Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

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4 hours ago, Dan56 said:

When push comes to shove, we are all Agnostic, everything else is faith. [...]

 

If we use our brain, we are... :rolleyes:

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7 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

 

My way got rid of them immediately.   Your way took six months.  

 

Seriously tho, much of the doctrine and practices of the JW's I am very familiar with, having done much research on Escatology and denominations that stressed the coming last days while I was in Seminary.  For a time, the denomination was also pretty strong in the Milwaukee area, having their missionaries out every Saturday and some weeknights going door to door. When I owned my coffee shop, they were even known to come in there to try to Proselytize.  Even after telling them multiple times I'm ordained in the Methodist church and very unlikely to change my views, they were adamant.  Finally, I resorted to the big guns.  Fortunately, they didn't take me up on my offer.  It would have been hard to explain to my wife:evil:

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

 

It might have been even harder to explain to the police.  If they believed you at all, an honorable group, or a civic minded group, or a moral group -- would have reported you.  That they did not go to the police is disturbing.  

 

Of course, your wife might be more scary than the police.       :D    

 

My last encounter with the JWs was near the job I commuted too.  They asked me if I ever "run into any of them" where I lived.  My answer was -- "Only when I'm driving."       :D   

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Atheism is falsifiable.  All that need be done to falsify it is present proof of any deities existence.  Until such time, I will call myself Atheist.

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Atheism is falsifiable.

No it isn't. You can neither prove nor disprove the statement "I don't believe you."

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

No it isn't. You can neither prove nor disprove the statement "I don't believe you."

Is that the actual definition of atheism?

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2 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Is that the actual definition of atheism?

What is an"actual definition"? The term started as a pejorative used by religious people to mock nonbelievers.  It has been used in a lot if different ways by a lot of different people since then. Atheism has no hierarchy and no leader, so no one to provide an "official definition." Merriam-Webster lists the most common definition as-

Definition of atheism

1a :a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
b :a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods.

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10 hours ago, mererdog said:

What is an"actual definition"? The term started as a pejorative used by religious people to mock nonbelievers.  It has been used in a lot if different ways by a lot of different people since then. Atheism has no hierarchy and no leader, so no one to provide an "official definition." Merriam-Webster lists the most common definition as-

Definition of atheism

1a :a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
b :a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods.

 

All a dictionary can ever do is cite common usage.  Dictionaries have no authority.

 

We can argue forever about who gets to define Atheism.  The more so since common usage shifts.  

 

The people who do not get to define Atheists are the pious.  That in particular includes dictionaries, which are written by the pious.  Christians and Muslims do not get to define Atheism or Atheists.  

 

You are more than welcome to enter the verbal war.  It is a futile war, but welcome.  

 

:whist:

 

An additional thought on pejoratives.  I rather like April Fools Day.  Any excuse for a holiday.  

 

:D   

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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15 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Atheism is falsifiable.  All that need be done to falsify it is present proof of any deities existence.  Until such time, I will call myself Atheist.

 

The eternal treadmill.  Before we can prove anything, we need a definition.  

 

Here is another perfectly good word.  "Apatheism."  Not caring whether or not God exists.  It does cut down on the arguing.  

 

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17 hours ago, mererdog said:

Definition of atheism

1a :a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods

 

Under that heading than Agnostics could largely be lumped with Atheists 

(which would raise the % of Atheists, no) 

 

Not that it is useful for any purpose but the doubters club is underrepresented a bit. 

It would grow as any person who does not specifically lay claim to a belief in a specific 

god/God would be default fall into the Atheist numbers.   Maybe?

 

If you are not a member of a god group (lacking belief) then you default to Atheist? 

Rather an interesting spin. 

 

von

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2 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 

Under that heading than Agnostics could largely be lumped with Atheists 

(which would raise the % of Atheists, no) 

 

Not that it is useful for any purpose but the doubters club is underrepresented a bit. 

It would grow as any person who does not specifically lay claim to a belief in a specific 

god/God would be default fall into the Atheist numbers.   Maybe?

 

If you are not a member of a god group (lacking belief) then you default to Atheist? 

Rather an interesting spin. 

 

von

 

 

In loose terms:

 

Atheists don't believe.  This is frequently confused with disbelieving.  There is a distinction.  Atheists don't believe due to lack of evidence.  Atheists frequently -- not always -- regard Agnostics as Atheists without guts.  

 

Anti-Theism:  An active hostility to belief.  Not to be confused with Atheism.  Not to be confused with hostility to God.  One can not be actively hostile towards something which does not exist.

 

Agnostics don't know.  Because some things are not knowable.  Often confused with being unable to make a decision.   Agnostics don't know that God exists due to lack of evidence.  Often confused with weak minded Atheists.  The distinction is a nuance.  

 

There is also, Agnostic Atheist.  The people who don't know and don't believe.  

 

Apatheists don't care whether or not God exists.

 

Apathetic Agnosticism: As exemplified by the Apathetic Agnostic Church.  "We don't know and we don't care."

 

 

:mellow:

 

 

I would like to add something.  Anybody can have an opinion on these matters.  Since I actually have an Agnostic ordination -- I have all the credentials I need to be a pompous ass.  At least, I'm a pompous ass with a sense of humor.

 

:D 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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9 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

We can argue forever about who gets to define Atheism.  

The correct answer is "everyone." You get to define it. I get to define it. The Pope gets to define it. You don't have to be limited by how the Pope defines it. The Pope doesn't have to pay any attention to my definition. I don't have to agree with your definition.

Aside from trademark issues, no one owns words. You get to use them how you like, defining them accordngly. And so does everyone else.

