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April 10, 2015

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Everyone has a worldview?

Says who?

.Christian apologists, that's who. Just look.

Everyone has a worldview?

.Christian apologists, that's who. Just look.

Why do Christian apologists say these things?

I don't know. I can't read minds.

But here's a thought: maybe they think talking this way sounds more intellectual than...

Everyone has a religion and atheism is a religion.

What's this got to do with the book?

New Atheists like to think of themselves as nonbelievers, but they believe devoutly in matter (or nature) as their substitute religion.

-p 43

Everyone has a worldview.

Says who?

Christian worldview apologists, that's who.

Atheism is a worldview.

Says who?

Christian worldview apologists, that's who.

Why do Christian worldview apologists say these things?

I don't know. I can't read minds.

But here's a thought: Maybe Christian worldview apologists think talking this way makes them sound intellectual. It sounds better to them than...

Everyone has a religion and atheism is a religion.

What's this got to do with this book?

Sometimes Christian worldview apologists let their hair down...

New Atheists like to think of themselves as nonbelievers, but they believe devoutly in matter (or nature) as their substitute religion.

- Finding Truth: I Lost My Faith at an Evangelical College, p. 43

Ron(always preview)H

Thanks for the repeats Ron. BT-dubs, if you're going to quote something that's not actually in the original post, you might want to source it. I suppose the claim that "Everyone has a worldview" is from Pearcy's book?

Let's take a look at that first article (by someone named Luke Muehlhauser) you link Ron. According to that article, atheism by itself is nothing but the disbelief in God

Let us begin by noting that this goes against all the screams atheists emit when they claim to not be claiming anything...because, you see, disbelief of X, is not simply a failure to believe X, it is the belief that not-X.

So you atheists have been having us on this whole time, haven't you? You actually do make claims. Don't you?

Anyway, kudos to LM for entering the realm of the intellectually honest and admitting that atheists actually have beliefs, qua atheist.

Is it true that, as LM, says, that atheism is a single belief about one thing?

No, he's simply mistaken about that.

Atheism is a belief, and that belief has logical consequences that the atheist is now committed to. For example, atheism has the logical consequence that Islam is false. One cannot be both an atheist and a devout Muslim.

Islam itself, to stick with that example, has a number of practical consequences that are also things you would really only do because you are Muslim. For example, Muslims, must go to Mecca once in their lifetime if they are able. It is a consequnce of atheism that you don't need to do that.

True, not being Muslim does not logically imply that you need not go on such a pilgrimage. It might be possible for a non-Muslim, like each and every atheist, to argue that he/she still ought to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca and walk seven times counter-clockwise around the Ka'aba (and perform all the other worshipful acts of the Hajj). But, in reality, it still seems to me that being an atheist has as a practical consequence, that you are not required to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

There are actually an awful lot of things that atheism implies both logically and by practical expedience (like not going on pilgrimage to Mecca), and it's not at all clear to me that those implications, taken together, do not comprise a world-view.

But let us grant the spirit of the general point of the LM. Atheism, and its consequences, are not yet comprehensive enough to rise to the level of being a worldview.

Is there, or has there ever been, a person who believes only atheism and its logical and practical consequences and nothing else?

Well, most atheists believe in atheism for a reason. We've talked about the logical consequences of atheism, but we must also consider the fact that atheism may, itself, be a consequence...probably is.

Mightn't the reasons one has for being an atheist, along with all the practical and logical consequences of atheism itself, actually be comprehensive enough to comprise a worldview?

And as a sidenote, what if there are some people who do not have worldviews? What mileage do you think you get from that?

What's this got to do with the book?

Explained in #3 above. Should I take it from your quote that you're reading the book?

And WisdomLover is right. You believe in a framework of ideas about reality, Ron—"convictions by which you direct your life." No one can avoid that. I've heard your objection before, and I've never understood why someone would find that claim objectionable. To say you don't have any such framework is to say you have no intellectual understanding of the world and your place in it.

Atheism may not itself be the foundation of a worldview. But instead be a consequence of the worldview. One may be an atheist because of being a materialist, which means God (immaterial) can't exist.

Personally, I found the explanation of idolatry spot on. I've always heard/believed that we all "worship" something. Nancy's explanation of this in terms of a replacement for God just makes it click. As a youth pastor especially I see this idolatry play itself out with youth constantly with pop culture, relationships, scholastic success, social status, etc.

"Everyone has a worldview?

Says who?"


