Mostly I'm posting this so that people who are not theists but don't give a shit about the debate can go back to comfortably calling themselves atheists.
Nope, sorry, that's still what you call an agnostic. Which is a perfectly valid choice, and there's no need to try to redefine atheism to exclude or alter it.
This guy is obviously an atheist, though, as he clearly does care about the debate; hell, he keeps going on about debates he gets into (sometimes several a day, it seems) about religion.
He's also wrong about lack of belief being a default state: the default state is a lack of UNDERSTANDING. A baby has no idea what a God even IS, so he can't decide how he feels about them. Accepting or rejecting a concept can only happen once you have at least a very basic understanding of it; otherwise, you're neutral.
The argument that we're all born atheists is as silly as the idea that we're all born Christian. We are born ignorant. Amazingly, poopingly ignorant. Thinking that a baby automatically has an opinion about God is like thinking they're born with a favorite Tarentino film (though if this were true, it would be Jackie Brown.)
Did you even watch the video? Or just click your tongue throughout the whole thing thus drowning out any of the words said.
I don't know what baggage you're carrying around in regards to the word "Atheist," but all it describes is the lack of a belief in a god. So if a baby cannot understand a god claim, I doubt it believes the claim.
Actually the default is 'no' or 'I don't know'. But if you don't know, anything other than no is inventing an answer.
Case in point:
(Putting on my best Julius Sumner Miller Accent)
Supposing I were to tell you that there was a teapot orbiting the sun between the orbits of Earth and Mars. Indeed, you would probably tell me that this is such a silly notion and would dismiss it promptly.
However, think about the proposition further. How would you know it is a silly proposition? How would you know that there is no teapot in this vicinity? After all, to know this would require an enormous certitude to your answer especially considering the great region of space available to this teapot that one would have to search for.
So, your answer is really a default answer to 'no' - because until you find this teapot, your answer will be no.
Even if you were to say to me that you don't know if there were a teapot in this area, you could still entertain the possibility, but you would not be able to give a certain answer of yes because you would not have a specimen available to you. Again, your best answer is a 'maybe' - but it is by no means definitive.
As you can see with my example, you can easily formulate a default answer of no or even "I don't know" - but saying anything other than that is inventing an answer, and THAT is the true ignorance of such a decision.
Therefore, once you have the default position, the onus lies on the other party to convince you of whatever they are trying to tell you - and you alone must have the tools with you to know what evidence to accept, to test, and what to throw away.
You read too far into what he said, Xenocide. What was stated is that we all start with no supernatural beliefs, which as you point out is because of a lack of the framework for having beliefs. He nowhere implied babies are born with a belief that supernatural beings do not exist. Not having a belief in something does not necessitate deciding "how one [one] feels about" that something.
Anyway, agnostic means no belief in theism. It's a neutral position the same way that amoral is a neutral position to morality (the way immoral is not).
Sorry, atheist means no theistic beliefs.
Nah "agnostic" is still a much politer way to put it. I want to let people of faith know that I think they're wrong, but hey maybe I'm wrong.
How is telling a christian you do not believe in a god impolite?
In lieu of an actual argument, Facek has decided to trot out those two long-dead internet debate workhorses, "you must have an evil grudge against people with my point of view," and "you obviously didn't consume the source material because it is impossible to do so without reaching the exact same conclusions I did." Watch him drag their corpses along behind him, in hopes that one of them will magically spring to life and do a trick.
Anyway, Harriet, the teapot metaphor is flawed in this case because it requires one to know what a teapot is. In the presence of a total innocent, someone who is for whatever reason ignorant of the concept of a teapot, the only default answer will be not "yes" or "no" but "huh?" If he has no concept of teapots he can't know that they are not typically found in outer space. If he does, then he can't give a default response. No is of course the most reasonable answer, but it's not a default or inherent answer, because it requires knowledge we are not born with.
Besides, the question is kind of rigged anyway: it presents a ridiculous scenario to bias one toward a no response. A theist could easily pull the same trick, presenting an extremely likely scenario ("I propose that everyone reading this will one day die") to bias the reader toward a yes response.
