Reasonable Faith Forums

Archived => Presumption of Atheism => Topic started by: searcherman on November 15, 2016, 04:37:57 pm

Title: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on November 15, 2016, 04:37:57 pm
Note tag line below. I've documented before that these definitions were set by apologists in 19th Century Britain.

"[...] denial of the existence of the Divine ..." Known as dogmatic atheism, very rare, and assumes burden of proof.

[...] "denial the Divine has been shown to exist ..." Critical atheism, today sometimes erroneously (IMO) lumped into agnostic atheism.

[...] "and denial that it can be known that the Divine exists." Sceptical, or agnostic atheism. Some apologists connflate this with Huxley's agnosticism.

The last two have no burden of proof whatsoever. Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Atheist in Louisiana on November 15, 2016, 05:52:55 pm
Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Because if they didn't ignore this, they would actually have to do the work of showing that their god exists.  They can't, so they have no choice but to attempt the old fashioned burden shifting technique.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on November 15, 2016, 06:36:54 pm
Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Because if they didn't ignore this, they would actually have to do the work of showing that their god exists.  They can't, so they have no choice but to attempt the old fashioned burden shifting technique.

Their a-historicity on this is appalling. These Victorian theologians had to come up with with intellectually consistent definitions for many reasons, I presume. The most important being the revolution in Naturalism wrought by Darwin, and the atheistic agnostic philosophy of Huxley. Now it's true many of our great naturalist agnostics, Huxley, Ingersoll, Sagan, Tyson, and Nye eschew the label "atheist".  But in an odd bit of unity, Victorian Christian apologists and many of today's atheists agree, this form of agnosticism is a species of atheism. The critical atheists of the time always had Huxley's arguments as a default. I wouldn't go as far as David Silverman and say these agnostics were "lying". They just insist on a narrow definition of atheism. I'm not going to bust their nads about it.

But today's apologists get away with this form of AWOL intellectualism because they empower Dawkins and company with having some kind of philosophical chops. The New Atheists can't hold a candle to what Huxley and company unleashed. WLC and cohorts take advantage of this weakness and feel free to cheap shot away on this. What Dawkins and Harris are doing brilliantly is defend Naturalism in the realm of evolution and neurology, their areas of expertise.

Matt Dilahunty characterized WLC's role is just arguments for a deist god, while trying to shoehorn in Jesus somewhere along the way.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: lucious on November 15, 2016, 11:34:03 pm
Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Because if they didn't ignore this, they would actually have to do the work of showing that their god exists.  They can't, so they have no choice but to attempt the old fashioned burden shifting technique.


That's ironic, since the only real conceivable reason atheists attempt this 'lack of belief' thing is in desperation to avoid discussion of their own view.


The burden isnt automatically stuck on theists. Burden of proof throwing is a classless and low brow tactic. It's essentially a contractual thing--agreement must be reached between two consenting parties. It's not a dialectical weapon to hit others with.


Really despise when discussions devolve into "You have the burden of proof!"
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Atheist in Louisiana on November 16, 2016, 03:03:36 am
Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Because if they didn't ignore this, they would actually have to do the work of showing that their god exists.  They can't, so they have no choice but to attempt the old fashioned burden shifting technique.


That's ironic, since the only real conceivable reason atheists attempt this 'lack of belief' thing is in desperation to avoid discussion of their own view.

That's a wonderful demonstration of your inability to use your imagination.  Your inability to conceive of other reasons has no bearing on how I use terms.

Quote
The burden isnt automatically stuck on theists. Burden of proof throwing is a classless and low brow tactic. It's essentially a contractual thing--agreement must be reached between two consenting parties. It's not a dialectical weapon to hit others with.


Really despise when discussions devolve into "You have the burden of proof!"

Perhaps you should read more about the philosophic burden of proof (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof).  Here is a little excerpt: "When two parties are in a discussion and one asserts a claim that the other disputes, the one who asserts has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim."  You have the burden of proof!
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on November 16, 2016, 06:57:02 am
Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Because if they didn't ignore this, they would actually have to do the work of showing that their god exists.  They can't, so they have no choice but to attempt the old fashioned burden shifting technique.


