• 2k
Here is the question, 180:

Yes or No - Are you GODLESS (i.e. Do you LIVE a theistic g/G Belief-FREE, theistic Religion-FREE life ... re: ἄθεος) -

(a) because of sufficient evidence (or lack thereof)?
(b) because of sound inferences (or lack thereof)?
(c) because of subjective-psychological needs (or lack thereof)?
(d) because of traumatic or numinous experiences (or lack thereof)?
(e) because of familial and/or cultural tradition (or lack thereof)?
(f) because of aesthetics (e.g. 'style')?
(g) because of ethics (e.g. 'conscience')?
(h) because of ???

You are asking me if I am "GODLESS" because of some reason...without even establishing that I am GODLESS.

What in hell does that mean?

What does "GODLESS" mean?

I am an agnostic. I have no idea if I am godless or not. If there is at least one god...I sure as hell am not godless...and neither is anyone else. IF at least one god exists, NONE OF US leads a godless life. IF there are no gods, I am leading a godless life BECAUSE there are no gods.

Now...I looked beyond that jumbled, poorly conceived, poorly executed mess and answered the question I supposed you were trying (unsuccessfully) to ask...and answered it fully and truthfully.

Where do you want to go with it from here?

I am totally willing to answer any question you ask...providing you do not tell me I must answer it only with answers you provide...and if you do not make unnecessary, assumptions about how I do or do not live my life.

And the ending of the first part of your "question" is Greek to me.

To you???
• 74
I say neither probability estimate is based on anything but a pre-existing bias one way or the other.

You?

If bias is the difference between the estimated value and the actual value, then one party would be biased against what is true and the other would have no bias. I'm probably one of the unbiased ones ;-)
• 2k
I do not understand what that means.

Preexisting bias...is bias that precedes the argument made in either direction.

If you are disagreeing with what I said, we can discuss it.
• 1.5k
You are asking me if I am "GODLESS" because of some reason...without even establishing that I am GODLESS.
My intent is to establish whether or not you claim or agree that you are GODLESS - as I'd parenthetically spoon-fed (and then quoted by) you:

IN OTHER WORDS, Do you LIVE a theistic g/G Belief-FREE, theistic Religion-FREE life ...?

Mmmm yummy yummy, Frankie ... quit spitting-out my yummy spoonfuls! :yum:

What does "GODLESS" mean?

And the ending of the first part of your "question" is Greek to me.
In the original post the Greek word is linked to a wiki article which defines the word and its historical usage from antiquity to the present; and is synonymous with GODLESS. If you really want to know what I mean, follow the link for ἄθεος. :eyes:

:roll:

...providing you do not tell me I must answer it only with answers you provide...
Well since I asked a Yes or No question, "yes or no" are the only answers relevant to the question; what's listed are not "answers" but suggested reasons for your answer, including an open undefined option for any other reason or reasons for the answer, quite the contrary, that you're refusing to give. :sweat:
• 2k
180 Proof
773
You are asking me if I am "GODLESS" because of some reason...without even establishing that I am GODLESS.
— Frank Apisa
My intent is to establish whether or not you claim or agree that you are GODLESS - as I'd parenthetically spoon-fed (and then quoted by) you:

And you fucked it up. That is NOT what your question asked. Read it with comprehension. Or better yet, get some school kid to read it for you and explain how to repair it.

In any case, I got the gist of what you mangled...and answered it.

IN OTHER WORDS, Do you LIVE a theistic g/G Belief-FREE, theistic Religion-FREE life ...? — 180

Don't even know what that would look like. What I don't do...is go to church or worry about the dictates of any gods. I simply acknowledge that gods might exist. If any of them are like that savage god of the Bible...I am in a shit load of trouble.

Mmmm yummy yummy, Frankie ... quit spitting-out my yummy spoonfuls! :yum: — 180

Work some fava beans into that bullshit...and see what it gets you.

What does "GODLESS" mean?

And the ending of the first part of your "question" is Greek to me.
— 180

Yes, I noticed. The rest was just jumbled bullshit.

