[ExI] Atheism again (was: How many current members of ExI?)

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 16:58:28 UTC 2020

Two types of epistemology are involved in beliefs - authoritarianism and
intuitionism. (one other is called rationalism, like math).

In authoritarianism one believes because of the authority of the Bible or
Koran or Buddha's teachings, your local guru, etc.  The glitch here is:
who is the authority?  What is the basis for accepting one authority and
not another?  Then one has to leave authoritarianism behind and rely on
intutionism (which nobody seems to be able to define - check out a
philosophical dictionary and get 14 pages of gabbledegook).  Or you could
say that you are the authority on authorities.  You decide which authority
is best.

Beliefs, then, are acquired by social learning:  from teachers, parents,
books, etc.  Authorities all, many of whom are rejected during maturation,
and new authorities brought in.

Empiricism is science and its methods and belief has no place in it.  We
don't believe in Darwin's ideas:  we follow them because they are the best
at predicting and explaining phenomena we study.  Empirical facts like the

There is no way a person who is basically an empiricist and another who
uses authoritarianism and intuition, to have a debate.  They are accepting
things based on entirely different criteria and so are talking at cross

Comments welcome.  bill w

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 11:12 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 19/04/2020 12:51, Guiio Prisco wrote:
> Strong beliefs (including atheism) ...
> We've already had this discussion. Atheism, by definition, is *not* a
> belief. Your later comments ("atheists or believers...", "atheists and
> believers...") admit as much. Saying things like the above is simply
> inflammatory.
> If someone believes there are no gods, they are not an atheist. If someone
> refuses to change their opinion when presented with incontrovertible
> evidence that contradicts their opinion, that's not atheism. If it can be
> proven that a god exists, then accepting that the god exists is no longer
> believing in it. An atheist can say "Yes, I now know that this god exists",
> without becoming a non-atheist, as long as there is proof for the existence
> of the god.
> "there's no way to talk atheists or believers out of their convictions,
> and discussions are much more likely to end in name calling than in mutual
> understanding"
> You said it. In this case, the name-calling is the "there's no way to talk
> atheists ... out of their convictions" bit. The opinions of atheists are
> not convictions. They are evidence-based opinions.
> --
> Ben Zaiboc
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> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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