That's ironic, since the only real conceivable reason atheists attempt this 'lack of belief' thing is in desperation to avoid discussion of their own view.


The burden isnt automatically stuck on theists. Burden of proof throwing is a classless and low brow tactic. It's essentially a contractual thing--agreement must be reached between two consenting parties. It's not a dialectical weapon to hit others with.


Really despise when discussions devolve into "You have the burden of proof!"



Your argument is with a whole bevy of apologists who helped inform the definitions above. I've already cited my sources of that in other posts.

You have only to cite your indignation, your indulgent entitlement to make assertions, and not to be bothered with any intellectual responsibility.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on November 17, 2016, 07:21:28 am

The last two have no burden of proof whatsoever. Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Actually I think it may be due to a rather loose format of those debates. It's apparent that they don't set a burden of proof before debates. When the title of debate is 'Does the god exist" than it indeed is ambiguous who has the burden of proof.

They should keep these short topics, they sound good, however full resolution should be more specified, for example:

"We have sufficient amount of evidence to treat the existence of god as established fact"

Or they should discuss it behind the scenes and simply say what's what:

"Burden of proof is on dr. Craig to prove that god exists, or at elast most likely exists. He can use whatever kind of evidence, proof or argument he wishes. His opponent will try to show why presented arguments are invalid, unsound or otherwise flawed so that they can't be used to justify a belief in god, plus he can also put forward his own argument against the existence of god which dr. Craig should rebut"

That's how it usually works when it comes to debating any claim.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: lucious on November 17, 2016, 09:07:23 pm
Why do WLC and the philosophical apologist all-stars ignore this?

Because if they didn't ignore this, they would actually have to do the work of showing that their god exists.  They can't, so they have no choice but to attempt the old fashioned burden shifting technique.


That's ironic, since the only real conceivable reason atheists attempt this 'lack of belief' thing is in desperation to avoid discussion of their own view.

That's a wonderful demonstration of your inability to use your imagination.  Your inability to conceive of other reasons has no bearing on how I use terms.

Quote
The burden isnt automatically stuck on theists. Burden of proof throwing is a classless and low brow tactic. It's essentially a contractual thing--agreement must be reached between two consenting parties. It's not a dialectical weapon to hit others with.


Really despise when discussions devolve into "You have the burden of proof!"

Perhaps you should read more about the philosophic burden of proof (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof).  Here is a little excerpt: "When two parties are in a discussion and one asserts a claim that the other disputes, the one who asserts has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim."  You have the burden of proof!


You've been chided for this childish burden of proof throwing before, and still don't get it. It's not something you throw at a dialectical opponent.

The BOP is not a principle or axiom of logic--it's a contractual thing. It applies to dialectical scenarios, like debates and discussions, with two consenting parties. We both assert claims the other disputes, and we both have some stance on the issue, therefore we both have burdens, which will shift back and forth as the debate progresses. Closure will be reached when one party is unable to satisfactorily respond.


The ridiculous notion that a burden of proof applies to any claim whatsoever would leave only someone in a catatonic trance, saying and doing nothing, without a burden of proof.

It's time to retire this absurd concept that atheism is this nothing-position with no claims, no beliefs like a cognitive void.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Atheist in Louisiana on November 18, 2016, 01:42:28 am
That's right, the burden of proof is only applicable if you want to convince someone that you're right.  That's exactly what an argument is.  If you're not interested in convincing me that you're right, then you have no argument, including the Kalam.  The moment you put forth the Kalam, you're trying to convince me that the Kalam is true.  That's your contractual obligation to prove those claims.  If you don't care if anyone accepts the Kalam as true, then that's fine, don't back up your claims, but remember that you lose your right to claim that the Kalam is true.

