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Zeconte:

Umm, I suppose I just missed the part where she claimed she couldn't imagine that there was no afterlife? Oh, I guess that's because it isn't there. No, what she said was, she wanted to believe.

That's semantics at best, and the wording of the phrase doesn't change that it was an appeal to personal incredulity. "I want to believe" and "I don't want to not believe." Kind of just the wording.

The rest of that is mostly an appeal to emotion, with a little personal attack here and there. Not much to be addressed in that. I think it pretty clear that I was talking logic, and logic is one of those things you can't fight by using it's opposite. By all means continue to believe if you want. Like I said if you really want to believe logic isn't going to stop you, but if you hold illogical beliefs don't get mad at people for pointing out that they are illogical.

Eddie the head:

Zeconte:

Umm, I suppose I just missed the part where she claimed she couldn't imagine that there was no afterlife? Oh, I guess that's because it isn't there. No, what she said was, she wanted to believe.

That's semantics at best, and the wording of the phrase doesn't change that it was an appeal to personal incredulity. "I want to believe" and "I don't want to not believe." Kind of just the wording.

The rest of that is mostly an appeal to emotion, with a little personal attack here and there. Not much to be addressed in that. I think it pretty clear that I was talking logic, and logic is one of those things you can't fight by using it's opposite. By all means continue to believe if you want. Like I said if you really want to believe logic isn't going to stop you, but if you hold illogical beliefs don't get mad at people for pointing out that they are illogical.

That's the thing about the human experience. An appeal to logic does not necessarily beat an appeal to emotion, nor should it in all cases, because to deny emotion for logic in all things is to deny a very large part of what makes us human. You may aspire to reduce yourself to a machine, and therefore strive for logical perfection in what you believe, but not everyone is going to hear "your beliefs are illogical" and think "Oh my God, you're right! I should totally stop believing in that, thanks Mr. Logic!" they're going to interpret it as the insult you obviously intend it to be.

And I say you obviously intend it to be insulting, because you have yet to explain why the belief that the universe always existed with the inherent properties necessary for it to have ordered itself into what we perceive it to be for no reason than that's just how it happened to have always existed is logical, whereas the belief that there was some guiding force behind the universe ordering itself into what we perceive it to be is illogical, you simply act as if it is so self evident, that there must be something wrong with anyone who doesn't agree with it. So yes, people have every right to get mad at being insulted for no reason other than the fact that you don't respect what they believe.

Zeconte:

That's the thing about the human experience. An appeal to logic does not necessarily beat an appeal to emotion, nor should it in all cases, because to deny emotion for logic in all things is to deny a very large part of what makes us human. You may aspire to reduce yourself to a machine, and therefore strive for logical perfection in what you believe, but not everyone is going to hear "your beliefs are illogical" and think "Oh my God, you're right! I should totally stop believing in that, thanks Mr. Logic!" they're going to interpret it as the insult you obviously intend it to be.

You're perceiving something as obvious that's not even correct. I've been wrong a lot, I've used fallacious arguments, gotten facts wrong, and have just plain not thought things though. But when I'm corrected, shown that my reasoning is bad, or shown new facts I don't see it as an insult. So why would I, doing that same service for another, intend it as an insult? There is a reason people say "an expert is a man who has made all the mistakes he can in a narrow field." Nothing ever got better by ignoring it's faults.

Furthermore I would like to add that the the biggest difference between appealing to emotion and appealing to logic is at worst logic isn't going to help me prove a point, and at best emotion isn't going to damage my point.

And I say you obviously intend it to be insulting, because you have yet to explain why the belief that the universe always existed with the inherent properties necessary for it to have ordered itself into what we perceive it to be for no reason than that's just how it happened to have always existed is logical, whereas the belief that there was some guiding force behind the universe ordering itself into what we perceive it to be is illogical, you simply act as if it is so self evident, that there must be something wrong with anyone who doesn't agree with it. So yes, people have every right to get mad at being insulted for no reason other than the fact that you don't respect what they believe.

Well that first part is just a non sequitur. It doesn't have anything to do with the next statement. But addressing that next part. You appear to believe "that there was some guiding force behind the universe ordering itself into what we perceive." I don't think there was one.(My belief isn't that straw-man you constructed) My possession at this phase is the null. I don't have to prove the null you have to disprove it. Until then it's the logical possession.

Finally you can be as mad as you want, I'm not concerned with that. I'm concerned with with what is correct. You want to be offended? Ok fine you can be. We can agree on that one. Be as insulted and mad as you want. That's not my issue.

Eddie the head:
You're perceiving something as obvious that's not even correct. I've been wrong a lot, I've used fallacious arguments, gotten facts wrong, and have just plain not thought things though. But when I'm corrected, shown that my reasoning is bad, or shown new facts I don't see it as an insult. So why would I, doing that same service for another, intend it as an insult?

... Because you didn't do any of that. You didn't correct anyone, because you have nothing to correct them with. You didn't show any new facts, because there are no facts to be had on the matter. You didn't even really explain why the reasoning was bad, simply said it was, and considering it's a matter of belief where the factual truth of the matter is both unknown and irrelevant, it doesn't even really matter if you believe her reasoning was bad, because in this particular matter, what constitutes as a good or bad reason to believe in God/the afterlife, is subjective. So again, considering you did nothing but talk down to her and act as if it was somehow wrong for her to choose to believe in something, and that her only logical option was to abandon her belief in the name of logic, because she should know better than to believe in something so illogical, how is that not intended to be insulting?

Furthermore I would like to add that the the biggest difference between appealing to emotion and appealing to logic is at worst logic isn't going to help me prove a point, and at best emotion isn't going to damage my point.

Which is all well and good, when there's a point to be made. She wasn't making a point though, simply stating her personal belief on the matter.

Well that first part is just a non sequitur. It doesn't have anything to do with the next statement. But addressing that next part. You appear to believe "that there was some guiding force behind the universe ordering itself into what we perceive." I don't think there was one.(My belief isn't that straw-man you constructed) My possession at this phase is the null. I don't have to prove the null you have to disprove it. Until then it's the logical possession.

Except, we don't have to disprove it, because we're not trying to prove anything, we're simply stating our beliefs. Whether you believe it or not is of no concern to us. You're the one so concerned with us no longer believing what we believe that you felt the need to invoke the power of logic in an attempt to dispel our belief. In other words, we never stated or implied that it was wrong for people not to believe in a God/the afterlife, we simply stated that we, ourselves, do believe in one. You, however, are the one insisting that we are wrong to believe that, therefore, the burden of proof is, in fact, on you, since you are the one who believes we need to change our belief to be more inline with yours, as you obviously believe yours to be the only "correct" belief to hold on the matter.

Finally you can be as mad as you want, I'm not concerned with that. I'm concerned with with what is correct. You want to be offended? Ok fine you can be. We can agree on that one. Be as insulted and mad as you want. That's not my issue.

