This is some thing I wish more people would realize.
Tags: Atheism, Picture
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.
I think this is the way most normal beliefs are held, not on faith but on trust.
The first one is a belief, but the second one is a conclusion, derived from likelihoods and lack of certainty.
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.
Unseen, the word "belief" has baggage attached to it and that is why atheists tend to dislike using it generally. Occam's razor. The original statement is perfectly valid from a logical perspective. There is no need to play semantic games that tend to just confuse everyone involved.
I think what's confusing to others outside our little community is the insistence that we don't believe something we so obviously do, that theism has no basis in fact or logic and that, thus, we believe there is no God.
It's the mental gymnastics that confuse, and for us it's inside baseball.
I think to get into the pedantics of whether non belief in god is actually a belief is missing the point.
And yet, atheists bring this non-starter up all the time, which simply confuses the issue for outsiders. When one makes a negative statement about something, you either believe it or you don't, and whether your belief comes as the conclusion of an investigation is neither here nor there.
If a theist says "Well, okay, you atheists have beliefs, too," we can simply point out that our beliefs are based on an examination of the facts and not by simply deciding to believe something that has no basis in facts.
The point Unseen is trying to make (I think) is that some of us are so hard over on not using the word "belief" that those people end up looking absurd to others.
And it's very easy to expose the absurdity this way: Is it your position that you've concluded God doesn't exist but you don't believe your conclusion? Hmmm....
I believe there are no leprechauns. I don't believe in leprechauns. Is there any difference between these two statements? What is it about the second statement that makes it seem like less of a belief and more of a conclusion? I really can't work this one out.
You are not alone, LogicalLunatic. There IS a difference between the two statements, but it's a misuse to try to somehow eschew the word "belief" as implying religiousity or accepting something as true with no evidence.
I have a disbelief in any god.
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Started by erik112358 in Biology and Medicine. Last reply by Nerdy Keith 1 hour ago.
Posted by Owen Hayes on December 10, 2013 at 12:20am
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Um… What did I just read?
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