyncratic terms for types of atheists was only recognized by others after it had been extracted from you what precisely you meant. Now, as before, you continue to insist that this or that person is a negative atheist--not that this is so in your opinion, or by the terms you prefer to use, but rather that this is some absolute truth which you have identified and insist upon. No one else is obliged to agree with you on that, and your insistence on making statements as from authority beggar the value of your attempt at a contribution.

You express yourself poorly, and only make clear your meaning as you are challenged in your statements. Then you get nasty with others because they object to the obscurantism which inevitably arises from your poor and imcomplete exposition.

Altogether, a poor effort on your part, in response to which you are pleased to challenge the understanding of those who object to your poorly delivered and confused exposition.
0 Replies
 
Jason Proudmoore
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 01:37 pm
JLNobody wrote:
Jason, I put it as follows just a few pages back (with some editing):
"... a meaningful distinction can be made between "hard" [active or positi ve?] atheism, a definite DISbelief in God and "soft" [passive or negative?] atheism like mine in that I simply turn away from what appears to be a meaningless concept....


This tread contains 52 pages. Why can't you direct me to that post?
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 03:30 pm
Jason, it took me some time to find it. To save you that trouble I paraphrased it for you. Now I see that I should have given you the page number and have saved myself the trouble of the paraphrase.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 04:46 pm
I prefer to go back to the good old days, when it was sufficient to call oneself an atheist, agnostic or deist. I probably fit in the category of an active atheist as opposed to passive, but I feel it is a result of a lifetime of people trying to force their thought upon me, unprovoked. It was not my original nature to be combative over such things. But enough's enough.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 07:17 pm
Edgar, I take your point. I have been for many decades now the prey of my fundamentalist baptist minister brother. He used to send me "love letters" in his proselytizing fervor. He has given up, concluding that our mother and father are in Hell and that I will soon be joining them. To his credit, he takes great DISpleasure from such "facts."
You may have read me to say that he has been trying to save my soul while I have been trying to save his mind, and that we have both failed.

I once told him that I consider his son to be a good man, and he answered that his only concern is that his son be a godly man. My statement to him had to do with a this-worldly value; his response had to do with other-worldly values.
That is my major object to religion: in being other-worldly it diminishes the value of this, our only reality/life.
I like the notion of "this-worldly religiousity", i.e., living one's real (and only) life with great veneration and seriousness.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 08:00 pm
I too have religious fanatic siblings, other than the Children of God foil. One sister converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (did I get it right?) and the other's a harcore fundamentalist Baptist. They fight like they hate each other and in fact sever ties every few years. I counter by telling them both of their religions offend me. It rolls off of their backs.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 10:09 pm
Laughing Isn't life a gass?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2006 10:26 pm
Love this line -
You may have read me to say that he has been trying to save my soul while I have been trying to save his mind, and that we have both failed.
0 Replies
 
Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2006 01:53 am
JL wrote:

I like the notion of "this-worldly religiousity", i.e., living one's real (and only) life with great veneration and seriousness.

Me too Wink
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Atheism - Discussion by littlek
The tolerant atheist - Discussion by Tuna
Another day when there is no God - Discussion by edgarblythe
church of atheism - Discussion by daredevil
Can An Atheist Have A Soul? - Discussion by spiritual anrkst
THE MAGIC BUS COMES TO CANADA - Discussion by Setanta
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Agnostic vs Atheist
  3. » Page 26
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/01/2022 at 07:26:04