[ExI] Pascals wager

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed May 5 20:24:28 UTC 2021

> On May 5, 2021, at 11:13 AM, Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:05 AM Ben via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Atheists do NOT believe there are no gods. That is not atheism. Atheists don't believe there are gods instead. Big difference.
>> Yes, I'm sure there are people who call themselves atheists and say they have a belief in the non-existence of gods, but that is not what atheism is defined as. It's non-belief in the existence of gods. They look similar ideas, but if you look at them properly, you can see they are worlds apart. Believing that something is not true is a different thing to not believing that something is.
> I don't suppose you could explain the difference?  I can easily see how people would see "believe there are no gods" and "don't believe there are gods" as logically equivalent.

I would parse atheism into negative and positive types. The former is bluntly to lack a belief in god/gods. Think of it as if you were to look into someone’s mind and could see they simply didn’t have such a belief — in the same manner that someone who doesn’t know about high energy physics theories might lack any beliefs about, say, gluons.

The latter holds a belief there are no gods. Looking into their mind, you’d see a belief there with regard to gods, albeit one that there are none. In the same, imagine someone who knows high energy physics theories but believes that they’re wrong about gluons — that, in fact, the model is wrong about them existing and being strong force carriers.

In this way, the two varieties are not logically equivalent.

(George H. Smith has argued that without being clear on just what the concept of god is, it’s often uncertain just what one is supposed to believe or disbelieve.)

Anyhow, cf.



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