This is some thing I wish more people would realize.
Any idea who has the rights to this? I'd like to turn it into a bumper sticker, but want to respect copyright!
Steven, good idea. I'd buy that! Get a graphic designer to work with the placement of the text for you though. This could read better.
I'm not sure why so many atheists are insistent on this. The logic escapes me. Not believing God exists is a belief. Can one reach a conclusion and not believe it? The one seems to follow the other.
Is not believing in the FSM also a belief?
Person #1: Do you believe God exists?
Person #2: No, I believe God does not exist.
I think any reformulation for Person #1 that answers Person #1's question in the negative will be congruent with believing there is no God.
As for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I don't think any sane adult actually considers its existence seriously enough to be said to have reached a conclusion on its existence. For purposes of examining beliefs, you need a subject people take seriously.
The problem, Unseen is that too many atheists equate the word "belief" with "taken on faith." Whereas "belief" in fact is what you hold to be true, regardless of how you came to the conclusion.
Memo to Unseen:
Can one reach a conclusion and not believe it?
I can reach a conclusion and keep it tentative, subject to further investigation. I was doing this before I heard of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.
As for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, my conclusion as to its existence differs from my conclusion as to its use.
There is a world of difference between the following sentences:
- I believe God does not exist
- I do not believe God exists
The first one is a belief, but the second one is a conclusion, derived from likelihoods and lack of certainty.
I think this is the way most normal beliefs are held, not on faith but on trust.
One gets a belief in various ways, one of them being as the result of an investigation, in which case the investigation reaches a conclusion. There is no logical conviction in having a belief based on an investigation. We just need to distinguish between reasonable beliefs based on the facts we know and beliefs people hold not based on facts at all.
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