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    (Original post by Facticity)
    No, seriously the likely hood of either on is still the exact same.
    That either doesn't make sense or I'm just really thick.

    I don't see how the two are equally likely.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    You're wrong. They are separate definitions. There are two definitions in the dictionary because there are two definitions.

    Almost all atheists think there is a chance that god(s) could exist. They acknowledge there is no proof of god(s) non-existence. They believe the chance of god(s) existence is about the same chance as fairies. This is different from saying "I believe god(s) do not exist!"

    All most atheists are doing is not accepting the arguments for the existence of god(s) (with reasons to not accept said arguments).
    *sighs* I'm not going to continue this circular argument with you. It makes my linguistic brain hurt to see semantics used so poorly.

    If they believe there is a chance a higher being exists, they are Agnostics, not Atheists. Again, "there is no God" =/= "there is but a small chance in God and I reject your evidence for him".

    Definition 1 and 2 are not mutually exclusive, 2 is just an elucidation of 1. *sighs*

    If you reply, I'll read it, but I'm not going to respound to this point anymore. All we're doing is saying the same things over and over. It's annoying and tiresome.
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    It still doesn't answer the questions, or provide any sources to the points you put forward. I've never heard him say that religious people are 'badly educated' and a 'danger to children'.

    Although, he does say that forcing a child to believe and adhere to a certain religion and its practices and consequences for not doing so is 'child abuse' - which I agree with.

    Also, since you mentioned the USSR I'm guessing you're talking about Stalin. True, Stalin was an atheist, there's no doubt about that - but his atheism certainly wasn't the motivation behind his revolting regime.
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    Brother... religion is something which gives you a peace of mind...There is no harm in practicing it. Although i agree with you....
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    You mean, aside from the points mentioned previously?
    They are extreme because they openly speak about their dislike of religion?

    I wish the worst thing Muslims and extreme Christians did was just openly express their dislike of atheists. Instead, they often resort to violence, seek to suppress those who dislike through use of the law and et cetera.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    I don't know, maybe the constant using him as a source for evidence; his leading of all the main campaigns; the large support he has from atheists. Obviously it won't be the exact same, but there are similarities.
    Well, he is a prominent atheist and his book covers a lot of the arguments against theism. So, a lot of people refer to him, but that doesn’t make him a prophet – anymore than Milton Freedman or Friedrich Engels were prophets.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Most Christians and Muslims have nothing to say about Atheists, on the whole.
    Don’t be so naïve, Hylean.

    I was in Muslim-majority Turkey a couple of years ago and a survey was conducted which found that the vast majority of Turks would not like to have, among others, an atheist as a next door neighbour. Now, Turkey is, in many ways, the most progressive Muslim-majority country in the world. Now, if they hold such negative views of atheists, then we have sufficient reason to conclude that the situation is just as bad, if not worse, in other Muslim-majority countries.

    I also remember an opinion poll that was conducted in the United States where the majority of people said they would not want an atheist President.

    And the Bible and the Quran aren't kind on atheists, either. If I remember correctly, the Bible refers to atheists as 'fools' and 'evil'.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    What is he ignorant about?

    Hmm, you mean aside from the fact he equates Religion with Christianity and to a lesser extent, Islam and Judaism?
    Well, that is actually a very good point, and one that actually religious people should be reminded of, actually. You have no idea how many times I have come across a Muslim who claims that his religion recognises all prophets. These idiots clearly are only thinking of Christianity and Judaism, which the Muslim religion is plagarised from. When I mention the Mormon prophet or the prophet of the Baha'i Faith, they start talking about 'false' and 'legit' prophets HAHA. Morons.

    Anyway, going back to Dawkins, as far as I know, he does make it clear in The Root of Evil that the god he is criticising is the Abrahamic god. He says, for example, the Abrahamic God is the most unpleasant character in most fiction. ...

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Aside from the fact he's said it a number of times? I'm not going to trawl through youtube to find the specific video.
    He has said that drilling a religion into a child's mind (with the threat of hell, for example) is child abuse. I have not, however, heard him say that children should be taken away from their parents.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    The USSR? Do some research.
    The Soviet Union didn't do anything in the name of atheism.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Religion A says "love all mankind", follower of Religion A hates gays. This does not mean that Religion A hates gays. An example of a common mistake religion critics make all the time.
    Tell me, Hylean, if all (or most) followers of Religion A hate gays, then why does it matter that Religion A says ‘love all mankind’? Religions are what its followers make it.
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    (Original post by spasmos)
    I am also a strong atheist, but your post is almost hypocritical. What your post read to me was as a summary of the God Delusion by Dawkins. Therefore, your views, whilst not based on this book, use this book as an evidence and follow closely the criticism that Dawkins presents - is this not reminiescent of a religious activity to you? Religion is not simply the belief in God, but the following of a Ethos and morals. To literal meanings in religion are all but eradicated in modern society - for a closer example look towards Buddhism.