In the original post the Greek word is linked to a wiki article which defines the word and its historical usage from antiquity to the present; and is synonymous with GODLESS. If you really want to know what I mean, follow the link for ἄθεος. :eyes:

:roll:
— 180

I am discussing this with you...not with the writer of an article who is not discussing it with me.
Okay?

...providing you do not tell me I must answer it only with answers you provide...
Well since I asked a Yes or No question, "yes or no" are the only answers relevant to the question; the list are not "answers" but suggested reasons for your answer, including an open undefined option for any other reason or reasons for the answer, quite the contrary, that you're refusing to give. :sweat:

And if you learned how to write, you would see that your "question" is not what you seem to think it was.
• 1.5k
What I don't do...is go to church or worry about the dictates of any gods.
Yes, Godless - ἄθεος; no reason given. My work's done here. :victory:

Thanks, Frankie. :rofl:
• 2k
180 Proof
775
What I don't do...is go to church or worry about the dictates of any gods.
— Frank Apisa
Yes, Godless -
ἄθεος; no reason given. My work's done here. Thanks, Frankie. :rofl:

If there is a god (one of two mutually exclusive possibilities) I am NOT godless...and neither are you.

If you want to think "your work" is done here...no problem. Have a good life. Don't let the bedbugs bite.
• 724
Saying I'm an agnostic is morely to invite discussion, and I'm not always in the mood. Trial and error helped me to find out that I was happier if I generally said that I was an atheist and clarify that I was actually an agnostic when already in conversation on the topic.
Let's say you present yourself as an atheist as a tactic to keep the flies off. But you present yourself as an agnostic when you're in the mood to discuss the subject. There are strange flies in your country. In mine they are not so easily frightened off. Declaring yourself an atheist is the easiest way to get bitten by flies.
• 109
Do these terms mean that you have observed the stimulus prior to its description, or, you heard its description prior to your observation, respectively?

Yes.

If the order is the distinction, I'm still unsure how that would be the critical variable. Wouldn't the extraordinariness of a claim be more pertinent?

It's a framing issue. When you see a thing and part of its aspects surprise you, you'll want to integrate it into your worldview. It changes via direct experience. If you learn about a concept via a word, then you assume the word is meaningful, and you'll try to figure out what it means. You'll first have to try to figure out what the word means, because it's possible that the "thing" is already part of your worldview, but the other person uses an unfamiliar word and sets different accents. If that's the case, you'll have a oh-you-mean-X type of experience. Basically, an unfamiliar word and a description that doesn't trigger recognition doesn't necessarily introduce you to new concept. It might introduce you to an unfamiliar perspective on a known concept. That is: you get knew information about the person you're speaking to via a familar concept (but only if you figure out that they're referring to a familiar concept).

But if you're really introduced to a new concept, you'll not be "naive" about the concept when you encounter the thing in the wild. From the get go, your take on that thing will be influenced by the perspective of the person who introduced you to the concept. Part of the world-view integrational work has already been done. The more abstract the concept, the more pronounced the effect is.

At some level of abstraction the concept itself might actually be an interpretative mold to organise several disparate perceptions and/or feelings into a "comparative matrix". I think words like "love" and "justice" fall into this category. Anything that's culturally specific you usually learn about during childhood, a time when you're still consolidating new concepts into a world view. A lot of these things feel very basic later in life, but you actually absorb them early on by imitation, trial and error. When there's a concept you feel is vital to others, you might be motivated to actively seek out clues. A series of Is-this-it? experiences until you're satisfied. If you fail to acquire too many culturally specific abstracts, you're going to have find other ways to deal with it. I didn't acquire the God concept properly, I think, because I sort of tagged with make-belief, like the Easter Bunny, who supposedly coloured and hid Easter eggs (it was clear to me that bunnies can't hold brushes, and all those pictures were cartoons, that my parents were smart enough to know this, too, yet they'd never admit that they were responsible - I thought God was a similar sort of game; I remember the surprise when I found they were actually serious about that).

One important question about word-first concepts is this: how do we satisfy ourselves that this thing or this constellation of things corresponds to this concept? (Conversion experiences should be interesting.)

Maybe it would help me to understand the epistemology you use to develop an understanding of things contained in the universe, and what is meant by level.