If I wish to define "Christian" as "a small bag of sand" there is no real reason I shouldn't- It would just leave me in a position where it takes extra effort to understand and be understood.

Edited by mererdog

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2 hours ago, VonNoble said:

If you are not a member of a god group (lacking belief) then you default to Atheist? 

Atheism is an umbrella term. There is no built-in specificity to the word. I really don't get why you keep capitalizing it. Are you talking about a specific person or group that claims the word as a title, rather than the generic descriptor.

Edited by mererdog

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21 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Atheism is an umbrella term. There is no built-in specificity to the word. I really don't get why you keep capitalizing it. Are you talking about a specific person or group that claims the word as a title, rather than the generic descriptor.

 

:o...I am beginning to get that I need not capitalize it. 

I suspect it is a carry over from a World Religions class I took many years ago.

It was Capitalized as a specific group in that class.  So i retained that practice. 

 

But I am realizing that perhaps that class was grouping it differently for the 

sake of class instruction.    

 

This has been a good thread to update my thinking.

Thx

 

von

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:47 AM, mererdog said:

No it isn't. You can neither prove nor disprove the statement "I don't believe you."

i can prove that statement.  it's a first person testimony, which for meeting a level of proof on a claim this small is sufficient.  i wonder that you take my statement under other circumstances as believed but not these.  

also, you changed the argument into one you can defeat.  i did not say 'i don't believe you', but i did say 'atheism'.  there's a difference, making your claim a straw man.

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6 hours ago, mererdog said:

The correct answer is "everyone." You get to define it. I get to define it. The Pope gets to define it. You don't have to be limited by how the Pope defines it. The Pope doesn't have to pay any attention to my definition. I don't have to agree with your definition.

Aside from trademark issues, no one owns words. You get to use them how you like, defining them accordngly. And so does everyone else.

If I wish to define "Christian" as "a small bag of sand" there is no real reason I shouldn't- It would just leave me in a position where it takes extra effort to understand and be understood.

 

 

You are free to confuse people as much as you want.  I don't see the point in deliberate obfuscation -- but yes.  It is your right.  

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9 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 

Under that heading than Agnostics could largely be lumped with Atheists 

(which would raise the % of Atheists, no) 

 

Not that it is useful for any purpose but the doubters club is underrepresented a bit. 

It would grow as any person who does not specifically lay claim to a belief in a specific 

god/God would be default fall into the Atheist numbers.   Maybe?

 

If you are not a member of a god group (lacking belief) then you default to Atheist? 

Rather an interesting spin. 

 

von

 

 

:lol:      :lol:     :lol::lol::lol:      :lol:     :lol:

 

You are making this way more complicated than it is.

 

An Atheist is someone who has one less God than a Monotheist.

 

An Atheist is Godless.  Also, godless.

 

This goes way beyond   "who does not specifically lay claim to a belief in a specific god/God"  No.  Not lacking a specific god.  Lacking all of them.  Lacking any of them.  Having none at all.

 

:whist:

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6 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 

:o...I am beginning to get that I need not capitalize it. 

I suspect it is a carry over from a World Religions class I took many years ago.

It was Capitalized as a specific group in that class.  So i retained that practice. 

 

But I am realizing that perhaps that class was grouping it differently for the 

sake of class instruction.    

 

This has been a good thread to update my thinking.

Thx

 

von

 

 

Without reference to the grammar police, I would prefer that Atheist and Agnostic get a capital A.

 

While Christian gets the big C and Muslim gets the big M -- I think Atheist gets the big A.

 

There is also the matter of usage.  American Atheists uses the capital A.  Look at the Youtube videos.  The Atheists  on Youtube all use the capital A.

 

:mellow:

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19 hours ago, cuchulain said:

also, you changed the argument into one you can defeat.  i did not say 'i don't believe you', but i did say 'atheism'.  

"I dont believe you" is the core of atheism. A theist says "There is a god!" and an atheist replies "I dont believe you." Details will differ with temperament, but the core remains unchanged. Note that without the theist to reply to, atheism becomes a moot concept.

Atheism is not falsifiable because atheism does not make any claims or predictions that can be tested. Atheists make claims. Atheism does not. 

Edited by mererdog

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9 minutes ago, mererdog said:

"I dont believe you" is the core of atheism. A theist says "There is a god!" and an atheist replies "I dont believe you." Details will differ with temperament, but the core remains unchanged. Note that without the theist to reply to, atheism becomes a moot concept.

Atheism is not falsifiable because atheism does not make any claims or predictions that can be tested. Atheists make claims. Atheism does not. 

 

 

Not really.  Atheism is comparable to being vegetarian.  

 

We know that vegetarians don't eat meat, but we don't know anything else, about what any individual vegetarian does eat.  Arguing with people who eat everything, or people who only eat meat, is not part of being vegetarian.  

 

In the same way, Atheists have different philosophies -- and different beliefs that don't involve God or gods.  I would not -- for instance -- confuse a Stoic Atheist with an Apathetic Atheist.  Replying to Theists, of any variety, is not part of Atheism.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, mererdog said:

"I dont believe you" is the core of atheism. A theist says "There is a god!" and an atheist replies "I dont believe you." Details will differ with temperament, but the core remains unchanged. Note that without the theist to reply to, atheism becomes a moot concept.

Atheism is not falsifiable because atheism does not make any claims or predictions that can be tested. Atheists make claims. Atheism does not. 

the argument isn't i don't believe you, it's i don't believe in god.  this is indeed first person testimony which is enough evidence for the claim made.  if you disagree that's fine but this line of debate is exhausted.

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