    Richard Dawkins is a poor excuse for a social scientist, and whilst some of his book (such as the selfish gene) are informative and accessible, The God Delusion is a prejudice and stagnant example of anti-monotheism.

    To criticise religion, you need to be prepared to understand it, and be specific - every religion is different and cannot be tarred with the same brush. The best critic for religion is the person who knows it inside out - the theologist.

    Lastly, you should allow people to have faith, if it helps them to live a better, more fulfilled life, then who are we to criticise. Speak to any modern person who follows a religion, and you will probably be surprised by their reasons and method of following. Media reports only on the extremes of religion, not the vast majority who are sensible, objective citizens. How much better are you then those who preach about their religion, if you preach about atheism?
    Brilliant
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    USSR. Do some research.
    Done largely in the name of Stalin's communist ideology, one of the central precepts of which was an emphasis on the good of the community over the individual. Stalin recognised the divisive nature of organised religion and took steps to abolish it. Communism also carried with it associated political beliefs which he implemented without regard for their effects on the individual. However his crimes are best explained by his intense paranoia and desire for singular authority, which manifested itself in often gruesome ways.

    In short: he commited those atrocities for purely political and self-serving reasons.

    But of course, he was atheist, so he must have done what he did IN THE NAME OF atheism, despite the face that even a brief analysis of that statement reveals its utter absurdity.

    Do some research.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    See, I can be sniffy and dismissive too. :awesome:
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    You are going to have to explain to me how a banana in the box means that either both are right or both are wrong.
    Well now you're asking something different. If you put a banana in the box then obviously we know what the respective probabilities would be.

    What were talking about in regards to God is different. We are talking about something not caused by us nor referential. When it is so, simply making your definition more precise or making it more general has no effect on the probability because we do not know the chance of any God existing or not existing, thus to infer any further is guess work not substantiated by any maths. Think of it this way, putting more and more words on the concept of God has no direct effect on the concept nor the probable (unknown) chance of God. Therefore it is arguably both near 0 and near 1 at the same time.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Look in my post above, where I quote Dictionary.com. Please stop relying on semantic arguments. It's pointless. I've answered this point a few times elsewhere.

    The default position isn't Atheism, it's Agnosticism.
    No, people have tried multiple times to point out to you a pretty basic epistemological distinction and you bizarrely seem incapable of understanding it. Language gets its meaning through use and the majority of atheists use the term to mean something that you don't claim it means. It's perfectly consistent to not believe in something yet still entertain a slight possibility that it exists (purely because it cannot be disproved) and this is what most atheists mean when they discuss their atheism. What's pointless is you insisting on a definition of atheism that doesn't apply to the majority of atheists.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    *sighs* I'm not going to continue this circular argument with you. It makes my linguistic brain hurt to see semantics used so poorly.

    If they believe there is a chance a higher being exists, they are Agnostics, not Atheists. Again, "there is no God" =/= "there is but a small chance in God and I reject your evidence for him".

    Definition 1 and 2 are not mutually exclusive, 2 is just an elucidation of 1. *sighs*

    If you reply, I'll read it, but I'm not going to respound to this point anymore. All we're doing is saying the same things over and over. It's annoying and tiresome.
    Atheists do not believe "there is no God" in the majority of cases. They write "there is no God" as shorthand - just like we also write "unicorns do not exist" when we don't mean that.

    You can't just redefine us all as agnostics because that's what you want to define us as. "there is but a small chance in God and I reject your evidence for him" = atheism, whether you want it to or not.
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    (Original post by S-man10)
    What kind of probability is "nearing infinite"?

    The chances of an event occurring are 0, 1, or in between 0 and 1. And nearing 1, does not equal to nearing infinite. This probability that god exists is "nearing infinite" is nonsensical.

    Also, the probability that god exists is either 0 or 1. Nearing either 0 or 1 would mean a possibility. God existing or not existing would be an absolute. And equating a possibility with an absolute is faulty logic.
    Sorry yes I meant near 0 or near 1. Query resolved?
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    (Original post by Charzhino)
    No the probablilty is the same for both. Why do you think athiests use the stupid FSM example
    Some atheists use the FSM example because, I guess, they think the existence of, for example, the Muslim god, is no more likely than the eixstence of the FSM. After all, is there reason to believe that the existence of the FSM is less likely than the Muslim god?

    The example I gave, however, is quite different, and there is reason to believe that one is more likely than the other.

    As lightburns said, imagine there is a box and person A claims there's an apple in it, person B claims there is an orange in it and person C believes there is a fruit in the box but doesn't specify which on. Clearly, C is far more likely to be correct.
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    (Original post by Ghim)
    That either doesn't make sense or I'm just really thick.

    I don't see how the two are equally likely.
    :congrats: if it is only grammatical error that you have to comment on, I do not think this discussion will get far.