Sadly, that's a mostly intuitive process, and I'm not so sure how to describe this myself. I'm not even quite sure what I mean by level. When I look at the word "God", then I'm trying to figure out what that could mean in a way that would make sense within the confines of my world view. Since I have functional world view that does fine without the concept, this is difficult. So it's mostly an exercise in taking another persons perspective. But the God-concept is opaque.

Unicorns, for example, are comparatively easy. There physical objects, for example. There can be things that look like unicorns, and they then either are Unicorns or not. I don't need complete information. For example, I don't need to know the gestetation period of unicorns, unless if that were the easiest feature with which to distinguish them form mere single-horned horses.

Basically, I'd need some way to check for evidence of God, or some sort of perspective that allows me to interpret stuff that's there as evidence for God. I've developed the unsystematic intuition that if you have faith in God, everything is potential evidence, and if you don't nothing is. And that's a bit of a road block. I don't think there's a specific direction my God concept has to... concretise?... before I can really tackle the question of existance.

That's precisely the area where I confuse myself the most, though, so I doubt I can explain myself very well here.

One's world-view is ultimately what a given individual believes is understood. But people's worldviews can undergo conversions.

I'm not sure I'm reading you right, here, but I think the bulk of one's worldview is unconcious, and it's less a finished product, and more an ongoing progress. Crises will lead to restructurings, and things like epiphanies may not be as sudden as they seem to your conscious self (on account of a sudden trigger). I think I may be using the term a little more broadly than you do in this paragraph (and also a little less precisely as a consequence). There's nothing I disagree with here, though.
• 109
One of the things I "got" there, though, was a predisposition toward "There probably are no gods"...which is a perfectly fine take to have on the REALITY. Fact is, either there is at least one god...or there are none. So the hard atheist and the hard theist have at least a 50% chance of being correct. And the use of "atheist" as a descriptor for someone with that disposition MAKES SENSE.

Hm, maybe. It's entirely practical, though. I definitively behave as if there are no gods. Now, I'm a rather cautious person, and I even have a tendency towards anxiety. I'm fairly sure if I were, in the back of my mind, considering the possibility that there are gods, I'd be worrying about that, and it would be a hindrance in making decisions. What if I angered a god? Things like that. I have no such worries, so it'd be probably more a pre-disposition towards "There are no gods," without the probably. Which would be even further down the atheist road, under the three-category-model.

My position, though, is better described that the hard atheist and hard theist have a 0 % chance to be correct, because their respective claims aren't meaningful enough to trigger correctness conditions. Both claims can be disregarded. (This implies that an agnostic who believes that either the hard atheist or the hard theist is correct, would also have 0 % chance to be correct.)

This is further complicated by the fact that I'm a relativist, though. I can only say this some degree of confidence within the confines of my own worldview. I strongly suspect that theists at least do attach some sort of meaning to the proposition, but I since all my perspective-taking exercises in that direction have failed, I can't behave as if. In a sense, this makes my atheism mostly performative, with no content.

There are strange flies in your country. In mine they are not so easily frightened off. Declaring yourself an atheist is the easiest way to get bitten by flies.

I'm Austrian. Upper Austria to be precise. It's a very secular life around here. You won't even talk about religion at all until you know each other a bit better (or the context warrants it; e.g. you're talking about news). I'm pretty lucky in that respect. Pretty much the only people trying to convert me are Jehova's Witnesses.
• 74
One important question about word-first concepts is this: how do we satisfy ourselves that this thing or this constellation of things corresponds to this concept? (Conversion experiences should be interesting.)

While I agree that concept formation probably more easily develops thing-first (attending to stimulus features like wavelength, size, and topography), than word-first (descriptions lacking physical form) the essence of concepts is generalization within classes and discrimination between classes.

A young child will use the word "doggy" in the presence of an animal. The parent will say, "no, that's a spider". Through many examples and non-examples, the child will say "doggy" when in the presence of a an organism that shares enough of the necessary phenotypes to be called a dog that the child's verbal community would confirm for the child that her labeling of the organism conformed with the requisite features. The errors will get closer to the margins (e.g., calling a wolf a doggy).