As long as you're putting forth some argument, like the Kalam, you're taking on the burden of proof.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on November 18, 2016, 12:17:36 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/RCDz7rp.jpg)
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: lucious on November 19, 2016, 07:38:39 pm
That's right, the burden of proof is only applicable if you want to convince someone that you're right.  That's exactly what an argument is.  If you're not interested in convincing me that you're right, then you have no argument, including the Kalam.  The moment you put forth the Kalam, you're trying to convince me that the Kalam is true.  That's your contractual obligation to prove those claims.  If you don't care if anyone accepts the Kalam as true, then that's fine, don't back up your claims, but remember that you lose your right to claim that the Kalam is true.

As long as you're putting forth some argument, like the Kalam, you're taking on the burden of proof.

The burden of proof will be equally distributed amongst both parties. The BOP will only arise in a dialectical context, like a debate or a discussion. The BOP can only apply if the two parties are consenting, have clearly contrary positions, a clearly defined topic, and can hash out a fair agreement.


The BOP is certainly not to psychological coerce a doubter or skeptic. This brings personal psychology into it and deviates far from objective, academic scrutiny. To put it in short, the BOP is really more about presenting a stronger case than the opponent, not to convince him personally. It's noones job to personally satisfy any one individual, that is ridiculous. You, nor any other, has some hallowed sacred ground which is the ab initio rational default, where the soundness of an argument depends on your acceptance. You don't transcend the discussion nor do you have a value or commitment free view from nowhere.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Atheist in Louisiana on November 19, 2016, 10:56:56 pm
You're just wrong.  Me doubting that your argument is correct does not put a burden on me to prove you wrong.  You don't get the luxury of being assumed right until someone proves you wrong.

If I try to convince you that no gods exist, and you doubt one of my premises, that's all you have to say.  Then it is my burden to prove the validity and soundness of my argument.  If I put forth the argument of divine hiddeness, I have the burden to prove it.  If I can't, you are justified in not accepting it as proof that god doesn't exist.  Under no circumstances can I try to force you to accept my argument as true until you can prove it false.  It simply doesn't work that way. 

Why do you think atheists almost always back off of the claim that no gods exist when they are pressed?  We might be able to prove that some specific god doesn't exist, but all gods? Heck no, we can't prove it, so we back off the claim.  We're honest about the burden of proof and what it means.  Ironically, we get flack from the theists for it.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: lucious on November 23, 2016, 10:56:53 pm
You're just wrong.  Me doubting that your argument is correct does not put a burden on me to prove you wrong.  You don't get the luxury of being assumed right until someone proves you wrong.

If I try to convince you that no gods exist, and you doubt one of my premises, that's all you have to say.  Then it is my burden to prove the validity and soundness of my argument.  If I put forth the argument of divine hiddeness, I have the burden to prove it.  If I can't, you are justified in not accepting it as proof that god doesn't exist.  Under no circumstances can I try to force you to accept my argument as true until you can prove it false.  It simply doesn't work that way. 

Why do you think atheists almost always back off of the claim that no gods exist when they are pressed?  We might be able to prove that some specific god doesn't exist, but all gods? Heck no, we can't prove it, so we back off the claim.  We're honest about the burden of proof and what it means.  Ironically, we get flack from the theists for it.


I, nor any other theist here, assumes a position or a premise is true because it hasn't been proven false. Your characterisations are false and demeaning.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 02, 2016, 11:14:15 am
That's right, the burden of proof is only applicable if you want to convince someone that you're right.  That's exactly what an argument is.  If you're not interested in convincing me that you're right, then you have no argument, including the Kalam.  The moment you put forth the Kalam, you're trying to convince me that the Kalam is true.  That's your contractual obligation to prove those claims.  If you don't care if anyone accepts the Kalam as true, then that's fine, don't back up your claims, but remember that you lose your right to claim that the Kalam is true.

As long as you're putting forth some argument, like the Kalam, you're taking on the burden of proof.

The burden of proof will be equally distributed amongst both parties. The BOP will only arise in a dialectical context, like a debate or a discussion. The BOP can only apply if the two parties are consenting, have clearly contrary positions, a clearly defined topic, and can hash out a fair agreement.