RonH

In his book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" Stephen Covey uses the word "paradigm." His argument being that "Effective People" are aware of their paradigm and the paradigms of others.

A worldview/paradigm is just simply that basic assumption about the world through which we judge everything else. Pretty much unless you're in a coma, I don't see how anyone could function at even a basic level in the world without some foundational presuppositions.

WL,

I apologize for 'the repeats' - my 2 similar comments above.
The second contains quite a lot of correction.

But why do you thank me?

if you're going to quote something that's not actually in the original post, you might want to source it.
The sources are all those places - in the links I gave - that say "everyone has a worldview" and "atheism is a worldview". See below for more.
it's not at all clear to me that implications, taken together, do not comprise a world-view....Mightn't the reasons one has for being an atheist, along with all the practical and logical consequences of atheism itself, actually be comprehensive enough to comprise a worldview?
Sounds like you are not a Christian worldview apologist. They have more confidence in the idea than you seem to. Good for you!

As for atheism being a worldview...

I'm not convinced homeopathy is real.
I'm not convinced there's a real god.
I'm not convinced astrology is real.
...

Now define 'worldview' as you please.

If my worldview is atheism by your definition, my worldview is also ahomeopathism.
If my worldview is atheism by your definition, my worldview is also a-astrologism.
...

If atheism is a worldview, then I sure do have a lot of worldviews.

Let's take a look at that first article (by someone named Luke Muehlhauser) you link Ron.

I'm not really linking to that per se.

The links I posted perform google searches on "everyone has a worldview" and "atheism is a worldview".

The point of posting them is to show who says "everyone has a worldview" OR "atheism is a worldview" except Christian worldview apologists. Look through the results. Judge for yourself who says these things.

In general you won't get the same results I get.

For example my first result was not by Luke. Mine was this by Matt Slick.

What page by Luke did you get? I don't know. Please provide.

It sounds like you never heard of Luke before.

You might be interested his podcast Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot.

For example.

And as a sidenote, what if there are some people who do not have worldviews? What mileage do you think you get from that?

If these people you mention don't have worldviews by the definition used by the Christian worldview apologists, then it would show the Christian worldview apologists who say "everyone has a worldview" are, by their own lights, wrong.

That would seem like pretty good mileage if the definition being used made any sense.

But when Christian worldview apologists say "everyone has a worldview" they really mean "everyone has a religion".

New Atheists like to think of themselves as nonbelievers, but they believe devoutly in matter (or nature) as their substitute religion.

They substitute 'worldview' during startup because it just sounds too stupid to start with "everyone has a religion".

At least, it should sound very stupid.

Sorry about the wording there. No offence intended even if it sounds like there is.

I remember hearing someone - maybe it was Dr. Dino - tell a debate opponent that he (the opponent) worshipped time (time!) because time made evolution possible.

Maybe it was Ken Ham.

RonH


Amy,

I don't understand. What is explained in #3? (My question, if that's what you are 'explaining' is rhetorical and I explained it by quoting Pearcey saying "New atheists" have a religion.)

Am I reading the book?
I'm probably not going to read the whole book.
I won't buy such things and I can't get it from my library or even inter-library loan.
But with Amazon preview I can read parts of it.
It's not like this stuff is new to me.

Since you have the book: What definition does it give for 'worldview'.

So, I believe in

a framework of ideas about reality, Ron—"convictions by which you direct your life."
huh?

What in the world IS that? And how do you know I do?

And how do you know nobody can avoid it?

So you've heard my objection before, and you've never understood why someone would find the claim objectionable.

Well I've heard the claim before.

And I've never heard it backed up.

So the objection stands even if you have heard it twice before.

RonH

The word "worldview" is very simple. It means your view of the world.

A framework of ideas about reality: What you think about reality. What the universe is. Where it came from (if anywhere). What we are. Who we are. Why we're here. How you should live because of all the above. What's important. What our purpose is (if anything). What the good life is. What is real. What is an illusion. Your view of the world.

Your views on all of the above and more are the convictions that direct your decisions and actions.

How do I know you have one? Because you're human. Your understanding of the world around you may be more or less developed, it may even be contradictory, but everyone has one, and everyone makes sense of what they encounter in light of their overall understanding of the world.

To say you don't have a worldview is to say you don't have a view of the world—no ideas, no understanding, about what this world is, and how it works, and what is important. You prove that false simply by being here.

Hi Amy

So if I answer to all these things:

"A framework of ideas about reality: What you think about reality. What the universe is. Where it came from (if anywhere). What we are. Who we are. Why we're here. How you should live because of all the above. What's important. What our purpose is (if anything). What the good life is. What is real. What is an illusion. Your view of the world."