We do, however, do something similar when discussing concepts without specific stimulus features. What is love? What is disgust? What is diffidence? How do these terms become concepts? I love chocolate. I love dogs. I love warm spring days.

Our communities evaluate our use of concepts and we begin to self-evaluate. What are ghosts? An object moves for no apparent reason and someone says a ghost moved it. We ask what is meant and the person expounds. In the end we don't know if we're referring the same stimulus conditions that another person is when talking about ghosts, but we still draw conclusions about the claim of the existence of ghosts; just as we do about Pegasus, leprechauns, or Slenderman.

Some people argue that you are not justified in taking a position about a topic you can neither confirm nor deny, but maybe it's better to say I will begin believing in the claim when there IS sufficient evidence. Until then, the position of holding out hope of confirming possible existences for things premised on extraordinary claims (as some do) does not seem rational (IMHO).

Basically, I'd need some way to check for evidence of God, or some sort of perspective that allows me to interpret stuff that's there as evidence for God. I've developed the unsystematic intuition that if you have faith in God, everything is potential evidence, and if you don't nothing is. And that's a bit of a road block. I don't think there's a specific direction my God concept has to... concretise?... before I can really tackle the question of existance.

I feel similarly. But does this mean that you have formed an opinion one way or the other?

but I think the bulk of one's worldview is unconcious, and it's less a finished product, and more an ongoing progress.

I think so too. Thanks for your thoughts on this.
• 2k
My position, though, is better described that the hard atheist and hard theist have a 0 % chance to be correct, because their respective claims aren't meaningful enough to trigger correctness conditions. Both claims can be disregarded. (This implies that an agnostic who believes that either the hard atheist or the hard theist is correct, would also have 0 % chance to be correct.)

Not sure what kind of rationalizations you are using to arrive at that point,..or why you are using them, Dawn, but it seems contrived to me.

THE REALITY is that their either IS at least one god...or there are none.

That is just the way things are. If you flip a coin and designated the heads side a guess of "There is at least one god" and the tails side a guess of "There are no gods"...

...one guess will be correct.

But, if you want to suppose someone saying that either "yes" or "no" is correct for a "yes or no" question...go with it.

Try that on this question: Are there any sentient beings living on any of the planets circling the nearest 10 stars to Sol? Pose it as a question of "Do you guess that..." if you choose.
• 109
But, if you want to suppose someone saying that either "yes" or "no" is correct for a "yes or no" question...go with it.

That's not what I'm saying, though. I'm saying that my hunch is that it's possible to be fooled by the grammatical structure of sentence. Just because you can formulate a yes/no question for gods' existance doesn't mean that this formulation is a valid treatment of the concept of God.

For what it's worth, I do think I'm overshooting my mark by treating all god concepts the same. Even translation is difficult. A monotheistic God is rather different from the Greek lot, and they're both pretty different from Shintoist Kami. I'm shaky on this all, because I'm generally not bothered by any of this in my daily life.

Does the Mellow-winged Staggerthwart exist? (Can you answer the question with yes/no, before figuring out what this is supposed to be? I just arranged random words, here. There's no meaning to it.)

Or self-referential: Does existence exist?

Not all sentences of a certain structure are necessarily valid representations of... well, anything meaningful. It's an empty phrase that traps people in an uresolvable conflict and sorts them into two sides, where emotional intensity is substituted for content. The divinity aspect allows people on either side to shift goal-posts at will. People can be umpires in the game, but they can't do anything about the goalpost shifting, because it's in the rules.

Goalpost shifting is easily possible about nearby aliens, too, but it's not in the rules. I realise that the burden of proof, here, is on me, and since it's just a hunch (with ever-decreasing certainty about different God concepts), I don't quite know how to do this or if I can at all.
• 2k
Great response, Dawn...and lots to consider. Unfortunately, my wife just called me into the living room to watch something or other that she wants to discuss with me.

I'll get back to you later...or in the interests of my relationship here...tomorrow.