The BOP is certainly not to psychological coerce a doubter or skeptic. This brings personal psychology into it and deviates far from objective, academic scrutiny. To put it in short, the BOP is really more about presenting a stronger case than the opponent, not to convince him personally. It's noones job to personally satisfy any one individual, that is ridiculous. You, nor any other, has some hallowed sacred ground which is the ab initio rational default, where the soundness of an argument depends on your acceptance. You don't transcend the discussion nor do you have a value or commitment free view from nowhere.

That was put nicely. I have no problem with someone shirking their share of the burden, if they refrain from making any assertions, but obviously that's silly, and not what anyone would call a discussion or debate. Why is it a misunderstood thing, that even a questioner give reasons for his doubts?   
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 03, 2016, 09:24:23 am
That's right, the burden of proof is only applicable if you want to convince someone that you're right.  That's exactly what an argument is.  If you're not interested in convincing me that you're right, then you have no argument, including the Kalam.  The moment you put forth the Kalam, you're trying to convince me that the Kalam is true.  That's your contractual obligation to prove those claims.  If you don't care if anyone accepts the Kalam as true, then that's fine, don't back up your claims, but remember that you lose your right to claim that the Kalam is true.

As long as you're putting forth some argument, like the Kalam, you're taking on the burden of proof.

The burden of proof will be equally distributed amongst both parties. The BOP will only arise in a dialectical context, like a debate or a discussion. The BOP can only apply if the two parties are consenting, have clearly contrary positions, a clearly defined topic, and can hash out a fair agreement.


The BOP is certainly not to psychological coerce a doubter or skeptic. This brings personal psychology into it and deviates far from objective, academic scrutiny. To put it in short, the BOP is really more about presenting a stronger case than the opponent, not to convince him personally. It's noones job to personally satisfy any one individual, that is ridiculous. You, nor any other, has some hallowed sacred ground which is the ab initio rational default, where the soundness of an argument depends on your acceptance. You don't transcend the discussion nor do you have a value or commitment free view from nowhere.

That was put nicely. I have no problem with someone shirking their share of the burden, if they refrain from making any assertions, but obviously that's silly, and not what anyone would call a discussion or debate. Why is it a misunderstood thing, that even a questioner give reasons for his doubts?

As someone who denies "that the Divine can be known to exist", I see that I have zero BoP. I can poke holes in your arguments asserting knowability, but that really isn't BoP. I can however understand how someone might think it's reasonably knowable, even though I think there is a perfectly naturalistic explanation for that feeling.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 03, 2016, 10:14:16 am
That's right, the burden of proof is only applicable if you want to convince someone that you're right.  That's exactly what an argument is.  If you're not interested in convincing me that you're right, then you have no argument, including the Kalam.  The moment you put forth the Kalam, you're trying to convince me that the Kalam is true.  That's your contractual obligation to prove those claims.  If you don't care if anyone accepts the Kalam as true, then that's fine, don't back up your claims, but remember that you lose your right to claim that the Kalam is true.

As long as you're putting forth some argument, like the Kalam, you're taking on the burden of proof.

The burden of proof will be equally distributed amongst both parties. The BOP will only arise in a dialectical context, like a debate or a discussion. The BOP can only apply if the two parties are consenting, have clearly contrary positions, a clearly defined topic, and can hash out a fair agreement.


The BOP is certainly not to psychological coerce a doubter or skeptic. This brings personal psychology into it and deviates far from objective, academic scrutiny. To put it in short, the BOP is really more about presenting a stronger case than the opponent, not to convince him personally. It's noones job to personally satisfy any one individual, that is ridiculous. You, nor any other, has some hallowed sacred ground which is the ab initio rational default, where the soundness of an argument depends on your acceptance. You don't transcend the discussion nor do you have a value or commitment free view from nowhere.

That was put nicely. I have no problem with someone shirking their share of the burden, if they refrain from making any assertions, but obviously that's silly, and not what anyone would call a discussion or debate. Why is it a misunderstood thing, that even a questioner give reasons for his doubts?

As someone who denies "that the Divine can be known to exist", I see that I have zero BoP. I can poke holes in your arguments asserting knowability, but that really isn't BoP. I can however understand how someone might think it's reasonably knowable, even though I think there is a perfectly naturalistic explanation for that feeling.