I dont know - what worldview do I have.

Im afraid this is pure projection on your behalf.

As for Wisdom Lover

"Is there, or has there ever been, a person who believes only atheism and its logical and practical consequences and nothing else?"

Im sorry - if you claim X and I say that I'm not buying the X you are peddling, how is that a belief?

Again, pure projection.

John, you have views about the world. You think some things are true and some false. (I assume you think Christianity is false.) You think evolution is true, that our existence is random, and there was no rational mind behind everything that exists.

You express part of your view here:

I think there is a miscommunication here also. If there is a God, he will have a particular view of the universe and its very fabric. When I talk about reality, its that deity like view that Im referring to . As humans we only get to access 'observational reality' - and we CANNOT know if there is any coherence between 'reality' and 'observational reality'?

Does that make sense?

If it does, great. Because Im not interested in 'reality' because we have no way of understanding it. Thats the realm of metaphysics and the supernatural. Im not saying it doesnt exist - but we have no way of understanding it.

You say we can't know "reality" because we have no way of understanding it. We can't know if what we observe is really reality. That's part of your worldview. It's an understanding of who we are as human beings and what the world is. And I suspect you might have this view because of your belief in evolution. How can we know that our senses give us truth if they occurred by accident and may only provide survival, not truth? Your views are connected into a whole.

[T]he existence of the universe cannot be explained as a product of natural causes alone. This is as true for us as it was for Paul’s first-century readers.

...

The origin of the universe has given rise to a puzzle known as the fine-tuning problem.

...

Every cell in our bodies contains a complex coded message.

So what about "Paul's first-century readers", then? How was this "just as true" for them, given that they knew nothing about DNA or the gravitational constant? How would a first-century Nancy Pearcey give scientific evidence for God? "Sun goes up, sun goes down, you can't explain that" I guess. Except now we can explain that, and so the apologists of our day must fall back on more and more arcane phenomena.

In every age, people have realized that an intelligible universe must be the product of intelligence.

It seems self-evident to me that our brains are adapted to comprehend the world we live in, and not that the universe is designed to be understood by our brains. You might as well say that God designed edible fruit to be pleasing to our eyes and taste buds.

He then drew the logical conclusion: “When therefore we behold the whole compass of the heaven moving with revolutions of marvelous velocity and … perfect regularity …, how can we doubt that all this is effected not merely by reason, but by a reason that is transcendent and divine?”

Wow, I wasn't too far off the mark with "sun goes up, sun goes down", was I?

This may explain why young children in every culture have a concept of God. Psychologist Paul Bloom at Yale University reports that “when children are directly asked about the origin of animals and people, they tend to prefer explanations that involve an intentional creator, even if the adults who raised them do not.” In other words, children tend to hold a concept of God even if their parents are atheists.

When I was young, the family dishwasher often leaked soapy suds from the hinge at the bottom. I thought the dishwasher was a creature, with the hinge as the mouth, and was afraid to go into the kitchen when it was "frothing" at the "mouth" because I thought it would eat me.

“But when I read your book Total Truth,” she wrote, “I discovered that I had unconsciously absorbed ideas from secular thinkers like Rousseau and Kant.”

Oh, the funnies. So since she believed things somewhat similar to what Kant and Rousseau may have believed, she is obviously under their dark influence. When I was little, I hypothesized that God and Satan were two beings, of equal power, eternally struggling against each other. I wonder how the Manicheans got to me way out in South Dakota.

I'll save my discussions of agency and free will for another time, since she's obviously going to come back to that issue.

"I Lost My Faith at an Evangelical College"

I left my heart in San Francisco, and my brain in La Mirada!

But when Christian worldview apologists say "everyone has a worldview" they really mean "everyone has a religion".
Perhaps some apologists do really mean this. I will note that whenever I say what someone really means I'm always called arrogant and condescending. It doesn't stop me of course. Sometimes dishonesty has to be addressed. And maybe you're right, maybe some apologists are dishonestly trying to smuggle in the idea that a worldview and a religion are the same thing...something that would at least need to be argued for.

But I think a lot of them are just trying to come up with a more generic term than "religion" that will still serve the purposes of discussion. Atheists scream that atheism isn't a religion. Rather than cavil about that, I think the apologist just makes a gift of the word "religion" and soldiers along with the more ungainly construction "worldview" which doesn't exactly capture everything that "religion" does, but serves what the apologist wants to talk about.

