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  #1141  
Old 11th February 2017, 05:08 AM
surreptitious57 surreptitious57 is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

First examine the definition of what atheism is : the non acceptance of a truth claim with regard to a specific type of entity. Therefore anyone or anything
for whom this definition applies is by default an atheist so that includes babies and rocks. A pedantic point to make here is that it is not a requirement for
those who are atheists to actually know that they are just that they do not accept the truth claim as such. So having specific knowledge or understanding
of the truth claim is not actually required. Now to say that babies or rocks are atheists may superficially appear to be a reductio ad absurdum but it is not
because babies and rocks being atheists is entirely consistent within the definition. But had it instead been defined as : the conscious non acceptance of a
truth claim with regard to a specific type of entity then obviously babies and rocks would not qualify as atheists. But it does not say this therefore they do
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  #1142  
Old 11th February 2017, 08:43 AM
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Iron Chariots Iron Chariots is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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surreptitious57 said View Post
First examine the definition of what atheism is : the non acceptance of a truth claim with regard to a specific type of entity. Therefore anyone or anything
for whom this definition applies is by default an atheist so that includes babies and rocks. A pedantic point to make here is that it is not a requirement for
those who are atheists to actually know that they are just that they do not accept the truth claim as such. So having specific knowledge or understanding
of the truth claim is not actually required. Now to say that babies or rocks are atheists may superficially appear to be a reductio ad absurdum but it is not
because babies and rocks being atheists is entirely consistent within the definition. But had it instead been defined as : the conscious non acceptance of a
truth claim with regard to a specific type of entity then obviously babies and rocks would not qualify as atheists. But it does not say this therefore they do
Yes thanks. As I previous mentioned, babies are born atheist. They do not believe in a god. Polar bears are also atheist. The difference is that only one can be a victim of religious indoctrination and at risk of loosing their natural non belief, to a god fantasy.
Saying that babies are not atheist I find ridiculous (no offence meant).
Please show me a god believing newborn. Last time I checked, if one doesn't believe in a god, they are an atheist. Although sadly, a baby may well be subject to religious indoctrination from day one. A form of child abuse that is rampant in our society.

One can see the eagerness the christian cult to change this natural way of being, as soon as possible. In Australia we are unfortunate enough to have victims of religion in power and are happy to corrupt the education process by 1. taxpayer subsidizing religious indoctrination through private school funding 2. Allowing religions tentacles into public schools though the chaplaincy scam. Please don't try and tell me they don't proselytize. Of course they do, every chance they get.
  #1143  
Old 11th February 2017, 09:06 AM
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Goldenmane Goldenmane is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

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hackenslash said View Post
I think I've made more than reasonable attempt.

http://reciprocity-giving-something-...ntics-and.html
I've only just woken up, and am muzzy-headed, so this may need elucidation later when I have time, but I weight it differently to you. Atheist is necessarily a reactive term, in both construction and etymology, and retrofitting it to objects such as bricks is an abuse of the term.

Further, we don't know that babies don't possess something that could reasonably be termed a God belief, and it can fairly well be argued that the basic drive to cry out into the void when hungry or otherwise uncomfortable in the hope that a mysterious force will appear and render comfort and aid and nourishment forms the basis of religion.

Babies are inherently believers. They don't comprehend 'mother', they simply cry into the void for sustenence and protection.

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  #1144  
Old 11th February 2017, 10:21 AM
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hackenslash hackenslash is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

I'll let you digest, because I've covered all that. Come at it when you're clear-headed and we can chat properly.

I agree that the the term is reactive, but the referent needn't be. As I've said before, if I'm in Manchester and you fly here, we're still both in Manchester, but my being here isn't reactive, it's just where I am. Atheism is the same for me. I've never been anywhere else.
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Old 11th February 2017, 10:36 AM
Spearthrower Spearthrower is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

Any explanation that entails a rock being atheist, I simply cannot and will not accept. To me, this begins to look like the kind of argument a religious person makes, and when they find themselves stating something bizarre and apparently ridiculous, they don't reflect back on the argument that led them there.

Nothing can be atheist except humans (and possibly animals) because nothing else could be theist - nothing else could possess these traits so it's just a big category mistake.
  #1146  
Old 11th February 2017, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

Category error, is the phrase echoing in my head.

You weren't atheist until you had been presented with the Norton of a good and rejected it.

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  #1147  
Old 11th February 2017, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

I'm off to bed now, but I'm more than happy to have it out. I suspect that, unlike most of the iterations of this discussion I've had, at least it will be a sensible and fruitful discussion when we three are involved. I'll start a new thread on the morrow, although I have a blog post on free speech to polish off tomorrow as well.
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Old 11th February 2017, 12:53 PM
Spearthrower Spearthrower is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

Unfortunately, I am not going to be about much for a week or so, but I will state my position here in advance so it can be addressed.