And again, you can't be very concerned with what is correct, because you are trying to make a subjective matter into an objective one in order to "prove" someone wrong. It's rather difficult to be correct in a subjective matter (or rather, it is rather easy to be, since there is no one "correct" answer). You might as well be claiming that you're concerned with the correct answer to the question "what is your favorite color?" while at the same time claiming that the only correct answer is not to have a favorite color. Just because our answer isn't correct for you doesn't mean it isn't correct for us.

Zeconte:

... Because you didn't do any of that.

Eddie the head:

I'm sure I don't need to tell you how illogical that is? I mean all it is is a argument from incredulity.

What where you saying? A fallacy is an argument that uses poor reasoning, pointing out a fallacy is pointing out someones flawed reasoning.

Which is all well and good, when there's a point to be made. She wasn't making a point though, simply stating her personal belief on the matter.

Yeah so? It's your personal belief, so that makes it immune to criticism? Yeah, no. The phrase "it's my personal belief" is just a way to ignore the more important question of why do you believe it?

Except, we don't have to disprove it, because we're not trying to prove anything, we're simply stating our beliefs. Whether you believe it or not is of no concern to us. You're the one so concerned with us no longer believing what we believe that you felt the need to invoke the power of logic in an attempt to dispel our belief.

This is a raising the bar fallacy. I explained to you why my position was more logical then yours, that is what you where asking for.

because you have yet to explain why the belief that the universe always existed with the inherent properties necessary for it to have ordered itself into what we perceive it to be for no reason than that's just how it happened to have always existed is logical, whereas the belief that there was some guiding force behind the universe ordering itself into what we perceive it to be is illogical,

You asked me to explain why my position (for witch you made a straw-man for) is more logical then yours. I then explained the Null hypothesis, and then stated that my position was not that straw-man you constructed.

And again, you can't be very concerned with what is correct, because you are trying to make a subjective matter into an objective one in order to "prove" someone wrong. It's rather difficult to be correct in a subjective matter (or rather, it is rather easy to be, since there is no one "correct" answer). You might as well be claiming that you're concerned with the correct answer to the question "what is your favorite color?" Just because our answer isn't correct for you doesn't mean it isn't correct for us.

If your favorite color was green because it was the color of pure gold, your reason is based on flawed reasoning. Gold is not green, we know this based on evidence. The light that gets emitted form gold is not in the wavelength that equates to social construction of green. I never said that you couldn't like green I only said your reason for liking green is fallacious.

You're making this much more complex then it needs to be. Did the person in question use a fallacy of personal incredulity? Yes. There reason was " I just wanted to believe that something happens to us after death." That is a text book example of personal incredulity. That's it there is nothing left to be said about this.

Eddie the head:

Zeconte:

... Because you didn't do any of that.

Eddie the head:

I'm sure I don't need to tell you how illogical that is? I mean all it is is a argument from incredulity.

What where you saying? A fallacy is an argument that uses poor reasoning, pointing out a fallacy is pointing out someones flawed reasoning.

Except, yet again, no argument was being made. I'm really not sure how this is hard to comprehend. If this were an argument, or she was out to prove the truth of her beliefs, you'd certainly be right, "I believe this because I want to believe it" wouldn't prove the truth of anything. But again, this is your attempt to objectively argue against a subjective matter, which ignores the fact that the majority of the human experience is subjective in nature, and there's nothing wrong with that. It is only in terms of collective knowledge or justified action that objectivity is important.

Yeah so? It's your personal belief, so that makes it immune to criticism? Yeah, no. The phrase "it's my personal belief" is just a way to ignore the more important question of why do you believe it?

Immune to criticism, not at all, but immune to demands that your criteria are met before the right to believe is earned, most certainly. Again, just because her answer as to why she believes it is not correct for you doesn't mean it's not correct for her. That's the beauty of the subjective human experience. You can look at the universe in one way, and someone else can look at it in an entirely different way, and neither one of you are wrong to do so.

The truth of the matter is, we don't know how or why the universe was created the way it was, we may never actually know the truth of the matter, but whereas you look at that and decide "well then, we just can't believe anything about it, it's the only logical thing to do" others look at that and decide "well, if I had to guess, my guess would be this, and maybe, some day, I'll guess something else if I find reason to, but until then, this is what I currently choose to believe" and you know what? Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess and explore the possibilities. Criticize that all you want, but arguing that it's better to believe nothing simply because we lack knowledge is a pretty weak reason to stop believing or to refuse to take a guess. To me, being willing to make a guess and be wrong is far better than refraining from guessing at all.

This is a raising the bar fallacy. I explained to you why my position was more logical then yours, that is what you where asking for.

Apparently, you haven't been paying much attention. Because, yes, you explained why your position was more logical. You did not, however, explain why your position was better, or why I should adopt your position. Because again, logic does not trump all else in all cases, so if that's all you got, I fail to see why I should stop choosing to believe. So you go ahead and believe what you want to believe, or in your case, play it safe and not believe in anything at all on fear of being wrong. I, personally, don't care if I'm wrong, because there's more to the human experience than always being right.

You asked me to explain why my position (for witch you made a straw-man for) is more logical then yours. I then explained the Null hypothesis, and then stated that my position was not that straw-man you constructed.

Only, and here's the real beauty of being human in action, I can hold both positions simultaneously. I can admit that we do not know, but choose to believe regardless. So, in a way, I'm just like you, I know just as little as you do, I recognize that fact just as fully, I cede just as willingly that other possibilities are just as possible, yet, at the end of the day, whereas you refuse to go any further than that and have decided it best to just sit on a fence post in regards to the matter, I pulled that post out of my ass, explored both sides of the fence, and decided I liked it on one side of the fence more than the other. I know that the fence is there, I know that the other side has just as much reason to be on it, but I don't like the implications of the other side, and find the idea of straddling the fence unnecessary and pointless. So look down on me all you want from your position, just don't expect me to agree that it is better when I can agree with the entirety of your position without allowing it to hold me back from choosing a side and running with it anyways.

If your favorite color was green because it was the color of pure gold, your reason is based on flawed reasoning. Gold is not green, we know this based on evidence. The light that gets emitted form gold is not in the wavelength that equates to social construction of green. I never said that you couldn't like green I only said your reason for liking green is fallacious.

Indeed it would be, but then, her answer was more akin to "My favorite color is green because it's the color that appeals to me the most." Your problem lies in that you seemingly believe that someone needs an objective reason why they have a subjective preference. They really don't. A subjective reason is a perfectly valid answer to a subjective question.

You're making this much more complex then it needs to be. Did the person in question use a fallacy of personal incredulity? Yes. There reason was " I just wanted to believe that something happens to us after death." That is a text book example of personal incredulity. That's it there is nothing left to be said about this.

Actually, no, that is not a text book example of personal incredulity. Please try again. The correct answer would be a wishful thinking fallacy, but even then, so long as you recognize it as wishful thinking and do not make it out to be a statement of truth, it is not actually fallacious. A wishful thinking fallacy is saying "I want this to be true, therefore, it is true" what we are saying is "though we do not and cannot know the truth based on our current knowledge, out of all the options of what could be true, this is the one I'd personally like to be true." There is nothing wrong with simply wanting something to be true, so long as you do not take that next illogical step of claiming it as truth. And that, to me, is the difference between belief and knowledge. One is a personal guess held in lieu of actual knowledge, the other is something proven to be true.

Zeconte:

Eddie the head:

Zeconte:

... Because you didn't do any of that.

Eddie the head:

I'm sure I don't need to tell you how illogical that is? I mean all it is is a argument from incredulity.

What where you saying? A fallacy is an argument that uses poor reasoning, pointing out a fallacy is pointing out someones flawed reasoning.

Except, yet again, no argument was being made. I'm really not sure how this is hard to comprehend. If this were an argument, or she was out to prove the truth of her beliefs, you'd certainly be right, "I believe this because I want to believe it" wouldn't prove the truth of anything. But again, this is your attempt to objectively argue against a subjective matter, which ignores the fact that the majority of the human experience is subjective in nature, and there's nothing wrong with that. It is only in terms of collective knowledge or justified action that objectivity is important.

Ok semantics again. It was still justification for a line of reasoning, whether or not it was "argument" is an irrelevant part of the equation. It still relied on flawed reasoning. Also red herring, I did do the thing you claimed I didn't do, quit trying to distract form that.

Yeah so? It's your personal belief, so that makes it immune to criticism? Yeah, no. The phrase "it's my personal belief" is just a way to ignore the more important question of why do you believe it?

Immune to criticism, not at all, but immune to demands that your criteria are met before the right to believe is earned, most certainly. Again, just because her answer as to why she believes it is not correct for you doesn't mean it's not correct for her. That's the beauty of the subjective human experience. You can look at the universe in one way, and someone else can look at it in an entirely different way, and neither one of you are wrong to do so.

This is just a straw man. How many times have I said something to the effect "you can believe it as much as you want, but you are using flawed reasoning." Hell that was the first statement. I never argued against a subjective claim, I only ever argued against the flawed reasoning.

Apparently, you haven't been paying much attention. Because, yes, you explained why your position was more logical. You did not, however, explain why your position was better, or why I should adopt your position.

That wasn't the question. Why would I explain that? Like I said raising the bar. I don't need to show why you should adopt my position, because the question didn't involve that. You are still free to believe whatever you want, but my possession is the more logical one. Hell I could expand on that this response of yours is raising the bar fallacy. You say I now need to prove a subjective opinion wrong, an act witch can't be done, to prove my point. And well I don't as my complaint isn't with the opinion, it's with the reasoning behind it.

You asked me to explain why my position (for witch you made a straw-man for) is more logical then yours. I then explained the Null hypothesis, and then stated that my position was not that straw-man you constructed.

Only, and here's the real beauty of being human in action, I can hold both positions simultaneously. I can admit that we do not know, but choose to believe regardless. So, in a way, I'm just like you, I know just as little as you do, I recognize that fact just as fully, I cede just as willingly that other possibilities are just as possible, yet, at the end of the day, whereas you refuse to go any further than that and have decided it best to just sit on a fence post in regards to the matter, I pulled that post out of my ass, explored both sides of the fence, and decided I liked it on one side of the fence more than the other. I know that the fence is there, I know that the other side has just as much reason to be on it, but I don't like the implications of the other side, and find the idea of straddling the fence unnecessary and pointless. So look down on me all you want from your position, just don't expect me to agree that it is better when I can agree with the entirety of your position without allowing it to hold me back from choosing a side and running with it anyways.

Oh, for god's sake. I never said you couldn't. Quit making straw-men. If you agree that the reasoning is flawed.

1. I don't know why you would comment in the first place. As that is the only thing I was commenting on.

2. This is done because that's my issue. The flawed reasoning is my issue. For 900th time you are free to have whatever belief you want, but I am going to point out when your reasoning is flawed.

If your favorite color was green because it was the color of pure gold, your reason is based on flawed reasoning. Gold is not green, we know this based on evidence. The light that gets emitted form gold is not in the wavelength that equates to social construction of green. I never said that you couldn't like green I only said your reason for liking green is fallacious.

Indeed it would be, but then, her answer was more akin to "My favorite color is green because it's the color that appeals to me the most." Your problem lies in that you seemingly believe that someone needs an objective reason why they have a subjective preference. They really don't. A subjective reason is a perfectly valid answer to a subjective question.

Wow I think people show have reasons to believe things? How dare I demand of others what I demand of myself. Like I said, it's much less important to say what you believe, and more why you believe it. A reason was given. That reason was based on flawed reasoning, my only complaint. A more accurate question would be "green is my favorite color because I want to think it is." It's the same reasoning and it's just as flawed.

You're making this much more complex then it needs to be. Did the person in question use a fallacy of personal incredulity? Yes. There reason was " I just wanted to believe that something happens to us after death." That is a text book example of personal incredulity. That's it there is nothing left to be said about this.

Actually, no, that is not a text book example of personal incredulity. Please try again. The correct answer would be a wishful thinking fallacy, but even then, so long as you recognize it as wishful thinking and do not make it out to be a statement of truth, it is not actually fallacious. A wishful thinking fallacy is saying "I want this to be true, therefore, it is true" what we are saying is "though we do not and cannot know the truth based on our current knowledge, out of all the options of what could be true, this is the one I'd personally like to be true." There is nothing wrong with simply wanting something to be true, so long as you do not take that next illogical step of claiming it as truth. And that, to me, is the difference between belief and knowledge. One is a personal guess held in lieu of actual knowledge, the other is something proven to be true.

I don't know where you are getting your information, but what you just described was "Wishful thinking" the cognitive bias. Yes there might be some of that going on but the fallacy used to justify the beliefs was Personal incredulity. I don't wan't to, can't, believe X so Y is true. I don't want to believe there is no god so there is one. I'm not saying wishful thinking isn't involved but it's not the fallacy being used. Or I guess it could be.

I few places I have seen list it as a fallacy, and I guess it could fall under that. But most places just list it as a bias. It's more a line of thinking then a reason to think. This is kind of mucky. If you want to call it a fallacy go ahead, but I'm going to call it a bias.

Umm.. to the topic at hand it's a red herring. You are trying to distract form the reasoning of the fallacy rather arguing what you should call it.

Zeconte:

The truth of the matter is, we don't know how or why the universe was created the way it was, we may never actually know the truth of the matter, but whereas you look at that and decide "well then, we just can't believe anything about it, it's the only logical thing to do" others look at that and decide "well, if I had to guess, my guess would be this, and maybe, some day, I'll guess something else if I find reason to, but until then, this is what I currently choose to believe" and you know what? Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess and explore the possibilities.

Knowledge is not best served by reaching a conclusion, and then trying to make observations fit into that conclusion.

So, it's not accurate at all to say, "Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess". The truth is more likely to be reached if people draw conclusions from observation and evidence, not if they draw the conclusion they "choose" beforehand.

So making such guesses, regardless of evidence or observation, does not serve to help us learn anything at all.

Since you have made it abundantly clear that logic is all you really care about and you don't want to actually address any of the points I've made as all you've done is cry logical foul to avoid doing so, we're apparently at an impasse so I'll just skip to the end:

Eddie the head:
I don't know where you are getting your information, but what you just described was "Wishful thinking" the cognitive bias. Yes there might be some of that going on but the fallacy used to justify the beliefs was Personal incredulity. I don't wan't to, can't, believe X so Y is true. I don't want to believe there is no god so there is one. I'm not saying wishful thinking isn't involved but it's not the fallacy being used. Or I guess it could be.

I few places I have seen list it as a fallacy, and I guess it could fall under that. But most places just list it as a bias. It's more a line of thinking then a reason to think. This is kind of mucky. If you want to call it a fallacy go ahead, but I'm going to call it a bias.

Umm.. to the topic at hand it's a red herring. You are trying to distract form the reasoning of the fallacy rather arguing what you should call it.

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/wishthnk.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wishful_thinking

http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/184-wishful-thinking

http://fallacies.findthedata.org/q/86/1157/What-is-the-Wishful-thinking-fallacy

http://jeffcountytn.pbworks.com/w/page/51523910/Wishful%20Thinking%20Fallacy

http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/phil%20110/samplePagewishful.htm

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-consequences.html

From the last link specifically:

"I acknowledge that I have no argument for the existence of God. However, I have a great desire for God to exist and for there to be an afterlife. Therefore I accept that God exists."

Should I keep going, or is this enough to establish that this is, in fact, the logical fallacy you were looking for? Why do I make a point to continue harping on this?

Eddie the head:
I've been wrong a lot, I've used fallacious arguments, gotten facts wrong, and have just plain not thought things though. But when I'm corrected, shown that my reasoning is bad, or shown new facts I don't see it as an insult. So why would I, doing that same service for another, intend it as an insult? There is a reason people say "an expert is a man who has made all the mistakes he can in a narrow field." Nothing ever got better by ignoring it's faults.

The fact is, which I pointed out in my very first reply, and yet you keep denying, that you're just flat out wrong about her having made a personal incredulity fallacy. Incredulity had nothing to do with anything she said, at no point did she indicate that she couldn't accept a different position as true, in fact, she outright stated that she previously held a different position, but changed it, not because of incredulity, but because of personal appeal.

Personal incredulity most often involves taking something complex and difficult to understand, most notably in regards to advanced scientific knowledge, and declaring it to be false because you find it hard to believe it true. It is about negating a scientific claim and relying on others to agree with you because they, too, do not understand the explanation you are arguing against. This can then be followed by proposing something simpler as an explanation in its place, but isn't necessarily so, as denying the argument you do not agree with is the important aspect of an incredulity fallacy, which CrazyGirl17's post is completely and utterly lacking in.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/personal-incredulity

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

http://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/logical-fallacies-argument-from-personal-incredulity/

http://www.toolkitforthinking.com/critical-thinking/anatomy-of-an-argument/denial-arguments/argument-from-personal-incredulity

http://beforeitsnews.com/awesome-time-wasters/2012/05/logical-fallacy-personal-incredulity-2188124.html

And this is completely ignoring the fact that fallacies are used to debunk the validity of an argument or truth of a claim, which intrinsically implies that a truth claim must be made before it can be considered fallacious. To go back to what I quoted as an example of a wishful thinking fallacy, it states specifically: "Therefore I accept that God exists." It is that part in particular that makes it a logical fallacy, that statement of truth. This truth statement, however, is lacking in CrazyGirl17's statement, who only went so far as to say she was leaning towards believing that, not that she actually accepted it as true.

Which leaves me wondering, if we can already admit our beliefs aren't necessarily true, why are you so determined to prove that they aren't necessarily true if you honestly believe we are free to believe whatever we want? Why do you believe it so important to withhold forming an opinion, simply because we lack knowledge on the subject? And please, do not try to weasel out of answering this by claiming it to be a strawman, as you are the one who argued that the null position, IE, holding no opinion whatsoever, is the most logical position to hold on a matter we do not have sufficient evidence/reason to prove the truth of.

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

The truth of the matter is, we don't know how or why the universe was created the way it was, we may never actually know the truth of the matter, but whereas you look at that and decide "well then, we just can't believe anything about it, it's the only logical thing to do" others look at that and decide "well, if I had to guess, my guess would be this, and maybe, some day, I'll guess something else if I find reason to, but until then, this is what I currently choose to believe" and you know what? Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess and explore the possibilities.

Knowledge is not best served by reaching a conclusion, and then trying to make observations fit into that conclusion.

So, it's not accurate at all to say, "Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess". The truth is more likely to be reached if people draw conclusions from observation and evidence, not if they draw the conclusion they "choose" beforehand.

So making such guesses, regardless of evidence or observation, does not serve to help us learn anything at all.

... Of course knowledge is not best served by reaching a conclusion before investigating and gathering evidence. When did I ever say it was? Did the scientific method eliminate the hypothesis since I left high school? I don't know about you, but I was always taught that it started with an educated guess, and then that guess is explored and tested in order to draw a conclusion on whether or not it is true. It seems to me that it would be rather difficult to find the truth about something if you don't even have an idea of where to start and are afraid to make a guess to give yourself a starting point for fear that by doing so, you're only going to confirm your own bias. This is only a problem if you already conclude that your guess is true, which wouldn't be a guess/belief at all, but a statement of truth/knowledge. This is why I spent as much time as I did establishing the difference between the two.

Zeconte:

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

The truth of the matter is, we don't know how or why the universe was created the way it was, we may never actually know the truth of the matter, but whereas you look at that and decide "well then, we just can't believe anything about it, it's the only logical thing to do" others look at that and decide "well, if I had to guess, my guess would be this, and maybe, some day, I'll guess something else if I find reason to, but until then, this is what I currently choose to believe" and you know what? Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess and explore the possibilities.

Knowledge is not best served by reaching a conclusion, and then trying to make observations fit into that conclusion.

So, it's not accurate at all to say, "Nothing is ever learned until someone dares to take that guess". The truth is more likely to be reached if people draw conclusions from observation and evidence, not if they draw the conclusion they "choose" beforehand.

So making such guesses, regardless of evidence or observation, does not serve to help us learn anything at all.

... Of course knowledge is not best served by reaching a conclusion before investigating and gathering evidence. When did I ever say it was? Did the scientific method eliminate the hypothesis since I left high school? I don't know about you, but I was always taught that it started with an educated guess, and then that guess is explored and tested in order to draw a conclusion on whether or not it is true. It seems to me that it would be rather difficult to find the truth about something if you don't even have an idea of where to start and are afraid to make a guess to give yourself a starting point for fear that by doing so, you're only going to confirm your own bias.

You don't have to believe a hypothesis in order to test it or think of it. Your screed here is irrelevant to matters of belief.

Seanchaidh:
You don't have to believe a hypothesis in order to test it or think of it. Your screed here is irrelevant to matters of belief.

... If you didn't believe that your hypothesis could be true, why would you bother testing it? I'd consider that the "educated" part of "educated guess".

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
You don't have to believe a hypothesis in order to test it or think of it. Your screed here is irrelevant to matters of belief.

... If you didn't believe that your hypothesis could be true, why would you bother testing it? I'd consider that the "educated" part of "educated guess".

"That it could be" is significantly distinct from "that it is". Belief is the latter.If a person "believe[s that his] hypothesis could be true" that means he thinks "it is true that the hypothesis could be true", whereas if he "believes his hypothesis", that means he thinks "the hypothesis is true."

This is fairly simple grammar, though I can see why one could become confused.

Seanchaidh:

Zeconte:
... If you didn't believe that your hypothesis could be true, why would you bother testing it? I'd consider that the "educated" part of "educated guess".

"that it could be" is significantly distinct from "that it is".

Indeed it is.

Belief is the latter.

No, it is not. I, for one, do not accept any of my beliefs as true, unless those beliefs have been proven as such, in which case, I do not consider them to be beliefs, but knowledge. Down the road of equating unproven belief with knowledge (aka, regarding unproven belief as being true) lies madness, and it seems to me like you recognize that, so I'm not really sure why you, Eddie and Silvanus, among so many other atheists on these forums who are so quick to decry theistic beliefs as untrue, are so insistent on equating the two. It's like you're making the exact same mistake you decry theists for making, yet cannot even recognize that you're doing it simply because you make the point of ensuring everything you believe has been proven true and leave others to discover the truth of the unknown for you, as you, for whatever reason, are afraid to form an opinion without prior knowledge, so much so, that you actively encourage everyone else to do the same.

I mean, honestly, why is it so hard for you to say "though I admit we do not know whether there is a God or not, if I had to decide one way or another, I'd have to say there probably is(n't) one" and then admitting that to be your belief on the matter? Is lording your "superior (lack of an) opinion" over theists really so important to you that you can't even admit it's possible to hold a belief one way or the other without accepting it as a proven fact? At least back when agnosticism actually meant something and atheists could actually admit they didn't believe God existed, they actually stood for something and furthered philosophical discourse with their arguments. Now a days, it's all just posturing and pussyfooting around the issue in a meaningless dickwaving contest of who's more right than the other. You win on the technicality of believing nothing that serves no purpose and brings no discussion value to the table. Hooray for you!

It is a somewhat poor construction, but if a person "believe[s that his] hypothesis could be true" that means he thinks "it is true that the hypothesis could be true"-- if he "believes his hypothesis", that means he thinks "the hypothesis is true."

I'm sorry you think that way. Me, I'd more say if a person "believes that her hypothesis could be true" that means he thinks "there is a possibility that the hypothesis could be true." If, however, a person "knows that his hypothesis could be true" that means he "has strong evidence to support the truth that the hypothesis could be true."

Meanwhile, if he "believes his hypothesis" that means he thinks "out of all the possibilities of what could be true, his hypothesis is the one he most strongly suspects as being true, but has not yet proven it as such". Whereas if he "knows his hypothesis is true" then he has "proven his hypothesis to be true" or "falsely assumed his hypothesis to be true despite not having sufficient evidence to prove it as such."

This is fairly simple grammar, though I can see why one could become confused.

Indeed. I hope I've cleared up your confusion.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:

Zeconte:
... If you didn't believe that your hypothesis could be true, why would you bother testing it? I'd consider that the "educated" part of "educated guess".

"that it could be" is significantly distinct from "that it is".

Indeed it is.

Belief is the latter.

No, it is not. I, for one, do not accept any of my beliefs as true, unless those beliefs have been proven as such, in which case, I do not consider them to be beliefs, but knowledge.

Belief is thinking that something is true. Knowledge is thinking that something is true, being justified in doing so, and it actually being so. If you don't think that your beliefs are true, they aren't your beliefs.

Seanchaidh:
If you don't think that your beliefs are true, they aren't your beliefs.

Except, I don't, and yet, they are. And I should know, they're my beliefs after all. Just because your mind cannot manage to fathom that as being possible doesn't mean it isn't possible. I'm not even sure why you have such a hard time with it. The mind is an amazing thing if utilized properly. You should try it sometime, go ahead, sit down and think real hard about whether you believe God does or does not exist and come up with an answer beyond "I don't know". I'm sure you'll find that even after you've arrived at the answer, you still retain the knowledge that you still don't know and don't actually accept your answer as actually being true, no matter how strongly you suspect it might be.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
If you don't think that your beliefs are true, they aren't your beliefs.

Except, I don't, and yet, they are. And I should know, they're my beliefs after all. Just because your mind cannot manage to fathom that as being possible doesn't mean it isn't possible. I'm not even sure why you have such a hard time with it. The mind is an amazing thing if utilized properly. You should try it sometime, go ahead, sit down and think real hard about whether you believe God does or does not exist and come up with an answer beyond "I don't know". I'm sure you'll find that even after you've arrived at the answer, you still retain the knowledge that you still don't know and don't actually accept your answer as actually being true, no matter how strongly you suspect it might be.

It is not a matter of having a hard time, Zeconte. It is a matter of you being wrong. I'm certain you have plenty of ideas that you don't think are true, or think might not be true to the extent that you don't think that they are true. That does not make them beliefs.

The usage of the word 'belief', in both philosophy and common parlance indicates confidence that the idea is true. 'Belief' implies thinking that the idea is true whether you're Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Russell, or virtually anyone else other than Zeconte. There are other perfectly good words to describe these ideas that you have that aren't beliefs-- I just used one: 'idea'. Shoving your non-standard definition of belief into the conversation is disingenuous. The people you are talking to aren't using it in that way, so why do you respond to them as if they are?

So sorry if this diminishes your false sense of knowing better than others.

I'm a theist.

I just believe in all Gods equally. Even Flying Spaghetti and Invisible Pink ones.

I'm Catholic, even though I don't agree with everything my church does (pro-gay marriage, pro - most liberal values in fact). To be honest I never understood why some people from my religion follow the church and the bible so close to the letter, I've always considered religion as merely a way to try to understand and worship God, not as its literal word.
And as for why i'm religious, well, it's kind of a stupid reason, but, I just want to believe. I know that's a lame reason, but I just want to believe that there is something greater out there than just us, that something has been guiding us along all this time, not that it's just random luck.
(and no, before anyone asks, i'm not a damn creationist)

Seanchaidh:
It is not a matter of having a hard time, Zeconte. It is a matter of you being wrong. I'm certain you have plenty of ideas that you don't think are true, or think might not be true to the extent that you don't think that they are true. That does not make them beliefs.

The usage of the word 'belief', in both philosophy and common parlance indicates confidence that the idea is true. 'Belief' implies thinking that the idea is true whether you're Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Russell, or virtually anyone else other than Zeconte. There are other perfectly good words to describe these ideas that you have that aren't beliefs-- I just used one: 'idea'. Shoving your non-standard definition of belief into the conversation is disingenuous. The people you are talking to aren't using it in that way, so why do you respond to them as if they are?

So sorry if this diminishes your false sense of knowing better than others.

This coming from someone claiming to know what I do or do not believe better than I do? You're a riot. Just because some, or even a lot of people, confuse what they believe with what is true, does not mean everyone who holds a belief makes the same mistake, does not mean people are "by definition" incapable of recognizing their beliefs are not necessarily true. To claim it does is nothing more than a cheap ploy by people like you, who refuse outright to believe anything without proof, to "by definition" make you better than those who do. The truth is, you're really, really not. But hey, if you so desperately need to believe that everyone who holds an unproven belief is making an unproven and therefore attackable truth claim that you can't even accept people outright telling you that they do not so blindly accept their beliefs to the point of confusing them as truth, that more reveals the quality of your own character than it proves they don't actually believe what they believe.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
It is not a matter of having a hard time, Zeconte. It is a matter of you being wrong. I'm certain you have plenty of ideas that you don't think are true, or think might not be true to the extent that you don't think that they are true. That does not make them beliefs.

The usage of the word 'belief', in both philosophy and common parlance indicates confidence that the idea is true. 'Belief' implies thinking that the idea is true whether you're Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Russell, or virtually anyone else other than Zeconte. There are other perfectly good words to describe these ideas that you have that aren't beliefs-- I just used one: 'idea'. Shoving your non-standard definition of belief into the conversation is disingenuous. The people you are talking to aren't using it in that way, so why do you respond to them as if they are?

So sorry if this diminishes your false sense of knowing better than others.

This coming from someone claiming to know what I do or do not believe better than I do? You're a riot. But hey, if you so desperately need to believe that everyone who holds an unproven belief is making an unproven and therefore attackable truth claim that you can't even accept people outright telling you that they do not so blindly accept their beliefs to the point of confusing them as truth, that just reveals leaps and bounds about the poor quality of your own character than it proves they don't actually believe in what they believe.

What you are describing isn't a belief. The only reason I know better what you 'believe' than you do is because you evidently don't know what a belief even is in the first place. If you don't think something is true, you don't believe it. Nothing is "revealed about my character" by insisting on using accurate words except, I suppose, an intolerance for your ridiculous sophistry. If you want to say that what you are inaccurately calling your beliefs are just 'ideas', fine. Go ahead. But don't insist on using a word that is precisely wrong, or making everyone speak the specialized Zeconte version of English in order to communicate with you about your ideas.

Of course, that would invalidate a great deal of your argument as applied to people other than yourself as there is a very good reason most people call their religious ideas beliefs-- because they actually believe them rather than just have them.

Seanchaidh:
What you are describing isn't a belief. The only reason I know better what you 'believe' than you do is because you evidently don't know what a belief even is in the first place. If you don't think something is true, you don't believe it. Nothing is "revealed about my character" by insisting on using accurate words except, I suppose, an intolerance for your ridiculous sophistry. If you want to say that what you are inaccurately calling your beliefs are just 'ideas', fine. Go ahead. But don't insist on using a word that is precisely wrong, or making everyone speak the specialized Zeconte version of English in order to communicate with you about your ideas.

Oh, but I do, in fact, not only do I know what a belief is, I also know what a definition is, and, and here's the part you seem to fail to comprehend, that words can have multiple meanings. "Belief" in particular can mean both what you claim it to be, and what I claim it to be. As can "believe". Strange how language works, isn't it?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief:

Belief
1
: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2
: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3
: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/believe:

Believe

intransitive verb
1
a : to have a firm religious faith
b : to accept something as true, genuine, or real [ideals we believe in] [believes in ghosts]
2
: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something [believe in exercise]
3
: to hold an opinion : think [I believe so]
transitive verb
1
a : to consider to be true or honest [believe the reports] <you wouldn't believe how long it took>
b : to accept the word or evidence of [I believe you] <couldn't believe my ears>
2
: to hold as an opinion : suppose [I believe it will rain soon]

This is even ignoring the fact that definitions are not set in stone and that the meaning of words change. After all, this site is rather well known for redefining "agnosticism" and "gnosticism" into being about whether or not someone "knows" their beliefs to be true. Yet, here you are, arguing that agnostic theists cannot exist by definition? It's strange how that works. Atheists, in order to prevent themselves from having to defend against their claim that God does not exist, redefined agnosticism in order to claim that they admit they don't know, but do not accept theistic claims either, but yet, when theists point out that they don't claim to know either, you then argue that we can't do that?

And I'm the ridiculous one here?

Zeconte:
And I'm the ridiculous one here?

Yes, a purveyor of the most ridiculous sophistry. There are quite a few people who think their opinions are truth-apt, so running to the dictionary really isn't helping you: their usages are cataloged like those of anyone else. In any case, the sorts of ideas under discussion are claims of fact, not value (not opinion). The historicity of Jesus is not a question of what someone likes or dislikes, it is a question of historical fact. To believe one way or the other on that question one must think that a historical Jesus did exist or did not exist. Whether God exists is a factual matter. (Though I'd caution you not to read too much into that.) A question doesn't just turn from objective to subjective because you don't know the answer.

Zeconte:
Yet, here you are, arguing that agnostic theists cannot exist by definition?

Never said anything close to that. It is quite possible to think something is true without knowing it. Agnostic theists do that exactly. Depending on which idea of agnostic we're using, they believe X (think X is true) without knowing X or they think it is impossible to know X and yet still believe X (think X is true.) It's pretty cut and dried.

Seanchaidh:
Yes, a purveyor of the most ridiculous sophistry. There are quite a few people who think their opinions are truth-apt, so running to the dictionary really isn't helping you: their usages are cataloged like those of anyone else. In any case, the sorts of ideas under discussion are claims of fact, not value (not opinion). The historicity of Jesus is not a question of what someone likes or dislikes, it is a question of historical fact. To believe one way or the other on that question one must think that a historical Jesus did exist or did not exist. Whether God exists is a factual matter. (Though I'd caution you not to read too much into that.) A question doesn't just turn from objective to subjective because you don't know the answer.

So let me put this in another way. You agree that simply because someone thinks something is true, does not make it true, correct? And yet, by believing something, as far as you are concerned, they are automatically stating that they think it true, and therefore, as far as you are concerned, are making an invalid statement of truth. Then what, exactly, is the purpose of holding a belief, if any belief held that is not knowledge is invalid? If people are not allowed to hold a belief yet recognize that said belief may not be true, what purpose does the word have other than to define an illogically held position worthy of ridicule in your eyes?

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Yes, a purveyor of the most ridiculous sophistry. There are quite a few people who think their opinions are truth-apt, so running to the dictionary really isn't helping you: their usages are cataloged like those of anyone else. In any case, the sorts of ideas under discussion are claims of fact, not value (not opinion). The historicity of Jesus is not a question of what someone likes or dislikes, it is a question of historical fact. To believe one way or the other on that question one must think that a historical Jesus did exist or did not exist. Whether God exists is a factual matter. (Though I'd caution you not to read too much into that.) A question doesn't just turn from objective to subjective because you don't know the answer.

So let me put this in another way. You agree that simply because someone thinks something is true, does not make it true, correct? And yet, by believing something, as far as you are concerned, they are automatically stating that they think it true, and therefore, as far as you are concerned, are making an invalid statement of truth. Then what, exactly, is the purpose of holding a belief, if any belief held that is not knowledge is invalid? If people are not allowed to hold a belief yet recognize that said belief may not be true, what purpose does the word have other than to define an illogically held position worthy of ridicule in your eyes?

Boys, Boys, calm down, your'e both beautiful

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Yes, a purveyor of the most ridiculous sophistry. There are quite a few people who think their opinions are truth-apt, so running to the dictionary really isn't helping you: their usages are cataloged like those of anyone else. In any case, the sorts of ideas under discussion are claims of fact, not value (not opinion). The historicity of Jesus is not a question of what someone likes or dislikes, it is a question of historical fact. To believe one way or the other on that question one must think that a historical Jesus did exist or did not exist. Whether God exists is a factual matter. (Though I'd caution you not to read too much into that.) A question doesn't just turn from objective to subjective because you don't know the answer.

So let me put this in another way. You agree that simply because someone thinks something is true, does not make it true, correct? And yet, by believing something, as far as you are concerned, they are automatically stating that they think it true, and therefore, as far as you are concerned, are making an invalid statement of truth. Then what, exactly, is the purpose of holding a belief, if any belief held that is not knowledge is invalid? If people are not allowed to hold a belief yet recognize that said belief may not be true, what purpose does the word have other than to define an illogically held position worthy of ridicule in your eyes?

Where exactly did you get this 'invalid statement of truth' bit? I don't see him saying that thinking something is true is automatically an invalid statement of truth if the truth of the matter is unknown.

Master of the Skies:
Where exactly did you get this 'invalid statement of truth' bit? I don't see him saying that thinking something is true is automatically an invalid statement of truth if the truth of the matter is unknown.

Because the entire discussion that he injected himself into against me was based on the claim that holding unproven beliefs is an illogical and therefore invalid position as any such unproven belief could only be supported by logically fallacious reasoning, thus making the null position, that of not taking a position at all, is the only logical position to hold. It was against this position that I argued a logical fallacy can only be committed if a truth statement is made, and therefore, that a statement of belief lacking in a statement of truth could not be considered fallacious, which then lead Seanchaidh to step in and argue that any statement of belief is automatically a statement of truth by definition, because any belief not held to be true by the believer is not a belief at all. This then lead me to the post in question, which is basically asking if he believes there is any valid reason to hold a belief and under what conditions one can do so.

Zeconte:

... Of course knowledge is not best served by reaching a conclusion before investigating and gathering evidence. When did I ever say it was? Did the scientific method eliminate the hypothesis since I left high school? I don't know about you, but I was always taught that it started with an educated guess, and then that guess is explored and tested in order to draw a conclusion on whether or not it is true. It seems to me that it would be rather difficult to find the truth about something if you don't even have an idea of where to start and are afraid to make a guess to give yourself a starting point for fear that by doing so, you're only going to confirm your own bias. This is only a problem if you already conclude that your guess is true, which wouldn't be a guess/belief at all, but a statement of truth/knowledge. This is why I spent as much time as I did establishing the difference between the two.

The term "educated guess" implies some basis for putting that hypothesis forward. There is none for the hypothesis that a deity is responsible for it all. So it's not an "educated guess"; it's just a guess.

As for knowing where to start; we start with observation and evidence, always.

For example; through observation of cosmic background radiation (and other methods), we've determined, roughly, the age of the universe. This knowledge was not aided in any way by the many guesses that had been made beforehand by religiously-minded folk.

We've roughly determined the age of the earth, through carbon-dating and measuring decay; religious guesses were not helpful. We've determined the true nature of clouds, lightning, Aurora Borealis, and the sun; religious guesses were not helpful. We know now that Cortes had a mind to conquer whatever peoples he encountered in South America; the religious guess that he was Quetzalcoatl come again was not helpful. We know now that diseases are caused and spread by bacteria and viruses; the religious guesses were not helpful, and Pope Clement's guess that consecrating the River Rhone would help combat the plague did not help one little bit.

These guesses don't provide a starting point. They provide nothing.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Yes, a purveyor of the most ridiculous sophistry. There are quite a few people who think their opinions are truth-apt, so running to the dictionary really isn't helping you: their usages are cataloged like those of anyone else. In any case, the sorts of ideas under discussion are claims of fact, not value (not opinion). The historicity of Jesus is not a question of what someone likes or dislikes, it is a question of historical fact. To believe one way or the other on that question one must think that a historical Jesus did exist or did not exist. Whether God exists is a factual matter. (Though I'd caution you not to read too much into that.) A question doesn't just turn from objective to subjective because you don't know the answer.

So let me put this in another way. You agree that simply because someone thinks something is true, does not make it true, correct?

Of course.

And yet, by believing something, as far as you are concerned, they are automatically stating that they think it true, and therefore, as far as you are concerned, are making an invalid statement of truth.

As far as I am concerned they actually believe what they believe. Whereas for you it seems to be the case that people don't believe what they believe.

I don't know what you mean by "invalid" in this case. If you mean that the statement lacks argumentative force or foundation, then that would depend on its justification.

Then what, exactly, is the purpose of holding a belief, if any belief held that is not knowledge is invalid?

Beliefs that aren't knowledge can be useful if a decision must be made and time is constrained, for example. Sometimes it is useful to act on mere suspicion, though one must keep in mind contrary possibilities in such cases.

And why does everything need a purpose, anyway? Why should anything need a purpose in order to be capable of being described? This is what you seem to be suggesting by demanding a purpose.

If people are not allowed to hold a belief yet recognize that said belief may not be true, what purpose does the word have other than to define an illogically held position worthy of ridicule in your eyes?

"Not allowed"?

Holding a belief while recognizing that it may not be true is not the same thing as holding a belief that one doesn't think is true. The former is merely having less than full confidence in a belief. The latter is not actually holding a belief.

As far as being worthy of ridicule, that depends naturally on the ridiculousness (or lack of ridiculousness) of the justification. If there is simply no justification whatsoever, then holding the belief does seem silly. If someone believes without any reason that, say, "The Matrix" (movie) describes the actual structure of society (everything regarded by humans as true is an illusion kept in place by machines so that they can harvest human energy or some shit) then that is a silly belief. I mean, that one doesn't even have centuries of brutal oppression and tradition behind it-- quite ridiculous.

It is certainly possible for someone to believe but not know X and for X to be a rational belief to hold: X could be the best explanation for some set of facts and yet not rise to the level of knowledge-- this is true of many historical claims, for example. If, on the other hand, X is just some belief of arbitrarily chosen content absent any justification, then it might be worthy of ridicule. It certainly wouldn't be immune from criticism.

what purpose does the word have other than to define an illogically held position worthy of ridicule in your eyes?

It is there to define any thought that a person has which that person thinks is true. 'Truth', in this case, can comprise more than just objective correspondence with reality: our language treats opinions and value judgments (statements such as "Capitalism is a force for good in the world") as if they can be true and false, so beliefs can be value judgments as well. If someone says a statement of the form "I believe that X", that means he thinks "X is true". And if he wants to be fussy about true statements only being statements that are objectively accurate, then he can amend in cases where X is a value judgment to "X is agreeable to me" or something of that nature. The structure of our language treats both as amounting to the same thing-- we can have a syllogism as follows: "Doing X will cause Y and nothing other than Y. Y is good. Therefore we should do X." and the conclusion really does follow from the premises even though the second premise is purely a value judgment and therefore viewed by most philosophers as not strictly capable of being 'true' or 'false'. It doesn't appear to matter whether "Y is good" is 'true' or merely agreeable to the one making the decision except as an academic matter.

As far as how this all relates to the argument, religious views are generally held more confidently than their justifications warrant. That is the error which people wish to correct by discussion or, in some cases, ridicule. Exposing fallacious reasoning or emphasizing a lack of justification or the superiority of some other opposed idea is intended to weaken the confidence in such beliefs to be more in line with the quality or force of their justifications.

The reason to prefer this over the alternative is that people choose their actions based on what they believe is true. If their beliefs are more accurate, then their choices can more effectively satisfy their preferences. If weakening someone's theism can cause him to enjoy a lobster dinner where otherwise he would have eaten something less enjoyable, then in some small way the world has improved (if we value people satisfying their preferences, at any rate.)

If someone says that they believe something, it is perfectly reasonable for others to examine and argue against that belief if they don't agree. This, as you seem to like to put it, is just a part of being human. We talk about what we believe and what we don't believe and we give reasons for doing both. We ridicule that which seems ridiculous. We care what other people think.

Sleekit:
i'm an apatheist.

i don't care either way.

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

that said i will tick the second option just for the sake of not being a stand out pedant.

Marcus Aurelius, fuck yeah.

Under your rather-wide definitions, I am an atheist. I do not know if any god-like being exist, and since I currently see no reason why they would or should exist, I do not believe in them.

That said, I'm still Catholic.

Da Orky Man:

Sleekit:
i'm an apatheist.

i don't care either way.

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

that said i will tick the second option just for the sake of not being a stand out pedant.

Marcus Aurelius, fuck yeah.

Under your rather-wide definitions, I am an atheist. I do not know if any god-like being exist, and since I currently see no reason why they would or should exist, I do not believe in them.

That said, I'm still Catholic.

How does that even work?

Shadowstar38:

Da Orky Man:

Sleekit:
i'm an apatheist.

i don't care either way.

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

that said i will tick the second option just for the sake of not being a stand out pedant.

Marcus Aurelius, fuck yeah.

Under your rather-wide definitions, I am an atheist. I do not know if any god-like being exist, and since I currently see no reason why they would or should exist, I do not believe in them.

That said, I'm still Catholic.

How does that even work?

"Catholicism is the most adhesive religion in the world. If you joined the Taliban, you'd merely be regarded as a bad Catholic." -Dara O'Briain

Shadowstar38:

Da Orky Man:

Sleekit:
i'm an apatheist.

i don't care either way.

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

that said i will tick the second option just for the sake of not being a stand out pedant.

Marcus Aurelius, fuck yeah.

Under your rather-wide definitions, I am an atheist. I do not know if any god-like being exist, and since I currently see no reason why they would or should exist, I do not believe in them.

That said, I'm still Catholic.

How does that even work?

Pretty much like this:

Seanchaidh:

"Catholicism is the most adhesive religion in the world. If you joined the Taliban, you'd merely be regarded as a bad Catholic." -Dara O'Briain

(Starts at about 33s in)

It's official and everything. As of 2010, there is literally no way to formally defect from the Catholic Church.

Da Orky Man:

Pretty much like this:

Seanchaidh:

"Catholicism is the most adhesive religion in the world. If you joined the Taliban, you'd merely be regarded as a bad Catholic." -Dara O'Briain

(Starts at about 33s in)

It's official and everything. As of 2010, there is literally no way to formally defect from the Catholic Church.

Oh. You don't identify as one, it's a technicality. That's somewhat strange. I can see that fucking up a census. Also, that fucker is funny.

I've no problem with the idea of a supreme deity, but I find it absurd to think that any human knowledge about such a deity could be in anyway accurate.

Seanchaidh:
As far as I am concerned they actually believe what they believe. Whereas for you it seems to be the case that people don't believe what they believe.

I'm not saying that at all. What I am saying is, that someone can hold a belief without necessarily believing their belief to be the truth on the matter, only the one they believe most likely, or even simply the one they personally would most prefer, to be true. In other words, in lieu of actual, provable knowledge on the subject, people can, and will, form a belief about the matter, but this doesn't necessarily mean they have confused their belief as being the actual truth. If they have, then they have erred as they are confusing their belief for knowledge, and deserve to have this pointed out to them; if they haven't, however, I see no reason someone should go out of their way to try to convince them to abandon their belief completely simply because there is no way to know whether or not their belief is true. And all too often on this site, I see people doing just that, like Eddie the head did with CrazyGirl17.

As far as I'm concerned, stating that you believe something because you want to believe it is a perfectly valid reason to believe in something where knowledge is lacking on the matter, so long as you acknowledge that just because you believe it doesn't mean it is true, only that you'd like to believe it is true. Believing something because you'd like to believe it is most likely true is not the same as stating something is true because you'd like to believe that it is true.

I don't know what you mean by "invalid" in this case. If you mean that the statement lacks argumentative force or foundation, then that would depend on its justification.

I mean invalid in the sense that stating something as true without evidence to prove its truth is invalid, because you cannot actually establish its truth and yet are claiming it to be regardless. In this regard, you are making an invalid, empty claim.

This is why, to me, a belief is not, or at least, should not, be seen as someone stating "this is true" but someone stating "I have justified this to myself". Truth, to me, is something one can objectively justify to everyone, who can then verify it for themselves, whereas belief is something one can only subjectively justify to themselves, and the two should not be confused or treated as one and the same.

Holding a belief while recognizing that it may not be true is not the same thing as holding a belief that one doesn't think is true. The former is merely having less than full confidence in a belief. The latter is not actually holding a belief.

Of course it's not the same, one is recognizing that one's belief is not necessarily true, the other is holding a belief that one thinks is false. If you believed your belief was false/not true, why would you hold it? But just because you hold it does not necessarily mean you believe it is true, only that it is the one that makes the most sense to you.

As far as how this all relates to the argument, religious views are generally held more confidently than their justifications warrant. That is the error which people wish to correct by discussion or, in some cases, ridicule. Exposing fallacious reasoning or emphasizing a lack of justification or the superiority of some other opposed idea is intended to weaken the confidence in such beliefs to be more in line with the quality or force of their justifications.

To which I fully agree; however, my issue is when someone does not hold such a view more confidently than warranted, does not make this error, and yet is ridiculed for it anyways, as simply weakening confidence in such beliefs is not enough, but the wholesale abandonment of such a belief is the only acceptable outcome. To me, those who want someone to abandon their belief entirely because they do not believe there is any justification whatsoever to hold it are making the exact same mistake. When one believes that what they believe (or as often is the case here, that holding no belief) is the only acceptable position to hold and that everyone should adopt their belief/position, that is when they become dangerous. That is what leads to persecuting others for their beliefs. And claiming to hold no belief on the matter is just as susceptible to this as holding a belief is, which is why I will always defend someone's right to believe anything no matter their reasoning, so long as they respect the right of others to believe differently.

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