Also, "religion" for a lot of people, I think, connotes some sort of religious observances. "Worldview" does not connote that. But it does capture the idea of a cohesive and comprehensive set of beliefs about the world. Understood this way, I think it is true to say that every religion includes a worldview. But I don't think that we need jump to the conclusion that every world view is a religion.

With all that said, I don't think the claim that everyone has a religion is terribly stupid...certainly not so stupid that apologists feel they need to bait-n-switch something more plausible sounding. I don't even think the claim that everyone has a god is terribly stupid.

What they are is more controversial. You have to argue for them. I simply assume that 'worldview apologists' don't think that those arguments are worth the effort.

As I pointed out above, Covey uses the word paradigm instead of worldview. He's not a Christian apologist. His book was actually more of a self help motivational sort directed to the business world on how to be more effective at what you do.
But his explanation of paradigm is spot on with what apologists mean by worldview.

Im sorry - if you claim X and I say that I'm not buying the X you are peddling, how is that a belief?

Again, pure projection.

I was responding to the number one link from one of Ron's Google Searches.

In the article at the end of that link, the author accepts the Concise OED definition of "atheism"..."disbelief in the existence of a god or gods".

Disbelief isn't just the lack of belief in a thing. It is the refusal to accept the truth of a thing. Now it seems to me that refusing to accept a thing is different from simply not accepting a thing. Refusing to accept isn't a passive failure to believe, it is active denial. Disbelief is the active denial of the truth of a thing.

So that's how that's a belief.

I'll grant that not every atheist needs to accept the Concise OED's definition. I would think, though, that atheists could skip the pretense that Christians who use the term to mean "those who refuse to accept that God exists" are somehow 'projecting'. We're actually just employing a standard and accepted use of the word "atheist". Why is it so shocking that we should do so? And what do you hope to gain by departing from that standard and accepted use?

The sources are all those places - in the links I gave - that say "everyone has a worldview" and "atheism is a worldview". See below for more.
I guess I should have been clearer. I would expect that your remark would be keying off the OP, or at least of of some link or other material mentioned in the OP.

But it almost seems as if the the mere use of the word "worldview" set you off on a diatribe against worldviews.

As I pointed out above, Covey uses the word paradigm instead of worldview. He's not a Christian apologist.
I think you're right Marc. John Rawls, another person who could not be mistaken as a Christian apologist, used the phrase "comprehensive conception of the good" to similar effect.

Amy

"How can we know that our senses give us truth if they occurred by accident and may only provide survival, not truth?"

You really need to define what you mean by "truth" here. Theres alot of talk about "truth" on this board, but it seems to me that the same people who like the sound of 'god' also like the sound of 'truth', but they've added nothing to the mix thereby.

In any case - I'm an atheist because Im not buying the arguments theists are peddling. That absolutely cannot be a "worldview"

Further, the whole projection by theists onto atheists of an "atheistic worldview" is a ploy to try and divert the argument back. It's cover to the astonishing lack of evidence for God - as Philip A nicely identifies above "the apologists of our day must fall back on more and more arcane phenomena." This talk of worldviews is a rhetorical ploy to cover basic credulity.

And that's why you think you have evidence for God - because you are credulous.

Amy,

The word "worldview" is very simple. It means your view of the world....

How does Pearcey define 'worldview'?

Does the definition say that a worldview, if it is not Christianity, includes a God substitute or is that tacitly added later?

When and where in the book do non-Christian 'worldviews' become 'subsitute religions'

RonH

Sorry WL...

Amy,

The word "worldview" is very simple. It means your view of the world....

But, how does Pearcey define 'worldview'?

Does the definition say that a 'worldview', if it is not Christianity, includes a 'God substitute'?

Does it say non-Christian 'worldviews' are 'substitute religions'?

RonH

Ron, if you're going to ask me to recreate the book for you here in the comments every week, this is not going to work. Just read the book. I hope you will. I welcome your response and argumentation against what you find there, and that's the only way you can know what's actually there to argue against.

John, I feel like there's some sort of misunderstanding going on here. When we say everyone has a worldview (and I've already pointed out from your own words parts of your worldview), we're not using that against you—as if that were an insult. We're simply trying to understand where you're coming from and looking at what you think about the world (and you do have thoughts, as I reminded you).

This isn't "a ploy to try and divert the argument back," it's a way to understand and examine ideas. Obviously, every worldview, including ours, must be examined. But the point here is that everyone has a perspective, you included. Me included.