    EDIT: sorry I just saw your edit, I have explained to lightburns why this is so.
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    (Original post by Elipsis)
    I feel God's presence and when I look at a sunset or a wonderful view I cannot fathom what evolutionary or biological reason I could have for enjoying it. Furthermore if I die tomorrow and it turns out there is nothing I won't even know, so what do I have to lose? Especially if it has changed my behaviour for the better.
    I know nothing about biology but it took literally one minute of looking around to find that a sunset for example can act as a stimulus (forgive my terrible grammar) the release of dopamine/various endorphins which in turn stimulate the various "pleasure centers" of the brain. I'm sure practically every emotion we feel can be put down to the biochemistry of the brain. I mean many people claim to see God and see "the light" on a near death experience but can be attributed to the pineal gland releasing massive amounts of Dimethyltryptamine to ease the trauma of passing away, something also speculated to be responsible for the "visual dream phenomena" since it's released while we sleep. Without trying to sound rude I think the person who quoted you as being ignorant was talking about you turning to the idea of God because you don't understand something.

    e: My personal opinion is that while I don't believe in God at all it's fine to believe in a God. What I don't think is fine is organized religion.
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      (Original post by Facticity)
      Sorry yes I meant near 0 or near 1. Query resolved?
      Yes. But then, nearing either 0 or 1 is also incorrect as I have suggested...
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      (Original post by lightburns)
      Atheists do not believe "there is no God" in the majority of cases. They write "there is no God" as shorthand - just like we also write "unicorns do not exist" when we don't mean that.

      You can't just redefine us all as agnostics because that's what you want to define us as. "there is but a small chance in God and I reject your evidence for him" = atheism, whether you want it to or not.

      It's like banging your head against a brick wall, it's so simple to understand but somehow he just doesn't get it :confused:
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      (Original post by S-man10)
      Yes. But then, nearing either 0 or 1 is also incorrect as I have suggested...
      I haven't equated Gods existence or non-existence to an absolute....
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      (Original post by thisisnew)
      I know nothing about biology but it took literally one minute of looking around to find that a sunset for example can act as a stimulus (forgive my terrible grammar) the release of dopamine/various endorphins which in turn stimulate the various "pleasure centers" of the brain. I'm sure practically every emotion we feel can be put down to the biochemistry of the brain. I mean many people claim to see God and see "the light" on a near death experience but can be attributed to the pineal gland releasing massive amounts of Dimethyltryptamine to ease the trauma of passing away, something also speculated to be responsible for the "visual dream phenomena" since it's released while we sleep. Without trying to sound rude I think the person who quoted you as being ignorant was talking about you turning to the idea of God because you don't understand something.

      It's not about being able to recreate the feeling, it's the fact there is no biological reason or benefit to me enjoying such a thing. Why on earth would humans have a facility to release DXM at death? There is no way breeding would or could ever result in such a function. Love for instance has a purpose, and those who felt love probably ended up staying together at least in the short term to raise their offspring, so that trait carried on. If anything stopping to look at a beautiful landscape is detrimental because you let down your guard. Sunsets should if anything scare us, because it means the darkness i.e. our most vulnerable time of day, is coming. It is pretty easy to find the mechanism behind the enjoyment.
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      Told you to do your research.

      Here's some more.

      I am bowing out of this argument. It's boring me. We're constantly going in circles here, as always happens with these debates. People don't seem to understand language when it comes to these debates and even argue against dictionary definitions. Suddenly it becomes "shorthand" or Atheists aren't really saying there is no God, etc.

      The fact that the majority use Atheism is the wrong way is a good reason for a lot of the confusion and it's also a good reason to redefine the word completely. However, the fact dictionaries have my version as number 1 is indicative that it is the more common version. As none of us know the majority of Atheists, I'm not going to even suggest, unlike you lot, that I know how they define Atheism. I'm going to go via official sources.

      Either define yourselves correctly or do proper research and get the definition changed and create a new term for people like Hitchens who 100% refute God. That's the last thing I have to say on this matter.


      (Original post by Beneb)
      *snips*
      Do better research then.
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      (Original post by Hylean)
      Semantics. If i were to reword "the refusal to believe something is true" it would be "to believe something is not true".

      Stop relying on your semantic arguments. They're easily foiled. This is why definition 1 is the most important, ie. number 1, because number 2 is just a way of rewording it for elucidation.
      Given that the conversation is about the meaning of a word, I'd say semantics is quite important!

      Also, you're wrong. The statements "I don't believe X" and "I believe not X" are different. If you think they're the same then I can easily force you into a contradiction (or into being dishonest).

      Also, agnosticism isn't the "middle road". It's to do with what you believe we can know about the existence of a god. A whole different kettle of fish to whether or not you believe a god exists.

      Usually in discussions like this, I'd say people should clarify what they mean since "atheist" doesn't have a set meaning that everyone agrees on. So when you attack atheists, you're attacking those who claim there is no god. Which is fine. But on TSR, you're not really referring to that many people. You're not even referring to Dawkins since by your take on the meaning of atheist, he isn't one.
     
     
     
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