Do you have zero burden of proof for expressing your doubts, meaning, give reasons for those doubts?  You expressed a denial of "that the Divine can be known to exist". A questioner can ask that you give reasons for your denial. If knowledge is justified true belief, then anyone can call you on your belief that - "there is a perfectly natural explanation for that". You should give reasons for your own assertions (BoP). You disagree with this?
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 03, 2016, 10:51:27 am
I think I see you point

I can assume BoP, and defend certain precepts of naturalism, (or rather others can better than I), like the science of evolution. With the KCA, I can show that our knowledge of modern cosmology will make gains, but likely hit walls, making the moment before the expansion unknowable. We may never know no if the universe began as a singularly or a very dense and hot state. So while I assume the burden of defending Naturalism,  I will not, nor cannot, deny "the existence of the Divine". How can you assert denying the unknowable?

Now I can understand possible knowability based on a very narrow subset of the design argument, human psychology and consciousness. That may take up another thread.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 03, 2016, 12:32:50 pm
So while I assume the burden of defending Naturalism,  I will not, nor cannot, deny "the existence of the Divine". How can you assert denying the unknowable?

I do agree with much of what you suggested, minus the above, so id like to ask you this...

Claiming that a certain kind of knowledge is unknowable, or not attainable, will have at least 3 possible basic positions... at least that I can think of.

Mostly pro
Mostly con
Or neither one

Can't we ask for justification, for all three positions?

Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 03, 2016, 01:05:21 pm
So while I assume the burden of defending Naturalism,  I will not, nor cannot, deny "the existence of the Divine". How can you assert denying the unknowable?

I do agree with much of what you suggested, minus the above, so id like to ask you this...

Claiming that a certain kind of knowledge is unknowable, or not attainable, will have at least 3 possible basic positions... at least that I can think of.

Mostly pro
Mostly con
Or neither one

Can't we ask for justification, for all three positions?

If I understand your point correctly, I would say "neither one", and I'd definitely not assume BoP with that. The other variant of atheism, "denial that the Divine has been shown to exist", may reject those categories altogether, I don't know. I think Dawkins and Co. are of that breed. Unfortunately, Dawkins has this murky, obfuscating, 7 point scale of atheism. He quanties the unquantifiable. I find myself in the interesting position of defending the Victorian and early 20th Century Christian theologians' definitions of atheism.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 03, 2016, 02:25:09 pm
So while I assume the burden of defending Naturalism,  I will not, nor cannot, deny "the existence of the Divine". How can you assert denying the unknowable?

I do agree with much of what you suggested, minus the above, so id like to ask you this...

Claiming that a certain kind of knowledge is unknowable, or not attainable, will have at least 3 possible basic positions... at least that I can think of.

Mostly pro
Mostly con
Or neither one

Can't we ask for justification, for all three positions?

If I understand your point correctly, I would say "neither one", and I'd definitely not assume BoP with that.

So by choosing "neither one", you mean to say that you neither accept,  or deny,  the existence of the Divine?
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 03, 2016, 04:15:56 pm
So while I assume the burden of defending Naturalism,  I will not, nor cannot, deny "the existence of the Divine". How can you assert denying the unknowable?

I do agree with much of what you suggested, minus the above, so id like to ask you this...

Claiming that a certain kind of knowledge is unknowable, or not attainable, will have at least 3 possible basic positions... at least that I can think of.

Mostly pro
Mostly con
Or neither one

Can't we ask for justification, for all three positions?

If I understand your point correctly, I would say "neither one", and I'd definitely not assume BoP with that.

So by choosing "neither one", you mean to say that you neither accept,  or deny,  the existence of the Divine?

Sorry I misunderstood the context of your question, I'd thought that I answered it.

I'm "neither" because of "denial that the Divine can be known to exist".
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Al Graham on December 03, 2016, 04:27:34 pm
Perhaps you should read more about the philosophic burden of proof (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof).  Here is a little excerpt: "When two parties are in a discussion and one asserts a claim that the other disputes, the one who asserts has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim."