I say this must be some sort of misunderstanding because I honestly don't understand how saying that everyone has a perspective could be seen as an illegitimate ploy.

Amy,

Rest easy. I won't comment on the book after this week/chapter.

Probably won't even read the posts.

Seems to me Pearcey's definition would be basic to your discussion.

If you don't want to repeat it, maybe someone else will.

I couldn't find it or I'd do it myself.

A sort of Worldview paraphrase, if Amy doesn't mind:


"....understanding of the world around you.... more or less developed..... may even be contradictory....... makes sense of what you encounter in light of your overall understanding of the world..... To say you don't have a worldview is to say you don't have a view of the world..... to say you don't have a view of the world is to say you have no ideas about the world.... no understanding... about what this world is.... about how it works..."


To honestly claim one has no ideas about anything is to answer every question that is in any way related to reality with the following:


"Actually I have no ideas about that nor do I have any understanding of that nor do I have any views about that. None at all."


Full stop.

Else:

Worldview.

A child has a view of the world - his worldview.

It sort of comes with consciousness.

Pretty basic stuff.

But the Atheist's get pretty heated up on this point as they feel some sort of safety in hiding behind either "I don't know" or "We cannot know".

The threat which they feel when faced with the fact that they have actual ideas and actual beliefs unties that tiny yet critical bit of felt existential security.

Hence all the emoting and heat on their end every time anything remotely related to this theme emerges. As this thread demonstrates. Perhaps all that heat and emoting is generated by no-view-at-all. Or something that is somehow akin to no-view-at-all.


Peculiar.


Amy,


"When we say everyone has a worldview.... we're not using that against you - as if that were an insult. We're simply trying to understand where you're coming from and looking at what you think about the world..."


Well stated.

Ron, it's woven throughout the chapter and summed up briefly in #4 above.

I don't mind if you comment. I didn't even mind when you first asked a question about what she meant by a line or two you pulled out of Google. I certainly don't mind if you argue against what I've said in the post. But now you're starting to ask questions that encompass her entire argument for this chapter, and that's what I can't do for you every week—especially since I think I've already outlined the answer to your question in the original post (particularly in the quotes I put up under #3, #4, and #5) and my subsequent comments. That's the upshot of her definition of worldview and argument as to why false worldviews go wrong.

Does the definition say that a 'worldview', if it is not Christianity, includes a 'God substitute'?

#3 above addresses this directly.

If the summation isn't enough for you, you need to read the chapter. I'll even personally buy you a Kindle copy. Just email me and tell me what address I should email it to.

To borrow from David Hart, our views about ultimate reality - though in many ways amorphous - find a concrete and rigid "Y" in what may otherwise be an amorphous road:


"..... the infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality...."


All of us have our ultimate meaning maker, our end of the line.


Many, many claims upon reality are far less concrete, far less rigid than the afore mentioned "Y" as all those other claims allow, often quite easily, the remaining footprints to remain - yet - rather amorphous.


However, the claim of "No-God" is as concrete at that Y in the road as is the claim, "God".


There cannot be a greater rigidity, a more sharply defined "Y", than to claim Ultimate Indifference on the one hand and Ultimate Love on the other hand, than to claim Personhood on the one hand and A-Personhood on the other hand.


This claim of Ultimate Indifference, of A-Personhood, there at the end of the line is a claim which the A-Theist (No-God) makes upon something other than his own Self.

His is not a claim on the Self, such as:

"I do not know"
"I cannot know"

Nor is it a claim on the world outside the Self which frees him of commitment to Ultimate Indifference, such as:

"We, Man, cannot know"

Rather, his is a positive claim of what is, of what exists in the world outside of his own Self, a claim upon final reality.

For he offers no third way as the end of the line.


1) Person (consciousness, bliss, love, and so on...)


2) A-Person (Indifference, and so on....)


3) ____?


The two most radical, most costly, most extreme claims made upon reality outside of one's own Self, upon reality period, are Theism and A-Theism.

Every other claim on comparison to those two radical claims is soft, amorphous, pliable. Hence Theism and A-Theism are perhaps far more difficult to defend than honest agnosticism. But Theists and A-Theists are anything but agnostic, for they have each placed positive affirmation of what exists - have made their claim - on what exists - there at the end of ultimate reality.

Amorphous claims on what actually does exist at the end of the line? That just is not the case with those two affirmations of what exists at the end of the line as love and indifference, person and a-person, are two ends of possibility's spectrum.