Hooker: I know he didn't specifically state that atheism is some sort of natural state we are born into, but it was implicit, and an argument I keep hearing more and more frequently these days, as if atheism were some sort of manifest destiny cruelly stolen from our children by the Christ-loving hordes. It's silly and logically unsound, and ultimately makes atheists look like goons. It's what bothered me most about the video, so I jumped on it. Simple as that.
Finally, I have to wonder what the point is in trying to erase the distinction between agnostics and atheists. If you come up to an agnostic and tell them "oh hey, you're actually an atheist," three things happen: first, you piss them off, second, you water down the concept of atheism, and third, you invite disagreement and conflict within your own ranks.
Can you explain where it's implied? Because for the life of me, I can't see it.
As for "the line between agnostic and atheist," agnostic is word borrowed and applied to the statement of religious beliefs because most atheists (definition: people who are non-theists) don't like being associated with so-called "strong" atheists who say that God or gods catagorically do not exist. But I think that's bullshit. Atheist means non-theist. We shouldn't have to adopt a new word because jackasses on both sides have polarized the one that explains what we are.
The teapot analogy is flawed because it will probably be revealed on some episode of "QI" that the Apollo 13 astronauts jettisoned a teapot, and it is orbiting the sun outside earth's orbit.
The usual use of "agnostic" seems to be people who are HIGHLY uncertain about what they believe: an atheist who wouldn't be surprised to discover there is a God, or a theist with significant doubts about the existence of God. This guy stumbles, I think, by saying that any uncertainty at all makes you an agnostic; I know plenty of religious folk who are comfortable saying "I realize there's no proof but it's what I believe", and they're not agnostic by any standard application of the term. I'd go a step further and say that, if you don't have any opinion at all, you aren't agnostic, you're just uninterested. I don't follow "American Idol" and I don't care who wins; that doesn't make me "undecided", just "uninterested".
This is why God doesn't talk to atheists, guys.
I've never understood why this is even an argument. atheism is the absence of theism. Agnosticism is the absence of knowledge. These are not interchangeable terms, they are two different things that compliment one another.
One can be an atheist and then say they are and atheist because they are not sure whether or not to believe in god, and are thus an agnostic atheist. (or soft atheist, to use modern terms) A gnostic atheist (or hard atheist) is not a theist and also claims to KNOW that there is no god (or is, at least, convinced there is no god).
Getting leashed to these terms is dumb, but people should at least understand how to use them correctly.
Pretty interesting, but he's redefining language to no great purpose. Most people accept the definition that "agnostic" means "not having a belief one way or the other about the existence of God." Since that's the meaning most people give the word, then that's one of the definitions for agnostic. Useage determines a word's definition.
I would hope that most people don't accept that definition of agnostic, because then we're going to need a new word for agnostic.
agnostic and atheist are still fine words, that describe what they are. this video was kind of unnecessary, because simply knowing what the "a-" prefix means would explain anything.
i think some people might want to call themselves antitheists if they are against god or against religion, though. that might be a good word to ask, because enough of those people are around.
|Tuan Jim |
I haven't formed a belief about this video.
I'm starring this for the last third or so, where he stops talking about terminology and semantics and starts talking about what this actually MEANS for us as a species.
I'm glad you said that, since I was about to bail after he spent 6 minutes saying that the burden of proof lies with the claimant. But the last 30 seconds or so especially are beautiful.
Qualia Soup is cool imo.
I'm going to totally steal what someone else said to a similar video:
What I say to anybody, theist or atheist:
"I don't know, and neither do you."
I really liked this video.
I wrote that comment when the last vestigials of my Catholic upbringing were still with me, when I was still calling myself agnostic/deist rather than atheist, in the sense that even if God existed (and that's a big if), he has chosen not to be detected using our scientific methods, and trying to prove his existence or non-existence is a waste of time. Since then, mostly from watching The Atheist Experience have I come to the conclusion that I am in fact an atheist, in the sense that no evidence has been presented to me to cause me to reasonably believe in gods. Since I grew up in farm country, most of the out-loud atheists I personally met were dickheads of the Penn Jillette variety who I had no desire to be like in any way. It was thanks to people like 3vid3nc3 and especially Matt Dilahunty (apologies for spelling that all to shit) that I now understand that PEOPLE are nice or PEOPLE are dickheads, and it has nothing to do with whether they believe in gods or not.
I still really like this video.
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