Correct.  Therefore when someone asserts that the philosophy of naturalism is true, he has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim.

Unless atheists want to abandon naturalism, there is a burden of proof on both atheists and theists to substantiate their claims.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 03, 2016, 04:37:22 pm
So while I assume the burden of defending Naturalism,  I will not, nor cannot, deny "the existence of the Divine". How can you assert denying the unknowable?

I do agree with much of what you suggested, minus the above, so id like to ask you this...

Claiming that a certain kind of knowledge is unknowable, or not attainable, will have at least 3 possible basic positions... at least that I can think of.

Mostly pro
Mostly con
Or neither one

Can't we ask for justification, for all three positions?

If I understand your point correctly, I would say "neither one", and I'd definitely not assume BoP with that.

So by choosing "neither one", you mean to say that you neither accept,  or deny,  the existence of the Divine?

Sorry I misunderstood the context of your question, I'd thought that I answered it.

I'm "neither" because of "denial that the Divine can be known to exist".

Help me understand, because to me, when I read you saying that you are in denial of the belief - that the Divine can be known to exist, I take that to mean the equivalent to the "mostly con" position. As in, being against the belief - that it is possible to know that the Divine exists. I reworded the belief a little, so correct me if that doesn't fit what you mean.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 03, 2016, 04:59:09 pm
"Denial that the Divine can be known to exist", not "denial of belief".
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 03, 2016, 05:28:35 pm
"Denial that the Divine can be known to exist", not "denial of belief".

I wasn't trying to draw out a discussion on whether its possible to acquire the knowledge that God exists or not, or hold to that belief. I was just trying to use it as an example, and we got hung up on fully agreeing on the example.

Whether its a belief, or whatever it is you are denying, the point I am trying to make is that you must give an account as to "why" you deny it. Seems to me that all but the fellow that answers "I don't know"(neither for or against), must give a reason "why". Even the fellow that answers "I can't know" must justify that answer, ie "why cant you know?". 

any proposition p or not-p can be reworded into its equivalent logical inverse form. I don't think its right to privilege one over the other, in that a person somehow doesn't have to justify "why" they hold to a "not-p" only answer.

Would a courtroom be a sufficient example? You have two sides, one asserting, one denying that assertion, both must justify their position or the case is thrown out. To me a discussion is very similar. A debate may be different I don't know.... =P


Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 03, 2016, 11:45:26 pm
"Denial that the Divine can be known to exist", not "denial of belief".

I wasn't trying to draw out a discussion on whether its possible to acquire the knowledge that God exists or not, or hold to that belief. I was just trying to use it as an example, and we got hung up on fully agreeing on the example.

Whether its a belief, or whatever it is you are denying, the point I am trying to make is that you must give an account as to "why" you deny it. Seems to me that all but the fellow that answers "I don't know"(neither for or against), must give a reason "why". Even the fellow that answers "I can't know" must justify that answer, ie "why cant you know?". 

any proposition p or not-p can be reworded into its equivalent logical inverse form. I don't think its right to privilege one over the other, in that a person somehow doesn't have to justify "why" they hold to a "not-p" only answer.

Would a courtroom be a sufficient example? You have two sides, one asserting, one denying that assertion, both must justify their position or the case is thrown out. To me a discussion is very similar. A debate may be different I don't know.... =P

I don't find a civil court an adequate analogy. That would be "preponderance of the evidence", which quantifies it. Criminal court, beyond a reasonable doubt? Not even that. Maybe for unknowability it would be: "there is no case to put on trial". Now that I wrote it I'm not sure that's a perfect analogy.

Let me start by drawing lines of demarcation with the other species of atheism.

"Deny the existence", referred to as dogmatic atheism, holds beyond a reasonable doubt there is no deity. I would like to find these atheists in the Victorian Era literature and see their arguments.  Those that hold this BoP must think the aggregate arguments for Naturalism do the trick. Not for me. By asserting naturalist arguments I feel confident that many arguments for manifestations of a deity/supernatural are defeated (FT, ID, IR, etc.). But God, as it is described by the Abrahamic theology in its most sophisticated, isn't, and cannot be disproven.