"The most fundamental decision we all face over the course of our lives is what we will recognize as the ultimate reality, the uncaused source and cause of our existence. Everything else in our worldview depends on that initial decision."

A handful of Atheists want that word (Atheist) to mean "A-gnostic".

But that is a different word, making a different claim about ultimate reality.

Words matter.

Different claims about ultimate realty are labeled with different words.

That is what words are for.

If the Atheist is not happy with his affirmative claim about ultimate reality, and feels rather unsure about it, or feels that perhaps it is unwise to make such a bold statement about ultimate reality, or feels that it's all just a bit too blurry to tell for sure, or feels that such ultimate sureness about ultimate reality is not warranted on his end, then perhaps A-Gnosticism would be a better fit for his actual views about such foci.


John-

Your definition of atheism is defective.

As I understand you, you are saying that atheism is simply not accepting the arguments for theism.

There are a number of theists, called fideists, who do not accept any of the arguments for theism. But they still believe in God.

So if your definition of atheism were correct, those theists would also be atheists at the same time.

Amy,

it's woven throughout the chapter

So she doesn't define it.

I wonder under what circumstances would you say "she doesn't define it".

Thanks for the offer but No thanks. Not interested given the above.

That's why I won't be commenting on future chapters or commenting more on this one.

WL,

Your definition of atheism is defective.

As I understand you, you are saying that atheism is simply not accepting the arguments for theism. ...


Fideism causes "John's definition" no problem.

John requires at least one good argument to believe.

He's 'not buying the arguments theists are peddling'.

So, he doesn't believe.

He, like many others, uses the word 'atheist' to describe someone who doesn't believe.

So he calls himself an 'atheist'.

.

Fideists believe (without requiring any argument).

John, like many others, use the word 'theist' to describe someone who believes.

So John calls the fideists 'theists'.


RonH

So she doesn't define it.

I do not know how you got that from what I said. She defines it (both what a worldview is and what a "God substitute" is) directly in the quotes I posted and directed you to above. She expands on that in the rest of the chapter. The summation is directly above in the post. The expansive explanation is the rest of the chapter.

I do not know how you got that from what I said.

Pretty simple. I read what you said looking for signs of you pointing to a definition in the book. I didn't find any.

If you ask me if Sire defines 'worldview' in his book, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalogue, I would say Yes. He defines it on page 17...

A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.

If you ask me Does Sire's definition of 'worldview' require either God or a 'God substitute', I can say No, not as written here.

Now I'm no admirer of Sire's definition. How in the world could anybody work with such a thing? But at least he has one I can identify.

Atheism cannot be a component of a larger worldview.

Why?

Because atheists don't have worldviews... they've no thoughts or ideas about reality. Hence atheism cannot be a claim about any part of reality.

Well, if being an atheist isn't part of one's thoughts and ideas about the world, and if one has no ideas or thoughts about about the world, and if atheism is an actual part of that "no-views-at-all about the world", well, then at least we can work with "that" as "the Atheist's position".


It's silly, but at least it can be identified.

The Skeptic is "SO" committed to his Skepticism that he will EVEN tell us that he himself has no ideas or thoughts about the world, no views at all about such things, that he doesn't have that which comes with consciousness: a view of the world.

Because he knows that to say otherwise is to 1) make a claim and/or 2) infer by default a presupposition.

And in his, ummm, "view", well, 1 and 2 are, uumm, well, sort of "sins" that go, ummm, well, "against" some sort of non-view.

We are NOT saying that the skeptic has "views", -cause skeptics don't have "views" about such topics. We're merely zeroing in on what the skeptics themselves seem to be striving for when faced with the uncomfortable fact that they (may) have actual ideas and views of the world via "being conscious".

They deny that they have such a thing.

Therefore, we're merely trying to accommodate them, to grant them their view.

You know - "No view at all".

Like the unconscious.

Ron, your definition of atheism goes beyond what John said. (That's why his is defective, but yours might not be).

John's definition amounts to the belief that all theistic proofs for God fail.

As I pointed out, that is defective because fideists agree with that.

So you propose this additional clause to the definition: He doesn't believe in God because He doesn't believe the theistic arguments are good.

That's fine. What would you call the person who not only lacks a belief in God, but actively refuses to believe in God...who believes there is no God?

#2 in the OP's list deals with "suppression".

When one is conflicted within one's own mind one may sooth one's cognitive dissonance via suppression.

A good example:

1) "There is no God! Of that I am certain! Theists are absolutely mistaken! All of them!"

2) "There may be a God but I've not seen enough good reasons to believe it at this point in my life".


These are not the *same* claim on reality, not both "Atheist".

Cognitive dissonance leads some to make the false identity claim that "1 = 2" in order to sooth the conflict of his own skepticism at war with his own atheism (#1).


The New Atheist wants words to mean what they don't mean - because the Skeptic in him just hates the idea of making an actual firm claim and so his Atheism (of the 1st brand) is forever at odds with his Skepticism.

He's conflicted.

His solution is to hijack old words and/or invent new words in order to softly "blend" 1 and 2 into a false identity claim. That way he can go on pretending he has no ideas about the world, no beliefs about the world, no views of the world from within his own conscious awareness and yet still rant his rant of No-God.

The OP's 2nd item of suppression seems to emerge.

WL,

I see what you call my definition and what you call John's definition as the very same thing.

I think John meant the same thing I said more explicitly.

It didn't occur to me that he didn't.

If he didn't mean what I said, I think he would readily agree to my tweak.

Suppose he says, Yes I meant what Ron said.

Tjen, in the absence of some very good reason, we'd have to take his word for it.

What would you call the person who not only lacks a belief in God, but actively refuses to believe in God...who believes there is no God?

Actively refuses? As in denying a request to believe in God?
Do you mean he believes but denies (to himself especially) that he does?
He could be called a theist - since he believes.
But just calling him 'theist' would probably lead to confustion.

But for believes there is no God, how about 'atheist'?

For splitters, there's 'strong atheist' vs. 'weak atheist'.

And 'hard' v. 'soft'.

The important thing is not getting the definition 'right'; definitions are conventions with limited scope.

Whether you are a lumper or a splitter there are two, no three, important things.

For speakers/writers: Try to be understood.
So use words in ways that others use them. Cooperate.

For listeners/readers: Try to understand.
So be aware that some words have multiple usages. Cooperate.

For everybody: Don't participate in argument by dictionary.

Please.

Cooperation?

1) "There is no God! Of that I am certain! Theists are absolutely mistaken! All of them!"

2) "There may be a God but I've not seen enough good reasons to believe it at this point in my life".


Just assert a soft false identity claim and carry on "as if" [1 = 2].


You know - cooperation - that way the Skeptic can make claims while claiming he isn't making claims.


The OP alludes to such internal conflicts (my skepticism vs. my atheism per #1) leading to that sort of suppression.


RonH,

You make a valid point on how to carry on dialogue as semantics apply.

But there is a problem:

Hard claims are made by Skeptics as to No-God *until pushed*.

Then the equivocation and hedging arrive as things soften up and - finally - echoes of nihilism or a hard agnosticism emerge.

But not until the Theist applies pressure does the Skeptic choose logic's nihilistic death to evade both God and No-God.

I agree with your assessment that we need to give room to one another.


But this is a recurring problem with the No-God crowd. Which makes it seem just a bit dishonest from the get-go.

The OP reveals the suppression of truth to evade the necessity of concluding God. All of "this" is (IMO) a slice of "that".


Howdy. I'm an atheist. You folks are making lots of claims for us. It's much simpler than you imagine. We don't believe in God. That's it.

Johnranta, could you answer just a few quick questions for me?

1. What are human beings?
2. How did we get here?
3. Where did the universe come from, and why?
4. How/why did the world go wrong, and what's the main thing we should do to fix it?

If your answer is, "I don't know," could you tell me why you don't (or can't) know?

Thanks!

I think John meant the same thing I said more explicitly.

It didn't occur to me that he didn't.

If he didn't mean what I said, I think he would readily agree to my tweak.

Perhaps. He might also have been trying to push the "atheists make no claims" theme. Now, it is utterly impossible for atheists to make no claims. If atheists made no claims, then atheism couldn't be incompatible with anything. But what you said does imply more claims than what he said, so it's not clear to me that he would agree with you (that's not to say that he shouldn't agree with you).

But I do agree, that if were to say, "yes, I meant just what Ron says", then naturally we would take his word for it.

On "active refusal to believe X" vs. "denies X" vs. "disbelieves X" vs. "believes not-X", I take these phrases to be synonymous. The only alternative to X is not-X, to refuse the one is to embrace the other.

Now, I recognize that one can be in a state of neither refusing one nor embracing the other. For example, if one has never even conceived of the possibility of X, then one neither refuses X, nor refuses not-X, nor embraces X, nor embraces not-X. One is simply absent a belief one way or the other about X.

