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Another weak vis-a-vis strong atheism thread (Question)

#1GreystrikePosted 11/5/2011 10:40:40 AM
Alright, so like the other thread, I simply stated in another forum what kozlo said -- that I am a weak atheist because there is no compelling evidence to say that no god or gods exist while at the same time, I find no evidence to comfortably support the existence of such.

A respondent, who said he was a strong atheist, then said "Do you believe in unicorn? of course not, do you consider yourself agnostic or atheist towards that, of course you're atheist toward the existence of unicorn. Exactly the same thing applies to god, if there is no evidence, then dont entertain that thought."

Thoughts? Help me respond?
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#2xXxCroNoxXxPosted 11/5/2011 10:48:21 AM(edited)
He makes a good point. I have no problem saying that I think fairies don't exist because the whole idea of fairies is stupid. Unless you think its unreasonable to say "I think fairies don't exist" then you're just hedging your bets on the whole God thing.
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Fare thee well, you evidence of Jewish superiority.
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#3fudrickPosted 11/5/2011 10:49:58 AM
I would say that I don't think I could possibly verify that no unicorns exist anywhere in the universe. So it's basically the same as my position on god(s).
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#4xXxCroNoxXxPosted 11/5/2011 10:57:34 AM
Then your position on unicorns is that you can't roll your eyes whenever anyone says that unicorns exist.

You can't think its silly that Harold Camping thought the world was going to end last month.
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Fare thee well, you evidence of Jewish superiority.
-Mercuryink
#5ElderMisanthropyPosted 11/5/2011 11:21:58 AM
I do not feel that calling yourself a strong or weak atheist should irrevocably set your position in stone. There is nothing wrong with a little flexibility.

"Does god exist?" is a question that I can only answer after "god" has been defined to a considerable extent. After clarification, I may be a strong atheist towards that particular deity. Other times, I might be forced to assume the mantle of weak atheist if I feel the description was not thorough enough for me to dispute.

Do unicorns exist? Well, what kind of unicorns? Until the 19th century, "unicorn" was usually applied to the rhinoceros. So, yes. Do the fabled, one-horned horses with magical properties exist? No.

The gap between weak and strong atheism is one that can be crossed easily when the need arises. Do not let the position you currently occupy detract from a fruitful discussion. Distracting yourself with how you label your views is not a good idea.
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#6Adito99Posted 11/5/2011 11:27:33 AM
This is a problem that applies to all of our knowledge, not just facts about gods. We have reason to believe some things and no reason to believe everything else. That doesn't mean things in the second category don't exist, we just have no justification for believing they do. This may be a failure on our part but that's the way it is.

Maybe the strong vs weak distinction could be better defined as so. Strong atheists believe God would be apparent if he did exist (he'd be in that first category) but since no God is apparent there must be no God. This is coherent and makes sense for some conceptions of God. Weak atheists believe that God wouldn't necessarily be apparent so the idea that he's not isn't conclusive proof of anything. Again this is a good position for some conceptions of God. I don't know that many atheists think this way but that's my take on it.

Help me respond?

This is tangential but you may want to separate your emotions from your beliefs a little better. You came here for a defense rather than to figure out what's true. That's dangerous and can lead to many false beliefs because you feel the need to defend an emotional investment.

Anyway, that's just me on my soapbox, carry on ; ).
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#7Greystrike(Topic Creator)Posted 11/5/2011 11:30:17 AM
By requesting assistance to respond, I wasn't asking something to help defend what I had emotionally invested -- honestly I was stumped on what to say after that and I exactly didn't want to end with "good point." I just want to perhaps keep the discussion rolling and you all have responded quite nicely.
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Warrior Champion of Darkness - Atheos
Demons of Snicket
#8NsM ComatosisPosted 11/5/2011 11:32:39 AM
This question causes so much debate because of the huge impact religion has had throughout history. In virtually any other situation, however, we simply don't care enough to split hairs over whether we're "strong" or "weak" anti-unicornists, or strong or weak anti-invisible-garage-dragonists (despite the fact that we can't actually prove the nonexistence of either). To me atheism should have always been the default position, because our beliefs should track the available evidence.
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#9king_gimpyPosted 11/5/2011 11:34:19 AM

From: ElderMisanthropy | #005
"Does god exist?" is a question that I can only answer after "god" has been defined to a considerable extent. After clarification, I may be a strong atheist towards that particular deity. Other times, I might be forced to assume the mantle of weak atheist if I feel the description was not thorough enough for me to dispute.


Exactly. I'd say I'm a weak-atheist in general when the overall concept of gods comes up, but I'm a strong atheist towards the Christian God for example.
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You can believe in stones, as long as you do not throw them at me.- Wafa Sultan
#10xXxCroNoxXxPosted 11/5/2011 11:36:02 AM
To me atheism should have always been the default position, because our beliefs should track the available evidence.

Now you may be right, but that opinion is by no means universal.
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Fare thee well, you evidence of Jewish superiority.
-Mercuryink