"Not shown to exist", also known as critical atheism, want a preponderance of the evidence. Most atheists fall into this category. They just want some proof. They frame the question like all it would take is a miracle reported on the cable stations, or a cluster of cellphone vids. The mistake they make is that they strawman up a god which is like Santa Claus, or a spirit. All those pesky apologists have to do is set up a hidden cam to catch the Divine, or we wait to see an encoded message in the Cosmic Microwave Background. It's not gonna happen. No theologian with any world class chops would ever argue for a God like that.

"Can't be known to exist", known as agnostic or skeptical atheism, no case to bring to trial l. Ladzdazl said the Victorian Era definition is really Theological Noncognitivism. Perhaps it is. I read that they feel the definition of God is without meaning, or "nonsensical". I don't want to use the latter term because it would be taken that theists believe in nonsense. But the Victorian theologians meant to put Huxley in this box. He would reject this, as would latter day agnostics. I hope my sage, Carl Sagan, doesn't spin in his grave if I refer to him as a skeptical atheist.

But this concept of God, imminent and transcendent, the First Cause, is so beyond the shroud of the Cosmos' limit, so deep in the mystical prayers and meditations of the holy, I just find it unknowable, incapable of proof. I have nothing to sink my teeth into to believe in. My own moments of awe, transcendence and Zen are real to me. They take me beyond the temporal. But when I reflect back in them intellectually, I see no violations of the laws of naturalism. And that might just seem an unknowable juxtaposition to a theist.

Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 04, 2016, 09:34:25 am
My central concern was being responsible for the beliefs we have in the sense that we are able to give reasons fo those beliefs. Its paradigm neutral. If you disagree with a chap about thier views,  that doesn't mean you are off the hook on justifying those reasons. That may not be the correct use of burden of proof,  but whatever it is,  thats my point. Has little to do,  with which version of which worldview a person subscribes to.

If anyone else might want to correct my thinking on this term,  my ears are open. Im sure it will be context relative.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 04, 2016, 10:07:03 am
My central concern was being responsible for the beliefs we have in the sense that we are able to give reasons fo those beliefs. Its paradigm neutral. If you disagree with a chap about thier views,  that doesn't mean you are off the hook on justifying those reasons. That may not be the correct use of burden of proof,  but whatever it is,  thats my point. Has little to do,  with which version of which worldview a person subscribes to.

If anyone else might want to correct my thinking on this term,  my ears are open. Im sure it will be context relative.

I would love to hear what causes you to hold the Divine knowable and/or its existence. That is how I how usually engage the general idea of religious faith and belief.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 04, 2016, 10:46:07 am
My central concern was being responsible for the beliefs we have in the sense that we are able to give reasons fo those beliefs. Its paradigm neutral. If you disagree with a chap about thier views,  that doesn't mean you are off the hook on justifying those reasons. That may not be the correct use of burden of proof,  but whatever it is,  thats my point. Has little to do,  with which version of which worldview a person subscribes to.

If anyone else might want to correct my thinking on this term,  my ears are open. Im sure it will be context relative.

I would love to hear what causes you to hold the Divine knowable and/or its existence. That is how I how usually engage the general idea of religious faith and belief.

Maybe its best to pose that question on a separate thread and not clutter up this one. I wasnt advocating a discussion on it, but rather one about burden of proof, because of the epistemic nature of justifying our reasons for belief in any worldview.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 04, 2016, 01:41:27 pm
Sounds good. I may launch a new thread or two myself. I don't like going on the CYOT page because it's too tempting to call BS on the abysmally hypocritical political posts there. I do plenty politics on other pages.

A pre-Huxley theologian summed up atheism as denial, or doubt, of the existence of God. I am in the doubt category. My embrace of Naturalism gives me reason to feel that the definition, and/or knowledge of God, or the supernatural, is incapable of proof. I'm not demanding some miracle to establish that knowability, but an argument I can get my head around.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 04, 2016, 02:59:48 pm
Sounds good. I may launch a new thread or two myself. I don't like going on the CYOT page because it's too tempting to call BS on the abysmally hypocritical political posts there. I do plenty politics on other pages.