• 1.5k
Atheism is a belief...not a lack of "belief."
Forcing the point on me,  I revise (or, better, yet qualify) my contention that 'atheism is not a belief' by reformulating it so: atheism is a negating BELIEF ABOUT theism and (therefore) also a lack of BELIEF IN theistic g/G's.

Unlike you, Frank, I do not conflate 'belief that' and 'belief in' - the latter being an avowal of 'faith', which is not a truth-claim (like singing or feeling pain), whereas the former is a referring statement that is a truth-claim. Atheism, as I understand and have lived it since my teens, consists in BOTH distinct modes of belief; thus, I agree that "babies and toddlers" (or dogs and cats and trees) cannot be atheists.

And, yes, we atheists do have a 'burden of proof' to demonstrate the truth-value of our BELIEF ABOUT theism's falsity or incoherence - a position which I've maintained for at least two decades or more with which, in my experience, most (even some strong / positive) "atheists" vehemently disagree - which is why I prefer anti-theist (second only to freethinker) to any other degree of "atheist" in recent years.

:cool:

My personal agnosticism is a true lack of belief:
I've so far dismissed your subjective avowal of "agnosticism" without a line-by-line examination, or deconstruction; I'll correct that oversight here ...

"I do not know if gods exist or not;
I see no reason to suspect gods CANNOT EXIST...that the existence of gods is impossible;"

(1) Since you refer only to "gods" and do not classify "gods" by any properties which differentiate them from non-gods, thus failing to define any parameters by which the "gods" mentioned could possibly be searched for and you/we can "suspect", as you say, anything about their existence ..., this statement SAYS NOTHING more intelligible than a similar statement referring to &÷#@$% instead of "gods". "I see no reason to suspect that gods MUST EXIST" (2) Same as (1). "... that gods are needed to explain existence;" (3) Agreed insofar as "gods" is so conceptually underdetermined as to be unintelligible and indistinct from &÷#@$% or any mystery X. Questions are only begged by mysteries not answered by them; explanations are propositional and therefore answer questions; attempting to explain anything (e.g. "existence") with a mystery (e.g  "god"), however, merely substitutes a more general unexplained circumstance for a particular unexplained circumstance. Yeah, whether or not "existence" needs to be explained, "gods" i.e. &÷#@$% cannot explain anything. "I do not see enough unambiguous evidence" (4a) How much would be "enough"? (4b) If, as pointed out above in (1, 3), "gods" is not "unambiguous", how can you possibly recognize what would count as "evidence" of any kind? upon which to base a meaningful guess in either direction... (5) A "guess" about &÷#@$% cannot ever be "meaningful" unless you think through what exactly is the object of your concern. As per (1), 'knowing or not knowing' cannot be intelligibly applied to anything so nebulously general and lacking definite properties, or attributions, as "gods" - on this basis alone (4b), it makes as much sense for you to identify yourself as an "agnostic about gods", Frank, as it would to identify yourself (a) "Wizard of OZ"

...so I don't.

(5) Yeah, you "don't guess either way" about ... &÷#@$%; so, you're "agnostic" about &÷#@$% aka "gods".

Atheists will always claim you as one of theirs/ours, Frank, unless you specify exactly what it is you claim not know either exists or doesn't exist. You have to think that through past an objection like mine in (1) at the very least. Clearly, you don't know what the hell you're talking about because all you're talking about is &÷#@$% ... :sweat: • 2k I agree with the part of your post that indicates that atheists want to claim me...and all agnostics. It would markedly improve atheistic DNA...so I don't really blame them. I never have. I merely point out that I am NOT an atheist. And I further point out that since EVERY atheist I've ever known or known about...DOES believe (guess) that there are no gods...or DOES believe (guess) that it is more likely that there are no gods than that there is at least one... ...that element should be part of the definition of "atheist"...which would eliminate me (and many, but not all, others who designate themselves to be agnostics)...making the word a more useful one. The rest of what you wrote is bullshit...and I suspect you know that. But thanks for sharing it. • 1.5k The rest of what you wrote is bullshit...and I suspect you know that. But thanks for sharing it. "Bullshit"? This from a man who can't "guess" whether or not (because he doesn't "know") &÷#@$% :rofl:

Anytime, Frank. You're welcome!
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal