Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ten Fallacies of Atheism:

1. False: “I can know that there is no cause for material existence which is greater than anything found in material existence.” (Category Error).

2. False: “I can know that there is no existence beyond the mass/energy, space/time existence to which we humans are limited.” (Category Error).

3. False: “Science has no limits and is therefore the only source of knowledge.” (Failure to comprehend Material limitations of science, and the other types of knowledge commonly in use).

4. It is false to reject [P] yet claim that you have no belief concerning [P]. (Claim doesn’t match action/reality).

5. It is false to reject logical claims of first cause deductions based solely on rejection of ecclesiasticism. (Fallacy of Guilt by Association, and Black and White Fallacy).

6. False: “Theists must show material evidence that there is non-material existence.” (Category Error).

7. False: “Atheism is based on evidence and logic but needs neither for support in order to reject the existence of non-material dimensions because Atheism need not adhere to the Burden of Rebuttal.” (Special Pleading).

8. False: “Atheism is not a religion, despite having religious content, beliefs concerning deity, and the propensity to evangelize, and demand that government be limited to their worldview regarding religion.

9. False: Atheism has no ethic or morality attached to it, yet claim that “Atheists are good without God”. (internally contradictory: non-coherent).

10. False: “Since there are demonstrable myths, then all references to non-material existence are declared to be myths by association” (Fallacy of Guilt by Association).

40 comments:

Unknown said...

Your project theist fallacies onto atheists to mask your failure to meet your burden of proof:

1. Theist: “I know that there is no cause for material existence which is greater than anything found in material existence.”
Atheist: “I doubt that. How do you know?”
Theist: “You can’t know there isn’t! That’s a category error!”

2. Theist: “I know that there is an existence beyond the mass/energy, space/time existence to which we humans are limited.”
Atheist: “I doubt that. How do you know?”
Theist: “You can’t know there isn’t! That’s a category error!”

6. Theist: “There is non-material existence.”
Atheist: “I doubt that. Show me some evidence.”
Theist: “Aha, you want material evidence of the immaterial! That’s a category error!”

Like a book I recently read put it:

“You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I don’t know”.” — Penn Jillette, “God, No!”

Most of the rest are straw men.

3. Straw man. Science may have many limitations. Nevertheless, it remains our best tool for generating knowledge yet devised. When it comes to solving mysteries, science has succeeded where religions have failed. Religion made up myths to explain mysteries like sunrises, thunder, earthquakes, and seasons. Rational people who did not accept those illusions of knowledge, investigated, and found true explanations for those mysteries.

4. False. There’s no contradiction in rejecting belief [P] yet claiming that you have no belief concerning [P]. Do you have a belief that I am 5'9" or over in height? If you do not accept that belief, do you believe that I am shorter than 5'9"? Rejecting an unsupported proposition does not logically entail accepting its opposite.

5. Straw man.

7. Straw man. Furthermore, your ridiculous attempt to invert the burden of proof into a “Burden of Rebuttal” cuts both ways, as
RK demonstated by saying, “By the way, I have evidence that God does not exist. Now you have the burden of rebuttal. Prove that I don’t have this evidence.”

8. False. Atheism has no religious content (though religions can be atheist) and rejects beliefs concerning deity. A Yankees fan evangelizing the New York Yankees is not literally religious. Atheists often resist attempts to make government to endorse one religion’s worldview, fighting for freedom not to belong to a religion.

9. Good atheists exist. They didn’t get their morals from atheism.

10. Straw man. A fairer statement: Since there are demonstrably false myths, one should be skeptical of myth-like claims.

Matteo said...

Robin Lionheart,

Let's look at how these actually stand:

1. Atheist: I doubt there is a cause for material existence outside of material existence.

Theist: What do you have to say about the classical theistic philosophical arguments for the existence of a personal, intelligent creator of all that exists?

Atheist: Courtier's Reply! Courtier's Reply!!

Theist: Do you have specific objections to specific arguments?

Atheist: Who made God? Courtier's Reply! Courtier's Reply!!

6. Theist: There is non-material existence.

Atheist: Show me the evidence.

Theist: Here's some philosophical evidence.

Atheist: Courtier's Reply!!! I asked for EVIDENCE!!

Theist: Are you asking for material evidence for a non-material being?

Atheist: You gave me no EVIDENCE!!!!

Theist: Again: Are you asking for material evidence for a non-material being?

Atheist: No EVIDENCE!!! Haha, you LOSE!!! NO EVIDENCE!!!!!

Theist: For a third time: are you asking for material evidence for an immaterial being?

Atheist: Your God commits genocide! He's a misogynist!

Theist: Answer the question.

Atheist: Shut up! F*ck you!


“You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I don’t know”.” — Penn Jillette, “God, No!”

So, is Jilette also saying that he "doesn't know" that there isn't a god? Wouldn't that make him an agnostic? And if so, then why is his book called "God, No!"

3. "Religion made up myths to explain mysteries like sunrises, thunder, earthquakes, and seasons." Okay. Please do make the case from the Old and New Testaments, as well as Jewish and Christian doctrine, that this is the primary focus and purpose of these religions.

4. Rejecting an unsupported proposition does not logically entail accepting its opposite. So are you telling us that atheism is a simple lack of belief and that you also lack the belief that God doesn't exist? A simple yes or no will do.

5. This word "Strawman". It does not mean what you think it means. Please explain precisely why 5 represents a "strawman".

7. You've already illustrated that you embrace the fallacy in your point 4, above, which effectively states that you don't have to make a positive case for atheism. So how is 7 a strawman?

10. You'd have a point if only atheists didn't keep pulling the kind of sophistry illustrated in 1 and 6 above. Skepticism is one thing, the usual atheist tactic of desperately changing the subject when his skepticism is met with a logical response is quite another.

Girl who uses internet to correct incorrect use of certain terms. said...

"So, is Jilette also saying that he "doesn't know" that there isn't a god? Wouldn't that make him an agnostic?"

(A)theism is about belief.
(A)gnostic is about knowledge.

Stan said...

Robin is back, and says,

”Your project theist fallacies onto atheists to mask your failure to meet your burden of proof:”

It’s hard to know what you mean when you mention “your project”. But the theist burden of proof is met; Atheists cannot just reject it without meeting their own burden of proof. They cannot do that though; Atheism is impotent in terms of material evidence for its own support. In fact, Atheism is also impotent in terms of logical ability to refute the Theist position, so both logically and evidentiarily Atheism cannot support its claims and is false.

”1. Theist: “I know that there is no cause for material existence which is greater than anything found in material existence.”
Atheist: “I doubt that. How do you know?”
Theist: “You can’t know there isn’t! That’s a category error!”


Glad you agree; Atheism is impotent here.

”2. Theist: “I know that there is an existence beyond the mass/energy, space/time existence to which we humans are limited.”
Atheist: “I doubt that. How do you know?”
Theist: “You can’t know there isn’t! That’s a category error!”


Glad you agree; Atheism is impotent here.

”6. Theist: “There is non-material existence.”
Atheist: “I doubt that. Show me some evidence.”
Theist: “Aha, you want material evidence of the immaterial! That’s a category error!”


Glad you agree; Atheism is impotent here.

”Like a book I recently read put it:

“You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I don’t know”.” — Penn Jillette, “God, No!”


Pleading “gross ignorance” has no explanatory power; Atheists demand explanatory power, so Penn Jillette is a failure as an Atheist.

”Most of the rest are straw men.

3. Straw man. Science may have many limitations. Nevertheless, it remains our best tool for generating knowledge yet devised. When it comes to solving mysteries, science has succeeded where religions have failed. Religion made up myths to explain mysteries like sunrises, thunder, earthquakes, and seasons. Rational people who did not accept those illusions of knowledge, investigated, and found true explanations for those mysteries.”


The use of the term “religion” is a gross generalization which is used to tar all possible beliefs by referring to certain beliefs of indeterminate origin which are not representative of the whole; Fallacy of Hasty Generalization. The application of such nonsense to Theism is completely false, and indicative of a complete failure to understand Theism.

”4. False. There’s no contradiction in rejecting belief [P] yet claiming that you have no belief concerning [P]. Do you have a belief that I am 5'9" or over in height? If you do not accept that belief, do you believe that I am shorter than 5'9"? Rejecting an unsupported proposition does not logically entail accepting its opposite.”

Rejecting [P] specifically means that you have a belief that [P] is false.
In fact you just rejected item 4, calling it false. Case closed.

”5. Straw man.

It can't be a straw man because it is a specific argument made in isolation from any other argument. You don't know what a straw man is, do you? It is a type of Red Herring used to de-rail an in-progress argument; it doesn’t apply to a proposition being made in isolation. I suspect that you don’t comprehend the proposition itself. If you do, then refute it.
(continued)

Stan said...

(continued)
”7. Straw man. Furthermore, your ridiculous attempt to invert the burden of proof into a “Burden of Rebuttal” cuts both ways, as
RK demonstated by saying, “By the way, I have evidence that God does not exist. Now you have the burden of rebuttal. Prove that I don’t have this evidence.””


False again; Theism presents its evidence; RK (whoever that is) hides his evidence. Surely you can see that RK is transparently lying? An analogy built around a lie is as false as it gets. Refute the proof given to you; or admit that you are impotent to do so. Again, false use of the term Straw Man.

”8. False. Atheism has no religious content (though religions can be atheist) and rejects beliefs concerning deity. A Yankees fan evangelizing the New York Yankees is not literally religious. Atheists often resist attempts to make government to endorse one religion’s worldview, fighting for freedom not to belong to a religion.”

Wrong again! Atheism is specifically about religious issues. No more; no less. And it has been declared a religion several time in U.S. Federal Courts. Want the case numbers?

”9. Good atheists exist. They didn’t get their morals from atheism.”

So being an Atheist doesn’t prove that they are “good” does it? In fact, it proves that a person’s belief system has no morals attached; hence that person who claims Atheism has exactly no basis for being trusted. In addition, selecting a worldview that is specifically and conspicuously without any morals puts a person into the suspicious person category automatically, regardless of how that person feels about it. Being good for a little while is of little benefit when the person’s worldview is stridently amoral. And the term “good” is defined by the Atheist to match his own choice of behaviors at the moment, hence the Atheist is “good” tautologically, not actually.

”10. Straw man. A fairer statement: Since there are demonstrably false myths, one should be skeptical of myth-like claims.”

Again you do not know what a straw man is. But under your claim, Atheist Goodness should be considered a myth; is that your claim, then? Or is this just another admission that (like the above) you cannot actually refute the Atheist Fallacies, so you submit more of them?

Robin, it might help if you think through the consequences of what you say before you say it. Logic and rationality is not about what you think is fair; it is about what conforms to the grounded rules of the discipline.

++SloMo++ said...

6. False: “Theists must show material evidence that there is non-material existence.” (Category Error).

Maybe if you could prove that the non-material could never possibly affect the material then you could claim a category mistake. Theists claim the non-material can affect the material so theists claim that material evidence is not a category mistake.
We believe that there is good reason to believe the material exist. We can not see a good reason to believe the non-material exist in the way theists believe.


7. False: “Atheism is based on evidence and logic but needs neither for support in order to reject the existence of non-material dimensions because Atheism need not adhere to the Burden of Rebuttal.” (Special Pleading).

There are several definitions of the word "dimensions".
In some definitions, dimensions are properties of the material. So if you use that definition then you are making a category mistake.
But if you are talking about dimensions as the constituent structure of all space and its position in time then it is also a category mistake.

Also, unless you are a high-school debater there in no such thing as the burden of rebuttal. If you are seeking the truth then positive claims have the burden of proof. If there was such a thing as the burden of rebuttal you could never believe anything as there is an infinite number of concepts to rebuttal. Since this leads to absurdities, it is the burden of the one making the positive claim to provide evidence.

9. False: Atheism has no ethic or morality attached to it, yet claim that “Atheists are good without God”. (internally contradictory: non-coherent).

Atheism made not have a morality but atheists do.

Unknown said...

Matteo,

My goodness, your atheist caricature shrieks like a refugee from a Jack Chick cartoon tract. You should talk to some real live atheists.

Can you give me an example of “philosophical evidence”? I’m not familiar with your phrase.

“So, is Jilette also saying that he "doesn't know" that there isn't a god?”

Although his first sentence (which I quoted) seems to imply that, his introduction concludes with “Try to remember, when it all comes down, I just don’t know. But... god? No! There is no fucking god!” (Penn uses a lot of cusswords.)

“Wouldn't that make him an agnostic?”

It would, and also no less an atheist. They’re not mutually exclusive.

“Please do make the case from the Old and New Testaments, as well as Jewish and Christian doctrine, that this is the primary focus and purpose of these religions.”

No, I was not arguing that explaining sunrises is a primary focus and purpose of Judaism, nor anything similar to that.

“So are you telling us that atheism is a simple lack of belief and that you also lack the belief that God doesn't exist? A simple yes or no will do.”

No, I was not telling you that, though I think you’re half right.

“Please explain precisely why 5 represents a "strawman".”

Stan’s fifth “fallacy of atheism” claims that atheism falsely rejects first cause claims “based solely on rejection of ecclesiasticism”. Rather than engage any actual basis for rejection of first cause arguments, Stan invents a fictional basis to argue with.

“So how is 7 a strawman?”

Stan’s seventh “fallacy of atheism” claims that atheism claims to have a special exemption from Stan’s upside-down “burden of rebuttal”. No atheist claims that, though atheists do say, correctly, that atheism does not have the burden of proof.

“Skepticism is one thing, the usual atheist tactic of desperately changing the subject when his skepticism is met with a logical response is quite another.”

In my experience having participated in and listened to many arguments between athesits and theists, it’s generally the other way around. I have several times found myself insisting on sticking to one subject at a time to stop theists from running off on a tangent when a conversation goes unfavorably for them.

Unknown said...

Stan writes:

“Rejecting [P] specifically means that you have a belief that [P] is false.”

False. When you “reject” a proposition, you “refuse to accept”, or “dismiss as inadequate or unsatisfactory”.

“Atheism is specifically about religious issues. No more; no less.”

But atheism has no religious content. It is nonbelief in gods. No more; no less.

“And it has been declared a religion several time in U.S. Federal Courts. Want the case numbers?”

If you post your case numbers, we can search for where they qualify “for the purposes of the First Amendment” or suchlike.

Our laws occasionally say atheism must be treated like a religion for equal protection purposes, but that doesn’t make it one.

“So being an Atheist doesn’t prove that they are “good” does it?”

Just like being a Christian doesn’t.

“In fact, it proves that a person’s belief system has no morals attached...”

No, only that theirs is not attached to a god-belief. They may have other belief systems with morals attached. Frex, Madalyn Murray O’Hair lived by Kant’s categorical imperative.

++SloMo++ said...

Torcaso v. Watkins (1961)-
Justice Black of the US Supreme Court made a footnote calling Secular Humanism a religion. This was obiter dictum and Secular Humanism is not atheism.

Kaufman, James v. McCaughtry, Gary-
"The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a 'religion' for purposes of the First Amendment"

Read the ruling and you find two huge qualifiers.
These qualifiers are "for First Amendment purposes" and "for this inmate." This inmate.

It means that atheism isn't declared a religion for any other context or for any other person.

This was used again to declare Robert Warner could not be forced to attend religious meetings. Again "for First Amendment purposes" and "for this inmate."

So atheism wasn't declared a religion in these cases. Any other cases?

Stan said...

SloMo says,
” Maybe if you could prove that the non-material could never possibly affect the material then you could claim a category mistake. Theists claim the non-material can affect the material so theists claim that material evidence is not a category mistake.

That posit is not being made; it is an Atheist staple, but it is not the posit of Theism, so fighting against it is futile.

The existences are mutually exclusive: [P] and [!P]. But the agent which created [P] is not restricted from its own creation, [P]. This is demonstrated by (once yet again) Lourdes, which posits an interference. Atheists are free to prove that this posit is not an interference, using material evidence and forensic science. This is the point where Atheists usually squall "unfair", or some such, rather than using their science to disprove the physical evidence (the spring). But the evidence which they demand is there, for them to investigate and refute, empirically.

” We believe that there is good reason to believe the material exist. We can not see a good reason to believe the non-material exist in the way theists believe.”

You are giving Atheists more wiggle room than is actually available to them. Atheists actively deny it. Agnostics need more or better reasons.

” There are several definitions of the word "dimensions".
In some definitions, dimensions are properties of the material. So if you use that definition then you are making a category mistake.”


In our universe, x,y,z dimensions exist regardless of whether material exists. In string theory, there is no material even posited for the 11, or is it 12, or is it 22, dimensions that are proposed.

”But if you are talking about dimensions as the constituent structure of all space and its position in time then it is also a category mistake.

Fortunately that’s not what is proposed, neither here, nor in string theory.

Also, unless you are a high-school debater there in no such thing as the burden of rebuttal. If you are seeking the truth then positive claims have the burden of proof. If there was such a thing as the burden of rebuttal you could never believe anything as there is an infinite number of concepts to rebuttal. Since this leads to absurdities, it is the burden of the one making the positive claim to provide evidence.”

There is a specific reason for the Burden of Rebuttal, and that is that it is not an acceptable response to merely say, “I don’t accept your posit, you must do it my way or everything you say is tautologically false”. It is Special Pleading at its most blatant.

To claim that Rebuttal is saddled with infinite possibilities is to say that there is no single valid counter argument to be made, so that there is no responsibility to make such an argument. If this is true, that there is no single truth, then you have made the classic Epimenides paradox argument as your defense.

” Atheism made not have a morality but atheists do.”

First, that cannot be shown to be the case.

Second, even if one presumes (erroneously) that it is the case, what that “morality” might consist of is completely undefined and undefinable by the worldview: Atheism. Any presumption of morality for the Atheist falls completely outside of the concept of Atheism.

Third, by knowing that a person is an Atheist, there is no possible way to know (a) if he has an ethic today other than one which is tailored to match his personal proclivities of the day, or (b) what that ethic might be tomorrow, or (c) whether that ethic is benign, or (d) whether that ethic includes lying about his ethics, or any other combination of pragmatism and obfuscation.

One segment of Atheists feels that it is necessary and justifiable to commit any fallacy necessary in the defense of the Atheist worldview; the refusal to accept responsibility for one's own evidentiary requirements, along with promoting obvious fallacies in defense of Atheism illuminates the ethics of that segment.

Stan said...

SloMo says,
"Read the ruling and you find two huge qualifiers.
These qualifiers are "for First Amendment purposes" and "for this inmate." This inmate."


First, the First Amendment applies to all Americans; second, the statement "this inmate" (I didn't see that in there, but I'll take your word) if it is, then the ruling is discriminatory; it would be necessary to apply this ruling to all inmates to avoid discrimination against other Atheists, no? The fact is, Atheism was declared religious, as was Secular Humanism.

And as an aside, you are here because of your religious opinions.

Stan said...

Robin says,

Stan’s fifth “fallacy of atheism” claims that atheism falsely rejects first cause claims “based solely on rejection of ecclesiasticism”. Rather than engage any actual basis for rejection of first cause arguments, Stan invents a fictional basis to argue with.”

You are making an assertion which needs defense; there have been no rejections made here which have not been jumps out of the argument and into rejection of ecclesiasticism. So you must make such a refutation specifically, not merely imply that they exist.

” Stan’s seventh “fallacy of atheism” claims that atheism claims to have a special exemption from Stan’s upside-down “burden of rebuttal”. No atheist claims that, though atheists do say, correctly, that atheism does not have the burden of proof.”

Merely redefining the terms won’t work. Atheists do, in fact, claim that they have no “burden of rebuttal”. Read SloMo’s specific rejection in this very thread. And Atheism makes the claim that there is no deity. (your own reference to Penn whatsisname). Then, after making the claim, they refuse to support their claim using their own standards for evidence, which they insist that others use. (Penn actually pleads ignorance as the reason for his blatant and specific claim of non-existence). That is specifically Special Pleading; and denying it by gerrymandering definitions (an Atheist favorite pastime) won’t work in an environment which insists on disciplined logical standards.


” “Rejecting [P] specifically means that you have a belief that [P] is false.”

False. When you “reject” a proposition, you “refuse to accept”, or “dismiss as inadequate or unsatisfactory”.


You are right. A proposition might be rejected purely because of political reasons, or outright ornriness; however, the single VALID reason would be the belief that it is false.

” “Atheism is specifically about religious issues. No more; no less.”

But atheism has no religious content. It is nonbelief in gods. No more; no less.


Robin you’ve been around here long enough to know that such statements just are not the case.

Atheism is purely religious: its content concerns deity and first cause arguments; it has no other reason to exist.

Atheism is not “non-belief”; it specifically rejects and is the positive belief concerning a deity, which is that one does not exist.
(continued)

Stan said...

(continued)
” “So being an Atheist doesn’t prove that they are “good” does it?”

Just like being a Christian doesn’t.”


First off , a Tu Quoque is not a valid argument. But even your Tu Quoque is an incorrect understanding of your enemy.

As I understand Christianity, there is no claim that being a Christian changes the struggle one has with one’s own tendencies to stray from the Christian ethic; Christians acknowledge a “fallen” position and struggle trying to be good without the ability to maintain goodness. Only Atheists are making that claim: Atheists are “Good without God”. This billboard and bumpersticker claim for Atheism is false, and it decorates the personal deception under which the claimant is laboring, unless the definition of “good” is completely relativistic and is changing to meet the changing requirements of the Atheist, of course.

” “In fact, it proves that a person’s belief system has no morals attached...”

No, only that theirs is not attached to a god-belief. They may have other belief systems with morals attached. Frex, Madalyn Murray O’Hair lived by Kant’s categorical imperative.”


IF [the belief system is Atheism],

AND [Atheism has no morals attached],

THEN [the person’s belief system has no morals attached].

Simple stuff. By claiming other morality injection into an Atheist’s worldview, the Atheist is no longer purely an Atheist, but has bought into someone’s ethical concoction, maybe his own. But there is no implication of that by the term "Atheist".

And M. M. O’Hair was demonstrably insane, as the other Atheist organizations which she tried to acquire / destroy would attest. She lived purely by her own dictates, regardless of whatever ethic she claimed.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

[trying to fix that again:]
Stan››› “So being an Atheist doesn’t prove that they are “good” does it?”

Robin›› “Just like being a Christian doesn’t.”

Stan› “First off , a Tu Quoque is not a valid argument.”


So you thought I was arguing it’s okay that being an atheist doesn’t prove one’s morality, because being Christian doesn’t prove one’s morality.

You misunderstood. I meant: So? No religious identification proves one’s morality.

Stan› “Christians acknowledge a “fallen” position and struggle trying to be good without the ability to maintain goodness. Only Atheists are making that claim...”

Fortunately, not being “fallen”, we can maintain a good baseline without guilt for things we didn’t do.

Stan››› “In fact, it proves that a person’s belief system has no morals attached...”

Robin›› “No, only that theirs is not attached to a god-belief. They may have other belief systems with morals attached.”

Stan› “IF [the belief system is Atheism],

Stan› AND [Atheism has no morals attached],

Stan› THEN [the person’s belief system has no morals attached].”


Only valid “IF [the person’s belief system is Atheism and nothing else]”. But who would have such a tabula rasa, except infants?

Stan› “By claiming other morality injection into an Atheist’s worldview, the Atheist is no longer purely an Atheist...”

Just like your worldview may contain beliefs unrelated to Christianity, such as political ideology.

[Hint: That wasn’t a tu quoque either.]

Stan› “And M. M. O’Hair was demonstrably insane, as the other Atheist organizations which she tried to acquire / destroy would attest.”

I have no idea what you’re talking about here.

Stan› “She lived purely by her own dictates, regardless of whatever ethic she claimed.”

But only dictates she could will becoming universal law. ☺

Stan said...

”So you thought I was arguing it’s okay that being an atheist doesn’t prove one’s morality, because being Christian doesn’t prove one’s morality.

You misunderstood. I meant: So? No religious identification proves one’s morality.

Certainly it does. Discuss that with a Shiite. Discuss it with the Amish.

”Stan› “Christians acknowledge a “fallen” position and struggle trying to be good without the ability to maintain goodness. Only Atheists are making that claim...”

Fortunately, not being “fallen”, we can maintain a good baseline without guilt for things we didn’t do.

Changing the subject to guilt doesn’t change the proposition, it merely throws a Red Herring out. The subject is not Guilt. The subject is the expectation that Christians think they are Good merely by their association with Christianity. That expectation is false. The Good Without God is the false expectation that Atheists are Good. It is a purposefully false projection, and it demonstrates two things: (a) Atheists don’t care about fallacies; (b) they can make false claims with no qualms, so the Good part is false: they are not Good by any common standard of the word.

”Stan› “IF [the belief system is Atheism],

Stan› AND [Atheism has no morals attached],

Stan› THEN [the person’s belief system has no morals attached].”

Only valid “IF [the person’s belief system is Atheism and nothing else]”. But who would have such a tabula rasa, except infants?”

Bingo. Atheism is exactly a moral tabula rasa; that is the point. Atheism is a clear indicator of “no morality attached”. If you choose a morality, it is separate from Atheism. If you wish it to be known, you will have to declare it: “I am an Atheist Consequentialist”.

”Stan› “By claiming other morality injection into an Atheist’s worldview, the Atheist is no longer purely an Atheist...”

Just like your worldview may contain beliefs unrelated to Christianity, such as political ideology.

[Hint: That wasn’t a tu quoque either.]”

A Tu Quoque is not falsified by denying it. And political ideology is not ethics. We are discussing morality, and you have changed the subject again.

”Stan› “And M. M. O’Hair was demonstrably insane, as the other Atheist organizations which she tried to acquire / destroy would attest.”

I have no idea what you’re talking about here.


Then you know virtually nothing about MM O’Hair.

”Stan› “She lived purely by her own dictates, regardless of whatever ethic she claimed.”

But only dictates she could will becoming universal law. ☺”


That makes no sense. She could not “will” anything. Her own son rejected Atheism. She couldn’t take over competing Atheist organizations because she lied about the size of her own organization (and other reasons). She couldn’t “will” the prevention of her own murder and being stuffed into a 55 gallon drum. The only thing she accomplished is the radicalization of government schools even more.

Matteo said...

My goodness, your atheist caricature shrieks like a refugee from a Jack Chick cartoon tract. You should talk to some real live atheists.

Talking to real live atheists is exactly where the "caricature" came from.

Unknown said...

Stan,

Robin› So? No religious identification proves one’s morality.

Stan› Certainly it does. Discuss that with a Shiite.

Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Stan› Discuss it with the Amish.

Any Amish person who argues that ain’t doing humility right. By the way, in Pennsylvania, Amish people run nasty, inhumane puppy mills.

Stan› Christians acknowledge a “fallen” position and struggle trying to be good without the ability to maintain goodness.

Robin› Fortunately, not being “fallen”, we can maintain a good baseline without guilt for things we didn’t do.

Stan› Changing the subject to guilt doesn’t change the proposition, it merely throws a Red Herring out. The subject is not Guilt.

My subject was goodness, not guilt. Pay attention.

Stan› The subject is the expectation that Christians think they are Good merely by their association with Christianity. That expectation is false. The Good Without God is the false expectation that Atheists are Good.

You’re all over the place. You argue that atheism has no morals attached with one breath, and then you expect atheists to think they are good just because they are atheist with the next. Your expectation is false.

Stan› If you choose a morality, it is separate from Atheism.

Yes, we agree about this.

Stan› By claiming other morality injection into an Atheist’s worldview, the Atheist is no longer purely an Atheist...

Robin› Just like your worldview may contain beliefs unrelated to Christianity, such as political ideology.

Stan› And political ideology is not ethics. We are discussing morality, and you have changed the subject again.

You’ve gotten muddled and missed my point completely. Let’s clear the air. I’ll spell it out for you:

You claimed a person being an atheist proves their belief system has no morals. Wrong. Atheists can have moral belief systems separate from atheism. For example, the categorical imperative.

You then said that an atheist’s moral values are separate from atheism. Right. Theists also have belief systems separate from theism. For example, political ideology.

If someone is a theist, that doesn’t tell you what politics they have.

If someone is an atheist, that doesn’t tell you what ethics they have. Only that they do not derive from a god-belief.

Stan› And M. M. O’Hair was demonstrably insane, as the other Atheist organizations which she tried to acquire / destroy would attest.

Robin› I have no idea what you’re talking about here.

Stan› Then you know virtually nothing about MM O’Hair.

Not much besides her lawsuit against school-led Bible readings, before I was born.

Stan› She couldn’t take over competing Atheist organizations because she lied about the size of her own organization (and other reasons).

Okay, what organizations did she try to take over? Her Wikipedia page says nothing about this.

Stan› She lived purely by her own dictates...

Robin› But only dictates she could will becoming universal law.

Stan› That makes no sense. She could not “will” anything... She couldn’t “will” the prevention of her own murder and being stuffed into a 55 gallon drum.

You thought I was implying that O’Hair was omnipotent? Ha ha ha.

Sorry, I mistakenly assumed you’d be acquainted with Kant’s categorical imperative. Its first formulation is “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.”

Stan› The only thing she accomplished is the radicalization of government schools even more.

How so?

Unknown said...

Matteo,

Robin› My goodness, your atheist caricature shrieks like a refugee from a Jack Chick cartoon tract. You should talk to some real live atheists.

Matteo› Talking to real live atheists is exactly where the "caricature" came from.

So you claim you conversed with a real live atheist who said things like:

• “Who made God? Courtier's Reply! Courtier's Reply!!”

• “No EVIDENCE!!! Haha, you LOSE!!! NO EVIDENCE!!!!!!”

I think you’re lying. That sounds like a Jack Chick “atheist”, not like any atheist I’ve ever met in real life.

Matteo said...

I've seen "Courtier's Reply" invoked on many occasions. I've seen the "no evidence" claim stated again and again and again when the question is asked whether the person is expecting material evidence for an immaterial being.

I've presented this as a boiled down caricature, yes. Does this somehow offend your literal-mindedness?

The atheists who behave as I've caricatured are legion on the internet. My hope is that in person they would not be the kind of know-nothing jerks they come across as in internet "discussions", but I have to take them as I find them.

Unknown said...

I've seen "Courtier's Reply" invoked on many occasions.

I’ve seen PZ Myers invoke Courtier’s Reply for the very first time. But I’ve only ever seen it invoked when replying to an accusation of unfamiliarity with theology. Your cartoon atheist nonsensically crying “Who made God? Courtier's Reply! Courtier's Reply!!” seemed to have no idea what it meant (do you?), waving it willy‐nilly like a magic wand. Expecto patronum!

I've seen the "no evidence" claim stated again and again and again when the question is asked whether the person is expecting material evidence for an immaterial being.

While I easily believe your question was taken to be a tacit admission that you lack material evidence, I doubt you ever got Chickesque chortling like “No EVIDENCE!!! Haha, you LOSE!!! NO EVIDENCE!!!!!”

The atheists who behave as I've caricatured are legion on the internet.

Not on atheist boards I frequent, fortunately. Even the notoriously rude hordes of Pharyngula have more maturity than that.

Perhaps you should visit some better blogs, like Former Fundy, Daylight Atheism, or Debunking Christianity.

Martin said...

Robin,

I concur with Mateo. Obviously, it's impossible to completely generalize, but there is a very strong current of the following in Internet atheism:

1. Science is the only or best way to know anything; science competes with "faith", and "faith" is a clearly inferior method of knowing.
2. Since science is the only real way to know anything, then evidence for God must be in the form of peer-reviewed, testable, repeatable scientific evidence
3. There is no such evidence. Therefore, it is reasonable to cautiously conclude that God (probably) does not exist. If pink elephants are supposed to exist on an island, and you search and search for years and don't find them, then it is reasonable to conclude that they do not exist.

Furthermore:

1. Materialism is probably true. The position that all that exists is what the hard sciences tell us: meaningless matter and energy, 4 fundamental forces, space, time, and physical laws. If something other than those things existed (i.e., something immaterial), the hard sciences would find it.
2. Furthermore, the human mind is entirely composed of meaningless matter, the same stuff the rest of the universe is composed of.
3. Finally, theology is silly because it studies an imaginary being, and atheists do not have to study up on it to know its dumb and to dismiss it.

Stan said...

Robin says,
”You claimed a person being an atheist proves their belief system has no morals. Wrong.
Atheists can have moral belief systems separate from atheism. For example, the categorical imperative.”


Unless an Atheist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely an Atheist, without morality. Your denial is meaningless because it is just as moral to lie as it is not to lie, under Atheism. That’s because Atheism has no morality attached.

You then said that an atheist’s moral values are separate from atheism. Right. Theists also have belief systems separate from theism. For example, political ideology.

If someone is a theist, that doesn’t tell you what politics they have.

If someone is an atheist, that doesn’t tell you what ethics they have. Only that they do not derive from a god-belief.


It tells me that they have no ethics from their religious worldview: Atheism. And it doesn’t tell me that they are not Consequentialists, lying about their vaunted “ethics”.

” Okay, what organizations did she try to take over? Her Wikipedia page says nothing about this.”

Which is a fine reason not to use Wikipedia for your education. Research her… you’re a student, look her up. Surely you don’t rely on just one source in your studies.

” Sorry, I mistakenly assumed you’d be acquainted with Kant’s categorical imperative. Its first formulation is “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.”.

Since you are a fan of Kant, at least the Kant portrayed on Wiki, and probably not from reading “A Critique of Pure Reason” or “A Critique of Practical Reason”, I think you need to see the summary of Kant’s moral reasoning given by Bertrand Russell:

”God, freedom and immorality, he [Kant] says, are the three ‘ideas of reason’. But although pure reason leads us to form these ideas, it cannot itself prove their reality. The importance of these ideas is practical, i.e. connected with morals. The purely intellectual use of reason leads to fallacies; its only right use is directed to moral ends.

The practical use of reason is developed near the end of the “Critique of Pure Reason”, and more fully in “The Critique of Practical Reason” (1786). The argument is that moral law demands justice, i.e. happiness proportional to virtue. Only Providence can insure this, and has evidently not insured it in this life. Therefore, there is a God and a future life; and there must be freedom, since otherwise there would be no such thing as virtue.”

Russell, Bertrand; “History of Western Philosophy”, 1946; pg 644.

Kant was a Theist. Does Wiki tell you that? Dependency on Wiki is fatal to honest intellectual pursuits. It is a lazy man’s pseudointellectual resource.

”Stan› The only thing she accomplished is the radicalization of government schools even more.

How so?”


She started the trend for using the liberal courts to remove all content of intellectual and moral diversity from the government education of most American youth. The single ideology of Atheo-Secularism has been thoroughly installed into the education system, and into the product of that system. You probably won’t object to that because you are a product of that strait-laced system and an ideological Atheist. A society which is based on Atheo-Secularism has no a priori morals and reaps that harvest.

Stan said...

Robin says,
Stan› Changing the subject to guilt doesn’t change the proposition, it merely throws a Red Herring out. The subject is not Guilt.

My subject was goodness, not guilt. Pay attention.


OK, let’s dissect it: [good baseline without guilt]; is the lack of guilt the cause or the effect? Why do you mention it in the assertion if it has no meaning to the assertion?

Insults are not in your favor.

And here is your chance to explain exactly what the baseline criteria are that Atheists use. You admit that there is no Atheist morality. So how can there be a baseline of "goodness" that is derived from Atheism and common to all Atheists? Please explain this in detail.


”Stan› The subject is the expectation that Christians think they are Good merely by their association with Christianity. That expectation is false. The Good Without God is the false expectation that Atheists are Good.

You’re all over the place. You argue that atheism has no morals attached with one breath, and then you expect atheists to think they are good just because they are atheist with the next. Your expectation is false.”


Robin are you really ignorant of the Atheist billboards and bumperstickers with the slogan, “Good Without God” on them? I am asserting exactly what National Atheist organizations are asserting, as well as PZ, Dawkins, et. al. I expect a retraction on this.

Stan said...

Robin,
Perhaps this will help clear it up:

Atheist assertions:
1. Theists are not good merely by claiming theism.

2. Atheists are “Good without God”.

Theist assertions:
1. Theists are not good merely by claiming Theism.

2. Atheists have no morality merely by claiming Atheism.

Atheists and Theists agree on number 1, although many Atheists seem to think that their assertion is a devastating argument because they do not understand Theism.

Atheists make an unsustainable and irrational claim in number 2; Theists recognize the error.

Unknown said...

Stan› Unless an Atheist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely an Atheist, without morality.

And by such sanctimonious bigotry, you would commit a fallacy of composition.

Might get annoying for your atheist neighbors, giving you their daily morality updates. Maybe if they keep it brief: “Good morning, Stan, still Kantian today.”

You should also allow for many other ethical theories besides the categorical imperative, frex: the Bronze Rule, desire utilitarianism, or Mr. Spock's credo.

Stan› It tells me that they have no ethics from their religious worldview: Atheism.

Most atheists have a nonreligious worldview.

Stan› And it doesn’t tell me that they are not Consequentialists, lying about their vaunted “ethics”.

If someone intended to lie about their ethics to gain your trust, Stan, wouldn’t they rather go with “You can trust me, I'm a Christian”? Those are the ones you should be watching out for.

Stan› And M. M. O’Hair was demonstrably insane, as the other Atheist organizations which she tried to acquire / destroy would attest.

Robin› Okay, what organizations did she try to take over?

Stan› Research her… you’re a student, look her up.

Seems like you have nothing to back up your defamatory statement.

Stan› Since you are a fan of Kant, at least the Kant portrayed on Wiki, and probably not from reading “A Critique of Pure Reason” or “A Critique of Practical Reason”...

There you go making assumptions again. Wrong and wrong again.

Stan: Kant was a Theist. Does Wiki tell you that?

Already knew that.

Stan: Dependency on Wiki is fatal to honest intellectual pursuits.

Indeed you should not depend on any wiki, though consequences of doing so would be more “embarrassing” than “fatal”.

Stan: She started the trend for using the liberal courts to remove all content of intellectual and moral diversity from the government education of most American youth.

By going to court to fight for religious diversity, you say she started a trend of using a court to remove “intellectual and moral” diversity?

That makes no sense to me.

Stan: The single ideology of Atheo-Secularism has been thoroughly installed into the education system, and into the product of that system.

“Atheo-Secularism” (whatever that means) was not covered in my public school curriculum. And I’m pretty sure my teachers never once mentioned atheism in any of my classes.

Robin: Fortunately, not being “fallen”, we can maintain a good baseline without guilt for things we didn’t do.

Stan: OK, let’s dissect it: [good baseline without guilt]; is the lack of guilt the cause or the effect?

An effect of not being “fallen” is no guilt for the Fall.

Robin: Good atheists exist. They didn’t get their morals from atheism.

Robin: They may have other belief systems with morals attached.

Robin: You claimed a person being an atheist proves their belief system has no morals. Wrong. Atheists can have moral belief systems separate from atheism.

Stan: You admit that there is no Atheist morality.

No, I said there is atheist morality, separate from atheism. Repeatedly. And now once more.

Stan: So how can there be a baseline of "goodness" that is derived from Atheism and common to all Atheists?

Separate from atheism”.

You should work on improving your reading comprehension, Stan.

Unknown said...

Robin› You argue that atheism has no morals attached with one breath, and then you expect atheists to think they are good just because they are atheist with the next.

Stan› Robin are you really ignorant of the Atheist billboards and bumperstickers with the slogan, “Good Without God” on them?

I’m aware of them. In Columbus, there was an amusing controversy when a outdoor ad company placed a billboard reading “I can be good without God” in a parking lot of a church, until the church insisted it be removed.

Stan› I am asserting exactly what National Atheist organizations are asserting, as well as PZ, Dawkins, et. al.

No, you assert something different from them.

“Good Without God” simply means “Good and Without God”, not your nonsensical reading “Good because Without God”.

Stan: I expect a retraction on this.

Then you have another false expectation.

World of Facts said...

@Martin

Obviously, it's impossible to completely generalize, but there is a very strong current of the following in Internet atheism:

I think you did a pretty good job Martin; but your interpretation is a bit off, at least in my opinion...

1. Science is the only or best way to know anything; science competes with "faith", and "faith" is a clearly inferior method of knowing.

Faith is, by definition, NOT a way to know anything. It is a belief without evidence. You cannot even contrast it with science; it does not make any sense. Science is the best way to know things about the physical world simply because there is no other way to know anything about it. It does mean right off the bat that this is THE only way to know anything though... I certainly don't think it is.

Perhaps some Atheists are dumb enough to say it the way you presented it, but some Theists are also dumb enough to think that a worldwide flood happened because a book says so... Generalization does not get anyone anywhere.

2. Since science is the only real way to know anything, then evidence for God must be in the form of peer-reviewed, testable, repeatable scientific evidence

It depends what the claim regarding God is. Taking the ridiculous example of the flood again, then yes it would be normal to ask for scientific evidence regarding such event. If on the other hand we want to "play" with your logical arguments that attempt to justify the existence of a first cause, then of course we DON'T use science. Simple argumentation is enough... to prove you wrong ;)

3. There is no such evidence. Therefore...

Well therefore there is nothing to talk about because you generalized the usage of science.

1. Materialism is probably true. The position that all that exists is what the hard sciences tell us: meaningless matter and energy, 4 fundamental forces, space, time, and physical laws. If something other than those things existed (i.e., something immaterial), the hard sciences would find it.

Yes and no. Yes Atheists believe that Materialism is probably true I think; but Materialism is simply the belief that all that exists is material. Nothing more. Positing that certain things have meaning or not is not up to you. Ask what Atheists actually think instead of putting words in their mouth, and once again, please don't generalize...

But I would also say 'no you are wrong' in response to your affirmation because not all Atheists actually care enough about philosophical discussion to even know what Materialism is...

2. Furthermore, the human mind is entirely composed of meaningless matter, the same stuff the rest of the universe is composed of.

I don't know why you consider it meaningless since humans are, to me, the most meaningful thing ever, but yes, the brain, the motor of the mind if you want, is made of the same stuff as the rest of the universe. Since you do not deny evolution, you should not be surprised by this fact... the brain evolved!

3. Finally, theology is silly because it studies an imaginary being, and atheists do not have to study up on it to know its dumb and to dismiss it.

Theology is useful because it is the study of religions. It is as important as any other field that study culture or society. I don't know any atheists who think the way you wrote it, but again, I don't want to generalize... unlike you.

Stan said...

Robin says,
” Stan› Unless an Atheist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely an Atheist, without morality.

And by such sanctimonious bigotry, you would commit a fallacy of composition.”


The fallacy of composition is in no manner appropriate here. Your charge of sanctimonious bigotry places you one step from permanent banishment.

” You should also allow for many other ethical theories besides the categorical imperative, frex: the Bronze Rule, desire utilitarianism, or Mr. Spock's credo.”

None of those are indicated by the term “Atheist”. All of those are separate from the issue at hand, which is that Atheism and Atheists, by declaring Atheism indicate no morality whatsoever.

” Stan› It tells me that they have no ethics from their religious worldview: Atheism.

Most atheists have a nonreligious worldview.”


Atheism is about a religious decision. It is a religious term, and a religious worldview.

” If someone intended to lie about their ethics to gain your trust, Stan, wouldn’t they rather go with “You can trust me, I'm a Christian”? Those are the ones you should be watching out for.”

Tu Quoque again. Not a defense.

” Seems like you have nothing to back up your defamatory statement.”

Strike two.

” You should work on improving your reading comprehension, Stan.

And you are out of here again, Robin. Apparently I made a mistake granting amnesty, at least as far as you are concerned.

Barnes said...

9. False: Atheism has no ethic or morality attached to it, yet claim that “Atheists are good without God”. (internally contradictory: non-coherent).

I agree. Atheism does not have any ethics or morality attached to it. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in god / gods - nothing more, nothing less.

You then say that Atheism claims that “Atheists are good without God”.
As you put that claim in quote marks I have to assume that the quote (un-cited) is the belief of the majority of atheists. As it was un-cited yet used as a point to show the a fallacy of atheism I wanted to see if this quote was in any way linked to atheism.

The only place where I have found mainstream atheism involved in anything resembling what you have presented as a quote is the well known bus / billboard campaign where the slogan was "You can be good without god".

In my opinion “Atheists are good without God” and "You can be good without god" are so different from each other that to try and conflate the two is mind numbing.

As your original quote is un-cited - thus making me do my own search to see if it is in reality a part of atheism - I have been unable to find where your quote could have any validity as being representative of atheism.
I do accept that my limited time and research into this matter could be wrong.
If you could point me in the direction of where you got this quote from and I'm sorry for being a nitpicker here, but it would also have to show that this is a position held by the majority of atheists / atheism for it to be valid as a possible fallacy of atheism.

Stan said...

These sources are from just the first page of a simple google search on “Good Without God”:

1. A Book by a Humanist author: "Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe".

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGood-Without-God-Billion-Nonreligious%2Fdp%2F0061670111&ei=5xD_TtKGLIaLsQK62_GUAQ&usg=AFQjCNHY4OhKwW0urBJXFo8O7DphtXmfRQ

This Harvard based author attributes Good Without God to a billion Atheists.

2. Harvard Humanist

http://harvardhumanist.org/tag/good-without-god/

3. Jerry Coyne, in USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2011-07-31-atheism-morality-evolution-religion_n.htm

4. Washington Post

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=9&sqi=2&ved=0CGwQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsweek.washingtonpost.com%2Fonfaith%2F2009%2F10%2Fgood_without_god%2Fall.html&ei=5xD_TtKGLIaLsQK62_GUAQ&usg=AFQjCNHFVLjr1_TFwDkQiFNg8wPe69TaXQ

5. United Coalition of Reason/Fort Wort Buses

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=9&sqi=2&ved=0CGwQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsweek.washingtonpost.com%2Fonfaith%2F2009%2F10%2Fgood_without_god%2Fall.html&ei=5xD_TtKGLIaLsQK62_GUAQ&usg=AFQjCNHFVLjr1_TFwDkQiFNg8wPe69TaXQ

6. The Atlantic

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1989/12/can-we-be-good-without-god/6721/

7. NY Times

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/good-without-god-atheist-subway-ads-proclaim/

Quote from NY Times article:
Aside from the center [Center For Inquiry], other groups in the coalition include the Flying Spaghetti Monster Meetup, New York City Brights, New York Philosophy, New York Society for Ethical Culture, Richie’s List and the Secular Humanist Society of New York.

8. Chicago WGN / Chicago Tribune

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/good-without-god-atheist-subway-ads-proclaim/

Quote:
Members of the coalition include local chapters of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Humanistic Jewish congregation in Deerfield, the Secular Students Association of Elmhurst College, the Chicago Center for Inquiry and others


Kindly Note that the New York and Chicago Atheist organizations attribute Good Without God to their entire estimated populations of Atheists. The Harvard author attributes Good Without God to all of the planet's Athiests.

Barnes said...

Hi Stan

Thank you for replying to my post

I am unsure as to your policy of links in posts; else I would have supplied the link to the source of my quote.

Good without god is common to both of the quotes we have presented, yet I think you will agree that both our quotes have completely different meanings. Therefore I am at a loss as to why you think a Google search of the words common to both our quotes is in any way a reply to my query of where you got your quote. But as this was your reply to my query I will check the links. Results below

Link 1. Neither of our quotes. Just the three word commonality.
Link 2. Neither of our quotes. Just the three word commonality.
Link 3. Has my quote. Does not have your quote.
Link 4. 18 different articles by 18 different authors from different backgrounds. It is a discussion based on my quote but raised as a question. “You can be good without god” is now the question “Can people be good without god?” In the 18th article I found this comment “And atheists are good; they are as good as religious people. So not believing in God and not fearing punishment does not prevent them from being good.” Which gets close to your quote.
Link 5 is the same as link 4.
Link 6. Based on my quote but asked as the question “Can We Be Good Without God?” Does not have your quote.
Link 7. Has my quote. Has this “A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?” as the closest to your quote.
Link 8. Same as link 7

I am aware that Google personalises its response to individual users over time which is why I checked your links as they are different (mostly) to the links I get when I do the search.
Having searched your reply to my query I am unable to find an actual response to the query I made.

So I will repost my original request to you.
If you could point me in the direction of where you got this quote from and I'm sorry for being a nitpicker here, but it would also have to show that this is a position held by the majority of atheists / atheism for it to be valid as a possible fallacy of atheism.

Stan said...

If you are rejecting “three word commonality” in a three word quote, then there is possible conversation to be had here. However, I did screw up some of the links:

1. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Without-God-Billion-Nonreligious/dp/0061670111
Harvard based Atheist/Humanist claims entire population of the earth.

2. The link itself has the term “Good Without God”. And it goes directly to the 10 part article called Good (Without God).

3. Links directly; uses the term “Good Without God”.

4. http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/2009/10/good_without_god/all.html

5. http://unitedcor.org/node/139

6. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1989/12/can-we-be-good-without-god/6721/

7. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/good-without-god-atheist-subway-ads-proclaim/

Headline: “ ‘Good Without God,’ Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim”

8. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-10-22/news/0910210737_1_billboard-agnostics-atheists

Headline: “ 'Good without God' billboard goes up near Loop”

Members of the coalition include local chapters of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Humanistic Jewish congregation in Deerfield, the Secular Students Association of Elmhurst College, the Chicago Center for Inquiry and others.

The term is common. It’s meaning is plain to be seen.

Stan said...

Barnes said,
"In my opinion “Atheists are good without God” and "You can be good without god" are so different from each other that to try and conflate the two is mind numbing."

When someone says, [A]: [quality of A], it does not mean "can be" or "could possibly be, or "sometimes maybe be".

When Atheists say "Adults with imaginary friends are stupid" like this: "Adults with imaginary friends: stupid", it doesn't mean with invisible qualifiers.

"Can be" is a qualifier and is unstated, whereas "are" is understood even though unstated.

Moreover, the overt statements that a million New Yorkers and a million Chicagoans are Good Without God, and the Harvard author claiming a billion people are Good Without God pretty well establishes that the meaning is "are", not some combinations of unstated subsets of modifiers.

Barnes said...

Hi Stan,
Thanks for the replies.

Stan said:-
However, I did screw up some of the links:
Hey, no worries. We are all human and we can all make mistakes. The only reason that I pointed out that two of the links were duplicate was to show you that I have read your response in full and checked all the given links. As one of the links was to a collection of eighteen articles thus giving me a total of twenty-six to check, 24 out of 26 if fine.
Wasn’t it Meatloaf that said …….“2 outta 3 aint bad” :-)

In your first response to me I think I have shown that I have done all that could be reasonably asked of me in dealing with it. However this now leads me to ask, did you fully read my initial post? Did you fully read my answer to your reply?

I realise that by asking about your full reading of my posts is confrontational. I do not wish to be confrontational so I have to accept there is a lack of clarity in my first post. Where I said If you could point me in the direction of where you got this quote from and I'm sorry for being a nitpicker here, but it would also have to show that this is a position held by the majority of atheists / atheism for it to be valid as a possible fallacy of atheism. now, for the sake of as much clarity as possible has to become – Please provide the link to the quote.

In my second comment which is in reply to all the links you provided I said, Having searched your reply to my query I am unable to find an actual response to the query I made.
I have to accept that there is no validity to this as there was miscommunication between us due to my lack of clarity in my first comment. So for the sake of clarity I will ask again - Please provide the link to the quote.

Now we come to the bit that I am having a serious comprehension problem with.
Atheists are good without God.
These words appear in your post
There are five words in the statement
They are enclosed in quotation marks
Five words, enclosed in quotation marks is a five word quote.
You then accuse me of rejecting a three word commonality in a three word quote.
I was under the impression I had proposed a commonality between your five word quote and my six word quote? I think I have to leave this issue here due to my complete lack of comprehension – I just have to ask if it is possible for you to clarify this issue in any way?

Moving on to your third response to me.
Invisible qualifiers.
As the qualifiers are visible I feel that this is slightly off topic to our current conversation. It seems we are having enough comprehension and clarity issues without introducing anything new to the mix ;-)

Stan said...

Barnes,
Yes, let's go for clarity. In fact, let's cut the BS and get to the crux of the matter. Are you here to prove that the Atheist organizations which claim "Good Without God" do not mean that they are "Good Without God", that instead they really mean something else?

Go ahead and prove that. Go to those organizations listed as supporting the "Good Without God" claim, and ask them what they mean. If they do not mean what they imply, then what does that say about them? And feel free to report your findings to us back here. (caveat: don't bias the question with "do you mean 'x'"; just ask what they mean by "Good Without God"). As a secondary issue you might ask "what is your standard for Good?"

This should be interesting. And useful information, too.

Unknown said...


[Reposting from 12/31:]
Stan› Unless an Atheist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely an Atheist, without morality.

Robin› And by such sanctimonious bigotry, you would commit a fallacy of composition.

Stan› The fallacy of composition is in no manner appropriate here.

Yes, it was. Some variations on your statement may help you understand why:

• “Unless a Determinist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely a Determinist, without morality.”

• “Unless a Federalist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely a Federalist, without morality.”

• “Unless a Capitalist tells you every day that his morality today is the categorical imperative, you can assume that he is merely a Capitalist, without morality.”

When you assume that something true of a part must be true of a whole, you commit a fallacy of composition.

You assumed that since a part of a worldview does not have a moral dimension, therefore an entire worldview does not, committing a fallacy of composition. And also, committing prejudice.

Stan› Your charge of sanctimonious bigotry places you one step from permanent banishment.

At a dinner party, a Caucasian host remarked that he assumes black people have loose morals. “That's racist,” a Negro guest responded. Instead of apologizing, he haughtily threw her out of his party, sniffing, “You people are not welcome here unless you remain civil.” Which was his prerogative, though the one who actually breached civility was not her.

vickster339 said...

My time is better spent contributing some small part in attaining a theory of everything, that eventually proves everyone wrong... than get bogged down here.