The reason that calling rocks atheist is a category error is because of what can or can't possess a type of trait. From here on, I will use the word humans, but I want to be clear that I am not denying that other animals could potentially fall under this category - hell, to be even more comprehensive, so could artificial intelligence.

To describe an object as some particular quality necessarily means it can possess that trait. It becomes nonsensical if we imbue an object with a trait it can't possess.

As such, a car cannot be happy, an atom cannot be wet, nor a baby crystalline. The only way in which we can use this kind of language is metaphorically, meaning we are likening some attribute of the object to a quality represented by another object.

If it's poetic - fine. But I think that if someone were actually proposing those ideas as factual descriptions, they'd rightly be denied.

Now, when it comes to atheism/theism, these are not traits that a rock or any non-human object can possess without either being poetic or stating nonsense.

Atheism is, as Hack has made clear for those who misunderstand it, the privative of theism, but I can see no way in which it doesn't implicitly assume that the subject can at least potentially possess the trait of theism in the first place for its privative to have any semantic or logical sense.

As atheism can be defined in many ways, it's probably best to opt for one everyone can agree on to proceed, but I would say that the same argument can be made for any reasonable definition. Atheism is the non-acceptance of a truth-claim made about the existence of gods. A rock can neither accept nor not accept any truth claim, it doesn't possess the requisite parts to have the ability to accept or not accept. It lacks the component pieces which would make the possession of an idea or the non-possession of an idea coherent. To claim a rock is atheist is no different to claiming that a rock is theist - it's the same mistaken application of a trait the rock definitonally and categorically can not possess.

As such, a rock cannot be described by any privative of a characteristic it cannot possess any more than it could be described by the possession of that characteristic. A rock is not bald because it possesses no hair. A rock is not describable as acaudate because it lacks a tail. A rock is not acepholous because it lacks a head. A rock is not adactyl because it possesses no fingers or toes. A rock is not afebrile because it doesn't have a fever. A rock is not astomatous because it lacks a mouth. All of these descriptions make no sense because describing something as lacking a particular trait inherently supposes it can have that trait in the first place.

Similarly, a rock cannot possess a political view, an emotion, a belief, or a concept. Consequently, a rock cannot be described as holding the opposite of any of these, or described by its not holding these.

Humans can be. Humans, thanks to possessing a mind that can process concepts, can have a belief or not have a belief. A person may encounter theism and not accept it, and thereby be an atheist. Equally a person may never encounter theism and therefore rightly be called an atheist. Whether the position is reflexive or inherent, both suppose correctly that a human being can be in possession of a trait concerned with the belief in the existence of gods.

For me, this argument is the one that is most applicable when people refer to Christian babies or the like. Babies cannot be Christian because they cannot yet possess that trait - they don't have the degree of mind necessary to hold any such position, and it's a category mistake to assume they do. But this doesn't make them a-Christian either. They are simply not yet on that scale. Rocks never will be, and can never be.

Last edited by Spearthrower; 11th February 2017 at 12:56 PM.
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  #1149  
Old 11th February 2017, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

Atheism rocks, IMHO!
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  #1150  
Old 11th February 2017, 04:32 PM
surreptitious57 surreptitious57 is offline
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Default Re: Dissecting ptutt's assertions

This argument ultimately depends upon one thing : whether or not that which is defined as atheist has to possess knowledge of what atheist actually
means. If the answer is yes then babies and rocks cannot be atheist. If the answer is no then babies and rocks can be atheist. It is really that simple

It is fallacious to claim that an object or entity has to possess knowledge of its traits or characteristics for such descriptions to be valid. Because taken
to its logical conclusion it would mean no object could be described at all. And only entities with sufficient language comprehension could be described

Babies do not know they are atheist but neither do they know they are babies
Rocks does not know they are atheist but neither do they know they are rocks

And so if descriptions of objects or entities can be applied to them without them being aware of them
it makes zero sense for this to arbitrarily apply to only some of those descriptions and not all of them

Atheism is the non acceptance of a truth claim with regard to a specific class of entity. Do babies and rocks accept the truth claim? Obviously not. And therefore
they have to be regarded as atheist. Unless it is specifically stipulated that the non acceptance of the truth claim actually requires knowledge and understanding
of what it is. Now it does not. So then no matter how ridiculous it might sound babies and rocks are still atheist. Argument from incredulity does not change this
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