Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #15 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?

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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #16 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.
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #17 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?


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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #18 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.
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #19 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?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 03:33:06 pm by Dogbyte »

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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #20 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".
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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Al Graham

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2016, 04:27:34 pm »
Perhaps you should read more about the 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.
To understand that logic must be valid is to see at once that mind cannot be alien to the nature of the universe. Many people think this is due to the fact that Nature produced the mind. But on the assumption that Nature is herself mindless, this provides no explanation. CS Lewis (abridged)

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Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #22 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.

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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2016, 04:59:09 pm »
"Denial that the Divine can be known to exist", not "denial of belief".
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #24 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



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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #25 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.

Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #26 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.

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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #27 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.
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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Dogbyte

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #28 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.

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searcherman

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Re: Rock hard epistemological definitions of atheism
« Reply #29 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.
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right