Likewise, one who is simply withholding judgement on X is neither refusing X, nor embracing X, nor etc.

So now atheism is, according to you, both the denial of the existence of God, and the withholding of judgement?

Or rather, these are both forms of atheism?

Are both of these forms of atheism based on the same beliefs about the failure of theistic proofs?

"No one has proven God exists, so I withhold judgment about God"...atheism according to you.

"No one has proven God exists, so I deny God"...atheism also according to you.

I take it that the first is a soft atheist and the second hard?

What if one believes they have a proof that God does not exist and denies God as a result?

Surely that person is an atheist too.

Are they super-hard atheists?

Could one say that one has no atheistic proofs and no answers at all to at least one of the theistic proofs, but still deny God?

Wouldn't that person be an atheist too?

What if one had no answers at all to at least one of the theistic proofs, but still suspended judgment?

Would that person be an atheist also?

What is a person thought he had a good argument that god does not exist, but still suspended judgement?

Would that person also be an atheist?

At least in the last two cases, I don't think we're dealing with atheists.

And I'm still not very convinced that the person who thinks there are no good proofs but suspends judgment is an atheist either.

On the other hand, it seems obvious to me that every single case of people who flatly deny that God exists--whether they think they have a good argument against God, or whether they think there is no good argument for God, or even if they think that there is a good argument for God but still choose to deny God--every case where God is denied, is atheism.

In short, it seems to me that atheism is the denial of God, for whatever reason or absence of reason. Atheism is just what its name implies...the 'ism' of no god.

Suspending judgment, for whatever reason, is agnosticism. Isn't that right?

For everybody: Don't participate in argument by dictionary.
The dictionary usually gets the standard use of a term.

That does not, of course, bind anyone. You are free to use any term at all to describe the position you are trying to stake out Ron, including "theism". But don't be shocked and surprised when people are confused.

If you have an excellent reason to depart from standard usage, then by all means, give it a whirl. And if your reasons are good, they might even get a following...maybe they'll even become the standard usage some day.

It does raise eyebrows though, when the standard use of a term is set aside. Are there really good reasons? Or is some effort at obfuscation afoot?

Johnranta-

What is atheism incompatible with? Anything?

Theism

Ought / love there at the end of all of Atheism's paradigmatic autohypnotic and contingent lines as indifference and love share no ontological real estate.

Ron-

Theism is the claim that God exists.

If atheism is incompatible with theism, then atheism is (or implies) the claim that God does not exist.

So atheists do make claims after all.

@ RonH


"Everyone has a worldview?
Says who?"

It doesn't need to be stated outright. It's simply a feature of reality. We we all have a framework through which we view the world.

I'm not sure why you're even saying this and then quoting some other links or whatever. What you're asking here is being clearly explained in the book.

You are reading it, right?

A worldview, or, a view of the world, is not necessary so long as consciousness is not present. But once awareness actualizes, well one is then aware - and perception just is viewing.

So the Atheist is not technically wrong. There is such a thing as a "person without a world-view". Namely, persons who do not exist and persons who are yet to exist. Perhaps temporary states of unconsciousness can be added to that mix for the sake of completion.

As noted earlier, "When we say everyone has a worldview.... we're not using that against you - as if that were an insult. We're simply trying to understand where you're coming from and looking at what you think about the world..."

Of course the Atheist could be intellectually honest and embrace his own paradigm and thus argue for eliminative materialism such that there is no such state as "perception" - not the sort we mean anyway. If so, well then, none of us in fact actually "has" what is in fact actually a "view" for there is no us, no has, no view.

But that is not what Atheists mean when they try to say they have no worldview.

They mean only to make the claim that they have no perception of the world whatsoever - no view of the world whatsoever - no frame of reference whatsoever - and that "therefore" they have the right to claim that they make no claims about what they have no perception of, no view of, no frame of reference of - which is the real world we awake to find ourselves within.


The denial of one's own Self having perceptions of, views of, not only one's own Self but also of the world outside of one's own Self, is such an incoherent, fantastic, and bizarre claim that one wonders what could possibly be the motive for such posturing.


Is the possibility of actual perception such a threat to Atheism's paradigm that one must on point of fact inch away from "that" and instead inch ever closer to eliminative materialism where - finally - mind and consciousness - and thus perception - are eliminated?


The Theist can only guess that the Atheist's claim that he has no worldview - no perception of the world - must entail some appeal to such an elimination.


Else - perception. And where there is perception there is perceiving - referencing - and thus a worldview.


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