A pre-Huxley theologian summed up atheism as denial, or doubt, of the existence of God. I am in the doubt category. My embrace of Naturalism gives me reason to feel that the definition, and/or knowledge of God, or the supernatural, is incapable of proof. I'm not demanding some miracle to establish that knowability, but an argument I can get my head around.

ok cool.

As to your claim about Naturalism giving your reasons to doubt, the act of what you just asserted, that's all I was trying to explain. I may butcher the scholarly notion of burden of proof, but having reasons for our doubts, is basically all i was trying to get at. Earth shattering I know, but that's all i was trying to get at. And my comments about what a soft agnostic may claim, is the only guy off the hook for explaining his doubts...because he simply bows out with an "i don't know".
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 04, 2016, 03:27:16 pm
That's the first I've heard soft agnostic as a term. I've heard positive agnosticism as equivalent to skeptical atheism. Soon we'll have a full lexicon of all the naturalistic forms of agnosticism and atheism, and we all can agree on who's who. So much of what I see in defending Naturalism involves debunking pseudoscience, aka scientific skepticism. I'm trying to move beyond that and get into deeper questions. I see the FT and ID debate as that, and a distraction from deeper philosophical arguments.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: Dogbyte on December 04, 2016, 04:51:07 pm
That's the first I've heard soft agnostic as a term. I've heard positive agnosticism as equivalent to skeptical atheism. Soon we'll have a full lexicon of all the naturalistic forms of agnosticism and atheism, and we all can agree on who's who. So much of what I see in defending Naturalism involves debunking pseudoscience, aka scientific skepticism. I'm trying to move beyond that and get into deeper questions. I see the FT and ID debate as that, and a distraction from deeper philosophical arguments.

Lol man i can hardly keep up sometimes, i may have read it wrong or mixing up soft/hard with strong/weak ect... So many flavors of ideas. But to me it just denotes the obvious difference between the guy claiming ignorance and the guy claiming its meaningless about any given belief. Both are not claiming pro/con one way or the other, but the second guy still should show reasons for his doubts.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: lucious on December 04, 2016, 09:28:33 pm
That's the first I've heard soft agnostic as a term. I've heard positive agnosticism as equivalent to skeptical atheism. Soon we'll have a full lexicon of all the naturalistic forms of agnosticism and atheism, and we all can agree on who's who. So much of what I see in defending Naturalism involves debunking pseudoscience, aka scientific skepticism. I'm trying to move beyond that and get into deeper questions. I see the FT and ID debate as that, and a distraction from deeper philosophical arguments.


Debunking pseudoscience is just that, debunking pseudoscience. That's not a case for naturalism at all, which requires its own positive philosophical defense.


Whoever thinks that "proper" science, or the findings of, is synonymous with naturalism as a metaphysic needs to go back to the drawing board.
Title: Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
Post by: searcherman on December 05, 2016, 09:20:48 am
That's the first I've heard soft agnostic as a term. I've heard positive agnosticism as equivalent to skeptical atheism. Soon we'll have a full lexicon of all the naturalistic forms of agnosticism and atheism, and we all can agree on who's who. So much of what I see in defending Naturalism involves debunking pseudoscience, aka scientific skepticism. I'm trying to move beyond that and get into deeper questions. I see the FT and ID debate as that, and a distraction from deeper philosophical arguments.

Lol man i can hardly keep up sometimes, i may have read it wrong or mixing up soft/hard with strong/weak ect... So many flavors of ideas. But to me it just denotes the obvious difference between the guy claiming ignorance and the guy claiming its meaningless about any given belief. Both are not claiming pro/con one way or the other, but the second guy still should show reasons for his doubts.

I do find it incumbent upon my self to learn more of the other arguments, like MOA. But what I know of the other logical arguments, I find I can't fully accept and/or understand the premises. So my doubt is all sided. There are also non-epistemological characterizations of atheism by te Victorian theologians I haven't even delved into yet.