[ExI] atheism

Kevin Freels reasonerkevin at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 00:59:36 UTC 2010

From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Wed, January 6, 2010 2:39:10 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] atheism

2010/1/6 Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com>:
> On Dec 28, 2009, at 5:03 AM, Stefano Vaj wrote:
>> This has something to do with the theist objection that positively believing
>> that Allah does not "exist" would be a "faith" on an equally basis as their
>> own.
> That is poor reasoning.  It is not a "positive" believe at all.  It is not
> even a belief at all.  It is not believing in a positive belief for which
> there is no evidence.   Now, if the formulation of "Allah" is actually
> contradictory then we can go to a stronger logical position of pointing out
> that such is impossible.

This is exactly my point. A belief in the non-existence of Allah is
perfectly plausible, and is on an entirely different level from a
belief in its existence
i) because it is perfectly normal and legitimate not just avoiding to
believe in the existence of unproven things, but also actually
believing in their non-existence;
ii) in addition, Spiderman, Thor or Sherlock Holmes may (have)
exist(ed) somewhere, someplace, Allah, Jahvé etc. have some peculiar
existential and definitory problems which affect any entity allegedly
being distinct from the world, and located out of the time...

>> Now, I may well be persuaded that my cat is sleeping in the other room even
>> though no final evidence of the truth of my opinion thereupon is (still)
>> there, and to form thousand of such provisional or ungrounded - and often
>> wrong - beliefs is probably inevitable. But would I claim that such
>> circumstances are a philosophical necessity or of ethical relevance?
>> Obviously not...
> Poor analogy.  We know that cats exist and that states such as sleeping
> exist.  We know no such things about gods or that putative states.

What I mean there is that while it is perfectly normal in everyday
life to believe things without  any material evidence thereof (the
existence of cats and sleep does not tell me anything about the
current state of my cat any more than the existence of number 27 on
the roulette does not provide any ground for my belief that this is
the number which is going to win, and therefore on which I should bet,
at the next throw of the ball), what is abnormal is to claim that such
assumptions are a philosophical necessity or of ethical relevance.

Stefano Vaj
extropy-chat mailing list
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org

It is quite different to say "I am convinced there is no God" than it is to say "I am not convinced there is a God"
There is no evidence disproving the existence of God so to believe there is no god is indeed a faith in itself.
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